How Much Does Kitchen Remodeling Cost

What do I need to know before remodeling a kitchen?

If you sometimes have trouble deciding what to make for dinner, a kitchen renovation can feel paralyzing. But take heart: It doesn’t really matter much which backsplash tiles or faucet you choose. As long as you get the big stuff right, you’ll be thrilled with your new kitchen. These five rules will help you get the best result at the right price.

Keep your outlay in sync with your home.

To avoid overimproving, cap your kitchen renovation budget at 15% of your home’s value, suggests John Bredemeyer, president of Realcorp, a national appraisal firm based in Omaha. (Check your town assessor’s site or a real estate site). For budgeting purposes, figure about 30% on cabinets; 14% on appliances; 10% on countertops; 5% on lighting; 4% on plumbing fixtures; 2% to 3% on paint; 1% to 2% on tiles, and 35% on construction costs, such as windows, flooring, and labor. For a house worth $250,000, that translates to about $11,000 on cabinets, $5,250 on appliances; $3,750 on countertops, $1,875 on lighting; $1,500 on plumbing fixtures; $1,125 on paint; $750 on tiles; and $12,000 on construction costs.

It pays to pay for your design.

There’s no such thing as a free lunch—or a free plan for renovating the place where you prepare lunch. While the designers at home centers, kitchen stores, and cabinet shops won’t charge you a fee, they aren’t working for free. Their paychecks come from the retailer or manufacturers of the products they’re selling, which limits your choices. What’s more, in-store designers, especially those working at home centers, tend to be relatively inexperienced with actual renovation work, says Portland, Ore., kitchen designer Chelly Wentworth. Since your project will only be as good as its design, skip the freebies and hire a veteran designer without any conflicts of interest. Expect to pay 3 to 10 % of your project costs for design—a fair price for a design that really works.

 

You can expand the kitchen without busting the budget.

Unless your house was built within the last few decades, your kitchen is almost certainly undersized. If you’re doing a major renovation (in other words, tearing things out and starting over), now is the time to expand the kitchen; here’s how to do it affordably.

  • Steal space. By repurposing square footage from an adjacent hallway or a no-longer-needed chimney, closet, or porch, you can expand your kitchen at perhaps half the per-square-foot costs of an addition. Exactly how much you’ll pay depends on the project and location, but you might pay $100 to $300 per square foot for recapturing space vs. $200 to $400 for building new.
  • Open the floorplan. Even if you don’t expand the kitchen at all, you can make it feel much bigger by taking down a wall and creating an open floorplan between the kitchen and adjacent dining, family, or living room. In the context of a renovation project, this may cost $1,000 to $6,000, depending on whether the wall is load-bearing or contains major plumbing or electrical lines.
  • Bump out. If you need to expand, you may be able to add a two-foot extension along one whole side of the kitchen by hanging it off the house like a bay window rather than putting it on a foundation. That could save you several thousand bucks compared with a full-fledged addition.

 

Things to Consider Before Remodeling Your Kitchen

Renovating parts of your home can be a very rewarding process and, when done well, can add considerable value to your property. There are a range of options when it comes to remodeling your home, but if your budget can only stretch to remodeling one room, that room should be the kitchen. It’s estimated that a new kitchen will improve the value of your property by around 6% . It’s also one of the most important rooms for prospective buyers, so it’s worth some serious consideration.

Kitchen remodeling is about more than just aesthetics. You can also focus on better utilization of space, add extra functionality or integrate your kitchen with other areas of your home. Determine exactly what you want to achieve before you start planning your kitchen remodeling project. This will help you to streamline the renovation process and ensure everyone involved is on the same page from the offset.

Set a realistic budget

Before you begin remodeling your kitchen, it’s important to consider your budget against the value of your property. There’s no point in investing $20,000 in a premium new kitchen if your property is only worth $200,000 – you simply won’t get your money back. Equally, if you remodel on a low budget but your property is worth upwards of $500,000, you could end up devaluing your home.

Do your homework and try to arrive at an estimated cost before you go out and start buying stuff. Once you understand exactly how much you are able to invest, and what your return on that investment will be, you can begin designing your dream kitchen.

 

Plan your new kitchen appliances carefully

It’s common for people to leave appliances to the last minute when planning their kitchen remodeling. This may mean you run out of budget, or face with unexpected costs, prompting you to opt for lower quality products. It’s important to plan appliances carefully, as going for lower quality could end up costing you more, further down the line.

When looking for appliances, consider:

  • Quality and longevity
  • Energy efficiency
  • Size
  • Features and technologies
  • Flexibility and ease of use

There’s no hard and fast rule for how much you should spend on new kitchen appliances. The quality and range of appliances you go for will depend on your overall budget. Built-in appliances  are an extremely effective solution. They fit perfectly within the dimensions of your kitchen and give a more seamless, elegant finish. As a general rule, you should leave about 20% of your budget for new appliances.

 

Contemplate an Addition

Gaining more space is often a common motivation for remodeling a kitchen. Still, before you knock out the walls, weigh the cost of the extra space. You may be able to use the money spent on an expansion for quality cabinets or high-end appliances instead.

If it’s truly more space you’re after, look to adjoining rooms and places where you can steal square footage. For example, it might make sense to take from a hodgepodge of smaller rooms (laundry room, pantry, bathroom, and mudroom) and merge them into one super-functional kitchen space. After that, discuss your project with a certified kitchen planner or architect. A good space planner will be able to reconfigure the walls, the ceiling, or the windows to make a kitchen space feel larger without the expense of a room addition.

Beware Of These Car Dealer Tricks When Buying A New Car

How do you outsmart a car dealer?

Buying a car is a huge occasional purchase that can, when considering all the available choices while weighing needs versus wants, can seem overwhelming. As with buying any big-ticket purchase, consumers can largely avoid bad deals and financial stress by arming themselves with the right information. There are distinct considerations for used and new car purchases, but these tips can be applied to both.

How to save money at the dealership.

Forget Payments, Talk Price. Dealers will try selling you to a payment per month rather than the price of a car. And when you go that route, nothing in the transaction is as transparent as it should be. Extending your loan period for a more expensive car will give you a lower monthly payment, but will probably mean you’re making car payments once your new car is no longer a ‘new’ car. It’s better to buy what you can afford in 48 or 60 monthly payments. In short, get your new car paid off while it’s still a new car.

Control Your Loan. For many dealers, the car or truck sale is simply the mechanism for the financing. And even with today’s low interest rates, dealers can make real money off interest alone, a disincentive to giving you a truly competitive interest rate. Getting pre-approved for a loan before you walk in the dealership door will let you know exactly how much you can afford, often at a better APR then the dealership can offer.

Avoid Advertised Car Deals. Dealerships will list their very best deal in the paper or online with little or no intention of keeping that specific deal in stock. Don’t be enticed by a car or truck you won’t be able to buy. Instead, do the research on the car you want and what it should cost. Starting out armed with information, via sites such as Autoblog’s Best Deal Program makes you a savvy consumer and, ultimately, provides a better, more credible transaction.

