Showing posts with label home-exterior. Show all posts
Showing posts with label home-exterior. Show all posts

How to Find Perfect Custom Window Shutters for Your House

Shutters for windows are an integral part of décor these days. Shutters are no longer just used for protecting your home from weather extremes of keeping intruders at bay. It is an essential functional element of every house that is gaining prominence with every passing day. It is difficult to find the right shutters for your home, especially when you have so many options around.
Custom Window Shutters
Custom Window Shutters
Be it exterior window shutters or shutters for the interior of your home, the right shutters add beauty to the overall look of your house. It complements the overall look of your home and adds elegance to it. Some people even prefer customized shutters for their homes. Getting a customized shutter will add a different look to your home. Some of the tips to get a customized shutter for your home are as follows-

How to choose the best custom window shutters

  • Check the size: Over sized shutters are always a big no for your consumer. It is always better to go for shutters that exactly fit the windows. The shutters should not overlap the windows or stick out beyond the edge
  • Choose the style wisely: Go for shutters that match the style of your home. The architectural style of your home may vary from Colonial style, Victorian style or Georgian style. Choose the style that suits your home architectural style.
  • Choose material according to your lifestyle: Wood is not good for places where it frequently rains. It may peel, rot or chip. So choose the material depending on the place you stay and the weather that is prevalent there. If your window needs a thick covering for your home, it is better to go for poly composite.
  • Go for complimentary shutter colors: Choose colors that accentuates the look of your homes. Go for colors like black and white if your home has a traditional touch to it. Go for vibrant colors when your home has a contemporary look.
Now that we know about how to choose customized shutters for windows, let us look at the benefits-


  • Durability- Shutters of high quality are always durable. It is a much better option than curtains or blinds that can fade in some time. This does not require a replacement unless the slats or rails gets damaged. The solid sturdy material is ideal for homes in the long run. You can install shutters to allow lights in your room or adjust the slats to block lights.
  • Aesthetic appeal: Be it, exterior window shutters or shutters for the interior, it always adds beauty to your homes. Shutters add the right flair to your windows and gives a touch of elegance to it. So for people looking to add a touch of beauty to their homes, it is better to add the right shutter which can change the overall look of your home. The right shutters add visual appeal and gives a war, welcoming look to your home.
  • Protection and privacy- Sunlight can fade, damage or bleach the interior of your home. Window shutters are the right element that protects your home from rain, storm, heat, dust or snow. You can adjust the shutters depending on how much light you want in your homes. Shutters for your windows can also keep intruders at bay and give you the privacy you seek.
  • Energy efficient: Shutters are affordable and would last for years. It is easy to maintain an optimum room temperature inside the home with the help of the shutters. So, it can be said that shutters provide the right insulation to your homes. It is an energy efficient option that cuts down electricity bills considerably.
  • If you are looking to renovate your home, shutters can be a great option. It just allows the right amount of light in your room and maintains a room temperature. It is an ideal protective element that adds beauty and at the same time cuts down electricity bills.
  • Types of shutters: Shutters come in an array of styles. Also, different materials are available for the shutters. Some of the options are Bahama shutters, louvered shutters, raised panel, flat panel and Board and Batten type of shutters. Choose the right design that goes well with the architecture of your home.
When choosing the right shutters, do not go for companies that are in USA and get foreign manufactured parts. Always go for Made in USA shutters that are authentic and of high quality. They will always provide you reliable materials that would last for a long time.

The Pros and Cons of Investing in An Extension

A home extension has become an increasingly popular choice for many homeowners looking to extend the amount of space in their home without the stress and hassle of moving. However, before you commit to such a hefty building project, it’s always worth weighing up the pros and cons.

Pro: Increase the value of your home

Home Extension
Home Extension
One of the main reasons that people decide to add an extension is so that they can, ultimately, increase the value of their home. If you have money saved up for a home project, an extension might be something you have in mind. Adding square footage to your property almost guarantees additional value, regardless of whether you’ve added an extra kitchen or bathroom or a more substantial double extension that’s required planning permission.

Con: Applying for planning permission

Anyone who’s applied for planning permission before can know how much of a hassle it can be. If your extension requires planning permission, it’s best to have this in place before you start your project as to avoid any potential issues down the line. You may find yourself feeling disappointed if any changes need to be made to your design and, in the worst case, paying even more money.

