What Kind Of Laminate Flooring Is Best For Your Home

Pros And Cons Of Laminate Flooring In Your Kitchen

What is Laminate Flooring?

Laminate means layers. This is a rigid flooring type composed of a few main layers.

From the bottom up:

1). The “Backing Layer” is a heat-fused composite layer that has a few purposes. It resists moisture from below, which is important when installed over concrete. And it helps the planks lay flat rather than curling up at the ends.

2). The “Inner Core” is usually medium-density fiberboard, or MDF. Some floors use high-density fiberboard, or HDF. Both are made of wood pulp/cellulose and glue mixed and pressed for bonding and hardness. It’s the thickest layer of the laminate.

3). The “Design Layer” is also called the photographic layer, pattern layer and décor layer. It is a high-definition photograph of wood (or stone or tile). The quality of the image gives the floor its realistic look. This is the genius of laminate – the look of the real thing at less than 25% of the cost.

4). The “Wear Layer” is a tough, clear topcoat often made from aluminum oxide and melamine. It is resistant to scratches and general abrasion.

The underlayment prevents the backing layer from damage as the floor shifts slightly with foot traffic and temperature changes.

Laminate is a floating floor. It isn’t glued or nailed down. Each brand has a slightly different tongue & groove connecting system.

The floating design speeds up installation and it allows for the slight expansion/contraction that happens with changes in temperature and humidity.

Pros of Laminate Flooring in the Kitchen

Every type of flooring has both advantages and disadvantages, and laminate is definitely one of them. While it’s a material that could be a great choice for certain kitchens, it may not be for others. And the only way to figure out if it’s ideal for your kitchen, is by weighing its pros and cons. So, let’s get into them.

Appearance

Laminate comes in a wide array of styles, colors and patterns. So, you could easily find laminate flooring that perfectly matches your kitchen décor.

Less Expensive

Laminate offers your kitchen the luxurious look of natural wood, and even stone, but without the high price point. And when compared to many other types of flooring, it’s quite cost effective.

Durability

Another big positive is laminate’s durability. It’s a tough flooring material that holds up well to pets and heavy foot traffic. Laminate is also pretty water resistant, a great quality for a kitchen floor; you don’t have to worry about a few drops hitting the floor while cooking, loading the dishwasher or if your puppy has a little accident.

Easy Maintenance

The top wear layer of laminate is nice and smooth, which makes it easy to clean and maintain. All you need to do is simply sweep laminate floors regularly and occasionally use a damp mop for a deeper clean.

Ease of Installation

No flooring material is easier to install than laminate flooring. Because it’s a floating floor, it doesn’t have to be nailed, stapled or glued to a subfloor making it DIY friendly. And this means that your kitchen won’t be out of service for very long.

Cons of Kitchen Laminate

Possible Moisture Damage

Laminate is susceptible to damage when exposed to moisture for extended periods of time. If you occasionally spill water or another liquid on the kitchen floor, it won’t damage your floors as long as you clean up messes when they occur. But, if moisture sits on your laminate floor for an extended period of time, the dampness could warp and stain the flooring.

Fortunately, today there are collections of both waterproof and water-resistant laminate flooring that are perfect for any room in your home, especially the kitchen. To see these collections, check out our laminate page here.

Can’t Be Refinished or Repaired

Once your laminate floors wear out, they can’t be refinished. Instead, you’ll have to replace your kitchen flooring. Since the flooring is assembled with snap-together tiles or planks, we recommend purchasing extra pieces that will very closely match the ones already on the floor.

Eco-Friendliness

If you’re committed to choosing environmentally friendly materials for your kitchen renovation, laminate may not be the best flooring option for you. It doesn’t degrade well in landfills, partially due to the wear layer which contains plastic.

The Pros And Cons Of Laminate Flooring For Bathrooms

When a person is choosing a bathroom surface, a lot of homeowners want to replicate the classic appearance of hardwood but not the excessive cost that comes with it. For people that are on a tight budget, laminate flooring is a perfect solution. Over the past few years, it has undergone a myriad of improvements such as the style and colours that you can utilize in order to bring your room to life. In case you want to incorporate this latest upgrade to your bathroom, it is the easiest and most affordable type of flooring.

Pros Of Laminate Flooring For Bathrooms

1. Installation process- The installation of the laminate flooring is a lot simpler compared to hardwood. You can easily cover around 300 ft. during the weekend. In case you are utilizing the older type of laminate, you may need to use glue. Today’s laminate flooring has a fold and lock or click and lock layout which is similar to the feature of a puzzle. Since they are manufactured using a soft board, you may simply separate it with a utility knife and a saw.

2. Easy Cleaning- Laminate flooring is very simple to clean. Broom and mop would be the basic tools to use when cleaning. You do not have to use a wax to maintain its lustre.

3. Unparalleled Durability- Compared to hardwood that is generally prone in receiving scratches and dent, the laminated flooring is generally impervious to these types of damages. It has a protective layer that shields the underneath layer. The protective layer is very sturdy; some companies have a 10-year warranty on their protective layer.

4. Functionality- Most of the laminate flooring nowadays includes an underlayment that acts as a springboard which generally feels comfortable to our feet.

5. Appearance-Its ability to replicate different surface material is truly commendable. You are not limited to a hardwood alone; you may use different natural materials such as wood and stone

What About Waterproof Laminate?

Both water-resistant and waterproof flooring gets labeled “waterproof”. But that’s not accurate.

They’re made differently.

  • Water-resistant laminate has a wood/cellulose core that will definitely absorb water. The resistance to moisture is usually achieved with a tight planking locking system and sealer around plank edges.
  • True waterproof laminate has a non-absorbent core. Even if moisture gets between planks, it won’t cause swelling and water damage.

A Beginners Guide To Event Planner Certification

Reasons Why You Should Hire an Event Planner

We love doing everything ourselves mainly because we have a general distrust of experts. We think we know better and this often leads to a disaster. You may have decided to do things on your own all the time but when it comes to an event, you must take the back seat and let an event planner handle everything. A good event planner will make your event the most memorable occasion of your life.

Here are 10 reasons why you should hire an event planner:

Everything will be according to your choice

If your biggest concern about event planners is that they set up everything according to their choice, you’re wrong. The first step in event planning is listening to the client. All you have to do is explain everything to your event planner and get rid of all your worries about bringing your ideas into reality. Because that’s exactly what your event planner will be doing.

You will be saving money

A general misconception about event planners is that they cost you more money. In reality, an event planner will be saving your money. Because of their vast experience in the field, event planners have plenty of contacts with event services and can hire the best caterers, cameramen, transporters while getting you a discount at the same time. Event planners also know where not to waste the money unlike the rest of us who general do not have any experience in planning an event.

Decision on venue

‘Is it safe in the current weather? Is it too difficult to reach there? Does it fit the client’s requirements?’ These are some of the questions that go through an event planner’s mind before choosing a location for your event.

Pictures

Whether it’s a business event or a personal one, you want it to be special. You want it to stay fresh in your memory forever and for that, you want lots of pictures. But you cannot know for sure the kind of light that will be necessary for your event. That’s where your event planner comes in. Only a good event planner can perfectly guide the people setting up lighting. And good lighting means good pictures.

Protecting you from a catering disaster

You can hire the best caterers in the city and still run into problems on the day of the event. Maybe the food was not sufficient for your guests or the serving style was not according to your satisfaction. The reason behind that? You hadn’t dealt with caterers before. But your event planner has, on many occasions. They know the right way to communicate with caterers to make sure nothing is amiss on the day of the event.

Here’s How to Hire an Event Planner

Whether you’re planning a product launch, a team-building event, or a holiday party, it’s crucial to make sure that your event is the absolute best it can be. Sure, you can plan it yourself, but it may be a more challenging process than you might realize. Why not save yourself the time, energy, and stress, all the while ensuring that your event is a success that stays within budget? For these reasons, many will choose to hand the task off to a professional and hire an event planner. If you’re in that camp, it’s important to select the right person for the job. Luckily, our guide is here to walk you through hiring an event planner from start to finish.

1. Establish your goals for the event

The first step to hire an event planner is determining what kind of event you’re looking to have planned. That’s because different event planners have their own particular areas of expertise. You should know what your budget will be, what the aim of the event is, and its intended audience, for starters.

Having at least the beginnings of a clear vision for what you want will make an enormous difference in how specific your search can be. Rather than wading through all the event planners in your area, you can focus on those who have a portfolio of events similar to what you have in mind. Of course, without having hired the event planner, it’s unlikely that you’ll have an extremely specific vision, but that’s fine. To start, just develop a general sense of what it will be.

2. Locate potential event planners

Sure, you can rely on referrals and informal recommendations from friends. Sometimes this is advantageous, but you might be better off taking a broader look at who’s available and getting a sense of their reputation (particularly within the industry itself, as other event planners will likely be the best judge) and credentials more generally.

