Home Renovation Based Business Opportunities

Things You Need To Know: A Home Renovation Checklist

Be an Informed Renovator

We love giving homeowners the insider information needed to master the art of a renovation! We created the Renovation Roadmap as an online tool that helps you navigate the remodeling process when working with a general contractor.

Ready, get set…wait!

A home renovation is a big undertaking. Sure, we might have tons of inspiration from HGTV and Pinterest boards, but most of also have budget and time constraints to consider. Before you start Demolition Day: Chip Gaines style, check out this renovation checklist first to ensure that all of your ducks are in a row.

Know Your Budget

Everything costs money and knowing your budget is one of the most — if not the most — important steps in the home renovation process. Being aware of your financial standing will help you prioritize what’s truly relevant for your home renovation. Yes, you may want a hot tub grotto, but is that more important than new marble countertops, a fresh set of cabinets, and hardwood floors? Also, keep in mind that surprises do happen, and you will more than likely end up spending more than you anticipated, so make allotments for that from the onset.

Focus on small sections of the house at a time

Unless you are planning on moving out during the house remodeling process, it is easier (and more economical) to focus on updating certain sections of your house a little at a time. If the bedroom, kitchen, and dining room are in shambles, your mental state is bound to be a wreck, too. If, though, you work on and complete certain smaller portions at a time, you’ll be able to have some reprieve from the renovation chaos

Gather inspiration

A well put together renovation checklist will include tons of remodeling ideas. Whether you create boards on Pinterest, take screenshots of Google pictures, or put together a vision board using magazine clippings, it’s important to know what you want before you go out looking for and interviewing contractors. That’s where the Renovation Roadmap comes in. Not only will your inspiration and planning help out the contractors — some might not be comfortable doing the type of work you’re seeking — but you will be able to keep a consistent visual flow going throughout your house.

 

How to Renovate Your House on a Budget These Days

House renovation can be costly as you move to make your house a luxury place with comfort and style. Staying on a limited budget during the remodeling process thus requires more than general concepts on how to renovate a house. You have to take into consideration a number of factors to avoid spending too much beyond the limits of your budget. This is where creativity and resourcefulness come in handy. Let’s have a look at some of the tips to make the renovation process easy.

Clean up

This is the first step before you introduce any changes in your house. Put every item away from the house and have it cleaned well. You will notice the house looks better right away. Cleaning will also give you the chances to visualize how household items are arranged. This will give you more ideas on how to choose different places to store your belongings or how to rearrange the furniture well. Doing so will make the renovation more effective and appealing to see. Get rid of any unnecessary items in the house. This will add more space to the house and make every room look much bigger than before. Crammed clutter makes the house look so messy. Moving furniture to different rooms will help add more space making your house more useful without spending a single cent.

Create natural light without putting windows

It is a noble idea to go for affordable and less invasive ways of bringing light into your house. This should be done before you rearrange the framing and make a large hole in the walls of your house. To come up with a windowless way with natural light, install a light tube for instance which taps light from the roof rafter to the living room.

Improve efficiency, not size

Equipping and rearranging the kitchen for maximum usefulness will help you avoid demolishing some of the walls of the house to gain more space. The shelves which consume a lot of space should be replaced with cabinets drawers. The preferred height of the pullout drawers should be 8 inches. This will create additional space where you can store canned good and other household items.

Demolish by yourself

Demolishing the house may not be as expensive as renovation, however, you can still save a few coins by doing the process by yourself. However, you need to take good care of yourself to avoid unnecessary injuries. Doing a demo is mostly preferred on a deck but when it comes to the interior, it is advisable to seek the services of a contractor. Start from the front door now that you have had your house properly cleaned, the next step involves renovating. But where should you start from to make the process more effective? Of course, the front door is the first focal point.

 

TIPS FOR SURVIVING A LIVE-IN KITCHEN RENO

As you know, we’re smack dab in the middle of renovating our kitchen. You guys have given me SO many good tips and suggestions for surviving my kitchen renovation, I thought I’d share a bunch of my favorites here on the blog. If anyone is in the same boat… living amongst a mess and renovation- this post is a must-read! This may not be the prettiest post, but trust me when I say- there are so many amazing hacks to help you keep your sanity if you’re also planning to survive a reno.

Living in a reno is a difficult task in itself, but living through a KITCHEN renovation is a totally different ballgame. I’m not going to lie- it’s miserable. Imagine going two or three months without a sink, oven, cooktop, or in some circumstances, a fridge. Over the past couple months I’ve picked up some invaluable tricks that are helping Emmett and I survive the day-to-day without a kitchen.

Give Up Some Control

This might seem counterintuitive, but trust me- it’s better to let some things be. Depending on the scale of your reno, the house will get messy. That’s just a fact. It’s impossible and tiring to clean every single day for months on end. The end will come soon enough and there will be a day where things are neat, tidy, perfectly organized and clean once again (at least I hope so). However, until that day comes… I’ve found it’s not worth it to obsess. I had to limit my cleaning to 2-3 times per week because it was stressing me out and taking so much valuable time. There is NO way to keep up with the dust, so eventually embrace what is out of your control.

Section Off the House

Obviously there are some things you can do to keep the dust and dirt from spreading to other sections of your home. Here’s a list of things we’ve tried that I’ve found to work:

Plastic and Tape (tape off doorways)

Flat Sheets (wet the sheet and hang in the door way, in front of the plastic, when sanding- it helps to attract and catch drywall dust)

2 Pairs of House Slippers (one for the clean areas and one for the workspace… the easier to slide on and off, the better)

Shop Vac (if you don’t want to ruin your regular vacuum cleaner)

Moving Blankets (so much better than contractor paper to protect your floors- especially in the winter or rainy seasons)

Dusting Mit (this is my favorite because it doesn’t require cleaner… super quick and easy for keeping surfaces in other rooms drywall dust free)

F O O D

During most full fledged kitchen renos, there will be a point where it’s out with the old appliances and in with the new. We’ve been without appliances for almost two months now and it’s about as fun as you’d expect.

 

Want to renovate your home but don’t know where to start? A step-by-step guide to renovating

Don’t wait until you are halfway through your renovation to discover that you should have painted the walls before laying the solid timber floors or that the wiring should have been finished before the new ceiling went in. Follow a checklist in your renovation project for less stress and mess.

Design and planning

“Keep it simple and be as final about your decisions as you can be before you start. Changes to designs and materials during the process add delays and costs that can really destroy your budget,” says

Decide if you are going to do it yourself or hire a project manager or builder

“Employ a project manager/builder as this will keep the work flowing and they will employ licensed trades that will turn up and do a good job. You will also receive a seven-year warranty for the work completed,” says

Get council approval

You will need to check with your council to clarify the local regulations before you start renovations, says

“Are you doing additions? Are you changing the use of any rooms? (for example changing a bedroom to a bathroom.) Are you making structural changes? Are you planning a deck larger than 20 square metres and higher than one metre? Some areas require council approval for changes to the external appearance of the property, even changing paint colours,” she says.

 

Home Improvement: Keeping Your Things Safe While Renovating

Renovating your home is an exciting time.

Goodbye, pale green porcelain bathroom. Goodbye, carpet where the original colour is as unknown as Grannys real age. Goodbye, terrible water pressure and cramped necks from washing your hair over the bath.

With finishings and swatches, colour palettes and fixtures, installations and furnishings all occupying your mind, you might not have stopped to think about how you will keep your home and belongings secure during the renovation.

Hire The Best Contractor in the Business

This has got to be on the top of your agenda. There’s nothing quite as important in terms of safety and securing your home and possessions than checking out the credentials of your contractor before handing over the keys to your home

Find a Good Removal Company

One way to make things much less stressful is to hire a good removal company to make moving your possessions as safe and secure as possible.

Keep Things out of Sight

If you are going to keep some of your possessions in a separate part of the house or in the garage, you’ve got to make sure they are tidied well out of view of any passers by.

The Importance Of Inheritance Tax Planning

How can I reduce my taxable income?

One of the excuses I had for not contributing more to my retirement was the thought that I couldn’t afford it. In fact, 47% of Americans feel the same way I felt. In all honesty, I just didn’t want to reduce the amount of my direct deposited check. I was comfortable seeing a certain amount and I didn’t want to lower it. I had bills to pay, money to spend and money to save.

Yup, I thought that the money I was saving in my savings account earning a measly 1% in interest was better saved there! Oh to be young and naive.

I just didn’t know any better.  I didn’t understand that the money I contributed to my retirement plan was not only being invested but I was also saving money. How you may ask? I would have been saving money by not paying taxes on that money AND as a result, my taxable income would have lower. Let’s get into this!

What is taxable income?

In simple terms, taxable income is the amount of your income on which you pay taxes also know as your post-tax income. I was surprised when I received my first paycheck at 14 to see that my back of the napkin math didn’t add up to my paycheck. I quickly learned that there were things like social security, Medicare and taxes. All of which was deducted from my earnings long before I got my paycheck. (Learn more about pre-tax vs. post-tax income and how much you really make).

Does my story sound familiar? It may feel like every dollar you earn is taxed, but due to our complicated and something called our “graduated tax” system (also known as progressive tax), not all income is taxed. Examples of income not taxed include child support payments, the money you contribute to certain types of retirement accounts and money that you put aside for childcare or medical expenses. This also includes money you put in an employer-sponsored account like a Health Savings Account or Flexible Spending Account.