 

Preparation is half the battle

The most common lies are “This is a good price for the car” and “We’ll give you top dollar on your trade”. These use the principle of reciprocity to reduce your desire to learn more or ask for further discounts. The logic goes like this: “I already did you a favour, so you won’t ask for more, will you?” Many buyers don’t dare to ask for more as they succumb to reciprocity. That said, one would expect that with the wealth of information available online these days, salespeople would have dropped these tricks by now. The fact that they haven’t suggests that many buyers don’t do their research.

If you do your homework, you will be less bound by reciprocity if a car dealer quotes you a high price, as it will be obvious that the salesperson didn’t do you any favours or may even have tried to trick you. Sellers who see that you are well prepared will be less inclined to try to charge you more without adding value in some way. You may ask: “How do I know that this is indeed a good price?” or “Can you show me some information that proves that point?” or “Interesting you should say this is a good price, because my research indicates otherwise. Am I missing something that justifies your price?”

Playing on the principle of scarcity, another common lie is: “This is the last one in the area”, suggesting you better hurry up and buy it before it is too late. Again, this is information you can easily verify online or by calling a few dealerships in the vicinity. Better still, as you do your price research, use the opportunity to assess scarcity and figure out your next best alternative should negotiations fail. If stock is not a real issue, the dealer had better give you another reason why you should buy on the spot. Perhaps, you can turn around and reply: “While this may be your last piece, my research indicates that it is not the last piece on the market. However, it seems to me that you would like a quick sale. If so, I may be open to the idea if you give me a good discount. What do you say?”

 

Keep your trade-in to yourself

Dealers like to move money around to confuse car buyers about how much they are really getting in the deal. If you mention you want to trade in a car up front, you are opening the door to a shell game. The salesperson will focus on what you want to get for your trade and may artificially inflate the ‘trade allowance’ to get you to say yes. This leaves no room to negotiate on the price of the new car. Furthermore, the salesperson may ask to appraise your trade, taking your keys and literally holding your car hostage until you agree to a deal.

Don’t try to haggle

Salespeople spend their days selling. Chances are you won’t be as good at getting them to give you a great deal as they are at getting you to buy. So focus on what you can do: Force dealers to compete against each other by sending you their best offers.

 

Dealers want you to be more careful when you do a test drive

In a lot of cases, car buyers ask to test drive a car to be able to determine if the vehicle is the right one for them. So long as you hand over the proper ID and you sign the required documents, a car dealer would be more than happy to hand you the keys to the test vehicle. However, s/he would also like to exercise more caution when you drive. After all, there are a lot of cases of car theft that occur while a car is being test-driven.

During your test drive, be sure that you are aware of any suspicious person or object in your immediate area. And if something does not feel right, proceed to return the car to the dealership as soon as possible.

 

The 10-Second Trick to Saving Thousands on Your Used Car Purchase

Now that you know the dealer charges a premium, use this knowledge for your benefit! It’s not hard to guess that a lot of new car dealers don’t really like a lot of used cars sitting on their lots. So why not lowball them?

Start by picking out a good-condition used car of your choice. If you are looking for the most bang for your buck, going for a lightly used, two- to three-year-old car is the way to go.

If the car seems to hold up well in a leisurely road test, then take it to your trusted mechanic. They’ll charge you around $150 to go over the vehicle in very close detail. If the mechanic does spot problems, you can go back to the dealer and ask for a discount or simply walk away from the deal altogether. (If the used car seller balks at a request to have the car inspected, say adios.)

Assuming things go smoothly there, look up the car’s trade-in value on a site like Kbb.com, and use that as your basis for how much they paid for the car. For example, you find that the Toyota Camry you’re looking at has a trade-in value of $6,000, but they’re selling it for $9,000.

Now, it’s time to deploy your money-saving strategy. Here’s a sample pitch that only takes 10 seconds of your time: “I realize that you only paid $6,000 for that $9,000 Toyota Camry on your lot, and I’d like to give you a tidy $1,500 profit by paying $7,500.”

You’d be surprised at how often this works! Give it a try and see next time you’re on the lot.

Use this trick to shave a grand or two off the purchase price, then follow up by applying for an affordable auto loan to pay hundreds of dollars less than what the dealer would charge over the life of the loan.

Wedding Photography Questions With Answers To Help Couples Choose The Right Wedding Photographer

Photography

don’t really fit and our dogs have been asleep at our feet for hours. It is very chilly here and the leaves are falling but we are reluctant to put on our heat yet. I say to, “let’s check your unemployed wife’s email, maybe we are about to get wealthy.” When I saw “it’s up” I stopped breathing. You reminded me that all that matters is squeezed into that chair next to me.

I’ve traveled to the far corners of the world, often alone. For the longest time I struggled with not sharing these places with the people I love, but over the years I learned there’s a difference between feeling lonely and being alone. I need solitude to stay grounded. These places have my heart.

Don’t let your images grow up to be jpegs

I noticed the prints on their living room wall and my heart skipped a beat. In their perfect home, on their perfect wall, I saw first one, then two of my photos.

And you know what? It made me proud and very happy. It’s not very often as a photographer I get to see my images “after they grow up”. They leave my computer on a DVD or USB  drive, but after that they’re gone. Many of my couples order one of my books too, so sometimes I get to see my images printed which is the way i love seeing them

There’s something magical about a printed image. When I grew up my mother made albums from our holiday snaps and sometimes when I’m home, I go through them. Those images from my childhood are worth more to me than any jpeg on my many hard drives.

 

WEDDING PHOTOGRAPHY

Let’s catch those moments and bottle them up in beautiful, hilarious and emotional memories. You have a zest for life, are crazy in love and like to do things your own way. There’ll be no standing around grinning like a pancake at the camera on my watch. Just heaps of laughter, a ton of fun and exquisite documentary photographs that you’ll love forever.

These two lovebirds got married on the same day as a certain Harry and Meghan, which meant the city was as quiet as I’ve ever seen it. Perfect for a relaxed London wedding, especially one at the impressive Merchant Taylor’s Hall. And awesomely because of that, when it came to locations for their wedding portraits, we weren’t fighting with tourists every step of the way.

ICONIC LOCATIONS AND A RELAXED WEDDING AT MERCHANT TAYLOR’S HALL

I love the way the light filters through the high arched windows, and how the ruins have been reclaimed a little by nature, despite being surrounded by contemporary skyscrapers. It has a certain magic about it and I love it.

It was gloriously sunny, and was looking its best as we snapped pictures overlooking Tower Bridge and the Shard. I really love and its hodge podge of architecture. It’s a skyline like no other.

