Effectiveness Of The Electrical Panel Upgrades

Symptoms of Sick Electrical Panels

Old electrical panels can malfunction, but most of the time the problem stems from overloaded circuits. At first you might notice flickering lights or you might have to turn off an appliance in order to use another plugged into the same circuit. But if the panel is malfunctioning or defective, the breakers will trip often, or they will fail to trip and someone might be shocked. In the worst case, a breaker that fails to trip may cause fire, smoke and melted wires from overheating.

Checking Your Electrical Panel

Your electrical panel needs a checkup, especially if it’s more than 25 years old. Here are the signs to look for to see if you might need a new electrical panel:

  • You hear crackling sounds from the electrical panel.
  • You see corrosion and rust on the circuit breakers.
  • The interior of the electrical panel feels warm.
  • Appliances are running at less than full power.
  • Outlets near water sources – such as sinks, tubs, dishwashers and clothes washers – are not GFCIs (ground fault circuit interrupters). These outlets stop the electricity if an appliance comes into contact with water, preventing electrocution.
  • You’re always using extension cords.
  • Your home has a 60-amp electrical service.
  • Your home has 100-amp electrical service, but it still can’t operate some appliances.
  • Your older home has a fuse block panel or split-bus panel, which do not have a main breaker.

Signs You Should Replace or Upgrade the Electrical Panel

There are a few instances where you’ll want to replace your electrical panel as soon as possible. Learn how to locate your electrical panel.

If you have any of the following electrical panels, contact an electrician right away to diagnose the situation:

Outdated Electrical Panels

Federal Pacific Electric (FPE) and Zinsco electrical panels were a very common choice from the 1950s to the 1980s. Unfortunately, as years passed, people started realizing that they weren’t functioning properly. Too often, the panels would fail to cut off power when there is a short circuit or too much current.

If your electrical panel does not properly trip when an electrical hazard is detected, a fire could start.

Outdated panels are any panels that are more than 30 years old. If you have an older panel, you may only have 60-amp electrical service as opposed to the 150 or 200-amp service of modern homes. Contact an electrician if your panel is over 20 years old.

Water Leak

If you experience a water leak near your electrical panel, keep away from the area and call an electrician immediately. If there is any evidence that the panel has been exposed to water (including rust stains or corrosion on the wiring), it will probably need to be replaced.

Underpowered Panel

Every electrical panel has a maximum power rating – which dictates the amount of space for breakers. The original fuse panels offered 60 amps of power which were followed by the standard breaker panels at 100 amps. The recommended amount for modern builds and upgrades is 200 amps. If you are planning on a remodeling project or adding on to your home, you may need to replace your panel entirely.

Faulty Wiring

Poor installation can contribute to a number of problems that should be addressed in an electrical panel. Oversized breakers, circuits doubled-up on a single-pole breaker and wires crossing over the panel’s center are just a few problems that would require an update from an electrician.

Are Your Breakers Tripping Too Often?

One of the vital roles of your electrical panel is to prevent short circuits and circuit overloads. A short or overloaded circuit could be dangerous, causing fires or electrocution. To prevent that, a breaker that notices a short or overload with switch off, shutting down power to the affected circuit. It is a crucial failsafe that prevents damage to your home or even a risk of injury to you and your family.

But if your circuit breaker is switching off more than once in a while, it may be a sign that something is wrong. One possibility is that the wiring has become loose or exposed. The heat of transferring electricity can cause wires to expand and contract. Over time, expansion and contraction can cause connections to loosen. If a small gap opens up between a wire and an outlet, the electricity can try to jump the gap in the form of a spark. Such sparking is a serious fire hazard and needs immediate attention.

Regularly tripping circuit breakers could also be a sign of overload. If you are trying to use too many electrical devices at once, you may be overloading your electrical panel. It’s time for an upgrade.

What Should I Expect from a Service Upgrade or Panel Change?

Bear the following in mind before you hire an Electrical Contractor for this project:

  • The power will be out for a minimum of four hours. Keep the refrigerator and freezer doors closed.
  • Unplug all electronics. The power will be turned on and off repetitively and may cause problems.
  • The workers will stay working on the panel (and surrounding area), which could be outside. But, they may need to get to the water meter and water tank to do other work.
  • Since the power will be off, the worksite will be dark. Please keep the areas clear for them.
  • The EC will need power. Please try to arrange a power source that the EC can plug an extension cord into that is always helpful. Asking your neighbour is a great option.
  • The EC may have to go to other rooms in the home to test and identify receptacles, or lights etc. They will use generic terms like “master bathroom”, “SE bedroom”, etc. Use the same lingo you are talking to your EC about your home (they don’t know where “Bob’s Room” is, for example).

Panel Produces Heat or Burning Smell

When the electrical panel box feels warm or produces a burning smell, it could signify faulty wiring or an overloaded, defective panel. We highly recommend scheduling a service appointment and potential electrical panel upgrade because heat can mean a high chance of electrical fire.

You Have a Fuse-Based System

Many electrical panels in older homes built before the 1970s still operate on fuses. Unlike circuit breakers which you can reset, fuses either melt, burn out or blow completely when they’re tripped. This is a fire hazard, and for an older home that needs to meet modern power demands, it’s definitely unsafe.

Complete Freshwater Aquarium Water Testing

How to test the quality of Open Water for bathing or swimming

There is always a greater risk of infection or illness caused by microorganisms when swimming in open water (lakes, rivers etc) compared to a chemically treated swimming pool. This guide aims to help identify most appropriate water quality monitoring and testing (

Below you find a general summary of the guidelines in the United Kingdom (UK), which follows similar guidelines to the EU. In addition to this, please make sure that you always check your local guidelines to make sure that everyone is safe. If you plan to open your water to the general public you must strictly adhere to the guidelines set by the EU and UK, therefore please refer to the official guidelines.

How often should I check the water: It is recommended to check the quality of the water regularly, ideally at the start of the bathing season, every 4 weeks, before any event, when there are visible changes to the water, after heavy rainfall as well as at the end of the bathing season. The pH should be monitored more often as it can be an early indicator of changes, because it is affected by algal and weed growth, agricultural run-off as well as waste water from industry

How to take a water sample: With the exception of algal blooms, samples should be taken 30cm below the water surface. Samples should be transported as soon as possible after collection in a cool box (we provide a cool box as well as ice packs) so that they arrive at the laboratory on the same day

Swimming Pools & Spas: These guidelines are designed to give general information about regulations for open water swimming. This includes lakes, rivers etc. Different recommendations exist for swimming pools & spas – please refer to separate guidelines for these. Click here for our wide range of test strips for Pools & Spas. The iDip photometer Pool & Spa is ideal for regular testing of public pools and commcercial use.

How to Choose the Right Test Kit For Your Well Water

Your decision on what to test your water for should be based on the types of land use near your well and what your goals are for using your water such as domestic use, irrigation, agricultural or commercial uses.

Why Should I Test My Well Water?

Municipal city water systems test their water supplies regularly to ensure that the water is safe to drink.  As a well owner, you are responsible for making sure your well water is safe.

Events such as floods, earthquakes or close proximity to agriculture, drilling or oil field activities are top reasons to test your well water regularly.

Most private wells provide a clean, safe supply of water.  Contaminants can, however, pollute private wells.  Unfortunately, you cannot see, smell, nor taste most of them. Consequently, you should test your well water on a regular basis.

Most Common Reasons for Testing

A common reason many folks want to test their water is to improve the aesthetic quality of the water and eliminate iron staining, white scale build-up, corrosion, and/or odors.

How to Test Your Tap Water

It’s important to know your local results to decide whether you need to filter your water

How safe is your tap water? Finding out can take some time, effort, and money, but it’s worth doing.

Most people on municipal water who pay their own bill should receive an annual water quality report called a CCR, or Consumer Confidence Report. If you don’t receive yours, call your local water supplier. And if you rent, contact your landlord.

In the report, look for a summary that shows whether any contaminants were found above government cutoffs and, if so, what the potential health risks are, what is being done to fix the problem, and what you should do in the meantime

If you’re on well water, you won’t get a CCR, so you should get your water tested. That’s also a good idea if your home was built before lead-free pipes were mandated in 1986: Even if your CCR says that the municipality’s water is free of lead, it can leach into your water from the pipes in or leading to your house.

The Best Water Quality Test Kit for Your Home

If you’re worried about your home’s water quality—as many Americans justifiably are, in the wake of water scares in Flint, Michigan, and Newark, New Jersey—a home water quality test can ease your fears. After 50 hours of reporting, and after testing 11 different home water quality test kits, we’ve found that the SimpleWater Tap Score Advanced City Water Test is the best water quality test kit for your home. It measures a wide range of more than 100 potential contaminants and delivers the results in an easy-to-read, richly detailed report. If you’re worried only about lead, we recommend the much cheaper Safe Home Do-It-Yourself Lead in Drinking Water Test Kit.

