Why Designers Love Epoxy Flooring

The Best Epoxy Contractor

It can be a real struggle trying to find the right people for any job, let alone when looking for a contractor for something specialized like epoxy flooring. The last thing any of us wants is to make the wrong choice and wind up with a subpar and failing floor and money down the drain as a result of a poorly performed job.

Having a new epoxy floor installed is a big commitment, of both time and money, so a lot of thought and consideration should go into finding the right epoxy contractor for you and your needs.

How Much Experience Do They Have?

This is an easy one and should be relatively simple to verify. It goes without saying that you’ll want to find someone with years of experience, and be sure to verify this. It’s not too uncommon to find some contractors exaggerating their experience

Do They Have Full Insurance Coverage and Bonding?

Not every state requires licensing for epoxy contractors, but insurance and bonding is still a must. At a minimum, you’ll want to ensure that any epoxy contractor you’re looking to hire to install your new epoxy floor in your home or business has general liability insurance and workers compensation. This projects the workers as well as you if someone gets hurt or the work isn’t performed well.

Check Their References

Your boss checked your references when hiring you for your job, so why shouldn’t you check the references of any contractor you’re considering hiring? Looking back to previous customers or employers is a sure-fire way to see just how satisfied former clients have been with the services they provide. This step may take a little effort on your part but it’s worth it to make sure you’re choosing a company that’s reliable, capable of doing what they say, and provides results that last years.

Choosing the right flooring system for your business environment

What to consider when choosing Commercial and Industrial Flooring?

There are many different options to consider when choosing commercial or industrial flooring. You will need to take into consideration a number of different factors. The temperature of your working environment can play a major role. How much foot traffic and whether or not the floor will be used to transport goods is also a major point to consider. You need to be sure that your new floor is the right thickness and made of the right material for your needs. Commercial kitchen flooring, for instance, has very different characteristics than healthcare flooring.

Frequently Asked Questions

Our experts have put together a few responses to common questions to help you make the right decision when it comes to choosing the new floor that will best suit your business.

What is the budget for your new floor system?

As always in the business world, money is the first and perhaps most important consideration. Making a decision about how much you want to spend will greatly influence the type of flooring you install. Generally, the thickness and the type of floor system will dictate the price of the work. Make sure that you set enough funds aside to provide for a safe, functional and practical floor that will be adequate for the needs of your business.

What will your floor system be exposed to?

Commercial and industrial flooring needs to be able to withstand much more than just day-to-day foot traffic. Does your business regularly deal with food or chemicals? Are there high traffic needs or forklift traffic? What temperature is the working environment? Will the floor be subjected to mechanical impact or high abrasion? These questions will help you decide the floor system that suits your needs.

Will your floor system need to last a lifetime or just a short time?

Another aspect that you will need to keep in mind is the longevity of your flooring. Is your flooring going to be a short term investment or a long term requirement? There’s no point in investing a large amount of money into a floor that will only be temporary!

EPOXY FLOORING SYSTEMS

WHY CHOOSE AN EPOXY FLOOR?

Epoxy coatings are nearly indestructible and are a superior choice for many commercial and industrial settings. Epoxy floors are seamless, nonporous, stain-resistant and inhibit growth of bacteria, mold and fungi. Easy to clean, durable, versatile, cost-effective, safe and attractive, it is easy to see why this is one of our most popular surface solutions.

Proper installation is critical for getting the best results out of your epoxy coating. Our trained, skilled workforce will prepare the surface by conducting moisture tests to first identify any potential problems that could cause a coating to fail. We have multiple types and sizes of equipment at our disposal to shotblast, diamond grind and scarify the existing surface to reach a proper concrete surface profile. Finally our certified technicians apply the epoxy coating.

HOW WILL MY EPOXY FLOOR LOOK?

There are many texture and color options available, ensuring your epoxy floor will match your decorative tastes. You can choose a smooth epoxy finish or you can add quartz or vinyl flake broadcast to the finish. Decorative chips come in several sizes in a variety of color blends. Clients may also design their own color blend with the wide selection of colors available.

Stateline Surface Solutions is here to direct you to the best solution for your flooring needs. Please contact us for a free quote. We will work around your schedule to minimize any disruption to your business.

LEARN THE EPOXY-COAT DIFFERENCE

We know that you have many choices when selecting a Epoxy Flooring coating, but not all coatings yield the same quality of results like Epoxy-Coat. Meticulously engineered and formulated by a team with over 35 years of experience in concrete floor coating, our products are manufactured in Michigan with top notch components, so you’ll only have to “Do it once. Do it with Performance!”

Unlike cheaper products at the big box stores, Epoxy Coat won’t get damaged and won’t break down, saving you big bucks down the road.

DURABILITY

With proper installation Epoxy-Coat is 10X more durable than water-based epoxies.

Includes base coat, clear top coat, flakes, and tools. Comes with a 10-year warranty. Optional polyurethane top coat.

Epoxy Floor Coatings

Are you looking for an epoxy flooring system? We know that the process can be a tad overwhelming due to the many different types of epoxy that you can find on the market. How in the world are you supposed to find out which epoxy is the best for you and how you are going to be using it? Is there a specific way to tell? Well, as a matter of fact, there is! What you are going to be looking out for the most is the three major types of epoxy flooring, 100 percent solid, water-based and paint “epoxies”. We know you need to know how to tell these apart and what they can do for you

One of the best ways to tell what you are getting with epoxy is the number of elements in the flooring system. With the 100 percent solid epoxy system, there are 2 parts; as there should be for epoxy, the epoxy resin, and the hardener. The pure formula is what makes the system so strong is that there are no chemical additives or solvents to provide a thick, attractive and long-lasting flooring solution.

The water-based epoxy is true in the form that is a two-part system but don’t let that make you think that it is just as good as the 100 percent solid epoxy system. Don’t get me wrong, they are good but they just aren’t great. The water-based epoxy uses, you guessed it, water as a solvent. With water being in the mixture, you can expect the water-based epoxy to take much longer to dry than the 100 percent solid system. But, this shouldn’t deter you from using this type of epoxy as there are many pros; but also cons, that make this flooring a viable option for any light-duty commercial facilities or residential setting

Though they are one of the hottest trends on the DIY market; for reasons we can’t explain, one part epoxy paints are one of the worst investments you can make for your home. If you thought that these kits that you could pick up from the local hardware store could be just as good as a professionally installed epoxy floor, sadly they are nowhere close. They are however a very budget-friendly option that can be used to provide an attractive finish for your concrete until you can install a real epoxy flooring system

When it comes down to it, all different types of epoxies have a use in all settings whether it be for performance or simply for looks. While one part epoxies may not be the best option for commercial or industrial facilities, they can be the perfect coating for a garage that doesn’t see much use. On the other side of the spectrum, a 100 percent solid epoxy floor coating will be needed in heavy-duty instances with the 2 part water-based epoxy being the divider that can be used in both instances. Now that you know all about the different types of epoxy, the decision of which one is the best will be left up to you. We wish you good luck on all of your upcoming and future home improvements!

Choosing Divorce Lawyers Based On Reputation

How to Choose a Divorce Lawyer

Divorce can be messy. When you’re married to another person, you build a life together and when it ends in divorce, it can be complicated to divide your shared assets. If you have property or children involved, it is incredibly important to find an experienced divorce lawyer to help the process go as smoothly as possible. However, finding the right attorney can be a bit overwhelming, which is why we decided to put together some tips to help you navigate the search for a divorce lawyer.

Assess Your Situation.

If you and your spouse do not have your finances entangled and do not have children or shared assets, you might not need a divorce attorney. If both you and your spouse are cooperative and want to work together to end your marriage, mediation might be the best option for you. However, if you have children together or your finances and assets are intertwined with your spouse, it is in your best interest to find an experienced divorce attorney who knows how to handle dividing up your shared belongings. Divorce attorneys are much more qualified than mediators when it comes to splitting up assets.

Have Realistic Expectations.

Divorce is a legal process where the sole purpose is to divide assets and resolve custody issues so both parties can move on. Your divorce attorney should focus on helping the process move smoothly and in a timely manner. Though it is tempting to reach out to your attorney to discuss the emotional aspects involved, keep in mind that they are not trained therapists even though they do have a lot of experience with divorce. Your attorney will always be on the clock and to save time and money, you and your divorce attorney should stay focused on the task at hand – dividing assets and resolving custody issues.

Set Your Budget.

Finding an attorney who can operate within your budget is incredibly important. In San Diego, there are plenty of options when it comes to divorce lawyers, but thankfully, the most expensive hourly rate doesn’t always mean they are the most qualified. Do some research to figure out how much money you have to allocate towards your divorce, then that will give you an idea of which lawyers you can work with.

