bookmark_borderChoosing An Exotic Possums

Living with Possums – Making a possum box

Removing a possum from your roof

Steps to successfully and safely remove a possum from your roof;

Provide an alternative home for the possum by constructing a sturdy weatherproof possum –house

Where possible, get inside your roof and locate the nest. The nest, which has the scent of the possum, should be placed in the new possum house.

Securely fix the possum house to a tree in or near your yard. Place it at least 4 metres from the ground so the possum will be out of reach of domestic cats and dogs.

To encourage the possum to investigate its new home, put half an apple or banana in or near the possum house.

Trim any branches that over hang the roof to remove access to your roof

Place a light in the roof cavity and keep it switched on for three days and three nights. The combination of light and smell should drive the possum out of your roof and hopefully into the possum house you have provided.

Block off the access points to the roof with timber, chicken wire or both to prevent a possum returning.

If this does not deter the possum, you may need to have the possum trapped.

Possum traps

Possums are protected fauna in NSW and catching possums without a license is illegal in NSW. Contact and we will refer you to a licensed possum removalist. Please see a plan provided by Department of Environment and Conservation for making your own possum box

Marine ply at least 12mm in width is recommended for making possum boxes. Chipboard is not suitable as it disintegrates rapidly outdoors.

Drill four 5 – 7mm holes through the floor of the box near each corner to allow any water that might get in to drain out. Hinge the roof/lid to allow easy access.

Opossum Repellent Natural Home Remedy

When there are opossums on your property, you will want to take the necessary steps to get them off and keep them away. Repellents should theoretically accomplish both of these goals at the same time, discouraging new possums from entering your yard and encouraging the current ones to leave. Unfortunately for those who think repellents are a miracle cure, they are not always effective and are frequently a waste of time. That being said, they can sometimes work with a bit of knowledge.

Consider Safety And Environmental Impact

Before you get too far into considering a particular repellent to keep opossums off your property, you should consider whether it contains any chemicals. The vast majority of repellents sold commercially will contain some sort of chemical and there is no telling what it will. Aerosol repellents in particular tend to be rich in these harmful substances. When chemicals are part of the repellents, there are a few important risks to consider. What happens if your child or pet gets close to the repellent and accidentally ingests some? This would be easily possible if they touch the area sprayed with the repellent then put it in their mouth. You also need to think about the environmental impact as aerosols can harm the planet and any repellent containing chemicals can lead to these ingredients running off into the ground and water supply.

Things To Consider About Scents

You will notice that a large number of the repellents that claim to work for opossums are scents, whether in a spray, liquid, granules, or other format. Scents have a unique set of disadvantages that you need to consider. First of all, the smell will fade over time naturally so you need to reapply it every few weeks for as long as you want the possums to stay away. You will also need to reapply the scent after every single rainfall as it would be washed away. Don’t forget that opossums can also get used to smells over time, meaning that a repellent which was once effective may not remain that way.

Scents To Try

A quick online search will show you a long list of home remedies that theoretically work as possum repellents. One of the most commonly suggested is predator urine, which you can either buy in the store or even get from your pet dog. You may also see recipes that include ingredients like peppers. Looking at the options for sale will show you another long list of ingredients and scents that promise to produce results. The common theme, however, is that none of them actually do. In most cases, people who see success with these repellents were just lucky.

Ultrasonic Sounds

Another type of repellent that is commonly suggested but won’t likely produce results is an ultrasonic sound machine. These machines are designed to operate at a frequency that humans can’t hear but animals do. The idea is that the possums and other wildlife will find the sound annoying and leave your property. In reality, the animals typically ignore the sounds. In some cases, humans may even hear them, meaning you become an annoying neighbor. Considering these machines are costly and would theoretically need to be on 24/7, plugged in the whole time, they are a big waste of money.

Caring for possums

These guidelines are for the Top End subspecies of brushtail possum, as this is the species most likely to come into care. Rock ringtail possums should only be cared for by experienced carers. This information should be used as a guide only. You will need specific information to properly care for injured or orphaned wildlife.

There are two species of possum in the NT, the rock ringtail possum (Petropseudes dahli) and the common brushtail possum (Trichosurus vulpecula). Both species are nocturnal marsupial mammals.

Rock ringtail possum

The rock ringtail is found across the Top End. It lives in tight-knit family groups, where parents and the young from previous breeding care for the new young. These possums are found in rocky terrain with trees and foliage nearby. These animals rarely come into care. When they do, they should only be looked after by experienced carers.

Common brushtail possum

There are two subspecies of the common brushtail possum in the NT. The subspecies Trichosurus vulpecula vulpecula lives in isolated populations in the southern part of the Territory and is endangered in the NT. If you encounter this species, report it to Parks and Wildlife immediately.

Possums should be kept in a quiet, secure location away from family pets and excessive noise. This includes general household noise, traffic, domestic animals and construction.

Possums

For many Victorians, sharing your property with possums is a fact of life. The trees and gardens around our houses provide a modified woodland similar to their natural habitat. A possum in your roof or eating your flowers can be very frustrating, but people and possums can live together successfully.

Do not feed possums. Human food can be dangerous to possums and cause serious dietary imbalance. Possums eat the leaves, flowers and fruits of a wide variety of native and exotic trees and shrubs. The Common Brushtail Possum may also eat grass, fungi, bird’s eggs and baby birds.

The Common Brushtail Possum (Trichosurus vulpecula) is about the size of a cat. It has large pointed ears, grey fur and a bushy black tail. Brushtail possums have a single young born in autumn or spring. The baby spends around six months in the pouch, one to two months riding on its mother’s back until it is weaned and leaves the maternal den at 7–16 months old.

The Common Ringtail Possum (Pseudocheirus peregrinus) is much smaller than a brushtail, about half the size of a cat. Ringtail possums have round ears, a grey back with rusty sides and a curled tail with a white tip. They have one to three young, mostly twins, born during autumn or winter. Ringtail possums usually build a nest of twigs and leaves, called a drey, several metres above the ground. They rarely enter house roofs.

Possums living within buildings

Possums are protected under the Wildlife Act 1975. Possums must not be harmed in any way or kept without approval from DELWP. It is illegal to harass or interfere with possums.  However, common brushtail possums living within buildings, municipal parks and municipal gardens may be controlled.

Homeowner’s Guide to Possum Removal

Why Remove Possums?

Possums are gorgeous animals but if they’ve gotten into your roof, you’ll know how annoying they can be – thundering around making lots of noise and disturbing your sleep for one!  This isn’t just the only problem though.  Possums can cause significant amounts of damage to your home’s wiring and to the roof itself and these problems can end up costing big dollars to fix.

Removing Possums from Your Home

Possums are surprisingly crafty at getting into the roof of your home, so you or a professional will need to take a look around the roof and seal all of the obvious entry points.  The sealing will need to be done with suitably strong materials so that the possums don’t just get back in again in the future.  If you currently have possums, the professionals will install one way exits on the common possum access point – the possums will be able to get out of your roof but not back in!  Once all possums have left, the entry points are sealed.  In rare cases, where the possum just won’t leave itself, the professional may need to catch the possum inside your roof using a special possum cage.  The possum is then released onto your property (possums generally don’t survive relocation and it is illegal to move them from their home).

As well as doing all this, the possum removal professional will also check the ridge capping, the gables and the eaves, and seal these as necessary (such as through re-pointing).  They’ll also make sure there are no loose spots on your roof or any broken tiles that can give access.  Also, you may be surprised to learn that if you have possums in your roof, you may also have rats, so rat baiting is commonly done when the possums are removed.  Never bait for rats while possums are still present.

Provide an Alternative Shelter for the Possums

If you like possums but don’t like them in your roof, an easy way to stop them from going back into your roof again is by providing them with an alternative shelter.  A possum box is ideal for this and you can install it in a tree, or even on a pole.  While you can’t keep the possum as a pet, hopefully the possum will be attracted to your possum box and use it as a home

Who Removes Possums?

If you have possums in your home, you’ll need to call a possum removal company.  These are the best people to use as they will humanely move the possums from your roof and block up all the entry points so that they can’t get back in

bookmark_borderCould Your Metabolic Engine Rebuilding Need A Tune Up

How do you free up a seized engine?

What Is a Seized Engine? What Causes a Seized Engine?

Before you can learn how to fix a seized engine or if the repairs are worth it, you need to understand what does seized engine mean. Engines seize from mechanical failure.

Oil Problems

In most cases, this comes from a lack of oil. The oil may not be circulating properly or you may have no oil. When this happens, there is no internal lubrication, so the metal parts create friction as they rub against each other. In extreme cases, this can even lead to various bearings welding against other parts.

