Mistakes To Avoid When Carrying Out A Luxury Home Remodeling

Data Watch: Renovation Firms Continue Long Optimistic Streak

Renovation professionals feel strongly optimistic about the demand for their services in the third quarter of 2017, according to the latest Renovation Barometer report. The quarterly index tracks optimism among architects, designers, general contractors and remodelers, design-build firms, building and renovation specialty firms, and landscape and outdoor specialty firms.

Renovation industry firms have maintained scores above 50 since started tracking this measure of economic health three years ago. Scores higher than 50 indicate that there are more firms reporting that business activity is higher than firms reporting it is lower in a given quarter compared with the prior quarter.

As the housing supply has tightened and prices have risen in the wake of the 2008 financial crisis, many people have chosen to remodel their existing homes rather than move to new ones, and that has been an ongoing boon to the renovation industry.

Architects and designers are feeling confident. Architecture firms posted a reading of 62 for the third quarter of 2017; designer firms, 65. Both scores are slightly below the levels for these groups during the second quarter of 2017, but that is to be expected given the shift of the seasons. The scores for architects and designers are close to the levels of one year earlier, indicating fairly stable demand.

General contractors and remodelers posted high scores. General contractors and remodelers posted a reading of 71, and design-build firms 67, in the third quarter of this year. Both scores dipped a bit from the second quarter, but again, that is to be expected with the shift in seasons.

Tile Trends: Styles You Need to Know

Tile is ever-changing, and today’s latest trends, driven in part by new manufacturing methods and printing technologies, are opening up a whole new world of covetable looks. We’re seeing a push toward new and innovative ways of combining different products, using tiles to create bold geometric shapes or to evoke an understated luxury with soft, organic lines and nature-inspired textures.

Thanks to the incredible diversity of products on the market today, decorating with tiles is a much freer exercise than it was 10 to 20 years ago. “There are so many different looks you can bring through with tiles, and everyone’s able to introduce a little bit of their personality to their homes, which is fun,”

It’s hip to be square … and hexagonal and rhomboid. In 2017, tiles are all about shape: Hexagon, rhomboid, rectangle, diamond, fish-scale, round and even wavy tiles are adorning kitchen backsplashes, bathroom walls and floors.

Use grout to dress tiles up or down. For a bold, graphic look, a contrasting grout will highlight the form of the tiles and really bring out the pattern,

And if you love the look of shaped tiles but you’re unsure if you want to take them across a whole wall, consider using them to pick out key architectural features, such as wall recesses or the area around a vanity.

What Lies Beneath That Old Linoleum Kitchen Floor?

Some might say that renovating an old home is like slicing through an onion. It can make you cry, and it reveals itself in layers. The latter is especially true of many kitchen floors in these homes, where layer upon layer of linoleum, vinyl or other resilient flooring material was installed throughout decades of use. Curious homeowners, or those who have remodeled or moved a wall, have likely discovered that wood often lies beneath it all.

Let’s be clear: Turning a subfloor into a finished floor is not for everyone and not suitable for every project. But under the right circumstances, when given the opportunity to expose and enjoy old-growth wood floors, you can end up with something pretty special. “There’s a gratifying experience to pulling something like this off,”

The wood planks, typically 3 to 5 inches wide and three-quarters to 1 inch thick, would be nailed onto the floor joists as tongue-and-groove boards or straight boards, often running on a diagonal to better tie into the structure. Material availability and increased labor costs mean that these plank subfloors are no longer used in home construction.

Where you’ll find a wood-plank subfloor. Your first step in determining your subfloor’s construction is knowing the age of your house. “A home built around or prior to the 1960s is more likely to have a wood-plank subfloor, rather than plywood,”

It’s easy to check for a wood-plank subfloor without tearing up your finished floor. If you have a crawl space or basement without a finished ceiling, you can look up from below the floor. If you have a floor register, you can pull that up for a cross-section of your floor. This is something a professional can help you with. The challenge is assessing your subfloor’s condition, which will determine whether it can be used as a finished floor. You won’t fully know this until you expose the entire subfloor.

Data Watch: How Much Building Permits Cost and How Long They Take

If you’re looking to start a renovation project that may require a building permit, you might be interested to know that more than half of homeowners report paying $500 or less in total fees for their permits, according to the results of a new survey. Of course, we can’t promise that your permit fees will be similar, as a small slice of homeowners report paying more than $5,000 to get their permits.

The numbers come from a survey of 294 users who were either preparing to apply for a building permit or who had applied for one in the last two years and had their application in review or already approved. Read on to find out what else they said about the permit process.

Kitchen and bath projects lead permit requests. Kitchen and bathroom remodels are the most common projects requiring permits, followed by interior remodels and additions. This may come as no surprise given that kitchens and bathrooms are the most popular remodels people undertake

How much does it cost? More than half of homeowners — both first-time applicants and experienced ones — report paying $500 or less in fees for an approved permit. A little less than one-fifth of each group reports paying between $501 and $1,000. And a small minority spends far more: 1 percent of first-time applicants and 3 percent of experienced ones say they pay more than $5,000 in total fees for an approved permit. Let’s hope you fall into the majority on this one.

How long does it take? It’s not the typical experience, but some permits are approved the same day they are submitted, according to the survey results.

How to Make Your Home Safe and Dry After Flooding

have a long road ahead of them. Hopefully that road stays dry. Cleaning, demolition, drying and rebuilding can take months, even years. Right now, two weeks after the start of the tropical storm, Houstonians and others are in the process of removing everything from their homes, demolishing the waterlogged drywall, disinfecting and letting everything dry out as quickly as possible.

Here, he offers tips to homeowners on how to proceed once the waters recede. Be sure to check out his video below for more instructions. We’ve also included advice from the Federal Emergency Management Agency, Red Cross and Department of Housing and Urban Development.

Keep Calm

First, don’t get overanxious. Your house needs time to dry out. Realize that the process of demolition and rebuilding will take time — months, even years — so settle in for a long haul. It can be stressful, so try to prepare for it and seek help or counseling if needed.

Document everything with photos and video for an insurance claim. But says not to wait for an adjuster to show up before you start working on getting your house dry. “If your house is closed up for two to three weeks, mold can start growing everywhere,” he says. Within two to three days of water receding, you should return to your home to remove everything that was touched by water.

Who Can Help?

Most homeowners will tackle the initial stages of clearing out water-soaked furniture, appliances and carpet, as well as removing drywall. This is a pretty straightforward task, easy enough for the average homeowner

The Difference Between Shingle And Tile Roof

Do you need felt under roof tiles?

What Does Roofing Felt Do & What Are The Benefits

Well, the original purpose for using roofing felt was to be a temporary waterproof roof whilst homeowners would have to build their own roofs. This method has been used for over one hundred years. When homeowners would remove the shingles off their roof on a weekend, the roofing felt would serve as a waterproof cover. This would temporarily protect their home from water damage over the following week so that the next weekend they could put the new shingles up.

What does roofing felt do

While people are debating on whether roofing felt – otherwise known are tar paper – is still necessary, here are a few reasons why it is still useful. While roofers workers are up fixing the shingles to the roof, the roofing felt creates a safer layer for them to work on, helping to make it less likely that they could slip. By covering your home with roofing felt, your home is temporarily protected from the weather depending on how long it takes to build the roof, creating a waterproof barrier between you and any rain that could potentially come. Another handy advantage is that the roofing felt does temporarily dry once the roof is up and complete.

Assessing the performance of a roof

It is important that a holistic approach is adopted for the performance of a building to be understood, as the roof and walls cannot be taken in isolation: they are an integral part of the building and have an active and continuing relationship with the rest of the building, its environment and its occupants.

The two most commonly encountered ways in which the performance of the roof of an old building has been dramatically and detrimentally altered are by the introduction of insulation and impervious roofing felt.

Typical effects of introducing insulation and impervious roofing felt

  • The introduction of insulation over a ceiling creates a ‘cold roof’ (see diagram, below).
  • Roofing felt significantly reduces the air movement in the roof space.
  • Moist air from the accommodation readily finds its way into the roof space through the ceiling and holes in ill-fitting hatches.
  • The amount of evaporation that can take place within the roof is considerably reduced by the introduction of the roofing felt.
  • Increased amounts of dampness and moist air are now present within the roof space.
  • The timbers in the roof space are therefore increasingly subjected to the conditions conducive for active fungal decay and wood boring insect infestation.
  • Any drop in the air temperature provides the atmospheric conditions for the condensation of the moist air to take place.
  • The impervious roofing felt provides a high level of resistance to the passage of water vapour and a cold contact surface upon which warm moist air can condense. In these circumstances the rafters in contact with the felt may remain damp most of the time, causing the surface of the rafter to become stained and, in the worst case, rotten.


