Over the past number of years solar panels have become more and more popular amongst homeowners as a way to save money over time, increase the value of their home substantionally and do their part to try and make the world a better place with less dependency on foreign oil. It is not only homeowners that can benefit from the installation of solar panels though. In fact, it seems that if you look at basic energy consumption and who would have the most to gain from solar power, businesses and apartment complexes would be at the top of the list.

solar powerThere are of course a number of companies that are making the steps and working to install solar panels on their building. This makes a lot of sense since companies usually have at least one large building if not multiple and with so many people working inside, businesses are usually a huge consumer of electricity. Since companies always have to be aware of their bottom line, using solar panels to reduce the monthly cost of powering the company can be a huge help. The only problem with installing solar panels for a company is that there are usually a number of different people that the idea has to get past before a solid yes or no decision can be made. If someone approaches it right though and works to convince the management how helpful solar panels can be to the company, it is usually not too difficult to sell.

The other place that solar panels are really helpful is apartment buildings. With how many people are packed in a single apartment building and how much electricity is then used to power all of those apartments there is no way that an apartment complex could feasibly collect all of their energy needs purely from solar panels but if all of the solar power was combined from the tops of each of the buildings it could add up to at least power a portion of the whole complexes needs or even be used to power any community spaces like the complex gym or pool. It is not much compared to the whole scope of power that is used in an apartment complex but when running something of that size even a little bit of help can make a big difference. Plus there are so many tax credits and government grants out there right now for any individual or company that wants to install solar panels that realistically there is far more room for savings than expenses. Within no time the company would be on the track to saving money every month with a reduced electricity bill, which we all like to see.

If you own either a business or an apartment complex, call up your local solar power company and ask if the two of you could do a quick run through on the costs and savings analytics of the process to see if solar panels are something that could work to be a huge benefit for your company.


Posted in A34, solar panels

storage unit

When I was looking for a self storage facility, I needed to make sure I was going to have the best of the best on my side. Thankfully, I had found that West Coast Self Storage in San Pedro was going to be the best option for all of my self storage needs. I was happy to see that they provided all of the regular benefits of a self storage facility, but were also keen on keeping a close eye on new developments and progression that happened in the self storage community!

I had felt like I had been looking for the ideal place for the longest time, but I knew that West Coast Self Storage in San Pedro was the right fit for me. Not only did they have the most competitive pricing in the community, they also had all of the extra bells and whistles I could ask for when it came to a storage unit rental location. For example, I was able to secure ample storage area with excellent climate control. I needed to keep my storage unit at a steady 70 degrees, so I could keep my collection of vintage comic books in their pristine condition. With lots of children around my house, I had to make sure they wouldn’t break into my vintage comic collection (it had happened once, and only once), so I figured the best solution would be to keep them in a safe and secure off-site location. Now I can keep my collection out of harm’s way, and I’m also able to make sure that their integrity is kept in mint condition!

West Coast Self Storage in San Pedro is also one of the best when it comes to keeping up with the latest technologies when it comes to self storage and all of its related fields. They are all dedicated to customer service and professional growth, and I have noticed all of this first hand. I have rented with them on and off, when the need strikes me, and I have noticed significant improvements with each visit. At first, they had a fairly basic keypad entry system, but now I have seen that they have installed additional electronic security and surveillance, so I know that my possessions will always be kept safe and properly stored. If anything, I respect and admire their willingness to change and adapt to the new kinds of technology and advancements in addition to their excellent customer service.

All in all, I have found that West Coast Self Storage in San Pedro to be an excellent experience. During all of my visits there, I have been greeted in a warm and welcoming manner, and I was also able to determine the best kind of storage space for my needs. Even with the ever changing needs of today’s storage facilities, West Coast Self Storage in San Pedro has always kept up with the current times, and have always kept my belongings safe and secure, and they have always made it a point to accurately and effectively keep all of their storage spaces at the designated temperature of your choice.

