Choosing The Right Type Of Laminate Flooring

Laminate Vs Vinyl Flooring

Many people don’t understand the difference between laminate and vinyl flooring. The crucial difference lies in the composition.

Vinyl Flooring

Vinyl is 100% synthetic. Each vinyl floor consists of the following:

  • A base layer of fibreglass, coated in PVC vinyl
  • A middle layer of vinyl foam
  • A plasticiser to make the vinyl flooring more flexible
  • A tough wear layer, such as no-wax polyurethane, to strengthen the vinyl
  • Fungicide to prevent mould
  • UV stabilisers to protect the floor from fading
  • A paper or felt backing made from wood pulp or calcium carbonate

During the design phase, the middle vinyl foam layer is printed and embossed with a surface print layer to create a decorative pattern. Then, a second protective layer is applied.

Vinyl comes in glue-down, loose-fit, and interlocking styles — the latter of which joins together like laminate flooring planks.

Laminate Flooring

Laminate flooring is made of high-density fibreboard, covered in a hard plastic laminate coating. The core layer of fibreboard is crafted from timber byproducts, bonded together with melamine resins.

Laminate Vs Vinyl: Aesthetics And Practicality

Like laminate flooring, vinyl flooring comes in designs that closely imitate the aesthetic of natural timber or stone.

Laminate flooring is typically thicker than vinyl flooring. While vinyl flooring ranges from 1.5 mm to 5mm thick, laminate planks are typically between 6mm to 12mm in thickness.

Vinyl Flooring Pros And Cons

Vinyl Floor Pros

  • 100% water resistant and ideal for higher-moisture areas
  • Commercial grade wear layers that can withstand heavy foot traffic
  • Durable
  • Low maintenance and easy to clean
  • Can be used on any flat subfloor, including cement, granite, tile or laminate
  • Affordable
  • Ideal for use in bathrooms

Vinyl Floor Cons

  • Vinyl is thinner than laminate
  • Can be difficult to remove if glued down
  • Can be punctured with very sharp objects
  • Can show fading and discolouration with excessive UV exposure
  • Softer material than most laminates, hardwoods and tiles
  • Not biodegradable and can be difficult to recycle

The pros and cons of laminate flooring

Laminate flooring has different pros and cons, which makes it either a valuable or regrettable purchase, depending on a homeowner’s needs. Here are some laminate pros and cons:

ProsLaminate Flooring

Ease of installation

Laminate flooring is easy to install, so you could probably do it yourself. Laminate planks are clicked and locked together. They’re installed on top of a clean and flat subfloor, so a plank can be easily replaced if needed.


Laminate flooring can be made to imitate virtually any type of floor, including tile, hardwood, or stone flooring. The options are virtually endless when it comes to laminate flooring. While it’s obviously not the real thing, it’ll still give your home a beautiful look.


Typically speaking, laminate flooring costs about $4.50 – $5.00 per square foot. This is much less expensive than some other flooring options. The low pricing of laminate flooring can justify some of its shortcomings.

Easy to clean

Laminate surfaces are multi-layered. One of those layers is a wear layer. The wear layer offers support and protection to the surface. It prevents scratches and the sudden appearance of seams. As a result, the surface maintains its flatness. Ultimately, all that is needed to keep a laminate floor clean is a broom and a vacuum.

Cons of Laminate Flooring

It’s Not Wood

Sure, it looks like wood- but laminate flooring is not actual hardwood flooring, and potential home buyers will be able to tell. This might be a sticking point for some people who desire classic hardwood, though others might not really care.

Generally, though, real wood will bring in a higher resale value than laminate flooring. If you’re looking to boost the value of your home, hardwood might be a better bet.

Replacement, Not Repair

Hardwood floors, if they’ve been damaged, can be sanded or refinished. They’re easier to damage, but they’re also easier to fix.

Laminate flooring, on the other hand, must be replaced in order to undo damage. After all, laminate is essentially just a high-quality photograph of real wood. It’s much harder to scratch laminate flooring, but it can happen.

Reasons Why People Choose Laminate

Choosing a new floor isn’t easy. The supply is virtually infinite these days, and every type of flooring has its own pros and cons. Increasingly, people are choosing laminate flooring, which combines the authentic look of a natural floor with many practical advantages AND a great price.

A laminate floor is made up of four layers. The base of the floor is an extremely strong, stable and moisture-proof HDF panel. The backing plate below it guarantees that the core cannot warp or collapse. On top of the HDF panel comes the ‘decor panel’: a very high resolution photo of authentic wood planks or tiles, that is simulated to the smallest detail. The decor layer is finished with resin, and topping that is a final transparent, wear-resistant upper layer to provide the ultimate protection for the floor. Thanks to this unique construction, the laminate floor cannot be distinguished from a floor that is made from real wood or natural stone, but it does offer quite a few practical advantages.

1. Suitable for every room

Laminate floors can be used in every room. Even for kitchens and bathrooms there are waterproof floors with extra protection. The anti-static surface and the seamless click system prevent dust and dirt from collecting on or between the planks, which is an ideal feature for childrens’ rooms. You can even cover a complete staircase using laminate.

With the correct subfloor, you can even place laminate on under floor heating without hassle. And the robust core panels of Quick-Step laminate floors provide a solid, pleasant sound which means they are also ideal for apartments or houses with several floors.

2. Extremely strong

Quick-Step offers a minimum 20 year warranty on all its laminate floors. Thanks to the extremely strong core panels AND the patented ‘Scratch Guard’ upper layer, they are exceptionally durable and hardwearing. The laminate floors are able to cope with scratches, playing kids, stiletto heels, the shock of heavy, falling objects and even scorch marks. Modern laminate floors are so hardwearing that these days they are increasingly fitted in public places with high footfall, such as shops and airports.

You also don’t need to worry about spilling water or other liquids: simply mop up the fluid as quickly as possible and it won’t have time to penetrate into the planks. Worried about moving your furniture because you are afraid of discoloration? Even that is unnecessary: the protective layer means that Quick-Step floors keep their original color year after year even when exposed to sunlight.

3. Easy to maintain

Thanks to the protective top layer, laminate floors are very easy to keep clean. Dirt cannot penetrate the wood and a regular clean with a dry or lightly dampened fiber cloth will suffice to keep your floor in perfect condition for decades. You don’t need to sand, scrub or oil laminate floors. Black marks or stubborn stains can easily be removed with Quick-Step clean.

In addition, all Quick-Step floors have an anti-static surface. That means they attract a lot less dust than other floors AND they are suitable for people with allergies.

4. Quick and easy to install

In comparison with other floors, laminate is extremely easy to install. Thanks to the handy click system all the planks fit together like a jigsaw puzzle. You don’t need glue, stabilized sand or mortar to lay a perfectly level and stable floor.

Of course you can call in an expert, but with a minimum of DIY skills you can lay a completely new floor yourself in less than a day, without any problems. Even better: a laminate floor can also be taken up quickly and even moved. If somehow it should happen that a plank does get damaged over the years, then you can simply replace it.

5. Lifelike

Thanks to the newest techniques, a laminate floor is indistinguishable from a real timber floor. Even the texture of real timber, such as the knots, cracks and flaws, can be perfectly simulated. You have the choice of virtually every type of timber, in nearly every possible shade and in various plank dimensions.

Become A Top Event Planner

Event Management Skills Event Managers Need

What is event management?

Event management is the organisation of any large or small event, ranging from personal events like weddings and parties, through to business to consumer (B2C) events like festivals and business to business (B2B) events like conferences and exhibitions.

There are plenty of crossovers in events management. For example, a tradeshow can be aimed at businesses, such as Mobile World Congress held in Barcelona each year, or can be aimed at consumers, such as the Ideal Home Show held in London.

Event management may refer to any part of the organisation and management within the event such as setting targets, choosing suppliers, establishing timelines and managing the event on the day itself. Within any event, there are lots of moving parts, and only one chance to get them right, so strong event management skills are essential to success.

What an event manager does

An event manager is a person who is in charge of ensuring an event, wedding, conference or festival goes to plan and achieves all of the event objectives originally set. They are responsible for a checklist of items such as ensuring suppliers turn up on time and that the presenter schedule is booked, to wider items such as ensuring that the event adheres to health and safety or sustainability concerns.

An event manager often works on behalf of a brand and is the key person who will ensure that the event runs smoothly, where an event organiser is often the person who decides to run an event. An event organiser may need to identify gaps in the events market, research competitor events, plan new events and run a schedule of events throughout the year, whereas most of these parts will already have been done by the time an event manager is brought in. Event organisers may work for a brand or in-house at an event organisation company that specialises in the running of events. An event organiser may hire event managers, or have those within their team, who help to ensure the event’s success.

Event coordinators help to ensure the successful running of an event and may be responsible for one, or a series, of aspects within the event planning process. For example, some event coordinators are dedicated to event administration such as registration or speaker liaison, or may look after wider responsibilities like design and styling.

Traits Of A Successful Corporate Event Coordinator

Some of these traits are applicable to managerial positions in any market, while others are tailored specifically for events-based leadership. If you can find these traits in a qualified applicant, you’ll have found the perfect match for your company.

1. Leadership skills

Any position with the word “coordinator” in the job title requires leadership skills, but I would argue that is even more true for event coordinators.

