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.

Important Information About Insulated Bucket Truck Tires

Difference Between LT and P Tires

LT vs P Tires

The tires of truck and passenger vehicles are different. The tires differ in their size and air pressure. Well, in order to differentiate between truck and passenger vehicle tires, the letters LT and P are placed in front of the tire size.

If you want to carry heavier loads, or want to travel on harsh roads, then the best tires are the LT tires, as they are tougher on the roads than the P tires. If you just want to ride on the highways, and if there is nothing much to tow or carry, then the P type is the best choice.

P tires refer to Passenger tires and LT refers to Light Truck tires. One of the main differences that can be noticed between the two types of tires is that the LT tires are not as flexible as the P tires.

When comparing their durability, the LT tires are more durable than the P type tires. Moreover, LT tires are stronger when compared to the P types. LT tires ride rougher than the P tires, which ride smoother on the roads.

Another difference that can be seen between the two types, is that the Light truck tires come with maximum inflation. Unlike the Passenger tires, the Light Truck ones are used for carrying more loads. LT tires have a load range of 10 ply, whereas P tires only have a 4 ply load range.

Light Truck tires are made of more aggressive treads than the Passenger type tires. LT tires will give a more stable feeling on the roads.

Durability and Usage

Durability is a key concern for many vehicle owners, so it’s vital to understand which tire to choose if you intend to drive in different types of conditions. LT tires are built to cope with a wide range of difficult terrains, making them a more suitable option for off-road use. Their durable design ensures that their sidewalls don’t get damaged easily.

P-Metric tires, on the other hand, are more suitable for on-road use. This is why they are more popular and are fitted to a wide range of cars, light trucks and smaller vehicles that only travel on smoother driving surfaces.

LT tires are built with strength in mind and their tread depths are normally deeper than they are on P-Metric wheels. The sidewall of LT tires is stronger than P-Metric tires because they have added plies that help in preventing sidewall punctures or bruises. This makes LT tires stronger but they are a little less flexible than their P-Metric counterparts, which affects ride comfort to a degree.

Air Pressure and Tire Load Rating

In certain situations, the amount of air pressure a tire is able to hold can prevent future problems such as overheating. An LT tire is usually designed to hold more air pressure than P-Metric tires, so that it can comfortably tow or transport heavy loads all of the time.

Choosing the correct Tire Load Rating is something you need to get right. If it’s too low, it can affect the performance of your tires. Standard and XL (extra load) are the two tire load ratings of P-Metric tires. P-Metric Extra Load tires include an ‘XL’ marking on their wheel size, while Standard rated tires do not have this marking.

LT tires hold higher air pressure, with C, D, E and F tires available that can hold up to 80psi.

What Does a Load Range of SL on a Truck Tire Mean?

There is a lot of important information, including load range, printed on the side of tires. The load range indicates the maximum amount of weight a tire can safely carry. The load capacity of tires becomes especially important on trucks, which are often used to carry heavy loads.

Function

Tires are given a maximum load rating based on the tire’s size, construction and inflation pressure. P-metric sized tires–tires with sizes starting with a “P” such as P235/75R15–are given a load range rating of either SL or XL. SL stands for Standard Load and XL indicates extra load. An SL-rated tire has its maximum load capacity at an inflation pressure of 35 psi. XL tires can carry a heavier load when inflated to 41 psi.

Identification

The maximum load capacity in pounds will be listed on the tire sidewall or in tire load/inflation charts. All SL-rated tires of the same size will have the same load capacity. For example, all P235/75R15 SL tires have a maximum load capacity of 2,018 pounds.

Warning

The load capacity for P-metric tire sizes is for passenger cars. If a P-metric tire is mounted on a truck or SUV, the maximum load capacity is reduced by 9 percent. If our P235/75R15 tires are used on a truck or SUV, the maximum load per tire is 2,028 times 91 percent or 1,845 pounds. The total weight for the vehicle should not exceed 7,380 pounds. The load capacity of an SL load range tire does not increase by inflating the tire to more than 35 psi. The tire will have a maximum tire pressure greater than 35 psi, but the max load capacity is reached at 35 psi.

