The Home Remodeling Trends

Smart Home Improvements to Make Before Selling

Ready to put your home on the market? Whether you’re planning to move now or in the coming years, getting your home ready to sell can be intimidating. Some renovations can be helpful while others may actually turn off potential buyers. The goal of your home renovations should be to make it more livable for yourself and look move-in ready to future buyers. Use this list of home updates to help you attract buyers and speed up the sale of your home.

Add a Fresh Coat of Paint to Sell Your Home

Not sure what to update to sell your home more easily? A simple coat of paint in a neutral shade is a great place to start. This update can be completed without a huge investment of time or money. Spend one weekend removing any bright accent walls or dark colors and buyers will be more interested in your home. Popular color options include:

  • Grey
  • White
  • Beige
  • Charcoal
  • Light blue

Be sure the new colors still go well with your home décor to further appeal to prospective buyers.

Update Your Front Door

The front of your home is the first thing potential buyers see. Improve your first impression by painting your front door or replacing it with a new one. A brightly colored front door will make your home more memorable. If you aren’t interested in a colorful front door, you can also replace it with a sturdy new steel door or simply update your old screen door with a glass version for a fresh look.

Complete a Bathroom Remodel No Matter How Small

Bathrooms are always high on potential buyers’ lists, making an investment here is one of the best options for increased resale value. Before putting your home up for sale, consider making small updates that will excite anyone looking at your house. Some of the best bathroom remodels for resale include small changes likes:

  • Re-caulking the tub.
  • Replacing the vanity.
  • Changing the shower head.
  • Replacing the faucet.

Improving energy efficiency

While most homeowners think upgrades that improve the look of their home will pay off, improving your home’s efficiency may actually make a bigger difference. In fact, a Remodeling.com survey found homeowners can recoup 116% of the costs of attic insulation. And attic insulation is just one of many upgrades that improve efficiency.

While renovating the kitchen and updating the bathrooms are both great improvements that can increase property value, making energy efficient upgrades will give you more bang for your buck. As the number of energy efficient homes continues to rise, first time buyers and renters are beginning to favor these upgraded homes over traditional homes due to the potential long-term savings.

Upgrading HVAC, water heaters, and windows — these changes cost less than solar panels and are more likely to provide a positive return on investment when the time comes to sell. When you sell, you can recoup around 73% of the costs of upgrading 10 old windows with new ones, and your energy bills will be lower in the time before your move.

If you make energy efficient upgrades, make sure your realtor markets your home appropriately. You can even consider providing copies of your utility bills to potential buyers so they can see how low ongoing costs will be. 

Upgrade Your Kitchen

Your kitchen is one of the first things prospective buyers will see when they enter your home (depending on layout, of course). It’s also one of the most exciting rooms for prospective buyers to enter and see themselves in. But before you make the jump on a new kitchen re-do, make sure to compare other homes on the market and price of your home. The cost of the kitchen should be in line with the cost of the rest of the house. A kitchen remodel will run you from $5,000 to $75,000 or more depending on how crazy you want to get. But you can recoup 60% to 120%  of the investment according to Remodeling Magazine’s annual Cost vs. Value Report, so it may be worth the effort in the right market.

Update Flooring

Hardwood flooring is another great way to increase the resale value of your home, according to Realtor.com. In fact, it can add around 2.5% to the value of your home. Of course, this figure varies depending on the neighborhood and market type, so if you’re the last one on your block to replace your floors, it’s probably a good idea to pull the trigger.

Expensive Landscaping

Landscaping can transform the way your house looks, especially to potential buyers. However, going over the top to create a backyard paradise, while nice, won’t add to your asking price. If you plan to stay in your home for a while, this project can improve your quality of life, especially in the warmer months. If you plan to sell your home, you won’t recoup the cost of expensive landscaping in the sale.

Instead of investing in expensive landscaping, make changes to your lawn to add curb appeal to your home. “Wow” potential buyers with a well-kept lawn, and some well-laced shrubbery or small trees. The Cost vs. Value report states that projects that boost the “wow” value of the front of the house recoup a decent percentage, depending on the changes made. Go for classy, subtle changes to the landscaping to really make your home shine.

The Difference between Investors and Owners

Updating an investment property is generally a sound strategy–if it’s done the right way. Successful advocates of the fix-it-and-flip-it philosophy are investors, with the investor’s mantra of “buy low, sell high.” So they purchase run-down homes at bargain prices and save money on the repairs by doing most of the work themselves. A little sweat equity goes a long way toward making a real estate investment profitable. They carefully choose their remodeling projects, too, focusing on those that will result in the most value for the least amount of effort and cost. Part of the process includes paying attention to the other homes in the neighborhood to avoid over-improving the property. If none of the other houses in the area have crown moldings and Corian countertops, adding these amenities is unlikely to result in a significantly higher selling price.

Owners, on the other hand, often take a less strategic approach when sprucing up their homes. As a result, they can end up putting significantly more money into the project than they will get back out of it when they sell. While it’s certainly a smart move to make a few improvements, don’t overdo it.

Introduction To Electrical Installation And Testing

BASIC SKILLS FOR ELECTRICAL PROJECTS

Take the confusion and risk out of DIY electrical projects. Get a good grounding in how your wiring works, what tools you need, how to make connections, how to work with wire and cable, how to avoid the most common errors, and most of all, how to be completely safe around electricity.

Learn how to make electrical improvements that are safe and code compliant with the videos, photographs, and expert instruction in this class. You’ll learn about circuits, circuit breakers, and other parts of your home’s wiring system, like wires, cables, boxes, switches, and outlets. Learn how to replace or install cable, boxes, and devices and make tight, safe connections.

Here’s what you’ll learn:

Tips and techniques for working with cable, boxes, switches, and outlets so you’ll have the skill and knowledge to complete safe and code compliant electrical projects

How to identify the three types of conductors (wires) in your home’s electrical system: hot wires, neutral wires, and equipment ground (ground) wires

How to install electric boxes in open walls and how to add a remodeling box in a finished wall

Which tools you’ll need to work on your home electrical projects

How to turn off the power and make sure it’s off before you start working on any wiring

What a basic house circuit is and how to recognize the physical parts of the circuit

How to identify the three types of conductors (wires) in your home’s electrical system: hot wires, neutral wires, and equipment ground (ground) wires

How to interpret the color coding of the wires in your home

And much more!

Who should take this class:

DIY home renovators who want to complete their own electrical work

Homeowners who are looking for expert advice and tips before modifying or updating electrical projects in their house

People who want to save money by doing their own basic electrical projects

Beginners who are looking for expert advice before beginning electrical projects

Electrical Tips & Advice

Home electrical fires account for over 50,000 fires in the US each year.  The Electrical Safety Foundation International reports that electrical fires cause more than 500 deaths, 1,400 injuries, and over a billion dollars in property damage. Older homes are particularly at risk. Because over half of the homes in the United States were built before 1973, this is a real concern.

Knob and Tube Wiring

This type of wiring was used from the 1800’s to the 1930’s in homes. Wires are run through ceramic tubes (or knobs) to prevent contact with wood framing. However, this type of wiring is now considered a fire hazard because it is not a grounded system. If your home has knob and tube wiring, it is highly recommended that you have your home re-wired.

Arc Faults

When any electricity is unintentionally released from home wiring or cords, it is known as an arc fault. Arc faults can be especially dangerous because the electricity released can cause the surrounding material to catch fire.

Pinched wires – From a chair sitting on an extension cord or wires bent sharply

Overheated wires or cords – Too many lights or appliances connected to one circuit (your fuse box or circuit breaker should trip) Improper electrical connections – Loose connections in an electrical light switch or outlet

No Ground Fault Circuit Interrupters

Any electrical outlets that could come into contact with water should have ground fault circuit interrupters (GFCIs) installed. These outlets improve safety by constantly monitoring the flow of electricity in and out of the circuit. If the returning current differs even a small amount (like from coming in contact with water), the GFCI will shut of the electric current. This helps prevent deadly electric shocks and electrocution. For maximum safety install GFCIs in bathrooms, the kitchen, laundry room, outside and anywhere else an outlet could come in contact with water.

Electrical

Overview

Working with electricity can be dangerous. Engineers, electricians, and other professionals work with electricity directly, including working on overhead lines, cable harnesses, and circuit assemblies. Others, such as office workers and sales people, work with electricity indirectly and may also be exposed to electrical hazards.

Electricity has long been recognized as a serious workplace hazard. OSHA’s electrical standards are designed to protect employees exposed to dangers such as electric shock, electrocution, fires, and explosions.

