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Some of the Causes of Obesity

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When someone is more than 20% heavier than the average for their height, they are classified as obese. Obesity is linked to a range of health conditions, including type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure, strokes, heart disease, cancer (breast, colon and prostate) and gallbladder disease. Every year, some 300,000 people in this country die as a direct result of them being obese. As such, obesity is more than a health hazard – it is a life threatening disease. This is also why it is so important that you understand what actually causes obesity.

It is likely that you believe that there are just two causes of obesity, which work in combination with each other. Those are overeating and lack of exercise. This is absolutely true, and inescapable. We are forced to live sedentary lifestyles due to our busy work schedules, and almost all of our food is actually processed. However, there are some other causes of obesity and if those apply to you and you also eat poorly and exercise insufficiently, you are on a slippery slope towards various diseases. Let’s take a look.

Lack of Sleep
Not getting enough sleep is a big cause of obesity, as surprising as that may sound. One prominent study, the US Health & Nutrition Examination Survey, concluded that those who sleep 7 hours or less each night are more likely to have a high BMI. Another study, the US Nurses’ Health study, concluded the same after studying 68,000 women over a period of 16 years. They found that women who sleep just 5 hours on average are heavier than those who sleep 6 hours, who are also heavier than those who sleep 7 hours. The more you sleep, therefore, the less you weigh.

It is believed that the reason behind sleep deprivation and weight gain is due to the fact that hormones become unbalanced in people who lack sleep. Particularly, leptin (which tells your body when it’s full) decreases and ghrelin (which tells your body it’s hungry) increases.

It is also a known fact that we are not getting enough sleep. We simply have too much to do every day to also spend at least 8 hours (or even 7) asleep. In the 1960s, the average American would sleep for 8.5 hours. A poll was conducted by the National Sleep Foundation in 2002, which showed that this had dropped to just 7 hours. There is a clear correlation between this and the rise of obesity.

Prenatal Effects
There is also some suggestion that you being bigger or not will, at least in part, be determined before your birth. Women who are obese are much more likely to birth babies who grow up to be obese themselves. This isn’t due solely to genetics either. Scientific evidence suggests that there is some degree of intra-uterine programming. Mice were used in a scientific study, and the babies of mice that ate food high in fat content were more likely to grow up into fat adult mice than those who were fed normal food.

Steps That Every Good Gift Giver Follows

Everybody loves getting a gift. But there are some people who just seem like they have a knack for giving better gifts than other people. What is it that sets them apart? Well, they understand that in order for a gift to be good, it has to be something that the receiver either wants or needs. A gift has to show that the giver knows the recipient very well.

The first step in creating the perfect gift is to understand the receiver. One trap that people fall into frequently is purchasing gifts that they themselves would like to receive. Just because the giver likes to read books does not mean that the recipient wants to receive a gift card to a local bookstore. So part of being a good gift giver is being observant. Find out what the gift recipient likes, what do they do with their time, what are they interested in, and what would they buy for themselves if they could afford it.

The next part of being a good gift giver is being organized. An anniversary gift that is seven months late or a wedding present that comes eighteen months after the wedding does not have the same impact as one that is given on time. In order to give gifts in a timely manner, it may be necessary to make a list of important dates and anniversaries and create alerts as a reminder for when presents need to be purchased. Searching for gifts is fun when there is plenty of time to do it. When gifts are purchased in a last-minute panic, it can be a very stressful thing.

When it comes to giving a good gift, presentation is everything. It doesn’t matter how thoughtful or how expensive the present is, a beautifully wrapped present will trump one that is not as beautifully wrapped all the time. Sometimes when people have multiple presents to send out at once or when they need to send out multiple packages over the course of the year, they will order custom packing tape. This custom tape adds an extra touch to a package that is being sent out. It allows the sender to give a gift that reflects a touch of their personality.

As the old proverb goes, ‘there is a lot more happiness in giving than there is in receiving.’ The better thought out the gift is, the more personalized it is, and the more presentable it is, the happier the receiver will be when they get it.

Going Gluten Free in 2016? Try Foster Farms!

If you’ve decided to make changes to your diet in the coming year, know that going gluten free doesn’t have to mean giving up taste or convenience. I’d love to remind of you the gluten free offerings made by Foster Farms!

