Should I Repair Or Replace My Residential Roofing

Questions To Ask A Roofing Contractor

Are you licensed, bonded, and insured?

The first thing you should ask a roofing contractor is if they’re licensed, bonded, and insured.

  • Licensed: For a contractor to get a license, all they have to do is register with the state’s board of licensing contractors. The price of the job will determine what license they’ll need.
  • Bonded: Being bonded means that a bonding company knows that a contractor does business correctly and ethically. A bond ensures that if a company goes out of business during the middle of a job or if there’s a problem with the work and they don’t fix it, then the customer can fall back on the bond company.
  • Insured: All contractors should be fully insured with general liability, workman’s comp, and a company vehicle insurance policy on all the vehicles owned and unowned.

Don’t be afraid to ask to see physical copies of each. Any roofing contractor with all three should be proud and more than happy to show you that paperwork.  Keep in mind, the state you live in will have different requirements for each of them. Some states might not even require the contractor to have one or the other. Research your local codes and make sure the contractor you hire has all appropriate permits and paperwork.

Is your business local?

When looking at contractors to hire, it’s crucial that you pick one that’s local to your area. Always ask a roofing contractor where their physical office location is and make sure they have a local phone number. This ensures you know where to find them if you ever have a problem with your roof.  Be aware that some out of state companies come in after a big storm, undercut local roofing company prices, get the money, and move on to the next storm-hit town. These companies don’t care about local codes or if they properly install your roof.  On the other hand, a quality local roofing company will know what local installation codes to follow, the paperwork required, and everything else they’ll need to ensure your roof is correctly installed and in compliance with your state’s requirements.

 

How long have you been in business?

When you invest in a roof replacement, you need to ask and look up how long they’ve been in business in your area. If you choose a newer roofing company that’s a couple of years old, chances are their prices will be a lot cheaper.  The problem is they don’t know how to price jobs correctly to have retained earnings at the end of the year to get them through the winter months. That’s when a new company will shut down.  That’s not to say there aren’t good young companies in your area. However, five years from now, you want to make sure the company will still be there to take care of your roof investment. Make sure you choose a contractor that’s established and has a strong history in your area. The longer a roofing company has been in the business doesn’t make them any better, it just means that they’ll be around if there’s a problem.

What is your workmanship warranty?

Roof warranties are in place to protect your roof investment. You’ll have one on your roofing materials and another on the contractor’s workmanship. You must ask a roofing contractor what kind of warranty they offer on their workmanship. They could offer anywhere from one year, two years, three years, five years, 10 years, 25 years, or even a lifetime. For example, a company that relies heavily on caulk will give a two-year workmanship warranty because the caulk will fail within a couple of years. However, if a roofing company really cares about how your roof is installed, they’ll provide you with a lifetime warranty.

 

Tips for hiring the ideal roofing contractor for your home

For a homeowner, one of the biggest hurdles to overcome if you plan to replace or fix your roof is selecting the best roofing contractor. This is especially important if your roof has sustained damage from a natural disaster so the necessary repairs can be done immediately and you can get on with your life.

But don’t just pick the first service provider who knocks on your door. Find a professional, honest, and trustworthy contractor. It may be challenging at first, but the rewards are great, especially since your roof is an important investment. Selecting the ideal roofing contractor will give you peace of mind, make your home safe, and won’t drain your wallet.

Go local for easy access

Every roofer you encounter will probably try to entice you with “high-quality services,” but you should pay more attention to their location. Work with a reputable company that has an office in your area to reap the following benefits:

  • Local businesses are familiar with the weather in your area, so they’ll know what will damage your roof
  • They can attend to roofing. emergencies faster, so you won’t have to wait for days to hear from them.
  • Local roofing contractors often honor their warranties.

Don’t hesitate to get the company’s complete address and visit their office to know how far they are from your home. That way, you can easily reach them.

Check out their experience

It takes a long time to master a certain skill. If your roofing contractor has been in business for years, this is a sign that they’re professionals and they know what they’re doing. Years of experience also indicates that they can help you handle insurance claims and have warranties you can trust.

 

Ask for references

Aside from reading online reviews or local directories, check out your roofing contractor’s references. If possible, get in touch with the homeowners your service provider previously worked with for honest feedback and complaints.

When you’ve managed to contact the previous customers, ask the following:

  • What type of job did the contractor complete for you?
  • Were you happy with the contractor’s work?
  • Were you regularly updated on the status of the project, and were your calls promptly answered?
  • Will you hire the same provider for your next roofing project?
  • Were the rates reasonable, and did they reflect the quality of work?

Inquire about emergency services

If your roof suddenly caves in, can you rely on your service provider even after business hours to come to your rescue? When faced with an emergency, knowing that you can go to your contractor for help will make you sleep better. Keep in mind that delaying repairs is risky and may lead to more accidents.

 

How To Protect Yourself When Hiring A Roofing Contractor

  • IMPORTANT: Never provide a payment before any services have been initiated. A roofing company should never ask for payment “up front” – this is a BIG RED FLAG! Advanced Roofing, as with any other reputable company, does not require a payment until we begin work on your property. At that time, we will either require the initial payment sent from your insurance company, or 50% of the total cost of the project if you are providing the payments personally.
  • Validate their general liability insurance. Ask for proof of insurance and call their insurance provider to confirm that their policy is current. The policy should cover at least $1,000,000 for each occurrence and $1,000,000 for general aggregate. You can also ask for a document called an Insurance Acord Certificate that would be written out to your specific address. This certificate basically acts as a contract ensuring that the company’s general liability insurance will not go into default or be cancelled while work on your property is in progress.
  • Visit the company’s website. What you’re doing right now is one of the easiest ways to get a better understanding of a company and the services they offer. In addition to providing general information, the company should also include helpful information for the customer.
  • It may seem obvious, but be aware of appearances. Do the company and the representative present themselves in a clean, professional manner? Does their vehicle have information related to the company clearly and professionally displayed (magnetic signage can be a warning sign)? All of our representatives wear SOS Roofing shirts when conducting face-to-face business with our customers, and our vehicles are marked with professionally applied graphics that clearly show our logo, phone number and website address.

Advantages To Using A Professional Carpet Flooring

Tile to Carpet Transition Options for a Stunning Floor

The transition between tile and carpet is the last step in most tile installation projects. It’s the final touch that can give your work an elegant and thorough look. However, it’s also one of the things that can disrupt the flow of your tile installation project

Finding the best tile to carpet transitions options can be a challenging task. For starters, you have two completely different materials, each with their unique particularities and different resistance to wear and tear. Besides their specifications, you also have to take the height of the different flooring options into account and make sure that the edge won’t turn into a potential tripping hazard for the residents.

Things get even more complicated when the carpet was installed before the tile. In this case, making the transition from carpet to tile look seamless can be a real challenge. Regardless how annoying tile to carpet transition can be, you can’t leave the job site until you tackle it. Of course, you could, but then you wouldn’t be able to call yourself a professional tile installer, right?

How to Transition from Tile to Carpet

One of the things that make transitioning from tile to carpet so prone to mistakes is that it looks like an easy enough task. Just install the tile and then cut the carpet where the tile section ends, right?

Instead, you should roll the edge of the carpet back from the tile. Install tack strips about half an inch away from the edge of the tile. Then, once the tile installation project is over, you can roll the carpet over the strips and push it onto the nails you hammered into the subfloor.

 

PROTECTING CARPET DURING CONSTRUCTION & MOVING

Commercial movers and tradesmen are obligated to protect the homeowner’s hardwood floors and carpeting and hard surfaces. They may utilize floor runners to create a main travel path, but this will still leave large portions of carpeting and flooring unprotected. And consider the stress during interior home renovations, when tradesmen must traverse back and forth, removing demolished material and hauling in new components and equipment to get the job done on schedule and without incident. Your professional flooring materials and carpeted areas are at risk of major damage if not protected.

Avoid Costly Damage to Carpet and Flooring

When steel-toe booted workers enter a property, they know that the flooring products are considered an investment. A high-quality flooring installation is meant to add value to the property. Often, residential property owners expect to recoup the cost of professional flooring such as wool cut-pile carpet with luxury, underlay padding when the home is sold. Once this type of carpet is badly damaged or soiled, either a large portion must be repaired – or the entire carpeted area must be replaced when the same color and style are no longer available

carpet prices can range from $1 per square foot for builder-grade olefin and polyester materials to $20 per square foot for high-end wool. The cost to replace your original carpeting will also depend on the type of fiber and weave, with denser and softer styles such as Saxony Plush or a Cable pile costing much more to replace. If your carpeting is constructed of natural fibers like cotton, sisal, or wool, these materials stain more easily and are harder to clean.

Common Causes of Flooring Damage

Accidents during a move can occur even with professional van line movers. These companies instruct workers to protect the customer’s floors from scratches, tears, stains, and dirt. Often, traditional products to protect floors and carpet will have a tendency to move or cause slips and accidents. And, the wearable products such as shoe covers are only helpful if the worker never goes outside the interior of the building.

How Carpets and Rugs are Ruined

Spilled paint or chemicals

Water or snow standing on carpet

Vehicle oil and gasoline stains

Embedded grease and grime

Food and drink spills that set into fibers

Lanes of traffic dirt paths

Pet or insect damage

High humidity leading to mildew

 

vinyl flooring care guide

Vinyl flooring is known for being fuss-free and low-maintenance. But when it comes to cleaning vinyl floors, there are still a few things you’ll need to do to keep it looking great. This care guide is filled with expert help to ensure you get the best from your vinyl over time.