Construction

Electricity has long been recognized as a serious workplace hazard. OSHA’s electrical standards are designed to protect employees exposed to dangers such as electric shock, electrocution, fires, and explosions. Includes references that provide information related to electrical in construction including OSHA’s electrical construction regulations, hazard recogition, possible solutions and additional resources.

Hazard Recognition

Many workers are unaware of the potential electrical hazards present in their work environment, which makes them more vulnerable to the danger of electrocution. The following hazards are the most frequent causes of electrical injuries: contact with power lines, lack of ground-fault protection, path to ground missing or discontinuous, equipment not used in manner prescribed, and improper use of extension and flexible cords.

Possible Solutions

A variety of possible solutions may be implemented to reduce or eliminate the risk of injury associated with electrical work. Examples of solutions include the use of insulation, guarding, grounding, electrical protective devices, and safe work practices. This page provides information that may aid in controlling electrical hazards in the workplace.

Electrical safety

Electrical safety is incredibly important and we all have a part to play.

We use electricity for lots of menial tasks, like turning on a light switch, making toast and charging our phones, but we also use it to power important things like medical equipment, traffic control and street lights. We might take it for granted, but electricity is not something to mess around with – it can kill.

We all have a responsibility to use electricity safely. Every householder in NSW is legally obliged to keep their home safe, including the way it uses electricity. The same goes for business owners – they are responsible for the electrical safety of their employees and everyone else on premises.

Risks and injuries

Faulty appliances, damaged or worn power cords, power points and household wiring, electrical appliances coming in contact with water and downed power lines can all cause electric shocks. While some shocks are a minor ‘tingle’, others can be much more serious.

Electrical installation work

By law, any electrical installation work must be done by a licensed electrician. Electricians are required to provide you with a uniquely numbered Certificate of Compliance Electrical Work (CCEW) to show that the work has been tested and complies with the regulations.

Safety labels for electrical goods

Certain electrical products and appliances must be certified and approved against Australian standards before they can be sold in NSW. This includes electric room heaters and power tools that run from mains power.

Home electricity tips

We use electricity every day and often take it for granted — but you have to take care when handling it. We’ve got some useful hints that will help keep you safe around electricity.

Power points and power boards

Running too many appliances off one power point by piggy-backing double adaptors, or connecting power boards together, can overload the circuit and lead to overheating, damage to equipment, or even cause a fire in your home

Follow these safety tips when using power points and power boards:

Don’t overload individual power points.

Don’t plug in more than two cords to a double adaptor — use a suitable adaptor board instead.

Keep all electrical connections out of areas that may become wet due to watering or extreme weather conditions.

If there is no permanently-installed safety switch, use a portable type at the power point.

Never use an extension cord that has a three-pin or piggy-back plug at each end.

Never replace fuse wire or plug-in circuit breakers with larger sizes.

Keep combustible material, such as paper, plastic and structural metalwork,150mm away from bulbs.

Never modify lighting outlets, plugs or cords.

Check that you have working smoke alarms in your home.

Tingles and shocks

It is believed that many electric shocks go unnoticed and unreported in Australia each year. Electric shocks and tingles — slight electric shocks — happen for a variety of reasons but can sometimes be an indication that there’s an underlying electrical fault that requires urgent attention.

Safety switches

Safety switches detect small amounts of constant electrical fault current leaking to earth and quickly switch off the electricity, minimising electric shock and reducing the risk of fire.

Why Only An Electrician Should Do Electrical Panel Upgrades

Electrical Panel Upgrades

About Electrical Panel Upgrades

The electrical panel is the core of your electrical system. This is where your home receives electricity from the utility company. The power is then distributed throughout your entire home until every outlet and light has the power that it needs. As your home ages, your electrical service panel suffers normal “wear & tear.” It is likely that you have upgraded appliances and technology in your home over the past years

The panel is just like anything else in your home, it needs to be properly maintained. In the event of a fire, the first place an insurance adjuster checks is the panel. If it is not kept up properly, they will attempt to show negligence

The following items should be checked for compliance:

Non-approved breakers for your brand panel

Panels that are older than 5 years

Missing Breakers

Hot Spots

Over sizing of breakers versus wiring size

When should I upgrade my electrical panel?

When technology is modernized and panels are not, frequent outages are experienced. Old service panels simply cannot handle all the power now required. Overloaded wires can lead to deadly electrical shock. In order to help prevent this from happening, electrical panels are designed to tell whenever there is a problem with your electricity and cut off power to that circuit. Older electrical panels did this using fuses, while newer panels rely on circuit breakers.

There are two ways to determine if you are in need of a panel upgrade:

You live in a home that is over 20 years old and have outdated panels.

If you have (or want) more power requirements.

How To Know When It Is Time To Replace Your Home’s Electric Panel

Does My Home’s Electrical Service Panel Need to be Replaced?

We do a lot of work for realtors and home owners in Northampton and Lehigh Counties and from time to time we get asked; “When is it time to upgrade an electrical panel?” So, we thought we should share with you the following advice from our experience.

First, what IS your electrical panel?

The electrical service panel is the component of your house’s electrical system where the electricity is brought in to the house from your power company. The electrical wiring that runs throughout your home starts at the service panel and is used to separately feed the different areas and appliances at your home that require electricity.  Each separate wire leaving the panel and feeding your home is called a circuit.  This panel is like the “heart” of the electrical system of your entire home.  Like veins and arteries, any and all wiring going throughout the walls and ceilings of your home all originate at this location! Keeping this in mind, there are several reason it may be necessary to upgrade your electrical panel.

Do you have fuses of beakers?

If you live in a home built before 1960, you may have an electrical panel with fuses. Fuses are used to control and limit the power of the electricity leaving the panel through each individual circuit.  If any circuit calls for more power than that circuit is rated for, the fuse will “blow”, meaning it will automatically stop the flow of power at that circuit and as a result will then need to be replaced. This requires you to keep a few spares of the different fuses you have within your electrical panel.  If this is the type of panel you have in your home, it is probably time to upgrade to a new panel with what are called circuit breakers.

Does your electrical panel have enough power capacity for how you use your home?

With fuses, and even if your home has an electrical panel with circuit breakers you may want to check the power capacity of your electrical panel, called its ampacity. Many homes may have only a 60-amp or a 100-amp panel and that may not be powerful enough to handle many of the modern conveniences we have in today’s homes such as central air conditioning and modern appliances. If you are often blowing fuses or tripping circuit breakers, maybe notice your lights dimming low and staying low, or a burning smell coming from the area around your electric panel, it is likely past time to upgrade your panel.

Replacing the electrical panel may not always be necessary

The right professional electrician can help you decide if your panel really needs to be replaced or upgraded.  For example, if you have expanded the size of your home, upgraded all your appliances, and or added something that has put an additional electrical load on your existing system you may not need to upgrade your electrical system!  This is where dealing with an electrical contractor known for integrity can save you money.  We have worked with customers in the past who did not need to update their system.  We did the calculations on their electrical load and found they were still within the safe range.

ELECTRICAL PANEL SERVICES

The breaker panel is the hub of your home’s electrical system. It’s smart. It sends power where needed and trips if it senses any trouble in your wires. You probably don’t even notice it unless something goes wrong. When your panel is correctly sized and in good working order, it can protect your home and electronics from fire or surge damage by tripping the breaker when it senses danger

Modern households have many more electronic devices than families had even ten years ago. If your panel has never been upgraded, you may want to make sure it adequate for your lifestyle. Entertainment systems, computer equipment, appliances and all kinds of personal electronics constantly use your power. An undersized electric panel can not support or protect your technology.

SIGNS YOU NEED TO UPGRADE YOUR BREAKER BOX:

Breakers trip frequently.

Lights flicker or dim.

Overuse of extension cords or power strips inside your home.

Appliances don’t operate at full strength.

Discolored outlet covers.

Burning smells or crackling sounds near appliances.

You are planning a remodel or addition.

When you add a new appliance like a hot tub, A/C, or refrigerator to your home

WATCH OUT FOR THESE BRANDS:

Look for the brand name on your electrical panel. electrical panels are known to have a 60 to 80% failure rate. This means they seem to work just fine, but if a short circuit or a small surge occurs, the panels fail to trip the breaker and can cause a fire or damaging surge to your home. If you have one of these brands, it needs to be replaced

ARE FUSE BOXES BAD?

Older homes often have fuses instead of breaker panels. They protect your home by blowing a fuse and turning off your power when the fuse is overloaded. Unlike circuit breakers, a fuse needs to be replaced once it’s blown. The problem is that fuse boxes can handle 30-60 amps of power, but modern households typically need 100 or more amps. Sometimes people replace original fuses with bigger ones after they blow, but this can overload and overheat your wiring. If you have a fuse box, schedule a safety inspection to make sure it’s adequately handling the electrical load in your home.

