Home Remodeling: Renovation Projects That Require Permits
Mar09

Home Remodeling: Renovation Projects That Require Permits

Homeowners have a responsibility to keep everything on their property looking nice, but you can’t let it end there. Having a nice, clean home is essential, but you should be doing everything in your power to achieve the nicest looking home possible and increase its market worth. Whether you plan on listing your home for sale within the next year, next 30 years, or would rather keep the property in your family for generations; making a household improvement or two each year is always a great option. Rather than neglecting your property, consider all the changes you can make and how amazing your home will be afterwards. Simply adding an outdoor fire pit, which offers a 78% return on investment (ROI), can turn your backyard into the neighborhood hotspot for cookouts, parties, and just relaxing on summer nights. Before you start gathering your tools and throwing on your work gloves, you have to keep something in mind: home remodeling permits. According to Investopedia, though obtaining permits can be expensive, frustrating, and time-consuming, it’s necessary and required for certain home remodeling projects. With interior designers recommending updting decor every five to 10 years, plenty of homeowners are expecting to undergo major renovation projects. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, 40% of all remodeling activity was for minor additions and alterations and 30% was for major additions and alterations. Failing to obtain the proper permits before any home remodeling work is done could result in the complication or even cancellation of the sale when your home hits the market. During home inspections and appraisal, property owners will likely have to show that all the proper permits were acquired and are on file. If the lending bank finds out renovations were performed without securing necessary permits, it will likely not make the loan. Here are some common property renovation projects that likely require permits: Fencing New windows Footprint alterations Structural changes Plumbing and electrical Siding Water heater There are, however, plenty of home improvement projects that don’t require permits, including: Replacing a faucet Painting or wallpapering Installing hardwood floors and carpeting Installing new countertops Minor electrical repairs that do not involve new service or moving existing service In addition to acquiring the necessary permits for various property improvements, simply coming up with enough cash is a common roadblock for property owners across the country. Luckily, with a little budgeting, research, and planning, you can significantly improve the look, feel, and value of your home for as little as a few hundred bucks. Here are some excellent property improvements you can make for under $500: Patching up your roof Installing smart home devices...

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Younger Generations Are Shifting Away From Traditional Weddings, Survey Shows
Mar07

Younger Generations Are Shifting Away From Traditional Weddings, Survey Shows

Younger generations are continuing to shift away from traditional wedding ceremonies and toward personalized celebrations, a new survey finds. According to The Knot’s latest Real Weddings Study, up to 87% of Americans of Generation Z see themselves getting married in the future and planning the event on their own terms. The survey included 14,000 couples that were married in 2018 and a sample size of 201 Americans between the ages of 14 and 23. Currently, about 40% of brides and grooms say they are looking for unusual venues that reflect their personality. Approximately 53% of millennial respondents (born between 1980 and 1994) reported that they wanted their wedding to be a reflection of their relationship. But it’s the next generation that will take wedding personalization to the next level. Up to 73% of Generation Z respondents (born between 1995 and 2010) said that engagement and wedding traditions matter to them. But only 18% said they planned to observe those traditions conventionally. A total 80% of Gen Z participants said they’ll merge traditions or create their own customs and 44% said they would merge traditions from more than one culture. This is significant considering many traditions are already a merge of cultures; the first archaeological proof of dance was found on a 9,000-year-old cave in India. But personalizations don’t end there. Social consciousness is also important to Generation Z. About 60% of respondents said they plan to include a charity in their wedding registry and use the event to make a social impact. “This generation is focused on inclusivity and is socially conscious,” said Lauren Kay, deputy editor at the Knot, “and [they want] to identify with the brands they are supporting and [want] them to have like-minded values.” Generation Z currently makes up 26% of the total media audience in the United States. This makes them the single largest audience segment. Generation Z will also account for 40% of all consumers by 2020, making them capable of influencing up to $4 billion in discretionary spending. This is important for U.S. wedding businesses, in particular, because Gen Z intends to spend their own money on their wedding celebrations. Approximately 92% of Gen Z survey respondents said that being financially stable prior to getting married is important to them and 33% said they predict they’ll pay for their wedding on their own with their partner. Only 5.5% of participants said they predict their parents will pay for the...

