How Can You Become An Electrician

Electrician Career Paths: The Ultimate Guide

Have you ever thought about how essential electricity is to your everyday life? Without it, cities would go dark and everyday tasks like charging cell phones and making coffee wouldn’t be possible. Electricity is crucial to modern life. And, just as important are the men and women who make sure it reaches our homes and offices: electricians

What Does an Electrician Do?

Nearly every building has electrical power, communications, lighting and control systems. Electricians are responsible for installing this equipment during construction and maintaining and repairing it afterward. They apply their trade in an array of settings, including homes, businesses and factories.

Electrician Job Duties

Interpret blueprints of electrical systems.

Install and maintain wiring, control, and lighting systems.

Test and troubleshoot electrical equipment.

Repair and replace faulty parts.

Train and manage the work of other employees.

Adhere to the National Electrical Code and local and state rules

Electrician Work Schedules & Conditions

Many electricians travel for work.

It’s common for electricians to work full-time.

Working on evenings and weekends is necessary for some electricians.

Work schedules may vary during times of inclement weather.

Overtime can be expected during scheduled maintenance or on construction sites

Are There Different Types of Electricians?

There are different types of electricians servicing the various fields where electrical wiring is needed. An electrician’s expertise and specialization can depend on the industry in which he or she works

Residential Electrician

Common Responsibilities: Installing the electrical equipment found in homes and apartments, as well as the outdoor lighting around their landscaping. Residential electricians also perform maintenance and system upgrades.

Work Environments: Homes, apartment buildings, condos and hotels, motels and vacation homes.

Career Requirements: A combination of formal electrician training in the classroom and an apprenticeship of at least 4 years. Passage of rigorous state testing

Electrician’s Guide to Emergency Lighting

The Code of Practice has undergone extensive changes to keep the document aligned with associated national legislation and national and European Standards. The standard responds to the increasing recognition of the application of emergency lighting to assist the safety of occupants who may stay in a building during a mains supply failure.

This guide is essential for all designers of emergency lighting systems, electricians, electrical contractors and their managers, general electrical installation designers, and students in further education and professional training.

The Complete Guide to Hiring an Electrician Service

If you’re a homeowner, it’s safe to assume that you take pride in your home. Your lawn is immaculate, the decor scheme has been carefully crafted, and you take home maintenance very seriously. You spend a lot of time caring for your home, but when was the last time you paid close attention to one of the home’s most important systems: the electrical system? An electrician service can do a lot to make your home safer and more energy-efficient.

If you haven’t worked with an electrician before, you may not know how to find one or even when you need to bring one in. Luckily for you, we’re going to tell you everything you need to know to find the right electrician service.

Signs It’s Time to Bring in an Electrician

Before we get into how you find an electrician, we’re going to spend some time focusing on situations where you absolutely need to bring in professional help. Most people will bring in an electrician when they’re doing serious home improvement projects, but they may not utilize their services when it’s the most important.

It’s important to keep in mind that electrical work can get complicated, and could possibly get dangerous if you don’t know what you’re doing. Even if you think you can handle some problems on your own, it may be better to bring in a professional.

Fuses Keep Breaking

A tripped circuit breaker and a blown fuse are bound to occur every once in a while. However, if you find yourself constantly having to deal with another trip or break, it’s time to bring in a professional.

Ultimate Guide to Electrician Careers

Ask an electrician what they do for a living and they will probably take pride in their answer. It’s widely regarded as one of the most rewarding of the trades, with great potential for progression. ultimate guide to electrician careers is designed to give you as much detail as possible about the routes into becoming a professional electrician

Whether you’re leaving school, or looking to change careers, Ultimate Guide to Electrician Careers aims to give you the right answers in a step-by-step fashion. The guide covers

What to expect from the job

The risks involved

Where to start

The qualifications you need to become an electrician and how to get them

Electrical Apprenticeships

Progressing your career and further training

How to Hire an Electrician

While the demand for qualified tradespeople, including electricians, is projected to increase at a steady pace to keep up with the needs of a growing population and economy, the talent pool of skilled laborers has, over the years, seen a steady decline. This has made finding electricians with the necessary skills and experience an increasingly challenging task.

Create a job post.

Define the skills you need and the minimum qualifications you expect of candidates, as well as the qualities you want your new team member to possess. Essentially, you want to find a licensed electrician who has the technical skills to deliver high-quality work, but who is also a pleasure to work with, interacts well with customers, and will fit in well with your company culture. They should know the local building and electrical codes.

It might take some time to find an electrician who meets your specific needs, especially if you are looking for someone with several years of experience working on commercial buildings and large-scale electrical projects. In general, employers struggle to find qualified electricians with more than ten years of experience.

Once you know what you are looking for in your new employee, ask yourself what the ideal candidate looks for in a job and employer. As the demand for qualified and experienced electricians increases, potential candidates will look for job offers with attractive benefits, including potentially high wages.

The nature of the job exposes electricians to many risks and demands great physical stamina as they are often required to work outdoors, exposing them to extreme temperatures, at great heights, or in cramped spaces. In addition, full-time schedules often require them to work in the evening or on weekends, with overtime being common across the industry. Be sure to clearly define what working conditions applicants can expect and what you offer to make this worth their while, such as comprehensive benefits, paid overtime, a signing bonus, and generous vacation days.

Home Inspection Concerns With Firewalls

Faced With Uncertainty, Home Buyers Seek Coronavirus Clauses in Contracts

Real estate agents, racing to keep home sales from falling through, are writing special coronavirus clauses into offers and extending contracts as more than 100 million Americans

encompassing the three biggest cities in the U.S. and many of the country’s luxury housing hubs. The rules have seriously disrupted home sales, which often include face time among multiple parties and stakeholders, including buyers, sellers, agents and lawyers.

Many deals are in a state of limbo if appraisers can’t appraise or inspectors can’t inspect ahead of a scheduled closing, or worse, if one of the parties involved in the sale gets sick. To mitigate the overwhelming uncertainty, buyers are now adding clauses that allow them to postpone closings or even back out entirely from deals without penalty should Covid-19 derail the process.

But that presents a dilemma for someone who buys a home they cannot access. “You don’t want to be in a position where you have to pay the carrying costs on a new home, but you can’t move in until this is all sorted,”

Contract law in many states offers some sort of provision for so-called “acts of God” or other unforeseen and totally unpreventable circumstances.

Inspector Not Liable for Later Injuries

An individual (“Owner”) hired a home inspector (“Inspector”) to inspect a house prior to his purchase. The Inspector noted that the flooring on the second story deck (“Deck”) needed to be replaced and so the seller replaced the flooring prior to the sale. The Inspector did not identify any problems with the Deck’s railing. Following his purchase, the Owner had a social gathering at the house and the Deck’s railing collapsed, causing one of the guests (“Guest”) to fall off the Deck and suffer severe injuries. The Guest brought a lawsuit against the Owner, prior owner, contractor, and the Inspector. The trial court entered judgment in favor of the Inspector and the appellate court affirmed. The Guest appealed to the state’s highest court.

The Supreme Court of Tennessee affirmed the lower court, finding that the Inspector did not provide false information to the Owner nor did he assume a duty of care to property visitors. The court first considered the negligence allegations against the Inspector, which was an issue of first impression for the court. The Inspector testified that he had not seen any visual damage to the railing and the railing had seemed secure during his property inspection. However, later testing revealed that improper screws had been used to secure the railing and the screws had rusted, causing the railing’s collapse.

The court found that the Inspector had not assumed a duty of care for later visitors to the property and thus was not negligent. In order to allege negligence, a party must establish that the other party owed a duty of care to them and the other party breached that duty, causing injury. The court found that the Inspector had only agreed in the home inspection agreement to perform a visual inspection of the property and did not ascertain whether the property met building code requirements. He also had not assumed a duty to protect later visitors to the property. Since the Inspector had not assumed these duties, the court ruled that the Inspector was not liable for negligence.

Next, the court considered the negligent misrepresentation allegations. As part of a negligent misrepresentation claim, a party must show that the other party negligently provided false information. Here, the Guest failed to plead this, as the Inspector never represented that the Deck’s railing was safe; instead, the Inspector simply failed to visually notice any problems with the railing. Because the Guest had failed to allege a negligent misrepresentation by the Inspector, the court affirmed judgment in favor of the Inspector.

Lawsuit over Disclosure of Bats in Attic Proceeds

appellate court has considered whether a trial court had properly allowed to proceed to the jury a buyer’s lawsuit involving the presence of a seasonal bat colony in the attic.

During this visit, he inspected the attic of the house due to a stain he noticed on the outside of the house. While in the attic, he noticed the smell of animal excrement and urine. When he asked about these smells, he was allegedly told that the smell was from the Sellers’ pets. The next time he visited the house, he noticed animal droppings in the attic as well as evidence of “sweeping” around the droppings; he was allegedly told that these droppings were bird droppings. Photographs were taken of the droppings.