Cost To Replace Circuit Breaker Box

The average cost to replace a breaker box is $1,475 with most homeowners spending between $1,287 and $1,707. A low-amp subpanel costs from $500 to $1,000 while a 200-amp panel upgrade runs up to $4,000. Total costs depend on the type of home, the number of circuits, and the amperage.

Our homes are using more energy than ever before, and the electrical system that was installed decades ago may not have the necessary capacity to handle the electrical load required of it today. To keep a house running smoothly, the proper rating of electrical panel can eliminate tripped circuit breakers and prevent fires.

Cost to Replace or Upgrade an Electrical Panel

The average cost to replace an electrical panel is $850 to $1,100 for 100 amps, or $1,200 to $1,600 is a new service panel is needed. To upgrade to 200 amps, expect to spend $1,300 to $2,500, or $2,000 to $4,000 to upgrade to 400 amps. A low-amp subpanel costs $500 to $1,000

Electrical panel replacement typically takes 8 to 10 hours which includes 200-amp capability, a new panel with main breaker and ten circuit breakers, labor, and all required materials. The biggest cost for most electrical work is labor. With an electrician’s hourly rates at $40 to $100/hour and with the first hour costing $75 to $120, you can expect to spend between $400 and $800 for labor costs.

Cost to Upgrade to 200-Amp Service Panel

The cost to upgrade an electrical panel to 200 amps is $1,300 $1,600, or between $1,800 and $2,500 if a new service panel is required. Installation costs depend on the labor required. New wires may need to be added or replaced, or if anything needs to be brought up to code.

WHY UPGRADE YOUR ELECTRICAL PANEL?

Electrical Panels are the lifeline of your home, and usually last around 25 years. Maintaining your Electrical Panel is key to providing a safe living space. Upgrading your Electrical Panel prevents the potential danger of worn or old wiring, causing shorts in the circuit, losing power and danger of an electrical fire. We understand the importance of your home, and trust you consider our certified technicians to get the job done in a respectful and professional manner. From Electrical Panel Repair, to an upgrade, no job is too big or too small, we do it all.

ELECTRICAL PANEL UPGRADE & REPLACEMENT

For comfort and safety reasons, an electrical system for your home must be in sound operation. Faulty home electrical systems can cause serious disruptions in your home, such as certain electrical fixtures not working or even worse, fire hazards. Poor commercial electrical systems can lead to failing various inspections or loss of assets due to an electrical fire.

Small Wedding Ideas For A Small Intimate Wedding Dj

How to Choose a Wedding DJ

What Makes a Good Wedding DJ?

Being a DJ is about way more than pushing “play” on an iPad playlist. Here are three qualities that set a good wedding DJ apart from the crowd.

1. Personality

If we could only give you one tip, it would be this!

Your DJ is going to be responsible for setting the tone of the evening. If you have a boring DJ…that means a boring wedding.

A DJ’s personality is the most important clue you’re going to get. Instead of relying on emails and texts, meet with your DJ in person to talk about your vibe, needs, and favorite music. This will help you decide whether they can create the party atmosphere you’re looking for.

2. Communication

You’ve probably been hearing how important communication is during all those premarital classes. Well, working a DJ is no different.

Playing music is only part of what a DJ does. The other half is talking. From making sure you’re on the same page regarding the “do not play” list to making sure the photographer captures the cake cutting, wedding DJs need to communicate and they need to do it well.

This is why it’s so crucial to hire a wedding DJ that can also MC. Other than your wedding planner, your DJ is the one person keeping everything together!

3. Flexibility

Any DJ who specializes in weddings will end up working a lot of them, so they need to be organized. But when those plans go awry, they also need to be flexible.

An organized DJ has a copy of the evening’s timeline so they can keep events on track. But if the bride and groom are an hour late, they should be able to adapt on the fly so that you and your guests are able to enjoy the evening without feeling rushed (with plenty of time for dancing).

Tips To Pick Your DJ

Finding the right DJ is imperative to ensure your wedding happens just as you planned. A great DJ can take your wedding to a level you never imagined. However, a bad DJ can make it a nightmare. Below are 5 tips to guide you through the process of finding the perfect DJ for your wedding.

Experience/Professionalism

One of the single most determining factors in the decision making process should be experience. You can plan every detail to the exact second, but no wedding occurs exactly as planned. There is a flow to weddings and an experienced DJ will make any change or delay appear like it was planned and rehearsed. In fact, a proactive DJ will anticipate common situations and prepare accordingly. You spent hours upon hours planning, scheduling and stressing about every single detail, the last thing you want is to do is spend your entire wedding worrying that something will be missed. A great DJ can put you at ease because he or she has all the necessary details and the ability to improvise should things change or fall behind.

Price

Deciding a budget for entertainment can be very challenging because prices can range anywhere from $300 to $3,000. Many DJ companies offer various pricing packages along with a la carte options, travel fees, and/or per hour add-ons. Similar to buying a car, you have to be aware of what the overall price will be after all the add-ons, extra time, additional audio system (for the ceremony, cocktail hour etc…), and additional fees.

You also have to consider you get what you pay for. Although often overlooked as not being one of the most important vendors, the DJ/Emcee controls the flow for the entire wedding. With all that responsibility, you need to know that he or she has what it takes to make your day perfect.

So how do you know what price you should beget for and if the price justifies the value you should expect? The following nine tips will give you insight on the “must haves” that any professional DJ or entertainment company should provide. But before we conclude with pricing segment, keep in mind that the average DJ package for 4 hours in Northern California is roughly $1,200.

Meet with the DJ and make sure he or she will actually be you DJ

Make sure to meet with your DJ before you book. You want to get a feel for his/her personality and mannerisms. Especially if you want your DJ to also emcee the event, overall appearance and professionalism is key. You should feel comfortable having conversation during the consultation.

Equipment

You can find a DJ with great personality, experience, talent, affordable prices, but it is imperative he or she uses the proper professional equipment. Beginning with the sound, professional speakers make all the difference in the world. Professional mics are also important. You don’t want microphone to cut in and out of signal because of insufficient range. There are also many different types of microphones for different applications. Make sure your DJ has the right type of mic for your event. A DJ should also have backup equipment in the event of technical difficulties.

Questions to Ask a Wedding DJ

These are the 40 most important questions to ask any professional disc jockey you are considering for your wedding, and will help you accurately gauge the professionalism, reliability, and honesty of any wedding DJ you are considering. This list of questions will certainly help you once you reach the DJ interview process, but doing some research beforehand will help you determine whether certain wedding DJs are even worth interviewing.  Good luck in your search!

1. Do you offer a written contract?

All of the wedding disc jockeys you interview may not have the same standards of professionalism. A written, legal contract is one of the first indicators of whether a DJ is professional and reliable. Furthermore, a contract establishes the DJ’s obligation to the client and outlines what is required for the DJ’s success, by outlining his setup requirements and other factors related to his performance. For this reason, a written contract is absolutely essential and any DJ not using a written contract should not, in our opinion, be considered for a wedding reception.

2. Will you be the DJ at our wedding?

Often, the person you speak with is not the person who will be your DJ on your wedding day. This is a very common practice among large agencies. It is absolutely paramount that you have an opportunity to interview the specific DJ that you will be working with and determine whether you feel comfortable with them. You should also expect that the individual DJ’s name is specified on your contract – it is the only way you can be guaranteed his or her services at your wedding.

3. May we meet our DJ before we sign a contract?

Many DJ companies will try to get clients to sign a contract without speaking with their DJ first, asking couples to simply trust that whoever the company sends to perform their wedding will be a good fit. In our experience, this is a terrible idea. The only way you’ll actually know whether the DJ you’ll have at your wedding is to interview them before you sign a contract. Your “gut” feeling is very important in selecting the right disc jockey, and you’ll be in a tough spot if you finally speak to your DJ a week before your wedding and realize they aren’t going to be a good match.

Here is everything you need to know about booking DJs for a party.

Whatever the occasion, hiring a DJ can add life and excitement to a party. Finding the right DJ for hire will ensure your party has the perfect soundtrack, and turns into a night your guests will never forget. Hiring a DJ doesn’t have to be difficult. Follow these simple steps to do it right.

KNOW WHAT YOU ARE LOOKING FOR IN A DJ

Before you embark on hiring a DJ for your event, you must consider what you are looking for, as it will save on time and confusion later in the party-planning process. While many DJ’s can be versatile performers with catalogues of varied titles, many also specialize in certain events or musical genres.