If corn dogs are a family favorite, make the switch to Gluten Free Honey Crunchy Corn Dogs.  These are better for you in two ways: they are made with a chicken frank, and the batter is gluten free.  Baking these up in the oven makes the honey infused batter crunch up and become perfect for dipping.  If you need some ideas for pairing with a dip, check out my previous post!

If you have a kid in your house, you have to have chicken nuggets, right?  Foster Farms has you covered for that too! Whether you like strips or nuggets, you can get them gluten free as well.  Both varieties are 100% natural and made with quality chicken.  These are found in the freezer section and are fully cooked so you can prepare them in minutes.  The dips I mentioned above would also be amazing with one of the gluten free chicken products!

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You can feel great about feeding Foster Farms Gluten Free products to your family, because all three are certified Gluten Free by the Gluten Intolerance Group. You can find them in your local supermarkets such as Kroger, Albertsons, Safeway and more.  For more ideas on gluten free eating, here is my tailgate party post. Here’s to your health in 2016!

Why Men’s Dress Socks Should Be Colorful, Pattern-Rich, and Unapologetically Fun

The days of the stiff workweek and black and neutral tones in the office have been over for a while, but it seems not everyone got the memo. To bring everyone up to date on what works at work, we begin from the bottom — crazy socks may not be the status quo just yet, but nearly crazy and definitely avant-garde socks and footwear are steadily making their way from the cubicle to the boardroom, and from the statehouse to the Pentagon and beyond. All those reams and reams of black and taupe socks are in your past now — it’s time to fly your freak flag… at least from the calf down.

Patterned Socks: Getting Past Argyle

While argyle is a fine print and a beloved one, there are many others that in decades past would never have been spotted at a leading law firm or on the feet of a corporate mogul. What’s great about argyle is that it’s been rebooted — argyle 2.0 is brighter, more daring, utilizes more vivid and disparate colors, and are definitely encouraged for the 21st century businessman or entrepreneur.

Yet, no matter what is done with argyle, it is still argyle, and so a whole host of other patterns have come to the fore in the world of socks, and all of them are worthy of your attention as potential assets to your wardrobe. Polka dots, stripes, zig zag patterns, art-inspired prints, thick vibrant stripes, and even a variety of camo prints are all well within the realm of the workplace sock of today.

The Brighter the Better: Don’t Be Scared to Be Bold

With the dress sock trend delving deeply into endless unconventional patterns, solid or heather versions of bright colors are also a welcome look. From animated blues and vivacious reds, every color of the rainbow is welcome nowadays in men’s and women’s dress socks. The key to making brightly colored socks work is to maintain confidence while wearing them — if you’re not confident enough to pull it off, this will show in your demeanor. Just as they say, “dance like nobody is watching,” choose your socks the same way — after all, they are your feet, and what goes on them is your business.

The other key to pulling off brightly colored socks is not to flaunt them voraciously. Let people see them, let them be known, but don’t wear high water pants with your low-cut brogans the same day you wear your solid hot pink socks. In other words, you wear the socks; don’t let the socks wear you! Whether you’re wearing tapered pants or traditional flat front slacks, there should never be more than a couple of inches of sock showing. That means keeping your trouser length on point when you decide to wear brightly colored socks or socks with crazy or fun patterns. It’s fine if a little more sock creeps out when you cross your legs, and in fact this can be a great icebreaker when new hires come aboard.

 

Make Room for New Furniture by Selling Your Old Stuff

If you’re ready to update the look of your home with new furniture, what should you do with your old furnishings? In some cases you can repurpose that old couch for another room, or refinish a battered dresser for another use, but in general, if something has lost its usefulness or appeal, selling it may be the best option. You’ll open up space in your house and earn money in the process. Here’s what you need to know to get the most out of your old items.

Sort and Price

Look at your belongings with a critical eye. You can research similar products online to get an idea for how much others in your area are asking. If you have a true antique, you might want to get it appraised. When pricing your items here are some things to consider:

  • Condition: Is it like new, or does it have scratches, tears, or missing parts? The better the condition, the more you can ask.
  • Age: Vintage and antique pieces are valuable, and new items may be in demand if their style is current.
  • Quality: If your furniture is sturdy, made from solid wood, or is just generally well crafted, it’s worth more.