This type of problem can occur if you let your engine run out of oil or if you do not take care of oil changes regularly. It is also possible to experience a no oil seized engine due to sudden interior failures of the engine or issues with the engine oil pump. In addition to situations where no oil seized up engines, this can also happen due to low oil. It will have a similar cause.

Not Running Enough

It is also possible that your engine will seize when it has enough oil. In this case, it would be because you did not run the auto enough. That particular cause occurs when rust “freezes” the piston rings onto the cylinder walls. You can prevent that cause of a seized engine by running your car occasionally.

Hydrolocked Engines

You may also be dealing with a hydrolocked engine. This happens if water enters the combustion chamber of the engine. This makes the piston unable to make the top of the combustion stroke since the water does not compress in the same way that the air-fuel mixture is designed to.

If your engine is hydrolocked, it will likely stop working suddenly. If you get lucky and this happens at a lower speed, you may have minimal damage to the engine. However, if the RPMs are greater when it occurs, expect damaged pistons or bent connecting rods at the very least. Hydrolocked engines usually happen when water enters the engine via the air intake. That is most common if you accidentally drove through high water.

Vapor Locked Engines

Your engine may also be vapor locked. When this happens, the engine will not start due to an issue with the fuel system. This problem is more common in older vehicles that have low-pressure fuel systems. The gas in your fuel pump or fuel lines converts to gas from liquid, but this takes fuel from the engine, starving it. You can recognize a vapor lock by the engine sputtering and losing power before turning off and refusing to turn back on.

How to Free a Seized Engine

Engines rarely seize, but when they do, it is almost always due to a long period of nonoperation. When an engine seizes, one or more pistons have literally become stuck against the cylinder’s wall. Thankfully, just because an engine has seized does not necessarily mean that the entire engine must be rebuilt. The keys to freeing the engine are to reduce the air pressure within the engine’s cylinders and to reduce the amount of force necessary to break the piston free by disconnecting the components that the engine turns, such as the alternator and power steering pump.

Step 1

Remove all of the engine’s spark plugs with a socket wrench to alleviate the air pressure within the engine’s cylinders. First, pull each spark plug’s wire off the tip of the spark plug. Attach an appropriate-sized spark plug socket to a socket wrench; then remove each spark plug by turning the wrench in a counterclockwise direction.

Step 2

Remove the accessory belts from the alternator, power steering pump, and any other belt-driven accessory. Each accessory attaches to the front of the engine with one or more brackets. The brackets are in turn attached to the engine with retaining bolts. Loosen the retaining bolts on each accessory bracket with a wrench; then slide the accessory toward the engine to reduce the tension on the accessory’s belt. Slide the loose belt off the engine to remove it.

Step 3

Remove the valve covers from both cylinder heads by removing each valve cover’s retaining bolts located on the lip of each valve cover with a wrench; then pull the valve covers off the cylinder heads to access the rocker arms.

Step 4

Remove the rocker arms and pushrods to remove the amount of force necessary to turn the engine. Each rocker arm is held in place with a single nut located in the center of the rocker arm. Remove the nut for each rocker arm with a wrench, then pull the rocker arms off the cylinder heads. Removing the rocker arms will free the pushrods, which can simply be pulled out of the cylinder head.

Turn the crankshaft to free the seized engine. Since the engine’s pistons are attached to the crankshaft, turning the crankshaft will free the pistons. The engine’s crankshaft can be turned with the single bolt located in the center of the circular harmonic balancer, which is located on the bottom of the front of the engine. Attach the appropriate-sized deep socket to this single bolt; then apply steady force to the socket with a socket wrench. The bolt should be turned in a clockwise direction to avoid inadvertently loosening the crankshaft’s bolt before the crankshaft turns.

Two things you can’t have too much of in freeing a seized engine.

  • Patience
  • Penetrating oil.

Usually there is a nut or bolt on the crank end that can be used to try and turn the engine but the danger of breaking it off means a safer alternative is to use a lever on the ring gear through the starter motor aperture. The engine will need to be out of gear,resist the temptation to force things quickly by using a socket and a long breaker bar,if the bolt breaks off it will be an added complication to extract the remains. If the engine seems to have locked up remove the spark plug holes and squirt or pour some releasing fluid like Plus Gas or diesel fuel in the plug holes trying to get as much as possible on the cylinder walls. Leave the plugs out and try and move the engine. With some engine designs it is quite difficult to wet the bores but spoonfull of oil or fluid should be enough,it will have to be removed before the plugs are back in and serious attempts are made to start the engine.Hopefully it will get to the stage where it can be spun over on the starter with the plugs out which should eject the oil.Some people advocate the use of petrol and two stroke oil mixed or even petrol and ATF fluid.Thin oils like WD40 are really designed to chase off water,redex or thin penetrating oils can be used. Penetrating fluids will take a while to have any effect,dont expect an instant result..

If possible fill the radiator or the block if the engine is not in a vehicle with some hot water,this will expand the block slightly.Whilst waiting it might be an idea to remove the rocker covers and air filters etc if they are still in place to see if corrosion is present deep inside the engine.It’s possible the engine might now have some movement on the crankshaft ,if so try and turn it back and forth gradually building up to a full revolution,if not try again with the release fluid and hot water but if it resists any attempts to turn after a few more goes more work will be needed.

Understanding water damage

If the water is from an external source such as rain, and it came into the air cleaner via the butterfly stud on the air cleaner, chances are there is only a small quantity in only a few of the engine bores. You can only have so many intake valves open at one time, and the water would have only migrated into those cylinder bores. Therefore, you could only have two or three stuck pistons at the worst, not all of them. In such a case, the likelihood of freeing the engine is much better. On the other hand, if the engine had been flooded by rising flood waters, water could have entered via the exhaust system. To make matters worse, water may have also entered through the oil breather and is now (or was) present in the oil pan. Flood waters also have a large presence of silt, chemicals of unknown nature, and varying pH.

Flood water damage

The silt particles present in flood water could accumulate deep inside of the engine and hang on to the rough casting surfaces of all the internal workings. These particles are so small that when they are in solution they will infiltrate the oil clearance of a bearing. When the water dries, they will form a layer of dust within the bearing. The dust will wick up the oil from the surface and water vapor from the air will start to rust the steel surface over time. The dust may also have acids and alkalies (caustics) attached to it, and together with water vapor will etch the bearing and journal surfaces.

After a flood, newer, essential and operational vehicles take priority for being repaired, others will have to wait. Many flooded engines will just have to wait, sometimes until after the winter freeze-up, sometimes even longer. Internal damage and cracked blocks and heads are often the result of frozen water. Sometimes they will end up being junked for the cast iron. If these engines are gotten to before such damage occurs, it may be possible to salvage them intact.

How do I fix the engine that is seized?

Lots of good answers to this question have been provided, but the engine seized for a reason … usually either because the rings rusted to the cylinder bores or because the bearings have fused or become stuck to the crankshaft. Neither situation is good, and forcing it to turn isn’t likely to make it better.

Using methods like pouring ATF (Automatic Transmission Fluid) or Diesel Fuel or WD-40 into the cylinders and crankcase may enable you to rotate the crank eventually, but I’d never trust the engine for any long trip, and I’d even question it for around-the-town driving. But I’d concede that if it were the zombie apocalypse and you really needed a car to get away … and maybe had several days to let the fluid work its magic … that such a solution might work fine. Indeed, I’ve heard of several such stories from friends and relatives that suggests that it can work.

But in most such cases, the engine actually has fairly significant damage internally — or will once you force it to run.

bookmark_borderHome Remodeling Big Ideas For Underutilized Spaces

Doorless Showers Open a World of Possibilities

I’ll never forget my first experience with an open shower. On a French-class trip at the innocent age of 14, I arrived at my hotel tired, jet-lagged and longing for a good, hot soak. I pushed open the bathroom door and looked around, flummoxed. Where on earth was the bathtub? Then I glanced up and gaped: I was standing in the shower, which was just a handheld faucet and a grate in the floor — no tub, no door, no curtain, no threshold. The entire time I was there, I never mastered the art of soaping up and rinsing off without drenching the whole room.

It turns out, the French were onto something. Doorless showers have become a design darling in recent years. Not only do they create an open, expansive feel in a bathroom, but they also lend themselves well to universal design and aging in place. And while they’re a little more sophisticated now than my Parisian puzzler, they still require careful planning.

Add a Half-Wall to Protect Against Splashes

Ideally, an open shower requires at least a 6-foot buffer zone on every side to avoid flooding the rest of the bath with water. But a half-wall, such as the one that divides this shower from the vanity, can help to contain droplets.