A DJ for a corporate party will offer something quite different to one who specializes in wedding celebrations. For this reason, it is useful to establish what the type of party is that you are throwing, and what style of music will suit the occasion, so that you can find the best possible match for your function.

EXPLORE YOUR DJ OPTIONS

DJs often advertise using a variety of media platforms and many are registered on booking agency websites that contain a whole roster of DJs to choose from. Many clients, however, like to act on recommendations as they offer a clear and more personal indicator of what you can expect. Therefore, it is a good idea to ask around and see what presents itself.

A testimony from a friend or colleague is something more reliable to go on in these beginning stages than choosing an unfamiliar act. Alternatively, you can contact establishments that enlist DJs for similar events such as nightclubs or wedding planner companies, as they may be able to provide you with suitable recommendations.

DISCUSS THE DETAILS

It is best to consider too many than too few potential performers, so once you have selected several candidates, get in touch with them to see if they’re a good fit. You could include creative discussions about what you are looking for in a performance and what they can offer. This is also the time to hash out the essential details, checking their availability and that the date, time and location are agreeable as well as their price, the lighting and equipment costs, their set-up and performance times and anything else that you feel is worth asking.

Here is a complete guide to which vendors you should tip (and how much!) on your wedding day.

Catering:
If your contract doesn’t include gratuity, you should tip 15 to 20 percent of the total bill. Another way to tip is offering $50 to $100 for each chef and $20 to $50 per server.

Wedding planner:
Wedding planners won’t expect a tip, so this is optional based on service. If you were given a huge discount or the planner went far above and beyond their contracted services, offering a tip of 10 to 20 percent is a nice way of saying “thank you” for the efforts.

Photographer and videographer:
You’re not required to tip them if they own the studio. If they don’t, then giving them an extra $50 to $200 is a nice gesture. If there are two or three shooters, giving a $50 to $100 tip to each person (who doesn’t own the business) is optional.

Ceremony staff and reception staff:
It’s not mandatory to tip the ceremony staff, reception staff and delivery staff, but if you’d like to, then you can offer them $20-$50 each.

Officiant:
Often times officiants won’t accept tips, but a $100 donation to their church is a great way to thank them. If the officiant is non-denominational, consider giving them a $100 tip, especially if they aren’t charging for your service.

Hair and makeup artist:
A 15 to 20 percent tip is expected, just like it would be for any other regular salon visit, but it isn’t required.

Band or DJ:
Offering a 10 to 15 percent tip is a nice gesture to your band or DJ, especially if they have to carry a lot of heavy equipment from one location to the next. For musicians, a $25 to $50 tip per band member is appropriate.

Getting Rid Of Cockroaches

Roach Control

When dealing with cockroaches, it’s best to hire a professional – they can be very good at hiding and even better at hiding their eggs. They reproduce very quickly and in a short time. As the largest of the home infesting pests, they are easier to spot, yet leave no trace of their existence in your home. If a cockroach infestation is not addressed within a timely manner, it could get out of hand and cause significant damage. The inside of your home is a great place for them to thrive with unlimited food, water, warmth and places to hide. Roaches can be a pest all year long! They can be brought in by hiding in deliveries, grocery bags, used appliances and electronics and personal items like purses or backpacks. Some roaches can even carry and transfer disease as well as a variety of pathogenic organisms such as food poisoning, diarrhea and other illnesses

Types of roaches:

American Roaches

Brown Banded Roaches

German Roaches

Oriental Roaches

Pennsylvania Wood Roaches

German Cockroach Biology Basics

Have been on earth for over 300 million years.

Commonly found indoors in restaurants, bars, grocery stores, homes, apartments, etc.

Adults are 1/2-5/8 inches long, tan to light brown, and have 2 dark parallel lines from the back of the head to the wings.

Have developed wings but do not fly.

Have 3 development stages: egg, nymph, and adult.

Female carries purse shaped egg capsule containing up to 48 eggs and can produce 4 to 8 capsules in her lifetime – 1 every 6 weeks.

Can become an adult within 8 weeks and have a life span of 20-30 weeks.

1 female can be responsible for over 10,000 offspring in one year.

Mostly active at night but send over 75% of their life in a crack or crevice harborage.

Prefers to live in an environment close to food, water, shelter, and warmth.

Over 75% of an infestation consists of pre-adults.

Can trans-locate from neighboring and adjoining buildings.

German Cockroaches Transmit Disease

German cockroaches transfer disease and a variety of pathogenic organisms such as: parasitic protozoans, food poisoning, dysentery, diarrhea, and other illnesses.

German cockroach excrement and cast skins dramatically contribute to allergies and asthma.

German Cockroaches Are Brought In By:

Food, beverage, and all other commercial deliveries

Paper packaging and cardboard boxes

Grocery bags

Used appliances and electronics

Personal items such as: clothing, backpacks, purses, radios, etc.

How Cockroaches Get Into Homes

seeing a cockroach every now and then is not unheard of. It is unpleasant, though, and it’s something that you hope occurs when you aren’t in your own home.

The Dangers of Cockroaches

Cockroaches aren’t just unsightly bugs. They can actually cause a number of problems for homeowners, and they are definitely unwelcome in your home.

Cockroaches are unsanitary. They spend a lot of time in areas such as garbage cans and sewers, picking up the bacteria, germs, and parasites that are rampant in those areas. When they gain entry to your home, they bring all that filth with them into your living areas. These germs are then scattered wherever cockroaches roam. Your countertops, food prep areas, and your food itself are all vulnerable to contamination, leaving you susceptible to a host of illnesses, such as Salmonella, dysentery, and parasites such as tapeworm.

How Cockroaches Get Into Your Home

Although they seem enormous when you have a surprise encounter with one, cockroaches are not that large. Their rather flat bodies have the ability to squeeze through fairly tight spaces. They can get into your house through spaces under doors, cracks in your foundation, and tears in your screens. Even small openings may be large enough to permit cockroaches to enter your home. Perform an inspection around the outside of your home and seal off any areas you find where they may be gaining access.

Why Cockroaches Get Into Your Home

Several things will attract cockroaches to your home. If any of these sound familiar, take the necessary steps to eliminate them and you’ll reduce the chance of cockroaches entering your home.

Roaches are attracted to water and moisture. If they’ve found their way into your home, you’ll often see them in moist areas, such as the bathroom, under the kitchen sink, or in your basement. If there are leaky pipes in your home, or other water-damaged areas, repair them immediately. If humidity is high in your home, improve ventilation and use dehumidifiers to get rid of excess moisture.

Excess moisture outside your house will also attract cockroaches. If your yard tends to be wet or there are other areas of moisture, work to reduce them.

If you leave garbage out, cockroaches will be attracted to it. Outside, cover trash bins with tightly-fitting lids. Inside, remove garbage frequently from your home.

New Research Reinforces Cockroach-Sanitation

To keep these pests from invading, follow the common-sense rules of cleanliness. To kill them, use traps and bait. Don’t bother using foggers, sprays and aerosols, which are less effective and can contaminate food, floors and counters.

These insights were confirmed by a seven-month collaboration between Rutgers University-New Brunswick and the New Brunswick Housing and Redevelopment Authority and led by Changlu Wang, professor of entomology at the School of Environmental and Biological Sciences. The resulting study is published in the Journal of Economic Entomology.

Wang and his team did their survey in a public housing project with 258 apartments in 40 buildings. Their first step was to find out which pests, and how many of each pest, lived in those buildings. Cockroaches were present in 28 percent of the apartments; rodents in 11 percent; bed bugs in 8 percent. Surprisingly, this kind of pest data for an entire community is hard to come by, Wang said

“The usual way to figure out how many of what pests are in a community is to count complaints,” Wang said. “And complaints are just not very reliable, because not everybody complains.”

Wang and his team visited all accessible apartments in the community and set traps in strategic spots in each apartment, which not only helped them identify pests but identify where they were coming from. They then treated those apartments using baits and traps and reduced the number of cockroach infestations by 85 percent over seven months

Roach Control

Roaches

Roaches are one of the nastiest pests to deal with; they reproduce quickly, carry diseases, and are very resilient.  They are rarely seen during the day and often go unnoticed until it’s too late. At Green & Safe Pest Control, we have all the necessary means to eliminate roaches in their entirety. Taking care of the problem quickly is the best approach. We provide roach control in Fort Worth and surrounding cities.

American Cockroaches are one of the largest types of roaches. They are brown  and can fly.  Roaches can carry diseases and transmit them to humans by walking on food preparation surfaces. If you see one in your home, give us a call as soon as possible!