Clean It Up

You might be surprised how nice your old stuff looks after you clean it. Vacuum and spot clean upholstered items, and clean and polish wood and glass. Although it involves a bit of elbow grease, you’ll get a better response if your goods look appealing.

Write an Ad

No matter where you decide to sell, whether it’s online, in the classifieds, or at a yard sale, you’ll need to write an ad. Follow the guidelines and rules of the venue where you list, but in general here are the things to include in your ad.

  • Brief description: Tell potential customers what youre selling, its style, age, color, and condition. Play up the good points, but be upfront about any damage.
  • Photo: A photo is the best way to show off your merchandise. Take one good photo in a well-lit area. Remove the clutter and be aware of what’s visible in the background.
  • Price and contact information: List the price, your phone number or email address, and the times you’re available.

Once your ad is placed, be prepared to show your pieces at various times. Some buyers may make an offer below the asking price. Decide ahead of time on your minimum price. Sometimes it makes sense to lower the price if it means a quick sale. The faster you sell your old furniture, the quicker you can start arranging your new furnishings.

 

Which Mattress Is Best for You?

We all know a good mattress plays a crucial role in getting restful sleep, but many people may be holding on to their old mattress because they don’t know if it’s time for a newer one. Combined with room temperature, light levels, and noise factors, the comfort range of your mattress is an important factor in whether you will wake up refreshed or in pain, so it’s worth getting right. Here are some basics about what you should look for when shopping as well as a rundown of popular mattress styles to help you choose the best type for you.

The Ultimate Goal

Here’s how a mattress is supposed to work: Ideally, your head, shoulders, hips and feet are all in alignment and supported as you lie on the mattress. An older mattress that’s too soft does not offer the correct support, and one that is too firm can lead to pain in your lower back. People who tend to have back trouble do better with a medium-to-firm mattress, studies have shown. Even if you aren’t prone to back pain, mattresses that are too hard can put pressure on some of your body parts, leading to discomfort.

When to Start Shopping

When you are laying on your current mattress, you should feel equally supported throughout your body, almost as if you are floating. If this does not describe your experience, it could be time for a new mattress. Of course, any mattress that’s sagging in the middle or has a flat pillow top is likely to be due for a replacement as well. The general life of a mattress is about 10 to 15 years. When you start shopping, be prepared to spend a while. You should lie on any potential mattresses for at least 10 minutes, and bring your own pillow to better replicate the experience you have at home. If you tend to sleep on your side, do that in the store.

Spring Mattress

The vast majority of us have an innerspring mattress in our homes now. Individually wrapped coils support the length of your body, and most are topped with some sort of padding. They range in firmness levels, prices, and cushiness. Innersprings are a solid choice for just about anyone, though people with back issues should lean toward the firmer versions.

Foam Mattress

Mattresses usually are made with either memory foam, which is very soft, or latex foam, which is decidedly firmer. Memory foam mattresses are very comfortable, but they may not offer enough support for many people, and lots of users complain they get too hot. Still, the popularity of memory foam is on the rise. Latex foam is a hit among consumers who want a firm, springy surface that still offers some of the comfort features of memory foam.

Air Mattress

Air mattresses feature many of the same mechanics as the innerspring versions, but the coils are filled with air instead of springs. The selling point here is that each partner can adjust the firmness of his or her side to specific comfort levels that may be significantly different. It’s crucial to look for versions that have multiple air chambers, however.

Adjustable Mattresses

These mattresses can be made with foam or air coils, but the main feature is that the whole mattress or just one side can be angled upward. The ability to position the head of the bed allows users to watch TV more easily or may help apnea sufferers who may struggle in a flat surface.

Regardless which material you choose, it is worth taking the time to research and test any potential new mattresses. Consider whether you need firm support to help your back or an adjustable surface to alleviate snoring. The goal is wake up refreshed after your first night on the new mattress.

 

Following A Healthier Diet Begins With Education

People today are more aware of diet trends and are more concerned about the foods they eat. Many people are simply looking for ways to incorporate a healthier diet into their lives, without adding too much extra cost to their grocery bill. Following a healthier diet can lead to feeling better, but it also comes with extra things that need to be done, like carefully reading food labels. Seeking the advice of a physician or a professional dietitian or nutritionist can also be helpful. There are a lot of resources available today for finding good, reliable health and diet information.

