Removing Lime Scale With Commercial Water Testing

Well Water Testing and Inspection Course

Well Water Testing and Inspection Course is an online training program we have developed to teach home inspectors the health, safety, and welfare issues surrounding Well Water Testing as part of the home inspection process. Home inspectors who complete this course will learn how to perform well water testing, details surrounding Well Water Testing procedures, and what to do if you detect the presence of bacteria or pollutants while performing your well water testing as part of a home inspection.

For the most part Well Water Testing falls outside of the standards of practice for common home inspection. That said, you will have home inspection clients from time to time who will ask questions about the water quality and the condition of their well during a home inspection. As a home inspector you will want to be able to provide answers to those questions. Below you’ll find a sample of our Well Water Testing and Inspection course.

who complete our Well Water Testing and Inspection course will be able to automatically print the certificate of completion after passing the included exams. The Well Water Testing and Inspection Course is included free of charge for students who enroll in our online home inspection course or any of our classroom home inspection training courses.

Home Inspection

The most popular service we offer, a general home inspection is a comprehensive and detailed evaluation of the visible and accessible major elements of the home, performed in accordance with the ASHI Standards of Practice and Code of Ethics. Inspection time is usually 2 1/2 to 3 hours. Attending the inspection is a great visual and hands on learning experience for first time and veteran buyers. Clients receive a combination checklist and narrative report at the conclusion of the inspection.

Individual Element Inspection

Occasionally, a lender may require a single element be evaluated prior to closing. We can provide quick service to inspect a roof, foundation, electrical panel, etc. and fax or e-mail to the client, agent or lender to expedite the transaction.

EIFS Inspection

The best way to get an unbiased, accurate evaluation of the EIFS cladding on your home is to have a qualified third party inspector test for moisture in the substrate behind the cladding. Wells has been certified by the Exterior Design Institute and Moisture Warranty Corporation to perform EIFS inspections according to protocol they developed to evaluate the condition and performance of the cladding

Radon Testing

Radon is a cancer-causing, radioactive gas. It is invisible, odorless, and tasteless. The National Academy of Sciences estimates that radon causes between 15,000 and 22,000 lung cancer deaths each year in the U.S. The Biological Effects of Ionizing Radiation Committee concludes that after smoking, radon is the second leading cause of lung cancer deaths in the U.S.

Well Inspection

In conjunction with a general inspection, we can provide a cursory evaluation of the private water system on-site. This includes drawing a measured volume of water to check flow rate and cycle time of well pump, if applicable. A visual inspection is made of well casing, pressure tank and accessible equipment.

Water Potability Testing

Potability testing is a checking for the presence of the most common bacteria found in private water sources (Coliform, E-coli, & Fecal coliform). A water sample from the subject property is delivered to EPA approved lab for analysis. Results are generally available from lab in 24 to 48 hours and are forwarded to client immediately upon receipt.

Water Testing

When buying or selling a home, water quality testing is an essential part of health and safety inspections. The findings of a water testing inspection could make or break a successful sale. If it is determined that the water is not potable, the home’s entire plumbing system could need to be replaced, which could cost tens of thousands of dollars.

During a water testing inspection, members of the Inspect-It 1st team will use a water quality test to measure the following:

Acidity levels

Chlorine levels

Water Hardness



Nitrates & nitrites

Water Testing

Home water testing basics

Water is one of our earth’s most valuable natural resources and the United States has one of the safest water supplies in the world. But water quality and treatment varies depending upon location. We often take for granted that the water coming out of the kitchen faucet is clean and safe to drink

Where does water come from?

Water can be found in lakes, rivers or reservoirs and lots of other places like mountain springs for example. Aquifers are one of the earth’s most precious natural resources and the water in them is often referred to simply as groundwater.  These aquifers can be thought of as enormous underground lakes, or porous deposits of gravel or sediment containing the ground water.

The water flows through the permeable layers and people extract the water using a variety of methods such as the private water wells and cisterns that supply homes in rural areas where access to a public water supply does not exist.  The supply of water to a private home can be supplied from lots of different sources. The geographic areas where aquifers are located can be very large, in fact, as large as hundreds of miles and can stretch across state lines.

It’s easy to say, oh no, it’s raining but remember, precipitation in the form of rain, snow, sleet or hail for example acts to replenish the supply of water in the aquifers.  The supply of water available is always important for home dwellers.  A water shortage can result when the rate of water usage exceeds the amount of precipitation that is capable of replenishing the water supply which is why you may see in certain areas of your own state, signs that say: “water your grass on odd days if your address is an odd number; water your grass on even days if your address is even.”

What is the difference between well water and a public water supplier?

Public water suppliers are regulated by organizations such as the EPA and DEP and state agencies.  On the other hand a private well is just one of several methods home owners may utilize to supply a home with water.  Private well water is not regulated. Therefore the maintenance and protection of the well is the sole responsibility of the home owner.  Home owners may want to consider having their private well tested on an annual basis which for most folks can simply be a matter of adding this activity to the usual basic home maintenance items.  It’s probably a good idea to be aware of any current activities in your local area that may affect your water quality and quantity as well.

