Eye Care Is More Than A Visit To The Doctor

Finding an Eye Doctor

Seeing an eye doctor is the best way to stay on top of your eye health — and eye doctors aren’t just for people who need glasses or contacts. Many common eye diseases don’t have any early warning signs, so getting an eye exam is the only way to be sure your eyes are healthy.

When do I need to see an eye doctor?

Your regular doctor may check your eyes quickly during an appointment. But that’s not enough to keep your eyes healthy in the long run. It’s time to see an eye doctor

What kind of eye doctor do I need?

There are 2 basic types of eye doctors: optometrists and ophthalmologists. The best choice depends on your eye care needs.

For treating serious eye problems…

You may want to see an ophthalmologist. This type of eye doctor may offer treatments — like surgery — that optometrists don’t. Some ophthalmologists specialize in specific eye diseases, like glaucoma or diabetic retinopathy.

Ask for recommendations.

Start by asking your regular doctor to share the names of local eye doctors. Talk to your family and trusted friends, too. What do they like — or not like — about their eye doctors


Factors To Look For When Choosing The Right Optometrist

Choosing the right optometrist in your town might seem tricky. Finding the right fit is essential. Here are some tips that can help you make your decision

Generally, one would think that with aging, eyesight will begin to deteriorate. But with the advent of smartphones, people are becoming victims of poor vision no matter what their age is. The stress on the eyes and nerves has made it difficult to keep perfect eyesight. There is no point in ignoring any eye problem. Sooner or later, you would have to visit an optometrist. Then why delay the much-needed appointment? The important thing is choosing the right optometrist.

Unwavering Reputation Throughout

What do you do when you look for a new service or product? Read its reviews online, right? This helps you know what is best for you based on other’s opinions. Same goes for choosing the right optometrist for you. Search for optometrist near you and go through the Google reviews

Go The Referral Route

Before knowing how to choose an optometrist, one should know the difference between an optometrist and ophthalmologists. An optometrist would conduct an eye exam and prescribe you glasses and detect eye issues if any. An ophthalmologist, on the other hand, would treat your diseases. Before going for an eye exam, you should be clear on their differences.

Qualifications Matter A Ton

If you have looked through a list of optometrists and are confused as to which one to choose, check for credentials of the optometrists. The qualifications ensure that the optometrist is the right doctor to consult. The doctor should have an eye specialty degree to start with


Tips For Maintaining Good Eyesight

How Do I Maintain Healthy Vision?

Maintaining healthy vision is more than getting a regular vision screening. Your overall health can impact your eye health. Here are 6 tips for maintaining good eyesight

Eat the Right Foods

Fill your plate with foods high in omega-3 fatty acids and vitamins C and E. These nutrients may help lower your chance of developing macular degeneration or cataracts. Green veggies, salmon, eggs and citrus fruits are a great place to start!

Use Protective Eyewear

An estimated 2.5 million eye injuries occur in the U.S. each year, so it is very important to wear proper eyewear to protect yourself from eye injuries

Always Wear Sunglasses

Don’t just use the free pair of shades you picked up at a concert. Invest in a decent pair that will actually protect your eyes from the sun’s UV rays. Too much UV exposure increases your chances of cataracts.

Get Regular Eye Screenings

Everyone should be getting eye screenings on a regular basis. During the screening, your doctor may recommend you schedule an appointment with an ophthalmologist if they believe there’s a potential vision problem.


tips for good eye health

Changes to the health of your eyes can happen gradually and you may not have any obvious signs of disease. It is important to have your eyes checked on a regular basis by an optometrist or other eye care health professional. Most vision problems are avoidable or can be treated. You can take action to keep your eyes healthy

Wear a hat and sunglasses when you are outdoors. Ultraviolet light can cause damage to your eyes and, in the long term, lead to eye conditions such as cataracts

Wear eye protection at your workplace. Sixty per cent of all eye injuries occur at work. Jobs that involve handling hazardous chemicals or the use of machinery to cut, drill, grind, hammer, sand, spray or weld increase your chances of eye injuries

