10 Crucial Questions Your Exhibition Stand Designer Should Ask About Your Business

According to a recent survey, there are more than 10,000 trade shows in the U.S per year,  and this leads to over a trillion dollars in financial impact on the economy. What this should mean to you is that you want to find an exhibition stand builder that is of top-notch quality that will be able to understand your vision and put it into an elaborate exhibition booth. When you have an excellent looking stand at the right convention or trade show, you can boost revenue and exposure for your organisation significantly. However, even if you have a great exhibition stand going to the wrong trade show or convention can be a waste of time or resources.

You will obviously want to pick the best trade shows for your brand through the year while displaying targeted marketing that showcases the benefits and brand of your organisation. When you are fully prepared with a marketing message that is proven to work and an organised sales team that is savvy, knowledgeable, and driven you will need to an amazing exhibition booth designer to complete the details.

The importance of choosing the right booth designer

The worst-case scenario that could possibly happen to any organisation or business would be to have an exhibition stand that does not capture attention or even worse if it causes damage to your brand identity. If you have a failed exhibition booth then you could be missing out on potential customers. According to a recent survey, more than 80% of attendees of trade shows and conventions have buying authority. If you have an exhibition booth that is poorly designed and put together it will put a real strain on your image in the industry you are featured in.

Your exhibition stand will either make or break your chances of success at a convention or trade show. You will need to hire an exhibition stand builder that completely understands your desires and objectives as well as your brand and what you need to do at the next trade show you attend. Below are included a list of 10 specific questions that every single exhibition stand designer should be asking you to completely make your trade show exhibit a smashing success.

The 10 most important questions every exhibition stand designer should ask you.

  1. Will this be a longer term trade show program or is this a one-time event?
  2. What are the intended desires and goals for the particular trade show program? These questions can include things such as launching a new product, getting a certain number of product demonstrations per day with new leads, gaining orders at a show, capturing leads for sales follow-ups and to build further business relationships with existing customers.
  3. What is your current brand logo, colours and specialised guidelines that are best suited to represent your organisation, business or product?
  4. What type of trade show space is available? Is it a peninsula, an island, an inline and what kind of space requirements and restrictions will there be?
  5. Have you ever used exhibition booths before and do you have any photos of them? What did you approve and disapprove of from the old booths in terms of how they function with the goals in mind for the current upcoming event?
  6. Do you have a Pinterest account and what images and inspirations are available on your organisations’ account?
  7. Are there certain colours, styles, fonts, or other aesthetic effects and material that feature your organisation or brand?
  8. What do you require for setting up and taking apart the booth including shipping and storage?
  9. What does your marketing look like for your brand? What do you have to offer that represents the brand? Does your existing website match your branding? Does your website have marketing brochures, specialised packaging or collateral that best promotes the brand?
  10. What is the main goal and brand or position of your organisation at the trade show as it relates to the industry? Is your organisation or brand identity that of a hungry startup company? Are you a new brand that wants to stick out? Are you a major company who wants to make an impact? Are you already a known brand but need a marketing refresh and powerful message?

Seafarers Earnings Deduction: Tax Relief for Ship Workers

Understanding UK Tax Laws Governing Offshore Employees

Back in history, all British seafarers have always been under the privilege of special tax rules that have dictated the tax rates they pay and this has been common for many decades. In many cases a seafarer is out of the country for extremely large amounts of time and has to endure a competitive labour market as well. Also, the British government has an actual requirement for a certain percentage of seafarers for strategic defense of the country. Within this aticle, we will discuss how the laws have changed and how they affect modern day seafarers and the discounts and tax rates that are applicable to this type of employment.

Superyacht employees commonly use the SED as a means to avoid paying income tax. Image: Robb Report

For a very long period of time, all seafarers were covered by income tax deductions who worked overseas for a large amount of time during the tax year. However, this changed in 1984 when the British government made changes that were actually ridiculed and condemned by the shipping industry. This outrage eventually led to what was known as the 1988 Finance Act. Because of all the lobbying by ship owners and maritime organisations, this act allowed a larger percentage of seafarers 100% tax deductions but unfortunately, this was not to last very long and we will explain why below.

