Starting An Electrician Business

How to Find a Good, Reliable Electrician

Although there are many home repairs you may be able to do on your own, electrical work is best left to the professionals. Faulty wiring can lead to fires, shock, electrocution and other hazards. It is important to hire a good, reliable electrician who is able to guarantee the work. Instead of making your decision solely on price, research and confirm the electrician’s credentials before making a dangerous mistake

Request recommendations. Contractors, builders and developers can often provide a list of reliable electricians they recommend. Word of mouth is a great source of advertising. See if any of your friends or co-workers can recommend a good electrician from experience

Discuss the electrician’s area of expertise. Electricians typically specialize in one field or multiple fields. Some may handle new construction site projects, and others may specialize in service calls or commercial buildings. It is important to make sure the electrician has the experience necessary to handle any issues or complications that may arise.

Ask to see a copy of the electrician’s license. In California, every individual who performs electrical work needs to be licensed, not just the contractor. You can verify the electrician’s licensing status by using the search tool on the State of California Department of Industrial Relations site

Verify that the electrician carries insurance. Although it is not a state requirement, you may want to choose an electrician carrying liability insurance in case there is an accident or damage done to your home. If the company has employees, it is legally required to have workers’ compensation insurance on all electricians. For added assurance, call the insurance provider to ensure the policies have not lapsed.

 

Tips for Hiring a Good Electrician

When you seek the services of a professional electrician to perform electrical repairs in your home or workplace, you want to ensure that the person you engage is of course qualified, certified and insured, but also highly skilled and experienced in carrying out electrical services and electrical repairs. However, it is difficult to know whether this will be the case just by speaking to someone on the phone.

Licenses and Insurance

It is absolutely essential that you ensure the electricians working in your home or workplace are licensed and appropriately insured and that the electricians willingly provide you with details of these. If an electrician works for an electrical company, it may be possible to chase up these details through the organisation, but for independent electrical contractors, these checks are still vitally important.

References

One of the best ways to know how good an electrician is, is to obtain references from others. Without such recommendations or warnings, how can you know whether others have been satisfied and impressed with their work?

Obtain an Initial Quote

Never let electrical work begin in your home without a quote being obtained and agreed. In fact, you may obtain quotes from several electricians before deciding on the one that will carry out the electrical repairs necessary in your home or workplace.

Permits and Permission

It may be the case that the electrical work to be carried out requires particular permission and/or permits. A great electrician will never attempt to cut corners by carrying out work without the necessary permission and will always seek approval.

 

How to Find a Good Electrician

Finding an electrician is not difficult, it’s finding one that is qualified, won’t rip you off and will do a good job. Going by price won’t work, because however much you pay you can never guarantee good quality workmanship. So we’ve put together a guide to help you find a good electrician.

Word of Mouth

The first port of call to finding an electrician is to ask around. Whether it’s your friends and family or a shout out on social media, a recommendation from someone else is like gold dust. If someone you know has used an electrician and they were good enough to warrant a recommendation, then you know they’re good, especially if you can go and look at their handiwork themselves.

Electrical Competent Person

If you nobody has anyone to recommend, then you need to head to the Registered Competent Person Electrical search facility here. All electricians on this register have been assessed for the quality of their work, so this should be the next step in your search for a reputable electrician.

Get a Quote from at Least Three Electricians

Obtain at least three quotations from at least three different electricians, and make sure that your quote is broken down into the actual work that the electrician will be doing, the amount of time it will take to do the job and the material costs for any parts.

Leave Them Feedback

If you’ve found a great electrician, make sure that you leave them a good recommendation, both online and in person. This means that when someone else is need of a good electrician, they’re more likely to choose the same one you did.

 

A Guide For Choosing The Right Electrician

Whether you need electrical installation or repair in your home, it is good to hire the best electrician to handle it. If your electrical system is not working in the right way, you can be sure that your entire home will also be dysfunctional. You need a good electrician with knowledge of how the system and appliances work so that they can work on your project in the right way. With the many electricians, you can get confused on the one that you can work within your home. The following are the important tips to follow as you look for an excellent electrician to work on your project

Get recommendations

One of the ways that you can get the best electrician in your area is to ask for recommendations from other homeowners who have worked with professional electricians. By doing this, you will gather the information that will guide you in selecting the one that will offer you satisfactory services that will ensure that your system will not fail you. What you should do is to list three of the best recommended and take time to consult with them so that you get the best among them. Note that you will require their electrical services for a long time so you should also choose the one you can develop a long term relationship with them.

Verify insurance and licensing

You cannot make the mistake of entrusting your electrical project to an electrician who is not licensed – EJ Electrical Gold Coast. In case you work with such a professional, you will have nowhere to run to in case there is a problem because they are not recognised by authorities. Besides, it is good to know that there are also some risks involved in working on an electrical project, so they should also have an insurance cover. So, as you do the consultation, it is vital you request them to show you their license and insurance cover. With an insurance cover, you will not worry when the professionals are working on your project because you know that you are fully protected from any liability that might occur

Training and credentials

During your search, it is paramount you only work with those with the right qualifications. They should have a strong education background in the industry. Besides, they should also be undergoing continuous training so that they get equipped with recent techniques in the electrical field. It is also important to look that they are certified and accredited by the relevant institutions to work on electrical projects.

Reputation

When you hire an electrician, they will be working inside your home. This means that if you work with someone who does not have a good reputation, you might end up losing some of your items. This is why it is good to check that your potential electrician does not have a criminal record. The reviews and rating provided by past clients will show you the reputation of the different electrical professional in your area, thus guide you to choose the right one.

 

Expert Tips To Find A Professional Electrician

Whether it is home remodeling, new electrical wiring or a faulty wire, you’re wise if you’re considering to hire a professional electrician. While we have already discussed why you must go for a professional, we wanted to compile the expert tips to find a professional electrician so as to assist you in your endeavor.

Don’t cut corners while hiring an electrician

Electrical work is highly dangerous, and it is crucial that the work gets utmost care. All the safety precautions must be followed so as to avoid dangerous on job accidents as well as to ensure that your house remains safe from electrical damage in future.

Conduct a walk-through of your home

Why is it important? Probably you’re paying the electrician for a home visit, and if that’s the case, you must make the most out of it. There are chances that you’re hiring the contractor for a major electrical work at present, but that must not stop you from getting a quote for all the tasks that might need to be done

Electricians are not do-it-all gurus

Electrical work requires highly skilled professionals and most of the trained electrical contractors specialize in different fields. Some may work on commercial wiring projects while some may handle only simple domestic tasks.

Ask for recommendations

Asking your friends, family and neighbors must be the first thing you should do to find a professional electrician. Look for a contractor who has already worked on a project for someone you know. It will give you the first person account of what is it like to work with that particular serviceman.

Steps To Choosing An Exterminator

Tips For Finding The Best Pest Control Company

Detroit is undoubtedly a wonderful place to live, but the residents there can face problems from time to time. Some of these problems are universal and can easily impact citizens throughout the country and even the entire world. One of the most notable problems and potentially the most frustrating is a pest infestation. When pests or rodents begin pouring into your home, you will want to take action immediately or the damages and costs will begin adding up rapidly. Making contact with the most reliable pest control company in Detroit MI is pertinent. Below, you will learn how to choose the best company for your specific situation.

Begin Your Search

First, you will need to begin your search and collect the names of several companies. There are plenty of different companies in Detroit, so you should go ahead and collect five or six names. If you feel the need to collect even more, you should feel free to do so. Once you delve into the other steps, the companies will start to quickly disappear from your list. Remember you can check the Internet or phone book to find these companies and their phone numbers

Word Of Mouth

Now, you should begin speaking with the ones you love and trust. These individuals may hold an abundance of information, which will be able to help guide your decision in a wise direction. During your conversation with your loved ones, you will want to ask them about their experiences with local exterminators. Although some may have no experiences at all, a few might and their information will prove to be exceptionally helpful. If they were happy with one of the area’s exterminators, you should take note and put a star beside of the company’s name.

BBB

Next, you should check with the Better Business Bureau. This organization compiles an assortment of information about companies and their past performances. The company will have a lot of information about the company and complaints filed against each of them. Although it is okay for the company to have a few complaints, they should be resolved in a satisfactory manner. If the company has a lot of unresolved complaints, you will definitely want to steer clear of them.

Reviews

Finally, you should always take the time to see what previous customers thought about their experience. You can obtain this information very easily, by checking out customer reviews and testimonials. When reading these reviews, you will figure out precisely how the company treated past customers. If the prior customers were treated disrespectfully and the treatment was ineffective, you will want to stay away from the company in question. Instead, you should only do business with companies that have good reputations and testimonials.

