Refresh Your Commercial Space With These Ideas

The longer your business has operated out of the same commercial space, the easier it is for you to feel bored by your surroundings. While it might not always be in the budget, there is going to come a time when you absolutely need to invest in your space and give it a bit of a refresh. Thankfully, there are several ways to go about this that don’t cost you a small fortune. Take a look at these suggestions and see how you can breathe new life into your commercial space in no time.

Let in More Light

A business that allows natural light to flow in is one that has a wonderful appeal. Studies show that natural light has a way of boosting morale and making people feel happy. Think about your space and where the natural light enters from. If there are few windows, determine whether it is possible to create new points of entry for light. A bit of restructuring can really help flood the space with the maximum amount of light. Painting the walls white or lighter colors when there’s not much natural light can also help make a room feel spacious and airy.

Consider the Floors

The floors in your commercial space take more of a beating than any other feature. A successful company sees countless people pass through its doors in a given week. This means that you have people walking over the floor, scuffing it up with shoes, dropping heavy items, and generally taking away the sparkle. If your floors are made from a quality stone material, then you want to make sure you are properly caring for them. Look into commercial stone care Queens NY and discover how you can add a bit of luster back to your floors.

Change the Overall Flow

Sometimes, moving a few things around a space can work wonders for totally transforming a room’s look and feel. If you don’t have a lot of expendable cash in the budget for renovations, try working with what you’ve already got. Move around the furniture and see if there’s a way to encourage a better flow of operations. Depending on the space, your options might be limited. Still, this can be a wonderful way to encourage a sense of change without committing to a large-scale project.

When it comes to breathing new life into your commercial space, there are several ways to approach the task. Take time to think about your options and see what can be done to invigorate your office.

Creating a Safety Culture for Businesses

No matter what industry you work in, safety must be paramount for both employees and customers. As the administrator of your business or facility, there are several important boxes to check in your routine safety assessment, including updating security systems and ensuring automated door safety compliance. However, company-wide safety also stretches beyond these obvious things. Here are some guidelines for creating an effective safety culture in any business.

Find Out What Your Employees Already Know

Even if you have plenty of safety plans in place, do you know how well your employees know how to execute them? Communication is key to building a safety culture, and it’s never a bad thing to do some sort of assessment or drill to find out how well you’ve taught your emergency protocols to the people who will need them most. Even sending out a quick survey can be helpful in pinpointing areas where you can do more. 

Post Important Protocols in Intuitive Areas

Some safety plans are simple and intuitive. Others are not. It’s important to make sure your employees have access to a concise, easy-to-understand outline of a safety protocol right at hand in the areas where they might need them. Some things, like fire escape plans, can be posted in common areas where there is a lot of traffic. Others, such as protocols for dealing with chemical fires, should be available immediately near a work station where this event might occur.

Be the Example

If you are lax about wearing safety gear or following company safety rules, your employees will follow suit. The best way to instill an effective safety culture in your team is to be an example of how to stick to the plan. Encourage employees to practice or review protocols regularly, and be the first to do it yourself.

Listen With an Ear To Improve

One of the best ways to make sure your team is being safe is to build a relationship with the people on the front lines of the work. Help them feel comfortable enough to come to you with concerns or ideas on how to improve safety protocols. Help them know that their perspectives or opinions are important to you, and follow through on any promises to address the issues they present.

Make Safety Your First Concern

The safety of everyone who works in or visits your business is essential. Not only does it prevent damage to equipment or injuries to the people involved, it may also help keep you safe from litigation, bad press, and sleepless nights. Build a culture of safety, starting from the top down.

Tips for Driving Through Construction Zones

Whether you’re traveling for summer vacation or winter holidays, road construction can put a damper on the drive. Unfortunately, construction may occur anywhere in the country, in urban and rural areas, during the day or night, when it’s warm or cold, and on busy or quiet roads. You may never welcome construction, but there are some things you can do to ease your experience.

Merge Early or Wait and Accept Both Options

Many people prefer to merge as soon as they see the “construction ahead” sign, but there are some good reasons to wait until the last minute. Today, some traffic engineers are encouraging drivers to zipper in at the last moment. This move keeps two lanes of traffic moving rather than condensing all drivers into one lane. When you approach a construction zone and notice that some drivers merge right away while others wait, take a deep breath and recognize that both options are appropriate.

Follow the Speed Limit and the Crew Flaggers

There are many road construction Boston MA situations, and you may feel tempted to ignore the reduced speed limit or the crew flaggers who seem to be everywhere. However, in addition to legal and financial penalties, the likelihood of injuring another person or damaging your vehicle increases with as congestion increases and tempers flare. Protect yourself and the drivers and passengers around you by slowing down and paying attention to flaggers.

