Category Archives: Home Improvement

What is an Open Architecture 401(k)

Many 401(k) providers use terms such as “open architecture 401(k)” and “fee disclosure” in their marketing efforts, but what do those terms really mean? Instead of limiting a plan to a specific list of funds, a true open architecture 401(k) format allows plans to select investments from hundreds of mutual fund families and exchange traded funds (ETFs) without impacting the provider’s fees to the plan. This design allows plan sponsors and plan designated investment advisors to fully customize their fund lineups based on the needs of their participants.

Fee disclosure, also known as “fee transparency” occurs when the 401(k) provider ensures that the plan sponsor and plan designated investment advisor can see exactly what they are paying for within the plan. With “full fee transparency,” all fees (, 12(b)1 fees, sub-transfer agency fees etc.), in addition to provider fees, are fully disclosed and explained to the plan sponsor and the plan designated investment advisor.

Full fee transparency is important because while many 401(k) plan providers allow plans to customize their fund lineups, some providers alter the fees they charge based on the funds chosen for a particular retirement plan or reduce the amount of revenue sharing passed through to the plan. (Revenue sharing can be defined as fees paid by the mutual fund companies to service providers for performing recordkeeping services and/or sub-transfer agency services to retirement plans.) These incidentals greatly influence the bottom line of a participant or plan balance. Examples of these fees or limitations include:

*Charging additional fees if the plan chooses funds that that are outside of the 401(k) provider’s standard group of funds.

*Varying fees charged to the plan based on revenue-sharing arrangements between the 401(k) provider, third party administrator and fund families.

*Limiting the selection of investments to a list of funds that pay the provider a certain amount of revenue share

*Requiring that plans include a specific number funds that are sponsored by the provider

As a fiduciary, plan sponsors or the plan designated investment advisor must act solely in the interest of the participants with the purpose of providing benefit to them. Therefore, it is important that the plan sponsor and the plan designated investment advisor understand all of the fees charged to the plan and its participants.

In the past, providers had the option to wrap these fees in with plan costs, making the fees difficult to find or understand. In January 2012, the Department of Labor will implement Rule 408(b)(2) which requires that covered 401(k) providers fully disclose all fees to plans.

At the same time, the DOL will implement a participant disclosure rule requiring covered plans to disclose all investment related fee information to its participants. These regulations will help both the plan and its participants become fully aware of what they are paying in their retirement plans.

A true open architecture 401(k) format will allow the plan to select from nearly all registered mutual funds or ETFs without seeing their plan fees adjusted.

Salt Lake City Home Improvement Electrical System Repairs

Every home needs electrical repairs from time to time. Especially in older homes, new technology does not always work well. Electrical system remodels are more about safety than luxury. Because of the danger and complexity involved in this kind of project, the traditional do-it-yourself attitude is not advisable. It is best to seek professional electricians who are familiar with the Salt Lake City home improvement regulations.

Careful planning is needed to ensure that you will have plenty of power for your present and future needs. Whether you are adding circuits in a new room, wiring a remodeled kitchen, or adding an outdoor circuit, plan for enough electrical service to meet peak needs. These kinds of services are usually expensive. Here are some ways to save and get the most of your investment from your Salt Lake City home improvement:

1. Don’t be misled by an electrician’s hourly rates. This amount ranges from $30 to $70. It is better to choose an experienced and well-equipped electrician with a higher hourly rate than a cheaper, inexperienced hack with inadequate tools or no parts. The hourly rate should be considered along with the contractor’s quality of work, equipment and experience.

2. Compare the electrician’s travel charges. This can have a big impact on your costs. Many electricians working in the Salt Lake City home improvement spend a third or more of their time navigating traffic. Some charge for each visit, some a flat trip charge and others simply compensate for travel time by charging a higher hourly rate. Every electrician finds a way to pay for travel expenses so don’t hesitate to ask how and what they charge. If your project will take longer to finish, a trip charge and a relatively lower hourly rate is better. Otherwise, choose a higher hourly rate inclusive of travel charges.

3. Bundle electrical repair jobs together to save money and time. Present a list of all your electrical problems encountered. You can get everything taken care of at once.

4. Be prepared before the electrician arrives. Clear the work area and make sure the electrical panel box is accessible. You save money as well if the electrician deals less with inconveniences.