Pro: More choice to design your interiors

Interior Design
Interior Design
With a bespoke home extension, you’ll have a lot more choice about your design, shape and size, allowing you a lot more choice to play with your interiors. An extension may let you to have the open plan living space you’ve always dreamed of or an additional room in your home to use as a study or an extra bedroom. These days, extensions have moved away from blending in with your existing property, and people are looking for something more dramatic to make their home stand out. For example, extensions with modern roofs are now more sought after than ever before. If this is something you’re considering for your extension, look out for professional roofing services in Newcastle that can help you with your very own unique design.

Pro: Larger space for a growing family

Modern lifestyle changes mean that homes are becoming too small for growing families, particularly if we add into the mix the fact that many children are choosing to stay in their childhood home well into their 20’s. For that reason, an extension tends to be more viable option than moving. Most modern homes will allow for an extension by way of a basement or loft conversion or a room extension, and none of these will outweigh the cost of buying an entirely new house.

Con: Some types of extension may decrease the value of your property 

Home Extension
Home Extension
While a garage can provide you with another option for a conversion it could decrease the resale value of your home if you’re left with nowhere to park your car. The same goes for any extensions that you build that take away outdoor space.

Consideration: Can you afford an extension?

Your location and the level of demand for your property could make a huge difference to the financial implications of building an extension. If you live in a city with a high demand for housing, for example, the money you’ll spend on an extension will probably be well worth it. However, you always want to avoid spending a great deal on an extension that will only make your property harder to sell, even if you’re planning on living there for some time.

Easy Ways to Reduce Your Heating/Cooling Bills This Year

Many homes in Australia suffer from poor insulation, which means that in hot weather they are sweltering and in cold weather they are freezing. This is mostly a result of poor architecture that ran rampant in the mid 1900’s, not really designed with the ever-changing Australian climate in mind.

For most homeowners, however, poor property design is not enough of a reason to put up with uncomfortable weather extremes. The home is (arguably) where you spend most of your time, and should therefore cater to your needs and desires.
Plantation Shutters
Plantation Shutters
While you can crank up the heater or the air conditioner during the coldest and warmest months, this solution is not very sustainable for the earth nor your wallet. Home heating and cooling is expensive when you rely on temperature control fixtures to do the job.

There are, however, many other easy ways to reduce your heating and cooling use and therefore cut down on your bills as well.

# If your ceilings, walls and floors are not well-insulated, bolster them with high-quality insulation. Poor insulation is one of the biggest reasons why homeowners suffer from internal weather extremes. If you install effective insulation methods within your home, you can help keep warm air in when it’s cold out and cool air in when it’s hot.

# Close all doors and windows when heating or cooling is in use. If any synthetically cooled or heated air escapes while your heater or air conditioning are in use, they will work harder to make up for that change, therefore increasing your energy use and money expenditure. Save your resources by keeping heated or cooled areas closed off to avoid wasting energy.
Plantation Shutters
Plantation Shutters
# Heat and cool only the rooms you are using. Don’t keep your heating or cooling systems running throughout the whole house when people aren’t even in the other rooms. Close off vents and doors to minimise unnecessary energy expenditure, and take advantage of room-by-room heating or cooling if you have multiple units in place.

# Invest in some flexible window fixtures, such as plantation shutters. Shutters are one of the best window covering options for those who want ultimate light and air customisation. Plantation shutters can be altered to allow any range of light in, and can be a nice way to let in a bit of a breeze during summer. That being said, they also add extra insulation during winter to protect you from cold and draughts.

# Adorn your wooden or tile floors with rugs to warm them up. Wooden floors tend to stay pretty cool, which is great in summer but not so ideal justify fall and winter. Tile floors are even more heat-resistant, meaning they can cause your home to feel quite icy when the temperature dips. Luckily, the simple addition of a few throw rugs can cosy up the space and make your rooms warmer.
Plantation Shutters
Plantation Shutters
# When in doubt, change your outfit. One of the easiest and cheapest ways to cool down or warm up is by removing or adding layers. What a difference a pair of socks or the swap from pants to shorts can make. We’re not telling you wear a winter coat around the house, but maybe try layering up before turning the heat on.

