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

Tips To Learn How To Make Electrical Wiring

Common Electrical Wire Material Options

With so many  options available in the market, it is wise to always weigh your options and the exact wire features your kind of application require so you are able to select the most suitable one at the end of the day. It is the best way of ensuring safety when using electricity and wire materials are some of the most important to consider for any given application. What your wire is made up of determines its quality and suitability for the intended use.

Copper
It is considered standard in the wiring area with most electrical appliances relying on copper wires to transfer energy. One of the major reasons why copper is a great material is its high conductivity and flexibility. Compared to other metals, copper seems to win also in resistance to corrosion, tensile strength, ductility, thermal conductivity and also resistance to overloads. Because of the abundance of copper, the battery cable made of copper are reasonably priced.

Aluminum
It may be more abundant and cheaper compared to copper, but it is not as conductive as copper. You would need a relatively larger aluminum wire in diameter to have it functioning the same way as a copper wire. Aluminum is also not as reliable in terms of electrical safety because it can’t withstand excess heat. When going for this kind of electrical wire, especially for commercial purposes, it is best that you settle only for larger diameters.

Silver
It is a good conductor of electricity and is most suitable in high temperature conditions. Silver wires are however not that easy to bend and they can also be very expensive. In commercial applications, electrical safety would actually be compromised unless silver electrical wires are used. Most people prefer using these wires at home for their entertainment equipment because signals seem to travel far much better through pure silver compared to copper.

 

Tungsten

Tungsten is used when you actually want the wire to have resistance, and also have it not melt even when white-hot, as is the case in incandescent lamps.

Alloys
There are many different alloys used in electrical conductors. Here are some examples:

  • Nickel-chrome (nichrome) wire, like tungsten, can survive high temperatures, and the higher resistance is desirable. Being cheaper than tungsten, is used in heater wires, where the wire doesn’t need to get white-hot.
  • Solder, which is an alloy of tin and lead, or other mixes of metals in the case of lead-free solder, is used for bonding electrical components to copper pads on PCBs. The low melting temperature of tin-lead makes it suitable for this task.
  • Cryogenic wire is often phosphor bronze (copper, tin, phosphorus), where the resistance of this alloy doesn’t change much at very low temperatures.

 

Romex Cables

Romex (shown in yellow above) is the trade name for a type of electrical conductor with non-metallic sheathing that is commonly used as residential branch wiring. In fact, Romex will be the most common cable you’ll use in wiring a house. The following are a few basic facts about Romex wiring:

  • Romex ™ is a common type of residential wiring that is categorized by the National Electrical Code (NEC) as underground feeder (UF) or non-metallic sheathed cable (NM and NMC).
  • NM and NMC conductors are composed of two or more insulated conductors contained in a non-metallic sheath. The coating on NMC cable is non-conducting, flame-resistant and moisture-resistant. Unlike other cables commonly found in homes, they are permitted in damp environments, such as basements.
  • Underground feeder conductors appear similar to NM and NMC cables except that UF cables contain a solid plastic core and cannot be “rolled” between fingers.

 

Wiring Terminology

It helps to understand a few basic terms used to describe wiring. An electrical wire is a type of ­conductor, which is a material that conducts electricity. In the case of household wiring, the conductor itself is usually copper or aluminum (or copper-sheathed aluminum) and is either a solid metal conductor or stranded wire. Most wires in a home are insulated, meaning they are wrapped in a nonconductive plastic coating. One notable exception is ground wires, which are typically solid copper and are either insulated with green sheathing or uninsulated (bare).

UF Cable

Underground Feeder (UF) is a type of nonmetallic cable designed for wet locations and direct burial in the ground. It is commonly used for supplying outdoor fixtures, such as lampposts. Like standard NM cable, UF contains insulated hot and neutral wires, plus a bare ground wire. But while sheathing on NM cable is a separate plastic wrap, UF cable sheathing is solid plastic that surrounds each wire. UF cable is normally sold with gray outer sheathing.

 

The best wire for the job:

All electrical engineers must know about wires and think about using the right design and material for the task at hand. Here are the factors for determining wire design:

  • Durability (ability to flex repeatedly or be subject to crushing weights)
  • Voltage and Current level
  • Suspension strength (ability to hold its own weight over long spans between support)
  • Underground or underwater
  • Temperature of operation (like superconducting wire)
  • Cost

Solid Wire:

Advantages:
Less surface area to corrode
Can be rigid and strong
Disadvantages:
Not good if flexed repeatedly, can break if flexed in the same spot
Not practical for high voltage

Stranded Wire:

Above: Stranded speaker wire found in every household
Below: Specialized use super-thick stranded copper wire

Stranded wire

lots of smaller wires in parallel, can be twisted together

Advantages:
Great conductor for its size

Disadvantages:
You may think this would be good for high frequency use because it has lots of surface area on all the little strands of wire, however it is worse than solid wire because the strands touch each other, shorting, and therefore the wire acts as one larger wire, and it has lots of air spaces which makes for more resistance for the size

Braided Wire:

Advantages:

  • Great for durability compared with solid wire
  • Better conductivity than solid wire (lots of surface area)
  • Can act as an electromagnetic shield in noise-reduction wires
  • The more strands in the wire, the more bendable and strong it is, but it costs more
    Special Wires:

Solid with braided exterior or some combination of this, these wires are used for all kinds of special applications.
Coax cable is used for radio or cable television transmission because in its design braided and foil conductors on the outside keep frequencies trapped inside.  The shielding prevents stray electromagnetic energy from tainting the area around sensitive receivers.

Find Out The Correct Dentist For You

5 steps to choosing a new dentist

Regular check-ups

When it comes to tooth care, it’s always best to see the same dentist regularly. You’ll establish a relationship, and that dentist will get to know all your individual needs, from anxieties to allergies. Plus you’ll have a history together. “They will be familiar with what’s gone on in your mouth The more work the dentist has put in, the more responsibility the dentist will have for it. If anything happens down the road, it makes a difference how it’s taken care of.

But how do you find a dentist who’s right for you? These five steps will guide you in your search.

Getting a referral

If you’re moving to a new community, it’s always helpful to ask your current dentist if she can recommend someone. But don’t stop there. Check with your family doctor or neighbourhood pharmacist for referrals. Use your social network: Put the word out to friends, relatives and even parents of your kids’ friends to let them know you’re looking.

Checking out the logistics

A certain new dentist may be dazzling, but how accessible is his office? Is there parking or public transportation nearby? What are the office hours? If the dentist won’t book appointments on weekends or evenings and you’re tied to your desk from Monday to Friday, it may not be a match. What about dental emergencies, like a broken tooth on a Sunday afternoon? How are they handled? What’s the fee range, and if you don’t have insurance, is a payment plan available?

