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.

SHOULD YOU HIRE A HOME INSPECTOR FOR A NEW HOUSE?

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?

NEW HOUSES CAN ALSO HAVE PROBLEMS

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.

NEW HOUSES ARE NOT ALWAYS BUILT TO CODE

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.

REASON NEW HOUSES SHOULD IDEALLY OBTAIN TWO INSPECTIONS

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.

HOME INSPECTION BENEFITS

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.

Broom

Brush and dustpan

Duster

Gloves

Bucket

Mop

Vacuum

Carpet Steam Cleaner (as required)

Oven cleaner (degreaser)

Oven scraper

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

Sugar Soap

Sponges

Paper Towels

Towels

Squeegee

Newspapers

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.

MOVE IN/ MOVE OUT CLEANING SERVICE

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.

BEFORE/AFTER MOVE PROCESS

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.

FAQ:

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.

POSSIBLE CONFLICTS & SOLUTIONS

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.

Raccoons

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.

Properly Inflate The Truck Tires On Your Pickup Truck

P vs. LT Tires

If you are new to over-landing/off-roading and you may want to begin building your perfect rig. The first place I like to start is with tires, and this can lead to some confusion. Tires come in two basic classes, P-passenger tires and LT-light truck tires. Contrary to the names given the tires the vast majority of new trucks and SUV vehicles in the US are sold with P rate tires. I am hoping to write this article to help explain to you how to pick a better set of tires for you rig.

Going back to when we used Bias Ply tires the weight rating system for tire capacity is bases on a letter/number scale: A, B, C, D, E etc. Each letter is 2 ply, so a B tire is a 4 ply, C is 6 ply, E is 10 ply. As a tire goes up in ply rating it can hold more air pressure and carry more weight. P rated tires are considered B rated tires. LT tires begin at C and run up beyond E. Radial tires do not actually add more layers or ply as they did years ago, but construction of the tires can be critical. LT tires are usually made with a more robust sidewall and tread to handle the extra air and weight. This robust construction can be critical in a hauling / off-road rig.

If you look at a standard P class tire and compare it to a LT C rated tire you may notice that the weight carrying ability is close or the same. Tire Manufactures apply a 10% rule with P rate tires on a truck, van, or SUV, which means the P rated tire has to be reduced by 10% in weight carrying ability. So the actual numbers can be deceiving. The reason for this is that trucks tend to carry the majority of their weight in cargo over the rear axle, have a higher center of gravity, and tend to get overloaded more. Passenger cars tend to distribute their weight more evenly over the front and back. Be sure to take this into account if you are looking at tires.

What are the advantages of replacing your tires with a Light Truck grade tire for over-land travel? You will be taking a lot of gear and supplies with you, the weight of all this material will be easier on a LT tire on a long distance travel. It’s better to have an LT tire carrying 80% of its max capacity than a P tire working at 100%. The harder a tire has to work the hotter it will get, this can cause a tire to literally come apart. Another good reason for an LT tire is because of its more robust construction it will be better able to withstand punctures and tears while off-road, and will better handle being aired down for extended off-road trips.

To give an example of this off-road ability I was running a Cooper AT C rated Lt tire, my hunting partner was running a Mastercraft (Cooper made) AT P rated tire. Over a 3 month hunting and trapping season we ran the same logging, fire, and back roads. He had to plug his tires 3 times that season, while I experienced not one issue. He now runs LT tires.

But, there are drawbacks to changing to an LT tire. Robust means more weight. More weight means your engine and transmission will work harder to move the tire, brakes will work harder to stop, and your steering will work harder to move them back and forth. Things will wear out faster. Expect a drop, though slight, in fuel mileage. And, that robust tire will be rougher in ride on the road and off. It will not flex and cushion as much which can stress suspensions and passengers a bit more.

I recommend that if you are trying to choose get on a sites like this and talk to folk who have the same rig, or tire you want to run. Get their advice and opinions. Research your tire brand and look at customer reviews. Also, you will need to deal with a tire shop that will try to tell you that you don’t need a- this grade or that rating. Find a tire shop that deals more in 4×4 off-road vehicles. Do your research and choose wisely for yourself. Good luck, see you on the trail.

Choosing The Right Tire

Everybody needs tires. Whether you drive your vehicle off-road, pull a trailer, or just jam around town, tires are your all-important contact patch to the ground. There are many types of tires available to the diesel enthusiast, so let’s start by decoding the sidewall. After that, we’ll discuss load and speed ratings, as well as tread patterns and sizes. Finally, we’ll talk about usage and taking proper care of your tires.

DECODING THE SIDEWALL

Size

If you look on the sidewall of the tire, you’ll see a series of numbers, like LT285/75R16 or 37×13.50R20 LT-this is the tire size. In either case, LT stands for light-truck tire. In the first example, 285 stands for the tire’s width in millimeters, 75 means the sidewall of the tire is 75 percent the size of its width, R stands for radial, and 16 is the rim diameter in inches. In the second example, the tire is simply 37 inches tall, 13.50 inches wide, is a radial, and mounts on a 20-inch wheel.

