Laminate Flooring History And Timeline In The US Market

Tips for Choosing Laminate Flooring

I get excited when it’s time for the flooring to go in when I am doing a flip.

That means we are wrapping up the renovating portion and the fun portion begins. The decorating and staging. The flooring is an extremely important design to make.  I consider several factors when choosing the flooring.  I have a “formula” which I use when choosing the other elements, and it’s not unusual for me to install the same products, such as the appliances.  But, I like to choose different flooring for each home.  I will share my process below.

Have you ever heard that saying which started out “I wish I had a dollar for every ( fill in the blank.)”  That’s what I say when it comes to flooring. I wish I had a dollar for every square foot of flooring I have purchased and installed over the years in both our flip homes and our rental homes.  I could retire tomorrow.

I will say, of all of the types of flooring we have installed, we have used laminate flooring the most.  When laminate first entered the flooring scene years ago, I have to be honest – I was not a fan. I didn’t like the looks and I hated the way it sounded so hollow when you walked across it.  To me, the earlier laminate flooring looked like someone had photocopied and decoupaged cheap images of wood onto thin planks of wood.  Yuck.

Budget:

Ugh!  I really don’t like that word, do you? 🙂  But, like any DIY or renovation project, it’s one of the first considerations you must keep in mind.  You wouldn’t think there would be a major difference in total pricing between flooring that cost $1.89/sf and $3.39/sf.  I mean, there’s only a $1.50 difference right?  Until you multiply that by 1000+ sf.  Like any project, you need to break down the costs of the total renovation and decide what percentage you can dedicate to each category.  To a new homeowner, it seems logical that you would spend as little per square footage as possible.  I mean, savings is savings.  Here is where I will a huge and loud NO!  Savings is always a good thing, but not when it comes to the item that will receive the most wear and tear in your home.  Don’t be fooled into thinking that flooring is flooring is flooring. Especially when it comes to laminate.  I would suggest spending a little more and getting a better product that is within your budget’s means.

Durability and Use:

Think of all the foot traffic your poor floors will see during it’s lifetime.  Muddy shoes, dogs and cat paws, bouncing balls and legos.  Okay, maybe that’s just in MY home. 🙂  We learned the learned way many years ago that choosing the right type of flooring for the home was key to how long said flooring would last.  The good thing about much of the newer types of laminate flooring is it is virtually resistant to most scratches and impacts.  Best of all, most manufacturers offer fantastic warranties against stains, fading and moisture damages.  What I love about using wood laminate flooring in our flip homes is the installation is quick and easy and does not require staining, waxing or varnishing once installed.  Manufacturers use an “AC Rating” when it comes to durability, from 1-5.  The higher the AC rating, the more durable.

 

How to Choose Laminate Flooring: A Buyer’s Guide

Laminate flooring is one of the great developments in home improvement of the past 50 years. It’s inexpensive, durable and prefinished, but best of all, an intermediate DIYer can install it with just a few tools. Most of the various styles are installed by just snapping together the planks-no glue or fasteners required. In fact, the trickiest part is choosing the product! That’s what we’ll tell you about.

Types of laminate flooring: Two Styles of Laminate Flooring

There are two types of laminate flooring. Both come in packages of snap-together planks about 1/4 in. thick. But here’s the difference: Engineered wood is made from layers of real wood glued together with each layer perpendicular to the one below and above it for better stability. The top layer is a high-quality thin layer of hardwood coated with acrylic finish. Plastic laminate, on the other hand, is completely artificial, with a layer of melamine on the bottom, a resin-saturated fiberboard center, and a woodgrain print on the top that’s protected by a layer of clear hard plastic. Engineered wood is for purists who prefer the look of natural wood. But you pay for reality. On average, it’s about double the cost of plastic laminate flooring. Its thin top layer of actual hardwood makes it more susceptible to dents, scratches and staining. But unlike plastic laminate flooring, it can be rejuvenated up to three times with careful sanding and refinishing. Because of that, you can expect it to last longer than plastic laminate—if you locate it away from water-prone and high-wear areas. If you’re planning to sell your house in a few years, consider that buyers may appreciate and pay more for the look of real wood. Plastic laminate is for those who want the look of wood flooring in a place that gets wet or seriously abused. The bulletproof topcoat and plastic internal components make laminate floors extremely durable. They stand up to moisture, pet claws, in-line skates and sand-infested flip-flops much better than engineered wood floors. Manufacturers have come light-years in making the wood-grain print look very realistic. Most people can’t even tell it’s not real wood.

Don’t Forget LV Flooring!

Laminate floors aren’t the only option for durability and ease of installation. Next time you’re at the home center, take a gander at luxury vinyl (LV) flooring. There’s luxury vinyl tile (LVT), which looks like ceramic tile, and luxury vinyl plank (LVP), which mimics wood (shown here). Both types are extremely resilient, about the easiest flooring in the world to install and completely waterproof. Since luxury vinyl is so pliable, it’s a great choice over uneven subfloors.

Don’t Forget the Underlayment

All laminate flooring needs foam underlayment. Don’t skip it. Underlayment prevents the floor from clicking on the subfloor as you walk across it and makes it feel a bit softer. It also makes the planks easier to install because it evens out small inconsistencies in the subfloor. Some underlayment has self-adhesive tape to join one row to the next. Others call for separate tape. Be careful to use whatever is required. Go ahead and buy the special laminate and wood flooring installation tool as well. You’ll need it to pull together flooring ends where each row abuts a wall.

Choose a Finish Based on Lifestyle, Not Just Looks

If you lead a quiet life, choose whatever flooring style appeals to you. But if you have one of those crazy households with kids, pets and lots of visitors, be a bit more careful. Flooring with a varied grain pattern, a low-gloss finish or distressed or hand-scraped patina will look much better, much cleaner, much longer than flooring with a glossy, monolithic grain pattern.

 

The Complete Buyer’s Guide To Choosing Laminate Flooring

When it comes to choosing laminate flooring, we know that it can feel overwhelming. What style to choose, what colours will look best, do you need underlay and how long it will last are all questions that will be going through your mind when trying to choose the perfect laminate flooring for your home.

What is laminate flooring?

Laminate flooring is a type of floor covering that is made from several layers of material to form a firm and durable type of flooring. It usually has at least 4 layers.

What are the different types of laminate flooring?

Laminate flooring comes in a variety of different types. There are 2 main styles of laminate flooring: plastic laminate and engineered wood laminate. Read more about the differences between laminate and engineered wood

What are the different finishes for laminate flooring?

With hundreds, if not thousands of different finishes on the market, choosing the look of your laminate can be a daunting task.

Is laminate flooring waterproof?

There are some laminate flooring planks on the market which are water resistant or waterproof. They need to be installed very carefully and include 100% silicon sealant and a foam backer road around the entire perimeter of the room.

 

TIPS TO CHOOSE THE BEST LAMINATE FLOOR AND MAKE IT LAST FOR LONG

If you are thinking of moving to a laminate floor, that may be the best choice for your home. Not only is laminate more convenient than hardwood, but it’s also easy to lay (thanks to floating installation and reduced thickness), and can reproduce the same effect of real wood, but with a better performance.

QUESTIONS TO ASK YOURSELF BEFORE CHOOSING A LAMINATE FLOOR

When choosing a laminate floor, an expert seller will be able to ask the right questions to help you find the perfect fit. However, here are five questions you should think about beforehand, so you won’t be caught unprepared

How intensely will it be used? Pets, foot traffic, objects falling and liquids can put a floor to the test. An intense usage will then require a more resilient surface. Make sure you pay particular attention to AC (Abrasion Classes) and IC (Impact Classes) ratings of the product.

What visual effect would you like to obtain? Size and tonality of the slats can help create a particular visual effect. Size will be the main factor, if you are aiming at enhancing an environment by improving its space. The choice of tonality on the other hand, will have to match the furniture, to create a unique and enveloping environment, whether with a modern, rustic, or classic style.

What décor? Laminate has a great variety of décors. In the wood category, oak and walnut are the most popular ones. Skema’s Vision range however, offers alternatives such as cement, metal and resins

 

TIPS FOR CHOOSING THE BEST LAMINATE FLOORING FOR YOUR HOME

Considering laminate flooring for your home? Check out this essential guide.

A top-quality laminate floor is a great option for busy families: It offers the same great look of real hardwood, without all the hassle. Not only is it easier to maintain (read, next to no maintenance required), it’s also easy to install thanks to floating installation.

How much daily traffic will the floor face?

Pets, kids, entertaining, and even spilled milk can put a floor to the test. More intense use requires a more resilient surface. The durability of laminate flooring products is rated by Abrasion Classes from one to five (one for light traffic, five for heavy traffic).

Will the floor be on the main level or an upper level?

The Impact Class of a flooring product determines how much sound is transferred when an object is dropped. Flooring with a high IC rating helps to minimize impact sound transmission to lower levels, thus reducing or eliminating bothersome noises.

