April 2020

Trick To Make Home Renovation At Your House

Easy Ways to Find Finance for Your Home Renovation

Whether you’ve lived in your home for decades or are just about to start your journey as a homeowner, the idea of customizing your home to fit your style and preferences, as well as necessary repairs to aging homes, can be both exciting and daunting. The exciting part comes without question, but the daunting components often revolve around money.

In addition to paying $9,000 in unavoidable costs and basic maintenance associated with homeownership every year, the typical U.S. homeowner dishes out an additional $3,021 per year on home improvements.

If you’re wondering how to fund your own home improvements, you’re not alone. Nearly half of homeowners who plan to make improvements struggle with how they’ll pay for them. While most homeowners pay for improvements with either cash or debit (57 percent) or with a credit card they pay off immediately (27 percent), others get creative in order to gather up enough money to create their dream homes. Here’s a look at some of those ways, which might help you build your dream home, too.

 

Mortgage refinance

If you financed your home a few years ago and your interest rate is higher than current market rates, a mortgage refinance could lower your rate — and your monthly payments. And that could free up cash for your dream renovation.

You might also consider a cash-out refinance to tap some of your home’s equity. Lenders will generally let you borrow enough to pay off your current mortgage and take out more cash, usually up to 80% of your home’s value.

Think carefully before you embark on this type of refinance, though: You’ll be using your home as collateral for a bigger loan, and you’ll be financing short-term costs with long-term debt, which adds interest and other fees to the price of the renovations. In most cases, a cash-out refinance is appropriate only if you’re improving your home in ways that will increase its value.

 

Home-equity loans

These mortgages offer the tax benefits of conventional mortgages without the closing costs. You get the entire loan up front and pay it off over 15 to 30 years. And because the interest usually is fixed, monthly payments are easy to budget. The drawback: Rates tend to be slightly higher than those for conventional mortgages.

Home-equity lines of credit

These mortgages work kind of like credit cards: Lenders give you a ceiling to which you can borrow; then they charge interest on only the amount used. You can draw funds when you need them — a plus if your project spans many months. Some programs have a minimum withdrawal, while others have checkbook or credit-card access with no minimum. There are no closing costs. Interest rates are adjustable, with most tied to the prime rate.

 

Home renovation loans

Whether you’re in the market for a fixer-upper or just want to upgrade your current home, that wide array of finance options comes in handy to provide financial assistance for sprucing up any of the dated finishes in your home.

Financing a home renovation not only improves functionality and comfort for your family now, but strategic updates can also increase the value of your home and the future return on your investment if you decide to sell.

Loans for home renovations can be obtained at any point, such as the beginning of the purchasing process or even years down the line — as long as the borrower is eligible. It’s important to keep in mind that different renovation loans have different qualification standards that you’ll need to meet before you can get funding for your project. Some of these loans will also require that you show proof that the funds are being used to pay for labor and materials, while others allow funds to be used to the owner’s discretion.

 

Credit cards

This option is only if you want to undertake really small renovation projects. The interest rates are usually much higher than on mortgages, but for a very small project that extra interest might actually total less than loan establishment fees.

One thing you must do.There are very few exceptions to the rule that your renovations should add more value to your home than they will cost to carry out. Think about how the money you spend on a renovation will increase the value of your property. For example, consider making changes that would appeal to the majority of potential buyers to help you sell your house faster and at a higher price.

Choose The Best Roof Repair For Your Roof

Tips to Choose the Best Roofing Company

  • Check for insurance. The contractor that you choose to work on your roof should be equipped with workers’ compensation and liability insurance. Before they begin working for you, ask to see the certificates, and take the time to call their insurance carrier to ensure that they are valid. This prevents you being held liable for any accidents that happen. Plus, it protects you should there be an issue with your roof in the future.
  • Go for local. Choosing a roofing professional that is local is beneficial for a number of different reasons. First, it makes it easier to contact them should there be a problem in the future. While a 5-year warranty on their work is great, it doesn’t do you any good if you can’t track them down at the end of that time. Make sure that the business you choose has built up a good reputation in the community before you hire them.
  • Don’t ever hire based on price. While you do want to get a good deal on the services you need, price should never be your determining factor. Cheap bids drive down the market. In the long run, you get what you pay for. Hire your contractor based on the quality of work that they do. Then you won’t be paying an arm and a leg to fix their shoddy work in the future.
  • Avoid door-to-door servicemen. While it might seem convenient to hire that serviceman that came to your door because he was “just in the neighborhood,” steer clear. There is no way to verify the quality of work performed by these storm chasers. Instead, do your research and find a roofing company with a solid history and background.
  • Get everything in writing. To protect both you and the roofing company, make sure that all aspects of the job are well understood. Write down the details and make sure that you don’t hand over the funds for the work until you’ve inspected everything. By setting a clear expectation, it’s easier to avoid frustrations.

 

Tips For Choosing The Best Roof Repair Professionals

Always Get A Guarantee

You have to work with a roofing service that provides a manufacturer’s warranty and a guarantee on the overall workmanship. This will allow you to get work revised, and at no additional cost to you, even if problems rear their heads long after the original work was completed – it gives homeowners peace of mind.

Think About More Than Just The Cost Of Service

Quotes can vary quite a bit, and sometimes these differences are quite significant. You might be tempted to choose the roof repair service with the lowest price, but consider the investment you are making – a bit more in price can make a massive difference in overall work quality.

Request A Written Estimate

Many reputable roofers, like Quantum Roofing, will offer you a written estimate (a failure to do so is often seen as a red flag). You want all verbal promises to be written down and for the provider to initial these before any work is begun. This will ensure that you are fully aware of any price changes and that you understand these changes.

Learn More About The Designations Of Manufacturers

Find out if roofing contractors have any accreditation from manufacturers. This means that roofers have met specific requirements for obtaining factory certification. This isn’t something that every roofer has, but it does show a personal dedication to the craft, and it is an additional stamp of approval.

Request Licensing Info And Proof Of Insurance

Fly-by-night roofers do not have all of the proper documentation for their businesses. You should work with contractors who can provide proof of insurance, including both workers compensation and liability. Insurance is essential because legal action is always a possibility when accidents occur on the job, or if issues arise after the work crew is done.

 

Tips for Choosing the Best Roofing Contractor for Your Home

DON’T BE SWAYED BY PRICE

You will require good value for your cash from a roofing company, but you should not let a cheap quote be your determining factor. The essential element here is the quality of materials and workmanship used. This is because inexpensive work done poorly using cheap materials will at the end prove a false economy in future.

GO LOCAL

Look for a roofing company based in your local area, so if you want any help down the line, they are around to help you out.  You should avoid giving work to contractors that are not from your area because they may be passing through in a hurry then vanish after completing their work.

QUALITY OF SERVICE

A good contractor will offer you free quote and consultation so he or she should never charge you these. The best roofing company should also explain to you about various options for your roof, without putting you under pressure to make your decision. Luckily, if your contractor comes on time, returns and answers your calls, and keeps their word, then this shows that the contractor is reliable and trustworthy.

CHOOSE SPECIALISTS CONTRACTOR

When looking for a roofing contractor, choose one that specializes in the kind of work you want. If you are a business person, select a professional commercial roofer. And if you wish to have a tiled roof, look for a contractor specializing in tiled roofs only. But if you require particular work, like repairing of leaks or a heritage roof, check the kind of roofing credentials the roofing company has around your area before making any decision.

 

Tips to choosing the perfect roofing company

Do thorough research about roofing contractors/companies

Home owners seeking for roofing services should begin by doing research on the best roofing companies or roofing contractors in their areas. Also, it is imperative to do some more research about the roofing options offered by these companies in a bid to save both time and money. Once the roofing contractors have been identified, they should be willing to orientate you on their services and the quality of their roofing materials. Of course research can be done by reading and educating yourself about roofing or simply by calling family and friends and asking them for references.

Compare the options available to you

Once you have short listed the roofing companies that meet your requirements, the next step is for you to compare them in a bid to choose the best option. However, when it comes to comparing the available options, you shouldn’t just concentrate on the prices but you should also focus on the quality of materials as well as the expertise skills in roofing. Thus, it is logical to ask shortlisted companies to send you estimates of what you want. Besides, you can also schedule a face to face meeting with a roofing contractor during which he is expected to give you a project scope. Of course, you shouldn’t also forget to consider the duration of the entire project. It is nevertheless logical to settle for the roofing contractor or roofing company that offers top quality services at the most affordable price within relatively short duration.

Get a written contract

So often, may home owners turn to neglect getting a written contract with their chosen roofing company or contractor even though it’s very crucial. With that said, it is imperative to draft every item such as the price, scope, quality of material as well as deadlines that have been agreed upon in a written contract to avoid miscommunications.

 

Tips on Choosing the Right Roofing Contractor for Your Home

Find a Local Roofing Company

We recommend choosing a local roofing company for your project because local roofers have extensive and specialized knowledge regarding roof installation in your area. A local company understands your area’s weather conditions and the requirements that roofing products must meet to perform properly. In addition, a local roofer can also provide you with plenty of local references. You can call and interview these references to get an idea of the kind of work that the roofer will likely deliver.

