Custom Hardwood FLooring For Your Kitchen

Should I choose Engineered or Solid Hardwood Flooring?

You would find it difficult to tell the difference between engineered or solid hardwood flooring once they have been installed, but they are very different types of flooring.  They are both made from real hardwood, but in very different ways.  The main difference between engineered and solid wood flooring is in the construction of the planks.  This, in turn, affects how, when and where they can be used.  The choice between engineered or solid usually depends upon your preference and also where and how you want the flooring to be fitted.

What Is Engineered Hardwood?

Engineered wood is built with 3 to 14 layers of ply. The ply layers are cross arranged, glued, and pressed together to make them strong. The top part of the wood contains a 4mm wood veneer that is sanded over time to continue to restore the engineered wood’s original appearance.

Engineered wood is made using different wood materials. Those consist of wood, sawdust, metals, and other artificial boards if they are durable. However, the top part of the wood consists of a water-resistant material that protects the inner parts.

Engineered hardwood flooring looks wonderful in your dining room, living room, or bedroom. You can also limit its use in the bathroom and the other areas exposed to humidity because moisture shortens its lifespan.


What is solid hardwood flooring?

Solid hardwood flooring is simply made from a solid piece of hardwood.  The wood is cut straight from the tree trunk, then made into a plank of flooring by a machine.  You will be able to find solid wood flooring with different species of wood, varying plank sizes and a choice of finish.  Alternatively you could opt for unfinished solid wood flooring.  This gives you the chance to install your hardwood floor first and then match a colour stain and style of finish to you décor.

Solid hardwood flooring is popular and widely desired as it is thought to create a luxurious appeal to your home. The majority of solid wood flooring comes with the more traditional tongue and groove fitting profile, although you can find solid wood parquet blocks and occasionally click fitting planks.  Solid wood flooring need to be fixed into position during installation.  It cannot be floated over an underlay as it needs the stability of being securely fixed to the subfloor.

What are the advantages of solid hardwood flooring?

  • It is the most traditional and luxurious type of wooden flooring.
  • The planks are made from just one solid piece of hardwood.
  • You have the option of sanding and re-finishing your flooring a number of times if and when required.
  • Your solid wood flooring has a long life expectancy, offering a timeless and charismatic appeal.
  • You can find solid wood flooring in a wide variety of species of wood, ranging from light to dark with different patterns and grains.
  • The planks of solid flooring can be found in random lengths and different widths so that you can choose something which suits your surroundings.
  • The tongue and groove fitting system is the more traditional and well established method of installation.
  • You have the choice of either unfinished or pre-finished planks of solid wood flooring.


What Makes Engineered Wood Special?

Engineered hardwood is strong, and this is one of the reasons why it is special. The different ply layers joined with glue makes it more resistant to damage and other external impacts. In fact, due to its strength, it’s useable high traffic corridors or living areas.

Below is a list of other benefits of engineered wood that make it a popular choice for homeowners.

⎆ Low Maintenance

Every floor requires proper maintenance to retain the aesthetic and functional features. While some floors need in-depth cleaning and costly polishing, engineered wood’s maintenance requirements are small by comparison.

After installation, you only need to wipe the spills using a soft cloth. But, you must wipe them immediately so they don’t leave a mark. While there is no specific process for cleaning engineered hardwood floor, you must at least keep it clean to prolong its life.

⎆ Easy to Install

Ideally, you want to hire a competent person to do the installation. However, the truth is that engineered wood is easy to install. You might even try a DIY installation if you understand the basics.

Even if you hire an expert, they take minimal time in the installation and you pay less over other types of flooring installations.

⎆ Multiple Styles and Finishes

Versatility is a major concern when choosing a wooden floor. As a homeowner, you want the best floor that matches your home’s interior, and that’s exactly what engineered hardwood provides.

In fact, it comes in many colors, styles, and designs. The wide array of options makes it possible to choose the best for your needs. Furthermore, you may resize it to fit your space.

Before you install, compare the different engineered wood grades and make sure to choose the best quality.

⎆ Affordable

The initial installation costs for engineered wood are less in comparison to solid wood. Even so, the flooring appearance is great. This also means you enhance the appearance of your home without breaking a bank.


Where do you want to install the flooring?

Where you want the flooring to go may help you to decide whether to choose engineered or solid hardwood flooring. Solid wood flooring is great for high traffic areas as it can be sanded down and re-finished multiple times.  So if you are looking for flooring for an entrance hallway or living area then solid wood flooring could be a good option. If however, you want hardwood flooring for a room where temperature or humidity is continually fluctuating, we would recommend engineered hardwood.  For example, conservatories, rooms with a lot of glazing or even for a kitchen.  Engineered hardwood flooring has been designed to withstand slight changes in its surroundings, so can cope with changing air temperature, or moisture in the air.

Do you have underfloor heating?

If you are thinking about using underfloor heating with your wooden flooring then you will need to choose engineered hardwood.  Engineered hardwood is the perfect match for underfloor heating. It allows the heat to be transferred to the surface of you floor safely.  Engineered hardwood can cope with the constant changes in temperature and will react accordingly.  It will expand and contract and is dimensionally stable enough not to become damaged by the heat from underneath.  We would not recommend using solid wood flooring with underfloor heating.

What is your budget?

If you have a tight budget for your floor then engineered hardwood usually works out more cost effective than solid.  Solid hardwood is generally more costly because of the amount of solid wood that is used for each plank of flooring.  Be careful not just to assume that engineered is better value than solid hardwood.  Some types of engineered flooring can be quite costly, especially if you choose a rare species of wood, or opt for a very wide plank size.  Always be sure to check both options when deciding what is best for you.


How To Select Hardwood Flooring

Once you understand your budget and personal or environmental flooring preferences, there are a few simple steps you can follow to help you drill down to the best hardwood flooring choices for your home.

1- Color Preference – Before starting to select wood flooring, it is always a good idea to have a color palette in place. What we mean by that is you should know the general colors you are going to be using for furniture, paint, etc. in order to give yourself a palette of colors to match with. This will enable you to more easily narrow your flooring color options down to a manageable number.

On the other hand, if you are starting with floor color and do not yet know what furnishings, paint and other elements you are going to be using in your home design, this can be more challenging. You will need to begin with an open mind on floor color and allow your eyes and preferences to guide your selection.

2- Smooth or Distressed – Next you will want to determine your wood floor finish preference. Do you like the look of distressed wood, a smooth flooring style or maybe handscraped hardwood?

Selecting the texture you prefer will help eliminate wood flooring that might not come in that style.

3- Board Width – Another wood flooring style consideration is plank size or board width. There are virtually hundreds of options of wood floor widths to choose from. Typically sizes range from 2 1/4″ up to 11″. Just as with finishes, choosing the width that best fits your decor plan will help you eliminate wood floor options that may or may not come in that specific size.

4- Wood Floor Species – Hardwood flooring, engineered hardwood, and even laminate flooring comes in many different species. Each species of wood flooring provides a different base color, design pattern and overall look (Oak, Birch, Maple, etc). In addition, the varying hardness of a specific wood flooring species plays a role in its suitability for various installation applications based on the species hardness and overall durability. See hardwood hardness examples.

5- Environmental Application – Ask yourself about the conditions that you are going to be not only installing your new wood flooring but the daily environment that your wood flooring will exist in. For example, if you have small children, active dogs, high traffic areas may require a more resilient wood flooring type. Other considerations such as available natural light, moisture areas such as bathrooms or basements could also impact color or composite preferences.

6- Sustainability – Finally, consider your green requirements for your new wood flooring. Are you looking for highly sustainable green flooring options such as bamboo wood floors, or will lower impact environmentally friendly engineered hardwood flooring. Both are considered to be more Green friendly options over the traditional solid hardwood flooring.

How To Become A Professional Wedding Photographer

Questions To Ask Your Wedding Photographer

I’ve already written a blog post about how to go about choosing your wedding photographer, as it can be one of the HARDEST parts of planning your big day! But I wanted to also write a more narrowed down post about what questions you should be asking when talking to different photographers you’ve inquired with, because SO often, a bride tells me, “My friend told me to ask these questions,” or “I didn’t know what to ask, so my mom gave me a list.” And don’t get me wrong – that’s fine! But I wanted to give you questions from a photographer’s point of view so that you really understand WHAT you’re asking and WHY you should be asking it!

How far do you travel? What are your travel fees?

Photographers should be open with you about why they charge what they do for travel fees. They shouldn’t be taking advantage and trying to charge you more than they would really need for a trip, but they also need to take into account not only flights/gas but lodging, food, and transportation – which can add up fast!

What rights will we have to our photos?

Wedding photographers do NOT usually give out copyright to photos, but make sure you know what rights you have to print + share your photos!

How many photos will we receive?

Photographers will typically have an estimated number of photos they deliver per hour of coverage.

Are you able to help us with vendor recommendations (e.g. makeup artists, florists, etc.) if needed?

Don’t stress if you don’t know any awesome vendors to reach out to! Photographers typically have lists of wedding vendors that they love & t trust to refer to couples.

If we want a second photographer, do you have a specific one you’d bring with you? Or do we choose?

Some photographers have specific photographers they reach out to to second shoot for them, and others sometimes have couples choose. It’s important you know what to expect if you want a second photographer! (Need help deciding if you want to hire one or not?


What Is Your Working Style?

