Tips To Help You Hire Your Divorce Lawyer

Tips For Selecting The Right Divorce Attorney

The selection of your attorney will likely be one of the most important factors in the outcome of your divorce. With such a massive pool of lawyers to choose from, making such an important decision can be extremely difficult — particularly since the needs of every case will be different. It will take a lot of research and time, but the choice of your legal representation should not be taken lightly.

Don’t simply pick the first lawyer you contact

It is vital that you do your homework and actually meet with several attorneys before you put down a large deposit to retain one. Trust is extremely important in the relationship you will develop with your attorney, and you need to meet them to get a feel for that initial first impression.

Talk to people you know who have been through divorce

It can be an awkward conversation to bring up, but talking to friends, family or coworkers who have been through divorce can give you a good place to start. Despite the ability of researching on the Internet, first-hand accounts are still a really good way to get quality information.

Don’t assume that if you’re a man, only male attorneys can successfully represent you

The chance of your attorney’s gender impacting the outcome of your case is not very high. It is much more important to worry about finding a competent and dependable attorney that you feel comfortable being around. What should matter most is that you trust them to fight for your best interests, regardless of their gender.

Be wary of advertisements

While TV and radio ads may indicate a successful lawyer or firm, that isn’t always the case. Ads are simply meant to attract business and don’t necessarily reflect the track record of an attorney.

How To Choose A Divorce Attorney

A divorce is one of the most traumatic events in a person’s life, ranking right up there with the death of a loved one. A divorce is also one of the few times – and maybe the only time – a person has to deal with the court system.

Ending a disintegrating marriage is made more difficult by the complexity of the divorce process and the emotional stress of dealing with the issues of child custody and support and division of assets.

Understanding the legal process is as baffling as trying to understand complex medical procedures, and just as you need to trust your physician, you need to feel confident with your attorney during a divorce. Your divorce attorney must be a combination of therapist, confidant, clergy person and “legal eagle.” So, how do you find this person to whom you can entrust your future?

Get referrals from friends

If you have friends who have gone through a divorce, ask what they liked and disliked about their attorneys. Was your friend’s case as complex or less complex than your own? Was the attorney equally competent in handling emotional issues such as custody and “business” issues such as division of assets? Also, ask about the attorney who represented your friend’s spouse.

Meet with several attorneys

Schedule appointments with several attorneys for consultations, and let the attorney know you are in the interviewing process. Most attorneys won’t see you free of charge since they have only their time and advice to sell, but some offer discounts for the initial consultation.

Ask the right questions

When you meet with an attorney, bring a list of questions regarding your concerns in choosing an attorney as well as your personal concerns in the divorce case. Ask how the law firm bills its clients and ascertain the billing rates for each person who will be working on your case

Secrets Your Divorce Lawyer Won’t Tell You

When competing for new business, it may behoove lawyers not to impart everything that their schooling and experience has taught them to prospective clients. That’s partly because some of what they know is not what a client wants to hear and painting an optimistic picture of the outcome can secure new business. What’s more, they might know something that, if they shared it with a new client, could negatively affect their bottom line. Below are twenty secrets that a divorce lawyer may not want to share with you.

It’s going to cost more than you bargained for

It’s not always the case—but more often than not, the costs associated with your divorce will often be higher than your lawyer’s original estimate. Contested divorces cost anywhere from $15,000 to $30,000, though there are plenty of ways to limit the staunch the outward flow of cash before and during the process. A key part is to keep an open mind and focus on tomorrow’s opportunities rather than yesterday’s injustices.

That legal costs may compel you to live very frugally

No one wants to lead by asking you to make some dramatic cuts in your expenditure, but you would do well to take a long, cold look at your cash flow and think of ways to make some significant changes if need be. Seeing a big dip in the manner to which you’ve become accustomed is dispiriting, but it’s better to temporarily cut corners in your lifestyle than be represented by a bargain basement lawyer who could miss opportunities in getting you a favorable outcome.

That you may have to accept responsibility for the divorce

Fault-based divorce is when one spouse committed an act that gives legal justification to the ending of the marriage. These acts include adultery, a felony conviction, cruelty, or desertion. If you are the spouse that committed one of these acts, it could have a negative impact for you on things like child custody and the division of property, depending on local laws. It’s important to prepare for this scenario and attempt to determine all defenses available to you.

That you’ll save money and heartache by being organized

Divorce lawyers often charge by the hour. If you take responsibility for being as organized as possible, not only are you likely to walk away from your marriage with a more acceptable outcome, you’ll probably save some money too

How do I find a good divorce attorney?

Question

My wife just informed me that she’s in love with someone else and wants a divorce. She already has a lawyer for herself. I’ve been getting names of possible attorneys from friends, but my friends often say things like, “This one will make sure your wife won’t get a penny.” Of course I’m angry, but I’m not sure I want this to turn into a heated battle. What qualities would you advise I look for in a divorce attorney?

Answer

A good attorney can change the course of your divorce. It can be the difference between feeling like you have an advocate to protect you, or feeling like you’re fighting a battle alone. Divorce is hard, but an experienced divorce lawyer can take on some of that burden and help you achieve your goals. Find out more about what to look for when choosing a divorce attorney.

What Type of Attorney do I Need?

When you’re getting a divorce, you’ll need an attorney who is experienced in family law matters. A old college friend who now practices medical malpractice law isn’t likely to be the best choice to handle your divorce. Different areas of the law have different rules and requirements. Attorneys in each practice area have different skill sets. Divorce can be a complex process and it’s essential to have an attorney who knows the nuances of family law and is familiar with your local court’s rules and judges.

Can My Spouse and I Share an Attorney?

The short answer is “no.” The professional rules of conduct governing lawyers prohibit attorneys from representing both spouses in a divorce. This would create a conflict of interest for the attorney, since your interests, rights, and needs in a divorce are adverse to your spouse’s. A single attorney can’t ethically give good legal advice to two people in adverse positions.

How Do I Know If an Attorney Is the Right fit?

You should interview any prospective attorney just as you would someone who was applying to work for you. You need to like your attorney. It’s also important that you have confidence in your lawyer’s abilities and respond well to communication style. Some lawyers pride themselves on an aggressive demeanor, while others highlight their ability to collaborate and settle most divorces without a drawn-out courtroom battle.

How to choose a good divorce lawyer

The choice of a divorce lawyer is crucial to the outcome of your case and the way it progresses. Choosing the wrong lawyer can increase the emotional stress of being involved in a family law case and the cost to you and your family.

Identify the need for a divorce lawyer.

If you are contemplating separating from your partner it may be advantageous to meet with a divorce lawyer so that you are fully informed of your legal rights and directed in the best way to proceed after separation.

Ask for a referral

Lawyers, accountants, psychologists, financial planners and other professionals meet and work with divorce lawyers in the course of their work and are often a good source of referral. Ask them for the names of family law specialists with good reputations whose qualifications are most appropriate to your case.

Personal characteristics

You should avoid allowing a lawyer’s physical appearance to influence your decision about whether or not to engage them. Capable and skilled divorce lawyers come in many different sizes, shapes, genders and ages. These characteristics do not correlate with a lawyer’s ability. Irrespective of a lawyer’s ability, a client feeling comfortable is important if the lawyer-client relationship is to be a success. There is no reason not to engage a lawyer with whom you share personal characteristics with, but be sure you are not being influenced by stereotypes.

Identify your budget

Before selecting any lawyer you need to identify your budget. While market conditions such as supply, demand and competition dictate what lawyers charge, there can be a significant variation in fees.

Things To Consider When Planning For Home Remodeling

Things You Need to Know Before Remodeling

1. Understand the Potential Return on Investment

If your main goal of remodeling is to increase the value of your home so that you have the highest return when you sell, then you should do return on investment (ROI) research. Remodeling projects that are low maintenance, good quality, and aren’t too costly have the highest ROI. Sorry, but hiring a contractor to build the swankiest kitchen you see on Pinterest won’t give you a high return on investment.

According to HouseLogic, mid-range kitchen remodel projects will give you a nice ROI of 81.8%. Mid-range remodel projects have beat out high end remodels every year. A typical mid-range kitchen remodel would consist of new floors, refacing cabinets, new countertops, and new appliances.

2. Research Your Neighborhood

Just because you have the funds to remodel your home with the best features doesn’t mean you should. Home values are driven by the surrounding local market and there’s usually a ceiling to the potential selling price of homes in a neighborhood. For example, if homes nearby typically sell for $250,000 at best, then you don’t want to put more than $50,000 worth of upgrades into a home you bought for $200,000. Ask an experienced Realtor® about current home values in your neighborhood.

3. Check Local Building Permits

Depending on the details of your remodel, you may need a building permit. You’ll probably need one if your remodel involves something large like changing the footprint of your house, building an addition, or altering a load bearing wall. If you’re simply refacing cabinets and putting in a new countertop, you won’t need one. It’s smart to call your local government’s building or engineering department to double check.

4. Take Pinterest With a Grain of Salt

Pinterest is great for getting ideas (and wasting time). Just remember that the most pinned and re-pinned pictures of dream bathrooms are most likely from luxury homes. So don’t make a poor financial move just so you can share a cute picture.

