bookmark_borderMust Learn How To Do Roof Installation

Tips for Finding the Best Roofing Company

You want the best when it comes to every aspect of your home. Why should your roof be any different? Your roof makes up a large part of the home’s visible exterior and protects your family from the elements. To get the best roof, you need to find the best roofing company.

Ask Friends

Your local friends and family are an excellent source for references. Find out if anyone you know has recently had their roof repaired or replaced, and find out what they thought about the work they had done

Look for a Locally Established Company

Make sure any company you choose will be around to honor warranties or perform repairs by choosing local. Some larger companies will set up in areas temporarily and pack up after just a few years

Don’t Choose Based on Price Alone

Going with the lowest bid can be tempting. No one wants to spend more money on a project than they have to. High-quality materials, experienced installers, and insurance cost money, and any company whose estimate is too low is probably cutting corners somewhere

How Well Do They Communicate?

Find a roofing company that will be responsive to your needs and requests. If getting the company to respond to phone calls or emails is like pulling teeth, it may be time to look elsewhere

 

tips to prepare for a home roof replacement

Getting a brand new roof can be an exciting experience. Kids and pets may watch in awe as they observe roofers ripping, tearing, hauling, and nailing – they may even want to sneak as close as possible to the action. That, of course is extremely dangerous. Once the roofing company arrives, your house is a work zone. Work zones, as you can imagine, pose unexpected hazards.

Think about kids and pets

Loud noises coming from the home may increase anxiety or disturb sleep habits. While it may be exciting to watch from a safe distance, work zones are extremely unsafe for children and pets

Relocate your vehicles.

Contractors need quick access to their tools and trucks throughout the day. They need a place to load shingles and debris. You’ll want to keep your vehicles a safe distance from this area until work is completed.

Remove wall decorations

The vibrations from hammers and machinery on your roof may travel through some walls of your home, especially if repairs to the existing deck are needed

Cover belongings in the attic

During a roof replacement, numerous installers will be walking on your roof, pounding it with hammers. Dust or small debris will fall in attic spaces during a new roof installation

 

tips for choosing the best roofing contractor

Go local

Choose a roofing company local to your area, so if you need any further assistance down the line, they’re on hand to help. Avoid giving work to roofers that come cold calling at your door, as they may just be passing through, and may vanish once the work is done.

Choose specialists

Look for roofing contractors that specialise in the type of work you require. If you’re a business, choose an experienced commercial roofer. If you seek a tiled roof, find a contractor specialising in tiled roofs. If you demand specific work, such as a heritage roof or repairing of leaks, find out what credentials the roofing company has in these areas before making your decision

Testimonials

Many good roofing contractors get lots of their work through word of mouth, so ask around and choose a company that comes with rave reviews and solid testimonials. Ask to see examples of work and roofing projects already undertaken. Find out what accreditations the roofing company has. These are all examples that demonstrate high quality standards

Quality of service

A quality roofer will provide you with a free consultation and quote, so you should never be charged for these. A good roofing company will also talk through all the different options with you for your roof, without putting you under any pressure to make a decision. Importantly, if the roofer turns up on time, answers and returns your calls, and does what they say they’re going to do, this is a positive indication of reliability and trustworthiness

Don’t be swayed by price

Inevitably, you’ll want good value for money from a roofing company, but a cheap quote alone shouldn’t be the determining factor. The important thing is the quality of workmanship and materials used, because a cheap job done badly using shoddy materials will prove a false economy in the long run

 

Steps to Hiring the Right Roofer

Roofing ranks among the largest and most expensive projects a homeowner can undertake, so take the time to be certain you find a roofing contractor you trust to put a roof over your head

Whereas other home upgrades are purely elective, roof repairs aren’t a choice; they’re essential. Besides being critically important to personal comfort, structural integrity, and the resale value of your home, roofing ranks among the largest and most expensive projects a homeowner can undertake. The significant costs involved motivate some ambitious do-it-yourselfers to do the work on their own. But for the majority of us, a roofing job means hiring a professional. So if you’re at an early stage of the process, take control by finding a qualified contractor with a solid reputation. Hire well, and you can expect the roofer not only to get the job done on time and on budget, but also to offer valuable insight on the best materials for your house style and the climate where you live. So rather than flip open the yellow pages and settle on the first company listed

Get a referral

One tried-and-true method of finding a reliable contractor is to query your friends and neighbors. Within the past few years, has anyone in your life had work done on his roof? Make a list of names, reach out to each person, and ask two questions: Was he happy with the job done and would he work with that contractor again? Testimonials provide the most accurate picture of what your experience might be with a given company, and you can count on personal contacts to give you honest feedback. Outside of your circle, you can also get leads from lumber yards and hardware stores

Do your research

If you’ve identified at least three qualified roofers, you can get started investigating each one. Start by verifying the businesses’ contact information. Next, confirm that each one is licensed and insured. Consult your chamber of commerce and the Better Business Bureau to be certain there are no red flags to be aware of. Then finally look for reports on contractor review sites, such as Angie’s List.

Meet face-to-face them

Having narrowed the field, invite the prospective contractors to visit your home and scope out the job. You’ll want to discuss roofing materials and the extent of work to be done, but don’t forget to ask about the time and manpower needed for completion. Observe the contractor: He should be enthusiastic, knowledgeable, and professional in demeanor. Certainly, you’re dealing with an authority on materials and methods, but don’t be deterred from participating in the decision-making process! Ask a lot of questions and before he leaves, remember to get a list of references (then remember to check them)

 

How to Roof a House

Can you roof a house yourself?

Make no bones about it—roofing is hard work. There’s no hiding from the elements. You can’t be afraid of heights and you need to be pretty fit. Before committing to this how to roof a house project, try this: Get out a ladder and climb up onto your roof. If you can’t walk around on it comfortably, hire a pro. If you passed this first test, go to the lumberyard or home center and throw a bundle of shingles onto your shoulder. Imagine yourself carrying that load up a ladder…many, many times.

If you’re still feeling positive about this how to roof a house at this point, why not give it a shot? You can skip a lot of heavy lifting by having your roofing supplier hoist the shingles onto the roof. Be sure you spread the load evenly across the length of the roof’s peak. However, don’t have the shingles delivered to the roof if you have two layers of old shingles yet to tear off—it could be too much weight for your trusses.

Windblown heavy rain and/or snow can force water up and under even properly installed shingles. Even worse are ice dams (frozen water/snow that builds up on roof edges), which can wreak havoc by allowing water to seep up under lower shingles and then drip into your house. To guard against such seepage, apply self-adhesive waterproof underlayment (“ice barrier”), which adheres tightly to bare roof sheathing and seals around nails driven through it. Buy it at roofing supply companies or home centers. In severe climate regions, most building codes require applying it 3 to 6 ft. up from the eave (minimum of 2 ft. past the exterior wall). Call your building inspector for local details.

Tear off the old shingles

It’s impossible to properly install new flashing and underlayment if you don’t tear off the old roof beforehand. When tearing off the existing shingles, be sure to remove all the old nails or pound them flat. Protruding nails will tear holes in your new shingles. If you have movable items near your house and you’re worried they might get damaged, relocate them. Invest in a few large tarps to protect your plants and landscaping and to catch the thousands of nails that will rain down off the roof. It can be downright impossible to remove old self-stick ice-and-water underlayment, but it’s OK if you have to leave it in place. And if at all possible, have the rented trash bin parked close to the house so you can toss in the old shingles right from the roof. For more information, see How to Tear Off Roof Shingles.

