Tax Preparation Time Tips

Can A Tax Preparer Save Me Money?

As the old adage goes, there are two things that you cannot escape in life – death and taxes. Filing your tax returns is never easy since it means going through a mass of cancelled checks, bills, receipts, and other financial documents. This could overwhelm you and you should, therefore, consider hiring a tax preparer to do the job. You actually save money when you hire a tax preparer. So, are you asking yourself, “how can a Tax preparer save me money?” There are several ways through which this is possible.

You will save money because the tax preparer will ensure there is deduction maximization. If you use a computer software program, there is a risk that you may not find all possible deductions that are relevant to your situation. A tax preparer, on the other hand, asks targeted questions and this ensure that deductions that might have been missed are made.

A tax preparer will have the relevant training and experience to know the tax credits that you are eligible for. If you do not make a claim for a tax credit, it is not the responsibility of the government to tell you that you are entitled to them. You need not worry about tax preparer fees because these can be deducted on the following year.

Hiring a tax preparer saves you money because you will get future help if you find yourself in a sticky situation tax resolution services are necessary. If you have problems with tax penalties or back taxes, a tax preparer who understands your taxes will help you deal with the Internal Revenue Service (IRS). The case will take a much shorter period with the tax preparer who handled your case as opposed to a tax attorney or an accountant who is seeing your tax filing for the first time.

If you are wondering, “can a tax preparer save me money?” another way through which this is possible is that you can get a preparer who does tax preparations online. More and more people are turning to online tax preparer because of the convenience and anonymity this offers. Online rates are lower because of the intense competition.

The tax law changes with every budget reading and you need a tax preparer because he/she will be up to date with the latest changes. Hiring a pro ensures that you take full advantage of any new law and you do not get into the bad books of the IRS. As the old adage goes, ignorance is no defense.

A professional will have the time to double check for mistakes. Were you to do the tax preparation yourself, there is a risk that you might miss some things. Tax preparations errors are more common than most people thing. These errors could be costly. A good tax preparer will use a software program for the tax preparation and will then check this manually.

 

Saving money by saving the tax preparer’s time

I found a tax preparer using these tax tips. After checking the accountant’s credentials and a free consultation phone call, I set up an appointment.

But my work isn’t done. I could show up with a stack of papers and a shoebox full of receipts, if I want to pay for the time he’ll need to sort through the mess. My tax preparer knows this all too well, which is why he provided a guide to speed up the preparation process — ways to save him time that will save me money. I’ve expanded on that list using other sources, and came up with the following 8 documents, numbers, and data to organize, locate, or calculate before you meet with your tax preparer:

  • A copy of last year’s tax return, including the state return, if applicable.
  • Original W-2s, 1099s, 1098s, and K-1s (make copies for your records).
  • Birth dates for you, your spouse, and your dependents.
  • Do you want your refund deposited directly into a bank account? Have your bank account routing number and account number.
  • Do you pay for childcare? Provide the Social Security or Employer Identification Number for all child care providers for Form 2441.
  • Did you sell shares of stock or a mutual fund? Have the following: Date acquired, number of shares acquired, purchase price, and sales commissions and fees, adjusted by reinvented dividends and stock splits.
  • Did you invest? Bring a copy of your broker’s year-end tax report that shows interest, dividend earnings, and proceeds from sales of securities. Also bring copies of any booklets they mailed you, which can include information on income from government obligations that can be used to prepare state tax returns.
  • Did you earn interest at a bank or credit union? List each bank and the amount earned.

 

Consider before hiring a tax professional:

Advantages

Filing Your Own Taxes Can Be Incredibly Time-Consuming

In 2007, the IRS estimated that the average person spent 24.2 hours completing their tax returns, a number that I had easily surpassed when attempting to handle my own taxes. For those who had to file a Schedule C for business or a Schedule E for rental properties, this number quickly jumped to 52.2 hours.

To put this number into perspective, if you assume that the average person’s time is worth $25 an hour, that is a cost of up to $1,305 dollars. Money and time that could be saved, invested, or in my case, put towards the down payment on a new car. A tax professional will be able to work quickly and efficiently and save you not only time but a headache that is sure to follow.

Tax Preparation Fees Can Be Deductible

Assuming you itemize, any fees you incur while preparing for your taxes can be deducted on Form 1040 as long as the sum of your miscellaneous deductions you are claiming here is greater than 2% of your adjusted gross income.

Difficulty

Filing a tax return cannot only be complicated and confusing but is also constantly changing. The Federal tax code is adjusted each year making it nearly impossible for the average taxpayer to be fully aware of all changes that may apply to them. If you must claim any of the following, as I had to, it is especially advised that you speak with a tax professional as these scenarios will instantly complicate your tax return:

  • You own, sold or started a business
  • Have many investment losses or gains
  • Capital asset transactions
  • Real estate transactions
  • Change in marital status
  • Your income and residence are not in the same state or country
  • Trust Fund Transactions
  • Completing a Schedule for Self-Employment Income

 

Deciding Point: The Complexity of Your Finances

As a general rule, the more complicated your tax situation is, the more advantageous it might be for you to bring in a tax professional. What constitutes complexity? If you have any of the following situations:

  • You own a business. Whether your business is a full-time endeavor or simply a sideline, there are some special rules that you may want to discuss with a tax pro. For example, if your business purchased equipment, there are several ways to write off the cost; the best way to do this depends on your current tax situation as well as your prospects for the future. You can, of course, handle many of these situations with appropriate tax software (TurboTax Home & Business, for example, will help you prepare a Schedule C for a sole proprietorship), but you won’t get personal advice.
  • You had a major life event this year. For example, if you sold a business, went through a divorce, bought or sold a home, or had any other major life change, a tax preparer can alert you to the relevant rules you’ll have to follow and the breaks to which you may be entitled
  • You want to itemize. Again, software lets you feed this information into the mix, but a tax preparer can provide strategic advice about deductions you’re entitled to, the substantiation you need, and other matters that could help you reduce your tax bill while avoiding problems with the IRS.

 

How do you find the best tax preparer for your needs? Consider these points as you search.

  • Credentials and Expertise – You want someone who is registered with the IRS and has a Preparer Tax Identification Number (PTIN). Anyone who fills out your returns for a fee is legally required to have one.CPAs, EAs, and tax attorneys will undergo different levels of tax training, but that does not necessarily mean they have filed any returns. Even if they have, their expertise may be in different areas, and they may be more familiar with deductions in a specific area (such as the self-employed or very active investors). You want a preparer with expertise in returns for your field.Ask about their credentials and professional memberships such as the National Association of Tax Professionals and the National Association of Enrolled Agents. If you don’t feel comfortable with their answers, keep searching.Finally, make sure your preparer is familiar with state tax issues as well as federal ones. If you live and work in different states, that is a non-trivial issue.
  • Costs – Fees will vary by area of the country, complexity of the tax return, expertise of the preparer, and your level of organization. The stereotypical shoebox full of crumpled receipts will earn you a higher bill – as it should.Generally, greater expertise commands a higher fee, but this is not always true. Chain preparers can be unusually expensive, and CPAs/EAs can be a bargain. Comparison-shopping often pays off.Avoid anyone who tells you the fee will be a percentage of the return or promises you a higher return without even looking at your records.
  • Reviews – Check online reviews, the Better Business Bureau, and professional organizations for feedback and complaints. If anyone you trust has had personal experience with the preparer, ask him or her for an honest assessment.
  • Experience – Choose a preparer with both longevity and experience in your field. You want to be confident they will be available in case there are issues with the return.

How To Tackle A Dog Bite Lawyer Cases

Do I need a lawyer if my dog bites someone?

Out of a total of about 4.5 million incidents of dogs biting per year, there are more than 350,000 that end up in US emergency rooms. Only a small percentage of those bitten sue the dog’s owner, but do you want to be one of the few who loses your dog, loses a home, or even goes to jail as a result of a dog bite?

Why Do Dogs Bite?

  • Some dogs bite because they have been trained by their owners to be aggressive; the owner may not even be aware he is teaching this behavior.
  • Some dogs bite because of previous incidents of maltreatment, like being subjected to misguided “trainers” practicing alpha rolls, being sprayed in the face with a water bottle, or being slapped with a rolled-up newspaper.
  • Some dogs bite because they feel trapped by a human’s inappropriate attempt at affection.
  • It doesn’t matter why he does it, though, because if your dog ends up biting someone, you are in for a lot of headaches.

