Purchasing Your Copper Sink – Helpful Tips & Information

Selecting a kitchen or bathroom sink use to be easy. There were just a few large companies selling ceramic, enameled steel, cast iron and stainless steel sinks. In the past decade, there has been an explosion of new products in the sink category and a growing demand for hand crafted and custom work. There have been several “new” sink mediums gaining recent acceptance – glass, various stones, brass, copper, and even wood. This article will focus on copper sinks and what to look for before making your purchase.Copper is man’s oldest metal, dating back more than 10,000 years. Its use in the home in modern times ranges from copper tubing in your plumbing system to some of the finest cookware available. Restaurateurs, hoteliers and interior decorators look to copper and brass as naturally inviting metals that make a statement of quality, comfort and beauty. It is no wonder that copper has also become a popular material for sinks in the kitchen, bath and bar.Copper artisans abound throughout the world, however the artisans that have gained a reputation for making sinks has been primarily centered in India, Mexico and the US. Most of the shops making “hand crafted” copper sinks are small and the methods used to construct sinks goes back centuries. The term “hand hammered” has recently become synonymous with Mexican sinks. This term refers to the original ancient techniques that artisans have been using for centuries in this area. Copper sheets are literally hammered into shape and hand finished.The results are somewhat rustic, but truly unique and one of a kind. Copper sinks in the US are made with similar techniques but are more often “smooth” rather than “hammered”. US copper craftsmen are dominated by shops doing custom work primarily for commercial projects such as restaurants. You can see examples of all these sinks at Sinks Gallery. They specialize in artisan crafted sinks and have one of the largest selections of copper sinks available, as well as sinks from all different mediums including glass, ceramic, various stones and even wood.There are three primary differentiators determining quality – construction technique, copper thickness and the company you are buying from. Construction quality is made up of several factors – how corners are constructed, welding technique and proper dimensions for ease of installation. Quality can vary even when considering sinks made in the same town such as many of the sinks from Mexico. The buyer should make sure they are buying from a legitimate company that knows the product and is not selling “seconds”. In the world of hand crafted products, not all sinks are created equal and oftentimes there are two or more quality levels sold by the same shop (i.e. “firsts” and “seconds”).Copper starts out in sheets of various thicknesses or “gauge”. The thickness of the metal can also be referred to by the weight per square foot. The thicker the gauge copper, the lower the number. Most bath sinks are made from 20 gauge (the thinnest) to 16 gauge (the thickest) and most kitchen sinks range from 18 gauge to 14 gauge. When shopping for copper sinks, always ask about the gauge and be aware that a thicker gauge sink will cost more – and in many cases is worth it! A lightweight gauge metal can result in a “tinny” sound when running the faucet.Finally consider the store you are buying from. If a copper sink seems “cheap” in price, there is usually a reason. I have seen many of the copper sinks sold on the most famous “auction site”. All I can say is “buyer beware”, or more to the point “you get what you pay for”…. If something goes wrong with your sink or there is a problem when it arrives, you want to make sure the company you purchased from will stand behind their product. Think carefully about buying internationally. Too often, a sink that is received isn’t as represented. A reputable dealer should identify their shipping location, clearly state their warranty and return policy and be available for consultation.I am a fan of copper sinks. I think they are rugged yet elegant – especially as they age. The rich highlights and undertones of the patina process are constantly evolving. A copper finish is a “living finish” and never really stops changing in color. That being said, the evolution of a copper finish is gradual, and as it ages it becomes even more handsome. You can greatly reduce this change with the use of wax or even a lacquer product, but personally I like to let the copper evolve. Most often this process results in a mellow brownish weathered copper patina. I like to refer to it as the basins soul.Copper sinks often come in various finishes from a bright copper finish (like a new penny) to a dark patina (we call ours “Dark Smoke”) and everything in between. The copper finish you choose is a matter of personal taste, but oftentimes our clients prefer the more “weathered” patinas to avoid the upkeep or uncertainty associated with shiny copper. If you want to slow down the patina process, try applying a wax like “Renaissance Wax”. Applied every few months, the wax will provide a barrier between the copper and the environment.Copper sinks for the kitchen come in two basic forms: Under Counter Mount or Farmhouse style. The rustic nature of copper sinks lends itself well to the farm sink style. Sometimes referred to as “apron front” sinks, these sinks come in a variety of sizes, shapes and with different configurations – i.e. single bowl, double bowl and even triple bowl. Bath sinks are generally available in three styles: vessel (above counter mount), “drop-in” or under counter mount. Usually the lip style determines whether the bath sink is a drop in or undermount. Be sure to order the proper lip style to accommodate your project. A recent trend in bathroom design is matching a copper mirror frame to the sink in the same patina. This can help create consistency in the look and feel of the d├ęcor.If you have any other questions before you purchase any sink, feel free to give us a call at Sinks Gallery or Copper Sinks Online – 1-877-320-0800. We would be happy to answer any other questions you might have.

