Must Know Tips To Make Stucco Repairs

Technique for Repairing Stucco Exterior Walls

Many of the homes using the products are still in existence today and still have the original stucco. Stucco is most often damaged as the result of water from leaking roofs or pipes that causes the wall to be over saturated for extended periods of time. These damaged areas are easily repaired and there are several household items that will help you mimic the look and texture of the existing stucco and keep its historic beauty intact.

  • Chip away the edges of the loose or damaged stucco with a mason’s chisel and hammer. Continue chipping the areas all the way down to the wire mesh. Clean the area with a wire-bristle brush to remove any loose dust and debris. Wipe the entire area with a damp rag to pick up any remaining dust.
  • Cut a new piece of wire mesh if the old mesh is damaged or rusty. Nail the new piece of mesh into the repair area, using galvanized roofing nails. Spray the patch area with water from the spray bottle.
  • Mix a small amount of the stucco mixture according to the manufacturer’s instructions. Do not mix more than you can use in 20 minutes as it will begin dry out and won’t adhere to the wall properly.
  • Color-match older stucco by having a professional mix the stucco for you. Alternatively, take a chip of the old stucco to your local paint supply store and ask a sales representative to match the color and tint a gallon of paint for you. For newer homes, check to see if the color mix for your stucco is still being sold at your local building supply store.
  • Spread a 1/4-inch layer of the mixture into the hole, using a brick trowel. Do not get the mixture on the existing stucco and immediately wipe away any drips. Scrape the patched area with the edge of the trowel in a cross-hatched pattern. Keep the mixture moist while it cures for 24 hours.
  • Mix another small batch of the stucco and apply a second 1/4-inch coat in the same manner. Allow it to cure another 24 hours. Keep the patched area moist during the curing process. In some instances, two coats are enough to fully repair the wall. If not, mix and apply a third coat.
  • Match the finish on the new patch to the finished texture on the existing stucco while the final coat is still wet. Use the trowel to create a smooth surface or blot a damp sponge against the wet mixture to mimic stippling. Use a wadded piece of cloth to achieve a random and gentler stipple pattern. Alternatively, use a broom for matching swept or stippled patterns.

 

The Importance of Weather to Stucco Work and Stucco Paint Coatings

Moisture, humidity, rain, or wet conditions during thin-coat or EIFS stucco work can lead to a subsequent series of failures of the entire installation.

The home shown in our photo (left) was the subject of litigation. We observed that the final stucco had been applied over wet surfaces and in some cases over surfaces that also had been troubled by soil that had splashed-up on the building during rainy weather.

Stucco wall paint failures are also traced to moisture, efflorescence, and failure to adequately clean the exterior and then allow it to dry before painting.

  • Temperature during stucco work will speed up or slow down the hydration process that cures the cement in stucco. It is best to avoid application in extremely hot or cold temperatures. In hot, dry, and windy weather, frequent misting will be required on the scratch coat or the installer may need to tape polyethylene sheeting in place for proper curing.
  • Direct sun tends to dry out the fresh stucco too fast, so installers should try to follow the shade around the building. Also, retardants are available that can be sprayed on the scratch or brown coat in hot weather to slow down the curing. Sun, heat, and rapid drying conditions can present special stucco application troubles or subsequent stucco paint coating troubles in hot dry climates such as the American Southwest. (Photo at left).
  • Cold weather also presents problems. Stucco should not be applied under 40°F, and it should not be allowed to freeze within 24 hours of application. Accelerators can be added to the stucco mix in cold weather, but these can weaken the material, and calcium-based accelerators can lead to efflorescence. Heating the materials and, if necessary, tenting the structure can permit work to proceed in cold, even freezing, weather.
  • Cool, moist weather is ideal for traditional stucco wall installations. In humid weather, with relative humidity over 70% or heavy fog, misting is not usually required.

 

General Guidance for Historic Stucco Repair

A skilled professional plasterer will be familiar with the properties of materials involved in stucco repair and will be able to avoid some of the pitfalls that would hinder someone less experienced. General suggestions for successful stucco repair parallel those involving restoration and repair of historic mortar or plaster. In addition, the following principles are important to remember:

  • Mix only as much stucco as can be used in one and one-half to two hours. This will depend on the weather (mortar will harden faster under hot and dry, or sunny conditions); and experience is likely to be the best guidance. Any remaining mortar should be discarded; it should not be retempered.
  • Stucco mortar should not be over-mixed. (Hand mix for 10-15 minutes after adding water, or machine mix for 3-4 minutes after all ingredients are in mixer.) Over-mixing can cause crazing and discoloration, especially in tinted mortars. Over-mixing will also tend to make the mortar set too fast, which will result in cracking and poor bonding or keying to the lath or masonry substrate.
  • Wood lath or a masonry substrate, but not metal lath, must be thoroughly wetted before applying stucco patches so that it does not draw moisture out of the stucco too rapidly. To a certain extent, bonding agents also serve this same purpose. Wetting the substrate helps retard drying.
  • To prevent cracking, it is imperative that stucco not dry too fast. Therefore, the area to be stuccoed should be shaded, or even covered if possible, particularly in hot weather. It is also a good idea in hot weather to keep the newly stuccoed area damp, at approximately 90 per cent humidity, for a period of 48 to 72 hours.
  • Stucco repairs, like most other exterior masonry work, should not be undertaken in cold weather (below 40 degrees Fahrenheit, and preferably warmer), or if there is danger of frost.

 

Stucco Recipes

Directions: Shovel the dry ingredients into a wheelbarrow and blend them with a mortar hoe. Add the acrylic bonding agent, then stir in water, a little at a time, until the mix reaches the consistency of buttercream frosting. Too much water will make it loose and unworkable. Once water is added, the mix will stay usable for 30 to 90 minutes before it starts to harden.

Watch The Weather

Freezing temperatures can ruin wet stucco. Wait for nighttime temperatures that stay above 40 degrees before tackling repairs. Hot, dry, windy weather can also interfere by sucking out moisture the mix needs to cure properly. Work in the shade so the stucco doesn’t dry too fast. Between coats, keep the patch moist by covering it with a plastic sheet.

Work Safely

The alkalis in wet cement can cause burns. So when working with fresh stucco, wear gloves or touch the mix only with your tools, not your fingers. Keep a bucket of water nearby to wash any splashes off your skin.

Finish It Right

No patch, no matter how expertly textured, will match the color of the old stucco around it. To do that, you need to apply a pigmented coating over the entire surface. The patch at this house was covered with a thick, sprayed-on acrylic elastomer that bridges and seals hairline cracks. Other acceptable coatings include concrete paints and stains, mineral paints, lime washes, and “fog coats” of pigmented cement. Whichever coating you use, make sure it’s alkaline tolerant and permeable to water vapor. Otherwise, it will be peeling off in no time.

 

Stucco can and should be sealed properly to prevent moisture intrusion.

If new, stucco can be sealed with a clear concrete/ masonry sealer, which will penetrate into the stucco and stop moisture entrance. These are typically silicone type sealers. While effective, these finishes will usually need to be redone every 4-5 years. Redoing sealing on a regular basis is what prevents deterioration and damage, which can lead to the need for full replacement.

If the stucco is older and has already developed cracking, an elastomeric coating would be a best choice. These finishes are waterproof, seal hairline cracks, and are extremely pliable and flexible. If cracks develop below these coatings, the finish will stretch and bridge the crack, and help keep waterproof. As importantly, these finishes are microporous; they will breath to allow moisture vapor behind it to properly escape without bubbling and blistering. When properly done, elastomeric coatings can easily last 10 or more years.


Vinly Flooring Will Be Good Choice For Your Home

Vinyl Flooring Buying Guide

Why Vinyl Tile Flooring?