One great resource for finding skillful event planners in your area is through professional event planning organizations, such as:

  • International Live Events Association
  • Event Service Professionals Association
  • Meeting Professionals International
  • National Association of Catering Executives

Depending on where you’re located, these organizations might even have a local chapter that you can connect with for more in-depth guidance.

3. Choose a candidate

Here’s the most exciting point in the process: when you actually hire an event planner! You’ll have to interview the best candidates first, of course. And, if you’re being extra methodical, you’ll do several rounds of interviews. In the first set of interviews, start off by telling applicants just a bit about what you have in mind, and then give them plenty of time to discuss their background and experience.

Once you’ve done this set of interviews, review your notes (yes, you should be taking notes!) and decide on a few applicants for the second round of interviews — perhaps two to four people. These should be more detailed, particularly involving questions about past event planning successes (and even failures).

Look for candidates who ask strong, specific questions, helping to guide the conversation based on their own experience and knowledge — this is a great indicator of expertise. With all this info gathered, don’t forget to reach out to references before you make a final decision.

4. Iron out the details

Once you’ve chosen someone, you should be sure to agree upon payment at the very beginning. This should be crystal-clear for both parties before you move forward with anything. Additionally, work with your event planner to agree on a detailed budget.

Once all these steps are done, it’s crucial to maintain strong communication. You should be reaching out to the event planner on a regular basis (preferably an agreed-upon regularity, such as a few times a week or whatever works best for both of you). This way, if any issues arise, you can work together to address them before they become complicated.

Interview Questions for Event Planners:

1. How would you put on a great event, given a constrained budget?

Look for candidates who know how to prioritize essential items on the budget. The best candidates might have developed some creative solutions to lower costs, without sacrificing client expectations or attendee satisfaction.

2. How do you go about finding suitable suppliers for an event?

Good candidates should demonstrate an ability to research and negotiate with suppliers. Candidates should also ensure that they know what the client wants, as this must be a major deciding factor when choosing suppliers for an event.

3. Can you tell us about a difficult interaction you’ve had with a client?

The best candidate will be someone who knows how to have difficult conversations or handle demanding clients in a professional manner. Event Planners need strong interpersonal skills, and should be able to work well with a wide range of personalities.

4. How do you effectively manage your time when planning an event?

Ideally, candidates should demonstrate that they are experts at managing their time. Take note of candidates who can tell you about specific tools which they use, such as a schedule app on their mobile device or a color-coded board, for example.

5. What considerations would you keep in mind when planning an outdoor event?

Look for candidates who have a knack for detail and an ability to anticipate all potential risks. The weather is a major consideration, so they should take precautions for all types of conditions. Candidates should be able to mention a wide variety of considerations, and how to prepare for them.

What Are Your Experience Areas?

To find out more about your event planner, you should ask them about the type of events they most frequently do. You should only choose the event planners who have a relevant experience of working in your industry. For example, if you have a technology related business, you should only choose an event planner who has the relevant experience of organizing events relevant to your industry.

What Services Are You Offering?

It is important to know about all the services the event planner you’re looking to hire is offering. This is the only way of making sure that you get the best quality services. You can also hire them to help you with lits of other things as well.

The Wedding Planner

A wedding planner is probably one of the first (and arguably one of the most important) vendors you will hire for your special day and can play an integral role in making it an unforgettable and stress-free day. But with such a personal event, it’s important you find somebody who understands your vision and has the experience to execute a flawless event.

So to help you find the wedding planner that’s right for you, we’ve compiled 10 questions to ask before signing on the dotted line and hiring a professional to plan your wedding.

1. ARE YOU AVAILABLE ON MY WEDDING DATE?

First and foremost, it’s important to establish whether your preferred wedding planner is available on your date. If they’re not, you can either eliminate them as a possibility (and move onto someone else) or consider changing your wedding date if they’re someone you really want to work with. If you haven’t yet locked in a wedding date, ask the planner for a few possible options to consider when making your final decision.

2. ARE YOU WITHIN OUR BUDGET?

If you’ve arrived at the point of meeting with a wedding planner, chances are you have an idea of their fees (and have determined that it fits within your budget). But perhaps you have certain things in mind that may bring additional charges. It’s important to put them on the table early on before you get out of your depth.

Alternatively, you could just ask what’s not included in their package and use that information to compare the wedding planner with others you’re considering. If you can’t afford to hire the wedding planner for their full-time services, you may be able to negotiate a part-time planning arrangement or some level of coordinating in the lead up to your special day.

3. HOW MANY WEDDINGS HAVE YOU PLANNED?

Practice makes perfect, which is also true in the wedding planning world. So don’t be shy about asking how many weddings they’ve planned and whether that was as a lead planner or as an assistant. At the same time, check how many weddings they take on each year. This is one situation where more is not better as you want your wedding planner to have as much time as possible to plan your wedding. If a planner is taking on weddings each and every weekend, chances are they’re cutting corners somewhere.

4. HAVE YOU WORKED AT OUR VENUE BEFORE?

If a wedding planner has previously worked at your venue, they already know the ins and outs of how things work. While this doesn’t have to be a “make or break” question, it’s something to take into consideration. Having experience at a venue means they may have insider knowledge or suggestions that are particular to the space and can help the wedding day run more smoothly. If they have worked at your venue before, be sure to ask for photographic proof so you can see how it all turned out.

5. HOW INVOLVED WILL WE BE IN THE PLANNING PROCESS?

For couples who want to be really hands-on, you want to find a wedding planner who will work with you, rather than letting you know what’s happening right before the big day. So ask exactly what the process of planning your wedding will look like – will they email you designs and talk you through them over the phone or perhaps you’ll meet in person on a regular basis to go through swatches and samples. Some couples are happy for the wedding planner to do their thing (and just fill them in towards the end). There’s no right or wrong way but finding a professional who allows you to be involved as much or as little as you like in planning your wedding is essential.

Long Distance Moving Features And Advantages

The Gentle Guide to Long Distance Moving

When it rains, it pours. That’s what it can feel like when you not only have to move house, but you’re also moving far away from everything that is familiar to you. Even if the circumstances for which you’re moving are positive ones, it’s still a wrench to leave a place where you’ve put down roots. The analogy of a tree’s roots is quite accurate, separating yourself from a location that’s nurtured you and given you stability. Long distance moving means you could be feeling a lot of uncertainty about what’s ahead.

The first thing to say is that you can get through this and enjoy the sunshine on the other side. You’re seeking advice on how to make this relocation work for you, which is fantastic. Being organised is probably the best thing you can do for yourself when you’re about to make such a significant life change. Developing a plan means you’re taking control, so you’re in charge of what’s about to happen, and the great news is that there are many things you can direct to your preference.

Research

Ok, you’re an intrepid explorer heading out into uncharted territory… or something similar. If you’re heading into the unknown, that is, a state, climate or culture you haven’t lived in in the past, do some research. These are the ‘big picture’ differences that may be the hardest to get used to, so the sooner you start equipping yourself with information, the better and faster you’ll be able to adapt.

Talk to people. Tap into your networks and ask advice from friends and family about where you’re heading. As fantastic as the web is for (seemingly) delivering everything worth knowing to our screens, nothing beats being able to sit down with a friend and ask a few questions. This is also great because your friends know you and your preferences, so they’ll be able to give you much more relevant and tailored information and advice. They might have photos or stories of where you’re going to give you an idea of what to expect. They might even have some local contacts that you can reach out to once you arrive, which is a fantastic fast-track to putting down new roots.

Make A Plan

Right now, it may seem that the big move is in the far, far distant future. Why would you start planning now? Because a well-planned move allowing plenty of time for your tasks will make this experience a lot less stressful. Be kind to yourself and take this advice on board. The last thing you want is to forget tasks or to be scrambling at the last minute. With time on your side, however, long distance moving can be a cool science with predictable results.

The Buyers Guide To Long-Distance Moves

Based on these statistics, there is a good chance that you or someone you know will soon need a reasonable, reliable long-distance moving company. Here is the new buyer’s guide to long-distance moves.

Plan Well in Advance

If you have ever experienced a move, you know it is a significant event that disrupts your lifestyle. The essential part of relocation is to begin planning three months before the move to handle the smaller chores that often have financial consequences when forgotten. Keep in mind that if you are moving during the peak summer season, you should make contact sooner.

Declutter and Downsize

Before contacting moving companies, you should declutter and downsize so that you know the weight or width of your moving requirements. Decluttering will significantly reduce your moving costs as well as the energy to pack it. If you wait to do this chore, it will complicate the estimate, which companies will not reimburse when based on “not to exceed” contractual weight.

Record Moving Items in Detail

Before beginning your research, you should make a detailed list of your property as well as their value and descriptions to ensure estimate accuracy. Take an image of each item for insurance purposes. You will not only have evidence of what left Home A for Home B, but it makes for a simple checklist when the movers arrive which will make the process quicker.