  • Insulation laid so that it covers the eaves, significantly reduces ventilation to the roof.
  • Insulation is often laid in contact with the roofing felt. Where the felt is impervious any contact condensation will run down the felt and make the insulation damp.
  • Many modern insulation quilts such as fibreglass, in comparison with alternatives that are now readily available, retain moisture. Where an impervious roofing felt has been used, this type of insulation may not dry out readily. In the worst case the insulation becomes a soggy mass at the bottom, causing the feet of the rafters and the ends of the joists to decay.

This brief overview of some of the problems that can be encountered where the roof of an old building has been provided with a secondary barrier and insulation, illustrates that there is a need to evaluate the influence that any changes in the traditional ‘breathing’ performance of the roofs of old buildings is having.

Why use roofing felt paper?

Roofing experts have discovered that adding a layer of protection between your structural roof decking (the layer of wood that covers your rafters) and your roof shingles helps create a better-looking and longer-lasting roof. In fact, there are a number of important ways roofing felt not only protects your roof, but also your residence. For example:

  • It repels water

Wind-driven rain or snow can trap water under your shingles, putting your roof deck and inner residence at risk of moisture damage, leaks, rot and mold. Roofing felt helps ensure the water drains off the roof – and doesn’t leak into your home.

  • It provides backup protection in the event of ice or water damage

In northern climates, ice or snow dams are another common cause of residential water damage. When the heat from your home melts snow or ice on your roof, the water can then seep into your roof’s nooks and crannies and ultimately into your residence, causing damage to ceilings, walls, or insulation. Your best protection against an ice dam is an ice and water protection membrane which can seal around the shanks of the roof fasteners for a leak-resistant fit. However, roofing felt offers additional protection against leakage, providing an extra layer of water resistance.

  • It provides extra weather protection

Although your shingles are your roof’s first line of defense against the elements, having a backup layer of weather protection underneath helps extend the life of your roof deck. And, in the event of a major weather event that breaks your shingles loose, the roofing felt guards your wood deck against rain and water until the shingles can be replaced.

  • Roofing felt may be necessary for use with your shingles to meet a Class A fire rating

When shingles are evaluated for their fire ratings, it is done on a small test deck with the roofing felt underlayment in place – without this underlayment, the shingles alone may not meet the Class A fire requirements. Be sure to choose felt underlayments that are approved and compatible with the overlying shingles and therefore comply with building codes. Look for industry standard compliances such as ASTM International or Canadian Standards Association (CSA) references on the product label.

  • It protects your roof deck while you work on it

Roofing felt prevents the deck from being exposed to the elements before, or while, the shingles are being applied.

  • It improves look and uniformity

Because your roof deck might not lie perfectly straight or flat, a layer of roof paper gives an even, uniform surface upon which you can install your shingles. It can help prevent the “picture framing” effect, or the pattern of your wood decking telegraphing through your shingles, by providing an extra layer on top of uneven wood.

  • It prevents wood resin stains

When you use certain types of wood to construct your deck, there is sometimes a risk the wood will leach small amounts of resin over time as it ages. Having a layer of roof felt will block the resin, preventing it from staining or compromising your roof shingles.


A great benefit to roofing felt is that it can also act as a moisture barrier. When the hot air is rising through the house and reaches the roof, any moisture in the air that condenses on the underside of the shingles, will get caught by the roofing felt. This helps to prevent any damage being done to the wood decking in the long run. The moisture barrier in a roof is highly important nowadays since the way houses are now built with certain extras such as double glazing making air circulation more of a problem. We spend so much time in our homes and throughout cooking, bathing along with all of the occupants in the house breathing, a lot of water moisture gets built up and needs to find a way out. This brings us to the question of the types of roofing felt that we should use.

Is felt waterproof?

The answer is Yes felt is waterproof, the sarking felt which is laid over support rafters or counter battens, beneath the tile or slate battens provides waterproofing. The main purpose of sarking felt is to provide waterproofing to the felt, this stops damage internally creating a barrier and stopping cracked/broken tiles it also helps as an insulation factor for the building.

A Quick Guide In Choosing An Auto Repair Shop

What are the benefits of an auto mechanic?

According to the Bureau of Labor statistics, automotive mechanics average about $41,000 per year as of May 2016, but pay depends on the skill level of the applicant. The job market for this field is expected to grow roughly six percent per year until 2026, which puts auto mechanic job growth on par with related fields. Around 31 percent of auto mechanics were employed at automotive dealerships in 2016, while around 27 percent worked for automotive repair and maintenance shops. Dealerships are likely to offer stronger auto mechanic benefits, but private garages may offer unofficial benefits dealerships cannot or will not.

Salary and Bonuses

Experienced automotive technicians should expect a median pay rate of about $38,470 annually, which translates to between $18 and $19 per hour. The top 10 percent of mechanics made $64,070 or more annually with the bottom 10 percent earning $21,470. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, many auto mechanics also collect a commission depending on the volume of work completed for the week, so experienced workers can bring home a much larger paycheck than inexperienced workers who require more time to complete a task.

Insurance and Retirement

Dealerships are likely to offer the most comprehensive benefits, including a 401k plan for retirement and health insurance plans. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, auto mechanics suffer a higher than average injury rate, with minor cuts and bruises fairly common, so insurance benefits are designed to fit the risks. Larger dealerships are likely to offer additional auto mechanic benefits such as tool reimbursement and paid holidays. Most shops also require a mechanic to wear a uniform, and some employers cover that cost.

Education Requirement and Reimbursement

Auto mechanics should possess at least a General Education Diploma (GED) or high school diploma. Extensive on-site training is to be expected, and a certificate from the National Institute for Automotive Excellence will help applicants find work. Having certification status often leads to higher paying jobs, but some employers make certification a requirement and refuse to hire mechanics without it. If the applicant works with refrigerants, a license may be required by the Environmental Protection Agency. These education costs might be covered by a dealership or garage, but the applicant is encouraged to call ahead if unsure.

Learn Preferred Methods and the Best Techniques

Working on cars is a time-consuming process. You may find yourself lacking in knowledge of advanced techniques if you’ve learned everything on your own. This could save you time in the end. You’ll be able to move more quickly from one job to the next. In addition, learning the proper techniques to repair will make your work more reliable and trustworthy. This is important even if you’re simply working on your own vehicles.

Good wage potential

The average salary for auto mechanics in 2017 was $39,550 with the lowest 10% making less than $21,470 and the highest 10% making over $64,070 according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Typically, auto mechanics earn less as they are starting out with the ability to earn more with more experience and training. Therefore, if you are unsatisfied with your wages, you can always go earn more ASE certifications to demand a higher pay. Along with that, you can always specialize in a specific manufacturer or repairs.

Doing what you love

It is utmost important to do what you love. With passion, comes great energy and the will to learn. Being an auto technician enables you to work on cars and even cars that you love. You get to be around cars every day; all kinds of cars. On a side note, you can also work on your own car! You are your own technician. That being said, you can save tons of money on repair works.

Career Stability

The auto industry is definitely one of the most stable industry around. Consumers in general do not change their cars often as it is expensive. However, repair and maintenance of a vehicle still needs to be done by a professional and they can’t possible run away from the problem. The need for professionals to repair and maintain cars remain relatively constant as cars are still the primary transportation for many out there. On a side note, many companies are always on the look-out for skilled auto technicians and the demand is still growing strong.

Helping others

By doing your job, you are also helping people. You fix problems! Your family and friends will need your assistance when it comes to their cars. Don’t look at that as a negative but rather a positive. Believe in good karma, always!

Ability to work on own projects

This is perhaps one of the best things about being a mechanic. You will have the freedom to work on your own personal vehicles which will allow you to keep your vehicles pristine for a fraction of the cost. Along with that, you can even start buying junkers and flipping them to sell for a profit, bringing you even more income. If you own your own shop, you will have no problem accessing your shop equipment to perform personal work. But, if you do not own the shop, make sure you ask the owner if you can work on personal projects after-hours.

Is Your Wedding Photographer A Real Pro

Essential Equipment for Beginner Wedding Photographers

Even though you may be new to wedding photography, it’s very important to have a good DSLR, several lenses and a flash. An entry-level DSLR will suffice when shooting your first weddings, and for use as a backup camera. However, you should consider investing in high-quality equipment for the long run, especially if you plan to shoot weddings professionally.

To begin with, you can rent much of the equipment you’ll need.  Rental prices for a DSLR body range from about $50 – $200 / day, and many lenses can be rented from about $10 – $25 / day. Some rental departments offer a multi-day or weekend discount. Renting is a great way to go when you can’t afford the initial outlay of cash that professional camera equipment requires, and it will give you the opportunity to try out equipment before purchasing it. Renting several days before the big event will give you the opportunity to familiarize yourself with the camera gear you plan to use.