The SimpleWater Tap Score Advanced City Water Test is a send-away kit: You take samples of your water, put them into a handful of bottles, and ship them off (using an included mailing label) to a certified laboratory. There, your water is tested for more than 100 compounds, including metals such as lead, mercury, and arsenic; volatile organic compounds (VOCs) like chloroform; bacteria; and industrial and agricultural compounds like pesticides and nitrates. Tap Score is not the only highly accurate send-away kit, but no other kit we tested delivered nearly as useful a report. Tap Score not only tells you, in plain language, exactly which compounds are in your water (and the amount) but also explains their potential health risks and suggests ways of addressing any concerns. Tap Score also offers unmatched online support. You can chat with a representative, and if your questions go beyond their knowledge, the questions are passed on to experts, who follow up with a detailed email. All of this makes Tap Score by far the most user-friendly and informative home water quality test kit we found.

If for some reason you are unable to use Tap Score, we recommend two runners-up: the WaterCheck CityCheck Deluxe and the Safe Home Ultimate Drinking Water Test Kit. Like Tap Score, these are send-away kits; you put samples into bottles and ship them to a certified lab. We found that the testing was just as accurate as Tap Score’s (and, in fact, National Testing Laboratories, which makes the CityCheck Deluxe kit, is among the more than 60 labs Tap Score partners with). But both of these kits are more expensive than Tap Score, and their reports aren’t as easy to understand. The reports are still much more readable than those of some other send-away kits: They’re color-coded, so you can quickly see contaminant levels of concern. But they lack Tap Score’s clear explanations, actionable advice, and robust online support. The CityCheck kit also lacks an included mailing label, so you’ll have to take a trip to the post office or another shipper.

the Safe Home Do-It-Yourself Lead in Drinking Water Test Kit, doesn’t have to be sent away—you can get the results at home yourself. It tests only for lead, but if that’s your sole concern, this DIY test is a great option. The Safe Home Do-It-Yourself kit is widely available, inexpensive, and fast (the test takes a total of 10 minutes and less than 30 seconds of active work). And it delivers a clear positive or negative result: Your lead levels are either below the EPA standard or above it. You simply dip a strip of test paper into a sample of your water, and the presence or absence of a blue line tells you whether you have a lead problem. If you don’t, you’ll have peace of mind. If you do, you’ll know it’s time to enlist a professional plumber or an environmental service to help you find and address the source of the problem.

We do not recommend any of the more-comprehensive DIY test kits that are available. We tested six of them and found that the tests were so rushed and the results so subjective (you’re asked to match the color of your test sample to a chart by eye, with only seconds to do so) that we didn’t trust our ability to interpret them. If you want a complete picture of what’s in your water, we strongly recommend that you go with one of the send-away kits and let a professional lab do the testing.

TIPS FOR CHOOSING THE RIGHT WATER FILTER FOR YOUR HOME

You have made the wise decision to install a water filter system into your home. Water is what you drink, cook with, and bathe in, so having poor water can easily make you and your family sick. The more proactive you are about your home’s water quality, the more proactive you are about your health.

Water filter systems change many noticeable properties in water, including turbidity, taste, color, iron content, and odor. Dirty or chemical-filled water is easy to change with a simple water filter, but finding the right home water filter to fit your needs best can be tricky. At Clearwater Systems, we believe that each customer has a unique situation, so the “one size fits all” concept does not apply to water systems.

Find Your water’s problem before purchasing a filter

A free water test can easily determine what, and how severe issues are with your water filter. A free water test can detect iron, hydrogen sulfide gas, acidity, chlorine, and many other issues. After receiving the results from the water test, determine what factors are important to you. Is a pH balanced water supply important when deciding the type of filter to purchase? If so, consider a water filter that concentrates on that issue. If reducing chlorine is your biggest concern, then finding a water filter that can remove chlorine is a smart investment. Many filters can remove a combination of problems, and your water filtration company can help you find a system that fits your unique needs

Typically, after a home has been built, it is difficult and more expensive to install a water filter for both your indoor and outdoor water supply. Usually installing only an indoor filter is more cost effective and simple. If your primary concern is to only filter water indoors, let your water filtration company know to concentrate on systems meant for indoor use only. If you are hoping to filter outdoor water as well to improve landscaping or ensure your children’s water toys are not spreading germs and hoarding unwanted chemicals, your water filtration company can find a system desired for both indoor and outdoor use.

Know Your Flow Rate

Similar to water softeners and water heaters, it is important to understand how much water your household uses on a daily basis. As with all home water filter systems, a single person living alone will most likely use less water than a family of four. Considering the technology and the size of each system helps save money and conserve water in the long-run.

Why Car Dealer Are The Best Choice

How to Choose the Best Car Dealership to Purchase From: Your Complete Guide

Furthermore, that figure doesn’t include the plethora of used-car dealerships that are in operation too. Hoping to a buy car? Added together, you clearly have an enormous amount of choice!

Even worse, going to the wrong place can lead to all sorts of issues down the road. We want to help! There are certain things to look for when deciding where to buy from. Interested in learning more?

The Right Price

Let’s face it, everybody loves a bargain. Chances are fairly high that price is going to be a factor when picking a dealer. There’s no point going somewhere with a selection of cars out of your price range. Likewise, a used-car lot with budget vehicles may not be ideal either.

The Availability

There’s no point traveling to a dealership that’s low on stock. It’d be like doing the weekly grocery shop with nothing left on the shelves. Instead, you want to find a dealership with abundant options in their lot. It should be a thriving and bustling marketplace with cars and customers aplenty.

The Reputation

These days, thanks to the internet, you can learn a lot about almost any service in advance. Think about picking a restaurant. TripAdvisor is the first port of call for almost anyone looking for somewhere great to eat. The reviews and ratings from previous patrons make it possible to decide the best place to go

Secrets to Choosing The Right Car Dealership

This report was created as a public service for men and women of all ages who are thinking about buying a new or used car. As a dealer For The People®, I want to put fun back in buying a car, so I’m making it my responsibility that local residents are educated about how to choose the right dealership that can both get you a great deal and make car buying fun again.

It is important that you read this entire report before visiting any used or new car dealership. The information contained in this report will help you be treated well and allow you to actually enjoy the process of buying a car. If you know someone who is thinking about buying a new or pre-owned vehicle, please share this report with them too.

Every Good Conversation Starts With Good Listening.

The right car dealer will be interested in you as a person and in your unique situation. They will ask you questions about what you are looking for and how they can help you. Then, they will tailor the entire experience of buying a car to who you are and what you need.

Ask Yourself, “Is This Person Excited For Me?”

A great car dealer is enthusiastic and excited to help you solve the problems that are keeping you stuck in a car you hate. You are more than just a number to them. These are people just like you—they are regular folks, considerate, fun and full of surprises. So no matter what’s keeping you from driving the car you want—regardless of whether it’s credit concerns, trade-in value, down payment amounts, they’re excited to help you and it shows

Questions Asked And Questions Answered

While a good car dealer will ask you lots of questions about how they can help you find the perfect ride, they are also a great resource for you. The right car dealer should be sharp as a tack and able to answer any of your questions.

Important Things To Consider When Choosing A Car Dealer

Owning a car is something you have always wanted; after months and months of saving, you are now ready to hit one of the car dealers in town for your dream car. However, the whole process being something you have never done before, just like any other first-time buyer, you are excited and confused all at the same time. You practically don’t know where to start. To help you find the best deal in town, here are top tips to consider when choosing a car dealer.

What is that you want?

As when you are making any other big purchase, it will make a lot of sense if you know what you want before you see a car dealer. Do a little bit of research on the model of cars you have in mind and get a clear picture of what the cars currently cost. Thankfully, there are some ways you can pull this off. Other than talking to friends who already own cars, there are tons of websites that you can get useful information about cars. Take you PC and take a quick look at these sites for the amount of information you can net will simply blow off your mind. In other cases, knowing the type of car you want to buy can also determine the type of dealer to go for; For example, there are dealers that specialize only on top of the range cars, and they are those that deal with smaller and cheaper cars. So the amount of money you are willing to spend on your car will dictate where to go to

Experience and reputation of the car dealer

How long has the dealer been in operation? The longer the time the dealer has been in business, the better. An experienced car dealer knows so much about cars, and you can be sure you will get the best. An experienced dealer will be able to advise on which options are best for you. It does not even stop there; buying a car is huge, and a small mishap could cost you a lot of money. For this reason, it will make sense if you know the type of dealer you are doing business with. Reputation is king, and you may want to check their track record before you buy the car. What are some of their previous customers saying? In the end, make sure you go to a reputable car dealer in town if you don’t want to get into problems later on. It is as simple as that

BUYER’S GUIDE: CHOOSING A CAR DEALERSHIP

There are many decisions to be made when the time rolls around to buy your next car or truck. You’ll need to determine kind you want, which options you need, and how much you can afford. You also have to figure out where you’re going to buy that car, and this means choosing a dealership

Read dealer reviews

Online reviews are a critical part of a dealership’s marketing today. According to one study at Search Engine Land, 88 percent of consumers trust online reviews as much as they do personal recommendations. The internet makes it possible to do in-depth research on a dealership before you decide to walk through the showroom doors.