If you don’t like the metric version, it can easily be converted to the standard form of measurement. If we first divide 285 by 10, we change millimeters to centimeters, arriving at 28.5 centimeters. Since 1 centimeter equals 0.393 inch, we next multiply 28.5 by 0.393, arriving at the tire’s width of 11.2 inches. Next comes the tricky part. The sidewall is 75 percent of the width in this case, so 11.2 times 0.75 equals 8.4 inches. Since a tire sitting on the ground has a bottom and a top sidewall, we must multiply that answer by 2, arriving at 16.8 inches. Finally, we add the height of the rim (in this case 16 inches) to arrive at the final 32.8-inch tire height.

Construction

Light-truck tires are a bit different than regular passenger car tires. The overall tire is much stiffer and heavier than a car tire, thanks to multiple plies (cross sections of polyester, steel, nylon, or armid that run perpendicular to the tread) and can be inflated and run at a much higher pressure, increasing its load capacity and decreasing on-road rolling resistance. Since most diesel owners use their trucks to tow or haul loads, we’d never suggest putting a passenger car tire on a truck-they’re simply not up to the task.

ST (Special Trailer) vs P (Passenger Car) Tires

Passenger car tires achieve comfort in part by making the sidewalls of the tires softer, allowing the sidewalls to flex. Many trailers (especially enclosed cargo trailers and car haulers) have higher centers of gravity than the typical tow vehicle and sidewall flexing in this case can lead to increased trailer sway. The stiffer sidewalls and higher inflation pressures on ST (Special Trailer) tires helps to reduce trailer sway.

The polyester cords in an ST tire are bigger than they would be for a comparable “P” or “LT” tire. The steel cords in an ST tire have a larger diameter and greater tensile strength to meet the additional load requirements. “ST” tire rubber compounds contain more chemicals to dissipate heat under higher loads than tires designed for passenger cars. Trailers will pull better and ride smoother on ST tires engineered and manufactured for trailers.

Trailer Tire Safety Tips

Do not overload the trailer beyond its maximum weight. Extra weight means extra heat, extra wear and could lead to tire failure.

Maintain correct air pressure. Underinflated tires may fail under load. Underinflated tires wear out the tread near the sidewalls prematurely while overinflated tires wear out the center of the tread prematurely. Remember, temperature impacts air pressure. For each 10 degrees in ambient temperature, tire pressure increases by 2-5%. Check tire pressure when the weather changes and when travelling to warmer or cooler climates.

LT tires vs ST tires

Let me share with you some of the key factors to be considered for comparing ST vs LT tires and some insights on what these tires can be used for.

Driving Requirement

Vehicles and trailers, both have very different driving requirements. A passenger vehicle will need to maintain traction while accelerating, braking, and cornering which makes an LT tire suitable for passenger vehicles. Whereas, a trailer needs to focus on following the tow vehicle and just hold up to the weight that is put on the trailer, which can be best achieved with ST tires

Sidewalls

LT tires have softer sidewalls and are meant to flex when rolling over bumps. ST tires have thicker sidewalls compared to the LT tires and are not meant to flex when rolling over bumps. This bump is then transmitted to the vehicle suspension and also to the load riding on the vehicle.

Steel wires

The steel wires used in LT tires are smaller when compared to those in ST tires. The cords used for steel wires in an LT tire are smaller and have less tensile strength as compared to the cords with a bigger diameter in ST tires. ST tires have steel wires with high tensile strength as they are designed for carrying heavier loads.

A Practical Guide To Small Bathroom Remodeling

Remodeling Your Bathroom: Inspiration and Planning

There are plenty of reasons to renovate your home’s bathroom, whether you’re creating a new master bathroom with his and her sinks or crafting a beautiful guest bathroom for your family and friends to use. Maybe you’ve been saving up for a while to make your bathroom dreams come true, or perhaps you’ve encountered a drainage problem that makes your bathroom redesign a necessity.

Regardless of your motivations, when you’re finally ready to renovate that bathroom you’ll need to be prepared for the ins and outs of bathroom remodel planning. This home improvement project can be quite the undertaking, but with a little bit of project planning, you can get the most out of your bathroom budget.

Before demolition begins, check out our guide below. We’ll cover project planning, inspiration techniques, project ideas, and tips for surviving the renovation process. Keep these tips in mind as you plan your renovation and learn how to redesign a bathroom to suit your needs.

Project Planning for Your Bathroom Renovation

Consider Your Motivations

Before you start looking at materials and getting bids from contractors, take a step back and consider your motivations for your new and improved bathroom. If you can pinpoint your reasons for remodeling, you’re more likely to get a room that captures your vision. Just like if you’re packing for a trip, knowing what you’re doing on that trip helps determine what is important to pack.