Well Water Testing

Private Well Users

Well Water Users should test their water regularly to ensure clean quality water. If you are purchasing a home or if your water quality hasn’t been tested for a while,  we recommend that you schedule a well water quality test right away. All Private Well Users, at the minimum,  should check for Coliform Bacteria every year, and every other year for Nitrates. All Well Water Testing  lab results are emailed, normally within 2-3 business days.

Real Estate Transactions

Well Water testing as a requirement for real estate loan processing is becoming more common. In the real estate market, we understand that time is money.  Real Estate transactions including the loans, whether conventional, FHA or VA require testing of well water as a condition of the mortgage. State certified lab Results will be available in 2-3 days depending on testing requirements.  Get peace of mind about the water safety in your new home.

Which Test is Required for Loan processing?

Q:Which water tests are required for a Conventional Loan?

A: The water test requirement is at the home loan provider’s discretion. In most cases it is at least Coliform Bacteria and Nitrates.

Q: Which water tests are required for HUD, FHA, VA and Rural Development home loans?

A: Coliform Bacteria, E-Coli, Nitrites, Nitrates, Lead and Arsenic.


Conventional Loans

Cost for this test is $125.00 when bundled together with a home inspection or $150.00 as an individual water test, which includes trip charges.


FHA/VA requirements require lead and Arsenic to also be tested. The cost for this test is $200.00 when bundled together with home Inspection, or $225.00 as an individual water test, which includes trip charges.

Global Accountant Alliance

Accounting Transactions

What are Accounting Transactions?

Accounting transactions refer to any business activity that results in a direct effect on the financial status and financial statements of the business. Such transactions come in many forms, including:

  • Sales in cash and credit to customers
  • Receipt of cash from a customer by sending an invoice
  • Purchase of fixed assets and movable assets
  • Borrowing funds from a creditor
  • Paying off borrowed funds from a creditor
  • Payment of cash to a supplier from a sent invoice

It is imperative to remember that every transaction should show the balance between the assets and the liabilities, or the debit and the credit, such that a receipt of cash from a customer equals an increase in revenue or that a purchase from a supplier equals an increase in expenses and a decrease in cash.

Types Of Accounting Transactions Based On Institutional Relationship

The types of accounting transactions may be based on various points of view. The first one that we will discuss is the types of accounting transactions according to institutional relationships, namely external and internal transactions.

1. External transactions

These involve the trading of goods and services with money. Therefore, it can be said that any transaction that is entered into by two persons or two organizations with one buying and the other one selling is considered an external transaction. It is also called a business transaction.

Example: If Company A buys raw materials for its production from Company B, then this is called an external transaction.

2. Internal transactions

They don’t involve any sales but rather other processes within the organization. This may include computing the salary of the employees and estimating the depreciation value of a certain asset.

Types of Accounting Transactions based on the Exchange of Cash

Based on the exchange of cash, there are three types of accounting transactions, namely cash transactions, non-cash transactions, and credit transactions.

1. Cash transactions

They are the most common forms of transactions, which refer to those that are dealt with cash. For example, if a company purchases office supplies and pays for them with cash, a debit card, or a check, then that is a cash transaction.

2. Non-cash transactions

They are unrelated to transactions that specify if cash’s been paid or if it will be paid in the future. For example, if Company A purchases a machine from Company B and sees that it is defective, returning it will not entail any cash spent, so it falls under non-cash transactions. In other words, transactions that are not cash or credit are non-cash transactions.

3. Credit transactions

They are deferred cash transactions because payment is promised and completed at a future date. Companies often extend credit terms for payment, such as 30 days, 60 days, or 90 days, depending on the product or service being sold or industry norms.

Types of Accounting Transactions based on Objective

There are two types of accounting transactions based on objective, namely business or non-business.

1. Business transactions

These are everyday transactions that keep the business running, such as sales and purchases, rent for office space, advertisements, and other expenses.

2. Non-business transactions

These are transactions that don’t involve a sale or purchase but may involve donations and social responsibility.

3. Personal transactions

Personal transactions are those that are performed for personal purposes such as birthday expenditures.

What Are the Different Types of Accountants?

Despite what many believe, an accounting career can involve far more diverse work than adding piles of receipts or dealing with tax returns all day. If filling out tax forms doesn’t appeal to you, we have some great news: the world of accounting has expanded—pursuing a future as an accountant doesn’t mean you’ll do nothing but calculate people’s deductions every year (although managing tax returns is still a very important role for most accountant positions). This profession continues to grow, and it provides interested individuals the opportunity to work in exciting industries, each with its own earning potential.

Staff Accountant

A staff accountant is a great option for anyone who has a bachelor’s degree in accounting and who wants a variety of work. Staff accountants generally report to a CPA, creating financial reports and analyzing financial data. Depending on the size of the organization, a staff accountant may also be tasked with both accounts payable and accounts receivable management, creating a budget, and reconciling bank accounts. Generally, staff accountants also work to ensure that the organization is compliant with financial regulations that affect their particular industry. As a staff accountant gets more experience in an industry, they may also be called on to create financial forecasts.

Certified Public Accountant

Although certified public accountants (CPAs) are best known for their work on both federal and state taxes, they manage much more than that. In many industries, a CPA may be hired to manage the organization’s staff accountants. Because a CPA has an extensive, focused education that required the passage of specialized exams, they’re often treated as an organization’s financial advisor. They may also oversee audits or reviews. CPAs may also specialize in certain fields, such as forensic accounting.

