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    Smart Remodeling LLC Serves Houston Homeowners with its Exceptional Home Remodeling Services – The American Reporter - January 20, 2021 by Mr HomeBuilder

    House remodeling has become an important task for people to give their house a new look. In the US, people call general contractors and subcontractors to remodel their existing homes on a large scale. It helps them remodel their external structures and internal environment to make their residential properties comfortable to live in.

    Out of many home remodeling contractors, Smart Remodeling LLC company enjoys a big demand among the Houston people in the US. It would not be wrong to call it the best remodeling contractor in Houston due to its exceptional services.

    The remodeling company is one of the top Houston remodeling contractors that have expanded to a massive form from a local family-owned business. It is basically because of its splendid service to its clients. Smart Remodeling LLC just focuses on the utmost expertise and quality for the clients it serves.

    Smart Remodeling LLC is actively serving its clients in Houston for over the last 10 years. It has always focused on providing comprehensive home remodeling services to its clients. Experts at this remodeling company specializing in home renovations and remodeling of all types.

    The set of services provided by it includes home remodeling, kitchen remodeling, bathroom remodeling, outdoor kitchen, closet, patio cover, and additional rooms. Since more people in the US are opting for home remodeling, the concerned services including Smart Remodeling LLC enjoy more demand in the country.

    According to Statista, the total US home improvement expenditure stood around 407 billion US dollars in 2019. And the projected total home improvement sales in the US are expected to reach 510 bn in 2024.

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    Smart Remodeling LLC Serves Houston Homeowners with its Exceptional Home Remodeling Services - The American Reporter

    Beyond the books, Westside Stories offers community and small business charm – Colorado Springs Gazette - December 26, 2020 by Mr HomeBuilder

    When asked about his favorite book, 28-year-old Brian Marin immediately rattles off The Count of Monte Cristo, by Alexandre Dumas. But ask for more of his top titles, he has a hard time choosing. Marin goes deep into thought, thinking about the numerous books he has read in his lifetime.

    Theyre all great for their own reasons, he said. I was interested in books before I knew how to read. I would even draw pictures and have my mom write stories that I dictated to her before preschool.

    Its safe to say Marin loves books.

    So, it only makes sense that Marin is the owner of Westside Stories, an established bookstore in Old Colorado City formerly known as The Bookman. Books are what initially landed Marin a job at The Bookman, which has been in operation since 1991.

    I initially volunteered to help them move because I lived a block away from the new location, he said. Then they asked me for a resume, and I became a manager. Eventually, I made them an offer to buy the business.

    The previous owner, who had been living in New York for several years, officially sold the store to Marin in January. With the new owner came a new name for the store, something Marin hopes highlights the changes hes making.

    From new floors to new books, the store has undergone significant transformations in the last several months. The store may look the same from West Colorado Avenue with the same marquis BOOKS sign. Still, as you walk inside, youll notice new floors and new products throughout the building.

    With the help of people like Betty Varland, who calls herself Brians assistant manager, Marin renovated the store and changed the look.

    We have literally been down in the dirt with that store just remodeling, Varland said. Brian put in a new floor in the back. I wallpapered the walls of the bathroom with book pages. We changed around the layout of the store almost completely.

    In addition, Marin wanted to transition the store from selling only used books to introducing new products. He donated about one-fourth of their old inventory.

    It was 100% used books, and now about 20% of my inventory is new, he said. Ive introduced a lot of product lines, from stickers and patches to journals and puzzles ... everything I thought was cool.

    Brian completely changed everything about The Bookman and turned it into Westside Stories, Varland said. Its just really been incredible to watch him transition from a guy with a dream to the owner of a really beautiful little store.

    Even though Marin acquired Westside Stories at the start of what would be perhaps one of the most challenging times to local businesses, he saw the pandemic as an opportunity.

    The shutdown was rough, he said. But thats what gave me the inspiration to start an online portion of the business, scan all these books, and to really assess the business model.