You get only one chance at a first impression, and an event coordinator is tasked with leading entire teams to make these impressions for each new corporate client.

It’s one thing to lead a team toward a flexible and tentative goal, but it’s another to lead a team when the deadlines are as inflexible as your guests’ expectations. That is a lot of pressure, and it takes serious leadership skills to lead an event to success.

When hiring an events coordinator, here are the leadership qualities you should look for in your candidates:

  • Effective communicator: The best leaders know when to speak and when to listen, they’re precise with their words, and they can pick up on nonverbal cues. Managing an event team will require input not only from the coordinator, but also from the team itself, and an effective leader will make time to hear their team’s concerns.
  • Delegator: No event coordinator can do everything by themselves, which is the purpose of having an event team. An effective event coordinator and leader will have the capacity and willingness to delegate responsibilities to each team member according to their abilities.
  • Positive thinker: Leaders set the tone for the rest of the team. And in the events industry, with all of the changing variables of planning and executing an event, a positive outlook is needed to navigate these tasks. Your events coordinator has to demonstrate their positive outlook in the face of numerous challenges to maintain healthy team morale.
  • Responsible: Most importantly, any events coordinator has to demonstrate responsibility not only when things go right but even when they go horribly wrong. Making sure each team member is where they need to be and every vendor is set to execute on the day of the event requires a lot of responsibility on the part of the coordinator.

Your event coordinator should be able to demonstrate these leadership qualities in their previous experiences in the events industry.

2. Technology know-how

The events industry is constantly changing and upgrading with the times, especially with the introduction of new technologies.

The most effective event coordinators stay up-to-date on these new trends and look for ways to embrace these changes in their own work, whether that be new event management software, attendee tracking tools, or ways to make their event more personal and experiential.

3. Organizational skills

There is no “I” in team, but there is an “I” in organization, which is something every good event coordinator should know.

An event coordinator will be in charge of the events team activities, the vendors and what they’ll provide, negotiating and finalizing contracts, overseeing the execution of the event, and reporting back to you, their supervisor, on the progress of the event.

To do all of this, your candidate will need excellent organizational skills.

4. Creativity

Event coordinators do more than manage a team and put together events. Event planning and coordination is the constant challenge of finding new ways to accomplish old tasks, such as managing attendee check-ins, coordinating themes, and gathering guest feedback.

The best event coordinators find creative new ways to tackle these problems with outside-the-box ideas and new technologies.

These individuals must be skilled at creating aesthetically pleasing sights and sounds at events, which means they need experience with color coordination, creative writing for marketing, and interior decorating, just to name a few skills.

5. Time management skills

Finally, an events coordinator must juggle all of these responsibilities in a timely manner to meet event deadlines. Otherwise, your events team will forever miss these deadlines, leaving vendors and clients very upset with unmet timetables and delayed (or incomplete) events.

You need to make sure that your applicant can handle the stresses of managing and executing your events without falling behind.

Event-Planning Skills You Need for Success

If you are contemplating a career as an event planner, either as an independent entity or with an event-planning company, make sure you’re a good fit for the role. The most successful event planners have an impressive skill set. Below are five event-planning skills you will reach for on a regular basis. These skills can make or break your success.

Event Planners Are Highly Organized

In event planning, success is in the details. And there are many of them! Keeping track of numerous tasks, multiple vendors, and constantly changing to-do lists all at once—while keeping your client happy—can be challenging for some and daunting for others.

Being highly organized is a must for successful event planning. For those who make and manage to-do lists in their personal lives, being organized may come naturally. For others who struggle to remember deadlines or to pick up the dry cleaning, being organized may require more effort.

Event Planners Are Personable

What do all events have in common? People. Successful event planners are personable, engaging, good conversationalists, and excellent listeners. Event planning is a social profession in that the result – the event itself – will include a group of people, large or small. Understanding people and enjoying talking to them is part of the job.

This does not mean that, as an event planner, you will spend most of your day at client lunches and having cocktails at social events. Event planning is hard work, and much of it is spent at a desk with a phone or computer; however, a personable demeanor is a must when tackling one of these common event-planning tasks:

  • Negotiating with hotels
  • Discussing menus with catering managers
  • Meeting with vendors
  • Pitching your event ideas to a prospective client
  • Networking anytime and anywhere
  • Supervising event staff
  • Working your event and interacting with guests and workers

Listen and Communicate Clearly

Excellent communication skills are essential in many professions. In event planning, miscommunication can result in numerous problems for both the event planner and the client, and a simple misunderstanding can have catastrophic results. Therefore, the ability to listen is crucial so that you understand the needs of the client.

Here are a few examples of communications and how these event-planning skills are used when planning events:

Written communication:

  • Writing event proposals for a prospective client
  • Creating materials to market your firm
  • Writing contracts for clients and vendors
  • Drafting thank you notes to guest speakers and VIPs

Verbal communication:

  • The ability to explain the scope and purpose of an event
  • Effectively communicating your ideas to a supervisor, client, or vendor
  • Understanding and processing information that is provided, such as the concerns of a client or questions from a caterer
  • Skillfully negotiating hotel rates, contact details, or extras from a vendor

Willingness, Flexibility and a Positive Attitude

Attitude is a state of mind which can make or break you as an event manager. You have to be flexible and adaptable – there is no room for single mindedness. This adaptability doesn’t just apply to the many things an event manager can find themselves being asked to do on a daily basis, it also applies to the new methods and innovations which continue to flow into this fast-moving industry.

Budgeting Capability

All the experts agree that having the ability to handle budgets is key to success. Whilst a natural aptitude for numbers can certainly support this, the ability to manage budgets, plus skills in negotiating as part of effective money management, are certainly professional skills which may also be learned.

Attention to details

While we all look at the big picture, event managers are the ones who take care of the tiniest details. To make sure that the event runs smoothly and successfully, it is important to pay keen attention to details. This is when event managers come into the scene. They are involved at every stage of the planning including drafting emails, booking vendors, looking after the seating arrangements and more.

Creative and Innovative

When choosing an event manager, you must pick a person who thinks out of the box. He must be creative enough to innovate things around your requirements. He must be prepared for the worst-case scenario and come up with a solution to deal with the situation. You must choose a person who can easily resolve n number of problems or challenges thrown toward him..

How Things Should Play Out In A Long Distance Moving

Long Distance Moving Made Simple

Long distance moves, if not planned correctly can be stressful and can a take on your emotional, physical and mental health. You’ll need to practically move your entire life from one place to the other. Therefore, you’ll need to do a lot more than just pack the essentials and be on your way. Here is a Long Distance Moving Checklist for you that’s easy to follow.

Months Before Moving

The thought of moving long distances can overwhelm you, and this is especially true for those who haven’t taken out the time to plan ahead and well in advance. However, if you do sit down with your family and make it a point to plan everything out thoroughly, you’ll be able to get the move done without much hassle.

If you’re going to be moving long distances, you need to ensure that you start planning as soon as possible. Once you have a heads up from your new home and know the exact date when you’ll be moving, follow these long distance moving tips.

Determine Your Moving Budget

Moving isn’t inexpensive or easy. You will not just be paying the rent for the truck that’s moving your essentials, but you need to have sufficient funds for boxes and packaging materials. So, make sure you know your moving budget. Then, you won’t surprised when your daughter keeps asking you for more money for the duct tape.

Research Moving Companies

Don’t make the mistake of assuming that you’ll be able to get your things to the distant location on your own. It’s always a smart idea to do your research and ask professional movers for help and do this well before you’re set to move.


When it comes to moving long distance, the concept of earning a fresh start can often go hand in hand with the efforts required—from having to start from a clean slate in the arena of your social life, to learning the ins and outs of what is usually an entirely new city, it almost goes without saying that long distance moves require a series of challenges. However, what about covering the most important aspect of a new location of all—finding a job that suits your needs, while remaining in line with your current (and long term) career goals?

Finding a suitable position for yourself in the city you wish to move to certainly isn’t impossible, however. Although it is important to keep in mind that the challenges of a job search will likely be amplified by the added challenge of managing your application and interview processes from a distance, you should still avoid worrying too much over the distance seeming impossible. For the most part, your efforts will be focused on honing an up to date resume and sending out well-timed emails, so your area of residence is far from the most major factor involved in the process.

So what are some smart measures that you can take in order to hone your job hunting skills when shooting for long distance positions in a new city? Below, we’ve compiled a roundup of some of the more useful tips and strategies you can use to ensure that your long distance job search goes as smoothly (and successfully) as possible.

Assess any and all job options

Making the focus of your job hunt a particular city (rather than particularly ideal position) can prove to be a double edged sword. While this will mean you’ll have more options to choose from, it will still be important that you carefully review each and every position that has a chance of being a good fit for you. As you’ll be applying from far away, it’s important to keep as many potential options open as possible. You never truly know whether a long distance position will pan out to be a good fit or not, so you don’t want to put all your eggs into one preemptive basket.

Express the nature of your intent to relocate

When reaching out to prospective employers, it is worth mentioning to them that you’re intending to relocate to their headquartered city in the long term. For some employers, it can be confusing (or seem like a less than sincere application) when an applicant inexplicably resides far away without explanation. If there’s a reasonable opportunity, convey your desire to relocate to the company’s current city, perhaps in your cover letter or initial email correspondence.

