Month: May 2020

Trick The Best To Setting Clogged Toilet

Tips For Preventing Toilet Troubles

DO clean your toilet regularly with a mild cleaner. Vinegar, baking soda, or a mild soap are all great for regular porcelain cleaning. Not only does cleaning your toilet help you keep a more hygienic, better smelling bathroom, it also gives you the opportunity to spot a leak or a problem with your bathroom’s plumbing fairly quickly. If you never really clean up around the toilet area, how will you know if that water on the floor is from your shower, your toilet, or the sleepwalking male members of your household?

DON’T use chemical drain cleaners to unclog your toilet. While some plumbers say ‘yea’ and others say ‘nay’ when it comes to using these products, we say it’s just not worth the risk. Not only are these products harmful to your health if accidentally splattered on your skin, consumed, or even inhaled too much, they can damage older fixtures and pipes, and really aren’t something anyone wants in our water systems. They can also cause a lot of trouble for homes with septic systems if they kill off the good bacteria in there

DO inspect your toilet’s inner workings about every 6 months to make sure the components are still in good shape and functioning properly. Take the tank lid off and flush the toilet. Watch the components work, making sure the flapper is sealing well and the fill valve stops running at an appropriate water level.

DO fix a running or leaking toilet right away. Toilet leaks are typically “silent”, in that you won’t necessarily find a puddle of water on the floor since the water is usually leaking out from the tank into the bowl (and down the drain). This makes it fairly easy to overlook the leak, or to keep putting off fixing it. Toilet leaks are generally slow leaks too, so you might not even notice a small increase in your bills each month until you look back and realize you’re paying $100 more for water this month than you did at the same time last year

DON’T use a brick to save water in your tank. Unless your toilet is older than the mid-90’s, you’re using 1.6 gallons per flush (or less), and most sewage systems really do need that much water to effectively move the waste. If your toilet is older and you want to save water, we recommend filling a water bottle with sand or small rocks and using that to displace some of the water. Bricks can break down and clog your pipes.

 

Ways to Unclog a Toilet – And Only One Requires a Plunger!

Create a Volcano in Your Toilet

Remember that model of a volcano you made back in third grade? You combined baking soda and white vinegar, and a foaming substance bubbled out of the top of your fake volcano. Baking soda and vinegar is a marvelous cleaning agent, and when dumped into a clogged toilet, often will break up the clog without you having to do a thing

Use the Degreasing Power of Dish Detergent to Break Up the Clog

If you hate the smell of vinegar or don’t have enough room in the toilet bowl to do the volcano trick, try this inexpensive and very effective plumbing trick. Pour a half cup of dish detergent (degreasing dish detergent like Dawn works best) into the clogged toilet. Follow this with three to four cups of boiling water. The boiling water and degreasers will break up the clog, sending it right through

Use a Little Petroleum Jelly on the Plunger

Keep a plunger in your home — a durable rubber plunger with a flange works the best. What many people don’t realize is the seal is the key to a plunger working. Just put a little petroleum jelly (Vaseline works well) around the rim of the plunger, press the plunger around the drain so the seal is tight, and add water if the top of the plunger is not submerged (otherwise you won’t get an effective plunge). Plunge until you break up the clog. Add hot water as needed to keep the plunger submerged.

Head to the Hardware Store for a Snake

If the volcano, dish soap, and plunger have all failed, you’ll want to bring out the big guns: the snake.  Talk to someone at the hardware store to ensure you don’t get an industrial grade snake that can do serious damage to your pipes; you want something pretty tame because the cost of plumbing repairs is not low when it comes to damaged pipes

Call a Professional Plumber

If you still haven’t been able to dislodge the clog, you need to call in the pros. You don’t want to risk damaging your pipes, and the cost of unclogging a toilet is low when compared to the cost of dealing with damaged pipes or toilet

 

How to Unclog a Toilet Without a Plunger

Let’s say you’re a person who’s known for their devotion to extreme cleanliness—especially in the bathroom. You know your way around cleaning an air duct; you’re an expert on how to get bathroom grout pristine; you even mop your bathroom floors with castile soap! Now imagine anything more embarrassing than clogging a toilet and having no plunger. Think about it—there you are in a restaurant bathroom, using a friend’s commode, or even sitting in your very own rustic bathroom, taking care of business, when the toilet suddenly clogs, and there’s nary a plunger in sight. Panic sets in and you begin to wonder: Will the toilet overflow? Will it stay clogged forever? How long can I hide in here without arousing suspicion? It’s not a good feeling, people

Before you consider jumping out of a second-story bathroom window or start exercising your potty mouth, know that you actually can flush your way out of this toilet travesty, sans plunger. (However, if you’re using a public restroom, you might just need to cut your losses.) Most at-home toilets can easily be fixed in a jiffy with a bit of elbow grease and a few ordinary items. Sometimes you can even wait it out and hope for the best—some toilet backups actually fix themselves, thanks to a little time and a lot of gravity. But when time is of the essence, here’s how to unclog a toilet without a plunger.

WHAT DO I NEED TO UNCLOG A TOILET WITHOUT A PLUNGER?

Depending on what you have on hand, you can determine your best course of action—because you can actually go about unclogging your toilet a few different ways. We’ll break down each method further, but make sure you have dish soap, a wire hanger, baking soda and vinegar, or even bath bombs to get the job done.

WHAT SHOULD I NOT DO?

Avoid flushing repeatedly, especially if the water’s already rising. In this instance, so you don’t have a clogged toilet and a flooded bathroom floor, remove the tank lid and push down on the flapper, which is the rubber contraption toward the bottom. Next, cut off the toilet’s water supply by turning the valve, usually located behind the toilet, and wait for it to reside before you tackle the mess inside

HOW CAN I DE-CLOG MY TOILET WITHOUT A PLUNGER?

If there’s not much liquid left in the toilet bowl to begin with, pour in a bucket or pan of hot (not boiling) water. The force of the water should help break up the clogging culprits. Houselogic also suggests tossing in 1/2 cup of salt prior to the H2O.

 

How to Unclog a Toilet Without Causing Damage

A clogged toilet is a huge inconvenience. Living in a home with only one bathroom requires tending to the clog immediately. The only thing worse than a one-bathroom home with a backed up toilet is a malfunctioning toilet with a house full of guests.

Toilets clog all the time. The vast majority of the time something is lodged in the toilet trap and cannot pass on its own. It can be mind boggling to see what people retrieve. Things that get trapped include napkins, sanitary products, wash clothes and toys

Unclogging a toilet is usually a simple process but there are times when getting the object to pass or pulling it out is more difficult. You don’t always have to call in a plumber to fix the situation. But you do need to know how to unclog the trap way without damaging the toilet.

What is a Toilet Trap or Trap Way?

Look at the back of your toilet bowl and you will see a curving design in the outline. This is the pathway that the water waste flows when the toilet is flushed. In a working toilet, everything goes through the trap way and empties out into the drainage line.

Wait and Flush

When a toilet is flushed several mechanisms go into action. You push down on the lever, a flap opens, water in the tank rushes into the bowl. The water and waste get pushed through the trap way by a force of gravity.

 

How to Unclog a Toilet

Few things are more nerve-wracking than a clogged toilet that overflows and spills water onto the floor around the toilet. But while it can require quick action, a clogged toilet typically is no cause for alarm, and it’s usually fairly easy to fix. Most clogs can be overcome with a plunger, provided you use the right type. For really tough clogs, such as a sponge or other object stuck inside the toilet, the best tool for the job is a toilet auger.

How Toilets Get Clogged

Although it’s not immediately apparent, every toilet bowl is constructed with a built-in trap configuration that is part of the porcelain fixture. Like the P-trap you see beneath your bathroom sink, the toilet trap is designed to hold standing water to seal the trapway and prevent sewer gases from rising up into the bathroom

Clearing a Toilet Clog With a Plunger

In most cases, toilet clogs can be cleared with the proper use of a plunger—but not just any plunger. There are two common types of household plunger. A cup plunger is the most common type, featuring a rubber cup with a flat rim attached to a handle. It is designed for clearing sink, bathtub, and shower clogs.

Clearing a Toilet Clog With an Auger

A toilet auger consists of a cable that runs through a long hollow guide tube with a sweep elbow at the bottom, protected by a rubber sleeve. At the top of the auger, a hand crank is attached to the cable. This tool is especially designed for toilets, as the rubber sleeve prevents scratches to the porcelain. Never use a drain snake not intended for toilet use, as the metal auger can badly scratch the fixture.