Carol Vitagliano

drapesFinding the perfect window treatments for your home can be a very complex process. There are so different types and styles of window treatments to choose from that the decisions can seem overwhelming. Different types of window treatments can provide varying levels of control over how much light is let in to the room. Additionally, different types of window treatments can provide a different look and feel to your home or office space. There are four main categories of window treatments, and all of the four categories have sub categories as well. The first step in choosing new window treatments is to narrow down which type of window treatment you are looking for. Below is a list of the main characteristics of each of the four main categories of window treatments.

1. Shades

Shades are made up of a single piece of fabric that is typically operated using a string pulley system. The fabric of the shade can roll or fold in to itself when the shade is pulled up, and will flatten out at the shade is pulled back down. Shades can come in a wide variety of designs and materials for you to choose from. Depending on the material used for your shades, shades can provide great privacy or a filtered view of the window at all times.

2. Blinds

Blinds are composed of many horizontal slats that are strung together and operate with a string pulley system. The individual slats of the blinds can be tilted or rotated up to one hundred and eighty degrees to allow you maximum control over the amount of light that you want to let in to the room. Blinds can be pulled up to expose the view of the window, or pulled down to cover the window.

3. Shutters

Shutters are a type of window treatment that are installed directly in to the frame of the window. Shutters are also commonly made up of multiple horizontal slats; some shutters have stationary slats, while others have slats that can be tilted up to one hundred and eighty degrees. Shutters can also be pulled open to expose the window, or closed shut to cover the window.

4. Drapes or curtains

Drapes or curtains are a type of window treatment that can be made from a wide variety of materials and designs. Most curtains or drapes are hung above the window using a rod. The curtains can be pulled open and tied back to expose the window, or pulled closed to cover the window entirely.

Once you have decided what type of window treatment you are looking for you have greatly narrowed down your search! Now you must start to look in to the sub categories of each type of window treatment before you make your final decision. If you are struggling to decide or just feel super lost in the world of window treatments, there are professionals out there who are ready to help you. Go to your local window treatment store today to get expert advice about what type of window treatment will be best for your home or office.

Posted in A34
Amanda Friese

When it is warm out one of the best things to do is to take a walk around the local farmers market, pick up some fresh fruits and vegetables and find nice food to eat while there. Different local farmers markets will have different things of different qualities of course but a lot of the farmers markets will also have vendor stands from local restaurants who want to also sell food at the market. At the West Lafayette Farmers Market in Lafayette, Illinois there are a number of different restaurants that come out and sell great food to the people while they shop around for their fruits and vegetables for the week. One of the places that I always like to get food is the Adelino’s stand. They are a local Mediterranean restaurant that comes out every Wednesday and grill up some of their most popular food items right there at the market. Everything is done fresh and tastes like it as well.

cateringAs long as the weather is cooperating it is one of my favorite things to do during my lunch break and judging from the amount of people at the market and in the line for Adelino’s food, it seems I am not the only one. Another nice thing about being able to go around and try out all of these different little food stands around the local farmers market is that it really helps you get a good idea for the different restaurants around town. Going out to a new restaurant around town can be kind of risky, if it is not good then you are stuck there and are paying for a whole meal that you kind of wish that you could give back. When you go and get little things here and there from different stands at the farmers market though it gives you the opportunity to taste a smaller amount of things here and there. Then if you find something that you really like then you can go and check out the restaurant and there is a really good chance that it will be great. If you end up with something that you did not like, you only probably wasted a few minutes of your time and maybe three to five dollars. For sure not anywhere near as costly of an investment as spending a whole evening at a bad restaurant. If every time you go to a different restaurants stand when you are at the farmers market, in just a small amount of time you will probably know a lot of the restaurants in town and be the one person that all of your friends go to for recommendations for the best restaurants in town. Plus in the meantime you get to eat lots of great food, which is really I think the best part of this whole thing. Everyone loves to be cooked wonderful food after all, especially in such a wonderful and beautiful location like the Lafayette weekly farmers market.

Posted in A34, catering, mediterranean

Putting things in a storage unit is not as simple as one may think. In your house you may be accustomed to putting everything in the closet and then get what you need later. This cannot be said for a self storage space. Unlike the closet in your house, you have no direct control as to what happens while your items are in storage. You also need to be concerned with the fact that there are other self storage rental units in the same facility. Thus, if something happens in your space, it can affect that of the others as well. Here are some important do’s and don’ts if you plan to use a storage unit.