5. Leave Room In Your Budget

Like Stephen King novels, most remodeling projects will come with an unexpected twist. If $10,000 is the most you can spend, then budget something closer to $8,000 so that you have some wiggle room.

6. Understand Where Your Money is Going

According to Home Advisor, labor counts for about 30-35 percent of the cost, while material products will take up 65-70 percent. When it comes to kitchen remodels, most of your money will be going towards new cabinets if that’s a part of your plan. If you’re the handy type, you can save a LOT of money by doing all or part of the labor yourself.

How to Keep Track of Your Remodel Project

1. Become a list writer. Making lists is key when it comes to project management. It’s the only way to properly organize your thoughts and prevent any details from being forgotten.

The most important list is your scope of work, or specifications, document. This is basically a detailed list of everything to be done, from start to finish. If you’re dealing with one main builder who’s organizing all the work, then you’ll need to make sure he or she gets a copy, so the goals are clear and all the information is provided.

2. Make sure you’re all on the same page. If you’re coordinating separate professionals and subcontractors (cabinetmaker, plumber, electrician), then it would be worth indicating who’s responsible for each task. Give a complete copy of the specifications to all of them, so they’re all aware of what everyone is doing. Discuss the specifications with your subcontractors since they may be able to provide help and advice. A schedule is also useful, so you can keep track of progress and everyone knows who’s going to be on-site on which day.

3. Create subsections. In addition to your main specifications, it’s a good idea to have sublists for each separate element of your design. For example, your main specifications may say “install 6 x recessed LED downlights in ceiling,” but your lighting specifications will detail where they are to be positioned, the type of bulb, the hardware finish and so on. The more information you provide, the more accurate your quote should be and the less likely it will be for mistakes or misunderstandings to occur. It will also minimize any unexpected costs.

4. Plan everything ahead. Finalize your design before starting any work, rather than trying to do it as you go along. The process will be much more enjoyable without constant deadlines presenting themselves, and if you haven’t planned, you may find your options restricted based on work that’s already taken place.

5. Never assume. You know the saying. When writing your specifications or drawing your plans, never assume that someone else will know what you want unless you explicitly state it. Include every tiny detail, no matter how picky it may seem. As well as avoiding mistakes, it also prevents any disputes over what is and isn’t included in the quote.

Things Not to Do When Remodeling your Home

In most homeowners life there will come a time when remodeling and upgrading your current amenities will be a way of life. Whether you are wanting to add space to your rooms, upgrade materials, or because your home needs more functionality, taking on a remodeling job could be in your near future. Before you get started, there are several factors to consider.  While your favorite home and gardens show may make it look easy in a few days – here are 10 things not to do when taking on your remodeling home job.

Don’t assume you know how to do every home remodeling project:

Every DIY remodeling project isn’t considered equal. Before you decide which project to begin first at your home, determine what skill set and experience you have to execute your project. Many home projects will involve more expertise than others. While you may think all you need to do to replace a lighting fixture is detach the current fixture – you may forget that turning off the electricity to that circuit and other necessary requirements are necessary. Do your homework!

Don’t enlist friends and family to help you if they aren’t experienced:

In order to save money many homeowners think of hiring or asking their friends and family to help. This can lead to costly mistakes, injury, and damage to important elements in your home. While friends and family can be used for moving belongings, furniture, cleaning and other household “chores” – only let experienced family and friends assist with your home renovation.

Never assume that your budget won’t go over your estimation:

While you may have done your homework on how much your materials, labor, and miscellaneous remodeling components will cost, there always should be a budget for going over budget. Many remodeling projects will involve unforeseen circumstances that will not be conveyed until the project starts. Opening up walls can often lead to electrical, structural or plumbing surprises. Remodeling older homes can often unveil mold, pipes leaking or rotting and deteriorating wood. Keeping this in mind, create a lower budget than you think you will need, just in case.

Don’t risk your safety to get a home remodeling project done quicker or for cheaper

You may think this is self-explanatory but hospital emergency rooms around the world are filled with home improvement accident injury victims that could have been prevented. When working on high areas ensure you have the proper scaffolding, ladders, extension poles, and fall-protection safety wear to execute your job safely. If you are unfamiliar around high power tools, working around electricity and other technical portions of your home, hire a professional for your remodeling project.

Budget-friendly DIY home improvement projects

1. Clean your vinyl siding

2. Repaint the front door and update exterior accents

3. Apply removable wallpaper

4. Paint your walls

5. Refresh your cabinets

Remodeling Design Considerations

When you first begin to consider a home remodel, whether it’s a whole home renovation or a kitchen or bath transformation, cost and timeline are the most common concerns. However, there are some critical remodeling considerations that can be avoided with some careful planning.

Here are the top ten remodeling design considerations:

USE STYLES DRIVEN BY TRENDS OR FADS SPARINGLY

Whether you’ve purchased a home with lots of potential or have decided to give your existing home a facelift, it can be tempting to use trends and fads to influence your design. However, these in-today-out-tomorrow style statements often don’t age well. To make the most of your remodeling investment, keep structural, architectural, and key materials (such as floors, counters, and cabinets) timeless in design.

MAKE A PLAN AND STICK TO IT

One of the most costly mistakes can be avoided by adequate planning and committing to a budget as well as to design and material selections. While there may be some minor modifications that occur with any home remodeling project, having a detailed plan in place can keep your project moving forward with minimal delays and without breaking your budget.

UNDERSTAND THE WORK FLOW

Pesky problems such as tight spaces, troublesome doorways, and lack of access are common symptoms of design challenges. Understanding how you plan to use the space is the first step in defining the design and recommended changes.

PROVIDE PLENTY OF COUNTER AND STORAGE

Beyond the obvious needs to renovate, such as updating to a more current or personal style, one of the most common complaints about lackluster rooms is the need for additional counter and storage space.

LET NATURE SHINE

While lighting workspaces and primping areas are common sources for lighting, windows also provide an excellent source of both light and heat, especially during cold winter months.

REDUCE MOLD, MILDEW AND COOKING SMELLS

Merge moisture, improper ventilation, and overpowering smells and it’s the perfect breeding ground for mold, mildew, and lasting odors. This is why ventilation is an absolute must in kitchens and bathrooms alike. Not only does ventilation draw out undesirable smells, but it also keeps the humidity level at bay. The end result is that your home will look and smell fresh, and the ventilation will protect your investment by ensuring that your home isn’t overtaken by mold, mildew, and rot that erode material stability.

What You Need To Know Before Short Listing The Best Wedding Photographer

HOW TO CHOOSE YOUR WEDDING PHOTOGRAPHER

Picking your Wedding Photographer is an important decision, once the wedding is over these photos will hold all those memories and key moments. There are thousands of photographers in the UK, so how do you go about choosing a professional wedding photographer for your special day.

STYLE

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

EXPERIENCE

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

TESTIMONIALS

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

CONSISTENCY

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

How to Choose a Wedding Photographer

The photographs from your wedding day will be a timeless memento of a truly special day. Wedding photographers can be very expensive, specialise in a number of different styles, and offer a variety of levels of service. Choosing a wedding photographer takes careful thought and consideration about what sort of pictures you want to document your wedding day. Do plenty of research and interview a number of candidate before making your choice

Decide what style of wedding photography you prefer. There are a number of different styles of wedding photography, and different photographers will specialise in different styles. Take some time to read up on and learn about the different styles and think about which one suits you best.

Start looking early. Booking your wedding photographer should be one of the first things you do after you have booked your venue. Wedding photographers are in high demand, especially in the busiest times of year for weddings, and many of the best ones will be booked up a year in advance

Ask for personal recommendations. The best wedding photographers will tend to develop a reputation, and may be known locally to your friends are family. Start your search by asking people you know and trust if they have any recommendations, either through personal experience, or word of mouth. Talk to people you know who have got married in the last few years and ask about their experience

Avoid hiring family or friends. It may be tempting to hire somebody you know to be your wedding photographer. You may be drawn towards hiring someone you trust, who knows you and your partner well, and you think will understand what kind of pictures you want. While this might turn out perfectly well, it is highly likely that this person will not have the technical skills and experience to give you the best photos

Tips for Choosing the Perfect Wedding Photographer

It’s that time of year. The time of year you may well be getting ready to pick a wedding photographer. We do a lot of work with wedding photographers on APW (they make up the majority of our amazing sponsors). And if there is one goal I have for matching photographers with clients, it’s that the RIGHT matches are made. You want a wedding photographer whose work you love, and who’s personally a match for you. Any photographer worth their salt wants the right client for them, not just any client. APW has two in-depth articles on choosing a wedding photographer: one on storytelling/lighting/composition, and another on wedding photography styles. But today, we thought we’d boil it down to our most practical tips and tricks to help you find exactly the right match (or hell, to decide you’re going DIY on your photography).

PHILOSOPHY

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

DO YOU LIKE THE PHOTOGRAPHER?