Focus on Your Driving, Not the Construction

Did you know that rear-end collisions are the most common crash to happen in a construction zone? As traffic slows, you may find your attention wandering to the crews working around you. However, in stop-and-go traffic, it only takes a moment of inattention to roll into the back of the car ahead of you. Maintain an appropriate distance between you and the car ahead and avoid distractions. (These distractions may also include changing the radio dial, fiddling with your phone, or talking to your passengers.

Use Calming Techniques

The delays in construction zones are often frustrating, but they are necessary for an efficient transportation system. Whether you use deep breathing or listen to soothing music, find a calming technique that works for you. When you can get through a construction zone without losing your cool, your day will certainly be better, and you just might avoid accidents and injuries along the way.

What are some great tips you’ve found for getting through road construction? Have you ever found the good in a construction zone?

How To Teach Your Teen To Drive

Teaching your teen to drive can be a scary, daunting responsibility before you want him or her to be a safe driver. You can’t rely solely upon a driver’s education book or class to teach your teen because practice is an essential part of learning to drive. Here are three tips to make you more comfortable when teaching from the passenger’s seat.

Start With the Basics

Make sure your teen understands the basics of driving. He or she may already be familiar with traditional traffic safety signs, but make sure he or she is also aware of what different dashboard icons mean. Teens can’t be safe drivers if they don’t know what indicates the vehicle has low tire pressure or an engine problem. Make sure your kids have a thorough understanding of how their vehicles operate so they know what to do if something goes wrong.

Offer Plenty of Practice Time

As with any skill, practice makes perfect when it comes to driving. Your teens probably won’t be great drivers the first time they get behind the wheel, but instead of restricting them because of this, you need to provide them with numerous opportunities to improve their skills. If you aren’t confident letting them drive on the open road, take your teens to a rural area or empty parking lot to let them practice without the fear of running into anything. Take a few traffic cones with you and set them up to designate parking spaces so you can teach your teen to maneuver the care correctly. As he or she becomes more confident behind the wheel, you can start traveling short distances on busy streets so he or she gets used to traffic. The goal is to have a completely comfortable driver when he or she turns sixteen and attempts to get a license.

Teach in Different Weather Conditions

You may be tempted to only let your teen drive during favorable weather conditions but this practice only sets him or her up for failure. Once teens get their licenses, they drive in all types of weather conditions so you need to make sure they stay comfortable behind the wheel whether it is snowing, raining or sunny.

You have a responsibility to teach your teen to be a good driver. Although the process can be scary, you will feel more confident in your teen’s ability to drive if you use these three tips as part of your teaching method.

3 Easy Tips for Making Your Home More Energy-Efficient

Although many people think making their homes more energy-efficient requires a lot of expensive equipment, there are several simple changes you can make to accomplish this goal. Doing so can help you save a significant amount of money. Here are three simple ways you can make your home more energy-efficient.

Install Energy-Efficient Windows

Because your HVAC system contributes to a significant portion of energy in your home, one of the easiest things you can do to make your home more energy-efficient is to keep heat and air from escaping so your unit doesn’t have to run as frequently. Use spray foam insulation Maryland to keep heat from escaping from walls and install energy-efficient windows. These windows lock in hot or cold air to keep your home at a comfortable temperature.

Use Electronics Responsibly

Electronic use also contributes to the amount of energy used in your home. You can reduce the amount of power your home uses by switching to energy-efficient appliances and using a laptop computer instead of a desktop. You should also unplug chargers any time they are not in use because they continue to use energy any time they are plugged in.

Conserve Power When Possible

Every time your home uses power, it consumes energy so reducing the amount of power you use makes your home more energy-efficient. Turn off light whenever you are not using them. Combine loads of laundry to reduce the number of times you run the washer and dryer. You can also try to handwash dishes as much as possible so you don’t run the dishwasher as often.

Making your home more energy-efficient doesn’t have to be difficult. If you implement these three tips, you can decrease the amount of power you use. Not only does this make your home more energy-efficient but it can also save you a lot of money over time.

How Chimney Dampers Work

‘Chimney Effесt’. This rеfеrѕ to whеn wаrm air mоvеѕ uр thе сhіmnеу, аnd іn thе рrосеѕѕ, ѕuсkѕ mоrе wаrm аіr frоm your hоmе tо mоvе uр thе сhіmnеу. The сhіmnеу dаmреr іѕ іmроrtаnt to prevent the air inside thе сhіmnеу аnd fireplace frоm sucking іn оutѕіdе air. This wіll ѕаvе уоu on hеаtіng аnd еnеrgу соѕtѕ overall tоо. Whеn thе dаmреr іѕ left open in уоur hоmе, it аllоwѕ аn avenue of escape for the wаrm аіr іn your house.