Install the drip edge

Metal drip edge isn’t usually required (check with a local building official), but it gives roof edges a nice finished look, prevents shingles from curling over the edge, and keeps water from running directly down your fascia boards

bookmark_borderMust Know A Little About Electrical Maintenance

How to Build an Electrical Maintenance Program

Electrical control and distribution systems are generally complex and expensive assets that need to be effectively maintained so they operate at optimum performance over their serviceable life. It is common to find that there has been significant effort applied to managing mechanical assets, with less focus on electrical equipment.

There are many reasons as to why this is the case, but the reality is that the way asset management programs are developed should be applied equally to electrical and mechanical components of the asset.

But, where do you start? You can develop your own plan, tell people what they are now going to do and watch it all happen. Wrong! If you don’t manage the people side of the improvement, there is little hope of sustained improvement.

Acknowledge your current situation

You have to believe that there is a better way of doing things. If many of the above points apply to you, then you need to know that your situation requires improvement.

Develop a vision for your electrical maintenance program.

The vision is where you want to be in the future

 

Helpful Tips to find the Best Electrical Maintenance Services

No matter it is residential or commercial electrical breakout or upgrades the electric system, hiring an experienced and skilled electrical maintenance Service provider is important. A qualified electrical contractor will be skilled using latest tools and identify the exact faults or repairs required instantly. With several electrical maintenance services available across the city, selecting a reliable contractor is quite challenging.

Tips to Find Best Electrical Maintenance Service

Than just finding an electrician, it is important that you hire a licensed and certified electrician with proper field experience. Here follow a few tips to help you find best and reliable electrician for your home or office works

Is the electrician licensed and certified?: Make sure that the electrician you are hiring is certified and licensed. The license will be provided only to a trained and experienced electrical contractor. It guarantees that the contractor you are hiring is qualified and skilled in all types of electrical works for home or commercial.

Timely response: Unlike plumbing or house repair, electrical repairs are dangerous and they should be responded immediately. Therefore, the electrician you are approaching should respond your call immediately understanding the seriousness of instance attention to the electrical repairs.

Find through referrals: If you are unable to find reliable electrical maintenance services or individual contractor, then try to take referrals from your friends or known people. Moreover, the feedbacks provided by your friend will increase your confidence on hiring the contractor for electrical installation or repair needs. You can also search across websites and internet portals, choose, and compare the rates accordingly. This will give you a fair idea about how to approach different companies for your exact work.

 

ELECTRICAL INSTALLATION AND MAINTENANCE TECHNOLOGY

PROGRAM MISSION

The Electrical Installation & Maintenance Technology program’s mission is to serve the community as a learning-centered, open door program that provides technical training to meet the demands of the electrical industry and the needs of the individual. An open-exit option allows the students to identify their career objectives and participate in program exploration

PROGRAM DESCRIPTION

The curriculum is designed to prepare students with entry level knowledge and manipulative skills for employment in the electrical industry. The program combines theory with laboratory activities as an effective means of developing the skills essential to the electrical trade

The student begins with the fundamentals of electricity and wiring of simple circuits, then progresses to residential interior wiring, three phase alternating current power, and wiring of more complex circuits and equipment. Safety is stressed as an integral part of each shop task. Emphasis is placed on wiring in accordance with the provisions contained in the National Electrical Code

 

What is Electrical Maintenance?

Advances in the design and quality of electrical components have made it possible for electrical systems to run for years without noticeable problems. While wonderful feats of engineering, well-designed electrical systems can lull building owners and operators into a false sense of security—right up until the moment the system fails. It’s for this reason, among others, that electrical maintenance is such an important part of commercial building operations.

Electrical maintenance covers all aspects of testing, monitoring, fixing, and replacing elements of an electrical system. Usually performed by a licensed professional with a complete knowledge of the National Electric Code and local regulation

Preventative Electrical Maintenance

Early identification of problems is a key aspect of electrical maintenance. For instance, should a back-up generator sit idle until needed, it may not start due to a number of factors. Old fuel clogging a fuel filter, uncharged starting batteries, or start switches left in the wrong mode can all prevent a smooth transition to backup power. These are basic problems, easily identified and addressed through preventative maintenance

One of the major challenges to electrical maintenance is the nature of electrical wiring. It can be difficult to pinpoint the location of specific problems as the system is built into the building. Thermal imaging has become increasingly important in the industry for its ability to identify issues with both electrical connection points and equipment operation. By catching such problems early, electrical maintenance helps reduce unexpected power outages and protects equipment from damage

What is electrical maintenance? It’s an aspect of building operations no commercial facility should be without. While large scale operations may have their own on-staff electricians, smaller facilities may find it more financially viable to contract with a licensed professional for scheduled electrical maintenance and servicing

 

Tips for Maintaining Your Home’s Electrical System

There are several things that every homeowner needs to know, for example, it’s helpful to know how to fix a leaky faucet or repair a small hole in the wall. One of the more important things homeowners need to know is how to properly maintain their electrical system. The hardest part about electrical maintenance is learning the process. Here are a few ideas to help you out

Work Smart

All over the internet, there are stories of electricians who were thrown across factories by electrical surges because they forgot to turn off the electrical power to where they were working. Before you work on anything that has electricity running to it, shut off power to that area of your home. You can shut off the power to one area of your home by flipping the area’s switch in your breaker panel. Next, test that part of your homes electrical system by plugging something into it or turning it on to see if it’s still receiving power, and if it isn’t receiving power, you can start working.

Replace Old and Damaged Wiring

In older homes, it is important to regularly check your power outlets. A good inspection of your home’s electrical system once or twice a year should keep you informed about any potential electrical problems. You are looking for frayed or burnt wires. Note anything that looks out of place

Buy High-Quality Electrical Parts

There are plenty of cheap solutions to every problem in life. Often the off-brand solution is just as good as the name brand. However, when it comes to home electrical systems, you get what you pay for. One of the ways manufacturers lower prices is by lowering quality. This can be a problem because lower quality parts will wear out faster. The best way to avoid this problem to buy higher quality products.

Don’t Overload an Outlet

One of the most common problems with home electrical systems is the possibility of overloading an outlet. It is important to know how much power your utilities use and how much power your outlet will allow. Toasters, microwaves, toaster ovens and other appliances should have their own outlet because they draw a lot of power. If multiple appliances are plugged into the same outlet, you may trip your breaker

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The New Home Deep Clean: What to Clean When You Move

A new house or apartment presents so many possibilities. Bare walls, an uncluttered space, and a bare canvas upon which to make yourself a home. But before you get started on the fun parts of moving to a new place, you have to take care of the basics. Namely, the new home deep clean

Whether you’re renting or buying, move in cleaning (or pre-move in cleaning, if you’ve got some lee-way with your timing) is a big necessity. The person or people who lived there before you, no matter how well-intentioned, inevitably left behind some dirt, grime, and dust that you’ll want to take care of before you really settle in. Unless you’ve just moved in to brand new construction, that blank slate isn’t quite as blank as it looks

Cleaning a house before you move in is the ideal way to go, since you won’t have the added difficulty of needing to work around a bunch of furniture and boxes. But if you have to wait until after you move that’s fine – just don’t skip the clean entirely. The same goes for if a cleaning crew came through prior to you getting the keys. This is one corner you just don’t want to cut.

Clean high before you clean low

Dust isn’t relegated to floors and countertops. Ceiling fans, overhead lighting fixtures, shelving, and other features close to the ceiling are just as prone to getting grimy, but they (a) don’t get cleaned as often, and (b) tend to sprinkle dirt and dust onto the space below them when they finally do get a scrub down. Since cleaning these high up features will inevitably lead to the area below them getting a little bit filthy too, start at the top in each room and then work your way down.

