4 Things to Keep in Mind as a Project Manager

A project manager must have a unique set of characteristics to not only be effective at their job but to keep it. Those who are just starting in the role may need to make some changes before they can keep their jobs. Although there will always be challenges that are difficult for all managers, there are four things a project manager should always be mindful of:

  1. Colleagues discussing details of project on meetingAttitude and behaviour. The most important asset you can have in your arsenal as a project manager is your attitude toward people and how you interact with them on an ongoing basis. First impressions matter with clients and colleagues alike. When someone first meets you this initial encounter will determine how he or she reacts to you every time they meet in the future. Newcomers will be asking themselves, “Is this a person I want on my project? Is he going to act professionally toward me and with others?” The way you interact with people will ultimately determine how they respond to you.
  2. Leadership style. As a project manager, you need to take charge of your team members and keep them motivated as the project moves along. You must always remember that different personalities require different management styles. A good leader understands what type of leadership works best with each individual in his or her team and employs those techniques accordingly while at the same time developing skills in areas where he or she needs improvement. Effective managers know exactly when they need to step up their interpersonal communication skills, when they need to be more lenient with a colleague’s performance issues, and when it is appropriate for them to step back and let someone else do the coaching.
  3. Workstyle. The project manager must remember that his or her working style may clash with others on the team. What works for one person may not work for another. As a leader, you will have to learn how best to lead each of your team members in such a way that is going to allow you to move forward as a cohesive unit. If this natural synergy does not occur among all members of the team, you must find ways of pulling everyone together so that there is no distinction among those who are charged with achieving the same goal. This will require a combination of leadership skills and taking a more active role as the team’s administrator.
  4. Quality assurance and control. As a project manager, you must learn how to maintain quality assurance over your entire project while training others in your team to do the same. Your focus should be on maintaining controls so that work is being done consistently throughout the organization by different people at different times according to a single set of standards. This includes all phases of your project from design, through development, and even after implementation when there is ongoing support for users. To maintain this level of quality it will take more than one person to manage each phase of the process; hence why teamwork is so important.

These four elements are essential to making sure you keep on top of the job at hand. Using self-hosted project management software can be helpful. The key is knowing what they are so that you can always be aware of them and how you can improve your performance as a project manager in each area.

Snow and Ice Removal on Composite Decks

Many homeowners today are installing composite decking materials instead of traditional wood. Comparing the two types of decking, it is easy to see why. Wood decks need regular maintenance such as sanding and staining while composite decks only require a quick wash with the garden hose and occasional power washing to keep them looking new. However, one area that can be problematic for composite decks are snow and ice storms…

Both snow and ice can wreak havoc on wood decks because they melt when coming into contact with deck surfaces made primarily from wood grain, but stay intact when hitting other surfaces such as vinyl railings or paver patio slabs. Unfortunately this poses problems for those who have installed newer style composite decking material which does not absorb much water (such as plastic laminates) and was not designed for this type of weather.

With snow or ice coming into contact with the deck surface, melted water freezes and expands against the wood grain creating pockets of trapped water that crack the deck surface. Deck boards also can warp from moisture if they are constantly soaked in these conditions without any time to dry out. Heating issues caused by a vent malfunctioning or being blocked during a winter storm can make matters worse. The heat generated from the furnace will cause any melted snow on your composite deck to freeze over night causing more damage than if it weren’t heated in the first place because now you have solid sheets of ice preventing rain from getting into your house but trapping all that extra warmth inside… and over time the natural reaction is for any wood to expand, thus cracking the deck in more places.

We have seen this happen to numerous homeowners who live in areas that receive a lot of snow or ice. The best way to prevent any further damage is to get someone out there as soon as possible who can remove all the snow and ice from your deck (preferably before it dries). If you do not have the money available right away, then once spring arrives you may want to consider raising your thermostat back up; it may seem like a waste of energy but doing so will save you far more money in repairs than if you did nothing at all. Otherwise just expect an annual bill well into double digits.

As the weather warms up, also make suree any vents on your deck are clear of snow and ice. This will prevent any excess moisture from entering your home as it melts and other year-round problems with mold and mildew that occur when things get stagnant in a confined area.

Secrets of arranging a small bathroom

Renovating a Small bathroom in Austin TX? How to arrange it to make it beautiful and functional? The limited square footage, in spite of its appearance, does not interfere with the creation of a bathroom that is both useful, aesthetic, and comfortable.