When to Call a Plumber

If both a plunger and an auger fail to remove the clog from your toilet, you will probably need to call a plumber, as it is likely the clog lies beyond the reach of the auger. If you see water backing up into other drains in your home when the toilet flushes, this can be the sign of a serious problem

Tips To Learn Installing Flat Roof On Your Roof

Why You Should Consider Fibreglass Flat Roofs This Summer

What is Fibreglass Flat Roofing?

Fibreglass flat roofing is a durable, hard-wearing roof material that can protect your home. The material is also referred to as GRP, which stands for “Glassfibre Reinforced Plastics” and is a versatile material that can be used for a range of things.

The material is made up of plywood and resin which is then finished with GRP edge trims and a top coat. Using fibreglass is a great option for flat roof problems.

Advantages of Fibreglass roofing?

There are many advantages to fibreglass roofing, one of the main ones being that it is durable and can last as long as 30 years. As well as this, fibre glass roofing is extremely easy to repair if there is damage, you can extend or refurbish it if you need to, it can be tiled or used as a garden platform. If you use fibreglass instead of lead, it can also prevent thieves from damaging your property as there is no intrinsic value to the material.

 

Why choose a fibreglass GRP flat roof over a felt, rubber or other membrane roof?

Many people think of fibreglass roofs as a new idea, or untested technology but you may be surprised to learn that fibreglass is a proven roofing material that’s been used in the UK building industry for over 50 years. The quality of your roof has a huge impact on your home, it prevents costly water damage to both the structure and to your possessions. No matter how much attention you to pay to the rest of your home and property, if you have a poor quality roof all of your efforts could be wasted. This is why you need to think about the different roofing options that are available. There are plenty of roof materials and styles to choose from but the benefits of GRP flat roofing are likely to provide you with everything that you could need. There are two main benefits of choosing this solution over others that are available and they are the durability of the product and a watertight finish.

Durability

One of the biggest strengths of choosing a fibreglass GRP flat roof is the fact that these roofs are so durable. When it comes to finding the best value in a roof, durability and long-term costs will always be an important factor. Thanks to the state of the art materials and technology utilised in these roofs Canova confidently offers a 30 year guarantee, GRP simply does not deteriorate at the rate of felt or rubber. An added benefit to the durability of the system is that these roofs require little or no maintenance due to the nature of the structure. The advantage is that there are no seams, joints or welds to provide opportunities for water to get in and for components to be damaged or weakened. Once the strong fibreglass layer is laid, a durable topcoat is rolled over the top creating a fully sealed surface. Installed correctly, water cannot penetrate through any seams. The continuous surface area provides a huge benefit when it comes to finding a roof that can be relied on for many years to come. These roofs are constructed to the highest standard and quality and offer peace of mind to home owners that cannot be matched by other products.

Watertight

Fibreglass is trusted in many other industries where long life and complete water-tightness are essential. It is a material that is used to make the hulls of boats, including the RNLI lifeboats. Where there’s a seam, there’s the opportunity for water to penetrate. By the time you’ve spotted your flat roof is leaking, there will almost certainly be more damage than meets the eye. A GRP roof has no seams or joints where water can in to damage the structure of the roof and cause costly repairs to your home. Even ‘modern, high tech’ rubber membrane roof coverings are fundamentally flawed as they still rely on glued or welded seams Continuous testing of GRP roofs have shown that you can expect the laminate to last 30 years plus compared to the 10 years you can expect a felt roof to last, if you’re lucky. It is the long term, sensible, peace of mind solution.

 

EPDM patching and repair

If you confidently laid your own EPDM roof, the chances are you’ll be able to repair a hole or puncture yourself using a patch repair kit. Make sure the area is clean and debris free before using an EPDM roof cleaner to ensure the patch will stick to the membrane.

Measure the patch and make sure you leave at least 50mm of membrane outside the damaged area, then round off any corners. Apply the patch following the instructions on the packet and ensure it’s fully sealed by checking for the bead that appears when the seam is bonded.

If you have any doubts about repairing a puncture it’s best to seek advice from a roofing specialist.

 

Benefits of GRP flat fiberglass roofs

  • Fiberglass roofs are very strong and durable. This makes them a perfect roofing material for theft prevention;
  • Additionally, fiberglass roofing has little intrinsic value if removed. As such, thieves are less likely to target your building;
  • Fiberglass roofs will last for more than 30 years and they are very easy to clean and maintain;
  • Fiberglass roofing is waterproof when laid properly and will ward off wet and windy weather that would cause a felt or bitumen roof to fail;
  • Fiberglass roofing is easy to repair, extend and replace;
  • Fiberglass roofing is waterproof and resists wear and tear;
  • Fiberglass roofing is quick and easy to lay because it weighs very little;
  • Fiberglass roofing is now available in a variety of colours and surface textures – so it can be a statement for your home.

 

Know Your Flat Roof Systems- GRP v EPDM

EPDM is a single ply rubber roofing system that is popular on smaller scale roof applications, such as sheds, garages and extensions.

Along with Glass Reinforced Polyester, or GRP, its use is becoming more and more widespread on both domestic and commercial roofing projects thanks to a number of advantages.

DIY Difficulty

Most roofers nowadays will be familiar with EPDM and GRP roofs and their installation. Getting a professional in will decrease the chances of any manufacturer guarantee being void as a result of a sloppy job.

Both rubber roofing and fiberglass roofing can be done DIY, but only if attention to detail and correct procedures are followed, especially when it comes to covering corners and angles and ensuring no air bubbles are missed.

EPDM is essentially one single sheet of synthetic rubber which is glued to a clean roof decking with a wet bonding adhesive and a stronger contact adhesive around the perimeters. Trims are then fitted around the edges to waterproof the roof and enhance aesthetics.

GRP installation involves two layers of catalysed resin sandwiching a layer of fiberglass to form a GRP laminate. A top coat resin is then applied to weatherproof the surface and give it a more attractive finish.

GRP should ideally be installed by a pro, although be wary than EPDM systems designed with the DIYer in mind can sometimes be of an inferior quality.

Winner- EPDM

Weather Resistance

Both EPDM and GRP flat roofs hold up very well in most weather conditions. As both systems have no or very few seams, water leaks are very rare.

The fact that GRP is used on boat hulls should be all the evidence you need in regards to how watertight it is. Installing roof trims and edge trims will ensure both types of roof are even more waterproof.

In regards to adapting to thermal expansion and contraction, EPDM is the better option, with Firestone EPDM able to elongate by over 300% and return to its original form. This is why EPDM is the better option between the two for larger roofs.

EPDM is not easily affected by the sun and is resistant to blistering, cracking and rotting. The same can be said for GRP, which is the least likely to develop moss and extremely resistant to UV damage.

Draw

Durability

Both a GRP roof and a roof laid with rubber membrane are durable options that do not scratch or scuff easily. The average lifespan of both is normally put at 25 years, although its widely believed this can be doubled if properly upkept.

If damage does occur, patch repairs are relatively straightforward for both systems and will not alter the original appearance of the roof much.

GRP is the tougher system of the two and is unlikely to crack from impacts such as dropped tools and falling debris. GRP is fire retardant and can cope with footfall, making it a suitable roof covering for a terrace. An anti-slip coating can be applied to reduce slipperiness.

EPDM could be best described as durable but not indestructible. It can puncture if mistreated, but the same can be said for any flat roofing material if abused.

Winner- GRP

Must Know How To Settle Toilet Installation

THREE ADVANTAGES OF CONVERTING YOUR TOILET TO DUAL FLUSH

Some toilets are dual flush, which means they have separate flushes for liquid and solid waste. The main advantage of a dual flush toilet is you can conserve water without sacrificing flushing power. If you want a dual flush toilet you can either buy a brand new toilet or you can retrofit or convert your existing toilet to dual flush. Converting your existing toilet to dual flush has a few major advantages.

  1. WATER CONSERVATION

The biggest advantage of having a dual flush toilet is saving water with every flush. Water conservation is a serious issue, especially in drought-prone areas. Toilets account for nearly 30% of a home’s water usage according to the EPA, and older toilets can use as much as 6 gallons per flush. New dual-flush options can use less than 2 gallons per flush for liquid waste, representing a significant decrease in water usage.

