Monthly Archives: August 2016

New Zealand’s Problem With Leaky Homes

Leaky HomeNew Zealand’s homeowners aren’t that much different from the rest of the developed world. One thing that distinguishes them, though, is a rather unusual problem: a huge number of leaky homes. This is a problem that has been around since the 1990s and 2000s and still exists today, despite the existence of weatherboard houses and related preventive measures.

An Old Problem That Seemingly Wouldn’t Die

According to the Weathertight Homes Resolution Services (WRHS), a leaky home is a “dwelling house into which water has penetrated as a result of its design, construction, alterations made to it, or materials used in its erection.”

The New Zealand government duly recognises this as a major real estate issue. As a result, there are multiple State-sanctioned aid programmes available for owners of leaky homes. Eligible parties can claim for the Financial Assistance Package (FAP), for one, in which they share the cost of repairs with the government. If applicable, the local council can also be involved.

One apartment block in Auckland is enough proof of the magnitude of this problem. Residents of St. Lukes Garden Apartments in Mount Albert, Auckland, filed a massive $60 million leaky homes claim against the contractors involved in the apartment complex’s construction. This is made after the discovery of extensive defects and other flaws due to water damage.

Construction of the complex started in 2003 and finished in 2011—all 285 units spread across 15 buildings. This means that the project is within the timeframe of the leaky homes issue. Now, the problem lies with most of the 285 units showing serious damage, including fire hazards and leaky external walls. Roger Levie of the Home Owners and Buyers Association expressed concern since most of the defects are structural in nature. In the event of an earthquake or similar situation, the buildings are not likely to hold up.

When perusing New Zealand real estate, one must be wary of the huge number of leaky homes in the market. There are an estimated 42,000 homes with leaking issues, with only 3,500 or less having seen repairs. Home buyers must keep their eyes peeled when house hunting, or else risk buying a property with extensive damage (and potential to require a steep price in terms of repairs). 

Keys to a Successful PPC and AdWords Campaign

Successful PPC and AdWords CampaignBranding requires developing a refined process and goal. This is also true when it comes to creating an effective pay-per-click strategy. PPC may seem complicated to some, but it's actually quite beneficial if you've learned how it works and how useful it is for your business.

PPC management companies in Denver and other parts of Colorado say that for a strategy to succeed, it must have certain elements.

Exploring and Evaluating Data

Analytics and all sorts of metrics are in the forefront of many PPC and AdWords campaigns. Marketers use more than gut instinct when it comes to making key decisions. They use numbers to reduce the margin of error and get a higher conversion rate. They implement a test strategy when it comes to text ads, landing pages and keywords. All these factors undergo a meticulous process before identifying which ones are the most effective.

This enables you to produce keyword phrases, ad copy, bid strategies, and landing pages that are likely to convert a visitor. These will serve as the foundation of current and future PPC campaigns you implement.

Expanding and Enhancing

Strategies need a foundation, but you must also provide yourself room for failing forward and expanding the keyword phrases and other factors you use in your campaigns. Doing so allows you to enter a new market or strengthen your hold on a current one. It also gives you the chance to develop quality leads without sacrificing conversion rates.

Once you have expanded and diversified keywords used, the next step is to refine and enhance them. You need to check the words and phrases you use continuously, so that your ranking doesn’t fall. The landing page elements, ad copies, and others must remain aligned with your overall strategy.

To get the results you want, you either higher someone with the skills or experience or get a third-party to do it for you. Getting a consultant enables you to focus on your strengths and your core business, while hiring an expert also reduces mistakes and makes sure you achieve your objectives.

Facts No One Told You about Investing in Gold

Gold Investment Although there are more precious metals pricier than gold, people still see it as the most valuable metal in the world. In fact, currencies all over the world look to it as a standard for determining a monetary value. For this reason, investing in gold is one of the best moves you can do for wealth preservation.

Investing in gold may sound enticing, considering the rewards you can get in a few grammes. However, many UK gold bullion sellers are not telling you some things about gold investments. Do not be left out. Here are some of the facts that you must know about investing in gold.

Banks can confiscate your gold

Jewellery is the most popular form of possessing gold as a status of wealth. While women are more inclined to do this than men, it is advisable that everybody do this for the sake of security. The question is why?