 

Dog Bites and Other Injuries: A Dog Owner’s Legal Defenses

When a dog hurts someone, its owner might be able to avoid legal responsibility based on the victim’s actions. Dog owners are usually responsible when their pets bite people or hurt them another way (such as by knocking them over or chasing them). That means that the injured person may sue the owner to seek compensation for the damages, including medical expenses. But it’s not always fair to hold the owner responsible if the victim was to blame for the injury. Depending on the circumstances, dog owners (and their homeowners’ insurance companies or attorneys) may fight back by arguing that the injured person:

  • provoked the dog
  • was trespassing or breaking the law at the time of the injury
  • voluntarily risked getting hurt by the dog, or
  • contributed to the injury by being unreasonably careless.

 

My Dog Just Bit Someone, What Do I Do?

Most people see their pets in a light similar to their own children. So, when a dog misbehaves it may be easy for an owner to overlook the bad behavior and forgive the errant puppy. But, what if the dog bites someone? Are there legal ramifications? What should an owner do?

When a dog bites someone, initial reactions can range from humor to shock and panic. But, it is important to take swift action to make sure the incident does not escalate and to avoid liability. It is critical to remain calm, even if the bite is serious. Immediately confine the dog to a crate or another room and offer first-aid to the bite victim. Be sure to clean any wound thoroughly and immediately to avoid infection. If the injury warrants, contact 911 for emergency medial attention.

Exchange information with the victim much as you would after a motor vehicle accident. Get their name and contact details and be prepared to provide your homeowner’s insurance information (it will be the most likely policy to cover the dog bite). Avoid becoming confrontational with the victim or blaming them for the incident, as this may invoke their anger enough to file a lawsuit against you and/or seek the destruction of the dog by animal control.

If there are any witnesses to the incident, be sure to get their contact information, as well. As soon as you are able, be sure to get a copy of your dog’s medical records, and particularly their vaccination history. If necessary, inform local authorities of the incident and comply with their orders. It may be frightening to discuss your dog’s fate with animal control, but it will usually be better if you are the one to report the incident than the injured party.

As a general rule, though, owners are liable for the damage caused by their pets, even if someone was trespassing on the owner’s property at the time of the incident. Warning signs are generally required to avoid some liability to trespassers, but even this may not fully protect the owner under some circumstances. Check with your attorney to find the best course of action for your location.

From the state’s perspective, dogs that bite people may pose a serious risk to the community. It is not uncommon for a dog to be quarantined at a state facility for a period of time to ensure the dog is not rabid or otherwise infected with a communicable disease. If this is not the first time the dog has bitten someone, the government may designate the dog a “dangerous dog.” This could lead to enhanced supervision requirements for the owner or even the euthanization of the animal in question.

The state may also hold you, as the owner, responsible for the dog’s actions in a criminal setting. The attack may be considered a form of battery, and the dog may be considered an “aggravator” (i.e., something that makes the battery more dangerous, like a weapon). Such charges are very serious, even if the injury caused by the dog seems minor, and must be taken seriously. Otherwise, you could end up with a criminal record, heavy fines, or even jail time.

While you may or may not end up being found either criminally or civilly liable to pay for the bite victim’s medical expenses, it is a good idea to offer to do so anyway. If possible, this offer should be made immediately after the biting, as this may soften the victim’s resolve with regard to reporting the incident to authorities or hiring an attorney to pursue legal action against you. It would also moot a portion of the damages to which the victim would be entitled, making it difficult for them to pursue legal action against you should things turn sour later.

As a responsible dog owner, it is your duty to ensure that your dog does not bite people. Make sure your dog is properly trained, that you have warning signs if your dog is allowed to run free on your property (even behind fences), and that you know how to treat a dog bite should it occur. If it is already too late, act quickly to mitigate the situation, as your rights (and your dog’s life) may depend on it. And, contact an attorney at once if a dog attack does occur to be sure you take all of the appropriate actions to protect yourself and your pet.

 

Can a dog bite lawyer help me if I was bitten?

Most of a dog bite lawyer’s cases involve helping the victims of a dog attack. A dog bite lawyer can pursue compensation for the victim’s injuries. Victims could have been hurt when the dog bit them, jumped on them, or knocked them down.

Dog bite lawyers pursue compensation on the victim’s behalf. The attorney does this by:

Proving that someone else is liable, or legally responsible, for the victim’s injuries, and

Recovering compensatory payments from the liable person or party.

A dog bite attorney may pursue several legal theories:

  • California’s dog bite statute, which can hold the owner strictly liable,
  • The dog’s owner or caretaker knew or should have known of the dog’s dangerous propensities,
  • Someone acted negligently and failed to prevent the dog bite, and
  • The keeper of the dog violated a local law or regulation in a way that was negligent per se.
  • Once a lawyer has established a defendant’s liability for a dog bite, he then must find a way to collect compensation. This can be difficult if the defendant or dog owner was not insured.

 

Avoiding a lawsuit

If you have a big dog or one that shows signs of aggression (whether because it likes to eat, likes to sleep, likes to hoard its toys, or likes to bite people — the reason doesn’t matter), you need to protect yourself by keeping the dog away from people, muzzling it when it is around people, and strictly following all animal control laws (like leash laws, anti-trespassing laws which apply to dogs, and anti-running at large laws). If your dog bites someone or causes injury in other ways, you might find yourself on the receiving end of a dog bite claim. Before it escalates, there are measures you can take.

The best and easiest is to be very, very nice to the dog bite victim (and his family). Show concern without necessarily accepting blame, and take the other steps described above. Be sincere, don’t be defensive, and don’t blame anyone.

Insider Budgeting Tips From Top Event Planner In The Industry

What are the advantages of event management?

The benefits of event management are many for all kinds of events whether it’s a social or a business event including conferences, concerts, trade shows, sports events, charity events, business meetings, and ceremonies but it all depends on the event management solutions provider you choose.

Event management benefits for business vary based on the type of your business, the type of your upcoming event and the event management company you choose to plan, manage, execute and evaluate the event performance.

What is event management?

Event management is the process of planning the event concept and them, coming up with creative ideas & solutions for the event, discussing the allocation of dedicated budget, planning the event management process, monitoring the execution of the event and evaluating the event performance based on the predefined goals.

The benefits of event management for businesses

If your business consists of many departments including marketing and public relation departments or not, you’ll have to seek external help from an experienced event management agency to achieve the most of possible benefits including:

  • Promotion of new products or services
  • Achieving the desired exposure and brand awareness
  • Attracting more prospects and clients from exhibitions and trade shows
  • Improving brand positioning through professional events and conferences
  • Creative solutions to drive the highest level of satisfaction from the guests
  • Handling all permissions, permits, insurance and security concerns
  • Saving valuable time, efforts and money when hiring experience event managers

 

Event Management vs. Event Planning

Event management and event planning tasks and duties may overlap but the main difference is that event planners are responsible mainly for planning every stage related to the event according to the defined schedule while event managers are responsible for all details starting from the meeting with the client till evaluating the event management process performance.

The event management experienced specialists should possess certain characteristics to succeed in their mission including:

  • Detail-oriented: to plan and take care of all possibilities
  • Good listener: to transform the client expectations to a tangible reality
  • Creative: to come up with new ideas and customized solutions
  • Flexible: to negotiate and coordinate between all parties involved
  • Problem solver: to handle unfortunate incidents and deviations from defined schedule

 

Benefits Of Event Management Companies

Event management applies the basis of project management in the creation of events, conferences etc. It is a way of outsourcing occasions that may be beyond the scope of the business. In the past decade, there has been a tremendous growth in the event management sector seeing more and more participation of the people with good managerial skills. The range of events an event management company takes care of is magnanimous. Here are the benefits of event management companies.

Smooth execution:

Event management firms engage in smooth execution of ideas as planned. They brace themselves even for contingencies that might crop up like a sore thumb. They have personnel with a wide range of experience which they bring in onto the scenario to ensure that only the best be delivered. It is a multi-faced profession and often demands specialists that cater to different aspects.

