Quick Facts Channel Evolved to Ask The Experts

 

Steve Olschwanger was the driving force behind Quick Facts Channel in the early 2000's and then later when the site evolved becoming Quick Facts Channel. The content below is from the early days of the site's 2001-2006 content ans well as the the later 2009-2010 archived pages. It's rather facinatiing to see what Steve Olschwanger has done with this domain. Eventually the domain registration was bought by a new owner with the goal of recreating some of its content from its archived pages as a historical note of interest.

Quick Facts Channel 2001-2006 Archived Content

Welcome to Quick Facts Channel - a free community service site. Use the following pages to browse and search through hundreds of informative, educational articles from hometown professionals.

Just click on your topic of interest and get more informed. We hope you will support the sponsors in order to continue to get this great educational information as a free service to the public

Welcome to Quick Facts Channel - a free community service site. Use the following pages to browse and search through hundreds of informative, educational articles from your hometown professionals.

Note: This site best viewed with the latest version of Netscape or Microsoft Internet Explorer

By 2006 visitors could select from 8 different cities or locations: Dallas, Tarrant County, Minneapolis, San Francisco, Chicago, Pittsburgh, Los Angeles, Detroit, New York, and Washington to search for articles regarding Health, Legal, Home Improvement, Financial , Autos, Motorcycles, and Pets.

If a visitor selected the Financial Articles they would go to a page with these subjects which would then link to the article. Below you see information regarding Auto Insurance, but each area offered articles and listings of local professionals.

 

 

Home Improvement Articles From Local Professionals
Presented by:
 Carpet Cleaning  Ceramic Tile
 Chimney Sweeps  Computers
 Electrical  Flooring/Carpeting
 Foundation Repair Heating and Air
 Home Construction   Insulation
 Insurance  Lawn and Garden
 Moving and Storage  Pest Control
 Plumbing  Pools and Spas
Propane  Remodeling
 Security Systems  Siding

 

Below you see information regarding Home Project Construction, but each area offered articles and listings of local professionals.

Home Project Construction

Insulation

The Value of Insulation

As you know, the cost of heating your home rises each year. The best way to combat those rising heating bills is to use insulation. It's not only easy, but very cost effective. Adding insulation to an existing home or thoroughly insulating a new home, will reduce your energy costs and repay your investment many times over during the life of your home. According to the U.S. Department of Energy, most houses are under-insulated. A lot of energy is being wasted. This wasted energy is not only expensive, but hurts our environment. The more energy we consume, the more pollution we produce, which in turn destroys our air, land, and water. Insulating your home will save you money and save the environment we live in.

Insulation Estimates and Appraisals

To get the most value for your dollar, insulate well and be sure your attic is properly ventilated. To obtain information or an estimate on insulating your home, look in your local yellow pages under Insulation Contractors. Be sure the contractor you choose is fully insured. Some states require certification for insulation contractors. Free estimates are usually available for your home. There are a lot of different types of insulation on the market. Ask your contractor to explain anything you may not be familiar with. Depending on the type of insulation you choose and the work involved, costs can vary from a few cents to a dollar per square foot. If you are getting more than one estimate, make sure each contractor has the same information for your comparison. Before you begin to work, get your estimate in writing, check references, and verify the contractor with the Better Business Bureau. For further information, contact an insulation contractor.

Types of Insulation

There are many different types of insulation which can be installed in your home. Blanket, loose filled, and reflective are some examples. Blanket insulation is in a strip form and measure from four to eight feet and is usually placed between wall studs and roof rafters. Loose filled insulation is blown in to hollow walls through holes. The cost associated with insulating your home will vary depending on the size, design, and geographical location of your home, as well as the type of insulation used. It's best to be insulated during construction, but it can be added to existing homes fairly easily. Whatever you pay to insulate your home will be recovered many times over in savings on your energy bills. Good insulation is cost effective.

Winter Proofing Your Home

Keeping the warm air in your home and the cold air out is accomplished through winter proofing. Cracked walls should be filled, leaks in your basement fixed, and insulate heating ducts. Of course you should also insulate all windows and doors. Storm doors and windows should be put up as soon as it starts to get cold. Caulk around windows will help keep the cold air from coming in. Dry rot in windows should be replaced by newer, energy efficient windows. Winter proofing expenses will be recovered in savings on your energy bills.