Many professional wedding photographers use full-frame digital cameras, which are becoming more common in today’s marketplace. Full-frame DSLRs offer excellent image quality in low-light situations, as well as great wide-angle capabilities. Some wedding and event photographers use more economical DSLRs with smaller sensors, which also have great imaging and AF features. Their smaller sensor size also offers greater magnification than those with full-frame sensors for telephoto work


Because of the rising popularity of videography at weddings and other important events, most of today’s DSLRs incorporate video. It’s possible for the wedding photographer to shoot brief video clips on his/her primary camera, but it’s better to have a second person shooting video with a DSLR or camcorder. The videographer also needs a fluid head tripod, remote microphone system and/or audio recorders. Just as with still photography, it’s important to document all the important events at a wedding.


A maximum aperture of f/2.8 or wider is important for gathering light in dimly lit situations and for shallow depth of field. You may need to shoot in low light in a church where flash would be disruptive to the ceremony. Some wedding photographers utilize several prime (single focal-length) lenses, while others use zoom lenses that cover a broad range of focal lengths. You can cover the spectrum of wedding photo opportunities with three zoom lenses—a wide-angle zoom, a wide-to-telephoto zoom, and a telephoto lens.

A Complete Guide To Choosing The Right Wedding Photographer, From A Pro In The Know

Weddings are a nightmare. Well, okay, that’s not explicitly true; a wedding has the potential to be one of the most glorious celebrations of love and friendship that you can ever experience, but achieving harmony between all the moving parts that go into wedding planning can be a monumental task.

Possibly the biggest challenge, besides saving up a lot of money, is that you’re relying on all your various relatives to come together in the same room and get on with each other for a full day. When you’re not juggling requests about who they’d rather not sit next to, you’re fielding their opinions on every single detail from the dress through to the champagne.

There are some that will caution you to budget more for your wedding photographer than for your wedding dress, as a good photographer can make a cheap dress look good and not vice versa. There are others, though, who blindly assume that because everyone, including Auntie Janet, can operate an iPhone these days, there’s no need to draft in a pro.

It doesn’t take a genius to figure out that the right approach is probably on neither the ‘bankruptcy’, nor the ‘just wing it’ end of the scale. That being said, finding the right photographer for your event can still be quite a big project.

Undoubtedly, for one of the most important days of your life, you’ll need to turn to a professional wedding photographer to capture the moment. That’s a given. But which wedding photographer to choose? And how to go about establishing the best relationship with them?

Not-so-Obvious Things Photographers Should Bring to a Wedding

As a working photographer, your essential gear list is probably emblazoned on your heart. You know exactly what gear goes into your photographer’s tool bag and maybe even have a backup bag packed with duplicate gear, because you know it’s better to be safe than sorry. But if you really want to be prepared, especially when shooting for hours at a wedding, you’ll want to bring along some extra goodies to help you get through the day and deliver a stellar client experience.

Important Information

Phone numbers, venue names, and addresses are all essential bits of info you need to have on hand before and at the wedding. Have the couple provide the names of venues and the specific addresses, as well as addresses for any other places you’ll visit, like the couple’s home or photo locations.

Photo Shot List and Wedding Timeline

The day of the wedding is not the time to wing it. Show up prepared with a detailed list of formal shots your couple has requested and approved and a wedding day timeline to help you stay on track. On your wedding questionnaire or at the pre-wedding meeting, have your couple provide you with a list of the bride and groom’s immediate family, a list of family photos they would like, and the names of each person in the group. You can also discuss with the couple when and where to do the formal shots.

Layers/Extra Clothes

You never know what the weather will do or what a venue’s temperature will be set at, so bring a rain jacket, a sweater in case the AC is cranked up, and/or an extra set of clothes in case of an emergency. You might also consider packing a pair of comfortable shoes to slip on later in the day.

Business Cards

You never know where you’ll meet a potential customer, so it’s a good idea to have a stack of business cards in your bag


You have a million things to think about, plan and prepare for your wedding day. Things are going to fall through the cracks and you will forget stuff. I am hoping this bridal details checklist makes your life a little easier! It will be one less thing you have to stress about the week of your wedding.

Photographing the bridal details is not only the very first thing I photograph on every wedding day, but it is always one of my favorite things! The more details the better! Starting my day off this way gives me plenty of time to get warmed up, sneak a few pictures of the bride and bridesmaids getting ready, and allow everyone to adjust to me being around. This part of the day is so important because it tells the story of your wedding day and allows for everyone to get warmed up without being rushed in front of the camera.

After I arrive, greet everyone with hugs, I get settled in and immediately ask for the following details :

Dress (Don’t forget a pretty hanger!)

Rings (His, Hers & of course the engagement ring)

Ring box

Veil & Hairpiece




Other Jewelry



Invitations (Full invitation suite & save the date)

Bouquets & boutonnieres


These are a few of my favorite details to photograph but really you can include anything for your wedding day! These are just the most common details that most all brides & grooms have. The best way to keep all of these details organized is to have a designated bag or box the week of your wedding. As you are packing everything, you can place all of the details in the same area and it makes it super easy to find everything on the wedding day.

For dress shots, a custom hanger isn’t necessary but a pretty wooden hanger would make a huge difference. You spent a lot of money on your wedding dress, took all of your favorite girls with you to find the perfect dress, it deserves to be photographed on something better than a plastic hanger!


Hire a photographer whose photography style you like

Wedding photographers can have a variety of different shooting styles such as photojournalism/documentary, traditional, and fine art (or be a mix of a few), as well as different editing styles (light & airy, bold & vibrant, dark & moody, etc). It’s important to understand the differences between all the styles and which one you and your future spouse like the best. Be sure to do your research  and know what style calls to you before booking a photographer. That way  you don’t end up with someone whose style doesn’t work for you.

It’s important to establish a relationship with your wedding photographer

Get to know your wedding photographer! After all, they’re going to be snapping photos of you two on the most important day of your life. They’ll want to get to know you as a couple, from how you interact with each other, your cute quirks, and the way you show affection towards one another. Understanding these things about a couple prior to the wedding day helps the photographer capture the little moments that make your big day so special. I personally like to meet a few times before the wedding so that we have that opportunity (consultation, engagements, timeline meetings, etc).

Engagement sessions are important

You have a trial run for your hair and makeup and you try on your dress a number of times before wearing it on the big day, so why wouldn’t you do a practice run with your photographer? Engagement sessions allow you to get comfortable in front of the camera and allows your photographer to get used to photographing you both. When you see the images it will give you an idea of what your wedding day pictures will look like. Still not convinced? Here are a few reasons you should have an engagement session.

Your photographer doesn’t need a shot list

It might seem like a helpful idea to give your wedding photographer a list of all the moments you want captured, but it actually ends up stifling the photographer’s creativity. On the big day things are moving quickly and trying to organize everyone for photos is stressful enough without having to worry about a checklist. You can actually miss out on the candid moments when you’re too busy double-checking the shot list.; and candid photos end up being some of the best! Photographers are experienced professionals and they’ve shot enough weddings to know what kinds of images couples want. Have a general chat before the wedding day about any moments you definitely want pictures of, especially things we may not know about, but providing a detailed list isn’t necessary.

Chat about the wedding day timeline

The wedding day timeline is largely based off the photography timeline. Your wedding photographer (or planner if you have one!) is likely an expert in creating these and can be a helpful resource for this part of your planning. They know exactly how long family, wedding party and couples portraits take and can help plan out the day accordingly. The bigger your family and the bigger the wedding party, the longer pictures are going to take, so keep that in mind when you’re planning out your day.

Chiropractor Help With Obesity

Things You’re Not Supposed To Know About Chiropractors

Their education is equal to their medical colleagues … and might be better in some areas.

This might be difficult to accept, but chiropractic students spend markedly more hours in the classroom than medical students, especially in the areas of anatomy, physiology, orthopedics, and x-ray. Of course, their training is different since “Chiros” concentrate on muscles, bones, joints, and nerves. Their education only touches on medication, emergency situations, etc. Many are beginning to think this gives them a better background in physical rehab.

They do more than crunch backs and necks

While chiros are known for treating back and neck problems with joint manipulation, most are well versed and board certified to perform physical therapies. They are also licensed to function as primary care physicians. Based on their education many use nutrition as a form of treatment.

It’s safe

Even though ghost stories of adjustments gone wrong are common, the actual risk of injury from chiropractic treatment is rare. Generally, the malpractice insurance that doctors have to pay is based, among other things, on their field. Chiropractors as a group pay the less for malpractice insurance than any other type of physician. Why? Lawsuits claiming injuries or negligence are less common against chiropractors.

