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How to Build Your Own House

How to Build Your Own House: A Step-by-Step Guide

Homes come in all varieties to fit all needs. Due to the broad choice of existing housing stock, plus the high cost of building a new-construction home, most would-be homeowners buy existing houses. And this is not a bad choice at all. Most houses are durable enough to last for decades, can readily be remodeled, and they have the potential for increasing in value.

Yet building your own home (meaning to hire a general contractor to complete a new-construction home) has an undeniable allure. A new house can be designed exactly for your needs. It comes with few, if any, hidden problems. Hazardous materials such as lead-based paint and asbestos are non-existent. New advantages are built into the house, and old problems are left out. So, it’s no surprise that most people would choose to build their own home rather than buy an old home if all other factors were the same.

Best Custom Home Builders

Should You Act as Your Own Contractor?

When you decide to build your own home, it is generally best to do so through a licensed general contractor.

Many states do allow homeowners to act as a contractor for their own home. With this arrangement, you become what is frequently termed an owner-builder. In order to contract out for a large-scale project such as a house (rather than an outbuilding or small, lower-cost building), you need to apply for an owner-builder exemption and to sign the building permit application yourself.

Yet very few people are qualified to act as their own general contractor (GC). Building a house requires you to pull together many strings and make sure that they coordinate in a myriad of ways. Projects and subcontractors have to be scheduled in the correct order, interspersed with numerous municipal inspections. You’ll need to know the building code. Plus, it helps immensely to have a network of subcontractors who you rely on to perform trustworthy work.

The person that does all of that is a general contractor. No general contractor overseeing home construction comes cheap. Most general contractors charge between 10-percent to 20-percent of the overall cost of the home build, and this includes permits and materials. It’s a fee that most amateur home-builders find well worthwhile, especially if they have any tried-and-failed experience at general contracting.

 

Pros

  • Save enormous costs by reducing overall cost by 10 to 20 percent
  • More control of timing, especially if the build is a slow, open-ended project

Cons

  • Lose out on the GC’s network of subs
  • No personal experience with permitting office
  • Do not receive wholesale discounts
  • Little know-how of coordinating the steps

 

Save Money With Sweat Equity

If you are intent on pitching in and helping contractors as you build your own house, there is one way to do it: sweat equity in the form of smaller, individual projects.

Late-stage, post-contract projects can be done by the homeowner rather than by the contractor. These late-stage projects are better for do-it-yourself work because you do not risk slowing down the house building project:

  • Building patios and walkways
  • Planting trees, shrubs, and grass
  • Painting the house exterior
  • Painting the house interior
  • Installing window treatments
  • Installing carpeting
  • Finishing the basement

9 Quick Tips for Hiring and Working with Contractors

Prepare the Home Site

First, it’s time to get situated—literally and figuratively. Not only are you getting your project straight in your mind and on paper, but you are siting your intended home on its intended spot.

  • Clear the building site of brush and other debris, down to ground level and at least 25 feet around the planned house perimeter.
  • A land surveyor stakes out the lot, based on original plot drawings that indicate the property boundaries.
  • Make alterations to the site’s topography if necessary to alter the water flow across the site: This often requires a contractor with earth-moving equipment.
  • Order a dumpster to handle refuse during the building project.
  • Order one or more portable toilets for the workers.
  • Order temporary utilities from the power company.
  • Hire an electrician to hook up a temporary electrical panel, which is usually mounted on an existing utility pole.

Pour Concrete Footings and Foundation

The building site takes shape with the excavation and installation of foundations and slabs. This work is done by excavation contractors and foundation specialists—an entirely different group of contractors than the carpentry crews that will soon be on-site.

Footings and foundation comprise a large part of your entire house building cost. This means that large payment draws happen soon after the project begins.

Important to Know

Payments to the general contractor happen according to a draw schedule, which the client and contractor agree on in advance. The number and amount of payments vary by the size of the project. While payments do not always correspond to a subcontractors’ work, they often correspond when a major step is involved, such as the foundation, framing, or roofing.

 

  1. The contractor digs trenches that are deep enough for frost footings. Foundations need to rest below your area’s expected frost line to prevent frost-heave, which can damage your home.
  2. Inspectors arrive to check the dimensions of footing trenches.
  3. The contractor pours concrete for footings.
  4. Footing drains are constructed, and these are designed to drain water away from the footers and to protect them.
  5. The contractor builds vertical foundation walls resting on the footings, using either poured concrete or concrete cinder blocks. Other types of foundations are sometimes used, though they are rare.
  6. The foundation is waterproofed all the way up to the finished grade level. Holes are created in the foundation wall to allow for the routing of water supply and drain lines.

Install Plumbing and Electrical

If you are laying a slab-type foundation, you will bring in plumbers and electricians to rough-in ​some of the services prior to pouring that concrete slab:

  • Pipes are laid by plumbers, and these pipes are later covered up.
  • If electrical lines will run through the concrete slab via metal conduits, now is the time for these conduits to be run.

Pour the Concrete Slab

  1. For a house slab, the contractor will first install slab foam board insulation.
  2. A 4-inch minimum gravel base goes over the foam board, forming the base for the concrete.
  3. A plastic vapor barrier comes next.
  4. Wire mesh reinforcement is next laid down and positioned, so it is raised slightly above grade. This will allow the reinforcement to sit in the middle of the concrete layer, where it will offer the most strength reinforcement.
  5. The contractor now pours the concrete slab, likely from ready-mix trucks that deliver a large quantity of concrete.
  6. If you are building a garage or basement, this is also the time to pour concrete in those places. It is expensive to bring the concrete contractor back for another pour, so it is beneficial to do all of your concrete work at once.

Frame, Side, and Roof the House

With the excavation, foundation, and concrete work done, soon you will start to recognize your project as a house. The framing carpenters will arrive to put up the lumber framework for the floors, walls, and ceilings, and then move to the sheathing, siding, and roofing installation. This work can happen with remarkable swiftness. In the space of a week or two, you may suddenly recognize this structure as being a house, complete with walls and a roof.