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Rare Disease Outlook: Nontuberculous Mycobacteria (NTM) Lung Disease
Mar07

Rare Disease Outlook: Nontuberculous Mycobacteria (NTM) Lung Disease

Nontuberculous mycobacteria (NTM) are mycobacteria which do not cause leprosy or tuberculosis. However, NTM do cause pulmonary diseases that are similar to tuberculosis and often occur in many animals, including humans. There are more than 180 species of NTM and it’s estimated that the number of people with NTM lung disease in the U.S. is as high as 180,000. That number is increasing by 8.2% every year in people aged 65 years and older. It’s important to note, however, though NTM infections primary affect older adults, age groups of all kinds could develop chronic lung diseases, as well. Typically, these naturally-occurring organisms are found in soil and water. Whenever an individual inhales NTM in an environment, serious lung infections can occur, leading to slow, progressive, and destructive diseases to form. According to WebMD, you’re more likely to get the NTM lung disease if the bacteria gets inside your lungs and you already have one of the following health concerns: Any disease that causes lung damage like emphysema, bronchiectasis, or chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). Silicosis or “black lung disease.” Any autoimmune disease like Sjogren’s syndrome or rheumatoid arthritis. Acid reflux Weakened immune system from HIV infection or AIDS. Past infection with tuberculosis. Alcoholism. Cystic fibrosis. Had or are about to have a lung transplant. In addition to moist environments and inside soil, NTM germs commonly can be found inside steamy bathroom, hot tubs, and heated indoor pools. If you believe you’re at risk for the disease, it’s best to consult with a medical professional and avoid hot tubs and indoor pools. Also, use a ventilation fan to clear up steam inside a bathroom after a hot bath or shower. Though this disease isn’t as well known as similar illnesses, it has been gaining notoriety within medical circles. In fact, in hopes to increase awareness of the often-misdiagnosed disease, an event called “Constant Cough, Fatigue, and Shortness of Breath? Expert Reveals NTM Lung Disease as a Potential Cause” was recently held on Rare Disease Day (February 28). According to COPD News Today, the COPD Foundation hosted a Facebook discussion of NTM lung disease to provide better understanding and inside into the...

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How to create a winning SMS marketing campaign
Mar06

How to create a winning SMS marketing campaign

Just like any marketing campaign, SMS campaign needs thorough planning. You can’t just execute something that you thought out of the blue. Your idea of a campaign should run into processes in order for you to successfully execute that idea.   So how do you do it? How can you execute your idea into a winning SMS Marketing campaign?   Here are some pointers that you should keep in mind. (and your white label SEO firm can help you with this).  Tip #1 – Choose the right keyword You don’t just compose a message. You need to think it over and over. And you need the right keywords so that your customers will surely remember the important part of your message. So how do you choose the right keywords? There are ways of doing this: Your keyword should be short. Shorter keywords are easy to remember, especially in text messages. Since you only have limited characters, shorter keywords will be a great help in composing your message. Your keyword should be simple. Avoid using complicated keywords that are hard to spell out and remember. When they see your keywords, your customers should be able to see it immediately and remember it easily. You should choose a keyword that reflects your brand. If you are selling shoes, avoid using keywords that do not have any relation to shoes like animals, food, etc. If you include unnecessary keywords your customers will get confused with your message. Tip #2 – Find the right SMS provider that fits your requirements This is one of the important things that you need to consider. Don’t just choose an SMS provider just because it is cheaper or runs a super great discount. Choose an SMS provider that fits your business and marketing requirements.   In doing this, you need to do a little research on all the available SMS providers in your area or in the industry. If you don’t know where to start, here are pointers to guide you in finding the right SMS provider to team up with.   Can the company accommodate your keywords? Remember, you took a lot of time in thinking of the most appropriate and easy to remember keywords for your SMS campaign? So it is a must that you should be able to use that. Your provider should allow you to use any keywords that you want. There might be providers that may not allow you to use certain keywords as they are being used by their current clients that might be your competitor. You should definitely check this out first.   Does the company have good customer support?...