You’re missing out if you haven’t seen the latest advancements in vinyl tile flooring. Vinyl tile today is nothing like it was a decade ago. Today’s vinyl tile has the look and feel of real ceramic or stone tile, for a more economical price. This is why the popularity of vinyl tile continues to grow. The tile is waterproof, which means it can be placed anywhere in the house

Groutable Vinyl Tile

Some varieties are designed to be laid end to end, while others can even be grouted like real ceramic or stone tile. Consider groutable vinyl tile for even more realism. Tile makers offer a broad range of color options for the grout to give you the flooring you’re looking for. Depending on the source, the grout is ready to use and requires no sealing. It’s also resistant to stains, moisture and cracking

Vinyl Composition Tile

Vinyl composition tile (VCT) or commercial VCT is designed to be durable and to maintain its look despite being in high-traffic areas. The tile is typically used in commercial settings. VCT is available in many styles and patterns.

Why Vinyl Plank Flooring?

Vinyl plank is for you if you’re looking for an economical and durable alternative to hardwood floors. This flooring method has improved over the years to realistically mimic different varieties of colors and types of wood. Manufacturers have also taken steps to improve on how the planks feel, with added detail to its texture

Why Sheet Vinyl Flooring?

Like vinyl tile and vinyl plank, sheet vinyl has also improved greatly over the years. Makers have created a flooring method that offers an accurate representation of its alternatives made from real wood or tile.

 

VINYL FLOORING BUYING GUIDE

With planks, tiles, sheets and more, vinyl flooring is one of the biggest categories on the flooring market. First things first, let’s get one thing straight: Vinyl flooring today is not the vinyl flooring of the 1970s with dated prints and cheap materials. Vinyl flooring today is full of possibilities, style and class.

What is Vinyl Flooring?

Vinyl flooring is one of the hottest flooring options on the market. Often compared to laminate flooring, vinyl is made from man-made materials to resemble natural sources like wood and stone.

Vinyl Plank Flooring

The most popular vinyl flooring option is vinyl plank flooring. These planks typically mimic the look of solid hardwood, offering a warm, inviting and expensive feel to your home.

Today’s luxury vinyl planks even offer the texture and character of trending hardwood options, including handscraped and wirebrushed looks.

One of the major benefits to choosing vinyl plank flooring is the easy, approachable, DIY installation. Most vinyl plank options come as interlocking or “floating” floors and simply click together, similar to laminate. Other DIY options include loose lay (the easiest – just lay your floor down and you’re done!) and peel and stick.

 

What to Look for When Buying Vinyl Flooring?

Traditional, luxury or hybrid vinyl

There are three main types of vinyl, namely: traditional vinyl, luxury vinyl and hybrid vinyl. The common traits they all share such as being durable, waterproof, easy to clean etc. will vary from type to type. Each kind has a different constitution and structure and the production process for each varies so the characteristics they share will differ to some degree.

Vinyl sheets or planks

Sheet vinyl, as the names suggests, comes in a wide roll that can installed in large areas with minimal joins. While that is an advantage in some cases, it means that timber or stone look prints won’t appear as realistic as planks. Nevertheless, they provide a very attractive look for people who are not driven to simulate a natural wood/stone floor cover

Vinyl planks, on the other hand, require significantly more time to install as they must be placed piece by piece. However, they provide a very realistic appearance for those wanting the look of natural timber or stone.

So, how does vinyl stack up when compared to other flooring alternatives such as laminate, linoleum, cork, etc? As well as being soft and hard wearing, easy to clean and affordable vinyl is easy to install – great for DIYers and it comes in a virtually unlimited variety of styles, colours and patterns.

 

How to Choose the Best Vinyl Sheet Floor

Innovations in design have made it possible to get affordable vinyl sheet flooring that lasts for years — and for it be so stylish you’ll be thrilled to keep it that long! To help you begin your search for the best vinyl sheet flooring, let’s review some basics.

What is vinyl sheet flooring

Vinyl sheet is often used as an alternative to natural stone, ceramic tile or even hardwood, especially in rooms like kitchens, laundry rooms and bathrooms that are more susceptible to moisture. The layered construction provides stability, cushioning and a protective finish for durability.

Can I get vinyl sheet flooring that looks like hardwood or natural stone?

Most people think vinyl sheet, then envision kitchens of decades past. Well things have definitely changed. Innovative technology allows us to create vinyl sheet styles with visuals and texture so realistic they can be mistaken for real hardwood, ceramic or stone flooring. Homeowners with great taste are opting for premium vinyl sheet over other flooring types for its winning combination of realism, on-trend stylishness and practical durability

What are my design options for vinyl sheet flooring?

Natural realism” is a popular trend in vinyl sheet flooring. Lots of homeowners want to capture the look and feel of objects found in the natural world, but also have the stress-free maintenance of vinyl.

Range of Color Options

There’s no shortage of color options in vinyl sheet floors. For looks inspired by natural materials, like hardwood, stone and slate, you’ll find shades of white, beige, red, orange, brown, green, blue and gray. Alternative looks like geometric patterns and black and white checkerboard are also available.

 

WHEN CHOOSING A VINYL FLOOR

The right flooring is one of the cornerstones of a beautiful home. It should look good, be comfortable to walk on and functional for daily use. Factors that can influence your choice include appearance, feel, colour, space and care. We offer a broad assortment of vinyl floors to suit all tastes and interiors, with all the durability and advantages of modern flooring technology.

THE RIGHT FLOOR FOR THE RIGHT ROOM

Floor, walls and ceiling. Three elements that give a room its feel. It’s also the play between these elements that can influence how we experience a room, with different colours, patterns and light. The base is the floor, providing weight and character. But your floor should also interact with your furniture and other features, so consider the entire room when choosing. Our vinyl floors come in a large selection of looks so you can find the one that fits all aspects of your room.

START WITH A SOLID FOUNDATION

A vinyl floor is much more than something you walk on. Look at it as the foundation of your home, which must work with all other details you add to it. Since your floor’s appearance is more permanent than the colour of the walls or ceiling, you should choose a vinyl floor that functions as a base for all furnishings. Our Luxury Tiles series features vinyl floors in a variety of styles of imitation wood and stone; light, dark, lively, calming and everything in between. You’re sure to find something that feels just right for your home

WHICH COLOUR OF VINYL FLOOR SHOULD I CHOOSE?

The colour of a vinyl floor can have a strong impact on how a room feels. For example, a dark floor absorbs a lot of light, giving the room a warm feel. A bright vinyl floor reflects light, which can make the room seem bigger.

IN WHAT DIRECTION SHOULD I LAY MY VINYL FLOOR?

Consider lighting – the direction of sunlight, window size and indoor lighting are all factors influencing the impression a floor gives. One tip is to lay the floor longitudinally against the sunlight that comes from, for example, a large window. You may also choose to lay your vinyl floor in a different way to highlight other qualities in a room.


Use Office Movers To Move To A New Office

Tips for Choosing an Office Moving Company

Research the Company

Your search for business movers should begin with taking the time to properly research their customer history. Find out if they are listed on the Better Business Bureau and confirm licensing and insurance by finding them on Georgia’s database of for-hire movers. Any business that has been around for any length of time is sure to have a few less-than-flattering testimonials sprinkled throughout their reviews, so you’ll want to look for common themes. If there are numerous complaints about inefficiency, office equipment being broken or damaged during the move or derailed schedules, find another office moving company.

Consider Years in Business and Years of Experience

How long has the office mover been in business? As the economy fluctuates, only the best in the industry tend to survive, generally making well-established business movers with extensive histories a more reliable choice. However, you want to consider more than simply the years they’ve been around; you also want to look at how many years of experience they have in relocating offices. Disassembling, transporting and reassembling an entire office requires a different set of knowledge and tools than moving residential customers, so in addition to looking at years in business, you want to take years of experience in office installs and relocations into account.