    Over the last several months, Marin has been entering all the stores products into an online system. If they cant make it out to the store, customers can shop online. Its a part of the business Marin said is really taking off.

    I had 21 orders before I opened my door this morning, he said on a Thursday. Thats the power of social media. Im trying to figure out how to do international shipping.

    Whether someone wants to buy in-store or online, Marin said he hopes people can find a sense of community and a haven for reading and friendship at Westside Stories.

    I dont think we stick to one type of trying to sell to one type of people, he said. We embrace all different types of communities here.

    The relationships and friendships Marin has found through Westside Stories are what makes him so passionate about the business. He hopes others can experience that same passion for books and community.

    I want to be a household name where you can enjoy shopping with your family, your friends, he said. Theres just something intrinsically joyful about someplace thats filled with books and knowledge and different perspectives.

    Varland voiced that same passion.

    Westside Stories is more than just a little store for us, she said. Its not a cold and corporate store where people are just working away their hours. It is something that is made and built with heart and dirt and grit. ...

    Supporting small businesses is what keeps us human because it keeps us in a community with each other.

    Visit to shop online or learn more. Follow the store on Facebook (@WestsideStoriesBook) and Instagram (@WestsideStoriesBookstore) for updates.

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    Beyond the books, Westside Stories offers community and small business charm - Colorado Springs Gazette

    The Pantone Colors of the Year for 2021 are Ultimate Gray and Illuminating – The San Diego Union-Tribune - December 26, 2020 by Mr HomeBuilder

    After living through quite possibly the worst year ever, or as columnist Sally Jenkins quipped recently, this damn zombie movie, we look back on a year in which we wrestled with a global pandemic, illness, economic distress and social upheaval.

    Which makes the Pantone Color Institute, which chose Classic Blue as the Color of the Year for 2020, pretty prescient.

    Its a color that anticipates whats going to happen next, Laurie Pressman, the vice president of the Pantone Color Institute, said last year in predicting a blue trend.

    Pantone Color of the Year 2021: Illuminating


    On Dec. 9, Pantone announced that its 2021 Colors of the Year are Ultimate Gray and Illuminating, shades chosen for their warmth and dependability.

    The Pantone news release announcing the colors described Illuminating as a bright and cheerful yellow sparkling with vivacity, a warming yellow shade imbued with solar power. Ultimate Gray, like pebbles, is emblematic of solid and dependable elements which are everlasting and provide a firm foundation.

    The selection of two independent colors highlight how different elements come together to express a message of strength and hopefulness that is both enduring and uplifting, conveying the idea that its not about one color or one person, its about more than one. The union of an enduring Ultimate Gray with the vibrant yellow Illuminating expresses a message of positivity supported by fortitude, Leatrice Eiseman, executive director of the Pantone Color Institute, said in a news release. Practical and rock solid but at the same time warming and optimistic, this is a color combination that gives us resilience and hope. We need to feel encouraged and uplifted, this is essential to the human spirit.

    Pantones ability to forecast color trends is a marketing force that helps furniture, textile, fashion, accessory and technology designers choose designs from season to season. Beginning today, retailers, designers and fashion brands will flood our inboxes with gray and yellow toothbrushes and swimsuits; nail polish and exterior paint options.

    Pantone Color of the Year 2021, Ultimate Gray


    After a tough year of sheltering in place, will homeowners who are spending money on home upgrades in place of movies, trips and dining out adopt the optimistic color palette?

    Designers think so.

    Yellow makes you happy and gray is the perfect neutral, said designer Cortney Novogratz of The Novogratz. We have always used yellow in our designs and products which are quite popular.

    L.A. actress and designer Arden Myrin, said she painted the door of her Silver Lake bungalow a similar shade of yellow. It makes me so happy every time I see it, she said. I am a firm believer that life can be hard enough, your home should be hopeful and joyful. What a wonderful decision to pick two colors. The gray, which has been many moments in 2020, bursting through with the bold optimism of the yellow makes it feel like there is hope ahead. I have always loved a pop or yellow, and now I think we all need a pop of yellow, tempered with a nice neutral color although my neutral of choice with this color yellow is a deep navy.