Visit your eye care health professional regularly. Regular checks may help to detect problems at an early stage, which means you can potentially have treatment before any permanent damage occurs to your eyes

Wear eye protection when playing sports. Eye injuries can easily occur when playing sports such as fencing, squash or high-speed ball sports. It is also a good idea to protect your eyes from road grit or projectiles when riding a bicycle


Eye Care Tips for Healthy Vision

Schedule regular eye exams – Visit your eye doctor yearly to have your vision checked. During the exam, the eye doctor will look for signs of disease. This includes medical conditions that could affect your overall health. Make sure to let your doctor know if you’ve noticed any changes in your vision. Learn more about common eye issues and diseases.

Get plenty of rest – Sleep is important for good vision. Get at least seven hours of sleep each night, so your eyes can recover for the next day. And don’t forget to rest your eyes when reading, gaming or working on the computer. Every 20 minutes look at least 20 feet away for about 20 seconds. If your eyes feel tired, place a cool cloth over your closed eyes and relax for a few minutes.

Eat nutritious foods – Spinach, kale, broccoli, bell peppers, sweet potatoes and dark, leafy vegetables should be part of your daily diet. They help slow the development of macular degeneration and cataracts. Other foods important for healthy eyes are berries, citrus, eggs, almonds, chia seeds, tuna, salmon and trout

Exercise regularly – Maintain a healthy weight to lessen the risk of developing diabetes (or other medical problems). The first signs of diabetes often show up during an eye exam. So at least five times a week, power walk or jog for 30 minutes. Or, exercise more intensely three times a week by swimming laps or attending a fitness class. However, if you haven’t exercised in a while, be careful and start out slow

Follow care instructions for contacts – About 45 million Americans wear contact lenses. Clean and store lenses in a sterile solution made for contacts. Don’t use a homemade saline solution, because it could cause an eye infection

Tips To Make The Best Party Bus Ever

Tips for Getting the Most from Your Party Bus

Make Reservations: You aren’t going to want to tell your guests that you have a party bus and then attempt to rent the party bus on the day of the event. First of all, you may not even get the party bus, especially if you are planning the event around wedding season. Second of all, there is a chance that the only party buses that will be available will not be the size that you need and won’t be able to accommodate for all of your guests. It’s best to make reservations at least a month before and ensure that the rental is confirmed a few days before your event.

Plan Details: When you reserve your party bus, you should make arrangements with the party bus companies to personalize the bus with little details. This way, the bus feels like your own. Your guests will appreciate this as well. A party bus can have certain decorations inside of the bus and can even have a banner hanging across the outside of the bus with the name of your event written across it

Ask About Food and Drinks: If you don’t plan on stopping for food and would much rather keep the party inside of the party bus, you should ask about food and drinks. Some party buses will have more restrictions than others. For example, some may not allow food while others may allow food but not allow alcoholic beverages. If you want a party bus that allows food and drinks, be sure that you have the party bus checked for cleanliness before you agree to pay for the rental, since these buses are going to have more spills happen than others will.

Plan the Route: The driver of the party bus isn’t going to want to drive around aimlessly. It’s important that you have a route in mind, ideally one that allows your guests to have a bathroom break if you don’t plan on making any other stops. The route should lead back to your home or wherever you started from after you have spent the amount of time that you want to spend on the bus.


Tips for Renting a Party Bus

Plan in Advance

Party Buses are popular and if you are going to a public event like a sporting event or concert, there is a chance you are not the only one with the idea. So by securing your Party Bus rental in advance, you can make sure you get the best bus available with all of the amenities you want

Choosing your Vehicle

Party Buses are just that, a party. Like any party, you need to know how many people will be attending. This is important because you don’t want to rent an 18 passenger Party Bus and have 25 people on it and you don’t want to rent the 48 passenger Party Bus and have the same 25 people. Know your headcount before you pick the vehicle

Plan your Destination

This may seem obvious as you are renting a Party Bus to go somewhere but most bus rentals have multiple stops in the night. Going to dinner before the concert? Your driver will need to know where. What about after the tailgate and big football game? Want to hit a local pub to watch the late games. Let your driver know so they can plan your route, ensuring you arrive as quickly and safely as possible

Understand the Cost

When renting a Party Bus, there will obviously be a cost to the night. Make sure you understand what the hourly rate will be, what happens if you go long and is gratuity or other taxes or fees included. Many people rent a Party Bus as a group, sharing the cost. So if you are the organizer, make sure you understand the entire cost for the evening to make sure everyone can contribute evenly.