Top Tips for caring for vinyl flooring

All products from Carpetright are safety tested however, it is important to keep vinyl flooring away from fire and naked flames to maintain maximum safety.

Bicarbonate of soda is your secret weapon; it’s tough on stains, but gentle on vinyl flooring.

Never use abrasive scourers on vinyl floors.

how to clean vinyl floors

Cleaning and maintaining vinyl flooring is relatively hassle free and requires a small amount of regular upkeep. In this section, we show you exactly how to clean vinyl with expert advice thrown in for good measure! Follow these hints and tips to keep your floor looking its best:

Loose debris, dust and dirt should be removed from vinyl flooring regularly. This can be done using a soft brush or with gentle vacuuming.

Vinyl flooring is non-absorbent which means any liquids will sit on the surface in puddles. This can damage the floor if left for long periods of time and also presents potential slip hazards to you and your family. Wipe spillages immediately and use a well wrung out mop or damp cloth to wash the surface; ensuring it dries out completely before walking on it again.

Warm water and a light soap will usually be enough to remove stains but products like bicarbonate of soda can also be handy on a tough stain.

Which cleaning products are safe to use with vinyl flooring?

Not all chemicals will be suitable for use on vinyl floors and you should always read the label before applying to your floors.

You should also make sure products are pet and child-safe if using in family homes, and always opt for natural ingredients wherever possible.

Never use abrasive scourers on vinyl floors as this can cause permanent damage to the surface.

How do you treat stains on vinyl flooring?

Begin by using a white damp cloth or towel to clean the surface with warm water.

Then use a vinyl flooring cleaner which can be purchased from specialist stores and rub the mark with a non-abrasive cloth to remove the mark or stain.

Depending on the colour and design of your vinyl flooring, you can use the following chemicals to remove stains:

Bleach (diluted with water) – for stubborn stains caused by food or drink

Alcohol – for tougher stains

 

Textile Flooring in Hotels

In the gastronomic business and hotel trades, the most important thing is the various conscious and unconscious factors that give you a sense of comfort and wellbeing. But apart from these requirements relating to the user, there are other aspects to consider. These relate to standards of safety and acoustics, targets of various kinds associated with cost-effectiveness, and of course there is the whole range of design creativity to be considered.

Hotel interiors, on the whole, have to put up with a lot. They must meet the high expectations of a demanding clientele, and they are permanently under observation. And this applies in a special sense to the floor coverings. These are not only subject to the extensive time scale of periodic renovation, they are also going to be cleaned every day, especially in the guestrooms. Transient residents are going to cast a critical glance over them, and will think any deviation from the ideal amounts to a personal affront. In the public areas of the hotel, this critical attitude is hardly any more lenient. To put it in a nutshell, if you want to be up to the mark you need to present yourself impeccably at all times.

Wool carpets are the best possible choice for various interior settings. Of course there is nothing new about this – but the variety of their concrete applications and properties nonetheless suggests interesting food for thought.

The acoustic and climatic properties of wool are extremely important, as also are the safety aspects. Acoustic quality is not just a matter of noise in the room. A non-slip pile cushions any movement, and can swallow up a good deal of the sound of footsteps.

The crucial factors for room climate are atmospheric humidity and temperature. Here wool is a star performer – just in view of its capacity for absorbing up to 30% of its own weight in moisture, without feeling clammy to the touch.

 

It’s the question on everyone’s lips: is carpet BAD for you?

There has been a lot of scaremongering over the years where carpet appears to be the enemy when it comes to aggravating health conditions like allergies and asthma. This has been a significant concern for the carpet industry to address as well. But, are these concerns justified? Today, evidence and research will point to the many health and psychological benefits that carpet-covered spaces provide to their users. If anything, carpets have the ability to soothe the senses and positively impact our mental and physical health.

So how are carpets advantageous to people with sensitivities?

A common misconception is that carpets are a cause of allergy increase. However, because allergens are transmitted through the dust particles in the air, this dust, hair and ultra fine particulate matter will be easily stirred and blown up in the air with as little as a breeze wafting in through the window, or people walking in a room. This is then inhaled, causing discomfort and irritation. And this is where the myths need to be debunked: contrary to popular belief, the fibres in carpets are able to trap these allergens and dust particles to ensure they are not released in the air so easily, unlike with hard flooring, where the dust particulates are easily disturbed through any movement through the space. As with all flooring, a sensible maintenance program is essential and for carpets – particularly when using a HEPA-filter vacuum cleaner – trapped allergens and dust mites will be permanently removed. What this does is mitigate allergy or asthma attacks brought on by dust, and some carpets are far more effective than others in doing this.

Physical health benefits

Among other health benefits, the Carpet Institute Ltd finds that carpets also emit lower levels of volatile organic compounds (VOCs). They explain how carpets are made to pass through a finishing oven that removes most of the solvents and volatile chemicals, leaving the final product with low VOC content. As a result, the emissions are significantly lower as well, especially when compared to most other building materials present indoors. What’s more, carpets tend to absorb VOCs like formaldehyde. This goes on to have a ripple effect of health benefits that help users breathe easy while also improving indoor air quality.

What about the psychological benefits?

Carpets have also been shown to bring down stress levels. The feeling of softness and padded flooring underfoot has an immediate effect on the mental frame of mind. In a study that asked forty-two people to walk on wooden flooring and carpeting for 10 minutes each; it was observed that the latter induced lesser stress than its wooden counterpart. That carpets can help in reducing psychological stress suggests the need to address the value of carpeting in indoor spaces and improving its overall public perception

Also, with properties like noise attenuation and sound-proofing, carpets are able to reduce stress from noise control, improve productivity and also impact patient health positively in aged care facilities.

Professional Wedding Photographer

THINGS TO KNOW ABOUT WEDDING PHOTOGRAPHY

NOT ALL PHOTOGRAPHERS CAN DELIVER ANY STYLE OF PHOTOGRAPHY

A basketball player probably won’t do well in major league baseball (I’m looking at you) so it makes sense that not all photographers can photograph in any style. Wedding photography can be made up of many styles and an established professional should be able to explain how they shoot and demonstrate it on their website. If it’s not clear to you, ask. If you don’t know what you want, look at the type of photos and artwork you already display around your home and think about how your wedding photos will fit into this.

PHOTOGRAPHY IS ONLY 10% OF THE JOB

You have to find a photographer with a personality that you like. They have to be able to listen to you, your ideas and suggestions and apply these during the pressures of the wedding day. Your photographer needs to meet all your friends and family and in a short amount of time has to make them feel comfortable enough to have their photo taken. They have to plan for every scenario that can play out at a wedding. Afterwards they need to make sure everything is backed up and saved incase of computer meltdown. Then they sort through hundreds or thousands of photos and decide which photos to keep and edit and which ones to delete. Editing is probably the most time intensive part. Every photographer uses a different technique and has a different style. The current trend is to make photos look ‘vintage’ or as if they were shot on film using presets developed by companies such as VSCO. Others create their own look and will take 5-10 minutes on each photo, which means 500 photos can take up to 83 hours to edit.

THERE’S MORE TO PROFESSIONAL PHOTOGRAPHY THAN A NICE CAMERA

When you book a professional wedding photographer you’re not just renting a camera and a user for the day, you’re paying for a small business owner who does the following:

Invests in training.

Has the ability to make people feel comfortable in front of a camera.

Has insurance policies and back up equipment in the event that something goes wrong.

Spends hours planning for different scenarios to reassure you on your wedding day.

Has the skill to organize, sort, edit and present your photos to you in a timely manner.

Stores and backs up multiple copies of your photos.

Serve you correctly with quality printed albums or prints that you can pass on to your children.

YOU WILL GET WHAT YOU PAY FOR

Running a photography business is expensive and our accountants help us ensure that we’re turning a profit so that we can feed our families. The reality is that many photographers rarely make any profit from their businesses and close after 5 years. A good wedding photographer is also a good business owner and makes investments in their company so that they are around many years from now to serve you and your family. I mentioned a few of those investments above, but here is a further breakdown of the costs associated with running a photography business:

Sales tax

Self employment tax

Insurance for their equipment and liability

Business services such as their accountant and website

Servicing and updating of their equipment

Car maintenance

Training and development

Professional associations

Overheads such as rent or utility costs

Assistants to help with shoots

Advertising

Image storage and backup

Those dreaded credit card processing fees

IT’S MORE ABOUT THE PERSON THAN THEIR EQUIPMENT OR LENSES

If when you meet prospective photographers you’re not made to feel at ease and you don’t think they’ll fit in with your family and friends then they’re probably not the photographer for you. If they don’t make you feel reassured that they are in control, you’ll be worrying about your photos until they are delivered.

 

WEDDING PHOTOGRAPHY STYLES – WHAT’S RIGHT FOR YOU?

So you have begun your search for a wedding photographer. One of the first decision you need to make when selecting a wedding photographer is, which wedding photography styles best suit you as a couple. I say ‘styles’ rather than ‘style’ because most photographers will tend to use a combination of styles throughout a wedding day. While some wedding photography styles can be somewhat similar, others can be worlds apart. When selecting a wedding photographer, it’s important to get a good understanding of the different styles on offer. Doing this due diligence will ensure that there are no unexpected surprises either on your wedding day or when it comes time to receive your photos.