Note Your First Impression

As you’re contacting different business movers, make note of your first impression of the level of professionalism they display and how they guide the conversation. At this point, you shouldn’t have to ask a bunch of questions; your initial questions should be answered during the course of the conversation. If you have to drag information out of the salesperson, then this is probably indicative of how the entire process will be.

Ensure That You’ll Get the Support You Need

Moving a whole office, whether it’s a couple of cubicles and a coffee maker or several floors of equipment and furniture, requires time, planning and communication. The office moving company you choose should be able to walk you through the entire process and provide clear, timely communication. In addition to providing the service options that you require, they should also offer reliable customer support. If they are difficult to reach when you’re still in the planning phase, they will likely be even more difficult to connect with once the contract is signed and the move begins.

Get a Custom Quote

Online price quotes may provide a fairly accurate cost estimate for residential customers, but when it comes to moving an office, there is no one-size-fits-all approach. In addition to needing complicated (and expensive) office equipment, files and personal effects moved, businesses have the added challenge of coordinating lists of tasks between departments and keeping everything running as smoothly as possible through the time of transition. Each relocation is a custom job, and a custom quote should be provided.

 

Tips for Choosing Professional Office Movers in Singapore

You want to find movers who are experienced in commercial and office moves.

Moving an office often requires a different set of skills than moving household items. Too often, run-of-the-mill house movers claim to be professional office movers when they do not understand the nuances associated with office moves. These include knowledge of the loading / unloading logistical issues, the moving hours stipulated by your building managers, and most importantly, your needs to ensure minimal downtime for your business. As a professional office mover, we give thorough considerations to all your concerns, plan and propose our moving plan and offer one-flat rate for our services so that you will not be met with nasty surprises on the big day.

Do background checks on your movers.

All authentic movers would have built their credentials and integrity as professional movers. A quick search on Google and the many social media platforms should give you a decent review of the moving company that you are considering. Google reviews and ratings come from genuine users and give you some insights into the company’s reliability. For example, a website with 4+ stars and genuine-looking reviews can be trusted. Do not miss their 1-star to 3-star reviews because most people speak some truth while giving these reviews.

Ask a friend!

Getting opinions from a family member or a close friend who has engaged the services of a professional mover will help you increase your chances of finding that reliable moving company. This is so as a professional mover always believe in building strong rapport with their clients to provide a trusted and assuring service.

Insist on a site visit.

Unless you are moving a small office where you can easily list the items you have to move, always insist for your moving company to view your office and the assets that you have to move. This site visit will allow professional movers like us to better understand your move requirements so that we can help you plan and organize your move, in addition to just providing the muscles for the physical move on the move day.

Beware of hidden costs

If you have asked for multiple quotes from different moving companies, you may wonder how some movers can price their services significantly below others. Herein lies the dark side of “hidden costs”.

 

Commerical Moving Tips

Let Your Employees Know About the Move Ahead of Time

This is the first step. Your employees need time to process and plan for an office move. Ideally, a few months should be given. Under extreme circumstances, a few weeks is adequate. Be open and transparent with your employees. Some may be concerned about a change in their commute or the distance to their child’s school. The more communication and time you have before moving day will allow workers to adjust.

Start Letting Your Customers Know

If your business has a lot of customer foot traffic, it’s a good idea to start letting them know you’re relocating. Start advertising your move a least a month to a few weeks in advance. In-store signs, flyers, and announcements on social media can help spread the word.

Create a Checklist for Relocating the Entire Business

Your employees will appreciate the organization of a checklist. As you plan for what needs to be done logistically, write down what each employee can do to ease the moving process.

Prepare Furniture and Electronics for Moving

If you’re moving computers, it’s important to do it in an orderly fashion. Make sure the cables are removed carefully and placed in a numbered zip locked bag that corresponds to the computer it goes with. Important information on your computer should be backed up on either a cloud server or flash drive. As a business, your number one priority should be to protect your data.

Get Rid of Unwanted Items

There’s usually a little unwanted clutter in every office. Now is the time to dig deep into forgotten storage closets, cabinets, and designated “junk” desks. Donate old electronics, recycle old papers, and toss out long-forgotten lunches in the breakroom fridge.

 

Tips for Smoother Office Moves

Plan your move as early as possible. Business relocations are often planned six months in advance, and large commercial moves can require up to two years of planning.

Hire commercial movers with the experience, resources and manpower required for an efficient office move.

Make sure the moving company you hire has insurance, and get them to fax you a copy of it. Most of all, office buildings require it.

Schedule the move with the building you are moving into as well as out of. Most likely the move will need to be done outside of normal business hours, as most buildings won’t allow moves during office hours. The best time for an office move is typically over the weekend.

Check with the buildings about any other requirements (each office building is unique). The building may limit the amount of time you can park at the loading dock, require that floors be covered or protected, and that elevators are reserved in advance.

 

Tips When Hiring a Commercial Mover for Your Office Relocation

Hire a Moving Company

A reputable local commercial mover brings the experience that will make your office relocation one that is relatively stress-free. However, if doing so, keep in mind that moving companies operate on tight schedules, so hiring a moving company means planning ahead and scheduling your move at least 2 months in advance.

Make Sure Your Commercial Mover has Insurance

Before you hire your commercial mover, do your homework. Not all businesses operate alike, and since you are moving an office, you will want to make sure that you hire the right person for the job.

Know Your Building Requirements

Once again, if moving out of an office building, planning is critical. Know what your building’s moving requirements are. Do you have to perform move-out cleaning? Maybe there is a certain amount of time that a moving truck can be parked in front of the building. Or maybe there is a requirement in place that involves covering the floors during the actual move.

Number your Boxes

Labeling your boxes during a move is important, but it is extra important when you are opting to move with a local moving company. Not only should you label what is in the box but add a number to the box and record the information on your own personal ledger. This serves as extra insurance if a box gets lost. You’ll know right away which box it was.

Pack with Care

Remember, when packing your office, you are packing up the essentials needed to successfully run your business. Pack your file cabinets correctly, do some extra research and learn how to properly prepare and wrap your electronic equipment before the move.


Must Know About Circuit Breakers

How to Use a Circuit Breaker Finder

What Is a Circuit Breaker Finder?

Circuit breakers are very convenient and common safety devices used to protect your electrical system from overloads and other hazards. But unless your electrical service panel (circuit breaker box) is very carefully mapped, it can be difficult to identify which breaker controls which outlets, switches, or light fixtures

How a Circuit Breaker Finder Works

An electronic circuit breaker finder includes two parts: a transmitter and a receiver. The transmitter plugs into a household outlet (or light socket, using an adapter; see below) for which you’re trying to identify the controlling circuit breaker or fuse

Install the Receiver Battery

The receiver on circuit breaker finders is powered by a battery. The model shown here uses a 9-volt battery installed in the handle. The battery compartment is easily accessed by sliding a cover back on the bottom of the receiver.

Test the Receiver and Transmitter

The next step is to confirm that the receiver will pick up the transmitter’s signal. Plug the receiver into a wall outlet. The outlet power should be on, and the transmitter should light up, indicating power. Place the receiver near the transmitter. The receiver should light up and/or beep to indicate it has picked up the transmitter signal. You can now use the device to locate the matching circuit breaker in your breaker box.

Match the Circuit to Its Breaker

Open to the door to your breaker box. Hold the receiver so the sensor tip is at a right angle and directly on the face of a circuit breaker. Slowly move the receiver up and down over the rows of circuit breakers while continually lowering the receiver’s sensitivity until only one breaker or fuse causes the receiver to beep. (Note: Sometimes an adjacent breaker or fuse may cause a beep due to the routing of the wires in the panel.)

 

HOW DO I TELL WHICH BREAKER CONTROLS AN OUTLET OR SWITCH?