Becoming educated about healthier food options is one of the best ways to follow a healthier diet and to help people make better food choices. There are a lot of good resources to find helpful information on specialized diets like vegetarian and vegan diets. There is no requirement to actually switch to one of the popular trending diets, especially if a person is simply looking to add healthier options to their existing diet.

The Best Advice Is To Follow A Balanced Diet

No matter what diet a person chooses to follow, one of the most important pieces of health advice is to choose foods that create a balanced diet. This includes plenty of vegetables and a variety of fruits, along with whole grains, seeds and nuts. In some trending diets that exclude meats and dairy products, dietary supplements may be needed to add key nutrients that might be missing from one’s diet like important B vitamins and iron.

To achieve balance in a diet, a person should also limit fatty foods and foods sweetened with sugar, along with artificial ingredients. This is where becoming educated and learning how to read and interpret food labels is important. When one food group or even one food becomes the main staple in the diet, it can lead to a diet lacking in crucial vitamins and nutrients. A person who decides to eliminate one or more specific foods or an entire food group needs to be careful to find proper replacements to stay healthier while following their diet.

Finding Good Resources For Healthier Foods

Many people today are enjoying the trends being followed by local supermarkets and by some large retailers towards more organic and healthier food choices. Whether a person has a health condition which requires them to drop certain foods from their diet, or if they simply want to have the choice of healthier options, this trend has been a positive thing. Specialty supermarkets like Whole Foods choose to offer healthier options, but the trend is also coming to popular big box retailers with grocery departments.

Processors of food products and manufacturers are also becoming aware of people’s desire for healthier options. As a result, some companies are keeping a finger on the pulse of all the newest trends towards healthier food options. Giving people the healthier food choices they want and keeping prices reasonable are ways to make it easier for people to follow a healthier diet. One food company actively involved in achieving these goals is Hampton Creek.

Lifestyle Choices Contribute To Better Health

While the main emphasis is often put on the foods a person eats for the best health, lifestyle choices and activities a person chooses are just as important. Exercise is crucial to the human body to help people to be their healthiest. Hydration is also important to maintain good balances throughout the body.

Getting enough sleep is also critical to maintaining health, since it is during sleep that cells are repaired while the body is refreshed. The most important thing is to follow the diet and exercise plan that makes you feel healthiest and not to blindly follow trends for the sake of following what is popular at the moment. Education helps each person to choose what is best for them. When you modify your eating and sleeping habits, you may find that you have the energy to live life to the fullest.

Beautify Your Staircase With These Simple Ideas

The right artwork on a staircase wall can greatly enhance the look of a home with minimal investment. You will probably come in closer, and more frequent, contact with this aspect of your home’s interior design than you do with many others, as you’ll pass right by it multiple times a day. To make sure you get just the look you’re going for, keep these tips in mind.

Dealing with Angles

Some homeowners find it challenging to accommodate the angular nature of their stairs when hanging art, but this doesn’t have to be a significant obstacle to decorating a staircase wall. A good rule of thumb is that the center of a picture should hang 60 inches above the stair to which it is centered. Follow this rule when hanging single pieces or a connected series. A single, large piece of art next to a staircase can create a bold, eye-catching statement. For a series, decide on a set interval of steps at which to hang each item. For example, you might hang one picture 60 inches above every fourth step. This will ensure that your pieces are perfectly spaced and that they follow the angle of the stairs. Lay your chosen artwork out on the floor before hanging it to make sure you like the look the series creates. It’s usually a good idea to choose pieces with similar mats and frames in order to create cohesiveness.

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Image from Indital.com

Family Photo Gallery

A staircase wall is an ideal place to showcase family photos for multiple reasons. There is often plenty of wall space that isn’t taken up by furniture or other obstructions. This is also a central feature of the home, used by all family members throughout the day, so it makes sense to use this space to celebrate the family’s most treasured memories.

Unlike works of art, which usually work better in moderation, family photos are often displayed in large clusters. This can create a challenge – you want to find a balance between clustering your photos and ending up with a space that looks busy or cluttered. The goal is for viewers to be able to appreciate both the overall look, and each individual image. One way to create a visual anchor is to establish an unbroken vertical and horizontal line running through your photo cluster. Another is to start with a large piece in the center of your staircase and cluster smaller photos around it. You could also group your photos into a series of larger rectangles that progress up your stairs.