Set up Goals.

Make sure that you know what you want to get out of the divorce before you look into divorce attorneys. Obviously you want to end your marriage, but if there are any deal breakers for you, you need to figure those out first. You don’t want to waste time and money fighting over material things that are not important to you, so make sure you figure out what your goals are before meeting with a potential attorney. If it is important for you to get the divorce finalized quickly and smoothly, make sure you find an attorney who wants the same thing. Once you have your goals figured out, then you can start your search for a divorce lawyer

How do I find a good divorce lawyer?

Finding a divorce lawyer to deal with your family law issue is a really major determination. The emulating absolutely are a few vital requirements to assist in knowing the ideal divorce lawyer. Any divorce lawyer you consider might as well have generous encounter in looking after divorce cases in your town. An experienced divorce lawyer can be aware of the tendencies of the distinct judges in your location and ought to utilize this learning to your choice. Furthermore, that attorney might as well shine principally in the area of divorce law. On a regular basis, individuals will hire a lawyer who hones quite simply in some distinct zone, imagining that any kind of lawyer will do. But, divorce law is a completely purposeful area that needs precise abilities and encounter with a specific end goal, that is to have a likelihood of getting to a notable fact. Probably the best-equipped course to select which divorce lawyer to use for your divorce case is to find out what earlier clients need to communicate regarding that attorney.

While separation is never a wonderful course of action, some divorce lawyers have a larger number of progress in satisfying their clients than others. In case you make a point not to understand anyone who has been a client of that exact divorce lawyer, you might as well consider asking the lawyer for a catalog of clients that you are capable of contact who can display their interaction with the attorney. When a client ends up being dissatisfied with a divorce lawyer, probably the most normal objections is that they were not able to correspond with the attorney. Depending on if an earlier customer of the lawyer tells you that they discovered it particularly challenging to contact the solicitor, or that the attorney either did not advantage calls or react to messages or could take certain days to do that, you might as well undeniably evade that law. Simultaneously as the guidance, it is crucial paramount that you have an open discussion with the prospective divorce lawyer about fees and what you would be able to anticipate

Decide what sort of legal advice you need

Anyone who is going through a divorce needs legal advice (atleast in my genuine opinion).The lawyer will approach your divorce case with a best possible remedy. People should consult more than the one divorce lawyers before finalising who to retain.

Understands what you want to get from the divorce

Before you reach out to hire Divorce lawyers london, consider other alternatives too. You could also appoint a mediator to assist you to negotiate the terms of your divorce.

Interview and Research Potential attorneys

Ask the divorce lawyer about their experience and specialization within family law. Ask them what sort of client they typically represent.

How to Choose the Right Divorce Attorney

Filing for divorce is a very emotional and often complicated process, depending on the amount of assets you shared, any children, and the circumstances of your relationship. During these situations, you need an attorney on your side who can advocate for your best interests.

Experience in Your Practice Area

Before you hire an attorney to help you in your divorce case, you want to make sure that he or she has experience handling divorce cases. You do not want to schedule a consultation with a criminal defense attorney only to find out that he or she does not handle your type of case – and you also want to make sure that the attorney you hire has significant experience as well.

Strong Lines of Communication

Nothing is more frustrating than hiring a family law attorney to assist you with your case and rarely hearing from him or her over the course of your divorce. Communication is crucial during these proceedings, and you want to ensure that your attorney is advocating correctly on your behalf.

Take Advantage of the Free Consultation

Most divorce attorneys have free consultations where you can visit him or her in the office and discuss your case. The attorney will discuss how he or she can assist you and sometimes give you his or her opinion on your case.

Keep an Eye Out for Red Flags

While many divorce attorneys may operate in the Bay Area, some of the firms you research may not uphold certain professional standards. If you notice any of the following red flags while researching the attorney or during the free consultation, consider hiring someone else.

tips for choosing the right divorce attorney

The American Psychological Association reports that between 40 and 50 percent of U.S. couples who marry get divorced. Due to the emotions at play at the end of a marriage, it may be challenging for people to reach agreements on divorce-related issues. Thus, they may hire an attorney to represent and guide them. Since the lawyer they choose may have an impact on the outcome of their cases, it is important for people to take care to choose the right legal representative for their situation and family.

Ask for recommendations

Family law cases are often of a sensitive nature. Therefore, it is not advisable for people to simply pick a name off a list. Rather, they should ask friends and family members for suggestions. They may have gone through a similar situation and be able to recommend a competent, compassionate attorney.

Research potential candidates

Before making their choice, it is suggested that people research the lawyers they are considering hiring. This includes looking into their education, qualifications and record. Researching the potential candidates may help ensure they select an attorney who is experienced in dealing with issues similar to their own. Divorcing spouses may also benefit from reading reviews from attorneys’ past clients to gauge how they work with the people and families who they represent.

Interview attorneys before making choice

When people are dealing with family law issues, they often work closely with their legal representatives. Additionally, the future of their relationships with those involved may depend on how their cases are handled. Thus, it is important that they choose a lawyer who understands their needs and respects their wishes. Interviewing their top choices before making a final decision may help people determine if their personalities mesh and whether the attorney is someone they want to work with.

Watch out for red flags

All throughout the process of choosing a divorce lawyer, people should watch out for warning signs. For example, divorcing spouses should be wary of bold promises. Sometimes, an attorney’s priority may be securing their business, not providing realistic counsel. Furthermore, blemishes on their record or treating their staff unprofessionally may also be signs that another legal representative may be better suited for them and their situations.

How To Choose the Best Divorce Lawyer for Your Case

In selecting the attorney who will represent you, interview more than one potential candidate and choose the one whose approach matches your needs.

It is important that you feel confident that you’ll be able to work with your lawyer.

Hire a lawyer who will listen to you and be responsive to your questions.

You will be paying for your lawyer’s time, so keep your interaction efficient by grouping your questions and limiting contact to once a week or once a month.

Constantly calling your lawyer with questions will cause your costs to mount up quickly.

Outsourcing Tax Preparation Services

Tips to Find a Good Tax Preparer

This tax season is the first time many Americans will see how the new Tax Cuts and Jobs Act affects them. Some may be pleasantly surprised by big refunds, and others may have to reach deeper into their pockets to pay Uncle Sam.

If you decide to turn to a professional to help you with your returns, your first step is to identify the type of tax preparer you need. Regardless of whether you choose a tax expert in private practice or a storefront tax-prep company, you’ll want someone who has the right experience for your particular needs and can work at a price you can afford.

Check the Tax Preparer’s Credentials

Anyone with a preparer tax identification number can handle and file your taxes, but it’s best to find someone who also can handle audits, IRS collections, and appeals, says Ann-Marie Long, a CPA and tax manager at SKC & Co., a CPA firm based in Boonton Township, N.J. Only a certified public accountant or an enrolled agent—another type of tax professional—can represent you before the IRS in those situations, she notes.

The IRS’ Directory of Federal Tax Return Preparers is a good place to find tax pros with credentials and select qualifications. If you live in California, Maryland, or Oregon, ask the preparer to see a current license, which is required by law in those states.

It’s also a good idea to look for a preparer who’s a member of a professional organization and who attends continuing education classes. The American Institute of Certified Public Accountants helps consumers find a CPA; it also links to state sites, some of which have search engines to find local CPAs

How to Find the Best Tax Preparer for You

Types of Tax Return Pros

You can have anyone—your uncle, your neighbor, or your best friend—prepare your tax return. But if you’re paying for this service, the person must be registered with the IRS and have a current preparer tax identification number (PTIN), which is an IRS number issued annually to eligible preparers

Eligible paid preparers fall into different categories, depending on their education, certification by professional organizations, and continuing education requirements.

Attorneys: These professionals are licensed by states or state bar associations to practice law and are subject to continuing education requirements and a code of ethics.

CPAs: Certified public accountants are professionals who have passed the Uniform CPA Examination and been licensed by state boards of accountancy; they also have continuing education requirements.

Enrolled agents: These are individuals who have passed a three-part Special Enrollment Examination demonstrating competency in federal taxation and been licensed by the IRS. They, too, have continuing education requirements.

Annual filing season program participants: These individuals are not attorneys, CPAs, or enrolled agents but have completed an IRS program and obtained continuing education.

Any other preparer with a PTIN: These are individuals who believe they have sufficient knowledge to prepare returns and have paid the fee to obtain a PTIN. They are not subject to any oversight by a state, a professional board, or the IRS

The IRS has an online directory of preparers with PTINs. It includes attorneys, CPAs, enrolled agents, and annual filing season program participants, but not preparers who merely have a PTIN but no other credentials. You can search for a preparer by credentials, zip code, and distance from you

(There are also enrolled retirement plan agents and enrolled actuaries who are preparers with PTINs. These experts typically don’t do consumer tax returns, although they are included in the IRS directory.)