# Take advantage of natural shade providers such as trees or awnings. If the sun pelts you through your windows, you may benefit from some exterior cooling methods to block some of the light and heat. Trees and awnings are two great options, while exterior shutters can also provide extra protection from the sun’s rays.

As winter rolls around, many Australian residents will be turning to their home heaters for warmth and domestic comfort. Hopefully, you can utilise some of these tips to stand apart from the crowd and reduce your overall energy use this year.

6 Care and Maintenance Tips for Asphalt Driveways

A lot of properties have asphalt driveways. For a lot of homeowners, they’re simply the better option for the following reasons:
Clearly, there are lots of advantages to asphalt driveways - it’s no wonder they’re greatly preferred. However, it’s important to remember that despite the durability of asphalt as a paving material, like most things, it’s not impervious to damage. Therefore, to ensure its longevity, proper care and maintenance are required.

Paving contractors Manchester property owners turn to have the following tips:

1. Clean up oil and gas spills

Oil and gas spills do not only stain asphalt driveways (even if it’s not as noticeable compared to a concrete driveway) but they can also break down asphalt, which is an oil-based material.
If your car leaks, placing an old towel underneath the leak to catch the oil or gas can prevent damage to your driveway. Better yet, make sure to wipe off the spill as soon as you see it. You can also just park elsewhere until you have the leak fixed; this way, you can save your driveway and only have your car to spend money on for repair.

2.  Keep up with lawn care

Grass and weeds can easily grow through asphalt and it’s an ugly sight when they do. To prevent this from happening, always trim the edges of your lawn and tackle those weeds. There are weed killers you can use for spot treatment as well. Salt, for example, is a great weed killer and it doesn’t hurt asphalt at all.

To protect your asphalt driveway from aggressive vegetation, turn to a lawn maintenance service for the most effective solutions.

3. Be quick to repair cracks

Timely spot treatments can do so much in preserving the quality of your asphalt driveway. Fill the cracks you find in your driveway after a flood due to heavy rain showers or after the thawing of snow and seal them properly.

Have a repair kit handy for holes and cracks in your driveway. You don’t need the pros to take care of these minor damages.

4. Avoid parking your cars in the same space

If you want to avoid scarring on your asphalt driveway, this is an important tip to remember. Parking your vehicles in the same spot can lead to uneven wear of the material especially if your driveway’s still new (meaning it hasn’t even been six months since installation). Also, don’t playfully move the wheels when parked - “burning” rubber on the asphalt always leaves marks.

Paving contractors also advise avoiding driving and parking near the edges of the asphalt driveway because these areas are prone to crumble.

5. Don’t drag hard materials across your asphalt driveway

Think of it this way - that awful scratching sound created when you drag lawn chairs or any heavy material on your driveway is actually the painful cry of the asphalt pavement. The scrapes sustained by your driveway are not only unsightly but they can also lead to the fast deterioration of asphalt. Your driveway will crumble faster when exposed to other elements.

It’s worth adding as well that if your asphalt driveway is less than six months old and it’s the summer season, avoid walking on it wearing high heels. The pointy heels will create depressions and holes.

6. Re-apply seal coat every four to five years

Seal coat is important in protecting the structural integrity of asphalt driveways. It holds the material together, strengthens it, and prevents elements from easily penetrating. Seal coat also fills in small damages like hairline cracks, which tend to appear on the surface of asphalt driveways after a snowy winter.

There you have it: the smartest care and maintenance tips for asphalt driveways. Uphold these tips and you can be sure to maintain your property’s curb appeal. Not only that, you will also be able to avoid damages that will require costly repairs.


Ron Shattuck Jr. built Shattuck Paving into a trusted, reputable family business. Ron Jr. learned a lot about the industry and the hard work ethic that Ronald Sr. lived by, and has now followed in his father's shoes to operate the company and help it grow. Today, Shattuck Paving is more determined than ever to serve their customers' needs with integrity. No compromises!

DIY Tips to Make Your Garage Look Good

Your home may look good from the inside. It may also look good from the outside with a nice yard, antique mailbox etc. but if your garage door is not taken care of, your house will lose all its lustre. Many people neglect the garage and also the garage exterior and this takes away all the sheen from your house.
Garage Look
Garage Look Good
The garage exterior is mostly in the garage door, it can be a one door garage to park your used Nissan Ultima or a two door garage to park your old as well as a new car or even a three door garage with one car for your spouse. The number of doors does not matter, what matters is the look and feel of the garage door. To make your home look beautiful you can try the following do it yourself (DIY) tips.

