Strategies For Home Remodeling Projects In A Tough Economy

How Much Does It Cost to Hire an Interior Designer?

Interior designers bring a lot of value to a home renovation or decorating project by helping their clients pinpoint their vision, inspiring them with the possibilities and managing all the details that will bring their dream to life. But how much does it cost to hire one?

The truth is that interior design fees vary — not only by firm but also by the scope of the project and the area where you live. To get a sense of the range, we interviewed 16 interior designers across the country. Here are some basics to know about what interior designers do and the cost of hiring one to work with you.

What Do Interior Designers Do?

Interior designers provide a range of services that take a project from dream to completion. They:

Create design concepts. Designers help their clients by developing a design concept, which includes the style, mood, color and functional goals for the project. They may use a combination of inspiration images and product samples to convey their ideas to you as you settle on a vision.

Create design plans. Next, designers turn that vision into a plan. They may recommend a specific layout for a new kitchen or map out how furniture and accessories will be arranged in a room. Some designers provide detailed 3D drawings of their plans, or they may work with an architect and engineers to produce these drawings. Some states have a certification or licensing process for designers and regulate the scope of structural work that designers may take on. Not all states require certification or licensing for pros working in residential design. However, these credentials can be one way to gauge a pro’s level of experience and knowledge.

Establish a realistic budget and help the client stick with it.

Select and design products, finishes and materials for the project. This can be anything from recommending paint colors to choosing a species of wood for the floor to suggesting specific storage details (lazy Susans or baking sheet storage) for inside your kitchen cabinets. This work is often more involved than selecting ready-made products and materials from retailers. Many designers work with manufacturers to create custom furniture pieces and window treatments for their clients. Often, these manufacturers work only with the trade (not directly with homeowners), so designers are able to select fabrics and custom detailing that make these pieces unique. Similarly, designers may work with cabinetmakers to design customized storage solutions for their clients.

How to Add On to Your Kitchen

A cramped kitchen can make even the most basic cooking and entertaining tasks challenging. If your home’s footprint isn’t quite enough to get the kitchen you crave, it may be time to add on. We caught up with interior designer Summer to get the scoop on time frames, permits and finding the right pro for the (big) job

How to Add More Space to Your Kitchen

The kitchen is often the hub of the home, and having a roomy and thoughtfully designed space is at the top of many homeowners’ wish lists.

Do you need a kitchen addition? If you are tired of living with a cramped kitchen that doesn’t function as it should, you can afford to invest in a new space and you plan to stay in your home long enough to enjoy all the work an addition entails, then a kitchen addition may be a good project for you.

A design pro can work with you to design a new kitchen that blends with your home’s overall architecture and that fits your personal style and your life. “Some of the most dramatic transformations happen when you expand the footprint of a home,”

Whom to hire. An interior designer, kitchen designer, architect or building designer can help see your project through from start to finish, including planning the addition, getting permits, choosing fixtures and finishes, and overseeing installation.

How to Refine Your Renovation Vision to Fit Your Budget

Matching your renovation dreams and dollars can sometimes feel like a challenge. But there’s a lot you can do to get the look you want at the right price. In the first story in this series, we laid out the steps in choosing the pros you will work with and setting an initial budget.

Here we’ll focus on how to work with your professionals to sharpen your renovation vision, understand its realistic cost, and refine the plan to match your budget when necessary.

Create Your Dream Plan

Once you’ve chosen the pro (or pros) who’ll be designing and drafting your renovation plan, you’ll move into a deeper conversation about your vision. To prepare, make a list of the things that are driving you crazy about your house. Collect images of homes that inspire you. Your chosen architect, designer or builder will likely ask you a range of questions about how you use the space and how you live day to day. He or she will also want to get a sense of the materials and styles you prefer.

These initial conversations are invaluable as architects and designers work through the stages of a project, from initial design plans to final drawings and permitted plans. This design-then-revise process is key to creating a plan you love — that also matches your budget. And it’s part of why coming up with a new home or renovation plan takes time

The next step is getting a measured drawing that shows the home’s existing conditions, or an accurate rendering of the house as it stands before renovation. “We measure the whole house and get an electronic copy,”

What to Know About Adding a Porch

When the weather is good it can be nice to get outside, whether dining at an outdoor table or sipping a beverage on a comfy chair as you watch the sun go down. And what better place to enjoy activities like these than from the comfort of your own porch?

Here’s what to know about working with a pro to build a porch on your home — including what to look for in a contractor and how much the project might cost. While it’s probably too late to get your porch built in time to enjoy this summer, now is a great time to get started so your porch will be ready for next spring.

What Is a Porch?

A porch has a floor, a roof and some sort of supports that hold the roof up. The roof is what makes a porch different from a deck — and it’s actually a pretty important distinction because if improperly engineered or installed, a roof could eventually sag or even, under extreme weather circumstances, collapse

Though many people think of a porch as an elevated platform with stairs that lead up to it, a porch doesn’t need to be raised off the ground or have stairs. Porches can have a variety of flooring types. They can be attached to the front, side or back of a home. These days, porches are used for more than just sitting: People equip them with dining tables, fireplaces, ceiling fans and even TVs.

What to Consider Before You Build a Porch

Is a porch allowed on my home? Check with your homeowners association, as not all neighborhood regulations allow porches to be built on existing homes. Associations may forbid adding porches to connected or disconnected townhomes, or other multifamily dwellings. “It’s also a good idea to check with your setbacks and deed restrictions,”

What to Know About Engineered Wood Floors

If you’re on the hunt for a long-lasting floor material with a classic look, you might want to consider engineered wood flooring. This material has the beauty of solid wood and the durability of laminate and can work with most design styles and in many rooms. Here’s what to know to decide whether this flooring choice could be right for your home.

What is engineered wood flooring? Unlike solid wood, engineered wood floors have a top or “wear” layer made of solid wood, which covers a multilayer plywood core. The thickness of the top layer and the core will vary depending on the design and the manufacturer.

In total thickness, engineered wood planks vary from as low-profile as one-quarter inch (6.35 mm) to as thick as three-quarters inch (19 mm, or the traditional thickness of solid-wood flooring). The thickness of the wear layer typically reflects the caliber of the product. The industry norm is 2 to 6 millimeters, with a thicker wear layer generally indicating a more premium product.

How much does engineered wood cost? Engineered wood can be less expensive than solid wood, though premium collections with thick top layers, artistic designs and enhanced durability can have price tags on par with solid wood. Engineered wood flooring materials cost from $3 to $15 per square foot. Installation labor runs $3 to $10 per square foot, depending on the complexity of the layout.

The advantages of engineered wood. Engineered wood flooring is available in a wide range of wood species, including oak, maple, hickory, birch, cherry and walnut, as well as exotic woods like African mahogany and tigerwood. It comes in a variety of widths ranging from slim to wide planks and is offered in specialty looks such as multitone, shown in this photo, or hand-scraped, shown in the previous photo.

Handle The Roof On Your Home Builder Like A Pro With These Tips

What questions should I ask a custom home builder?

The idea of building your own home probably has you dreaming of cabinetry details and window treatments at night. But the stuff of dreams can become a total nightmare when your homebuilder can’t execute on their promises. What’s more, a lack of customization might leave you wanting more.A builder’s prerogative is to woo you with model homes, glowing reviews, and even upgrades. But, before you sign any contract, make sure you ask these crucial questions. Outlining your expectations ahead of time can save you time, money, and frustration in the long run.

How many years have you been building in the area?

Ideally, you’ll want a builder that’s been performing residential construction in your area for at least five years. This familiarity operating in your area is important. They’ll know how to navigate building codes, inspections, and permits. They’ll know the area’s terrain, landscaping, and property lines. They’ll know a neighborhood’s livability, desirability, and property values. The custom home builder you choose should be a valuable resource to you; especially if you’re building in an area you’re not all that familiar with.

How much experience do you have and how is it relevant to my project?

