Generally speaking, shed doors are the first problem you'll have with your shed (other than Mother Nature). It makes sense as your shed doors are the only moving part of your shed and are opened and closed many times through their use.
If you purchased your shed from one of the big box stores, you will have shed door problems sooner than later because of the way their doors are built.
The sheds the big box home improvement stores sell are shipped by the manufacture on tractor trailers and all the parts and pieces of the shed must fit into a nice box so they are lighter and take up less room to cut down on shipping costs and make them easy to load and unload.
Quality wise, the item that suffers the most are the doors. They need them to be as light as possible and fit flat into the box; so many shortcomings are taken giving the shed buyer a weak set of doors that will fail sooner than later.
The shortcuts include; using weak trim pieces as the actual frame structure of the door, only using staples to fasten the door sheeting to the trim and not using a complete 2×2 "or 2×4" frame on the inside of the doors for strength.
As your shed ages and settlements into its footprint in the backyard, the shed floor becomes un-level resulting in hard to open doors. The shed owner must use more force to open and close the doors which loosens the staples and nails that hold the doors together. Note: the shed builder is trained to add screws to the factory built door for added strength but seldom is this actually done and if it is, they use too much force and spin the screws which result in no holding power at all.
As the staples and nails loosen, the seams and trim in the door start pulling farther apart making it even harder to open and close the doors. Even more force is needed and before you know it, the doors are falling apart.
Most big box sheds come with a warranty and you can get the doors replaced. Most warranty claims are not scheduled appropriatively and it will take many calls to get your new doors. The squeaky wheel will get the grease in this case so be diligent in your complaining.
The bad news; the replacement doors will be the exact replica of the existing doors and the same problems you're having will happen again. There is no warranty on the replacement doors so be prepared to spend around $ 500.00 for doors from the original manufacture.
The good news; you can buy replacement doors on the Internet that are better than the doors that came with the shed and are easy to get and install yourself.
The first step is to measure the vertical and horizontal door opening (also called rough opening) of your shed. Use your measuring tape and measure from the bottom of the header to the floor. This is your vertical measurement. The header is the piece of wood (usually a 2×4) that is above the door opening. It could be a 2×6 if you have a larger shed. Then measure your horizontal width from the stud (usually a 2×4, also called a jack stud) on one side of the opening to the stud on the other side. This is your horizontal measurement.
On cheaper sheds, the jack stud could be a 2×3 (which is okay) or the door opening may not have 2×4 studs on both sides. If this is the case, you can easily add a stud (s). Measure the length needed cut to fit and toenail the new stud in.
Once you have your measurements, you can shop online and find the best deal. As of this writing, there are only 2 companies that build and ship wooden replacement shed doors. Both companies are reputable, make a superior shed door to the one you'll replace and both ship UPS. All you have to do is find the best deal.
Source by Vincent Licursi
Yellow Letter Marketing Defined
Yellow letters are a widely proclaimed marketing technique that boasts a 10-15% response rate. The promise is to hand-write a letter in red ink on yellow paper offering to buy or sell a product or service. Since this technique uses invitation style envelopes and live stamps most recipients will open and read it vs identifying it as junk mail to be discarded. Additionally, since the letter is handwritten, and personalized to them it helps to build rapport.
Materials and Cost Savings
One time / fixed cost items include a printer and word processor such as Microsoft Office or openoffice.org (free download). So long as it supports mail merge any word processor will work. Additionally, we'll use a digital scanner. Since we'll only use it twice you might consider borrowing a neighbors or friends vs purchasing your own. You'll also need your marketing list complete with first name, property address and mailing address. To create these lists you can use an online service such as listsource.com.
A do-it-yourself campaign can provide significant cost savings when compared to many online yellow letter services. To give you a sense for the savings a 1000 letter campaign online may cost $ 1.40 per letter totaling $ 1400. Doing it yourself may be as cheap as $ 650 for a savings of $ 750. Note that I did not price shop on the raw materials so you may be able to beat this by buying in bulk or finding a better deal. These items can be picked up for prices similar to below at any office supply store such as Walmart, Staples and Office Depot.
- Color ink at $ 25/250 letters is $ 0.10 per letter
- Invitation style envelopes (4 3/8 x 5 3/4) at $ 8.38 / 100 envelopes is $ 0.08 per letter
- Yellow writing pads (8 1/2 x 11) at $ 10.88 / 600 sheets is $ 0.02 per letter
- First class stamps (for return service) are $ 0.45 per letter
- Total per letter cost is $ 0.65 + tax
First, I should say this is a non-trivial amount of work. If I had to guess I would say that I've put in a solid 30 hours from start to finish to get my very first 700+ letter campaign out the door. Now that I have more experience with the process I could cut that in half for a slightly sized campaign. You should certainly consider the cost benefit before getting started. That said, this is great option if you're focused on keeping your marketing costs low, just getting started, or are on a budget budget. You can multi task while printing and stuff the envelopes while watching TV. Given the savings there is certainly room to outsource this work to someone looking to make some quick cash. Alternately, you may just use this technique until you've closed on a few deals. After that, your time is at more than a premium and you might prefer to use an online service.