  1. Work up a framing order of needed lumber, nails, builder’s felt or house wrap, and adhesives, based on your building plans.
  2. When good weather arrives, the carpenter crew arrives to frame the house walls, including the floor, ceiling, and roof skeleton: Framing is the basic shell of the house, minus siding and roof surface. The rough openings for windows, doors, and skylights will be framed at this time. The basic sheathing of the wall and roof surfaces concludes this stage.
  3. Install the windows, doors, and skylights: Usually, this will be done by the same carpentry crew that did the framing, though sometimes a manufacturer’s crew will come in to do this work. It is also a job some homeowners can tackle. At this point, when the building is sheathed, and doors and windows are installed, the subcontractors doing the electrical and plumbing work may now arrive to begin the rough-in portion of their job.
  4. The finished siding surface is now installed over the sheathing after the house sheathing is first wrapped with some form of weather guard membrane: Again, this work is often done by the same contractor who did the framing and sheathing.
  5. Finally, the roofers come in to complete the application of roof flashings and the shingles or other finished roof surfaces: The basic shell of the house is now completed.

Install Electrical, Plumbing, and Insulation

Now the interior work on your house begins with the arrival of masons, electricians, plumbers, and HVAC specialists.

  1. Masons build the chimney if your home is designed to have one. This generally involves the application of brick or stone veneer over a base of concrete block that was laid by the foundation contractor.
  2. Electricians and plumbers do the rough-in work for electrical circuits, plumbing pipes, and HVAC system ductwork. This work is easier without the wall, flooring, and ceiling surfaces in place. After completion, these contractors will return after the walls and ceilings are in place, to complete the final connections of various fixtures.
  3. Inspections are made of rough-ins. Arranging for permits and inspections are handled by the contractor. If you are tackling this work yourself, the responsibility for inspections falls on you.
  4. Install the insulation in the walls and attic. This is sometimes done by the carpentry crew but usually by a specialty insulation contractor.

 

Hang Drywall and Install Trim

The interior will begin to look finished as wall and ceiling surfaces are installed.

  1. Drywall is hung throughout the house: All of the wall and ceiling surfaces are usually hung before any further work continues.
  2. The drywall seams are taped, mudded with joint compound, and finish sanded.
  3. All interior walls and ceilings are primed: This is often done with spraying equipment and happens very quickly, as there is no need to worry about trim moldings and floor surfaces.
  4. All trim moldings are installed, including door and window casings and crown moldings.
  5. All cabinetry is hung in bathrooms, kitchens, and other areas.

Paint the Walls and Perform Finish Work

After the messy work of installing the drywall and priming the walls is done, it is time to bring in the painter.

  1. Walls are painted and ceilings are either painted or finished with texture. These are jobs that homeowners can tackle themselves to save money. But for homeowners accustomed only to painting a room or two, keep in mind that painting an entire house is an enormous task.
  2. The kitchen and bathroom countertops are installed. This job is done by countertop specialists who both fabricate and install the countertops.
  3. The kitchen and bathroom cabinets are installed. Specialty companies supply and install kitchen and bath cabinets.
  4. Installation and hook-up of finished electrical and plumbing fixtures are done: Due to the fact that there are code issues involved here, only the most skilled do-it-yourselfers should tackle this.

Install the Flooring

Lay down the finish flooring (or floor covering) surfaces throughout the house. Floor covering options include carpeting, hardwood, laminate flooring, ceramic tile, luxury vinyl plank, and engineered wood flooring. This is usually a job for yet another subcontractor, though homeowners can tackle the installation of some sections of the flooring.

Clean up the worksite by putting all acceptable debris into the dumpster. The contractor will hire a company that specializes in cleaning up after construction work.

Final Home-Building Matters

Complete exterior landscaping. To save money, this can be a do-it-yourself project. Or you can hire a landscaping company to design and install the landscape for you.

  1. Remove the dumpster: Call the disposal company to pick up the dumpster and specify that you do not need a replacement.
  2. Arrange for final inspections by the permitting agencies.
  3. Schedule a final walk-through if you are using a general contractor.
  4. Arrange a final inspection by your lender, if you financed the building of your house with a construction loan.
FAQ

What are the advantages of building a new home?

Simply put, everything about it is brand new! A new home will have the most up-to-date technology and energy efficiency, plus you can design it the way you want it, from the layout, picking the colors, flooring, and more.

What are the disadvantages of building a new home?

Building takes time, so you won’t be able to move in right away, and it could potentially take longer to build than projected. There might be some unexpected additional costs that crop up also.

How can you save money when building your home?

If you’re handy around the house, you can save money by taking on some of the smaller projects yourself. Once the house is built, step in and do the landscaping, and build the patios and walkways. You can also paint the inside and outside of the house, and lay the flooring.

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Pet

Pets, Pets Everywhere: The World’s Most Popular Pets

A dog and cat with all sorts of exotic animals around itChoosing a family pet is an important life decision, one that will affect not only the quality of your daily life, but the health and welfare of the pet you’re considering to bring into your home. There are so many factors to consider when deciding which type of pet is right for you; space, cost, activity level, and time commitment, to name a few.

By taking a look at some of the most popular pets in the U.S. and world at large, we might get a better idea of which types of animals people enjoy living with, and why.