Research Local and National Moving Companies

Searching online will get you 20 million Google responses for “long-distance moving companies.” At first glance, none of them will give you a full picture of quality, customer service and affordability, which is why research becomes an asset. Take your time. Read all the reviews and customer analysis critically. Search consumer sites like the Better Business Bureau and Yelp as well. Narrow down your choices to the top five to analyze availability and contractual obligations better.

A brief guide on long distance relocation

Are you nervous about moving to another state and starting life in a whole new place? Does the thought of having to pack all your things and get ready to move long distances cause you stress? Since many things need to be done before leaving the state, often many homeowners are worried about the need to prepare for the big day. That’s why we have compiled the following moving guide on long distance relocation.

Check the cost of living index before moving

The average cost of living sometimes varies significantly from one place to another. Before moving to a distant state, consider checking the cost of living index. This should help you evaluate your income requirements in another community in realistic terms.

In different places, there are often unique professional licensing systems

Carefully check all state professional licensing requirements that apply to your family members before moving. States often maintain unique licensing systems. If you need to apply for a license to work in your area elsewhere, knowing the timing associated with this process can be very important.

Consider driving issues

If you plan to drive in another state, pay attention to the requirements for a driver’s license. The Department of Motor Vehicles can provide useful information about specific state laws of interest to you. You will need to abandon your existing license when you apply for a new license elsewhere.

Notify family and friends of an upcoming move

Make sure you let your loved ones know about your moving plans. It will be easier for them if they try to contact you after your move. In addition, if you have problems with the move (for example, there was an accident on the way), someone will find out about your route.

How Much Does It Cost to Hire Cross-country Movers?

If you have to move across the country, the process can get messy, especially when children and pets are involved. Cross-country movers, also known as long distance movers, are hired to help pack and ship your belongings safely while you and your family travel separately to your new home.

Hiring a long-distance moving service costs on average $4,500 to $6,000, with the average homeowner spending around $5,250 on moving, packing, and shipping a 2-bedroom house 1,000 miles.

Cost Factors

No matter where you move, there are going to be additional costs that factor into the overall cost of moving, some of which increase the farther your move.

Travel fees: unless you’re driving your own moving truck, most of your belongings will travel separately from you and your family. You’ll have to build in the cost of travel on top of the standard moving fees. Expect to pay $300-$400 per person to fly across the country. Driving to your new home may take several days, which adds accommodations and food to your travel costs.

The size of your home: how much you plan on taking with you, which is based on the size of your house, will impact the final cost of shipping. Long distance movers charge by the distance (per 1,000 miles) and by the pound ($0.50-$0.70 per pound).

Packing services: some moving companies will also provide packing services for an additional fee. This fee would include the cost of packing supplies and the labor involved in packing and preparing your belongings. Packing services range from $1,000-$3,000.

Storage: storage will also add to your moving costs. Storage units cost an average of $50-$200 per month, but storage containers are another way to ship your belongings without having to pay for additional storage ($150-$500 per month plus delivery and moving fees).

Moving supplies: if you’re packing your belongings yourself, you’ll need to factor in the cost of moving supplies such as blankets, boxes, tape, and packing fillers. Boxes and packing materials will cost $200-$500, depending on your home size.

Moving date: what time of year you move may affect your moving quote. The summer months are particularly high-volume in terms of moving, and you may have to pay a premium. October-April moving rates are generally cheaper. Another way to possibly save money is by moving mid-month and mid-week; these are less popular moving times than end-week, end-month dates.

Liability and valuation coverage: valuation refers to the assessed “worth” of the items to be shipped, and you may be charged a premium for shipping items of higher value in order to make sure they are properly protected.

Cross-country Checklist

A long-distance move involves balancing a lot of factors. Here is a schedule to help keep you on track:

14 weeks before moving: you should start budgeting your moving costs and get quotes from different moving entities, including professional movers, DIY truck rental, and shipping containers. Also have your family (humans and pets) get final appointments before moving out of town. This would also be the time to start talking to a real estate agent if you are going to sell your home.

12 weeks before moving: go ahead and book your travel arrangements if you are not driving a moving truck yourself (plane, train). If you have other vehicles that need shipping, now is the time to start getting quotes and making arrangements. Finalize mover contracts if you are hiring professional movers. Start making school arrangements for any school-aged children.

10 weeks before moving: now is the time to begin planning which furniture will make the move to the new house. The less you have to pack, the lower your costs.

8 weeks before moving: some items should move with you personally, while most items can be shipped or mailed separately. Decide which items, such as vital documents and valuables, will travel with you. Purchase or acquire boxes, packing tape, filler, and zip ties.

6 weeks before moving: out-of-season items and other items that are used infrequently can be packed and ready to go. Start researching homeowner’s and renter’s insurance coverage in your new location and whether your current coverage will transfer.

4 weeks before moving: get rid of items you no longer need, either through a yard sale, donations, or both. Make sure you have access to physical or digital records from doctors, auto repair, etc.

3 weeks before moving: cancel local memberships and subscriptions and notify the postal service of a change in address. Less essential items can also be packed.

2 weeks before moving: get an oil change if you’re planning to drive. Notify your bank and start the process for changing institutions if necessary. Communicate with utility companies of turn-off/turn-on dates.

1 week before moving: pack everything but the essentials and plan meals around using what’s in the pantry. Confirm final details with the movers. Make sure you have cash for tips for movers and get any final prescriptions before leaving

Hiring Labor-only Movers

You can hire movers simply for loading your furniture and boxes and unloading your boxes and furniture when your items get there. You are responsible for getting your belongings from point A to point B, whether by driving them yourself or sending them in a shipping container. This can cost less than hiring a moving company for the whole process, but you personally have to put a lot more time and effort into the move, which isn’t always an option. Local labor-only movers cost $60-$80 per hour.

YOUR GUIDE TO PREPARING FOR A LONG-DISTANCE MOVE

Whether it’s for work, family, or other reasons, moving to a new state signals a new exciting chapter in your life. The practicalities of moving, however, can also be fairly stressful and expensive — the average cost of an interstate move is roughly $4,300 for a move distance of 1,225 miles and shipment weight of 7,400 pounds

DECLUTTER YOUR BELONGINGS

At the very beginning of your moving process, downsize as much as you can. Having fewer belongings may help lower the total cost of your moving estimate. So, give yourself time to get rid of unwanted clutter. Label three boxes with either “toss”, “sell”, or “donate” and aim to tackle one room a day. Items in good condition can be sold online, taken to a consignment store, or donated to a reputable charity. Take into account the size of your new home. If it’s a smaller space, you’ll find it easier to part with items you don’t really need like extra pan sets or clothes you don’t wear. Streamlining your belongings also makes packing and unpacking an easier job.

HIRE AN INTERSTATE MOVING COMPANY

Moving hundreds of thousands of miles across country alone is no easy feat. And the farther you have to move, the more expensive it’ll be. If you’re making a long-distance move for example, you’ll end up having to pay several hundred dollars for a rental van, gas, and moving equipment as well as food, overnight stays, road tolls, and parking. Hiring a moving company is cost-effective and simplifies the process. Although affordability is an important factor in choosing a moving company, cheaper companies may not be reliable. So, be sure to get several estimates and look at reviews before making a decision.

PURCHASE VALUATION

Homeowner insurance doesn’t typically cover your possessions during a move. So, it’s sensible to purchase valuation from the moving company. There are two main options to choose between — both legally required. A basic carrier liability is free and reimburses sixty cents per pound for a damaged item. However, this doesn’t cover the full cost of expensive items. A better option is full replacement value protection, which covers repair costs, reimburses current market value, or reimburses replacement costs for a similar item. Ask your mover about the valuation options they offer and how they determine replacement value. You should also ask about the claims process in case you end up needing to make one.

Divorce Lawyers Aren’t A Dime A Dozen

Signs You May Need a New Divorce Lawyer

Finding the right divorce attorney is key to resolving your divorce case, and so is knowing when to get a new attorney.

While there are many good divorce lawyers out there, some just fail to meet the mark either professionally or interpersonally. And it may take time before you realize your current attorney isn’t the best fit for you.

Here are five signs you may need to search for a new divorce lawyer:

1. Poor or No Communication.

Do you have a better relationship with your divorce attorney’s voicemail than with him or her? Does it often take you days to receive a response via email or phone?

Not only is poor communication annoying, lawyers have an ethical duty to communicate with their clients. A good lawyer may remind you that you’re being billed every time you contact him or her, but good divorce attorneys will be responsive to their clients. If your current lawyer is more of an email auto-reply or a ghost, consider dropping him or her.

2. Making Major Decisions Without Consulting You.

One of the reasons to have a divorce attorney is to not be bothered with every little legal nut or bolt involved in a divorce. However, your attorney should always inform you of major developments in your case and ask your authorization to make decisions.

For example, if you find out later that your attorney turned down an offer to settle without communicating it to you, it’s time to switch attorneys.

3. Sleazy or ‘Pitbull’ Attorney.

All attorneys are not created equal, and some prefer more unorthodox tactics to resolve cases. If you feel your attorney is up to something underhanded, don’t wait to file a malpractice claim, consider switching attorneys.