Consider a Corner Location if Possible

Orient the shower in a corner that faces away from the other bathroom zones. Not only does this guard against spraying water, but it also preserves some measure of privacy (more on that in a minute).

Prepare to Combat Chills

There’s no getting around it — open showers can be drafty, especially in the winter months. Installing a heat lamp and radiant heat bathroom flooring can offset the shivers. Mount a heated towel rack nearby and you’ll be extra toasty as you dry off.

Designer Secrets to Work Into Your Kitchen

Before we get started, here’s a bonus piece of advice: I highly recommend you invest your dollars in the best cabinetry you can afford, and worry about the appliances later. In other words, don’t sacrifice the quality of your cabinets for new appliances if budget is an issue. Instead, delay purchasing your dream appliances. Why? Long after you’ve replaced your refrigerator and dishwasher, your cabinets will be standing, and they are the foundation for a beautiful kitchen. Now on to more details that make a difference.

Refrigerator Side Panel

Most kitchen remodels incorporate the refrigerator into the design by adding side panels that match the cabinetry for a built-in look. Standard countertops overhang base cabinet doors by half an inch. Be sure the depth of the refrigerator panel is slightly greater than the depth of the counter. Otherwise, the counter will jut past the panel instead of converging with it.

Tall Cabinets

In addition to increasing the depth of the refrigerator panel, also increase the depth of your tall cabinets as shown here. Consistency is the key to good design, therefore all counters should have the same reveal, or edge configuration.

Flush Countertop

Not all countertops overhang the doors by a half-inch. Some clients prefer their counters flush with the doors and drawers for a modern, streamlined appearance.

Pantry Pullouts

Pullout cabinets should be only 9, 12 or 15 inches wide, in my opinion. Why? By virtue of the pullout’s design, every time you need a can of soup, you experience the full weight of everything that’s stored there. A wider pantry pullout is simply too heavy.

Tips for Designing a Home That Sparks Creativity

They say the best ideas come to us in the shower. And architect and author says homeowners and design pros who really want to make the most of those bathing brainstorms should keep lighting in the bathroom minimal and install a waterproof notepad on the shower wall for capturing any inspiration that bubbles up mid-shampoo.

We recently spoke with the Connecticut-based Rattner about why the home has so much idea-generating potential — for professionals and hobbyists alike — and what he’s learned about how homeowners and design pros can tap into it.

Why Design for Creativity at Home?

Although there have been plenty of mainstream articles about the research done on design that boosts creative thinking and productivity in commercial office spaces, Rattner noticed that the studies on home features that do the same were mostly hidden away in academic journals. But the home, he found, is often more conducive to creativity, so incorporating choices that can spark innovation there can be an even smarter investment, particularly since more people are working from home.

Embrace Features That Keep You Unfocused

There’s truth to that shower adage, says, because the shower is a place where people allow their minds to wander⁠ —and keeping the shower dimly lit only amplifies that lack of structured focus.

It’s a place where we do a lot of mindless stuff, whether it’s taking a shower or dumping the garbage or doing the dishes or walking the dog,” says. “But it’s those kind of moments, where you’re not trying to solve a creative problem or do something creative, that we tend to get our best ideas.”

How Much Does It Cost to Hire a General Contractor?

A good general contractor can bring a lot of value to a home renovation or building project. These professionals help their clients set a realistic budget, keep a project on schedule and manage construction so the homeowners don’t have to. How much does it cost to hire a general contractor?

General contractor fees vary depending on the scope of the work to be done and the way the contractor structures his or her fees, as well as on the going rate for services in the region. To get a good range

What Do General Contractors Do?

Provide realistic cost estimates. One of the most important services a contractor can provide is nailing down a realistic cost to build or remodel a home — before construction starts. There are two ways to get this all-important cost estimate from a contractor.

Traditionally, clients either purchased house plans or worked with an architect to develop them. Then the homeowner sent the plans to multiple contractors for competitive bidding. The contractors bid — estimated the cost of building — the project without charging the client for their time. Many contractors still work this way today.

However, plenty of excellent general contractors don’t participate in competitive bidding or offer free estimates. “Over the years we have discovered it’s really not worth our time to throw bids out there all the time,” says, owner of Construction.

Alternatives to Plain Wood Flooring in the Kitchen

Wood flooring laid in a straight pattern can be a beautiful option for a kitchen and continues to be popular in photos we see uploaded. But what if you want a kitchen floor that’s a bit more distinctive?

Herringbone Medley

This kitchen by Studio marries black porcelain tile with solid oak pieces in a herringbone pattern, interspersing the two materials along the transition. It’s a nice effect that softens the divide between flooring while providing an artistic surprise. The white lines on the floor are veins within the black tiles, which are designed to echo the look of Nero Marquina marble.

Graphic Green to Organic Wood

The flooring in this kitchen by Architecture shows a similarly blended border, with cuts of wood edging into the green tile floor at the transition to the dining area. The green tiles with white lines look a bit like palm leaves and complement the natural look of the wood floors.

Inlaid Brick

This rustic yet sophisticated kitchen floor in a townhouse in, remodeled by Think Construction consists of bricks laid in a herringbone pattern. The material has an indoor-outdoor feel that works well as a transition from the walk-out patio beyond the kitchen.

Midcentury Mod

In this reboot of a midcentury kitchen, remodelers placed square white cement tiles with gray edging in a strategic grid. The result is a formation of gray rectangles placed evenly and at perpendicular angles.

bookmark_borderHow To Build A Solar Hot Water Heater

HOT WATER OPTIONS

Hot water for less

To get the most heat from the least amount of non-renewable energy, go for solar water heating. The next most efficient water heating option is probably a heat pump hot water system, followed by wetback water heaters and instant gas.

Saving hot water

There are several easy ways to cut down on your use of hot water without sacrificing your lifestyle:

Fit water-efficient showerheads.

Fit water-efficient taps. Consider having your hot and cold taps separate. It’s more common to have a mixer these days – make sure the handle is left in the cold position so  it doesn’t draw hot water unless you need it.

Use cold water for washing clothes, rinsing, filling the jug etc.

Turn off the water heater when you go on holiday.

Have showers instead of baths and keep your showers relatively short.

Choose water-efficient household appliances.

Fix leaks and drips.

Don’t run the hot tap unless you need hot water

Water heating options

Solar water heating can provide a large contribution using free energy (the sun) and greatly reduce your reliance on reticulated energy sources. Depending on usage patterns and household size, the next most efficient water heating option is probably a heat pump hot water system.

Solar water heating

Solar hot water heaters use the sun’s free, unlimited energy. A well-installed system should be able to deliver up to 75 percent of hot water heating over the year, in most parts of the country

However, the concept of solar hot water heating has a few challenges:

the high initial cost compared with other water-heating options

difficulty in ensuring the system’s designed and installed correctly

difficulty in telling whether the system is working properly due to the non-user friendly interfaces

needs annual maintenance.

What to Do with an Old Water Heater

Have you recently changed or are about to change your water heater? Once your shiny new toy is giving you nice hot water, what do you do with the cast-off? Here are some ideas.

Firstly, whoever is fitting your new heater may be able to dispose of the old one for you. It could be that you want to dismantle it and scrap it yourself or take it for recycling. Alternatively, you might want to repurpose it so you can carry on using it for something else.

Cut the Power Supply

First things first! Disconnect the gas or electricity that has been powering your water heater.

Gas Water Heater

On a gas-powered water heater, there will be a shut off valve located on the supply pipe. Follow the supply pipe along its length until you find a lever. This will usually be level with the pipe when on; turn it through 90 degrees to shut off the supply.

Electric Water Heater

For an electric water heater, you’ll need to find your main electric service panel. This is generally located on a wall in your garage, basement, or the outside of your home. If you know which fuse or breaker switch supplies the power to your home then either remove that fuse or switch that breaker to off. If you are unsure or can’t find the right one then use the main lever which will be at the side or top of the box. This will cut the power to your whole house.

Drain the Tank

The next step is to turn off the water supply and drain the water from your heater. The water supply comes from a cold water inlet located near the top of the tank. Again, follow the pipe until you find the lever or knob to shut off the water.

Homebuyers feel duped by hot water tank rentals included in their new homes

She’s now living with a rental contract with Enercare that lasts for the “useful life” of the appliance (an average of 14 years), paying $56.43 per month for the water heater. She can get out of it if she buys the equipment outright at $3,600 — three times the cost of lower-efficiency models offered in some stores, but less than she’d pay for the same model she currently has in her home.