Pro tip: Ceiling fan blades are notorious for raining down dust. To minimize the collateral damage, slip an old pillow case over each blade and wipe away from the center of the fixture using the inside of the pillow case’s top layer. Most of the escaping dust will get collected in the case, which you can just clean or toss once you’re done

 

Move In Cleaning Ready Checklist

When most people move, they’re so wrapped up with packing and move-out cleaning that they forget their future house or apartment needs to be cleaned, too. However, you want your new home to be comfortable and tidy, so it’s important to do some move-in cleaning before you unpack all your boxes

Keep Cleaning Supplies Handy

It’s crucial that you’re able to find your cleaning products and tools when you arrive at your new home. Keep them separate from your other packing by putting them in your car rather than loading them on the moving truck. At the very least, make sure they’re in a clearly labeled box and are one of the first things you unload. Then, put them in a place where they won’t blend in with the rest of your boxes, such as under your kitchen sink or even in a bathtub. That way, when you’re ready to start your move-in cleaning, you know exactly where your supplies are

Have a Game Plan

Move-in cleaning is much easier when you’ve decided which rooms you’ll address first. For the best results, clean one room at a time. Start with essential rooms, such as the bathroom, kitchen and main bedrooms. To make this easier, consider placing all your boxes in common areas, such as living rooms or dining rooms. That way, you can do a thorough cleaning job in your essential rooms without having to work around crates and piles of boxes

Organize as You Unpack

Hopefully, you’ve already taken the time to dust and wash items before packing them away. Keep in mind that some things — like dishes — may need to be cleaned again before you use them. As you unpack your boxes, take the time to organize areas that are prone to chaos, such as closets, pantries, and so forth. When you do this up front, you don’t have to worry about coming back at a later date to more or less tackle the same chore again

 

How to Clean a New Home

Giving your new house a thorough cleaning before you move in your belongings will get you off to a great start. New construction can leave dust and debris in unexpected places while buying an established home will mean that dirt can lurk in many places. In the cleaning process, you might identify some things that need to be repaired or replaced. Even if you’re moving to another state or another country, you should always clean before your stuff arrives.

How to Clean the Bathroom

The bathrooms are a good place to start because you are likely to need to use one during the cleaning process

Clean the Kitchen

Once the bathrooms are in order, move on to the kitchen. The kitchen tends to be where icky and sticky things collect, and you’ll want to get rid of the former tenant’s cooking smells

How to Clean the Stove

You may need to use a heavy-duty cleaner for the oven, and may need an appliance cleaner, such as a wax or paste. Baking soda and water work well, too, along with sponges or a heavy-duty cloth.

How to Clean the Refrigerator

Now, tackle the refrigerator. It’s always a good idea to clean it well. Unplug the fridge and let it warm up before cleaning it. It will make it easier to clean. Use a soft cloth as anything harsher will scratch the surface.

 

Ultimate Moving House Cleaning Checklist

If moving house tops the list of stressful experiences people go through in life and cleaning house tops the list of loathsome experiences people face on a daily basis, then cleaning for moving should be a truly nightmarish experience indeed. The mere idea of scrubbing floors and washing windows after the long weeks of laborious moving preparations and exhausting moving tasks may be enough to put you in panic – after all, you have only just finished organizing the myriad details of the relocation process, putting all the required paperwork in order and packing all your earthly possessions, so you are highly unlikely to have any energy left to spare

you will want to leave your old home in top-notch condition in order to be able to get your security deposit back or to make your property more desirable for potential buyers

So, no matter how tired and how impatient to close the relocation chapter of your life you may be, you need to take the time and the effort to clean your old property before moving out and your new one before moving in. Luckily, the task may not be as difficult as it seems at first – especially if you follow our simple, yet highly efficient cleaning tips for moving house

Get hold of appropriate moving cleaning supplies and keep them at hand

There are certain cleaning supplies you can’t do without when preparing your home for moving – disinfecting cleaners, glass cleaners, baking soda, white vinegar, cleaning cloths, dusting cloths, plastic or nylon bristled soft scrubbers, different kinds of brushes, furniture polish, fabric protectors, a mop, a vacuum cleaner, a broom and a dustpan, a bucket, a step stool, rubber gloves, etc. Make sure these items don’t get accidentally loaded on the moving truck with the rest of your possessions – you’re going to need them when the movers depart from your old home and then again, before they arrive in your new property

Prepare and clean the items you are going to take with you as early as possible.

You will certainly want to give your household items a good cleaning after the move, but this doesn’t make cleaning them before the move redundant – you probably don’t want to take all the accumulated dust and dirt, stains and grime, bacteria and germs to your new home, do you? Besides, wiping your items clean before the move will make your job much easier afterwards, when unpacking and arranging your new place. So, make sure you empty and clean all the furniture pieces and household appliances you intend to relocate several days before moving day and get them properly packed and ready for shipment by the time your movers arrive

 

Good cleaning strategies before Moving Out

A move can be full of chaos and stress. But, if we have some tips for cleaning and organization, you will be able to carry out in an effective way

Do you need cleaning strategies before moving? We know that when we have to move from our apartment or house we suffer a lot of stress and anxiety. This feeling takes ahold of our nerves and everything seems chaotic and disorganized.

Step by step and from top to bottom

Use boxes to organize the contents of your rooms. Making sure to label them with the corresponding room. This will make it easier to unpack and find your items.

Boxes with labels

If there is one thing common to all removals, it is the feeling of uncertainty and disorder. Where will that lamp be? Where have we kept those documents? So, if you don’t want to get upset for losing something, use labelled boxes for each group of belongings

Cleaning up Memories

A move is also a time to get rid of the old and focus on the present moment

bookmark_borderFind Out How To Make Home Remodelling

CRITICAL TIPS FOR SELECTING A REMODELING CONTRACTOR

UNDERSTAND YOUR NEEDS

Yes, you want to remodel your home, but which part are you renovating? According to statistics, more than 35% of remodeling contracts involve the whole house. For this, you may need some architectural design and advice. Your design build contractor should be capable of handling your needs.

CLIENT REVIEWS

estimonials by past clients are the best place to start when looking for a remodeler. You’ll get honest customer feedback on the quality of services to expect, as well as details on how complaints on the job are resolved. Use this to determine whether the contractor is right for you or not. Your ideal design build remodeler should strive to resolve complaints as quickly as possible

SEEK REFERRALS

Yes, you must hire a competent home remodeling contractor. However, you may not have the time or expertise to find such a person. What do you do in this case, settle with any contractor that comes your way? Of course not! Seek referrals from someone you can trust. Let your friends and relatives tell you about their best home remodeling experiences.

CHECK FOR EXPERTISE

Expertise should be among the top qualities of a home remodeling contractor. A team of design build remodelers shouldn’t just be competent at their work, but also experts in it. Home remodeling contractors Montgomery County Pennsylvania homeowners trust are experts because of years of experience. Therefore, check the number of projects that a contractor has completed.

CHECK FOR EXPERIENCE

By now you know a design build remodeler becomes an expert after years of experience. Therefore, hire competent remodelers who have seen and done everything relating to home remodeling. For instance, do you want to remodel your kitchen? Then look for a remodel contractor who can assess the scope of work, time, and labor that’s required ahead of time.

 

How to Find a Good Contractor for Home Improvement Repairs

You’ve likely seen the story on your local news: A fly-by-night contractor swoops into town and scams dozens of homeowners out of thousands of dollars each before disappearing without a trace.

No one wants to go through such an ordeal. And yet it happens all the time, especially during the summer when more homeowners start home improvement projects.