A Guide to Help You Through the Long-Distance Moving Process

At some point in everyone’s life, they start to consider making a change. Perhaps you are currently deciding if you would like to make a change. Statistics show that millions of people relocate every year. Moving could give you the opportunity to step outside of your comfort zone and try something new. As you go through the moving process, there are several things that you need to consider, especially if you hire long distance movers

Early Preparation

Making a long-distance move is a major turning point in your life. In order to make sure that everything goes smoothly, start preparing for the move a few months before it is scheduled to happen. By planning, you can avoid potentially having to get things in order at the last minute.


Make sure that you label all your boxes while you are packing. You should be aware of which items are in different boxes. Consider labeling on the outside of the boxes in which items should be placed in different areas once they arrive at your new location. Labeling everything will make the moving process run smoothly.

Pay Attention to The Season

Pick a moving date that makes the most sense for your situation. Research has shown that summer is the most popular season to relocate. Because of this, moving companies often charge higher prices during the summer. If you have the option of being flexible with your moving date, you can save money by choosing to move during the spring or fall. Also, remember that moving costs related to your business are often tax-deductible. You can save money during tax season as well.

Think About Downsizing

Regarding your long-distance move, the amount of money that you’ll have to pay is based on the total weight of the items that are being shipped. Take some time to go through your items and see if there is anything that you think you should leave behind.

The Long Distance Moving Guide

Long Distance Moving Guide

There’s nothing fun about the moving process, and this is especially true when moving state-to-state or other long distances. Here are tips for making the most of your long-distance move

Do Your Research

The best long-distance moves begin with a plan. The most excellent long-distance moves include research and recommendations from others who have gone before you. Know someone who’s recently moved from state to state? Ask about their moving service provider and whether they would use them again. Also, ask them what they know now that they wish they knew before the long-distance move. It will be far easier for you to learn from their mistakes rather than repeat them.


Reduce the number of things you’re moving long-distance by seriously editing your closets, drawers, attic and other stashing spots. It’s also fair to ask yourself: What would be easier to replace upon arrival in our new home rather than to move across the country?

Maximize Space

Get serious about cramming as much stuff as possible into your moving van or truck. This includes keeping drawers filled rather than boxing up their contents, and using soft items like pillows, blankets and clothes to fill garbage bags — which can then be used to fill open spaces in the truck.

Improve Before You Move

Are you planning any home improvement projects at your new house? Take care of them before you move in. If you’re painting, putting in new carpet or flooring, adding new tile to a kitchen or bathroom or taking on something else, it’s far easier to do so when the house is empty. If not, you’ll end up cramming all your belongings into rooms that aren’t being improved — which forces you to move everything twice and makes your long-distance move more complicated than it needs to be.

Your Long Distance Moving Guide

There are few events in life that are as exciting as moving to a brand-new city, far from your hometown. But that doesn’t mean that it isn’t also stressful and overwhelming! When it comes down to it, every move has its challenges, and planning a long-distance move involves a lot of details, coordination, and support in order to be successfully executed. Although some people take on the challenge of a DIY move

been the trusted name for interstate movers for decades, and we fully understand the unique challenges and rewards that come with long-distance moving. The first step in any successful move is being prepared long before your moving day arrives, and we’ve put together the following tips and tricks to get you started on your next adventure

Make a Budget (And Try to Stick to It!): Budgeting for a move can be a challenge, and it doesn’t help that the prices for long-distance movers can vary widely. Start by looking at what you can afford with your upcoming move, and get several written estimates from local moving companies to compare costs.

Read Your Moving Contract Thoroughly: So, you think you’ve found your ideal residential moving company, but do you really know what you’re getting? Read the fine print of your contract and watch out for hidden service fees that can add up. Some providers,

Dive in and Declutter: Most long-distance moves are priced by pound, so it’s time to take a hard look at what you do (and don’t) want to haul to your new home. Go room by room and donate or toss anything that isn’t needed, and you’ll have a head start in making packing much easier.

How To Hire A DUI Attorney In

Things You Need To Know Before Hiring A Dui Lawyer

Getting a DUI can have major ramifications.  Most think that you will just have your driver’s license revoked; however, there are some other long lasting consequences.  For example, you could have jail time, court time, and maybe community service.  All of these things can affect your employment.  A DUI conviction will also show up on your background check and this will be available for future employers.  There are many more reasons that a DUI lawyer can help you with a DUI.  Here are six of the most important things you need to know before hiring a DUI lawyer.

Number 1: Know that you should consider more than one attorney before signing an agreement.

Different attorneys have different strategies and different personalities that you should know and understand before making a commitment.

While keeping in mind the immediate deadline to fight a driver’s license suspension, and the need to have an attorney before your next court date, take the time to find the right attorney. Schedule multiple consultations or phone calls to help with this process.

Your DUI case may remain open for more than a year, and because you are facing serious consequences such as the potential of jail time, the loss of driving privileges, and the loss of thousands of dollars in fines and fees, it is very important that you are comfortable and at ease with the attorney fighting for your rights during this time.

Number 2:  Know as much as possible about your attorney before signing an agreement.

What you hear on radio commercials or television ads should NOT be the only thing you know about an attorney you want to hire.

Schedule a consultation. Meet with the attorney. Ask them about their track record in DUI cases. Ask them how they have handled cases with similar facts. Ask them about their experience with the judge and prosecutor.

You should also do your own research to find out what other people say about your attorney. Reviews from past clients or other attorneys can help you know what to expect moving forward.

Number 3:  Know if your attorney has the relevant expertise to fight your DUI charge.

Find out if your attorney has a specific background in DUI defense.

Are they up to date with the latest scientific research? What do they know about field sobriety tests? Do they know about the exposed flaws in police techniques? Are they aware of the impact of marijuana and other drugs on driving safe or impaired? Do they know how to avoid license suspensions and how to protect your driving privileges?

You should also find out if your attorney is a member of the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers, the DUI Defense Lawyers Association, or other groups that keep their members on top of all the latest breakthroughs regarding DUI criminal defense.

Number 4:  Know if your attorney has experience with the Judge and Prosecutor on your case.

A major key to an attorney’s overall expertise is his/her knowledge of your local jurisdiction.

An attorney with experience in a certain courtroom knows who to call to get on (or off) a judge’s calendar, how to obtain dash and body cameras before your trial date, what alternative resolutions can lead to a DUI dismissal, and what to expect when trying to negotiate the best possible resolution to your case.

Many people are surprised to find out that different counties and different judges manage court in an entirely different manner. Finding an attorney with experience in your specific courtroom means less time wasted trying to figure things out, and more time committed to fighting for the outcome you deserve.

Number 5:  Know how much you will be paying your attorney, and for what.

Your legal fees should be clear and certain after meeting with your attorney.

You should know if you are paying a flat fee or an hourly rate, and whether those payments are due up front or in monthly installments. You should know if you are paying for your attorney to negotiate a plea deal or prepare for a jury trial, and whether you are paying for that attorney’s reputation or for their time fighting your case in court.

Another factor many people fail to consider when looking for a DUI attorney is the outside expenses associated with DUI charges. A good attorney should help you prepare for the potential costs of drug/alcohol screenings and evaluations, DUI driving classes, license suspension fees, and any other potential outside expenses.

One of the most frustrating consequences of a DUI charge is the thousands of dollars you are facing in fines and fees. To make this process more manageable and less stressful, your attorney should be straight forward and reasonable.

Number 6:  Know how you will be communicating with your attorney.

An initial consultation should set the stage of what to expect moving forward with your DUI attorney. You should know if they will welcome phone calls, text messages, or emails, and if you will be speaking with your attorney, that attorney’s assistant, or other staff in their office. You should also know how that attorney, or their staff, will contact you regarding upcoming court dates or deadlines.

Communication is key. You should be comfortable knowing that your attorney is going to be available whenever you need to speak with them.

The penalties for Driving Under the Influence in the State of Georgia are serious, and you need to be serious about finding the right attorney. Contact the Awad Legal Team today for a free consultation and strategy session to fight your DUI charges.

Essentials for Avoiding a Bad DUI Lawyer

There is no feeling worse than discovering that the lawyer you trusted just wasn’t up to the task. And of course, you’ll never find that out until after the damage is done. So how do you avoid an unpleasant surprise? Here are some common-sense recommendations:

1. Spend at least as much effort to find your lawyer as you would to find a barber.

If you moved to a new city, you would probably ask around before you chose a barber (or a hairdresser). At the very least, you might talk to somebody who had gotten good results. And your hair will grow back in a few weeks.  Hiring a lawyer is a whole different story.   If your problem is a criminal charge, then the result is something that you’ll be living with for years to come. Do your homework. Google is only a starting point. Check out reviews on or Martindale-Hubbell. Talk to someone who has actually had to hire a DUI lawyer.   Or go to a lawyer who practices some other specialty, and ask him (or her) who is the best DUI lawyer in town.

2. If you want to find a shark, look in the water.

If you need a trial lawyer, go to the courthouse. Ask the people who work there: deputies, bailiffs, court reporters. They see lots of lawyers, and they know who is good and who is not. They may give you a few names. Often, court employees will tell you that they aren’t supposed to make recommendations, but be persistent. If you strike up a conversation and make a friend, you are likely to at least find out who to avoid.