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

LIGHTING SITUATION FOR YOUR WEDDING

Before we get too far into this idea of, “Just hire someone whose work makes you feel happy inside,” let’s have a quick reality check. The easiest wedding to shoot is a wedding in the daytime, with a ceremony under shade and great natural light. If that applies to you, ignore the rest of this paragraph. If, however, you’re getting married in a dark church or you’re having an outdoor evening wedding reception, it’s really important that you specifically look for a photographer that’s skilled with those lighting environments. Don’t assume that experience equals skill in low lighting. Look for weddings shot in similar lighting environments in your photographer’s portfolio, and ask them specifically how they would handle your particular situation. (Some photographers use external lights for dark receptions, while others may rely on their camera’s ability to see well in the dark.) If you notice that after it gets dark, all wedding photos in the portfolio are processed in black and white, that’s a hint that the photographer may not be super comfortable in darker situations. (Please note: Your wedding in a Gothic cathedral is not going to look like a wedding in a sunlit field, no matter who you hire, so don’t expect magic tricks.)

REVIEWS AND RECOMMENDATIONS

Every photographer is going to have their strengths and weaknesses. It’s pretty easy to get a sense of what someone’s strengths are (let’s assume taking stunning photos is one of them). The trick is to get an accurate sense of what a given photographer’s weaknesses are, and then decide what you can live with. You can do this by a robust conversation with a photographer. (Just ask them flat out what their weaknesses are. A professional will tell you. Run away if they say they have none.) Or you can ask to chat with a past client. Here are a variety of weaknesses I’ve observed in various photographers (most of whom are kick-ass people and artists): not super good time managers on the wedding day, slightly socially awkward, slow delivery of photos, slow or poor client communication, not cheerful and outgoing with the couple, don’t take direction well.

Ways to Choose the Right Wedding Photographer

After so many months and weeks of wedding planning, you will be surprised how fast your day will go by. Before you know it, you’ll be having coffee with your husband reminiscing about your wedding day. That’s why having the right wedding photographer to capture and preserve your wedding day is very important. Good thing, soon-to-wed couples have a lot of options when it comes to choosing the right wedding photographer.

With so many factors to consider in choosing the right wedding photographer, it always boils down to how important memories are to you. For some, wedding photography is merely a way to remind them of the day. But for others, photography is an art form, a delicate way to tell a love story, your love story.

Start looking as early as possible

When you want to have the cream of New Zealand top wedding photographer to capture your big day, you have to book them as early as possible. This also applies when your wedding date is a weekend or scheduled for a holiday season. The truth is, top photographers are always booked all year-round. So start doing your homework and research early. Many brides book their photographer 1-2 years out. It is never too early to start looking and booking your wedding photographer. It will be a big relief once that is done.

Research for wedding images, and more research

There are just so many different styles of wedding photography, not to mention different wedding packages and photography costs. It is important to do your research, visit as many wedding photography website as possible. Many New Zealand wedding photographers do travel outside their regions, some are free, and some do charge a small amount to cover the basic costs. It is important to know what wedding photography styles you want, from natural lighting to flash, super glamour or natural and editorial. This also applies to the editing of the wedding images. Some photographers like the film look, while others are more dark and moody. As you look through the websites, you will develop a taste of what you want, and what wedding images attract you. It is important to remember that every wedding photographers have their own style. Do not choose a photographer and ask them to copy other’s people styles. It will make for a very uncomfortable atmosphere, and likely to end in disaster.

Interviews your wedding photographers

As soon as you’ve narrowed down your list of potential wedding photographers, you must conduct interviews. This is an important part of your selection process because it will determine who among the shortlisted wedding vendors fit the bill.

How to Choose Your Wedding Photographer

Wedding photography is one of the biggest (and in our book, best!) investments you’ll make in your wedding day. So it’s important to choose a wedding photographer whose work you love now, will still adore in years to come, and who you feel is the right fit for you, your partner, and your wedding.

Along with a wedding video – and all the memories of course! – your wedding photos are among the few things you’ll have as a keepsake of your day, long after the confetti’s been swept away and the last of the wedding cake has been eaten. So having your day documented by the right person is so, so important

Unless you’re a photography buff yourself, it can be hard to compare photographers, work out what makes a photographer great, or know if they’re the right person to photograph you and your other half on the big day. To help, we’ve rounded up some essential tips for how to choose a wedding photographer.

Do Your Research

The first job on your to-do list is to seek out wedding photographers who work in your area and view their photographs. We’ve compiled a handy list of recommended photographers to use as your starting point – these guys come with the One Fab Day seal of approval, so you can trust them to give your day the love and attention it deserves!

At this point, you’ll start to notice how many different styles of wedding photography there are – fine art (dreamy, reminiscent of fashion magazine editorials), documentary (candid, off-the-cuff), traditional, modern, etc. When you’re looking at a photographer’s photos, it doesn’t matter if you don’t know what style you’re looking for, all you need to ask yourself is, do you like their work?

Key Benefits Of Residential Broken Pipes Inspection

Tips for Choosing the Best Contractor to Repair Broken Pipes

When upgrading a home, one of the things that you will be looking at is the drains. You want to ensure that after renovations, you have a properly functioning plumbing system

It all starts by choosing a plumber to work on your drainage pipes. Regardless of where you live, you are likely to find many contractors for this job. However, it is unlikely that they all will be suitable. You need to find out what they are capable of. For example, you may ask for some of the projects that they worked on and see if they reflect what you want. You also should talk to them about your unique needs so that they understand your project.

Latest Plumbing Technology

If you look at some of the leading plumbing companies in your area, you will notice that they have invested in the latest technology for broken pipes repair. Some of them use video inspection to find faults in pipes and fix them accordingly. This is the reason they are always fast and accurate in what they do. If you choose a company that still relies on ancient techniques, you will only end up a disappointed customer.

When looking for a contractor to repair broken pipes, you should insist on experience. During their work, plumbers acquire unique skills and therefore, they become better with time. At the end of the day, what you need is a home with the perfect drainage system

Entrust the repair of your broken pipes to the professional plumbers of this company. They are available 24/7, including holidays and weekends. They also offer water damage restoration services.

Burst pipes and water leaks

Water damage to your property is usually covered as a standard feature in your buildings insurance policy.  Often referred to as ‘escape of water’ by insurers, it can be caused by several issues, from burst pipes due to freezing temperatures, to a leaking dishwasher or an overflowing blocked toilet.

Stopcocks – know where these are and make sure that you test them regularly as they often seize up. If there is an escape of water / water leak in your home, turning off the stop cock asap can help to limit the level of damage caused.

Consider fitting a leak detection device which will monitor your usual water use and turn off the water if it suspects a leak. Use a plumber or a professional to install these types of devices. Some insurers may offer help with the installation of a leak detection device and may also take this into account when pricing your cover

Where possible, regularly check the pipes where your appliances are plumbed in for any looseness, leaks or drips. In areas where pipes are covered but that you still have access to (e.g. behind removable bath panels, toilet cistern panels and underneath kitchen units, where accessible,) it’s a good idea to take a look every now to make sure there aren’t any small leaks which could become major

Consider what you are putting down your drain, and make sure that you clean drains regularly if you suspect a blockage. Substances such as fats and oils from cooking, produce stickers, baby wipes, sanitary products and even hair can all cause clogs in drains and toilets

Guide to Sewer Pipes: Clay, Iron, Plastic, and Orangeburg

Few, if any, homeowners ever elect to dig up their yard to take a look at their sewer pipe. Pipe assessment is never an elective activity; it’s usually forced upon you when the toilets refuse to flush and wastewater comes up instead of going down.

Digging up and replacing your sewer pipe is that dreaded activity that destroys landscaping, costs a bundle, and accomplishes nothing other than letting you return to life as usual. Understanding what kind of sewer pipe you have helps to minimize the pain a bit since you will know whether you can continue with the same pipe or switch to a different pipe. Often, the type of sewer pipe running through your yard corresponds with the age of your house.

Older Homes

In older properties built before the 1950s, you might find clay pipe, cast-iron pipe, or a fiber conduit pipe called Orangeburg. Clay and cast-iron are older types of sewer piping and can remain in the ground as long as they are still moving waste with no leaks. Orangeburg sewer pipe is worth replacing if you have the ground opened up, even if the Orangeburg appears to be in good shape.

Newer Homes

Homes built from the 1970s onwards tend to have plastic sewer pipe. In some rare instances, you may find older cast-iron or clay sewer lines at a new house. The new house (and even some remodeled houses) will often have new pipe installed within the house envelope itself and extending a few feet into the yard. The yard area is where the old sewer pipe will start up again and continue all the way to the city sewer main.

Plastic: PVC and ABS

Plastic sewer pipe for underground installations is available in both ABS and PVC. Both types of pipe have smooth interiors for excellent carrying capacity of solid waste matter. The smooth exteriors also help resist root anchorage

How Much Does It Cost to Fix a Broken Water Pipe?

Average Costs of Typical Pipe Bursts

One of the main costs to consider when dealing with a broken pipe is water damage. Due to flooding and leaks in your walls, ceiling, floor, or basement, you can expect to pay anywhere from $5,000-$50,000. The average insurance claim for a broken pipe and water damage is about $15,000 and up if you have a broken water pipe in wall or floors. While the cost to repair leaking pipe in ceilings is comparable. Your homeowners insurance should cover a majority of the water damage costs, but may not pay to repair the broken pipe. Factors such as location, severity of the break, and level of internal damage can affect how much you will pay.