FILM VS DIGITAL WEDDING PHOTOGRAPHY

Wedding photography used to be solely shot on film. However, after digital entered the photography market it turned the photography industry on its head. For the last decade, the majority of photographers have used digital to capture their wedding images. However, in recent years the idea of shooting on film has made a resurgence. This is due to it now being viewed as more artsy and hands-on than digital. While most photographers will only shoot on one or the other, there are photographers out there now which may offer the combination of both.

DIGITAL WEDDING PHOTOGRAPHY

Digital photography is exactly that – digital. It is the process of capturing editing and delivering your wedding photography electronically. The benefit to digital is that the wedding photographer isn’t limited by the number of images they can take like on a roll of film. This means your photographer can shoot a much larger number of images and while ensuring the moments aren’t missed. Digital is also considered far less risky than film. This is due to the photographer’s ability to preview images immediately on the back of their camera. When it comes to receiving your images, the turn around time can often be much quicker when using digital.

FILM WEDDING PHOTOGRAPHY

Both film and digital will achieve very similar results in terms of image quality. However, film is considered to be a much more, artistic, hands-on way of shooting. It is the exact opposite of what digital represents. It will cause your wedding photographer to really slow the process of taking a picture down. This is because there is a lot more thought regarding lighting and composure which needs to go into each and every image.

LIGHTING STYLES

When it comes to wedding photography styles, the type of lighting a photographer uses can be very important. The vast majority of wedding photographers will use a combination of both. That being natural light photography during the day and flash photography at night. However, some wedding photographers will prefer to use flash throughout the entire day, even when there is enough available ambient light (sunlight). This would make them a flash photographer. On the other hand, some natural light wedding photographers will forgo the use of flash altogether, even at night. This is what makes them a natural light photographer. But which lighting style is best suited to you, you might ask?

 

Questions to Include in Your Wedding Questionnaire

How many of you out there are sending questionnaires to your clients before weddings? Questionnaires are one of the most important things you can do before a wedding day with your clients! They will not only save you time, but will help you see what is most important to your clients and make sure there aren’t red flags.

Here are questions you need to be asking your wedding couples on their questionnaires:

Where are the bride and groom getting ready? (include addresses)

Is hair and makeup team coming to you or are you going to a salon?

What time is the bride’s hair and makeup scheduled to start?

Do you plan on doing a first look?

If so, do you know where would like that to happen?

Do you have any spots in mind where you would like to do wedding party and bride and groom photos?

How many people are in your wedding party?

Do you have any “must-have” photographs? (Specific poses beyond what is typically captured on a wedding day. We do not guarantee any photographs, but we will make it a priority to capture the shots listed.)

Where is your ceremony taking place? (include address)

What time will your ceremony start time and how long do you expect it to last?

Are there any specific rules to be aware of for your ceremony?

Are you doing a receiving line after your ceremony?

Are you doing a formal exit from the ceremony? If so, what type?

What type of transportation will you have between ceremony and reception (if in different location)?

Where is your reception, if different? (include address)

Will you be having a cocktail hour?

What time do you need to be at your reception for introductions?

What is the order of events at your reception?

Are you having sit down, buffet, or family-style dinner?

Are there any special/unusual parts of your wedding day that we should be aware of?

What are the bride’s parents’ names and what is their marital status?

What are the groom’s parents’ names and what is their marital status?

How many siblings do you each have?

Are there any special family circumstances that we should be aware of? (divorces, deaths, dramas, etc)

Are there any additional family groupings you would like during family photo time outside of the immediate family list we capture? (Keep in mind this may add 2-3 minutes per pose to setup.)

Are there any additional family or friend groupings you would like us to get at the reception?

Are you working with a planner? If so, what is their name and contact number?

Who is your DJ or band?

Do you have a videographer? If so, what is their name?

Do you have a wedding hashtag?

 

ULTIMATE WEDDING PHOTOGRAPHY SAMPLE SHOT LIST

In today’s blog we are going to talk about something very important to the organization and flow of a wedding day, the actual list of photos you will likely take on the wedding day!  Today, alongside some sage advice, we will give you a wedding photography sample shot list to share with your clients. Its the dreaded question and how many times have you heard it in your career?

Far too often we, as photographers, end up with clients who either with good intentions or because of micromanaging tendencies, want to dictate the photos you take on the wedding day.  Not only is this a bad idea, it totally sets the wrong TONE for the wedding day.  Allowing a bride to dictate your shot list gives some indication that you, as the professional, are NOT in control and that is NOT how you want to start off any wedding. Instead of fighting these brides, work WITH them.  Present them with a detailed wedding shot list, during the planning process, and allow them to edit, or add to the list at will.

Now, we will share with you, the golden ticket of wedding photography shot lists.  This is a list that was tested and true, added to and subtracted from over the years.  At the bottom of this list, we also included a statement to our brides that read like this: “This is just a sampling of the important images that we will craft to tell the story of your wedding day.  This is NOT a guarantee that we will take every one of these photos but more a guide for you to begin to understand how in depth our process is.  On the last page we have left a few blanks.

GETTING READY Wedding Shot List:

Bride:

Hair /Makeup Shots, including brushes, the makeup artist in action, close ups of things like eyelashes, lips, smiling bride, mimosas, etc.

Bridesmaids “getting ready” laughing together

Bridesmaid and bride in special robes, shirts etc.

All of bride’s necessities before she puts them on: shoes, lacy dainties (if appropriate or unique), dress, veil, jewelry etc.

Bride’s dress with bridesmaid dresses in unique situations.

Any special bride items like monogrammed, handkercheif, family bible, etc.

Bride getting dressed (we usually had the bridesmaids in their dresses prior to this.

Maid of honor or mother zipping / lacing the dress.

Mother of the Bride placing the veil, kissing bride.

All bridesmaids admiring bride.

Groom:

Groom and groomsmen having fun, goofing off before getting ready (if they golf, play cards, etc, capture the anticipation.

Groom’s important items: suit hanging, tie or bow tie, shoes, cuff links, any monogrammed items like tie tac or flask.

Groom shaving and completing hair preparation.

Groom getting dressed

Groom shining shoes

Groom and groomsmen putting on vests, ties and tying for each other.

Groom with father tying tie or bow tie

Groom with groomsmen hanging out in hotel room

 

How much time do we need for pictures? Every wedding photography timeline question answered here!

This week I’m sending out helpful photography timeline planning documents for all of my 2014 couples (yup – 2014 is fully booked!) and I thought it’d be a good time (no pun intended!) to write a blog post about timing on your wedding day in general. It’s a long one – but I promise it’s worth it – go grab a coffee and settle in.

Also – if you’re in a big rush and can’t face reading pages of stuff here’s the CliffsNotes:

It’s your wedding day, not a photoshoot! However if you want lots of family/wedding party/couples pictures we need to allow appropriate time usually 30-60 minutes for family pictures, 30 minutes for wedding party pictures, 30 minutes for pictures of the two of you. If we try to cram that all into cocktail hour you probably won’t get all of the pictures you want so you can either do a first look, extend cocktail hour or have a break in between your ceremony and reception. Doing a first look means we can do all of the formal pictures early so you can thoroughly relax and enjoy your wedding day! Finally, everything takes longer than expected, things will run late but it’s going to be OK!

General thoughts on planning your wedding timeline

Do you know that song? Time…..is on your side? Yes it is! Well on your wedding day it isn’t. It’s hard to explain but it’s like the hands of the clock speed up and everyone else slows down. Actions that would normally take you 30 seconds now take 10 minutes. A short car ride that would usually take 10 minutes on the highway now takes over half an hour as you have to load a large wedding party onto a trolley, find the missing groomsman who went to to find a restroom and then drive on back roads.

You’ll help us plan our day right?

Yes and no! On your wedding day I’m your wedding photographer and NOT your wedding planner! To best document your day I can’t be chasing up bridesmaids to get dressed and reminding the groomsmen to be in the lobby for pictures – your wedding planner, a day of coordinator or super helpful Maid of Honor can help you with that. However, PRIOR to your wedding I’m always happy to help with your timeline in terms of photography. With the 2013 wedding season fresh in my mind and heading towards my 7th full wedding season I feel fairly qualified to share with you all sorts of timeline planning tips and mistakes to avoid.

just don’t know where to start with figuring out times? Our florist wants to know what time I need the flowers! I need to tell my hairstylist what time to arrive! Help!

Well, if I’m your wedding photographer you’ll fill in a comprehensive wedding homework document and from there we’ll put together a personalized photography timeline for you that your other vendors can then back into. In general, you want to start with the events that are fixed in time. Usually:

– Your ceremony

– The start of cocktail hour

– Sunset (here’s a helpful site to help you figure out the time of sunset on your wedding day)

– Then you need to think about whether you’ll see each other and do pictures before your cermony or if you want to do pictures afterwards

Tips For Home Renovation Kitchen Cabinets

Things That You Better to Know About Home Renovation

Not every home renovation project is a good investment—nor it is a good use of disposable income. But not every remodel project is a bad idea. That sort of black and white blanket statement just isn’t helpful, particularly when we all know someone who renovated and sold their home for top dollar.

You are renovating because you want your house to look more beautiful and feel more comfortable. Consider your home renovation plan as a business plan or as your special project you are starting from scratch.

Make a plan before you start

Before you rush into a home renovation and start a “to do” list, take a comprehensive look at everything that’s ahead, taking into account costs and timeframes.

