How to host a dinner party without a dining table?

Most of us will have a dining table for four or six, but what happens when you have invited more than twelve people for dinner. Here are some tips to host a dinner party without a dining table.

Party food – Party food is easier to serve than a sit-down Look at party food like dips, crackers, fruit, sliced meats and cheeses. If people can eat your food standing up, you will also need a lot less seating.

Serve on a coffee table – Use your coffee table to serve food and drinks. Add some coasters to protect your table or use a table cloth.

Make it comfy – Making your space more comfortable with cushions will encourage people to sit on the floor, and it also means that you will need less seating.

Portable drinks station – A portable drinks station is a good idea to store your glasses, cocktail shaker, spirits, and ice. Your station can also be used to serve desserts later on during the night.

Mix and match chairs – Use all the seating you have in your home by mixing chairs, stools, and benches to create a comfortable vibe.

Use outdoor furniture – If you have outdoor furniture, bring it indoors. Create uniformity by placing a tablecloth over the table.

Borrow – If you know your neighbors well, ask them if you can borrow any extra furniture for the night.

Home renovation: Three rules for hiring contractors

Summary: When it comes to home renovation projects, let your potential contractors know how much you are willing to spend, break down the project into as many stages as possible, and maintain a good relationship with the contractor.

Renovating your home can be a daunting project and one that you may feel you have little to no experience to handle. Therefore, most people will look at hiring a contractor. However, hiring the right contractor is key to ensuring that your home renovation is done quickly and in a cost efficient manner. Here are three rules for hiring a contractor.

Flash your cash – If you have the cash for a project, let your contractor know how much you are willing to spend after they offer you a quote. Contractors prefer cash as this means that they will get paid faster. Consider asking for a discount of at least 5%-10% and let your contractor know that you would like him/her to start immediately. Most contractors will want a deposit for most projects, which is often 10% of the total cost.

Best price – Have a list of model numbers of preferred appliances, brands, and colors with measurements for your space. Then speak to some contractors to get the best price. Look at breaking down your renovation into stages and ask each contractor to give you separate quotes for each stage. This way to can use another contractor for a different stage if they offer a cheaper quote.

Don’t be rude – Maintaining a good working relationship with your contractor is important to ensure you receive the best quality renovation for the money you spend.

Written by Lyle Charles Consulting. They offer a wide range of contractors and consultants on medium to large renovation projects. Speak to anyone from the Lyle Charles team to get assistance on your next renovation.

The importance of construction turnaround services for renovation projects

Construction and turnaround services help businesses make large changes to their facilities and processes, helping a business function more effectively. Here are some areas that construction and turnaround services look into when managing renovation projects.

Retaining machinery – If a company is renovating its facility, it will need to move its current machinery and keep it safe until the project is complete. The turnaround service will also place the machinery correctly to maintain the previous assembly line. Apart from this, the turnaround service will also have to ensure that the machinery is in good condition after reassembly.

Refurbishing the interior – Changing a space will involve intensive remodeling and refurbishing. Construction and turnaround services can oversee this process to ensure that the refurbishment goes as planned and that it meets its deadlines.

Making additions – Remodeling may also include new plumbing and electrical wiring. In this instance, construction and turnaround services will make sure that the additions are in line with the look of the space.

The proper management of renovation projects will reduce costs and help the business get back to regular operations faster. Therefore, Lyle Charles recommends getting the assistance from a reputed construction and turnaround consultant to ensure renovation projects run smoothly. Look at sourcing a consultant at least a month before starting a medium sized renovation project, while for larger projects look at hiring at least 50-60 days in advance.

Who is the ideal expert witness?

Written by Lyle Charles

Construction Expert Witnesses can shift a case in your favor. However, selecting the right expert witness can be difficult as there are many available and they hold similar credentials and experience. Here are some tips on how to select an ideal expert witness.

  1. Academic credentials – Credentials are important, but with most expert witnesses holding the same or very similar qualifications, it can be difficult to select the best expert for your case. The ideal way to select your expert is to ask them what cases they have worked on and how they intend to intend to approach your case.
  2. Demeanor and communication skills – It is always best to choose an expert witness who is pleasing on the stand and yet has a commanding presence. Therefore, it is best to look at someone who can effectively communicate with the jury. Being able to handle being cross-examined will help the jury believe the expert and thus strengthen your case.
  3. Preparation and thoroughness – Your expert should be able to study your case and develop arguments that stand up to The expert should, therefore, be detailed and able to understand all areas of the case.

For reputed construction expert witnesses seek help from construction consulting services that offer this service.

Lyle Charles is a construction consulting services firm that hires experienced professionals and a structural steel expert to cater to your construction project needs.

Structural steel fabricators

Written by Lyle Charles

Structural steel is one of the best and most ideal materials to use for the construction of commercial and residential buildings. Steel is also strong, eco-friendly, cost effective and long lasting. However to get the best steel for your purpose it is best to get the correct weight and quantity required for your purpose.

