Modern Trade Show Exhibition

6 Ways to Make Your Trade Show Memorable

When you choose to be a vendor at a trade show, there are many complexities that must be solved to attain higher results with audience engagement and promoting your message.

A show will typically have thousands of people attending and browsing different vendors looking at products, collecting marketing materials, trying demo’s and more.

Being able to maximise your exposure and overall return on investment is vital to making the entire process worthwhile.

This report will share with you 6 specific methods that will build brand identity and create an impact in the minds of attendees, so they remember your products, service or brand long after the show.

Try the following techniques as listed below as they are proven to work and do bring further results for your brand:

1. Have an Interactive Trade Show Presence

A person will remember your brand much better when you offer them interactive games or other forms of content.

Try providing something that gives your visitors a hands on experience to influences positive emotions and feelings.

You can offer such things as games which will stimulate your attendees while giving them a reason to stay at your booth and interact with your sales team.

Men Photographing Model at a Trade Show

2. Retractable Banners Bring Results

A trade show is a very busy place and being able to be noticed from a distance can be a challenge.

Retractable banners are great for catching a persons eye and can be utilised to be an excellent marketing tool.

You will want to use a professional graphic designer who will use bright and visually stimulating colours and designs while promoting your brand or main marketing message.

It is suggested you include your company name, website address, social media addresses and even a phone number.

3. Contests are Powerful

You can offer contests at your booth and make it part of your presentation.

Your visitors will be free to leave your booth after signing up for the contest, but what you can do is get them to include their name, email address, phone number, website addresses, social media addresses, business cards or other information.

In return you can use it to contact them later about your brand.

Another technique you can use is to have the winner of the contest announced on your organisations social media page, so visitors will check it frequently and be reminded of your brand and offerings.

4. Offer Demonstrations

Being able to include samples of your products or services is a great method to both educate and remind the attendees of what it is your offer exactly and their advantages.

You can encourage them by clearly presenting the direct benefits of your product or service, and even give them a sample or things like a discount or coupon.

Being able to provide your attendees a direct experience that shows how your product or service is superior and benefits their lives will make your trade show booth so much more memorable.

Female Presenter on a Trade Stand

5. Promotional Items

These are essential marketing vehicles that you absolutely must take advantage of.

Many trade show marketers will use this technique and having a unique method to deliver promotional items is essential.

There are so many promotional items that you can use that will bring your marketing message to your attendees long after the event.

You will want to provide your attendees with promotional items that include your brand.

You can choose from a variety of items including mobile phone chargers, phone covers, flash drives, coffee mugs, t-shirts, hats, stickers, the options are endless.

Be sure that your brand logo and marketing colours are used to reinforce your organisation long after the show.

Be creative and remember that other trade show booths will be doing the same thing so stand out.

6. Be Sure to Use Social Media

Before the show and during the event, you should be harnessing social media and actively posting on your website and social media accounts.

This can drive people to visit your booth as well as get them interested in visiting before the event even begins.

You can also get your visitors to use hash-tags in their posts about your booth and have them get involved with your brands social media.

A trade show is a powerful method to attract new customers, establish brand identity and generate more business and awareness of your brand.

Capitalise on the 6 methods above to make your trade show experience that much more memorable.

Having a powerful and attractive trade show display is essential and giving your visitors a reason to remember you long after the show will bring greater results.

Conclusions

Trade shows are a complex subject because the planning phase is arguably more important that the actual trade show itself.

If your company attends without a plan to maximise visitors to your exhibition and has no idea how to you are going to attract and retain attendees, then you are essentially wasting your time.

Most companies make the common mistake of booking the space, contacting their local exhibition stand contractors to have a booth designed and built and think the rest will take care of itself. Wrong!

Trade shows need careful planning on how you are going to make it work and how it will benefit your business.

So don’t make assumptions that people will attend and remember you.

Make your stand the best it can be, tell people about it well in advance and give them a reason to come and visit you.

Barcelona Square

6 Key Must Knows Before Moving to Spain

When thinking about moving to Spain for its beautiful beaches, relaxed atmosphere and friendly people, there are certain things that you will want to know before taking the plunge.

This article outlines 6 key criteria you’ll need to know immediately about moving to Spain before you make the relocation.

Following these suggestions can truly save you time, money, effort and stress when closely followed.

Sit back, relax and find out about this amazing country.

The Regional Climates of Spain

Spain is a fairly large country and the climate can vary depending on the locations that you’re visiting.

Down in the south, it is known for it’s incredibly hot temperatures while in the Northern regions, you can expect a more balanced climate with fairly mild winters and warm summer months.

However, move towards the more centrally located cities and the climate is known to express itself in extremes in heat and cold because of the proximity to the ocean.

For those that are interested in winter sports, there are some areas where you can ski that include regions around Madrid, the Pyrenees and the Sierra Nevada.