Placing a call

Phone the front-desk staff to find out whether the dentist is accepting new patients. While you’re at it, ask about some of the logistics you’re still wondering about. This is also your chance to check out any attitude. “How does the receptionist treat you?” says Ward. “Are the staff friendly? Do they make you feel good?” If you’re left on hold indefinitely, if the staff seem snappish and rushed, or if they don’t seem to know the answers to any of your questions, it may not be a good sign.

Paying a visit

Go and see the place in person. Is it easy to get to, and did it take you a reasonable amount of time? Are the waiting room and offices neat, clean and well-organized? Are you treated with courtesy when you arrive? What’s your sense of the overall atmosphere – do you feel comfortable in this environment?

Talking with the doc

At your first visit, ask the dentist about her approach to treatment. Does she explain things clearly, and is prevention part of her oral care plan?  Dentists differ in things like their emphasis on cosmetic dentistry, or how frequently they require an x-ray. “You should have a pretty good idea about what you want for yourself, and see how they fit in with that,” says Ward. Most important of all, this introductory chat with the dentist will help you decide how comfortable you are with her. Do you find you can communicate easily, and does she listen to your questions and concerns?

It may take some doing to find the best dentist-patient fit. But the long-term payoff for you-and your teeth-will be well worth it.

 

How to Find the Right Dentist –

Considering that you and your dentist will be partners in your dental healthcare for the long haul, choosing the right dentist is an important decision for you and your family. How do you go about finding the right dentist?

To help you with this, we’ve come up with a list of what we think are the top 10 things to consider:

First make an initial list of three or four dentist based on a few things:

  1. Do they submit claims to all insurances?

If you want to see a dentist that comes highly recommended by a friend or family member but is out of your network, call the practice and ask if they submit claims to all insurance providers. Most do, so it is worth asking before eliminating this practice from your list.

  1. Do they offer other payment options for non-insured patients?

If you do not have dental insurance a big consideration may be whether or not the practice offers patient financing options such as Credit Care or Springstone.  As many practices require payment upfront, having a means to pay for the service insures you get the treatment you need.

  1. Are they members of professional associations such as the American Dental Association or the Wisconsin Dental Association?

Members of the ADA voluntarily agree to abide by the ADA Code as a condition of membership in the Association.

The ADA Code has three main components: The Principles of Ethics, the Code of Professional Conduct and the Advisory Opinions. For more info: WDA Code of Ethics.

  1. Are treatment plans discussed up front and cost estimates given?

When discussing treatment, are the plans covered in detail so you know what to expect, how many visits the treatment will take, how much time? Are you given accurate estimates up front? Are your questions answered clearly?

 

Your Right to Care

The ADA dictates that, as a patient, you have a right to “reasonable arrangements for dental care and emergency treatment.” This doesn’t mean that the dentist has to be available at all hours or to participate in procedures for which he or she may not be qualified.

With that being said, the ADA adds that you have the right to “arrange to see the dentist every time you receive dental treatment.” The interpretation of this varies by state. Some states, for example, requires a dentist to see you once a year even if you only go in for cleaning. Other states are far more lax in their regulations.

In addition to access, the ADA asserts that:

  • You have the right to receive considerate and respectful treatment
  • You have a right to accept, defer, or decline any part of your treatment
  • You have a right to ask for alternative treatment options (even though a dentist may decline if they are harmful, experimental, or contrary to prescribed dental practices)

 

What if I’m satisfied with my current dentist, but they’re not in my network?

Keep going to the dentist you love!

To understand why this is probably the best choice, it’s important to know that dental prices are not standardized like medical charges.

In-network providers sign a contract in which they agree to be paid less than they’d hope to in exchange for being included in the network. The fee isn’t massive, and it’s worth it for many providers. However, if you’re out-of-network, you can technically charge anything you want.

Here are the two options I would recommend, in this order:

  • Show them your new dental insurance plan to find out if they’re willing to accept whatever the insurance company is willing to pay, then write off the rest. The downside to this is that you could eat up the cap on your dental insurance benefits for the year, which isn’t great if you have major work needed.
  • Ask for an “in-network fee schedule.” That schedule is set up to normalize every dental billing code and how much they agree to make from every insurance company for those codes. Most offices are willing to accept this, and it means you’ll pay similar prices with your existing dentist as you would by switching to an in-network provider.

Either way, the dental office will still file the claim for you. I suggest setting up an agreement for one of the above options before your appointment, so you understand what you will (and won’t) be required to pay.

 

Eat a Balanced Diet

The ADA encourages patients to eat a tooth-friendly, balanced diet, limiting sugar intake. While sugars are necessary for proper body functions, they also feed the bacteria in the mouth, resulting in acid production. This acid production is responsible for erosion and tooth weakening.

Choose foods such as whole grains, fruit, vegetables, lean proteins and low-fat dairy options for general oral health. The ADA also lists several foods that are among the most damaging to teeth:

  • Acidic citrus foods
  • Sugary coffee drinks
  • Sticky, hard candies or dried fruit
  • Crunchy foods that retain plaque
  • Sodas and sports drinks

The ADA recommends drinking plenty of water throughout the day, too, not only to stay hydrated, but to rinse residual food debris and acids from the surface of the enamel. Saliva is also critical to helping you wash away food particles and acids from your mouth. Your mouth actually releases less saliva during snacking compared with when you eat a meal, which is why the ADA recommends limiting your snacking.

Must Know Trick To Make Unloading Services

WHAT IS A LUMPER SERVICE?

Lumper services are meant to save truck drivers time and give them the ability to rest while their trailer is unloaded, however lumper services can occasionally receive negative feedback. The biggest complaint when it comes to lumpers is miscommunication. Drivers may be unaware of the lumper service when they arrive and may be surprised by the charge. At Ally Logistics, we take the time to notify our carriers when a lumper service is expected, as well as reimburse the carrier for lumpers.

Another concern from drivers who use lumper services is the turnaround it takes to get loaded/unloaded. All drivers want to have a quick transition from the dock to leaving the warehouse, with lumpers, drivers have complained about slow service times, making them wait longer to leave.

Ideally, lumper services can benefit everyone involved in the supply-chain. Drivers would be able to rest, avoid the risk of injury in helping load/unload freight, and allow the driver to leave faster. For the shipper and receiver, it should help reduce loading times and improve customer relations.

 

IS LUMPING SERVICE LEGAL?

Lumping as a service is not illegal. However, many consider lumpers to be one of the biggest, oldest scams in the trucking industry. Section 15, Chapter 49, Paragraph 141-03 of the Motor Carrier Act speaks about lumping. It explains when it is considered a legal practice, and when it is considered an illegal practice.

For example, it is not illegal for a big grocery chain to allow a third-party company (lumpers) to unload their freight at their dock. Where this practice becomes illegal and where truck drivers have the most trouble, is when the driver pays for the lumping charge and is NOT reimbursed.

