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

Must Know How To Choose The Best Family Law Attorney

How to Find a Good Lawyer

Choosing a good lawyer is like choosing any other product or service. It’s best to do thorough research to help you make an informed decision. Once you secure several lawyer referrals with expertise in the appropriate practice area, you should carefully research each candidate. Below are some simple steps to choosing the best lawyer for your legal needs.

Conducting Candidate Interviews

One of the best ways to assess a lawyer’s legal ability is by interviewing them. Most attorneys will provide an initial consultation—usually an hour or less—at no charge.

Keep in mind that a higher fee does not necessarily equate with a more qualified attorney. Consequently, a rock bottom fee may signal problems, inexperience, or incompetence.

Consulting the Martindale-Hubbell Law Directory

Martindale-Hubbell is a great resource for information about a law firm and its lawyers. This guide—which can be found online at Martindale.com and at your local public and law libraries—is often used by lawyers when choosing legal talent in another jurisdiction.

Asking Other Attorneys

Lawyers know the skill and reputation of other lawyers. Attorneys may be able to provide information about a fellow lawyer that you may not find in a book or online, such as information about a lawyer’s ethics, competence level, demeanor, practice habits, and reputation

 

How to Find a Criminal Lawyer

how Do I Find a Criminal Defense Lawyer?

Many resources exist to help people find attorneys that will resolve their legal matters. Before hiring a lawyer — including the right criminal defense attorney — it is important to conduct research and ask questions. Criminal defense lawyers are hired by defendants. Defendants can be individuals or a group of people

As noted above, researching different attorneys and gathering as much information about the lawyer you may hire is important. The reality of some legal matters, however, does not allow for extra time to conduct lengthy, if any, research.

For example, if someone is incarcerated, and cannot afford to hire an attorney, then the court will provide information regarding a court appointed attorney. While it is a good practice to research potential attorneys to hire, it is most crucial to have an attorney by your side to protect your rights in criminal matters

What Happens in a Criminal Case?

A civil case usually involves private citizens or businesses. The person or entity that brings a civil lawsuit against another party is usually looking to be financially reimbursed for some sort of damages. In criminal cases the party that brings the lawsuit is typically the government. The government imposes punishments — jail time, fines, probation, etc. — on the defendant.

When Should I Hire a Criminal Defense Attorney?

A defendant in a criminal matter should hire a criminal defense lawyer as soon as possible. The attorney’s job is to protect the defendant’s rights and also to advise and lay out the scenarios or possibilities of what may occur in the case. It is imperative that the rights of the defendant are protected and the best way to do this is to work with an experienced criminal defense lawyer.

 

Hire a Criminal Defense Lawyer

If you’ve been arrested or charged with a crime, you’ll probably need the immediate assistance of a criminal defense lawyer, particularly if your liberty is at stake. A good criminal defense lawyer can explain your rights in all stages of the criminal process and help make the difference between a reduced plea bargain or dismissal and a jail sentence.

Why You Need a Criminal Defense Lawyer

Being charged with a crime — whether major or minor — is a serious matter. A person facing criminal charges risks severe penalties and consequences, such as jail time, having a criminal record, and loss of relationships and future job prospects, among other things. While some legal matters can be handled alone, a criminal arrest of any nature warrants the legal advice of a qualified criminal defense attorney who can protect your rights and secure the best possible outcome for your case

What to Look for When Hiring a Criminal Defense Lawyer

Criminal defense attorneys handle a variety of criminal cases, including felonies, misdemeanors, drug charges, white collar crimes, and many other state and federal crimes. When looking for a criminal defense lawyer, you’ll want to find the best one for your case. As such, you should concentrate on the lawyer’s expertise, skill level, and knowledge.

How to Find a Criminal Defense Lawyer

There are numerous ways to find and hire a criminal defense lawyer. Referrals from friends and family or online research may be a good start. However, in many instances, a person facing criminal charges may not wish to publicize the news of his or her arrest to extended family members and friends or may not have unlimited time to research online.