Chіmnеу play a larger rоlе thаn simply keeping thе wаrm аіr іn your hоuѕе оutѕіdе of thе chimney. Thеу аrе аlѕо еffесtіvе at containing thе fіrе in thе fireplace аnd рrеvеntіng thе fіrе frоm burnіng out оf соntrоl. This іѕ bесаuѕе сhіmnеу dаmреrѕ prevent hіgh amounts of оxуgеn from mаkіng their wау to the fіrерlасе. If уоu еvеr find that ѕmоkе hаѕ fіllеd уоur home, it could be because thе fіrе has gone оut оf соntrоl duе to thе сhіmnеу dampers еіthеr bеіng brоkеn or lеft ореn.

Thе chimney wіll be lосаtеd аt thе bоttоm оf the chimney. It wіll have a hаndlе thаt уоu саn use to open the dаmреr. Tурісаllу, this handle (оr knоb) is lосаtеd right аbоvе thе ореnіng оf the fireplace. Some chimneys may аlѕо hаvе a dаmреr lосаtеd аt thе top of thе сhіmnеу. Tо ореrаtе оnе оf thеѕе, there wіll bе a handle іnѕіdе of thе fireplace аllоwіng уоu to ореn аnd сlоѕе thе damper. The hаndlе is connected tо a cable thаt runs uр to thе tор of thе сhіmnеу.

Parts оf thе Chimney Dаmреrѕ

Thе fіrѕt раrt we’ll dіѕсuѕѕ is thе hаndlе that hаngѕ dоwn frоm thе fіrерlасе. Thіѕ іѕ the most commonly uѕеd part оf thе chimney dаmреrѕ, аnd аlѕо thе ѕіmрlеѕt соmроnеnt. This lеvеr takes іѕ a ԛuісk рuѕh оr рull tоwаrdѕ thе bасk or towards the front of the fіrерlасе tо ореrаtе.
He next раrt wе’ll discuss іѕ the rоtаrу mechanism. Thіѕ ріесе is a lіttlе mоrе dіffісult thаn the mаіn handle, and mау require twо hands. Fоr thе bеѕt grір placement оn thе rоtаrу, рlасе оnе hand оutѕіdе thе fіrерlасе but rіght аbоvе the ореnіng, and thе оthеr hаnd іnѕіdе thе saddle аt the dаmреr frаmе.

Tips for Saving Money on Your Electric Bill

Electric bills are inevitable, but they do not have to be unaffordable. The summer months in the south and winter months in the north are particularly brutal on your bill. Fortunately, there are some ways that you can save money without making any major changes.

Keep Your AC Running Right

Your air conditioner can hike up your electric bill, particularly if you live in the south in the summertime. Even a simple problem with your AC can end up costing you. An AC repair Austin, TX or any other state can save you hundreds on your electric bill. 

Another issue that will raise your electric bill is the lack of routine maintenance for your HVAC system. Routine maintenance means cleaning ducts, cleaning the drip pan, using an algicide and completing an overall check of your HVAC systems efficiency. This can keep your unit running at peak performance throughout the year. If you cannot perform this maintenance yourself, you should contract with an HVAC company Austin to perform this maintenance in the spring and autumn of every year. 

Check Your Insulation

A properly insulated house can save you hundreds on electricity, particularly with heating and cooling systems. Your exterior walls, attic space and subfloor should have the properly rated insulation. If you are not sure what rating to use, ask a professional for advice. There are different types and ratings of insulation for different climates and situations.

Beware of Vampire Loads

Vampire loads are devices that use electricity when they are plugged in and not doing anything. Phone chargers, computers, tablets and gaming consoles are notorious for using electricity even when you are not using them. You can purchase power strips that reduce vampire loads or unplug them when they are not in use. 

Use Energy Efficient Appliances

Older appliances are not very energy efficient. When you replace a major appliance like a water heater, stove or refrigerator, make sure the one that you purchase is an energy-saving model. They have an “Energy Star” rating that can help you decide which one saves the most energy. 

Incorporate Daylight

Energy-efficient windows and skylights can help you save money by allowing more natural light into your home. During the day, you might not have to use artificial lighting at all if you have the right windows and window coverings.

Saving energy equals saving money on your electric bill. You can also speak to your electric company for more energy-saving ideas. They are normally more than happy to help. 

The Appeal of Downtown Chicago for Renters

Millennium Park is located in the heart of downtown Chicago. Its most famous landmark is The Bean. The park symbolizes what most people think about the downtown area: it’s a location for tourists, not for residents. Dig a little deeper, however, and the appeal of living downtown becomes evident. Renting is a great way to experience what it is like to immerse yourself in the metropolitan vibe.

