Horrors Of Replacing Broken Pipes In Basement Cement Floors

What do you do if your water pipe breaks in your house?

A burst water pipe in your home will cause damage eventually, depending on the location and severity of the pipe damage. Whether large or small, a burst pipe and resulting water will damage your walls, floors or belongings until the water is shut off and drained from flooded areas.

Walls

A burst pipe, whether it’s just a leak or major breakage of a pipe first creates water damage in interior and exterior walls. Inside the wall, insulation may grow saturated with water. Electrical wiring exposed to water may short out electricity and increase risk of fire caused by sparks. Exterior house walls may be affected as water coats and saturates plaster, wood or stucco. If water accumulates or saturates timbers and structural components for a long period, structural weakness may occur.

Flooring

Following pipe damage, floors in the surrounding area may become flooded, depending on the location and rate of flow of water leaking or gushing out of the burst pipe. Carpeting, wood flooring and even cement floors may become damaged by water. Wood and linoleum floors warp and crack and carpeting turns moldy and smelly. Cement floors exposed to long-term water damage may crack or settle.

Interiors

A burst pipe may cause the accumulation of water in your bathroom, bedroom or kitchen or other living areas, saturating the bottom of furniture. Water soaks into the lower edges of furniture fabric and may destroy upholstery several inches or higher in such pieces of furniture. Electrical outlets may short out, as will plugs attached to lamps, televisions and other indoor appliances. Even if water damage is minimal, damp drywall and wood is a breeding ground for many types of molds, which may lead to illness, especially for those with lung or asthma conditions.

Prevention

Homeowners living in colder climes should always turn off well pumps that serve the furnace when a house is vacant, even for a short while. When leaving for vacation, turn off the water to the house if possible. If you have an active pipe leak and can hear water running, even if you can’t see it, turn off the main water valve to the home. This may help reduce water damage until the utility company or repair person can come repair the burst pipe. When vacationing, or leaving a house for more than a few days, ask a neighbor or friend to come check on the house.

 

Common causes of plumbing failure

  • Exposure to pressure If something blocks up a pipe, whether it’s inside your house or in your outgoing sewer line, pressure will build up behind that clog. Common causes of clogged plumbing include pouring cooking grease down the drain and flushing paper towels or sanitary products down the toilet.
  • Age of plumbing Many homes in the US were built in the 1950s and 1960s, meaning a lot of plumbing is over 50 years old, and older pipes are more susceptible to breakage. Furthermore, many of these pipes were made of cast iron (which corrodes over time) or clay (which is more susceptible to cracking as the ground shifts), increasing the chances of broken pipes as they age.
  • Mature trees near water lines Tree roots seek out water and nutrients from buried water and sewer lines and are a common cause of plumbing clogs and breakage.
  • Clay soil Heavy clay soils compact easily. They also have poor drainage. Both of these factors can lead to damage to plumbing over time. Furthermore, clay soil tends to be more corrosive than sandy soil and minerals in the soil can weaken pipes.
  • Flushing corrosive materials Pouring materials like paint remover or other solvents down your sink, or regular use of drain cleaners, can weaken your indoor plumbing and your sewer lines.
  • Freezing Cold weather is the biggest cause for pipe failure. When water inside a pipe freezes, it expands, and that can cause pipes to burst.

 

First Steps to Take When a Pipe Bursts

  1. Turn Off Your Water and Drain the Faucets

The first thing you need to do when you find a burst pipe is shut off your water. The sooner you can do this, the better your chances are of minimizing water damage. Your main water shut-off valve is likely located near your water heater, in a crawl space or in your basement.

Once the water has been shut off, you should open your faucets to drain the remaining cold water in your pipes. This will relieve pressure in your pipe system and can help prevent additional areas from freezing. Then, flush all the toilets in the house. Once water is no longer running from the taps, any leaks should stop.

Depending on the location and size of the leak, you may also need to shut off your electricity. If you suspect the leaking water came into contact with any electrical sockets or your fuse box, this is an important precaution to take.

  1. Locate the Burst Pipe

Your next step should be to figure out where the pipe burst. If it appears to have been leaking for a while, be careful entering rooms and look for bulging ceilings and other warning signs that water damage has already occurred. If you catch the leak early enough, place a bucket underneath to catch dripping water.

  1. Call In Professional Help

As soon as possible, call in the experts to handle repairs. Hire a professional plumber to fix or replace your burst pipes, and if you have any damage to your electrical system, you should bring in a reliable electrician.

 

Cleaning Tips on Your Own

Similar to repairing the pipes, in terms of cleaning up the mess it has caused, it is wise to call in an expert restoration services provider who can handle water damage. However, there are steps you can take while waiting for them to arrive to help make the cleanup process go faster.

First, use everything and anything you own that can help soak up the moisture. Mops, towels, wet/dry vacuums. Whatever you have, use it. Check thoroughly and make sure that you have all wet spots covered on the ground: every half hour or so, swap out the wet towels for new ones.

Next, turn up the heat (only do this after you’ve drained the remaining taps) or use a hair dryer on the area where the pipe broke. On top of this, open any cabinet doors or other doors where your pipes are located to help warm air continue to ciculate throughout the house.

 

Steps to take when your happy home faces water damage

Water damage, whether from a natural disaster or plumbing issues, can ruin your floors,  walls and ceilings. If you don’t get the place dried up quickly, you could face a severe mold problem, and of course your personal effects could be damaged beyond repair. Acting quickly and following the right steps can save your home from complete destruction and save you from having to spend a lot of money on repairs.

Immediate clean up

If it is safe to do so, your first step should be to turn off the breakers to the affected area – you don’t want get shocked by electrical current running through the water or end up with a fire on top of your flooding problem. (If water has already reached your breaker area, consider calling in a pro – safety first! Just like you don’t want a hairdryer anywhere near your bathtub, electricity and water should never mix.) In addition, assuming the problem came from a broken pipe, turn off the water supply Once you’re safe, and the source of the water has been addressed, rescue any of your personal items and take them to a dry  area, and clean up as much of the water as possible. You may be able to use a mop for lighter jobs, but if there is an exorbitant amount, a wet-dry vacuum will be a great help.

Completely dry the area

Cleaning up the water you see is important, but the most important thing is to dry up the water you can’t see – in the carpet pad, in the sheetrock, in the insulation in your walls… This means drying the room or rooms completely, possibly using a commercial air mover to force water off floors and out of carpets, walls and furniture.  Along with that, you’ll want to set up a dehumidifier. This machine will suck all of the excess moisture from the air, not only helping to dry the room quickly, but preventing mold from growing.

Fix the problem

Of course, it goes with out saying that you’ll have to fix the original problem too. Call in a plumber if needed. As they open the walls to make repairs, check for any lingering moisture or mold that might have grown, replacing insulation and patching sheetrock as needed.

Unfinished Oak Hardwood Flooring Pros And Cons

How to Clean Engineered Wood Floors

For floors that add immediate warmth to a room without compromising on character, engineered floors are high quality, durable and incredibly easy to clean. Not to be confused with laminate flooring, engineered wood floors are the flooring type for the future: they sport the look and feel of real hardwood, without the disadvantages of cost and restrictions of placement. Engineered wood flooring is made up of a combination of laminate and hardwood, formed of a series of high-density layered fibres. This layering technology gives these floors greater support, meaning that they can tolerate greater fluctuations in temperature and moisture levels.

Whether you’ve already taken the plunge, or are just browsing, if you’re are worried about how to maintain your new engineered wood floors, let us put your mind at ease. To keep your wood floors looking like when they were first installed, all you need to do is follow a few simple steps: mop up spills immediately, stick to a regular cleaning schedule and use the right cleaning agents.

THE BENEFITS

There are numerous benefits to installing engineered wood flooring as opposed to solid hardwood floors, lower cost being a significant one. Engineered wood floors are incredibly budget-friendly, and come in a variety of colours, finishes and board sizes. This means that you often have more options than if you chose a solid hardwood floor type. Engineered flooring is extremely long-lasting, made from multiple solid layers that give the floorboards the strength and finish of solid hardwood. These floors can also be re-sanded up to two or three times, and then re-varnished or lacquered, to remove signs of unsightly stains and scrapes.