“Pitbull” attorneys may also rub you the wrong way by berating or verbally abusing your ex-spouse or the opposing attorney. It may be a long road to settlement if you have a caustic attorney at the helm, so consider trading up for a more congenial one.

4. Lack of Experience Shows.

You likely asked your current attorney about his or her experience before signing on, but sometimes first impressions are misleading. If your attorney has missed filing deadlines or is consistently at odds with judges, you may need to switch to a less green attorney.

5. You Just Don’t Like Your Attorney.

Divorce cases can last years in some cases, and divorce attorneys aren’t cheap. So why stick with someone who you hate? You don’t have to be best friends with your attorney, but he or she should try to make your working relationship friendly.

You Fight More Than You Get Along

It’s true, married couples argue sometimes. In fact, a couple that avoids all fights all the time may be in serious trouble. That being said, fighting all the time is a sure sign that your relationship could be toxic.

If you can no longer stand to be in the same room without fighting, it may be time to visit that law office you’ve been eyeing on your way to work. When a relationship hits a rough patch that lasts months or even years, there may be no way to put your differences behind. One last resort you can take to save your marriage is counseling. If seeing a couple’s therapist does not help you communicate more civilly, the need for divorce lawyer services may be on the horizon.

Even with these tips, it’s difficult to know if you’re arguing too much. Here are some signs that your fights have turned toxic:

  • You fight over little things
  • You fight over the same things each time
  • You criticize each other in hurtful ways
  • Your fights turn violent

Of course, if your fights have turned violent, you should contact a divorce lawyer as well as a domestic violence shelter immediately.

All of the above are signs that you can no longer resolve your conflicts in a constructive and loving manner. In this case, a family law attorney can act as a sort of mediator, or they can advocate for your rights to property and children in the event of a divorce.

Signs Your Divorce Lawyer Is Doing a Bad Job

1. Missed Deadlines

There is simply no excuse for an attorney who can’t file documents on time or one who misses important hearings in your case. Missing a court deadline could result in disastrous consequences for your divorce and may even amount to malpractice.

2. Perpetually Late

It’s a bad sign if your attorney is always running late, especially if it’s to an important meeting or a court hearing. Your lawyer isn’t your doctor, and you shouldn’t have to wait hours past your appointment.

3. Your Lawyer Doesn’t Remember Case Details

Although you shouldn’t worry if your attorney forgets the name of your fourth child, there’s a major problem if your lawyer doesn’t know anything about your case. Your attorney should remember the basics about your divorce.

4. Your Lawyer Doesn’t Know What’s Going on in Your Case

Your attorney should know your case status at any given time. It’s okay if your attorney needs to check the docket or case notes to verify certain items. However, your lawyer should be able to tell you what’s happening in your divorce when you ask.

5. Unreturned Phone Calls

It’s usually a bad sign if your attorney consistently fails to return your calls within a reasonable time. A lawyer who doesn’t respond to numerous messages probably isn’t giving your case the attention it deserves.

6. Unfamiliarly with the Divorce Process

Many attorneys focus on one or two practice areas, such as family law or criminal law. A lawyer who doesn’t understand the basics of a divorce or who can’t explain the court process probably isn’t qualified to handle your case. You may want to get a second opinion from another divorce attorney, who can review your lawyer’s work and let you know if there’s a problem.

Signs You’ve Got the Best lawyer

They have effective communication skills

A high-quality service of the lawyer is often known by his/her ability to not only be professional but also personal. This also includes responding swiftly to the queries or questions and also acting quickly on the instructions. Even when your case has not achieved the desired outcome, you can still assess whether or not your lawyer has offered you the best of services.

The lawyers are objective

It is said that a good legal service provider is the one who is able to stay objective and also seek truth at all cost. This might sound strange but the lawyer should not emphasize a lot on the pain. The lawyer should have a professional relationship which is based on the facts and trust.

They have the right area of expertise or specialty

There are lawyers who specialize in different areas, and they can also become State-Bar-certified specialists. You might not need a lawyer who has a specific specialization, but there is a notion that you might. The specialization includes criminal law, personal injury lawyers, family law, bankruptcy law, and immigration law. You should make sure that they have the right focus of practice in the chosen field. The immigration lawyers are one such that enjoys many of the sub-specialties like employment, family, and deportation.

They are honest about the fees

It can be a sore subject but it is important that the lawyer talks about the fees in an upfront manner. There are certain types of representations which have flat fees like basic bankruptcy, immigration matters, administrative law, etc. But there are many types of legal matters which have a varying amount of fees and a good lawyer will make sure that he/she will give you a range. This can be because the matters can be more complex and it can be impossible to predict as to how the other side will respond or react.

When Should You Hire a Lawyer for Divorce?

Ideally, if you are the one filing a divorce petition, you should get a lawyer before filing the petition. The attorney walks you through the process, files the petition for you, and even serves your spouse with the papers.

However, if you are on the receiving end of the petition, hire a divorce attorney immediately after receiving the divorce papers from your spouse. Don’t wait to have disagreements with your spouse to find legal representation.

Getting a lawyer immediately also safeguards your interests from the start. It prevents the other party from making moves that could hurt your parenting and financial future.

Posted inLegal

What To Remember When Using Electrical Wiring

Electrical Wiring Colours Explained

Wiring Colour Codes

Changes to the wiring colour codes mean that fixed electrical and mains-powered cables (subsequent to the introduction of new cables) will feature the same colour wires as any flexible cabling. The blue wire, also referred to as the neutral wire, has the function of transferring electricity away from the appliance. The brown wire, otherwise known as the live wire, transfers electricity to the appliance. The combination of these wires is referred to as a circuit. You should be aware that some properties have old-style wiring, which should be regularly checked by an electrician to ensure that it remains in good working order. The need for replacement will be entirely dependent on the safety of the wiring.

The green and yellow wire is also referred to as the earth wire and has a key safety function. Electricity being transferred around any property will always take the path of least resistance to the earth. Damage to live or neutral wires could increase the risk of electrocution as the electricity may pass through the human body along its path to the earth. However, this is prevented by the green and yellow earth wire as it effectively earths the electrical appliance

Wiring Colours

The electrician should attach appropriately-coloured sleeving to the different wires to enable easy identification of the corresponding wiring. As previously mentioned, the old-style black neutral wiring has been replaced with blue. Similarly, red live wiring is now brown.

There are varieties of cablewith similar colouring to the mains wiring. As an example, TV aerial cables don’t carry any voltage but do have the same brown colour as the live mains cabling. It is also common to find black cabling trailing behind the TV. This is the same colour as the old neutral wire. However, if there is any doubt, you should arrange for a professional electrician to carry out an inspection to ensure safety.

It’s also important to be aware of the difference between single and three-phase wiring. The single-phase connection is formed of two wires, with the three-phase variety being formed of three or four wires. The single-phase connection allows for the relatively easy balancing of electrical loads via the network. The three-phase connection is better suited to connection within workplaces featuring a variety of electrical machines and equipment, due to the increased generation of power. You can identify either the two or three-phase connection by counting the wires connected with the electrical service panel

Homeowner’s DIY Guide To Electrical Wiring

A practical, money-saving guide to handling home electrical wiring and upgrades correctly, safely, and according to the National Electrical Code The Homeowner’s DIY Guide to Electrical Wiring arms you with the knowledge you need to tackle residential wiring projects and get results that are safe and efficient.

The book shows do-it-yourselfers how to quickly and easily navigate the portions of the National Electrical Code that pertain to residential installations. This hands-on resource covers basic electronics and explains how electrical service progresses downstream to feeders, subpanels, branch circuits, switching, light fixtures, and receptacles. It also addresses networking and home automation topics.

You’ll learn the procedures used by professional electricians to create the kind of quality work that will pass inspection and add value to your home. Emphasizes safety by clearly explaining the pitfalls and dangers of residential electrical work Introduces the layperson to the parts of the National Electrical Code that pertain to residential electrical systems so that the work will pass inspections Shows homeowners how to upgrade to the latest innovations in data networking and home automation as well as alternative power, including solar and wind generation Highlights when it’s recommended to hire a professional electrician

Guide to Electrical Wiring

A practical, money-saving guide to home electrical wiring

Handle residential wiring projects correctly, safely, and according to the National Electrical Code (NEC). Filled with clear photos and helpful diagrams, The Homeowner’s DIY Guide to Electrical Wiring shows you how to quickly and easily navigate the portions of the NEC that pertain to residential installations

This hands-on resource covers basic electronics and explains how electrical service progresses through your home. It describes how to install and test electrical systems and lighting, repair appliances and TVs, and upgrade to the latest innovations such as home networking, home automation, and alternate power systems. You’ll learn the procedures used by professional electricians to create the kind of quality work that will pass inspection and add value to your home

The Homeowner’s DIY Guide to Electrical Wiring shows how to:

Protect against fire and shock hazards

Track electrical service from the point of connection to the entrance panel

Follow NEC requirements for residential projects

Work with test equipment and installation tools

Use the best techniques for quality electrical work

Design and install indoor and outdoor lighting

Maintain and repair electrically powered appliances

Fix CRT, plasma, and LCD TVs

Design a data and communications network and install coax, USB, and Ethernet cabling

Install a home automation system

Install backup and alternate power systems

Work with smart meters

All You Need to Know About Electrical House Wiring

House electrical wiring is a process of connecting different accessories for the distribution of electrical energy from the supplier to various appliances and equipment at home like television, lamps, air conditioners, etc.