3. Experience Counts.

It may be hard to believe, but most lawyers never try a case in their entire careers. When you talk to lawyers, ask them how many trials they have had. Get details. Civil or criminal? Jury trials or judge trials? Wins or losses?  How many in the last year?  In the last month?  You wouldn’t want to have your appendix taken out by a doctor who had never operated before.  Many general practice criminal lawyers won’t try DUI cases, but instead try to negotiate a guilty plea on every case.

4. Don’t hire a general practitioner to do a specialist’s job.

Some types of cases don’t demand specialized knowledge. Certain types, such as DUI cases, do. More than any type of criminal case, except perhaps homicides, DUI cases involve detailed scientific evidence. A complete defense requires command of principles of chemistry, biology and physics, and familiarity with hundreds of scientific studies. Ask your prospective lawyer if he has training in breath testing or the field sobriety tests. Don’t be penny-wise and pound foolish. If it’s worth hiring a lawyer at all, then it’s worth hiring the best lawyer you can afford.

Facing Confusion After A DUI Arrest Charge

When a person is charged with a DUI or DWI offense for the first time, it is not surprising that most people will have two basic questions: “Am I going to lose my driver’s license” and “How much is it going to cost”? The real issue in fighting a driving under the influence case is not whether a person had consumed any alcohol or other substance, but whether the prosecution attorney can actually prove beyond a reasonable doubt that the arrest was truly valid. Many times, there is often an innocent and reasonable explanation for irregular driving such as being ill, tired, or being distracted. In other circumstances, evidence of erratic driving might be in contradiction by a review of the police station video which shows no obvious signs of a driver being under the influence of alcohol or drugs. There are many, and sometimes very technical ways for how to defend and beat a DUI charge case. Besides the all too common officer error or Breathalyzer test device malfunction, which can revealed through a careful review of the breath test machine maintenance records, these breath test cases can often successfully be won based on police report issues regarding the actual arrest details, or violations of a driver’s constitutional rights regarding how the tests were conducted. Any DUI arrest experience is a scary situation, especially when someone has never been in trouble with the law before and doesn’t know what to expect. One minute a person feels fine, they weren’t driving under the influence but still somehow blew over the legal limit of .08 BAC at a traffic stop or even at a DUI checkpoint. It is important to know that failing a DUI breath or blood test does not mean a person guilty. Until the arrest details and other evidence is reviewed online through us by a local DUI specialist, only then can a person know what the best defense options are that may be able to challenge and beat the case. Finding these options for what to do and ways how to fight the charges successfully, will always be based upon a driver’s own specific arrest circumstances of what happened. Regarding how much will a DUI cost, this again is something that can only be established once a person’s own arrest details can be examined by us online by a skilled and local lawyer, who will understand the complexities of a person’s individual situation. For any questions or concerns about possible ways how to fight & beat a DUI charge that you may be dealing with, please let us analyze your situation for potential options to dismiss the charges via the short contact form on the right of this page.

Confronting Consequences Of A DUI Offense Guilty Conviction

A local DUI attorney who examines a person’s arrest information online, will have a record of winning a substantial percentage of the cases fighting to beat DUI and DWI charges, including test refusal cases they have taken on. They stand behind a proven record of success based on tireless advocacy for people and a formidable approach to getting out of a driving under the influence offense. Any charges for DUI that include either alcohol, drugs, prescription medicine, Marijuana, or even refusing to take the DUI tests, can all have significant and unexpected consequences beyond criminal fines and potential jail time. Penalties of a first offense conviction can also lead to:

  • A permanent criminal record found on background checks
  • Having to get an Ignition Interlock device installed to drive
  • Limits many employment opportunities in a job search
  • Drivers license suspension for at least 1 year
  • Required alcohol/drug treatment and DUI school classes
  • Increased car insurance rates for at least 5 years
  • Restricts the ability to travel to other countries abroad

The Two Main Types Of DUI Arrest Offenses

There are 2 main criminal offenses related to DUI & DWI charges:

  • Driving Over the Legal Limit of .08 BAC (Blood Alcohol Content): Operating (or being in care and control of) a vehicle while a driver’s blood alcohol content is over the national .08 legal alcohol limit.
  • Refusal of a Breathalyzer or Blood Test: Refusing to take breath or blood test after a police officer has requested one of a driver who is suspected of driving under the influence of alcohol, illegal drugs, or certain types of medication.
Posted inLegal

Important Facts On The Electrical Wiring Log Homes

Guide To Electrical Wiring Of Your Home – Steps, Code, Material, Tools

What to know before installation

Then there’s the safety and danger aspect of the installation of electrical components. In most instances when installing electrical equipment power is located and disconnected. Ensuring the installation can be accomplished safely without electrical shock. There still ends up being the risk of incorrect wiring. From an intolerable unbalanced load, wrong neutral connection, improper grounding or bonding, and many other code violations.

I could make a book just on all the service calls I have been to that had an extremely dangerous and/or outrageous wiring. One service call from years ago I got called in for a fluorescent light in a kitchen not turning on.

So when I arrived at the house the customer takes me to the light. He tells me that he changed the fixture himself and that it’s not working. Right away assume, “oh, he must of connected a wrong wire, easy fix”.  I turn off the switch and go to open the fixture and immediately upon touching the outside of the fixture I get a shocking surprise. A nice electric shock from touching the base of the fixture. So, at this point, I locate the breaker and disconnect the entire circuit. I open the fixture to find a hot wire, not the switch leg, tied directly onto the bonding of the fixture. I of course redo the connections, turn on the circuit and test for proper voltage and function of the light.

That is one of the tamer stories, as I have seen many code violations throughout the years from self installers and fly by nighters. The point is, even if power is turned off and you can accomplish a safe install. In the end when power gets connected to your new circuits there is still risk of improper installation. It could mean arching from poor connections, power on metal enclosures from improper connections, or any number of things. This is why it is extremely important to know the code rules for what you are wiring. As well as have an understanding of how circuitry works. We wont go into the depth of the dangers of electricity here, but there is a lot of information on it. The extreme heat that can be caused from a small arch is more than enough to start a fire

When your roughin electrical wiring is completed it is time for your inspection. For wiring done in your own home, most municipalities allow for you to obtain a ‘homeowners permit’. If you are having a company work on your home or business, they must obtain their own permit. Be prepared, when you have done the install to know the installation as the inspector will want to go through the what and how. They will confirm that important safety factors and code are in compliance. If there are deficiencies, you will need to correct them and most likely call for a re-inspection.

Homeowner’s DIY Guide to Electrical Wiring

A practical, money-saving guide to home electrical wiring Handle residential wiring projects correctly, safely, and according to the National Electrical Code (NEC). Filled with clear photos and helpful diagrams, The Homeowner’s DIY Guide to Electrical Wiring shows you how to quickly and easily navigate the portions of the NEC that pertain to residential installations

This hands-on resource covers basic electronics and explains how electrical service progresses through your home. It describes how to install and test electrical systems and lighting, repair appliances and TVs, and upgrade to the latest innovations such as home networking, home automation, and alternate power systems

You’ll learn the procedures used by professional electricians to create the kind of quality work that will pass inspection and add value to your home

The Homeowner’s DIY Guide to Electrical Wiring shows how to: Protect against fire and shock hazards Track electrical service from the point of connection to the entrance panel Follow NEC requirements for residential projects Work with test equipment and installation tools Use the best techniques for quality electrical work Design and install indoor and outdoor lighting Maintain and repair electrically powered appliances Fix CRT, plasma, and LCD TVs Design a data and communications network and install coax, USB, and Ethernet cabling Install a home automation system Install backup and alternate power systems Work with smart meters

A Complete Guide to Home Electrical Wiring

Home Electrical Wiring is written by a licensed electrical contractor who explains how to wire small electrical projects, rewire or upgrade an older home, and wire a new home. The book is complete with 2011 and 2013 electrical codes for each project that are easy to understand, along with hundreds of on the job photos

During the past several years while answering over 2100 electrical questions, has been requested by many people to write a home wiring book. He began his writing project by researching what people were looking for which was the ideal book wanted to produce: A practical guide to wiring written by an electrician featuring actual on the job experiences with electrical codes that were organized and easy to understand.He is happy to say that this book is now available and will be of great benefit for the homeowner, students and teachers, electricians and inspectors

Some of the topics covered in Home Electrical Wiring are:

Building Permits and Inspections

Electrical Project Planning

Electrical Parts and Materials

Electrical Wiring Codes

Commonly Referenced Electrical Code Tables

Main Services and Sub Panels

Methods for How to Wire the Home, Room by Room

Circuit Design Tables for Most Commonly Installed Home Circuits

120 and 240-Volt Circuits

Interior and Exterior Lighting

Wiring for Telephones and Internet Data Communications

Wiring Diagrams and Illustrations

Old Electrical Wiring Types, History of Electrical Wire Types

History of electrical wire & electrical wiring: how to recognize knob and tube electrical wiring and unsafe “extension cord” wiring. How to evaluate the number of electrical circuits in an older home. Photo guide to types of old building electrical wires.