Investment Accountant

Another excellent accounting career option outside of the tax realm is that of an investment accountant. An investment accountant works in the financial industry, usually with an investment brokerage or asset management firm. In addition to knowing the basics of accounting (including how certain assets and investments may impact a client’s taxes), they must also be knowledgeable about the investment opportunities that the organization offers. It is often the responsibility of the investment accountant to ensure that the organization is in compliance with state and federal regulations that impact the industry. They may also help the organization improve its financial strategy.

Individuals interested in becoming an investment accountant would benefit from taking economics, financial management, financial accounting, cost accounting, auditing, corporate accounting, and taxation. It’s also important to review the requirements in the state where they wish to work to learn whether they will need a specific license because they are working with or for an investment company.

Project Accountants

Project accountants are hired to work on specific projects. Depending on the organization for which they are hired, they may be a long-term employee or a contractor brought in specifically to manage one specific objective. Of course, a great working relationship for a single project could also result in both repeat work and referrals. Project accountants oversee anything that might be involved with the effort. This includes, but may not be limited to, preparing invoices, collecting on invoices, approving expenses, approving billable hours provided by others, planning and maintaining project budgets, and helping ensure that the project is completed by the deadline.

Cost Accountant

A cost accountant is similar to a project accountant in that their goal is to help ensure that cost efficiency is met. However, a cost accountant isn’t usually hired on a per-project basis, but rather by organizations that require assistance in managing their supply chain profitability and their budgets. Cost accountants analyze labor costs, the cost of materials, the costs associated with shipping, production costs, and other costs related to the supply chain. The purpose of their efforts is to identify areas that can be made more efficient.

Individuals interested in becoming a cost accountant would benefit from taking cost accounting, auditing, corporate accounting, risk management, supply chain management, and managerial accounting.

Management Accountant

A management accountant analyzes the financial standing of an organization and how it could impact the company. The management account may also then provide specific advice on how to improve the organization’s financial health. Management accountants are directly involving in budgeting, external financial reporting, risk management, and performing profitability analyses. It is also important for a management accountant to have the interpersonal and professional skills required to present their information to executives in a manner that is easily understandable.

Individuals interested in becoming a management accountant should study risk management, managerial accounting, cost accounting, auditing, corporate finance, taxation, and interpersonal communications. After completing a bachelor’s degree, individuals must then take and pass the certified management accountant (CMA) exam.

Forensic accounting is a special area of practice in accountancy where accounting, auditing, and investigative skills are used to assist the court in legal matters.  Forensic accountants are also known as forensic auditors or investigative auditors.  They investigate white-collar crimes including issues like securities fraud, embezzlement and bankruptcies.

Accounting consultants are persons with high subject matter expertise in preparing financial reports, pro-forma financial statements and reports.  They also analyze, interpret and evaluate financial statements and reports for various regulatory and statutory authorities and internal management of organizations.  Accounting consultants can help a business with all of its financial needs.


Auditors ensure that organizations are correctly recording their financial information. Many industries require that organizations operating within them perform at least one external audit, conducted by someone who is not an employee, each year. Auditors review financial statements, account books, accounting systems, and fiscal records to ensure that the business is complying with all applicable financial regulations. They also generally provide recommendations to the organization if there are issues that must be resolved or recommendations to help prevent future issues.

Individuals interested in becoming an auditor would want to take courses in auditing, risk management, forensic accounting, managerial accounting, corporate finance, and corporate accounting. They may also wish to seek certification as an auditor after completing their degree program.

Financial Advisor

Individuals looking to do something different with their accounting degree may find a fulfilling and successful career as a financial advisor. Financial advisors provide investment and financial-planning services to individuals as well as to businesses. The goal of a financial advisor is that of a CPA: their goal is to improve their client’s financial standing. Financial advisors talk with their clients, create plans that assists clients in meeting their financial goals, and follows up with them over time to adjust plans as needed. Financial advisors who work for businesses will look at the company’s financial statements and other information to determine how best to improve the company’s financial standing.

Individuals interested in becoming a financial advisor would want to study risk management, taxation, supply chain management, financial management, corporate finance, and managerial accounting. They may also be required to obtain specific licenses to work as a financial advisor.

Financial Consultant

A financial consultant is an individual who is skilled in finance and who can help individuals or organizations make sound financial decisions. A financial consultant may be self-employed, be hired by a particular organization because of their skill set, or work for a company that provides financial consulting. They may prepare and review financial reports, analyze financial statements, and help ensure compliance with regulations where necessary.

Taxation, risk management, supply chain management, cost management, managerial accounting, and auditing are courses useful to future financial consultants.

Upholstery Cleaning And Care

A Guide to Cleaning Upholstery: When Should You Call a Professional?

Whether it takes two days or two years, at some point someone in your family will spill something on your new sofa or armchair. When this happens, you should have some idea of the best way to treat a stain and also know when it’s the right time to call a professional.

At-Home Tips for Cleaning Upholstery

To keep your upholstered furniture looking new, remove dust regularly using a vacuum with an upholstery attachment. Do not wait until you see dust on the fabric, but rather, try to keep up a regular cleaning schedule. Should spills occur, blot the stain, but avoid rubbing it further into the fabric.