Turn on the lights in every room of your home so that your helper can more easily identify which breaker you have turned off. Remember to turn on switches that are connected to electrical outlets.

Give your helper the floor plans, a pencil and a small appliance (such as a digital clock) to plug into receptacles to test for power.

Open the door of your breaker box and begin with the first breaker at the top of the row. Communicate to your helper, via radio, that you are going to flip the first breaker. Ask your helper to tell you the location of the light or lights that went out. Your helper will also need to test each outlet in the room by plugging in the small appliance. Have your helper write a “1” on each light and receptacle in the plans that is connected to breaker No. 1.

Tear off a small piece of masking tape and place it next to the breaker and write the location that is connected to the first breaker with a permanent marker. You can also write directly on the breaker box if you don’t want to use tape.

Switch the breaker back to the “on” position. Your partner can turn out any lights in the room once they’re marked on the plans.

 

How to Map Electrical Circuits in a Building

How to Make a Map of the Electrical Circuits in a Building

Each circuit breaker or fuse on your electrical service panel in a building should be identified to show the area of the building whose circuits it protects. This can be done by putting adhesive-backed paper or plastic stickers next to each circuit breaker or fuse.

Prepare a Building Floor Plan

To start with, draw a floor plan of the building whose circuits you need to trace. Make your floor plan drawing floor-by-floor or room-by-room, whichever is more convenient, but be sure to include every area that has electric service. Include porches, garages, outbuildings, etc.

Find the Main Electrical Panel and Find any Sub Panels

Electrical Emergency Response: One of the most important safety measures to take in a building is to make sure that the adult building occupants know where to shut off electrical power in an emergency

Find and Label All Main Electrical Shutoff Switches First

The best electrical practice is for a building to have a single, easily accessed, plainly-marked main electrical shutoff switch.But some buildings, especially older ones, may have no single main power shutoff, and may be powered by multiple electrical panels.If the main electrical panel serving a building has more than six switches and has no main shutoff switch, we recommend that one be installed.

How to Find Remote Fuse or Circuit Breaker Panels in a Building

What if you don’t know if there are any remote electrical panels or not in a building? Sub panels should be easily found and identified but often they’re hidden away such as in this odd panel photo courtesy of Timothy Hemm.

 

Tips for Troubleshooting Your Circuit Breakers

Identify Your Tripped Circuit Breaker

Your circuit breaker emits a humming sound when it is overloaded but has not switched off yet. Inside your electric access panel, the tripped breaker lever can usually be found between the “on” and “off” position

Test Your Circuit Breaker

Check the lever by moving it from ‘on’ to ‘off’ a couple of times to check how loose it is. If your breaker has no ‘give’ and moves easily then it is faulty and you need to have it replaced as soon as possible.

Switch Off All of Your Appliances Again

Switch off all your appliances that are connected to your circuit breaker but make sure to do it all at once to prevent a surge of electrical power when you reset it. If your circuit breaker keeps on tripping then hire a professional to come and have a look at it.

Check Your Wiring

If your home has faulty wiring, then your circuit breaker will be tripping continuously and you may find yourself receiving electrical shocks when powering certain appliances of yours. This requires a trained professional so don’t try this on your own. Simply identify the problem and hire a professional to take care of it.

Have Your Circuit Breaker Tested for the Necessary Voltage

Touch one probe of the 120-240 volt tester to the tip of the “hot” wire, while touching the other tip to a bare copper grounding wire within the main electrical box. Use a neutral grounding terminal which is secured with ground wires and neutral wires for the probe. You will need to replace your circuit breaker if you find the right amount of voltage present.

 

What and Where Is My Circuit Breaker?

What Is a Circuit Breaker?

At its most basic, a circuit breaker is a box that contains several rows of switches. These switches are safety devices designed to trip when too much power tries to travel through the circuit, causing it to heat up. Inside each switch, either an electromagnet or a bimetallic strip serves to complete the circuit between the two terminals at either end of the switch. When an electrical wire is connected to the switch via the terminals, electricity flows through the magnet or the strip to complete the circuit.

Where Is the Circuit Breaker?

While every home is different, there are a few common locations where you are likely to find your circuit breaker. Circuit breakers are generally located in low-traffic areas of the home, such as a basement, garage, or utility closet. If you live in an apartment, your circuit breaker may be in a more central location, such as a hallway or laundry area. Most modern circuit breakers are located inside the home, but it’s important to note that your circuit breaker could be located on your home’s exterior as well. Your circuit breaker should appear as a metal box; you may only see the door if the box is recessed into your wall. The box and door may be a matte gray color, or they may be painted over to match the color of the surrounding area. If you can’t find your circuit breaker, call your residential electrician for assistance.


Find The Best Tax Preparation For Your Company

Income Tax Preparation

Advantages of doing your own taxes

Whether this is the first year you’ll be doing your own taxes, or it’s been a few years and you want to try it again, there are many pros to consider.

Saving money

Preparing your own income taxes takes some time and organization, but it can be good for your wallet. The average fee for professional tax preparation of Form 1040 and a state return with no itemized deductions is $176, according to the National Society of Accountants. If you choose to itemize, that average fee jumps to $273. Paying money to learn how much you owe Uncle Sam can feel like a double whammy to your bank account.

Empowerment

On top of saving a good chunk of change, doing your own taxes is empowering. You can learn a lot about how the IRS tax code affects you and make good decisions to positively influence your return. Remember, knowledge is power. Pay keen attention throughout the process and you may be able to save in ways you haven’t in the past. After all, you know yourself and your lifestyle better than any tax preparer.

Saving time

Finally, knowing how to do your own taxes could mean a faster refund. During the first three and a half months of the year — often referred to as tax season — accounting professionals and tax preparers are extremely busy. You could wait weeks or even months to get an appointment.

 

6 Things to Bring Your Accountant to Prepare Your Tax Return

As we approach the end of the year, it’s smart to begin thinking about taxes. While the tax deadline is still a few months away, the sooner you get your return filed, the less you have to worry about it. With that being said, do you know what documents you need to take your preparer? As a rule of thumb, the more information you can provide, the better. However, there are certain documents that are absolute “musts.” This list includes the following:

  1. Identification Information

It’s important that your tax preparer has access to certain identification information that can be used to verify that you are who you say you are. Your social security card is the best option, since your accountant will need your social security number for each member of your family.

As expert Dave Roos warns, “To claim dependents on your tax return, you will need their Social Security numbers as well as their full names and dates of birth. Every year, the IRS sends back hundreds of thousands of tax returns because the names and Social Security numbers on the forms don’t match.” You should also bring a second form of identification, which could include a driver’s license, military ID, or any state-issued picture ID card.

  1. Copy of Most Recent Tax Return

While you may not qualify for the same tax deductions or write-offs as last year, providing your accountant with the previous year’s return can help them easily access information and calculate certain deductions without having to call you over and over again. If you’re meeting with a new accountant, this could also be a good opportunity to discuss any discrepancies that may exist between previous tax returns and what your best approach should b

  1. Wage Statements

If you’re an employee at a company, you’ll receive a Form W-2 wage and tax statement from your employer. If you don’t receive this document by January 31, you may want to check with your employer to ensure there weren’t any mix-ups. Non-employees, which includes independent contractors and freelancers, should receive a Form 1099-MISC from each client they’ve worked with throughout the year. In this case, you’ll want to bring your accountant this form.

  1. Additional Income Statements

Did you accrue any additional income throughout the year? This may include interest and dividend income from investments, unemployment income, or social security income. You should receive statements for each of these sources of income, if applicable. You’ll need to bring these in as well.

  1. Real Estate Documents

There are a lot of different deductions that can be taken when it comes to real estate holdings. You should bring your accountant any documents pertaining to a recent home purchase, proof of paid mortgage or home equity loan interest, or proof of paid real estate and personal property taxes paid.

