Avoid Choosing the Wrong Architect

Thinking of building your own home now, the first step is always about hiring the right architect who will help you turn your dreams to reality. We may be novice when it comes to laying out our dreams, it is here that we need the help of architects. As novice, we often get in the middle of the confusion of choosing the best architect. Architecture is a rapidly changing profession, especially in the realm of software. Many firms have yet to make the significant investment necessary to be at the forefront of their industry. It is also a profession that balances art and science and requires good communication and organization skills. While it’s difficult to assess whether an architect will meet your needs, here are nine ways to help. So not to choose the wrong architect, here are some points to remember not to choose the wrong one.

1. Visit the architect’s office.

An architect’s office can say a lot about their design aesthetic and creativity. Typically, though, first meetings with a client will be at their project site, so you may not have an opportunity to see the architect’s office. Consider scheduling a visit at the architect’s office within a few days of the initial meeting.

2. A disorganized architect’s office might be a red flag.

An architect must organize hundreds, if not thousands of pieces of information, and a disorganized office might be a big red flag. However, don’t confuse artist creativity with disorganization. Models or model building supplies, trace paper and sketches can be a sign of real creativity, but project information is normally stored in binders and filing cabinets. Large piles of unsorted paper are probably not a good sign.

3. Ask your architect if they are using 3D software (the answer should be ‘yes’ – then ask them if they are using BIM).

The latest architectural software is called BIM (building information model) and the more sophisticated architects are using this. A house or project designed in BIM is completely or almost completely designed in three dimensions (3D). In addition, in many cases the software can help eliminate errors in coordination of drawings since the two-dimensional drawings are all ‘extracted’ from the 3D model. The software also keeps track of things like sizes of each door and window, and when a size is changed in one drawing, it is automatically updated in another. This can be a real help in reducing errors.

4. Education is the foundation of an architect’s experience.

While attending a good school can help assure your architect has a good foundation to build upon, usually a better indicator is how an architect did in the school they attended. Many architecture instructors will tell you that 10%-20% of students are talented designers and few students who weren’t got significantly better as they went through school. To get a sense of how an architect performed in school, ask about design awards they may have won or exhibitions they may have participated in. If you ask about academic performance, differentiate between design studio classes, and non-design studio classes.

5. Know who you are going to work with.

If you are hiring a multi-person firm, find out who you will be working with. Many times, the person you are interviewing with won’t be doing much work on your project. If the person you are going to be working with isn’t in the interview, ask to visit the architect’s office and meet the person or people who will be on your team. Ask to see the credentials of those team members as well.

6. Architects communicate with drawings as well as words.

Look at the architect’s drawings and ask questions about them. It may be challenging to read or understand drawings if you haven’t done this before, but if you can’t understand them after an architect explains them, then either the drawings are not very good, or the architect has a hard time communicating. Both may be red flags.

7. A complete set of construction drawings includes specifications.

Not all architectural information is communicated within drawings. Plumbing fixtures, electrical fixtures, finishes, expected quality levels, and other information that is easier said in words than in drawings are communicated in written specifications. If your architect doesn’t prepare specifications, then you’ll likely be answering many questions during construction and may be hit with large change orders.

8. Look at the architect’s website.

A well designed, well organized website can communicate that an architect is organized and can assemble information in a clear format. If their website is out of date or they don’t have one, this might be a hint that they are behind the times.

9. Find out how well the architect works with building departments.

When you or your architect submits your drawings to the building department, they are typically reviewed, and a revision/correction notice is issued. A good architect can easily get a residential or small commercial project through with no revisions or one round of revisions. Since each round of revisions takes time to complete, fewer rounds of revisions mean you get your permit sooner. Incomplete or low-quality documents could hold up construction. If you’re trying to get your project framed and weather-tight before the rainy season, this could push the project into a season with unfavourable construction conditions.

Hiring an architect is challenging because you can’t ‘test drive’ the product during the interview. You will only know how the project turns out at its completion. So, spend the time to choose a good architect. Interview several and see who you think is qualified and a good personality fit for you. You will be spending a lot of time with him or her so choose wisely! Ewers Architecture is an architect firm that provides clients with the best of the services throughout Victoria.

Defining Wedding Themes and Designs

Weddings are grand affairs especially when it comes to themes and designs. Nowadays, all weddings are themed as there are so many trends associated with weddings these days that it is hard to keep up! I hope that you find some of the themes, ideas and tips in this article useful and wish you all the best on the wonderful journey of planning your wedding!

Wedding Themes:

Beach Wedding – As the inclination for a relaxed and casual style of wedding is on the rise, we will certainly see an increase in the number of Beach & Destination Weddings this year! So, choose a long flowing sun dress, kick off your heels and go naturally barefoot to your ceremony. Make sure that your invite states that ‘thongs’ and sandals are welcome and that you have plenty of water bottles in an ice filled bucket on hand at your hot beach location.

With all that in mind there are so many ways that you can decorate your ceremony and then of course follow the theme through into the casual evening reception.

And don’t forget, after your big day is over and you wake up in the comfort of your beach fronted resort make sure that you call your photographer back, put your dress one last time for the ultimate wedding shoot… Trash the Dress! This will be the perfect and most creative ending to your wedding adventure and will make brilliant photographs for a follow-up ‘Thank You’ to your friends and family for sharing your special day! A little out of the ordinary but certainly lots of fun!

