Getting The Decent Toilet Installation For Your Bathroom

TIPS TO HELP YOU CHOOSE A TOILET

Toilet designs have come a long way. And when it comes to style, comfort and water efficiency, Mondella has you covered. But before you make a choice, there are a few things you need to consider. We’ve put together a few tips to help you choose the toilet that’s right for your bathroom.

Check the plumbing

Your existing bathroom will have plumbing that’s set up for your specific layout. This and the size of your space will narrow down which toilets you can use. However, if you want to change the plumbing to suit the toilet you really want, talk to a plumber so you can assess if the additional cost is worth it

Determine your pan type

Australia has three common pan types: S-trap, P-trap and Skew trap. The trap is the bend in the toilet pipe that expels the waste.

Measure the set-out

Before you choose a toilet, it’s important to first establish the ‘set-out’ you need. This is the distance from the wall to the centre of the waste outlet for an S-trap, and the floor to the outlet for a P-trap.

Water efficiency

The Australian Government has introduced a WELS scheme to help reduce the water consumption in homes. Based on a star rating system, it measures the amount of water per flush. A 3 STAR rating uses 6L for a full flush and 3L for a half flush. While a 4 STAR rating uses 4.5L for a full flush and 3L for a half flush.

 

Toilet Buying Guide

Toilet Rough-In Measurements and Standards

Make sure the new toilet will fit your space. To do this, measure the rough-in size. This is the distance between the wall behind the toilet and the center of the drainpipe or the bolts that hold the toilet to the floor. It’s best to perform this measurement before you remove the old toilet.

Toilet Models: One Piece or Two?

Toilets are made in one- or two-piece models. Most toilets are two-piece, meaning that the bowl is bolted to the tank. Two-piece toilets are generally less expensive than a one-piece. Both function comparably, though a one-piece toilet may be easier to clean. If they’re not included, make sure you purchase all of the installation parts required: a toilet seat, wax ring with sleeve, closet bolts and bolt caps.

Toilet Bowls

Toilet bowls are available in round and elongated (oval) shapes. Elongated bowls are usually 2 inches longer than round bowls and offer additional comfort. Round bowls are generally less expensive and work well in small spaces. As with rough-in standards, make sure your space will accommodate an elongated bowl before you buy.

Toilet Tanks and Flushing Systems

Almost all toilets have a similar tank capacity. When choosing a tank, you’ll have flush valve size and flush lever positioning to consider, as well as the flushing system.

The pressure-assisted and gravity-flush systems are the two standard flushing systems available:

Pressure-Assisted Flush System: Pressurized air forces water into the bowl when flushed, reducing the chance for clogs. This system is noisy, expensive and may require costly maintenance.

Gravity-Flush System: The most common and simplest system, it uses the water weight to generate flushing pressure. The pressure forces everything from the tank into the bowl and through the S-shaped trapway. A siphoning action completes the flush. This flushing system is quieter and requires less maintenance than a pressure-assisted flushing system.

Additional toilet technology includes:

Dual Flush: This is a relatively new system for saving water without sacrificing efficiency. There are two flushing options for a full or partial flush (1.6 gallons per flush and 1.1 gallons per flush).

Waterless Toilets: Where water or plumbing isn’t available or when portability is required, a self-contained waterless unit is an option.

 

Toilet Replacement or Repair? Here’s How to Choose Which Option Is Best for You

If an old toilet is giving you trouble, you may assume that it needs to be replaced. While installing a new toilet may be the best option, if the fixture is giving you difficulties, it may not be the best solution for the current problem. Understanding how to complete a few repairs will help you solve small issues and avoid buying a new toilet.

Signs You Need to Replace an Old Toilet In Your Ottawa Home

If you don’t have any experience in plumbing, it can be challenging to understand when your toilet isn’t working the way it should be. If you think that it might be time for you to replace your toilet, here are the warning signs that you should keep an eye out for.

Consistently Clogging

It’s normal for a toilet to clog now and then. A weakened flush can cause a clogged toilet and impact the cleanliness of the drain pipes.

The Bowl or Tank Are Cracked

The tank and the bowl of your toilet are made of porcelain, mainly because it’s durable, waterproof, and sanitary. Porcelain isn’t the perfect product to use for toilets and can crack, causing a disastrous leak. Even if you’ve noticed a hairline fracture in your bowl or tank, it can grow over time and weaken the structure of your toilet.

You’ve Noticed a Spike in Your Water Bill

If you notice an increase in your water bill, the cause of the spike may be a damaged toilet

 

How to Choose the Right Toilet for Me?

You can look at it any way that you want to, but when you ask your self the question: ‘how to choose a toilet that is a good fit for my home‘, you will find out that there are some very specific things you want because good toilets have better features. Because there are also blanks with some of your questions, the best way to answer them is to get it all out in the open so that you understand the basics of toilets. There is nothing confusing in this guide, and it rather focuses on providing an outlet for you to put your ideas on one page to make a better decision. There is no wrong choice if you get all the features you want, and once you go through this short guide you’ll have a better understanding of what it is that makes sense for the home installation. As an added bonus any new age toilet chosen is easy to install and lacks the headaches of older models.

Size

Depending on where the installation is taking place, customers may want to redo the measurements. This includes the rough in size and the height from the bottom of the toilet to the toilet seat. Little things like toilet seat height could turn a purchase that looks good on paper to an uncomfortable mess once installed. This includes if you are installing a toilet meant solely for a small kid’s bathroom and they are uncomfortable on elongated toilets. Or what if you purchase a toilet that sits a little higher than what they’re comfortable with? Then it is back to the drawing board and possible money down the drain. Checking and rechecking the measurements will help a lot, and if you are installing it into a bathroom with limited space, then make note of whether the new toilet will be bigger than the current toilet. It’s a small gesture that will go a long way in giving you the most worry free install experience possible.

Price

The prices for toilets will vary depending on the type you are getting and from what company. There are very few low priced quality toilets available, so be wary on going too cheap with the price as that just means it is an inferior product. Some companies even offer package deals by selling two toilets as one and shaving off some of the price. Not all companies offer this, but in a case where a buyer needs more than one toilet it could potentially save them a lot of money. Be wary of features you don’t need so that overpaying isn’t even an option. It may be tempting to want to buy a toilet with a nightlight, but if you know that you aren’t going to use that feature then why pay extra for it? There is a lot of competition in the toilet market, so for every toilet that has that 1 extra feature you don’t need there is another toilet with the same specs, and lacking that unneeded feature. Shop smart toilets and only target features that mean something to you like water efficiency or power of the flush.

Water Usage

With the industry standard being set at 1.6 gallons per flush, buyers are safe in that all the new toilets won’t surpass that threshold. But smart shoppers shouldn’t settle for the industry standard if their main goal is to save money with their water bill. Dual flush toilets are the new craze, and it has two buttons to give you a flush that uses a small amount or water or a power flush that uses the full 1.6 amount. These toilets can get a little high in price, so for other customers the alternative is to settle for a toilet that is either high powered or water efficient. This can create a dilemma, since no one wants to make the wrong decision and have to send the toilet back. The easiest decision is to purchase the dual flush, but if that is out of your price range, then it is a safe bet to go with toilets that use as little as 1.28 gallons per flush. These are Watersense certified toilets and it is a safe middle ground between saving water resources and giving you the power you need to get a good flush. Variety is pretty good with the 1.28 models so customers are sure to come away with something that they love. If you are looking for the best rated flushing toilets see this guide

Summary

A combination of size, water usage information and price should be all a customer needs to make an educated decision on the perfect toilet for their home. Things don’t really get complicated, but they sure do get exciting with all of the options that are pushed in your face. Since everyone has different tastes, there is no telling what you may end up taking home. As long as you do your homework, you’ll do your new bathroom addition justice.

 

Toilet buying guide

In recent years the humble toilet has undergone a style makeover. Sleek new designs, hidden cisterns and water efficiency are just some of the features you need to consider when choosing a toilet for your home

Start with style

Toilet designs include back to wall, close coupled, wall faced and wall hung. Consider your budget and check with your plumber to find out which one will work best with your existing bathroom’s setup. But if you’re building from scratch, you can choose your toilet first and tailor your plumbing accordingly.

The difference between each style

Back to wall toilet cisterns are attached directly to the bathroom wall, which allows the pipes to be hidden.

Pick a toilet pan

Once you’ve chosen a toilet style, you’ll need to choose a toilet pan. There are three common pan types: S-trap, P-trap and skew trap.

Take measurements

Before you commit to a toilet style and pan, you’ll need to make sure the measurements work and decide what “set-out” you’ll need in your bathroom. This is the distance from the wall to the centre of the waste outlet for an S-trap, and the floor to the outlet for a P-trap. Set-outs vary, so make sure you take those measurements with you when selecting a toilet.

Ask About Discounts On Electrical Maintenance And Repairs

Choosing the Right Electrical Contractor for Industrial Maintenance

Electrical maintenance is one of the major issues when it comes to your safety and security. For industrial sectors, electrical maintenance is the topmost priority concern from the productivity point of view. To resolve issues related to the maintenance of a colossal industrial project, you must always seek experts, who are well versed with the facts & terms of electricity.