Be careful, however, of crossing a dealership off your list because of one or two bad reviews. Most of us have favorite businesses, whether they’re plumbers, clothing stores, or restaurants. Most of us have also had the experience of recommending a business only to have someone else say they had a terrible experience there and would never give them any business.

What you’re looking for is the overall tone of the reviews. If most of them are positive, then that’s a good sign. The reverse means you should probably think twice. Also, look for trends. If everyone seems to complain about the same thing, then it’s probably an issue.

Ask your friends

Word of mouth is a powerful sales tool, which is why dealers work hard to create a positive experience for every customer. Ask around for the experiences of others.

How to Choose the Best Car Dealer?

When shopping for a used car, you as a consumer will probably encounter many car dealers, financing companies, and insurance agents. The simple part is choosing the financing company (if finding it yourself), and the insurance agency. But, the big question is, how do you choose the best dealer, or at least one that will make you feel comfortable on the long run. To chose such a dealer, this article will have you equipped with the knowledge, that will help you make this decision yourself.

It is very important that you deal with a dealership that has salespeople you feel comfortable dealing with. Whether you already did, or are soon to be telephonicly speaking, and electronically mailing sales people, going for test drives, requesting on line quotes. How do you chose between all of them.

You will need to analyze their dependability by evaluating the speed your phone calls and e-mails were returned. Furthermore, once they did replay, how clear of an answer did you get, and did he or she try to steer you from the main subject. I never suggest dealing with salespeople that are not straight forward, it is just not right. Please don’t be deceived by the pushy salespeople, drive what you want, not what they make more money of. Furthermore, how interested were they in helping you, in other words, how specific were the questions they asked you, and were they really trying to understand what you are looking for, or did they just want to get you into the dealership.

What Is The Difference Between Eco Friendly And Regular Home Remodeling

How to Choose the Best Home Remodeling Contractor

Whether you want to resale your home or to give it a new look, you will always want to make sure that the right contractor handles the task. Only a well-experienced contractor is capable of giving your home that wonderful look that will make everybody passing by want to stop and have a look at it.

The fact that there are many home remodeling contractors will always make it hard for you to choose the right person for your project. However, if you use the internet, the process will always be easy because you will have all the necessary information that will make it possible for you to find the right person.

Online Reviews

The reason why you need to spend quality time looking at the online reviews is that this is the place where you will find important insight about the contractor. When people use services from a particular contractor, they will always want to go back and comment about the quality of the services that they got. If the services were not satisfactory, you will find this mentioned and it will give you a hint on what to do next.

Certifications

Before you decide that you are going to work with a particular company, it is wise to ensure that they have the necessary certifications with them. A license and insurance is a must. A good home remodeling contractor should have a license to show that they are qualified to offer the task that they claim to offer. An insurance cover, on the other hand, is supposed to take care of the unexpected if they happen.

The Reputation

A home remodeling contractor can only have a good reputation if they have been offering quality services to their clients. You can only know if a contractor has a good reputation by reading online reviews. It is here where you will find all the comments about the contractor. Best home remodelers will always have many positive reviews.

HOW TO SYSTEMATICALLY CHOOSE THE RIGHT CONTRACTOR

When planning a home remodeling project, homeowners face a long list of worries and concerns. How much will it cost? Will it take too long? Is this really the right move? But there is one question that homeowners could benefit from asking more often: how do I hire the right contractor?

According to the CFA (Consumer Federation of America) and NACAA (National Association of Consumer Agency Administrators), contracting is the top complaint among homeowners doing home improvement. Another survey found that almost half (48%) of all respondents would not hire their contractor for a future project

Being homeowners ourselves, we understand the pain of spending hard earned money on substandard work. That’s why we created a highly effective method for weeding out the bad contractors until you find the right one.

This method consists of 5 essential P’s: People, Process, Portfolio, Price and Past Clients. Based on these, you can create a 0–50 ranking system that drastically reduces the risk of ending up with the wrong contractor and throwing your money down the drain. The first step is to narrow down your choices of contractors to a manageable number. 3-5 is ideal. These final contenders can be found by asking friends and family for referrals and selecting those in your local area.

It is important to remember that you are hiring people with whom you are going to spend quite a lot of time with. You will frequently talk to them, discussing various options. You will work together trying to make decisions on various issues. The project period is sort of a marriage. If you do not connect with your contractor, the whole thing may end up in shambles with you suffering the most.

How To Choose A Home Remodeling Contractor

It is a sad truth that contractors have a reputation for being untrustworthy. A couple of bad apples have given contractors a rotten reputation. But many contractors a good, honest workers that are dedicated to making remodeling projects easy for their clients

Know What Kind of Remodeler You Need

Many people might not know this, but not every contractor is the same. Depending on the project you envision you should select the type of contractor that will most likely be able to make that vision a reality.

For example, designers are good for projects that entail colors, shapes, light, and design elements, whereas an architect can better handle construction and structurally changing the layout of a home. Companies that are design/ build contractors, like Post & Beam Design/Build, can handle both elements of a remodel. We can build an addition to your home while give you suggestions on what design works well.

Read the Reviews

A good way to determine what kind of service a company delivers is by reading the reviews, both on and off their site. Can’t find any? That is never a good sign when a company hides them.

Make Sure They Are Licensed or Certified

Anyone can claim to be a contractor, put up a website, and take your money. Researching more about a contractor and their qualifications can save to the frustration and heartache of dealing with a fraud

TIPS FOR CHOOSING A REMODELING CONTRACTOR

Get Recommendations

Word of mouth is the best way to find a trustworthy contractor. If you know someone who has had a good experience with one, start there.

Look at Credentials

Once you have your recommendations, start checking them out. Visit their website or make a phone call. Make sure they have all appropriate licenses and insurance certificates as well as any designations from professional associations like the National Kitchen and Bath Association

Check References

Contact former clients to find how their project went and ask to see the finished product. Better yet, visit a current job site and see for yourself how the contractor works. Is the job site neat and safe? Are workers courteous and careful with the homeowner’s property? Remember that when you’re hiring a remodeler, you’re buying a service and not a product. Quality of service will determine the quality of the finished project. It’s a good idea to even check with your local Better Business Bureau. If you can’t find any information on them with the BBB then they are most likely complaint free.

Interview Candidates

Once you have your list of candidates narrowed down, you can and should start the interview process. Start by calling them and asking questions like:

• How many projects do they work on simultaneously (leading to how much time they will spend on your project and how long it will take to complete)

• Do they have employees or sub-contractors? If subs, how long have they been working with them?

• Do they pull permits and handle all the required inspections?

• How many projects have they done that are like yours?

• Do they produce a schedule for your jobs, and if so will you have access to the schedule?

• How are change orders handled?

• How are selections made?

Complete Guide To Choosing The Right Home Remodeling Contractor

There are many important decisions to make when it comes to remodeling your home: Which architectural style best fits your personality? Should you go with cool and calm tones, or opt for big, bold colors? What is your timeline? How about your budget? All of these questions are important, but they take a back seat to choosing the best home remodeling contractor for your specific renovation project.

Homeowners who are planning a remodeling project typically take similar steps when searching for a contractor to work with. They ask friends and family for references, use search engines to find local firms, browse profiles and project photos on Houzz, Instagram, and Pinterest, check out customer reviews and testimonials on Yelp, Google, and BBB, and more.

Make no mistake – the distinct between these two is important. Any remodeling contractor worth their salt should have a well-designed website that features high-quality project photos, industry awards and affiliations, client testimonials, and more. They’re also likely to have solid reviews, both online and from in-person references (if this is NOT the case, you can cross them off your list right away). If nearly ever contractor presents themselves as the best, how do you determine which one to ultimately work with?

The Murray Lampert Design, Build, Remodel Team

Use Google and Bing to find out which home remodelers in your area consistently show up in the search engine results, then dig deeper into their Houzz, Yelp, Google+, and BBB profiles. Look for high-quality images, before and after photos, and any industry awards or certifications they may have. Pay close attention to their online reviews, and in particular, how they respond to those reviews. Does the company respond to each and every review that is left for them, both good and bad? If they have any negative reviews, do they handle those promptly and professionally?

Confirm that the 3 or 4 contractors you’ve identified are fully licensed and insured. Licensed remodeling contractors have to adhere to strict industry standards and regulations. The risks of hiring an unlicensed contractor include shoddy work, permitting issues, code violations, and financial liability for injuries or accidents. Once you have the contractor’s license number, you can confirm details such as license status, general business and bonding information, and the companies workers’ compensation policy, among others

Tips To Find Good Colour For Interior Painting

How to Choose Interior Paint Colors

Choosing the right interior paint colors depends on the kind of room you want. Take some time to think about what kind of ambiance you want. Certain colors add weight to the room while others create a lighter tone. You can also mix colors into different shades and tints to help create more visual unity. Plan out your rooms before painting so that you can make your home’s interior pleasant no matter what colors you use.

