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.




  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.


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 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.


  • 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


  • 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.



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.



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


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.

bookmark_borderChoose The Right Time To Make Exterior Painting

Exterior Painting Preparation Ideas

There’s more to exterior painting than coming up with paint color schemes. Nearly half of the house painting process is preparation. Before you open that paint can, follow these steps to guarantee your exterior paint will look great and be sure to last.

  1. Before house painting, wash the exterior

Before you tackle painting your home, be sure to wash your house exterior from top to bottom, all around.

A thorough washing means a clean surface, maximizing the adhesion of the new paint to your home. Let your home dry for at least a day before moving on to Step 2.

  1. Scrape and let dry before you think about exterior paint

After the house has thoroughy dried, scrape away any flaking paint. A standard paint scraper, a little elbow grease and a lot of patience are all it takes.Scraping the house while it’s still wet will only result in more flaking paint once it dries.

  1. Apply caulk before you tackle exterior home painting

Caulk any cracked seams between clapboards or along vertical junctions. Fill voids and cracks with caulk until it overflows, then wipe away the excess with a damp rag or towel. Be careful not to caulk gaps between structures that are supposed to be there for ventilation purposes — for instance, between the edge of a soffit and a gutter.

  1. Make repairs … then consider your exterior paint colors

Repair any damaged or rotted areas first. In extreme instances, this may require the assistance of a carpenter or handyman. Don’t get in over your head with jobs that call for replacement of clapboard, stairs or overhangs.

  1. Apply primer first when house painting

Prime any bare or exposed areas on your home’s exterior with an exterior-grade oil-based primer. This will seal the bare wood and create an air- and moisture-tight barrier between the house and your new paint job. A light sanding by hand, or with a palm sander for especially rough bare spots, is highly recommended prior to priming

  1. Trim nearby plants and trees before applying exterior paint colors

Landscape and trim any trees, bushes or plants in close contact to your home.



Priming Your Home’s Exterior Before Painting

On most unpainted exterior surfaces, the standard procedure calls for a primer coat followed by two topcoats of paint. This procedure is also recommended for any painted surface that requires significant scraping and repairs. However, you may be topcoating only because the surface is dull or because you want a new color. If that’s the case and the existing paint is sound, a single coat of “one-coat” acrylic latex paint applied properly offers adequate protection and coverage in lieu of the two topcoats.

Be sure that your primer is appropriate for the surface you’re painting. Cedar and redwood, for example, usually require an oil-based primer to seal the surface so that tannin stains don’t bleed through the topcoat. Also make sure that the primer and topcoat are compatible. How do you know? By telling your supplier what you’re painting, reading the label, and (though not always necessary) using the same brand of primer and topcoat. To make it easier for a colored topcoat to cover primer, have your paint dealer tint the primer to the approximate color of the finish coat.


There are two basic types of exterior paint to choose from: oil-based and the more commonly used latex.

  • Oil-based paints are very durable and water-resistant. They result in hard finish and are often used by professional painters. Use an oil-based if the surface you are painting has already been painted with oil-based paint.
  • Stir oil-based paint frequently, as the oil in these types of paint tend to separate quickly.
  • If using oil-based paint, be sure to use a brush or roller specifically designed for use with oil-based paint.
  • Latex exterior paints have undergone many improvements, and some can be as durable as oil-based. They are also considerably easier to work with. Be sure, however, that you select an exterior latex for use on the outside of your home, not the same latex used on interior walls.
  • Latex is easy to apply, dries quickly, is durable and is resistant to the effects of direct sunlight. Cleanup is easy, and just requires water.
  • Acrylic latex is the highest-quality latex paint. It will cover just about any building material including masonry and properly primed metal.
  • Important: Never put a new coat of latex over an old coat of oil-based paint. It will almost certainly peel.


Getting Started

  • Complete exterior repair and preparation. See Prepare Your House for Exterior Painting below.
  • Check the weather forecast before starting the job. Rain or high wind can cut a day of painting short and ruin what’s already been applied. Exterior latex is fast drying, but it still needs time to dry before it gets hit by rain. Oil-based paint definitely needs curing time; check the manufacturer’s recommendations. Paint when temperatures are above 50 degrees Fahrenheit and below 85 degrees Fahrenheit. Heavy rain or high humidity on a newly painted uncured surface can cause blistering.
  • Set the ladder up on flat ground. For more about ladder safety.
  • Avoid painting in direct sun. Paint the west-facing side in the morning and the east in the afternoon.