Is Starting A Career As An Electrician The Right Move For You

Steps on How to Become an Electrician

Electricians are in high demand. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, it’s projected those job opportunities will grow 14% between 2014 and 2024. Moreover, professionals who are trained in solar power and other alternative power sources will face a higher demand.

Taking advantage of this job growth requires a lot of hands-on experience and training.

  1. Research Duties

It’s important to know what’s required of you on the job. Electricians read blueprints to find the locations of outlets, panel boards, circuits, and other equipment. Afterward, you connect wires to transformers, switches and other components.

Electricians typically specialize in either construction to install systems, or in maintenance to upgrade existing systems.

  1. Take High School Courses

There are courses in high school that can help you prepare for an electrician career. These include algebra, physics, chemistry, workshop, geometry, and mechanical drawing.

If you’d like to create your own business, taking courses in business, entrepreneurship and accounting will also be helpful. Extracurriculars such as joining a high school electronics club, or volunteering for non-profit organizations would give you a leg up in your training.

  1. Earn a Certificate or Associate’s Degree

Certifications and associate’s degree programs are offered by community colleges and technical schools. The content in these courses addresses electrical theory, drafting, wiring techniques and the national electrical code.

Certificate programs can be completed in a year or less, while associate’s degrees can be earned in two years.

  1. Complete Industry-Sponsored Apprenticeship

Apprenticeships fully round out your knowledge. They include blueprint reading, safety guidelines, mathematics, electrical theory, and fire alarm safety.

Electrician training takes approximately four years to finish with 144 hours of classroom lessons. It’s required to have 2,000 hours of on-the-job training with an experienced electrician with tasks such as drilling holes, testing wires and installing conduit.

To find an industry-sponsored apprenticeship, it’s recommended to consult the Office of Apprenticeships Sponsors website. Apprenticeships are also available through organizations such as:

  1. The National Electric Contractors Association (NECA)
  2. The International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW)
  3. Independent Electrical Contractors (IEC)
  4. Obtain a License

Most states require electricians to have a license. In order to find out if it’s necessary, you should contact your state’s local building official.

In many instances, you need to pass exams on the National Electrical Code, along with common electrical knowledge and theory. Once licensed, you’ll also need to continue to take continuing education courses. This enables you to stay up-to-date with National Electrical Code additions and amendments.

 

The Process

We’ve discussed the process on a few of our other posts, but it’s worth repeating. Your goal is to become a fully-licensed journeyman electrician. That takes a lot of work, and you’ve got a couple of different options:​

  • You can become an electrician helper, which is an entry-level position. A helper basically does menial tasks: he or she digs ditches, retrieves tools and parts, and does a lot of the busywork on a site. It’s an important position, but you will learn very little, and helpers are never promoted. You will, however, be getting paid, and more importantly, you’ll be getting some experience, which you can use to go to school or get an electrician apprenticeship. The good news: you can start right away and if you make connections and show your employer you’ve got potential, a job as a helper can lead to an apprenticeship.
  • You can go to an electrician school, graduate, and become an electrician’s assistant. The pay is better, and having a degree may help you get into an apprentice program. For more on schools, look at our “Find a School” tool. For more on apprentice programs, check out a few of the posts in the right sidebar—we’ve provided a lot of information on what apprenticeships are, why you’ll need one, and how to get one. The good news: a diploma or certificate looks good to employers.
  • You can skip electrician school and apply for an apprenticeship through the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW) or Independent Electrical Contractors (IEC) or Association Building Contractors (ABC). You’ll have to take an entrance exam and go through a few interviews. The test and the interviews can be challenging, so you want to be on your game. The good news: it takes a while to get started, but you’ll “earn as you learn” and get paid as soon as you start the apprenticeship.

 

Electrician School Requirements

If you decide to go to an electrician school before your apprenticeship, you’ll need to meet a few qualifications.

Every single school is different, but most require a high school diploma or GED… and that’s it!

Remember, technically, you don’t need to go to school to become an electrician. There are plenty of electricians who skip school entirely, and start an apprenticeship program. However, because it can be difficult to nab an internship, some people go to school to bulk up their resume, get some experience, and learn the math they’ll need to know to pass the apprenticeship exam.

What Else Should I Know?​

So, those are the technical requirements that are legally based. What about some of the “unofficial” requirements you’ll need to become an electrician? Let’s take a look.

  • People Skills. There are a lot times you’ll work alone as an electrician, but those times won’t occur very often during your apprenticeship. There is a lot of interaction both between the apprentice and his/her instructor, and the apprentice and whatever crew he/she is working with. Very often, those crews can be huge, so having basic people skills is pretty important.
  • Physical Ability. We’re not talking about brute strength—there are plenty of female electricians who don’t weigh much and are excellent electricians—but you need to be able to be on your feet all day. It’s a physical job, and a willingness to be in constant movement is necessary.
  • Problem Solving Skills. On every job you’ll ever take, there will be problems that pop up. If you’re an electrician for one day or for fifty years, you’ll always be encountering problems. Can you look at problems as challenges that need to be solved, and get to the bottom of things? If you can do that, you’ll be a VERY successful electrician.

 

Understanding The Different Levels Of Electricians

Electricians are divided into three separate groups including Apprentice, Journeyman and the highly coveted Master Electrician. Let’s look at each of these different levels and explain the difference between these highly skilled trades people.

Apprentice Electrician

An Apprentice electrician is an electrician just starting out. They work directly under the supervision of a Journeymen, and learn how to do very basic things including installing wiring, troubleshooting wiring problems, and installing entire electrical systems. They are able to work in industrial buildings, commercial buildings and also residential are

Journeyman Electrician

A Journeyman electrician works directly under a Master Electrician. This electrician is able to do everything and Apprentice electrician can do, but will make much more money per hour. They will have completed their apprenticeship and will be recognized by local, state and the national licensing body for the electrical trade.

Master Electrician

This is the highest level of electricians, requiring a minimum of seven years experience in this field. They must also pass an exam that will show that they have competency in this trade. They must learn the National Electrical Code, otherwise known as the NEC. These electricians are the highest paid in the industry, and will be in charge of all other electricians below them at job sites for which they are hired. Electricians can make a substantial amount of money every year, sometimes in excess of six figures depending upon the type of work that they do. It is a trade that will always have work available, regardless of where you live, and might be exactly what you’re looking for if you are seeking to learn a trade that will provide you with long-term income for years to come.

 

Is Becoming an Electrician Worth It?

Thousands of electricians enjoy their trade and the challenge of solving electrical problems. Hourly rates for electricians are expected to rise because there is an increasing demand for electricians.

Becoming an electrician is well worth the 4-year apprenticeship. You can make a good living. In fact, electricians are the highest paid of the skilled trades, with plumbers a close second. (Plumbers may have a higher wage in some areas). Electricians enjoy varied work with little chance of boredom. There is plenty of room for advancement as well.

Why Hire An Office Mover In The Commercial Relocation Network

Office Moving Tips to Follow for Your Commercial Relocation

Office moving is completely different from a typical residential move. There are more steps you need to take in order to successfully pull one off. On top of continuing your office’s day-to-day routine, planning an office move can be an overwhelming experience.

Get a Plan Together as Early as Possible

Like most moving experiences, the more prepared you are, the easier the moving process will be. Planning your office move at least four months in advance will maximize the process and minimize the problems with relocating a business.

Assign Everyone a Job for the Move

When planning your move, get everyone in the office involved. Not only will this maximize the moving process, but it will also be a great team building opportunity with everyone working together. Something even as simple as assigning everyone to pack their own desks could be beneficial and helpful.

Take Care of Tech

Your IT department should be made aware of the move months in advance of your move date. It takes time moving services and preparing tech equipment for a move. This will also give them time to do their own research on the new building specs or codes they need to follow when setting up the tech side of your office.

 

Tips to Find a Reliable Company for Moving Your Business

The process of business relocation is a major undertaking and not one that can be planned for in a day. The help you decide to hire has a huge impact on the efficiency, cost and quality of the move and your overall experience.

For commercial moves like that of a business, it is imperative that you find a reliable office moving company able to take on the size and complexity of the job

Ask Around

Recommendations for the best office moving company in town are one of the safest ways to find reliability and trustworthiness in a company. Browse company’s reviews on trusted review websites such as Yelp, BBB, Yellow Pages.

Look for the Locals

Like many service providers, moving companies that are local to the area are usually best equipped to fulfil and exceed your requirements.

Background Check

Once you have identified a potential office moving company for you, it is important to carry out a background check. Unfortunately, there are some bogus moving companies operating in Alberta and those advertising on public forums should be researched before being employed.

 

Office Moving Checklist

Office moves are daunting—there’s nothing simple about relocating an entire team of employees, much less moving high-value equipment, electronics, or machinery (especially if that machinery is what makes your business money).

Planning and organization are key to having an office move go off without a hitch, so we’re here to help you to coordinate logistics ahead of time to prevent any hiccups from happening along the way.

