How To Take Proper Care Of Your Snake

Snake Inspection Guide

While snakes cause virtually no damage to homes or property, the mere sight of any species of snakes is liable to strike fear in many people and most animals. Snakes will harbor in areas that serve their needs. They need a place to hide and keep warm, moisture and a food source. Snakes can move indoors if these needs are met inside or near the structure. Snakes are more commonly found outside in areas where all of their needs can be easily met.

Signs of Snakes Outdoors

Snakes live in areas where they can have all of their needs met and it easiest for them to thrive. The appearance of snakes on your property is usually indicative of a rodent population nearby. Properties with readily available water sources such as bodies of water, bird baths, standing water or animal watering troughs will also have a higher chance of having snake activity.

Signs of Snakes Indoors

Similar to outdoors, shed snake skins is usually one of the first indicators that a snake has made its way indoors. Snakes are great at hiding and can find some very inconspicuous places to squeeze in. Snakes are most often found in basements or crawl space areas but they have been known to make their way into living areas as well.

You can search the following areas for snakes:

Under and behind appliances

In rafters

On wall ledges

Near door or window frames

In or around stored boxes

In or around clothing piles

Near water water pipes

Near heat sources

In confined, dark spaces

PRO TIP

Snakes that are loose in a home are often hard to find. One thing that might help to “lure” the snake in is to place piles of damp towels covered with a dry towel at different places along walls. The pile should be at least big enough that a snake could crawl under it and hide itself. This is helpful because of snakes’ preference for moisture. The piles can then be checked several times a day.

 

How to Find Snakes on Your Property

This is a topic very few people like to discuss—how do you find the snakes that are living on your property? For many, this is a scary prospect. Most people are happy to never see a snake, much less actually go looking for one on their property.

But whether you are deathly afraid of snakes or simply don’t care to be around them, having an idea of what sorts of snakes are in your neighborhood is a good idea—particularly if there are venomous snakes in the area

Now, let’s makes this easy for many of you. If you’re the type of person who has a perfect lawn with no heavy shrubbery and no standing water (such as a water tub or small pond for goldfish and the like), then you likely have very little chance of finding a snake on your property.

While snakes do sun themselves on open grass, snakes like to hang out near places where they can crawl into things or under things. They also like to be near water, not only to drink but also to eat the toads and frogs that are also attracted to the water. If you have a perfect lawn and very little shrubbery, you may see a snake once in a while that is simply passing through.

But if you live near water and have a shed on your property or thick shrubbery or various pieces of wood or metal on the ground, then you likely have snakes. The number of snakes, of course, depends on where you live and the time of the year. Also, remember, for every snake you see, there are many more nearby that you can’t see.

 

How do you find snakes in your backyard?

Looking for snakes in your yard or other residential areas is pretty easy. First, make sure you never put your hands or feet anywhere that you can’t see them clearly. This is the best rule for avoiding a bite by a venomous snake. Typically, snake’s movements are governed by the search for food, the search for a mate, and the need to thermoregulate (control their body temperature). Since snakes are ectothermic (that is, they rely on changing their environment to regulate their body temperature, versus mammals which can thermoregulate mostly without changing environments), they tend to look for places to bask in the sun when the air is cool and there’s sun out. Likewise, on hot sunny days, they look for cover that protects them from extreme heat. You’ll have best luck finding snakes on warm, dry days. The time of year will vary depending on your location. Look for cover items—boards, roofing metal, pieces of cardboard, bark, etc. that might provide shelter for them. Using a long stick of some sort, carefully lift the cover item toward yourself (so that a surprised snake will have to escape away from you, not toward you). Finding areas where rodents, frogs, birds, or other prey animals live may also help you locate snakes. Essentially, herpetologists (those who study reptiles and amphibians from a scientific perspective) just spend a lot of time looking under cover items and occasionally finding snakes moving on the surface. Sometimes we use tricks like putting out stacks of a few sheets of tin or some plywood to help provide a hiding place, but these have to weather for at least one growing season usually before they are likely to produce any results. Above all, make sure you know how to identify the venomous snakes in your area before attempting to locate any snake, and be sure you are prepared to make a safe retreat if you encounter one.

First, understand what types of snakes you’re apt to find in your area. If you’re prone to “hots” (venomous species) in your neck o’ the woods, this is NOT a good idea.

If you’re OK as far as hots go, then think like a snake. Snakes like safe, dark places to hide more often than not, though some are excellent at climbing trees and will hang out “upstairs”. They like being away from noise and strong smells, but near water so they can drink and can soak when it’s time to shed. They want a food source (generally rodents).

Most of your “easily domesticated” species like corns, rats, kings, hognoses, ribbons, racers, garters, and such will prefer hidey-holes near trees or streams. You can tempt them into specific areas by putting down plywood sheets or bed linens for a few days, then turning them up to peek underneath. And you’d better be prepared for a bite, because no one likes being disturbed when they’re napping. You also don’t know what else is going to shelter under there, so it’s not something I’d recommend.

Rather than pulling an animal from the wild, I always recommend you try “adopting” from a reputable source first, with a second option being buying a captive-bred animal that was NOT pulled from its natural habitat and thrown into a cage. This is more expensive, of course, but animals bred in captivity tend to be robust, healthy, and free of parasites or diseases which is something you’d have to take care of on your own with a wild-caught specimen.

 

Choosing the Best Pet Snake

Snakes are fascinating animals, and with regular handling, most of them can be quite tame as pets. However, snakes are obviously not the right pets for everyone. They have unique requirements and should only be cared for by those with the commitment and understanding to meet their needs. If you are new to pet snakes, find out what you should consider before deciding to get one and what species are the best snakes for beginners.

Things to Consider Before Choosing a Snake as a Pet

When choosing a snake as a pet, realize you are making a long-term commitment because many species can be expected to live over 20 years.

You must be willing to feed prey animals to your snake (though previously frozen, pre-killed prey is the safest choice) and you will probably have to devote some freezer space to frozen prey items (i.e., rodents).

Snakes are very good escape artists, so you will need to make sure you have an escape-proof enclosure. Snakes are persistent about finding and squeezing through any small gaps.

As beautiful as they are, large constricting snakes and venomous snakes are not recommended as pets due to their safety concerns.

Get a captive bred snake from a reputable breeder, if at all possible. Wild caught snakes tend to be more stressed and prone to parasites and disease, as well as being more difficult to tame

Get a Healthy Snake

You will want to do a cursory exam of your snake to check for any signs of illness, including bubbles coming out of the nose, retained skin, closed eyes, and mouth rot.

Ask for a feeding demonstration to make sure your new snake is readily taking pre-killed prey and eating well. Ball pythons are somewhat notorious for having feeding problems, so this is an especially good idea for ball pythons

Recommended Beginner Snakes

These are all reasonably sized, fairly easy to care for, and tend to be quite docile snakes to care for as pets

These ones are also easy to find from a breeder or at a reptile show since they are quite popular:

Corn Snakes

King and Milk Snakes

Ball Pythons

 

What to do about snakes

Snakes instill a deep-rooted fear in many people that few other animals can match. Even other animals seem to put them in a special category; many wild animals recognize snakes as threatening, and some birds and monkeys even have special vocalizations for sounding an alarm when a snake is seen.

But there’s no justification for the persecution of these animals and the acts of violence often committed when even the most harmless of them is sighted. Snakes suffer greatly from changes in their habitat. Isolated when their natural land is broken up by development, they can’t easily move across the unfriendly terrain.

Common problems and solutions

Snakes cause few problems, and the few they do are relatively benign. Some of the larger species may cause problems around poultry houses, occasionally taking chicks or eggs, but—except for the venomous species— snakes are not a threat to humans or their pets. That does not convince people who have a deep-seated fear of these animals that they are harmless, and the fear some people have at even a glimpse of these reptiles contributes mightily to what are real conflicts between humans and snakes.

Snake Identification Books on Amazon

In many places, you can call animal-control or local police or fire departments to remove the snake. What happens after that may be problematic, since most poisonous snakes have well defined ranges in which resources, such as winter dens (hibernacula), are critical to their survival.

Exclusion (preventing entry or re-entry)

Excluding snakes from buildings can be as difficult as excluding rodents. And keeping snakes out of yards or gardens may be completely impractical.