Saves time and money:

By outsourcing event management to companies who deal with them, a company saves time and money, though this fact is still a hot debate. Truth is: an event management company has direct links with suppliers and other concerned people who help them get good rates for requirements concerning a particular event. It saves time because the customer would just have to pick the dates, the rest being borne by the event management company. Even in the matters of personal events for instance, weddings, it is great to hire an event management company to look after the proceedings and save the customer from the hassles of single-handedly organizing the wedding themselves.

Inflow of creative ideas:

Event organizers come up with new and exciting ideas for holding events. Depending on the requirements of the clients, event managers can do a lot of things with any event to bring it alive. Event managers also bring a lot of their experience into play which is an added asset for customers. They also give customers the opportunity to have customized events.

 

Skilled Teams

What would happen if you needed a themed gala dinner or if your CEO now wants your company to start hosting its own staff annual awards? Event management companies know the right people with the right skills – who’s most suitable, who’s available and their rates. Short notice demands can be really stressful, but outsourcing them not only solves the problem but will make things easier for you too.

Measurability

Ultimately, an event management company’s success is based on customer satisfaction – yours, as the client but also the attendees at your B2B events. You’ll be able to measure that via feedback mechanisms most suited to your audience. Budget management, cost savings, leads generated, audience interaction – you can define what you want to measure and will have definitive cost:benefit results.

 

No Stress and Worries

Regardless of the size of the event, planning such a corporate endeavour is going to be a stressful affair.Even small corporate events involve a big number of considerations. The right venue will have to be chosen. Catering and entertainment professionals will have to be hired. The organiser will also need to think about security, the technology to use during the event, partnerships, sponsorships, finding the right lecturers and many others.Event management professionals who have a lot of experience know what steps to follow and how much time will be needed to organise an impeccable event. They will handle every single aspect of the planning process, enabling a client to focus on popularising the event and getting ready for it.

Water Heaters Maintenance And Extension Of Product Longevity

Benefits Of A Water Heater Inspection For Safety

Water heaters are an important part of our lives. We usually take them for granted until the first time we find icy water awaiting us in the shower. It’s a chilly reminder that we need to take care of our water heater. Water heaters come in many types, shapes and sizes. Natural gas (or LP) or electric tank type are the most common. Like everything else in the house, a little bit of maintenance and periodical inspections can work to get the most life out of a hot water heater.

Inspecting your water heater regularly is a very important, but often over-looked home maintenance step. Water heaters typically last for 8-13 years, and if your water heater is over 10 years old, inspecting it at least annually is very important. An inspection can identify a small problem before it becomes a larger one. Leaks, rust and other issues only get worse with time, which means that the sooner you can deal with them, the better.

There are several steps you can take yourself to keep the water heater running smoothly:

  • Inspect the Pressure Valve: Make sure your pressure valve is working correctly by turning off the power and water to your hot water unit and then tripping the valve. Air, water or vapor should come out – if they don’t, you need to replace the valve. A malfunctioning valve could cause an explosion if the tank becomes over-pressurized.
  • Flush out Your Tank: It’s a good idea to empty the tank once a year or so to remove any sediment that has accumulated inside, and it’s convenient to take care of this chore at the same time you check the pressure valve. With the tank disconnected from water and power, hook a hose up to the drain valve and place the other end somewhere where it’s safe to discharge hot water. Next, with the pressure valve already open, flip open the drain valve and let all the water flow out. Finally, hook up the water to the hot water heater again and turn on your hot water faucets. Wait until water starts coming out before you power up the heater again.
  • Check on Your Anode Rod: The anode rod helps prevent corrosion in your hot water tank and is an essential tool for prolonging the life of the equipment. You can check on it while the tank is drained by unscrewing the hex head at the top of the tank and pulling out the rod. If it has become very thin, or if it’s coated in sediment, it’s time for a replacement. In general, anode rods should last about five years, but it’s a good idea to check on them annually.

 

Gurgling or Groaning Noises

Don’t worry about any gurgling or groaning noises coming from the heater. That sound is just air entering the system as water drains out. If the drain valve won’t close tightly when you’re done, drain the tank completely, unscrew the old valve and screw in a new one. To restart the water heater, open the shutoff valve and let the hot water run at any faucet to purge air from the system. Then turn on the power or relight the pilot.

Set your water heater’s dial to 120 degrees F. If the dial doesn’t have numbers, check the water temperature with a cooking thermometer. Higher temperatures increase sediment buildup and the risk of scalding injuries.

 

Reasons to Have Your Water Heater Inspected

Water heating accounts for approximately 14 percent of your home’s annual energy costs. That makes it the third largest “energy consumer” in your home.  Only your heating and cooling systems consume more.

That’s reason enough to schedule a water heater performance and safety inspection from Service Pros.  But just for good measure, here are four more:

  • Over time, sediment deposits build up inside your water heater storage tank; these can hinder its performance and cause your tank to crack and leak.
  • Gas water heaters are capable of leaking carbon monoxide gas. That can lead to serious health issues for you and other family members.
  • Other things can go wrong with your water heater, too, including temperature fluctuations, internal corrosion that causes rust-colored hot water, leaking around the bottom of your storage tank, and more.
  • The average lifespan of a water heater is only about 12 years, and yet with annual preventive maintenance, yours can perform better and last longer.

 

Tankless Water Heater Maintenance Tips

Tankless water heaters heat water on demand, instead of storing it in a tank, but they still need regular maintenance. Many such units will indicate when maintenance is required, but you should plan to perform maintenance yearly, or more often if you have hard water.

Flush the Water Heater

To flush a tankless water heater, turn off the gas or power and cold water to the unit. Shut off the hot water valve that sends hot water from the unit to the house. Attach a garden hose to the outlet of a sump pump, and to your unit’s cold-water isolation valve.

Attach a second length of hose to your unit’s hot-water isolation valve. Place both the end of this hose, and the pump, in a five-gallon bucket. Then fill the bucket with five gallons of fresh, food-grade white vinegar.

Open both the cold and hot isolation valves on your unit, turn on the pump, and let the vinegar circulate through the unit for about 45 minutes. Throw out the used vinegar, fill the bucket with plain water, and flush the unit again for about five minutes.

Clean the Air Intake Filter

While you are flushing your tankless water heater with vinegar, you should clean the air intake filter. The air intake filter keeps debris from getting into your tankless water heater. Cleaning it keeps air flowing smoothly into the unit.

You can access the air intake filter by removing your unit’s face plate – check the user manual for specific instructions. Once you’ve got the filter out, rinse it thoroughly with clean water, then dry it with paper towels before reinstalling it. Disconnect your hoses, screw on all service caps tightly, then open the cold and hot water valves and restore power and, if necessary, gas to the unit. Check for and address any leaks.

Upkeeping Your Water Heater Maintenance

Water heater maintenance may not be fun, but it can help you save the money you’ll need to do the things you will enjoy, because it can drastically improve the life of your water heater. Take care of your water heater today, or tomorrow you could find yourself shelling out hundreds to replace it before its time. When you invest in American Home Shield, you will enjoy robust coverage for your water heater because many parts and components are included in the warranty.

 

What Are The Four Key Action Items Of Preventive Maintenance?

Preventive maintenance takes a proactive approach towards maintenance and involves four key action items: inspection, detection, correction and prevention. Let’s take a closer look at how each concept is fundamental to a successful preventive maintenance program.

  • Inspection: Inspections are a necessary part of preventive maintenance and aid organizations in two ways. First, facility inspections ensure that equipment is safe to use. Regular inspections help prevent workplace injuries and provide a business with increased liability protection. Second, regular inspections protect property. Inspections ensure that equipment is functioning as the manufacturer intended.
  • Detection: Operating on a run-to-failure approach can end up costing a facility department significant money, which is why many facility managers choose to utilize a preventive approach to maintenance. Preventive maintenance helps facility managers detect problems early, when issues are still relatively easy and inexpensive to fix.
  • Correction: Preventive maintenance encourages facility managers to take a proactive approach towards equipment care and correct issues before they occur. If an issue (or potential issue) is detected, facility managers take steps to promptly address the problem before it worsens or shuts down operations.
  • Prevention: Facility managers can combine inspection records and maintenance notes to learn from past mistakes and correct repeated issues with equipment. Prevention of asset failure reduces stress and increases productivity for facilities teams. When equipment works as inspected, staff can focus on proactive (rather than reactive) maintenance tasks.