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Prominent North Texas Pastor And Wife Found Dead In Suspicious House Fire
Mar04

Prominent North Texas Pastor And Wife Found Dead In Suspicious House Fire

In Cedar Hill, Texas, officials responded to a house fire on Thursday, Feb. 28. Despite the efforts of emergency response teams, a local pastor, his wife, and one of their daughters were killed by the blaze. The couple’s other daughter survived but has been hospitalized for her injuries. According to friends of the family, the pastor was Eugene Keahey, 52, and his wife was Deanna Wilson-Keahey, 51. Neither the local police nor the Dallas County Medical Examiner’s Office have identified the victims, but they have stated that they believe the house fire was not caused by a common source like a masonry or prefab fireplace, but that it was intentionally set. Officials have not cited a reason for this belief and have not released information as to how the fire started. The state fire marshal’s office is assisting police in investigating the cause of the fire. Police arrived at the scene at about 4:30 a.m., shortly after the fire broke out. They were able to rescue two people from a second-story window, but the three victims died at the scene. The loss of the victims has hit the community hard. Eugene Keahey was a pastor at Mt. Zion Baptist Church in Sandbranch, a nearby unincorporated community in southeastern Dallas County. Keahey helped shine a light on this community in 2016. Sandbranch had gone decades with running water, but never received national attention or help for their plight until Keahey started a non-profit for the cause. Keahey also helped the people of Sandbranch get the healthcare they sorely lacked. High blood pressure, diabetes, and work injuries are all too common in this impoverished community. While U.S. Dietary Guidelines state that eating at least two and a half cups of fruits and vegetables every day is linked to reducing one’s risk of cardiovascular disease, Sandbranch’s lack of clean water makes washing this important produce nearly impossible. Further complicating matters, the nearest medical facility lies 35 miles away. As most residents do not have access to transportation, basic healthcare had transformed into a luxury for the community. In 2016, Keahey arranged a partnership with the nursing department at Texas Women’s University to provide health screenings for Sandbranch residents. “In a city where there was no attention being brought to, he changed that. He changed Sandbranch,” said family friend Trisha Allen. At the time of his death, Keahey was still fighting for the residents of Sandbranch. He was in the midst of a battle with Dallas County Commissioner John Wiley Price, who was indicted in 2014 on an array of corruption and bribery charges. Price was found not guilty on seven out of...

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Landfills Brace For Future Storms With New And Better Infrastructure
Mar02

Landfills Brace For Future Storms With New And Better Infrastructure

In recent years, a surprising number of severe storms and weather patterns have emerged across the globe. From artic winds to unprecedented rainfall, cities in the U.S. are being battered and beaten with some frequency; one of the most vulnerable locations are the coastlines. Storm surges describe the intense hurricane winds that are blown along the ocean surface, causing water to build up as it approaches the shoreline. The size of the storm — including its speed, central pressure, overall shape, and angle of approach — all play a role in determining how much damage will be done; since waves can act as battering rams weighing about 1,700 lbs per cubic yard, buildings and roads are easily destroyed or eroded. This is why nearly 14% of the U.S. coastline is armored with hard infrastructure. In addition to the importance of a city’s roads and buildings, the safety and protection of landfills during raging storms is vital. Since wastewater leakage can make an already bad situation much worse by increasing the risk of disease and infection, landfill operators are focusing on building more and bigger stormwater and leachate ponds. “We overdesigned our system to be able to handle these regional storm events. We adjusted our final contours for better stormwater flow and sized the perimeter of stormwater ditches to adequately handle larger flow. And we made them bigger and wider,” says Mike Jovanovic, vice president environmental affairs at Terrapure Environmental, a waste management company based 30 miles from Toronto. Landfills aren’t the only public health hazards caused by strong storms. While 20% of Americans use septic tanks, the rest rely on municipal water treatment facilities. In cities like Baltimore, heavy rains and storms regularly lead to sewage flooding city streets. Now, flooded landfills threaten many coastal cities with a new public health hazard. In the past, landfill stormwater systems were based on 25-year design storm-events or weather events that are statistically possible every 25 years; this is area-specific, so in Virginia Beach, that would be six or seven inches of rainfall in a 24-hour period. Because of the upswing in major storm events — ones that have been classified as one in 50-year or one in 100-year events — landfill operators aren’t taking the chance. They know that they must adapt and evolve as the times change in order to stay on top of and reduce the potential damage. “Stormwater management is dynamic, and our goal is to anticipate changes and adapt plans accordingly to minimize risk,” says William Mojica, Republic Services director of environmental compliance. “It’s understanding the facility’s lifecycle, what best management practices (BMPs) are required and anticipating what may come.”...

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