Woodland Rustic Country Wedding – Yet another trend for 2012 wedding themes brings us the Rustic Woodland Country look, think natural wood effects, shades of green, love birds’ outdoor settings and enchanting trees. To suit both outdoor and indoor weddings this woodland rustic chic can be carried across all decorations, bouquets and your bombonierre! You can combine this with a country music theme or a barn dance style for a unique wedding.

Don’t just think brown… Shades of teal mixed with birds, twigs, moss and peacock feathers are the perfect complement for a rustic wedding.

Sparkling Diamond Themed Wedding – A diamond ring is a thoughtful gift of promise, an engagement of two people with the same intentions of marriage. They are so unique, and to most a diamond will symbolise love and eternity. The expression ‘diamonds are forever’ is in fact not far from the truth, since diamonds are the hardest of all the gemstones and will last a very long time… this too is symbolic of a love worthy of marriage also said to last an eternity.

With such a powerful gem beginning your journey to everlasting love it is only right that this theme be continued through your wedding day and be shared with your friends and family. Although, of course it would be considered a little excessive to shower your guests with real diamonds… perhaps you can just consider some subtle sparkling in your decorations.

Winter Wonderland Wedding – As much as we would not like to wish the summer away the popularity of a winter wedding is certainly on the up and there will be plenty of brides who will be busy planning their fairy-tale winter wedding for this year’s snowy season! The good news is that sleeves and high necklines are back in so remember that when you choose your wintery bridal gown. Plus, you can add an elegant faux fur bolero, or a snug cashmere wrap for some extra warmth.

When thinking about your wedding colours and wintery theme you should go for a combination of white, ivory, cream and pale blue flowers for a cool effect. There is no shortage of the popular wedding flowers in winter. Gerberas (gerber daisies) in their multitude of colours are available, as are tulips, roses and chrysanthemums.

Candles are also perfect for a winter wedding as they create a warm romantic atmosphere, plus there are so many different colours available that you will have no problem matching the scheme of your wedding.

Garden Wedding – Why not delve into the enchanting set up of a garden wedding. This certainly is a route that will give a very personal touch and you can go for a small and intimate gathering or a grand ceremony. Perhaps you have fond childhood memories of a local park, a recent attachment to the botanical garden that you first wandered around as an engaged couple or simply love your granny’s flourishing backyard?!

Wherever you choose for your garden wedding be sure to also set a relaxed theme with laid back music for the ceremony and carry your ideas through to your reception. Choose natural colours, perhaps wooden vases or dried cut citrus fruit for your centre pieces. You could also bring elements from your honeymoon – maybe you are jetting off to Singapore and would like to add orchids to your table decorations and bouquets.

More Trends…

Wedding Flowers – The trend for wedding flowers in 2012 has been announced as “Neutral: soft romantic floral with soft colour fabric accents”. Perhaps you will choose a champagne colour scheme and incorporate ivory or pale-yellow roses into your bouquets. You could opt for pink oriental lilies, gerberas and carnations as part of your posies or have a single trailing bouquet with pink roses and orchids.

Whether you choose to go with this year’s trends or even if you go against the grain and design your wedding theme using bold and bright colours there are so many fantastic designs and decoration styles available to reflect your colour scheme and match in with your flower choice too.

Wedding Reception – Being up to date on the latest trends is a fantastic way to get inspiration when planning your wedding reception. There are so many things to consider, obviously there is the venue itself, this will depend on the formality of the day and of course the theme you have chosen.

With all venues you will have to consider what is fashionable and with the up to date styles leaning towards Ivory and Taupe Colours and Vintage with a Modern Touch what better way to capture this at your wedding than with an accessory that looks vintage and feels modern. Some of the favourite styles in vintage design to suit this trend include demask-esque black and white, vintage roses and soft browns.

If you are looking for a wedding decorator, then Xclusive Designs in Etobicoke, ON, is the company to contact. They are the professionals you want to help you for your big day.

Reasons to Choose a Building Maintenance Company

There comes a time when the big corporations can’t handle everything happening in their company, that’s why they get the help of outsource companies like Jani Queen, to help with the maintenance of their building. From cleaning services to building maintenance, many companies are getting their way into making the best of the situation. Many companies find outsourcing to a building maintenance company more advantageous for their business. This technique gives them more opportunity to save from operation costs spent when these tasks are assigned to their in-house employees. And, because it can save time, money, and energy, this strategy allows you to focus on your core business goal.

However, as there’s a lot of outsourcing service providers sprouting everywhere, choosing one that can satisfy your company’s need could be difficult. It is imperative that you know which company to go; you need to set your criteria, which can serve as your basis for selection.

So, what are the things you need to consider? There several criteria you can use as bases, but the following can be considered essential:

The cost – this is one of the most important considerations you need to note. Remember that the main reason why you outsource is because you want to save from operation costs without compromising the service quality. With this, do the price comparison among your prospects and consider those in your list that are price advantageous.

The resources available – you will also need to examine the resources they have – are they good enough? Does a company have the needed tools for the kind of service you need? The resources and equipment should give you a hint on how good a company is.

The policy – and lastly, you need to check their policy and it is important that you know the details on it. Service agreement or contract can cause problems in the future when important details are overlooked. Make sure that you review first the policy before accepting any deal.