 

Things Your Exterminator Wants to Tell You

If you’re like most people, the sight of an insect or rodent in your home will have you dialing your exterminator before it has time to scurry behind the sofa. And once pest control arrives, chances are you cover your eyes and ears until their work is done and your home is pest-free. But instead of bugging out, listen up! There’s plenty to learn from your exterminator, from the best ways to prevent future infestations to how to handle the ones you already have. We spoke to pest control professionals across the country to find out what they wish you knew. Read on for their best pest pointers.

A tidy kitchen alone won’t make your home immune to infestations.

While many insects and rodents are attracted to food, open bags of chips and dirty dishes on the counter aren’t the only things that make your house a bug magnet. “Moisture, as well as food, plays a big role in the attraction and sustainability of pests,” says Bob Young, a division service manager for Terminix in the Northeast. “Leaving moisture sources around the home or having areas where moisture may pool can attract pests.” He recommends keeping gutters unclogged and making sure that downspouts direct water at least 3 to 4 feet away from your home’s foundation. Additionally, decorative pools and baths should be drained regularly.

There’s almost nothing you can do to keep certain bugs away.

“People tend to think that maintaining good hygiene will prevent them from getting bedbugs,” says Ron Harrison, PhD, Orkin’s director of technical services. “That’s just totally wrong. Unlike most other insects, bedbugs don’t care about food or moisture—they just want your blood.” Because the bugs hitchhike into your home on luggage, clothing or furniture, Dr. Harrison recommends being vigilant about examining items before bringing them inside. Unpack suitcases in the garage and think twice about picking up that flea market sofa. To learn more, read “10 Things You Didn’t Know About Bedbugs.”

We can do a lot for you, but we can’t do everything ourselves.

Your exterminator will make every effort to successfully eliminate your pest problem, but if you don’t cooperate and do your part, you can’t expect a successful outcome. “It can be frustrating when a client doesn’t follow advice to keep their garage door closed or fix their screen window,” says Dr. Harrison. And don’t always assume that a treatment wasn’t successful if you happen to spot a critter later on: “If you have a roach population in your house, I can guarantee I’ll get rid of it. But I can’t guarantee that tomorrow when you’re at the grocery store you won’t pick up another and bring it inside with you.”

On the other hand, we wish you wouldn’t try to fix the problem yourself before calling us.

“There are a lot of bug and rodent treatments available at your hardware store that leave a lot of room for misapplication,” says Shay Jones Runion, vice president of professional development at Arrow Exterminators in Atlanta, Georgia. “In many cases people will use too much product or pick up the wrong treatment for their problem.” She warns that certain treatments can make the problem even worse; for example, overapplying product can contaminate baits that exterminators lay down for treatment, which makes their services less effective. And bug bombs that people often mistakenly buy to treat bedbugs will just end up scattering the pests around your home.

 

Termite Exterminator Tips

Pests can be a major problem for your home, especially if you don’t know how to properly dispose of them. One of the most destructive invaders is the termite. These pesky little insects can find their way into your home and quickly destroy beams, walls, floors, and furniture.

The problem with these sneaky intruders is that they are hard to detect. If you suspect that you may have a termite problem or want to be sure you are protected against them, the best way to go about it is to consult a pest professional.

Termite Knowledge

An exterminator should have a thorough knowledge of his craft; this means knowing all there is to know about pests like termites. There are many different termites: Drywood, Dampwood, Formosan, Subterranean, Conehead, and Desert just to name a few. Each type has a unique nesting pattern, preferred food source, and life cycle. The key is identifying your infestation properly to provide your home with the best treatment. When it comes to treating your house, knowledge is power.

Service and Recommendations

A pest control expert should not only be knowledgeable, but they should be well-known for impeccable service. Cleansing your home is a process and it should be as painless as possible. A good termite exterminator will inspect your home thoroughly before drawing up a treatment plan. A good exterminator will have clear pricing, be up-front about the cost, and give full explanations of their treatment options. A termite home invasion is stressful enough; a good service will take the guesswork out of the bottom line

Spot and Treat an Infestation

A quality pest control expert will be able to pinpoint possible areas of infestation and any entry spots that your home may have. If you have a possible infestation the right exterminator will give your home a thorough investigation assessing areas like cracks in the cement, walls, floors, attics and even furniture. Before any treatments can be done, your property must have an inspection; termites can be difficult to spot by the untrained eye

Know Different Treatment Options

There are multiple ways an exterminator can treat your home. Depending on what you are looking for, it is a good idea to find a pest control specialist who will provide many options

 

What to Know Before Hiring a Pest Control Service

IF YOU NO LONGER NEED to watch Animal Planet to get your nature fix (bats in the attic, anyone?) then you’ve probably considered paying for a pest control service. And why not? They all promise to rid your home of vermin. But not all pest services are created equal; even the most reputable options may have limitations. So take a few deep breaths and consider these pitfalls before hiring a service in a panic.

You could get roped into more than you bargained for. Some companies will come out for a one-time visit, but many will try and talk you into a contract, in which they visit monthly. Cost varies, of course the typical one-time pest control visit for spraying for insects, laying traps or plugging up holes in a home is between $300 to $500, and if you want to go the monthly route, you’ll average between $40 and $45.

Whatever you’re quoted, make sure the company is a member of a state or national professional association, like the National Pest Management Association, or is at least a member of the Better Business Bureau. Bonus if the service comes highly recommended by neighbors or friends. It’s important to evaluate a company’s reputation before you think too deeply about the price.

The service may not meet your needs. Imagine this: being connected with a pushy sales agent who simply wants to book an appointment and make a sale. Sure, we can handle your complete pests needs; you can just explain everything to the exterminator when he or she arrives!  Next thing you know, you’re signing a yearlong contract without having an in-depth discussion about your pest problems.

So first and foremost: Ask how the company eliminates pests or keeps them at bay. You may find that for the money you’re paying, you aren’t impressed with the company’s action plan. It would be nice to know this before you sign a contract.

 

Where is the Best Exterminator Near Me: How To Find Your Dream Pest Control Company

As time passes, more and more individuals are paying attention to their pest control habits. Living in Katy, Texas and its surrounding areas, we’re known to put up with some crawling critters throughout the year. And while there are many DIY items you can buy and assemble, nothing can quite compare to a professional pest company inspecting your house and performing a complete treatment.

We understands that nobody wants to come into their home and be faced with a cockroach, mouse, or long trails of ants and termites. Because of this, we do our part to keep track of your home’s pest progress so we can monitor any changes. In this blog, we’ll break down some of the signs that quality exterminators exhibit, and you can pick the best pest control available.

Pick an Expert!

Though every service treatment differs, there are parts of it that should remain universal. For example, most pest control businesses are able to take care of bed bugs, mice, roaches, and any other type of pest problems Are you currently negotiating with a self-proclaimed pest expert who is only able to spray your house for one or two pests? If so, many experts suggest you look elsewhere.

Nobody wants to have to worry about their pets, children, and loved ones breathing in harmful chemicals after a major pest treatment has taken place. Unfortunately, this is something that people have experienced time after time.

This is no laughing matter to us. As a family-owned and operated business, we understand the importance of what we do. No family should have to worry about their children and pets being affected by indoor pests such as fleas, ants, roaches, and other pests, but they also shouldn’t have to fear their own home. This is one of the reasons we take each and every job we perform very seriously. We’re not here to simply treat pests; we’re here to give you your home back. We control specialist will work closely with you to understand the problems you’re having and what we can do to fix them. Our company is a full service pest control provider, which means we can provide everything you need for your next pest management plan, and our green exterminations are becoming more popular than ever before.

Still have a few questions about our exterminator control services but you don’t know what to do? We has a quality team of representatives by the phone, waiting for you to schedule your first appointment with us. If you want to know about how we can eliminate the insects in your Katy and Houston homes using our custom treatment plans

Easy Ways To Find Finance For Your Home Renovation

Pro Tips on How to Hire a Contractor

Get Recommendations

Start with your friends and family and then check in with the National Association of the Remodeling Industry for a list of members in your area. You can also talk with a building inspector, who’ll know which home renovation contractors routinely meet code requirements, says This Old House general contractor Tom Silva, or pay a visit to your local lumberyard, which sees contractors regularly and knows which ones buy quality materials and pay their bills on time

Do Phone Interviews

Once you’ve assembled a list, Tom recommends that you make a quick call to each of your prospects and go through these questions to ask a contractor

Meet Face to Face

Based on the phone interviews, pick three or four contractors to meet for estimates and further discussion. A contractor should be able to answer your questions satisfactorily and in a manner that puts you at ease. Tom says that it’s crucial that you two communicate well because this person will be in your home for hours at a time. On the other hand, don’t let personality fool you. Check in with your state’s consumer protection agency and your local Better Business Bureau before you hire a contractor to make sure they don’t have a history of disputes with clients or subcontractors.