Iraq invaded Kuwait just three years later after the above tax was put into motion. Because of the war, the UK had problems in getting enough ships and seafarers available to transport military equipment to the Gulf. This made another impact on how the laws changed with what is known as the 1991 Finance Act which brought more benefits regarding the tax regulations and how they affected UK seafarers. Essentially what happened was that seafarers had their available time extended to 183 days inland in the UK per taxable year. This has become the modern day rule for all seafarers as long as they work on a ship and not any offshore drilling rigs or related gas and oil drilling employment.

The Inland Revenue created the 1998 Finance Act which clearly outlined the definition of what defines a ship, a seafarer and an offshore installation for tax purposes. To be eligible for these tax deductions the ruling excluded employment with such common things in the oil and gas industries like, production platforms that are fixed, floating production platforms, mobile offshore drilling units as well as flotels. If you are employed on one of these types of installations then you are not considered as a seafarer and would not be eligible for Seafarers Earnings Deduction.

What does HMRC consider as a “ship” for tax purposes?

We have included the list of conditions that meet satisfaction for the Seafarers tax deduction:

  • vessels that do heavy-lifting
  • diving support vessels
  • shuttle tankers
  • well service vessels
  • dredgers
  • survey vessels as well as pipe-laying barges

Interestingly enough, these new rules were challenged in an Appeal Court case in 2001 however it failed to change things as the Seafarers tax deduction is not available for anyone who receives employment on a rig, which are not actually considered as ships.

Oil rig employees do not quality under SED tax rules. Image: Dentons

However, in search of clarity and fairness a campaign continued throughout the decade. Later in 2009, HMRC issued new guidance which showed who was actually entitled to the SED and which years the financial claims would be covered by people who believed they that had been refused the specialized tax deduction.

Later in May of 2012, Nautilus won a legal suit with the HMRC over the regulations and rules for actually claiming the Seafarers income tax deductions. In a test case, a High Court judge sided on the Unions argument that employees who had worked on two ferries had a reasonable expectation to be entitled to the Seafarers Earnings Deduction.

Nowadays the SED no longer campaigns in the UK in the same fashion but rather campaigns to have SED extended to all seafarer employees not just to seafarers who are away for 183 days per year. The Nautilus union still campaigns on this special issue across Europe and calls upon member states to take advantage of the State Aid guidelines that govern the tax deductions who are employed as seafarers.

Ultimately the Nautilus union advises that people who are employed on ships who need advice or guidance to request more information for further details. Ultimately if you work on a rig or any offshore installation you will not be entitled to the Seafarers tax deductions. If you work on a ship however you are able to benefit from the deduction.

External Sources

This article was drafted using various reference material including but not limited to links, text and images from the following third party sites:

How to Get Your Own Garden Office Building

Work from Home in Your Own Timber Office

A growing trend among homeowners over the past few years has been the popularity of building garden rooms to expand their living areas. Most of the time these garden rooms are created for either home offices or studios. There is an unlimited number of options available for the types of designs you can use to build a permanent living area.

Built a lot like modern timber-framed homes, garden rooms essentially use both the same techniques and materials. Garden rooms are also highly insulated meaning they keep a good temperature which means they can be used all year long. Many people will choose to build a garden room by themselves and there are two possibilities when going this route. You can either buy a kit and build it yourself or you can build your garden room completely from scratch. Self-build kits are the easiest option with many companies that offer high-quality kits as a quick and simple method to build a garden room on your own. The only downside to using a pre-built kit is that it limits your design options as you will have to choose a specific design already created. However, if you have your own design ideas you can always build your own garden room.

The first things you will have to take into consideration when designing a garden room are the rules and regulations of planning and building permits. Your areas planning and building regulations will have to be followed when you are designing your garden room.

When it comes to building a foundation for a garden room, most people will simply go with a slab of concrete. However, nowadays plinth foundations have become more popular with methods such as Jack Pads and Swift Plinths being used to build bases. They are easy to install and require very little site preparations. They can also be made from recycled materials and can be removed easily if the garden room is ever going to be taken down.

SIP Panels Are a Lightweight & Cost-Effective Way of Insulating a Timber Building. Image credit: Garden Office Guide

Most garden room suppliers will favour traditional wooden frames however you can also use Structural Insulated Panels as well. While timber frames are more common, with SIP panels you can get the manufacturer to precisely cut your panels as needed.