The reputation – a company’s reputation is tested through time so take time to trace back your prospects’ history. How long a company has been in business? What are the awards or recognition received? Does the company have had any complaints? – these are just some questions you can ask.

The competence- the company’s competence greatly depends on the quality of employees it has. See to it that the company you are hiring has hired competent workers in town; they should be skilled in different tasks, including plumbing, electrical works, cabinetry, architectural, painting, and tenant improvement. Also, it is very important that its workers have the necessary certifications for their professions.

If you’re considering a building maintenance, then here are the reasons why it is important for you and your business:

Preventative Maintenance.

The primary goal of preventive maintenance is to prevent the failure of building critical equipment before it occurs. Most contractors will come to a site and deal with problems as they occur costing you a fortune when looked at on a larger scale. Preventive maintenance will not only save you time and money, but it will also improve system reliability, decrease system downtime and extend the life of your equipment and its parts.

Emergency Response

By using a building maintenance company, many times they are on site already maintaining your building, just as an employee would be, when problems do occur. Typical average emergency response times range from 2 – 4 hours, much less time than a general contractor you may hire, especially if you must find a fair price first.

Overall Appearance

While systems maintenance is a large portion of most building maintenance companies jobs, it does not take away from the concern for the aesthetic side of your property. Aesthetic maintenance includes drywall repair, janitorial services, landscaping, snow removal, and more.

Overall Functionality

Maintenance testing is a top reason to use a company like HFCS. Imagine the insight that can be gained on a problem from someone who works in your building all the time and has records of test results and maintenance actions taken. This data can be evaluated for trends and serve as the basis for decisions on appropriate testing frequency, need to replace or upgrade equipment and performance improvement opportunities that would normally be overlooked by your hourly repairman.

Tenant Relationships

Tenants and occupants of buildings feel much more comfortable working with someone that they have met previously and can develop a working relationship with. Having multiple contractors come in and out of a tenant’s space is not only a bother and worrisome but can affect their work as well.

Simplify building manager/owners time

Hiring multiple contractors for the various systems in and around your building can be a huge hassle and out of the scope of knowledge of building owners and managers. Effective time management for owners and building managers can result in happier tenants, faster lease turnovers and a hassle-free job. As HFCS says, “Relax, we got it.”

Peace of mind

It’s a nice feeling to know that your contracting company is there for you, and not to make a quick buck. Many contracting companies say you need an entire new system when a simple loose wire or new belt could fix a problem that arises. With a contracting company who is working for you at a fixed rate, this is never a concern. You can expect high quality of work with emergency decisions that can be made based on an expert in your building and it’s needs to operate effectively and efficiently.

Even More Advantages!

This list could really go on forever, but here are just a few more reasons that a building maintenance company is the way to go:

o Fire Systems Testing

o Less than 5% of subcontracting, supervised subcontracting when it does occur

o Adaptive Maintenance – Adapting the equipment in your building to address requirements that arise due to changes in the environment or new state/county/city regulations.

o Perfective Maintenance – Enhancements or modifications that can improve the safety, reliability, efficiency and/or cost-effectiveness of operation.

Jani Queen is such company that pride themselves over the service of high quality that they have been providing in Ottawa, ON.

Choosing between Glass Door and Aluminium Door


– Characteristics of the glass door

– Advantages and disadvantages of interior glass doors

– Interior aluminium door: characteristics

– Advantages and disadvantages of the aluminium internal door

The interior glass doors are discreet and let the light circulate in your interior. Unlike aluminium, which is light, double glazing is heavy, so you need to provide good anchoring with a suitable frame.

Glass is often combined with other materials such as wood. The glass door remains affordable in terms of prices in standard quality.

If you would like a customized quotation, please contact AluExperts. They will be able to understand your needs and offer you the best option and a free quote.

Characteristics of the glass door:

– The main asset of this type of door is the abundance of light that it allows indoor. It makes a room much brighter.

– Quite heavy, especially if the glass has special characteristics, anti-break-in, thermal and acoustic insulation.

– The anchors are different from traditional doors; the implementation is therefore more delicate especially with the risk of breakage, the difficulty in handling.

Advantages and disadvantages of interior glass doors


– Very bright and discreet.

– Good acoustic and thermal insulation with the right glass.         

– Quick and easy maintenance (just wipe off with a damp micro fibre cloth).


– Risk of breakage unless anti-break-in glass or anti-break-in film is used.

– Heavyweight.

– Prices vary greatly depending on quality.

Interior aluminium door

Choosing the material for interior doors is not always easy, especially since a wide range of models is available. Among the materials offered, there is aluminium. You will see below, the characteristics as well as the main advantages and disadvantages of the aluminium interior door.

Aluminium interior door: characteristics

The aluminium interior door is a real eye-catcher for fans of design decoration. It has the following special features:

– It is made of a lightweight material and can be used in any room of the house or in any kind of business premises;

– It is aesthetic: the aluminium door integrates perfectly into a contemporary interior;

– It is adapted to any opening system, whether it is a:

 – Hinged opening,

 – Sliding opening,

 – Pivot opening,

 – Folding opening;

– It can be mounted on any type of standard frame or on a door block.

Good to know: the aluminium internal door can be combined with other materials such as wood and glass.