 

MODERN ROMANTIC WEDDING PHOTOGRAPHERS

We are there on your big day to create to the best images you have ever had of yourselves and be your cheerleaders for your big day !! That way you can just relax and just enjoy the whole experience of your love story the way it should be ! and even though we have done this a hundred times we understand that this is your first time ! We are there with you , to help slow things down and help you feel all the feels ! all while getting amazing timeless imagery you will cherish forever !

are just a simple pair of madly in love pasta eating , coffee drinking professional Wedding photographers,with a combined experience of 18 years as photographers . we are always up for an adventure or a good joke

Love all the little Moments about your love story, the messy , the Romantic , The pure . We view each wedding as a collaboration with our couples. We don’t see Ourselves as a distant observers or documentarians, focusing only what’s in front of us – we are capturing how it felt to be there too. We are deeply inspired by Modern Romance , far away lands and Moments that mean something to our couples

your wedding day , goes by so fast , its almost like you blink and its done ! We both want to the day to unfold as naturally as possible , so we are able to capture those unseen moments

Both as photographers , don’t just show up and shoot , without saying a word . No we want you and your squad to feel comfortable in front of our lens , we chat and become part of the squad ! That way everybody relaxes and actually enjoys the day , we don’t want to be two strangers at your wedding and we are sure you don’t want two strangers there either .

 

IF YOU DON’T THINK PHOTOS ARE IMPORTANT, WAIT UNTIL THEY ARE ALL YOU HAVE LEFT

photography speaks for itself. Beautiful, timeless, and story told photos captured more than our memories, but also our emotions for our special day. Considering we had a multi cultural wedding Really though no practice was needed, will tell your story and capture your raw emotion throughout the day. Professional, friendly, bilingual, and talented.

Amazing work. We planned our wedding remotely and met briefly to get to know each other & have our engagement session. He was extremely professional and took the time to get to know us, what mattered to us, our background and story, how we pictured our wedding, our style, what mattered to us. The work is natural, genuine, and carefully prepared… couldn’t have asked for more!

An excellent photographer, not only takes beautiful photos but is also an expert in capturing the essence of each moment, he has the ability to read people and portray them as they are. If you want to save the feelings in the form of a photo of your special day He is the one !! very approachable, friendly, and professional

Don’t hesitate to reach out by phone or EMAIL so we can talk about your special day and your needs to create a one of a kind package for you!

Would you like to have a video conference call to talk a little bit more about  what I can offer you I would like to invite you to visit my website where you can see  I work with couples from other countries

 

Let’s Celebrate Your Love!

This is your moment. The day you have been dreaming of most of your life is here! We want to capture that joyous day so you can cherish and celebrate it for years to come.

We’re here to serve you. To capture your big day and do it with lots of laughs and love. So if you are looking for photographers who shoot with passion, edit not to change, but to enhance the beauty God created and are seeking an experience unlike any other, then you’re at the right place!

A Beautiful Love As we arrived in snow covered Telluride, for Wren’s winter wedding, 2 things really stood out to us.. First, the natural beauty of the snow covered

An Online Business Merchant Accountant Solution

How can I improve my accountability skills?

Sometimes managers will let employees avoid accountability at work because they dislike confrontation. But a lack of individual accountability is bad all around.

It’s bad for the employees who likely know they aren’t performing well. For instance, a salesperson will probably know he is the only one who didn’t meet his sales goal. Without the encouragement and push to improve, he may feel ignored, discouraged and devalued, which may lead him to quit.

A lack of accountability at work sends a message to the rest of your staff that lower standards are OK. The team may begin to resent the low-performing employee and his or her manager because they have to shoulder more work to make up for their teammate’s deficiencies.

And if you don’t address the problem employee, the team may perceive it as favoritism or weakness, which can be demotivating for everyone.

But you can turn this trend around. Here’s how you can make sure everyone on your team is pulling their weight equally.

Have the difficult conversation

While holding employees accountable may sound confrontational, it doesn’t have to be. Just remember to focus on the performance, not the person. Assume that most people genuinely want to do a good job and aren’t being difficult on purpose.

Employees may not understand how their behavior affects other team members. Other common reasons for inadequate performance:

  • The manager didn’t give clear instructions
  • Extra training is needed
  • There’s a technical issue
  • A personal issue is seeping into work
  • Conflicting priorities

Address the poor performance as soon as possible

Deal with the individual one-on-one and as quickly as possible. After all, nothing is likely to change unless you confront the problem. You also don’t want your frustration to build to the breaking point or for an employee’s non-performance to become a big issue. You need to figure out the why behind the poor performance. This is where you’ll need to find a way to make your leadership style match the situation.

Consider your employees’ feelings

Start with the assumption that people sometimes don’t understand the impact of their behavior. It’s your job as supervisor to be kind, find the root cause of the problem and establish a mutual way forward. Throughout your conversation, concentrate on maintaining the employee’s self-esteem by showing concern for the individual as well as for the company’s needs.

Set smart goals

When things are busy it may seem like a pain to stop and write down procedures, goals and policies. However, employees need to know what is expected of them in order to perform well and stay motivated.

If you find a consistent lack of accountability at work, it’s likely you need to create some written SMART goals. SMART stands for:

S – Specific

M –Measurable

A –Attainable

R –Relevant

T –Timely

Developing SMART goals are a whole topic in itself, so there’s much more to learn than what is mentioned here. Just know that this tactic leaves little to the imagination and provides clear communication between employee and supervisor.

Follow through and follow up

After every conversation, write down what was said. You don’t have to report every issue to HR, but it helps to send an email to yourself and the employee to outline the problem that was addressed, the solutions you both agreed upon and the expectations for future behavior. This helps clarify the conversation for everyone involved, and gives you a paper trail should additional action be necessary.

 

Create a Personal Mission Statement

I think that we get so caught up in the mundane details of daily life that we often lose track of why we’re here, what we want and, most importantly, what we value. Manage yourself by finding a way to integrate your values into what you do. Write your own personal mission statement.

My personal mission statement, at the moment, is this: “To live simply and give selflessly, and to work diligently towards financial independence and the opportunities such independence will afford me.”

Your personal mission statement doesn’t have to be profound or poetic – it just needs to convey your core values and define why you do what you do each day. (Hint: If you can’t find a mission statement that fits your current career or life, maybe it is time for a change!)

Set Micro-Goals

There are countless benefits to writing down goals of all sizes. Annual, five-, and ten-year goals can help you expand on your mission statement because you know you are working towards a tangible result. But long term goals are useless unless you have a strategy to achieve them. Manage yourself by setting micro-goals.

What is a micro-goal? I like to think of it as a single action that, when accomplished, serves as a building block to a much larger goal.

 

Provide the necessary resources

Similar to the first point, it is important to know from the beginning that you are setting your employees up for success. suggests asking yourself “If the person does not have what’s necessary, can they acquire what’s missing? If so, what’s the plan? If not, you’ll need to delegate to someone else. Otherwise you’re setting them up for failure.” Additionally, if they can’t acquire what is missing, can you help them acquire it?

If employees do not feel that they are set up for success, they are more likely to place blame on outside sources to explain why they were not successful rather than holding themselves accountable.

Foster connection

To help your team members feel accountable, connect them to the work they’re doing. Different types of connection motivate different types of employees:

  • Connect their work to the goals of the broader company so they understand how they’re contributing to organization-wide priorities.
  • Connect their work to their personal and professional goals. How will being successful in their current pursuit help them achieve their long-term aspirations?
  • Connect them to the problem and to the solution. Challenge your employees to come up with their own solutions — it will help them feel more responsible for the outcome.
  • Connect them with their team members. Promote collaboration, and make sure your employees feel seen and heard by others on the team. This will make them feel like others are invested in their success, help them understand how their work affects others, and increase their sense of accountability to the team.