Buyer seeks documentation

But the law fails to address the issue at hand for buyers of new builds. She asked her builder for documentation about her contract, but she got a response saying that they didn’t have any. Her home purchase agreement does state that a buyer executes a lease/rental agreement for the hot water tank, but her lawyer argues it doesn’t confirm that she is taking it for up to 18 years.

says that in their agreements with home builders, “the home builder is required to provide all the necessary rental details to the purchaser and agrees to do so as part of their legal obligations under their agreement with Enercare

“A homeowner is not required to rent their equipment and can purchase it outright from the builder or otherwise negotiate with the builder.” On — who had rental contracts for his hot water tank, air handler and air conditioning unit — was quoted $5,000 for each unit if he were to buy them outright. “I did the math. It just wasn’t adding up,” he says.

Landlord chooses to rent the equipment

frustration with started in November when her tenants couldn’t get hot water due to a broken part of the hot water tank. “I was so angry,”

Water Heater Repair Services

Hot water is essential to your home or business. It’s something we take for granted until we don’t have it. There are a few reasons that can cause you to have no hot water and they all involve your water heater.

TYPES OF WATER HEATERS WE REPAIR:

Standard Tank Water Heaters

Tankless Water Heaters

Commercial Water Heaters

Unfortunately, because many water heaters are gas or electric you usually need to call an experienced plumber to help find and repair your water heater problem. When you have a problem with your water heater you need help fast.

has many experienced technicians available to repair all types of water heaters. Whatever your water heater problem, you can turn to for fast reliable service to your water heater problem anytime, day or night. Because know that hot water problems happen when you least expect them plumbers are available

Standard Water Heaters

can replace all types of tank water heaters. Many times water heaters fail when you’re least prepared. experienced plumbers can replace water heaters same day for emergency situations.

Will a Tankless Water Heater Really Never Run out of Hot Water?

are big proponents of new technology. The newest advances for storage tank water heaters have made them more energy-efficient than ever before. But often recommend homeowners try a different type of water heater technology to take advantage of new methods for heating up water, such as a heat pump water heater, which uses heat from the air to warm up the water.

especially excited about the tankless water heater. Although the tankless water heater isn’t exactly “new” (the first versions were invented in the late 1900s), the technology that has made them useful and affordable options for households is a recent development. When people hear about the benefits of these water heaters, they’re often excited about their possibilities.

Is This Really True? Will I Never Run out of Hot Water?

Answering this requires some explanation about how a tankless system works compared to a storage tank system. A storage tank system does exactly what it says: it stores water kept at a high temperature so it’s ready for use. But this means the supply in the tank can be depleted, and it can take a while for the natural gas burners or electric heating elements to replenish the heated water supply. People can end up with cold showers until that happens.

With a tankless system, there isn’t a supply of hot water that can be depleted. Instead, the water heater heats up water as there is a demand for it. If you turn on the shower for hot water, the tankless system will detect the movement of water in the hot water lines and start to apply heat through a heat exchanger to the water. It will keep doing this as long as there is demand—and that means you won’t run out of hot water!

But … yes, there’s a downside to this. Although a tankless system can’t run out of hot water, it can be overwhelmed with demand. A single tap won’t do this: run that single shower all you want, you’ll keep getting hot water. (But please don’t do this! Save water, save energy!) If more than one tap is on-demand hot water at the same time, however, such as other showers or a running washing machine, the water heater will struggle to keep up and drain extra power.

bookmark_borderTips From A Pro Camera Operator

Utilizing One Camera Versus Multiple Cameras in Your Video Production

When shooting a new video project, one of the first decisions made is whether it will be multi-cam or single cam. Both strategies have their benefits depending on situation and context: multi-cam offers the freedom to switch between multiple points of view in a single setting, while single cam creates a more cinematic feel. By identifying your needs and your desired end product, you should be able to determine whether multi-cam or single cam is right for your project.

Multi-Cam Shooting: Fast, Affordable and Simple

Multi-cam shooting is often used for event coverage, interviews and other live events. In a multi-cam setup, two or more cameras are placed throughout a set. In the case of an event, cameras may even be in separate rooms. The end result is that the video can switch between these different perspectives throughout the process of recording. In an interview, a multi-cam setup may be used to switch the focus between speakers. In event coverage, a multi-cam setup may be used to switch between different perspectives of the same event

Shooting with multiple cameras is usually less expensive than shooting on a single camera. The shooting can be done quickly because the cameras do not need to be moved or positioned throughout recording, and it eliminates the need for multiple takes to capture a scene from a different angle. However, shooting with multiple cameras can also be seen as restrictive, because the set needs to be positioned and created to accommodate them. As an example, one might look towards sitcoms which have a multi-cam setup. Commonly, an apartment or house is only viewed from a specific angle. It can only be viewed from that angle because there is no wall there — just a camera.

Multi-cam shooting lends itself particularly well to live event coverage. A good example of a multi-cam shooting would be at a sports event. It would be prohibitively difficult to shoot a live event with a single camera, as it would be impossible to know when a recordable event was occurring. With a multi-cam setup, the entirety of a live event is recorded and the data can then be worked through in post-production.

Single Cam Shooting: Cinematic, Controlled and Clean

Single cam shooting is most often used for commercials, promotional videos, training lessons and other similar media. When a person thinks of a movie rather than a television sitcom, they are usually comparing single cam with multi-cam. In a single cam setup, one (or occasionally two) cameras are positioned for each scene, but they are not installed permanently within the environment. Single cameras often move during shooting, with the use of dollies and tracking devices, and provide a more cinematic feel to the resulting video. Movies, dramatic television shows, commercials and music videos almost always use single camera shooting rather than multi-cam shooting.

FILM GLOSSARY

AERIAL SHOT: An exterior shot taken from a plane, crane, helicopter or any other very high position. Also referred to as a BIRD’S-EYE VIEW

ANIMATION: A form of filmmaking which consists of photographing individual drawings (cels) or inanimate objects (such as puppets or clay figures) FRAME by frame, with each frame differing slightly from the one before. When the images are projected at 24 frames per second, they appear to move (or are animated)

ASPECT RATIO: The ratio of the projected image’s width to its height. The standard for Hollywood theatrical releases is 1.65:1. Shapes may vary, from the television standard, a nearly square ratio of 1.33:1 to a very long rectangle. In the l95Os, Hollywood attempted to attract new audiences by developing various kinds of widescreen systems, such as CinemaScope and Cinerama, which average 2.35:1. The European ratio is 1.66:1.

ASYNCHRONISM: A disparity between what is seen and what is heard. At its extreme, asynchronous sound is contrapuntal; that is, the sound contrasts with the image. For example, you see a train arriving while you hear a bird chirping. Contrapuntal or asynchronous sound was supported by Sergei Eisenstein as part of his larger theory of dialectical montage.

AXIS OF ACTION: In CONTINUITY EDITING, the imaginary line that passes from side to side through the main actors, defining the spatial relations of the scene. The camera is not supposed to cross the axis at a cut and reverse the spatial relations. Ensures constant screen space and constant screen direction. A term used in film production more than as a term in film analysis.

CAMERA MOVEMENTS:

CRANE SHOT: A HIGH ANGLE, moving shot photographed from a crane (a mechanical arm which carries both camera and camera operators).

DOLLY, TRUCKING, OR TRACKING SHOT: A shot taken from a moving dolly (a platform on a set of wheels). when the camera moves towards the subject, it is a “dolly in.0 when it moves away from the subject, it is a “dolly back” or a “dolly out.0 With the use of Steadicams and other mobile cameras, a moving camera may not be mounted on a dolly in order to achieve the same smooth effect. one of the early effective uses of the Steadicam is in Stanley Kubrick’s The Shining, where the camera follows characters through the maze of the hotel.

PAN: A shot taken when the camera stays in one place (on a tripod, for example) but rotates or swivels horizontally. compare DOLLY SHOT, in which the camera moves bodily from one place to another.

SWISH PAN: A rapid pan that results in a blurred image. It usually begins and ends at rest.

TILT: A shot taken when the camera stays in one place (on a tripod, for example) but rotates or swivels vertically.

Who owns the footage?

I’ve been acting in a collaborative TV Pilot in which everyone gave their time and talent for no pay. Now the writer has had a major falling out with the producers and is telling them thay can’t use any of the footage shot. There were no contracts signed between any parties, and the producers made it very clear they are a start-up, so don’t have any money. Can the writer derail the whole thing in this way?

The footage itself belongs to the producers, the right to the content of the footage will be harder to determine. It’s a pilot, won’t be exhibited, and if the writer is no longer on board the series can’t be commissioned on his work anyway. Can you resolve the dispute with the writer ? If not, learn from it and get agreements in place next time. The legal ins and outs are largely moot if you haven’t got money to sue/defend over a pilot, get a new writer, there are many.