Tips for Choosing a Tax Preparer

You’re really organized and on top of things this tax season. Good for you! You received all your W-2s and 1099s, you collected all your financial statements and receipts, and now it’s time to find someone to prepare your tax return. But there’s one problem…you’re not quite sure how to go about choosing a tax preparer.

It goes without saying that you want someone who’s qualified. But how do you know? You want someone who’s honest and reliable, too. But, again, how do you know? The last thing you want to do is search online for “tax preparers near me” and randomly pick a preparer from the list, but sometimes it feels like there’s no better way.

Relax. There is a better way. Follow these 5 tips for picking a tax preparer to help you weed out the fly-by-night preparers and zero in on the best tax professionals in your area. With a little bit of time and a few targeted questions, you can find a competent and dependable preparer to complete and file your return.

Verify the Preparer’s Credentials

There are a lot of people out there claiming to be a “tax professional.” However, just because someone hangs out a shingle and advertises tax prep services, it doesn’t mean they actually have the skill, education, and expertise to handle your return.

To increase the odds of finding a qualified tax preparer, look for someone who is credentialed. You’re much more likely to get a competent preparer if they’ve been vetted by the IRS or a state regulatory board. The most common types of credentialed preparers are certified public accountants (CPAs), enrolled agents, attorneys, and annual filing season program participants.

Tips for Choosing a Tax Preparer

If you’re expecting a tax refund, you may be eager to file your taxes as soon as possible so you can pay off debt, build an emergency or other savings account or shop for any number of previously unaffordable consumer goods

However, rushing into a relationship with the first tax preparer you find could be a big mistake. The IRS recommends choosing a tax return preparer carefully, since no matter who prepares your taxes, you’re still ultimately responsible for all the information on your tax return

Understand tax preparer qualifications

According to the Better Business Bureau (BBB), there are around 700,000 non-credentialed tax preparers in the U.S. Many states don’t require tax preparers to pass an exam or obtain a license. While non-credentialed tax preparers may be top-notch preparers, they have limited representation rights and can’t represent you in court or regarding appeals or collection matters.

Search by qualifications

If you need a tax preparer with specific qualifications such as enrolled agent, attorney, Certified Public Accountant or enrolled retirement plan agent, search the IRS Directory of Federal Tax Return Preparers with Credentials and Select Qualifications

Interview tax preparers

Make sure a tax preparer has an active preparer tax identification number (PTIN) through the IRS and check whether the person meets state requirements. Then interview the tax preparer thoroughly. Ask about fees, availability and what kinds of records the tax preparer will need.

How to Choose the Right Tax Preparer

It is that magical time of the year again and if you are looking for someone to prepare your taxes, there are many factors to consider including expertise and pricing. We are all unique and there is no one size fits all. Don’t be afraid to ask lots of questions!

Find out what their tax background and experience is. What is their training? What are their qualifications and credentials? How long have they been preparing tax returns? Also, some tax preparers are not a certified public accountants (CPA) and don’t have a formal credential but yet may be competent. Ask questions to find out what makes them qualified to prepare tax returns

Find out if the tax preparer has experience with the type of return that you must file. Tax returns are not all the same and range from 1040-EZ to various involved schedules. Tax preparers may focus on a certain type of return but may also have sufficient knowledge in many areas.  However, if your return is specialized, you will want to find a tax preparer who has a lot of experience with that type of return. . Ask about their experience with individual returns vs. corporate returns. In my experience, tax preparers who specialize in corporate tax returns, which tend to be more expensive, charge a higher minimum fee. This is something to keep in mind if you are only looking for personal tax return preparation.

Ensure that the tax preparer is familiar with the requirements of the states and localities that you must file in. For example, if you live in one state but work in another, there may be filing requirements to consider. Also, you may have a business that has sales in different states, own property in another state or have relocated to a different state during the year

Know in advance what records, documents and other information that the tax preparer will require of you. This could save you time and money. A competent tax preparer will ask for many different documents and be able to explain what you will need to provide for special circumstances you may have. Personally, I like it when a tax preparer offers a thorough checklist to review, which would enable a thorough tax preparer to make sure nothing has been missed, such as long-term care insurance premium deductions, investment fees or student loan payments.

Factors To Consider When Using Office Movers

FACTORS TO CONSIDER WHEN CHOOSING A MOVING COMPANY

One of the most important things that you need to consider when you are moving your home or office is shifting of your belongings. Now, this is not an easy thing. Even if you have to simply move to the next street it can be a difficult task. You will have to opt for professional help.

There are a number of Moving companies  that provide services to different areas. But it can be very confusing when it comes to selecting the best company who can manage all your moving and shifting in the best possible way. Here are the factors that you need to take into consideration when you decide to choose a moving company.

Always Choose A Licensed Company:

You must always go for a company that has a license.  In case your goods get damaged while shifting then you can claim for the damages only if the moving company is a licensed one.  When a company is a licensed one you can be rest assured that you can trust the company and rely on that company.

Reputation Of The Company Matters:

Before you choose moving companies you have to make sure that you check the reputation of the company. See if you can find out what the previous customers have to say about the company. You need to find out how the company has handled the previous projects to get a better idea. You must take into consideration the reviews and comments of people who have opted for the services of these companies.

Experience:

One more thing is experience of working as a moving company. The customer needs to be fully satisfied with the experience of that company. Company experience matters a lot. Short term experience company cannot make big deals and also people do not rely on less experience company.

Price:

People do not prefer costly moving companies. If a company’s rates is so high and they provide the same facility as the other company gives to their customers. So, you should choose the less costly. Every company gives you a rate based on the number of hours and number of movers. You have to keep in mind that never pay additional charges or payment for packing or any extra object.

Reviews and record:

You have to get a list of trusted companies and then see the reviews about the work of that company. Surely there will be good views and bad views at the same time. It up to you that what you will consider before hiring a company. See the online reviews of this company. You also see the back record of the company and then choose the better one.

Factors to Consider Before Choosing Moving Companies for Office Relocation

Office relocation is not the same as home relocation. Though several moving companies promise you to conduct the office move smoothly, things can go seriously wrong if you hire incompetent professionals. The work of an office has to go on and so the move needs to be conducted on time and budget. The above can only be achieved when you hire the right moving professionals proficient and skilled in office relocation.

Factors to consider before selecting the perfect office moving company in Adelaide

Note that office moves need to be conducted with meticulous care in an organized way. Check whether-

  1. The company has a separate division for office moves- Credible moving companies generally have a separate division for managing office moves of all sizes. The experts here are trained and skilled in conducting the move in an organized and timely manner. A specialized team is generally sent to the destination where they accept the delivery and start to set up the office.
  2. Project manager- Credible office removalistscompanies have a dedicated project manager for the move. Here the project manager works with the official representatives to conduct assessments of the move and ensure that all moving plans are executed without delays and hassles.
  3. Storage and disposal units- Good moving companies will have storage facilities for keeping office equipment and furniture. These facilities are clean and safe. These storage units have facilities where unused belongings may be stored without damage. Some companies have units for disposal of unwanted items as well.
  4. Extra services- The best office movers will provide additional services for their clients when it comes to office relocation. In short, they provide one-stop solutions to their clients when it comes to moving from one place to another with success.

Communication is a key component in office move checklists. Therefore, keep your employees in the loop once your company decides to relocate its offices.

You do not want to surprise employees with an office relocation at the last minute. An office move not only affects their work life. It could also impact their personal life with longer commute times.

Companies should consider how people appreciate being included in decisions that affect them. 

Therefore, communicate office relocations to employees as early as possible. When doing so, state clear reasons for the move to ensure early employee buy-in early. Also, be sure to thoroughly address any employee questions or concerns.

Considering employee feedback as you make a major company-wide decision can undoubtedly have a positive effect on morale. Before starting to search for a new office location, gather feedback from the various departments in your company. This feedback should be used to determine the final location, space, and configuration needs. As you begin scoping out the logistics of your office move, remember it is important to communicate with employees throughout the process. Consistent and clear communication will ensure departmental needs are met.

Therefore, when reviewing your office move checklist, be sure employee communications are included.

FACTORS TO CONSIDER WHEN CHOOSING LOCAL MOVERS

Do you know that more than 11% of Americans move every year? That is more than 35 million individuals and families, which is a clear indication that moving is one of the most vibrant industries around the country. So, how do you select the best company when you want to move?

