Classy Laminate Flooring Gives A Designer Feel

A Step by Step Guide to Choosing Flooring

Choosing flooring is far more complicated than just finding the best-looking product. Several other factor—moisture, durability, costs, and more—greatly influence your decision. Follow these five steps in order to reach the flooring decision that is right for you and your home.

Will Your Floor Be Installed in a High-Moisture Area?

you need flooring that is suited for a high- or medium-moisture environment, such as concrete, ceramic or porcelain tile, or vinyl tile.

Do You Need a Pet-Friendly Floor?

You will need a floor with superior wear resistance. Some flooring that appears to be wear resistant often is not. For example, site-finished solid hardwood can easily scratch. Its saving grace is that scratches can be sanded out. Instead, try a durable flooring like ceramic or porcelain tile, laminate flooring, plank vinyl flooring, or even carpeting.

What Is Your Square Footage Budget?

You will find bargain laminate flooring hovering around this price; nothing gorgeous but it has a general wood-like appearance. Sheet and tile resilient flooring can also be found in this price range. Lots of gorgeous ceramic and porcelain tile can be found in this range–but tile is truly a labor-intensive installation.

Do You Want to Install Your Flooring by Yourself?

By installing your flooring yourself, you can often cut your entire flooring cost in half. Laminate flooring and plank vinyl flooring tend to be the easiest floor coverings for homeowners to self-install. Both are floating floors, which means that each board connects to an adjacent board (not to the subfloor). Ceramic and porcelain tile installation is not as self-evident as laminate and vinyl installation. Hone your learning curve on an out-of-the-way room, like a basement bathroom.

Laminate Flooring: Reviews, Best Brands & Pros vs. Cons

Stylish

Laminate flooring is making a comeback. Recent technology has enabled manufacturers to design laminate planks that replicate wood and natural stone. The latest styles feel like the real deal, too.

Affordable

Laminate ranges in price from $1 to $11 per square foot. There’s a massive difference in quality between the two extremes. You have to be diligent when shopping around

Durable

If you have kids or pets, laminate flooring could be the solution to your problems. It holds its own against liquid assaults (though not quite as well compared to vinyl plank) and stands up to muddy pawprints like a champ

Versatile

Laminate warms up living spaces and makes bedrooms feel cozy and inviting. You can install laminate anywhere in your home. Well, almost anywhere

Allergy Friendly

Seasonal allergy sufferers take heart; laminate won’t make you sneeze. It doesn’t hold dust and dirt like carpet. It’s also resistant to bacteria and mold.

Laminate Flooring Buying Checklist

Our laminate buying checklist will help you learn what you need to know before you buy whether you buy online or at your local store. It’ll help you get all your facts straight so you can make the most informed choice and get the most for your laminate flooring dollar.

Laminate Buying Checklist

What to know.

Laminates can go virtually anywhere in a home or business but that doesn’t mean they can go everywhere. If your space will be in an area of moisture like a bathroom or laundry room, you should probably rule out laminate. You can install laminates over radiant heat and at or below grade but you must be sure to pick the right one. Talk it over with your dealer.

Which Laminate is Right for You

What to know.

Laminates sure are tough and durable—but you need to pick the right laminate for the job. If you’re laying a floor in an office exposed to lots of foot traffic, office chairs on castors and high heel shoes, you’ll need to pick a laminate with a higher AC (Abrasion Class) rating. Matching the AC rating to your needs is easy.

Which Style Should You Pick

What to know.

A properly installed laminate floor is level, even and tight fitting. It should drastically improve the look of any room. However, trying to decipher what an entire room will look like from a small sample is something most people find very difficult to do alone. Considering the cost of purchasing and installing a new floor and the fact that you won’t be doing it again anytime soon, buying an hour or two of an interior designer’s time can be very worthwhile.

Color. As a general rule of thumb, the color of an installed floor can seem darker than the sample. That’s because you may be looking at your sample near a window or in a room other than where it will be installed. It’s also sometimes difficult to imagine the color you hold in your hand multiplied by the hundreds of boards that will fill your room. Darker colors tend to absorb light and lighter colors tend to reflect it. When in doubt about color, it’s best to get a second opinion.

Grain. Every piece of wood laminate displays a grain. Some grains are bold, with swirls, bird’s eyes and notches whereas others patterns repeat, and others still display almost no grain at all. To make it even more complicated, your sample represents only one board in a floor and the other boards will display slightly different grain patterns. So, do you like a grainy floor or a floor without grain? It’s best to decide before you buy. If you find deciding too difficult, a quick consultation with a designer can help you get to know your tastes.

Laminate flooring – how to choose, install and clean your surface

Get a smart floor in record time without breaking the bank with a practical laminate option

A breeze to clean and easy on the eye, laminate flooring has improved a lot in recent years and is a credible alternative to solid wood and stone floors. It’s usually a fraction of the price of the real thing, too.

Is laminate hardwearing?

In truth, it’s not the most durable option out there, compared with porcelain tiles or engineered planks. But recent improvements in splash-safe finishes, impact resistance and scratch protection mean it will easily cope with the wear and tear of normal family life.

What are the latest trends in laminates?

Styles have become much more varied so as well as the traditional look, there are also many more unusual designs. Some designs come in interlocking planks that need no glue and just click together.

What should I look for in a laminate?

Some laminate flooring can be noisy, especially if you have pets. An underlay will help dampen sound, but also look for versions with sound insulation. Laminate is also prone to electrostatic discharges, so if you tend to get shocked by car doors and shopping trolleys, it’s worth seeking anti-static laminate. An embossed surface, with the texture of stone or timber, will also boost authenticity.

How much does laminate flooring cost?

As with most things in life, you get what you pay for with laminate flooring. Thickness is a good indicator of quality. 
It is possible to buy 6mm-thick laminate, from £5-10sq m, while 8mm-thick versions are around £10-20sq m, and 10mm-thick laminate will cost in excess of £20sq m. Don’t forget to add the cost of underlay and installation to your budget.

How to choose the right laminate floor

Choosing the right laminate flooring for your home may seem a daunting task, especially with the suite of flooring available in the Australian market. Different textures, colours, grains, plank sizes and especially price points on offer may be challenges for many customers to absorb.

What type of joining system is used?

Laminate flooring is layed floating, not glued, with an innovative, yet, simple click system, called joining system, which connects the boards to each other. Many customers would not have this on their radar but having the most superior joining system for their laminate is paramount. The best joining system in the world is the Uniclic system – easy to install and providing a gap-free finish after installation. Using glue to fix the flooring to the sub floor may not be as secure.

What warranties are offered?

Warranties are such an important part of the buying process and laminate is no exception. A 25-year warranty gives you peace of mind in the long term. While a 25-year warranty may give you peace of mind in the long term, unfortunately, many long warranties are handed out prolifically and often a lot of warranties are void by default to due to impossible environmental conditions such as moisture. At times, other warranties look OK, but there is no legitimate company to back them up – either the supplier does not look after complaints or the supplier has already left the flooring market after short term profit.

How moisture resistant is the product?

Moisture is the natural enemy of any laminate floor. In most cases, the moisture resistance of a laminate floor is determined by the quality and moisture resistance of the HDF core. The harder the HDF core, the higher the quality of the laminate flooring.

Is the product reputable?

Get an understanding on how long the laminate product has been sold in Australia and has been featured in magazines and online. Great reviews are another barometer to determine if the laminate is right for you. A reputable and long standing laminate company is much more enticing than a new company who may be a flash in a pan.

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Plumbing Tips For A Clogged Toilet

HOW TO UNCLOG A TOILET

Of all the clogs out there, toilet clogs are the worst…for obvious reasons. But don’t rush to call a plumber—chances are good you can banish toilet trouble on your own by taking these smart steps!

JUST SAY NO TO OVERFLOW

First, turn off the water. If your toilet is on the verge of overflowing (or has already begun to), this prevents any more water from entering your toilet and making the problem worse. Find the shutoff valve located behind the toilet, near the floor, and turn it clockwise.

PUT SOME MUSCLE (AND A PLUNGER) INTO IT

Funnel-cup plungers, with a flange extending from the bottom, are the best for toilets. First, make sure there’s enough water in the bowl to cover the bottom of the plunger. If there isn’t, pour more into the bowl. As you push the plunger down and up, remember that the upward pull is as important as the downward push, so put some muscle into it! (Just watch out for splashback.)

TRY A TOILET AUGER

OK, it’s time to take it to the next level with a handheld toilet auger. Buy one at the hardware store—just make sure the corkscrew end of the auger you put in the toilet has rubber over it, otherwise it will scratch the porcelain. Put it into the toilet hole and turn the handle clockwise. Once you’ve dislodged the obstruction, pull the auger out, give the toilet a few more plunges, and flush.

