Monthly Archives: March 2018

Buying a Water Softener: Key Features to Consider

a drop of water creating a rippleWater is an essential commodity. Most of the water found in the world, however, is hard water. This contains minerals and at times traces of industrial runoff and sewage. Hard water leaves your skin feeling rough and dry after a shower, your dishes cloudy and clothes stiff and uncomfortable to wear. It also deposits minerals in your appliances, which hasten their wear and tear.

That said, a water softener is hence an essential appliance in every commercial and residential establishment. Here are the key features you should consider when buying a water softener in Ogden.

Water softening technology

In downflow water softener systems, water enters from the top and flows through the resin. These systems require backwashing after each regeneration and might lead to substantial water wastage. The newer and typically more expensive upflow technology directs water flow upwards and significantly cuts down on water and salt wastage.

Tubing size

The size of your water softener’s tubing will determine the percentage of contaminants it can clear. Large tubing removes over 95% of the contaminants and minerals in your water compared to less than 90% in small circumference tubing. This gives you softer, safer and cleaner water. Most water softeners come with a warning system that tells you when your filters are filled with contaminants. This helps you know when it is time to clean them.

Holding capacity

Your water softener’s holding capacity is influenced primarily by the amount of water you use. A unit that is too large will lead to significant energy wastage while a small unit will not satisfy your needs. It is imperative to correctly estimate your daily water use before purchasing to get your water softener size right.

An eco-friendly water softener uses less energy to generate substantial amounts of soft water. These systems also have minimal greenhouse gases emission. This, therefore, serves to protect the ozone layer.

Classic Cars in 2018: How to Maximize your Vehicle Investment

Close-up of a classic muscle car

Close-up of a classic muscle carClassic cars are works of art, reminders of what the automotive scene of yesteryear looked like. It’s important to appreciate these pieces of history, as it is these pioneering vehicles that paved the way for our modern SUVs, sedans, racecars, and every other type of car out there today.

Aged vehicles, however, are prone to defects and damage. Fortunately, you can find antique cars at in Utah that look and feel pristine. But remember, an antique car is only a good investment if you maximize its potential.

Repairs and Assessments for Resale Value

In today’s automotive landscape, more and more skeptics show their disapproval for antique cars. If you’re looking to invest in antique cars for their resale value, you may be in for a rough time.

But take note, these problems in resale value are inherent in newly bought antique cars, fresh off the auction or dealership. When you make an effort to improve the car’s condition, like hire expert mechanics for routine maintenance and repairs, that’s when it becomes a hot item on the automotive market.

Repairs and assessments are crucial because stalling assets and idling prices can make it difficult for you to resell a newly bought antique car. Classics are not immune to value depreciation, so ensuring that your antique cars are fully functional can help its resale value.

Aesthetic Maintenance for Road Presence

Whether you’re reselling or collecting the classics, you’ll know that the look of the car is just as important as its functionality. The history and aesthetics of a vehicle are what makes antique cars valuable, so working on a vehicle’s aesthetics can work wonders for your investment.

Getting a new paint job, bumping off rust and corroding material, and even overhauling the look of your antique car boosts its visual appeal both on the road and in your garage. This makes it irresistible for other collectors if you’re reselling, or a perfect addition to your collection.

Background Research

The most important way to maximize an antique car investment is knowing what car to buy and where to buy it. Of course, you can get a deal on a classic car at a car barn, but is it worth the money?

Always do just a bit of research before buying a classic car. Look at cost and rarity of its parts, ownership history, and factor in the reputation of the dealership you’re getting the car from.

At the end of the day, antique cars are both a hobby and an investment, but they require your attention. A bit of repair here, exterior and interior tweaks there, and you’ve got a time capsule that you can take for a ride down memory lane.

Get the Best Rental Car Experience with These Two Secrets

a girl renting a carMany people rush through the process of renting a car without paying attention to the small details. Unfortunately, doing so can ruin their experience and lead them to high costs or below average services.

If you are out to explore new places, it helps to have a reliable means of transport at your disposal. Unlike taking the bus or hopping into a taxi, hiring a car gives you great convenience. With the help of the best car rental service in Auckland, for instance, you can maximise your NZ trip.

