Category Archives: Business

What Is Digital Transformation And What Does It Really Mean For Your Business?

What Is Digital Transformation?

The Global Center for Digital Transformation says that “organizational change is the foundation of digital business transformation”. That’s because changing the nature of an organisation means changing the way people work, challenging their mindsets and the daily work processes and strategies that they rely upon. While these present the most difficult problems, they also yield the most worthwhile rewards, allowing a business to become more efficient, data-driven and nimble, taking advantage of more business opportunities.

Define ‘digital’ in digital transformation

While the focus is on changing how the business works at every level, technology underpins all digital transformation projects. But what technology?

Obviously this changes as time goes on, but typically businesses want to adopt technologies that help them harness and make sense of the vast quantities of data they are sitting on, as well as preparing for trends like the Internet of Things (IoT) and mobile.

That means analytics tools are high up on the agenda, as well as cloud computing, which lets you store data outside your own data centre, potentially closing this down. You might also want to focus on collaborative tools, like file-sharing, mobile devices, and apps, that let your employees work wherever they are, and which give them instant access to information – especially useful for salespeople visiting customers, for instance.

What Digital Transformation Means For Your Business?

Accepting and moving toward digital transformation doesn’t simply mean jumping on every technological bandwagon that comes along. Doing that is like putting a bunch of cut up vegetables in a pot and calling it soup. Unless you put the right ingredients in the pot and turn on the stove, you’ll never make soup-at least not soup that anyone wants to eat. Instead, each company has to spend some time thinking about what digital transformation really means for them.

Companies need to think about transitioning core business processes and digitalizing the client/business process first. They have to think about which applications, platforms, and solutions fit into their culture, daily operations, and budget. There is unfortunately no cookie cutter solution that businesses can opt into. It’s a process that requires personalization and a knack for following trends.

Digital Disruption And Focusing On The Consumer

Digital disruption is another key term that describes what digital transformation can do in society at large. Smartphones created a disruption, Uber created a disruption, and wearable technology continues to create disruptions. With each key technological advancement, the daily lives of consumers change a little more. The norm is shaken up, and the advancement adds value to consumers. Businesses that take advantage of the new changes, and who understand how these changes affect daily life, can modify their practices to meet the needs of the consumer.

Consumer-centrism is one way to ensure that you’re meeting the demands of the digital age. Knowing where your customers are interacting online and how you can meet them on their own turf will enhance your ability to make their lives easier and to make sales. Every business has to think about digital transformation and the power of disruptions now. There is no longer time to take baby steps and get your feet wet. It’s a sink or swim environment for many businesses.

Planning Ahead For Digital Transformation

Digital transformation is both an end result and an ongoing process. You have to make the initial move, and then you must continue to evolve or be forced out. There is no quick fix for digital transformation. When you sit down with your team to discuss your company’s digital future, think about the near future, but also the long-term goals of your company. To maintain relevancy, you will need to implement digital solutions that keep your company moving forward into the digital era and not standing still or moving backwards.

At every step, think about the business experience. What can you implement to streamline in-house operations? What can you implement to facilitate customer interactions? These aspects that will drive your digital transformation. For some companies that may mean adopting an integrated payment solution so that customers can login to an online portal and pay their bills. For others, it may mean getting on social media and posting relevant content on a regular basis. Any move to the digital space is part of the digital transformation.

Over the long term, the digital experience will shift. How can you make changing an easier part of the business process? Transparency, a group mission toward digital relevance, and constant listening to customer behaviors may all be important for shifting your company’s focus away from legacy business practices and to a more digital oriented future.

6 Incredible Websites for Infographic Templates

This fast paced world has switched our gear into attention deficit so we do not always have time to read through lengthy blog posts and analyze graph after graph. What we want instead is a brief but coherent summary of all the vital facts.

What is an infographic? We are all aware that a picture is worth a thousand words so how can this strategy be used in the world of business. It’s simple- through the creative yet convenient use of Infographic Templates.