German cockroaches are mid-sized and are found in the US. They are a tan color with two black stripes down the back. German cockroaches can reproduce very quickly. A single egg can contain 20-30 larvae. They secrete a “musty” odor. Often that’s how you will detect that you have a problem. Like all roaches, they spread bacteria and need to be eliminated.

Oriental Roaches, also known as “Water Bugs,” often use plumbing to access your home.  They are dark brown and sluggish compared to other roaches. While they are native to Asia, hence their name, they have become a widespread issue in North America.

Roaches are one of the most difficult pests to eradicate, especially after they have already established a colony. Cockroaches reproduce at a rapid rate, so they can become a major issue very quickly. When it comes to roaches, it is better to be proactive instead of reactive. We suggest getting started on one of our general pest control programs before you see any signs of roaches. Prevention is your best line of defense against these disgusting creatures. That being said, if you already see signs, it’s definitely time to give us a call. The problem might be bigger than you realize!

TIPS FOR COCKROACH PREVENTION

There are over 4,500 species of cockroaches worldwide, but only around 70 species are found in the United States. Most of these live in wooded habitats and are rarely seen. Phew! But a few species are considered major pests, and the best way to tell them apart is their size. German cockroaches are small and light brown with two black stripes on their backs. Larger cockroach species are dark brown with developed wings and are often called “palmetto bugs,” especially in South Carolina

Pain & Prevention

Aside from being downright icky, cockroaches are a health and safety issue. They are known to spread bacteria and trigger allergies and asthma. They will also contaminate any food, utensils, and surfaces they crawl on. Infestations can start when cockroaches come inside the home. Sometimes this is hard to avoid, but there are plenty of things you can do to prevent both small and large cockroaches from sticking around.

Keep both the inside and outside of your home clean, dry, and uncluttered.

Wipe up spilled food and water.

Don’t leave food sitting out, and don’t let trash accumulate inside.

Regularly clean appliances and countertops.

Vacuum carpets, rugs, and upholstered furniture on a regular basis to remove crumbs and other food debris.

Eliminate moisture issues outside, like standing water, clogged gutters, or excessive amounts of mulch, pine straw, or leaf litter.

Keep bushes and tree limbs trimmed back from the house.

Store firewood away from the home, and eliminate as much clutter and debris as possible from around the foundation.

Turn off unnecessary lights at night, and don’t leave uneaten pet food out overnight.

Make sure screens on windows, doors, and vents are in good condition and seal up holes surrounding pipes in the foundation wall.

Habits & Habitat

German cockroaches have adapted to living with humans for so long that they are now only found indoors near water sources. They like to live in warm, dark areas near moisture, including cracks, crevices, and voids around kitchen and bathroom cabinets, as well as around or inside appliances like refrigerators, stoves, toaster ovens, and microwaves. Large cockroaches, or palmetto bugs, prefer similar environments but mostly live outdoors. However, they will wander inside homes in search of food and shelter, and when conditions are right, they can live and breed indoors. Cockroaches will eat just about anything humans eat, and they need water on a daily basis.

What You Probably Don’t Know About Your Pet Veterinarian

CHOOSING THE RIGHT VETERINARY CLINIC LOCATION

Are You Planning to Open or Relocate an Existing Veterinary Practice?

Choosing the right location for your business is one of the most important decisions that you will make in your career as a veterinarian; with many important factors that should be considered. Here are a few to keep in mind for optimal success

The Visibility of Your Veterinary Clinic

The location of your veterinary clinic can provide valuable exposure and marketing opportunity. However, choosing commercial real estate in a high visibility location may also drive up rental rates and other operating expenses. Consider the amount of visibility that a location can offer your practice. Would your business’ signage be easily visible? How much traffic passes by? Be sure to consider both vehicle and foot traffic.

Convenience for Customers

Consider how convenient the location would be for your customers to access and park. For example: if the building is located on a stretch of highway, can people traveling in both directions easily access and exit the building without a complicated detour? Is there a parking lot or garage dedicated to the building? Is street parking available? How far will your customers have to walk from parking to your office? Often they will be carrying a pet carrier or walking an animal which can make longer walks from the car uncomfortable and inconvenient.

Clinic Growth Potential

The actual veterinary office space is just as important (if not more) than the physical location of your clinic. Consider if the space is sufficient for your practice needs. What are your long and short term growth plans? Is there room to grow if you decide to expand your veterinary services? For instance, you may find that you will need additional space for kennels, training or examination rooms. Will the space permit a comfortable waiting room area for your customers and their pets? Finding a space that meets your size and business growth requirements should play a key role in your decision. Squeezing into a space that is too small at the onset will work against you in the long run; make sure that the space can accommodate your veterinary clinic for the foreseeable future.

Is the Space the Right Fit for Your Clinic?

In addition to layout, the quality of the space is equally important. Will you take over a vanilla shell or an already-built-out veterinary practice? Does the space include modern features or will it require renovation? Will you need to make any specific improvements such as electrical, plumbing, or structural changes to accommodate your veterinary equipment, supplies and practice plans?

Choosing a rabbit veterinarian

It is important that you go to a rabbit-knowledgeable veterinarian for any medical issues with your rabbit. While many veterinarians may be very good at treating cats and dogs, they may not be knowledgeable in exotic care as rabbits are not usually among the species covered in veterinary medical school. Rabbit physiology and tolerance to medications is very different than cats and dogs and cannot be treated in the same manner. Incorrect treatment can easily be fatal.

If you cannot find a rabbit-savvy veterinarian within a reasonable distance, find a dog/cat veterinarian that will be willing to consult a specialist over the phone to properly diagnose and treat your rabbit. Otherwise, it may be wise to reconsider pet rabbit ownership if no acceptable nearby resources are available.

The following are some questions you can ask your potential veterinarian to see if they are well-qualified to treat rabbits:

Do you treat rabbits?

Approximately how many rabbits do you see a year?

What percentage of the rabbits you see are indoor companions? Outdoor pets? Show/livestock animals? Veterinarians that often see rabbits as livestock will usually recommend euthanasia for any ill rabbit. If you see this type of veterinarian, you will most likely have to do a lot of educating about your rabbit’s role in your family and the lengths to which you are willing to go to keep him healthy.

What is the best way to prevent GI stasis? The answer is to provide unlimited hay, brush often, and give plenty of exercise.

What diagnostic tools and treatments do you usually use for GI slowdowns? What is your success rate? Surgery should be a last resort. X-rays should be taken if an obstruction is suspected. Motility drugs such as Reglan and Propulsid should only be prescribed if no obstructions are found. A good veterinarian will suggest supportive measures such as subcutaneous fluids, abdominal massage, and keeping the rabbit warm. Rabbits that need to syringe-fed should be given Critical Care, canned pumpkin (100% pumpkin only, not pie filling), a softened pellet mixture, baby foods, or some combination of these. The vet may also suggest oral fluids including Pedialyte or Gatorade. Pain medication such as Metacam and Banamine can also be appropriate.

What types of surgery have you performed on rabbits? What is your success rate? What type of anesthetic do you use for rabbits?

Should rabbits be fasted before surgery? The answer is no; rabbits should never be fasted as they cannot vomit.

Are you available for after-hours emergencies?

Financial assistance

In the case that you are unable to obtain enough money due to extenuating circumstances, can provide a proof of income, and are still willing to take your pet to the veterinarian, explain your financial situation to the vets that you contact and see if you can mutually work something out. Often, vets may have some sort of charitable account or will be able to work out a payment plan for you. Otherwise, contact local shelters and rescues to see if they can help subsidize your bill or direct you to a fund that will.

Vet-to-vet consultations

In the case that you have no local rabbit-savvy vets available, an amenable local non-rabbit-savvy vet can instead call one of the listed veterinarians below for a consultation to help diagnose your sick rabbit.

How Do I Find a Good Veterinarian?

Before you even bring your new dog home, take them to the veterinarian you have already selected. Annual shots and examinations are a must for keeping your dog healthy.

Choosing a Vet

Choose a vet whom you are comfortable with and who will answer your questions

Try to get word-of-mouth recommendations. Asking other clients isn’t always effective because they may not have had any unusual or challenging health problems with their pets, and vets that can be OK for routine stuff often are less impressive with unusual stuff

Call vets in your area and ask the vet techs, not the vets themselves, whom they would recommend other than their own current employer. Another good source is groomers, because they tend to hear a lot of stories from their clients.

If you find the recommended vet is very expensive, she probably owns the practice. Try one of the associates. They tend not to run up the bills so much, and a good vet will usually hire good associates as well.