KNOW WHEN TO CALL THE PROS

Even the best of us need to know when to ask for help. If a plunger and auger still aren’t doing the trick, it’s time to call a professional.

This is The Right Way to Unclog a Toilet With a Plunger

Clogged toilets are just one of those inescapable, yucky facts of life. Rather than the fear-filled I’ll just flush it again and see what happens technique (that can end in the disaster of disgusting water sloshing all over the bathroom floor) or the simultaneously frantic and hopeful thrusts of a plunger that may or may not work, it helps to know how to unclog a toilet the right way

First, Avoid Overflows

If the toilet is clogged, avoid repeated flushing. Remove the tank lid from the toilet and finding the round rubber flapper at the center of the bottom of the tank. If the water is rising and threatens to spill over, push the flapper down over the hole to keep water from flowing into the toilet bowl. Or turn off the water at the valve (the silver almond-shaped handle, usually located behind the toilet near the floor).

Use the Right Plunger, the Right Way

The most straightforward way to unclog a toilet is to address the issue with a plunger. The first step is making sure you have the right plunger for the job.

Alternate Methods Without a Plunger

What about those times when you’re stuck without a plunger, or are too embarrassed to ask for one? Like those absolutely dreadful situations when you clog a toilet at someone else’s house? Shudder. Luckily, there are some excellent life-hacker ways to unclog a toilet without a plunger

Before You Call A Plumber

If you aren’t able to unclog your toilet with any of the methods listed above, the next step is to try a toilet auger. It’s cheaper than a plumber.

When you need a plumber for a clogged toilet?

It’s difficult to think of anything worse than a clogged toilet. It keeps you from enjoying your bathroom properly and it can cause serious distress for the whole family. There are several reasons for a clogged toilet, ranging from obstructions to build up, to improper plumbing. The reality is, despite the cause, all homeowners want is for it to be cleared and gone. Of course, you still need to figure out the cause and possibly take some steps to relieve the clog quickly and easily.

Step One: Don’t Flush Your Toilet More Than Once

To begin with, if your toilet doesn’t completely flush after your first try, then whatever you do don’t flush it again. All you will do is cause it to overflow onto your bathroom floor and pump more water into the toilet bowl unnecessarily. Start by taking the lid off your toilet tank, and close the flapper at the top to prevent more water from flowing into the bowl. The flapper is a circular rubber piece that stops water from flowing in and out of the toilet

Step Two: Prep Your Environment

After you have prevented the toilet from overflowing onto the floor, it is still a good idea to prep the environment by placing paper towels or newspapers around the bottom of the bowl. Turn on your ventilation system to keep the air fresh and prevent foul odors from filling up the room. This will make it easier to work and unclog the drain. You might also want to grab a pair of rubber gloves, and throw on some old clothes.

Step Three: Avoid Plunging if There’s an Obstruction

The next step is to see if there is an obstruction inside the pipe. You may already be aware of this if your child has thrown a toy down the pipe or something else is obstructing the water from freely flowing. If you can see the obstruction, grab your gloves and pull out the obstruction with your own hands. If you can’t see it and can’t reach it, then use your plunger gently. However, the best bet is to avoid plunging and try something else instead.

Step Four: Use a Plunger

If there is no solid obstruction, then go ahead and use your plunger. If you do, ensure that your plunger is high quality for the best results. Either a ball shaped plunger or a plunger with a fold-out rubber flange on the bottom part which forms a suction seal, is best. If your plunger is not sealing, then it’s not working. It’s also a good idea to put the plunger under hot water for a few minutes to soften it and prep it for the toilet

Why Does My Toilet Keep Clogging?

Low Flow Toilet

One common reason a toilet may frequently be clogging is that you have a first generation low flow toilet, which means your toilet is older.

You Flushed a Non-Flushable Item

Toilets are designed to only dispose of specific materials, such as human waste and toilet paper.

Clogged Trap

There is an S-shaped trap between the drain line and the bowl which can become clogged or backed up with toilet paper.

Blocked Plumbing Vent

Modern toilets use roof vents to funnel fresh air into the plumbing system and boost flushing pressure. Over time, the vents can become blocked or clogged with sticks, leaves, or even a bird’s nest.

Clogged Sewer Line

Your toilet may become clogged on a regular basis if there is a blockage in the sewer line.

Don’t Call The Plumber Just Yet: How To Unclog Your Toilet

A home toilet clog doesn’t necessarily mean that you have to call the plumber right away

Avoid an overflow situation by opening the top of the toilet and closing the “flap.” The flap is usually a round, rubber part that you can temporarily disconnect or lower, and then reconnect or raise when the clog is cleared. Or, you can turn off the water supply at the base of the toilet while you work on eliminating the clog.

Do your best to determine whether the clog is caused by organic matter or by a foreign object (like a plastic toy) before choosing a course of action

If you have one, try a plunger first. Many people mistakenly put the plunger into the hole at the bottom of the bowl instead of over it. Make sure there’s water to cover the rubber top of the plunger to create a seal. Often, people stop plunging too soon. Be patient as it may take a few minutes or more of plunging to completely clear the clog.

For organic matter clogs, try heating a pot or kettle of water on the stove. Boiling water can actually crack a toilet bowl, so make sure the water is below the boiling point. Pour a half a box (or more) of baking soda into the clogged toilet bowl, followed by an equal amount of vinegar. Then, add the hot (but not boiling) water. Let the mixture stand for several hours or overnight before you try to flush again. If you don’t have vinegar and baking soda, you can add some dish soap, shampoo, or liquid soap to the hot (but not boiling) water and let that remain in the bowl for several hours or overnight.

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A Few Important Electrical Upgrades Tips

Electrical Upgrades for DIYers

Many homeowners who think nothing of tackling painting, carpentry and plumbing projects turn timid when it comes to electrical work. A little fear isn’t necessarily bad when dealing with electricity — it could keep you from making a serious mistake. But that doesn’t mean there aren’t electrical projects you can handle. All you need is an understanding of how the electrical code applies to your project and some instruction on making proper wire connections.

To safely guide you through this upgrade, we enlisted the help of electrical contractor Peter Eng, owner of Electrical Enterprises Incorporated in Litchfield County, Connecticut. It took him a day to complete all three projects. To facilitate your work, we’ve included photographs that outline the basic steps and illustrations that show all the wiring connections. Consult with an electrician if your home is wired differently than the ways illustrated

If you’re still not feeling confident, here’s an alternate approach: Run cables, install boxes, and wire in switches and outlets, then hire an electrician to make the final power hookups and check for any code violations. (Most municipalities allow you to do your own electrical work, though you’re never allowed to wire someone else’s home.) Also, get the proper permits from your local building department before starting. It’s the law, and you’ll also get the benefit of having your work checked both at the rough-in stage and when it’s completed.

Installing a Floodlight

Light up your life — or at least your backyard — with a floodlight. Our installation solves a common problem: A deck without adequate lighting for itself, a staircase, or the adjacent yard. The solution called for installing a two-lamp floodlight ($12) high up on the house wall. As with most electrical upgrades, this one relies on tapping into an existing circuit. If you’re not sure whether or not a circuit can support the upgrade, check with an electrician. An overloaded circuit is a fire hazard.

Choose a location for the floodlight on the outside of the house and bore a 1-inch-diameter hole through the wall and into the attic. Next, pick a spot for the wall switch that will operate the floodlight. The best location is directly above an existing wall outlet near the door that leads outside. Pull the wall outlet from its box but don’t disconnect it (the power should be off now). Push a snake up inside the wall to make sure there aren’t any obstructions. Then, cut a switch hole into the wall about 34 inches above the outlet.

Reasons You Need to Upgrade Your Home Electrical System

The electrical systems in a home are usually ignored by most people—until something goes wrong, at least. When a home electrical system suddenly fails, that’s when people start to take notice and try to find ways to fix it. However, it can pay to hire electrician services to make some electrical upgrades to your home sooner rather than later.

To Bring Your Home Electrical System up to Code

Building codes may vary from one year to the next, and new safety standards may have been implemented since your home electrical system was installed or updated last. Performing an electrical upgrade can help bring your home’s wiring back in line with current building codes.

To Prevent Fire Hazards

When electric system maintenance falls behind, there is a risk that frayed wires and other issues can create fire hazards. So, one reason to upgrade your home electrical system is to minimize fire risks.

To Meet the Power Needs of New Appliances

The average household consumes a lot of energy—and that amount is likely to rise as more and more modern technologies rely on electricity. In fact, according to data from the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA), “In 2017, the average annual electricity consumption for a U.S. residential utility customer was 10,399 kilowatt hours (kWh), an average 867 kWh per month.”