Don’t: Store food products or any scented items.

Food products have a high risk of being spoiled. When this occurs, two things can happen. First it will attract vermin or pests, which can destroy your items and possibly that of others. Second is that it can attract molds increasing the health risk. This can destroy the items in storage as well. Scented items like candles are also not allowed since it can also attract rodents.

Do: Use a vapour barrier

Make sure that you put a vapour barrier on the floor of the storage unit and if possible on the walls as well. This will ensure that your items remain dry, thereby lessening the chance of molds or vermin being attracted to them.

Don’t: Store flammable materials

This one is rather self-explanatory. Storing such items or even hazardous ones not just threatens your items but possibly the whole facility. If you have to store items that have a fuel tank, the tip is to store it full since it can reduce the quantity of burnable fumes.

Do: Label your boxes

Labelling will make sure that you will be able to find the items that you need immediately. Better yet make an inventory of the items in storage and keep it with you always. This will help it be easier to retrieve whatever you need.

Don’t: Store guns, fireworks or fertilizer

While everything may be in proper order, the owner of the facility may think otherwise. Fireworks and fertilizer for example are often viewed as materials for weapons. If the owner of the storage unit facility were to discover this, you’ll probably have some government agency like Homeland Security knocking on your door the next day.

Do: Secure your unit

Make sure that everything is closed and locked properly. If you have important documents to put in storage, put it in something that can be locked. Thus you are sure that they are safe.

These are just some of the things that you need to keep in mind in order to have lesser problems with your self storage. When in doubt, refer to the agreement you signed. You can also ask the company prior to storing anything.

If you’re in the San Jose, California are then you can inquire more about this at West Coast San Jose Self Storage or through their website at http://www.WestCoastSelfStorageSanJose.com


Posted in A34, self storage

It was a great weekend, my wife and I really needed this in order to unwind. The kids had been driving us crazy and my job had me feeling stressed to the max, so a weekend away in a condo in the mountains was great, it was only a couple hours to get there as well. Everything would have been perfect, but when we got home around noon on Sunday, we found our two 16 and 17 year old teenagers working feverishly to clean p the house. They had obviously thrown a party, the remnants were clear; cigarette buts in the flower bed outside the back door, bottle caps here and there, the cushions on all the couches were ruffled and in some form of disarray. I walked in the front door first, my wife a step behind me and the first thing that we actually saw was our daughter on her knees in the dining room with a bucket, vigorously scrubbing the dining room rug. When she saw us she about died, I remained calm, my wife probably felt like fainting. We’d already had it up to here with these kids and this was just another nail in the coffin as far as their freedom was concerned. That though, we’d have to deal with later, now we had to get the wine stain that was soaking into the family heirloom rug our of there, hopefully a chemdry rug cleaning companyrug cleaning can help get it out.

She got up of the rug and walked over with her head pointed towards the flow, like a whipped pup, I politely asked where her brother was and she responded that he was in the backyard cleaning up. I told her not bother anymore with the rug, and to clean up all the cigarette butts in her mother’s flowerbed. I walked through the house to assess the damages, it looked like they’d already gotten the kitchen cleaned, it looked pretty good in fact. The carpet looked pretty heinous though, they obviously made no effort to keep people from tracking dirt and mud in and out of the house. So, we didn’t just need someone to clean the dining room rug, we also needed a professional chemdry carpet cleaner as well.

I walked out the back door and saw my son with a garbage bag in his left hand, freeing up his right together and throw away empty solo cups. I wasn’t too old-fashioned and I knew enough about party culture these days to know that most these cups were used for a game called beer pong. He about freaked when he saw me, I’m sure he was surprised at how calm I was. I told him that mom and I are were calling a carpet and rug cleaner to come clean the carpets and rug that they allowed to be sullied. I informed him that they’d be responsible for paying for it and then I added that when he was done cleaning up, he needed to mow the lawn. My wife was still speechless, she just remained silent while trying to process this all.

Carol Vitagliano

There are two types of estimates that moving services will offer you: binding and non-binding. Before we talk about these two, you should know that depending on what estimate you choose, these will determine how your shipment charge will be computed.