Review your current lease. Are you on the hook for a deposit or fee if you break your lease early? Are you responsible for property damage (e.g., chipped paint, broken light fixtures, etc.), including anything that happens during the move?

Get quotes from moving companies. See which moving companies fit your budget and can service your area. Check out our picks for the best office movers, and compare rates from at least three companies.

Determine if you need moving coverage. Your business may depend entirely on a single piece of equipment or machinery that, if broken, could halt operations. But even if it doesn’t, you might want to opt for higher coverage on your move than the industry standard of $0.60 per pound. (Yes, that really means that if your 50-pound desk breaks, you’d get a whopping $30 for it.)

 

Tips for Choosing Office Moving Companies

With hundreds of thousands of square feet of office space available in Phoenix for low rates, many companies decide to make their home here. Whether you are just starting out and need furniture and office equipment moved to your new location, or you are relocating your office from one place to another, you need office moving companies you can trust.

The more offices a locale has, the more office moving companies you will find. If you are the decision-maker for a big office move and you make the wrong decision, you can cost your company tons of money. This is not a misstep you want to make. How do you find the perfect company for your move?

How involved are they in the process?

For a move as important as an office move, you should have a project manager assigned that follows your move through from beginning to end. You should expect a personalized visit from the moving company to go over your move

How do they handle the move?

Do they expect you to pack your items or do they help with this? Do they set up computers after the move is over or leave that to you? What about the walls and hallways of your business? Do they leave these in good condition or is everything left a mess with ding marks and dirt?

Are they a well-recognized business?

Nowadays, if a company does not have an internet presence, you may as well count them out. With all of the online review sites such as Yelp and Google+ Local, you should be able to find a company with good reviews and a transparent presence.

 

How To Organize And Plan A Smooth Office Move

Moving your office to a new location is a series of tasks and processes that demand thorough planning and preparation. The real challenge is to safely pack, transport, and unpack office equipment: big bulky furniture, IT infrastructure, appliances, etc.

To eliminate or reduce potential chaos during your move, make sure to create a plan and divide your move into small, achievable tasks. You should have enough manpower and experience to make your move successful. The following are some tips that will help you carry out an office relocation project in a more organized and efficient manner

Create a plan

If your objective is to avoid damage and loss, start by creating a simple plan which should distribute the overall workload into various categories. It’s never a good idea to plan at the last minute making your team struggle to pack and load dozens of massive objects

Engage your staff

Office moving should ideally be planned a few months before the move, especially when your existing office is large. It’s a good idea to have a senior manager plan and execute everything. Since office relocation can be a stressful job, make sure to engage motivated employees for this job. Different roles can be assigned to employees depending on their interests or experience

Evaluate your existing inventory

It’s important to determine how much stock you have in your office. Going through your inventory and supplies will help you find and dispose of items that are no longer required in the new office.

Why Your Home Should Undergo Annual Mold Inspections

A BEGINNERS GUIDE TO HIRING A MOLD INSPECTOR

Before moving into a new home, it is essential to check for mold, especially in areas where there are damp walls, floors, and ceilings. Its presence does not only affect your home’s integrity but can also affect your health if not removed immediately. Prolonged exposure to mold contamination can lead to flu and cold symptoms like watery eyes, fatigue, dizziness, headaches, and even upper respiratory congestion among other issues.

As more people grow aware of the impacts of mold infestations on their health, and the health of their loved ones, the more essential home inspections become for home buyers and new parents. Unfortunately, in an attempt to get rid of their mold quickly, many people hire an inspector without qualifying them

Look for professionals: You will need to start by searching the internet for expert mold inspectors near you. Only a specialist will have the knowledge and equipment to find the mold and have suggestions on what and how to deal with it. So, read their websites to find information related to these aspects.

Shortlist the ones with the best reviews: Try looking for inspectors you’ve listed on rating sites like Angie’s List or Home Advisor and check their ratings and reviews. You can also do a Google search for review and rating websites to see what pops up.

Look for signs of professionalism: A professional mold inspector should be just that, a professional. Do they arrive wearing a uniform or with a logo on their clothing or vehicle? Do they have the basic requirements like a moisture meter, bright flashlight, air sampler, tape lift, and swabs for sampling? Can they provide proof of training? Do they have any professional association memberships

 

Testing for Mold Tips

Testing for Mold Litigation

For the strongest case possible, you’ll need to know the species of mold you are dealing with. It is in your best interest to have a disinterested, 3rd party to take the test for you.  It is also recommend to undergo multiple tests in order to support your case. If water damage was a problem, you will also want to test for environmental bacteria, as this has the potential to make you very ill.

Testing for Mold Post Remediation

Once you have determined that your environment has mold contamination (testing for mold has confirmed the presence of mold infestation), you must have the structure “professionally remediated” for mold. Once remediated, you’ll need to be sure the job was done correctly and the mold levels are deemed safe. This type of testing for mold is known as “Post Remediation Clearance Testing”, this assures you the job was done correctly and the structure is now safe to inhabit.

Testing for Mold Health Reasons

Is your environment making you sick? You will need medical testing in conjunction with your environmental testing for a complete analysis.

Testing for Mold Peace of Mind

Testing for mold and getting clear and clean results is the peace of mind every person wants to get.  Whether it’s in your home, apartment, school or place of work, testing for mold can give you that peace of mind.

Water Damage

Moisture is generally the cause of mold growth in a structure. When inspecting a building the first step in figuring out how the mold contamination began is finding the water intrusion. We recommend testing anywhere there is visible water damage in order to identify the source of your mold problem

 

How to Perform Your Own Mold Inspection & Mold Cleanup

The steps in this document will be sufficient for many building owners who want to do their own mold investigation, mold testing, mold cleanup, and mold prevention in their home or office.

However do-it-yourselfers should pay close attention to what can go wrong. If you haven’t already read HIRE A PROFESSIONAL? you should do so now

We encourage healthy, not-at-risk people to handle small mold problems themselves. You don’t need to hire an expert to clean up moldy bath tiles or a square foot of moldy drywall. But if you are proceeding on your own, be alert for the discovery that the extent of the problem is large enough that you should stop and bring in a professional.

Find the Mold: Examine living/working conditions to find evidence of any mold or to determine the actual extent of mold problem in the building. Our website includes detailed articles on finding and recognizing mold both on visible surfaces and by invasive methods such as cutting small openings at areas where there is high risk of a hidden mold reservoir (such as where leaks into a wall or ceiling have occurred

Clean-up the Mold: remove or clean up problem mold reservoirs. But don’t be fooled into spending an outlandish sum on removing a “cosmetic” mold. Later below you’ll read about stuff that is not mold or is only a cosmetic mold. We provide detailed articles on good procedures to clean up indoor mold. Don’t forget that the key word in mold remediation is “remove” – we need to clean off moldy surfaces that can be cleaned and dispose of moldy materials (such as drywall and insulation) that cannot be cleaned

 

Mold Testing by Inspector

I started my business in 1994, before mold became known as a public health issue, so I had about 7 years experience before the mold industry started to get organized.

To be credentialed, I took the mold inspector training in the early 2000s. At the class I attended, the students were essentially taught to be lab technicians. We were taught to do a visual inspection, and if we saw anything that looked like it might be mold, to take a swab or tape sample and forward it to the lab. We were also to take a spore trap test on each floor of the house, probably with the exception of the attic, plus the outside. That’s it – 4 or 5 samples from the average house (whereas I’m taking 40-60 on my inspections, usually without any lab fees but including photo-documentation of mold growth).

Another problem is that there can be high levels of mold that are not visible to the naked eye, so someone who goes just by what is visible may miss a lot of mold.

Therefore, if you plan to have mold testing by an inspector, be prepared that mold likely may be missed. You may want to pick up the slack with your own do-it-yourself testing before the inspector arrives. You may need to guide the inspector to where to sample (if you should need lab confirmation for legal purposes or if you want to be sure that remediation doesn’t miss some area of mold growth).

Types of air testing

Although I find tape-sampling with a microscope invaluable for finding invisible mold, I almost always take air samples, too. When having mold testing by an inspector, the usual type of air sampling done is called “spore trap testing.” Spores are trapped on a sticky surface and the test kit is forwarded to a lab for counting. Some inspectors, myself included, prefer culture plate sampling, because it is better for diagnostic purposes. With culture plate, you can see the type of mold that grows out from trapped spores.

(Industry guidelines call for one sample in the basement, one on each level of the house, and an outside sample. Sometimes we do that. Sometimes the prospective purchaser says that they won’t be negotiating but just want a basement sample done for their own information. One sample costs a lot less than four samples. But if legal use could be made of a basement sample, then have all four samples done, or you will have no reference point for understanding the basement sample. Your inspector could be challenged as not knowing what he is doing, for that matter.)