Following these visits to the property, the Buyer then submitted a list of 23 questions to the Sellers about the property. None of the Buyer’s questions addressed the condition of the attic. The Sellers answered the Buyer’s questions, and the Buyer made an offer to purchase the property, contingent upon an engineer’s inspection of the property. The Buyer and the inspector (“Inspector”) visited the property, and the Buyer once again noticed a mothball smell in the attic. The Buyer asked the Broker for an explanation of the earlier presence of animal feces in the attic, and the Broker allegedly told the Buyer that a bird was entering the attic through a broken pipe and that this would be repaired prior to the closing

The Buyer moved onto the property two months before the closing. He claims he was told not to store anything in the attic prior to the closing, but he claimed that the smell of urine returned to the attic prior to closing. The closing took place in January 1994. Following his purchase, the Buyer discovered that the attic was home to a seasonal bat colony

The Buyer eventually filed a lawsuit against the Sellers, the Broker, the Brokerage, and the Inspector, claiming that they had failed to disclose the presence of a seasonal bat colony on the premises and fraudulently tried to conceal the evidence of infestation by claiming that it was birds in the attic. All of the defendants filed a motion with the trial court seeking judgment in their favor and the trial court denied this motion, sending the case to a jury for resolution. The defendants appealed.

Salesperson Liable for Incomplete Well Testing

One of the contingencies in the purchase contract was a “satisfactory test of the well system to be performed by a competent well inspector”. An unsatisfactory report would allow the Buyers to cancel the purchase agreement. During a visit to the property, the Salesperson observed the dug well on the property but did not examine the well in any other way.

the Salesperson hired a home inspector who tested the potability of the well water but did not physically inspect the well. The potability test did not reveal any problems with the well water, and no other inspections of the well and its water were performed.

The transaction closed. Following the closing, the Buyers learned that animals were able to access the well and contaminate the water. As a result, the Buyers had to drill a new well on the property. The Buyers brought a lawsuit against the Salesperson and the Brokerage

alleging negligence, breach of the state’s consumer protection act, and breach of contract. A jury returned a verdict in favor of the Buyers on all allegations, and the Salesperson and Brokerage filed a motion with the court asking the judge to set aside the verdict.

rejected the challenge to the jury’s verdict. First, the court considered whether the Salesperson had a duty to contract for a physical inspection of the well, rather than a simple water test. A negligence claim requires a showing that one party owed the other a duty. The court found that the Buyers had relied upon the Salesperson to contract for a complete and competent inspection of the well.

How Home Inspectors Can Protect Themselves from Viruses

There is currently no vaccine to prevent the coronavirus (COVID-19). The best way to prevent illness is to avoid being exposed to this virus. For more information about the coronavirus

The virus is thought to spread mainly from person to person:

between people who are in close contact with one another (within about 6 feet); and

through respiratory droplets produced when an infected person coughs or sneezes.

These droplets can land in the mouths or noses of people who are nearby, or possibly inhaled into the lungs. Ideally, a home inspection would be performed at an unoccupied or vacant house. Usually, home inspectors are doing their work along with their clients, real estate agents, and occupants.

Wash your hands often.

Wash your hands frequently using soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after you have been in a public place, or after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing.

If soap and water are not readily available, use a hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol. Cover all surfaces of your hands and rub them together until they feel dry.

Avoid close contact with people who are sick. Put distance between yourself and other people if COVID-19 is spreading in your community. This is especially important for people who are at higher risk of getting sick, such as the elderly, and people with underlying health issues. Ask your clients if they’re willing to consider not showing up at the inspection.

There are many home inspectors who will video-record the inspection for absent clients. Their clients can then play the inspection video from the comfort and safety of their own homes.

Home inspectors can use live video chat or FaceTime with their absent clients during the inspection. Facebook Messenger, iPhone FaceTime, and Google Duo are options.

The Selling Price Of Your Accountant Practice

How to Increase Accountability in the Workplace

What is Workplace Accountability?

Workplace accountability refers to the employees’ willingness to accept responsibility for their actions. It is all about making clear commitments to perform the job and deliver. With a culture of accountability in place, employees do their work well and managers lead their teams toward success.

Workplace accountability is crucial in the day-to-day operations of the company. It’s a business ideology that builds a desirable culture in the workplace. Managers should recognise the importance of this ideology and integrate it into their direct report’s everyday work.

As managers build a culture of workplace accountability, they should align their direct reports around their team goals, while encouraging open feedback and transparent problem-solving. Managers who can boost workplace accountability help set their team (and company) up for success.

Importance of Workplace Accountability

Managers need to promote workplace accountability to sustain the success of the business. Once an employee embraces accountability, his or her output can go from good to great. Such an employee starts to recognise his or her aptitude and seek personal motivation to finish whatever task he or she has.

Unfortunately, managers can’t require or force accountability on their direct reports. All they can do is foster and support a culture of promoting accountability in the workplace. Managers should encourage employees to take responsibility for their actions and decisions and always act in a manner that benefits the organisation.

When workplace accountability is consistently practised in the workplace, everyone benefits. Here are some of the few things that can be observed.

Quick delivery of results

Workplace accountability helps deliver the results that the organisation requires, which are crucial in sustaining the company’s strength, growth, viability, success, health and well-being. Managers should make every employee understand what kind of results they need to deliver and make them accountable.

Managers should expect every team and individual to deliver results, and they must ensure that each member of the team is aligned and accountable to their goals. They must direct the team’s focus and energy to achieving these goals to promote workplace accountability.

Better employee engagement

Employee engagement is critical to a company’s performance. Gallup research states that a company with engaged employees can outperform their competitors by more than 145%. Employees who embrace accountability will naturally seek out solutions for the company, which is one of the best ways to promote employee engagement.

Accountability can empower employees to take ownership and encourage them to close the gaps between goals and performances. To do that, they seek and enforce innovative solutions in the workplace. It follows that the absence of workplace accountability suggests the lack of innovation and low productivity.

Creation of high-performance teams

To embed accountability into the workplace, managers must establish goals that motivate the team. It also means building trust among team members through encouragement and support, thus empowering the team to celebrate success as one.

When employees embrace accountability and collaborate, there will be more creative solutions to existing problems. Employees who are working towards the same goal actively seek feedback from their managers and peers to determine the gaps in their performance.

Such employees take ownership to close those gaps. They also follow through to achieve the results that the organisation requires. That is how the performance of teams elevates with the integration of accountability in the company’s culture.

Tips to Increase Accountability in the Workplace

Accountability on your team is important. But, navigating around those common roadblocks isn’t always easy.

The good news is that there are a few strategies you can put into play to encourage your team to take responsibility for their own positions, decisions, and mistakes.

1. Recognize Your Own Mistakes (and Openly Discuss Them)

It’s one of the golden rules of leadership: You can’t hold your team to a standard that you don’t abide by yourself. That means one of the most straightforward ways to increase accountability on your team is to lead by example and openly hold yourself accountable.

If you make a decision that ends up being misguided, share that with your team and mention what you’ll do differently next time. If you fall short on a goal, talk about what happened and where you think you personally would have improved.

When 63% of employees reportedly don’t trust their leader, being vocal about your wins and your disappointments (and what you learned from them!) will increase transparency, foster greater trust, and show your team the importance of accepting their own responsibility—and that they’ll be appreciated (rather than punished) for doing so.

2. Involve Employees in the Goal-Setting Process

Imagine that somebody told you to train for a marathon. They didn’t provide any background information about why this goal was important or why it was being assigned to you.

How committed would you be to the training process? And, how likely would be to accept responsibility if marathon day didn’t go well? You’d probably shrug it off and say, “Well, I never understood why I was doing that in the first place.”

It’s a seemingly silly example (after all, hopefully nobody is randomly asking you to run a marathon), but it illustrates an important point. Your team can’t very well be held accountable for visions they don’t understand in the first place. Yet, a whopping 95% of employees admit that they don’t understand the company’s strategy.

As the leader, you need to involve your team members in the goal-setting process—for both personal and team-wide objectives—rather than just handing them down from on high. Doing so boosts their engagement and buy-in, but also gives them the necessary context they need to understand why you’re working toward that finish line at all.

Having that understanding of the bigger picture will help them grasp where they fit in, and as a result, take accountability for their pieces of the puzzle.

3. Make Expectations Clear

Remember when we talked about the fact that it’s hard for employees to hold themselves accountable if they don’t understand what’s expected of them?

That’s why it’s important that you make expectations blatantly clear for everybody on your team. There are tons of different ways that you can accomplish this, but here are a few ideas:

When onboarding new employees, give them a guide that details the responsibilities and requirements of their new roles.

During project kickoffs, share a plan that includes action items, deadlines, and who is responsible for each.

Host frequent team meetings and one-on-ones when you can discuss expectations and progress.

Your team will have a much easier time accepting responsibility for themselves when they clearly understand what benchmarks they need to be achieving.

4. Ensure Necessary Resources

Your employees don’t always shirk accountability just because they’re trying to pass the buck. Sometimes they truly believe that they really aren’t the reason that things didn’t pan out the way they should have.

An accountable team needs to be well supported. That means that all other external requirements should be met. When that’s done, all that’s left is personal accountability.

Does your team have the necessary tools and software to complete this task? Is the timeline actually realistic with their current bandwidth? Do they have access to the expertise and supplemental materials they need?

If those boxes aren’t checked, you’re significantly hindering your team’s ability to accept responsibility—because there’s a slew of barriers that weren’t within their personal control.

Invite commitment

Once the task or objective is clear and understood, you need to make sure that the team member is committed to the standards and expectations. Also, it will help if they understand how doing so will be of benefit to them and the team. As Rick says, “Just because your employees know what to do doesn’t mean they’ll do it. After goals and expectations are set, employees need to commit to achieving them.”

