It has been about five months since we first introduced you to the outside of our house. That was our very first week of living here, and our outdoor spaces have been getting a lot of use ever since. You’ve already seen how our second-story deck has come together, so today we wanted to update you on our front porch as well as the covered area that we call the side porch and some new landscaping that we’ve added too.
We’ve made some functional and organizational improvements, some strictly aesthetic enhancements, and have some other upgrades that are still in the works. So won’t you join us on the front porch? Here’s how it’s looking these days:
house numbers | white plant pots | porch light | similar woven egg chair | similar blue-green planter
This next picture was a photo from back in May, when it was basically just our existing furniture and a couple of plants plopped down to make the space feel occupied.
The housing market seems to be generating conflicting signals which makes it very difficult to understand what is happening for anyone who is not an expert, but simply wants to buy or sell a property. On one hand the papers are reporting that record prices are being reached particularly in some of the areas with […]
I built this chicken coop last summer and have been loving my chickens but I don’t like having to come out first thing every morning and every evening to coop and uncoop them. If you don’t know, chickens will go inside their chicken coop every evening on their own around dusk. But I still have to be here or come out here to shut the door and keep them safe.
So this week I finally tackled building my own automatic chicken coop door. It’s on a photocell so when this device here senses light, it will open the door and let the girls range.
Then when it no longer senses light, it will shut. I was worried about cloudy days but so far there hasn’t been any issues with it!
If you’re interested, I have a set of plans available that has a full material list. You can find the plans for this door HERE and also the plans for my coop HERE (or at the bottom of this page).
Ok, I started by making the door. For this I’m using scraps from my shop and just gave them a few good coats of paint.
All of the components for this build will be hidden under the chicken coop itself then also under the nesting box so I’m not overly worried about using untreated wood.
The door itself is very simple, it starts as just a simple box. Next a door is added with two hinges.
The linear actuator is one of the main components that makes this whole thing work. You can go cheap on these guys but if you’re shooting for quality and something that will last then I recommend going with this brand called Progressive Automations. They have a huge variety of not only linear actuators but also other electronic items. Also, it’s worth noting that they have great customer service that are happy to help pick out the item needed for a certain job in mind.
I added in a few more painted scraps to the top, to create a cubby for the actuator to go in.
The actuator will extend out and contract in, which is what controls what opens and closes the door. To attach the two components, I used an L bracket.
I screwed it to the top of the door first then positioned the actuator.
For attaching it correct, the actuator needs to be fully extended. I’m using a transformer temporally to give it power. This is such low voltage that you don’t have to worry about getting shocked. If you hear clicking but no action then reverse the connections and you should see it work.
Perfect, with that done, I clamped the door firmly shut as that’s the position I want to establish when the actuator is fully extended. Once slight pressure is applied to the bracket, the back of the actuator can be screwed down and secured.
Lets test it out and make sure it’s working as it should.
Ok so when installed on the chicken coop I’ll be using a solar panel and battery to power the operations, but first I wanted to wire everything together on my workbench to make sure it worked before going through the actual install.
With that, I added in a relay which is the switch to extend and contract the linear actuator. Then also a photocell which is the component that will sense light and trigger the switch from open to close or visa versa.
With the concept proven and the how to figured out, next it was to install it on the chicken coop. I’m placing all of my important pieces under the chicken coop to keep it out of the rain, which includes the linear actuator, the battery and the relay.
Oh, I also added in a fuse between the battery and the actuator….to add in the door, I cut into my chicken coop wire, added in two studs then slipped the door right into place.
For the photocell to work, it’s placed higher up on the coop and facing West to catch the evening light.
The chickens start going home around night fall and the door stays open until a little bit past that.
If relying on the sun makes you uncomfortable then another option would be to have a timer placed in the system. I didn’t go this direction because I didn’t want to change the settings when the time changes.
I really hope you enjoyed watching this project come together and if you have a coop then I hope you’re inspired to make your own automatic door.
Be sure and watch the video above for an even better tutorial.