This is when the law truly has been broken.

It is also common for the lumpers performing the lumping service to not declare their income to the IRS. Obviously, this is an illegal practice.

 

Why lumpers?

Some receivers outsource to lumping services that are independent of their core business, especially in the grocery distribution business. Lumpers allow for truck drivers to catch up on rest and save energy for their driving, and can sometimes save time for drivers.

Why the negative light?

The “can sometimes save time for drivers” is viewed just like that – sometimes. If you read any trucker forums, you may find many truckers state they have run into headaches when choosing to use lumpers because the lumpers often do their restacking on the trailers, which can be rather time-consuming. However, if the truck drivers decide against using lumpers, they could find themselves trying to unload with hand-jacks and possibly taking additional time to learn their way around a new warehouse.

 

Importance and Benefits of Lumper Services

The use of lumpers is sometimes a result of a decision to outsource or contract out loading and unloading activities. In general, these third-party services provide a crucial logistical function by providing a mechanism for fulfilling the needs of motor carriers, shippers, and receivers in performing the loading and unloading of carrier equipment. Lumpers provided by an expert 3PL or inbound logistics services are members of a well-managed team that provide a net benefit to all parties in the supply chain.

Moreover, lumper services offer an alternative for hand loading or unloading by drivers so that they can successfully meet time-sensitive schedules and minimize their exposure to fatigue and injury. Consequently, lumpers provide social benefits by reinforcing the safety of the freight and trucking industries.

Here are the benefits associated with lumper services:

For the Carrier

  • Reduced driver fatigue
  • Reduced health and injury risks for the driver

For the Shipper

  • Improved relations with customers/receivers
  • Reduced loading time during periods of normal shipping demand

For the Receiver

  • Increased ability to fulfill peak unloading periods
  • Reduced unloading times during normal demand periods
  • Facilitating floor load conversions to in-house pallet configurations

For the Driver

  • Faster unloading
  • More time to rest

 

8 Facts About the Truck Driver Way of Life

Eight noteworthy facts below about truck drivers in the US. You may be surprised by what you learn.

  1. Days can begin really early. Many drivers like to move with the light; others prefer to drive through the night. OTR truck drivers don’t have set starting hours, unless they’re calling in to dispatch after returning from “time off.”
  2. You may be expected to work up to 70 hours over an eight-day period. After you’ve worked for 70 hours, you cannot drive again until you take a full 34 hours off duty. The 70-hour limit could be reached by working 14-hour days, but you cannot drive for more than 11 hours in a day. You must conclude your “Hours of Service” with a 10-hour break.
  3. Some drivers are paid hourly, but in most cases compensation is calculated by mile. A delivery driver does not get paid when he or she is not delivering.
  4. Employers who pay “practical miles” pay based on every mile driven while on the job. On the other hand, “paid miles” is more like drawing a straight-line on a map from Point A to Point B, even though routes aren’t always straight. Your salary can increase if you become a trainer, are willing to haul oversize freight or hazardous materials, or if an employer pays you a percentage of each load you run.
  5. Often, you won’t know what you’ll be paid until the end of a year. A good estimate would be $35,000 in your first year, and $45,000 to $55,000 thereafter.
  6. you will either do “drop and hooks” or live loading and unloading, which can take two to three hours each. An OTR driver will almost never have to unload any freight, but you are reliant on various shipping and receiving departments observing your strict schedule.
  7. Most drivers are expected to cover 125,000 miles per annum. That breaks down to around 2,500 miles a week, which equates to 500 miles a day. Think about that.
  8. There are many perks that come with a truck driver’s schedule, not the least of which is a unique view of the country, as well as camaraderie among your peers. You’ll mostly get to drive modern trucks with comfortable, ergonomically designed seats to help you stay alert and focused. This is just as well, because most of your working days are spent in an 8′ x 8′ space, but that shouldn’t confine your imagination or ambition.

Choose The Best Event Planner For Your Event

THE BEST EVENT MANAGEMENT TIPS FOR BEGINNERS

TAKE A STEP BACK AND THINK BIG PICTURE

While some degree of micromanagement is warranted, an effective event planner needs to be able to take a step back and think about the big picture of their event. Your primary responsibility as an event planner is to meet expectations. How well do all the pieces of your event fit together to accomplish that? Consider the type of experience you want to deliver to each of your attendees and what value they want from your conference to improve it.

COMMUNICATE

Fostering open lines of communication with your staff, attendees, and sponsors are incredibly valuable. For one, if you have a clear understanding of your staff’s, attendees’, and sponsors’ expectations, it is much easier to meet them. Additionally, healthy communication highlights issues early on when they are often easiest to address.

PREPARE FOR BEST AND WORST-CASE SCENARIOS

You need to be prepared to run a successful event, whether it’s according to your ideal plan or a backup. Making sure that your event meets core expectations even in a worst-case scenario is the only way to guarantee success. On the flipside, preparing your team to capitalize on a best-case scenario maximally, makes perfection possible.

DELEGATE TASKS RESPONSIBLY

Effectively delegating tasks is a critical part of effective leadership. Make sure that high-level event staff doesn’t take on too much responsibility. Try to equitably distribute workload across a variety of high-level staff and other workers to ensure that no member of your team becomes overloaded.

EVENT MANAGEMENT TIPS FOR BEGINNERS

Now that you have a basic outline of what you need to do to plan a successful event, here are a few tips that will smooth the process.

 

The Top Event Planning Tips to Keep You Organized, Efficient, and Valued

Learn the workings of other industries

While an event planner is not required to know the specific operational details of how other industries function, it is important to have an idea of the general workings which will make your  job much easier. For example, when calling other companies and vendors, be as specific as possible about your needs.  A good understanding of how to estimate the number of square footage needed for tables, tents, and other rentals always helps. Also, you should have some understanding of generator wattage, heating and air conditioning BTUs, and more! Knowing this will guarantee a higher probability of your event going off flawlessly.

Set clear expectations

“Set expectations with the client to ensure a successful outcome. We like to try to have ALL event details nailed down 30 days before the event, with no major changes or additions allowed two weeks prior to the event. This allows for excellent communication between us and all vendors to ensure that everything is planned and executed as best as it can be.”

Implement a system to track client touch points

“I developed systems and processes within the enterprise edition of Salesforce. We run our business completely on this platform and have created a proprietary system which we enhance almost weekly.

Loop in your content team to generate buzz and excitement

“Work with your content team for owned media promotion of the event. Tap key company leaders to help develop content for the website, blogs, and social media channels. These can be testimonials on why to attend or thought leadership teasers of what speakers will share at the conference. Space out the distribution of content to promote the event for a couple of weeks to generate a buzz.”

Strategize your media plan early

“Work closely with your public relations team to create an earned media plan. Identify key spokespeople who will be attending the event, structure their talking points, and reach out early to the conference organizers for a media list. Connecting early with attending media increases your chances of being included within full feature stories or roundups about the event.”