Here are the two secrets to getting the best car rental service:

Get online

Thanks to the internet, you no longer need to fly in blind when looking to rent a car. With a simple click of a button, you have a wealth of information to help you make an informed decision. You have the option of using a third-party site or you can use a car rental company’s site.

While the two are linked and will give you similar rates, contacting the company directly might afford you a better service. If looking to rent a car for a lengthy period, you are better off talking to a company representative. Such a move can get you better rates and terms.

Again, check consumer reviews on each company as these are indications of the level of service and the condition of the cars the company provide.

Read the fine print

In your excitement to get on with your holiday, don’t just sign the paperwork as soon as it is handed to you. Doing so might lead to some headwinds that could ruin the entire experience, including spiking transport costs. Be sure to read through the rental agreement as you know, the devil is in the detail.

Also, remember to ask about extra charges such as insurance in case of damage, loss of use and liability coverage. Check with your insurance company or credit company if they cover rental cars. If they do, you won’t have to get extra insurance when renting a car.

Renting a car offers you great convenience when you’re on the road to a far-off place. However, you need to address a few crucial factors to ensure you have a great travel experience.

Finance Your Dream Home With an FHA Loan

a miniature house model being passed downThere’s a great deal of pride in owning the roof over your family’s head. As such, many people count on the ability to secure a mortgage loan to realize this dream. Unfortunately, lenders became skittish after the 2008 financial meltdown and tightened the borrower requirements.

As a result, many people don’t quite make the cut when making an application. However, that shouldn’t serve to kill your dreams of owning one. You can join an FHA loan program offered by firms such as Primary Residential Mortgage, Inc. and be on your merry way to the homeowner club.

Buy more than one home

If your finances can allow and you make the cut, you can secure an FHA loan that enables you to buy a complex with up to four houses. However, one key aspect that underlies the success of such an application is that you need to reside on the property.

The value of the property should be with the median value of homes in the region. However, if it falls above the basal limit, you can have the restriction lifted after consideration.

The loan limit varies between states, with special exemptions applying in states such as Honolulu, Hawaii where the cost of a two-unit property exceeds the standard loan limit of four-unit property.

Can carry a higher debt ratio

With a conventional loan, you need to keep the debt utilization below 30 percent. With FHA loans, you can go as high as 40 percent in the back-end debt to income ratio, and 31 percent in the front end. The front-end DTI account is for your monthly housing expense, while the back-end is the monthly debt obligation.

These ratios set the limits on your loan application to minimize the likelihood of default. Carrying too much debt might make it difficult for you to service your other debts and keep up to date with our mortgage payment.

Failing to qualify for a mortgage does not spell doom for your dreams of owning a home. You can explore FHA loans as a more affordable alternative and still realize your dream.

3 Easy Ways to Handle a Troublesome Sewer

workers cleaning the sewer lineIf you’ve never had a river of smelly, terrible sewer flowing in your floors, then you may think it happens only in nightmares. The truth, however, is that this is a real possibility, as numerous homeowners who’ve seen it firsthand will tell you.

So, what do you when it happens to you? Here are some suggestions.

Call a professional

If you were not at home when the sewer backup happened and the sewage has been in your house for more than a day, then let a professional handle the mess. That’s because there’s a possibility that the sewage may have come into contact with your central AC and other important places in your home that you can’t properly clean.

Call one or two competent plumbers here in Salt Lake City to inspect the problem and fix it.

Move quickly

Where the sewer backup happened while you were at home, then you need to respond promptly. The longer you let the wastewater sit in your house, the higher the risk of illnesses. Depending on how severe the problem is, you can effectively deal with the problem yourself.

Keep in mind that you’ll need the proper equipment for the job. A pump, a wet-dry vacuum, and a push broom should get the work done.

Protect yourself

If you’ve decided to take care of the problem yourself, you need to know that the danger of infection is very high. This is why you need to have protective apparel for the job. That includes rubber boots, gloves, and eyewear.

After cleaning the wastewater, make sure you wash yourself and the clothes you used meticulously.

Sewage in your house can easily contaminate your drinking water and result in all manner of problems. To avoid this, you need to clean up the mess quickly and appropriately, so everything goes back to normal within a short while.

Why Millennials Love Garden Fences

County style garden fenceMillennials have a stronger attachment to appearances and their branding. The idea of a personal brand for each individual didn’t even exist until social media, a highly millennial experience, became a cultural staple.