Infographics can transform complex and lengthy information into a friendly presentation which are both easy to understand and visually engaging.

Whether you are building a website, a PowerPoint presentation or just looking for a cool alternative to present information, an Infographic can capture the viewer’s attention from the get-go.

There is no doubt that the significance and popularity of Infographics will only increase as the internet gets flooded with more content making it harder to capture the attention of an audience with copious amounts of distractions and options. As a creator of content you want to provide compelling work which will build an obedient audience but does not require forever and a day to construct.

Creating beautiful pieces of art in Infographics is the solution. However it does not require the technicality of Photoshop or other design programs to make it happen. Life is always best when kept simple. So let us introduce ten useful Infographic Template websites- each highlighting their unique features helping you to make the best Infographic possible for all your needs.

Venngage

Venngage is very easy to navigate and allows the user to create interactive Infographics with just a few clicks. It comes with both premium and free Infographic templates which can be downloaded straight onto your computer.

Some of the standout features are:

As soon as you land on their page you know you can create and download free Infographic templates

The drop-down menu under the Infographics tab allows you to choose the Infographics Template specific to the data you want to present.

The interactive option in the edit menu allows additional external links to be added to the Infographic such as a YouTube URL or an email sign up.

Venngage actually offers other graphic options other than free Infographic template which can be used for the same purpose- particularly the report templates which are ideal for PowerPoint Infographics.

And of course if you do need help at any time there is the question bubble located at the bottom of the page on the right hand side. How convenient!

Piktochart

With over 400 templates to use, Piktochart will leave you spoilt for choice. However the availability of free Infographic templates are limited but none-the-less this website still serves useful for those willing to pay for their premium service.

Once you sign in you, you are prompted to select the format of the Infographic template with simple navigation

You even have the option to make your own Infographic from scratch and see what you can create.

Another standout with Piktochart is the option to create your own types of charts and import your own data which is very useful for making an Infographic Powerpoint presentation.

It is also good to know that you have the option to change the page set-up from the default A-4 size to the letter size. This option is found in the file tab in the top menu drop-down bar.

Piktochart has an abundant of great graphics to include in your Infographic Template construction and its user-friendly platform makes the task easy and reliable for future use.

Infogr.am

Infogr.am is a great website for creating professional looking Infographics. The free Infographic templates come in a simple design and colour layout.

It’s as easy as choosing the colour combinations they offer in their Infographic templates and playing around with the layout options.

Navigating through the template creation is nice and straightforward. All the added features are just where you need them.

Infogr.am is ideal for those who are after an Infographic Template with customized data charts and text present in a fluid manner.

A unique feature of using Infogr.am Infographic Templates is that once you have created your Infographic it can then be published on its website and monitored with the analytic tools for view popularity. This could be an opportunity to market your brand or business through their website on your own Infographics and include a call-to-action to your external website.

Canva

Canva provides hundreds of free design elements to play around with in your Infographic Template as you bring to life your presentation. There are also great premium themes for less than a dollar each.

Once you have landed on the design page you are introduced to a very helpful introductory guide on how things work- taking a total of 23 seconds to complete!

There is a great variety of different text styles available on Canva that go beyond the standard selection of fonts found on word documents and similar applications.

Easel.ly

Easel.ly is definitely worth considering as they have a large library of designed Infographic templates covering a wide range of subjects already and can be a great source of inspiration in the creation stage.

They have some cool graphics included in the template which can be used for a variety of purposes and topics so the possibilities are never limited. Easel.ly also conveniently suggests where on the Inforgraphic template to place each feature for maximum visual appeal.

It is also worth noting that Easel.ly is a great site for not only creating your own Infographic download but also for re-using other ready-made Infographics- as long as the credit is given where it is due! If you are behind in an assignment and do not have time to make an Infograhic from scratch then Easel.ly may just be able to help you out.

Visualize.me

Visualize.me allows the user to break away from the generic resume and instead express their professional accomplishments and experience through the visual presentation of an online Infographic.