Also remember that, from a motivational perspective, your team member is more likely to commit when they ‘buy-in’ to the goal; when they have context for each assigned task. Team members are more likely to connect to a goal when they understand how this goal fits into the ‘bigger picture’ and why achieving it really matters.

Provide opportunities for skill improvement

Employee development and accountability go hand in hand. Giving team members opportunities to learn, grow, and expand their skills means you’re setting them up to be more productive, engaged team members when it comes to projects. Make sure you have a program in place that encourages training, education, and hands-on work so your team members are always sharpening their skills.

Finding The Right Veterinarian For Your Labrador Retrievers

What Is a Holistic Veterinarian?

Unlike a conventional veterinarian, holistic veterinarians utilize treatments such as acupuncture, aromatherapy, chiropractic practice, and homeopathy in their treatment plans. Holistic veterinarians have traditionally been thought of as only using treatment plans that avoid drugs, surgery, and other conventional therapies. Holistic veterinarians typically have the same training as conventional veterinarians but have sought to learn other modes of treatment that may not be considered main stream. They typically incorporate multi-modal, whole body approaches to treatment and may utilize more alternative methods to help a pet than a conventional veterinarian might pursue.

Many holistic veterinarians avoid vaccines and medications, but a holistic approach to veterinary medicine is gradually being incorporated into many conventional treatments sometimes making the line between conventional and holistic medicine blurry.

Why Choose a Holistic Veterinarian?

Holistic veterinarians are different from conventional veterinarians. Animal health care in general is split. There are conventional vets, holistic vets and, more recently, integrative vets. While many principles are shared among practices, methodologies are often quite different.

Traditional veterinary practice (conventional) is much like what Western medicine is for humans. The focus is aimed at determining what the problem is and then trying to solve it.

While a traditional veterinarian is a professional with your pet’s best interest at heart, he or she is sometimes at a loss as to how to best solve a chronic or undetermined condition. Western medicine is based primarily in pharmacological medicine. Many times a conventional veterinarian will look to prescribe medication that may silence symptoms but not resolve the underlying problem.

Conventional veterinary medicine has become increasingly advanced and a wide array of techniques and options are now available to the average pet owner. Ultrasound, x-ray, MRI, chemotherapy, blood transfusion, and physical therapy are commonly used and, as many of us know, tend to run up the bill.

Take a look at why you should consider a holistic veterinarian for your pet.

Lots of pet owners fall back on traditional veterinarians and chemical treatments for their furry friends, despite the fact that they’ve long abandoned these things for themselves. So, why this disparity?

Perhaps many animal lovers don’t even know about all of the options available to them when it comes to alternative medicine and health. If you’re interested in changing the way you view your pet’s care, a great place to start is by consulting a holistic veterinarian, whose care can offer your animals several health benefits.

1. Preventative care

If you’re like a lot of pet owners, your animal only sees his doctor when he’s hurt or sick. By that point, however, the only thing the vet can do is treat the resulting effect of underlying health issues that cause problems. Integrative care challenges this practice and asks, “Why repair what’s broken again and again if you can prevent it from breaking in the first place?”

Just like practitioners of alternative human medicine, holistic vets seek to help you maintain your pet’s health through daily lifestyle choices. The guiding philosophy of integrative care, both animal and human, is that the body knows how to care for and heal itself. It’s the holistic veterinarian’s role is to help animals do just that. Essentially, your holistic vet would love it if you rarely had to bring your pet in at all.

2. Bedside manner

For human health care workers of any kind, bedside manner is a big deal. If you were to visit a new dentist or optometrist or acupuncturist who didn’t make eye contact, treated you roughly or didn’t respond to your expressions of pain, you almost certainly would never return to that person again. Personal rapport is often a significant part of how we assess medical professionals. Yet, we may not think of that aspect of care as much when it comes to our pets.

What sets holistic vets apart is that they prioritize empathy in both exams and treatments. They aim to give care in a way that results in the least possible stress for your animals. For example, they may sometimes employ methods such as Reiki and massage to calm animals that are stressed. You can appreciate how important this is if you’ve ever seen your dog or cat have an extremely adverse reaction immediately upon entering a traditional vet’s office.

3. Whole health

Get ready to spend a bit more time in your holistic vet’s office than you would normally spend in a traditional vet’s office. This is due to the fact that integrative pet care capitalizes on a much more complete picture of health. A mere physical exam is not early enough to understand your animal’s unique needs – the doctor or practitioner will also need information about your pet’s behavior, lifestyle, diet, social habits and observed irregularities in any of these aspects.

If you think about how in-depth your conversations often are with your own healthcare practitioners, this makes perfect sense. Imagine how strange it would be for a doctor to perform a physical exam without asking you about your lifestyle. An incomplete picture would result in an incomplete diagnosis. Holistic vets know this and make sure to get all the facts before recommending treatments.

4. Treatment variety

Holistic veterinarians have a diverse arsenal of treatment options available to them. Though the idea may seem foreign to you, pet health can be significantly improved through treatments like acupuncture, herbal remedies, chiropractic, massage, and nutritional therapy.

This should come as happy news to owners of pets with chronic issues that leave them in a never-ending cycle of surgeries and pharmaceuticals. Holistic vets do not treat every animal with a one-size-fits-all approach; instead, they assess each case deeply in order to recommend a unique course of non-invasive treatments that seek to cure the underlying causes of illness.

What is Holistic Veterinary Medicine?

Holistic medicine, by its very nature, is humane to the core. The techniques used in holistic medicine are gentle, minimally invasive, and incorporate patient well-being and stress reduction. Holistic thinking is centered on love, empathy, and respect.

In treating an animal, a holistic veterinarian will determine the best combination of both conventional and alternative (or complementary) therapies for a given individual. This mixture of healing arts and skills is as natural as life itself. Therein lies the very essence of the word “(w)holistic.” It means taking in the whole picture of the patient—the environment, the disease pattern, the relationship of pet with owner—and developing a treatment protocol using a wide range of therapies for healing the patient. The holistic practitioner is interested not only in a medical history, but also genetics, nutrition, environment, family relationships, stress levels, and other factors.

Many patients present in a state of “disease.” At this point the holistic challenge lies in the question “why?” A simple-appearing symptom may have several layers of causation. When one area of the body is ill, it can manifest in many different ways. Only when the true cause of the ailment has been found is there the possibility for a lasting recovery.

Through a series of analytic observations and appropriate testing, the goal becomes finding the true root source of the pathology. It is at this point that the most efficacious, least invasive, least expensive, and least harmful path to cure is selected.

Potential Dangers of Holistic Treatment Options

Ignoring science-backed options can be very dangerous to pet owners and their pets if a pet owner chooses to seek holistic treatment options for their pets. For example, vaccinations are proven to be effective means of disease control and prevention and should not be ignored despite the fact that many strictly-holistic veterinarians may not offer them. Completely avoiding the use of necessary medications to treat pain and infection, not having necessary surgery performed in order to avoid anesthesia, and other types of avoidance of necessary traditional veterinary medicine can be very harmful to a pet. Science has produced a variety of options to help us care for our pets and it should not be ignored or avoided. Some holistic options are backed by science but, once again, should be utilized as adjunctive treatments and not the only treatments.

A Great Overview Of Scorpion Problems And Pest Control Service Solutions

Scorpions

What are scorpions?

Scorpions are venomous pests that belong to the class Arachnida along with spiders, ticks, and mites. There are over 1,000 species of scorpions found living worldwide. In our area, two of the most common species are the brown bark scorpion and the desert hairy scorpion.

Scorpions have a segmented body and a long segmented tail that curls up over its body. At the end of their tail is a curved stinger used to inject venom into their prey to subdue them after catching them with their large pincers. Scorpions are excellent hunters, although they rely on touch and vibrations to hunt because, despite having many eyes, these arachnids have poor vision.

Brown bark scorpions are small with adults only growing to about 2 ½ – 3 inches in length. Their body is a brownish-yellow or tan color and their tails are thinner than other scorpion species.

These scorpions are a larger species than the bark scorpion with adults growing to between 5 and 7 inches long. Their bodies are yellow with darker colored markings on their backs. Both their bodies and their tails are covered in small brown hairs.

Are scorpions dangerous?

Scorpions can deliver excruciating stings and the venom most scorpions produce is as potent as bee or wasp venom. In children and people with compromised immune systems, their venom could trigger a severe allergic reaction that requires immediate medical attention. It is also critical to understand that their venom is potent enough that their stings can be fatal to smaller pets. If scorpions are living on your property, call a professional immediately to remove them safely.

Why do I have a scorpion problem?

Scorpions may take up residence in any yard that provides them with suitable sources of shelter and plenty of food and water. Scorpions feed on a wide variety of prey, including insects, spiders, other scorpions, mice, and even small lizards. Properties with high populations of their preferred food sources will most likely have problems with scorpions.

Where will I find scorpions?

Scorpions are nocturnal hunters and hide during the day in dark, cool, quiet places. Outside, scorpions hide behind tree bark, and under things like rocks, logs, fallen trees, woodpiles, and mulch in garden areas. Moving inside through the spaces under doors, torn windows, cracks in the foundation, or openings in exterior walls, scorpions hide in places that mimic their outdoor environments such as basements, crawl spaces, bathrooms (sinks and tubs), and laundry rooms. It is also important to know that scorpions tend to travel in groups. If you find one scorpion in your home or yard, know that there are likely several more lurking around just out of sight.

