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Advice from a Real Estate Agent

Tips To Pack Your Flat Screen Television

Posted by on Feb 23, 2016 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Tips To Pack Your Flat Screen Television

If you have a house full of contents that need to be moved from one home to another, then it will likely be easier to hire professional movers to complete the moving job for you. To save yourself some money, you can pack your things yourself. While it may be simple to place your clothes and dishes in boxes, you may be stumped about what to do with your flat screen television. It is best to pack these types of televisions, so keep reading to learn how. Use The Right Box A flat screen television is likely to weigh between 25 and 75 pounds on average. However, if you own a large 60-inch variety, then you may be looking at a television that is about 100 pounds. This means that you need to plan on packing a relatively heavy object in a cardboard box. Most cardboard boxes used for moving purposes are single-walled varieties that are meant to hold between about 20 and 95 pounds. If you own a smaller 32-inch television, then you can get away with one of these boxes. You should make sure that you purchase a box that has a maximum load of about 100 pounds or a bit more though, if you have a television that is a 60-inch variety. Also, if you are packing one of these heavier TVs, then make sure the box you buy has a large amount of flutes built into the sides of the box. The flutes are the paper waves or arches that run between the solid paper sides of the box. The flutes add strength to the box, so make sure there are around 50 or more flutes per foot, especially if your television comes close to the weight limit of the box being used or if you need to stack your boxes for some reason. If you have a large screen TV that is a projection type and weighs well over 100 pounds, then you will need to purchase a double wall box for packing purposes. This may be a good idea as well if you are concerned about keeping a smaller television secure during the moving process. These types of boxes feature two fluted walls on every side of the box. No matter which type of box you choose, just make sure to add about two or three inches to the length, width, and height of the television when making your purchase to make room in the box for cushioning materials. Also, you should secure the seams of the box with thick PVC packing tape. Tape thickness is measured in mils, so go with the highest mil option you can find. Choose The Best Cushioning Materials Your television cannot be simply placed in a cardboard box. It must be surrounded by cushioning materials. Otherwise, LCD pixels can be damaged and you will end up with a black dead spot across the screen. If you have a plasma variety, then the screen can crack into a spider web pattern, and a rip can form in a projection screen. A static charge from the wrong packing materials can also cause damage to the electrical components.  The best packing materials are ones that contain an anti-static agent within them. These products are typically pink in color to indicate that they are...

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3 Reasons The Resale Value Of Your Home May Not Matter

Posted by on Sep 2, 2015 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on 3 Reasons The Resale Value Of Your Home May Not Matter

If you are looking to purchase a new home, you may find yourself wondering if the home you are considering is worth the price you will pay for it. While debating this, you may come across some trending financial advice that says a home is no longer considered a smart financial investment. While it is important to assess your current ability to afford the home you are considering and inform yourself about how home ownership will affect your overall financial state, it is also important to realize that purchasing a home is more than a financial decision. It is a personal decision that involves your emotions, values, and goals. Below are three things to consider that may make the resale value of your home less important than you think.  A Family Home Is Not Primarily A Financial Investment  The approach you take when purchasing a home that you intend to keep for long-term personal use is different from making decisions about investment properties. Of course, when you are purchasing a home with the primary goal of selling it for a profit, you need to consider the cost of repairs and your ultimate resale value. However, if it is your intention to live in the home you are purchasing for the next decade or longer, its current resale value becomes less important.  Your spatial needs, lifestyle, and sense of aesthetics are unique. That means that you may prefer a home with certain features that may not be popular among other home owners, making the home more difficult to sell later. However, these features will be worthwhile if you make use of them every day while you live in your home.  While it is important to consider what you will do with your new home if you eventually have to relocate, it is also important to view your home as a tool for reaching your optimum lifestyle, not simply as a financial investment.  Home Ownership May Promote Feelings of Security  If you have been renting and are looking to purchase your first home, then you are probably aware of the many ways your relationship with your landlord can cause stress. Despite tenant rights, some people live in constant fear of their landlord refusing to make basic repairs, intruding on their privacy, and threatening eviction. If you have had a bad experience with a landlord, you may find that you have anxiety about signing leases or communicating with a landlord.  Although home ownership comes with many responsibilities, which can be stressful, you ultimately have more control over your living environment. This can help make you and your family feel more secure about meeting your basic need for shelter.  You May Be Able to Express Yourself Better  When you are renting, even if you are a long-term renter with a positive relationship with your landlord, it can be difficult to get approval for major cosmetic changes to your home. Structural changes, such as adding a room or tearing down a wall, are nearly impossible to get approved. This can make it difficult to create a space that reflects yourself and feels like your home. Even if you do get approval to make changes, you have to keep in mind that you will have to invest money in the changes that will be lost when...