Living Expenses in Spain

As you may know, making the transition to Spain has many perks which includes a much lower cost of living.

Such things as buying property is easier than in the UK, but the real estate market tend to be more expensive in popular central cities and well known, established tourist areas.

If you live, eat, and breathe like a local, then it will not take you long to notice it is significantly less expensive than living in the UK or other northern European countries.

Utility expenses can be a little high because of bottled gas if needed.

But that is a small expense compared to other savings you’ll experience living in Spain.

Spanish Flamenco Dancer

Employment and Income Tips

Many people who’ve made the journey to Spain advise that finding employment or starting a business is best done before you plan on moving to the country.

Establish a financial plan on how you will maintain your expenses, because many will tell you how they have been caught out in the past by not having a plan in place.

It is best to move there with at least 6 months worth of cash in the bank to cover of living expenses.

EU citizens don’t need any work permits but you will need a Spanish social security number.

This can be arranged through your local Oficina de Seguridad Social.

If you plan on living on a pension, just be aware of the fluctuations in value with the British pound and Euro currency.

If there were to be economic woes back home, your pound may not go as far as you’d expect!

Know the Language

It is best advised to learn Spanish and to be proficient with both speaking, writing and reading it long before you relocate.

Plenty of British expats choose not to learn the language, but when it comes to finding employment, socialising, making friends and living, it will be much easier if you knew how to speak even a little Spanish to get by.

There are many different options that you can use before you make the move to Spain that can include audio learning systems, CD’s and DVD courses, books, classes and even hiring tutors.

Nowadays, there are lots of online language courses that are fairly inexpensive and can be followed at your leisure.

Take a look online at some of the best online language courses and you’re bound to find one that suits your needs.

Being able to communicate without knowing the local dialect can be done, but it limits your opportunities and abilities to better understand and interact with the people and culture.

The Importance of Gestures

When it comes to dealing with the Spanish administration, for certain things you would need a professional.

A gesture is a person who has experience with tasks and reliable contacts.

They charge low fees when hired but they will save you much time and frustrations you may have with Spanish administration.

The best way to find a gesture is to speak with the locals to find a reputable one who can help you.

Without a gesture, you can run into plenty of frustrations and hassles because of not having the knowledge or expertise with dealing with the bureaucracy of Spain.

Ask around for suitable gestures and people will help you find a reputable one to employ.

Healthcare Services

As a EU citizen you are entitled to use the Spanish national health services which provide citizens with free or very low cost health care.

If you are registered to work in Spain and you deposit National Insurance contributions, then you are eligible for state offered health services.

However if you are a visitor of Spain you will need to apply for an EHIC card which is free to British citizens.

Private health care may be covered for a period of time with health insurance coverage.

If you are retired, note that the NHS does not reimburse non-working British citizens under pensionable age in different European areas.

Be sure to have your health care needs taken care of before you move.

You may have to pay for private health care.

If you have a S1 then any changes won’t cause any issues until your current form becomes obsolete.

Container Ship En Route

Conclusions

Like most expats wanting to move overseas, it’s very east to get carried away with the romance of the idea without dealing with the practicalities.

So be sure to do your research before you decide to pack your bags and organise having a removals to Spain specialist ship your effects overseas, only to find the whole idea was a disaster waiting to happen.

Be sure to follow these six suggestions as outlined above to have a better experience in Spain with fewer hassles and greater comfort.

The first two years are always the hardest.

So even if you’ve gotten everything organised and are ready as you’ll ever be, be prepared for the inevitable culture shock.

With time and patience, you will settle in soon enough and start to love your new life overseas.

Beautiful Yacht Docked in Port

What is Seafarers Earnings Deduction?

For those residents of the United Kingdom who are employed as a seafarer on a ship, may be entitled to a very interesting tax legislation that makes them eligible for 100% tax exemption on foreign earnings.

Within this article, we aim to explain the intricacies of this tax deduction and how it applies to the UK and its citizens.

How does the tax exemption work?

After more than 15 years of legal arguing between trade unions and the HRMC, the final laws have been updated as of 2012.

Unfortunately, members of the armed forces are exempt from this earnings deduction. We will explain more below.

Yacht Crew on Deck
Yacht crew have long enjoyed tax relief under HMRC’s SED rules. Image: Blue Water Yachting

The first version of the tax exemption came into effect for plenty of reasons.

They were mainly designed to make it financially beneficial for UK employees in the competitive job market and pressure in the global labor markets.

Since professional yacht crew spend a majority of time outside of the UK, the highly competitive labour market and for defense needs of the UK, legislation was introduced to create the tax break specifically for those who work on ships outside of the UK in foreign waters.

Unfortunately, the rules and laws surrounding the Seafarers Earnings Deduction are hard to translate within the books of the HMRC.

However, it is possible to translate these rules and the main requirement is that you work on a ship.

You Must Work on a Ship

What a ship is according to the legislation has no description but what a ship is not is listed.