Ultimately, the look you choose should be pleasing to you – after all, you’re the one who will be living with it every day. Select an approach that you feel works best with your space, and go for it!

GIVEAWAY: The 33–America’s Next Can’t Miss Film!

From Alcon Entertainment and Warner Bros. Pictures comes the untold true story of “The 33.”

In 2010, the eyes of the world turned to Chile, where 33 miners had been buried alive by the catastrophic collapse of a 100-year-old gold and copper mine. Over the next 69 days, an international team worked night and day in a desperate attempt to rescue the trapped men as their families and friends, as well as millions of people globally, waited and watched anxiously for any sign of hope. But 200 stories beneath the surface, in the suffocating heat and with tensions rising, provisions—and time—were quickly running out.

A story of resilience, personal transformation and triumph of the human spirit, the film takes us to the Earth’s darkest depths, revealing the psyches of the men trapped in the mine, and depicting the courage of both the miners and their families who refused to give up.

Based on the gripping true story of survival—and filmed with the cooperation of the miners, their families and their rescuers—“The 33” captures the never-before-seen actual events that unfolded, above and below ground, which became nothing less than a worldwide phenomenon.

The international cast is led by Antonio Banderas, Rodrigo Santoro, Academy Award winner Juliette Binoche (“The English Patient”), James Brolin, and Lou Diamond Phillips, with Bob Gunton and Gabriel Byrne. The cast also includes Mario Casas, Jacob Vargas, Juan Pablo Raba, Oscar Nuñez, Tenoch Huerta, Marco Treviño, Adriana Barraza, Kate Del Castillo, Cote de Pablo, Elizabeth De Razzo and Naomi Scott.

“The 33” was filmed on location in Chile’s harshly remote yet breathtakingly beautiful Atacama desert just kilometers away from where the event took place, and deep within two mines located in central Colombia.

“The 33” is a presentation of Alcon Entertainment, co-founded by CEOs Andrew A. Kosove and Broderick Johnson. A Phoenix Pictures production, the film is being distributed domestically and in select international territories by Warner Bros. Pictures, a Warner Bros. Entertainment Company. This film has been rated PG-13 for a disaster sequence and some language.
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ABOUT THE CAST

ANTONIO BANDERAS (Mario Sepúlveda) has received praise for his performances in film, television and theater, as well as behind the camera as a director.
Upcoming, Banderas stars in the films “Knights of Cups,” directed by Terrence Malick; “Security,” with Ben Kingsley; and Hugh Hudson’s “Altamira.”
He has earned three Golden Globe Award nominations, for his performances in Alan Parker’s big-screen adaptation of the musical “Evita,” opposite Madonna; Martin Campbell’s action adventure “The Mask of Zorro,” opposite Catherine Zeta-Jones; and the HBO movie “And Starring Pancho Villa as Himself,” in which he starred in the title role. Banderas also received an Emmy Award nomination for the last.

RODRIGO SANTORO (Laurence Golborne) was most recently seen in Glenn Ficarra and John Requa’s “Focus,” starring alongside Will Smith and Margot Robbie. Additionally, Santoro starred in Gavin O’Connor’s “Jane Got a Gun,” alongside Natalie Portman, Ewan McGregor and Joel Edgerton.
Upcoming, Santoro stars in the independent biopic “Pelé: Birth of a Legend,” on which he also serves as an associate producer. His upcoming projects also include Steven Bernstein’s indie drama “Dominion,” about the last days of Welsh poet Dylan Thomas; “Ben-Hur,” in which he portrays Jesus Christ; and the HBO series “Westworld,” based on the sci-fi feature of the same name.

JULIETTE BINOCHE (María Segovia) is an Academy Award-winning actress who has been recognized internationally for her work on the screen. She has the distinction of being the only person to win Best Actress honors at all three of Europe’s premier film festivals, most recently including the Palme d’Or at the 2010 Cannes Film Festival for “Certified Copy.” She previously won both the Volpi Cup and Pasinetti Award for “Three Colors: Blue” at the 1993 Venice Film Festival, and the Silver Bear at the 1997 Berlin Film Festival for Anthony Minghella’s “The English Patient.”