Crack the Code

Upholstered fabrics vary widely in types of fiber and resiliency, so be sure to read the care and use instructions on the tag before applying any soap or solution. No matter which code is listed on the furniture tag, always test any cleaning solutions on a hidden area of your furniture before using it on a visible stain. Most manufacturers use a voluntary coding system to inform consumers about the recommended cleaning methods of individual fabrics

Check your furniture for a tag with a code indicating the best way to clean. “W” means you can spot-clean the fabric with water or a water-based detergent such as mild dishwashing liquid. “S” means a water-free solvent must be used to clean stains. “SW” means you can try either water or solvents. “X” means the fabric should only be vacuumed. If this type of fabric is stained, you will need to consult a professional for assistance.

The technicians will properly measure the amount of liquid cleaning solution needed and prevent accidental overwetting of your furniture that could result in permanent damage. Lastly, professional cleaning systems will clean away odor-causing residue on your furniture rather than masking musty smells with scented cleaning formulas.

Best Upholstery Cleaner Machines & Sprays

Do you need to clean your home furniture? Do you want to find the natural and best upholstery cleaner machine or spray that would make the fabric covered seats look like new?

Then this is the right place! A professional upholstery cleaner refreshes and cleans your furniture, bringing new life to your living space.

Before you invest in a couch cleaning machine, you all want to keep in mind exceptional circumstances. Upholstery cleaner restores manufacturer-applied stain guard that breaks down and fades over time. It repels most stains, allowing a window of opportunity for you to soak up the spill on your own before it adheres to the furniture fiber.

An upholstery cleaner cleans the entire piece of furniture, on spot treatments to remove pet, food, drink, or oil and grease stains. Whether you have kids or pets, frequently host friends and family, or are at home a lot, you know your upholstered furniture is getting a workout. Diseases like coronavirus, dust, pollen, germs, food crumbs, stains, and blemishes can’t be avoided.

Do you want the best of the best? Are you looking for easy cleaning with sustainable power?

The Spot Clean Pro is the most powerful spot and stain cleaner. Combines superior suction, scrubbing action, and professional cleaning solution to remove stubborn pet stains, embedded dirt, and more. It provides a deep clean that leaves you with professional-style results.

This carpet and upholstery best spot cleaner was designed with a large-capacity tank that holds a gallon of cleaning solution, so you can clean more area without having to refill the tank as often. SpotClean Pro also comes with a 5-foot hose and 22-foot power cord. Just like a professional carpet cleaner can, SpotClean Pro removes stains like wine, tea, coffee, mud, and blood.

Portable Carpet and Upholstery Cleaning Machines

Keeping a house clean requires every part of the house to stay clean. If you have a carpet, it will get dirty at some point and alter your house-cleaning objectives. To achieve your cleanliness goals, you will need to consider the carpet cleaning options around you. A portable carpet spot cleaner will surely form one of the cleaning options.

Best Portable Carpet Cleaner

This portable carpet purifier gives you a professional clean in a compact package. The SpotClean refreshes upholstery, stairs, and, of course, carpet in the main room. The five-flex hose on this machine lets you get tough spots that refuse to be removed with standard vacuuming, and the 6-stair tool makes it that much easier to clear dust and debris on the family’s staircase.

Best Upholstery Cleaning Machine

Thousands of ordinary consumers and professionals in the cleaning industry seek after products and for a good reason. This portable spot cleaner has two times the suction power to rid your carpet of the toughest stains. The motorized brush on this machine lets you pay particular attention to blemishes, and the retractable handle makes the more convenient to use.

Step into the new millennium with the Hoover portable cleaner. This machine specializes in attacking stubborn spots on upholstery and carpet. Just spray and employ the device to scrub and suction stains away. The Hoover carpet cleaner does all of the work so that you can move on to more desirable tasks around the house.

SpotBot is a deep cleaning system that includes a 2-year warranty and a host of accessories. This portable machine can store up to 30 ounces of dirty water, which lets you completely clean a medium-sized area rug before having to pour out waste. A 15-inch power cord also lets you do more by eliminating the need to switch outlets every time you decide to cover a new area of the house

A Guide to Cleaning Car Upholstery

When you speak of fabric car upholstery, it is a fact that it serves for an undeniably beautiful inside view of your car. However,remember that it is extremely easy for fabric car upholstery to tarnish . Regardless of whether it is a stain from your morning coffee or a crayon stain, your fabric car upholstery needs care, with vigilance, if the inside of your car is to continuously give a spotless view.

However, there can be such times when you end up spoiling your upholstery, regardless of all of the care and precautions you might exercise. Bearing that in mind, here are some of the methods that you can use as a guide to cleaning car upholstery in the best possible way

Use a Vacuum Cleaner

The first thing that you need to do, before getting up close and personal with your seats, is to use a vacuum cleaner to get rid of all kinds of dirt, dust and debris inside your car. The vacuum is supposed to not only be used on the seats but on the rest of the car’s interior as well.

The Cleaning Job

Once you are done with your cleaning round with the vacuum cleaner. It is time for you to get to work on really cleaning car upholstery. For this purpose, you will need to fill one bucket with hot water and one bucket with cold water. The cleaning job takes place mainly with hot water. While the cold water gives the finishing touch. Add a scoop of laundry detergent into your bucket of hot water. This solution serves as the upholstery cleaner for your car.