5. Install money-saving electrical fixtures. Choose fluorescent over ordinary incandescent bulbs. Use motion detector switches on your outdoor lightings. Be creative with your landscape lighting and indoor accent lightings. This can be appealing not only to you but also to your potential buyers in the future.

Remember that all electrical upgrades require review by your local electrical inspector to make sure the changes conform to the Salt Lake City home improvement electrical and building codes. Failure to have proper permits and inspections can cause problems that can cost far more time and money. You could have trouble reselling your home in the future, or worse, your homeowners insurance could refuse to cover your loss in a house fire because the house was altered illegally!

Use Best Architecture App For Creative And Appealing Interior Designing

Mobile apps not only offer us fun and pleasure, but also extensively used in professional life. It allows you to perform wide array of tasks, reduce manual labor and eliminate chances of errors that are quite common with manual work.

These days, lots of companies are booming is market, facilitates exclusive range of mobile phone applications. Moreover, you can also get your application tailored to meet your specific business requirement.

Architecture and interior designing are one of the fields that are revolutionized with innovative mobile apps. When you have to visit the site, fix meeting with client, design the architect, map, remodel the premises, interior design app would be the right answer of your entire issues.

These apps are associated with extra-ordinary features provide your inclusive assistance while interior designing. Interior design app have AutoCAD feature that enable you to view DXF format file on the move. This software also allows you to attach sticky-style notes to the drawing that act as a reminder. The current version allows you to tag voice, image or video notes into the text.

Go design facilitate exclusive range interior designing mobile apps that are compatible with iPod touch, Ipad and tablet computers. The piece of software acts as a reference guide in your pocket.

It is particularly useful for students and those with passing interest in architect. Go design mobile apps also assist you to design and renovate your premise for easy retrieval and comfort. Moreover, map-based feature pretty matches with all iconic and important building of the world. You can easily find out the building by either their name or location.

Best architecture app also offers quick and accurate conversion of units from metric to imperial. This tool has special units to measures area, speed, distance, width, power, pressure and temperature.

Additionally, it allows user to capture the color of something either from photo or from physical front. Best architecture app also enables user to create beautiful innovative colors using own color palette. You can easily create architectural drawing, calculate measurement or check specification.

Using architectural app, you can produce precise drawing, sketches and diagram that is used to calculate important data such as floor areas, diameters and wall quantities. It is not only a valuable tool for interior or architectural designing, but also worth for everybody involved in construction work.

Enjoy the Architecture of Guru Ka Tal during Your Agra Tour

Agra, which is located on the banks of the holy Yamuna River in the state of Uttar Pradesh, is world-famous for the majestic Taj Mahal. The city served as a prominent seat of the Mughal Empire for a long period and was the capital of Hindustan during that time. It lies at a distance of about 200 km from the national capital – New Delhi and easily accessible by road, rail and air transport from different parts of the country. The city has an extreme climate in winters and summers, with moderate temperatures in the rest seasons. October to March is considered as the ideal time to visit this historical city. If you wish to witness the grandeur of Taj Mahal and other prominent attractions of this place, such as Agra Fort, Jama Masjid, Moti Masjid, Fatehpur Sikri and Guru Ka Tal, then go for an Agra tour that can be availed from various travel agencies and travel portals.

Guru Ka Tal – History and Architecture

Originally, this reservoir was constructed in the year 1610, during the reign of Emperor Jahangir beside the tomb of Itibar Khan Khwajasara, to collect and preserve rainwater. The walls and embankments of this water reservoir have been made of rubble masonry and brick. It has a square design, with a long and wide ramp paved with stone slabs (khurra) and upright bricks, and stepped ghat. The walls of this structure feature four double-storied towers having an octagonal design. The top storey of these towers boasts of Mughal architecture, with an octagonal spire with brackets and pillars. The material that was used for constructing the ghat was red sandstone while the spire had been decorated with dazzling tiles. Constructed on a four feet high platform, this reservoir features four chhatris on its four corners with 16 pillars, with carved brackets and capitals. The corner domes of this place have a spherical design while the one on the sides have an oblong design.

At the time it was built, this reservoir had 12 towers, but today only eight can be seen. It had effective inlets of northern and western parts of the tank; a canal used for channelling excessive water in to the river and a dam on its south-eastern side. The water collected in this reservoir was used during dry seasons for irrigation. The terrace on the top floor is accessible through a wide red sandstone stairway, located on the southern side.