    Although Orlando Soria, host of HGTVs Build Me Up is a fan of pretty, ethereal, pale grays, he is not enthusiastic about Pantones shade of gray for Color of the Year. Ultimate Gray falls into a category of grays I hate: mid-tone grays, he said. I find when these are used in spaces they look dead and dull.

    Still, he is on board with Illuminating. Bright, saturated colors like this make me think of Wallpaper Magazine in the early 2000s when minimal, Scandinavian design with hints of lime green and neon pink were popular, Soria said. I think the early 2000s are definitely having a comeback, especially in fashion and music (think Billie Eilishs neon-green hair and Gucci costuming). I dont know that a bunch of interior designers are gonna run out and paint rooms this bright yellow color, but I can see it on clothes when people emerge back into the world and want to make a statement.

    Houzz senior editor Mitchell Parker said the home remodeling and design platform has long embraced the color pairing. Because a bright yellow color can sometimes be overwhelming in large doses, we typically see homeowners use just a small splash of it with larger swaths of gray to make a strong visual statement, he said. An example might be a gray exterior paint color paired with a pop of yellow at the front door. Or yellow furniture pieces or decor that offer a bit of flair to gray cabinets in a bathroom or kitchen. This palette also plays nicely with most wood tones. Were excited to see it garner more attention with Pantones annual designation.

    UCLA economists share Pantones optimistic outlook for 2021, predicting on Wednesday that the U.S. economy will experience a gloomy COVID winter and an exuberant vaccine spring, followed by years of growth.

    If the Pantone Color of the Year is designed to highlight the relationship between color trends and what is happening in the world, we can only hope that this years forecast of hope and stability is more than just an educated guess.

    Originally posted here:
    The Pantone Colors of the Year for 2021 are Ultimate Gray and Illuminating - The San Diego Union-Tribune

    Kitchen And Bath Remodels Up During COVID-19 Restrictions – Forbes - December 10, 2020 by Mr HomeBuilder

    If you have wanted a spa bath, now may be the time to install it.

    Last week the National Kitchen & Bath Association (NKBA) and John Burns Real Estate Consulting (JBREC) released their third-quarter 2020 Kitchen & Bath Market Index (KBMI.) For the first time this year, theKBMIis above 50, at 61.9; up from 44.2 in Q2 and 41 in Q1. Scores of 50 indicate expansion and scores below indicate contraction.

    NKBA members rank the overall health of the industry at 6.9 (on a scale of one to 10,) just below the 7.2 reported in pre-COVID Q4 2019. While confident about current business conditions at 56.5, industry members are even more optimistic about future conditions, which they set at 66.9 as 2020 draws to a close.

    As we approach the end of an unprecedented year, the industry outlook is promising, said NKBA CEO Bill Darcy. While COVID-19 will continue to present challenges to the supply chain, labor and spending, were grateful to be one of a few industries that has actually seen growth in response to consumers spending more time at home and looking to make their spaces more functional in this new normal. Kitchen and bath professionals are well-positioned for continued success into the coming year.

    The Do-It-Yourself aspects of the kitchen and bath remodels kicked in as soon as Americans began to sequester at home, Darcy says.

    Paint sales in big-box stores went up immediately, followed by more intensive home improvement projects.

    Consumers have undertaken a lot of remodeling in 2020, but significant opportunity remains, especially for the kitchen and bath market, going into 2021, notesTodd Tomalak, Principal at JBREC. Much of the already completed renovation work has focused outside the home redoing decks, gardens and outdoor entertaining spaces in response to COVID-19 restrictions.For many families working and schooling from home, 2020 wasnt the ideal time to redo a space as essential as the kitchen or bathroom. As such, we anticipate continued activity for kitchen and bath remodeling next year.