Do Exterior Painting Yourself Or Hire A Pro

The paint colors that can boost your home’s value

If you’re planning to list your home on the market, one of the easiest and most cost-effective ways to increase its value is also one of the simplest: paint.

Interior paint – select warm neutral colors

Your home is more likely to sell with a fresh coat of paint, which is the very first thing buyers see. Neutral colors make it easier for potential buyers to imagine themselves living there because the paint goes with just about anything. Many buyers also don’t want to shell out extra cash to paint after closing. The three experts we spoke with all recommended warm neutral colors. Norris suggests using beiges, tans, golds, grays and “greige”—a blend of gray and beige. Avoid white, which is too stark.

Paint types matter, too

Paint holds more than just color. Different finishes and sheens can impact how the paint color pops, how easy a wall is to clean, and other factors. following when it comes to choosing specific types of paint:

  • Stick to flat or eggshell sheens on broad walls, as they will not show off the nail pops and unevenness in walls as much as a satin will.
  • Satins and semi-gloss coats are better for durability and stain resistance.
  • Use semi-glosses on the trim and doors to make it easier to clean dust and handprints.
  • Price can be a good indicator of quality level. Spend a few extra dollars on a high-quality paint, or at least something mid-tier. With a cheaper paint, you might have to use more coats, and it won’t go on as smooth.
  • If you’re painting yourself, purchase high-quality brushes and rollers for an even, flawless finish.
  • Use eggshell or semi-gloss in the bathrooms where there might be moisture, advises Norris. And don’t forget to paint the trim and ceiling, not just the walls.

 

Exterior paint – no more than three colors

The exterior of your home is the first thing potential buyers see. Some homes, like those made of brick, won’t require fresh paint. But exteriors like stucco or siding might. There should be no more than three colors on the exterior of the house, says Norris. She recommends following the 60-30-10 percentage rule: 60 percent is the body of the home, like stucco or brick, 30 percent is the garage doors and trim. The final 10 percent is the front and shutters, with just a pop of color.

That you don’t want to use too many colors on the exterior. A variety of colors can be distracting and make the house appear choppy or smaller—distracting the buyer’s eye. One of her favorite color schemes is a neutral gray for the body, white for the trim and garages and a front door with a pop of color featuring brown or blue.

A full exterior paint job is best left to the pros, since many homeowners lack the necessary equipment, like ladders, scaffolding, and spray tools.

“Homeowners can definitely freshen up their trim around windows or repaint a garage, or front door, but the body of the house should be done professionally if it was painted before,”

 

Break out the paint

A quick, inexpensive way to increase the value of your house is to paint. A fresh coat of paint can make rooms look like new. But don’t get too wild when choosing paint colors. Your best bet is to stick to neutral shades because they will appeal to a greater number of potential buyers. However, not just any neutral shade will do. A Zillow study found that it’s best to steer away from colors such as dark brown and terracotta when it comes to interior paint colors. If you do choose to use these colors for the interior, your home’s price might sell for $469 (when using dark brown) or $793 less (when using terracotta) than Zillow’s price estimate. Homebuyers generally don’t care for these colors.

 

Don’t Over-Improve

While you want to improve your property and increase the value, you also want to be cautious so that you do not over-improve your property. You don’t want to spend an amount of money on a renovation where you will not see a return on your investment. For example, putting high-end Viking appliances in a home in a middle-class neighborhood would be an over-improvement.

Before you renovate, do some research on your area to find out how much the property will be worth after the renovations, also known as the After-Repair-Value or ARV. Once you accurately gauge this new value, you can deduct the price you paid for the home and what you are left with is the maximum price you should spend for the renovation and any soft costs such as financing charges, closing costs, and holding costs if the property will sit vacant while the renovations occur.

 

Low-Cost Tips

There are simple things any property owner can do which can boost the appeal of your property. While these simple tips may not add tens of thousands of dollars to your property’s value, without doing them, you may not be able to realize the full potential value of your property. These fixes can be done without having to hire any outside help. Although they are low cost, they can make a huge difference in the way your property looks.

  • Clean: Making sure your property is clean will have an immediate return on the value of your property. This includes both the outside and the inside. Garbage, dirt, and strange odors are not attractive features.
  • Paint: You will be amazed by the difference a fresh coat of paint can make. It can revive and brighten a tired space. Neutral colors are universally appealing.
  • Add Curb Appeal: A few strategically placed plants, a new mailbox, outdoor lights or shutters can make your property more inviting. Higher cost and potentially higher return projects include new siding, new walkways or driveways, and adding a deck.
  • Change Fixtures: Change out a doorknob, light switch cover, cabinet handle or even a light fixture. It’s a simple method to breathe new life into a space.
  • Stage the Property: De-cluttering a space and giving each room a function can add value because many buyers lack imagination. Proper placement of furniture, the size of furniture, and the amount of furniture are also crucial.

Deep Cleaning Made Easy

Best-ever house cleaning tips

You may have heard the phrase ‘work harder not smarter’, but when it comes to cleaning a house, it’s all too easy to continue doing things the way you’ve always done them without realising quicker, more efficient ways exist.

KITCHEN CLEANING TIPS

To clean a stainless-steel sink, put the stopper in the sink with two denture-cleaning tablets and half fill with water; leave for several hours or overnight and the next day it should be sparkling. Then use the water to clean the draining board, too.

To stop ants entering your house, draw a chalk line on the ground where you want them to stop. If you live in a rainy area where ants are a problem, you must re-draw the chalk lines each time it rains.

To clean a microwave oven, add four tablespoons of lemon juice to one cup of water in a microwave-safe bowl. Boil for five minutes in the microwave, allowing the steam to condense on the inside walls of the oven. Then wipe them with a soft cloth.

To stop drawers from sticking, rub a bar of soap across the runners to make them glide smoothly.

To pick up small fragments of broken glass, press pieces of bread onto the affected area.

LIVING ROOM CLEANING TIPS

To remove furniture indentations from pure wool carpet place a tea towel over the area and then press with a warm iron. The heat will lift the fibres. Do not attempt this with synthetic or a wool/synthetic mix carpet.

To clean glass windows, add about one tablespoon of cornstarch to about one litre of lukewarm water. Wet and a rag or squeegee, remove excessive water and wipe down glass as if using regular glass cleaner. Dry with either a soft cloth or paper.

Use a vacuum cleaner with a brush attachment to clean the tops and creases of Roman blinds.

To prevent ash from flying everywhere when cleaning out a fireplace, use a spray bottle filled with water to cover the ashes with a light mist.

BEDROOM CLEANING TIPS

To locate light switches in the dark, put a dot of luminous paint on tape and stick to the switches.

Vacuuming a mattress, particularly along piping and crevices, removes dead skin cells that attract dust mites.

CLOTHING CARE TIPS

Stop clothes with thin straps falling off hangers by sticking small felt furniture pads onto the hanger just beyond where the straps sit.

To keep spiders or any other nasty surprises out of shoes you keep outside, (such as your gardening shoes or work boots), place old stockings over the top of them. Make sure the stockings don’t have holes in them, and if they don’t fit snugly over the top, use an elastic band to secure them.

To prevent buttons from becoming loose or undone, dab a little clear nail varnish on the top thread or onto the stem of the thread and leave to dry.

 

Things you can do to get surfaces squeaky clean

House cleaning has become something of a cultural phenomenon in recent times with so called “cleanfluencers” telling us how to scour and tidy up our homes. The arrival of coronavirus has brought a new focus on washing and disinfecting at home, as well as work. So much is still unknown about the virus that it isn’t possible to say definitively what kind of deep clean, if any, would eradicate it. However, it’s always better to take action, if only to avoid feeling helpless.

The website points out that many cleaning and disinfectant products sold in supermarkets can kill coronavirus on surfaces and recommends first cleaning the surface as usual and then using a disinfectant. It suggests paying particular attention to counters, table tops, doorknobs, bathroom fixtures, toilets and toilet handles, phones, keyboards, tablets and bedside lamps.