Here is a step-by-step method that is recommended by structural steel fabricators for estimating structural steel requirements for your construction project.

Grouping the structural steel by their grade.

Then group the materials per section or member type.

Then group the structural steel by the method it is tied and connected.

Then section the steel materials and the location on the project.

It is important to maintain the sequence of structures by columns and details.

Then specify the beams and details per floor.

Finally remove the quantities for bracing and flooring under a separate area.

Structural steel experts will then calculate the structural drawings prepared after grouping them together. It is important to also calculate the other tools and materials that will be needed to fit your steel. These will include castings, fittings, hardware, and various other tools that are needed for erecting steel structures.

If you are looking for a steel cost estimate for your next project, speak to a construction turnaround services firm that will select a qualified steel fabrication expert for your project.

Lyle Charles is a certified expert witness for the construction industry, specializing in both commercial and residential projects. If you need a steel fabrication expert, he will get you the best.

Construction advisory services

lylecharles5Written by Lyle Charles

Companies that offer construction advisory services provide professionals with industry experience that will help your business in the areas of engineering, architecture, business, accounting and law. Construction firms may find it difficult to handle the complex challenges that arise on capital projects. Therefore it is advisable to seek advice when needed from professionals, to avoid project delays that can be costly.

Most construction advisory services offer the following services for capital project delivery:

Project cost control and financial control – These professionals will assist in conducting construction project cost and financial control analyses periodically during the performance. Plus they will also look at financial aspects, after project completion and ensure that clients receive the projected return on investment.

Project management assistance and oversight – Professionals in this area will assist to manage projects effectively in order to increase the probability of successful completion. They will also look into delays, costs, overruns, and claims.

Contract cost and performance audits – Some company’s who are qualified will be able to perform construction audits, cost audits and performance audits. This ensures that the owner-client will only pay the construction costs that are incurred by the contractor.

Cost segregation – This process should start at the beginning when a property is purchased. Experts will identify, separate, and reclassify qualified real and personal property into smaller segments according to the law.

Construction expert witness – Expert witnesses can be provided for construction firms that have been faced with legal claims on issues such as delays, construction faults etc.


Lyle Charles is an expert in commercial in residential construction and is certified in construction mediation and construction claims analysis.

Who is a construction expert witness?

close-up of a businessman shaking hands with a businesswoman --- Image by © Royalty-Free/Corbis

close-up of a businessman shaking hands with a businesswoman — Image by © Royalty-Free/Corbis

Written by Lyle Charles

Construction expert witnesses have extensive knowledge about the construction industry, including construction accidents and construction injury. They testify to help inform the trier of the facts relating to a construction lawsuit. These may include areas such as building delays, codes, compliance, construction costs, and construction defects. They will also discuss the building process, construction contracts, financing, bonds, and insurance etc.

A legal claim arising from a construction project may involve contract law, torts, and property law. In most cases, disputes will arise on delays of a project, which fall under construction delay claims. A construction law claim can include two or more parties. For example, condominium tenants can sue a real estate developer.

Construction expert witnesses may help a case and provide expertise in a particular field. These experts can include real estate developers, contractors, safety managers, electricians, and compliance experts etc. Experts will be licensed to speak on particular subjects that they have a wide knowledge on.

A construction expert may consult, report, and testify on some of the following;

Design evaluation

Cost estimates

Standards of care

Quality issues

Accident investigation

Building code compliance

Construction defects

Construction management

Construction safety

Forensic investigations

Governmental regulations

Infrastructure projects

Price discrepancies

Structural engineering

Toxic mold

Work zone safety

If you are looking to hire a construction expert witness to help your case, it is best that you find one through a reputed law firm.


When you need a bit of extra help with your current build, look no further than Lyle Charles for support and insights where it matters. Through his firm, you can get everything from his skills as a construction consulting services to help with turnaround services, consultations on matters that may be holding you back.


Highlights of the TRTL30x6 safe

ism_30x6_mainIf you are new to safes, you will likely be confused with what the first part in the name of the TRTL30x6 safe means. Is it some poorly thought out brand name? Is it a product code? Or, is it a simply generic name that is also used by other manufacturers?

TRTL30x6 is actually a code that indicates the type of safe. The combination of letters and number represent major attributes of the safe. These combinations, simply put, are as follows:

TR – Torch Resistant
TL – Tool Resistant
30 – “Resistance” Duration
x6 – sides deemed “resistant”

Being torch resistant means being fire-resistant. If you fail to figure out why is it called “torch resistant” instead of simply stating “fire resistant,” just think of a blow torch. Obviously, a blow torch produces a very hot fire and this fire may be used by burglars to melt a hole or weaken the lock system of a safe.