1. CONSIDER FAMILY-OWNED MOVERS

There is a view that most of the family-owned businesses are more reliable and professionally operated. Therefore, selecting a moving company that is owned locally comes with various benefits. Consider a situation where the leader of the business is the father and the manager in charge of the operations is the mother. Those people are likely to run the business in the most professional style to offer customers the best services.

2. MOVING LICENSES

Movers are regulated by the local authorities. No company is allowed to move without adhering to specific rules and regulations. This explains why all the moving companies must display a license to show that they have complied with the necessary regulations. Always consider a licensed moving company because its trucks and employees are inspected. You can ask the company to show you its operational licenses, and you need to check whether the license is valid with the local authorities.

3. MOVING INSURANCE

Moving insurance is a vital component that you need to put into considerations before hiring local movers. Some of your items, such as furniture and electronics are very expensive, and you don’t want them to be damaged on the way. However, there is a high possibility that this will happen. In such circumstances, the insurance policy will help in repairing and recovering most of the items. Additionally, an accident can happen while on the move and the insurance policy will help with that. You don’t want to start having financial liability to something that can be handled by the moving company.

4. MOVING EXPERIENCE

Doing the same thing repeatedly does not only build expertise but also enhances confidence in doing that thing. For example, a moving company that has been helping people to move has all the experience in packaging goods, moving through winter, and unpacking at night. Why should go for a company that has never helped people move before? Look for an experienced company that will handle your move professionally. You will not only get your goods packaged and arranged in the truck well, but everything will be done in a short period. Consider companies that have been in the moving sector for more than ten years and you will enjoy the benefits.

5. FRIENDLY CUSTOMER SERVICE

As a human being, it is essential that you are treated with utmost respect and dignity. Your properties and house should be treated with respect, as well. Movers don’t need to step into your house with mud and dirt. That’s a sign of disrespect. They also need to communicate with you efficiently and more so, listen to what you need.

There are many moving companies out there in the industry that don’t treat their customers with respect. You need to ask close friends and relatives how a particular company treats its clients before you can hire them. You want a company that appreciates you as a mover.

6. COST OF MOVING

The cost of moving is critical. It is affected by various factors such as distance, a period of the move, and items to be moved among other factors. Moving companies charge differently. You need to liaise with your local movers so that you can come into a compromise for the best price possible. You should strike a middle ground with your mover so that you can pay something that is within your budget.

The Importance Of Home Inspection When Buying A Home

How to Choose a Home Inspection Company

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

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

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

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

Find out what company the other party is using. If you are buying a house, ask the seller what company they used to inspect the home, to ensure that you choose a different one

Tips to Find the Best Home Inspector

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

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

“One thing the inspector won’t tell you is whether you should buy the house or not,” says Reuben Saltzman, co-owner and president of Structure Tech Home Inspections in Minneapolis. But a good inspection should give you enough information that you can make an educated decision on your own

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

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

How to Choose a Home Inspector

Would you call a retail store and ask “How much do you charge for a TV?” Probably not. You’d have to do research and decide what you want to buy before asking for prices

Home buyers often ask me this because they’re trying to find the inspector that offers the best deal. When buyers are only concerned with the price of a home inspection, they have already made an assumption that all home inspectors offer the same thing, and they assume they’re comparing apples to apples. This just isn’t true.

When reviewing a sample report, there is much more to look for than just photos and illustrations. Watch out for useless report writing that is designed to cover the home inspector’s butt, not yours. A bad report would contain a lot of phrases like “This was observed, recommend further evaluation and correction by a licensed blah blah blah”.  With this type of writing, you could easily have an inspection report that recommends a dozen additional inspections.   If further inspections are needed, that’s fine, but these recommendations should never be made lightly, because additional inspections require more time and money.

When I first started inspecting, I was told by a home inspection instructor that this was the best way to write a report. As I’ve written more and more reports over the years, I’ve come to realize that home inspection schools teach this style only to protect the inspector. This doesn’t provide a service for the client.  A good home inspection report will clearly state the problem, explain the significance of the problem if it’s not obvious, and will give a recommended course of action.

When picking out a home inspector, spend some time researching inspectors, even if you receive three different names of inspectors from your real estate agent. Many agents give out three names because they don’t want to assume liability if their client isn’t happy with the inspection, not because they have three companies that do great work

Choosing the Right Home Inspector

Buying a home? It’s probably the most expensive purchase you’ll ever make. This is no time to shop for a cheap inspection. The cost of a home inspection is very small relative to the value of the home being inspected. The additional cost of hiring an InterNACHI-Certified Professional Inspector® is almost insignificant.

You have recently been crunching the numbers, negotiating offers, adding up closing costs, shopping for mortgages, and trying to get the best deals. Don’t stop now. Don’t let your real estate agent, a “patty-cake” inspector, or anyone else talk you into skimping here.  InterNACHI-certified inspectors  perform the best inspections by far

InterNACHI-certified inspectors earn their fees many times over. They do more, they deserve more, and — yes — they generally charge a little more. Do yourself a favor… and pay a little more for the quality inspection you deserve.

The licensing of home inspectors only sets a minimum standard. Much like being up to code, any less would be illegal.  Imaginary people, children, psychics (who claim to “sense” if a house is OK) and even pets can theoretically be home inspectors.  InterNACHI, the International Association of Certified Home Inspectors, front-ends its membership requirements.

InterNACHI inspectors:

have to pass InterNACHI’s Online Inspector Examination, and re-take and pass it every three years (it’s free and open to everyone, and free to re-take);

have to complete InterNACHI’s online Code of Ethics Course (free to take after joining, and self-paced);

have to take InterNACHI’s online Standards of Practice Course (free to take after joining, and self-paced);

must submit a signed Membership Affidavit;

substantially adhere to InterNACHI’s Standards of Practice;

abide by InterNACHI’s Code of Ethics;

have to submit four mock inspection reports to InterNACHI’s Report Review Committee (for free) before performing their first paid home inspection for a client if the candidate has never performed a fee-paid home inspection previously

How to select an inspector for a home you’re buying

A professional home inspection helps home buyers learn about the condition of a property before making a purchase. But not all home inspectors are created equal.

We asked Kathleen Kuhn, president and CEO of HouseMaster, a home inspection company, to share her insights into how consumers can pick a home inspector who will do the best job.

“Consumers often only ask for information about the fees; however price should not be the deciding factor,” Kuhn wrote in an email. “Saving a few dollars on a home inspection could cost you thousands down the road. Consumers should inspect the inspector when shopping for a home inspector.”

“These requirements are a good place to start, but there is no guarantee that the inspector is competent or is staying current,” wrote Kuhn. “Consumers should make sure that a home inspector has access to ongoing technical support and is tested every year — not just during initial licensing — to ensure they stay up-to-date on inspecting conditions in a home.”

Home inspectors provide a report to buyers after the inspection. The report quality and features within it are also crucial to a good inspection, wrote Kuhn. Buyers can request sample reports from inspectors before they hire them to see the level of detail they can expect

Protection From Termite and Ways to Kill Them

How to Kill Termites With Common Household Products

Termites are pesky insects that can do major damage to your home if they are not stopped. Pest-control services use highly toxic chemicals to eradicate termites from your home and yard. If you suspect you may have a termite problem, you can get a head start and kill them with common household products while you wait for your fumigation appointment.

Step 1

Pour laundry bleach onto any termite colonies that you observe in your yard’s mulched areas. The toxicity of the bleach will kill any termites that come in contact with the liquid. Wear rubber gloves and safety goggles to protect yourself from the harsh chemicals.

Step 2

Fill a quart-sized container (a plastic bucket or glass jar works well) with table salt. Slowly add enough warm water to dissolve the salt. Either pour the mixture over the areas where you have seen termites, or use a kitchen baster filled with the liquid to flood termite galleries in your yard. Galleries are tunnels or channels that the termites have created. The saltwater will flood the galleries to drown the insects and kill them with the high sodium content.

Step 3

Kill termites with the common household lubricant WD-40. The oil sticks to the pests and essentially suffocates them. Use the straw applicator to pump the oil into termite galleries.

Step 4

Disable some of the visible termites with a spray insecticide. This method may not actually kill the termites, but will stun them and slow down their movements enough so you can get some professional help.

Common signs of termite damage to a wall include:

Holes and cavities within walls can indicate the presence of termites. Walls are particularly susceptible to termite damage for a number of reasons: they are accessible from the ground, and their surface area is considerable.

  • Small pin holes, where termites have eaten through the paper coating on drywall and/or wallpaper. You may see dirt in a hole made by subterranean termites. Drywood termites do not leave soil behind.
  • Faint ‘lines’ on drywall. (As termites tunnel through the paperboard on drywall, you may be able to see a map of their tunnels from the outside of the wall.)
  • A hollow sound when you tap on the wall.
  • Bubbling or peeling paint.
  • Baseboards that crumble under slight pressure.
  • Jammed doors or windows. (If termites damage structural components, the house can settle or shift in a way that affects the operation of doors and windows.)