Advantages and disadvantages of the aluminium internal door


– It does not warp over time: it has a great longevity;

– It does not require any particular maintenance: a simple cleaning is enough to keep it beautiful for a long time without the need to apply paint or specific treatment such as anti-rust, for example. However, it is quite possible to repaint an interior aluminium door with metal paint in the colour of your choice;

If you would like a customised quotation, please contact our door specialists at AluExperts. They will be able to understand your needs and offer you the best option and a free quote.

– Designed in a non-flammable material, it is ideal in rooms exposed to a high risk of fire;

– It is an excellent sound insulator, provided that it has a honeycomb wall;

– It is insensitive to UV rays: therefore, its appearance does not tarnish with light.

Good to know: To ensure that your aluminium interior doors are in perfect harmony, you can choose a set of designer door handles in the same or a complementary colour.


– It’s much more expensive than a simple aluminium door;

– Its performance without a cellular wall is low in terms of insulation: aluminium is not recommended for unheated rooms. Aluminium is a conductive material and therefore has low thermal insulation. This is why it is useful to opt for an aluminium door with a double wall or with thermal break if you do not want to reduce the quality of the interior insulation already installed on the walls, ceiling and floor.

Good to know: the interior door made of poor quality aluminium is relatively fragile. If it is to be used frequently, it is best to choose an aluminium door with a reinforced wall. It may cost more than an entry-level aluminium door, but the investment is worth it.

Finally, the price of an interior aluminium door will depend on several criteria, such as:

– The type of door: sliding, swinging, folding, and pivoting;

– Its design: structured aluminium, smooth, etc;

– Its quality: double wall, thermal break, and honeycomb wall;

– The supplier. Hope that this post will help you to make up your mind in choosing between glass door and aluminium door. Please, remember to write your comments below.

Car Loan: The Dos and Don’ts

If there’s one thing we all know when it comes to loan agreements is that the devil is in the details. One mistake or one line you overlook in the loan agreement can lead to you overpaying. So, as cliché as it sounds, you really need to review the agreement thoroughly. That includes checking the fine prints. You also want to make sure that there is no mistake in the contract. Whether intentional or not, it could potentially be very costly to you.

When buying from a dealership, pay attention to the marked up-interest rates as well. If you don’t know what that it is, let us explain. When you borrow a certain amount from your lender, the lender will approve the loan at a certain interest rate. But when the dealership gives you the contract, they will mark up the interest rate. What you need to determine is by how much has the interest rate been increased. Some lenders will cap the markup at a maximum of 2% while others won’t do that. So, if your loan has been approved at an interest rate of 7%, signing a contract with an interest rate of 11% is not such a great idea. Negotiate to have them drop the interest rate, or find a dealership that won’t charge as much.

How to Avoid Overpaying on a Car Loan

Step #1. Ask for the VIN

VIN is short for Vehicle Identification Number. You want to make sure you are getting the right car. So, when reading the agreement check the VIN carefully and ensure it matches the car you are actually getting.

Step #2: Fill in the form carefully

It may sound silly, but even one mistake on the agreement can cost you a lot. Ensure from the get-go that your name is spelled correctly and your address and driver’s license number are right. You don’t want to risk having to do everything from scratch. You might miss out on a perfect deal just because of that. Not to mention the administrative fees the lender and dealership could charge you to correct the mistake if you notice it after signing the contract!

Step #3: Find out what additional fees you will have to pay

Even if the dealership or lender assures you that they don’t charge any fees for, there could very well be other costs associated with the loan, such as the kinds you need to even start the loan.

So, find out from the lender what fees you will have to pay them as well as to the department of motor vehicles. Also, ask them to advise you regarding the taxes you will have to pay. Consider doing this at the start of the process itself, so you can budget accordingly.

Once you’ve confirmed this with your lender, you can now turn to the dealership and ask them about the “out-the-door” price. This will help you determine if there are any other extra fees you will have to pay. And if you do this early one, the comparison you make between one dealership and another will be more accurate. You will also be able to determine legitimate fees from the bogus one from the start, and potentially allowing you to save both on time and money.

Step #4: Check for add-ons

You will able to smoke this one if you follow the tip we ae you at the start of this post. Essentially, some lenders will include products such as extended warranties or gap insurance in the agreement. Some dealers will try to install additional equipment that you didn’t ask for and don’t even need, only so they can charge you for them. If you asked for it, fine. But if you didn’t, then that’s just them trying to get you to sign for higher monthly payment.

How to Get the Best Deal Possible

Most loan agreements contain jargon you do not even understand. But since understanding the loan process, knowing what to look for in an auto loan agreement and knowing what’s in the agreements are keys to ensuring you get what you bargained for, there are a few things you can do.

One of the first things you want to do before even starting the search for the perfect car is getting preapproved. Most experts believe that getting this done first increases your chances of locking in a better interest rate.

The next thing to do is to compare one quote from another. But how will you do this if one loan agreement is completely different from the other? It’s simple. Ask to receive quotes based on the loan length and balance. The closer the term agreements are to each other, the easier it will be for you to compare them. Direct comparison between one loan and another will make finding the best offer easier too.

Process Serving: Delivering Court Papers to Other Parties

Why Is Process Serving Important?

Process serving is a process whereby copies of court documents are delivered in a formal way to all parties involved in a case. This process is intended to not only inform all the parties of the existence of the case but also all the actions that have been taken in the case. Without this, no case can move forward.

Can’t I Do This Myself?

