SEO Trends That Will Increase Website Visibility in the Coming Year


One of the most noticeable trends changing the way we optimize websites for search engine recognition is the use of Voice Search.  It is predicted that by the year 2020 more than thirty percent of all website sessions will be done without the use of a screen.  How is that possible, you ask?  Voice-only search offers the user the opportunity to “look” at the information contained on the web without scrolling through sites on a PC or mobile device.   Voice technology will be a key element in the success of online companies in the future.

What Exactly Is Voice Search Technology?

The most well-known source using voice technology is Amazon Alexa

Instead of typing keywords into a search query, users speak into a device.  The gadget then returns audio search results based on the spoken query.  The precision in which audio technology recognizes what a user is saying is unbelievable.  Although many of us are just being introduced to voice search technology it is not new.  Speech to text programs and voice dialing have been in use for years.

How Are Digital Marketing Efforts Being Affected by Voice Recognition?

The use of voice search will radically increase the search experience.  Search engines, like Google, Bing, and Yahoo will begin to place a higher importance on voice search optimization.   As we know the point of SEO is to rank websites so that when users enter a search query, either by text or voice search, the most relevant content is pulled up first.  It is important that digital marketing experts account for both voice search optimization and traditional optimization in their websites.  Being that the two are very different it is crucial to understand that some factors that affect traditional rankings may or may not have a similar effect on voice searches.  Below are some tips to help balance the two very different search engine optimization strategies.

Tips for Voice Search Optimization

Voice search users are most often searching for a purpose, to complete a certain action. Most voice searchers want a song to play, a product to be purchased, or specific information to be gathered.  No matter your intention, Google uses a similar algorithm to rank sites which include the following:

Website Loading Speed

Google voice search, like traditional searches, favors websites that load quickly.  It is important that your site is responsive and functions properly on mobile devices.  All images used on the site need to be optimized, files must all be compressed, and other tasks that speed up traditional websites.

Write Content How You Speak

When a user searches for content on a PC or mobile device, they often use short phrases or long-tailed keywords, think of the phrases you use in bullet points.  If you want to find a roofer, many users will type in the keyword phrase “roofing contractors near me”.  However, in a voice search the user may ask “Who is the best roofing contractor to install my roof’.  For your content to be optimized correctly for both traditional SEO and voice search, it is crucial to include naturally sounding, long-tailed keywords in combination with short, snappy keywords.  Make the content easy to comprehend, content should be written at a 9th grade reading level or below for maximum comprehension.

  Aim for your website content to range between 1850 and 2500 with a combination of short and long form content.

Use Blocks of Content

Featured snippets are a summary of the website pages content.  A snippet will appear after paid advertising and before organic listings.  Content should be optimized and identifiable as a snippet.  It must summarize the entire pages information, be placed above the fold, and include fewer than 29 words.  Content that optimizes with header tags, lists, and bullet points are more easily read by search engines.  Featured snippets should include long-tailed keyword phrases.

Focus on Local Searches

Location based content accounts for over twenty-two percent of voice search queries.  Websites that consider local content and phrases including a “near me”, “close to me”, “within a couple of miles”, and so on.

Creative Programs and Systems, CPS, is an all-inclusive IT solutions company offering a variety of services including: managed IT services, IT consulting, residential computer services, custom programming, website design, iphone & android app development, and more.  More information can be found at https://cpsmi.com.



Warning Signs Of Cataracts


Cataracts are a clouding in the lens of an eye that causes the impairment of an individual’s vision.  This eye disease affects over twenty-five million Americans that are 40 and over.  Once individuals have reached 75, over half of them will be diagnosed with cataracts. 

As adults age the eye’s lens starts to yellow and harden which creates blurry vision, dull perception of colors, and night time driving becomes difficult.  Cataracts do not get better and in fact get worse overtime.  In fact, cataracts have several stages as they progress.  It is important to treat the symptoms of cataracts in order to slow or stop cataracts from getting worse.  In order to get a proper diagnosis and treatment plan it is crucial to visit an ophthalmologist.  Planning treatment for cataracts slows down the need for cataract surgery.