If the broken pipe is on a small fixture and is easily accessible, you may be able to fix it yourself. On average you can expect to pay anywhere from $10-$50 for a do-it-yourself kit to repair a simple leak. If there is not an excessive amount of water damage, and you choose to hire a plumber to repair your broken pipe, you can expect to pay anywhere from $50-$250. In the case of an emergency, the cost may go up to $300-$600. Again, there are other factors that can affect these prices, such as how much work is needed and the materials required for proper busted water pipe repair.

Estimated Price of Additional Costs

If the reason your pipe burst is due to frozen water, the area may need to be thawed in order to properly locate and repair the pipe. The process for doing this can cost you anywhere from $20-$500.

In the case that there is damage to a water line that has also compromised the electrical wiring in your home, you may need to hire an electrician to come make sure your circuits and wires are working properly so that there are no potential safety hazards. This can cost anywhere from $100-$1,000, depending on the severity of the issue.

If you choose to contract a plumbing company to help you repair your busted pipe, you’ll need to factor in installation fees and any additional costs of materials needed to get the job done

Common causes of leaky, cracked & broken pipes

Corrosion of the pipe

Corrosion weakens your pipes outer surface until it develops leaks. These leaks are difficult to detect and gone undetected can cause serious damage to your insulation, drywall and foundation

High water pressure

Increased pressure inside your pipes can cause leaking around the connections and valves. The rise in pressure can be related to problems with a hot water heater. Or the culprit may be hardness of your water. Hard water causes a mineral build-up along the inside of your pipes. This may be corrected by the installation of water softener.

Poor plumbing installation or repairs

If your pipes were not installed or repaired by professional plumbers, there is a chance that poor connections will eventually lead to leaks, cracks and breaks in your pipes.

Aging Pipes

As pipes age, they experience regular wear and tear. Over time, pipes rust, corrode, become weak and start to erode. Signs of aging water pipes include a poor water pressure, rusty discolored water, bad tasting water, small dark flakes in your water, problems running more than faucet at a time, complete loss of water flow, leaks or signs of corrosion. Replacement of effected pipe or complete re-piping is your solution.

Pipe leaks can be both the easiest and most difficult plumbing repairs to identify. If the pipe under your kitchen sink begins to leak or spray, you will notice it in your cabinet and on your floor. However, if a pipe inside your wall begins to leak, you may not notice it until it begins to cause serious damage. We believe that knowing why your pipes leak, crack or break may not only help prevent major damage to your home, but also help you understand why enlisting the help of a professional plumber is so important.

Project Managing Your Residential Electrical Remodel

IMPORTANT ELECTRICAL CONSIDERATIONS FOR A HOME RENOVATION PROJECT

You may be planning to add a room to your house. It may be a home office or an outdoor kitchen. These can be big renovations and you have to be careful with the planning, ensuring that the electrical factors are also taken into account. You should work with a licensed electrician who has experience with a project like yours. Proper planning can save you money and ensure that the project runs seamlessly.

Electrical Capacity

When renovating your home, it is important to determine the current electrical capacity of the building. Many old homes do not have the wiring to handle the latest appliances and technologies. You should get the help of an electrician to calculate the existing capacity. They can help in

All home renovations are going to involve some kind of additions or changes to the wiring. The different wiring concerns are as follows:

Wiring Size: If the wiring size doesn’t match the new electrical requirements in the building, it increases the risk of fires. An increase in the number of outlets for a circuit can mean excess current for the circuit. If adding more amps, it is important that you install new circuits into the panel.

Securing Wiring: Make sure that the wiring is properly secured. If the staples are not properly attached, the wires can get damaged. It is recommended to run the wiring through cable trays.

Improper Wire Connections & Lengths: The length of wiring that can be stripped is regulated by electrical codes. The wires shouldn’t be stripped too much or too short. It can increase the risk of fires or voltage drops.

Unprotected Wires: It is recommended to have a safety inspection to ensure that there is no unprotected wiring. All electrical wires should be covered to prevent exposure to the elements, humans or pets.

Electrical Power Upgrade

When you add more space to your home, this means the power demand will increase. The existing panel may not be able to handle the increased power demand due to more appliances and circuits. It may require an electric service upgrade.

GFCIs

It is also recommended to install Ground Fault Circuit Interrupters (GFCIs). These devices will make your home a safer place. They instantly cut off power if a plugged-in appliance comes in contact with moisture. It is recommended to add these units to kitchens, bathrooms, or any other areas where there is a risk of water contact.

Things to Know About Electrics When Building a New Home

Building a new home can be incredibly exciting. But many people find that they get so consumed by the design and project management aspects of their new home that crucial elements, such as its electrical requirements, can be overlooked. If you get these wrong, the consequences facing your home can range from mere inconvenience, right through to major health and safety risks.

PLAN THE LOCATION OF OUTLETS

While you may be thinking of how rooms will be coordinated and where features will be situated, it’s necessary to first determine the position of electrical outlets and wiring for your communication devices. This is so you can then place electrical equipment in the appropriate places with connection to electricity. Consultation with a qualified and experienced master electrician can help you to achieve this end.

UNDERSTAND THE WIRING SYSTEM YOU’LL NEED

In making decisions about the electrics you’ll need in your new home, it’s important to realise that your total electrical system is comprised of the electrical service, as well as lighting outlets and a range of appliances that are hardwired. It’s worthwhile noting that your electrical service needs to be of a sufficient size to match the needs of the people living in your house. Typically, one hundred to two hundred amps are adequate for a standard-sized house and household.

KNOW IF YOU NEED EXTRA POWER

In this day and age, where technology is incredibly advanced, a number of people choose to have large systems for audio, visual, and entertainment purposes, as well as home-based offices. If you’re such a person, it’s wise to find out more about the options available for your home’s electrical system. It may be necessary for you to have an advanced wiring system in your home.

CONSIDER ENERGY EFFICIENCY

When it comes to electricity, many of us are concerned about the rising costs and negative environmental effects. Many people building new homes therefore appreciate knowing that a control system can be used to moderate the costs of energy. Such systems can be remotely controlled from your home, and while this capability may seem futuristic, they can ultimately save you money and ensure that your home is safe when you’re not there

electrical and lighting things to consider when building

I can safely say that every day of this home build journey I am learning something new. From small things like discovering new products (who knew door handles could be so exciting?!) to the bigger picture of understanding the building process

The decisions we make now will have an impact on how we live in and enjoy our home so I’m taking them pretty seriously… That’s why it took three hours of careful deliberation before finalising our electrical and lighting plan! Thankfully our electrician and lighting expert were incredibly patient and helpful!

Do not over-light your interiors

The other week we published ‘How to design a lighting plan for your home‘ and in that post, lighting expert James talks about understanding the function of each room before deciding how much and what type of light to fill it with. As we went room by room through our house, James would constantly ask me ‘What will you do in this room?’ and ‘How will you configure your furniture?’ before suggesting any lighting options. Start with function and adapt your lighting depending on the needs in the space to avoid over lighting your home — and put a dimmer on every interior light!

Consider mixing lighting solutions

James is a big believer in using as little ceiling light as possible so he suggested all sorts of other lighting solutions — wall washes, low hallway wall lights, floor lamps, pendants, step lights — and when we did talk about ceiling lights he suggested some new products, like ‘extrusion’ lighting which is a more sleek and commercial looking product. If you won’t have an expert to help you plan your lighting, I suggest taking the time to research all the lighting options out there before meeting with your electrician so you can develop a plan that works and will add interest to your home.

Be careful not to date your house with lighting that’s so 2015!

As you all know, I’m a massive Block fan. So when I asked whether or not strip lighting along the kick of the kitchen was a good idea, or if we should put some under the island bench and I got a strained look from James… it was pretty clear the answer was no, he he. He said we could do whatever we wanted — it’s our house after all — but that he wouldn’t recommend putting lighting in these places where it serves no real purpose as he thinks this lighting trend will date quickly. In a few years time you don’t want people to say ‘That’s so 2015!’.

Things for Your Electrical and Lighting Plan

After giving a general overview last week of what’s needed for the specifications for the plumbing, mechanical and electrical subs, I thought it would be helpful to go into more detail about the lighting and electrical plan that you will have to give to the electrician.  There is so much to consider.  I’ll give you a list of suggestions that you can use as a checklist to help you develop a pretty complete electrical and lighting plan before you even meet your builder or electrician for the lighting walkthrough.

The lighting walkthrough typically happens in the rough-in stage, after framing is complete and before the drywall goes up.  Usually the homeowner will walk through the framed house with the electrician and/or builder and discuss where fixtures, outlets and light switches will go.

But thinking through the electrical and lighting plan well before you do the electrical walkthrough will allow you more time to consider exactly what features and outlets we want, and where. This decreases the chances of you forgetting an outlet or light switch somewhere.  It will also give you an opportunity to develop more detailed specifications so you can get more accurate electrical bids before construction even begins.    You may want to do a walkthrough by yourself a time or two when developing your lighting plan, just so you can get your thoughts together and not feel rushed when you do the official walk through with the electrician and/or builder.