  1. PRICE

Converting an existing toilet to a dual-flush toilet using a conversion kit is far less expensive than purchasing an entirely new toilet. The nicest kits can cost a few hundred dollars, but an adequate kit that will present the same benefits can be had for fewer than $100.The money you spend can be made up in water saved very quickly.

  1. EASY INSTALL

Each conversion kit has its own installation instructions but for the most part, these kits are extremely easy to install. Some kits even boast installation time of 10 minutes. Most kits only require you to remove the lid to your toilet tank and make a few simple adjustments and attachments with simple tools. Even the most intricate of kits are much quicker and easier to install than an entire new toilet.

 

What are a macerating toilet and sewage ejector pump?

When you flush a normal toilet, it sends the waste through a trap, into a waste line and onto the mainline where it travels to the sewer or septic tank. The drain line on a normal toilet is below the level of it, so gravity pulls the contents of the waste line into it.

Macerating toilets send the waste to a macerating unit located behind the toilet or in the wall. High-powered blades then liquefy the waste, sending it out of the unit through a normal pipe that is tied to the main drain line. Unfortunately, macerating toilets are more expensive than regular ones, but it’s far easier to connect a small-diameter pipe to an existing system rather than redoing the entire bathroom. It’s also much cheaper, too.

For those who believe they are out of luck because their toilet location is below the main drain, don’t worry, we have a solution for you too. Because waste doesn’t need to be liquefied for easier transport through the small-diameter pipe, you can install a sewage ejector pump. There’s no transport involved at all; it just needs to get into the main drain. While they are similar to other pumps, they can do something that others can’t: pass solids. The pump sits in a sealed sump pit basin, where everything is discharged. The float switch normally controls the entire operation, turning the pump on once the water in the basin reaches a certain level.

So, if you had always dreamed about installing that toilet in the basement or in the garage so you didn’t have to run all the way upstairs to do your business, you are finally in luck. Keep in mind that these bathrooms, if maintained and installed properly, can last for a long time.

 

The Benefits of Toilet Replacement

Toilets are the workhorses of the bathroom; in fact, these simple fixtures account for up to 27% of your home’s total water usage. However, these vital components of your bathroom’s layout are often overlooked and forgotten until a problem arises, such as a leak or a clog. Toilets aren’t built to last forever, and will eventually require replacement when either a single major issue or several minor problems result in the need for repairs that simply aren’t worth the money the plumbing work will cost. Knowing when to replace your toilets and how your home can benefit from toilet replacement can help you determine when it’s time to begin exploring today’s many available toilet models.

A More Efficient Toilet

With toilets accounting for such as the significant percentage of your home’s water usage, one of the most obvious benefits of toilet replacement is less water usage per day. Especially if your toilets were installed before 1994, they are not as efficient as newer models for at least one key reason. Federal plumbing manufacturing regulations passed in 1994 required all new toilets to use 1.6 gallons or less per flush; toilets manufactured before these regulations went into effect can use five gallons or more each time the handle is pulled. Simply installing a newer standard model toilet today can reduce your home’s water usage by 23—46% with absolutely no further effort on your part. Newer ultra-low-flush and high-efficiency toilet models can use as little as 1.28 gallons per flush, further reducing your home’s water usage as well as your monthly water bills.

A Problem-Free Toilet

Whether you are suddenly experiencing new plumbing issues with your toilet or it has been giving you intermittent trouble throughout the years, toilet replacement can put an end to this struggle. Frequent clogs or leaks can add up in terms of repair costs, while issues such as a cracked tank or damaged floor seal can render a toilet essentially useless, requiring replacement to restore function and prevent water damage from affecting your home. Rather than continue to spend time and money on a problematic toilet, replacing the fixture is a permanent solution with a one-time cost that will ensure your toilet is matched to your needs and will continue to function for years to come without further issues.

A Stylish Toilet

Toilets are one of the most visible but also most often overlooked bathroom features in terms of style. Today, toilets are available in multiple designs, from those with classical rounded features to sleek, low-profile toilets that can save space in a smaller bathroom or powder room. If you’re considering toilet replacement for other reasons, opting for a toilet that fits the style and available space in your bathroom can give this room a drastic visual boost that will improve its aesthetics and could even increase the value of your home if you decide to sell it in the future. Appealing bathrooms, which include appealing toilet designs, have been shown to help homes sell more quickly and for a higher price than those with lackluster bathroom designs and outdated or unattractive toilets.

 

What Are Some Low-flow Toilet Problems?

Common complaints about these toilets include noise and flushing or water pressure issues.

They rely on a pressure-assisted system that makes a distinctive “whooshing” sound which tends to be louder than a regular toilet flush.

If they do not operate properly, they may not force waste far enough down the drain, which can lead to clogs and other plumbing system issues.

If the water pressure in your home is not sufficient for the smooth operation of low-flow toilets, they will not eliminate waste with a single flush or work as intended.

 

Parts Needed for Toilet Replacement

Before you start removing the old toilet, make sure you have everything you need to put the new one in. If you are missing anything, you could have to go several days without use of that bathroom. Some of these parts may be included with the new toilet, but we have included links just in case you need them! Below are some parts for toilet replacement/repair.

  • Closet Bolts
  • Closet Bolt Covers
  • Wax Bowl Ring
  • Closet Flange Extension Ring
  • Toilet Flapper
  • Toilet Tank Lever
  • Oatey Liquilock (optional)

Now that you have all the necessary parts, you are ready to get started with the replacement! Make sure you have an adjustable wrench on hand to help with the bolts.

Choose The Best Wedding Photographer

Mistakes To Avoid Choosing A Wedding Photographer

Find someone who cares more about your wedding images than they do about their own packages and policies. Someone you know will help your wedding run smoothly and efficiently. Choose someone that you can communicate with someone that truly understands how you want your wedding to feel. How do you know? When you talk to her, she’s more interested in learning about you than describing all of the print sizes and prices.

Is this someone that will add to the fun and emotion of your wedding? Remember your friend’s photographer, the grumpy, sweaty, old guy that was a boring, annoying jerk? Steer clear of that! Get someone that will make the work of posed pictures fun, memorable, and exciting! How can you tell who’s cool? When you talk to the photographer, ask how she feels about your family members taking pictures over her shoulder! If she stays relaxed, then everyone will have a good time.

Look for someone who has some flexibility in styles. See what they have to offer. Some of the styles you may want to consider are Traditional, Black & White, Candid, Romantic, or Photo-journalistic. Check to see how they handle both indoor and outdoor situations. Can they do fine portraiture as well as a truly candid style? Find out what they have for you. Remember that the photographer’s creativity and personality (and your rapport with him/her) is what makes your wedding images unique, and your expressions more genuine!

Find someone who has as few restrictions as possible regarding packages, number of prints, limiting locations, and limiting the amount of film they shoot. Prepaid, pre-designed packages limit the creativity of the photographer. Creativity does not come from a pre-packaged album containing, for example, 24- 8x10s. If you’re paying for an album, it should look and feel like a storybook! Think of it, not like a photo album, but an illustrated storybook that uses no words to tell the story. In most cases, packages are NOT a good thing because the photographer “knows” beforehand what he needs to shoot and will only strive for those images.

Ask about their guarantees!!! They should have some sort of performance guarantee – GET-IT-IN-WRITING! If something didn’t come out the way you expected, they should offer to recreate it somehow or give you your money back! As of this writing, one performance guarantee is to get “preview” images on a CD before you get anything else. These are small versions of your digital images, like getting a sample before buying the whole scoop of ice cream. If you don’t like them, the photographer should give you your money back! In other words, you don’t buy the photographs until after you’ve seen them!

 

Tips for Choosing the Perfect Wedding Photographer

PHILOSOPHY

For some wedding vendors, you really don’t need to care about their philosophy. Wedding photography is not one of those places. Chances are, you’re going to spend more time with your wedding photographer than with your maid of honor on your wedding day, so you want to make sure they’re someone you jive with. The simplest way to start is to sort through the vendor listings of a wedding website where you feel like you fit in. (Oh, hi, APW Vendor Directory.) Once you’ve found photographers you’re interested in, look at their About pages. Those pages are carefully constructed to give you a sense of who the photographer is and how they work. Back when our CRO Maddie shot weddings, she had an About page that really laid out who she was very clearly. It said, “As a wedding photographer, I believe that getting married is one of the bravest things a person can do. It’s messy and it’s hard work, and rarely the result of a perfect love story.” That sets out a very specific philosophy that might be really right (or realay wrong) for you. Look for written philosophies that feel like they just click, and then see if that feeling continues when you meet with the photographer in person or talk to them on the phone.