Cleat Wiring

This wiring comprises of PVC insulated wires or ordinary VIR that are braided and compounded. They are held on walls and ceilings using porcelain cleats with groves, wood or plastic. It is a temporary wiring system, therefore making it unsuitable for domestic premises. Moreover, cleat wiring system is rarely being used these days.

Casing and Capping Wiring

It was quite popular in the past but it is considered obsolete these days due to the popularity of the conduit and sheathed wiring system. The cables used in this electric wiring were PVC, VIR or any other approved insulated cables. The cables were carried through the wooden casing enclosures, where the casing was made of a strip of wood with parallel grooves cut lengthwise for accommodating the cables.

Batten Wiring

This is when a single electrical wire or a group of wires are laid over a wooden batten. The wires are held to the batten using a brass clip and spaced at an interval of 10 cm for horizontal runs and 15 cm for vertical runs.

Lead Sheathed Wiring

Lead sheathed wiring uses conductors which are insulated with VIR and are covered with an outer sheath of lead aluminum alloy which contains about 95% lead. The metal sheath gives protection to cables from mechanical damage, moisture and atmospheric corrosion.

Electrical Wiring Colour Guide

Obviously, if you’re not a competent person, you shouldn’t be attempting any type of work on electrical wiring.  It’s better to be safe than sorry, especially if the wiring in your home is old as the circuit breakers may not be effective as those found in modern buildings

However, there are occasions when a homeowner or DIYer will come across wires or cables that are of different colours and it’s always prudent to be knowledgeable about which wire does what.

The Old System

Prior to “harmonisation” with other European countries, the United Kingdom’s electrical wiring system used:

Red – live

Black – neutral

Green/yellow  – earth (sometimes bare wire without a sleeve)

The New System

The new system ensures that all new wiring installations are fully harmonised with other countries the European Union. This obviously has several advantages, including safety as EU citizens are currently allowed to work in any other EU country.

When Did The Colours Change?

The new harmonised wiring colour system was made mandatory in 2006, although it was optional for several years prior to this date. If your home was constructed prior to this date, it will probably contain the old wires.

Home Inspection The Leaky Roof

The Roles and Responsibilities of a Buyer’s Home Inspector

The role of the home inspector is often misunderstood by both the Real Estate agent and the home buyer. An unqualified or uninformed inspector can cause enormous problems that many times cannot be corrected. The inspector who is hired by the buyer represents the buyer in the inspection process and is only responsible to them.

In this case, the inspector should be looked upon as part of the buyer’s team which also includes the real estate agent, lender, closing attorney and any other experts hired by the buyer. The home inspector may be the only team member that is not influenced by whether or not the deal closes. The inspector gets paid at the time of the inspection

The information collected during the inspection is the sole property of the client and cannot be revealed to anyone without the client’s permission. In most cases, the client will share the inspection report with his/her real estate agent.

The Responsibilities of a Home Inspector

The sole responsibility of the inspector is to provide the client with a complete and thorough inspection which translate into the inspection report. The report is not an appraisal of value but represents the condition of the property at the time of the inspection. The report serves as an informational tool to assist the buyer in understanding the condition of the property in question and lists any defects that will require attention

Don’t think of the inspection report as a “pass or fail” test, but as an information gathering process. It is also important to mention that the home inspector has no authority in the real estate process. His or her role is advisory only. A home inspector does not have the authority to make you repair or correct anything documented during the inspection. Only municipal inspectors can make a builder comply with things like building codes.

Your Home Inspection Checklist: What to Expect When They Inspect

Home inspections are conducted by an objective third party. Inspectors are typically hired by a home buyer during a purchase, but home inspections can be performed anytime.

The inspection is visual and noninvasive, meaning the inspector will investigate the physical structure of the house and its internal systems but won’t open up walls or lift up flooring.

A professional inspector is a housing generalist; he or she will understand the elements of home construction, proper installation, how the systems of the house should function—independently and as a unit—and how they should have been maintained.

The home inspector can also recognize the signs that a system or component may be about to fail. The homeowner is responsible for providing the inspector with safe access and adequate lighting to facilitate the inspection. The buyer or homeowner doesn’t have to accompany the inspector through the house, but it is recommended by the American Society of Home Inspectors.

Walking the property with the inspector can help the buyer or owner become more familiar with the home and its systems, and it allows the opportunity to ask questions about the condition of the home and how it should be maintained.

A basic inspection should include an examination of the home’s following elements:

Structural integrity

Exterior—attached decks and patios are typically included, but outbuildings and freestanding decks are not

Roofing system

Plumbing system

Electrical system

Heating and air conditioning systems

Interior

Insulation and ventilation

Fireplaces and solid-fuel-burning appliances

Schedule a home inspection

Once you’ve chosen a home, schedule a home inspection appointment as soon as possible. You want to have plenty of time to resolve any problems.

Find a home inspector

Choose an inspector with a reputation for being honest and thorough. You want someone who will give you a complete and honest assessment of the physical condition of the home.

Ask friends or family in your area to see if they have an inspector to recommend. Ask what about their experience, specifically, leads them to recommend the inspector.

You can also look for inspectors online. Check reviews from other buyers.

Schedule an independent inspection for the home as soon as possible

You want to know as soon as possible if there are any major problems with the home so you can decide whether or not you still want to buy the home. Also, if additional inspections are needed, you’ll want to have plenty of time to get them completed.

You should choose the home inspector yourself and plan to pay the inspector directly at the time of service

You want an independent home inspector who is accountable to you and will give you a complete inspection and an honest opinion. If the home inspector is being paid by someone else or not paid until closing, the inspector might underemphasize any problems with the home.

You may be able to negotiate with the seller or cancel the sale based on the inspection

If repairs are needed, you may want to negotiate with the seller about who should make or pay for the repairs. Depending on the terms of your purchase contract and local market conditions, the seller may or may not agree to pay for the repairs. If your purchase contract is contingent on a satisfactory inspection, you have the right to cancel the sale without penalty if you are not satisfied with the results of the inspection.

Home Inspections

Most home buyers want their next home to be in very good condition. The problem is that it can be very hard for the untrained eye to fully inspect a home for any of the potential underlying issues that may be present. That’s why it is important to hire a professional to come out and properly inspect the property. Home inspectors help provide peace of mind about the investment you make in your new home is a successful one from the start.

What is a Home Inspection?

According to the American Society of Home Inspectors a home inspection is a “visual examination of the physical structure and systems of a house, from roof to the foundation.” Standard home inspections include a review of the home heating and cooling system, interior plumbing, electrical systems, roofing, doors,windows, walls and foundation. Inspections can also cover areas such as appliances, garages and basements. With so much covered under one inspection, you can understand why it is so important to make sure you have your future home inspected by a professional before you sign any paperwork.

Who Should You Hire?

Similar to most purchases, it’s important to do your research before you hire a home inspector. Look for a certified general contractor or home inspector in your area who is able to inspect all the major systems throughout the home. As the buyer, you want a home inspector who will be brutally honest with you so that you know the exact condition of the property. Unsure who to hire? Ask friends and family for suggestions. Your realtor may also have a company they recommend. Look into how long an inspector has been a professional and whether they have any certifications in their field. Although certifications are not a requirement in every state, they can still be a great indicator of an inspector’s training.

The Day of the Inspection

Home inspections typically last about 3 hours and cost between $200-$500, depending on the size of the home. Although attendance is not mandatory, we always recommend the buyer be present during the inspection. Doing so will give you a first hand view of what is going on within the house and allow you to ask questions on how to resolve issues of concern. After the inspection is complete, a written report is given to both the buyer and the seller.

What is Not Included in a Home Inspection?

There are several areas general home inspectors do not cover. Home inspectors are not qualified to look for harmful materials such as lead, toxic mold, radon gas and asbestos. They are also not exterminators and as such won’t check properties for pests. Outdoor items like pools and septic tanks will not be reviewed. It is important to remember that inspectors can’t see through walls. While inspectors are careful and comprehensive, if they can’t see it, they can’t report it. For these additional items, separate professionals are needed for more specific inspections.

Home Inspection

MOVE IN INSPECTION

A Move In home inspection is ideal when your newly constructed home is finished and ready for occupancy, but prior to the final walk through by the builder. You get critical information about your new home prior to closing, giving the builder time to make any necessary corrections before the purchase is finalized.

