Wednesday, 30 April 2014

Safely Insulate Your Basement Without Professional Help

I like to share whatever tidbits of information I pick up.

Recently we tried to do some basement remodeling (insulating was part of it), got half way through the project before we called in professional to finish it. But so much was learned I thought I would write a quick article about it.

Here are some tips to help you with your project:

One important lesson in learning how to insulate a basement should be to always wear safety goggles, a dust mask, and protective clothing. Otherwise, particles of insulation can get into your hair, eyes, and nose, as well as irritate the skin. Wear shirts with long sleeves, long pants, work gloves, and at least a jacket or pullover that sports an attached hood.

If working in unfinished areas with construction going on, always wear a hardhat to guard against getting bonked on the head with wood, pipe, or other falling objects. Rubber-soled shoes make the smartest footwear choice to avoid slips on wet surfaces. Protecting yourself with the proper attire and gear can save you from discomfort or even a trip to the doctor.

Another part of understanding how to insulate a basement includes learning about electricity. All power tools should be appropriately grounded and, when using them, make absolutely sure cords do not interfere with their operation. Watch out for frayed wiring in older homes and keep everything – including insulating materials – well away from the wiring until you've had a chance to repair it.

Do not smoke while you are learning how to insulate a basement. Many types of insulation materials are highly flammable. Smoking in an enclosed area, like a basement, also traps the smoke and causes even more damage to your lungs than smoking in a ventilated area. You are, in essence, re-inhaling secondhand smoke.

Of course if you do run into problems, you can contact a professional basement renovation company. If you live in the Toronto area, try Handyman Mississauga basement renovations. They did a great job with our project, we're very happy with the work. .

These are just a few ideas to keep in mind while learning how to insulate a basement. Plain old common sense goes a long way, however, and you should make sure yours is in top form. It’s not that difficult to learn how to insulate a basement, but don’t forget to keep your safety in mind, too!

When Web Design Goes Terribly Wrong

I was talking to my partner the other day and he told me about a conversation he had recently with a photographer friend. They were catching up on what each other was doing, having not seen each other in several years and.

After talking about what my partner and I were doing, she said that he wished she had known about that as she had a website recently built to promote her portrait photography business and would have rather worked with someone that she knew then picking the lowest priced website design company out of the phone book. She asked us to take a look at it and let her know what we thought.

What I found in reviewing the site is what is common in most artist websites. The website does not have a clear call to action of what the visitor needs to do. In this particular instance, the goal of the website should be to drive visitors to make appointments to get portraits taken.

Instead, it highlights four galleries to showcase example photos taken (which is a good thing to do) but forces the customer to search throughout the website to fine even the location of this company, pricing information, how to schedule an appointment, etc. In other words, all of the things that make the artist money are extremely difficult for a potential customer to find on their website.  

If that was not bad enough, the website was not designed to be found by the major search engines. In this web site’s instance, the only way you could find this person’s website would be if you knew the company’s name. This might be fine if you already have great name recognition in your industry, but otherwise the only way that your website will be found is through online advertising, print marketing, and word of mouth.

This really misses the boat to all of the free customer leads that the search engines can bring to your photography business.

The good news for her is after she asked us to do a full assessment of her website; that we are now starting to work with her to correct these shortcomings while still leveraging the existing framework of the website that she had built.

Whether you are looking for a website to just showcase your artwork, attempting to market your work to publishers, or trying to run a full blown photography business – it is important to know that not all web design companies are the same in what they deliver and in most cases, you get what you pay for. In the coming weeks, I hope to follow up with another article discussing how these changes positively impacted her business and how you can do the same with your website.