The first do it yourself task is to paint. It may seem simple but a new coat of paint will make your garage look good from the outside. Ensure that the colour of the paint you choose matches the colour of your house, this way your house will give a good impression to visitors. While painting do not forget to remove the dents and also ensure that the garage opens and closes without any problems.

One other way to make your garage look good after painting it is by placing big potted plants. The plants are always eye-catching and this will make your garage look all the more better. Also if possible add a climbing vine to your garage. If possible place a few pots in the driveway leading to the garage to make it look even better.
Garage Look Good
Garage Look Good
When your garage looks good from the exterior, it is but natural for you to feel that it should look as good in the interior too. You can accomplish this on your own. All you need to do is spend some time and have an hands on approach to do this. First remove all the unwanted items from your garage and dump them in the garbage can. Next place things that can be placed on shelves and hang things that can be hanged. Also get magnetic strips and place your tools in the strips, this will help you in finding the tools easily. Place all gardening items separately. Make a pathway to the door, so that you can enter the house from your garage easily.

Remember that your garage is a part of your house and not a place to dump unwanted items. Make it a rule to dispose items that you have not used for six months to a year as you will not be using them. They may seem to be of value but if you have not used an item for a year, then it is something that you do not want, it is just taking valuable space in your home. If it is required you can always buy it whenever the need arises, rather than keeping it.

5 Benefits of Floating Timber Floors

Timber is one of the most used and traditional product in many ways. Many people are not willing to go with the wooden flooring in initial stages as it is very expensive compared to any other materials. They can add up to the looks of your house from inside and will increase the property value. Floating timber floor is basically a type of laminate sheet which can be installed on your existing floor surface and it is very easy to install. Professionals can measure your floor area and they will install this floating timber floor and paste these laminated timber shades on your floor. You can easily choose different kinds of shades of these floors like white oak, merbau, Tasmanian oak and lots more.
Floating Timber Floors
Floating Timber Floors

What are the advantages of floating timber floors?

  • Long life: Good quality wood last for many years. Where many people replace the carpet due to holes and stains on them, which are not the case in timber flooring. They last very long if maintain them in a proper manner. You can easily clean the floating timber floor and you can easily install this floor within few hours. These floors can provide you best longevity and you can maintain this floor in a normal way.
  • Easy to clean: The wooden floor is also very easy to clean which is not possible with the carpet. You can just clean them using a normal cleaning brush or the vacuum cleaners. You can also polish them over the period of time.
  • Hygienic: The accumulations of dirt and other things can cause many problems in carpets. There are cases where many have reported about the parasites living on the carpet. This can be very harmful to your family especially if you have kids at your house. In a case of the floating timber floors if you clean them regularly.
  • Odor: Over the period of time the carpet can give a foul smell which is very bad at times. It leaves a very bad impression on the guests you have in your house. The wooden floors, when maintained properly, do not give any odor. They have a pleasant wooden smell when they are new.
  • Maintenance: Like you have a very high level of maintenance in the carpets the wooden ones will not give you that. In case your wooden floors have slightly increased in size or looking a bit dull a simple seal and sand will give it a new life. Also, you have an option of getting the wood polished. They also work great in maintaining the heat in your room as they as they are the good medium of under floor heating.
Floating Timber Floors
Floating Timber Floors

Why would you choose the floating timber floor?

They are also available in wide range of colors and different textures. You can select the one which can match with all other wooden furniture you have in your home. You can also customize them according to your need. Many get them printed with the things they like or some kind of theme.
  • With giving a very rich and elegant look to your home the floating timber floors also increases the value of your home. So, in case if you plan to sell your house you can get good sale value because of the wooden flooring.
  • There are some the advantages floating timber floors and the reasons why you should go with them. With all such benefits in hand, you can without doubts go with the timber flooring.
  • Remember to contact some good companies for installations all other work related to that.  It is very important that they are installed properly.
So now you can renovate your floor by installing the floating timber floors and you can find some good texture of these flooring which will suit your home. 