The vast majority of contractors are honest and trustworthy, but there will always be those who are ready and willing to run a scam and run off with your money. So how can you make sure you find a reliable and reputable contractor who keeps their promises? And how do you make sure you’re hiring the right professional for the job? Let’s take a look.

Do You Need a Contractor or Handyman

Take a look at your project to-do list. Perhaps you need to replace the roof, fix the leak under the kitchen sink, re-tile the hallway floor, and install a ceiling fan in your son’s bedroom. You’d also like to build a small deck for summer cookouts.

Some of these projects are relatively easy to complete, while others are far more complex. So the question becomes: Do you need to hire a contractor, or will a handyman suffice?

 

Must-Know Tips for Hiring a Remodeling Contractor

Do Your Homework

This rings true for both your project itself and the individual you’re hiring. For the remodel, you’ll want to have a clear idea of what you want the end result to look like and a realistic budget of what you’re prepared to spend. For the contractor, you want to focus on individuals who can show prior experience with your type of project, preferably with testimonials and work samples. You’ll also want to find people who are both accredited and insured.

Interview Multiple Contractors

Once you have found two or three contractors that seem capable of doing the work, you’ll want to interview them. Ask them questions such as whether or not they’ve ever taken on a project of this scale, if they feel confident in their ability to pull the necessary permits for the job, and how long they envision everything will take.

Get Quotes

After completing your interviews, feel free to ask anyone that you’re still considering to provide a quote for the project. The quote should include the cost of materials for the remodel, as well as a price for the estimated number of labor hours.

Put it in Writing

Once you’ve settled on the contractor that you feel is the best fit for your job, make sure to get the terms of their quote into a legally binding contract. This contract should include items like a payment schedule and the process that should be followed for making changes to the original project terms. It should also be signed by both parties.

Be Flexible to a Point

Unfortunately, remodeling will never be an exact science. Even the best contractors will sometimes run into unforeseen problems once they open up walls or inclimate weather may slow down speedy progress. Homeowners should expect a little wiggle room in terms of budget and timeframe

 

tips for finding a contractor

Best time to search for a contractor before a project starts.

Renovations can be fun and we all want to rush and get it done. It’s a wise plan to do as much research as possible and have everything planned out before searching for a contractor. Projects aren’t cheap and they do take some time to finish depending on the size of the job. Write down everything you plan to change from the type of materials to a list of trades men needed. The better the planning the more you’ll get an accurate estimate.

Where to look for a contractor.

Searching for a Home renovation contractor in Victoria bc can be tough because we don’t know who will do the job right. At Realty Contracting we put together an easy source to serve our clients with the right trades. What makes us unique and trusting is we have a big reference of realtors that use our services to serve their clients with our reputable contractors. Realtors rely on their reputation, so to them having the right contractor is a valuable service to their sellers and buyers. All of our contractors in Realty Contracting are used by our listed realtors. What makes it easy is all you have to do is post your project and let a contractor find you. Get started today.

Getting the best price.

Let’s face it we all like the best deal when it comes to a big renovation investment. But it’s true, not all lowest prices are the best deal in the long run. There are a few things to keep in mind when searching for the best deal.

Have everything in writing

At this point in your project you should have everything planned out for a written contract before starting your project. A written contract should include, starting date, detailed cost, materials included, and labour involved. Not documenting your project in full detail will only lead to conflict, it’s your word against theirs. It’s normal during a project for changes to be made in a contract we call this a change in work order for an increase in cost or lowering the cost. You may want to ask a before starting, if there will be any other unexpected change in an estimate.

 

Tips for Choosing a Home Remodeling Contractor

When it comes to home improvement projects, you may find that many of them are not “do it yourself.” If it’s time for a home , it may be in your best interest to leave it to a professional who knows what it takes to deliver high-quality results. Choosing a contractor to lead the project is a big decision and shouldn’t be taken lightly. After all, who you hire could have a huge impact on the outcome of the project and your level of satisfaction

Experience

The type of remodeling project you’re considering can play a huge role in which contractor you choose. For example, if you’re making changes to your bathroom, you don’t want to hire a contractor that doesn’t have experience in . Whether you’re changing the look of one room or doing a major overhaul of your home, it’s best to find a contractor who has experience and expertise in many different types of remodeling projects. Ideally, you want someone who can do it all.

Project Details

Be sure you know exactly what you want to accomplish. Be specific about how you want the finished project to look. Think about the materials you want to use and how much money you have in your budget. Are you willing to compromise on certain elements if you need to? Which changes are top priority? Letting the contractors you’re interviewing know these things up front can give you an idea of whether or not they’ll be able to deliver the results you’re envisioning.

Interviews

Choosing a contractor to  your home should be taken very seriously. After all, their expertise directly impacts the quality of the project, and a remodel is a significant financial investment. As a general rule, it’s wise to interview at least three contractors for your job before you make a decision. Use that time to get to know the contractor. Try to get a feel for their work ethics, priorities, and overall dedication. Don’t be shy when it comes to asking questions. It’s better to be thorough now than regretful later. The answers you get could be the deciding factor between one contractor and another.

Insurance

Before you hire a contractor, check with your insurance agent to see what’s covered by your homeowner’s policy regarding home repairs and remodeling. Make sure the contractors you’re interviewing have insurance, as well, and that their policy has adequate coverage for your projects. Checking this out ahead of time could help save you a huge headache later.

bookmark_borderTips The Best To Choose Led Electrical Lighting

LED Boat Lights – Improve Efficiency and Performance

Their high energy usage is just one reason why many governments have begun phasing out traditional light bulbs in favour of energy efficient alternatives like CFLs and LEDs. But for those who are unfamiliar with modern lighting options like LEDs, making the switch to a new style of light bulb can seem like a daunting prospect. Understanding what LEDs are and how they work can ease the process of finding the right bulb and switching to energy efficient lighting. Keep reading to learn more.

What is an LED?

“LED” stands for “light emitting diode”. The first two parts of this name are easy to understand – “light emitting” means that it gives off light – but what exactly is a “diode”, and what does it do? To answer that question, we have to get a bit scientific.

All diodes emit photons (particles of electromagnetic energy), but only certain types of diodes emit that electromagnetic energy as light instead of heat. A light emitting diode is a type of solid-state lighting (SSL) technology, meaning that it emits light from a piece of solid matter. In this case, that piece of solid matter is a two-lead semiconductor. We’ll explain how this works in the next section.

Types of LEDs

There are two basic types of LEDs:

  • Indicator– an inexpensive, low-power device that is used as indicator lights in cars, panels, and other electronic devices.
  • Illuminator– a high-power device that provides illumination. These are the type of LEDs you buy to illuminate rooms in your home or office. They can be found in a variety of styles, shapes and colours suitable for almost any application.

 

The Advantages of LED Lights for the Environment

Taking care of the environment is a responsibility that everyone should feel accountable for. Most of us are already aware of environmentally friendly processes such as recycling to minimise the amount of waste we produce and reduce our carbon footprint. However, a lot of people are unaware of new and upcoming technologies that we can use to help reduce carbon emissions. A good example of this is LED lighting, which provides many environmental advantages.

Energy Efficient

LED lights are up to 80% more efficient than traditional lighting such as fluorescent and incandescent lights. 95% of the energy in LEDs is converted into light and only 5% is wasted as heat. This is compared to fluorescent lights which convert 95% of energy to heat and only 5% into light! LED lights also draw much less power than traditional lighting; a typical 84 watt fluorescent can be replaced by a 36 watt LED to give the same level of light. Less energy use reduces the demand from power plants and decreases greenhouse gas emissions.