Oil and gas drilling rigs are an exception to this tax deduction as the following listed below are counted as not being included in the tax break:

  • Floating and fixed production platforms
  • mobile offshore drilling units
  • flotels.

Benefiting from the zero tax bill is great for all employees that meet the standards listed above for what does not constitute a ship.

Oil Rig at Sunset
Oil Rig at Sunset. Image credit: Pacific Standard

When it comes to how much time you can spend at home in the UK you are limited to no more than 183 days per tax year.

If you spend more then that amount of time you will go through what is known as a Failure which will alter your ability to take advantage of the Seafarers Earnings Deduction.

When it comes to travel days they are counted if you were in the UK at midnight of that particular day.

Another rule that must be fulfilled is that you must embark and disembark from foreign ports.

Entering a port or leaving a port from the UK is invalid.

Also, you have to spend a minimum of 365 consecutive days outside of the United Kingdom to qualify as a seafarer.

As mentioned earlier if you spend above 183 days in the UK or make any other mistakes you will be given a Failure which change your eligibility for receiving the tax deduction.

Take Advantage of this Massive Tax Break!

Many seafarers do not understand all the different elements of this tax law and either doesn’t take advantage of it or use it incorrectly.

Sometimes an individual that is employed as a seafarer will not declare all of their income.

When you do your tax return it is important that everything is declared.

You can declare all of your investments and have your taxes paid back to you except for rental income.

It makes a lot of sense to do your tax return properly as you are guaranteed to benefit under the special tax discount.

It is good to hang on to receipts including airline vouchers, ship discharge papers, hotel receipts, food receipts, and other paperwork to be reimbursed for your expenses.

Recently with the Open Exchange of Information, you should declare all of your offshore income and have it not be subject to taxes.

It is very important, to be honest as the government has ways of finding out tax fraud and it is not worth the risk or consequences.

After all, if you do not declare your income on your taxes there is not very much you can do with your money.

After the 18 years of battling between the HMRC and unions, the Seafarers earnings deduction is a great benefit that every UK resident who is employed as a Seafarer on a ship should take advantage of.

All it takes is a little organisation of your documentation and a discussion with a tax professional.

So when it comes to preparing your tax return, simply contact a specialist accountant who can offer solid yacht crew tax advice and they will tell you if you are eligible for this amazing 100% tax break!

If you work on an oil or gas drilling offshore rig you will not be able to use this specialized tax exemption.

Also those UK citizens who are employed by the military also are exempt from taking advantage of the Seafarers Earnings Deductions.

In the future these laws may change but for now these are the basic outlines and guidelines to tell if you qualify for this tax break.

External Sources

This article was created using reference material from the following websites:

Old Fashioned American Barn Building

How Much Does an American Barn Cost to Build?

Today we would like to outline and answer the question of how much does an American barn cost to build?

Devising a suitable budget for a timber American Barn construction is never easy, as there’s a lot of important issues to consider before pressing ahead.

The total investment of an American barn will be completely determined by the cost of the materials and labour.

When it comes to labour hiring a contractor to build a barn is typically the most expensive part of building a barn.

When you decide to hire and pay a contractor as well as a construction crew, it will make the price of labour a big percentage of the total costs associated with building your dream American barn.

If you can build the barn without a general contractor, you will be able to easily reduce the overall cost of building a barn.

There are different options available when it comes to building an American barn.

Prefabricated barns are pre-built and delivered in a ready to build format.

A few skilled friends or neighbours can easily put together a prefabricated barn in under a few days if you choose a steel option.

However, if you choose to build a wooden barn then it could take a few weeks of required construction.

Prefabricated barns offer a large amount of savings when it comes to costs and materials.

Also, there is never any material waste or wasted expenses.

So what exactly are the factors that affect the overall price of building your American barn?

Below we have created a list of questions you will need to answer before you go ahead and build a barn.

These questions you need to ask yourself include the following:

  1. How many horses will you be housing in your barn?
  2. What size of stalls do you need for your horses?
  3. Do you need to build an additional tack room?
  4. Do you also need a wash rack?
  5. How much space will you need for feed storage?
  6. Will you need a hayloft as a second level?
  7. Do you need to store vehicles like tractors?
  8. Do you need a foaling box?
  9. Will you be feeding your horses within the barn?
  10. Do you need a wide centre aisle in the middle as a pass through?

Now when you are trying to estimate how much it will cost to build an American barn you will have to take into the considerations the costs associated with using them.

We have created a list below of features that are a must-have when it comes to creating your overall estimate of how much putting together an American barn will cost:

  1. You will first need to arrange any required demolition, excavations and site preparations.
  2. You will then need to pour a concrete foundation and floor.
  3. You will need to build wood framing using solid woods.
  4. You will need to install high quality wood siding.
  5. You will need to build a roof.
  6. You will need to provide suitable plumbing and drainage.
  7. Proper electrical wiring and lighting will also be needed.
  8. Lastly, your carpentry must be up to code and you will have to hire a contractor.