Different photographers shoot in different ways. Some are very active and animated throughout the day, and some refuse to say a word unless spoken to.

There’s nothing wrong with any of the different shooting styles photographers have, as long as it’s what you’re looking for!

If you’re looking for guidance on being posed or help being reminded throughout the day and sticking to a timeline, a “fly on the wall” type of photographer probably isn’t for you. But if the idea of a photographer capturing only candid moments with no interactions sounds like a breath of fresh air, a documentary working style sounds perfect!

Ultimately, it comes down to making sure your photographer’s working style aligns with what you want for your wedding day. If you’re unsure, ask why they like to shoot that way, and you’ll know if it’s something you want!

Are You Insured?

Ask this question, and the amount of people that say no may surprise you.  Insurance costs money, but it’s a very important part of making sure your photographer is prepared.

Whether it’s a tipsy groomsman accidentally breaking photography equipment (it’s happened before!), or an assistant getting injured on the day of, you should be sure your photographer has the proper equipment and liability insurance.

Most venues are actually requiring a certificate of these insurances now, because the last thing you want is to deal with a legal battle that you shouldn’t even be a part of because the photographer wasn’t insured.  Make sure your photographer is prepared with the proper insurance!


How long have you been working as a wedding photographer?

The skills needed to be a successful wedding photographer are not easily gained. There are few photographic environments that are quite as busy, or indeed hectic, and stamina sapping. So, your wedding photographer needs not only to have the photographic skills to take both the standard and informal shots but be able to confidently and authoritatively handle people.

This really can only be mastered by experience, so unless you are on a very tight budget make sure that your wedding photographer has enough experience working in the wedding industry.

How many weddings do you shoot each year?

Between 8 and 20 is not an unreasonable answer. Very few photographers just exist doing weddings alone, as they are very hard work if they are to do them right, and the last thing you want is a photographer that does 50 plus and just goes through the wedding in auto-pilot.

Another point to consider is that editing your photos is a very time consuming process, so your wedding photographer must have the time available to send you your images back promptly and retouched where necessary to your satisfaction.

Can we review some of your albums/galleries that cover the whole wedding?

A wedding photographer’s style can easily be assessed from their website, Facebook, Instagram and Twitter feeds, however, these will only include their greatest hits.

Therefore, you will want to look through a recent whole album/gallery, and maybe more that one. This will show how the wedding photographer has coped with the whole day end-to-end, with varying lighting conditions, indoors and out and with the different personalities amongst the guests. It will also show you how well they have maintained their style and not just for themselves but that of the second photographer if it is included in the package.

Some additional things that you can look for are; is the composition good and consistent, are the important incidental shots captured (like the groom’s first glimpse of the bride), are the faces clear with the eyes sharp and the image background not distracting from the subjects, do the photographs flatter the subjects with them look relaxed, and is there a good mixture of formal shots of portraits and group with casual informal shots?

Have you worked at the venue we have chosen?

Knowing a venue is an important bit of photographic preparation, it allows the photographer to know where to set up the shots, know how to judge the lighting, be aware of any restrictions and indeed know how to move around the place.  If a photographer has worked at your venue before they will have experience of the lighting and the venue layout.

If your wedding photographer is not familiar with the venue you should get a commitment from them that they will do a reconnaissance visit of the venue beforehand.


What Information Do You Require To Know Before The Wedding Day?

Essentially the wedding photographer cannot function if they do not know the timetable/schedule/running order of the day – this is not just the exact time and place of the ceremony. For example if they are doing the bride and groom getting prepared, then they will need to know where these will take place, they may need to know the departure and arrival timing of the wedding transport, when speeches are scheduled, when the cake will be cut, and not only when the first dance will take place but what the lighting will be like.

What is your photography style?

You can break down the photographic disciplines used during the wedding day into three:

  • Reporting – This is the candid unposed shots that provides a documentary of your day.
  • Formal – Which focuses on the posed shots and group photos, essentially what everybody considers the classic wedding shots.
  • Editorial – That provides an air of contemporary glossy magazine.

While you will rightly expect that your wedding photographer should be able to master these elements, it is equally important that they do so with a consistent style or “look”.

So if you have selected a wedding photographer who matches your visual expectations, be it in highly-posed or natural and relaxed, make sure they can continue this across all the elements that will be used to capture the story of your wedding.


How Many Hours Do You Need To Book Your Wedding Photographer For?

When you’re in the middle of planning your wedding, you’re sure to come across many questions you never even thought to ask. From working how much to budget, which colours are on-trend, which signature cocktail to include on your bar menu … there are so many things you suddenly need to know, and it can get a little confusing.

I wanted to write a post for you to be able to refer to when you find yourself asking, “how many hours do we need to book our photographer for?” Most photographers offer multiple options for wedding photography coverage, and it can be difficult to work out what you need when you haven’t got everything worked out just yet.

One of the first things to consider is how you will structure your day – there plenty of options. You could take more the traditional option and have your ceremony before your bridal photos, or maybe a little less traditional and have a first look together with your bridal portraits before your ceremony.

6 Hours of Wedding Day Coverage

This is usually the least expensive package offered by some photographers, but that doesn’t mean it is only for couples with tight budgets! Six hours of coverage is plenty for smaller weddings and elopements.

Things to consider

  • Only works logistically if the ceremony and reception are in the same location or very close to each other.
  • Most likely means that there will not be much (or any) time for photos of you getting ready
  • All of the important moments (portraits, ceremony, family photos, first dance, cake cutting) should be able to be covered
  • The end of the night comes early with just 6 hours of coverage, so your timeline should be properly thought out.

8 Hours of Wedding Day Coverage

An 8-hour package is usually enough time for an average-size wedding, and the extra coverage will allow the photographer to capture the final part of getting ready, some detail shots of the reception space, and the start of the dance party.

Things to consider

  • Even though 8 hours seems like a lot of time, this works best for weddings where the ceremony and reception are at the same location.
  • Try to arrange the bride and groom getting ready locations to be fairly close to one another to avoid losing time in travelling between the two.
  • Longer coverage provides a time buffer should your timeline end up being pushed out on the day.
  • Remember to leave 20-30 minutes around golden hour to sneak out for some extra couple portraits.

10 Hours of Wedding Day Coverage

If you don’t want to feel rushed to get all of the most beautiful shots of your wedding day, then at least 10 hours of coverage is the way to go. It will allow your photographer enough time to get all of prep and detail shots, plus plenty of time for a first look or full sunset shoot (if you want to do one). Plus you won’t have to rush through any of the wedding party and family portraits before getting to eat, drink and dance.

Things to consider

  • At least 10 hours of coverage is recommended if your ceremony and reception are taking place in different locations. This allows your photographer enough time to travel between locations
  • If you want a longer bridal portrait session, or to go off-site for photos then 10 hours of coverage will allow this.
  • Longer coverage provides a time buffer should your timeline end up being pushed out on the day.

Hire A Home Electrical Safety Inspection Professional

Electrical Home Safety Inspection

A comprehensive electrical home inspection is an extremely valuable service and is an essential element to ensuring the safety and security of your family and property. It helps keeps you and your home safe from electrical malfunction and can also save you money by making your electrical system more energy efficient.

Main Electrical Panel

The main electrical panel is the heart of your entire electrical system. Electrical panels serve as the distribution center for electricity as they push the electricity through wires or circuits to different electrical systems in your home to keep it powered on. The main panel should be thoroughly inspected every year to make sure the wire connections are properly tightened and the breakers are properly connected to the buss bars, which are metallic strips or bars that conduct electricity within the main panel.

also use an infrared heat scan of your electrical panel to insure there aren’t any problematic hot spots developing. Without a highly reliable and functioning electrical panel, nothing will work the way it’s supposed to. That is why it’s important to have a Master Electrician perform annual inspections and maintenance on your main electrical panel.

GFCI Protection

A GFCI device protects us from receiving electric shocks from faults in the electrical devices we use in our home. It works by comparing the input current on the hot side to the output current on the neutral side. A GFCI acts as a circuit breaker of sorts, shutting off power to the outlet and devices in use when a ground fault is detected.  GFCI outlets should be tested once a month for safety reasons and every year by a professional electrician. They should be installed in the kitchen, bathrooms, and all outdoor outlets.

Smoke Detectors

Your smoke detector’s primary function is to notify you of any suspicious smoke inside your house. This includes everything from burnt cooking, improperly extinguished cigarettes, and electrical fires. Your smoke alarm will sound at the first sign of trouble warning you of a fire before the flames get out of control.

Existing Fluorescent and Incandescent Lighting

Both types of lighting can be retrofitted with LED fixtures. Many LEDs have a rated life of up to 50,000 hours, which is approximately 50 times longer than a typical incandescent bulb and 8-10 times longer than a CFL bulb. According to the U.S. Department of Energy, electricity used for artificial lighting in the U.S. could be cut by nearly half by 2030 through the adoption of high efficiency LEDs.



Have you recently moved into your home and wonder about the safety of your electrical system?

Do you know of numerous electrical problems, annoyances, and issues requiring inspection and repair before selling your home?

Do you live in an older home and want to feel reassured that your electrical is not only working but safe too?

Do you need a home safety inspection for insurance reasons?

Residential electrical fires result from broken wiring, defective cable insulation, electrical malfunctions, and short circuit arc. If you’re concerned about electrical issues in your home, we want to help.