Early Warning Signs of Cataracts

Cataracts range in severity and the treatment will depend on the development and type of cataract you have.  Early signs of cataracts include:

Cloudy Vision:

Fuzzy spots are the most obvious early sign of cataracts.  If individuals start to experience small, fuzzy spots in your field of vision that seem to worsen over time, you may be developing one of the first sign of cataracts.   These signs will start to make normal, daily activities harder than ever before.  If you notice the quick onset of cloudy vision it is important to get into the eye doctor sooner rather than later.

Difficult Night Vision:

Individuals with the early stages of cataracts also mention a gradual decrease in vision at night.  Changes to vision may include darkening or dimming and may also lead to tinges of brown and yellow.  During the day changes may not be as noticeable because there is light to balance vision that is dimming however, at night it is instantly noticeable. 

Light Sensitivity: 

Individuals with emergent cataracts experience discomfort with bright lights.  This becomes more and more difficult to manage as cataracts worsen.  If you notice you are squinting or closing your eyes more around bright light or noticing headaches that come on quickly from flashes and bright lights, it is time to schedule an appointment with an ophthalmologist. 

Halos and Glares:

As cataracts worsen, the lens of the eye hardens and becomes cloudier.  Some cataract suffers mention the appearance of a glare or halo in their field of vision.  The light that passes through the cataract is diffracted which causes a glare and ringlets around bright sources of light.  During the day the halos and glares are less noticeable then that are in the evening. 

Vision Changes:

During the earliest stages of cataracts, individuals may notice changes in vision.  Regular eye exams are crucial for older adults.  In fact, ophthalmologists often detect cataracts before individuals notice a difference in vision. 

Cataract damage is not reversible however, there are some things you can do to slow down their progression.  It is important to talk with your eye doctor first to determine if cataract surgery is needed before cataracts worsen.  Some ways to increase the health of your eye include eating a diet rich in omega-3 fatty acids, wearing sunglasses, determine if your prescription medicine worsen the effects of cataracts, and treat dry eyes with daily eye drops. 

Rohr Eye & Laser Center offers the most advanced technology available to suit your lifestyle and visual needs.  As a leader in laser vision correction and cataract surgery, our goal is to help you achieve the best vision possible without glasses or contact lenses.  More information can be found online at https://michiganlasik.com.



Removing Iron and Manganese from Well Water


How many homeowners can honestly say they would be okay drinking water from their taps that comes out brown?  ZERO, that’s how many!  Brown water occurs because of contamination in their water from Iron and Manganese, common elements found in well water.  Thankfully there are water treatment options available to remove these contaminants.  Both Iron and Manganese are found in soil thus washing into the well water drinking supply.  The good thing is that you don’t have to live with contaminants in your water.

Contaminants in your homes water supply certainly can be a nuisance. Iron and Manganese cause several issues including metallic tasting water, stained laundry, clogged plumbing, and an oily or crust sheen on the surface of the water. This is one of the reasons high levels of the contaminants are treated using whole house water treatment systems.

In 1974 the federal government set in place visual standards for water because of the effects of Iron and Manganese.  Although state health-based standards are not in place for metals in drinking water, there are some concerns that high levels of manganese are bad for formula-fed infants. Infant formulas naturally contain manganese, so the National Health Department recommends mixing formula with water with a low manganese level. 

Iron and Manganese Testing

It is easy to recognize elevated levels or iron and manganese in water including a bitter, metallic taste and orangish-brown staining on bathroom fixtures, clothes, and more.  It is however important to test the water before treating it in order to determine the amount of minerals and metals that are in the water.  Two types of metals are commonly found in a homes water supply including reduced and oxidized.  Water that has a reduction in iron and manganese often looks clear, initially however will form solid orangish brown solid particles.  Water with oxidized iron and manganese will have visible particles upon being drawn from the well. 