    In the first half of 2020, NKBA members predicted negative sales for the year, but Q3 brought better news for the industry, which now expects a 1.1% increase in YOY sales compared to 2019. In fact, Q3 sales in 2020 were up 2.1% from 2019, and sales grew 5.9% since last quarter overall ranging from designers, who saw a smaller 3.2% increase, to manufacturers, who experienced a significant 9.6% rise.

    More than half (62%) of all companies surveyed report COVID-19 drove higher demand to their business in Q3. While the crisis continues to have some adverse effect on the industry, with 29% reporting the pandemic has led to lower demand, its negative impact has lessened each quarter and, at 5.9 (on a scale of one to 10), is nearly 30% lower than the Q1 rating of 8.1. Among those industry professionals who havent seen demand return to normal levels, 29% expect it to do so in 2021.

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    Kitchen And Bath Remodels Up During COVID-19 Restrictions - Forbes

    Kitchen and bathroom remodeling made simple with Granite Transformations of North Phoenix – Yahoo News - December 10, 2020 by Mr HomeBuilder

    The Week

    No one expected Donald Trump and his supporters to lose the 2020 presidential election graciously, least of all those of us who thought he had a much better chance of winning it than public polling suggested.This is why, in one sense anyway, I think we should not put too much stock in surveys like this one, which suggests that only a quarter or so of Republicans "accept" the results of this year's election. Ever since Democrats and their allies in the media began using this phrase in the fall of 2016 in a bad-faith attempt to secure some kind of worthless pledge from Trump (they would ignore this apparently world-historic imperative by spending the next four years insisting that Trump was not himself the duly elected president), I have found myself asking exactly what it is supposed to mean. Does the result of a presidential election depend upon our attitudes concerning it? You might as well ask people whether they "accept" the results of bad weather or personal financial setbacks.Which is why I believe it makes more sense to see the conservative response to the 2020 election not as some bizarre new development on the American right or even as the outgrowth of QAnon and other conspiracy theories, but rather as the inevitable culmination of a process that began long ago.For decades now it has been clear that the flipside of Americans' veneration of the office of the presidency, which combines the functions of head of government and head of state into one extraordinarily powerful title, is our insistence that presidents whom we do not ourselves support cannot be just that: politicians we did not vote for and would just as soon not see re-elected. Instead, the opponents of virtually every president in my lifetime, from Bill Clinton to Trump, have insisted that he was at the very least illegitimate, if not a tyrant.These vague inclinations have a way of justifying themselves. After years of omnidirectional scandalmongering by the House GOP, Clinton was impeached in 1998. George W. Bush, who owed his election to a Supreme Court decision that outraged half the country, spent most of his eight years in office being compared to characters from dystopian novels and to various historical dictators; everything was the subject of intense, indeed at times ludicrous scrutiny, from his invasion of Iraq to his re-election in 2004, which was the basis of another of conspiracy theories involving (what else?) the manipulation of electronic voting machines. Barack Obama's legitimacy was cast into doubt by his enemies long before his inauguration thanks to the so-called birther controversy, which actually began during Hillary Clinton's 2008 presidential run. Meanwhile Trump was accused by liberals of being some kind of Russian plant from the minute he took office, a ludicrous fiction of which his previous opponent appeared to be convinced four years later.Complaining about supposed democratic norms is a mug's game. In a country in which authority tends to be understood in what might politely be described as conditional terms, it should not be surprising that the sizable portion of the electorate supporting one candidate should reject the other. The days when people of my grandparents' generation calmly insisted that the person in the White House deserves our full respect and support regardless of one's vote are as remote as the gold standard or smoke-filled rooms at party conventions.My guess is that at some point, likely well beyond the point at which it serves any purpose save those of nostalgia and self-aggrandizement, we will come to regret our inability to acknowledge the victories of presidential candidates we dislike, much less to hope for their success in office. The presidency is too powerful for it to; if our constitution had been meant to give us something more akin to the partisan and provisional office of prime minister, I suspect we would be in a very different position.In the meantime, however, insisting that only one half of the country should greet the results of presidential elections with unconditional enthusiasm makes about as much sense as asking why 70 million people should have been allowed to vote for the losing candidate.More stories from 7 criminally funny cartoons about Trump's potential pardon spree The GOP is driving itself mad Trump gets a judicial reality check