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) requires any moving company to provide potential clients with a written estimate. A written estimate has more weight and is more legal compared to a verbal estimate. As required by the FMCSA, a moving company must give the consumer a written estimate of all the possible charges that will be incurred in shipping the items. Once you and the company agree on it, the agreement has to be signed and it is just as important that the document be dated.

moving companies

moving yourself

So what then is the difference between a binding estimate and a non-binding estimate? As defined by the FMCSA, a binding estimate is one where you as the consumer, will not pay the moving company more that what is stated in the estimate. However, if there are any changes to the original agreement, then you and the moving services you have hired can do one of three things:

1. both you and the company may agree to proceed with the binding estimate despite the change;

2. both you and the company can agree to cancel the old binding estimate and draft a new one; or

3. agree to convert the binding estimate into a non-binding one.

If the company does not negotiate a new agreement with you or offer a conversion, then once the goods are loaded, the original binding estimate is considered enforced. Still, even with this provision, there remain special situations wherein the company can charge you for additional expenses. This may seem advantageous to you but if you are unable to pay the full amount of the binding estimate, the moving services has the right to place your goods in storage and at your expense.

A non-binding estimate on the other hand is done to give you an idea of how much you will spend to ship your goods. Though it may not be the final amount, a non-binding estimate will give you a price that is close to the actual one. The good thing about a non-binding estimate is that the moving services will not require you to pay more than 110% of what was originally estimated at the time of the delivery. On your part though, this will still mean that you have to pay the amount due to the company.

Which one should you choose then? The answer is, it depends on several considerations. If you are sure of what things are needed to be shipped and you have the budget for it, then a good choice would be a binding estimate. While it may cost more, a non-binding estimate ensures that you can ship any additional items that you forgot to inform the company about.

To know more about estimates, visit www.myguysmovingrva.com as they will be able to answer any additional questions you may have and more.

Posted in A34, movers, moving

http://www.storagedirect.com/facility-details/105/storage-direct-marana.aspxMany people think that once they get a storage unit, they don’t have to do anything to manage it.  Nothing could be further from the truth.  Simply because you have a unit with all of your items in it, does not mean that all of those items will be safe and sound unless you take care of a couple of things.  Here are three tips to help you manage your self storage unit.

1.  Set up auto pay.  Unfortunately, just about everything in the world today costs some amount of money.  Many storage units, however, like the ones at Storage Direct, are very reasonably priced, making self storage a possibility for anybody and everybody.  With that being said, even if the price is reasonable, it still exists.  However, once people place things in their storage unit, they often forget about them.  The nice thing about a storage unit is that it gets excess items and such out of the way, so that a person or a business can deal with the more pressing issues of each day.  Although the items are out of the way, they are still being stored somewhere, which means you will have to pay a small monthly bill.  Many people forget to pay this bill, which leads to their storage unit being auctioned to the highest bidder.  There are few things that are worse than realizing that you have forgotten to pay your bill, and then stopping by your storage facility and learning that all of your items are gone.  Therefore, in order to ensure that your bill gets paid on time each month, setting up auto pay is a great idea.  The money you owe will be charged to your card one time each month, making sure that your payments are consistent and on time.

2.  Check on your items somewhat regularly.  The purpose of this tip is not to suggest that people should be checking on their storage units once a week or anything like that.  However, you should check on your unit one time every month or so.  This will help to ensure that you have not had any water damage to your unit, or that any pests have gotten into it and caused damage.  The stuff you are storing in your storage unit is being stored because you are not ready to throw it away.  Thus, check on your unit semi-frequently to make sure that all of your items are taken care of.