Deep Cleaning In A Commercial Kitchen Area

How to Choose a Home Cleaning Service

If the mess of your home stresses you out but you just don’t have the time or patience to keep it in order—you may want to consider hiring a home cleaning service to help lighten the load. Before you do, use these tips to hire the best home cleaning service for you and your home. A home warranty is another great investment to keep your home in top shape

How to choose a home cleaning service

The first thing to decide when choosing a home cleaning service is whether to hire an individual or a professional cleaning service.

Individual

An individual can provide a more personal touch—it may be easier to get to know them, give them specific directions about how you’d like your house cleaned, and you may feel more at ease when they’re in your home around valuables or breakable items.

Cleaning companies

A housekeeping company is a good choice if you’d like the work done quickly, as they usually send out several employees at once to clean your home. A company can often accommodate your specific schedule. There will always be back up employees, so it’s less likely a cleaning service will cancel or run late.

Choosing who to hire

Recommendations from friends and family can be the most helpful way to find a reputable cleaning service or individual.

 

How to Choose the Best House Cleaning Service

If you’re anything like me, you’ll know how boring house work can be. For the majority of home owners, maintaining your house can be an uphill battle especially when you’ve got so many other tasks to juggle at too. It’s true, hiring a home cleaner might be one of the best things you can do, not only will you save time but you’ll also get precious time back in your day to do things you actually enjoy.

Do They Suit Your Schedule?

Before you look at cleaning services, you need to decide how often you want a cleaner to come to your home. Firstly, how much do you need to clean? Secondly, and maybe more importantly, you need to make a decision on the frequency your home will be cleaned

Do They Understand Your Expectations?

A vital step in hiring a cleaning company is making your expectations clear. During an in-home or a phone consultation with a prospective cleaning service, communicate your concerns and expectations, so the company can provide you with a pricing and a cleaning scope that meets your specific demands.

Are They Responsive To You?

A good cleaning company will focus on the customer experience from the time you inquire about the services, until the time they complete the cleaning services. If you find that the company is responsive and takes the time to address all your concerns about the service, then it is most likely that you will have a great experience in hiring that company. This is because responsiveness is one of the first indicators of a cleaning company’s consistency, reliability and whether you can trust them

Do They Have Good Reviews?

Ask professional cleaning companies for any feedback from their previous customers who can vouch for the quality of their services. A good cleaning company will not hesitate to show you written recommendations and customer reviews because they know that these references reflect the customers’ trust.

 

Reasons Why Your Home Needs A Professional Home Deep Cleaning Service

With an increasingly hectic lifestyle, more and more people are realising that they do not have the luxury of time that the earlier generations had. Life is always on the run, and mundane everyday matters are being relegated to the background for lack of time and energy. Tasks such as home deep cleaning every day is now becoming cleaning the house every weekend. This is leading to build-up of dust, insects and germs in various spaces in the home. Though most people try to make an effort to clean the house thoroughly every weekend, the tremendous effort that this needs usually leaves them tired and drained at the end of the day. Moreover, they are hardly able to enjoy life in the weekend as they should.

It Saves You Time And Energy

We will not write much on this point, as it is an obvious benefit. Instead of you slogging away scrubbing the bathroom floor or cleaning the oily kitchen exhaust pipe every few months, these experts can do the work for you. You save the time and can spend it on more important matters like taking your kid out for a walk, finishing a task you like to do but have not had the time for it due to work.

It Saves You Money

Most people do not realise that hiring home deep cleaning professionals helps them save money. Let us forget for a moment the saying that ‘time is money’ and simply look at how these experts actually save money for you.

It Is Stress-free, Quick Service

When the question comes to home deep cleaning vs regular cleaning, this is perhaps the most important USP of professional services. The experts come to your house at a time that is convenient for you and help you by cleaning the areas that you cannot clean yourself. You only pay for the service you choose.

It Gives You A Clean, Hygienic Home

The professionals have specialised equipment and cleaning fluids that ensure the house is cleaned properly from top to bottom. Everything from the inaccessible places like the insides of the kitchen exhaust pipes, the top of the almirahs and the false ceiling to the places that attract more grime like the ceiling fans, the spaces underneath the kitchen drawers and bathroom cabinets, get focused treatment.

 

How to Choose the Right House Cleaning Service

The right housecleaning service can save you time and provide peace of mind. Here’s what you need to know about basic housecleaning costs and services.

What to expect for costs and services

Several factors influence the cost of cleaning, such as house location and size; the number of adults, children and pets in the home; the frequency of the service and the thoroughness of the cleaning required. A cleaning company will generally send a staff member to view your home and get a good understanding of your cleaning needs and then determine a rate. Average hourly rates often range from $16 to $25 dollars depending on the location of the business

Start with a trial run

Once you’ve found a housecleaner you want to try, start with a trial period that covers two to four cleanings. This allows time for the company to understand your expectations and gives you an opportunity to determine your cleaning requirements clearly

What to check after a housecleaning

First, do an overall assessment. Does the house look and smell neat and clean? It should be apparent that the carpets have been vacuumed but make sure to look in out-of-the-way places (such as under the beds and couch) to be sure that those areas have also been cleaned. Have the kitchen and bathroom floors been thoroughly washed or only quickly damp mopped?

If there’s a problem…

If you’re unhappy with the quality of the cleaning job, try to rectify it by speaking with the cleaner directly. The problem may be as simple as unclear instructions.

 

Criteria for Choosing the Perfect Home Cleaning Service for You!

Although it seems like a simple decision to make, there are, in fact, some very important factors to consider when choosing a maid service. This is because there are a lot of cleaning companies out there that care more about making a fast buck and less about providing a satisfactory service. Therefore, the home cleaning service you choose to hire must be one that you can trust wholeheartedly; depend on whenever, wherever; and provide quality service for your home and family.

Certified Cleaners

Unless the cleaning company you’re looking at works with certified cleaners, perhaps hiring them isn’t the best idea. You need to know that your home is in the right hands which means, certification in the cleaning industry and with the company is a must. This also ensures that the maids have been background checked and are worthy of working in the home cleaning business.

References

The reassurance of having past customers of a cleaning service vouch for the company plays a huge role in one’s decision to hire them. From online customer reviews, to written recommendations; ask the cleaning company in question for references before you decide to hire them

Insurance

Insurance is extremely important when hiring a maid service because it protects your family and home against injury and damage to your property. Therefore, if a cleaning company does not carry insurance, it’s advised that you do not consider hiring them. Having insured and bonded cleaners in your home gives you the peace of mind that your family and home are not at risk in any way.

Experience

Find out when the company was established and how long their cleaners have been working in the house cleaning industry to ensure that you are not leaving your home in inexperienced hands. The amount of training a cleaning staff has received also matters when looking to find a cleaning service that is 100% efficient and knowledgeable in going about home cleaning in a safe and timely manner. Ask for proof of their experience via certificates or cross-checks with past employers to be fully convinced of their abilities and work ethic.

Top Reasons To Hire Family Law Attorney

Divorce Lawyers

Divorces can be emotionally and financially draining. Choose trusted and highly-rated lawyers who handle divorce cases and will be there for you during the tough times. Masterson Law provides aggressive and compassionate help during your divorce.

Divorce is often referred to as a dissolution of marriage. It is a court judgment that legally ends the marriage and usually divides the marital assets and property. In order to initiate the case, the petitioner must have a “legal reason” and meet the following conditions

One of the parties must have been a resident for no fewer than ninety days before the filing. The only acceptable exception is if the party is a member of the armed forces and currently serving.

A finalized divorce will only be granted thirty days after the petition has been filed or the spouse has received it. The proceedings will be held either in the petitioner’s or respondent’s county of residence

Divorce laws allow for limited “no-fault” dissolutions. This enables the petitioner to obtain one without providing proof of adultery, abuse, or other wrongdoings. The most popular reason cited is “irreconcilable differences,” although there may be other unconfirmed grounds

 

Questions to Ask Before Hiring a Divorce Attorney

divorce is a huge step, and how it’s handled can have lasting impacts on the rest of your life. No matter which side you’re on, it’s wise to seek experienced legal representation. Most likely, you’ve never been divorced before, so the process is new and uncomfortable. Before hiring a divorce attorney, you need to do your homework to ensure you’re getting the best for your situation

Research every prospective attorney’s experience, as well as how your case will be handled, and what attorney fees you will pay.