 

Event Planning Tips…Even If You’re Not An Event Planner

Get Out The Whiteboard

No matter the type of event you’re planning, you need to map out a strategy. What’s the goal of your event? Are you introducing a new product or service to customers? Running a demo for analysts or prospects?

Bring Up Budget

Once you have your goals outlined, you need to consider how much it will cost to accomplish those goals. Personally, I make a checklist of every single cost item I need to make an event happen. This can include signs, invitations, graphic treatments for the website, food, beverages, music, giveaways, etc. Think back to events you’ve attended and imagine all the little things that were involved. What do you absolutely need and what can you live without? Make up a checklist and start developing an overall price tag.

A Time and Place for Every Event

Are you hosting executives or managers? Is it a presentation or a mixer? Is this event part of your demand generation strategy or about brand awareness?

Iteration of an Invite

The invitation to your event is one of the most important aspects of the entire planning process. You don’t want to send out the first invite too early or too late. Three weeks out is a good rule to live by. But if you want to get on executives’ calendars, you might want to send it out even earlier. A more detailed, elaborate invite for a dinner event is appropriate, but you may want to be more simple and straight to the point if you’re presenting a demo. Include directions that include access to public transportation. Make it easy to be an attendee.

Walk a Mile

Visit the venue the day before your event. Envision how you want attendees to experience the event. What signs need to be in place to avoid confusion? Where should you station staff? Basically, you want to understand what your guests will see from the time they walk into the venue to the registration table to the actual event. Feel matters. And the only way to anticipate how your event will feel is to walk a mile in your guests’ shoes.

 

The Ultimate Guide on How to Start Your Event Planning Business

Establish your expertise

If you want people to trust you with their events, you need to demonstrate you know what you’re doing.

Build an effective business plan

A business plan essentially establishes what your business goals and strategies will be moving forward.

Secure startup capital

It only takes about $2,000 to $5,000 to get your business off the ground. Beyond that, there will be recurring costs that you need to factor in to your budget, since you won’t be profitable right away.

Invest in the software you need to effectively run your business

There’s an overwhelming number of software types you can use for your business. Some of them you’ll find helpful right away, and some of them you’ll find helpful further down the line.

Figure out what you need to legally operate your event planning business

Putting in the effort now to make sure that your event planning business is above board and protected means a lot less paperwork (and a lot less in terms of potential legal fees) later down the line.

 

Creative Ways Event Planners Can Find New Clients

Offer Experiences

People want more than a traditional event. They want experiences and a story they can share with friends and family (mostly via social media). Can you offer experiences as part of your events? Think about combining your events with classes, paint nights, demonstrations, special food or cocktail tastings, or fitness activities. Take a look at popular trends such as beer yoga, cooking classes, and escape rooms, and see what would fit best with your ideal clients.

Demonstrate Expertise

There’s a reason people hire you to run their events: You are an expert at what you do. Show off your expertise by creating a blog, or using email or social media to share tips, advice and your perspective on news or trends in the industry. It’s OK to give away a few of your secrets, because prospective clients will appreciate the information and they’ll begin to recognize you as an expert. Also, search engines will find the information you’re sharing online, and index it. When people search for someone who is an expert on the topics you write about, your business is more likely to appear in that search.

Work with the Local Blogging Community

Speaking of blogs, consider about reaching out to the popular bloggers in your community to spread the word about what you do. Think about it: Bloggers that write about weddings, food, travel or what’s happening in their town would be interested in your services and could introduce your business to their audiences. Do a search for bloggers in your area that write about those topics, and then hold a small event for them to show an example of what you offer in exchange for a mention on their blog and social media.

Partner with Nonprofits

Volunteering to help nonprofits with events is a win-win. You help people in need and show that you are invested in your community. And you’ll meet a lot of people during the process of organizing the event and at the event itself.

Go Live

If you’re using social media, you may have noticed that more businesses are taking advantage of new live-streaming tools. Because it works. Social media users watch live videos three times longer than prerecorded videos. They’re also 1.7 times more likely to buy the product or services mentioned in the video. Use the livestreaming tools on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn and YouTube to promote your business. You can show off what’s happening before or during an event, have a Q&A session or offer helpful tips.

Tips To Find The Best Water Testing

Public Water Systems

What type of health issues can be related to water quality?

The presence of certain contaminants in our water can lead to health issues, including gastrointestinal illness, reproductive problems, and neurological disorders. Infants, young children, pregnant women, the elderly, and immunocompromised persons may be especially at risk for becoming ill after drinking contaminated water. For example, elevated levels of lead can cause serious health problems, especially for pregnant women and young children. Federal law requires that systems reduce certain contaminants to set levels, in order to protect human health.

How do contaminants (germs and chemicals) get into my drinking water?

There can be many sources of contamination of our water systems. Here is a list of the most common sources of contaminants:

  • Naturally occurring chemicals and minerals (for example, arsenic, radon, uranium)
  • Local land use practices (fertilizers, pesticides, livestock, concentrated animal feeding operations)
  • Manufacturing processes
  • Sewer overflows
  • Malfunctioning wastewater treatment systems (for example, nearby septic systems)

Many contaminants that pose known human health risks are regulated by the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). EPA makes sure that water meets certain standards, so you can be sure that high levels of contaminants are not in your water.

 

The Complete Guide to Pool Water Testing

Pool Water Testing is Essential to Pool Health

If you don’t test your pool water, how do you know what the chemical levels are? Or what undesirable substances are in it? Or how much and what chemicals to put into the water to create a clean and safe swimming environment?The answer is, you don’t. You absolutely must learn how to test pool water, and then do so on a regular basis. In fact, out of all the pool maintenance tasks you’ll perform over the life of your pool, testing the water is the one thing you’ll do more than anything else.

How to Test Pool Water Accurately

It doesn’t seem like it should be a complicated endeavor, and it’s really not. You even have a few testing options.

How to Take a Proper Pool Water Sample

The most important factors here are where you take the sample from, and how you do it. If possible, take the sample from the absolute middle of your pool.

How to Use Test Strips

In addition to being super quick and easy to use, test strips can also sometimes be more accurate than liquid test kits because human error can make it difficult to match up the colors using the chemical drops.

 

Well Water Testing (Private Drinking Water)

About Well Water Testing

Your well water can affect the health of everyone who consumes it. At PHO, we test for the indicators of bacterial contamination:

Coliforms: These bacteria are often found in animal waste, sewage, as well as soil and vegetation. If they are in your drinking water, surface water may be entering your well.

coli (Escherichia coli). These bacteria are normally found only in the digestive systems of people and animals. If they are in your drinking water, it usually means that animal or human waste is entering your well from a nearby source.

We do not test for other contaminants such as chemicals. This means that even if your results show there is no bacterial contamination in your drinking water, it still may be unsafe to drink.