Electrical systems need timely maintenance & constant attention, which is often a life saver & prevent occurrence of serious incidents. Neglecting timely maintenance will lead to frequent faults, downtime, and hazards, which can be very expensive in the long run.

Electrical maintenance contractor is the professional, who provides services & maintains the installation of the whole complex structure. They must have higher standards of analytical skills, so that they can easily handle the old/previously installed systems of every project. Duties & responsibilities of an Electrician may vary & depend upon the contract, which is discussed between him & his client. For complex industrial electrical services & maintenance, you must opt for the best electrical maintenance contractor, because industrial maintenance requires a very high level of professional standards & knowledge to comply with different kinds of complex circumstances that may come during work.

Selecting an electrical contractor :

The Best electrician is the one who you can handle the electrical maintenance issues properly. They are the only ones who have the proper knowledge base & experience to tackle the modern as well as the older electrical system. They help in improving productivity and eliminating downtime.

Choosing an electrician is never an easy task, so take time to find the best one. If you are looking for a reputed and fully insured electrical service provider for your industrial electrical maintenance.

 

Electrical Maintenance

It is essentially important to carry out electrical maintenance on a regular basis; maintaining all the electrical material fittings, appliances and devices in and around your home. Maintenance enhances the smooth running of all the electricity powered items in your home, while creating a safe environment that will be free from all sorts of hazards.

Home safety is obviously one of the most dearly held goals by most, if not all, homeowners everywhere. A home is designed to be a safe haven for its dwellers, and therefore anything and everything that favors home safety should always be accorded first priority. Electrical maintenance for the home is without question, one of the foremost and sure steps towards fostering a safe home.

Importance of Proper and Timely Electrical Maintenance

When regular electrical maintenance checks are carried out for a home, various unwelcomed mishaps associated with electricity get avoided in an opportune manner. When such mishaps are avoided, it makes it easy to escape unplanned and often very high expenses of repairing, or even replacing badly affected electrical devices due to small problems that would have otherwise been detected and dealt with earlier.

Heating Ventilation and Air Conditioning (HVAC) In general, having your home’s HVAC system working well is a welcomed convenience. However, there are instances where the proper working of the HVAC could mean more than just a convenience. Take for instance, a home where there are senior citizens, small children or even a sick person; for such people, extreme heat variations, whether up or down on the thermometer, can result in life threatening complications.Such extreme heat variations would only happen in a malfunctioning HVAC system, and this is something that would have been avoided altogether through properly scheduled electrical maintenance of all its components in a timely manner like say, before the onset of winter or summer.

Outdoor Lighting The outdoor lighting in your home does a lot for your home safety. For one, it ensures that your porches and walkways are well lit and thus safe for both you and your guests at night. The other thing that they do for your home’s safety is deter thieves and burglars, who always prefer to operate in the dark. The light fixtures, bulbs and lines of your outdoor lighting require regular checks and replacements because of the nature of the outdoors. Having a contracted electrician carry out such checks on a regular basis will ensure that at no point will your outdoors be dark

 

Importance of Routine Elect

The electrical wiring of your home is largely out of sight, and this is one of the reasons why its maintenance is often set aside. Over time, the wires suffer wear and tear and it impacts on the equipment and appliances that operate on the circuit. Eventually, you will have to deal with electrical problems more frequently that you used to.

The best thing to do to avoid such complications is to hire a licensed electrician for regular electrical maintenance. Once you find a good electrician, it will be easier to perform an annual inspection of your property’s power system

Reduced Energy Cost

When appliances are working properly, they use less energy, which in turn will save you some money. Outdated electrical systems and faulty appliances may have to use more power to continue working, which can drive up your electric bill. By letting an electrician perform maintenance works regularly, your electrical system and items at home are kept in their best working condition. Plus, your electrician can recommend ways to further save energy with the use of today’s technological advancements.

Protection of Appliances

Whether you’re using a mini fridge or a four-door fridge at home, you’ve spent good amount of money to buy it, so of course you would want to make good use out of it. Not having regular maintenance by a licensed electrician services from Singapore is like waiting for an appliance to die before its lifetime. Each piece of equipment you have at home comes with a manual that states their recommended maintenance works and how often it should be done. Discuss this with your electrician in Singapore so he can schedule his visits accordingly.

Fire Safety

Electrical incidents and wirings usually spark home fires. Outdated electrical systems, wirings and fixtures are usually the root cause of these accidents. Having an annual check-up of your power system will ensure that the power source, electrical lines, wirings and outlets are up to date and are functioning properly.

 

How to Choose the Right Electrical Contractor for Your Business

In this industry, technology is constantly evolving. When you’re in the market to hire a new electrical contractor, it’s obviously crucial that who you hire is trustworthy and abreast of all the changing technology and stays up-to-date. When your electrical contractor is ahead of the curve, your business will not only become more efficient, but you’ll save money, too. Here’s what to look for when choosing the right electrical contractor for your business.

New Certifications

Certifications let you know that your electrical contractor has received and understands the latest developments in the field. But there are more than just certifications for installing and maintaining electrical equipment, there are also certifications for doing these things safely. You and your employees have probably undergone some form of basic OSHA safety training. The right electrical contractor company will undergo a more rigorous, specialized OSHA–30 certification, which means that the employees of that company have received 30 hours of training centered around things such as current common electrical hazards, personal protective equipment, hazardous locations, and proper wiring methods. Be sure to ask your prospective companies if their technicians have undergone OSHA-30 training. This will be a sign to you that the company is not only doing things to the highest standard, but they’re doing it safely as well.

They Recommend ARC Flash Studies

An ARC flash study is a complete examination of your electrical system. It helps assess the level of risk in your workplace. These studies ensure that your factory is completely compliant with local, national and even international standards by finding issues with your electrical system and bringing them to your attention, and allowing you to fix them. It also helps to ensure the safety of your employees and protects your equipment (as well as your building) by identifying maintenance needs such as poor connections, neglected equipment and contamination, all of which could lead to short circuits and fires.

They Provide Lift Training

Sometimes, electrical equipment and wires are located up out of safe reach, even with the use of a ladder. In these instances, lifts are often used. But not just anyone can use one. Lift equipment requires special training. The employees of your electrical contracting company have this training. You may not be able to, or need to, call the company every time you need something addressed. The right electrical contractor will provide lift training so that some of your employees can operate a lift properly and take care of smaller needs.

They Conduct Regular Safety Meetings

Sure, there’s a safety handbook. And everyone knows the basic rules. But, even so, someone might forget something, or do something they find easier, but is not necessarily safe. Not only that, but there are periodic updates to the safety regulations. It’s important that everyone is aware of these safety updates, and on the same page about proper safety procedures and protocols. In order to do this, your electrical contracting company should conduct regular safety meetings throughout the year. This helps to ensure that no matter who is sent out to your company, they will all adhere to the latest, proper regulations.

 

ELECTRICAL INSTALLATION AND MAINTENANCE TECHNOLOGY

PROGRAM MISSION

The Electrical Installation & Maintenance Technology program’s mission is to serve the community as a learning-centered, open door program that provides technical training to meet the demands of the electrical industry and the needs of the individual. An open-exit option allows the students to identify their career objectives and participate in program exploration.

PROGRAM DESCRIPTION

The curriculum is designed to prepare students with entry level knowledge and manipulative skills for employment in the electrical industry. The program combines theory with laboratory activities as an effective means of developing the skills essential to the electrical trade.

The student begins with the fundamentals of electricity and wiring of simple circuits, then progresses to residential interior wiring, three phase alternating current power, and wiring of more complex circuits and equipment. Safety is stressed as an integral part of each shop task. Emphasis is placed on wiring in accordance with the provisions contained in the National Electrical Code

The Benefits Of Carpet Cleaning

Carpet Cleaner Buying Guide

Embedded dirt can’t get you down when you’ve got a carpet cleaner around. See how well the top cleaners navigate on nylon plush carpets below.

Home Carpet Cleaning: Grubby to Great

Got dirty carpets? There’s certainly no lack of cleaning options, including buying a carpet-cleaning machine, renting one, or hiring a pro. While nothing beat the ease and performance of a pro, some of the machines we tested came pretty close for less money.

More Power, Deeper Clean

Machines that were better at lifting embedded dirt have larger, more powerful motors. Almost all of the full-sized models did a better job at removing dirt. Bissell and Hoover, the two largest manufacturers of carpet cleaners, say you must use their cleaning solutions in their machines or you could void the warranty or cause electrical shock or fire by damaging the machine.

How to Choose

Embedded dirt requires deep cleaning. Check your carpet’s warranty or manufacturer’s website for suggestions on how often you should clean. Otherwise you could damage the carpet or void its warranty. Some companies, for example, don’t allow a pro to reapply stain treatments.

Focus on Features

Separate tanks for hot water and cleaning solution make refilling quicker because you usually need to refill water more often. Smaller tanks mean more frequent refills. Carry and push the machine before buying, especially if you’ll be carrying it up and down stairs. Look for models with attachments if you’d like to clean upholstery or stairs

 

Consumers Guide To Carpet Cleaning

I am a member of the Carpet and Fabricare Institute (CFI), and owner of Above & Beyond Carpet Care. My company is a certified firm by the Institute of Inspection Cleaning and Restoration Certification, also known as the IICRC. I have earned the highest IICRC cleaning certification as “Certified Master Cleaner”. We are also certified in stone, masonry & ceramic tile cleaning, upholstery & fabric cleaning, carpet repair & reinstallation, odor control, flood restoration and mold remediation. I’ve been in the carpet cleaning business for over 23 years. And in that time, I’ve learned that carpet cleaning is the subject of much confusion. In fact, people have so many misconceptions about carpet cleaning that I decided to offer this consumer’s guide to carpet cleaning so when you select a carpet cleaning company, you can make an informed intelligent decision.