They took the AMA to court — and won — twice

For decades chiropractors were campaigned by the AMA (American Medical Association) as not being “real doctors” and met fierce resistance from medical organizations. Chiropractors claimed the AMA was trying to snuff out the competition with fear tactics and bogus research. The U.S. Supreme Court agreed with them in 1987… and again in 1990. It was found that the AMA was guilty of illegal antitrust activities against the chiropractic profession, ordered an injunction on their activity, and forcing them to print the courts findings in the Journal of the American Medical Association.

M.D.’s and D.C.’s are now working together

It’s becoming more common to find integrated offices, where M.D.’s, D.O.’s, and D.C.’s are working side-by-side. Many medical offices now try to provide multi-specialty approaches to treatment. With natural forms of treatment becoming more popular, drugless forms of treatment have become preferred by many over pain-medication.

Things To Ask When Checking Out Chiropractors

• ”Does the office offer a free consultation?

• ”Ask if they have digital x-ray available onsite, because they’re dealing with the spine.

• ”Ask how long the doctor has been in practice, as experience is important. Ask if the doctor participates regularly in continuing education.

• ”Does the office or doctor use any advanced technology like Class IV laser? Cold laser is the antiquated laser.

• ”Some of them use only one tool. If all you have a hammer, everything looks like a nail. That happens a lot in our profession. Does the doctor use one technique or a more comprehensive, holistic list of tools? Is the doctor certified in any soft tissue modalities, which complement the skeletal modalities. Typically, muscular/skeletal mean you treat all of that.

• ”Do they offer a reduced fee membership model? That’s the wave of the future.

• “Have they treated your specific condition before, if you know what it is?”

• “People should find someone who has an affiliation with a larger corporation like American Chiropractic Association.

• “Look for someone who’s not ordering imaging right away, unless there are certain red flags that indicate you need imaging.

• “You want to find someone who’s goal-oriented for you, someone who will help encourage an active treatment plan, who will help restore you to a normal function not just treat pain.

• “You don’t want someone who encourages the use of lumbar support or braces for long-term prevention of back pain, but will teach you how to learn and exercise so you don’t need a chiropractor.

• “Look for interdisciplinary care. As a chiropractor, I should be part of someone’s healthcare team. The skills and knowledge I possess and continue to learn should be complementary to what they receive from their physician. If you can’t tell the difference between the care you receive from a chiropractor and a physical therapist, you’re in the right place, though our study is broader.

• “They should be open to referring people out. If I possess the skills and tools that will help patients the most, I’ll keep them in house, but if I know they can receive better care elsewhere, then I’d send them elsewhere.

• “There’s a formula to care for everyone. Some have intermittent bouts of back problems, but if we can develop a formula such as a frequency of spinal adjusting and exercise, and mindfulness to know what it needs at certain times, you’ll likely have better results.

• “Go online and read reviews. People tend to post pretty honest things about their experience.”

• “You want someone who will sit down and explain treatments. They will use insurance instead of saying it’s a cash-only plan.

• “Read the chiropractor’s biography online to see if that will be a good fit. They might say what they’re into and that can help. It’s a good way to take a look. You can see the certifications that can include if they do taping, soft tissues, ultrasound and other modalities. You can gauge a lot about a chiropractor through their website.

• “A lot of times, they have tours. You can see how their office looks. You want to be comfortable with the provider, like with any provider.

• “A lot of people, when they call here and ask to speak with the doctor, that’s not a bad thing. The doctor may not be able to speak with you that minute, but you know it will be a good fit if they’ll call you back before you come into the office. It should be all about the patient.”

• “If it’s a worker’s compensation injury, you’ll have to see if they accept those. Some don’t.

• “If it’s a cash or general insurance basis, the best way is by word-of-mouth. Talk with family members and friends. See who keeps them moving.

Things You Need to Know Before Visiting a Chiropractor

Considering you’re always on the go, it’s no surprise that your crazy-busy lifestyle morphs your body into an achy, stiff mess on the reg. Perhaps you’ve thought about seeing a chiropractor but aren’t sure if it’s a great idea given last year’s news cycle about a woman who died after visiting one. But it’s time to clear the air. Here’s everything you should know about seeing a chiropractor, from choosing the right one for you to all the safety precautions you should consider upfront.

“The practice is founded on the premise that the nervous system controls every other aspect of the human body, so a properly functioning nervous system allows for the body to function optimally.” Besides back and neck pain, chiropractors can help with things like radiating pain, numbness, tingling, burning, and tendonitis

Adjustments are done manually (using hands) or mechanically (using a small instrument), and involve applying force to the joints, bones, and muscles in and around your spine to improve overall physical function.

While research from the Annals of Internal Medicine shows chiropractic care for musculoskeletal conditions can help back pain (in some cases, more than pain killers), there’s been little to no widely accepted research showing that chiropractic treatments are effective for any other conditions—say, ear infections or insomnia

board-certified in integrative and holistic medicine. That said, if it’s something you’re interested in, don’t be afraid to bring it up with your doc—they should at least take the time to consider whether chiropractic care could serve as an appropriate alternative therapy for your issue, says

What’s the truth about chiropractors?

Chiropractors attend graduate-level health colleges to treat disorders of the bones, nerves, muscles, and ligaments. They graduate as doctors of chiropractic degrees, but they are not medical doctors.

While chiropractors are widely known for treating back and neck pain, they also treat bone and soft tissue conditions. In this article, we explore myths and truths of chiropractic care. We also describe the training that chiropractors undergo, how safe these treatments may be, and the research behind the practice.

What certifications must chiropractors have?

A common myth is that chiropractors do not undergo a significant amount of training. In fact, they typically complete about 8 years of higher education before they are licensed. Chiropractors tend to have 4 years of undergraduate education.

hiropractic program specifics

Divided by year, a chiropractic graduate program usually involves:

First year: Courses in general anatomy, chiropractic principles, biochemistry, spinal anatomy.

Second year: Courses in chiropractic procedures, pathology, clinical orthopedics, imaging interpretation, and research methods.

Third year: Courses in clinical internships, integrated chiropractic, pediatrics, dermatology, practice management, and ethics and jurisprudence.

Fourth year: A clinical internship, in which a student studies under a chiropractor and completes rotations in a hospital or veterans’ clinic.


So have you guys ever heard when you talk to your friends “Man, I went to the chiropractor and it was the most amazing thing ever. They cured my diabetes.” No, you don’t hear that do you? Or you’ll have some people that’ll say “The chiropractor is the  most amazing thing ever, they made my sciatica go away.” But if you spend enough time talking to people about chiropractic you really will get stuff like “Wow I feel better, I move better, I function better, I don’t get sick as often, my chronic disease is doing better.”

a chiropractor and I just want to take a quick second today to talk about what chiropractic is and what chiropractic isn’t. I think the hard part about that is that people think when they go to the doctor, they have something they want to get rid of. Right? They say they have back pain and want to get rid of it. Or they have high blood pressure and want to get rid of it. But what if the problem isn’t that when you go to the doctor you have something you need to get rid of. What if the problem is you’ve lost something you should have and that’s affecting your body’s ability to function properly?

Chiropractic is about function, it’s about the ability of your body functions. The first thing we should talk about it “what is health?” And traditionally what we’re taught is that health is about looking good or feeling good.  “As long as I feel good then I’m healthy.” But is that really what health is? Don’t we all know people who feel good in the morning? They wake up, like my grandfather, but then have a stroke by noon? So they felt great that morning yet still end up in the hospital by noon that day. Or how many people wake up that morning and feel fantastic and then go to the doctor that same day and they go “Oh by the way your blood work came back with cancer” cause you can’t feel cancer and you can’t feel heart disease. So just quickly, so we’re on the same page, health has nothing to do with how you look or how you feel.

Although that’s how our culture or our society judges health. If you look up health by definition, the World Health Organization defines health by function. So, if your body is 100% then you have health. So the World Health Organization’s definition of health is “a state of complete physical, mental, and social well-being and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity.” For my patients in my practice the reason why we get such overall health change is because we teach them how to get their bodies functioning optimally. I always say in the office, “health is not owned, it’s rented. And you’re paying rent on your health everyday.” So every day you’re either doing things to improve the quality of the function. Eat right, exercise, get your spines adjusted. Or you’re not doing anything about your health and instead of building health or optimizing function, you’re actually getting sicker over time. If that makes sense.

So, that all being said, we all know that we should eat right, because eating right builds health and function. We should exercise, because exercising builds health and function. There’s even old sayings by our grandparents. “You are what you eat” right? So, we know that we’re supposed to eat right we’re supposed to exercise. One thing is that when I talk to people in the community and when my patients first come into the office, they don’t realize that your spine dictates the function of your health. It’s just one more piece of the puzzle that people don’t know needed to fit there.

The Pros And Cons Of Doing Your Own Accountant

Financial accounting

Financial accounting (or financial accountancy) is the field of accounting concerned with the summary, analysis and reporting of financial transactions related to a business. This involves the preparation of financial statements available for public use. Stockholders, suppliers, banks, employees, government agencies, business owners, and other stakeholders are examples of people interested in receiving such information for decision making purposes.