When you are choosing your roofing a common choice is using insulated roof panels. They form both the interior and exterior of the roof. You can also use different materials such as Asphalt shingles, Cedar shingles, and even slate tiles. You will need to design your roof so that it can handle the weight and prevent any form of leaks.

The doors and windows are the next important feature of your garden room. Using house quality doors and windows are common for garden room designs. It is best to utilise as much natural lighting as possible to get the most from your garden room.

Most garden room interiors are lined with MDF panel boards or vinyl coated boards. A more expensive option for the interior is using fully plastered interiors just like houses. Birch plywood lining are a popular option as well when it comes to style. For your floors, there are many options including using carpet, tiles, rubber or linoleum.

Real Wood Floors Look Amazing in a Garden Office Building. Image credit: Ecospace

You will need electricity to run to your garden room. We highly recommend that you hire a professional electrical contractor. Your garden room will need its own electrical consumer unit which would be connected to the main house supply via a cable buried underground that extends out to your garden room. You will also want to include telephone, audio, internet and phone lines buried along with the electrical cable.

To create completely self-contained garden office buildings you will want to install toilets and full shower rooms to complete your room. You will need to hire a professional plumber and follow the rules and regulations that are required for building in your area. You will need both a sewage connection as well as a fresh water supply implemented into this design.

Both designing and building your very own garden room can be a great project that you can hire a contractor to build for you or you can take your time and do it yourself. By building a garden room on your own from scratch you will massively cut down on the expenses associated with the building. By designing it yourself you will get exactly what you require for a fraction of the price it would cost to purchase a pre-built garden room. However, if you are not one for doing it on your own, there are also many different garden room companies you can choose from that can provide you with a quality room for a range of different prices, features, and designs.

Acknowledgements

The following websites were referenced in the creation of this blog in the form of external links, images and text and the author would like to thank them:

How to give your kitchen a makeover with new cupboard doors

Kitchen transformations on a budget

The first thing that anyone tends to notice about a kitchen are the cupboard doors. There are obviously several doors in your kitchen, depending on how large it is. And in most cases it is the doors that end up being subjected to the most wear and tear due to cheap melamine coatings that flake, crack and peel. Opening and closing them countless times, kids trying to open them and banging them closed, spills and scratches – these are just some of the things that kitchen cupboard doors face. Needless to say, over a number of years, they are going to end up in a rather unpleasant condition. So, if you want to give your kitchen a facelift, the first thing you need to consider is to direct your attention and efforts to the kitchen cupboard doors.

Kitchen Doors with Peeling Melamine Surfaces Look Awful. Image credit: Home Depot

First off, if you simply replace the kitchen cupboard doors you are going to make a considerable difference on the look of your kitchen. You can go for a completely different style and colour, and this will practically lead to a new kitchen. One of the most important things to bear in mind is to retain the same size of each door so as to eliminate any problems when it comes to fitting the new doors. Other than that, simply buy new hardware in the same type as the current one, and you can order new cupboard doors at a professional company that specialises in custom woodworking and made-to-measure cabinetry. Fitting the new doors to the kitchen is very simple and quick. And hey presto – you will have a new kitchen at a fraction of the cost of installing a new one, and without all the stress and mess that you would have had to go through.

There is also the option of keeping the current cupboard doors, but giving them a whole new finish. You would need to remove them carefully, and wipe them clean in preparation for re-coating. In that way you will be able to examine their condition and consider what you can do to give them a newer and cleaner look. As long as there are no big or deep scratches which cannot be filled and sanded smoothly and neatly, you are good to go! Makes sure to mark each door so as not to get confused which one goes where when you go to attach them back to your kitchen.

Preparing Your Doors for Painting is Vital to Getting a Perfect Finish. Image credit: Confessions of a Serial DIYer

In most cases sanding the cupboard doors and then applying a new coating of paint will manage to make a big difference in the way they look. Make sure to spend enough time sanding, wiping and painting or spraying each door so as to give it a neat finish. It may be best to apply more than one coating, and make sure that you buy a suitable product according to the material your cupboard doors are made from. This will guarantee the best results. Allow them to dry well between one coating and another. Once you are satisfied with the final look, you can then attach them back in their respective positions in the kitchen. If you are going to opt for this option make sure to choose a colour that will complement the kitchen top and any other features in your kitchen that will remain the same.