Refreshments are a Must

If you are renting a Party Bus for an adult group, then there is a fair likelihood that adult beverages will be consumed. Understand that in Pennsylvania and other states, the Transportation Company can’t supply the alcohol. So make sure you know what you want and plan on bringing a cooler or two. While most buses have a bar (or two) in them, it is often much easier to transport coolers on and off than loading them into the built in bars.


Tips for Renting a Party Bus or Limo

There are lots of reasons to consider renting a party bus or a limo. Many people immediately think of weddings, but these vehicles are great for everything from a relaxing ride to the airport to a birthday party to remember.

Find out how many people you’ll need room for

You’ll want to make sure that the vehicle you rent has room for your entire group. You’ll never fit 30 people into a 6 person limo, and even if you could, it just wouldn’t be safe

Define the purpose of the event

Are you renting to get your whole wedding party from the ceremony to the reception? Is this rental for an upscale dinner out? Is it for prom? Or are you planning on bar hopping with a group of friends?

Whenever possible, plan and reserve ahead of time

It’s unlikely you’re going to try and rent a party bus the same day you need it. But planning – and reserving – your limo or party bus well ahead of time does more than just set your mind at ease. It ensures that you have exactly the right vehicle to meet your purpose and that you can spend the time finding a rental company with the best amenities in your price range

Ensure your rental has the amenities you most want

Speaking of amenities… limos and party buses all have different ones. If having a sound system that you can hook up to your phone is important, you’ll want to be sure that’s available. Need a big-screen TV for tailgating? Call ahead and make sure that will be part of your bus rental. Can you bring food or drinks on the bus or in the limo? These are all questions you’ll want to be answered clearly well before you rent, so you’re sure you’re getting exactly the experience you’re hoping for



Birthdays, anniversaries, concerts: Any occasion is the perfect occasion for renting a party bus. One of the biggest perks of party buses is keeping your group together in one vehicle. If there’s drinking involved in your outing, the party bus lets everyone partake and eliminates the temptation to drive drunk

Find a Reputable Company

Your safety starts with the limo or party bus company you choose. Research the party bus company online through third-party review sites to check for issues

Have a Guest Count

Get an initial headcount before you start narrowing down party bus options. Buses come in different sizes, and the maximum number of passengers varies with each

Create Your Party Plan

Having a general agenda in mind helps you get a more accurate quote and helps the company plan for your event. Usually, you won’t make just one stop and go straight home. Most party bus events involve multiple stops, such as dinner, a concert, and bars after or a series of bars

Check on Availability

Contact the company you’re considering to check on availability for the party bus size and type you want for your event date. Book at least one month in advance. It’s always best to book as soon as you know your plans to give yourself the best choice in dates and bus types


Tips on Party Bus Rental

Party it up properly by hiring a party bus! Considering booking a limo for a special event? Cruising around in classic stretch limos may be a stretch as you are limited to a low roofing system. SUV limousines are a little better, however for the ultimate party, one should definitely check out a party bus rental

Party buses are hot these days. There are many advantages to getting one over standard limousines. First off, they will accommodate people standing, so you can dance with a great deal of open space, while traveling anywhere.

Party buses are great for the supreme party animals. Lots of them are packed with loud and bright entertainment systems, consisting of flashing lights like a club. This permits the celebration never to wane between changes in clubs, dinner, or any place you people are getting wild at.