If you wish to witness Taj Mahal and other important attractions of Agra, then choose for those tour packages that include trips to all these important places. As this city offers a lot of see and to do, it gives the ideal opportunity to experience the best of India holidays.

Home Improvement Everything That You Wish For Your Home

Statistically speaking, Maryland is the second wealthiest state in the United States, with an average household income of $61,592. And where money and wealthy people get together, there is also a booming home improvement Maryland industry. This business development is partly due to the fact that Maryland is so closely located in the neighborhood of Washington DC business center.

This arrangement seems utterly fair: back in the eighteenth century, Maryland ceded the land selected by President George Washington to the federal government, thus establishing what we know today as Washington DC. In exchange, DC business axis enhances an economic growth for the joined states of Maryland and North Virginia. If Washington DC were a state, it would rank first in population density and 35th in Gross State Product. When compared to other states, DC business area provides a considerably high number of jobs, therefore a low rate of unemployment, because all DC businesses are economically upholded by the presence of the federal government.

DC businesses hosts countless contractors, numerous nonprofit organizations, law firms and lobbying firms, catering and administrative services companies and quite a few other industries, among which home improvement industry. As a working example, home improvement Maryland companies have at least one dealer or a branch in DC business area. If youre looking for the best home improvement Maryland companies, you can get all the information you need with an effortless mouse click. A first-class example would be welcomehomewashington.com, recommended as a trustful searching source for prominent Washington DC, Virginia and Maryland home improvement and service businesses.

When accessing the welcomehomewashington.com website pages, you step into a world of architects and remodelers, contractors and builders, kitchen and bath remodeling aspects, interior finishing, outdoor living or other area services. Experts in home improvement Maryland services are committed to offer their customers to remain the vanguard of remodeling technology. Only the best available materials are brought into play and the finest possible workmanship is provided for the works. Some of the home improvement Maryland contractors and builders are specialized in smoothly operating garage doors, porches, decks, custom siding or gutter covers. Others are known as specialized dealers of weather shield wood window and doors for MD/DC/VA region. Moreover, if you wish for a sunroom, solarium, conservatory or greenhouse, the home improvement Maryland entrepreneurs will build them for you and grant a lifetime limited warranty.

DC business centers are entirely reliant on the services provided by home improvement Maryland companies. Numberless DC business offices need to be spruce up for thousands of employees to invade them, so cleaning services are required on a daily, weekly or monthly basis. Have you seen offices without air conditioning and heating systems? Me neither. And when the air conditioning or heating systems stop, chances are for the offices to quickly become an agonizing place to be.

Cost Effective Garage Home Improvement Ideas

Garage is one of the most neglected areas of the house. For majority of us, a garage is nothing more than a place to park your car, or a store where you can put all the unusable items of your house. You can add a lot of space to your house by making the home improvement in the garage area efficiently and increasing its usability. A small effort on your part to reorganize the garage will transform your garage into a more usable space.

If you have been neglecting the idea of garage home improvement due to the risk of losing your storage area then you may even build a shed attached to your house to store your tools or sports equipments. And if your garage is spacious enough, then you may put it to many usages simultaneously.

A garage can be effectively transformed into an office, a workshop or even a studio. It makes sense for those who like to work at a close proximity to their home. You can have all the comforts as your home including heating or cooling, internet connectivity, phone wiring and all others features that you may need at any workplace.

Some effective garage home improvement ideas

1.Raising the garage roof: Raising the garage roof will certainly add more working space to your garage. You can have a low roof floor to accommodate the storage.
2.Adding a new room: Adding a new room to your garage will give you loads of additional workspace. It will not only add value to your home, but it will also give you more space without affecting your daily life as there are no changes in the internal floor plan of the house.
3.Use it as laundry: A garage can be effectively utilized as a laundry room. Shifting your laundry room from basement to garage will save you from going up and downstairs repetitively while you do your laundry. An upstairs laundry room also adds to the monetary value of your home.
4.Music studio: If you or your child is an ardent fan of the Beetles and even sing like them, then convert your garage into a music studio where you can play some real music and tone up your skills. But before you start with the music studio get your garage soundproof to avoid discomfort to neighbors.
5.Home office: Most women prefer to work from home so that they can effectively manage both work and home. However working from home is never easy due to the numerous distractions including visitors, TV, dishes and laundry. A garage work office will save you from at least some of these distractions while giving you the option to take care of your home along with working. It also saves time in commuting.
6.A mud room: Dedicate a small part of your garage as a mud room. It will help you to keep your home clean by keeping the outside dirt away from home.