No Toxic Elements

LED lights contain no toxic elements. Most offices currently use fluorescent strip lights which contain noxious chemicals such as mercury. This will contaminate the environment when disposed of in landfill waste.  Disposal has to be arranged through a registered waste carrier so switching to LED avoids the cost and time implications required for compliant disposal – and helps to protect the environment from further toxic waste.

Less Lights Needed

LEDs have a better quality of light distribution and focus light in one direction as opposed to other types of lighting which waste energy by emitting light in all directions, often illuminating areas where light isn’t required (such as the ceiling). This means that less LED lights are needed to achieve the same level of brightness given off by fluorescents and incandescent lights. Fewer lights will reduce energy consumption and will therefore be a benefit to the environment.

Life span

A longer life span means lower carbon emissions. LED Lights last up to six times longer than other types of lights, reducing the requirement for frequent replacements. This results in using fewer lights and hence fewer resources are needed for manufacturing processes, packaging materials and transportation.

 

The lifetime cost of LED bulbs

Okay, this is why LEDs are really cool.

The first thing you need to realize about the lifetime cost of LEDs is that they are VERY energy efficient, as in 80% more efficient than incandescent bulbs. So, a 10 watt LED bulb is equivalent to a 60-watt incandescent bulb.

One LED light bulb will last 25,000 hours (there are some that last even longer), compared to the 1,200 hours one incandescent bulb will last. That means you’ll need 21 incandescent bulbs to get to 25,000 hours.

If an incandescent bulb costs $1, you’ll need to spend $21 to get as many hours of light as you’ll get from one $5 LED. This immediately equals a savings of $16 with LED bulbs.

But, lighting your home is more than the cost of your bulbs. You are paying the per kilowatt cost to power those bulbs, and this is where LED lights shine. See what I did there?

No doubt, LEDs are just more energy efficient – a 10 watt LED bulb does the same work as a 60-watt incandescent bulb. This is saving money and reducing your carbon footprint.

At an average of $0.12 per kWh, it will cost $30 to power an LED bulb for 25,000 hours.

Using that same per kilowatt average, it will cost $180 to power incandescent bulbs for the same length of time.

 

Understanding energy-efficient light bulbs

When considering a CFL vs. an LED bulb to replace an incandescent one, it helps to understand the basic differences in the three major light bulb technologies on the market today:

  • Incandescent bulbs are the familiar pear-shaped or round screw-in light bulbs that have been marketed since Thomas Edison perfected the carbon filament bulb in 1879.
  • CFL (compact fluorescent lamp) bulbs are commonly manufactured as a spiral tube connected to a screw-in ballast or base. Newer technology replaces the curly light bulb with one that looks like the traditional incandescent bulb. They also now come in round and flame shapes.
  • LED (light-emitting diode) bulbs are a newer technology. Once only available as a longish tube, bulbs now come in nearly every shape and size, including flexible ropes for decorating.

 

WHAT ARE THE DISADVANTAGES OF LEDS?

LED: DISADVANTAGES

  1. High up-front costs
  2. Transformer compatibility
  3. Potential color shift over lamp life
  4. Performance standardization has not yet been streamlined
  5. Overheating can cause reduced lamp life

bookmark_borderMust Know To Take Care Possums In Your Garden

How To Trap Opossum

The traps should be set in locations the animal frequents or where it is causing damage. Fish, canned cat or dog food are good opossum baits. To readily entice the opossum into the trap, use a small trail of bait leading to the trap. All traps should be checked in the morning and evening, so that captured animals may be dealt with in a humane manner.

Release the animal several miles. Check with your game and wildlife department before trapping and releasing them.

Description/Biology

Opossums have a repulsive, musk-like odor and can be an occasional nuisance when they enter crawl spaces, under decks, garages, and similar areas. They nurse in the mother’s pouch for about 3 months.The average number of young is 6, but as many as 13 may be born.

  • The opossum is 2-3 feet long. Its head is white to yellowish with a pink nose, black eyes and bluish black, naked ears.
  • Adults are long-haired, light-gray, and about the size of a large cat weighing 4-15 lbs.
  • It has a long scaly tail, black at its base, grading to yellow-white or pink for the rest of its length.

 

Expert Tips

Before trapping an opossum, become familiar with the trapping and relocating laws in your area by contacting your local game commission.

The best time of year to trap an opossum is late fall through early winter, before the breeding season.

Stabilize your trap by placing a brick or weight on top. This will prevent animals from knocking the trap over, and will keep the trap from rattling when an opossum enters it.

Using a small amount of bait, create a trail that leads the opossum inside. Be sure not to use too much bait to prevent the opossum from becoming satisfied before stepping inside the trap.

An opossum may pretend to be dead – or “play possum” – when you try to release him from the cage. This is a normal defense mechanism that opossums use when threatened. Be patient and step away from the trap so the opossum can exit when it’s ready.

 

POSSUM TRAPPING WITH KILL TRAPS:

Possum kill traps have the advantage of killing possums humanely in the trap, this also means they do not have to be checked as regularly as live capture traps.
It is not recommended to use kill traps in areas where pets or non target animals may be able to access the trap.
Like leg hold traps, possum kill traps are set on or near trees where there is regular possum activity.
There are a variety of different kill traps available in New Zealand. The possum kill traps sold by Maintrac Group have been used and tested extensively by DOC and other pest control operators. These have proved to be humane and have a high kill rate, they are also safe and easy to use.

 

Professional Humane Animal Trap

The Professional Humane Live Animal Trap is a relatively big wire mesh trap that prevents possums from escaping once they are inside in the trap. You can put this outside in all weather conditions since the material resists rust.

The possum cannot cause damage to the trigger rod due to its location on the outside of the trap. Stay safe when you release the possums you catch elsewhere due to the positioning of the handles. The bait hook is capable of holding all bait types you use for possums. You can attach the bait within seconds, making setting up this trap easy.

Pros

  • The trap has a very sensitive trigger
  • Animals cannot scratch or bite when you handle the trap
  • More than one possum fits in the cage
  • Possums cannot escape even if they move the trap
  • You can make minor changes to the trap if you need to

Cons

  • The bait hook may be too big for certain bait types
  • Possums may snatch the bait from outside of the trap

 

How to Get Rid of Possums

Possums are usually non-aggressive animals, but they can create unsanitary conditions and may turn aggressive if they become diseased. There are several ways to get rid of them if they are hanging out in your yard. Most solutions simply involve making the environment less appealing. However, you can also set traps to capture possums and physically remove them if other simple solutions don’t work.

Scaring Possums Away :
Set up motion-activated lights or sprinklers.
 Place a motion-activated device near the perimeter of your house, at the front of your property, around fruit trees, or on any other spots where possums frequent. Once the device is triggered on the animal several times, it won’t want to come around again.

  • Motion-activated devices are triggered once the possum crosses the sensor but they are also triggered by anything else that crosses the sensor.
  • Motion-activated sprinklers tend to be slightly more effective than motion-activated lights. Lights are enough to frighten away skittish possums that are afraid of humans, but water sprinklers work better with possums that are a little more mature and a little harder to startle.

Scatter dog or cat fur in the areas that possums frequent. Collect pet hair after brushing your dog or cat. Place the hair in small mesh bags and hang them or scatter them around areas at which possums frequently gather.

  • The smell of a potential predator might be enough to deter many possums from hanging around.

Spread something that smells potent. Ammonia and garlic are scents that possums tend to flee from. If using ammonia, pour a small amount of ammonia into a coffee can with a lid. Place a rag inside the ammonia and bring one end up through a hole cut into the lid. The rag will act as a wick to disperse the fumes. Place one of these containers in every area where possums gather.