YOU SHOULD WAIT AS LONG AS POSSIBLE BEFORE CLEANING YOUR CARPET.

Not true. Dirt is an abrasive – like sandpaper. Every time you step on the carpet, you grind dirt into your carpet fibers. This cuts your carpet, just as if you had used a knife, causing it to wear out faster. A dirty carpet will not last nearly as long as a clean carpet. And while vacuuming helps — by itself, it’s simply not enough. The longer you wait to have your carpet cleaned, the more damage you do to your carpet and the faster it wears out

HE ONLY REASON TO CLEAN CARPET IS TO REMOVE THE DIRT.

Not true. As you probably know, outdoor air contains pollens, fungus, bacteria, air pollution, cigarette smoke, car exhaust — and hundreds of other chemicals. When you and your family members come into your home, you carry those pollens, bacteria and chemicals in your hair and on your skin, clothing and shoes. Not surprisingly, all those chemicals, pollens and bacteria wind up — you guessed it — in your carpet. If you have allergies, asthma, emphysema, or other breathing problems — one major source of your problem could be the pollens, fungus, and chemicals in your carpet.

ONE METHOD OF CARPET CLEANING IS JUST AS GOOD AS ANOTHER.

Not true. You can choose from two primary methods: Dry cleaning or hot water extraction. First, I’ll explain dry cleaning. Many people believe that dry cleaning your carpet is like dry cleaning your clothing. This is not true. All carpet cleaning methods use water in one from or another. Here are the three methods of dry cleaning carpet.

HAVING THE RIGHT EQUIPMENT IS ALL A COMPANY NEEDS TO CLEAN YOUR CARPETS PROPERLY.

Not true. Many companies own hot-water cleaners — but a large number of employees don’t know how to use them. You probably know someone who bought the newest computer on the market — but didn’t learn how to use it for a year or more. The same is true with carpet cleaning machines. The company may own good equipment, but the employees may not know how to use it correctly. This is why it’s important that you choose your carpet cleaner carefully.

 

Tips on Choosing the Best Carpet Cleaning Service

Carpeting is one of the most popular types of flooring in homes and business across the country, despite the fact that it requires a specific type of maintenance routine to keep it looking its very best. Delicate fabrics and materials require professional cleaning from time to time, which means you’ll want to hire a qualified carpet cleaning service for the task.

Less is NOT Necessarily More

It’s common to look for the most affordable option when choosing any sort of cleaning service. However attractive saving a few Euro might seem, going for the least expensive option for your carpet’s maintenance might actually do more damage than good.

Know the Process

No two cleaning services are identical, and that means that you’ll want to know how each company that you’ve shortlisted for the job goes about their business. Some companies might use stronger detergents, while others might use gentler products that are safer for your carpets and for the environment too

Do a Competitive Analysis

This tip is simple: do your research. This entails everything from talking to friends and family, checking review sites and asking for recommendations on social media. Some of the best services are found through word of mouth, so do the research and leverage your network for trustworthy recommendations

Ask About Additional Services

Ask as many questions as you possibly can before hiring a carpet cleaning company. You want to know exactly what you’re getting with no hidden surprises.

 

Tips for Choosing a Professional Carpet Cleaning Company for Your Office Space

Everyone wants a nice and clean office space that promotes creativity and productivity. A good working environment that keeps people calm and pleasant is ideal. As such, it makes sense that every aspect of said office space is perfectly ordered and presentable. Additionally, it’s important that the office space makes a good first impression on clients and co-workers dropping by.

Reliability

There are times that cleaning services need to be done right away. It’s wise to find a professional carpet cleaning company that offers immediate or emergency services in order to protect your company’s image. You can narrow your choices down to companies that have reliable transport means and networks, as they can deliver services much faster than those that don’t.

Accreditation

Be sure to only hire legally accredited carpet cleaning companies. They must be compliant to international and local rules and regulations. Documents like licenses should be provided to you as proof of their credibility. This will prevent you from dealing with legal problems down the road.

Skills and Experience

Professional carpet cleaning companies that have been in the business for a long time definitely have first-hand experience dealing with all kinds of carpets. So make sure you find organizations that are skilled and have been in business for a decent amount of time. They undoubtedly have lasted so long due to excellent work ethic and great customer care

Affordability

There are times that customers choose not to hire great cleaning companies just because of the high prices. But “expensive” does not always necessarily mean “best.” There are still companies that offer awesome services at a reasonable price.

 

Things to Consider When Choosing A Carpet Cleaner

Pricing is Key

In the business world, many people have heard the old saying “you get what you pay for.” This phrase is important in many aspects of the business world, but it may not be true when it comes to choosing a cleaning company for the carpets. In fact, many people have found that some of the less expensive companies did better work. Professional carpet cleaning is worth the cost and many customers generally love the outcome when they hire a professional. The end result of crystal, clean floors is what they are really looking for.

The Type Of Cleaning

Many carpet cleaners offer a very specific way of cleaning the carpets. There are two types that are usually offered: dry carpet cleaning and steam cleaning. The type chosen will change the cost of the job. Dry cleaning is sometimes called low moisture and it involves chemicals with very little water. This type of cleaning is much faster than steam cleaning and is chosen by those who need clean carpets in a flash! This method does not clean as deep as steam cleaning, but it is suggested for those who don’t keep really dirty floors.

Knowing The Needs

When it comes to getting carpets all clean, knowing the needs of the floors and customer is key. By knowing the type of carpet, what kind of stains it has had, and the age of the carpet, customers can help the cleaner figure out what the floors need to be cleaned properly.

Check Insurance, Licensing, and Bonding

Any company that comes into a home to clean it must be bonded by the state. They must also have insurance and licenses. This paperwork means that the staff has had background checks and if anything happens to the furniture or property, the company is prepared to cover any of the damages

Choosing The Type of Cleaning Fluids

With all of the chemicals that can harm the home, pets, and children, it is important that the customer knows what type of cleaning fluids they want used on the carpets. Choosing a carpet cleaner that offers greener options can always sway an opinion on whom to choose. Some of the common cleaners can be much cheaper, so if allergies are not a problem, many customers just choose those. There are eco-friendly cleaners that companies may offer and not all of them are more expensive. It is important to check those out when trying to find the right cleaning company.

Choosing The Best Epoxy Flooring Coating

Benefits Of Epoxy Flooring

Whether you need to refurbish outdated flooring or seal your concrete surface, epoxy floor coating can transform your space while fortifying your flooring. This floor coating is surprisingly useful for preserving concrete surfaces and protecting against harsh impacts — all while showcasing a glossy finish. Coating the floor of an auto shop, room or garage has many benefits. Epoxy floor coating is resilient and seals your floor, bringing safety and beauty to any well-trafficked area. If your floor is uncoated and has been left open to damage, epoxy can shield your floor from any further damage and bring a level of professional refinement it may be lacking.

What Is Epoxy Floor Coating?

Epoxy floor coating is made of epoxide resin, polyamine hardener and other additives. When not used as a floor coating, it is often used as an adhesive. As it is mixed, it forms a chemical reaction that gives your floor distinct qualities. One of the most important qualities that this chemical reaction produces is new stability and endurance in the surface. This process seals and cures the surface it is applied to, forming a firm bond. Check out the advantages of epoxy floor coatings to determine if this is the right choice for your space.

 

Here are the major benefits of installing epoxy coating in your building:

  1. Durability: Concrete floors coated in epoxy last longer and resist considerable wear, thus saving you money and allowing you to manage other business concerns.
  2. Strength: Once the epoxy has been converted to a solid polymer, it becomes incredibly strong and prevents chemical breakdown.
  3. Saves time: Epoxy flooring is usually quickly and easily installed, which means less time shutting down production for installation.
  4. Low maintenance cleaning: Once concrete has the epoxy coating, it is no longer porous since sealed and is therefore easier to clean.
  5. Aesthetic: Coatings are usually available in an array of colors and patterns to fit your specific style.
  6. Chemically resistant: Epoxy coatings can survive continued exposure to potent chemicals, which is perfect for warehouses or plants that may be exposed to such materials.
  7. Safety: These coatings are also resistant to slippage, temperature, extreme impact and even fire, maintaining both the safety of your employees and your building.
  8. Brightness: Typically, a high gloss option for coatings can be provided, which improves lighting in your facility to a significant degree due to reflection.
  9. Lowers vehicle maintenance: Choosing an epoxy coating can also reduce wear on vehicles in your facility because it is more forgiving on machinery.
  10. Helps the environment: Lastly, epoxy coatings are a green option for your business because of the reduction in material usage. It is a great alternative to adding on a completely new floor or replacing vehicles due to damage.