DO YOU LIKE THE PHOTOGRAPHER?

Once you’ve narrowed down photographers whose work you like, and whose philosophy you seem to gel with, set up an in-person meeting (or a Skype session, if that’s what works). Then, figure out if you LIKE them. If you don’t, please don’t hire them. You spend enough time with your photographer on your wedding day that you should find them generally pleasant at minimum, possible-BFF-forever at maximum. (Only you know how much you care about love-loving them, but make sure you like them.)

LIGHTING SITUATION FOR YOUR WEDDING

Before we get too far into this idea of, “Just hire someone whose work makes you feel happy inside,” let’s have a quick reality check. The easiest wedding to shoot is a wedding in the daytime, with a ceremony under shade and great natural light. If that applies to you, ignore the rest of this paragraph. If, however, you’re getting married in a dark church or you’re having an outdoor evening wedding reception, it’s really important that you specifically look for a photographer that’s skilled with those lighting environments. Don’t assume that experience equals skill in low lighting. Look for weddings shot in similar lighting environments in your photographer’s portfolio, and ask them specifically how they would handle your particular situation

REVIEWS AND RECOMMENDATIONS

Every photographer is going to have their strengths and weaknesses. It’s pretty easy to get a sense of what someone’s strengths are (let’s assume taking stunning photos is one of them). The trick is to get an accurate sense of what a given photographer’s weaknesses are, and then decide what you can live with. You can do this by a robust conversation with a photographer. (Just ask them flat out what their weaknesses are. A professional will tell you. Run away if they say they have none.) Or you can ask to chat with a past client

PRICE AND WHAT THEY OFFER

When looking at someone’s pricing, be careful to see what’s included in the package you’re looking at. Things like second shooters, additional hours, hi-res JPGs, albums, and engagement sessions may be included in the price quote, or might be extra money. Just make sure you’re not signing up to pay more later for things you definitely want (i.e., having your wedding photos taken isn’t worth all that much if you have to pay $3,000 extra to get the files). That said, things like albums and prints can always be ordered later when you’re not facing the burden of paying for a wedding, so if you love someone’s art, but they don’t include as many bells and whistles with their package, go for the art.

 

Essential Things To Consider

When you’re researching how to choose a photographer, it can be a bit daunting at first. What do you base your choice on? How do you choose? What advice on photographers is best?

It’s not an easy task, so I decided to write this wedding photographer advice with the aim of making the process of choosing a photographer more comfortable for you.

How to choose a photographer: Technical Proficiency

It doesn’t matter if you’ve got the best camera, lens and other photographic technology if you don’t know how to use it. Today’s photographic equipment comes with a multitude of features and options, often more than most wedding photographers would ever require. It feels good to have the latest equipment, but often an incompetent or inexperienced photographer of weddings doesn’t quite get to grips with how a feature works, or when or why they should use it.

Equipment alone doesn’t make you a better photographer.

I once worked alongside a photographer who had just bought a new tripod that enabled them to shoot photos from a low down on the floor. Unfortunately, the photographer didn’t practise setting up the tripod before the wedding day and decided to use the tripod for the first time while shooting photos of newly-weds at their wedding. He had no idea how to set up the tripod for this unusual angle

The photographer wasted a good ten minutes trying to figure out what was going on. Unwilling to accept advice or help from anyone (including me), they persevered in vain. I felt sorry for the bride and groom having to waste the most important day of their lives waiting for this guy to figure out how to operate a new tripod (though the couple seemed happy enough enjoying a glass of champagne while they waited!). I learned from this – the simplest option is often best. The latest equipment enhances what I do and how I do it – but I learn how to use it and become proficient at using it in demanding situations before being on a paid job. Low angle shots? I’ll lie down and have the shot done in seconds.

 

How to Choose a Wedding Photographer

Traditional Photography

Traditional or formal wedding photography is the classic posed look you see in conventional group shots of the couple and the wedding party. This used to be the most popular style and involves plenty of direction from the photographer, but it also takes time and you might miss some of the action of the day. Your photos are likely to be a bit formulaic, but will be beautifully shot and well-lit

Contemporary Photography

Contemporary photography will feel more like fashion or editorial photography combined with reportage. It’s ideal if you want fashion-led couple photos and an artistic approach to other shots. You’ll need to find a photographer with the same creative vision as you, whether that’s street style, portraits, conceptual or nature-focused

Set a Budget

No point finding a photographer you love and then discovering they’re well beyond your budget. We’ve got our complete guide to wedding photography prices to give you a good idea of what you can get for your money – the average is £1,500-£2,000.

Find Your Style

Now for the fun part of starting your search! Your preferred photography style really is one of the most important things to consider. We’d suggest you browse our wedding photographers section – you’ll see the styles of hundreds of photographer and can easily work out what you do and don’t like. Do you want candid, classic, a mix of colour and black-and-white, creative, contemporary? Normally one of the styles above will jump out at your straight away.

Ask for Testimonials

One of the best ways to find a photographer is to ask friends for recommendations. If anyone has got married recently and you loved their shots, find out who their photographer was. Other places to get recommendations from are your venue, social media and online reviews. Is there a forum for your county? What about asking in

 

HOW TO CHOOSE YOUR WEDDING PHOTOGRAPHER

STYLE

First off is decide your style, you can browse our site and see hundreds of different wedding photos by different photographers, however it is important you find a photography style that matches what you want, a style that you want your photos to follow. Shortlist photographers that match your style, be it reportage, traditional or contemporary, quirky and creative

EXPERIENCE

They may have been taking photos for years, but have only recently started capturing weddings. Make sure they have a good few solid years of photographing weddings. Weddings are very different to fashion shoots or staged shots as they are dynamic, it is a live event, an experienced wedding photographer will know the flow of the day and know where to be at the right time to get those stunning shots.

TESTIMONIALS

If they have the experience then they should certainly have a lot of testimonials and great references. Ask to speak to previous clients, make sure they were happy with how it all went and are thrilled with the end result when they got their photos.

CONSISTENCY

You may have found a photography with the perfect style you are looking for, they have some great shots on their website, now you want to see some albums, whole weddings that are complete.

VENUE

Have they shot at your venue? This certainly isn’t necessary, however it is an added bonus if they have, you can see wedding shots they have taken there, and they will know the best places and locations at the venue for some great shots.

Choose The Best Kitchen Faucet

TIPS FOR CHOOSING A KITCHEN FAUCET YOU NEED TO KNOW BEFORE YOU BUY

CHOOSING A KITCHEN FAUCET

Know how many holes you have. You may need a deck plate to cover any existing or if you only have one, you may need to drill into your countertop. It’s easier to go with less than more.

Keep the finish of your hardware in mind

I personally don’t believe there are any hard and fast rules when it comes to home design but, personally, I prefer my kitchen faucet to match the finish of my kitchen pulls and handles. It’s easy on the eyes and makes the decor aesthetically appealing.

Spray features.

When it comes to choosing a kitchen faucet, the more spray options the better. I don’t want a trickle, I also want a jet steam so I easily clean stuck on food.

Faucet height.

Most faucets are in front of a window, but if yours is below cabinets – take some measurements before you buy

Hose length

This is a feature that I missed the first few times I was choosing kitchen faucets. Take into consideration the size of your sink (my old sink was a large one, and I couldn’t stretch the hose enough to clean the bottom corner), if there are any plants nearby you would like to easily water, or if you have coffee maker next to the sink to easily fill (I can’t be the only one who gets annoyed when I have to take the reservoir out of my Keurig each time).

 

 

Tips for Selecting a Kitchen Faucet

Height and Reach

Kitchen faucets are available in a variety of heights and reaches. You want to choose a faucet that offers the best combination for your space. If you have large cabinets over your sink, you want to make sure that the height of the faucet doesn’t make the space look overcrowded.

Kitchen Faucet Style

You need to choose a style before you start shopping for a new faucet. Take a few minutes to look around your kitchen and gauge your current style. There are some styles that you mix and match together and others that look awkward together. For example, you can add a modern shape and style faucet to your traditional kitchen, but it would look odd if your style is rustic farmhouse.