Modern updates: Does your bathroom look like a well-preserved relic of the 1980s? It may be time to add some modern touches. From new cabinetry, flooring, counters, to a fresh coat of paint, there are plenty of ways to bring your bathroom up-to-date.

Accessibility: If you have an aging relative living in the home, you may need to make changes in the bathroom to better accommodate them. This could mean adding rails next to the toilet or a walk-in bathtub.

Fixing a plumbing problem: Some plumbing problems are minimal, and can be taken care of quickly with some minor work. However, if there are issues that require you to demolish walls or rip up the floor, it might be the right time do some remodeling.

Water efficiency: There are endless ways to save water in the bathroom, from low-flow toilets to greywater system installations. Reduce water use (and potentially your water bill) with the right bathroom improvements.

Energy savings: Conserving water is wonderful, but the utility savings don’t have to stop there. Improve the energy efficiency of your bathroom with new light bulbs and energy-efficient ventilation features, and you may save on your electricity bill.

Adding a bathroom: Maybe your single bathroom just isn’t cutting it anymore. Adding another bathroom is a big undertaking that comes in a variety of forms: perhaps you want to create a new master bathroom suite, or turn a closet downstairs into a half-bath for guests. If your bathroom location is far from the plumbing connections, this can be an expensive project, so be sure to budget accordingly.

Functionality: Create a bathroom that works well for your family. Perhaps it’s a tub for your children’s baths, or added storage if you frequently entertain guests. Regardless, consider your wants and needs and what would help make your family’s lives easier.

BATHROOM RENOVATIONS: STEPS, COST AND WHAT TO DO FIRST

Is your bathroom seriously dated? Is the layout awkward and unnatural? If so, it may be time to invest in a bathroom renovation. Whether you’re just moving into your home or preparing to put it on the market, there can be a significant upside to remodeling or renovating your bathroom.

set a realistic bathroom renovation budget

Build, average bathroom renovation cost for a small bathroom or powder room/half bath tends to be between $7,000 to $8,000, and the average bathroom renovation cost for a full bathroom is usually $18,000 to $25,000. Master bathroom renovations are typically $40,000 and up.

know your bathroom renovation project scope & timeline

The big question on everyone’s mind is “how long does it take to renovate a bathroom?” It’s important to take into consideration that the scope of your bathroom renovation project will determine your timeline. There’s more than meets the eye when planning a bathroom renovation. A simple bathroom design refresh is more cosmetic in nature and will take less time, while a full bathroom renovation or remodel can take several weeks.

Small bathroom design refresh: Approximately 30 days

Replace vanity or faucet

Update shower plumbing

Replace vanity wall sconces and light fixtures

Wallpaper, paint, or add new decorative finishes

Add extra, decorative storage

Full bathroom renovation or remodel: 6-12 weeks (sometimes longer depending on customization). A full bathroom renovation could require mechanical, plumbing, and cosmetic work.

Possibly move plumbing, electrical, etc.

Enlarge the space and/or move walls

Replace bathroom floor tile (field and decorative)

Upgrade tub or shower

Add heated floors or specialized shower features

Incorporate seamless glass and other luxury features

A Simple Guide to the Different Types of Bathroom Remodels

Types of bathroom remodels

Homeowners remodel bathrooms for a plethora of reasons. Our customers have told us they want to do cosmetic updates because the home is 20 years old.  Some say they don’t need a tub and want a larger shower. Others have expressed the need to add a bathroom because their families have gotten larger.  Whatever your reason to renovate your bathroom, one thing is for sure, bathroom remodels have one of the highest rates of return on any home renovation.

Cosmetic Bathroom Remodels

Simple bathroom remodels that are updated for cosmetic reasons can make a huge difference in the space. A simple bathroom remodel may include updating counter-tops, vanities, and sinks. Many times in a bathroom upgrade homeowners will re-tile the walls, re-paint the walls, and change the flooring. Most homeowners will take the opportunity to upgrade their faucets and fixtures when remodeling their bathroom. Simple bathroom remodels do not include floor plan changes.

Remodeling Bathroom Sinks

Some customers elect to add a sink for their spouse or change a shower into a tub for a young child. Many times homeowners will re-arrange the footprint of the space to add a vanity, change the toilet location, or add a closet.

Floor Plan Changes

homeowners are requesting floor plan changes in their bathrooms. They have found that the large roman tub in the master bathroom is not being used frequently. So, they change the tub into a shower.

Bathroom Addition

Another type of bathroom remodel is the addition of a bathroom. Many times homeowners add a new bathroom because their family has expanded and they need to reduce the stress of one bathroom in the house

BATHROOM RESOURCE GUIDE

The bathroom could be the most-often overhauled room in the house. Done right, it’s a model of simplicity and small-space efficiency. But we know that it’s easy to get overwhelmed by choices.

Your bathroom should work for every member of the family—and for guests as well. Of course, you want durable and easily cleaned surfaces. But, just as in any room of your home, you also want beauty and comfort.