 

Cons of Epoxy Floor Coatings

Epoxy Can Be A Hassle to Apply

Epoxy floor coating doesn’t require a lot of intensive labor to install it, but the trade-off is the necessity for specific conditions of the surrounding environment during install. First, the existing floor that the epoxy will be applied to needs to be thoroughly cleaned to remove any oil, dirt, or other residues, and the floor needs to be smoothed out as much as possible. Any defects in the floor will affect the epoxy coating. Next, the pitch and hardener have to be mixed correctly or the solution won’t cure properly. Finally, if the environment is too moist, the epoxy won’t adhere correctly. This is a problem that is especially concerning for applications such as storm cellars, which may never be dried out enough for the epoxy to adhere. The good news is our team of specialists have mastered the art of concrete coating installations.

Dropping Heavy Objects May Cause Epoxy to Chip

Despite its durability under most circumstances, epoxy is vulnerable to chipping. Repeated stress from sudden contact with heavy objects is the most prevalent cause of chipping. As a result, epoxy isn’t the best choice for an environment where the floor will sustain frequent abuse from heavy objects.

Epoxy Has A High Level of VOCs

Although epoxy is perfectly safe when it’s dry, while it’s still wet it can emit fumes containing volatile organic compounds (VOCs). To avoid inhaling the potentially harmful fumes, appropriate protection such as a mask and gloves should be used during the installation process.

Exposure to UV Rays Can Cause Epoxy to Yellow

Lastly, using an epoxy coating isn’t appropriate in a location that’s frequently exposed to direct sunlight. UV rays cause epoxy to turn yellow over time, which alters the color of the flooring if it receives too much sunlight.

 

Cleaning Epoxy Floors

For a long-lasting epoxy floor, follow the recommended cleaning procedures. Using rough brushes or pads will abrade the surface and remove the coatings/sealers. The cleaner you keep your floors, the longer they will last because dirt, sand, and other particles will not be worn over the surface (in essence, like sandpaper). Despite the durability of epoxy floors, it is still possible for continuous use on the surface to cause damage. If your epoxy floor begins to show damage due to abuse, it is important to repair the issue so that the damage does not spread. A reputable flooring company will provide you with a warranty. Recoating and retexturing as needed will keep the floor in good condition and prevent the base system from being worn down.

 

Epoxy Floor Coating Preparation

An epoxy coating requires a clean and slightly porous surface to adhere properly. Epoxy may not bond to sealed or polished concrete. The concrete also must be fully cured. Before apply epoxy floor coating, it is important to patch and repair all major cracks and chips in the concrete surface and to remove all grease.

If the concrete is old, test the surface for previous layers of epoxy or other products that might have been applied over the years. To test for sealant, pour a small amount of water onto the floor. It should soak in. If the water beads on the surface rather than soaking in, it likely has been sealed and may not be suitable for an epoxy coating.

Before applying an epoxy coating, make sure that the temperature is suitable, and follow all manufacturer’s recommendations. Unfavorable temperatures can cause the epoxy to bubble and peel. Epoxy is a two-part liquid that you mix before application. Once the product is mixed, you have a limited time to apply the epoxy coating before it starts to harden.

How To Repair The Broken Pipes And Valves Of Your Sprinkler System

EMERGENCY PLUMBING – MANAGING WATER LEAK AND BROKEN PIPE

The first step to becoming a successful homeowner or renter is knowing basic emergency plumbing tips. It is no longer news that the joy of owning a home vanishes when emergencies strike. The frustration of an emergency plumbing problem is even more intense if house occupants are totally ignorant of how their plumbing system works or where the control valves are located. I agree that not everyone is gifted with plumbing skills and we all cannot be plumbers. However, it does not hurt to know the basics of your home plumbing system, just in case your water line chooses to burst and flood your house when you cannot get a hold of a plumber immediately.

A broken water pipe is not the only emergency plumbing problem to watch out for. Clogged drains, frozen pipes and sewer backup are some of the other common emergency plumbing issues. A clogged drain slows or stops water from flowing in the drainage system and in a worst case scenario, the whole plumbing system blocks to a halt and occupants cannot use water anywhere in the house without having an overflow situation. The key to averting the ugly situation described above is knowing the basics about your plumbing systems and ultimately having an idea of what to do in plumbing emergencies.

Managing Emergency Plumbing, Water leak or broken pipe

It is important to know the location of all of the shut-off valves controlling water supply to your utilities and appliances in the kitchen, bathroom, toilet, basement and yard. Carefully inspect your kitchen sink, toilet pipes, water heaters, heating systems, tubs and other appliances to locate the shutoff valve

feeding water into them. Another very important valve you must know the location is the main shutoff valve supplying water to your entire house. If you cannot find the stop valves for your systems or if you are not sure where to look, ask your plumber anytime you have him working at your house. Getting this information from a professional will help boost your confidence when you have to deal with an emergency water leak and broken pipe because then you know for sure what to turn off.

 

What is Considered a Plumbing Emergency?

There is a risk of flooding

Flooding due to a failed sump pump, burst pipe, sewer back up, or water shut off valve failure, are all examples of plumbing emergencies. Flood damage can cause significant damage to structures and is a safety concern, therefore should be addressed as soon as possible.

There is a sewer back up

When a sewer line backs up, sewage sits at its back up point, creating a health hazard. It prevents the ability to use the facilities or run water, which makes living difficult as well.

You are without water

Not having access to running water is also a safety concern because, like a sewer back up, prevents you from using the facilities, but also effects cooking and cleaning.

There is a risk of a burst pipe

Frozen pipes and/or spigots lend themselves to two of the above concerns: risk of flooding and no water. If a pipe is frozen, not only is water not able to pass through it, but it expands, causing it to crack, which means once it thaws, it presents the risk of flooding. It’s important to know where your water shut off valves are located and how they work. As your plumber during his or her preventative maintenance visit to show you, if you don’t already know.

 

10 Most Common Plumbing Emergencies

  1. Clogged sinks: You’re doing the dishes in the kitchen or brushing your teeth in the bathroom and the sink refuses to drain. A slow drain is annoying, but it’s not necessarily an emergency. However, if the clog becomes severe, water flow may stop completely, which could cause a serious slow down of your daily activities.
  2. Clogged toilets: Is your toilet clogged, making strange noises, leaking or refusing to flush? Since the toilet is the most used fixture in your home, any of these common plumbing emergencies are enough to ruin your day. Try some DIY tips for unclogging the toilet, but remember an unresolved problem can allow leaks to cause structural damage or raw sewage backups to present health hazards.
  3. Clogged bathtubs and shower drains: You’re taking a shower and the water starts rising to your ankles, or a strange gurgling sound comes from the drain. Soap scum and hair buildup are the most common reasons behind this plumbing emergency.
  4. Leaky faucets and toilets: The constant drip, drip, drip is enough to annoy anyone, but leaky faucets and toilets can also rack up your water bills, cause rust to form and facilitate mold growth.
  5. Leaking water heater: If you discover a leak or other problem interrupting your hot water supply, you could be wasting a lot of money on water heating. A leak can also cause property damage. A leaky water heater valve can be easily replaced, but if the water heater wall has completely rusted through, you need an entirely new water heater to overcome the problem.
  6. Leaky washing machine hoses: Washing machines are sturdy, durable appliances, but the water hoses are often the weakest link. If you discover a cracked or bulging hose behind the washer, don’t ignore it or mold and rust could become serious problems.
  7. Broken water lines: Tree roots, earthquakes and poorly aimed shovels can cause underground water lines to break. This can cause soggy areas in the yard, poor water quality and no or very low water pressure.
  8. Burst pipes: The freeze-thaw cycle can cause exposed pipes to burst. This problem could turn into a complete pipe replacement, which would need to be handled by professionals.
  9. No hot water: It’s what nightmares are made of: you hop into the shower and soap up with your favorite body wash when suddenly the water goes ice-cold. You could be experiencing a water heater malfunction, electrical issue or plumbing leak. Then again, it could be your utility company’s fault that you have no hot water.
  10. Sewer system backup: It’s another plumbing nightmare no one wants to experience. Sewer backups are messy, costly and inconvenient, to say the least. Signs of a sewer system backup include multiple drain clogs, bad sewage odors coming from the drains, gurgling toilets, and water pooling around the basement floor drain.

 

Signs of a Leak in Your Water Main

Considering how difficult it is to identify leaks, there are a few signs that homeowners can pay attention to and rely on as indicators of a leaking pipe in the home.