To Add New Outlets for Added Convenience

Here’s a common problem: you want to move your TV to a different wall, but there aren’t any outlets near where you want to put it. Maybe the house is old enough that electrical outlets weren’t a major concern or the designer had a specific layout in mind that you don’t want to conform to. Either way, the lack of electrical sockets is going to be inconvenient for your plans.

Electrical Upgrades to Consider This Fall

Electrical Services should be your number-one destination this fall if you are looking to eliminate electrical hazards, better the performance of your electrical system, and most importantly, keep your family safe. With cooler temperatures and shorter days on the horizon, the last thing you want is outdated electrical features that will result in frequent power loss and a higher risk of electrical fires or shocks. Without these electrical upgrades you may even see your property decrease in resale value.

Electrical Upgrades for You

While there are numerous upgrades for you to consider this upcoming season, some are absolutely essential to the overall level safety and convenience in your home

GFCI Outlets: When you install a ground fault circuit interrupter in your home, you are not just guaranteeing better electrical performance; you may even guarantee you save a life or two. Perhaps that sounds a little over-the-top, but it is the truth. A GFCI outlet will greatly reduce your chances of falling victim to accidental electrocution. It is an incredibly helpful tool, especially when you consider that the American Burn Association reports that 400 deaths occur each year due to shock. Think of this upgrade as adding a gatekeeper to maintain the flow of input and output current in your home. Thanks to a built-in circuit breaker, the GFCI outlet will cut off power altogether once it detects something irregular between the input and output, single-handedly preventing shocks. These outlets should be installed in areas of your home like bathrooms and garages, where the risk of water mixing with electricity is higher.

Outlet & Switch Replacement: Have you taken a look at your home’s outlets and switches recently? Are they looking damaged beyond the point of repair? Well, it may be time for replacement, for the sake of safety and convenience. Some older homes are still equipped with two-prong outlets, which would be a reliable source of electrical power if it were still 1966. But in 2016, you need reliable three-prong outlets that will be able to meet all of your electrical power needs. Outdated outlets & switches are incredibly unsafe, so do not play any games with your safety and instead replace them with something new.

Aluminum Wiring Replacement: Similar to two-prong outlets, many older homes are also still equipped with aluminum wiring. Again, in 1966, this would have been fine, especially since aluminum was considered an acceptable wiring alternative due to the rising price of copper. However, fast forward 50 years in the future, and aluminum wiring is now considered a safety hazard. If you are living in of these unlucky homes, it is time to make the upgrade to copper wiring instead.

Smart Electrical Upgrades for Home Remodelers

If your home needs a makeover, or you’re simply planning to upgrade your decor, appliances or any other aspect of your living quarters, now is the best time to consider upgrading your home electrical system, as well. Home repair and remodeling projects often require some electrical work. As long as the electrician is on hand, you can usually save the cost of a service call by adding to the job as needed If you haven’t planned electrical upgrades, a quick look around your house might convince you that you should. Do you have receptacle outlets overburdened by multi-plug strips? Are your lamps and fixtures connected to extension cords? Does every three-prong plug need a two-prong adapter? These and other warning signs indicate a real need for electrical improvements. Unfortunately, many homeowners wait until a problem occurs, and only then do they think to call in an electrician. But there’s along list of reasons why you should inspect and improve your electrical system-before an accident or service breakdown occurs. Here are a few points to consider

Is your service adequate? Many older homes still operate with seriously outdated 60-amp electrical service-and sometimes with just a few fuses or circuit breakers to protect the entire system. Newer homes often have 100-amp service panels, but even this minimum requirement set by many current codes may fall short of your present or future needs. Consider upgrading service to 200 amps.

Size for extra demand. If you’re installing a major electrical appliance, like an electric wall oven, a microwave oven, a double-wide refrigerator or central air-conditioning, you’d better think about the additional power it may need. While a salesman or installer might tell you that your system can handle the load, be smart and ask your electrician for a second opinion.

What’s the correct wire size? Electricians often install 14-AWG wiring during renovations, which is adequate for most home uses. But heavier 12-AWG copper wire is a better choice because it’s more energy-efficient and you won’t have to upgrade all over again if you install appliances or fixtures with greater electrical loads. The cost difference for upgrading to 12-AWG copper wire is minimal. If you’re adding a room extension or building a new home, it’s a good idea to install 12-AWG wire (or larger, depending on the needs of each circuit).

Consider special needs. Different rooms in a home serve different purposes-an important consideration when you’re planning improvements, especially where electrical work is involved. Family rooms, home offices and home theaters generally need more circuits, more outlets, and built-in or plug-in power-surge protection. Outlets in kitchens, baths, garages and outdoor areas require ground-fault circuit interrupters, or GFCIs. And you don’t have to wait for a major renovation to add protection-you can install many safety devices yourself, such as outlet caps, switch guards and wire shields in nurseries and children’s playrooms.

ELECTRICAL UPGRADES

Electrical upgrades to your home aren’t the first thing that you might think about when you consider a remodeling project. After all, it’s much more interesting to think of adding an extra room or upgrading your kitchen appliances and countertops. However, upgrading your wiring can be an extremely beneficial thing to do, and in some cases, it might be a safety priority.

REASONS YOU MIGHT NEED AN ELECTRICAL UPGRADE

You might need upgrades to your wiring or other electrical systems in your home for many reasons, but here are some of the most common.

COMMITMENT TO CUSTOMER SERVICE

No matter what electrical upgrades you need, the electricians from our Kankakee store are here to make sure you get the job done right. Our commitment to customer service means that you get the following when you choose Home Furniture, Plumbing & Heating for your electrical work

FRIENDLY, RESPECTFUL SERVICE

We aim to be both friendly and respectful in the way that we interact with you at all times. We want you to feel comfortable and at ease, and we want you to feel that your questions and comments will always be heard and answered.

ON-TIME SERVICE

Part of keeping our word is keeping our appointments, and we aim to offer you on-time service for your appointments that you set with us

The Benefits Of Utilizing Commercial Cleaning Services

Tips to Help You Choose the Right Commercial Office Cleaning Company

When it comes to keeping the office clean, a lot of businesses have an important decision to make: should they add a cleaning crew to the company payroll, or hire a commercial cleaning company to handle those duties? While there are pros and cons to both approaches, there are greater reasons that indicate outsourcing this work is the best option.

A commercial cleaning company understands every aspect of what it takes to not only keep your office sparkling clean. It also understands the extent to which a very clean office makes a favorable impression on clients. They’re also willing to work with you on the hours you need from them, what their tasks should cover, and what kind of qualifications you want their workers to have.

Do a thorough background check

When it comes time to find a commercial cleaning company for your office, it’s important to ask the right questions. Because you can ensure you get the best service available – and at the right price. Find out how many days they work and the hours they’re available. Especially if you want the work done after your office closes for the day and your employees have gone home.

Ask for references from companies they’ve worked for

When selecting a commercial cleaning company, you should do a little research on their reputation. Check out their customer satisfaction reviews and the company’s overall standing within the local business community

Ask if they have liability insurance

All prospective commercial cleaning companies should be able to provide proof of insurance and demonstrate that they’re fully licensed. You should ask to see their general and workers compensation certificates. Also, look for a company that hires regular employees rather than cash workers; they’re the ones that carry insurance against liability and injury if an accident should happen in your office while they’re on the job – this protects both you and the cleaner. And absolutely do NOT forget to verify their business license.

How to Choose the Best Commercial Cleaning Company!

A clean and sanitary office or business facility is necessary for success. Your customers expect nothing less and your employees will thank you for it!  But, how does a business choose the best commercial cleaning company?

What Is a Commercial Cleaning Company?

First, let’s define what a commercial cleaning company is. A commercial cleaning company is a business-to-business janitorial vendor.  They provide custom cleaning programs for businesses in most industries and settings.  They generally perform cleaning services after-hours to avoid interruption to business operations.  However, many settings require daytime cleaning as well, such as the common areas of high traffic buildings

Reputation and Experience

Trust is necessary when hiring a business facility cleaner. Why?  Cleaning company employees will be in your facility, often after hours, and after you and your employees have gone home for the day.  Thus, your cleaning company is responsible for working diligently and in a professional manner with minimal direct supervision.

How can you gauge a cleaning company’s trustworthiness? These vetting baselines can help:

Years Of Experience: Choose a company that’s well-established in your service area and with years of experience.

Industries Served: Investigate the types of industries, buildings, and settings the cleaning has experience servicing.

References: The most reputable cleaning companies will be happy to share references!