Financial accountancy is governed by both local and international accounting standards. Generally Accepted Accounting Principles (GAAP) is the standard framework of guidelines for financial accounting used in any given jurisdiction. It includes the standards, conventions and rules that accountants follow in recording and summarizing and in the preparation of financial statements.

On the other hand, International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS) is a set of passionable accounting standards stating how particular types of transactions and other events should be reported in financial statements. IFRS are issued by the International Accounting Standards Board (IASB). With IFRS becoming more widespread on the international scene, consistency in financial reporting has become more prevalent between global organizations.

While financial accounting is used to prepare accounting information for people outside the organization or not involved in the day-to-day running of the company, managerial accounting provides accounting information to help managers make decisions to manage the business.

Financial accounting and financial reporting are often used as synonyms.

1. According to International Financial Reporting Standards: the objective of financial reporting is:

To provide financial information that is useful to existing and potential investors, lenders and other creditors in making decisions about providing resources to the reporting entity.

2. According to the European Accounting Association:

Capital maintenance is a competing objective of financial reporting

The Importance of Ethics in Accounting: Reasons to Keep in Mind

Even though you aren’t a professional accountant, you’re still responsible for keeping your business’s books in order. And if you’re the one handling your small business books, you need to follow ethics in accounting.

Why is ethics important in accounting?

Accountants are expected to act ethically when they handle clients’ books. They must:

Demonstrate integrity

Keep things confidential

Stay up-to-date with the latest accounting news

Act professionally

Ethics are important in many aspects of business, especially when it comes to your company’s accounting books. Even though you might not be an accountant, you’re expected to exhibit the same qualities as them when you handle your books.

You’re dealing with sensitive information

As a business owner, you deal with sensitive information on the daily. When it comes to your business books, you need to handle your business bank account information, transaction totals, and other financial data.

Your mistakes are on you

Think about this: if you’re caught being unethical in accounting, who will be to blame? That’s right … you. When you make accounting mistakes or act unethically because you’re not competent in accounting, it’s on you.

Reasons to become a Chartered Accountant

Why become a Chartered Accountant?

The Chartered Accountancy qualification opens the door to a vast range of exciting career opportunities, in every sector of business and finance, both in Ireland and internationally. Chartered Accountants are in constant demand both at home and abroad, being recognised for their technical competence, professional standards, and veracity.

Becoming a Chartered Accountant combines innovative education with mentored work experience, to produce accountants who possess a greater ability to analyse and interpret business problems and develop dynamic solutions. Perhaps that’s why Chartered Accountants have the edge over their counterparts: they rise further and faster into more diverse and important roles in organisations.

The Chartered difference

We’re often asked what the difference between studying Chartered Accountancy and other accounting qualifications is. The answer is that no other professional accounting qualification provides students with the same support, structure, guidance and quality of education throughout the training process.

Exam Success

Where other professional accountancy bodies outsource their education, Chartered Accountancy trainees benefit from classes run directly by us. Students have greater levels of contact both with the Institute and their lecturers, both of whom work closely together to ensure the highest standards of delivery.

The education programme

There are a variety of education courses on offer, with lectures held in venues around the country and online. Chartered Accountancy courses have the finest accounting lecturers in Ireland, all of whom are committed to providing the best possible education to our students.

Differences between a Chartered Accountant and an Accountant?

Chartered Accountants discussed by Hayvenhursts Chartered Accountants

A Chartered Accountant gives you advice and trustworthy information about your businesses financial records and status. They can be involved in financial reporting, taxation, auditing, forensic accounting, corporate finance, business recovery and insolvency. They will support you with accounting systems and processes and will work alongside you and your business to drive your business forward, bringing skills of strategic forecasting along with expertise in finance, accountancy, auditing and taxation which is essential to each and every business in today’s climate.

CA stands for Chartered Accountant and it is one of the most coveted professional degrees in the world. To qualify as a Chartered Accountant, you qualify with a specialised bachelor’s degree in accounting, followed by a Certificate in the Theory of Accounting (CTA) which is offered as a postgraduate honours degree, or as a postgraduate diploma dependent on the university attended.

What is the difference between a Chartered Accountant and an Accountant?

A Chartered Accountant has to complete post-graduate honours or diploma degree and following this have had 3-year’s work experience alongside a Chartered Accountant expert who will mentor them through their 3-year work experience. Chartered are experts in the field of accounting, finance and business compared to an accountant which is more of a transactional financial role.

What does a Chartered Accountant do?

A Chartered Accountant focuses on providing accurate records of all financial transactions for an individual or business and they tend to work with commercial businesses such as larger non-profit organisations, corporations and e-commerce or industrial sectors.

Chartered Accountants will:

Work as key senior managers or alongside senior managers and decision-makers within a business, steering it in the right strategic direction, solving problems and implementing change

Report on the financial performance of a company to impact and direct key business decisions and strategies

Be trusted advisors, supporting as a consultant or as a practising partner

Work in a wide range of business sectors and in a broad spectrum of roles, from financial controllers and directors to chief executives

Advise on a range of day-to-day financial aspects and reporting, preparing corporate and personal tax statements and formulate tax strategies including financial choice, how to plan and manage a merger or acquisition, deferral of taxes, when to expense items and so on

Plan and manage business audits which include; checking accounting ledgers and financial statements within businesses including processes, manual, automatic and random real-time auditing

Budget planning, negotiation and analysis, managing an organisation’s current and future financial plans, working alongside marketing, operations, new business, service and HR. They will manage and or participate in decisions about budgeting alongside a businesses’ financial analysis

Conduct risk analysis for companies to make investment decisions in the future.

The Ultimate Guide to Accounting Basics

In college, I started a local consignment business. It was very different from my freelance writing business for a few key reasons: I had employees, I had physical products (which meant a physical store and check-out process), and I had a different legal business entity.

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Regardless of your business size and budget, accounting is an incredibly useful practice to master. We wrote this guide to ease you into the subject, and by the end, you’ll feel equipped to tackle your own business’s accounting (or find someone who can help).

What is business accounting?

Accounting is the process of systematically recording, analyzing, and interpreting your business’s financial information. Business owners use accounting to track their financial operations, meet legal obligations, and make stronger business decisions.

Business Accounting Basics

Regardless of who manages your business accounting, it’s wise to understand accounting basics. If you can read and prepare these basic documents, you’ll understand your business’s performance and financial health — as a result, you’ll have greater control of your company and financial decisions.

Here are the documents and calculations we recommend mastering, even if you work with a professional, consulting agency, or have hired a certified public accountant (CPA). They provide valuable snapshots and measures of your business performance.

An income statement, which shows your company’s profitability and tells you how much money your business has made or lost.

A balance sheet, which is a snapshot of your business’ financial standing at a single point in time. A balance sheet will also show you your business’s retained earnings, which is the amount of profit that you’ve reinvested in your business (rather than being distributed to shareholders).

A profit and loss (P&L) statement, which is a snapshot of your business’s income and expenses during a given time period (e.g. quarterly, monthly, or yearly). This calculation will also be reflected on your business’s Schedule C tax document.

A cash flow statement, which analyzes your business’s operating, financing, and investing activities to show how and where you’re receiving and spending money.

A bank reconciliation compares your cash expenditures with your overall bank statements and helps keep your business records consistent. (This is the process of reconciling your book balance to your bank balance of cash.)

Use A Reverse Mortgage To Let Your Home Inspection Pay For Your Retirement

How To Prepare for your Home Inspection

A Home Inspection, Performed by a Professional Home Inspector is a key component of almost all home resale transactions. This article is intended to help the home inspection client obtain the most comprehensive home inspection possible.

The Home Inspector is typically retained by the buyer during the contract option period, although more and more home sellers are opting to have professional home inspections performed, prior to placing their home on the market. While the article is written in the context of a buyer’s home inspection, the content can be applied equally well to a seller’s pre-listing home inspection.

In preparing for a home inspection, it’s important that everyone involved understands the role of the home inspector, who they serve and what to expect from the home inspection report.

To be effective, the home inspector must be knowledgeable across a broad range of subjects related to home construction and maintenance. Though many home inspectors have experience in a particular construction discipline, their role is that of a generalist. Compare the role of the Home Inspector to that of your family doctor or General Practitioner. You see your family doctor for a check-up or physical. He/she can perform a thorough examination and assessment of your condition and may recommend advice to help improve your overall health. However, your doctor will likely refer you to an Orthopedic Surgeon (a specialist) if he/she suspect that that pain in your knee may be a torn cartilage. Similarly, a Home Inspector may advise you to consult with a specialist if they find certain conditions (e.g., a Structural Engineer to further evaluate indications of structural distress in the home). A good inspector will limit this kind of referral to only those things that cannot be adequately assessed within the scope of a home inspection.