Take a sponge or rag and dip it into the solution that you have just made. It is advisable for you to use a sponge, since it will not only make the job more effective, but quicker as well. With the sponge, you scrub each and every individual seat thoroughly. So that all of the stains plaguing your seats are taken care of.

The Tough Stains

When you are speaking of cleaning car upholstery, especially the kind that of fabric. Note that there are certain stains that you will be unable to get rid of. What this means is that you will need to make use of the various cleaning products that are available in the market, precisely for this purpose.

How to Identify Cleaning Codes on Furniture and Upholstery

Ever wonder what all those symbols on fabric and upholstery tags mean? When you have to remove stains or routine-clean your upholstery, fabric cleaning codes provide valuable advice. However, not everyone is well versed in laundry hieroglyphics

Where to Find Fabric Care Symbols

Look for the tags on your furniture or upholstery. You may have to undo a few zippers or buttons to find them, or they may be crinkled in small creases or underneath the furniture. Don’t assume your couch or chair only has one tag – sometime the seat cushions, back cushions and pillows have different instructions.

Deciphering Fabric & Upholstery Cleaning Codes

“W” – Use a water-based cleaner on the fabric or upholstery. You may also use an upholstery fabric steam cleaner to remove dirt and stains. This symbol does not mean the fabric is washing-machine safe.

“S” – The fabric or upholstery is dry-clean only. It is safe to spot-clean the fabric with cleaning solvents to avoid stains and dirt buildup.

“S/W” – Water-based and solvent-based cleaners are safe for spot-cleaning stains. For a deeper clean, have the fabric professionally dry-cleaned.

“WASH” – Wash the fabric in the washing machine, in cold water and on a delicate setting. Air-dry or tumble dry on a low heat setting.

“X” – The item can only be cleaned with a vacuum cleaner

In-House Dry Cleaning

You won’t have to remove the covers, drop them off at the dry-cleaners or arrange to pick them up. Our experts will arrive at your home or business with all the equipment and expertise to clean your upholstery and fabrics. We can even professionally steam clean water-safe fabrics for a deep clean you won’t find anywhere else.

Become A Veterinarian

Essential Questions To Ask When Choosing A New Vet Clinic

Are you thinking about getting a new pet for your family? Do you perhaps already have a pet and are either about to move or have just moved to a new area? Regardless of exactly why you need one, finding a new veterinarian can seem overwhelming at first. In a single area, there may be dozens of vet practices. So picking the right one can feel like trying to guess the winning lottery numbers. Fortunately, it doesn’t have to be that difficult. By having a list of questions ready to ask, you can determine whether or not a particular clinic is actually the right one for you and your pet. Some of the first questions you should be asking include:

  • What type of animals do you see? If you have a pet that is not a cat or a dog, it’s essential to ask this question up front. In many instances, a vet clinic will refuse to take in so-called exotic animals that include rabbits, guinea pigs, birds, lizards, and so on. Even if you have an ordinary cat or dog, some clinics will specialize in one or the other. It won’t do anyone any good if you take your pet to a clinic and it turns out that it is an animal that they are unable to treat.
  • What services do you provide? In some instances, a vet clinic may only do spays/neuters and vaccinations. If you need anything else, you’d have to find another clinic that provides more services. If all you need is a spay/neuter or vaccinations right now, that’s fine. But you should also find a clinic that can see your pet if it’s actually sick and in need of some kind of medical assistance. This way, you won’t have to spend more time searching when your pet needs to see a veterinarian immediately.
  • Do you have any sort of payment plans? Depending on what services are provided, a vet clinic may only take payment up front for services rendered. You may be able to put the treatment on a credit card, but there are many people who can’t or who don’t want to get a credit card for any reason. For these people, some clinics will allow you to make payments over a number of months. They’ll generally expect you to pay something now as a down payment with the rest due depending on whatever terms the clinic has for owners. Not all clinics do this, and some that do don’t advertise so the best way to find out whether or not this is possible is to ask.

Questions You Need To Ask Your Vet

It can be a bit intimidating when going to the vet with your beloved pet. They are the expert, so how do you know what to ask or what to expect from them in return?

When it comes down to it, they are animal lovers just like you. The care about your pet and will want to provide you with the best resources for their health. Below are some of the most important questions and topics you should broach with your vet.

What services does the practice provide?

This is an important concept to go over when visiting a new vet practice. You need to make sure that the practice will be able to cater to your specific needs and provide the best care for your fur baby. Most practices will offer tours of the practice so you can see what goes on behind the scenes.

They will let you know the extent of the surgeries they will be able to provide and when it would be necessary to seek an outside specialist.

What do you do in case of an emergency with your pet?

Most practices are not open 24-hours, seven days a week. So what do you do if an injury or illness springs up on a Sunday night? Your vet should be able to give you a list of recommended emergency animal clinics in the area. If an emergency does occur and you need to seek outside treatment. It is important to keep your primary vet updated on the situation. They may be able to transfer your pet back into their care once normal business hours resume.

What policies and procedures are upheld by the clinic?

It is important to know all the policies and procedures that a clinic enforces. This helps to ensure that there are no surprises. Almost always, payment is due at the time of service. The clinic staff should review this with you on your first visit and should be able to provide an estimate of services before they are provided if special treatment is required.

How much should your pet weigh?