If you or your spouse are in the military, you need to ensure you don’t hire a divorce attorney with no experience in military divorce. If you are wealthy and own your own business, you don’t want to hire an attorney who has never dealt with the nuanced financial issues that come with splitting large assets. You need a divorce attorney who specializes in what makes your life unique.

Once You Decide

Once you have interviewed and decided which attorney you want to hire, have that attorney draw up a fee contract. Do not give the attorney a retainer fee until a contract is written and signed by both you and the attorney. If the attorney refuses to do this, find another attorney.

 

How to Choose the Best Family and Divorce Lawyer

Choosing the right family lawyer to help with your divorce is an important decision facing people who are leaving a relationship. Not only is choosing someone with the right legal skills and expertise invaluable, it is important to choose a family lawyer that you can work well with, during this distressing time.  Making the right choice early should help produce the best result possible in the least amount of time and at a reasonable cost

Start your search for the right lawyer as early as possible

You do not want to be placed under the stress of finding and engaging your lawyer in a short time frame. For example, don’t leave it until you receive a letter out of the blue from a lawyer acting for your ex, demanding a quick response.  It is preferable to seek and instruct a family lawyer as soon as you know the relationship is on the rocks.  If this is not possible, then you should engage a family lawyer as soon as possible after separation. Attend an initial appointment for some valuable preliminary advice, even if it is hoped the separation will be amicable. You will get some useful advice about your rights and obligations, and this will also secure the services of the lawyer therefore preventing your ex from using that lawyer or their law firm against you.

Only use an expert

Family law has grown in complexity since the introduction of the Family Law Act in 1975.  Since then, the Act has undergone numerous and significant amendments, and is regularly under review by Parliament.  Each year the Family Law Courts determine thousands of cases which set precedents for how the Act is to be applied. This continuous process of change in the Family Law system means that lawyers working in the area must dedicate a great deal of time to keeping abreast of the law as it currently applies, and doing so improves their performance for their clients. This means that choosing a lawyer who practices predominantly in family law will best advance your case and ensure you get the right advice. Experienced family lawyers from reputable firms regularly participate in professional development training. For Accredited Specialists in Family Law professional development is mandatory, and they have also passed a gruelling examination set by the state’s Law Society

Ask around

In today’s world, where around 40 percent of marriages end in divorce, everyone knows someone who has recently or is currently going through a relationship breakdown.  If you find yourself in similar circumstances, then speak to these people about their experience with the lawyers they may have encountered. Not everyone is willing to speak about their personal circumstances, but most people would be open about whether they had a good or bad experience with their lawyer. You could also ask a trusted professional for a recommendation to a family lawyer, such as your financial planner, accountant or conveyancer

Meet your lawyer

When you have chosen a proposed family lawyer, make an appointment to see them as soon as possible. Take a close friend or relative to this appointment to help you absorb the advice you will receive, but also to assess whether this is the right family lawyer for you.

 

ACTORS TO CONSIDER WHEN CHOOSING A DIVORCE ATTORNEY

When choosing a lawyer, divorcing spouses should consider each attorney’s experience, availability, track record and success

Relevant experience

First, spouses should focus on finding attorneys who primarily practice family law and have local experience. Divorce laws vary significantly by state; for example, unlike most states, Arkansas requires spouses to establish fault for the divorce or live separately for 18 months. To ensure best results, a divorce attorney should have detailed knowledge and experience with these distinct laws

Focus and availability

Divorcing spouses should use their initial meetings with prospective attorneys to assess how available and engaged each attorney is. Spouses may want to consider the attorney’s caseload and the level of attention that the attorney provides during the consultation. An attorney who seems distracted might not dedicate adequate attention to the case later. Spouses should also evaluate how easy reaching and communication with each attorney will be.

Quality of assistance

An attorney’s associates and support staff often perform essential duties over the course of a divorce case. Many divorcing spouses may even work largely with these members of the firm. Therefore, before making any commitments, spouses may want to request an opportunity to meet these individuals and assess whether working with them will be feasible.

Accuracy and honesty

According to CNBC, spouses should take note if an attorney makes guarantees or seems to simply be saying what the spouse wants to hear. Ideally, divorcing spouses should hire attorneys who can evaluate the situation accurately and honestly. To find the best representative, spouses should meet with multiple lawyers and request assessments of the case. This can help spouses determine whether any attorneys are being unrealistic or making unlikely promises.

 

Choosing The Best Divorce Lawyer or Family Law Attorney

Finding the right attorney can be a challenging exercise. There are many good and ethical divorce attorneys who would be happy to represent you, but there are also many who don’t keep up to date with the law, don’t care much about your personal needs and/or charge too much. No matter how straightforward your case, it will likely move faster and be easier if you have a competent attorney to oversee it from beginning to end.

Don’t go around asking your friends or family for the most cutthroat litigation-happy divorce attorney they have ever heard of. Don’t employ an attorney who badmouths his/her colleagues and who tells you that you can get whatever you want out of your spouse if you just fight for it and that your spouse will pay all the costs of the divorce including yours. Rather search for an attorney who will represent your interests, whether that means fighting it out in court or making sure you get a fair settlement. Ask your divorced friends or family members whether they liked their attorneys, and why. Find an attorney who will treat both you and your spouse with respect and who considers the welfare of your children as his/her top priority.

Your attorney cannot manage your case without your help. Because divorce deals primarily with children and financial issues, you need to provide your attorney with all the information he/she requires to be able to deal with your case in a constructive manner. As a client you need to be calm, coherent and reasonable. Working with an attorney takes some patience, and you must remember that your attorney has other responsibilities and other cases that may be more pressing at certain times. It doesn’t mean, however, that your questions or concerns should be ignored, but you have to be realistic in your expectations

It is up to you personally to convey the seriousness of your concerns, but if you call daily with the same concern, your attorney may not respond as fast as you want him/her to. You don’t want to involve your attorney in every disagreement you have with your spouse or every conflict that occurs in exercising your rights with regards to your children. If your attorney has a legal secretary or paralegal or associate, try to speak to him/her. Although these professionals are generally not able to give you the same advice, they may be able to answer basic questions or reach your attorney to get an answer.

Time is money in the legal profession, and the more time you spend with your attorney, the more it will cost you. That is why it is so important to approach meetings or phone calls in an organised way. Think about your questions or issues in advance, and list them to discuss with your attorney.

Cost Effective Home Renovation

Ways to Easily Minimize the Cost of Home Renovations

There are many reasons why homeowners decide to renovate their homes. Maybe your family has expanded and you need more room for everyone to feel comfortable. Maybe your needs have changed and you need an adequate accommodation to meet them. Or maybe your house is just old, worn out and in dire need of a facelift. Regardless of what the reason behind your remodeling is, you need to know that this is an expensive project. However, there are ways to reduce costs during a home renovation. Here are ten of them.

Improve the Efficacy of Available Space

Whenever you think of remodeling a certain space, especially the kitchen, you think of giving it a few extra square feet by probably knocking down the walls. Why not just utilize the available space to maximum instead? You could opt for a cabinet with drawers instead of large shelves that hog up all the space in the kitchen. Invest in the cabinets that are tall, and have wide pull-out drawers. You could also spend some money on the racks and dividers that lets you store all the kitchen supplies without taking up a lot of space.

Consult Multiple Contractors

It is always good to send out requests for multiple contractors, before zeroing in on one of them. You can contact the firms or individuals that provide renovation services in your neighborhood. You could even take suggestions from your friends and family that have recently undergone remodeling of their houses. Once you get some promising leads, reach out to them with the further information and plan about the renovation and ask for quotes. Remember, don’t be in a hurry, and be sure to go with the one that provides best and quality service at a good price.

 

Create and Stick To a Budget

Before we get started, I wanted to talk about what a “budget renovation” means. The word “budget” isn’t synonymous with cheap. Whenever you spend money, it’s a good idea to know how much of your total income or savings is allotted for the purchase, whether it’s simply a meal out, or something big like a new stove. If you’re planning to do work on your home, I recommend starting with a dollar amount that you’re able to spend before you begin making design choices. Then you can price fixtures and materials and begin to get a grasp on what will work with your budget and what won’t.