 

Mountainside Mold Remediation

How do you choose the best Mountainside Mold Remediation company? Jun’s Mold Remediation performs mold inspection testing to find the mold. When there is mold in your home and you want to get rid of it quickly, choosing the best mold remediation company is very important. Water damage can lead to mold problems in your home. Searching for a qualified remediator that understands the potential danger of mold in a home is critical. Here are a few tips on finding a good mold remediation company

Mold inspectors use many different tools to help them diagnose and verify what they find in the home. A professional mold removal takes samples of the air and physical locations of the home to check if there is presence of mold. Sample are sent to the labs to be analyzed and report what findings there are

Searching for the best mold remediation it is best to check for references and reviews. A company that shows consistency will show up on a number of good reviews in different sites. Review the contract and agreement made with the professional, knowing what information you will be given about the test and results. A good report supplied by the professional will have findings of mold, photos supporting any findings. An action plan for dealing with the problems and good maintenance tips will also be provided in the report.

Mold in a home means that moisture or humidity is or has been present. Water that has been present and not dried up will produce mold. If there is some discoloration of drywall paper or flooring there could be a mold issue. Mold is not only black. A mold situation at times has a musty odor. Walking in a home with a mold issue can be sometimes easily detected by the odor in the air. Even if mold is not visible and has no odor, mold is inspected and found in the home by having a proper mold remediation.

Usually when residents of a home are experiencing congestion, allergy symptoms, headaches or breathing issues it is an indication of unhealthy air quality in the home and it must be inspected right away.

Hire A Party Planner to Make A Perfect Party

Crucial Tips for Large Group Event Planning

So you’re in charge of planning a massive event. Congratulations!Whether you’re planning it for your company, a school, a charity, a professional group or any number of other entities, you’ve been entrusted with an important job: Plan an event that people will actually go to and enjoy, and do so ensuring that everything goes off without a hitch.

Why Are Large Events and Small Ones So Different?

At the most basic level, large events differ because of the size of the guest list. Duh! But that’s only the beginning. Let’s explore some of the key differences between planning small events and large events.

Large events require more effort and planning

If you’re planning on inviting over 100 guests to an event, you should be ready to put in a proportional amount of effort when it comes to promoting the event.

Large events often require more roles

Let’s say you run a real estate brokerage hosting a large corporate party in Minneapolis, and you want to invite every realtor from every branch in the state. That number could easily be in the hundreds!

Large events take longer to set up

More people means more chairs, more utensils, and more steps that need to be taken on event day to ensure that the event goes smoothly. It’s helpful to choose an event venue that takes care of setup for you, but if this is not the case, you will need to give yourself extra time to prepare.

 

Party Planning Tips

Getting ready to throw a party? Nerves racked from all the preparation stress? If that is the case, you are not alone. Venturing into the world of party planning can be quite daunting. What should you prepare? Should it be a sit-down affair or a buffet mixer? What kind of snacks should you serve? What should be in the goodie bags? Should there be goodie bags and what do you do if your boss brings along his diabetic 9-year old? Never fear! With a little forethought and preparation you will wow your guests!

Snack Mix Tips

Whether you are having a cocktail party or a sit-down dinner party, great snacks and appetizers are always integral to a great party and they are easier to make than you think!

­Party Planning Tips

The keys to good party planning are a clear understanding of what you want to accomplish, organization and a solid time-table to help you get everything done so that you can enjoy your own party as much as your guests will.

How to Make Goodie Bags

A staple at children’s parties, the goodie bag is now popular with adults as well. It is a great way to thank your guests for coming and to send them away with a special remembrance of your event

Holiday Entertaining Tips

The holidays can be stressful enough but taking on the job of holiday party planner brings a whole new level of meaning to stress. Don’t worry, with a few simple tricks you can alleviate that stress.

 

Event Planning Tips: The Best Ways to Get Organized

Planners have to be organized. It’s a non-negotiable. There are vendors to juggle, payments to make, stakeholders to answer to. With nonstop schedules, it’s easy to lose control of organization and do what you have to do to get everything done. There’s no better time to hit the reset button and get organized. But how do you get organized? There are some amazing tricks and tools out there that can help you get organized and stay organized

Put Everything in Your Calendar and Block of Time to Work

Your calendar is your lifeline. It not only tells you when you’re busy but others in the office. Put everything on your calendar. Color coding meetings based on event or topic can help. If it’s normal for you to be in meetings all day, every day, block some time off on your calendar to get work done. Even setting thirty minutes aside to send emails can help you stay on top of your task list.

Take All Notes in One Place

It’s easy to bounce from computer to notebook to phone, but if you want to ensure that you never lose the notes you take, then take them in one place. The best place for notes is somewhere that accessible wherever you are. If that’s a notes file on your phone or a doc that lives in the cloud, choose a place and stick to it. If you love handwritten notes, carry your notebook with you wherever you go.

Organize All of Your Folders – Email and Files

When you run multiple events throughout the year, file organization is key. Set up folders at the start of every event. By taking the time to set up a file structure, you’ll be able to find documents more quickly later on. As the event unfolds, don’t get lazy. Always, sort everything into the correct folders.

Set Reminders to Check-In on and Start Projects

Email is wonderful, even more so because it’s trackable, but it’s easy to lose track of a conversation when someone doesn’t reply. When you send out emails, always set a deadline for a response. Then, set a reminder for yourself to check-in on that date. That way, if the person you reached out to forgets to respond, you won’t realize too late that you never got a response.

 

Tips For Planning A Corporate Event

Identify your goals and set your budget.

Ask yourself what the company is trying to accomplish with this event.  Are you trying to raise funds? Launch a new product? Educate employees? Setting goals for your event will help you decide how to allocate your budget. If you do not already have a budget in place, now is the time to put together a proposal. Once a budget is established, you can start planning

Make a plan.

Once you have locked in your vendors I recommend scheduling an on-site walk through with your team. Walk through every aspect of the event from set up to break down. Take notes, make a list, delegate tasks, and assign deadlines. Divide and conquer!

Make a Plan B.

Murphy’s Law: anything that can go wrong, will go wrong. This is not always the case, but with the many details that go into events, there is always a chance for a hiccup or two. Be prepared for the unexpected and have contingency plans in place for the things that may go wrong. For example, if your event is outdoors, have a solid plan in place in case the weather is not cooperating

Make it social.

Events are a great way to harness your company’s social media presence before, during, and after the event.

Be creative.

Corporate events do not always have to be so corporate. Think outside the box to create a fun and engaging event. Do your research on event trends and ask your vendors for suggestions. Whatever it is, your attendees will get more out of the event when creative measures are taken

 

How to Start an Event Planning Service

The special events industry has grown enormously in the past decade. According to recent research conducted by Dr. Joe Goldblatt, CSEP (Certified Special Events Professional), spending for special events worldwide is $500 billion annually. Goldblatt is the founder of International Special Events Society (ISES), the founding director of the Event Management Program at George Washington University, and co-author of The International Dictionary of Event Management. “Suffice it to say, the marketplace is large enough to support and sustain your endeavor,” says Goldblatt. “If you’re working in one special events area, there are many directions in which you can expand. If you’re just entering the profession of special events, there’s a lucrative market awaiting you on many fronts.”

According to Goldblatt’s research, profits in this industry continue to rise. Just a few years ago, Goldblatt says, the average profit margin for an event planning entrepreneur was around 15 percent. His most recent studies, however, show profit margins can be as much as 40 percent. He attributes the industry’s good health to several factors, including the improved economy and the trend of corporate America to outsource their meeting-planning functions. Since you’re not some tech startup bidding for programmers, you can get started without a lot of money.

What Is Event Planning?

This question actually breaks down into two questions: What kinds of events are we talking about? And, what is event planning?

This list isn’t an exhaustive one, but as the examples illustrate, special events may be business related, purely social or somewhere in between. Now we move to the second question: What is event planning? Planners of an event may handle any or all of the following tasks related to that event

Why Do People Hire Event Planners?

This question has a simple answer: Individuals often find they lack the expertise and time to plan events themselves. Independent planners can step in and give these special events the attention they deserve.

Getting The Best Bookkeeping Rates

tips for brilliant bookkeeping

One interesting thing about being an entrepreneur is that you like to look ahead. You tend always to look for the new opportunity, for the next challenge, for tomorrow’s customers. Mostly, it’s a great characteristic to have. However, it does mean that few entrepreneurs relish breaking their stride to deal with a pile of paperwork.

In footballing parlance, entrepreneurs would be the attacking players; the strikers and wingers. But it’s no good being able to score goals if you also keep conceding them, which is why every good attacking team also needs a strong defence and a great goalie. And in the business world, your goalkeeper is your bookkeeper.

Keep your business and personal finances apart

If you’re a sole trader you are not legally obliged to have a separate business bank account – but you should have one nevertheless. Otherwise your books will soon be a nightmare to maintain, unless you record every penny of personal spending too.

Keep clear and separate records

Bookkeeping typically requires at least three ‘books’ (i.e. financial records): the cash book, sales invoices, and purchase invoices. Your cash book records everything passing in and out of the business’s bank account. This record of cash flow makes it an invaluable planning tool, as you can use it to underpin forecasts.