Water Treatment Options

Once your well water is tested and you are told what type and amounts of iron and manganese are in the water, water treatment specialists like the ones at Reynolds Water Conditioning can help you determine the best treatment option for your home.  It is important to note that some filtration such as oxidation filtration which injects oxygen into the water to remove impurities only removes iron.  The water will need an additional chemical treatment to remove manganese. 

Water softeners are often installed to treat hard water.  They can also remove small amount of iron and manganese.  Water softening units use an ion exchange process which replaces iron and manganese with sodium.  The metals are removed from the softeners filtering resin through a process of backwashing. 

Another treatment option to remove iron and manganese from water is through a point of use reverse osmosis systems.  This treats water at the tap which is usually where drinking and cooking water is drawn from.  The filter uses different membranes to remove unwanted molecules in water to be filtered from the water.  Although this is a fairly simple method of getting water without metal it does not treat water throughout the house.  Thus, staining will still occur in bathrooms and in laundry and water in other parts of the house will have the metallic taste. 

The experts at Reynolds Water Conditioning have a solution to your homes unique water quality needs including: arsenic, bacteria, chlorine, rotten egg smell, fluoride, hard water, iron, lead, acid, tannins, radon, and more.  More information on our water treatment solutions including water softeners and conditioners, water filtration and purification, reverse osmosis drinking water, and iron & odor removal can be found online at https://reynoldswater.com.



The Ins and Outs Of Radiation Therapy Using a Linear Accelerator


A linear accelerator is a large scaled piece of medical equipment that is used to treat cancerous tumors.  It does this through a process of high energy x-rays that conform to the shape of a tumor and emits a radiation beam that destroys cancer cells while trying to spare the surrounding healthy tissue.  Linear accelerators have a number of features that are built in which works to ensure the patients safety.  These measures prevent dosages higher than what the patient has been prescribed to be given. 

When you are schedule to receive radiation therapy using a linear accelerator, your oncologist will deliver the treatment that was planned between them, the dosimetrist and your physicist.   The oncologist will double-check your treatment plan each and every time before they begin treatment.   This ensures quality control and ensures that your treatment is delivered exactly as it should be. 

Linear accelerators delivers external radiation therapy for patients with cancer. The LINAC is used to delivery treatment on a variety of areas throughout the body.  High energy x-rays are delivered directly to the tumor using a radiation beam that is delivered from the linear accelerator.  The treatment is designed to shrink and destroy the cancerous tumor without harming the healthy tissue that surrounds the tumor.  LINAC is used to treat cancerous areas throughout the body using all of the conventional radiation techniques including: IMRT, IGRT, VMAR, SRS, and SBRT. 

Linear accelerators work using technology similar to a radar.  In the “wave guide” a part of the accelerator, electrons collide with a metal target to produce high-energy x-rays.  The high-energy x-rays exit the machine in the shape of a patient’s tumor.  These beams are shaped by a multileaf collimator that is within the head of the linear accelerator. 

Patients are put onto a moveable treatment couch that is positioned properly and are asked to lie still.  It is important to note that the treatment couch can move up, down, right, left, in, and out.  The radiation beam comes out of the gantry, part of the accelerator, that can be rotated around the patient.  These two systems, working together, can deliver radiation in a variety of angles.

Linear accelerators are operated by a radiation therapist.  There are a team of experts who work together to create a treatment plan.  A radiation oncologist, a medical physicist, and a dosimetrist work in conjunction of one another to come up with a treatment plan.  The radiation oncologists prescribes the correct treatment volume and dose.  A medical physicist and dosimetrist determine how your prescribed dose is delivered and calculated.  