Investigate the Facts

Now that you’ve narrowed your list, put your research to use. Call up former clients to find how their project went and ask to see the finished product. But Tom says you shouldn’t rely on results alone. Even more important, visit a current job site and see for yourself how the contractor works. Is the job site neat and safe? Are workers courteous and careful with the homeowner’s property?

Make Plans, Get Bids

You have your short list of contractors whose track records seem clean and whose work ethic looks responsible. Now it’s time to stop looking back at past work and start looking forward to your project. A conscientious contractor will want not only a complete set of blueprints but also a sense of what homeowners want out of a project and what they plan to spend. To compare bids, ask everyone to break down the cost of materials, labor, profit margins and other expenses. Generally materials account for 40 percent of the total cost; the rest covers overhead and the typical profit margin, which is 15 to 20 percent

 

Tips for Budgeting for a Home Renovation

Whether you plan to renovate a house before moving in or are preparing to remodel your current abode, we know budgeting for a home renovation can be a tough process. First, you’ll need to determine what it is you really need versus what you simply want. Next, you’ll have to figure out how you’re going to finance the renovation in the first place. Once you have a general idea of how much money you have to spend on renovations (and where that money is coming from), you should be able to make better decisions on finishes, appliances and other renovation features

Remember: most renovations end up costing more than originally thought, so be sure to have a money cushion set aside in case of emergencies. This is especially true if you plan to tear down walls and make structural changes, as these projects often end up with unwelcome surprises (think: water damage, mold or electrical and wiring issues). Many homeowners may also be concerned with ways to cut costs and save money without compromising the quality of the home. For tips on budgeting for a home renovation, check out our expert advice below

Decide on your top renovation needs and priorities

The reason for renovating your home probably has something to do with a need that isn’t being met by your current living situation. Perhaps it’s a need for more space or perhaps it’s a need for an updated bathroom. Whatever the reason (or reasons) for renovating, be sure to write down and prioritize all of your remodeling goals. For instance, a larger kitchen island may be at the top of your priority list, whereas updated appliances may be lower down on the list of needs. Keep your goals in mind and avoid getting side-tracked with smaller projects that can wait for later

Look at cost vs. value for each renovation project

Planning to sell your home in the future? Keep the return on investment top of mind when choosing home renovation projects. After all, there’s no reason to pour $40K into a kitchen, if the home isn’t going to sell for more than you originally paid. Once you’ve prioritized your home renovation needs, research each project’s cost vs. value using Remodeling Magazine’s latest Cost vs. Value report. The report includes the cost of common remodeling projects and compares them to that project’s resale value. This should give you an idea about which projects are worth the money and which projects aren’t. For instance, the 6 most valuable home improvement projects of 2018 included an upscale garage door replacement, manufactured stone veneer, the kitchen, siding and vinyl window replacements and a bathroom remodel.

Figure out how you’re going to finance the renovation

Now for the hard part: figuring out how exactly you’re going to finance this renovation. First, take a look at your current finances. Do you have enough cash to cover the renovation? If so, great. If not, you’ll need to borrow money for the project. Unless you have a fairy godmother willing to loan you cash, we recommend either using a home equity loan or home equity line of credit (HELOC), where homeowners can borrow money against their home. Many homeowners also use credit cards to finance their renovation projects. This may be a good idea – assuming you have a plan to pay these credit cards off. If you have strong credit, you may also be able to obtain a loan through SoFi, an online personal finance company providing personal loans and mortgages to high income individuals

 

How to Find a Contractor When Renovating a Home

Preparing to renovate your home? Whether it’s a small, one-room makeover or an entire overhaul of the property, you’ll likely need an experienced and reputable general contractor. While expensive, these construction professionals provide valuable services to homeowners renovating a home. In all likelihood, homeowners won’t be able to spend all day, every day at the home overseeing the day-to-day operations. That’s where a general contractor comes in. Not only do general contractors oversee every aspect of the renovation from beginning to end, but they also guide homeowners in making practical yet budget-conscious decisions throughout the process. In addition, they handle complicated inspection and permitting requirements by the city.

Ask your Realtor

Did you purchase the home using a trusted real estate agent? If so, don’t hesitate to ask your Realtor for contractor suggestions. Most Realtors have a list of home improvement professionals to meet their customers’ real estate needs. For instance, in addition to recommended contractors, your Realtor likely has a list of handymen, plumbers, pool cleaners, etc. It’s also likely that a seasoned and experienced Realtor has worked with contractors in the past – either by selling them homes or selling their flipped homes. If you haven’t yet purchased the home that you plan to renovate, we recommend asking your Realtor to have their recommended contractors come to the house for a walk-through. The contractor may be able to give you a rough estimate of renovation costs, which could help you decide whether or not the home purchase is worth your money.

Word of mouth

When searching for a general contractor, there’s nothing more helpful than a good or bad recommendation from a trusted friend, family member or neighbor. If the contact had a good experience with the general contractor, you can bet they’ll be singing their praises. However, if the experience was less than favorable, your contact will likely warn you against hiring a certain contractor. Word of mouth recommendations are valuable, so don’t hesitate to reach out to anyone and everyone you know in the area who has undergone a home renovation. You may also want to consider joining Nextdoor.com or local Facebook groups to obtain contractor recommendations from locals

Search digital marketplaces

If suggestions from your Realtor and word of mouth recommendations from friends aren’t enough, try searching a digital marketplace that connects homeowners with home improvement contractors. A few websites to explore include Houzz, HomeAdvisor, Angie’s List and Porch. These websites provide visitors with a list of local contractors. If the contractor has set up a profile with the site, you’ll likely be able to find information about the company, photos of projects and reviews from clients

Obtain recommendations and conduct research on local contractors

Just because a trusted friend vouches for a contractor doesn’t mean you shouldn’t do your due diligence. Make sure you’ve checked to see whether the contractor is properly licensed and insured. Check customer reviews and Better Business Bureau ratings. It’s also a good idea to research how long they’ve been in business, years of experience and projects completed. In addition to reviews available online, we recommend asking the contractor for a list of client references.

 

How do I find a good construction contractor for a home renovation project?

For most homeowners, the hardest part of any home renovation project isn’t the work itself, it’s finding a competent and reliable contractor to do the job. Installing kitchen cabinets, knocking down a wall or retiling the bathroom is simple compared with the struggle of hiring a quality contractor who will perform at a high level from start to finish. Everyone has heard stories about horrendous contractors who tore apart the kitchen and never returned or projects that cost three times the contractor’s original estimate.

Choosing the right contractor can make the difference between a successful home renovation project and a disaster. But even for experienced renovators, finding the right contractor can be a challenge. Apnabuilder is a reliable construction company in Pakistan (Lahore) that focuses on your needs. You can take on any construction project with confidence while our team does the heavy lifting for you.

Whether you are in Pakistan or abroad we will make the construction of your project a breeze. From the conception of an idea to the realization of your dream, our team will be right there for you at every step of the process. Construction processes can be tedious. Purchase of land, developing blueprints, designing, buying construction materials, managing labor and completing the project in time. But with our building construction company services you can enjoy your morning coffee while our team will build your dream to perfection.

Know what you want before you get estimates: “Start with a plan and some ideas,” Hicks says. “Don’t start by talking to contractors.” You’ll get a more accurate estimate if you can be very specific in what you want done and the materials you would like to use to make it happen.

Ask friends, relatives and co-workers for references: People in your neighborhood who have done similar projects are your best sources. If you know people in the building trades, ask them, too. Employees of local hardware stores may also be able to provide referrals

 

Tips For Finding Reliable Home Renovation Contractors

Ask For Referrals

Websites that offer referrals for contractors can be a great tool if you don’t know where to find someone for the job, but also be wary. A contractor can have seemingly stellar reviews, but unless you’ve seen jobs they’ve completed in the past and spoken to people who have worked with the contractor before, you shouldn’t trust everything you find online as your only source. Experienced contractors don’t need website referrals; they’ll have real contacts for you to contact who can attest to their integrity

Seek Out Active Communicators

Communication will play an important role in the renovation process, so look for someone you can get along with. Problems and challenges can arise at any point of a home renovation project, and when they do, you and your contractor should be able to communicate and work through the issue together. Choose a contractor that seems able to remain calm and also keep you calm while finding a solution to any  problems.

Look For Solid Contractor-Homeowner Contracts

There is no way around having a contract between you and your contractor; it’s part of their job description. If a contractor is not willing to write up a contract for your job or if the contract is incomplete, then it is likely unwise to proceed with the home renovation project with that contractor.