Control your credit

A full sales ledger is a beautiful thing, but if your customers haven’t paid yet, that beauty is only skin-deep. Set strict deadlines for your customers to pay their bills to you, and consider blacklisting repeat offenders if you think they are taking advantage. Chase every late payment, as each is essentially an interest-free loan. Without rigorous credit control, a small business can quickly develop a cash-flow crisis.

 

How to Help Your Clients Choose the Best Bookkeeper

To some, the roles seem synonymous. Even the dictionary contributes to the confusion, listing both as a person who records the accounts or transactions of a business. Though bookkeepers and accountants deal with the same financial information, they manage different aspects of it. Similar to the relationship of nurse and doctor or carpenter and architect, one handles the day-to-day while the other focuses on the big picture

A Great Bookkeeper has Skills

Unlike an accountant, a bookkeeper doesn’t need a state-issued license to work. Regardless, they should have some level of training or accreditation. Several national associations offer bookkeeping certification, including the National Association of Certified Public Bookkeepers, the American Institute of Professional Bookkeepers and the National Bookkeepers Association. Additionally, bookkeepers can receive training and certification through the QuickBooks ProAdvisor® Program.

A Great Bookkeeper is Experienced

Whether an independent contractor or operating through a firm, a great bookkeeper has experience – preferably in your client’s industry and with the same accounting software you use. When interviewing bookkeeping prospects, business owners should ask in-depth about experience to avoid incorrect assumptions. After asking multiple questions, it may become clear that someone with only two years of industry-specific experience is a better fit for your company than someone with 10 years of general bookkeeping experience

A Great Bookkeeper Wants to Build Their Business

With enough time and attention to detail, anyone can enter numbers into a ledger. But, that’s not what makes a great bookkeeper. A great bookkeeper understands your client’s business, spots red flags, and recognizes opportunities for improvement and growth. A great bookkeeper will ask questions to allocate things correctly; he or she will want to solve problems and implement processes that offer you and your business the most value. To find this trait in a potential employee, you have to know what you’re looking for

A Great Bookkeeper is Someone They Can Trust

More than qualifications and good references, the best bookkeeper is someone you can trust. They should be honest and transparent. They should be easy to reach via phone or email. Whether employed full time, their personality should mesh well with their company culture to ensure the best fit for both of you. Consider interviewing more than once to get a better idea of fit; include trusted employees in the meeting and change the interview location, if necessary

 

Tips for Hiring the Right Bookkeeper for Your Business

Experience – A good bookkeeper can be the glue that holds an organization together. It is critically important that he/she have experience in bookkeeping for an organization of similar size and complexity to yours. You should also look for someone who has worked in a firm at a similar point in their business lifecycle. For example, the bookkeeping needs of a high-growth start up could be radically different from that of a 30-year-old construction company. An experienced bookkeeper should be able to think ahead and anticipate needs before they arise. They should have experience with your industry and understand its unique bookkeeping requirements

Training and education – A good bookkeeper should be educated and trained and have a high degree of business acumen. While a master’s degree may not be appropriate, it is important that they understand basic business accounting and finance. A bookkeeper should have training and keep abreast of changes to accounting rules and procedures that directly affect their role.

Aptitude for technology – Unless your company is stuck in the 20th century, you should be using a software system to keep your company financials and manage your books. The right bookkeeper should be trained and have experience using your bookkeeping/accounting software. They should be adept at using other common tools such as Microsoft Excel and any industry-specific systems you have (e.g. estimating, billing systems.) They should be able to process online payments; and perform bank reconciliations

Attention to detail – By the nature of the role, a bookkeeper must have a keen attention to detail. They should have an ability to identify errors and balance accounts on the fly. They should be able to generate timely and accurate financial reports that are clear and concise

Credit and cash flow management experience – One of the most important skills a bookkeeper should possess is the ability to keep on top of cash flow and to anticipate cash flow requirements. Factors such as business seasonality, taxes, bonuses and recurring annual events must be considered when determining cash flow needs. The bookkeeper must be able to balance all of these requirements to maintain business stability

 

How to Hire a Bookkeeper Who Is Right for Your Firm

The COVID-19 pandemic has amplified the need for highly skilled bookkeepers who can help companies keep pace with the critical process of bookkeeping during this challenging period of business disruption. If bookkeeping is not handled effectively, receipts and paperwork will pile up. Bills will be paid late. Invoices won’t get submitted on time. And company expenses won’t get tracked

How to hire a bookkeeper

The first thing to decide is whether you need to hire a bookkeeper full time or engage someone on a temporary or temporary-to-hire basis. You could use a specialized staffing agency to find highly skilled candidates who would be the best fit for your company until you’re ready for a full-time hire

How can you identify the best candidates?

Bookkeeping practices vary between industries, so look for a track record relevant to your line of work. A bookkeeper who has worked only with fashion retailers, for instance, may not have the knowledge and experience to do an equally good job for an air-conditioning company. In other words, the relevance of a candidate’s experience is often more important than the duration of experience.

Do you need to look for certifications or memberships?

Bookkeepers in the United States are not legally required to obtain a license, but they can participate in several voluntary certification programs. When candidates are certified or licensed by the National Association of Certified Public Bookkeepers (NACPB) or the American Institute of Professional Bookkeepers (AIPB), it generally means their knowledge and skills are up to date. Ask them if they carry any certifications.

How will you know if a bookkeeper embraces accountability?

A good bookkeeper keeps your books clean and makes it easy for you to review and query the entries. A bad one leaves your books in shambles and runs away at the first sign of an independent audit. So, it’s no use hiring a bookkeeper you can’t trust. Do your due diligence and ask for reference checks from accountants who have worked with your bookkeeping candidates.

 

Qualities to Look for When Choosing Your Small Business Bookkeeper

Choosing a professional bookkeeping service is one of the easiest ways to help your small business grow! Every company, regardless of size, must accurately track and report the money flowing in and out of its accounts by way of sales, expenses, and salaries, but many entrepreneurs lack the knowledge and experience necessary to make this happen

Finding the Right Small Business Bookkeeper

The internet has made starting a small business easier than ever, so it’s hardly surprising that many of today’s busy entrepreneurs eventually find themselves burdened by make-shift bookkeeping systems that

Reliable

It goes without saying that a quality bookkeeping firm will have all the right credentials, but that doesn’t necessarily guarantee reliability. Look for companies with a long-standing presence that consistently demonstrates their integrity, and ask them to point to current clients who can provide honest opinions on the timeliness, efficiency, and confidentiality of their services. Don’t be afraid to ask a potential bookkeeper how they would handle a financial situation specific to your business.

Well-Informed

Every professional bookkeeper should understand the significance of your company’s income, expenses, assets, liabilities, and equity, but they should also be able to

Organized

Don’t assume that every bookkeeper is fundamentally organized and detail-oriented! Although it tends to go with the territory, experience plays a huge role in the efficient interpretation, reporting, and retrieval of financial data – especially when there are multiple clients involved. Ask about review policies and safety nets, and remember that the more streamlined your bookkeeping service’s operations are, the more positive an impact it will have on your company’s bottom line

Tips To Find The Best Personal Injury Lawyer

6 THINGS YOU SHOULD KNOW BEFORE FILING A PERSONAL INJURY LAWSUIT

If you’ve never been involved in a personal injury lawsuit, you may not know what to expect. Here are 10 things you should know before filing a claim.

  1. Personal Injury Lawsuits Are Designed to Protect You

After an injury, you likely have a lot to contend with: medical bills, lost income, emotional stress, and the upheaval of your daily routine. Personal injury lawsuits are designed to protect the rights and financial futures of injury victims like you. With the help of a personal injury attorney, you may be able to recover compensation through a settlement with the defendant, or at trial.

  1. Don’t Sign Anything Before Consulting an Attorney

An insurance adjuster might try to convince you that you don’t need a lawyer, but remember that insurance companies often don’t have your best interest in mind. Many of them want you to deal directly with them in hopes that you’ll settle for far less than your case is really worth. It’s imperative that you not sign anything before speaking to a personal injury lawyer, as doing so could prevent you from recovering the compensation you deserve.

  1. There Are Two Ways to Win a Case

Personal injury cases can be settled out of court or ruled on at trial. A settlement is an agreement between the plaintiff and the defendant as to how much compensation the plaintiff will receive. A verdict, on the other hand, is a decision made by a judge or jury following court proceedings. That means that even if a settlement can’t be reached, your attorney still has a viable path to recover the compensation you need. (In fact, in many cases, the jury award is significantly higher than the pre-trial offer.)

  1. Personal Injury Cases Can Be Time-Consuming

Personal injury cases are complex, and therefore settlements and trials can take months, if not years to conclude. To compound matters, insurance companies often try to drag out the process in hopes that the victim will cave and settle for a lowball offer. It’s important that you never settle for less than your case is worth. Our attorneys are dedicated to resolving your case quickly and efficiently, but most of all, to achieving the best possible outcome for you.