 

Pet Ownership Around the World

Pets are a big part of life in many parts of the world, and a growing economy often means a growing pet population. Dogs and cats are the most popular pets in North America and abroad:

  • Asia – Although some Asian countries are densely populated, there aren’t as many households with pets as in other parts of the world. China ranks as one of lowest pet populations (11 million cats and 26.8 million dogs), while Japan has more pets per capita (9.8 million cats and 13.1 million dogs).
  • Africa – Many African countries haven’t been properly surveyed, so it’s difficult to tell just how many Africans own pets. Ethiopia has an estimated dog population of 5 million, and just 250,000 cats. South Africans also prefer pet dogs (7.4 million) over cats (2 million).
  • Aust ralia – Due to heavy restrictions and regulations regarding pets, Australia’s pet ownership is lower than in other places (only 3.5 million dogs and 2.4 million cats).
  • Europe – The World Society for the Protection of Animals (WSPA) performed the largest pet ownership survey so far in Europe (2008), and it found that there are an estimated 6.7 million pet dogs and 9.8 million pet cats.
  • South America – Argentina has the highest pet ownership rates in South America: a whopping 80% of the residents polled reported in as pet owners. Brazil comes in at a close second with 75%.

Most Popular Pets in the U.S.

Studies show that the U.S. ranks fifth in the world for pet ownership. In a recent survey performed by the American Pet Products Association, pet ownership in the United States is at an all-time high, with dogs and cats reigning as the most popular pets.

According to the 2007 National Pet Owners Survey, pet preferences in America are as follows:

  • 142 million freshwater fish
  • 3 million cats
  • 8 million dogs
  • 3 million small animals
  • 16 million birds
  • 8 million horses
  • 4 million reptiles
  • 6 million saltwater fish

And the Worldwide Winner Goes To…

Our tried and true best friend, the dog! Pet dogs don’t beat out cats, fish, or birds in sheer numbers, but more households have at least one dog in them than any other pet, making dogs the most popular pet in the world. Recent surveys show cats are a close second, followed by fish (12%), birds (6%), and other pet types (6%).

All pets, regardless of species, need to visit the veterinarian for a wellness checkup at least once per year. This important visit ensures that they are staying healthy, receiving necessary vaccines and parasite preventives, and gives pet owners the opportunity to discuss their pet’s ongoing needs and other concerns.

Please don’t hesitate to contact us at Lone Tree Veterinary Medical Center for your pet’s next check-up or other care services. We look forward to seeing you!

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Law

International Human Rights Law

The international human rights movement was strengthened when the United Nations General Assembly adopted of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR) on 10 December 1948. Drafted as ‘a common standard of achievement for all peoples and nations’, the Declaration for the first time in human history spell out basic civil, political, economic, social and cultural rights that all human beings should enjoy. It has over time been widely accepted as the fundamental norms of human rights that everyone should respect and protect. The UDHR, together with the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights and its two Optional Protocols, and the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights, form the so – called International Bill of Human Rights.

 

A series of international human rights treaties and other instruments adopted since 1945 have conferred legal form on inherent human rights and developed the body of international human rights. Other instruments have been adopted at the regional level reflecting the particular human rights concerns of the region and providing for specific mechanisms of protection. Most States have also adopted constitutions and other laws which formally protect basic human rights. While international treaties and customary law form the backbone of international human rights law other instruments, such as declarations, guidelines and principles adopted at the international level contribute to its understanding, implementation and development. Respect for human rights requires the establishment of the rule of law at the national and international levels.

 

International human rights law lays down obligations which States are bound to respect. By becoming parties to international treaties, States assume obligations and duties under international law to respect, to protect and to fulfil human rights. The obligation to respect means that States must refrain from interfering with or curtailing the enjoyment of human rights. The obligation to protect requires States to protect individuals and groups against human rights abuses. The obligation to fulfil means that States must take positive action to facilitate the enjoyment of basic human rights.

 

Through ratification of international human rights treaties, Governments undertake to put into place domestic measures and legislation compatible with their treaty obligations and duties. Where domestic legal proceedings fail to address human rights abuses, mechanisms and procedures for individual complaints or communications are available at the regional and international levels to help ensure that international human rights standards are indeed respected, implemented, and enforced at the local level.

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Health

COMPLETING YOUR FIRST MURPH

COMPLETING YOUR FIRST MURPH: HOW TO SAFELY ACHIEVE AN IMPRESSIVE MURPH TIME

 

When your workout has a “why” behind it, it can be all the motivation that you need to push yourself to complete it. In CrossFit, the notoriously intense Murph workout has a “why” behind it that has encouraged tens of thousands of people to push themselves to the limit each Memorial Day.

This workout honoring fallen Navy hero Lt. Michael Murphy will challenge your physical and mental strength and endurance like it’s never been tested before. To successfully complete your first Murph, use these tips to help you prepare.

If you are in the military and want a discount on select NASM products, check out the military discount page for trainers.

WHAT IS A MURPH WORKOUT?

The Murph workout is known as a Hero WOD (workout of the day) in the CrossFit community. This workout honors the life of Lieutenant Michael Murphy- a Navy SEAL who was killed in Afghanistan in 2005 while on active duty. The workout was created to honor not only his life, but also all of those who have lost their lives in active service. It is now considered the Memorial Day workout of the day- performed within and even outside of the CrossFit community.

Here’s the Murph workout:

  • 1 Mile run
  • 100 Pull-ups
  • 200 Push-ups
  • 300 Squats
  • 1 Mile run
  • Performed wearing a weighted vest: 14 pounds for women, 20 pounds for men.

The run is completed first in its entirety, and then you have the option to partition, or break up, the reps of the pull-ups, push-ups, and squats, or you can complete each section before moving on to the next, finishing with the 1-mile run. No matter how you break it down, it’s a tough workout!

HOW TO TRAIN EFFECTIVELY FOR A MURPH?

Now that you know what the Murph entails, the first thing that you want to do is to make sure you can do each of the movements well. The OPT Model is set up to help anyone, beginner or advanced, work toward this physical challenge while also minimizing the risk of injury. Plus, a certified trainer can conduct a series of assessments to help you customize your training by helping you correct any faulty movement patterns.