Occasional Invaders

What are occasional invaders?

The term “occasional invaders” applies to any insect or arthropod that enter properties sporadically throughout the year. These annoying pests invade Spring, homes and businesses whenever the conditions indoors are more favorable than the living conditions of their natural environments.The most common occasional invaders known to be living throughout our area of eastern are centipedes, crickets, earwigs, millipedes, powder post beetles, and scorpions.

Are occasional invaders dangerous?

In most cases, occasional invaders are simply searching for somewhere that provides more favorable living conditions. They aren’t trying to bite, sting, or hurt you in any way. However, some occasional invaders can be dangerous to your health or cause damage to your property. Powder post beetles bore into the hardwood of properties to lay their eggs, which can damage the structure of your home. These small, wood-boring insects are usually found only once their holes are discovered in decks, rafters, and wooden furniture. Scorpions are capable of inflicting painful stings and, while most scorpion stings aren’t fatal, their venom can still cause disturbing side effects. Some symptoms of typical scorpion stings include itching, redness, swelling, and pain around the affected area.

Why do I have an occasional invader problem?

Occasional invaders are so called because they only invade occasionally. These pests move away from their original homes if the living conditions of their natural environments become unfavorable. Centipedes and millipedes often invade properties where they can find excess moisture. Earwigs prefer environments that are damp and dark. Scorpions are known to invade properties close to construction sites, as the loud noises and movements scare scorpions away from their normal habitats and into your lawn. From there, pests will invade through cracks, gaps, and other easy entry points around your foundation.

Where will I find occasional invaders?

There are many places occasional invaders will hide; however, there are a few factors that may encourage certain pests to live in separate areas of your property. Powder post beetles bore into hardwood structures. Scorpions prefer areas with high insect activity. Millipedes and centipedes are attracted to moisture and darkness. Earwigs and crickets thrive in cool, damp, and dark locations. All of these occasional invaders are likely to infest dark, moist areas such as basements, bathrooms, crawlspaces, and wall voids.

Centipedes live outside in very moist locations like behind tree bark, in piles of leaves, in trash cans, under mulch, or under rotting logs. Inside, they take up residence in places that mimic their outdoor locations such as basements, bathrooms, and crawlspaces.

Earwigs live outside in damp, dark areas. They are commonly seen in garden areas, in tree stumps, under landscaping ties, and under mulch. Earwigs that make their way inside to escape extremely hot and dry weather conditions are usually found in basements, bathrooms, and laundry rooms.

Millipedes have high moisture needs and prefer to live in and around areas of decaying vegetation. Millipedes don’t usually survive for very long inside because of their high moisture needs, but when indoors they are usually found in basements and crawlspaces.

Crickets live around trash cans, in garden areas, in rock or woodpiles, under fallen trees, and under mulch. Inside, they take up residence in basements, crawlspaces, and laundry rooms. Crickets are often attracted to homes by outdoor lights and areas of moisture. They commonly move inside through gaps under doors, especially walk-out basement doors.

Powder post beetles are wood-boring insects. These wood-destroying insects attack hardwoods and are common invaders of antique furniture, barn wood, building timbers, and hardwood floors. They are often introduced into homes accidentally in infested pieces of wood and wooden structures.

Scorpions live in landscaping timbers, in rocks or woodpiles, in trashcans, under fallen trees, and under logs. They may move inside when the weather becomes too hot, seeking cool, moist shelter. Attics, basements, bathtubs, and sinks are all places that scorpions commonly call home.

scorpion facts to make your skin crawl

Scorpions become more active in Arizona once the temperature rises above 70 degrees. So you’ll see more scorpions from March through October Outside your home, or inside the house, these creepy-crawly creatures can be found anywhere.

Scorpions are as old as dirt.

Scorpions have been giving people the heebie-jeebies for a very, very, very long time. They have been on earth for more than 400 million years. That’s longer than humans and dinosaurs. And in that time, they haven’t changed a whole lot. Scientists know of about 1,500 species of scorpions, but there could be another 1,000 undiscovered types

Scorpions are tough

This tiny arachnid can go an entire year without food! How is this possible? They have fat layers on their exoskeleton that make them resistant to water loss. They can also slow down their metabolism when food is scarce. If that isn’t impressive, they can also live underwater for up to two days.

Their venom is very potent and can, in some rare cases, kill you. Most healthy adults will survive a scorpion sting, though it is very unpleasant. Expect intense, radiating pain near the sting site. Some people have described it as burning like fire. Numbness and tingling are common symptoms, too.

Scorpions are fierce and ruthless hunters

Scorpions have allegiance to no one! They’ll attack insects, other scorpions and even family members. They are very patient hunters, sitting for hours in one spot, still as water, waiting for victims to come too close. A scorpion will then snatch it’s prey with lightning speed as its tail hammers down with paralyzing blows. Once the scorpion’s meal is motionless, it will be torn apart by the pincers.

The  Beginner’s Guide to Scorpion Control

There are many pests that homeowners and business owners have to deal with, but one that makes people stressed out is the scorpion. Because of the fact that these pests look terrifying and the fact that they can sting, most people find them frightening. They definitely aren’t a pest that you want to find in your home or business!

there are many different species of scorpions, there’s really only one species that is common to the area. This is the striped bark scorpion. While scorpions are sometimes thought of as desert animals that only live in hot dry environments, the striped bark scorpion is actually attracted to cool, damp, and dark areas.

Here is a brief overview of the striped bark scorpion:

This scorpion usually is around 2 inches long.

Like most other scorpions, they have a stinger at the end of their tails.

They also have two claw-like pincers.

They are a cloudy, yellow color, and they have dark stripes running down their backs.

They are venomous.

They are nocturnal.

How Dangerous Are Scorpions?

Many species of scorpion are venomous and their stings can be a cause for medical concern. However, how dangerous and deadly a scorpion is depends on the species. As far as the striped bark scorpion is concerned, they are venomous, and their bites are enough of a concern that you should get medical help if you are stung. However, their stings are rarely fatal. The only time these scorpions can cause medical issues severe enough to cause fatalities are when a person is severely allergic.

Where Do Scorpions Hide?

Because of the fact that scorpions are dangerous, and because they can be so unpleasant to encounter, knowing where they hide is important. By knowing where they hide, you can try to avoid them as much as possible.

Signs Of And How To Tell If A House Has Scorpions

Here are some things to evaluate that may indicate a scorpion problem:

External features such as washes, alleys, golf courses

Poorly maintained landscaping

Vacant or poorly maintained home

Other pest infestations

Excessive spider webs

The most important thing to know is that there are tons of properties for sale that don’t have scorpions. Scorpions are common, but not everywhere. Think of them like solitary wasps from your area. They are present and may get into the house but they mostly mind their own business.

No, scorpions are not found everywhere. They are found in pockets throughout and the surrounding area. Many things contribute to scorpion activity, including factors on and adjacent to the property. We have found extreme scorpion infestations at properties and found no scorpions at locations across the street.

Scorpions are not drawn to your home more than any other place in your yard. In most places, it is rare to get scorpions in your home. Scorpions have poor eyesight and use touch as the main guide to finding habitats. They look for small cracks to crawl in. Usually, they are found in the home by accident unless you have another pest problem that is supplying food for the scorpions. If you are purchasing a vacant home there is a higher probability that scorpions are inside the home

No, scorpions do not nest. Scorpions are not a social species that work together and have a queen, like a bee or an ant. They are individuals fighting for survival. If there are ample food and shelter, scorpions may exist in high densities which can appear to be a nest.

What Can You Do To Customize Your Engine Rebuilding

How do you know if your car needs a new engine?

SIGNS AND SYMPTOMS OF ENGINE DAMAGE

The engine is the heart of your vehicle, giving your car the necessary power it needs to operate correctly. When the engine is damaged, it will significantly affect your car’s performance. Fortunately, you can save yourself time and money by quickly diagnosing engine problems before they cause more harm to your vehicle.

1. The Check Engine light turns on.

Dashboard warning lights are your car’s way of alerting you about problems it detects via its On-Board Diagnostics (OBD) system. If your Check Engine Light (CEL) turns on, you should not dismiss it, as ignoring the problem could cause more damage to your engine (and other parts) over time. There are many different things that can trigger a check engine warning light. Some common reasons for a check engine light appearing include:

  • The Oxygen Sensor needs replacing.
  • The Mass-Airflow Sensor is in need of replacement.
  • The catalytic converter is damaged and in need of replacement.
  • The spark plugs are damaged or worn (causing engine misfires).
  • The fuel cap isn’t on tight enough (a very common, easy to fix issue).
  • many other electronic sensor and actuator related issues
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2. Your car is making strange noises.

A knocking noise coming from your bonnet is a classic sign of a dying engine. This noise could be caused by wear of damage to your engine’s mechanical parts such as pistons, bearings or other moving parts. If you hear this type of noise, you should take your car to a mechanic as soon as possible to prevent further damage. Ignoring this problem could result in your car breaking down on the side of the road and a much greater repair bill (than catching the problem early).

Other noises you should look out for include popping, spitting and backfiring from your exhaust.

3. The engine is running roughly or inconsistently.

Listen to the sound your engine produces while you are driving. Is it consistent? A struggling engine will often stutter, shake or lose power as the revs increase. A few common solutions for this may be to replace the spark plugs, test / replace your ignition coils, check your fuel pressure, clean your Air Flow Meter or give your engine a tune-up.