ONE YEAR ANNIVERSARY

A One Year Anniversary home inspection is performed approximately 30 days before the expiration of the builder’s one-year new home warranty to address any warranty-related concerns that you may want to bring to the builder’s attention and allows time for any necessary repairs before the warranty expires.

HOME BUYER CONSULTATION

Home Inspection provides home buyer consultations for homes that have already been inspected. We will review and explain the home inspection report and answer any questions you may have.

CONDO, TOWNHOME, MANUFACTURED HOME, DUPLEX, MULTIPLEX INSPECTION

There are many aspects of condominiums, townhomes, manufactured and mobile homes, duplexes and multiplexes that differ from a permanent residence. Similar to a full home inspection, the home inspector reviews all visual aspects of all major systems specific to these types of homes.

WOOD DESTROYING ORGANISMS / INSECTS (WDO/WDI) INSPECTION

wood destroying organism/insect inspection can be performed at the same time as one of our other inspections, or on its own, so you’ll know if termites, ants, dry rot, or another type of destructive organism has worked its way into your house, and your home inspector will provide you with advice on how to handle the problem.

The Best Thing You Can Do To Meet Tax Preparation

The pros and cons of professional tax preparation

One of the most important decisions you can make regarding your income taxes is whether to get your tax preparation done with the help of a professional, versus trying to go it alone or using self-guided tax preparation software.

When it comes to your income taxes, a major decision you are required to make is determining whether you should get a professional to do your tax preparation or try doing it yourself or use an automatic tax preparation software for it. It can be a good idea to hand over things to a professional however, it has its cons. Here are some of the pros and cons of getting a professional to do your tax preparation:

This article discusses the pros and cons of getting a professional tax preparer to handle things for you.

Pros of Professional Tax Preparation

The Fees may be Deductible in Some Cases

It is important to be aware of the possibility that your professional tax preparation fees can be deducted on your income tax return if you satisfy certain requirements. The fee for tax preparation is regarded as a miscellaneous deduction and you can report it on the IRS Tax Form 1040 Schedule A.

For example, you can deduct things like the mileage you drove to meet with your tax preparer and the postage of mailing documents to them (including the postage of mailing your tax return to the state tax agency and the IRS). You may also be able to deduct the cost of a book you purchased regarding the new tax regulations to help you in filing the return. You can also get any fee you were charged for e-filing your tax return online deducted.

It is essential to be aware that the fees for tax preparation are considered miscellaneous deductions. For this reason, in order to claim the tax break, you are required to itemize your deductions.

Moreover, before your miscellaneous deductions are subtracted on your income tax return, they must surpass 2% of your AGI (Adjusted Gross Income).

It will Save You Money and Time

Accuracy and convenience are two of the most important benefits of hiring a professional to prepare your taxes. You can save a significant amount of time by not having to go through and try to comprehend the form instructions, news releases, and publications provided by the IRS. Even time has monetary value; the time you end up spending working on your tax return alone may cost you more than employing a tax professional’s services.

It is possible to make a lot of errors when filing your tax forms; the services of a tax professional can help you reduce those mistakes. They can also properly identify all tax deductions and/or tax credits you are suitable for to ensure that you do not end up overpaying taxes.

If you are thinking of using a tax preparation software, it is important to be aware that it is not going to take your specific circumstances into account (like your losses and capital gains). Since most  tax preparation software options are created for individuals who do not have very complex tax situations, it may not be a good option for taxpayers with complicated finances.

Another benefit of professional tax preparation is that, unlike the software, you are provided with a guaranteed representation against a possible tax audit.

No Costly Errors

Probably the most critical advantages of spending money on a professional preparer are accountability and precision. Consider the hours you could avoid losing from attempting to peruse and comprehend the IRS’s guidelines, exceptions, and yearly revisions. You may find that the hours you spend working over your documents and forms wind up costing you more than the maximum cost of a professional hire.

There is a ton of space for mistakes with regards to tax documents. You can protect yourself from soaking up huge penalties for getting it all wrong. An expert assessment preparer can likewise prevent overpaying because you left out a deduction or exemption in your tax forms.

Tax software doesn’t hold your hand for all the itemized deductions. Tax code isn’t made for easy check-boxing if you’re a business owner. Same goes for things like capital gains tax exemptions.

This stuff is never handled alone by those who have built their wealth by taking advantage of the tax incentives.

Cons of Professional Tax Preparation

You may Encounter Scams – Be Vigilant When Choosing a Tax Professional

You should keep a few things in mind when hiring a tax professional. To begin, you should not delay scheduling an appointment until the last moment. Most of the best accountants near you will most likely have waiting lists. Your options are going be limited if you try to get in touch with an accountant when your return is due in a few days.

Secondly, similar to how you would handle hiring an employee, remember to check the references of the tax professional. Ask for recommendations from friends and family. Another good indicator is testimonials and reviews given by happy clients. Make sure to be vigilant of anyone who may have a license that the IRS no longer considers valid.

The Initial Cost of Professional Tax Preparation Can Be Unappealing

The most obvious drawback to hiring a tax professional who will personally prepare and file your return is the cost. The price for getting your tax return prepared by a professional may range anywhere from $60 to $1000 or more, depending on the type and number of tax form(s) you need filed. If your tax situation is relatively complicated, you should expect to pay more for professional tax preparation. If you need both your federal and state tax returns prepared by a professional, that will cost you more as well.

A survey was recently conducted by the National Society of Accountants (NSA) which showed that the average cost of professional tax preparation is $246. This is price that most tax preparers will charge for a 1040 Tax Form with itemized deductions (Schedule A) plus a state tax return. On the other hand, the cost of getting a simple 1040 Form (without itemized deductions) prepared by a professional averages around $143. As for business tax returns, the NSA survey found that the average cost for preparing an 1120 Tax Form (corporations) is $759, while the average cost for preparing an 1120S Tax Form (S corporations) is $717.

Pediatric Chiropractic

What does pediatric physical therapist do?

What is a Pediatric Physical Therapist?

If your child needs physical therapy, they’ll work with a pediatric physical therapist (PT). Typically, pediatric PTs treat kids under 18, from newborns to teenagers. They see children for a variety of different reasons, including bone/muscle issues, sports-related injuries, or genetic, brain, spine, or nerve disorders.

PTs have years of training, and some even earn a Doctor of Physical Therapy degree.

What do Pediatric Physical Therapists do?

When it comes to working with children, a physical therapist works on the same underlying deficits as they do when working with adults, but in the context of children’s mobility and movements.  In infants, physical therapists work on the infant’s gross motor skill development.  This means that PT’s work with infants to help them in terms of learning how to move within their environment.  This includes learning how to roll over, sit up, crawl, stand, walk, etc.

In older children, physical therapists continue to work on mobility—helping them run, jump and play.  PT’s can also address a variety of other movement concerns including coordination deficits, balance deficits, and decreased core strength.

Pediatric PT’s will also treat children after injury and surgery, addressing the needs of the child to help them through their rehabilitation process.  Click here for more on the role of pediatric physical therapy.

How do I know if my child needs physical therapy?

  • After an injury (from a fall, during a sporting event, etc.)
  • After a surgery
  • If your child frequently falls, trips or slips and seems to be off balance
  • If your child has difficulty keeping up with his/her peers on the playground or at school
  • If your child has difficulty with coordinating his/her movements including tasks such as jumping jacks
  • If your child chronically complains of pain in the same body part
  • If your child is developmentally delayed- for details see below

Workplace Details

Pediatric physical therapists work in neonatal intensive care units, schools, outpatient treatment centers, hospitals, rehabilitation facilities, or directly in the child’s home. They also work in international development, and in disaster settings where they may treat children who have lost limbs due to landmines or war-related trauma. Pediatric PTs usually have a deep desire and a natural aptitude for working with special needs children and their families.

Depending on the setting, work hours vary. Therapists who work in hospitals, clinics, rehabilitation facilities, and similar settings often enjoy the option to work full or part time. Those working in schools find their schedules influenced by school hours. Therapists performing in-home care often must adjust their schedules to provide services to children during hours when they are home, making evening or weekend visits if necessary.

Things You Should Know About Pediatric Physical Therapy

With pediatric physical therapy, kids who are injured or who have certain health conditions can reach their full potential and function better at home, in school, and in other environments. If you’re considering whether your child could benefit from working with a pediatric physical therapist, here are some basic facts you should know about this type of health care.

1. Treating injured children is different from helping adults and requires a unique approach. Pediatric physical therapy must involve a team of experts trained specifically to deal with kids’ bone and muscle structure. Additionally, therapists must demonstrate a high level of patience and compassion, since children might not understand the need for physical therapy and can have more trouble staying on task than adults would.

2. Parents and family members become part of the process. Pediatric physical therapists work not only with the child who needs treatment but also with family members. A child’s caretakers play a vital role in successfully enacting a treatment program. Therapists can support families in advancing their children’s development and physical therapy progress by offering services such as providing specific information on the patient’s needs, offering guidance on using physical therapy equipment directly, and more, according to the APTA.