Sprayer Options

You already know that you want a sprayer to reach the gunk that lurks in the corner of your sink, but there are so many kinds. You can choose between a side sprayer and one that pulls out from the faucet. The central sprayer is easier to use and helps keep your sink area looking tidy and efficient.

Number of Handles

Most faucets come with either one or two handles. With two handles, you use one to turn on and control the flow of water while the other handle provides hot or cold water. If you choose a faucet with only one handle, water flow and temperature are controlled with a single handle, making it very convenient in a kitchen.

Number of Holes

Most sinks come with pre-drilled holes in them. There are typically two or three holes, and if your new faucet comes with fewer pieces to fill those holes than your previous faucet, then the holes need to be covered. Many faucets come with bridge pieces to cover a hole, but it’s a good idea to check the packaging if you’re going to need a cover to ensure it’s in there. For example, your old faucet had a side sprayer while your new one has a pull-down sprayer. The hole for the side sprayer is now empty.

 

How to Buy a New Kitchen Faucet

Start With the Sink’s Faucet Holes

There are many different kitchen faucet and sink designs available, but they’re not always compatible. Start by taking a look at your kitchen sink to determine how many pre-drilled faucet mounting holes are available. This applies if you’re installing a new faucet in an existing sink or buying a completely new faucet and sink.

Check the Water Lines

Make sure the new kitchen faucet you want is compatible with the water supply lines. Look under your sink towards the bottom of the cabinet and note the size of the existing water line and the shutoff valves. Here are a few guidelines to use when checking your water lines and valve

Consider the Finish

Even something as seemingly small as the finish of a plumbing fixture can make or break the aesthetics of your kitchen. There are a few rules of thumb. The kitchen faucet should match the finish of other sink accessories, such as the tiny dishwasher air gap, built-in soap dispenser, and sink-hole covers for unused holes. A faucet that has a shiny chrome finish will look out of place if the rest of the fixtures have a matte brushed nickel finish, for example.

 

How to Choose Your Kitchen Sink Faucet

Measuring For Kitchen Faucet Size and Reach

It’s important to check every aspect of the size of your faucet before you order. First, you need to address size as it relates to functionality. Second, to look balanced, your faucet should be in proportion to the sink. A large faucet would visually overpower a small prep sink, while a small faucet might look odd in a large sink and countertop area.

Height

You may find height expressed as deck to top of faucet and/or deck to aerator. Make certain you are choosing a faucet with adequate height to accommodate the items you’ll be washing or filling. The higher the spout, the easier it is to fit tall pots under it for filling or cleaning. If you have a shelf above your sink or a wide window ledge, a tall faucet may not fit.

Reach

This important (and often overlooked!) measurement refers to the horizontal distance from the faucet spout to its point of connection with the sink or countertop. In other words, how far the faucet extends into the sink. This measurement determines how large an arc your faucet can cover within the sink basin. This aspect of your faucet also needs to be coordinated with your sink size so the water stream does not hit too far back or forward within the basin.

Clearance to backsplash

Let’s say you fall in love with a faucet whose single handle controls temperature by rotating back. You bring it home and install it, and it looks fabulous. Then you turn it on…and find out that the handle hits your backsplash before it’s fully extended. Check the product specifications to see if there is a minimum recommended clearance to backsplash. Make sure the space between your backsplash and the handle allows for the recommended measurement, or select a faucet whose handle(s) have only forward motion to operate.

Spread

When you shop kitchen faucets you will see terms like “8-inch center spread”. This refers to the distance from the center of one hole to the center of the farthest hole on the other side. Some widespread kitchen faucets come with flexible water line hoses that allow for some variance in spread.

 

Faucet Buying Guide

Faucet Findings & Shopping Tips

In the graphic below we highlight single-handle pullout faucets, a very popular style that combines a spray head and spout for convenience and flexibility. But our findings are applicable to other faucet styles too. Here’s what else to consider when shopping for a new faucet.

Match the Faucet With the Number of Mounting Holes

Most sinks come with mounting holes pre-drilled for faucets and accessories such as side sprays or soap dispensers. If you’re keeping your original sink, you’ll need to match what you have or get a base plate to cover any extra holes. The base plate sold with your new faucet can be used to cover holes in your countertop, but don’t buy a faucet that requires more sink holes than your sink has; it’s not a good idea to try to drill additional holes in an existing sink or countertop.

Spout Styles and Shapes

Straight spout faucets are compact and often inexpensive, but you might need to move the faucet to fit a big pot under it. Gooseneck models have higher clearances, but can cause splashing if your sink is shallow. Whatever style you pick, make sure the faucet head swings enough to reach the entire sink, especially if you have a wide or double bowl sink. Also keep the faucet proportional; a large sink can look odd with a small faucet.

Installation and Repair

Replacing a faucet and a sink at the same time is easier because the faucet can be installed in the sink, or in the countertop before the sink is put in place. Fittings that can be tightened with a screwdriver also streamline installation. Long water-supply hoses allow you to make connections lower in the sink cabinet where tools are easier to use. Though most faucets are guaranteed not to leak, if yours does, the manufacturer will give you only the replacement part—it’s up to you to install it.

Tips To Make Self Home Electrical Safety Inspection

Home Electrical Safety Checklist

The electrical system in your home has many parts and components to be aware of to ensure a safe home all year long. Do you know what GFCI and AFCI outlets are? What is whole-house surge protection? As part of your spring cleaning, take some time to inspect your electrical system.

If you are like most people, you are probably aware of some basic electrical knowledge, such as knowing how to flip a breaker and that water and electricity don’t mix, but there’s also a lot you probably don’t know.

Every year, there hundreds of deaths, thousands of injuries, and billions of dollars worth of damage caused by a lack of electrical safety knowledge. Electrical outlets/receptacles alone account for 5,300 home fires and over 40 deaths and 100 injuries every single year

Our home electrical safety checklist is meant to reduce these numbers and protect homeowners everywhere. In addition to doing your own DIY electrical safety check, make sure to schedule an electrical safety inspection with a professional. Your licensed electrician should inspect your home every year to make sure the electrical system meets the safety provisions provided in the National Electrical Code

Your professional electrical safety inspection will include checking your electrical panel, outlets and switches, wiring and circuits, GFCIs and AFCIs, outdoor circuits and HVAC wiring, and your smoke and CO detectors.

 

Electrical Safety Inspection: The Ultimate Guide to Passing

What’s the point of  an electrical safety inspection anyway?

Having an electrical safety inspection done on your home might seem like a bother but try not to see it that way! Ensuring that the electrical safety inspection is conducted periodically and properly is extremely vital for your family and property.

Protect your property

Electrical surges are a common phenomenon in much of the United States. They can not only ruin your appliances but also create short circuits in your house, leading to fire that can cause severe property damage.

Someone could get hurt

Electrical wiring does not last forever. Due to wear and tear, it deteriorates along with its associated accessories. This deterioration can lead to nasty experiences such as electric shock or fire.

You have a legal duty

The law also mandates that you keep your house safe, especially where it concerns guests. Apart from this, many US states have local legislation that requires all homeowners to maintain certain electrical standards in their homes.

You could get sued

If a fire breaks out in your home and spreads to neighboring property or if there’s an electrical incident and someone gets hurt, you could find yourself paying far more in damages than you would have for a simple residential electrical inspection.

 

Electrical Safety Inspection Services

What Is an Electrical Home Inspection?

An electrical home inspection provides a thorough examination of your entire electrical system, ensuring all electrical wires, systems, and components (such as appliances) meet legal safety standards. The National Electrical Code (NEC) is the code that all electricians operate under when examining your home, and defines the parameters for minimum standards across the United States. Upon completion of your electrical home inspection, a Mr. Electric® inspector will provide a detailed, prioritized checklist including areas in need of immediate attention, recommendations for improvements, and potential upgrade possibilities.

When Do You Need an Electrical Safety Inspection?

There are specific times when homeowners should schedule an electrical home safety inspection. The Electrical Safety Foundation recommends that homeowners make an appointment for an electrical home inspection at these times.

Benefits of an Electrical Safety Inspection

An electrical home inspection is important for the safety of your home and everyone in it. Getting your home’s electrical system checked by a professional will offer you peace of mind by

What Does an Electrical Home Safety Inspection Include?