Practice Good Maintenance

You can extend the life of a good paint job by:

  • Inspecting the caulk every year and replacing any that’s cracked or missing.
  • Removing mold or mildew.
  • Washing stains from nesting birds and pollen.
  • Touching up blisters and peels before they spread.

bookmark_borderThe Right Tips To Make Home Inspection

What Is A Home Inspection And How Do I Hire An Inspector?

Ask if you can be present for the inspection

A home purchase involves not only a lot of time involved, but a substantial amount of money as well. With so much on the line, it’s wise to be present for the inspection. You do have the right, but there are more benefits. The home inspector can point out certain things about the house and you can become educated about the property that you are buying. Double check before you hire a home inspector whether it’s sonalmitted for you to be present for the inspection.

Check to see if the home inspector is bonded and insured

A home inspector is not required to be bonded or insured. However, it’s very wise to look for a home inspector who is. This means that the company has insurance and has secured money to an insurance company in the case that they are sued by a client for their work. It provides an extra level protection for you as a client of the home inspector.

What experience should I look for In a home inspector?

The survey showed that over 75% of the real estate contracts contained contingencies based on home inspections. Thus, as such a pivotal step in the purchase a home, it’s important to check the training, education and qualification of the home inspector that will be used. For example, in Florida, an individual must comply and complete certain requirements that are regulated by the Florida Department of Business and Professional Regulation. Each state has their own requirements, its therefore important to ensure you hire a state certified home inspector.

What is a home inspection?

A home inspection is simply an assessment of the home. This inspection is conducted by a qualified and trained home inspector. Seventy-two percent of Americans believed that their home inspection before the purchase of their home helped them avoid potential issues with their home, according to a survey by the ASHI.


tips to find a home inspector

Get up to date on province-based home inspection regulations

Many homeowners assume that home inspectors are licensed and regulated across Canada. This is simply not the case. In the 1990s, the National Home Inspector Certification Council (NHICC) was put in place to oversee standards and to develop a national designation. Home inspectors who complete the program become National Home Inspectors in Canada. However, having this certification and designation is not mandatory. While the NHICC program is backed by multiple stakeholders, such as the Canadian Real Estate Association (CREA) and the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC), there is nothing in place to prompt wide-spread adoption of this designation.

Ask about memberships and home inspection certifications

After you confirm that the home inspector has all required certifications, find out whether they are members of associations. A couple of examples include the Canadian Association of Home & Property Inspectors (CAHPI) or the Canadian National Association of Certified Home Inspectors, Inc. (CanNACHI). “If you’re in British Columbia or Alberta, those provinces have a web directory that you can go to and the directory provides the names of those that meet the licensing standards in B.C. and Alberta,” says Allen.

Interview multiple home inspectors and ask what they look for

When you go to buy a new car, you don’t walk into the first dealership and purchase the first vehicle you test — so what makes finding a home inspector any different? Ask as many questions as you want, keeping in mind that their expertise will result in the decision to purchase your most expensive asset. The key is to for you to feel comfortable with their skills and expertise. For instance, you could ask the following.

Expect and ask for a home walkthrough

Ask potential home inspectors if you can be there for the walkthrough, which takes anywhere from two hours in a condo to four or more hours in a single family detached home. If the inspector hesitates or tries to persuade you that your presence isn’t necessary isn’t the right person for you. On the flipside, if an inspector tries to coordinate a walkthrough so that you can attend, this is a great sign.

What to expect during a home inspection walkthrough

Inspectors look at everything from appliances to HVAC systems but he or she cannot inspect elements that are covered up or hidden. If a homeowner has stacked a dozen boxes in front of the electric panel, your inspector won’t get a chance to inspect that integral home component. As a result, it’s always a good idea to send a message to the seller (through your agent) to ask for easy access to all integral systems within the home.


The Home Inspection: Do’s and Don’ts for Home Buyers

Do get more than one home inspector

It’s in your best interest to choose a home inspector with care. Your real estate agent may recommend an inspector, or the seller might offer to show you a report from a home inspection they’ve had done. To avoid any conflict of interest and to get the most objective information on the home’s condition, you’ll want an independent home inspector. And because things move quickly after an offer is accepted, you may even want to research inspectors while you’re house hunting.