Pay Cash

It might sound simple, but paying for your project with money you already have will save you a significant amount of money you’d end up paying in interest if you take out a loan or put things on a credit card that you can’t immediately pay off. If you’re renovating in order to sell your home, it might make sense financially to take out a loan when you know there will be a return on your investment and the loan will be paid off quickly. But in general, paying in cash is the best way. If you can’t afford it now, begin thinking about ways you can trim your household budget to save money for your project.

 

 

Consider Long-Term Costs, Not Just Short-Term Gains

If your addition calls for clapboard siding, for instance, you can save more in the long run by ponying up now for the preprimed and prepainted variety. It costs an extra 10 to 20 cents per foot, but you’ll wind up paying for half as many paint jobs down the road.

The reason? Factory finishes are applied on dry wood under controlled conditions—no rain, no harsh sun. I used prefinished claps on my house about ten years ago and the only flaw in the finish is the occasional mildew spot, easily washed off. The paint looks as if it’ll be good for another ten years, easily.”

Consult an Architect

Depending on the scale of your project, you might not need a full-on architectural commission, which involves extensive meetings, multiple job-site visits, and several sets of construction drawings, to the tune of about 8 percent of a project’s construction budget. You might be able to tap an architect’s design savvy by having him undertake a one-time design consultation.

Do Your Own Schlepping

If you’re doing your own project, slash your materials-delivery fees by picking up goods yourself. No pickup truck? For about $400, you can purchase a nearly new single-axle utility trailer online, which you can tow behind your SUV. Get one just big enough to carry 4-by-8 sheet goods flat. Use it for a half-dozen trips, and it’s paid for itself. Find trailers for sale near you via eBay Motors, or try your local classifieds.

 

Save on electricity

During a remodeling, it is almost inevitable for the utility bills to jump up to the skies because of all of the plugged in equipment, but you can do your best to minimize the damage. For example, you can ask your contractor to use energy-efficient equipment and plug out the equipment when it is not in use. Keep in mind that such an extensive electricity use can lead to malfunctions. Tampering with electricity on your own is not only dangerous, but in some countries, it is also illegal, so it would be best to have a professional emergency electrician on your speed dial.

Stick to your original plumbing points

Bathroom reno is among the most expensive projects, and you don’t have to make it even more expensive than it has to be by moving the plumbing. Instead, talk with a professional plumber about how to use the most of your current layout. The same goes for the kitchen and the laundry plumbing points.

 

Pick decent, midgrade materials

Picking premium options or materials can raise the cost of your remodeling project substantially. One area where you’ll find a major price difference? Carpeting.

While basic olefin and polyester carpeting costs around $1 to $2 per square foot, wool can cost upward of $9 to $11 per square foot, according to Angie’s List. Those costs add up if you’re recarpeting a large room or an entire floor.

 Don’t do a complete remodel

Unless the room needs to be completely gutted, you can cut costs by refurbishing existing fixtures. When renovating the kitchen, staining the current cabinetry, replacing old drawer handles and knobs, and refacing moldings can save you thousands of dollars.

In fact, refinishing existing cabinets can save you up to 50% compared with the cost of buying new cabinetry, according to Angie’s List. You can also cut costs by purchasing materials (e.g., granite, flooring, or lighting) yourself

Design Your Home Around A Kitchen Faucet Sprayer

ALL ABOUT KITCHEN FAUCET

What is a 4 Hole Kitchen Faucet

When choosing a new kitchen faucet, there are many features to consider, from handle styles to spout options. Perhaps the most important consideration, however, is mounting style. When purchasing a faucet, homeowners need to make sure that their preferred mounting style is compatible with their sink’s layout.

Inspect the Sink

Before searching for a new faucet, homeowners have to inspect their sink. Each sink has a specific number of mounting holes. When it comes to kitchen sinks, most come equipped with one to four mounting holes. The more holes the sink has, the more faucet features they can accommodate. Ahead, learn more about the various mounting hole configurations.

One Hole Faucets

When sinks have one mounting hole, they are outfitted with one-handle faucets.

Two Hole Faucets

Two hole faucets come in several configurations. Some of them have the same basic structure as single hole faucets, and the second hole is used for an additional feature, like a soap dispenser. Other two hole faucets use a stylish bridge structure.

Three Hole Faucets

Many kitchen sinks are equipped with three hole faucets; the faucet is installed in the middle hole, and the two handles are installed on the outer holes. While this layout is standard, three-hole configurations can sometimes accommodate additional sink features. For example, pull-out sprayers do not require an extra hole, and they’re often used with three hole faucets.

Four Hole Faucets

Four-hole faucets are also very popular, as they allow for greater versatility than the other options. The faucet uses one hole, the handles use two, and an additional feature is installed in the fourth hole. These features range from dispensers to sprayers to air gaps.

 

Should Be Leak-free for Lifetime

Changing gaskets and washers after every few months belongs to the past. Also, the valves used in modern kitchen faucets have significantly evolved. Most faucets now contain hard ceramics as valves, which are sometimes covered with diamond. With the use of these valves, it’s almost impossible for them to wear out as fast as they used to. Also, they don’t leak their entire lifetime. Therefore, if you find yourself constantly changing gaskets and washers, it’s time to invest in a quality kitchen faucet, and you will not come across such issues anymore. Apart from saving you money and time, the best kitchen faucet will also ensure a stream and precise water flow.

 

Special Features

  • The most popular faucet feature lately is an integrated pull-down or pull-out spray. Sleeker than the traditional side spray, these allow for the ultimate in coverage and flexibility, and free up space on the sink deck or counter. The best pull-sprays will use braided nylon or even braided stainless steel sheathing on their hoses for extended life.
  • When looking for a pull spray faucet, take extra care to read listings and reviews carefully. Because they’re handled more than a traditional faucet, the build quality of these faucets has to be superior if they’re to hold up to the rigors of a busy kitchen.
  • If you’re more interested in a side sprayer, be sure that your new sink will have the correct number of holes, or that you can successfully add a hole to your existing sink.
  • ADA-compliant faucets will be labeled as such, adhering to the various specifications regarding range and ease of operation. Be aware that some faucets have multiple handle options, and often only one of those options (usually lever or wrist blade handles) will be ADA-compliant – so purchase carefully! Sinks have even more ADA standards to meet, so make sure everything is up to snuff there, as well.
  • Touchless faucets are a dream come true for germaphobes, and another option rising in popularity. Rather than having to physically manipulate the faucet controls when your hands are covered in raw chicken, a simple wave in front of the sensor (or with some models, a light tap with the wrist/forearm – similar to a touch lamp) turns the faucet on and off. These faucets do require power, supplied by batteries or an AC power adapter; some models will allow for either. You’ll need to make sure you have an electrical outlet nearby, or spare batteries on-hand.

 

Check the Water Lines

Make sure the new kitchen faucet you want is compatible with the water supply lines. Look under your sink towards the bottom of the cabinet and note the size of the existing water line and the shutoff valves.

Here are a few guidelines to use when checking your water lines and valve:

  • If you’re unsure what size your water lines are, measure them with a measuring tape.
  • Though you may have to hunt for it, the size should be etched onto the valve.
  • Note that an older home may not have a shutoff valve.
  • Many newer faucets come with 3/8-inch flex lines attached. If the existing water shutoff valves are 1/2-inch in size, you’ll need to change out the shut-off valves to 3/8-inch valves before installing the new faucet.
  • It’s typically a good idea to replace the shut-off valves when installing a new faucet, anyhow, since an old valve may fail if you need to shut off the water for leaks or other repairs.

 

Related Questions

My faucet hole size is too small for the faucet I purchased recently. What should I do? You have two options. One, to exchange the recently purchased faucet with one that matches the configuration. Or, to increase the hole size to accommodate the purchased faucet. You can either do it yourself using a power drill or hire a professional in your area.

 How to cover extra sink holes? You can use escutcheon plates to cover the extra sink holes. If the holes are too far apart, you can use single-hole cover plates to cover them up. Most faucets come with extra cover plates in case you need them.

What Is The Ideal Thickness Of A Faucet Hole? Faucet hole thicknesses can vary from fixture to fixture. Thus, it would be wise to refer to the specification to find out the maximum deck thickness.

