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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.

Post Construction Cleaning With Trash Removal

POST-CONSTRUCTION / RENOVATION

After expending so much effort to build or remodel your home or office, it only makes sense to move into a space that shines.

Post-Construction Clean-up Crew includes trained experts who will make this difficult job absolutely turnkey. Each team is specifically hand-selected to meet your needs, and provides the following services:

Vacuuming and dusting of all surfaces and upholstery, from ceilings and walls to floors

Cleaning the tops of doors, door knobs, hardware, moldings

Complete disinfection of kitchens and bathrooms

Gentle cleaning of floors, baseboards, cabinets, counters, light fixtures, appliances

All glass, stone, and metal surfaces gently cleaned

Dust removal from blinds, ceiling pipes/fans, air ducts, vents, light fixtures

Window cleaning, including sills, window frames, and glass

Desk and cabinet cleaning (for offices)

HEPA filter vacuums and air machines provided for maximum dust removal

After our intensive Post-Construction cleaning is complete, you will be ready to unpack in a clean, dust-free environment.

 

Why is Post Construction Cleaning So Important?

Being an interior designer in the construction field for 31 years I know the importance of keeping a job site clean for obvious reasons. What many people fail to think about is post-construction cleaning and if not done properly can create a not so good outcome

The Importance of Post-Construction Cleaning

A well-run job site is clean when you walk through it from the beginning until the end of the project. Whether you are an owner/builder or a construction company this is a must for a well-organized job. Let me explain the reasons why you need good construction cleaning services.

There is Safety in the Clean Up

When construction is going on there is debris, and where there is debris there is an accident waiting to happen. It is so important that cleanup is routinely done in order for this not to build up. Companies like Construction Cleaning Spokane know this all too well and warn people about the liability you can face if someone is hurt due to trash on a construction site. If you live in the Spokane area this is a quality company that offers, all types of cleaning services at home or the office cleaning the premises quickly, professionally and qualitatively.

How to Properly Disposal of Debris

Most municipalities require construction waste to be separated and sorted like paint and other chemicals. In most cases, they are to be delivered to a special facility for legal disposal. For this reason, it is important to work with a professional construction cleaning company or you could face a fine.

Debris Effects Project Efficiency & Timeline

Time is certainly of the essence when it comes to construction. In a delay of a project someone is displaced which will cost someone money. If the homeowner is working with a professional builder there might be a penalty clause in their contract for a delay which is highly motivating for the contractor to have a quick post-construction cleaning. Even a homeowner who is running their own project, by this time, is anxious to complete and move in. By hiring a professional cleanup company you know they will have all of the necessary equipment for a quick turn around.

 

Post Construction Cleaning

Post construction cleaning is an important final step of the building process as construction sites are left in a dirty or hazardous state.  There is often dirt and dust left behind that can get into the ventilation system as well as other debris such as nails, screws, tools, and building materials that can make the area somewhat dangerous

Post Construction Cleaning Process

Once a residential construction job is complete, the client’s satisfaction with the job will be due in part to the cleanliness they experience in the final walk through.  Our technicians clean everything including the walls, floors, and windows to make the area safe to enter and we use a HEPA vacuum to remove dirt and dust so that it will never contaminate the home again

The specific post construction cleaning services we provide include:

Paint overspray cleaning

Dusting air diffusers

Light fixture cleaning

Restroom fixture cleaning

Spot cleaning walls

Spot cleaning interior glass

Vacuuming and spot treating carpet

Damp mopping of hard surface floors

begin each post construction cleaning job by inspecting the site to determine a plan of action and timeframe to complete the work.  The customer is given an estimate and copy of the work plan and our field supervisor will keep the customer updated on the progress of the project.

 

Post Construction

Post construction cleaning is an easy way to prepare a newly-built home or renovation project. We offer professional-quality post-construction cleaning services which exceed customers’ expectations.

Whether it’s a new home, a renovation project, or a recently-constructed commercial space, our certified technicians use industry-standard equipment to make that area look its best.

cleaning services typically include:

Thorough HEPA-vacuum & cleaning of all surfaces

Clean all windows, windowsills, window tracks, and frames

Remove all paint, glue, stickers, and residue from glass

Clean inside cabinets and drawers

Clean doors and frames

Clean baseboard, trim & casings

Clean and wipe lighting fixtures

Steam clean carpeted areas where required

Sanitize bathroom and wash or scrub all floors

HEPA-vacuum and/or steam clean any furniture

Cleaning & Restoration does all of the things needed to turn your construction site into a livable, workable space. Want to make sure a construction project looks brand new? Our post construction cleaning specialists provide thorough cleaning services and spectacular results.

use HEPA filtration vacuums, steam cleaning machines, and floor scrubbers. Our professionally-certified staff is trained to expertly deal with a diverse range of conditions

 

Post Construction Cleaning

Post construction cleaning is not for the faint of heart. Cement, paint, wood chippings, dust, grease and grim all make cleaning a daunting task. Not to mention the risks of exposure to harmful chemicals, fumes and biohazards.