Verify the Contractor’s Licenses and Insurance

When researching prospective roofers for your project, you need to verify their insurance and licenses. These are the minimum requirements a roofer must meet to be qualified to work on your roof. Working with an unlicensed and/or uninsured roofing contractor is inadvisable because that contractor has no way to prove they have the knowledge and skill needed to install your roof. A licensed contractor has proven that they follow laws and industry standards. An insured contractor can protect you from liability in the event that something goes wrong with your project.

Look for Manufacturer’s Certifications

Manufacturer’s certifications are another important qualification. A certified contractor has proven that they know how to follow the manufacturer’s instructions and guidelines when it comes to using the manufacturer’s products. Because of this, certified contractors are allowed to offer you a better warranty for their roof installation. In addition, the requirements for earning a manufacturer certification are often strict. A certified contractor has demonstrated a high level of skill and professionalism, which is how they earned their certification.

How To Learn To Make Commercial Painting

Maintaining A Commercial Paint Job

A Complete Guide to Maintaining Your Commercial Painting

In business, first impressions are key. Nothing makes a bigger first impression on your customers than your building. When your office or store is clean and well-maintained, you appear more professional and trustworthy to new clients. But when your building looks run-down, the paint is chipping, and the walls are covered in dirt, you may scare away new business. Avoid this entirely by maintaining your building’s commercial paint job. Use the guide below to clean your building and keep the paint looking like new for a long time to come.

Start with a Clean Slate

For any project or maintenance plan, you must begin with a clean slate. Otherwise, your maintenance schedule will get off track quickly. Begin by power washing the building. Pressure washing eliminates stuck-on dirt, dust, pollen, grime, and other pollutants. Keeping your building clean can help to make your current paint job last longer, so be sure to pressure wash the property on a regular basis, too. Cleaning the exterior of your business is a significant part of your maintenance plan. It will make your company appear cleaner, more professional, and all-around more appealing to your clients.

Keep an Eye on Problem Areas

Does one part of your building seem to need cleaning or repairs more often than the other regions? If you know about any of your property’s problem areas, keep an extra close eye on them. Be sure to check for mold, mildew, and rust, too. All of these naturally-occurring elements can damage your paint job and, eventually, the structure of the building. Keep up with your maintenance plan so you can protect your paint and easily identify problem areas before they become dangerous and cause serious damage. If a problem persists for a long time, even with your regular maintenance, you may need to call in a professional for assistance.

Perform Interior Maintenance

What goes on inside your business also has an effect on its exterior paint. Faulty machinery, specifically leaking air conditioners, is one of the leading causes of exterior paint damage. Make sure all of the machinery in your office is working properly and is not harming the building. You may also need to repair and repaint the walls if the destruction is severe.

 

Tips for Maintaining Exterior and Interior Commercial Paint Jobs

Clean Surfaces

For starters, ensure that your exterior paint areas are regularly cleaned and freed of various dirt and grime buildups. The best way to do this is with scheduled pressure washing services, which are strong enough to get rid of virtually and buildup but will leave your paint intact and extend its lifespan. And of course, this kind of grime can leave your building looking unsightly if it isn’t cleaned regularly.

Regular Inspections and Problem Areas

On a regular basis, at least once a month or more, check the exterior of your building for any visible issues. You never know how various weather conditions and pollution may have impacted your paint job. Look for fading, stripping, and any other gaps or touch-ups that are needed.

Sealing Concerns

When it comes to sealing exterior areas, we’re really talking about caulk, which looks good and is a great way to fill your gaps. It’s also the best product out there for sealing water and air from getting into the building. Cracks or drying of caulk, however, can not only lead to paint issues, but also to possible water damage and rising utility costs. Check for good seals in major areas regularly.

Indoor Issues

You may not have realized it, but faulty interior machinery can leak and impact exterior paint jobs. The most common source of this issue is a commercial air conditioner, which can leak condensation that will seep through the walls and damage paint job.

 

Clean your Interior or Exterior by Pressure Washing or Air Blasting

Many professional painters offer a kind of cleaning service for your painted and stained surfaces, known as pressure washing, power washing, and most recently soft washing. While it’s not practical to pressure wash the interior of your office building (too many computers, papers, and wood surfaces), we can power wash the interior of your factory or warehouse. We can also power wash the exterior of almost any building, floor surface that is not carpet, and stained spaces, such as decking.

If, for some reason, power washing is unsuitable for a location, we’ll air blast surfaces at high pressure to remove dust and dirt from the interior or exterior of a building. Our OSHA trained crews are safety-focused air blasters. We provide our clients with top-rated cleaning services and are ready to take on even the most challenging of air blasting dust and dirt removal projects. Then, when the surfaces are safely air blasted or otherwise clean, the Painters Inc. crew can paint most any surface you’d like.

 

Use Gentle Chemicals, if Any

Owners that are scrubbing their buildings should only use gentle or organic chemicals, if any. While not using chemical at all is ideal, sometimes water simply will not do the trick. Owners should opt for organic chemicals or mild laundry detergent that will not wear away at the paint, and should make sure that the chemicals are thoroughly rinsed off. If chemicals are left to sit on top of paint, regardless of how mild they are, they will still cause the paint to peel sooner.

 

Benefits of Repainting Your Commercial Building

Whether you’re trying to attract new business or impress your customers, your place should be attractive both inside and outside so you don’t lose business due to a dilapidated look. Here are some more benefits of repainting your commercial building:

  • Increased Appeal and Property Value

A good paint job on your commercial building can create a positive and good impression to encourage customers and clients to keep coming back. When it’s done by a professional in the right way, it can boost the appearance of your commercial building.

  • Invites Customers and New Clients

The appearance of your workplace physically reflects how you do business. It should encourage and attract your customers to keep coming back. Incorporating different types of colors in your repainting project can help bring new customers and clients or make them feel comfortable while they are still in your premises.

  • Improves Self-esteem Among Employees

Not only do your customers and clients want to be comfortable and happy in your commercial building, but also your employees. They’re the ones who spend a lot of time there, so it’s a good idea to boost their morale by giving your interiors a new look. It will not only help them focus on their work but also create the perfect environment for enhanced creativity and productivity. Psychologically, blue hues promote good moods and peacefulness, while green hues spark creativity. Avoid bold red hues, as they are said to reduce cognitive thinking capabilities in the workplace.

  • Increases Your Property’s Lifespan

There’s no doubt that a well-maintained building can last for many years, and paintwork is one of the core areas to focus on if you want to increase your property’s lifespan. By repainting your building annually, you’re protecting it from weather elements like rain, snow and others that could potentially have a negative impact on your building’s exteriors.

  • It Matters for the Health and Safety of your workers

Painting your building in different areas will allow you to comply with industry regulations that will ensure the safety and health of your workers. Using line striping and ensuring that ongoing repainting work is communicated to both workers and clients will help reduce accidents and ensure safety for everyone.

Repainting your commercial building is a great way to enjoy benefits like improved visual appeal, property value, property lifespan and even a better working environment for your workers. It also ensures that you get more happy clients and customers returning.

The Best Way To Take Care Of Rodent

THE BEST WAYS TO HELP GET RID OF MICE

Cats vs Mice.

Many cats love to hunt mice. Some dogs will even get in on the fun. If you have pets, they might be the best way to catch a mouse without lifting a finger. If you don’t have pets, now may be a good time to stop watching cat videos online and own one in real life. Many farms use farm or barn cats to control their mouse population. Of course, some pets just can’t be bothered with mice – not surprisingly with the way many people pamper their fur babies.

Tackle the mice in the house and out.

Remove debris around your home where mice can hide. Keep weeds to a minimum and destroy burrows and nesting areas as you find them. Lining your home’s foundation with a strip of heavy gravel is a good way to prevent nesting and burrowing. The less debris and clutter around your home and property, the easier it is to spot signs of rodent activity and stop mice dead in their tracks.

ood sanitation won’t get rid of mice, but poor sanitation will attract them.

Mice can survive on just 3 to 4 grams of food per day, so a few crumbs here and there are all they really need. Vacuum your floors and be sure to wipe down counters, eliminating residue, crumbs and any access to food sources. Store food in glass jars or airtight containers. Don’t forget about securing your garbage. Mice have sharp incisor teeth so they can chew through just about anything, even concrete if the mood strikes them, so plastic bags are no match for hungry rodents.

Bait stations.

Bait stations (or bait packages) are sealed packets containing meal or pellets. They typically come in plastic, paper or cellophane wrapping, allowing the mice to easily gnaw through and get at the preserved, fresh bait. The mice feed on this bait and die. While helpful in getting rid of mice, these products are best handled by trained pest management professionals to ensure the safety of you, your children and your pets.

Proper placement of mouse traps is critical.

Place the traps perpendicular to the walls, with the trigger section facing the baseboard. This causes the mouse to run directly into the bait as it naturally scurries along the walls, instead of running over the trap from the wrong direction, triggering it prematurely. Mice don’t travel more than 10 or 20 feet from food sources and nesting areas (i.e., their territory), so place the traps anywhere you see mice or signs of mice, such as rodent droppings or “rubbings” on baseboards and walls. Change trap locations every two days or so. Mice are naturally curious so they won’t avoid traps like rats will.

