How To Build Things With Aluminum Extrusion

Aluminum is a very durable and commonly used material that can found in many construction projects as well as many products and tools. As touched on in this YouTube video, everything from aluminum framing systems to aluminum accessories and parts can be made with a process known as extrusion. Aluminum extrusion is a fairly simple process overall that can be used to make a wide range of metal devices.

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In this process, aluminum alloy is forced through a die that has been designed with a specific shape and design. A powerful ram forces the softened material through the die, and it emerges on the end at the exit point of the die-cast. When it exits, the aluminum is now in the same shape as the die. In this way, it is much like squeezing toothpaste out of the tube.

Aluminum materials made in the fashion can be in any shape, size, and length needed. This makes aluminum framing systems and other in-demand components easier to mass-produce. They are all the same size, shape, weight, and much for symmetrical than trying to fashion items by hand.

How to Decide What to Renovate First in Your New House

Renovations increase the value of your home. Whether you sell your home or pass your home on to your children, the increased value of your home can become a valuable asset in itself. Again, banks will loan against the value of the home, particularly after it has been paid off. And if you sell the home at its increased value, your profits are not taxed as long as you use them to buy a new home.

As a result, investing in your home is almost always a good idea. In fact, buying a fixer-upper and renovating it can be a business in itself. You can get a home mortgage if it is owner-occupied, which allows you to buy with only a small percentage down payment, renovate it, and flip it at a profit. You can then get a new home loan and start the whole process again.

Here are some ideas about how to decide what to renovate in your new home.

Set a Budget

Whether you are renovating a home as your residence or to flip it, you need to know how much you have to spend and how to make the most of your money. For this, you should set a budget.

Budgeting for a renovation can be difficult. Building costs vary a lot based on the materials and labor. You should consider getting multiple bids from different contractors. Once you find a contractor you like, you can adjust the materials and see the effects on the bid.

You should discuss how to decide what to renovate with your contractor. The contractor might have some insight into what fixes are most urgent in your home. For example, if the home has obvious water damage, water damage restoration and plumbing or leak repair might prevent the home from deteriorating further. It would not make much sense to spend money on a game room or fireplace if the roof leaks.

This allows you to use your budget effectively. By first focusing on where your money will do the most good, you essentially buy more time for further renovations.

Understand the Essentials for a Home

When you are figuring out how to decide what to renovate in your home, make sure you understand what is essential for a sound and sellable home. The most essential elements of a home include:

  • Structure: Sound walls and roofing are essential. Remember that a home provides shelter and a home with damaged walls or a damaged roof does not provide shelter. Doors and windows are also important structurally, but less important than walls and a roof.
  • Plumbing: Your home’s water supply must be safe and reliable. Keep in mind that plumbing includes both your water supply and your sewer or septic line. If either is compromised, it might move to the top of your list.
  • Electrical: Your home’s electrical system can create a safety threat to your new home. Bad wiring or a defective circuit breaker box can result in an electrical fire. Poorly installed or maintained outlets and light sockets can electrocute you or your family members. Just as a matter of safety, you should consider electrical repairs to be one of your highest priorities when considering how to decide what to renovate first.
  • HVAC: Heating, ventilation, and air conditioning are not as critical to your health and safety as plumbing and electric. But a home with a broken HVAC system could be impossible to sell. If the HVAC system is broken, you should consider fixing it to be one of your highest priorities.

Aside from these four systems, anything else would be a lower priority. Again, if your home’s electrical service needs repair and upgrades, spending money on new carpet or putting in a guest bedroom is probably not a great allocation of your resources.

Here is a closer look at the four critical parts of a home. This will help you in how to decide what to renovate first in your home.

Structural Safety

Many things can weaken your home’s structure. Age, pests like termites, and weather can weaken your home. But the most destructive is water. Water leaking through your roof, walls, windows, doors, and foundation can cause your wood framing to decompose. This can weaken the structure to the point that it may bend or even collapse. A weakened structure is also less protective when your home is struck by wind, heavy snow, floods, earthquakes, or other natural disasters.

Water leaks can also encourage the growth of mold in your drywall. This mold weakens the drywall and also releases mold spores into the air in your home. These mold spores can cause an allergic reaction that leads to breathing problems.