Considerations

There are several ways to provide your truck with a higher load capacity. XL tires instead of SL tires will add about 140 pounds of capacity per tire. Larger tire sizes will have higher load capacity. Switch from P-metric tires to light truck tires with load ranges listed as C, D or E. These tires have maximum loads at inflation pressures of 50, 65 and 80 psi respectively and are not load-downgraded for truck use. For example, a light truck tire size 255/75R15 load range C has a load capacity of 2,270 pounds, over 400 pounds more that the P235/75R15 SL P-metric tire when used on a truck.

Significance

SL-rated tires are the lowest load capacity tires that are used on trucks and SUVs. If your truck has load range SL tires, consider upgrading the tire load capacity, or be careful how much cargo you haul in your truck.

The Practical And The Extravagant Points Of Your Bathroom Remodeling

A beginner’s guide to bathrooms

Whether you are designing a luxury bathhouse or a simple wet area, a well-planned bathroom makeover should never end up looking like an architectural afterthought. The bathroom is one of the highest traffic areas in any home.  It is one of the most expensive yet least changed rooms in the house to remodel, so money well spent today will mean savings in the long term. Attractive and robust bathrooms should comfortably endure changes in style and the rigours of family life for years to come.

Where to begin?

First, find the design style that inspires you. This will be useful for keeping sales and tradespeople on track. But don’t get too lost dreaming about candlelit bubble baths just yet as there are a few factors to consider before the old walls come down.

Ask yourself:

How much space is there? Not every house has the room to unleash grander designs (bathrooms are usually the smallest rooms in older homes,) the good news is, downsized bathrooms are on trend. Carefully measure the area and then the dimensions of desired bathroom fixtures.

Are the locations staying the same?

Shower or bath or both?

How is the room shaped? More unusual layouts will affect the organizing and positioning of the various elements, right down to the pipes, and electrical wiring.

How much storage is required? Is there room for toiletries, towels and bathroom supplies?

Is there someone in the family with special needs? They may need an all-one-wet room free of clutter, with overhead shower, hand rails, specific fixture heights and extra space.

What features are most important? Make a list of the must have’s and what goes.

Are bathroom renovations affordable?

A quality bathroom is achievable on a restricted budget. Particularly when existing layout and plumbing locations are re-employed. A flexi-hand shower over the bath with a printed shower curtain can add a touch of style with the minimum of cost and effort. For a more complete look, shop around for off-the-shelf bathroom packages at DIY centres. Changing out door handles, drawer pulls and the hardware on shower doors or the shower doors themselves can dramatically change the look of a room. So too will a new vanity.

Natural light

While natural ventilation and daylight are desirable, a three-in-one light, fan and heater offer a cost-effective solution to dealing with damp in a small to medium size space.

Bathroom Remodeling Planning Guide

Bathrooms may be among the smallest rooms in the house, but that doesn’t mean a bathroom remodel is simple: bathrooms are the second most complex room in the house to remodel after kitchens.

A variety of unique factors come into play when remodeling a bathroom. It’s important to consider the primary function of the bathroom (e.g., master or guest bathroom), who uses the bathroom (including their ages), special needs like stabilizer bars in the bath/shower, and how to maximize storage space.

You’ll also make important choices on paint color, lighting, flooring, countertops, sink(s), bath/shower, toilet, fittings and fixtures. Also, don’t forget your wish list: some bathrooms now feature coffee makers, TV, charging stations, towel warmers and even small fireplaces.

Thinking about what you really want and need from your bathroom remodel takes a little effort. However, considering that the time between remodels is often 10-20 years or longer, it just makes sense to plan your project as effectively as possible. The effort will help you save money, and increase the odds that you’ll be happy when the work is done.

Footprint and Infrastructure

As a reminder, a room’s “footprint” is essentially its core structure: the foundation, walls, plumbing, and electrical wiring. Changing the footprint – such as moving a toilet or switching from a tub to a standing shower – will add time and expense to your project, so think carefully about whether or not major changes are needed.

Planning Guide: Bathroom Remodeling

Bathrooms continue to top homeowners’ lists of popular rooms to remodel—and for good reason. As more Americans are carefully investing in their homes rather than selling, they realize the value of a bath redo extends beyond enjoying new decor. Per Remodeling magazine’s 2010-2011 Cost vs. Value Report, midrange bath remodels get a 70% return on investment—even higher in certain regions or neighborhoods. That means if you spend the national average of $16,634 to remodel, you will not only enjoy a new bath, but you’ll also recoup $11,643 or more when you sell. (And having an updated bath just might give you a seller’s edge in a slow market.)