Tima Home Improvement Vinyl Windows For Home Interiors.

Home improvement is always about the interest and involvement we show towards our home. There are professional interior and exterior home dcor service providers available and they are found to be the highly skilled and proficient in their services. If you have the interest to decorate your home and make it look better than ever, you can always hire them and make the most out of your home. There are several home decors that can be done to make your interiors look adorable. The list would include drywall decorations, painting, flooring, installing vinyl windows, carpentry works, kitchen remodeling and countertop replacements.

You can design and build your home in the way you would love to design it, as there are customizations available for all parts of your home. Vinyl windows Livonia adds a great decoration and matching to a home interior and they can be used for its extreme versatility. Vinyl materials can be used for fencing doors, wardrobe doors and showcase doors. There are doors with gyp rock panels for which the vinyl coverings seem more appropriate and grandeur. The glossy smooth finishing of the door makes it more friendly and appealing in look.

The double-hung vinyl siding Novi are found to be ideal for living rooms and bedrooms in all houses. With its nine-pane design, these doors have different sections, organized one on top of the other. It can be slide up and down for opening and closing. Vinyl doors and windows can be used for all sizes, so you can first measure the window size accurately and order for it accordingly.

Vinyl door wall Bloomfield has functional properties during both colder and summer season, so they are versatile in choice. These doors are versatile, affordable and quick to install, so they are favorable in almost all attributes. You can make attractive graphic designs to your vinyl made walls and they make a great addition to your home. The ultra thin self adhesive layers of the vinyl film makes the door look unique and appealing and stand exceptional from the regular doors that we used to have in our homes. You can either choose to have traditional art works or modern paintings attractively designed on your doors and windows, making effective use of the available space.

Imagine having your doors and windows personalized to your choice, wont it be such a close to heart expense to have? It is fully possible with the trendy vinyl doors. Vinyl Novi & Canton wall decals can be made with personalized designs and themes, so you can replicate the joy and happiness of your family and loved ones through the attractive wall decals you have incorporated in it. You can use them to hang several posters or print them on the wall and make it charmingly delighting. It can be used on light-textured walls, vinyl doors, mirrors and elsewhere. Vinyl art themes can be anything creative under the sun, and there are special designers available to make it the best.

Top Home Improvement Projects

With the decline of the economy and the housing market over the last several years, many new home buyers have been forced to put their dream houses on the back burner until the market turns around. In lieu of a new home purchase, many current home owners are choosing to make renovations on their existing dwellings. This will not only bring a fresh environment for owners to occupy, but increase their resale value when the time comes. While there are a number of ways to make improvements, not all will bring a solid return on the investment. Let’s take a look at some remodeling projects that provide the best bang for the buck.

Arguably the most popular home improvement is the kitchen remodel. A kitchen redesign can offer one of the greatest returns on investment. Granite countertops are one of the most requested upgrades for new home builds and can be a great place to start. Updating cabinets are another good option. If replacing cabinets is not in your budget, consider painting or staining your existing units. Stainless steel appliances continue to be in high demand for buyers as well.

Bathrooms are another area of the home that can significantly raise value when upgraded. Like kitchens, bathroom countertops can be a good place to start. Alternatively replacing sink and cabinets with a vanity can be a stylish way to go. Wall and flooring treatments can really improve your space as well. Adding tile to floors, walls, or backsplash can really enhance the bathroom’s appearance.

Throughout the home, replacing or upgrading flooring treatments can offer a great value. Hardwood floors continue to be an attractive option to buyers. Replacing old carpeting can be a wise move as well. If purchasing new carpet is not an option, you should consider a shampoo or steam cleaning instead. Ceramic or stone tiles can greatly enhance flooring in entry ways, kitchens, bathrooms, and hallways.

Treating your walls to a fresh coat of paint can really go a long way. Neutral colors can offer the widest appeal to prospective buyers when you go to sell your home. You might also want to take into consideration the contrast between fixtures and furniture when choosing wall colors also.