It’s probably best to make a written, room by room list of fixtures and features plus mark your house plan where the electrical fixtures, outlets and light switches will go.  You can use different colored dots or symbols for light switches, outlets, recessed can lights, under cabinet lighting, and lighting fixtures, such as wall scones, table lamps, floor lamps and chandeliers.  For example, you might symbolize all recessed can lights with black dots and light switches with red dots. Outlets could be blue and lighting fixtures could be green.  If you really want to be helpful (and a little Type A), after you figure out what exact lighting fixtures you want to go in each room, you paste a photo of the fixture to a paper copy of your house plan.  Paste each lighting fixture photo on the diagram of the room where it will go. That will serve as a master guide for your electrician when he installs your fixtures toward the end of the build

Now about these electrical and lighting plan suggestions… most likely, not all of the suggestions will work for your family, house and lifestyle.  Use what works for you and leave the rest.  And keep in mind, these tips should go to into your preliminary lighting/electrical plan. You’ll want to go over the preliminary electrical plan and marked up house plan with your electrician and/or builder to see if they have any additional suggestions that would make your lighting plan more functional or more economical. 

Lighting and Electrical Considerations for Vancouver Home Renovation

There are many things to learn whenever you renovate your house. Our decisions are incredibly crucial to making sure we can enjoy living in our homes. Electricity is an essential element in everyone’s home these days. Making bad electrical choices is something one cannot afford.

Having an experienced electrician by your side when planning for your home renovation would be a great idea for saving time and money. You will easily be able to avoid future regrets by making these important changes.

ever Over light

Overlighting the interiors is one of the most commonly made mistakes you will find in most home renovations.

Mix it Up

Using conventional lighting options and techniques time after time is one of the biggest reasons why most people are never satisfied with their lighting. This reason is why we suggest you mix it up and give your house a new look simply by changing the way you light it

Do Not Use Outdated Lighting

Using outdated lighting inside your residence is a surefire way to make it look bad. Although illumination is a primary purpose of every light, there is much more to it than that.

Understanding Your Home Inspection Report

How to Choose a Home Inspector

Shopping for a home? Don’t wait until you have an accepted offer to shop for a home inspector. You want to allow time to interview several candidates so that you can be sure to hire an experienced professional.

After all, a home inspection is your one opportunity to get a clear-eyed assessment about the true condition of something that, for many, is the most expensive purchase of a lifetime. Follow our advice for how to find good candidates and what to look for in an inspector.

Beware the Real Estate Agent’s Referral

Your real estate agent might offer to give you some home inspectors’ names. He may be perfectly well-meaning—or not—but the references present a conflict of interest.

A real estate agent wants to close the deal, and that incentive may be at odds with that of the inspector, who gets paid for his report. If the report raises too many issues, or serious ones, it can be used to negotiate a lower price or even scuttle the deal. An inspector who has been referred by your agent may feel obligated to go easy on the inspection.

Identify Qualified and Trusted Candidates

To find a reputable inspector, first ask friends who have recently purchased a home whether they recommend the person they used. You can also find referrals through local online communities such as NextDoor or Patch, where members sometimes post their experiences. A crowdsourced directory such as Yelp, and home services sites such as Angie’s List and HomeAdvisor, may also be helpful.

How to Select a Home Inspector

Choosing a home inspector is part of the home buying process, a decision that can have a significant impact on your satisfaction with your future home. The home inspector is responsible for telling you the things you need to know about the home you are interested in. His or her ability to spot potential issues is vital for you to make an informed purchase, one you will be happy with over the long-term. Knowing how to select a home inspector becomes paramount, especially for first-time buyers

You only need to do a quick search for home inspectors in your area to find numerous options, but as with so many professions, some inspectors are better than others. The following tips will help you find a home inspector that you can be happy with, someone you can trust to provide you with all the relevant facts about the home you want to buy.

Get a reference from your real estate agent.

One of the best resources for picking a home inspector should be your Realtor. Do you know your real estate agent well and trust them? Do you feel they have your best interests at heart and are not more concerned about their pocket book? If you can confidently answer these two questions in the affirmative, then there is no reason not to trust your Realtors advice on who to select as a home inspector.

Look for a company that is bonded and insured

Whether you go with a big company or a single inspector working on his or her own, you want to make sure that whoever examines the home is bonded and insured. Finding out about insurance is one of the most important questions to ask when interviewing a home inspection

Verify that the inspection company only does inspections – not home repairs and renovations.

Hiring someone that just does inspections is an important tip for finding the right home inspector! Home inspection companies that sell other services – such as roofing, plumbing, kitchen and bathroom renovations, etc. – have a conflict of interest. The fact that they sell repair and renovation services means they are more likely to see problems where there aren’t any.

Tips to Find the Best Home Inspector

Before you buy a home, it’s always a good idea to get a professional home inspection. In most cases, you can make your purchase contract contingent on a satisfactory inspection. That means if you don’t like the inspection results, you can cancel the contract, get your deposit back and walk away from the deal. Or you can negotiate with the seller to cut the price or make repairs to problem areas uncovered during the inspection.

Even if the results of the inspection mean you agree to accept the house as-is at the contract price, a good home inspection can give you valuable insights into the property you’re buying and help you plan for future maintenance and repairs.

Choose an inspector who wants you around during the entire inspection. “We recommend bringing the clients there during the inspection every single time from start to finish,” Saltzman says, rather than just showing up for the report at the end. “I don’t think the clients get as much out of the inspection if they do it that way.”

Ask for a sample report. “Any great home inspector should have their home inspection reports displayed on a website,” Saltzman says. See if the reports are clearly written and how they are formatted. Saltzman says a good report should identify the defect, explain why it matters and suggest what should be done to fix it. All good reports also include photos.

Read reviews on Angie’s List, Yelp and Google. You can ask inspectors for references and call past clients. But you should also read online reviews that the inspector doesn’t control to ensure accuracy.

How to Choose a Home Inspection Company

When a house is bought or sold, a home inspection is a necessary procedure that alerts both homeowners and buyers to the condition of the property in question. If you are selling a home, it is important to have an inspection conducted so that you will be aware of any potential issues with the home you are selling. If you are buying a home, you should have a separate inspection conducted to be sure there are no hidden issues, and to negotiate the contract with potential repairs or problems in mind.

Be prepared for the cost. The average fee for a home inspection is between $350-$500, but the information received from an inspector is priceless. It could be the turning point between a sale and a buyer going back to searching for the perfect home

Understand the actual inspection. Home inspectors enter a home and analyze all of the major components that make up a house purchase. Home inspection companies document the safety and overall condition of a home at the time of the inspection. Home inspections usually take about 3 hours for a minimal inspection, and 5 or 6 hours in order to arrive at a thorough, proper assessment. Depending on how old or large a house is, it may take longer or less time to complete.

Know what will be inspected. A home inspector must thoroughly conduct a review of the inner and outer areas of a house

Be prepared for bad news. It is a home inspector’s job to find any existing or potential problems with a house. They can lose their license if they fail to report issues, so although it might feel like they’re purposely giving bad news, be thankful for the information.

Finding the Right Home Inspector

If you are buying a home, an inspection could reveal problems you never would’ve noticed. An inspection can require the seller to fix what needs fixing before you buy the home. You could also find issues that make you decide not to buy. If you’re a seller, an inspection can help you find problems before you put the house on the market, letting you make the repairs without wrangling over the cost with a potential buyer. Learn why you should get an inspection before selling your home.

What to expect on inspection day

On the day of the inspection, the inspector performs an initial site evaluation. Then the inspector takes you on a tour to point out the assets as well as any potential problems. Pay attention, watch, ask questions and learn. A thorough inspection can find problems related to water entry, roof leaks, insect infestation, unsafe wiring, failed septic systems, poor plumbing, wet basements, mold and mildew, and safety hazards.

At the end of the inspection, you receive a written report detailing all the findings. The report should contain photographs and descriptions of any damage or defects found during the inspection as well as details on the location of damage. Pictures help you understand the scope and location of the damage, and visual proof makes it easier to get repair estimates.

Look for an inspector before you shop for a home. If you choose a home first, time is critical and you may feel pressured to pick the first inspector you meet

Do your research and ask lots of questions of prospective inspectors, including their backgrounds, the length of time they’ve been in the business, the number of inspections they’ve performed and what sort of report they’ll provide

A Brief History Of Ants Farms

How to Get Rid of Ants

While there are wide range of do-it-yourself products available in the market to get rid of ants, an effective control requires a professional pest control service to manage the infestation and minimise recurrence. Our service technicians understand the habits of different types of ant and can offer discreet and targeted ant control

Identify Your Pest

Have you put down food on the dining table and moments later only to find the food being attacked by a swarm of ants? If you have experienced this before, it is highly possible that your home or work place is infested with ants!