Your home safety is essential for you and your family, so let us assure you that your electrical home system is operating correctly and that there are NO concerning problems.

lectrical home safety inspector thoroughly evaluates and reports on your whole home. This includes your home electrical panel, receptacles, GFI circuits, switches, breakers, bath fans, smoke detectors, fixtures, exposed wiring, and code violations.

Fill out the form on this page or give us a call and speak to one of our trained experts about your concerns and goals, and whether a whole home electrical inspection is right for you.


Home Electrical Inspection Checklist

Prevent expensive electrical headaches by keeping an eye out for these early warning signs. This quick electrical checklist will give you a few pointers on catching problems while they’re small — and when it’s time for a professional home electrical inspection.

Garage Electrical Inspection Checklist

For some homes, your electrical panel will be located in the garage. Because it is often exposed to weather, your garage could be at risk for problems related to moisture and heat that affect electrical service panels.

Rusty electrical panels

Frequently tripped circuit breakers

Older electrical system

Rusty Electrical Service Panels

If your fuse box is showing signs of moisture, mold, and/or rust, there’s a good chance that your wiring connections could be deteriorating. You should call your electrician to have your service panel or wires replaced before you’re left in the dark

Frequently Tripped Circuit Breakers

Another good sign that an electrical problem is on the horizon is if your circuit breakers are tripping frequently. If you brace yourself when turning on your favorite kitchen appliance because you know the breaker might trip, chances are you’ll need to call an electrician.

The Kitchen Electrical Inspection Checklist

It is often believed that the kitchen is the heart of the home. It’s also the place where most of your major appliances will be used. Therefore, it’s important to inspect your kitchen carefully for potential electrical hazards.

GFCI outlets

Dead appliances

Shocking appliances

GFCI Outlets

Modern homes are now being equipped with GFCI outlets in rooms where a large number of appliances are expected, like kitchens, bathrooms, and laundry rooms. If you’re unfamiliar with GFCI outlets, these are the outlets that have one or two buttons in between the plugs that can pop out from time to time. A GFCI outlet is designed to trip whenever there’s a risk for electric shock.


Why Should I Get An Electrical Safety Inspection?

When you are looking to buy a new home an electrical safety inspection can help you make the most informed decision. When you are buying a new home, a home inspection is one of the many requirements.  The home inspector will go through the home to make sure everything is in order.  The home must pass inspection before your settlement can take place. However, this inspection is limited.


As an electrician, I am often asked to perform electrical inspections and/or to fix the items on the home inspection report. Although a home inspector is trained to inspect homes and help buyers find any issues in the home before they go to settlement, many do not have a good electrical background and are apt to miss important details.

Also, most home inspectors don’t have the ability or the authority to fix the electrical problems they do come across.

In addition, while a home inspector may be able to tell you that the home is up to code, in many instances what they are telling you is that it is up to code for the time period in which it is built. This is because houses are grandfathered in to the year the house was built and are not required to be up to code.  However, there is a reason behind the updates to code

Most often it is because of safety. This is why it is a good idea to have a separate electrican safety inspection performed by a master electrician before settlement. We recommend that you have an inspection for safety, an inspection that doesn’t just tell you whether your home is up to code but whether you home is actually safe.

In some instances the home is simply aging, wires have heated up over the years, connections of loosened and rust is setting in.  However, the bigger issue we find is the trend towards DIY home improvements over the past decade.  While many people are capable of making some minor changes, such as adding a fan or changing an outlet, some have bitten off more than they can chew.


Our basic electrical safety inspection is a service in which we make sure your safety devices meet current standards.  This inspection includes checking your smoke detectors to make sure that they are not expired and are working correctly.  If your smoke detectors are more than 10 years old they should be replaced.  We can do this for you.


Electrical Safety Inspections

Conducting Home Inspections to Ensure Your Family’s Safety

For home buyers or recent home renovations, you will likely undergo an electrical safety inspection. These inspections review your home’s entire electrical system to make sure it is properly installed and operating to code. Keeping your family safe is the priority of these inspections.

Certified Triad-Area Electricians Performing all Inspections to Code

The electricity in your home is governed by a strict set of county regulations. We have an in-depth knowledge of these codes, as we have served the area for more than 30 years. If your home does not meet certain requirements, we give expert advice and guidance for righting the problem to give you a better chance of passing the final safety inspection.

During a safety inspection, the following items can be reviewed:

Wattage of your light bulbs in all lighting and appliances.

Waterproofing and safety for outdoor electrical systems.

Installation of surge protectors for necessary outlets, especially those in use by computers or other valuable electronic equipment.

Verification that all outlets are appropriately grounded.

Condition of your wiring system, making sure it is up-to-date and secure.

Age of the fuse box and condition of its parts.

Checking all sockets and fittings for lighting and appliances.

For swimming pools, review of control box and heating connections.

Planning for more outlets if necessary, per the demands of your home.

Smoke detector updates, making sure batteries are to date and the units are working.

How To Choose An Experienced Car Accident Lawyer

Do I Need a Lawyer if the Car Accident was Minor?

Many may ask themselves if a lawyer is necessary after any type of collision. When injuries and damages are minor, individuals may avoid seeking a legal representative. Some believe there is no reason for hiring a lawyer, and others may not know they are entitled to a lawyer after accidents. However, it is important to contact a professional when any type of accident ensues.

Most accidents are random and sudden. They may be an unexpected situation that requires time, money and energy to deal with. The health of an individual along with his or her safety is a great concern. Having a lawyer can help ensure that a victim receives compensation for the damages that he or she has suffered. It is important to obtain a lawyer to ensure all processes are accomplished correctly and in a timely manner.

Common Circumstances to Obtain a Lawyer

When liability is unclear or there is a dispute about who is responsible, legal representation should be considered. Organizing evidence may assist in clearing any dispute about liability and discover what chain of events led to the injury. If the damage is mostly to the vehicle, an examination may be required by an inspector. Additionally, if an individual has been served with documentation that they are involved in the lawsuit, it is best to contact a lawyer immediately in order to protect one’s legal rights and avoid forfeiting rights.

When an insurance settlement has been initiated, a lawyer’s counsel may be highly beneficial. These settlements should be reviewed by the lawyer. Because adjusters tend to offer lower numbers than expected for repairs to property as well as long-term injuries that require extensive medical treatment, a legal representative may review these terms to determine if they are acceptable. If the payment cannot cover all treatment and medical procedures, a renegotiation is usually necessary. For determining whether a total amount in a lump sum or payments are needed, the legal representative may analyze all healthcare processes with a healthcare professional.

Many insurance claims are denied. Technicalities may be the root cause companies deny these claims. Though they may be minor or inconsequential, these technicalities cause more pain and suffering due to stress. Lawyers obtained for these reasons assist in contesting denials so entitled compensation is received for those that have been injured. Even when injury is minor, some medical procedures are expensive, requiring compensation from insurance to assist in patient recovery.

Even minor injuries may lead to further consequences for the victim. The victim may not be able to return to the same line or work and may have to give up a favorite recreational activity. His or her relationship with other members of the victim’s family. These factors can be considered when a settlement is in question.

Minor injuries may also lead to complications or further damage not noticed until later. These injuries could lead to losing income at a job or career. These wages are factored into settlements, but a lawyer may assist in obtaining all needed payment.

Statute of Limitations

Though each state is different, the statute of limitations applies for personal injury claims and liability with traffic accidents. Some states have longer timeframes, while some have shorter timeframes such as the two year limitation in Illinois. No matter how minor the accident, it is important to know the rights a person has. A lawyer can explain the relevant statute of limitations as well as factors that may cut the time limit down such as when a governmental entity is involved.

Hiring a Lawyer

When involved in a traffic accident no matter how minor injuries sustained may be, the individual should seek legal representation from a lawyer who is knowledgeable about personal injury and liability. The lawyer retained should have a working knowledge on motor vehicle claims and on different medical procedures that may be implicated. The case history and reputation of the legal representative is important. Efficiency and professionalism may be the foundation to build a relationship between both client and hired lawyer.


How to Hire a Personal Injury Lawyer

If you were involved in any of the scenarios discussed above, you should contact a personal injury lawyer. Hiring a personal injury lawyer is an important decision. Your lawyer will represent your interests in settlement negotiations with the at-fault party’s insurance company, and will do so in court should you and your lawyer agree that filing a personal injury lawsuit is necessary.

How Long After a Car Accident Can I Make A Claim?

You must notify your own insurance company within seven days, or as soon as reasonably possible, that you wish to apply for no-fault accident benefits. You must file a completed Application for Accident Benefits with your insurance company within 30 days after receiving it. You have two years in Ontario within which to bring a lawsuit against the at-fault party for a personal injury claim. It is best to contact a lawyer early to ensure that proper steps are taken, notices are given, and deadlines are not missed. You do not have to retain a lawyer right away, but it can help you learn about your legal rights.


When Do I Need an Attorney for a Car Accident Claim?

If you’re involved in a fender bender, where no one is injured, your car accident claim can usually be handled through the insurance company without much fuss. Anything more serious than that, though, needs car accident claimmore consideration.

Here are some factors to consider when deciding whether you need an attorney for a car accident claim.

How serious are your injuries? How long did it take you (or will it take you) to recover?

First, it’s important to remember that every case is unique, and so are the ways people define a “significant” loss or “high” costs. What is a devastating loss to one person may not be to another.

