Patio Tools – What You Will Need to Build Your Own Patio

Building your own brick or tile patio will save you hundreds, maybe thousands, of dollars, and you will have the satisfaction of knowing you did the job yourself. There are a number of things to think about when designing and building your own patio, so check the internet for helpful sites. I have found several websites that provide good tips and instructions along with great visuals to guide you along.

But, one thing that’s a bit harder to find is a list of the basic tools you may need to complete the job. Please note this may not be a complete or comprehensive list, because there are differences in patio design that require different patio tools, and I may also have simply forgotten a thing or two.

Save Yourself Unnecessary Frustration

Needless to say, there is nothing more frustrating than having to make an unplanned trip to the hardware store right in the middle of trying to complete one of the construction steps because you forgot to get a needed patio tool.

Use the following list to get started, and as you plan and design, think about any additional tools you may need. The key is to have as complete a list as possible, and to then have your tools available and laid out when you begin the job.

List of Patio Tools

-Safety Glasses or Safety Goggles (very important when cutting, splitting, sweeping, tapping, etc.)

- Measuring Tape

- Knee pads

- Work Gloves

- Wheelbarrow or Hand Truck

- Easy-to-read Level (the longer the better for speed and accuracy)

- Broom (for clean up and working sand into the paver joints as you complete the job).

- Basic Shovel

- Masonry Saw or Brick Saw (you can rent this so make sure one is available. You can also use a circular saw with a diamond chip blade.)

- Screed Board (you can make one with a 2 by 10 board. Use guides on each end and then drag screed board to level the sand or gravel base you are preparing)

- Hand Trowel (used for spreading sand or gravel, adjusting pavers or tiles, scraping excess sand from edges, etc.)

- Vibrating Plate Compactor (to press tiles/pavers down and level them. Great for larger jobs)

- Hand tamper (for small jobs, a hand tamper is enough. You can even make your own with squares of plywood nailed together into the end of a 4 x 4).

- Pry bar or flat bar to adjust joint alignment by adjusting pavers or tile

- Mason’s trowel or ice scraper tool (to pack sand tightly into the joints once patio is completed.)

- Hammer and wide Mason’s Chisel (for basic crosscuts on final end pieces.)

Again, this may not be a complete list of everything you’ll need, but it’s a great place to start. Remember, thinking through your job and having all the right tools available really helps to make the job go faster and makes it a lot more enjoyable.

Holiday Entertaining at Home

Each year you vow not to host another holiday gathering; but, you always do. It’s like a mother in labor saying or screaming she will never have another baby. But, then, she does. Okay, so maybe holiday entertaining at home is not as painful as giving birth, but, let’s agree that it can be nerve-racking. After all, it is the holidays. There is so much pressure to be perfect. Just how do you make holiday entertaining at home more of a pleasure than a pain? The good news is that it is possible to have a successful holiday party, even if you are the belle of your own ball, so to speak. All it takes is a little planning. Lucky for you, the holidays arrive at the same time every year. So, planning really is plausible and possible. You just have to know where to begin.

My years as a professional caterer and event planner taught me how to host holiday parties that I was actually able to enjoy along with my guests. I used my professional prowess to ensure that my private parties were stress free instead of stressful, memorable instead of mind boggling. And, although I don’t cater professionally anymore, I still hold fast to the principles learned while in the trenches.

Here are 7 tips you can plan to use to make your holiday entertaining festive and fun for you and your guests.

  1. Choose the holiday you can handle
  2. All holidays are not created equal. Some require more work than others in terms of decorating and food preparation. Be sure to pick the one that plays to your strengths.

  3. Set a realistic budget and stick to it
  4. Dipping into your savings account to throw a lavish holiday party is not a wise choice, especially in these economic times. Instead, establish an account specifically for your holiday entertaining. Squirrel away a little every month so that you are working with a dedicated sum of money for your soirée.

  5. Strategically invite guests
  6. Resist the urge to invite everyone you know. And, do not feel obligated to invite someone so that they will in turn invite you to their party. That would smack of insincerity. Instead, invite people you genuinely like and want to share the occasion with. It is also a good idea to consider the personalities and interests of your guests. The last thing you want is for your happy holiday gathering to be ruined by tension in the air so thick you could cut it with your kitchen knife.

  7. Use an engaging invitation
  8. Although we are in the age of emails and e-vites, an old fashioned invitation sent via snail mail still cannot be beat. Show your guests you care enough to spend the postage to send a tangible invitation. Remember, the invitation is the first glimpse of what your holiday gathering will be like. It is your opportunity to whet the appetites of your guests by creatively preparing them for the event to come. Make sure the invitation is appropriate to the style of gathering you intend to have. For instance, an engraved invitation would be a waste for an informal holiday brunch. Another word on cyberspace communications, computers have been known to crash taking with it your e-vite not to mention the in box so full that your e-vite is not read until weeks later. Your chances of having your invitation noticed and responded to are greater using the old fashioned method. Your invitation should clearly state the amount of people invited from each household and whether or not it is an adult party or if children are welcome. Also, save yourself a great deal of stress by placing calls to everyone who did not RSVP. You want to avoid preparing for 10 people only to have 20 guests arrive instead.

  9. Plan a menu you can make ahead
  10. Depending on the time of day your holiday event takes place, plan to prepare as much food ahead of time; even two to three days ahead, if possible. If you decide to assign dishes for your guests to bring, make sure your main course is not walking in three hours late. It is always best to ask guests to bring dessert.