Termites can remain hidden within walls and floors, so it may be difficult to discover their presence. Periodic professional inspections can help detect activity before the termites have time to cause significant damage.

When are termites most active?

Termites swarm in the warm days following rain and are also attracted to warm buildings in the winter. The spring is an especially active time for termites because it is when they mate and form new colonies. However, different termites are more active at different times of the day or year:

Subterranean termite species swarms:

  • February –  May in the morning
  • March – June during the day
  • Fall mornings

Drywood termite species swarms:

  • Spring nights
  • April – July at night
  • Summer days
  • Formosan termites Late spring nights

The Differences Between Ants And Termites

A common mistake people make is confusing termites with white ants. This misconception is an easy one to make as ants and termites are very similar in both shape, size and in some cases behavior.

So what are the differences between ants and termites?  

  • Termites are light in color. They are usually a white/creamy color and can sometimes look quite translucent.
  • Compared to ants termites antennae are completely straight rather than bent.
  • The waist section of a termite is a lot thicker than that of an ants. The section where the thorax meets the abdomen is very narrow on an ant, whereas on a termite this section is quite large.  
  • Both flying ants and termites have two sets of wings. However a termite’s are both the same size compared to an ant who have one set larger than the other.
  • The important thing to note is that there is no such thing as a white ant. If you think you have spotted an insect which looks like a white ant in and around your house then you might have a termite problem on your hands.  

Termite Tips

Homeowners are encouraged to be aware and observant of evidence of termites in order to catch any brewing infestations. :

  • Annual Inspection by a state-licensed termite inspector will look for signs of previous and active infestations as well as conditions conducive for new infestations
  • Taking careful note of the evidence from an indoor termite swarm (such as broken termite wings near window sills or doorways) can be useful in determining where the infestation may be lurking.
  • As in the case of older homes, knowing the history of the home, including previous termite problems, is helpful in keeping a professional termite inspection top of mind.
  • Any additional structure built onto the house requires special attention. Termites can use the gaps and spaces in between concrete pads to travel and set up their colonies.
  • Mud tunnels found on the exterior walls of the home are also a good indication that an infestation is nearby.

How To Decide On The Best Small Engine Rebuilding

Engine Rebuilding or Replacement

When engine troubles get serious, your car is down for the count. You have only two options – you can choose to have your engine rebuilt, or you can replace it completely. Which is right for your needs? Both options offer you the ability to get back on the road, but they’re not the same. Let’s take a closer look.

Rebuilding – Rebuilding an engine is exactly what it sounds like. In this instance, your old engine is pulled out of the car, and the damaged parts are replaced. Any components that are still in operating condition are not usually replaced, but are reused once more.

Replacement – Engine replacement can involve replacing your engine with one of two different options. You can choose a used engine, or a crate engine.

Used engines are exactly what you think they are. They’re taken from donor vehicles (often wrecked, but with little to no front-end damage). They’re in operational condition, but that’s usually all you know for sure.

A crate engine is basically a remanufactured engine. This is different from a rebuilt engine in that the engine is torn down completely. All components are replaced, and the housing is machined back into OEM tolerance. It’s as close to a “new” engine as you can get on the market. Even engines marked as new are really remanufactured/crate engines.

Engine Repair, Replacement or Rebuild

The experts at A1 Automotive knows it’s a tough choice when having to choose between engine replacement, engine rebuilding or engine repair. The first thought that comes to your mind is, “how much does it cost to replace my engine?”, “how long will replacing my engine take?” and “Is rebuilding your engine more cost effective than replacing your engine?”. These a great question one of our certified auto engine repair and replacement technicians at A1 can answer that and more. You will sleep easier knowing that the crew at A1 Automotive is taking care of your car or truck

Engine Rebuilding vs. Engine Replacement

It’s quite likely that engine rebuilding can save you money compared to engine replacement depending on the engine problem you are faced with and the cost of the parts needed for the repair.

Automotive Diagnosis

Automotive diagnostics is our specialty and we know from experience that most engine rebuilds can be avoided with correct diagnostics and repair from a honest and qualified technicians at A1. Acurate automotive diagnostics is important to ensuring only needed repairs are done, saving you time and money. Unlike most engine mechanics, our mission is to fix the problem the first time in the most cost effective ways as possible to keep happy customers coming back to us time and time again. It’s not by mistake that we turn customers into friends. Our customers truly love and trust us and it shows through our customer reviews

Engine Replacement

If you engine is not worth rebuilding, replacing the engine may be the best option for you. Replacing the engine will add more years to the life of your vehicle and turn a once problematic automobile into a reliable one. Also, replacing the engine saves you money on smaller repairs that would of been needed along the way such as belts, filters, hoses and coolant. Our #1 priority is to give you the best options available for getting your vehicle back on the road in reliable condition

Engine Maintenance

Preventative maintenance for you vehicle helps you avoid costly future repairs and helps your automobile have a longer lifespan. Also, performing regular engine maintenance can help increase fuel efficiency and maintain peak performance. Get your regular engine maintenance done by A1.

Steps for Remanufacturing & Testing Auto Engines

Replacing an automobile engine is a big job that will take a big bite out of your wallet, but what if there were a way to replace the engine in your vehicle and save hundreds, or even thousands, of dollars? Using remanufactured engines can save auto owners significant sums on engine replacement while still ensuring that a reliable engine is installed in the vehicle.

Normal wear and tear can degrade even the best-cared-for engines over time. When serious engine problems occur, many owners simply choose to purchase a new vehicle. Yet, for owners who simply can’t part with their favorite auto or restoration enthusiasts who have bought an old or junked vehicle they wish to refurbish, an engine replacement is often necessary.

While replacing an engine is one of the more costly automotive repair jobs, it’s still cheaper than buying a new automobile. Most engine replacement jobs will cost between $2,700 and $5,000, while even the least expensive new automobile will cost around $13,000 or more. Using remanufactured engines can further reduce the cost of replacing an engine.

Disassembly and inspection – The remanufacturing process begins when mechanics completely disassemble the used engine being remanufactured. Mechanics take apart the engine using techniques found to reduce damage to components of the engine. Once the engine is taken apart, each component is thoroughly inspected to ensure that it still meets or exceeds original specifications. The testing process is thorough and incorporates the latest technology to allow mechanics to make the best choices concerning parts. Parts that don’t meet standards are marked for replacement and discarded.

Recovering parts – Parts that meet or exceed original specs that have been harvested from the old engine are thoroughly cleaned and reconditioned for reuse. Cleaning the parts ensures their optimal function and also gives mechanics a second look to ensure that they are in good shape.

What is an Engine Rebuild?

It’s one of the toughest, dirtiest, and most intimidating jobs in car engine repair – lifting an 800-pound chunk of metal out of a hood, figuring out what is wrong with it, and making it work right again. And, if you own a car, you likely may have to have it done.

There are multiple reasons why you might find your engine needs rebuilding, and whatever they may be it is important to have the problem addressed immediately. Otherwise, a small, fixable problem like an oil leak or overheating can become permanent, irreversible damage

For that reason, it’s good to familiarize yourself with the engine rebuild process. Whether you plan to bring your car to an experienced mechanic or you plan to tackle the task yourself, it’s helpful to know a few of the things that can go wrong with a standard engine, and what can be done to get everything back in working shape

Why does my engine need to be rebuilt?

There are several reasons your engine might require repair. The most common signs that a rebuild may be in order are loud knocking or grinding noises emanating from under the hood. If it sounds like something is banging your engine with a wrench while you drive, it is very likely a loose rod or a piston is the culprit.

Difficulty starting could mean the cranking is extended which, when coupled with a lack of engine power or rough idling, could be a sign of lack of compression, probably the result of a crack or leak in the combustion chamber. A mechanic can run a compression test to diagnose lack of compression prior to rebuilding the engine, and so it is good practice testing before beginning work.

HOW TO CHOOSE AN ENGINE REBUILD KIT

An engine rebuild is a large and expensive job, and choosing the right kit can seem a daunting task. There are a lot of kits for sale, and they may all seem similar but vary greatly in price. Knowing the difference between the various engine rebuild kits will help you shop with confidence, knowing you’re getting the right parts for the job at hand.