  • Place a clove of crushed garlic in any area that you want neighborhood possums to avoid. Crushed garlic is better than whole garlic since crushing it first allows more of the scent to escape.

Apply a chemical repellent. Chemical repellents can be applied to gardens, flowerbeds, or the base of a structure. Purchase a product from your local home improvement or hardware store. Follow the instructions on the repellent to apply it safely. Most repellents consist of a powder that is sprinkled over the desired area.

  • Different repellents use different ingredients, but predator urine is often one element of it.

bookmark_borderTips To Take Control Wasps At Your Home

Safe and Natural Ways to Get Rid of Wasps

WASPS can be nerve-wracking and unpleasant, especially when in your home or garden. Unlike many other common pests, stopping them comes with the added worry of receiving a nasty sting, but there are ways to get rid of them safely, and stop them coming back.

Along with being irritating, noisy, and unpleasant, they can also give a nasty sting, meaning tackling them can be slightly tricky.

But there are many ways to get rid of wasps and stop them coming into your home, both chemically and naturally.

Toxic wasp sprays offer one of the best solutions, but can be harmful to humans and make the surrounding air unpleasant to breathe.

Peppermint oil

It can be better to opt for more natural solutions, such as peppermint oil.

Peppermint is a cheap, easy and efficient way of getting rid of wasps, as they don’t like any type of mint.

According to a study published in the Journal of Pest Management Science in 2013, wasps are almost always kept away when faced with peppermint oil.

In addition to planting mint in the garden for preventative measures, simply add a dew drops of the oil to a tissue or cotton pad and place around the garden where wasps’ nests are found.

Theses areas include decking, porch roofs, sheds and under or behind crevices

Sugar and water traps

Another way to naturally and effectively get rid of wasps is by setting out a honey trap, using sugar and water.

This works by attracting wasps to the glass or bottle of sugar and water solution, where the wasp will then crawl inside and not be able to escape.

The wasp will then get trapped and likely die.

Soap and water

One easy and very cheap way of getting rid of wasps in your house or garden is simply by spraying or dousing them in soapy water.

Soap kills wasps by suffocation, clogging their breathing spores so they almost instantly die

 

Differences Between Bees and Wasps

Bees have robust, rounded bodies made up of one section, whereas wasps are slender and have a tapered waist area that connects their thorax to their abdomen. Bees are hairy, while wasps are more smooth and shiny. Bees feed on pollen, while wasps feed on insects. If you see something buzzing near a flower, it’s more likely to be a bee than a wasp. Honeybees die after stinging, whereas wasps can sting and fly directly away.

 

Prevention

It’s easier to prevent an invasion of wasps than it is to get rid of them when they’ve settled in.

  • Empty and wash your bins regularly, and keep them away from windows and doors so that wasps are not attracted to their contents.
  • Check your loft for any gaps or holes in the roof, as this is one of the most common ways they can get in to your home to build a nest. Seal up any gaps, and put insect mesh over grille vents or air bricks.
  • Inspect your home – particularly the loft, shed, garage or under the eaves – and garden in the spring months to see if any small nests are being constructed. These will be about a golfball in size, and contain fewer insects.
  • When the queen starts laying eggs, they will grow in size rapidly to accommodate the new bugs, and that’s when they become more difficult to get rid of.
  • Keep sweet-smelling plants, which may attract wasps, away from your doors and windows.

 

Here’s our advice to you for getting rid of your wasp nest:

This was probably about the size of ours above the door. Plenty scary enough!

  • Use a good amount of dishwashing liquid in a hose-end sprayer, about 1/4 cup.
  • Get the water going until the suds begin.
  • Blast the nest from as far away as you can be (bee? ha!) while still maintaining a powerful spray.
  • Do the deed in the evening (dusk or later) after all the wasps have come home for the night.
  • And wear long pants and sleeves, just in case…especially if you have low water pressure. Winking smile

 

How To Kill Wasps Trap Wasps

Trapping wasps is a good way to keep their numbers under control. You won’t get rid of all of them, but you can reduce their numbers so they will bother you less or so you can deal with them easily by removing their nests. Here are a couple of good ideas for creating wasp traps.

Soda Bottle Wasp Trap

Cut the top third off a 2-liter soda bottle. Remove the lid, and invert the top into the bottom of the bottle. Secure it in place with duct tape and pour in about an inch of liquid bait (recipe below).

Glass Or Plastic Jar Wasp Trap

Using a good sized jar (e.g. a pickle jar or a peanut butter jar) drill a hole in the lid just big enough to poke a pencil through. This should be just about the right size for wasps to slip in. Pour about an inch of liquid bait in the bottom of the jar and spread the inside of the lid with jelly. Put the lid on the jar.

Place either of these traps in areas where you have seen wasps. The idea is that the wasps will smell the bait and enter through the small opening. Then they will be unable to get back out again, and they will eventually drown in the bait.

Check every couple of days to see what you’ve caught. When the liquid fills with dead wasps, it’s time to start fresh. With the soda bottle trap, you should just toss it. With the jar trap, you can clean it and reuse it. Be careful not to get stung by any of your prisoners! [source]

Wasp Trap Bait Recipe

Use beer or a 50/50 mixture of beer and water. Many people find this works very well.

Alternately, you can make a sugar water and apple cider vinegar (ACV) mixture to attract wasps but should not attract bees and other beneficial insects.

Here’s how:

Mix ACV and water 50/50 and then add sugar at half that rate. So, if you combine 2 cups of ACV and water, add 1 cup of sugar. Mix in Dawn dish soap at a rate of one teaspoonful per cup of solution.

Allow the sugar to dissolve and use the mixture as bait. This mixture will keep in a closed container in your fridge indefinitely.

bookmark_borderMust Know To Use Upholstery Cleaning For Your House

Easy maintenance tips after a professional upholstery cleaning

Keep your home properly ventilated

Proper ventilation can help with odour control as upholstered furniture can easily absorb odours which even weakens the foam. Any initial signs of dampness can also be tackled effectively if the area is proper ventilated.

Avoid exposure to the elements and pollutants

Position your furniture such that the upholstery does not get damaged. Avoid extended periods of exposure to direct sunlight as well as close proximity to uncovered windows. Even rain water spray and any other airborne pollutants like fumes from cooking or smoke can harm the fabric and cause it to fade and even fray.

Use an upholstery protectant for your sofa

Using any protective product is one of the best ideas to prevent spills from penetrating deep down into the fibers and becoming stains. It basically serves as an invisible plastic sheet, making it easier to keep upholstered furniture clean and in pristine condition. Scotchgard is one such plasticising agent. It seeps into the fabric and prevents dirt and oils from working their ways into the sofa fibers and affecting it.

Cover your furniture

Use a sofa cover or a slipcover for protection and decoration. A piece of fabric draped over or tucked into a sofa will do the job. You can buy something new or use convert something you already have at home like a blanket, sheet or a tablecloth. The slipcover takes care of the sofa, arm rests and cushions and will absorb the brunt of daily use and dirt. Remember, you can change out or wash the slipcover as often as you want, and using different patterns or colours for different seasons or occasion is a fun way to change the look of the place.

Tackle any new spills or liquid-related mishaps immediately

Attend to any new stains as soon as you can with a clean cloth and use specialised cleaning products made for your upholstery fabric. Follow the special care instructions that can be found for the affected furniture. It will help reduce the long term effect of the stain or dirt build-up.