Both of these methods are definitely way simpler and more affordable than ordering and installing brand new units and will definitely deliver you one of the most amazing kitchen makeovers possible without spending huge sums of money!

Special Thanks

Much gratitude and respect goes out to the following websites for references and material used in this article:

What’s a Family Law Solicitor & What They Do

Family law is without a doubt one of the most common and one of the broadest legal fields. A family law solicitor will be dealing with matters that concern one or more members of a family, due to legal issues such as divorce, child custody, guardianship, spousal abuse, adoption, child rights, annulment, and property settlement issues. It’s a wide ranging and complex area of expertise.

Separation Causes Great Stress on Children. Image credit: CBC

Family lawyers basically come into the picture whenever there are certain family disagreements and problems that have gone on a more serious level. Thus family lawyers handle a wide range of legal matters and issues. In some cases, mediation and some negotiation may resolve the matters, but in other cases the only option is to resort to a court hearing. In such a case the family lawyer will be representing the client in court. He or she will be preparing pleadings and filings, as well as attend the trials and proceedings. Needless to say a family issue is already of great distress. Therefore hiring a family law solicitor who can help in simplifying one’s life at least in the realm of legal intricacies is very important. In most cases, one will lean on the family law solicitor’s experience and guidance, as most people will not know what really needs to be done to resolve such issues legally. Therefore, a family lawyer can offer the much needed assistance and some peace of mind that one’s rights, especially when it comes to issues such as division of property, and child custody, are being properly handled.

The family law solicitor will be handling a lot of things such as preparing witnesses and documents, filing the necessary court papers, preparing for trial, and also investigate the case in detail so as to let you know where you stand from a legal point of view and what course of action is most suitable in your case.

Mediation is Necessary When Divorcing Couples Cannot Agree. Image credit: Huffington Post

Division of assets and liabilities arising as a result of a divorce is one of the most common issues family lawyers see to. There will also be spousal support involved. However, legal issues relating to child custody, child support, visitation rights, and guardianship tend to make matters even more complicated. This gets more complex in cases where there is child neglect or abuse. So when children are involved, there are going to be more demands and problems as there could be termination of parental rights, or there could be disagreements between the spouses as they might both insist on taking care of the child or children. It is very important to hire a family law solicitor who has considerable experience in the matters that you are dealing with, as his/her experience will be imperative when it comes to reaching a good verdict for your case.

Family law is a highly rewarding career, but definitely a very demanding one. It is challenging and interesting, as new issues are bound to arise from day to day. Clients will vary in terms of their expectations and situations, and a family lawyer will thus need to be empathetic, understanding and professional throughout their service. Family lawyers end up being both negotiators and litigators, and this is definitely not an easy thing to do, especially since people’s emotions and futures are at stake. Many family lawyers find that it is critical to have some understanding of counselling and people skills, and needless to say, they also need to be good communicators.

Special Thanks

Much gratitude and respect goes out to the following websites for references and material used in this article:

How to fix your Sky+ HD box stuck on standby

If your Sky+ HD box seems to be stuck on standby, you may wish to follow the instructions below so as to try to fix it. Unfortunately, the Sky+ HD boxes are notorious for failing and freezing so this is a very common problems amongst Sky customers.

First off, it is important to check if the problem lies with the remote control or with the box. So you will need to go through the process below first.

 

Sky+HD Remote Control. Image credit: Steines

Checking your Sky Remote control

Press ‘Sky’ on your remote and a green light should come up on the display of the Sky+ HD box. Try browsing through the menus to see if the remote and box are working. Should the light on the Sky+ HD  box remain red, then it means that it is not responding to the remote.

Checking the Sky+ HD box

Press the Standby button on the box and if a green light is displayed on the front panel then the problem is just the remote control. If the light does not turn green, but remains red then it means that the problem is coming from the Sky+ HD  box.

The Sky+HD Set-Top Box. Image credit: Trusted Reviews

Restart your Sky+ HD box

Unplug the box at the mains and disconnect all devices. Then, switch them all back on and a red power light should be shown on the Sky+ HD box. Wait for three minutes and press Sky on the remote control. A green light will show up on the Sky+ HD box. If this is not the case and a red light is displayed, move on to the next step.