 

Top Off Your Retirement Savings Plan

Money contributed to an employer-sponsored retirement plan, such as a traditional 401(k), isn’t included in your taxable income. In 2016, you can contribute up to $18,000 or $24,000 if you’re 50 or older, by the end of the year. If you haven’t maxed out, ask your employer if you can make an additional contribution before December 31.

If you have self-employment income from a side job, you can sock away even more. You can contribute up to 20% of your net self-employment income to a Simplified Employee Pension, up to a total contribution limit of $53,000 for 2016. (Unlike 401(k) contributions, there’s no December 31 deadline for SEP deposits. You can make 2016 deposits anytime before the due date of your tax return.)

Give to Charity

If you itemize, making charitable contributions before December 31 will reduce your taxable income. For cash contributions, hang on to your canceled check or credit-card statement as proof of your donation. If you contribute $250 or more, you’ll also need an acknowledgment from the charity. Donations made by credit card before December 31 are deductible on your 2016 tax return, even if you pay the credit-card bill in January.

Donating appreciated securities can also reduce your taxable income. When you donate appreciated securities you have owned more than one year to charity, you can deduct the full value of the securities on the date of the gift. You won’t have to pay taxes on capital gains, and the charity won’t have to pay them, either. Not all charities can accept donations of appreciated securities. If your favorite cause falls into that category, consider opening a donor-advised fund. The fund administrator will sell the securities for you and add the proceeds to your account. You can deduct the value of the securities on your 2016 tax return and decide later where you want to donate the money.

 

Take advantage of tax loss harvesting

If you have losing investments, selling them allows you to harvest your losses to offset taxes on investment gains or to reduce your taxable income by up to $3,000.

This strategy can be especially beneficial if your income is going to be higher than normal and you want to avoid being pushed into a higher tax bracket, or if you’re going to be selling investments that you’ll need to pay short-term capital gains on.

Keep track of your medical costs

If you incur substantial medical expenses, you may be able to take a deduction for the funds you spent.

In 2019, you can deduct unreimbursed allowable medical expenses only if they exceed 10% of your income — up from 7.5% in 2017 and 2018. You’ll need to itemize to claim this deduction — which doesn’t make sense for many tax payers due to the large standard deduction.

Still, you should keep the bills you incur throughout the year. If your costs are high enough to hit the threshold for deductibility, you want to be able to take advantage of the tax savings to offset some of your big care expenses.

 

Get organized.

First up, be organized. Don’t just deal with your taxes once a year, in April. Instead, dedicate a folder or box to tax-related documents, and fill it all year long — with receipts for deductible expenses, 1099 forms and other IRS forms that arrive in the mail, trade confirmations and end-of-year statements from bank and investment accounts that you may need to refer to, and so on. That way, when it’s time to start preparing your tax return — or to hand off needed information to a paid preparer — everything will already be in one place.

Keep your tax-related records for a while, too. It’s smart to keep copies of your returns, at least for a minimum of three years and, to be more conservative, up to seven. You’ll likely be free from any chance of a tax audit by then.

Claim all the deductions you can.

As you know, a tax deduction shrinks your tax bill by shrinking your taxable income. If, for example, you earn $70,000 and take a $5,000 deduction, your taxable income will shrink by $5,000, letting you avoid being taxed on that $5,000. If you’re in a 24% tax bracket, that could save you $1,200.

It’s a little more complicated than that, though. You can choose to itemize and claim all your various deductions, or you can just take the “standard deduction” available to all taxpayers. That deduction has been roughly doubled in recent years, making it the smart (and easy!) move for most taxpayers.

Get the timing right

From a tax perspective, there’s a huge difference between doing something on Dec. 31 and doing it a day later. If you know an upcoming expense is going to be tax-deductible, think about whether you can pay for it this year rather than next year. Making January’s mortgage payment in December, for example, could give you an extra month’s worth of mortgage interest to deduct this year. Similarly, if you know you’re near the threshold for the medical-expenses deduction, moving that root canal up might make the pain more bearable if the cost suddenly becomes deductible, too.

 

Tweak your W-4

The W-4 is a form you give to your employer, instructing it on how much tax to withhold from each paycheck. If you got a huge tax bill this year and don’t want another surprise next year, raise your withholding so you owe less when it’s time to file your tax return. If you got a huge refund, do the opposite and reduce your withholding — otherwise, you could be needlessly living on less of your paycheck all year.

You can change your W-4 any time.

Stash money in your 401(k)

Less taxable income means less tax, and 401(k)s are a popular way to reduce tax bills. The IRS doesn’t tax what you divert directly from your paycheck into a 401(k). For 2020, you can funnel up to $19,500 per year into an account. If you’re 50 or older, you can contribute an extra $6,500 in 2020. These retirement accounts are usually sponsored by employers, although self-employed people can open their own 401(k)s. And if your employer matches some or all of your contribution, you’ll get free money to boot.

Contribute to an IRA

There are two major types of individual retirement accounts: Roth IRAsand traditional IRAs.

You may be able to deduct contributions to a traditional IRA, though how much you can deduct depends on whether you or your spouse is covered by a retirement plan at work and how much you make.

For the 2019 tax year, you may not be able to deduct your contributions if you’re covered by a retirement plan at work, you’re married and filing jointly, and your modified adjusted gross income was $123,000 or more. In 2020, that number rises to $124,000.

There are limits to how much you can put in an IRA, too:

For 2019 and 2020, the limits are $6,000 per year, or $7,000 for people 50 or older.

You have until the tax-filing deadline to fund your IRA for the previous tax year, which gives you extra time to take advantage of this strategy

Tips On Choosing The Right Auto Repair Dealer

Should You Use an Auto Repair Shop Recommended by Your Insurance Company?

When your car has been damaged in an accident, one of the most important things you can do is find a quality auto repair shop that will make it truly roadworthy. Your insurance company may offer to relieve you of the burden of finding a reputable repair shop by giving you a list of its own preferred providers. This is a tempting offer when you’re in a hurry to get back on the highway and not eager to check out repair shops on your own.

Insurers typically tell policyholders that they have carefully checked out these businesses to make sure they do quality work at reasonable prices. Your carrier may offer to guarantee any work that is performed by shops on its preferred list.

“What you want to do is find the repair shop that does the best job,” she says. “That isn’t necessarily the one they would recommend because they’re into cutting costs. In general, it’s a good idea to pick your own place. Do your own shopping. Look at reviews and decide on your own where you want your car to go.”

attorney and founder of the nonprofit Consumer Watchdog organization, says many consumers don’t realize that state insurance regulations around the country typically allow them to choose their own repair shops following accidents.

Because insurance-affiliated repair shops depend on insurance carriers for their business, in some cases they may more concerned with how much they’re costing your insurer than how well they’re repairing your vehicle, Rosenfeld says. “You’re at a disadvantage when you’re dealing with a car repair facility whose principle allegiance is to the insurance company,” he says.

 

THINGS TO KEEP IN MIND WHEN FINDING AN AUTO REPAIR SHOP

Don’t Wait Till You Need It: Try to find an auto repair shop that you trust before you’re stuck on the side of the road. Having someone who knows you and your car when you call can save both you and the shop time and get you out on the road quicker.

Take Your Car In For A Trial Run: If you are unsure an auto repair shop is right for you, try taking your vehicle in for a small thing and see how they do. This way you can make a good assessment of how you’re treated as a customer without spending too much money.

Does The Shop Have Certified Auto Mechanics: Making sure that the people working on your car are certified by the ASE (Automotive Service Excellence) to work on the specific make of your car is always a good idea? Luckily our mechanics go through the ASE training and certification process.

How Long Has the Shop Been in Business: The longevity of a business is a good indicator of what kind of service you will receive. Keep in mind that if customers were unsatisfied the business would probably have folded a long time ago.

How Involved Are They in The Community: Auto repair shops are in the business of keeping return customers happy and spreading the word. A good way to do this is through positive outreach so try to see if the shop has any sort of community involvement they are participating in.

Make Sure The Shop Can Handle Your Car: It seems as though every year brings new updates to the automotive world. Sometimes it can be hard for auto shops to keep up with the ever-changing needs of the automotive world. It’s always a good idea to call ahead of time to make sure the shop can work on your car. Chances are if the place you call cannot work on your car they will refer you to someone who can.

Ask Questions: Make sure that you have questions ready when going to a mechanic or auto repair shop for the first time. It’s always good to know more about the vehicle you’re driving but this will also show them that you are taking the situation seriously.

Location & Transportation: How far away is the car repair facility from where you are? Do they offer any sort of transportation assistance while your car is in the shop? These are two great questions to ask as the shop will probably have your car for at least a day.

Only Pay For What You Authorize: Some shops will do work on your car without notifying you and then try to charge you afterward with no warning. You may owe the initial quoted cost but no shop can work on your car without your permission and they cannot hold your car as collateral.

Keeping Personnel Records: Regardless of whether or not you’re looking for a shop it is always a good idea to keep a record of when your car was last serviced and any repair it has had up until the point you bring it in. This information will help the shop assess what might be wrong and you can avoid having to pay for extra things you might not need.

 

How To Run A Successful Auto Repair & Mechanic Shop

Most people have become leery of using just any auto repair shop and prefer to stick with one they trust. Make sure you are one of those trusted auto repair shops.

Reduce Your Employee Turnover Rate

Establishing reliability and consistency is extremely important when running an auto repair shop. This is hard to accomplish when you have a high turn over rate of employees which can lead to inexperienced new workers who need to be guided into better mechanics which can take time. Reduce your employee turnover rate by treating your employees well, giving good benefits and paying them well. This will also make your customers more comfortable working with you when they see the same mechanics each time they come in for auto work. It’s hard to trust an auto shop when they have a different mechanic working on their vehicle every single time they come in.