As with any home improvement project, it’s smart to spend with care. Begin the process by deciding how much you’d be comfortable investing in a bath, then do some research and familiarize yourself with the basics. This guide will provide useful information about design considerations, storage solutions, and tips for choosing materials and fixtures.

PLANNING YOUR BEST BATH

Most baths are modest in size (50-70 square feet), but that doesn’t stop homeowners from dreaming big. To get a realistic perspective on what’s possible, look through design books, magazines, and websites for ideas. Visit home shows and designer showrooms where you can open drawers, feel jet sprays, and really ‘kick the tires.’

How will the bath be used? It may sound obvious, but first take note of who will be using the bathroom and how, says Nakahara. Are you redoing a family bath that receives lots of wear and tear? Or are you going for a spa-like master bath to soak your cares away? Determining the needs of the inhabitants will give you key direction on materials, storage, and space needs.

Set a budget. According to the National Kitchen and Bath Association (NKBA), a non-profit trade association, bathrooms can be one of the priciest rooms to remodel on a cost-per-square foot basis, partly due to the fact that there are numerous water, electrical and plumbing issues. Still, there are options to suit almost any budget. “To share a few examples: a master suite with all the amenities and luxurious materials in a major metro area could reach $100,000,” states the NKBA Bathroom Planning Guide (available as a free download at nkba.org).

THE BATHROOM RENOVATION CHEAT SHEET

Whether it’s a new desire to be trendy, keep up with the latest style, or because you’ve had a sudden realisation that your bathroom is a portal into past design, we all eventually experience a strong desire to renovate and upgrade our bathrooms. Whether you want to add extra storage, extend the bath, refresh your wall’s décor or completely knock it down and start from scratch, this bathroom renovation cheat sheet will help you achieve the new look your bathroom deserves.

Beginning with a guide to an essential tool kit, to tips on what to keep in mind regarding ventilation and plumbing, to a helpful diagram on the optimum distance between all the furniture in your bathroom to create a space for all your needs. There’s even a guide on how to tile, a guide on colour schemes and the finishing touches such as foliage and mirrors to really make the most of this essential room.

OUT WITH THE OLD

DIY

Removing your previous bathroom suite yourself is a gruelling job. If you’ve already got the skill set and determination, here are the tools to gather:

Essential tools

Screwdriver – helps unscrew toilets or basin

Tap spanner – helps remove taps or bathtub

Hammer – helps remove tiles

Chisel – helps remove tiles

Scraper – removes grout or plaster from wall

Sledgehammer – useful for large scale demolition

Pry bars – useful for removing a bathtub.

Keep the plumbing and ventilation

It’s easier to base remodelling works around the existing plumbing, to save money and time. Make sure you don’t block the main ventilation, i.e. a window or a vent fan, which will prevent mould.

PLANNING

Plan your new suite by how it will be used.

For a kid’s bathroom, a double sink or non-slippery tiles might allow a quicker morning routine with less bathroom hazards.

For a guest bathroom, extra shelving is a good idea as it gives them further storage space.

For a his and hers bathroom, two basins with two bathroom mirrors can speed up bedtime routines.

Ultimate guide to Bathroom Renovations

Renovations has completed hundreds of bathroom renovations around the world, and although bathroom trends change year to year and country to country, we’ve found that some principles are universal and stand the test of time. We’ve compiled all of the knowledge we’ve gained over the years to create this ultimate resource to bathroom renovations. In this guide we will cover every aspect of renovating your bathroom, from maximising space, to choosing your materials to the estimated costs.

Why do you want to renovate your bathroom?

Thinking about the reasons why you want to renovate your bathroom will guide the design of your new bathroom. Take into account what you like about your bathroom and what you want to change, and work from there.

Bathroom Renovation Time Frame

Bathroom renovations can take between 3 – 8 weeks to complete the build stage, and it’s not uncommon for homeowners to spend a month or two collecting ideas, deciding on a design and picking out materials and fixtures.

Money Saving Tips Back to top

If cost is a big concern, follow the steps below to save BIG on your bathroom renovation

1. Changing the layout of your bathroom will usually be the biggest cost as it will involve more complex plumbing work – If you can keep your layout as is, you’ll make big savings.

2. Luxury fittings can also eat up a lot of your budget. To save money, stick to the basic range, and choose 1 expensive “statement” fitting to bring an air of class.