Don’t Fall For Free Quotes

When a contractor offers you a quote, they’re giving you a breakdown of costs for the project at hand. Even though it may seem like a positive thing for a home renovation contractor to offer a quote for free, it can also be a negative sign. The best contractors typically charge for quotes because they are busy with their jobs. If contractors taking the time to look at your home and discuss the project with you, it usually means that they are serious about working on your home. If you are paying for the quote, it usually indicates that you’re serious about getting the job done. One way to find contractors who are more likely to do a good job on your home renovation project is to be skeptical of those offering free quotes

Look For Contractors Giving Realistic Cost Estimates

Quotes are necessary, but they probably won’t give you all of the information you’ll need in order to properly choose a contractor. Before you hire someone, you’ll need to pay for a detailed estimate. This estimate should contain every aspect of the project, including specific materials and required permits. Proper estimates are pages-long and should answer every question you have about the renovation — even ones you didn’t necessarily think of. Be cautious about proceeding with the contract if a contractor tries to give you an insufficient estimate and you can spot price discrepancies or a lot of missing information

Tips To Learn Roof Repair For Your Roof

Top Tips For Finding The Best Roof Repair Contractors In Your Area

The roof is one of the most important and functional surfaces of your home. It is your front line of defense against the harsh elements of the weather and other undesirable external factors. However, due to constant exposure to the harsh elements, the roof is highly susceptible to wear and tear. This is why regular roof maintenance is essential in order to preserve its aesthetics and ensure it continues being functional for an extended period of time.

A damaged and poorly maintained roof speaks volumes about the way you handle your property. Since the roof is one of the most noticeable areas of your home, a poorly maintained roof may put off those visiting your property and if you are planning on selling that property, the lack of maintenance may seriously affect the sale of your home. This is not to mention the many hazards you expose your family and property to when you fail to fix a damaged roof.

A leaking roof may lead, to short-circuiting, electrocution and fires. Holes and cracks in your roof may also provide unwanted and harmful critters access into your home which may lead to diseases and property damage. An unmaintained roof also makes your home less energy efficient.

Having understood the importance of the roof and its regular maintenance and repair, the next step is usually finding the right people for the job. If you are in need of roof installation or roof repairs services, finding the most qualified and competent contractors in your area is paramount. When it comes to your roof, poor workmanship does more harm than good. This is why it is important to do proper research before choosing a contractor.

Recommendations And References

Word of mouth is always an efficient way of finding experts in a particular field. If a family member or close friend has had a prior positive experience with a roofing contractor, then they will definitely recommend that contractor to you. You should also never shy away from requesting for references from the contractor. A professional roofing contractor ought to have a long list of satisfied clients.

 

TIPS TO HELP HOMEOWNERS CHOOSE THE RIGHT ROOFING CONTRACTOR

Your home is the safest place for you to be. A home is a place where you can be yourself, wear whatever you want, do whatever you want to do. Your home is your haven. If you don’t have a home, then you are lost.

If your home is nothing but walls, then it’s nothing meaningful to you. A roof is what makes a structure, your home. Without a roof over your heads, you are exposed to all the cruelties of this world. But with a roof, you feel safe and protected.

GET NATIVE REFERRALS.

There’s less probability of potential problems or scams once you opt for a contractor from your community. they’re additional conversant in native rules and code laws and have a relationship with crews and suppliers in your area.

SEARCH FOR MANUFACTURER DESIGNATIONS.

Manufacturer designations ARE THOUGHT to be a badge of honor because they are considered as the minimum needs that a contractor should pass to be factory-certified (although, some makers have additional tight needs than others). GAF strictly enforces their prime designation by solely permitting two of roofing contractors per market to be recognized as Roofers Elite Contractors.

ANALYZE BETTER BUSINESS BUREAU (BBB) RATINGS

Some contractors blow in (no pun intended) right when a storm hits, searching for work. Thus it’s vital to look for them on the BBB website and make certain they have a decent score. If these contractors do not exist on this website called BBB.org, then you must not go anywhere near them or contact them. GAF Master Elite® Contractors are needed to take care of satisfactory ratings with the BBB so as to retain their certification

 

tips on finding a good roofer

Go for the Licensed and Insured Roofers

It is perhaps an essential thing that you check the license and insurance of the roofing contractor that you are going to hire. You can do that by merely asking for the license number of the roofer and confirm it online and check their website as well.

Check What Guarantees They Offer

Many things can go wrong when it comes to roofing. You want to make sure that the roofing of your house is protected by guarantees and warranties offered by your contractor. Therefore, do a complete research of the types of guarantees and warranties the roofer is offering. For example, you can check all the guarantee details  of Parsons Roofing online. Doing so will help you find the roofer that suits your requirements the best.

Ask Them How Much Time Will They Take

Building a house is exhausting, and it can drain every ounce of energy that you have. So, you don’t want your roofing to take forever. Even if you are replacing your old roof with a new one, you want it to take as little time as possible. So, you must talk to your roofer to get an estimated time to begin the project and the amount of time to complete it, before you sign a contract with them. It will help you to save both time and money.

See If They Have a Record of Complying With Codes

Every state has its codes for construction. Violation of these codes can put you in some serious trouble. To avoid any discomfort

Finally, How Much Experience Do They Have

While you are searching for the best roofer for you, don’t be afraid to ask the most important question-How much experience do they have in the field? You can even ask for proof if you have any doubts about it. You are going to pay them in return for their service. It is your right that you satisfy yourself. So, ask as many questions as you want until you are entirely sure that this is the roofer you want to hire for your roof.

 

TIPS FOR FINDING THE BEST ROOFING COMPANY IN YOUR AREA

Reviews and Referrals

The first place to start is with people you know. Chances are, someone you know has worked with a roofing contractor and may be willing to give you a recommendation. The next best thing you can do is check out their reviews. The company’s website is a good place to start, but remember, they can control the reviews that appear online

Choose a Local Contractor

Another way to avoid a roofing scam is to choose a local contractor. Look for a company that has an established presence and reputation within the community. This helps ensure that the company is legitimate and has your best interest in mind.

Licenses and Insurance

Always ask a potential roofing company about their licenses and insurance. Roofing a home is dangerous work. About 50 roofers die each year on the job, the majority from falling off the roof. And that’s not even counting those who are injured

Check Out the Warranty

Once you find a roofing company with all the right paperwork, you should make sure they stand by their work. A company that looks great on paper isn’t worth much if your roof falls down in a couple of years.

Price Isn’t Everything

When you’re shopping for a roofing company, remember that price isn’t everything. A contractor may offer a stellar deal, undercutting other companies’ prices by a significant amount.

 

How to hire guide: Roofers

Finding a good roofer

It’s always a good idea to start by asking your neighbours for recommendations when looking for a roofer, as you’re likely to share the same style of roof. Most roofers will be happy to install either slates or tiles, but check their experience if you have a flat roof or other more unusual structure. Find out whether previous customers praise all aspects of a roofer’s work, such as the quality and cost of the work, the time it took to complete and what they were like to deal with.

It’s worth finding out whether your roofer or roofing contractor is a member of The National Federation of Roofing Contractors (NFRC), which is well-regarded in the industry. NFRC contractors undergo rigorous vetting before joining and are subject to checks every three years. They must hold appropriate public, employers’ and third party insurance, comply with health and safety legislation and operate in accordance with the NFRC Code of Practice as well as British and European Standards.

Getting roofing quotes

Contact at least three roofers for quotes, irrespective of the nature of the job to give you a range of prices. A roofing company will usually want to come and inspect your property, even before quoting for a simple job such as replacing broken or missing tiles and cleaning gutters, as it’s tricky for them to price a job without seeing the general state of the roof they will be working with

Roofing is a trade where you might reasonably be issued with estimates instead of quotes. This is because the roofing contractor may not be able to see what condition the roof’s sub-structure is in until the slates or tiles have been removed

Paying a roofer

You should agree a schedule for payments in advance of work starting. It’s not unusual to be asked for an instalment upfront, especially for larger refurbishments or installing a new roof. The final instalment should only be paid when you are satisfied with the work and have received all necessary paperwork relating to it

Must Know About Switches Installation For Your Safety

things to consider before installing smart light switches

When turning your old, dumb house into a smart home, one of the best places to start is with lighting. For starters, you can test the waters with a single smart bulb or set of lights — letting you dip a toe in the smart light pool before diving in head-first.

When it comes to smart lighting, one of the most seamless and natural ways to upgrade your home is with smart switches. They work as intended, even when the internet goes out and you can hardly notice them once they’re installed

Smart bulbs

or instance, not only let you remotely control the lights or put them on a schedule, they often also let you change the color of the lighting on the fly

Smart plugs

keep things simple while letting you turn an existing lamp with a regular light bulb into one you can turn off and on from anywhere. They sometimes let you track energy consumption, as well. Both of these options come with a plug-and-play installation. If you don’t like it or want to move it later on, you can with little to no effort.