 

Easy Tips to Prevent Mice and Rodents Inside the Home

Simple Rodent Control Tips

Fortunately, there are many ways homeowners can proactively prevent and get rid of rodent infestations in their homes:

  • Install door sweeps on exterior doors and repair damaged screens.
  • Screen vents and openings to chimneys.
  • Seal cracks and holes on the outside of the home, including areas where utilities and pipes enter the home, using caulk, steel wool or a combination of both.
  • Store food in airtight containers and dispose of garbage regularly.
  • Keep attics, basements and crawl spaces well ventilated and dry.
  • Replace loose mortar and weather stripping around the basement foundation and windows.
  • Eliminate all moisture sites, including leaking pipes and clogged drains that provide the perfect breeding site for pests.
  • Inspect items such as boxes, grocery bags and other packages brought into the home.
  • Store firewood at least 20 feet away from the house and keep shrubbery trimmed and cut back from the house.
  • If you suspect a pest infestation in your home, contact a licensed pest professional to inspect and treat the pest problem.

 

How to Get Rid of Rats in Your Home

How to Find the Rats

The first step in ridding your home of rats is finding where they are living. Because they are nocturnal (most active at night), rats aren’t often seen in the open during the day. But, it is easy to see signs of their presence.

Signs of rat presence include:

  • Live or dead rats
  • Droppings, especially around human or pet food or in or around trash areas
  • Noises in the dark, such as scratching sounds from the attic
  • Nests or piled nesting materials in hidden areas
  • Evidence of gnawing of wires or structural wood
  • Burrows around the yard or under the home or outbuildings
  • Gnawed fruits in trees
  • Smudge marks along walls or rodent hairs along paths, in nests, or near food

 

Rodent-Proofing Tips & Tricks for Your Home

Outdoor Sanitation

We have touched on this a bit already regarding landscaping and outside storage areas. If you store firewood it is best to keep it away from the house. It’s best to keep lumber and firewood about 18 inches off the ground. If you have debris like rock piles and old equipment laying around outside, make sure you have it removed. Make sure any outdoor garbage pails are shut tightly.

Indoor Sanitation

Keeping the home clean inside and out can prevent rodents from taking an interest in your home to begin with. Inside the home make sure you clean areas where food may collect or fall, like under the stove, dishwasher, and refrigerator. Make sure you keep countertops clean and clear of food and store any dry food, seeds, and pet food in airtight containers. If you do have pets, don’t leave food bowls down at night. Make sure you don’t leave cups or bowls of water out overnight as well. All of these things can attract rodents.

Landscaping

Many people love to have gorgeous bushes and dense plants around the yard. However, these also make a safe haven for rodents to take up residence right outside the home. While you don’t have to give up on creating the landscape you desire, try to use some moderation and keep the denser foliage away from the structure of the house. Trim tree branches back so you have at least a 6-foot gap between house and tree.

Clutter

We all have that one area or two where we allow clutter to take over. Usually this is in a basement, attic, or spare room. This also makes the perfect breeding ground for rodents. Keeping these areas as clutter-free as possible will go a long way in preventing a rodent outbreak.

Storage

Where and how you store food and seed is important in reducing the risk of a rodent infestation. If you store things like pet food, grass seed and birdseed outside of the house (in a shed for example), its best to have that storage at least 20 feet from the home and about 5 feet from the ground. Store food and seed in air tight, rodent-proof containers as well. Rodents are attracted by the smell of these things so it’s best to take precautions before they arrive rather than after the fact. Once a rodent has smelled food it will stick around looking for another source.

 

How to Get Rid of Mice in the House

Key facts about mice

Mice are mammals and rodents. Their closest relatives are jerboas, rats, mole rats, hamsters, chinchillas and guinea pigs.

The mouse is small, its body length varies from 1 to 8 inches (3 to 20 cm), and it weighs from 0,5 to 1,7 oz. (15 – 50 g). Mice are agile and fast animals, with a pointed muzzle, large rounded ears, and small protruding eyes. These rodents have good eyesight, they distinguish shades of red and yellow. The mouse body temperature ranges from 99.5° F – 102.2° F (37.5° C to 39° C). A distinctive feature of mice is their long bald tail.

How and where do mice live?

Mice can be found worldwide, except for extreme northern and high-mountainous areas. They live in large families, because this way it is easier to defend, build houses, grow offspring and find food. Rodents are fidgety and gluttonous animals. This helps them survive winter and cold seasons.

Tips To Find The Best Dentist

How Dental Fears Work

How dental anxiety or phobia can affect your oral health

Avoiding the dentist can result in the worsening of dental disease, a greater need for emergency care or more complex treatment. It can also feeding the underlying problem of dental anxiety. This is known as the ‘vicious cycle of dental anxiety’.
Regular dental check-ups, cleans and screening X-rays can prevent dental disease and help the dentist find any problems early, so that simpler and less invasive treatments are needed.
Most dental disease is lifestyle-related and preventable. By avoiding going to the dentist, not only are you more likely to need more complex treatments when you do finally attend, but you are also missing out on learning how to better care for your oral health.
The lifestyle factors that lead to dental disease are very similar to those that lead to diabetes, obesity, heart disease, stroke and some cancers, so taking care of your oral and general health is very important.

 

What Causes Dental Phobia and Anxiety?

There are many reasons why some people have dental phobia and anxiety. Some of the common reasons include:

  • Fear of pain. Fear of pain is a very common reason for avoiding the dentist. This fear usually stems from an early dental experience that was unpleasant or painful or from dental “pain and horror” stories told by others. Thanks to the many advances in dentistry made over the years, most of today’s dental procedures are considerably less painful or even pain-free.
  • Fear of injections or fear the injection won’t work. Many people are terrified of needles, especially when inserted into their mouth. Beyond this fear, others fear that the anesthesia hasn’t yet taken effect or wasn’t a large enough dose to eliminate any pain before the dental procedure begins.
  • Fear of anesthetic side effects. Some people fear the potential side effects of anesthesia such as dizziness, feeling faint, or nausea. Others don’t like the numbness or “fat lip” associated with local anesthetics.
  • Feelings of helplessness and loss of control. It’s common for people to feel these emotions considering the situation — sitting in a dental chair with your mouth wide open, unable to see what’s going on.
  • Embarrassment and loss of personal space. Many people feel uncomfortable about the physical closeness of the dentist or hygienist to their face. Others may feel self-conscious about the appearance of their teeth or possible mouth odors.

 

Dental Anxiety: 3 Ways to Stop Fearing the Dentist

If you ever get nervous just thinking about going to the dentist, you’re not alone. Perhaps you’re scared the visit might hurt or you haven’t been in a while and not sure what the dentist will find.

Whatever your reason, the right dental team will make sure your dental and your emotional health are taken care of. The more you delay – or just don’t go – to the dentist, the higher your risk of developing dental problems that will make gearing up for future dental visits more difficult. In fact, seeing your dentist regularly can actually make the entire process – from making an appointment to sailing through it – much easier on many levels.
Use these strategies at your next appointment to help ease your anxiety and strengthen your smile.

  1. Speak up 

Anyone with anxiety knows sharing your feelings makes a world of difference. If you’re tense or anxious, do yourself a favor and get your concerns off your chest. Your dentist and dental team are better able to treat you if they know your needs.

  • Tell your dentist about your anxiety. When you book your appointment, tell the receptionist you’re nervous about dental visits. Remind the dentist and dental staff about your anxiety when you arrive. Share any bad experiences you may have had in the past, and ask for suggestions on coping strategies.
  • Don’t be afraid to ask questions. Sometimes knowing what is going to happen alleviates any fears of the unknown.
  • Agree on a signal. Let your dentist know by raising your hand if you need to take a break during an exam.
  • If you experience pain even with a local anesthetic, tell your dentist. Some patients get embarrassed about their pain tolerance or don’t want to interrupt a dentist during a procedure. Talk with your dentist about pain before it starts so your dentist knows how to communicate with you and make it more comfortable.
  1. Distract yourself 

Taking your mind off the exam may seem impossible when you’re nervous, but there are some things that that can help distract your thoughts.

  • Wear headphones. If the sound of the drill bothers you, bring headphones so you can listen to your favorite music or audiobook. Some dental offices even have televisions or show DVDs.
  • Occupy your hands by squeezing a stress ball or playing with a small handheld object, like a fidget spinner.
  • Imagine your happy place and visualize yourself at a relaxing beach or garden.
  1. Use mindfulness techniques 

Relaxation starts in the mind. Try deep breathing exercises to help relax tension in your muscles.

  • Count your breaths. Inhale slowly and then exhale for the same number of counts. Do this five times while you’re waiting for your appointment, or during breaks while you’re sitting in the dental chair.
  • Do a body scan. Concentrate on relaxing your muscles, one body part at a time. Start with your head and work your way down to your toes. For example, you can focus on releasing tension starting in your forehead, then your cheeks, your neck and down the rest of your body.

 

4 Reasons why you shouldn’t be afraid of the dentist

  1. There is such a thing as ‘Pain-Free’ Dentistry

Most people are afraid of the dentist because they think it will hurt.  Modern materials and improved techniques means that dentists are able to virtually eliminate pain from dentistry. And by visiting the dentist regularly problems can be spotted early and resolved before any pain or infection occurs.  A toothache is definitely more painful than seeing your dentist!

  1. Smilefocus provides a relaxed and comfortable environment

Many people are concerned about the noise of dentistry.  If you ask someone want they associate most with dentists they will say the drill. These days you barely hear the mechanics.  Noise-cancelling headphones and the TV, movies or music contribute to a more relaxed and diversionary environment.

  1. A healthy mouth is a healthy heart

Your dentist is concerned about your general health, too, not just your teeth, gums and mouth.  Some conditions such as heart disease are linked to the bacteria in your mouth so your dentist is as important as your GP.

  1. Dentists want to help you

Dentists actually like people; thet study dentistry because it is a helping profession.  We asked our dentists to tell us why they chose dentistry, and their answers are on our website, included in their profile.  Almost without exception it is because dentistry enables them to make a positive difference to peoples’ lives, either because their own dentist was a great role model, or because childhood experiences were terrifying, and they resolved to prevent similar experiences to others.

 

Here are some common worries—and strategies to subdue them:

  • “It’s going to hurt” — If you’re nervous about pain, let your dentist know; she can administer anesthesia comfortably so you don’t have to suffer. Afraid of needles? Nitrous oxide (laughing gas) works well to help you relax first. If nitrous oxide isn’t enough to dull your senses, sedation dentistry is common, and all you need is a designated driver to shuttle you to and from your appointment. For patients who can’t get past an unrelenting fear of the dentist, this is usually the best option.
  • Bad experience in the past — This seems to be the second most common complaint of apprehensive patients. Sometimes the overall experience of the appointment leaves you feeling unsettled — or worse, repulsed. Perhaps the office over-billed you, the hygienist wasn’t thorough, the assistant was annoying, or the dentist was insensitive. It happens, and it’s unfortunate. But it shouldn’t prejudice you against future visits either (whether with the same dentist or a new one). It’s almost always helpful to tell dental staff about your past experience, so they can understand exactly what offended you. It may require some patience, but you should be able to find a team that will be a good fit for you. And that can make all the difference.
  • Feelings of helplessness or loss of control — Not being able to talk or being confined to a chair with a “noose” around your neck (not to mention being drill-shy) can evoke feelings similar to claustrophobia. If this is you, let the assistant know at the beginning of the appointment how you’re feeling. During the appointment, raise a hand to take a break (and they can stretch their backs at the same time).
  • Embarrassment about your oral health — You may have gone years without a cleaning. Maybe you put off treatment, and you’re embarrassed or ashamed by the compromised state of your mouth, or what the dentist might say to you. But consider: dental professionals have seen it all. It won’t phase them, so it shouldn’t phase you either.
  • Anxiety About Cost — Dental work can be expensive, especially if your insurance doesn’t cover it. Still, regular appointments with your hygienist help reduce the need for more costly treatments later. When a filling or crown is necessary, however, talk to the office manager about payment options. Most offices will work with you to create a comfortable financial arrangement. Plus, check your area for free or low-cost clinics. If you’re near a dental school, students are always looking for patients. And they work under close supervision, so no need to worry. (Sometimes they even pay you to be their patient.)

Choose The Best Djs To Make Your Party More Live

Recent trends for wedding DJs

A big trend for the later part of your reception is dueling DJs. This may not suit your older guests, but later in the evening when they have left it can create a great club atmosphere for the younger members of the party.

Many DJs are being asked for hot jazz as an alternative to classical music during the quieter parts of the reception, and many are finding salsa tunes popular for dancing. Ballroom dancing may be a dying art but a lot of people are willing to have a go at salsa.

There is also a growing trend for a DJ to play throughout the entire reception, rather than just providing the music for dancing after the wedding menu has been served. Here is a possible format for your reception that can be accompanied the whole time by a DJ:

  • DJ to set up an hour before reception starts
  • DJ plays background music, perhaps jazz, while guests arrive and have welcome drinks
  • DJ announces wedding party or bride and groom and plays special song for their entrance
  • DJ plays background music during the meal
  • DJ announces the speeches and possibly plays a short musical clip for each one
  • DJ announces the first dance after the meal and plays chosen song
  • DJ plays great music to get guests up and dancing
  • DJ announces events such as the Bride and Father dance and cake cutting, and plays appropriate songs for these
  • DJ keeps the tempo up for dancing until the end of the reception, or until the bride and groom leave

 

Smart DJs use maths to mix the perfect beat

People are very good at moving in time to a beat. When you listen to your favourite song, you will probably find yourself nodding your head or tapping your foot along almost instinctively.

And when you’re doing it in a club, that piles pressure on your DJ. That DJ has to mix two songs together to maintain a common beat between the tracks if they want to keep the audience dancing. If they do a bad job of the mix, the two beat lines from each song won’t blend into each other. The most likely result of such a faux pas would be an instantly empty dance floor.

We’ve been investigating how closely matched two beat lines need to be for people to start moving in time to them as if they form a common beat. In other words, how accurate does a DJ need to be to make a seamless transition between songs?

We asked people to tap their finger in time to two metronomes played simultaneously. The separation between the two metronomes and the consistency (the predictability of the rhythms) was varied across the experiment.

We found that if the metronomes were very consistent, they had to be closely matched in time for them to be considered a common beat. But if the beats of the individual metronomes were inconsistent and less predictable, the separation between the beats could be larger while still being considered to form a single common beat.

Since a DJ will typically play tunes with a strongly defined beat, our research shows that in fact they have a very small margin of error to make the two beat lines sound as one to the dancing crowd.

The skill of DJing is probably more complex than people realise. Many of them might be high profile and living a super-star lifestyle but the professional DJ is an as-yet largely under-researched species. Along with the University of Leeds, we’re now investigating the timing skills of professional DJs who have only received informal training (as is generally the case) and comparing them to formally trained classical musicians.

 

4 Steps to More Purposeful DJing

  1. Get Analytical

What is your why?

Take some time to think about what you actually want to get out of DJing. Do you love sharing new music with a receptive audience? Do you like rocking a party with everyone’s favorite hits? Is it your job? Do you enjoy putting on a performance?

All of these types of questions have implications in regards to how to pursue DJing. Gaining clarity on this early on will help you to proceed from a more informed perspective.

If you already have a pretty active DJing schedule, take some time to get focused and organized. Many DJs assume that they are only “on duty” when they are behind the decks, but some off-hours preparation and promotion can do wonders in regards to advancing (and building a following).

  1. Set Goals

 Perhaps a bit too obvious for this type of post, but goal-setting is crucial for anyone wanting to further develop a career, interest, or hobby. Unless you’re completely satisfied with where you are, if you’re not setting goals — real, measurable goals, you’re already doing it wrong.

This is important both on a large and a small scale. If you have only large, pie-in-the-sky goals (e.g. “I want to be a famous superstar DJ!)… you’ll never take the time to figure out how to get there.

One more important point on this subject: it’s important to celebrate the completion of goals, big and small. Claim those small victories, and use them as motivation towards your bigger picture.

  1. Do Work

Some people are great at the “setting goals” part, but not so much when it comes to follow-through.

Advancement requires effort. Actual, legitimate effort. Elbow-grease. The grind.

DJs often whine and complain about a lack of gigs, a lack of Facebook followers, or a lack of interest in their latest mix. Yet, if you ask what steps they are taking to fix it, they can’t give you a good answer.

It may be pretty easy to “become” a DJ, but that doesn’t mean it’s easy to succeed as one.

Want to learn how to scratch? Tried it once or twice and found it too difficult? Then you’re right… but the problem isn’t the level of difficulty, it’s you.

There’s no substitute for learning a craft than to dedicate the time it deserves.

  1. Engage

When you’re invested in building up your community, it tends to give you a sense of focus. If you know what “your community” is (for instance, a local hip-hop scene or couples preparing for marriage), do everything you can to be the best at serving them. Make yourself a resource to others who may be having struggles of their own.

The idea here is positive networking. This leads to good working relationships, and some of them will even lead to real friendships. And that sort of camaraderie can do wonders.

I’ve seen small dance-music communities rebuilt from the ground-up based on this sort of like-minded group effort (including those in my home town). And some of that effort has lead to more, better gigs for me. And my skills have come in handy for many local promoters and DJs in my area. I’ve seen first hand that, so long as you get the right heads together, this stuff works.

If you have fans, interact with them. Make them feel special, because they are.

Final Tips

Accept criticism, and move on. Drama is only a distraction. Be professional. Taking charge of your DJ career, and treating it like a business (or, a brand) gives you a huge leg-up.

Instead of emulating your heroes, ask yourself “What problem am I trying to solve?” or, alternatively, “What audience am I trying to serve?” Discover the value you offer as a DJ, and find the audience that needs it.

 

 

DJs of the Future Don’t Spin Records—They Write Code

“Live-coding” parties are the latest phenomenon in underground electronic music culture.

RENICK BELL IS standing in front of his computer at a small table in the middle of the dance floor. The stoic, bespectacled musician types quickly and efficiently, his eyes locked to his computer screen. Around him in a wide circle, the crowd bobs to his music. Sputtering tom rolls, blobby techno synths, and crystalline cymbal taps blossom and spill out of the theater’s massive surround-sound system. All the lights are off, and the only illumination in the big room is the glow of Bell’s monitor, the soft red LED backlight on his mechanical gaming keyboard, and a live view of his PC monitor projected on a wall-sized screen.

Nearly every one of the hundred or so people in the room, myself included, is staring intently at the action playing out on the screen. But what’s being projected is not some psychedelic animation, alien landscape, or whatever other visuals you’d expect to see at an electronic music gig. What we’re watching is code. Lines and lines of it, filling up the black screen in a white monospace font.

We look on as Bell’s keystrokes call up a bank of sounds called atmo stab2, then another called ensOsakaArpAtmo14. Lovely synthesizer arpeggios start percolating in the mix. They’re untethered, a bit off-kilter. The effect is pleasing but edgy, like a warm wind that’s blowing a bit too hard. The snare drum sounds skitter around in the higher registers, but there isn’t much happening in the low end. Bell decides to fill in some of that space. He loads kitBleepFtech and gives it the command highGlobalDensity. A rush of kick drums bombards the speaker stacks, drowning the room in gigantic waves of jaw-rattling bass. The video projector starts vibrating violently from the onslaught, and the code on the screen melts into a smeary pink blur. The crowd whoops. Bell types out a message to the attendees, flooding the screen with one repeated line of text: The old patterns are dead.

“Live-coding” parties such as this—where revelers show up as much for the if-thens and variables as the beer and snacks—are a recent phenomenon in underground electronic music culture. And here in the Bay Area, where the Venn diagram of the Silicon Valley and DJ scenes finds its overlap, shows like Bell’s are right at home. Yet they’re not just more of the tech-meets-techno same. Whereas a traditional EDM show might feature a performer cueing up sounds or samples on a laptop, DJs at live-coding shows use computers to play music in a wholly different way, and to make all new sounds.

The code on display is used to control software algorithms. The musician synthesizes individual noises (snare hits, bass blobs) on their computer, then instructs the software to string those instrumental sounds together based on a set of predefined rules. What comes out bears the fingerprint of the artist but is shaped entirely by the algorithms. Run the same routine a second time and the song will sound familiar and contain all the same elements, but the composition will have a different structure. This is the apotheosis of electronic creation—half human, half machine. The events that have sprung up to celebrate this form of generative composition have already been given a delightful portmanteau: algoraves.

 

Sounding Off: Are DJs Musicians?

Are DJs musicians? They certainly need talent…

Some say that DJs are the superstars of tomorrow — but they said that yesterday… The truth is that DJs have always been superstars — how else is fantastic music played to hordes of partygoers and aficionados alike? Magazines can only go so far in explaining what songs sound like, and everyone perceives music differently, so are they exactly reliable? A good DJ will go that extra distance to bring you the best sounds you’ve never heard.

Some of my favourite DJs were the ones doing the rave circuit in the early ’90s, just because the sounds they were playing felt like another universe crashing into my previous conceptions of music. I remember buying tape packs and absorbing sounds which until that moment I didn’t even know existed!

It is a great shame that the majority of radio stations operate with identical playlists — the radio DJ is in a unique position to expose unheard music to a much wider audience. It’s testament to this that the late John Peel was heralded as one of the most important men in 20th century music. Unaffected by commercialism, his eclectic broadcasts introduced many new acts into the mainstream. This injection of talent kept an increasingly stale industry on its toes, but now a new breed of DJ is emerging.

With more and more music being made but less and less places to play it, the hip-hop mixtape phenomenon has taken hold, with streets and markets being flooded with homemade CDs. This enables new songs to reach an audience literally hours after completion, and the race is on to find the hottest exclusives. In the US some mixtapes even outsell artist albums!

A truly great hip-hop DJ displays musicality, originality, skill and dedication. If you possess these qualities you have the right to call yourself a turntablist; one who uses the turntable as an instrument.

Let me take a minute to break down each aspect of turntablism, beginning with musicality. Many of the greatest musicians have no musical training, they can just feel when something is right, and this is true of most turntablists. From the seamless blending of two songs to the complex arrangement of super-fast scratch patterns, a gift for music theory is essential.

Some turntablists take things further by creating whole compositions using loop pedals and even pressing up their own records! The juxtaposition of pitch and direction of the record with the formation of ‘syllables’ on the crossfader can produce alien language, and has influenced many eccentrics to push the boundaries of scratching in a quest to communicate with one another.

There are some DJs whose styles are so distinct that within minutes, you can tell who it is. How can that be? Well, maybe they’re chopping sounds together in a trademark style, or maybe the scratching displays a distinctive natural finesse. The technique of freestyle scratching is where learnt patterns are strung together in a flow of conscious movement by the hands, so everyone’s style is a little different.

Skill and dedication go hand in hand, and as with any instrument, a serious amount of hours need to be spent honing your talents. Practice, practice, practice really is the key to all the above.

A good DJ will go out of their way to find the killer record you need to hear, but the turntablist can make you listen to familiar records in a new context, for example cutting a kicking Beyoncé vocal over a classic James Brown instrumental — there really is no limit to what you can play. Some turntablists make whole tapes playing ’80s pop songs, but do it in such a way that the whole mix feels like an adventure back in time.

One rather unique skill I must mention is a trademark of the top battle DJs. ‘Juggling’ is the live remixing of tracks using two records. By memorising the position of a groove in relation to the centre label, a turntablist can loop short sections of music, punching-in snares or other sounds, creating new fills and rhythmical patterns. Combine this with the unlimited supply of vinyl records and strange things start to happen. ‘Disses’ can be directed to other DJs by rearranging rap verses, musical phrases can be replayed in different orders and grooves can even be ‘locked’ using stickers.

This relentless quest to try and get the most out of bits of vinyl has revolutionised the way we make and sell music. From using obscure samples and noises, to uncovering rare tracks and inventing new marketing schemes — some even say the DJ is the musician of the future!

Use The Best Sewer Inspection

Tips on choosing a Sewer Inspection Camera

Sewer inspection cameras are widely used by plumbers, contractors, engineers, home inspectors, municipal workers and other professionals for inspecting areas that are typically difficult to see, that is pipeline interiors, spaces behind walls, inside a drain and other hard-to-reach places. So, if you are thinking of purchasing a sewer inspection camera, first, you need to consider what it is you are going to use it for. Should it be water- and chemicals-proof? How much light will you need? How long should the insertion probe be? etc.

We are offering you a few general tips on choosing a good sewer CCTV. However, in the end, you will have to make the decision based on your specific needs, requirements, and budget

Insertion probe:

Length. It should be long enough to go from one manhole to another. The length of the probes varies from 20 to 120 meters (65.6′ – 394′). In case you need a more extended probe, you may need a reel with a stand to roll the probe, for additional comfort.

Material. Simple PVC covered probes are sturdy enough for most of the works but can be worn out and damaged during routine, heavy duty inspections. Some of our professional sewer inspection cameras have Kevlar braided probes. Kevlar is five times stronger than steel (used in body armor, e.g.) what makes such insertion probes considerably more durable.

If the push rod with attached cam is water- and chemicals- proof and is capable of withstanding 1-6 bar pressure – this will also provide the longevity to your device.

 

TIPS ON CHOOSING THE BEST PLUMBING AND SEWER EXCAVATION COMPANY

CERTIFICATION

Truth be told, excavation work isn’t for every Tom, Dick, and Harry, and that’s why you need to check for certification. Serious players in this line of work will always have their documentation in order. With proper certification, you can be sure that you are dealing with people trained to handle jobs like water line excavation.

Make sure that you hire a licensed company as this is also part of the certification. Having a license means that they have fulfilled what the law requires. Now that excavation is work that is rather risky, insurance is another must-have. An insured firm means that you will have nothing to worry about in case something goes awry.

EXPERIENCE

A lot could go wrong when going about tasks such as water line excavation. The slightest mistake could set in motion other issues that could be pricey to fix. However, an experienced company knows all the dos and don’ts to ensure the job is done correctly from the beginning to the end.

REPUTATION

Professional service providers always have their clients’ interests at heart. Plumbing and sewer excavation companies are no exception and you should only consider those with a good reputation. With excellent reputation comes great reliability that ensures the job gets completed in good time. Avoid companies whose reputation is questionable.

The internet is an effective tool that can help you know reliable service providers near you. Reviews posted by other clients will help you the best option. Family and friends that have taken this path before will also point you in the right direction.

WRITTEN AGREEMENT

After identifying a reliable plumbing and sewer excavation company, make sure to have a written agreement before the job starts. The agreement should include all that you have agreed on. When armed with an agreement, you can be sure that the service provider will operate by the rules and avoid shortcuts. In the end, you’ll have a perfectly done job that ensures you get value for money.

 

CHOOSING THE BEST SEWER CAMERAS FOR A SUCCESSFUL PLUMBING BUSINESS

Every plumber or drain cleaning professional needs to have three essential tools to get the job done right: a portable water jetter, a cable machine, and most importantly, a sewer camera. Why the emphasis on the sewer camera? That’s because this equipment is essential to the accurate detection and diagnosis of piping and draining problems. Consequently, you need to equip yourself with the best sewer cameras for responding to an emergency plumbing call.

High-Tech Features

Every sewer inspection tool you use should be up to date so you can take advantage of the most advanced features. One particular quality you should look for in a sewer camera is versatility. It should be able to do any type of job without difficulty, whether you’re using it in a city’s main line or in residential sewers. Today’s most high-tech sewer cameras offer a variety of features like HD-quality pictures, lamp lights, thick cables for larger lines and battery operation capabilities. If these features sound good to you, you’re probably looking for a high-grade push camera inspection system. This handy tool may not look like much, but it can easily fit into even the smallest pipes, and allow you to save recorded footages in portable media.

Find a Reliable Supplier

Not every sewer camera in the market offers the same level of quality and set of features. Inspect each choice up close, therefore, before you decide to buy. These tools, after all, are valuable assets for your business. Find a reliable supplier who can provide you with a wide range of choices and follow-up service when you need it.

 

HOW TO KNOW WHEN YOU NEED A SEWER CAMERA INSPECTION

You’re Moving to a New House

Moving into a new home is the perfect time to conduct a sewer camera inspection. After all, you’ve inspected every other part of the home shouldn’t you look underground in the pipes before you buy? Just before you purchase or before you move in, is the ideal time to conduct a sewer camera inspection. Sewer inspections are particularly necessary if you’re buying an older home or a home that’s surrounded by a lot of trees.  Experiencing sewage back up or clogged pipes soon after moving into a new house can be alarming. Avoid this scenario by booking a sewer camera inspection before you buy or before you move in.

Your Drains Are Slow or Backing Up

Is water pooling in the bottom of your shower? The kitchen sink taking longer to drain? Is the toilet constantly getting clogged? While you might pass these off as usual symptoms of an older plumbing system, drains that are often slow or blocked warrant further investigation. A sewer camera inspection allows you to get an inside look so you can analyze what’s at the core of your blocked or slow drains and apply the appropriate fix.

Water Pressure Fluctuating or Decreasing

Issues with water pressure can cause unsatisfying showers and frustrating problems with dishwashers and washing machines. But, did you know that matters with your sewer line can cause pressure problems? While a leaky pipe causing low pressure can be easier to find, a leaky sewer pipe is not. This is where a sewer camera inspection can come in handy to give you an insider view of the sewer pipe and any potential leaks that may be causing decreases or fluctuations in water pressure.

You Have a Foundation Leak

Foundation leaks can be notoriously tricky to diagnose and require a lot of expense to correct. A leak under the foundation is often found to be caused by the sewer line – but you don’t want to dig up your sewer pipes and foundation to find out where the leak is. A sewer video inspection can often help pinpoint and identify the source of the leak quickly and efficiently, potentially saving you money on unnecessary excavations.

 

What Your Need to Know About Sewer & Drain Inspections

Why Sewers and Drains Need to Be Inspected

Sewers and drains can both become clogged or damaged, and an inspection can help you to determine the true condition of your pipes. These pipes are critical to your home’s condition, and damaged pipes can interfere with your ability to use the sewer line. Damage can also cause property damage to your home. For example, some clogged drains or damaged sewer lines can result in sewage waste spilling back into the home. This can cause an unhealthy, stinky mess as well as the potential for water damage and more. Inspecting the lines periodically is a great way to learn about potential issues that are developing before they become problematic.

Different Drain and Sewer Inspection Techniques

There are different techniques that are commonly used today to inspect drains and sewer lines. Some plumbing companies, for example, will push a snake-like device through the pipe to ensure that it is clean, and some will clean the pipes during this process. This will check for signs of a clog, but it will not be able to determine if there is a crack or leak in the pipe. Cracks and leaks are common in the pipes outside of the home, such as with the main sewer line. This is because the pipe can settle when the ground settles, or tree roots can impact it.

The Best Sewer and Drain Inspection Method

The better method to use when inspecting a drain or sewer line is a video inspection method. With this method, a camera will be inserted into the drain line and through the sewer line. The plumber will be able to view the pipe from the interior, and this includes the entire length of the pipe. Many areas of the pipe may be hidden in walls, a concrete foundation or underground, so the ability to see inside the pipe is a true benefit. If damage is found, it can easily be pinpointed so that repair work can be completed quickly.

Use Home Electrical Safety Inspection For Your Home Safety

What does an Electrical Safety Inspection Involve?

Similar to a vehicles MOT, an Electrical Installation Condition Report documents the condition of your electrical wiring and gives you a clear, concise, safety verdict (Satisfactory or Unsatisfactory) as well as a summary of the overall condition.  In addition, the  report also details any defects found and tells you how serious they may be.

For an average house the inspection and testing procedure takes 2-4 hours. The size of the property, any outbuildings, swimming pools, garden power & lighting etc. all affect the time and cost of an E.I.C.R.  Please call us to discuss your requirements and we will provide a fixed price quotation for an inspection specifically tailored to your needs.

The inspection & testing involves minimal disruption to the property. We do not need to lift floorboards, or make any mess. The procedure starts with walking around every room and outbuilding to make a visual inspection of the electrical installation. We then carry out a detailed set of tests at the fuse board / consumer unit and at sockets, light fittings, and other electrical outlets throughout the property. Once our on-site work is complete, we take our results back to the office to assess all the measurements and compile your report.

 

9 Tips for Passing an Electrical Inspection

If you are considering attempting your own electrical work on your next project, I implore you to apply for electrical permits from your local government.

Applying to do my own work was a simple process.  In this case, all I did was fill out a couple of simple forms where I stated my name, address, the scope of the work being performed (adding 4 recessed lights) and the estimated cost of the work related to the permit.  After about two weeks, the township called me and let me know my permit was approved and ready for pickup.  I paid a $61 fee to the township and got started on the rough-in work.  Once I complete the rough-in work, I schedule the inspector and he pays me a visit.

The most anxiety inducing part of this process is the rough-in inspection, but if you follow these general guidelines, you’ll be much more likely to pass the first time.

  1. Ask the Inspector First. When you schedule the inspector, try to actually have a conversation with him or her about what they expect to see and what pitfalls you can avoid.  All inspectors should be looking for the same checks, but some have additional requirements or pet-peeves that can fail you.  Checking with them first is a great way to establish a name to a face and get a sense of their general requirements.
  2. Don’t Add Any Devices. During the rough-in inspection, there can’t be any devices on the circuits you are adding. No outlets, no lights, no switches, nada, nunca.  If you are adding an outlet to an existing circuit, then the NEW outlet should also not be installed either.  The rest of the outlets on that circuit that were originally there are probably fine, but if you disturbed the wiring in any outlet, it shouldn’t have a device for the inspection.
  3. Tie Your Grounds Together. In each outlet or electrical box location, the ground wires should be tied together.  This is something my inspector noted today.  Don’t tie anything else together though.  The hot and neutral leads should remain separate.
  4. Fire Block. Any holes or penetrations from one floor to the next or from one wiring passage to the next needs to be blocked so as to prevent a fire using the hole as a breathing hole or chimney.  Typically, you can use fire block expanding foam (which is bright orange in color) or regular fiberglass insulation to fill or plug these kind of holes.
  5. Plug Holes in Boxes. This one was new to me and I’ll have to fix it.  The electrical box I used have these bendable tabs where the cable enters.  Well one of these tabs snapped off.  The inspector told me I need to plug it.  I’ll probably use insulation and jam it in the hole here.
  6. Use Correct Breaker. Another correction I’ll have to make is the circuit breaker I installed.  The breaker in this application needs to be an 15 amp Arc Fault Circuit Interrupter (AFCI) and I had installed a regular 15 amp breaker.  The AFCI’s prevent arcs and are required on all circuits that feed living spaces (I think).  You can buy AFCI’s in any hardware store and they are several times more expensive than regular breakers.
  7. Don’t Power the Circuit. Although the wires for the new circuit can be tied into the new breaker, the breaker needs to remain off or unpowered.  It shouldn’t be powered up until all the devices are installed.
  8. Cover the Wires with Wire Nuts. All the wire ends need to have wire nuts on them even if they don’t have any exposed conductor.  Same goes for the ground wires.
  9. Secure Cables with Staples. Cable runs need to be secured to framing every so many feet with cable staples.

That’s pretty much all I have for the rough-in inspection.  If you have any others, please leave them in the comments.  If you’ve never done your own electrical work, then I suggest you work with someone more experienced before you attempt it yourself.  Be safe and good luck.

 

The recommended frequency of Fixed Wire Testing varies between 1 and 5 years depending upon the business type, so how often do you need to test your workplace?

Fixed Wire Testing, also known as an Electrical Installation Condition Report (EICR), checks that your electrical installations or circuits conform to the latest wiring regulations, in order to ensure you are compliant with relevant workplace safety legislation.

The frequency of testing is specified in the latest version of the IET Wiring Regulations (currently BS7671:2018) and is determined by;

  • The type of installation
  • How often it is used
  • The external influences or environment to which the electrical installation is exposed.

For many commercial businesses, an EICR, which used to be called a periodic testing report, will be required at the lowest frequency interval – every 5 Years. However, higher risk environments will require 3 Yearly or even more frequent testing.

It should be noted that all stated periods are maximum intervals. Deterioration of the installation may indicate a need to reduce the interval between testing.

5 Year Fixed Wire Testing

Most standard workplace environments need an Electrical Installation Condition Report to be produced at least every 5 years. However, there should be regular routine inspections conducted at least annually.

Typical workplaces which require 5 Yearly Fixed Wire Testing include:

  • Commercial spaces such as offices and retail outlets
  • Hotels and restaurants (excluding spa hotels)
  • Schools, colleges and universities
  • Laboratories
  • Community centres, churches and public houses
  • Care homes and hospitals (excluding medical locations)
  • Halls of residence, houses of multiple occupancy

3 Year or 1 Year Fixed Wire Testing

Environments which, for example, are exposed to moisture, dust, extreme temperatures or which are open to the general public constitute a higher risk and therefore require more frequent testing. These workplaces require testing every 1 -3 years, with more frequent routine inspections also required.

Typical workplaces or environments which require 3 or 1 year Fixed Wire Testing include:

  • Spa hotels and leisure centres – 3 years
  • Industrial Units – 3 years
  • Theatres and places of public entertainment – 3 years
  • Caravans – 3 years
  • Cinemas – 1 year (front of house), 3 years (back of house)
  • Agricultural or horticultural establishments – 3 years
  • Medical locations in hospitals or clinics – 1 year
  • Swimming pools and saunas – 1 year
  • Caravan Parks and Marinas – 1 year
  • Fish Farms, Laundrettes, Petrol Stations – 1 year

 

 

Getting electrical work done

When you hire an electrician to do work on your home, make sure they are licensed and issue a Certificate of Compliance for their work. While you can do a limited amount of electrical work on your own home, unless you are sufficiently skilled, it is much better to get an electrician to undertake the work.

The law allows homeowners to do a limited amount of electrical work in their home.

Any person other than a homeowner who carries out prescribed electrical work is required to be registered by the Electrical Workers Registration Board (EWRB). All electrical workers who carry out electrical work in return for payment or reward must hold an annual practising licence.

When you contract an electrical worker always ask to see their practising licence and check the expiry date. This is proof that the worker is qualified to do electrical work safely.

Note: the colour of the licence changes every two years.  If you are unsure if your electrical worker is licensed get in touch with the EWRB

Certificate of Compliance (CoC)

Electricians must issue a Certificate of Compliance (CoC) to customers when doing any fixed wiring work, including fitting new power points. CoCs are not issued for maintenance work, such as replacing sockets and light fittings or repairing appliances.

The CoC indicates that the work done is electrically safe and has been carried out in accordance with New Zealand’s electrical safety standards and codes. It also shows they have tested their work once completed.

Keep your CoC in a safe place as a record of the work done on your property. It is an important document and may be required for insurance claims or when you are selling your home.

A CoC guarantees that the work:

  • has been completed by a licensed electrician
  • meets safety standards set by law, and
  • has been tested.
  • Electrical safety inspections

The law also requires some electrical work to be inspected, particularly work on the main switchboard, the main cable, and the main earth. The electrician you employ is responsible for arranging for a licensed electrical inspector to carry out the inspection. Keep the inspection report with your CoCs, a copy of this guide and other important information.

 

Do an Electrical Inspection Before You Buy a Home

Before you buy a home, you—or a professional—should inspect the electrical installation and its components. You could have the county or city inspector take a look, or you could find an electrical contractor to help you with the task. However you do it, make sure that the home is up to date and safety standards as required by the National Electrical Code.

You should have an electrical service that is large enough to supply the home and have room for future expansion. The wiring should be grounded and in good working order. The switches and outlets should be inspected to ensure they are in good working order and of the right type. Here are some of the electrical components of the electrical system that should be inspected.

Receptacles

The receptacles, often called outlets, should be inspected to make sure that they have a ground, don’t have any cracks or physical defects, that they have the proper tension to hold in a cord that is plugged into them, and that they are the proper type for the area. Specific areas to watch are bathrooms, kitchens, basements, garages, and outdoor outlets. Any of these areas could be wet or damp and are required to have ground fault circuit interrupters (GFCI) installed. Kitchens require many special outlets and circuits to supply the vast number of kitchen appliances in them.

Common Mistakes

There are plenty of common electrical mistakes that people make, and you may be wondering if the old wiring is safe or whether your home has aluminum wiring. Check for incorrect electrical wiring and signs that a previous owner overloaded a circuit.

Service Panel

To examine the electrical system even further, you can perform a service panel checklist examination. It will take some time to do all of this, but it is well worth the effort. After all, you wouldn’t buy a sinking ship with holes in it, and you shouldn’t buy a faulty home either. If you know the defects ahead of time and negotiate the price to offset the faults, you may get the home of your dreams at a price that you can afford!

Wiring Lifespan

Electrical wiring has a certain safe lifespan, and standards have changed over the years—knob and tube wiring was state of the art in its day, but it’s now outdated. Just like the electrical switches and outlets wear out and need to be replaced from time to time, the wiring should be updated when necessary.

Future Expansion

The home’s electrical service should be large enough for the current size of the house, with room to spare. Even if you are not planning an addition now, it is safer to have some breathing room.

Be sure to check the lighting for safety as well. Look in areas like basements, hallways, staircases, and garages—these areas should have sufficient lighting to ensure safety while passing through each. Also check outdoor lighting to see if the lighting is sufficient to enter and enter your home.

Vacation Rentals Cleaning Is Good For Your Clean Vacation

Vacation Rental Cleaning

Summer is here, which means it’s time for vacation! Where are you off to this year? A condo on the beach? Or maybe a secluded cabin in the woods? Regardless of where you go, if you’re staying at a vacation rental, you should be ready to do a little cleaning when you arrive.

True, housekeeping after a flight or long car drive is probably the last thing you want to do. However, it can help you get your home away from home set up. That way you can enjoy the space without worrying about who’s been there before you.

Check out the following vacation rental cleaning tips so that you know what to take care of as soon as you arrive.

Check the Trash

Your rental host or the previous guests may have forgotten to carry out their trash before they left. Take a minute to check all the trash cans in the house to see that they’ve been emptied. Next, locate the replacement bin liners so you can start off fresh.

Do Some Light Kitchen Cleaning

The kitchen will be the room you want to focus most of your vacation rental cleaning attention on. After all, ocean swims, hikes and other summer adventures equal increased appetites meaning this room will see a lot of traffic. Our kitchen cleaning checklist can help you make sure your family or friends are eating off clean surfaces and utensils.

Kitchen cleaning checklist

1. Make sure the inside of the microwave is clean.

2. Clean the kitchen sponge by wetting it thoroughly and microwaving it for a minute or two. Keep an eye on the sponge in the microwave and let it cool before removing it – it will be hot!

3. Give the inside of the fridge and freezer a once over to make sure no food items have been left behind.

4. Wipe down all surfaces, including countertops, stovetops and sinks.

5. Check dishes, glasses and frequently used pots, pans or cutting boards to make sure the previous renters cleaned them well.

6. If you find any dirty dishes that you’ll use regularly, give them a good hand washing or place them in the dishwasher.

Head to the Bathroom

The bathroom should be in pretty good shape. That being said, it couldn’t hurt to wipe down countertops, especially if you’ll be spreading out toiletries and toothbrushes. In addition, you might also want to quickly wipe down the sink and shower knobs, as well as the toilet handle.

Take it Outside

If your rental has an outdoor area, it’s worth it to spend a few minutes tidying up. If you can easily locate an outdoor broom, start by giving the space a good sweeping, Then, give any outdoor furniture a quick wipe. Hopefully, the grill and any deck chairs or tables have been left reasonably clean and should be ready to go after a quick once over with a cloth or towel. However, if outdoor items need some extra attention, you can clean them using the following instructions

Vacation rental cleaning probably isn’t anyone’s idea of a good time. However, taking thirty minutes to an hour to get your temporary digs in working order is well worth it when you can relax knowing the cups your family is drinking from have been personally cleaned by you.

 

5 Ways to Effectively Automate Your Vacation Rental Cleaning

Here are 5 easy ways to automate your short-term rental cleaning.

1. Hire a professional Airbnb cleaning company between guest bookings.

Travelers often hold vacation rentals to the same high standards of cleanliness as full-service hotels, even though rental hosts don’t have access to the same full-time housekeeping crews that hotels do. However, hosts can bring in a team of professional cleaners to scrub their rental properties from top to bottom between guest bookings, taking care of the entire turnover cleaning process.

It’s easier than ever to hire a professional vacation rental cleaning service to tidy up your property after one set of guests departs and before the next guests arrive. Your Airbnb cleaning crew should take care of a number of services, including:

• Making the beds.

• Cleaning and putting away the dishes.

• Sweeping and mopping floors.

• Vacuuming carpets and rugs.

• Cleaning toilets, bathtubs, and showers.

• Taking out the trash.

• Wiping countertops, door handles, and light switches.

• Checking for damages and reporting low inventory.

• These cleaning services will ensure your guests feel comfortable while renting out your space without requiring you to lift a finger.

2. Schedule periodic deep cleanings.

Although cleaning your vacation rental between guest check-outs will keep your property looking fresh and tidy most of the time, it’s important to schedule periodic deep cleanings of your unit, too. These are services that aren’t required all the time, but may be necessary several times per year. When hiring a short-term rental cleaning company, ask about their ability to handle more in-depth cleanings in addition to their basic cleaning services.

Ideally, the company you hire to clean your rental property between bookings will be the same company that handles your rental’s deep cleanings, since the crew will already be familiar with your property and any unique requirements you may have.

Deep cleaning services that you should think about automating include:

• Wiping baseboards.

• Cleaning inside the oven and fridge.

• Shampooing carpets.

• Cleaning inside any cabinets.

• Any specialized cleaning of your bathrooms or appliances.

3. Keep tabs on toiletries and supplies.

Keeping your vacation rental adequately stocked with toiletries and other supplies is an important part of ensuring guest satisfaction (and in turn, ensuring positive reviews and ratings). It’s easy to slip up and forget to replace supplies like paper towels and toilet paper, and you can bet your guests will certainly take notice!

It’s worth hiring an vacation rental cleaning company who will take the time to do a quick inspection of all your property’s supplies and notify you of any that need to be replenished before the next guest checks in. Automating this simple (yet crucial!) step allows you to be proactive about ensuring your guests’ satisfaction, all without requiring you to add another step to your to-do list.

4. Get notified of any damages.

Unfortunately, dealing with damages is something that many vacation rental hosts have to deal with from time to time. It’s never fun to have to inspect for and correct damages, but an even bigger problem is failing to notice them in the first place and 1) allowing the damage to spread or become worse, or 2) receiving negative reviews from future guests who were inconvenienced by the damage.

Some vacation rental cleaning crews may be able to look out for and notify you of any damages, helping you to achieve peace of mind by knowing that potential damages won’t go unnoticed. Better yet, some companies will even photograph damages for you, ensuring that you have adequate documentation for reimbursement.

5. Schedule cleanings and submit payments instantly online.

As a vacation rental host, you’ve got enough on your plate with managing guest bookings and ensuring positive guest interactions and experiences. Stopping by a brick-and-mortar business or picking up the phone every time you need to schedule a cleaning can eat up a lot of the time you could be spending on your guests.

Free up more of your valuable time by opting for an Airbnb cleaning company who allows you to schedule all of your upcoming turnover cleanings, send messages and share notes, re-schedule cleanings, and submit payments with just a few clicks in an online platform.

There are a number of ways for you to save time and avoid headaches when it comes to managing your vacation rental business. While so many of your tasks can be accomplished digitally, it’s still necessary to put forth a little physical effort to get your property cleaned for incoming tenants. By doing some research and finding the right service for your vacation rental turnover cleanings, you’re sure to quickly automate your entire between-guests system.

 

FAST AND EFFICIENT VACATION RENTAL CLEANING TIPS

1.Make a checklist

Whether you are doing the cleaning or hired a cleaner to clean your vacation rental, making a checklist ahead of time is very beneficial. With your busy schedule, it is easy to forget to take care of some important tasks for cleaning. Making a set checklist for your cleanings will solve this issue. If you have hired a vacation rental cleaner then a checklist is very important so that the cleaner knows exactly what you would like done for your property. Here is a sample checklist for cleaning per room:

KITCHEN

• Wash and put away dishes

• Wipe down and organize cabinets

• Wash floor

• Clean inside and outside of refrigerator and microwave oven

• Clean appliance interiors and exteriors: This includes coffee maker and toaster

BEDROOM

• Dust tops of drawers and dressers: We recommend you do this step before you vacuum, this way you can vacuum any dust.

• Change sheets and pillowcases

• Vacuum floor: If there are any stains in the carpet, be sure to clean them immediately. Keep stain remover handy between guest visits to avoid long-term stains on your carpet!

• Vacuum drapes: Using an attachment to vacuum drapes keep them from getting dusty.

• Clean smudges from windows: This is important so that guests can enjoy the views that your property offers, opposed to seeing fingerprints!

BATHROOM

• Scrub bathtub and faucet

• Wipe down mirrors: Using a microfiber cloth with a cleaning product is a great method for cleaning smudges off of mirrors.

• Scrub toilets

• Remove hard water stains: Vinegar is a great way to remove those pesky water stains. Simply put a small amount of vinegar on a wet wash cloth, and wrap it around the water stained area.

• Empty and wash trash can

LIVING ROOM

• Dust tabletops

• Dust electronics

• Organize media cabinet

• Steam clean sofa/chairs: It is great to have your sofa steam cleaned semi regularly to ensure it is left clean as new!

• Dust mantels and shelves

2. Set time limit per room

Setting a time limit for cleaning each room of your house is a good way to ensure a fast cleaning process. You can base the time spent on each room based on what you have on your cleaning checklist for each room.

3. First, start high!

A smart place to start is with tall pieces of furniture. This way when you dust tall furniture, the dust does not dirty your previously cleaned floor.

4. Vacuum

When it comes to dusting tops of drawers and dressers: We recommend you do this step before you vacuum, this way you can vacuum any dust. Vacuuming does not take long but it is an important task to complete after each guest.

5. Carry your cleaning caddy

While you are cleaning each room, carry around your cleaning caddy! This is a simple way to save time having to stop cleaning to retrieve different cleaning products

6. Ice cubes to remove wrinkles

A quick fix for wrinkled sheets is ice cubes and some heat. By putting sheets in the microwave with ice cubes for about 5 minutes, you will have perfectly steamed linens.

What Do You Need to Know Before Hiring Vacation Rental Cleaning Services?

VACATION RENTAL CLEANING IS DIFFERENT FROM RESIDENTIAL CLEANING

Many people don’t realize that vacation rental cleaning goes beyond regular house cleaning chores. Many tasks that vacation rental cleaning requires are not performed by residential cleaners. This is why you need to hire a service that specializes in vacation rental cleaning. Professionals will be prepared to complete tasks such as cleaning and changing linens, restocking toiletries, and notifying you of any damage or issues.

If you don’t live near enough to routinely check your property, it’s vital that you hire an expertly trained vacation rental cleaning service you can trust to keep you up-to-date on your property’s condition.

HOW TO FIND A GOOD CLEANING SERVICE

Many cleaning companies and contractors will say they’re the best, but you can’t simply take their word for it. You’re going to have to do a little research to find a truly excellent vacation rental cleaner. The best way to do this is to ask friends and acquaintances for referrals of cleaners they trust, especially if they have experience booking vacation rental cleaning.

If you can’t get a referral, search online for professional cleaning companies. A company is usually more reliable than an independent contractor. They are also more likely to have licensed, insured, and bonded employees, which is vital. When you’re interested in a company, ask for references so you can hear what their clients think of them before you commit to anything.

IMPORTANT QUESTIONS TO ASK BEFORE HIRING A VACATION RENTAL CLEANING SERVICE

There are many questions you can ask prospective cleaners before picking one. Some will be about your specific needs, others are just common sense. Not sure what to ask? Here are some suggestions:

• How much experience do you have cleaning vacation rentals?

• Do you send the same person every time? What if they are unavailable?

• Are you available for quick turnarounds or last-minute emergencies?

• What add-on services do you offer?

• Who provides the cleaning supplies?

• How will you communicate with me about issues or low supplies?

• How do you measure quality?

• What happens if you damage my property?

• What kind of training do your employees receive?

• Do you have a satisfaction guarantee? How does it work?

• Remember, the whole point of hiring vacation rental cleaning services is to make managing your property easier. Asking the right questions will help you compare your options and identify the experienced, high-quality cleaners. You should feel confident in who you hire to take care of your property.

Look for a company that puts your needs first and has proven policies and procedures in place that make their services as easy for you as possible. Avoid companies who don’t have the experience with vacation rental cleaning or who can’t satisfactorily answer your questions.


WHAT MAKES A VACATION RENTAL CLEANING DIFFERENT

A vacation rental cleaning goes above and beyond what you’d expect from a typical house cleaning. Your housekeeper needs to be ready to provide a higher level of service, and handle tasks like:

• Cleaning the linens that were used by previous guests
• Sanitizing surfaces after previous guests check out
• Checking that the next guest has sufficient quantities of toilet paper and cleaning products
• Keeping an eye out for damage
• Checking for missing items and taking pictures of any damage
• Testing various items in the house to be sure they work
In other words, your housekeeping service isn’t only cleaning. It’s also going to make your home guest-ready

IF YOU’RE THINKING ABOUT DOING IT YOURSELF…

The first decision you need to make about cleaning your vacation rental is whether you’re going to do the work yourself or hire a service to handle it for you.

Doing your own cleaning is an easy way to cut down on management costs and increase your income. But it only makes sense if you live locally and can afford to treat your vacation rental as a full-time job.

Even if doing it yourself seems like an attractive option, ask yourself an honest question: Can I commit to deep-cleaning the entire property more than once a week?

In high season, you might have “quick turns” where a guest checks out at 10 a.m. and the next guest checks in at 4 p.m. In that window, you’ll need to provide a thorough cleaning. If you can’t guarantee you’ll be ready and willing to do that, you need to hire someone who can.

IF YOU’RE THINKING ABOUT HIRING A CLEANING SERVICE
Working with a cleaning service is a great alternative
If you don’t want to handle the cleaning yourself or you don’t live near your rental property, it’s helpful to have a trusted housekeeper who will visit your home on a regular basis to keep things in great shape for guests.

A cleaning service can also keep an eye on the state of things and let you know if anything is looking worse for wear. If a remote control is missing or an item has been damaged since the guests checked out, you’ll know immediately and can take swift action.

Whether you’re rolling up your sleeves and doing the cleaning yourself, or hiring a rockstar cleaning team, remember that the goal is to deliver consistently clean accommodations. When you meet guests’ expectations for a tidy vacation rental, you don’t just avoid complaints. You make a great first impression that can turn into amazing reviews that keep your property booked.