  11. Make your holiday party memorable
  12. Your guests will remember your party. It is up to you to decide what they remember. Be daring and different. If you own a piano, why not hire a musician to play during the cocktail hour or during dinner? If guests have small children, why not hire a responsible teenager to watch them in an upstairs bedroom or in the family room? Hire a niece or nephew to pass appetizers, take coats, or load the dish washer. Decide ahead of time what you would like your guests to remember about your holiday gathering then plan to provide an atmosphere that will produce those thoughts. My husband and I renewed our wedding vows for our 10th anniversary. The celebration was on a Thursday which meant many of our guests would be arriving from work. We decided ahead of time we needed them to be able to enjoy the evening from the start not 1 or 2 hours after they unwound. So, we asked the staff at the reception hall to greet each guest at the door with a warm smile and to say “Welcome to the celebration.” In addition our guests were handed a glass of bubbly as they crossed the threshold. Days later, many guests shared with us that before they even sat down they were able to shake off the day and be present at the celebration. Even if your event is at your home, hire a couple of teenagers for one or two hours to do the honors. Feel free to try my idea.

  13. Give your guests a parting gift
  14. The best gift anyone can receive (other than a bag of money) is a photo of themselves. During your holiday party, take posed Polaroid pictures of guests. I know digital cameras are the rage, but if you take a Polaroid picture you will be able to affix a prepared label to the bottom that thanks them for attending with your name and the date. Every time they look at the picture they will smile and be reminded of your amazing holiday party at home.

Armed with these tips you can confidently embrace the holiday season. Now you know that a successful and stress free holiday gathering at home simply requires a bit of planning and creativity.

©Rena Bullard 2009
This article may be reprinted, in its entirety, with copyright information.

Staffing Problems? Let Software Do the Job For You!

Companies who are serious at growing big know the importance of labor pooling. In the past, recruitment depended greatly on newspaper ads but in the modern society, this just isn’t enough anymore. With more and more jobs that require special skills, there are less and less people who are qualified to take the tasks. The increase in technical jobs gave way to unfilled positions and these results into more numerous highly-skilled and high-tech job vacancies.

Since employee retention is yet another problem among employers, the percentage of people who leave their jobs add up to the number of vacancies that need to be filled. Managements all over the globe do realize now that there are millions of workers around the globe but not all of them could be hired to do a certain job.

Strategic staffing is now required to be able to come up with the right number of people to fill in the right number of jobs. Recruiting software could greatly help in this ever-growing dilemma of filling up manpower. This software aims to make a recruiter’s job a bit easier. Sometimes called an e-recruiting software, it aims to accelerate the processes involved in applications; applicants are also identified faster; the cost becomes highly transparent; GUIs are adapted to clients’ needs; and there is comprehensive data security.

When companies don’t have their own department for recruitment, they could easily resort into staffing agencies to do recruitments for them. But employees who normally work under such agencies take hours each day just to process a handful of applicants. With the emergence of staffing agency software, hours, even days, of work could easily be rolled into a few minutes. This is the reason why more and more firms are deciding to become more competitive by using this type of software.

The good news just keeps piling up as there are now highly affordable candidate sourcing software that could be made available even to small and medium enterprises. This type of software is the brainchild of many knowledgeable recruiting, staffing and technology professionals who have worked for years to come up with the most comprehensive tool available for business firms. With automated processes, there would be more time to concentrate on customers, business functions, and revenues.

Recruiting people need not be a tedious job anymore. To major businesses, the introduction of staffing agency software to the market does guarantee faster and better results. To many human resource people, this could mean less job opportunities; yet, it would not discredit the fact that it has improved the facilitation of applications in many industries.

Tips for Selling a Business Online

If you want to sell your business, there are many advantages to selling it online. But, when you sell your business on the Internet, there will also be some disadvantages. As with anything on the Internet, you need to weed through all the trash to get a quality sales experience. Here are some tips for selling a business online.

The first thing to do when selling a business online, or anywhere for that matter, you need to look at your business objectively. Know how much it is worth and know how much you want for it. Of course, make sure that you are not asking a price that is too high that your business won’t sell at all. A good price choice will ensure that your business is sold quickly.

The next thing you do is post ads for your business online to sell it. When you look for places to post your ads, look at lot of places. Find ones that are very high quality and present the business opportunities to buyers in an organized manner. The more well established the site is, the more people will visit it and find your ad. Some higher quality sites will require you to pay a little more than some others, but the quality of the inquiries that you get will be better.

After you post, you need to be patient. Wait a while and don’t jump on the first opportunity that comes along. This patience will help you find the best buyer for you that you can possibly find. You will have enough time to compare the offers that you will get because if you give it a little time, you will most likely get more than one inquiry about your business for sale.

When selling a business online, you will get several offers. When you get inquiries about your business, make sure that you answer the ones that seem very serious right away. Communication will keep your possible buyers interested in your business for sale. Ask all of the questions that are posed honestly. Of course, if you get ridiculously high or low offers, you may want to avoid them because they may be scams. There are a lot of those on the Internet, no matter what you are doing. You just have to know how to keep an eye out for those.

Wait for payment when selling a business online before you turn anything over to the buyer just to make sure that the offer is in fact authentic. Choose the safest method of payment that you possibly can for both of you. If you are selling an online business to someone from another country, this may be a bit more difficult.

When you are selling a business online, you have a lot to look out for. But if you proceed carefully, you will have a lot of success with the sale of your business. Just follow this set of valuable tips for the best experience you can possibly have from selling a business online.