  1. Proof of Expenses

If you want to get your deductions and credits, it’s imperative that you hand over documentation that proves your expenses. This includes receipts, invoices, medical bills, charitable contributions, IRA contributions, job-hunting expenses, mileage logs, education expenses, self-employment expenses, and more. It’s better to bring too much documentation than too little.

 

Adjustments to your income:

The following can help reduce the amount of your income that is taxed, which can increase your tax refund or lower the amount you owe.

  • IRA contributions
  • Energy credits
  • Student loan interest
  • Medical Savings Account (MSA) contributions
  • Moving expenses (for tax years prior to 2018 only for federal returns but your state might still allow it)
  • Self-employed health insurance payments
  • Keogh, SEP, SIMPLE and other self-employed pension plans
  • Alimony paid that is tax deductible (Applicable to divorces finalized before January 1, 2019)
  • Educator expenses

 

Find a Copy of Last Year’s Return

If you use the same preparer that you used last year, they are likely to have your previous information. If you use a new preparer, last year’s return can serve as a reminder to the preparer—and you—of some items you don’t want to overlook. Here are two examples:

  • Interest and dividends.Last year’s return should indicate which banks, mutual funds, or other financial institutions sent you 1099 forms. Use that list to make sure you received 1099s from them again this year (unless you closed those accounts or sold the investments in the meantime).
  • Charitable deductions.If you made small gifts, you may not have received any acknowledgment from the organization, but you can still deduct these contributions as long as you have a canceled check or other proof. Consult last year’s list of organizations you donated to and see whether you made similar gifts this year.

 

Hire a professional if:

You don’t have the time and patience to deal with it. If you feel that the significant time you’d need to devote to doing your taxes would be better spent elsewhere, you might want to outsource. It’s probably more prudent than rushing through your filing and making a mistake.

You have a complicated tax situation with dependents, investments, or significant assets or charitable contributions, or you own a business. Nearly every financial transaction comes with some kind of tax consequence, and the more transactions you have, the more things you need to take into consideration. People who own businesses, freelance, or are self-employed in particular might want the help of a professional to iron out their atypical tax situations — deductions for home offices, business meals and travel, and vehicles are also audit red flags.

You’re planning to itemize your deductions. Since President Donald Trump’s 2017 tax law increased the standard deduction, fewer filers are itemizing deductions. But if you have major medical costs, a mortgage, or make large charitable donations (among other factors) you might save more money itemizing your deductions than taking the standard deduction. But itemizing can be tricky to navigate on your own, especially if it’s your first time.

You’ve had a major life change in the last year. Did you get married? Buy a house? Have a baby? These all impact your tax filing, and, at least the first time you document them on your taxes, you might want someone to show you how best to do it.

You don’t trust yourself to cover all of your bases. If the idea of entering numbers and talking about dependents and deductions makes you break out in a cold sweat, you might want to leave the preparation to a professional.


Trick To Know More About Car Accident Lawyer

Affordable Car Accident Lawyers

Keep in mind that the insurance companies have teams of lawyers and adjusters who begin evaluating your injury claim right away. Because of this, it is essential that you retain a personal injury lawyer immediately if you are injured in a car collision in order to level the playing field.

Facing a team of professional attorneys that work full-time for billion-dollar insurance companies isn’t a wise move. It is possible to go at it alone, but you are literally at their mercy; they may give you a thousand dollars, a few hundred bucks, or possibly even deny your claim. It is up to them since you don’t really know what legal rights you have, what alternatives you could use, or what to do to fight them. They spend every day, all day, fighting claims on behalf of their employers (insurance companies) so facing them on your own with no experience has an obvious outcome.

 

Why Do I Need an Auto Accident Lawyer?

If you have been involved in an auto accident and you have suffered damages, it is very important to hire an auto accident attorney to assist you in your case. An auto accident lawyer can make all the difference in how your case plays out. This is the main reason to make sure you find the right attorney for your case. If you are informed and know what to look for in an attorney, then the process of choosing a one will be easier and can save you time and money.

An experienced auto accident attorney can aid you to get the damages that you have lost in the auto accident such as such as medical expenses, lost wages, and car repairs. In some states, a auto accident attorney may help you recover when a loved one is killed. Insurance companies have a team of experienced legal professionals that try to limit your damages and if you are not adequately represented, your damages can be very limited.

 

What to Look For When Hiring a Car Accident Attorney

Auto accident attorneys cover a range of issues stemming from personal injury, wrongful death, property destruction, and liability determinations. When looking for a lawyer, you should concentrate on their experience, skill level, commitment, location, and fee structure.

For example, your attorney should be well versed in state and national transportation laws, know how to deal with insurance and health care companies, and know how to effectively prepare and settle a case. Also, it’s important that you check the attorney’s background, references, and track record.

 

A Car Accident Lawyer Can Help You!

Nobody plans on being in a car accident. With little or no advance warning, car accident can happen out of the blue. One minute you’re going about your daily business and the next, you’re standing beside your wrecked car, wondering where, exactly, things went wrong. You may have even been seriously injured in your accident and now face a long road to complete recovery.

Don’t worry. The car accident lawyers with The Advocates have helped thousands of accident victims recover millions of dollars in legal compensation for their injuries and losses since 1993. We can help guide you through the period of uncertainty following your car accident by answering all of your legal questions. How viable is your personal injury case? Will your medical bills be paid while you wait for a settlement? How will you survive financially if you are too hurt to work full time?

The Advocates can help find solutions to all of your questions and any others you may have. Our auto accident lawyers have decades of experience helping accident victims rebuild their lives and finances following their car accidents.

 

How to Handle Your Own Car Accident Claim

These claims may, in some instances, be handled without a lawyer. Why? Because you want to save on attorneys’ fees. Our law firm charges a 33% contingency fee if your case settles before trial. Our attorneys’ fees increase to 40% if our lawyers file a lawsuit. In a serious injury case, we might get you more than ten times the money you would get for yourself. But in a smaller case? Handling your own injury claim without a lawyer is something worth at least exploring. But if you choose this path, you need to do research and get some advice on the best way to get the highest possible settlement for the pain and suffering you have endured from the accident. You deserve that.


Must Know Things About Epoxy Flooring

Types of Epoxy Flooring

When it comes to choosing new flooring systems for industrial use, garage floor coating, or any other outdoor surfaces, epoxy resin flooring truly stands out from other flooring options for many reasons. Epoxy flooring, other known as resinous flooring, is highly durable, customizable, sustainable, and decorative for any surface. What appeals most to epoxy flooring is it’s resistance to high levels of wear and tear, making it the most long-lasting flooring options. If you are considering epoxy resin flooring, here is an explanation of what epoxy floors are made up of, the different types epoxy resin, and where to use specific types of epoxy flooring systems.

“What is Epoxy?”

A primary aspect to epoxy coating is that it is chemically distinct from regular floor paints. Resinous flooring consists of a two-part epoxy system – a combination of polymer resins and hardeners, much like epoxy glue. When properly mixed, the epoxy resin and hardener react to one another resulting in a chemical bond with each compound and with the floor itself. The chemical bond creates a stiff plastic material that is durable, resistant to degradation, and bonds exceptionally well to its substrate.

“What is Epoxy Flooring?”

The most straightforward definition of epoxy flooring suggests a flooring surface that comprises multiple layers of epoxy that is applied to a floor with a depth of at least two millimeters. Confusion typically arises when comparing an epoxy floor and epoxy floor coating. The difference between the two lies in the depth of the epoxy – as stated, epoxy floors are classified as an epoxy coating of at least two millimeters thick. Any epoxy floor less than two millimeters thick is commonly referred to as an epoxy floor coating.