Here is a list of the most common signs to look out for:

  • Water in the Street- This is perhaps one of the most common signs of a leaking main water lineWhen a pipe ruptures and the leaking water has nowhere to go, it will bubble up into the street. When homeowners notice bubbling water in the street, it is advisable to get plumbing services immediately.
  • Water in Your Yard- Other clear signs of a possible leak or leaks in the pipes are unexplained wet areas in the yard as well as sinkholes. Since these conditions can pose a significant danger to the children and animals in your compound, you should call for professional plumbing services from Beehive Plumbing once you notice the signs.
  • Puddles in Your Home- Water that accumulates in your home, especially under sinks or on the floor, could be an indicator of a leak in the pipes. While some of the problems may be easy to detect, those behind walls and ceilings will not be easily visible. Having an inspection of your plumbing system will help to reveal these problems.
  • Wet Spots- It is important to inspect the areas around sinkstoilets, and tubs. You should look out for discolored areas or wet spots, as these may reveal to you the leaks in your plumbing system.
  • Damp Drywall- Damp drywall and ceilings with wet rings are clear signs of water from a leaking pipe. If this problem is left without being addressed, it may cause great damage to your home structure. Homeowners should call qualified plumbers at Beehive Plumbing to repair the defects so that there is no further damage to the property.
  • Unexplained High Water Bills- When you have not had any unusual activity in your home but have unexplained high water bills, this could be a sign of a leaking pipe. When considering this as a possible sign, you should keep in mind other signs such as puddlesdamp drywallwet rings on the ceiling and wet areas. The physical indicators can also help you to detect plumbing problems.
  • Low Water Pressure- When you experience low water pressure but there is an assurance of water supply, this means that there is a problem in the water main or the pipes in your home. Disturbances in the line, including ruptured or clogged pipesmay reduce the pressure of the water that reaches your home.
  • Cracks in the Foundation of Your Home- Leaking water can seep into the foundation of your housecausing cracks to develop. When this goes on for a prolonged period, the leaking water will weaken the structural components of the home. This will manifest itself in the form of cracks in the walls and foundation.
  • Water Sounds- Bubbling noises from the toilet or sinkwhistling from the pipesbangingdripping and clanking may be signs that some of the pipes in your home are broken. You should always pay attention to any sounds coming from areas likely to experience water leaks.
  • Unpleasant Odor- When dirty water and sewage are not being channeled to the intended public sewer lines, there is bound to be an unpleasant odor in your home. This is a sign that the pipes may be backed up or blocked.

 

When It’s Time to Call a Plumber for a Clogged Drain

Questions to Ask Yourself

1st Question

When it comes to deciding when to call a plumber for a clogged drain, even those of us without plumbing experience can run through a decision tree in our minds, and fairly quickly, too. First question: Is there a mess that’s spreading? If yes, call the plumber. This is where “stitch in time” thinking works best. It may be a small mess that might at this point be kept in the sink. Or maybe you can contain it to an easily cleaned room. However, it could easily get out of hand without warning. The next thing you know, there’s a claim on homeowner’s or renter’s insurance for damaged furniture or carpeting. That can definitely add a lot of cost and inconvenience to the bill. And we won’t even go into what it would add to the cost if we have to go into a wall, ceiling, or floor.

2nd Question

Let’s go back to our decision tree. If the answer to the first question is no, then we move to the second point. Does the slowdown or blockage affect every drain in the house? If the answer is yes, the clog is in a main drain somewhere and needs to be taken care of by a professional. That means you should call a plumber. If the answer is no, then it’s a more localized issue. It could even be confined to one drain. Maybe not something that requires fast action.

3rd Question

When diagnosing the issue, it also makes sense to consider how soon the drain needs to be used. Is the clogged drain that one sink in the guest bathroom, for example? It may be okay to wait a bit before calling the plumber. Unless, of course, great-aunt Bessie is arriving today for her annual visit and she always uses the guest bathroom. In that case, the need to clear out that particular drain has just become both urgent and important. If, however, it isn’t easy to figure out what’s causing the problem, calling in the plumber is probably the best possible move.

4th Question

Which brings us to our next question: Is the clogged drain in a critical area? For example, is it in the kitchen sink? Or in the main floor lavatory that everyone uses? Or maybe the clogged drain is in the only bathroom in the house? Yikes. Of course, what qualifies as a critical area depends on the situation. If the answer is yes, call in the plumber. If the answer is no, there’s time to take a deep breath.

The point when deciding to call a plumber for a blocked channel is when it first becomes the user’s attention (s) of a particular fixture. “A stitch saves nine times” are good words to go through, especially when it’s a blocked channel problem. Addressing the problem immediately can prevent bad things from happening. Do you have blocked or slow channels? Contact a professional plumber now to schedule your appointment with a professional plumber of certified.

A Commercial Electrical Remodel Serves All Types Of Businesses

How to Save on Commercial Electricity

Ways To Reduce Business Energy Costs

The fact is, depending on the size of your organization and facilities, you can lower your electric bill by thousands of dollars every month just by following a few easy steps to increase the energy efficiency of your offices. Here’s a rundown of the specific tips and simple changes you can make that can add up to short-term and long-term energy savings.

Get an energy audit
Nothing gets the heart racing like the word “audit.” While this might not sound like a good thing at first, when it comes to your business energy costs and usage, it really is. Most utility companies offer free business energy audits to their commercial customers. They can help you figure out where your money is going every month, how to increase energy efficiency and how to lower electric bills.

When not in use, turn off lights and equipment

Turning office machines and lighting off at night can reduce business energy costsThis step might seem obvious, but you’d be surprised how much energy all those computers, monitors, printers and other devices consume while setting there unused but still left on. By making sure they’re in “sleep mode” or turned off completely overnight, you won’t be paying for electricity you’re not even using. Make it someone’s nightly routine to take a quick tour of the office and flip the OFF switch on idle equipment. The same goes for breakroom devices such as microwaves, coffeemakers, radios and TVs. One tip is to plug all these energy vampires into a single powerstrip, so you can turn them off at the same time on your way out the door.

 

Take advantage of natural sunlight as often as you can

Let the sunshine in! Open the blinds around your workspaces to make the best use of daylight—and take advantage of skylights or other natural light sources to reduce your lighting needs during daytime hours. It’s also worthwhile to see whether there are areas of your office that are overly lit and remove any lighting that might not be necessary.

Install long-lasting compact fluorescent light (CFL) or light-emitting diode (LED) bulbs

This is one step where saving a little bit in a lot of places can really add up. Replacing a single 60-watt bulb with an 18-watt energy-efficient bulb that’s on for 10 hours a day can easily save a business $1 or more each month. Multiply that out to an entire year—and by the hundreds (if not thousands) of bulbs in your business—and you’re talking about some serious savings. Energy-efficient bulbs aren’t just a smart answer about how to lower electric bills in the short term. Their extended service life will help you save in the long term, too. Energy Star LED light bulbs not only use at least 75% less energy, they can last 50 times longer than the average incandescent—up to 20 years.

Use motion detectors and automatic dimmers that adjust to your needs

Automatic dimmers, the overhead solution to how to lower your electric billBelieve it or not, lighting accounts for almost 20% of the electricity used in U.S. commercial buildings. So, being even just a little bit smarter about when, where and how you use the lighting in your building(s) can add up to big savings. Consider installing motion detectors in hallways, meeting spaces and other places where “always-on” isn’t always needed—along with automatic dimming controllers that measure and adjust to the light levels you actually need.

 

Reduce closing door delay

Automatic doors are a great way for manufacturing businesses, which require a cold room or refrigerated storage, to save on energy as they use sensors or a time delay to close the door.Energy savings can be made by reducing the close delay timeframe on automatic doors, and limiting the frequency of cool room access as far as its practical.

Air conditioning and heating

According to Siemens, heating and cooling uses around 20 to 40 per cent of a building’s energy.Newer heating and cooling systems will be far more efficient than old ones, so it may be worth getting systems more than 10 years old replaced. Both blow heaters and portable radiators use significant amounts of electricity and will chew through the power bills so discourage their use. Lastly ensure your air conditioning and heating are set to the optimum points during the seasons.

Shade windows and walls

Often, the primary source of heat entering a building is via unprotected windows. The sun’s radiant energy can generate the same local heat as a single bar radiator but Save energy by using fixed or adjustable shading, planting trees and vegetation or installing sun filters on the windows and walls of the workplace— especially industrial sheds— to protect it from radiant energy. This will reduce the impact of those extreme Australian summer temperatures, improve comfort and save energy.

 

Optimise appliances

Depending on the appliances used in the workplace, you can optimise their settings to increase energy savings. For example, you can increase the drinks fridge temperature in the kitchen by one or two degrees to save energy without impacting employees or business.

Make it collaborative, not top down

Any energy savings initiative should be collaborative and involve all employees. If you want your employees to change their behaviour they need to do it when you’re not in the room. So, communicate the real business costs. Let them know how it affects the bottom line, and regularly raise energy at toolbox meetings or monthly company meetups, to keep it top of mind. People will want to do their part if you let them.

 

Here are our top 5 free and easy ways to save energy in your home:

  1. Turn off the fan when you leave a room.

Why? Fans don’t cool the air – they only cool people by blowing warm, still air across their skin. The motor on the fan actually adds heat to the room – another reason to turn it off when you leave.

How: Just like turning off the lights and electronics when you leave a room, turn off the fan. It sets a good example for the younger generation that waste is never a good thing.

  1. Close your drapes or drop your window shades during the day.

Why? Keeping sunlight out during the heat of the day keeps the house cooler. In the winter, doing the opposite lets the warm sunlight in.

How: Consider moving your furniture around with the seasons to take advantage of or avoid the sun. Eating breakfast near a sunny window can start your chilly winter day off right.

  1. Wash your clothes in cold water.

Why? Ninety percent of the energy used to wash your clothes is for heating the water.

How: Cold water is just as effective for getting clothes clean with today’s high-efficiency washers and cold water-formulated detergents.

  1. Wrap or cover foods and drinks in the refrigerator.

Why? When foods release moisture they make the compressor work harder to keep the unit cold.