Research

You will be surprised at the number of options you have once you start your research. The beautiful lamp that you liked at a high end store can be purchased at a lower price from elsewhere as well. So, when renovating your house on budget please remember that if you research to find the furniture you like, paint you want or the decorations you would like in your house, you are likely to find most of the supplies at an inexpensive price.

Be patient

The tip is, wait for it…be patient. Putting your home reno project on hold gives you more time to save up the money needed for this expensive endeavour. It also means not going into debt for an expenditure that may or may not give you a return on the dollar you spend. Finally, it avoids costly mistakes. That’s because a hasty, under-budgeted renovation can actually devalue your home and add little or no value to your home’s fair market value. And nobody wants to pay for a big blunder.

 

Storage During Remodeling: Where (and How) to Store Your Stuff

Remodeling your home is an exciting process with a lot of moving parts. And in addition to asking yourself the obvious questions (like “do I want quartz or marble for my new kitchen island?”), you also have to figure out logistics. Among them: where you’re going to keep all of your stuff. Storage during remodeling can be a bit tricky, since you need your things out of the way while also maintaining access to them. Fortunately, there are a variety of temporary storage options you can take while you work on creating your dream home. Here are five of them.

Rent a storage container

A portable storage container is like having your very own storage facility located right in your driveway. It’s a popular option for storage during remodeling because it provides you with the ability to completely clear items out of your home while also maintaining the flexibility and convenience of having those items on hand when you need them.

Designate another room in your home for storage

If you have space in your house that you don’t use often—for example, a guest bedroom or an empty corner of the basement—it could be the perfect solution for your storage during remodeling conundrum. If you’re having trouble giving up your space, keep in mind that it will be temporary, and that it’s the most cost effective option you’ve got (provided you’re not remodeling your entire home at once, in which case you might not have the space to spare)

Hire moving labor

Moving heavy furniture and boxes, even if it’s just to the basement or a storage container in the driveway, can be very difficult. If you’re concerned about tackling this task on your own, consider calling in moving labor professions to do it for you. Moving labor can be a godsend during the remodeling process. As you would with a move out of your home, get at least three different quotes from moving labor companies for their in-home moving services, and only work with a company that is licensed and insured. You can use our moving labor center to find qualified professionals in your area.

Store your things with a friend or family member

You may not have room in your home to store items during a remodel, but perhaps you know someone else who does. It’s worth asking around to see if anyone has a bit of space to lend you while you do your renovations, though be sure to ask about any timelines they have in mind for when they want you to pick everything back up.

 

Significant Value-Adding Home Renovation Ideas – Most You Can Do Yourself

Whether you’re looking to sell your home or simply want to improve it for your own living, most homes could benefit from a bit of home renovation. That’s not to say that large-scale remodels are required – not at all! Depending on your home situation and circumstances, you could of course get as massively involved in home renovation as you want. But even small, strategic tweaks or fast DIY projects can make huge differences in the value (real and perceived) of your space.

The following is a room-by-room guide of home renovation ideas that will add significant value to your space. They will appease potential home buyers or simply make your own surroundings more beautiful and functional. Either way, you definitely come out the winner with a few well-chosen home renovations.

HOME RENOVATION IDEAS: EXTERIOR

While many of us might be tempted to spend our renovation efforts primarily on our home’s interior, it’s the exterior that will play a key role in the overall curb appeal (and, consequently, desirability) of your home in general. Here are a few things you can do to add value to your home’s exterior.

Upgrade the front door area

“Don’t underestimate the power of a front door. People make up their minds in the first seven seconds of entering a house,” says ERA broker Kristin Willens. The front door is the primary and ultimate transition space of your home. It’s also a critical part of any visitor’s first impression. Spruce up this exterior entry by painting your front door, upgrading your house numbers, replacing your front porch light fixture, tossing down a new door mat, or simply conducting a thorough overall cleaning of the front of your home

Tidy up the lawn.

We’ve all come across the house whose patchy lawn and overgrown bushes make you cringe, or at least feel vaguely uncomfortable. An important element of home renovation is a tidy lawn and landscape. Trimmed and edged grass, pruned shrubs and bushes, and an overall feeling of kempt-ness will go a long way to making your home enticing.

 

How Long Does a Whole Home Renovation Take?

There’s a mythology out there that renovating a house is usually a nightmare project, with budgets and deadlines that inevitably spiral out of control. It’s unfortunate, but understandable. It’s the horror stories that stick in people’s minds and get retold time and time again, and like all tall tales, there’s more than a grain of truth to some of these stories. There are so many factors that go into creating a timeline for a home renovation project, and unexpected issues often crop up along the way, with consequences for the final move-in date. Whether a project stays on schedule depends on a lot of things. That’s what I want to talk about in today’s post.

Given the prevailing ideas about renovation timelines, when homeowners come to us for advice about renovating their home, especially a large-scale renovation, they are often cautious. One of the first things they want to know is exactly how long this whole thing is going to take. It’s an important question! A whole home renovation usually means uprooting your lives for a time. Most families move out of the house temporarily (it’s more comfortable and convenient than living in the middle of a building site) and arrangements need to be made to store furniture and belongings somewhere safe and out of the way. You need an accurate prediction of how long it will be before you, your family and your stuff can move back home so that you can make your plans.

How Long Does a Whole Home Renovation Take to Complete?

As with a new custom home build, there is no quick, easy, and one-size fits-all answer to this question. But that’s okay. Every custom home renovation is a one-of-a-kind project with its own challenges and variables. That means it will have its own schedule. An experienced builder will be able to look at your home and your desired project scope, then give you a reliable idea of how long your planned renovation should take. They will know which factors to consider, and where to build in some margin to allow time to cope with the inevitable surprises that come with any large-scale project. To start, let’s look at a sample timeline for a whole home renovation.

Architectural Design Phase – 1 to 3 Months

Home additions and any structural changes require the input of an architect to make sure they are structurally sound, safe, and beautiful. The amount of time between giving your initial design meeting and receiving final plans will depend on the project scope as well as the experience and current workload of your architect.

Bidding Phase –  2-3 Weeks

Large scale renovations require a complex bidding process to ensure that you are getting the best possible value from all the subcontractors who will work on your home renovation. Multiple hard bids must be solicited and thoroughly vetted for all major items, so that a comprehensive and accurate budget can be created. If you bring a builder on board from the beginning of the architectural design phase, you can save some time here: the builder can begin working through the vetting process while plans are being finalized.

HOA Approvals and City Permitting – 1 Month

After your plans are complete and signed off, they need to be submitted to the relevant authorities so that all of the correct permits, approvals, and inspections are in order before work begins.

Construction Phase – 3 to 9 Months

This phase is where you will see the most variation and progress! As a rough guideline, most renovation projects we work on can be completed in 3 to 9 months, depending on the size of the house, the scope and complexity of the project, and some other factors we will talk about next.

 

Home Renovation Dos and Don’ts

After a yearlong renovation in his home, Editorial Director, Decorating Kevin Sharkey is sharing his dos and don’ts for a successful transformation. Read on to benefit from his wisdom and avoid future home headaches. Start pulling everything and anything that you like or think you would like to see in the space.

Take good and accurate drawings of floor plans and elevations. Don’t forget door sizes, stairwells, and elevators.

Interview your contractor or decorator as if you were interviewing a potential spouse. Essentially, that is what they will become during a renovation process.

Know this going in: Everything will cost 30 percent more and take 25 percent longer than you expected

Learn to love dust. Don’t take it out on your contractor or yourself. You can feel better if you keep a great vacuum around and plenty of rags.

Find The Best Payroll Services

What are the pros and cons of payroll card?

Payroll cards are a growing trend in small business: About 14 million payroll cards were in use in 2017. Payroll cards provide easy access to paychecks without the need for a bank account or banking relationship. This can be crucial for many Americans who cannot (or choose not to) open a bank account.

What is a payroll card?

Payroll cards allow employees to access their paychecks without setting up a bank account. They function like debit cards: Payroll cards are loaded with a paycheck each pay period and can be used to withdraw cash or make purchases. This can be an advantageous tool for small businesses with employees who don’t have bank accounts or don’t have a lot of banking options in their location.

Depending on which payroll card service you sign up for, it may be more cost-effective to provide a payroll card option to your workers. Printing and handing out checks can be expensive, and certain payroll companies may charge extra for things like direct deposit.

From a worker’s perspective, it’s important to understand the different fees associated with payroll cards, as they aren’t exactly like traditional debit cards. While it can be a great option for employees with no bank account, you’ll have to pay some fees, like monthly maintenance fees, ATM withdrawal fees, balance inquiry fees, fund transfer fees and account closure fees. The exact fees will depend on which company you’re working with.

 

The pros of payroll cards Cost effective and simple for employers

Using payroll cards eliminates the printing costs, administration costs, and check handling fees associated with paying employees by paper check. The employer simply loads the payroll card with the employee’s salary and a receipt is issued automatically. The cards can be reloaded each month and do not need to be replaced unless damaged or lost.

Instant, convenient use

The employee can use the payroll card immediately and no bank account is required. They are also saved the hassle of coming into the office to pick up a paycheck and take it to the bank to cash or deposit. In some cases, employees without bank accounts can enjoy a bank-like experience using a payroll card. Cards are issued by major credit card companies, such as Visa, or payment processors, and can be used anywhere that a credit or debit card is accepted. Therefore, employees can withdraw cash from ATMs, get cash back on purchases (where offered), make purchases, and use the card to make online payments through an online payment solution.