Questions to Ask a Criminal Defense Lawyer

Before selecting a criminal defense lawyer, you should feel comfortable enough speaking with him or her concerning all aspects of your criminal charge

 

What to Look for in a Private Criminal Defense Attorney

The attorney you’re looking for will probably not be the same person who handled your will, or helped you buy a house, or whom you aunt used when she was involved in a car accident. These all were civil attorneys, whereas you want someone who specializes in criminal law. (In small town, however, you may have no choice but to hire someone who practices in both areanas.)

Civil versus Criminal Attorneys

Private criminal defense lawyers tend to practice either on their own or in small partnerships, and in a specific geographical setting. By contrast, attorneys who handle civil cases tend to congregate in large corporate law firms with branch offices in many cities.

The Local Advantage

A defendant should try to hire an attorney with experience in the courthouse where the defendant’s case is pending. Though the same laws may be in effect throughout a state, procedures vary from one courthouse to another. For example, the D.A. in one county may have a no-plea-bargaining policy with respect to a certain offense, while the D.A. in a neighboring county may have no such policy. Or, defense attorneys in one county may know which prosecutors are more likely to plead right before trial, as against those who will negotiate in advance. Local attorneys also know the police officers and how they perform in court before juries. Defendants should prefer attorneys who have experience with local procedures and personnel.

Experience with the Crimes Charged

A defendant should also try to find an attorney who has represented defendants charged with the same or very similar offenses. Modern criminal law is so complex that many lawyers specialize in particular types of offenses. For example, one may specialize in drunk driving, another in drug offenses, and another in white-collar crimes (generally referring to nonviolent, money-related crimes, such as tax fraud or embezzlement).

The Personal Factor

A defendant’s lawyer speaks for the defendant. No matter how highly recommended a lawyer may be, it is also important that the lawyer be someone with whom the defendant is personally comfortable. The best attorney-client relationships are those in which clients are full partners in the decision-making process, and defendants should try to hire lawyers who see them as partners, not as case files

 

Selecting a Criminal Defense Attorney

If you’ve been arrested for or charged with a crime—regardless of how serious—it’s a good idea to talk to an attorney. Depending on your financial situation, you might consider hiring a private criminal defense lawyer. (Another option, again depending on your finances, is court-appointed counsel; self-representation is also possible but usually a bad idea.)

Don’t Delay

It’s usually best to talk to a criminal lawyer as soon as possible after being arrested. Although your first court date may be a ways out, finding a lawyer can take some time, and there might be things you can do in the meantime to improve the outlook of your case. For instance, if your case involves drugs or alcohol, an attorney might advise you to get into treatment or start going to 12-step meetings like Alcoholics Anonymous (AA), even before going to court for the first time.

Finding the Right Attorney

Because there are so many criminal defense attorneys out there, the task of selecting one can be daunting. Here are some suggestions and considerations that might help you make the choice

Free Consultations

Most criminal defense attorneys offer prospective clients a free initial consultation. Taking advantage of this opportunity to meet the attorney and get some of your questions answered doesn’t obligate you to hire the attorney. But an in-person consult will often give you a good idea of whether you can work with a particular attorney or firm.

Questions to Ask

There’s no surefire way of picking the “best” criminal defense attorney. But asking some questions can help to inform your decision. Below are some things you might want to ask about

Must Know How To Find The Best Djs

What You Need To Know About DJs

There are many different kinds of DJs, and many different reasons for those DJs to exist. Let’s start with getting serious about YOU: What kind of DJ are you interested in becoming?

The Club DJ

Each club has a different feel, reputation, and audience… which also means that clubs vary in what they expect from their musical selection. Typically, the job of the resident DJ at a night club is to maintain a moving dance floor. Often, club DJs will perform long blends (transitions) between songs, or some other trickery to keep people’s feet moving. This DJ must know how to ramp the energy up and down, and  maintain a balance between an active dance floor, and a busy bar.

The Performer (Turntablist)

People go to see this DJ because of who they are, their reputation, and what people think they can do behind the decks. Their mixes are displays of raw skill, impressive tricks, and clever transitions.

The “exhibitionist” DJs fit here, such as turntablists (e.g. those who focus on cutting and scratching), “controllerists”, and other types of live performers.

