The Transformation

The Transformation

Dawn isn’t far off. The grayness of morn, the ability to distinguish shapes in the night, all signs that the first rays of sunlight aren’t far off. This trip to Tangent Lodge has been a revelation. Yesterday evening as we left the hustle and bustle of the city the exhaustion of the work week was taking it’s toll. Glad that we only had an hour to travel, we commented how the distance was about all we wished to endure. Mary commented “I can hardly wait until we get home”.

At the moment I didn’t make a comment, but those few words stuck in my mind. As I was laying in bed a little while ago I listened to the clock on the living room wall tick away and the refrigerator in the kitchen cycle on and off. Those are the only noises in this otherwise silent country setting.

There’s a peacefulness here, a sense of escape, a feeling of contentment that lets you exhale the concerns of the world. All week long the news bombards us with doom and gloom forecasts of pending peril. The economy’s on the rocks, the stock market’s in another downward spiral, there’s famine and unrest all over the globe.

Not here. Amongst the pines all is well. There is no noise, the sun will shine bright in an hour or so. Two loaves of bread dough are nestled in pans, rising on the counter. The thought of eggs, cooked over easy with crisp bacon on the side, accompanied by a couple slices of fresh bread toast and a tall glass of milk, makes my stomach growl with anticipation.

There is no TV, no morning news report, no newspaper on our stoop. There is no reminder of what we left just 12 hours ago. True the walls are unfinished drywall. Yes the woodstove sits unconnected in the corner waiting for the stove pipes to be installed. We must dodge around construction materials to navigate most of the house and the kitchen sink drain leaks like a sieve.

There is a mountain of unfinished work to do before our vision is realized, but it doesn’t matter. It already feels like home.

Yes, we’ve been city dwellers for the past almost 10 years. It’s been a good life, our residence is comfortable and chosen well for its convenience. We’ve considered it our home, and it still serves us well. But that’s different. How so you ask? That’s hard to explain.

Life as we know it requires you to be employed. To get up daily, go off to work, come home after so many hours and repeat the same cycle for years at a stretch. Tangent Lodge is a symbol of a completely different way of life.

Retirement, where the daily cycle of activities goes a whole different direction. It will be the time of our lives where we can decide for ourselves what we wish to do with the day. There is no time schedule, no deadlines, no company structure or productivity requirements to meet.

Not to say we plan on sitting in our rocking chairs on the front porch, and watch as the world passes us by. It will be the time for our desires. What do we want to do today, not what someone else wants us to do for them today.

Tangent Lodge symbolizes the point where our lives truly become our own.

It’s still a few years off before both of us can be totally separated from our careers. With a 5 year age gap, my retirement is closer at hand. Still we both can see light at the end of the tunnel so to speak. Every day we spend at our country retreat shortens our wait.

We work together to build this next phase of our lives. It’s expected it will be the last phase of our lives as well, I’ve already stated Tangent Lodge will be in our possession until the end. There’s a connection with this land, this cabin, that feels all important.

I sit, creaking back and forth in the old oak rocking chair, waiting for the first rays of sunlight to reach the picture window that looks out into the forest. Yes, we are transforming this neglected property into our home. I realize the transformation goes much deeper.

We are transforming ourselves as well. A closer couple, committed to building our home together. It’s good to have a place where we can escape the worries of the world and just be us.

Home Improvement Products

Problems with New Home Improvement Products

I’ve been a contractor for over 30 years and have watched some incredible products come and go. Maybe I should rephrase that last statement and say that I have seen plenty of so-called fantastic products, come and go.

Some of these products should have never made it to the market, but they did.

I’ve seen retaining walls, paint, exterior coatings, windows, garage doors, regular doors and the worst one of all, roofing materials, enter into the construction market and disappear within a few years. Whenever you see the word lifetime guarantee, limited lifetime guarantee or even the best guarantee you will ever get, don’t buy it.

I’m just kidding of course, but there are plenty of tricky companies out there who know how to manipulate and create the perfect illusion. If there’s one thing I can say about a lifetime guarantee, it’s this,” It’s only as good as the company.”

This is where consumers need to be careful, because it’s easy for a company to create a false illusion about their products. Guaranteed for life, usually means that the company will be going out of business.

Limited lifetime warranty usually means that the lifetime warranty has a couple of catches. Most limited lifetime guarantees don’t provide the consumer with very much protection.

One window manufacturer that I purchased products from guarantees your windows for life, as long as you own the home. Oh I forgot to mention, and as long as you have all of your paperwork and your original warranty.

Now when it comes to roofing materials, these people have created their own super limited lifetime niche, because someone comes up with a brilliant idea and actually finds a market for it. Some of these roofing materials are literally junk, but most homeowners, don’t know enough about them, to make an educated decision.

That’s when the super salesman comes in and clinches the deal, simply by using their charm and charisma. Uneducated homeowners are the ones that usually fall victim to inferior products, backed up by superior sales pitches

If I had a quarter for every home that I repaired, because of a material flaw or poor installation, I would have a lot of quarters. Even though things are starting to get better, we need to send articles like these to everyone we know, just in case.

It’s our responsibility to stop the scammers, before it’s too late.

The next time anyone tells you that you have any type of guarantee, either throw it in the trash can or read it and try to understand what type of consumer protection, they are actually providing.

Sonin 00700 Water Alarm

Sonin 00700 Water Alarm with Remote Sensor Product Review

The Sonin 00700 Water Alarm with Remote Sensor has a deceptive appearance. This looks stylish and seriously constructed with a professional devise. But the fact is that it is trash. Before purchasing it I went through the mixed reviews about this apparatus and decided to gamble for $14. Now after using it for 8 months both the money and water is going has gone down the drain. I expected it to work at least for a couple of years. Sadly I had do discontinue because it is not a reliable instrument.