Recommended Phases of Training to Prepare for Your First Murph:

Phase 1: Stabilization Endurance

  • Goal: Develop proper movement patterns and improve mobility and stability of the entire kinetic chain.
  • Acute Variables: 15-20 reps, 1-3 sets, slow tempo.
  • Length of time in Phase: 4-6 weeks.

Phase 1 Exercise Variations:

PULL-UPS

See how to do a pull-up: https://www.nasm.org/exercise-library/pull-up

You can modify this move by:

  • Adding a resistance band.
  • Jumping up to bar height using a box, and then slowly lowering down (doing negatives).
  • Starting with a Suspension trainer row.

PUSH-UPS

See how to do a push-up: https://www.nasm.org/exercise-library/push-up

You can modify this move by:

  • Using an elevated surface to place your hands, like a countertop, bench, or racked barbell at the height that allows you to perform the move with good form and proper tempo.

SQUATS

See how to do a squat: https://www.nasm.org/exercise-library/prisoner-squat

*This video is a prisoner squat with the arms behind the head. For a regular squat, let the arms hang down to your sides, or keep them bent in an athletic position.

You can modify this move by:

  • Performing a ball wall squat (with a ball behind your back, against a wall).
  • Holding onto a suspension trainer, facing the anchor.

 

Phase 2: Strength Endurance

  • Goal: Increased stabilization endurance, hypertrophy, and strength.
  • Acute Variables: 8-12 reps, 2-4 sets, medium tempo for strength exercise, slow tempo for stabilization exercise.
  • Length of time in Phase: 4-6 weeks.

Phase 2 Strength Exercises:

*Use supersets in this workout by pairing one of the strength exercises below followed immediately with one of the stability exercises from phase 1 for the same movement.

PULL-UPS

  • Lat pulldown on a machine
  • Seated rows. This one is best paired with a suspension trainer row to help you build back strength as you work toward doing your first pull-up.

PUSH-UPS

  • Barbell chest press
  • Dumbbell chest press
  • If you can perform regular push-ups with good form, you can try adding a light weighted vest, adding weight over time as your form allows.

SQUATS

  • Goblet squat
  • Bulgarian split squat

Next Steps:

Once you’ve gone through Phases 1 & 2 once, cycle back through again and try a more challenging variation or add weight as needed to increase the challenge.

Running: Once you’ve gone through these two phases once, you can begin to incorporate some running. Why wait? Running is considered a power move that requires skill. Developing good movement mechanics first is essential to being able to run pain-free and without compensations that may put you at risk for injury. Start slowly with shorter running intervals (ex: jog 30 seconds, walk 1:30-2 minutes) and build from there. You can find running apps that will progress you appropriately.

START WITH A WEIGHTED VEST OR GO SMALLER?

It’s best to begin using just bodyweight, and to work on perfecting your form and building endurance before adding any additional weight. The CrossFit pros recommend waiting until you can perform 15-20 unbroken strict pull-ups before adding a weighted vest.

 

BENEFITS OF CIRCUITS IN THE CONTEXT OF THE MURPH CHALLENGE

Performing the Murph challenge in the partitioned format is similar to performing a circuit workout, where you perform one exercise after the other back-to-back with little to no rest and repeating for multiple rounds. There are several benefits to training circuit-style:

  • Built-in rest time. Each exercise focuses on a different muscle group, so when you move on to a different exercise you are allowing the previous muscle group to rest before you get back to it. I’m not saying this workout feels restful by any means, but your muscles do technically get a small break compared with the unpartitioned format.
  • Higher heart rate = higher calorie burn. In general, a circuit workout burns more calories in less time than a workout where you work and then rest before completing the next round of the same exercise.
  • Condensed overall work time. Because of the above two benefits, your overall workout time is shorter than following an unpartitioned format.

WHAT IS A ‘GOOD’ MURPH TIME?

What’s considered a good time is relative to the exerciser. If you’re a beginner, less than 60 minutes is considered a good finish time. For exercisers who are advanced, you’ll want to complete it in less than 45 minutes, and for elite athletes, less than 35 minutes. Following an unpartitioned format will take the longest. The current verified world record for an unpartitioned and weighted Murph is 32 minutes and 41 seconds, completed by Alec Blenis in June of 2021.

Putting it all together:

When you are ready to put it all together, you have options for how you can attack the workout. You will always perform the one mile run first and last, but the pull-ups, push-ups, and squats can be performed either partitioned (split up circuit-style) or unpartitioned (completing all reps for one category before moving on to the next). One of the most popular ways to partition the reps is to perform 20 rounds of the ‘Cindy’ WOD – 5 pull-ups, 10 push-ups, 15 squats.

However, you split it up, don’t forget to keep track of your rounds so you don’t lose count of your reps! If you decide to do more consecutive reps at a time, make sure you select several reps that you can perform easily, without fatiguing the muscles.

After a few months of consistent and intentional training, you’ll be more than ready to honor our fallen heroes as you complete your first Murph.

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Lifestyle

Paper Gift Box Ideas

Paper Gift Box Ideas: 5 Quick & Easy Ways To Present Creatively

 

Paper gift boxes are the way to my heart. They really are. Great gift choices don’t happen to everyone and I forgive most of my friends-judging them only on the quality of wrapping, paper gift boxes have swept me off my feet- despite their tiny capacity for delicate and fragile things, they hold the feelings of love and care. They bear within themselves the extra thought someone made for you- a beautiful presentation. Wouldn’t it be great if these boxes became a part of your life and celebrations?Without wasting any more time, here is a post, folks, about ten beautiful paper gift boxes specially designed to get your aesthetics tingling. Fresh ideas from all around the web, in one place!

Paper Gift Box Idea #1: Personalize them

Personalized gift boxes and sometimes DIY gift boxes, say a few more words than the casual and rather common wrapping paper.

Paper Gift Box Idea #2: For bulk purchases

The absolutely best place to buy gift boxes is online nowadays- they allow you to venture into options ranging from buying custom gift boxes or making a bulk purchase. However, DIY ideas are aplenty on the internet and one will only have to scour diligently to find ways to twist and turn pieces of paper into gift box. ( Pssst…But it’s always great to have what you need, in one place, right?)