3. Make sure to add timers to underfloor heating and towel rails to lower your power bills.

4. Choose a contractor with proven experience. It’s a well-known fact that builders will give very low quotes to undercut their competition and win the contract. This approach will usually lead to those builders cutting corners to ensure they can make a profit from the job, meaning the homeowner ends ups with a sub-par renovaton

Basic Bathroom Renovation Cost

$10,000 – $15,000.

In most cases, you will not be able to reposition your fixtures such as the toilet, vanity, shower or bath. You will however be able to replace your existing fixtures with new ones and still have the ability to create drastic difference with accessories, paint and tiling.

Advantages Of Kitchen Faucet With Pull-Down Feature

All About: Pot Filler Faucets

If you’ve already renovated a kitchen or are just beginning the process, you know how overwhelming the details can be. Our Fittings and Material Spotlights are quick guides to basic kitchen fixtures and materials to familiarize you with terminology, pros and cons, and relevant reader reviews.

Faucet Style: Pot Filler

Distinctive Features: A pot filler faucet is a swing-out faucet on a long, jointed arm, mounted over the stove.

Pros: Saves you from lugging a heavy pot of water from the sink to the stove; great for filling pots that don’t fit into the sink; faucet arm often folds back against the stove wall when it’s not in use.

Cons: You still have to drag the heavy pot of water back to the sink to empty it; can be easy to bump and accidentally turn on the water; no drain to catch leaks; cost can be prohibitive once you factor in additional plumbing; grease from cooking can make the faucet difficult to clean.

Installation: Most pot filler faucets only require a single one-half inch cold water supply line, which a plumber can install in 30 minutes or less. The location of the pipe is critical; if it’s not right, the faucet may end up being too low or too high, and may not fit right up against the wall. Make sure to consider the height of your cooktop as well as your tallest pot when determining the location of the faucet. It’s also recommended to get a faucet with two valves.

I have one. They’re overrated, function-wise, but they look cool and if you choose an inexpensive-er fixture, the additional plumbing run is not a very big item in the overall budget, particularly if you are designing/building from scratch. I think of mine as jewelry for the kitchen, although I do use it often. And as someone pointed out, draining the pot is just as much or more of an issue

If you’ve already renovated a kitchen or are just beginning the process, you know how overwhelming the details can be. Our Fittings and Material Spotlights are quick guides to basic kitchen fixtures to familiarize you with terminology, pros and cons, and relevant reader reviews. We’ve covered sinks and countertops, and now we’re moving on to faucets. Curious about pot filler versus pull-out spray faucets? We’ll get there. Up today: dual or two-handle faucets.

What are Faucets Made of?

faucets are designed to survive very harsh conditions, including thousands of on-off cycles every year and hard water mineral build-up, and still give year after year of flawless service. And, if it does break, a faucet is usually designed to be serviced by simply replacing the defective parts — typically a screwdriver operation — without first having to uninstall the faucet.

Modern finishes are unlikely to flake or tarnish. Modern faucet plating and coating processes, including elec­tron beam physical vapor deposition — a process that is almost science fiction — can imitate anything: brass, nickel, pewter, even silver and gold. Epoxy coatings can keep that new finish looking new for a long time, with proper care.

Faucet valves rarely leak. Ceramic cartridge technologies have almost entirely banished the midnight drip, drip, drip. But, some of the best faucets still use older, tried and true, technologies that are proven to work well. These may require periodic maintenance, not an onerous or difficult task. For the old house purists, these are often the favored technologies. But, for the rest of us, the newer almost-no-maintenance ceramic technology is a better choice.

Unfortunately, the classic American faucet is increasingly not made in America. Some manufacturers have maintained substantial domestic manufacturing but many faucets are now made elsewhere — from to he Balkans — and merely distributed by American companies under their own brands.

As with anything, some faucets are better than others, and price, while generally reflective of quality, is no absolute guarantee. You do not necessarily get a better faucet for more money.

Kitchen faucet favorites: gadgets, design ideas, shiny things.

My ideal kitchen faucet is:

-brass.

-two handles.

-bridge style.

-wall-mount.

-articulated (adds spout-reach and flexibility).

-pullout spray (in faucet head, not separate).

-touchless would be nice! But we can make ANY faucet hands-free by installing a foot-operated option.