Our mission is to help you navigate the choices; we’ve searched far and wide for the best-in-class fixtures and fittings, from stylish towel bars to luxurious soaking tubs to up-to-the minute toilets.

For inspiration, we present our favorite projects, from budget DIYS to lavish spa baths. You’ll find design ideas and bathroom accessories in a range of styles, from modern to rustic to minimalist. As one of our readers put it, “I love when pragmatic choices beget stunning aesthetics.” We couldn’t have said it better ourselves.

Improvements to Consider for Your Next Bathroom Remodel

A renovated bathroom adds value to your home, updates its style, and makes it better adapted to your current needs. Renovations are the best time to introduce improvements that will serve you and your family for years to come.

If you’re spending money for a bathroom remodel this year, consider making one or several of these essential changes to improve the functionality, storage, and comfort of your bathroom.

Toilets with hidden tanks—in which the water storage vessel is mounted inside the wall—have several benefits. They are worth considering if you are remodeling a bathroom, especially a smaller bathroom, where the design can save space.

Hidden-tank toilets (sometimes called hidden cistern toilets) save you precious space, and low-flow models help save water every time you flush. It’s a smart choice that increases the value of your home after the remodel. These are appropriate for all bathrooms styles, but they fit especially well in modern and contemporary decors. But be aware that routine maintenance can be difficult since there is usually no easy access to the tank if the inner workings need attention.

Another style of tankless toilet uses a pressure valve, such as those often found in commercial settings or public bathrooms. These are also options, although such toilets are noisy and tend to give a bathroom a somewhat industrial feel.

Simple Steps To Protect Your Home From Bursting Or Broken Pipes In Cold Weather

Plumbing Cost Estimator

The cost of a plumber ranges from $175 to $450 for a typical job with the average cost per hour ranging from $45 to $200. This can include jobs like repairing faucets, toilets, sinks or bathtubs. Depending on the job, some plumbers charge a flat rate, or service fee of $300 on average.

Plumbing Repair Cost Guide

Hiring a plumber costs an average between $175 and $450. Most jobs are billed hourly at $45 to $200 per hour. Labor is almost always going to be your biggest expense. The more involved the job, and the more that must be torn up, the costlier the project.

Slab Leak Repair Costs

Detecting a leak under your slab foundation costs anywhere from $125 to $400 and requires special equipment. Fixing an under slab leak averages $500 to $4,000. The total cost can run much higher based on project variables, including but not limited to:

The thickness of the slab

The depth of the leaking pipe

The type of flooring that must be removed and replaced

Rebar and/or vapor barrier removal

Slab leaks are leaks in pipes under the slab of the home. Fixing one requires flooring removal for access to the slab, jackhammering out portions of the foundation, digging down to the pipe, repairing or replacing it, and replacing the floor. Get a direct quote from a professional plumber.

Cost to Fix Leaking or Burst Pipes

Leaking pipes cost an average of $150 to $350 to repair, while diagnosing leak locations can add an additional $100. This doesn’t include repairing the wall after the fix. Drywall repair costs an additional $250 to $750 depending on the size and location of the hole.

Tips for Avoiding Broken Pipes This Spring

Rainy Weather Might Lead to Broken Pipes

Heavy spring rains can wreak havoc on your plumbing. Not only can all the water in the ground cause cracks in your water pipes, but too much rain can also cause your drainage system to back up. This is particularly common in places where the soil isn’t used to heavy rainfall— like the desert.

The soil in the desert isn’t very effective at absorbing large amounts of water, which has to go somewhere. The last place you want it going is into your plumbing system to cause expensive damage. Luckily, this article will tell you what to look out for and how you can prevent the spring rains from damaging your plumbing.

Pressure on Your Pipes

Many people don’t think that heavy rains can lead to damaged underground pipes, but it’s true. When the soil around your home absorbs lots of rain, like during spring showers, it can become heavy. If your pipes are old, worn, or poorly installed, the heavy soil can cause them to crack or break. If a break occurs, you could have a leak around your foundation that can cause serious structural damage to your home.

How to Avoid Broken Pipes

The best thing you can do to avoid a burst or broken pipe is to have your plumbing system assessed. Because it’s not easy to determine if your underground pipes are in danger of breaking, having a professional plumber take a look is often the only way to be sure. If you notice any changes in your water pressure, it’s best to shut off the water to your house until you or a plumber can figure out what the issue is.

It’s also a good idea to keep an eye out for:

An abnormally high water bill.

Sounds of flowing water when it is not in use.

Standing water around your home’s foundation.

Cracks in your foundation.

Water Leak Detection For Broken Pipes

I never thought about needing a water leak detection service, until I noticed my water bill had skyrocketed out of control! I checked everywhere, both inside and outside my home for a water leak, I couldn’t find anything.  I even called the utility company, they came back out to my home and check the water meter again, they said the meter was correct and the pipes on their side were working fine. Which means I must have a leak somewhere on my property.