Bail-ins, an act that legalises the rights of banks to confiscate the properties of its depositors and debtors to save themselves from losses, can happen anytime. If you invested in gold bars, coins, and bullions in a bank, there’s a big chance that they can confiscate that. For this reason, you should still have gold jewellery in your possession.

Gold is a better investment than money

The monetary system used all over the world is the fiat system, which relies on paper money. Paper money is only considered valuable because a government says so. It is according to how well the economy is doing and how well the government manages the country’s affairs. Other factors include the combination of the two.

Gold, on the other hand, is solid and has more value. The secret here is that you should invest in all forms of gold.

If you’re looking for an investment, you might as well go with gold. Its value does fluctuate, but it could be a much better choice for you than keeping money and other assets in the bank.

Counteracting the effects of tooth loss by using dental implants

Tooth LossTooth loss is a scary experience, and it’s easy to think that your life as you know it is over as you fear going out in public with a gap-toothed smile, or even no teeth at all. But whilst tooth loss is traumatic, it doesn’t have to change anything. You should consult a dentist as soon as possible to discuss how best to replace your missing tooth/teeth.

At Sutton Coldfield Implant Clinic, dental implants are often the tooth replacement solution of choice. They are small titanium screws that act as replacements for the tooth roots, not just holding your new teeth firmly in place whilst also helping to stop the jaw bone shrinking – a common side-effect of tooth loss and the main reason standard dentures get loose.

There are numerous reason behind tooth loss – every gap in a smile tells a story. As well as the commonly-known problems of gum disease and tooth decay, accidents and injuries involving the head and face can result in missing teeth.

Wearing a properly fitted sports mouthguard during any sport that involves fast-moving objects or contact can help to prevent damage to the teeth, but anyone can be unfortunate enough to be accidentally injured.

The important thing is not to panic, but instead to contact your dentist and speak to them about how dental implants could help you get your smile back. If you have gum disease or tooth decay in other teeth, this should be treated first, because placing dental implants in a healthy mouth will help to maximise their chances of success.

Most people only require local anaesthesia for the placement of placing dental implants, although conscious sedation is an excellent option for patients whose fear of the dentist played a role in their tooth loss.

Dental implants take a few months to fully heal, during which time temporary teeth may be fitted. Once healing is complete your permanent new teeth will be attached, and you will once again be enjoying all the functionality of a healthy mouth: being able to eat what you like, being able to speak clearly and confidently, and enjoying your life without slipping dentures hindering you.

Investors Say Buying Gold Bars is the Ideal Way to Invest

Gold Bars

Gold BarsSaving and planning for your future is always a good move towards financial stability. You can’t predict the future, but by doing something about it, you can limit the number of financial problems that you may face someday. An ideal way to prepare for your future financially is through investments.

Two of the most commonly used methods of investments is putting your money in a savings account and buying gold — in bars, coins, or bullions. Here is a comparison, so you’ll know which is a better option for you:

Savings Account

You can always put your money in a savings account, so you’ll have cash when you need it. However, your money can only sit there and earn little. Banks today provide only the smallest of rates for untouched, deposited money. In some cases, they can only ensure yearly rates that are lower.

A savings account to saving money for expenses is a wise idea. Keeping it there for safety is likewise a good idea. You can easily withdraw money when you need to pay for or buy something.

Gold

With that said, you can use your money to buy gold bars. Atkinsons Bullion says that investing in gold has always been a good choice when investing your money. Gold is among the most valuable precious metals today, and its value is even higher than paper money.

Gold is also durable, so it won’t rust, decay, or lie in ruins. You’ll still be able to hand it down to your grandchildren and they can do the same.

The price of gold can only go up as demand gets higher and the supply gets lower. What’s more, gold is not a risky investment unlike a savings account that you have to worry if your bank is trustworthy.

Why Some People Just Can’t Stop Eating

Binge EatingLike most emotional and mental issues, lack of control is the defining characteristic of binge eating disorders. It’s not the same as eating too much on Friday dinner with friends. Binge eating is done compulsively, regularly, and secretly. When having more than enough food (and fast) becomes something that you just “have” to do, it is time for professional intervention.

Why do people binge eat?