4. Your car produces oil patches.

If you notice puddles of oil under your vehicle, this is probably a result of a leak in your engine. As the oil depletes, more friction and will occur in your engine, generating excess heat. Oil leaks are common from engine oil seals, and sump plugs / sump plug washers. This can cause damage to engine components over time. We recommend that you get engine leaks sealed as soon as possible.

5. You can smell odours from inside the car.

The smell of a car’s emissions should never be noticeable from inside the vehicle. If you have a strong exhaust smell, of engine fumes or any other strange odours, this could be a sign of engine damage. Don’t ignore strange engine smells and expect them to go away. Get your vehicle checked so that the problem can be diagnosed.

Signs Your Engine Needs to be Replaced

Without proper care and maintenance, your car’s engine will deteriorate quickly. If you add a lot of miles to your car throughout the week, the engine will die even faster. All of that wear and tire will add up over time and bring the engine to a quick death. When the engine reaches this point,  we may need to replace it with a new engine. A dying engine will often give you signs that it’s on its way out. Below are some of the most common symptoms.

1. Large Amounts of Exhaust Smoke

You know how frustrating it can be driving behind someone whose car’s tailpipe has a never-ending supply of smoke coming out. That smoke is a warning sign that the engine is headed toward failure. You can often tell what is wrong with the engine by the color of the smoke. For instance:

●        Blue Smoke: The engine is burning oil.

●        White Smoke: A cooling system is leaking.

●        Black Smoke: The engine is burning too much fuel.

2. Knocking Noises

Although a noisy engine could signify a range of problems, knocking noises usually indicate that the engine bearings are worn out. When the bearings go out, it’s only a matter of time (and not much time) before the engine stops running entirely. If you bring your vehicle to AA Auto Technicians before the bearings go completely bad, you could save your car. We can replace the bearings and look at areas where you may need some further engine repair.

3. Metal Shavings Emerge During Oil Changes

The reason fluids exist in your engine is too keep a dry, hot metal part from scraping when it comes into contact with another dry, hot metal part. Without fluid, a running engine wouldn’t last more than a few hours. When the fluids are missing, grinding metal will create shavings that are scraped off during contact. Metal shavings are telling you that your car only has a few hours or days left to live if you don’t bring your car in so that we find the problem.

4. The Engine Has No Power

When an engine is failing to produce sufficient power, it could be the result of a combination of problems that are occurring at the same time. In essence, the engine is weak and needs significant repair to produce sufficient power. When the engine is that weak, we recommend that you give your car an engine replacement instead of repair. You’re likely to spend less money in the long run.

Ways To Tell If Your Car’s Engine Is Failing

Car’s engine – unsurprisingly – is the most important part of your car, and total engine failure can often mean a catastrophic cost of repair, or can even force you to “total” the car, and buy a new one.

Because of this, most engines are extremely durable, and can easily last hundreds of thousands of kilometers. Engines are usually one of the last components that will fail on a car, so you don’t usually have to be concerned about critical engine failure.

Still, critical engine failure does happen – but there are ways that you can mitigate the damage caused by a failing engine. If you catch engine failure early, you’ll be in a much better position to prevent further damage, and may be able to repair your engine easily, avoiding a costly engine rebuild or a totalling of your vehicle.

Read on to learn about most common signs of engine failure – and what you can do to prevent your engine from breaking down.

Car’s engine – unsurprisingly – is the most important part of your car, and total engine failure can often mean a catastrophic cost of repair, or can even force you to “total” the car, and buy a new one.

Because of this, most engines are extremely durable, and can easily last hundreds of thousands of kilometers. Engines are usually one of the last components that will fail on a car, so you don’t usually have to be concerned about critical engine failure.

Still, critical engine failure does happen – but there are ways that you can mitigate the damage caused by a failing engine. If you catch engine failure early, you’ll be in a much better position to prevent further damage, and may be able to repair your engine easily, avoiding a costly engine rebuild or a totalling of your vehicle.

Your “Check Engine” Light Is On

Despite what some people may tell you, this light doesn’t just come on for no reason. If your “check engine” light is on, you need to check your engine – or have it scoped out by a professional.

Now, your “check engine” light being lit doesn’t necessarily mean your car is in serious danger – it could be a problem as simple as a loose gas cap – but it should be taken into account when assessing the overall health of your car.

And if other lights such as low oil pressure, brake lights, and low oil level lights are on, you should be seriously concerned – and have your car looked at by a professional as soon as possible.

Jerking, Inconsistent Acceleration And Performance

A smoothly-running internal combustion engine delivers just that – smooth performance. You should be able to accelerate ably. Your car should not jerk around, surge forward, or stall when you apply the gas, and if it does, chances are that your engine is well on the way to failure.

Performance issues always signal a deeper problem, and in this case, that problem can be worn out spark plugs, clogged fuel lines, or even failing pistons. You should take your car in for a professional assessment if you are experiencing performance issues.

Poor performance also poses a driving risk – the last thing you want is for it to stall out on the left lane of the highway while running at 120KM/h. So don’t risk your life. If your car isn’t performing well, there’s a reason. If you ignore that reason, you risk a damaged engine and poor driving performance that could lead you into dangerous situations.

Hearing Noises That Shouldn’t Be There

A little bit of extraneous noise from your car is common, especially as it ages. But be on the lookout for noises that are out-of-place and sound dangerous. This can include loud clacking and popping noises, as well as grinding noises. Any unusual noise should be noted, and you should mention it to a mechanic.

Popping and clacking noises can indicate serious issues like premature detonation in your car’s engine block, which can destroy pistons and cause your engine to explode, in rare cases. Grinding noises when shifting gears could signal a damaged or worn-out transmission, and grinding noises upon startup could indicate a damaged starter motor.

So keep an ear out for strange noises. Though they could be as innocuous as a loose fan-belt, they could also signal that you’re on track for catastrophic engine failure. Mention these noises to your mechanic, so that they can check them out and ensure that your car is in good shape.

The Nose Knows – Identify Strange Smells

Cars often smell a bit funky – given the vast amount of complex fluids and emissions they produce – but you should be familiar with how your car smells in daily operation.

Smells like excessively hot oil, burning rubber, exhaust smells in or near the cabin, and so on are hints toward the health of your car.

These smells don’t happen without a reason. That reason could be a melting fuel hose, a damaged drive belt, or a complete failure of the exhaust system that’s causing a catastrophic engine meltdown.

If you start to smell strange scents, pay close attention to your dash and look for “check engine” lights. Check the heat level of your car, and make your way to a mechanic. Don’t risk continuing to drive a car that gives off strange scents – these are sure signs of component failure.

Top Tips To Get Your Home Remodeling

Home Design Trends That Will Rule

If you’re looking to redecorate or renovate your home in 2019, you’ve come to the right place. We searched through data, browsed hundreds of home design photos, reread past articles and interviewed professional designers to bring you this collection of materials, colors and other home design ideas that you can expect to see a lot more of in 2019. Which will you bring home?

Full-tile backsplash feature walls. Attention-grabbing backsplash tile is nothing new in well-designed kitchens. We’ve seen colorful geometric and quirky patterns show up in a lot of kitchens for years now.

This idea aligns with some broader trends as well. The 2018 Kitchen Trends Study shows that half of homeowners are opening up their kitchens to interior spaces, and that the most popular kitchen layout is the L-shape. This openness means the kitchen is always on display and therefore in need of a good focal point. A full-tile feature wall draws your eye in, whether through shimmer and texture with something like a simple white subway tile or through bold color and pattern as with a Moroccan design.

Window walls. Cabinet design has become much more efficient in recent years. Deep drawers on perimeter and base cabinets that bring items at the back of the cabinets out into the open means that fewer kitchen cabinets are needed overall. In response, designers and homeowners have shifted to removing upper cabinets on at least one kitchen wall, often to create an expansive window wall that can deliver views and lots of natural light.

Wood on wood (on wood). Many of the most popular kitchen photos in 2018 featured lots of wood, and it’s easy to see why. Wood adds loads of warmth and character, and it pairs well with whites and grays, two of the most popular colors for kitchen cabinets and walls.

Readers Share Stories of How They Survived a Remodel

When you renovate your home, one of the big decisions you’ll face is whether to move out or stay while work is underway. Most homeowners and pros would agree that moving out best preserves your peace of mind, but sometimes this option just isn’t feasible.

The Upside of Staying in Temporary Housing

While a rented home or apartment may be the first option you consider, many readers found that other alternatives were better for their situations. Reader commented that renting an apartment, house or Airbnb for six to eight weeks would have been costlier than paying for an extended-stay hotel. “We are paying $60/night. The room isn’t fancy, but it has a kitchen and allows pets,”

renting an apartment or house, and staying with family during her 10-month-long remodel. “We ultimately decided to buy a little trailer and went south for the winter, returning in the spring,”

actually bought the house across the street. “With multiple dogs and the high cost of renting, we decided to use about half of the savings we’d set aside for our renovation and put it toward purchasing a temporary house,”

found a guesthouse through the Nextdoor app to rent for just three weeks. Something very short-term could be an option if you want to get away during just the toughest phases of the remodel. “It was 5 minutes away from our house which worked out great!”

How to Survive a Kitchen Remodel

So you’ve decided to remodel your kitchen. Congratulations, and I cannot wait to see pictures of it when it’s done. But in the meantime, you need to know what to anticipate and how to handle it.