Unfortunately, no. No court will allow parties involved to serve documents in their own case. Depending on where you are from, you may have several options for having your papers served. The three most common are:

  1. A registered process server 
  2. An attorney
  3. An individual over the age of 18 who is not a party in your case

Choosing among these three options will depend on your specific situation. To help you decide, we’ve put together a list of pros and cons for each of these:

1. Registered Process Servers

A registered process server is a person who is responsible for delivering legal to all parties involved.

The Pros of Getting a Registered Process Server

  1. Even though their fees vary and depend on the difficulty of the task and the distance they have to travel, their fees are generally reasonable.
  2. You will be given a ‘Proof of Service’ form that has been filled by the server. This form will have to be kept for filing purposes. The great thing about working with a registered process server is that you can trust them to correctly fill out the form for you.
  3. Their service is recognized and is considered to be valid. Even if a party decides to contest their service, they will have to prove that it’s not valid.
  4. Not only do they know the types of documents that have to be served, but they also know how to locate hard-to-find people.
  5. They tend to be more flexible and would be willing to perform the service on odd days and outside of business hours.

The Pros of Getting a Registered Process Server

The biggest con has to be not being able to use an Order on Application for Fee Waiver of Court Fees and Costs from the court to pay your fee.

2. An Attorney

If you are being represented by an attorney, on the other hand, they will typically ensure that all documents are served properly. They will either have a staff member serve the documents, or choose to hire a process server to handle the delivery.

The Pros of Letting the Attorney Choose the Method of Delivery

Letting your attorney choose means you don’t have to worry about anything. With their experience, you can rely on them to determine the best way to serve documents.

The Cons of Letting the Attorney Choose the Method of Delivery

The only con might be the fees. They will generally be a bit steeper than the fees a registered process server will charge you.

3. A Third Party

Depending on what country and state you live, you may leave the delivery of documents to someone who is not a party to the action. The person you trust with this must be an adult. In short, they can handle serving documents if they are not a named party to the case and are above 18 years old. So, family members, spouses and even friends could do this.

The Pros of Leaving Documents Serving to People You Know

  1. Since you know the person and they are someone close to you, you most likely won’t have to pay them. Unless agreed otherwise, there will be no charge for service.
  2. If the other party named to the case is a family member, you can rest assured that these documents will reach the right destination.
  3. They will typically be more flexible and would be more willing to serve documents after working hours or on weekends.

The Cons of Leaving Documents Serving to People You Know

  1. Since the person responsible for serving the documents have no experience in this, you will have to ensure you know the process from start to finish. This includes knowing how to draft a proper Proof of Service Forms for filing purposes.
  2. They will usually not understand nor recognize the documents that they are serving. S, you are leaving important documents in the hands of someone who has no idea how important these documents are.
  3. Unlike process servers who are registered, your family member’s service is more likely to be challenged. Considering they know relatively little about what they are doing, there are chances that their services are not valid.

I Chose to Have Someone I Know Deliver the Documents: Where Can They Serve the Documents?

There are no restrictions when it comes to location. From their home to their place of work, it doesn’t matter where the documents are served as long as they are served.

Choosing Your Bathroom Renovations in Miami


What are the points to consider for a bathroom plan?

Bathroom plan: the elements to be integrated

Bathroom plan: don’t forget about electrical safety

What is the optimal arrangement of the elements on a bathroom plan?

Drawing a bathroom plan is not always easy. There are many points to take into account so that the room becomes both practical and aesthetically pleasing, functional and comfortable at the same time. In this post, you will discover the keys to make your thinking easier and get the bathroom that suits you.

What are the points to take into account for a bathroom plan?

There are some essential criteria that will dictate the layout of this room.

Locate the water drains and inlets. If your project is new construction on one level, you have fewer constraints. Its location in the house will be done according to practical criteria. The room should be in the night zone of your house, next to the bedrooms, to maintain a certain intimacy and avoid going back and forth throughout the house.

If your project has one floor, the bathroom on the upper level should be located above a bathroom on the lower level (kitchen, bathroom, toilet) so that it can easily be connected to the existing water supply and drainage systems.

Under renovation

If your project is a renovation, its positioning in the house will be dictated by the existing situation and in particular the different possible points of connection to the drain and the hot and cold water supply: old kitchen or old bathroom, or not far from one of these two rooms.

Be careful, however, if your future bathroom includes toilets, its positioning will be less free, and must be located close to the evacuation dedicated to toilets. (called black water or black water, and of larger diameter).

Each toilet must join the drains with a minimum slope of 1 to 2 cm per meter. This rule will allow you to see how far you can move away from existing drains. However, there are solutions to gain a few centimeters: the creation of a raised platform, for example.

Bathroom surface area

It all depends on the role of the bathroom.

It is the family bathroom, the only one in the house. In this case, it must be able to accommodate two basins, a bathtub, a shower: count a minimum of 5 to 6 m².

It is a bathroom used by children and another bathroom exists in the dwelling. This one can be a minimum of 3 to 4 m².

It is a secondary shower room or in a parental suite. The room can be a minimum of 2 m².

Distances of clearance

You will find below the more or less standard dimensions of the sanitary facilities, but another dimensional criterion is to be taken into account: the clearance distances, i.e. the space left free in front of the sanitary facilities to move around and access the various functions.

To do this, do not hesitate to put yourself in a situation.

