10 Home Improvement Projects You Can Finish This Weekend – On a Budget

1.) Programmable Thermostat:

OK, so we know that this particular home improvement project doesn’t add anything aesthetically to your home design, but let’s be honest- trimming around 5-10% a year off your heating/cooling bill, plus allowing you more control over the interior temperature, all while getting a new high-tech gadget is a win-win-win-win situation. A programmable thermostat allows you to avoid ever having to come home to a sweltering heat after a long day of work. It allows you piece of mind when leaving pets at home, no matter how hot it is outside. Coming in at around $75-$120 to have one installed for you- it’s truly an incredibly cost-effective way to make sure you get the most comfort possible out of your home. HouseLogic.Com has some pretty good information on choosing what type of thermostat will suit your needs. And no need to fear! Programmable thermostats (like most other electronic devices in our day-and-age) have become more and more user-friendly and easy to operate.

2.) Add a Splash of Color with an Accent Wall:

Painting an entire wall can be a nightmare (believe me, we know), and after a long week of work, the prospect of taking on such an overwhelming and exhausting task inevitably leads to a room that stays that same old neutral beige. Well- here’s a compromise. How about an accent wall? The difference a single wall of bold color can make in a room cannot be ignored. An accent wall is a great place to start remodeling or refurnishing your home. It gives you a base color palate with which to work, and can aid in the later selection of pillows, rugs, chairs etc. With an overall project time hovering around 6-8 hours (depending on the size of the wall you’re painting) from start to finish; painting an accent wall is a sure-fire way to add a touch of pizzazz to your room.

3.) Paint a Custom Headboard or Faux Headboard:

The sky is really the limit on this one. And the best part is that your ventures through a local thrift shop or Goodwill can yield amazing results at unbelievably low prices (if any). Being in touch with, and actively monitoring Craigslist is a secret weapon when it comes to designing on a realistic budget. You can go with vibrant, muted, pastels, or even fabrics and various textures!

Recently a trend has been becoming more and more popular in US homes: a faux headboard. What does this mean? It means that you literally use the wall and space already available to create a creative and very innovative design in place of a bulky headboard in your room. Pinterest has some beautiful galleries if you’re looking for some inspiration. The complexity and project time it will take to finish a headboard creation of your very own is entirely up to you. Some companies even offer templates and decals that can be stuck directly to a wall. The advantage to a faux headboard is beyond aesthetic. Aside from the space you can save, and the flexibility in design you will have, a faux headboard is easy to change, easy to update, and can be modified to reflect changing trends or a changing room.

4.) DIY Message Center:

If you’re anything like me, your life is a constant cacophony of mental “to-do” lists, family engagements to keep, errands that need to be run, bills that need to be paid, and a way of communicating that often gets lost in the mix. Creating a DIY message center is a perfect way to make sure everyone is on the same page. What’s wonderful about these types of message centers is that most, if not all, of the materials you may need can either be found at a local thrift store or on the free section of CL. Don’t marry yourself to chalkboard either. Although chalkboard is an easy solution (especially now that it comes in huge sheets with an adhesive back ( like contact paper), you should also consider using a pane of glass (painted on one side) and framed! It’s the perfect mimic of a dry-erase board, but with markedly more style. You can even use a very thin piece of aluminum if you want to exclusively use magnets, and for those talented seamstresses out there- cloth and ribbon will also create a beautiful, versatile, and most importantly- functional piece to your home… and on a budget. Many of these message centers come with a section for mail, a section to write notes, and a board to post important bulletins to yourself or your family. I’ve seen every design style from rustic to modern, so whatever the style of your home, you can build a message center to compliment your design scheme while adding functionality.

5.) Change Your Faucets:

An often over-looked item on the “home improvement” list- changing your faucets is a simple way to really alter the look and feel of a room. Outside of accent pillows, it is the easiest way to breathe life back into a kitchen or bathroom. Your local hardware store has some great selections – don’t be afraid to be a little daring! Just make sure that all of the hardware matches, and decide whether or not it is important to you to have the same hardware throughout the house. This is also a perfect opportunity to re- pet-proof and child-proof your low lying cabinets.

6.) Add Some Under/Over Cabinet Accent Lighting:

If you want to really add some wow to your living space, consider over/under cabinet lighting. I cannot stress enough: spend the additional money and get lids. At $20 a roll, you can get LED rope lighting in any color you can imagine. Dramatic lighting like this can add incredible depth and dimension to your design space while creating a great atmosphere and additional lighting without the bulk or hassle of adding a new lighting fixture. Some companies do offer these types of lights at a premium- requiring electrical work and a contractor, but the same effect can be achieved with a simple trip to a local store and a little bit of clever fastening. Secure the rope lights out of sight at the junction where your counter meets the body of the cabinet, or hidden on the very top. The lights will reflect light off the wall or cabinet (depending on placement) and will create a dramatic, and beautiful effect that really gives a cutting edge style to any room.