The overall price of your barn project will greatly depend on the materials you use and methods of construction that you follow.

Prefabricated barns will offer you major savings on costs associated with labor and materials.

A traditionally built barn will cost around $45 a square foot.

However in contrast a prefabricated metal barn can roam in the price ranges of $7 to $25 a square foot.

Ultimately using a steel building will be the cheapest solution when it comes to building an American barn.

Your next best option is using a prefabricated do it yourself barn.

Lastly building a barn using wooden materials will require that you employ a general contractor so that your barn is built up to the codes needed and required in your area.

The overall size and complexity of your American barn will determine the price and costs associated.

However, they do add value to your home if you were deciding to resell it with American barns bringing 77% resale value of their original costs.

Providing your horses with adequate protection from the weather and elements will make them much more comfortable and happy.

Also, consider that being able to feed and maintain your horses in one single area makes it a top choice for people rather than building traditional stables.

The costs associated with building American barns will go as far as your imagination in terms of complexity and details that need to be met.

They are a sound investment and are becoming more popular across the United Kingdom.

Article Credits

The author wishes to acknowledge the following sites for use of images, text and reference material in the creation of this article:

Modern White Kitchen with Slate Flooring

How a kitchen makeover can improve the quality of your life

Changing the design of your kitchen and remodelling is a popular home renovation concept that many people choose to do.

Not only does it give your home a new lease of life, it adds value and increases the usability of this hugely important room.

In this detailed article, we discuss the various ways a kitchen makeover can improve the quality of your lifestyle.

As long as you set a budget and go for the optimal style you will know where you can go in terms of upgrading your kitchen.

And kitchen upgrades are one of the best ways you can increase the value of your home if you choose to sell it.

Consider Your Main Priorities

When it comes to remodelling your kitchen, it is something that requires careful consideration and planning ahead of time.

With the kitchen being the hub of your entire home, it needs to be designed in a triangular concept with a focus on the sink, stove and refrigerator.

When many different home owners were asked what they would upgrade in their homes, nearly all of them said that they would upgrade their kitchens.

It is a great investment when it comes to adding comfort and style to daily use and as I mentioned, will also add resale value to your property when it comes time to put it up for sale.

Most people who own their own home will agree that their kitchen is one of the most important spaces in the house.

Kitchen upgrades is a great way to increase the overall value of your home.

You can change an old living area into something exuding style and elegance with as little as new kitchen cabinets and countertops.

You will have to dream up a theme and idea of what you want your upgraded kitchen will look like.

Old Fashioned Terracotta Tiled Kitchen

Plan an Outline of Your Dream Kitchen

It is always a good idea to sketch it down on paper or you can even draw rough outlines on a computer.

Keeping your goal in sight with a visual display of what you are working towards will keep you more focused and efficient on detail and renovating your cooking area.

As you plan in detail what you want your dream kitchen to look like, also be aware of the space you have and use all of it to the best of your abilities.

You can include such things as putting up shelving units on the walls and installing rolling shelving units to utilise every inch of your kitchen space.

Update Your Appliances

Another factor for making your kitchen the best it can be is by adding new appliances.

When you choose to remove the worn out and outdated fridge, stove and dishwashing machine you will make your life a lot easier with brand new appliances.

It will make the chores of cooking and cleaning that much better and will give you a modern and clean updated look that will enhance the appearance of your kitchen.

Consider Adding an Island

When you add a kitchen island you can provide much needed extra counter space and enhance the over all feel of your kitchen.

With an island, you can make a feel safe family area for quick snacks or small meals.

It also provides you with extra space for other kitchen utilities.

If you choose to add a kitchen island to your cooking area be sure that the style, colour and size enhances your kitchen and accents the style already present in the room.

An island can do a world of wonders allowing for extra space and if you need the extra space, by all means, add this to your renovation budget.

Knowing When a Kitchen Facelift is Overdue

So how can you tell that it is time to upgrade and change your kitchen?

The first thing that should be on your list if it is time for a change is whether your kitchen appliances are falling apart.

Another factor would be your kitchen cabinets losing their colour and shine.

If this happens, it is time to replace your kitchen cabinets with something new, fresh and modern.

When you no longer feel comfortable in your own kitchen is a good sign it is time for a change just like if you choose to not host visitors in your kitchen as well.

There is a lot of different things that come into play when it comes to remodelling your kitchen.

You may need to change the fixtures, the walls, ceilings or it may just be better to change the cabinets.

There is also plumbing, electrical and heating systems that need to be changed before a kitchen can be completely overhauled and renovated.

However you must keep these things in your mind as well as counter space, available storage space, appliances that are built in, sinks and lighting when it comes to making your kitchen that much more comfortable and pleasing for cooking, cleaning, and baking tasks.