How: Take a few seconds to put on some plastic wrap to trap that moisture. Better yet, put that food in a reusable container with a lid to avoid having to throw away the plastic wrap.

  1. Always use the cold water faucet, unless you really want hot water.

Why? Turning on the hot water faucet (or placing the faucet lever to hot or warm) requires energy to heat the water, even if it doesn’t reach the faucet before you turn it off.

How: Use cold water, especially for cooking. Hot water from the tap absorbs more lead and other contaminants from pipes.

Reduce The Cost Of College Thru Proper Tax Planning

Tax Planning for Beginners: Tax Strategy Concepts to Know

Tax planning is the analysis and arrangement of a person’s financial situation in order to maximize tax breaks and minimize tax liabilities in a legal and efficient manner.

You can’t really plan for the future if you don’t know where you are today. So the first tax planning tip is get a grip on what federal tax bracket you’re in.

The United States has a progressive tax system. That means people with higher taxable incomes are subject to higher tax rates. People with lower taxable incomes are subject to lower tax rates.

There are seven federal income tax brackets: 10%, 12%, 22%, 24%, 32%, 35% and 37%.

No matter which bracket you’re in, you probably won’t pay that rate on your entire income

For example, let’s say you’re a single filer with $32,000 in taxable income. That puts you in the 12% tax bracket for the 2019 tax year. But do you pay 12% on all $32,000? No. Actually, you pay 10% on the first $9,700; then you pay 12% on the rest.  If you had $50,000 of taxable income, you’d pay 10% on that first $9,700 and 12% on the chunk of income between $9,701 and $39,475. And then you’d pay 22% on the rest.

The difference between tax deductions and tax credits

Tax deductions and tax credits may be the best part of preparing your tax return. Both reduce your tax bill, but in very different ways. Knowing the difference can create some very effective tax strategies that reduce your tax bill.

What is the standard deduction?

Basically, it’s a flat-dollar, no-questions-asked tax deduction. Taking the standard deduction makes tax prep go a lot faster, which is probably a big reason why many taxpayers do it instead of itemizing.

 

How to Choose Your Tax Adviser or Accountant

Do I need a tax adviser or an accountant?

More often than not people will actually require both an accountant and a tax adviser, however, it is important to establish why you need them – do you need someone to manage your accounts and help you with your tax return? Or someone to give you sound advice that will legally save you money?

What does an accountant do?

Your accountant can manage your accounts, provide compliance work and some may even do tax planning.

What does a tax adviser do?

Tax advisers tend to focus solely on tax planning. They spend significant amounts of time keeping up-to-date with the latest tax legislation and tax cases to help make sure they provide their clients with great strategies that will help to reduce or eliminate tax – some of which your accountant may not even be aware of

Example of the difference between an accountant and tax adviser

If we compare the accountancy profession with medicine, an accountant is the equivalent of a GP, and most of the time a GP is all you need for routine health care, but if you get seriously ill (compare with a dispute with HM Revenue and Customs) or you need surgery (tax planning), then you need a specialist consultant (a Tax Adviser).

What qualifications should my Tax Adviser / Accountant have?

As a client you want to be assured that your tax adviser / accountant is acting in both your best interest and within the law, which is why it is important to know what qualifications your tax adviser or accountant has, and when they were achieved and if they are relevant to you. Check that the qualifications they have cover the area of taxation or accounting that you require assistance with.

 

How to Find a Good Tax Adviser

Many unlicensed tax preparers with questionable credentials set up shop during income-tax season. Some disappear after the April 15 filing date, leaving you to deal with the IRS if there’s a problem with your return. The IRS recently cracked down on such rogue tax preparers by, among other things, contacting those whose returns have frequently shown to have errors. Plus, it is instituting stricter rules for anyone who charges a fee to prepare a tax return. See the IRS’s fact sheets about the new requirements for tax-return preparers. Most of the new rules do not take effect until the 2011 tax season, so taxpayers still need to be vigilant when hiring a tax preparer or adviser this year.

One good approach is to look for an enrolled agent. Enrolled agents are tax experts who must pass a rigorous test, meet annual continuing-education requirements, and who are licensed to represent clients in front of the IRS. Enrolled agents can prepare your income-tax return, and some provide tax-planning advice. You can also contact an enrolled agent if you need help after receiving a penalty letter from the IRS.

Enrolled agents work in a variety of settings: Some have their own firms, some work for tax-preparation chains, and some are also certified public accountants or certified financial planners. You can find an enrolled agent through the National Association of Enrolled Agents

If you’re looking for help with financial planning as well as taxes, CPAs who are also personal financial specialists (CPA/PFS) can help integrate tax planning with investing, retirement-planning and estate issues. You can find a CPA/PFS

 

Tax Planning: The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly

When your clients come to you and wonder what they can do to save money when it comes to paying taxes, you can recommend tax planning services. Many taxpayers aren’t aware of how impactful tax planning can be.

Wise taxpayers plan out their upcoming tax year instead of hoping you can do something amazing for them once the year is over. Those that plan ahead have more control over their tax situation and increase their chances of reducing their tax obligations. It’s the first step toward a better financial future.

The Good: In-Person Tax Planning with a Professional

The best way for taxpayers to implement a workable tax plan is to meet with a professional. Like a doctor, tax preparers who offer tax planning services take time to look at their client’s financial health, then diagnose any areas where mistakes and poor planning actually cost them. It’s also a good way to look for any missed opportunities that the taxpayer may use in the future.

The Bad: Generic Tax Planning Software

If a client is not convinced that hiring you for formal tax planning is something they want to do, they might at least consider some do-it-yourself tax planning using specialized tax software. From data management software like Microsoft Excel to programs and apps designed to help individuals and small businesses with tax planning, using available tools is better than no tax planning at all.

The Ugly: Ineffective or Nonexistent Planning

The worst thing that an individual or small business can do with tax planning is not having a plan at all. These are the kinds of clients that keep paper receipts in shoe boxes or files in no real order. Even if you’ve explained to them how much they would benefit from tax planning, they still insist on a pen and paper method of managing their finances and fail to plan for the immediate future or any long-term goals.

 

Tips for Choosing a Tax Preparer

It’s the time of the year when many taxpayers choose a tax preparer to help file a tax return. These taxpayers should choose their tax return preparer wisely.  This is because taxpayers are responsible for all the information on their income tax return. That’s true no matter who prepares the return.

Check the Preparer’s Qualifications. Use the IRS Directory of Federal Tax Return Preparers with Credentials and Select Qualifications. This tool helps taxpayers find a tax return preparer with specific qualifications. The directory is a searchable and sortable listing of preparers.

Check the Preparer’s History. Ask the Better Business Bureau about the preparer. Check for disciplinary actions and the license status for credentialed preparers. For CPAs, check with the State Board of Accountancy. For attorneys, check with the State Bar Association. For Enrolled Agents, go to the verify enrolled agent status page on IRS.gov or check the directory.

Ask about Service Fees. Avoid preparers who base fees on a percentage of the refund or who boast bigger refunds than their competition. When asking about a preparer’s services and fees, don’t give them tax documents, Social Security numbers or other information.

Ask to E-File. Taxpayers should make sure their preparer offers IRS e-file. The quickest way for taxpayers to get their refund is to electronically file their federal tax return and use direct deposit.

Make Sure the Preparer is Available. Taxpayers may want to contact their preparer after this year’s April 17 due date. Avoid fly-by-night preparers.

The Ultimate Guide To Choosing A Event Videographer

Choosing the Perfect Photographer or Videographer for Your Event

For any event, finding someone to capture special and amazing moments is vitally important. However, quite often you can be spoilt for choice or not even know where to start. We’ve made a list of our top tips for choosing a  photographer or videographer for your event.

First things first….

Make sure you have a venue and date before submitting a request. A photographer/videographer will want to know where your event is so that they can give you an accurate quote, and so they can see if they are able to travel there.

Wedding Photography

ALL Wedding Photographers specialise in capturing beautiful moments on your special day. They will spend time before your wedding getting to know you and going through the different options they can provide for you. They often have add-ons like a photo album to showcase your day. They’re also good for wedding vow renewals. If you don’t just want a wedding photographer there are other options!

Vintage Wedding Photographer

Fancy wedding photography, but want your photos taken in beautiful natural reportage style? A vintage wedding photographer is a supplier for you!

Documentary Wedding Photographer

Taking photos throughout the day to document your perfect day to a T. They specialise in taking natural and candid photos of you and your wedding guests throughout the day. Perfect if you don’t like posing!

 

Keys to Successful Event Video

One of the comforts in controlled shoots is that you can always try a few things to see what works with a scene. Move a light a few times. Take time to test audio with different microphones in different positions. Maybe swap cameras to see if the Canon EOS 5D Mark III gives you a better effect than the Sony PMWEX3.

Some Quick Tips to Being Prepared

Whether you are shooting wedding and event videography or school sports, you need to be prepared. There are no do-overs. Some of these tips sound like common sense, but each one has either helped me immensely, or bitten me badly when I forgot to do them. This is the checklist that I go through before I take on any event.

What Kind of Planning? All Kinds!