Patient safety is insured in a number of ways.  Before treatment is given the plan is developed and approved in collaboration with your team. This plan is continually reviewed for quality assurance.  Safety measurements are built directly into the accelerator that does not allow a higher dose of radiation to be delivered to patients.  Before a patient is treated the radiation, therapist will perform unilateral checks across the LINAC.  More thorough linear accelerator checks are done monthly and annually.  Specialized companies are available for hire that maintain, service, and repair linear accelerators.  It is important to have access to LINAC service providers and LINAC parts for repair.  The less downtime a facility incurs the higher the quality of patient care they can provide.

Patients are supervised throughout treatment using monitors and microphones that in the room.  This allows the patient and radiation therapist to communicate.  The position of the radiation beam are continually checked to ensure the positioning has not moved from the original treatment plan. 

The safety of the staff and patient are crucial when using linear accelerators in treating cancerous tumors.  The LINAC is installed in a room all by itself.  The walls of the room are made from lead and concrete to eliminate the high energy x-rays from escaping and exposing people outside of the room.  Radiation therapists do not tun on the LINAC until they are safely outside of the treatment area.  Linear accelerators will only emit radiation when the machine is in use.

Radparts is the world’s largest independent distributor of OEM replacement parts for Linear Accelerators and Radiation Oncology equipment.  Radparts provides high quality, user friendly, low cost parts support for linear accelerators and radiation equipment. More information can be found at https://www.radparts.com/.



Finishes for a Gunite Pool: Plaster, Pebble, and Tile


Pound Pool Plastering cares a great deal about our clients and their concrete pools.  We want to ensure that your plaster pool is finished with the utmost of care.  Standard white plaster is a classic, timeless, look that many homeowners still choose today however, there are other options available that may change your mind. 

Standard White Plaster Pool Finish

Plaster is made of a combination of white cement, white sand or a marble aggregate, and water.  Professional pool builders use a flat, rounded trowel to apply the plaster to the concrete (Gunite) base structure.  White plaster can be dyed different colors during the combination process if the homeowner desires. 

Advantages of Plaster

Plaster is a well-known material that has been used in pool design since the beginning of pool construction.  As a pool finish, plaster is an inexpensive option that provides a simple, classic look to your in-ground swimming pool. 

Disadvantages of Plaster

The main disadvantage of plaster is that it can feel rough to the touch.  As with any pool finish, plaster required regular surface maintenance to prevent algae build up.  Once every three to five years plaster requires acid washing which removes staining.  If a plaster pool is not maintained correctly it is prone to cracking however this is the same of many pool finishes.  Plaster, if well maintained is durable, and can lasts upwards of ten years.

Aggregate Pool Finish

An upgrade from a plaster finish is an aggregate which is a combination of pebbles instead of sand to cement, water mixture.  Once the pebbles, concrete, and water are combined it is applied to the pool.  The top later of plaster will be wiped away to reveal the pebbles.  Although pebbles are a common aggregate material other material such as glass beads and quartz can be used.  Aggregate finishes can be exposed or polished.  An exposed aggregate reveals the whole pebble which provides a bumpy texture.  A polished aggregate is polished flat and provides a smooth texture. 

                Advantages of Aggregate

Aggregate pool finishes, when maintained, can last longer than standard plaster finishes.  Quartz finishes can last twelve plus years while pebbles can last some twenty plus years.  Glass beads are small and soft on feet.

                Disadvantage of Aggregate

The larger the aggregate material, the less comfortable it can be to walk on.  Consider the last time you have walked into a rocky Great Lake; large rocks make navigation tricky to the feet.  Smaller aggregate materials are less of an issue.  If glass beads are used in creating the aggregate, it is common to experience some fading and discoloration.

Tile Pool Finish

Pool tiles are created from several different materials including standard porcelain, stone, and glass.  Some homeowners choose a combination of the three to create a unique pool design.  Porcelain pool tiles can be glazed, textured, or hand painted.  Porcelain tile is usually used around the waterline of the pool. 