The actual tapes belong to who paid for them – which I presume is the production company. There is a myth amongst cameramen that they by default they hold the copyright to the footage they shoot, which is mostly untrue. By default, copyright is vested in the director and producer and they need to assign or licence that copyright for the footage to be useable.

If the the footage is based on a piece of writing then there is an underlying copyright in the screenplay. Without a release, I’m afraid what’s been shot is not useable in a commercial way (and probably in non-commercial ways too) without the writer signing a contract

The Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988 does indeed attribute default copyright for the finished film (as a single entity) but that does not confer Copryright ownership of the component parts.

TIPS FOR VIDEO TECHNICAL DIRECTING IN A LIVE CHURCH PRODUCTION

I do a lot of technical directing in my church’s productions. I also have the privilege of teaching newer directors the basics of directing. I figured I would share the main tips that I teach all my new new directors. This article is great for new directors, and also good for experienced directors who just like to read random people’s rambling articles.

tips for Video Technical Directing in a live church production

When working in a live church production, there are many roles required to pull everything off. One of the most important roles in the video department is that of the technical director. The technical director is the person calling shots and putting up the camera feeds on the big screen. They’re kind of a big deal, so it’s very important that the director is trained and always on-point with the flow of the service.

The point of a live video production is to convey the worship atmosphere to anyone watching the video. The viewer needs to feel like they are part of the live congregation and get a similar worship experience. So, how do you, the director, accomplish that?

Always be thinking ahead.

It is your job to know what is happening before it happens.

This is one of the most important and obvious things that a director needs to know. As the director, it is your job to know what is happening before it happens. If there is a solo coming up, you need to have a camera ready on the soloist BEFORE they start the solo. If someone is about to speak from stage-left, get a camera on them BEFORE they start speaking. You need to always be one step ahead and think about where your cameras need to be to capture the moment.

Be specific.

What does this mean? Here is an example: you’re directing and you see a guitar solo coming up after this chorus, and you know you need a guitar shot. Most new directors just naturally say, “Somebody get the guitar.” Then, every camera gets the same guitar shot. Now, all of your cameras are redundant and not usable.

LIGHTING ASSISTANT

AN OVERVIEW OF THE ELECTRICAL DEPARTMENT

The Electrical Department provides the lighting for any production that wants to use more than natural available light. The department works closely with the Director of Photography in order to fulfil his/her creative vision for the production’s lighting. The electrical department also works closely with lighting companies, who usually supply equipment for commercials, film and TV productions. The Electrical department safely rig and set lighting in line with the Director of Photography’s plan and then de-rig the equipment before returning it to the lighting company.

Head of the Electrical Department is the Gaffer. The Director of Photography (DOP) or Camera Operator (on small scale productions) head up the Camera Department. The DOP is in charge of the overall look of the production. The Gaffer (also know as Lighting Director) is responsible for designing and executing the lighting plan. They will provide the power needed for for the lights, and work with the Grip to shape the light.

Once a DOP has chosen their prefered Gaffer, he/she will come on board in preproduction and attend prep and production meetings. Sometimes the grip and electric departments will be given a couple of days or even weeks of prep for a project. This time is needed to do several things that will make life easier while on the project. On a high end TV drama production – this time is used to read the script, watch any look references supplied by the DOP, discuss the lighting approach, equipment needed and schedule.

The Gaffer will work on equipment lists which are analysed by the Production Manager/Co-ordinator who try to make everything on the list a reality by liaising with lighting companies to get the best deal on the kit list. If the shoot involves a lot of lighting, the kit will include a generator (genny) and a large truck to transport everything to the shoot location. Any electrician tasked with driving a truck or genny needs to have a HGV licence – and liaise with the Location Manager in advance of travel in case they need to check the weight-bearing capacity of any bridges on route.

The fully assembled Electrical Department are present through principal photography and they use a range of equipment, a lot of which is rather cumbersome and bulky. Lighting equipment may include HMI, Tungsten, Fluorescent, and a menagerie of stands, scaffolding and accessories to support these different lighting options. High budget Dramas sometimes require lighting balloons (large inflatable lights which shed a soft overall light – great for ballroom and courtroom scenes). The team may be required to build a ‘tent’ around a doorway using scaffolding and blackout drapes – if you’re shooting a night scene during the day. 

bookmark_borderRepresenting Yourself In Family Law Attorney

Family law area of practice

Family law is one of the more challenging specialities, insofar as it involves counselling people through particularly difficult periods of their lives. As a family law practitioner, you’ll help your clients navigate divorces, property settlement, post-separation parenting arrangements, financial agreements (“pre-nups”), child support disputes and agreements. To a lesser extent, you may also deal with family matters involving State based issues including adoption applications and surrogacy agreements. While some lawyers specialise in one of these processes, many instead maintain a ‘general practice’, advising their clients on a range of issues.

Personality is perhaps more importance for success in family law than in other legal specialities. This is because, as a family lawyer, you’ll frequently meet with clients who are emotionally distressed or dealing with very challenging circumstances (such as the breakdown of a relationship and family situations involving family violence and abuse )

Whether or not this is an advantage or disadvantage depends largely on your disposition. For patient, compassionate and people-oriented graduates, this aspect of family law can be hugely rewarding – you’re in a position to make a real difference in your client’s life. Others may find the interpersonal aspects of family law to be draining or unpleasant.

Graduate experience

Graduates who move into family law will quickly find themselves taking responsibility for various tasks, from attending clients meetings and taking notes to preparing briefs and supporting more experienced practitioners during their court appearances. You will also find yourself drafting many diffierent documents, including correspondence, court applications and settlement documents. As noted above, the beginning of your career in family law may involve you developing the ability to remain relatively neutral when faced with emotionally charged situations.

What are my career prospects in family law?

The flow of cases in family law is fairly independent of economic fluctuations. If anything, notes the Australian Institute of Family Studies, the 2008 recession is likely to have generated more work for family lawyers, having increased “uncertainty and fear about the future”, with the “economic and psychological impacts of [rising] unemployment placing relationships under strain”.

DIVORCE LAWYERS

You thought Your Marriage was ‘Okay’.

Sure, you and your wife had problems. Just like any other married couple.  But you had spent years building a life together. You were committed to continue being a good husband and working through any issues.  Sadly, your wife just didn’t feel the same way. You were sitting at your desk at work and, suddenly, a man hands you a stack of papers that changes your life in a instant.

Your Wife has Just Served You with Divorce Papers…

Divorce is emotionally challenging for all men. Unfortunately, some men experience so much guilt and despair about divorce that they give into every demand made by their wives or her attorney, no matter how ridiculous. If your wife filed first for divorce, it means she has been preparing to do it for a while and has a clear plan of what she wants to take with her from your marriage. While you may feel shell shocked, this is no time to surrender.

Even though Your Wife Filed First, it Doesn’t Mean You Lose Your Rights

At Divorce Lawyers, we’re dedicated to helping men just like you. Good fathers and husbands blindsided by wives ready to end years of marriage and take whatever they can get

Divorce cases are not decided by who files first. Still, the person who files first does gain a few advantages. It is important that you understand that by filing first, your wife has started a series of deadlines that you must meet. She has started out prepared with a plan. Now you need to play a little catch up.

Your Wife Already Has a Lawyer

While you may have had no idea you were getting a divorce until you were served, your wife has likely been planning this for a long time. This probably means she has had a divorce lawyer for a while now. Her attorney’s legal team has carefully prepared her Petition as well as other motions and court filings. She has had time to evaluate your assets and work out what she wants to keep once you are gone. You just got dropped into a plan she has been crafting for a long time.

Family Legal Issues

Adoption is the creation of a new, permanent relationship between an adoptive parent and child. Once this happens, there is no legal difference between a child who is adopted and a child who is born into a family.

These programs can help you learn more about adoption and foster parenting:

Child Welfare Information Gateway – offers the National Foster Care and Adoption Directory, where you can find resources by state, as well as information about foster care, including kinship care and residential and group care

International Adoption – information for U.S. citizens adopting children from abroad, and families in other countries adopting U.S. children. Learn about intercountry adoption service providers.

Adoption Resources from MedlinePlus – find links to adoption and foster care resources from a medical perspective to help you, your foster or adopted child, and your other children adapt to change

You may be able to get identifying or non-identifying information about your adoption. What information you can obtain will depend on state statutes. Some states have age restrictions or require court proceedings to get information about an adoptee’s birth.

In some states, you may be able to access identifying information through a mutual consent registry. Using these registries, all involved in an adoption can declare what information may be disclosed. Some states may require the consent of both the birth parents and adoptive parents for the release of records. However, the release of information varies by state.