The Mobile DJ

These are the ones who perform at your wedding, set the tone for your corporate event, or provide a memorable prom party. Often the entrepreneurial type, mobile DJs have a lot of things to keep track of. In some cases, they are solely responsible for the setup and teardown of equipment, planning the show, managing the crowd, and making any announcements. This kind of DJ often needs to be comfortable with taking requests (and sometimes even entire playlists), speaking into a microphone, and investing in sound equipment.

The Radio DJ

The concept of the DJ owes it’s origins to radio. The radio DJ’s job varies greatly, from the person who announces the weather between songs, to full-on music curation. While many corporate radio DJs have lost control over the music, the art lives on in podcast format.

 

ELEMENTS OF DJING

The software described above will give you a large amount of control over various aspects or elements of the music you’re mixing. We’ve broken these down for you below:

Beatmatching

Sometimes referred to as “timestretching”, beatmatching involves manipulating the tempo and phase of songs so that they blend together. Tempo describes the speed of a song, while phase refers to the song’s beat. When beatmatching, the DJ adjusts the phase and tempo of two songs (using either controllers built into the software, or manually using external controllers) until they’re equal.

In the past, successful beatmatching required quick fingers and a trained ear. Fortunately, the development of high-tech (and often free!) digital software has made this far easier in recent years.

Tempo can be manipulated using a tool known as a pitch fader (included in most DJing software), which allows users to either speed up or slow down a track. You can adjust the phase by keeping an eye on the software’s phase meter, and simultaneously using DJ hardware such as a jog wheel (a moveable disk that looks like a record or disk) or your software’s pitch bend button to achieve the desired effect.

Phrasing

Phrasing is mixing at a point in the songs that makes sense from musical perspective. Most of the songs DJs mix are in 4/4 time, which means that there are 4 beats per bar (a “section” of music in a song). Usually major changes in a song occurs every 8 bars (e.g. shifting from the verse to the chorus), which also happens to be a great place to bring in another track.

While mixing, you will have to remain aware of the track’s time by counting, so that it sounds natural when you layer another song on top of it. This ensures you don’t add a new track (starting on the first beat) while the original song is on the second, third, or fourth beat of a bar—this will make for a choppy transition, causing the mix to play out of sync.

Volume/Gain Control

Most types of DJ software give the user control over several aspects or types of volume: signal volume, channel volume, and output volume. The diagram below depicts how sound is manipulated from the source to achieve the desired output, which is more or less the same process for both internal and external mixing. The knob labeled “3” is the signal volume, or the volume coming from the musical source.

EQing

Equalizing, also known as EQing, is the process of adjusting the frequencies (the pitch of the song—or how high or low the song sounds when it reaches our ears) of two tracks so that they fuse together in a complementary way. Without EQing, chances are your mixes will just sound like noise.

 

Basic Types of DJ Equipment:

The amount of DJ equipment options can be somewhat overwhelming for a beginner, especially since choosing the equipment is crucial to creating quality sounds. There are however a number of essential gear that a DJ needs to make killer playlists and provide your audience with enjoyment.

  1. Input devices

Putting tunes together requires at least two input devices, which can either be turntables or CD decks. You can choose from a wide range of input devices that will allow you to mix tunes and mashup tracks without a pause in music.

  1. Mixer

The mixer is the core part of any professional DJ setup. It is a type of audio mixing console that allows DJs to perform different effects and tricks. DJs use the mixer to make smooth transitions between different recordings while they are spinning a set. It can also be used to play record players.

  1. Headphones

High-quality headphones allow DJs to listen, cue, and mix tunes with precision. It is one of the most important tools for determining the right timing to play songs rhythmically. The equipment you use is based on your preference, but it is important to consider comfort as one of the main factors in choosing your headphones. You’re going to be wearing headphones for hours on end, so you want to use a pair that not only reproduces sounds accurately, but is also comfortable to wear.

  1. Sound system

Using studio monitor speakers is a great way for beginner DJs to hear their mixes with clarity. While Hi-Fi speakers produce high-quality sounds compared with inexpensive audio equipment, they also amplify certain frequencies that can make it difficult for beginner DJs to hear what the mix actually sounds like.

  1. Controller

Most modern DJs opt for a simpler (and easier) digital setup composed of a controller and a laptop. If you no longer use vinyl records or CDs, then purchasing a controller is really the only step you need to take to create a viable DJ setup.