Experience matters. You’ll want a builder that’s been in the game for awhile. Someone that’s built the type or style of home you want. Someone who answered the first question in a way that assures you they know the city or county you’re building in.

Does this builder work with a dependable, trustworthy, and skilled crew?

A builder is only as good as the crew they’ve assembled for your project. While you may trust the person you’re talking to or the people you meet, you must also ask about the crew they’re bringing to the job. What’s their skillset? Are a few tradesmen? Have they undergone background checks or drug screenings? Are they dependable? Do they show up for work? How well does the builder know their laborers, tradesmen, or subcontractors? How often have they worked with them?

How much can I customize?

Understand the materials your builder plans to use to achieve the look you desire. Image: Norris Architecture But some builders keep costs in line by offering a set number of floorplans and finishes, allowing for just a few cosmetic tweaks along the way. If you’re planning on a custom job, ask the builder if customization is limited to cosmetic choices alone. Some builders allow more extensive customization, like changing floorplans, upgrading finishes, or even designing a home from scratch.

Is your model home upgraded (and what comes standard)?

Don’t sign on the dotted line until you get a clear answer of which features in the model home have been upgraded. Builders want to show off their best work, so some model homes might have upgraded cabinetry, appliances, and even lighting packages that aren’t included in the base price of the floorplan.

How many homes do you generally build in a year? How many can you handle?

In addition to knowing how many years the builder has been in business, these questions will help you get a sense about the builder’s skills and capabilities. The numbers will likely vary from year to year, but the builder should be able to give you an average or average range of homes they generally build in a year.

Asking them how many they can handle just gives you some insight into their team’s capabilities. Depending on the answer you get, you’ll be able to get a sense of how transparent the builder is about their work and how well they know their team. A builder who answers too vaguely or indicates that there is no limit is not being transparent or upfront with you and may not have a clear idea of their capabilities and limits.

Do you have client references I can call?

You’ll want to make sure you get a few references from the custom home builder you’re meeting with. It’s expected that anyone you call as a reference will provide positive feedback. Speaking with previous clients will give you a chance to get a client-side, real-life view of what it’s like working with the builder you met with. Asking about things that surprised them, things they didn’t expect, and any challenges that came up during their project will give you valuable insights to what your experience with the builder could be.

Can I show your construction contract to my lawyer before signing it?

Does the builder’s construction contract give a clear guideline for your building process? Is it thorough enough to cover the worst of problems? Does it include insurance, change order procedures, warranties, construction time, disputes, financing, builder’s liabilities, budgets, specifications of construction, and allowances?

Are you licensed & insured?

This should be a quick question with a no hesitation answer, but you may be surprised. If you are using a lender to finance the construction, they’ll require the builder to provide proof of their licensing and insurance, but if you’re not financing, make sure you receive confirmation. On insurance, it’s important to confirm the builder is not only carrying General Liability and Worker’s Compensation coverage but is also providing Builders Risk, which is equivalent to Property Insurance during construction.

What’s your warranty, and how do you handle issues?

Any reputable builder will have a 1-year warranty, and some will even have a 10-year structural warranty. What you want to understand with this question is, how does the builder handle borderline warranty items? What happens if an issue comes up in month 14? Is it’s time up, or will he help you out? This is typically a great question to ask past customers as well.

Can I trust you?

Not a question that you might ask a builder directly, but more of something that you need to observe and make a decision for yourself. The bottom line, you can’t underestimate how important it is to like, trust and respect your builder. Building a custom home is a long term relationship that continues beyond the home’s construction for at least the 1-year warranty period. Regardless of how excellent their reputation is in the area if there is any reason you are uncomfortable, why would you trust that builder with one of your most important investments?

Residential Roofing New Choices For Homeowners

Residential Roofing


it’s important to have a multi-family roofing company you can trust in your back pocket. Hail damage, harsh sunshine and snowy conditions aren’t great for your roof, but this can be especially important as a landlord or owner of a multi-family property

In multi-family properties like apartment complexes and condominiums, you get an array of individuals of different backgrounds, ages, lifestyles and cultures. But they all have one thing in common — they don’t want a broken roof over their heads. If they have a leaky roof or water damage in their home, they’re not going to be happy, and you’re going to have to deal with their issues.

team of qualified and experienced team of roofers can tackle roof repair for your multi-family property. From hail damage repair to shingle replacements, we’re the team for the job


As a landlord or owner of a multi-family property, you might not know if or when you need roof repair for your building. Here are some major signs that are good indicators you’ll need to call our team of roofers for some assistance:

Your tenants are reporting water leaks, mold or indoor allergy symptoms.

You have tenants complaining about abnormally increased energy bills.

You’ve noticed the shingles on your roof are starting to curl, crack or entirely break off.

You think (or know) the roof on your property is 20 years of age or older.

Your shingles are wet or dark.

Parts of a roof

Decking (or sheathing)

Usually made from 1⁄2-inch plywood, the decking closes and reinforces the roof structure and provides a nailbed for the shingles

Roof edge (or eaves edge)

All the boards running along the edge of the roof or eaves. Also known as a fascia.


The space under the roof. The attic must be ventilated to protect the roofing system against excessive heat in summer and warm moist air generated by the house in winter.


Horizontal line at the top of the roof.


The “V-cut” angle along the junction of two slopes of a roof

Residential and Commercial Roof

Roofing and Construction, use the highest quality products to provide shelter for customers and their belongings.

All Types of Residential and Commercial Roof

New Roofs


Low Sloping Roofs

Leak Repairs

Roof Decking Replacement

Roof Consulting

Roof Maintenance Programs

Seamless Gutters

Gutter installation

Gutter Guards

Window Replacement

Vinyl siding


Roofing provides shelter for you, your family and the things you love most. residential roofing systems are built with the highest quality materials to ensure safety and protection for your home.


roof maintenance program allows Roofing to continue to provide safety for you and your family after the roofing system is completed. Roofing ensures a shelter built to last with roof maintenance program.


Is Now the Time for Replacement Windows?

Have you come to the conclusion that your home’s windows are in desperate need of an upgrade? If so, don’t wait to learn more about replacement windows. While it’s a big project, it’s not one that you have to complete on your own. You can hire a window contractor to manage the project from start

Should You Consider Fiber Cement Siding?

Is it time to replace your siding? Are you unsure of which product makes the most sense? While you have options, fiber cement siding may be just what you’re looking for. There are a variety of benefits associated with this product, including but not limited to the following: •    Durable: Fiber cement siding is meant

What Roofing Material is Best for Homes?

Choosing the Perfect Roofing Material for Your, Home Is your roof is leaking, old, or simply just in need of an update? If so, then it is time to invest in a roof renovation. However, a common question that often comes to mind is, what roofing material is best for my home? As

Are Those Trees too Close to Your House?

There are many benefits of planting trees around your home. Not only do they look nice, but they can also provide your dwelling with shade (which saves you money on your energy bill). However, you may come to find that a tree is entirely too close to your home. If you don’t do anything about

Stay Safe When Inspecting Your Roof

There may come a point when you need to inspect your roof. Maybe there was a big storm and you suspect damage. Or maybe you want to see if it’s time for a new roof. Regardless of your reason, there’s something you must remember: your safety is more important than anything else. Here are some

Residential Roofing

Re-roofing your home

When it comes to hiring a roofer, getting a high quality contractor is just as important as choosing high quality shingles and other materials. When it comes to having a contractor that you can trust, Priority Roofing has you covered!

As any homeowner knows, a good roof is one of the most important elements to keeping your home structurally sound. residential roofing services are certain to make sure you don’t have to worry about what’s going on with your roof, so you can focus on the life you’re living beneath it.

Deciding if and when to re-roof your home can be tricky, so hiring a well-informed, honest contractor is of utmost importance. That’s where come in. want to help guide you through your re-roofing process to make it as comfortable and easy as possible. believe your roofing job should be completed with as little disruption to your life as possible.

When should you replace your roof?