Smart switches

on the other hand, are the modest midpoint between the other two and the most natural to use. You can still control the lights from the wall switch like you always have, but you’ll get some added benefits, like dimming or a pop-out remote that will still give you easier manual control of the lights. But they’ll also work with existing light fixtures that may not accommodate a smart bulb. That said, installation is much more hands-on and permanent

 

How To: Install a Dimmer Switch

I like mood lighting as much as anyone, particularly first thing in the morning when the full blast of light from a 100 watt bulb makes me scream like a vampire at high noon. Could be that I’m just not a morning person. Regardless, I like to be able to adjust the brightness in a room, and installing a dimmer switch is a pretty easy way to get control over your lighting.

GETTING STARTED

Before you go around ripping switches out of the wall, there are a couple of things you should know about wiring and dimmer switches

Not all dimmer switches are compatible with Compact Fluorescent Lights.  If you have CFL bulbs you will need to go with one of the newer varieties, like those from Lutron.

Check to see if the switch you want to replace is a single pole (one switch) or three-way (can be turned on/off from multiple locations) switch—that too will determine the type of dimmer you need

Some dimmer switches use resistors so you’re paying for the electricity even though you’re seeing less light. Newer dimmer switches will actually conserve energy when you’re not lighting the bulb at full capacity

 

How to install a smart switch

The process of installing a smart switch is no different than replacing any other type of electrical switch in your home. You’ll want to take the proper precautions (we’ll help you with that, too), but you don’t need to hire an electrician, and you won’t need any special tools. You can do the job with a screwdriver and a pair of pliers or wirecutters. A non-contact voltage tester is handy if you want to be extra safe, but you can buy one of those for less than $15 on Amazon.

There are many types of smart switches, and while this story isn’t intended to help you decide which smart switch is best for your needs, it will guide you through the process of installing any one of them. That’s because they’re all essentially the same in terms of their wiring

There are a few important distinctions you’ll want to keep in mind. First and foremost, an on/off switch will do just that: In one position, it will send electricity to the socket your light bulb is screwed into, turning it on. In the other position, it will stop electricity from flowing to that socket, turning the bulb off. A dimmer switch can also vary the amount of electricity flowing to the socket, so that you can brighten or dim the light bulb as well as turn it on or off.

If you want to change the color of your lighting, you’ll need a smart bulb, not a smart switch. Unfortunately, smart dimmer switches and smart bulbs typically don’t work together. That’s because smart bulbs are equipped with radios that depend on a steady supply of electricity to operate, and a dimmer varies the amount of electricity flowing to the bulb.

Next, you’ll need to determine if you need a single-pole or a three-way switch. If only one switch controls the flow of electricity to that bulb you want to control, you have a single-pole switch. If two switches can control it—for example, switches on opposite sides of the room—you have a three-way switch (if more than two switches control the same light, it’s described as a four-way circuit.)

 

How to Install a Dimmer Switch

There’s more to changing a switch than connecting a few wires. You have to check grounding and box size for a safe, first-class job. It’s easy to install a dimmer switch, but make sure to upgrade the wiring if necessary to make it safer and meet Electrical Code requirements. We’ll show you how to assure a safe installation

Getting Started: Tools and Power

It doesn’t take long to replace an ordinary light switch with full-feature dimmable switches. But while you’re at it, to make your home safer, you should upgrade the wiring to meet the latest requirements of the National Electrical Code. Our step-by-step instructions will show you how to install the dimming switch, concentrating on details that will guarantee a safe installation.

The tools you’ll need to install a toggle dimmer switch are inexpensive and will come in handy for all your electrical projects. You’ll need a screwdriver, wire stripper, inexpensive (2 lead wire type) voltage tester and needle-nose pliers to install a dimmer.

Choosing a Dimmer

There are several types of dimmer switches out there. We show the single switch but there are also three-way dimmers, CFL and LED dimmer switches

Check for Hot Wires

To begin, turn off the power and double-check for hot wires in the box. Turn on the light and have a helper watch as you switch off the circuit breakers, or unscrew the fuses one at a time until the light goes out. Leave this circuit turned off while you work.

 

Dim and Dimmer: Why and How to Install Better Light Switches

You might think that all you need in a light switch is the ability to turn your lights on and off — but you’re wrong. That conventional version of the light switch, which merely toggles lights off and on, was invented in 1884, and in the intervening 135 years, there have been dozens of updates and improvements that make modern light switches safer and easier to install and use. Many of these changes you shouldn’t ever worry about, but there is one feature that should be on every homeowner’s mind: the dimmer switch.

Dimmers Give You More Control

It’s the reason behind the smart home technology craze and the reason home renovations have been on the rise: Homeowners want more control over their personal environments. Dimmers provide more of that coveted control, and that isn’t as insignificant as you might expect. Controlling light is a major element of modern civilization; by not only being able to bring illumination to dark indoor spaces but alter the color and intensity of that light on your whim, you gain a significant advantage in creating the exact atmosphere you want and need.

Dimmers Save You Money

Simple toggle switches (the ones that only turn on and off) flick lights from their brightest setting to their darkest. The only way to overcome this is to go out of your way to set lights dimmer, which takes work and usually isn’t ideal in most situations. That means whenever you use your lights, they are automatically pulling the most possible power, costing you more on your energy bill than absolutely necessary. Meanwhile, if you use dimmer switches, you can reduce the energy demanded by your lights in most circumstances and cut your energy bill drastically.

Dimmers Increase System Longevity

For a similar reason that non-dimmed lights increase your energy bill, lights without dimmer switches place more stress on your electrical system and the bulbs themselves. Bulbs working at maximum capacity are more likely to die sooner than bulbs that are slightly dimmed, even when those bulbs are relatively long-lasting CFLs or LEDs. Estimates suggest that dimming lights could increase their lifespan by as much as 25 percent, meaning you don’t need to worry as much about keeping an inventory of bulbs on hand.

How to Install Dimmer Switches

If your handiness skill is abysmally low and you have never worked with electricity in your life, it might be best to call in a professional for this job. Home warranty companies, like American Home Shield,  might be able to provide you with a list of service providers, and they might also help you pay for the upgrade if your electrical system is experiencing issues covered by your plan

Do Not Affraid Of Scorpion

Find a Pest Control Professional

Scorpions are nuisance pests that are closely related to spiders, mites and ticks. There are about 1,200 scorpion species in the world and 70 species in the United States. Of these, the most dangerous species is the Arizona Bark Scorpion, which is found in the American southwest and in Northern Mexico. Keep reading to learn more facts about scorpions.

Habits

Scorpions are nocturnal pests, so they hide during the day and are most active at night. They feed primarily on insects, especially crickets and cockroaches, and they also feed on spiders. However, they can survive for months without food if water is readily available

Habitat

Scorpions live in dry habitats, usually preferring deserts and semi-arid regions. Many species dig burrows in the soil and hide under rocks, logs or debris. During periods of hot weather, scorpions may enter homes through wall voids and take shelter in cool, moist areas like crawl spaces and attics

Threats

While sometimes referred to as a “scorpion bite,” scorpions actually sting as a defense mechanism or as a way to kill prey. Humans will usually experience mild symptoms that are similar to that of a bee sting, such as temporary pain, a burning sensation or localized swelling. However, there are a handful of species around the world that possess more dangerous venom, which can be potentially fatal to humans. The Arizona bark scorpion in the U.S. can deliver such fatal stings.

Scorpion Prevention

The key to preventing scorpions is to eliminate harborage sites around the property including woodpiles, trash and debris. Homeowners should remove stones and landscape timbers from the property, and store firewood at least twenty feet from the home and five inches up off the ground.

 

Tips to Keep You Scorpion Free

work with a lot of people relocating from out of state, or even out of country, and I feel like it’s part of my job to help them settle into their new life in the desert.  And guess what!  Scorpions are a creepy, crawly, fact of life here in Arizona.

But do they really live up to all the hype?

In this post, I’ll give you a little information on scorpions in Arizona as well as 5 tips to keep your home scorpion free! Oh and at the end of this post I’ll also share a bonus tip of the one thing I personally do EVERY SINGLE DAY to prevent scorpion stings, so, stick around! We get a lot of questions about bugs and other critters from people thinking about moving to Arizona, and we’ve even been asked to make a video on it.  To be clear, we don’t love bugs and we are NOT entomologists…we’re REALTORS®, but we love our subscribers SO MUCH that we didn’t want to disappoint.  I mean we had to research this stuff and there were pictures…eek!  So anyways, you asked for it, here’s your video on scorpions in Arizona and how to keep your home scorpion free.