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5 Tips To Keep Your Keys Safe

Posted by on Dec 18, 2014 in Uncategorized | 0 comments

How many keys do you have on your key ring? The average person carries several. We have to unlock our homes, cars, safes, garages, office doors and a number of other things throughout the day. Imagine how frustrated or frightened you’d be if your keys were lost or stolen. Unfortunately, it happens every day, and in some cases, it puts people’s homes and cars at risk for theft. If you want to keep your house, car and belongings safe, here are five tips to help you secure your keys no matter where you are. Limit the Number of Spare Keys You Have The more copies you have of your keys, the greater the potential to misplace one of them. Limit the number of spare keys to one or two extra per auto or door. Leave a spare with a trusted friend or family member who won’t mind bringing them to you in an emergency. Secure Your Spare Keys in Your Wallet If you prefer to keep a spare key in your wallet, make sure it’s secured in a spare key holder inside the wallet. Alternatively, you can secure your spare keys in any wallet by creating a key holder using two gift cards. Tape the spare key to the inside of one card, and then tape the two cards together. This will prevent the keys from slipping and sliding when you access other items in your wallet. Remove Your Car Keys from the Ignition It’s not unusual to see someone pumping gas or running into the convenience store for some snacks, leaving their car keys in the ignition. Even if you only leave your car for a minute, that is just enough time for someone to open your door and steal your vehicle, leaving you stranded and vulnerable. It also makes it easier for you to lock your keys in the car. Then you’ll be in need of specialists from places like Big Red Locksmiths. Any time you get out of your car—even if you’ll just be a minute or two—take your keys with you. Put Your Keys Away at Work Where are your keys when you’re on the job? If you work in an office, you may have a habit of leaving your keys on your desk all day so they’ll be ready to go come quitting time. But leaving your keys exposed is dangerous. Someone could easily snatch your keys off your desk and make copies without your knowledge. And it may surprise you to know that the keys don’t have to be removed from your desk at all. New digital technology allows people to get copies of keys by simply snapping photos of both sides of the key and submitting them for duplication. Keep Your Keys Secured at Home Just because you’re home, that doesn’t mean that your keys are safe. Burglars know to look for keys near the doors. Most people leave a spare house key outside under a potted plant or doormat, and that’s one of the first places a thief will look. If you must hide a key outside, choose an inconspicuous location, such as a knot in a tree or inside a lawn ornament. Your keys aren’t necessarily safe inside your home, either. Do you have a key holder right by your...

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High Tech Locks & Knobs That Will Change Security Forever