PREVENTING MOISTURE

One of the most common problems associated with wood flooring is moisture. Because wood is a natural material, it expands and contracts in response to levels of moisture in the air. This can lead to unsightly cracks and blemishes in the wood, and even buckling in some cases. While engineered wood flooring does not carry the same risk as solid wood, it still sports a hardwood upper and so care must be taken when it comes to maintenance.

REGULAR MAINTENANCE

Keep your floors looking as good as new by implementing a consistent cleaning routine. Sweep floors three or more times a week to remove debris and prevent scratches. Always sweep your wood floors before you mop for ultimate cleaning. Try to properly mop your floors at least once a week.

 

Tools For Hardwood Flooring Installation

While the number of tools is considerable (more than 50, according to the National Wood Flooring Association), here’s a list of 24 essential hardwood floor installation tools every flooring contractor should have on hand when installing a hardwood floor. Although some of these tools are also used during sanding and finishing, our emphasis is on installation

Safety Goggles

Eye injuries can occur when you least expect it. You never know when a piece of wood or metal or a bead of finishing material will hit you in the eye causing temporary or permanent damage. It’s why OSHA (Occupational Safety and Health Act) regulations require eye protection when using most power tools

Dust Mask and Vapor Respirators

Sanding or applying finish requires the use of a respirator. Failure to use one can cause inflammation of the nasal tract, tightness of the chest, shortness of breath, dizziness, asthma, and mucosa irritations

Ear Plugs or Ear Muffs

Prolonged exposure to loud noise, especially when using certain types of power equipment, can result in hearing loss. According to the Centers for Disease Control, the noise levels from a wide variety of power saws are over 100 decibels, which makes them dangerous to your ears after just two minutes! Many flooring professionals today have 30 to 70 percent hearing loss because they weren’t aware of audio hazards. Earplugs are easy to use and inexpensive. They come either as foam inserts or pre-molded plugs. If you’re concerned about earplugs getting lost in your ears, there are earplugs called “semi-inserts” that have a band or string connecting them together. Foam inserts are rolled and compressed into tiny cylinders that slowly expand inside the ear once inserted. Pre-molded plugs are reusable, flanged plugs that you insert into the ear. Foam inserts come in different ratings, so make sure to get the proper inserts.

Knee Pads

Since you will be spending some of your time on your knees, knee pads will prevent strain and pain. Use contractor-grade pads, made of cloth, that are adjustable and fit well. Since they come with a soft non-marring outer surface, they will not damage floors like hard plastic or metal versions. There are also ergonomic type knee pads containing fluid that offer considerable comfort.

 

Choosing the Best Color of Hardwood Floor for Your Home

When you’ve made the decision to install hardwood floors in your home, you might think that choosing a color (or rather, a specie) will be the easy part, but when it comes down to it, choosing hardwood floors can be a difficult choice. That said, there are a few different things to know and consider when choosing a shade that can make the process less overwhelming.

Know that the Wood Can Shift in Color Over Time

If you love the look of unstained hardwood floors, it’s important to know that the wood can take on the color present in the clear coat you use. For instance, if you use an oil-based polyurethane or tung oil, the floor will take on a more golden hue. In a similar vein, if you choose very dark wood floors, it’s essential to make sure they are UV-resistant if they’ll be exposed to sunlight, otherwise over time the color can fade dramatically.

Keep in Mind the Rest of Your Décor

If your appliances or furniture and trim are dark colors, putting in dark hardwood floors can make the rooms look very small and cramped, so if you want to make your home appear bigger, it’s important to keep that in mind. Likewise, light colored flooring, when paired with lighter furniture and fixtures creates a very modern, contemporary look, so if you want something more classic or vintage looking, that can be taken into consideration. In the same category, think about the colors of your walls, and any potential repainting projects you might do. Some floors will not look good with some colors on the wall, so if you plan on ever repainting, making sure that the flooring option you choose is a versatile one for matching to the walls will be important. Matching the floors so they complement your cabinets and architecture is important, and if you’re having trouble, talking to a designer can help.

Take Floor Samples Home With You

When you’ve narrowed down your choices to a few, bring home a few samples from a showroom. Try to keep your decision to be between three shades, as more than that can cloud your decision-making process by making it more complicated. Keep in mind that some species of hardwood flooring are more expensive, while less expensive types can be stained to look like other species of wood. Be sure to look at the samples in all types of daylight and artificial light to see what the flooring looks like at nighttime, for instance. Leave the room and come back in, and note your reaction to each sample. After you can make a decision about which of the three is your least favorite, take that one out of the running and repeat until you make the ultimate decision.

Consider the Durability of Certain Species

Beyond color, the type of wood matters, as well—certain species are harder and will be able to stand up to potential damage more than others, so if you like a certain color—such as pine—it’s important to know how strong it is. If the durability is not enough for your home’s needs, certain colors may not be best for your house.

 

Things to Consider When Installing Wood Floors in Dry Climates

Then after some education about wood floors and our unique environment, the answer is of course, “Yes, you can!” I am sure that everyone has had similar experiences of misinformation. There are just some things that you need to pay close attention to in order to ensure success. It is really no different from installing in other regions. All regions have unique requirements for successful wood floor performance.

Acclimation

do experience humidity, but it happens during our hottest time of the year when HVAC units are running nonstop pulling moisture from our air. This makes us relatively stable compared to other areas of the country that can range from virtually no relative humidity to 100 percent relative humidity seasonally.

Species

Not all wood species enjoy a dry environment. This is much more prevalent when dealing with engineered wood floors, but some species don’t perform as well as others

Engineered Versus Solid

have a predominantly slab market. So we install an immense amount of engineered flooring. Most of what we install is unfinished engineered. Once installed we treat it exactly the same as a solid unfinished wood floor. Some of the benefits are increased dimensional stability, no need for subfloor, and exceptional milling tolerances.

As great as they are, some engineered floors just don’t handle the dry environment well. The failures are caused from many different issues. Some engineered floors fail due to the species or the way the product is constructed. Distress in the form of delamination, surface checking, and splitting are quite common.

 

HOW TO INSTALL ENGINEERED HARDWOOD FLOORING

My. Goodness. YOU GUYS. Is it possible to fall completely in love with your hardwood flooring?! Because that’s totally happening rightthissecond. Our new hardwood floors look SO GOOD!!! If you recall, we had three different types of flooring on the main floor of our home: dated honey oak hardwood, builder-beige carpet, and dark laminate (my least favorite thing in the world) that was installed over ceramic tile (okay, that’s technically four different types of flooring). I’m not sure why there were so many different floor choices to begin with, but I’m a big fan of a cohesive, seamless look throughout. Replacing the mismatched floors was one of the things we wanted to do as soon as we moved into this house. I’m thrilled to partner with The Home Depot on this hardwood flooring project!

I researched a ton of different flooring options, from vinyl plank to tile. I talk more about why I chose engineered hardwood in this post. While all wood floors expand and contract due to changes in temperature and humidity, engineered hardwood is more stable than solid wood floors because of the way it’s constructed. Engineered hardwood is made up of layers of real hardwood and high-quality plywood, each layer positioned in opposite directions. This makes for a more stable product, so the wood will less likely warp and bow in moist or humid conditions. This is especially important in rooms where moisture might be an issue, like a kitchen, bathroom, or laundry room.

rented a house with dark wood floors and it showed every dust particle and dog hair, it was next to impossible to keep clean. I vowed never to have dark floors again, so when I laid eyes on this wide plank French oak hardwood flooring

this flooring can be installed as a floating floor (not nailed or glued) or it can be glued down. We chose to float the floor just for ease of installation (and because I’m a bit of a commitment-phobe). It can be installed on, above, or below grade and no acclimation is required. I love that it comes in various lengths, with 70% of the planks being 48 inches long.

This flooring comes with click lock construction, so installation is a breeze. Each piece fits together like a puzzle; you shouldn’t have to wrestle with the floorboards to get them to lay flat and lock into place. Once you lay the tongue in the groove, it should click, lock, and fit like a glove.

Chiropractic Internet Marketing

Don’t Take Your Baby To The Chiropractor, Top Doctor Warns Parents

Thinking of taking your baby to have their spine adjusted by a chiropractor? Don’t do it, warns the Medical Association.

for any health concerns with their children, according to NT News. Babies and young children can’t communicate about their pain easily, and any potential complications could be quite serious,

in response to a mom’s post seeking chiropractor recommendations for her 17-month-old, according to NT News.

