Aug 08 2017

Five tips for choosing effective project team members

Published by under Business Services

Summary: A strong project team will ensure that projects run on time. Project team members should work as a team, possess excellent communication skills, and be able to manage projects in an organized manner.

Projects will work on time and effectively if a strong project team backs them. Here are a few tips on what qualities to look for in effective project team members.

Teamwork – Team work is key when working on a project. To check if applicants can successfully work within a team, ask them what experience they possess working as a team and what role they prefer in a team setting.

Excellent communicator – Project team members will have to communicate with different levels of the organization and therefore need strong communication skills to handle different backgrounds. Analyze how your applicants communicate with you and what their body language says about them.

Knowledge of project management principles – Project team members need knowledge in tactics, tools, and terms used in construction and project management. Look at applicants with the basic knowledge of project management fundamentals with experience in construction.

Organized – A highly organized project is likely to go as planned. Ask your applicants what tools they use to stay on track with project schedules and other methods they used to stay organized.

Able to read people – Being able to read people and motivate them is the mark of a good project team member.

Written by Lyle Charles Consulting. They offer a wide range of contractors and consultants on medium to large projects. Speak to them for your next construction claims expert.



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Aug 07 2017

The basics of a locking mailbox

Published by under Home Improvement

With e-commerce and online shopping, a large part of modern shopping culture is shifting online rapidly. According to a recent study, online sales in the US, UK, Germany, and China will reach $600 billion by the end of next year. The fact that most of our shopping is online makes the security of our mailboxes more important than ever. There has never been as much mail volume as there is today. A locking mailbox will provide security for your mail and packages.

A locking mailbox is similar to a normal curbside mailbox. The postal officer or courier puts the package through the incoming mail slot. That slot is not locked and opens inward. It should be big enough to accept mail and small parcels.

Once the mail is in the locking mailbox, your packages and mail are protected from theft. For additional security, make sure the incoming mail slot is too small for hands to get through. In addition, some locking mailboxes contain a mechanism which prevents prying and leveraged entry. According to California Mailboxes, secure mailboxes are especially well suited for rural areas, as rural mailboxes require a bit more security.

One thing to remember is that although a locking mailbox protects incoming mail, outgoing mail remains unprotected. Some mailboxes have a red flag which indicates when there is outgoing mail and this can act as a signal to thieves. The only way to protect outgoing mail is to use a secure location or a USPS blue box.


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Jul 25 2017

Energy Efficiency: Top Cost-Effective Changes to Make In Your Household

Published by under Home Improvement

Summary: Looking for ways to lower your energy bills? Here are some tips that could potentially save you hundreds, if not thousands.

How high are your energy bills at the end of every month?

If you’re feeling a bit overwhelmed right now, you’re not the only one. Millions of Americans are suffering from the high costs of electricity and are paying the price every month.

However, there are some common solutions to lowering these costs and this guide will showcase the different ways you can go about doing this.

AC Units Can Wreak Havoc on Your Energy Bill

While Summer days can be excruciatingly hot, keep a tab on your energy consumption. The fact that your air conditioning unit is blasting from sun up to sun down on a continuous basis is only going to raise your monthly bill.

For optimal cooling and energy efficiency, it’s recommended to keep your house at a steady 78 degrees while you’re inside. Not only are you saving a significant amount of money by raising your thermostat to this number, but you’re also maintaining a cool environment at the same time.

Lighting Changes

The next time you go shopping for new light bulbs, consider replacing your conventional incandescent bulbs with a more cost-efficient option like compact fluorescent lamps (CLFs). While they do not supply that immense amount of light that your previous bulb put out, you’re effectively lowering your monthly energy bill.

And it goes without saying…

Turn off your lights when you leave the house. It’s not only a waste of electricity but you’re figuratively shooting yourself in the foot when it comes to energy efficiency.

Installing Solar Panels

While this might not be for everyone, solar panels can make a huge difference when it comes to supplying power – not to mention the benefit of receiving multiple tax credits by doing so. The only downside to this option is that purchasing these panels and installing them – assuming that you’re hiring a contractor to do so – can be an expensive endeavor.

Most homeowners that do utilize solar panels in their home lower their monthly energy costs by hundreds – depending on numerous factors of course. But, if you’re looking for an alternative source of energy, you can always depend on the sun to lend a helping hand.

The Bottom Line

Prioritizing energy efficiency is something that’s been emphasized a significant amount over the past years. By making the proper changes in your household, you can lower your monthly energy bills and help the environment at the same time.

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Jul 15 2017

Patio decorating tips and ideas

Published by under Home Improvement

Now and then we all need a change. What we want is a fresh new idea that can add new life to our homes. Here are a few simple ideas that will help uplift any outdoor space:

Create a space to gather

The best way to get started is to create a place where people can gather. You need a place with plenty of space where everyone gathers and get around a feature of some form. The feature can be anything from a fountain, coffee table with a fire pit or even a sculpture.

Use trees for lighting

There is a lot of that can be done with trees for lighting at night. You can use fairy lights, Edison style lights, and even DIY Mason jar lights to add lighting to an area. There is never enough light for backyard and patios so using trees adds a nice element.


Another great tip is to accessorize the outdoors. You can add a Treasure Garden Umbrella to your seating. According to Wicker Paradise: Treasure Garden has built a reputation of leadership by producing top quality, custom-made, handcrafted umbrellas since 1984. Another idea is to add a mirror to create more depth, especially if the area is small.


One of the easiest things to add outdoors that have almost no maintenance is a small rock landscaping project. The only work you will need is during installation. Alternatively, it could even be part of the footpath from the garden.

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Apr 17 2017

How Interim Managers Can Provide Experience Beyond Measure

Summary: Interim managers are specialists that can make a valuable addition to your current team.

Interim managers can be a vital asset to a construction project due to their extensive knowledge and versatile skill set. They are essentially independent business leaders, or project managers, that work in a wide range of sectors – a steel fabrication expert is a perfect example. These individuals are experts in their field and many of them are proven performers that can substantially improve the overall results of a project. If you are looking to hire one, this guide will give you insight into what you need to know to execute the process.

Changing Lifestyle Patterns

In previous times, it was primarily through circumstantial changes that these resources existed. However, in today’s construction field, things are different. New technologies are being supported and the rapid changes in the industry are fueling the supply side of this consistently growing sector. Thousands of high-leveled performers make a professional living out of interim management and this number will only continue to rise.

Determine Whether You Need an Interim Manager

The first, and most important, decision you need to make is to decide whether or not you require the services of an interim manager. Does an individual on your team already possess the skills that you’re looking into? Are their politics that are forcing your team to drift apart? How long would the contract be? These questions need to be asked to avoid having to take on a large payroll that an interim manager demands. Remember, interim managers are only hired for a temporary basis and are stereotypically known for their impartiality. They speak objectively and do not involve themselves with political affairs that occur around the site. Overall, they are a fundamentally sound addition to a team that requires a different attitude and skill set.

Find the Best Candidate

With numerous interim short term management services available, it’s quite difficult to choose the appropriate candidate to lead your team. It’s crucial that you have an ideal candidate in mind beforehand. Now, interim managers offer instant experience and capability to any team. However, look to find one that has had years of experience within the construction field, as opposed to other specialties. These specialists will understand what the best practice looks like and may have had an assignment that is similar to what you’re looking for. Stay vigilant and make a good judgment call on your interim manager. This could prove to a valuable addition that could significantly impact the overall results of your project.

Bio: Lyle Charles is a construction expert with decades of experience in private mediation, interim short term management, and other related specialties. For more information, contact him online today.

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