Healthy weight is just as important for pets as it is for us. So many pet owners are in the habit of rewarding their pets treats throughout the day and overfeeding them. Being overweight can greatly effect their health. Obesity can cause joint problems among other serious illnesses. You vet should be able to guide you on what your pet’s optimal weight is and the best way to reach it. This may require switching up foods and increasing their exercise. PetMD reviews the risks of obesity and what you can do to prevent it.

How important is dental care in pets?

Dental health is definitely something that needs to be more encouraged. Good dental health can help prevent other serious illnesses such as heart disease. Your vet will be able to provide you with a timeline on when your pet will need cleanings, what you can do at home for preventative care, and if any concerns are present. Some animals will be more susceptible to periodontal disease and may require extractions in the future. Preventative methods are a great way to help you avoid extravagant dental costs and will keep your pet’s breath nice and fresh! The AVMA provides more information on what to look for regarding dental problems and also provides a great video instructing on how to clean your pet’s teeth.

What testing is required for your pet?

At certain stages of your pets life they will need various testing beyond the general vaccines and parasite testing. It is important that your pet gets their yearly vaccines along with being tested for parasites such as heart worms, hookworms, roundworms, etc.

However, as your pet ages it becomes necessary for occasional blood tests just to make sure they are in good health and there are no underlying conditions to worry about. PetMD provides a great guide to further explain the necessity of blood testing.

How often should your pet be visiting the vet?

How frequently your pet should visit the vet will depend on their age and any conditions they may have. Yearly checkups are key for good health. If your pet is overweight, your vet may suggest coming in for weight checks.

There are other conditions that may require additional blood tests for maintenance of the condition. VCA is a great source and reviews the importance of wellness exams and what exactly your vet will be looking for and why.

Is pet insurance right for you?

There is no doubt that vet expenses can escalate quickly. Your vet should be able to offer you options for pet insurance and review the benefits with you.

This can help to make maintenance expenses more affordable and if unforeseen issues arise, insurance can help tremendously. PetMD provides the expanded benefits of investing in pet insurance.

Why are vaccines and parasite prevention important?

It is hard to have concern for things that you do not see. When it comes to parasite infestations and diseases it usually gets to the point of being a serious matter by the time an owner notices.

This is why getting annual tests, vaccines, and keeping up with parasite prevention is so important. It is not worth going through the stress and heartache later and it will keep your pet in optimal health.

Many of the vaccinations are for diseases that are contagious. American Humane reviews the essential and optional vaccines available for your pet and what they are preventing.

Does your pet need behavior training?

Often times when you adopt a pet, especially with a puppy, they have some bad habits they bring along with them. It may be necessary to bring in additional help in order to remedy these behavioral problems.

Your vet will be able to review with you what problems need corrected and should have recommendations on training and even tips. The ASPCA provides a great guide on picking out the right trainer for your pet’s needs.

Prepare Yourself Before Visiting Your Vet

Being a pet owner is a true commitment. Your vet is there to guide you through it and it is important that you build a bond with them and feel like you can trust them.

These vet questions provide a general guide on some of the topics you should review with your vet to get your pet to be at their best and live and long and healthy life. Never be afraid to keep asking questions.

They want you to be knowledgeable and confident with your pet’s health.

How To Control And Prevent Possums

How To Get Rid Of Opossums

Marsupials are truly unique animal species and people usually find them very adorable. The most popular representatives of the family – the kangaroo and the koala – have long been an object of amazement and admiration throughout the world. However, the only marsupial native

These nocturnal scavengers are omnivorous and often find shelter in human-made structures. They usually live under a shed, a porch, or in an attic, and they are known to forage in trash bins for food and to steal pet food left outside. The small marsupials are not very aggressive, nor are they particularly dangerous, but they can cause real havoc and spread contagious diseases

that have ventured onto your property as soon as possible is an urgent matter because they leave large droppings all over the place they inhabit and carry a very strong odor. If you decide to just leave the little intruders alone, they will not go away but will take up permanent residence in your attic and will raise young ones there, causing significant damage in the meantime.

Is Opossum Control Possible?

Without a doubt, keeping opossums away will save you from a lot of trouble. There are several simple precautionary measures you can take to block their access to your home but mind the fact that opossums are resourceful animals, especially when it comes to food and safety. They are well-known for “playing possum” – feigning death when encountered with serious danger

Keep your yard perfectly clean – possums don’t find clean and tidy areas attractive, so you have a chance to discourage them from entering in the first place;

Take pet food inside – needless to say, tasty treats provoke much interest in various critters and opossums make no exception;

Possums in your rental: Responsibility and treatment

If you’ve ever had a possum living above your ceiling, you’d know about it. They’re known to be noisy while they walk along your roof cavity. Here are a few tips to help you keep the critters at bay.

What’s the deal with possums?

Possums may decide to nest in your roof void and will leave droppings and urine around the nest. They’re also territorial so the smell of that urine can be particularly potent and could permeate ceilings. Much like rats and mice, possums will gnaw on just about anything that comes their way – and that includes easily accessible electrical wire and circuits.

You might have a problem with possums if…

You hear them scratching or scurrying around in your ceiling. Possums are nocturnal creatures, so if they’re around, they’re most likely to make noise at night. It’s important to note that the presence of rats can also be identified by scratching and scurrying, which can make it had to distinguish between the two. Another thing to look out for is possum droppings which will typically be larger than those that come from a rat.