How to pick the right vet for your pet, for the right price

Doing a little research could save you big bucks when choosing a veterinarian, according to a local consumer group

Undercover shoppers for Washington Consumer’s Checkbook have found substantial price differences for numbers of services. For example, to spay a 7-month-old, 25-pound dog, there was a price difference of more than $740 between the highest and lowest prices quoted.

Another example: price quotes ranged between $111 and $871 for routine teeth cleaning of a 4-year-old, 65-pound dog. What you pay is not necessarily a reflection of the quality of care your animal receives, according to Checkbook surveys of area subscribers to Consumers’ Checkbook and Consumer Reports.

Before deciding to stick with a veterinarian, Checkbook.org recommends visiting the location and keeping these points in mind:

Do they listen?

Do they offer advice on prevention, care/self-help?

Do they spend enough time with you and your animal?

Are they asking a lot of questions to evaluate your pet’s needs?

Do the vet and staff appear to genuinely care about animals?

Choosing a veterinarian convenient to your home can also make appointments and emergency care more practical. Another aspect to consider is checking hours of operation and arrangements for care in case of an emergency, according to Checkbook

Great veterinarians / How to know when you’ve found one

A few years ago, a leading consumer magazine did for veterinarians what it does for new washing machines: It told you how to find the really cheap ones. The problem is, my pet is not a household appliance; she’s a member of my family. She can’t be exchanged for another one if she is broken beyond repair. That’s why I’m not interested in a cheap vet, I want a good one.

Whether you’re trying to choose a new veterinarian or evaluating the one you already have, it doesn’t pay to focus first on cost and convenience. Instead, I suggest evaluating your veterinarian primarily on the basis of how well he practices veterinary medicine.

Be warned, it can be a little difficult trying to make this determination, especially if you’re not already that vet’s client. But trust me — if you want easy parking, low cost and a nice bedside manner, you can get it from just about anyone who likes animals. The thing you can only get from a vet is medical expertise.

As conventional wisdom tells us, the practice of medicine is both art and science. No vet is going to go his entire career without getting something wrong, missing a diagnosis or even just having a bad day. But that doesn’t mean that there aren’t some reasonably objective markers that set the great veterinarians apart from the rest. Here are a few that I’ve found extremely helpful over the years.

Experience

Great veterinarians have experience, although there’s no hard and fast rule about how much is ideal. Many mediocre or even poor vets have been in practice a long time, while some newer practitioners are more up-to-date and enthusiastic about medicine.

Once You Have Hired A Car Accident Lawyer

HOW TO FIND THE BEST CAR ACCIDENT LAWYER

The attorney that you choose for your auto case can be the difference between winning a great settlement and receiving nothing at all.  But how do you choose?

With so many lawyers advertising on billboards and television, it is difficult to decide which lawyer or law firm is best suited for your case.

Find a lawyer that specializes in car accident cases.

Many attorneys do a little bit of everything and are willing to take on your auto case.  However, the laws for handling auto cases are complex and confusing and you need a lawyer who handles these cases every day.  Make sure that firm that you choose is 100% devoted to personal injury and accident cases and does not just dabble in these areas of law.

Make sure that the law firm is AV Rated by Martindale-Hubbell.

Martindale Hubbell is the most respected rating service for attorneys and law firms and has been for a long time.  An AV rating means that the lawyer or firm has the highest possible rating for Skill and Integrity. This is the type of lawyer that you want on your side.

Check out the awards and recognition.

There are many legal groups and organizations that award attorneys for their excellence in the profession.  You want a lawyer that has been named to “Best Attorneys in America,” Top 100 Trial Lawyers,” “Super Lawyers,” and others.  Being recognized by others in the profession is a great sign that a lawyer is qualified for your case.

How Do I Find A Good Car Accident Lawyer?

You’ve been injured in a car accident and believe you have a right to compensation for your damages. You might be wondering how you can find a good car accident lawyer to help you with your case. The right lawyer can make a huge difference in the outcome of your claim, and those who work with a legal professional tend to win higher settlements.

When you begin searching for the right car accident lawyer, there are several factors you should look for. You want an attorney who clearly has the background and experience required to handle a car accident case like yours.

Specializes in Personal Injury Cases

Personal injury cases are complex, and they require the expertise of an experienced lawyer. Some lawyers will say they take on personal injury cases, but it’s not their specialty. This is risky because it means they may not be up-to-date on the most recent laws and techniques.

Has Been in Practice Many Years

Besides specializing in personal injury and car accident cases, you should seek a lawyer who has many years of experiencing practicing in these areas.

Has a Proven History of Success

You will want to be confident your lawyer can deliver the settlement or verdict you deserve, especially if your car accident case is large and involves serious damages. When you have a consultation with a lawyer, ask about past settlements and verdicts they have had, including how many how cases they have won

How To Choose Car Accident Lawyer

Ideally, anyone involved in a car accident would be made whole again, as if the accident never happened. Unfortunately, we don’t live in a perfect world or even a fair world. And that’s a major reason why we have car crash lawyers

If you get into a car accident, there are three primary reasons you’ll need an attorney to represent you.

First, you’ve been hurt and/or suffered damages to your vehicle and another driver is responsible. laws in the rest of the country in that individuals who are at fault for harming others should be held legally responsible. In most situations, this means the payment of money.

In many accidents, this takes place, often with the help of the at-fault driver’s car insurance company. But oftentimes, this driver will deny any wrongdoing. When this happens, you’ll probably need an attorney to obtain a recovery in court.

Second, someone else has accused you of causing an accident where they were hurt or suffered damages. And in addition to placing the blame on you, they have sued you in court to recover damages they believe you should have to pay.

Third, a car insurance company doesn’t do what it should. Sometimes it’s your own car insurance company. Other times, it’s the other driver’s car insurance company

HOW TO CHOOSE THE BEST LAWYER FOR A CAR ACCIDENT INJURY CLAIM

An average of six million car accidents occurs in the country every year. These accidents cause about 3 million injuries annually. 2 million drivers even develop permanent injuries as a result of their crash.

Those injuries can lead to expensive medical bills or cause you to miss work. If you were in a car accident, you can make a claim and get the compensation you deserve. An experienced accident claim lawyer can maximize your claim. That way, you can cover your medical expenses or missed workdays.

Ask Around for Referrals

The first step for finding the best lawyer for your car accident injury claim is to ask around. Do you have a friend, family member, or coworker who went through the process before? They might have a recommendation you can use to start your search.

Narrow Down Your Search

Once you have a list, it is time to narrow it down. First, consider your expectations from the lawyer. For example, did you lose a loved one as a result of the accident? Are you missing work due to an injury? How much compensation are you hoping to gain? Make a list of your expectations. You can also list the qualities you are looking for in a lawyer or law firm. For example, does the law firm specialize in car accident cases? Do they have a dedicated team of car accident compensation lawyers?

Check Their Standing

Once you have a list of lawyers, check their bar association standing. Make sure they are a member of your local bar association. If not, you might want to cross them off your list

Car Accident Lawyer

An automobile accident can happen to anyone. You could be a safe driver with an impeccable driving record, but you have no control over another vehicle that might recklessly rear-end you, causing injuries to you or other occupants.

However, what you can control is the decisions you choose to make after a car crash. These decisions will have an impact on your recovery – physical, emotional, and financial. Choosing the right car accident attorney is one of the most crucial decisions you may have to make.

Distracted Driving

The incidence of distracted driving in Bend has risen in recent years with a growing number of drivers using their mobile devices while driving to send or receive text messages, making phone calls, or using social media.

Speeding

Speeding could take place either when a driver is exceeding the legal speed limit, or driving too fast in hazardous road or weather conditions. A crash with a vehicle at high speed increases the impact and often leads to severe injuries such as spinal cord injury or traumatic brain injury.

Defective Vehicle

A defect in the vehicle design or a part, or negligence in maintenance such as a poor braking system or broken headlight increases the risk of an accident.

Constructing Flat Roof For Residential Homes

Why Choose A GRP Flat Roof?

A GRP flat roof, or fiberglass roof as it’s also known, is one of the most popular flat roofing solutions in the UK. GRP stands for Glass Reinforced Polyester, a composite material formed by strengthening plastic with fine fibres made of glass.

This single ply laminate has been used as a reliable means of covering and waterproofing roofs for over 60 years, although it’s popularity has soared in recent years thanks to new systems such as Cromar PROGRP. As well as commercial and domestic buildings, GRP has been used on a wide array of other applications, from boats and lorries to water tanks and ponds.