They responded right away and inspected my home and yard for any water leaks. The technicians informed me water leaks account for 6 billion gallons of water wasted every day!

The technician was quickly able to locate a leak under my concrete slab without having to dig up my new flooring. He was also able to fix it in a very timely manner, leaving my home just as he found it and it didn’t break the bank.

specializes in detecting slab leaks in homes and businesses. Finding the source of damp or wet areas on your walls, ceilings, and other areas. By using advanced thermal imaging equipment and other electronic equipment they can help zero in on the source of the water intrusion, even if it is three floors away from the water stain.

Remember, “Today’s little leaks create tomorrow’s big emergencies”. I encourage you to look around your home and business for any signs of a water leak.

EMERGENCY PLUMBING TIPS

When a plumbing problem pops up, there’s no need to panic — you might not even need a plumber. There are a number of plumbing fixes any D.I.Y-er can accomplish with basic tools and a little know-how. Whether it’s a clogged drain, broken pipe, a leaking toilet or faucet, your local True Value Hardware store has you covered.

Preparedness is the name of the game. Water damage from broken pipes or leaking appliances can ruin entire rooms of furniture, walls and flooring and more. Routinely check your washing machine hoses and replace them if they appear old or cracked. Look for any signs of water under sinks, around fixtures and near appliances. Check ceilings and walls for any evidence of a roof leak. Make sure that all appliance connections are tight and not leaking

Keep items in your basement off of the floor where possible. If a pipe bursts and floods your basement, the damage will be minimized and you won’t lose any belongings.

Make sure you know how to turn off water to your fixtures and appliances when needed. Also, note the location of your home’s main water shutoff valve. It may come in handy if you’re unable to turn off water directly to an appliance or fixture, as shutting off the water main cuts off water to the entire building.

Stock up on basic plumbing tools ahead of time before you have a plumbing emergency. Here’s a list of items you should definitely have in your toolbox for plumbing repairs:

Pipe wrench

Adjustable (crescent) wrench

Basin wrench

Channel-lock pliers

Auger (“snake”)

Hacksaw

Screwdriver set

Nut driver or socket wrench

Plunger

Drain-cleaning tool

Plumbing Apprentice Resume Examples

Plumbing Apprentices provide assistance to full-fledged Plumbers while improving their skills. Common duties listed on a Plumbing Apprentice resume include cutting and assembling pipes, cleaning water supply and disposal systems, handing in tools, cleaning job sites, and answering to customer inquiries. Based on our most successful resume samples, these less-experienced workers should demonstrate the ability to follow guidelines, dexterity, customer service orientation, communication, and stamina. Most Plumbing Apprentices hold a high school or general education diploma.

Plumbing Apprentice

Trained hands-on under the care of a Licensed Plumber in commercial and residential settings.

Performed commercial and residential remodeling in offices, bathrooms, kitchens and basements.

Installed pipe assemblies, fittings, valves, appliances such as dishwashers, water heaters, stoves, sinks, tubs and toilets using power tools

Measured, cute, threaded and bent pipe to required angels using tools such as pipe-threading machines and pipe cutters.

Repaired and maintained commercial and residential plumbing by replacing or mending broken pipes and water leaks

Studied building plans and inspected them to assess material and equipment needs

Hung steel supports from ceiling joists

Plumbing Apprentice

Work alongside Licensed Plumber / Supervisor daily to complete projects/work orders quickly and efficiently.

Diagnosing problems and/or failures in plumbing systems (residential and commercial).

Installation/maintenance/repairs of various water and gas systems, pipes and fittings, and various s items. systems and/or components (e.g. toilets, sinks, vents, faucets, sewer lines, vacuum breakers, hot water heaters, water softeners, garbage disposals, etc.).

Testing for leaks in new and repaired systems with compressed air and/or water for the purpose of ensuring that items are functional and in safe working condition.

Operating equipment used in the maintenance and repair of water and gas plumbing fixtures and systems.

Working in various environmental conditions and elements (e.g. various temperatures, confined spaces, heights vary from ladder height to roof top, and sub terrain conditions.)

Plumbing Apprentice

Assisted Master Plumbers with construction, soldering, and brazing pipes

Transported tools, equipment, and supplies to job sites as needed

Monitored and maintained plumbing tools for safe operating conditions

Assembled and installed ceiling pipe brackets, while ensuring proper equipment and personnel safety

Licensed Plumbing Apprentice

Assisted in the code compliant assembly, installation and repair of plumbing, water flow and drainage systems.

Dug trenches for new pipelines; maintained and repaired all plumbing equipment such as drains and pipes.

Installed new hardware for faucets, showers and toilets in residential homes, commercial and industrial facilities.

Installed new plumbing equipment and systems for renovation and remodeling projects.

Repairs mechanical equipment when necessary.

The Best Option For Tile Roof Maintenance

How do you make roof tiles look new?