For all other environmental testing, including testing for chemical contaminants, please consult with your local public health unit.

If you are an owner or operator of a large drinking water system under Ontario regulation 170/03 and need more information, contact the Ministry of Environment, Conservation and Parks. For more information about small drinking water systems regulated under Ontario regulation 319/08, contact your local public health unit

 

Standard drinking water test

What should I do before I take a water sample?

Before you take a sample, call the laboratories listed in Table 2 to obtain sampling bottles and information on the correct sampling procedure. Please note that your sample will not provide you with accurate information unless the:

  • correct sample bottles are used
  • correct volume is taken
  • sample is stored at the required temperature
  • sample is transported to and arrives at the laboratory in the correct time
  • correct procedure is used to take the sample.

What do the results mean?

The Department of Health is able to interpret laboratory results and provide you with general advice on how to make your water safe to drink. Microbiological and chemical laboratories may also be able to assist you with additional technical advice. However, they are not in a position to provide you with health related advice.

Will the standard drinking water test, test for all contaminants?

No. The catchment or source of your drinking water can affect the water quality in many ways. Water can dissolve chemicals and transport microbiological contaminants while it travels through or across the catchment area. It is important that you identify the hazards that occur in or on the catchment area before you test the water.

 

How to test for lead in your home water supply

How lead enters your home’s water supply

Just like in Flint, lead can enter your home when lead plumbing materials, which can include faucets, pipes, fittings and the solder that holds them all together, become corroded and begin to release lead into the water. Corrosion is most likely to happen when water has a high acid or low mineral content and sits inside pipes for several hours, says the EPA.

Lead is everywhere

Finding out about lead in your water is only one part of the solution. Lead enters our bodies from many common contaminated sources other than drinking water, such as dust, soil and air. In fact, the EPA says the main source of lead exposure in the United States comes from inhaling dust or eating particles contaminated by paint chips. That’s because lead was a common additive in house paint, gasoline and many other materials for years before its toxicity was known.

The Best Decision To Use Shingles Roof

What is Shingle Roofing?

Shingles are the most common roofing material in North America. They can be made from a wide variety of materials, such as slate, plastic, and composites, but they are most commonly made out of asphalt. Each roofing shingle is small and rectangular. When installed, they overlap to keep out water. Asphalt is used because of its waterproof properties. They’re popular because the up-front cost is relatively low, and the installation itself is fairly easy and straightforward for professional roofers. When homeowners on a budget compare tile roofs vs. shingle roofs, they often choose shingles because of the price.

Roofing shingles come in a variety of shapes, textures, and colors, making them architecturally versatile. They reflect sunlight well, which is an advantage in hot climates, and they’re also designed to resist both, fire damage and algae growth. They can deteriorate from moss growth and accumulated debris, so shingle roofs need to be cleaned with specialized solutions.

 

Advantages of Shingle Roofs

There are plenty of reasons the majority of homeowners go with new asphalt shingle roofs when it is time to replace the old one.

  • Affordability — Asphalt shingles are one of the most affordable roofing materials available. They can also last for up to 20 years, making this type of roof a worthwhile investment, particularly if you do not plan to live in this home forever.
  • Easy Installation — The ease of installation means that installing a new roof is a fast process. The overall time it will take for expert roofers to install your new roof can range from one to several days depending on many factors, such as the size of your roof, the weather ,and the condition of your roof’s underlying structure. Further, any repairs that you may need throughout the roof’s life are quick and easy to complete.
  • Versatility — Asphalt shingles can be installed on almost any type of roof as they do not need any specialized accessories, such as homes with steep-sloped roofs and those with chimneys and vents.
  • Variety — For such an affordable roofing material, there is a ton of different asphalt shingle styles, colors, and prices available. That means that you will almost certainly find a style and color that matches your home’s theme in a price range that works for you.
  • Safety — Many roofing material companies offer composite shingles that have Class A fire protection. That means that the shingles are fire resistant, allowing you and your family additional time to leave home in the event a fire breaks out.

 

Disadvantages Of Shingle Roofing

Let’s start with the disadvantages because everything in life has them. When it comes to shingle roofing, the main disadvantages that you must watch out for here include:

  • Shingles are susceptible to high wind damage – strong winds can uplift or tear shingles off easily.
  • Asphalt roof shingles not only transfer solar heat into your home, they can become damaged by the heat.
  • Mildew problems caused by excess moisture pooling in shady areas of your roof can damage shingles easily.
  • Depending on the type of shingle, asphalt roofs are easily outlasted by tile, slate and metal, lasting on average 15 to 30 years.

 

Types of Asphalt Shingles

How do I choose the right asphalt shingles?

The options may seem overwhelming, but asphalt shingles are a great choice for almost any home. Asphalt shingles are durable, affordable and come in incredible variety of colors and styles to match almost any exterior. So how do you choose?

  1. 3-tab Asphalt Shingle

What’s there to love about a 3-tab shingle? 3-tab shingles are affordable and can last a couple decades in the right conditions.
What’s the problem with 3-tab shingles? Fewer aesthetic options, potential blow-off issues and a shorter lifespan.

  1. Dimensional Asphalt Shingles

What’s there to love about a dimensional shingle? Strength, baby. Dimensional shingles are extremely durable. These shingles boast a multi-dimensional texture and appearance, and can last 30 years or longer.

What’s the problem with dimensional shingles? You’ll pay more upfront for dimensional asphalt shingles than you will for 3-tab shingles.

  1. Luxury Asphalt Shingles

What’s there to love about luxury asphalt shingles? Multi-Dimensional appearance; maximum durability; more affordable than slate or cedar alternatives.

 

How to Inspect Your Roof for Damage

It’s smart to regularly inspect your roof, especially if you live an area with adverse weather throughout the year. It’s best to get up and inspect the roof up-close, but you can also get away with inspecting the roof from the ground with binoculars.

Here are a few things you should look for when inspecting roof damage:

  • Look under eaves and overhangs for damage that might mean water leakage
  • Look for sagging in the roof, along with unevenness
  • Analyze the flashing for damage or for inadequate coverage
  • Look for any open seams that could cause it to leak
  • Look at the attic interior for signs of leaks, moldy spots, gaps or sagging sheathing
  • Look for dark patches or growth
  • Look for raised or rusted nails, as well as stains around nails, indicating they’re loose
  • Check ventilation sources to ensure they’re not blocked by debris
  • Inspect gutters for sagging, signs of leaks, and accumulation of granules

Trick To Find The Best Home Builder

Tips To Finding The Best Home Builders

Verify their credentials

The first step in hiring a building is to find out whether they have a license. In most instances, you will out that a good number of builders have the license. That is not supposed to be the end of the process. You need to take another step of finding out about the originality of those papers. Before signing any papers with the contractor, you need to make sure that everything is in order.