In order to perform a proper home inspection, the home inspector must be able to access virtually every part of the house, open and inspect inside electrical panels, HVAC equipment, attic spaces, crawl spaces, etc. They will need to operate all of the systems and appliances that convey with the house. This includes virtually everything from the dishwasher, to the HVAC systems, to the automatic garage door operators, even the irrigation system. If the home inspector cannot adequately assess a system because the utility service is turned off, access to the system is obstructed or even because the A/C system throughput is being restricted by excessively dirty return filters, these will be disclaimed and identified in the report as systems which could not be properly inspected. These situations result in unnecessary time delays in the transaction and the additional cost a return trip to reinspect, either by a specialist or by the original home inspector to complete the inspection of those items that could not be properly inspected during the initial inspection. These issues can be avoided by proper planning and preparation on the parts of the buyer, seller and their agents.

Items to Inspect in Your Home Inspection Report

Most home purchase contracts allow the buyer to obtain a home inspection report, even if the Seller is selling as is, and Buyers are more likely to obtain a home inspection report than ever before, even when buying a home as is. So, what should you look for when you receive the inspection and what can you ask the Seller to repair?

“As Is” Contract Negotiations. With the typical “as is” contract, the Buyer can obtain an inspection and usually back out of the contract if it is unacceptable, but the Seller is not obligated to make any repairs. However, if you have an “as is” contract, a home inspection report can give you the opportunity to negotiate Seller repairs, a repair credit, or a lower purchase price.

Monetary Cap on Repairs. With a typical contract that does require Seller repairs, there is usually a limit on how much money the Seller is required to spend (usually a percentage of the sales price or a fixed dollar amount), a limit on what constitutes a “defect”, and a clause which allows the Buyer to back out of the contract if the cost of repairing the defects exceeds the Seller’s limit and the Seller is unwilling to make repairs which exceed the limit.

Defects. If done properly by a qualified person or company, the home inspection report will usually note every defect in a home, whether or not it constitutes a “defect” under the contract. The inspector’s job is to find everything that is or may be a potential problem, whether or not the Seller is obligated to fix the problem.

List Repairs by Seller. When reviewing a home inspection report, look at the sales contract language which deals with Seller repairs and highlight those items noted in the report which the Seller is obligated to fix. At a minimum, if your contract requires the Seller to make repairs, you should report these to the Seller and ask them to be made.

How to Prepare for a Home Inspection When Selling Your House

Here’s a scary scenario. Imagine you’ve been busy preparing your home to sell for months. You’ve been working diligently with your REALTOR, home stager, mortgage lender, and contractor to get everything perfect so that you can sell your home for the most money and move on to your next home. With eager anticipation, you wait for a good offer while your home is on the market and then, you get a great offer!

The excitement is exhilarating. You start thinking about the money that you will make off of your home sale and begin shopping online for your next home. Then, you get an email from your REALTOR showing 9 major items that the home inspector found while examining your property. Your buyers want all these items fixed before they will buy your home, or the deal is dead. This scenario happens all too often in real estate.

This is an easy situation to avoid though. You need to personally do a full home inspection yourself to make sure that you are aware of the potential issues that will come up on an inspection report when selling your home. This will keep you from the ultimate shock of your buyer’s repair requests. You can also hire a home inspector to check out these items for you.

1.) Windows/Screens: If there are any cracked/broken windows, damaged or missing screens, they may be written up in the report. Don’t panic. Just repair or replace what you choose in order to keep it off the report. If any double glass panels are “fogged” due to the seal being broken, it will probably be noted as well.

2.) Peeling Paint: Paint doesn’t last forever. It’s important to identify if your home needs new exterior paint before selling. Look for cracked, chipping, or bubbling paint around the exterior of the home, and areas where moisture builds up.

3.) Cracked Caulk: Caulking is important to seal a home from extreme weather conditions. For this reason, many home inspectors will look for cracked caulking around doors, windows, and water areas. This is an easy one to fix. Just purchase some high-grade caulking that fits the application needed and take care of it before the inspector shows up.

4.) Siding/Trim: Check for any loose boards that need to be refastened or replaced before a home inspection. If replacing exterior siding, be sure to match it to the original color and texture to leave a uniform look.

5.) Decks & Fences: Check for boards that need to be replaced, and see if any railing is loose. Check the framing of the fence for loose panels, and secure them back in place as needed.

6.) Positive Drainage: Make sure there is nowhere directly around the outside of the house that rainwater could flow TOWARD the house. Water should do just the opposite for the first 3 feet. This might mean a little shovel work. Also, make sure that downspouts pour 3’ away from the house or into a tray that does the same.

7.) Gutters: If the gutters are in need of cleaning, that may end up on the report. It’s best to clean the gutters before listing your home for sale. This is particularly important if you have a two-story home that overlooks gutters from the upper level windows. Clean gutters send a message to the buyers that the home has been well maintained. It’s an easy chore to knock out.

8.) Roof: A bad report can be at the top of the list of things buyers fear. You could be proactive and ask your agent to have a roofer give you an estimate on minor repairs (a tune-up). If you decide to do the repairs, you can then ask for a “Roof Certificate”. This will help put the buyers at ease.

9.) Air Conditioner: The unit on the outside of the house should be free of leaves and bushes to allow it to cool properly. Simply clean the area around the outside units to ensure that they are not obstructed by debris.

10.) Garage Door: Do a simple test. Open the door, have someone hit the button to close it, then wave your foot in the path of the infrared beam (electric eye path near the ground). It should stop then reverse the door back to open position. Next, repeat this -except instead of waving your foot, grab the door with both hands and make it stop. It should offer some push against you then reverse back to open position. The inspector will most likely perform both of these tests.


One of the steps in the home selling process is having your home inspected by someone the seller has chosen.  The Home inspection is important to both the buyer and the seller, but to the seller it represents another hurdle to getting the contracts signed.   As an inspector I take people on tours of the homes they are planing on buying and talk them through the inspection process, showing them the good, the bad and the really bad.  One of the things that I see on a regular basis is how little many seller does to prepare for that inspection.  Some sellers just assume that there is nothing they can do to alter the outcome of the inspection, that’s where they are wrong.   Following a few simple steps like those listed below can change the way an inspection occurs and possibly even shorten the amount of items on the inspection report.

Clean the House

This sounds so simple yet home owners often overlook this tactic. Home inspectors are people first and inspectors second. As people, they carry preconceived ideas of how well a home has been maintained. Clean homes say you care and take care of the house.

Be On Time Because the Inspector Will Be

Sometimes home inspectors are early. If an inspector makes an appointment with you for 9:00 a.m., have the house ready for inspection at 9:00 a.m. It’s also common for inspectors to start on the exterior of the home, so leave the shades down or drapes drawn until you are dressed. More than one unprepared seller has been “surprised” by a stranger stomping around in the back yard.

Leave the Utilities Connected

The home inspector will need to turn on the stove, run the dishwasher, test the furnace and air conditioning, so leave the utilities on, especially if the house is vacant. It’s impossible to check receptacles for grounding and reverse polarity if the power is turned off. Without utilities, the inspector will have to reschedule, which could delay the closing of your transaction and the removal of the buyer’s home inspection contingency.

The DIY Home Inspection Checklist

Save time and money on costly future home repairs, by performing a DIY home inspection. Once you know the trouble spots to look out for, you can easily examine your home throughout the year.

We’ve provided a helpful home inspection checklist that you can refer to as often as needed. It’s helpful to take notes of issues and repairs and make sure it’s dated. This log will serve as a great reference point as long as you live in your home.

Rotted Wood: Probe joist ends and sill plates with a screwdriver or an ice pick. Soft spots may indicate wet or dry rot, especially if the floor above sags. Look for bubbling or rippled paint and check behind siding for rotting wood. Rotted wood should be repaired immediately.

Holey Joists: Poorly placed drill holes or notches for wire, pipe or duct can sap a floor joist’s strength. What’s safe varies by manufacturer, but here are some rules of thumb: No holes or notches in the top or bottom flanges of an I-joist. Even big holes could be okay in the center, but not the ends, of the framing. Drilled holes must be at least 2 in. from top or bottom and no greater than one-third the depth of an I-joist. Notches in a conventional lumber joist should not exceed one-sixth of its depth or penetrate the center third of the joist span.

Termite Tubes: Pencil-thick tubes snaking along joists may mean trouble. Break the tubes. If termites spill out or the tube is repaired in a few days, call an exterminator.

Hire A Professional Moving Company For Your Local Moving


Planning a move can be an overwhelming task, especially because of the ever-present long list of activities that needs to be done. Packing, loading, unloading, and unpacking things can be quite a hassle, especially for people who find it hard to make time. To save the hassle, many people nowadays opt for hiring moving companies that can assist them in packing and moving their belongings.