Stand Behind Your Work With Guarantees

Make sure your customers know that you trust your own work by giving a guarantee on your repairs for certain amount of miles or time. If you repair someone’s brakes, for instance, this will show them your not doing a shoddy job, causing them to come back in a few months to have the work done again. Give them a reason to trust your work and make them more likely to come back to you in the future.

Create An Ethics Statement & Display It Prominently

Given the unease that many people have when working with an auto mechanic, create an ethics statement describing your stand on honest, trustworthy work. State that you provide reliable service and are not trying to scam anyone. Explain that you will only provide necessary repairs and service and will not try to charge them for services that they don’t need. Once you’ve created the ethics statement, display it in a prominent place in the guest waiting room where anyone can see it.

Always Reward Your Loyal Customers

Make your regulars feel appreciated by rewarding them for being loyal customers. Send them coupons for discounted work or give them a free oil change from time to time. There may be some upfront losses in revenue but will end up paying out in the long run as you start to build up a client base who will only come to you for auto repairs and refuse to go anywhere else. On top of that, those customers are also more likely to refer you to their friends and family.

 

Tips For Tackling Your First Big Car Repair

You’re a capable weekend car mechanic. You’ve got basic tools and skills. You’ve mastered oil changes and tire rotations. But when a big repair comes along, it’s decision time. Take it on yourself, or call in a pro?

That’s the choice I faced at the end of last summer, when my 1990 Mazda Miata suffered a crankshaft failure. Expecting a quick repair, I soon discovered the car needed a whole new engine—and I discovered this just after I’d disassembled it to the point that it couldn’t be put back together.

Instead of paying a mechanic to mend my Miata, I decided to try replacing the engine myself. I did it—eventually—though I made plenty of rookie mistakes on the way. Here’s what I learned.

Do Your Research

Aftermarket shop manuals are great for learning the tools and parts you’ll need, but they sometimes read like a general overview (step one: remove radiator, front bumper, and windshield washer reservoir). Internet forums can offer detailed instructions and tricks specific to your car, usually with step-by-step photos.

Set Up Your Workspace

I started my teardown in the corner of my parents’ two-car garage. I got all set to pull the engine when I discovered I had no room to maneuver my engine hoist. Even with two muscular brothers, moving a half-disassembled car was a masochist’s game of Tetris. So don’t make my mistake: Clear plenty of space before you start the job, and position your car for maximum elbow room. I found the best spot was right in the center of the garage, though not everyone in my family shared this view.

 

WHAT IS THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN AUTO MAINTENANCE AND REPAIR?

If you’re a car owner, it’s critical to know the difference between auto maintenance and auto repair. Both of these things are important to the overall performance, but they have different functions.

Maintenance is regular service that is required for your vehicle while auto repairs are performed when your vehicle is not functioning properly. Your owner’s manual will have a list of maintenance schedules with recommendations on what needs to be done and when. The most common regular maintenance, that everyone has heard of, is oil changes. Yet that’s not the only service that’s crucial for your car’s performance.

Here’s a list of common auto maintenance needed to keep your car in tip-top shape:

Oil Change

Battery

Brakes

Tires

Power-Steering Fluid

Fuel Filter

Coolant

Engine Belts & Timing Belts

Spark Plugs

That’s quite a list! It seems like a lot of things you need to manage, but many of these services are simple procedures that your auto repair facility can complete that day or with an appointment. Many customers delay maintenance for various reasons. They may think it’s unnecessary, they may be too busy to bring their vehicle in, they may want to delay paying for auto services, or they might not realize that doing maintenance now can save money in the long run by avoiding repairs. It’s OK if you don’t know the difference between a spark plug and an oil cap – as long as you bring your vehicle to a reputable shop for regular maintenance. In a nutshell: performing regular auto maintenance helps keep your ride running smoothly and can prevent costly repairs down the road.

Maintenance is regular service that will help prolong the life of your vehicle, while auto repair is when a part or fluid is not performing and needs to be fixed.

Water Testing Methods: Analysing Water Using ION Concentration Testers

What To Know About Mold Swabs and Air Quality Testing

Air Quality Testing

Air sampling tests the concentration of mold spores in your home’s air.  Samples are taken from the air and are later examined under a microscope.

Air tests can tell you if you have a mold problem even if you cannot find the mold growth. However the amount of mold spores in the air can change drastically in a small amount of time, giving varying results at different times.

Mold Swabs /Surface Samples

Surface testing takes samples from household surfaces to find the amount of mold growth and spores deposited around the home. Samples are collected by swabbing.  The sample is then examined in a laboratory.

Like with air testing the results can vary because mold growth and spores aren’t spread evenly across surfaces in the home and can change over time. Unlike air testing though, surface tests can’t identify the exact concentration of mold spores in the air.

Why You Should Test for Mold

The main reasons for having mold testing performed in your home are:

  • You notice signs of mold such as a mold smell or mold symptoms
  • To identify the species of mold in your home
  • To help you find where mold is growing-
  • To test indoor air quality by measuring the amount of spores in the air
  • To test if mold in your home has been fully removed

Identifying Mold Species

Another reason for mold testing is if you want to find out what kind of species of mold is in your home. This is important for toxic molds since extra caution needs to be taken to safely remove toxic mold from the home. Two well-known toxic molds are Stachybotrys (often called toxic black mold) and Aspergillus. If you see mold which looks like a toxic species or if you are suffering toxic symptoms then you should have it tested before you try to remove it. The only way to identify the species of a mold colony for certain is to have a mold professional look at a sample of it under the microscope.

 

What Happens in a Full Mold Inspection?

If you suspect you have a mold problem, you can also bring in professionals for a mold inspection. Mold inspectors can search for mold in hard-to-reach areas of your home. They can search:

  • Walls and Wall Cavities
  • Foundation Walls and Crawl Spaces
  • Air Conditioning Systems and Heating Vents
  • Attic Spaces and Chimneys

A visual mold inspection can give you incredibly thorough answers about any fungal infestation in your property. Some mold inspectors will even perform an air quality test to increase their understanding of your situation. Mold inspections are your most expensive option for mold testing, but they can provide you with the most comprehensive answers.

 

How to Test Air Quality in The Home

There are many factors that can affect the air quality in your home. For the health and safety of all, it’s necessary to have the air quality in your home tested. The rule of thumb is the higher the indoor air contaminant concentration, the higher the health risks. The air pollutants in your home can come from harmful gases in the air or from mold growths. Mold and mildew can grow anyplace — on furniture, building material, wet carpet, inside the heating and cooling systems, as well as a host of other places. These mold spores can be very harmful. Harmful gases can be even more dangerous. The two most prevalent gases in homes are radon and carbon monoxide [source: Colorado State University]. Here are some ways to test the air we breath.

  • Carbon Monoxide Carbon monoxide is a very dangerous, colorless and odorless gas that is generated from incomplete combustion of fuel in household devices, such as stoves, furnaces, water heaters and fireplaces. Carbon monoxide can get into your lungs and inhibit the transport of oxygen through the body. Prolonged exposure to carbon monoxide can result in death. The only way to detect the presence of carbon monoxide is to purchase a carbon monoxide detector. This works like a smoke detector, sounding an alarm when the carbon monoxide level rises.
  • Radon Radon is also a colorless and odorless gas that rises naturally from the soil and enters the home through dirt floors, cracks in the basement floor and walls, and drainage systems. It is thought to be a major cause of lung cancer. The only way to test for radon is to purchase a radon detection kit.
  • Biological Pollutants Mold, mildew, viruses, bacteria and pollen are all considered biological pollutants. Mold and mildew grow in damp conditions resulting from high humidity, water-pipe leaks and constant condensation. Visual inspection and odor are the only ways to detect biological pollutants. When mold and mildew are found, you must clean the area thoroughly with ammonia, or some similar cleanser, to kill off the spores

 

How Easy Is It to Use a Home Testing Kit?

Most testing kits follow a similar process that is quick and easy to follow. In most cases, you will just need to take these steps:

  • After opening your testing kit, you will follow the directions for collecting air or surface samples from around your home. The kit will have all of the materials that you will need to collect your samples.
  • Take your samples and package them in your mailing envelope that comes included in your kit, and send them to the laboratory. The testing fees will be included in the price of the kit.
  • You will usually receive the results of your samples in 7 to 10 days after the testing is completed. This package will include a detailed report of the findings of the tests as well as specific suggestions on how you can improve these problems that they have detected. If you have further questions about the results, a contact number or email address is often included with the results.

As you can see, this combination of materials will give you all of the tools you will need in order to make your house a healthier place.

 

Combustion air pollutants

Second-Hand Smoke

Secondhand smoke – From anything that burns tobacco, as well as what a smoker exhales. Tobacco smoke contains over 4,000 compounds, and at least 40 of those are carcinogens. Besides the risk of lung cancer for anyone breathing it, secondhand smoke increases the risk of respiratory infections, especially in infants and children. For kids or anyone with asthma, it can be particularly harmful.

Detection is easy enough. Tobacco smoke is easily seen and smelled. It seeps into fabrics, hair, and furniture. The yellow residue can cling to windows and mirrors.

Prevention is fairly simple. Don’t smoke in your house or allow anyone else to smoke inside. If you live in an apartment complex or other situation where a neighbor’s smoke comes in your home, you’ll need to find ways to seal up air leaks. Investing in a good air purifier placed near the source of entry is another solution.