Here are some more cleaning tips:

1) Get rid of textile cloths, mops, tea towels and sponges. Use disposable ones instead, including good quality kitchen roll. If you’re loathe to do that, at least make sure you wash the more durable kind of cloths regularly at 60 degrees. Microfibre ones are good at cleaning up and can be washed umpteen times.

2) Use detergent and hot water on countertops and focus on fixtures that get a lot of hand traffic. These include obvious ones such as toilets, sinks, taps and door handles, but also less obvious ones such as keyboards, phones, remote controls and light switches.

3) If you have them, wear disposable gloves and a plastic apron when cleaning surfaces, clothing or bedding, it says. Clean your hands after you take off the gloves and apron. Throw the gloves and cloths in a bin after you use them.

4) Floors should be washed daily, ideally. Always clean the dirtiest areas in your home last. That is, do the kitchen before the bathroom, and the sink and shower before the loo.

5) If there is risk of infection in the home, make sure everyone has their own personal hygiene items such as towels and facecloths, and don’t share razors.

6) If you touch something you know is soiled, wash your hands with liquid soap and keep the infected person’s clothes, sheets, pillows and linens away from the rest of the laundry to wash separately. As with towels, wash at 60 degrees or more and tumble dry clothes at as high a temperature as possible.

7) The services of good professional cleaners are rare but the Sproose platform (sproose.ie) offers a handy online option. You can simply log on and book a deep clean.

It also provides a collection laundry and dry cleaning service, if your own washing machine is straining under a heavy load right now. Of course, if you’re self-isolating, do not bring in any outside cleaners and do not send your clothes anywhere until you get the all-clear.

 

Why deep cleaning your fridge is important to stay healthy?

The first and foremost step towards leading a healthy life is to keep your surroundings clean and sanitised. Then comes eating a clean and healthy diet that helps in keeping your insides healthy too. But to keep up with all of these healthy habits, one of the most important appliances to keep clean is your refrigerator. Ideally, a refrigerator that is being used regularly to store fresh groceries, cooked food and all kinds of sauces, should be deep cleaned every 2 months. Not only is it important to keep your food fresher but also to keep food-borne illnesses away. Studies show that illnesses caused by food are mostly because of dirty refrigerators as they become breeding ground for dangerous bacteria like salmonella, E. coli and listeria.

The most important reason behind keeping your fridge clean is to prevent the breeding of germs that can further cause diseases like food poisoning. We tend to pile up groceries without finishing the ones that we have stored already. This causes the old vegetables and fruits to decay and make space for germs to start breeding. The same thing happens when there is curry or sauce spilt in the fridge and is not cleaned on time. The refrigerator being the backbone of the whole kitchen and the kitchen is the backbone of your house, it is highly important to keep up with its maintenance.

If you stock up your fridge with fresh food every week then it is only human to spill milk and other liquids like sauces and curries quite often. In that case, it is advised to clean your fridge at least once every month with warm, soapy water. But if you are not so regular with any of these activities, clean your fridge at least once every 2 months

The right way to do is deep cleaning. You will need to empty your fridge entirely and then take out all the shelves too. Wash each shelve with hot soapy water and use the same water to wash the insides of the fridge too. Make sure you have turned it off from the main switch before you begin. Wash it properly with clean water and use a clean and dry cloth to wipe off all that excess water. The same steps are to be followed to clean the freezer too. Check for the food that has passed its expiration date and throw it away. Similarly, look for the fruits and vegetables that have gone bad and get rid of them too. Dry the shelves completely before putting them back.

While cleaning the fridge regularly is one of the best ways to keep it sanitised and to maintain a healthy environment for food, you can always keep other things in mind to prevent food-borne diseases to a greater extent.

 

Ships, Planes And Other Spots Are Getting A ‘Deep Clean.’ What’s That Mean?

All announced that they’ve undergone a “deep clean” in recent weeks after discovering that a person infected with the novel coronavirus had been there. That’s just the tip of a tall stack of businesses and consumer gathering spots that say they are stepping up cleaning protocols.

While cleaning for the coronavirus is not that different from disinfecting for other viruses, like those that cause the flu or a common cold, industries are tailoring the cleaning in keeping with what makes sense for them. Public health officials suggest a few common steps can be used by both businesses and individual households: increasing the frequency of cleanings, using disinfectant products that federal officials say are effective, cleaning “high-touch” spots and making hand sanitizer readily available.

But there is no universal protocol for a “deep clean” of highly trafficked public or commercial spaces to eradicate the coronavirus. Ridding it from smooth surfaces is easier than getting it out of upholstery or carpeting, for instance. And the key to blunting the spread of COVID-19 hinges on good hygiene practices, and a recognition that minimizing the amount of virus spreading in the community is the goal.

Deep cleaning is not a scientific concept and likely means something different to individual businesses or consumers. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has issued guidelines for community facilities that have had people with suspected or confirmed cases of COVID-19. It recommends that “high-touch” surfaces be disinfected daily.

But not all forms of infection control are the same. Disinfectants kill or inactivate germs on a surface. Cleaning can remove ― but not necessarily inactivate — viruses, though because all coronaviruses are encased in fatty envelopes, there is good reason to think that the same soaps that break down grease can puncture that outer envelope and inactivate the coronavirus, too. So that’s good news.

 

Deep Cleaning Service

A deep clean is the best way to ensure that your house starts spotless and stays that way. Over time, parts of your home – particularly kitchens and bathrooms – can accumulate layers of dirt, grease, and grime that a regular cleaning just can’t handle. When you book a deep cleaning service, you can take care of all those overlooked areas, since the following extras are automatically included: inside cabinets, inside fridge, inside oven

Experienced

Not only can using the Handy platform to book a deep cleaning service help you to save money, but it can save you valuable time, too! Rather than relying on random websites or wading your way through online ads to find a deep cleaning company

Skilled and Capable

Using the Handy platform to find the best deep cleaning service for your requirements is a quick, convenient, and cost-effective way to give your home a facelift. Saying goodbye to grime is an ideal way to begin a cleaning schedule, but it’s also perfect for landlords who want to remove all traces of previous tenants and get a property ready for new ones

Reliable

we’ll match you with the best deep clean professionals near you, and you’ll know that they’re up to the job. Honest customer ratings and reviews let you know how highly-rated they are and their biographies will tell you a little about their experience. However, even the most experienced of cleaners is useless without good tools

Flexible

whether you’re using the mobile app or your laptop to access the website. All that you need to do is enter your zip code and some details about the service you’d like and we’ll take care of the rest. We’ll match you with the best deep clean professionals who meets your requirements and timing.

Auto Car Dealers

Car Dealership Tricks You’ll Wish You Knew Sooner

Here are some expert tactics to give you a leg up on fast-talking wheeler-dealers, so you can leave the car dealership with the ride of your dreams and some money in your pocket.

Start with emails and phone calls

“Email several dealers to ask for their best price for new and used cars. If they say you need to come in, tell them you will—only if they give you a great price in writing. Even if you think you’ve found ‘the one,’ you can save money by comparing the price for similar vehicles offered by other dealers. If a dealership doesn’t respond, take your business elsewhere.”

Keep your trade-in to yourself

“Dealers like to move money around to confuse car buyers about how much they are really getting in the deal. If you mention you want to trade in a car up front, you are opening the door to a shell game. The salesperson will focus on what you want to get for your trade and may artificially inflate the ‘trade allowance’ to get you to say yes. This leaves no room to negotiate on the price of the new car. Furthermore, the salesperson may ask to appraise your trade, taking your keys and literally holding your car hostage until you agree to a deal.”

Don’t try to haggle

“Salespeople spend their days selling. Chances are you won’t be as good at getting them to give you a great deal as they are at getting you to buy. So focus on what you can do: Force dealers to compete against each other by sending you their best offers.”

Be wary of “fun” advertisements

“If you received a mailer with a ‘scratch off to win’ game on it—avoid it at all costs! These dealers prey on the desperate, offering lower payments but dragging the terms out. This ensures the value of the car will always be less than you know.”

 

Things to Look for in a Great Used Car Dealer

Finding the right used car for you can be tough enough – especially when it involves an intensive search for exactly the right make, model, year, color, price, and more. With millions of used cars for sale in literally thousands of used car lots around the country waiting for your judgment, it can be tough to narrow down even the best dozen options, let alone the exact right car at the right value. That’s why it’s actually smarter to take a step back and ask yourself something first

“Am I starting with the right used car dealer?” This is a smart way to start any used car search, since picking that perfect pre-owned vehicle really begins with picking the right used car dealer. This means finding an expert in used cars who you can trust to guide you to the right investment, without having to worry if you’re overpaying or making the wrong choice for your needs.