The installation of a GRP roofing system is highly regarded for its simplicity and safety, while the finished product it produces is recognised as having a lifespan that easily betters that of a felt roof.

How Much Does a Fibreglass Roof Cost?

Needless to say, the overall cost of any GRP roofing system will depend on whether a new roof is being constructed or an existing roof is being repaired/altered. The latter will of course be vastly cheaper.

What About a Fibreglass Roof Repair?

Repairs are not something you’d associate with a GRP flat roof. As long as the original job was carried out correctly on suitable decking with properly installed trims and flashing, your GRP roofing system need little cause for concern

Choosing the best flat roof

If you’re planning a new extension, garden project or just looking to replace a tiring roof, then there’s a good possibility that you’ve got flat-roofing issues on your mind.

Chances are you’re also feeling a bit lost about where to start!

Where once upon a time the options for flat-roofing covering were quite limited, there now seems to be a multitude of options to choose from – and a range of accompanying price tags.

Performance – the main goal of a flat-roof is surely to create an impenetrable barrier to water so the number one thing to look out for has got to be how well the material performs in terms of leak-proofing.

Durability – once installed, your flat-roof has got to withstand the brunt of the British weather so the durability of material is an important factor.

Cost – we know that no-one really wants to spend a fortune on a roof but it’s wise to be realistic about your budget, get a few quotes from different roofing specialists and bear in mind the quality/ cost ratio when making a decision

Why a Flat Roof is Perfect for Commercial Buildings

Flat roofs are common on commercial buildings because they are less expensive to install, easy to maintain and they allow the more efficient use of space both inside and outside.

Maintenance costs less for flat roofs because they are easier to get to and walk around on than a pitched roof. That also makes it easier to spot leaks or other problems. When it’s time to repair or replace a flat roof, the project often can be completed in a day, depending, of course, on the size.

Strategic business owners who choose a roof with a flat design have opportunities to lower operating costs in multiple ways. For example, since this roof’s foundation isn’t sloped, air conditioning units can be placed above a property instead of on the ground. This installation strategy for AC units can prevent vandalism and accidents in risky neighborhoods and communities. If a commercial roof is large enough,

To appreciate all the maintenance and functional benefits that a flat roof offers, you must select a proper roofing solution that suits your needs and situation. Flat roofs made with traditional materials last anywhere from 10 to 20 years. Roofs made with newer – although more expensive materials – can last up to 25 years

A traditional built-up roof is made from layers of hot tar and gravel. Gravel is fire-resistant, and the gravel is more attractive when seen from nearby windows.

Problems with a Flat Roof House

If you’re in the market for a new roof, you’re probably pinning loads of inspiration. You see a super modern house and wonder if you can you pull that off. Flat roofs are definitely an acquired taste. Also called low-slope roofs, these are an uncommon sight for more reasons than one. We’ll explain the problems that come with a flat roof house and why you can’t go wrong with a classic pitch.

Flat Roof Houses: Worth It?

You’re a shrewd customer, so you know it’s not all bad when it comes to a flat roof house. For one, because there isn’t the same heavy-lifting required, the labor costs less. And since it’s walkable, you can potentially use the roof as an outdoor space. We can admit that that’s pretty cool. But there are some problems you may not have thought about when it comes to this unique style

Drainage Issues

Your roof is the hardest working part of your house. It protects you from wind, rain, hot and cold – year in and year out. It can certainly take a beating. When choosing a roof, you want something that’s practical. Flat roofs are peculiar in terms of engineering, which makes them a problematic choice.

Fewer Options for Materials

One of the most exciting things about a remodel is choosing from all your options: material, color, style, and finish. A project involving a flat roof limits your options in terms of looks and functionality. This is because a flat roofing system supports fewer materials than a pitched roof.

Insulation Issues

The unique design of a flat roof adds another challenge to weatherproofing your house. Pitched roofs offer a layer of protection in the form of the attic or loft area. A flat roof still needs a place for the underlayment and insulating sheath to go, but the options aren’t too good. If you place the insulation under the roof deck it can cause condensation

Understanding Flat Roof Types for Commercial Buildings

As we’ve often talked about in our commercial roofing-focused blog posts, it’s possible for your commercial building to have the wrong type of roofing system

In buildings with flat roof structures (as opposed to low-slope or steep-slope structures), a “bad roof” can sometimes be installed. Most of the time, this is because inexperienced roofing contractors and novice building owners aren’t aware of all the decision factors that go into choosing the right roofing from the long list of possible options

WHAT TYPE OF FLAT ROOF IS THE BEST?

In short, this question can be difficult—maybe even impossible—to answer in broad terms. While there are plenty of commercial buildings of nearly identical construction located in areas with similar climate conditions, the business being conducted inside the building itself will often dictate what roofing system is best. (And, of course, additional factors such as an owner’s budget will influence the ultimate determination, too.)

BUILT-UP ROOFING (BUR)

One of the oldest commercial roofing types that still has merit in some new installation scenarios today is built-up roofing. BUR systems feature a continuous and semi-flexible membrane made of felt or fabric layers (called plies). The plies are alternated with layers of other asphalt-based materials like tar/bitumen and aggregate, which is the reason we sometimes refer to BUR as “tar and gravel” roofs.

THERMOPLASTIC SINGLE-PLY MEMBRANE ROOFING (PVC & TPO)

As we talked about in-depth in our recent blog post about single-ply membrane roofing, PVC (polyvinyl chloride) and TPO (thermoplastic polyolefin) roofs offer the big benefits of reflectivity. These roofs are often white in color and offer high chemical resistance.

How To Be A Pro Event Videographer

Reasons Why Your Corporate Event Needs a Videographer

If you’ve got a corporate event coming up, you’ll want to capture it with a corporate event video, there’s no question about that. Event video coverage is a great way to build brand awareness for your company and get people interested in and excited about what you do.

After looking at event videography rates, you might be tempted to try to figure out how to film an event yourself. Videography is like photography, writing and other pursuits, in that everybody can do it, but it takes specialized skill to do it well.

A Professional Corporate Event Video Reflects on Your Company

People who are watching your corporate event video aren’t just learning about who your company is and what your company does. They’re also learning about your commitment to quality.

A Professional Videographer Stays Out of the Way

A professional videographer knows how to film (by film people might think we are actually using film instead of digital 4k for the event) an event unobtrusively, allowing activities to continue uninterrupted.

A Professional Videographer Knows How to Edit

Videoing your corporate event is about more than just filming, it’s knowing how to cut the event together, how to mix the shots and the sound, and add music and any subtle effects or graphics that will make the video really shine without appearing overproduced.

How to choose the perfect videographer for your wedding

Your wedding photographs form an important memento of your big day – pictures that you’ll cherish for an entire lifetime. As time moves on, though, so does technology. With increasing regularity, happy couples are turning to professional videographers to capture the finest essence of their special in the sun.

A memento that will last generations

The days of videographers struggling under the weight of an enormous camera, in an effort to gain grainy, low-quality footage of your big day are all but over. Technology marches ever forward, and today, miniature, high-quality digital cameras are the norm.

Not only will you receive a shimmering, technicolour keepsake of your wedding, it’ll arrive on DVD, meaning that it’ll last well over 100 years. Therefore, your great-great-great grandchildren will be able to watch their ancestors’ wedding in crisp quality, unlike if you’d used videotape, which has a maximum lifetime of 15 years (less if you watch it over and over, which you surely will!).

How to choose a great videographer

Sometimes, choosing a videographer gets pushed right down the list of many things you need to sort out, but try and book one in as soon as possible. This way, you’ll have a broader range to choose from, ensuring that you aren’t forced to go with someone who lacks the necessary experience and knowhow when it comes to making films. Here are four things to consider.

Check his or her previous examples

Just as you would with your photographer, examining your potential videographer’s portfolio is an absolute priority. Try and watch a broad range of their work, as this may help you find a certain style to go for. What’s more, don’t be tempted to skip scenes or fast-forward – you need to discover if your director will capture the whole event, and not one narrow part of it. You can even ask for a reference from previously filmed weddings if you want to delve a little deeper.

How to Choose a Wedding Videographer

Choosing a videographer is just as important as your photographer. It’s really a movie capturing all the special elements and magic of your big day in living colour, from the wedding day preparations through to the dancefloor antics!!

And thanks to advancements in digital technology, the quality of videos today has improved dramatically over the years. Instead of using the large, obtrusive cameras that were standard 10 years ago, most videographers now shoot with small discreet digital video cameras.

A video is a very personal thing, some couples love to have it and it’s a must, whilst others choose not. It has its pros and I would recommend one, it’s lovely to look back on, even my kids now look at our wedding video! For those who have passed on since it’s nice to look back on those special moments

There are some ideas I have here when choosing a videographer and questions you need to know.