Keep Your Interiors Cool With Carbolite Canopies

Carbolite canopies have a wide range of applications. They are used at various places for providing shades as well as window and door shades.
Carbolite Canopies
Carbolite Canopies

Some of the applications are:

  • Playground shelters
  • Utility maximization of open spaces
  • Social & dining areas
  • Glass and polycarbonate entrance canopies
  • Entrance canopies
  • Covered walkways
  • Garden centre canopies
  • Shades on small railway platforms and bus stops
  • Train station canopies and shelters
  • Patient drop-off canopies
  • Carports for car parking
  • Loading & storage bays
  • Industrial canopies, warehouse canopies & loading bay covers
  • Parents, patients or clients waiting areas at schools, medical institutions or any such business
The above list is long enough to prove the fact that the carbolite canopies are used everywhere. You may ask the reasons for this. There are several. The most prominent one is that they provide extensive protection from the sun’s heat. This protection is not like other type of shades which just shield the area covered by them from the sun. Unlike those, the canopies when used as shades to cover glass doors and windows, they shield the solar radiation from entering the interiors and thus reduced the interior ambient temperature. It goes without saying that this results in lower power consumption of air conditioners as the room is comparatively cooler already. Air Conditioning Engineers have summarized that during the period of the day when the sun shines directly on windows facing South, a carbolite canopy reduces heat gain at least by 55 to 65 percent. Imagine the effect that would have on your utility bills. Also, the life of your furniture, drapes and carpets is increased manifold due to the canopies as they are prevented from fading of colours due to the UV rays.

Along with this cooling effect, another added benefit is that you can get anything printed on it. You name any colour, any pattern or any texture, and that is available. Thus, you can use this to your advantage and add graphics and text to your carbolite canopies and use them to serve the purpose of a banner of your business along with a shade. The advances in sign technology have made it possible to achieve virtually any desired effect and design on canopies. Also, integrating signage to the canopy gives a sophisticated look to your office’s entrance.
Carbolite Canopies
Carbolite Canopies
Canopies provide affordable as well as adaptable comfort for outdoor spaces. Consider a canopy that covers your home decks and patios. It offers a long-term solution for the needed shade and increases the utility of those spaces at a comparatively lower cost. Not only this, your deck will be shaded from the hot sunrays as well as rains and storms as carbolite can resist all types of natures. The carbolite material is robust and noiseless during heavy winds and so you do not have to worry about the canopies being a nuisance or getting damaged.

The carbolite material is available in various colours and thus increase your backyard’s appeal by seamlessly blending your indoors and outdoors. Decorative colours and designs give you the ability to coordinate your furniture and your canopy with your indoor decor. Carbolite canopies thus provide style with strength and durability.

The only reason to choose carbolite canopies is that your family deserves the best protection. You can enjoy the outdoors and at the same time shield yourself and your family from rain, storms, extreme sunlight or snow. Along with that you get to beautify your surroundings and get an amazing curb appeal with the added benefit of getting a way to promote your business through colourful signage. Above all, you effortlessly cool the interiors of your homes and feel more comfortable. A carbolite canopy is thus like hitting several targets with just one single stone.

5 Reasons Why You Need a Glass Balustrade for Your Balcony

Getting a glass balustrade installed in your balcony is probably one of the best choices you can ever make. Whether its staircase or balcony railing, glass seems to be the popular choice among all types of consumers including home and office owners. This is because the glass gives an incredible look that draws attention.

There are many companies to help you with the installation of a new glass balustrade, but you need to be cautious while choosing them. Make sure you choose a professional who has experience in selecting the right materials for the balustrade.
Glass Balustrade
Glass Balustrade

Here are 5 reasons why you need a glass balustrade for your balcony:

1. Durability

Glass balustrades can be used for balconies and patios since they are made of high quality glass that is hard to break and can make great entryways. They can also be a perfect choice with overhangs and rails that are strong. You will never have to worry about the people leaning on them as balustrades are designed to look fragile but are strong enough to withstand such impacts.

2. Lighting

You get a feeling of openness and freedom with glass balustrades installed which is quite the opposite of what you would feel with wooden finishing. You will find your room look more spacious and airy as these balustrades allow free flow of light. Regardless of how big your balcony is, use of glass makes a great deal of difference in its overall appeal.

3. Adaptable

Depending on the type of your home- classy, traditional or contemporary, glass can be adapted to meet your needs and suit your interiors. You can also add art work with etched glasses for your balustrades and customize them accordingly.