Paper Gift Box Idea #3: Brighten the room

It is imperative to remember, you don’t have to give away your beautiful gift boxes to other people. Sometimes, you can make them for yourself and store cookies, notes, pens, ribbons and any other paraphernalia close to your heart. They can brighten up your tables, shelves and can be strung up from walls as pretty installations.

Paper Gift Box Idea #4: Go Origami

Most paper gift boxes can be made of origami sheets, which are readily available in the market. However, in terms of purchase, one often expects a higher quality of the paper. Commercially available gift bags are usually made of textured paper with a higher GSM value.

Paper Gift Box Idea #5: Simplicity all the way

Another valuable tip is to purchase simple gift boxes online and later decorate them with accessories of your own choice- sequins, pearls, bows, and ribbons. They enhance the experience of gift-unfolding by adding a few more steps to it.Lifestyle

Believe me, everyone judges a gift by its cover. I’m sure these ideas have charged you up enough to start making your own paper gift box. The steps are simple, and an only a few cuts and folds will turn a dull sheet of paper into a usable paper gift box. However, if you’re busy with a hectic schedule and would rather like to purchase gift bags, for the entire year, for all the festivities to come, then there are a variety of options for buying paper gift bags online in India. In terms of the market of gift bags, India is fresh in the business and a young competition is blooming fast. Believe me, season or not, it is always a good time to create your gift bags stash because festivities and celebrations are always round the corner and you can never have enough of Gift bags!

Categories
Health

Physical Therapy

What Is Physical Therapy?

Doctors often recommend physical therapy for people who have been injured or who have movement problems from an illness, disease, or disability.

After an injury, physical therapists work to decrease pain, improve movement, and help people return to daily activities. They teach them exercises designed to help them regain strength and range of motion, and also show them how to prevent future injuries.

A person might need physical therapy any time a problem with movement limits their daily activities.

It also can help someone manage pain, whether that pain is caused by bad posture, an injury, or a disease like arthritis. When done properly and consistently, physical therapy can help prevent permanent damage and recurring problems.

What Happens in Physical Therapy?

Most physical therapy uses a combination of techniques to relieve pain and boost coordination, strength, endurance, flexibility, and range of motion. Physical therapists (PTs) often ask patients to use exercise equipment like bikes and treadmills.

A PT also may treat the affected area with heat or cold, electrical stimulation, ultrasound, massage, and even aquatic therapy (exercise in a swimming pool). In many cases, PTs will do soft tissue massage on injured areas and oversee the patient during stretching routines.

Physical therapists usually give their patients exercises to do at home. These at-home exercises work with the treatments and exercises done in the PT’s office to help a person heal better, faster, and safely.

How Can I Find a Physical Therapist?

Like doctors, some physical therapists can specialize in different areas: A particular therapist might work mostly with sports injuries, for example. Others may be experts in head injuries or in caring for wound and muscle damage in people with burns or skin injuries.

Your doctor can recommend a PT for you or contact your medical insurance provider. You also can search online at:

  • The American Physical Therapy Association

The First Visit

Many states require a referral from your doctor before you can be evaluated and treated by a PT. If you’re under the age of 18 and going to a hospital or clinic, it’s a good idea to take a parent or guardian with you the first time. Not only will you have support and someone to talk to about the experience, but you’ll also have someone to help with your exercises at home.

Most likely you’ll see a PT in a clinic or office. But some PTs work in schools, helping students with injuries, disabilities, or chronic (long-lasting) conditions. When you go to your physical therapy appointments, try to wear loose-fitting clothing and sneakers so your PT can accurately measure your strength and range of motion. If you have a knee problem, it’s helpful to wear shorts to your therapy visit.

At your first visit, the PT will evaluate your needs and may ask how you’re feeling, if you have any pain, and where that pain falls on a scale of 0 to 10. It’s important to be honest with your PT, so they can treat your condition properly.

Using the results of the exam and your doctor’s recommendations, the PT will design a treatment plan. Many times, they will start treatment during the first visit, including giving you exercises to do at home.

The PT will probably ask you to go through these at-home exercises while you’re there to make sure you know how to do them on your own. The PT likely will write down the exercises for you as a reminder of what to do and in which order (if any). Follow the plan exactly — most of the benefit of PT comes from the routines you do at home.

Ask for another explanation if you don’t completely understand an exercise to do at home. It’s easy to feel confused or overwhelmed with information during a first treatment session — lots of people (adults included) feel this way.

Talk with the PT about how the exercises should feel when you do them — for example, if you’re supposed to feel any pain or unusual sensations, and whether you need to stop if you do.

Some people like to keep track of their progress during PT by taking notes on how often they do the exercises, how they feel, and how sensations change. Doing this can help you and your PT monitor your treatment.

Ongoing Visits

Physical therapy sessions typically last 30–60 minutes. You might go once a week or many times, depending on why you’re getting therapy. As you make progress, you might go for shorter visits less often. You’ll learn new ways to continue your healing.

In big offices, you may meet with different PTs during the course of your treatment. Don’t worry if you see a new face, but make sure each PT working with you knows your condition and be comfortable asking questions of each therapist. Remember: If you don’t like the treatment, or something feels wrong, speak up.

Although the long-term goal is pain relief and recovery, physical therapy itself won’t always feel good. Depending on your injury, you may feel uncomfortable or not used to moving the area. It’s important to stick to the routine — and to breathe, be kind to yourself, and ask your PT for other hints on getting through. It’s also important not to put yourself through too much or to overdo it.

If you feel pain, talk to your PT about it. “No pain, no gain” is no way to approach physical therapy. Pain is a warning signal, and by pushing yourself through too much pain, you can do more damage.

What Else Should I Know?