Do get a home inspection for new construction

Even if you’re buying new construction, a home inspection should still be on your to-do list. A home inspector may evaluate a home differently than a county or municipal inspector, whose job is to determine whether new construction complies with building codes. At a bare minimum, a home inspector is a new set of eyes double-checking that there aren’t any loose ends (or unconnected ducts).

Do be there for the home inspection

It’s recommended that buyers be present during the home inspection. Following the inspector from room to room will allow you to ask questions as they go. That will help you better understand the inspection report — which can feel pretty intense, especially if you’re a first-time home buyer — and learn more about your potential new home.

Don’t get in the home inspector’s way

While you’re encouraged to tag along and ask questions, don’t impede the home inspector. You should also stick with them, rather than heading off to other parts of the house. For example, if they’re checking the bathroom water pressure and you start running the kitchen sink, it could mess with the results.

Don’t be afraid to negotiate with the seller

You shouldn’t expect the seller to take care of every last item in an inspection report — a thorough home inspection can easily list dozens of separate defects — but you may want to negotiate the cost of major repairs that were not included in the seller’s disclosure.


Tips for Choosing A Reliable Home Inspector

Verify You Can Tag Along During the Home Inspection

While you are not required to go along for the inspection, it is in your best interest to do so. The home inspector can explain all the different things he or she is looking for while also giving you valuable insight into the state of the home. If you do choose to purchase the home, your trip with the home inspector will get you acquainted on where everything is in your new home, get you educated on general maintenance of the major components in the home, and take note of any areas that may give you trouble in the future even if they are not major issues right now.

Choose an ASHI certified or InterNACHI Inspector

Inspectors that receive certification with ASHI (American Society of Home Inspectors) or InterNACHI (International Association of Certified Home Inspectors) undergo rigorous technical examinations in addition to following a strict code of ethics. This is not to say there are not some fantastic home inspectors who do not hold these certifications, but it is just another level of confidence for you when selecting a home inspector.

Find Out What the Inspection Includes

The best home inspection will be a thorough one, where the inspector goes over every little detail of the home. You want an inspection that looks at every component of the home including: plumbing, electrical, structural condition, heating and AC, basement and foundation, roof and attic, appliances, pest evidence, and any environmental issues such as mold, radon, asbestos and lead paint. Most home inspections should take two to three hours to complete. If you are purchasing a larger home, a fixer-upper or an older home, the inspection will more than likely take even longer. Just make sure you know going in exactly what you are getting.

Is the Home Inspector Insured?

Finding out about insurance is one of the most important questions to ask when interviewing a home inspection. Climbing in attics and wandering through basements and crawl spaces does carry a certain amount of risk, which is why reputable home inspectors carry insurance. If the home inspector accidentally gets injured during the inspection, you don’t want to have to worry about liability.

Ask Your Realtor for References

One of the best resources for picking a home inspector should be your realtor. If your agent has been in business for any length of time, they have probably encountered quite a few home inspectors. By observation, your agent can see who does a thorough job and who does not.


Choosing the Right Home Inspector

Buying a home? It’s probably the most expensive purchase you’ll ever make. This is no time to shop for a cheap inspection. The cost of a home inspection is very small relative to the value of the home being inspected. The additional cost of hiring an InterNACHI-Certified Professional Inspector® is almost insignificant.

You have recently been crunching the numbers, negotiating offers, adding up closing costs, shopping for mortgages, and trying to get the best deals. Don’t stop now. Don’t let your real estate agent, a “patty-cake” inspector, or anyone else talk you into skimping here.  InterNACHI-certified inspectors  perform the best inspections by far.

InterNACHI-certified inspectors earn their fees many times over. They do more, they deserve more, and — yes — they generally charge a little more. Do yourself a favor… and pay a little more for the quality inspection you deserve.

bookmark_borderChoose The Best Dentist

How to Choose a Dentist

Pick a Partner

Above all, you want to choose a dentist who can be a part of your total health care team. “So much of your dental health can impact your overall health,” Dr. Taylor-Osborne says. “Look for someone who can be a coach to motivate you, a trusted advisor to turn to when health issues arise and a partner to make dental care decisions with.”