While the warning signs of an ant infestation are usually quite obvious such as with the presence of ants itself, ant trials and having ants found in food supplies, they are all easy-to-spot signs for home owners. With the presence of ants or ant nests, they are abe to grow in number over time, becoming a colony. The number of ant trials along different areas in the same kitchen could be seen increasingly more as they travel to and from their food source in an organised manner

Ants are social insects living in colonies. Foraging ants come out in the early morning and early evening when the temperature outside is not very high. Food and water is key to the colony survival. Knowing the common ants species is important as you understand the biology and behaviour of certain species to carry out an effective ant control.

Choose Your Method

DIY or Professional?

When it comes to getting rid of ants, you have two basic options: DIY or hire a professional.

The DIY option requires the purchase of ant spray from your local home store. Insecticide spray is the most common ant control item for a household. The usage of an insecticide spray should work together with good sanitation. DIY spraying of insecticide may kill some foraging ants which happen to be out of the nest and disrupt the ant trials temporarily.

How to Choose an Ant Control Provider

Ants are incredibly annoying to deal with. You see one crawling in your kitchen, then you see another scurrying across your dining room table. At this point, you’re probably wondering how to keep ants away!

We’ll be the first to tell you that there are many ant control tips and tricks on the internet. Now, do they work? That’s up for debate, but the pest experts are committed to making sure your ant control issues are handled swiftly and safely.

Integrated Pest Management or IPM is an effective yet environmentally sensitive approach to pest control that uses a combination of common sense practices to remove pests, like ants, and prevent them from returning in the future.

Proven Ant Repellents & Deterrents

Certain species of ants require specific ant repellents and deterrents in order for the ant colony to be exterminated. Your pest specialist should be trained to identify ants and locate their colony so the source of your ant infestation will be targeted during our treatment process.

Proactive Ant Control

The most effective way to keep ants away from your home or business is with the help of the pro. Our preventative treatments are strategically applied throughout your property so you will get the most out of our professional pest control treatment.

Choosing the Proper Ant Bait

You arrive at a home to do a routine service and the customer lets you know they’ve been seeing ants inside. Depending on where you are located, the offending ants could be one of several to many different species. You’ll need to identify the ant because the type or species of ant will determine your approach to inspection and treatment.

Is the ant a soil- or wood-nesting ant or is it opportunistic in nest site selection? Is it a type that is polydomous (many nest sites) or polygynous (many queens)? Is it a species that will respond to baits well enough to affect control? Soil nesting ants will be found near ground level while wood-nesters typically associate with moist wood. Opportunistic species that are polydomous and polygynous are the most difficult ants to control due to the widespread nature of their infestations around structures

The fastest way to control ants is finding and treating the ant colony or colonies directly which with polydomous species is easier said than done. In most all cases, most of the infestation originates from outside with possible satellite colonies indoors. Even with Pharaoh ants which are primarily nesting indoors, a great deal of foraging is done on the outside of a building.

You’ve identified the ant involved and done your inspection. If you’re dealing with Pharaoh ants and maybe rover ants, you should head straight for the ant baits. For other types of ants, you should first attempt to find and treat the colonies involved and use ant baits as a supplement to treatment. If the colony has been difficult to locate or with a hard-to-solve case, then ant baits become the key tool to select.

Many times, ants may start feeding on a bait then, after a short time, begin ignoring the bait. Ant colonies also have different nutritional needs at different times of the year or by preference. For these reasons, it is a good practice to offer ants two or more different baits, including types of formulations to find out which the target ants prefer. For example,  you might offer a drop of 2 different gel baits and 1 or 2 different granular baits. Whichever the ants prefer, give them more of that bait.

Preparing for Pest Ant Control Service

You’re seeing ants trailing across your kitchen floor or found them in droves in the bathroom. What can you do? There are a number of DIY options to get rid of ants, or you can choose to use a pest control service. If you opt for the latter, you’ll get the best results if you know what to expect from the service and you take some simple steps to get ready for the extermination. This will not only make it easier for the pest control pros to do their job, but it also will improve the chances of eliminating the ants entirely.

Professional Ant Control Services

Today’s professional pest control operators (PCOs) often use gel bait insecticides to control and eliminate small ants from homes. This requires the placement of small beads of gel bait, primarily in areas where ants have been seen feeding or trailing. The bait may be placed on small pieces of cardboard or another type of holder, or it may be contained inside an ant bait station.

Preparing for Ant Control Service

Prior to arriving at your home, PCOs typically provide you with a specific list of preparation steps for you to complete. The following steps are some of the most common requests or recommendations made by PCOs (you can take the same steps prior to using any over-the-counter pest control products yourself). Failing to prepare your home could make a treatment unsafe or lead to reinfestation of the entire home or building. For these reasons, many PCOs will not treat areas that are not prepared to their specifications.

After the Pest Control Service

Some common steps to be followed after an ant service has been performed (or if you are placing ant bait yourself):

Be patient. Because baits do not immediately kill the ants, it can take time for the results to be obvious. Rest assured that baiting is the best way to eliminate the entire nest of ants.

While the baits are taking effect, do not spray any insecticides or kill ants that you see, as they need to continue to feed to take the poison back to the colony.

Avoid using strong cleaners near the ant bait. This would eliminate the ant pheromone trail that the ants are using to find the bait.

Do not disturb ants that are heading to or away from the bait, or eating it. If ants are seen in areas where no bait has been placed, you can move a bait placement that the ants are not consuming over to this area.

Tips on Selecting Pest Control Services

Why Select Pest Control Services?

People vary in their tolerance for pests that periodically invade our homes and cause us some level of discomfort. The need for monthly, quarterly or yearly pest control services is a matter of your personal preference and your perception of what is (and is not) a problem. Ultimately, the decision on whether you need a routine pest control service is a matter of what you feel is needed to make your home a comfortable and relatively “pest-free” environment.

Although you may prefer a “do-it-yourself” approach to pest control, there are situations where the job is best left in the hands of a pest management professional (PMP). This is particularly true with wood-destroying insects such as termites, carpenter ants, and wood-boring beetles. Treatments for these pests can be complex and expensive, depending upon the size of the home, the type of construction, and the extent of the problem. We cannot endorse specific pest control companies, but we can offer some tips to help you reach an informed decision on the type of service you need or want. The emphasis here is on solving specific problems, particularly for wood-destroying pests, but the same general principles apply to regular service contracts for other common household pests, such as cockroaches and ants. Becoming an informed educated consumer is the best way to protect yourself and to make sure you get the kind of service you need and want. Here are some issues to consider when deciding what type of service you need or want.

There are three phases or types of licenses based on the type of work or pest involved:

P-phase – covers household pest control (cockroaches, ants, spiders, etc.) both indoors and outside. P-phase also includes vertebrates such as mice and rats.

W-phase – covers wood-destroying pests (such as termites, powderpost beetles, etc.) Individuals with W-phase licenses also perform WDIRs (the so-called “termite inspections” for residences being sold).

F-phase – covers pests in both the P and W phases, but it specifically involves the use of a fumigant. Please note that a fumigant is not the same thing as a fogger (“bug bomb”) that you can buy in many retail stores. Fumigation involves the use of special (and highly toxic) gasses that are released into structures that have been completely sealed or enclosed under a tarpaulin.

The removal/exclusion of vertebrate animals, such as snakes, raccoons and bats from houses is usually done by wildlife damage control agents (WDCAs). However, WDCA’s cannot apply pesticides (e.g, to get rid of fleas that may be the result of a raccoon or oppossum in the house). Many WDCAs work for pest control companies or they are licensed in structural pest control so they can perform any necessary insecticide treatments

all pest control companies must have at least one licensed individual (licensee) on their staff. The other employees work under that licensee’s supervision. Details about these categories can be found at the NCDA&CS website. License numbers have 3-4 digits followed by letters that designate which phases or types of pest control the company employees are allowed to perform. For example, a company (licensee) with a license number “9999PWF” is able to provide all phases pest control services. On the other hand, a company with the license number “9999P” can perform pest control for household pests (such as those mentioned above), but they cannot perform any treatments for termites or other wood-destroying pests, even if the treatments are applied indoors, rather than to the soil. Make sure that the company with whom you deal has a valid license issued by the NCDA&CS to provide the service you need. All employees of the company who sell pest control contracts or perform pest control services must have an identification cards issued by the NCDA&CS. This card will have their employer’s SPC license number on it. Under NCDA&CS rules, the company’s name or its SPC license number must be displayed on both sides of every service vehicle. Vehicles used strictly by company sales representatives are not required to carry these markings, although most companies do as a form of advertising). Whether or not the vehicle is marked, ask to see the person’s identification card as proof of his/her employment with an authorized pest control company. If he/she cannot produce a valid identification card, you should contact the NCDA&CS.

Break Away From The Stressful Journey Of An Event Planner

Ideas To Add Some Fun To A Serious Event

Unfortunately, there is still the widespread misconception that making business events more interesting and enjoyable damages their force, or that it’s a trick to appeal to the younger generations alone. Actually, using some of these ideas not only allows a wide and different audience to be more engaged, but also gives the event a touch of freshness. And the meeting will have more impact and will be remembered much longer.

Here are 12 ideas to have a little bit of fun even at the most serious events.