The themes and the layouts of the Infographic template on Vizualize.me will make your online resume stand out from the rest with eye-catching visuals that outline your professional qualifications and experiences.

It’s easy to follow layout and amusing data presentations will impress the future employers as they lay their eyes on your creative resume made with Vizualize.me.

Locksmiths Don’t Just Break Locks

Right from when our world started, man has been creating his own spaces, homes, work spots, safe spaces, and storage areas and so on. The reason why the need arose for these spaces that are distinct in their structure and function is almost obvious, nevertheless let’s look at the explicable two fold reasons for this distinction. One was the need to have dedicated spaces for dedicated activities, hence avoid clutter and unpleasant emotions or situations. Two was for the higher purpose of safety of certain articles that are of higher value and undeserving of the onslaught of open areas where weather and other factors could deplete their condition and eventually value. In fact these two reasons are also primarily responsible for the invention of locks and thus lent a purpose to the life of locksmiths.

Locksmiths, in technical sense, are people who work with locks, the normal understanding is that locksmiths break locks and assist people to find ways to enter spaces that are locked and the key has been misplaced however locksmiths don’t just break locks, in our times they have extended their services to a wide range of activities starting with making locks, repairing old and ancient locks, assisting people who are entitled to certain properties to break open old locks where the key is either worn out or misplaced and a host of other services. Locksmiths are fast becoming harbingers of good times as they break open difficult locks and also make new locks with sophisticated security systems.

Getting the right locksmith in Wakefield can sometimes be harrowing, however with technology paving way for easy access of anything anywhere locksmiths are no longer a rarity. All one needs to do to find locksmiths is to log on to the internet and run a search and voila! You find your locksmiths at the click of the mouse. Locksmithing is an art and locksmiths are those rare artists who have this insight into the nature and functions of locks. There are different locksmiths who perform different kinds of Locksmithing tasks and do so with the aid of latest technology. Gone are the days when manually crafted crude keys broke locks, today there are various aspects that go into the toolkit of locksmiths and no one is complaining.

The main reason locksmiths are called in our times is to assess or upgrade for a locksmith today the security of our homes or workplaces. Companies of today ensure they have a few locksmiths on the rolls to secure their offices efficiently. Locksmiths that companies enroll are usually trained to modernize their own profession and are introduced to sophisticated security systems, in most cases even security systems that are built with new age computers are used and locksmiths get equipped to handle them with eland as well.

The best of locksmiths come to offer services as a package of tasks that include auditing a space that requires security, upgrading existing systems, installing new security systems, installation of sophisticated security and vigilance equipment such as sensors, radars, security cameras and CCTV recording systems. Locksmiths of today go beyond just audits and installation, they offer services to maintain and upgrade these systems installed by them.

Locksmiths of our times are well equipped to handle niche equipments of personal identity such as key cards, flash security and id cards, voice and bio identification security systems, biometric finger print analyzers and so on. The industry of locksmiths is expanding in such a rapid way that there are locksmiths who are specialist for certain kinds of security systems. Automobile experts, safes and lockers specialists, specialists in car security systems, security engineering experts and the list are exhaustive.

The best part about locksmiths is the amount of dedication and out of the box thinking that they characterize and that is a rare skill in people who are just locksmiths and not in a white collared job. By the standards that are being set by locksmiths here and world over we know that a locksmith no longer just breaks locks, he is a guy who secures places and does so with a trademark of trustworthiness and reliability. So the next time someone says a locksmith is just lock breakers go right ahead and tell them why they are not.

Inflatable Water Slides For Birthday Parties

Everyone has seen inflatable jumpers at a party at some point in their life. Bounce houses are standard fare at most children’s parties. They are usually very colorful and themed after some of the more popular cartoon characters of the day.

Some inflatables can get hot though during the summer months. When temperatures soar over one hundred degrees, the vinyl of the bounce houses can become hot and uncomfortable to the touch for kids. So what is one to do with this situation?

One thing you do not want to do is put water on a bounce house. Bounce houses are generally not safe to use with water. The reason for this is that the rides can become very slippery when wet. That is why inflatable water slides new orleans is so advantageous to use during the hotter months of the year.