In this article series we list common old building electrical wiring system safety concerns and we illustrate types of old electrical wires and devices. This article series answers basic questions about assessing and repairing the electrical service, capacity, wiring type, condition, and safety in older homes.

Photo Guide to Old Electrical Wire Types

“So much has been said and written upon the subject of high-tension electric currents and their probable or possible danger to human life, and so many different opinions have been advanced by men whose positions serve to surround their utterances with an atmosphere of knowledge of the matter under discussion, that the mind of an unscientific public has been unable to come to any definite conclusion upon the basis of “expert” testimony.

These rusty looking “pipes” may be the last remnants of the oldest and original electrical wiring used for underground electrical power distribution in the U.S. We describe these electrical power cables and provide images of and links to early electrical wiring and wire insulation methods in this article.

In the electrical wire history & old wire identification article below we illustrate a variety of types of electrical wiring found in older buildings based on the wire insulation material (asbestos, cloth, plastic, metal) and the wire material itself: copper, aluminum, copper-clad aluminum, tinned copper.


When we first started thinking about our vanlife electrical system and buying our components, we had a lot of questions. We researched online, read other van build blogs and forum posts, and watched Youtube videos. Some were very helpful, but many left us with a swirl of even more questions.

We were learning a lot about circuits and electrical systems, but we were also overwhelmed by all the new knowledge coming at us from all directions. Electrical is such a vital part of any van build, and we wanted to get it right.

In this post, we go over exactly what we bought, exactly how we connected everything, and we even have pictures and diagrams (yay)! For those of you interested in further reading, we also include links to blog posts and other resources that helped us out along the way.

Obligatory Disclaimer: This post describes what we did with our own system based on our own research, and we hope you’ll find it helpful. That said, we are NOT ELECTRICIANS. Working with electricity in any form can be dangerous. It’s always a good idea to read the manuals for all of your components and consult with a licensed electrician before performing any electrical work.

Home Inspection Boosts Home Buyer Confidence

Home inspections

Buying a home can be one of the most important, life-changing decisions you will make. Getting a reliable home inspection can play a vital part in your decision-making. A home inspection is most often used to evaluate the condition of a home before it is bought or sold. It may inform you if the home has components that are defective, damaged or unsafe.

When looking to buy a home, getting a reliable home inspection may help you avoid surprises. A complete home inspection report can help you make more informed choices about your purchase or possible repairs that need to be made.

How to find a reliable home inspector

Not all provinces and territories have industry regulations or require certification for home inspectors. However, there are steps you can take to find a reliable home inspector before you make an offer on a home.

First, do your research:

Ask for home inspector referrals from your home renovator, friends and family.

Compare services offered by various home inspectors. Services can be provided by individuals who work for sole proprietorships, independent businesses, franchises, and consulting firms.

Consult with home inspection associations in your region for general information and a list of approved members.

Before you hire a home inspector:

Verify that the inspector is currently licensed in your province or territory, if applicable.

Make sure the inspector has experience and training in the field. Ask about the years of practice and the number of inspections carried out by the inspector. Find out if any diploma or certificate was received from an approved program.

Check if the home inspector is accredited by the Better Business Bureau or an industry association. These organizations may also be able to inform you of complaints or sanctions made against the home inspector or home inspection business.

Ask for a sample report to see if it is easy to understand, covers all main systems of the home and includes photos and explanations.

Ask for a written contract outlining the items you need to have inspected, the home inspection report deadline and the total cost before the work gets started.

Check if the home inspector has professional liability insurance.


Before committing to a purchase of an old house where time and climate has worn it down, everyone recognizes the great need to hire a home inspector to assess its condition. However, one question that is frequently heard is if a home inspector should also be hired if the house is new, even for a house that has not been finished as of yet?


By all means, a new house may appear flawless, but then that is because nobody has resided there to notice if anything is incorrect. you may have noticed how many new products with flaws are only discovered once the consumer tries them. Well, this is also true for houses. Essentially, you are a guinea pig when you buy a new home testing whether the basement floods during the rain and how well the HVAC system works. On the other hand, with an older home where there may be some wear and tear, by law, the owner is required to disclose any and all known problems.


Right now, you may assume that county building inspectors ensure that construction on a new house is up to code. While the county building inspectors should make sure, in reality, this does not always happen. County code inspectors are employed by the municipality and ensure new construction is up to minimum building code — as we said, minimum. Also, they are public servants who do not work for you. Furthermore, unless you know the difference between screwed drywall and nailed drywall, or you are a general contractor, basically, you may end up screwing yourself.


Ideally, if you are purchasing a home that is currently under construction, the fact is that you should hire a home inspector twice. During the first inspection, he can check the home prior to the closing of the walls and inspect the home’s framing and systems installation. Following the completion of the home is when the second inspection should take place to allow the inspection of everything else.

Depending on where you reside and the size of your home, a home inspector can typically charge between $300 and $500. While it may seem like costly overload hiring one home inspector twice, consider this: If you pay for an early pre-inspection of drywall, the inspector ensures the studs, beams, insulation, posts, and home systems were installed properly. Most home inspectors are unable to have this sneak peek with homes after the walls are up. Furthermore, if any problems do arise, you can take the list of concerns and complaints to your builder so they can correct them prior to the wall being closed.

How To Become A Home Inspector

Pursuing a career as a certified home inspector is a choice that’s an interesting, challenging and rewarding way to make a good living. Despite what many people think, it doesn’t take a background in architecture, construction, engineering or related fields to become a home inspector. It’s a field that’s open to anyone. People of all ages and backgrounds have trained with us to start their own successful home inspection businesses or take a job with an existing home inspection company. Inspecting homes on a part-time basis can also be a great way for retired people and others who want to supplement their incomes to bring in some extra money. Becoming a home inspector begins with proper training and certification.

Becoming a Home Inspector: Where to Begin

Once you’ve decided to become a home inspector, the first step is to determine what’s required in the state where you live or plan to work, since licensing requirements vary widely from state to state.

Increase Your Knowledge of Home Inspections

After you’ve completed your training, received your certification and are actively working either as a self-employed home inspector or employed by a home inspection company, you’ll want to consider taking advantage of ICA’s Bonus Inspection Courses.

Although most training schools charge extra for these additional credentials, they’re completely free to graduates of ICA’s Home Inspector Training and Certification Course. Being qualified to provide clients with services beyond basic home inspections will help to both expand your client base and increase your income, since you’ll be paid for most, if not all of these specialized inspections. If you’re working for an established home inspection company, the additional certifications will make you more valuable to your employer and help advance your career.

Below are the online courses available to you free of charge as an ICA graduate:

Mold Inspection. You’ll learn everything you need to know about detecting mold in both commercial and residential buildings.

Radon Inspection. This is a four-part, self-paced course that covers everything you need to know about performing radon inspections for your commercial and residential clients.

Pool and Spa Inspection. After completing this course, home inspectors will know how to inspect swimming pools and spas, including understanding their mechanical components.

Septic System Inspection. Although septic systems can be found just about everywhere, they’re most common in outlying and rural areas. Graduates of this course will understand septic systems, their components and how they work.

Thermal Imaging. The objective of this course is for inspectors to understand thermal imaging, how it can increase the scope and accuracy of their home inspections, what special equipment is needed and how it is.

Irrigation and Sprinkler System Inspection. ICA created this course to familiarize home inspectors with lawn sprinkler and irrigation systems and how to include them in the home inspection process.


A home inspection protects all parties

The truth is, without a thorough home inspection performed by a qualified professional, neither the buyer nor the seller can really know what defects may exist in a home. more experience with home inspections and buying than any other franchise company. As part of your home inspection, your local

Why a home inspection is a smart investment

Are you concerned about the home inspection cost?  Think of it as more of an investment in your purchase confidence.  Whether this is your first time buying a home or you have bought and sold many homes

recommends you obtain a professional home inspection to take advantage of these benefits:

Find out what type of systems and components exist in your new home.

Determine the condition of the systems and major components of the home.

Understand how the systems and structural components of your new home function.

Learn how to maintain your new home to improve the enjoyment and value of your home.

Home Inspection is All About You

The most important person in a HouseMaster home inspection is YOU.  The Customer!  That is why we have carefully designed the HouseMaster home inspection process to include all of the information that you need to feel confident.  We invite you to join us on the inspection where we will take the time to discuss anything that we find.  We will also explain items that you should consider for proper home maintenance and we will show you how to operate many of the systems in the home. 

This guide will help you to get the most out of your home inspection.  As you work with your inspector, you can take notes in the guide to ensure that all your questions are answered.  The guide also includes information about home maintenance and tips on making your home more energy efficient.  The guide also includes a hand home inspection checklist that will assist you in performing your pre-closing walk-through.

What is a home inspection?

A home inspection, also known as a building inspection or a property inspection, is a thorough visual assessment of a home or building conducted by a certified professionally trained inspector at a specific point in time when a purchase is being considered. While a home may be inspected for many reasons, most inspections occur before a home is sold. The purpose is to reveal any issues that might become problems for the buyer in the short or long term.

A home/building seller may also choose to have an inspection done prior to listing a property in order to avoid any unpleasant surprises during negotiations. An inspection will typically include a walk-through tour of the building, in which the condition of the property is closely scrutinized, any defects and deficiencies are noted, and recommendations for repair are made. During the inspection, the inspector will look for any problems that could have a significant impact from a health and safety perspective or purely from a financial standpoint.

