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Top Reasons for Hiring a Concrete Contractor

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a concrete contractorDo-it-yourself projects are undoubtedly a lot cheaper than hiring professionals to complete the job for you. Plus, you get to make your weekend productive and rewarding. However, there are times when projects should be left to the expert hands of professionals.

Here in Kansas City, relying on experts to complete jobs such as concrete repair and replacement rather than doing the task by yourself helps you avoid further troubles that may arise in the future. Here are the top reasons why you should consider hiring an expert assistance:

Knowing the Cause of Damage

Damage to concrete structures without any human intervention means only one thing: there is a problem with the foundation. Covering it won’t resolve the problem. It could be as simple as putting additional rebars or as big as strengthening the entire foundation. With years of experience and expertise, experts can easily solve your worries.

Building Process Know-How’s

Especially on bigger projects like redoing the entire foundation or having additional structure, hiring the assistance of concrete professionals is definitely a better choice. A usual concrete project starts with laying out the reinforcement steel bars, calculating the concrete mix and drying time, and ends with the finishing touches such as engraving, polishing, or staining. The project also includes assessment of the project requirements and application of concrete work permits.

Technical Concrete Work Aspects

Like any projects, there are plans and aspects you should follow to ensure the quality of your work. Unless you have experience as a concrete contractor or with other civil engineering works, you may not be aware that you should form the skeletal structure and the maximum dimensions per formation, which are very crucial in preventing slumps, cracks, and deformation. All of these should be done and inspected thoroughly before pouring the concrete mix.

Attempts to save money usually turn sour if you don’t have the right knowledge to complete the tasks. Moreover, you surely don’t have the right materials to get the job done, so you could end up buying equipment for one-time use. Like any expert builders, concrete contractors are equipped with the right equipment and tons of expertise and experience to complete you concrete works perfectly.

How Much Does Car Insurance Cost in 2018?

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Car Insurance Costs

Car Insurance CostsA study showed that the average cost of car insurance in the U.S. for 2018 amounts to $941.65 per year, although the price might be higher or lower in some states.

If you live in Illinois, the cost might include SR22 auto insurance from Oxford Auto Insurance. Insurers usually send this to your state of residence as proof of your compliance with auto insurance requirements.

Insurance Rates

North Dakota has the lowest insurance rate per month at $36, while the annual rate costs $428. In Louisiana, car owners pay the highest monthly and yearly rates at $152 and $1,824 respectively. Illinois ranked on the low-end scale with a monthly rate of $78 and an annual rate of $936.

When calculating an insurance quote, your location only serves as part of the actual figure. For instance, your age will be a primary factor, and rates become cheaper as you age. Insurance companies charge a higher price for younger applicants due to their higher probability of being reckless. Some states are also known to be the safest for drivers. This can influence the market rate for insurance.

Safety Record

In Illinois, the state ranked as the 40th worst state in terms of having bad drivers in 2018, according to a study. It rated each state based on the percentage of insured drivers, DUI cases per capita, fatalities per 100 million miles driven, and Google search terms for traffic or speeding tickets.

The study named Mississippi as the worst state based on these four factors. Tennessee ranked behind, while California and Missouri tied at third. If you’re planning to buy insurance in these states, you should expect higher insurance rates.

A comprehensive insurance policy includes proof that your plan meets state regulations. In some cases, evidence of being insured becomes necessary if you have a negative driving record.

These are the Worst Food and Drinks for Your Teeth

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Model tooth showing interior and decayBesides brushing and flossing your teeth regularly, and frequently visiting a dentist in Richland, WA, avoiding certain foods can help prevent oral health problems. Knowing what particular food and drinks to avoid can save you from the pains of tooth decay.


When you chew bread, the saliva in your mouth breaks down the starches into sugar. This can cause the bacteria in your mouth to release acids that attack the enamel of your teeth. If you are craving for some carbs, go for less-refined varieties such as bread that is made of whole wheat as it likely contains sugar that is not easily broken down.

Sour Candies

Candies have long been known to be bad for people’s dental health, but sour candies — not just the traditional sweet candies — are also bad for your teeth. They contain more and different kinds of acid that tend to be tougher on your teeth. Since sour candies are usually chewy, they can also stick to your teeth longer and likely cause decay.