Good for money management

Employees can manage their money more effectively with payroll cards. There is no allowed overdraft, so it’s impossible to go into debt. Employees can add their own money to the payroll card if they wish, as well.

Payments are more secure

Payroll cards have security measures such as PIN codes and EMV chips that make transactions safer and prevent fraudulent use. In the event that a payroll card is lost or stolen, the employee simply reports this loss and can receive a new card loaded with the existing balance. This is an obvious improvement over cash, which cannot be replaced if lost. Having a card also saves the risk of carrying cash – either receiving a cash salary, or cashing a paycheck. Cardholders can keep their balance on the card itself and only carry as much cash as they need at the time.

 

Payroll cards offer a digital delivery mechanism.

There are no delays involved with a payday when payroll cards are used by organizations instead of a traditional check. If there are natural disasters, blizzards, heavy rains, or other elements of delay that prevent the physical processing of a check, workers still receive their funds through the digital transfer on time. They don’t need to worry about picking up their check during regular business hours either. That makes it especially helpful for workers who telecommute or contract remotely.

There is more transparency available with payroll cards.

Payroll cards give workers the option to monitor all their account records in a way that cash purchases do not. Statements and transaction histories let workers know where they might be leaking funds. This process allows them to see where their withholdings are going too so they can make changes if necessary. Most employees find that the free access to these items helps them become budget-conscious, eventually leading to stronger financial health.

 

List of the Cons of Payroll Cards

  1. There are more fees to pay with payroll cards.

Payroll cards do have fewer fees than the average gift card. They also have more fees than other methods of payment, including debit and credit cards or checks. Most have a monthly maintenance fee which may or may not be covered by the employer. The E1 Payroll Card from Visa charges $2.95 per month unless there is a deposit to the card in the same month. There are balance inquiry fees, decline fees, and even account closure fees. Make sure to review the current fee schedule with your employer before agreeing to this form of payment.

  1. Payroll cards are sometimes restricted by local laws.

There are several rules in place that govern how workers receive their compensation. Most laws involve how employees can access their full paycheck without encountering a fee. There are rules in place that let some individuals choose the way they want to be paid, including by a physical check, which limits the cost-savings options available for the organization. Before offering this option, every company should review the local situation with their legal team to see if the pros outweigh the cons.

  1. Lost funds are challenging to recover with payroll cards.

The process to follow when trying to recover funds lost through fraud is extensive with a payroll card. Employees must report lost or stolen cards immediately to ensure they don’t suffer a financial loss from the situation. Some reports must happen within 48 hours for some card issuers. Make sure that you know the process involved for reporting unauthorized charges, then contact the card or your employer immediately, or you might find yourself responsible for the expense.

  1. The fees of payroll cards impact low-income workers the most.

There are laws in place which require an employee to have full access to their funds at least once during each pay cycle. That’s why you’ll find most payroll cards offering a first ATM transaction for free, along with some initial purchase fees being waived. Once you get past that no-cost element of use, however, the cost of using payroll cards adds up fast if you’re only working at $7.50 per hour. Many cards have a $1 point-of-sale fee, which means every transaction will cost more.

 

Direct deposit

Direct deposit is the most popular payment option for employers. Direct deposit is a type of electronic funds transfer (EFT). An EFT allows the transfer of money from one bank account to another. With direct deposit, you transfer the amount you owe your employees from your bank account into the employee’s account. Laws for direct deposit vary from state to state. Some states may allow employers to require mandatory direct deposit, while others do not. Make sure you understand your state’s direct deposit requirements along with federal laws. Contact your state for more information regarding direct deposit laws.

Direct deposit pros and cons

Weigh the pros and cons of implementing direct deposit in your small business.

Pros

Direct deposit is a win-win for both employees and employers. Many employers utilize direct deposit because it’s convenient. You can run payroll quickly with direct deposit. And, you don’t have to worry about wasting time printing or handwriting checks.

Employees can also instantly receive their wages after the money is deposited into their accounts. Employers don’t have to spend additional time paying employees. And, employees don’t need to wait for their money.

As a small business owner, the last thing you want to worry about is payroll fraud schemes. Direct deposit is one of the safest ways to pay employees. Unlike checks, direct deposit can’t be misplaced, lost, or stolen. And because you have more control, you don’t have to stress about an employee’s personal information getting into the wrong hands.

Cons

One downside to direct deposit is the fees. Employers usually have to pay various fees to utilize direct deposit, such as setup and transaction fees. And, employees might need to pay fees to open a bank account.

Another disadvantage of direct deposit is time sensitivity. You must collect time and attendance records and run payroll on time. Otherwise, your employees could suffer the consequences and not receive their wages by payday.

The Pro Criminal Defense Attorneys

Different Types Of Defense Lawyers

When hiring a defense lawyer, it is important to find the right one to handle your specific case. However, many wonder what a defense lawyer generally does for their clients. First of all, before choosing a lawyer, it is important to make sure they are licensed to practice law in that specific state.

Most lawyers specialize in a certain area of law and it is best to choose one that specializes in the practice area in which you require defense. When an attorney has specialized in a specific area of law for the majority of their time in practice, this typically signifies that they have a lot of experience relating to that subject.

What does a defense lawyer do, exactly? Their job is to represent their clients in court proceedings and they are supposed to do what they possibly can to get their clients the best outcome. It may not always work in their client’s favor, but attorneys are bound by a code of ethics under licensing laws and must provide their clients with fair and honest representation that works in the best interest of their clients.

Let’s take a quick a look at the 4 different types of defense attorneys and what they generally do below.

Civil Litigation Defense Lawyers

Civil defense lawyers often work on cases where they defend people listed in a lawsuit. In these types of cases, their clients are being taken to court and sued for a sum of money. The lawyer’s job is in these types of cases is to try and prove that their clients were not liable for the claimed damages. This area of defense covers many different types of cases. For example, divorce law, personal injury law, and mass torts.

Juvenile Defense Lawyers

Juvenile defense lawyers defend people aged between 10 and 17 since they cannot be tried as adults, even if the crimes committed are the same as adult crimes. Sentences and penalties are much different for juveniles and this area of defense law is quite unique because in most cases, defense lawyers who specialize in this area of law are tasked with trying to find rehabilitative solutions for their young clients and hopefully help them avoid incarceration.

 

Criminal Defense Attorneys

An attorney that specializes in criminal defense may be self-employed, work for a law firm, other organizations such as nonprofits or for government agencies. He will develop an affirmative defense strategy that challenges the strength, validity and sufficiency of the evidence for the prosecution and provide evidence that defends the client, such as an alibi. If this is not possible or sufficient, he may resort to other types of defense to try to get a “not guilty” verdict for his client. This may include: coercion or duress, where the client was forced to commit a crime; self-defense, where the client acted to defend himself; consent, where the victim consented to the client’s actions; and statute of limitations, where the amount of time the prosecution has to bring charges against a defendant has expired. Although commonly used in movies, the insanity defense, that accepts that you committed the alleged crime, but were unaware that you were doing wrong, is used only infrequently and is rarely successful.

 

Public Defenders

Public defenders generally work for government appointed agencies, such as a county defender’s office. They are bar-licensed attorneys who represent clients accused of felonies but who cannot afford to hire an attorney themselves. The right to representation, regardless of ability to pay, came about as a result of the Florida state court case of Gideon versus Wainwright, where Gideon was charged with felony breaking and entering. He could not afford to hire a defense attorney and when he requested one he was refused. He defended himself and was found guilty and incarcerated. He applied to the Florida Supreme Court for a writ of habeas corpus, on the grounds that his conviction violated his rights under the Constitution. He won the right to a new trial and legal representation and was then acquitted.

 

Other Criminal Defenses

There are a number of other criminal defenses that a defendant can invoke. Some of the more common criminal defenses include:

  • Self-defense: This defense states that ones actions, which otherwise would be considered criminal, were necessary in order to defend oneself.
  • Consent: This defense acknowledges that the defendant did commit some sort of action but also states that this act was consented to by the victim. An example of this defense is consent to bodily harm.
  • Intoxication: Although being intoxicated wont necessarily clear you of most crimes, it can in some situations negate an element of a crime.
  • Statute of limitations: This defense states that the amount of time the prosecution has to bring charges against a defendant has passed, and therefore the charges must be dropped.

 

The 3 Types Of Stories Defense Attorneys Hear

In every criminal case, there are three versions of what happened. There’s what the prosecution alleges happened, what the defense says happened, and what actually happened. In many cases, it can be difficult or impossible to know what actually happened when a crime was committed. This can be due to a lack of evidence, lack of witnesses, unreliable testimony from the victim or defendant, or any combination of those things.

When there is a lack of physical evidence and witnesses in a case, a lot more weight (and scrutiny) is placed on the stories and testimony of the defendants and the victims. This is why the version of events a defendant tells their defense attorney is so essential. These stories typically fall into one of three types.

  • Confession Stories

While not as common as the two other types of stories defendants tell their lawyers, on occasion clients will come in and admit that they are “guilty as charged.” Believe it or not, when a client simply confesses to the crime, it can often make a defense attorney’s job easier. With a confession, an attorney knows what the truth is and doesn’t need to worry about their client hiding critical information that might surface later in the case. Even with a confession, a defense attorney is still obligated to defend their client to the best of their ability. Much of what happens in cases when a client has admitted guilt to their attorney depends on evidence the prosecution gathers and presents in court.