“Unless there’s scientific evidence for any complementary therapies — we can’t recommend that they go there, and that includes chiropractory,”

Treatment for children and infants is modified for their smaller frames, they noted, and it “frequently involves gentle touch and spinal massage, stretching, exercises, soft tissue therapy, and postural counselling.” Chiropractors require informed consent from a parent or legal guardian before initiating a clinical encounter with a child, they added.

 

Safe For Children: Chiropractic Corrections For Scoliosis

Scoliosis predominantly affects pre-pubescent children during adolescent development of the spine and its proper curvature. As children begin to experience growth spurts, the spine is driven out of alignment via translation of discs. Because the body is growing at such a rapid pace, these translations become cemented, setting the tone for long-term spinal dysfunction.

Is chiropractic safe for children?

Many concerned parents question the efficacy and safety of chiropractic for children. This is a valid concern. The spine is at a developmental stage and chiropractic involves things such as via low-velocity adjustments, traction, and mirror-image adjusting.

Why chiropractic?

If left unresolved, scoliosis can cause lifelong issues for a person. To compound issues, correcting scoliosis in adults is infinitely harder than in children, simply because the spine has gone beyond its developmental stages and become cemented in its dysfunction.

Chiropractic adjustments for scoliosis

For scoliosis occurring beyond the average (10-15 degree so deviation), bracing is likely going to be a component of chiropractic adjustment. Beyond this, mirror-image adjustments, low-velocity adjustments, traction, and more may all be employed to pull the spine back into alignment, below an acceptable degree of deviation.

Preventing a Lifetime of Trouble

To avoid chronic ailments caused by nerve compression, disc herniation, general spinal dysfunction, and more, it’s imperative to identify and correct scoliosis at a young age. Chiropractic offers the recourse parents need for the wellness of their children, without the stigmas and invasiveness of other corrective methods.

 

what is chiropractic?

The purpose of chiropractic care is not the treatment of conditions or disease; rather, it is the restoration of normal body function. As chiropractors, we work with the nervous system via gentle spinal adjustments. We reduce stress related interference to the nervous system, thereby enhancing overall body function. All the systems of the body — circulatory, digestive, eliminatory, hormonal, glandular, immunological, muscular, reproductive, respiratory, and skeletal — depend on the optimal function of the nervous system.

conventional healthcare system is mechanistic in that it views the body broken down into its distinct mechanical parts and there’s a specialist responsible for caring for each individual system. A healing model based on vitalism, however, believes that the body is a dynamic, ever-changing organism, continuously changing and adapting to its needs and desires. Vitalism also assumes that there is an intelligence and order within the organism that is designed to heal the body, and every system in the body coordinates functions with each other system.

Chiropractic is designed on the concept of vitalism. It is believed that the body has an Innate Intelligence to healing, and dis-ease occurs when the body’s natural ability to adapt to life’s forces (stress, environmental toxins, traumatic events) is interrupted. The thing that disrupts this communication pathway is called a subluxation, which interferes with the normal function of the nervous system. By removing subluxations through a very safe, specific, and controlled force applied to a joint, the interference is removed and the body’s nervous system is able to function fully and properly.

In essence, with chiropractic, true healing is coming from within the body rather than from the chiropractor’s adjustment. Overall, conventional medicine is based on an outside-in approach where healing comes from something being added to the body, such as medicine or surgery, while chiropractic is based on an inside-out approach where healing occurs when the body’s own healing powers are activated.

who is chiropractic for?

I absolutely believe that everyone should be under chiropractic care. Regardless of the choices you make, the chiropractic approach will improve your inherent ability to function. Doesn’t it make sense to have your body functioning at an optimal level for healing no matter how (or if) you choose to treat various symptoms?

 

Things You Need On Your Chiropractic Website

There are a lot of chiropractic websites out there, and getting your visitors to pick up the phone and make an appointment requires something special to catch their eye and set you apart from the rest of the sites out there. Patients who are looking for a provider like to get a feel for their dentist before they ever pick up the phone. By following some of the chiropractic marketing ideas listed below, you’ll be able to turn your site into one of the best chiropractic websites around.

This is one of the staples of any business’ website, but it also tends to be the section that is barely given any consideration. A stock piece of information is often included, modified slightly to fit the individual practice, leaving it dry and generic. This is a huge mistake, as this is your opportunity to introduce yourself to your clients and set yourself apart by telling your story. Take a little extra time to let your customers get to know you as a person, and they’ll be quicker to pick up the phone.

The idea that it’s better to show someone is better than telling someone is as true for chiropractic internet marketing as it is for any venue. Even if you’re advertising your site or blog through PPC advertising (pay-per-click) the images you include are an important part of your SEO plan.

Videos – The Ultimate Storytelling Device

If one picture is good, a million pictures strung back to back is even better. With video you’ll be able to explain your chiropractic practices, welcome them to your site, and create the foundation of a personal relationship with your clients before they ever pick up the phone. You’ll also have an opportunity to tell them what your practice can ease their pain and promote good health in a way that can’t be done with mere pictures and text on a screen

When potential patients visit your page, they’re looking for solid content that will provide them with information about their conditions and the procedures you’ll use to treat them. Additionally Google checks to see how fresh the content on your site is, and how relevant to its topic. This is where having a steadily updated blog comes in, providing your patients with a steady stream of up to date information on chiropractic treatments and conditions

 

Chiropractic Care For a Quick, Thorough Recovery

Is pain getting in your way? we focus on your quick recovery so you can get back to doing the things you love most. With chiropractic care, you can heal from the inside out, leaving you feeling better than before.

Chiropractors for Results You Can Feel

treatment methods obtained through the Certified Chiropractic Sports Physician program. “We’ll show you exercises to do at home to help you heal faster and stay healthy.”

You are always in control of your treatment. “We’ll make the suggestions, but you’ll make the calls.”

Get Organized For Tax Preparation

Can a tax preparer take your refund?

Can you trust your tax preparer?

While many legitimate professionals prepare taxes, the IRS has been warning consumers to be careful when it comes to dealing with unethical preparers and fly-by-night outfits.

Sometimes a con artist will keep repeating the same old tricks and won’t be easily caught — such as the ongoing story of the door-to-door tax preparer.

Taxpayers are warned to choose their tax preparers carefully. Don’t just trust someone who is making big promises — or is the friend of a friend. Don’t get taken by outlandish promises on social media where some preparers claim to get you the biggest tax refund possible.

 

Millions of Americans are looking forward to a tax refund this year.

To receive yours as soon as possible, the IRS recommends filing your tax return electronically and choosing direct deposit. About 90% of taxpayers who use this method and are owed a refund get theirs within 21 days of submitting their return.

Many Americans are eligible for free federal tax filing, but if you earn freelance income or have an otherwise complicated tax situation, you will likely need to pay tax filing fees to prepare your federal and state returns.

If you use an online service, you can start preparing your return for free. Most tax preparers don’t require money up front; you’ll typically pay the fees once you’re ready to sign and submit your return.

The IRS estimates it takes the average person about four hours to complete and file their return. By the time you reach the screen asking for payment, you’re probably looking for the quickest exit route. Online preparers will give you the option to pay for their services via credit or debit card or through your refund.

If you check the box to pay through your refund, you don’t have to do anything on your end but simply wait for your share of the refund to be deposited in your bank account. Sure, that may sound easy, but be careful: Most preparers tack on an extra fee for this method of payment, and it’s not insignificant.

 

Paying your online tax preparer through your refund could cost you up to $40 extra

Online service each charge an additional processing fee of $40 if you agree to pay through your refund. That’s $40 on top of the fee you’re paying for the package you selected, meaning you could easily double what you expected to pay.

Efile.com and 1040.com, two of the best budget tax software options, charge an additional fee of $25 to deduct their fee from your refund. TaxAct charges its own fee plus bank fees.

That’s not to say these online tax preparers aren’t worth your time. In fact, they’re among the best options on the market. But if you want to make the most of your refund, don’t settle for the easiest option — take an extra minute to pull out your credit card and avoid the unnecessary processing fee.

If you can, use a rewards credit card to pay for online tax prep and filing instead of deducting the amount from your refund. There’s usually no service charge to pay via credit card; you’ll be able to earn rewards points or cash back, depending on the card you have; and you’ll get your tax refund in full.