Cocktail show
If the chosen venue has a bar, you can hire professional bartenders who can perform striking stunts while mixing and creating great drinks. It’s a way to entertain those queueing at the bar and reduce boredom.

Mix your own drink
You can organize a stand where participants can propose or prepare their own drinks. Bartenders can supervise and offer tips and tricks.

Choose a theme
To create a fun atmosphere and get the users even more involved, you can suggest an event theme, which doesn’t necessarily have to be related to the business event. Themes require participation and a small creative effort, and facilitate the conversation. They can be as simple as the invitation to wear a certain color or article of clothing, or the attendees’ favorite team’s kit, or an item or symbol of their business.

Undercover entertainers
A visible stage isn’t the only place to offer entertainment; you can provide a more engaging experience by hiring performers who can blend in with the crowd and interact with it. The performances can be connected to the event theme and contribute to its storytelling, and you can use acrobats, clowns, or actors playing the part of historical characters or the event’s mascot.
Other ideas: call a comedian to make fun of the event, or organize a flash mob, either by secretly involving a group of participants beforehand, or by using professional undercover dancers.

Weird Staff
You can add another funny element to the meeting with singing waiters, historical characters welcoming the attendees, or bartenders pronouncing apparently unintelligible words that actually reveal clues to win a prize. Surprising and intriguing the audience always works, and it’s also cheap.

Drumming Display

Corporate percussion groups are geared toward corporate clients and can enhance your event theme. Specialist groups can perform using products i.e. recycled materials, ladders, machinery, etc. Drumming performances have wow factor, as they are fast paced, high energy and loud!

Laser Wizardry

LED and laser shows are the here and now of corporate entertainment. These seriously ‘in’ corporate shows can even incorporate logos that interact with audiences.

Robots

Walking, talking Robots are great for corporate events that include trade shows, exhibitions and conventions, or as great walk around acts to meet and greet guests. Some events are even using robots for things like mixing drinks.

Dance and Visual Performances
Video mapping dance groups are proving to be a big hit so far this year for corporate events. New technologies have allowed performers to take their dance and visual performances to the next level as humans and computers merge. These acts can incorporate specific music and graphics, as well as logos and corporate messages.

Stand Out, Make Your Events More Unique

Every event planner wants their work to stand out – that’s a given. It’s a crowded space these days, and we’re not just talking about event management – virtually every field is flooded with hopefuls due in large part to the advent of mass communication. Distinguishing one’s self requires true creativity, and if you sit back you’re going to be lost in a sea of noise.

Competitive, creative event planners can make their events more unique by paying attention to a few core areas, and tweaking things just a bit, just enough to be seen as going against the grain.  There is always risk in stepping outside the comfort zone, but if you’re the event planner that gets it right, you may start seeing the jobs roll in.

Focus On A New Angle

Do homework on the industry you’re event is promoting, and understand all the topics currently being discussed at other industry events. Can you find an emerging perspective that will draw a thought-leader crowd? Better yet, are you able to present fresh topics that none of your competitors seem to have touched on that your guests would be interested in hearing about?

Tip: certain event management companies establish themselves as “thought leaders” in one field. This generally takes time and total emersion in a particular field, but pays off making them the go-to team for all things related to said-field.

Get Creative With Your Venue

Don’t just book out another conference hall and call it a day – that’s boring. It’s what pretty much everyone’s doing for their events. While you may not want to break the bank on deco, consider ditching the conference hall for something a bit more memorable; a bit more ‘out there.’ A lakeside cabin, a rustic farmhouse, a bowling ally, a cruise liner; these locations may not be typically used for corporate meet-ups, but who says they can’t be.

Hint: don’t forget what you require of a venue, but view the possibilities of a unique space with an open mind. A kick-ass space may meet all your needs, and more.

Hire An Up-And-Coming Guest Speaker

Celebrity isn’t always what an event needs. Ask around within an industry for someone new on the scene whose making waves, getting published, starting cool projects, and being written about. A few lesser-known speakers or experts who may be more eager to speak could offer some adrenaline at the perfect moment. Often that new speaker provides a new perspective even a seasoned expert cannot.

Tip: a lesser-known keynote is more likely to self-promote the engagement and in turn, your event.

Things To Know Before Booking Entertainment For Your Event

In theory, booking entertainment for an event should be a breeze: identify the entertainer, make an offer, then sign the contract. But in practice, there’s a lot more that goes into booking entertainment, and some of the things you might not consider can potentially mean the difference between successfully booking entertainment and scrambling to find someone to fill the slot.

Know How To Reach Out

The first step towards booking entertainment for your event is to identify the entertainer you want at the event. The kind of entertainment you book should depend on the kind of event you’re running; there’s no quicker way to throw away money on entertainment than by booking someone who isn’t a good fit for your event’s guests. In order to make the most of your booking (and get your money’s worth), make sure the entertainment you hire is a good match for your guests.

Have A Plan Of Action

When it comes to booking entertainment for events, your next step should be to figure out what that entertainment will look like. After all, you wouldn’t open a restaurant without putting together a menu first, right?

The Entertainer’s Fee ≠ What You’ll Spend

So you’ve reached out to an entertainer and they’ve accepted your offer — you can go ahead and cross the entertainment off your to-do list, right?

Wrong.

One of the most common errors event planners make is in assuming that the performance fee for the entertainer is all they’ll have to spend on entertainment. In reality, the entertainer’s fee is just one part of the overall cost of entertainment, and if you don’t plan accordingly, you might find yourself going over-budget in a heartbeat.

Know How To Negotiate

Once you’ve gotten in touch with the entertainer, don’t be afraid to (effectively) negotiate the booking fee — just because you’re quoted a particular fee doesn’t mean you should pay it. Being willing to negotiate on the fee can save you a lot of up-front costs, but with any negotiation, though, you have to know when to push and when to ease off. If you don’t, you risk ensuring the entertainer will never consider working with you again.

How To Promote An Event

By now, this event management cycle should be familiar to you:

  1. Planning the event: From idea to action plan.
  2. Organising the event: From action plan to execution.
  3. Promoting the event: Spreading the word and selling tickets.
  4. Hosting the event: Making sure things run smoothly on the day.
  5. After the event: Thank yous and follow ups.

Facts About Trenchless Pipe Replace Bursting Technology

Trenchless Sewer Line Repair Vs (Traditional) Sewer Repair

Trenchless Sewer Repair

The trenchless method used at Pipe Spy (pipe bursting) usually involves digging two access pits on either side of the length of a project’s sewer line—one entry pit and one exit pit where the new pipe is pulled through the existing pipe using a bursting head, breaking the old clay or cast iron away and leaving the old pipe in the ground. What is left is the new, longer lasting pipeline.

Trenchless technology was created to be more cost-efficient; these processes take less time and can often (at most single-family private residences) be executed by crews of four or five persons. Because there is less digging on a trenchless worksite on the whole, there is less chance of disruption to property landscapes and other underground utilities, making it a safer option.

The trenchless method we use at Pipe Spy is more eco-friendly and leaves a smaller carbon footprint because in its execution we use less energy, less manpower, and fewer materials; we use HDPE lines that often last 25-50 years longer than the average materials used to replace sewers. These lines are also less susceptible to environmental damage like corrosion and tree roots.

Open Trench (Traditional) Sewer Repair

The traditional method or open trench method usually involves digging up the ground around the damaged section of sewer line. After repairs are made, earth is put back into the trench.

While this may seem to be relatively inexpensive, with costs starting between $7,500-$12,000, there are some other costs associated with a process like this. First, the damage that open trenching does to your landscaping can—in rare, more complex cases—be irreversible. This could lead to major expenses such as reconfiguring or even redesigning entire yards. Trenching can be less efficient in that it can take several days and more manpower; more time and more staffing = higher costs.

Sometimes special equipment has to be brought in for trenching (particularly on larger private or commercial properties) due to city requirements and other safety measures. Special equipment = higher expense and higher costs for the customer. Acquiring additional permits could also add to your repair total. 

Excavation

Traditional

After your problem has been properly diagnosed, it is time to start digging. This process is very costly if the main sewer line needs to be repaired. Many times the road, sidewalk and your yard and driveway are torn up to repair the actual problem.

Trenchless

No need for costly excavation equipment when just a few holes need to be dug to get to the pipes. Pipe lining only requires one hole, while pipe bursting may require three or more. Each of these can be dug by hand, saving a ton of money right at the start of the process.

Living Expenses

Traditional

Digging trenches in your house, yard and onto public property means your water supply is going to be shut off for the duration of the repair job. This can take anywhere from weeks to months. Your family is going to have to find another place to stay during this time, adding thousands of dollars to your total cost.

Trenchless

There is no need to leave your house at all during a trenchless repair. Your water gets shut off before work starts for the day, and is turned back on each night. This means no added costs for the homeowner.

Landscaping

Traditional

After all the repairs are done you are going to need to get your property back to normal. The contractors who dug up the road and sidewalks will be back to repair those. These costs are charged to your account. Then you are going to have to hire a landscape professional and someone to repair your driveway. These costs will run into the thousands.