Security should constantly be priority in any scenario. Nevertheless, when an occasion requires excessive alcohol drinking, security has the tendency to be of least issue. It is necessary not to overlook security when out on the town, particularly when the party is big enough to include all kinds of drinking behavior and mindsets

Visitors and party coordination are among the primary challenges for any host. When guests arrive/leave in different?vehicles, coordination can be even more of a headache.

Must Learn How To Fix Water Heaters

Water Heater Buying Guide

Purchasing a Water Heater

Whether you’ve just taken that first unexpected and unwelcome cold shower or simply wish to reduce your energy bill, purchasing a new water heater can be an intimidating process

Fuel Source

First, determine what type of fuel source you have in the home. Once you know the fuel source, it’ll be easier to choose a water heater to fit your needs. Here are the differences among electric, gas/propane and hybrid fuel types

Storage Tank

This is the most common type of water heater. These units have an insulated tank where water is heated and stored until it’s needed. They’re available in electric, liquid propane (LP) and natural gas models. Natural gas and LP water heaters normally use less energy and are less expensive to operate than electric models of the same size. When you buy a water heater, look at its cited energy efficiency and yearly operating costs. This information can be found on the EnergyGuide label.

Tankless or On-Demand

They don’t store hot water; they heat water as it passes through a series of coils in the unit. Since the unit only heats water as you use it, a tankless heater is usually more energy-efficient than a traditional storage tank water heater. They’re available in electric, LP and natural gas models. A tankless unit can provide only a limited flow rate of hot water. Most tankless units can provide up to 3.5 gallons of heated water per minute. These units are a good choice for anyone whose demand doesn’t typically call for hot water at more than two points at a time

Point-of-Use or Utility

Small storage tank water heaters, known as point-of-use or utility water heaters, are good choices for adding hot water to outbuildings, shops or garages. Utility water heaters usually range in size from 2.5 to 19 gallons. The largest of these miniature units can also be used to provide hot water to secondary bathrooms that may be situated far from your home’s main water heater.


Water Heater Tips to Keep You in Hot Water

Know where your water heater is located

Not only should you know where the water heater is, you should have clear access to it, as sometimes it’s tucked away in an attic or basement and the plumbing is not easy to reach.

Know what type of water heater you have

You should know whether your water heater is natural gas, electric or propane, or whether it’s a storage tank type or a tankless type water heater. Also, write down the model number and serial number of your water heater or at least know where this information is on the tank as it has the age and gallon capacity coded into it. This is important for warranty purposes and usually one of the first questions a plumber or water heater repair company will ask.

Know how to turn off the water

It’s a good idea, before you’re facing a water heater dilemma, to know how to shut off the water and the fuel or power supply to the water heater. This is important in the event of an emergency or if your water heater is leaking or you smell gas. There should be a gas valve or a disconnect switch within a few feet of the water heater. It’s also a good idea to know where your main gas shut-off valve is or which breaker is used for the water heater.

Clear the area around your water heater

There are several reasons why it’s a good idea to give your water heater some space.

Drain or flush your water heater

At least once a year, drain a few gallons out of your water heater using the drain valve. Use either a 5-gallon bucket or a garden hose and run it to a place where the hot water will not cause damage. (Do not drain it to your landscaping or lawn, as hot water may kill the grass.)


Buying Guide: What you need to know when buying a water heater

Before you consider which water tank is best for your home, think about the energy sources available to you because they’re not all compatible with every type of heater. Typically, storage tanks and solar water heaters work with electric, gas or oil energy sources, while tankless heaters require either electric or gas sources. Heat pumps, on the other hand, need electricity and can’t use gas or oi

You’ll also need to think about water tank capacity. To do this, estimate how many gallons of hot water you use per hour. To ensure an accurate estimate, consider how many people live in your home and what time of day they use the most hot water. Then, look at the first hour rating (FHR) on the water tank that indicates how much hot water can be supplied in a one-hour period. Aim for an FHR that is within 1-2 gallons of your demand during peak hours.

We also recommend consulting a professional plumber about the hot water demands in your home before buying a water heater. A plumber can help you determine which product is best for you and can ensure you choose the right size for your needs.