Sherry recently hinted on Instagram Stories that we were up to our old staple-coloring antics. And by that I mean we were installing another stair runner (admittedly one of the less popular definitions of “antics”). But after installing one in our old house 7 years ago it has become one of our favorite projects – just because we truly believe anyone can do it, and whatever runner you choose can give you a totally different look (and a nice grip underfoot, but more on that functional upgrade in a minute).
Why We Wanted A Stair Runner
Before we get into the “how” of adding this runner, let’s talk about the “why.” We’re not people who automatically default to covering our stairs. At our beach house, for instance, we decided against a runner because the original wood was so charming. We eventually did add some temporary stick-on runner treads to help our chihuahua, Burger, navigate the stairs more easily (we used this removable tape to hold them down, and it came up cleanly later when we sold the house).
On Oct. 1, the U.S. Department of Transportation’s (DOT) Pipeline Hazardous Materials Administration (PHSMA) issued a notice of enforcement policy regarding international standards. The notice recognizes that many offerors and carriers of hazmat in international transport will soon be adhering to requirements in the internationally-adopted International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) 2021-2022 Technical Instructions and Amendment 40-20 of the International Maritime Dangerous Goods Code (IMDG Code). However, DOT’s current Hazardous Materials Regulations (HMR) authorize offerors and carriers to use the 2019-2020 Edition of the ICAO Technical Instructions and Amendment 39-18 of the IMDG Code.
The PHMSA Enforcement notice aims to mitigate this inconsistency. PHMSA coordinated its enforcement discretion with the Federal Aviation Administration, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, the Federal Railroad Administration, and the United States Coast Guard. Accordingly, the notices states:
PHMSA gives notice that while we: (1) continue to evaluate whether to propose the inclusion of the 2021-2022 Edition of the ICAO Technical Instructions and Amendment 40-20 of the IMDG Code in a future notice of proposed rulemaking; and (2) potentially adopt these updated standards in a future final rule, we will not take enforcement action against any offeror or carrier who is using these standards when all or part of the transportation is by air with respect to the ICAO Technical Instructions, or all or part of the transportation is by vessel with respect to the IMDG Code.
Additionally, PHMSA and its modal partners will not take enforcement action against any offeror or carrier who offers or accepts for domestic or international transportation by any mode packages marked or labeled in accordance with the ICAO Technical Instructions or the Amendment 40-20 of the IMDG Code.
PHMSA’s notice provides temporary enforcement discretion while the agency continues to consider adopting updated editions of the ICAO Technical Instructions and IMDG Code into the HMR. This notice is limited to the use of the standards incorporated by reference in 49 CFR § 171.7(t) and (v). Offerors and carriers must comply with all other obligations under the HMR and other applicable laws.
The temporary enforcement discretion will remain in effect until withdrawn or otherwise modified.
The U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) recently published additional frequently asked questions and answers (FAQs) regarding the need to report employees’ in-patient hospitalizations and fatalities resulting from work-related cases of the coronavirus.
OSHA’s new FAQs provide information to help employers apply the agency’s existing injury and illness recording and reporting requirements to the coronavirus. In particular, the FAQs provide guidance on how to calculate reporting deadlines for in-patient hospitalizations and fatalities, and clarify the meaning of the term “incident” as it relates to work-related coronavirus in-patient hospitalizations and fatalities.
According to OSHA, based on guidance contained in the updated FAQ, the is withdrawing its citation against Winder Nursing Inc. in Winder, Ga.
OSHA has said that the additional FAQs are part of its efforts to provide employers and employees with more information about how it will enforce its standards and regulations during the pandemic. OSHA had previously published revised enforcement guidance detailing how it will enforce the recordkeeping requirements of 29 CFR 1904 for employee coronavirus illnesses for all employers.
Under the Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970, employers are responsible for providing safe and healthful workplaces for their employees. OSHA’s role is to help ensure these conditions for America’s working men and women by setting and enforcing standards, and providing training, education and assistance.
Visit OSHA’s COVID-19 webpage for further information and resources about the coronavirus.