 

3 Types of Epoxy Floor Coating Explained

When choosing the correct type of epoxy floor coating, it is important to determine first what are their advantages and disadvantages. Epoxy floor coatings are generally categorized by the type of fluid the epoxy is mixed with. The following are the three basic types of epoxy floor coating: solvent-borne epoxy, waterborne epoxy and 100% solids epoxy.

  1. Solvent Borne Epoxy

Solvent borne epoxy is the traditional kind of epoxy that was first used long before other kinds. The epoxy is mixed with a relatively high amount of organic compound called a solvent that eventually dries up and evaporates when the epoxy is applied, leaving a hard epoxy coating on the floor. While it has its share of advantages, such as built-in cohesiveness and an ability to be applied into a thin film across the surface, it is also very controversial in that solvents are highly volatile. When it evaporates, the vapors can be very toxic if inhaled too much. They are also highly flammable, so that is something you should consider about solvent borne epoxy.

  1. Waterborne Epoxy

The next type of epoxy is the waterborne epoxy. As its name applies, it is a type of epoxy that is water soluble and uses water as its main carrier, not solvents. These types are not as reactive as solvent based epoxies, and are therefore safer. It is relatively easy to apply in thin or thick coats, and it only needs water in order to be cleaned up. It is used mainly for hydrostatic pressure applications on concrete and concrete slabs (basically, this is waterproofing the concrete slab.) While it is relatively safer than solvent-based epoxies, they still have their own fair share of environmental impacts.

  1. 100% Solids Epoxy

The last kind of epoxy tries to completely do away with a fluid carrier, and is just pure epoxy. That is why this type is called the 100% solids epoxy. While it avoids the environmental problems that solvent-based or waterborne epoxies have, it is much harder to apply. Without a fluid carrier, it has quite a high viscosity that may be a challenge to apply on any floor. Obviously, you cannot produce thin coats or films with this kind of epoxy. However, it can be very versatile and adaptable in its numerous applications. If you want to use this, it is better to try it out first.

 

Epoxy Concrete Flooring Systems

Epoxy is one of the most widely known materials among floor coating resins, and is one of the most broadly utilized in the concrete flooring industry. As a concrete covering and protector, appropriately-selected epoxy floor coatings can help preserve the structural integrity of a floor slab and safeguard facility investment.

Cementitious Urethane Mortar Flooring

Our USDA approved, antimicrobial cementitious urethane flooring offers the combination of versatility and strength that many challenging environments rely on. Particularly popular in commercial kitchens and food and beverage processing facilities, our urethane cements and coating systems lend themselves well to a variety of industrial, commercial and institutional floor coating applications.

 

Self-leveling epoxy floors

Whenever your floors have been badly cracked or mistreated over the years, you’re going to want a self-leveling epoxy floor. Self-leveling epoxy floors smooth out the rough surfaces of cracked concrete floors and provide a seamless surface that is shiny and can be applied in many different colors! They are typically used in:

  • Warehouses
  • Buildings
  • Showrooms
  • Plants
  • Garages
  • Commercial areas that are highly used

 

100% Solids Coating Floor Epoxy:

This happens to be the most durable type of epoxy material, which a professional installer will recommend and use. This coating will last around 20 years, especially when it is used for heavy human traffic areas where surfaces need protection from possible abrasions, chemical reactions of chemical substances and hot tire marks. These installers will use hardeners that allow the coating to dry into a solid form, while it bonds with the concrete.

Water-Based Coating Floor Epoxy:

This type of coating is more of a primer and sealer because it spreads thinly and doesn’t possess the same resistance and durability as 100% solid coating does. This is the type of coating that is included in a DIY kit that is considered user-friendly than the others. Because of the ability to penetrate a porous surface, it is normally used as a sealer or primer over degreased concrete surfaces. It does give concrete a smooth and glossy surface as well as protective qualities against abrasions, chemical reactions, and stains.

Solvent Based Coating Floor Epoxy:

Just like the name has implied, this type of coating uses solvents when it is used as a floor primer and sealer, just like the water-based type. Solvent-based epoxies will contain solids that range from 30% to 70%, which gives you a really thin layer. Because its nature is a solvent-based floor coating it makes it a less favorable choice, as the type or amount of solvent that is used is normally noncompliant with the VOC or Volatile Organic Compound regulations.


Unloading Services Can Be A Choice When You Want To Move

Moving Help: Your Complete Guide

Choosing the right rental truck

You’ll want to reserve a moving truck that fits with the exact needs of your move. For starters, are you moving locally or long distance? Certain moving truck companies will only rent out trucks for local moves, while other companies offer national truck rentals. While some companies start charging when you exceed a set mileage, others offer free, unlimited miles.

Loading your moving truck

Loading your truck may seem intuitive, but there is a recommended method for packing a moving truck. When loading heavy items, you should pack them in an “I-formation” to ensure a safer and faster move. Starting in the front of the box truck by the cab, load your heavy items, like your washing machine and refrigerator. If you are transporting these items yourself, you may want some moving help from a moving labor service (unless you happen to have a team of very strong people on hand).

Driving a moving truck

Knowing how to maneuver a moving truck is crucial. Since the truck is obviously a lot larger than your typical vehicle, you’ll want to take extra caution. To ensure a safe journey, you should drive slower than you normally do. Leave more space between your truck and vehicles ahead, take turns slowly, and apply breaks sooner so the truck has enough time to come to a complete stop. And of course, be cautious when switching lanes.

Insurance options

Even if you’re driving your moving truck carefully, accidents happen. Since regular car insurance doesn’t always cover moving truck rentals, you should look into the insurance options provided by DIY moving truck companies. From Personal Accident Insurance (PAI) to Cargo Insurance (CAI), you can choose from several moving truck insurance plans.

Packing

While it’s pretty easy to find free moving boxes, packing up your belongings correctly can be a challenge. If you’re short on time or are dealing with heavy items, it’s a good idea to hire moving help. Professionals have the experience of packing items quickly and correctly and will help simplify your moving process. From wrapping furniture to packing standard boxes, professional packing help will keep your belongings secure and protected during your move.

 

Affordable Moving Truck Unloading Help You Can Rely On

Who are the truck unloaders?

Real pros who know how to unload. (They’ve got the reviews to prove it.) lists hundreds of local moving companies across the country who can send professional movers to unload anything you throw at them: moving trucks, PODS containers, or even your roommate’s stuffed minivan.

Rental Truck Unloaders

Uhaul, Penske, or Budget— it makes no difference. Movers will zip up and down that ramp, unloading you right on your schedule. Phew.

Freight Trailer Unloaders

Is your stuff arriving on a ABF, uPack or Estes SureMove trailer? That’s our speciality! Our pros unload entire trailers ahead of any pick up deadlines.

 

Moving Day Etiquette: Things Movers Want You to Know

Let them do their job

How can you help your movers the most? Just let them do their job! You may think you know just the way to get everything done perfectly, but you hired full-service movers for a reason. They are trained professionals who’ve moved many couches, boxes, and fragile items, so step aside! You’ll feel less stressed, and they won’t feel micromanaged.

Finish packing before moving day

Do your movers pack for you? They do when you pay for a full-service move. If you chose not to splurge on the additional cost of packing services, make sure you finish your part of the work before they show up. Their job is infinitely easier if the house is completely ready to be put on the truck when they pull in. If they need to wait for you to finish packing it’s a waste of their time — which you are paying for.

Carry cash, jewelry, and prescription medications with you

Certain items are nothing but a headache for your moving professionals. They do not need to be burdened with valuables like cash or jewelry and prefer to steer clear of the possibility of being accused of such items are misplaced. Moving day can get pretty hectic- hold onto your valuables and let the moving crew take care of the rest.

Label the boxes with their intended destination

Labeling each box clearly with its room of destination will help your movers unload more efficiently and save you the hassle of playing traffic director. This is even more important if you are paying them an hourly wage.