SECRETS YOUR DIVORCE LAWYER WON’T TELL YOU

If you’re facing a divorce, your expectations have probably been shaped by the experiences of your family and friends, and maybe what you’ve seen on TV and in the movies. The best way to know what to expect from a divorce comes from an objective party who has seen not just one or two divorces, but hundreds: your divorce attorney

You Might Not Get Your Day in Court…

A divorce is a lawsuit, and we usually think of lawsuits as ending in a trial. However, many, if not most lawsuits end in a settlement. This is especially true of divorce, where upwards of 90% of cases settle—and some reports place that figure in the 95-97% range.

…And You Probably Don’t Want To.

Sometimes a trial in a divorce case is necessary, like if one party refuses to come to the table and negotiate or is hiding assets. Most of the time, the couple can do a better job (with their attorneys’ help) of figuring out custody, support, alimony, and property division terms that would work for them than a judge can. Think about it: you know your family, your kids’ needs, your finances, your schedules. Even the best-informed judge can understand only a fraction of what you do about your family.

Your Divorce Lawyer Might Not Have Much Trial Experience.

If most divorces don’t go to trial, that means many divorce attorneys don’t have a lot of trial experience. Why does that matter if your case is likely to settle anyway? Because when you settle, you want it to be because you’ve reached a good agreement—not because your attorney wants to avoid a trial he or she isn’t confident in handling.

You Have More Control Over Your Legal Bill Than You Think…

Yes, attorney fees can be costly, and add up quickly. But your attorney may not tell you what you can do to keep them down unless you ask. You should ask, because there are some simple things you can do to reduce your attorney’s workload, and more importantly, save yourself some money.

Divorce Advice (And It Won’t Cost You a Thing)

Divorce can be costly, as most people know, with each side expected to spend, on average, $15,500, during the process, according to Nolo, a publisher of legal books and software. Many spouses spend a whole lot more.

But he and other family lawyers say there are ways to keep costs down, and maybe minimize your heartache, too. Here is some of their advice — right now free of charge.

Choose the right course.

Opting for arbitration, collaboration or mediation may help you avoid the costs of a lengthy court battle, but each of these paths has its pros and cons. A lawyer can point you in the right direction, but be sure you agree on the path.

law firm, often advocates mediation, where a neutral third party helps a couple work through issues and come to a resolution. (In arbitration, a third party arbitrator makes the final decision.)

She once mediated a case for two years before it came to a halt and ultimately ended up in court. Your lawyer has to be ready to change tack, she said, if things go south.

bookmark_borderPros And Cons Of Taking Home Renovation

OUR HOME RENOVATION!

Never in a million years did I think I’d be writing the words “home renovation.” I still can’t believe we own a house, let alone one that we renovated

started casually looking for houses around a year ago. We rented our first apartment together last July and I definitely was itching to have something of our own. We had chosen a less expensive and desirable apartment in order to save for a bigger move. I knew what I wanted more than anything a kitchen that made me excited to cook. I wanted to absolutely LOVE where we lived.

I had no intention of doing work on whatever house we found. No one in our families has experience with renovations. It’s actually kind of funny how not handy we are. Luckily I had some contractor connections from Alchemy and friends who’ve renovated before.

We basically got our house off the market, meaning we got a good deal in a market that’s been pretty insane. We were really lucky to have a friend that lived next door to the house we ended up buying who knew we were looking. The universe was working its magic!

We looked at a lot of homes that were redone, in more prime locations, and considerably more expensive. Looking back, I’m really glad we didn’t go with a more updated house. This home feels so us. We’ve really put our hearts and souls into it. And by no means has it been easy! Renovating a home is frustrating, expensive, complicated, and insanely unpredictable.

Destination Home Renovation: Important Things to Keep in Mind While Project Planning

Are you one of more than half – 53% – of American homeowners who agree that now is a good time to renovate a home? Over 60% of homeowners are prepared to spend more on home remodeling projects this year, in 2015, than those who made home improvements in 2014. In fact, the entire home design and renovation industry have experienced significant growth in recent years as more and more homeowners are choosing to improve rather than move.

Now that spring has arrived, it’s the perfect time to begin fleshing out your spring or summer home renovation and design projects. There’s no need to tear down and remodel your entire home if you’re looking to add value to your property. In fact, whole home renovation isn’t necessary in order to receive a worthwhile return on investment (ROI). Even minor kitchen remodeling projects can have an ROI of up to 73%.

Therefore, while planning your home remodeling project, it’s important to keep your end goal in mind. Are you renovating in order to sell, or do you plan on staying put? This may help you determine the exact nature of your home remodel. For example, if you’re renovating in order to sell, it’s best to stick to neutral color schemes and include amenities and features that are highly sought after, such as wooden decks.

While properly budgeting for and planning your home remodeling process is important, it’s equally if not more important to determine exactly what kind of home improvement professional is right for the job. For example, unique home renovations may require the expertise and skill of the best architects in your area, whereas a general contractor could be able to complete a simple kitchen renovation with ease.

There are a number of online forums and websites for architects in your area that may be helpful in determining who may be best for your specific project. When reviewing websites for architects and contractors in your area, pay close attention to the services offered as well as any client testimonials. This information can help you to better understand how the architect or contractor operates prior to meeting for a consultation.

Ways to Save Money on a Home Renovation

Are you in the process of renovating your home? Often, major upgrades can get quite expensive if you aren’t paying attention, so if you’re on a tight budget, consider focusing on saving money while renovating.

For example, if you plan to upgrade your kitchen, it may be better to purchase low-cost materials and cabinets. You can find quality affordable kitchen cabinets online for a fraction of what you’d pay in most traditional retail stores.

powerful ways to save money during a home renovation:

1. Set a Budget and Stick to It

One of the biggest mistakes homeowners make when renovating their property is failing to set a budget. By not having one in place before you begin work, you’ll often end up spending more than you originally intended. Be sure to take time to figure out how much you can afford and create a budget for your renovation project.

2. Make Every Effort to Save on Material Costs

Another area where homeowners get in trouble is that they spend way too much on material costs. For example, you can buy recycled or reused building materials, which will help cut down on your costs. Even better, some of these reused materials are in excellent condition, so you’ll get a good bargain on more high-end items.

You can also check Craigslist, eBay or Freecycle to find free or cheap materials online. Many people are often literally giving this stuff away on these sites, so take advantage while you can.

3. Find Good Deals on Essential Pieces

No one said you had to pay top dollar for the most essential pieces for your home renovation. Instead of spending a small fortune for new granite countertops, you can wait a little while for the materials to go on sale. The same holds true with kitchen island installations, brand-new windows and just about anything else that needs replacing during the home renovation process.

4. Pay Cash for Materials and Contractor Expenses

This tried-and-true idea works wonders when attempting to cut down on renovation expenses. You’ll be able to save a significant amount by offering to pay cash for your materials and contractor fees for a couple of reasons. First, by paying cash instead of using credit, you can avoid the possibility of paying hefty interest charges. Second, sometimes contractors will give their customers a price break when you offer to pay cash for their services.

5. Don’t Rush the Renovation Process

Sometimes people are eager to finish their home renovations. This can turn out to be a major mistake if you aren’t patient. Instead of using your credit to pay for your expenses, wait and save up. Additionally, you might end up spending top dollar for materials or contractor fees when you could’ve paid much less if you were willing to wait a little while longer.

6. Perform DIY Renovations When You Possess the Skills to Get the Job Done

Some repairs and renovations are going to be out of your league. However, many folks will have no problem handling some DIY projects on their own. Instead of paying somebody to complete easy to moderate repairs or demolition, you can take the bull by the horns and perform these activities yourself.

7. Reuse Materials Whenever Possible

Instead of letting certain materials go to waste, feel free to reuse them whenever you can get away with it. This is a great way to save money without going over your budget or breaking the bank. For example, you may be able to reuse some of your cabinetry and appliances without replacing them.

8. Avoid Making Big Purchases Until the Items Go on Sale

If you’re renovating your kitchen and putting in brand-new appliances, you should always wait for them to go on sale. Of course, this only works if you aren’t under any time constraints, but instead of buying an appliance on a typical Wednesday, you could wait until a big Fourth of July sale is happening. You’ll save a lot of money this way, so take advantage of these excellent opportunities.

9. Shop Around When Hiring Help for Home Renovations

You obviously want your home renovations to look amazing; however, that doesn’t mean you have to pay top dollar for the most expensive contractors in your area. You can shop around and get multiple bids from as many contractors as you see fit. This will help you find a top-notch and inexpensive contractor that meets your needs.