  1. It’s Hard to Value a Claim Without Reviewing the Facts

A variety of factors may influence the value of a claim, including the severity of the injury and the circumstances surrounding the accident. Without first reviewing the facts of the case, it’s difficult to pinpoint how much a claim is really worth. However, you can rest assured knowing that Morgan & Morgan has a long track record of success. We understand how to value a claim, and we aren’t afraid to fight for fair compensation at trial if necessary.

  1. You Have Limited Time to File a Lawsuit

Every state has a statute of limitations: a timeframe for filing a personal injury claim against the negligent party. Statutes vary from one state to the next, so it’s important that you contact a personal injury attorney as soon as possible to ensure that you don’t miss the deadline for filing in your state.

 

IS IT WORTH HIRING A PERSONAL INJURY LAWYER?

Suppose you needed treatment for something life-threatening. Would you trust your care to just anybody? Would you trust it to the reading you have done on the internet about homeopathy or self-medication? Do not deny yourself experience and skilled practice in the name of saving money. In the above example, a doctor would tell you you are risking more than your healthcare dollars in the long run.

It is much the same when you choose not to talk to a personal injury lawyer before you accept any settlement from an insurance company. The goal of a personal injury lawyer is to make sure you receive every dollar you are legally entitled to receive. All the other parties to the case — the other driver, his or her insurance company, his or her insurance company’s lawyers — are determined to prevent you from receiving what you are owed.

One essential thing to remember is that a reputable law firm will operate on a contingency fee basis. This means that if your lawyer is unable to recover any compensation for you, you don’t pay for the service. Without the risk of having to pay fees in return for zero compensation, there is simply no reason to forego the expertise afforded by a personal injury lawyer.

Success in accident cases is frequently reduced to one simple premise: proving which party was at fault. Establishing blame is hotly contested. Proving who is responsible, convincingly, always requires an in-depth investigation. Private detectives may be hired. Witnesses are identified. Statements are taken. Subpoenas are served and photographs of the scene are taken.

Would you know where to begin? What steps to take? What evidence to preserve? This is why hiring a personal injury lawyer can save you time and frustration and give you a better chance of a successful outcome.

 

5 Bad Things That Can Happen During the Injury Claims Process

  1. The person at fault may not report the accident to their insurance company.
  2. The insurance company may delay investigating the claim and accepting responsibility for the accident.
  3. The person responsible for the accident may not have insurance coverage.  If this is the case, you will have to file your injury claim with your own automobile insurance policy.  If you do not have full coverage you may not be able to make any recovery.  This is why every automobile owner should always add “Uninsured Motorist and Underinsured Motorist” (UM/UIM) protection coverage, as well as “personal injury protection” coverage (PIP), when the buy automobile insurance.  UM/UIM helps repay costs that the other motorist’s insurance (or lack thereof) cannot cover.  PIP pays some of the out of pocket costs for medical treatment that you incur after an accident.
  4. If are still paying off your car loan, and you fall behind on your payments because of medical expenses or missed work after an accident, the bank or the car dealership may repossess your car.
  5. You may have paid too much for your car, including financing costs and the sales price.  If this is the case, and your car is a total loss, you may be “upside down” on you loan.  This means that the value of your vehicle is less than the amount of the loan that you still owe.  In other words, you may end up without a car but still having to pay more money to pay off the loan.  This also makes it very difficult to obtain another vehicle. To help protect against this there is a type of insurance coverage called Guaranteed Auto Protection (“GAP”) insurance that he is good protection to consider buying if you buy a new car.  It is also a good reason to search for the best deal on a car, including buying a used vehicle to avoid paying the new car “premium” that puts your finances at risk if you have an accident.

 

What Does a Personal Injury Lawyer Do?

A good personal injury lawyer will listen to you, do thorough information and evidence gathering, talk to you about your options, and assist you in pursuing the course of action that you choose.

This includes:

  • Handling your case personally, listening to your needs, and responding quickly to your questions.
  • Calculating and documenting all of your losses.
  • Ensuring that all court documents, insurance claims, and other paperwork are filed correctly.
  • Systematically gathering crucial pieces of evidence.
  • Interviewing witnesses who saw the incident that caused your injury.
  • Representing your interests during negotiations with insurance companies.
  • Fielding prospective settlement offers and acting in your best interest.

A personal injury lawyer can help take the burden of the legal process off your plate and help guide you through this sometimes frustrating and complex process.

 

Benefits of Hiring a Personal Injury Lawyer

If you or someone you are close to has ever been hit by a car, you know how disoriented one can become when it happens to them. If you’ve been hurt or injured by the negligence of another person, company, or driver; it is possible to seek compensation for your medical bills and other related expenses. You don’t have to call a personal injury lawyer after car accidents, but these are some reasons why you should.

They Are Professional and Objective

Car accidents and personal injuries cause a lot of pain and emotional upheaval. This trauma may make it difficult to make objective decisions as far as your accident/injury is concerned. A personal injury attorney will file personal injury claims on your behalf. They will also help bring knowledge, skill, and experience into your case; and this will help you get the settlement you deserve.

They Know How to Negotiate

After an accident has occurred, and personal injury claims have been filed, the offending party’s insurance representative handles these cases daily and can be very persuasive when it comes to bargaining for lower compensation. Negotiating with insurance companies can be very challenging and they have techniques on persuading you to accept their first offer. This is why you need an experienced lawyer to help you through this period. Hiring a personal injury lawyer after you’ve been injured often leads to heftier compensation.

They Help You Make Better Decisions

If you aren’t a lawyer, filing a personal injury claim may seem like a long and complicated legal process. Sometimes, the offending party owns up to their mistake and is willing to compensate you. In such cases, if the compensation amount is adequate for your injuries, it would be unnecessary to take court action. A qualified personal injury lawyer will analyze your unique situation and inform you of the options that are available to you. They can also provide counsel on the best route of action, depending on the severity of your situation.

They Can Provide You With Legal Coverage

Often, the offending parties contest personal injury claims, and this prompts you to take court action. The other party will have a lawyer, and you not having one will probably turn the odds against you. Having the support of a personal injury lawyer will help level the playing field. An experienced lawyer will give you adequate legal representation after car accidents. They will gather all the evidence you need to win your court case.

They Can Help You Get Faster Compensation

If you don’t have a lawyer, you will have to wait until you have recovered sufficiently before going to seek compensation. This implies that it will take you much longer to get your settlement. You should call a personal injury lawyer immediately after your accident. This way, they can file personal injury claims on your behalf while you are recuperating. A qualified personal injury lawyer has vast experience with similar cases to yours and the legalities involved with those cases, hence they can side-step all setbacks and help you get compensated as fast as possible.

Learn To Do About Ceiling Fans Installation

Do It Yourself: Ceiling Fan Installation

Installing a new ceiling fan is a thrifty way to reduce your energy bills without sacrificing comfort. A fan installation is a perfect weekend project for any avid do-it-yourselfer because it only requires a few hours to complete, and the payoff is immediate. You don’t have to be a home improvement expert to install a ceiling fan, Del Mar Fans & Lighting’s videos and instructions below can help you get started

RECOMMENDED TOOLS FOR INSTALLING A CEILING FAN

You have purchased the perfect ceiling fan – the right size, style, and finish, and are looking forward to basking under the gentle breeze. As you prepare to install the new ceiling fan, here are 10 basic tools to keep handy in your toolbox for any application. Having the right set of tools to install a ceiling fan guarantees a safe project and timely finish.

Crescent Wrench

Also known as an adjustable wrench, a crescent wrench has a set screw that adjusts the width of the wrench by moving one of the two jaws to the right or left. Use a crescent wrench to tighten a support brace or any bolts

Cordless Drill with Long Bit

Drills holes in various materials. Use a cordless drill to install the junction box or utility box to the ceiling joists

Voltage Tester

Also known as a test light, the tester consists of two leads that detect the presence of electricity in a fixture. Use a voltage tester when wiring a ceiling fan by placing one of the leads on the ground wire and the other lead on the hot wire to ensure there is no electricity running through these wires.

 

Ceiling Fan Tips

Save energy with fans

Ceiling fans provide a natural energy saving cooling solution. Most ceiling fans use only about as much power as a 60 watt light bulb which equates to less than 3 cents per hour to run.* Ceiling fans will save you money in utility bills in both the winter and summer months.

Outdoor areas

Fans located in outdoor areas should be protected from the elements, therefore are only recommended for outdoor rooms or alfresco areas. Outdoor fans must not be exposed to water under any circumstances and must have at least 2 walls of protection from wind

Ceiling Height

If you have ceilings above 3 metres, you may require an extension rod. All Beacon Lighting ceiling fans come with an optional extension rod, our standard size is 900mm but you can easily cut them to suit your requirements

Recommended Installation Height

Any ceiling fan should be at least 2.1 metres from the floor to the blades of the fan and at least 300mm from the ceiling.