Always tell the movers or label the box clearly if something is fragile

If your movers were psychic, they probably wouldn’t be your movers, so if something is fragile or requires gentle handling for any other reason, tell them! They need to know clearly and ahead of time so write it, mark it or say it, and do it sooner rather than later.

 

WE ARE HERE TO HELP  EVEN IF YOU DON’T NEED A TRUCK

MOVING HELP SERVICES

Sometimes, you don’t need help moving from one home to another, you need an extra hand or two moving items already inside your home is proud to offer a variety of in-home and on-site moving services for our customers, providing moving help by the hour to assist with heavy items, furniture rearranging, load or unloading, and even packing services.

LOADING AND UNLOADING SERVICES

Have a loaded rental truck or container but don’t want to do the heavy lifting? We have you covered. With our Carry Crew moving option, our professional moving teams will come to you and save you the hassle of doing the heavy lifting yourself.

SPECIALTY ITEMS

Some items are much more difficult and require more attention when it comes to moving. Whether it’s a pool table, hot tub, motorcycle, treadmill, kitchen appliances, gun safes, washers and dryers, or even pianos – our moving teams are trained and ready to help you get these large, specialty items where they need to go.

IN-HOME MOVING

Getting a large piece of furniture up and down stairs or rearranging an entire room for a party can be difficult, but it doesn’t have to be. Hire help you can trust and let our professional teams handle your in-home moving needs!

PACKING

Packing is essential to any type of move and sometimes, it’s just too much of a hassle. Thankfully, our expert services cover packing, too! Our movers can pack pack as little or as much as you need. We’ll even bring you a wide range of packing supplies to help keep your items organized and protected!

 

How to choose the best removals company

Hiring a removals company vs moving house yourself

Unless you live in a small house or flat, it’s always worth hiring a professional removals company to help you move. Although packing up and shifting your stuff may not sound that difficult, there is an art to packing fragile items so that they’re properly protected and do not break in transit.

How to choose the best removals company near you

The Which? Trusted Traders endorsement scheme can help you find a reliable removals company near you. All removals firms granted Which? Trusted Trader status have passed our rigorous assessment process, which involves credit, reference and administrative checks, as well as an interview from a trained assessor.

How much does it cost to use a removals company?

A number of factors will determine the cost of using a removals company. The amount of goods being transported is a key consideration, but the distance travelled, size of crew and speed of packing will also play a role in deciding the total cost.

Getting quotes from removals companies

Get at least three quotes from removals companies, preferably from firms that will visit your property rather than just estimating the cost over the phone. This is particularly important when there are factors such as restricted access or very tight stairways that will affect the job.

Removals insurance

Be sure to ask what would happen if the move is delayed and you can’t get into the new property in the afternoon or the next day. It’s also worth checking if your removals company has adequate insurance cover for your possessions and also what the time limit is on claiming on insurance after the move.


Trick To Make A Prepare To Home Inspection

tips for choosing the best home inspection company

The Cost Of The Inspection.

Before you hire the services of a professional home examination company, you must also ask them to give you an estimate of the total cost associated with the inspection of the house. Once you get an estimate, you can compare it with other companies before the hiring any particular home inspection company. There are quite a few things that are to be kept in mind before deciding to hire the right home inspection for your property. You can get reputed services from San Diego Inspection companies and surrounding areas.

Getting relevant reports.

Ensure that your hired house inspection company provides you with a report that covers all the aspects of scrutiny for the professional home inspection company in San Diego. The inspection of your new property must include a signed report that describes what inspection was carried and also it will include the conditions of the inspected articles. There are a number of home assessors who provide a checklist of items that they inspect. On the other hand, there are professionals who provide a written description of all the items that are scrutinized.

Reputation.

When you are dealing with a professional company or a real estate inspection services in San Diego, it is significant to note the reputation of both the company and the inspector who will be acting out the work of inspection for your house. You must always demand your hired home inspection company to send you a trained and reputed inspector for inspecting your home.

Knowledge.

The home inspection company you choose must be knowledgeable and experienced enough to comprehend every system in a property or home. Professionals having a relevant degree in the field or a vast experience of engineering or architecture are considered best for the work of home inspection and assessment. Professionals dealing in a general construction are also well-thought-out ideal and reliable for the role of house inspectors for home inspection services in San Diego.

Experience.

You must consider hiring the services of a professional who accomplishes at least 300 inspections every year. House inspectors partaking more years of experience are most desirable and reliable for the job of home inspection around the town.

 

How to Get Ready for a Home Inspection

Prepare to Be Away for Three Hours Minimum

Often the buyer will accompany the home inspector, and buyers feel uncomfortable asking questions if the owner is present. Try to schedule a time for the inspection when you can be out of the house, and take the children with you. Crate your pets if you cannot remove them from the premises.

Provide Repair Documents

Make available to the home inspector all invoices and documents regarding remodeling projects or new items such as a roof or furnace. If you’ve upgraded the electrical from ungrounded to grounded, installed a new dishwasher or repaired a leaky faucet, find the paperwork. It will give the buyer peace of mind to know those items were reinspected.

Clear Away Brush From Exterior Inspection Points

Nobody expects you to shovel a tunnel around your home if snow drifts are blocking the foundation but in the winter, do provide a path around the house. In the summer, cut down dead tree branches and clear brush from the foundation, and move trash cans away from the house.

Leave Keys for Outbuildings and Electrical Boxes

Leave the remote controls for your garage door opener or a key if the garage is unattached to the house. Unlock the covers for your sprinkler system and electrical box. Leave a key for exterior building access. You can label these keys and leave them on a kitchen table.

Provide Access to Attic and Garage

The inspector needs to get into your basement and/or attic as well, so keep a path cleared. Check for water in the basement. Move all boxes and stored items away from the walls by at least two feet. Vacuum spider webs. Look in the attic for possible rodent droppings, and secure valuables, if any.

 

How to Find a Good Home Inspector Who Will Save Your Butt Big Time

Ask for a sample report

A good way to get a sense of how an inspector thinks is to see a sample report. This will give you an idea of how thorough the inspector is and how he explains problems, especially technical ones. Just remember: The inspector’s job is just to point out the issues to you, not to suggest fixes, estimate costs, or give advice about what to ask the sellers for in compensation.

How to find a good home inspector

Once you’ve found a few inspectors who meet your qualifications, you’ll want to talk to them and make sure your communication styles mesh. This is the person who’s going to be explaining what they find in your house to you. You want someone you can trust who explains things in a way that makes sense to you.

Do you need a specialist?

For most people, a good general inspector is all you need. Inspectors check only the visible parts of the home—they can’t open up walls—so if your inspector flags something that looks amiss, you’ll probably call someone else to dig deeper. It’s not at all uncommon to bring in an HVAC specialist, electrician, roofer, or plumber to give you an expert opinion based on something that the inspector put in the report.

Are home inspectors licensed?

It seems like a no-brainer to hire an inspector who has been licensed or certified, but it’s not as simple as you think, according to Frank Lesh, executive director of the nonprofit American Society of Home Inspectors.

 

TIPS TO GET THE MOST OUT OF YOUR HOME INSPECTION

Don’t be Afraid to Ask Questions

The reason you hired a home inspector is that this individual has the fundamental information to evaluate whether or not this potential property has any issues that would make purchasing the home a terrible choice. And you should regard your home inspector’s information and time. In any case, if something doesn’t seem right otherwise you don’t get it what a home inspector is referring to, talk up. It’s way better to inquire a question now than have an issue emerge after you’ve purchased the property.

Use Someone You Trust

Doing your homework to discover your own home inspector can truly deliver you peace of mind. Whereas your realtor likely includes a few inspectors that he or she can suggest, you should truly find your claim. A fair-minded, third-party home inspector won’t have any loyalty to your realtor and will be able to talk freely and frankly around potential issues. You’ll have to pay a small bit extra for a quality home inspector, but compared to the purchase cost of a house, it’s well worth it. When searching for an inspector.