 

GET TO KNOW YOUR DJ HARDWARE INSIDE AND OUT

Its all too easy to unwrap you new shiny DJ hardware and just start playing with all the buttons and dials and faders all at once! But you’ll never truly understand your mixer or decks unless you take your time to find out what each little tool can do. So slow down, pick a track you can loop for 20 minutes. pick one or two controls and see what they do.

See how creative you can get with just those controls in play. Once you feel you’ve mastered how to use them, move on to another pair. No piece of DJ hardware is perfect either, learn what shortfalls your system has or find out what shortfalls YOU have when trying to use it. It’ll help you identify areas you need to improve and also find solutions to the issues in your setup.

 

5 Laptop DJing Tips

  1. Know your software’s standalone capabilities

Not all laptop DJ software have the ability to be used as a fully functioning DJ app without a DJ controller or audio interface connected. Serato DJ, for instance, needs compatible hardware in order for it to be used for DJing. Furthermore, some software are more customisable than others: Virtual DJ 8 and djay Pro 2, for instance, have deep keyboard shortcut customisation features. Virtual DJ 8 even lets you create your own scripts and make tweaks to the engine code.

  1. Use the 80/20 rule with keyboard shortcuts

Learn the key commands for transport controls (play, cue, stop), find out how to toggle effects on and off, how to do full-kills on EQs, how to access hot cues, and so on. Basically, think of all the functions you use the most when you DJ on a controller, and then try to look for the keyboard shortcuts in your DJ software.

  1. Pack emergency accessories in your DJ bag

A splitter cable is crucial if you want to be able to preview and cue tracks. Splitter cables let you listen to your next track in your headphones without it playing on the main speakers. If you don’t need headphone cueing (say you’re just playing back tracks for a function), an 1/8″ to RCA cable will do. You’ll also want to try packing a small wireless mouse for more flexibility and if you prefer not to have your hands cramped up on the keyboard and trackpad.

  1. Sort your music and organise playlists ahead of time

Since you’re spinning and searching using the same input device (ie your laptop keyboard), you’ll want to be especially organised with your music so you don’t waste time going through your cluttered hard drive for tunes. Keep your playlists up to date and your DJ library sorted so your keystrokes / keyboard time is spent interacting with the music you’re playing instead of searching the dark recesses of your hard drive.

  1. Explore making your own mappings

You can also access more advanced features like samplers and performance pad features by making your own custom mappings – the trick is to have them easily accessible in your keyboard or via a Shift layer. Again, consult your software’s manual to learn where to find them.

Tips To Find The Best Metal Roof

Reasons to Choose A Metal Roof

Know the environment the roof will be subjected to

There are environments where a metal roof will perform better than any other material, especially those subjected to extreme weather events, such as:

  • High wind
  • High UV/sun exposure
  • High moisture – rain, ice, or snow

But that doesn’t mean metal roofing can’t work in mild environments either. In fact, metal roofing works well in generally any area as long as the correct panel type is used for the application and the installation details are followed. Just be aware that there are places where a metal roof can be installed, but not qualify for one or more warranties. This especially applies to structures near the coast and subjected to brackish water, salt-water bays, and crashing surfs.

Here are a few more items to look for in your living environment before installing a new roof:

  • Shaded areas
  • Tree cover
  • Potential pollutants in the air
  • Other nearby bodies of water

Know how much maintenance you’re willing to do

Any roofing material will require maintenance of some kind, but the frequency of such maintenance varies across the board. This is why knowing how often you want to or are willing to do regular maintenance on your roof is a key consideration to think about. We’ll talk more about metal roofing maintenance in the next section.

 

Why Should Homeowners Consider Metal Roofing?

Metal roofs offer several advantages including a longer life cycle than roofing materials like asphalt, and cedar. Metal roofs can withstand the elements including hail, heavy rain and snow, and high winds. Metal roofs have also been credited for protecting homes during forest and brush fires. In fact, in many areas insurance companies offer homeowners up to a 30% reduction in their homeowners insurance when they install a metal roof.

Available in three different styles: standing-seam roofing, panel roofing, and look-alikes including tiles, cedar, or slate. Standing-seam metal roofs have large ribs, which require crimping or soldering to connect them. Panel roofing panels resemble standing-seam roofing however, these require being screwed down. With the exception of the screw-down panels, metal roofing installations require special training.