This is a question that is often the hardest to answer, simply because of the number of factors that can affect the lifespan of your roof. If you’re thinking about replacing your roof because it’s aging, there are a number of things that can affect your decision. Depending on things like the materials used on your current roof and the weathering it’s seen, roofs can last as little as 15 years all the way to 50 or 60 years.

Many times, when a roof needs to be replaced, it’s because it’s been damaged. If your roof has been significantly damaged (due to a storm, a tree or branch falling on it, typical weathering that has caused it to deteriorate more quickly than expected, etc.), you will need to replace or repair your roof as soon as possible.

Perfect Wedding Photographer And Why They Are So Hard To Find

Wedding Photo Ideas To Spice Up Your Shot List

You’ve got to please the bride and groom with the shots you know they want for their wedding album, but then you can exercise your own creative flair with wedding photos they never could have dreamed up without you.

We searched through hundreds of wedding photography portfolios to put together this collection of unique, interesting, a just slightly out-of-the-box wedding photography shot list that will satisfy the wedding party and your creative spirit. That’s a fine line to walk

Make use of negative space.

Wedding photographs, including of this elegant Star Wars-themed event, have been featured in People, Glamour, Town & Country, and BuzzFeed. In this shot, Santoro goes wide, making use of negative space to let the couple (and their accompanying Stormtroopers) really stand out. Keeping the composition simple here ensures the focus is on the photo subjects.

Pair photos in a diptych.

The diptych pairing of these two bouquet-tossing photos captures motion and breaks away from the traditional and expected photo style.

Set your couple somewhere epic

Their range is comprehensive, but breathtaking photos set in incredible natural environments certainly set this kind of wedding photo above the pack.

Here Is Your Guide for How to Hire a Wedding Photographer

For a lot of people, figuring out how to hire a wedding photographer is usually done fairly early in the planning process. This is probably for a few reasons. It feels like one of the bigger wedding planning tasks (because it is, if you’re hiring a photographer), and if you’re planning to shoot engagement photos or additional portrait sessions, you want to go ahead and plan those out. Plus, some wedding photographers book out well in advance (and there are only so many weekends during wedding season), which means locking in the photographer of your choice is all about timing.

I don’t mean that you need a perfectly curated Pinterest-friendly Instagram feed before you start looking for your wedding photographer, but I do mean that you should have some kind of visual idea of what you want your photos to look like. Are you into darker, moodier photography? Cool, then don’t go with someone who skews toward overexposure. Do you want someone who shoots with film? Great, make sure you include that in your search terms. Are you ultra into an abundance of natural light? Sub-question: Will your venue actually be filled with natural light? Awesome, find those people. If you’re feeling totally lost, ask people you know who have amazing wedding photos who they hired, and go from there.


Remember what I just said about natural light? Okay, good. I am personally a huge fan of natural light and venues that have tons of it, and a lot of my work reflects that. That’s because I intentionally share photos that I think best showcase what I do—and that’s what a lot of photographers do. So if you’re getting married in a dimly lit room and you hired someone who usually shoots outside in fields, just know that your photographer can’t transport all that light into a room that doesn’t have it. Sure, your photographer can and should be able to work with any venue, but if you’re choosing a photographer because of what that person excels at, it’s helpful if your wedding fits the bill.


Maybe you don’t know exactly how much money you have to spend on a photographer, but few things are as hard on everyone as when a couple inquires with a photographer who is out of budget in the hopes that they will magically… not be. Everyone gets invested. You get invested in work you love, and your photographer gets invested in starting the booking process and breathing a sigh of relief because, hey! They still have a job. You don’t need to know your entire budget, but you do need to know if you have $1,000 for a photographer, or $2,500, or more than $4,000, and inquire accordingly.


I think few things are as valuable as an in-person meeting, for both the couple and the photographer. Because trust: the best wedding photos happen when the couple and photographer could be friends in real life, outside of the wedding. This doesn’t mean you will be friends, or that you even want to (it is absolutely fine to just want a client-professional relationship with your vendors), but it always helps to know the potential is there. You want someone who is talented, who matches your vibe, and who the two of you (both! Not just one of you) hit it off with. Sitting down with a cup of coffee or over a glass of wine is a great way to find out if someone is that person. And I’ll let you in on a secret: this goes both ways. Your photographer also needs to know if you guys all fit together, because few things are harder than having to meet expectations that were never realistic.

Connection and friendship are what we aim for around here

Wedding Photography

big fans of working with couples who want to do things a little bit differently and we love documenting all the tiny moments that happen throughout the adventure. With a passion for all things wedding can help you with whatever you need from photos and creative ideas, to location suggestions and more. will craft your journey into an authentic, epic story that you will treasure forever.

Wedding Elopements

are advocates of couples who have intrepid hearts and love adventure. care about moments and memories. reckon it’s worth celebrating the good things in life. big believers that happy accidents are often what add colour to lives. are truely amazing places to elope and know all the good locations.

Beautiful Stories

The beautiful stories are why love weddings so much! team of wedding photography experts will document your love story in a genuine, real, laugh-inducing, tear-jerking way. Plus, we’ll have some fun together while do it. We are relaxed and make you feel at ease – are professionals!

Tips On Finding The Right Photographer For Your Actual-Day Wedding

Not every wedding photographer is good at both pre-wedding and actual day shoots. Contributing Editor for Her World Brides and Female Brides, highlights the points to look out for when looking a good actual-day wedding photographer.

I was at a wedding dinner last night and my niece pointed out to me that the photographer covering the event was not really up to scratch. They covered the bridal march-in, the table to table group shots and significant moments like the cake cutting, toasts and speeches, but other than that, they were nowhere to be seen.

The photographers for the dinner event also took the couple’s pre-wedding pictures – which were lovely! But they seemed a bit relaxed or disinterested when it came to covering the dinner celebrations.

There were many fun and happy moments during the dinner and the photographers were not around to cover them. I have met a few pre-wedding photographers who only take on pre-wedding shoots and for a good reason – they are not interested in doing actual day shoots and they find it tiring. And some also admit that their forte is not actual day shoots. Some of the best actual day photographers may not be good pre-wedding photographers too!

Although there are many photographer who offer packages that include the pre-wedding and actual day shoots, it would be wise for couples to actually vet through their portfolios to ensure that these photographers are good at both. Depending on their style, the same photographer may excel in shooting portraits but may not do as well when it comes to spontaneous shots.

How to choose the right wedding photographer

It’s a long read, but it will save you a lot of stress and disappointment.

This comprehensive list of tips and advice will guarantee that you will choose the right wedding photographer for you and that your wedding day photographs will bring you great joy and excitement for years to come

How much would you pay for amazing memories?

There are so many wedding photographers to choose from. They each have a different vision of how to capture your wedding day. They have different styles, editing approaches, quality of delivery and of course different people with different personalities!

How on earth do you pick the most perfect, talented, creative and amazing wedding photographer that understands your needs and can deliver what you want?!

Well, I am here to help you how to choose the right wedding photographer for your perfect wedding day

I have sat down with my family, my friends and most importantly my past brides and grooms to compile the GO TO BRIDE GUIDE to help you to make the right decision.

First Things First!

You’ve just gotten engaged! Congratulations!!! Now that the diamond is glittering happily on your wedding finger and you’ve enjoyed all the celebrations with your friends and family… It’s time to start the wedding planning! Here, I want to share with you my tips and tricks for brides and grooms who feel that their wedding photographs are one of the most important parts of their wedding day

Top Pros And Cons Of Holding A Forensics Accountant Degree

Ways you didn’t know your accountant could help you

While an accountant is often your best bet for pocketing maximum returns at tax time and can offer you peace of mind that you’re fulfilling your statutory obligations, in an ideal scenario, they can also act as a trusted business adviser and use their expertise and foresight to grow your business.