Carbon monoxide – This gas, in high concentrations, can cause unconsciousness or death. Low concentrations lead to headache, dizziness, nausea, fatigue, weakness, and confusion. It’s so dangerous because it’s colorless and odorless.

CO is emitted mostly by things that burn fossil fuels: stoves, fireplaces, kerosene heaters, gas-powered generators, cars, etc. Prevention lies in keeping flues and chimneys clear of blockages and never running gas-powered vehicles or machines indoors. However, some indoor gas appliances can malfunction and emit dangerous levels of CO.

The One Week Silverfish Control Method

Silverfish Information: Habits & Identification

Silverfish are small, silvery insects that thrive in humid environments. While they are capable of traveling long distances on foot, they tend to build colonies close to readily available food sources. This makes them particularly problematic in the Atlanta, Georgia region. Once they have found a source of food, they set up camp in dark, damp corners, usually in attics, old boxes, or kitchen cabinets. They are most active during the night when they will leave their nest area to feed, making it hard to manage silverfish control on your own. In addition, they can eat through wallpaper and thin wood cabinets, creating tiny visible holes. Unfortunately, the insects themselves are very fast-moving and difficult to see unless you stumble upon their nest. This makes silverfish control exceedingly difficult.

 

Silverfish & Firebrats

Homeowners usually see silverfish and firebrats when a cabinet door is opened, or a book or other object under which they were hiding is moved. Silverfish and firebrats are pests because they feed on a wide variety of materials, including glue, wallpaper paste, starch in clothing, book bindings, linen, rayon, paper and dried meats. Signs of their feeding are irregularly chewed patches.

Description

Three species of silverfish and one firebrat species are found in South Carolina.  Silverfish and firebrats are very similar in appearance. They have flat, wingless, elongated bodies, 1/2 to 3/4 inch long that taper from head to tail. At the head are two long antennae with three long antennae-like structures at the tail. Depending on the species, silver to gray scales cover their bodies.

Life Cycle

Adult silverfish may live two to eight years. In a lifetime, silverfish females lay about 100 eggs. They are laid singly or a few at a time and hatch in three to six weeks. They take on the adult color in four to six weeks.

Firebrats lay about 50 eggs at a time in batches. The eggs hatch in about two weeks under warm conditions. Young silverfish and firebrats look like the adults except for being smaller and white.  Depending on the species, silverfish and firebrats typically reach maturity in three to twenty-four months.

Habits

Silverfish and firebrats are active at night and hide during the day. In general, silverfish prefer damp, cool areas and can be found throughout the home. Firebrats prefer hot places, such as near ovens, fireplaces, furnaces and hot water pipes. Silverfish and firebrats are typically brought into a home in food, books, paper, starched clothing and furniture.  Their populations tend to increase slowly. If a large population is present in a house, it is usually an indication of longtime infestation.

 

Ways to Exterminate A Silverfish Infestation

Have you seen silverfish around your property?

Have you found holes in your favourite books, or clothes?

Having a silverfish infestation is a problem in many Australian homes. Although they seem harmless, these insects feed on starchy objects, especially books and paper products. And because of their small, flat bodies, they can squeeze through any space, making it difficult to exterminate them and prevent further damage. But what are your options for eliminating them once and for all?

Decrease food sources in your property

Silverfish hangs around your property for two things: food and shelter. When you eliminate their food source, they will most likely look for other places to nest in. Do this by regularly cleaning up the floors, washing the laundry as soon as you can, and avoiding storing books on the floor as they will be easy for the silverfish to access. You may also want to store old clothing in plastic bags, keeping food in sealed plastic containers, repainting walls or adding new wallpaper, and storing storage boxes in shelves rather than placing them on the floor, causing them to catch moisture and become a breeding ground for silverfish.

Fill up the cracks and crevices where they might pass through

Because silverfish can enter through cracks and crevices in the walls, ceilings, and floors, it’s a good idea to fill them in with some caulk. Doing so will prevent them from having entryways, quick exits, and a nest to lay their eggs. Prioritise putting caulk in damp rooms such as bathrooms and laundry rooms.

Sprinkle diatomaceous earth near where they crawl

Diatomaceous earth, a form of white powder created from algae, is highly-effective when used for silverfish. Sprinkle it on areas where silverfish might roam and you can eliminate them easily. When DE gets in contact with the silverfish, it sticks to their bodies and their waxy coating absorbs the moisture they have in their bodies, causing them to die.

Reduce your property’s humidity levels

Silverfish thrive in humid and moist areas of the property. Their favourite hiding spots are leaky pipes, wet bathrooms, and damp basements among many others. To make your home unappealing to these pests, seal out exterior cracks with caulk. You may also use a dehumidifier in your home which can reduce the overall humidity of specific areas. If you don’t have a dehumidifier, you may also keep the air conditioner on or keep the fans on for a given amount of time each day.

 

Silverfish Characteristics, Diet, Reproduction and Lifecycle

Silverfish are grayish-blue creatures with a teardrop-shaped body. They have three long bristles at their back and can grow up to 19mm in length. Although these insects do not pose serious harm, they are usually annoying to have around the house. They’ll eat your books, anything made of starch and sugar, your clothes, even dead skin cells, etc.

If there is a silverfish in your place and you fail to spot them early, you may have to face silverfish infestation in no time. This insect reproduces quickly, making it difficult to eradicate an infestation. Some species of female silverfish can lay up to 20 nymphs (eggs) a day, usually in crevices and cracks. The eggs are only about one mm in length so they are barely visible to our eyes. They are white and soft when first laid but become yellowish and hardens after a few hours. The eggs develop faster in a humid environment.

A silverfish can live up to three years. Just imagine the number of eggs it can lay throughout their lifetime!

When it comes to attitude, silverfish are known to be shy, reserved, and quite secretive. Because of their size and being secretive, it is difficult to spot silverfish.  But just because you cannot see a silverfish around does not mean that they do not exist. They may be lurking in the cracks of your home. If you see one, there may be more. Frequently, homeowners find them when it is too late or when the insect’s population already grow exponentially.

 

Ways to Prevent the Silverfish from Coming Back

Whether you have already experienced having these creatures around your house or not, it pays off to know what you should do to keep them away. As the adage goes, “Why spend all your time trying to solve a problem that you would like, just avoid having in the first place?”

  1. Keep Your Place Clean

Prevention is always better than cure. Silverfish thrives in damp, dark, and moist areas such as under sinks, basements, bathrooms, attics, and closets. They also love the taste of wet wood and paper so you can also find them around cereal boxes, magazines, books, behind wallpaper, and along with rotting window sills. In short, they take shelter in a dirty, cluttered, and unkempt house. If you wish silverfishes to stay away from your property and your life, keep everything in your place clean. It is basic. A vibrant, spotless, and fresh place does not attract unwanted beasties.

  1. Declutter and Vacuum Regularly

Silverfish usually hides in and often feasts upon old books, papers, and magazines. So if there is a pile of paper in your desk, there is a high chance that you’ll meet Silverfish again. Start getting rid of stuff you do not need or haven’t looked at in for a long time. The important papers, on the other hand, should be stored in airtight bins. Aside from decluttering, it is also essential to vacuum your place at least once a week. The vacuum can suck Silverfish eggs out of the baseboard and carpet. If needed, dry out the carpets through spraying baking soda in them. Leave the baking soda in the carpet for a few hours before vacuuming. The purpose of this is to dry out the eggs. Vacuuming can also help to remove food sources which may attract silverfish.

  1. Light Up Dark Areas of Your House

Silverfish are nocturnal creatures so they tend to squeeze their bodies into dark and tiny spaces and gaps in your home. They hate light. Therefore, giving them what they dislike is one of the ways to keep them away. Let lots of light into areas and rooms that are predominantly dingy and dark. If you have an unused room, try installing new lighting or simply draw back curtains if there are some. The goal is to get rid of silverfish dungeons and any substantial shadows.

  1. Use a Dehumidifier

An environment with a constantly humid atmosphere is an ideal place for silverfish. Keeping your place dry is important in preventing silverfish from coming back. This can be a big task especially for those living in areas with the winter season. Good thing, dehumidifiers are now available. Dehumidifiers can work wonder when it comes to casting out unwelcome silverfish.

  1. Seal and Caulk

All those cleaning and vacuuming efforts will come to naught if you leave a small hole or an opportunity for silverfish to enter your house. To get rid of uninvited roommates forever, seal all entry points such as cracks and holes in your house specifically in your attic, basement, or any other dark, tight, and cold areas. A simple sealant or waterproof caulking will do the job. Also, ensure that there no pipework or plumbing is leaking moisture or is exposed to the outside.

Rid Your Life Of Unnecessary Belongings Before The Unloading Service Team Arrives

Mover Job Description

Helping customers at their homes or businesses, movers prepare items for transportation to another destination. While some run their own businesses, movers often work for professional moving companies that service a specific area. On a team with other helpers, they help prepare, load, and unload items, and some also drive the moving truck. Movers work a physically demanding job that requires heavy lifting, and they sometimes work on nights and weekends to meet customers’ requests. Employers look for candidates who are physically able to do the work and provide the necessary training for qualified individuals.

Mover Duties and Responsibilities

While a mover’s day-to-day duties and responsibilities are determined by where they work, there are many core tasks associated with the role

Pack and Prepare Items

At the destination, movers help prepare and pack customers’ items to prevent damage during transit. Their tasks include taking apart furniture, wrapping items in bubble wrap or stretch wrap, putting loose items in boxes and sealed bags, and using straps and cardboard sheets on large items.