Metal roofs can initially cost up to three to four times more than asphalt or cedar roofs. However, homeowners must keep in mind that the average asphalt cedar roof will require replacing approximately every 15 to 20 years, whereas metal roofs can last over 60-years, making metal the perfect roofing choice.

 

What Metal Is Used for Roofs?

There are several metals used to make metal roofs, and they all have different benefits. These include:

  • Copper: This has been in use for years. It’s naturally rust resistant, and weathers naturally.
  • Alloys: These are combinations of different metals to create stronger roofs.
  • Stainless steel: This metal won’t rust or corrode on your roof.
  • Lead: Malleable and durable. You can cut this metal into different shapes, depending on what you need.
  • Zinc: This is another versatile metal, that’s also resistant to corrosion.

 

Why Choose A Metal Roof?

Have you noticed a metal roof or two in your neighborhood? There are many surprising reasons why a homeowner would choose to have a metal roof installed over any other material. Metal roofs provide a lifetime of protection, dramatic energy savings, and are available in a variety of designs and colors to complement any style home. A metal roof can have traditional vertical seams, or be made to resemble woodshake, slate, shingles or clay tiles. Listed below are five extraordinary benefits of metal roofs.

Home Appreciation
In any area of the U.S., the costs of installing a metal roof can be recouped by more than 75%. In Western states specifically, the average cost of installing a metal roof is $16,906, while it raises the resale value of your home by $14,661. That’s a recoupment of 86.7% and higher than the national average.

Energy Efficiency and Reduced Waste
Your roofing material has a major impact on the amount of heat your house absorbs from the sun. You can saveup to 40% in air-conditioning energy costs by installing a reflective metal roof, while a highly emissive metal roof can reduce the air temperature in your home by as much as 12 ° F. In addition to cutting CO2 emissions from your HVAC system, most metal roofing systems are made of recycled material and can be installed right on top of an existing roof, but we don’t recommend that.

Insurance Savings
We live in an area where extreme weather, high winds and forest fires can occur from time to time. While it is obviously ideal for safety reasons, it is also useful to know that impact and fire-resistant metal roofing may qualify you for discounts on your homeowner’s insurance. Homeowners in some areas of the U.S. have been known to receive a 30% discount.

 

Metal roofs are easier to install 

In comparison to asphalt, slate or clay roofing, metal roofing is much easier to install. Some roof installations can take 3-4 days to complete while metal roofs tend to take around 1-2 days

Metal roofs are durable 

There’s a reason why metal roofs last so long, they are extremely durable. Metal roofs protect from some of the harshest weather and most aggressive winds. It can withstand high amounts of rain and snow and won’t burn from the sun. Steel sheet metal roofing makes for one of the most durable roofs out there.

Metal roofs are affordable

Many people will automatically go for an asphalt roof when looking for affordable roofing because it can be cheaper than a metal roof. What they may not realize is that they’re buying a roof that may not last as long as a metal roof. What they also might not realize is that asphalt roofs need much more maintenance than almost any other roof out there.

Metal roofs up your property value

You can up your property value. A contemporary looking metal roof on a home can increase its value from 1-6%. And since metal roofing in Toronto is an effective insulator, it can decrease your energy bill every month, thus further increasing your property value. Metal roofing offers more colors than regular asphalt roofing as well as a European design that can make your home look amazing. Upkeeping your home aesthetically is something that will also increase the value and houses with metal roofs will most likely attract a higher percentage of buyers when the time comes to sell.

Must Know How To Clean Clogged Toilet

How to Unblock a Toilet Drain in Your Home

Being able to unblock a toilet drain in your home can save you valuable time and money. Blocked toilets can happen for several reasons, but most are not serious can be removed by following a few easy steps.

Before attempting to unblock your toilet drain, first, apply some damage limitation. Don’t repeatedly flush your toilet to remove a blockage – it may overflow and then you’ll have a mess to clear up as well as a blocked toilet drain.

  1. Source & Locate the Problem

If the cause of the toilet blockage is visible, put on a pair of rubber gloves and remove it. If you cannot see the cause of the blockage then it’s time to experiment.