Remote Controls

Have the convenience of being able to control the light and action of your fan from a remote control. Each Beacon Lighting fan can be installed with a receiver which means that when installing a fan into an existing light point there is no need to run an extra wire to control the fan, as the remote does everything for you. Remote controls are an optional extra.

 

Ceiling Fan Buyer’s Guide: How to Choose a Ceiling Fan

With such a broad range of fans to choose from, it’s easy to get lost in phrases like sloped-ceiling adaptable, blade span and 14-degree blade pitch. And all the questions: Big or small? How many blades? What controls do I need? Et cetera, et cetera.

There can really be a lot to think about when it comes to buying ceiling fans. So, if you want to brush up on all the technical jargon before making the wisest ceiling fan choice possible, you can do so here by checking out the following FAQs (plus, other ceiling fan articles, to your right).

What are my ceiling fan mounting options?

There are several options available, each designed to optimize air circulation and fit proportionally into a space. Regulations do require fans to be installed at least 7 feet up from the floor. (Before choosing a low-profile fan, be sure to measure the space between your ceiling and floor.) Aside from that, you can choose the fan mounting that best suits your room and, of course, your style.

Hugger Ceiling Fans

This type of flushmount ceiling fan is ideal for low ceilings (8 feet or shorter). There is no space between the ceiling fan’s motor housing and the ceiling, making it an ideal choice for smaller urban spaces, including apartments and condos.

Close-to-Ceiling Fans

A downrod of 3 to 5 inches is installed between the ceiling canopy and fan. The added space between the low profile ceiling fan and ceiling allows for more air circulation and fan efficiency, while remaining relatively close to the ceiling and out of the way. This mounting option is good for any room where the ceiling-to-floor height is roughly 9 feet.

 

How To Choose A Ceiling Fan – Size, Blades & Airflow

With so many variables and options, choosing the perfect ceiling fan and picking the right size can be a bit daunting. We’ve compiled some expert advice that will guide you through choosing a ceiling fan fit for your needs.

Determining what type of ceiling fan you should add to your room of choice can seem like a surprisingly complex decision when you are first starting out. You need to consider the dimensions of your room, the size of the fan, airflow and CFM, the length of its blades, how many blades, their materials, and more.

How do I choose a ceiling fan size that fits my room?

The first thing to consider when deciding your ceiling fan size is the size of the room in which it will go. The square footage of a room dictates how big the ceiling fan will need to be because a fan that is too small or big for a space will not circulate the air properly.

How do I determine the hanging height of the fan?

To meet building codes, the bottom of the fan should be at least seven feet off the floor; eight to nine feet will allow for optimal circulation. For higher ceilings, you can use fans with downrods, such as the Ball Ceiling Fan, to achieve the right height. The more space between the ceiling and the blades, the better for air flow and circulation. Ideally, aim for at least 12 inches

Fans will typically come with one or two downrods, in different standard lengths. However, if more length is needed to achieve the ideal hanging height, additional downrods in other sizes can be purchased. For a room with a 9-foot ceiling, select a fan with a 6” downrod. For ceilings that are taller than nine feet, add 6” to the downrod for every foot of height: 10-foot ceiling, 12″ downrod; 11-foot ceiling, 18″ downrod; and so on

 

How To: Choose a Ceiling Fan

Choosing a ceiling fan is enough to make any homeowner’s head hurt. With so many variables and options, what should you consider when choosing a ceiling fan

Get the Height Right

If  you’re planning the installation for a low-ceilinged room, insist on a flush-mount model (also called a “ceiling hugger”) to ensure adequate head clearance. For average-height ceilings, using the manufacturer-supplied hanging rod should do the trick. For higher ceilings, an extension rod will lower the fan to optimal position within the room, about eight or nine feet off the floor.

Size Your Fan to the Room

For very large rooms with high ceilings, fans with 60- to 80-inch blade spans are available. Large-sized fans are as much about scale as function in meeting the requirements of a large space

Place Your Fan Properly

Ceiling fans don’t actually lower room temperatures; they cool by creating a breeze. Install them in places where you spend the most time. Good spots are over the bed or above family-room or kitchen seating.

Consider Control Options

Do you want to control the fan from a wall switch, a remote, or a good old-fashioned pull chain? You may not have a choice. Mode of operation depends on the fan that you choose. Tastes vary, but there is certainly something to be said for the convenience of a remote that enables you to change fan speed (or ceiling-fan light fixture settings) effortlessly.

Use Eye Care Methode To Make Your Eye Healthy

How to Choose a Good Eye Doctor

Choosing an eye doctor is just as important as selecting a general health physician. Your eyes are not only a window to the world, but they also serve as a window to your overall health. Because your eyes are an essential part of everyday life, your choice of a good eye doctor is not one that should be taken lightly. Here are five key things to look for when choosing an eye doctor

Two Types of Eye Doctors

Optometrists can treat some eye diseases, prescribe medication, and do not perform surgery on the eyes. To become an optometrist one would go to college, then spend four more years in Optometry school and can participate in programs specializing in some types of eye disease

Ophthalmologists treat all types of eye disease, prescribe medication, and perform surgery on the eyes. To become an Ophthalmologist one would go to college, then spend four years in Medical School, and then spend four more years in a residency program. Some ophthalmologists, after their residency will spend up to several more years if they are interested in specializing in a particular type of Ophthalmology, although this is not required to be considered a general Ophthalmologist

Which Is Right For You

It’s a good idea to consider the type of care you need when selecting an eye doctor. For a general eye exam either an ophthalmologist or optometrist will suit your purpose, however if you have a specific eye disease – you may want to consider an ophthalmologist for ongoing care (depending on the issue). In terms of fitting contact lenses and educating you on all the options with regard to glasses, spectacle lenses and contact lenses – Optometrists are typically thought of as the go to professional.

Eye Doctor Availability

When it comes to optometrists – does the practice offer evening and weekend hours of availability? Does the practice have openings within the week of your desired well vision exam?

 

Tips for Good Eye Health

Watching lots of movies

Sit at a distance equivalent to at least five times the width of your TV screen

Include eye healthy foods in your meal

Foods containing vitamin C (papayas, red bell peppers, kiwi, strawberries, and oranges) or antioxidants such as lutein and beta-carotene (carrots, sweet potatoes, squash, spinach, kale, and broccoli) can help reduce the risk of developing age-related macular degeneration (AMD)

Get regular…with your eye exams

There is no better way to protect your vision than an eye exam, as many eye diseases have no easily detectable symptoms. The Canadian Association of Optometrists recommends children have their first eye exam between ages six and nine months, and annually after that. Adults should have eye exams every two years, or at the direction of their optometrist.

Butt out!

Smoking contributes to a number of eye related health issue

Take 20

Take a 20 second break from your computer screen every 20 minutes and focus your eyes on something at least 20 feet away.

 

Healthy Eyes

Eat a Balanced Diet

As part of your healthy diet, choose foods rich in antioxidants, like Vitamins A and C; foods like leafy, green vegetables and fish.  Many foods – especially fatty fish, such as salmon – contain essential omega-3 fatty acids that are important to the health of the macula, the part of the eye responsible for central vision.

An inadequate intake of antioxidants, consumption of alcohol or saturated fats may create free-radical reactions that can harm the macula – the central part of the retina. High-fat diets can also cause deposits that constrict blood flow in the arteries. The eyes are especially sensitive to this, given the small size of the blood vessels that feed them

Get a good night’s sleep

You’ll feel the difference when you get the sleep you need. You’ll look great, you’ll perform at home or work—and good rest will support the health of your eyes.

Wash your hands

Keeping your hands clean is so important when it comes to your eyes, especially if you’re a contact lens wearer. Before you touch your eye—and before you put in or remove a contact lens—wash your hands with a mild soap and dry with a lint-free towel. Some germs and bacteria that come from your hands can cause eye infections, like bacterial conjunctivitis (pink eye). When you touch your eye, whatever is on your fingers goes right onto your eye’s surface. This is one way that people catch colds—rubbing their eyes while they have cold virus germs on their hands.

Don’t Smoke

Smoking exposes your eyes to high levels of oxidative stress. While the connection has not been clearly identified, it is known that smoking increases your risk for a variety of health conditions affecting the eye.

 

AN OPTOMETRIST’S BEST TIPS FOR EYE CARE

EAT BETTER

Your eye health actually begins with what you eat. If you want to avoid developing any age-related vision problems such as cataracts and macular degeneration, you should pay more attention to what you put on your plate. You should fill up on more nutrients such as vitamin C, vitamin E, zinc, lutein and omega-3 fatty acids. You’ll get these nutrients by eating more oily fish such as salmon and tuna. Incorporate more green leafy vegetables like collards, kale, and spinach in your meals too. For a healthy dessert or snack, have an orange or enjoy a glass of natural citrus juice.