Get recommendations from friends & family

Check dates first to see if they are available for your wedding.

Check out their websites where you can view sample reels. If a videographer does not have a website or it’s poorly designed, take it as a sign that they are not technologically up to speed

When you start to meet with them, ask to see an example of an entire, edited tape from one wedding rather than a demo

What is their standard coverage, decide how long you wish them to record and what is most important for you both.

Budget for your video also: some can start in the bride’s house, church, reception, first dance, up until Midnight – choose which package you would like. Videographers can range anything from €1500.00-€2500.00, depending on your preferred package & style.

Experience: make sure you are choosing someone with a lot of experience, it pays at the end of the day!

Check if they have a wireless transmission of sound for the vows and speeches

Personality: make sure you get on with the person you have booked, you will know this when you first meet to discuss everything. Have a good rapport, feel you can say what you wish to have, discuss everything and have no regrets. They should also get on well with your photographer.

Be sure to specify the music you want to be included in the soundtrack.

Are video messages included in your package – maybe this is something you would like or not

Get 2/3 copies of your video in Blu-Ray or DVD

Tip of the week:

Ask your videographer how long the turnaround is and when would you expect to have your DVD in your hand, some take 3 months and I have heard of others can take longer. Also, ensure you have a lifetime back up – just in case your DVD gets destroyed in fire or anything, you can get another copy.

GET THE BEST EVENT VIDEOGRAPHY

Why choose our videographer?

When it comes to finding cheap wedding videography – or any event video production for that matter – many companies compromise on the quality of their creation in order to offer affordability. But here at PPM, we make sure to give you a value for money service that goes above and beyond everything you’ve ever wanted. Not only are our professionals friendly and experienced, but they will edit your video to perfection before giving it to you via USB or Dropbox. It’s the perfect way to remember the most special days of your life – without breaking the bank.

Your event captured the way you need it captured – whether you want our videographer at your complete disposal, or if you want to just let us do our thing. It’s up to you!

Get in Touch – We’re FriendlyEnquire with us, and discuss the details of your event with no obligation – we will always have a solution for your requirements

Post Production EditingWe take great pride in our post production editing process. Our videos are edited with our professional video editing software, exported digitally for online use.

Receive Your Video!We will send you your album via medium of your choice – whether you want a USB or CD shipped to you, or through online file share website Dropbox

Videography

A High Definition Experience

Capture every moment of your special day (and even the ones you missed) with professional videographers. We can provide videographers for your meeting or special event to help capture the moments to remember. We work with only the most talented and creative videographers and we can save you the time required to research and hire a great video company.

From corporate videography to full length documentary video production, we offers you a true “one stop shop” solution when your only requirement is that it must be the best! From concept to completion, our talented network of videographers will handle your video production with the skill and dedication it deserves. In every step of video production from the initial concept, through the entire production process to completion, our highly trained videographers can do it all. Our goal is to exceed your expectations. Please contact us at any time to experience life in HD!

Things You Must Know Before Hiring A Residential Painting

Identifying Paint Problems

You’ll need to clean and prep the surface, decide what type of paint to use, and apply the paint. The best time to paint is in late spring or early fall on a dry day that is not too sunny. Temperatures below 40 degrees F and direct hot sun can ruin paint jobs. Inspect your house thoroughly before you paint, and take corrective action to prevent the root causes of paint failure. Following are tips on dealing with various paint problems.

Peeling

Peeling is often the result of painting over wet wood. It can also result from moisture within the house pushing its way out. If you cannot control the moisture with exhaust fans, use latex primer and latex paint. Latex allows some moisture to pass right through the paint.

Another cause of peeling is a dirty or a glossy surface. To undo the damage, all loose paint flakes must be scraped off with a wire brush and the surface must be sanded to smooth sharp edges. Bare spots should be primed before painting.

Alligatoring

This problem looks just like its name suggests: the hide of an alligator. Paint shrinks into individual islands, exposing the previous surface, usually because the top coat is not adhering to the paint below. Perhaps the paints are not compatible or the second coat was applied before the first coat had dried. To get rid of this problem, scrape off the old paint and then sand, prime, and repaint the surface.

CRACKING / FLAKING

The splitting of a dry paint film through at least one coat as a result of aging, which ultimately will lead to complete failure of the paint. In its early stages, the problem appears as hairline cracks; in its later stages, flaking occurs.

POSSIBLE CAUSES:
Use of lower quality paint that has inadequate adhesion and flexibility.Overthinning or overspreading the paint.Inadequate surface preparation, or applying the paint to bare wood without first applying a primer. Excessive hardening and embrittlement of alkyd paint as the paint job ages.

FOAMING / CRATERING

Formation of bubbles (foaming) and resulting small, round concave depressions (cratering) when bubbles break in a paint film, during paint application and drying.

FRAMING

Appearance of a denser colour or increased gloss where wet and dry layers overlap during paint application.

POSSIBLE CAUSES:

Failure to maintain a “wet edge” when painting. Use of a low solids “economy” paint.

Efflorescence

A problem of painted masonry construction, efflorescence is identified by crusty white salt deposits bubbling through the paint film from an underlying masonry structure. It is caused by salts in the brick or concrete dissolving with water and then leaching to the surface as the water evaporates.

Possible Causes

  • Surface preparation was poor; prior efflorescence was not entirely removed and washed before the surface was repainted.
  • Heavy moisture migrated through exterior masonry walls from inside the home.
  • Inadequately waterproofed basement walls allowed groundwater penetration.
  • Masonry was painted before the concrete or mortar had adequately cured and dried out.
  • Cracks in the masonry wall or poor tuckpointing have allowed water to get behind masonry wall.

Sagging or Running

This paint failure is easily identified as paint film with a droopy, dripping appearance. 

Possible Causes

  • Application of a coat of paint was too heavy or overloaded.
  • Paint was thinned too much at the time of application.
  • The paint was applied in poor environmental conditions, such as when temperatures were too cool or when humidity was too high.
  • The paint was applied to a high-gloss surface that was not first primed. This prevents the paint substrate from having the “tooth” necessary for the finish coat to adhere.
  • Painted surface was not clean or properly prepared at the time of application.

Rust Discoloration

This problem is characterized by rust-colored, reddish-brown to black stains on the paint surface.

Possible Causes

  • Non-corrosion-resistant nails were used to attach siding, rather than galvanized zinc-plated or stainless steel nails.
  • Steel nails have come into contact with the air.
  • Steel nails have popped up from below the surface.
  • Excessive weathering or sanding has worn away galvanized coating on nail heads.
  • Tannic acid from moist wood (e.g., oak) has reacted with steel nails, creating a black stain.

Cleaning Mildew and Chalk from Exterior Surfaces for Painting

Preparing your home’s exterior before you paint is essential. Most of the time, cleaning is straightforward, but some circumstances, like mold and mildew and chalky residue, might require some special treatment. Here are tips for battling mildew stains and ridding your home of the chalky dust.

A brown, gray, or black stain on siding or trim may be simple grime, or it may be mildew. To test whether a stain is grime or mildew, try washing the stain away with water and a detergent like Spic and Span. If the stain doesn’t wash away with water and detergent, it’s probably mildew.

Because mildew is a fungus growth, it thrives on moisture and dirt, so keep the siding open to the sun and air. Don’t store firewood or other materials close to the house. Prune tree branches that shade the house. If you have recurring mildew problems, power-wash the house’s exterior once a year and apply a mildewcide solution every two to three years.

How to Fix Dried Out Paint in a Can

You may be disappointed to open an old can of paint only to find that the paint has dried in the can. While some people may be quick to simply set the paint can out on the curb with the rest of the trash, you may surprised to know that you can fix the dried paint if it is an oil-based paint. The resulting paint won’t be the same quality as the original paint, but it will work well for touch-ups or for covering if you apply several coats. Dried latex paints cannot be fixed so they should be discarded.

Step 1

Place the open paint can on a plastic sheet to protect your work surface from paint stains.

Step 2

Pour 1 oz. of paint thinner into the paint can. Use more or less depending on the amount of paint in the can, but it is best to start with a smaller amount and work up to your desired result.

Step 3

Stir the paint thinner into the dried paint with a paint stirrer or clean stick until the paint is too thick to stir.

Step 4

Add a 1/2-oz. to 1 oz. more of the paint thinner and stir the paint well.

Step 5

Continue to add more paint thinner a 1/2-oz. at a time until you have thinned all the dried paint and achieved the desired consistency.