  • Total Denial Stories

Total denials of any wrongdoing are by far the most common type of story defense attorneys hear. When a client denies all charges against them, defense attorneys have to be a bit more careful. If their client is, in fact, actually not guilty and has been falsely accused, then the case is (usually) much easier to defend. When a client lies about being innocent to their defense attorney, the chances of them being caught go up exponentially. Hiding the truth from an attorney puts the attorney as a huge disadvantage.

  • Admit And Explain Stories

An “admit and explain” story is often equal parts confession and denial. For example, a client accused of robbery may admit that yes, they were at the scene of the crime when it occurred, but the actual robbery was committed by someone else. These types of stories are tricky for defense attorneys because it can be challenging to discern how much of the confession is true and how much of the denial is false. Experienced defense attorneys know how to question their clients and get a better idea of how much of their story is true. However, a lot still depends on the defendant’s honesty.

How Do Local Moving Estimates Work When Selecting The Perfect Moving Company

Storage Solutions

If you need flexibility with your move, offers storage solutions to fit your unique moving situation. Whether you need to store your belongings while you sell your current home or store your items while you wait on your new home to become available, is here to help with your storage service needs. will store your belongings at our convenient storage facilities and hold your items on site until your new home is ready. When you’re ready to receive your stored belongings, will finish moving them for you

Local Moving and Storage Services

If you are looking for local storage solutions, interstate moving agents offer local moving and storage options under their own independent businesses and brands. Find a local moving and storage provider in your area.

Long Distance Moving and Storage Services

is federally licensed to provide long distance moving and storage services to households and businesses moving cross-country, state-to-state. Learn more about long distance moves.

International Moving and Storage Services

Moving out of the States or moving internationally? International can help with your moving and storage needs.

Residential Storage Services

Moving from house to house? We can pack and move all of your belongings and save you the time and stress involved with a residential move. If needed, can store your belongings at one of our facilities, holding them until you are ready to complete your move into your new home. Whether you need to store your belongings while you sell your current home or store your items while you wait on your new home to become available, is here to help with your storage service needs.

 

Don’t Pack These Things for Your Move

In addition, how to pack your household items for upcoming move, it is also very important to be aware of items that should not be packed. There are some items in your home that require proper packaging and handling, but there are also some items should not be packed up at all. There are some things movers will not move because of rules and regulations. Contact your moving company before the moving day if you have any specific questions about any particular item.

For the items that require special disassembly or crating, such as grand pianos, pool tables, hot tubs, exercise equipment, grandfather clocks or large glass table tops are best to hire licensed and insured movers. The professional moving companies have the experience and right equipment to move those items safely.

Prior to your move drain oil and fuel from garden tools and other machinery equipment.

Battery operated equipment should be disconnected from the battery. The battery is also non-allowable item and should be discarded in an appropriate way according to local regulations. Propane tanks need to be disconnected and returned to collection centers for that purpose. Leave partially used cans of paint, oil or other substances that might leak for the new residents of your home.

Dangerous Items

All items that are considered flammable, hazardous, corrosive or explosive are dangerous and illegal for movers to transport. If you have dangerous items give them to your neighbors or friends if they could use them, or call your local recycling company, fire station, the closest Environmental Protection Agency Office to find out how you can properly dispose of these items.

Perishable Items

Refrigerators and freezers should be emptied and cleaned for at least 24 hours before moving day. Keep the appliance doors open, so the appliance will dry out and prevent the growth of mold and odor. Food, animals and live plants are perishable; they can easily spoil, die or suffer damages if not properly packed. If you are moving locally, some movers may agree to move perishable items (no animals of course) if they are properly packed and require no servicing, but they will not be responsible for any damages.

 

Moving House Checklist

Research your move

If you’ve found your new home and your offer has been accepted, it’s time to start your moving house checklist! With no complications, a straightforward move can take around 8 weeks to go through. It’s essential to get the legal side in place early on to ensure a smooth transaction of your property sale or purchase.

Arrange your home survey

With a little over a month until your moving day, you may want to start clearing out anything you don’t want to be moved to your new home. Having a good clear out will save you money on your removals, and make unpacking easier! You can start planning your move, even if you haven’t got a firm date yet. Have a look at what to consider when choosing a removals firm so you can know what questions to ask

Finalise contracts and pack

With 1 month left before you move, you will probably have had a Chartered Surveyor inspect your new property and inform you of its structural condition. If there are issues, you may want to renegotiate your offer. You’ll now be able to talk to your solicitor about exchanging contracts and finalising your moving date so you can appoint your selected removal company and organise parking arrangements and permits for the removals vehicles at both addresses. It’s getting close!

Get ready to move home

At this stage in your move it’s all about confirming important details in preparation for your move. If your removal company cannot provide additional services such as un-plumbing washing machines, disassembling/reassembling furniture and packing, it would be a good time to organise these too. On your moving day, you may want children or pets to stay with family members, meaning you can focus on getting everything moved efficiently

Update your address and get organised

It’s your final week at your old address before moving into your new home, and during this week the priority is organising, finishing packing and getting ready to go!

 

Tips to Bring Good Luck into Your New Home

Paint the Walls

If you can (this is a more significant consideration for those in rental homes), paint the walls of your new home bright, fun colors. Interior designers know that the colors you use in your home have a high potential to impact your mood.

Organize

A clean home is a happy home. If you didn’t declutter as you moved, take some time now to do it. Try the KonMari method of tidying to get rid of the things you don’t need. Keep only the things that “spark joy.”

Smudge the Space

For hundreds of years, people have used sage bundles and the practice of smudging (bathing a space in pungent sage smoke) to get rid of bad energy and bring positivity into a space. You can purchase these bundles at your local health food store.

Decorate With Things you Love

Few things impact a home’s feel more than its decor. With this in mind, start focusing on bringing things you love into your home. Instead of buying any old item to fill an unused space, be intentional about searching for items that make you smile.

De-Stress Your Move

If you’re in the process of moving right now, start banishing stress there. Instead of hefting all your items up those stairs on your own, hire a team of movers to help.

 

Things You Should Know About…HOUSEHOLD MOVES

Each year, thousands move from one home to another. Often professional moving companies are hired to complete these moves. The vast majority of professional moving companies are reputable, honest, and dependable. Occasionally, however, disputes arise or unscrupulous, unlicensed “movers” offer to perform a move for an unbelievably low price that winds up being no bargain at all. The following information is provided to help you be an informed consumer before, during, and after your move.

Choosing the Right Mover

anyone offering to perform moving and storage service for hire must be licensed by the state. Licensed professional movers must comply with the Commerce Commission’s standards for insurance coverage and handling, loading, moving, and unloading your property; and they must provide those services at reasonable rates and within a reasonable time frame.

Getting Written Estimates

Any licensed professional mover must give you a free written estimate of the probable cost for your move. This is an educated guess as to what a move will cost based on the items you tell the mover you want packed and moved. Be sure the estimator sees everything you want to move and understands any special problems that may exist in your current home and your eventual destination (e.g., stairs, elevators, etc.). A written estimate should include all the decisions you have made regarding what you want moved, the size of the vehicle to be used, required staffing, and the mover’s liability for loss or damage. Have the mover sign your copy of this estimate.

Choosing Coverage

Your move is not automatically “covered” for potential loss and damage to the FULL value of your property. Basic moving rates only cover a minimal amount of protection, because customers have different needs based on the nature and value of their possessions. Extra coverage will cost you extra money. You can get increased coverage from insurance obtained from a bonafide insurance company or “valuation,” which is an increased liability assumed by the mover. Understand your options and the types of loss and damage protection you agree to in your bill of lading with your selected mover. Remember, the time to make the decision about this coverage is before the move starts – not during or after.

Taking Inventory of Your Possessions

After the moving truck arrives, but before loading begins, you may ask the carrier to make an inventory of your property. Accompany the mover while this list is prepared. If you disagree with anything on the inventory, make a note of it before you sign the form. Make sure the inventory is legible and accurate and that any notations also appear on your copy. You may have to pay extra for the time it takes to complete the inventory (e.g., if you are paying an hourly rate for the move), but it’s a price worth paying if you need to make a claim after the move.

Water Testing Methods

THE IMPORTANCE OF WATER TESTING

Testing your private well’s water quality on a regular basis is an important part of maintaining a safe and reliable source. The test results allow you to properly address the specific problems of a water supply. This will help ensure that the water source is being properly protected from potential contamination, and that appropriate treatment is selected and operating properly.

It is important to test the suitability of your water quality for its intended use, whether it be livestock watering, chemical spraying, or drinking water. This will assist you in making informed decisions about your water and how you use it.

REGULAR TESTING IS IMPORTANT TO:

  • identify existing problems
  • ensure water is suitable for the intended use, especially if used for drinking by humans and animals
  • track changes over time
  • determine the effectiveness of a treatment system

The quality of a water source may change over time, even suddenly. Changes can go unnoticed as the water may look, smell, and taste the same.

 

Common Water Contaminants and Problems

Arsenic

Arsenic is a naturally-occurring metalloid element, commonly found in groundwater. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, arsenic can enter the water supply from natural deposits in the earth or from industrial and agricultural pollution. In drinking water, it is tasteless and odorless. Most people are alarmed when they learn that their drinking water, from a public or private water source, may contain any amount of arsenic.