 

Communication is key

Another of the unique difficulties facing, say, student employees-as opposed to full-time employees-is that sporadic scheduling can make it difficult for them to keep track of when they are actually supposed to be at work.

SubItUp can go a long way in rectifying this issue. Shift reminders notify your employees 45 minutes in advance of their shift; instant updates notify them of scheduling updates; group messaging allows you to promptly get in touch with an individual member of your team, or with a group of members. Give the members of your team a smorgasbord of channels through which to communicate, and you create a layer of social accountability, too.

In a similar vein, make it clear that even for seasonal or temporary employees who’ll leave after a short stint, you’re just an email or phone call away. The prospect of a glowing recommendation can do wonders for accountability. If you choose to offer something of this ilk, be sure that you remain accountable, too; for each employee, keep notes on performance to refer back to in the event you’re called upon to advocate on someone’s behalf.

 

How to Improve Accountability

  • Define Roles & Responsibilities for Team Members: You can’t be accountable for what you don’t know you’re supposed to be accountable for. Therefore, clearly communicate who does what, and get feedback and concurrence from the team. Take questions, and make sure everyone is on the same page.
  • Clarify Reporting Structure: Accountability needs a structure. There must be a system in place to explain who reports to who, who can authorize and approve, so that there’s a clear channel to disseminate and report on people’s work and their accountability with it. Again, field questions from the team to make sure the reporting process is understood by all.
  • Provide Specific Deadlines: If tasks are open-ended, then there can be no accountability for missing deadlines that don’t exist. So, be clear as to when a task or deliverable is due, and maybe set up notifications to remind team members when deadlines are looming. As always, get feedback and answer any questions the team has about this process.
  • Document Everything: Well, maybe not everything, but documentation is the paper trail that ensures the person who is accountable knows that. Be sure to ask the team if they have any questions about the documentation process.
  • Send Alerts, Triggers and Notifications: There are project management software that can automate reminders of looming deadlines, but also when a task is late, and any number of other notifications. You can decide what you want to communicate to your team through this system, which avoids you giving the impression that you’re constantly looking over their shoulders. But before you program these alerts, be sure you discuss it with the team and get their feedback.

What You Need To Look Out For Vinyl Flooring

What is the easiest way to remove vinyl flooring?

Let’s be clear: It’s no fun to remove vinyl flooring. Peeling up the material itself is no picnic, but the real trial is to get rid of the glue that had been securing the vinyl to the subfloor. The only silver lining here is that while the work may be tedious and time-consuming, anyone can learn how to remove vinyl flooring. No special tools or advanced skills are required. It’s really only a matter of elbow grease. Follow the steps below to get the job done with a minimum of frustration.

How to Remove Vinyl Flooring – Process

STEP 1: Clear the area.

To remove vinyl flooring, you must first take all furniture out of the room, giving yourself unimpeded access to the work area. You’ll also need to carefully remove all baseboards and any other trim that meets the floor.

STEP 2: Cut into 12-inch strips.

Next, locate a section of the floor with no glue underneath. Start removing vinyl flooring right here, using a utility knife to cut the material into 12-inch strips. Pull up each one gently. Where you encounter resistance from the glue, use a scraper tool (or even a kitchen spatula) to get the strip loose. In places where the glue is especially tenacious, you can use a hammer-and-chisel combination to chip at the hardened adhesive.

STEP 3: Get rid of the glue.

If you remove vinyl flooring but the glue remains lodged on the subfloor, try this: Combine warm water and soap in a bucket, then apply it liberally to the glue, allowing time for the mixture to soak in. When you return, the glue will have softened and become easier to remove.

STEP 4: Clean up.

Finish removing vinyl flooring with some cleanup: Use a broom or shop vac to pick up all the debris that now litters the room.

 

How To Remove Linoleum Or Vinyl Flooring From Concrete

This is probably the easiest type of subfloor to get linoleum or vinyl off of, but it’s still no picnic.

Cut it into strips about 6 inches wide. Pull the linoleum up in strips to reveal the linoleum glue. If difficult, try a heat gun to soften it, and then pull it off. The remaining glue can be scraped with a floor scraper or soaked overnight with water and dish soap, which helps soften the glue. Again, use a paint scraper to remove the linoleum glue.

 

Cut Flooring into Strips

Keep your utility knife always at hand, and slice the flooring off in long, narrow strips, maintaining a width of no more than 18 inches. Cut off the length only when it gets unwieldy and in your way. Keeping the strips narrow will benefit you later when you dispose of the old flooring.

It can be tempting to start pulling back or rolling up large sheets at a time. This is not recommended, as the sheet vinyl can become heavy and difficult to manage. There is no reason to try to keep the vinyl in large sheets unless you plan on giving it to a friend or reusing it in another part of the house.

 

How to Remove Vinyl Floor Tiles

Vinyl tiles are usually square and made to mimic the look of stone tile or can be found in fun, graphic patterns. More popular for kitchen and bathroom installations, removing tile vinyl flooring is typically quick and easy.

  • With a utility knife, peel up a corner of the tile in the middle of the room.
  • Pull up the rest of the tile with your hands or by using a pry bar.
  • After the first tile is removed, use the floor scraper or pry bar to pull up the remaining tiles.
  • Use a floor scraper on stubborn tiles and adhesives that don’t come up easily.

 

How to Remove Vinyl Floor Planks

Plank vinyl flooring, designed to look like hardwood, has recently seen a surge in popularity thanks to technology that can mimic the look of real wood flooring like hickory, oak, teak, walnut and more.

  • Start in the middle of the room and cut along the interlocking plank seams with a utility knife.
  • Work in small sections by cutting along the shape of the planks and removing them.
  • If salvageable, stack and save the planks for reuse in another room or another project.

Roof Inspection Misconceptions

How Often Should I Have My Roof Inspected?

You keep on top of preventative maintenance for your health, your car, and even your kids’ homework—but what about keeping that literal roof over your head in top shape? Sure, Spring cleaning has you sweeping behind the fridge and winter prep might have you checking to see if the water pipes are in good shape, but when’s the last time you had the roof inspected? Roof maintenance is two-fold: One you can do yourself (if only with a pair of binoculars), but this should be complemented with an expert inspection at routine intervals.

When Action is Necessary

For homeowners with colored grit found in places like the gutters, that’s a red flag. It might look like sand, but it means the roof is being exposed to dangerous UV rays. It might be that the roof’s service life is about to expire, and acting quickly may give you a few more years. Any shingles with issues require immediate replacement, and there are some things a handy DIYer can do him or herself, such as nailing back in loose shingles, but for the most part it’s best to leave things to a pro.

In an ideal world, roofs are expertly inspected annually, preferably in the autumn before the wind, rain and snow sets in. Otherwise, it’s recommended to have a new roof inspected after the first five years, then at 10 years, 13, 15, 17, and every year after that. Handymen are truly “handy” for small fixes and can save you a few dollars, but there’s no substitute for a professional, licensed roofer who carries liability insurance and workers compensation on their employees.