Paint with warm colors to create comfortable, energizing rooms. Warm colors include red, orange, and yellow. The brightest tints of these colors are bold and vibrant but can be too strong when used often. More muted shades can make a room feel cozier, similar to a summer or autumn day. Warm colors work well in rooms that feature a lot of activity, such as living rooms

Choose cool colors to make a room relaxing. Blue, green, and purple are all cool colors. Cool colors can freshen up a room or help you calm down after a long day. They make for good choices in bedrooms and sitting rooms. Lighter shades can feel more vibrant, while darker shades can feel more soothing

Select neutral colors to balance out other colors. At first glance, the various shades of white and gray seem boring. In decorating, they are very useful because they fit well in any color palette. They tone down warm or light colors, but they also lighten cool or dark colors. Black, brown, and light blue are a few alternative colors that can serve as a neutral base

Opt for lighter tints in order to open up rooms. Pale yellows, blues, and whites are great choices to lighten up a room. Light colors lack visual weight, which means your eye isn’t drawn to them. When you step into the room, your eye may go to a piece of art or another bright feature. Since you aren’t focused on the exterior surfaces, rooms with light colors often feel larger than they are

How to Choose the Right Paint Color for Every Room

Feeling in the mood for a revamp? Painting a room or a single wall in your home is a simple DIY that promises to have a major impact in any space. When it comes to taking on a home renovation project, doing your due diligence is a must. From sampling chips to evaluating natural light, there are a number of essential dos and don’ts you should consider before you even walk into a paint shop

Take Note of Permanent Features

Before you even lift a paint palette, look around your home and take inventory of the permanent features of your home. Do you have dark stained-wood floors, exposed beams, or a brick fireplace? Are you planning to make any permanent changes in the near future? The hue and tone of all these elements should be strongly considered before you move forward with your design.

Don’t Start With Painting

It’s okay to walk into your design process knowing that you want pops of color, but choosing your paint color should be the last step in your design process. First, find inspiration for your room—be it in a family painting or a textile you love. Select your fabrics, furniture, and major accents first, and then consider how they all come together. Is there a hint of yellow in your botanical-print fabric that you want to pull out? Is your stained-wood table darker than you realise? It’ll be too late to chime in on these details if painting was your first step.

Get to Know the Colour Wheel

To find colors that complement your chosen fabrics, finishes, and furniture, use a colour wheel. The expression “opposites attract” is as true in colour as it is in relationships: Hues opposite each other on the color wheel are complementary. So blue complements orange and red-orange complements blue-green

Test Paints Before Committing

If you’re seeing chartreuse everywhere lately, that’s a good sign it’s a colour that’s on its way out. Though your walls can be repainted, it’s not something you’ll want to do once a year. So if you’re lusting after an on-trend color, use that in your accents and select a wall paint that’s more timeless and/or subtle.

How to Choose a Paint Color

With the vast array of color choices available today, it can be hard to know where to begin. And if you’re like many homeowners, you want to make sure you’re not only choosing the right colors, but also colors that will coordinate from room-to-room, or from interior to exterior. The good news is that there are many easy resources available to help you create your personal palette with confidence.

Consider these ideas to transform your home:

For a smooth transition between spaces, try choosing a color for one room and paint the adjacent space two shades away, lighter or darker, using tones from the same color chip.

It doesn’t take much color to punch up a space. Create a feature wall with a contrasting or complimentary color. A nook, window bay or the wall behind your headboard can be great candidates for feature walls

Wake up beige. Adding shades of the same color creates depth and interest. Paint below the chair rail a deeper shade of the existing wall. Choose textured curtains from the same color family.

HOW TO CHOOSE INTERIOR PAINT COLORS

As any homeowner knows, choosing paint colors can be overwhelming. Use the following guide to help you explore and select interior color schemes you’ll love!

While there is no one-size-fits-all reply to “what’s the best interior paint color,” some thoughtful research goes a long way. Go into this exercise with an open mind and a commitment to exploring your creative side as you search for your perfect paint color.

Analyze the Room for Interior Paint Ideas

Hardwood floors, countertops, a fireplace surround, area rugs, and of course furniture…the colors in these items will help determine which paint color families will work best in your room, and help narrow your options.

Explore the Best Interior Paint Colors–for You

If you want to cut to the chase, check out our tried and true most popular paint colors, where we highlight homeowner favorite colors including Chantilly Lace OC-65, Revere Pewter HC-172, Hale Navy HC-154 and many more.

Get Color Chips, then Test with Paint Samples

Once you’ve selected the colors you’re drawn to, visit your local Benjamin Moore retailer and pick up color chips and inspirational brochures to bring home.

How to choose the perfect interior paint color

Nothing refreshes the interior of your home like a new coat of paint. But painting is a lot of work, and, depending on the size of your home, it can be an expensive project. That’s why you need to carefully consider the paint color you choose before you get started.

The work involved in painting your interior will pay off if you’ve chosen the right colors. It’s tempting to pick your favorite color or a palette you find fashionable, but there’s more to consider than just shades that you like. Your paint should compliment your furniture, look sharp under any lighting and emphasize the parts of your house you want to highlight

Get inspired

Don’t step into a paint store and grab the first color that matches your rug. That comes later. In the beginning, you may not even know where to start. Let’s fix that

Check out blogs and boards: Your first step is to find some inspiration. Pinterest and other online idea boards are great places to see what others have done. This is a great way to see design concepts in practice and identify what you like and what you don’t. You never know what you’ll find.

Follow trends…to a point: Online pinboards and magazines can help you along, but don’t follow trends too strictly. The bolder, more drastic the trend, the less likely it is to stick around. Sure, a black and purple home may be in vogue now, but that could change in a matter of months. Remember, you want to enjoy your interior for a long time; trends don’t last forever.

Consider your focal points: Where do you want people to look when they step into a room? This is a key question you should ask yourself when choosing an interior color. If you have some wall art you are particularly proud of, choose a color that will emphasize that art. Choose wall colors that won’t wash out your fun furniture or pull focus from your fancy television.

Set the right mood

After you’ve seen what others are doing and gathered some ideas, it’s time to think about mood. Every room, whether you notice it or not, gives off a certain mood; colors create energetic or calm atmospheres.

Thinking Of Getting A Gas Or Electric Tankless Water Heaters

How To: Choose a Water Heater

Whether tank or tankless, water heaters can dramatically impact your home’s comfort and costs. If you are looking to replace an existing unit, the type, size and efficiency of the one you choose will be important

While we often take a hot shower or bath for granted, it’s important to note that up to 20% of a household’s annual energy expenditures come from heating hot water. That makes it the second largest utility expense in the home, according to the U.S. Department of Energy, averaging around $400 to $600 per year.  If you are looking to install a new hot water heater—or replace an existing one—the type, size and efficiency of the unit you choose will have a big impact on its performance and long-term savings.

There are a number of different types of water heaters to consider from heat pumps to solar-powered units, but the most common are tank and tankless. Traditional, tank-style water heaters are large metal cylinders that keep hot water stored and on reserve for when it may be needed. Since they typically range in capacity from 40 to 60 gallons and are generally about 60″ tall by 24″ wide, they are often installed in a basement or laundry room.

Tankless units, also known as “on demand” water heaters, turn on only when hot water is required. With no holding tank, the system is not only more compact—typically 20″ wide by 28″ long by 10″ deep—but more efficient since it is not storing a reserve of hot water (or compensating for its subsequent heat loss). Tank-style water heaters are usually less expensive than tankless units, but tankless models generally last longer: a traditional water heater usually lasts 10 to 13 years, while tankless water heaters can last up to 20 years.

Regardless of whether the unit is tank or tankless, water heaters generally fall into two categories: direct-fired or indirect-fired. Direct-fired means that the water in the tank is heated directly by the heat of a flame; these units are generally used in homes with warm air furnaces. In direct-fired heaters, fuel is burned in a combustion chamber under the water storage tank, then hot flue gases heat water in the tank

Water Heater Buying Guide

The cost of heating water consumes almost 20 percent of your household budget, second only to what you spend on heating and cooling your home. Despite this expense, water heaters are typically ignored until they break, leaving you with no hot water and, possibly, a flooded basement.

If your water heater is nearing the end of its useful life and you’re thinking of replacing it before disaster strikes, you’ll be happy to know that you have better choices, thanks to recent federal regulations that require water heaters to be more energy-efficient. New storage tank water heaters are required to operate more efficiently, and tankless (on-demand) water heaters are even more efficient than that.

Typically, homeowners replace their old water heater with one of the same type that runs on the same fuel—natural gas or electricity. Switching from a tank water heater to a tankless unit can be expensive because it requires you to retrofit your plumbing and possibly your electrical system. But if you’re building a new home or adding to an existing one, installing a tankless water heater may make economic sense.