To give a general idea, if you had (or have) a serious injury that:

  • Affected you for a long time
  • Caused you to be hospitalized
  • Caused you to miss work or school
  • Resulted in a lost income
  • Resulted in extensive medical bills
  • May be long-term (lasting about a year or more) or permanently disabling

… you may have a significant claim and should at least consult with an attorney. Even if you ultimately decide not to hire, a consultation can help you understand your options.

The more you have at stake, the better it is to have an attorney’s help. Insurance companies have attorneys of their own, with the goal of reducing settlement amounts or denying claims. The higher the amount of the claim, the harder the insurance companies and their attorneys fight.

For claims involving long-term or permanently disabling injuries, you really need an attorney.  Such injuries can affect not only your quality of life, but your livelihood and ability to work. You may incur future medical expenses related to your injury and complications may develop. Proving these types of injuries is complex and challenging, and should be handled by an experienced personal injury attorney.


Is fault contested in your accident? Is the other driver’s insurance company disputing liability and refusing to pay?

If the other driver caused your accident but they and/or their insurance company won’t admit it, there’s immediate cause for concern.

When an insurance company disputes their policyholder’s liability, they are essentially saying that their policyholder is not at fault and they are not responsible for paying your damages.

This happens because it may not be clear who was at fault. A police report may inaccurately describe the accident. There may be discrepancies among witnesses. Or, the insurance company may simply believe that you don’t have enough evidence that their policyholder was at fault.

When fault is contested, you must prove that the other driver caused the accident or you will lose the claim. An accident attorney can help you provide evidence and prove the other driver was at fault.

Are you concerned the settlement offer you received from the insurance company is too low?

It’s no secret that early settlement offers from insurance companies can be low. Many people accept them, even if they have misgivings, just to move on. No one likes the hassle of dealing with insurance claims. However, it’s often worth taking a deeper look, especially if you might have a large claim.

An attorney can review your settlement offer to determine if it is fair. If it is not, they can negotiate with the insurance company in an effort to raise the settlement amount. In the event an acceptable agreement can’t be reached or the insurance company refuses to negotiate, an attorney can file a lawsuit on your behalf.


What to Do After You Think You Caused a Car Crash

If you think (or know) that you just caused a car accident, you should always stay calm. There are steps you should do after a crash whether or not you were at fault, and you should stay focused to ensure you do—and don’t do—certain things.

First, never under any circumstances should you leave the scene of the accident. Every state has specific laws about stopping after a crash and remaining at the scene. If a driver knows they broke the law or may be subject to other citations or criminal charges, they may be tempted to drive away to avoid the consequences of their actions. However, if you leave the scene of the crash, you could face an arrest and serious criminal charges, in addition to your responsibility for the accident. It is ALWAYS better to stop in accordance with the law.

In some states, you may also need to render aid to anyone who needs it or call for help. You should at least exchange your contact and insurance information with the other driver or drivers involved. If there is a certain amount of property damage or if someone suffered injuries in the accident, you likely have to report it to the authorities. It’s a good idea to call 911 or the police directly so someone can respond to the scene of the accident.

While you wait for the police, keep to yourself as much as possible. In some situations, the other driver may try to confront you or may show anger for the crash. Do your best to stay grounded and don’t admit fault or apologize. It can be all too easy to start saying that you’re sorry for being distracted or not noticing the other car. This is a mistake, as you should never admit any negligent acts to the other driver. Even if you’re feeling nervous, you should avoid the following:

  • Discussing what you were doing prior to the crash
  • Talking about who you think was to blame
  • Apologizing or making any statements that may indicate you were at fault
  • Asking the other driver questions to try to determine whether they made a mistake as well

You should stay polite but keep communications to a minimum and simply determine whether anyone is hurt and provide the basic information the driver needs from you. Then wait calmly until medical personnel and the police arrive. Even if the other driver is acting aggressive, you should never be aggressive or defensive in return.

Why Is Water Testing Necessary?

Coliform Bacteria in Drinking Water

Public water systems are required to deliver safe and reliable drinking water to their customers 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. If the water supply becomes contaminated, consumers can become seriously ill. Fortunately, public water systems take many steps to ensure that the public has safe, reliable drinking water. One of the most important steps is to regularly test the water for coliform bacteria.

What are coliform bacteria?

Coliform bacteria are organisms that are present in the environment and in the feces of all warm-blooded animals and humans. Coliform bacteria will not likely cause illness. However, their presence in drinking water indicates that disease-causing organisms (pathogens) could be in the water system. Most pathogens that can contaminate water supplies come from the feces of humans or animals. Testing drinking water for all possible pathogens is complex, time-consuming, and expensive. It is relatively easy and inexpensive to test for coliform bacteria. If coliform bacteria are found in a water sample, water system operators work to find the source of contamination and restore safe drinking water. There are three different groups of coliform bacteria; each has a different level of risk.

Total coliform, fecal coliform, and E. coli

Total coliform, fecal coliform, and E. coli are all indicators of drinking water quality. The total coliform group is a large collection of different kinds of bacteria. Fecal coliforms are types of total coliform that mostly exist in feces. E. coli is a sub-group of fecal coliform. When a water sample is sent to a lab, it is tested for total coliform. If total coliform is present, the sample will also be tested for either fecal coliform or E. coli, depending on the lab testing method.

Total coliform bacteria are commonly found in the environment (e.g., soil or vegetation) and are generally harmless. If only total coliform bacteria are detected in drinking water, the source is probably environmental. Fecal contamination is not likely. However, if environmental contamination can enter the system, there may also be a way for pathogens to enter the system. Therefore, it is important to find the source and resolve the problem.

Fecal coliform bacteria are a sub-group of total coliform bacteria. They appear in great quantities in the intestines and feces of people and animals. The presence of fecal coliform in a drinking water sample often indicates recent fecal contamination, meaning that there is a greater risk that pathogens are present than if only total coliform bacteria is detected.


Drinking Water Testing

I waited the 48 hours for the bacteria test and it was a perfect purple and remained that way for several days. However, I forgot to dispose of it and at day 10 it was not a perfect purple anymore, it had turned yellow. Is that normal since so much time had gone by and should ignore or is it something I should be concerned about?

It is normal for the test to change color after the test period is over. It does not mean anything at all since the kit has run its course.

Will the bacteria test tell me if I have E.coli?

No. The bacteria test is a general scan for coliform bacteria. However, E. coli is a coliform type of bacteria.

I recently purchased your home water test kit to test my water. Is the powder in the bacteria sample toxic?

The kit contains no bacteria. It is just a few nutrients in powder form

Does your drinking water test kit test for chloramine?

Yes. The Total Chlorine test detects free chlorine and chloramine.

Does the Drinking Water Test Kit measure water hardness?

Yes. It measures water hardness and alkalinity.



Lead is a potent neurotoxin that impairs children’s intellectual development and alters their behavior and ability to concentrate. The impacts of lead exposure during childhood are permanent. There is a strong scientific consensus that any amount of lead exposure during childhood is harmful.

Lead-based paint has historically been the main source of exposure for American children. Yet even the lower levels of lead exposures now measured in American children cause intellectual impairment and behavior problems.

Lead contamination of drinking water remains a problem for many communities across the U.S., posing a serious risk to children’s health. Since lead levels vary from one house to another, it is difficult to estimate how many people have contaminated water in their homes.

Why is lead in drinking water?

Pipes made of lead were once used in hundreds of cities, most commonly in water lines installed before the 1930s. In 2016, the American Water Works Association estimated that 15 to 22 million Americans drink water from a system with lead-based service lines. Lead pipes are also found inside most homes built before 1930, and lead-based plumbing solder was used to join metal water pipes until 1986. Maintenance and replacement of a home’s plumbing or partial replacement of lead water pipes can increase levels of lead in water.

Is there a safe level for lead in water?

Lead exposure is an especial risk during children’s first six years, when their brains are developing and their blood-brain barriers are not yet fully formed. Babies fed formula mixed with unfiltered tap water are at highest risk of ingesting lead in drinking water.


Drinking Water Quality

Drinking water quality, however, can be affected by the condition of a building’s inside service. To safeguard tap water quality, property owners and building managers are advised to carry out proper maintenance of inside service and regular cleaning of water storage tanks.

Drinking Water Standards

The WHO Guidelines are prepared and updated through the participation of numerous authoritative institutions and hundreds of experts from a wide range of developed and developing countries, and represent the consensus opinion based on worldwide scientific and medical studies. The WHO Guidelines are authoritative, scientific and evidence-based and many developed countries worldwide make reference to them to monitor and control the quality of drinking water.

Water Quality Monitoring

The WSD has developed a comprehensive and extensive water quality monitoring regime through a series of physical, chemical, bacteriological, biological and radiological examinations covering the HKDWS and the additional parameters for water quality surveillance and operational monitoring.

Water quality throughout the entire water treatment, supply and distribution system is systematically monitored by means of physical, chemical, bacteriological, biological and radiological examinations of water samples taken at catchment, intakes, receiving point of DJ water


Consumer Resources & Drinking Water

Consumer Concerns About Emerging Contaminants

Eighty two percent of consumers report that they are concerned about the negative effects emerging contaminants may have on their health. Contaminants of most concern include pesticides and herbicides followed by prescription/OTC drugs and detergents.

Consumer Guide to Fluoridation Products and Fluoride

Fluoride comes from the naturally-occurring element fluorine and is added to drinking water for the public health benefit of reducing tooth decay.

