Home Improvement and Pets: Safety Tips for Pet Owners

Animals have stronger sense of smell than humans. Odors that can be unnoticed by humans could be something that animals can sense from a far. In the house, pets can smell their humans while they’re still at the driveway. They get excited and active. However, there are scents that may be toxic to pets. As one decides to improve the house, pet owners must take note of the following tips to prevent causing harm to the pets.

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Use water-based paints

Paint fumes can be hazardous to humans, and even animals. Paints that have high percentages of volatile organic compounds—about forty to sixty percent—can cause nausea, eye irritation, organ damage, and sometimes even cancer in humans, and pets aren’t exempted from it. With a sense of smell that’s 10,000 more perceptive than humans, pets might get sick, especially when their immune system is weak. Strong pain fumes may cause respiratory problems to pets, especially when they’re showing signs of such ailments but left unattended.

Keep them out

It would be best to keep them out of the room first when painting it. When they are exposed to toxic fumes for a long time, pets might begin to cough and hack. These are signs of a respiratory illness. It they show these signs, bring them to the veterinarian to have their health checked.

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Even when using paints that have low percentages of volatile organic compounds, it’s best to keep them out of the room to prevent them from being sick. Knowing what to do with pets as the home improvement process rolls out will surely give peace of mind to everyone in the family.

Steve Silvers is the founder of the leading Los Angeles, CA-based painting and home improvement company, Paint Squad. He is a wine enthusiast, a sports fan, and devoted father. For more posts on home improvement, visit this blog.


How extensively has Le Guin’s ‘Earthsea’ series influenced Rowling’s ‘Harry Potter’ books?

It goes without saying that J.K. Rowling’s “Harry Potter” series is the most celebrated and accomplished contemporary young fantasy work. George R.R. Martin’s “A Song of Ice and Fire” books are not truly comparable, as they deal with heavier themes. One fantasy series comes really close, though: Ursula Le Guin’s “Earthsea.”

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                                                       Image source: pinterest.com

In fact, many argue that Rowling would not have written her series without Le Guin’s influence. There are a lot of similarities, for sure. Both fantasy works are set in a wizardry school, where the “special” kid and would-be hero (Ged in Earthsea, Harry in HP) meets other student wizards, hones his skills, and goes on to become a master wizard. Both characters start conflicted and picked upon. In “Earthsea,” the bully wizard is Jasper; in HP, it’s Draco Malfoy.

“Earthsea” has an archmage in Roke (the school) named Nemmerle, whose counterpart is Hogwart’s Dumbledore in HP. Ged’s mother died before he reached one-year old; Harry’s parents died when he was a baby. Both Ged and Harry would rise above the teasing and bullying to become the best wizard in their school.

But the similarities in the tropes end there. Plot-wise, “Earthsea” is more segmented; all of the first three books (‘A Wizard of Earthsea,’ ‘Tombs of Atuan,’ ‘The Farthest Shore’) are close-ended, with Ged moving on to an entirely different adventure in the next. Also, the tone is more somber, more of heroic high fantasy, especially as readers explore the second book onward and Ged encounters dragons and battles with his own shadow.

Even though they likewise get dark toward the end, the “Harry Potter” books are more detailed, consistently young-adult fantasy in treatment. The series breaks away more from the Tolkien tradition than “Earthsea” does, favoring intensive character development (and there are many characters in HP) and allowing the fantastic world to interact more with the real.

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Steve Silvers leads Paint Squad, a Los Angeles, CA-based company that aims to bring the highest standard to the residential and commercial painting industry. He enjoys listening to classic rock, tasting wines, and reading books, with the ‘Harry Potter’ series one of his favorites. For more on his work and hobbies, visit this blog.

Tones, Inks, And Pixels: The Process Of Translating Colors From The Screen

By now, many people are familiar with the fact that there is more than one color model in use today, with alphabet soup names derived from the colors of their primaries: RYB, RGB, and CMYK. The first of them, with the familiar fusion of red, yellow, and blue, are the ones most often taught to children and represent the traditional model used in visual art theory.

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Elsewhere, this model has been supplanted either by the triad of red, green, and blue (used in digital applications) and the quartet of cyan, magenta, yellow, and black (used in print). In general, these three models work well for their respective media. The unique composition of many paints, for instance, makes red a preferable primary, especially since painters frequently mix colors on their canvasses. The inking process benefits from the broad assortment of color created by its lighter primaries in turn.

In our mixed media world, however, this becomes a challenge, especially when attempting to translate a specific color from one medium to another one that uses an altogether distinct color scheme. There exists a certain degree of difficulty in translating colors in print and digital to paint.

Merely bringing a printout to the color mixer at the paint shop was unlikely to replicate the colors exactly due to the many uncontrollable variables present, such as the calibration of the printer and paint mixing machine.

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Achieving a remarkably close shade requires acquiring its data values—under the terms RGB, HEX, CMYK, and HSB—and running them through one of many online color calculators, which can translate these values (based on the expected light source) and yield the appropriate swatch and color harmonies.

Steve Silvers is the founder of residential and commercial painting solutions company Paint Squad. Visit this blog for more information on colors and interior spaces.

Home Improvement: Tips On Working With Contractors

Hiring a contractor for home improvement projects is the better alternative than DIYs in most cases, as this can ensure that the job is done effectively and efficiently. However, there are incidences when selecting the wrong contractor can also lead to substandard work, delays, and, worst, legal issues.

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To choose and create a good working relationship with the right contractor, here are some tips:

  • Check the contractor’s qualifications. If the contractor holds a license, which he could only attain after passing an exam, it is evidence of his knowledge in his craft and building codes. Also, it is better if he is a member of certain organizations, such as the Building Industry Association (BIA) and National Association of Home Builders (NAHB), that bind him to a strict code of ethics.
    Agree on expectations and sign a detailed contract. A contract spells out everything and sets every expectation and parameters, even the most minute details. It not just serves as protection for both the homeowner and the contractor, it also assures the quality of the job.
    Connect with the contractor. In any project, communication is key to ensure the home improvement work is running smoothly. Creating a connection with the contractor can open clear communication lines with the contractor, foremen, and the workers.
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Steve Silvers owns Paint Squad, a California-based leader in the home improvement and painting industries. He is also a family man, sports fan, and wine enthusiast. For more articles about home improvement, follow this Facebook account.

Amusing Facts About The Paint Industry In The United States

Not many people pay much attention to the paint industry in the United States. They should. It’s a fascinating industry, and the knowledge gathered goes much deeper than the number of colors in the market. Here are some entertaining facts about the paint industry in the United States.

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  • On an average, a full-time painter earns around $32,000 annually.
  • Since paint is more of a luxury than a necessity, painters sometimes have a hard time looking for work.
  • The US paint industry estimates that only 5,500 painting jobs will be created in the next ten years.
  • Painters in the automotive industry sometimes need two years of training. This is a lot more than most painters, who only need a few days to a week. Automotive painting may also require completion of classes, courses, and degrees.
  • The demand for paint products worldwide has surpassed over 50 metric tons and the value of the painting industry all over the world is totaled at a staggering $150 billion. In the United States, the revenue reached around $30 billion the past year.
  • Due to environmental concerns, paint manufacturers are little by little developing more water-based products to replace their old solvent-based paints.
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Steve Silvers runs Paint Squad, a quality paint company for homeowners. Discover more about the industry by subscribing to this Twitter account.