Consumer Reports recently tested several electric and gas whole-house tankless water heaters from brands such as Bosch, Navien, Noritz, Rheem, Rinnai, Tempra, and Trutankless. We compared the results with those of conventional tanked heaters from Rheem, one gas and one electric, as well as with a Rheem electric heat pump water heater, which is a variation on a tanked water heater.

Following a “heavy use” industry standard test, we compared the performance of gas and electric tankless water heaters with the performance of their conventional tank counterparts. The test used a high draw pattern equal to using 84 gallons of water per day. That’s the daily equivalent of taking several showers, running the dishwasher, washing one load of laundry, and turning the faucet on and off multiple times. The test used an inlet temperature of 58° F for gas models and 74° F for electrics (plus or minus 2° F) and a target outlet temperature of 120° F.

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

You should start your journey by reading How Water Heaters Work to fully understand how a storage tank heater operates. We’ll get into tankless models in the next section, but for now let’s look at the fuel options you can use for a storage tank water heater.

Electric – 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.

HOW TO CHOOSE A WATER HEATER

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.

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.

Getting Safe Electrical Installation For Your Home

What you Should Know About Electrical Installations

Electrical installations can look mysterious. There are some basic requirements for electrical installation, and some things people need to know about them. Quality of workmanship, standards of performance, and possible hazards are some of the more important issues in electrical installation, and it’s worth familiarizing yourself with the basic requirements.

Electrical installations basics

New technology requires a very wide range of new electrical installations. These are very different from the old systems, particularly in communications, media systems and IT areas.

Issues, problems, and hazards

Everybody’s seen old or doubtful-looking electrical installations. The rule of thumb is that the worse it looks, the less likely an electrical installation has been professionally done or serviced. These tacky-looking messes are real hazards. Electrical wiring and connections need to be done properly.

Important: Make sure you have a good system for dealing with electrical faults and related issues.

Things to look out for:

Smells of ozone or burnt plastic: Wiring issues.

Scorch marks: The electrical board may have taken damage and be unsafe, even if there wasn’t a fire.

Any overheating appliance: Either the appliance is unsafe or there’s a power issue.

Odd noises or behavior in machinery: Electrical installations can be damaged by operating machinery which can create hazards by damaging wiring. The system should be taken offline instantly and checked ASAP.

Water around electrical fittings: Very serious problem, requiring immediate service. Water can do tremendous damage very quickly near live power sources. Water damaged areas around electrical fittings should be repaired, because they’re no longer water resistant.

Anything flickering: It’s normally the appliance, but if not it’s the power. Again, be suspicious.

How to check out your electrical installation for quality

It’s a good idea to get your electrical contractor to do a general system audit regularly. This is also good practice administratively, as well as for quality checking.

Key Factors To Look For When Choosing An Electrical Contractor

With so many cowboys masquerading as qualified, experienced electricians from a safety perspective, it has never been more important to choose the right electrical contractor for your residential or commercial project. Many people are tempted to opt for the cheapest quote, which more often than not could turn out to be a costly mistake. That said, knowing who to trust for your electrical installation and maintenance is not always easy, as there are many factors to take into consideration when making your decision. Read on to learn some important points to consider when making your decision

Risk of choosing the wrong contractor

Picture the scene; a rusty Robin Reliant three-wheeler pulls up outside your property. After screeching to a stop, several men in string vests jump out and promptly light their cigarettes as they loudly argue about whose responsibility it was to pack the tools that were forgotten. A couple of the men decide to go back to get them, screeching off in the rust bucket. Meanwhile, the remaining man asks you to show him what needs fixing whilst he curses about how unhappy he is to be expected to do a day’s work and complains about his incompetent colleagues.

NICEIC – CERTIFIED

The most critical factor to look for in an electrical contractor is whether they are accredited and approved by the National Inspection Council for Electrical Installation Contracting (NICEIC). It is advisable to hire an electrician with NICEIC certification as the organisation assesses the competence of both domestic and commercial electricians to ensure safe systems of work that conform to standards set out by the IEE (Institute of Electrical Engineers), who set the standards for electrical installation work.

QUALITY WORKMANSHIP

While some of us believe we can recognise high-quality electrical work when we see it, the reality is that not many of us fully understand the fundamentals of electrical systems. This lack of knowledge makes establishing what constitutes a quality electrical installation open to interpretation. The National Electrical Contractors Association (NECA) developed the National Electrical Installation Standards (NEIS) in the 1990s to take away subjective judgements of this essential quality.

SAFETY STANDARDS

You have a right to expect your electrical contractor to work to the highest electrical safety standards. There are many safety standards that apply to electrical work that you should take into consideration. For example, Part P certification and the 18th Edition IET Wiring Regulations (BS 7671:2018), this is the most recent update of electrical safety systems, which came into force for all new electrical installations from 1st January 2019

WIRING MATERIALS AND INSTALLATION METHODS IN ELECTRICAL CONSTRUCTION WORKS

Electrical wiring needs expertise attention to every building projects. It directly related to the safety of human beings and utilities / equipment people handle. The scope of electrical wiring shall cover supply, installation, testing and commissioning of all conduits and accessories, wiring, switches, socket outlets, spur outlets, junction boxes / pull boxes, GI pull wires, ceiling roses making connections etc. Unless otherwise indicated wiring shall consist of PVC insulated, copper conductor wires installed in heavy gauge steel galvanized conduits.

GALVANIZED STEEL CONDUITS AND FITTING

Conduit Type: In general interior and exterior wires ways shall be Electrical Metallic Tubing (EMT).  Conduits shall conform to all provision of Underwriters laboratories UL 797, American National Standard Institute c80-3, Federal Specification WWC-563A and National Electrical Code Article 384.  The conduit shall be straight, have a circular cross section sufficiently accurate to accept approved couplings and fittings.  Wall thickness shall be uniform through and welding of seams shall be continuous and thoroughly done.  The interior surface shall be free from injurious defects.

Coupling Connector, Bends: Coupling and connector used with tubing shall be made up tight.  Bends in the tubing shall be so made that the tubing will not be injured and that the internal diameter of the tubing will not be effectively reduced.

RIGID AND FLEXIBLE PVC CONDUIT

Conduit Type: PVC conduit shall be of the grey / black, round, heavy gauge, polyvinyl chloride (PVC) conduit conforming BS 4607 Part I, 1970 with compatible galvanized boxes.  The conduits internal surface shall be smooth.  All flexible steel conduits shall conform to 4607. The PVC conduit and fittings such as bends lock units, reducers, coupler check nuts, bushes etc. shall conform to BS 4607. Unless otherwise specified minimum size of conduits shall be 20 mm diameter. The conduits shall be suitable to use in an ambient temperature of 60 degree centigrade and shall not be installed in areas that receive direct sun light.  Ready Made bends shall be used.

Coupling Connector, Bends: Coupling and connector used with tubing shall be made up tight.  Bends in the tubing shall be so made that the tubing will not be injured and that the internal diameter of the tubing will not be effectively reduced.

Electrical Installation Guide

A practical guide with expert advice

Written by Schneider Electric’s most talented electrical distribution experts, the Electrical Installation Guide is written for professionals who design, install, inspect, and maintain low-voltage electrical installations in compliance with the standards published by the International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC).

Discover a multidisciplinary document

The Electrical Installation Guide is meant for all electrical professionals working in commercial, industrial, or domestic electrical installations, including consulting engineers, specifiers, designers, contractors, panel builders, facility managers, electrical engineering students and teachers, as well as for people involved in standardization, certification, or inspection of these electrical installations.

Tackle essential electrical installation topics

We cover voltage drop, electrical safety, cable sizing, electrical calculations, electrical standards, electrical design, electrical protection, circuit breakers, MV/LV substations, earthing schemes, electromagnetic compatibility, power factor correction, harmonics, overvoltage protection, and a whole lot more.

Photovoltaic for self-consumption

Solar energy production is booming worldwide. Many companies seek to incorporate photovoltaic (PV) systems for self-consumption – consuming energy produced while it is being produced – in their business model. To design the right PV system, consulting engineers and specifiers need to understand how to size the system, determine what equipment is required, or how to integrate the PV and electrical distribution systems. Explore our guide for typical architectures and state-of-the-art sizing guidelines.

Enhanced content on RCDs, AFDDs, measurement

Protection against electric shocks according to IEC60364 requires proper selection of basic protection, fault protection and additional protection measures, proper implementation according to the electrical installation earthing scheme (TT, TN or IT), selection and coordination of residual current devices (RCDs) types according to the loads’ characteristics and circuits. Protection against electrical fires may be ensured by different means, including advanced protection with Arc Fault Detection Devices (AFDDs).

A Guide For Choosing The Right Electrician

Whether you need electrical installation or repair in your home, it is good to hire the best electrician to handle it. If your electrical system is not working in the right way, you can be sure that your entire home will also be dysfunctional. You need a good electrician with knowledge of how the system and appliances work so that they can work on your project in the right way. With the many electricians, you can get confused on the one that you can work within your home. The following are the important tips to follow as you look for an excellent electrician to work on your project.