Your local Mr. Electric knows just what to look for when it comes to residential electrical hazards. An electrical home inspection from Mr. Electric covers

 

Electrical Safety Checks Homeowners Should Do Every Year

Breaker Panel Inspection

Look over your main electrical panel and the area surrounding it. You should have three feet of clear space around the panel, and an easy-to-find, battery-operated light source available for when the power goes out. Next, open the panel door and examine the breakers. Do they show signs of rust or rodent activity? Flip the circuit breakers on and off, making sure that none of them are sticking or corroded, which could prevent them from operating correctly.

GFCI Testing

Any outlets likely to be exposed to a water source should be ground fault circuit interrupt (GFCI) protected. That may be in the form of an individual outlet (as shown here), an outlet farther up on the same circuit, or by a GFCI breaker in the panel. Regardless of where the GFCI is on that circuit, you should be able to press the test button and ensure that all of the outlets affected are turned off and safe.

Test Your Outlets

One of the most useful tools for quickly checking outlet safety is a receptacle tester, often called a “cube” or “block” tester. This device simply plugs into an outlet and displays lights which indicate the most common outlet wiring issues. These tools are extremely affordable and widely available, and they deserve a place in every DIY toolbox. The block tester is only one of the very affordable electrical safety test devices that can help keep your home safe.

Visual Inspection of Exposed Wiring

If wiring runs are visible in a basement or attic, take the time to look them over and make sure they’re free of cracks, splits and rodent activity. Look for signs of chewing or nest building, and take any steps to repair damaged wires and eradicate the rodent activity.

Extension Cord Review

Extension cords are practically essential for DIYers, but they can also pose potential problems. Add them to your electrical safety checklist and examine extension cords for cuts, nicks and other damage that can easily occur during DIY and other seasonal projects. Also, make sure that any cords being used for power tools are within their amperage rating. If you do have a damaged extension cord, it’s usually fairly simple to make a repair. Here’s how.

 

Electrical Safety Inspection Tips For Fall

Test Smoke and Carbon Monoxide Detectors

While an electrician at Current Electric will make this an important part of an electrical safety inspection, you should also test smoke and carbon monoxide detectors on your own time. After all, the chances of a fire or carbon monoxide exposure will skyrocket the instant detectors stop working. Conducting a test may reveal you will have to replace batteries for either before the season begins.

Be Careful of Electrical Lines

If you plan on doing some outdoor work this fall, you need to be cautious of the placement of electrical lines and wires across your landscape. If you are doing work requiring you to climb a ladder, be careful not to accidentally yank wiring loose. Even just making the wrong move can either bring damage to the wiring or result in electrocution.

Consider Ground Fault Circuit Interrupters (GFCI)

GFCI outlets can immediately shut off electric power to reduce the risk of shock or fires. They are installed in areas of your home where water and electricity are likely to mix, like bathrooms, garages, or kitchens. This may be an important update to make this fall, as it can single-handedly keep your family away from any safety hazards.

Check Outlets & Switches

Since you rely on your outlets and switches many times a day, you need to make sure they are working at their best. If they feel hot to the touch or are resulting in frequently blowing fuses or circuits, you need to call an electrician at Current Electric immediately. Your outlets will need to be replaced if you have outdated two-prong or builder’s grade outlets.

Pay Attention to Your Lighting Wattage

Every lighting fixture in your home is rated by a specific wattage. However, you need to pay attention to wattage requirements. A lighting fixture with wattage over the requirement can cause an overload on your wiring and potentially result in a fire. There is also danger in having lighting fixtures that are under the requirement, as it can bring further stress to your home’s electrical system.

Tips To Change Your Bathroom With Bathroom Remodelling

Bathroom Remodeling: Things to Consider Before You Remodel Your Bathroom

There are various, sometimes unexpected, factors that go into bathroom remodeling planning. A bathroom remodeling project is no small undertaking in terms of both money and time spent on the job. The average mid-range bathroom remodel costs $19,134, according to the 2018 Cost vs. Value report. That’s a significant financial investment that requires thoughtful consideration and research before diving in.

Before you start your bathroom remodeling checklist, there are several aspects to consider: budget, design, plumbing, and contractors. Read more of these considerations before moving forward and taking the first step in building your dream bathroom.

Evaluate Your Finances

Although you can research the average bathroom remodeling cost for your area, every remodeling project is unique. How much a homeowner actually spends will vary depending on the size of the space, the intensity of the project, and the quality of materials used. Before starting your remodel, examine what you think you can spend and then ask for an estimate from several contractors. Set realistic expectations for yourself.

 

Warm up your floors

To avoid a cold tile floor, consider adding radiant heat, which is simply an electric heating element that the tile installer puts underneath your finished floor. Set it on a programmable thermostat, and it’ll have the floor warm to the toe when your alarm goes off in the morning. That adds about $500 to $1,000 to your project costs, depending on the room size, but it’ll make your new bathroom a comforting and peaceful place.

 

Plumbing fixtures and features

No renovation is complete without remodeling or repairing fixtures and features, which could very well make a separate checklist themselves: shower, bathtub, toilet, bidet, sink, faucets and shower heads. You should also update or repair your mirrors and shower doors. You can also change the look of your bathroom very easily by changing out door handles, drawer pulls and the hardware for your shower doors. If you have the budget a new set of shower doors can completely change the look of your room.

Cabinets, storage and shelving

Planning cabinets, shelving and storing solutions is a tricky problem in most cases. In small, irregular shaped rooms like the bathroom, it is even more so. They need to be functional and accomodate all your stuff while keeping everything easily reachable, they must fit into the available space and make the most of it and on top of it all, they need to look stylish.

Final clean

The final clean should include a thorough cleaning of all cabinetry, inside and out, ductwork, walls, floor, windows, and light fixtures. Although often overlook in the planning phase, in the case of a major renovation you may want to consider contracting a cleaning service which means additional costs that impact your budget. If you feel up to doing it yourself, you may need to add a day or two to your initial timing.

 

Don’t forget about ventilation and lighting. 

Make sure the space is properly ventilated as moisture breeds mold and mildew and can take its tool on finishes and surfaces. In addition, you’ll want to ensure your bathroom has plenty of light. Install a ceiling fixture for general light, but depending on the layout of your bathroom, you may want to add sconces near the vanity and task lighting in a shower.

Don’t be too distracted by trends. When planning your bathroom remodel, think about the long term. While you may be tempted to add a trendy mirror, lighting or tile, don’t go overboard when bringing your bathroom up-to-date, as trends come and go. Opt for practical fixtures that won’t lose their appeal in the next few years.

 

Summary

Unless your bathroom is unusually large, you can DIY most of the smaller tasks within this overall project. For core-level bath remodels, many DIYers still hire out electricians and plumbers but do the rest of the work themselves. For surface-level remodels that require no major wiring and plumbing changes, the entire project is within the reach of a DIYer.

But do remember that professional contractors may do the job better and faster than you can. Weigh cost savings against these advantages when making your decision.

Must Know What Is The Benefit Using Accountant

Tips to Choose an Accountant for Your Small Business

Be Selective

You need an accounting professional on your team. Interview at least three candidates before you select your accountant. You need to choose an accountant that is a fit for your small business. If you hired an accountant that does not feel like they are on your team, move on. While you might feel some short-term discomfort while doing this, you will get long-term benefits for your business. You need up-to-date financial information to make the best business decisions. This starts with professional accounting services.

Ask About Reporting Frequency

It is important for you to know how often you will get financial statements from your accountant. Frequent communication is vital between you and your accountant, especially when you are growing your business. You want to use your accountant as a business advisor, not just to get help during tax season. So, set expectation about the frequency of reporting and communication in advance, and choose an accountant who meets your requirements.

Check If the Accountant Uses Cloud Technology

More and more accountants are switching to cloud computing. It is because of the number of benefits they can get, such as data security, remote data accessibility, flexibility to do work, and many other features like electronic invoicing, and ACH wire transfer. At all times, you want to have access to your accounting data. Plus, you want the accountant to be available to discuss urgent matters any time. This is possible when the accountant has opted for cloud services.

Ask About Accounting Software

Before you choose an accountant, you’ll want to ask what software they recommend for their small business customers. You may find some accountants who are using the same old desktop accounting software. They do not want to switch to the latest online accounting solutions. You want to invest in an accounting software system that you can grow into in 3-5 years. You also want an accountant who can teach you how to use your software and set up your initial chart of accounts. You should also inquire about whether they could help you get a discount on your accounting software.