And when exploring your options, make sure to look for the ENERGY STAR® symbol. On average, water heating accounts for 15 to 25 per cent of your household energy bill, so choosing an energy-efficient option can make a huge difference

Storage tank water heaters

Storage tank water heaters store hot water in an insulated tank until the water is needed. The tank has a system of pipes that allows outgoing hot water to be replaced with cold water, so the tank is always full. Storage tank water heaters are constantly heated and regulated by a thermostat



Heating water is the second largest single user of energy in the home. While we all enjoy a soothing hot shower, rising energy costs—along with their adverse environmental impact—make it a good time to take a closer look at the various options now available.

Storage Tank: The most common hot water system used in homes. Water is kept constantly heated in the storage tank by electricity, natural gas, oil, or propane. Hot water is drawn out of the top of the tank when a faucet is turned on and cold water flows in the bottom to replace it

Tankless: Also known as on demand water heaters. Water is heated by electricity or gas when the water flows through it without the need for a tank

Solar: Water is circulated from the tank through a solar collector where it is heated by the sun. If the water in the tank is not hot enough, a conventional water heater is used to bring it up to the desired temperature.

Heat Pump: Heat pumps use electricity to move heat from one place to another. Heat pumps can be used for water heating alone or in combination with your heating and air conditioning system


How to Choose a New Water Heater

It’s the dead of winter, freezing cold outside, and you seek comfort in the piping hot confines of your morning shower. With the lights dimmed, the water hits your face and rolls over your shoulders. Your muscles relax one by one as the warmness of the water finds its way down your legs to your chilly, restless feet. Lathered with soap and shampoo, you slump against the warming tile, eyes closed. You consider falling back asleep standing fully upright when it happens — a sudden burst of ice cold water hits your chest like acid rain. You crank the cold water down to zero with no result. The water temperature has turned against you, refusing heat in a stubborn show of determination. The cruel reality hits you — your water heater has just bought the farm.

A visit to your local big-box home-improvement store is overwhelming, to say the least. You’re faced with too many brands and too many sizes to choose from. Different fuel sources and energy ratings confuse you. And what’s the deal with these heaters that don’t even have a tank? How on earth can they meet your needs? Unfortunately, your big-box home-improvement employee helps you none — you’re going to have to figure

Fear not, consumer — your trusted friends at HowStuffWorks are here for you. In this article, we’ll walk you through everything you need to know about purchasing a new water heater. From gas to electric, tankless to conventional, we’ll lay it out for you in simple terms so you can live to shower again.


uses large coils that hang down into the tank to heat the water. The coils are similar to the ones in an electric oven. Generally, electric water heaters aren’t as efficient as those powered by other fuel sources, and electricity is more expensive than natural gas or propane. However, they’re less expensive up front and don’t require venting. If your water demand is small, then it may be a good way to go.

Natural Gas

uses a gas burner at the bottom of the tank, with a venting chimney that runs through the center and out the top. The carbon dioxide and water vapor byproducts are vented through the chimney and then run outdoors through your house chimney or side wall vent. A gas pilot light or electric spark produces the flame. Natural gas models cost more than electric heaters but are more efficient to operate

Must Know How To Take Care Tile Roof

Asphalt Tiled Roofs and Safe Roof Access

Roof shingle fragility and damage risks

Foot Traffic Damage to Roofs: Walking on some roofs causes damage as the photograph at the top of this page shows. That roof damage occurred when an inspector stepped on the fragile corner of an asphalt roof shingle. This pattern of breakage traced his footprints right up the roof to the chimney and back down the other side. These are the very “footprints of damage” which we have reported in some other articles on fragile, old, worn roof shingles.

This “failed” roof was not leaking until the fellow who was asked to inspect it walked across this fragile surface. From a ladder at the roof edge one could clearly see the virtual footprints of broken shingle edges where the “inspector” had walked. In this case the “inspector” was a roofing contractor who came back down to the ground and told the home owner that she needed a new roof right away.