Get recommendations

One of the ways that you can get the best electrician in your area is to ask for recommendations from other homeowners who have worked with professional electricians. By doing this, you will gather the information that will guide you in selecting the one that will offer you satisfactory services that will ensure that your system will not fail you. What you should do is to list three of the best recommended and take time to consult with them so that you get the best among them. Note that you will require their electrical services for a long time so you should also choose the one you can develop a long term relationship with them.

Verify insurance and licensing

You cannot make the mistake of entrusting your electrical project to an electrician who is not licensed – EJ Electrical Gold Coast. In case you work with such a professional, you will have nowhere to run to in case there is a problem because they are not recognised by authorities. Besides, it is good to know that there are also some risks involved in working on an electrical project, so they should also have an insurance cover. So, as you do the consultation, it is vital you request them to show you their license and insurance cover. With an insurance cover, you will not worry when the professionals are working on your project because you know that you are fully protected from any liability that might occur.

Training and credentials

During your search, it is paramount you only work with those with the right qualifications. They should have a strong education background in the industry. Besides, they should also be undergoing continuous training so that they get equipped with recent techniques in the electrical field. It is also important to look that they are certified and accredited by the relevant institutions to work on electrical projects.

Reputation

When you hire an electrician, they will be working inside your home. This means that if you work with someone who does not have a good reputation, you might end up losing some of your items. This is why it is good to check that your potential electrician does not have a criminal record. The reviews and rating provided by past clients will show you the reputation of the different electrical professional in your area, thus guide you to choose the right one.

Window Cleaning Tips For Different Types Of Windows

Choosing the Right Commercial Window Cleaner

Finding a Great Value Commercial Window Cleaner

Business premises are a big part of a business’ image. So, what does your building say about your business? Not only is a clean a shining building important for your clients, it’s also important for your employees. When people come to work, it helps to have a shiny premises that everyone can feel proud of.

At Bax, our commercial window cleaning service proposes to do just that—to maximise the value of your premises by making the exterior of buildings as clean as possible. We believe that this signals quality to all the stakeholders of your business.

Getting an estimate and quote

As a commercial decision, it’s always prudent to get a number of quotes when looking for a commercial window cleaner. The estimation and quote stage is an early opportunity to judge how professional and thorough a commercial window cleaning service will be. After all, if they are not meticulous at this stage, they will not take the extra time for your windows!

Avoiding cheap cleaners

The proposed price is not the end of the story—it’s what you get for that price which really matters. Naturally, cheap commercial window cleaners cut costs by cutting the quality of their work. This could be on equipment, cleaning products, or even the overall effort. This runs the risk of leaving windows dirty, streaked and spotty with water and soap residue.

Why choose Bax?

The quality of our services will reflect on your business. That’s why we make sure that our services are to a high, professional standard.

What is the Best Way to Clean Windows and How to Choose Good Window Cleaning Services?

The right windows add a unique style to your interiors. However, it is equally important to take care of those windows otherwise, you could end up battling hygiene issues. If you are trying to find out the best way to clean windows, nothing beats a professional company. But if you would rather clean them by yourself, here are a few tips you can take into account.

Is professional window cleaning worth it?

While many homeowners may think cleaning their own windows, the benefits of professional window cleaning are significant. To begin, hiring a professional instead of wondering how to power wash windows can actually save you plenty of time and effort. At the same time, professional help ensures sparkling, flawless results, making it the best way to clean windows

What do professional window cleaners use?

Professionals are familiar with an array of tricks and techniques that are best suited for high or low rise window cleaning. They first analyze the type of windows that you need cleaned and evaluate the amount of dust/dirt that needs to be washed off. Based on their initial evaluation, they then proceed with their methods that may include several tools and equipment best suited to your specific requirements. Cleaning solutions, vinegar, mops, different kinds of wipers and buckets are just a few of the tools that help professional window cleaners do their job properly.

What is the proper way to clean windows?

There are multiple ways to that can be called as the best ways to clean windows. However, it is better to hire professionals who are well-versed with different kinds of window cleaning processes. These include power-washing and scrubbing among others.

Why should I get my windows cleaned?

Regular cleaning of windows helps remove contaminants and unsightly stains. If not removed, these unwanted substances can prevent the entry of sufficient natural light and turn into breeding grounds for disease-causing microbes. Besides, you don’t want dirty windows to spoil the aesthetics of your home/workplace.

How to Choose the Best Window Cleaning Company

Anybody with a squeegee, bucket and a window mop can call themselves a window cleaner. However, getting the services of a professional window cleaning company is paramount. Choosing professional window cleaners ensures that your windows remain clean and in top quality for an extended period

Service and Experience

The duration of time that the company has been in existence matters a lot. Go through customer reviews. References work well when getting the best company. Ask past clients any questions that may give you clues about the quality of service the given company provides. The cleaning company should also provide a list of references from satisfied customers.  Best-quality window cleaning that uses approved cleaners for various types of windows is a recommended service. The cleaning exercise should also be reliable and fast. Choose a company that offers concentration to detail. The cleaners should wipe the windows frames, seals, and screens clean without leaving any dark marks. A company that has a list of references is also proving its authenticity and experience.

Safety

Safety is a significant factor to think about when appointing a company that will clean your house windows.  Check the last time the company workers were involved in an accident. The best company should have professional, insured employees with full proper background checks. Employees who are respectful, efficient, well groomed, and competent at what they carry out should be your first choice. It also ensures that your home or business will get protected during the window cleaning exercise. You don’t want to hire a cleaning company that employs thieves who are masquerading as cleaners.

Certification

Check if the company you want to hire has all the required documents. Do not overlook documents such as licenses and work permits. These factors are essential as they ensure that you hire a company that has the necessary insurance policy. The company should prove to you that they have a valid insurance policy. Since window cleaning is a job that involves high risks, an accident at your home during cleaning can make you accountable for the injury. Make sure the company bears the liability in case of an accident. Do not employ any company that does not have these qualifications.

Price

window cleaning company should provide reasonable and competitive prices. Services offered by the cleaning company should go hand in hand with their prices. It is advisable to research thoroughly before choosing the best company to clean your windows. Although you may want to save money, an appealing cheap price may not be the best for you. Some of the competitive companies may not take any liability in case of accidents at your property.

How to Choose a Commercial Window Cleaner?

First impressions matter and if the first thing your customers notice about your business are dirty windows, they may not be coming back. By contrast a clean, well kept storefront not only enhances your business’ curb appeal, but creates a more hospitable workplace for your employees. Regularly scheduled commercial window cleaning is a cost effective solution for improving the appeal and atmosphere of your business.

We hope this article will give you the tools to make an educated choice when it comes to selecting a window cleaning company for your next commercial project. If you are looking for professional commercial window cleaning in the Denver metro area, call Summit Window Cleaning today! Our top priority is getting you the best results and giving you the best experience possible. We only employ highly skilled technicians who utilize the best training and tools available.

Getting an Estimate

Before you decide which company you would like to work with, it’s advisable to get quotes from at least a few service providers. Avoid sites like Thumbtack and Angie’s List. Their business model is built around aggressively marketing to new vendors. And while they claim to offer certified professionals, there is no actual review process for service providers to join. As a result these middle men primarily recommend low quality and inexperienced vendors. A professional window cleaning company will have certified reviews on an unbiased website like Google.

Reputable, professional companies are happy to offer free estimates and Summit Window Cleaning is no exception. The estimate process is a great opportunity to get a feel for how the company likely does business. Were they punctual? Were they responsive, and how was their communication? Did they take pride in their professional appearance? Look at their work vehicles and tools. Well-worn tools are not always a sign of neglect, however a professional window cleaner should be organized, appreciates and takes care of their tools.

Commercial Window Cleaning Pricing

As you are reviewing your estimates make sure you know what is included in the price you are quoted. Not all companies will offer the same level of service, so it’s a good idea to ask for clarification. When you are quoted you a per-window price, are they including interior/ exterior cleaning, exterior only etc.? Is wiping down the frames included? Selecting a window cleaning company that can offer a price that is within your budget is important. Keep in mind that as with most things, you will generally get what you pay for. Paying too much will not necessarily get you the best cleaning, but going with a cheap option will almost always result in problems and low quality work.

What to Look for When Considering Professional Window Cleaning Services

It is rare to find a homeowner who consistently makes the time to clean their windows themselves. Hazardous, hard to do and quite a headache when tackled on your own, most homeowners instead opt to make a small and worthwhile investment in professional window cleaning services. Though they may have to deal with a fee up front, the amount of time, energy and cleaning supply cost that is saved typically makes the charge well worth it.

Because of people’s general disinterest in braving the heights and hassles of doing it themselves, professional window cleaning services have become very popular. Everywhere you look, it seems that you can spot a new company offering window cleaning services. Since there is no specialized degree or expensive equipment required, many inexperienced entrepreneurs will venture into the window cleaning business, able to easily train and outfit a workforce to start recruiting clients. For this reason, there are many considerable differences in quality that will be seen in the professional window cleaning industry. Invisible to many, a definitive pecking-order exists in the window cleaning industry, with the established experts being distinguishable from inexperienced newcomers with a well-trained eye. The experts have assembled some useful tips to help you when looking for quality window cleaning service providers. Read on to learn what to look for when considering your professional window cleaning services.