U.S. Drinking Water Filtration and Treatment Survey

NSF International conducted a national consumer survey of 1,106 American adults, which showed gaps between consumers’ concerns, knowledge and actions related to their drinking water. Though they are concerned about potential contaminants in their drinking water, the majority of Americans surveyed don’t take steps to better understand what’s in their drinking water and they don’t look for independently certified water filters and treatment options.

Bottled Water

How and why bottled water is regulated is not common knowledge and can be confusing. Like other bottled beverages, bottled water is regulated by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) as a food product and must adhere to strict quality and labeling guidelines. Many states also have strict requirements for bottled water produced and/or sold within their borders.

PFOA/PFOS in Drinking Water

Perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA) and perfluorooctanesulfonic (PFOS) acid are part of a group of chemicals commonly referred to as perfluoroalkyl substances (PFASs) or perfluorinated compounds (PFCs). PFOA and PFOS are man-made chemicals that up until 2000 had been widely used in the manufacturing of many industrial and consumer products such as paper and cardboard food packaging, insecticides, electronics, stain repellants, paints, plumbing tape, firefighting foam and non-stick cooking surfaces.

Tax Planning For Passive Investments

What is tax planning explain the importance of tax planning?

What is Tax Planning?

Tax planning is a way to find out how much money you are paying on tax and also a way to help minimise the tax liability (the amount owed to tax authorities) through the use of allowances, deductions, exclusions and exemptions. Tax planning can be used in a number of ways; for example for retirement, businesses, Wills, and properties.

How It Works

When you start tax planning, you can find many guides online and you can also speak to financial advisors and solicitors to help get you started and give you all the important information that you will need to know. For example, each person has an inheritance tax allowance up to £325,000 with anything over the threshold being charged at 40%. So, if an estate was valued at £400,000, only £75,000 of that would be taxed. Since the majority of people won’t leave an estate over this amount, most feel they don’t need to know about inheritance tax. However, actively considering it and your future can help you to avoid any nasty surprises later on.

Helpful for Businesses

There are different types of taxes which can be hard to keep up with especially if you own a business. Tax planning is important for both small and large businesses because it can help them to achieve their business goals. When you have a tax plan as the owner of a business, you can lower the amount of taxable income, gain more control of when taxes are paid and also reduce the rate of tax. Depending on the type of business you have, you can find many different benefits. For example, if you have a business that is international, you can manage the timing of tax bills and can avoid double taxation.


Understanding Tax Planning

Tax planning plays an important role in the financial growth story of every individual as tax payments are compulsory for all individuals who fall under the IT bracket. With tax planning, one will be able to streamline his/her tax payments such that he or she will receive considerable returns over a specific period of time involving minimum risk. Also, effective tax planning will help in reducing a person’s tax liability.

Tax planning can be classified into the following:

  • Permissive tax planning: Tax planning which falls under the framework of the law.
  • Purposive tax planning: Tax planning with a specific objective.
  • Long-range/short-range tax planning: Planning executed at the beginning and towards the end of the fiscal year.


Why Is Tax Planning Important?

Tax planning is an integrated course that allows you to combine various activities to come up with tax-effective solutions. When using tax planning to minimise the stress of tax, a tax planner will work with you to ensure the process is as simple as possible. Here are some of the ways a professional tax planner will help you:

Tax planning objectives

The main objectives of tax planning are as follows:


The government’s objective is to maximise the tax deposited by the citizens. Authorities often come up with legal ways to ensure that you pay the maximum tax possible. But there are ways to save yourself money while remaining ethical and within legal boundaries. To do so, you should try to find a break route between the probable transactions and the analysed tax applicable.


Tax planning can be used to ensure that funds from taxable sources are diverted to income-generating plans. The main aim is to use productive investment planning to come up with the most beneficial tax saving options.


You never want to face legal litigations in your attempt at reducing your tax burden. Tax planning comes in to ensure that precautions are taken to avoid any possibility of litigation afterwards.


A business can grow with the economy so long as the right measures to ensure finance growth are taken. Generally, the tax planner should make the effort of ensuring that one’s business money takes the right direction for circulation.


The economic stability of a nation benefits everyone, including the taxpayer. Tax planning ensures that all legally-due taxes are paid on time. This is how a productive economy is created.


The Importance of Year-Round Tax Planning

You did it! You successfully turned in your tax return by this year’s deadline. That means there’s no need to think about taxes for another year, right? In fact, the California Society of CPAs advises that there are many smart and easy steps you can take now that will potentially improve your financial situation today and at tax time next year.

Turn to the Return

Although you may be happy to be done with it, the tax return you just completed contains a wealth of clues about your financial situation and opportunities to make it better. Your CPA can help you make sense of what it has to say, but it’s a good idea to review it thoroughly before speaking with a CPA, so you’re well versed on the facts.

Providing for College Education

At the beginning of your return you are asked to list your dependents. If you have children and college education costs are an issue, there are a number of tax benefits you may be able to use, such as the American Opportunity Credit, which allows qualified taxpayers to reduce their taxes by as much as $2,500 a year.

If you’re saving for future tuition expenses, a Section 529 plan investment account allows your savings to grow tax-free and distributions from the account are tax-free—to the beneficiary—to the extent they are used to pay qualified college costs. If you’re not making the most of some of the many chances to minimize your family’s education expenses, it could be costing you money.

Reviewing Deductions

Your tax return’s Schedule A lists the deductions you took last year. Taxpayers who are subject to the alternative minimum tax (AMT) may lose the benefit of some of their deductions. If that’s the case, it may be a good idea to accelerate or delay some income or deductions wherever possible to avoid triggering the AMT. Your CPA can help you understand how to decide.

If you own a home and your return shows a large deduction for home mortgage interest, it may be advisable to consider refinancing to get a lower interest rate. While deductions are always welcome, it’s better to lower your financing costs and keep that interest money in your own pocket.

Regarding Retirement

If you haven’t been making contributions to a tax-advantaged retirement plan, then you’re missing a great opportunity to get ahead. With a 401(k), 403(b) or other employer-sponsored plan, you can contribute pre-tax earnings that can grow tax free over time. Those who don’t have access to such plans may be able to take a deduction for their contributions to individual retirement accounts (IRAs), simplified employee pensions (SEPs) or other similar plans.

In addition to the tax benefits, saving slowly for retirement over time is simply a smart way to ensure that there will be a nice nest egg waiting for you later. Even if you can’t make the maximum contribution, CPAs advise putting away as much as possible toward retirement because of the many benefits involved.

Estate Planning Options

There have been many changes in the laws governing estate taxes in recent years, which means it can be hard to predict who will be subject to them down the road. Proper estate planning can help lower estate taxes and accomplish a range of other goals. Your CPA can offer more details on the best ways to provide for your family’s future.


Characteristics of an Effective Tax System

  1. Fairness, or equity, means that everybody should pay a fair share of taxes. There are two important concepts of equity: horizontal equity and vertical equity.
  • Horizontal equity means that taxpayers in similar financial condition should pay similar amounts in taxes.
  • Vertical equity is just as important, however. Vertical equity means that taxpayers who are better off should pay at least the same proportion of income in taxes as those who are less well off. Vertical equity involves classifying taxes as regressive, proportional, or progressive.

While no system of taxes is perfect, it is important to seek horizontal equity because taxpayers must believe they are treated equally. It is just as important to seek vertical equity so government does not become a burden to low-income residents.

  1. Adequacy means that taxes must provide enough revenue to meet the basic needs of society. A tax system meets the test of adequacy if it provides enough revenue to meet the demand for public services, if revenue growth each year is enough to fund

A self-balancing accounting structure with revenues, expenditures, assets and liabilities used to track monies flowing…

the growth in cost of services, and if there is enough economic activity of the type being taxed so rates can be kept relatively low.

  1. Simplicity means that taxpayers can avoid a maze of taxes, forms and filing requirements. A simpler tax system helps taxpayers better understand the system and reduces the costs of compliance.
  2. Transparency means that taxpayers and leaders can easily find information about the tax system and how tax money is used. With a transparent tax system, we know who is being taxed, how much they are paying, and what is being done with the money. We also can find out who (in broad terms) pays the tax and who benefits from tax exemptions, deductions, and credits.
  3. Administrative ease means that the tax system is not too complicated or costly for either taxpayers or tax collectors. Rules are well known and fairly simple; forms are not too complicated; the state can tell if taxes are paid on time and correctly, and the state can conduct audits in a fair and efficient manner. The cost of collecting a tax should be very small in relation to the amount collected.

Starting A Residential Cleaning Service

The Ultimate Guide to Housekeeping

Tackling the chores in a messy and dirty house can be overwhelming. There is so much that needs to be done that sometimes it is just easier to drop onto the couch and binge watch TV. Unfortunately, ignoring the chores won’t make the mess go away.

Setting up a list system of daily, weekly, monthly, and seasonally-needed chores will make housekeeping easier. Breaking down the tasks into small steps that can be done in just a few minutes each day will keep the mess under control. Dividing the chores between family members teaches responsibility and makes everyone’s life better. Kids as young as three can begin to help with things like sorting clothes and toys. More good news, doing chores can count as exercise and help burn some calories.

Daily Chores

There are tasks that, if done daily, will keep your home in order and prevent that overwhelming feeling that everything is out of control. Some chores can be done first thing in the morning, some should be done throughout the day as you do other activities, and others can be done at night so that you wake up to an orderly home.


