‘Women Building Futures’ Program Trains Women to Work in Construction

A new program in Tampa, Florida, “Women Building Futures,” aims to train women to work in construction. Women fill every job imaginable capably and confidently, but construction is one job where you still might not expect to see many women. In fact, women make up only 9 percent of the entire construction workforce in America, according to OSHA; that’s less than one in every 10 construction workers.

This program helps women learn the skills and knowledge they need to work in the construction industry. “There’s a big demand for tradesmen and workers in the construction field so this class will give the ladies the opportunity to be able to go out and compete in that arena,” program manager Kimberly Kitchen told Fox 13.

Women Building Futures (WBF) became registered as a non-profit society in 1998 as a small group of women (social workers mostly) who set out to fulfill their shared dream of helping women achieve economic prosperity through trades training and mentorship. Working out of an office space ‘borrowed’ from the City of Edmonton, WBF focused on securing small grants to run a series of three-week classes on carpentry.

As of November 2006, the program is now 17-weeks long and includes introduction to six trades - carpentry, plumbing, electrical, steamfitting/pipefitting, welding and sheet metal. The graduate success rate continued to climb and all staff stayed on board during this period; a true display of the tenacity that makes WBF a success.

To learn more about this program, visit https://womenbuildingfutures.com.

Revamping Your Closet

Spring is approaching quickly, and you may be in the need for a closet revamp.

First, start with what's hanging. Place clothes on their hangers in two piles—one for short items, like shirts, and the other for long items, like coats and pants hung full length by their cuffs or waistband. Measure the height of each pile to get the desired lengths for short- and long-item rods. Next, arrange your clothes that could be folded in 10-inch-high stack; each stack needs 14 inches of shelf length. The ideal reach-in closet is 6 to 8 feet wide and 24 to 30 inches deep. Standard double doors are best, assuming there's room to swing them open.

Now, to start planning the interior, beginning with the left wall; measure everything to a T. Sketch a to-scale layout on graph paper, with each wall's width and height as well as details. Make note of sloped ceilings, knee walls, and other oddities. Start with storage for your shoes; your best bet is open shelves without dividers. To squeeze in an extra pair, alternate toes-facing-out and toes-facing-in. Sketch in rods for shorter items, making them as wide as your wardrobe warrants, and a higher rod for longer items. Draw shelves 4 inches above the rods plus a high shelf for less-used items, and mark their depths.

For walls and plaster that's in poor shape, line the closet with ¾-inch hardwood plywood and screw it to the studs. Now you are able to attach rods and shelves wherever you want.

No room for swing-open doors? Avoid sliders and invest in sturdy, solid-core or solid-wood bifolds and heavy-duty fittings. Lightweight doors with bad fittings wobble and constantly fall off their tracks. Decide where you want your off-season items, ideally in the attic or a dry corner of the basement. If you have spare room on the same floor, consider a clothes rack that can be wheeled to the closet when it's time for a swap-out. If this isn't an option, store your clothing pieces in bins and totes; be sure to label them so that you have easy access to something you need, year-round.

 

Spring Home Renovation Ideas

With spring just around the corner, you're probably dying to spruce up your home with a little renovating or DIY. Here are a few ideas for some springtime improvement - without breaking the bank!

  1. Landscaping - If you're imagining a green lawn with some fresh blossoms, the prices for plants could add up quickly. With $5-$15 per plant, plus maybe some bark mulch and shrubs, it could be a pretty penny spent. Alternatively, don’t buy all established plants that will add up in cost. Instead, try planting seeds for a fraction of the price, and soon you will have that dream garden. Just be sure to keep in mind the importance of lawn maintenance, such as mowing, weeding and hedge trimming!
  2. Repaving the Driveway - Between salt and snow in the winter, your driveway must be aching for a refresher. As concrete is very expensive and asphalt is a close second, prepare to pay for this project, because this is not a DIY. Sometimes all a driveway needs is a new sealcoat, which you can do on your own. With a few hundred dollars of sealcoat, a driveway squeegee, and a little prep time, you could have a brand new driveway - estimating $250 to $500 on a typical two-car driveway.

    7 years old girl painting the wall at home, Instagram style toning
  3. Repainting the Walls - Now that winter grays are past us and there is such wonderful color all around, you must be dying to add a pop of color to your rooms. But first, think about if you really need to repaint the walls, and if you're willing to take the time out for this project. Instead, repaint what you really need to, such as a wall that has damage or a color that really takes away from the room’s potential. Light grays, earth tones, yellows or blues are all safe and appealing colors that won’t scare off a new homeowner, if you are planning to sell in the future. Focus first on areas where you entertain or spend the most time, because little costs can add up, on top of the gallons of paint, primer, rollers, paint brushes, tray liners and caulking to fill cracks and nail holes.

With these tips - and whatever else you can think of - you will soon be on your way to a happier feeling home (while saving some money)! Happy Spring!

How Your Next Home Could be Powered by Batteries

For Homeowners who feel incomplete when they leave their phones at home, or for the storm-haters who cannot stomach another blackout, battery-operated homes may be your solution. Solar panel energy has been brushed under the rug for a while, quietly being installed in American homes while it works toward improvement, as a company and for homeowners.

Beginning in a few U.S homes, and making its way in superstores such as Walmart (in Cali), Tesla's home batteries may be the green and efficient revolutionary technology America wants (and needs!). If this ideological improvement in saving and storing energy is so efficient, how come it isn't in every home and store across America? Why is the biggest machine on earth, America's power grid, still making its energy-stripping use in nearly everyone's home?

Maybe it's the ambiguity or uncertainty of Tesla's home batteries, charged by the sun. The biggest flaw may lies in that it needs sunlight to charge and usually goes off at night. But Tesla's batteries can store extra, or more than necessary, energy to make it through night. But that's not all, Tesla's home batteries can last up to three hours during a black out- including enough energy to run on the treadmill, make lots of coffee, cook dinner, and take showers.

Another reason that people, even the Green-goers, haven't switched to Tesla's batteries: the cost. Everyone wants to know what they get out of this 5-figure investment. Well, in the beginning it is a huge investment. Tesla believes that a small downpayment of $1,500 could get you started, with only $15 a month to keep generating (a 20-year lease). One of many reasons to pay the $50,000 outright would be that when you're home is fully charged, and not expecting bad weather, you can sell back the energy and make some money off of it!

In fact, though the initial cost is not desirable to many, in the end you'll save a lot more than you do with traditional power grids. Traditional power grid companies, of course, will look to make a comeback. They are certainly reliable- the energy and power works so long as there are no black outs. Some fear power grid companies will charge extra because of the "net metering" and potential money-back system that Tesla's batteries are promising.

Companies supporting solar-panel look at this as competition, and understand that people have different values on reliable energy and energy in its entirety. Some people find the worthy in the annoying (and frequent) black outs in their homes, like in Maryland or California. Others find it necessary to have for these blackouts, to ensure they have certain needs met for a longer time.

In fact, companies and people recognize that they may never make back the money spent in power grids, but the happiness truly lies in this small step toward going green. Consider remodeling your home or buying a new home with battery-operated energy installed. The investment not only helps the environment, but could potentially save you dollars (and even let you pocket money!). It's a small but worthy deed, and this country certainly needs it!

For more information, or questions about remodeling your home, click here to visit Golden I Construction. We offer a wide range of construction services. Would you like to speak with someone or ask a question? Call 1.212.837.8117 now!