Leverage Social Media

These days most accountants are active on different social media platforms. In fact, having a profile on LinkedIn should be a must for any working accountant or accounting firm. You want to see if they have a profile and if they have any recommendations from customers. That is social proof that they have an active business and are highly recommended for their expertise by at least a few customers.

 

Businessman working in the office

Choosing the Right Accountant for Your Business

Choosing the Right Accountant: Hiring a Firm Versus an Inside Accountant

Many entrepreneurs who launch their own businesses start out by wearing the accountant’s hat and doing your own taxes, in addition to doing just about everything else in the business, too. It’s become easier for a layperson to keep track of a business’ finance with the advent of simple bookkeeping software, such as QuickBooks, Quicken, and Microsoft Office Small Business Accounting. But there comes a time in a growing enterprise when it makes sense to hand over responsibilities for taxes, accounting, and the rest of the financial functions to specialists.

Choosing the Right Accountant: When Is It Time?

Many small businesses don’t have the volume of financial transactions that necessitate hiring a full-time — or even part-time — bookkeeper or accountant on staff. Then again, the financial situation of their business is such that they could benefit from more regular financial review and planning and up-to-date accounting — instead of leaving every invoice, receipt, and ledger to hand off to the tax preparer at the close of the fiscal year.

Inside accountant

When the business grows in revenue and the transactions become more complicated, it is time to consider hiring a full- or part-time inside accountant. Since the outside accountant’s fee grows with the size of the business, the owner may see some cost savings by bringing some of the work in-house.

Choosing the Right Accountant: The Key Qualifications

After determining whether you will hire an inside or outside accountant, you need to determine what qualifications your accountant should have before beginning your search. A non-certified accountant may be precisely what you need to handle your business’ financial statements, analysis, and bookkeeping.  However, when it comes to tax advice and return preparation, business owners usually look to accountants who are certified and licensed. Here are some of the qualifications you may look for:

Choosing the Right Accountant: Finding a Referral

For an outside accountant, find out who and/or which firms your friends and colleagues are using. Ask people in similar industries for names or referrals. Mention that you are looking for an accountant at the country club or health club. “Word of mouth is one of the best ways to identify good candidates for your business,” Chamberlain says. “Maybe your corporate attorney can make a recommendation. Your industry trade association also can be a good resource.”

 

tips for small businesses on selecting the right accountant

  • Make finding an accountant one of the very first things that you do when starting your business. Working with an accountant during the startup phase is the best way to ensure that your company is in compliance in terms of taxes. Your accountant can also help you manage any expenses related to getting your company up and running.
  • Choose someone who is qualified. These accounts in Hounslow recommend that you consider hiring an accountant who belongs to a group like ICAS, ICAEW, or ACCA. In order to become members of these organizations, accountants have to prove that they are qualified.
  • Look for an accountant who is familiar with your industry. An accountant who has experience working with other small businesses in fields similar to your own can usually do a better job of providing you with knowledgeable advice. For instance, if you are a freelancer, you should avoid hiring a general accountant. Instead, look for someone who specializes in situations like yours.
  • Evaluate the fees. When hiring an accountant, take a look at the specific fees that they charge and how those fees are calculated. Some companies charge a flat rate on a monthly or annual basis. Find out if there are any start-up fees or fees if you close your account. Discuss extra charges for services that aren’t included in the typical workload of the accountant.
  • Consider the services that the company offers. All accountants offer standard services like managing payroll, handling annual accounts for limited companies, and managing HMRC. Look at some of the specialized services that they offer, as well. For instance, will they help you with your self-assessment returns or do they offer IFA services?

 

TIPS ON WHAT TO LOOK FOR WHEN CHOOSING AN ACCOUNTANT

TEAM

how many members of staff work for him? Does he have enough numbers to service your needs? What is the level of experience and qualifications of the team members? Does the accountancy practice network with other accountants, tax advisors, niche tax practices or independent financial advisors?

BE WARY OF DUPLICATED WORK

If you are being charged on a time basis then make sure that there is no duplication of work. You do not want to pay for the same job done twice or even worse to be charged for errors made by your advisor (this is applicable to both solicitors and accountants). Always ask for a predictive cost of the service to be provided (I always do this with my solicitors) and also set a ceiling of fees on time charged services. It is important that this ceiling is agreed together with your professional advisor BEFORE any work is done as this will avoid unnecessary arguments in the future. If this ceiling is to be breached by your advisor then simply ask for a reason and also a breakdown of their time sheet so that you can analyse where and how time has been spent.

SERVICE

What are you getting for your money? Cheap fees will inevitably reflect on the service. If you only want compliance work then choose a basic cost effective accountant but if you want the best tax advice then never select on the basis of fees. Always look for the right balance, any advice that you pay for MUST always make or save you more money than the fees being charged, otherwise you are wasting your money.

OFFICES

Do they have any or do they simply work from home? If they do have offices how expensive are they to run and maintain. Having expensive, plush offices in Central London may look fancy on the letter head but it will obviously be reflected in the charges so beware.

UP TO DATE

Does he really know his stuff? Does he go to seminars to update his knowledge in the areas that you want to receive advice from? Is he passionate about increasing his knowledge in taxation? Does he network with other niche tax practices and Independent Financial Advisors to assess if there are any other products in the market that can genuinely support your business needs?

 

How to choose an accountant for your small business

Why should I hire you?

Hiring an accountant can be “even more important” than taking on a member of staff, says Clive Lewis, head of enterprise at The Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales (ICAEW). “If you get the wrong person, you can miss out on things you should know,” he explains, “and that can be very costly.”

Could my money work harder?

James Richardson is a company director at Metric, an accountancy firm specialising in start-ups. He says most people believe an accountant will just be looking after annual accounts and tax compliance. However, “that’s only a small portion of what a good accountant can – and should – be doing for you.”

Are we a good match?

The right accountant will have more than just prestige – it’s important they understand small business needs, and are able to offer relevant insight.

Are things working out?

Once you’ve chosen an accountant, measuring their performance is an ongoing process. Chung says a great way to do this is to hold monthly meetings where you can ask for their view on the business and its finances. “If their view is close to yours, that’s a good sign,” she says. “But you do still want to see a degree of challenge and initiative – if you only hear what you expect, that’s not a good sign.”

Must Know Tips To Maintain Laminate Flooring

HOW TO MAINTAIN AND RESTORE LAMINATE FLOORS

Laminate floors give a different look to your home or office. These floors are durable and resistant to stains. If you use the proper laminate cleaning products and methods, they can be cleaned and maintained easily.

Here are some general floor cleaning tips for these types of floors:

Sweeping Laminate Floors:

Sweep the laminated floors daily with a soft-bristled broom. That will prevent the scratches.

Vacuum Cleaning Laminate Floors:

It is convenient and vital to vacuum clean the laminate flooring frequently to remove loose dust and dirt. The dust has abrasives that can cause scratches.

Wet Mopping Laminate Floors:

A damp mopping is recommended to clean the laminate floors once in a week or less. You can use a soft microfiber mop. Always mop along the lines of the floor planks. Dry and clean the floor with soft microfiber mops. Make sure only to use a damp mop as water can harm the laminated floors. It is advised only to use the recommended laminate cleaning products to clean your floors.

 

Keeping Laminate Clean and Shiny

Sweep or vacuum regularly. Dust and dirt can make your floor look dirty, and they can also cause scratches. Sweep or vacuum the floor at least once a week, and more often if you have kids, pets, or a particularly active house.

  • When you vacuum, always use the hard floor attachment.

Mop regularly with the right cleaner. Mop the floor at least once a week after you vacuum. Work in small sections by spraying cleaner directly onto the floor and wiping with a microfiber mop. To maintain the shine, use a commercial or homemade cleaner that’s specifically formulated for laminate.

  • To prevent dullness, don’t use cleaners that contain soaps, oils, or harsh chemicals.

Use floor mats at entrances. Floor mats aren’t just good for welcoming guests to your house, and they’re also designed to catch dirt, mud, dust, moisture, and other particles that might get dragged in from outside. Using mats at entrances will help keep your floor cleaner, and reduce how often you have to sweep and mop.

Clean spills immediately. Laminate floor is very durable, but it’s not meant to get wet. As soon as food spills on the floor, pick up solid waste with a spoon or a towel. Wipe up any liquids, puddles, or spills that end up on the floor with a cloth or towel.