Following a few simple steps can help you make your physical therapy a success:

  • Stick to the plan. It’s important to follow the PT’s instructions. Do your exercises at home in the number, order, and frequency noted. Don’t skip any, and don’t do extra exercises — following the directions will help you heal faster and get moving again. But if a specific exercise is making you feel worse, put it on hold and talk with your physical therapist.
  • Know your body. It helps to know what’s going on and why. Ask questions and pay attention when the PT explains the injury and the treatment. You’ll probably be amazed by the way your body heals itself. And you’ll want to know how the affected area functions so you can spot problems or avoid further injury in the future.
  • Talk to your PT if you have problems. If things hurt, if you have questions, or if you’re not making progress the way you thought you would: ask. The PT is there to help you.
  • Celebrate your successes. When you follow the plan, you should start to see a difference in a few weeks or months. Bouncing back from more serious surgeries may take many months or a year, but there will be milestones along the way. Take a moment to appreciate the difference from where you started! Sometimes, recovery can feel frustrating and slow. But it helps to stop and enjoy the successes, no matter how small they may seem.
Categories
Pet

How to Find the Ideal Location for Your Veterinary Clinic/Hospital

As the old saying goes, what are the three things that matter most in real estate? Location, location, and location. Starting any business is an exciting time. When you’re getting into the finer points of planning your veterinary clinic, choosing the location is one of the most important decisions you’ll make.

With your veterinary clinic, there are a few reasons that location is important. You need to make sure that the space you have is appropriate for the type of clinic or specialty you’re offering. You also need to research the competition in the area and the market size. We discussed location briefly in our first post on what to consider when purchasing a veterinary clinic. Here, we’ll take an in-depth look at choosing the location of your clinic. There are several important considerations when choosing the best place for your clinic, which we’ll cover below. For more information on other aspects of starting your veterinary clinic, see our veterinary industry page.

Your Veterinary Specialty

The first thing you want to consider is the type of veterinary clinic you want to operate. A clinic that specializes in domestic pets, like dogs and cats, might have an excellent market in a city neighborhood. A veterinary practice that specializes in large animals, like horses or cattle, might not do as well in an urban environment. The type of specialty you work with and the services you offer should inform the space you ultimately choose.

You might want to look in an area where you’d like to live. If you’ll be available for emergency visits, you may need to live somewhat close to your clinic. Some veterinarians choose a location in their hometown because they already have a base of customers and colleagues in the area. You might also want to move to a new location. Your personal goals and aspirations should be a factor in the decision-making. You should also consider how long you’d like to run your practice.

You should look at the structure and zoning of the actual space to make sure it can be renovated to fit your needs. Are you offering boarding or overnight care for animals? Do you offer grooming?

Start with your own business plan. Decide on your market positioning. What type of veterinarian clinic do you want to run? What makes you the best clinic for your clients to choose from?

Here are some of the primary considerations when choosing a location:

  • The Physical Location
  • The Population in the Immediate Vicinity
  • The Demographics
  • Competition

The Physical Location of Your Veterinary Clinic

The physical location is important. It’s the first impression for your clients. It also needs to be fully equipped for you to offer the services you envision.

You need to look at the building and decide whether leasing or buying would be the best option for your practice. You also need to consider parking options, convenience for customers, and the physical space inside. Most veterinary clinics lease for extended periods of time. With that in mind, don’t only think about your business goals for this year. Think about whether the space fits your goals for the future. If you plan to add services or grow to include more providers, you need to make sure the space will still be adequate for your projected growth.

Customers also need the location to be accessible. You want to make sure that parking is available. Some animals are not socialized or comfortable near other animals, so you want to make sure the space is adequate to separate animals that get skittish or aggressive. You need to accommodate for waiting room seating and private rooms for exams. If your practice offers surgical procedures, boarding, and other services, space and equipment will need to be considered when choosing your location.

The way your clinic is designed is an important aspect of customer care. Creating an organized workflow for your staff will mean better customer service and greater satisfaction. If the space is smaller, you might consider whether you can add to the space as your practice grows.

The actual neighborhood and outside location will matter to your clients, too. This might include neighboring shops and the type of town or city. If you’re located in a shopping mall or area where there are other businesses, make sure to check the lease to verify the other types of businesses in the area. You don’t want another veterinary practice to open up in the same plaza.

Visibility is a concern, as well. Customers need to be able to find your practice. Make sure the space is easily visible from the street and that you add clear signage to help new customers find you.

The Population in the Immediate Vicinity

Most pet owners choose a veterinarian within a few miles from their home. This might not be exceptionally important if you’re a specialist. But, for the most part, you’ll want to pay close attention to the population in the surrounding area.

The size of the population in the area will give you a good idea of the possible client base you can attract. For most businesses, it’s more beneficial to set up in the higher population areas. But this is going to depend on your competition and the type of specialty you offer. For instance, veterinary practices that specialize in large animals often travel to farms, so their location is less important.

When you consider the location, make sure that your client base will find it easy to do business with your clinic. This might mean choosing a location that’s walkable or where there are no similar veterinary clinics in the vicinity.

The Demographics

The demographics in your area are also a factor. You want to consider the household sizes in the area and their income. If you can get information on the number of pet owners in the area, that can be a good indication of your ability to thrive as well. Generally, families tend to be more likely to own pets and higher-income families tend to have more disposable income to spend on their pets.

Do some market research on the area. For instance, you might research the number of dog parks, pet daycares, and other pet services in the area. If there are a number of services catering to pet owners, it’s a good indication that you have a market base in the area. But that also leads us to the next consideration — your competition.

The Competition

You need to know how many other veterinary clinics and services are in the same general area. There may be several, but this information will help you decide what makes your practice different and whether you can compete in the market. In some areas, the market is already saturated with providers and there isn’t a lot of room to grow. You need to know that in advance.