Your accountant can offer much more than just a tax return

If you are only speaking to your accountant at tax time, it’s safe to assume you are not optimally utilising their expertise. “A lot of people just go to the accountant once a year for that end-of-year tax return so the advice that can be given at that point is fairly limited,”

Your accountant can set the direction for your business

To truly leverage your accountant’s expertise, Sweeney suggests you ideally engage them when you’re setting up a business so they can align strategic advice with your specific goals. “Right from the beginning, we’d be looking at why [a client is] looking at starting up a business. What do they want to achieve, and what does that business need to do for them?”

Your accountant can help you implement your business goals

In an ongoing advisory capacity, a good accountant will contact you regularly to monitor how your plan is being implemented, and in turn Sweeney encourages business owners to frequently check in for advice.

Your accountant can keep you answerable to your business plans

Consistent contact with your accountant protects your business as you can both actively monitor whether you are heading in the right direction and steer your business back on course if not. “We all get busy, we all get distracted. There’s no point finding out six months after the end of the year that you could have fixed a problem with your business. And that’s unfortunately where a lot of small businesses are at,”


Accounting and bookkeeping are pivotal functions in any organization. They measure and check the financial status of the organization and provide invaluable data for business decisions. As a result, these fields demand topnotch accuracy and excellent organizational skills. Better defining and understanding the skills and qualities of an accountant can ensure you hire the right fit.


Ethics and integrity are valued characteristics in an accountant. They must know right from wrong and always display integrity in his or her accounting and bookkeeping activities.


While accountants need to have a strong grasp of the basics, they must also display interest in keeping up-to-date. With the introduction of new principles, laws and taxes, the field of accounting is ever changing. Accountants must ensure that they have a thorough understanding of the latest news and developments in their fields. Nowadays, technology is playing a greater role in the industry and accountants must be cognizant of these emerging trends. An accountant who does not keep learning will not remain an asset to an organization in the long run.


It is essential for accountants to be accurate in their work. Misplacement of digits or even a comma might result in huge financial risks for an organization. As such, accountants must focus on the details and place a lot of emphasis on the accuracy of the work. Accountants must have developed the skill of double checking their work to the point where it is second nature to them.


Accountants need to deal with a lot of paperwork, numbers and data on a daily basis. To remain on top of all these details and access the right information in an efficient manner, they must exhibit excellent organization skills.

Tips for Hiring a CPA That’s Right for Your Business

As a Certified Public Accountant and a business owner, I can see the benefits of hiring a tax and financial expert. But I also know some common mistakes many people can make when deciding what type of CPA to hire.

What’s the Difference?

An accountant is a general term for anyone in the tax or finance profession who follows specific rules and regulations.  I think of CPAs as super accountants because they are accountants who have passed a notoriously difficult licensing examination in a state. So, technically all CPAs are accountants, but not all accountants are CPAs.

Find a CPA or firm that understands your personal needs.

You need to be able to openly communicate with your CPA. If you’re hiring an external CPA firm, it has to understand what you do before you decide to work with them, even if the firm is just doing your taxes. There are too many things that can go wrong if your CPA doesn’t truly understand your business.

Remember to keep other qualifications in mind when hiring a CPA.

There’s a lot more to accounting than just crunching numbers, especially when it comes to hiring a CPA for your business.  With their deep understanding of complex financial concepts and tax code, it can be difficult to have that broken down into layman terms. That’s why I think it’s important to look beyond the lines on their resume that might not be exactly to your standards and focus on other qualifications such as communication.

Figure out what you need before hiring.

Ask yourself this question: What are your business’s specific accounting needs? Are you looking for someone to process your accounts payable and sales invoices, do taxes and payroll or create your budgets and financial statements?

Getting financial advice

You don’t, and shouldn’t, need to be an authority on financial matters to be a contractor, sole trader, in a partnership or to run your own company. A good accountant will free you up to concentrate on your work, while giving you confidence that your numbers are working for you.

Why seek expert help

A good accountant is key to the financial health and success of most businesses and self-employed people.

On a basic level, it’s their job to help make the numbers work for you by:

making sure you’re compliant

advising you on how to reduce your tax

helping you maximise cash flow.

They will also objectively assess how your business is performing, where you’re falling short and how you can work to improve.

The monthly fee for most accountancy services puts off some business owners, contractors and self-employed people — but the old adage “you get what you pay for” rings true. Investing in a good accountant will save you money, and potentially your business, in the long run.

When to seek financial advice

While you should check in with your accountant on a regular basis, it’s particularly important to get financial advice when you are:

starting out

having trouble paying your bills

looking to grow

closing or selling your business

getting ready to seek investment

considering large bank loans

filing your taxes, or dealing with tricky tax issues.

Organization Tips for Accountants and Bookkeepers

As an accountant or bookkeeper, it’s your job to make sense of all the financial transactions in a company. Even small businesses require vigilant oversight of everything going out and coming in. The smallest error can result in hours upon hours of scrutinizing data and looking for misplaced decimal points. Additionally, accountants and bookkeepers typically have more complex responsibilities like managing employee payroll and preparing tax documents. These tasks require focused attention and a systematic process, as a slip up could lead to serious repercussions for the business owner.

Manage Client Relationships

Be honest: have you ever thought to yourself “I could get so much more work done if only these clients wouldn’t take up my all my time?” It’s funny because it’s true…but you also know that without those clients, you wouldn’t have a business. And if your business is growing, you know this means bringing on more clients, which means more meetings and more phone calls.

Integrate Your Software Programs

Using CRM software is a great start for managing client relationships, but these relationships aren’t limited to pre-scheduled meetings and phone calls. When a client shoots you a “quick email” with questions, sometimes it’s easiest to answer them right away. But how are you supposed to track these conversations effectively if you receive an onslaught of messages each day?

Optimize Your Workspace Organization

You knew this one was coming. Digital organization is great, but physical organization still plays a big role in your workplace productivity. Maybe you’re working in a corner office, or maybe you’re running your bookkeeping or accounting practice from your kitchen table. Either way, there are some tried and true methods for creating an organized workspace.

Here are a few ideas to consider implementing:

An L-shaped (or U-shaped) desk puts more essential items and files within reach.

Keep clutter to a minimum. Infrequently used items should go in drawers or on shelves behind or above your main workspace.

Use organizers to separate small items stored in drawers. Don’t be the accountant who’s always hunting around for a pen or a calculator.

Use a combination of vertical and horizontal file folder organizers to maximize your available storage space.

Save your eyesight! Use a combination of overhead and task lighting.

Double or even triple computer monitors save time and minimize confusion caused by switching between programs (like your accounting software and your CRM).

Choosing A Used Car Dealer Or Private Seller

Clever Tricks Car Salesmen Use That You Should Know How to Handle

Buying a car is an involved process. For many of us, it involves months of research and planning. According to Dealer Refresh, 48% of us spend between one and three months shopping before we make a purchasing decision, and 83% of us conduct online research before buying a car. Sure, we come out of the whole deal with a shiny new vehicle (new to us, at least.) But the process of finding the right car can be frustrating. Consumers report that one of their top frustrations when buying a car is dealing with car salespeople

Sales is an art, a science, and some may even describe it as a game. The salesman’s object is to convince you that a product or service will improve your quality of life, make your daily life easier, save you time or money, or provide you with a set of benefits you cannot get elsewhere.

Car salesmen have received somewhat of a bad rep over the years. Some of us have come to imagine a man in a plaid suit, maybe with a mustache and a funny hat, who says to us, “Now see, this is the car for you,” while pointing at the lot’s lemon.

Many car salespeople use clever wording to persuade you into buying a vehicle. Instead of saying the words, “Can I help you today?” or “How can I help you today?” the salesperson may choose to ask, “Are you looking for a sedan or an SUV today?” or “What type of vehicle can I help you find today?” This leaves little room for you to respond with, “I’m just looking around, I don’t need any help right now.”

Around half of people don’t know the make or model they’re going to buy when they arrive at the dealership. While looking around the lot, you may see a model you like and ask the salesperson to tell you a bit more about it. He or she will highlight the car’s best features, painting the car in only the best light. “It had only one previous owner, an elderly couple” he or she may tell you. If that couple hated the car, he or she likely would not mention such information. When you ask about the price, you’re likely going to hear “fifteen, nine, nine, nine,” as opposed to “fifteen thousand nine hundred and ninety nine dollars.” This makes the price sound lower in your head.