3.  Always lock your unit.  The last piece of helpful advice is to ensure that you always lock your unit before you leave.  This may seem obvious, but like the bill you should be paying each month, gets forgotten by many customers.  Not locking your unit can lead to theft of your personal items.  Therefore, create a checklist each time you go to your storage unit, and ensure that each and every time you are locking the unit correctly.  Many storage units are unique, so ensuring that you lock the lock properly can prevent you from having some major headaches down the road.

lincoln Deffenbaugh

Many people decide to rent a self storage unit without really thinking through all the scenarios involved in doing so. They select a storage unit and then hope for the best, tossing in their belongings without a real thought as to the best ways to keep it clean and the best ways to protect their items. An easy way to avoid a scenario in which you end up with a messy storage unit is to choose a storage unit rental company like My Storage Solutions, where you will be able to rest assured that your storage unit will be safe, clean and secure during your rental experience. There are some other steps that you can personally take, however, to ensure that your storage unit stays fresh and clean throughout your time of renting. For example, organize your unit effectively and keep things off the ground. These are easy things that you can do to keep your possessions safe and clean. Stay away from these other actions in order to keep your self storage unit in top condition throughout your time of rent:

1. Never, ever, EVER store food in your storage unit. This is a disaster waiting to happen. When food gets stored in your storage unit, you attract all matter of pests, be it insects or rats or anything else. Putting food in your storage unit never ends well because you end up destroying your possessions by putting them at the mercy of animals and insects. Plus, the food never stays edible, so why waste it by putting it in a self storage unit?

2. Don’t leave your items in storage without some kind of back up protection. Storage unit rental insurance is a great way to be protectedhttp://www.mystoragesolutions.com in all ways while your things are in a self storage unit. After all, you never know what might happen while in storage. Despite your storage unit rental facility’s management’s best efforts, something unexpected might go wrong. Instead of crossing your fingers and hoping for the best, take appropriate actions ahead of time and purchase rental insurance so that you are definitely covered in case of flood, fire, or some other unforeseeable event. Of course, working with a trustworthy self storage unit rental facility
can take a lot of this guesswork out of the renting experience, so make sure that you take that aspect seriously as well.

3. Don’t use printed newspaper to pack your belongings in. This is a poor choice because printed newspaper tends to leave ink smudges on your possessions instead of leaving them as clean and protected as possible. Use just plain wrap instead of newspaper whenever packing up your items and putting them into self storage. It may cost a little bit more than using your old newspapers, but it will make a world of difference in the end.

These are just three of the many ways that you can avoid little mistakes that end up having larger ramifications in your storage unit rental facility experience. Be self storage savvy and protect your items from careless damage.

Posted in A34, self storage, Storage
Caroline Yates

One of the biggest decisions in a young kid’s life is where to have their first birthday parties.  You want to be able to do it in a safe and family friendly area and at the same point, you want to be able to do it where the grown ups can have fun as well.  You should not have to worry about all of the individual issues that are involved and as a result, one of the big decisions is how involved you want to be and where you should hold the event.  Fortunately, there are places out there like Lollipop Park in Centennial.  This place is an indoor play area for kids and their families. With a large number of attractions available, the area is choked full of fun stuff that the entire family would enjoy.  Some of the areas include the use of water slides and foam pits.  While these two things would not mix very well, they are close by and it allows for the kids and their folks to have a great time running around.

kids birthday party placeMoreover, a lot of the ground is covered by that gymnastics padding, so the kids can run and fall and be okay enough to get back on the next thing.  Of course, you will essentially have to sign over the life your kid through the insurance agreements, but nothing bad is going to happen to you or the kid, so it is really not something to worry about.  The other great thing about having your event here is that you can go out and get all of the essentials needed for the birthday party and store them ahead of time.  Many people know that the day of events are rather crazy.  As a result, if you need to run out and grab all of the utensils and paper plates or if you just wanted to call a catering company, you can do that too.  The great thing about the indoor play area is that there is a separate eating area, so that the two can be separated for the kids.  All in all, it is a great place to bring your family for your kid’s birthday party.

The next time that you are looking to take your kid somewhere, a great place to do it is in an indoor party area. These places are built for children and their birthday parties, so skip out on going to laser tag for the fifth time this month and try something new.  There is a great chance that you will be able to find some great options that are available and there are also always coupons around.  So talk with your partner and figure out where the best place to start buying all of the fun stuff you are going to give your kid for his or her birthday.  It will be a really fun time and hopefully more and more people start to consider this alternative place to bring their kids for their birthday parties.


Posted in A34, indoor play area