Posted by on Dec 12, 2014 in Uncategorized | 0 comments

You live in the age of technology. It seems like everything is electronic these days. People are even upgrading to high tech locks, doorknobs, and other security features. Here are some interesting high tech items that you can buy for your home to add some security or just make life a little easier. ‘Occupied’ Door Handle If you have a room that you don’t like to be disturbed in, you can buy a special door handle telling others to keep out. The door handle lights up red when the door is locked, letting others know that the room is occupied and you don’t want to be disturbed. The door handle would be a great addition to a bathroom, office, or even a home recording studio. You won’t have to worry about you family jiggling the handle and knocking when you’re in a meeting, on the phone, or in the shower. Face ID Door Lock In 2011, the first door lock with facial recognition was released. This door lock allows you to program your face to unlock your door so no one else will be able to enter. You can add other members of your household so you can put the lock on your front door. This allows you to have added security, and you don’t have to make several keys that someone is bound to lose. If you are tired of your children entering your bedroom, you and your spouse can put this amazing lock on your bedroom door. If you have an office that no one else should enter, it would work well for that as well. Facial recognition gives you the ultimate amount of privacy since you never have to worry about a key ending up in the wrong hands. DoorKnob Condition The DoorKnob Condition is a doorknob that you can push out and retract as desired. When you enter, the room simply pull the doorknob all the way on the inside. That will retract the doorknob on the outside so it completely disappears. No one will be able to enter the room if the doorknob is gone. It’s great if you have roommates or children that follow you around while you try to use the restroom and get dressed. If you’re wrapping Christmas presents, just retract the doorknob and you don’t have to worry about it. Smart Locks Several types of smart locks are on the market right now. You can buy one for your deadbolt, handle lock, or both. Some smart locks allow you to create numerical codes that you punch in to open your door. The best part is that you can make up to 19 of them. If you have friends or family that you want to give a code to, you can make them their own personal codes. This will allow you to deactivate one person’s code without having to change yours or anyone else’s as well. Other smart locks work with your smart phone. You never even have to take your phone out of your pocket. Just being in the range of the lock will unlock your door. If you want someone to check on your home while you’re out of town, you can send them a temporary key right from your phone. If you have a babysitter or a housekeeper,...

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Winter Moving Tips: Keeping Sensitive Belongings Safe And Preventing Falls

Posted by on Dec 5, 2014 in Uncategorized | 0 comments

Most people try to move during the spring and summer months so they can avoid poor weather conditions that can cause difficulties during the move. If you need to move during the winter or if you want to save money on moving expenses, then you may decide to move from one house to another during December, January, or February. If you do this, then it is wise to hire a local moving service to help you. This will help to keep snow and ice from stopping the progress of cars and small moving vans. There are many things that you will need to do during your move to keep your belongings from becoming damaged. Protect Sensitive Belongings Electronic Components If you pack certain items and move them when the temperatures are cold outside, then some of your things may become stressed and damaged. This is true of electronics, because cold temperatures change the way batteries function. The cold forces batteries to release their charges more quickly than normal. This means that batteries are unable to stay charged for as long as they used to, and in some cases batteries will no longer be able to hold a charge at all. Also, sensitive and delicate components like processors and small microchips can become brittle and break in the cold. This means that you cannot pack and move electronic equipment like you would in the warm weather. You should instead place your computers, cameras, phones, and tablets in insulated cases. Place these cases in your car after it has been warmed up for 15 or 20 minutes. You can also place these devices in the cab of the moving truck or in the back if it is heated.   Fine China Fine china dishes, cups, and bowls can also be damaged by cold temperatures. China is generally made out of bone, porcelain, or hard clay materials. Once the china is fired in a kiln, a glaze is placed over it. This is done to either protect the china or to add decoration to the piece. The glaze that is placed over the china can crack over time. This is called crazing and it can be worsened by extreme hot and cold temperatures. If the fine lines expand too far or expose the underlying materials of the china, then the plate or cup can break. This means you need to protect your fine china pieces from cold weather during a move. When you pack your china, make sure to place tinfoil around stacks of dishes before you place them in your boxes. Tinfoil will provide some insulation so your dishes do not cool down as quickly when they are exposed to cold temperatures. Consider placing wool blankets in boxes as well, to help retain some of the heat around your fine china. These insulation materials should keep your china safe while your local movers move your things. Clear All Walkways  If you and your movers carry boxes in the winter, then damage may occur to your things if a slip or fall occurs on icy walkways. This means you should clear sidewalks, porches, driveways, and other paths leading to both your old and new home. Clear snow on the morning of the move. Shovel snow away from all paths where the movers will walk and make sure that snow is not...

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8 Great Ways That You Can Use Shredded Paper!