Inflatable water slides are really great because they allow kids to enjoy a bouncy thing while keeping cool and safe. They can be rented from most major party rental companies and come in many different shapes, colors, and sizes. They are substantially bigger in size than a standard bounce house, so make sure you have adequate space to set them up. Also keep in mind that they are much more labor-intensive than bounce houses, so be prepared to pay a bit more than a bounce house for a rental. They are often twice as much as a standard jumper.

Inflatable water slides are truly a great way to have a great birthday party. Rent one for your next event and watch your kids light up as they have a great time sliding!

Properties for Foreigners in Singapore: Getting to Know More About Singaporean Land

Although foreigners were not allowed to own land in Singapore in the past three decades, a decision was made by the Singaporean government in 2005 to allow foreigners or ex-pats to own or rent residential units in buildings with 6 stories or higher. This proved to be a very good decision as more and more foreigners are now looking for properties to buy or rent in Singapore. Properties for foreigners in Singapore are available in the forms of condominium units and flats that are nonetheless considered as prime properties because of the exclusivity offered to residents and tenants alike. These units are more than enough for families, couples, and singles that are looking forward to living or having a vacation in Singapore. Top-notch properties for foreigners in Singapore include residential buildings for sale or for rent in selected locations like Orchard and Sentosa, although there are a number of places that also offer great deals for prospective buyers or renters. Restrictions apply to purchase bungalows, semi-detached, and terrace houses, but there are plenty of condominium complexes and other properties for foreigners in Singapore that offer the same comfort as being in a home which is worth investing in.

If you are employed in Singapore and are looking for a place to rent, you can check out the property listings in the real estate market and choose which would suit your needs. Once you have found one like arena residences, inform your real estate agent who will, in turn, prepare a Letter of Intent and pass it on to your prospective landlord together with a month’s deposit in advance. The landlord will then prepare the contract of lease or what they call Tenancy Agreement for you to sign. Before signing though, make sure that a diplomatic clause is included in the contract, as this will give you a chance to refund your security deposit in the case for any reason you are separated from your job and cannot continue with the lease after 12 months.

On the other hand, properties for foreigners in Singapore that are in the market require a different procedure. If you’re looking to buy a condo unit or an apartment in a building with six stories or higher, then you may do so without delay. However, if a property you’re interested in is regarded as “Landed Property” (bungalows, terrace houses, semi-detached houses) or an apartment nestled in a building of fewer than six stories, permission would have to be granted by the Singapore Land Authority. Your application to purchase will be reviewed based on whether you are a permanent resident of Singapore and how productive you are as a citizen. Once they have determined that you qualify, the sale of the property will go smoothly.

There are a lot of properties for foreigners in Singapore, whether for sale or for rent. Since it is one of the top countries in the world in terms of financial and economic activity, it’s no wonder why a lot of foreigners are looking forward to being permanent residents. If you are one of those people, then go ahead and check the property listings. You’ll be sure to find a lot of properties for foreigners in Singapore.

High-Quality Pest Control Services

Effective pest control services are available in the market that not only contains the growth of pests but also eliminates their infestation to the core. The major factor that determines this aspect is how they are being countered. This involves a series of effective steps being taken in controlling their growth. Most of the pests remain where there are damp conditions. Hence, the first big step that should be taken in eliminating them would be damage to avoiding strategies. Keeping the surroundings clean and a sprinkling of chemicals that prove to be detrimental in the case of pests will help a lot.

The latest developments in the control of pests bring advanced techniques to the fore, which will address all the problems that are associated with controlling pests. The usage of pesticides is not recommended always. The reason because the current generation of pests has developed enough resistance in controlling them. Assessing the intensity of the problem related to pests is an efficient step towards the elimination of pests with a greater success rate. People need to understand that there are different pest controlling services available depending upon the kind of pests.