Talk to people

Another important thing that will help you find the right home builder is talking to people. Talk to those people who have used the company’s services before. Get to know what they like about the company and what they dislike. You also need to know if they were pleased with the services that the home builders offered them. If not, then be sure to know the reasons behind that unsatisfactoriness.

Cost

You also need to make sure that you hire a home builder who will not ask for more than you can afford. Here, you need to understand that some builders tend to be expensive for nothing. Such builders need to be avoided by all means possible. Before you sign a contract with any builder, it is always good that you do a comparison before deciding on a particular one. Always go for the best. Check out home builders austin for perfect building services.

 

How to Choose the Right Home Builder

Look for Signs of Quality

Look for signs of quality construction and attention to detail when you visit the homes above. Also consider the building products that a builder uses. Are they brands with well-earned reputations for quality? What about the homes under construction you passed on the way to the completed model home? Were there signs of care and attention there, as well?

Tour Model Homes and/or Homes of Past Buyers

Once you’ve narrowed down a list of prospective builders using the criteria above, this is the most important step. Nothing substitutes for touring a home built by a builder on your short list. It can be a furnished and decorated model home that’s open to the public. Or, it can be a home the builder constructed for a past buyer that you visit by appointment. In either case, pay careful attention to the look, feel and quality of the home.

Industry Involvement

Not every good builder chooses to join their local Home Builder Association, so don’t place too much emphasis on this. However, such membership does tend to show that a builder is committed for the long-term to the area. It’s also a sign of commitment to new home community developers, building product suppliers and trade contractors that work in your city or town.

Resale Value

Good reputations follow good builders, among homeowners and Realtors. Look for builders whose homes tend to hold or maintain their value. Look for Realtor ads that specifically mention the name of a builder for a home for sale that’s now five or seven years old. That Realtor clearly sees the builder’s brand name as a big plus.

Warranty and Service

One of the top advantages of new construction is that your home itself and most of the products, systems and components it contains are brand-new and under warranty. The peace of mind that comes with knowing that major repairs or a new roof are likely years away is important. In addition, look for a structural warranty of ten years or longer on the home itself, ideally transferable to a new owner should you sell. Also look for a builder who provides prompt and courteous service under warranty and who takes time to explain the proper maintenance and care that any home needs.

 

Tips To Finding The Best Home Building Company

Know Your Needs

What kind and type of home do you want to build? How big is the size, style and what is your budget? It is important to know what your needs are. This is be cause while some building companies construct a wide range of homes, some specialize in a particular type of home. What kind of home are you planning to build are you a first-time owner, a move up, constructing your custom designed house or building a multimillion dollar home. It is important to choose a builder who will be able to fit your need.

Experience is Important

It is critical to know the experience of the firm and the in particular team. Every building company once built their first home. Though one may come across a new company, do not dismiss them find out whether the team has experience in the construction field. Finding seasoned professionals is vital.

Licenses and Insurance

It is important to verify whether permits are required for buildings to be constructed in the state that you leave in. This is because not every state has regulations regarding construction. However, if your state has, it is vital to find a building company who have the proper licensing for constructing. Likewise, inquire and ask for proof whether the company has the appropriate insurance in the event of any accident or loss. The insurance should be able to cover the building company, the building team and you as a client.

Warranties

Your home is one of your biggest investment and being this it is important to find a company that provides a warranty. Look for one a company that provides a long-term warranty that can also be transferred to another owner and includes a third party warranty. That is if the business would close there is a guarantee that your issue will be resolved. Furthermore, find a building company who have prompt and courteous service.

 

Tips for Choosing and Working With a Builder

Make one comprehensive inspection list. More arguments happen at the final stage than at any other time in a project, so it’s important to be ready for the common pitfalls.

Consider who will do the rough-in and finish work. With a kitchen or bathroom, for example, the rough-in involves bringing the waste, plumbing and electrical services to the right places. So pipes and cables are installed in walls and under floors, and are left poking out. Typically, walls are then lined and plastered, and floors laid, before the finish work.

Understand the importance of a building contract. A building contract is simply an agreement between a builder, who agrees to undertake a specific set of works, and a client, who agrees to pay a set amount of money.

Embrace bidding. Competitive bidding is the process of getting alternative prices from different builders for the same work. Clearly, it’s crucial that the information against which they are pricing is absolutely clear and specific.

Be specific. I’ve mentioned it already, but I can’t emphasize enough how important it is to be specific.

 

Tips for Choosing and Working With a Builder

Make one comprehensive inspection list. More arguments happen at the final stage than at any other time in a project, so it’s important to be ready for the common pitfalls.

When the main work is going full tilt, everyone tends to be happy, but toward the end of a project, there are typically a thousand small items to attend to, requiring an array of tradespeople, and this can be both difficult and expensive for the builder to organize.

Consider who will do the rough-in and finish work. With a kitchen or bathroom, for example, the rough-in involves bringing the waste, plumbing and electrical services to the right places. So pipes and cables are installed in walls and under floors, and are left poking out. Typically, walls are then lined and plastered, and floors laid, before the finish work.

The finish work is where the cabinets, appliances, faucets, light fixtures, tiling and so on are done, connecting up to the pipes and cables that were set in place before.

Understand the importance of a building contract. A building contract is simply an agreement between a builder, who agrees to undertake a specific set of works, and a client, who agrees to pay a set amount of money.

There are many forms of contract, but the one that I most regularly use for residential projects has the drawings and schedules attached to the contract, so it’s clear what’s included and what’s not. The payment terms and so on are agreed upon upfront.

Embrace bidding. Competitive bidding is the process of getting alternative prices from different builders for the same work. Clearly, it’s crucial that the information against which they are pricing is absolutely clear and specific. (Otherwise how can two prices compare?)

I would generally send a project out to four or five builders for pricing. This involves the builder in a great deal of work, and it’s just not fair, in my opinion, to go to more than five. However, when the prices come back, it’s not at all unusual for them to vary between the highest and lowest by 100 percent or more, so it’s well worth going to at least three or four.

Be specific. I’ve mentioned it already, but I can’t emphasize enough how important it is to be specific.

A set of drawings is a good start, but what about the structural detail — are you asking the builder to work this out? If so, make that clear or, alternatively (and, in my opinion, preferably), have the structural calculations done by an engineer before you ask for a price.

Tips To Find The Best Family Law Attorney

Choosing the Right Family Law Attorney

Find an attorney you can work with.

Your lawyer will be your partner throughout your case. You may need to confide sensitive or embarrassing information to your attorney – things you would prefer not to tell anyone. You’ll be speaking to your attorney frequently, and you’ll need to be able to provide information and understand your lawyer’s explanations of certain steps in your case or how the law applies in your situation.

Interview prospective attorneys with your needs in mind.