Downloading the Sky+ HD box software

Unplug the Sky+ HD box at the mains, as well as any devices, including your TV. Then, press the Backup button and do not remove your finger from it. This is very important as you need to keep pressing it and at the same time switch eveyrthing back on. After about half a minute four lights should be displayed on the front panel of the Sky+ HD box. At this point you may release the Backup button. Now the Sky+ HD box is in download mode and it will take about 5-10 minutes for the download to be completed. Then, when the download has been completed the Sky+ HD box will automatically switch itself off and show one red light on the front panel. After three minutes you should press Sky on the remote control to switch it on and if all went well a green light will be displayed on the box.

In case the software download does not run, that is, the four lights on the box do not appear, then you will need to contact Sky TV so as to schedule a visit by an engineer as in all probability there is a fault with your Sky+ HD box.

There is also another option which should be used as a last resort. This involves resetting the Sky+ HD box through the front panel as follows:

  1. Switch off the box and other connected devices at the mains.
  2. Press the left and right arrow buttons on your box, and hold them down.
  3. Switch the box and devices back on while continuing to hold the arrow buttons. Within a minute the recording and playback circle on the front panel should illuminate.
  4. Release the arrow buttons.
  5. Press Select on the box two times so that the box will start performing the System Reset.
  6. Once the process is completed the box will switch itself off and show a red light.
  7. Wait four minutes and reconnect and switch everything back on.
  8. Press the Sky button on the remote and the box should now show a green light.

If all else fails, you can of course opt to purchase a brand new Sky+ HD box direct from Sky or another reputable local supplier.

Special Thanks

Much gratitude and respect goes out to the following websites for references and material used in this article:

How to find & hire the perfect home interior designer

Have you bought a new home and do not know how you should furnish or decorate it? Are you fed up wiht your current style in certain rooms and would like something new? Then you should call an interior designer.

Always Plan a Budget Before Starting an Interior Design Project. Image credit: Quizzle

Most projects are too time consuming and demanding to manage by yourself, not to mention that it is better to have someone with experience to make good use of the space available while taking into account important aspects which will make your house feel like home. Residential interior designers will have extensive experience in how to furnish, decorate and remodel, with the main aim to bring out the very best in that room or the entire house. So you are set to benefit when you hire an interior designer. After all your house is your biggest investment, and it is where you spend most of your time.

Hiring an interior designer has become a norm for many home owners. As a result there are many interior designers on the market and this leads to a problem – how are you going to choose the right designer out of them all? There are certain things you need to take into account and some background research you should do before hiring an interior designer.

Ask Your Interior Designer to Present Visual Concepts. Image credit: SketchUp Blog

First of all you need to devote some time on researching different interior designers to learn more about their experience and qualifications, and more importantly, get a good idea of what type of projects they were able to do. Portfolios and customer reviews will be indispensable in helping you make a well informed decision.

Tips to Hiring an Interior Designer

  1. Set up a consultation with several interior designers. It is best to have them come to your home so as to review the space internally and externally themselves. During a consultation you will be able to discuss key areas, such as your preferred style, any specific preferences and your budgetary limits. The designer will explain what he/she suggests and what his/her ideas are, along with the costs involved.
  2. Review their current portfolio so as to get a better idea of what they were able to come up with in other homes. This will give you insight on their experience and preferred styles.
  3. Cost transparency is an important matter on any residential refurbishment project. You want your house to be beautifully designed but you need to ensure you keep a tight grip on spending. Your interior designer should understand that and be transparent when it comes to telling you what costs are involved, as well as whether he/she charges an hourly rate or a fixed fee.
  4. The designer’s project management skills will matter a great deal, especially if there are going to be several rooms involved. The interior designer needs to be able to manage several workers, and see to the materials required and works in progress like a real professional.
  5. Another important issue is interior design project time keeping, especially if you live in the house while there are works in progress. The interior designer should set a deadline and stick to it so as to reduce the inconvenience and any problems arising as a result of inefficiency or a lack of reliability.

Special Thanks

Much gratitude and respect goes out to the following websites for references and material used in this article:

Health & Fitness: Common Injuries Caused by Over-Pronation

It may be interesting to point out that only one out of every three people have normal feet. The rest have abnormal feet, which in 95% of the cases over pronates. So, there is a good chance that you suffer from over pronation and do not even know it.

What is over pronation?