Large Selection

The first sign of a reputable used car dealer is the actual presence of a wide variety of used cars out on the lot, to begin with. If you roll up to a used car dealer and the lot looks a little sparse, with few options for your consideration, that’s usually a clear red flag that something’s amiss with this used car dealer. Either they have an amazing turnover in their inventory or something’s not quite right – either way, a lack of options is never a good start in your quest to find that perfect used vehicle.

Fair Prices

Shopping around for the best price possible on your next used car is typically a smart option, but there’s definitely a limit on how good a deal should be. If a used car is significantly overpriced compared to other similarly-aged models, it’s likely a sign that your dealer is trying to rip you off. Likewise, underpriced vehicles can be a sign that the dealer is trying to cover something up, or hide an unseen issue with the vehicle.

Knowledgeable Staff

When you’re on the lot looking for your next used car, you’re naturally going to look to the sales representative to fill in some of the blanks around what their inventory offers. This is a great opportunity to test your sales representative on their knowledge of their inventory and on the market in general – that way, you can get a fairly easy feel for just how professional this dealer is, and whether it’s the right choice for you.

 

Best used car buying tips

Budget

Set yourself a strict budget based on what you can afford. Remember that purchase price is just the start though, as there are ongoing running costs like fuel, maintenance, insurance, plus the interest on any finance used for the purchase to consider.

Research

Once you’ve set your budget, CarsGuide.com.au can help you get an idea of what vehicles are available within your price bracket. There are thousands of vehicles for sale to choose from, and there’s a handy value guide to help you know what to pay.

Refine your search

enables you to search for models based on make, model, price, body type, age, and location among many other helpful details. Seek advice from our thousands of expert reviews, including used reviews to find out what to look for when cars get a few years and kilometres under their belt, or our many guides to help you with your search

Contact the seller

But first, jot down a list of questions to ask about each car so you don’t forget anything.

How long have they owned the car?

What is their reason for selling it?

Has the vehicle ever been damaged?

What condition is the car in, and is there any issues not shown in the photos?

Will it pass a roadworthy inspection?

How detailed is the car’s service history and is it with the car?

Plus anything else that is not explained in the ad.

Arranging an inspection

If the person selling the car is a private party and not a dealer, insist on inspecting the car at their home address. If the vendor isn’t willing to show you the car at their home address, they could be trying to hide something.

 

Things Car Salesmen Don’t Want You to Know

Your Smartphone Is Your Most Powerful Weapon

Years ago, car dealerships and their sales force held all the cards, and buyers held very few. But that has changed completely. Now, with information and sites True Market Value (TMV), Autotrader, eBay Motors, and access to car experts in the palm of your hand, you have effectively marginalized the car salesman. You know what they paid for the car, what their mark up is, when they bought it, what their bottom line is, everything. You can, in essence, make haggling a thing of the past. However, if you leave your phone at home, then you better have a terrific memory and be able stick by your guns. Proof is power.

You Can Win the Game Before Setting Foot on a Lot

The Internet has done wonders for the humble consumer. With it, you can email 20 dealers within a 50 mile radius, tell them what you’re looking for, and ask them to send you back a quote. From those quotes, pick the lowest couple and take those to any dealership you want. They’ll usually be forced to match it, destroying whatever profit margin they were hoping for. And before you feel too bad, the dealerships get massive bonuses by hitting certain sales targets. They can give you the car at cost and still walk away with a nice pile of cash.

Be Wary of Salesmen Who Leave to Let You “Talk it Over”

I actually had this happen to a friend of mine, and I laughed when I saw it come up in the comments.

You Are Being Screwed on Your Trade In

If the car you’re trading in is in good condition, you won’t be getting a good deal on it.

There Are Mark-Ups Aplenty on the Sales Stickers

Dealerships refer to them as “bumper stickers” because that’s where they bump up the price of the car. Little extras like VIN etching, fabric protectants, sealants, and other “must have” additions can all be done by you at home, usually for way less. Ask to see the original invoice, and compare it to the bumper sticker. That’s what you really want to look at. If they refuse, go elsewhere. And even then, the invoice doesn’t tell the whole story

 

Tips for buying a used car

Inspection tips

Take your time and carefully examine everything you want to look at – not just what the seller shows you.

Check out the car’s safety rating on the Rightcar website before you buy. Your car plays a major role in keeping you safe on the road so check the car’s safety rating and buy the safest in your price range.

Check out the car’s safety rating(external link)

Inspect the car on a dry sunny day if possible – it’s easier to see the visual clues to the car’s real condition.

Safety checklist

The older and cheaper the car, the more likely there will be something wrong, particularly once it’s done more than 100,000km. Be especially wary of engine wear and rust.

Know what you can fix and the cost of having the work done.

Check the paperwork

Check that the car has a current warrant of fitness – vehicles for sale must have a warrant of fitness less than one month old.

Get a professional inspection

Always insist on having a full professional inspection before buying any used car. Most garages will perform these inspections. There are also specialist pre-purchase inspection services. After the inspection both you and the seller will receive a report detailing any repairs needed.

Rust

Most older vehicles have some rust. Whether it’s a problem depends on how much and where it is. Look for signs of rust on the main structural supports (structural corrosion). This is dangerous. A vehicle with rust in the areas shown in the diagram will likely fail a warrant of fitness inspection and repairs will be costly

Rust on the car body can also be a problem. Look for bubbling paintwork. It’s possible that the use of a filler may be masking the problem. In some cases you can tell if this is the case by running a magnet over the car – it won’t stick to the filler. However, the magnet test won’t work if the filler contains iron dust.

Mold Inspection Could Change Your Life

Things to Consider in Hiring a Mold Removal Company Vs. Trying to Remove it Yourself

Should I Try to Remove Mold from my Property Myself?

There can be a lot of confusion and anxiety around this question, hire a professional company or try to and clean/remediate mold myself? Some people say try and clean it yourself and others say never attempt to clean it yourself. These two options as stated can be confusing and worrisome

What is the First Course of Action?

Before addressing the cleaning/remediation process, first find and correct the cause. Since mold is mostly caused by a moisture/water issue

first check for the following intrusion/causes for the mold growth:

Plumbing Leaks

Ceiling/Wall Leaks

Recent Spills

Flooding/Puddling

Humidity

These are common water intrusions that cause mold to develop and grow. If you find one of these problems near your mold area, you have most likely found your primary cause. Once the cause is found it is imperative to fix the problem as soon as possible before addressing your mold problem or calling a mold remediation company. If you need to call a professional, ask them what you can do to keep the area as dry as possible while dealing with your mold issue. If you do not deal with the primary cause first your mold will most likely grow back in just a few days

What if I cannot locate the moisture intrusion?

If you cannot locate the source of your moisture contact a leak detection company first. These companies are designed to find the exact location of the source which can save you time damage and repairs. Usually they can fix the problems themselves however if it is a plumbing problem that requires a plumbing professional also, they most likely will give you some great recommendations.

 

Mold Inspection

Mold spores are a big problem for homeowners. It can grow anywhere in the house which has a plumbing leak, poor ventilation, and high humidity. If left for quite a while, mold spores will eventually spread to different areas and damage house structures. Not only are molds a danger to your house, they also pose health risks for all occupants.

Mold Assessment & Testing

Are you worried that your house is in danger of molds? Then, the first thing you need to do is to assess and test your house for mold.

How Do I Get My House Tested For Mold?

There are several ways to get your house tested for mold:

Mold test kits. Do-it-yourself mold test kits can be purchased in home improvement stores or online retailers. To use these kits, you will collect samples by yourself and then send it to a mold testing laboratory where the type of mold present is determined.

Multiple mold tests. There are three types of mold tests: air testing, surface testing, and bulk testing. The amount of mold spores can change from time to time so it is better to test different parts of your home.

Professional mold testing. The best way to get your house tested for molds is to avail the services of professional mold inspectors. Hiring experts will definitely give you more accurate results.