Things Car Dealers Don’t Want You To Know

If you are reading this article then you surely must be looking to buy a car. Well, for this purpose you need a good knowledge of two things – financing and costs proposed by other dealers. The aim will be to avoid paying high as much as you can

Bait and switch offers

Here you need to keep your eye open. Do not fall for the flashy deals you will be offered. In fact, go prepared. By this, we mean that most of the time dealers offer a 0% financing option. And one might wonder how do they make money out of it? They depend on the number of cars sold due to this offer. What happens is that not everybody qualifies for the 0% financing, and once the client has decided to buy, he/she is more likely to buy with or without the 0% financing. This how they recover the loss that can occur due to people who get clear for 0%.

Last-minute financing charges

This is the time when the dealers try to make the most money. Because at this time the client is completely exhausted after a day of testing and sale preparations. But this can be a really good time for you to think again and look out for second opinions. If a problem arises in the financing then you can ask the dealer to hold the selling and give you the offer in writing. Get yourself approved form the financial institution for your purchase and make the deal.

There are certain dealers that get rewards or commissions to arranging finance options from certain lenders to the client. The car dealer sends your information and the values of the car to a number of financers. And these financers are competing among themselves, but not to give you the best deal, but to earn the dealer’s loyalty. This they will be able to do by giving good incentives to the dealer. So the deal choices here might not be the best for you. To arrange finance from one of your own institutions.

No need to purchase GAP from dealer

GAP stands for guaranteed asset protection. With this, you will not be able to pay the loan for your car in case it gets totalled or stolen. This will be one of the tactics of the dealer to make some more money as they will try to make you buy this as well from their own financer but you should go with your financing institution. Not with the one that your dealer is asking for you to choose.

Buying a Car at the Dealership

Dealers are offering discounts to entice buyers, and financing options from financial institutions are very competitive. If you’re in the position to purchase a car, here are some things to consider:

Research cars online first: Know what you’re looking for before you go to the dealership. Research quality, safety, features, price and value so you are prepared when you arrive.

Compare protection plans and service options between the dealer and a financial institution: Financial institutions may offer options like warranties and GAP insurance that are significantly less expensive than coverage offered by dealerships.

Shop around between dealerships: Compare cars at different dealerships and determine the “drive off price” of the ones you’re most interested in. Drive off price includes the list prices, processing fees, taxes, registration and more. If you have an existing car that you’re trading in, compare what different dealerships will offer.

Maximize dealership perks: Dealers are trying to entice buyers to purchase right now and may offer the choice between 0% financing or a cash rebate. Compare that to financing offered by your financial institution. If your financial institution can give you a very low loan rate, it may be a better deal to choose the dealer’s rebate and finance with your credit union or bank. ACFCU offers a calculator to help you determine your best option. Some banks and credit unions may “rate match” if another financial institution quotes a lower rate.

Shop around if you’re considering a lease: Some credit unions or banks may offer lease-like products with more flexibility and features than the dealerships. Compare options to seek out the most competitive payment scenario.

What are some things that’s you can do to take advantage of what the car dealership has to offer?

I think the general public has made up their mind in regards to car sellers , and the perception seems to be , that there all out to get your money and will resort to all sorts of dirty tactics!

Bear in mind the dealers and the dealership must be licensed , and are bound by fair trading and ethics , they are the most scrutinised businesses and are audited regularly by IRS , dealer groups and associations , the manufacturer .

If i go to a supermarket , i go with an open mind that the grocer will not con me and their food is fresh , but i’m not there to take advantage of them , or what freebies have they got ! They too must be licensed , adhere to a code of ethics and are scrutinised by , grocery associations , government departments , product manufacturers . And at the end of the day they too are after your money! You could look at the “dirty tactics” supermarkets use eg. The smell of fresh bread or coffee at the entrance , more expensive items at eye level , candy at the checkout , giving more shelf space to a certain producer , for kickbacks .

A car dealer offers an item for sale. A customer chooses to purchase or not to purchase a desired vehicle at the price available from a specific dealer. It is not a game. If the customer doesn’t want to pay the price, the customer walks away. “Haggling” should take no more than 20 minutes.

Killer Article Ideas To Get Your Car Dealership Blog Started

For the purpose of this article, I am going to assume that you have already bought into why you should have a blog for your dealership.  At this point you are just looking for some guidance on what to start writing about.

Don’t worry I’m not going to bore you with a bunch of search engine optimization mumbo jumbo that your website provider is probably ramming down your throat.  I’ve been in your shoes. Starting a blog is the easy part. The problem is a majority of blogs do not make it to see their 1st birthday because of a lack of vision, process, and content ideas.

I often stumble across a dealer’s blog and see the same patterns time and time again. Their blog will have 3-5 posts and most of the time it is a limited time special sale or a current promotion (that is expired ).  Don’t forget the last entry was one years ago. They failed because they weren’t bought into blogging and were not prepared.  I won’t let that happen to you.

Answer your customer’s questions:

It’s simple.  Your future car buyers are going to Google and typing in all the questions they may have about their next vehicle purchase or service.  Once Google realizes that you are the authority on these topics you are going to make it rain with the search engines!!

Article Ideas for your Car Dealerships Blog

I know it seems like a real pain in the ass to come up with new articles but c’mon you are a car dealership, there are so many things to talk about.  Hopefully this list will give you some inspiration and get the wheels in motion.   Oh ya.. I haven’t worked in a car dealership since 2008 and I came up with these in about 20 minutes.

What The Home Inspection Can Find

How to Pass a Home Inspection When Selling Your Home

When selling your home, there are many processes and procedures. However, one of the most important is the home inspection. The majority of home buyers will hire an inspector before closing on a new house. The inspection results are essential for the negotiating process and for ensuring high value on the home.

The inspection process can be a little worrisome to the seller. The inspector will spend a few days walking around the interior and exterior of the home, looking through documents of repairs, and running tests to make sure your home is in tip-top shape.

The inspection can often bring up unpleasantries that you didn’t know existed, the worst of which could be lead paint or asbestos, which you’re required to remove. It could take months to resolve these issues, slowing down the sale significantly.

The Inspector’s Agenda

According to experts in the industry, most home inspectors use a list of 33 criteria to determine the health and condition of a home. They can be small things, like standing water surrounding the house or proper grading drainage away from the structure. Or, they could be major structural problems like cracks in the foundation or rotten siding.

here are some of the most common things that fail on a home inspector’s list.

Water Damage: Water damage causes mold and mildew, which can be dangerous. They’ll also wear away at the structure of the home, and repairing the damage isn’t cheap.

Defective Plumbing: This may come in the form of leaky or clogged pipes. Both are bad news for your home. The repairs cost thousands, and the buyer won’t be thrilled about a home with potential water damage.

Improper Wiring or Electrical: Many homes, especially older ones, will have wiring and electrical problems that are not up to code. This could be the result of DIY efforts, or the wiring could have been installed before certain fire codes were mandated. Either way, it’s a fire hazard that will need fixed.

Roof and Siding Problems: Water can easily leak into your home through old or damaged rooftops and siding. It’s also a weak spot for pests, causing even more problems. If one or both of these entities needs repaired, the sum could be over $10,000.

Damp Attic Spaces: If there’s a leak or improper ventilation in the attic, it could lead to mold, mildew, and rotting insulation that wears away at the structure of the house.

Inefficient HVAC Systems: This criterion has become more important, as of late, since home buyers prioritize affordable heating and cooling costs. Aside from the efficiency aspect, broken heating and cooling elements can be a safety hazard for homebuyers.

Drug Testing: Some states require that your home be tested for drugs before being sold. The biggest concern is that your house may have once been a meth lab, which can leave behind harmful chemicals and deadly toxins for the residents. This is a fairly new test, so it may not have been done if you bought your house more than 10 years ago, but it will often be required for newer home purchases.