Eliminate Dirty Dishes

Hand wash or load the dishwasher after every meal and snack. There should never be dirty dishes on the counter or in the sink. Be sure to give the sink a good cleaning every day!

Declutter and De-crumb Counters

After any food preparation, put everything away and wipe down countertops and appliances to get rid of crumbs and spills.

Sweep, Mop or Vacuum Floors

The kitchen is always full of activity and the floor shows it. Clean up any messy spills immediately and get rid of crumbs.

Recycle, Compost, and Empty the Trash

Emptying or dealing with garbage each day will help keep away pests and leave a fresher smelling home.


Make the Bed

Fluff the pillows and choose bed linens that are easy for everyone to quickly spread up quickly.

Put Away Clothes

Place soiled clothing in a hamper. Return clean clothes and shoes to the closet or drawers.

Check the Laundry Hamper

Depending on the needs of your household, laundry may need to be done daily. It is much easier to deal with one laundry load per day than seven loads at once.

Return Things to Their Proper Place

If cups or dishes have migrated to the bedroom, return them to the kitchen. Teach kids to put away toys and gather school-items needed for the next day.



Cleaning the house and keeping on top of all the housework can be overwhelming and totally never ending – unless you have a plan! If you want to change how you go about cleaning your home, so YOU are in control rather than your home controlling you – then you’re in the right place


It’s never done completely

I always feel like I’m trying to catch up

I can’t get ahead, or get a system that works for me – I’m just too busy

I get things done as they need doing – it’s exhausting

I never feel OK to have people round because my home is never ready

So we may as well take control back and help ourselves.

And what better way than to create a plan that’s totally based around you and your own homes needs, that works for you with the time you have available. It’s not necessarily about perfect, it’s not about miracle working, it’s about making your home clean enough for you at any given point on any given day – so that you can lead the life you want without feeling stressed out all the time with the jobs you need to do.


Yes, really! Contrary to popular thought, a cleaning schedule doesn’t add hassle and stress to the house – it takes it away. If you never quite know what the next job is, and whether the house is clean enough, then even subconsciously you are looking around for all the jobs that need doing (even when there may be nothing to do).

It’s time to get to grips with the house once and for all.

Creating your own schedule means that you can design it around what works for you – and you then don’t have to think about it, just get what needs doing on what days out of the way and ticked off.


Cleaning Service Business Plan


The wealthy single income families,  and affluent double income families  of Cleanly,Wa are in need are a house cleaning service that is professional, trustworthy, and highly effective


all residential cleaning services in an environmentally sound, completely trustworthy, and professional manner. We exist to attract and maintain customers. When we adhere to this maxim, everything else will fall into place


will be focusing on two upper socio/economic groups. The first is the affluent where only one spouse works. Although the other spouse is at home and has time to clean, he/she chooses not to.

second segment of the market that we are targeting is the two income family. Both spouses work long hours and have no time to clean or do laundry. Further it is essential that we are trustworthy and professional.


The residential house cleaning niche is a subset of the larger cleaning business.. The residential house cleaning market is serviced predominately by independent companies. There are however, a few large franchises. Residential services are divided into a couple of different categories, maid or house cleaners, carpet cleaners, window cleaners, and a variety of other services that are required on a less frequent basis


The Minimalist’s Guide to Simple Housework

It’s a rare person among us who looks forward to cleaning the house. I certainly don’t, but a clean house is something I enjoy perhaps too much. I love a clean, uncluttered house, and I’m not afraid to admit it. So how does a person like me — a clean freak — get the house nice and clean without too much work? I’m sure you know by now that if I can keep things simple, I’m happy.

I constantly experiment with ways to simplify my house-cleaning routine, and what follows are some options I’ve experimented with or am trying out now. Not all methods will appeal to everyone, but I’m hoping that at least a few of the ideas will have some use to you, and perhaps inspire a simpler routine in your life.

Guiding Rule: Simplify, Simplify

Thoreau, of course, had three simplifys in his famous quote, but I’ve simplified that rule even further. 🙂 To keep a house clean with minimal effort, the guiding rule is to simplify as much as possible. The less you have, the less you have to keep clean and put away.

Some examples:

An uncluttered room, with only furniture on the floor, is extremely easy to clean. See below. But if you have all kinds of stuff in the room, you double or triple your cleaning time (or worse).

Fewer clothes means you have fewer things to put away and to wash. Sure,if you have lots of clothes, you can go longer without having to wash, letting the clothes pile up into a huge Fuji-like mountain. But who wants to face that mountain when you run out of clothes to wear?

Fewer things on your kitchen counter means cleaning the counter is a snap – just give it a quick wipe with a washcloth and you’re done. No straightening things out, cleaning in between or under things, putting things away.

Second Rule: Meditate While You Clean

While housework is not looked upon favorably by many people, if done right, it can actually be very relaxing and destressing. The key is to be mindful and present while you clean.


House Cleaning Price List

Part One: What the Service Includes

It is critical that the customer and cleaning service know what to expect from each other. This document provides an example of the services included in many standard house cleaning service packages, as well as add-on services, available for an additional fee. Services will vary from one cleaner to another, but this should give you a general idea of what services to expect.

Customer Perspective: You should receive a comparable list of tasks, either in brochure or contract form, from your cleaning service. It helps you to set expectations and evaluate whether tasks are being performed satisfactorily.

Cleaning Service Perspective: You can easily add or delete services that you are prepared to provide for your customers. Feel free adapt Part One of this document to include in your marketing brochure. You can also use it as a checklist for training employees. How well and how quickly they perform each of these tasks becomes your yardstick for measuring performance.

Part Two: How Pricing Is Determined

This pricing method is based on the standard amount of time it takes to complete various tasks, multiplied by the prevailing wage for maids and house cleaners in a specific area. This section contains a spreadsheet designed to help owners of house cleaning services establish fair competitive pricing, but it also provides insights that many customers will find useful

Simply follow the step-by-step spreadsheet to arrive at your quote:

Click to Access: Click the image above to access the price list.

Minutes Allotted Column: Determine how many minutes it takes to perform each task. It’s a good idea to actually perform each task two or three times to be sure your expectations are realistic. You need to work consistently and with attention to detail. The pace must be one that can be reasonably sustained by your employees. Estimated numbers are included, but feel free to change them as appropriate

Quantity Column: This is the column you will use most frequently to actually generate price quotes. Simply fill in the quantity of each task to be performed – for example, one kitchen, three bedrooms, two additional rooms. An additional room may be a laundry room, exercise room, office, or playroom. If the room requires little attention, you may choose to count it as a half room. If it requires extra attention, like cleaning several pieces of gym equipment or mirrored walls in a home gym, you may choose to count it as a room and a half.

Total Minutes: This column multiplies the minutes per task by the number of tasks and auto-calculates total minutes for you.

Hours: This column automatically translates the number of minutes into hours. The total of the column also tells you how many staff hours you will need to plan for.

Prevailing Rate: This column is particularly important because it tailors pricing to your specific area. It also supports your pricing structure with hard data from the Bureau of Labor and Statistics (BLS).

Amount per Room: This column auto-calculates for you. It multiplies the prevailing wage, by the estimated hours, by two. The amount at the bottom of the column, rounded up to the nearest five dollars, is the amount you can reasonably expect to charge your customer.

Common Prices

Though pricing depends on a number of factors, there are some ranges to consider for common tasks:

Basic house cleaning services: $25 to $45 per hour

Windows: Interior at four to seven dollars per window and exterior at five to eight dollars

Cleaning refrigerator or oven interior: $25 – $35

Dusting mini blinds: About $20

Polishing wooden surfaces: $30 and up

Baseboard cleaning: $35 and up

Cleaning inside cabinets: $20 -$45, depending on size and number

Changing bed sheets: Around $10 per bed

One load of laundry (wash and dry): About $20

One-time deep cleaning: From $100 for smaller spaces (such as a studio apartment) to $300 or more for a home with several bedrooms

Pain Management Techniques After Surgery

Understanding Pain Management: Techniques and Treatments

Understanding Pain Management: Techniques and Treatments

Pain management is designed to treat chronic pain and allows a person to live a full, enjoyable life. Chronic pain is pain that lasts more than three to six months or pain beyond the point of tissue healing. Some forms of chronic pain can be linked to an identifiable cause, such as degenerative disc disease, spinal stenosis, or spondylolisthesis. Other forms have no clear cause, such as fibromyalgia or nerve pain. Fighting chronic pain is a lifelong struggle for many.  With an accurate diagnosis and early intervention, we hope to help patients avoid a state of chronic pain, or at least reduce the severity of pain, and improve quality of life.

Pain management requires a person’s dedication, commitment, and knowledge in order to achieve the best results. It can be a great alternative to surgery.  Pain management techniques can be grouped in terms of their invasiveness: non-invasive, non-drug pain management; non-invasive pharmacologic pain management; and invasive pain management.