Employee Training and Screening

The best commercial property cleaners view hiring as a critical responsibility.  They hire only the most qualified and trustworthy employees, and they provide their staff with formal and consistent training to ensure quality and safety

How to Choose the Right Commercial Cleaning Service For You

Are you looking for commercial cleaning services but aren’t sure how to find a company that best suits your needs? Working with professional cleaners can help create a better and safer work environment. That’s why it’s so important to find a company you feel more than just satisfied with. When searching for commercial cleaners, you may feel overwhelmed with so many options. That’s why we’ve put together this guide to help you choose the right cleaners for you, your employees, and your workplace

With so many different options available, you may have trouble choosing commercial cleaners that will be work best for you and your workplace

Knowledgeable Staff

When you work with a great cleaning service, you will quickly discover that they know the right techniques to provide a thorough clean and proper sanitation. They will also know exactly how and when to use certain tools and machinery.

Dependable

A professional cleaning company will be dependable and reliable. You should never have to guess when your cleaners will arrive at your office. A professional, experienced cleaning company will work closely with their clients to create a cleaning schedule that works well for everyone.

Affordable

When you work with a professional cleaning service, you should feel good about what you are paying. That’s not to say that cheapest is necessary better! Remember that if something looks way too good to be true, it usually is!

Tips To Consider When Choosing A Commercial Cleaning Company

Find Out More About the Company’s Policy on Staff Training Requirements

The cleaning company you are considering should be one that offers its new staff comprehensive training, prepares its workforce to use the latest cleaning equipment and materials, and continually educates them on the latest health and safety protocols and new cleaning techniques.

Examine their Standards and Certifications

It is imperative to ensure that the cleaning company you are considering holds the highest certifications and maintains/adheres to stringent standards of cleaning excellence such as the Sunshine Quality Assurance Program. Also, make sure that the company is fully insured and bonded.

Find Out If They Are Committed to Green Cleaning

Green cleaning refers to taking a more holistic approach to cleaning and caring for buildings, those inhabiting them,

Green cleaning not only minimizes the impact cleaning equipment and products have on the environment, but it also reduces the exposure of harmful cleaning residues to humans.

steps to choosing the right cleaner

Recent studies say that having a clean office space increases work productivity. It is imperative to have a clean and adequately maintained office premises to have a positive impact on your customers and motivate your employees. Most business owners find it essential to hire professional cleaning services for the cleanliness and hygiene of their workplaces

Check online reviews

This should be the first step for searching for suitable commercial cleaners as it will provide you with quick and easy results for you to check credibility, authenticity and reliability as well. Online reviews are also a great way to compare cleaning companies and the quality of their services. Facebook, the commercial cleaning companies websites and also Linkedin are a good start

Compare quotes

Once you are done with your research, shortlist a few companies, get in touch with them and arrange an onsite assessment. The companies will give you all the details of the services they provide along with the charges and some may even visit your office to get the details. This is a great chance to ask any additional questions you may have.

Reputation

Ask for references!!! Call the commercial cleaning company’s current customers if you want to know more about the business. Some of its clients and customers would be able to tell you whether the organisation is honest and reliable. They will tell you about the quality of their services. A good reputation will be proof of its credibility and excellent services

Experience

Considering the experience of the cleaning company is an essential factor. Experience will be a proof that they have developed a proper system and can easily handle any cleaning issues involved.

This entry was posted in Cleaning on by .

Get Rid Of Bed Bugs Naturally For A Pest Free Home

How To Choose A Pest Control Company

According to Andy Architect of the National Pest Management Association, there are more that 19,000 pest management firms operating in the United States. Unfortunately, these companies are not all created equally.

Here are some steps from entomologist, Jeff White, to narrow your options and find the best:

Use web and telephone directories to locate several pest management firms in your area. Some may designate themselves as bed bug specialists, but this designation should only be an indicator and not a deciding factor.

Only utilize companies that have been registered to apply pesticides by the pesticide regulatory agency in your state. Lacking this license should serve as an immediate red flag.

Search for companies that use integrated pest management (IPM) services. IPM is a form of pest management designed to minimize the use of pesticides. Companies that utilize an IPM approach are more likely to provide ongoing monitoring and a multidisciplinary approach to bed bug management (more on this later).

INTERVIEWING COMPANIES: QUESTIONS YOU SHOULD KNOW TO ASK

Once you hire a pest management firm they may be entering your home and spraying pesticides or performing services that can cost hundreds of dollars. Interviewing the selected companies is not only your right, it is strongly advised.

Some key associations to look for include:

The National Pest Management Association (NPMA), state pest management associations, QualityPro, the Better Business Bureau (BBB), and bedbugFREE. Companies may also be members of equivalent associations.

Membership with the bedbugFREE national network is a particularly important affiliation to consider when bed bug treatments are desired. This membership indicates that companies are not only members of NPMA and/or QualityPro, but have also had their bed bug treatment protocols evaluated to ensure they share multidisciplinary treatment methods and philosophies similar to Bed Bug Central’s protocol.

Ask companies about their integrated pest management (IPM) approach to bed bug treatments. A good company should utilize some, if not all, of these procedures:

Use of a multidisciplinary approach beyond pesticides such as: vacuuming, cleaning, steaming, using mattress encasements instead of treating beds with pesticides, heat or Cryonite treatments, and/or fumigation.

Insist on inspecting before quoting a final price.

Price jobs according to findings and not just a flat fee.

Educate you on bed bugs, the company’s inspection findings, what they will be doing, and prevention.

Provide a written inspection report and a strategy for services rendered.

Provide a thorough follow up program that is not based upon a minimum number of visits but rather is based upon the current status of the bed bug activity. Follow ups should continue until control or elimination is achieved.

Inquire if children or pets are present and adjust their treatment protocol and use of pesticides accordingly.

Have a well-defined methodology for determining when an infestation has been eliminated.

Work with property managers to notify adjacent apartments about the problem and recommend including surrounding units for inspections and treatments.

How To Get Rid of Bed Bugs

Bed bugs infestation can spread easily and it’s very difficult to treat especially when a Cimex Lectularius infestation increases in epidemic proportions, as they thrive in any weather and environment. The key to eradicating bed bugs is early detection and quick treatment by an expert pest controller.

Identify Your Pest

Bed bugs hiding in the tiniest creak and crevice makes it a challenge to spot these flat and brown crawling bloodsuckers. Sometimes, bed bugs have been mistaken as cockroach nymphs or even beetles.

Choose Your Method

DIY or Professional?

When it comes to getting rid of bed bugs, you have two basic options: DIY or hire a professional. The DIY option typically prove to be ineffective and risk re-infestations. This is because bed bugs shelter in the narrowest of gaps such as seams of mattresses, bedframes or behind furniture. Most of the time, many of them faced hassles and stresses dealing with an infestation

Take Action

Contact Rentokil today to get rid of your bed bugs problem and eliminate any stress or pest concerns you have in your home or business. Benefit from a range of services and complete protection offered by a leading pest control company. Join thousands of satisfied customers throughout Indonesia.

HOW TO CHOOSE A BED BUG EXTERMINATOR

Bed bugs are real, and they are not just for hotels or public quarters like hospitals, dorms, and nursing homes. They can and do infest houses anywhere. They do not discriminate. The presence of bed bugs does not indicate anything related to a home’s cleanliness. If you think that you may have these unwanted bedroom visitors than there is no time like the present to contact a professional pest control service. There are many pest control services out there to choose from. Now you have to figure out just how to choose the right one, and just like most things that we pay for, it doesn’t hinge solely on price

There are two major area’s to look at when considering a professional exterminator or pest control service. The first area is whether they are licensed appropriately with your state and what is their membership status on national, state and local pest control associations. Membership to these associations requires an evaluation of the company’s practices both in the field, ethically and their total overall business practice

The second thing to consider, once you have found some pest control companies that pass the test with the first area, is the scope and price of their services offered. A company that is offering a complete approach to bed bug control would offer such things as:

A multi-faceted approach to treating the infestation along with the use of pesticides (vacuuming, cleaning, steaming, using mattress encasements etc.).

An actual visit and inspection of the property before giving you a price, which means there is no ‘flat fee’ to rid you of your infestation.

Provide a written report of the inspection that includes a detailed description of the recommended services and the strategy to eradicate the infestation that doesn’t have a ‘minimum’ number of visits, but is based on the actual status of your property’s bed bug status.

Present a thorough program that includes not only the initial treatment(s) to get the bugs out, but will also include follow up visits to ensure that the treatment was successful.

In this, the age of information, no one should be going into any relationship with any professional service blind and uneducated. Bed bugs are nothing to mess with. Put your worries and concerns to bed by contacting a company that meets or exceeds this list of criteria.

Tips to Prevent or Control Bed Bugs

Make sure you really have bed bugs, not fleas, ticks or other insects.

You can compare your insect to the pictures on our Identifying bed bugs Web page or show it to your local extension agent

Don’t panic!