Meet and Greet

To find the right dentist, don’t be shy about calling or visiting the dentists on your list before deciding. “Schedule consultation time with the dentist to meet with the dentist and staff before making an appointment,” Dr. Taylor-Osborne says. “Make a list of questions and bring your records so the dentist can take a look at your dental history if you want to ask something more specific.” You’ll also be able to see if the office is welcoming, comfortable and neat.

Launch the Search

Now that you’re looking for a dentist, you’re probably noticing advertisements online, in the newspaper and even in your mailbox. Social media sites may also have patient reviews of dentists near you, but remember that every person’s dental health needs and experiences are their own.

Start with the Basics

Regular visits are key to a healthy smile, so start with the details that work best with your lifestyle and dental care needs. Some things to consider include


How to Find a Good Dentist

Ask People You Trust

Ask people you know and trust, like family, close friends, and co-workers. Do they have a happy, bright smile? Find out who keeps it that way! As soon as one of them begins to acclaim their dentist, get that name and number for the next step towards your most beautiful smile.

Get a Referral from a Physician or Pharmacist

Ask your family doctor or your local pharmacist. It’s a safe bet that these medical professionals have vetted out the dentists they use. Doctors and pharmacists often get feedback on dentists near them, so many times, you’ll get a great idea of the best dentists in your area using this method.

Search the Database of Your Chosen Dental Society

Compare practices from different associations such as the AADSM, ADA, AGD, etc. Here are links to dentist searches at the major associations listed above

Review Your Dental Insurance Network

Although dental insurance doesn’t necessarily need to play a part in this decision like medical insurance might, this is still one good way to find a good dentist.

Google It (Or Use a Dental Provider Review Site)

It sounds almost too simple, but reading patient recommendations will answer many questions you have, and help add to or eliminate some offices from your list. You can even start by searching “dentist near me” and sorting by the top-rated reviews.



Check Up On Them

Do a background check on them. Get in touch with your State Dental Board to check the credentials of your chosen dentist.

Research the Costs

The best dentist isn’t always the cheapest one. Studying to become a dentist and the costs of running a dental practice are high. If one of your shortlisted candidates is way cheaper than the others, they could be cutting corners to save costs.

Arrange an Interview

Choosing the best dentist is an important decision, so why not interview the candidates? Even if you have to pay for a consultation, face-to-face encounters with your shortlist of dental professionals can help you to choose the best dentist for you.

Go to Google

Use technology to your advantage while searching for the best dentist near you. You can use local search on Google to pinpoint nearby practitioners. Visit their websites to check out their credentials and find out more about them. Is their website professional and up-to-date?

Ask the Right Questions

While you have the practice on the line, ask as many questions as you can about the services offered.


Finding a Dentist

You and your dentist will be long-term oral health care partners; therefore, you should find someone you can be comfortable with. To find a suitable dentist to meet your needs, consider asking the following questions as a starting point:

  • What are the office hours? Are they convenient for your schedule?
  • Is the office easy to get to from work or home?
  • Where was the dentist educated and trained?
  • What’s the dentist’s approach to preventive dentistry?
  • How often does the dentist attend conferences and continuing education workshops?
  • What type of anesthesia is the dentist certified to administer to help you relax and feel more comfortable during any necessary dental treatment?
  • What arrangements are made for handling emergencies outside of office hours? (Most dentists make arrangements with a colleague or emergency referral service if they are unable to tend to emergencies.)
  • Is information provided about all fees and payment plans before treatment is scheduled? If you are comparison shopping, ask for estimates on some common procedures such as full-mouth X-rays, an oral exam and cleaning, and filling a cavity.
  • Does the dentist participate in your dental health plan?
  • What is the dentist’s office policy on missed appointments?


How to Find a Good Dentist

The first incident occurred several years ago. At the time, Vasso was a single mother and her health insurance wasn’t terribly robust, so her options of which dentist she could see were limited. “I went to this quiet, dark office in the basement of a building” in a nearby town. The office was mostly empty, save for the dentist himself, and Vasso recalls thinking, “this is scary.” Undeterred by her gut intuition, she went through with the appointment. “He cleaned my teeth and at the end he said, ‘you have a cavity. I’m going to need you to come back for a filling.’ I know my teeth. I have extensive knowledge about nutrition and how that affects dental health,” and she says she suspected she didn’t actually have a cavity.