                Advantages of Tile

Tile is the longest lasting material that can be used as an interior pool finish on concrete pool foundations.   Tile is easier to maintain as well.

                Disadvantage of Tile

Tile is costlier than plaster or aggregate which can add thousands of dollars to finishing your pool.  Another disadvantage is that tiles chip and crack easy and if installed incorrectly can have sharp edges. 

Pound Pool Plastering offers several options when it comes to servicing your pool including plaster, caulk, tiling, cement decks, plumbing, and coping in both commercial and residential settings.  More information can be found at http://www.pound-pool-plastering.com/.



Repairing Your Roof In the Winter Months


Obviously, it is best to repair leaks in roofing during the spring, summer or fall however, if necessary, roof repair is possible during the winter.  Although there are limitations in roofing materials, winter roofing is ever bit as possible as it is in the spring, summer, and fall.  It is worth repairing or replacing a roof in the winter if damage to the home is occurring. 

If you notice a leak or damage to your roof during the winter months, it needs to be replaced or repaired to prevent damage.  The smallest of leaks can cause incredible damage to the structure of your home.  Roof leaks are worsened by the expansion and contraction of roofing materials during the constant freeze and thaw that occur during the winter months.  Small leaks turn into major leaks almost overnight. 

Winter Roofing

Yes, roofers work during the winter months.  Roofers are used to extreme weather whether in the sweltering heat of the summer sum or the freeze of the winter, roofers are hard at work.  There are pros and cons to working in both environments.   Roofing materials all react differently in conditions under forty degrees.   These materials should not be installed in the winter.  Instead, roofing contractors use materials that can be installed at any time of the year, no matter what the weather.        

Flat Roofing

Two types of flat roofing systems can be properly installed in the winter, PVC and TPO.  Instead of adhesives, thermoplastic single ply flat roof products are mechanically installed, and the seams are hot air welded.  Rubber roofing, an alternative to thermoplastic, are not a good option during the winter months when temperatures are below forty degrees because the adhesive used to install them will not seal.  The adhesive will end up freezing and not bond.  It is important to use the proper material for the season in which you are having a new roof, replacement roof, or roof repair completed. 

Sloped Roofing

The most common material that roofing contractors use on sloped roofs is asphalt shingling.  It is possible for asphalt shingles to be installed during the winter months however they must be careful not to bend the shingles. Asphalt shingles require a proper seal between the overlapping shingles.  In order to bond the shingling needs heat from the sun.  When asphalt shingles are installed in the winter they will not properly seal until warmer weather sets in. 

Asphalt shingling is susceptible to ice dams.  Ice dams are large ice buildups that form at the eaves of the roof.  They are caused from improper attic insulation and poor attic ventilation.  Installing an ice and water shield membrane helps alleviate ice dam leaks.  The sun’s heat is also needed to adhere the material to the roof decking. 

Metal Roofing

Metal is one roofing material that can be installed in the winter, no matter what the temperature, without compromising quality.   Metal roofing materials do not crack and allows for expansion and contraction even in cold temperatures.  Roofing contractors use premium, breathable, synthetic underlayment to contend with moisture from improper ventilation.  Modifications to ventilation should be done when a roof is replaced to prevent damage from ice build up no matter what material is used.

As a full-service home improvement contractor servicing all Southeast Michigan, Kearns Brothers, Inc. offers clients a wide range of services to meet their construction needs including: roofing, siding, window, masonry, chimneys, gutters, and insulation services.  More information can be found at www.kearnsbrothers.com.



How Will We Know if We Should Replace or Recondition Large Scaled Electrical Equipment?


Transformers are used in industrial and manufacturing settings as a way to control the electricity infrastructure within a facility.  They are used to step up and power down different voltages of electricity to equipment throughout.  The longevity of transformers comes down the environment in which they are ran and the amount of usage received.  A typical end of life period for transformers under average usage is somewhere between twenty to forty years.  Factors other than age are often used to consider if a transformer should be replaced.  With this in mind, many facilities are considering refurbishing older transformers that are still showing signs of good health instead of replacement. 