Cracks in your foundation can allow water to leak into your home. If you live in a climate with freezing temperatures in the winter, ice formation in the cracks can cause the cracks to propagate and undermine the entire supporting foundation for your home.

Before you consider how to decide what to renovate first, you should have your walls, roof, and foundation inspected. If they need repair, they might rise to the top of your list of renovations. Drywall, framing, roof, and concrete repair might not be flashy, but they can guarantee that your home will remain structurally sound for decades.


Your electrical system is both the most used and most risky system in the home. Faulty wiring, old outlets, and broken circuit breakers are some of the most common causes of house fires. They can also lead to electrocution.

Before you begin working on how to decide what to renovate in your home, you should have an electrician inspect the electrical system. If the system needs repair or updating, you may want to focus on the electrical system early in your renovation process.

This is particularly true for older homes. Some ways you can upgrade your home for modern electrical demands include:

  • Replace fuse boxes with modern circuit breakers.
  • Replace corroded or frayed wiring.
  • Look for any outlets, fixtures, or switches with scorch marks or smoke damage nearby and replace them.
  • Replace outlets near faucets in the kitchen and bathrooms with ground control fault interrupter switches.
  • Replace fixtures or outlets that get warm after use. Heat is a sign of damage and inefficiency.


Modern plumbing has been responsible for the massive improvement in public health over the past 100 years or so. With clean water and sewage service, people no longer need to worry about cholera, dysentery, and other water-borne illnesses at home.

When your plumbing is not up to code or is outdated, you should consider replacing or repairing it when considering how to decide what to renovate first. A home with corroded pipes and sewer lines has an increased risk of disease.

Moreover, older pipes use lead. Lead has been linked to brain damage in children. By replacing pipes that contain lead or were connected using lead solder, you decrease the risk of lead poisoning to the residents of your home.


The fourth essential system in a home is the HVAC system. Because of the complexity of the system, you can almost always find ways to upgrade and repair a home’s HVAC.

As you consider how to decide what to renovate first in your new home, have an HVAC installation and repair service inspect your HVAC system. HVAC runs almost all the time either cooling or heating homes in the U.S. This means that the mechanical parts, like air conditioning compressors, blowers, and furnaces, can wear out over time.

Just as important as their efficiency, HVAC systems can pose a safety risk as they age. Furnaces in many parts of the country run on natural gas or heating oil. As the fuel combusts, it produces exhaust gases, like carbon monoxide, that can poison you and your family. Keeping your furnace and its exhaust system in good repair can prevent tragedies.

Consider Curb Appeal

Once you have made sure your home’s essential systems are in good condition, you can move on to other renovations for your new home. When you decide what to renovate in your new home, you might focus on those renovations that have the greatest return on investment (ROI).

One area of high ROI renovations is exterior renovations. Curb appeal is the attractiveness of your home as viewed from the street. Curb appeal is critical to your home’s value because it can increase the sale price of your home by about 10% according to some estimates. This means your home that is appraised at $250,000 might go for as much as $275,000 if you renovate to increase your curb appeal.

Some common, and cheap, ways to improve curb appeal include:


Another high ROI improvement is weather-proofing your home. Weather is a highly localized phenomenon. By tailoring your home to your location, you have a potential selling point to prospective buyers.

Some examples of weatherproofing that you might consider include:

  • Sealing your driveway and patio: Ice can create cracks in your pavement. Sealing it can extend its life before you need to replace it. More importantly, sealing reduces cracking, flaking, and spalling, and discoloring and helps keep the concrete looking good.
  • Installing heated floors: In some regions where winters are especially bitter, heated floors work with the HVAC system to keep your home warm in the winter. You can also consider installing heating coils in your driveway and walkways to reduce or eliminate the need to shovel snow in the winter.
  • Hurricane garage doors: Garage doors that are hurricane-proof can help protect your home and your possessions during heavy winds.
  • Double-pane windows: Although they are more expensive, the amount of money you will spend on heating in the winter and cooling in the summer make double-pane windows a high ROI investment.

Yard Improvements

When you consider how to decide what to renovate first, do not forget your yard. Not only does your yard contribute about 15% of your home’s value, but simple and inexpensive improvements can also have a huge impact on the enjoyment of your home.