Home Inspections: Not Just for Home Buyers

You’ve probably heard that ordering a home inspection is a critical part of the home buying process, but did you know that inspections can be very useful for existing homeowners too?  A licensed home inspector can provide both buyers and homeowners with an unbiased report of a property’s condition to inform them about health and safety issues and other defects that affect the value of a property. We have identified three stages of homeownership where it is beneficial to order a home inspection.

Before you Buy a Home

This home inspection is a must. It is typically conducted right after the seller has accepted your offer and will help you determine if you want to move forward with purchasing the home.  help you write your offer, and it should include an option to cancel the contract if the inspector discovers something that concerns you.  You may also be able to use the inspection to negotiate the price of the home or any significant repairs with the seller.

Before Your Warranty Expires

If your new or previously-owned home came with a warranty (or if you purchased a warranty after you closed on the home), consider getting a home inspection right before the warranty expires. The inspection will document any builders’ defects or other issues while they are still covered under warranty. Make sure to let the inspector know you are requesting an “end of warranty” inspection because that may affect the price as well as what is inspected.

Before You Sell Your Home

Many real estate professionals now recommend that sellers obtain a home inspection before listing their home for sale.  This gives the seller the opportunity to address any major repairs that could potentially delay or derail the sale of the home. Performing the repairs ahead of time may also be cheaper than trying to negotiate the cost of the repairs into the price of the home or paying the buyer’s contractor to perform the repairs

Crucial Areas a Home Inspector Checklist Doesn’t Cover

Hiring a home inspector is a crucial part of buying or selling a home. An inspector will assess the home for potential problems and identify any issues that may affect the continuation or negotiation of a sale in progress. But it’s also important to understand that inspectors don’t cover all of the bases in a home. In fact, it’s possible that an inspector may miss a significant issue. In many cases, you’ll need to hire a specialist to inspect certain areas, and you should always look closely at everything yourself.

Inspectors don’t check for pests.

Home inspectors are not exterminators — their job is to find potential problems with the structural integrity of the house. So if you think you see a cockroach or another pest during a walkthrough, you’ll need to hire an exterminator to take a closer look. Don’t rely on the checklist or final report to yield that information

Inspectors don’t cover plumbing.

Most home inspectors don’t have the qualifications to look at plumbing and can only call out visible issues like a leak or outdated plumbing. This means they probably won’t look at your:

Wall or undersink plumbing pipes

Swimming pools

Septic tanks

There are exceptions in which an inspector will have the qualifications to look at pools and septic systems, but this varies depending on the inspector and where you live. You shouldn’t rely on your inspector for this in any case. If you see serious cracks or dents in the swimming pool, you should probably hire a swimming pool pro to do an inspection. If you think the septic tank is making weird noises, have someone take a closer look.

Inspectors won’t look at landscaping conditions.

While issues with landscaping should be obvious during a walkthrough — dead spots, potential pests, sprinkler issues, etc. — note that they aren’t on home inspector’s radar. If there’s a dead tree in the yard, you’ll be responsible for taking care of it. It probably won’t affect the final price of the house or your ability to negotiate with the seller.

Appliances aren’t part of the inspection.

Home inspectors check only that the following appliances are working properly:






Most inspectors will run these appliances through just a cycle or two to make sure they work. So, the built-in microwave could have major problems and you wouldn’t know it. Plus, unless a major leak or smoke appears, the appliance is considered to be correctly functioning. If you think there’s a major problem, you should have an appliance technician perform diagnostics and necessary repairs.

Best Home Inspection Tools (From A Licensed Inspector)

Do you want to know what are the best and most important home inspection tools? Whether you are a new home inspector that wants to know my tools or a homeowner that wants to inspect their own home

What Are My Home Inspection Tools?

My home inspecting tool kit is the most useful gear that I use to inspect homes on a professional basis. These tools greatly simplify my inspections as well as speed up the whole process — helping me avoid costly mistakes. I recommend these essential tools to new inspectors as well as to homeowners who want to inspect their own home for maintenance.

This home inspection equipment spans from the common and all the way to the obscure. You will have used some of these tools throughout your life, but other tools you may never of heard before. I have used these tools from small residential condos, and up to multi-million dollar commercial properties.

If you are interested in becoming a home inspector (or just want to do your own inspection) — this home inspector tool kit is what in my opinion are the essentials. You can do home inspections without them, but at a much lower quality for your client. After doing hundreds of home inspections, these are the tools that made the cut and I can’t work without.

High-Powered Rechargeable Flashlight

This is probably my most important tool on home inspections. With a nice flashlight, you can see many water stains and defects that you otherwise wouldn’t see. In fact, with my flashlight, the two most common things I uncover are water/moisture stains and drywall patches.


Whether you’re buying or selling a home, you need to make sure it’s a safe and stable place to live. Habitation Investigation LLC will conduct a complete home inspection of your home to provide valuable information about its current condition


goes the extra mile by examining many aspects not covered in traditional inspections. You deserve peace of mind about your home, whether you’re about to buy or getting ready to put it on the market


We’ll check everything from your foundation to your fireplace to your gutter system. Every aspect of your home should be up to par-whether you’re moving in or moving out.

Whole house inspection will conduct a thorough inspection of your home, inside and out. As NACHI-certified professional home inspectors, have the knowledge and expertise to provide you with a thorough and professional, non-intrusive, visual inspection of your home, from roof to foundation

Even For Local Moving The Right Moving Company Makes All the Difference

Simple and Easy Ways to Reduce Moving Costs

There’s a good reason why the home moving process is almost always described as stressful and expensive, and that reason is that it actually is stressful and expensive.

While that combination is not very promising for anyone who’s getting ready to move out, the good news – understand the light at the end of the tunnel – is that there are many [20] ways to reduce moving costs.

And when used smartly, those 20 tips for cutting moving costs and expenses will make all the difference in the world for people moving on a tight budget.

Are you ready to learn how to reduce your moving costs?

Hire an affordable moving company

Without a doubt, hiring a low-cost mover is one of the best ways to trim moving costs. Ultimately, no two professional moving companies charge the same for their services, so it’s a matter of comparing at least 3 different price quotes to choose the one that agrees to your budget.

It’s always a bonus to find a cheap mover but be mindful that sometimes lower rates can indicate poor service as well. And even though it’s obvious that you’re moving on a budget, it’s even more obvious that you still need high-quality relocation services.

Get several in-home estimates

The second tip on how to cut costs when moving is to have the price of your move estimated professionally. Prices can vary greatly among moving companies, so you must ask for several in-home estimates carried out by relocation experts right in your own home.

Do not accept cost estimates done over the phone or via e-mail. Why? Moving cost estimates that are not performed on-site and in person cannot be accurate enough for possible cost reduction.

To get the best relocation deal possible, compare the moving quotes you receive: price + services + terms and conditions.

Set up a personal moving budget

How to save money on a long-distance move? One good way to do just that is to monitor and control your expenses in a way that will let you step up and apply the necessary fix if a task suddenly requires more money for its completion than originally planned.

Based on the typical moving costs, create a home moving budget to help you stay within your limits and lower your moving costs even more. Your newly-created budget will serve as an invaluable moving costs checklist, providing you with valuable information regarding the moving company expenses (moving cost estimate, additional services, moving insurance, extra charges, and fees) or the self-moving expenses (truck rental costs, moving equipment, packing supplies, hidden DIY costs).

Equally important when budgeting for a move is to know for sure that you have saved enough money to cover the future moving expenses – failure to do so will turn your upcoming move into a true financial challenge.

Negotiate a better price with your movers

It’s important to keep in mind that no moving company rates are set in stone, which also means that you can try and negotiate a better deal with your movers. Even if you are not particularly proud of your negotiation skills, you should still try to negotiate a lower price with your moving company.

Don’t forget to ask your moving company for special deals or current discounts. After all, any way you can lower your moving costs is more than welcome.