The sky is leaking

By the time a roof is actively leaking, it’s probably been damaged for quite awhile. That’s why it’s paramount to keep up with regular inspections. Telltale signs can include dark spots on the ceiling interior, peeling paint near roof overhangs, damp areas by the fireplace, and water stains on the pipes.

Don’t wait until it’s too late. Roof replacement can be extremely expensive, and it’s always better to keep up with maintenance rather than waiting for the worst to happen.

 

When Does Your Roof Need to be Maintained?

When you do your DIY inspection, look for:

  • Signs of mould, algae and grime
  • Broken tiles
  • Chipped, broken or cracked mortar
  • Cracked caulking
  • Worn or broken seals (“boots”) around vents and other attachments
  • Damaged flashing

Mould and grime make the roof look unsightly. More importantly, if left unchecked, algae and mould can damage your roof. They can allow small plants to take root under shingles and tiles. The plants can lift the shingles or tiles and cause leaks. If your roof isn’t clean, have it cleaned. It will look better and last longer.

To be on the safe side, your DIY inspection should also include a ceiling cavity inspection. Look for:

  • Discoloured areas that may indicate a leak
  • Signs of light
  • Compressed bulk insulation may be a sign of a leaking roo

 

3 TIPS FOR LOCATING ROOF LEAKS

Water can invade a roof due to missing shingles and flashing, rotten decking and gaps around skylights and the chimney. The best way to prevent a roof leak is to routinely inspect your property, especially after a storm.

The following tips can help you locate roof leaks before they get out of hand and cause interior damage.

  1. Check for damage after a storm

It’s one of the leading causes of roof damage. After a major storm passes, go outside and inspect your home and property. Look for shingles in your yard that might have blown off due to high winds. If you have asphalt shingles, check your downspouts for deposits of granules. They often get knocked off during hail storms and then collect in the gutter system and downspouts.

  1. Check the attic for water

Take a flashlight into the attic when it’s raining. Since water reflects light, you can shine the flashlight to check for falling water. If you notice any water, mark the spot so that you can follow through with roofing repairs.

  1. Inspect your ceiling

When a roof leaks, water often collects on your ceiling. If you notice any brown or yellow stains on your ceiling, you have a roof leak.

 

 

How Often Should You Replace Your Roof?

Sadly, an often ignored part of the house is the roof. Unless it starts to leak or break apart, you probably won’t notice what’s going on up there. However, regular inspection for potential problems is recommended twice a year according to the National Roofing Contractors Association.

If you are afraid of heights, see if a family member or friend can help. Otherwise, a local roofing contractor can conduct an inspection.

Look for:

  • Loose, cracked or damaged shingles
  • Missing shingles
  • Sagging
  • Mold or rot
  • Signs of water damage or leaking
  • Holes or dark spots

 

Consequences of Neglected Roof Damage

Failure to have these roof problems inspected and repaired could result in serious consequences. Short-term, your roof could experience a number of issues, such as leaks, mold growth, increased energy bills due to escaped air, and the introduction of pests and animals into your roofing system. Long-term, the effects of neglecting your roof can be even more substantial. Water damage can become severe, resulting in wood rot that weakens the integrity of your home. Your property value may decrease and the cost of repairs will no doubt increase. The longer you allow your roof to sit untouched, the more dangerous it will be for workers when it is time to make repairs.

The Best Basement Toilet Installation Advice

How to Install a Toilet on Hardwood Floor

Hardwood flooring doesn’t create many problems when it comes to installing a toilet. In fact, it’s easier to install a toilet on a wood floor than it is to install one on ceramic tiles, which is a more common bathroom floor covering. You’ll encounter fewer problems if the flooring is already down when you install the toilet floor plate, more commonly known as the flange, but it’s no biggie if it isn’t. One thing is for sure, though. The toilet itself cannot be in place when you lay the flooring.

Rough-In Plumbing for a Toilet on a Wood Floor

If you’re putting a toilet in a place where there hasn’t been one before, you need to install the waste, vent and water-supply pipes. The water pipe goes in the wall and isn’t affected by the floor covering. You’ll need to cut a 4-inch hole in the floor for the waste pipe, though, and its center should be at least 12 inches from the back wall and walls on either side of the toilet. Cut this hole with a reciprocating saw after drilling a pilot hole to get the saw started.

After cutting the hole, you then install the flange. It consists of a plastic or metal ring to which you can attach the toilet and a 4-inch nipple to which you can attach the waste pipe. Most plumbers use #10 Phillips screws to attach the flange to the floor. After gluing the waste pipe to the flange nipple, running the pipe to the sewer and teeing in a vent pipe that ties into the main vent stack, you’re ready to install the toilet.

Install a Toilet on a Wood Floor

If the flooring is already in place when you install the toilet, the flange will sit on top of it. When you install the toilet wax ring on the hardwood floor, you may find that the flange raises the toilet a small amount above the floor. This will cause it to rock, and the wax seal can break, resulting in a leak whenever you flush.

To avoid this, shim up the toilet using either plastic toilet shims – available at any hardware store – or a toilet base slab with the same shape as the base of the toilet. One you’ve secured the toilet to the flange by tightening the two toilet bolts, protect the wood floor with caulk. Clear or colored silicone caulk are both suitable to caulk the toilet to the floor.

The Flange Is Already In Place When You Lay Flooring

You may encounter a situation in which the toilet flange has already been installed on the subfloor, and you’re laying new flooring. In that case, you cut the flooring boards to fit around the flange, leaving about an inch clearance in all directions. This recesses the flange, and it can create the opposite problem, depending on the wood thickness: The wax ring may not reach the bottom of the toilet when you mount it.

The most secure solution is to increase the thickness of the flange with a flange extender. This is a plastic or metal ring that fits on the top of the flange and is held in place by the screws that hold the flange to the floor.

Flange extenders come in various thicknesses, so choose the thickness you need after measuring the distance between the top of the flange and the surface of the floor. A properly sized extender raises the flange height to within 1/16 inch of the floor surface. Mount the toilet on the extended flange, apply wood floor caulk around the toilet base and you’re done fixing the toilet to the wooden floor.

 

Why Toilets Leak at the Base

If you notice water pooling around the base of your toilet, there are several possible causes:

  • The bolts that secure the base of the toilet to the floor might be loose. The base of a toilet is held to the floor with two tee-bolts threaded up from the mounting ring through holes in the base of the toilet. If these bolts are loose, the toilet may rock, breaking the seal formed by the wax ring. If this is the case, each time the toilet flushes, drain water may seep out around the base of the toilet.
  • The wax ring that seals the toilet to the drain may be faulty. This is sometimes caused by a toilet that is loose, or it can be the result of a wax ring that has grown old and is no longer pliable enough to provide a good seal.
  • Water condensing on the toilet might be dripping down and puddling around the base of the toilet. The water in the toilet tank and bowl is often quite cold, and the cool porcelain can cause humid room air to condense and drip down onto the floor. If this is the case, you can usually see droplets of water collecting on the outside of the porcelain bowl and tank.