 

Tax Return Preparer Fraud

Even if you hire a tax return preparer who you believe is professional and honest, tax return preparer fraud (also referred to as return preparer fraud and preparer fraud) or misconduct is something that can happen to anyone. For example: A tax return preparer (also referred to as a return preparer) might change your tax return after you’ve approved and signed it, altering income or credits to obtain a bigger refund and then keeping some or all of it.

In some cases, the return preparer might steal your whole refund by changing direct deposit information. Another common fraud situation is when the preparer files a tax return without your authorization. They might have your information from a prior year and use it to file a tax return for the current year. Or perhaps you met with a return preparer and then chose not to hire them, but the return preparer filed a tax return using your information anyway.

To avoid problems:

  • Be careful when choosing a tax return preparer;
  • Know what steps to take to protect yourself; and
  • Know what to do if you’re the victim of return preparer fraud or misconduct.

 

How will this affect me?

If you’re the victim of return preparer fraud or misconduct, you’ll need to show it to the IRS. If the IRS rejects your claim, you may face additional issues, including liability arising from the fraud or misconduct.

It’s important to get a copy of the tax return at the time you authorize the return preparer to file it on your behalf (see above on how to authorize) because later you may have to show the IRS that the return preparer altered your tax return after you signed it.

Following the steps in the “What Should I Do?” section will help you establish your case, especially providing the IRS with the signed copy of the tax return your preparer gave you, showing your correct bank account number and address.

If you’ve given the IRS the signed copy of the original tax return, the Taxpayer Advocate Service believes the IRS has sufficient guidance to take corrective actions, including issuing any refund still due to you. If the IRS doesn’t agree with this position, you should contact the Taxpayer Advocate Service and ask for help.

Pro Divorce Lawyers For Divorce

Is it worth getting a divorce lawyer?

Going through a divorce without hiring an attorney can be challenging. Hiring an attorney in such a critical situation not just only helps you to get your legal rights but also emotional support. No matter what the reasons for your divorce, trying to struggle through without hiring a divorce attorney can male entire process much more difficult and drawn out than it needs to be. Going through a divorce is a very bad experience. you nee all the psychological support from either family or friends. this burden becomes much lighter if you hire the best attorney to deal with all the legal rights.

If you and your spouse have decided to end your marriage, one of the first questions you’ll have is whether you need a divorce lawyer. It’s not a simple question and the answer will depend on your particular situation.

 

Do You Need a Divorce Lawyer?

As a general rule, the less that you have to rely on the courts to solve your problems, the more smoothly the divorce will go. But do you need a divorce lawyer? The following information will help you make an informed decision.

You May Not Need a Divorce Lawyer for Everything: Making Decisions on Your Own

If you’re able to work together with your spouse to resolve the legal issues, you may not need a lawyer’s help. These issues include:

  • Child custody of your minor children
  • Child support
  • Alimony
  • Division of property

Working together with your spouse through the divorce process can have a lot of advantages, including:

  • You’ll have better control over the vital issues that will be raised during your divorce instead of leaving them up to the court.
  • You’ll end up saving quite a bit of time and money by not having to hire a divorce lawyer for all aspects of your divorce.
  • Children going through a divorce often have a smoother transition if their parents can work out the divorce themselves.

 

Reasons That You Need a Divorce Attorney

While a do-it-yourself divorce may be acceptable in some situations, but most people should consider hiring an attorney to represent his or her interests. Here are five reasons that a person should consider hiring an attorney during a divorce proceeding.

If you are seeking a divorce, you may be tempted to file for divorce on your own using court provided documents or information from a book or website. While a do-it-yourself divorce may be acceptable in some situations, most people should consider hiring an attorney to represent their interests. Here are five reasons that a person should consider hiring an attorney during a divorce proceeding.

Expert Advice

An experienced attorney can help a person to make certain to receive everything that he or she deserves during a divorce. State laws do not necessarily support an even split of assets depending on the couple’s situation. In many cases, a spouse is even entitled to retirement or other income that the other spouse will receive in the future. If your marriage has any complicated issues to settle, an attorney can be an invaluable resource. For example, if there is child custody and support issues, substantial income, debts, assets or future assets (an inheritance, etc.) then you should hire an attorney to protect your interests in a divorce.

Reduce Stress

Divorce is a stressful time for everyone involved. Hiring an attorney to complete a divorce is one way to reduce the stress of the divorce. While the attorney will need to gather information from you, he or she will take care of almost everything else, allowing you more time to take care of yourself and your family. You have enough things to worry about when you are getting divorced, let an attorney take care of the legal work.

Avoid Mistakes

There are two primary reasons that people make mistakes when completing their own divorce: the legal system is complicated and the stress of the divorce makes it difficult to think clearly. If you simply forget to address an issue such as medical or credit card debt or if you underestimate or overestimate the value of an asset, you can make a significant mistake in a divorce proceeding. Such a mistake may cause financial harm or will require future legal proceedings to correct. By hiring an attorney, you can rest assured that you case is being properly handled the first time and that you are avoiding costly mistakes that you might regret for the rest of your life.

Clear and Binding Agreement

Though a court will review any divorce documents that you present, the court may not understand what you are trying to do on each point of the divorce. This may result in a divorce decree that states something other than what you intended. By using an attorney, you can be certain that the legal documents presented to the court will accurately state your wishes and that the divorce decree will be free of errors or unclear language that may make parts of the agreement difficult or impossible to enforce.

Avoiding Delays

Though a person may use court provided documents to file for divorce, there can still be problems with completing the proper forms and providing adequate information and documentation. A person who goes to court without legal counsel may find that problems with the paperwork or other issues may result in a delay in the court’s ruling. This may substantially delay the date that the divorce is final. By hiring an attorney, a person can avoid paperwork or other problems that could cause a delay and get the divorce completed as quickly as possible.

 

Things NOT to Do When You Divorce

As anyone who’s gone through a divorce can tell you, the process is rarely easy. Tensions run high, and couples often make poor decisions in the heat of the moment.

Given the mountain of financial, practical and emotional details that have to be sorted, it’s not surprising so many couples wind up making critical mistakes on the road to divorce. However, there are a number of things you should do, or more specifically not do, to lessen the chance you’ll regret your decisions later on.

 

Tips on what to avoid when filing for divorce.

Don’t Get Pregnant

Having a baby during your divorce complicates a lot of things, and could even hinder your right to divorce. In November 2004, a Spokane County, Wash. judge refused to allow Shawnna Hughes, a pregnant woman, to divorce her abusive husband. Hughes’ husband is not the father of her child. But because Hughes became pregnant during the divorce proceedings, state law presumes Hughes’ husband to be the father of her child born up to 300 days after her divorce. The judge refused to grant Hughes a divorce because he was concerned there would be no father to take financial responsibility for the child. Although many states now grant single parents the same rights as married ones, having a child when you’re in marital limbo can be problematic.

  1. Don’t Forget to Change Your Will

Getting divorced does not automatically revoke a will. If you want to prevent your soon-to-be-ex-spouse from receiving the monies and privileges granted them in your will, you need to update your will. You can re-do a will at any time. But if you die before you are granted a divorce, and you have left your spouse nothing, he or she can sue and recover part of your estate.

  1. Don’t Dismiss the Possibility of Collaborative Divorce or Mediation

In a collaborative divorce, you can get the help of professionals—attorneys, divorce coaches and therapists, to divide property and manage emotional stress. Some critics of collaborative divorce believe that attorneys, divorce coaches and therapists who engage in collaborative divorce are not really experts, and cost too much time and money. But the majority of jurisdictions with collaborative divorce have stated that collaborative divorce is more cooperative and less adversarial than traditional divorce.

Mediation is different. Only one third-party professional—a divorce mediator—helps you and your spouse reach an agreement. Mediation is more of an ongoing process than a one-time intervention. Although lawyers are generally not allowed into mediation sessions, you can consult a lawyer at any time during the process to make sure you are getting the right result.

  1. Don’t Sleep With Your Lawyer

It’s easy to get close to the one person who is on your side. But it’s also a big mistake. Some states prohibit all sexual activity between an attorney and client. Other states allow an attorney and client who had a sexual relationship before the case to continue the relationship. In either case, sleeping with your lawyer can compromise your attorney-client communications because you may be charged with adultery for the infidelity.