When you are searching for methods to add value and comfort to your kitchen you will need a solid blueprint.

Your kitchen is one of the most used rooms in the entire house and should be high on the list of renovations when it comes to remodelling your home.

You should keep your kitchen remodelling ideas to be aimed at upgrading the value of your home as well as making it more user-friendly and convenient for cooking tasks and duties.

Don’t Forget About Flooring

Lastly we would like to point out that changing your flooring to a better quality material is always a great idea to make your kitchen more comfortable and your home more valuable in the resale market.

Getting yourself a new floor is always a great way to improve your kitchen without spending a lot of extra money.

Upgrading your kitchen to make it more comfortable and usable should be your top priority followed by increasing the value of your home.

Since the kitchen is such a frequently used area of your home choosing to remodel it to add comfort is a great idea that we recommend you start planning today.

So speak to a specialist kitchen makeovers firm in Maidstone and you’ll soon be offered a whole world of amazing ideas that can transform your kitchen without breaking the bank.

What To Consider When Looking For Best Running Shoes For A Marathon

Running a marathon means that you will be wearing your running shoes for a long distance, hence you need shoes that fit well and offer maximum comfort and support as you run.

In this article, we’ll help you get kitted up with the right footwear for your run and ensure you make the distance!

Most times it is advisable to get new shoes when you are running a marathon rather than using the shoe that you have been training so that you get maximum performance.

However, you should try them out during the marathon training.

Some of the things to consider while buying a good running shoe for a marathon are:

Your Stride Pattern

There are three kinds of foot pronation:

1. Overpronation – where the feet roll inwards

2. Underpronation – where the feet roll outward

3. Neutral pronation – this affects how you run.

For over pronation, get stability running shoes that will help in distributing the running impact while offering maximum support and comfort.

There should be adequate cushioning in the heels and provide arch support.

For under pronation, choose neutral shoes with extra amount of cushioning that is mostly focused on midsoles and for extra shock absorption, and it should run along outside of the shoe to counter outward roll of your feet.

For neutral pronation, get neutral shoes that promote natural foot motion to give a more ground feeling contact.

Your pronation pattern will help in choosing the right kind of shoe, hence avoiding the chances of getting injuries.

Ideal Running Impact Points
Running Stride Pattern Analysis. Image credit: Team Chiropractic & Rehabilitation of Ames

How much do you weigh?

Consider getting shoes that have extra cushioning if you are a heavy runner and it will help reduce the stress on your legs and make landing more comfortable as you run.

A light runner can get light shoes with less cushioning.

The width of your foot

Measure the width of your feet because this determines the shoe size.

Your foot shouldn’t rub against the shoe and you should be able to wiggle your toes.

If you get a shoe that is narrower it will be uncomfortable from the moment you start running.

There should be approximately half an inch between the longest toe and the front of the shoe.

The terrain

Your shoe should match the terrain that you will be running on and the shoes differ.

If running on a trail that is dusty and has loose pebbles, then get a shoe that has aggressive patterns to give you an excellent traction.

Don’t turn one shoe to be a run all long distances because the support foams and cushioning material need to regain their spring for maximum performance.

How your marathon preparation has been

If you have been practicing while wearing cushioned shoes, then get cushioned shoes because this is what your feet are prepared for.

In between your training, wear the new shoes and run with them so that you get used to them before the actual day.

Get a well constructed shoe with high quality material

Because you will be running a long distance buy shoes that will withstand long wear and will handle the pressure.

One of the world’s best selling running shoes for men is the Asics Gel Cumulus 18, due to its excellent all round comfort, durability and cushioning properties.

Any shoe you choose should be light enough to ensure that your feet are light while running.

The upper material should be meshed to allow free air flow so that your feet don’t get sweaty and uncomfortable which may cause blisters.

Asics Gel-Cumulus 18 Men’s Running Shoe
Asics Gel-Cumulus 18 Men’s Running Shoe. Image credit: Asics

Check on the outsole and midsole

The outsole should be well constructed with durable, stiff and flexible rubber and should have grooves that are cut horizontally to allow one to flex at the foot easily.

The midsole should be a layer of soft shock absorbing material so as to offer greater stability and cushioning in the shoe.

A thin and firm middle will be hard on your feet, but it is efficient enough, while running while a soft midsole will give the legs more support and legs will feel better at the cost of your running pace.

So choosing a type of midsole will be determined if whether you are running for speed or for comfort.

Most marathon runners consider their overall look of their running gear and they chose the best.

However, when selecting marathon shoes, don’t buy shoes based on looks, endorsements or popularity because it may not work for you.

There are several shoes with different styles and colors and each is designed to meet every runner’s running style.

Therefore the main goal should be having the right kind of shoes for long distance running and comfort rather than fashion.

Talk to a Running Store

Buy your shoes at a running specialty store as they are able to advise you on the best running shoes for long distances because there are different types of shoes.