Home remodeling pros and those who have been through a kitchen remodel agree that the best way to get through it is to flee and stay somewhere else. But this option is not always viable, so here is what to expect if you have to live in your house through a remodel and how to prepare for it.

Be Fully Aware of What’s Going to Happen

It’s going to be messy. It’s going to be noisy. For about a full week, you’re going to walk into a gutted kitchen expecting to turn on the coffee maker and then realize that you are barefoot in a construction zone.

There will likely be frustrating delays and unexpected change orders. Unable to fix anything else for breakfast, you may get addicted to Pop-Tarts. You will find yourself rinsing a dish in a small powder room sink or a bathtub. You won’t be able to imagine wanting to dine at a restaurant again, and you’re going to feel the hit of all that dining out on your wallet.

Concentrate on letting go of control because if you try to hold on to it, you’re toast. This would be a good time to take up yoga or learn to meditate. In addition to helping you find a calm place mentally, it’s a great excuse to get out of the house. Find some good classes or apps and head to the park.

Where Did You Stay During Your Remodel?

One decision you may face during a remodel is where to stay while your home is under construction: in it or somewhere else. Either way, we want to hear your remodel war stories.

Did you stay in a camper? If you’ve got room on your property for a camper, you can stay close to your remodel and monitor its progress. But for some, going through a renovation close up may be only slightly less stressful than living amid the renovation work.

Did you stay in someone’s guest room? Friends or neighbors may be kind enough to offer temporary housing during the toughest stretches of a renovation. If that was the case for you, we want to know how this turned out. Was it a good idea in the end?

Did you rent an apartment? If you got away from the inconveniences of your renovation by living in a rented apartment, please tell us what you learned. What’s important to look for in a place to stay? What do you recommend bringing along? And how do renovators find a place willing to let them stay if construction timelines shift?

Whether you stayed in your home through a renovation or found temporary quarters elsewhere, share your stories in the Comments. If you have a good photo that illustrates your experience, please share it too!

What to Know About Bamboo Floors

If you’re searching for durable flooring with an organic look, bamboo may be an option worth considering for your home. This attractive material is relatively affordable and appreciated for its eco-friendly qualities. Here are some essential facts to know about distinctive bamboo floors.

What Is Bamboo Flooring?

Bamboo is a giant woody grass that grows chiefly in the tropics, so technically bamboo flooring is made of grass. This material goes through several stages to become hard, eye-catching flooring. First the stalk is split into strips and boiled to rid it of any insects, pests or grime. Next the bamboo strips go through a process called carbonization that involves subjecting the bamboo to high-pressure steam or heat. Carbonizing darkens the bamboo, giving it a warm and rich coloration; the longer it is carbonized, the darker its color. Some bamboo floors don’t go through carbonization, so their natural light color stays intact. These lighter bamboo floors can be stained.

After carbonization — or just boiling for natural-colored strips — the bamboo gets dried in a kiln. The strips are then glued together to form planks in one of three styles: horizontal, vertical or strand woven (more about these styles later). The final step involves milling a tongue-and-groove system into the planks for a snug fit during installation. A clear coating is then applied for protection against wear and damage.

3 Types of Bamboo Flooring

1. Horizontal bamboo is the most common type of bamboo flooring and is pieced together so that it shows a prominent grain pattern with knuckles, which look somewhat like knots, where the bamboo stalks come together. This style is most similar to bamboo’s natural form in its jungle habitat. If you’re looking for a cozy, eclectic look, horizontal bamboo is your best bet.

2. Vertical bamboo has a uniform linear appearance. Unlike horizontal bamboo, which showcases the wider surface of a bamboo stalk, vertical bamboo involves gluing together the narrow edges of the stalk (like books set side by side on a library shelf). The result is a more streamlined look suitable for modern spaces.

3. Strand woven bamboo features minimal variation, which gives it a contemporary characteristic. This type of flooring is made from shredded bamboo fibers mixed with resins and pressed into rock-hard planks. The strands are interlocked, making this the hardest (and most expensive) type of bamboo flooring. Strand woven bamboo’s flowing grain patterns make it a suitable choice for modern spaces.

Sizes of Bamboo Flooring

Whichever type you choose, bamboo flooring typically comes in lengths ranging from 3 to 6 feet and widths from 3½ to 7½ inches. Its thickness typically ranges from one-half inch to five-eighths inch.

Roof Repair Contractors

How can I temporarily cover a hole in my roof?

What is the best way to temporarily patch my roof?

Tomorrow I’m going to be taking two chimneys out of my house. They are both brick and mortar chimneys. Both of them stick out the middle of my roof — i.e. neither is on the side of the house. I’ve got an air hammer and will be removing them brick-by-brick.

Once I get the chimneys below the roof, I’m going to want to temporarily patch the roof. I’ve seen online how to tarp a roof. But it looks like you have to nail the tarp to the roof. Doesn’t that damage the integrity of the roof? I wonder if I could just use that tacky felt paper and cover it for a day or so.

One of the problems is that since I live in Seattle, it will likely be raining tomorrow — and for the rest of the week — and likely for the rest of the month. So I need something that will give me some immediate coverage until I can get a roofer out.

The Best Methods for Patching Holes in Your Roof

Imagine for a moment that you have just arrived home after a windstorm and notice water dripping from the ceiling. Upon further investigation, you discover that a tree limb has fallen and punched a hole in the roof. There are some things you can do yourself to keep things under control until the permanent repairs can be made.

Call for Help

One of the first things you will want to do is to call your local home improvement contractor for help. The sooner this is done, the sooner the repairs can be made that are done permanently and correctly. The contractor may be able to advise you of some temporary measures that can be taken until someone arrives to make the repairs. Remember that temporary repairs are just that: temporary. For that reason, you don’t want to delay having a professional do the permanent repair so you won’t have to worry about it leaking again.

Safety

When attempting to patch a hole in the roof yourself, the number one thing to keep in mind is safety. Doing work on a roof by nature puts you at risk of injury due to falling, either falling off the roof or falling from the ladder while trying to access the roof. Make sure the ladder is stable and secure by checking it before climbing. Also make sure enough of the ladder is sticking up beyond the edge of the roof to provide a hand hold for getting on and off the roof.

Never try to get onto the roof while the storm is still going on. There are too many dangers. You could be struck by lightning or blown off the roof by the wind. You could also be struck by another falling tree limb. In addition, while the roof is wet, it will be slicker than it is when it is dry.

Instead of trying to get onto the roof while the rain is still going on, you should do what you can to minimize the damage from below. This includes putting pails or other containers under the leak to catch the water. You might need to move furniture or other items that are not permanently installed out of the way.

Cover the Hole

The easiest way to keep water from coming through a hole in the roof until it can be fixed is to cover it. This can be done with the use of a tarp. Simply lay the tarp across the hole and place things around the edge of it to keep the wind from blowing it off. If possible, you should place the tarp in such a way that the upper edge of it overlaps the ridge of the roof. This will help keep water from running down the roof, under the tarp and into the hole.

Patch the Hole

If you are a bit handier with using tools for projects around the house, there are some things you can do to patch the hole. The shingles can be removed from the area adjacent to the hole. The hole can then be plugged with using wood and roofing tar, or you can purchase a kit that is especially designed for this purpose. However, either of these methods can be quite involved so you might want to leave this to the professionals.

How to Fix a Hole in the Roof

A hole in the roof invites disaster–from water damage on drywall and flooring to animal infestation. Temporary patch jobs are only effective until the rain starts. Repairing a roof should be a top priority for any homeowner. Handyman types who are comfortable on a roof can use basic carpentry skills to make this home repair without hiring a roofing contractor.

Step 1

Wear safety goggles and rubber-sole work shoes. Use an extension ladder with the third rung against the eave to access the roof. Carry tools in a tool belt.

Step 2

Take up the shingles over the hole. Slip a pry bar under the shingles above the affected area to pull out the nails holding the damaged shingles. Use hammer claws to help remove all nails from the shingles over the hole.

Step 3

Prepare the plywood or sheathing around the hole. If the hole is a cutout for a vent, the wood may be ready for repair. A hole from tree damage will be oddly shaped and splintered. Use a reciprocating saw to cut a square or rectangle shape around the hole and remove all splintered wood. Cut the plywood in half between the rafters if the hole is big enough.

Step 4

Patch the wood with plywood of the same thickness. Install a 2-by-4 brace under a small hole that extends three times the width of the opening. Hold it against the inside of the plywood by pulling up through the hole while driving deck screws through the roof and into the brace. Use a jigsaw to cut a rounded shape from the plywood to the exact size of the hole. For large patches, nail 2-by-4 braces inside the existing rafters with 10-penny nails. Replace a plywood section with new plywood cut to fit the exact size. Nail the plywood sheet section to the braces with 8-penny nails. Cover the wood borders and bracing screws on top of any roof patch with roofing tar.

Step 5

Lay roofing felt or tar paper over the missing shingles. Slip the top of the paper in under the flaps of the shingles above the repair. Lay the upper sheet of tar paper 2 inches over the lower if two sheets are needed to cover the section. Nail tar paper on with roofing nails over every 18 inches of the perimeter and along any overlapping sheets.