  1. Don’t Take It Out On the Kids

Children need a supportive environment to deal with divorce. Minimize the amount you talk about the process. It will give you more time to be there for them. Refocus your energy so you can attend their school and after-school events, help them with homework, and take them out once in a while to the movies or the zoo. When you are relaxed, they get more relaxed. Though you should be comfortable talking with your children about the divorce, the point of this divorce is to relieve stress on you and your family.

Don’t Wait Until After the Holidays

You already know the holidays are not going to be difficult. So why wait?

Divorce lawyers often see an increase in clients before, during, and after Christmas. It’s also easier to get used to an empty home before the holidays. If you wait (and fight) through the season, you may destroy any chances for an amicable split and wind up hashing out your differences in court.

8Don’t Forget About Taxes

Typically, the person who is awarded custody of the children gets the house. But the house may not be the best deal. If you can’t afford the mortgage, taxes and upkeep on the house, you want to ask for the investment portfolio of equal value instead. However, before declaring yourself king or queen of your block, remember:single people are not allowed to shelter as many capital gains from taxes. Stocks can also be at issue. Newly-purchased stocks may be more desirable because they will cost you less in capital gains taxes.

Reasons To Hire An Event Planner For Your Party

What are the benefits of being an event planner?

If you’re considering a career as an Events Planner, you may be weighing up the pros and cons of the role and whether or not you feel it’s the right career path for you. You’ve probably been thinking “What is an Events Planner?”, “Why become an Events Planner?” or even “What’s it really like being an Events Planner?”.

There’s lots of things to take into consideration and it’s important to take the time to research the role fully before committing yourself on the journey of becoming an Events Planner.

It’s important to remember that what might be a ‘con’ to someone else might actually be a huge ‘pro’ to you, and as everyone’s circumstances are different, this is just a guide to help you decide if the role of an Events Planner is the right move for you. So, with all that said, let’s jump right in!

Pros:

You get to be really creative at work

How many jobs have the fun of planning different events year-round? You may have one client that loves a sleek, sophisticated business meeting in a swanky hotel, and another client that is booking a special birthday party and wants a room filled entirely with metallic helium balloons for the special birthday girl… sounds great, right?

As an Events Planner, you’ll be able to pinch yourself that you get paid to organise and plan everyone’s dream event! Not to mention the vast amount of unique career paths you could find yourself down within events. The lockdown of 2020, though tragic, may just provide a silver lining in the shape of a changed future of Events Management. Companies, people and agencies of all kinds have been diversifying through digital and hey, who knows what the future holds for events?

The feeling of satisfaction you’ll feel after each event is completed

You worked hard to make sure all the finer details of the evening come together on time. The food was delicious, and everyone had their fill, the music was perfect and you overheard the guests saying what a lovely time they were having! You’ve completed your events responsiblities – it just doesn’t get better than this! You can head to bed with a feeling of satisfaction and look forward to that ‘thank you’ email from a very happy client tomorrow.

You’ll increase your list of clients after every success

There’s no better advertising than word-of-mouth or first-hand experience. After each successful event, prepare to gain a few new clients after they’ve been wowed! You never know, you could inspire them to try and gain an Events Planner role or Party Planner role. Make sure you leave business cards around, network and, most importantly, offer the client you are hosting the event for an incentive for recommending you. After an evening of celebrating with their important guests and getting praises, they’ll naturally want to be singing yours!

Make sure you don’t miss out on that valuable and genuine passion from a client by getting them to fill in a feedback form and some kind of incentive for recommending your business to others, including a discount on their next booking with you (because after an event like that, they’ll definitely be back!)

Your contacts book will be full of exciting names

As a successful Events Planner, you just never know who you’ll meet next! You could be rubbing shoulders with the Hollywood elite, sports stars, politicians, corporate giants, authors and famous speakers and many others. Whether you hire them to appear at the event, you’re introduced through a mutual friend or you’ve managed to become a Celebrity Events Planner networking in this industry can really pay off!

 

CONS :

The Hours Are Irregular

Event planning is definitely not a 9 to 5 job. Be expected to be required to work on weekends and some holidays. As the event you are planning draws closer, expect to work more than a few late nights overseeing the process of putting all of the details together.

The day of the event will require you to work, more than likely, from dawn to dusk.

The Profession Demands an Extraordinary Amount of Responsibility

Not only are you going to be responsible for your own duties in planning the event, but you must also oversee (and be responsible for) for the duties of others. For example, you will need to ensure that the caterer, lighting company, lodging facilities, etc. are all up to par.

If a vendor falls through, or fails to fulfill their duties, you’ll be responsible for finding a replacement, even at the last minute. This can often be quite stressful.

Meeting Budgets Can Be Difficult

Remaining within the budget that a client has provided you can often be difficult for an event planner – even the professionals. It is not uncommon for the client’s desired finished product to exceed what their budget can afford.

As an event planner, you then have one of two options to choose from: attempt to create the wanted outcome within the provided amount of money or report to the client that it cannot be done. Either option can be stressful.

 

Tight budgets

The majority of events operate under a strict budget so you’ll be under pressure not to over-spend. Unless you’re one of the lucky ones who work with large companies where spending is not the primary concern. Many of my budgets have been well over $1M per event because it was more important to get it right and create a show rather than pinch pennies. Knowing what your client’s expectations are is paramount to the success of the event and ultimately your success too. Get your own event planning budget.

Boredom – Event planning can be all about ebb and flow. Sometimes you have a ton of work and other times there’s nothing in sight. The completion of an event can be satisfying but it’s the slow periods between each event where boredom sets in. It’s also the time to catch up on administrative work, which doest bring the adrenaline rush we love and have become accustomed to.

 

Perks Of Being A Corporate Event Planner

There’s more to the event planning profession than planning sweet 16s. Have you ever thought about becoming a corporate event planner? It may sound like you’ll spend most of your time around grey suits and presentation boards, but this job isn’t boring by any means. You could be a freelancer, a company’s in-house event planner, or be part of an established planning business—these are all dynamic positions that can all lead to rewarding careers.

It’s not always easy, but there are some serious perks to this job. Still not convinced? Read on for the 6 perks of being a corporate event planner!

  1. You’ll set your own hours

Especially if you’re not a company’s in-house planner, you’ll find that your position is extremely flexible. You’re normally only given a specific time period (with intermediary deadlines) to complete a specific stage of the planning process. The rest of the time, you can decide your own hours. You could work at any time of day that best suits your needs or the needs of your business.

This flexibility is not only a nice perk, but it’s also necessary if you’re planning multiple events at the same time. You may need to attend meetings all afternoon one day and then scout venues later that evening. Each day has a whole new set of tasks, so being able to schedule your work day to best suit your own needs is a huge perk!

  1. Out with the old, in with the new!

Even if you have a less-than-stellar client, you can finish up your contract with them, and then never have to work with them again! The freedom to choose your own clients and take on new projects as they suit your ambitions and needs cannot be overlooked. With new clients and new projects come new challenges, new vendors to work with, and new goals to achieve.

Yes, most event components won’t be changing—you’re always going to be negotiating with sponsors and hiring entertainment—but with all these changing factors, you’ll never be bored.

  1. You’re always meeting different people

If you’re a people person, then this career is perfect for you! You’ll not only meet new clients for every project you take, but you’ll also be able to meet many new people throughout the planning process. You’ll be able to collaborate with different industry professionals as your event unfolds. The planning job doesn’t just end on the day the event occurs. You’re expected to ensure that everything goes smoothly, and that means you’re going to be attending the event yourself!

Everyone you meet at a particular event is an opportunity to network. If they’re impressed with your work, they may hire you in the future for their own events! Meeting people from all walks of life will give you boundless opportunities to learn new things and develop ideas—ideas that could even help you plan better events!

 

Benefits Of Hiring An Event Planner For Your Wedding

An Event Planner Will Save You Time And Headaches

There are hundreds of small details that need to be taken care of when planning your wedding. Much of them you may be aware of, but much of them likely not. Hiring an event planner will save you time and allow you to focus on some of the bigger aspects of your day, such as what wedding venue to select. (An event planner can help you with that as well.)