Some of the improvements that you can make to your yard include:

  • Fencing: A fence can improve the safety of your yard for children and pets. It can also become a selling point for your home. If you have a pool, a fence might be necessary to comply with local safety ordinances. You have a lot of choices for fences in construction, appearance, and cost. Contact a local fence company to see all of your options.
  • Patio or deck: Many homes include a place for entertaining outside. A patio or deck can increase your enjoyment of your home and increase its value to potential buyers.
  • Pool: Pools are controversial because they often do not have a positive ROI. But a majority of homeowners who install a pool say that the pool increased their happiness in their home.
  • Outdoor kitchen: Many newer homes include an outdoor kitchen for summer entertaining. An outdoor kitchen can become a centerpiece of your patio or deck for barbecues. It can also help you save on cooling during the summer since your indoor kitchen is one of the hottest places in your home.
  • Landscaping: In some parts of the country, landscaping has become critical to the identity of a home. Natural landscaping reduces water use and can even reduce the risk of fire damage and the need for fire restoration after a wildfire. Landscaping also provides a very high ROI, particularly when you use local plants that require little maintenance and have a high curb appeal.

Determining how to decide what to renovate in a new home can often be overwhelming. You may move in with the idea of renovating everything. But unless you plan to work full time on your home and flip it, you will probably need to prioritize. Just remember to set a budget so you can control your costs. Prioritize your renovations to focus on the four essentials for a home — structure, electrical, plumbing, and HVAC. And consider which renovations have a positive ROI and increase the enjoyment of your home.

List of Small Black-Owned Business to Support in Chicago

A list of leadership qualities should always include a wide circle of leadership and result in opportunities to mentor and receive mentoring from underrepresented and underserved sectors of the community. If you cannot recall ever hearing the phrase, “Nothing About Us Without Us,” chances are high that you or your organization have neglected to include voices and experiences outside your own bubble. One effective bubble-bursting method for becoming a better leader at work? Support the black-owned and other minority businesses in your community.

Among many areas to improve leadership skills, recruiting and hiring minorities and supporting black-owned and other minority-owned businesses by paying owners and employees to speak at meetings and sit on boards, councils, and chambers of commerce ought to top your priority list. Including these voices at all levels ensures fewer tone-deaf policies or advertising campaigns and increases community trust. However, never implement a checkoff box approach. Be genuine instead.

Although applying leadership skills spawned from purposeful inclusion may not feel comfortable at first, the results will speak for themselves. Increased opportunities for previously excluded or under-represented segments of the population to develop generational wealth results in a surge in potential consumers of your company’s goods and services.

Black-owned small businesses and entrepreneurs have contributed to the growing economy for a long time. When communities support more of these businesses, it helps to create opportunities aimed towards developing generational wealth for black communities that are always overlooked by the rest of the world. This is why it is significant that this support becomes a lifestyle instead of a seasonal trend.

Chicago is reportedly the best market for a small business to thrive, owing to its array of resources and synergy that is an exceptional ground for innovative ideas to flourish. As a result, small businesses that are black-owned have the potential to succeed in the same way that big corporations do in this progressive state. Keep on reading if you want to find out the benefits of supporting small black-owned businesses and a list of small black-owned businesses that you can support around Chicago.

Benefits of Supporting Small Businesses

Big corporations have a history of intimidating small businesses especially if these are owned by black minority groups. This oppression can put a heavy burden on disadvantaged communities and disrupt economic development. However, providing a place for small black-owned businesses in the business world ensures economic vitality, productivity, and resilience as well as uplifting communities. As a result, holistic sustainability is attainable. If you are looking for reasons why you should support black-owned businesses, see a summary of reasons below.

It Closes The Racial Gap

There is a number of historical practices that were aimed at discriminating against black people. Consequently, these groups of people were excluded from higher-paying jobs and could not afford homeownership opportunities in affluent areas. When more small black-owned businesses receive support from a wider audience, it creates more opportunities to attain wealth.

Strengthens Local Economies

Communities improve when small businesses flourish because they help to create employment opportunities and attract potential investors. Every aspect is geared towards building economic strength.