Apart from the standards for disabled people, there are no predefined rules. Everything depends on your corpulence, on the presence or not of swinging doors requiring a sufficient distance, and on the general layout of the room. Allow a minimum of 60 cm of clearance in front of a vanity top, for example.

Bathroom plan: the elements to be integrated

List and prioritize your desires and needs. Take the time to analyze your habits or the things you have been missing until now.

  • Would you rather take a bath or a shower? Both?
  • One or two basins?
  • Should the toilet be in the room?
  • Should the bathroom also be used as a laundry room?
  • Will it be used by several people at the same time?
  • Do you need a lot of storage space?
  • What is your heating system?

The bathtub

There are many different styles and sizes of bathtubs. From the space-saving sabot bathtub, which is a little outdated, to the corner bathtub for chromotherapy, let’s see the variety of choices available to you.

Type of installation: wall or isolated? Built-in or free-standing?

Shape: Rectangular/corner bath / asymmetrical cut-away bath (to meet certain space or passage constraints)?

Dimensions: 70 to 90 cm wide and 140 to 190 cm long for the straight bathtub, 115 × 115 to 160 × 160 cm for the corner bathtub.

The shower

For the shower, the choice of size is based on the type of shower desired: with a shower tray or a tiled shower, often similar to a walk-in shower.

Italian shower: this type of shower is minimalist, uncluttered, at the same level and often of the same material as the floor; however it is important to realize that its implementation is more complicated and must be carried out with the greatest care (especially with regard to water tightness). Its size and shape are unrestricted, so you can tailor-make your shower.

Shower with tray: there are a very large number of shower trays, both in terms of size and shape (square, rectangular, quarter round and asymmetrical) and materials (resin, acrylic, ceramic, enameled steel, etc.). The smallest are square 70 × 70 cm and sizes up to 170 × 90 cm can be found.

Type of installation: against a wall, in a corner, in a niche, on an island? This positioning will lead to different solutions concerning its closing (shower screen, curtain).

Finally, a technical point of importance concerning the shower: the hot and cold water supply and the choice of the tapware, recessed or exposed. A concealed fitting requires the pipes to be able to pass through a lining.


As seen above, the location of the WC is the one where we have the least flexibility: it must be located as close as possible to the drain (large diameter drain pipe Ø 90 mm approx.).

If it is large enough, its location in the bathroom must allow for a minimum of privacy: it can be separated from the rest of the room by a small wall, pretty claustra, storage unit, etc…

Finally, for installation, you have the choice between suspended WCs, requiring the presence of a recessed or dressed support frame, and horizontal or vertical wall-hung WCs.

The washbasin or basin unit

Your choice here is between a vanity unit with one or two basins and significant storage space in the lower part, or a more refined version: a single washbasin, free-standing, column washbasin.

The vanity unit: the most compact, with a single washbasin, will measure 40 cm wide by 35 cm deep (almost like a wash-hand basin); more commonly, for one washbasin, count approximately 60 × 45 cm, and for two washbasins 120 × 50 cm. Custom-made products can help you to obtain the desired size.

The single washbasin: it is available on a stand, on a column or suspended. Without lower storage. Its minimalist look sometimes saves space.

Laundry machines

If your bathroom is also to be used as a laundry room, generally count 60 × 60 cm for a standard machine footprint. As for the installation, it depends on whether it is a front-loading or top-loading machine. Depending on the type of machine, you can place them next to each other or on top of each other. Do not forget to provide a place for the laundry basket and washing products, ideally next to the machines.


If you don’t have underfloor heating and need to provide heating for the room, choosing a towel warmer is the ideal option, whether the bathroom is small or large.

Hot water production: depending on how your home is heated, a hot water tank may need to be provided and housed in the bathroom. Its volume generally depends on the number of people living in the home, from 50 to 300 L.

Most hot water systems are cylindrical (approximately 60 cm in diameter) and can be installed on the floor or suspended (in this case, the wall or ceiling receiving the cylinder). If you have a high ceiling, you can plan to place the cylinder horizontally under a (accessible) formwork, but there are now also less bulky (rectangular) and more aesthetically pleasing balloons available.

Bathroom plan: don’t forget about electrical safety

Electricity meets strict standards, and when it is located in a bathroom, the NF C 15-100 standard applies, in order to avoid any risk of an accident. It defines different volumes around water points, determining which appliances can be admitted or not, depending on their protection index and their protection class (from I to III). The bathroom plan must, therefore, take these different volumes into account.

Electrical standards for bathrooms

What is the optimal arrangement of the elements on a bathroom plan?

Each bathroom has its own optimal layout, which must take into account all of the above elements. Although some configurations may seem more obvious than others, a typical layout may inspire you but may not be exactly what you want and how you want to live. That is why you can call Marlin Plumbing in Miami. They provide reliable water heater installation, bathroom remodeling, drain cleaner, leak detection, faucets repair, pipe repairs, and plumbing services.

Tips and Tricks Every Job Hunter Should Know – Part II

If you’ve not yet read the first part of this 2-part post, click here to read it. The first post covers all the things you need to know when filling out application forms. The previous post also includes a few things you can do to maximise your chances of being called for an interview even when you hire a recruitment consultant.

This post, on the other hand, will focus on recruitment agencies and the pros and cons of using them. Without further ado, let’s dive in!

Recruitment Agencies: What Are They?