 

Best upholstery cleaner 2020: refresh fabric and remove stains

On the hunt for the very best upholstery cleaner? Even in households that don’t have pets or children, stains and spills are inevitable, and if you do have kids/pets, well, you’ll know all about (constant) upholstery cleaning and the importance of finding an effective product.

Here, we list the very best upholstery cleaners at the best prices for you to tackle the job at hand. Most are in spray form, but some are bars or use brush application for on the spot cleaning. Our recommendations come based on how effective they are at removing stains and cleaning the product they are intended for – some may only be suitable for certain fabric types and some are primarily designed for carpet but may be used for furniture too. Read the information on each, but remember to check any care instructions that came with your upholster before cleaning. We have more info on choosing the right upholstery cleaner at the end of this article, for those who need it.

 

How to Clean a Fabric Sofa

You need to review your manufacturer’s instructions:

Always, always check the manufacturer’s cleaning instructions before attempting to remove stains from your sofa or freshen up your couch. Failing to do so could void warranties or flat-out ruin your couch.

The tags can answer many cleaning questions:

If you can’t find the manufacturer’s instructions, don’t fret. There should be a tag on your sofa cushions that clues you in on important facts, such as whether the material is water soluble. Keep in mind that one side of the tag may address the cleaning of the sofa cover, while the other will provide information for washing the cushions themselves. Make sure you’re looking at the correct tag before you clean.

Properly reading a cleaning tag can save you a lot of grief:

Typically, you’ll find one of four letters on the cleaning tag of your sofa. Here’s what each means.

You should never deviate from the recommended cleaning methods on the tags:

Water may seem innocuous, but if you use it to clean a couch that specifically calls for a solvent-based cleaner and nothing else, you’re going to be in for an unpleasant surprise. Believe it or not, the water will actually leave a stain on your sofa. Don’t risk ruining your furniture. Stick to the tags. They know what’s best for your couch.

 

The Right Way to Clean a Couch, According to a Top Expert

Once your sofa is clean and dry, kill any lingering germs and odors on water-safe upholstery with a fabric sanitizing spray like Tide Antibacterial Fabric Spray.

Clean dingy arms and headrests with a portable extraction cleaner like Bissell’s Little Green ProHeat Portable Cleaner. Simply dispense the cleaner and water mixture through the hose, agitate the fabric with the brush nozzle, and vacuum up the dirt into the tank. For solvent-only fabrics, it’s best to call in a professional for a safe and thorough cleaning.

If your cushions have removable covers, unzip them and place a paper towel between the fabric and filling to absorb cleaner. Apply the cleaner to a cloth and blot the stain carefully, working from the outside in. Once the stain is removed, dab the area with another damp cloth to rinse thoroughly and blot dry. For “S” fabrics, remove stains with a solvent-based product according to package directions.

For fabrics that can safely be cleaned with water, treat food and pet stains with an enzyme-containing formula like Bissell Professional Pet Stain & Odor Remover. In a pinch, mix together mild dish soap with warm water. Always test any cleaner in a hidden area first.

With your vacuum’s upholstery attachment, go over the entire sofa: back, arms, skirt, and cushions. If the cushions are removable, take them off and vacuum the fabric underneath, going as far under the back and arms as your vacuum can reach. With the crevice tool, go along the seams, around any buttons, and along the trim.

 

DIY Tricks for Maintaining and Cleaning Upholstery

Vacuum and Dust Furniture – Often

Keep dust, dirt or crumbs on upholstery at bay by making it a habit to vacuum most fabric surfaces with an upholstery attachment. This helps to lift general crumbs and dirt that was transferred from the floor onto the fabric surface (thanks, socks). A quick vacuuming helps to keep the dirty stuff from becoming more embedded, and also helps to prevent it from becoming an agitator – like sandpaper – which can cause the areas you sit or place your feet show signs of wear faster than other areas.

Rotate Cushions

Flipping the base cushion(s) and rotating loose throw pillows or back pillows on a sofa will prevent uneven wear on the surface of the upholstery. If you always sit in the same spot, switching up the cushions will also help to prevent the foam or inserts used from developing the dreaded butt dent.

Clean Spills or Marks as Soon as Possible

Keep a bunch of clean, white absorbent cloths handy for spills. When a spill happens, the first course of action is to absorb, do not rub, especially colored liquids like juice or wine. When you’ve absorbed as much as possible (don’t stop trying until your white cloth is no longer picking up the color of the spill), spot treat the fabric. Most store-bought treatments will advise how you should continue to clean the spot after application to absorb additional pigments of the stain. Spot cleaner is good, but it may still take some elbow grease.

Invest in Fabric Cleaner (and Avoid Ordinary Multi-Surface Cleaners)

Mixed as a 50/50 ratio, it’s inexpensive and convenient to keep a spray bottle of white vinegar and water on hand for lifting light dirt and stains.

Apply a Fabric Protector

No professional skills are required to apply your own upholstery protector. Treating fabric early and then adhering to an upkeep routine is the best way to ensure that your upholstery will hold up to general wear and tear and clumsy spills. Products on the market are both inexpensive and simple to apply – sprays are most common. Always check manufacturer guidelines because some products may be damaging to silks or velvet materials, and when in doubt, test on a hidden surface.

bookmark_borderChoose The Best Accountant For Your Company

Tips for Finding the Right Tax Accountant for You

Where to Look for a Tax Accountant

Some accountants are jacks-of-all-trades, while others specialize in certain areas. You don’t want to hire someone who has never handled an audit before if you’re being audited, but by the same token, you probably don’t need an audit expert to explore tax-advantaged savings for your new child’s education.

Beware of Red Flags

Be wary of an accountant who promises you a giant refund right from the start before even analyzing your personal financial situation. The same goes for someone who says that you can deduct an excessive number of expenses before really talking to you.

Those Retail Franchises

Retail tax franchises such as H&R Block, Jackson Hewitt, and Liberty Tax Service offer competent help if you just want to file a relatively straightforward tax return. Sometimes you can even find certified public accountants (CPAs) and enrolled agents (EAs) working in these offices.

Different Types of Tax Professionals: Enrolled Agents

EAs are the elite, at least as far as IRS credentials are concerned. They’ve passed rigorous testing and background checks administered by the IRS. The testing involves three parts.

Certified Public Accountants

CPAs have passed the rigorous Uniform CPA Examination and they’re licensed by the board of accountancy in the state where they work. They have accounting degrees from a university or college, and continued licensing requirements involve meeting certain character and experience thresholds.

 

How to Find a Good Accountant for Your Small Business

Referrals – ask other business people about their accountants.

Find out who other business people use and how satisfied they are with the services their accountant provides. If you don’t or can’t get any worthy referrals using this method, use the internet or yellow pages and choose several accounting firms.

Call the four or five accountants you’ve selected and ask to discuss their services.

Ask him or her about his education (such as whether he’s a CA or CGA) and about his experience with your industry. You can also check with their professional association to see if their stated qualifications are valid and there are no outstanding disciplinary issues.

Prepare a short list of questions you want to ask prospective accountants.

Don’t be shy about asking about billing. Ask about billing rates and how these are determined. Often you may have a quick question that can be answered via a short phone call or email – how do they bill phone or email advice?

Meet with the prospective accountant(s) you’ve chosen, and ask your questions.

There’s nothing like a face-to-face meeting for gauging how well you might work with another person. Besides assessing the accountant’s knowledge, see how comfortable you are with him or her and how well the two of you communicate with each other. When you choose an accountant for your business you’re going to be establishing a long term relationship, so feeling comfortable with them is important.

 

How to Find the Best C.P.A. or Tax Accountant Near You

Why you need to be careful when choosing a C.P.A.