THE DIFFERENCES BETWEEN IN-FRAME, OUT-OF-FRAME, AND RE-RING ENGINE REBUILD KITS

A lot of customers that call in and want to rebuild their engine simply say they need a rebuild kit. Usually, we guess that they want a standard inframe rebuild kit, as that is the most common kit sold. However, there are several levels of rebuild kits to use, based on the state of the parts in the engine and the engine’s OEM. Another important thing to note that can confuse a lot of people, is that ”overhaul kit” is often used synonymously with “rebuild kit,” but it can also specifically mean “out-of-frame kit.” To avoid confusion with the term “overhaul,” we use “rebuild” instead. Also, please keep in mind that this article contains only the general components for these engine kits. For content lists specific to the kit you need, be sure to check the product’s page on our website, or call in to ask one of our parts techs.

RE-RING ENGINE REBUILD KITS

The re-ring kit is the smallest rebuild kit. It is one of the least time consuming ways to rebuild your engine, but it assumes that your pistons are reusable. Evaluate the condition of your other engine components before choosing to order a re-ring kit

RE-RING KIT CONTENTS

Re-ring kits generally contain cylinder liners (if used in the application), piston rings, connecting rod bearings, main bearings, thrust washers (if used in the application), a cylinder head gasket set, and an oil pan gasket set. The big thing to pay attention to is that re-ring rebuild kits do not include pistons. Sometimes, you may see kits labeled as “pistonless” or “without pistons”—those are re-ring kits. The term re-ring comes from the fact that, even though the pistons in an engine are being reused, the rings should be replaced while you’re pulling them from the cylinder. Therefore, you need to re-ring the old piston. You can see a couple examples of re-ring kits here and here to compare how exact contents differ between engines

CHOOSING A RE-RING KIT

A re-ring kit is for people that need to refresh their engine with a rebuild, but still have pistons that are in good condition. All of the more wearable components get replaced, such as rings, bearings, and gaskets. If the pistons are still good, they do not necessarily need to be replaced. This can save a lot of money, in both parts and labor. Labor expense is saved because this type of rebuild can be done while keeping the engine in the chassis

Organize Your Child’s Party With Free Kids Party Planner

How to choose the best party planner

If you are wondering how to choose the best party planner here in Long Island or anywhere we have outlined some great tips here on this short page. When it comes to planning a party or special event there are a few things you should know that will help to make sure you have the best experience. The main goal is to make sure that you and your guests have as much fun as possible

Do they have a good reputation as the best party planner in Long Island?

First and most importantly you always want to choose a party planner (or any kind of service provider) that has a good reputation. You can always check for reviews from real customers on (FB link – Google link – Yelp link) or other places. If you are looking for a company with a very good reputation we are here to help

Are they an experienced party planning company?

Another very important thing you should do is make sure the party planner you choose has a lot of experience. How long have they been in business? What kind of parties do they have experience doing? Our team brings plenty of experience to every event we do. After 20 years of planning and executing all kinds of parties you can be sure that everything will go smooth and everyone will have as much fun as possible. Our team will do everything to make sure you and everyone at your party have a great time

What party planning services do they offer?

Different companies offer different services and you always want to make sure the company you choose offers everything you are looking for. Are you just looking for DJ service? Are you looking for catering or a clown for your kids birthday party? Whatever service you are looking for we can help. LI Party People is happy to offer you premium service for all types of events.

What events do they provide service for?

Keep in mind that a wedding party is totally than a sweet 16. Some companies have a lot more experience providing service for specific events. Lucky for you our team here at Long Island Party People has plenty of experience working all kinds of events so you can be sure you are getting the best of the best.

Tips to Help You Choose the Right Party Planner

You have decided to bring together family and friends for a great party this summer with the help of an event planner, but how can you know that you are choosing the right one? Party planners are a dime a dozen and unfortunately not all of them are as good as they claim to be. You cannot afford to take any chances – not only do you want to impress your guests, you also don’t want to waste money by hiring the wrong party planner.

Do they have experience with the kind of party that you have in mind? There are many different kinds of parties that you can throw. You may choose to have a birthday party, a garden party, a neighborhood party, a dress-up party – it can be anything really. Just because an event planner is good at throwing one kind of party doesn’t necessarily mean that they do another kind. Before you sign any contracts find out whether the event planner has any experience with your kind of party.

Get clarification on the services offered. There are some excellent party planners who will take care of everything from sending out invitations to making sure that guests are fed and the venue is cleaned, but there are others who only offer advice. You are better off with a comprehensive party planner even if you have to pay more.

Find out what they can and cannot provide. The best event planners have everything that they need to throw a party. If they don’t have it they know where they can hire from. Make sure that your party planner can provide everything that is needed including plates and glassware, cutlery, service people, a DJ and everything else that will be needed to make your party a success.

Find out whether they are able to work with the kind of menu that you have in mind. This is especially important if you plan to offer your guests a special menu. You can ask them to cook samples that you can taste beforehand.

Tips on How To Become A Party Planner

here most people pay to party, I get paid to party.

So it is no surprise that if I had a penny for every time I was asked, “How do I become a premier party planner?” I would be a very wealthy man. However, I have never truly answered. My reasons were simple, I did not want to create competition for myself. Lately though I realise that sharing my top tips and helping others is more important than how many people are in the same game as me. So, today marks the start of a new chapter, I have decided to answer this question for once and for all and share right here, right now with all the readers of EventMB.

You need to work in events to work in events, huh?!

Get as much experience as you can, in any and all event forms, from floristry, catering, awards, celebrations and everything in-between. If this means you need to volunteer your time at no fee, do so as this is the best investment you will ever make. If fortune favours you, work for a credible and experienced event planner or agencies. In the beginning I took a position at a venue conglomerate, half way through my career I took work at a caterer and then a global agency and recently at a well known hospitality chain. In short, how much you know and can action with confidence will get you more clients #FACT. This is a strict case of More is More. The more you know in every facet of events, the more you can do, manage and charge for your services.

Time to #LevelUp

This is the step where you stop being the horse and start being the rider. You ask for a promotion, a step up, take lead on an event. You need to go from Jack (or Jill) of all trades to a master of one. Choose a niche and focus on getting as much experience in that niche as possible. Later you can go back to a boutique of offerings to your clients but for now it’s all about mastery. Master an arena, a service, a type of event, then master what clients you want to work with, what vendors do they use, what venues, what magazines do they read and what party planners do they already work with? Time to become Dexter (the tv show of a serial killer, not the lab guy) and learn everything about your new niche. What are the best products? What are the best services to offer? Who is your target market, or avatar? Will you offer transparent pricing, free venue finding or full service event management?

Your Network is your Net Worth

In party planning it is both what you know (see above) AND who you know.

Sharing is Caring/Show it or Lose it

Every photographer has a portfolio, every model a zed card. They say a picture can say a thousand words. So why not create places to showcase your work, start a newsletter, accounts on Instagram, Pinterest and LinkedIn

PARTY PLANNERS TOP TIPS ON HOW TO THROW AN AWESOME PARTY!

Start planning early

You want this party to be one that lives long in the minds of your guests, so make sure you do it right – and that means no rushing! Part of our remit as party planners is to put together a realistic and achievable timeline.

Choose your theme

Now, this doesn’t have to mean a full on, dress up, Game of Thrones fest. (Although this is not uncommon)! Maybe just a colour, or one reference point relevant to the occasion. It helps to shape the visuals and the vibe.

Choose your venue carefully

Home or away is the real decision. If you have a house big enough to accommodate your guests then great – a garden marquee is also a fantastic option, and we are experts at transforming these bare spaces into oases of light, colour, fun, entertainment or whatever floats your boat! However, understandably it’s often not practical to entertain at home. So, make sure you find a venue that is fit for purpose. At Carmela Weddings and Events our experience means we have connections with a huge selection of venue options to suit every occasion!

Focus on what’s important

Every party is different and as experienced party planners we will always help you to prioritise the details of your event. Massive foodie? Get in some amazing suppliers – maybe street food vans, a hog roast or delicious bowl food. Music aficionado? We’ll help you choose the perfect entertainers, the ultimate party band or the DJ who really fits with your style. Cocktail lover? Why not create a bespoke cocktail bar, with original one off cocktails designed to perfectly tie in with your event. It’s our job as party planners to get to know you and ensure your event is authentic and fun!

Get the timings right

This is often overlooked, and is massively important. As much as we would all like to disagree, it’s not easy to party like an 18 year old when we’re, well, not 18 anymore! Choose start and finish times that will work for the demographic of your guests.

The Ultimate Party Planning Checklist Template

Whether you own a party planning business or you’re just throwing an event for family and friends, this party planning checklist will help you get organized before the big day!

What does a successful party look like?

Using a party planning checklist and creating an event timeline are just some of the many things you can do to make sure everything goes smoothly. Even if you don’t have any experience with party planning, you can still throw a memorable get together.