  • Laminate that stays wet for too long can warp or be otherwise damaged.

 

Why It Matters How You Mop Your Floor

The North American Laminate Flooring Association points out the benefits of this type of floor.

For one, it’s environmentally friendly because it’s made from sustainable wood and wood byproducts.

Two, it’s available in a wide variety of styles and colors for every room in the house And three, it’s surprisingly durable. Laminate is stain, scratch, and moisture-resistant. Plus, most manufacturers offer at least a 10-year warranty.

You don’t even need to wax or varnish laminate to keep it looking like new. But here’s the hard part: it does matter how you mop your laminate floor.

Soaps and abrasive cleansers will destroy the finish. So will homemade cleaners if they aren’t properly diluted. Also, some popular cleaning liquids leave residue and streaks. Worse, leaving the floor wet can cause it to warp and peel.

 

Cleaning Laminate Floors with Vinegar

Thought I would share some tips if you have laminate flooring in your home. I find these tips helpful and found then off a website where I bought my steam cleaner. If any one else has any tips please let me know or share here.

If you are trying to maintain you laminate floor here are some maintenance tips

1) Becareful with the laminate floor cleaner that you buy. Lot of chemical based floor cleaners tend to leave behind residue and can make your flooring look dull. Invest in a steam mop so you can eliminate the need to use chemical cleaners and just steam clean your laminate flooring.

2) Sweep your laminate flooring on a daily basis to prevent dust and dirt from sticking to the surface. Sweeping on daily basis prevents you from alot of scrubbing and mopping in the future. prevents you from alot of future scrubbing and mopping.

3) Do not use soap or any other household cleaner to clean your laminate floors as they leave unsightly streaks. If you have spots or stains invest in a steam mop that will help lift the stains from the floor. A steam mop is more convientent to use when you have spills and spots.

4) When you spill anything wipe it up immediately since extend period of moisture absorption can damage your laminate flooring.

5) Do not wax your laminate flooring

6) Use natural cleaning ingredients like vinegar, baking soda, lemon and water. Natural ingreditent such as these can help maintain your home daily with out any chemicals. You can also use all these natural ingredients with steam mop so you have the power of hot steam to wipe away dirt and refreshen your home.

 

Making the best homemade cleaner for laminate floor

By now (thank the internet), you and I know that the best way to clean laminate floors (and save money) is by using natural ingredients at home.  Most of these ingredients are in the kitchen, and the best part is that they are safe. But, there’s the huge risk of using the wrong homemade ingredients leading to damage.

Baking soda mixed with water: baking soda is a magical ingredient that should be present in any home. It removes stains effortlessly and is nonabrasive.

Borax with water: mix these two and then spray on your microfiber mop to clean the floors. Be careful about the amount of water you use and wipe surfaces dry when done.

Vinegar and warm or hot water: The most popular homemade cleaning solutions for laminate floors and other surfaces, it has been in use for centuries. The best part: vinegar is affordable, and it lasts a long time. Mix the two in equal parts, put in a spray bottle (or a mop bucket), and get to work.

Vinegar, lemon juice, and water: besides the citrusy scent and the antiseptic properties of the lemons, this mixture will leave your floors streak-free. And even if you cannot stand the smell of vinegar, note that it dissipates quickly – you may add a few drops of your favorite essential oil to the vinegar-water mixture as well.

The only catch when adding essential oil is that it will reduce the floor’s shine.

Vinegar, water, and liquid dishwashing detergent in a spray bottle. This mixture will work magic on your high gloss laminate floors. As one of the best recipes for homemade laminate flooring cleaners, you need 3 parts water, one-part vinegar, and 1 squirt of dishwashing detergent.

Pencil eraser: You did not see this one coming, did you? Well, besides being an invaluable resource in school, you could use it to remove scuff and heel marks on the floor.

To remove gum or candle wax, cover the area with ice, let it freeze, then scrape it off gently with a non-abrasive plastic scraper.

Tips To Solve The Problem In Residential Painting

THE MOST COMMON PAINT PROBLEMS AND HOW TO AVOID THEM

While many of us decide to take on the task of painting our own homes, we don’t usually consult with professionals beforehand. This means that the final product is often different from what we expect, usually for reasons that we cannot fully understand. From polishing the walls, choosing finishes, to choosing the right colors, there is plenty of room for mistakes without proper guidance. Therefore, with the right set of guidelines, there is an easy way to avoid making the same painting mistakes in the future. the most common painting problems people face, and tips and tricks on how to avoid them.

 

Blistering

POSSIBLE CAUSES:

If you observe bubbles forming from the underlying surface of your wall paint, this is blistering. Blisters are caused by moisture being drawn out from the surface that the paint is applied. It can be caused by painting when humidity is high, applying paint to a damp surface or re-coating too quickly. Insufficient surface preparation also increases the occurrence of blisters.

The solution

Avoid painting under extreme humidity or if a high dew point is present. Make sure your surface is dry and free of moisture before the paint application. Allow adequate drying time before re-applying paint. If the blisters go down to the surface, then moisture is a problem. In this case, it is highly-recommended to install vents and exhaust fans in affected areas. Choosing the Correct Primer Undercoat for the type of surface to be painted is your best chance of success may be the difference between success and failure.

 

CRACKING / FLAKING

POSSIBLE CAUSES:

Use of lower quality paint that has inadequate adhesion and flexibility, over thinning or overspreading the paint.

Inadequate surface preparation, or applying the paint to bare wood without first applying a primer.

Excessive hardening of enamel/oil based paint as the paint job ages.

SOLUTION:

Remove loose and flaking paint with a scraper or wire brush, sanding the surface and feathering the edges. If the flaking occurs in multiple layers of paint, using a filler may be necessary. Prime bare wood areas before repainting. Use of a top quality primer and top coat should prevent a recurrence of the problem.

 

Blocking

POSSIBLE CAUSES:

An unexpected and undesirable result of interior painting that people often experience is blocking, which is when two painted surfaces stick together, such as a door sticking to the jamb. Possible causes include: using substandard gloss or semi-gloss paints or not allowing the painted surfaces to dry thoroughly before closing windows or doors.

SOLUTION:

The most reliable way to prevent blocking is to use top quality gloss or semi-gloss acrylic latex interior paint and carefully follow directions regarding drying times. Persistent blocking can be relieved with talcum powder.

 

Efflorescence

POSSIBLE CAUSES:

A variety of factors contribute to efflorescence, including:

  • insufficient curing time for cement or mortar during construction;
  • moisture migration from inside the house;
  • groundwater penetration from an inadequately waterproofed basement;
  • insufficient surface prep to remove previous efflorescence; and
  • painting over holes, cracks, or unrepaired pointing.

SOLUTION:

Tackle efflorescence on a warm, dry day. Eliminate excess moisture conditions externally by waterproofing and repairing cracks, repointing, and sealing around windows and doors with butyl rubber caulk. There are various ways to remove efflorescence, and you may need to use a combination, depending on the extent and severity: a wire brush, scraper, low-pressure washer, and/or cleaning with diluted white vinegar or a trisodium phosphate (TSP) solution (wear protective gear when working with this chemical) and then rinsing thoroughly. Applying an impregnating hydrophobic sealant to a building material surface can prevent water absorption and keep moisture from entering the material. Colorless water repellents may prevent efflorescence from recurring, as may silicone or acrylic coatings. Allow to dry completely before repainting.

Alligatoring

POSSIBLE CAUSES:

Paint naturally expands and contracts in response to temperature fluctuations and, over time, loss of elasticity can result in alligatoring. The process can be hastened through such missteps as applying a rigid coating such as oil enamel over a softer, more flexible coat (e.g., latex paint or latex primer); painting over a glossy finish (the top coat not bonding properly to the glossy finish); or not allowing sufficient dry time between primer/basecoat and topcoat. The process can be hastened through such missteps as applying a rigid coating such as oil enamel over a softer, more flexible coat (e.g., latex paint or latex primer); painting over a glossy finish (the top coat not bonding properly to the glossy finish); or not allowing sufficient dry time between primer/basecoat and topcoat.

SOLUTION:

  • Remove unsightly scales by scraping, sanding, applying chemical removers, or using a heat gun.
  • Then rinse to banish dust and let dry completely. Prime, allow to dry, and repaint.