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    Kitchen and bathroom remodeling made simple with Granite Transformations of North Phoenix - Yahoo News

    The Homeowner’s Guide to Shower Heads – MSN Money - December 10, 2020 by Mr HomeBuilder

    Jordi Prat Puig/Shutterstock

    The Environmental Protection Agency estimates that there are 220,000,000 shower heads installed in homes across the United States. They also estimate that about 10 percent of those shower heads are replaced each year due to wear and tear, bathroom remodeling and other reasons.

    Here's what to know about buying and replacing a shower head if you're in the market for a new one.

    Your shower head, along with your shower faucets, are part of your overall shower system. And the shower head, of course, is where the water comes out.

    Most shower heads manufactured in the U.S. follow the National Pipe Thread standard of 1/2-inch. This helps ensure that any shower head you choose will fit into a standard shower elbow. Still, it's worth noting the outside diameter of your shower elbow and desired shower head before buying, especially if you're considering one manufactured outside the U.S.

    There are three main types of shower heads:

    Fixed shower heads are mounted on the wall of your shower. You can usually angle them and even adjust their height, but you can't remove them from the wall. Most people prefer multi-function shower heads like the Tibbers Shower Head that lets you change the spray pattern and pressure.

    A popular option within the fixed shower head category is the rain shower head. These extra-large shower heads can be mounted on a wall or a ceiling to create the experience of standing under rainfall. They're great for anyone looking for a luxurious, spa-like shower experience. One well-rated option to consider is this Voolan Rain Shower Head.

    Handheld shower heads let you hold and direct the water wherever you want. They usually have a flexible hose and are mounted on the shower wall with a bracket. This can be a good option if you regularly wash pets or children in your shower, are recovering from an injury, have mobility issues or just want an easy way to clean your shower. You can buy just the shower head or a set, like the AquaDance High Pressure Chrome Face Handheld Shower that also includes the hose and holder.

    Dual shower heads have a handheld unit attached to a fixed shower head. They offer the best of both worlds if you can't decide between a fixed shower head or a handheld. One well-rated option is AquaDance Premium High Pressure Three-Way Rainfall Combo.

    Gallery: 10 Ways to Keep the Cold Out This Winter (The Family Handyman)

    If your shower space and budget allow, consider installing a fixed shower head and a traditional handheld shower head.

    One final consideration is the shower head finish. Most people match their shower head to their bathroom faucets and other bathroom hardware. A few of today's most popular shower head finishes are copper, nickel, chrome, brass and bronze.

    It's a good idea to replace your shower head if it:

    No longer gives off good, strong water flow. This can be caused by sediment buildup, so you can try to clean your shower head before buying a new one.

    Has an unfixable leak. First, see if you can fix your dripping shower.

    Has substantial sediment buildup. This is especially common with hard water.

    Has uncleanable mold. You can try to clean off mold by soaking the shower head in vinegar overnight and then running the hot water.

    You might also decide to replace your shower head if you're doing a bathroom remodel or if you want a water-saving shower head. When shopping for an eco-friendly, low-flow shower head, look for the WaterSense label.

    Note: Most shower head manufacturers offer a limited lifetime warranty, so check on that before you buy a new one.

    Replacing a fixed shower head is usually as simple as unscrewing the old shower head, then screwing in and tightening the new one. A special situation arises when you need to install toggle bolts for an adjustable shower head within a fiberglass or plastic shower.

    With handheld shower heads, you'll also need to screw the bracket into the wall if it's not already installed. Things get a little trickier with dual shower heads. You'll typically need to install a diverter that routes water to both the handheld and the fixed shower heads, but that is a fairly easy DIY endeavor.