Load and Unload Items

Movers use equipment like dollies and ramps to load customers’ items from their buildings to the moving truck. They arrange items in the truck to fit the load and prevent objects from falling or getting damaged. At the destination, movers take the items off the truck and place them in the location the customer requests

Take Inventory

Keeping track of the customer’s items to make sure nothing gets lost or damaged is an important responsibility that movers have. They write down a description of each package or item at the customer’s location before starting loading. Movers check this inventory when they reach the destination to ensure they unload all the items.

 

MOVERS COMPANY POLICIES

now, it’s a lot to read. But it is very important information that want to make sure every customer understands. Over the years have run into all kinds of people who have asked us to do all kinds of things (even if it was a bad idea and we said so at the time). When are on the clock we work for you, and will make every effort to do what you ask. However, please be advised that certain things you may ask for come with certain risks, and cannot be responsible for the results of these requests… So as you read this, try to put yourself in our shoes- imagine what circumstances might have motivated us to add a particular policy.

Guidance, walk-trough and payment. The customer or his representative must be present during the move at all times. need your guidance! It is customer’s responsibility to do a final “walk-through” of the premises to ensure have taken everything. time runs continuously until all tools and equipment are back in the truck and payment is completed. Having your cash, personal check or credit/debit card ready will save you time and money

Long distance/interstate moves. require cash or money order/cashier’s check at the time of delivery for any balance due on long-distance moves. If you wish to pay using a credit or debit card you must inform us prior to your delivery and make appropriate arrangements with office. charge 3% convenience fee for this service. The delivery drivers for long-distance moves cannot process/accept any forms of payment other than cash, money order or cashier’s check. For all interstate moves require 10% deposit to secure crew and truck for your move (see our policy on deposits, section ‘very strict policy’), another 40% due at the pick up time and 50% balance due at the delivery before unloading

Parking arrangements. Customer is responsible for requesting moving permits if ones may be required. can only recommend getting permits for all moves as they guarantee parking the moving truck as close as possible to your doorway. Because you are familiar with the parking situation on your street, you must decide if you need one or if you can manage parking on your own. In most cases require 20-40 feet to park the truck. Please get moving permits if you think movers may have trouble parking at your address or let us know, so can take appropriate arrangements for you.

Loading/Unloading. If Movers is only providing loading or unloading services, are not responsible for any damages, which may occur in transporting the furniture and is released of all liability after loading the truck prior to unloading. are only responsible for items in our immediate care, custody and control.

 

MOVING COMPANY

Loading & Unloading

Besides being the best long distance movers, are also well-known for providing loading/unloading services at a fraction of cost. attentive and well-trained crew will ensure that you have full convenience when loading & unloading your goods to and from the trucks.

professional team will quickly arrive at your location and ensure that your valuables are rearranged, packed, loaded, or unloaded with safety and agility. will make sure that your goods stay safe from any kind of breakage and scratches that usually occurs when handling bulky items.

Treat Your Valuables Like Our Own:

At Movers, understand how tiring and risky it can be to manage the commodities while moving. The rearranging, packing, loading, and unloading of goods requires a lot of manpower and attention to detail so that nothing is left behind.

Whether you are shifting your business or home, one or two people cannot manage to do all of this. However, with the help of super commando crew members, can pull off everything in just one day.

Everyone at team goes through rigorous training and years of practicing to reach a point where they can handle clients’ valuables with the utmost care. So relax and let us take the burden of moving on capable shoulders; treat your valuables like our own,

 

Moving Labor Services

About 15% of the people in the United State of America move every year. Whether it’s a local move or long distance move, there are many different options in relocation industry; possibilities on moving services are at an all-time high. Hiring moving labor services is another good option for families that are planning a cross-country move. It is something between full-service moves and do-it-yourself moves.

all know about the full-service moves. Full-service moving companies provide almost everything you need for relocation such as packing your items, disassembly of your furniture, loading the moving truck, driving to your final destination and unloading your household belongings. Usually, the moving quote also includes basic liability protection for your household items. Full-service moves are much more expensive than doing everything yourself, but this is the best option for people with busy schedules.

If you have enough time and are able to lift heavy objects, you can also go with a do-it-yourself option. With this option you are going to do everything yourself: renting and driving a moving truck, packing, loading and unloading your belongings. If you have a couple of friends or family members to help you with your move, then this will be the least expensive moving option available on the market. This option also gives you total control over your move. If you have decided to go with do-it-yourself move option, there are many helpful tips on our site such as how to move your furniture, how to load and unload your rental truck and much more.

There is also another option available in addition to those two above-mentioned options which can save your back, your expensive furniture, and money. You can hire professional local movers to load and unload your rental truck or mobile container. Moving labor services are charged by the hour. This service is more expensive than the do-it-yourself option, but there are many benefits of using a moving labor service.

Moving labor service providers are trained and experienced movers that can efficiently load and unload your belongings. They will also maximize the space in the rental truck, which will save you from renting another or larger truck. On our website, you have a possibility to read the past customers’ reviews about the certain moving company before hiring them.

 

Loading and unloading services

If you decide not to have movers to move you, this is another option for you where the company will bring a portable storage container to your home where you can have your items stored if your new home won’t be ready, you don’t have a new place to live, or traveling across country, etc, and the company will take away and store the container at one of their centers until you are ready to have your items back at your new location.

They will pick up and deliver the storage units to you, and most portable storage companies will let you keep the containers for up to 30 days depending on what company it is, or until you are done loading or unloading the storage units for pickup, and will come in and take the containers away

Need help moving into or out of a self-storage unit? Not a problem for Movers! fast, friendly, and professional movers will help you out. You tell where your self storage is located and we will do the rest. skilled know how to pack your unit properly to ensure that no space is wasted. will protect all of your fragile and/or valuable furniture as well.

Finding The Best Criminal Defense Attorney

What are Drug Crimes?

Drug crimes are those in which controlled substances, such as illicit drugs are involved. Illicit drugs are substances that have been declared illegal to possess, use, or distribute without authorization under federal and/or state laws.

These drugs are typically classified under schedules that rank the drugs in terms of how dangerous they are to individuals, as well as society. Illicit drugs are subject to intensive control and monitoring by the government, in order to ensure that the general public is protected from the dangers of these drugs.

Most laws categorize illicit drugs into categories or schedules, including:

Narcotics: Narcotics are drugs used to relieve or control pain, and they are typically addictive and able to induce sleep. Examples of narcotics include morphine and codeine.

Stimulants: Stimulants are drugs that activate or excite the nervous system, and generally produce more energy. Stimulants are also highly addictive. Examples of stimulants include cocaine, crack cocaine, caffeine based drugs, and amphetamines.

Depressants: Depressants are substances intended to reduce tension and anxiety. One of the main examples of depressants are barbiturates.

Hallucinogens: Hallucinogens produce altered states of being, and change the way a person perceives reality. Examples include LSD, peyote, and mescaline.

Cannabis: The cannabis category or schedule refers to substances taken directly from, or created from, the hemp plant. Examples include marijuana, hashish, and synthetic marijuana variants.

 

Drug Possession Defenses

If you’re charged with possession of drugs, either for personal use or with intent to sell, a criminal defense attorney can determine which defenses might apply to your case. Some defenses challenge the stated facts, testimony or evidence in the case; others target procedural errors, and some defendants challenge drug possession charges on the basis of an affirmative defense.

Unlawful Search and Seizure

The Fourth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution guarantees the right to due process of law, including lawful search and seizure procedures prior to an arrest. Search and seizure issues are common territory for drug possession defenses.

Illicit drugs found in “plain view,” such as a car’s dashboard after a legal traffic stop, may be seized and used as evidence. But drugs found in the trunk of a car after prying it open with a crowbar, (assuming the suspect didn’t give permission) can’t be entered into evidence. If the defendant’s Fourth Amendment rights were violated, then the drugs can’t be used at trial and the charges typically are dismissed.

Drugs Belong to Someone Else

A common defense to any crime charge is to simply say you didn’t do it. The drug possession equivalent is to claim the drugs aren’t yours or that you had no idea they were in your apartment. For instance, a skilled defense attorney will pressure prosecutors to prove that the joint found in the car belonged to their client and not one of the other passengers.

Crime Lab Analysis

Just because it looks like cocaine or LSD doesn’t mean it necessarily is. The prosecution must prove that a seized substance is indeed the illicit drug it claims it is by sending the evidence to a crime lab for analysis. The crime lab analyst then must testify at trial in order for the prosecution to make its case.

Missing Drugs

Another drug possession defense is that the drugs are missing. Similar to the need for crime lab analysis, prosecutors who lose or otherwise lack the actual drugs risk having their case dismissed. Seized drugs often get transferred several times before ending up in the evidence locker, so it should never be assumed that the evidence still exists during trial.

 

What Type Of Drug Charges Are Threatening Your Future?

A drug charge is more than a threat to your personal freedom – it can affect every area of your life, from getting the financial aid you need for college to securing a good job. We understand what is at stake, and we will fight for your best interests at every step. Our experience includes helping those charged with possession, manufacturing, distribution, and trafficking of the following types of drugs:

  • Marijuana
  • Cocaine
  • Methamphetamine
  • Prescription drugs
  • Heroin

Your future is worth protecting, and you deserve to work with an attorney who will take your case seriously. We are genuinely compassionate allies, but we are also aggressive advocates in the courtroom. Our lawyers will keep you updated about the progress of your case and make sure you understand what is happening.