How Many Holes Are Required For A Faucet Installation? The number of holes required for a faucet installation depends on the type of fixture. Generally, they tend to range between single to four hole fixtures. Where, the soap dispenser occupies the fourth hole.

Can I drill my own faucet hole? Yes, you can. Choose the appropriate bit for the hole and use a power drill with a guide to do the job. First, make sure you mark exactly where you need to drill. Never drill on the actual sink before practicing a few times on a slab or similar material. Once you get the feel for it, you can drill your sink. Be steady when holding the drill. While drilling, apply pressure gradually, allowing the drill to do the work.

To Do Roof Repair And Maintenance Tips for Winter

Tips For Choosing The Best Roof Repair Professionals

If your home has a gaping hole in its roof following a major windstorm and due to a falling tree, getting the damages repaired is probably a top concern. Don’t make the mistake of hiring the first roof repair service that you come across. The roof is by far one of the most costly parts of your home to replace, and it is also your home’s very first line of defense against the natural elements which means that you’ll need to use discretion while searching. After all, spending just a few days and nights with a short-term fix is far better than spending years with a shabby and poorly patched roof.

You Should Always Ask For Recommendations

Check-in with your co-workers, neighbors, friends, and relatives. You’ll get the best and most helpful references from consumers that have used roof repair companies in the past. Try to speak with people who’ve used roofing services some time ago so that you can see how the work is holding up and the overall condition of their roofs

Check The BBB And Other Online Review Platforms

Always check a roofing company’s Better Business Bureau (BBB) rating. If a roof repair company is not listed on BBB.org, then you probably shouldn’t trust it. This is something that you will likely run into a lot following a significant storm, when roofers who are working out of their trucks start canvassing neighborhoods, looking for projects to pick up. These individuals do not have the qualifications for roof replacement, but they realize that many homeowners are desperate for solutions.

Request Licensing Info And Proof Of Insurance

Fly-by-night roofers do not have all of the proper documentation for their businesses. You should work with contractors who can provide proof of insurance, including both workers compensation and liability. Insurance is essential because legal action is always a possibility when accidents occur on the job, or if issues arise after the work crew is done.

Learn More About The Designations Of Manufacturers

Find out if roofing contractors have any accreditation from manufacturers. This means that roofers have met specific requirements for obtaining factory certification. This isn’t something that every roofer has, but it does show a personal dedication to the craft, and it is an additional stamp of approval

 

Tips to Choose the Best Roofing Company

our home is a sign of your hard work and dedication to your family. Why would you trust it to anyone less than the best? Whether you are in need of emergency roof repair in Buckhead or new chimney caps, it’s important to choose a roofing contractor that is trustworthy, reliable, and experienced. While you might have a ton of recommendations from friends, family, and the hardware store, narrowing it down to the perfect company might seem daunting

Check for insurance. The contractor that you choose to work on your roof should be equipped with workers’ compensation and liability insurance. Before they begin working for you, ask to see the certificates, and take the time to call their insurance carrier to ensure that they are valid. This prevents you being held liable for any accidents that happen. Plus, it protects you should there be an issue with your roof in the future.

Go for local. Choosing a roofing professional that is local is beneficial for a number of different reasons. First, it makes it easier to contact them should there be a problem in the future. While a 5-year warranty on their work is great, it doesn’t do you any good if you can’t track them down at the end of that time. Make sure that the business you choose has built up a good reputation in the community before you hire them.

Don’t ever hire based on price. While you do want to get a good deal on the services you need, price should never be your determining factor. Cheap bids drive down the market. In the long run, you get what you pay for. Hire your contractor based on the quality of work that they do. Then you won’t be paying an arm and a leg to fix their shoddy work in the future

Avoid door-to-door servicemen. While it might seem convenient to hire that serviceman that came to your door because he was “just in the neighborhood,” steer clear. There is no way to verify the quality of work performed by these storm chasers. Instead, do your research and find a roofing company with a solid history and background

 

Tips for Choosing a Roofing Contractor

Knowing the right roofer to hire for your home can be a challenging and confusing task. Below is a list of helpful tips to assist you in choosing the right roofing contractor and getting the best service for your money.

Insurance is a must

Make sure that your contractor has worker’s compensation and liability insurance. Ask to see the certificates and actually call the insurance carrier to confirm that they are valid.  This keeps all bids on a level playing field, knowing that part of the cost of the roof and the service being provided to you is protected with the security of coverage.

Choose local contractor

Make sure that the company that you choose is local. This means that they are not just operating locally now, but have an established business and reputation in the community

Price isn’t everything

Never choose a company based on price. Cheap bids drive down the market and anyone with overhead and proper insurance has to establish pricing to cover such costs.

Avoid storm chasers

Steer clear of the knock-on-the-door, “We were in your neighborhood” roofers. This is just canvassing and selling. Pick a roofer from a referral or a sign in your area that has a satisfied client on the other end

 

Tips for Choosing the Right Roofer

If you need to repair or replace your home’s roof, you’ll want to hire a competent and trustworthy pro to ensure the job gets done right. After all, the roof plays a fundamental role in keeping your home structurally sound and protecting you and your family from the elements. To help ensure you choose the right roofing contractor

Talk to Several Roofing Contractors. Be sure to speak with several roofing companies before you make a hiring decision. This’ll give you an idea of fair pricing and give you the best chance of getting the roof you need at an affordable rate. You’ll also want to ask the contractors whether they use subcontractors for jobs and how they plan to prep and clean up the worksite.

Verify Credentials. Checking out your roofing contractor’s work history is the most important thing you can do to ensure a quality job. Always ask for proof of licensing and insurance, and request at least three references while interviewing pros. Take note if they delay in providing you the information you’ve asked for–it could be a bad sign

Review the Contract and Warranties. It’s important to understand the terms of your agreement with a roofing contractor. So, be sure to thoroughly read any contract carefully before you sign. Also, check to make sure you understand the warranty (if any) that comes with your new roof. Some roofing contractors offer a guarantee on their work. A five-year guarantee on materials and workmanship and a 20- to 40-year warranty on the roof itself are standard offerings.

Cover Your Bases. Be sure to cover your bases before work begins. Ask your contractor whether you or the roofing company will be responsible for acquiring a permit for the project. Most roofing companies will pull permits for you, but it’s a good idea to double-check. And if you’re submitting an insurance claim on your roof, be certain that you’ve followed all the necessary procedures

 

Tips For Choosing The Right Roofing Contractor

Although your home is comprised of many different parts, the roof is by far one of the most important. Proper roof maintenance is essential. That means making timely repairs and replacing your roof when it wears out. To successfully accomplish these tasks, you need to find a good roofing contractor

Choose Someone Who Is Locally Based

When comparing roofing contractors, always look for a company that has a local address. Going with a company that is well established in your local area takes a lot of the risk out of the equation since it gives you a chance to check reviews from other clients.

Always Get An Agreement In Writing

You should also look for a contractor who is willing to provide a written agreement that clearly outlines all of the work that they plan on doing. Any good contractor should be willing to do this for you so that you know exactly what they will be doing and how much they will charge. Don’t forget to find out how long the project will take, as well.

Look For A Company That Prioritizes Safety

Roofing can be dangerous work. That is why it is important to look for a contractor that makes safety a priority. Not only should they use the right tools and equipment but they should also take steps to prevent accidents. We always go above and beyond to make sure that everyone close to the job site stays safe.

A Rodent Checklist For Your Home

Prevention Is Key to Rodent Control

 What is the best way to prevent pest infestation?

The best way to control a pest infestation is to prevent it from happening. There are two main ways to prevent and control the presence of insects, rodents, and other pests:

  1. Block entry points (exclusion)
    Eliminating entry points for pests will help keep them out of your establishment. This could include patching holes in walls and keeping doors closed as often as possible. In addition to this, inspecting food shipments for signs of pests and rodents can help keep pests out of your establishment.
  2. Eliminate sources of food, water, and shelter
    Pests are always on the hunt for food, water, and shelter. Denying pests those necessities will deter them from entering and staying in your restaurant. Some common ways to keep food and shelter from pests include:
    • Storing food away from walls and at least six inches off the floor
    • Sealing workplace equipment to the floor or raising it at least six inches above the floor
    • Maintaining a sanitary work environment by cleaning and sanitizing preparation areas immediately after use
    • Disposing of trash carefully and regularly
    • Keeping dumpster areas clean

 

Check out Any Pest’s simple fall rodent control steps

STEP 1: REMOVE FOOD & WATER SOURCES.