Cleaning Services is a compact team of expert cleaners who handle the grit and mess from construction and building.We are trained and equipped to give you thorough and professional post construction cleaning services. By making use of the best cleaning products and tools, we take pride in our ability to provide rapid and efficient clean up even for the most disorganized places.

clean office buildings, schools, residential houses, malls and other types of buildings, top to bottom, inside out, you name it. Our wide range of post construction cleaning services include;

Window cleaning

Cleaning

Dust removal

Steel polishing

Stain removal

Vacuuming

Vacuuming

Bathroom sinks

Floor scrubbing

Cabinet cleaning

Glass polishing

Kitchen appliances

Sweeping

Waxing

Furniture cleaning

Bathroom shower heads

Why Hire a Post-Construction Cleaning Expert?

You want the perfect result? Hire a professional. It’s not rocket science. You shouldn’t attempt to clean a newly constructed building yourself, neither should you hire someone who not skilled to handle the unique demands of post construction cleaning. Take the hassle off of yourself and let a reputable company handle your post construction cleaning.  Some of the reasons why you should hire an expert are listed as follows.

They are Experts – There is a big difference in hiring a professional and hiring a quack. When you hire an expert, you are rest assured that all necessary aspects of the cleaning is taken care of. These people are trained to do what they do. They spend so many years in training and they have lots of experience.

Hiring A Certified Residential Electrical Remodel Is The Safer Choice

Need the experts for your electrical project?

Whether you’re in need of rewiring, surge protection, lighting upgrades, or any other electrical maintenance job

Service Panel Upgrade

Your electrical panel is crucial for providing electricity to your appliances and devices you use throughout the home. Power flows from the power lines into the panel where it is distributed to the inside of your home. Your electrical service panel is an essential part of your home and one that is important for the safety of your home and family.

Electrical Remodeling

Electrical remodeling is an essential part of any home remodeling project and provides an improvement of household safety, increased value of the home, as well as an enhanced look and feel to improve the environment of your living space

Whole House Surge Protectors

Whole house surge protectors provide your home with protection from surges or blackouts that could damage your appliances or devices during a thunderstorm. They are an essential part for any home in areas with frequent storm activity.

Outlets & Switches

Electrical outlets and light switches are a necessity in any home. If your outlets or light switches have been malfunctioning, need to be rewired, or you simply need more to keep up with your appliances

Spas & Hot Tubs

Hot tubs and spas might be a thing for luxury for some, but they provide you a place to unwind from the stresses of normal life. Proper wiring provides you with peace of mind knowing that your hot tub or spa will keep on working for years on end.

 

Create a Home Remodeling Plan

Home remodels take time (and money), and there are several steps to be aware of. To ensure your home remodel goes as smoothly as possible, it’s best to establish a detailed timeline and max budget for the project.

Certainly, you could hire someone to plan, design, and budget the project for you, but that can cost a lot of money, and we’re all about budgeting wisely. So instead, follow our home remodel guideline and timeline example, and you’ll be well prepared for your project.

Average Timeline

Before jumping into your home remodel, familiarize yourself with the remodeling process and what goes into it. On average, home remodeling projects take 3 – 8 months to complete, but this all depends on the overall size and complexity of the project, as well as who you hire to do the work and the amount of work you choose to do yourself.

What a common home remodel timeline looks like:

Planning: 1 month

Demolition: 2 weeks

HVAC, Electrical & Plumbing: 5 days

Framing & Drywall: 10 days

Painting: 1 week

Cabinets & Fixtures: 1 week

Doors & Windows: 5 days

Clean House & Air Vents: 1 day

Flooring: 1 week

Trim and Finish Work: 1 week

Planning

Have a maximum amount you are willing to spend in mind and make a point not to go over your budget. The various costs that factor into a house remodel can be much different than you think, so start a running list of all your must-have and really-want-to-have items in a spreadsheet.

 

Working With Contractors

What is a contract?

Every time you sign your name on the dotted line, you are legally staking your name to a contract. A contract is a legal document that guarantees a service between two or more people.

Generally speaking, a contractor is any person who agrees to fulfill the demands of a contract. When you hire a lawn care company to mow your grass and a plumber to fix a leaky pipe, you are dealing with contractors. The contractor then legally binds his or her name to the action spelled out in the contract – and so do you.

When it comes to home remodeling, a “general contractor” is the person who is in charge of the construction site. Contractors use their contracts, agreed upon by both the homeowner and the contractor, as the blueprint for all aspects of the job.

The vast majority of contractors are honest people who simply want the opportunity to do the things you want done, and they want you to be happy with the work. A contractor’s whole livelihood is based on your satisfaction, but every contractor has had a combination of good and bad experiences with customers.  As a result of those experiences, contractors rely on the written contract to resolve any dispute over what was agreed.

Types of contractors

In a big remodeling job involving several trades, there are two main types of contractors: General contractor and subcontractors.

 

Residential Electrician

Whether it’s installing a new outlet, adding new track lights, hanging a ceiling fan, upgrading your outdoor lights, or even adding a new addition to your home.