  1. Add Dishwasher Liquid & Hot Water

Keep your rubber gloves on and drop a small amount of dishwashing liquid and a half bucket of hot water, pour it into the toilet bowl from waist height and leave for a few minutes.

  1. Plunge the Toilet to Loosen Blockage

Choose a heavy-duty plunger with a flange on its base. Place the plunger completely over the hole at the bottom of the toilet bowl until it is submerged in water. Press down firmly and slowly. Repeat.

  1. Hook Toilet Blockage With Coat Hanger

Next, try using an unravelled wire coat-hanger to hook the blockage. This technique is most effective when the toilet blockage is in the first 5cm – 10cm of the drain.

  1. Remove Deeper Blockages With a Plumbing Snake/Auger

If the blockage is too deep to unblock with a coat hanger, a plumbing ‘snake’ or ‘auger’ is great at removing difficult toilet blockages. A plumbing auger is a coiled wire that can ‘snake’ through twists and turns in drains. Due to its high flexibility, a plumbing auger is incredibly effective in locating and removing deep toilet blockages.

  1. Enzyme-Based Chemicals

Another method to unblock your toilet is utilising enzyme-based chemicals to break down the solid matter that is causing the blockage. This will only work on organic matter (not objects or hair) and takes some time for effects to take place. Alternatively, find a bucket and half fill it with hot water, baking soda and vinegar. This water-based solution is a great alternative to enzyme-based chemicals and is very effective at breaking down solid matter.

 

How To Clear Blocked Drains – DIY

The methods for draining a blocked drain depends on whether the clog is partial or full-on. The former, or partial clog, will allow at least some water down the drain. The latter, however, means the drains are fully blocked and no water is going down at all.

Refresh your drains with soda!

Ever heard that a nail put in a glass of soda will dissolve and eventually disappear with time? It’s true. This may take you by surprise – soda is great for vanquishing a clog in your drains. It can even be more effective than many commercial clog removers packed with strong dissolving agents

Clear a Blocked Sink with Boiling Water

This is an easy DIY method of unclogging a blocked drain pipe. The high temperatures in hot boiling water should be able to do the work.

Use vinegar and baking soda to remove clogs

Pour half a packet of baking soda down the clogged drain without adding any water. Then add half a cup of vinegar down the pipe. Use a metal stopper or some rags to stop up the drain and let the two substances react for 30 minutes. Remove the stopper and pour hot water down the drain.

Plunger for more stubborn clogs

A hand plunger may be necessary for a sink or toilet that has a large, stubborn obstruction. The suction action of the plunger can help to dislodge clogs so they can be washed away down the drain.

 

What to Do If Your Main Sewer Drain Is Clogged

Don’t run the water or flush the toilet! If you don’t add water to your drain system, you can’t make the problem worse (that is, if the clog is in your line and not the city’s main; see below). As an added precaution, you can shut off the main water supply to the house so that no one runs the water by accident. Tell everyone in the house not to use water, then call a plumber or drain specialist to have the drain cleared. These professionals have special equipment, including motorized augers, to quickly and effectively remove large clogs in the main sewer drains.

 

The Most Common Methods to unblock a Toilet

If the toilet bowl is not overflowing, you can use a drain-opening chemical to soften or break down the materials that are causing the blockage. Pour the chemical into the toilet bowl and leave it for about 15 minutes. This should loosen up the blockage. The water level should go down at this point which indicates that the blockage is moving and the toilet may eventually drain on its own. When the water level is low, flush it once to finally clear out the blockage.

Use the Toilet Plunger

The plunger you use must have a fold out rubber cup that is definitely designed for the opening of a toilet trap.

Thrust the plunger into the opening then pull it back without the cup leaving the opening. Use an even force when thrusting and pulling back the plunger to have a solid close on the opening. Repeat it several times until you see the water go down to a low level.

Finally, flush the bowl once. If the water is still slow in going down, repeat the plunging process again.

If the problem still persists, do the next option which is the toilet auger and it is shaped like the letter “J” with a cable and a handle. Fully expose the tip of the cable by pulling the handle all the way out.

Introduce the tip of the auger into the opening of the toilet trap. Gradually drive the handle forward through the opening and turn the auger at the same time.