JAMES BROLIN (Jeff Hart) is a Golden Globe and Emmy Award-winning actor whose work runs the gamut from studio blockbusters to prestigious independent projects.
He is currently starring in the new CBS hit series “Life in Pieces,” which centers on one family via stories told by its different members. Brolin plays patriarch John Short, alongside Thomas Sadoski, Betsy Brandt, Colin Hanks, and, as the family matriarch, Dianne Wiest.

LOU DIAMOND PHILLIPS (Don Lucho) has enjoyed great success as an actor, director, writer and producer across a myriad of platforms, including feature films, television and theatre.
On television, Phillips currently stars on the acclaimed hit drama “Longmire,” based on the Walt Longmire mystery novels by Craig Johnson. Phillips plays Henry Standing Bear, Longmire’s closest friend. The show is currently airing on Netflix.
Upcoming, Phillips has new projects for the stage and screen. He plays a pivotal role on the new hit NBC series “Blindspot,” in episodes that begin airing this November. On the big screen, he will star as Richard Ramirez in the independent thriller “The Night Stalker,” opposite Bellamy Young, for award-winning writer/director Megan Griffiths. In addition, Phillips wrote and is starring in the play “Burning Desire,” which will make its world premiere at the Seven Angels Theatre in Waterbury, Connecticut.

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ABOUT THE FILMMAKERS

PATRICIA RIGGEN (Director) is today one of the few Latin American female directors working in Hollywood. Originally from Mexico, she started her career as a screenwriter, producer and film executive at the Mexican Film Institute. She later moved to New York to earn an MFA in directing and screenwriting at Columbia University.
Her thesis film, “The Cornfield,” a period short film set during the Mexican revolution, screened at more than 30 international film festivals and received 20 awards, among them the Student Academy Award, the Mexican Academy Award for Best Short Film, the Student Emmy and a Directors Guild of America (DGA) Award.
MIKE MEDAVOY (Producer) has played a role in the success of some of the best American films over the past 35 years. From talent agent to studio chief to producer, he has been involved in more than 300 feature films, of which seven have won, and 17 have been nominated for, Best Picture Oscars. They have also garnered numerous other awards, including many international film festival awards and guild honors.

ROBERT KATZ (Producer) has more than 24 years experience in worldwide film production, development and finance with over 23 motion pictures alongside highly accomplished writers, directors, actors and crews. The feature films on which he has served have earned a total of 13 Academy Award nominations, with three wins, and more than $850,000,000 in worldwide box office revenues.

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To help celebrate the film’s NOVEMBER 13 release, Warner Bros has provided me with a gift pack to give away to one commenter!  You will receive a t-shirt and a flashlight.  Tell me if you plan on seeing this movie!

Preparing to Build a Deck

Are you looking for a way to improve the appearance and value of your home at the same time? There are quite a few ways you can go about doing this. The method you choose will have a lot to do with your budget and the size of your house. One of the most popular home improvements is a deck. There is a great deal of complexity involved with building a deck. Because of this, most people opt to hire a contractor to handle the assembling of the deck. Here are some of the things you need to keep in mind when you are preparing to build a deck.

1. Decide on a design for your deck

There are many different sizes and styles of decks you can choose from. It is very important that you finalize all of the details for your deck before work is started on it. The larger the deck that you decide to build, the more it is going to cost. Be careful not to get carried away if you have a limited budget.

2. Find a contractor to build it

It is unlikely that you will be handling the building chores for your deck on your own. Therefore, you will need to spend some time consulting various contractors in your area to find out what they have to say about your project. They may have some suggestions of their own regarding how to build your deck better for less money. These people are professionals and they build decks all the time. This is why you should listen very carefully to what they have to say. Strongly consider the advice they give you. They will also give you a quote for how much they will charge to build your deck. You will be able to find many pre-manufactured elevated decking components at ElevatedDeckSystems.com.

3. Get the permits and plan a schedule

You will need to consult your local city government whenever you build any type of addition to your home. You can’t simply build a deck without first getting permission. You will also need to get permission if any digging is going to be required. Once all of the proper permits have been secured, it will be time to make a schedule. You will need to figure out exactly how long it is going to take to build your deck. Try to have it built in the nicest weather possible.

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