ELECTRICAL REPAIR

Electric vehicle charger outlets

Breaker box labeling

Breaker box safety inspection

GFCI safety inspection

Grounding inspection

Electric meter repairs

Breaker Box replacements and upgrades

A/C and Heating Circuits

On demand water heater outlets

Spa/hot tub circuits

Aluminum Wiring Replacement

Code Inspections and Repairs

Electrical Outlet for wall mounted TV

Data cabling – Category 6

Coax cabling – cable TV

Ground Fault Receptacle

ELECTRICAL REMODELING

Add recessed lighting

Welder outlets

Air compressor outlets

Garage work shops

Raise outlets underneath cabinets

Kitchen Undercabinet lighting

Kitchen in-cabinet lighting

Smart lighting controls

Security lighting

Additional outlets

New wiring

Wire patios

Wire additions

Wiring to islands

Data wiring

Cable wiring

Every home is powered by a complex electrical system comprised of wires, fixtures, circuits, outlets, and more. As a home owner, you know how difficult it is to maintain your electrical system while tending to the needs of your family. Electrical equipment requires the care and precision that only a trained professional knows how to apply, so allow Residential Electrical Services handle your electrical needs for you. Whether you need a fast repair, a new fixture installed, or a home safety inspection, our team can be there to exceed your expectations and get the job done right.

 

spent $35,000 remodeling my kitchen, and here are big lessons I learned

When the main electric cooktop burner went out and the odd-sized oven was scorching everything, it was time. If we needed to sell the house, we knew we’d take a hit; kitchens and baths still sell homes. The last thing I wanted was to make incremental upgrades or renovate at the finish line for someone else

If done right, I knew this space could improve not just the look of our whole house, but the way we live. I envisioned making cupcakes (and healthier meals) with our 3-year-old at a new peninsula, and supervising her craft projects while I cooked. Until now, we’d done all we could to keep her out of the cramped space, where danger seemed to lurk at every inefficient turn.

Plan ahead to save money

My husband and I had hoped to save money by assembling our cabinets and having a local non-profit demo and haul away the old cabinets and appliances. Stardust Building Supplies offers a free demo service when you donate your used cabinets and appliances. Unfortunately, they were booked weeks in advance and couldn’t schedule the demo in time for our contractor, who was ready to get started. Nor did we end up having the many days it would have taken to assemble 20 flat-pack Ikea cabinets. We easily could have saved more than $1,000 by doing both. We also learned financing can take longer than a remodel. We were told it takes an average of 45 days after pre-approval to get a home equity line of credit. Ours took longer, so apply at least three months before you’ll need it

Set a realistic budget

Out of necessity and frugal DNA, I was sure I could do an affordable remodel. I wanted to do an affordable remodel. But affordable is a relative term. When we started daydreaming about this project, I thought I could do it for around $15,000 — perfectly plausible if you watch certain home-improvement shows. Unfortunately, that’s less than half what it ended up costing

Electrical work alone to update the 35-year-old wiring in our kitchen was $4,175. Quartz countertops and installation cost $4,265. Raising the ceiling meant re-routing a main air duct, which got complicated, as did removing a structural half wall. Overall, the total Ikea bill for all appliances (dishwasher, cooktop, double oven and installed microwave) was $3,500; the cabinets cost just shy of $8,000. But construction costs meant the whole project came in just under $35,000. When all was said and done, it really did feel like a new house, not just a new kitchen

Some Basic Things About the Moving Companies

Relocating for a new job can be both an exciting and stressful experience. While the new job may be the dream job you’ve been working toward, the prospect of relocating in a short period of time may dampen your spirits. The farther away from “home” you have to relocate for a new job, the more concerns may arise.

The moving companies are usually seen in three types. If you want to both load and unload and even pack your belongings, then take the services from a full service moving company. Then there is self service moving in which the handle packing, loading and unloading is done by the company. There are even some other companies that specialize in renting and moving trucks alone. Here people must do all the packing along with loading and unloading. The moving truck would be driven from one location to another by the customer himself. Selecting the type of NJ moving companies for your relocation is completely a personal choice and can be made based on your requirements and budget.

What to Do the Day before Your Move:

  • Sort the boxes that you will be moving into your pods: keep light boxes and fragile items in one area, and heavy items in another area. This way, it is easier to pack your pods securely!
  • Separate the items that you do not want in your container, and keep them in a room where they will not be confused with the items that you do want to pack.
  • Pack a change of clothes and any necessary cosmetics in a bag for each of your family members. This way, if you are too exhausted to unpack when you arrive at your new home, you have some essential items available to you!

What to Do On Moving Day:

  • If you can, be at home when the moving containers arrive, in order to make sure that the driver knows where you would like them to be placed.
  • Take a look at the packing tips and other information listed on the inside of the door of your moving pod. These tips will give you a general idea of the best way to pack your container!
  • Have your locks handy for securing your container. For safety purposes, it is important to secure your container when it is unattended, as well as when you are done with the loading process.

Putting It All Together

When you are relocating on a budget, it can be tough to figure out how to get everything where it needs to go with limited funds. If you follow these tips and properly utilize inexpensive moving kits and cheap moving boxes, you’ll find that the task is easier than you might think.