Room With a View

There is a plethora of possibilities when it comes to finding new digs downtown. From modern high rises to old brownstones, there is something to suit anyone’s needs and tastes. The choices are numerous, so getting help with your Millennium Park rentals Chicago IL is the best way to ensure you don’t get overwhelmed before you head out for your first viewing.

Entertainment Right Outside Your Door

The downtown area offers numerous entertainment options within walking distance or a short cab ride away. Do you enjoy live theater? A multitude of playhouses with everything from Broadway musicals to Chicago originals can be found downtown. If you like getting outside for a bit of exercise, the lakeshore multi-use trail is just one of the choices available to you. The heart of the Windy City is also home to live music venues and comedy shows, as well as its renowned museums.

Everything You Need Within Reach

A place isn’t an ideal location to live unless you can easily get what you need. Popping out for a quick cup of coffee is a breeze when you live downtown, as is getting your groceries. With several supermarkets in the area, finding one nearby is not a challenge. There are also plenty of convenience markets for those occasions when you need something quick.

Chicago is home to a diverse array of neighborhoods for a person to choose from when looking for a place to live. The downtown area might not be the first place that comes to mind, but its location is ideal for rental properties that have easy access to both the necessities and joys of life in a big city.

Dog-Friendly Manayunk

Sometimes urban living can be difficult for dog owners because there aren’t enough green spaces and services available for their four-legged friends. Not so in the Philadelphia neighborhood of Manayunk. This lively walkable neighborhood offers several friendly spaces for your fur-babies and their best friend (you).

Roxborough Dog Park

Started in 2014 by a group of civic-minded dogs’ best friends, this local dog park started as a reclaimed empty lot. This non-profit park is run like a gym with a yearly membership fee and a gate access code. Each dog member must have all its vaccinations, and each human member must volunteer four hours a year towards park maintenance or special events. There are separate spaces for large and small dogs as well as toys.  Puppy play dates are encouraged.

Pretzel Park

If you and your pooch live in apartments Manayunk, you’ll be happy to know about Pretzel Park in the heart of the neighborhood. The park features pretzel sculptures and pretzel-shaped paths. There is a farmer’s market every Saturday for the humans and a dog-park with new fencing to keep canine high-jumpers safe. All the benches in the park were recently restored and the parks board hopes to refurbish the playground soon.

Schuylkill River Trail

If your dog doesn’t mind waking on a leash, the Schuylkill River Trail offers 30 miles of walkable paths. The interactive website allows you to plan your journey from the Manayunk neighborhood, so you don’t tire out your hiking buddy by walking too far.

Pet Friendly Dog Bakery

The name says it all with the Pet Friendly Dog Bakery on Main Street in Manayunk. This fun space offers the coolest tail-wagging dog treats you’ve ever seen (and purr-worthy cat treats too). For humans, this locally owned shop offers obedience classes, a coffee bar and a variety of pet-themed gift items.

Dogs need human companionship, high-quality food, and a place to exercise. All these factors are available in the Manayunk neighborhood. whether you live in a sprawling estate for a tiny apartment, this community is perfect for dog lovers.


Training Initiatives for Your Property Management Team

It’s difficult to find time for training in managers’ busy schedules, but ongoing training initiatives are fundamental for supporting a management team. Here are some examples of valuable training programs that will equip a team to do their best possible work.

Software Training

If you use one of the most common property management platforms such as Yardi, it’s important to ensure that your staff is fully versed in how to use it. If staff has some basic skills but doesn’t know about the full range of the software’s capabilities, then they’ll use it towards only a fraction of its potential. The software itself is a significant investment, so you’ll want to ensure that your staff can make the most of it. Yardi training will familiarize your staff with basic operations and advanced features that can help them manage tasks and individual accounts more efficiently.

Fair Housing Guidelines

It’s important that staff has training about federal regulations pertaining to fair housing and discrimination. It can help avoid problematic operating procedures that can expose your company to costly legal claims. A training course about fair housing laws will address issues such as resident screening policies, questions that should not be asked when someone is applying for residency, and how to respond to requests for reasonable accommodation.

Emergency Preparedness

Giving your staff practical training about how to prepare for emergencies and implementing effective response plans will make them more confident to take on challenging emergency situations. Moreover, emergency preparedness training can make your residents safer and help protect your properties from damage caused by emergencies such as severe weather events.

Invest in your staff by enhancing their understanding of how to use key software, complying with important legal requirements, and handling emergencies. While training may temporarily take your team away from their job tasks, it will enable them to perform tasks more efficiently in the future.