And it's extremely easy to maintain and clean them with just a simple wipe of damp cloth. Further, some of them come with a protective coating which reduces 80% of the cleaning time. This coating even prevents accumulation of dust, dirt or any sort of debris on them.

A good way to clean them is just take some water, squeeze a lime (to eliminate hard-water build-up) and spritz it onto the glass. Then take a clean dry cloth and wipe this to keep them squeaky clean and beautiful for a long period of time.
Glass Balustrade
Glass Balustrade

4. Safety

In contrast to the popular belief, installing glass balustrades in your balcony is safe for your kids. A wooden or steel balcony is more likely to hurt your kids when their curious minds try to explore the house. Rather, having a glass balustrade, feeds their curious minds well and protects them at the same time. Moreover, it can also withstand pressure and impacts since it is made of tempered and thick glass.

Even if it breaks in rare occasions, it does not form sharp sheds and this ensures the safety of your kids in the balcony.

5. Elegance

If you are thinking to give your home an unmatched look, you can install a frameless glass balustrade that enriches your balcony. Your home gets an elegant look with these balconies since the customary rails will not hinder them. You get a clear look and feeling of having immense space, with such balconies.

These are a few reasons why glass balustrades are the best choice for your balcony, if you wish to get the best out of it, you should be looking to choose the best fit glass from the best manufacturers and suppliers. Look for reputed companies or suppliers providing the right material and glass before making your choices.

How to Choose a Picket Fences Specialist?

When it comes to the traditional American style of Home designing, Picket Fences stand as an icon. These wooden fences can extend robust protection to the internal premises as well as elevate the aesthetics of the property. Hence, the decision to install such fencing is indeed a gallant choice. However, to ensure that you are getting the best value for your money, you inevitably need to deal with the best fencing contractor.  This article shall extend you some effective tips about selecting a worthy picket fence contractor.
Picket Fences
Picket Fences

Opt for the fencing contractors that specializes in installation of picket fencing

It is said that when you avail something from the hands of a specialist, you will always get a special thing. Hiring a specialist for the installation of picket fences adds value to the property and is also an add-on to the aesthetics. This is a niche choice in the category of fencing products and hence, requires special skills to handle the installation of these fences. Availing the services of any general fencing contractor will not be the ideal move in this regard.

Try to consider as many options as possible

Before you finalize the deal with a provider, try to seek as many options as possible. The market has availability of innumerable contractors, specializing on picket fences. You should knock as many contractors as possible. This will enable you to explore more options as well as to collate more competitive offers. Thus, by exploring more alternatives you get to a position, wherein you will win the deals on the aspect of product quality and service that will prove to be cost-effective. Hopping around for opinion and options, you may explore special deals and discounts that will enable you to reduce the expenses for the installation of the picket fences, without compromising on the quality.

Ask the contractor to furnish references of its existing clients

You may ask the fencing contractor to furnish references of the clients it had already served. You should take time out to speak to these references who would be able to give you a realistic assessment of the services of the contractor. In this context, another worthy alternative will be to refer to the reviews on the services of the provider. This will enable you to evaluate if the provider is reliable enough to gain your trust. Remember, a worthy provider will always feature exceptionally positive reviews.
Picket Fences
Picket Fences

Check if the contractor holds the necessary licenses and insurance

To safeguard your interest, you should always opt for the providers, having necessary licenses and insurance to operate in a similar capacity. A licensed contractor will always comply with the ideal practices and adhere to the guidelines set by the prevailing laws. On the other hand, if the contractor is insured, it will fetch you compensation for the losses and damage you incur out of the acts acted by the contractor. This will safeguard your financial interest and ensure that you get the best value for your money.

Ask the contractor to provide price estimates

You should ask the prospective contractor to furnish price estimation for the installation of the Picket Fences. You should collect such quotes from a number of providers, before finalizing the deal with the party, offering the most competitive quote. This way, you can reduce the expenses to a significant amount, without compromising on the quality of the products and services. However, refrain from accepting such offers that offer concessions and discounts and provides poor services.

Finalizing the deal with the contractor, considering the points stated above will ensure that you get the best picket fences within your budget. 

About Us

Top Blogin

Top Blogin is a unique platform for the individuals looking for information on home improvement and real estate related topic. We’re looking for talented writers, capable of creating unique contents to contribute to our blog.