Posted by on Dec 3, 2014 in Uncategorized | 0 comments

You’re probably already aware that shredding documents that contain sensitive information is an excellent way to keep yourself safe from the criminal antics of identity thieves. However, you might not be aware of all of the ways that you can put shredded paper to good use. Here are eight things that you can do with shredded paper rather than simply taking it to a nearby recycling center: Use it for Compost Shredded paper can be added to the contents of your compost bin as long as it isn’t coated with foil or plastic. It’s great for soaking up excess moisture in compost materials and because it’s high in carbon, it can be used in place of straw or grass clippings in compost bins. As a general rule, don’t use “shiny” paper such as newspaper ad inserts and magazines. Use it for Crafting Shredded paper can be used for a variety of craft projects. You can use it to create paper mache and as filling for dolls and stuffed animals. Paper mache can be molded into just about anything and is easily made using flour and water or basic glue products. Paper mache creations can be painted as well as accessorized with items such as beads and glitter and make excellent rainy-day projects for bored children. Use it for Packing and Shipping Material If you routinely ship packages from your home or business, you’ll find that shredded paper is an excellent shipping material. If you plan on moving in the foreseeable future, saving shredded paper will provide you with a great packing medium that will protect your breakable items during transit. Use it as Fire Starter If you’ve got a wood stove or fireplace, shredded paper works well as a fire starter. Simply sprinkle some in the firebox or bottom of the fireplace before you add the kindling, making sure that you spread it out evenly and leave plenty of room for air circulation. If you don’t have a wood stove or fireplace, you might know someone who does who would appreciate an occasional gift of shredded paper. Use it in the Chicken Coop Shredded paper can be used in place of straw on the floor of your chicken coop as well as in the laying boxes. When it comes time to clean and refresh the coop, simply move the shredded paper to the compost bin before you add a fresh layer. Use it as Mulch Shredded paper can be used as mulch in vegetable gardens, flower beds, and around shrubs and trees. Mulching is important because it regulates soil temperature, helps keep down weeds,  If your home or business doesn’t generate enough shredded paper to meet the mulching needs of your yard and garden, ask your local recycling center if they have bags of shredded paper that they make available to the general public. Use it to Protect Seeds One of the dangers of sowing new seeds in the spring is that birds swoop down into the garden and gobble up many of the seeds before they even have a chance to sprout. You can save your sees from this fate by sprinkling a small amount of shredded paper over. This is especially recommended for fine, small seeds such as carrot and tomato that need to be planted very...

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5 Strategies For Keeping Termites At Bay

Posted by on Nov 26, 2014 in Uncategorized | 0 comments

Most homeowners who live in areas likely to be infested by termites already know the basics of protecting their homes against termite infestations such as not stacking their firewood next to the house or bringing it more than you can use in an average day indoors. However, there are other ways that termites can gain access to your home. For instance, your exterior landscaping can provide an environment that is highly conducive to the development of termite infestations. Here are five ways that you can minimize the chances of that happening: Don’t Use Bark Chips Next to the House Many homeowners who would never think to stack firewood on their wooden porch think nothing of using bark chips to mulch the foundation plantings around their house, and this is often the equivalent of rolling out the red carpet for termites and inviting them indoors for a feast! Any type of plant-based mulch can easily harbor termites, so use inorganic materials for mulching such as pebbles or crushed oyster shells instead. As an added bonus, these materials also provide fire-resistant properties. Keep Foundation Plants Well-Trimmed Keeping the foundation plants on the outside of your home trimmed so that they are not touching the house is a great way to protect yourself from possible termite infestations. It is also important that any trellises that you choose to have not be touching your home. If you decide to install flower planters on the outside of your house, choose a material such as stone or ceramic rather than wood. Wooden window boxes should be avoided as well –fortunately, plenty of lightweight, attractive ceramic and plastics exist for those who love the look of blooming flowers spilling over exterior window boxes. Keep Moisture in Check Around the Foundation Because termites live in the soil and are attracted to moist environments, it is very important to keep the soil around your home as dry as possible. Effective ways to do that include: Keep gutters and downspouts clear of debris. Regularly inspect for leaky faucets and repair them immediately. Keep foundation plants and ground covers 3 to 4 feet away from the exterior of the home. Grade the soil away from the foundation to create a downward flow. Divert outdoor irrigation away from your home’s foundation. Keep Basements as Dry as Possible Damp basements are another condition that can provide an optimal environment for the development of destructive termite colonies. Keeping basements well-ventilated by using circulating fans, installing French drains, and using moisture-proof paint are all excellent ways to keep atmospheric humidity levels in check. Dehumidifiers also work wonders to keep basements dry. Pay Attention to the Seasons Termite swarming season is typically between March and May in most parts of the country. Swarming is the process by which termites seek out environments in which to establish new colonies. Many homeowners do not realize that swarming termites can fly and therefore fail to realize that they may have a problem. Too make matters even more complicated, swarming termites closely resemble flying ants. If you have stumps, woodpiles, or other possible sources of termites in your yard, you should be careful during the spring to keep your doors and windows closed to avoid allowing swarming termites access to your home interior. If you see small winged insects...