Make sure that the company is insured and equipped with liability insurance.

While researching professional window cleaning companies you should always make sure that they are properly insured, registered and caught up on the proper documentation. Some unprofessional companies could put you at risk of being sued as liable if they happen to fall and have any accidents while working on your home. The workers are fully licensed and insured and will happily present their hard-earned certifications when questioned by clients. For over two decades, The professional window cleaners have been delivering high-quality results without incident to homeowners across America. The workers are well-trained and drive filled with the most up to date equipment available, making them the best choice to ensure safety and customer satisfaction.

Make sure that the company is experienced.

Try to research your chosen company’s experience. Window cleaning has been in demand for years, and will continue to be, especially as window tints allow home owners to increase the number of windows in their home without losing heat and energy efficiency. With professional window cleaning having been in demand for so long, there is really little reason to opt for a brand new company that has yet to be tested by customer reviews and industry ups and downs. Ideally, you want to choose a company that has been able to thrive in a competitive climate. This indicates that this company will be able to deliver great results capable of keeping their business afloat despite the presence of competitors.

Make sure that the price is appropriate.

We represents one of the window cleaning industry’s premier service providers, and at a very reasonable cost. Get your free quote today and find out why thousands of Americans choose we to grant their cleaning wishes. If you do not have a franchise in your area, you can at least hold your local providers to this high standard to find the best men and women near you for the job!

Reasons For Hiring A Professional Pest Exterminator

How to Choose Best Pest Control Services

When insects and rodents enter your yard and home, they can quickly become a nuisance. You can try to exterminate them yourself, but the likelihood of them returning, without regular treatment, is high. This is when an exterminator becomes handy. Pest control services are separated into two distinct categories: general household pest control and termite control. Depending upon which type of service you are looking for, there are a couple of things to take into consideration to choose the best pest control companies.

General household pest control services cover the extermination of cockroaches, fleas, ticks, termites, household and fire ants, beetles, gnats, fleas and several other pests. Due to the fact that these nuisances can enter your house by flying, crawling and being carried in, the residence must be treated year-round.

When selecting your general household pest control service, learn which chemicals they use and verify that you aren’t sensitive to them. The chemicals used to exterminate pests vary between the exterminators and the pests being exterminated. Regular exposure to intolerable chemicals can cause severe allergic reactions.

Study the contract closely to verify that it doesn’t contain any undisclosed clauses that may result in penalties should you cancel the service. Make sure the service will not charge you extra should you need them to spray between scheduled quarterly or yearly visits. Unfortunately, you can not predict when pests will pay a visit.

Verify that the company is licensed before signing a contract. The pest control service should have a Certified Operator within 100 miles of the office near you. Check that the pest control services have insurance coverage with an errors and omissions clause, which covers unexpected damage to your property

Tips for Choosing a Good Pest Control Expert

Pest management has never been a walk in the park. There are instances when you have pest infestations and you try to eliminate them on your own but in vain. Sometimes you also hire a pest exterminator and still the problem persists. That is an indication that you are not keen on the process of hiring a pest exterminator. This is why it is crucial that anytime that you think of hiring a pest extermination specialist, you make sure that you choose the best one. The following are important points to note anytime you are looking for a good pest control company. You can also check out exterminator Tampa Bay for more information.

License

You need to work within the constraints of the law to avoid problems with the government. That, however, cannot happen if you are going to hire a company that is not licensed. It essential to understand that a license is only given to those companies that prove to be capable of offering quality services and still be able to protect the environment. Therefore, if you meet a pest extermination specialist who is not licensed, then that is an indication that you are looking for a shoddy job.

Consider the Experience

The pest management company is another critical consideration to make when looking for a pest control company that you can rely on. This is important because treating some pests is hard because of the mutation process. A pest control specialists who have been in the business for many years is likely to have a clear understanding of how to deal with the stubborn pests.

Chemicals

Before hiring a pest specialist, it is good to find out the type of chemicals that they use to treat the pest infestations. This is essential because some insecticides used can be very catastrophic to humans and that is why you should pay special attention to this particular matter. Ensure that the insecticides used are certified with the relevant body.

Online Reviews

Always take time to read the online reviews before hiring a pest exterminator. The online reviews will always tell you more about what to expect if you hire those particular companies. A company that has many online reviews is better placed to give you the quality services that you seek.

HOW TO CHOOSE A PEST CONTROL COMPANY

Hiring a pest control company is often a necessary part of home maintenance. We cannot control nature and sometimes pests just try their best to get into our homes. The only answer is to hire a professional who will be able to deal with the pests and get things back to normal. Here are some of the best tips for choosing an exterminator for your home.

Choose Someone Local

You always want to choose a local exterminator. Though they may be part of a national chain, they are still going to know some of the issues you are facing better than someone who has come in from out of state. For example, if you live in Florida then you should be searching for the best pest control West Palm Beach has to offer. Someone here is going to fully understand some of the pest problems Floridians face, compared to if you were to bring in someone else.

Do Your Research

Just as you would not hire any other trade without conducting research, you need to make sure you are looking into the companies you are considering for this pest control job. There are so many little things that need to be checked out before you commit to a company.

What to Watch Out For

As with any industry, there will be some less-than-reputable characters trying to make a quick buck with bad practices. You may get a knock at the door from someone explaining they just cleared next door and want to check your home too in case the infestation has spread wider. Thank them and say you will look into it yourself. Never accept a cold-call like this or a door-to-door sales technique

Long-Term or One-Off Contract

Depending on where you live, you may want to engage the pest control company on a long-term inspection contract. At a rate agreeable to you, they will come to your property and perform a quick and non-invasive inspection to ensure that your property has no bugs. If any are found, they can then make an appointment to return and carry out the pest removal. This could be handy if you live in a state with lots of invasive local wildlife.

Pest Control: Tips and Secrets

This is the most comprehensive list of pest control tips and information on the web. Knowing that small steps taken by homeowners can dramatically reduce or eliminate many pest problems, we reached out to over 100 experts and asked them to weigh in with simple, actionable pest control tips

The experts are truly renowned and represent many sides of the pest control/DIY/entomology/gardening/organic/natural living spectrum. Naturally, there are a few differences of opinion, which we feel contribute to the authenticity of this resource. To round out a few topics, helpful tips already found on the web were curated from reliable sources and noted as such.

Commonly found in most homes and gardens, geraniums are known to repel cabbage worms, leafhoppers and red spider mites. However, a special variety of geranium known as the citronella geranium or mosquito plant has been known to repel mosquitoes. This plant contains citronella oil, the same oil that is contained in citronella candles, that can be released when the leaves are rubbed or crushed.

Before asking a pest management company to use the “green and organic stuff”, consumers should take a moment to understand what they are asking for.  There are three questions that consumers should ask themselves. 1.  How are green and organic defined? 2.  Why do I desire green and organic pest management? 3.  Am I willing to partner with a pest management provider towards green and organic goals? A true green and organic pest program begins with a thorough understanding of the environment, pest pressures and client tolerances.  Before any pesticides; even green, organic or exempt products, are selected, all reasonable and sustainable non-chemical pest removal and avoidance measures should be taken.  Even without declaring a pest program green and organic, these principles should still be applied.

Most people do not realize flies carry more disease-causing pathogens than cockroaches. By simply cleaning up animal feces and closing trash cans we can reduce the number of places that filth flies can breed.

How To Choose a Professional Termite Company

What should I look for when choosing a professional termite pest control company?

Every professional pest control company should offer a guarantee of effective services. Before signing with a company, make sure you understand the terms and conditions and how long the guarantee is good for.

Ask around for recommendations. A good reputation is an indicator of good and dependable service.

When you have a company in mind, check with your local Department of Agriculture or Better Business Bureau to find out if they have had any substantial complaints filed against them.

Don’t underestimate the power of credentials. The company you select should be a member of your state pest control association and the NPCA (National Pest Control Association). This is good indication that the company has access to the latest pest control technologies and education.

Don’t go with the first company recommended. Obtain proposals from a minimum of 3 reputable termite control companies. A proposal is very important and should document the company’s plan for chemical treatment procedures, bait station placements, repair or wood work, copies of insecticide labels, and warranties.

Find out about liability insurance.

Thoroughly compare bids before making a decision.

Make sure that follow-up inspections are included in the contract. The extermination contract should also include annual or semi-annual follow-up inspections to make sure the home is protected on an ongoing basis.

What should I know about annual termite pest control contracts?

It is a common misconception that an “annul contract” implies re-treatment by the pest control company on an annual basis. This is not how an annual contract works. Annual treatments are actually illegal under state and federal law, unless evidence of termite activity is present.