WEAR SUNGLASSES

Just like your skin, your eyes could also use some protection from the harmful rays of the sun. For this, you need a pair of sunglasses able to effectively block 99 to 100 percent of UVB and UVA rays. You can also use polarized lenses to help reduce glare when driving

STOP STARING AT THE SCREEN

Whether it’s your phone or computer, staring at the screen for far too long can result in a wide range of eye issues. These include eye strain, dry eyes, blurry vision, trouble focusing, headaches, and more

MAKE REGULAR VISITS TO YOUR EYE DOCTOR

There’s no better expert to check out your eyes than your eye doctor, so make sure to schedule regular visits to your eye care center. Ideally, you should come in at least once a year.

Remember these tips to keep your vision and overall eye health in good condition. For the clearest vision possible, your eyes just need proper care and attention just like every other part of your body.

 

Ways To Maintain Good Eye Health

When you wake up in the morning, your surroundings may appear a little blurry. After a few minutes, the blurriness fades and you can see things properly. As you go throughout your day, you notice that you have a harder time reading the writing on boards. Your eyes may even hurt a little bit as you look at your computer screen during the day.

You feel slightly concerned about the change in your vision and the strain you feel, so you schedule an appointment with your optometrist. During your visit, you discover that you need to wear glasses to resolve the problems you’ve experienced

VISIT YOUR EYE DOCTOR OFTEN

First and foremost, you should visit your eye doctor every two years and receive eye exams. During these appointments, your optometrist will check your eyes for abnormalities, diseases, and other complications. If he or she notices any issues, you’ll work together to treat the condition.

EAT THE RIGHT FOODS

Another way to ensure good eye health is to eat the right kinds of foods. Nutrient-rich foods promote healthy eyes and overall health.

STOP SMOKING

According to recent studies, smoking negatively affects your eye health, as well as your overall health. These studies have linked smoking to increased risks for optic nerve damage, macular degeneration, and cataracts. All of these conditions could cause you to go blind.

Must Know To Do Tax Preparation

How to Find a Good CPA for Your Taxes

Ask about their specialization

CPAs can specialize in a range of accounting areas, including business, government and forensic accounting, as well as tax preparation. For preparing and filing your personal taxes, consider finding a CPA who specializes in individual income tax returns.

Verify their identification number

The IRS requires CPAs who prepare taxes to register with the IRS and have a Preparer Tax Identification Number (PTIN). To verify that a CPA is registered with a PTIN, simply search the IRS Return Preparer Office Directory.

Look up their license

CPAs are also licensed by the state, so before hiring one, you can search their records with your state’s board of accountancy. Most states offer CPA databases that allow you to search by name and find important information on a CPA’s license status, issue and expiration dates, as well as disciplinary actions and suspensions

Consider their experience

While all CPAs are credentialed prior to offering their services, CPAs with several years of experience will more likely have a deeper understanding of the tax code than a newly certified individual. For example, TurboTax Live CPAs have an average of 15 years of experience

Confirm their willingness to sign

Verify that your CPA will sign your tax return and represent you before the IRS for any tax matter related to your return. If not, consider finding a CPA who will.

 

How To Find The Perfect Tax Preparer This Tax Season

I don’t prepare my own taxes. That wasn’t always the case. When we first started the law firm, I did taxes for the business and our family. And when we bought our rental property, I took that on, too. And then we had a kid. And another kid. And a third. At some point, juggling it all was too much, and I realized that it was a better use of my time to pay someone else to do our books and prepare our taxes. But finding that person? That was the challenge.

I wasn’t alone in my search for a tax preparer: According to the Internal Revenue Service (IRS), for the year 2013 – that’s pre-Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA) – about 57% of taxpayers used a professional tax preparer (downloads as a pdf). And according to those same statistics, even as the Tax Code gets more complicated, the number of paid tax preparers is decreasing. With those odds, finding the right fit can take time and patience.

Our initial tax preparer was fine, but there were some gaps in communication. One of those gaps – while I was on maternity leave – resulted in an eventual audit. Our next tax preparer came highly recommended but ended up pleading to a count of felony tax fraud (I’m not kidding). My point: You might not get it right at first, and that’s okay.

Over the years, I’ve sorted out what works. We’ve had a relationship with our current tax preparer for a bit, and he gets me – from my control freak tendencies to my geeky tax humor. But I don’t regret my prior goofs because I learned from those mistakes. And here’s the secret: You’re the only one who can find the perfect tax preparer for you.

That said, I can offer a few tips. The key, as with hiring any professional, is to ask questions. Ideally, you’d establish a relationship – remember, you’re trusting this person with your personal and financial details. But whether you are looking for a long-term tax professional or just someone you meet with once a year to prepare your form 1040, there are some common truths

 

How Do I Find a Good Tax Professional?

After thinking about whether I should prepare my own taxes or not, I’ve decided to let a professional do the work for me. But now I have another question: How do I find one? No one I know uses an accountant. Should I just walk into one of those tax chains, look for a CPA nearby, or what do I need to consider before giving this person my financial information?

Different Kinds of Tax Professionals

Before you start your search, you might be wondering about all the different kinds of tax pros out there or who can do your taxes. Basically, anyone can call himself a tax preparer and file your return for you. There are two types of tax professionals, though, that are probably most appropriate for you and most people: certified public accountants and enrolled agents. Both types can represent you before the IRS in case you get audited.

Certified public accountants

CPAs are accountants who have passed qualifying state exams and met specific education and experience requirements for that title. Not all CPAs are experts on income taxes, though, so when looking for someone to prepare your return, you’ll want to ask about the CPA’s experience in handling individual taxes. A benefit of going with a CPA is these financial pros may be able to help you with other financial situations like estate planning or financial planning in addition to doing your taxes.

Enrolled agent

EA is a tax professional licensed by the IRS through a special enrollment exam or after working for the IRS for five years. EAs may specialize in specific tax areas, so be sure to ask what his or her area of expertise is. The benefit of using an enrolled agent is that these people live and breathe taxes (they’re required to take continuing education courses in taxes every three years), and, generally speaking, may charge less than CPAs

You have two other main choices for tax preparers—tax attorneys and tax preparation chains—but I don’t believe they make sense here. Tax attorneys are best for handling complex tax disputes and corporate matters, rather than preparing individual returns.

 

Finding a Good Tax Preparer

A good number of companies depend on professional tax preparers to file their tax returns. Many decision-makers in organizations prefer to outsource tax filing services to save on cost and time. A big challenge, however, lies in finding a dependable third-party company that can be entrusted with filing tax returns. There are a lot of factors to be considered before settling on a particular service provider.

They should have a CPA, law license or Enrolled Agent designation

When looking for a tax preparer, it is advisable to get someone who is a certified public accountant and has completed the IRS Annual Filing Season program.

Enquire for Preparer Tax Identification Number (PTIN)

Anyone who participates in preparing or assisting in tax preparation is required to have a PTIN by IRS. Therefore, before you settle on a provider for tax preparation, ensure they have a PTIN. They should also put it on your tax return as required by the IRS.

Cost comparison

Cost is important in nearly everything, isn’t it? It is important to consider the fee charged by your preferred tax preparer. A common way to determine the authenticity of the charged amount is to do a background search across several providers. Also, many tax preparers charge their fees on an hourly basis. Therefore, if you find one charge based on the size of your refund or claiming they can get you a bigger refund, you should treat these as red alerts.

Look for memberships

If you need to get a reliable tax preparer, you should consider the one registered with a professional organization. The National Association of Tax Professionals, the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants, or the National Association of Enrolled Agents are some of the reputable organizations for tax preparers. Members in these organizations are well-equipped with the latest trends and changes in tax returns. They are also known for high levels of professionalism and adherence to work ethics.

 

How to Find a Good Tax Accountant

FOR SOME TAXPAYERS, it’s a familiar tale. Somewhere during those first four months of every year, you do your taxes in a haphazard fashion, or you look for someone to prepare your taxes, and because you’ve waited until the last minute, you find someone in a hurry to do them. Every April, as you pay your preparer and Uncle Sam, you vow: Next year, I’m finding a good tax accountant.

How to look when selecting a tax accountant. Beyond trying to find someone who is competent, someone who you feel comfortable working with is a good start. And you’ll feel comfortable by asking a lot questions, says Abby Eisenkraft, CEO of Choice Tax Solutions in New York City. If you’re working in the U.S. but you aren’t an American citizen, you’ll want to inquire if they have experience working with expats, Eisenkraft says. Same goes with if you’re self-employed or have any unusual or special circumstances.

Where to look. That can be tough at first, if you want something beyond a tax preparation chain – and there’s nothing wrong with going with one, but obviously, you can find one pretty quickly in a phone book (yes, those still exist) or in a search engine. If you’re looking for something particular, you may want to try

What to look for when you work with a tax accountant. Unfortunately, kind of like taking a car for a test drive, you really won’t know if your tax accountant is a good fit until you’re working with him or her