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    The Homeowner's Guide to Shower Heads - MSN Money

    Have yourself a very married Christmas – Farm and Dairy - December 10, 2020 by Mr HomeBuilder

    I have to wonder why so much attention is given to couples becoming engaged at Christmas time?

    According to jewelry ads, and virtually every Hallmark Christmas movie ever made, more couples are engaged at Christmas than at any other time of the year.

    Maybe its the chance to kill two turtledoves with one stone? The lure of making a diamond the gift for that year is just too good? Whatever the reason, its a very romantic trope.

    What is often lacking, though, is some holly jolly attention to what a very married Christmas is really like. Not better. Not worse. Definitely different.

    Mr. Wonderful is pretty much a saint. He has his own fans, and everyone finds him easygoing and charming. Obviously, hes awesome and every day is a fresh joy.

    That said, he does tend to struggle with shopping. He has been pretty much spoiled in that my love language is acts of service far more than gifts. Nonetheless, I still like a nice box to unwrap from time to time.

    He has in the past given me some amazing gifts. He has been fortunate in having a daughter. From an early age, Girl Wonder took over the care and keeping of moms wish list.

    Unfortunately, with college and work taking precedence these days, she was not in the house to assist him in shopping this year. Accordingly, he kept asking ME what I wanted for Christmas. Like women since time began, I am prone to surprise me, which is not the answer he was hoping for.

    My mother once told me, correctly, that men are terrible at reading minds, but theyre pretty good at doing exactly what theyre told. Plus, the best way to get what you want is to ask for it. I finally just sent him a link to a watch I might like to have. Nothing crazy. Reasonable price. Remember, I sent him the link, people.

    Apparently, and we will glean more detail as the incident is reconstructed as we go to trial, the link would not work for him. Thus, he made the mistake of looking me the mother of his children and his wife of over two decades in the eye and uttering the fateful words: Just go ahead and order your own gift.

    His calling hours will be held at the close of the pandemic. He was a good man, and we will miss him.

    That is the kind of mistake no self-respecting boyfriend or girlfriend should ever make. Heres some cash, get your own present. No, baby. It takes marriage to make a man that brave.

    A dear friend has also been married for ages. Recently her husband, who usually isnt insane, tricked her into going hiking. Shes a fit and fun type person, so she agreed to hike a few miles in the hills of Tennessee.

    They hiked eight miles. Eight. Eight is not a few. Eight is an awful lot of miles. My friend was not amused.

    Worse, her husband decided he really liked hiking. Im told he stomped around, swinging his arms and declaring that he felt invigorated. This led to his belief that they were going to become an outdoorsy hiking couple and be invigorated regularly. My friend can now often be heard muttering, I swear to God if he gives me hiking boots for Christmas

    Once married, I did muddy the waters of gifting bliss by actually wanting things like a new vacuum cleaner, sofa or remodeling our bathroom to count as our gifts to each other. Nothing says I love you like a new wax ring.

    Add children, and the very married Christmas takes on a new look. Mostly the look of surprise on Mr. Wonderfuls face as he was just as surprised as the children were as they opened their gifts on Christmas morning.

    He is a wonderful, hardworking man, and his efforts provided the children with many glorious Christmas mornings. He also rarely had much of an idea what they were getting. I was the hunter and gather of the gifts, after all.

    We have enjoyed 28 Christmases together. 24 of them married. Each of them more magical than the last. We dont always get the gift-giving right but the gift of laughing about it is always in style.

    Married Christmas to all, and to all a good night!

    Up-to-date agriculture news in your inbox!

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    Have yourself a very married Christmas - Farm and Dairy

    Global Ceramic Sanitary Ware Market (2020 to 2024) – Featuring Duravit, Geberit and Kohler Among Others – – Business Wire - October 23, 2020 by Mr HomeBuilder

    DUBLIN--(BUSINESS WIRE)--The "Global Ceramic Sanitary Ware Market 2020-2024" report has been added to's offering.