Personal branding has even extended to house design, which has become a huge passion for millennials who want their homes to reflect their personalities.

A home’s first impression is through its exterior design, specifically estate gates and fences. Garden fencing, in particular, is something millennials love to use for a variety of reasons.

A pretty frame for your home

The first thing you notice about a person, a place, a gift, or even an event is the packaging: the clothes, the ornamentation, the wrapping or the backdrop. Millennials understand the importance of garnishing your home with pretty icing like a delectable cake.

Guests will first behold the garden’s barrier before stepping into an abode, and millennials want a nice frame that exudes the inner personality of their house. These fences serve much like a magnificent velvet show curtain: they beautify the initial visual experience of a home and tease the potential lavishness that lies inside.

What else shouts “Come in! It is safe and warm inside,” like a quaint, white picket fence?

Safeguarding natural beauty

Gardens provide something more than just a place to relax. For millennials, an eye-catching garden is like a landscape photograph come to life, a background scene begging to be published: the earthy tones, the soft green of mowed grass, and the bright sprinkles of colors from flowers.

Like the outside of their homes, the inside must also have an enviable sparkle. Millennials invest in their gardens, and they do not want a rogue dog or naughty kids from the block to harm their favorite, carefully nurtured slice of nature. These fences act as protective barriers for their small but exclusive Eden.

Acting social… in private

Despite their penchant for sharing the details of their life, millennials still like their private moments. They will tell you where they are vacationing, who they are with, and what they are doing. However, they don’t want snoopy eyes lingering over every vulnerable moment they have.

Millennials want their privacy, and fences allow them to spend hours relaxing in their homes, cavorting around their garden with friends, family, and pets, and socializing with their closest relations without having to worry about nosy neighbors.

Fences form a judgment-free zone, where they can let their hair down, take goofy selfies, and forget that the outside world exists.

Garden fences were a Gen-X trend, but they have come to fit the millennial personality more than anyone could have expected. Hopefully, house exterior innovations can keep up with their changing preferences and demands.

Selling a Diamond Ring? Here’s Your Guide

Diamond-studded rings

Diamond-studded ringsWhether you just got your divorce finalized or are finding a way to get some cash, selling your diamond ring is a huge decision that is often backed by practical reasoning and emotional attachment. After all, it is more than just a piece of jewelry. It is a diamond ring.

The fact that you are reading this article means you have made up your mind and are ready to sell one of your prized possessions. The next question would be how you can sell your diamond ring in Utah without losing so much? AAA Jewelers cites four points to keep in mind.

Know its value

There are different types of diamond rings. A difference in either of the cut, carat, color, and clarity, would affect the price of your ring. Thus, you need to do ample research on how much yours should cost. While doing so, do not forget to factor in the current market value and trends.

Have a realistic price

Everyone wants to earn. However, it would be practically impossible to sell a pre-loved diamond ring at its current market price unless it is significantly rare. Setting a realistic price won’t give you much profit, but it can definitely help sell your jewelry without too much loss.

Find a reputable buyer

Going to a pawn shop, a jewelry store, or even online are some of the ways to sell your pieces. As much as you would take your time searching where to buy quality diamonds, you should also take your time finding where to sell it. Find a reputable buyer, preferably a GIA licensed one so you can sell your diamond ring with ease.

Be vigilant

There are a lot of scams and offers both offline and online that are too good to be true. Do not fall for such. Be a wise and vigilant seller. If the price isn’t right, you can always say no, move on, and find a more trustworthy buyer.

Sell your diamond rings with ease by following these tips.

I Didn’t Know That: Lead in Pipes and Other Facts About Water

Water in a glassAbout 60% of the adult human body is water. However, we constantly lose this, usually through sweat and urine. Although opinions differ about how much water we should consume daily, the recommended intake is eight 8-ounce glasses a day. Drinking water has many health benefits. Apart from preventing dehydration, water helps improve brain function, relieve constipation, prevent hangovers, and help with weight loss.

As important as water is, however, it’s surprising that a number of people still don’t have ready access to clean drinking water. According to the World Health Organization, 423 million people worldwide get their water from unprotected wells and springs. In the United States, a majority of Americans get their tap water from public water systems.