The controlling of pests needs a lot of understanding ability regarding pests. For example, their life cycle and the surroundings in which they grow more frequently. If the local area is always kept clean by properly dumping the waste, then there will be little scope for pests to infest. Though there are other pest control services available, they need to employ under only those situations where it is absolutely necessary. People need to remember that prevention is the best form of controlling pests. There are advanced fluids and liquids available in the market as part of advanced Arizona Pest Control services.

During the application of these harmful chemicals, one needs to take enough care. The proper covering of hands and nose is very important. The success of this procedure depends upon how effectively the procedure has been implemented. Depending upon natural ways like keeping the surroundings clean and checking the infestation of pests, the growth of pests can be analyzed. Pests like cockroaches appear to be of not doing enough damage, but they are the ones that are responsible for doing majority harm to the health of humans. Their growth can be contained by making food items not available to them. Meanwhile, scientists are trying to find more advanced ways to control pests that prove to be worthy.

Hemp Protein As Protein Powder

Out of the hundreds of protein powders on the market, Hemp is one of the most popular options. For good reason, too: Hemp protein has very many benefits that put it ahead of the rest of the crowd. Why should you choose Hemp protein as your protein powder of choice?

A Highly Natural Supplement

If you don’t want to use processed supplements and instead want to supplement your body using only natural substances, then hemp powder is a great way to go about doing that.

Hemp is made from hemp seeds, which is a natural plant-based seed. The distillation process of turning it from a seed into a powder doesn’t add any other residue nor does it strip away its beneficial health properties.

No Dairy

If you can’t eat dairy due to lactose intolerance, then hemp may also be a great option for you. Other supplements like Whey come from milk; and although Whey has such a small amount of lactose that even lactose intolerant athletes can consume it, you might prefer not to just to be safe.

Hemp is 100% dairy-free and is a great option if you prefer not to have dairy in your diet.

No Feeling of Bloatedness

One common complaint with other forms of protein is bloatedness. When drinking a protein shake, for example, some bodybuilders find that their stomach feels sludgy afterward. As a result, some people end up not drinking protein at all – Just because they don’t like the way it feels!

With hemp, there’s no feeling of bloatedness at all. Many bodybuilders switch to hemp for the sole reason of not wanting to feel like they’re bloated all the time. If not feeling bloaty is a priority for you, then you might want to try out Hemp.

High in Protein, Low in Fat

Hemp protein powder has a ton of protein that your body can use to build your new muscles while adding very little fat to your body.

In addition to protein, hemp also contains all kinds of other nutrients that feed and nourish your muscles.

Note that hemp does not contain THC, the active ingredient in Marijuana. Although Marijuana does come from hemp seems, hemp does not contain any psychoactive properties.

Anecdotal and Scientific Evidence Supports Hemp

Bodybuilders all over the world have tried hemp and had spectacular results. In fact, hemp is one of the fastest-growing non-fad supplements simply because of its effectiveness and proven results.

In addition to anecdotal evidence, Hemp has been studied by numerous universities. Double-blind tests after double-blind tests, as well as nutritional tests, have shown that the gains attributed to Hemp are not placebo. The consumption of hemp has a direct correlation to results shown in muscle gains.

To make a long story short, Hemp has many, many benefits. From personal preference benefits like bloatedness and taste to things like nutrition and health. The price of Hemp is very affordable – Slightly more than Whey, but in the same price bracket. Will hemp work for you? The best way to find out is to simply try it out for yourself.

Want to know more about this amazing source of Protein? Head over to read more about hemp protein and hemp seed protein powder benefits. Go to this website.

Private Student Loan Default: Set to Stage a Major Comeback

Recent governmental analysis has shown that about one-fourth of all federal financial aid is directed toward students who attend private, for-profit colleges, even though these students represent just 12 percent of the national college population.

Private student loans are non-federal loans – student loans issued by banks and private lenders, rather than by the federal government.

Private student loans are credit-based loans carrying variable interest rates that can be as much as three to five times as high as the fixed interest rates on federal college loans. Additionally, private student loans don’t generally offer flexible repayment options and borrower hardship protections offered by federal education loans.