10. Sell Any Working Appliances That You Intend to Replace

Do you own a refrigerator that’s in good working order? How about a well-used stove that’s still in good condition? Instead of throwing these valuable items away when you replace them, you could list them on Craigslist, eBay or the Facebook Marketplace. You never know what someone may want to purchase. Selling your old, but working, appliances could help you recoup some of your renovation expenses and lower your costs at the same time.

tell-tale signs that your house needs renovation

There is one thing that separates a responsible homeowner from someone who is not —  the love for the house. As you spend years living in your home, you will develop deep connections with it, so much that how you take care of your house reflects what you see in yourself.

When your roof starts to crumble

One of the hardest parts of the house to check is the roofing. You cannot just go outside, walk a few steps away from your house, and check on your roof for possible damage — you’ll have to actually climb and check the roof yourself, or hire someone to do it for you. Since the roof of your house is your first layer of protection from the elements, it is imperative for you to take swift action once it leaks.

When your flooring become dilapidated

If there’s one part of the house that constantly endures stress, it’s the flooring. Floor tiles are good indicators of your house’s condition, and when they start to come off, you should definitely consider renovating.

Renovating your floors gives you an opportunity to change the vibe of your interior to better match it with your home decor. When changing your floors, you should take note of several things:

Lower-level floors are more exposed to moisture. When choosing the material to replace your flooring in these areas, consider tile or vinyl, as they are water-resistant.

Rooms that are occupied the most should have flooring that can withstand constant wear and tear.

Avoid wood and carpet flooring if you live in areas with extreme temperatures.

Consider the occupants of the room when deciding for the material. Ceramic tiles, laminate flooring, and carpet will work well with children’s rooms. If you have senior citizens living in your home, it’s a good idea to get flooring with extra traction.

When the wall paint looks worn-out

Just like how clothes sometimes make you look younger, so does a fresh coat of paint to a wall. It is best to invest in a good quality of paint and give your walls a fresh look.

Home Renovation – Some Things to Consider Before You Start

If you’re preparing to embark on a home renovation adventure, then you’re going to need all the help and advice you can get. Major renovation projects, especially kitchen or bathroom renovations

Do your research

Before you get started on any renovation project it’s essential to do your research, especially if you’re not an experienced renovator. Research will help you to gather inspiration and ideas, get an idea of the work involved,separate the fantasy from the reality, give you a sense of the material and labour costs and help you to plan out your project. Some quality research will also help you to avoid common renovation mistakes.

Plan ahead

This may seem obvious, but you’d be amazed how many people don’t fully plan out a renovation project. Without proper planning you’ll struggle to manage your budget and chances are you’ll end up making mistakes that will cost you a lot of time and money.

Consult the experts

Whether you’re planning on taking on some of the renovations yourself or you’re leaving it all to the professionals, you’d be foolish not to consult with as many experts as possible. When carrying out major renovations, a small mistake or oversight can end up costing you a lot of time and money.

Consider an eco-friendly renovation

Renovating is the perfect time to think about adding some eco-friendly features to your home, especially if you’re renovating an old property. There are plenty of ways to improve the eco credentials of your renovation. When it comes to bathroom renovations

bookmark_borderWhy Not Use A Payroll Service Outsourcing Provider

What are the pros and cons of outsourcing a company’s payroll function?

Managing payroll services in-house often requires an individual, or a team, with a thorough knowledge of the PAYE tax system. If your business doesn’t have these skills in-house, you can organise your payroll by outsourcing it.

What is payroll process outsourcing?

Payroll outsourcing involves hiring an external company or an individual to handle all payroll functions. The level of services you can outsource varies. Some suppliers provide a basic service; others provide the full package including liaising with the HMRC and maintaining full compliance so your business never has to deal with payroll.

Typically, businesses outsource payroll to:

  • an accountant or bookkeeper
  • a specialist payroll company

Outsourced payroll pros

Experience and knowledge

Payroll outsourcers are experts in everything related to paying employees, taxes and government compliance. Complexity increases greatly when you operate across multiple states and countries. Are you taking advantage of all possible tax breaks? Penalties are high even when mistakes are honest. A payroll outsourcer bases their business on knowing all the intricate details and stays up to date on the new and upcoming legislative changes. Payroll outsourcing agreements usually have a liability aspect that protects you in the event of an audit, if the taxman comes back with questions about what has been declared and filed.

Cost

Smaller companies in particular may struggle with the costs of doing payroll. Training internal staff, procuring the necessary equipment like check stock and printers plus arranging contracts for things like direct deposit transfer all add up. An outsourcer is able to offer an affordable cost as they are doing payrolls for a number of companies so you’re getting a volume discount. As you consider an outsourced payroll vendor, compare their prices to all of your internal staffing and hardware costs to get a true picture.

It allows for more payroll services to be offered.

Outsourcing payroll can allow a small business to offer additional services, such as direct deposits and 401k contribution deductions, that they may not be able to do on their own.

Payroll taxes become much easier to file.

Outsourcing payroll will also generally create the financial reports needed to make filing payroll taxes a lot easier for a small business. For some businesses, they may even find that they can even outsource the filing process so they don’t have to even really worry about the tax paperwork.

Payroll outsourcing can offer greater security.

With data security becoming a great concern for employers and employees alike, outsourcing payroll can give a small business a more secure data system then they could establish on their own. One contract may provide multiple servers, backups, and other security technologies that protects their employee data.

The Cons

  • Difficulty obtaining wage and employee data — Depending on your payroll service provider, you may encounter hurdles in accessing payroll figures and other employee data because the information resides on another company’s server.
  • Delayed corrections to payroll errors — If mistakes occur, a payroll firm may not respond as quickly as you or your employees wish.
  • Cost — Not all vendors tailor services and prices to your company’s size. Do research on vendors beforehand and purchase only those services that make sense for your financial situation.
  • Risk of vendor going out of business — It happens — payroll administrators, especially newer ones, fail. In this unfortunate situation, you may lose access to your payroll data, or worse, your money.

What are the risks of outsourcing payroll?

The downside of outsourced payroll is mainly associated with the lack of in-house personnel. While many HR and payroll companies have 24/7 help to ensure you’re never caught in a payroll emergency, the lack of face-to-face contact can be a pain-point for some employees.

Similarly, the loss of control that is inherent to outsourcing may not be suitable for your business, as you’ll be permitting another company to access your team’s private information.  has been designed to offer better security around data, but the idea that your information is no longer secured within your business may not rest easy with you or your staff.

You should also be aware that your legal responsibilities won’t lapse because you’ve chosen to outsource. Keeping channels of communication open and constantly updating your supplier is important, and of all the risks of outsourcing payroll, the assumption that your chosen provider no longer requires your involvement is perhaps the most likely to cause issues.

bookmark_borderWhen Local Moving Companies Make Sense

Moving and Storage Services

Moving usually requires you to do more than just pack your items into boxes and transport them across the city, state, or country. Depending on your moving dates, closing dates, and travel plans, you might also need reliable storage services so you can keep your items safe throughout the entire moving process.

a cost-effective, secure moving & storage service. can store your items at our warehouses across the country while you’re waiting to close on your new home, preparing to sell your old home, or simply looking for a place to store some extra belongings.

MOVING & STORAGE SERVICES YOU CAN RELY ON

offer many types of storage services so you can choose the perfect one for your needs, including:

Long-term storage

Short-term storage

Storage-in-transit for up to 180 days

Many of facilities meet the high security standards set by the US military and government. No matter what you’re storing with us or for how long, you can rest assured that your belongings will be safe the entire time.

also available to pack your belongings before you store them, especially items that are particularly prone to breaking. We’ll wrap them securely so that when you retrieve your items, they’ll be in the same condition you left them in.

LOCAL AND LONG DISTANCE MOVES

Are a family-owned moving and storage company. Whether moving your home or business, will move you local or long distance. Customer comfort is #1 priority, and this makes us a preferred choice of the domestic market.  Small or big, every moving project receives unparalleled attention from to make your experience worth investing every penny.

RESIDENTIAL MOVERS

At Family Moving, put the word ‘Family” in name because that’s how treat our customers. want you to feel like you are an extension of family when arrive to conduct your estimate, during your move and after have pulled out of your new driveway. It is important to that we deliver on promise of being professional, courteous and delivering exceptional service.