Mice and rats are opportunists, meaning they will eat basically any food left by humans. In order to successfully control rodents, removing their food and water source is critical. Do not leave open containers of food in the pantry or kitchen. Clean up food spills immediately. Make sure all food containers and packages are properly and tightly sealed. And don’t forget, clean up crumbs! Seal food in airtight containers and remove garbage regularly.

STEP 2: REMOVE CLUTTER.

Mice and rats love disorganization and clutter. To prevent rodents from having a place to live, clear out boxes and clutter in dark areas, such as your basement, attic, closets, and storage areas. Employ shelves in rooms and closets when possible. Keep materials and belongings off floors.

STEP 3: SEAL CRACKS AND HOLES.

It is important to prevent rodents from entering your home through crevices. Thoroughly seal and block cracks using caulk or steel wool to keep rodents out. Focus especially on the areas where utilities and pipes meet the home. Replace mortar and weather stripping around foundation.

STEP 4: ELIMINATE MOISTURE SITES.

Moisture is ideal for rodent breeding. Eliminate any and all sites of moisture, including leaking pipes and clogged drains. When storing firewood, make sure it is at least 20 feet away from the house. Keep shrubs and bushes around your house low during the fall.

Disposal of dead rodents

The following procedures can be used for handling dead rodents found:

  • using tools such as tongs to put the dead rodents into a tough plastic bag (e.g. rubbish bag);
  • spraying the carcasses with general household disinfectant or diluted bleaching solution until they are soaked thoroughly;
  • sealing the bag tightly and placed it into another plastic bag. The second plastic bag should also be sealed;
  • putting the bagged material properly in covered rubbish bin or disposing of it to the nearest refuse collection point.

When handling dead rodents, attention should be paid to personal and environmental hygiene. Wear gloves and face mask, if necessary, when handling dead rodents and avoid direct contact with them. All areas, clothes and items contaminated by the dead rodents should be disinfected thoroughly using general household disinfectant or diluted bleaching solution. Before taking off gloves, wash them with water and then cleanse with general household disinfectant or diluted bleaching solution. Hands should be washed thoroughly with soap and water after removing the gloves.

 

Mechanical Control

Mechanical rodent control as a rule is not very practical. It is cumbersome, labour intensive, and often not very efficient. Mechanical techniques are more appropriate in households, and can be used if the owner has no access to poisons or is averse to their application

The method most commonly used in buildings is trapping. Often local traps are available and in some cultures people are very good at using them. They should be placed where rats move regularly. If placed along a wall, the trap should be perpendicular to it and the treadle with the bait should face the wall.

Sticky or glue traps are another way of catching rats and mice (Prakash 1990, Meehan 1984). They are boards made of wood, hard- or cardboard covered with very sticky material. There are different types of glue available and they should be checked for suitability (stickiness, and usability in humid or dusty conditions) before large quantities are ordered. The boards are placed in the same way as traps, and normally there is no need for bait to attract rats. These traps should be checked daily, but are not regarded as very ‘humane’.

Flushing rodents out of their burrows, with smoke or by flooding them with water, can be very effective and suitable in some situations. Ultrasonic devices are mentioned regularly, particularly by manufacturers of these devices, as a good repellent of rats and mice in buildings. However there is no scientific evidence of their effectiveness.

 

When using traps, take the following safety steps:

  • Be sure to wash your hands thoroughly with soap and water. Always read and follow the label instructions on the rodent control product.
  • Be sure to place traps in locations where children and pets cannot access them or place traps in safety enclosure boxes.

Cleaning up after trapping rodents

The Center for Disease Control (CDC) recommends the following safety tips:

  • Use gloves when disposing of dead rodents, nests, or any nesting material.
  • Spray the dead rodent or nesting material with a disinfectant solution and allow them to soak for 5 minutes before disposing of rodent or materials in a secure plastic bag.
  • Spray and wipe up the area surrounding dead rodent or nesting material with a disinfectant.
  • Place the plastic bag with rodent or nesting material into another plastic bag along with any wipes or rags that were used to sanitize the surrounding area.

A Safe Understanding Of New Electric Circuits Wiring

Calculating Electrical Load Capacity for a Home

The term “electrical load capacity” refers to the total amount of power provided by the main service for use by your home’s branch circuits and the lights, outlets, and appliances connected to them. Understanding capacity and load becomes necessary if you are planning the electrical service for a new home, or if you are considering an electrical service upgrade to an older home. Understanding the load needs will let you choose an electrical service with an appropriate capacity. In older homes, it’s extremely common for the existing service to be badly undersized for the needs of all the modern appliances and features now in use.

Total electrical capacity of an electrical service is measured in amperage (amps). In very old homes with knob-and-tube wiring and screw-in fuses, you may find the original electrical service delivers 30 amps. Slightly newer homes (built before 1960) may have 60-amp service. In many homes built after 1960 (or upgraded older homes), 100 amps is the standard service size. But in large, newer homes, 200-amp service is now as a minimum, and at the very top end, you may see 400-amp electrical service installed.

Understanding Electrical Capacity

Calculating how much power your home needs is a matter of calculating the amperage load of all the various appliances and fixtures, then building in a margin of safety. Generally, it’s recommended that the load never exceeds 80 percent of the electrical service’s capacity.

To use the math, you need to understand the relationship between watts, volts, and amps. These three common electrical terms have a mathematical relationship that can be expressed in a couple of different ways:

Volts x Amps = Watts

Amps = Watts/ volts

Calculating Load

After you know the capacity of individual circuits and of the home’s full electrical service, you can then compare this with the load, which you can calculate simply by adding up the wattage ratings of all the various fixtures and appliances that will be drawing power at the same time.

 

Breaker Box Safety: How to Connect a New Circuit

We believe in safe DIY. That’s why we’ve always been reluctant to show readers how to open a breaker box and connect a new circuit. Even with the power shut off, there’s a chance you could touch the wrong parts and kill yourself. But then we figured if we didn’t show you, you’d just go search the internet. And that scared us even more. So we’re going to walk you through the process, showing you the safest way to open the breaker box, wire a new breaker and test your work.

Opening the main circuit breaker panel box and adding a circuit is actually pretty easy. You only have to connect three wires to add a circuit, and each circuit wire is color-coded. But there are some safety precautions, and if you ignore them, you could kill yourself. Really. If you follow our safety steps in order and to the letter, you’ll be fine. But if at any point you’re unsure how to proceed or feel uncomfortable with the project, call an electrician.

Get the right parts and tools

Before you go shopping, open the door of your breaker box and copy the manufacturer’s name, the box model number, and the style numbers of the breakers that are approved for your box. Then buy one of those breakers. If your home center doesn’t sell the right model or brand, you’ll have to go to an electrical supplier. You cannot install a circuit breaker style that isn’t specifically approved for use in your box—even if it fits inside the box. While at the store, pick up a few 1/2-in. plastic snap-in cable clamps to secure the new cable. They’re safer than metal clamps because you don’t put your hand in the panel to install them

Power down, then remove the cover

Turn off all computers in the house before you switch off the power. Then switch off the main breaker (the service disconnect) and follow the panel box cover removal procedure shown in the photo

Test to make sure it’s dead

It’s dangerous to assume the power is really off just because you’ve flipped the service disconnect to the off position. There’s a slim chance that the service disconnect didn’t work properly, keeping power to some breakers. So test each and every breaker to make sure it’s really dead. If the test light lights up, stop and call an electrician.

 

Preventing Electrical Overloads

Understanding Electrical Overloads

Every December, the neighbor across the street lights up the block with an elaborate holiday light display. Four-foot plastic angels stand in ranks, 3-ft. candles dot the landscape, elves pop out from behind plastic snow figures, and Santa in his loaded sleigh skims across the roof with a cluster of reindeer

But every year dozens of outdoor light displays like this unexpectedly go out. You might have plugged in a small electric heater and turned it on to warm your feet. Or switched on a hair dryer. Or dropped a snack into the toaster. It’s not only the outdoor display that goes out, but perhaps most of the main floor lights too. The TV in the family room quits. The clock in the kitchen stops. And later an electrician tells you that the refrigerator stopped running too.