Non-invasive, Non-drug Pain Management

There are a variety of non-invasive, non-drug pain management techniques. Some of these include:

  • Exercise – increasing strength, flexibility, and restoring normal motion is the aim. Includes water therapy, stretching exercises, aerobic routines and others. Exercise is necessary for proper cardiovascular health, disc nutrition and musculoskeletal health.
  • Manual techniques- manipulation of affected areas by applying force to the joints, muscles, and ligaments.
  • Behavioral modification – Cognitive therapy involves teaching the patient to alleviate back pain by means of relaxation techniques and coping techniques. Biofeedback involves learning to control muscle tension, blood pressure, and heart rate.
  • Superficial heating or cooling of skin – These methods include cold packs and hot packs, ultrasound, and diathermy and are used in conjunction with exercise.
  • Electrotherapy – the most commonly known form of electrotherapyis transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation (TENS), which uses a low-voltage electric stimulation that interacts with the sensory nervous system.


What is pain?

Pain is the means by which the peripheral nervous system (PNS) warns the central nervous system (CNS) of injury or potential injury to the body. The CNS comprises the brain and spinal cord, and the PNS is composed of the nerves that stem from and lead into the CNS. PNS includes all nerves throughout the body except the brain and spinal cord.

Once the brain has received and processed the pain message and coordinated an appropriate response, pain has served its purpose. The body uses natural pain killers, called endorphins, that are meant to derail further pain messages from the same source. However, these natural pain killers may not adequately dampen a continuing pain message. Pain is generally divided into two categories: acute and chronic.

Acute and chronic pain

Nociceptive pain, or the pain that is transmitted by nociceptors, is typically called acute pain. This kind of pain is associated with injury, headaches, disease, and many other conditions. It usually resolves once the condition that caused it is resolved. However, following some disorders, pain does not resolve. Even after healing or a cure has been achieved, the brain continues to perceive pain. In this situation, the pain may be considered chronic. The time limit used to define chronic pain typically ranges from three to six months, although some healthcare professionals prefer a more flexible definition and consider pain chronic when it endures beyond a normal healing time. The pain associated with cancer , persistent and degenerative conditions, and neuropathy, or nerve damage, is included in the chronic category. Also, constant pain that lacks an identifiable physical cause, such as the majority of cases of low back pain, may be considered chronic.

It has been hypothesized that uninterrupted and unrelenting pain can induce changes in the spinal cord. As of 2004 evidence was accumulating that unrelenting pain or the complete lack of nerve signals increases the number of pain receptors in the spinal cord. Nerve cells in the spinal cord may also begin secreting pain-amplifying neurotransmitters independent of actual pain signals from the body. Other studies indicate that even newborn and premature infants who have constant pain will reach adulthood with greater sensitivity to pain and lower tolerance of stress.

Managing pain

Considering the different causes and types of pain, as well as its nature and intensity, management can require an interdisciplinary approach. The elements of this approach include treating the underlying cause of pain, pharmacological and nonpharmacological therapies, and some invasive (surgical) procedures.

Treating the cause of pain underpins the idea of managing it. Injuries are repaired, diseases are diagnosed, and certain encounters with pain can be anticipated and prevented. However, there are no guarantees of immediate relief from pain. Recovery can be impeded by pain, and quality of life can be damaged.


What are signs you need to see a doctor for pain?

Make an appointment with your doctor if your pain:

  • hasn’t gone away after two to three weeks
  • is causing you stress, anxiety, or depression
  • prevents you from relaxing or sleeping
  • stops you from exercising or participating in your normal activities
  • hasn’t improved with any of the treatments you’ve tried

Living with chronic pain can be emotionally and physically challenging. Many types of treatments can help you find relief.


Passive Pain Management

Passive pain management, as the name implies, does not require any active participation of the patient. Generally, it is an action performed by someone else like a physician on behalf of the patient. During this treatment, the patient does not need to invest his energy. Most passive pain management treatments can help the sufferer fight pain. However, it provides relief for the short term.

Some of the best methods falling under this category are:

  • Ultrasound
  • Hot or Cold Compress
  • Acupuncture
  • Massage

Here are some effective passive pain management techniques for pain reduction and relief.

Techniques of Passive Pain Management

  • Physical Therapy Modalities: Physical therapy modalities may include treatments like:
  • Hot or Cold Compress: You can apply heat packs in the form of hot water bags to get relief from back pain, shoulder pain or spinal pain. In some cases, a cold compress can also provide relief. You can place ice packs in the form of ice cubes over the affected area.
  • Medical Massage Treatments: This includes a deep tissue massage. It soothes the soft muscle tissues and helps in quick healing.
  • Ultrasound: Here, heat is applied to the deep layers of tissue to provide relief against a kind of pain. Ultrasound treatment is effective in treating any kind of chronic pain.
  • Chiropractic Adjustments: The chiropractic adjustments can help reduce pain. It is a safe treatment unless performed by a trained chiropractor or a licensed center. Depending on the type and source of pain an individual suffers from, they can undergo spinal realignment treatments.



As you know, to get pain relief or reduce the levels of pain, you need to undergo pain-relieving treatments. However, this depends on the plan your doctor or physician advice. Depending on the kind of pain, you can undergo the active techniques or the passive ones.

For quick and healthy relief, you should mix both to get the best of both. This can help you increase the quality of life. You should also add exercising or practicing Yoga or meditation to your daily routine for a healthy and quality life.

For acute or uncontrollable pain, do not hesitate to consult a pain management specialist or a doctor.

Critical Things You Need To Do Once Your Tenant Move Out Cleaning

Cleaning Checklist for Moving Out of an Apartment

While it’s hard to leave your apartment in the exact condition it was in when you moved in, it’s important to clean up before you move out and on to your next place. Often times, if the apartment is not clean, it can affect how much of your security deposit you get at the end of the lease. Ensure that you’ve properly cleaned your apartment by creating a checklist that outlines each area of the apartment you need to clean before you leave the premises.


Dirt, grease and grime tend to stick to common apartment appliances such as stoves, microwaves and refrigerators. Use a sponge and cleaning solution to remove stains and any residue build-up from these appliances. Wipe inside the oven and microwave, as spills often leave food particles behind.


If you’ve never cleaned the toilet in your apartment while living at your apartment, be sure to do it before moving out. Use a toilet brush to remove water stains from inside of the toilet. Wipe down the seat and back of the toilet with a disinfectant. Use a cleaning brush to remove any stains from the tub, shower walls and sink.

Floors and Carpet

Sweep bare floors with a broom, and empty dust and trash into the garbage. Sweep corners, under heating units and even behind appliances or any furniture that came with the apartment. After sweeping, mop the bare floors to get rid of excess dust and to give the floor a fresh shine and scent.


Wipe down the walls in your apartment with warm water, to get rid of any tape residue and dirt on the walls. If you have small children, inspect the walls for crayon and pen marks. Use a soft cloth to avoid causing damage to the walls.


The Ultimate Guide to Move Out Cleaning

You’ve put in your two weeks’ notice, scheduled your flights, and got your affairs in order. Now the only thing standing between you and your new home is, somewhat ironically, your stuff. Moving across large distances is a hassle enough without having to worry about your stuff. In fact, most long-distance moves cost families upwards to $5,000. What better way to subsidize that cost than using your previous location’s security deposit to make up some of the difference.

However, there’s a lot that can be lost in the chaos of moving—one of which being time to sufficiently clean everything. If you’re not too careful, your landlord might call in the professionals and force you to foot the bill by taking your security deposit from you.

Start Small

If you’ve got deadlines swirling around in your head and find the task of cleaning your home just a little daunting, then you need to try to look the job ahead in a different light. We recommend starting small. By handling the smaller tasks, like cleaning out attics and crawlspaces, you can make sure that those smaller jobs don’t pile up into a big mess by the end of your lease.

You can also make it a point to mark off of a room every night or every weekend. Take just an hour or so to completely finished off a room and prepare it for the big move, then cross it off of a physical checklist. Doing so will give you a greater sense of accomplishment and show you that what you’re doing is making a difference. While it’s not often talked about, the physiological aspect of move out cleaning is just as important as the physical.

Freshening Things Up

Next, you’ll want to make sure that any “dead air” stench is long gone by the time your landlord comes by to inspect the place. To make sure they’re not disappointed by what they see, try looking into a professional carpet cleaning service.


How clean does my rental need to be when I move out?

It’s time to move out of your rental. But you already have a lot on your plate, such as hauling belongings to your next home. As tempting as it may be, don’t leave the place trashed or even somewhat messy. After all, you want to get your deposit back. Here’s what you should clean to get your deposit back.

Make it look like it did at move-in

Your landlord expects your rental to look just as nice after you move out as it did before you moved in, within reason. The rental should look as pristine as possible, in the kind of condition you’d expect to see when picking out a new place. Go through every inch of the space and clean, clean, clean.

Naturally, there may be a little more wear on the carpet or flooring or other parts of the rental. Everything in the unit will be a little more “used” than it was when you moved in, which is acceptable as “normal wear and tear.” But if you spilled something on the carpet, and it left a stain, you’re responsible for removing that stain. Otherwise, you could get charged for it, as a deduction from your security deposit.

What to clean: the basics

Treat your empty rental as a hotel room or rental cottage that you care for.

Clean sinks, toilets, showers, bathtubs, floors, and appliances.

Clean any stains or marks on the walls.

Remove all your belongings—including trash—or you could be charged for its removal, since someone will have to spend time cleaning it up

Check your rental agreement

There’s a good chance your rental agreement details exactly what your landlord expects on move-out. Read the agreement, and look for the move-out checklist. A larger property management firm may have the information posted online, in printable form, like this detailed checklist. The landlord or management firm most likely expects to do a final walk-through to ensure the place is clean. So read up on the walk-through procedure, and decide if you want to arrange to be there too.