    The ceramic sanitary ware market is poised to grow by 226.25 million units during 2020-2024 progressing at a CAGR of 8% during the forecast period.

    The report on ceramic sanitary ware market provides a holistic analysis, market size and forecast, trends, growth drivers, and challenges, as well as vendor analysis covering around 25 vendors.

    The report offers an up-to-date analysis regarding the current global market scenario, latest trends and drivers, and the overall market environment. The market is driven by the increasing expenditure on bathroom remodeling and major brands expanding manufacturing facilities.

    The ceramic sanitary ware market analysis includes product segment and geographical landscapes. This study identifies the growing availability of ceramic sanitary ware on online platforms as one of the prime reasons driving the ceramic sanitary ware market growth during the next few years.

    The report presents a detailed picture of the market by the way of study, synthesis, and summation of data from multiple sources by an analysis of key parameters.

    Companies Mentioned

    The ceramic sanitary ware market covers the following areas:

    The study was conducted using an objective combination of primary and secondary information including inputs from key participants in the industry. The report contains a comprehensive market and vendor landscape in addition to an analysis of the key vendors.

    The report presents a detailed picture of the market by the way of study, synthesis, and summation of data from multiple sources by an analysis of key parameters such as profit, pricing, competition, and promotions. It presents various market facets by identifying the key industry influences. The data presented is comprehensive, reliable, and a result of extensive research - both primary and secondary.

    This market research report provides a complete competitive landscape and an in-depth vendor selection methodology and analysis using qualitative and quantitative research to forecast an accurate market growth.

    Key Topics Covered:

    1. Executive Summary

    2. Market Landscape

    3. Market Sizing

    4. Five Forces Analysis

    5. Market Segmentation by Product

    6. Customer Landscape

    7. Geographic Landscape

    8. Vendor Landscape

    9. Vendor Analysis

    10. Appendix

    For more information about this report visit

    Global Ceramic Sanitary Ware Market (2020 to 2024) - Featuring Duravit, Geberit and Kohler Among Others - - Business Wire

    Coronavirus safety improvements on track at St. Joseph County Jail – South Bend Tribune - October 23, 2020 by Mr HomeBuilder

    SOUTH BEND Coronavirus-related safety improvements paid for with federal pandemic relief dollars should be done at the county jail before the end of the year.

    Renovations could begin in about a week, and although the work will cause some disruption, Sheriff Bill Redman said it will be worth it because the last thing we want is an outbreak of COVID inside our walls here.

    The St. Joseph County Board of Commissioners unanimously approved awarding a bid Tuesday to Ziolkowski Construction, of South Bend, to do the work for $837,000. It was the lowest of three bids received.

    Jail renovations are aimed at keeping staff, visitors and inmates safe from the spread of the novel coronavirus that causes COVID-19. Work will include remodeling a visitation area, training area and breakroom, and modifications to the heating, ventilation and air-conditioning system in the medical wing.

    Since the pandemic began, the sheriffs department has had 11 inmates and eight staff members, including corrections and police officers, test positive for the virus, Redman said. He credited strict safety protocols with the relatively small numbers but said renovations will make it easier to keep people separated and limit contact. More video courtrooms also will reduce the need to transport inmates to the courthouse.

    The jail has had a lower than normal inmate population since last spring because judges and prosecutors are allowing some nonviolent offenders not to be jailed, which also helps curb spread of the virus in the jail, Redman said. Currently, the daily inmate population is between 520 and 530 when ordinarily it might be between 600 and 700, he said.

    Separate, planned technology improvements are coinciding with the renovations that will offer video visitation for inmates, which will also boost virus safety, according to Redman.