In the following installment we will look at the many reasons that refurbishment of transformers is becoming popular verse replacement.  We will also look at why some transformers can be refurbished and why others shouldn’t be.  There are limitations to refurbishing transformers that we will look into as well. 

Why Choose to Refurbish Verse Replace?

Refurbishing Transformers Saves Money and Time

The cost to refurbish a transformer is substantially less than purchasing a brand new one.  Cost is definitely a factor in refurbishing, but it is also important to recognize the time saving.  The time to refurbish a transformer is substantially less than the time it takes to procure a new piece of electrical equipment for your facility, such as a transformer.

Buying new equipment often comes about through a lengthy process that requires approval from a number of sources before it can be completed.  It is also considered a capital expense which many facilities try to budget ahead for.  Refurbishment is often classified as a revenue expense which doesn’t often require approval.  Extending the life of quality assets is good for business and refurbishing can achieve this without risk. 

Extended Transformer Life

We are all responsible for doing our part in creating a sustainable environment to leave to generations to come.  The environmental impact of manufacturing and equipment disposal is not something that is taken lightly.  Reconditioning transformers and other large scaled equipment helps to demonstrate environmental sustainability which is not only showing corporate responsibility but also regulatory consciousness.  Prolonging the life of large scaled equipment through reconditioning is just one way to exhibit your company’s commitment to environmental impact as well as to the confidence that the plant will continue to operate efficiently without risk of unexpected failure.

If you do find that you have had to replace a transformer for a reason other than failure, the older transformer can be refurbished and kept as a spare.  In order to determine if a transformer can be refurbished it is necessary to assess the transformer.  The extent of reconditioning needed to make it like new again may be deemed too much.  However, when refurbishment is deemed appropriate, the transformer is brought to a dedicated facility where reconditioning can be performed. 

J & P Electrical Company is a full-service electrical company that supplies contractors, end users, and supply houses with new surplus, quality reconditioned, and obsolete electrical equipment. We purchase a wide range of electrical equipment such as bus plugs, bud ducts, panel switches, substations, and transformers.  More information can be found at https://www.jpelectricalcompany.com



High-Tech, Low-Maintenance Bathroom and Kitchen Trends For 2019


Today’s kitchen and bathroom designs look much different than they once did.  Long gone are the days of bright colored kitchen accessories and appliances and utensils that serve only one purpose.  We have trades yellows, oranges, and greens in for white, gray, and stainless steel.  Now-a-days everything is about simplicity and function.  Homeowners are looking to create spaces that are organized, uncluttered, and tranquil. 

There is nothing new to the white and gray color trend that is upon us.  In remodeling and new construction both, the peace and calm that comes with this color combination makes it attractive.  This isn’t the only trend that seems to be highly identifiable throughout the construction industry. 

Another trend that seems to be picking up speed is the ability to customize their homes and the spaces within them without dating them.  Flexibility in decorating has become important.  Homeowners want the ability to switch a few elements and create a completely different space without the expense of a complete room renovation.  This allows homeowners to keep up with the latest trends without the costs of remodeling year in and year out.

In 2019, trends, updates, and modifications in bathroom and kitchen designs come from innovations in technology and the desire for easy, low-maintenance living.  When working with your contractor on the design of your kitchen and/or bathroom renovation consider the following.

The Latest Luxuries to Consider in Bathroom Renovation Design

Smart Toilets:

Technology has improved lots of features in the home including the most basic feature, your toilet.  New toilet models have advanced features that make bathroom maintenance minimal.  Smart toilet models have built-in features including bidets, self-cleaning functions, and night lights.  How great is it to have a toilet that does not need to be deep cleaned on a regular basis?  Don’t be surprised when your contractor asks you if you want a toilet seat that is adjustable or one that will warm your bottom!