In simple terms, recruitment agencies work both with businesses and job seekers. They help companies fill their vacancies and help candidates find jobs.

Some companies choose to work with recruitment companies because they simply don’t have the time to go through all the resumes and pre-interviews. Others go to recruitment agencies when they are having difficulties finding good candidates for their open positions.

Recruitment Agencies: How Do They Work?

After having received the job description from their client, they will scan their list of candidates to find the candidate that is most suited for that role. They will typically shortlist the candidates and call them to conduct phone interviews or ask them to come to their office for a proper interview. Once that’s done, the list of names of candidates that have been selected are sent to the company and the final choice is left to the company.

What Are the Prerequisite Skills, or Qualifications I Need to Have?

While you can use a recruiter at any level, you should not know that they might not necessarily be able to help you.

Hear us out. If a company or a business is looking to fill entry-level jobs, they really won’t contact recruitment agencies. Why pay them a big fee for candidates that they should be able to find themselves? So, if you are an entry-level job seeker or are looking to change career path, steer clear of recruitment agencies. They will most probably be unable to help you out anyway.

The only type of recruitment agency that can help you if you are an entry-level job seeker is college campus recruiters that specialize in this. Otherwise, you are better off posting your resume on jobs boards and applying directly on the company’s web page.

Benefits of Using a Recruitment Agency

  1. Whenever a candidate applies for a job, they typically check out the business’s website to get a feel of their brand and their values. While this most definitely helps, it does not compare to the insight you can get from a recruitment consultant. Remember that these agencies have been working for these companies for a relatively long time and know them very well. They know what the managers expect in a candidate. The benefit to candidates is twofold. Firstly, this means that they take into consideration all their candidates’ qualities before recommending them to the company – making you among the best candidate for that job. Secondly, their knowledge will allow you to know a lot about the company before getting there or having an interview!
  2. Unlike other candidates who have to prepare for interviews on their own, if you choose to use a recruiter you will be better prepared for your interview. After having sent your resume to the company, they will do their best t ensure you are ready for the interview. They will also be willing to answer any question you may have. This will make you feel more confident as you go to the interview. That confidence might even give you an edge over other candidates.
  3. Several companies do not advertise vacancies for some jobs. And most of those jobs are high-paying jobs! The companies will instead go to these agencies first to ask them for potential candidates. Since the recruiter that has your resume also has access to exclusive job roles that aren’t otherwise on the job market, your chances of you being suggested for that role is high! Thus, also increasing the likelihood of you getting in with a great company.
  4. Not a great negotiator? Well, then you’ll be happy to know that you can leave that to the agency. They will be willing to negotiate on your behalf. From salary to working hours, you can count on them to get you the best deal possible – one that you might probably never get on your own.
  5. If you have been placed on a temporary assignment that you’ve come to like, you can talk to your recruitment agency to have them try to secure a permanent role instead. On the other hand, if you don’t like the job you can always talk to the recruitment agency and have them look for another role for you. To top it all off, your notice period might not even be as long as it would have been had you gone directly to the company.

Essentially, what we are trying to say is that recruitment agencies are here to help you. Helping you find a job is key to their success, after all!

Tips and Tricks Every Job Hunter Should Know – Part I

Finding a job is not just about the interview and impressing the recruiter. Before you can even think of snagging an interview you have to get the attention of the recruiter.

And how do you do this? In the past, people would just print a cv, go from one company to another and drop their CVs. The times have changed and so should you. This also means that finding a job is not just about preparing one cv and sending that one resume to dozens of companies. If anything, most of the top companies out there will not ask you for a resume but will instead ask you to fill in a form on their website!

So, if you want to get that dream job, or work for the best company in your state there are a few things you need to sort out first.

Let’s Look at The Things You Need To Bear In Mind When Filling Out Application Forms

Tip #1: Ensure you have all the necessary documents.

Most job application forms take a relatively long time to fill because of the details they ask you to put on the system. Do not make the process any longer for you. If you are still filling in the form after 1 hour, you are likely to give up! So, don’t waste time running around the house and rustling through drawers. Before you even begin filling in the form, find all the documents you may need. This includes your social security number, latest resume (in case they ask you to upload one), your job reference list and the contact numbers of your previous employers.

Tip #2. Read the instructions carefully.

Don’t start immediately filling in the form. Carefully read the instructions and skim through the webpage or the form you’ve been given to ensure you have all the information you’ll need on hands.

Tip #3. If it’s an application form you need to fill and send by post, ensure your handwriting is legible.

You’ll typically he to do this if you are applying for a job in the public sector. What’s the use of filling in the application form if the recruiter does not understand a word you’ve written? Use correct spacing, capitalization, grammar (if necessary) and write neatly.

Tip #4. Accuracy is key.

Ensure you’ve gotten past employers, dates of employment, contact details, job title and references correct. This will serve no purpose if it’s wring. If the mistake is obvious, it will send a clear message to the recruiter: you either don’t care enough about the job, or you are lying. Either way, it’s a huge red flag!

Tip #5. No matter how long the application form is: Do not look for shortcuts.

Here’s one thing you want to avoid at all cost: Writing “Refer to attached resume” when filling in the blanks on the application. Complete the details as requested and ensure it matches your resume.

Tip #6. This is a continuation of the tip above: Describe your qualifications FULLY.