Protecting Your Water

The problem with some plumbing systems, especially older ones, is that contaminants can mix with the water. Some old pipes still contain lead. Consumption of lead can affect health negatively and lead to such conditions as behavioral problems and learning disabilities in children. Children six years old and below are most at risk because their brains are still developing. Although not all pipes contain lead, it can still get through the pipes if these are not treated with protective barrier materials.

To get safe tap water, water treatment has to meet certain standards such as the use of protective barrier materials and have non-metallic potable water materials. According to industry professional Zebron, barrier materials used for public water systems must meet the NSF/ANSI 61.

Did You Know That…?

Apart from those mentioned above, here are some other facts about drinking water:

  • Only 1% of the world’s water is drinkable. Nearly 97% of the world’s water is salty or otherwise undrinkable while the other 2% is locked in ice caps and glaciers.
  • In 2010, the United Nations declared that access to safe and clean drinking water is a human right
  • Humans can live for a month without food but only a week without water
  • Over 89 billion liters of bottled water are sold each year
  • The United Nations declared March 22 as World Water Day

The need for safe and clean drinking water is undeniable; yet far too many people still don’t have access to it. We all must do our part, so everyone can access this basic right.

Repainting Wooden Stairs: What You Need to Know

Wooden staircase with glass rail

Wooden staircase with glass railYou might be a little bored with your staircase’s current colour, which is why you are thinking of repainting it a different shade this time. Repainting jobs can be messy, and they are never easy, which is why you have to be careful and follow some tips to get the job done successfully.

Ackworth House gives us helpful and easy tips for repainting your wooden steps in NZ.

1. Clean your stairs

Dust and dirt can easily accumulate on your stairs. This can make your paint job look scruffy and unpolished, so make sure to clean your staircase before applying paint to it.

Clean the handle, railings, and steps with a clean and damp towel. Have a dry, clean towel ready to wipe the moisture off your stairs.

2. Get the right tools

Buy the right type of tools and paint for the job. If your staircase is small and detailed, you might want to buy a smaller paint brush.

The paint that you will use matters too, as not all types of paint can be recommended for wood. Use white semi-gloss paint with primer for the risers and spindles, and use a porch or floor paint for the treads and rails.

3. Prepare a damp paper towel

It is difficult to remove dry paint on most surfaces, so make sure to have a moist paper towel on hand. This will help you clean up mistakes during the paint job as removing it while it is still wet is easier.

4. Use paint that contains primer

Paint primers can help with the longevity of your paint. It helps the paint stick to the material more and can help avoid early wear and tear. Paints that already contain primer are more practical as you will be saving a few bucks on buying a product that has both paint and primer in it.

Painting your stairs can be a lot of work, so make sure to call a professional in if you are not sure that you can do a stellar job on your own. Good luck!

Bargaining for a Pre-owned Car: What You Need to Know

used cars for saleIf you are contemplating buying a used car, you need to research the various makes and models of the vehicles that are well within your budget. It will also be in your best interest to take your prospective car out for a spin to get a firm conviction about the vehicle you want to buy. After inquiring about the prices and realizing that they are a little bit higher than you anticipated, you will have to start the negotiations. Below are some of the top negotiation techniques that you can utilize.

Be a polite and respectful negotiator

Do not stroll into a dealership saying things like “take it or leave it.” This is a wrong approach, as you may provoke the sales representatives to stand their ground and deter them from doing business with you. Instead, treat them with respect and politeness as you would expect them to treat you.

Visually inspect the car

A “silent walk around” is a potent tool that is often employed by the veterans in vehicle buying when checking out a used car for sale in Raleigh. Utilizing this technique is especially useful if you point or touch the scratches, flaws or stains on the car, if any, when doing the rounds. Also, take notes as if you are comparing that particular car to another.

Check the car’s history

Investigating the vehicle’s history before making the purchase will allow you access to vital facts about its past. It will also give you powerful information that you can use to negotiate the price of the vehicle. The history of the car will also prevent you from wasting time on a rebuilt or salvaged vehicle.

The price you see on an advert when shopping for a used car is just the point where the seller wants you to start bargaining. Your initial offer should always be lower than the current value of the car in the market. To achieve a favorable deal, you need to gather as much information as you can about your prospective car.