HOW DETERMINE RESIDENTIAL MOVING RATES

local moving and long-distance residential moving services are comprehensive and customized to your specific needs. don’t push pre-set moving packages on you or try to sell you upgrades at every turn.

residential moving services include:

Full service local and long distance moving

Packing/unpacking servicesconsulting

Packing Supplies/Box Service

Long and short-term storage

Loading and unloading services

Large item/appliance delivery

Piano and specialty item relocation

In-home furniture shifting

Free no-obligation estimate

The best way to understand what can do for you is to talk to us! can provide a basic estimate right over the phone, and then schedule your in-home written estimate usually within 24 hours

The Ultimate Moving House Checklist

Moving isn’t as simple as packing all of your belongings and driving over to your new apartment. In fact, it can take several weeks of careful planning and preparation, especially if you live in a busy city

we’re following up with the “Ultimate Moving House Checklist”, a 6-week guide to help you meticulously plan your next move. We’ve covered everything from preparation to packing, moving out to settling in. Follow along as we share years of industry experience helping customers make the big move.

Let the right people know

After you’ve made the big decision to uproot your life, there are many important people to notify about your upcoming move. Start with your real estate agent or landlord to ensure you’re not paying for another month’s rent. Updating your address will ensure that none of your services are interrupted and that you continue to receive all of your bills and subscriptions. Don’t forget to disconnect your utilities, cable, and internet, and arrange to have them set up in your new home.

Hire in advance

Removalists and cleaning companies can book up quite quickly, so we recommend arranging these services well in advance. The same goes for hiring a handyman to make repairs or renting out a storage locker for all the things your partner won’t let you keep in the living room. To find the best rates, we recommend getting quotes from several companies, comparing the scope of work offered, as well as estimates regarding cost. It’s common sense, but the earlier you book, the more options you’ll have. Lastly, if you’re moving interstate or overseas, don’t forget to confirm your travel plans.

Clear your calendar

Many people underestimate the stress that comes on moving day. Set yourself up for success by clearing your schedule. If possible, plan to take the day or even the whole week off from work. Arrange for childcare or a petsitter if necessary. With your sole focus on the move, there’ll be fewer opportunities for unexpected setbacks to arise.

Moving & Storage

Moving from one home to another marks a milestone in your life. It can be hectic, emotional, overwhelming and sometimes, just plain annoying. For your peace of mind

All very professional and courteous. These guys wrapped the furniture and carried everything out. Then when we arrived at the new house they brought it all in and placed it. Some things were placed in the wrong rooms (miscommunication on my part) and they had no problem swapping things around

With local residential moving services, we can:

Help you plan your move

Move you a few miles or across the country

Provide pads, stretch film, 2 & 4 wheel dollies and other equipment

Wrap all items to ensure they’re secure

Pack your entire household, deliver it and unpack it

Give you organizing tips and checklists, and perform a final sweep for forgotten items

Load and unload in a certain order according to your preferences unless utilization of space prevents it

Provide secure, climate-controlled storage for items that need storage

Local Moving Services you can trust

team understands that moves can be stressful, and do everything we can to make it easier for you and your family. treat your belongings with care and make sure the move is secure, fast and efficient. residential movers provide both local and long distance moving services. So, whether you are moving across town or out of state

meets or exceeds all state and federal requirements for a commercial moving company. No matter if you are moving your business just a few miles or across the country,

How to Choose a Mover

Learning if a mover is registered with FDACS should be your first step when researching a company to handle your moving and storage needs

In addition, find out the following information:

How long has the company been in business?

Does the company offer extra services, such as packing, unpacking and storage?

What type of protection does the company offer against loss or damage?

Does the mover have a good reputation for settling claims?

Does the company offer arbitration for claim disputes?

Does the company have a good record of meeting its delivery schedules?

Can the company provide proof of workers’ compensation coverage, general and legal liability coverage?

Plan Ahead

Estimate that it will take between two and six weeks to plan and prepare for a move. During this period, have at least three moving companies evaluate the items being moved and provide a detailed estimate.

Schedule the Move Wisely

Late May through August is typically a busy time for moving companies, so it’s best, if possible, to schedule a move during spring or late fall. Keep in mind that weekend rates tend to be highest, both for truck rental agencies and moving companies.

Estimate and Contract

Prior to providing you with any moving services, your mover must supply an estimate and contract, in writing. The estimate and contract must be signed by both parties and include the following:

Name, telephone number, physical address and state registration number of the mover

Date the contract or estimate was prepared and proposed date of the actual move

Appropriate pickup and delivery address, name and telephone numbers of the shipper

Name, telephone number and physical address where the goods will be held, if necessary

Itemized breakdown, description and total of all costs and services provided

Acceptable forms of payment available

bookmark_borderHow To Choose The Right Carpet Flooring For Your New Home

How to Measure for Carpet

You will need to know how to measure a room for carpet in order to get a realistic idea of how much is required. It is one of the first steps before shopping for carpet to install yourself or providing installers with the needed dimensions. Making measurements most often applies to broadloom wall-to-wall carpet. Measuring a basic square or oblong area is easy, so long as you make allowances for doorways and entry stairs.

Tools and Supplies You Will Need

  • Measuring tape or a laser distance measurer
  • Calculator or calculator app
  • Paper and writing instrument, or note-taking app
  • Graph paper and a pencil, if you choose to draw your layout

Instructions

Most measuring tasks are easier done with two people if you are using a measuring tape. You can do it solo if you are using a laser distance measurer.

Measure Room Width and Length

  • Lay your tape measure against the wall at one end of your room, and then extend it to the opposite wall. Or, use a laser distance measurer to find the measurement between the two walls. Note this number as the length.
  • Do the same for the other two walls in the opposite direction. Note this number as the width.
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If your room is L-shaped, measure it as two separate rooms. Measure the long portion of the L as one room and the short portion of the L as another room.

Closets should be measured as their own separate rooms.

Measure Carpet for Stairs

When measuring an area that leads to stairs going down (such as a hallway or landing), be sure to measure around the nosing (the ledge at the top of the stairs). Hold your tape measure against the opposite wall (or halfway into a doorway), and wrap it all the way around the nosing until it touches the back (riser) of the stair below. Your carpet will need to be this measurement in order to wrap around the nosing.

Measuring for the stairs themselves involves special considerations such as the shape, size, and configuration of the stairs, as well as the direction of the pile and pattern motifs (if applicable).

Calculating Square Footage

You now have the measurements needed, with allowances for doorways and appropriate measurements for stairs included, to calculate the square footage of the room. Multiply the width of the room by the length of the room. Note this total.

Add a Little Extra

Once you have taken your measurements, you should always add a little extra to your requirements. This allows for walls that are not perfectly straight and gives you a bit of a safety net. When measuring, add about 3 inches to each piece of carpet you will need.

Find the Ideal Carpet for Your Home

Installing new carpet and not sure how much you need? Our Carpet Calculator will help you estimate the material and man-hours necessary to get the job done. Carpet replacement is a big job. With so many options to choose from, the process can be overwhelming. Below, we’ll break down some top considerations for choosing the best carpet for your home and lifestyle.

Carpet by Construction

Berber/loop carpet features large, uncut loops of fiber typically made from wool, nylon or olefin. Dense and highly stain resistant, this type is not recommended for homes with pets as their claws can snag fibers.

Shag/frieze is a durable, twisted, short-pile construction ideal for high-traffic areas. This is a popular commercial carpet option as its fibers curl in different directions and hide footprints.

Pattern carpet offers a combination of cut and loop pile, allowing for more texture and pattern options. The pattern looks as if it’s been cut into the carpet and usually features several tones from the same color family.

Plush carpet has a closely packed yarn construction that offers a soft, smooth surface that’s ideal for formal settings. Drawbacks include visible footprints and other markings.

Textured carpet offers a soft feel with a tight construction that helps resist soiling. Textured is the most popular living room carpet as it holds up to wear and tear.

Carpet tile, available in glue-down or peel-and-stick options, is made with an adhesive backing that allows for easy do-it-yourself installation.

How to fit your carpet

  1. Clear the room: make sure all furniture has been removed and any ornaments on mounted shelves etc. are also removed. The clearer the room, the quicker the fitting.
  2. Arrange the fitting: Choose a convenient time of the day for you. Try to be there, if you can. Otherwise try to have someone you trust, just to oversee the job.
  3. Check whether the fitter will take up your old carpet and underlay. This may be a chargeable service.
  4. Remove the old carpet if necessary
  • Vacuum the old carpet to cut down on dust
  • Use a pair of pliers to pull up the edge of the carpet, near any wall.
  • Use a utility knife to slice the carpet into manageable strips
  • Pull up the underlay with the carpet if you can. It may be stapled, but can be easily removed.
  • Roll the carpet as you go along
  • Place the rolled carpet out of the room
  • Clean the floor with a vacuum or brush in order to remove any leftover debris