Tools

Hardware - Building a Basic Set of Tools

There are some basic tools you should have which will be necessary for most of the project you will do. A measuring tape, combination square, carpenter's square, chalk line, electric drill, level, hammer, screwdriver, C-clamps, and pry bar. Your measuring tape should be about 20 to 25 feet long so it can handle a variety of projects. To lay vertical cut lines and joint alignment you will need a carpenter's square. For a long and level line you will need the chalk line marker. The drill you buy should be able to go forward and reverse and come with a variety of bits. To keep your work level, you should use a 24 inch level. Your hammer should be about 16 ounces and have a curved claw for inserting and removing nails. Your screwdriver set should include a few standard types and a phillips head, also. C-clamps will hold the project together while you're working. Finally, a pry bar will help in the tear down. The bar should have a claw for removing nails and a hammering surface.

Plumbing

Quick Plumbing Repairs

Some plumbing repairs can be handled by the average homeowner no matter what your skill level. A dripping faucet usually means the washer needs replacing. Water dripping from the handle itself means the packing nut came loose or the packing material is worn out. A screwdriver and an adjustable wrench should be sufficient in solving these problems. A constantly running toilet could mean you have malfunctioning inlet valve or faulty float ball. The salesperson at your local hardware store should be able to give you the parts you need. A clogged sink is easily remedied by cleaning the trap below the drain.

Lighting

Selecting a Lighting Fixtures Company

When shopping for light fixtures, keep in mind that lighting will be a permanent addition to your home and will add value and security to your property. In selecting a company, find one that's local, open convenient hours, and appropriately priced and fits your needs.. If you're mainly concerned about aesthetics, find a dealer with a large selection. Professional lighting dealers can offer suggestions to help you with your lighting plans. The dealer should be knowledgeable and give positive suggestions for lighting and energy efficiency. A dealer with a large stock will be able to supply all of your lighting needs. To learn more, consult the yellow pages for a lighting dealer in your area.

Types of Lighting Fixtures

There are a variety of lighting fixture available on today's market. By learning some key types, you can save yourself some time and money. When shopping, keep in mind the location of the fixture, the amount of light needed by people using the room, aesthetics, quality, and cost. For the most part, you'll be dealing with ceiling fixtures because they'll provide the most light for average rooms, entrances, and stairways. Wall fixtures provide extra lighting and also enhance your decor. For a formal dining room or entranceway, you may want to consider a chandelier. For your bathroom you may want to use strip lighting above the vanity. Recessed lighting is good for indirect sources of light and does not force you to put in a fixture. One final type is track lighting. This is easy to install and comes in a variety of lengths. To find out more about different fixtures, consult the yellow pages for a local dealer.

Energy Efficient Lighting

If you want the most efficient lighting available, you should be using florescent tubes. These tubes give off an uneven amount of light which will provide shadowless non-glaring lighting. Generally speaking, this type of lighting will give you more light and use less electricity than regular bulbs. Florescent tubes are more expensive then regular bulbs, but will last much longer. Fluorescent lighting comes in a variety of soft colors. The conventional fluorescent lighting uses a special fixture, however for your traditional light fixtures, you can put in a screw type bulb. Another helpful hint for saving energy is to install timers on your lamps. This way if you leave a light on the timer will eventually shut it off for you. For more information, contact a lighting retailer in your area.

Lighting Design

The lighting design you choose for your home should enhance and beautify your home's decor. Lighting accessories and fixtures will become permanent parts of a room. By using light to your advantage, you can create a look which will make others feel comfortable. A lighting fixture retailer can provide you with all of the information and ideas you need. You can find a retailer by checking the local yellow pages. If there is an area you want to show off, light them up brightly, or install accent lighting. You should figure out how much light you need for different rooms in your home. Reading rooms need bright lights. Other rooms, like the dining room or living room for entertaining, will need something decorative or elegant. Keep in mind height and position of fixtures is important and fixtures should compliment your decor. Fixtures can be purchased in all different types of styles. So, whether your home is country, traditional, or contemporary decors, your lighting dealer can advise you on any choice you make.

Lumber

Choosing a Lumber Store

Lumber stores vary in size and usually serve a variety of needs. When choosing a lumber store for your project, keep the following in mind. Before you decide on a particular store, visit a couple of them. Take a good look around. An established business will have a variety of saws for cutting and shaping the lumber they sell. See if the store has a forklift which is usually associated with a store dealing in large volume. Customer service must be good, and employees should be knowledgeable in lumber and hardware. Employees should also be friendly and eager to help you. Most modern lumber stores sell tools, paint, and accessories as well as lumber. This will save you time and allow you to do one stop shopping.