Why are there possums in and around my house?

These adaptable (and usually unwanted) house guests are highly attracted to human houses. Possums like to make their nests in ceilings and wall cavities. Urban possums seem to like human-built structures like houses – even choosing them over a hollow tree. One single roof can be an excellent space for cohabiting possums, but when raucous disputes occur you’ll hear it. People often describe a ‘thump, thump, thump’ noise while possums make their way across the roof cavity, combined with screeching, crashing and scraping sounds throughout the night. Some people don’t mind having possums around, but for most, they’re considered a pest because of the noise and damage they can cause.

Steps to take against possums

Once you’ve had a possum removed from your property, there may be a need to take some preventive measures to ensure it does not return. This could involve sealing all possible possum entry points in and around your building. Remember, trees that overhang your rental property can also be an issue because they provide easy access for opportunistic possums looking for shelter in your roof.


What does it look like?

Possums are furry animals of medium to stout build with thick, bushy tails.  Their bodies are 38-45cm long (65-95cm long including the tail) and their weight varies greatly but averages 2-3kg.  There are two main colour forms, grey and black.  Possums have large eyes and catlike whiskers, which are characteristic of nocturnal animals.

Possums can live anywhere that has shelter and a varied food supply.  Forests are their favoured habitat but forest/pasture margins can also support very dense populations of possums.  Possums feed mainly on leaves but also take buds and flowers, fruits, ferns, bark, fungi, invertebrates (including land snails and weta), native birds and their eggs, and carrion.  They are nocturnal, but in winter starving or sick animals may emerge to feed in the afternoon.

Why is it a problem?

Possums are able to occupy a range of habitats and can survive on poor or irregular food supplies. By eating plant foliage they damage and destroy forests, and affect pasture, vegetable and horticultural crops.  Possums can be a vector in the spread of diseases that affect domestic animals and humans, such as tuberculosis.

Possum populations expand their range by the gradual spread of female offspring on the edge of occupied home ranges.  Their ability to produce more than one offspring per year and the enhanced survival of juvenile females when conditions are good, allows possum populations to increase rapidly in newly invaded areas or after populations have been reduced by control pressure.

The average life span of a possum is 7 to10 years.  Most female possums breed from one year of age and can produce one or, less commonly, two young in a season if food supplies are adequate.  Young possums spend the first part of their life in their mother’s pouch, feeding on rich milk.  After weaning at 5-8 months, young females tend to remain close to their mother’s home range.  Young males disperse randomly in search of receptive females and have been recorded migrating between 0.5 to 20 kilometres.

About Possums

Natural tree hollows have been lost due to fires, land clearing for housing and harvesting for wood fire burning. As brushtail possums are adaptable, they often nest in the roves and walls of the houses. In the past, many people have trapped and relocated possums, but research using radio tracking collars has proven they die. Pest exterminators often kill or translocate the possums, which  does not solve the problem, but causes other problems like trap shyness.

There are usually between 1 and 7 possums per house block. Males have larger territory than females, of up to 5 house blocks if the food supply is good, or up to 10 kms if the food is poor. Two in ten male possums survive, with females having a better chance, and they can live up to 13 years.

Possums are territorial to a point where they will fret when released into an alien territory. They will have to fight residents of the new area, a fight they seldom win. 70% of translocated possums are dead within one week. Trapping and translocating of possums rarely solves a problem, as another possum usually moves it to occupy the territory or den site in our roof, within the short period of time. Released possums may displace other wildlife such as owls, or gliders from hollows. Ideally a trapped possum in your roof should be released into a nestbox in your garden. Ie in its own territory.

Possums, like cats, are territorial. By installing a nestbox for it, other possums may be discouraged from entering your roof. Possums can be attracted to nestbox by placing fruit or in it, and smearing possum droppings over the box to  take away the “new” smell. Possums will urinate on, and rub oil from their chest, chin and anal scent glands onto it to make it their territory, and use vocalisations to defend it.

Look for the tell tale oil stains and hair traces in  the entrance of the box to see if it is being used. Seal any entrance holes into our roof while the possum is out foraging for food approx. 11pm. Possums wake  approx. 9 pm, go out to look for food and return to their den approx. 4 am.  These are the times most people hear them on their roves or ceilings.

How to Get Rid of Possums

Possums are non-aggressive animals however they are known to create unsanitary conditions, and if these circumstances help in the development of diseases, it can turn aggressive as well. There are various ways to get rid of these creatures. By removing them, we can make the environment more appealing.

You can get rid of them by setting traps and capture them immediately. You can remove them by scaring them away. You can let pets like dogs and cats roam around in the lawn. This will scare away the possums. They bite the possums viciously and scare them away in no time. You can also collect the hair of your pet and scatter them where there is a possibility of these possums.

You also have the option of setting up motion-activated lights or sprinklers to startle and scare them off. You can do this along with the perimeter of the house. If the possums dare to cross the sensor, the motion activated devices which are set will be automatically triggered and give off an alarm signal.

This may help frighten the possums away from that place on the spot. These devices are more efficient than those that only activate lights. The lights are enough to scare these possums away, but the water sprinklers also work best to frighten them. Water sprinklers are much more effective than light activated devices, but they are a bit complicated to handle.