Barn Doors:

Rustic and industrial-chic features have been a part of remodeling for years now.  Using barn doors is an efficient way homeowner can gain access to a room or closet without having to make room for the door to swing open and closed.  Barn doors are used a lot in universal design because of the safety mechanisms that they can be fitted with to prevent locking from the outside. 

Free- Standing Tubs:

Bathroom spaces are bigger than ever before.  With more floor space comes the ability to add luxury.  One of these luxuries is large, free-standing bathtubs.  Most stand-alone tubs are large enough that users can actually soak their entire bodies in them, including their knees.  This luxury is something that homeowners are embracing.  Not only are large bathtubs popular in remodeling but so are larger showers with an abundance of faucets and not just the one overhead. 

Mixing Materials:

There is a lot of room for originality even when homeowners choose to stick with a neutral gray and white color scheme in the kitchen and bath.  The mixing of different tiles including porcelain, stone, ceramic, and glass tiles are being mixed to create appeal.  Different textures add charm even if they are in the same color palate. 

Voice Controlled Technology:

Homes are being renovated to include all types of smart technology.  Your toilet isn’t the only thing that can light up and clean it-self. Without ever touching a button, homeowners have the ability to adjust the lighting in their smart mirrors, increase the temperature of the water coming out of the faucet, increase the volume of the television and stereo as well as changing the lighting.  Imagine being able to control the radio station without leaving the shower.

JFC Remodeling is a full-service licensed contractor out of Howell, Michigan.  Specializing in kitchen and bathroom renovations, flooring upgrades, and home remodeling services.  More information can be found online at https://jfcremodeling.com/.



The Installation of a Driveway Gate Creates an Impressive Entry


From walkways to driveways, a gate can transform the entire look of the landscape while adding a layer of security.  Aluminum estate gates alter the aesthetics of your home.  With curb appeal being an important factor in the way your home is viewed by outsiders, enhancements that not only add beauty but also security can make a big difference. 

Driveway gates are commonly installed either to large columns on either side of the drive or to heavy duty aluminum posts that are purchased in conjunction with the gate.  Driveway gates can be installed together or separate of perimeter fencing.  The design is truly customizable to that of what each individual user desires.  For some homeowners, their property is lined with wooded acreage that makes a fence unnecessary where as others have wide open yards that they are looking to completely secure.   Before ordering it is important to have a general understanding of what you hope to accomplish with the installation of an estate driveway gate

Small Estate Gates

Not all entry gates are grand in scale.  An aluminum entry gate that compliments your home and space is what is most important.  Some entryways are small in scale and a large driveway gate may be aesthetically overwhelming.  Choose an entry gate that fits your space.  The gate should first and foremost be realistic for your situation and needs. 

There are a variety of options to choose from at iFenceUSA for even the smallest of driveways.  Although for most smaller driveways a single gate is ideal, some homeowners desire the look and function of a double gate.  It is important that once the gate is installed it is functional and that vehicles of all sizes can still access the home.  Remember that large delivery trucks will still need to make their way up your drive on occasion.  The goal is not to make your small driveway smaller with the installation of a gate but to enhance and secure the existing space. 

Extra Wide Estate Gates

What happens when you have the opposite issue and your driveway is extra wide?  Believe it or not iFenceUSA has an aluminum driveway gate that will fit any size or shape driveway or entrance that exists.  Custom gates are our specialty and can come in any of the 18 styles we offer, with an arch, without an arch, with or without ornamental metal options, you name it and we can more often than not make it happen. 

The most important factor when ordering a driveway gate, small or large, is to take proper measurements.  There are a number of guides online at our website that will help you properly measure for the gate you desire.  The first measurement that is needed is between the two stationary posts (or columns) that the new gate will be attached to. It is important not to include the measurement of the posts, only the space between the posts is needed. 