Here are some good tips for negotiating a moving company price:

  • Most of the time, top-rated moving companies would prefer to get your moving job by giving you a better deal than to see you go to one of their competitors. Whenever possible, use this tactical move to your advantage.
  • After you’ve compared the price quotes of various professional moving companies, contact the mover that you have selected and try to negotiate a better price. Tell them that you do want to use their moving services but you have been offered a lower price by another mover. Inform them of the lowest bid and ask them directly if they will be willing to price-match it or even go lower than that. Remember: you’ve got nothing to lose here.
  • Serious moving companies will try to keep and win customers by providing more flexibility both in pricing and conditions. The idea is to reach a mutually beneficial agreement with your mover, which may also mean some minor compromises on your part as well – if that is a viable option, of course.
  • If your mover is not willing to reduce the price, then it’s a good idea to try again the next day. First of all, your persistence will be a sign that you are a serious customer, and secondly, the movers in question may have changed their minds in the meantime. Besides, there’s always a chance that you resume the price negotiations with another more “flexible” moving company representative.

Create a Moving Schedule

A moving schedule is a great way to stay organized during the stressful process of relocating. It can help you stay on top of everything you need to do as well as eliminate unnecessary or last minute purchases. You can create your own schedule on paper or simply jot tasks down in a calendar. Keep it somewhere your entire family will notice it so they can stay involved in the process. A typical moving schedule may include packing specific items on certain days, completing a living room on another and other details unique to your specific needs.

Ship Your Belongings

If you don’t have a great deal of possessions and are about to make a long-distance move, look into shipping some or all of your belongings, particularly if you plan to fly out to your new home or aren’t comfortable driving a rental truck across the country.

Shipping rates through the United States Postal Service – particularly its media mail and parcel post services – are reasonable and may cost less than a truck rental or hiring a long-distance moving company. The post office’s site at is very easy to use, and guides you step-by-step in measuring, weighing, and determining postage costs for your packages. You can even arrange for free or low-cost pickup of your packages through the website, saving you a trip to the post office.

If shipping your items, only use brand new cardboard boxes. While old boxes can work well for short-distance moves, they can prove to be too flimsy for long-distance transit. Don’t take any chances, and protect your belongings with new, sturdy boxes.

What are moving containers?

Think of moving containers like the moving truck—minus the actual truck. You pack your belongings and move them into the container, and then a company transports the container(s) to your new home. When they arrive, you unload everything. If needed, you can also use your container(s) as a temporary storage option.

Moving containers vs. moving trucks

Two factors differentiate containers and moving trucks: cost and convenience. In some situations, containers are actually less expensive than moving trucks, but moving containers are almost always more convenient than moving trucks.

We’ve identified five ways moving containers can save you money and stress:

  • You don’t have to drive.
  • You save money over long distances.
  • You can save money through price matching.
  • You can save money using lower quality containers.
  • You can use containers as portable storage.

Tips To Follow For Upholstery Cleaning

Improve the air quality in your home with an upholstery cleaning

Upholstery cleaning is not something we think about every day, but it can really improve the air quality of your home! Regularly cleaning your home through vacuuming and other standard efforts is a great way to remove superficial dust, dirt and other items from your upholstery. You understandably want your home to look and smell clean, but you also need the air to be clean and fresh. While your regular cleaning chores can remove some of the dirt, bacteria and other particles from your furniture, some material is left behind. These particles can build up in your furniture over time, and they can result in a dirtier, smellier and altogether unhealthier home. Furthermore, dirty upholstery can directly reduce indoor air quality. Indoor air quality is something that is relatively easy to overlook until respiratory symptoms become problematic. However, this is a component of your indoor environment that should receive regular attention from you.

Why Upholstery Can Be Problematic…

Before you schedule upholstery cleaning services for your home, it is important to understand why these surfaces require special attention. When you use your chairs, sofas or other upholstered furnishings, your body brings bacteria, dander, dust and allergens to the fabric. Because fabric is porous by nature, these elements can become embedded in your furniture. Excellent home cleaning tips will tell you that regularly vacuuming your upholstery is a great way to remove superficial debris on your furniture. However, more significant cleaning steps are also needed for the best results. After all, debris can become so embedded in your furniture that a vacuum cleaner is ineffective. Deep cleaning efforts can remove debris and particles that are too deep for your vacuum’s suction power to reach.

Here are 4 ways you can improve the air quality in your home.

Open your windows

Leaving your windows open for even an hour is one of the best ways to reduce the concentrations of air pollutants in your home. Keeping your windows closed can cause condensation issues as well, which can lead to mould growth. It also causes the toxins and allergens already present in the home to continue growing.  Some of these irritants trapped in the home include mould spores, dust, smoke, bacteria, radon, and not to mention odours.

Radon is a radioactive gas naturally found in the environment. Almost all homes have some levels of radon present but how much can vary from house to house. Radon is produced when uranium in the soil, bedrock, or water begins to decay. Being a gas, it can seep into homes through cracks in the foundation or gaps around pipes. Levels are higher in basements and crawlspaces because they are closer to the source and often poorly ventilated. Opening your windows can greatly reduce the levels of radon in your home.

Take advantage of the vents in your home

Bathroom and kitchen exhaust fans remove air pollutants directly from where they are positioned. After cooking meals, consider using the kitchen fan to eliminate fumes from gas stoves. Alternatively, you may open your windows and leave your exhausts on to bring in fresher air and to get rid of contaminants and odours simultaneously.

Add more houseplants

For those that enjoy a little nature inside their homes, adding houseplants can produce clean oxygen and eliminate toxins in the air. Be careful not to over-water the plants as the excessively damp soil may promote the growth of microorganisms which could affect people with respiratory sensitivities. If you have pets in your home, ensure the plants are not harmful to them.

Vacuum more often

Vacuuming at least twice a week (or more in homes with pets) can get rid of pet dander and other loose soils from the carpet. Vacuum too fast and you risk not picking up all the dirt trapped in your carpet, so vacuum at a slower speed for a more thorough cleaning.

Improving Indoor Air Quality with Carpet Cleaning

Carpet Cleaning

As dust, pollen, and other airborne particles that enter your home begin to settle, they often get trapped within the fibers of your rugs and carpet. This actually helps to improve the indoor air quality of your home as the carpet acts like an air filter, but when the carpet absorbs too much of these particles, it can contribute to indoor air pollution as walking on it may cause allergens to be redistributed into the air. Regular vacuuming, while important, will not adequately remove all the deeply embedded debris that could affect the indoor air quality from carpeting and area rugs. The most effective way to clean your carpet and improve the indoor air quality of your home is to hire a professional carpet cleaning service. The technicians of ServiceMaster Professional Services deep clean all types of carpeting using advanced equipment and cleaning products to remove embedded debris that contributes to indoor air pollution.

Why upholstery cleaning is important: how to deep clean your home

Upholstery cleaning might sound like a chore reserved for the rich and famous, but Millenials and parents are two demographics that deep clean the most. Consider the benefits of deep cleaning to help rid your home of unwanted germs and toxins.


Americans spend hundreds, if not thousands of dollars when purchasing new furniture. Allowing it to accumulate spills, dust and other debris wear on the fabric over time. Treat your furniture like an investment with a regular deep clean. Doing so extends the life of your furniture and will make your furniture more valuable if you decide to sell it in the future.

Air Quality

No matter the style or quality of fabric on your furniture, it retains dust that gets released into the air each time you sit down. Improve the air quality in your home by removing layers of potential allergens with an upholstery cleaning.  Once a year is great for some homes, but furniture that regularly accommodates pets and lots of visitors might need deep cleaning more often. Pets bring fleas, dust mites, and bacteria from outdoors to your furniture upholstery. Your home’s air filter is a good indication of the dust levels in your home and can help you create a schedule for maintenance. Check the filter each quarter to gauge how must dust your furniture attracts each month.