 

Potential Penalties For A Drug Crime Conviction

Every crime in Pennsylvania is given a gravity score, which indicates the seriousness of the crime. Using this factor and the number of convictions on your record, a judge uses a sentencing matrix to determine the appropriate penalty, which may be the minimum, maximum, or something in between.

law outlines potential penalties for each specific type of drug offense, including:

  • First-degree felony– 20 years in prison, and fines reaching $25,000
  • Second-degree felony– 10 years in prison, and fines reaching $25,000
  • Third-degree felony– Seven years in prison, and fines reaching $15,000
  • First-degree misdemeanor– Five years in jail, and a fine up to $10,000
  • Second-degree misdemeanor– Two years in jail, and a fine up to $5,000
  • Third-degree misdemeanor– One year in jail, and a fine up to $2,000

The drug crime penalty schedule is confusing, which is why it is essential to speak with a Pittsburgh drug crime attorney as soon as possible. By working with an experienced and trusted criminal defense lawyer from our firm, you have someone who can explain the law, the potential punishments, and whether or not you may qualify for a drug diversion program.

 

Drug Court

The Dallas County Drug Court program, also known as DIVERT (Diversion and Expedited Rehabilitation and Treatment) targets alleged felony offenders eligible for pre-trial release that have been charged with the following offenses:

Possession of a Controlled Substance (less than one gram),

Possession of Marijuana (more than 4 ounces, but less than five pounds), and

Obtaining a Controlled Substance by Fraud (Prescription pill fraud or doctor shopping).

Individuals who have allegedly committed a delivery or manufacture of controlled substance offense, DWI offenders, offenders who have a history of assault, and individuals who have committed previous criminal offenses are not eligible for the DIVERT program.

The DIVERT program is generally three phases long and is about 12 to 18 months long. Individuals enrolled in the program go through substance abuse education, participation in education and employment services, in addition to an orientation and stabilization phase, intensive treatment phase, and a transition and graduation phase.

If the alleged offender successfully completes the program, their case will be dismissed. However, if the alleged offender fails to successfully complete the program, their case will be presented for prosecution.

Tips For A Successful Back To Wall Toilet Installation

Tips on How to Replace the Wax Ring on a Toilet

Beneath every toilet is a sticky wax ring that forms a watertight seal between the toilet and the sewer pipe. This hidden ring silently keeps your floors dry and can last for years without ever needing maintenance.

Why wax? The wax is formed in a loop around a plastic tube. It shapes itself to fit almost any toilet and floor drain, making installation pretty much foolproof. The wax is mold and bacteria resistant and can retain its seal for many years.

Here are a few times when replacement may be necessary:

If you have to remove your toilet for any reason, you should plan to replace your wax ring. Lifting the toilet will break the seal and if the wax is old, it may not reseal.

Does your toilet wobble? If you notice that your throne has developed a side-to-side rocking motion (even a little), it could mean the anchor flange is broken. This will have to be replaced along with the wax seal.

Do you notice dampness collecting around the base of your toilet? If it looks like your toilet is leaking, it may indicate that the wax ring has failed.

If you are replacing your flooring, you may need to remove your toilet and replace the wax ring to ensure a proper, tight seal.

If your toilet is on an upper floor, you may notice water damage on the ceiling of the room below. This is a sure sign that something’s not right, and the first thing to check is the wax seal. Sagging or soft spots on the bathroom floor near your toilet could also point to water damage.

Replacing Your Wax Ring

Wax rings are inexpensive and can be found at most hardware stores. Make sure you have a few essential tools on hand before you start the replacement: an adjustable wrench, a putty knife, a bucket, disposable gloves, and a towel or paper towels. A wet/dry shop vac will help make the job easier if you have access to one.

Step 1 – Turn off the water supply line that connects the toilet and the wall.

Step 2 – Drain the toilet by flushing, removing as much water as possible. If you have a shop vac, use it to suck up any remaining water. Don’t have access to a wet/dry vacuum? Use a plunger to help force as much additional water out as possible, then have your towels ready to sop up anything that leaks out.

Step 3 – Disconnect the water supply line from the bottom of the toilet tank. A little water will be left in the line, so be prepared to catch it with a bucket.

Step 4 – Remove the decorative caps that cover the bolts at the base of the toilet, then use your adjustable wrench to remove the bolts and washers.

Step 5 – Gently rock and twist the toilet to break what remains of the old wax seal. When you’re ready, make sure to grasp the toilet near the center so that the weight of the bowl and the tank are distributed evenly. If it’s too heavy, you can remove the tank portion and move them separately.

Step 6 – Put on your disposable gloves for this part. The wax is very sticky and, well, it’s been chilling under your toilet for a long time. Use a putty knife to remove as much of the old wax as possible from both the floor and the bottom of the toilet. Check to make sure the flange (the top of the sewer pipe) isn’t cracked or damaged in any way, then stuff a towel into the top of the pipe to prevent any noxious gases from escaping until you’re ready to replace the toilet.

Step 7 – Most wax rings can be affixed either to the bottom of the toilet first or the top of the flange – whichever you’re most comfortable with will work. Double check the instructions that come with your new ring to ensure that you’re installing it properly, but this part should be easy. Once the ring is centered in place, carefully lower the toilet onto the flange, using the bolt holes on the toilet base and the flange to line everything up properly.

Step 8 – Close the toilet lid and sit down. Use your body weight to compress the wax seal and settle the toilet into place. Once it feels solid, check to be sure the base of the toilet is completely flush with the floor all the way around.

Step 9 – Replace the mounting bolts and decorative covers, then reattach the water supply line and make sure the supply valves are open. Give the toilet a few test flushes and check all around the base for any sign of leaks.

 

The Best Bidet Toilet Seat or Washlet

People have strong opinions about washing their butts, but one thing is for sure: The Toto Washlet C200 is better than any other bidet seat at dialing in your exact preferences—pulsating or oscillating stream, warm or cool water, high or low pressure. And thanks to the C200’s unique, intuitive controls, you’ll find that it’s just as easy to disable the bells and whistles if you’re in it only for the heated seat.

For an experience that most people agree is excellent, whether they’ve used a bidet for years or are totally new to it. Other bidets have similar abilities, but none of them are quite as easy to get the hang of as the C200, even for guests and children. That’s because of the simple layout of the remote control, which predictably activates or adjusts the things you want. Some bidet features can be annoying or unnecessary, and it’s easier to disable those features on the C200 than on other models. It may seem like a lot to pay for a toilet seat, and the negative reviews include a few stories of installation difficulties. But we’ve found that very few people actually regret getting a C200—more often, they find they have a lot of preferences, and they value the easy control over all the options.

The main difference is that this model has a white plastic side control panel attached to the seat, as opposed to the C200’s exceptional (and stylish) remote. This makes the C100 more awkward to use, but the side panel is easy enough to learn by feel, so you won’t have to contort to see it every time. Compared with the C200, this model also has two fewer options for water temperature and no programmable user settings, but the C100 typically costs anywhere from $50 to $150 less. We do recommend that you wait until the C200 comes back in stock. But if you can’t wait, or if you want a less expensive model for a guest bath, the C100 is nice where it counts—a heated seat, warm water, and pressure controls that (like the C200) go up and down on a +/- scale. (A lot of competitors’ pressure controls cycle through all the levels, including a Waterpik-like beam, before you can get to the one you want.)

the lowest-priced electric bidet seat we recommend. It’s a bare-bones model compared with the C200, but with its six options for water pressure, water temperature, and seat temperature, you should be able to adjust the Swash 300 to your preferences. This model can’t adjust its spray position like the C200, and it takes a few seconds longer to warm the water. It also lacks an air dryer and other frills. But the Swash 300 does have a remote, an unusually nice feature for a bidet at this price, and we think it’s a good deal.

The good news: Unlike the other models, the SimpleSpa doesn’t need an outlet. And it doesn’t include a new toilet seat, so it’s very easy to install and won’t alter the aesthetic of your bathroom. Watch the pressure, though—some testers found this model’s highest settings painful. Compared with other inexpensive cold-water models, the Brondell SimpleSpa looks nicer for about the same price. And since it’s less than $50, this model is a good place to start if you’re new to bidets and are unsure about investing in a full-featured model.

 

How much does it cost to install a toilet?

Costs for toilet installation in the UK generally range from $100 to $191. Still, this may vary depending on the aspects involved in your installation. At some point during your homeownership experience, you may find you need to install a new toilet in your home. It’s an important step in every bathroom remodelling project, however, fitting a toilet doesn’t need to be a difficult task.

Considerations

While toilets are durable, the time will eventually come for a replacement. If you need a new one, make sure you plan out your project before hiring a toilet installer.

Number of Toilets to Install

When you first contact your pro, give them an idea of the project size. If you’re replacing a broken toilet, the answer is usually one. The same applies when you’re renovating your bathroom. At the same time, keep an eye out for a model that conserves water so you can make your home more efficient.

Current Plumbing

Thankfully, when you replace a toilet, the necessary plumbing already exists. You shouldn’t have to adjust it, but you may want to have your pro check it out. They can confirm it’s up to code. Upgrading or adjusting your plumbing can add to the cost. Ask a plumbing expert to give you a quote if you need to change your current setup.

Project Materials

Depending on where you are in your preparations, you may already have a new toilet in order. It could even be waiting in your garage to find its new home! However, if you don’t have a new toilet picked out you can ask your pro for advice. A pro can tell you what the most popular brands are or recommend a certain model for your needs.