3. Insurance coverage for pediatric physical therapy varies. If your child needs physical therapy, it’s important to review your health insurance policy or program to see what types of treatment it covers and what the reimbursement levels are for those services, the APTA states. Additionally, it helps to become familiar with laws that require and affect the provision of pediatric physical therapy, such as the Individuals With Disabilities Act, the Rehabilitation Act (Section 504), and the Americans With Disabilities Act.

4. Pediatric physical therapy can benefit children dealing with a wide range of conditions. Physical therapy can help kids in various circumstances. Pediatric physical therapists at Little Steps specialize (but aren’t limited to) the following:

  • Prematurity
  • Developmental delay
  • Birth defects
  • Muscle diseases
  • Genetic disorders
  • Cerebral palsy
  • Torticollis
  • Acute trauma
  • Head injury
  • Sports injury
  • Orthopedic disabilities/injury

Benefits of Physical Therapy

You are probably asking yourself, what are the main benefits that come with pediatric physical therapy? We have listed below the essentials involved our services, the benefits that come with it and the experience your child will get.

Physical therapy rehabilitation is extremely important after an injury and there is no question that those who go through physical therapy end up in much better shape in the long run and return to full activity much sooner. In fact, a great deal of the time those people that do not have a physical therapy plan after a surgery or an injury that is guided to healing their specific problem do not return to the level of activity that they had in the past. Because of this, it is very important to take any type of physical therapy with the utmost of importance.

What Can My Child Improve On?

  • Range of Motion – how far a joint can bend or straighten
  • Strength – strength against gravity
  • Balance – ability to maintain balance (tilting and righting responses) and to keep oneself from falling (protective responses)
  • Reflexes – automatic responses seen particularly in infants (palmar grasp, positive support, asymmetrical tonic neck reflex [ATNR] and labyrinthine)
  • Posture – alignment of the body in various positions
  • Tone – natural resistance in a muscle (increased tone is stiffness and decreased tone is floppiness)

Move In Cleaning Practical Tips

How much does house cleaning cost?

The national average cost of house cleaning is $25 to $50 per hour per cleaner. The total price depends on the size of the home, type of cleaning and where you live. A three-bedroom, 2,000-square-foot home costs $150 to $250 to clean on average, while a one-bedroom apartment starts at $80 to $110. Deep cleaning, laundry, window cleaning, and move-out or event cleanup will add to the cost

House cleaning cost breakdown

Cleaning businesses and maid services charge based on square footage, price per room or price per hour. Because each job is unique, most professionals will only quote a final rate after performing a walk-through.

Price per square foot

Most house cleaning companies charge by the hour or by number of bedrooms and bathrooms, but some charge by the square foot. The more square footage to be cleaned, the higher your overall costs will be. A company may charge different rates per square foot depending on the type of cleaning service they are providing.

Price per bedroom

The number of bedrooms you have in your house will play a role in determining cleaning costs. If your cleaning company bases their rates on number of rooms, rather than square footage, your room count matters. Even if your place is only 800 square feet, your cleaning costs will vary depending on whether it’s a studio apartment or a two-bedroom house.

Number of bedrooms can often indicate how many people live in the home and how relatively clean or dirty it might be. Usually customers want bedding changed and beds made up, which requires extra time and effort the more bedrooms there are, thus driving up your cost. If you have spare bedrooms that are not being used on a regular basis, you can negotiate with your house cleaners to vacuum and dust the rooms on a less frequent basis, thereby saving you money

The Moving Survival Guide: Moving Day Cleaning Tips

Even if we are experts in packing and transferring utilities, moving out is always unnerving tribulation. To make your life easier, we are going to put together a complete Moving Survival Guide. Aside from that, we will help you make sure you get your security deposit back. Read through to learn more about our moving day cleaning tips!

Start packing and tossing

It’s going to be hard leaving items behind. But you have to decide beforehand what you need in your new home. No one wants cluttered and unused stuff at home. Most definitely, your home does not deserve a haul of unused stuff.

Decide on a strategy

It’s good to decide you need to hire a car or a truck to save time on moving. If you are going to cover a long distance from an old home to a new one, you will have to figure out how to maximize the space of the truck. Make things easier for you by listing important details in advance to help movers. While making a list, you have to keep in mind the number and size of items. You must greatly consider bulky items like sofas, antiques, and pianos. Aside from those, you must also consider the number of stairs or elevators you will have to get through in both your pickup and drop location is also an important question.

Get permits and permission

Last but not least, you need to sort it out when the elevator doesn’t run or is out of service. You will need a backup strategy on how to bring up those bulky items. Another thing is if it’s going to be easy to have a parking slot to park the truck and unload your stuff. Look into local parking regulations and secure permits ahead of unloading time, especially if you plan to do so on weekdays.

Transfer utilities

Before checking in to the new place, make sure you have Wifi, electricity, gas, water, and of course, cable. No one would like to spend the first night at the new home in the dark and starving the whole night.

Pack a survival kit

You need a pretty long list of things on hand throughout the move to a new place, from Sharpies and duct tape! In case you forget, last-minute packing or labeling comes out of the box. Don’t miss out on those trash bags and cleaning supplies!

House Cleaning Prices

General housecleaning prices vary by location but typically fall in the $100 to $200 range. For deeper cleans or one time visits you might hit $400 or more

You might pay slightly less for different services or based on who you get to clean your home:

Housekeeper costs $75 to $250 on average. They often take care of more than just cleaning, including other chores like cooking, laundry and shopping.

Maid service costs $125 to $240 on average. They usually focus exclusively on cleaning tasks.

Live in and full time maid or housekeepers run $1,200 to $2,500 per week. You’ll negotiate services and fees individually but expect them to take care of all household chores, cooking, shopping and cleaning.

Junk removal service costs $130 to $350 on average. They don’t normally do in house cleaning, but instead remove any junk you’ve identified and had piled up. It’s often a great addition to home cleaning services when doing a one-off clean or to help with move out or hoarding situations.

There are various chores you can have a professional do around your home. To ensure a good deal, get quotes from several services, as some might offer package deals or special rates depending on the season and other factors.

A few questions to ask yourself before deciding on a service:

Are you hiring one person or a service?

How often are you hiring them to clean your house?

Are you supplying specialized cleaning chemicals?

How large is your home?

House Cleaning Rates Per Hour

On average, you’ll pay anywhere from $25 to $90 per hour for house cleaning service. The size, location and condition of your home strongly impacts the price. While you can calculate an average hourly rate, it’s good know what you might be paying on a weekly or monthly basis, just in case. Prices for a cleaning service versus an individual vary widely.

Pre Move In & Move Out Cleaning Services

Don’t have enough time to clean up before you move in to your new house? Relax, let us handle the pressure of move in cleaning. Our pre move in house cleaning services ensure you walk into a clean and healthy environment while moving homes.

Want your damage deposit back in full? Our move out cleaning specialists will clean every each area to ensure you are not put in an embarrassing situation when the new tenants move-in. Our professional cleaning services make moving out less stressful.

All Rooms and Hallways

Sweep & mop or vacuum all floors and rugs

Clean all mirrors, baseboards, windows, windowsills, ceiling fans and light fixtures

Remove cobwebs

Clean interior and exterior of all closets

Pre- and Post-Move Cleaning Checklist

Moving a house can be a challenging experience. You have to adequately plan it for everything to happen as per your schedule. When you are planning to move there are many things that you have to do and one of them is cleaning.  The idea of cleaning can be daunting to many but if it is done on time it will help you reduce unnecessary baggage when moving. When you clean your current house, you will ensure that the house is in good condition and your deposit will be guaranteed.  No matter how tired you are you should try to clean it so that your moving process will be easy. In addition, before you move, clean the house you are moving into. This way you will not be worried about any germs or dirt once you have settled. Besides, you will not have time to clean once your boxes are delivered.

Moving out cleaning tips

For the cleaning to be effective it is critical that you have cleaning supplies at hand. There are certain cleaning supplies that you cannot do without when moving your house. Some of these include white vinegar, glass cleaners, disinfecting cleaners, dusting cloths, cleaning cloths, nylon-bristled scrubbers, and different kinds of brushes. It is vital that you should not load these items on your moving truck because you want to clean your current house quickly and move. It is recommended that you clean the house by task and not by room this way you will handle your takes as fast you can. You will need to follow the checklist below to help you during the moving process.

Move Out Cleaning Checklist

Now that you have the basics on what cleaning should involve before and after the move the next aspect is to do a checklist that will guide you to do the cleaning effectively.

Kitchen

Empty all your drawers and cabinets out then wipe them clean with a mild cleaner and soft sponge. Do not forget to remove your liners and replace them with new ones, once they have dried completely. Clean countertops with warm soapy water and disinfect them to reduce bacterial and mold growth. Use specialized glass cleaner to make all the glass elements in your kitchen to shine. Scrub your sinks and faucets with appropriate cleaning products use chlorine-free bleach to make them shine. Drop lemon slices to remove any odors. Empty and clean the refrigerator by removing the drawers and shelves and wipe with the right appliance inside with soapy water. Remove the grills from the oven and racks and scrub them clean with soapy water. You can use steel wool to scrub and pay attention to the oven glass door. Remove all the grease and grime from the entire stove surface. For the dishwasher, shake baking soda and damp sponge and wipe down all the surfaces. Add a small amount of bleach to remove any bacteria. Finish the cleaning by sweeping and mopping the kitchen floor.