Improves Health

Mold and dust allergies worsen in the face of unkempt furniture. With all the nooks and crevices on a sofa, it’s easy to overlook places where bacteria can hide. A deep upholstery cleaning is the answer. The cushions should be regularly removed and the entire frame of your furniture cleaned from end to end.  When a full deep cleaning isn’t possible, even wiping the surface of most fabrics helps create a healthier surface if you have allergies.

Removes Bad Odors

Open floor plans are a gift and a curse. They are great for entertaining guests in a living room while preparing food in a kitchen. However, daily smells from the kitchen seep into the fabric of your furniture. Not all smells are problematic but over time the furniture will accumulate a smell beyond your control.  A deodorizing deep clean helps you reduce and reset the odors in your home.


There’s a pride of ownership that should follow an investment in furniture. How many times have you flipping a couch cushion or throw pillow to hide stains or visible wear? A deep upholstery cleaning allows you to showcase your style without embarrassment.  When your furniture looks polished and clean, the entire room gives a good impression.

The Truth About Indoor Air Quality

Particles or gasses that are not normally part of the air affect air quality. This is called air pollution. Air pollution can also happen indoors. Why is this?

You bring outdoor air inside any time you open a door or window. You can also bring in pollen and smoke. Leaks around doors and windows can let in polluted outdoor air.

Indoor air can have allergens like dust, pet dander and mold. Humidity can lead to higher dust mite levels. Particles are released into the air by furnaces, wood-burning fires and candles. Cooking sends oil and fat particulates into the air. Newly installed floors and furniture can release chemicals.

Clean outdoor air needs to replace indoor air often or else the indoor air becomes more polluted. Otherwise allergens, smells and pollutants stay in your home and recirculate. Because newer, more energy-efficient homes don’t have the same gaps and cracks as older homes, there’s less air circulation.

Knowing Which Commercial Painting Is Best

Proven Ways to Market Your Painting Business

If you don’t have effective marketing, you don’t have a business. Every potential customer starts as a lead or prospect. Unfortunately, most marketing doesn’t work. But here are seven proven ways that have worked for our painting businesses

Door-to-door marketing

When you’re just starting, this is THE best way to start. A lot of people are afraid to do this, or don’t have the hustle to do it. Which means more leads for you! Basically, every hour you go door-to-door, you’ll get 1-2 painting leads. We’ve run hundreds of marketing teams to arrive at this number.


Referrals are the best leads. If you provide excellent service and quality, you’ll get a lot of referrals. A lot of contractors are unreliable, don’t communicate well, or do sloppy work. So if a previous customer recommends you, there’s a 90% chance you’ll win the job just by showing up.

Lead Providers

Lead providers are companies that specifically generate leads for your trade: painting, carpentry, etc. It works like this. A potential customer submits a request for an estimate online and you are sent their information with the project details.

Lawn Signs

Lawn signs are one of the best investments you can make for your painting company. As you’re painting a house, ask your client if you can put up a lawn sign with your company info in their front yard.

Commercial building painting

How your business looks says a lot to your customers, it needs to portray your company image as well as professionalism to your clients. Creating the ideal atmosphere inside a retail store is crucial for helping your employees make sales. Your store needs to have an environment that represents the quality of products you provide, our color consultation experts can help you design just that!

Even if you don’t have a retail business and your commercial building is an office space or building, it is still very important to design a comfortable environment for your employees. Not only will this help boost your company moral, but it will help build an identity of professions that will help your business thrive. When your employees are working in an office building that has been taken care of and provides them with a comfortable place to conduct business, they will take much more pride in their work then if they were in an uncomfortable atmosphere.

Why Own a Painting Business?

When people investigate options for starting a new business, they inevitably move towards the businesses that seem like they would be the most fun and offer the best chance to make a living. A painting business franchise through Fresh Coat offers you the operational and marketing support you need to succeed. But how can you tell if a painting business is right for you? Aside from being a low cost franchise opportunity, a painting business offers revenue streams most people are not aware of.

You Can Make the Big Bucks

you will be taught how to maximize your profits by being an efficient painting company and knowing how to use your equipment properly. The residential and commercial painting industry is already businesses with high profit margins, but you can extend those margins when you have marketing and operational support from a company of experts. The reality is that a painting business offers generous profit margins that will make your business grow.

The Competition Does Not Have a Chance

When most people start a painting business, they buy a pair of overalls and start knocking on doors to find customers. But when you own a franchise, your company will have a professional look and give professional results that will blow the competition away.

Good Help Is Easy To Find

One of the benefits of starting painting business is that you will not have a problem finding qualified employees to help your business get off to a fast start. Anyone with any level of home improvement or any type of contracting experience can be trained to be a professional painter

A Focused Business

There is two very good things about the painting industry in general. In the first place, you will always have plenty of work to do. Secondly, the task of painting is an easily trained vocation. You can choose to be your own job site supervisor, or you can hire one and focus on growing your business. Either way, painting is something that any worker can become an expert in within a short period of time, and that allows you to deliver excellent results to each customer.


Just like the inside of a home, the interior of a business should be warm, inviting, and welcoming. That professional look ensures that clients feel comfortable and impressed. The interior of your business and its look has just as much influence on your reputation as your customer care does. Give your business the fresh and pristine look it deserves with Integrity Painting’s interior commercial painting services.

team is passionate about giving commercial spaces a touched-up, professional look. During our 25 years in business, we have painted the inside of offices, restaurants, banks, shopping malls, retail stores, daycares, and more, giving each a unique touch. Making your commercial space align with your brand is important, and we work to ensure our paint job does exactly that. Because you want to get back to business as quickly as you can, we complete our painting jobs as soon as we can, ensuring that you to have access to every corner of your business as soon as possible.


If you’re curious what we can paint, it’s probably better to ask what we can’t paint. Here at Integrity Painting, we do it all. We paint offices, warehouses, and other commercial spaces, and we’ll paint your building from floor to ceiling. We also provide trim painting and detail painting. Plus, we can install wallpaper or remove the current wallpaper that you have in your building. We also paint and finish cabinets, and we can add texture to your walls before painting. Feel free to learn more about our additional interior services, and choose Integrity for your next painting project.


Painting your commercial space may not be the first thing on your mind when you’re considering a renovation, but it’s always the finishing touch, and it’s the first thing that employees and other occupants will notice as they pass through your doors. If you’re on the fence about painting your space, we’re here to convince you that it’s not just a good idea for the aesthetic improvements it can provide, a fresh coat of paint provides a number of benefits for business operators and commercial space owners.


If you’re rebranding your company, or if your renting out a commercial space to a new business, then it’s time to repaint the walls. New paint can impress guests and clientele who are visiting your business, while old paint can be off putting, and it can affect the morale of your employees. In this way, repainting your space could mean more profit in the long run, and giving your space a facelift may improve the image of your brand.

How to name your painting business

I’m going to guide you through our four steps to name your painting business. Below you’ll find twenty example names I created in this process and next, I’ll show you how you can create your own. To get started try our painting business name generator above and then scroll below to find the first step in the naming process.

steps to naming your painting business

This step process will help you name your painting business. In this example, I’m creating a name for a painting business that conveys the way that this is something that can improve your outlook on your home and life. Here’s each step I took in crafting these business names.

Brainstorm your name ideas

Start by brainstorming what words could fit into your business name. In my name ideas, I used words like “Brush”, “Strokes”, “Colors” and “Tones”, you can see that while these words can be related to Painting, they also give us the chance to play around with phrases that mention the quality and service that you can look forward to from this business or brand. Your goal here is to create a list of words or names that come to mind when thinking about your business.

Shortlist your ideas

Once you’ve developed a list of possible names, do an analysis of your ideas. Remove any names that could be hard to remember, spell or speak aloud. Keep names that are brandable, sound great, are memorable and communicate your brand values, product or service to your target audience.

Get some feedback

You’ll now have a list of 3-6 great painting business names and you can start to ask potential customers or people working in the industry for feedback (your target audience). Avoid feedback from family and friends, are more likely to praise all your ideas and they aren’t your customer.