Each year, the I.R.S. compiles a “Dirty Dozen” list of tax scams. Although the scams are wide-ranging, many of them include actions taken by shady tax preparers, such as promising inflated refunds, falsely claiming deductions and credits, or encouraging clients to avoid their tax obligations.

Compile a list of potential C.P.A.s and tax accountants

Like with most service providers, a great way to find a C.P.A. or accountant is to ask for a referral. But don’t just go with the first name you get — compile a list of three or four potential accountants.

Search the I.R.S. directory.

The one qualification every paid tax preparer must have is a preparer tax identification number, or P.T.I.N. Anyone can apply for a P.T.I.N. online for free, so a P.T.I.N. alone isn’t indicative of the person’s skill or experience.

Check with your state or national associations.

Many state boards of accountancy and state C.P.A. societies maintain online directories of members or can provide a list of tax pros in your area when asked. Not every C.P.A. prepares taxes, so you may need to do some research online or call to see if the people on your list provide the type of tax services you need.

Consider free tax-preparation resources.

If you make less than $56,000 per year or are age 60 and older, you may want to look into having your tax return prepared through the Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) or Tax Counseling for the Elderly (T.C.E.) programs.

 

TIPS TO FINDING THE BEST ACCOUNTANT FOR MY BUSINESS

Additional Services

What issues are most important to you? Where do you see your business going? If you anticipate some major growth for your business you may want to have an accountant who is familiar with business and strategic planning, budgeting, cash flow management, and estate planning.

Has Worked With the IRS

Having to face an audit is stressful enough. Having to rely on an inexperienced accountant who has never faced the IRS only adds to the grueling experience.

They Are Active in the Local Community

This was touched upon earlier, but accountants should be members of the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA), state societies of CPAs, and other professional groups to help them stay current on accounting and tax changes. They should also be active members of the local community so that you can see what they value.

Firm is Right Size For Your Business

A smaller accounting would work best with a small business. It just wouldn’t make sense for an accountant who works with enterprises to work for a company that only has three employees.

Available When Needed

If you have an emergency, will the accountant make the time to take your call and handle the crisis when needed?

 

How to Hire an Accountant

Business advisory services. Since an accountant should be knowledgeable about your business environment, your tax situation and your financial statements, it makes sense to ask them to pull all the pieces together and help you come up with a business plan and personal financial plan. Accountants can offer advice on everything from insurance (do you really need business interruption insurance or is it cheaper to lease a second site?) to expansion (how will additional capacity affect operating costs?). Accountants can bring a new level of insight, simply by virtue of their perspective.

Accounting and record-keeping. These are perhaps the most basic of accounting disciplines. While it makes sense for many business owners to manage their day-to-day records, an accountant can help set up bookkeeping and accounting systems and show you how to use them. A good system allows you to evaluate profitability and modify prices. It also lets you monitor expenses, track a budget, spot trends and reduce accounting fees required to produce financial statements and tax returns.

Tax advice. Accountants that provide assistance with tax-related issues usually can do so in two areas: tax compliance and tax planning. Planning refers to reducing your overall tax burden. Compliance refers to obeying the tax laws.

Auditing. These services are most commonly required by banks as a condition of a loan. There are many levels of auditing, ranging from simply preparing financial statements to an actual audit, where the accountant or other third party provides assurance that a company’s financial information is accurate.

bookmark_borderMust Know How To Take Care Carpet Flooring

EVERYTHING YOU NEED KNOW ABOUT CARPET

How to Choose the Right Commercial Carpet Installer

​The entire process not as complicated as it may seem. Here are a few factors you need to consider while choosing your commercial carpet installer:

  1. Compare Cost and Value for Money

It’s always preferable to take quotes from several businesses, as most of them have different pricing plan. According to your set budget, shortlist the businesses that come under your affordability. That doesn’t mean you should pick the cheapest service, as they mostly lack quality and skilled workers to perform up to the mark.

  1. Evaluate Different Designs

Carpets are made out of polypropylene, nylon, wool, polyester, acrylic, and other cotton materials. Choose the material that can stand the foot traffic in your office and is comfortable.

You’ll find carpets in various colors, shapes, and textures. Pick the design and color which looks best with your furniture and wall paint. If your furniture and wall paint is light colored, you should go for carpets with warm colors to create a contrasting effect and make the floor look attractive.

  1. Research About Market Reputation

If you have shortlisted a few commercial carpet installers by now, try to find out about each business’s reputation in the market. Check out their website or social media page, and have a look at recent customer reviews and comments. You can also chat with people who have reviewed the business for further questions. That’ll give you a better idea of how good the service providers are at what they do.

  1. Ability to Meet Deadlines

Therefore, you should ascertain whether the prospective service provider is capable of completing commercial carpeting projects promptly. Before signing an agreement, always mention the timeframe clause in the contract. Usually, it takes one day per room, but it all depends on the covered area of each space in your office.

  1. Have a Look at the Service Provider’s Clientele

While carpet installers with a large clientele reflect on the quality of their services, it is recommended that you avoid choosing the company that already has a lot of clients lined up for orders.

 

Sustainable Carpet

We’ve reached a time where the young homeowner demographic is comprised, primarily, of millennials. And not to pigeonhole an entire demographic, but as a group, millennials tend to care a lot about the brands they purchase from and how their purchases impact society, the environment and more.

It’s not enough to sell gorgeous floors at a low price. Manufacturers and retailers alike need to bring something likable and respectable to the table.

You’ve seen that Dawn commercial with the little bird and their soap, right? That is the stuff people care about these days. And with the ability to reduce our carbon footprint using sustainable and recycled materials, to not jump in headfirst would just be irresponsible.

 

You want to hide seams.

Ugly seams can make your carpet look… well, ugly. Finding a good carpet installer is half the battle against seams. A professional installer will make a blueprint for carpet installation that will include as few seams as possible. The seams they leave behind will be hidden under furniture and other out of sight places when possible.

The bad news is in many cases you will end up with seams no matter how great the installer is.

The good news is there are ways to reduce how visible the seams are and one way is with your color choice. So what is the best color for hiding seams?

Go with a dark-colored carpet. Darker colors do the best job hiding gaps between different pieces of carpet.

 

Go with the flow

Using the same carpet throughout the house gives a feeling of continuity and helps small homes feel more spacious but complementary carpet designs can deliver a similar effect while linking rooms more creatively.

‘You can create a visual flow through adjoining living spaces by choosing carpets with a common background or accent colour,’ says Jeremy Wilson of Ulster Carpets.

‘Provided the colour palette is the same, using tonal stripes, patterns and plains alongside one another gives individual spaces their own personality without creating a busy look.’

 

Mold grows on carpet.

Carpet does NOT promote mold. Carpet does NOT promote mold.True, and not true. If you have a flood: true. For normal household use: not true. Mold requires three things to grow: A food source, a suitable temperature, and moisture. Almost any interior space provides a suitable temperature, and many things in your home can provide a food source for mold. This includes wood, natural fiber clothing, natural fiber carpet, wall board, dirt, and many other things in your home.

What is usually missing in your home is moisture. However, a flood, leaking roof, leaking plumbing, leaking window, or excessive condensation can add moisture to your home. A high relative humidity (over 70% for extended periods), can also promote mold growth. Basements are common areas where people have moisture issues.

If you do not have walls or clothing growing mold, then carpet will not be an issue either (unless your floor is wet/damp). If you do have mold, then carpet is not the issue. Moisture is. Address the moisture immediately, and consult a mold remediation expert.

Mold is not a carpet issue. It is a moisture issue.