BASF has announced plans to almost double the production capacity for its synthetic ester base stocks at its site in Jinshan, China. According to the company, the investment comes in response to the rising demand for high-performance lubricants in Asia Pacific and further strengthens BASF’s position as a reliable supplier that strongly supports customers’ growth in the region.
“The new production capacity for synthetic ester base stocks will bring additional security of supply for our customers particularly in the Asia Pacific region. Building on our backward integration into key raw materials we will be leveraging the full strength of BASF as a leading and reliable component provider to the lubricant industry,” explains Matthias Lang, vice president, Business Management Fuel and Lubricant Solutions Asia Pacific and Performance Chemicals Greater China.
The capacity expansion is expected to reach full completion by the second half of 2022.
Wacker Chemie AG has announced plans to expand its Chinese polymer activities by investing around $100 million in building two new production plants at its Nanjing site. The expansion reportedly includes adding a reactor for vinyl-acetate-ethylene copolymer (VAE) dispersions and a spray dryer for VAE dispersible polymer powders. The reactor and spray dryer are scheduled to come on stream in the second half of 2022, Wacker reported. The two plants, when completed, will be the largest of their kind in the world, according to the company.
WACKER’s Nanjing expansion will more than double its production capacity, enabling it to meet growing customer demand for its high-quality binders, particularly from China’s buoyant construction industry, the company said. “China is the largest building market in the world, accounting for 20 percent of all construction investment. Our capacity expansion in Nanjing strengthens our position as the global leader for vinyl acetate-ethylene dispersions and polymer powders,” said Rudolf Staudigl, CEO of Wacker Chemie AG.
“Our binders not only enhance the properties of building materials, but also make construction activities more resource-efficient,” adds Paul Lindblad, president of WACKER Greater China. “Ongoing urbanization and the need to renovate existing residential buildings continue to drive the development of environmentally-friendly dry-mix building materials in China. Nanjing’s expanded capacities will enable us to securely meet future market growth in the region.”
IMCD N.V. has opened its new U.S. headquarters in Westlake, Ohio. IMCD stated that the new location will accommodate its expanding business, invest in its people and future growth, and complement the company’s global digitalization initiatives to better serve its markets across the United States.
“I am proud to announce the opening of the new IMCD US headquarters. “It was created to enable employees in their quest to drive excellence as we serve both our principals and customer partners. This is not just a new office space, but a modern work environment carefully designed to inspire collaboration, galvanize partnerships and encourage entrepreneurship,” said Thomas Van Valkenburgh, president, IMCD US.
The company reported that safety was at the forefront of a responsible and modified return to the now 31,639 sq. ft. headquarters of IMCD US. Thorough preparations and employee training were reportedly key to a safe return to an office environment.
IMCD US added that the new IMCD headquarters was selected for its location convenience, onsite and nearby amenities, and ease of access for employees. Specifically, the building features an open floor plan, state-of-the-art training and conference rooms, and integrated technology throughout the space. The company stated that is committed to continue to attract and develop top talent with its new headquarters, while contributing to the local economy through job creation.
Barentz International has entered into a definitive, written agreement to acquire Maroon Group. Maroon operates at a broad national level in the US market as well as across Canada. The acquisition, which is expected to close this quarter, will expand Barentz’ activities and is aligned with its strategy to become a global leader in the life science and broader specialty chemical industries, Barentz stated.
Maroon stated that it shares Barentz’ focus on leveraging industry and technical knowledge to support its suppliers’ and customers’ business development and that Maroon will fit seamlessly into Barentz’ global product portfolio. Terry Hill, CEO of Maroon Group, and his entire management team will continue to manage the operations.
Maroon Group stated that it was a logical decision to join with Barentz. “The deciding factor was that Barentz is already a global business and this creates tremendous opportunities to strengthen our business in North America and internationally. Barentz is well-known across the industry, we share the same philosophy and entrepreneurial DNA, and is the best possible new home for the stakeholders across our business,” said Hill.