When you move out, it is essential that you completely vacate the property and turn in the keys in to our office, by 12:00 p.m. (noon) on the day you have stated in your move out notice in order to avoid any scheduling problems or additional rent charges.


Remove all trash and personal items from the home and yard.

Clean all appliances thoroughly, including microwave, range hood, inside of refrigerator, etc.

Clean sinks, cabinets, and drawers.

Clean any carpeting. If professional cleaning is required, Specialized Property Management will make those arrangements after move-out and charge the cost against your security deposit, per the lease agreement.

Wash non-carpeted floors.  Remove stains and marks.

Wipe down walls; pay special attention to areas around light switches, hallways, doors, and baseboards.

Clean all windows, secure all screens, and remove cobwebs inside and out.

Make needed repairs to screens and screen doors.

Clean and disinfect the bathrooms thoroughly

Repair, or have repaired, any damages that you or your pets may have caused.

Schedule all utilities to be disconnected on the last day of your lease agreement.

If you are responsible for the lawn care:  Mow, trim, and remove debris from yard.

Make arrangements to have your trash picked up before you discontinue service.

Do not place trash and garbage in the recyclable cans, a fine will be incurred.


The typical definition of ordinary wear and tear is “Deterioration which occurs based upon the use in which the rental unit is intended; without negligence, carelessness, accident, or abuse of the premises or contents by the tenant or occupants of the household, or their invitees or guests.”


A landlord can require a tenant to pay for damages if the tenant helped the aging process along or didn’t use the property in a normal way.  A carpet worn from people walking on it is something you have to expect.  But a tenant who cuts a hole in the carpet or spills paint on it may be held responsible for the damage.

The Ultimate Move Out Cleaning Checklist

How well you perform a move out cleaning can be the difference between you getting your deposit money back. Therefore, here is the best move out cleaning checklist. This is a list of things that you can’t forget as you prepare your home for new inhabitants. We know that moving out is a difficult process, but you should leave everything clean. If you don’t know where to start, then this blog is for you.

If you are ready to clean your house or your apartment, then let’s start. We do not want you to waste your time; we know that this is a time-consuming process; therefore, we want to make everything easier for you

Things that a Move Out Cleaning Checklist Should Include

Moving is a complicated task; you must take advantage of the time you have to organize everything. You should not leave your home without leaving everything clean. Follow our move out cleaning checklist and leave everything as new.

Some people prefer to avoid this process and hire professional companies to clean their homes. If you are considering it, then we invite you to read our blog and learn the main benefits of hiring professional cleaning services.

You Must Clean your Bathroom

Your bathroom is one of the essential parts of your home; therefore, you should clean it first. There are many things you should consider before cleaning a bathroom, but in this checklist, we will mention the most important ones. We will try to explain how to clean your bathroom quickly and effectively.

Natural Remedies For Ants Invasions

Step Guide to Removing Ants From Your Home

termite treatment provider and ant treatment provider, we know that one must observe these obvious signs of ants in your home or apartment to eradicate the infestation before it gets worse. Both chemical and non-chemical measures yield results when applied correctly.

Steps Towards Removal of an Ant Colony

Hiring an expert should be the primary solution to pest problems at home, and yet, the treatment is not sought-after. Most people prefer using natural solutions for the best pest protection; the ones that are easy on the pocket.

Know More about the Ant Colony

If you spot a trail of ants marching towards a particular food source, be sure that a colony of ants has invaded your house. There is always more to what is visible to the naked eye. You must know that the colony of ants homes and provides for the Queen ant. The Queen seldom leaves the den, and she is quick to reproduce and therefore, add to the already existing infestation.

Observe the Trailing Ants

Observing the ant trail can tell you more about the problem areas in your home. It is certain that after ants find the food source, they will carry it back to their nest. All you need to do is follow the trail and observe where the ants are coming.

Set Up the Bait

After you have identified the areas of infestation, you must follow the direction of the ant trail and place ant bait at frequent intervals. You can get liquid ant bait for cheap online and also in stores. All you have to do is read the instructions carefully and place the bait near the infested areas. When the ants take the bait, you’ve got them.


How to Get Rid of Ants

Ants become most active during the warm summer months. As they commence their search for a reliable food source, an ant colony could very well settle in or around your home. They are attracted to the plentiful supply of food and water available, and when a colony becomes established that creates ongoing frustration throughout the house.

Figure out what kind of ants are invading

The species of ant that’s infesting your home will make a big difference to the way you deal with them. Common black ants are easier to handle – mainly because they are easier to find than other species. On the other hand, carpenter ants – who typically make their home in moist or damaged timber – are trickyer to pin down.

Cut off the ant trail

Ants will use a pheromone trail to forge paths into and around your home. If you simply kill a few ants in your home, others from the nest will follow the pheromones left behind and pick up where their brethren left off. To cut off access, you need to remove any trace of the pheromone trail.

Keep your house immaculate

Ants are attracted to the food and water in your home so the best way to eliminate ants is to take this option away from them. Aim to keep your home as clean as possible; clean up spillages and crumbs immediately, don’t leave unfinished drinks in the open and keep sugar and sweets tightly sealed in jars or zip-lock bags.

Bait and poison

When a house ant finds a food source they will snag a chunk and take it right back to the nest. Other ants who pick up that ant’s trail may also find the same food source, taking it back along the returning trail – which reinforces the route and entices other ants.


How to get rid of, prevent ants

Pesky little creatures, ants will take any opportunity to come into your home looking for food and water, and because they’re social creatures they’ll bring their ant friends, too.

Just killing the ants that make your home their home isn’t enough. “Ants are very common and a big problem inside homes and businesses across the states. Obviously the winter slows their activity but in the warmer climates they stay active all year,”

In summer ants can show up in overwhelming numbers in kitchens and bathrooms searching for food and shelter. “There are quite a few species in America but only around a dozen or more that will readily infest a home” including acrobat, Argentine, big-headed, carpenter, crazy, fire, ghost, little black, odorous house, pavement, pharaoh, rover, thief and white-footed ants

Some are exotic, invasive nuisances without natural predators. Other local species are more desirable because they compete with destructive imported types like the red fire ant.

Ant types vary geographically.

“Treatments vary as much as the ant. It’s always best to get the proper Identification first. Not doing so can mean a lot of wasted time and money,”


How to Get Rid of Ants: An Indoor and Outdoor Guide

Ants – these tiny insects have crawled along the earth long before humans ever stepped foot on the soil, so getting rid of ants is not so easy. Ants have survived through millennia, outlasting the dinosaurs and continuing to expand across the planet. More than 12,000 ant species exist across the world, and their colonies pop up indoors and outdoors on residential and commercial properties. Queen ants can produce millions of colony members in a lifetime, so it’s important to take control of an ant infestation right away before it gets out of hand.

Ants thrive indoors and outdoors. They come indoors to escape from inclement weather, to search for food and to build more protective shelters. Some ants prefer to stay outdoors and only come inside to find food and water. No matter if it’s one ant in the kitchen or an infestation outside the garage, it’s best to address the situation quickly.

Where to Look for Ants Indoors

When ants come indoors, they prefer to hide out or to build nests in moist areas such as bathrooms, kitchens and basements. They scurry around sink drains and plumbing pipes beneath the cabinets. You may see the ants around appliances, toilets, bathtubs and cracks along baseboards. If you notice one or two ants indoors, the next step is to locate their nests by following an ant trail. Setting out a food source will help to lure the ants and to determine where their nest is located

Try to attract the ants by:

Setting out a teaspoon of honey in a saucer where you saw the ants

Placing peanut butter in the same saucer or a different one nearby

Leave the food out as long as necessary to lure the ants from their nests or hiding places. Over time, an ant trail should form, giving you a way to follow the line back to their nest or from where the ants have entered. Some ants are more active at night, so check the bait in the evening if you don’t notice any activity during the day.

Where to Look for Ants Outdoors

It’s almost impossible to go anywhere outdoors without seeing ants on the lawn, the driveway, the sidewalk and other surfaces. They crawl along patios and decks, exterior facades and plants across the landscape. However, some ants prefer to build their nests in clutter and random objects around homes and businesses


How To Get Rid Of Ants Without Killing Them: Complete Guide

If you’re a true animal lover with an ant problem, you’re faced with a dilemma: You want the ants out of your living space, but crushing them or spraying them with pesticides seems too cruel. After all, ants are such interesting creatures with complex and fascinating social structures. Isn’t there a better, more humane way to rid them from your home?  Yes, there is!

So, how to get rid of ants without killing them? Getting rid of ants without hurting them will require lots of patience and effort. In other words, the best way to get rid of ants without killing them is to remove their source of food. This means doing a thorough check on all of the food and water sources in your home, from cleaning up messes to ensuring that everything is stored correctly. After that, ant deterrents come into play. Certain products can deter ants, and we are going to recommend some of them in the later sections.

Once you are certain that all of the food and drink products in your home are tidy and stored in sealed containers, it is important to erase any remaining pheromone trails.

The first thing to understand when dealing with any pest is to understand why they have entered your home in the first place. With ants this is simple, they have come to find food. Ants are foraging animals. This means ants leave their nests to go out and find food.

Once they have located a food source, their job is to bring the food back to the nest and indicate to the rest of the colony where the food can be found. To accomplish this, the ant will leave chemical trails (pheromone trails) behind them as they make their way back to the nest.