    In September, commissioners unanimously approved an agreement of between $2 million and $2.5 million with South Bend engineering and design firm DLZ to oversee the jail remodeling project. They also OKd another agreement with DLZ for $125,000 to study at least 18 other county buildings and make recommendations for coronavirus-related safety improvements. At the time, commissioner Dave Thomas, Democrat, District 2, said he was not a fan of no-bid contracts, but thought DLZs knowledge of county properties would help expedite the work.

    St. Joseph County received $8.7 million in federal coronavirus relief funding, or CARES Act money, which is supposed to be used before next year for expenses related to the pandemic.

    Commissioners were enthusiastic about the use of coronavirus money for the jail and commended the work people put in to fast-track the plan.

    A project that normally might take a year or longer came together in three or four months, Board of Commissioners President Andy Kostielney, Republican, District 1, said.

    Commissioners attorney Jamie Woods noted that despite emergency circumstances that would have allowed the board to award construction to a chosen vendor, commissioners sought bids in an open and fair process.

    Coronavirus funding also is covering $2 million for testing and other projects by the health department; $110,000 for bathroom renovations at highway garages; $540,000 in employee hazard pay if eligible; and materials such as masks, sanitizer, gloves and hard plastic barriers. About $6.7 million of the grant had been committed as of September, according to the county auditors office.

    Additional CARES Act money was received separately by some departments. The health department, for example, received $462,000 for information technology expenses and $300,000 to set up additional COVID-19 testing sites.

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    Coronavirus safety improvements on track at St. Joseph County Jail - South Bend Tribune

    Kitchen and Bathroom Remodeling Is Available in San Rafael, CA – Press Release – Digital Journal - October 15, 2020 by Mr HomeBuilder

    It does not matter if a homeowner has plans to sell, or if they are ready for an all-new kitchen, remodeling a kitchen is a huge job. In fact, the average price tag on an entirely new kitchen is around $22K. With so much money on the line, the right remodeling companies must be found. Some tips that will help ensure the right professional service is found and used are listed here.

    Consider Working with Specialized Professionals

    Many general contractors can handle any kitchen remodel project, from beginning to end. For many people, this may sound like the best option. However, these companies do not specialize in any one part of the remodeling process.

    That means that each element may not show off the high-quality results a homeowner was searching for. However, with more specialized service providers, such as Granite Transformations, this is a non-issue. By hiring these specialized companies, a person will receive high-quality results that are desired.

    Find Out About the Project Timeline

    Some homeowners choose a contractor based on the fastest timeline for project completion. The issue with this is that contractors know about this. As a result, they may intentionally underestimate how long the project will take to get the business.

    A good way to avoid this issue is by speaking to a few different companies about the time estimates provided for the project. Try to avoid any company that has a much shorter timeline without a viable reason such as a bigger crew. It is also smart to be wary of any contractor who will not or cannot provide a timeline range.

    More about this can be found at

    Find Someone Who Will Work with What Is Already in Place

    In some situations, it is smarter to work with what is already there than to buy everything brand new. One example of this would be the cabinets. While anyone can rip out cabinets and install brand new ones, there are other, more affordable options. One is to restore the cabinets. This is going to help a homeowner save a lot of money. It will also help to increase the value of the home if the cabinets maintain character and if the professional service can restore them properly.

    Find Out How Long the Contractor Has Been in Business

    While this may seem like an obvious question, it is one that many homeowners do not think about. More information about this is available at Also, if a company has been in the area for a while, they will want to maintain their good reputation, which means that they are more likely to provide high-quality services.

    When it is time to choose a professional for kitchen remodeling, there are several factors to consider. Be sure to keep the information here in mind. Being informed is the best way to ensure the right professional is found and that they meet all the needs and expectations for the project that is being done.

    Media ContactCompany Name: Granite TransformationsContact Person: Media RelationsEmail: Send EmailPhone: 707-200-4813Address:3485 Airway Dr., Suite A City: Santa RosaState: CaliforniaCountry: United StatesWebsite:

    See the original post here:
    Kitchen and Bathroom Remodeling Is Available in San Rafael, CA - Press Release - Digital Journal

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