Coffee and Tea

Coffee and tea can dry out your mouth, which can cause you to have less saliva. Saliva helps keep your teeth healthy by preventing food from sticking to your teeth. It also helps wash away particles of food. In addition, drinking coffee and tea frequently can stain your teeth.

Citric Fruits

Frequent exposure to acidic food can damage the enamel and make the teeth more vulnerable to decay. If you eat citric fruits such as lemon and lime, make sure you brush your teeth after to wash away the acid from your mouth.

Carbonated Sodas

Carbonated sodas cause plaque, which does serious damage to the enamel of your teeth. You essentially coat your teeth with acid if you drink soda instead of water all throughout the day.

You can help prevent tooth decay if you avoid food and drinks that can damage your teeth. Remember, bread, sour candies, citrus, caffeinated drinks, and carbonated sodas can make your teeth more vulnerable to cavities.

Understanding the Role and Types of SMEs

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man and woman looking at laptop, behind counter at bakeryExperts say that SMEs or small and mid-size enterprises as businesses or individuals that manage their revenues, assets, or employees under a certain threshold. That means they earn less and have fewer workers than big corporations.

An SME corporation in Malaysia explains that SMEs might be small, but they usually come up with brilliant products or services. Read on to find out more about these types of businesses and how they affect the global economy.

Role in the Community

According to Microsoft Emerging Markets chairman Orlando Ayala, small and medium-sized enterprises or SMEs play an important role in the health of local economies in different parts of the world. This makes sense since these businesses or individuals help maintain livelihoods in a small community. For example, SMEs such as small law firms could employ local paralegal assistants.

Technical Knowledge

A technical SME can refer to those who contribute technical knowledge; they often work in groups. Examples include scientists, engineers, lawyers, medical professionals or skilled trade workers. They usually have documentation that proves their proficiency in their field, like degrees or certificates.

Training and Instruction

An instructional SME refers to those who possess a degree of subject matter expertise and are often called upon for their input. Examples of instructional SMEs would include teachers, coaches, mentors, or facilitators. These professionals are adept at training other individuals to hone a certain skill, be it physical or cognitive.

In summary, small and mid-size enterprises operate on a smaller scale than large companies. These earning professionals may provide technical knowledge, such as engineers or provide instructions, such as coaches. With the help of SMEs, people can get professional help at home or in public places.

How 1031 Exchange Helps Property Investors

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hand on top of small houseWhile many people dream of making it big in the real estate sector, they fail to take advantage of every available advantage. A 1031 property exchange allows a taxpayer to exchange a property investment for another one without paying taxes or pay a limited amount for the exchange. Many investors choose a 1031 exchange because it gives them the advantage of deferring tax payments.

Many of the world’s wealthiest people have real estate investments using a 1031 exchange. In most cases, they use it as a commercial investment and lease it out to tenants. In Utah, there are properties for sale that you can buy using the 1031 exchange tax code..

The Limitations of 1031

The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) explains that 1031 has limitations on property investors. Investors cannot exchange properties held for resale, stocks, bonds, partnership stocks, or certificates of trust.

Partner with the Government

If your property qualifies for like-kind exchange and you meet the requirements, you can ask the government for some money to grow your investments. When the value increases, you can trade up for rental income or increased value as you defer capital gains taxes. The money for your capital gains tax is put into the next property exchange. In this case, the government helps you build your portfolio.

Diversify your property holdings

A section 1031 property exchange, increases your seed money for the next property by up to 40 percent. It means that you can get a bigger property than you would if you paid the taxes on the sale. Better yet, the exchange gives you free rein on the kind of commercial property to purchase. You can go after an apartment block, office complex, or even agricultural land.

With so many options open, you only need to pick one that gives you the best return on investment. By trading up, you will have a more valuable property with a higher rental income, which means that you get to improve your cash flow. A higher income means that you have greater access to credit and can finance your next buy easily.

You need to be smart in your real estate investment plans if you are to register great success in the sector. By seizing every available advantage, you can be well in your way to making great progress.