Step 6

Lay new shingles over the repair section. Remove the adhesive cover strip and lay the bottom row of shingles first. Use three roofing nails across the horizontal center line to secure each shingle. Cover the lower row with the flaps from the next row up. Tuck the straight edges of the uppermost row under the remaining shingles and nail them under the flaps. Dab roofing tar over each fresh nail for added water protection.

Temporary hole-in-roof fix

Was your roof severely damaged in a recent storm? If strong storm winds ripped up your roof shingles, the rest of your home is at risk from leaking water or additional wind damage. A quick and cost-efficient fix is to simply cover the damaged area of your roof with a durable plastic tarp. Plastic tarps come in a variety of sizes; because of its inexpensiveness it’s a good idea to buy plastic tarps in different sizes. That way you’ll have different tarp options depending on the damage size of your roof.

One of the most durable types of tarps comes in polyethylene weaves with border piping and heat-sealed seams. We usually don’t recommend nailing anything to your roof, because the possible damage made to your shingles. But in the event where you need an emergency fix where you’ll eventually reinstall shingles in a roof repair, nailing is a necessary option for keeping covering a large hole on your roof with a tarp. Nail down the edges  and if you can, cover the nail heads with roofing cement to prevent rain from entering your home.

Temporary shingle fixes

Have any of your shingles been damaged to the point where they’re loose, curling, or even ripped off of your roof? You can use a heat gun to soften and then straighten out any curling shingles, or use high quality glue to glue down to your roof loose or ripped off shingles.

Have any 2-inch 6D galvanized nails? Another temporary fix for loosened shingles is to nail them down securely with your 6D nails. Make sure that once all nails have been securely put in place on your roof to cover the nail heads with roofing cement. This ensures that the storm or wind that originally loosed the shingles won’t loosen the nails.

Don’t have 6D nails but you do have roofing cement? Help seal up your roof by applying the roofing cement to any damaged or cracked shingle joints, or to your roof flashing to help seal the roof.

Custom Home Builder And Your Roof

What to Know Before meeting with a builder?

You’ve likely heard the cliché “new year, new you” more than a few times already this year. But what about your living arrangements? As people flock to gyms striving to get in shape and sign up to diet plans with the intent of eating better in 2019, it’s important to realize that where you live plays a major role in your overall well-being.

Psychologists assert that how you view your living space (and how comfortable you are in your home and neighborhood) makes a powerful impact on emotional and mental health. That’s why it’s essential to find accommodations that match your unique desires and requirements, and complement your values and ambitions. 

Thankfully, there’s a simple and straight-forward way to accomplish all of those goals this year. Read on to discover how building a new custom home could be a life-changing experience, and how you can get started with the process today.

Know Your Wants and Needs

Maybe you’ve always wanted a flex room/multi-purpose space where you can exercise, accommodate guests, work or study, and accomplish all the tasks you’ve set out for yourself. Perhaps you’re never more at home than when you’re cooking or baking up a storm in the kitchen. Or, you might seek a relaxing outdoor space where you can unwind after a long day, and reconnect with nature.

Bring all your “must haves” to a meeting with your home builder. This sets the stage for what will eventually become the high-quality custom home you’ve always dreamed about.

Collect Documentation

It’s a good idea to have at least a basic framework of long-term plans for your custom home, including financial considerations. In addition, any other material you can provide helps your custom home builders get on the same page with the vision for your future residence. So, those interesting Pinterest items you’ve been browsing (along with other images and ideas) are certainly relevant during this stage.

In addition, if you have floorplans you’ve been considering or other essential inclusions for your custom home, this is an ideal moment to bring up and present your thoughts and ideas.

Prepare Your Questions

As you perform research, it’s wise to think of specific questions for your home builder. Don’t be afraid or hesitant to present these topics or share your concepts. This is the only way to ensure that everyone is on the same page, and shares a unified vision for your custom home.

Popular questions include:

  • How long have you been in business? How many homes have you built during that time?
  • How are you different from other builders? Have you won awards or received major accolades? Do you have customer testimonials?
  • Who will oversee my custom home construction? Who is the point of contact?

You’ll likely have your own specific questions to ask. It will also be helpful if you can provide answers and personal preference details to your builder. That includes information concerning:

  • what you most like/dislike about your current residence
  • desired rooms and living space
  • preferred activities and “must haves”
  • budget, timeframe, and other details
  • building/design preferences (green elements, energy-efficiency)

Any information or insight you can provide during the first meeting with your builder will help ensure the accuracy and efficiency of your custom home building project.

What to expect:

It’s one thing to plan your home from the comfort of your computer, poring over an endless stream of Pinterest boards, blog posts, and spreadsheets. But the day inevitably comes when it’s time to prepare for your first face-to-face meeting with a homebuilder. Obviously, everyone wants to feel prepared for their first homebuilding consultation. It’s natural to want to start off on the right foot. By now you probably have a pretty good idea of who you want to work with. You’ve done your homework and settled on a homebuilder that checks all your boxes and has already demonstrated they’re easy to work with.

It’s time to take action and schedule your initial consultation. Here’s what you need to know.

GOALS OF YOUR FIRST MEETING?

Typically, what are the goals of your first in-person consultation with a homebuilder? Well, that depends entirely on how far along you are, but the main goal should simply be to establish what you want. Typically, there are two distinct scenarios that play out in our office, based on whether or not a customer arrives with house plans in hand.

SCENARIO 1: “I HAVE MY PLANS!”

Great, this means we can jump right into discussions of finishes, materials, and costs. In order to put together an initial estimate, we’ll begin nailing down details such as …

  • Exterior Finishes: Do you prefer brick, stone, vinyl?
  • Foundation-Type: Will we be building your home on top of a basement, crawlspace, or slab?
  • Interior Finishes: We’ll want to determine a laundry-list of interior selections including cabinet-types, floor-coverings, lighting and plumbing fixtures, window and door designs, fireplaces, and trim packages.
  • Homebuilding Extras: Will you be expanding on your home’s footprint with the addition of decks, porches, and/or patios?

SCENARIO 2: “I DON’T HAVE MY PLANS.”

Don’t worry, most of our customers come to us with a general idea of what they want, but most look to us to help them choose and refine a design that fits their needs. If this is the case, expect your homebuilder to start asking questions — lots and lots of questions.

  • What size home do you need? How much livable square-footage?
  • How many baths, bedrooms?
  • Can we find an existing plan that fits your needs?
  • What home layouts fit your style and plans?
  • What’s your budget?
  • Within your budget, which trim-packages do you like?
  • Do you need purpose-specific rooms?
  • Will you build on a slab, basement, or crawlspace?

The list goes on.

In this scenario, there might be two or three meetings prior to building out a quote, depending on whether or not your builder has a plan that perfectly fits your needs.

Things to bring when meeting with your builder

Your first meeting with your home builder can be a little intimidating, especially if, like most people, this is your first time building a home. You know this is the person you want to build your home, but how does that process start, and how can you be sure you’ll be getting exactly the home you want? It all starts with that first meeting. It’s a good idea to put a little prep work in before you get to the meeting, so you know what you’re looking for, and you can tell your builder your vision. To make it a little easier on you, here’s a list of 5 things you should bring with you to that initial meeting with your builder:

Your budget

The first thing any builder is going to want to know is how much you’ll be spending. It’s important to have your budget all figured out before you even go into that meeting. You and your builder both will make all future decisions based on the budget you’re working with, so it’s important that you know exactly how much you can spend by the time you meet your builder.

Potential floorplans

If you have ideas about potential floorplans, or if you found your ideal floorplan online, definitely bring it to that first meeting. This will help give your builder a better idea of what you’re looking for, and they’ll be able to tell you if the floorplan you want will fit into the budget you have. Additionally, if you have pictures representing the type of exterior architecture you’d like to incorporate into your new home, it’s a good idea to bring those in too. The more information you have for your builder, the easier it will be for them to give you an estimate on the home you want.

Likes and dislikes about your current home

Since you’re not a builder, it can be difficult to put into words exactly what you’re looking for. That’s where the list comes in. When you write down all of the things you don’t like about your current home, along with the things you love, it gives your builder room to come up with a few different solutions to fit your needs. From there, you can pick the option you like the most, and that best fits into your budget.

A point of contact

It’s really important that you designate one person to be the builder’s first point of contact. Just as you’d like one person to ask any questions that you might think of, it’s helpful to your builder to have a go-to person to call with their questions. Typically, this is the person that knows everything about the type of floorplan you want, the fixtures you like, and the type of wood flooring you’re looking for. This definitely doesn’t mean you can’t consult your spouse on decisions, it’s just that having one number to call makes your builder’s job a lot easier, and it makes the process go a little quicker.

Relevant paperwork

Finally, you should bring any relevant paperwork with you to your initial meeting with your builder. This includes things like sketches, pictures, and county records of the lot you’ve purchased or intend to build on. If you’ve been pre-approved for a loan, it’s a good idea to bring a copy of that with you as well. This shows your builder that you’re serious about the project, and affirms the budget you’re working with.

Tips On Finding A Really Good Wedding Photographer

Things Wedding Photographers Can Do To Make It Through COVID-19

Entrepreneurship is risky to being with, but few business owners are equipped to handle the effects of a pandemic. Nonetheless, 2020 began with the spread of the coronavirus, and it’s hitting self-employed workers especially hard. Unfortunately, wedding photographers, as well as the entire event industry, are in that number.