Warning

Avoid using your leaking toilet if possible. The water seeping from your toilet is dirty and can cause unpleasant odors and potential health hazards. The presence of standing water near your toilet can also damage your flooring and subflooring as well as your first-floor ceiling if your affected bathroom is on the second story.

 

How to Install a Toilet on an Unlevel Floor

Few toilets are installed on a floor so unlevel that you have a good chance of falling off the side before you finish your business. However, even a small tilt of the toilet on an uneven floor can cause problems. Replacing a toilet requires no plumbing skills or special tools, and can be done in under two hours.

  • Turn the water valve to “off” next to the wall and flush the toilet to drain it of water. Disconnect the water pipe from the unit. Wedge the screwdriver under the plastic caps along the base and pop them off, giving you access to the nuts holding the toilet to the floor bolts. Remove the nuts from the bolts with the wrench.
  • Rock the bowl gently side to side, and the lift the toilet off the bolts. Lay it on its side on the towels. Water will come out of the unit after you do this.
  • Stuff a towel down into the sewer pipe to avoid sewer gas from coming back into the room. Clean off the old wax ring with the putty knife, making sure to remove all of it from the flange. Set the new wax ring into place, and remove the towel.
  • Lower the toilet into place over the bolts and onto the wax ring. It is important that the toilet be seated properly at this point as the wax ring can easily crack. If this happens the toilet will leak at the floor base. Do not wiggle the toilet or rock it from side to side after it is down. Sit on the toilet stool to seat it firmly against the wax ring. Add the nuts back to the bolts and screw them on about half way.
  • Place the carpenters level across the toilet bowl side to side and note where the bubble level is. Hammer a shim gently between the floor and the toilet base to bring a low side up. Continue to check the level in several directions around the toilet bowl and add more shims as necessary to level the bowl. When the bubble is level in all directions then tighten the bolts down firmly. Do not over-tighten as this may crack the toilet porcelain. Check the level a final time to be sure that it has remained the same.
  • Saw off any protruding shims around the base of the toilet with a keyhole or other small saw that will fit into the space. Some shims come with perforated lines across the plastic so you can merely snap off any excessive shim with your fingers. Fill any gaps between the floor and the toilet base with caulk. You can also cover the shims with the caulk to hide them from view. Add the new bolt caps back to the base bolts.

 

Should You Remove the Toilet When Tiling the Bathroom Floor?

Many homeowners often try to cut a few corners when attempting a bathroom remodel themselves. They often ask if they should remove the toilet before installing a new bathroom floor. While it is possible to install a new linoleum or ceramic tile floor without removing the toilet, it is not recommended and actually can increase the labor involved in the project. The following post will outline the reasons you should never install new flooring around an existing toilet.

Appearance

Bathroom remodeling can be expensive, even if you are doing it yourself. It just doesn’t make much sense to cut corners and wind up with a half-baked project when your hard-earned money is on the line. Tiling around a toilet to save a few dollars in labor will leave you with an unprofessional installation, and your guests will notice. It is almost impossible to cut flooring, especially ceramic tile or wood, precise enough to fit snugly around a toilet base. The finished product usually results in an uneven and thick joint around the toilet base, a joint that will require additional caulk or grout to conceal.

Difficulty

Removing the toilet before floor replacement can be quite difficult. Whether you hire your plumbing contractor to remove the toilet, or simply do it yourself, your flooring project will be much easier. Toilet bases are often oddly shaped, with many curves and rounded corners. Cutting flooring around these obstacles is difficult even for the most seasoned flooring installer. With the toilet removed, you can carry the tile all the way up to and around the toilet flange. When the toilet is reinstalled, its base will rest squarely on the new floor and cover any edges around the flange, leaving your project with a professional appearance.

Future Problems

In addition, if you fail to remove the toilet before new floor installation, you set yourself up for future problems if you must replace or remove the toilet down the road. Toilets are manufactured with a wide range of toilet base footprints and the chances of finding a new toilet with the exact footprint are slim to none. This could lead to flooring replacement or a shoddy toilet installation if your existing toilet ever fails.

 

How to Install a New Toilet on a Toilet Flange

Always place the wax ring on the closet flange. This helps eliminate the possibility of the ring falling off the bottom of the toilet bowl. Before you buy a new toilet, get the rough-in measurement.

Why does this matter?

First, the rough-in is the distance between the closet flange bolts and finished wall. In our case that distances was 12″. That’s why you see the closet flange bolts positioned at that 12″ mark. We secured them to the closet flange using nuts and washers. Once the wax ring and closet flange bolts are in place, the toilet can be lowered onto the closet flange.

Align the holes in the toilet with the closet flange bolts and slowly lower it until the bowl meets the wax ring. Then compress the toilet against the wax ring to make a good watertight seal. Add the plastic washers first, then metal washers, and finally the nuts to the closet flange bolts.

Exterior Painting Ideas

What To Look For When Hiring A Painting Contractor

There are painters and there are painters, and whenever a homeowner decides it is time for a repaint, choosing the right contractor is never an easy task. We have all heard tales of woe when dissatisfied customers have realised they hired the wrong outfit, and what seemed to be a straightforward job quickly turned into a nightmare. If you are contemplating and interior or exterior paint makeover in your home, here are some important points to bear in mind when looking for a painting contractor.

  • Established and Experienced – If a painting contractor has been in business for more than 5 years and has a good name locally, you should be in good hands. You might be looking for a painter in Perth or Melbourne, and by doing a little research, it will soon become apparent if a contractor is not up to scratch.
  • Awards and Accreditations – For a company to receive awards or accreditations, it must have done something right, and if they consistently pick up awards in the construction industry, this is a sure sign they are professional and attain a very high standard of workmanship.
  • Solid Warranty – If a painter is confident in his work, then he should have no problem issuing a warranty. Some of the better companies actually guarantee their work for a full 5 years, which means you really can’t go wrong. If you are based in WA, there is a master painter in Perth that offers a professional 5-year warranty on all of their work.
  • Professional Advice – A reputable painting contractor would be happy to give their clients the benefit of their experience by spending time discussing options. Choosing colours is important, and a professional painter would assist the client in the design stage and always have their best interests at heart. The latest generation of paints can offer the homeowner many benefits, and the average person wouldn’t be aware of this, so the painter should point out the product information and offer their professional advice for free.

 

What types of materials will be used?

You may have certain types of products or materials, such as “eco-paint”, that you want to be used in your building, so it’s important to discuss these with the commercial painting company in advance. You should discuss what equipment will be needed to complete the job. Your building may have a tall lobby entrance with a ceiling that needs painting. You’ll need to understand what equipment the company will be using to paint the ceiling to insure it doesn’t restrict business needs and is safe for the company to use.

 

They never ask for a deposit

While some paint contractors may request a deposit before beginning the work, well-established, successful painting professionals have sufficient operating income and can easily afford to purchase materials and make payroll. Be wary of a contractor who asks for a deposit! If he is unable to purchase materials, he’s probably unable to pay his staff, too. Every year, too many homeowners fall victim to contractors who walk off the job—and out of town—with the deposit in their pockets.