It is very important that you select movers that best suit your requirements. While you can find a lot of professional moving companies that operate nationally, there are a few reasons why using a local moving company is a much better option.


Hiring local movers can be much more affordable than turning to a national moving company. Since local companies only operate within a designated area, they have lower operating costs because they only drive short distances. These companies charge you much lower prices compared to their nationally-operating counterparts. If you are planning a move within the same vicinity, hiring a local moving company is best for you.

Credibility and reliability

Most people think that national moving companies are more experienced and reliable. This is not a truthful perception since most of the local movers are well-trained, licensed, and insured. Since they operate locally, they have a better understanding of the surroundings and they are usually much more experienced. Local movers also usually pay more attention to detail and offer time-management and reliability to keep their clientele satisfied.

Expert Knowledge of the Area and the Roadways

When it comes to local moves, many times the rate is based on an hourly minimum, taking additional labor and driving time into account. A local moving company will know the area, allowing them to utilize the most efficient routes for your move while avoiding heavy traffic, saving you time and money. Local movers will also know the best places to park the moving truck, which may come in handy in Pittsburgh where parking can be limited.

Movers can Anticipate Your Needs

Because they understand what is required to move in the area and know what many of the homes and businesses are like, local movers can anticipate the type of packing as well as the materials you will need for your specific move. This knowledge allows them to be better prepared and have the necessary supplies on-hand.

No heavy lifting for you

This one is the most obvious one, but just think about it. You will not only save yourself from heavy lifting, but you will avoid any potential injuries and damages when it comes to your local move. Just imagine moving your huge china cabinet with your friends. It doesn’t seem tempting. Also, if you hire professional movers, you won’t have to bug your friends to help you out with your local move.

Your items will be safe

Another important thing is that once you hire someone who is professional, your belongings will be way safer when your movers handle them. You probably don’t have any experience when it comes to moving and you can have someone who is performing moves for paycheck. Sounds way better.

Time efficiency

Moving itself is a very long process, not only do you have to pre-pack your smaller belongings, but you will need to schedule the perfect date that works for both you and your friends and family that will help you out. Once you call professional movers, you will set the date and they will do it in just one day. 

Experienced staff

So you’ve decided on moving, and starting a new life somewhere away from your current home. Naturally, the first thing you’ll be doing is making a budget. Quickly, you’ll realize there’s one key thing you need to decide on right away – are you going to move on your own? Or is there a reason why you should hire professional movers?Going at this on your own can seem tempting. You rent a van, ring up a couple of old friends, promise them food and drinks and voilà! You’ve got yourself a little moving gang! But pretty soon, you’d realize that’s a big mistake. Simply put, you and your friends have little to no experience with moving. And yeah, that might not seem like a big deal now – but wait till you run into the first hurdle! There are a hundred things that could go wrong during a move. And that’s why you want experienced people with you on every step of the way to your new home. Think about it – would you want to fly an aircraft by yourself, or let a seasoned pilot do it for you? The same goes for moving – so hire a professional moving company, strap in, and enjoy the flight!Safety is primarily why you should hire professional moversLet’s talk about another thing you probably haven’t thought about when making a decision about moving – safety. Okay, now you’re thinking “don’t be ridiculous, what’s so unsafe about moving?!” Let us put it another way. Remember that time you tripped or stubbed your toe on a piece of furniture while trying to move it around? Relocating your home is basically doing this, for as long as it takes to move all of your things from your old house to your new one.


Another benefit of using a local moving company is that it is much more convenient to access their services. Their small clientele base makes it easier for you to book their services on a short notice. These services are usually much more flexible in their timings and it is easier to schedule a move with these companies. Local moving companies also move faster than the national companies since their schedule is more flexible and they can work on short notices.


Another advantage of using local companies is that they often offer added security to their customers. It is easier to learn their history and track record since they only operate locally. Some companies also offer safe and secure storage facilities with higher flexibility in operating policies than their nationwide competitors.

These companies have the appropriate tools to help them handle your belongings safely. Some of the companies also offer refurbishment or compensation for any damages to your belongings.

Important Vacuum Attributes For Residential Cleaning

Top 5 Benefits of Hiring Professional Cleaning Services

If you’ve ever tried to clean a commercial workplace by yourself then you’ll know that it is a difficult and demanding task and it can end up looking ‘not quite right’. This is because despite your best efforts it is still missing the professional touch. So, if you are thinking about hiring professional cleaning services but haven’t quite made up your mind yet, these 5 reasons should convince you that it’s really worth it! All businesses can see astonishing results and will notice many benefits when they hire a professional cleaning provider.

Specialised Tools and Equipment

A professional provider will be aware of all of the major innovations and developments in the cleaning industry. They have invested their resource into finding the absolute best cleaning materials and equipment available on the market. They should have a wide range of supplies and specific tools and cleaning products for every job. They will know when and where to use each tool and will use these to deliver impeccable and high-quality cleaning results.

Trained and Skilled Staff

A professional cleaning company will have a pool of highly trained and skilled staff. The employees are professional and have attended many hours of training. They will have unique training to clean all commercial environments and will do be able to deliver cleaning results efficiently. All of their staff should also be security vetted and background checked so that you are confident that they are hiring only the best teams of people.

Reduce your Environmental Footprint

When it comes to environmental care, the cleaning industry has made great strides in recent years. A reputable cleaning company will be committed to ensuring that its products are as environmentally friendly as possible. They will have environmentally friendly solutions that are safe for both the environment and of course the people in contact with them.

A Plan Tailored to your needs

Professional cleaning companies will be eager to please their clients and will listen to your requirements closely. They will work alongside you ensuring that they devise a cleaning schedule that suits your business. They should be flexible and ready to work inside or outside of your business hours and should be able to mobilise their teams if extra work becomes a requirement. They will also remain adaptable and will change their schedule to suit business needs.

Deliver Exceptional Results

The most noticeable overall benefit to your business will be the physical transformation. You will be surprised at just how much of a difference a professional cleaning services provider can make to the look of your business. Your business will be gleaming and will become a very welcoming environment. With their professionally trained staff, superior work and fast response times you should be 100% satisfied with the look of your business. A superior cleaning routine like this leaves a great impression every single time.

Why hire a commercial cleaning service?

Hiring a professional cleaning company can bring great benefits to your company.

There are a number of reasons to hire a professional cleaning service to clean your retail space or office building.

Below we will cover just a few of the reasons why you should hire a professional cleaning service.

  • The #1 reason to hire a cleaning service for your business is because they are the professionals! They are trained in the proper way to clean, dust, and sanitize your office space. Having a clean office is more than just being organized. The professionals know the way to give your office the clean environment it needs.
  • When the professionals come they bring their own supplies. Chances are you don’t just have toilet cleaner or disinfectant in the supply room. In order to get the deep clean your office or retail space needs, you have to have the right cleaning supplies. And you will always know that the paper towels in the bathroom are stocked.
  • Time is money. If you are spending time cleaning your own office or delegating cleaning duties to your staff, you are losing time, money, and productivity. It can also lower morale in the office. Your staff does not want to clean the toilet, they want to do what they were hired to do. Let your staff do what they are best at, and leave the cleaning to the professionals.
  • When your office or retail space is clean, dust free and properly sanitized it can cut down on germs and your staff will be less likely to get sick. If your staff is out sick it puts a strain on the rest of the staff and could lower productivity. A clean and healthy environment leads to a happy office staff.

Move Stress Free

Even though you may feel excited from moving out, there’s also the stress that comes with it. You will have to pack up, find a new place to live, and tend to family and job responsibilities as well. If you are moving out because you are selling your home, you also have to stage the house and deal with the realtor and the buyer whom they represent. Although you would have many things to do, you still will need to clean your house before it is sold.

How to remove the stress out of your move

Torn wallpapers, dust bunnies, and tons of accumulated junk are among the things you’ll leave behind when you move. However, you can’t leave your home as it is, especially if you are selling it. You need to make it look appealing for the new owner, which is a stressful but necessary task to do. You can lower your stress level by hiring a professional cleaner  who would help clean up before leaving.

By letting a professional do the cleanup and garbage disposal for you, more time is freed up for you to focus on other important tasks related to your move and house sale. The house gets cleaned up while you hop from one place to another, looking for a new place to stay. The peace of mind that comes with hiring a professional cleaner is worth it. You can even let the cleaning company redo their work if you are unsatisfied with the quality of their job.

How to Keep a Mop Clean

With a few easy steps, you can keep your mop sanitary so that it successfully cleans your floors.