She was upset because her ASHI-certified home inspector had said that the thought she could use the roof for another two to five years. Our opinion was that she did need a new roof very soon but that had not been the case until “bigfoot” had stomped all over it.

Worn out fragile roofs

The roof in the photograph shown here is one which is worn out, probably already leaking at least into the layers of roofing material, and it is so fragile that it should not be walked-on. I would stay off of worn, brittle, or cupped-shingle roofs, particularly in cold weather (shingles are more likely to break).

If we absolutely have to walk on such a roof, we would tiptoe carefully, avoiding stepping on the raised or cupped shingle sections, or if doing repairs, we would prop a ladder up off of the roof surface and work from that scaffold as is sometimes done with slate or other fragile roof surface repairs.


Personal Protective Equipment

At a minimum, safety wear should include

  • Appropriate trousers – working on roofs means protecting legs from cuts, grazes and splinters, so shorts are not recommended.
  • Protective footwear. Steel toecaps (or equivalent) are needed to protect against dropped objects. Midsole protection is needed to prevent puncture or penetration by nails and other sharp materials. Rigger boots should be avoided, as they can cause sprains and there have been reports of cement burns.
  • High visibility clothing is needed on all construction sites where there are vehicles. However, it is good practice to wear it on all jobs.
  • Safety helmets. There are two reasons to wear safety helmets when working on roofs. The first is to protect against anything that may fall off the roof, when climbing up or down, or when on the ground. The second is protection in case of a fall.
  • Safety glasses should always be worn in situations where material is likely to fly into the eyes. This includes all cases where cutting or sawing is taking place.

Knee pads should also be considered, to protect the knees from strain and damage, due to compression and wear on the joint.


Tips for Walking On Your Roof

  • Distribute your weight evenly
  • Transfer your weight between your feet gradually as you walk
  • Walk on the balls of your feet
  • Never jump or leap from tile to tile
  • Make sure you’re wearing soft-soled shoes with good grip.


Competencies to assess brittle roofing

It takes a high level of skill to assess the condition of a roof for stability and brittleness. Roof assessment should only be undertaken by a competent person.

A competent person should be able to:

  • carry out their assigned duties at the level of responsibility allocated to them
  • understand any potential hazards related to the work (or equipment) under consideration
  • detect any technical defects or omissions in that work (or equipment) and recognise any implications for health and safety caused by those defects or omissions
  • In this context, for assessing brittleness, a competent person is one who can demonstrate that they have:
  • thorough knowledge of roofing and of the mechanical and physical properties and behaviour of the particular roofing material and methods of installation
  • extensive knowledge and experience of installing the product the roof is made of, its usage limitations, behaviour, and mode of failure in service
  • an understanding of the effects on the product the roof is made of ‘under test’ when purlin centres are increased and decreased, and the ways the roofing material could fail when the resulting structure becomes more or less rigid.


How Do Solar Panels Attach to My Roof?

Solar panels can attach to roofs in different ways. The attachment method used will depend mainly on the material and the pitch of your roof. In most cases, with the exception of standing seam metal roofs, solar panels are mounted with a system that drills into the rafters. Let’s Asphalt Shingle Roof: For asphalt shingle roofs, solar panels are attached with a standard penetrating mount, which is easy to install.

  • Tile Roof: Solar panels can be installed on tile roofs with a standard penetrating mount that raises them above the roof. Attaching solar panels to a tile roof can require some extra labor since tiles may need to be cut or removed to make way for the mounts.
  • Standing Seam Metal Roof: The raised seam allows solar panels to be attached with a clamp, so there’s no need to drill into the roof.
  • Flat Roof: On flat roofs, either a ballasted racking or standard penetrating mount can be used to install solar panels. Tilt-up brackets are used to keep solar panels at a 30-degree angle.

Some homeowners may be concerned about drilling into their roofs. However, the stanchions used to mount panels to rafters are flashed, which keeps water from leaking into your home.

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.



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.



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.


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.


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


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.


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.)



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.


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.