Replace your running shoes often enough so that you get adequate leg support the legs and feet while logging miles.

It is recommended to change shoes every three months or after 300 miles.

Wooden Hallway Storage Bench

How to build a mudroom bench with MDF or plywood

A mudroom bench is not only visually appealing in an entrance hall, but also very practical.

It’s a superb way to keep your shoes neat and tidy, and with this simple storage project, you can make one yourself!

When it is a rainy day, you need to make sure that whoever comes home takes off his shoes or boots, coat or jacket, and finds where to place the wet umbrella.

Unless there is a mudroom bench next to the front door you would end up with footsteps all over the floor, or the difficult proposition of trying to take off all the wet things while standing up.

If you would like to have a mudroom bench at home, you might consider ordering one.

However you would need to pay quite a high price for a custom made mudroom bench.

Ready-made mudroom benches are not that easy to find, and even if you do it is difficult to find one that will complement the rest of the furniture in your room, or is the size you want it to be to fit in the space available.

Moreover you cannot expect to find it at such an affordable price.

So, why not try to build a mudroom bench yourself with 18mm cut to size MDF sheets or plywood?

It is not that difficult, and with some basic tools you can manage to do it really cheaply.

Basic MDF Mudroom Bench Shell
Basic MDF Mudroom Bench Shell. Image credit: All Home Decor Review

Let’s Get Started

Start off by measuring the area where it will be placed.

Then, based on the space available you can determine the best size and design it.

Mark the measurements of the various parts as this will come in handy when you cut the boards and when you start assembling it.

It is best to start off with the seat box, which will be the base of the mudroom bench.

The bench seat will start with a plywood box with an open-bottom.

Use a circular saw to cut two strips from a plywood sheet as these will be the panels.

Then cut out the baseboard.

Assemble the box, using the side panels between the other two panels at the front and back.

It is best to use glue as well as screws to assemble.

Once assembled, place it in front of the baseboard, and mark where the sides of the box will meet the moulding.

Afterwards slide it into place against the wall, after having marked the position where the sides will fit into the notches ad screw it.

Next comes the hinge support.

Use a mitre saw to cut a panel that is the inside width of the box.

Screw it along the back of the box into the studs using deck screws.

Later this part will be hidden by a plywood strip and moulding.

Screw L-brackets in the box and to the floor.

It is best to have three brackets inside the front edge, and another two on either side.

These are important as they will hold the box in place.

Next attach the panel molding to the seat by cutting stiles.

Where a horizontal and a vertical stile overlap each other at a corner, place more attention.

Glue and nail them using 3″ nails.

Make sure to align the edges with the edges of the box, and it may be best to use a narrower stile at the front.

If you cut panel molding to fit, miter the ends and nail tightly with 2″ nails.

Then frame the other side of the box similarly.

Always ensure that the corners are flush with the side panels and then fit the panel molding in the frame you created.

Then you can cap and trim the box, and the seat lid.

To prevent splitting the wood with the finish nails it may be helpful to dull the points of the nails before tapping them in.

This can be done easily with a strike of the hammer.

Afterwards you can attach the lid with cabinet hinges.

European cabinet hinges are ideal as they will allow the lid to open up completely but at the same time conceal the assembly once it is closed.

It is best to allow a 1 inch overlay on the front and on the sides.

Finishing the Build

Now you can mount the bedboard panel to the back.

About 4 feet up from the seat is a good measurement.

Have someone help you by holding the panels in place, while also ensuring that the rabbets at the edges overlap.

Also make sure that the seam will fall on a stud as you will need to have something to screw the edges to.

Secure the panels to the wall by using adhesive caulk and screws.

If you are going to install a shelf at the top, install the fascia for it, and mount the shelf brackets to it.

Secure the shelf by screwing it, and you’re done.

You may wish to paint your mudroom bench once it is assembled.

It is best to apply two coats of paint for a neater result.

Solar Eclipse Observation

How to Observe the Sun for Beginners

On average, the Sun is only 150 million kilometres distant – hardly a stone’s throw away in astronomical terms, and being so close, it is an easy object to observe in great detail.

However, observing the Sun can be dangerous, and very specific precautions are required to prevent destroying your eyesight, and causing damage to observing equipment.

Here is how to observe the Sun safely.

Filter out 99% of the Sun’s light

Beautiful Sunset
Beautiful Sunset. Image credit: Medscape.com

Light from the Sun as shown in the image above contains almost the entire light spectrum, which contains many light frequencies that are not visible to human vision.

Two frequencies, infrared and ultraviolet, are particularly harmful and all of these frequencies must be filtered out to make solar viewing safe.

However, despite what you may have read or heard, materials like CD’s, smoked glass, several layers of photographic film, and many others are NOT able to filter out harmful light frequencies.

The only acceptable filter materials are materials such as aluminium-coated glass and Mylar film that are made to fit over the tubes or objective lenses of ordinary telescopes.