When all you can see is just the handle pull out the whole length and repeat the process at least 3 times to ensure the blockage has been removed.

 

How to Unclog Your Toilet with a Plunger

Get your clogged toilet back up and running again the good old-fashioned way—with a plunger and some serious elbow grease. Here’s how to restore your toilet to working order in just six easy steps:

  1. If the toilet bowl is already filled to the brim, manually remove enough water to use the plunger without splashing or overflowing in the plunging process. We recommend using a small bowl or bucket to gently scoop out excess water to give your plunging process some space.
  2. Gently place the plunger in the toilet bowl, lowering it gradually and letting air from inside the plunger bubble out.
  3. Form a snug seal around the opening at the bottom of the toilet bowl. You’re now in position to push the clog out of the pipe.
  4. Begin to plunge firmly into the toilet with a straight, up-and-down motion. The plunger should force the existing water into the trapway of the toilet and into the pipes and push the blockage out. If the toilet is successfully plunged, you should see the water level in the toilet bowl diminish.
  5. Fill a large container with a gallon of water, and carefully pour it into the toilet bowl. The water level of the toilet bowl should go down, indicating that the blockage has been removed.
  6. If the water level does not drop, continue plunging and pouring water until the clog is dislodged.

Tips To Learn To Be Camera Operator

Film/​Television Camera Operator

Pay for film/television camera operators varies depending on experience and the type of production they are working on.

Entry requirements

There are no specific entry requirements to become a film/television camera operator. However, a relevant tertiary qualification in film, television or video production is useful.

Secondary education

There are no specific secondary education requirements to become a film or television camera operator. However, English, maths, media studies, digital technologies, drama and photography are useful.

Most camera operators are freelancers, and in a freelance world you live on the reputation of your last job. So you need to get on with the clients and production companies you work with

Physical requirements

Film/television camera operators need to have a good level of fitness as they stand for extended periods and carry heavy camera equipment. They also need to have good hearing and normal colour vision.

 

Camera operator jobs: What do they do? What do they get paid? How do I become one?

Camera operators play a vital role in filming TV, film and online productions and are in charge of – as you might have guessed – cameras. But what do camera operators do? What makes a camera operator stand out? How do you become a camera operator? What do camera operators get paid?

What do camera operators do? And who do camera operators work with?

Camera operators are responsible for operating a variety of technical equipment including mobile mounts and digital, electronic and film cameras. They work with the film’s director and director of photography to achieve the desired visual style of the production. Camera operators work in close collaboration with the camera department as well as occasionally engaging in dialogue with the actors.

When do camera operators start work?

Camera operators start working near the end of pre-production. While they sometimes have a hand in planning and preparing scenes, they are mostly responsible for making adjustments to the camera based on the elements affecting the shot after the director and DP block the scene.

Types of camera operators

There are a variety of camera operators who work across the world in countless capacities. Some capture music videos, others risk their lives in war-torn areas, some shoot sports and others work on movie sets.

Can I be a camera operator?

Camera operator certainly do a lot more than push buttons and it takes a lot of determination and resilience to become one. The job is physically demanding and usually takes place far from home, sometimes for weeks or months on end.

 

How to Hire a Camera Operator

A camera operator performs the most basic and essential function in any video production—making sure footage is captured. While a director is in charge of the creative vision of a production, the camera operator is the finely tuned instrument that gets the job done. Experts in angles, focus, motion, and lighting, camera operators know just how to carry out a director’s grand ideas and turn them into a reality. Hiring a quality freelance camera operator will make any simple production look professional and outstanding.

What to Look For

No matter what their credentials are, freelance camera operators will have a showreel to display their talent—education matters little compared with showing actual work. When you sit down to interview a potential freelance camera operator, you should be looking for a couple specific things in his or her showreel

Know What You Need

Since freelance camera operators essentially work to carry out someone else’s ideas, they won’t require much beforehand such as a script or a meeting with the cast members. If you want to have all your bases covered however, you’ll want to ask them if they have all their own equipment or if you will need to provide any. Part of this comes down to the types of shots you want them to capture. For instance, a good freelance camera operator should have his or her own camera and simple crane jibs.

How are the shots focused?