Kid Games – A Parent’s View

Personally I have 7 children 6 boys 1 girl, ranging from 9 to 25 and most of them are in their teens, we own every Nintendo system and nothing but. It’s hard to afford even the WII, let alone find one, so we thought waiting for a year.We could get one for them next year, so we will wait to read the gossip reviews and facts going around.We have also loved and recommend the type of games SONY has put out for years and years, they produce a good variety. These are the sort of kid games the kids really want. Having said that, it is true that Nintendo does have fabulous games. I’ll go even further Nintendo has games that we almost cannot live with out!The classics are Zelda, Mario and the like, Shooters, and sports, and SONY undeniably has the top Kid games, of role playing, great shooters, etc. I could go on and on.I enjoyed some unusual board games or vintage kid games which we played as a kid, but, in my opinion, none can match the shear power of enjoyment kids get now from the top computer game creators.There is more and more use of games to put across important messages to kids. Some “keep them safe” type kid games are available that have been designed for tweens and teens. They are full blown actual computer games that take kids through the experience of being hood-winked by internet predators.The reason that such a large investment has been put into such games is so that kids can learn to recognize the signs and avoid the real thing.The many kid games we have bought in our family can be categorized under various groups such as representations of indoor games, outdoor games, card games, board games, and even turing full circle some even imitate role playing in computer games, etc.The outdoor kid games programs tend to include hyper-physical activities such as running, swimming, jumping , etc. All the kid games we like are set up to be user-friendly so that children can earn lots of little rewards.Now turning away from computer kid games lets talk of some games which we play for real!Choose two teams with an even number of kids on each team, line up half of them from each team at each end. Designate a starting line and a finish line about 10 feet away. Give each team a straw and a ping-pong ball. The winning team must work in relay to blow the ball back and forth, until there are no more relay members left. The first to finish is the winning team.Children want to be entertained, not patronized by their kid games. And, going back to computer games, from a character design standpoint, at least Sonic was blue.Children are not children for very long and the game company that ignores their future spending power does so at it’s own peril. The problem I detect is that the games companies are focusing to much on the biggest market, and on older geek players. Why can’t a gaming console cater better for the development of our children, teens and adults. Big games creating companies should do better. Not just line up all their output for high spending sad, spotty geeks who have nothing else to do.Child play games, if they are to be successful in allowing your inner child to become visible to you and others, often need to be simple, silly, frivolous, childish, light and airy. The reduction of stress and anxiety in our lives requires that we relax, lighten up and become less serious and intense.Nintendo is for children. The children are the future. OK. Nintendo is a business, and it needs to make a profit, fine. But while selling better games fo well balanced and intelligent children they do not need to completely abandon every single hardcore gamer.I have seen Nintendo’s business development and products over the years. They must have made very many blunders in the past years including now bringing out a even smaller Game Boy advance, yet they have the Game Boy SP and a Game Boy DS out as well. Also, just because Nintendo says that you can download games from every one of 20 years from its library, this doesn’t mean that they will be all be good games.Lucky for us their all time greatest titles are all available for the Game Boy Advance!