The image below shows a typical solar filter designed to fit securely over the tube of a reflecting telescope.

Sky Watcher Telescope Solar Filter

Filters like this block out at least 99% of the Sun’s light, including all infrared light that causes optical elements to heat up, and ultraviolet light that can permanently damage the human eye’s retina.

Nonetheless, even with the harmful light filtered out, the Sun is still too bright to make out any detail, which is why solar filters suitable for use by amateur observers are designed to allow only light in the Hydrogen Alpha or Calcium frequencies through, which is the frequencies of light emitted by most of the Sun’s visible features.

Of course, there are filters available for scientific observations, but these fall outside the scope of this article.

Nonetheless, solar filters should only ever be sourced from reputable dealers that stock and supply purpose-made solar filters that are designed not to fall off, or become dislodged from a telescope or pair of binoculars, which when it happens, can blind an observer in a very small fraction of a second.

Avoid filtered eyepieces

Although no reputable dealer in optical equipment will ever supply a filtered eyepiece today, there was time when this type of eyepiece was widely available.

This type of eyepiece incorporated a “solar filter” as a part of the optical elements of the eyepiece, but the unfortunate effect of this arrangement was that since eyepieces are essentially magnifying glasses, the heat build-up in the eyepiece could, (and often did), cause the eyepiece to explode, causing instant blindness.

Use a dedicated solar telescope

The telescope shown above is dedicated refracting solar telescope that blocks out somewhat more than 99% of the Sun’s light by using proprietary coatings on the lenses.

Note that although this particular example has an aperture of only 40 mm, it gathers sufficient light to provide crystal-clear images of solar features such as prominences and filaments.

Telescopes of this type allow only light emitted by hydrogen atoms through, which just happens to be the most active atoms on, or in the Sun.

Also, note that while some solar features can be seen by projecting the Sun’s light through a pinhole, features like prominences and filaments of active solar material can only be seen in hydrogen-alpha light, which is what solar telescopes are designed to provide.

Here is what you can expect see with a solar telescope

There is always something dramatic happening on the Sun, and with some luck, you may just see a violent coronal mass ejection on your first view of the Sun through a dedicated solar telescope.

Below are some images and details of what you can expect to see…

Solar prominences

Any solar prominence is always a dramatic event.

Sunspots Through Ultraviolet Filter
Dramatic Sunspots Through Ultraviolet Filter. Image credit: NASA

These vast clouds of dense solar material are usually visible just outside of the Sun’s photosphere, and they both created, and held captive by the Sun’s enormous arching magnetic fields that shift around due to the differential rotation between different parts of the Sun.

The best views of solar prominences can be had only with a proper solar telescope.

Sunspots

Sunspots are caused when the Sun’s magnetic field breaks in places, and “snaps” back through the solar “surface” as a result.

While sunspots may appear dark, or even black in telescopic views, they are in fact only visible because they are about 2000 or so degrees cooler than the surrounding area.

Sunspots only occur in an area about 45 degrees north and south of the solar equator, which is where the Sun’s differential rotation is the greatest.

Sunspots also always occur in pairs: one spot being the north pole of a snapped magnetic field, and the other being the south pole of the same field.

Sunspots can be seen equally well through dedicated solar telescopes and solar filters fitted to normal instruments.

Solar filaments

Solar filaments are smaller, less violent versions of solar prominences, and their most distinguishing feature is that they can be seen against the Sun’s disc, as shown in the image above.

Solar filaments are best viewed with a dedicated solar telescope.

Solar flares

Solar flares are among the most violent eruptions on the Sun, and they can extend millions of kilometres beyond the Sun’s surface.

Flares are caused by sudden changes in the arrangement of the Sun’s twisted magnetic fields, and although the actual mechanism is not yet clearly understood, one does not have to be solar scientist to be awed by the sudden ejection of billions of tons of solar material, which is best seen through a dedicated solar telescope.

Wild Geese by a Lake

Bird Surveys & Their Importance in a Developing World

Did you know that there are more than 500 species of birds recorded in the UK only?

It’s clear that with current environmental issues, protecting the UK’s wild and breeding birds is a must.

These various breeds consist of resident birds (which breed both in summer and winter), migrants and birds that occur on passage.

From rural to urban areas, birds occur everywhere – and researching, advising and conducting all aspects of bird surveys before developing a project is of utmost importance of their protection.

Why Is Protecting Wild Birds Important?

The Wildlife and Countryside Act of 1981 dictates that all wild birds, their nests and young shall be protected throughout England and Wales.

Killing, injuring or taking any wild bird or damaging its nest or eggs is therefore illegal – and the legislation applies to all bird species, common and rare.

If any nests are found during the process of building or upon its completion, any works with the potential to damaging or destroying this nest, eggs or young birds must stop, until the birds complete breeding.