Almost the entirety of a freelance camera operator’s job consists of taking clear, focused shots. The creative direction of the reel isn’t really important here, whether it is good or bad. If the shots are focused well, telling the visual story that should be flowing naturally, chances are you’ve found a good freelance camera operator.

How does the camera track movement?

Capturing motion is another quality you should look for. If the movement does not stay properly framed throughout the shot, you may want to look for someone else.

 

How to become a Film and Television Camera Operator

Education & Training for a Film and Television Camera Operator

To become a film and television camera operator you usually have to complete a VET qualification. Applicants may be required to attend an interview and/or submit a folio of work. As subjects and prerequisites can vary between institutions, you should contact your chosen institution for further information. You can also become a film and television camera operator through a traineeship in Media. Entry requirements may vary, but employers generally require Year 10. Alternatively, you can become a film and television camera operator by completing a degree in creative arts, media, screen production, or film and television. To get into these courses you usually need to gain your Senior Secondary Certificate of Education with English. Applicants may be required to attend an interview and/or submit a folio of work. Institutions have different prerequisites and some have flexible entry requirements. Contact the institutions you are interested in for more information.

Working conditions for a Film and Television Camera Operator

Film and television camera operators work as part of a team and are often required to work long and irregular hours, including nights and weekends. They may need to travel to remote areas. Work can take place indoors and outdoors.

Employment Opportunities for a Film and Television Camera Operator

Camera operators may be employed by television broadcasters and film companies. The demand for camera operators depends on levels of investment in film and television production, as well as the introduction of new technology. Competition for entry-level positions is strong and people appointed have usually been employed in some other aspect of film and television production. Promotion to the level of camera operator depends on demonstrated skills and proficiency, as well as full knowledge of the various types of cameras used.

Specializations

A director of photography oversees the lighting and camera crew in the film production unit. They instruct camera operators on camera set-up, angles, distance and movement, then signal cues to start and stop filming. After each day’s filming, the director of photography checks the ‘rushes’ (the scenes shot that day) and decides whether re-filming is necessary.

Film and Television Camera Operator

Film and television camera operators set up, position and operate equipment in studios or on location to photograph or record people, events and scenes. Film camera operators use 16mm and 35mm film cameras or digital video for motion pictures, whereas television and video camera operators use cine-electronic television or digital video and video cameras for direct telecast and recording.

 

FILM CREW RULES FROM A VETERAN CAMERA OPERATOR

Get out before you get in.

Simply loving movies is not enough to sustain anyone for decades of long days, missed holidays, and unpredictable income. If any skill other than filmmaking comes easily to you go for that. It will probably be an easier life path than the film slog. If this is your only calling, welcome to the club.

Put the silver marker & Criterion DVD away.

A strong work ethic and set etiquette is extremely important when working around strangers and celebrities. Asking for photos or signatures on-set is distracting and unprofessional. Pro Tip: The sooner you can get comfortable acknowledging famous people as simply other human beings, the closer you are to really learning something interesting about them.

One of those Production Assistants will be your boss someday.

Treat all crew members with respect. People move quickly in the film industry:  today’s PA might be tomorrow’s Executive Producer. Bring Your A-game to every job because it’s habit forming and you never know who’s watching. Pro tip: use a printed call sheet on-set rather than using your distracting phone.  Even if you’re doing work and checking the call sheet on your phone, other people on set who see you staring down at the screen might think you’re texting. With a printed call sheet there’s no question that you’re focused.

Don’t dress like a pirate.

Working in an industry without a dress code is great, but it’s no excuse to look and act like a salty sailor. Inspire confidence in your employers with your appearance and communication. If you’re new, a clean shave (for the dudes) or neat hairdo (for the gals) and a collared shirt is a good start.  The idea here is that if something goes wrong on set and the Director or Producer is pissed off and looking around for someone to blame you want them to look at you and see a calm, cool, professional. Your clothes and appearance can make the difference.

Never back out of a shoot.

Freelancers naturally develop a mercenary instinct to follow the highest bidder.  But a key to long-term survival in film production is to value your relationships with good people more than a big paycheck. Never sign up for a shoot and then skip our in favor of a larger paycheck.  Doing that is the best way to make enemies and build a bad reputation. Pro Tip: Expect loyalty on both sides of the relationship. A boss who will fight for your rate is worth following.