Keep your Home Scorpion Free

So, that was fun, right?  Okay, now that you have all these facts and you’re sufficiently freaked out, I bet you want to know how to keep them OUT of your home.  Truthfully, these facts make them seem a lot scarier and a lot more problematic than they really are.  If you follow these 5 tips you probably won’t see many, if any, scorpions in your home.

Hire a professional exterminator

There are many excellent pest control companies, just pick one and treat your home and yard monthly.

Seal your Home

It’s amazing just how many holes and spaces a home can have. There are cables, vents and outlets that often require a hole in the wall. Often, this leaves just enough space for an arachnid as skinny as a scorpion to get inside.  Holes in the foundation, siding, roof, windows, walls, or screens are also enough to allow a scorpion an easy way to access your home.  Although a scorpion in your house may seem huge, I mean, I’m pretty sure the last one I saw was THIS BIG, but truthfully they are pretty tiny and a small hole is enough for them to get in.

 

How to Keep Scorpions Away from Your Home and Yard

Prone to scorpions? Scorpions will only come into your yard or home if they can find prey, like spiders and crickets. The best way to get rid of scorpions is to prevent their prey (food source) from living in your home, yard, or building.

Maintain Your Yard

Practicing general pest prevention is always a good idea, even more so if you are prone to scorpion, spider, and cricket infestations. Simple yard maintenance will make your property less attractive to scorpions and their prey, decreasing your chance of being stung.

Inspect Clothing Before Wearing

If you live in an area that is prone to scorpions and have seen scorpions on or around your property before, practice the following steps to prevent a scorpion sting

We hope you have found this guide to scorpions helpful. If you are not sure if you have seen a scorpion, read our guide on what scorpions look like. Where scorpions hide will help you find a scorpion infestation in your home and how to get rid of scorpions will teach you how you can do your own scorpion treatment.

 

Scorpions

Scorpion Facts

Scorpions have existed for 350-400 million years. They were one of the earth’s first arthropods. They are commonly found in deserts, but are present in grasslands, savannahs and certain forests as well. Scorpions have even been found under snow covered mountains.  There are approximately 90 different types of scorpions living in the U.S. All but four of these live west of the Mississippi River.

Scorpion Bodies

Scorpions have long, segmented bodies that are divided into 2 sections: The body and the tail.

Scorpion Venom

The venom of scorpions is used both for prey capture and defense.  Their venoms are complex mixtures of toxins, which affect the victim’s nervous system, and other substances. Each type of scorpion has its own mixture. Although these creatures have a bad name, only one species in the United States has venom strong enough to seriously harm humans.

Scorpion Control

Scorpions do not nest, so it is hard to treat them with insecticides. If you use chemical control, be sure to follow the instructions on the label. One of the best ways to control scorpions is to capture them, but you must be careful. Scorpions glow under a black light, so you can use it to find where they are hiding. To be safe, where boots and gloves.

How To Avoid Being Stung

Scorpion are active at night, so there are more chances to get stung after dark.  Be careful around cracks or plants where scorpions tend to hide.  Scorpions are most often found in dark places when indoors.  Always check the inside of  shoes, closets, cupboards and beds.  Be sure to shake any clothing before putting it on and wear socks and shoes when walking around at night

 

SCORPIONS

SCORPION FACTS

Scorpions are arachnids. They are close relatives of ticks, mites and spiders. There are approximately 1,300 species of scorpions worldwide. They are characterized by an elongated body and a segmented tail that is tipped with a venomous stinger. Scorpions are very common in the Southern and Southwestern United States. Most scorpions in the United States are not poisonous, except for two species found in the southwestern states of Arizona, California, New Mexico, and Texas.

Recognizing Scorpions and Treating Stings

Scorpions have a long slender body with a five-segmented tail that can be arched over the back. Size varies between the various scorpion species, but most measure about 2 inches when fully grown. Their colors range from yellow, blue, reddish brown and black.

Most of the scorpions that enter dwellings are not poisonous; their sting is similar to that of bees or wasps. It’s usually better to assume that they are poisonous if you are unsure.

The Bark Scorpion is very venomous. If stung, call your local poison control center and go to the nearest hospital or personal physician for treatment. The venom of this scorpion may produce severe pain and swelling at the site of the sting, numbness, frothing at the mouth, difficulty in breathing (including respiratory paralysis), muscle twitching, and convulsions.

Remove Their Food Source

Although general pesticides do not do much in the way of stopping scorpions from entering your home, it can help to get rid of the smaller bugs that act as a food source.

Must Use Tax Planning For Your New Company

How to Start Tax Planning

Start a filing system

Start a filing system to organize your documents. Any successful tax planning strategy requires you to maintain records of all transactions and receipts that may affect your tax return. This helps to keep track of important documents and avoid forgetting about transactions that occur months before the tax filing deadline.

Understand tax deduction requirements

Before you get too far along in the tax year, you should evaluate all available IRS deductions and the requirements to claim them. By doing this beforehand, you can be proactive in preparing to claim a deduction at the end of the year.

Evaluate the tax credits offered

Tax credits offer a significant opportunity to save money on income taxes since they reduce your actual tax bill on a dollar-for-dollar basis. The types of tax credits offered each year change more frequently than deductions. Credits are often available for a limited time and cover specific types of expenses.

Use an IRA

Use an Individual Retirement Account (IRA) instead of a savings account. Many taxpayers put their savings into a typical bank account that earns taxable interest. However, you can avoid paying tax on the interest each year by depositing money into a traditional IRA instead where the interest will accumulate tax-free. When you do, you might also be also eligible to claim a deduction each year for a certain amount of contributions you make to the account.

 

Good tax planning includes good recordkeeping

Taxpayers should develop a system that keeps all their important info together. They can use a software program for electronic recordkeeping. They could also store paper documents in labeled folders.

Throughout the year, they should add tax records to their files as they receive them. Having records readily at hand makes preparing a tax return easier.

It may also help them discover potentially overlooked deductions or credits. Taxpayers should notify the IRS if their address changes. They should also notify the Social Security Administration of a legal name change to avoid a delay in processing their tax return.

Records that taxpayers should keep include receipts, canceled checks, and other documents that support income, a deduction, or a credit on a tax return.

Taxpayers should also keep records relating to property they dispose of or sell. They must keep these records to figure their basis for computing gain or loss.

In general, the IRS suggests that taxpayers keep records for three years from the date they filed the return.

 

What Is a Tax Advisor and How Do You Choose One

Enrolled agents

Specially trained enrolled tax agents must pass a rigorous test and meet annual industry regulatory requirements to meet and sustain their professional credentials. Enrolled agents are licensed by the federal government, and are fully approved to represent clients before the I.R.S. They also provide general consumer and business tax services like preparing income taxes and offering specialized tax planning advice.

Certified public accounts (CPA)

A certified public accountant shares many of the same attributes as an enrolled agent, but with a key distinction. While enrolled agents are licensed by the federal government, a CPA is licensed by the state where they set up shop, and must complete 150 hours of undergraduate and/or graduate school study and clear a CPA test given by the American Institute of CPA’s

How to Find a Tax Advisor

No matter which type of tax advisor you choose, finding one isn’t difficult. You can either opt for word-of-mouth (asking co-workers, neighbors, family and friends for recommendations) or through industry trade groups.

Coronavirus Market Update

Sign up for TheStreet’s Coronavirus Market Update newsletter and get the latest market headlines delivered to your inbox daily. There’s a good reason for that sentiment – tax advisors possess the proficiency to understand the massive, complicated and often confusing U.S. tax code

Make sure to vet your tax advisor

Unfortunately, there’s been an uptick in shady, fly-by-night tax preparers in recent years. So, job one is to thoroughly research a tax advisor. Ask for professional credentials and references – any tax advisor who can’t deliver on either front should be dropped from your list. Also, check your local Better Business Bureau for any record of complaints against a specific tax advisor.

 

Tax Preparation Tips Every Entrepreneur Should Know

Hiring employees vs. hiring subcontractors

Your business is ready to bring on employees, but should you pay them as W-2 employees or 1099 subcontractors? It’s a good question, and one Seaman is asked a lot. Freelancers work in their own environment and are hired on a project-by-project basis. Employees work regular hours, which are dictated by the company, and receive regular checks. If you get the two mixed up, you could be in for a big surprise, Seaman says.

Keep your accounts separate

No business owner is 100 percent sure if the business will float when it firsts opens, but that’s no excuse to run your business from your personal bank account. When you start a business, get a business checking and savings account and make sure business income and expenses come out of the business account, Seaman says.