Improves Job Creation

Most small black-owned businesses are more likely to hire employees from the local community. This supports local production and creates opportunities for job creation and this ensures that more people are able to achieve and maintain financial stability.

Promotes Black Culture

The richness of black culture inspires many business prospects- from haircare to clothing brands. When most black business owners start their enterprises, they do so to close a gap in the market. This ensures that these businesses can bring access to services that are required by that special community. When these types of businesses become popular and succeed, then it instills and fosters a sense of pride in the community. Moreover, the consumers are guaranteed to access products and services that are designed for their specific needs.

Ensures Accountability

Many big corporations engage in problematic campaigns to sell their products and services. There are practice policies that are intact with the aim to uphold injustice acts within the global marketing industry. Small businesses are generally conscious of their practice policies and can be held accountable should they contravene these policies. So, when you invest your money into these types of businesses, you promote the need for transparency and accountability while you empower a minority group.

Irvin’s Auto Care

This auto repair services provider has been operating in Chicago and surrounding locations since 2000.  If you are looking for a friendly environment that offers you practical solutions for your automotive-related issues, Irvin’s Auto Care can provide you with trustworthy and professional service. They offer service for many car models to ensure that your car receives the required maintenance to keep it performing efficiently. Having a motor vehicle means that you have to spend time and money to undergo regular maintenance schedules to assess and replace brake pads, the oil pump, the coolant system, and much more. Moreover, you have to comply with the mechanical service requirements to ensure that the steering functions properly and that there aren’t any leaks to the engine or exhausts. The list is endless.

If you want to ensure that your motor vehicle runs efficiently, Irvin’s Auto Care will access your manufacturer’s recommendations and provide you with the necessary service. They offer financing through Snap Finance for people with bad credit. So, you don’t need to put your used motorcycle for sale to finance the things that you need for your car. This type of finance is not a conventional loan but works as a consumer lease that you can spread over a period of 12 months to make your payments effortless.

The following are some of the automotive services that Irvin’s Auto Care provides.

-Battery Replacement
-Exhaust Service
-Diesel Engine Maintenance
-Preventative Maintenance
-Transmission Service
-Wheel Alignment
-Vehicle Inspections

Irvin’s Auto Care is an authorized TechNet Professional Automotive Service facility. This means that when they conduct your automotive service, you will be covered by a limited repair nationwide warranty for either 36 months or up to 36 000 miles. This warranty depends on what comes first. Requesting service is easy on their website, and you can contact them if you have any inquiries.

Smith and Smith Smile Studio

If you are looking for gentle and compassionate care from a dentist or orthodontist, then Smith and Smith Smile Studio is the place to receive exceptional dental care to treat your oral hygiene problems. This innovative dental practice combines the latest technological advances to provide an array of dental treatment options. Moreover, if you are a prospective patient, you will have access to a myriad of educational information that ensures that you make informed decisions about your oral health.

The dental team is made up of professionals that are committed to maintaining high levels of accreditation. Moreover, they are motivated to continue their pursuit of college programs to ensure that they stay abreast in the latest cosmetic dentistry trends.

The following are the services that Smith Smile and Smile offers.
-General Dentistry and Oral Wellness
-Whitening and Aesthetic Smile Treatments
-Smile Makeovers, Veneers, Crowns, and Implants
-Rehabilitative and Restorative Dentistry
-Oral Surgery/Emergency and Tooth Trauma

You have a choice to either visit their West Loop offices or their Hyde Park offices. There are forms on the website that new patients can fill out online.

The Dowdy Law Firm

If you are looking for a small full-service black-owned law firm, then the Dowdy Law Firm will provide you with everything that you need. Situated on the Near West Side of Chicago, Illinois, this firm offers a wide range of legal services that are tailored to meet your needs in all the areas of the law. There are various professionals that are trained and dedicated to helping you to navigate and understand different and complex litigation processes. Moreover, the firm is dedicated to providing efficient solutions to meet the needs of its clients.

Hiring an experienced attorney can benefit you should you find yourself in a precarious situation. For instance, if you or your loved ones have a pending case, or you are in jail, an attorney may have the powers to get you out of jail without needing the services of a bail bondsman. If you are given the opportunity to review the release conditions, an attorney can assist you with changing the release conditions to exclude the requirement of a bond or get it lowered. The attorneys at the Dowdy Law Firm are trained to maneuver criminal cases and ensure that their clients receive the best outcomes in every case.