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4 Tips For An Easy Move With Your Feline Friends

Posted by on Nov 25, 2014 in Uncategorized | 0 comments

Cats thrive on stability in routine and territory. Changing a cat’s home turf often causes strife in the household for weeks after the move. You might even notice a change in your cats’ demeanor as you load up the moving boxes with your belongings. Your cats may start to pace, meow loudly or even spray in a desperate attempt to mark their territory. Luckily, you can ease their distress during the moving process by utilizing the four following tips. 1. Confine Your Cats In The Bathroom To keep your cats from destroying your moving efforts by spraying or clawing boxes, create a sanctuary for them in the bathroom. This is especially important if you’re having your moving company help you pack up. The movers may inadvertently startle your cats with their presence, causing the felines to bolt out of the house unexpectedly. Put the litter boxes, food dishes and bedding in the bathroom immediately prior to pulling out the moving boxes. Although this will make your bathroom feel quite cluttered, it’s only temporary until you get settled. Soon after transporting your belongings over to the new home in the moving truck, bring your cats over and confine them to the bathroom there until you’re done unpacking. 2. Send Cat Trees and Bedding On The Moving Truck Each home contains a particular scent that cats easily pick up on. The scent may even contain traces of animal dander belonging to prior resident pets. If your cats’ belongings, like the climbing tree and bedding, pick up the scent of the new place, your felines may not want anything to do with them. As a result, your cat could suffer a bout of insecurity from feeling like those items belong to an unknown cat. Your cats may arch their backs, hiss wildly or even violently lash out at the belongings. You can reduce the chance of this happening by transporting the items over on the moving truck with the rest of your belongings. Ask your local movers to bring the items in last and avoid rubbing them on the carpet upon entering the new place. 3. Maintain A Stable Feeding Routing Enter the bathroom often to give your cats attention, clean the litter boxes and provide food on a regular schedule. If you normally feed your cats in the morning and at night, continue this routine throughout the moving process. Cats are sensitive to changes in their routine, especially when it comes to food. If you are not right on time, your cats may yowl and scratch at the bathroom door in an attempt to escape and find their own meal. This is especially true for cats that often go outdoors and snack on rodents in between meals. Provide treats for moving professionals, friends and helpers to feed your cats while entering the bathroom to associate visitors with good vibes. 4. Keep Cats Indoors For As Long As Possible Once you finish unloading and unpacking all of your belongings, secure all of the windows and doors before letting your cats out of the bathroom. Allow your cats to explore the inside of the home to their hearts’ content. Do not allow them to go outside at this time, however. Your cats pick up on scents of neighborhood animals through drafts coming in...

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4 Ways To Help Keep Pests Outside