If you agree to advanced payment of any kind, make sure that materials have been purchased and are on your property, leaving you some kind of leverage, should the contractor default on the work. The bottom line is that a reliable painting contractor should never request a deposit before starting your project.

They offer a written warranty

You can tell a lot about a painting contractor by his warranty. Well-known contractors with established reputations are respected by paint suppliers who, in turn, pass on extended or even lifetime warranties on their paints. This is because they know the product will be applied the right way. For any number of reasons, less experienced contractors may not have valuable relationships with suppliers.

On the labor side, a great contractor works with solid, experienced painters whose work he knows he can stand behind with an extended labor warranty. So, before you hire someone to paint your house, talk to them about their warranties and make sure you are covered.

 

They invite you to see a job in progress

If a contractor is confident about the way they work, they’ll prove it by asking you to judge for yourself, not only at the end of a job, but while work is in progress. Things to look for:

Work vehicles: are they clean, organized and professional?

The painters: are they neatly dressed and groomed?

Materials: are ladders, scaffolding, drop cloths and electrical equipment in good condition?

Is work being done carefully so as not to damage landscaping or property?

The best painting contractors treat a home, and the homeowner, with respect and professionalism at all times.

 

What to Look for in a Good Paint

There are many false pretenses that are put on the labels of paint cans. So, what should you look for in a good paint product? Raw materials and the percentage of solids by volume are most important when shopping for an exterior house paint.

Stay away from manufacturers that don’t clearly display what raw materials are used. They are usually not displayed for a reason. Mainly, because of the use of poor raw materials. So… which solids are we looking for?

Acrylic polymers are the most durable and commonly found in quality exterior paints. Fortified paints use a blend of raw material to give ultimate durability. Fortified paints enable raw materials that normally would not blend, to be blended together.

Vinyl polymers are also present in exterior products. Durable products should only contain a small percentage of Vinyl. A Larger amount of Vinyl polymers are most commonly found in low-end products, which are not as durable.

High Vinyl containing paints breakdown and chalk at a must higher rate. However, Vinyl polymers do allow paints to expand and contract. Even with the advantages of allowing expansion and contraction this raw material should be a limited raw material used. This material should not be the main material used in any premium exterior paint.

For absolute best results, A Touch of Color recommends the following products for interior and exterior painting.

Advantages Of Mold Remediation

Importance And Purpose Of Mold Remediation

Mold removal is a cleanup of the mold that is present in the indoor environments. It is quite important to tackle your mold problem head on before it begins to cause serious damage to your health and home.

What are the causes of mold?

A lot of buildings are designed to sustain the growth of mold. This is because it is caused by the presence of water indoors or moisture and grows on the organic materials. You should note that organic matter consists of things, which are living. Mold growth is found on wooden studs or wood floors. It is encouraged by the lack of building materials such as concrete, flooding, leaky roofs that are associated with building maintenance and plumbing.

The first step is to solve mold problems, which are a source of moisture within your office or home. This is then followed by mold removal. The following are some of the solutions for small levels of mold:mold

  • Sunlight
  • Ventilation
  • Dehumidifiers
  • Wall insulation
  • Household cleansers
  • Non-porous building materials

If mold growth is quite significant, it is necessary to choose a professional Mold Removal company to eliminate mold from your premises. The purpose of remediation is to remove or clean all contaminated materials. Also, there is a need to stop mold from spreading.

 

Different methods

Some of the ways, which hinder mold growth include air conditioning, dry fog, and improved insulation. The current technology allows mold remediation companies to use a dry fog, which exterminates mold and thwarts its growth. The fog contains a chemical that is approved by EPA and does not harm or damage the health of individuals or animals. It is necessary to attack mold that is harmful to homeowners and their pets. The method used should not exacerbate the situation.

Nowadays, some companies are using mold remediation methods that expose mold to high levels of sunlight, ozone, heat, dry air, and UV light. Although such methods can make mold non-viable, it may still produce harmful effects. The appropriate mold remediation tactic is to employ detergent solutions to eliminate physically.

Some of the mold removal means include:

  • Vacuum: this removes all accumulated water from floors and carpets
  • Damp wipe: this involves wiping or scrubbing of non-porous surfaces with detergent and water
  • Dry ice blasting: this helps get rid of the mold that is on cement surfaces or wood
  • HVPA vacuum: Vacuum cleaners are equipped with HVPA filters that carry out final cleanup of the affected areas

 

Get to Know Your Enemy

Hidden Mold in House

The process is usually underway long before you have a visual clue of the problem. Mold growth often begins inside ducts and crawl spaces or behind tiles, wallpaper, or paneling – in places where you cannot see it and remove it immediately to avoid further damage. If you notice warping walls, crumbling plaster or blistering paint, new cracks in your tiles that get deeper, or gaps in the grouts, you may have an imminent mold issue. If the walls or the floor feel wet and softer to the touch, or have inexplicable stains, the alarm should be raised and you need to arrange for immediate mold testing. Persistent musty smell in a well-maintained home, however, is the number one signal for hidden mold growth that cannot be mistaken and should never be ignored. Remember that early detection can prevent great troubles.

Dormant Mold

If you manage to discover the source of the moisture and fix the problem, the area may dry out completely and the mold may seem to disappear. However, if you fail to remove all the mold spores, they will not just die with time – they will become dormant and will be able to reactivate whenever favorable conditions occur. Even dormant mold produces a musty smell and can be dangerous to people’s health. Regardless of your efforts, the problem may persist.

Mold in Newly-Built Homes

Mold issues can be found even in newly-built properties. If the building materials were stored in humid surroundings or were not properly protected from rain during the construction, the internal moisture of the materials will enable mold growth. Having in mind the possible lack of quality control upon completion of the building and the fact that many modern building materials, such as plasterboard and plywood, are conducive to mold growth, it is no surprise that your new living space may have a mold infestation problem.

 

But don’t panic!

While the problems we describe here are frightening, they describe only what can happen in the advanced stages of a mold infestation — that is, without a mold removal effort to arrest its progress. If the mold problem is a small one, and it’s confined to a flat, nonporous surface such as a tile floor, you may even be able to remove it yourself with a sturdy sponge and a strong cleanser. But if you’ve called in a certified mold inspector and discovered the problem is a severe one, a team of mold removal experts can handle the problem for you, in just a few easy steps:

  1. Identify the problem

First, the mold removal team will find out where the mold is, and what caused the conditions that allow it to survive. This may be a leaky pipe, condensation on walls or windows, or pooling water issuing from a foundation crack.

  1. Cordon off the area

Next, the team will seal off the affected area. This will ensure that the mold removal process won’t release mold spores to other areas of the building, where they can take root and cause an entirely new set of problems.

3 .Mold removal

Finally, the team will use high-pressure hoses to clear the entire area of mold.

 

How to Remove Mold – DIY or not?

Do-it-yourself mold removal methods have proven to be efficient only when you recognize the first signs of mold growth and manage to prevent its development. Use only EPA-registered fungicide to kill mold and be sure to eliminate the source of the moisture that allowed its appearance in the first place. However, remember that DIY mold removal is often incomplete and provides only a temporary solution to the problem.