Before she was even able to get clarification on where and how severe these cavities were, she’d been herded to the front desk to settle her bill and make several more appointments for additional dental work. Vasso decided she didn’t trust that dentist and made an appointment elsewhere for a second opinion. As suspected, that subsequent dentist confirmed she had no cavities at all, let alone six of them. “Can you imagine them drilling into my teeth for no reason? It blows my mind,” she says.

bookmark_borderPick The Best Divorce Lawyer For Your Solution

Tips on Choosing The Best Divorce Attorney

Divorce can be a painful and stressful experience for many. It is a legal proceeding that involves the dissolution of a marriage between husband and wife. There are two parties: the husband and the wife. Then there is a third party, which is commonly known as a divorce attorney. The role of a divorce attorney Nashville is very important because no marriage can ever be dissolved without the help of a divorce lawyer. Therefore, it is imperative for you to select the best divorce attorney in your area.

Make sure to get the views and opinion of people you know who have faced similar circumstances and have managed to handle it well. Ask them if they know someone who will not only provide you with legal support and guidance but will also take good care of your emotional needs. However, it would be wrong to get too captivated with the recommendation. You need to choose someone whose expertise and experience can prove valuable in your case.

It is time to collect the basic details about prospective lawyers. Look for their credentials and qualifications. Make sure to choose someone who possesses an extensive amount of experience in Family Law. Area of specialization plays a vital role in deciding the outcome. So you ought to look for someone who specializes in handling divorce-related cases. The more experienced the attorney, the better. You may even ask the prospective lawyer to show you his or her degrees and certificates.


Tips for How to Choose a Divorce Lawyer Who Will Be Right for You

Use Your Head But Listen to Your Gut.

The first nine tips are all important. They are  logical and rational. But, when you’re trying to choose a divorce lawyer, logic isn’t the only thing you need. If you meet a divorce lawyer and the little voice in your head is screaming “Run!,” do yourself a favor. Listen to it! There’s probably a reason that your alarm system is going off. If you’re not sure whether you’re being overly sensitive, here are a few warning signs to look for.

Make a list of questions to ask BEFORE you interview any one.

It’s normal to be nervous when you go talk to a lawyer. That’s especially true when you’re talking about something as personal as divorce. Plus, going through a divorce itself is emotional.Your natural nervousness may make it difficult to focus when you are talking to an attorney. Once you are in an attorney’s office, you may forget what you wanted to ask. You also may not remember the lawyers’ answers.

Interview at least 2 or 3 lawyers before you choose a divorce lawyer.

Going to two or three different lawyers’ offices and telling your story over and over again can be exhausting. It’s tempting to want to just hire the first lawyer you meet. Resist the temptation. Take the time to meet at least two different attorneys.

Find a lawyer who is experienced in family law.

When you are getting a divorce you want to have an experienced attorney by your side.  This is not the time to hire your cousin’s boyfriend’s uncle who specializes in estate planning. You need a lawyer who regularly works in divorce.

Take lawyer ratings with a grain of salt.

Lawyer rating agencies are not infallible. A lawyer who chooses not to advertise, or who doesn’t participate in a particular rating site’s program, may end up being rated poorly. That may be true even though s/he may be an amazing attorney.  So, it’s often hard to tell if a lawyer is good or bad based solely on some lawyer rating agency.


Tips for Choosing the Right Divorce Attorney

Go with your “gut” – finding the right “fit” is a must in the attorney-client relationship.

Not every family law attorney will be the right fit for you, even the ones who coming highly recommended. If you value an attorney who can hold your hand throughout the process and educate you about each and every development throughout your case, be cautious of attorneys with too high of a caseload who may not have the time or support to be in communication with you. If you need an attorney to assist with the division of interests in a closely-held family business, you will need an attorney with a business background, or at the very least an attorney with a strong network of reliable financial consultants. Not all family law attorneys have the knowledge or skillset to handle high asset divorce cases. Likewise, not all family law attorneys are proficient at handling contentious custody matters or allegations of domestic violence or abuse and neglect. Don’t be afraid to ask your attorney if they’ve handled a case like yours. At the end of the day, you are your best advocate and you must follow your instincts when choosing an attorney to advocate on your behalf.

Choose an attorney who sets realistic expectations.