Since wedding planning is their job and they are experts, they will have a better idea of what areas of the wedding planning to tackle first, and in what order. An event planner will save you the time and headaches of attempting to figure out what to do, and when to do it.

An Event Planner Will Help You Bring Your Vision To Life

You may have always had a vision for how you hoped your wedding would look. Where an event planner comes into play is hearing what you want and using their expertise to bring your vision to life.

You may have pictured a sparkling ballroom with marble floor, and dancing the night away with your partner. However, maybe you’re not entirely sure how to portray that image and how to truly make your ideas reality. But an event planner will use their industry expertise to help achieve the look and feel that you want for your wedding.

For example, perhaps you wanted to use blue napkins, but the planner knows that black napkins will compliment your other colors more appropriately. It’s all in the small details that really can push your wedding from being great to being unforgettable. This is where the event planner’s expertise and vision can make all the difference.

Industry Expertise And Fostered Relationships

Over time, event planners build up a list of vetted industry connections which they can tap into when planning your wedding. Since they’ve worked closely with these various vendors such as florists, bakers, makeup artists, photographers, bands, and so on, chances are your event planner will be able to not only find the perfect vendor for your specific wedding, but they can often get you a better deal than if you were to visit a vendor yourself.

A wedding planner’s industry expertise allows them to stay on top of what is trending and what isn’t. Perhaps you wanted to go with silver flatware, but your event planner knows that gold would suit your wedding style better. A good wedding planner will be able to offer you sound advice on what to do, and when to do it.

Residential Roofing At A Fair Price

Unexpected Dangers of a Leaky Roof

There are many different household problems that can be procrastinated. However, a roof leak repair should take the highest priority on your list of home maintenance issues. Roofing leaks can develop for a variety of reasons: improper roof installation, wind or storm damage, and lack of maintenance. Keep in mind that most roofs are only meant to last 20 to 30 years so it could simply be time to replace your roof.

So why is even a small roof leak so critical for your entire household? Most homeowners think a leaky roof is just a structural problem, but it can actually pose many more safety and even health risks. Constant water intrusion will eventually work down from the attic area to the very foundation of the house, causing plenty of costly damage on the way. Here are some of the less-obvious ways a roof leak can damage your home.

Attic and ceiling damage

The initial dangers of a roof leak are damage to the attic area and items stored there. If there is no attic, or the size of the leak is really big, it will damage the interior ceiling. Affected ceiling paint will darken and ceiling plaster may bubble and expand. The leaking water also will damage paint and plaster on nearby walls. You can also expect damage on ceiling-mounted lights and fans.

Interior mold and mildew issues

In the longer term, one of the most serious consequences of a leaking roof is mold and mildew growth. Mold can spread throughout the home’s structure, to the HVAC system and then to the rest of the house through the vents where it can invade carpets, furniture and even clothing.

Black mold is the most common type resulting from chronic water intrusion. Toxic black mold growth is rare, but even non-toxic black mold attacks wood framing, ceiling tiles, and wall and floor coverings. Mold is difficult to get rid of, and it is rather costly.

Health concerns from mold

Mold and mildew can lead to serious health issues, especially for those with high sensitivity, including nasal congestion, rhinitis, inflammations and asthma, according to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. Mold spores continue to be produced once it’s present and will lead to allergic reactions, asthmatic symptoms, and more serious health problems.

Fire hazard from water damage

If your electrical wiring is present in an attic or ceiling, a leaky roof could pose a fire threat from shorted wires. It is highly recommended to turn off electricity to the area that’s affected and have an electrician examine it.

 

Signs You Need a New Roof

There is no shortage of signs that you need a new roof. Some of the most common signs that your roof has gone bad are as follows:

You Have Missing Shingles

A sure sign that your roof isn’t getting the job done is if it’s missing shingles. If shingles are missing from your roof, moisture, heat, and cold are undoubtedly making their way into your home.

Depending on how many shingles are missing from your home, you’ll either need a minor replacement or a major replacement. If only a few shingles are missing, a partial replacement will get the job done. If a great number of shingles are missing, a full replacement will be needed.

Your Shingles are Curled

Take a look at your roof. Do its shingles look curled and frayed at their edges? If so, they have passed their expiration date and will need to be replaced.

Shingles typically curl in this manner after they’ve been exposed to excess amounts of moisture and sunlight. Allowing curled shingles to exist on your roof will almost certainly result in moisture, heat, and cold making their way into your home.

Your Shingles are Cracked

If your shingles are cracked, they are far past their expiration date. Cracked shingles have usually been past their expiration date for at least a few years. A cracked shingle is a shingle which has suffered extreme levels of deterioration.

Allowing cracked shingles to exist on your roof will not only allow moisture to seep into the wooden structure of your roof, but it will also allow heat and cold to seep in as well.

 

You have granules in your gutters.

When shingles begin to lose granules, it means they have reached an age where they aren’t as effective as they should be and must be replaced. Shingles lose more and more granules as they get older.

You notice several exposed or loose nail heads.

If nails begin popping out of place, the holes and spaces around the nails that remain are susceptible to water penetration and can lead to leaks in the roof. The damage this moisture causes might force you to replace your roof sooner than expected.

You have water damage inside your home or attic.

If you have water leaking into any parts of your home or attic, there’s a good chance that your shingle underlayment is inadequate or flashing on your roof has deteriorated. Mold and mildew can result from inadequate roof ventilation.

 

Mold Where Roof and Exterior Wall Meet

Kick-out flashing is critical where a roof edge meets a sidewall. Without it, roof runoff flows down the wall and possibly into the wall. This is worst when there is a door or a window below and water can seep behind the trim. You might not notice it for years, but eventually rot will destroy sheathing and framing. In extreme cases, the stucco is the only thing holding up the wall! Don’t wait for that to happen to you.

Holes Drilled on Purpose

Tiny holes in shingles are sneaky because they can cause rot and other damage for years before you notice the obvious signs of a leak. You might find holes left over from satellite dish or antenna mounting brackets or just about anything. And exposed, misplaced roofing nails should be pulled and the holes patched. Small holes are simple to fix, but the fix isn’t to inject caulk in the hole. You’ll fix this one with flashing.

 

Daylight Through The Roof Boards

Before you turn your flashlight on, see if you can identify any streams of light coming through cracks or holes in your roof. If you do spot any light coming through your roof, repair or replace your roof immediately. If light is getting through your roof, then water is getting through your roof.

Dark Streaks & Stains

This one is also extremely easy to identify. If you see dark stains or dark streaks on the underside of your roof or running down the walls from the base of your roof, then you’re roof is likely leaking and moisture is damaging both your roof, as well as your home’s interior structure.

Sagging Areas

In the same way that water will make a piece of cardboard soggy and weak, water can also make the structure of your roof begin to sag. If you identify sagging areas in your roof, use your hand or a broom to lightly prod at the sagging spot. If the spot feels soft and wet or bends easily with the prod of your broom, you know you have moisture damage.

How To Handle Paint Odors In Commercial Painting

Why Start A Painting Business?

The house painting industry earns over $38 billion annually. According to Google Trends, the search term, “painters near me”, is at a all time high at over 40,000 search queries each month. So there is plenty of room to start your own painting business and make lots of profits.

Want to Know How to Start a Painting Business?

Starting a painting company is relatively simple. It takes hard work and dedication but the upfront cost is minimal. Helping property owners re-create their space is fulfilling and profitable. Some of the benefits you can experience when you start your own painting business include:

  • You can start as a part-time business
  • It’s rather inexpensive to start-up
  • Earn profit immediately
  • Franchising opportunities

 

What are the costs involved in opening a house painting business?

Your local Small Business Administration office can provide information about the cost of becoming licensed, bonded and insured in your area. The initial investment for the necessary equipment to begin a small interior house painting business can be as little as $500. At minimum, you will need the following items:

  • An 8’-12’ ladder
  • Rollers, trays, and high-quality brushes of various sizes
  • Drop cloths to protect carpets and furniture
  • A caulking gun for replacing cracked or missing window caulking
  • A masking gun to tape windows quickly
  • A scraper for removing cracked or peeling paint
  • A wire brush for creating an even surface
  • A few sheets of 60 to 80 grit sandpaper to smooth out rough surfaces

 

What are the ongoing expenses for a house painting business?