This is basically designed to sense any sort of water leakage and alert it in advance. Once it discovers the water seeping or trickling out, it sends out warning signals. The alarm raised by it is loud enough to wake you up even from your wildest dreams. It emits a sound of intensity 85 dB and is supposed to last for three days. The fact is that the intensity of the sound is high enough only to warn the people inside the house or at the max the neighbors residing close next to the door in an apartment. If you are out of the house, then there is no way you can hear it.

What I dislike the most about this water alarm is that it is not dependable. On some occasion it gets instantly in to action while at times it goes on a slumber. This is not active to safe guard the house. I am looking for an efficient alarm that really saves my day from washing the soaked carpets and drying damp furniture. The water alarm as such is useful in discovering undesirable water seepage from humidifiers, water machine, coolers and refrigerators.

With lot of hope I got the Sonin 00700 and for nearly two months it worked fine. I still remember the day it alerted all of us when the pipe in the basement garage had leaked beyond control. We had dumped our old furniture and other seldom using stuff there and everything was protected from submerging in water. Yet another time for some unknown reason the wash basin the hall was about to overflow and this promptly rang the bell. But for this our little puppy would have got drenched in water. The last time it disappointed me when I saw my costly carpet completely soaked in water and soap from the washer tub. After that I had stopped using it.

I was told by one of my friends that the battery lasts for 8 months. I cannot comment on it because I had ceased using it before that itself. This comes with a test button that facilitates you to inspect the battery charge. I was so dump to periodically check the battery thinking that this equipment can be trusted on its performance. But I was only wasting my time on it. The worst part is that it can only sense the leak and not stop or rectify the water trickling. If only the first half had been done I would have been happy.

Maryland Building Codes

How to Find Maryland Building Codes

The state of Maryland passes building codes at the state level. There is also some local involvement in the adoption of building codes for the construction, engineering and design industries. Maryland building professionals should first get familiar with the process of how building codes are adopted and become law in Maryland. They can then figure out how to find these Maryland building codes for use in their business.

Step 1:

Get familiar with how laws, rules and regulations related to building and construction come about in Maryland. At the state level, the legislature has the power to adopt pretty much any constitutional law. It can also delegate authority to pass rules and regulations to a Maryland administrative agency.

In the case of Maryland building codes and construction rules and regulations, the Maryland Codes Administration plays a large part in the Maryland administrative law for this industry. The Maryland Building Performance Standards Regulations prescribe which building codes and amendments are adopted for use in Maryland. You may see links to the regulations in the Resources below.

After these regualations are passed and codes adopted, they go to the local Maryland county and city building departments. The local government may then amend certain portions of the Maryland building codes.

Step 2:

If you are working on construction or maintenance in a Maryland county or city, the first thing you need to do is find out if there are any amendments to the state building codes in that local city or county. To aid in this step, the Maryland Codes Administration has a directory of local building departments. Use the link in the Resources below to find the local office. Get a copy of any amendments from that office.

Step 3:

Next, click on the “Maryland Building Performance Standards List of Adopted Codes and Standards” page in the Resources below. That document will tell you which building codes have been adopted. You then know which codes or standards to find.

Step 4:

From there, if you know the publisher, you can contact the publisher to get a copy of a building code adopted in Maryland. If you do not know the publisher because you are unfamiliar with that particular industry or code, then ask the Maryland Codes Administration how to access that particular building code. Use the following contact information:

Maryland Codes Administration

100 Community Place

Crownsville, MD 21032-2023

410-514-7218

You should also refer to the administration’s main page for additional information related to building codes in Maryland (see Resources).

Arizona Building Codes

How to Find Arizona Building Codes

Arizona essentially has a decentralized system of building codes. City or county governments in Arizona select and adopt from a number of available construction and building codes. They then have the option of amending those codes. Professionals in the construction and engineering industries need to find out which codes are used in municipalities or counties where they intend to work. They also need to find sources of these codes for ready access if encountering compliance questions or problems.

Step 1:

The first thing you will need to do is find your local building department. The name of this agency varies based on local rule, but each city or county has an office dedicated to building codes, construction permits and other matters related to regulation of the construction and engineering industries.

The easiest way to do this is to enter the city name and “building codes” or “building department” in Yahoo! or another search engine.

Example:

Let’s say I am looking to run a plumbing contractor business or participate in a construction project in Tucson. When entering “Tucson building codes” into Yahoo!, I come up with the Planning and Development Services Department “Building Codes” web page on the official Tucson City website. By looking at that page, you can see that Tucson adopts multiple international building codes. The city has also adopted some other uniform and national building codes and offers a copy of these codes online.

Step 2:

Ask the local building department which building codes are in effect in that jurisdiction. Now, it may be helpful to know how the process of adopting building codes in Arizona and other places work. Organizations like the International Code Council create model building codes. In fact, you can see the latest versions of the main international building codes online at the ICC website (see Resources below). But the problem is that local cities and counties in Arizona can amend these model codes.

To avoid using incorrect code provisions, it is vital that you access the local version of any model codes. This is why you must ask your local building department where to find the building codes as locally amended. The original codes can be used for reasearch and construction planning only if a code is not amended by the local building authority.

Additional Sources of Information on Arizona Building Codes:

  1. The National Electrical Contractors Association lists various local Arizona building departments, their contact information and which codes are used in that city or county. This will not be the end of your research for local Arizona building codes because you still need to contact the local agency to find the amended versions of the codes used in that jurisdiction.
  2. The Structural Engineers Association of America also has a similar list. Use that list to find contact information for local building agencies. Contact the agencies to find the proper Arizona building codes.