I’d like a pullout spray integrated into the faucet itself– I do not like the look of a separate side spray; because there is literally nothing I do not have an opinion on. My goal is to have everything OFF THE COUNTER– but, of course, my cleaning lady is very lazy… so your mileage may vary.

Also:

everything nice is nine million dollars. But even if we spend nine million dollars, we still cannot get EVERYTHING we need for the general-sink-area, without compromising on wall-mount. I am talking about the reverse osmosis water dispenser.

I spend all of my life in winter, heating water for tea. My husband’s brain melts if our house thermostat is set above 67°. It used to be 66°. The extra degree is a concession to my weak-spirited bloodline.

So the idea of simply walking up to the sink and getting filtered, already-hot water? That? That is like… magic. Also, FYI: if you run the water/pipe/stuff longer you can put the equipment elsewhere than under the sink.

Q&A: The Difference Between Retail and Contractor-Grade Faucets

Question

We’re getting ready to remodel our bathroom and picking out fixtures. There’s a great price difference between faucets on the shelf and those available through our contractor’s plumbing suppliers. Even when it’s the same make and model, the price difference can be significant. Why is there such a price difference? And is there a good reason for spending more than we have to?

Answer

This is a question that always comes up during bathroom and kitchen remodels, and is especially confusing when – as you pointed out – what appears to be the same model from the same manufacturer comes in two different price points!

Quality Difference Equals Price

The main difference between contractor-grade (bought from plumbing suppliers)and retail-grade (also known as builder-grade, on the shelf at home improvement stores or on-line) plumbing fixtures is the quality of the materials used inside the faucets. Quality equals durability.

Even when it’s the same make and model, you can usually feel a difference in the weight of the two. The retail version will be lighter because they tend to use plastic instead of metal (brass or stainless steel) for the mechanical pieces.

The internal mechanics of a faucet is what works the hardest, and is what will need to be repaired or replaced. Retail-grade fixtures tend to wear out faster and need attention sooner than contractor-grade version.

Faucet Repair and Installation Services

Things to Think About When Choosing a Faucet

A new faucet isn’t the most expensive thing you’ll buy for your home, but you’re still paying good money and you want to get something that will last. No matter what kind of faucet you get, choose one with inner workings made of brass or other corrosion-resistant metal. A good quick test is to lift your faucet – if it feels nice and heavy it’s more likely that it’s better quality. “Heavy” of course, is relative, and you’ll need to be able to compare (or experience) to know the difference.

You Can Definitely Pay Too Much, However…

The “you get what you pay for” rule is not always true. It’s more of a general guideline when it comes to plumbing fixtures. Some high-end faucets have limited manufacturing runs, are more expensive to produce, and are therefore more expensive to buy. Some of these faucets don’t get the thorough testing that some more widely available faucets do.

Choose a good mid-priced faucet that feels heavy – that’s our advice. Make sure there’s a good warranty, especially if you’re paying more for something fancier. You can also check out online reviews.

Signs You May Need a Professional’s Help For Your Faucet Installation

As you can imagine, we’ve had a lot of calls over the years from people who’ve started an installation job and were unable to finish it.

Here are best pieces of advice:

If you’re not fully confident in your ability to get the job done all the way through, it will be easier to just call us.

Make sure you know where the main shut off valve is for the water supply to your house.

To prevent leaks, all the attachments needs to be nice and tight. You need to be careful when tightening, however, as overtightening can cause cheaper parts to break. You can also slip and ruin the finish. It’s a fine line you need to walk – I bet you didn’t know that plumbing could be so suspenseful!

Roof Repair Contractors

How can you tell how old a roof is?

Estimating how old a roof is can be difficult at times. In some cases, the easiest way to know how old your roof actually is is to check on documentation from previous replacements, but that isn’t always possible to do. If these problems are ignored, it could be a lot more painful to fix later on down the road. That’s why we want to help you identify how old your roof is in this beginner’s guide.

Looks can be deceiving when it comes to roofing that has aged out. Even if things appear normal by looking at them, it’s not a bad idea to have a contractor come out and do a real inspection of the roof in question. Unseen issues can be hidden by the shingles that you would have otherwise not have noticed. Here are some practical ways to do some assessments on your own before the inspection takes place.