  • Bleach is inefficient. The once most commonly used mold removal product is actually too weak to kill the mold spores – it only hinders their development for a short time;
  • Household cleaners and paints only hide the problem. Any disinfectants and cleaning agents are just not strong enough to deal with mold spores, just like bleach. Besides, they cannot clean inside the contaminated materials, so it’s only a matter of time for mold to reappear again. Lysol or paint, on the other hand, will only cover the damage, not repair it;
  • Fungicide sprays work. However, you can hope to put a final end to your problems only if no hidden mold remains. Spraying only the visible patches will not prevent mold from reappearing soon – all the hidden and dormant spores must be eliminated, too. Also, remember to fix any leaks and/or remove moist materials in your home.

Identifying and Preventing Narcotic Abuse In Pain Management

The Pain Relief App

Guided Pain Relief Program

Our self-help program takes you step-by-step through every aspect of modern pain management. From understanding your pain, to dealing with triggers, developing a pacing strategy, CBT, and so much more.

The Mind Area

Enjoy any one of our hundreds of meditations – specifically designed for pain patients. With multiple expert contributors, there’s something for everyone. Whether you need a quick dose of calm, or a deeper practice, we’ve got you covered.

The Body Area

From head to toe, discover hundreds of physiotherapy exercises at every level of difficulty. Designed to improve strength, mobility, and reduce pain. You can also enjoy our growing number of calming or energizing yoga, exercise, and guided breathing routines.

Masterclasses

Pain affects every part of life. So in our masterclasses we go deep into specific topics, helping you to heal. From finding inspiration in Buddist healing practices, to delving into fascinating pain science stories – you’ll find them in our masterclass selection. Created by experts.

Track Symptoms

Track factors that influence your pain and wellbeing. By understanding how your symptoms ebb and flow over time, you and your medical professional are able to make better, more informed health decisions.

 

Non-medical pain relief during labour

There are many ways to reduce pain in labour without medicines. Each method has advantages and disadvantages. Choose one or more that suit you

Active birth

Staying active is one of the most helpful things you can do to manage the pain of labour and birth. Moving freely and rocking your pelvis can help you to cope with the contractions.

Massage and heat

Massage and hot packs can ease your pain in labour. Massage helps distract you from the pain. Heat packs can help your body release its natural painkillers — endorphins.

Water immersion

Most hospitals and birthing centres will have facilities that allow you to have a bath or shower during the first stage of labour.

Relaxation

You can use different relaxation techniques to ease pain. Some people like music, some like meditation, some like incense. Generally, relaxation techniques help ease pain in labour. Just check that the hospital or birth centre can cope with your plans.

 

Learn more about pain and pain management

What is pain?

Pain is unpleasant sensation, suffering or distress of the body or mind. Pain hurts and it wears you down. lt can make it hard for you to be active and make you feel tired and tense. Pain often accompanies cancer and other progressive diseases and it can affect all aspects of your life- psychological, emotional and spiritual.

Why are we afraid of pain?

Not all people living with terminal illness experience pain. However, many people living with a terminal illness are afraid of pain because they worry that pain cannot be controlled without awful side effects. Fear of pain adds to the total impact of pain. It is important to speak up about your pain and your fears about pain. Be honest and ask questions so that you can be given accurate information.

Can pain always be controlled?

Most pain can be relieved or controlled. Bringing pain under control and keeping it there means assessing each aspect of pain and monitoring it. These are core skills of palliative care doctors and nurses.

How can I help control my pain?

Good pain control requires good communication amongst patients, carers, medical and nursing staff. It is important to be open and share information so your care team knows exactly what is happening with your pain

They value stoicism- they don’t want to appear weak

People interpret their pain according to their particular life experiences, values and beliefs. If you value stoicism for religious or cultural reasons, you may wish to discuss the matter with your religious leader or a pastoral carer. None of the major religions urges its followers to reject pain-killers {analgesics) in terminal illness. If you think that it is weak to ‘give in’ to pain, you might consider whether analgesia will free your energy for more important things.

 

How Do I Get My Sciatic Nerve to Stop Hurting?

What is sciatica?

The sciatic nerve is the largest nerve in the body. It’s rooted in the lower back and extends through the rump, providing nerve endings through the leg. Sciatica or sciatic nerve pain is centered on the lower back, and the cause is usually from a ruptured disc in the spinal column that irritates or inflames the nerve. Bone, tumors, muscles, and infections can also cause inflammation of the sciatic nerve and the resulting back and leg pain.

What is the treatment for sciatica?

Bed rest has been traditionally advocated for the treatment of acute sciatica. But how useful is it? To study the effectiveness of bed rest in patients with sciatica, a research team in the Netherlands led by Dr. Patrick Vroomen randomly assigned 183 such patients to bed rest or, alternatively, to watchful waiting for this period.

The results, reported in the Journal of Medicine, showed that after two weeks, 70% patients in the bed-rest group reported improvement, as compared with 65% of the patients in the control (watchful-waiting) group. After 12 weeks, 87% of the patients in both groups reported improvement. The results of assessments of the intensity of pain, the aggravation of symptoms, and functional status revealed no significant differences between the two groups. The extent of absenteeism from work and rates of surgical intervention were similar in the two groups.

Other treatment options for sciatica depend on its cause and include addressing the underlying cause.

Transcutaneous nerve stimulators (TENS units) are sometimes useful for more chronic forms of sciatica.

A variety of low back conditioning and stretching exercises are employed to help people recover from sciatica.

Medications used in the treatment of sciatica include pain relievers, muscle relaxants, anti-inflammatories, and antidepressants.

What are home remedies for sciatica?

Keys to the management of acute sciatica include relief of pain and relaxing associated muscle spasms. Home remedies include

 

Chronic pain relief without drugs: products to try

If you’re like many people, you reach for the bottle of Tylenol — or whatever over-the-counter pain pill you have handy — as soon as you feel a headache or any other sort of bodily pain coming on.

That’s not necessarily a bad thing: OTC pain medications do have their place, and they’re proven to be effective, although I’m sure you don’t need clinical evidence if you’ve experienced the effects of these medications first-hand.

Oska Pulse

Oska Pulse uses pulsed electromagnetic field (PEMF) technology, which emits energy at different wavelengths to stimulate your body’s natural recovery process. This type of technology is commonly used in medical settings, including post-surgical healing and cancer treatment. PEMF has helped to reduce pain in the feet, lower back, knees and more.

Omron Avail

The Omron Avail is a TENS unit, one of the more popular forms of drug-free pain relief available to consumers. TENS stands for “transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation,” which is the science-y way of saying it “blocks pain signals.”

Quell Relief

The Quell 2.0 is another TENS unit, but this one claims to be 10 times more effective than other TENS units you can buy over the counter. Rather than a small patchlike wearable (like the Omron Avail), the Quell 2.0 is a small cuff that you can wear on your arms and legs. This product could be particularly convenient for people who experience knee or elbow pain and want some relief while on the go.