Before an event shoot, it’s normal to get a little bit tense. One of the best ways to get calm is to take some time to get prepared. Charge more than your camera batteries – charge up your cell phone and pack a charger. When all else fails, your phone can be your lifeline to communicate with the rest of the staff. Fill up your gas tank to avoid a stop on the way, and get your car looking presentable, inside and out, you never know if you’ll be driving a subcontractor or a client to the subway or their hotel after you’ve concluded the event.

Know Who’s in Charge

When scoping an event, you’ll want to meet with your clients beforehand to get a solid understanding of their expectations – what do they want you to shoot, what are you delivering after the event, and what are the deadlines for that content

Get a Schedule

Prior to the event, sometimes at the last minute, the client should provide you with an event schedule. If they don’t, ask for one. This will give you an idea of how the day(s) will flow, and serve as a general outline to work with. Keep in mind the time allotted to the travel from place to place. Make notes on the schedule detailing any special requests or location changes.

 

Tips for Choosing Your Perfect Wedding Videographer

while still images are an essential wedding day keepsake, we highly recommend investing in a professional wedding videographer to help capture your special day too! Your wedding day goes by so quickly so you’ll want to have a video to relive all those special moments – like the look on your groom’s face as you walk down the aisle, or the emotional moments as your mother helps you into that beautiful dress. Being able to relive your wedding vows and the speeches that those closest to you worked so hard on is something you definitely can’t put a price tag on!

Take finding a videographer just as seriously as you take finding your photographer

Choosing a cinematography company should be taken just as seriously as finding a company to cover photography. Wedding cinematography is a technical art so it is very important to choose the right company because producing a flawless wedding video takes an exorbitant amount of experience and skill.

A lot of times, we reflect on things that have happened in our lives. We all know that photographs are an essential part of your wedding day and even in your everyday life. One thing to consider about wedding cinematography is that it brings still images to life. You get to hear from loved ones during speeches, re-watch your vows, watch your best man rock the dance floor or watch dad secretly tear up when you didn’t know he was.

Seek out reviews

Their work looks great, your meeting went well, but how do you really know you’re making the right choice for a videographer? Ask around! Does your photographer know this company, have any of your friends hired them, does your wedding planner have experience working with them? These are the people who will be able to give you first hand information about anything you should know before making your decision.

Meet in person

Conducting a consultation in person is an excellent idea. It will give you a sense of what the company you’re about to sign up with is like and also the personality of the person who might be there on your wedding day. Make sure you are able to easily build a connection so that things never feel awkward on your wedding day; after all, this person will be around you for most of the day. Take note of how they are dressed and how they groom themselves, you want to make sure they are talented but that will carry themselves the right way at your wedding

 

How to Choose the Right Videographer for your Wedding

When picking a Videographer for your wedding, there are a lot of things to consider. Your wedding video is one of the most important parts of your wedding. It is the one thing you’ll look at late on in life and remember that special day. So naturally, you want to make the best decision possible when picking out who is creating your wedding film. We have seen a lot of couples who are ultimately unhappy with their final video because they fail to do the proper research. So here are some tips to consider when choosing a videographer for your wedding.

Watch Wedding Films

It may sound ridiculous but one of the most important thing you can do while searching for wedding videographers is to watch their work. Go on YouTube and Facebook and watch as many wedding films as you possibly can before even contacting any videographer. This is crucial to your research process because it will allow you to understand what these videos look like and what you can expect from them. Secondly, you will be able to understand what you want your video to look like and help you pick the vendors you will talk to based on that. Don’t be afraid to look outside your city; if you watch a video you absolutely love and they are a few cities away or even a state, contact them anyway you may be able to find someone across the country that has that very specific style you like and they can work out a deal with you so you can get the video you actually want.

Meet vendors in person

Once you have watched a few films and know what you want your wedding video to look like, you’re ready to start contacting vendors. Find the vendors that have a similar style and meet with them. Talking on the phone is great but meeting them in person is absolutely critical. This will allow you to know what they are like and if you can even get along with them. Also, if you do end up hiring them, you’ll know who and what to expect on your wedding day.

Understand What You’re Getting

During these meetings, make sure to make a list of questions and ask away. Get all the details of what they offer and how the video will be delivered to you. Some Videographers will advertise to shoot in HD but will then deliver your video on a DVD. This is a problem because DVDs aren’t actually in HD. If they advertise to be shooting in High Definition, they should be delivering accordingly. Next, one of the most important things to do while talking these vendors is to watch samples of the films they are selling you. If you are getting their cinematic highlight, make sure you ask to watch one of their previous cinematic highlights. More importantly, if you are purchasing a long form video no matter what they call it, make sure to ask for a sample of that. Most videographers won’t have available on their website and will give you a poorly edited video of all your footage. Make sure you know exactly what you’re getting before making a decision.

Friendliness

Although it may seem trivial, likability is a very important trait to look for in a videographer. It is crucial to pick someone that actually cares about you and your day. This will not only affect what your video will look like, but it will improve your overall experience throughout the day. A friendly videographer will make the day less stressful on you and will be able to capture those authentic moments with you and your spouse.

 

What are tips for choosing the best videographer for a wedding?

Hire friendly photographers and videographers.

There is a lot to capture on your wedding day in a short amount of time. Both your photographer and videographer will film the same key scenes: getting ready, first look, ceremony, speeches, reception, etc. Coordination is important, so try to hire a photographer and videographer who have worked together before. This way, they will likely have systems in place to make sure each captures those special moments. Ask your wedding planner for recommendations or have your photographer to suggest a videographer (or the other way around) for a seamless day-of experience.

Find a filmmaker who is comfortable with your venue type.

Found a filmmaker you love but notice that all of their films take place outdoors and you’re getting married in a ballroom? Raise the question to the filmmaker before you hire them and make sure they’re comfortable shooting in your wedding setting. Request sample films to watch and show them an example of a film you like from your venue (or a similar) and confirm they’re comfortable shooting in similar circumstances.

Find someone who matches your wedding video style preference.

Once you’ve made a short list of filmmakers who shoot in your area and are within your budget, watch A LOT of sample films. Wedding films vary a ton. Some are mostly scenes of getting ready and staged bride and groom moments, while some have a lot of candid coverage of dancing and the reception. Some only include music, while others include vows, speeches and toasts. Some even feature interviews with the bride and groom, filmed either on the wedding day or sometimes well in advance. The videographer you choose should have several videos you love. Prior to the wedding, send them examples of your favorites from their own portfolio. Be specific with your examples: what did you love about each?

Don’t be afraid to search beyond your city.

Certain wedding vendors, like florists or caterers, make more sense to hire local. However, don’t be constrained by location when choosing your videographer. While filmmakers do need a certain amount of equipment, it’s usually not more than they can take with them on a plane or in a car. Love Stories TV team member and bride-to-be Vanessa is getting married in Baltimore but found and hired a filmmaker based in Colorado! Every filmmaker has a different policy on travel but if you find someone you love who isn’t from your area, you should still reach out!

Understand what’s included in your package.

As wedding films have increased in popularity, so have the package options and the terminology. Understanding everything that comes in your package will help ensure you aren’t disappointed later. When your filmmaker sends you examples of what comes in your package (Instagram teaser, trailer, full edit, etc.) make sure to really watch each example and be sure it’s the type and amount of coverage you want!

Local Bedbug Exterminator

How to Become an Exterminator

Exterminators, also known as pest control workers, visit homes, businesses and other buildings to set traps or spray insects. The work of an exterminator can be physically taxing, and it takes considerable training to become one. A high school diploma or GED is the minimum educational requirement, followed by on-the-job training that includes formal class instruction as well as supervised work. Pest control workers must be licensed. In some states, you might also need to pass a written examination or meet other requirements.

General Requirements

All pesticide applicators in the United States come under the jurisdiction of the US Environmental Protection Agency and the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act (FIFRA). But each state has a “lead agency” (usually the state’s department of Agriculture or Environmental Protection) that actually implements the FIFRA requirements, and they do so quite differently. So what appears here is very general in nature. For more accurate information, contact your state’s pesticide lead agency or Cooperative Extension department.

In most states, candidates to become certified pesticide applicators must be at least 18 years of age and have a certain amount of experience working under a certified person and/or have completed an approved training course.

Applicants to become certified must also “be of good character.” Different states interpret this differently. In almost all cases, convictions for certain crimes involving the environment, pollution, or terrorism will bar an applicant from working with pesticides. Other convictions may or may not prevent certification, depending on the state and the nature and circumstances of and time since the conviction.

 

Specialized Training Required

Pesticide applicators must adhere to rules established by federal agencies such as the Environmental Protection Agency. In addition, each state has its own regulations and requirements. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics notes that most pest control workers must have a high school diploma or GED. Although on-the-job training is the norm, some states require formal technical instruction. States are increasingly likely to require a candidate to complete a state-approved pest control management program, according to Scarafaggio’s Pest Control Site. Online or correspondence courses may be acceptable in some states. You can usually find training courses at your state’s Cooperative Extension department or from community colleges, employers or pesticide companies.

Supervised Training and Examinations

Supervised training is an important part of becoming an exterminator. Most companies offer training programs, and the BLS notes that the average training period is about three months. During your training you will work under the supervision of an experienced exterminator. Before you can work independently, you will need to become licensed, which typically involves passing two written examinations. The first exam is the core section, which covers basic pesticide application concepts. The second exam is specific to the category you will practice, such as rodent or insect control. Some states might also require an oral examination or a practical demonstration of your knowledge. You will also be required to carry liability insurance or work for a company that does.