The recent substantial drop in the number of private student loans being issued can be partly attributed to greater publicity of the drawbacks of these loans in comparison to federal student loans.

Consumer advocates, student groups, and the U.S. Department of Education have campaigned heavily over the past three years for the benefits of low-cost federal college loans over private loans, which the groups maintain are more expensive and higher risk for vulnerable student borrowers, many of whom are financially inexperienced and who may not be aware of exactly what kind of long-term debt burden they’re signing up for.

Private Student Loans Poised to Surge at For-Profit Colleges The student loan default rate among students from for-profit colleges is exceptionally high because these students – a large proportion of whom are low-income, minorities, or returning students – tend to have a harder time translating their for-profit degree into gainful employment, and they’re carrying much more student loan debt than their post-graduation income will allow them to repay.

New proposed federal financial aid regulations seek to rein in what critics of for-profit colleges see as runaway student debt levels by instituting a loan default threshold that would render a for-profit institution ineligible to offer federal financial aid to its students if its students have a sustained high student loan default rate.

A proposed federal “gainful employment” rule would also yank federal financial aid funds from for-profit schools whose students graduate with excessive debt-to-income levels and are unable, in general, to find work – “gainful employment” – that will allow them to earn enough to pay off their student loans.

But in the absence of federal financial aid, private loans remain the financing of choice among students – particularly in the current economy, with home equity, credit card lines, investments, and college savings largely decimated – and some private lenders are readying to fill in the gaps left by the suspension of federal financial aid at ineligible institutions.

According to analysts, large private student loan lenders like Wells Fargo and Sallie Mae will reap the benefits of the proposed federal financial aid sanctions, which are set to go into effect in 2012.

Lingering Recession Forces Students Toward Pricier Private Student Loans The re-emergence of private student loans won’t be limited to just for-profit colleges, however. The rise, fall, and rise-again of private student loans as a part of U.S. students’ long-term financial aid future is tied directly to increases in the costs of college and the failure of federal financial aid to keep pace with the increases.

“Increases in college costs are the primary drivers of increases in student borrowing, especially when need-based grants don’t keep pace with higher college costs,” Mark Kantrowitz, publisher of FinAid.org, told Reuters.

And as the sour economy drags on, students’ need for funding sources to help pay for college will only become greater.

Publicly funded colleges and universities are reeling from a string of spending reductions for higher education and are passing along those losses to students in the form of tuition and fee increases.

“Private student loan volume could grow in the double digits next year because of tuition hikes driven by state budget constraints,” said Michael Taiano, a financial analyst at Sandler O’Neill.

At the same time, a record number of students are seeking higher education, enrolling or re-enrolling in colleges and universities, stretching the federal financial aid budget thin.

“Federal budgets are constrained by how much in aid they can deliver,” said FBR Capital Markets analyst Matt Snowling. So, the funding gap is going to be filled by private loans here is the Website link

As the lender-in-chief for federal college loans, the federal government is also beginning to experience first-hand the impact of a growing number of loan defaults, as a national populace in the midst of a recession and 10-percent unemployment struggles to keep up with its monthly bills.

Recent graduates are leaving school with record-high debt from loans and diminished prospects for employment. Parents who in other years might have helped their children pay for college are finding themselves being turned down for federal parent loans because they have joined the ranks of the unemployed and don’t qualify for the loans based on their own creditworthiness.

Thinking About Tree Removal? Leave It to the Professionals – Arborists and Tree Surgeons

Do you have a group of trees in your garden that blocks the sun, obstruct your view, or fill the garden with mountains of leaves every autumn? Perhaps you have one or more trees that are simply so over-grown that they have become unstable/unsafe. If so, you may well have considered getting rid of them, but how would you go about it?

You may feel capable of doing the work yourself, sawing a lumberjack-style wedge out of the bottom of the tree trunk, and watching it fall to the ground while you resist the temptation to yell “Timber!”