The law firm is headed by Principal Attorney Kenese Dowdy Esq. She is a Howard University Legal Communications graduate. She obtained her Juris Doctor (JD) degree from the John Marshall Law School. This is where she gained a vast amount of experience and an opportunity to expand her legal knowledge from various legal agendas and firms. After working for two boutique law firms after graduating, she focused on going solo and opened the doors of the Dowdy Law Firm.

The firm focuses on the following practice areas.
-Family Law
-Child Support and Custody Issues
-Criminal Law
-Open Warrants
-Assault and Battery
-Personal Injury
-Car Accidents
-Public Property Accidents
-Construction Accidents
-Additional Services
-Court Appearances
-Legal Programs
-Real Estate Transactions

JB Jenkins and Associates

Consisting of a team of professional podiatrists that provides various communities of Chicago, Illinois, and the South Loop area with essential foot and ankle primary care. JB Jenkins and Associates treats numerous foot and ankle-related conditions such as gout, heel pain, ingrown toenails amongst other conditions. Moreover, the experts are well-equipped with the skills to conduct surgery, wound care as well as shockwave therapy.

There is a vast range of services that you can find. All that you have to do is schedule an appointment and ensure that your health insurance plan is updated. If you are a prospective patient who requires more information, the website offers a range of educational resources that may benefit you to make an informed decision and to take better care of your feet.

Did you know that your feet are made up of a complex system that consists of tendons, muscles, ligaments, and bones? This is the foundation that is responsible for assisting with our standing, walking, and running. Additionally, your feet are responsible for supporting the full weight of your body. As a result, any problems with your feet, toes, or ankles can cause extensive damage to the foundation of your entire body. Fortunately, there are ways to ensure that you avoid any damage that may be irreversible. Seeing a podiatrist is crucial to eliminate any potential complications while they are still minor.

There are many reasons why you should consider seeking the services of a podiatrist to ensure that you maintain your feet properly. Whether you are an adult or require the services for pediatric foot treatment, the following are a few reasons why seeing one can benefit your health in the long run.

Podiatrists are Knowledgeable. An expert professional possesses in-depth knowledge of the mechanisms that are essential to keep your feet healthy. They can identify issues and alleviate and eliminate any potential risks before they cause more damage.

Treatment of Various Conditions. They have the necessary skills to cure various ailments that affect your feet and ankles. This means that they know exactly what to heal and which medication to administer.

Honest Abe’s Home and Mechanical Solutions | Plumber Evanston HVAC

If you have trouble with a faulty cooling tower or a leaking faucet, you can contact Honest Abe’s to provide you with the most efficient home and mechanical solutions. A team of experienced professionals can fix a wide range of plumbing problems in your home or office building. This owner-operated business provides you with top-tier plumbing solutions such as plumbing and installation repairs for your needs.

Using the services of a licensed company to handle the problems and processes such as roof installation can save you time and money in the future. Honest Abe’s is a multifaceted company that offers a myriad of services that can be summarized as follows.

-Drain Cleaning and Sewer Repair
-Tankless Water Heaters and Boilers
-Sump Pumps and Battery Backups
-Construction and Remodeling
Live Floor Trailer Equipment

If you are seeking quality plumbing services, it is important to use an experienced professional who will be able to provide you with solutions that are suitable for your particular problem. Looking for shortcuts may end up costing you more than calling a professional as Honest Abe’s would. Moreover, if your problem is a leaking pipe, you can trust them to repair it because they have different methods aimed to fix different types of faulty faucets. The team specializes in providing plumbing services for commercial, residential, and industrial projects.

The success of small black-owned businesses is a significant part of developing the economy. Historical practices have affected the visibility and representation of black minority groups and communities in the business environment. There are many benefits for supporting these businesses that have been mentioned above. If you are in the Chicago area or surroundings, there are many types of small black-owned businesses that you can support. These businesses ensure diversity and community development that is aimed towards a sustainable economy. So, support black-owned businesses to help build a positive business environment in the future.