Visible roof damage

You can only learn so much by climbing up a ladder and walking around your roof if you aren’t quite sure what to look for, so here are a few tips for assessing visible roof damage for different types of roofing materials:

Wooden Shake or Shingles: Depending on what climate you live in, you want to be on the lookout for any proof of warpage or dry rot if you are using these materials. You also want to be sure you know what the differences are when it comes to shingles and shakes; shakes are hand-split on at least one face and either tapered or straight, while shingles are sawn and tapered. If you have noticed any problems with this material, and the official roof inspection has shown that around one-third of the material is damaged, it is most definitely time for a roof replacement. As a side note, you want to be sure to avoid walking on this material during an inspection because of how unstable it is.

Slate, Clay or Tile: If properly taken care of, this type of roofing material can last for an entire lifetime. While they are a bit more high-end and more expensive, the longevity is definitely worth it. The biggest downfall with this material is that they are more susceptible to unstable climates and ice damage. Because this material is so easy to break, you would want to do any kind of inspection by using binoculars to avoid any further damage by walking on the roof. You want to be on the lookout for chipped, broken or missing pieces of the tile.

Roof Flashings: If you have any chimneys, vent pipes or dormers, flashings are the metal pieces that cover these types of interruptions. If there is any type of damage to these areas, you want to resolve them as soon as possible. If not taken care of, faulty flashing will allow unwanted leakage from snow or rain to enter the interior of the roof and even cause interior wall damage.

Metal Roofing: A metal roof can last for a really long time if you take the time to properly maintain and paint it. This type of roofing material comes in aluminum, galvanized iron, lead, steel, and copper. Each different type of metal has its own response to age, but you generally want to keep an eye out for any signs of rusting, pitting and corrosion. You also want to look for any open or loose joints or seams that can eventually lead to unwanted leakage.

Asphalt: If you have an asphalt roof, you have a roof that has a granular surface very similar to really fine gravel. When this material gets older, it becomes quite brittle, and the very small granules will become loose over long periods. If you find a good number of these types of granules inside your gutters, it is a sure sign that your roof is getting pretty old. Check the asphalt shingles for any bare spots and keep an eye out for the warpage or tearing in the material. If there is a lot of curling on the shingles, it is also a sign that your roof is aging and needs to be replaced.

Unseen roof damage

While your house could look just fine and untouched by bad weather, any damage that has been done can easily be hidden from the naked eye. If you have an untreated roof, you could have some serious problems when storm season rolls around—problems like structural damage and even flooding.

Wind Damage: Strong winds can cause your roof to experience significant problems. If the structural joists at the foundation of your home come loose as an effect of withstanding large gusts of wind, or even the decking of your roof takes on damage, it is almost certain that you will be having a big problem with leaks. Water will drip through the joists and granules that are loose and cause mildew and mold to flourish without you knowing about it. Leaving this leakage untreated will lead to other issues like peeling paint and wallpaper, pest infestations, and rot.

Hail Damage: While some hail damage is easy to see right off the bat, it can also cause damage that isn’t so easily visible. If your roof is damaged by hail, you most likely won’t see any indentations or holes. Unless the hail is around the size of a golf ball, you won’t be seeing the effects of it. However, even the smallest pieces of hail are able to damage the integrity of your shingles and cause the granules to become loosened. If this happens enough, your asphalt will eventually become exposed. This will put your roof in danger of becoming severely damaged and give it a very short life.

Tile Damage: Tiles are a very long-lasting and strong material to use when roofing your home and won’t easily buckle under the pressure of some of the most intense storms. However, if the winds are strong enough, the tiles will lift and sometimes even shift. Ultimately, this can compromise the integrity of your roof, and you will need to look very carefully to notice any damages.

If the tiles have shifted, they will most likely need to be replaced because there is a possibility that the shifting has damaged the functioning system. If this functioning system is in fact cracked, it could cause severe leaking from the cracks and holes that have appeared as a result of the shift.

Professional roof inspections

Ultimately, the easiest and best way to assess the age and condition of your roof is to hire a roofing specialist to come and give an honest and thorough inspection of your roof.

Professional Inspections Are Accurate —

A roofing professional will be able to use their years of experience to help you avoid the really expensive and unseen issues much quicker than you or I ever could. Most roofing professionals will be able to see the problem before it gets completely out of control and ends up costing you way more money. If you go with a true professional, they will be able to help minimize the odds of yearly inspections and get an end result that will last the test of time.

Professional Inspections Are Free —

Roof inspections are free! Why wouldn’t you take advantage of having a professional come look at your roof for no additional cost? There won’t be any add-on services or any additional hidden fees, just a good ol’ fashioned roof inspection to help you figure out the problems you need to address.