Binge eating is a result of low self-esteem, anxiety, and depression. This is an issue where everything plays a role, including a person’s own resilience to stress, family history, and quality of support, school or work environment, and exposure to a mainstream culture that nearly endorses body shaming. Age and gender are also factors. The number of female victims is greater than male sufferers by 1.5%. Binge eating, which currently holds 1.6% of young adult victims is alarmingly common among teens. Recent studies also show that people who are predisposed to obesity are also more prone to overeating although it remains to be seen whether the correlation is purely psychological or possibly genetic. People who suffer from depression have low levels of dopamine and serotonin, happy hormones.

What can be done to treat binge eating disorders?

As with most mental and emotional issues, an acknowledgment that a problem exists is the first step. Binge eaters often feel shame and make an effort to hide this lack of control. It’s also possible for primary caregivers like parents and siblings to deny and simply “not see.” The term, “binge,” after all leaves a lot of room for individual interpretation. When is eating too much?
The next step is to find out whether the compulsion to eat even past hunger is part of a larger crisis such as chronic depression or trauma. Professionals may decide to undertake a mix of talk therapy or prescription drugs. Half of young adults advised to take antidepressants report feeling better after several weeks. Interpersonal therapy (IPT) and cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) are also common approaches to address compulsive eating.

What can be done to prevent compulsive eating?

The complex issues of the mind cannot be completely prevented because people are products of their environments, family history, and biological makeup. A good step towards preventing self-esteem related disorders, though, is to influence both children and adults to have a more positive outlook in life: to love rather than hate, to encourage rather than criticize, to believe that you are enough. Significantly, reducing problems linked to unhappiness requires a cultural revolution, and it starts with awareness.

Accelerated Stress Testing and How Various Industries Benefit from It

Reliability Testing MethodProduct recalls are among the nightmares industry giants are afraid to face. These don’t only entail billions of dollars of losses, but the loss of the hard-earned reputation as well. To prevent product recalls and avoid disappointing the consumers, products and equipment undergo accelerated reliability testing.

Experts define accelerated product reliability testing as a method used for finding defects in products so they can be fixed before introducing them to the market. The testing method helps many manufacturers improve product reliability, increasing their return on investments in the process. The test saves many businesses and industries billions of dollars.

The two main testing methods

There are two main reliability testing methods: HALT and HASS. Collectively, these two are called Accelerated Stress Testing (AST) as these procedures apply stresses in a controlled manner to determine the weak points of the products. Manufacturers, by identifying the failure modes, can then strengthen or improve the products before consumers get hold of them.

Industries where testing is necessary

The automotive industry relies on these testing methods to predict failure modes in sophisticated automotive electronics, ensuring the safety of car owners. The telecommunications industry also benefit from HALT and HASS as these testing methods enable engineers to remedy device failures that could result in communication downtime and revenue loss. In the medical industry, the testing ensures the reliability of devices for life support and surgeries. AST is also used by electronics companies to create a state-of-the-art computing and communications devices. The other industries where HALT and HASS are important include avionics, renewable energy, defense, and oil industries, among others.

Reliability testing using the HALT and HASS is essential for many industries because it makes sure the products meet the expectations of the consumers. All manufacturers should perform the product testing to prevent revenue loss. 

Solar Panels: Are They Still Worth it?

Solar PanelsIf you are looking for ways to cut down your bills and reduce your carbon footprint, getting solar panels installed is a great option. As the panels capture free energy from the sun, you can run lighting and appliances while also decreasing your electricity costs. All you have to do is pay for the initial solar panel installation and expect a great return on investment over the years.

Recent FiT Cuts

You, of course, may be concerned about the worthiness of solar panels because of recent cuts to the Feed-in Tariff (FIT). Plunging costs of solar panels mean that they are still cost effective and deliver both sizeable earnings and savings over the years. If the energy costs increase in the future, having solar panels will protect you from the rising cost with free electricity from the sun.

FIT Cuts in the Future

Future cuts are also an issue, as the government said they would be reducing FIT every quarter to deal with the increasing households planning to install solar panels. They would also have quarterly caps for those who are able to register for FIT. Despite this, however, you can still get a good return on investment. Installing the panels soon will give you the best possible ROI and you will still receive payment in spite of the future cuts.