If an annual contract is written up, then the pest control company is liable for termite treatment only if you or the company can detect evidence of termite activity.

Termite treatments carry an automatic one-year guarantee in most cases, as do some homes. After one year, the contract may be renewed if deemed necessary.

On average, it costs between $75 and $200 to renew your annual contract. The exact price will depend on the size and construction of the structure.

The answer to this question is a matter of preference. Some things to consider:

If you have plans to sell your house in the near future, an annual contract is a good idea. This ensures that if termites are discovered at the time of inspection, the pest control company, NOT YOU will be responsible for termite treatment.

If you plan to sell your home, find out whether the pest control company allows for the transfer of the contract to a new homeowner, or if it automatically terminates.

If you do not plan on selling anytime soon and you feel comfortable with doing home inspections yourself, you don’t need an annual contract. The day that you find evidence of termite activity, however, you will need to decide if you can handle your own termite treatments or choose a professional company at that time.

Termites are always present in nature, but that does not mean they are always attacking our homes. However, it does mean there is a chance they will attack and that every home is at risk. Bait Stations can be a great tool for self-monitoring, to lend peace of mind.

Four End Of Year Tax Planning Strategies

What Is a Tax Advisor and How Do You Choose One?

A tax advisor, also known as an enrolled tax agent or certified public accountant, is an accounting professional who specializes in the complex U.S. tax code, and who uses that knowledge to help taxpayers minimize their tax burden to Uncle Sam

Enrolled agents: Specially trained enrolled tax agents must pass a rigorous test and meet annual industry regulatory requirements to meet and sustain their professional credentials. Enrolled agents are licensed by the federal government, and are fully approved to represent clients before the I.R.S. They also provide general consumer and business tax services like preparing income taxes and offering specialized tax planning advice.

Certified public accounts (CPA): A certified public accountant shares many of the same attributes as an enrolled agent, but with a key distinction. While enrolled agents are licensed by the federal government, a CPA is licensed by the state where they set up shop, and must complete 150 hours of undergraduate and/or graduate school study and clear a CPA test given by the American Institute of CPA’s.

Professionally credentialed tax advisors can work in a variety of business models. Some run their own offices, some work for large corporations and tax-preparation chains, and some branch out to become certified financial planners. Most tax advisors who work with the general public charge by completed tax return, or on a service-by-service basis (like after handling an estate case or helping a customer start a small business.)

How to Find a Tax Advisor

No matter which type of tax advisor you choose, finding one isn’t difficult. You can either opt for word-of-mouth (asking co-workers, neighbors, family and friends for recommendations) or through industry trade groups.

Need someone to prepare your tax return?

There are various types of tax return preparers, including certified public accountants, enrolled agents, attorneys, and many others who don’t have a professional credential. You expect your preparer to be skilled in tax preparation and to accurately file your income tax return. You trust him or her with your most personal information. They know about your marriage, your income, your children and your social security numbers – the details of your financial life.

What kind of tax preparer do I need?

Anyone can be a paid tax return preparer as long as they have an IRS Preparer Tax Identification Number (PTIN). However, tax return preparers have differing levels of skills, education and expertise

How can I check a tax preparer’s credentials?

Our Directory of Federal Tax Return Preparers with Credentials and Select Qualifications can help you find preparers in your area who currently hold professional credentials recognized by the IRS, or who hold an Annual Filing Season Program Record of Completion. You can also check the professional organizations many tax preparers belong to.

What if I have a complaint about a tax preparer?

Tax return preparer fraud is among the list of common tax scams. The IRS provides tips on avoiding unscrupulous tax preparers  and is committed to investigating paid tax return preparers who act improperly.

Tax Planning for Beginners

Your tax refund is based on how much tax you pay in excess of the tax you owe. Basic tax planning strategies aimed at reducing the amount of your taxable income may increase the gap and thus your refund. In some cases, these strategies benefit you in other ways, offsetting future costs for health care or providing for retirement. Though some aspects of tax law can be complicated, even a beginner can focus on taxable income reduction

Planning your deduction method

When completing your tax return, you have a choice between standard or itemized tax deduction methods to determine taxable income. The standard deduction is a dollar amount set by the government that you can claim without accounting for the expenses that typically make up a taxpayer’s allowed deductions. Itemized deductions are actual expenditure you make for deductible expenses. Your actual deductible expenditures in a tax year may amount to more than the standard deduction amount. If that’s the case, you’ll likely pay less tax or get a larger refund using the itemized deduction method. However, the itemized method requires support in the form of receipts and other documents to demonstrate these amounts were actually spent. Consider a filing system to save receipts. Even if you choose to claim the standard deduction, having receipts on file will help you make an informed choice at tax time.

Retirement savings strategies

“Savings plans such as qualified individual retirement arrangements save you tax in the current year, investment earnings grow tax-free year to year, and provide income for retirement, when you may be taxed in a lower bracket,” says James Windsor, certified public accountant from Ann Arbor, Mich. Many taxpayers turn to retirement plans for both the tax reductions now and income later. With a tax rate of 25 percent, for example, contributing $15,000 to a retirement plan may save you $3,750 on your current tax return. Investment earnings on money in your account are not taxed until withdrawal. Maximizing your annual contributions to retirement accounts may be an effective cornerstone for your basic tax planning strategy.

Other tax-sheltered savings

While the size of allowable contributions to retirement plans is attractive to many taxpayers, there are other savings plans that also defer tax and, in some cases, help you avoid tax altogether.

Using tax credits

Another way to reduce the tax you owe is to use tax credits that apply to your situation. Refundable tax credits not only reduce your tax but can be used to create a surplus, resulting in a refund

mistakes to avoid when choosing a financial or tax adviser

If you have the knowledge to do your own financial planning, tax preparation and/or investing, you can choose whether or not to do it yourself. Part of that decision is determining the highest and best use of your time. Doing the job of a financial or tax adviser, at least doing it well, requires a significant commitment of time and energy, both of which are limited and precious. Most people would rather spend that time on family, travel, hobbies, or volunteer work. If you’re in that camp, and need to find a financial or tax adviser, here are some common mistakes people make—and how to avoid them.

Not making a decision

Indecision—i.e., choosing not to make a decision—is like selecting “none of the above” on a test question, and can often be an impediment to financial success. This is as true when choosing an adviser as it is to sound investing. Many people let too much money sit in cash, or fail to rebalance their investment portfolios periodically, because they are waiting for the “right” time to make a change. Indeed, an inability to act (due to procrastination or indecision) is one reason many people choose to hire a professional financial adviser, who can eliminate the emotional element and use a disciplined approach to make decisions and take action as needed.

A professional financial adviser or planner will actually help guide you through the decision-making process, assisting you in determining the approach and allocation that best suits your needs, circumstances and goals. Once you agree together on risk and strategy constraints, you can choose whether or not to delegate day-to-day purchase and sale decisions to that adviser (or firm) by giving them “discretionary” authority. Either way, they should help you quantify your needs, decide on a plan of action…and set it in motion.

Not asking for referrals

If you are serious about hiring a financial professional, ask for recommendations from people you respect, such as work colleagues, friends, and professionals in related industries (e.g., an estate-planning attorney or insurance agent). If the idea of asking for a referral makes you uncomfortable, here are some questions to help you get the information you need

Assuming what a title or credential means

While no one can call themselves a “CPA” without considerable education and testing, literally anyone licensed to sell financial products (insurance, mutual funds, etc.) can call themselves a “financial adviser” or “wealth manager.” Similarly, certain credentials can be obtained by simply spending a few hours or a weekend taking a course, whereas others, including “CPA” (Certified Public Accountant) and “CFP” (Certified Financial Planner practitioner), require many months or even years of study, rigorous testing, and ongoing continuing education.

What Is a Tax Advisor? Attributes to Look For

Since Betterment isn’t a tax advisor, we often suggest that customers see a tax advisor regarding certain issues or decisions. Who exactly is a tax advisor and how should you think about picking one?

Anyone with an IRS Prepare Tax Identification number can be legally paid to file tax returns on behalf of others. But merely having this number doesn’t tell you much about the tax preparer; tax preparers have different experience, skills, and expertise.

Tax season is now upon us. Now that you’ve probably received all of your tax forms, you may be facing a choice for how to proceed with filing: do it yourself with tax software or hire a professional tax advisor?

Although it certainly will be more expensive than using tax software, hiring a tax advisor makes sense for certain individuals, depending on their financial circumstances

Here are two important factors to consider when deciding if a tax advisor is right for you:

Time: Even with tax software guiding you, filing your taxes yourself can be time consuming. You’ll need to make sure that you’ve entered or imported the data from your tax forms correctly, which often takes at least several hours. We’ve written before about valuing your time here.

Complexity: The more complicated your financial situation, the more a tax advisor may be able to help you. Have partnership income, or income from an S corporation? Been subject to alternative minimum tax in past years? Received or exercised stock options this year? Tax software can handle these issues, but it will take time, and the risk of mistakes (and even an audit) increases.