Mold Expert? Licensed Mold Inspectors

Services to do the following services:

Mold inspection

Mold testing

Mold remediation

Mold removal

Asbestos testing

Asbestos abatement

homeowners need not to worry anymore about mold problems in their homes. Catstrong ensures high-quality mold inspection, testing, and remediation services that will make your home mold-free

 

Mold

Molds are a large and taxonomically diverse number of fungal species in which the growth of hyphae results in discoloration and a fuzzy appearance, especially on food

The network of these tubular branching hyphae, called a mycelium, is considered a single organism. The hyphae are generally transparent, so the mycelium appears like very fine, fluffy white threads over the surface. Cross-walls (septa) may delimit connected compartments along the hyphae, each containing one or multiple, genetically identical nuclei. The dusty texture of many molds is caused by profuse production of asexual spores (conidia) formed by differentiation at the ends of hyphae. The mode of formation and shape of these spores is traditionally used to classify molds

Molds are considered to be microbes and do not form a specific taxonomic or phylogenetic grouping, but can be found in the divisions Zygomycota and Ascomycota. In the past, most molds were classified within the Deuteromycota

Mold had been used as a common name for now non-fungal groups such as water molds or slime molds that were previously classified as fungi.

Molds cause biodegradation of natural materials, which can be unwanted when it becomes food spoilage or damage to property. They also play important roles in biotechnology and food science in the production of various foods, beverages, antibiotics, pharmaceuticals and enzymes. Some diseases of animals and humans can be caused by certain molds: disease may result from allergic sensitivity to mold spores, from growth of pathogenic molds within the body, or from the effects of ingested or inhaled toxic compounds (mycotoxins) produced by molds

 

BLACK MOLD REMOVAL COST: SHOULD I BUY A HOUSE WITH MOLD?

BLACK MOLD REMOVAL COST

Dampness in any home can lead to mold and mildew growth, and in addition to being a health hazard, moldy conditions have the potential to cause rot, structural damage, and premature paint failure. If you’re considering buying a home with black mold in the unfinished basement (or the attic and/or crawl space, the two other most common places for mold to be found in homes

HOW DOES MOLD AFFECT THE VALUE OF A HOME?

Mold can affect the appraisal value of a home. For some buyers, this is a good thing because it makes a home more affordable. But if you’re hoping to move into a home in excellent condition, don’t make an offer on a home with mold until you’ve had an independent appraisal. FHA appraisers, for example, are required not only to note if mold is growing in a home, but also the type of mold and its location. If you find that the mold growing in the home is black mold, there are a few things you should know: toxic black mold can cause permanent damage to your health and in extreme cases has even lead to death.

Large overgrowths of mold and mold in unusual locations are especially likely to lower a home’s value. If the FHA appraiser finds that the mold overgrowth is dangerous, you might be required to remove the mold before you can get an FHA loan.

Before you buy any home, you should have it inspected for mold and other problems. During this inspection, you might learn what caused the mold as well as the black mold removal cost. Sellers also have to disclose if there is an ongoing mold problem in the house or if it has previously flooded, but they don’t always do so. Never take a seller’s or real estate agent’s word about the presence of mold. Even if you’re getting a steep discount, get an inspection. The cost of removing the mold could be greater than your savings.

HOW MUCH DOES BLACK MOLD REMOVAL COST? 💰💰

To properly remediate mold (and make sure it doesn’t come back), you’ll need to hire a mold remediation specialist. A mold remediation specialist will remediate the basement while making sure mold spores do not get into the heating and cooling system, which would otherwise get recirculated throughout the home, continuing to make occupants sick even once the basement itself has been cleaned.

 

Personal Safety During Mold Remediation

How do I protect myself from mold?

Mold remediation protection is important. The first Principle of Mold Remediation according to the IICRC regards Safety and Health. The full range of effects that mold exposure can have on humanity is unknown, and isn’t something that can ever really be understood in its entirety. A person with allergies to mold can be far more susceptible to the ill effects of it and its possibly toxigenic spores. The same caution must be given to those with asthma, respiratory problems or any immune compromising illnesses. It’s also possible that exposure to mold will have stronger effects on children or elderly people.

In any mold remediation project you must wear the correct mold remediation protective personal equipment for the job. A P100 or better rated respirator is essential. Never enter an area infested with mold without a P100 respirator. Breathing in molds spores can be dangerous even for completely healthy people.

Always wear gloves and protective clothing to limit exposure to your skin. Nitrile gloves are a favorite among professional remediators, but kitchen rubber gloves are just as good in many situations. A tyvek, or similar type of full body coveralls is recommended, but sometimes isn’t entirely necessary in the cleaning of smaller mold problems. The very least you should have in the way of clothing should be long sleeves, long pants, boots, respirator and goggles to cover your eyes.

In areas of heavy infestation, (especially in a basement, crawlspace or attic where ventilation could be poor and humidity high) or any situation where you’re cleaning a toxigenic, black mold, you WILL need more and better mold remediation protective equipment. You’ll need full body coveralls, (average, porous clothing can easily capture airborne mold spores, allowing them to reach the surface of the skin during the sometimes hot and tiring process of mold remediation), Strong rubber or nitrile gloves and a full face P100 respirator

Black molds require the right conditions (a large moisture source, poor ventilation, high humidity and plenty of cellulose material to feed on) for them to produce deadly mycotoxins. The Institute of Medicine (IOM) states, however, that all fungi most likely produce allergens that could cause disease depending upon one’s exposure to it. And of course, those allergic to any type of mold will be more susceptible. Standard practice in mold remediation is to take all the precautions one can.

How To Get The Best Loading Services Maintenance

What To Expect & What Not To Do When Movers Pack For You

Packers are generally highly experienced employees of a moving company. They have years of experience in packing household goods; they move very quickly and efficiently; they are tasked to pack tightly and carefully; and their goal is to pack each carton to capacity without either over packing it (making it too heavy) or under packing it (more paper than needed). They have been trained to meet high industry standards and, in most cases, can make packing look easier than it is. When packers enter your home, they will walk with you and listen to any concerns you may have for special care items. Once they have a good understanding of what needs to be done, they will move to pack your home quickly.

What will they do?

The first step is to protect your home. They will normally start by protecting your floors. Next they will bring packing material, cartons, tape and paper inside your home. They then will most often split into different rooms of your home. One person may work in your kitchen while another may begin in one of your bedrooms. The packers will not mark individual items on the cartons; they will only identify the room of the house the carton comes from. If you want to notate items on a carton for your own convenience, that’s something you’ll need to do. At the end of a full day, two professional packers should be able to effectively pack between 100-150 cartons.

Will my things be damaged?

Good packers have been trained to wrap and protect items by specific placement inside a box or carton. This does not mean that items are never broken, as many different circumstances can influence whether or not something ends up breaking, but damage is much less common when using a professional packer than when you pack yourself.

How do they pack so fast?

Packers do not have any sentimental attachment like you do to your items, so they are able to function in their roles much like a robot – very systematically. Emotions, memories and decisions on what goes and what stays is not something that concerns them so they can effectively complete their job in a much shorter period of time. It will be important that you have a clear idea of what is going and what is not going prior to packing day because, if not, it becomes virtually impossible for packers to adjust and it becomes a costly process to you if you are changing your mind on what to take and what to leave behind while packers are working in your home

Do I need really need to be there while packers are packing?

Simply, yes. You do need to be present for your packing. You should also make sure that children and pets are not in or around the packers as this can slow the job and create unsafe distractions. There are also often parts and pieces that will be lying loose while in the process of disassembly and packing. This could be considered hazardous to the safety of children and pets, so it’s best to make sure they’re occupied somewhere else.

 

Safety Tips When Moving During COVID-19

first learned about coronavirus COVID-19, how it spread, and how it was already affecting the health of so many, it didn’t take long before the way we lived our everyday lives changed drastically.

Many non-essential services have been forced to shut down, and we’ve learned that the best way to keep ourselves, our families, and our friends safe is to practice social distancing and strict cleanliness routines.

However, it all happened so quickly that many people had already closed on the sale of their homes, or purchased new homes, which isn’t something that can easily be postponed or cancelled. And, sadly, we also know that with the uncertainty of jobs, income, and the economy, some will be forced to change their living situations in order to manage financially.