Simple Methods For Improving Your Personal Finance IQ

Poor personal finances can have tremendously adverse emotional and physical impacts. Here are some tips to get you on the road to financial stability.If you take advantage of online banking and bill paying, see what kinds of alerts you can set up with your bank. Many banks will send you email or text message updates in the event of changes to your account. Low balance alerts and large withdrawal alerts can help protect you from overdraft and fraud, for example.Use refunds from your income taxes to help repay existing debt. Use your refunds to pay back your debt, in an effort to achieve a solid financial situation. Those individuals will continue to carry their debt load once the cash has been spent.If you have debt, be sure to pay it with your tax refund. Most people blow their income tax money, rather than paying debts. This does nothing to eliminate debt.When you are having trouble keeping up with your credit card payments, then you really need to stop using it. Eliminate any unnecessary expenses and find another payment method to avoid maxing out your credit cards Repay the balance of that card before you use it to buy additional items.A member of your family who keeps an excellent budget, or happens to work in the finance industry, can be a great help when you need to learn how to budget your money. If one doesn’t have any family members that can help, they can turn to a trusted friend for advice.Eliminate credit card debt as soon as possible. Regardless of the amount that you owe, you are still giving up money that you could be using for other things. This is money that is unnecessarily spent! Do everything you can to pay off your full balance each month.Make sure you pay attention to the news so you can expect market movements. Many people concentrate solely on domestic news, but those with investments that can be affected by global changes need to take a wider view. Being knowledgeable about the world around you allows you to be more successful.To get your finances in better shape, use tax planning to its fullest advantage. Take a look at the investment opportunities that are available to you through your employer so that you can put your money into qualified plans. You may also have the chance to set aside pre-tax dollars to use for medical expenses. If your employer offers to match your contributions to a 401(k) plan, make the most of the opportunity. It is perfectly fine to use your money that you make the best way you know how.One way to save on bank fees is to only use the ATM’s at your financial institution. It is common for banks and other financial entities to charge substantial ATM fees, which can grow to large sums before you know it.You must be sure to pay your utility bills promptly each month. You can harm your credit rating by paying them late. You may also be charged a late fee, that will cost more money. Because of this, you should never pay late; so always pay your bills promptly.Pay off your bills on time every single month. Better yet, pay them off early. Once your bills are paid off, you’ll know exactly what you can afford to spend and save that month. This can also help if you have to make a surprise expenditure. This can help you to not be stressed about paying the next bill immediately.Never sell when you aren’t ready. If the stock you own is doing well, then let it continue to do well and not sell. Consider any stocks that aren’t performing well, and think about moving them around instead.To get your personal finances in order, you need to start saving immediately. Stop delaying saving and instead, make it your priority. Put aside money each payday for your savings account. By doing this you build a safety cushion for your finances.If Christmas time has typically meant a lot of cash spending, then consider making your gifts instead. You can save hundreds of dollars around the holidays by reducing spending at department stores. Creativity can enable you to reduce your expenses and it can also increase your net worth.One of the ways to improve your financial position is to avoid taking on unnecessary debt. Obviously some items will require credit to be used, such as the purchase of an automobile or a house. You shouldn’t rely on using credit or business checks daily though.These tips will help anyone understand and shape their personal financial situation into a healthier, more productive situation. No matter whether you’re starting with five dollars in the bank or with five thousand in investments, the same principles apply, and you can use tips like these to boost yourself into a new, better way of life.

3 Effective Energy Saving House Tips

Most people are looking for ways how to cut costs on rising energy consumption in the house. There are ways on how to conserve energy at home most of them are very easy to do. To guide you with your energy conservation objectives here is easy energy saving house tips for you to get started.1. Do simple Things at HomeYou can save home energy by doing simple routines at home. These are the most common neglected things done at home on a day to day basis which can directly affect your energy consumption within the month. Simple energy saving house tips like checking on hot water temperature from time to time. Maintain thermostat level at 140 degrees Fahrenheit or 60 degrees centigrade at the maximum. A higher water temperature will utilize more energy also.2. Saving Electricity is using Energy EfficientlyWe hear a lot from our parents reminding us time and time again that the ways to save home energy is by proper using of electricity. Simple energy saving house chores like putting off light when not in use is often neglected. Did you know that those simple things can make a good impact on our use of home energy? Secondly those appliances on stand by mode like televisions, stereos and DVD still uses electricity that is why appliances has to be turned off properly when not in use. Putting appliances on stand by uses electricity until they are plugged out in the socket of about five to ten percent on the average. This could have been a good savings to you had you properly put them off when you are not using them. Give attention to your microwave because it can drain energy when plugged in yet not use for a long time. If you are not going to use your microwave for a long time it is better to unplug it from the wall. A little discipline will do to save home energy. We often use our computers at home yet leaving them on screen saver rather than totally putting them off. You can do better by enabling the display blanking feature to turn off the monitor automatically when your computer is not in use. Big savings start from little savings done daily and you might be surprise that you actually $ 50 to 100$ from these simple energy saving house tips. There are a number of ways to save home energy such as reducing screen brightness of your computer and this can also decrease the battery time of your laptop. By changing your old CRT monitor with a new LCD monitor an amazing sixty percent reduction on energy costs can be achieved. Achieve incredible savings by doing simple energy saving house tips.3. Improve your HabitsIf you want more production done during the day at home you can change some of your usual activities which you think could help you save home energy. When washing clothes you can opt for a front loader type of washing machine. These type of washing machine save a large amount of water and energy comparing to the top loading washers. Hanging clothes on a line to make them dry is better than using a dryer. Hanging the clothes will dry them faster and will help you save more on energy.These are practically easy energy saving house tips you can do daily which can give huge impact on your energy consumption. By becoming aware of these simple things present in your home you can actually enjoy a number of advantages such as cutting on electricity costs, increasing safety measures and energy conservation. All you need to do is being aware to energy saving house activities and everything will be in order and safe all the time.