Birds may nest on machinery or scaffolding and other temporary site structures as well – and any disturbance of a breeding Schedule 1 bird is an offence, regardless of whether this impacts upon the breeding attempt.

If there are birds that nest on machinery or scaffolding and other types of equipment, that equipment cannot be used until the birds finish the nesting process.

Breaking the law leads to fines of up to £5000 per offense.

Great Spotted Woodpecker
Great Spotted Woodpecker. Image credit: Wikipedia

Bird Surveys and Mitigation: Solving This Problem

There are a lot of different bird species that show different preferences in regards to their nesting.

While some species are predominantly scrub or ground-nesting, others favour trees and there are several species such as swallows and swifts which have adapted to nesting in on or buildings and man-made structures.

The usual time for birds to build their nests and lay their eggs is between March and end of August – and the peak months for breeding are May and June.

However, there are exceptions to this rule – but generally, birds may be found breeding on a construction site during these periods.

This is how breeding bird surveys come to action.

They are conducted in suitable habitat with a methodology based on the BTO Breeding Bird Survey (also known as BBS).

This procedure starts with a site visit on a minimum of four occasions, where each visit commences at dawn in order to record the numbers and species of birds present.

Deciding If You Need A Bird Survey

Ideally, you should decide if you need to survey.

For instance, bird surveys should be done for developments that involve natural habitats such as woodland, scrub or moorland areas, agricultural buildings being changed, converted or demolished.

Also, areas that are connected to lines of trees which are connected to woodland or water and trees that are more than 100 years old are included in the most common bird populated areas.

The bird surveys include analysis on all types of birds.

This includes barn owls, breeding birds, wintering birds, red and amber list birds of conservation concern and other birds listed in the schedules and sections of the Wildlife and Countryside and Natural Environment and Rural Communities acts accordingly.

Modern Kitchen with Island.jpg

How a Newly Fitted Kitchen Can Transform Your Home

Have you ever wondered what is the single most important room in your home?

While most people say this is the bathroom or living room, it is in fact your kitchen!

After all, it is the place where all the supplies are kept and where your food is created.

It can also be the place where you have breakfast and dine with your family.

Therefore, transforming your kitchen with proper kitchen fittings is one of the worthwhile investments you’ll ever make.

Looking For Premium Kitchen Fittings?

When choosing your kitchen accessories and fittings, you should keep some important factors in mind.

While proper fittings make your kitchen appear modern and contemporary, they are need to be very efficient and highly durable.

Here are 3 crucial aspects of kitchens and fittings you can take advantage of:

1. Kitchen Taps

Yes, a kitchen tap may seem like an insignificant accessory, but think again!

It plays an important role in the final finish of your kitchen sink area, and gets regular use for cooking and cleaning.

For example, a non-functional or defective tap is something you cannot cook or work with.

That is why all the interior design contractors recommend only using the top rated kitchen taps that are durable, multi-functional and cost effective.

2. Kitchen Cabinets

Obviously, kitchen cabinets play the most important role in your kitchen.

They are there to build up all of the storage space of your kitchen and store as many things as you need.

Therefore, they must be spacious enough – yet compact enough for ease of use.

You should be able to clean all the cabinets and cupboards easily.

Wooden cabinets are by far one of the best kitchen fitting options, with the wood being of utmost quality and well varnished, as prevention from a wear and tear over time.

3. Cooking Stations

A cooking station is the most integral part of the kitchen. No matter how much time you are spending in cooking, you need to get done at a time – and top-notch cooking stations can help you in this manner.

Choosing double or tetra top stations and electrically heated induction tops will ensure you of a lot more efficient and safer cooking process.

Every kitchen needs these essentials – and apart from them, can be accessorized to your tastes and needs.

That way, you will be able to….

Transform Your Kitchen With Premium Fittings

Whether you want to replace only the cupboard doors in your kitchen or the entire fittings, giving a facelift to your kitchen is something that will improve your home dramatically.

Aside from increasing its value, it will also increase your home’s price tag and add a considerable amount of value to your home – especially if you look for the best products and use the best out of the space you have.

Getting a mixture of colours can be a dramatic experience for you if you don’t consult with an interior designer.

There is a lot more than just styles and colours when it comes to your kitchen.

For instance, every great kitchen needs the best space-saving essentials, the proper lighting and a blend of modern and sleek design.

When working with property refurbishment contractors in London, you will know how to get the most of these features in your new (or renovated) kitchen.

Another thing you should be aware of are your sockets, switches and outlets.

Many people are ‘hypnotized’ by the design of their kitchen and therefore overlook these important finishing details.

Make sure that your kitchen has plenty of room for enough sockets and power outlets so that you make the most of your cooking and enjoy an organized space.

Last but not least – is to make sure you choose the right contractor to fit your kitchen.

To do this, it is always handy to ask about their previous work they have done or see for references you can check.

After all, you certainly don’t want to go through all of the trouble of designing the perfect kitchen and fitting it badly.