 

How to Install a New Toilet Seat

Installing a new toilet seat is an easy DIY project. Whether you’re replacing yours because it’s old, or because you just want a new style, all you need are some basic tools and a few minutes. Unbolt the old seat, then pop the new one in place using the hardware included in your new toilet seat’s box. The only trouble you’re likely to run into is if the old bolts are stuck, but a little elbow grease can take care of that problem.

Measure your current toilet bowl before buying a new seat. Most toilets are standard sized, and any replacement seat should fit. If you want to be extra sure, take a tape measure to check the distance between the bolt holes in the toilet bowl. Then make sure the distance between the bolts on the replacement seat is the same.

Choose the style of seat you want. Toilet seats come in 2 basic styles, and a home supply store should have several brands to choose from. The standard variety is rounded, but you can choose an elongated one if you prefer. You can also purchase a “whisper close” seat that has special pads on the bottom to prevent it from slamming down on the bowl

Choose a seat color that matches your current toilet bowl. You can find toilet seats in a variety of colors. Choose one that matches the toilet bowl (usually white) for a classic look, or choose a contrasting color to make a bolder statement. For instance, you could choose a blue or wooden toilet seat to contrast with a white bowl.

Gather your tools for the project. You’ll need just a few simple ones to handle this project. If you don’t already have these at home, head down to the hardware store and get

 

Toilet Repair Information & FAQs

Toilets save lives. It might sound crazy, but it’s true. Proper sanitation in the form of functioning toilets and well-maintained sewage systems helps prevent potentially life-threatening diseases from attacking you and your family. In the United States we are incredibly lucky that the majority of us never have to worry about catching such illnesses, but it is still important to keep our toilets clean and in good operating condition to avoid the potential for illness to our families – in addition to saving ourselves the general hassle and high cost of toilet problems left unattended for too long

Finding the Right Parts for Your Toilet …pssst, it’s easier than you think!

Toilet repair tends to freak most people out a little, which is completely understandable. Nobody wants to accidentally break something that could flood their bathroom with raw sewage. However, the majority of toilet repairs are simple and straightforward tasks – such as replacing a worn flapper – that most people can do themselves in about 5 minutes. The most common question we run into regarding toilet repair is how to find the right parts for your toilet. Sometimes this is easy, and sometimes it’s not. Mostly it’s easy though.

The first step in finding the right toilet parts is figuring out your toilet model number – so we’ve created this handy toilet identification cross reference to help you out. Alternatively, if you already know which manufacturer made your toilet, you can look through our toilet index pages (linked below) to find your parts. If you can’t find any model information – i.e., you have a “mystery” toilet – read our guide to finding “will fit” parts for more assistance.

  1. “What is the difference between “OEM” and “will-fit” parts? And what do these terms mean anyway?”
  2. OEM stands for “Original Equipment Manufacturer”. This means anything from the original manufacturer that is sold to a second company to use in production of that second company’s product. In other words, many toilet manufacturers outsource for the internal working parts of the toilet, such as the fill valves, flush valves, or flappers. When this happens, they have the opportunity to use an existing part, or to spec something for the specific toilet. When the toilet manufacturer chooses to use an existing part, the manufacturer of the part can still sell that piece under their own name – these are considered “will fit” parts. If the toilet manufacturer chooses to spec something for the specific toilet, the part manufacturer can then only provide that part to the toilet manufacturer. What this means for you is that you can sometimes get the *exact same part* (by the original manufacturer of the OEM part), but under another name and at a better cost! So when your toilet’s internal working parts need to be replaced, you may have the option to use either the “OEM” part number or use the “will-fit” part number to order what you need. Please note that only some “will-fit” items are manufactured by the OEM manufacturer. If this is essential to your repair
  3. “What are the most commonly replaced toilet parts?”
  4. This depends on several factors; each time you use your toilet the trip lever, flapper, and fill valve are operated. You will find, however, that the flapper and fill valve are the parts most exposed to water and will be the first ones to wear out in most cases.

How To Install Metal Roof In Easy Steps

Pros And Cons Of Metal Roofing

Whether you’re tired of paying for costly repairs on a traditional roof or want to try something more efficient and stylish, there are many good reasons to consider a metal roof for your home. Today’s metal roofs can be manufactured to look like nearly any traditional roofing material, and offer significant advantages over traditional roofing. However, there are some potential drawbacks to metal roofing, and it’s wise to consider both sides of the equation before embarking on a major home improvement project. So let’s take a closer look at the pros and cons of installing metal roofing on your home.

Pro: Metal Roofs Are Built to Last

One of the biggest advantages of metal roofs is that they’re built to last, with durable materials and less potential for leaks than traditional roofs. While you may have to replace a traditional roof more than once over the lifespan of a home – and pay for repairs in between – the right metal roof can last for as long as you own your home. In addition to being sturdy, metal roofs are very efficient at whisking away the rain, ice, and snow that lead to leaks with traditional roofs.

Pro: Metal Roofing Is Environmentally Friendly

If you like your home improvement projects to have a limited impact on the environment, then metal roofing is more than worth a look. Asphalt shingles, the most common non-metal roofing material, are a petroleum product and need to be replaced relatively frequently compared to metal roofs. Your metal roof, on the other hand, won’t be heading to the landfill any time soon.

Con: Metal Roofs Are Costly to Install

When it comes to durability, look, efficiency, and environmental impact, it’s hard to argue with the advantages of metal roofing. However, those advantages come with a cost, and installing a metal roof can be considerably more expensive than a traditional roof, depending on the metal roofing that you choose.

Pro: Metal Roofs Are Energy-Efficient

Those increased costs will be evident up-front, but the efficiency and durability of metal roofing often make it more affordable in the long run. Metal roofing is very energy-efficient, minimizing heat gain and reflecting the sun rather than absorbing it, which can help lower cooling costs in your home.

 

Roofing Calculator – Estimate your Roofing Costs

If you are considering a new metal roof as potential replacement option for your aging asphalt roof, or you simply want to learn more about this sturdy and energy efficient roofing option,

Metal roofs can be made from a variety of metals and alloys including Galvanized steel (hot zinc dipped G-90 steel, or G-60 steel coated with thinner, least-expensive coating), Galvalume steel (Zinc and Aluminum coating — more expensive and longer lasting compared to G-90 steel.), stone-coated steel (G-90 galvanized steel), aluminum, copper, zinc, terne (zinc-tin alloy), and stainless steel.

The downside of galvanized steel is that it can corrode, eventually, especially when exposed to the moist salt-spray environment, such as near the coastal lines and salty marine environments.

It must be noted that all things being equal, Galvalume steel offers a greater degree of corrosion-resistance and hence longevity than G-90 galvanized steel. G-60 steel is joke compared to Galvalume steel and its cost reflects that

Steel is the most frequently used material in both residential and commercial metal roof and wall applications, mainly due to its superior durability, strength, and slightly lower cost than aluminum.

 

Snow Guards for Metal Roofs

mission is to help building owners select the snow retention system that works best for their situation. Whether it’s our product or not. With so many types of metal roofs and snow guard systems available, narrowing down the best one for your home or project can be confusing.

I’ve personally spent many hours searching and condensing information from our competitor’s sites and noticed that every site has one thing in common. Each manufacturer presents their snow guard or snow retention system as the best and offers up various reasons why their particular product is better than others. Obviously, every snow guard and every manufacturer can’t be the best. What I realized is that an architect, homeowner or contractor researching metal roof snow guards faces a daunting task of determining which is the best snow guard for their metal roof

The cheapest and easiest snow guard to install may not be the best fit for your situation. Likewise, the most expensive and elaborate may not do what you expect it to. To help answer these questions, I started out on my mission of distilling the different metal roof snow retention systems into a single, objective summary.  Explaining each type and the advantages and disadvantages with that specific snow guard. Many of these are products we sell, but many are not. I hope that this series of articles will help you make a good, informed decision about the best type of snow retention for your metal roof.

All snow guard system types are designed to keep snow on your roof to protect you, your family, and your property from falling ice and snow. Metal roofs have a very smooth surface that doesn’t absorb water. That’s why metal roofs are good roofs but also why snow and ice slide off.

In a nutshell, there are 3 different snow guard types for metal roofs that are currently in use. This article briefly discusses each type. Additional articles follow this one that go in-depth into each type including manufacturing materials, methods of attachment and most importantly, the advantages and disadvantages of each type.

 

Metal Roofing Installation: How to Install Metal Roofing Over Shingles

Can you put steel roofing over asphalt?

Can you avoid tearing off your old asphalt shingle roof by putting a steel roof over it? Maybe. Most codes now allow no more than two layers of roofing before requiring a complete tear-off. So, if your roof has two layers, it may require a complete tear-off, even though steel is lighter than asphalt. Codes vary, so call your local building department to know how to install metal roofing over shingles properly, code-wise

What’s involved in how to install metal roofing

A steel roof is a lifetime investment, lasting 50 years or more if it’s a good one. Asphalt roofs typically last 20 to 30 years, depending on the installation and shingle quality. So, the investment might be worth it, but the range of choices makes shopping for a steel roofing system more complicated than you might think.

If you want to install steel over asphalt, your best choice for installing metal roofing is to use a steel shingle system like the one shown instead of the more common (and more expensive) standing seam steel. In a standing seam roof, long, single panels run vertically all the way from the eave to the ridge. In contrast, steel shingles are small panels installed in horizontal rows much like other shingles.