7.) Add a Back-Splash:

Now, depending on how you go about this- it can be both costly and time consuming to install a back splash on your wall. Unless you have some experience with DIY home improvement, I would suggest leaving tile and grout projects to a professional, however, there are ways to install a back splash that can be done by anyone, regardless of experience level. Many home improvement stores sell sheets of pre-made, self-adhesive back splashes that mimic the look of real ceramic tile. Of course- consult with a professional (even if only your native home improvement associate) about which type and material of tile or tile replica you should get. A backsplash is another element like the accented wall; it’s a dash of color and a break up homogeny that adds texture and life to a drab space.

8.) Throw Pillows:

This is more a decorating tip than a home improvement tip- but its details like these that can really tie a room together and help a design space make that leap from concept to polished idea. Think bold and bright. Throw pillows can be just enough color to make a room interesting without being overwhelming or overbearing. Experiment with different texture and fabric combinations, find a mix that suits you. Inexpensive, with big impact; throw pillows are the un-sung heroes of home interior design.

9.) Paint Your Front Door:

Look at almost any “tips, tricks, and ideas” for home improvement, and somewhere on that list will be replacing/repainting the front door. I couldn’t agree more. Beyond the obvious curb appeal, painting your front door can really refresh your home and add some vibrancy and style to your home-front. First impressions are the most important, right? Make the first impression of your home to be one of happiness and warmth. For less than $30, you won’t believe the difference it will make!

10.) Pick a Room: Replace All the Cloth You See:

Updating window treatments, runners, rugs, pillows, and can transform any room in a matter of an instant. That’s the wonderful thing about color; it can change not only the look, but the feel of any space. Even something as simple as replacing curtains can shed years off the appearance of your home- and let’s face it- replacing window treatments is another task on that perpetual, and unending list of “I’ll get to that one day” projects we all keep tucked away. Changing accents like these is flexible, non-committal, and allows space for experimentation and growth over time. Not many home improvement projects can provide that kind of fluidity.

In closing – as much as we would like to think that the only way to make a real impact on the aesthetics of a home is through big design projects, there are clearly small ways in which anyone can transform their home on a realistic budget, in a short amount of time. The above listed improvements can be a family project, involve family, friends, and enjoy creating a beautiful home space and spending some quality time with those close to you. You don’t have to break the bank to change your home’s style. It’s a journey that can be accomplished one step at a time.

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Know Your Rights – Right of Children to Free and Compulsory Education Act, India

Have you left your children to basic schooling in India? Have you assessed the “law on the right of children to free and compulsory education and the right to education”, which came into force on 1 April 2010 in India? The law on the right to schooling is the first law in the world that puts the responsibility to ensure the enrollment, attendance and completion of basic education for children aged between 6 and 14 on the government. It is the responsibility of parents to send their children to school for basic education in the U.S.

If not, how you will follow the legal course to solve problems arising from the “law on the right of children to free and compulsory education and the right to education”? Very few countries are serious about promoting right to basic education for their children and help their jurisdiction, if it did not protect the rights of children to education. Do you know why many poor children do not use the free education available since independence in India? Do you know why the number of poor children could not get a quality education? You know, all these issues have been corrected by accepting reimbursement for private school quality education for children?

Being a student of the Post-Graduate Diploma in Human Rights, have attempted to summarize what is “The Law of children to free and compulsory education and the right to schooling in India”?

On December 10, 1948, the United Nations General Assembly adopted and proclaimed the Universal Declaration of Human Rights in India and since he has accepted. Under Article 26 rights, children have the right to education. Education shall be free, at least at the base. Constitution of India also offers free education to children.

The quality of schooling provided to children by public schools in India is still in question. Many Muslim children resist distant schools for education. The education of children in public schools remained riddled with absenteeism and poor management and appointments based on political expediency. Despite the lure of free food served in public schools, children prefer private schools for education. Poor children do not go to private schools for schooling and the high cost structure and education in local languages has been denied. Many poor children have been examining a fraud on their right to education. There is no free education or quality education.

The kids know the highlights of the Act the right to education?

Child’s Right to Education Act made education a fundamental right for all children aged 6 and 14 and specifies the minimum quality of education in public schools. It requires all private schools for basic education to reserve seats by 25% for children of poor parents (to be reimbursed by the State under the terms of public-private partnership). Child’s Right to Education Act also provides that no child shall be detained, expelled, or required to pass a State Council until the completion of basic education. There is also a provision of children’s right to education for the right to special training for school leavers to make them equal with students of similar age.

Child’s Right to Education Act requires that investigations that will monitor all districts to identify children who need education, and establish facilities to provide it. Specialist education of children should be involved.

“The law on children’s right to free and compulsory education and the right to education” is the first law in the world that puts the responsibility to ensure the enrollment, attendance and completion of government. It is the responsibility of parents to send their children to school in the most developed countries.

The right of disabled children up to age 18 has also been made a fundamental right. A number of other provisions concerning the improvement of school infrastructure, teacher-student ratio and teachers are made to the law.

State Children’s right to education Act provides a special organization, the National Council for the Protection of the Rights of the Child, an independent body to monitor the implementation of the law, and commissions to be established.

Have you tried to find the right of children to the law of schooling? Have you ever tried to know that the right to basic schooling for children is covered your rights universal? Have you ever tried to know why poor children are denied teaching? I demand to know and support the right of children to free and compulsory teaching in the world?