It can be difficult to eliminate bed bugs, but it’s not impossible. Don’t throw out all of your things because most of them can be treated and saved. Throwing stuff out is expensive, may spread the bed bugs to other people’s homes and could cause more stress.

Think through your treatment options — Don’’t immediately reach for the spray can.

Be comprehensive in your approach. Try other things first. Integrated pest management (IPM) techniques may reduce the number of bed bugs and limit your contact with pesticides. If pesticides are needed, always follow label directions or hire a professional

Reduce the number of hiding places — Clean up the clutter.

A cluttered home provides more places for bed bugs to hide and makes locating and treating them harder. If bed bugs are in your mattress, using special bed bug covers (encasements) on your mattress and box springs makes it harder for bed bugs to get to you while you sleep. Leave the encasements on for a year. Be sure to buy a product that has been tested for bed bugs and is strong enough to last for the full year without tearing.

Regularly wash and heat-dry your bed sheets, blankets, bedspreads and any clothing that touches the floor.

This reduces the number of bed bugs. Bed bugs and their eggs can hide in laundry containers/hampers Remember to clean them when you do the laundry.

Hiring a Pest Management Professional for Bed Bugs

Treating bed bugs is complex and many people hire professionals to lead the effort. Because professionals can be expensive, it’s important to research your options to find the best fit for you. We cannot recommend specific pest management companies or individuals, but we can provide you with information to help you find the best services for your needs.

Anyone you hire should use IPM, which will include monitoring for any bugs that have been missed during treatment. Because this is your home, you want to help too

To maximize your chances for success when working with a professional:

Get a pest management professional (PMP) involved as soon as possible. Taking time to try to treat the problem yourself could help the infestation to spread.

Prepare for multiple visits, as very few infestations are controlled with only one treatment.

Hire a PMP experienced in treating bed bug infestations. Check the company’s credentials.

Follow guidelines on how to prepare for control, which will include laundering and cleaning.

Expect the PMP to inspect your residence, take apart furniture if necessary and use vacuums, heat and pesticides to treat the infestation.

Read EPA’s Citizen’s Guide to Pest Control and Pesticide Safety, which offers more tips on how to choose a pest control company.

How To Choose A Wedding Photographer For Your Wedding

Here Is Your Guide for How to Hire a Wedding Photographer

For a lot of people, figuring out how to hire a wedding photographer is usually done fairly early in the planning process. This is probably for a few reasons. It feels like one of the bigger wedding planning tasks (because it is, if you’re hiring a photographer), and if you’re planning to shoot engagement photos or additional portrait sessions, you want to go ahead and plan those out. Plus, some wedding photographers book out well in advance (and there are only so many weekends during wedding season), which means locking in the photographer of your choice is all about timing. Or is it? Yes, obviously, timing is mega important… but when it comes to your photographer, there are other things you need to consider early in the planning process.

KNOW WHAT STYLE YOU LIKE

I don’t mean that you need a perfectly curated Pinterest-friendly Instagram feed before you start looking for your wedding photographer, but I do mean that you should have some kind of visual idea of what you want your photos to look like. Are you into darker, moodier photography? Cool, then don’t go with someone who skews toward overexposure. Do you want someone who shoots with film? Great, make sure you include that in your search terms. Are you ultra into an abundance of natural light? Sub-question: Will your venue actually be filled with natural light? Awesome, find those people. If you’re feeling totally lost, ask people you know who have amazing wedding photos who they hired, and go from there.

KNOW YOUR VENUE

Remember what I just said about natural light? Okay, good. I am personally a huge fan of natural light and venues that have tons of it, and a lot of my work reflects that. That’s because I intentionally share photos that I think best showcase what I do—and that’s what a lot of photographers do. So if you’re getting married in a dimly lit room and you hired someone who usually shoots outside in fields, just know that your photographer can’t transport all that light into a room that doesn’t have it. Sure, your photographer can and should be able to work with any venue, but if you’re choosing a photographer because of what that person excels at, it’s helpful if your wedding fits the bill.

Review Albums With a Critical Eye

When reviewing a photographer’s album, look for the key moments you want captured: Did they get photos of both the bride and the groom when they locked eyes for the first time? Also look for crispness of images, thoughtful compositions (does a shot look good the way it was framed, or is there too much clutter in the frame?) and good lighting (beware of washed-out pictures where small details are blurred—unless that’s the style you’re after). It’s also very important that you detect sensitivity in

capturing people’s emotions; make sure the photographer’s subjects look relaxed, not like deer caught in headlights. While you two are important, of course, you want to see smiling shots of your friends too.

Ask About Your Rights

Most contracts stipulate that the photographer owns the rights to all photos taken at the wedding, even the ones of you. In other words, the photographer can use them promotionally (on their website or blog, submit them for publication and even place them in ads). That also means you can’t just post the digital proofs they send you—most photographers have a policy that you can only share watermarked images or images with their credit on them. Also, unless you negotiate otherwise, if you want to print the images yourselves or order an album from another source, you’ll have to buy the rights to the images.

Prep Together for the Day-Of

Remember that your photographer is the pro, so—while it’s helpful—you shouldn’t spend too much time putting together a detailed shot list for them. Instead, pass along your day-of timeline, give them an idea of what images you’d like captured (like a shot with each of your bridesmaids in addition to wedding party portraits) and let them do their thing. This is also the perfect moment to give them a heads up on any familial or friendship intricacies they should be aware of, like divorced parents, a grandmother that needs to remain sitting for portraits or a groomsman and bridesmaid that don’t get along (hey, it happens!). If you’re hoping to get your wedding day published online or in a magazine down the road, be sure to relay that to your photographer. This way, they’ll put extra emphasis on snapping shots of all your amazing details and will likely come armed with gorgeous styling accessories, like ribbons, linens and more, with the goal of helping your wedding aesthetic truly stand out.

Wedding Photography Package For Your Clients

Ever wonder how to start making a wedding photography package? You may know an exact amount that you can charge from your clients. However, a breakdown of price will give a convincing idea to the couple for what they are paying to you.

Here’s a list of the things you need to include in your wedding photography package:

1. Number of Events to be Photographed

First thing that you need to discuss with your client is the number of events that need to be covered. You can divide it into number of days too.

Few of the wedding ceremonies last long and the client ask you to cover all the events. It is recommended to discuss the events in details before signing up the contract.

2. Number of Photographers Shooting the Wedding

Most of the wedding photographers have second shooters to cover the details of the all events. It is also a value added service to charge a good price from the client for delivering more in less time.

The wedding photography contract should include number of additional photographers that are assisting you in the wedding shoot. You can add or remove the second shooters on the basis of need of your client.

3. Number of Hours for the Shoot

For each event that you signed to shoot, you should talk about the number of hours. Most of the clients would expect you to be available for all day. However, you should charge on hourly basis to restrict the misuse of your services.

4. Number of Prints and Soft Copies to be Delivered

Printed photos and soft copies of the wedding ceremony are need to be decided in the photography package. You should talk with your client about the number of prints to be delivered. You can include these details in the contract, so there is no miscommunication and the process becomes easy for both.

5. Traveling and Accommodation for Destination Wedding

Those wedding ceremonies that needs traveling are far more exciting. Your client must pay all your expenses. It is recommended to discuss mutually about the flights and accommodation ahead of time.

You should also talk about the meals and other basics. This cost should be included in the wedding contract.

Thing to Consider

Before you walk down the aisle, run down the following list of questions, recommends when debating hiring a planner:

  • Do I have a really stressful job that takes up a lot of my time?
  • Am I planning a wedding out of town?
  • Do I want to have a great party but feel overwhelmed by the details?
  • Do we have a lot of family drama?

You should be booking your Photographer/Videographer at least 9 months before your wedding!

By this time, you’ll have already picked your venue, a theme/color scheme, an idea of a guest list, and a basic timeline of your wedding day. This is all useful to your Photographer because…

  • Once the venue(s) is set your Photographer can look up the locations to see where they can get the best photos of you, your significant other & loved ones
  • You will know who you will really want photos with, out of town family or friends, etc.  (Add to your shot list!)
  • The general timeline is useful so whether you are having a mix of traditions or unique wedding events, you can be sure your Photographer won’t miss a thing and capture all of your special moments
This entry was posted in Events on by .

All About Circuit Breakers

What Causes Your Circuit Breaker to Burst

Circuit Breakers are electrical components designed to protect us against the risks of electric shock and our homes against fire and other types of damage that can be caused by electrical faults. Each circuit breaker in your electrical switchboard typically protects one or more related circuits against overload, short circuit and earth leakage.