Your party planning checklist

Whether it’s for a graduation or sales goal celebration, parties require the same event planning skills required to host any other type of group gathering. Depending on the size or complexity of your party, you may want to brush up on best practices or party planning articles to prepare yourself.

What items are needed for a birthday party?

Take this list with you to any local party supply shop near you and you’ll pretty much have everything you need to host and decorate your celebration.

Party planning tips 2-3 months before:

Depending on your party planning experience, what time of year it is, and how large or complex you think the party will be, you’ll want to begin preparation as soon as possible!

Using A Corner Kitchen Sink

How to Choose the Right Kitchen Sink

Few features in the home are used as often as the kitchen sink. And what other home item performs as many different tasks? It could be argued that the selection of a sink is one of the most important kitchen choices you will make — and it’s a decision that will affect your daily life for many years to come. We spoke to designers who belong to the National Kitchen and Bath Association (NKBA) about how to select the right sink for your kitchen.

A certified Master Kitchen and Bath Designer for 30 years, Sharon Flatley has seen the kitchen sink grow wider, deeper and more diverse. “There’s so much more to choose from now,” she says.

These days Flatley, the principal of Flatley & Associates in Dallas, says most of her clients opt for a kitchen sink with a single, deep basin that is 33 to 36 inches wide and 8 to 10 inches deep. “This kind of sink is very versatile,” she says. “It works whether you cook a lot or not much.”

Two basins in your kitchen sink allow you to perform separate tasks, such as cleaning dishes and preparing food, with ease. A 60/40 kitchen sink has one basin that is usually about 18 inches wide and another that is 14 inches wide. The idea is that you can clean up in the large basin and prep in the smaller one. Dual basins also come in handy when you are washing items you don’t want to put in the dishwasher (soap in one basin, rinse water in the other).

Farmhouse sink.

Pros: Many farmhouse sinks are simply single, large basins. The difference is their distinctive apron front, which has a vintage vibe many homeowners love. For a typical sink, the basin can be 4 inches away from the edge of the countertop, but this sink can sit a bit beyond the counter line. For people of shorter stature and kids, a farmhouse sink can be more accessible. If you choose a porcelain or ceramic farmhouse sink, there are a wealth of color options.

Choosing the Right Kitchen Sink and Faucet

Sink Options

Kitchen sinks are typically made from stainless steel, enamel-coated cast iron, solid surfaces and composites. For clients who choose solid surface counters like granite or engineered stone, Isley recommends a stainless steel sink because of its undermount capability. Also if homeowners tend to be hard on sinks (Isley asks clients if they’re prone to throwing things into their sink), stainless is often the best choice. When shopping for a sink, keep in mind that lower-gauge stainless steel makes for a better quality sink. Some people find stainless steel sinks noisy, but that’s a problem that can be addressed by choosing a design featuring sound-absorption technology.

Once the standard in kitchen sinks, enamel-coated cast iron still has a place in today’s kitchen. “They’re probably the prettiest of all the sinks on the market today,” Isley says. However, he cautions that enamel can scratch and wear over time, which may not make this sink the best choice for people who are tough on sinks

Number of Sinks

Traditionally, most kitchens feature a double-bowl sink. “Obviously, double bowls — especially two equal size bowls — were made for washing dishes. We really don’t wash dishes much in the kitchen,” Isley says.

Faucets that Function

With the great number of faucets on the market, there is a design for everyone. “Style is strictly a personal taste issue,” Isley says. He doesn’t dictate what clients choose design-wise — people like what they like, after all — but he does guide them when it comes to function and finishes. Most faucets use cartridge, ball or ceramic disc valves. A faucet with a ceramic disk valve and solid brass base materials will be the most durable. Though many attractive faucets have two handles, Isley always pushes for single-lever faucets in the kitchen. He also suggests clients include a spray arm for filling pots with water or rinsing the sink, whether it’s part of the spout or a separate piece. Consider other convenient extras, like a garbage disposal and hot water dispenser.

Isley steers clients away from brass finishes. “[Brass] works well for a low-use area, but in a high-use area like a kitchen, I’d rather use chrome, polished nickel, brushed nickel or pewter. The new bronze finish is also very popular,” he says.

How to Choose a Kitchen Sink, According to Science

This includes the type, size, number of bowls, material, faucet fitting, and more. If you’re remodeling your kitchen from scratch, choosing a customized kitchen sink is more apt. Something that fits well with the ambience and color palette of the kitchen décor.

Choosing a new kitchen sink, as a homeowner, doesn’t have to be a price-based decision. You can easily narrow down your options based on the different styles and sizes of kitchen sinks. This guide will help you learn about the basics of kitchen sink and what makes it do functional and versatile in your home.

Looking At Different Sink Types

This is the simplest rundown for the common kitchen sinks types available on the market. You can opt for either on while modelling your kitchen or during renovating. Each kitchen sink type has its pros and cons, so it’s best to read through them all to find your most ideal fit.

Top Mount (Drop-In)

As the name suggests, a top mount kitchen sink looks like it has been dropped-in from above. It fits comfortably on the kitchen platform with a rim or lip that holds it in place from the edge. This is probably one of the neatest kitchen sinks, requiring minimal installation and service

Undermount

The installation of an undermount sink is completely reversed to that of a top mount sink. While a top mount sink is dropped in from above, an undermount sink is fitted from below the kitchen counter.  The lips of the sink are in level with the kitchen counter, which makes it look sleeker and polished.

How to Choose a Kitchen Sink

Your kitchen sink is probably not the place where you’d choose to spend your time, but it’s a necessity—and having the right one can make all those minutes spent scrubbing and rinsing easier and more efficient. Learn about the different materials, types of sinks, and factors to consider as you discover how to select a kitchen sink that fits your needs.

Types of Kitchen Sinks: Materials

Kitchen sinks come in many different materials, including metal and stone. The best kitchen sink material for you depends on how much money you want to spend, your cleaning routine preferences, and what material goes best with your kitchen’s style

Stainless-steel kitchen sinks are one of the most popular options and the material continues to be improved and upgraded. The newer 16- and 18-gauge sinks are thicker and less noisy than their less-expensive predecessors. Stainless-steel sinks contain a percentage of chromium and nickel, which is indicated by numbers such as 18/10 (18 percent chromium and 10 percent nickel). The metal imparts a rich glow and adds corrosion resistance. Finishes range from a mirrorlike shine to a satin luster. Stainless-steel kitchen sinks are appealing because they are affordable, durable, and easy to clean. However, they can become scratched and water spots can become an issue, and the cheaper sinks can sometimes make more noise when items are dropped in

Cast-iron kitchen sinks are made from a sturdy material that is enamel fired on an iron form. These durable sinks lessen noise and vibration more than other materials but can be heavy for installation. An added advantage is that cast-iron sinks are available in a wide range of colors.

Composite sinks can be made of quartz, granite, or other materials mixed with an acrylic- or polyester-resin base. They usually feature speckled color, resistance to stains and scratches, and easy care. However, they can be expensive.

How to Choose the Right Kitchen Sink

Our kitchens are constantly being used and the sink is the first thing that will get worn-out. Naturally, it’s easy to get overwhelmed by all the choices. Whether you’re remodeling or just getting a sink as a new homeowner, here’s how you can narrow down your choices from all the styles and types.

Under Mount

The key behind choosing the right kitchen sink is to evaluate your space and personal needs based on the three main types of sinks. An undermounted sink is installed below a countertop so that the sink drops down. The obvious advantage with this type of sink is that you can wipe a surface down straight into the sink. The under mounted sink is compatible with solid surface countertop materials like granite, soapstone, marble, or concrete with a wide array of durable sinks. Unfortunately, other materials such as laminate or tile counters are not stable enough to support the strength of the sink.

Top Mount or Drop In

Top Mount or Drop In sinks are installed in a hole in your countertop. There is no need for interior support. However, these kinds of sinks are usually very hard to clean.

Cost -Effective Materials

Every sink gets wear and tear, but some sinks get worn down more than others. Keep in mind that stainless steel sinks hold up better than enamel-coated cast iron sinks which often show scratches and signs of wear over time. Granite countertops work well with stainless steel sinks. Although stainless steel sinks can be noisy, homeowners can choose sound-absorption technology to reduce the amount of noise

Number of Bowls

Knowing your space limitations will determine size and depth which in turn, will determine the number of bowls or basins. Traditionally, most kitchens feature a double-bowl sink, but a single bowl sink might be ideal for smaller kitchens giving a more functional look.

The Complete Drywall Repairs Installation And Taping Guide

Tips for Working with Drywall

We’ve hung and patched and primed and finished our fair share of drywall. Check out this compilation of tips for working with drywall to make your next build or repair easier.