To Like a Bike: 3 Ways to Help Anxious Kids Ride a Bike

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dad teaching his son how to ride a bikeBiking is a fun exercise for kids. It strengthens bones, improves muscle strength and enhances the sense of balance. Plus, it makes for an unforced bonding activity with other kids in the neighborhood. However, learning to ride a bike can be a scary experience. If you’re a parent teaching your kid to ride, here is some advice to boost their confidence:

Coach Right

Believe it or not, there’s a right and wrong way to teach. One of the wrong ways is the sink-or-swim approach — just letting the kid ride, dismissing their feelings of anxiety. While this may work in some cases, many times it further discourages the child to continue.

The first step in coaching is to ask your kid why they’re afraid. You’ll be surprised that their feelings come from valid insights. For instance, some kids get anxious because they saw another kid crash. Or, perhaps because you grew impatient with them the last time you taught them.

When you’re able to know what causes anxiety, you’ll be able to frame your teaching better. Encourage them that they won’t crash because you’ll support them at the back, and avoid harsh words. The goal is to start on the right foot.

Balance bikes are a good option when starting; training wheels are another. This will improve your child’s balance and sense of confidence. Make sure to take the training wheels off after a period so your kid doesn’t become too dependent on them.

If they’re really not comfortable about riding on their own, have the family ride along on a family bike, as this can make them more at ease. As they get used to riding, they’ll soon realize that it’s not as scary as it seems — that a crash isn’t serious as long as they don’t go too fast and ride on a soft surface, such as grass.

Ensure safety

A lot of kids’ anxieties come from the bike not being safe. As well as showing them how to use the brakes, don’t forget to provide safety gear. Helmets and knee pads will give them more confidence that they won’t be hurt.

The anxiety your child feels about riding a bike is valid. So, don’t force them on a bike until they have trust that you will help them. Keep them inspired by pep talks, explain the safety features, and use no-pressure tactics.

Dermal Fillers: Look Younger Without Cosmetic Surgery

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woman being injected with dermal fillersPeople who are unhappy about their facial lines and wrinkles but don’t want cosmetic surgery can use dermal fillers instead. In only a few minutes, a dermal filler treatment can make anyone look fresh and young.

What are Dermal Fillers?

Dermal fillers are injections used to plump out the skin to decrease the appearance of lines and wrinkles. Some clinics also use these injections to make patients’ lips fuller and more defined. Available in aesthetic clinics in Chester, local dermal filler shots can rejuvenate your skin and turn back the clock.

What are the Various Types of Filler?

Calcium Hydroxylapatite – This dermal filler is a mineral-like compound that helps decrease folds and frown lines, plump up the cheeks and enhance facial volume. Unlike animal-derived collagen injections, calcium hydroxylapatite is biosynthetically produced. And its effects last up to 18 months.

Collagen – This is a protein made up of amino acids, proline and glycine. With the help of vitamin C, collagen provides structure to the body, improving the firmness of skin and initiating the formation of new skin cells. The effects of collagen injections last around for four months.

Hyaluronic Acid – This is natural substance is often found in soft connective tissues, joint fluids and skin tissues. Clinics extract and reformulate this natural substance as injections to help the body retain moisture and keep your skin firm. As hyaluronic acid is already present in the body, the side effects of hyaluronic acid injections are trivial. Anti-ageing effects of this dermal filler last around six months.

Poly-L-lactic Acid – This injection increases facial volume and is used to correct facial fat loss. When injected to your face, poly-L-lactic acid stimulates your body to produce more collagen, which rejuvenates the skin, giving it a fuller appearance. You may need several injections before you see significant results, but the anti-ageing effects of this dermal filler can last up to two years.

Polymethyl Methacrylate Microspheres (PMMA) – These are a mix of collagen and coated polymethyl methacrylate microbeads. PMMA is a semi-permanent filler that is most often used to treat medium wrinkles, folds and furrows.

To choose the type of dermal filler that’s right for you, it is best to visit a cosmetic enhancement specialist.

Mortgages and How to Choose the Right One

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couple reading contract carefullyAt least once in their life, an adult would have to sign an important agreement called a mortgage. It gives them the powers they need to purchase assets like a house, car, or fund their education. Because it’s a huge life decision, one should learn the value of preparation before getting into such agreements.

Finding a reputable mortgage company in Phoenix is a good start. But, as VIP Mortgage reminds, there are also things to keep in mind in choosing the right deal.