Home Inspection Process Explained

Home Inspection Process Explained A typical inspection takes two to three hours depending on size and layout. During this time, the house is examined from the ground up and from the outside in. A good inspection should include observation and, when appropriate, operation of the plumbing, heating, air conditioning, electrical, and appliance systems, as well as observation of structural components: roof, foundation, basement, exterior and interior walls, chimney, doors, and windows. Findings should be provided in the form of a comprehensive inspection report which includes an objective evaluation of the condition the home, clearly outlining any existing defects and potential problems.

An inspection is particularly important when purchasing a home. Buying a house is likely one of the largest purchases a person will ever make. But few buyers are experienced in building construction, and overlooking a serious problem could result in a costly problem down the road. As a result, many buyers choose to have a property inspection conducted prior to closing the sale. The inspection can identify any issues, which the buyer can discuss with the seller during negotiations.

Inspector, it includes:

A thorough visual inspection of the structure (inside and out, from foundation to roof).

An examination of all major systems.

An objective evaluation of the condition of a home.

A printed report covering all findings and identifying potential concerns.

A high quality binder that includes: your home inspection report, full color photos, a repair and remodel cost estimate guide, home maintenance information, a CD-Rom to help you with simple “how-to” p rojects around the home, a package of valuable offers from our Home Alliance partners

Why You Should Outsource Tax Preparation

Tax Preparation Outsourcing: What you need to know

Tax preparation outsourcing services can help public accounting firms of all sizes. These firms cut costs by up to 60 percent by supplementing in-house staff with highly trained onshore and offshore tax professionals.  With Outsourcing, firms can:

  • Increase morale and productivity by reducing long work hours and weekend staffing requirements.
  • Reduce or eliminate peak season overtime costs.
  • Refocus staff on higher-value tasks.
  • Convert the variable cost of tax preparation to a fixed cost.
  • Lead to faster turnaround times on returns because of time zone differences.
  • Improve document management processes.

Client Data Security is Priority #1

When considering an Outsourcing solution, you need to be sure your clients’ data is going to be safe and secure.  Before you take advantage of an outsourcing service, do your due diligence and make sure that the outsourced tax preparation and accounting vendor maintains:

  • Comprehensive non-disclosure agreements.
  • A fully trained staff.
  • Extensive and continuing training on all the latest federal and state tax laws and codes.
  • A high-level final review process.

Why You Should Consider Outsourcing Tax Preparation Services

Today, many companies are trying to operate on leaner budgets, therefore outsourcing administrative tasks becomes a great solution to reduce headcount. Here below, we listed some reasons on why you should consider finding external support on accounting and tax.

Save Time & Focus on Your Business

Accounting and tax preparation can be highly time-consuming. An average internal bookkeeper or accountant needs a lot of time to crosscheck data and get tax declarations, before finalizing the work with top management, who should be dedicating their valuable time on reaching business goals. By outsourcing your accounting and tax preparation work, including tedious tasks related to bills, payroll, mandatory declarations, and other ancillary issues, managers will free up valuable time to be spent on daily operations and bringing in new customers.

Reduce Costs

Many companies have made the mistake in hiring and training too-green bookkeepers or accountants for the low cost and high convenience. However, hiring juniors means running a risk of them not having the necessary degree of expertise (or the potential of obtaining it). Hiring skilled accountants and properly training your internal accounting department is the best solution, but not everyone can afford hiring experienced personnel, therefore outsourcing accounting work becomes an attractive and practical alternative. By outsourcing, companies save money on expenses related to recruitment, employee benefits, training, accounting software, hardware, and office supplies, so managers can focus on daily operations, team management and customer acquisition which are more important for your company growth.

Assurance of high-quality work

The primary goal of outsourcing any work to another entity is to get a high-quality job. It also means the allocated company will deliver within the same time durations. Outsourcing tax preparation ensures an organization takes away the risk of having incomplete or inappropriate tax compilations.

Focus on key business matters

Another reason that makes organizations outsource tax preparation is to allow their employees to concentrate on value-adding work. Tax preparation is a time-consuming endeavor. Except for companies that specialize with tax compilation, the exercise of filing tax returns has no value addition to an organization. It is a process that consumes time without any financial benefits to many firms. Outsourcing tax preparation services remains the only alternative.

Preserve flexibility

Having in-house tax preparation is great until the organization starts to scale upwards. New employees will be required if a business grows as the demand for a greater workforce increases. The new employees need time to learn the organization’s culture and business environment. Besides increasing the company’s wage bill, new employees decrease overall productivity. To avoid such occurrences, many firms opt to outsource tax preparation services. Outsourcing such tasks ensures a firm is not affected by its growth because tax compilation is managed by a different entity.

Mitigate Risks

When it comes to accounting and tax declaration, avoid mistakes is important and this is less likely to happen with an external team of accountants. Besides, employee fraud is a massive problem and it happens sometimes to small businesses that money is stolen by trusted employees. Enforcing strong internal checks and balances system may stir up unnecessary emotions, therefore, outsourced accounting is the perfect solution. Having a third party to audit your money trail, you will decrease your risk of internal fraud. External services provider also offers impartial standard of checks and balances, which will also help to improve compliance.

Running a business is challenging, taking care of all back-office low-added value tasks are often low on the priority list. Choosing a qualified outsourced accountant is a great investment and your first step towards a lower and higher-value workload. Many companies are discovering the benefits of outsourcing, the sooner you make the switch, the better it is for your company growth.

Added Benefits

  • Gain greater growth capacity without additional overhead
  • Increase efficiency through a digital process
  • More effectively manage tax season to reduce burnout and improve work-life balance
  • Better retain talent by giving first year staff higher value work
  • Enhance client satisfaction by focusing on higher value, personalized service

What All Tax Filing & Preparation Task Can Be Outsourced?

  • Tax filing
  • Partnership tax return
  • Small corporation tax return
  • Payroll tax return
  • Intangible taxes
  • Tangible taxes
  • Charter/franchise taxes
  • Individual income taxes
  • Capital gains taxes
  • Heavy equipment use taxes
  • Non-profit corporation taxes
  • Document management
  • Refund tracking
  • Tax history
  • Post filing

Trends In Pediatric Critical Care Nursing

Pediatric Nursing – What Does a Pediatric Nurse Do?

A Pediatric Nurse provides health and medical care for infants, children, and adolescents. The Pediatric Nurse is able to talk to children and ask questions about their health, especially when children are scared and cannot clearly communicate their problems.

Pediatric nurses will work with children and adolescents of all different ages, so they must have specialized knowledge of child and adolescent growth and development. They will know about childhood diseases and treatments, which can differ from the diseases and treatments of adults. Most pediatric nurses work in children’s hospitals, but others work in outpatient care facilities and community hospitals. They can also work in schools, provide at-home care, and more. Pediatric nurses in hospital settings can expect to work in shifts, including nights and weekends. Those who work in doctors’ offices or schools may work a more normal schedule, with set hours during the day.

Pediatric Nurse Responsibilities:

  • Working with children and asking questions about their health for diagnosis and documenting patients’ symptoms and medical history for the doctor.
  • Assessing a child’s needs and providing initial care.
  • Identifying changes in children’s symptoms and intervening in emergency situations.
  • Participating in pain management for children.
  • Administering medications, drawing blood, and giving childhood vaccinations following age-appropriate guidelines.
  • Monitoring temperature, pulse, breathing, and blood pressure and keeping accurate records.
  • Evaluating children for signs and symptoms of abuse.
  • Providing supportive care to dying children.
  • Dealing with the anxieties and demands of parents, and helping families to deal with their child’s illness or injury.
  • Remaining up to date on the latest developments, rules and regulations, drug therapies, equipment, and treatment procedures.

Pediatric Nurse Practitioners

If you’re interested in healthcare and love children, you may be considering a career in pediatric nursing. If so, you’ve likely thought to yourself, “What does a pediatric nurse do?” As a pediatric nurse practitioner (PNP), you’ll serve as children’s health advocate, educate them and their families about preventive care, help them gain access to the treatment needed, and perform a host of duties typically associated with those of a pediatrician.

Because their bodies are in a nearly constant state of change and growth, and since they often have different reactions to injuries, illnesses, and medications, children need healthcare professionals who specialize in treating young patients.

Pediatric nurse practitioners are particularly qualified to fill this void. While pediatric nurse practitioner degree programs throughout the U.S. may differ in how they provide access to their programs, such a specialized curriculum should essentially be the same.

For example, regardless of the pediatric nursing pathway, licensed PNPs will have a comprehensive knowledge base of nursing theory, research, and ethics, as well as an expertise in advanced physical assessment, pathophysiology, and pharmacology.

Additionally, pediatric nurse practitioners possess:

  • Effective critical thinking skills that provide guidance in the identification and treatment of symptoms and changes in a child’s health
  • A compassionate nature that enables them to provide sympathy, empathy, care, and support for children and their families
  • An attention to detail that keeps processes moving along and prevents common mistakes from occurring

Licensing and Certification

All RNs must pass the National Council of State Boards of Nursing’s National Council Licensure Examination for registered nurses (NCLEX-RN) in order to receive a license practice. States may have different additional licensing requirements, so candidates should consult state nursing boards for specifics.