Use Setting Compound for Big Holes

It’s fine to fill screw holes and other small wall dings with patching compound, but for dime-size and larger drywall repairs, and for holes that are deep, it’s best to use a joint compound that sets up by a chemical reaction. These are available in powder form with setting times ranging from five to 90 minutes. The reaction starts when you mix in the water, and the compound hardens in the specified time. The five-minute version is nice because you can buy the powder in a convenient 5-lb. box, and the compound hardens quickly, so you can apply another coat right away. Remember, setting-type compounds are harder to sand than regular patching materials, so make sure to strike them off flush to the surface when you fill the hole. You’ll find setting-type compounds wherever drywall taping supplies are sold.

Make a Dent for the Patching Compound

When you remove a nail, drywall anchor or picture hanger, there is usually a little ridge of old paint or drywall sticking out that’s hard to cover with patching material. The solution is to make a dent over the hole, and then fill the dent. Most good-quality putty knives have a rounded hard plastic or brass end on the handle that works perfectly for making the dent. The rounded end of a screwdriver handle or the handle of a utility knife will also work. Press the handle against the hole and twist it slightly while applying pressure to dent the surface, or if you have good aim, use your denting tool like a hammer.

Cover Cracks with Repair Spray

Stress cracks usually show up around window and door openings. The cracks are the result of framing movement and are hard to fix permanently. But using spray-on crack repair is a good way to at least extend the life of your repair. The spray forms a flexible membrane over the crack that can stretch and relax as the building moves.

Rent a Drywall Lift for Ceiling Work

If you have to drywall a ceiling, don’t hesitate to rent a lift. It’s well worth the daily rental fee and is by far the best way to get a ceiling up without back strain.

Choosing the Best Type of Drywall Compound

Drywall mud, also called joint compound, is a gypsum-based paste used to finish drywall joints and corners in new drywall installations. It’s also handy for repairing cracks and holes in existing drywall and plaster surfaces. Drywall mud comes in four basic types, and each has its advantages and disadvantages. You may choose one type for your project or use a combination of compounds for the desired results

All-Purpose Compound: Best All-Around Drywall Mud

All-purpose compound is a pre-mixed mud sold in buckets and boxes. It can be used for all phases of drywall finishing: embedding joint tape and filler and finish coats, as well as for texturing and skim-coating. Because it is lightweight and has a slow drying time, it’s very easy to work with and is the preferred option for DIYers for coating the first three layers over drywall joints. However, an all-purpose compound is not as strong as other types, such as topping compound.

Topping Compound: Best Mud for Final Coats

Topping compound is the ideal mud to use after the first two coats of taping compound have been applied to a taped drywall joint. Topping compound is a low-shrinking compound that goes on smoothly and offers a very strong bond. It is also highly workable. Topping compound typically is sold in dry powder that you mix with water. This does make it less convenient than premixed compound, but it allows you to mix just as much as you need; you can save the rest of the dry powder for future use.

Taping Compound: Best for Applying Tape and Covering Plaster Cracks

True to its name, a taping compound is ideal for embedding joint tape for the first phase of finishing drywall joints. Taping compound dries harder and is more difficult to sand than all-purpose and topping compounds. Taping compound is also the best option if you need to cover plaster cracks and when superior bonding and crack-resistance are required, such as around door and window openings (which tend to crack due to house settling). It is also the best mud option for laminating drywall panels in multi-layer partitions and ceilings.

Quick-Setting Compound: Best When Time Is Critical

Commonly called “hot mud,” quick-setting compound is ideal when you need to finish a job quickly or when you want to apply multiple coats on the same day. Sometimes called simply “setting compound,” this form is also useful for filling deep cracks and holes in drywall and plaster, where drying time can become an issue. If you are working in an area with high humidity, you might want to use this compound to ensure a proper drywall finish. It sets by chemical reaction, rather than simple evaporation of water, as is the case with other compounds. This means that quick-setting compound will set in damp conditions.

HOW TO REPAIR A HOLE IN DRYWALL

Drywall repair is a common home maintenance task that many homeowners can do themselves. The skill set, tools and techniques required for drywall repair depend on the size of the hole. If you can flip a fried egg, you can easily patch a small nick in your drywall, but it gets trickier as the holes get bigger. But don’t worry; Mr. Handyman is here to help!

Drywall Repair Techniques

The size of the hole will determine what method of repair you’ll use. You may not need all of these tools – before you purchase anything, reference the guidelines below to see what you’ll need. You’ll find the required materials listed with each step. Drywall tape is available in paper or mesh, select mesh if you have a choice. The tools in bold are required for each step, regardless of hole size.

HOW TO PATCH A SMALL HOLE (ANYTHING SMALLER THAN A NICKEL)

Small holes in drywall are simple to fix. Any hole larger than a nickel should be repaired with the instructions under Medium or Large hole. Use spackle or joint compound to fill the hole. If you’re using joint compound, buy it pre-mixed for small DIY jobs. Spackle may shrink as it dries in larger holes and may require an extra application. Joint compound may run out or bulge as it sets and will require sanding and a second application.

HOW TO PATCH A MEDIUM HOLE (ANYTHING SMALLER THAN SIX INCHES)

For a professional finish follow the instructions under Large hole. This method requires finesse to feather the joint compound into the rest of the wall – if not done correctly, you will see a slight bulge in the wall. You must feather the repair area (gradually reduce the thickness outward) when applying the joint compound and in the sanding stage. Use a drywall patch that is slightly larger than the hole that needs to be repaired. You can purchase these at your local hardware store. Look for a kit, which will include everything you need.

HOW TO PATCH A LARGE HOLE (ANYTHING LARGER THAN SIX INCHES)

Take your time, and be careful not to nick any wires or plumbing during installation. Although this method requires more tools, the final result is more professional looking.

Everything You Need to Know About Drywall

Choosing the right drywall

To hang and finish drywall, you need drywall sheets, joint compound, tape, fasteners and edge treatments. That seems straight­forward, but when you’re standing in the drywall aisle at the home center, the choices aren’t so simple.

Is drywall fire-resistant?

“Type X” drywall is 5/8 in. thick and designed to slow the spread of fire. It is often required on garage walls and ceilings that adjoin living spaces, ceilings between living spaces inside the house, and under stairs.

Is drywall mold and moisture resistant?

Also called “greenboard”, mold-and-mildew-resistant 1/2-in. drywall is a somewhat different animal. Manu­facturers use various methods to eliminate or treat the paper that covers the gypsum core. Getting rid of the organic paper food source was supposed to keep mold and mildew from growing. Builders used to install it in wet and damp locations, placing it behind tile in shower and bath enclosures. Those enclosures have already been or soon will be replaced as the greenboard fails.

Half-inch drywall

1/2-in. drywall is the best choice for most walls and some ceilings. There are standard and lightweight versions. Lightweight is stronger and weighs 25 percent less

3/8-in. and ¼-in. drywall

If you’re doing repairs in a house that was built in the ‘50s or ‘60s, you may very well have 3/8-in. drywall. You’ll want to match that thickness to patch an existing wall. Measure the existing drywall or take off a switch plate cover to find out.

Tips For Hiring a Drywall Contractor

Like painting, drywalling is a very labor-intensive technique. In addition the drywall installer and taper has to be skilled because any imperfections will be picked up long after the painters have left. This is why a great emphasis should be placed on hiring the right drywall contractor for the job.

Drywalling is actually two separate jobs. The first part is the sheetrock installation which entails cutting, shaping, putting the panels into place and then fastening them. The second part includes taping the seams and then sealing both these and the screw heads with drywall compound. This latter process revolves around coating and sanding these surfaces until the walls and corners are smooth and you can’t tell where one sheet begins and the other ends.

Preparation

If you take a look at a finished wall in any home it looks like a seamless flow of color which is only interrupted by the corners. And these looked like they have been hewed from a single block with a precision saw blade. Only your previous knowledge of building will tell you differently. However, the drywall job is only as good as the framework to which it is fastened.

Hiring the Drywall Contractor

As nothing is more infuriating to a homeowner than to see bulges and rifts on a finished wall you can’t hire just anyone to drywall your home. There are ways to find out the ones who will do the best job. A drywalling company can cost in the realm of $25 to $45 per hour per person for sheetrock installation and drywall taping so they are not cheap

Finding a Contractor

This can be accomplished through a variety of places like the internet, home building stores and word-of-mouth. Usually home building places are good because they know the credit history of all the contractors and can give you an idea of who is trustworthy. Web sites like HandyAmerican.com can provide you with detailed information about contractors rated and reviewed by your neighbors.