Get your payroll straight

From income tax to Social Security, the IRS gets a little touchy if you’re not paying your dues. There are a lot of tax forms and scheduled payments that come with employees, so it’s important to understand the ins and outs of payroll, Seaman says.

Take a startup deduction on taxes

The expenses you rack up while preparing to start a business can be used as a tax deduction, Seaman says. “Be sure to take the allowable deduction for a startup,” she reminds entrepreneurs. “You can deduct up to $5,000 of research and development and startup costs.” Research and development deductions can include investigating whether or not the business idea is viable, training employees, and ordering supplies

Claim depreciation

You can claim the wear and tear or deterioration of business items over time. For example, you can claim the depreciation on your business computer or the fleet of company cars. According to the IRS, tangible items like buildings, machinery, vehicles, furniture, and equipment are depreciable. Intangible property like patents, copyrights and software is also depreciable. You can claim depreciation of property over time to help your tax situation a little each year, or you can take it in one lump sum

 

Great Year-end Business Tax Planning Tips

How the 2017 Tax Changes Affect Year-end Tax Planning

The 2017 Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (the “Trump Tax Cuts”) should be a factor for your business tax planning for the 2018 tax year and beyond.First, take a look at the new 20 percent deduction from net business income that’s available to small businesses. There are some restrictions and limits.  Second, look at the deductions and credits that are no longer available, like the deduction for entertainment expenses.

Save on Taxes by Stocking Up and Pre-Paying

As mentioned in Step One, you can increase expenses (and lower profits) by stocking up on inventory and supplies and pre-paying expenses. If you have any cash sitting around, or you can reasonably use your credit line or a business credit card for purchases, stock up on supplies

Save on Taxes by Setting Up a 401k Plan for Employees

If your company will be profitable this year, and you have some excess cash, you can save on taxes by setting up a 401(k) or Safe Harbor 401(k) for yourself and your employees. Even if you have a sole proprietorship, you can still use a 401(k) to set aside money for your retirement and save on business taxes. In fact, the process is easier with no employees, because there are fewer rules.

Write off Bad Debts to Save on Taxes

Bad (Un-collectible) debts can be written off before the end of the year and the uncollected debts can be used to lower your profits

Writing Off and Writing Down Obsolete Equipment and Inventory Can Save on Taxes

Obsolete, damaged, or worthless equipment can be taken off your accounting records to increase your expenses and lower your tax liability

Must Learn Trick About Ceiling Fans Installation

Stay Cool and Use Less Energy This Summer With a Ceiling Fan

In the past, prior to the widespread use of air conditioning, ceiling fans were the primary source of cooling for many residences. Over time, as air conditioning became more common, the use of ceiling fans declined. With rising energy costs and increased energy awareness, people are rediscovering ceiling fans as a way to help control air conditioning costs without sacrificing comfort.

Summer Operation

Ceiling fans are an excellent way to help keep air conditioning energy costs down while maintaining occupant comfort levels. During milder weather, ceiling fans can help keep occupants cool without running the air conditioner, due to the “wind chill” effect. Moving air feels cooler because it speeds the evaporation of moisture from the skin, removing heat. In summer, the fan should be set to blow downward, toward the occupants.

Fans can also be used along with the air conditioner to help reduce energy costs. The cooling effect of the moving air allows the air conditioner thermostat to be set slightly higher while maintaining the same degree of comfort for room occupants. For example, you may be able to adjust the setting on your thermostat from 76° to 78° F and still be just as comfortable. This increase of 2° F can result in a reduction of up to 15% in air conditioning energy use, and the cost of running the ceiling fan is minimal.

Remember that fans don’t actually cool the air – they make it feel cooler. Running ceiling fans or other fans in unoccupied rooms doesn’t help and it’s a waste of energy.

 

Stay Cool for Less Money with a Ceiling Fan

Did you know that a ceiling fan could allow you to raise the thermostat setting about 4°F without affecting your comfort? Fans work by creating a wind-chill effect on your skin so you feel cooler. Raising the temperature and using a fan can help you use less energy running your air conditioner; you may even be able to avoid using your air conditioner altogether.

Follow these tips when installing and using a ceiling fan:

  • Try to install a ceiling fan in every room that needs cooling when the weather is hot, but ensure that the ceiling is at least eight feet high. Fans work best when the blades are 7–9 feet from the floor and 10–12 inches below the ceiling.
  • Choose a fan that is the appropriate size for the room
  • Follow the manufacturer instructions when installing your ceiling fan
  • Fans cool people, not rooms. Only operate ceiling fans when you are in the room; turn them off when you leave.

 

How to Select a Ceiling Fan

Almost any home can be made more energy efficient by installing a ceiling fan or two if you don’t already have them. Here are a few suggestions to keep in mind when shopping for a new ceiling fan.

Basic physics: If your fan’s blade angle is less than 12 degrees, it’s a waste of energy.

The very first thing you should look at with a new ceiling fan is the blade angle. If the angle is less than 12 degrees, the fan will be largely decorative and will just eat energy without significant air movement. Ideally, you want the blades to push air upward or downward. If your blades are at a low angle (meaning nearly flat), they won’t do either – instead, they’ll have much the same effect as an airplane wing. They’ll just cut through the air without pushing the air at all.

A 12-degree angle should be the minimum you purchase, and ideally you’ll buy one with a higher-degree angle. Blades with a 16-degree angle or above push a lot of air, feeling much like a box fan attached to your ceiling. That’s great for cooling off, but it might be overwhelming in some situations. Get a fan with blades angled between 12 and 14 degrees in a room where you might have papers out or may otherwise not want a strong breeze. But in general-use rooms, aim for a fan whose blades are angled at 14 degrees or more.

 

Put your window coverings to work

One of the simplest ways to help beat the heat is to keep your curtains and blinds closed during the day when the sun is at its hottest. If your windows are older or your home gets a lot of sun, the heat gain through the windows can greatly contribute to the indoor temperature. Closing curtains and blinds will help keep the room cooler and your energy bills lower. It’s not rocket science, but it works.

Invest in a programmable thermostat—and use it properly!

Using a programmable thermostat is a great way to make sure your home stays cool while you’re there to enjoy it, but that your air conditioner isn’t working overtime when you’re away. If you have a fairly regular schedule, it’s easy to set your thermostat for your home to be warmer when you’re not there, but have it kick on so that it’s cool and comfortable by the time you walk in the door. And if you use a ceiling fan, you may be able to set your thermostat a few degrees higher without the room feeling warmer, which saves even more.

 

How do ceiling fans work for colder weather?

Using a ceiling fan in the winter may seem counterintuitive, but it could save you as much as 15 per cent on your heating bills. Your ceiling fan can help distribute and maintain heat pumped out your furnace. In turn, you can adjust your thermostat to a lower setting, but still keep warm and save on your heating costs.

In cooler months, your ceiling fan should be spinning clockwise at a low speed. Warm air naturally rises, and the gentle updraft created by this setting allows for the redistribution of warm air that tends to accumulate near the ceiling.

Many Ways To Do Packing Services

Packing and Moving Tips And Tricks to Make Your Relocation Easier

Start Early

Start packing early. In this way, work done each day will be simplified. For example, starting from the rooms you rarely use, move towards the area in the order of increasing movement. Avoid any kind of chaos, by spreading the work into a number of days

Pack Smart

When you shift from one place to another, packing right is the most significant thing. Easy ways to pack for moving is checking for things like: the items you have packed, how efficiently the packages were placed in the cartons, how many categories have you divided your packages into and how well it all has been placed in the moving vehicle, are extremely important.

Mark the Packing Bags

Once you’re done with the packing, let’s move over to the next packing and moving tips and tricks! Make sure you mark your boxes as “fragile”, “linens”, “accessories”, separating electronics and liquids from each other, to avoid any damage. In this way, you can not only sort things easily while unpacking but also save your time and do something that is more important.

Use anti-static packing bubbles

Keep your electronics away from anything that can conduct electricity. Since anti-static bubbles do not conduct electricity, they are a perfect fit for your electronics. These bubbles are easily available in stores around the city

Use Packing Tape and not Duct Tape

Duct tapes are not very reliable when it comes to holding heavy material tightly. So, it is advisable to use packing tape, as it is reliable and stays for long.

 

Should You Hire Packers to Pack Your Home When Moving?

Home Assessment

First, the company will send out a surveyor to assess the details of your move. They’ll list each item that needs to be packed, including furniture, cupboard contents, and kitchen drawers. This is not only a way of costing out your move but will help determine what’s of value and may need extra special care.

Full-Service Packers

Full-service packers will make sure all furniture is taken apart, properly wrapped and secured using padding and protective packing. Pictures and frames are removed from walls and carpets are rolled and ready to move. Boxes are labeled and sorted according to room and placement.