In most cases, you can tailor your services to meet an existing need in the location. For instance, there may be big box stores that also offer vaccines and grooming but not full veterinary care. If your clinic offers fully licensed veterinary care, you address a market that the big box stores likely won’t be able to meet.

You should also consider the types of services that aren’t currently available in the area. Filling a need that isn’t currently being met means that you’re positioning yourself in the market where there is no direct competition. When you consider what makes you different, it might be something simple. You might offer great prices or excellent customer service. You might also offer something extra, like house calls for sick animals or extra care for families when they have to put down their pet.

Solid research on the competition in the area will help you understand what the needs are for pet owners in the area. It also gives you advanced information on how to successfully position your clinic.

Do You Need Legal Services?

If you’re in the process of researching or starting your veterinary clinic, Dental & Medical Counsel can help. You’ll need to consider the best type of business structure for your clinic, whether to buy or lease property, intricacies about associate agreements, and other legal aspects of successfully running your clinic.

We specialize in helping veterinary practices understand and adhere to the legal requirements involved in their business. Whether you’re considering the right business structure, drafting associate agreements, considering leasing or purchasing property, or thinking about the future of selling your clinic, Dental & Medical Counsel is your go-to expert.

Contact us today to schedule a complimentary consultation with attorney Ali Oromchian.

Categories
General

What are the purposes of advertisements?

What are the Purposes of Advertisements?

For a given market target, there are six purposes which an advertisement seeks to attain. It is possible to achieve more than one type of objective with one single campaign; but that is both difficult and costly.

Whenever a company seeks to achieve more than one purpose through advertisements, it must make sure that the various purposes are in conformity with its overall marketing strategy. When a company seeks to increase the recognition of a brand name or product as part of its branding policy in marketing, advertisements are the way to go.

Basic purposes of advertisements:

  • Awareness;
  • Reminder to use;
  • Changing belief about the brand;
  • To assist salesmen in marketing products;
  • Generating direct sales;
  • Building the company’s image.

Advertisements create awareness:

One of the most widely accepted purpose of advertisements is to increase the recognition of a brand name or product, or to communicate information about the availability of the product to the public. This is an important objective from many point of view.

First, when a new product enters the market, it does not easily gain the favor of the buyers unless they are well informed about it. That is, an awareness about the product must exist before a favorable attitude toward the brand can be developed. An awareness about the brand is all the more important when several brands compete with each other.

Reminding buyers to use the product:

For discretionary items having an irregular or unusual pattern, an appropriate advertising policy must aim at stimulating the primary demand. To attain this objective, the buyers must be reminded not only to use the product but also to restock it.

Advertising to change belief about brand:

If an attribute is already considered important, buyer will examine the relative strength of different brands with respect to that attribute. Accordingly, the purposes of advertisements are to improve the buyer’s rating with regard to the product advertised vis-a-vis the other competing brands. When the attribute of a product is not peculiar, advertisements are floated to establish the superiority of product over other competing brands.

General purpose of an advertisement is to market a product:

The manufacturer extensively use advertisement for this purpose. Through advertisement, they try to familiarize the customers with their products and tend to promote a favorable attitude toward them before buyers are approached by salesman. That is why, when a salesman approaches a customer, it is relatively easy for him to sell the product.

For example, companies producing machine tools advertise their goods in those trade magazines which are read by their customers. Such advertisements may induce potential customers to purchase the product. At any rate, they create a favorable attitude toward the product so that the salesman may find it easy to canvass support for it.

Some companies assist retailers in arranging window displays and store decorations. This serves a dual purpose: it creates consumer interest and facilitates a favorable reception of the product by the retailer.

Advertisement as a tool to promote direct sales:

In some cases, advertising is used for the purpose of persuading the customer to place an order for the product. Mail order houses through leaflets and catalogs, advertise their products in such a manner that customers are convinced of their value and are tempted to write to the institution to get the product without going to a shopping mall or without going into further details about the product.

Products like books, ready-to-wear garments, slimming machines, toys and sports goods can be profitably sold by direct mail advertisements. Through such advertisements, the company lays stress on price appeal, and uses such slogans as “direct from factory to you.”

Advertisements builds Company’s Image:

The general purpose of advertisements is to build a company’s image. Practically all companies try to build their image through advertisements. Some consider it as the primary objective of advertisement.

For example, Godrej, Lakme, Vimal, VIP have built up an image through advertisement. It is largely assumed that if the company has some image or reputation in the market, it will be easy to sell its product. For example, Vimal’s clothing is very costly; yet it has good sales because of its image.

Selection of Advertising Media:

Advertising is a vehicle through which advertisers communicate their messages to customers to induce them to buy the products or services advertised by them. The following principal advertising media helps to achieve the key purposes of advertisements:

  • Press Media;
  • Direct mail media;
  • Outdoor media;
  • Social media;
  • Other media;

Though a wide variety of advertising media are available to achieve the above purposes of advertisements, yet selection and use of an appropriate medium of advertisement pose a variety of problems, which cannot be altogether solved by the management media specialist or even by an advertising agency.

Categories
General

Our Environmental Science Program

We prepare our students to develop critical thinking skills that allow them to contribute solutions to the current environmental, social, and economic challenges facing humanity in the twenty-first century.

Algoma U’s four-year Honours Bachelor of Science in Environmental Science program is an interdisciplinary program that integrates core courses in the disciplines of biology, chemistry, and geography. By integrating multiple disciplines, we are able to address some of the most profound and complex concerns faced by modern society.

The program examines the increased impacts of global climate change, the spread and threats of invasive species, the continued loss of biodiversity and degradation of agricultural soil quality and availability, and other environmental challenges. The Environmental Science Course Map (PDF) outlines the program requirements for the Honours Bachelor of Science (B.Sc. HON) in Environmental Science.