On the other hand, tool resistance infers the ability to hold off attempts to open or destroy the lock using various kinds of tools. These tools include drills, grinders, picking tools, and electrical or mechanical hand tools. `

The number components of the name, 30 and x6, respectively indicate the duration of the fire and tool resistance and the number of sides to which the resistance applies. The first number, 30, means that the safe is tested to be able to prevent things inside the safe from getting adversely affected by heat for up to 30 minutes. X6 indicates that all 6 sides of the safe are designed to be fire resistant and capable of holding off tool attacks.

Basically, this letter and number combination is only related to the security and protection rating of the safe. They don’t indicate dimensions or the thickness of the walls and doors of the safes. They also don’t present information whether the safe is electronic or mechanical. You have to inquire with the seller to learn more about the dimensions and other features of the safe you may want to buy. Of course, you also need to examine the safe.

Safes with the TRTL30x6 rating are usually used in the commercial setting or in securing highly valuable items at homes. They are usually big, ranging from 40 to 70 inches in height and around 30 inches in depth. They are not cheap so spending for them is usually considered an investment. For businesses, these highly secure safes, along with vaults, are a recommended expenditure not just for holding cash and valuables but also for containing important documents. The fire resistance of this type of safe means that documents are secured in case of fire. It’s important to remember, however, that fire protection is only up to a certain amount of time, from 30 minutes to 1 hour or longer.

Choose safes rated as TRTL30x6 if you are securing highly valuable items. They are quite pricey but the high level of protection they offer is definitely worth it.

What You Need to Know About Antique Taps

Given the number of types of antique taps that are available in the market, it’s important to consider a number of aspects before making your purchase.

First of all, there are three types of taps that are considered to be the main types. Three of these types include the pillar, mixer and mono tap.

The pillar tap is ideal for basins and baths and which has a cross head and a lever handle. A couple of advantages with picking this type of tap include inexpensive to purchase as well as easy installation.


The mixer tap has two handles on either side of a spout and which performs the function of mixing both cold and hot water. While these taps are pleasing to the eye, they require high pressure to function well and which is why you will need to install a pump.

As for the mono tap, this is also controlled by a single lever and will mix cold and hot water through a single spout. One thing to keep in mind when opting for one of these units: make sure the pressure is even between the hot and cold water supplies.

The next aspect is that of a finish and there are three types: brass, shiny chrome as well as matte and satin finishes.

The brass finish has a warm, inviting look and for which, the best style to go with is the Victorian style. The shiny chrome finish, as expected, offers a gleaming look. That said, it takes a lot of effort to keep it looking that way. It’s a good idea to avoid installing this type of unit in the bathroom especially if you have children as they will ruin its look in no time. Finally, the matte and satin finish gives your home a sleek and fresh look. On advantage is that it is easy to clean.

Last but not the least, it is important to note that you should expect to pay up to $200 for each tap while also remembering to clean them as often as possible.

How to Sleep Better

One of the more interesting ideas to debut at CES this year was a tech-infused bed. You can not only set the firmness of one side of the mattress, you can track sleeping patterns via sensors built into the bed. The bed even has a feature that elevates your partner’s head by six inches if he or she snores. All of this gadgetry makes for an intriguing proof of concept, but you don’t need fancy electronics to sleep better.

White Noise

White or pink noise is a form of static that helps drown out ambient noise. Unless you’re fortunate enough to live in a gated community in the middle of nowhere, chances are there are sounds in your neighborhood. Simple iPad apps hooked up to a stereo via an auxillary cable will provide more than enough sound to drown out most noise. It’s also a consistent sound, so you aren’t distracted by loops or jarring noises as you drift off to sleep.

Warm Tea

There is evidence to suggest that warm tea before bed can actually soothe you to sleep. Before you invest in a new mattress or down a bottle of Nyquil, try a cup of chamomile. Green tea is another good choice as it has theanine in it. Just make sure that you’re not drinking the caffeinated stuff.

Foam Pillows

Part of what causes back pain is improper support. Closed cell foam in Canada is more compact than the open-cell foam you might find in a sponge. This is the same foam you would find on a sleeping or a yoga mat. Foam has a few advantages:

  • It’s sturdy material that is easy to replace.
  • It holds body heat, which is great for the winter time.
  • It’s lightweight.

Foam pillows can also be cut to a contour, like a posture-pedic pillow. These pillows are designed to cradle the head and support the neck, allowing you to sleep on your side or your back in relative comfort.

Foam Mattress Topper

Foam can be added to any mattress in a variety of ways. A memory foam topper for your mattress in Canada offers comfort at a small cost. It’s much cheaper to add a foam topper, like an egg crate, than it is to replace your mattress entirely. You can also replace the foam each year as it gets stained or loses its firmness. Some foam pads are also naturally waterproof and may guard against dust mites and mold better than your average mattress.
This guest post was written on behalf of Canada Foam By Mail, makers of discount memory foam mattress pads and other foam accessories.