As energy costs continue to rise and the public’s awareness of the environment increases, new windows can be a smart upgrade. Adding double pane windows can help conserve energy and decrease utility costs. Using an energy efficient window treatment can definitely increase value.

Drafting And Architecture Training

Are you seeking drafting and architecture training? If so, you must understand that in order to become a legal, practicing architect in the United States, you are required to follow a specific educational path, and be licensed.

To attain a professional license, future architects must first attain professional drafting and architecture training from a qualified school. Upon successful graduation, candidates are required to participate in an internship to continue their drafting and architecture training. After that, the student may go on to taking the Architect Registration Examination (ARE) and must receive passing scores on all divisions.

If you are wondering what drafting and architecture training really consists of, the coursework will generally include related subjects such as architectural history, theory, building design, construction techniques, liberal arts, math, physical sciences, professional practice, arts and design, and computer aided drafting (CAD).

If you are serious about a career in drafting and architecture, then a vocational school or community college is a good place to gain your footing. Most employers are seeking experienced and well-educated candidates, so it is important to obtain a solid background in academics and technologies suited for the dual career. Drafting and architecture training that can be transferred to a 4-year college can be used as a stepping stone to a Bachelor Degree in Architecture and Drafting. Some vocational schools offer comprehensive technical training that will lead to a certificate or diploma of completion; others may offer an Associate Degree.

Aspiring professionals who have completed their vocational drafting and architecture training, and have successfully met all requirements of licensure, may earn anywhere from $25,000 to nearly $100,000 per year, depending on combined education and experience.

If you would like to learn more about Drafting and Architecture Training and Drafting and Architecture Schools, or even Online Drafting and Architecture Schools, you can find more in-depth information and resources on our website.

DISCLAIMER: Above is a GENERAL OVERVIEW and may or may not reflect specific practices, courses and/or services associated with ANY ONE particular school(s) that is or is not advertised on our website.

Copyright 2007 – All rights reserved by Media Positive Communications, Inc.

Notice: Publishers are free to use this article on an ezine or website, provided the article is reprinted in its entirety, including copyright and disclaimer, and ALL links remain intact and active.

Some Thoughts About Home Improvement & Maintenance

Some of the things we do in our homes are considered home improvement and other things are considered maintenance but it can be said that, in the end, doing maintenance will usually lead to home improvement. Let me give you an example of the relationship between home improvement & maintenance. I have cats and when they were kittens they decided that certain spots on my rugs were litter boxes. After much effort, and swearing, I got them to use the litter box but the damage to the rugs was done.

I tried maintenance like cleaning and things like that but in the end I wound up cutting huge chunks of my fairly new rugs up to get rid of the smell and stop the cats from damaging more of the rugs. My wife loves hardwood floors so now she has decided that since the cats have ruined the rugs, and my attempts to clean the rugs have not been totally successful.

We will now have hardwood floors. That is the relationship between home improvement & maintenance, sometimes continued maintenance on a problem area can lead to an act of home improvement that, in the end, was probably the best thing for that whole situation in the first place.

Another example of the relationship between home improvement & maintenance is my back porch gutters. I have my roof, which of course has gutters on it, and then my deck is all in my back yard. I live in snow country so the snow can accumulate in the gutters if not watched. I have been maintaining the situation for a couple years by getting a telescoping device that allows me to get the snow off my roof so it cannot get into my house by melting.

But, it is obvious that this maintenance is temporary and home improvement by way of new eaves is necessary. But this is the dynamic between home improvement & maintenance, you do maintenance for as long as you can and then eventually home improvement is needed. It is just a matter of getting a good feel for that relationship between home improvement & maintenance and knowing when it is time to do home improvement.

Don’t Wait Too Long

Sometimes maintenance measures may seem like they are working but then you find out the hard way that they are not. If you have been patching your roof for some time you may think everything is fine but water could be getting in where you can’t see it and then that home improvement & maintenance dynamic needs to shift to home improvement before real damage, or more damage, is done. It is important to always know when it is time to stop maintaining and start improving.

Keep an eye on your house and do not dismiss any potential problem as small or petty. Sometimes it is the smallest problems that grow up to be the biggest headaches and that is something you need to understand in the balance between home improvement & maintenance.