While you may very well be capable of all of that (and it would surely be a lot of fun!), there are a number of safety – not to mention, legal – considerations that simply cannot be ignored.

For example, it is important to consider not only your own safety, but the safety of nearby people and animals. Because it is very difficult to predict the direction in which a tree will fall using the traditional tree-felling method, the safety of nearby human beings can never be guaranteed.

Then there is the risk to nearby property. Trees are often much longer than they appear upright and would therefore fall across a larger area than you might expect, making it all too likely that a nearby house or garage/shed would suffer the impact of the colossal tree that you’re toppling.

There are also the legal and social issues to consider, like boundary issues, community attachment to “heritage trees”, property ownership, problems arising from roots that cross property boundaries, and disputes over obstructions of views to name a few.

So what is the solution? Hire a professional arborist or “Tree surgeon croydon“.

The fundamental issue is simple: trees require specialist attention. Arboriculture encompasses the management as well as study and cultivation of all types of trees and shrubs.

An arborist or “tree surgeon” is an arboricultural professional specializing in the safe, controlled treatment or removal of healthy or damaged trees. The best of these are highly trained and qualified in their field, and use state-of-the-art tree removal equipment.

They will also adhere to all current legislation as well as health and safety regulations, and provide a full service, from assessment and advice, right through to clean-up and waste disposal/recycling.

If you are considering the removal or extensive treatment of one or more trees on your property, be sure to seek the help of a professional arborist before attempting any work on your own.

Cheapest Kitchen Counters Are Formica Worktops

Of all the selections on the market, Formica sheets UK is by far the cheapest choice for kitchen work-tops. In this article, I will explain a couple of ways to get it really cheap. Let me just start by saying this too: just because this style of counters is the least expensive does not mean they are poor in quality.

What Will Cause the Price to be high?

There are a few variables that can affect how much your kitchen tops cost. For instance if you have them custom-fabricated out of plywood, this can be a lot more expensive than if you just select one from the “stock item” rack at Home Depot.

Here are a few things that affect the cost:

1) The layout of your cabinets 
If you have several areas which need to have forty-five degree mitered seams, this can add a considerable amount to the cost. Angled walls -such as the popular “island layout” that has three walls which are on forty-five degree angles- will drive the price of work-tops up.

2) Color and finish of the Formica Work-top 
There are several different color, pattern and finish upgrades that make the price of laminate work-tops go up. If you select a high gloss top, this will cost significantly more than a “matte” finish. If you select a “stipple” finish style, this may cost more than a low sheen topcoat. Usually the most reasonably priced choice will be a matte finish. All granite patterns will cost more than any other design.

3) Custom Edges on Tops 
Lowe’s Formica countertops and other Super Centers offer work-tops which have special edges on them. These are stock “Post Form” work-tops and are not outrageously priced. If your kitchen requires that you have your laminate tops custom-made… adding custom edges to your work-tops will not be cheap. The cheapest option for any laminate work-top is to buy them from a place like Home Depot. If you hire a custom fabricator to make the Formica tops, the cheapest style will be the flat, ninety-degree edge profile.

There are a few other things that can add to the cost of your work-tops:

  • If you have a drop-in range, you will pay more than if your stove is free-standing.
  • Raised-bar counters add additional costs to your kitchen price.
  • Pass-through windows where work-tops are interconnected from one room to the other
  • Counters which are longer than twelve feet will require a seam.

The Ideal Factors to Ensure Low-cost kitchen Counters:

  • The cheapest kitchen tops will be “matte finish”.
  • The layout of the cupboards will not require any seams in the ninety-degree corners.
  • All of the counters should be no longer than twelve feet in length.
  • There are no angled walls in the kitchen where the tops get installed.
  • No granite patterns
  • Do-it-yourself (DYI) work-top installation (not recommended unless you possess finish-carpentry skills)

The scale from the cheapest to the most expensive work-tops graduates like this:

Least expensive: 
Formica plastic laminate

Mid-priced: 
Solid surface (Corian, Avonite, Gibralter, Earthstone)

High end: 
Authentic granite or marble