The cost of remaining licensed, bonded and insured are among the ongoing expenses for a house painting business. Other on-going expenses include painting equipment, transportation, and advertising. Many business expenses are tax-deductible, so including payment for the services of a qualified tax accountant in your operating budget is a wise investment.

Who is the target market?

Preferred customers are people who know what they want and have the funds on hand to pay for your services in providing it. It is unwise to sign a contract with a potential customer who is still vacillating between two or three almost-but-not-quite-perfect shades of apricot. If you plan to offer a payment plan to increase business, potential clients should undergo a thorough employment and credit check.

 

How does a house painting business make money?

Customers are charged according to the size of the job, its degree of difficulty, the amount of equipment and the level of expertise required to complete it. Intricate brushwork on the eaves of a two-story home requires more equipment, time, and expertise than rolling paint onto a flat indoor surface. Since exterior painting can be seasonal, interior painting jobs are often scheduled for winter months to ensure a steady flow of income throughout the year.

How much can you charge customers?

The amount you can charge is based on a number of factors. When calculating an estimate, it’s important to factor in the cost of materials, transportation, and ongoing expenses in addition to the size of the area to be painted. Additional considerations include whether the walls are textured and how much trim is involved. Your profit margin is based on the accuracy of your estimates.

 

How to promote & market a house painting business

Creating a company website is an important step in establishing a new business. There a number of sites that enable small businesses to build a professional website quickly and easily at no cost. Ideally, your website should include a portfolio of your best work. Nothing demonstrates pride in workmanship like great before-and-after photos.

How to keep customers coming back

Social media is an effective promotional tool. Twitter’s analytics can track responses to online sales promotions. Creating a Facebook page can keep you connected with satisfied customers who can help you attract new ones. Targeted advertising in real estate magazines and joining the chamber of commerce are also worthwhile investments in learning which neighborhoods would be the most receptive to flyers offering special sales promotions.

House Cleaning Tips For Fall And Winter

House Cleaning Tips When Someone at Home Is Sick

If someone in your home is sick, he or she can leave behind cold and flu germs that remain on surfaces for days at a time. With these germs infecting everything, the cycle of illness becomes never-ending in your home. That is of course unless you get rid of the germs for good

How Germs Work

Generally, bacteria and viruses survive on surfaces and are spread from one person in your family to the next by skin contact. So anything that you touch regularly can be a potential threat. In fact, flu virus can actually survive for as long as 48 hours. While the frequency with which you need to disinfect each area or surface in your home depends largely on its size and how frequently you or your loved ones come into contact with it, cleaning regularly and effectively is important.

Most Important Things to Disinfect

While giving your home a good once over is important, while you or your loved one is still sick, you can effectively diminish the spread of illness by focusing on a few key items. If someone in your home has the cold or flow

make sure you regularly clean these items:

Your phone: Roughly 80 percent of phones in homes that have an infected individual have the virus on them.

The remote: One of the most touched items in your home, the remote is likely also the least cleaned so you’ll want to be sure to disinfect it during illness.

The bathroom: It’s common for nearly half of bathroom faucets to have cold and flu viruses on them. Be sure to disinfect the faucets as well as the sink and toilet, and make sure the sick individual uses his or her own hand towel.

Tables: Tables throughout your home are often touched without being wiped down, so make sure to pay close attention to these areas when you are sick.

Linens: Bed linens and any stuffed animals or should be washed after an illness. If the animal cannot be washed, keep it away from the family for a few days.

Whatever you are cleaning, it’s important to follow a few rules of thumb for keeping you and your family healthy.

Make sure your whole family washes their hands frequently with soap and water, scrubbing at least 20 seconds.

Wipe down all of the surfaces in your home with disinfectant wipes or a household disinfectant each day.

Be sure to cleanse the sick person’s utensils, bedding, clothing, and other belongings with detergent.

Wash sheets, towels, and other linens on hot because germs can live through cold and even warm wash cycles.

Avoid using sponges and rags to clean as they can spread germs. Instead use disinfecting wipes.

 

Clever Cleaning Products That Will Help You With That Fresh Start

The right tools can make getting—and keeping—your home in tip-top shape so much easier, so if you’re also in the mood for a fresh start but could use a little help, these cleaning gadgets have you covered. From dusters to robot mops, here’s everything you need to get your home totally spick and span.

Dusting breakables and other delicate items is suddenly a whole lot easier, thanks to the fine microfiber strands on this duster.

This $5 squeegee is so versatile—once you have it, you won’t know how you lived without it. Use it to clear food from dishes (saving water!) and clean your counters and sink.

One of the most annoying cleaning tasks is dusting your window blinds, but this handy gadget can clean 3 slats at a time. Plus, it comes with 4 microfiber sleeves you can easily change out.

Also up there on the list of annoying chores? Cleaning your ceiling fan. This clever duster is designed to make it so much simpler—no step stools or ladders required.

 

Affordable Gadgets For People Who Hate to Clean

Some people genuinely love to grab a sponge and scrub their house from top to bottom — and then, there are the rest of us. If cleaning isn’t on your “favorite things” list (welcome to the club), then keep reading — these are the must-have cleaning gadgets for anyone who hates to clean. From sonic brushes that make cleaning grout a breeze to a high-tech way to keep your phone free of germs, these easy-to-use gadgets will help make all the pesky upkeep your home requires way more bearable.

Rubbermaid Reveal Power Scrubber

The oscillating head on this Rubbermaid scrub brush moves at 60 times per second — meaning it does all the scrubbing for you at a faster rate you can do it yourself. Use this handy gadget around faucets and the hard-to-reach places of your sink, stove or other fixtures, to deep-clean the grout that’s turned rusty, and even to spot clean golf clubs

Good Grips FurLifter Furniture Brush

This tool is like a lint brush with superpowers. If you have a pet who sheds, you will love this magical, self-cleaning FurLifter Brush that cleans fur off your sofas, chairs, rugs and bedding. It also works on hard-to-vacuum places like pet beds and curtains, and the base easily removes fur and makes it simple to store anywhere.

Angry Mama Microwave Cleaner

Nobody likes to clean the microwave, but now it can be done in seven minutes flat. Just fill this angry little mama with water and vinegar and place in the microwave. The steam produced will loosen up all the gunk and grime — and afterwards, just wipe with a towel. No scrubbing required. You can even use lemon juice for a pleasant smell, and it has hundreds of five-star reviews. One reviewer wrote: “This gadget is a game changer! It takes out the funky odors that I never could get out from regular cleaning.”

Casabella Blinds Cleaner

This blinds cleaner makes a dreaded task much simpler. The dual-ended brush tackles every part of your windows: the microfiber fingers easily get the dust between your blinds, and they can be removed and thrown in the wash to be used again and again. The brush on the other side cleans the grooves at the base of your window, where grime always seems to linger.

 

How to Keep a Clean House

The secret to keeping a clean house is doing these simple tasks daily, so messes and clutter never get out of control. If you’re tired of spending Saturdays cleaning, only to find on Monday that your home looks like you did nothing, here’s help. From what you should tidy first thing in the morning, to a 2-minute task to do before bed, these tips to keep a clean house will have your place looking tidy all week.

Make Your Bed

As the most visible surface in the bedroom, an unmade bed makes the whole room look messy. If tucking in sheets isn’t your thing, switch to a duvet with a removable cover that you can launder each week — you have to pull it up and, boom, your bed’s tidy.

Empty the Dishwasher Every Morning

Emptying the dishwasher makes keeping a clean house easier because dirty dishes won’t have to sit in the sink or on your counters. If you’ve ever timed yourself doing this, you know it only takes 5 minutes. Do it while the coffee brews, or while you wait for the kids to get ready for school.

Clean Up Every Time You Cook

Dirty countertops attract household pests and make your kitchen look awful. Since you already emptied your dishwasher, you can quickly load dishes after meals or snacks and then wipe your counters. This task doesn’t involve moving everything. Put any food away, then spray and clean around the rest.

Do a Load of Laundry Daily

A daily laundry habit is life-changing. Pop a load in before heading to work. Or, if your washing machine has a delayed start cycle, set it to run right before you get home. Transfer damp clothes to the dryer after dinner, then fold them while during commercial breaks on TV. Putting away one load of laundry takes almost no time. Do it on your way to bed.

