Posts made in November 2013

Chicago Before and After the Porch Disaster

Collapsing may not be a big deal for ground-based porches, but they are for porches two to three floors above. The porch collapse of 2003 in the Lincoln Park apartment building in Chicago, wherein 13 people died and over 50 were injured, should have been a history lesson for every American, and not just porch builders. When the only thing standing between people out on the porch and the cold, hard pavement below is a system of support beams and trusses, the simplest repair jobs can save lives.

Many consider the porch disaster as the last straw for local officials. Prior to the event, porch problems were prevalent enough to force the city into forming a special task force with the duty of making sure the porches of Chicago won’t claim any innocent lives. The recession forced the task force to disband in 2009, but residents have learned their lesson by that time.

The number of city inspectors dropped, but it didn’t equate to the local government slacking off. The few remaining city inspectors have been trained to include porch inspection to their growing list of skills to maintain porch safety and save the city thousands. Ten years after the tragedy, the number of porch issues have dropped significantly.

Chicago is no longer plagued with safety issues regarding porches, but there’s always the possibility of history repeating itself. Safety, in general, is the responsibility of the property owner. More often than not, safety is just a call away.

The Benefits of Working from Home

Today, being gainfully employed no longer means being confined to a cubicle. More and more people are working from home, either because they have a home-based business or their employers allow them to work out of the office a few days per week.

Goodbye to Commutes

Employees spend an average of 50 minutes per day just commuting to and from work. Work-from-home, meanwhile, only takes effort as simple as walking up to your laptop and turning it on. The time you save from commuting allows you to get more work done or be used as “me time.”

Hello to Family Time

Sure, work is important. Howe else will you pay for groceries, utility bills and tuition fees? Still, the most important thing in life is family, and working from home allows you to spend more time with your spouse and children.

Comfortable Space

Many a time, employees complain about how small their office cubicles are. When you’re at home, however, you need not worry about competing for that much-coveted floor space in the office.

You can work in your bedroom, den, or even have your basement completely remodeled to accommodate your new office space. Now, there should be no limits to the space you can use for your work. You can even customize your basement finishing by adding your own mini-pantry, so you won’t have to make multiple trips to the kitchen. Not only can you make your basement look better and functional, you can also increase your home’s value.

Transforming Your Basement

Basements are often used as storage for stuff that has not been used for years, or for home and garden tools, and similar things. With much imagination and creativity, however, your basement can be converted into something much more functional.

For example, you can transform your basement into a wine cellar. You would not need to add windows to your basement; a few shelves and wine racks may be all that’s necessary. Wine that is aged in your basement can taste just as great as those in renowned wine cellars anywhere as long as you simulate the same conditions.

You can also use your basement as a gym. With the right amount of space, you can bring in some key pieces gym equipment such as a treadmill. If you are working on a tighter budget, you can make use of simple equipment and gadgets such as pull-up bars, and some weights. The basement is also an ideal place for a workshop. You can bring your handyman tools and equipment into your basement, and with the appropriate power supply and safety features, work on creating something, or on a handicraft or hobby.

Your basement can also be transformed into a home office. If you have a home-based business, a basement’s location is ideal for providing the needed privacy for a workplace, and for allotting a professional space apart from the rest of the home.