Do-It-Yourself Moving Options

The best way to ensure that your items are not being contaminated is to handle them yourself. If you’re able to do all packing and loading yourself, then this is one of the safest and convenient moving options

Using a Moving Container

The biggest benefit to moving with a container, like a BigSteelBox, is that you’re in complete control of your move. Only you have access to your container, you will be the only one packing and handing your items, and you keep the key.

 

Get a Self Service Moving Quote

Are you experiencing sticker shock for your move? Is your long-distance move causing you to lose sleep at night? Do you want to get full service move quality for truck rental pricing? Then you have come to the right place.

Whatever you are shipping, we can help. We can provide moving trucks for anything from a 1 bedroom apartment to a full house. We can also move your car with one of our large auto transporters while moving your furniture on a moving van. Our relocation coordinators can help coordinate your move to fit your busy schedule! Since you take care of the packing and loading, you get the best cross country moving service at the best price. Fill out our quick quote form and instantly get moving rates emailed to you to ultimately save time and money.

We find that customers often have similar questions or experiences. That makes this section of our website packed with good information for those that are looking to move or that are already using full service movers or self service movers.

You load, They drive, You Save. Find out more information about how people are renting space on moving vans and loading it themselves to save money.

Save money on your long-distance move by doing the loading and unloading yourself. Movingplace provides the truck, fuel, driver, and door-to-door transportation.

 

Simple Steps to Make Your Move Less Stressful

Last year more than 40,093,000 people, or 14.19 percent of the U.S. population, moved to a new home. Though it can be a fun and exciting time, moving can also be a lot of work. In fact, 75% of movers say that moving is somewhat, quite, or very stressful. Between organizing your belongings, packing boxes, and loading the moving truck, there are many aspects of moving that are overwhelming.

If you’re one of the millions of Americans planning an upcoming move, you’re probably starting to get a little anxious about the event. With the right resources and preparation, you can make your move stress-free and easy. The following seven tips provide helpful insights on everything from how to pack your boxes to packing a moving van.

One part of moving is in the preparation, meaning how well you pack and organize your belongings. First, it’s important to note that you should wait to start packing until as late as possible so you don’t have to dig through packed boxes.

As you start to pack, here are a few considerations to keep in mind to ensure you are packing in the most sensible manner.

Use the appropriate sized boxes. Heavy items, like books, should be packed in small boxes, while things like linens, pillows, and light weight times go in bigger boxes.

Load the boxes by putting the heavier items at the bottom and lighter items on top.

Don’t leave empty spaces in boxes. Use clothing, towels, linens, or packing paper to prevent loose space unbalanced boxes.

Try not to pack items from different rooms together. Not only will it make packing easier, but you’ll thank yourself when the time comes to unpack.

Label each box with the room in which it belongs and includes a description of the box’s contents. You can also use numbers to label each box and keep an inventory in your moving notebook.

Label each side of the box. Lauri Williams of Casual Uncluttering LLC, says, “Always label all four sides and the top of the packing boxes. That way, no matter what side of the box you can see because of where it ends up, you’ll know what’s in the box. There were days I wished I could have labeled the bottom too.”

Put packing paper around each of your dishes and wrap bundles of five or six in more paper. Always pack dishes on their sides – never flat – and be sure to use plenty of paper to pad the top and bottom of the boxes.

If you’re moving valuable art, talk with your mover about special crating. Oil paints should never be wrapped in regular paper, but should be bubble wrapped and placed in a frame box.

 

A Perfect Solution for Small Moves

we know that every move is not the same. And sometimes, thinking “inside of the box” can save you time and money.

Obviously the size of the move will impact the services you’re looking for. A small move will have different factors to contend with than a larger move. Still, the stakes of a smaller move may be as big as a move two or three times its size, so it’s important to have a small move solution that meets your needs. This is where a quality small moving company can make all the difference

provides the following benefits for those looking at moving companies for small moves:

Professional packing into a professional shipping container

Faster transit and delivery times

Simplified pricing for improved budgeting

Specific pick-up and delivery dates

Performance in less time than the industry average

Decreased potential for loss or damage to your household goods

Important Facts On The Electrical Wiring Log Homes

Bathroom Electrical Wiring – Issues and Safety Precautions

Bathroom Electrical Wiring: Issues and Safety Precautions

According to the Consumer Product Safety Commission, tens of thousands of fires happen all over the United States every year that are caused by electrical issues. Besides the millions of property damage that are incurred, there is also the unfortunate loss of life that happens in hundreds of these kinds of cases. There are also hundreds of consumer products that can cause electrocution and death (especially with bathroom electrical wiring), so it is best that the appropriate safety precautions are done in order to prevent any sort of unfortunate incident to happen.

A Volatile and Dangerous Mix

It is a well known fact that water and electricity just do not mix. It is a very deadly combination. So you can just imagine the kinds of dangers you have with bathroom electrical wiring systems. Of course, no one can eliminate entirely the need for bathroom electrical wiring systems – with outlets for dryers, heaters, lights, and all other electrical appliances you use in the bathroom, all you can really do is to observe the proper safety precautions and steps to make sure that the electrical system in your bathroom is safe for you and all who use the bathroom.

 

Some Safety Tips

Use moisture-splash proof switches.

Moisture-splash proof switches are designed to prevent water from entering the switch and coming into contact with the wires inside.

Ensure all receptacles are GFCI-protected.

GFCI outlets help reduce the risk of shock hazards in damp areas and have already saved thousands of lives. The National Electric Code currently mandates the installation of GFCI outlets in the bathrooms, crawl spaces, and kitchens among other areas in the house for protection.

 

Position the Receptacles Properly

You shouldn’t just position the electrical outlets anywhere you please. Some of the guidelines to follow include installing a receptacle:

Within three feet of the outside of each basin (bath, lavatory, sink or any bowl of water)

On a wall or partition adjacent to the applicable basin

Behind or beside, but neither across or over a sink

Each of these guidelines serves specific purposes. For example, installing a receptacle over a sink can easily lead to the code hanging into the sink and causing electrocution.

 

Distribute the Circuits Properly

Lastly, you should distribute the different circuits in your bathroom and keep them isolated. For example, the light circuits should be different from the fan circuits. The objective here is to ensure that a fault in one circuit does not interfere with the operation of another circuit. That way, your light stays on even if the fan is not working, and you get enough light to rectify the fault. All these are measures to keep bathroom users safe. If you can’t handle them all, then you are not cut out for bathroom electrical wiring. In that case, you should let a professional home electrician contractor handle the work.

Install Exhaust Fans

It is not just the bath water that you should worry about; bathrooms tend to accumulate high levels of humidity and moisture. These too can cause problems with your electrical wiring. The countermeasure here is to install exhaust ceiling fans and prevent accumulation of steam or moisture.

 

Bathroom Electrical Safety is Paramount

Water is essential to human health and hygiene. Unfortunately, it’s also a great conductor of electricity. That means that you could receive a severe shock when you are standing in water, and even wet skin allows electricity an easier path to pass into your body. Electrical shocks can cause burns, heart arrhythmia, nervous system damage and death, and bad wiring or improper grounding can also start a fire. That’s why safety in your bathroom electrical work should be one of your primary concerns. Follow these tips to avoid an emergency:

  • Make sure your electrical sockets are located a safe distance away from the shower. Cover the outlets when they aren’t in use.
  • All the outlets in the bathroom should be equipped with ground fault circuit interrupters, which can sense when an electric current is improperly grounding and automatically shut down the power, potentially saving a person holding a hair dryer in the shower from a nasty shock.
  • On that note, never use electrical devices in the bathroom when you are standing in or otherwise in contact with standing water. This should be common sense, but sometimes people forget or get careless.
  • Any exposed or frayed wiring in the bathroom should be addressed and repaired immediately.
  • If you use an electric heater in your bathroom, it should be hardwired into a circuit, and preferably installed into the wall or ceiling.
  • The less wiring you have in your bathroom, the better, so recessed or enclosed lights are better than light bulbs or fixtures that hang freely from the walls or ceilings.
  • Pull strings for your lights are safer than switches because they prevent wet hands from getting anywhere near the circuit.
  • Electrical work must be performed by a licensed professional so you have assurances that the job is done well, and recourse if it isn’t.