Over pronation is one of the most common foot problems; it is a condition whereby the foot rolls in, and consequently, collapses the arch. In over pronation one rolls his or her feet too much, thus the term ‘over’. Over pronating feet get fatigued more easily and they also place considerable stress on the lower part of the body.

Runners and athletes tend to suffer from over pronation as there is a higher tendency for them to roll over too much while they are running. Due to this the stability of the joints is affected. Moreover, the surfaces of the joints will end up operating at certain improper angles, leading to additional stress on the musles, tendons and ligaments in the feet and the lower parts of one’s legs. Over pronation generally also leads to unbalanced running strides. All this naturally leads to a number of problems, and often, injuries too.

Illustration Showing Navicular Fracture. Image credit: ePainAssist

Some of the most common problems and injuries people with over pronation experience include:

  • Pain in the heels, especially since these may turn inwards
  • Knee pain and improper tracking of the knee caps
  • Pain in the ankles and sprained ankles
  • Bunions and flat feet, which lead to discomfort and pain
  • Navicular Apophysitis
  • Shin splints
  • Achilles Tendonitis
  • Corns and calluses
  • Hammer toes
  • Plantar Fasciitis or Heel Spurs
  • Fractures especially in the first and second toes
  • Lower back pain
  • Pain in the hips

Each of these problems will need to be treated accordingly, and so seeking specialist advice is important. Besides certain treatment options, it is imperative to choose the shoes one wears carefully. The feet will need to be assessed so as to ensure that the shoes are well designed, particularly, the insoles which will be critical in offering proper support to the arches. There are many suitable options on the market from major brands like Asics running shoes, who will have models of shoes specifically suited to over-prontors.

Shoes such as the Asics GEL Kayano range are great for over-pronators. Image credit: Asics

Arch support is in fact extremely important when it comes to treating over pronation and related problems as it is ultimately the underlying cause of it all. Suitable shoes will benefit not only the feet, but also the rest of your body, while reducing the risk of injuries.

A foot that over pronates will end up stretching more, and consequently it will shorten the structure of the foot and contribute to various problems as delineated above. Getting your feet evaluated and a foot specialist recommend any specific treatment or ways to reduce the pain you may be experiencing is important as at times the pain and discomfort ends up being unbearable, not to mention that it will have a considerable effect on one’s life. In most cases one will end up experiencing pain in various parts of the foot and the lower legs, and since it ends up being a chain reaction, pain in the hips, ankles and lower back is also very common.

Special Thanks

Much gratitude and respect goes out to the following websites for references and material used in this article:

Plywood vs MDF: Which is best for my DIY projects?

Plywood and MDF are both engineered wood products which are used for a wide range of uses and construction work. In many cases one may go to buy some panels for an upcoming project, and ends up getting somewhat confused as to what difference there is between the two. It is important to note that despite the fact that they may look somewhat similar to one another, plywood and MDF actually have certain differences in terms fo their traits and properties. Consequently one may be more suitable than the other for certain projects. We shall thus be outlining the main differences between them, along with their respective pros and cons, so as to help you make a well informed choice.

MDF-vs-Plywood. Image credit: Keyword Suggest

What is Plywood?

Plywood is considered to be very reliable, versatile and pliable. It is manufactured by undergoing a process whereby sheets of wood veneers are bound together. It is available in different thicknesses and grades. Lower grade plywood sheets are ideal for interior projects, whereas the higher grade ones are recommended for building furniture and cabinets as they have a nicer and more consistent finish.

What is MDF?

MDF stands for Medium Density Fibreboard. Such boards are made from a dense material. This is made up of hard and softwood residuals, pressed together with wax and resin bondings under very high pressure and temperatures. The result is a smooth and consistent finish which is ideal as a utility material, such as to build structures and carcasses.

Advantages of Plywood

  • It is strong and malleable
  • It can be stained and is thus ideal for higher end finishes, such as when one would like to show the wood grain.
  • It can hold screws and nails well.
  • It is more durable and longlasting than MDF when it comes to moisture resistance.

Disadvantages of Plywood

  • Is more expensive than MDF.
  • It could split and splinter and so it can be a bit problematic when it comes to cutting. In fact it is not ideal for complex cuts or designs.
  • Needs edge banding or some form of decorative moulding as the sides will show the layers.