Trenchless

Since there are only a few holes dug to accommodate the placement of the new pipes, there is not much extra cost for the repairs needed on your landscape. Filling these holes and replacing the grass or cement is something the homeowners can do themselves, saving thousands of dollars in the process.

Home Repairs

Traditional

If the plumbers had to come inside your home and dig a trench to replace old and damaged pipes, then the cost to repair this damage is going to cost upwards of $20,000. This includes remodeling a bathroom, replacing hard wood floors, replacing, relocating or reinstalling appliances and kitchen cabinets, and repairing walls and painting.

Trenchless

The damage from a trenchless install or repair is significantly less than a conventional repair. With only minimal holes to fill and repair, most homeowners find they can tackle these jobs with very little cash output.

Trenchless Sewer Repair Pros and Cons

Pro – Trenchless sewer line repair involves snaking a special camera through the shallowest point of your sewer line. Once your plumber identifies the blockage or damage, a new pipe made of resin is inserted to replace the damaged portion. Once this resin pipe cures, it becomes a permanent part of your line and your sewage system is ready to be used again.

Pro – A trenchless sewer repair job is usually completed within a day, which is one of the most significant advantages of this type of work. Besides minimal digging, there is little to no damage done to your property – another huge pro.

Pro – Trenchless sewer repair may be less expensive than the full cost of a traditional dig and additional cost of restoration. – resin pipes routinely last up to fifty years.

Con – The only drawback to trenchless sewer repair is that it is not always possible. Corrosion or old age can cause pipes to be unsalvageable, making a trenched sewer line repair the only option.

Trenched Sewer Repair Pros and Cons

If your existing pipes are unsalvageable, the traditional method of trenched sewer repair may be necessary. It’s imperative to consult with the experts before deciding on a course of action for your specific sewer line issue. The advantage of using the more traditional method is that even the most severe damage can be addressed thoroughly by digging into the ground. Full access makes it easier to identifying and fully address all issues. The cons can be quite overwhelming, however, since large trenches or holes will need to be dug on your property using heavy machinery and equipment, causing damage to your lawn and landscaping. It is a much more labor-intensive method as well, leading to much higher costs when you also factor in the cost of repairing the damage done to your yard and driveway.

A brief introduction to trenchless sewer repair

Trenchless sewer repair is a minimally-invasive method for fixing damaged sewer pipe that has been around since the 1970s. It was first developed in Europe and was initially used for municipal and industrial (i.e. large diameter) pipe projects.

However, it has advanced in the last 20 years or so and is now used to repair the small diameter pipes you find in single-family homes and high-rise buildings. Unlike old-school methods, trenchless sewer repair doesn’t require digging up lawns or ripping apart walls and in most cases, you’ll be able to stay in your home while the repair is going on.

It does require a construction permit though and a camera inspection before and after, to make sure that everything has been completed correctly.

Here are four of the most common types of trenchless sewer repair:

  • Structural Pipe Lining or Cured-In-Place-Pipe Lining (CIPP)
  • Spray Lining and Brush Coating
  • Pipe Bursting
  • Slip Lining

Can you use trenchless technology on a bellied line? Is it just putting a new line into the same problem? Does it need to be dug up and repaired?

Trenchless technology cannot be used on a bellied line because the sleeve will simply follow the existing pipe and end up with a belly. The line has to be dug up at the belly and repaired with a new section of pipe to correct the belly. There are other techniques for running a new line alongside the existing sewer line with directional boring or with a pneumatic gopher. Both of these technologies, however, might encounter problems with rocks or underground cables if they are in the path of the bore.

Unloading Services The Tasks

HOW TO UNLOAD A VAN SAFELY

CHOOSE YOUR UNLOADING ZONE WITH CARE

People can often rush to unload a van, more so than when loading, which is a particularly dangerous practice if you do so in an unsuitable environment. Unload your van in an area free from traffic or other obstructions so you can take your time and not have to worry about causing an inconvenience to others. Choose a flat surface, or place brake chocks under the wheels to secure the van if on an incline.

BEWARE OF ITEMS THAT HAVE MOVED

It’s inevitable that some items will have moved about during the journey. Even if everything appears fine, approach with caution as you may find items have unbalanced themselves and are likely to fall. It’s also good practice to keep an eye out for any broken glass or splinters from damaged items that can cause harm to your hands and feet as you try to unload. Wearing gloves is good practice.  

KNOW WHERE YOU’RE UNLOADING

If you begin unloading items without knowing their final destination, you’ll likely cause an obstruction and only end up moving them twice. Equally, it’s not always feasible to move items directly to where they’ll end up. If you’re moving into a new home, for example, you might decide to unload all your furniture into an open garden space before deciding what goes where.

Loading and Unloading a Van Safely: Our Tips

If you’re running a one-person delivery business, you’ll spend a lot of your time taking things in and out of the back of your vehicle. If the items you’re delivering are cumbersome or heavy, this can spell trouble – and thus it’s worth thinking about best loading and lifting practice.

Start with the Big Stuff

To use your space as efficiently as possible, get large items like fridges loaded first. It’s a lot easier to find space for a small item than it is to cram large ones in at the end. Add to this the fact that your larger items are likely to be heavier than your small ones, and therefore capable of inflicting crushing damage, and the sense of starting with the big stuff becomes obvious.

Spread the Load

Obviously, you don’t want your van to be unbalanced. As such, avoid stacking everything on one side of the van. Push everything right to the rear, and secure small items beneath seats to prevent them from flying around when you go over a speed bump. To be sure that you’re not overloading your van, learn its maximum loading capacity, and figure out a rough idea of when you’re approaching it.

Secure the Load

The interior of your van should provide anchoring points, to which you’ll be able to attach straps. Use these to keep your goods fixed into position. This step is especially worthwhile if you’re transporting fragile goods. Replacement straps are inexpensive, so invest in them before your old ones snap.

Choose the Right Area

Ideally, you’ll want to unload your cargo onto a flat surface that’s out of the way of traffic. Unfortunately, this isn’t always possible. Since we don’t get to pick our cargo’s destination, it’s worth taking a few measures to limit the risk. If you’re unloading onto an incline, put brake chocks beneath the wheels. If items look as though they’ve moved during transit, treat them with special caution, as they’re the most likely to move again when you start to unload them.

The process of loading/unloading a vehicle

Organizing

Before packing the vehicle make sure to gather all the materials so that you don’t have to face any problem regarding space. In order to gather the materials, you may require special instruments such as a dolly, padding furniture, tape for packing, straps and shrink wrap etc.

Step 1: Toolkit

Remember to keep a toolkit close by for taking apart and reassembling the furniture.

Step 2: Separation of items

Keep the important stuff you will need immediately on your person and not in the truck.

Step 3: Special care for fragile items

It would be more appropriate if the fragile items are kept separately.

Step 4: Disassembling furniture

To protect your furniture you have to disassemble it. This will help you secure it as much as possible, e.g.

  • Take out the cushions from the sofas.
  • Disassemble your bed
  • Take out the bulbs from the lamps
  • Remove the drawers from the dressers (It will be easier to lift them)
  • Collect all the screws in sandwich backs and label them so that you don’t have to worry about which screw is to be fixed in which item.
  • IMAPORTANT: Disassemble all IKEA furniture and wrap them in moving pads as necessary. Due to the materials used to build the furniture it is very fragile and may break while moving it.

Step 5: Placement of Furniture

After you are done with the disassembling, bring all the furniture in front of the truck. This will help in adjusting it in the truck in a proper, organized way.

Unloading a Truck

A Truck loaded with proper planning and care will take any worries out of an Unloading job. There are a few things which need to be considered while unloading a fully loaded removals truck.

  • Be very carefully when you open the rear gates of the truck because momentum can make the transit boxes press on to the gates and can easily fall over you.
  • Position the truck for unloading close to the entrance, and make sure there are no tripping hazard.
  • Clear the pathway to the house and open main doors.
  • If the boxes are marked properly, they can be painlessly moved to the appropriat

Vehicle Loading and Unloading: Keeping Your Workers Safe

For many businesses, loading and unloading trucks is a daily activity. This activity also comes with a higher risk of employees getting injured on the job. Loading and unloading motor vehicles is one of the most common causes of workplace injuries in the manufacturing, distribution and courier industries. From forklift accidents to falling materials, employees in these industries must be focused and aware at all times to prevent serious injuries. This article will provide valuable tips businesses and employees can implement right away to keep workers safe during vehicle loading and unloading.

Most Common Injuries

Loading and unloading cargo are activities which heighten the chance of workplace injuries. Some of the most common workplace injuries related to vehicle loading and unloading include:

  • Sprains and strains from improper lifting or handling of cargo
  • Crushing injuries caused by colliding with a forklift, truck, falls from loading docks, or falling stacked materials
  • Bruises and cuts
  • Spinal injuries from improper loading, unloading, falls or being crushed
  • Head trauma from falling cargo

These injuries can range from minor to serious, showing how important it is for businesses to set the proper standards for how employees should be loading and unloading. Injured workers create financial and operational challenges for businesses. Keeping employees safe, aware, and engaged while at work will help cut down on the risk of injuries related to vehicle loading and unloading.