Lead

Lead is a metallic substance that is a major concern if it makes its way into water supplies. Our aging infrastructure is a problem since older water pipes containing lead can leach lead into pubic water supplies. Municipalities are required to supply water that meets federal standards. The water may be safe to drink and free from lead when it leaves the plant, but it can encounter lead in service lines as it is transported from the plant to your home. Older homes with lead pipes could also contribute to a lead problem. The use of a home water filter using reverse osmosis is the most effective method for eliminating lead from drinking water supplies.

Cloudy Water or Turbidity

Cloudy or grayish water is usually caused by dissolved or suspended solids. This is referred to as turbidity. Water can become turbid naturally or from things such as construction, storms and urban runoff. There are varying degrees of turbidity, but even if your water looks clear, it could still contain a high level of dissolved solids. To determine the turbidity level of your water, we suggest having your water tested for total dissolved solids.

Iron

Water is a natural solvent. Given the needed time and conditions, it will dissolve anything it meets. What your water encounters often determines the contaminants it may contain. Depending on where you live, your water may have iron in it, which can cause rusty-orange or black stains on clothes, fixtures, sinks, tubs, water-using appliances and toilets. Iron can even alter hair color. Iron stains are very difficult to remove, if you can get rid of them at all. Testing your water source will confirm the presence and type of iron in your water, so you can select the proper water treatment system to handle it.

Hard Water

As water moves through the earth, it dissolves rocks and minerals, specifically calcium and magnesium, making your water “hard.” Hard water is a real nuisance, leaving spots on glasses and silverware, scale in water-using appliances, on fixtures, shower doors and tubs, and making hair dull and skin dry. Most homes have hard water, regardless of how you get your water. A simple, in-home water test will tell you how hard your water is, so you can choose the most appropriate water softener, if needed.

Bacteria and Viruses

Each year there are millions of cases of waterborne acute gastrointestinal illness annually in the United States alone. These illnesses are often caused by bacteria, viruses and protozoa that make their way into water supplies. Even sophisticated treatment plants cannot ensure that drinking water is completely free of bacteria and viruses. If you are concerned about bacteria and viruses in your water, have it tested.

 

Types of Water Testing Kits

Before you dive into at-home water testing headfirst, we’ll walk you through the steps of choosing the right water testing kit. Each of the following considerations plays an important role in whether you’ll get definitive answers about the quality of your water from an at-home testing kit.

Water Quality Test Strips

Test strips are the most common method of testing water quality because they’re affordable and easy to use.

Fill a test container with a water sample, dip a test strip in, swirl the container, and wait a few minutes. Then you’ll compare the color changes on the test strip to a color chart included in the kit. Test strips can indicate the type of contaminant and its ppm (parts per million, a.k.a. its level of concentration in your water). Test strips aren’t as precise as other methods, they give a range that can pinpoint concerns.

Color Disk Kits

Instead of strips, these water testing kits have you add a few drops of water to a container with powder, shake it, and then place it in a viewing box. Rotating the color disk provided, you’ll compare colors with the container until you find a match. These kits are reported to have better accuracy than test strips for certain types of contaminants such as bacteria.

 

Contaminants and Their Impact on Health

In total, the EPA sets standards for more than 90 contaminants in drinking water. These 90 contaminants fall into one of two categories. And a contaminant’s category depends on the type of health effects it may cause.

Acute effects occur within hours or days of consumption. Microbes, such as bacteria and viruses, result in the greatest chance of experiencing these health effects.

Most people’s bodies fight off microbial contaminants like they fight off germs. So these acute contaminants don’t typically have permanent effects. However, when consumed at high enough levels, they can be dangerous. Especially for people with compromised immune systems.

Chronic effects occur after people consume contaminants at levels over the EPA safety standards for extended periods of time. These contaminants include chemicals, radium and arsenic. Resulting health risks consist of cancer, liver issues, kidney problems or reproductive difficulties.

 

What Water Test Kits Determine

When a water test kit is used, it will check for unsafe levels of lead, chlorine, iron, pesticides and nitrates. It also will check the pH level of your water to determine if the acidity is too high. If the acidity levels are higher than normal in the drinking water you use, corrosion can cause lead to seep from pipes as well as do damage to your water supply system and water heater.

Lead was widely used in plumbing systems inside homes and businesses until the 1980s. Even low levels of lead have been linked to serious health issues such as physical or mental development problems in children and kidney problems and high blood pressure in adults. Therefore it is essential to find out if the pH level of your drinking water is corrosive.

If you currently have a water filter installed, it’s recommended that you test your water at least once per month to ensure that the system is performing as it should. This regular testing will also help you know when it’s time to change your water filter or if you need a more effective system.

What Should You Look For In A Rodent Control Company

Tips from the experts on how to keep your place free of mice

If you’re a mouse, there’s nothing nicer than a warm hot water cupboard in winter. So it’s hardly surprising that right about now, there are mice doing everything they can to try and find a way into your home.

The only successful way to get rid of mice is bait, he says. “A mouse won’t go near a trap if it sees another mouse caught in it.”He also advises against buying bait from the shop, “It’s normally quite hard, if there are other food sources around the mouse will go for those over a tough bit of bait.”

“Mice use long grass and bush to hide from birds, if this is kept tidy they’ll be less inclined to be attracted to your property.”Trees more than half a metre from the roof line should also be watched, “rodents use these like a ladder to get into your roof cavity,” he says.

THE TRADITIONAL MOUSETRAP

Experts advise that for best results these should be laid perpendicular to the wall where you have seen signs of rodents. Rats, being pretty clever, need to familiarise themselves with a trap, so best to lay unset traps out for a few days first.

LAYING BAIT

The type you use will depend on your situation and household setup. There are powders and bait blocks, as well as bait stations, which help with safety, keeping the bait away from children, pets and other species. Keep putting out the bait until it stops being taken.

 

Rodents Chewing On Your Car Wires?

The engine bay in your car is dark, cool (when the engine is off), and inviting to all the wrong kinds of guests–like rodents looking for a shelter from the hot day. Because rodents have ever-growing teeth, they have a tendency to gnaw on things

Move Your Audi Frequently

Anyone who has experienced can understand the appeal of a cool, shaded spot–and rodents feel the same way. If your vehicle isn’t being driven often, the engine bay fits the bill perfectly. However, as soon as you turn on your Audi, it becomes loud and hot. Rodents will avoid places like these, so make sure that you move your vehicle regularly to avoid creating an overly hospitable home for them.

Park Inside

There are many reasons why it’s better to avoid parking your Audi outside when possible, and rodent avoidance is one of them. This isn’t going to affect your vehicle if you’re parking on the street to run into a store or eat at a restaurant; however, long-term outdoor parking may make your Audi more appealing to rodents. The reason is simple: more rodents live outside than inside.

Seal Your Garage

If you park in a garage and mice or rats are still getting into your vehicle’s engine bay, it’s a good idea to seal your garage. Look for cracks and holes where they might be getting through, and then stuff these places with steel wool. Rodents can’t chew through steel wool, which makes it a good barrier.

Move Food Sources Away

Do you have a dog? A cat? Where do you keep their food? Big bins of pet food are convenient, but if they’re placed anywhere near your car, they could be attracting rodents. Move any food sources away from your Audi, and be sure to secure any large bins so uninvited guests don’t have an easy way in.

 


Rats and mice – prevention and control

Feral rats and mice are very adaptable public health pests. They are not fussy eaters and can make themselves at home in houses, sheds, garages and gardens. As well as causing unpleasant odours and damage to property and possessions, feral rodents can also pose a risk to human health.

Introduced rodents can:

Carry diseases such as leptospirosis and typhus fever.

Contaminate food with their hair, droppings and urine, resulting in food poisoning and spoilage.

Generate unpleasant odours.

Carry fleas or ticks which can harm pets or humans.

Damage materials such as food containers, wood, particle board, insulation and wiring through gnawing.

Types of rodents

(for example Hopping Mice) pose little or no threat to public health and should be left alone as they are protected species. However introduced rodents may infest residential and agricultural areas and carry disease

The common feral rodents in SA are:

the Black Rat (Rattus rattus)

Brown Rat (Rattus norvegicus)

House Mouse (Mus musculus).

These pests will eat rubbish, pet food, food scraps, composts, fallen fruit and nuts, bird seed and dog faeces. Rats will travel up to several house blocks to find water and food.

Rats

Grey, brown or black in colour and larger than mice, reaching up to 25cm in body length and 400g in weight.

 

Give a rat a bone: satisfying rodents’ need to gnaw

Gnawing is an important natural behavior for rodents. Rodents’ teeth grow continuously throughout their lives, and gnawing maintains their dental health. In keeping with recommendations of the Guide for the Care and Use of Laboratory Animals, rodents should be provided with enrichment items that encourage gnawing as a natural behavior. Bio-Serv offers two different types of chewable bone-shaped enrichment items for lab rats and mice that are safe and economical.

Rodent dentition

Rodents have open-rooted dentition, meaning that their teeth grow continuously throughout their lives. The incisors, which are specialized for gnawing, continue to grow and curve. It was observed in rats that incisors allowed to grow without restraint would form a spiral with an angle of 86° (ref. 2). The incisors have hard enamel only on the front surface, with soft dentin in the back, and so they wear down at an angle, with the soft dentin wearing off before the enamel does. This guarantees a sharp, bevel-shaped cutting edge.