Professional Inspections Are Safe —

You won’t be able to have an accurate assessment of your roof from the ground even if you follow the tips given above, so that means someone needs to get on the roof. Why take the risk of you or a loved one injuring themselves? Hiring a professional roofer means that you can be worry-free while your roof gets an accurate inspection. Roofers know exactly how to handle climbing on a roof because they have years of experience and know what to expect. That’s why it’s a really good idea to remove the fear of falling from the equation by trusting a local roofing specialist to get the job done.

How to Find Out When a Roof Was Replaced ?

Unless you have designed and built your home from scratch, you will need to investigate the age of your roof. In addition to planning for its replacement, knowing the age of your roof can help you anticipate problems you may encounter and what you can do to prevent them.

With these goals in mind, there are a few ways to find out the age of your roof.

1. Ask the previous owners

Once you have closed on your home and moved in, you shouldn’t cut off all contact with the previous owners. Most homeowners don’t mind answering any questions you may have about the state of the house, including when the roof was last replaced. You can usually make such inquiries without going through a lawyer. If the previous owners were in the house a long time, then they probably know when the current roof was installed.

2. Find the building permit

You can do a bit of research and find out whether your county requires a building permit for roof installations. If it does, then you can contact the county government and request a copy of the permit. This will contain the exact date the roof was installed and is one of the most accurate sources of information you are likely to find.

3. Request a copy of the receipt from roof replacement company

The previous owners may remember the roofing company that replaced the roof. However, they may have discarded their copy of the receipt. If you have the name, you can contact the company and ask for a copy of the receipt or perhaps request that the previous owners do so. Roof installation companies tend to keep records of all the work they perform.

4. Get an estimate from a home inspector or roof company

If all else fails, you can call in a home inspector to evaluate the state of the roof and estimate its age. Such professionals are highly trained in their field. They know the signs of advanced age when they see them and can provide you a reliable assessment.

What Commercial Painting Companies Have To Offer

Is Painting Considered Maintenance or a Capital Expense?

We are painting the outside of our office building as well as several warehouses we have. I am torn between fixed asset or maintenance. Does paint increase the life? I would think not really. But then, it may save the wood? Does anyone know where I can find the answers?

Is there anything new? That means painting for the first time. You have not done painting before. Then it can be capital expenditure or otherwise a revenue. Also: There’s also the materiality concept- has quite a bit to do with size of the organization and the nature of its operational activities in relation to which the subject expense/cost (that needs to be categorized/classified as either a revenue or a capital exp) has been incurred or is likely to be considered for decision making. While painting an airport, the size of the airport is a factor as also the periodicity of painting may become relevant factors.

I would generally agree with what has been posted so far. If you are repainting with latex or oil-based paint then it is an expense. If you are repainting with a ceramic type paint (e.g. Rhino Shield) I think you could argue that it could be treated as a capital expense, given the product’s anticipated useful life of 10 years, whereas latex/oil-based paint will only last about 5 years.

A company I worked for had a building with metal skin (Core Ten siding). It had rusted. We considered repainting it with a product which chemically bonded with the rust. Had we proceeded, we would have treated this as a capital expense, principally because of the products anticipated useful life of 15 years.

Painting is maintenance pure and simple. The fact that it preserves the wood, well carpeting protects the floor and wax protects a car, but they are expense items, not capital expenditures and certainly not revenue except

How to become a painter and decorator

What is a painting and decorating business and who is it suited to?

If you’re the sort of person that likes working with your hands, has a good head for heights and enjoys the satisfaction of a day’s hard graft and a job well done, then a painting and decorating business could be for you.

Unfortunately the misconception that it’s easy, low skilled work leads some to believe that it’ll also be easy money. These are the rogue traders or cowboy builders who tarnish the industry’s reputation with shoddy workmanship and a lackadaisical and unreliable approach. The truth is that it’s easy to do this job badly, but takes much more skill and effort to do it well and succeed, so while you technically don’t need any qualifications – skilled and hardworking decorators will always be more in demand.

It is a broad industry, and depending on what type of services you wish to offer, may require you to learn a number of skills and have the ability to work with a range of different materials. From tiling to plastering, painting to wallpaper pasting – the more you’re able to offer, the more work may come your way. Alternatively, you could hire individuals that specialise in one particular area to avoid a jack-of al-trades, master of none situation.