Know the different mortgage types

There are different mortgage types. The most general ones are divided between privately-owned and government-owned. Understanding the different mortgage types can help you determine which one is most suitable for you.

Check the interest rate

The interest rate should be discussed early on. Knowing the interest rates plays a huge factor in helping people decide whether the deal is worth taking. There are also different types of interest rates namely fixed and adjustable. Your choice would be dependent on the point to consider.

Check your financial standing

The first thing that people tell when you express your intention to apply for a mortgage is to have your credit score in good shape. That, along with your overall financial standing, will affect not just your chances of approval, but also dictate how you would be able to pay for your fees in the future.

Check your length of stay

The length of your stay will determine the kind of mortgage that’s right for you. If this new home will be your retirement home, then having a 30-year term would be ideal. But, if this will just be a stepping stone to get yourself settled and eventually buy a bigger property, then opting for shorter mortgage periods would make more sense.

Take your time and do ample research. These two things are the secret to finding a mortgage type that you will not regret in the long run.

Common Radiology Myths You Need to Ignore

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spine xrayOne of the most used equipment in the medical field is the medical imaging apparatus. However, several people still hold a lot of misconceptions about it, thinking that exposure to it may be harmful to patients. So, Rainy Lake Medical Center discusses below a few of the most common radiology myths.

1. X-rays have high levels of radiation.

Technology nowadays is constantly pushing itself to the next level. That’s why X-ray machines nowadays only emit minuscule levels of radiation when used. Americans are exposed to at least 629 millirems of radiation each year per average. In fact, people get exposed to radiation on a daily basis.

2. Radiation emitted by medical imaging is dangerous.
Radiation can only have a negative effect on a person’s body if they are constantly exposed to high doses of radiation in an unsupervised environment. Medical practitioners often minimize the exposure to radiation in any way that they can.

3. X-rays are outdated.

Most people who work in the medical industry still consider X-rays as a vital tool for their practice. They even account for at least half of the imaging tests and are safe. X-rays often provide quick and detailed images of a person’s bones and chest.

4. People can become radioactive after having X-rays.

A person has to consume radiation before becoming radioactive. But even if that happens, only the person’s bodily fluids may become radioactive.

Even the organic foods that we eat contain radioactive chemical elements that they tend to absorb from the soil. That’s why a person’s body may tend to discharge a minuscule amount of radiation through their bodily fluids.

Diagnostic imaging such as X-rays is one of the best ways to see what’s going on inside your body. That’s why it’s essential to know all about the myths that surround it and know the truth behind each of them. Always work with a community healthcare organization that uses state-of-the-art equipment.

Why Mortgage Rates Vary

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increasing interest for mortgage ratesThere are times when there’s an upsurge of home buyers, which follows the ebb and flow of the finance industry. One reason for the fluctuating number of loans is that borrowers try to get the best mortgage rate in Utah. The mortgage rate also differs between banks and other lenders, as well as between types of loans.

Factors That Affect Fixed Mortgage Rates

There are two kinds of loans: fixed and variable mortgage rates. A fixed mortgage rate uses an interest rate that doesn’t change for the life of the loan period. For fixed mortgage rates, the prices of stocks and bonds have an effect on the interest rate.

Government bond prices decrease when the stock market is booming, and increase when the market is index is going down. Bonds are important investments and have a positive relationship with fixed mortgage rates. When bond yields increase, fixed mortgage rates also increase. Consequently, when bond yields decrease, fixed rates also decrease.

Variable Mortgage Rates

Variable mortgage rates change monthly based on the lender’s prime rate. The prime rate is the one used in transactions between a lender and a prime borrower. This is lower than consumer rates and only used between lending institutions.

The variable mortgage rate is effectively the prime rate plus a fixed premium interest. This means that the monthly interest rate on the mortgage is directly related to the prime rate. The effect of the monthly changes may be gradual, but over the lifetime of the loan, the interest rate may fluctuate by as much as 2% or 3%.

Choosing the kind of loan to apply for is a matter of preference. Typically, variable mortgage rates offer smaller interest rates. However, the increase in the interest rate is not an isolated event. It usually means that there’s also a bigger effect on the economy. Variable interest rates are better rates in the long run. However, it’s hard to create a budget or a repayment schedule when the monthly amortization isn’t fixed.