It is possible to give your tiled roof a facelift just by cleaning it. We’ll teach you how to prepare your roof tiles and show you the safest way to do the cleaning yourself. You will also learn the best way to walk on roof tiles.

Step 1. Prepare to start cleaning roof tiles

There are three pieces of advice worth knowing before you start cleaning roof tiles. Firstly, try and always walk where the tiles overlap as it’s the strongest part of the roof. Secondly, the surface of the roof gets slippery while you are cleaning, so install a safety rail and wear sturdy, non-slip shoes. Finally, you will save a lot of time if you have someone stay on the ground to pass things up to you.

Step 2. Use anti-moss spray on roof tiles

Before you start this step, disconnect any water tanks from the gutters so no chemicals get in to your water storage. Now apply the anti-moss spray across all the tiles on your roof. When you are spraying on a roof, always start on one side and walk backwards away from where you have sprayed. That way you always walk onto a dry tile.

Step 3. Clean the roof tiles with a high pressure water spray

Give the anti-moss spray time to do its job, and then use the high pressure cleaner to wash the tiles down. This will remove all the moss and lichen as well as any built up dirt. As you did in the previous step, walk backwards when you are spraying, away from the wet tiles and onto the dry ones.

By coating with paint, the tiles look like new again

High-quality clay roof tiles are very robust and therefore offer you an extremely long life. In general, they are still completely intact even after 60 years. However, old roof tiles tend to moss and dirt, so the overall impression of your roof is reduced. The color also fades over time due to the action of the sun. However, that is no reason to have the roof completely re-stocked immediately. The replacement of tiles costs a lot of money. Instead, you should consider repainting the tiles and then sealing them. This results in two advantages: On the one hand, your roof looks like new again, and on the other hand, the seal extends the service life of your roof tile.

Important precautions

After you have completely covered your roof, you will receive a corresponding one Warranty period, which can be up to 30 years. However, this warranty will be forfeited if you treat your roof tiles incorrectly. Often, the use of a high-pressure cleaner is enough to void the warranty. Without a thorough cleaning with the high-pressure cleaner, a painting of the roof is not possible. You may therefore need to wait until after the warranty period before painting your tile. In addition, unfortunately, not all roofs can be repainted. With asbestos-containing roof coverings, for example, cleaning is generally prohibited because it would disperse the asbestos dust in the air. Even some clay tiles give off after years still substances that may not come into contact with the roof color. As a rule, all roof tiles and concrete tiles can be painted well.

Step-by-step instructions

So that everything runs smoothly when you paint your roof tiles, we have one below Step-by-step guide for you

Step 1: Setting up the scaffolding

To do the work on the roof, you first need a scaffolding. Install it at the house in accordance with current safety regulations or have this work done by a specialist garage.

Your own safety is always the top priority when renovating the roof. For this reason, always consider the intrinsic safety device during all work on the roof.

A possible alternative to the scaffold is the lifting platform.

Step 2: Cleaning the roof

Before every painting, it is necessary to clean the roofs. It is done with a high-pressure cleaner and a lot of water. For safety reasons, install a gutter grille before collecting the roof, so that no dirt accumulates in the downpipe. Equip your pressure washer with a suitable attachment, such as a dirt bur. It helps you to remove stubborn dirt and moss from your roof tiles. It is important that you always adjust the pressure of the high-pressure cleaner to the surface of your bricks during roof cleaning. Bricks made of plastic and slate work with less pressure, while clay and concrete can withstand higher pressures. After removing the tiles from dirt and moss, remove the gutter grille and finally clean the gutter. Then the roof needs to dry well.

Step 3: Paint the primer and paint on the tiles

After the roof has dried, prime the roof tiles. Which primer is suitable depends on the condition and color of your roof surface. For smooth, shiny roof tiles choose a bonding agent, which is also known as primer. Even red clay tiles must necessarily be primed, because paints otherwise do not adhere due to the special chemical composition. Concrete bricks have a high suction power, which makes them very good at color. However, the absorbency is not the same everywhere, so the paint can become stained. Here the primer is required to produce a uniform suction power, so that the paint looks even.

To paint the roof, you finally use a special roof color and apply it with the paint roller. Façade paints are not suitable because they can not withstand the high loads your roof is exposed to. If necessary, you can also mix several colors to create an individual color. Make sure that you mix only roof colors from the same manufacturer. Opt for high quality colors from retailers, so that the durability is correspondingly high. Cheap paints often fade faster.

Step 4: Apply Sealer

After the roof paint has dried, apply a seal to keep the roof tiles as new as possible for as long as possible. Commercially available nano-sealants are suitable for this purpose. They are applied with a paint gun in two layers for the best possible result.

Consider Your Safety

Before you begin giving your roof tiles a spring clean, you must ensure that safety has been strongly considered. A failure to do so could lead to you damaging your roof and injuring yourself. Here are some tips on safety equipment and personal protective equipment to use to avoid these potential dangers.