Types of Lumber

Lumber is available in two main types. Soft wood and hard wood. Soft wood lumber comes from evergreen trees. Soft wood is the main type of lumber used in homes, decks, and fences. The most common types are S.P.F., which is a spruce, pine, and fir mixture, and S.Y.P., southern yellow pine. If lumber will be exposed to moisture, you should use pressure treated lumber which is treated with a salt solution. Mahogany and cherry are the most common types of hard wood. Hard wood is used for furniture, floors, and paneling. A lumber dealer can help you find the right lumber for your job. Lumber comes in standard sizes. For example 2 x 4's are most common. The size measures the dimensions in inches of cut lumber. To make lumber strong, it is dried in a kiln before it can be sold. This drying causes shrinking so your lumber measurements are actually smaller. Lumber prices are a certain amount per thousand board feet. Any lumber dealer can help you transfer your dimensions into board feet for cost estimation.

Building Materials

Wood is the most common building material used. Lumber shrinks after being dried and treated. For example, a standard 2 x 4 is actually one and a half to three and a half inches. Lumber is sold in grades and you may not need the highest quality wood for your project. Handy homeowners like to do some remodeling themselves on floors and walls. Sheet rock is a commonly used wall material and comes in different sizes to suit your needs. Paneling can be sheets of solid wood, plywood, or fiber board. Solid wood is the most expensive and the best quality. If you're doing a ceiling, you'll probably use wood, metal, or plaster. Fiber and fiberglass tiles will cut down the noise. When doing a floor the most common building materials used are wood, carpeting, and ceramic tiles. In choosing a floor, you should pay careful attention to what the room will be used for. For example, carpeting will cut the noise level and hard wood floors may not be practical for homes with small children.

How Much Lumber Do You Need?

While trying to figure out how much lumber you will need for your project, you should consider the dimensions of the room or structure. A blue print or architect drawing of the project will greatly aid in measurements. Your own drawing of the project can also help. A skilled lumber salesperson will be able to help you even if you're not sure what you need. In building a deck, you will need to know what area you need to cover and how high you want it to be. A lumber salesperson can advise you on how much you will need for a standard deck and extra seating if needed. Lumber comes in standard sizes like 2 x 4's and 4 x 8's. You can purchase close to the amount of lumber you need for your project.

Building Materials - What's Available

A building materials dealer can provide you with whatever you need to make your home project a success. Services may vary from dealer to dealer. Truss design is a service available which can take a blue print or drawing you've made and design and build trusses for your project. An onsite mill can help with window and door replacement even if they are very old. Some dealers will offer computerized paint matching even if your paint has faded. The machine, by using lasers, determines the exact spectrum of light from a sample and provides the information needed to duplicate the color. To find out what services a particular building material dealer has, check your local yellow pages.

Building Materials - Lumber

Lumber is the most common thread in any building or project. Lumber comes in a variety of lengths, widths, shapes, and sizes. The most common types of lumber we use to build with are plywood and pressure treated. Plywood is usually common pine and generally used inside. If your worried about rain while you're building, you can use fir plywood which is treated. Outdoor work should be done using pressure treated wood. Building grain in pressure treated wood shows the quality of the wood. The number one grain will last up to 50 years, while the number two grain will last from 10 to 15 years. Lumber is not cheap so shop around to get the best prices and quality for your job.

How to Choose the Best Building Materials for Your Job

For help in selection of the right tools and supplies for your project, see your local building material supplier. Some dealers have videos and books available which can help you with a wide variety of projects. Remember, you get what you pay for so it's a good idea to buy the best quality of materials that you can afford. While you may be paying more up front, a higher quality material will last longer and be easier to work with. Don't get cheap when it comes to your home especially on functional materials. Remember to keep in mind all applicable building codes. By educating yourself before you start a project, you can prevent possible problems from occurring and setting you back.