 

THINGS I DO EVERY DAY TO KEEP A CLEAN AND ORGANIZED HOME

MAKE THE BED

I don’t know about you, but I feel that when my bed is made I can at least make it through the day. I try to make my bed as soon as I get up.

Even if I get nothing else done during the day, making the bed is a simple way to help keep the room tidy. Plus a made bed is much more inviting to get into at the end of the day, at least I think so anyway!

I clean off the countertop by putting away all of my personal products. I wipe around the sink to remove any water rings, makeup, or loose hair. I quickly spray the shower down with a daily shower cleaner and use a squeegee to remove excess water. I also do a quick wipe of the floor too with an old bathroom towel.

ONE LOAD OF LAUNDRY WASHED, FOLDED, AND PUT AWAY

Laundry seems to multiply around here and if I let a day go by without doing at least one load of laundry, the clothing piles can quickly add up and seem unmanageable!

LOAD, RUN AND EMPTY THE DISHWASHER

As soon as breakfast, lunch, and dinner are over, I immediately clean the dishes and load the dishwasher. Most days I run the dishwasher after dinner, but there are some days when the dishwasher needs to be run and unloaded before dinner.

Used Car Dealer Bargains

How does a car dealership really make its money?

Several ways but the price you pay for the car itself is not likely contributing much to it.

Dealerships are the most profitable in the service department. They depend on service and want to retain you as a customer. This is why you find free oil changes and “lifetime” warranties being used as promotions.

In the car deal itself, here are the profit areas:

  • Car price: most dealerships pay invoice but also have a holdback that may be 2–3% of the price of the vehicle. This holdback is based on the dealership making it’s quota from the manufacturer. On a $40,000 dollar car, they may make $900.
  • Financing . The dealer can make money on bringing good finance deals to lenders. However, bad credit customers cost the dealership money to finance.
  • Extended Warranties and Protection Packages. These may bring 50% profit to the dealership and is an important source of income. Does that mean you shouldn’t buy it? It all depends. These warranties bring good value to the customer, if they use it.
  • Accessories – dealerships make profit on the accessories they sell. Experience says about 25–40% depending on the item. Plus, if you finance it, it just increases the money they make on financing.
  • Documenation Fee – not much money, but it pays the dealership to hold on to the paperwork for 7–10 years.

 

Knowledge Is Powerful

What makes some shoppers wary as they enter car dealerships is the fact that they don’t know what they’re going to pay for the product. Shoppers don’t expect to negotiate the cost of a quart of milk with a salesperson at the supermarket. But they do expect to negotiate car prices.

You can better navigate some of the more complex purchase negotiations by understanding some of the financial aspects of the car-selling business. Here are some examples.

New Cars: Dealer Holdbacks and Dealer Cash

Car pricing is a complicated process. To simplify things, consumers learn to look at the invoice price of a car and assume that’s what the dealer paid for it. They may then wonder how a dealer is making a profit if it’s selling the car for the invoice price. This instance is where two other sources of manufacturer money come into play.

Dealer holdback: This money is from when the manufacturer pays the dealer after a car is sold. It’s typically 1% or 2% of either the invoice or the sticker price of the car. On a $20,000 car, a holdback represents $200 to $400. The holdback allows dealers to sell a car at invoice price, or even below invoice, but still receive money to cover the costs of doing business (advertising, sales commissions, etc.). Most manufacturers offer holdbacks to their brands’ dealers, but not all. This information is helpful to know, but don’t try to build it into your negotiations. Dealers consider this money off-limits for the purposes of price negotiation.

Dealer cash: To help move metal, a manufacturer will sometimes offer a bonus incentive to the dealer to move a vehicle off lots. That’s known as dealer cash. Dealer cash can also come into play at the end of a model year when both the dealership and the manufacturer want to clear out even popular cars to make way for incoming new vehicles. Dealer cash is rarely advertised.

 

Trade-ins

The most obvious source of used car inventory is the trade-in. These are vehicles that customers sell to dealers when they are buying another vehicle from the dealer. Selling your old car to the dealer you’re buying a brand new or another used one from is by far the easiest and most convenient way of getting rid of it and getting what it’s worth to put towards your next vehicle.

This is often the best source of the most profitable used vehicle inventory for dealers. The seller is the closest thing they are going to get to a captive audience, and the dealer gets to inspect and test drive the vehicle in a way they can’t with vehicles from some other sources. If it’s a vehicle that’s particularly attractive to the dealer they can offer a good price for it and sweeten the deal even more with discounts and offers on the vehicle the customer is looking to buy.

I know from personal experience that there are times when a dealer will go out of their way to do a deal on a new car to get a particularly desirable trade-in. Used cars are generally far more profitable than new cars, so it could even be worthwhile to break-even or lose money on the sale of a new vehicle to get a trade-in that could offer an opportunity for a big profit later on.

 

The role played by car dealers

Price negotiationscars parked

This is where the car dealer and the customer come to a fair price that is comfortable for both of them. This is an important role for car dealers since it ensures that both the customer and the dealership are satisfied with the outcome from the sale of a vehicle.

Organizing test drives

It is a car dealer’s job to plan and arrange for test drives for customers wishing to purchase cars from car dealerships. These test drives allow customers to ensure that the vehicle to be purchased is in a proper working condition.

Providing information

Car dealers are tasked with making information about cars available to their potential customers. The information provided is usually about the features available in the car, the type of entertainment system present and the navigation controls that are in the vehicle. This information is vital in helping people choose the kind of car they would desire to purchase according to their preference.

This involves keeping their customers updated on the progress of the orders they had placed earlier and also contact potential clients to inform them of new cars and deals. When buying Kia in Bristol, car dealers also make their customers aware of additional products that they could require in the duration of car ownership. This could include terms of warranty and vehicle servicing.

Doing paperwork

Vehicle selling and purchase involves some paperwork to be processed. They have to file every order made and ensure that every car purchased has the correct paperwork done from registration plates, road tax to proper car ownership registration.

 

Things to Consider When Opening a Car Dealership

Opening a car dealership requires careful planning. Aspiring dealers must take into account the specific legal requirements they will need to comply with to open a dealership in their state.

You must also consider other aspects such as your local market, whether to offer new and/or used cars, what startup expenses you will be facing, and how to develop a solid business plan. You’ll need to account for all of these areas and more if you want your business to take off strong and keep going for a long time.

For a list of the most important things to consider when opening a car dealership, read on!

Dealership location

The location of your dealership has an impact on the number of sales and profit you make in a given year. Some states are more profitable and provide a better business climate than others. What makes a state a good place to open a dealership? Average yearly sales, the costs associated with opening the dealership, as well as average payroll costs and weekly employee salaries in your area, are all factors that you need to consider.

Type of dealership

Do you know what kind of dealership you want to open? Will you be opening a new (or franchised) vehicle dealership, or will you specialize in used vehicles—or perhaps both? You could also focus on offering electric vehicles, luxury vehicles, or primarily foreign vehicles. This is related to the location of your business and your target audience.

Some states, such as Florida, are known for their preference for Asian cars. And when it comes to used cars, while the majority of states have a clear preference for pickups, other states prefer SUVs and more compact cars instead. In other words, understanding local tastes will be essential to your success.

An additional consideration you could also have at this point is whether you would want to include a service department to offer maintenance and repair work. According to the NADA data report, dealership service and parts sales across the U.S. have nearly doubled over the last eight years, resulting in a total of $114.15 billion of sales for all new-vehicle dealerships. It could be a source of additional income for your dealership.

Licensing requirements

To open a dealership in any state, you will need to obtain a business license allowing you to sell vehicles of a particular kind. License requirements vary significantly between states. Some states have minimal requirements and few fees, whereas others have strict, lengthy and at times expensive licensing procedures.

Licensing requirements you will frequently encounter are:

  • Lease or own a property for your dealership
  • Comply with specific location requirements for your office and showroom
  • Pass a criminal background check or personal history questionnaire requirement
  • Obtain an Employee Identification Number (EIN) from the IRS
  • Obtain a state tax number from your local tax department
  • Provide copies of your insurance policy and your auto dealer surety bond agreement
  • Provide a copy of a franchise agreement (if selling new cars)
  • Pass a state-mandated dealer training course
  • Pass an inspection of your dealership premises
  • Complete and submit your dealer application form, along with all other required documents
  • Pay all application, licensing, and dealer plate fees