1. Creating a personalized font
If you have not heard of fiverr.com prepare to be shocked. The premise of the site is to purchase various services for $ 5. Go to the site and search for "font" then and choose from one of the service providers that has a good rating. Here is the workflow:
1) They will send you a template that you need to print.
2) The template has a number of boxes for you to provide samples of your handwriting including AZ, az and special characters
3) Once complete, you'll need to scan the page and provide them with the resulting image file.
4) They will create your font and return to you within a day or so.
5) When you receive the font you can install it to your machine using their instructions. Now you can author and print documents using your handwriting!
A few things to keep in mind:
1) Try and introduce some variable in your font by using less than perfect handwriting; things like left, right, top or bottom justifying some characters, and varied character sizes.
2) Be sure that your font has a consistent slant to it so any sentences you write will flow nicely.
3) Try a thinner pen such as ball point and keep that pen handy so you're able to match it down the road.
4) This pen does not need to be red as we'll introduce color later on.
Bottom line try not to make your font perfect or it will have obvious characteristics of a computer generated fonts such as comic sans (regular character spacing, all characters lined up perfectly, no mistakes).
2. Creating your Yellow Letter Template
Type, print and review some sample text using your new font. If your font is believable on its own you can skip step A and move on to step B. If it looks too synthetic, you can retry step 1 (for an additional $ 5) applying any observations you have. Otherwise, you'll need to complete steps A and B to create your yellow letter template. In either event, your finished product will be something like the following where [XXX] and [YYY] are automatically populated using data from your marketing spreadsheet.
I am a real estate investor and am interested in your neighborhood. I see that you have a house at [YYYY].
If you're interested in selling, please give me a call at 555.555.5555. We'll pay closing costs and …
A) Creating the foundation for your template
The foundation for your template will be a scanned image of a handwritten Yellow Letter. To do this I suggest you first create a printed copy of your Yellow Letter using your custom font. For the printed letter, be sure to leave space for the salutation (ie Dear [XXX] from above) and a full line for the property address (ie [YYY] from above). You'll also need one sheet of your yellow pad paper, and one sheet of blank printer paper. First place the yellow paper on the table. Next overlay the printed copy so that the text corresponds with the lines on the paper. Finally, place the blank sheet of paper on top so that you can copy the printed version using your handwriting. The purpose of this step is to match the font closely but introduce additional variable so the result is more readable. You may need to adjust the pages a few times so the resulting copying copies the line spacing on the yellow paper. You may have better results using a window so that the sunlight allows you to see the lines form the yellow paper and the letter that you're hand copying.
The next step is to scan this document using your scanner and creating an image file that you can put in as the background on your word processor. The best setting for the scanner is text mode (this preserves the contrast eliminating dust and other impurities). Also, set the dimensions of the scan to 8.5 "x 11" so that the resulting image will fill the space in your word processor and should line up perfectly with the lines on the yellow paper.
Open the image in your favorite graphics software and change the font areas from black to red. Finally, paste this image into your word processor and set it to sit behind the text.
B) Setting up mail merge
We have the foundation for your Yellow Letter. Next you will need to add the salutation and property address placeholders fields so that the mail merge can substitute unique values on each page. To do this you'll reference your spreadsheet that contains the first name, property address and mailing addresses for your target campaign. For instance your salutation will say "Dear [XXX]" where [XXX] is the field referencing the specific column in your spreadsheet. Using red text and your font you can type this text and position it so that it is in the correct position relative to the background image or other text.
Mail merge is a large enough topic that I would suggest you do a quick search to find the many online resources (Google and YouTube) for setting up mail merge in Microsoft Word and Openoffice.org. Also, if you're using Openoffice.org and notice strange print behavior you should take a look at the work around that is needed if you print an odd number of pages
Now you should try printing on your yellow paper. Most likely, you'll have alignment issues; these can be addressed in a number of ways:
1) Try adjusting the font size of the blank lines above your text. For instance, you'll have some blank lines before and after the salutation. Adjust the font size for these lines up or down to scoot the selected text.
2) A less exacting method would be to adjust the top margin so the text area moves up or down.
3) You may need to adjust the paragraph or character spacing to match your paper.
4) Remember that the image from step 2A can be adjusted up or down so that it aligns properly.
5) Lastly, try adjusting the view (or zoom level) to 100% and then hold your yellow page up to the screen to see how close you are.
Make the necessary adjustments and try again. A couple of gotchas if you have an inkjet printer:
1) Do not fill the paper feed too full as the page alignment changes as the number of pages are reduced.
2) Raise the backstop on the paper feed to avoid shifting as the printer draws paper.
Source by Don J Daniels