Building Materials - All about Fasteners

There are a variety of fasteners available for assembly of construction projects. The most common are nails and screws and wall mountings. Nail measurements are in pennisize (penny-size) or width from one inch to six inches in length. Nails are made from a variety of materials. For example, you can get bright, galvanized, glued, or cement coated steel, iron, aluminum, brass, or bronze. The shaft can have different cuttings and the heads of the nails come in different sizes. The different composition of the nail makes it useful in different construction projects. Some nails are fine for finishing work while others are rough for better gripping. Screws come in a variety of lengths and widths. The heads can be flat, round, or oval, and have a slatted or cross mark on the top. Some screws have a hexagonal head and are turned by wrench. There are eye screws, cup hook screws, and dry wall screws which are used in specific situations. Wall mountings come in molded, fiber, and aluminum. They're used as anchors and work with screws and nails. If you have a hollow wall you should use wall expansion anchors.

Odds and Ends

Other supplies that will come in handy

Paper towels, furniture / wood tape, plastic drop cloths, mops, sweepers, dust mops, industrial rubber gloves, brooms, paper towels, and trash can liner bags are all supplies which will come in handy during construction. Genuime Joe is one brand you can count on to supply you with all your needs. And to make shopping even easier you can buy Genuine Joe products online at stores like CleanItSupply which sells to both wholesale and retail customers. Genuine Joe may be a brand more familiar to wholesale buyers for restaurants and office buildings. But they are a brand with whom retail customers should familiarize themselves.


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Another example is the section on Financial Information. If a visitor selected the Financial Articles they would go to a page with these subjects which would then link to the article.

 

Financial Articles From Local Professionals
 
 Auto Insurance  Bank Loans
 Bank Services  Business Insurance
 Cellular Phones  Computers - Software
 CPA  Financial
 Funeral Services  Health Insurance
 Home Insurance  Internet Providers
 Investments  Life Insurance
 Loans  Mortgages
 Real Estate  Tax Relief
 Website/Internet Design

 

 

Auto Insurance

Reasons for Automobile Insurance

There are several reasons, if you own or drive a car, for you to have automobile insurance. First, with the average cost of a vehicle being as expensive as they are today, few people can afford to replace one without some financial difficulty. Secondly, cost beyond replacement of one’s own automobile can also be very expensive. If you are found liable in an accident, the burden that you may become responsible for could include repair of any other auto involved in the accident, any other property damage, as well as the medical care of anyone injured. In addition to this, if someone were to be permanently injured or killed because of your carelessness, you could also be sued by the injured party or their family. If you were to lose the judgement, you would be responsible for paying legal costs as well as any damages awarded by the court without consideration of it, and how much liability coverage you carry. Finally, most states now have some form of compulsory insurance laws. These laws require drivers to prove they can pay up to a certain amount in case of an accident, typically $25,000 per person and $50,000 per accident. Many sates will not even issue license plates if a car owner does not have liability insurance. If you are involved in an accident without insurance, and can not pay the minimum, punishment in most states is loss of your driving privilege. Remember, consideration of your insurance needs is not a subject to be taken lightly. Accordingly, this information is not the substitute for the advice of an insurance professional.

Coverages Required by Law

Most states have financial responsibility or compulsory insurance laws. These usually require a driver to prove he can pay up to a certain amount in case of an accident. Typically, these amounts are $25,000 per person and $50,000 per accident. Most people can guarantee payment only if they have insurance coverage. It is important to note that even if your state requires a minimum amount of personal injury liability insurance, it is probably too low to cover all of your potential losses. Insurance experts recommend the average driver to carry $100,000 per person and $300,000 per accident. If you have much to lose, you should consider getting even more insurance and possibly checking into an Umbrella Liability policy. Remember, consideration of your insurance needs is not a subject to be taken lightly. Accordingly, this information is not the substitute for the advice of an insurance professional.

Personal Property Coverage

Personal Property coverage is insurance which pays for the repair of damages caused by your car to another’s property, and for the legal fees you incur as a result. Another’s property usually turns out to be another automobile. This coverage, though, also applies to public and private property such as road signs, bridges or building, up to the limit written into the policy. Most experts in the insurance industry agree that you should have at least $50,000 worth of coverage for personal property. However, expenses could easily approach or surpass this limit when one considers the high cost of replacing an automobile and the costs associated with replacing or repairing road structures or buildings. Remember, consideration of your insurance needs is not a subject to be taken lightly. Accordingly, this information is not the substitute for the advice of an insurance professional.