Bathrooms

Tiles

Scrub the tiles and grout with a cleaner that contains bleach and rinse them well.

Tub and shower

Clean the tub, shower road, tub fixtures, shower head, and the shower enclose and ensure that all the soap scum is removed. Use adequate disinfectant to rinse all the surfaces well this will ensure that there is no bacteria build-up.

Sinks

Scour the sink and pay attention to the handles, faucets and chromed surfaces. Use an old toothbrush to get to areas that are hard to reach with a normal brush.

How To Get Rid Of Raccoon Near Your Residential Home

How to Get Rid of Raccoons: A Step-by-Step Anti-Coon Guide!

This ever-smiling face may fool you into considering it friendly. Okay, a well-trained pet raccoon (if you get one) may become a real friend. But a wild raccoon is not such a good fellow; in fact, it has everything it takes to spoil your life.

How to Know a Raccoon

The most common in the U.S. is the so-called North American raccoon. It has a black “bandit mask” upon its face and a banded tail; believe me, it’s hard to miss it and confuse a coon for a dog. Usually, its weight is up to 30 lbs (sometimes more), the length is up to 2 feet, plus a tail that’s almost a foot long.

Potential Raccoon Dangers

In real life, raccoons are not as cute as they are on pictures. In my countryside childhood, I often saw them stealing chickens – or rather, I saw no coons and missed chickens right until we caught one red-pawed coon. But even if you’re not into breeding, they can do various sorts of harm, from attacking your dog to throwing upside down your trash containers.

Having one in your attic, though, is probably the second worst thing about them. Just imagine having a couple of them with all their family life, quarrels and romance heard all over the house. A coon soap opera, you can’t turn off with a remote, with all the consequences listed above. It’s aggravated by their nocturnal lifestyle, making it harder for you to sleep next to the coon party.

Raccoon Signs

If a raccoon is already in, you will soon know. But do you have to hear them quarrel in your attic at night to tell there are raccoons? There are other ways to know they’re around.

Footprints. Maybe you’ll feel what Robinson Crusoe felt on his island on recognizing there are dangerous guests. A raccoon footstep looks like a human one, due to its unusual paws.

Droppings and scratches on trees and woodpiles. Coons are not that tall, so these signs are to be seen at the bottom, not near the crown of trees.

Mess where you don’t expect it. Coons eagerly throw trash around to see if there’s anything edible in the container. They are also a bit awkward (though fast), so you can see things thrown around in your yard.

Raccoons. Spot one in your area, and that’s the sign there’ll be others.

Managing Raccoon Problems

Raccoons, Procyon lotor, are found throughout most of the United States. Although raccoons are commonly found in wooded areas along rivers and streams, marshes or lakes, they have the ability to adapt and take advantage of new habitats. Like many animals they are opportunistic and seek a lifestyle that has the greatest reward for the least effort. Urban environments often present such opportunities, and raccoons have readily adapted.

Raccoon problems

Most towns and cities have raccoons living within city limits. Because raccoons are active at night (nocturnal), they are seldom seen. Of all the wild animals that have adapted to city life, raccoons probably have the potential to be the most destructive.

Raccoons cause problems when they lose their fear of humans and move into urban areas to live. Problems include feeding in garbage cans, establishing dens in chimneys and plugging them with nest material, tearing off shingles or facia boards to enter an attic or wall space, or causing damage to gardens and fruit trees. Raccoons also may carry fleas, ticks, lice, distemper, mange, and canine and feline parvovirus. Raccoons may also carry rabies, which is different from other rabies strains.

Biology and behavior

Adult raccoons may weigh from 10 to 30 pounds. Most daily movements of raccoons are within a relatively small area called a “home range.” Males normally have home ranges no larger than 2 to 3 square miles while female ranges do not exceed 1 to 2 square miles. The home range of juvenile raccoons are usually less than one square mile. These home ranges also become smaller as winter approaches. During extremely cold winter days, raccoons are not very active. Raccoons do not hibernate during the winter, but may sleep several days during these extremely cold periods

Identification of damage

The first step in controlling any wildlife problem is to determine which animal(s) are causing the damage. Evidence of raccoon activity may include tipping over trash cans and scattering trash, tearing up shingles or facia boards to enter an attic or wall space, or plugging chimneys with nest material. Raccoons in a chimney or attic may whine, growl, or make other noises that indicate their presence.

How Much Does Raccoon Removal Cost? A Detailed Guide

How Much Does Raccoon Removal Cost? The cost of raccoon removal varies based on several factors, including methods employed, the number of raccoons involved, and the range of services offered. Depending on these factors, you can expect the cost to be between $150 – $500 USD.

How do the raccoon removal companies arrive at these prices? How can you know if the service is worth the cost? How can you make sure you’re getting a good value for the money you pay?

Raccoon Removal: Services and Costs

Having a raccoon problem can be very stressful, and no doubt, the first thing — and maybe the only thing — on your mind is getting rid of it. But you don’t want to be taken advantage of. There are plenty of unscrupulous people out there you are just looking gouge others. Hopefully, this will give you a little bit of peace of mind, so that you can focus on the task, not the cost.

Ground-Based Trapping

Different types of costs involved:

One-time setup fee: $75 – $150

Trap maintenance (flat fee): $50 – $100 per check-In

Per raccoon fee: $50 – $75 per raccoon

This is the service that you would require if you have a raccoon that is sneaking around on your property that you would like to have removed. Maybe a raccoon has been living in a tree on your property or has been using your trash bins like a buffet every night. In short, the distinction in this case is that there’s a raccoon on and around your property, rather than living inside your home, garage or shed.

Note that it is very common to have raccoons come by and check out your trash or perhaps any fruit-bearing trees that might be on your property. This in and of itself probably doesn’t justify spending your hard-earned money on raccoon removal. Unless and until they become a consistent nuisance or start causes serious problems, removal probably isn’t necessary. It would likely be worth it to try some do-it-yourself prevention methods first.

Managing Raccoon Pests

Raccoons are not normally aggressive and rarely injure people; however, they can be dangerous when threatened or cornered. Remember that they’re wild animals and should be treated accordingly.

Do not put food out for raccoons or other wildlife and never leave pet food where wildlife can get it. Dogs are not an effective method of keeping raccoons away so keep pets indoors at night.

Poultry, lawns and gardens:

Tightly cover doors and windows of poultry buildings

Place mesh-wire fences with an overhang around poultry yards

Install an electrical component to the fence around your yard

Garbage cans:

Keep garbage in plastic bags inside a building or shed

Secure garbage can lids with rubber straps and hooks (remove them before garbage collection)

Clean garbage cans with ammonia or bleach to reduce odours that may attract pests

Buildings: Raccoons cause damage when they try to enter attics, crawl spaces or chimneys. In extreme cases, they may tear off shingles or fascia boards. Cover access points with heavy wire screening. Prune tree limbs and place a piece of tin loosely around tree trunks to prevent access to rooftops.

Hunting & Trapping Raccoons

Do not use poison to kill any wildlife – it’s illegal. Contact a professional pest control company or your municipality if you have a persistent raccoon problem. Raccoons may be trapped (in season) by registered trappers who have a valid trapping licence. A mother and her baby raccoons cannot be removed from their nesting site until the pups are able to leave with the mother (about 12 weeks). Removing and relocating the pups without the mother will likely result in pups starving to death.

How to Get Rid of Raccoons

How do you know if you have a raccoon visiting your home? Read on to learn about the signs of raccoon activity, and how to remove them from your property safely and humanely.

Raccoons may look adorable, with their solemn, masked faces, but they can cause harm and damage to your home, your pets, and even your health. These pests can be annoying, tipping over your garbage cans to leave trash strewn everywhere and decimating your vegetable garden.

Signs of Raccoon Activity

How do you know if you have a raccoon visiting your home? Tipped over garbage cans are a telltale sign, but also look for their droppings near the base of trees or wood piles. They are nocturnal creatures, so sometimes you can hear them at night. Raccoons make a wide range of noises, but the most common one you’ll hear is a frenzied chirping or chittering sound.

What Does Raccoon Poop Look Like?

But the biggest hazard that raccoons present comes from their poop. Their feces, which are similar in shape and smell to dog feces, can carry roundworm eggs that are very harmful to humans.

How to Get Rid of Raccoons & Keep Them Away

The best way to get rid of these unwanted guests is to stop enticing them. Secure garbage cans shut with bungee cords, avoid leaving pet food outside at night, clean up birdseed strewn on the ground, and protect your vegetable garden in a mesh enclosure.