There are only 3 very simple reasons why circuit breakers trip:

Overloaded Circuits – The Main Reason a Circuit Breaker Trips

Have a look around your house at all the socket outlets. How many appliances are plugged into each socket outlet? Chances are you’ve got more than the circuit is designed for. Our increasing use of electrical and electronic devices puts more pressure on our electrical installations every day – sometimes to the point where the amount of electricity we use exceeds the amount that the circuit can safely give us without overheating or getting damaged. When this occurs, the circuit breaker in your switchboard will disconnect the circuit from the electrical supply.

Short Circuits – When Things Go Really Wrong

Whether you’re digging in the garden for the great new flower box, or drilling a hole in the wall to put up that lovely family picture, each time you make changes to the house you run the risk of damaging electrical cables concealed behind walls or in the soil. When you drill a hole through a cable or cut it with a spade, direct contact occurs between the individual wires in the cable. This is known as a short circuit. Electrical cables are not designed to withstand the current flowing in such a short circuit situation. In cases such as this, the short-circuit protection mechanism in the circuit breaker disconnects the electricity supply to ensure that the cable does not melt or catch fire.

Earth Leakage Currents

Sometimes known as ground fault current or residual current, this is electricity that flows from the electrical installation to the ground or other conductive materials of the house. Electrical systems are designed to pass current between the live conductors of the installation. When appliances like kettles, refrigerators and washing machines become faulty, they can allow current to flow through their metal parts into your body and down to the ground. This is a dangerous situation known as an earth leakage. Certain types of circuit breakers known as Residual Current Devices or Ground Fault Current Interrupters trip when they detect this current flowing to the ground to protect you from electric shock.

How Can I Tell If My Circuit Breaker Has Gone Bad?

You may think it’s gone bad, but circuit breakers trip to protect you from electrical issues short circuit, overloaded circuit) that could cause fires. So first we want to rule out these common problems before jumping to the conclusion that the breaker is faulty.

Step 1: Identify what circuit the breaker is protecting

Go to your circuit breaker panel and look for one of these 2 things:

  • A label next to the breaker that’s tripping
  • A sheet on the circuit panel’s door


These will tell you what circuit this break is protecting.
Once you know that, you need to…

Step 2: Unplug all electrical devices on that circuit

You want to rule out the case of an overloaded circuit (a circuit that has more amps flowing through it than it can handle). So unplug lamps, TV components, computer components and the like that are on that particular circuit.

Step 3: Reset the circuit breaker

When you flip the breaker, you should hear a definite click.  If the switch flops back and forth and there is not definite “on” or “off” position, the breaker is probably bad.

How Do You Know If a Circuit Breaker Has Tripped?

If power has gone off in a certain area of your home rather than all over the house, the problem may be a tripped circuit breaker.  Electrical circuits of your home are protected by either circuit breakers or fuses.  All homeowners should know the location of their electrical panel or fuse box, and the opening should be easily accessible and not blocked by shelving, boxes or furniture. If each circuit breaker or fuse isn’t already labeled, take the time to identify each switch or fuse and the particular area it controls. This will save you time and effort if a circuit or fuse trips/blows. If there are two breakers or fuses for one area, such as the kitchen, take care to detail which part of the kitchen each of the two switches controls.  For example, you might label one switch “kitchen appliances” and the other switch “kitchen counter outlets” or other designations as appropriate.

If a circuit breaker trips because it has exceeded its maximum amperage, the switch handle will have moved between the on and off position and may show a red area alerting you that it has tripped. Depending on your electrical panel, sometimes the “trip” causes only a slight movement of the handle, and you’ll have to look closely at the switches to discern which one has tripped.

Circuit Breaker Warning Signs

We care about maintaining the value of your home, so make sure you’re aware of these circuit breaker warning signs:

1. Burning Smell in the Electrical Panel

One way to tell if you need a circuit breaker replacement is to sniff around and see if you smell a burning odor coming from the panel. If so, that means the wires and insulation have become overheated. Ultimately your circuit breaker is failing to protect your home from an electrical short elsewhere. Shut off the main power to the house immediately and call an electrician for an emergency service before it’s too late.

2. Breaker Will Not Remain Reset

After several months of resetting your circuit breaker, it might seem like it won’t stay on for a period of time. Boom, warning sign number two. This means the circuit breaker has failed, so hire an electrician to check the entire circuit. He’ll be able to diagnose it and ensure no further damage was done to the wiring.

3. Physical Damage

Seeing scorch marks around your circuit breaker, outlets, or other electrical appliances? Then that means the wiring has melted and failing. There’s a good chance your electrical panel breaker needs immediate service. A melted wire is one bad step away from your whole home lighting on fire. Call an electrician immediately and unplug all fixture from that circuit breaker.

4. Breakers Tripping Frequently

If it seems like every time you turn on an electrical appliance, your circuit breaker starts tripping, then you’re dealing with an outdated breaker. Circuit breakers are designed to trip when too much power is being drawn through it. It’s very frustrating dealing with a tripping circuit breaker. Each time you turn on your microwave or vacuum, you’ll find out immediately whether your breaker is tripping and if it’s ready to fail. Call an electrician who will determine whether it’s a bad breaker or if you need to add a circuit to your home.

5. Old Age

Another warning sign of a failing circuit breaker is simply if it’s too old. Circuit breakers are supposed to last for decades. However, if you’re regularly checking your breaker or haven’t had it inspected in a while then it could very well be failing without you knowing it. Having an electrician inspect your panel is a wise investment, especially for those of you who haven’t done so in the past 10 years…

Ground Fault

A particular type of short circuit, a “ground-fault,” occurs if a hot wire comes in contact with a ground wire or a metal wall box or touches wood framing members. Ground faults can be especially dangerous when they occur in areas with high levels of moisture, such as kitchens or bathrooms, or in outdoor locations. A ground fault carries a definite risk of shock.

There are steps you can take to identify and fix a ground fault, but also essential steps you should take to prevent one from occurring in the first place. For example, in areas where direct contact with the ground or water is possible, building codes may require that outlets be protected with GFCIs (ground-fault circuit interrupters).

As with hard shorts, a ground fault causes an instant reduction in resistance and an immediate increase in electrical flow. This causes the internal mechanism of the circuit breaker to heat up and trip. As with hard shorts, if a ground fault is present, the circuit breaker may trip again immediately after you reset it.

How To Manage Costs Of Residential Electrical Remodel

Residential Electrical Explains Converters and Voltage

Many people who travel to or from the United States run into problems when they try to use electronics like a laptop or hair dryer. This is because the American 110 volt power system is different than the European 220 volt electricity. Without a converter, devices can fail or become damaged. Even the electrical system in use can be damaged. Always use caution when operating devices in another country and check the voltage before plugging them in.

Voltage Difference between US and Europe

The United States is one of the only countries that currently use the 110 volt / 60 hertz electrical system. Most countries use a higher voltage system that handles 220 volts at 50 hertz. Appliances and electronics in these countries are designed to only work with the electrical system in that area. Because the voltage in Europe is twice that of the American system, plugging American devices into a European electrical system without a converter can destroy the device and even cause a fire. Devices intended for the 60 hertz cycle may not be able to function on the 50 hertz system as well.

Using Products Abroad

Using your devices in another country often requires the use of a converter. To see if the device needs a converter, check the information panel. Many manufacturers design electronics to work with range of voltages and these products will list acceptable input levels as 110-240 volts. If a specific voltage is required, the item needs a converter to work outside this range. Always look at the wattage requirement of the product before buying a converter. A residential electrician can recommend a good converter that has a higher wattage rating than the device, which prevents malfunction.

Advantages of the 220 Volt System

Although it has more safety risks, the 220v system used throughout Europe can reduce energy use and the electrical load.

There is no clear winner between the 110 volt and 220 volt electrical systems. It is important to remember the differences and risks, however, when traveling to a different country. Using electrical devices on a system they were not made for can cause fires or cause the device to malfunction or break. A trained residential electrician can recommend the right converter to use electrical items on any voltage system.

How do I increase voltage in my home?

You need to find out if the AC voltage to  your house is “normal” or if it has drooped to a lower value due to large current demand in the neighborhood.  It is the task of the power company to supply the normal voltage to your house.  If it is too low, they need to fix something.  In principle you could use a step-up transformer to raise the voltage, but a transformer big enough to handle the load current of an air conditioner could be expensive.  I would not try that first. 

Now, if the voltage to your house is normal, you may have an air conditioner that is intended for use with a different voltage.  Like trying to run a 220V input unit from 110V (if you are in the USA).  Or maybe the air conditioner has a leak and has lost coolent.  More input voltage won’t help with that.

How to Convert 120v to 240v? Voltage Converter Application

120V (110v) outlet can power virtually any standard device you can imagine, from tiny handheld electronics to large appliances. However, the item you want to use may require the higher 240V (220v, 230v) outlet. Fortunately, converting your outlet from 120V to 240V is a relatively simple project. Moreover, buying a reliable voltage converter will make the job even easier.