Avoid acronyms. The recruiter might have never of them. Write every qualification in full and ensure they are accurate.

Tip #7. Don’t leave out questions

Some companies reject applications that leave required sections blanks. When you’ve scanned the form at the start you must have seen these sections. Ensure you complete them. If there is a question that does not apply to you, write “Not applicable” instead of just leaving it blank.

Tip #8. Do not be too strict with your salary expectations

If your salary expectations do     not fall within their grid, they will probably reject you before even calling you for an interview. How will you get to impress them then? Instead, give them a range or write “negotiable”. That way you at least get the chance of meeting them and proving to them that not hiring you would be their loss. 

Tip #9. References: Know when to mention them.  Provide references if requested

While you must prepare a reference list before starting the application, it does not mean that you must mention them. Here’s the unspoken rule about references: do not provide them unless requested.

Tip #10. Do not leave any grammatical mistakes

Once you are done with filling out the form, PROOFREAD! The recruiter reviewing your application will most definitely notice spelling mistakes. And, unfortunately, sometimes this is enough to sabotage your chances.

Tips for When You Are Going Through Recruitment Agencies

If you are choosing to go through them, you need to make sure to build solid relationships with the recruitment consultants. To do that, here are a few things you can do:

Tip #1: This is your career. Don’t expect them to take the lead. Instead, be ready to do a good amount of chasing.

Tip #2: Do not rely on these agencies alone. Get on as many jobs boards as you can. The more exposure you get, the higher the chances of you getting hired are.

Tip #3: Do NOT apply for jobs you don’t care about. You are wasting both your time and the recruiters time.

Want more information about recruitment agents? The second part of the post will cover this. Click here for more.

Safe Crane Hire: A Comprehensive Guide

Planning to rent a crane for an upcoming project? If this is your first time renting a crane, you might need a bit of help finding out the right unit for your project.

If that’s what you’re looking for, you’ve come to the right place. Keep reading to find out everything you need to know about the different types of crane available for hire.

What Are the Types of Cranes Available for Hire?

If you are already in the industry, you know that there are several types of cranes available for hire. If you are new to this, though, you may have trouble distinguishing one from the other. The size and configuration of each crane serve a specific purpose and vary according to the type of job they are meant for.

From their lifting capacities to the environment they will be used in, you have a lot to take into consideration. For example, the heavier the job, the greater the lifting capacity will be.

So, what are the different types of cranes?

1. Crane Vessel

Crane vessel, also known as floating crane and crane ship, is a fixed type of crane that cannot be moved. Great for lifting heavy loads, this type of crane is mostly used to lift sunken ships from the water or load or unload ships.

2. Telescopic Crane

Equipped with a large boom fitted with tubes, telescopic crane is high enough to handle the transportation of goods from a low place to a high place and vice versa. They are also good for rescue operations as their height can be adjusted.

3. Harbour Crane

The harbour crane, often called mobile harbor or port harbour crane is a flexible machine able to lift very heavy loads. This makes it perfect for unloading and loading ships in seaports.

4. Crawler Crane:

Designed to move on tracks, the crawler crane is a very heavy type of crane that can move on almost any kind of surface.

5. Rough Terrain Crane

Mounted on four rubber tires, the rough terrain crane is mostly used in off-road applications.

6. All-Terrain Crane

Very similar to the rough terrain crane, all-terrain cranes travel at the same speed on the public roads as well as on the off roads. They differ from the rough terrain crane in two ways: 1) they have more tires, and 2) all-terrain cranes can be used both on off roads and on public roads.

7. Truck Mounted Crane

Mounted on a truck with rubber tires, this type of crane is equipped with only one engine. This engine is responsible for the operation of both the undercarriage and the crane. Able to travel on highways, the truck mounted crane is a relatively cheap crane that does not require any other vehicles to transport it. Most truck-mounted cranes have a rotation of 180 degrees but you should be able to find some that can do a complete revolution (but these tend to be on the more expensive side).

8. Level Luffing Cranes

Level luffing cranes are equipped with a hook that stays fixed and a hinged jib that can move in a vertical direction.

9. Rail Road Cranes

Exclusively used on railway tracks, the railroad crane is used for railway lines itself. Its flanged wheels make it impossible for this type of crane to travel on roads but perfect for the construction, maintenance and repair of railway lines.

10. Telescopic Handler Cranes

Resembling forklift trucks, the telescopic handler cranes have a telescoping extendable boom-like crane and can do a full 360 degrees rotation. They are mostly used to install frame trusses in buildings.

11. Aerial Cranes

Also called sky cranes, aerial cranes look like helicopters. They are very versatile and can be used for a wide array of things, such as carrying large loads in places that are difficult to reach by land, lifting loads to high rise buildings and for rescue purposes in the wake of a disaster.

12. Tower Cranes

Fixed to the ground or attached to the side of structures, the tower care is the most commonly used type of crane. Their ability to lift heavy weights to great heights make them great tools in the construction of tall buildings.

Hiring Cranes: Everything You need to Know

Now that you the different types of cranes there are, here’re a few additional things you need to know when hiring:

  1. Know your project well. You need to know this to hire the right type of crane.
  2. Determine how long the project will last and for how long you’ll need the crane. If you’ll need for a few hours, it will make no sense to hire it for a full day.
  3. Do not settle on the first rental company you find. Shop around and look for other rental companies. You might find a better deal somewhere else!