The problem? An overloaded circuit. The power needed by the outdoor lights added to the load from the refrigerator, the heater and any other devices connected to the same circuit, and all of them running at once exceeded the capacity of the electrical wiring

Figure A: Circuit With an Overload

An electrical circuit with too many electrical devices turned on can exceed the circuit limit. Circuit breakers or fuses will automatically shut off the circuit at the main panel.

Circuit logic

The nerve center of your electrical system is the main panel, usually a gray metal box about the size of a cookie sheet, that typically sits in some obscure spot in a utility room, the garage or the basement. Three large wires from the utility company feed the main panel. Although you might spot the wires outside if they’re overhead, they’ll be encased in conduit inside for safety, because they contain virtually unlimited electrical power.

 

Electric circuit

Electric circuit, path for transmitting electric current. An electric circuit includes a device that gives energy to the charged particles constituting the current, such as a battery or a generator; devices that use current, such as lamps, electric motors, or computers; and the connecting wires or transmission lines. Two of the basic laws that mathematically describe the performance of electric circuits are Ohm’s law and Kirchhoff’s rules.

Electric circuits are classified in several ways. A direct-current circuit carries current that flows only in one direction. An alternating-current circuit carries current that pulsates back and forth many times each second, as in most household circuits. (For a more-detailed discussion of direct- and alternating-current circuits,

The network of transistors, transformers, capacitors, connecting wires, and other electronic components within a single device such as a radio is also an electric circuit. Such complex circuits may be made up of one or more branches in combinations of series and series-parallel arrangements.

 

Electric circuits

Student everyday experiences

Students have plenty of experience using everyday household appliances that rely on electric circuits for their operation ( torches, mobile phones, iPods). They very likely have developed a sense that you need a battery or power switch to be turned on to make things ‘work’, and that batteries can go ‘flat’. They tend to think of electric circuits as involving something they call ‘current’ or ‘energy’ or ‘electricity’ or ‘voltage’, all labels which they often use interchangeably. This is unsurprising given that all these labels are frequently used in everyday language with unclear meaning. Whichever label students use, they are likely to see electric circuits as involving ‘flow’ and something being ‘stored’, ‘used up’, or both. Some everyday language, for example about ‘charging batteries,’ may also be a source of conceptual confusion for students.

Specifically, students often see current as being the same as voltage, and think current can be stored in a battery, and that current may be used up or transformed into a form of energy, like light or heat.

‘the unipolar model’ – the view that only one wire is actually needed between the battery and the light bulb for there to be a current in the circuit.

‘the clashing currents model’ – the view that current ‘flows’ from both terminals of the battery and ‘clashes’ in the light bulb.

‘the current consumed model’ – the view that current is ‘used up’ as it ‘goes around’ the circuit so the current ‘flowing towards’ the light bulb is greater than the current ‘flowing away’ from it back to the battery.

What You Need To Know About Vacation Rentals Cleaning Before You Go

Tips for Finding a Reliable Vacation Rental

Knowing what you want. Prioritize your rental. That’s the advice of Teresa Bell Kindred, a blogger and frequent home renter. “You are going to pay more for certain things. Decide what is really important to you,” she says. Her family loves the ocean, so they don’t mind paying more to be right on the beach. But if you don’t mind being a few blocks away from the water, you can save money. Be sure you stay within your budget. “If you spend all your money on rental property and can’t afford groceries you may get hungry before you get back home,” she warns

Timing your purchase. If you’re in town for a special event, like a sports tournament or festival, it’s never too soon to book a vacation rental. “Vacation rentals are more scarce than hotels and great vacation properties are even scarcer,” says Chris Brusznicki, the chief executive of GamedayHousing (www.gamedayhousing.com), a site that specializes in rentals for sports events. But if there’s no reason to be in town, you can run down the clock. One terrific new site that allows you to bid on “last-minute” vacation rentals is a site called PackLate.

Finding out what you’re renting. It probably goes without saying that you need to do your due diligence on a rental. “Do your homework,” says Sylvia Guarino, who owns a rental home on Sanibel Island, Fla. (one of my favorite places) and a member of Second Porch, a Facebook application that connects vacation rental owners and vacation guests. “Vacation rental guests sometimes get too focused on getting a deal, and not focused enough on getting the information that they need, or authenticating the property. “How do you authenticate a property? Look at every piece of information available to you, including the owner’s website, the vacation rental site, online reviews and what you find on social networking sites, like Facebook. Be sure the property is in good shape, is as represented and isn’t in foreclosure.

Finding out who you’re renting from. “Research the owner, not just the home,” says Kelly Hayes-Raitt, who owns a rental property in Santa Monica, Calif. She includes a link to her website and biography in every correspondence with potential guests, “not just so they realize they are supporting my work with refugees, but so they learn they are dealing with someone who has been active in her community for 30 years and not likely to cheat them,” she says. Not every owner is as forthcoming as Hayes-Raitt, but if someone is reclusive, it might be a warning sign

Determining if the rental is part of an association or destination. That can make a big difference, according to Jon Ervin, a spokesman for the Cottage Rental Agency in Seaside, Fla. “Imagine you rent from Mr. and Mrs. Jones — nice enough people, but what if your air conditioning quits or some other concern arises?” he asks. “You most likely are going to have to work through the issue for your entire stay.” Not if your rental is part of an association. There’s someone on call to help in situations like that. My family rented a home at the WaterColor Inn & Resort in nearby Santa Rosa Beach, Fla., during the Christmas holidays, and we found that to be good advice.

 

Why COVID-19 cleaning will be a top priority for vacation rentals

When the time comes for vacation rental hosts to welcome guests back with open arms, expectations in a post-COVID-19 world will be very different. The overall cleanliness of a property, how cleaning and disinfection is carried out between bookings and how this is explained to guests will become hugely important in order to secure bookings

It makes sense for hosts to be well informed about why COVID-19 is important and how to ensure it is done properly to give every guest peace of mind. The TravelNest team has reviewed the latest thinking on this topic, and here we summarise the best available information from trusted sources such as the NHS, the UK Government, Which and Airbnb.

Whilst it is unclear exactly how long the Coronavirus can survive on surfaces, The World Health Organization says that it could be anything from a few hours to a number of days and that survival depends on the type of surface e.g. hard/soft, humidity and temperature. The UK Government has confirmed that research on viruses in the same family as Coronavirus suggests that in most cases, the risk is likely to be significantly reduced after around 72 hours.

In the post-Coronavirus world, owners and guests will have new expectations about vacation rental cleaning standards. Owners should be prepared to share their changeover process and list of cleaning procedures to give guests peace of mind.

How should my property be cleaned to minimise the spread of COVID-19?

Start now by updating your existing cleaning protocols to ensure that the right measures are being followed to minimise the spread of Coronavirus (and other germs too.) If you use contract cleaners, ask them to tell you about the enhanced measures they are taking

 

Vacation Rental Business: A Guide to Earning a Big Return

Right now, in the United States alone, short-term vacation rentals are earning $18,026,000,000 in revenue. While $18 billion is a substantial amount, revenue is expected to continue growing at a rate of 2.5% each year for the next few years and beyond. What does this mean for you as a potential property owner? It means you chose the right business to be in for making money! While the thought of purchasing a cute little fixer-upper in a dream location and renting it out to dream vacationers is a fun one, what motivated you the most to begin this venture? It’s probably the thought of earning yourself a good income.

Open a Vacation Rental Business

Before you jump right in and buy a property to fix up and rent out, there is a lot of preparation that must be made in order to make it work. You must write up a vacation rental business plan, review and understand all the vacation rental rights and laws, go through a vacation rental property management checklist, and know how to prepare your house for rent.

Starting a Vacation Rental Business

Knowing how to start a vacation rental business in a way that almost guarantees success is indispensable knowledge. So whatever you do, don’t start your own property letting business without thoroughly understanding every step in this guide.