The estate gate that you choose to install is totally dependent on the type of property you have, your exact need, and the image you hope to communicate.  When it comes to designing a gate or fence for that matter, your options are endless with aluminum.  The team at iFenceUSA can help you achieve a secure, eye-catching, operational aluminum entry gate for your driveway or walkway. 

iFenceUSA is an online distributor of wholesale aluminum fences and gates for residential, resort, commercial, and industrial installation.  As an industry leader in maintenance-free aluminum fencing products we have all your aluminum fence and gate needs covered.  More information can be found online at https://ifenceusa.com/.



Planning Your Home For Aging In Place Renovations


In general, society tends to shy away from talking about and planning for the steps necessary as we age.  The hard-cold truth though is that we are all going to get older.  We will start to lose the ability to do as we once did and eventually will need aides in place to assist us with everyday tasks.  Age in place remodeling allows us to be in charge in the changes happening in our homes.  Beginning this process sooner rather than later allows for better planning and helps to create a safer, more usable space that is easy for homeowners of all ages to live in. 

Below is a list of age in place renovation ideas to help get you inspired during your next remodeling project.  It is important to take control of your quality of life while you are still fully in charge to ensure your own personal comfort in your home throughout the aging process.

Age in Place Kitchen Renovation Ideas

Kitchens are a key space in renovating for aging as much of our time is spent in the space.  Elements to consider include:

  • Sinks:  If possible, install a motorized sink that can raise and lower. These are a perfect addition for individuals who are unable to stand for long periods of time or are wheelchair bound.  Increasing the height of a sink can be beneficial as well as it offers support to lean upon for those using the sink in an upright position.  Consider installing a shallow sink with a hands-free faucet element with a pull-out sprayer are beneficial as well. 
  • Cabinets:  Install cabinet hardware that can easily be opened and closed, most often “D” shape pulls work the best.  Cabinets with shelving that is easily pushed in and pulled out is the best suited option for both top and bottom cabinets when remodeling a kitchen for aging in place.
  • Appliances: The installation of universally designed appliances is a major advantage when renovating your kitchen for ease of use for aging homeowners.  To save money, invest in energy saving appliances that are specifically made for easy use of individuals that are aging. 

Age in Place Bathroom Remodeling Ideas

Bathrooms are another space within the home that are used daily.  Elements to consider in age in place bathroom renovations include:

  • Space: The less clutter and the more open floor space the better.  If aides such as a wheelchair or cane are needed it is crucial that there is space within the room to move about.
  • Toilets:  A seat extender can be used on a standard toilet height however a taller toilet is the best option.  Install a toilet that can accommodate aging users with limited mobility.  It gets harder to stand up off a toilet the lower the basin is.  Consider adding a budget for improved hygiene.  Toilet paper holders should be installed within easy sitting reach. 
  • Grab Bars: Anytime you can add on support it increases the safety of a room and task ten-fold.  Consider adding grab bars around the toilet and shower.  Grab bars should support upwards of 300 pounds.  Textured grab bars are better than non textured.
  • Bathtubs/Showers: Standard bathtubs are not ideal for aging individuals.  If possible, replace standard tubs with walk-in tubs or a no threshold shower.  It is crucial to offer seating either permanent or temporary, adjustable shower heads with a hand-held option, and a non-slip floor.

Each room in your home from the laundry room to the garage should all be included in planned age in place renovations.  It is important that spaces are uncluttered, free of throw rugs, and made to be as easy to use as possible.  If there is a simpler way to complete everyday tasks make sure it is in place to bring as much ease of living as possible to your home and loved ones.

Glen Miller the Home Doctor is a licensed general contractor servicing Livingston County and the surrounding areas.  Glen offers a wide range of services including home maintenance plans, age in place remodeling, kitchen and bathroom remodeling, finished basements, and hardwood floor refinishing.  More information can be found online at https://www.glenmillerthehomedoctor.com/.