Domestic relations matters are by nature emotional because they involve conflict between people who were once in love but have developed irreconcilable differences. Betrayal, distrust, and hurt feelings are natural, as is anger. When anger dictates a client’s approach to their case, the client may want to inflict pain on the other party. However, tearing a “pound of flesh” doesn’t advance your case or your best interests. If you hire an attorney who will do exactly what you want without advising you along the way, then you are setting yourself up for failure. An attorney who fails to set realistic expectations will not only disappoint but will drag you through unnecessary turmoil in the process.

Choose a divorce lawyer you trust.

Throughout the divorce process, you will need to share private and sensitive information with your divorce attorney – the good, the bad, and the ugly. Your attorney must know everything that the other party may use against you. Bad facts are easier to manage if your attorney is made aware of them early on. Your attorney will also have a different perspective than you on whether certain facts are legally relevant or not. You must be able to trust your attorney and be comfortable opening up to them. With that in mind, remember that your attorney is not your best friend or your therapist; your attorney is there to “counsel” you by providing legal advice. If your attorney inserts him/herself too much into your life, their ability to provide objective, sound advice about your case can be compromised. The best attorneys are those who are able to maintain a caring distance, to be empathetic yet objective.

Prepare for your initial consultation.

Jerry Maguire’s repeated mantra, “help me help you, help me help you…” rings true for legal representation. If your lawyer works harder than you on your case, not only will your bill reflect as much, but so will your final outcome. Your attorney should have an intake process that not only screens for potential conflicts of interest but also streamlines identification of factual disputes and legal issues. When you attend your initial consultation, it is important that you come prepared with information about your family – know and be able to convey the assets and debts comprising your marital estate, all sources of income and expenses and the division of child rearing responsibilities. Your attorney should look for ways to provide cost-effective and efficient services, rather than ways to add billable hours. One of the best ways to avoid unnecessary costs and attorney’s fees is for you to help your attorney gather information and think outside the box. After all, you know the ins and outs of your life better than any attorney, mediator or judge ever will.

Find an attorney with experience in family law in your jurisdiction.

It is important that you find an attorney with experience in family law to handle your divorce, meaning a substantial portion of their practice should be invested in family law cases. An attorney who doesn’t specialize in divorce and custody matters may not be able to provide competent representation if they are unfamiliar with developing legal nuances. Not only should your attorney have family law experience, they should also have experience in your jurisdiction. An attorney who knows the local rules and procedures in your county and is familiar with the rulings and approach of your judge will be able to advise you on the best strategy to protect your interests.



Use the Martindale-Hubbell Law Directory

This law directory contains names and profile data of lawyers in the country. Use it to find experienced divorce attorneys. Talk to these attorneys and pick the one you like.

Get Referrals from Your Insurance Firm

Insurance agencies know many lawyers from different fields. Call your insurance agent and ask for a referral.

Visit Local Law Firms

Research law firms in your area and pay them a visit. Many firms offer free initial consultations. During your consultation. get more information on the kinds of cases they have experience working with.

Try the Classifieds

Pick up a magazine or go online to check the services section in the classifieds. You might get some luck and find a listing for a divorce attorney.

Use the Yellow Pages

Get the Yellow Pages and search the listings for divorce attorneys. You can either go old school with the physical yellow pages or look at an online directory.


Tips For How To Choose A Divorce Lawyer

Go with your gut. The first nine factors are all very logical and rational. But, when you meet a particular lawyer your gut starts screaming “Run!,” then do yourself a favor. Listen to your gut. If you are not sure what your gut is saying, here are a few hints.

Make a list of questions to ask BEFORE you interview any one. It’s normal to be nervous when you go talk to a lawyer, especially about something as personal as divorce. It’s also normal to be super-emotional when you are going through a divorce.

Interview at least 2 or 3 lawyers before you choose a divorce lawyer. Going to two or three different lawyers’ offices and telling your story over and over again can be exhausting. It’s tempting to want to just hire the first lawyer you meet.

Find a lawyer who is experienced in family law. This is not the time you want to talk to your cousin’s boyfriend’s uncle who specializes in estate planning, but is willing to do you a favor and handle your divorce.

Take lawyer ratings with a grain of salt. Lawyer rating agencies are not infallible. A lawyer who chooses not to advertise, or participate in a particular rating site’s program, may end up being rated poorly, even though s/he may be an amazing lawyer. Their mediocre rating is really only a reflection of the fact that that lawyer has chosen not to be part of the rating program.