Advantages of MDF

  • Very cheap.
  • Is easier to cut as long as a jigsaw or router is used. Can be used for more complex designs and shapes.
  • Has a nice consistent surface which makes it quite good for painting.

Disadvantages of MDF

  • Does not hold screws and nails well due to the fact that it is composed of fine particles.
  • Since it is very dense it is rather heavy and so difficult to lift and to handle.
  • Even though one can paint it, it is important to note staining is not such a good idea as the particles can end up soaking up the stain quickly, and as a result the finish may not be that nice.
  • Not ideal when there is high moisture as it is not waterproof at all.
  • MDF contains VOCs, so one should be careful when cutting or sanding it.

Considering all of these aspects, as a general rule of thumb one should avoid MDF at all costs if moisture is present. MDF will end up rotting and disintegrating quickly if it is exposed to water. Apart from that MDF is quite good for most indoor projects, especially where curves or odd shapes need to be cut.

For outdoor projects exterior plywood is better. It still would need regular treatments to prolong its life though. Plywood cut to size is best when there are complex shapes involved, and when you would want to stain it.

Special Thanks

Much gratitude and respect goes out to the following websites for references and material used in this article:

Understanding the Differences Between Reactive & Proactive Maintenance

What are your maintenance considerations?

Many businesses rely heavily on certain machines or equipment. Be it a factory which has numerous machines for production purposes, or an office where there are clerks working away on computers, it is evident that machines and equipment are imperative for production and efficiency. So, whenever a machine develops a fault, or another one breaks down, the first reaction is going to be panic, particularly if production is going to stop completely as a result and cost the business potentially lost income.

Preventative Maintenance Costs. Image credit: Reliasoft

The Preventive Maintenance Option

Unfortunately equipment breakdowns are a normal part of any business operation. Sometimes it happens to one machine, and sometimes there is something wrong with another. It is something that cannot be really avoided. The only solution is to try to minimize the incidence of such problems by carrying out maintenance on machines from time to time. This is the prime objective of Planned Preventive or Proactive Maintenance, whereby you try to prevent problems by having a schedule to carry out regular maintenance on your machines and equipment. Proactive maintenance helps you in being proactive, that is, you try to stop problems from emerging by keeping your machines in good condition. For some machines it may be a really good decision to do this as thanks to preventive maintenance you increase their efficiency as well as improve their lifetime. However, other machines may not be that costly, and in time they may still need to be replaced for more technologically advanced versions. Therefore before opting for preventive maintenance it is important to take this into consideration. Moreover, you will also need to consider the time and costs involved in sticking to a preventive maintenance plan.

The Maintenance Mix Cost Evaluation. Image credit: Asset Insights

The Reactive Maintenance Approach

For those who feel that preventive maintenance is too troublesome and not that cost effective, the other option is to go for a reactive maintenance approach. Reactive maintenance, or breakdown maintenance, as it is sometimes referred to, is carried out when a machine or equipment breaks down. So you would be calling a technician to come to check out what is wrong with that machine at the time that it does not switch one, or if it does not work as it should. Reactive maintenance thus aims at resolving the problem and fixing the fault at the time of error, until it gets back to its normal operating condition. This may seem to be a more realistic option, however you would also need to take into account the fact that the technician may take a while to come to check out your machine. Until then production may be halted or reduced. There would be idle workers and you would be wasting money and precious time. It could also be that once the technician arrives he decides that the machine needs to be repaired elsewhere and this will take a considerable time, probably days. The repair job may be higher than it could have been if you had devoted some time and money on regular maintenance too. So, reactive maintenance needs to be considered with caution as it may turn out to be more costly and less effective than it may seem to be in the first place.

The Decision

Naturally both Preventive and Reactive Maintenance have their respective pros and cons, and no one business is going to be the same as another. For some businesses it may turn out to be feasible and cost effective to opt for one approach, but for another business it may not be the case. Deciding which approach to maintenance for your commercial establishment makes most sense requires a lot of deliberation and it is important to consider every aspect wisely so as to make a good decision. Generally speaking reactive maintenance should be chosen in cases where machines are not that costly, and when possible failure does not cause considerable disruption. On the other hand if you are looking for improved reliability, cost efficiency and conservation of costly assets, preventive maintenance will make more sense.

Special Thanks

Much gratitude and respect goes out to the following websites for references and material used in this article: