Making Your Bathroom Clean And Healthy With House Cleaning

Natural & Eco-Friendly Cleaning Products For The Conscious Home

Natural & Eco-Friendly Cleaning Products

Green cleaning products clean your home naturally, without the unpleasant chemical residue that can harm your family and your pets. Eco-friendly cleaning products are made using sustainable manufacturing practices and naturally derived, safe, non-toxic, and biodegradable ingredients that don’t negatively impact the environment or your family’s health

These natural and eco-friendly household cleaning brands are conscious of your family’s health and the wellbeing of the earth. Many of these companies also give back to communities and social causes. You can find these products in large retailers, at natural grocery stores, or online. Happy cleaning!

Grove Collaborative

Grove Collaborative is re-thinking what it means to maintain a clean home with natural products. The subscription-service company offers a multitude of household and personal care products, from multi-surface cleaners to pet stain removers.

Method Home

The company has set a high standard, too: it’s a registered B Corp, cruelty-free, uses renewable energy, has started a biodiesel shipping program, and has fun eco-friendly packaging. The aromatic cleaners, detergents, and soaps will have your home smelling good and clean all day long.

Seventh Generation

Seventh Generation is another brand that has established itself as a leader in the green cleaning movement. The collection of detergents, all-purpose cleaners, and wipes are well-known, but did you know the company also makes natural and free-and-clear diapers, tampons, and pads? For almost 30 years, Seventh Generation has thought about what it means to be green for our futures, our people, and our planet.

 

Ultimate: Best cleaning supplies list for house cleaning

Create a cleaning supplies list

Cleaning homes can be as simple or as tedious as any other service related occupation. You don’t know what house cleaning supplies you’ll need until you’re in the home

And let’s face it, sometimes what we assessed at the initial walk-through is not what we find when it’s time to provide the cleaning services.

So, it’s good practice to show up with any and all cleaning material you could possibly need especially on the first clean. Then you can scale down from then.

There’s nothing like showing up to a job, rather the first house cleaning or the 10th, and not having the simplest of items such as a plastic scraper blade to remove candle wax and such.

There can be nothing more embarrassing showing up to professionally clean a home without basic household cleaning products.

 

SIMPLE CLEANING TIPS

Keeping a clean home can be a daunting task when you have so much else to do, but these seven simple cleaning tips will help you keep your home in order without spending all day scrubbing

after all, the girl who spent most of her recesses in fifth and sixth grade organizing books in the school library (yep…nerd to the max, and proud of it!). The girl who ordered and numbered all the movies in her house, and then typed up a list to keep track of them all. The girl who reorganized the kitchen as a Mother’s Day gift in high school. The girl who fought so much with her sister over the cleanliness of their bedroom (among other things) that they had to be moved into separate rooms (sorry, Mom).For much of my life, I’ve been able to keep things tidy without too much trouble.

Then I had a baby, and I was home all the time with a wonderful bundle of joy who created more laundry than a football team. Shortly thereafter, said bundle of joy became mobile, and I came to truly understand the phrase “toddler tornado.” This tornado was full of giggles and excitement, but he left a pile (or more often, piles) of debris in his wake. Now, four years later, I have two crazy little tornadoes who love dirt, noise, and destruction. Someone help me…they’re multiplying

The reality of my life with little kids is that it will not be perfectly clutter-free, nor will my windows be free of fingerprints. That’s okay with me. I love my kids, and I would much rather have happy, healthy kids than a clean house.

However, there is a limit to how much chaos I can handle. When my home is neat, I feel like my mind can focus better and I feel less stressed about everything.

 

helpful apps for cleaning your disgusting house

There are dishes in the sink, the cat is crying to be fed, the light bulb in the hallway has burned out, the trash is overflowing, the floor crunches when you walk on it, and whatever is making that smell in the fridge needs to be exterminated. Oh yeah, and it’s Friday night and you’re hungry and need to fix something—anything—for dinner.

Maybe your day-to-day household catastrophes aren’t quite on the scale of mine (embarrassing as it is), but it’s pretty likely that there’s something in your home that needs some tending to, even if you already tackled a deep spring-cleaning weeks ago. But making an old-fashioned written chore list doesn’t really do the trick anymore: That spiral notebook doesn’t send you helpful reminders or pop up on your calendar or link you to tips on the best way to wash your comforter. But you know what does? Yeah, you do—you read the title of this article. Let’s do this.

Sure, sure, you want a clean house. You try. You can handle the immediate mess when you see it; it’s just hard to keep up with on a regular basis. By the time you’ve finished cleaning one room, the rest have spiraled out of control because cleaning is a punishment invented by our evil overlords. Or, you know, because you keep making everything dirty.

After naming your task, you can choose how often it should be performed in days, weeks, or months, and what the task’s current condition is like (clean, between, due, or overdue). The task then shows up in the assigned area with a colored bar and its due date. Common areas like kitchen or living room will display a background of a room with a piece of associated furniture (kitchen shows a stove, for example). It won’t be called out for groundbreaking design (although it has finally been optimized for iOS 7 in its latest update), but Tody isn’t concerned with looking good.

It is concerned with getting your house looking good, however, by providing you an easy way to input, check off, and reschedule tasks so you can remember when to change out the kitchen towels or scrub the grout in the shower. You can view your chores as one big to-do list organized by due date, by area, or by what you’ve done today. Settings allow you to customize more: You can change the colors in Tody, set an “Attitude Towards Cleaning” (the suggested frequency of new tasks), and turn Reminders on.

 

Guide to Housekeeping Skills (With Tips and Examples)

Housekeepers are an important part of the cleanliness of both public and private facilities. An effective and successful housekeeper has a number of important skills, including an eye for detail and organization skills. In this article, we discuss what housekeeping skills are and how you can improve them, with examples and tips on applying for housekeeping jobs and using these skills at the workplace.

What are housekeeping skills?

Housekeeping skills are skills that allow a housekeeper or maid to be effective at their job. These skills can range from customer service to being detail-oriented, and they may vary based on a housekeeper’s specific duties and place of employment. For example, a housekeeper who works in a hospital may have to abide by strict cleanliness guidelines to ensure patients are in a clean and healthy environment.

The following are the most common housekeeping skills needed to be a good housekeeper:

Time management skills

Attention to detail

Communication skills

Interpersonal skills

Flexibility

Customer service

Housekeeping hard skills

Time management skills

Housekeepers often work on their own or in a small group of other housekeepers and must complete a set number of cleanings each day. Being able to properly manage time is a key skill needed by a housekeeper to ensure they complete all cleanings in a timely manner. They must also be punctual for cleaning appointments and finish cleaning in the time frame expected by the client.

Attention to detail

A housekeeper must be extremely detail-oriented to be effective at their job. From organizing various household items to ensuring that floors and windows are scrubbed clean and left streakless, these professionals need a keen eye for detail to successfully perform their duties. The more thorough a housekeeper is at completing their tasks, the better they will be at their job.

Local Moving And Services

Store Your Stuff: Local Moving Tips From Local Movers

It doesn’t seem like it, but so often, moving locally can be more complicated than moving long distance. The problem isn’t so much in the distance, or lack thereof, but in the mindset most people have when planning and preparing for a local move. When you’re just moving across town, it can be simple to fall into the mindset that you have plenty of time because you’re not going that far. Just grab a couple of friends to help move the furniture, and you have all weekend, so it’s no big deal, right?

Even worse is how that mindset tends to promote procrastination. If you’re only moving across town, you don’t need to make sure everything is packed beforehand because you can just shove it in your car. In the end, you may end up with several broken items, late nights, and general moving disarray. If you only gave yourself that one weekend to move, completely sure it would be enough time, what do you do when Sunday night hits and you’re still only half-moved?

Prep, Prep, Prep

We’ve said it before and we’ll say it again: organization is the number one thing you can do to make your move easier. This is absolutely the case when it comes to local moves, not just those haul everything across the country moves. Whether you have weeks to move your things from home A to home B, or just a weekend, ensuring you’re packed and ready to haul your goods before that weekend will make everything go more smoothly.

Store Stuff

If you know you’ll only have a day or two to get everything out of your old place and into the new, one of the biggest helpful steps you can undertake is to rent a storage unit. This way, you can move out everything you don’t use daily, and do so a few trips at a time. If you know you’re going to need a quick turnaround to actually be out of your old home, stash as many things as possible in the storage unit before your official move-out weekend. This way, you have plenty of time to get your old place clean and ready to hand off to the next owner or renter and will incur fewer security deposit fees or inspection issues.

Schedule Help

Unless you’re Captain America, you probably can’t move your couches, bed, or dresser on your own. The faster you have to move, the more help you’ll need to get everything loaded into a moving truck and hauled to the new place. If you need moving help and don’t have friends available to bribe with pizza and beer, get yourself moved quickly with help. offer a variety of moving services, including moving furniture and packing boxes, so we can customize our local movers services based on your needs.

 

How HireAHelper Makes Moving Simple

Simple, Upfront Pricing

Each long-distance and local mover on HireAHelper is displayed in one sortable list with one price, making it the web’s easiest place to compare all your local moving company options.

Real Customer Reviews

Only paying customers can leave reviews on HireAHelper, so every review is honest and verified. The local movers on HireAHelper know you’ll be leaving them an unfiltered review. The more five-star reviews they get, the more customers choose them.

Amazing Customer Support

We’re here watching the phones, and we’re ready for your local or long-distance moving questions. Our in-house team of moving experts are ready 7 days a week to spring into action and make your moving day as carefree as possible.

Service Is Guaranteed

If your move doesn’t go how it should, we’ll work with your moving company to resolve the issue, or refund you up to 100% of the cost of the job (capped at $1,000.00.)

 

Advantages of Hiring Local Movers for Moving Luxurious Home Items

When it is time to move, you will want to hire a mover of national repute. However, he may not have a local presence in the city where you are located and this could translate to a higher cost. It can also result in delays. You will find that hiring a local mover could prove to be a much better option. Here is why and how.

Prompt response

Prompt response is important. One phone call and the local mover sends across a representative for assessment of all your belongings. Especially luxurious furniture and appliances as well as antique pieces. You may or may not get a quote on the spot

Lower costs

When you think of local movers, Hudson movers are one of the best and most affordable. The truck is usually located in the same city so it does not have to travel a long distance to reach your place. It costs less for them and you get the benefit.

Better care and security

Cost becomes of secondary importance when you move high-value luxury items. You do not want your luxurious furniture and belongings to be damaged or scratched during loading, transport, and unloading.

Peace of mind

Hire local movers and you enjoy peace of mind. They have the right packing materials to pack expensive electronic items and household goods. Importantly, they have experienced and expert personnel to handle the process

 

How much do movers cost?

Local moving companies typically charge $30 to $50 per mover per hour, which includes a moving truck. Moving a three-bedroom home may require four movers and six to nine hours, or $700 to $1,000. However, how much you’ll pay for your move will depend on where you live, how far you’re moving, the number of movers you need and more.

What Type of Moving Company is Right for You?

Many professional movers and moving companies can pack your belongings, haul them into moving trucks, transport them to your new home, and even unload and unpack those items. However, the cost to hire movers can vary greatly depending on the type of service you need and how far you’re moving.

Local Moving Companies

Any move of 50 or fewer miles is categorized as a “local move.” If you’re moving anywhere within the same city — or to one nearby — you likely will work with a local moving company. And (generally) the shorter your move, the less you’ll pay

Long-Distance, Cross-Country and Interstate Moving Companies

If you need to move farther than across town, long-distance moving companies can help. Many long-distance movers can drive your belongings across the state or country for you. These moves are often priced per cubic foot, with total mileage affecting the cost.

Exclusive Direct Transport vs. Consolidated Moves

How you want your belongings moved will also affect your long-distance moving costs. The two main types of long-distance moves are consolidated moves and exclusive direct transport moves. Consolidated moves are more affordable; exclusive moves, as their name implies, are more expensive.

 

Local Moving Solutions You Can Count On

When it comes to residential local moving, there’s no such thing as a “one size fits all” solution. Each home and client comes with their own unique requirements, which is why we offer a full range of services to get you successfully moved into your new home. Our flexible packing, loading, and transportation options are available at competitive prices to meet your specific needs.

Moving Solutions for Seniors

Moving an elderly loved one into a smaller home, retirement community, assisted living facility, or even into your own home can be stressful

make the transition easier for you and your family member by offering full sorting, packing, loading, transporting, unloading, unpacking, and arranging services to meet your needs.

team of professional movers is trained in all aspects of senior moving to make everyone feel comfortable in their new home. Need to donate or recycle unwanted items?

Moves Made Easy

Whether you or your child will be studying hard in a dorm or an off-campus apartment,

Electrician Qualifications And How To Get Them

Tools Most Used By Electricians

When it comes to electrician’s tools it’s fair to say that every electrician will have that certain tool they can’t be without, and these may differ from sparky to sparky depending on the type of work they undertake.

Electrical work can’t be done without the right tools and there are certain essential tools that every electrician will need in order to do their job safely, and effectively.

So, we have put together a short list of what we believe are the ‘must-have tools’ that every electrician should have in their tool box.

  1. Approved Voltage Indicator (AVI)

This device is an absolute must as it determines the presence/absence of electricity. Used to detect AC voltages on sockets, switches, outlets, circuit breakers. Used to check that power has been switched off before commencing an electrical project. This is a life-saving tool that no electrician can be without.

  1. Insulated Screwdrivers

A tool box staple. You’ll need a variety of different types of screwdriver for the differing size screws you’ll encounter on a daily basis, these vary from wood screws, to machine screws. For safety reasons ensure that your screwdrivers are insulated up to 1000V to protect you against electrical shock and arcing.

  1. Side Cutters/Pliers

Most Sparkies will have a array of these in their tool box, but the most commonly used ones used on a daily basis are:

  • Traditional Pliers – cutting/stripping wires and handy for removing nails
  • Long Nose Pliers – the thin, grasping ends make it easy to hold or grab when fishing cable.
  • Side-Cutters – great for when you need to cut wires to specific lengths
  1. Wire Strippers

Wire strippers are an essential tool to ensure that when stripping the insulation from a cable only the required amount of pressure is used to prevent the copper cable from being damaged. Some makes can also be used to strip sheath and insulation of twin and earth cable. This particular model shown also has the capability to carry out crimping.

  1. Multi Functional Tester

Definitely the electrician’s best friend – the multifunctional tester or MFT is a requirement for any electrician to ensure that any installation is installed correctly and that all test readings meet the requirements as laid out in the IET regulations.

  1. Battery Drill

Used for drilling holes in wood, walls or other tough surfaces and fixing screws and fasteners onto surfaces. The type of drill used will vary depending on the job in hand, for example for fastening work, a lower-voltage cordless model might be used; however for drilling into concrete then a hammer drill provides more impact and will drill more holes faster.

  1. Electrical Wall Chaser

A tool for cutting narrow grooves and channels into walls to install cables and or conduit. Great time saving device allows you to cut clean and accurately. The electric motor powers electric discs similar to those found in angle grinders. The ones that have a vacuum cleaner connection are great for dust-free working.

  1. Multi Tool

A cordless oscillating multi-tool is a handy tool to have in your tool box. It’s versatility is ideal for accurately cutting a variety of materials eg flooring, tiles, plasterboard, wood and PVC.

  1. Fish Tape / Rids

Also known as ‘draw wire’ or ‘electricians snake’ this handy tool is ideal for many applications including drawing cables through conduit or fishing cables across ceilings or down walls.

  1. Head Torch / Magnetic Torch

These are a must have as you will be working in the dark on many occasions when the power is turned off. These types of torches are also good as they allow you to work hands free.

 

Power tools

Whether corded or cordless, today’s power tools pack more power in smaller, lightweight models. Ergonomic consideration makes today’s tools easier and safer to use. The most-used power tools for electricians are saws and drills, including hammer/drills.

Power drills

Every electrician uses drills, but the type of tool needed varies with the application-what is essential for one worker isn’t necessarily needed by another. The power required depends on the material being drilled. For fastening work, a lower-voltage cordless model might be used; for drilling into concrete, a hammer/drill provides more impact and can drill more holes faster.

Saws

As with drills, the type of power saw needed by electricians varies with the job at hand. Because of versatility and dependability, handheld reciprocating saws are one of the most popular classes of power-saw equipment. Spiral saws perform the same tasks as reciprocating saws, but instead of a blade, they cut with a bit with downward, parabolic fluting. Other types of saws used for electrical work include hole saws, cut-off saws and portable band saws.

 

MAKE YOUR TOOLS LAST

It’s all well and good to ensure you have all the tools of the trade, but if you don’t look after them, it will just end up costing hundreds, if not thousands, to continually replace them. On top of this, tools that are in better condition are safer and a safer working environment is essential. So, here are some tips and tricks.

  • Ensure they are stored correctly. Store them in bags, boxes, hang them on the wall or create a dedicated tool shelf, but either way, never leave your tools just lying around. A peg board is a fantastic way to store your small tools.
  • Make sure the storage place is dry. Humidity and moisture can do a world of damage to your tools so take the required measures to protect them. There’s nothing worse than rusty tools.
  • Whenever you’re done for the day, clear your tools prior to storing them. A clean cloth to remove any excess oils, sawdust or grease.
  • Repair your tools when required. Check your tools after every job and take immediate measures to fix anything that needs fixing. If the tool is completely ruined, replace it immediately.

When it comes to the tools you require, it will largely depend on the types of jobs you do. Ensuring your tools are taken care of and that you have the right tools for the job is crucial in the trade industry.

 

What are some things every electrician should know?

If you are thinking about becoming an electrician, there are a few terms you will be required to know. You can get a head start on your electrical training by reviewing some of the most important ones here.

Amp

The unit of intensity of electrical current, otherwise known as the measure of electrical flow.

Capacitor

The capacitor is an electronic component made of two close conductors that store electric charge.

Electrical Current

The flow rate of electrical charge in an electric field, usually in an electrical circuit.

Electric Power

The rate of energy consumption in an electrical circuit. Electric power is measured in units of watts.

Electrical Resistance

An electrical quantity that measures how the device or material reduces the electric current flowing through it. The resistance is measured in ohms.

Ohm

The unit of electrical resistance and impedance abbreviated with the omega symbol. Resistance is the opposition a substance offers to the passage of electrical current.

Service

The conductors and equipment for delivering electrical energy from the supply system to the wiring system of the premises served.

Volt

The unit of electromotive force that measures electrical pressure. Voltage is the effective difference of potential between any two conductors of the circuit concerned.

Watt

The unit of power or rate of work represented by a current of one ampere under a pressure of one volt.

Resistor

Resistor is an electrical component that reduces the electrical current. The resistor’s ability to reduce the current is called resistance and is measured in units of ohms.

 

Is Being an Electrician Hard on Your Body?

It’s normal to want to know everything about a career you’re interested in – all the pros and all the cons – so that you can make an informed decision on what it is you want to do. One thing to consider before you take up a new trade (electrical work, for instance) is the physical effect that your new job might have on your body.

The good news is that being an electrician isn’t too hard on your body – there are numerous jobs, including some trade jobs, that take a far harsher physical toll on those who do them.

However, this doesn’t mean that being an electrician is always easy going. If you ask electricians who have been in the business a long time, they will probably tell you they have experienced some discomfort in their knees and back.

This isn’t too surprising, as being an electrician often means crouching, kneeling and bending to reach the electrical installations you’re supposed to be working on. With that in mind, it is advised that you take the proper precautions to ensure that your body remains healthy: electricians should stretch often and consider investing in knee pads to wear while working. It’s also good practice, as in any line of work, to take breaks and refrain from putting too much stress on your body outside of working hours.

Generally speaking, though, being an electrician doesn’t come with any major risks to your long-term physical health (excluding the potential for electrical shocks, which you can read about here). In many ways, a relatively active job like electrical work is preferable to a job that has you parked in front of a computer all day – the dangers of sitting down for long periods of time are well-documented, and this isn’t something you’ll have to worry about too often when you’re working as an electrician, zipping from one job to the next all day long.

Bookkeeper And Bookkeeping Services

Bookkeeping: How to Keep Records for Your Small Business

It’s true that doing your own bookkeeping can be a complete nightmare. Whether you’re starting a new business or have been running an online store for years, learning how to track your expenses and revenue can feel like a huge challenge.

You’re not alone. Nearly three-fourths of small business owners feel they are not very knowledgeable when it comes to bookkeeping and accounting.  On top of running your business, you also have to manage an asset account, tax returns, credit card chargeback, and more. It can be confusing and overwhelming if you’re diving in for the first time. But it doesn’t have to be.

What is bookkeeping?

Bookkeeping is the process of recording and managing all financial transactions for your business, including sales, purchases, and payments. Bookkeepers track all costs and income, to help a company make informed financial decisions.

The basics of bookkeeping

In business bookkeeping, an account is a record of all debit and credit entries of a certain type, such as accounts payable or payroll.

There are five basic types of accounts:

Assets. Resources or things of value owned by a company as the result of its transactions (e.g., inventory, accounts receivable).

Liabilities. The obligations and debts owed by a company to suppliers, banks, lenders, or other providers of goods and services (e.g., loans, accounts payable).

Revenues or income. Money earned by the company through sales or providing a service.

Expenses. Cash that flows out of the company to pay for assets or services (e.g., utilities, salaries).

Equity., The remaining value of an owner’s interest in a company, after all liabilities have been subtracted(e.g., stock, retained earnings).

 

Things New Business Owners Should Know About Bookkeeping

Whatever your trade may be in the small business world, you probably love the type of work you get to wake up and do each day. Or, perhaps you’re still transitioning into a true entrepreneurial lifestyle.

While self-employment can be a breath of fresh air, there are likely some tasks you just plain can’t stand, such as bookkeeping. To help make the process of tracking your business finances a little easier, consider the following bookkeeping concepts for new business owners.

Maintaining well-organized business financial records is a must.

You must always maintain a solid recordkeeping system that contains all of your business financial files — invoices, bank statements, receipts, previous years’ tax returns, and the like.

It’s imperative to categorize your business income and expenses.

How can you gauge the true growth of your small business over time? The answer comes via good bookkeeping.

Reporting all relevant sales tax information is critical.

There are numerous business tax filings you must make when diving into formal entrepreneurship, but one critical requirement many newly crowned business owners overlook revolves around sales taxes.

 

Things Only Students of Accounting Programs Will Understand

It takes a special kind of person to become an accounting professional. You must be willing to learn new topics, work with software, use basic math every day, be a problem solver, and communicate well with people. Not everyone is up to the task of learning accounting and working in the field, but if you are, you have a great future ahead of you.

Once you join the accounting club, you will be one of a limited number of professionals who  know what it’s like to feel the joy of creating a spreadsheet, to revel in working with numbers every day, to learn and use new software programs, and best of all to have a career that is not limited. You are joining a group of professionals who are ambitious, driven, and who earn a great living working in accounting

Math is everything.

You never thought you would say this, but now that you have worked on an associate degree in accounting, you understand the truth: math is really everything. It’s all about numbers. When you study accounting your life becomes nothing but numbers. They tell the story behind a business, a spreadsheet, tax returns, and audits are so important in accounting programs and coursework.

A spreadsheet is your best friend, or your nemesis.

Underneath it all is math, but on the surface you will be working with spreadsheets, all the time. This type of software will become your new best friend, but at times it will also be your enemy. All students of accounting programs understand the joy that comes with creating a perfect spreadsheet, one that actually works, with no errors, with totals that actually make sense. Creating such a perfect spreadsheet will make your day.

You know where you’re going after finishing accounting programs.

So many students pursuing higher education have no path. They go to college because they know it’s what they’re supposed to do. They major in communications, psychology, or art history, with no real thought for where those degrees will take them. Accounting students are different.

 

What Does a Bookkeeper Actually Do?

Whether you sell handmade alpaca socks, enterprise software, or legal advice, there are two things we can guarantee about your business: you earn money and you spend it. Bookkeepers are the ones who help you keep track of all that.

If all your mental powers have been focused on getting your business off the ground, you might not fully understand what a bookkeeper does. In this guide we break down the day-to-day role of a bookkeeper, and why a good one is worth holding onto.

Bookkeepers, defined

A bookkeeper is someone who prepares your accounts, documenting daily financial transactions. Bookkeepers have been around as far back as 2600 BC—when records were tracked with a stylus on slabs of clay—making bookkeeping not the oldest profession, but pretty darn close.

A (very) brief history of bookkeepers

In colonial America, bookkeepers would record transactions in a “wastebook”—so called because the data would eventually find its way into an official ledger and the original book would go into the trash.

Bookkeepers vs. Accountants

There are some financial tasks that bookkeepers aren’t equipped for; that’s where accountants come in. While bookkeepers record daily transactions, accountants use the information compiled by a bookkeeper to produce financial models. Bookkeeping is straightforward and transactional, while accounting is more subjective and calls for skilled interpretation—like helping you understand when it’s time to incorporate, or filing your taxes to get the best return possible.

 

Bookkeeping Basics for Entrepreneurs

Bookkeeping is the process of tracking all of your company’s financial transactions, usually by entering them into accounting software or a physical set of “books.” It lets you see exactly where your business is spending money, where your revenue is coming from, and which tax deductions you’ll be able to claim.

You need it to do your taxes

You need to know your net profit in order to do your taxes, and to figure that out, you need to know your total income and expenses. And the only way to know that for sure is to have accurate, up-to-date books.

ou need it to borrow money

If you need to borrow money from someone other than friends and family, you’ll need to have your books together. Doing so lets you produce financial statements, which are often a prerequisite for getting a business loan, a line of credit from a bank, or seed investment.

It tells you where your money is going

Getting your books together and producing financial statements is the only way to gauge the financial health of your small business.

t helps you catch errors quickly

If you wait until the end of the year to reconcile or get your financial transactions in order, you won’t know if you or your bank made a mistake until you’re buried in paperwork at tax time. Regularly organizing and updating your books can help you catch that erroneous overdraft fee today, rather than six months from now, when it’s too late to bring up.

A Quick Guide To Get Rid Of Those Pesky Carpenter Ants

HOW TO FIND AN ANT NEST

If you’re besieged by ants, then you may know that the best way to deal with them is to go after the entire colony. It’s a great strategy, but finding the colony can be a lot more difficult than you would expect. After all, ants can disappear into places where it’s impossible to follow them – whether it’s behind a baseboard or deep into the ground.

CAN YOU FOLLOW ANTS BACK TO THEIR NEST?

Trailing ants back to their nest is possible, but it can be very difficult. Ants are often hard to track due to their size and ability to sneak into spaces were humans cannot. Still, if you have patience and determination, you can try following the ants you see. With luck, they will take you back to their nest site.

However, you should be aware that ants rarely walk in a straight line from a food source to their colony site. Instead, many ants walk a zigzag pattern — the result of previous ant-explorers searching for something to help feed the colony. Those scouts laid down a pheromone trail for other ants to follow. Since these trails often meander, it can take an ant a long time to cross even a short distance.

HOW TO FIND AN ANT NEST INDOORS

Tracking ants to a nest inside your house is very important. You want to address these house ants as soon as possible to eliminate the colony that could be damaging your structure and polluting your food and water.

Look for Wood Shavings – This could be a sign of carpenter ants. These shavings will often appear underneath beams in your cellar or attic.

Look for Swarmers – First, determine if the “ants” are really ants and not termites. Assuming they are ants, be aware they may be nesting outside and entering through a crack beyond your foundation. Indoor swarmers may be a sign of pharaoh ants or carpenter ants.

Look for Dead Ants – Piles of dead ants, particularly around a window, is another sign of an interior infestation nearby. Once again, check to see whether these bugs are ants or termites, and then take the appropriate steps to further locate the nest site.

Look for Moisture – Aside from food, ants need moisture. Inside your home, wet wood can invite an ant invasion, so study these areas for signs of these insects. Leaky pipes or pipes that get covered in condensation may also be an attractant to a variety of ant species, including odorous house ants. Since a route to water should be well established, it should be easy to follow these ants back to their nest site.

 

How to Find an Ant Nest: Common Places Where Ants Hide

The Kitchen

Curious about how to find an ant nest? If you really want to nip your ant problem in the bud, then you might want to start looking for them in the kitchen. This is the most likely place in your house where an ant problem will begin.

Let’s face facts here. Ants live for feeding on our spare food and drinking up our stagnant water. So, what better place to find ample water and food supplies than your kitchen? The kitchen is a fave hangout for ant colonies everywhere. Want to prevent them from slipping into your pantry? Make sure that you clean up any spills or crowns immediately.

The Bathroom

As often as your bathroom gets used, chances are that there’s a buildup of excess water and moisture in your washroom. Naturally, ants are attracted to water. In case you didn’t know, that means ants will be racing to lap up the pooled water and accidental leaks in your restroom. For those of you who want to stop and colonies in their tracks, be sure to clean up any spilled water after taking a shower or a bath.

Pet Food and Water Bowls

Attention: your pet food and water bowls are no longer safe from ant invasions. Since ant colonies are so intelligent, they’ll be able to find any leftover food that you have around your house, including pet food. Whenever your cat or dog leaves their chow in their bowl, you can add a bit of petroleum jelly to it.

Inside Walls

Can ants live in walls? The answer is yes. When it comes to ant control, inspecting the inside of your walls for ant invasions should be one of your first priorities. You might be surprised to find out that damaged or cracked walls provide the perfect crawlspace for ant colonies to populate and nest. Although certain ant species prefer to build outside colonies, inside walls give them the chance to find more sources of food while still remaining inside of your home.

 

Ant Inspection Guide

Ants can make a nuisance of themselves because they can nest both indoors and outdoors and the nest or entry points can be hard to find. If the ants are indoors, finding the entrance points will be extremely helpful in the ant control process as you will be able to seal them off to help prevent future ant infestations. Locating the nest outdoors can allow you to directly treat the nest for faster elimination.

Most ant species prefer moist areas to nest and hide eggs. Typically kitchens and bathrooms are the first rooms to be infested. Use your flashlight to look for ants behind or under refrigerators, stoves, microwaves, dishwashers, sinks, and cabinets. Ants may also be found in or around floor drains, inside the motor areas of refrigerators and microwaves, behind wall paper and in cracks and crevices in cabinets and around walls.

If you are only finding a couple of ants here and there, you can do the honey and peanut butter test to help attract the ants to one spot so you can see where the trail of ants comes from and also to help detect what type of ant bait would work best in your ant treatment program.

PRO TIP

If the ants are eating just the honey, a liquid or gel bait would be a good bait choice. If the ants are more attracted to the peanut butter, a granule or paste bait would be a good choice. You should note that as an ant colony grows and changes their nutritional needs will change. At some point they may only accept sweet or gel bait and at other times they may only accept protein or granule baits.

Ants are opportunistic by nature and can make a nest just about anywhere depending on the species of ant. When inspecting for ants outdoors you should look:

In firewood piles

Under yard debris

In electrical and utility boxes

In dirt mounds in the yard

Under the siding on your structure

 

Tips for Eliminating and Preventing Ant Infestations in the House

An ant infestation isn’t the worst pest problem in the world since most species of ant commonly found in the home do no real damage. The good news is that out of more than 1,000 or so classified species of ants in North America, only a few species are likely to take shelter in homes, and even fewer are likely to sting or cause damage. The vast majority of ant species are garden dwellers that do more good than harm — such as aerating soil or controlling damaging pests such as aphids.

But ants roaming around inside the home are annoying, and they can sometimes spread unwanted bacteria. Varieties commonly known as carpenter ants (Camponotus spp.) can cause damage by burrowing through wood structural elements of the home.

Structure of an Ant Colony

Ants are social creatures that generally form colonies in which individuals assume different roles. One or more “queen” ants are the reproducing individuals that remain in a hidden nest; their role is to simply continue to produce more ants and maintain the colony. The other individuals—which can include several million individuals in larger colonies—are known as worker ants. The younger workers typically remain inside the nest, where they serve the needs of the queen and maintain or expand the nest, while older workers roam out from the nest to retrieve food for the colony. It is these older workers that you see when an ant infestation becomes apparent.

Identify Ant Trails

The key first step in eliminating an ant infestation is to identify the trails used by worker ants to move to and from the nest. Any visible ants moving inside your home are seeking food, and once an ant finds edible material, it carries it back to the nest By doing so, the ant leaves a chemical path, or trail, for its fellow worker ants to follow to collect more food.

Use Ant Bait Indoors

Avoid the temptation to simply use pesticides to spray visible ants marching along trails in your home. Pesticide sprays can eliminate a few visible ants, but more will quickly replace them, and you’ll never make real progress to eliminating the infestation. Instead, use these worker ants as the ticket into the colony by placing ant bait for them to carry back to the hidden nest.

 

How to Get Rid of Ants in Your House and Yard

Put an end to most ant problems with inexpensive products from the home center or hardware store, and save the expense of hiring an exterminator.

How to Identify Ants

Start by identifying the type of ant in your house so you can find out how to get rid of ants, their nesting habits and have a better idea of where they’re living (they may be nesting outdoors). Take a close-up photo of the ant and send it to your local university extension service (enter your state’s name and “university extension service” into any online search engine). The extension service will tell you the type of ant you’re dealing with and where it nests. They may give you fact sheets about the ant species and maybe even some advice on getting rid of that particular ant species

How to Find Ant Nests

Sometimes the solution to an ant problem is getting rid of their nest. If you’re dealing with carpenter ants, which can do structural damage to your house, it’s vital that you wipe them out ASAP. Finding the nest may not be easy and takes some detective work. Ants generally prefer damp areas, such as framing or flooring that’s soft and spongy from a plumbing or roof leak. How to get rid of ants begins by looking for areas with water damage. Attics, bathrooms and exterior walls are obvious candidates. Cut small holes in water-damaged walls to track down the ant nest. (You’re going to have to repair the walls anyway.) When you find the nest, spray it with an insecticide that contains bifenthrin, permethrin or deltamethrin (look on the label)

Ant Removal: Determine the Best Ant Bait

When you see an ant, your first impulse is probably to step on it. But don’t. You’ll kill it, but for every ant you see, there may be hundreds more hiding in the house. The ones you see are scout ants, foraging for food to take back to the colony. Use these scouts to wipe out the entire colony. Prebait ants in areas you’ve previously seen them. Ants’ tastes change during the year. They usually prefer protein in the spring and sweets or fatty/oily foods in the summer. Set out sugar or honey, fried food and peanut butter, then see which food attracts ants. Use whichever food they prefer for bait and a DIY way to get rid of ants. Once you know what the ants like, buy and set out toxic ant bait that’s geared to their taste.

Ant Removal: Erase Ant Trails

Where you see one ant, you’re bound to see others. That’s because ants leave a scented trail that other ants follow. Sweeping or mopping isn’t enough to eliminate the scent. Instead, mix 1 part vinegar with 3 parts water in a spray bottle for a safe way to get rid of ants in the home, then spray wherever you’ve seen ants in the past. This will stop outdoor nesting ants that entered the house to forage for food (ants that come inside are not necessarily trying to establish a nest). Vinegar and water won’t stop ants that are already nesting indoors. You’ll need to kill them with ant bait.

Home Renovation Ideas For New Home Owners And Young Couples On A Budget

How to Choose a Reliable Builder for Your Home?

Choosing a reliable builder

The time to find out the quality of your builders is before you hire them. The last thing you want is for a start to be made on the renovations, only to experience delays, unexpected complications, lack of expertise or availability problems – all of which are more common than you might think.

Check licences and insurance

Never assume that your builders are who they say they are. Check with the state authorities to ensure they are fully licensed tradesmen, qualified to work for you. Also check that they have home indemnity insurance (a Certificate of Currency) in case the builder dies, disappears or the business folds. Don’t touch any builder without one of these.

Check for building disputes

Does your potential builder have any past or present disputes? You can check this with the Building and Construction Commission, and this will give you an idea of the builder’s track record to date. Those with disputes may be questionable in terms of quality of work or reliability.

Inspect past projects

It makes sense to be able to check ‘references’ – that is, past projects the builder has been involved in, and completed. This will give you an idea of the scale and scope of work done in the past and a benchmark for the quality of the workmanship and materials that you can expect. If possible, speak to the builder’s past clients regarding service and timescales for completion.

Ensure present commitments are not too demanding

What present projects is your builder involved in? This will impact availability for your job and how often he will be on the job site to supervise. Many builders over-commit and over-promise, leading to blow outs in completion times or hiring sub-contractors who produce sub-standard work. Pin your builder down to definite dates and project management commitments.

 

Home renovation guide: Tips to avoid getting duped when renovating your first place

Congratulations on crossing another milestone in life – getting your first home! But amidst all the excitement you are probably feeling jittery about the home renovation process. Fret not

In this guide, we will share some insider tips to avoid getting duped for your first home renovation project. Choosing your ideal contractor or interior designer, the theme, getting a loan and more, we got you covered.

TAKE TIME TO PLAN YOUR RENOVATION

Start planning your renovation the moment you get the floor plan, and not till you get your keys. Because with more time on hand, you’ll be able to ask around, meet different interior design companies and compare offers carefully. Since you’ll likely be spending a 5-digit sum for your first home renovation project, never rush into making a decision!

CONSIDER AN INTERIOR DESIGN THEME THAT SUITS YOUR LIFESTYLE

We understand that almost every new homeowner wants the interior design of their home to be as up to date as possible. However, don’t try to incorporate too many trends into your home. It is essential to consider an interior design theme that fits your budget and lifestyle instead of following trends blindly. Do choose a pragmatic style that suits your needs, or even increase the value of your property should you rent or sell your home in the future.

CHOOSE THE RIGHT CONTRACTOR OR INTERIOR DESIGNER

In case you didn’t know, hiring an interior designer (ID) typically costs more than a contractor. Why? Because an ID is really a project manager, who will oversee the entire renovation project from ideation to completion. On the other hand, a contractor is a person who can carry out your specific requests.

 

How to Choose the Best Contractor for Home Improvement

Educate Yourself. It’s important to educate yourself about the work you want to have completed prior to meeting with contractors. This way, you’ll have a deeper understanding of renovation lingo, you’ll be able to provide the contractor with enough information to prepare an estimate that meets your goals, be able to interpret any estimates that you receive, and to figure out whether the contractor is overpricing their work

Check Contractor References and Past Experience. To select the best of the best, you will need to check company’s procedures, specifications, references and the way they communicate with you. If the construction company or contractor does not know how to communicate well with you (even when the others have no problems), then the possibility for misunderstandings in the project increases, and that means higher costs and less satisfaction.

Consider hiring a ‘Green’ company. Today, houses are cheaper to heat and cool and more comfortable than it was a case a few decades ago. If you want to regain the money you’ve invested in refurbishing or building a house, consider connecting with a green company that understands your needs and has the knowledge how to manage your task.

Read contractor reviews. Look for contractors affiliated with the Better Business Bureau, National Association of the Remodelling Industry (NARI), National Kitchen and Bath Association (NKBA), National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) or any other local building or remodelling association. Look at each Contractors website to see what type of work they perform, any examples of already completed work and their qualifications

Make a List of questions that the Contractor must answer. When you look at the specifications of potential contractors, make a list of questions, which you want to be answered. Those, who respond to your e-mail or call you, should have an advantage over the others. Nevertheless, consider whether your questions were answered clearly. This is particularly important for issues that you are not clear about or you did not understand. Here are some questions you need to ask each contractor: Did the Contractor omit a portion of the scope of work? If so, have them revise the estimate. Are they using lesser quality materials (paint, cabinets, tile, etc.)? How long will it take to complete the work? Are they insured with a General Liability policy? Can they provide a minimum of 5 to 10 references from previous projects? Are permits necessary and if so, is the cost included in the estimate? Is the Contractor willing to let you visit several of their jobs? What type of Warranty does the Contractor provide? If they do not understand what you are talking about, ask more questions. Good builders are the ones who know how to solve a problem. However, those who insist on answering your questions and want to explain you every little detail are the best.

 

How to Choose the Right Home Renovation Company: Check the Paperwork

There’s no shortage of home renovation companies. But if you’re looking to make changes to your home, where do you start the search for the right one?

Not all renovation companies offer the same services. Start by narrowing the field of choice based on your own needs. Are you looking for design and planning services as well, for example? Companies that offer these services bring value and convenience to your home reno

One thing that separates genuine professionals from others is that the pros will point out opportunities for improving your design. If your renovator says, “If you knock that wall down, your house will come with it,” you should listen. Hopefully, the contractor you choose won’t need to say that, but when a professional speaks, keep your ears open.

Licenses and Insurance

“Did you get the license number of the home renovation company that hit your house?” Okay, it’s not quite like that. But if a renovator has a license, they also have a license number. Get it before they start work.

Warranty

You’re putting a significant investment into your home renovation. Protect your investment with proper warranty. Reputable contractors offer a warranty as part of their written contract. Fly-by-night “cash only” renovation companies are unlikely to return to fix a problem, even if they say they will. If something goes wrong after they finish their work, can you trust someone who cheats on taxes to honour their promises to you? Be safe. Get your renovation done by a company that doesn’t hesitate to put it in writing.

 

How to choose a contractor to renovate your home

If you’re looking at doing renovations, the Newfoundland and Labrador branch of the Canadian Home Builders’ Association says it’s important to do your homework before letting a contractor take a hammer to your house.

Here’s The Lowdown from Victoria Belbin, chief executive officer of CHBA-NL, on home renovations

Get it in writing

Belbin said the renovation sector is “buyer beware” — so it’s important to get things in writing before the renovation begins. “Your home is your biggest asset, and you need to protect your home. So if you’re engaging in a conversation with an individual who you want to do work with, and they say, ‘Ah, don’t worry about a written contract. We’ll work this out as we go.’ Don’t go down that road,” she said.

Find a legitimate businessperson

Belbin said there is an underground economy to the renovation sector, and that’s why it’s important to confirm that you’re dealing with a legitimate businessperson. “There are professional renovators in our marketplace that have long-standing reputations, and they provide very good quality work, and add value to your home,” she said.

The importance of permits

Belbin said, in most cases, they will also take care of the municipal permits that are needed for a job. “Permits are very important because then you know that if there’s an inspection required, there’s another party kind of monitoring the work that’s being done on your home,” she said.

A Few Natural Fast Acting Remedies For Mosquitoes Bites

Mosquito Bites  – Prevention and Treatment

Find out how to treat the bite as well as what you can do to reduce the number of biting incidences and the risk of mosquito-borne diseases for you and your family.  Start by devising an effective DIY mosquito control program which incorporates a proven trapping system to reduce mosquito numbers, personal protection in the form of repellents, and a proactive approach to reducing and eliminating mosquito breeding sites around your property.

Elimination

The first step in reducing mosquitoes on your property is to identify and eliminate all sources of standing water including low spots, ditches, and gutters. During the day, mosquitoes love to rest in tall grass or amongst shrubs in a moist, shady spot. Keeping the grass short and bushes trimmed deprives them of a resting place. Rake up any fallen leaves as well. An overturned leaf can hold enough water for a mosquito’s eggs, as well as give them a place to wait out the day.

Trapping

Let science help solve your mosquito problems. Today’s mosquito traps are smaller, more effective and surprisingly affordable! A consumer favorite, the Mega Catch™ Ultra has outperformed many competing traps in independent tests, thanks to its unique, propane-free, CO2 system.  Combining proven mosquito-attracting science in a simple to operate, user friendly design the Ultra gives coverage of up to 1.5 acres and is designed to operate with or without Mega-Catch’s™ patented ‘Variable Quantity Slow CO2Gas Release System’.

The optional CO2 system has been designed to enhance trap performance by increasing the range and capture rates (by as much as 300-400%) of a wider variety of mosquito species and other biting insects.

Repellents

Bear in mind that repellents do not protect all users equally. The effectiveness of a repellent depends on the mosquito species that is biting as well as the age, sex, level of activity, and attractiveness (to mosquitoes that is) of the human using the repellent. In general, mosquito repellents work by masking the chemical cues that invite mosquitoes to dine.Despite rumors and anecdotes of everything from banana peels to garlic tablets warding off mosquitoes, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control (CDC) recommend only three types of repellents for safe and effective use:

  1. DEET
  2. PICARIDIN by Bayer (marketed as CUTTER ADVANCED)
  3. OIL OF LEMON EUCALYPTUS (marketed as Repel)

Treatment

It’s not possible to eliminate every single mosquito. So if you are unlucky enough to get bitten by a rogue mosquito, whatever you do, don’t scratch the bite – no matter how good it feels. It can take up to two days before the itchy bump or wheal appears, and scratching it will just break the skin which could lead to infection. Wash with soap, run cool water over the bite, and be guided by the experts.

  • Calamine lotion or Caladryl. A combination of zinc and iron oxides reported to have a soothing effect on itchy skin. Caladryl also contains a mild topical analgesic for pain.
  • Icepacks. The cold constricts the blood vessels, which helps reduce the swelling, and numbs the skin to lessen the discomfort.
  • Ibuprofen or hydrocortisone cream. Both will work to reduce swelling, and hydrocortisone also is widely used to soothe itching.
  • Anti-histamines. Any over-the-counter medication such as Benadryl should help the itching to subside

 

 

Mosquitoes’ Sense of Smell Appears to Be Stronger Than Their Sight

Researchers collected data from approximately 250 female mosquitoes (male mosquitoes do not feed on blood), tracking their behavior and recording in real time the mosquitoes’ brains during a series of experiments conducted in a cylindrical arena about 7 inches in diameter. The scientists were able to measure the mosquitoes’ wing movements (using a special type of optical sensor) in response to different odors and visual stimuli.

The mosquitoes also beat their wings faster in response to the visual cue of a bar moving horizontally across a screen around the arena. The mosquitoes tried to move in the direction of the moving bar. But increase in wing-beating speed was more pronounced when mosquitoes smelled the puff of CO2 before they saw the moving bar, compared with just seeing the bar move.

 

What’s in the Spray?

Depending on your property, a company may use larvicides — used to kill eggs, larvae and young mosquitoes — or adulticides — used to kill adult mosquitoes. In some cases, both are used. Common chemicals and compounds used include:

  1. Pyrethrins
    These compounds have been approved for use and are considered “relatively” safe. They have also been proven to be effective. These compounds work by affecting the nervous system of mosquitoes, paralyzing the insects to kill them. The labels for these compounds indicate the compounds can be dangerous if they are inhaled and ask that birds, pets, and other animals be removed from the vicinity before spraying. Pyrethrins have been linked to skin irritation and respiratory irritation. In studies involving rats and dogs, even low doses administered over time affected the liver, thyroid and respiratory tissue of the animals. Pyrethrins have also shown to be very toxic to honey bees and fish — they have an environmental impact.
  2. Bacillus thuringiensis (Bt)
    Bt is a microbe used as a toxin in some insecticides. When insect larvae are sprayed with this insecticide, the toxins damage their gut and eventually cause death. There are different strains of Bt, and some are designed to be especially toxic to mosquitoes. Studies have suggested Bt can cause allergic reactions, and some strains have proven to be toxic to honey bees.
  3. Permethrin
    Used to treat 9 to 10 million acres each year in the United States, Permethrin is one of the most common mosquito control insecticides used. It is affordable and effective. However, it can cause skin irritation and at high doses can lead to dizziness, nausea and even coma. In addition to active ingredients, many pesticides contain other chemicals and substances to make the insecticides more effective. For example, one of the most common additions to many insecticide products is piperonyl butoxide, which prevents active ingredients from breaking down in the mosquitoes’ body and allows the insecticides to work. Unfortunately, while effective and considered safe by some, piperonyl butoxide has been labeled a group C carcinogen.

 

Mosquitoes and Blood Types

Do mosquitoes prefer one blood type over the others? As it turns out, yes. Scientists first landed on this discovery back in 1972. More recently, a Journal of Medical Entomology study further broke down certain species of mosquitoes’ preferences.

Which Blood Types Do Mosquitoes Prefer?

People with Type O blood are more than universal donors. They’re also “tastier” to mosquitoes. In fact, according to a study, certain species of the insect landed on the skin of people with Type O blood almost twice as often as they did on the skin of those with Type A. But what about your blood type draws mosquitoes to you? Well, people secrete certain chemicals through their skin. The chemicals you produce will depend on your DNA, which also determines your blood type. that some of these chemicals — like lactic acid — can attract more mosquitoes.

 

5 Ways to Combat Mosquitoes Naturally

  1. DRYNESS: The first, and possibly most obvious way to win the war on mosquitoes is by keeping it dry. As we mentioned, the rainy season is the most populous mosquito weather. That’s because the momma mosquitos lay their eggs in standing water. They dry out, then hatch once the water returns. So avoiding any areas of standing water on your property, from pet dishes, to birdbaths, to those bright blue tarps is essential to cutting down the mosquito population.
  2. SMOKE: There’s a reason torches are so popular for background get-togethers in Florida – and it’s not because of their more tropical look. Whether dipped in citronella or just generating an ashen atmosphere, smoke is a natural repellent for mosquitoes. Of course, some citronella is better than none, but even just placing a burning paper egg carton on the edge of your barbeque grill is a great way to keep the biters at bay.

Clothing

  1. LOOSE-FITTING Clothes: Believe it or not, just covering up with long sleeves is not enough. In fact, if your outfit is too tight, it might make you more appealing to hungry momma mosquitoes. Wearing clothing that is more loose fitting or even baggy not only makes it harder for mosquitoes to find your exposed skin, but it also keeps you cooler – and harder for the heat–driven insects to gravitate towards. We don’t, however, recommend wearing those pants that fall off your rear
  2. LIGHT COLORED Clothes: In the same vein, darker colors are more visible to mosquitoes and mark you as a more tasty treat to their insect eyes. Lighter, pale colors blend into the background in the biter’s sight. Darker colors can not only appear warmer to mosquitoes, but the contrast also makes you stand out more, potentially drawing them in.
  3. FAN: Believe it or not, a good stiff breeze – whether natural or generated by a good fan – also helps keep mosquitoes away. You might recall from your school biology class that we inhale oxygen and exhale carbon dioxide for plants. Mosquitoes are attracted to the carbon dioxide, which the wind from a decent fan disperses and dilutes. Plus, mosquitoes are weak fliers, so the breeze keeps them from getting close enough to bite you.

Benefits Of Epoxy Flooring Paint

Top 5 Recommended Flooring Options for Garages

  1. Polished Concrete Flooring – The Best of All
    Polished concrete flooring is the best option for garages. Concrete flooring is generally hard and resilient. They can perform under high pressure without any wear and tear. Concrete floors are less priced and are easily available for the customers with low budgets. Polished concrete surfaces look graceful and elegant that compliments the entire semblance. Polished concrete finishes are generally stain resistant and easy to clean making it the best option for garage flooring.
  2. Epoxy Flooring – The Smart and Feasible Option
    Epoxy flooring is quite feasible and a smart choice for existing flooring. Epoxy is a tough and long lasting coating that can be used on any flooring. It can be used on concrete floors; stone floors any floor to increase its performance and durability of your garage floor. Epoxy flooring is available in many attractive colors and can be cleaned easily. Before trying to go for epoxy make sure your sub floors are resistant to moisture and no dampness is observed. Epoxy is not suitable for the floors that absorb moisture.
  3. Rubber Tile Flooring – Easy to Install or DIY Option
    Rubber tiles are available like flexible mat and tiles. This type of flooring can be easily installed and is a good option for DIYers. Rubber floor tiles are flexible and come in attractive interlocking patterns to provide extra strength and stability to the floors. These are mostly available in the dimensions of 12×12 inch or 24×24 inch. Rubber tile flooring requires less maintenance and can be cleaned easily. The most feasible option with reasonable price is rubber tiles. They can with stand any climatic conditions. These floors can be installed on any sub-floors especially concrete floors.
  4. Vinyl Flooring – For Low Traffic Garages
    Selecting vinyl flooring for garages is not at all a wrong choice. If your garage doesn’t face much traffic and heavy pressure then enhanced Urethane coated vinyl tile flooring is a best option. These tiles are flexible and comfortable. You can enhance a unique look to your garage by picking the multiple color shades and attractive vinyl composite tile flooring available in market. Vinyl flooring requires very less upkeep and cleaning is extremely easy and comfortable with the cleaning agents available at home.
  5. Stone Flooring – Excellent but Expensive Option
    Stone flooring like sandstone, graphite and flagstone are excellent choice for garages but are a bit expensive. Stone flooring are extremely cold in winters hence considering your budget and local climatic conditions is vital before going for stone flooring for your garage. Stone flooring is resilient and extremely hard and available in eye-catchy designs and pleasant colors.

 

 

How to Choose the Best Garage Flooring

The main things you want to look for are durability, loudness (more on this soon), look, cost, maintenance and installation. It’s up to you to determine the priority for each of these – maybe you have

It’s up to you to determine the priority for each of these – maybe you have really bad hearing and don’t care how loud your tiles are? Or, maybe cost isn’t a factor for you. Every garage is different and so is every person. Let’s dive a little deeper and discover what’s best for you.

Durability

I think this is a deal breaker for just about everyone. There’s nothing worse than getting your garage just the way you want it and having your floor fall apart right underneath your feet.In shocking new discovery: cars are heavy! So are tools. And oil, along with other automotive fluid, can be really tough on your floor. You need a beefy, brawny, durable floor that will stay sharp and intact through any amount of abuse.

Loudness

This one’s more of a personal preference. The truth is, traditional plastic garage tiles are a little noisy when you walk on them. There are some tips and tricks for reducing this (like underlayment – it’s the best!), but they will never sound as smooth and quiet as walking over a garage roll.  In fact, even something like epoxy has a certain degree of loudness. When you drop tools on a harder surface, they make a lot of noise. The softer the flooring material, the quieter your floor. Simple as that.

Look

let’s be honest; you want your garage to look sharp. Although functionality is important, you get garage flooring because you want your garage to look awesome. Most garage flooring options come in diamond, coin, smooth or vented patterns. And that’s just the beginning! If you choose tiles, you can do all sorts of fun patterns with your layout – mix and match colors, create that classic checkered look, or get real crazy with full on designs

Of course, epoxy is a whole other story, giving more of a speckled look. If you hire a pro, there’s a ton you can do with epoxy. However, it does require a bit more skill to get more than a basic wash, which, to be fair, still looks great!

 

Floor Epoxy

Epoxy floor coatings are sometimes regarded as a form of paint, since both are applied with paint rollers and paint brushes, but in reality the materials are quite different from a chemical and performance standpoint.

While paint hardens through the process of evaporation of its solvent, usually water or an oil-based liquid. True epoxy coatings, on the other hand, harden by means of a chemical reaction between a resin and hardener (catalyst). Genuine garage floor epoxy creates a durable, long-lasting, attractive coating for the garage. However, this product should not be confused with so-called “epoxy paint,” which is a one-part latex paint product with a small amount of epoxy added to it to improve the hardness of its finish. Epoxy paint is generally not as good as a true epoxy coating in overall performance.

 

Epoxy Paint

Popular epoxy floor paint is an extra-tough garage floor coating that resists marring, chemicals, oil and gasoline. It comes in many colors. Water-based epoxies are easy to apply and clean up with soap and water.

Applying an epoxy finish is a multi-step process. The floor must be clean and free of grease or oil, and holes and cracks should be patched. Next, the floor should be sealed with a primer made for concrete.

Epoxy garage floor coatings require premixing the base product with a hardener before applying. However, some manufacturer’s have simplified the product so it can be used right out of the can — mixing additives isn’t necessary.

 

Just like painting with latex

Applying epoxy—a type of paint containing a built-in hardener—requires that you patch, clean, and etch the floor if necessary. Then you blend your epoxy paint and hardener, and apply it to the garage floor—quickly, because the mix is viable for only two hours. Scatter color chips across the floor’s surface and seal with a clear coat to create a durable, long-lasting floor that resists oil stains and wipes clean easily.

The Process Of Hiring A Wedding Photographer

TOP TIPS FOR CHOOSING A WEDDING PHOTOGRAPHER

So, you have a dress, the suits, flowers, cake and a band….but what is the one thing that will remain an everlasting memory of your wedding day? Your photos should be a beautiful and timeless account of the most important day of your life and should help every bride and groom to re-live the romance and excitement allover again.

Image quality/style

The quality of a photographer’s portfolio should be the first thing that captures your attention. A good photographer should be able to offer clients a variety of styles, capturing the personalities of the bride and groom and showcasing the happiness and fun of the day. Be clear on what style you would like and make sure the photographer can provide this in their portfolio.

Personality

As a bride and groom, you put a lot of trust and faith in your wedding photographer. In order to get the best images and a true account of the most important day of your life, it is imperative that you feel comfortable and relaxed in their presence.

Value for money/cost

This can often be a deciding factor for a lot of brides and grooms and although it is a vital element, it should not be the basis for your decision. High-end prices do not always guarantee the highest quality but likewise, reasonable pricing does not always depict low quality.

Experience

The experience a photographer has will play a large part in the organisation and structure of the day. I am sure many photographers will agree that they have often played the role of coordinator, photographer, master of ceremonies and children’s entertainer. Taking the photos is just a small part of being a wedding photographer and without the necessary experience and the ability to perform under constant pressure important moments can be easily missed.

 

Steps to Finding a Great Wedding Photographer

Unlike the work of your other wedding vendors (music, flower arrangements, cake), photographs aren’t things you can hear, smell, taste or even see at first—you don’t really know what you’re getting until after the fact. That means careful research and selectiveness regarding professional skills, artistic style and personal demeanor are extra important when choosing your photographer

Settle on a Style

Before you begin researching photographers, you’ll need to first decide what type of photography style you prefer, as that will help determine which kind of photographer you’ll want shooting your wedding. Get inspired! Spend time pouring over any kind of imagery you love, from décor shots to a fashion blogger’s Instagram feed. Once you have a good collection of inspiring photographs, try to narrow in on what draws you to them specifically and dissect what feels most authentic to you and your partner. Maybe that’s formal-posed portraits, a classic photography style or a lifestyle, photojournalistic feel. If you love sharp and contrast-y shots, perhaps a photographer with a flair for the dramatic is the right choice for you. Remember that you don’t necessarily need to narrow in on one style in particular, since many wedding photographers can do a blend of portraiture and documentary-style shots, a mix of black-and-white and color images and so on. But if there’s a special style you love, make sure to focus on photographers who specialize in it.

Do Your Homework

Start your search by reading reviews from recent newlyweds and browsing local listings, like the ones on The Knot Marketplace. Carefully review potential photographers’ websites and blogs to check out photos of other weddings they’ve shot, which will give you an idea of their style. How do they capture the moments important to you, like a mother bustling her daughter’s gown or an emotional first look? The design of the website may also have clues about the photographer’s personality and sensibility. Check out their Facebook, Instagram and Twitter pages too, if possible. Is the feedback from clients positive? How does the photographer respond? How do they interact with their Instagram followers, do they seem friendly and personable? You get the idea.

Set Up Interviews

This is not a decision that can be made on looks alone—you must meet your potential photographers in person. If you like what you see on their site—and their fees are in your ballpark range—call to see if they’re available for your wedding date. If available, go ahead and send an introductory email with a bit about you and your soon-to-be spouse, you event and the vision for your day, and feel free to attach five or so of your very favorite photos from your research so they know what you love. If the photographer is already booked on your date, you may want to see if they have an associate or can recommend another shooter with a similar style. Set up in-person meetings with three to five potential photographers who are available on your wedding date to look at more of their work and assess whether your personalities mesh. Be prepared to talk about your venue, wedding style and what you envision for your photos.

See a Few Full Wedding Albums

Don’t base your decision solely on what you see in a photographer’s highlights gallery or album. For good reason, photographers show prospective clients a portfolio of their best pictures, all from different weddings, so you’re seeing the best of the best. The problem with that is you won’t get a well-rounded idea of their work. Ask to see two or three full galleries from real weddings they’ve shot (not someone else at their company) so you can get a better idea of what your complete collection of photos might look like after the wedding. If you see that the full gallery photos are just about as good as the ones chosen in the highlight gallery (that is, they’re all so good it’s impossible to choose!), you’re on the right track. And ask to see at least one or two complete albums of weddings that are in similar settings to yours. For example, if you’re planning an indoor affair with dark lighting, don’t just look at weddings shot outdoors in natural sunlight. And if you’re planning to say “I do” on a beach at sunset, you’ll want to see examples of that.

 

Tips When Choosing Your Wedding Photographer

You’re engaged!   Time to celebrate and then start talking wedding plans.  If you are having a wedding there are a lot of little details to think about.  Where do you start?  Maybe you know you don’t want to have a large wedding and instead are planning an intimate destination elopement.  Hopefully you’ll want to have a photographer to capture your elopement as well.  No matter how large or small your wedding celebration is, hiring a professional photographer to capture all the love, emotion and in-between moments during your celebration will be well worth it to have images of your celebration to hold onto forever

Time to Research

Once you’ve set a date it might be time to start researching wedding photographers.  Generally speaking photographers are booked 6 months to one year out.  I know from experience narrowing down a photographer can be tough.  There are so many creative, talented individuals in this industry and I had a huge list of potential photographers to choose from.

Where are They Cutting Corners

I don’t want to claim all inexpensive photographers are not good at what they do; everyone has to start somewhere and many do have a great eye but as you determine where you need to cut corners on wedding planning maybe those insanely cheap photographers are also cutting corners somewhere too.  When you hire an experienced wedding photographer, you aren’t just paying someone to be a warm body to click the camera.  You are paying for the experience.  Their experience shooting weddings and THE overall experience from start to finish.   Your wedding day is going to be filled with amazing moments, emotions and don’t forget those little imperfect moments too…..  one of those imperfect moments should NOT be worrying about your wedding photographer

Have a clear idea of the STYLE you like.  This will help you narrow down the selection of photographers.   Are you attracted to more traditional photography, posed images and pretty smiles starting at the camera?  Do you prefer a documentary feel where the photographer goes unnoticed with no posed images?  Is a candid style that captures the big emotions and little details to tell the story of the entire day your preference?  Are you looking for someone who is going to unnaturally pose each image, interrupting the natural moments from happening or someone who is going to go with the flow, capturing the dirt on your dress while you walk through a mountain field, quietly soaking in the beauty of day?

Get to know your photographer.  Do your personalities mesh well?  Your photographer is going to spend a greater chunk of the day with you…. make sure you can tolerate them and maybe even like them.  😉  Just because your family feels obligated to use the local photographer you have known since you were a child…. doesn’t mean you need to.  I saw this happen once and said photographer ended up passed out drunk under a tree before the reception started.  NO JOKE.  It’s your wedding day.  Pick someone who’s work you are drawn to.  I love getting to know each of my clients better — doing this creates great rapport which is actually important when creating images filled with REAL emotion.  When you look at a photo, I want you to feel something

 

Tips to Choose the Right Wedding Photographer for Your Day

Wedding day memories and scenes are too precocious to be missed. So you need to capture them and preserve them in order to reminisce about them for years to come. That’s why it’s important to have the right wedding photographer by your side to click some of the best photos of your wedding day

Start your search as early as possible

Top photographers are always in big demand. Their services have many takers and you should not expect them to be available during the wedding season. After all, experts have their hands full year-round as far as assignments are concerned.  Some of them even get booked a year or so in advance and you need to understand that well.

Do a lot of research before finalizing one

When you do a lot of research into wedding photographers, you’re always likely to get good results. After all, there are different styles of wedding photography, different packages and costs to choose from. The more wedding photography website you visit, the better it will be for you in terms of finding the best man for the day.

Interview the photographer and check samples of the work

You should never hesitate to conduct an interview with the wedding photographer to be sure about their experience, expertise, and knowledge of the craft. It’s also important to prepare a list of questions beforehand so that you discuss in details everything you want to know from the photographer.

Ask about the equipment, style, cost, creativity, and art

A good wedding photographer is one who is passionate about the job he/she does. They will have unique styles and tones to capture events and create visual differences. Some use only the latest camera and equipment and also have a back-up in case of malfunction

 

 

Mistakes To Avoid Choosing A Wedding Photographer

Some brides make the mistake of selecting their wedding photographer without researching what they’re really getting for their money. “You get your negatives” sounds great, but when do you get them? The original price sounds great, but how much are extra prints? So often, brides buy a package knowing they don’t want everything in it, but they think they’re getting a deal because it’s all together. Nope, sorry, photography is not like buying a “value meal” at McDonald’s! To be sure, you must research before you decide. Visit as many studios as you can. As a courtesy, please call them first and set an appointment. If they’re friendly or if they call you back quickly, they’ll most likely have better standards of service. Ask if they have any information they can mail or email to you. Meet the photographer. Search through their website with a fine-toothed comb. Do you see any loopholes or issues? The biggest reason people make mistakes in hiring photographers is that they don’t have experience doing it! They’ve never had to hire photographers, and most likely their last experience with a professional photographer was a friend’s wedding, and the grumpy, sweaty, old guy was either a bore or an annoying jerk.

Find someone who cares more about your wedding images than they do about their own packages and policies. Someone you know will help your wedding run smoothly and efficiently. Choose someone that you can communicate with someone that truly understands how you want your wedding to feel. How do you know? When you talk to her, she’s more interested in learning about you than describing all of the print sizes and prices.

Is this someone that will add to the fun and emotion of your wedding? Remember your friend’s photographer, the grumpy, sweaty, old guy that was a boring, annoying jerk? Steer clear of that! Get someone that will make the work of posed pictures fun, memorable, and exciting! How can you tell who’s cool? When you talk to the photographer, ask how she feels about your family members taking pictures over her shoulder! If she stays relaxed, then everyone will have a good time.

Look for someone who has some flexibility in styles. See what they have to offer. Some of the styles you may want to consider are Traditional, Black & White, Candid, Romantic, or Photo-journalistic. Check to see how they handle both indoor and outdoor situations. Can they do fine portraiture as well as a truly candid style? Find out what they have for you. Remember that the photographer’s creativity and personality (and your rapport with him/her) is what makes your wedding images unique, and your expressions more genuine!

Find someone who has as few restrictions as possible regarding packages, number of prints, limiting locations, and limiting the amount of film they shoot. Prepaid, pre-designed packages limit the creativity of the photographer. Creativity does not come from a pre-packaged album containing, for example, 24- 8x10s. If you’re paying for an album, it should look and feel like a storybook! Think of it, not like a photo album, but an illustrated storybook that uses no words to tell the story. In most cases, packages are NOT a good thing because the photographer “knows” beforehand what he needs to shoot and will only strive for those images.

Some Information On Toilet Installation

Tips for Choosing a New Toilet

The traditional gravity-flush toilet is pretty trouble-free plumbing fixtures, thanks in part to the fact that it has no high-tech parts. Although the water-supply valves, flush valves, and wax ring that seals the toilet to the floor all may fail and need to be replaced from time to time, the porcelain or china fixture itself can last for decades in perfect operating shape unless the bowl or tank become cracked. Nevertheless, you may want to replace your toilet, either for purely aesthetic reasons, such as when remodeling a bathroom or to take advantage of new water-saving features available on modern toilet designs.

Taking Measurements

The first step is to measure carefully to ensure that the toilet you purchase will fit in the same location as the old one. Measuring is done with the old toilet still in place.

Researching Your Options

With measurements in hand, it’s time to consider what options are available for your new toilet—and there are quite a few.

Bowl Shape

When choosing a toilet, you can choose from those with bowls that are elongated, compact -elongated, or round-front. Elongated toilets offer deeper seating areas and will fit most residential applications. Compact-elongated toilets have a slightly shorter footprint and take up less space while still offering good comfort. Round-front toilets take up the least space and are a good choice where space is at a premium.

Seat Height

Standard-height toilets have a seat that is roughly 17 inches above the floor. Chair-height toilets are slightly taller at about 19 inches above the floor, making them much easier to use for older people or those with mobility limitations. There are also custom-height toilets that mount on the wall and can be set at heights ranging from about 15 inches to 28 inches above the floor.

 

Tips to Ensure You Get the Right Fit and Flush

Measure for fit

Your first step in choosing a toilet is to find your current toilet’s rough-in measurement so you can find a model that fits your bathroom. The rough-in measurement is the distance from the wall to the middle of the toilet flange, which lines up with the center of the hold-down bolts. For a toilet with two bolts on each side, measure to the center of the back bolt. If you’re measuring from the lowest part of the wall, take the thickness of the baseboard or molding into account. Ideally, measure directly from the wall.

Choose your design

When choosing a toilet, you’ll need to decide if you want a one-piece, two-piece or wall-mount design. Two-piece toilets are the most common. These plumbing fixtures have a separate bowl and tank you can buy together or separately. Because there are so many on the market, opting for a two-piece toilet gives you a greater chance of finding one with the features you want.

Decide on bowl type

Toilet bowls are available in two shapes: elongated and round. Elongated bowls are around 2 or 3 inches longer in the front than round bowls. Round bowls never surpass 28 inches, while elongated bowls can be as large as 31 inches. Despite the fact that they take up more space, elongated bowls offer some advantages. Some individuals, including the elderly and those with physical impairments, may find the bigger seat more comfortable because it supports the thighs like a chair. These bowls also retain less soiling and hold back odors better. For some, the streamlined oval shape is more visually appealing than the traditional round shape.

Decide on height

Standard toilets are around 15 inches from the seat to the floor. Although this height is comfortable for many, you may be better off choosing a toilet with a higher seat. Seats of 17 inches high are marketed as “comfort height” and are better suited for the elderly and those with physical impairments. In fact, this is the height the American Disabilities Act requires for public toilets.

Consider a dual-flush toilet

Toilets account for up to 30 percent of the water use in the average US home. If you’ve had bad experiences with water-conserving toilets, though, choosing a toilet designed to save water may not seem too appealing. Older models of water-saving toilets simply reduced the amount of water used, leaving you with no choice about how much too use. Newer models have changed that.

 

Tips on Choosing a New Toilet

Choose the right toilet height.

Toilets usually come in a standard height (the height you’re probably accustomed to) and a comfort height, which is two or three inches higher than the standard height. Unless you’re buying a toilet that will be used often by children, comfort height toilets are usually the most comfortable (hence the name)

Consider water-saving toilets and dual-flush toilets.

Nowadays, the maximum amount of water a toilet can use during a flush is 1.6 gallons, which is far less than toilets in the past, so if you’re replacing an old toilet, chances are any toilet you buy will use less water than your old one. However, if you really want to decrease your water use, consider buying a toilet that’s specially designed to conserve water or a dual-flush toilet, which has a low-volume flush for times when just a little water will work and a standard-volume flush for times when you need a normal amount of flushing power

Decide whether you want a two-piece or one-piece toilet.

Two-piece toilets have tanks and bowls that are separate pieces and are the standard toilet used in most homes. Two-piece toilets function well, and many people are perfectly satisfied with them; however, some people prefer one-piece toilets, in which the bowl and the tank are fused into a single, seamless unit. One-piece toilets are easier to clean than two-piece toilets, and they have a smooth profile and a sleek look that some people prefer.

Choose a bowl shape that fits your bathroom.

Toilets come with either round bowls or elongated bowls. As the name implies, round bowls are fairly round and work well in smaller bathrooms since they have a small profile. Elongated bowls are oval-shaped and are two or three inches longer than round bowls. Some people find the elongated bowls to be more comfortable.

Understand the different flush mechanisms.

For years, homes used only one kind of toilet: the gravity-flush toilet. These toilets use the weight of water to provide flushing power. The flushing mechanism is simple, which means these toilets are low maintenance, and gravity-flush toilets are perfectly adequate for many people. However, once toilet manufacturers began looking for ways to conserve water, they devised new ways to create flushing power, which resulted in assisted-flush or pressure-flush toilets. These toilets use air to increase flushing pressure, which results in a more powerful, efficient flush.

 

Tips for Buying a Toilet

to paraphrase Gertrude Stein, a toilet is a toilet is a toilet. Or so you’d think, until you take a look at the spectrum of possibilities available from today’s manufacturers and see that styles and shapes abound. Add in options for comfort, interactivity and water conservation, and today’s toilets can do almost anything—including glow in the dark

From taking care of your most basic needs to elevating your green quotient to making the ultimate style statement, there’s a toilet that’s right for you and your budget. Expect to pay anywhere from $100 for a basic commode to more than $7,000 for an ultra-chic toilet with all the amenities.

Two-piece toilets. These traditional models have separate tanks and bowls, which make handling easier, especially for DIY installations and for getting a toilet into tight spaces. The water inlet hole and the bolts used to fasten the tank to the bowl are sealed, and the seam between the two pieces is sealed with rubber gaskets. While the gaskets are good for years of service, they’ll eventually fail, causing leaks. Replacing the gaskets can be a hassle because the bolts and nuts tend to rust and “freeze,” requiring cutting.

One-piece toilets. This style eliminates the seam between tank and bowl. The result is a sleek design with no crevices to trap dirt. One-piece toilets tend to be more expensive than comparable two-piece models.

Round-front bowls. The snub-nose bowl design fits smaller spaces. Before the advent of the elongated toilet, the round-front was the only shape made.

 

How to Choose a Toilet for Your Bathroom: Tips from Experts

Choosing a toilet for your bathroom can be an overwhelming task. Of course, the first factor is your budget and how much the new toilet will add to your total bathroom remodel cost. However, there are several other factors that come into play as well. With so many sizes, configurations, and sizes available, your new commode should be able to meet all your requirements. Now, if you are not sure about what parameters you should consider for your next toilet purchase, go through this guide that entails expert tips on how to choose a toilet — which shall ensure you have a satisfactory buying experience.

Consider the Toilet Configuration

The first step to take before getting a new toilet is to calculate the size of your bathroom. Measure the rough-in distance — which is the length between the floor drain and the wall. You should consider a standard length of 12 inches, but you can also tweak it to measure anywhere between 10 to 14 inches, depending on the space available. Once this number is final, choose the bowl shape, toilet height, and style.

Elongated Bowls

Elongated toilets feature a bowl that extends out more toward the front for extra comfort. It takes up more space in your bathroom and is perfect if you have the luxury of more space.

Round Bowls

This category of toilet bowl — as the name suggests — comes with a round, compact design. It takes up less space and is best for small bathrooms.

Toilet Height

For standard toilets, the ADA-approved height for toilets is 15 inches off the floor. The rim or seat ring adds an extra 1 or 1½ inches. For more comfort, you can go for a taller toilet, up to 17 inches, if you have the luxury of space in your bathroom.

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