Coverage for Third Parties

Injuries to a person, or their property, caused by another individual driving your automobile with your permission is included in most personal injury, personal property coverage. There are, though, several things to keep in mind: First -- regardless of the driver, the insurance will still only cover up to the limits written into the policy. The insured driver of the automobile will become personally liable for any injuries or damages as a result of judgements above these limits. Second -- accidents caused by third parties still could against the insured driver’s record. You then become more of a risk to the insurance company, and in order to keep the cost of coverage down for everyone, you will in all probability end up paying more for your insurance at renewal. Third -- it is also within the companies’ rights to cancel the coverage of a person who becomes too great of a risk. And last -- there are several exceptions to the coverage of third parties. The declaration portion of your policy will be more specific, but generally damages caused when your automobile is being used as a public or delivery vehicle, or damages caused while your automobile is being driven by employees of a garage, parking lot or auto sales agency, are not covered.

How to Buy Insurance

There are basically three steps in buying automobile insurance: First -- you should shop around. Not all insurance rates are the same. Before you shop, however, you should already have some idea about what kind and amount of coverage you need. Liability protection should be the highest priority. Most experts agree that you should carry at least $100,000 per person and $300,000 per accident, and $50,000 worth of property damage. You should be aware that doubling your liability will result in only slightly higher premiums, so don’t be afraid to protect yourself. If you finance your car, the lending institution will probably require that you have both collision and comprehensive coverage. If they include this cost in your payment, be sure to find out exactly what kind of coverage you have before you have an accident. Also, be aware that you have the right to purchase your insurance from an outside agent of your own choice.

How is Your Insurance Rate Determined

Insurance rates depend on many factors. In fact, the cost of identical car insurance can vary as much as 100% in the same state. Insurance companies charge applicants according to an assessment of the potential degree of risk that an individual presents. In most states, the following are considered:

* Your age, sex and marital status play a very important part. If you are between the ages of 16 and 25, you will pay more than older drivers because that age group tends to have more accidents. The same is true of males as opposed to female drivers, and unmarried as opposed to a married driver.

* Your driving record also plays a big part in determining costs. Drivers who have had more than an average number of accidents or traffic violations will definitely pay a higher premium than drivers with a clean record.

* What kind of car you drive; the make, model and year are additional factors which can affect premiums. The more it will cost the insurance company to repair or replace your vehicle, the more they will have to charge you. Sports cars will also require increased premiums because they are more often stolen, and frequently sustain more damage in accidents.

* The last major factor that determines how much you will pay includes where, how often and how far you will drive your automobile. City drivers will pay more than drivers in rural areas. Every day drivers will pay more than those who use their cars strictly for pleasure, along with those who can substantially decrease their annual miles driven.

Remember, consideration of your insurance needs is not a subject to be taken lightly. Accordingly, this information is not the substitute for advice of an insurance professional.

 

 

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By 2009 QuickFactsCenter.com had evolved to its new iteration called: ASK THE EXPERT which was developed in 1995 by Steve Olschwanger for daily newspapers to get their readers more informed. The new iteration of quickfactscenter.com became a site with paid listings by sponsors in the areas of HEALTH, LEGAL, FINANCIAL, and HOME IMPROVEMENT. By 2009 more than 50 radio stations across the country brought consumers this informative information on more than 100 topics. In 2010 the site offered visitors the only the choice of either South Florida or the Dallas/Ft Worth area in which to search for experts.

Ask The Experts 2009-2010 Archived Content

Ask The Experts - South Florida, FL

If you selected South Florida / Home Improvement you would come to this page with links taking you to other specific areas of interest where experts would advertise their services. It would be up to you as the consumer to decide if a particular "expert" was right for you.

Select from the list of topics to the right

 

 
 Air Conditioning  Appliance Repair
 Carpet Cleaning  Ceramic Tile
 Chimney Sweeps  Chinese Drywall
 Computers  Computers - Software
 Dish TV  Electrical
 Flooring/Carpeting  Foundation Repair
 Garage Door Repair  Generators
 Gutters  Heating and Air
 Home Construction  Home Inspections
 Hurricane Impact Doors & Windows  Hurricane Shutters
 Insulation  Insurance
 Insurance Claims Resolutions  Kitchen Refacing
 Lawn and Garden  Mattresses
 Mold & Mildew  Moving and Storage
 Pest Control  Plumbing
 Pools and Spas  Propane
 Remodeling  Roofing Repair Residential & Commercial
 Screen Pool & Patio Enclosures  Security Systems
 Siding  Space Organization
 Storm Windows & Doors  Tile & Grout Cleaning/Repai
 Water Damage Restoration  Water Treatment Systems
 Window Treatments

 

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