Show Up

Make sure you’re present for the home inspection and be prepared to ask questions and point out particular issues you’d like to check out further. This will be the primary time your home reviewer has been at the property, so your information about potential issues is invaluable.

 

How to Prepare for a Home Inspection

Be prepared on the day of the inspection

By the day of the home inspection you should have done everything you can to prepare. Now, it’s just about making sure it goes as smoothly as possible. To do that, keep all utilities on, double check that you’ve left clear access to areas and systems all around the house, and unlock any gates, electrical boxes, or other areas that you normally keep secure. Most of all, be ready at least two hours before the inspector is set to arrive (they’re known for being early) and prepare yourself and your family to vacate the house during the inspection. It’s best to take any pets with you, but if you can’t, make sure they’re safely crated or otherwise secured.

Take care of any bug problems

Most of us have to occasionally deal with an errant ant or spider in the home, especially in warmer temperatures. But if you’ve got a wasp nest in the backyard or are regularly seeing lines of ants in your kitchen or other interior areas, you’ll want to take care of these problems prior to inspection. Most bug problems aren’t a huge deal, but they can turn off buyers.

Look for leaks and water damage

The home inspector is definitely going to be looking for signs of leaks or water damage, so it’s better you beat them to it and get any water-related issues repaired prior to the inspection. When looking for leaks, be sure to check under sinks, around faucets, around the base of your toilets and bathtubs and/or showers, and under any appliances that may leak, such as dishwashers and refrigerators. In terms of water damage, examine walls, ceilings, and floors, looking for signs of warping, sagging, or buckling. Don’t forget to check the exterior of your house for signs of leaks or water damage as well. If you see water pooling near the base of your house, that should be a cause for concern.

Repair faulty cabinets

It’s easy for the hinges on cabinets to get a bit loose, which results in doors that don’t close correctly or that aren’t flush with the frame. If you have a cabinet that’s looking off, you can usually fix it pretty simply just by tightening the hinge with a screwdriver.

Check your doors

Take a walk-through of your house and check each door to make sure that it’s in working condition. Interior and exterior doors should be latching into the frame with no problem, doorknobs should be securely in place, and any locks, particularly on doors that lead outside, need to be functioning properly as well. Sometimes cold or heat can warp normally functional doors and lead to problems, so be sure to check all doors, including those you don’t use very often.


The Best Tips To Make Bathroom Remodelling

Bathroom Remodeling: Things to Consider Before You Remodel Your Bathroom

Getting ready to start a new bathroom remodeling project? Is this your first time going through a home renovation? It’s an exciting chapter of your life and one that should be approached the right way. We compiled our favorite tips and tricks to help you learn the perfect balance between your creative customization needs and functional design ideas that can help you tie the whole bathroom together.

We all want a bathroom that would be a reflection of our personal style and be able to deliver the comfort we need at the same time. However, aside from that, it’s also important that it has the right fixtures and amenities that are capable of providing function and value as well. Fortunately, through careful planning, finding the right contractors, and choosing the right design, you can have it all.  Here are some of the best tips that could turn your bathroom remodeling dream into reality.

 

Know What a Bathroom Remodel Costs

Before you begin any project, it’s important to put your expectations into perspective when it comes to how much money you’re willing to invest. The size of your bathroom, the quality of materials you want to include and whether you’re planning to do some of the labor yourself all can affect the cost of a remodel.

Don’t Make the Toilet the First Thing You See When You Open the Door
Ask a bathroom designer what his or her best tried and true tip is, and this is what you’re likely to hear. The reasoning is simple. Oftentimes bathroom doors get left open, meaning that you or any guest in your home walking by will see the toilet — which, come on, isn’t the most aesthetically pleasing thing to look at. If you’re hoping for a spa-like vibe, putting the john front and center in the design can sort of kill the mood as you’re transitioning into the room. So, what should you make the focal point? Anything but the toilet.

 

Establish Your Bathroom Makeover Design

Before you do any bathroom remodeling yourself, you should settle on a new design that fits your vision, as well as your skill set. There are so many different ways to approach a bathroom makeover, ranging from swapping out the vanity to gutting the space and starting over from scratch.

Here are a few design elements you absolutely need to nail down before you start your bathroom renovation:

  • Color scheme: Are you a fan of blue hues? Or perhaps shades of gray fit the rest of your decor? Know ahead of time to make sure your new bathroom tiles don’t clash with your choice of paint.
  • New fixtures: Will you replace or remodel your shower/tub? Are you installing a new sink? Replacing one or both of these fixtures will add to your project time and budget.
  • Storage spaces: Where will you keep your towels and toiletries post-remodel? If you’re removing a closet to expand the room, make sure you have shelving or cabinets to make up for the lost storage space in your bathroom.
  • Location of utilities: Do you know where the electrical wiring and plumbing pipes are located? Make sure you have accurate measurements for each of these so you don’t end up needing expensive repairs.

 

Find the right materials for your bathroom remodel

Your bathroom costs will vary based on the materials, not just because of the type of product being installed, but also the labor put into the installation. A steam shower and heated tile floor, for example, will be substantially more expensive on both fronts than a standard walk-in shower and laminate floors.

“The cost of materials will vary whether you’re going with an expensive European brand or a generic American brand,” Glenn said. “There are different materials, too. Luxury tiles or flooring can be much more expensive to install than a laminate floor but it’s going to give you almost the same look. Different products can be installed that can give you a phenomenal look at a much lower cost. Shop around. Don’t go with the super cheap stuff, but keep the cost down by going with cheaper reliable brands.”

 

The bathroom renovation timeline may be roughly estimated as the following:

  • Demolition: Stripping of the old bathroom can take from 2-5 days, depending on how tedious the job is, which level the bathroom is on (for ease of disposal of materials), the materials used in the space, and whether asbestos removal will be necessary.
  • “Rough in”: Once the bathroom has been stripped out, the plumber and electrician disconnect old pipes and wiring and run new ones through the room, without hooking up the final connections. This can take 1-2 days per trade, so around 2-4 days in total.
  • Carpentry preparation: The carpenter prepares the structure of the room by building the bath and shower bases, and alters the wall, floor and ceiling if necessary in preparation for the tiling and plastering, which can take roughly 2 days.
  • Plastering: The plasterer will need to seal up the room, which can take up to 3 days including several coats of plaster or render and drying time in between.
  • Waterproofing: The waterproofer must then apply several coats with 24 hours drying time in between to ensure that leaks are properly prevented. Therefore, this process can take from 2-4 days.
  • Tiling: The bathroom is then tiled, which can take from 2-7 days depending on the size of the tiles, the intricacy of how they are to be laid, and whether they will be installed from floor to ceiling. The relevant tiling prep work is also done before they are actually laid. After they are installed, grout and silicon is added to the critical joints, which can take from 1-3 days.
  • Cabinetry: Cabinets are often installed after the tiling is completed, and usually only takes one day. In addition to cabinet storage, you can opt for these DIY storage ideas for your bathroom.
  • Final fitouts/hookups: The plumber and electrician return to finish off the their fittings that were roughed in at the beginning. This includes the toilet, sink, bath, taps and underfloor drainage, as well as the fans, light fittings and switches. This can take from 2-4 days.
  • Accessories/final touches: The glazier installs the shower screen and mirror. If you need some inspiration, these shower screens will leave you breathless! The other accessories are also installed, such as the towel racks and toilet paper holder. The carpenter also fits a new door if necessary, and caulking is also completed. This process can take 1-2 days.
  • Painting: The painter can finish anytime after the tiling is completed by painting the walls, ceiling, as well as any architraves, windows and doors if required. A final clean is then completed. This final work can take 1-2 days.