Although not required, the Certified Pediatric Nurse credential, offered by the Pediatric Nursing Certification Board, can benefit pediatric RNs by demonstrating their advanced knowledge and professional dedication to employers. This certification might also result in advancement or higher wages for those who hold it. In order to qualify, certification candidates are required to have a current nursing license and 1,800 hours of work in a pediatric clinic.

Pediatric nurses provide nursing care to infants, children and adolescents. They also help the child’s family cope with the illness or injury. Certification is optional, but may help increase job prospects within this area of specialization and lead to advancement.

Education Requirements

Aspiring pediatric nurses must graduate from one of the many registered nurse colleges in the United States. There are associate’s degrees and diploma nursing programs available, but employers may prefer a Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN).  These programs will include clinical experience. Then, they must take the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX-RN) exam to become a licensed registered nurse (RN). Those who want to be pediatric nurses should consider getting certified through an exam with the Pediatric Nursing Certification Board or American Nurses Credentialing Center. Employers might require certification, but even if they don’t, certification shows that a nurse has specialized knowledge of the field.

Hiring A Professional Move In Cleaning Services Company

The Ultimate End of Lease Cleaning Checklist

Cleaning preparation

Before you even lift a finger, there’ll be some prep work that you’ll need to do to ensure a fast and efficient cleaning day. Follow these tips to set yourself up for success.

Prepare your schedule

A team of two professional end of lease cleaners will take roughly 2-4 hours to clean a studio apartment, 4-6 hours to clean a three bedroom apartment, and an entire day to clean a large house. A lot of renters are surprised by how much work is involved, leaving too little time to finish the job. More often than not, this means hiring last minute cleaners or worse yet, relinquishing a portion of their bond. It’s up to you to decide if you’re up to the task, but we always recommend splitting the clean up into several days.

Empty your home

have an “unfurnished” policy for our end of lease cleans. Trust us when we say, you’ll want to move out before you start cleaning. We recommend this to most renters because the majority of messes occur during the moving process, not the actual tenancy. Another primary reason for emptying your home is that exit cleans require much more thorough cleaning than usual. If furniture is in your way, you won’t be able to guarantee that specific areas are 100% clean, for example, underneath your couch or below the fridge.

Get the right equipment and supplies

You’ll need to bring more than just yourself to finish the job. Grab these supplies to get you started and the optional equipment for more specific cleaning if required.


Brush and dustpan






Carpet Steam Cleaner (as required)

Oven cleaner (degreaser)

Oven scraper

Preferred cleaning product (Easy-off, Pledge, Vim)

Sugar Soap


Paper Towels




Ladder (as required)

Screwdriver (as required)

By far, your kitchen will require the most cleaning effort. Depending on use, grease build-up can be mild to severe. Oven cleaning alone will take up to an hour for degreasing agents to work their magic. You’ll also potentially have appliances that need to be wiped down, cupboards that need to be washed, and food stains to scrub out.


Moving to a new home is exciting, but it can be exhausting too. You just want to unpack, settle in with your family and enjoy your beautiful new property. The last thing you want to do is go back to your old property for an intensive cleaning session.


When you leave your old home, you need it to be spotless if you’re going to get your hands on that all-important security deposit. That means that you need cleaners you can rely on to turn up on time and get the job done well – first time around. Fortunately, services are designed for first-time satisfaction, every time. We’re so confident in the abilities of our maids, that we will deliver 100% free recleans if you’re not satisfied. Our cleaners follow a carefully put together move in/out cleaning checklist.

moving cleaning packages includes everything you need to delight your landlord including:

Kitchen and eating areas: Countertops, stove, sinks, microwave, window sills, blinds, baseboards, and doors.

Bathroom: Bathtubs, tile walls, showers, shower doors, vanity, sinks, faucets, mirrors, toilets, window sills, blinds,

Sleeping and living areas: Doors and door frames, flat areas, ceiling fans, baseboards, carpets and stairs (vacuumed), closets, general dusting, mopping.


Q: Do I need to be at home for the cleaning?

A: No, you can trust our background-checked cleaners to access and clean your home without you being there. We’ll lock up for you when we’re finished too.

Q: How long does the cleaning take?

A: Typically, move out cleaning services require more work than a standard clean. This means that it’s important to leave plenty of time for the service to be completed before you need to hand the keys back over to your landlord.

Two Steps For Hiring Move-In Cleaning Services

Between packing boxes, changing addresses and scheduling moving vans, moving into a new home brings a very long to-do list with it. With everything going on, the last thing you want to have to stop and do is deep clean your new home. While cleaning the home yourself is an option, it may not be ideal or even possible among the moving chaos. Instead, simplify your move and hire a reputable professional cleaner to do the work!

Deep Home Cleaning

While your new home may have been cleaned prior to sale, it’s always a good idea to hire a cleaning service to give it another deep clean before moving in. Since people often move out of their home quickly, it’s unlikely that the previous owner was able to thoroughly clean the home as well as they should have.

Hiring a professional cleaning service ensures all areas that were previously unnoticed are taken care of and the home meets your cleanliness standards. Typical move-in cleaning services include vacuuming and washing floors, wiping down baseboards, scrubbing bathrooms, sanitizing sinks and countertops, cleaning appliances and dusting extensively. Services vary between each cleaning company and may include additional services or premium cleaning packages. Most cleaning services charge by the hour or by square footage.

For harder-to-clean features such as carpets, you may want to consider hiring a professional carpet cleaner to provide a deeper clean. Regardless of how pristine the carpet looks when you move in, you can never be sure how the previous owner maintained it. Carpet is notorious for harboring allergens, odors, germs and stains that aren’t always visible. A professional carpet cleaner can remove those particles with ease and give you peace of mind!

Recurring Cleaning Services

In today’s fast-paced world, it’s difficult to keep up with regular home cleaning and maintenance. Luckily, most cleaning professionals also offer recurring cleaning services that help homeowners, or even renters, keep their home looking just as clean and beautiful as the day they moved in. Recurring cleaning services can be performed weekly, bi-weekly or monthly depending on your preference or need.

Coronavirus (COVID-19): guidance on moving home

Home moves in the social and private rented sector

Tenant, staff and contractor safety should be letting agents’ and landlords’ first priority when managing home moves. Please refer to guidance for landlords on meeting their duties and legal obligations in the social and private rented sectors during the pandemic. 

Letting agents and private sector landlords should follow guidance on COVID-19 and renting which explains the current approach in the Private Rented Sector, including tenant protections. Propertymark has also produced guidance, see the related links page.

Specific advice on all home moves in the rented sector includes:

viewings should not be conducted in properties where tenants are showing symptoms or self-isolating. If tenants are at high clinical risk from COVID-19, they should not be compelled to allow viewings to take place in the property.

landlords and agents and should ask whether any member of a tenant’s household is showing symptoms, or has been asked to self-isolate, or is at high clinical risk before going ahead with any visits to properties.  Appointment systems should be used  for tenants visiting offices and when conducting viewings.  Virtual viewings should be carried out where possible, with physical viewings only where there is no other alternative.

landlords and agents must give tenants appropriate notice before visiting the property and should not enter the property without the tenant’s consent, except in an emergency.  Any visits to a property must be made in accordance with the Scottish Government guidelines on physical distancing.

where possible, repairs, gas and electrical safety checks and energy performance assessments should be conducted in the period between a property being vacated and a new tenant moving in

if this is not possible, and visits are needed to an occupied property, this should be done by appointment with measures put in place to ensure physical contact is minimised, for example with residents staying in another room during the visit

landlords should make every effort to abide by gas safety requirements, which continue to be of great importance for tenants’ safety. This may be more difficult due to restrictions associated with the COVID-19 outbreak, for example where a tenant has COVID-19 symptoms, is self-isolating or is at high clinical risk. Under such circumstances, provided the landlord can demonstrate they have taken reasonable steps to comply, they would not be in breach. The HSE has produced guidance on how to deal with specific circumstances.

landlords should also make every effort to abide by electrical and other fuel safety requirements, which continue to be of great importance for tenants’ safety. This may be more difficult due to restrictions associated with the COVID-19 outbreak.

letting agents may also want to consider obtaining landlord and tenant consent for inventory clerk appointments to also occur before a tenant moves in or after a tenant moves out during vacant periods if possible.

where there is no alternative, landlord staff and agents can accompany landlords and prospective tenants on physical viewings but should seek to minimise contact with prospective tenants and home occupiers at all times and follow government guidelines on physical distancing and the use of face coverings.

where an unaccompanied viewing is being carried out agents and landlords  should make sure that tenants and prospective tenants clearly understand how the viewing should be conducted safely and that they should comply with health guidance including physical distancing.

all parties viewing a property should wash their hands with soap and water or use alcohol based hand rub (hand sanitiser) before entering the property, with internal doors opened and surfaces having also been cleaned with standard household cleaning products before they enter. If any party need to wash their hands in the property, separate towels or paper towels should be used. The landlord should be responsible for providing the cleaning products and towels.

properties should be deep cleaned in the period between the property being vacated and a new tenant moving in

Guide to Deep Cleaning Your Home Before a Move

Should you clean before a move?