Tile selection

TInterior of light bathroom with toilet near bathtub with shower and curtain near counter with shelves with towels and containers and decorative objects near white tileile is the most commonly used material for bathroom walls and floors. This is not surprising, given the fact that she is able to cope with the special microclimate that prevails there – humidity, frequent temperature changes. The right tiles have the greatest impact on the final look of the bathroom. For all these reasons, the choice of material is often the biggest challenge when organizing an interior. The difficulty level increases when the hygiene room is small.

Shower cabin in the bathroom

A small shower cubicle is ideal for a small bathroom. Limited interiors require thoughtful design and clever solutions. Sometimes it is worth giving up a bath in a small hygiene room in order to get a room for a comfortable shower.

Corner bathrooms

Faced with the daunting task of organizing a hygiene room, you often have to choose between a bathtub and a shower. You can have both, but this requires more space. For those who prefer a bathtub, the problem of choice awaits: a simple model against the wall, corner, or, perhaps, free-standing? If your choice is a corner bathtub, then you need to consider the place you need. In fact, it takes up more than a classic rectangular bathtub, but in the case of asymmetric models, it must be adapted to the possibilities of the bathroom.


In bathrooms where natural light is lacking, it is worth choosing shiny, shimmery surfaces. Lacquered cabinet fronts, chrome taps, shiny ceramic tiles optically increase the space. Mirrors are another tool to help you enlarge your bathroom interior. Reflective panels placed on large surfaces make small interiors spacious. An interesting and practical solution is to place hanging cabinets with mirrored facades on the walls. This solution will visually enlarge the interior of the room and, at the same time, provide a lot of storage space.


A comfortable and fashionable bathroom must be accurately lit. The planning of light sources is often difficult in bathrooms without windows. General lighting, one or more lamps that turn on when entering a room, is usually located on the ceiling. Depending on the type of bathroom, light can also fall from the sides, for example, under slopes and even from below. Each area of ​​the bathroom should have additional lighting, regardless of the general one. The shape of the fixtures and the type of light bulbs are a matter of taste, so there is no specific advice for choosing in this case.

Placement of the washing machine

Person Washing Hands On SinkIn a small bathroom, installing all the necessary hardware is a real challenge. However, designers have outdone themselves in smart devices that make large appliances such as a washing machine a harmonious element of the interior without losing their functionality.

The washing machine is a useful device that poses a big problem when organizing a small bathroom. On the one hand, people are used to the fact that this technique is always in this room. On the other hand, there is no need to do everything to find a place in the bathroom for a typewriter if the room is really small. Moving the laundry room to another room can lead to much more comfort in using the bathroom.

Landscaping: Thinking About The Project As A Whole

You might not have the budget to make the garden of your dreams come true in one go. However, some points must be anticipated; otherwise, complicated and expensive work may be required. If you have planned a swimming pool, a pool house, etc., You must reserve dedicated space for them. You also have to think about how the garden is going to be watered.

If necessary, we at landscaping Austin tx, suggest that install reasoned watering with a drip system that will provide the right amount of water to the plants For lawns, we install automatic sprinkler systems with timers, which must also be anticipated by burying pipes in the ground.

The lighting is also important in the design of the outside space as to enjoy the garden in the evening than to bring out the contrasts massive or decor.

For electric lighting, here again, you have to think about integrating it into your electrical panel. Solar lighting can also be a solution with economical and nomadic lamps. Finally, remember that it will take some time to complete this garden and that the best season to plant is fall.

Some advice from professionals

An unattractive wall can also be painted in black or emerald green, consistent with the interior space. You can also plant climbers or add beautiful trellises or palisades in wood or metal.

The garden must be as aesthetic in winter as in summer and play with shapes as well as volumes. We will position the creeping plants in the foreground, the plants halfway up in the center and finally, the large subjects in the background. Do not hesitate to vary the colors of the flowers to brighten up the garden any season.

Think about the budget

A landscaper establishes an estimate taking into account the design but also the time that he will spend to realize your garden. We at landscaping Austin, tx, quickly ask our customers the question of the budget, especially if they have a little grandiose desire.