  • Fit a temporary safety rail
  • Wear sturdy, non-slip safety boots
  • Wear chemical protection gloves
  • Wear wraparound safety glasses

Whilst the above safety equipment is essential whatever the size and pitch of your roof, you may also require a safety line and harness. These are vital on high pitched roofs where a build-up of moss or algae can make the tiles incredibly slippery. As well as wearing adequate footwear, when working on a tiled roof make sure only to step where tiles overlap, as this is where the tiles are sturdiest.

It is also strongly recommended that you work alongside a friend who can pass materials and equipment up onto the roof. Without someone else to work with, you will have to repeatedly climb on and off the roof. This is when most injuries and accidents occur.

How to Make Your Old Shingles Look New

Streaking, What Causes It?

The most common cause of streaking is the presence of an algae that feeds off the components in the shingles.  Other causes may include: an excessive buildup of dirt or debris, mold, or mildew.

The Effects of Streaking

Besides making an unsightly appearance, the good news is that most algae-caused discoloration has a minor impact on the healthiness of your roof in the short term. (In the long term, your roof may suffer from premature aging.)

Although your roof may not be immediately at risk of deterioration, roof stains do cause harm in a more general sense: the aesthetic appearance of your home or garage.

The presence of stains can cause a 5-year-old roof to appear 20 years old or more.  If your home is on the market, this can spell danger to a prospective bidder and prevent your asking price from being met.

How To Eliminate Streaks

Algae growth on your roof can be removed by washing the shingles with a special chemical formula specially designed to use on asphalt shingles.  There are many brands to choose from, though your local roofing contractor can help you pick out one with the right mixture.  Although many homeowners have used bleach in the past to attempt a DIY cleaning on their roof, any residue can cause harm to the shingles.  Likewise, power washing should not be attempted, as it will damage the shingles.

A better option is to contact your local roofing contractor to inspect and clean your roofing system.  Look for a contractor with extensive training and experience in roofing systems to maximize the benefits of a roof cleaning.

Tips And Tricks Of Commercial Painting Contractors

Art Commissions: General Rules to Sell Your Art

Have you ever wondered what it would be like to sell your art and earn money? Have you already taken some commissioned work, but aren’t sure how it should really be done? I am asked repeatedly about how to sell art for a living.

Many of my students make extra money by creating custom artwork for people. It can be a fun and challenging experience, but it does have its issues. Before you dive in and try to sell your art, you should consider a few things first.

What should you charge when you sell your art?

This is the most common question I hear. Unfortunately, I cannot tell people what to charge. I cannot tell someone else what their time and talent is worth. What I DO tell them is this: Do not undersell yourself.

When you place a price on your work, your client will value it according to how much they pay for it. There is a very wide range of prices to consider. I go to the extremes. I either give it as a gift from the heart, which is priceless, or I place a high dollar price tag on it.

Both of these approaches make the recipient appreciative of the art, and it will be treasured. The gift becomes sentimental and the high priced piece becomes an investment. Both may become an heirloom due to the value I assigned it.

The Advantages of Commercial Painting

One of the best feelings in the world is walking into a building and everything is not only organized but also clean so you can work in comfort and have a clear mind. However, like with most places it will eventually become dirty, scratches and other damages will begin appearing on the walls and the work place will become cluttered and not that organized anymore and generally the entire room will need a refresher.

There are actually a wide range of different types of studies and research done that shows that the work ability of employees is greatly impacted by the surroundings. Believe it or not but things like the color of the walls has a huge effect on the overall productivity of the employees because it can affect a wide range of different types of things like concentration. It is also a safer issue as well because in a work space that is brighter far fewer accidents will occur and you will not need to spend a fortune in lighting because of the brighter paint as well

However, there are still a wide range of different kinds of benefits that you will be able to enjoy as well from simply changing up the paint in the work place. Because investors, suppliers, and also customers will notice your company if your work place is professional and clean and this is always good for business. Because the better looking and the more professional your business and work place looks the better you will do because people respond well to areas that look clean and organized. Also, if you want to sell the building then one of the best things that you will be able to do in order to sell it quickly is by simply changing up the paint because a fresh coat of paint can really make the entire area look a lot better.

So if you want to get your building repainted it is important that you are able to still run the business while also being able to do the painting because the last thing that you want to do is close down until the building is finished painting, so once you got that figured out then you will be able to enjoy a wide range of different kinds of benefits and that is the basics on commercial painting and all of the advantages that it has

Professional Painter: Job Description, Duties and Responsibilities

With on-the-job training it is possible to begin a career as a professional painter. It is also an option to pursue postsecondary training at a technical school before entering this career field. Painters need to understand the optimal temperatures and conditions for applying different types of paint or varnish to surfaces.

Essential Information

Professional painters prepare and paint interior and exterior surfaces. They may work on residential or commercial properties. Job duties for professional painters include removing old paint, priming surfaces, choosing materials, selecting and mixing colors and cleaning up job sites. These individuals may also be responsible for managing employees, handling finances and ensuring customer satisfaction. Painters generally learn their trade on the job or through an apprenticeship

Job Description

Professional painters work for construction companies, contractors or building management companies and may paint houses, business structures or bridges. They must have a high school diploma or GED certificate and can benefit from an on-the-job apprenticeship or technical school training.