While no one can erase what’s happening right now, we can work toward a better future – one that keeps your wedding photography business strong despite the COVID-19 pandemic. Keep reading for advice on retaining your bookings, managing your expenses, and helping others do the same.

ENCOURAGE YOUR CLIENTS TO POSTPONE/RESCHEDULE INSTEAD OF CANCELING

As a business owner, your first goal is to assure clients that keeping their booking is a low-risk act, even during a pandemic. So before they reach out with cancelation requests, give them the option to reschedule.

This gets people to slow down and realize they have more options than they think. Naturally, most people will want to cancel everything except their streaming services. But if you remind them that they’ve already paid their photography deposits, and rescheduling is as simple as selecting a date, you can maintain your hard-earned bookings. And speaking of bookings, continue to accept them if you can. These weddings can be shot in the future, and you can give clients the option to delay deposits due to COVID-19.

IF YOU STILL PLAN TO SHOOT/DO BUSINESS, FOCUS ON LIMITED-CONTACT SERVICES

While large weddings are out of the question right now, weddings photographers can still make money elsewhere. All it takes is a willingness to explore new revenue streams.

Real Bride Diary: Why is Choosing a Wedding Photographer So Hard!

what’s worse, despite being as involved as I in almost every other aspect, this was one area where said he’d leave it up to me. After all, looking at wedding pictures is literally what I do for a living!

In today’s instalment of my Real Bride Diary, I’m going to share how we came to choose our awesome wedding photographers (but how it’s still a choice that keeps me awake late at night!)

Choosing a wedding photographer meant I had to take off my blog editor hat, and stick on my civilian bride one! You see as a wedding blog editor, I look for certain things when it comes to the images I choose for a real wedding. I want close-up details, romantic portraits, long vertical images (so they stand out on Pinterest) but most importantly, it’s all about inspiration

I’ve written before about how I feel a silly pressure to have an ‘extra special’ wedding because of my job, and that extends to the photography more than anything else. I had a lot of anxiety about choosing a photographer because I felt like our pictures would be scrutinised more than others.

When you look back on your own pictures, in two, ten, or thirty years time, chances are you’ll gloss over those so-Instagram-worthy-right-now pictures of your dress billowing in the breeze, your just-right table styling, or your carefully chosen Etsy cake topper.

TIPS WHEN LOOKING FOR YOUR WEDDING PHOTOGRAPHER

Urgh, so many choices, so many options! I don’t even know what half of it means?’ Here’s a guide to help you to find the photographer who’s right for you, what questions to ask and what to be aware of. So I’m going to give you some tips and help finding your perfect wedding photographer but I won’t be talking finances, everyone has different budgets and I’m not about to open that can of worms!

So let’s go shopping, we’re going to assume that you already like their photos;

1.  Can you see real wedding examples, not just a few hand picked images? If a photographer is at a wedding for 12 hours then they’d be hard pushed to not get a couple of awesome shots, but you’re going to want consistency.

2.  Read their ‘about me’ page, do they sound like the type of person you want at your wedding or do they sound like they might just clash with your ideas for your big day. In our defence it is tricky to not sound like you think the sun shines out your arse when you’re trying to promote yourself!

3.  Where are they based and what are their travel fee’s? Some photographers insist on over-night stays depending on your location. Which if they’re perfect for you is totally worth it

4.  Will they meet up with you before taking the booking? Can you at least FaceTime them? When I meet my couples they think that I’m there to show off my work, but I’m they’ve already seen my work, they’re just making sure I’m not weird. Well not too weird anyway.

5.  How legitimate is their business, will they give you a contract, do they have public liability insurance? Basically do you trust that they will still be trading by the time you get married.

6.  What rights do you have over your photographs? If they’re telling you that they’re copyright free then they don’t understand how photographic copyright works. What you should be looking for is a print release along with your high res photos

7.  Do they have any awards? Now I’m gonna cause some controversy with this next statement but unless the awards are from Fearless Photographers, Wedisson Awards, Masters of Wedding Photography, A camera brand back award (like Sony etc) and a handful of others then they’re not really awards, they’re just paid-for-titles.

8.  Remember, having two photographers doesn’t necessarily mean more photographs. In some cases it can mean a lower quality of photographs, are they both awesome photographers or is one just a glorified bag holder? Find out about the second photographer, see their work, not just the work of the first photographer.

9.  Are they available for your date? There’s no harm in messaging a load of photographers for quotes and seeing how they get back to you. You’ll probably get a personalised response which will give you even more of an indication of how well they’ll fit into your big day

WHY A WEDDING PHOTOGRAPHY CONSULTATION IS A MUST!

As a bride, one of the most important aspects of your day will be your photographer.  And choosing the right one is vital – after all, your wedding photographs will be one of the few things you have to remember your day!   I’ve already shared a bit about how to choose a great photographe

so now you’re at the point of needing to decide who will be your photographer.  Many brides make their decision based solely on information gathered online from websites or by comparing listed prices.  But you are missing out on one very important step in the process.  Having a consultation with your photographer is very important!  I recommend that every bride makes sure they set aside time for a consultation with any vendor they are choosing for their day, but in particular with your wedding photographer.

View a FULL wedding gallery, not just the highlights.

Many photographers have highlights galleries on their website, showing prospective brides the best of the best, typically from a large number of weddings they’ve shot recently.  In order to get a more complete view of their work and what you can expect on your wedding day, it’s important to view a FULL wedding day gallery, particularly if they do not have one on their website.  (You can view several of my full wedding galleries here)  If these images are the same quality you’ve seen elsewhere in their marketing, that’s good!  But if you’re noticing a lack of consistency, or worse yet the photographer lacks the experience or is new to weddings and doesn’t have a full wedding to show you, those are all warning signs.  It’s also a good opportunity to ask to view a gallery for an event similar to yours – say you’re having an indoor ceremony in a very dark church, you’ll want to make sure your photographer has the skills (and equipment!) to handle this!

Look for authentic and genuine photos you LOVE and CONSISTENCY!

While an online portfolio gives you a good idea of what to expect from a photographer in terms of general style, viewing a few albums in person helps you get a better sense for how a couple blossoms on camera.  What does that even MEAN, Jen?  You want to look natural on your wedding day, not stiff and awkward.  Can your photographer capture emotions and interactions in a way that is genuine?  Is there a mix of smiles and joy from real moments, or is everything forced?  Does everyone look like a deer caught in the headlights, or are their natural interactions between the bride and groom in their photos?  Is their gallery full of real weddings of real couples, or is it mostly styled shoots and models?  Do you see the same poses over and over, or is there variety?  Are the images sharp and consistent in editing and style throughout the wedding AND in multiple wedding albums?  I know this is probably a lot to remember, but it is SO important!  If your photographer can’t demonstrate consistency in ALL areas, than you are entering into the unknown and will have no idea what to expect for your images or on your wedding day.  Make sure you can envision yourself in those albums and those photos, that you really LOVE the look, and that the look and style is CONSISTENT –  because that’s what you’re probably going to look like in your wedding photos too!

Make sure you personalities MESH well.

You don’t need to be best friends with your wedding photographer (that’s why you have a maid of honor!) but you should definitely like your wedding photographer!  And while their online about me page probably does a decent job of sharing some information, you definitely want to meet in person!  When you meet for your consultation, does the photographer seem excited by your ideas and vision for your wedding?  Can you envision this person interacting with your friends and family throughout the day?  This person will be with you for most of your day, so it’s important that you aren’t irritated by them!  Your photographer needs to be both creative and understand light, but also have enough social capital to direct guests and family members as needed, yet also put you at ease during portrait time.  They need to coax out authentic smiles when it matters, yet be unobtrusive when it’s critical.  Your photographer needs to know how to speak professionally and efficiently to guests and vendors, yet also be enjoyable to be around.  Take note during your consultation if your photographer doesn’t stand up to your standards, and make sure you hire someone that is qualified and talented AND that you like.

HOW TO SURVIVE YOUR FIRST WEDDING CONSULTATION

WEDDING PHOTOGRAPHY CONSULTATION

As a photographer and small business owner, our business, brand and our personal identity are endlessly linked. There is no big corporate logo to hide behind and no sales or public relations team to handle all your interactions with clients. It is just you out there, trying to make a good impression.

MY PLACE

Pros: I’m in control of every aspect from the décor to the music that is playing. I can offer the clients drinks and snacks and make them feel at home.

Cons: I have two (pretty loud) dogs, that cannot be around during the consultation. That, and I have to clean my house (or at least the first floor) pretty heavily before guests can come over.

THEIR PLACE

Pros: They have the opportunity to show me aspects of their wedding such as their dress or color scheme. Being at their place also makes them feel 100% comfortable, which puts them in a good mindset to make decisions.

Cons: I have no control over any of the settings. Maybe I prefer sitting at a table, but they lead me to a couch instead. Your ability to be flexible is the key to success here.

COFFEE SHOP

Pros: I can arrive early and choose the best table. I can offer to buy them drinks, all while supporting a good local business.

Cons: Sometimes my clients feel awkward letting me buy their drinks, so they decline, and I am left sipping my drink alone (you can’t meet at a coffee shop, use their business space, and not buy something).

SAMPLE WEDDING ALBUMS

I bring one wedding album, one parent album, and one mini album. Do not let anyone tell you can’t book a wedding with only one sample album. Lies… all of it. I’ve been using one album for the past 2+ years, and have never had an issue, nor had anyone ask to see another one.