Optimum Performance

It is possible to make the most of the solar panels by installing them in a south facing roof, leaning around 30 degrees. The panels, however, will still generate electricity if the roof faces another direction or if installed on a flat roof, says an expert from Ecolution. You also don’t have to worry about cloudy days, as they can still capture energy even on a gloomy weather. Just be sure that no obstructions can stand in the way of light getting to the panels.

It is hard to calculate the exact time it will take to make ROI. This, of course, will still depend on the size of your solar panels, your energy consumption, as well as the FiT rates at the time you installed the panels. It is good to know, however, that they can reduce your bills by about 50 per cent and protect you from the increasing energy cost.  

Top Tips For a Brighter Smile, From a Cosmetic Dentist

Cosmetic DentistEverybody wants a smile to be proud of, but all too often tooth discolouration can make us embarrassed to show our smile off in public, hiding it behind our hands or even not smiling at all. A cosmetic dentist has many ways to brighten up your smile – often in just a few short appointments at the dental surgery.

When you visit a cosmetic dentist, the first thing they will do is to establish the nature of your tooth staining. This enables them to choose the most effective form of treatment. It may surprise you to know that the number one cause of tooth discolouration is visible dental plaque, which is bad for your health as well as your smile, because it causes tooth decay and gum disease.

Gum disease has been linked to a host of general health conditions in numerous studies, from heart and lung disease to diabetes and strokes. Therefore, if this is the cause of your tooth staining you should get it addressed by a dentist or hygienist right away.

Teeth whitening treatment is the most popular cosmetic dental treatment in the world and is effective at treating common tooth stains such as those caused by diet, lifestyle factors such as cigarette smoking, and by some medicines and medical conditions. Harley Street Dental Clinic offers a wide range of tooth whitening procedures, which are safe and reliable when provided by a cosmetic dentist.

It is vital to consult a cosmetic dentist for teeth whitening treatment; by law, only dental professionals can carry out the procedure. Some beauty parlours offer the treatment but this can be dangerous and can damage your teeth and gums. Remember: you wouldn’t go to anyone other than a dentist for a filling, bridge, or crown – teeth whitening must be thought of in the same way.

Teeth whitening doesn’t work on dental restorations such as fillings or crowns, but a cosmetic dentist can safely and easily remove old metal fillings or discoloured crowns and replace them with tooth-coloured alternatives. Fillings can usually be replaced in a single appointment whilst crowns require a minimum of two.

Permanent stains can be masked by porcelain veneers, thin porcelain shells placed over the teeth.

You May be Guilty of These Habits that Push You to Bankruptcy

Bankruptcy Case in UtahAdmit it. You went close to going broke at least once in your life. A one-time big-time purchase may be the reason behind it, but faulty spending habits often push your budget to the limit more than a pricey item. What are they?

Impulsive Buying

If you find that you have a pile of regrettable purchases sitting in your closet or garage, you may want to re-assess your buying habits and your bank account. Or else, you may have to call Utah Bankruptcy Pros or bankruptcy lawyers to make your “I’m broke” announcement official.

When you see items you like at first glance and just head to the counter to pay for them, you’re accumulating things you don’t need or use. You’re also spending more than you should. An avid shopper may argue that it’s retail therapy, but it’s not all that therapeutic if it drains your savings.

Avoid the shopping center for a while. If tempting offers and discounts haunt you, think of all the money you’ll waste on a new set of towels or china that will just collect dust in your house.

Denying the Debts

While you’re still not sinking in debt, come up with a plan to pay it off. Keeping it out of sight, out of mind, by hiding from your creditors will make matters worse. It will hold off the payment and mount the interests.

Instead of hiding from your creditors, be honest with them. Negotiate if you have to, but make sure to pay when you say you will. Otherwise, a negative balance is inevitable.

Thinking that Filing for Bankruptcy will Save You

Many think that filing for bankruptcy will spare them from lawsuits, more debts, and losing their properties. What they don’t consider is its effect on their future transactions.

After you file for bankruptcy, expect your credit score to drop significantly, by a hundred points or more. You know it’s hard to borrow money on poor credit, so there’s a big chance of falling into the same habits and going broke, again.

Unless you change your spending habits, don’t hope for your financial situation to turn itself around. Know how your wasteful ways affect your finances, and make an effort to curb them before it’s too late.