Commercial or Residential?

When thinking about becoming a self-employed painter or decorator, you’ll need to work out how you’re going to position yourself in the market – and what type of customer you’re going to target.

The “first thing you need to consider is whether you’re going to go into just residential… just commercial, or both,” explains Burton who does both – “You need to make sure you can get enough work, how you’re going to get it, and what sort of services you’re going to be offering.”

More Than Painting

With hard work, a willingness to serve, and a little luck, happened to stumble upon a massive need in the market: High-end properties were struggling to find consistent and quality services that also provided custom coatings and restoration solutions.

was able to refine and fine-tune his existing business model.

well-known for the painting, windows and siding do. Something that many people miss however, is highly-skilled custom floor coatings. There are myths surrounding renovation but flooring takes the cake. While it is implied to be a relatively simple branch of home improvement, there are many things to look out for.

A common mistake that occurs when applying an epoxy or urethane floor coating is that no sealant is placed in the space between the top layer and the foundation. It is necessary to bond this area together because otherwise the existing layer will begin to crack or peel after hardening. After using a shot blaster or diamond grinder to remove all remaining debris or uneven surfaces, flooring should properly adhere

Environmental factors such as temperature play a huge role in flooring as well. Even the slightest bit of fluctuation can influence adherence. Ideal working conditions are moderate and consistent with little change. Moisture and humidity can be problems too though. Before pouring any materials on to concrete it is helpful to test the surface for moisture to avoid a buildup of water vapor under the flooring. This can be done with a calcium chloride test.

PAINTING ARTICLES

WHY YOU SHOULD HIRE AN INTERIOR PAINTER

Whether you are painting just one room in your home or you are repainting the entire interior, the choices and work can seem overwhelming. When you set out to paint the interior of your home, you are always optimistic. The plan is for the project to something that brings enjoyment to your family; however, at some point that was lost along the way.

The best way to easily navigate the difficulties of interior painting is to hire a trained and highly skilled painting professional. Whenever you get bogged down by a difficult decision, their knowledgeable team can provide you with the guidance, advice, or pointer to lead you in the right direction. If you are having difficulty articulating your vision as to how the interior painting project should look, a professional painter can help you with their vast experience. If you need help with materials or methods, a painting expert has the sources and skills to guide you through the process.

Quality Work Done Quickly

When homeowners attempt to handle their own interior painting projects, they often make minor oversights that can mess up even the best planned project. For example, many homeowners fail to prepare the room before paint application.

Even if you are using the highest quality interior paint, applying it to an unprepared surface will result in a lackluster look. Once this lackluster look is identified, the helpless home owner will have to repaint the area. This trial and error process adds to the time, expense, and stress of the project.

Help Embolden Your Home’s Uniqueness

Ultimately there is no right or wrong answer about the color scheme that you choose so long as you and your family enjoy what the interior of you home looks like. At the same time, without the help of an interior painting expert, homeowners fail to consider the simplest ways of taking advantage of the unique features of their homes.

Providing Commercial Painting

services offer are: EIFS repair, drywall repair, parking lot striping, specialty coatings, wallpaper and more. It is job to make you look good to your tenants and your colleagues. goal is to create a long term relationship with each new customer and to maintain each customer relationship with excellent service.

provide exterior and interior painting services for any of the following types of projects:

Commercial (all types)

Retail centers and strip malls

Office buildings (occupied and unoccupied)

Shopping malls

Hospitals and clinics

Schools

Banks

Hotels

Aerospace facilities and high security office spaces

Restaurants

Churches

Ballparks and sporting facilities

Casinos

Tenant improvement projects

New construction projects

Maintenance painting

Drywall patching and repainting

Wallcovering (removal or application)

Specialty coatings

Low VOC and green paints available

Parking lot painting

Caulking – remove old caulking and install new to expansion joints, windows and doors.

Exterior weatherization

Experience & Professionalism

When you select Painting & Coatings, you can be assured that your projects will be completed by craftsmen who have vast industry experience, have a clean background check, can pass a drug test and who take pride in themselves and their work. have stringent hiring practices, a great safety record and overall professionalism which sets apart from other painting contractors.

work crews go the extra mile to ensure the successful completion of your project with minimal disruptions to your business day. In fact, can help you to keep things business as usual by completing your projects in the evenings, overnight or over the weekend