Being located in Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario, students will have ample opportunity to work in the various natural ecosystems which encircle the city. Sault Ste. Marie is at a crossroads between nature and industry, providing endless opportunities for students to examine first-hand the relationship between people and the environment. Within the city limits are large tracts of forests and fields, fast moving rivers, swamps, bogs, and St. Mary’s River. Not many cities can boast that kind of habitat diversity, or the biological diversity associated with it, making Algoma U and Sault Ste. Marie the ideal location to study Environmental Science.

Graduates of the program have the knowledge and skills needed to fill the current shortage of skilled workers in the environmental sector, including: researcher, research assistant, environmental consultant, environmental education, project manager, environmental sales, environmental risk management, coordinator for environmental initiatives, environmental technician, environmental communications, climatologist, biochemist, oceanographer, seismologist, biologist, ecologist, meteorologist, entomologist and many more.

This institution has been granted a consent by the Minister of Advanced Education and Skills Development to offer this program for a 7-year term starting 01/12/2017. Prospective students are responsible for satisfying themselves that the program and the degree will be appropriate to their needs (e.g., acceptable to potential employers, professional licensing bodies or other educational institutions). Renewal of Ministerial consent is a cyclical process. Algoma University will apply for renewal of consent in accordance with the guidelines of the Ministry of Advanced Education and Skills Development.

 

Categories
General

Types of Keywords With Examples

If you know anything about software-as-a-service search engine optimization (SAAS SEO), you know that one of the steps you need to take is including keywords in your content. SaaS marketing hinges on having strong content, and strong content hinges on having the right material. If you still believe in keyword stuffing like digital marketers from the olden days did, forget all that. Here at DemandJump, we recommend:

  • 20 keywords for pillars
  • 15 keywords for sub-pillars
  • 7-8 keywords for supporting blogs

You don’t need dozens of keywords to optimize your content. In fact, many search engines will penalize you for keyword stuffing because it makes your content repetitive and unreadable.

There are several types of keywords that you can include in your content. A combination of all of these will bring you the best results. In this blog, we will give you explanations and examples of each type. But first, you should know exactly where those keywords come from and what those little babies do for your content.

What Is a Keyword in SEO?

A keyword in SEO is a word or phrase that you include in your writing to help your target audience find your content when they conduct an online search. These keywords are what your audience types into search engines. You can often find examples of these when you search for a certain term (which in itself could be considered a keyword). Once results come up, you’ll see related searches or questions in your results that you might be interested in.

When writing content, you can type in a broad word or phrase related to your topic and use those related searches or questions as keywords to include in your piece. However, the problem with this method is that it’s time consuming and doesn’t tell you how popular those searches are. When you use a platform like DemandJump, you can type in a simple word or phrase and generate a list of keywords within minutes that you can use to write your content. And the great thing about these lists is that DemandJump will also tell you where you and your competitors rank for those keywords so that you know where to focus your efforts.

Not all keywords that you find are created equal. Each type has a different function. Ultimately, though, these different functions work together to achieve the same goal: bring traffic to your website and drive conversions.

What Are the 4 Types of Keywords?

There are 4 types of keywords: short-tail, long-tail, questions, and intent targeting keywords. Let’s take a closer look at each of these with some examples to help explain them. For the sake of our examples, we will say that you work for a sporting goods store.

  1. Short-tail Keywords: These are keywords that consist of 1-3 words. Because they are so short, they are also much broader than the other types of keywords. You can use short-tail keywords in two different ways: either as the title of your pillar page, since your pillar page is supposed to have 3,000+ words of general information on a broad topic, or included within your text.

For our example, let’s say you find a short-tail keyword “sporting goods.” You can use that keyword as the title of your pillar page. Within that pillar, you could also use other short-tail keywords such as “sporting goods store,” discount sporting goods,” and “online sporting goods.”

 

  1. Long-tail Keywords: These are keywords that include more than three words. They might even be a question or complete sentence. Some of these are great for the titles of sub-pillars or supporting blogs, especially the ones that are more specific than the title of your pillar—but not too specific. For example, you could use “sporting goods for sale,” “national sporting good chains,” or “top sporting goods stores.” Like with short-tail keywords, these can also be used within your text.

 

  1. Questions: These keywords work best for supporting blog titles because they are so specific. You can also use them as headers within your content to help readers navigate through your blog much easier. Some examples of questions that you could use are “What is a sporting goods store,” “What is the average markup on sporting goods,” and “Which sport brand is oldest?”

 

  1. Intent Targeting Keywords: These keywords indicate where your audience is on their buyer journey. There are four types of intent targeting keywords: informational, transactional, commercial, and navigational.

 

  • Informational: People searching these keywords are looking for answers, not to be sold to. If you want to target this audience, use questions or phrases that include who/what/when/where/why/how as well as general phases. For our sporting goods example, your informational keywords list might include “Sports equipment list,” “Importance of sports equipment,” and “What are the trends in the sporting goods industry?”
  • Commercial: People searching these keywords are interested in shopping around. Your commercial keywords list might include terms such as “types of baseball bats,” “sporting goods discounts,” or “sporting goods reviews.”
  • Transactional: People searching these terms are ready to buy something. To target this audience, your transactional keywords list might include “Sporting goods for sale,” “Where to get the best sporting goods,” or “List of top sporting goods stores.”
  • Navigational: People searching these terms know what your business is and want to find it. Use the keywords with your brand name in it when targeting this audience. Examples of keywords from a sporting goods’ navigational keywords list are “Dick’s Sporting Goods,” “Dick’s Sporting Goods coupons,” and “Dick’s Sporting Goods hours.”

How Do You Make a Keyword List? With DemandJump

To save yourself time and energy on hunting down relevant keywords, use DemandJump. We offer Pillar Strategy creation to help you determine which keywords to use as the titles of your content. We also have Content Briefs that give you lists of keywords to use within your content. And after you post your content, you can check how you and your competitors are ranking for different topics using the Keyword Rankings function. Say goodbye to the days of guessing how to rank. Sign up for DemandJump.