It all depends on the time spent, the difficulty of the work but also the choice of materials. We prefer to draw up an ultra-detailed quote line by line. The client has an idea of ​​the final budget, but he can easily remove this or that line and operation to fit it into his envelope.

What To Do In Aqaba: Enjoy The Red Sea!

After the few places of interest to visit, make way for the purpose of a stay in Aqaba: the Red
Sea. As I said above, the main interest is to be able to relax and enjoy the beach/sea.

With a big bonus for snorkeling and/or diving enthusiasts, the very rich seabed of the Red


As I said above, snorkeling here is not possible everywhere on the coast. Public beaches
located in the city or hotel beaches located in the center do not have interesting seabeds.
These are nice beaches for swimming, but nothing more. To enjoy snorkeling from the beach,
you have to go to Tala Bay, south of the city center, about 15 kilometers away.

You have two options:

 go to one of the public beaches near Tala Bay (little or no infrastructure)
 sleep in Aqaba in a hotel located in Tala Bay to take advantage of the hotel's
infrastructure and snorkel from the hotel beach. In my opinion, I share the best hotel
for snorkeling, the Mövenpick Resort & Spa Tala Bay. Corals/fish as far as the eye
can see, 3/4 meters from the sand …

Note, it is also possible to take boat trips for snorkeling. Not very interesting in my opinion
because you can do it easily from some beaches in Tala Bay.

Successful snorkeling photographs are you going to Jordan? Do you have a reflex or a hybrid
and want to take beautiful underwater photographs?

I really recommend that you buy a Dicapac waterproof camera bag which allows you to take
underwater photographs in complete safety. It’s much less expensive than a camera housing
because it won’t even cost you 100 euros… I have used it several times, here but also in
Zanzibar for example. It’s really ideal for occasional underwater use of your camera …

Scuba Diving In Aqaba

Diving in Aqaba is very popular. It’s one of the things to do here. A few tens/hundreds of
meters from the coast, there are very famous diving spots. Aqaba lives up to the reputation of
the Red Sea in terms of diving …

If you want to go scuba diving during your stay in the city, contact an on-site dive center, a
small local agency Downtown, or inquire directly at your hotel (but the prices may vary.
‘be higher in the latter case).

Glass Boat

If you are wondering what to do in Aqaba and you do not yet know the city, it is a good bet
that you have never heard of this activity.

The concept of the glass boat is pretty cool. It is a small boat with a transparent bottom from
which it is possible to observe the seabed of the Red Sea.

There are dozens of glass boats in Aqaba. They are mainly located at Al Ghandour Beach and
the Arab Revolt Plaza. These boats then go south to admire the seabed of the Red Sea, all
while being placed in the boat. A pretty cool experience.

Why Go Through Aqaba In Jordan?

As I said in the introduction of this post, Aqaba is often forgotten by travelers. Most of those
who travel to Jordan stay there for 7-10 days. It is true that over such a period, the program is
often quite dense.

Between Petra, the Dead Sea, or Wadi Rum, which are essential for visiting Jordan, it is not
always easy to include this city in your travel itinerary.

However, we must not forget that a stay in Jordan is not necessarily easy. This is especially
true when traveling there in the summer when the temperatures are very high, whether on the
shores of the Dead Sea, in Petra or in Wadi Rum.

Therefore, ending your trip with 2 or 3 days of relaxation in Aqaba seems to me to be an
option to consider, even essential to combine cultural discovery and relaxation/leisure.
How To Integrate A Few Days Here Into Your Stay?

For me, the idea is to add this step at the end of your trip. Very often, the arrival in Jordan is
done in Amman, the capital which is located in the north of the kingdom.

In this case, I advise you to start your stay with a visit to Amman, gradually descend into the
country to finish with Aqaba as the last stop on the trip, before returning to Amman to reach
the airport.

Spend 2 or 3 days here, at the very end of the trip, it is the assurance of relaxing, enjoying the
The Red Sea, Jordan’s good restaurants, and being in good shape before leaving the country.
If you arrive in Aqaba and not in Amman, the logic remains the same. In this case, leave the
city directly to start your road trip. And spend 2/3 days here at the very end of the trip before
taking the plane.