Gather Your Tools, and Turn Off the Power
The tools needed to convert an 120V wall outlet to a 240V outlet include screwdrivers, a neon voltage tester, and a black marker. You also need a 240V receptacle and a double-pole circuit breaker. Turn off the power at the main circuit breaker to avoid electrocution while you are working. Even with the power off, the terminals and wires on the main breaker carry an electrical charge, so you should never touch them for any reason.

Remove and Disconnect the Outlet Breaker and Wires
Locate the specific terminal that governs the 120v outlet, and loosen it with the screwdriver. Next, remove the wire connected to the terminal. Carefully pop the breaker off of the panel, and set it aside. Locate the neutral terminal by following the white wire, and loosen the screw. Pull the wire off the bus bar, and color the last few inches of the wire with your black marker. This makes the wire easier to identify and easier for our 120v to 240v converting job.

Install the Double-Pole Circuit Breaker
Hook the two tabs on the back of the 120v double-pole circuit breaker to the lock bar inside the breaker panel. Press the tabs firmly, and immediately switch the new breaker off. Locate the two terminal screws on the new breaker and loosen them. Slide the wire previously connected to the old breaker into one terminal and tighten it. This step must be done carefully, in order to achieve 120V transform to 240V.

Install the 240V Receptacle
Slide the prongs of the neon voltage tester into the existing socket to ensure it does not contain a current. If the lamp on the tester doesn’t light up, you can proceed. Remove the screw holding the 120V outlet cover in place, and pop it off. Remove the screws holding the receptacle in place, and slide it out of the electrical box. Remove the white, black, and ground wires from the receptacle by loosening the screws on the corresponding terminals. Locate the green ground terminal on the new outlet, wrap the end of the ground wire in a clockwise U-shape around the screw, and tighten it firmly. After this step, we finally managed the operation of 120V to 240V converting.

Test the Device
Turn the power back on at the main service panel, slide the prongs of the neon voltage tester into the new socket, and test to ensure it is working. Additional lamps will light up to indicate the new, higher rating. Be sure that the new breaker only covers the new 240V outlet, since more coverage can cause electrical or operation problems with additional powered components. Now, you can safely use your appliance on the 120V to 240V power outlet.

How do I know if my device is single voltage?

If you see something on the power label that looks more like 110V AC or 120V AC, it’s a single voltage device. Single voltage devices require a plug adapter AND a voltage converter and/or a transformer for international travel. To determine now what model of converter you’ll need, you will have to figure out the wattage of your device and purchase a voltage converter that complements that. Read on for all you need to know about watts.

Watts: Watts (W) measure how much power a device uses. You can find out the wattage of your device by looking for the W on the power label.

A low-watt range is typically 23W to 50W, which is usually the wattage range of the most common travel electronics. But many heating devices needing a higher setting can consume between 1000W and 2000W. You need to know the wattage of your device in order to determine the appropriate voltage converter to purchase so look on the indications label of your device for the W to get this information. Then, be sure to buy a converter with a wattage rating that is two to three times higher than the device you plan to operate in order to safely convert. For example, for an appliance rated at 400 watts, you should get a converter that is at least 800 watts.

What Would Cause Low Voltage in House Wiring?

One of the most common causes of low voltage is the overload of the system. Different times of the day, such as early afternoon, are typically high demand times. As is well known, hot days and weeks of the summer can cause a surge of power demand for air conditioners, a very power hungry set of machines. When the power company detects a large surge in demand, it will engage in the standard 5 percent reduction in power per home in a region. This can be a cause for under- or weak voltage.

Less well known is the concept of distance. Utility Systems Technologies in New York issued a paper in September 2009 dealing with both the causes and solutions to low voltage issues. One of the claims made is that homes at a great distance from the main power plant or generator will receive a lower amount of voltage than homes that are closer. This is particularly the case in spread-out rural areas. The problem here is “low load density.” This means that electricity must travel farther. In urban areas where people live close together, the increased density of “thickness” of the electrical signal is conducive to higher, or at least more regular, voltage per home.

Make An Old Home New With A Home Renovation Contractor

How to choose a home remodeling contractor

So you’re ready to put in a new bathtub, or you finally picked out that new tile for your kitchen. If you don’t want to do the work yourself, or you don’t have the time or skills to tackle a DIY home improvement project, hiring a contractor is the way to go. But choosing a home improvement contractor can be a headache: How can you tell if someone is good at a job you don’t know how to do?

When you choose a contractor, you’re hiring a new employee for a job. You wouldn’t hire the first applicant for a job at your business, so don’t choose your home improvement contractor without narrowing down the best candidates. Examine portfolios of previous work, check licensing, listen to referrals and gather competitive bids before you make a final decision.

Get recommendations

The first step in finding the right home improvement contractor is to create a list of 10–15 local contractors who have the right expertise. You’ll gradually narrow down this list to the top contenders and ultimately use it to select your contractor, so it’s best to include more names than you’ll need at this point.

Red flags

Successful contractors will make it easy for you to get in touch with them and see examples of their work. Be cautious of home improvement contractors who lack basic information, such as a website, social media presence and reviews

Compare each contractor’s portfolio

Choose a contractor who specializes in the type of remodel you need; someone who specializes in remodeling kitchens might not be ideal for your bathroom renovation. A home improvement contractor with a creative eye can also be helpful for certain projects. For instance, if you want to lay a tile entryway with a detailed mosaic or paint a room with a faux finish, you’ll need a contractor who does that type of work well.

How to Choose a Remodeling Contractor

When choosing a contractor to head up your remodel, these simple steps can mean the difference between complete confidence and sleepless nights.

Ask for Referrals

Word of mouth-hands down, is the best way to find a qualified professional to tackle the job. Ask relatives, friends and neighbors whom they’ve had good experiences with. And ask what made it a positive experience, how the contractor handled problems and whether he or she would use the same contractor again.

Look at Credentials

With recommendations in hand, do some preliminary research, whether it’s with a phone call or a visit to the contractor’s website. Find out whether he or she holds all the required licenses from state and local municipalities, along with designations from any professional associations such as the National Kitchen & Bath Association, the National Association of the Remodeling Industry and the National Association of Homebuilders. Look for contractors who have invested in course work and passed rigorous tests to earn particular certifications. Be aware, however, that not all certifications are created equal. Do some homework and find out the requirements.

Interview Candidates

Narrow down the list of contenders and set up meetings. Try to keep it to three contractors, because things can get confusing beyond that. How a contractor answers questions is extremely important, but communication goes both ways. Candidates should ask plenty of questions, too

Check References

Ask to see some of the contractors’ projects. If you approve of them, request references and call contractors’ former customers to check up on them. Ask how the contractors did at executing the projects. Were they on time and on budget? Were the customers pleased with the outcome? Was there anything that could have been done differently?

How to Choose the Right Home Remodeling Contractor

Often times, the hardest part of starting a home remodel is choosing a remodeling contractor. What do you look for? Do you hire an architect or a design-build firm? How do you choose? Searching for the right contractor takes work. To make it easier for you, and to ensure your experience is as enjoyable as possible with the fewest regrets, we’ve put together a few steps for you to consider as you begin the selection process.

Know What You Want and How You Want to Live

Beyond knowing what you want your kitchen or bathroom remodel to look like or where you want to add or expand living space in your home, you should also consider having an important conversation with your remodeling contractor about how you plan to live, work and play in your home (in 5 years, 10 to 15 years or even a lifetime). Do you have plans to keep your home in the family for many generations? Do your family members have any health or physical needs that will need to be accommodated now or in the future? How does the flow in and around rooms currently function for you? What challenges are you experiencing with your home, or anticipate in the future?

Decide Which Delivery Method is Best for You

If you’re considering a major remodel, it’s important to explore the two most common delivery methods for your home remodel. Many homeowners start by hiring an architect, working with him/her to come up with a plan set, then shop around for a building contractor. With this approach, the homeowner makes decisions about almost every detail of the home remodel design and building process without any input from the contractor.

Ask for Referrals from Friends & Family

Reputable home remodeling contractors generate glowing recommendations. When you’re ready to remodel, be sure to ask your friends, family, neighbors, and other acquaintances to identify a remodeling contractor that they trust and would use again. Asking for a recommendation helps you narrow down your selection, and may also help you determine which contractors to avoid. Look for someone who has experience in your neighborhood or specific remodeling expertise (e.g., you need someone who has experience remodeling kitchens).