 

How to Get Certified to Do Pest Control

  • Obtain your high school diploma or equivalent. According to the National Pest Management Association, most pest control companies do not require a college degree.
  • Take pest control courses offered through your state’s department of agriculture or similar governing body. The courses will cover the basics of pesticide safety, such as proper application techniques, preventing exposure to pesticides and proper cleansing methods in instances of exposure.
  • Take the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s National Pesticide Operator Core Exam. In addition to other tests your state may require for certification, the EPA exam serves as certification to be a private or commercial pesticide applicator. The 90-question exam ensures that applicants are tested on relevant material and establishes uniform standards across states. Each state varies in its recertification or renewal requirements
  • Undergo training from an employer after receiving certification. Most states require pest control workers to have on-the-job training, which usually takes about three months. This training can be a mix of field experience and classroom instruction.

 

 

What is dangerous about this job?

  • Chemicals (pesticides) used by Pest Exterminators are usually toxic to man. They may cause acute or
  • chronic poisoning, burns, skin, eyes, throat and other disorders, and be harmful in other ways.
  • Some pesticides are flammable, and their careless handling and storage may cause fires.
  • Pest Exterminators often work in uncomfortable postures and handle heavy loads, which may cause traumas
  • and, in the course of time, back, hands and arms pains.

 

Job Satisfaction

Average Americans work well into their 60s, so workers might as well have a job that’s enjoyable and a career that’s fulfilling. A job with a low stress level, good work-life balance and solid prospects to improve, get promoted and earn a higher salary would make many employees happy. This job is not for people who can’t balance their work schedules, make quick decisions or crawl into small spaces. If you specialize in exterminating termites, it is especially important to be comfortable working in small spaces. But even if you are ridding a home of rodents, you may have to work inside an attic, Wren says. Termites are a bigger issue in the southern U.S., whereas rodents and bed bugs are the worst offenders in the northern part of the country.

To better balance work and family life, lets his employees work on a rotation and come in later if they are scheduled to work later, since many appointments occur after people get home from work and on the weekends. Exterminators, no matter what company they work for, have to be prepared to work on weekends and in the evenings when the bulk of the work is scheduled.

Complement Your Inspection Business With Sewer Inspection

Questions to Consider When Choosing a Pipe Inspection System

Pipe Inspection and location systems represent a significant investment for most small businesses. In return, they offer unique diagnostic and marketing potential that can either save or earn a tremendous amount of money for your company.  Choosing the right system for your needs is a task that should be taken with serious attention to detail in order to avoid a costly mistake

What size pipes/drains/sewers are you likely to be inspecting?

The great divide in pipe inspection systems is between push rod and tractor pull style systems. Which style do you need? Tractor pull systems are generally for large, municipal style drain pipes (10 inch and larger) and pull themselves down the line. They tend to be controlled with a joystick and computer system by an operator sitting in a specially made truck or van. Prices begin in the high 30 thousands and go up from there. They are outfitted with additional lighting and swivel heads to look left, right, up and down. They are usually purchased by municipalities and larger companies.

Micro-systems, designed for 1 1/2 to 3-inch pipes. Due to the flexibility required for this size pipe, these push rods are very thin and weak. (Keep in mind that there is an inverse relationship between strength and flexibility.) If used in larger pipes, the probability of damage to the structure of the push rod is very high. They seldom have a built-in locator beacon, and may or may not have a built-in recording device.

Mini-systems, designed for 2 to 4-inch pipes. These systems are used for indoor work in the small and medium-sized pipes that connect bathrooms, sinks and toilets within a building. The push rod used in these units is stronger and less flexible than a micro unit, but the emphasis is still on flexibility, not strength. If used in larger pipes, these systems are at greater risk of kinking and damage. They usually have built-in locator beacons and often have the option of a built-in recording system.

Main line systems, designed for 3 to 12-inch lines. These systems are designed for use in outdoor pipes. While flexible enough to negotiate a house trap, the emphasis is on strength rather than flexibility. These systems generally have the same features as Mini-Systems.

 

Your Ultimate Guide to Choosing the Right Pipeline Inspection Services

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) estimates an average of 24,500 sewer overflows occur every year in the United States. Choosing the right pipeline inspection services may help prevent overflows in your city. It can also save you money by helping you keep a small problem from becoming a large one

Pipeline Size

The size of your pipelines plays an important role in finding the right inspection service. Sizes can vary from wide or narrow depending on your area’s system.

Certifications

When it comes to hiring pipeline inspection services, certifications matters. Certification is valid proof that a company went through a process to meet specific standards.

Types of Services

Choosing an inspection service that can perform several types of services will help you save time searching for different companies to cover various types of inspections.

Manhole Video inspection

The lifespan of manhole systems will depend on how often you inspect them and how well you maintain them. Environmental factors such as root trees, storms, and even earthquakes can damage the infrastructure.

 

Why Every Home Buyer Should Get a Sewer Inspection

Inspections are par for the course when buying a home, but there’s one important system that many potential buyers overlook: the sewer line

A typical home inspection doesn’t examine the sewer because it is buried underground. The only surefire way to have the system inspected is to hire someone to perform a sewer camera inspection. The cost of this inspection is worth it.

Imagine buying a home and finding out weeks later that there are problems with the sewer system. You’re dealing with messy backups in your home, and now you have to repair the problem.

Sewer repair is not cheap. On average, repairs can cost $5,000. If the problem is in the street, repairs can easily creep up to $20,000 or more.

Don’t assume that a newer home won’t have sewer issues. In one horror story, buyers purchased a home built in 2006. The builder decided it would be a good idea to reuse the clay sewer line from the early 1900s to save on costs. An inspection found that the line had several breaks that needed repair, despite the home being almost new.

 

Sewer Camera Inspection: What It Can and Can’t Find

A sewer camera is a valuable tool to help determine if there’s a problem with your home’s sewer system. Maybe you noticed a nasty sewer gas odor. Or maybe your water isn’t draining as fast as it use to. Or worse, you’ve got an overflowing toilet

What is a Sewer Camera Inspection?

First, let’s cover what a sewer camera inspection is. Typically sewer lines are installed under the foundation of your house. There’s the concrete slab which is about 4 or 5 five inches thick and then about 2 feet or so of dirt above the pipe.

What a Sewer Camera Inspection Can’t Do

Despite what many in the plumbing industry think, there are limitations to what a sewer camera sees inside your sewer lines. But there is one thing a sewer camera absolutely cannot see.

Locate Leaks

A sewer camera alone cannot determine if you have a leak or to locate a leak or leaks in your sewer lines. In fact, this is so important, it bears repeating

Reasons Why a Sewer Camera Can’t Locate a Leak

A leak is water escaping the pipe through a hole, break, or crack. Since the camera is inside the pipe, it cannot see the outside of the pipe. Meaning, it can’t see if something is leaking OUT of the pipe. It can only show what is going on INSIDE the pipe.

The plumber is looking at a monitor displaying what the camera “sees.” So the plumber has to interpret, or guess, what he’s seeing. He might think he see something that looks like a hole, break, or crack in the pipe. But keep in mind, this is your sewer system we’re talking about. This is where your waste flushes and runs through. Trust us when we say it does not look good. And all that gunk and waste makes it hard to tell if something is a leak based solely on what can be seen on the monitor.

Sewer pipes are usually one of two types: cast iron or PVC, both thick-walled pipes. So something very possibly might look like a hole or a crack or a break. But because the walls of the pipe are so thick, it’s possible what the plumber is seeing does not go all the way through the pipe so no water is leaking out at all. The result: no leak.

Particularly with cast iron, but this could also be true for PVC, there are years of buildup on the walls of the pipe. Calcium, soap scum, grease, debris… you name it, builds up on the walls of your sewer pipes. So any cracks or holes the plumber sees could very well be in the buildup and not the actual pipe.

 

Choosing the Best Inspection Camera for Your Business

Inspection cameras are one of the most valuable tools for any drain cleaner. Whether you’re checking a line to diagnose a problem before beginning a job or you need to locate a blockage to determine how to clear the line, the inspection camera is a must-have.

“The typical use for your everyday plumber for an inspection camera is to locate a blockage or a break in the line,” says Justin King, vice president at Amazing Machinery Inc. “They want to see the condition of the pipe, understanding if any service or repairs are needed to that line.”

Features and size

Cameras today offer a wide range of features and benefits to meet the demands of all types and sizes of pipelines. While some units may fit the needs of a large municipality with a regular inspection schedule and hundreds or thousands of miles of pipeline to maintain, it may not be suitable for a small drain cleaning company.

One such option is the easy-to-use Pan n’ Tilt push camera from Ratech Electronics. It is designed for pipes and drains as small as 3 inches in diameter and offers black-and-white, color, self-leveling, micro and pan n’ tilt camera options.

More advanced inspection camera systems include network communications options such as Wi-Fi to transmit to a nearby computer.  King notes the Wi-Fi feature is a great option for municipal applications, but a private contractor may not need it. “They’ll want the basic system, a get-your-job-done kind of camera, that’s where you’re going to find more of your affordable types of cameras that private companies can afford to invest in.”