When you contact a law firm to speak to a prospective attorney, be as clear as you can about what you’re looking for. Many lawyers will agree to speak to you for no charge so that both of you can determine whether you’ll be a good “fit” for one another.

Ask for advice, but make your own decision.

Asking friends, family members and co-workers to recommend an attorney is one way to collect information about family law attorneys and law firms in your area. Attorney guides like Martindale-Hubbell or Avvo can also point you to local law firms, as can reading law firm websites and reviews.

Pick a lawyer, not a law firm.

The most important relationship is not between the law firm and the client, but between the law partner and a client. Seek out a relationship with an individual partner in a firm as your lawyer. Never have a relationship with a law firm — have a relationship with a lawyer. Make it that partner’s responsibility to manage your case. If your case is passed off to an associate, demand an explanation and demand to know the associate’s experience. If the law partner that drew you to the law firm wants to pass off your case to an associate, then you should be thinking about another firm. Ask the lawyer you meet with this question: “Will you be handling my case?”

Ask yourself: “Do I like this lawyer?”

You must be able to get along with your lawyer. The initial interview is as much about deciding if you can have a working relationship with your attorney as it is finding out about how the law applies to your case. If the lawyer you are meeting with is abrasive, distracted, disorganized, or acts in any other way that does not give you confidence, consider how you will feel later on in the case if you chose this lawyer.

 

TIPS TO CHOOSING THE RIGHT FAMILY LAWYER

Make Your Choice

Based on your search, choose a family law firm that is professional, local, knowledgeable, and responsive. You want a lawyer you can communicate with and trust who understands your priorities.

Watch for Red Flags

If a lawyer divulges confidential information, is distracted, or isn’t respectful during your initial meeting, they probably will continue to act that way. Look for a Calgary family lawyer who will treat you with the attention and respect you deserve.

Interview and Research Potentials

Talk to your top choices to find out as much information as possible, such as their range of experience, rates, and what kind of clients they typically represent.

Identity Potential Lawyers

Ask for recommendations and go online to find a few potential Calgary divorce lawyers to consider.

Consider Your Options

Depending on your goal, there may be other options besides traditional litigation. Mediation and arbitration are a couple other options that are more private.

 

How To Choose The Right Family Lawyer

Reasonable fees

All lawyer fees in family law must be reasonable. Your lawyer shouldn’t aske for a an unconscionable fee. Cheaper isn’t always better – you don’t want someone cutting corners nor do you necessarily want your case handled by someone inefficient. On the other hand, high fees don’t always correlate to the best representation in court. Find a lawyer that has flexible solutions that will fit your needs.

Ask for recommendations

You wouldn’t see a doctor without a reference and a strong recommendation – adopt the same approach with your family lawyer. You don’t have to hire the first attorney that you meet with. In fact, it is better to ask for recommendations from friends and family, or look online: to create a small list of attorneys to choose from. Once you have met with your family law attorney candidates and done your research on them, you should be able to make a decision as to which attorney you will hire. Choose a lawyer who makes you feel comfortable, who answers your questions in a way you understand. Address any concerns or doubts to your attorney and be sure you are both on the same page. Avoid any attorney who has solicited your business or who suggests anything unethical, such as a “guaranteed result.” Nothing in life is guaranteed. The right attorney will not pressure you into hiring him/her, and he/she will not hesitate to give you any references or credentials you request on the attorney’s experience.

Take time to check how experienced he is

Ask as many questions as you consider necessary to evaluate the lawyer´s background and experience. Sometimes, certain lawyers claim to have a lot of experience, but in fact have very little. The more you know up front, the fewer surprises you´ll encounter down the road. For example, whether you think you can settle your case through divorce mediation or fear you may need to go to trial, you won’t have to experience this legal battle alone. An experienced divorce attorney will know which steps you need to take to ensure your best possible outcome. Do not settle, demand expertise and experience.

What to look for in the first meeting

No matter how experienced or competent the lawyer is, if you don’t feel comfortable with him or her during the first meeting, you may want to keep looking. First and foremost, make sure that you know the implications of what you are considering. The important thing here is to avoid litigation for the purpose of revenge or anger. It is a far better approach to understand that you are here to fix the situation and make it better for everybody involved, so you can focus on moving forward in life and finding a brighter future. Start with a positive attitude. Keep in mind that a positive attitude will lead to a positive outcome.

Find an attorney you can work with

Your lawyer will be your partner throughout your case. You may need to tell him embarrassing pieces of information, secrets you would prefer not to tell anyone. You’ll be speaking to your attorney frequently, and you’ll need to be able to provide information and understand your lawyer’s explanations of certain steps in your case or how the law applies in your situation. Family law tends to be among the most emotionally charged legal areas, so make sure you choose an attorney who displays sensitivity to your most personal concerns but please keep in mind that your attorney’s role is to represent you in a legal process, not to be your therapist.

 

Tips For Choosing The Best Family Law Attorney

Referrals from friends and family

The first thing to do when looking for a family law attorney is to ask close friends and family for references. Most people need to use an attorney at least once in their lives, and chances are you know some of those people. Ask neighbors or colleagues for recommendations. Maybe you are considering filing for a divorce. Ask any close friends who have been through a divorce if they liked the attorney they worked with.

Consultations

Once you have narrowed down your list to two or three attorneys, consider setting up an initial consult. Some attorneys offer the first consult at no charge. Ask each family law attorney that you call if they offer the first consult free. Even if the consult isn’t free, it may be worth paying some money to find an attorney who is the right fit.

Ask Question that assists to make a decision

Before your first consult, write down any questions you may have, so you don’t forget anything. Ask the family law attorney if he has handled a case like yours before and how many years he has been working with such cases. Ask him about his legal strategy. Ask him about his fees and the fees of any paralegals or legal assistants he works with. Explain your case to him and ask him how the case will proceed and what he feels the outcome will be. As you do this, you will able to discern which lawyer will best fill your needs.

 

Tips on How To Choose the Right Family Lawyer

Family law matters can be some of the most stressful and emotional experiences we go through in our lives. This makes the task of choosing the right family lawyer one which demands careful thought and research.

Finding the right family lawyer can be a nightmare due to the emotion of what is being dealt with quite apart from sifting through legal profiles and information about ‘great’ family lawyers. When looking for the right firm, patience is truly a virtue. It may also save the hassle of making a rash decision in a panic.

Know exactly what you are looking for: Why do you need a family lawyer? Are you getting a divorce or is there a dispute over child access with your former spouse? If you cannot clearly communicate to a professional what you need, the process may be one which is drawn out more than it has to be.

And remember that while you are dealing with an emotional issue, it is not your lawyers’ place to simply act as some sort of counsellor, but to impart the very best legal advice.  Keep your relationship professional and focused on the issues you want your lawyer to address for you.