Two of the most dreaded hassles of a move are packing and cleaning. No one wants to spend time cleaning up for landlords or new owners when they could be reminiscing about their new space. However, there are benefits to taking some time to deep clean your space before a move.

Should I clean my apartment before I move?

If you’re a renter who is moving to a new residence, you’ll want to take some time to do one final deep clean after you’ve moved all of your belongings out of the space. While it’s not the most enjoyable way to spend your Saturday, you’ll be glad you invested the time and energy to do so when you don’t get slammed with hundreds of dollars in cleaning fees. 

What to Do Before Listing Your House for Sale

Deep cleaning is also beneficial for homeowners who intend to sell their home. In addition to looking less cluttered, which helps potential homeowners touring your home imagine what it would be like to live there, a clean space can also add value to your home. An appraiser will take into consideration the state of your home as well as the appearance of it, so deep cleaning before listing your home for sale can add money to your pocket or help you walk away with a larger down payment for your next home.

What should you clean before a move?

Wondering where to start and what to clean? Here’s a room-by-room guide to deep cleaning your home before a move.

In Every Room

Every room will have common areas which need attention, such as floors, baseboards, and walls. These are the spaces that will draw the eye when potential buyers are viewing your home, so it’s a good idea to make sure they are clean and well-maintained leading up to and throughout the selling process.

Getting Rid Of Raccoon

About Raccoons

The raccoon is a small nocturnal mammal, typically 20–30 inches long and weighing 15–30 pounds though, in urban areas where they thrive on our refuse, raccoons can weigh up to 60 pounds. Their fur is grayish brown with a bushy banded tail and black masked face. Raccoons appear to flourish in places where humans have developed the land. They are highly adaptable, extremely intelligent animals that live well in cities, suburbs, and rural environments.

Raccoons are omnivorous and will eat almost anything from fish, insects, eggs, and young mammals to fruits, vegetables, and nuts. Most active at night, raccoons sometimes also forage for food by day. They will make their nests almost anywhere — in tree cavities, brush piles, abandoned burrows, chimneys, attics, crawl spaces, storm sewers, haystacks, and barn lofts — and usually have more than one den site available for use at any one time.

Raccoons are as intelligent as dogs and cats, and their front limbs provide them with great manual dexterity. They have routines for food and shelter, and remember places that are good for each.


Raccoons can cause damage such as dumping trash cans, disturbing gardens and ponds, and injuring cats or small dogs, or they may simply be a nuisance for homeowners by entering attics and chimneys.

If raccoons have taken up residence in or around your home, the first step is to encourage them to move out. This is easily accomplished by using mild harassment techniques, and following up with exclusionary methods.

How to Get Rid of Raccoons

Don’t let raccoons run amok on your property. Use these five tips to keep raccoons out of your garbage–and your home. Cute as they are, raccoons can be a real nuisance to home owners. They’re clever, dexterous and will eat pretty much anything that is edible. Here are five tips for how to get rid of raccoons from your log home’s property.

Secure Your Garbage

The number one problem with raccoons is their attraction to a home’s garbage cans.  Unfortunately, the typical garbage can lid is no match for raccoons. Raccoons can open lids easily with their paws; if that doesn’t work, they’ll dislodge the lid by knocking the entire can over. Before you know it, you’re waking up to a driveway full of rotting—and smelly—kitchen garbage.

Remove Any and All Food Sources

Make sure there is nothing edible whatsoever around the perimeter of your home. Check for:

Pet food and water

Overripe vegetables in your garden

Fallen fruit from trees

Bird feeders

Clean Up Your Landscaping

Don’t give raccoons an environment that allows them cover on their nocturnal food searches. Trim large bushes, remove brush, and keep your lawn mowed. Raccoons don’t like to be exposed in open space, so consider installing bright, motion-sensitive lighting around areas that might attract them.

Seal Up Any Entrances to Your Home, Garage or Shed

A family of raccoons will sometimes take up residence in your home—for example, under your porch or in a remote corner of your shed. Be sure and check around the perimeter of your home’s garage, shed, basement, outbuildings, alleyways or crawl spaces. Additionally, check around your home’s attic, chimney, or any low-hanging eaves.  Any small spaces that provide even 4 or 5 inches of access should be sealed.

How to Get Rid of Raccoons in Your Barn

You’ll everything you need to know to catch or repel the raccoon sleeping or eating in your barn. Bookmark this page so you can easily refer back to it. You can also leave a comment if you have any questions.

There are some easy ways to spot raccoon damage. If you suspect that you may have a raccoon around, here are some telltale signs:

Racoon poop

Foul odor from urine and feces, especially when warm

Destroyed roofing, walls, beams, or other damaged structures

Food or waste scattered

Debris scattered

Damaged or scratched surfaces

Raccoons are disease-ridden

Because they’re so disease-ridden, you should always contact a professional if you have no idea what you’re doing. Even if you don’t come into direct contact with the raccoon, you can get other diseases from the waste the raccoon leaves behind. They’ll poop everywhere, eat all your livestock food, and make a huge mess of your entire barn.

Females raccoons also will lay babies and start a nest. They’re typically found hiding behind hay or within haylofts. They’re also very protective of the babies and will become defensive, bite, or scratch if needed. Never attempt to remove or take down a raccoon yourself.

Always be careful

Always treat any raccoon or anything it’s touched as diseased. This means their poop, pee, saliva, and anything they chewed, touched, slept on, or otherwise came into contact with. Use double-gloves, double-clothing, a face mask, closed-toed shoes, and a long, disposable outer layer of clothing to handle anything that the raccoon has touched.


The raccoon (Procyon lotor) is a native mammal of Maine, measuring about three feet long, including its 12-inch, bushy, ringed tail. Because its hind legs are longer than the front legs, the raccoon has a hunched appearance when it walks or runs. Each of its front feet has five dexterous toes, allowing raccoons to grasp and manipulate food and other items

Raccoons prefer forested areas near a stream or water source, but have adapted to various environments throughout the state. Raccoon populations can get quite large in urban areas, owing to restrictions on and trapping, lack of predators, and food supplied by humans.

Adult raccoons weigh 15 to 40 pounds, their weight being a result of genetics, age, available food and habitat location. Males have weighed in at over 60 pounds. A raccoon in the wild will probably weigh less than the urbanized raccoon that has learned to live on handouts, pet food and garbage-can leftovers.

Food and Feeding Behavior

Raccoons will eat almost anything, but are particularly fond of creatures found in water – clams, crayfish, frogs, fish, and snails.

Raccoons also eat insects, slugs, dead animals, carrion, birds, bird eggs, fruit, vegetables, nuts and seeds. When garbage and pet food are accessible, raccoons will often eat these items, too.

Although not great hunters, raccoons can catch young birds, squirrels, mice and rats.

Except during the breeding season and when females are with young, raccoons are solitary. Individuals will eat together if a large amount of food is available in an area.

Den Sites and Resting Sites

Raccoons take shelter and raise young in dens. They may use burrows that other mammals have dug and abandoned, holes in trees, hollow logs, or areas under large rock or brush piles. They may also take advantage of wood duck nest-boxes, attics, crawl spaces, chimneys and abandoned vehicles.

In urban areas, raccoons normally use den sites as daytime rest sites. In wooded areas, they often rest in trees.

Raccoons generally move to a different den or daytime rest site every few days, but do not follow a predictable pattern. Only a female with young or an animal “holed up” during a cold spell will use the same den for any length of time.

Several raccoons may den together during winter storms.

How To Get Rid of Raccoons

Here are the best ways to get rid of raccoons:

Cage Trapping: For certain types of outdoor raccoon problems, trapping and removal is a good option. But it not always easy.

Exclusion: If raccoons are getting in your attic or walls, or under a shed or deck, you must find the entry areas and seal them shut.

Prevention: Keep away food sources like pet food or bird seed. Keep your garbage cans secure. A good fence can keep them at bay.

Repellents: Do mothballs, ammonia, fox or coyote urine, or sound machines repel raccoons? No – these tactics do not alter raccoon behavior.

In the Attic: Raccoons in the attic must be dealt with in a very careful, specific way, because there will be baby raccoons

You may be able to solve your raccoon problem yourself. If you need to hire professional help, you may want to find out what we typically charge for raccoon removal. Pro help is most relevant if you are unable to effectively or legally trap and relocate animals, or if you have a difficult case

Raccoon Info: Raccoons are usually classified as a pest species due to their habits of living in human dwellings. The most common complaints include the following:

Raccoons living in the attic

Raccoons living in the chimney

Tipping over garbage cans

Stealing pet food or bird seed

Sick, potentially rabid raccoon

Presence is alarming dogs/pets

How to Get rid of them: The primary approaches are trapping, prevention, or repellents, as outlined and discussed below in detail.

Trapping: Trapping is always an option for wildlife removal. However, it’s not always so cut and dry. Much of the time, simple trapping does not solve the problem. The majority of cases of do-it-yourself raccoon trapping have gone awry. It’s common to catch the wrong animal – a stray cat, a skunk, or opossum, or the wrong raccoon. You want your raccoon problem to go away – if the coon is tipping your garbage can, pooping in your pool, killing your ornamental fish or birds, or whatever. But if you trap, you want to be sure to get the right animal, in the right way, and do it legally.