Review Their Reviews

Put your computer to work and take the time to read online reviews. And, look for places where reviews are hard to fake, such as Houzz, Google, Yelp and a third party customer satisfaction surveying service, like GuildQuality. What are people saying about the company and their experience with them? And better yet, how is the home remodeling contractor addressing complaints? Look for someone who is able to provide quality references and don’t be afraid to ask to see some of their completed projects in person or to speak to their past clients! This simple exercise can tell you a lot about your contractor prospects and help you hire the right one.

HOW TO CHOOSE THE BEST LOCAL CONTRACTORS FOR YOUR HOME RENOVATION

Are you dreaming of a new kitchen, an updated bathroom, or about adding a room to your home? Or perhaps you’re in the process of building your dream house? Before you can start any of these projects, you need to find the right local contractor for the job.

Use the Right Search Engine

Before you can choose the right local contractors for your home remodeling project, know where to look for. You could go to Google and type in “local contractors.” But while Google’s algorithms will bring you a few local businesses, it will also bring you plenty of others that are far away.

Find a Specialist

Different types of work you need to have done around the home require a different type of contractor. No matter the type of work you want to do, there’s at least a few local contractors out there who would be great for the job. The trick is finding them.

Check the Reviews

Once you’ve narrowed your search, assess your options. Luckily, online reviews make this a breeze. They are just as good as asking a friend or neighbor for their opinion.

Screen Potential Contractors

Once you’ve narrowed down your search to contractors with great online reviews, it’s time to start screening. This is an important step. Websites allow you to book services online, and can make it tempting to skip this step. But resist the temptation.

Here Are The Interview Questions To Ask A Potential Contractor

Dreaming up a new kitchen or spa-worthy bathroom may be the most fun part of renovating, but choosing the right renovation contractor is the most important part. This person will rip out your walls and spend your money, so it’s really important that you like and trust them enough to embark on the remodeling journey together.

Customers are your best sources for information, so don’t be afraid to ask a potential contractor if you can speak with their past customers. Put on your reporter’s hat and ask questions like, “Were deadlines and expectations met?” and “What were your best and worst experiences?” Christina Hoffmann, content manager for HouseLogic.com, recommends checking online reviews, too. “Look at Yelp, Angie’s list, and online forums,” she says. “Make sure you’re seeing the full gamut of what people are saying.”

Don’t just ask for an overall price estimate. “One of the most important questions to ask is, ‘Can you itemize prices?'” Hoffmann says. “Then you can compare apples to apples. If prices are not itemized, you don’t know what they’re charging for.” An itemized list also lets you identify areas where you can make changes to shave costs.

Remodelers must perform quality work and maintain a good reputation to stay in business—plus, you’re paying for their relationships with other contractors or suppliers. “Ask how long they’ve been doing business locally,” Hoffmann recommends. “You want them to be established and have an established team of subcontractors.”

Most states require contractors to pass an exam and take annual education courses to maintain a current license; insurance covers employees. That way, if someone gets hurt on the job, the company’s insurance covers the medical bills. Otherwise, an injured worker could come after you, the homeowner, to foot the bill. A surety bond is liability for you in case the contractor doesn’t finish the job or goes out of business.

How To Find The Right Wedding Videographer

How to Choose a Wedding Videographer: The Essential Guide

What Does Wedding Videography Involve?

Forget the dreary, out of focus and wobbly videos you may have seen in the past, the new breed of wedding videographers are producing high quality and imaginative wedding day films.

Is it Expensive?

There are of course many different wedding videography companies to choose from and they all vary in cost, quality and style.

Which Style of Wedding Videography is Right for Me?

The style of your wedding and the overall atmosphere of the day should be conveyed clearly in your wedding video –a good videographer will know how to capture this. If you prefer your video to be raw and not too edited, then a traditional style of wedding videography is right for you.

How to Get The Best Wedding Video Ever

Hire the Person Whose Style Most Closely Matches Yours

Just like photographers, videographers take different approaches to their craft. Documentary-style videos present the events chronologically, without many special effects, while a cinematic film is generally more dramatic, using interesting angles for a Hollywood-movie feel (these are just two options of many). “You don’t want to select a cinematographer with one style and send them clips from another videographer with a totally different style. Just hire the one you like!” says Taryn Pollock, owner of Serendipity Cinematography based in Arizona and California.

Take Finding a Videographer As Seriously As You Do Your Photographer

Unfortunately, hiring a videographer seems to get pushed back somewhere between welcome bags and favors—and it’s just too important for that C-list slot on your long list of to dos. “By that time, there will only be a handful of studios left to choose from, and most likely, you won’t be able to hire your first choice,” says Julie Hill, owner and creative director at Elysium Productions, an international videography firm.

Subscribe to Video Websites

There are plenty of places to find wedding videographers, but Vimeo and Love Stories TV are the preferred spot for most A-list picks to post their recent work. Aside from the big videography communities, you can easily search by location and even wedding venue to find clips from your reception venue and get ideas.

Embrace the Professional Referral Factor

People like your photographer and wedding planner have worked with videographers in the past and will be able to suggest filmmakers they’ve liked or that they’ve heard good things about through previous clients.

Tips for Choosing Your Wedding Videographer

Be sure that you jive with the videographer

When you bring a videographer on, you’re going to have to tango with them from the moment you sign the contract until months after your wedding during their editing process. You’re going to want to make sure that before you sign anything, you’re tangoing to the same beat.

Be sure you like the way their previous films tell stories

A bride once told me “There has yet to be a wedding video you’ve created that has not made me cry.” Whenever I get feedback like that, it feels awesome because it tells me I am doing my job. I am storytelling.

Make sure they have assistants to help split the tasks at your big day

I used to shoot weddings solo and I would not recommend it to my worst enemy. There is just too much gear, too many balls in the air, too little time, and too many places to be at once for it to go smoothly. Choose someone who will send at least two people out on your wedding day.

Don’t be afraid to budget for a videographer- quality often depends upon what you pay

A lot of brides still consider video a luxury item to add to their wedding if budget allows. I would say that with that mind set, you may not want to get a video at all because you could end up paying for something you don’t love.

HOW TO CHOOSE A WEDDING VIDEOGRAPHER

Budget

Budget is a total arse. But it’s an important thing to keep in mind when choosing a videographer because costs can range from as little as £200 – £5000 (maybe more) however there are some huge differences to be considered.

Style

Do you want a cinematic dream-like film which makes your day appear as magically as it felt? Or do you want to belly laugh at a sneaky shot of Uncle Bob picking his nose in the corner of the room? Or do you want both? Do you want to be taken away from your guests so your videographer can direct some beautiful shots of you smooching, whispering I love you’s, having a laugh together and making you look like the stars of romantic movie or are you happy for your videographer to hide in the shadows, capturing the more natural moments as they happen so you can chill with your guests longer? Do you want speeches running over the top of your film or do you want music to be the main audio? Different videographers have different styles of delivering a wedding video, they are different artists, some are Banksy, some are Da Vinci! What style do you like? Do your research, find the videos you’re most drawn to and then find the videographers that can deliver that within your budget. Perhaps consider using key words in your searches “Cinematic Wedding Videographer” “Fun Wedding Videographer” “Naturalistic Wedding Videographer” “Alternative Wedding Videographer” “Eco-Friendly Wedding Videographer” etc etc

Kit

There’s two parts to this; quality of kit, what are they using, what have they achieved with that kit. But perhaps more importantly, how much kit is there? Do you want lights beaming your way during speeches with 8 cameras dotted around the room so every angle/reaction is covered or would you prefer something more low key, less invasive and instead compromise on less angles? It’s not a top consideration but it’s certainly worth noting.

How to Choose a Wedding Videographer

COST OF A WEDDING VIDEOGRAPHER

Wedding videography packages usually range from $1K to more than $15K. Most wedding videographers charge a rate based on the amount of time they render their professional services. Others out there offer a preset package which also includes other pieces such as an extra shooter or a same-day edit. Even if you are just planning to buy a standard package, it is very important that you run through the other offers and what’s included. Some wedding videographers will also base their pricing on the number of guests and venue of the place.

STYLE

The styles of wedding videographers can vary. With this being said, it is quite tricky to find someone who can meet your expectations. Wedding videographers, just like the photographers, take different approaches and style to their craft. Documentary style wedding videos present the events in a chronological manner minus the special effects. They tend to lean on interviews of the guests and montages overlaid with snippets of conversation and catchy quotes.

EXPERIENCE

Although expert wedding videographers are preferred, up-and-coming, or new artists in the wedding videography industry will not do you any harm. If they have the equipment and you’ve identified you’re preferred style of wedding videography, then it’s matter of finding the right match!

EQUIPMENT

In order to create a cinematic wedding video, it’s crucial that you’re wedding videographer has the right tools. A wedding videographer without a high-end camera is like Leonardo Da Vinci without a paintbrush. They must have the right sound equipment, the lights and cameras that can handle low light situations (such as inside an old cathedral).

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