Types Of Decking: Installation Procedure

The use of natural wooden boards when arranging a country cottage, terrace, or recreation area is a stylish and optimal solution. However, such products are short-lived when laying paths and floors in a gazebo, which are in the open air and are daily exposed to atmospheric influences. Materials made of natural wood do not differ in moisture and frost-resistant properties, are not resistant to mechanical damage, their surface is abraded. Despite its presentable appearance, a hardwood board needs regular maintenance.

Thanks to the introduction of modern technologies, natural materials can be successfully replaced with artificial ones that are not inferior in quality to the original. Terrace boards are in demand for finishing terraces, open paths. The material is practical and can be used by San Antonio deck company to decorate the local area.

Decking is made of wood-polymer composite, in which the properties of wood and polymer materials are combined. Thanks to the use of high-quality compositions and the laying of material, taking into account the requirements of technology, the canvas is practical, resistant to moisture and frost. Despite the fact that the WPC decking is made for use in open areas, the material does not need additional care after installation.

Installation of decking, thanks to the treated surface of the planks, is used in open areas in compliance with the technology. In the decoration and arrangement of summer cottages, three types of decking are widely used:

  • Natural origin. Natural wood and wood chips are used in production. The strength of the material is given by the manufacturing technology, which involves the addition of polymer compositions. Due to the use of wood species such as larch, decking has improved strength and resistance to moisture. The material is not covered with mold and mildew, is not subject to decay.
  • Manufactured using wood-polymer composite compounds. This type of decking has less natural properties since it is produced by adding synthetic resins and fiberglass. Wood shavings are used here only as a filler. Polyethylene is used as a binder in terrace boards.

Features of laying terrace material

In order to fulfill the technology of work in compliance with the manufacturer’s recommendations, it is recommended to make a high-quality installation of the frame on which the decking will be laid. The height of the structure should not be lower than 7 cm for free air circulation under the canvas. The logs are placed at a distance of 40 cm. Otherwise, the load on the floor will be uneven, and the deck may deteriorate. In order for the decking board not to deform and to be installed according to the technology, the joists should not be 50 cm. A large contact patch area can lead to poor base blowing.

Before you start laying the WPC, it is necessary to prepare not only the base for installation but also the material itself. In order not to encounter different shades of panels, we recommend purchasing trim parts from the same batch from a trusted supplier. Decking must be laid simultaneously, as the product changes its properties and appearance under the influence of the external environment and ultraviolet radiation over several weeks.

The decking is highly practical and resistant to mechanical damage. However, installation technologies require exposure to the canvas before laying. The material must be laid out in advance on a flat surface to adapt the surface to temperature and sunlight. If the recommendation is ignored, the canvas may lose its shape and deform. The peculiarity of work with decking does not allow the installation of panels at negative temperatures.

Indoor Plants In Decoration; Types, Tips And How To Care For Them At Home

One of the best options for achieving the perfect atmosphere of any room or room in our house is the use of indoor plants as a decoration complement. Its health benefits have been extensively proven: they create relaxed environments and therefore reduce stress levels. But, also, they help to reduce dust by reducing the dryness of the environment.

No matter the style of decoration, there are so many varieties of flowers and plants that they are easily adaptable to any style and environment, whether traditional or completely modern.

The only things to take into account are the light and humidity needs of the same and, above all, consider that in general, few plants support the continuous change from one place to another, it is better to always keep them in the same place in the house.

Types of decorative indoor plants

It is important to know which plants are ideal for interior spaces. These varieties of plants normally require little light and water, and that makes them ideal for being at home.

Below is a shortlist of indoor plants that are ideal to be placed inside the house and decorated:

  • Poles: They need to be hung and in a space near the light. It is recommended to place them near the windows.
  • Aspidistra: A hardy plant that requires shade and little watering.
  • Trunk of Brazil: A plant that does not need much light and is resistant to drought. It can be placed anywhere in the house.
  • Cacti: There are many varieties of cacti, but most of them can be in small pots, they should be watered sparingly, but they need light, so they are ideal to be in the windows.
  • Dracena: A plant that does not require much sun or space. It can measure up to two meters, and the way to water it must be moderate.
  • Sansevieria: Ideal for dark places, does not require much watering, and can live up to fifteen years with little care.
  • Aglaonema: Ideal for indoors, it does not require much light, it should be watered regularly, but it is not cold tolerant.
  • Ferns: Ferns are used to hang; they need enough light, so it is recommended that they be at the entrance or patio of the house; they require abundant irrigation for their growth and beauty.
  • Ficus: It is a very striking and beautiful plant that can be used outdoors to decorate or indoors as a bonsai.