Rodents, and rats in particular, can gnaw powerfully, because of the attachment points of the masseter muscles. Their anatomic position enables them to move the lower jaw up and down and far forward. The masseter muscles pass through the eye sockets and insert behind the eyes. During gnawing, the rapid movement of the masseter muscles moves the eyeballs move up and down, a phenomenon called eye boggling.

Gnawing behavior in rodents

Gnawing is an important natural behavior by which rodents maintain their dental health and prevent the development of malocclusion. In a rodent with malocclusion, the teeth are not aligned properly, and natural grinding cannot take place. Gnawing and bruxing (or soft, repetitive grinding of the incisors against each other) help keep the incisors sharp and trimmed. If they are not trimmed, they can cause trauma to the soft palate, infection and abscesses, which in turn will eventually lead to starvation.

Encouraging gnawing behavior in lab rodents

In the wild, rodents gnaw on sticks and bark. In the laboratory, the Guide for the Care and Use of Laboratory Animals suggests providing rodents with beneficial chewing enrichment such as wood chewing sticks1. Some people are concerned that rodents might ingest such material, resulting in an intestinal obstruction, but those fears are unfounded as rodents actually grind the material into bits, swallowing very little if any of it. It is possible that tiny pieces of the material could be ingested, however, so it is important to provide laboratory rodents with safe gnawing materials.

 

as long as you avoid contact with rodents

What is the hantavirus?

This family of diseases is spread mainly by rodents — particularly the deer mouse in the U.S. — and can cause different diseases in people around the world. Each hantavirus has a specific rodent host species. Hantaviruses in the Americas are known as “New World” hantaviruses, and can cause hantavirus pulmonary syndrome (HPS), with symptoms including fatigue, fever and muscle ache in early stages, and coughing and shortness of breath later on. Other hantaviruses, known as “Old World” hantaviruses, are mostly seen in Europe and Asia, and can cause hemorrhagic fever with renal syndrome (HFRS), with symptoms including intense headaches, back and abdominal pain, fever, chills, nausea and blurred vision. Both diseases are considered rare, but can be fatal.

How do people get infected with hantavirus?

The CDC notes that human hantavirus infections tend to happen sporadically, and most often in rural areas with forests, fields and farms that are appealing habitats for these rodent hosts — particularly the deer mouse in the U.S., although the cotton mouse, rice rat and white-footed mouse have also been known to carry hantaviruses.

The rodents shed the virus in their saliva, urine and feces, and people most commonly contract it by breathing in tiny droplets containing the virus that get stirred up into the air when fresh rodent urine, droppings or nesting materials are stirred up. This can happen while cleaning in and around your home, if you have rodents living there, too. Opening or cleaning sheds and previously unused buildings, particularly in rural settings, could also expose people to infected rodent droppings. Construction, utility and pest control workers can also come into contact with it while working in crawl spaces or buildings that may be infested with mice. And hikers and campers may be exposed when camping or sheltering in rodent habitats.

Researchers also believe that people can contract the hantavirus if they touch something that has been contaminated with rodent urine, droppings, or saliva, and then touch their nose or mouth. [Keep up that handwashing.] They suspect people can become sick if they eat food contaminated by urine, droppings or saliva from an infected rodent, as well. And in rare cases, the virus can be spread if a rodent carrying the virus bites someone.

Note: The CDC states that the hantaviruses that cause human illness in the United States cannot be transmitted from one person to another, such as from touching or kissing a person with it, or from a health care worker who treated someone with it.

Know About Pediatric

What is a Pediatric Physical Therapist?

“Isn’t physical therapy just for athletes and adults in recovery?” Nope! Sometimes, children and even babies need physical therapy, too. You might not give a second thought to walking up the stairs or picking up a drink. But for a child with an injury or delay in development, those simple tasks can be a real challenge.

What is a Pediatric Physical Therapist?

If your child needs physical therapy, they’ll work with a pediatric physical therapist (PT). Typically, pediatric PTs treat kids under 18, from newborns to teenagers. They see children for a variety of different reasons, including bone/muscle issues, sports-related injuries, or genetic, brain,spine,or nerve disorders. PTs have years of training, and some even earn a Doctor of Physical Therapy degree.

 

Pediatric Physical Therapist Job Description

Pediatric physical therapists are physical therapists that specialize in treating and caring for patients who are toddlers, babies, children, teenagers and young adults. They treat conditions related to genetic, neurological and orthopedic disorders. Techniques like functional training and exercise are used alongside medication and diet changes. Additionally, pediatric physical therapists use specialized medical equipment that is designed to help treat and alleviate pain from conditions that hinder mobility.

Pediatric physical therapists work a typical 40-hour week with some evenings and weekends required. Remaining emotionally strong and handling stress well is crucial for this career due to the frustrations patients can experience with their conditions. Possessing excellent communication skills helps when speaking to family members and patients about the treatment options and health conditions. Typical employers for this career include private practice, hospitals and other medical settings.

Requirements for Pediatric Physical Therapist

A pediatric physical therapist needs a Doctor of Physical Therapy, which typically takes three years to earn. Educational programs need to be accredited by the American Physical Therapy Association. Specializations and minors are available that are specifically geared for pediatric physical therapy. Students need to pursue these programs in order to acquire the proper education to work with children. Common courses in pediatric physical therapy programs include anatomy, exercise physiology, biology, pharmacology, radiology, behavioral science and pathology. While enrolled in these educational programs, a pediatric physical therapist typically has to complete some supervised work through an internship or assistantship.

 

Things You Should Know About Pediatric Physical Therapy

With pediatric physical therapy, kids who are injured or who have certain health conditions can reach their full potential and function better at home, in school, and in other environments. If you’re considering whether your child could benefit from working with a pediatric physical therapist, here are some basic facts you should know about this type of health care.

  1. Treating injured children is different from helping adults and requires a unique approach. Pediatric physical therapy must involve a team of experts trained specifically to deal with kids’ bone and muscle structure. Additionally, therapists must demonstrate a high level of patience and compassion, since children might not understand the need for physical therapy and can have more trouble staying on task than adults would.
  2. Parents and family members become part of the process. Pediatric physical therapists work not only with the child who needs treatment but also with family members. A child’s caretakers play a vital role in successfully enacting a treatment program. Therapists can support families in advancing their children’s development and physical therapy progress by offering services such as providing specific information on the patient’s needs, offering guidance on using physical therapy equipment directly, and more, according to the APTA.
  3. Insurance coverage for pediatric physical therapy varies. If your child needs physical therapy, it’s important to review your health insurance policy or program to see what types of treatment it covers and what the reimbursement levels are for those services, the APTA states. Additionally, it helps to become familiar with laws that require and affect the provision of pediatric physical therapy, such as the Individuals With Disabilities Act, the Rehabilitation Act (Section 504), and the Americans With Disabilities Act.
  4. Pediatric physical therapy can benefit children dealing with a wide range of conditions. Physical therapy can help kids in various circumstances. Pediatric physical therapists at Little Steps specialize (but aren’t limited to) the following:
  • Prematurity
  • Developmental delay
  • Birth defects
  • Muscle diseases
  • Genetic disorders
  • Cerebral palsy
  • Torticollis
  • Acute trauma
  • Head injury
  • Sports injury
  • Orthopedic disabilities/injury

 

What conditions can be treated with pediatric PT?

There are many familiar childhood disorders and diseases that present with movement dysfunction and motor skill issues that can be treated by physical therapy. These include Cerebral Palsy, Autism, Down Syndrome, Muscular Dystrophy and associated disorders, Spina Bifida, Juvenile Rheumatoid Arthritis, Arthrogyposis, Cardio-PulmonaryDisorders, Cystic Fibrosis, Cancer, and Traumatic Brain Injury. In addition, many children present with hypotonia and developmental coordination disorder without a formal diagnosis. Orthopedic conditions that can also be treated with PT include scoliosis, back pain, sports injuries, fractures, and orthopedic surgeries.

What is the pediatric PT’s role?

The role of the pediatric physical therapist is to evaluate and provide treatment for delays in motor skills by developing the strength and range of motion that children need to move through their environment easily and effectively. In addition to assessment of flexibility, strength, posture, gait, sensory processing, balance, coordination and skill, the pediatric therapist is trained to assess motor development using standardized testing for age equivalents. The long-term goal includes gross motor skill development solid to age with good quality to both sides of the body.

 

A child’s bones, muscles and joints require special care

A child’s growth plates – the areas at the end of the long bones in the arms and legs responsible for making new bone tissue – are still open. If a child or teenager injures these growth plates, and is not diagnosed or treated properly, it can lead to damage that may leave them permanently sidelined from their favorite activities. Pediatric physical therapists are trained to recognize, identify and treat these types of injuries specifically. And while general PTs can treat pediatric patients, they may make up only 5-10% of their practice. Pediatric PT’s on the other hand, are kid experts, treating children 100 percent of the time.

Pediatric physical therapists cater rehabilitation specifically to your kids

A child needs to be stimulated and engaged in their physical therapy to reap the biggest benefits and recover quickly. If they aren’t challenged and entertained, they become disengaged – potentially prolonging their recovery time. Pediatric PTs can translate your child’s therapeutic goals into exercises that seem more like play than therapy, making rehabilitation fun – which translates into better compliance and a faster recovery.