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What Is Interim Management?

According to the Interim Management Association, “Interim Management is the rapid provision of senior executives to manage change or transition”.In simpler terms, an interim manager is a highly experienced and specialized executive whom you can employ in your firm for a short period of time to solve a specific business problem. He is a master project manager and will not only act as a consultant and give you advice, but also solve the problem for you.Let us take a hypothetical example to understand this better.Company X has been performing badly from the past 5 years. It is a family run business and due to the internal politics amongst the family members, the company has lost its competitive edge in the market.To make the situation worse, the Managing Director has suddenly resigned. Now, the Chairman of Company X realizes that the existing management team is inexperienced and incapable of running the company.So, he has two alternatives. He can source and hire an existing senior level executive from another company and employ her on a permanent basis. But finding the right person uses valuable resources. The placement of a new senior staff member may cause further conflict between family members and insecurities in their roles, and they may seek work elsewhere. And worse, if the new executive turns out to be the wrong choice, removing her will be difficult.The much better alternative is to employ an interim manager! Such an executive offers both past experience in short-term troubleshooting and company efficiency, and specialization in the particular field.The Chairman will be able to select from a panel of executives deemed suitable by the recruitment agency, and spend less time and money doing the legwork on his own. Existing employees will feel less threatened by the interim manager because of the limited time he will spend with the company.An interim executive provides the solution to any number of problems in business. They are committed to their role as a short-term staff member and their varied experience in critical situations gives them a strategic advantage when handling new problems.For a layman, it may appear that “interim manager” is just a fancy word for a management consultant. This is not the case! Some of their responsibilities do overlap, but there are very simple – and important – differences between them. Let us investigate this properly.What are the differences between Interim Managers and Management Consultants?There is a vast distinction between them. Although on the surface they appear to be similar roles, their functions are quite distinguishable.Essentially, an interim manager is a management consultant, but a management consultant is not an interim manager.Their core differences are outlined below:
Interim Managers

An interim executive is hired as an independent person on the basis of his or her personal abilities and reputation.
An interim will always try to cut costs and improve company effectiveness to achieve organizational goals as quickly as possible. This will assist in building his or her reputation.
An interim does not only advise on the situation, he or she also implements measures to solve the problem.
An interim reports directly to you, the employer, and not through a third party agency, so you are well informed and there is no conflict of interest.
An interim works with your own team, provided by your company as you see fit.
Interim Managers are usually specialists in their particular fields. Their experience is vast and relates to the particular field that you hire them for.

Management Consultants

A consultant generally works through an agency and is hired on the basis of the agency’s merits more so than his or her own reputation.
A consultant may try to push additional services or “stretch out” the service to increase his or her own revenue or that of the agency.
A consultant does advise on a situation, but will not implement his or her own advice.
A consultant reports back to his or her agency, who then reports to you, costing valuable time and other resources.
A consultant works with the people he or she chooses and brings them into your company instead of adapting to work with the people you already have.
Consultants generally do not specialize in one area, but are a “jack of all trades” in business.
It is clear, then, that an interim manager is able to perform a far more specialized job for your company, using your own resources and reporting only to you. He or she does a “start to finish” job: overseeing the company’s current operations, developing strategies for improvement and then implementing the strategies. A recent survey of 100 senior directors reported that 78 per cent of them feel that interim executives are a better option than management consultants.What this all means is that the interim management industry is beginning to expand. Companies increasingly prefer interims to their consultant counterparts because of the more complete service that they offer.Interim Management TrendsThe interim management industry is a relatively new field. It was borne into the European market in the 1970s and 80s and is projected to grow further in the coming years. It originated in order to be able to provide fast, specialized top management service in times of company and management crisis.For example, at the time of its introduction to the Netherlands in the 1970s, companies were dealing with long terms of notice and high termination payouts. The oil crisis had occurred and industries faced a major setback. As a result, highly skilled and experienced managers were required on an immediate basis in order to rebuilt companies that were failing.And so interim management was born.Similar situations have occurred in other countries in Europe. Over the past 20 years, the size of the market has grown steadily.The interim management market offers different areas of specialization, and these have different rates of demand. All are highly competitive.Areas with the highest demand are schools of Human Resources and Finance & Operations, which account for almost 20 per cent of all assignments. Lesser levels of demand are found in areas including Purchasing, Supply Chain and IT. However, the highest remuneration is for IT and Managing Director/CEO roles.The public sector employs almost 20 per cent more interim managers than the private sector, but there is evidence of a gradual growth in their employment within privately owned companies. Interim mangers are beginning to enjoy an excellent reputation for quick and effective strategic management, and this is contributing to industry awareness.The interim management industry as a whole has experienced excellent growth in the past few years and it is expected that it will continue to grow at an accelerated rate in years to come.What does this mean?Despite its relative youth in the management industry, interim management has grown steadily. There is an excellent opportunity for individuals to become involved in interim management while it is still growing – “on the ground floor”, so to speak. There is basis for thinking that interim managers will begin to take over from management consultants as companies become even further specialized and have even more requirements for quick solutions.Interim management is here to stay!

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