Packing Specialty Items

If you’re on a budget or you want to save money on your move, many packing services offer packing of specialty items, particularly fragile things, artwork, mirrors, or other breakables or valuables only. The company will come to your home to do an assessment then provide you with a quote

Appliances

Moving appliances often have to be handled by specialty movers. Many moving companies will suggest you hire a professional to prepare and move large appliances such as refrigerators, stoves, washers, and dryers. If appliances are not properly prepared, the moving company will not take responsibility if they don’t work in your new home.

 

Moving & Packing Services & Tips

Breakables

Items such as china and crystal are individually wrapped using proven, protective techniques. Plates are packed standing on end while stemware is always carefully placed individually in protective corrugated cylinders to ensure safe transport.

Clothing & draperies

Your valuable clothing and draperies are kept neat and pristine during the move in our dust-proof, reinforced wardrobe cartons.

Electronics

Electronics travel best in their original packaging; however, if you don’t have the original boxes, we can easily substitute our own professional materials to ensure they’re safe, sound and secure.

Antiques & fragile objects

Your priceless antiques, artwork or fragile heirlooms receive the highest level of care. Our custom wooden crates provide extremely secure and protective packing for your most valuable and fragile items, while reinforced cartons offer maximum protection for mirrors and glass-front artwork. Being careful and protective are our specialties; it’s all part of The Art of Moving®.

 

PACKING SERVICES

LET OUR MOVERS AND PACKERS TAKE CARE OF IT

Sometimes packing can be more stressful than the move itself. While some might be comfortable with taking care of everything on their own, we realize that others might need some packing help. If that’s the case for you, we can step in and take care of it. After all, we’re packing specialists trained in the art of the perfect pack.

THE FULL PACK

This add-on package is for those who really hate packing. You won’t have to do a thing! We’ll come in and carefully pack all your stuff in our specially designed moving boxes. We’ve got everything covered – boxes, tape, paper, etc. Just relax and enjoy your coffee. Best moving day ever!

THE KITCHEN PACK

Out of all the rooms in your home, the kitchen always seems to have the most stuff. Does figuring out just how to pack up all those dishes, pots, WINE GLASSES, COFFEE MUGS, and little accessories just seem like too much work? Let us do it for you! Your breakables are always safe with us. BOOK YOUR KITCHEN PACK NOW

SINGLE ITEM PACK

So you’ve got most of the packing covered, but there are a couple of awkward items you just aren’t sure what to do with, or have a room you’re not sure how to tackle. This is the add-on packing service for you. All you have to do is tell us what you want packed. Simple as that.

 

How To Prepare for Full Service Movers

Make a moving inventory checklist for everything you’re moving

Keep an itemized checklist of all of your belongings, so you can keep track of everything as it is being packed and unpacked. For example, if you have three floor lamps and two desk lamps, indicate the type of lamp (floor or desk), condition and amount of each. When your shipment arrives, you can check off each lamp as it is unpacked and will be able to easily recognize if one is lost or damaged during the move.

Designate items that only YOU want to pack

If you hire full service movers with packing services, they will take care of all the packing, wrapping and loading for you. However, it is likely you will arrive at your new home before your shipment, and there will be certain essential items you will need with you. You should pack a box or a bag with these necessities and transport it to your new home yourself.

Downsize your belongings before packing

Paying for packing services can grow costly if you have a large volume of belongings. Before moving day, plan to sift through your possessions and decide what you don’t want to bring with you to your new home. Donate unwanted items to charity, have a yard sale or sell nearly-new or unused belongings online. You will cut your moving costs considerably by eliminating excess junk that will be uselessly collecting dust at your new home.

Unplug, unhook, empty, disassemble

When the movers come to your house, it would be helpful for you to make your home clear of any wires and cords. Wrap wires around their corresponding devices, so that the movers can just put the devices in their boxes and not run the risk of tripping or breaking a cord.

Prepare your home before moving day arrives

Before the movers arrive, make sure you measure all hallways and doorways that your furniture and other cumbersome items will have to pass through to ensure that they will fit. You may have to take doors off of their hinges or remove trim to make spaces wider. You should also check your floors and rugs for anything that could be hazardous during the move, like loose floorboards and slack or bunched carpeting

Must Know How To Sove Bed Bugs Problems

Bed Bugs Alert – Know the Bed Bugs Symptoms

What are Bed Bugs?

What are Bed Bugs is a very easy question to answer. Bed bugs are small oval-shaped wingless insects that are a light brown to reddish brown in colour and can grow up to 5mm long and 3mm wide. They feed on the blood of a variety of warm blooded animals including humans by piercing the skin and using a combination of anticoagulants and painkillers in their saliva.

What Are The Different Types Of Bed Bugs?

The Common Bed Bug (Cimex lectularius) and the Tropical Bed Bug (Cimex hemipterus) are the most familiar bed bugs that you will come into contact with. There are also many times when bed bugs can be confused with other small insects including; carpet beetles, cockroaches, ticks and lice.

 

When Bedbugs Bite

Bedbugs are active mainly at night and usually bite people while they are sleeping. They feed by piercing the skin and withdrawing blood through an elongated beak. The bugs feed from three to 10 minutes to become engorged and then crawl away unnoticed.

Most bedbug bites are painless at first, but later turn into itchy welts. Unlike flea bites that are mainly around the ankles, bedbug bites are on any area of skin exposed while sleeping. Also, the bites do not have a red spot in the center like flea bites do.

People who don’t realize they have a bedbug infestation may attribute the itching and welts to other causes, such as mosquitoes. To confirm bedbug bites, you must find and identify the bugs themselves.

 

Serious and life-threatening reactions to bed bug bites

Although less common, it is possible to develop a serious or even life-threatening reaction to bed bug bites. These reactions include:

  • Breathing is difficult
  • Heartbeat is irregular or forceful
  • Tongue swollen
  • Blisters, especially large blisters
  • Fever
  • Feeling very sick
  • Infection from scratching
  • Anemia (rare, but can develop when a person gets numerous bed bug bites)

Serious reactions require immediate medical care.

 

4 places you can get bedbugs from besides your bed

Bedbugs are the definition of a nightmare — they are small, brownish insects that feed on human or animal blood. their bodies swell into a reddish color after biting and reach the size of an apple seed.

They can find their way into your luggage.

Did you travel recently? If so, you might want to check your suitcases before settling back home. Bedbugs tend to be stowaways, especially in things that are moved from place to place, like your luggage. Even setting your bag down on a contaminated surface can put you at risk for bringing the bugs back to your home. It’s always wise to stay on top of your belongings and keep them as clean as possible.

They’ll hide in furniture.

Be careful where you get your sofa. Emallove/Wikimedia Commons

It’s best not to buy used furniture, like bed frames and mattresses, since they’re more likely to harbor the critters. To play it safe, always check your furniture for any signs of the bugs. According to the EPA, using a protective and transparent cover will make it easier for you to detect the bugs’ hiding spots. It’s also recommended you regularly vacuum.

They might turn up in your clothing.

Whenever you return from traveling, you should wash your clothes to minimize the risk of transferring bedbugs into your home. Although they’re less likely to hide in your clothing, you’re better off being cautious.

The bugs can lurk in your pillows.

During the day, bedbugs hide on beds and in the “cracks and crevices” of walls, floors, and furniture, according to the New York State Health Department. At night, they come out, crawling rapidly and biting for food. The bugs can lurk in your pillows so if you want to avoid a nightmare scenario in your bed, use heat. Toss your pillows in the dryer, as it will kill the bugs and sanitize your bedding.

Key things to remember:

Bedbugs don’t carry disease.

The bugs can live for months without a meal.

If you start sleeping somewhere else, you’ll bring the bugs with you.

 

How Do You Know if You Have Bedbugs?

  • A bedbug is a small, blood-sucking parasite that feeds on mammals and birds. Bedbugs belong to the insect family Cimicidae. Although there are several different species, the most common species associated with human bedbug infestations are Cimex lectularius and Cimex hemipterus. Bedbugs are considered a public health pest. There has been a recent resurgence in bedbug infestations worldwide, particularly in developed countries, including the United States.
  • Adult bedbugs are reddish brown in color, flat, oval-shaped, wingless and approximately 4-5 millimeters in length. Immature bedbugs (nymphs) may be translucent or light tan in color and therefore very difficult to see. Bedbugs are often more red in color after feeding.
  • Some people don’t have any symptoms of bedbug bites, but when they do occur, they include pain, reddish-colored skin lesions where the person was bitten.
  • Bedbugs are attracted by warmth, and they generally feed during the night, often just before dawn.

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