A Vacation Rental Property Business Plan

A short-term rental business plan gives yourself (and others on your team) a framework from which you’ll work

Vacation Rental Business Plan Template

To help ease your effort, follow a vacation rental business plan example

 

The Best Sites for Booking A Vacation Rental Property — And How To Use Them

If you’re looking for a little space on your next vacation, you probably need a reliable source for booking a vacation rental property. There are almost too many choices.

And for good reason. The worldwide vacation rental market is enormous. It’s expected to top an eye-popping $58 billion this year ($14 billion in the United States). The biggest vacation rental market? Gen Z, with 81% saying they’ve rented a home. Gen Xers come in second, at 38%, and Baby Boomers are last, with 20% saying they’ve stayed in a vacation rental.

Finding the best site for booking a vacation rental property is a snap

Renting a home doesn’t have to be confusing. Take it from someone who practically lives in vacation rentals.

What are some of the best strategies for booking a vacation rental property?

I checked with the experts to find out how they use this short list of vacation rental sites. (I’ll get to my strategies in a minute.) Here’s what they told me about their strategies for booking a vacation rental property.

Check vacation rentals and hotels — then do the math

That’s the advice of Katie Roberts, a consumer analyst with DealNews.com. “Be sure to check both hotel sites and those for vacation rentals,” she says. Sometimes a vacation rental is less expensive than a hotel — but sometimes, counterintuitively, it’s the other way around. Assume nothing.

 

Vacation Rental Cleaning Tips

One of the most critical aspects of managing vacation rental properties is ensuring they are properly cleaned and maintained between guests. The last thing you need is a guest finding your apartment dirty or in any way unfit to accommodate travelers and then publicizing this information in their review.

Cleanliness is extremely important to guests and any mention of the contrary in your reviews is enough to do serious harm to your occupancy rate. You must therefore prioritize cleaning tasks and ensure they are always done correctly and on time.

Get your staff organized

The first thing you should do is build an efficient workflow so that all of your cleaning personnel know exactly where to be and when. They should also know how long they have before the next guests arrive so they can time their tasks accordingly.

Make access easy

You don’t want to make a copy of each of your property’s keys for each and every one of your cleaning and maintenance staff members. Keys get lost and are difficult to keep organized

Consider outsourcing

Cleaning and maintenance are enormous undertakings and it might be simpler to outsource these tasks to a short-term rental cleaning service, many of whom use sophisticated vacation rentals cleaning software so you can easily provide them with checklists,  track their progress and even verify that they’ve performed their tasks appropriately by reviewing photos of the cleaned property

The Trials Of Tile Flooring Installation

tips for choosing tiles

LIGHT COLOURS

Choose light colours to make a small/dark room feel bigger and brighter.

BE ADVENTUROUS!

However, don’t be afraid of colour, which can also create some unique effects and environments in your home. Personal preference is the key

DON’T COMPROMISE

See tiles as an investment, not a cost; never compromise on quality, which can still be picked up at great prices

PLAN AHEAD

Always purchase an additional 5-10% more tiles than you actually need. This allows you (or the tiler) to compensate for cuts and breakages and ensures you have the same batch/shade should you have needed additional tiles. Most companies will offer a refund on unused boxes of tiles.

BLEND IN THOSE GROUT LINES

Choose a tile grout colour that compliments your tiles to help blend in grout lines.

 

Ceramic Tile Flooring Tips

Bigger isn’t necessarily better, but it’s definitely easier. Larger tiles are much easier to install than small ones. Larger tiles are commonly used for bathroom walls, but are great for kitchens and other rooms too. The smaller 1x1s are going to take longer to set, so choose a small pattern

What you can’t see, will hurt you. If you don’t have a flat subfloor, you won’t have a successful install. Self-leveling subfloor compound works great and is easy for a DIYer to install. Other options are plywood or cement backer board, but regardless of what is used, the subfloor should be at least 1″ thick to ensure a quality job.

Squaring a room is as easy as 3-4-5. The best method to squaring a room is using a 3-4-5 triangle. Measure 3 feet against one wall, 4 feet to the center of the room and connect the two lines to make a triangle with a 5 foot line. If the room is larger, use 6, 8 and 10-foot lines. If it’s smaller, use 18″, 24″ and 30″. Mark off all lines by snapping a chalk line along the measurements

Make the best of a sticky situation. Thin-set not only keeps tiles on the floor, it can make up for minor imperfections in the subfloor. There are different thin-sets for each application of tile, but for ceramic tile, use a latex modified thin-set. Latex modified thin-set only needs water. Remember, only mix what can be spread or used in an hour, otherwise, the job will become very hard. There is also a premixed thin-set which would be better for wall tiles. It is stickier and the tiles won’t move much. With thin-set, you can always add a little more on one side if the subfloor isn’t perfectly level or take away a little on the other side to straighten the subfloor.

If cutting corners, rent a wet saw. Renting one will save time and frustration. Unless it’s a perfect house with perfect rooms, you will have to cut the tiles. The time saved in cutting all of the tiles perfectly will pay off immediately. Wet saws are relatively inexpensive and can usually be picked up in any home supply store

 

FIND YOUR PERFECT TILE

With so many choices, finding the perfect tile may seem overwhelming. Your best resource are the professional interior designers at our Premier Dealers and showrooms. (And consultations are free!) But to get started, we have gathered basic information to help narrow the options.

SELECTING FLOOR TILE

Explore the different types of tile, variety of applications, and detailed information needed to make your best floor tile choice.

SELECTING WALL TILE

From large scale to mosaic and all the different options, delve into expert advice for selecting the ideal wall tile.

RESIDENTIAL SPACES

There are a few things you should be aware of before selecting tile for your home. For instance, as a rule, glazed floor tiles shouldn’t be used where water, oil or grease is consistently present. This may cause increased risk for slippage. Daltile also does not recommend glazed floor tiles on home exterior applications unless tiles are sufficiently protected from direct weather or are a textured tile.

COMMERCIAL SPACES

Commercial spaces come with a slew of construction requirements. Selecting tile that meets these requirements is easy at Daltile. We test our tile for DCOF, breaking strength, and more, and we provide the results to you so you can make the best decisions. We always meet, and often exceed, ASTM standards but we encourage customers to have tile independently tested to determine if the product meets specific requirements.

 

FLOOR TILE BUYING GUIDE

Ceramic floor tile is a water-resistant flooring option that is both durable and stylish. Perfect as a bathroom, kitchen, or shower floor tile, ceramic is a more affordable alternative to natural stone. Tile has been the go-to flooring option for decades, so the odds are pretty good that you’re familiar with it, and you might even be considering it for your next floor. Still, you probably have some questions you want answered before you make your decision

Floor tile is designed to be thick and sturdy enough to hold up against foot traffic, while wall tile is thin and light for easier installation. Some floor tiles can be installed on walls, depending on the size and weight

I recommend you consult a professional before choosing to install floor tile on your walls. Lots of factors go into determining how flooring tile will work as a wall treatment. Meanwhile, wall tile won’t ever be a good option for flooring, simply because it’s too thin and delicate.

Though it might all look and even feel similar, not all tile is the same. Different types of tile will be better suited to you depending on your budget and your needs.

Discover the differences between ceramic, porcelain, and real stone, and then decide what option is best for you.

 

Choosing the Right Tile

Not all tiles are created equal. Well, they’re basically the same, but there are many small differences to consider when deciding the application intended.

Tiles are a combination of clay, minerals and solvents that are shaped and sized and then heated to very high temperatures. At this point, the tile can just stay as is and is considered finished. It’s unglazed and without decoration. Without the glaze, the tile is very porous and, though attractive in a rustic way, it wouldn’t be wise to use it at this stage in areas where spillage might be common, like the kitchen.

Glazing adds a non-porous element that’s usually impermeable and therefore good for all areas, including kitchens and baths, foyers and countertops. A good idea is to take this one step further and seal the grout around the tile so that it’s also waterproof

Besides being beautiful, ceramic tile is a desirable surface. Let me count the ways: It’s strong, colorfast, and flame-resistant, it doesn’t conduct heat or electricity, it’s hygienic, it won’t absorb odors or emit hazardous chemicals, it won’t swell or contract in extreme temperatures, and it’s easy to clean

Where do these tiles come from? All around the world. Is tile from Spain better than tile from France? No, the only real differences are in design and perhaps shape