What are the best indoor plants to decorate?

Many plants adapt well to home conditions, but some such as the following can be highlighted:

  • The sansevieras and cactus, in general, their little need for irrigation although the first survive better in dark conditions than the latter.
  • The ficus, the bamboo, the espatifilos, and dracaenas, they need more watering and humidity.
  • The ivy, which is characterized by rapid growth, sometimes difficult to control, and that is a good option to fill hanging baskets.
  • The herbs can be used to decorate any style of cooking, while they can become a natural air freshener and be very useful for future recipes.

For oxygen to flow in the home, there is nothing better than growing plants. If a garden is not available, it is not a cause for concern, as we have seen, some species can adapt to every corner of the interior of the house or dwelling.

10 Tips To Furnish A Terrace Or Patio Successfully

Spring is here, at least officially. It has not been noticed much, but that gives you valuable time to set up your terrace or patio. The “outdoor living” operation begins and with it many headaches. To make it easier for you to set up your private outdoor space, we give you tips that we always apply in our interior design projects when furnishing a terrace or patio. We hope you find them very useful.

  • Be realistic with the space you have. If you have little space, you will not be able to place a large dining table and a chill-out with sofas and a coffee table. We know that both are super tasty, but having a few meters forces you to prioritize and choose. Try to put aside fashions and think objectively about what you are going to use more. When you are clear, jump for it.
  • Adapt to space. Measure the terrace and draw a plan with dimensions. Visit physical stores and websites and take note of the furniture you like the most. Draw them on the plane with their real dimensions and assess the space left to pass. A good trick not to overdo it: do not put more furniture on the terrace than you would put in any other room in the house.
  • Bet on versatile furniture that you can use both inside and outside. Chairs or the stools are ambivalent, and you can usually use them indoors and take them out on the terrace when the good weather arrives. Or vice versa.
  • Don’t forget about storage. You will need space to store cushions, gardening tools (if you incorporate a plant) … If you have space in a closet at home, perfect. If not, think about where you are going to put all those things before launching to buy them.
  • Minimizes the maintenance of the furniture. Furniture exposed to weather conditions can easily deteriorate. If you have a storage room or covered space to store them in winter, perfect. If not, think of materials that can withstand the elements well or are stackable, foldable, or easily removable.
  • You will only use it if it is comfortable. Observe the space at different times of the day, and arrange the furniture according to how you are going to experience the terrace. If you are going to use it as a solarium in the afternoon, look for the west orientation for your hammocks. If you are going to use it for eating, try to protect the table from the sun with an awning or umbrella.
  • Finishes are important, but sometimes they take a lot of the budget. You can start with the furniture and continue with the finishes the following year or opt for inexpensive solutions such as painting the floor or covering it with a vinyl carpet.
  • If you are going to incorporate plants, you should install a few large ones than many small ones. When you go to choose them, discuss in your nursery the conditions to which they will be exposed, and they will help you select the species that best suits them.
  • Do not neglect the accessories. You must have beautiful furniture and take care of the lighting, the textiles and even the dishes you use at the table.
  • And to finish, don’t forget that you will see it all year round. Typically, these outdoor spaces are linked to the living room or bedroom. When you start making decisions, keep in mind that the result will be “your new views” for the rest of the year.

Even the smallest terrace can be used and become your favorite place in the house. Follow these tips, and success is assured.

Issues And Problems When Building A House

The main fears of building a house have to do with money and banks.

Banks estimate a maximum amount for the mortgage, depending on the owner’s payroll and the house to be executed.

Builder, Architect, and Surveyor. Who do I hire?

Yes, it is normal to be terrified by the idea that any of these building agents will come out “frog.”

I would advise me very long before hiring each of them. Of course, what would be clear would be to hire some independent Technicians from the Construction company. When the Technician “offers” it to the Builder, it may not be as objective as it should be. And let’s not put the extreme of being in the pay of the company (what worse things have been seen …!).

For any of the 3, I would ask for many references. And finally, I would value the price in all 3 cases. With a sample of 3 budgets, those that drop more than 30% concerning the arithmetic mean, discarded. And those that rise more than that 30%, surely also.