Job Duties

Professional painters begin by preparing surfaces for painting. This may require removing old paint, filling holes and washing walls. Sandpaper, wire brushes, scrapers and abrasive blasting may be used to prepare a surface. Holes and divots are filled with putty, plaster or caulk. Professional painters must also ensure that surfaces are not susceptible to moisture by sealing cracks and corners where building materials meet.

Responsibilities

In addition to painting, independent contractors have business responsibilities that they must manage. Professional painters must market themselves to generate business and manage finances. They must quote job rates for customers and handle billing and invoicing.

Paint

Paint is a term used to describe a number of substances that consist of a pigment suspended in a liquid or paste vehicle such as oil or water. With a brush, a roller, or a spray gun, paint is applied in a thin coat to various surfaces such as wood, metal, or stone. Although its primary purpose is to protect the surface to which it is applied, paint also provides decoration.

Samples of the first known paintings, made between 20,000 and 25,000 years ago, survive in caves. Primitive paintings tended to depict humans and animals, and diagrams have also been found. Early artists relied on easily available natural substances to make paint, such as natural earth pigments, charcoal, berry juice, lard, blood, and milkweed sap. Later, the ancient used more sophisticated materials to produce paints for limited decoration, such as painting walls. Oils were used as varnishes, and pigments such as yellow and red ochres, chalk, arsenic sulfide yellow, and malachite green were mixed with binders such as gum arabic, lime, egg albumen, and beeswax.

Paint was first used as a protective coating, who applied pitches and balsams to the exposed wood of their ships. During the Middle Ages, some inland wood also received protective coatings of paint, but due to the scarcity of paint, this practice was generally limited to store fronts and signs. Around the same time, artists began to boil resin with oil to obtain highly miscible (mixable) paints, and artists of the fifteenth century were the first to add drying oils to paint, thereby hastening evaporation. They also adopted a new solvent, linseed oil, which remained the most commonly used solvent until synthetics replaced it during the twentieth century.

The twentieth century has seen the most changes in paint composition and manufacture. Today, synthetic pigments and stabilizers are commonly used to mass produce uniform batches of paint. New synthetic vehicles developed from polymers such as polyurethane and styrene-butadene emerged during the 1940s. Alkyd resins were synthesized, and they have dominated production since. Before 1930, pigment was ground with stone mills, and these were later replaced by steel balls. Today, sand mills and high-speed dispersion mixers are used to grind easily dispersible pigments.

Raw Materials

A paint is composed of pigments, solvents, resins, and various additives. The pigments give the paint color; solvents make it easier to apply; resins help it dry; and additives serve as everything from fillers to antifungicidal agents. Hundreds of different pigments, both natural and synthetic, exist. The basic white pigment is titanium dioxide, selected for its excellent concealing properties, and black pigment is commonly made from carbon black. Other pigments used to make paint include iron oxide and cadmium sulfide for reds, metallic salts for yellows and oranges, and iron blue and chrome yellows for blues and greens.

Make A Small Bathroom Look Larger With Paint

You may have heard that you should only use light paint in small rooms because dark paints make the room feel smaller. While this may be true if you paint all of the walls in a dark color, think of it in terms of an artistic painting. If an entire painting is done only in either light or dark colors, it can feel flat. Shadows and lighting must be used properly to give the painting depth and space. The same can be said for your small bathroom. Here’s how you can use the same strategy to make your bathroom feel larger.

Choose A Color Scheme

Start by choosing a color you like and then choose a color that is at least two shades lighter. Then, choose a color that is at least two shades darker. You can make these the same color as the original, just in different shades, or you can choose two complimentary colors for a little variety.

Dark For Dimension, Middle For Majority, Light Touches of Light

The above is a general rule of thumb for your painting project. Many small bathrooms have a shower/tub combination. The tile around this area is usually light and shiny, reflecting a lot of light. Typically you’ll have an area above the tile that can be painted in the darker color you chose to create some extra depth. The middle shade you chose will be used for the majority of the room. This color will work as the main background for the other two shades to compliment. Most of the wall surface area and possibly any cabinets can be painted with the middle shade. Dark colors used to be used primarily for trim work and molding, but lighter colors provide a more modern feel. Use the lightest color you chose to paint the trim and molding, which will reflect light and attract attention while darker shades provide depth. Keep in mind that you don’t have to stick with white or cream, there are many options

Finishing Touches

Now that you’ve painted, keep an eye out for small decorations that match your three paint shades. These finishing touches will really tie the room together and make it feel organized and clean.

Light is a tricky thing. Pay attention to how it plays off objects in nature and how shadows create dimension. This will inspire and inform you about how you can use the same color strategies in your bathroom.