  • Rinse the mop thoroughly after each use. When you are finished mopping, rinse any cleaning solution and dirt from the mop in a sink until the mop is completely clean. Traces of dirt will spread grime during the next use, and leftover soap residue can damage your mop.
  • Wash your mop. If your mop is machine washable, use the washing machine to clean it. Follow the cleaning directions on the mop. A gentle cycle at the hottest temperature is usually recommended. If the mop head is not machine washable, create a mixture of half water, half bleach in a clean bucket (enough to cover the mop head), and soak the mop head for 15 minutes. Rinse the mixture from the mop until the water runs completely clear.
  • Allow the mop to completely dry. To prevent bacteria growth make sure the mophead is dry before storing it away. To do this, start by wringing the mop out as much as you can. Then place the mop head outside on a clothesline; sunshine will naturally kill bacteria and mold. If that’s not possible, stand the mop upright in a bathtub or other well ventilated and dry area. The goal is to avoid mildew and bacteria growth.
  • Store the mop properly. A cool, dry place is a perfect storage location. Try hanging it so the mop head avoids brushing against the floor. If you’ve allowed the mop to dry thoroughly, the mop should be fine for the next use.
  • Replace the mop head when needed. Prevent your mop from becoming a cleaning hazard by replacing the mop head. Aim for a replacement every two to three months or sooner if it looks very dirty. Your floors are only as clean as your mop head; a soiled and worn mop will not be effective.

Kids Ceiling Fans

Can you Paint Popcorn Ceilings

Can it be done? Yes!

I was quite surprised, and she said she had read that you can’t paint these ceilings because the stucco falls off. So to set the matter straight I figured I would research and write a blog about it. You certainly can paint “stucco” ceilings. Sure they aren’t easy, but it can be done. Another surface to decorate in your home!

Has it been previously painted?

Painting stucco ceilings is more difficult than painting regular ceilings. The stucco ends up flinging paint everywhere (much more than painting a regular ceiling) and some of the stucco itself does fall off the ceiling too. Just like painting any surface, putting paint on a stucco ceiling has some tricks to it.  Spraying the stucco is probably the easier way to do it, but sometimes that’s not practical (like if there is furniture in the room). Considering most homeowners paint their home after thy move in, painting the ceiling with a roller is the only option available.

Step one to paint stucco ceilings:

The first thing you need to do to paint stucco ceilings is to find out if it had been painted before. When painting this Pickering home shown here, we knew that the ceiling was previously painted. If it hasn’t or you don’t know, you’ll need to prime it first and prime it with an alkyd (oil based) primer.

Before painting, make sure everything is covered.

Step two is to COVER EVERYTHING! When you’re priming, if the stucco ceiling hasn’t been painted before there will be some pieces that fall off the ceiling. Don’t worry though, it won’t be enough to notice a difference in the texture, but you will want to make sure that the area is completely covered under the stucco you’re painting. If you’re not planning on painting the walls after the ceiling, you’ll need to tape plastic to the walls as well because otherwise you’ll have primer and paint splashes all over.

Paint ceiling and let it dry

Step three is to paint the primer and let it dry. If there are stains on the stucco ceiling, you might want to paint over those stains with the primer, let it dry, then prime the whole ceiling.  Be aware that it will take longer for the stucco to dry than it does walls. It takes longer because there is so much more paint on the stucco than what gets put on the walls and because there is crevices that the paint goes into and needs longer to dry. If you’re painting the walls it’s not a bad idea to cut in the first coat of the walls while you’re waiting for the stucco to dry.

What is this bumpy stuff on my ceiling that looks like popcorn or cottage cheese?

The ceilings of many homes and apartments are not painted, but instead are coated with a substance that has a bumpy texture. It looks like this: This treatment is normally called a textured finish or an acoustic finish by builders, but most people refer to it as popcorn.

This sort of ceiling treatment is popular for several reasons:

It keeps you from having to plaster and sand the ceiling. If you’ve ever done it, you know that plastering a ceiling is no fun.

It hides lots of imperfections in the ceiling. The ceiling is a huge, flat, uninterrupted and well-lit expanse. Any imperfection is immediately obvious. The texturing hides imperfections very effectively.

It helps eliminate echo in a room. If you have ever talked in a room before and after carpeting, you know what a big difference carpet makes on echoes. An acoustic finish is like carpeting the ceiling.

There are many different ways to put a texture on a ceiling, but the most common technique involves mixing some sort of lumpy aggregate — either vermiculite or polystyrene — with ceiling paint. The mixture is then sprayed onto the ceiling using a special spray gun like the hopper texture gun from Lemmer. It goes on in one coat, and once it dries (like normal paint), you’re done!

The Easiest Way To Paint Tall Walls

Our living room has always been top on my list to paint. The colors from the previous owners never jived with me — yellow mustard and the dirt brown had to go. As much as I wanted to make this rather simple DIY change to our home, the vaulted ceilings always made me hesitate. How in the heck was I ever going to reach the tip top of our 20 ft walls?! But thanks to Wagner, who supplied me with the right tools and sponsored this post, my living room now has beautiful walls that I love! If you’ve been looking for a great tutorial, this is the easiest way to paint tall walls.

As you can see, that mustard color even made it’s way into my kitchen, off the hall. I’ve never been so excited to paint in my life!

Lucky for me, I snagged all of my paint at Sherwin Williams on sale for 30% off. I purchased 5 gallons of Repose Gray, which may seem like a lot. But I only had half a gallon leftover when I finished. So I think that was just about the perfect amount of paint.

Next I gathered my painting tools. I promise you, this is exactly what you need for the easiest way to paint tall walls! This post contains affiliate links for your shopping convenience. Click here to read my full disclosure policy.

Then you will need your standard paint supplies:

paint tray

several paint brushes of varying sizes (for cutting and hard to reach areas)

paint drop cloths (to protect furniture and floors)

an extra high and sturdy ladder — mine extends to 25 ft (I bought a new one just for this job, but it will totally be used around the home in the future I’m sure!)


Fundamental Painting Tips to Know Before You Pick Up a Brush

Consider the amount of light and the decorative elements in a room when . Light colors tend to open up a room, making it seem lighter and more spacious. Dark hues can add depth and warmth. Use a dark color on a single accent wall to create visual interest without making the room feel smaller. Before , pay special attention to how surrounding elements will reflect light and alter the color. For example,  might make white walls look pink.

One factor you , the degree of light reflection off the painted surface. In other words, how much the paint shines. Sheen affects the finish’s appearance, durability, and suitability for certain uses. As the amount of sheen increases, so does the enamel value, which determines the hardness or protective value of the coating. Generally, the higher the gloss, the better the finish will , abrasions, and cleaning. Choosing sheen can be a matter of personal preference, but there are some general guidelines to follow. Flat paint is widely  but is not a good choice for walls in high-traffic areas. Eggshell works well in bedrooms, , and hallways where frequent cleaning is not needed. Easier-to-wash satin or semigloss paints are good choices for bathrooms and kitchens. Use high-gloss paints for trim, cabinetry, and doors that are in perfect condition

You probably  by looking at it under a different type or intensity of light than what’s in your room. Sunlight, daylight, fluorescent light, halogen light, and incandescent light affect colors differently. So bring the sample card into the room you intend to paint and look at it several times during the day. See how the color looks using different kinds of artificial light before making a final decision. The only way to be certain about a paint color is to see it on the intended surface, surrounded by the room’s other elements. The best test is to buy sample sizes or quarts of a few colors, paint small sections of a wall, and observe during different lighting conditions. If you’re hesitant to paint your walls with samples, pick up some poster board and paint it instead. With this method, you can also see what the color looks like in different parts of your room.

Some manufacturers include calculators on their websites to help you figure out how many gallons of paint to buy. You can also use this formula: Add the widths of the walls, multiply that figure by the room’s height, then divide the total by 350 (the square footage that 1 gallon typically covers). This formula doesn’t factor in doors and windows, so you should have paint left over for touch-ups.

Don’t forget about a second coat, too! For the , you’ll want to apply a couple coats of paint. However, you might need additional coats, especially if you’re trying to cover a dark color with a lighter color. In this case, you’d want to use a primer as well.


Every time I put up images of our house on Instagram, I trigger a chorus of questions about having dark walls. So here are some secrets of the dark side, revealed.


Yes, it will be dark. But with enough lighting, some colour pops and a mirror opposite a window to bounce light around, it will look amazing.


No, feature walls are for wimps. You won’t make an impact with a feature wall, go big or go home. Immersive colour is the way forward. Plus, a room immersed in dark colour makes skin tones look amazing. You’ll feel like you’re in a film.


Yes, it will. Be prepared to touch it up every six months. I usually go around with a sample pot and a cotton bud touching up dings and scratches.


In my experience, the room will look more edgy if you paint the ceiling. If you’re after a cool look, paint everything the same colour, skirting boards, doors, fireplaces. Then make sure you add lots of soft furnishings otherwise you run the risk of looking like a gastropub or a nightclub in the daytime – Eeew, sticky floors.