Posted by on Nov 24, 2014 in Uncategorized | 0 comments

A critical part of preventing pest infestations is finding vulnerabilities in your home, where pests are likely to enter. There are ways you can prevent pests from gaining entry into your home and lower the chances of infestation. Have Your Roof Checked Small openings in your roof create access points for pests, and easily go unnoticed. In addition to small insects that can fit through small cracks in the roof, rodents and other small mammals will take advantage of holes in your roof, especially in the winter. One such pest is roof rats, and depending on your location, you may not know there is a problem with roof rats until they have invaded your home. Have a roofing contractor regularly examine your roof for any signs of weak spots. The contractor can give you an indication if there may be signs of an infestation from small or larger pests. With regular roof evaluations, you can have small areas fixed before they require extensive repairs, or before an infestation occurs. Garden Smartly If you want to plant a garden that contains fruits or vegetables, you should avoid planting these items around the perimeter of your home. Unfortunately, edible plants can turn into an open invitation for pests to be near your home. Pests are more likely to nest in areas where there is a good food and water source, which makes gardens an ideal location. Whether your garden is located around the perimeter of your home or further away inside the yard, you may want to consider natural plants that can help keep pests out of your garden and potentially keep them off the property. Use several types of plants that can ward off various pests, and plant them throughout your garden and around your home. As an added bonus, many plants that act as natural pest control are easy to maintain and can be harvested for your personal use. Keep Hiding Areas Clean Basements, attics and garages are ideal hiding places for pests, and reducing clutter in these areas can make it easier for you to notice a pest problem and prevent the problem from spreading to the main living areas. One reason these areas of your home are vulnerable to pest infestations is they are often quiet and may have clutter that provides an undisturbed nesting environment for pests. If your basement or attic is not in use, you should check regularly for any signs of pests. Another benefit to checking these areas is that you may notice small leaks, high humidity or other problems that can affect your home. Typically, mold growth is an obvious sign there are problems with humidity or a leak, and moisture is attractive to most pests. Using your garage as a storage area can lure pests. If you need storage for items that are rarely used, move the items to a shed on your property or consider paying the monthly cost for a small storage unit. The fewer items you have in your garage, the fewer hiding places for pests. Be A Responsible Pet Owner Another way pests can enter your home is if you have a pet that is an indoor and outdoor pet. Having your pet routinely treated for common infestations, such as fleas and ticks, is one way to...

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Plastic Bins As An Alternative To Traditional Toolboxes: Why It Makes Sense For Your Shop

Posted by on Nov 24, 2014 in Uncategorized | 0 comments

The use of traditional steel toolboxes for tool and equipment storage is so ingrained in the auto repair and service industry, it can be difficult to imagine using anything else. However, with the availability of high-impact plastics, the use of plastic bins for tool storage will greatly enhance the efficiency and organizational structure of many automotive facilities. Here is why you should consider using these bins in your shop: Advantages of using plastic bins Below are a few distinct advantages offered by using plastic bins for in-shop storage of tools: Easy to clean – plastic bins are easily cleaned with soap and water or grease-cutting solvents. Their modular nature allows separate bins to be washed as needed without placing an entire toolbox or tool drawer out of service. Flexibility – plastic bins are available in a wide variety of sizes and colors. The varying options permit you to set-up a storage system that matches your needs. For example, you can use narrow, small bins for screwdrivers. The choice is up to you, but these bins allow you the flexibility to manage your system. Expandability – because it is a simple matter to purchase more bins and racks or shelves, you can easily expand your tool storage to match. Toolboxes are expensive, and you will be forced to purchase another one if you wish to add more tools and equipment. Efficiency and neatness – when technicians see an empty bin, they will instantly recognize that a tool is in current use. Searching through drawers is no longer necessary, and it is much simpler to track down what you need. In addition, cords can’t get tangled and sensitive instruments are protected from damage since each item is kept separately in its appropriate container. Implement your system You have a lot of latitude when implementing a tool storage system using plastic bins, so choose whatever works best for your environment. Below are a few considerations that will help you make decisions as you move forward with the project: Shelves or hanging racks – before purchasing bins, you need to consider how you want to keep them organized. You have two broad options to choose from: Hanging racks – these racks use rails or louvres to hold the bins in-place. They can either be free-standing or mounted to walls. These racks can be located in a minimal amount of space; that makes them a great choice for crowded or smaller work spaces. Racks can be purchased as single-sided or double-sided, and that allows two technicians an ability to access tools from either side. Just be sure to read all of the specifications regarding weight capacity for both the racks and the bins. Racks are not capable of holding as much weight as shelves. Shelves – conventional shelving can also be used to hold plastic bins. You can find shelves that are free-standing units, but there are also shelves available that can be mounted to walls. They take up more room than hanging racks; however, if you are storing a number of heavy tools, you will want to consider shelves. Adjustable units that allow you to adjust the space between shelves, or add shelves at a later date, are ideal since they provide you with the most flexibility should you need to expand your tool...

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