Better steel shingle systems, like the one shown, install over a framework of 2x2s. This framework has three big advantages. First, because the frame is screwed directly to the rafters and the interlocked shingles are screwed to the frame, the roof can withstand winds of up to 120 mph without damage. Second, the frame creates a flat and straight surface even when the shingles are badly curled or the roof ridge is bowed.

Pros and cons for metal roofing installation

Steel roofs can be noisy and unattractive in residential settings. However, if the steel roof is installed over an existing asphalt roof, noise shouldn’t be a problem. And, as you can see from the photos, if you pick a good-looking style from the many choices available, your house definitely won’t look like a cattle barn.

 

Metal Roofing: Everything You Need to Know

Environmentally Friendly and More

Designer Lisa Furey explains, “Metal roofs offer many benefits, including:

Longevity. Metal roofs can last 40-70 years, depending on the material.

Durability. Some metal roofs can sustain wind gusts up to 140 miles per hour, will not corrode or crack, and may be impact-resistant (depending on which metal you choose). In addition, metal roofs don’t need the periodic costly maintenance that other roofing materials often require. However, they should be inspected periodically to make sure no repairs are required.

Safety. Metal roofs will not spark and ignite into flames during a wildfire or lightning strike.

Energy efficiency. Metal roofs reflect solar radiant heat, which can reduce cooling costs by 10-25%.

Environmentally friendly. Metal roofs not only have 25-95% recycled content, depending on the material used, but are also 100% recyclable at the end of their life as a roof.”

Things to Consider

“Metal roofs can be as much as two or three times more expensive than other roofing materials,” says Lisa Furey. “While the life of a metal roof is much longer, investing in a metal roof only makes sense if you plan to stay in your home long enough to enjoy the cost benefits.”

The Noise Factor

“While you can choose from tin, zinc, aluminum, copper, or galvanized steel, metal roofs can be noisy, especially during a heavy rain or hailstorm. Adding more insulation during installation usually solves this problem, but that may increase costs,” explains designer Lisa Furey. “If a repair is required or a home extension is added years later, it may be difficult to find an exact match to the existing metal,” says Lisa.

The Right Choice For the Location

“We use metal roofs on the majority of our residential projects. Metal roofs are very durable and long-lasting, aesthetically pleasing and suitable for low-slope conditions. They easily shed debris such as pine needles and leaves. In snow country, the metal roofs allow snow to slide off fairly quickly,”

Tips To Use Carpet Cleaning Machines In Hotels

Why Use Eco-Friendly Carpet Cleaning And Its Benefits

Carpet cleaning is an essential task for homeowners. Getting clean and beautiful carpets can be very difficult, and that is why many professionals rely on powerful chemical cleaning solutions to do that. Unfortunately, many people do not realize that some of these carpet cleaning solutions may contain harmful substances or components that may be harmful to us and also to the environment.

That is why environmental carpet cleaning has become increasingly important over time. Ensuring that we do not use chemicals that contain toxic substances is necessary and is fully recommended by all owners. These are some of the main reasons why you now use eco friendly carpet cleaning methods.

Help protect the environment: our planet is the only one we have, and unfortunately, we don’t do a good job taking care of the environment. Pollution is widespread throughout the world because people are not making the necessary efforts to maintain our planet. However, we can do our part in carpet cleaning.

The toxic substances found in many cleaning products can affect and contaminate our environment. We can easily help save Mother Nature using green cleaning products and methods so that they do not harm our environment. There are many alternatives to toxic and harmful carpet cleaning products, such as “green” carpet cleaners, as well as household carpet cleaning solutions, which will clean the carpets without having the same negative impact. Do your part and contribute to the conservation of the environment using environmental cleaning now.

To help prevent health problems: not only are there harmful ingredients in many carpet cleaning products that are harmful to the environment, but they can also be a source of health problems for you or your family. This is another very important reason for the need to adhere to environmental methods to clean carpets and maintain the health of your family. Some chemical cleaning agents contain components such as naphthalene, which can cause respiratory problems due to prolonged exposure. You should never face this danger if you use a household cleaning that does not harm the environment. In this way, make sure that your health and the health of your family are not compromised.

 

MAIN BENEFITS OF USING AN ECO-FRIENDLY CARPET CLEANING COMPANY

In occasions when the tendancy of hiring an eco-friendly rug cleaning company can also be widespread, you will need to see the primary reasons behind it. And that is exactly why today, we’re listing the main benefits of using an eco-friendly company.

  1. Affordability

Firstly is a benefit that everybody appreciates – the cost effectiveness of hiring an eco-friendly carpet cleaner. The bottom line is, such cleaning methods can save you hundreds of dollars over the years – but in addition helps you quit buying the soaps and detergents that you just rarely use.

Another benefit which is the simple less water used when cleaning your carpets, all due to the green methods that never compromise on quality.

  1. Degradable materials

Second on the present list is the biodegradability, normally means that each one of the materials utilized in cleaning your floor poses no danger as well as the environment. This is on the grounds that the components decompose easily and don’t endanger the lives of every living organisms nearby.

Knowing that your carpets and fabric make one of the greatest aspects of your own home, it is essential to decide on cleaning solutions that are degradable. Thanks to these environmentally safe cleaning procedures, you’ll be able to protect mother nature, yourself plus your loved ones.

  1. No disastrous scenarios

The eco friendly cleaning methods prevent any disastrous situations. Since they use low moisture to forestall over-wetting, there is no such thing as a excess moisture in your floor or a shrinkage and tearing off of the back due to it. Mold can also be not a problem, and of course the eco-friendly carpet cleaning service delivers quality with out a single risk.

The particles are also pulled out carefully and effectively – without being stuck in the carpets as with the majority of of the chemical substance cleaning agents that you’re accustomed to.

  1. Amazing health benefits

Unlike many chemical cleaners which use dangerous chemicals and therefore pose a health danger when inhaled, the green cleaning materials in eco-friendly carpet cleaning professionals use natural components that will skip your property smelling fresh and natural.

The truth is, most of the normal carpet cleaning professionals services and merchandise is weak for pets, children and other people allergic to certain things or with other health conditions. Instead, green carpet cleaning professionals is all about leaving the regions clean and with no potential health complications or hazards.

  1. Keeps your carpet and tile strong

Lastly is the sole reason why more people choose eco-friendly carpet cleaning service – its quality. Which means that, green carpet cleaning professionals is a safe method for use on all types of carpets. From decorative to shag and berber, it is a method that produces the fiber stronger and has the carpet functional for an extended time period time. Without the potential risk of tearing aside from the soaking, it is a solution that means you have the perfect value for money.

 

Dangers of Harsh Chemicals

Carpet cleaners use natural ingredients in their cleaning agents that protect the environment and the species that live there. Commercial agents mixed with water in river basins and oceans block oxygen marine animals need to survive. Water and detergent mixtures create a toxic substance that fish find harmful. Algae is prevented from forming. The lack of algae creates insufficient food supplies for marine animals.

In residential areas, commercial cleaning agents that accidentally combine with drinking water when they enter pipes, cause severe health problems. The problems include poisoning and stomach depletion from a chemical reaction to the body.

 

How To Choose the Most Eco-Friendly Carpet

More and more homeowners want carpet that is good for the earth. There are many options on the market and finding a perfect fit can be overwhelming. These tips for choosing eco friendly carpet for a basement, living room or bedroom can help individuals who cannot make a decision.

Check the Smell

Individuals can understand more about the environmental impact of a type of carpet by giving it a big whiff. It might seem strange, but it’s an effective approach. The signature aroma of carpet comes from the following chemicals:

  • Benzene or toluene adhesives
  • Stain-resistant finishes
  • Bonding agents

These chemicals are volatile organic compounds. They have a big carbon footprint and release harmful gases into the air over time. Conscious homeowners should avoid these options whenever possible.

Go Natural

Individuals can never go wrong with a carpet constructed from plants. Sisal, coir and jute are types of eco friendly carpet that can look great in any residence. The material is sustainable and easy to grow in difficult environments, which opens the door to making it more available to consumers in the future.

There are even more interesting types of carpet in [city, state]. Homeowners can find funky and all-natural carpet made from sheep wool, goat hair, recycled plastic bottles and discarded fishing nets.

Examine the Underlay

Carpet feels plush partly because of the underlay. The underlay is a thin cushioning that is often made from sponge, rubber, foam, felt or plastic. Usually a carpet installation technician is the only one who sees the underlay, but it still has an environmental impact. Ideally, companies should manufacture underlays to the same high standard.

Clean With the Power of Green

Individuals can also maintain their carpet with green cleaning agents. It’s a small step to take for a healthy house and minimal harm to the earth. Eco friendly carpet can make any space look fantastic. These tips can help homeowners sort through the options for the right fit.

 

Why is Professional Carpet Cleaning Important?

Every day we welcome unwanted guests into our house: car exhaust, germs, chemicals, cigarette smoke, tarmac, tar, stain, bacteria, dust etc. They all live deep inside the layers of the carpet therefore when you clean the surface of the carpet by home cleaning methods they remain unaffected. The FACT is that you will not be able to clean the insides of the carpet effectively no matter how hard you try on your own.

Attempting to clean a carpet yourself can lead to problems such as:

  • Using too much water on the fabric
  • Wrong detergents
  • Incorrect methods
  • Too many chemicals
  • Failing to dry the area completely
  • Failing to completely rinse the detergent out of the fabric

Any of these problems can cause significant damage to your carpet, even to the point of having to replace it.