Tips To Easier Make Clogged Toilet

How to Unclog a Toilet Like a Plumber

Stop the Toilet Bowl From Filling Up.

If it looks like the water might overflow out of the toilet, Rod suggests taking the lid off the tank as quickly as possible and closing the toilet flapper. The flapper releases water from the tank and into the bowl. It looks like, well, a flapper. If you’re worried that your flush has a good chance of turning into a flood, take off the top before you pull the trigger. Then you can keep one hand close to the flapper while the other hands pushes the flusher. The minute it appears the water is rising, you’re ready to stop the deluge.

Get the Right Plunger

Once disaster has been averted, it’s time to unsheathe your plunger. To effectively use a plunger, you need a good seal between it and the toilet bowl. Funnel-cup plungers are the best plungers for this. They’re the ones with a flange, or added piece, extending off the bottom of the rubber cup.

Warm Up Your Plunger

Stiff, hard plungers don’t work as well as soft and pliant ones. Run your plunger under some hot water before you use it. This will soften up the rubber, which will help you get a better seal on the toilet bowl.

Plunge Correctly

Stick the plunger in the bowl and use it to form a solid seal over the exit hole. Rod said that most people only focus on the downward push when plunging. But the pullback is just as important. Give a few good up and down strokes with the plunger and flush the toilet. If the water clears from the toilet, then you’ve successfully unclogged it. If the toilet starts overflowing again, just close the flapper to stop water from entering the bowl. Repeat the plunge and flush sequence until your clog is gone.

Secret Plumber Trick: Add Hot Water and Dishwasher Detergent.

Add a few cups of hot water to the toilet bowl before you start plunging. After you pour the hot water in, let it sit for a few minutes. To put it mildly, the heat helps break the, um, stuff up. This will make unclogging the toilet with the plunger much, much easier. The heat from the hot water can sometimes break up the clog without plunging, so this could be a good tactic to use if you a clog a toilet at a friends house and you don’t want to face the embarrassment of asking for a plunger.

 

You Can Unclog a Toilet Bowl Without a Plunger

Plunger Alternative: Start With Dish Soap

As soon as the toilet clogs, learn how to unclog a toilet without a plunger and head to the kitchen and fetch some dish soap; the slippery soap should help lubricate the clogged pipe and allow the lodged debris slide down more easily. Pour about a half-cup into the toilet. If you haven’t got any dish soap on hand, chop a bar of soap into small chunks and drop the pieces into the toilet.

Plus, Check Out the Best Toilet Paper for Your Plumbing

We tested toilet paper breakdown and this is what happened.

Add Hot Water

If dish soap alone doesn’t do the trick for how to unclog a toilet without a plunger, adding water might move things along. Fill a bucket with hot bath water (boiling water could cause a porcelain toilet to crack), and pour the water into  the toilet from waist level. The force of the water could dislodge whatever is causing the clog.

DIY a Drain Snake Using a Wire Hanger

A more severe blockage could require manually moving the item. To do this without a plunger, unravel a wire coat hanger until it’s straight. Push one end of the wire into the clogged area. Prod the debris until it becomes free and flows down the drain. Voila! Another way to unclog a toilet without a plunger.

Plunger Alternative: Try This Mixture

As an alternative to using dish soap and no plunger, try this all-natural solution: Pour 1 cup baking soda and 2 cups vinegar into the toilet. Allow it fizz for a half hour. If clog doesn’t dissipate, try the hot water trick.

 

Unclog your toilet with this simple and ingenious trick — no plunger required

Most bathrooms have everything you’ll need

To perform this trick, you’ll need three things that can be found in almost any bathroom: soap, hot water and a vessel for transferring the water to the toilet bowl. Dish soap and a 5-gallon bucket work best, but if secrecy is paramount and leaving the lavatory would blow your cover, a small plastic waste bin and a few pumps from a hand soap dispenser will do just fine.

Mixing the magical potion

The objective is to get the liquid in the toilet bowl as hot and soapy as possible without letting it overflow. You can either pour (or pump) soap directly into the bowl and then add hot water, or you can mix the soap with the hot water before you add it to the bowl.

Carefully and gently add the hot water

Mixing everything up in the toilet bowl is the step requiring the most finesse. You want to raise the average water temperature and get the soap into every crevice, but you don’t necessarily want to create a slurry with what’s already in there.

If all else fails, time is on your side

The worst-case scenario is that the clog is wedged too tightly in place and the above steps don’t push it down right away. If that happens, you don’t have to call a plumber or head to the hardware store just yet.

 

The One Surefire Way To Unclog a Toilet

Clogged the toilet? Don’t panic. A toilet clogged with human waste is disgusting and can be embarrassing, but it’s easy to fix. I’ve unclogged countless stoppages for my family and friends, and during volunteer work. What I write here isn’t theory. It works.

The lower portion of the toilet is called the stool. If the stool is filled with water and getting close to overflowing the rim, shut off the stop valve that supplies water to the toilet. The valve typically is located to your left as you stand and look at the toilet. In rare cases, when the toilet isn’t close to a corner, it may be on the right.

Take a coat hanger and a pair of linesman pliers (or anything that can cut wire). Cut the hook off the coat hanger. Bend the hanger into a straight rod and use the pliers to bend a small one-inch-long hook into the wire’s end. Hook into the waste and break it up. Yes, this process is gross and may make you gag, but do you want to clear the clog or not?

 

Easier Ways to Clear a Clog

Heat Wave

When you notice a nasty clog, your best bet is to fill a pan with hot water. Heat it up on the stove or use the tap, but don’t let the water get to boiling point. Pour it down the drain and let it sit for a few minutes to see if it loosens the clog. You’ll know if your efforts were successful if you see the water start to drain. Then, give the toilet a flush or two. In many cases, the hot water is enough to break up whatever is causing the backup.

Dish Duty

If you need to kick things up a notch, borrow some dish soap from the kitchen and squeeze a generous amount, about a 1/4 cup should do, into the toilet bowl. Let the soap sit for 5-10 minutes so it has time to move down the drain and reach the clog. Then, add hot water (again, not boiling) to the bowl and give it some time to sit. In most cases, the soap will act as a lubricant and grease the clog in the toilet drain to get everything moving again.

Fizzy Fix

It’s time to channel what you learned in elementary school science! If your toilet bowl is already filled to the brim, either empty out some of the water or be prepared for a little overflow. Next, pour one cup of baking soda and one cup of vinegar down the toilet drain. When the vinegar and baking soda combine, the natural chemical reaction will bubble up and loosen the clog. After about thirty minutes, follow up with some hot water and see if it drains. If it does, you’re good to go. If it doesn’t, repeat the process once more.

Brush Battle

This may seem a little unpleasant, but if you’re really in a bind and there’s no plunger in sight, grab a toilet brush and angle the bristles down the drain. Pumping up and down a few times should be enough to loosen things up so the clog clears in no time.