See if you will ask the Architect for a printed copy of the project, and he will charge you. Or if you ask the Rigger for a Construction Progress Certificate for the bank and it “traces” 80 Dollars. And with the construction company the same, but multiplied by 10.

How do I know that the Builder is not overcharging me?

In most cases, before issuing an invoice, the Builder issues a certification. This certification collects everything that has been carried out on the work (measurement at origin) and multiplies it by its corresponding price. In this way, after adding VAT and subtracting the last invoice, the amount to be invoiced is reached.

To corroborate these measurements, you can go to your Quantity Surveyor, who is in charge of measuring, together with the Builder, the pits carried out. As soon as the Quantity Surveyor approves the certification measurements, it will only be missing that you, as owners, check the prices of the games you have specified in the contract.

If there is a minor error, do not worry because, always measuring at the origin, it would be corrected in the next certification.

I have no spatial vision, and I am afraid that the bathrooms and kitchen will look bad.

In this regard, I propose 3 solutions:

  • Some architects include in their budget the interior design advisory service. This is a plus and is highly valued when the Architect is hired.
  • Hire an interior designer to do an interior design project.
  • Many companies supply materials and equipment for the kitchen and bathrooms that provide advice and infographics of these finished rooms.

When does the bank provide me with the money to pay the Builder?

As the work progresses, the Quantity Surveyor or the Architect draws up what is called a Work Progress Certificate. This certificate records the percentage of the work that has been carried out at that time.

What is the final withholding?

There is another problem. The bank also reserves the last 10% of the executed work as retention. And you will not pay it until you have the First Occupation License. Think that from the end of the work itself, until the City Council issues the First Occupation License, you must make the Final Work Certificate and endorse it in the Professional Colleges of Architects and Quantity Surveyors. These procedures usually take several weeks.

In a $ 150,000 project, with 10% initial withholding and 10% final withholding, there would be $ 30,000 that you will not collect from the bank until a couple of months after finishing the project.

5 Suggestions For Choosing The Best Construction Company

Whether it is masonry, installations, exterior carpentry company… there are certain things that I demand of all of you to be on my Top companies list!

Safety and Health


Before entering work on a construction site, any company or self-employed worker must notify the Health and Safety Coordinator (CSS, who is almost always the Quantity Surveyor). The CSS ensures safety on the construction site and demand that companies also do so.


Among other things, before entering the work, we require documentation from companies that, by law, must provide us.


First of all, is the Health and Safety Plan (PSS). This document includes all the hazards on the site and how workers will avoid/minimize them. This is mandatory since a Royal Decree of 1997 for ALL contracting companies.


It is difficult for the workers of a company to comply with the safety regulations on a construction site when not even the company can provide the documentation required by law.


Have all the documentation on site


The PSS above must also be on site. And if an electrician doesn’t know whether or not to put on the helmet, you can check it out. In the Installations: Electricity section, your company has already exposed a series of risks and how to avoid/minimize them.


For example, the helmet minimizes damage in the event of an object hitting the head of an operator.

Programming of the works


I have dedicated half of my working life to work as a Construction Manager in different construction companies. If I have been paid to coordinate, organize, and plan works, and still my companies ended up making money from it, it is because this is very important. Also, all workers in this organization must be involved. I explain. If I ask a bricklayer what he is going to do in 3 days when he finishes partitioning, he cannot answer me: “I still don’t know. I don’t even know if I’ll be in this work or another. ”

Quality Control


The Quantity Surveyors are in charge of controlling the quality, execution, and materials that become part of the work. These must-have CE Marking, mandatory for all products that are marketed in Europe.


To justify the CE marking, construction materials have a Declaration of Performance. This assures us that they are placing “hare” and not “cat” and their characteristics, which must be at least those specified in the Project.



It seems that many companies work “on the sly.” They arrive at the construction site, do their job (better or worse), and leave. And a few days later, they send the invoice.




Lack of communication. If you know that I, as a Surveyor, am the “Execution Director” and I am paid to “direct the execution,” what less than to notify me when you are going to enter the work.


I also like to be notified when they are going to measure the work to invoice. If not, when the owners ask me if there are 400 m2 of brick, I will not know. And if I measure by myself, the quantities will not coincide. So yes, I like to measure together with the construction company. Or count plugs, it doesn’t matter.