Many ingredients together have an unyielding scent. The ingredients such as Ammonia, mothballs and the garlic are the items that can make these ugly little creatures flee from your residence. You simply need to mix an adequate amount of ammonia in coffee. The coffee should be placed inside a bottle with a lid. After doing this, put a rag in the ammonia and then cut the side of the cap by bringing one end of ammonia.

Engine Rebuilding Security Guidance

Look for these 5 things when buying a used engine

You must decide if your car is worth fixing. Sometimes it is. Other times it makes more sense to take the money you’d spend on a new engine and invest it in a replacement vehicle instead.

Only you can decide which option is best for you.

If you do decide to fix it, you don’t have to pay full retail price for a new engine. You can save a bundle of money by buying a used one. That’s because used car parts cost much less than new ones. Buying a used engine can help get you back on the road without spending as much in car repairs.

So if you’re going to buy a used engine, make sure it’s a good one.

Here are five specific things you want to know before purchasing. These will help reduce your risk when buying a used engine.

1. Is the Company Reputable?

There are plenty of junkyard scams going on. Before purchasing anything from a salvage yard, take a few minutes to look them up online. Check for any information you can find, including certifications, awards, and reviews. You want to make sure you’re dealing with a reputable company and not a couple of guys selling auto parts out of their garage. Use common sense and look for any red flags. If the price or value seems too good to be true, it probably is.

2. What’s the Mileage on the Engine, and How Old Is It?

The mileage on the engine makes a difference in its life expectancy. While engines with more miles will typically cost less, they may not last as long. Your ideal motor will have about 15,000 miles per year. With just a little math, you can figure this out by dividing the total number of miles on the engine by its age in years. 

3. Is It Tested?

Often when a vehicle is totaled from a wreck, the engine is still working great. But, not always. Especially if the damage to the vehicle was in the front, or there was a fire under the hood. You have two ways to find out about the condition of the engine. You can purchase the engine and install it and see if it works. Or, you can buy an engine that’s been tested. The second method is obviously easier.

There are two main methods of testing engines. The first is a run test. This can be done by a certified technician who will start the engine and perform tests on the engine whether it’s on a stand or still attached to the vehicle. The second method is a compression test. This is utilized when the car can no longer start, and can tell you a lot about the condition of the engine. Ask about testing before you purchase an engine, especially if you’re purchasing one without a warranty.

4. Will This Engine Work in My Vehicle?

You don’t need an identical match to find a compatible engine. Often manufacturers used the same engine for several years, or in different models of cars. Do your research and make sure the used engine you are looking at will work in your car. Tear-A-Part has a proprietary system at each of their locations that can help you pinpoint which models will work.

5. What’s the Warranty?

You don’t want to purchase a used engine without a warranty. Check around and see what is covered, and how long the warranty lasts. Make sure to ask if there are any conditions on the warranty. Then make sure you get this information in writing. If it’s on the bottom of your receipt, hang onto your receipt! This way if you get the engine installed and something is wrong with it, you will be able to return it. You really don’t want to be stuck with an engine that doesn’t work.

Should You Consider a Car With an Engine Replacement?

If you’re interested in buying a used car, you may have run across a vehicle listed for sale that’s had an engine replacement. Although this is more common in older used cars, some newer vehicles have also had engine replacements for one reason or another. So should you consider a car with an engine replacement? We have some tips on the subject.

The Pros

There’s one major benefit of a car that’s had an engine replacement: Assuming the engine was replaced with a new engine, or even merely a newer engine, it means the engine has less use than the car’s original powerplant. That can be a good thing for long-term reliability.

For example: Let’s say a car received a brand-new engine at 40,000 miles. In that case, the engine will have only traveled 25,000 miles when the odometer reaches 65,000 miles — and that means the car may last a little longer than a car with its original engine, since the newer engine hasn’t seen as much use. Find a used car for sale near you

The Cons

But there are a few drawbacks to a car with an engine replacement. For us, the biggest drawback is the question of why the engine was replaced in the first place. In most modern cars, engines are designed to last the life of the vehicle — and an engine replacement at 20,000 miles, 30,000 miles or even 100,000 miles would have us wondering exactly what the previous owner was doing that damaged the engine so badly that it had to be replaced, not repaired.

Another question: If a car had an engine replacement, who did the work? Replacing an engine isn’t a very easy job, and it’s best left to a very skilled mechanic. Yes, it’s true that some cars receive engine replacements under warranty, which means the repairs are carried out by trained dealership technicians. But others receive engine replacements from less skilled workers, which could lead to problems down the line if the replacement wasn’t performed correctly. Our advice: Be sure to get the paperwork from any engine replacement to ensure the work was done properly by a trusted mechanic or repair shop.

Engine Replacement Labor Cost

On a typical engine, the shop time quoted will be 10 to 12 hours. On an easy engine with a skilled mechanic, you may get quoted as little as 8 hours, while bigger jobs may require as many as 15 hours. The majority of quotes should fall in the first time frame. Determine the labor costs by multiplying the quoted number of hours by the shop rate. The shop rate can vary greatly, from as little as $90 per hour to over $150 per hour. So using a low-end shop rate of $110 and a high of $150, the labor on a typical engine replacement can run anywhere from $1,100 to $1,800.

If You Want the Fix: 6 Steps to Pay for Car Repairs

Decided to go ahead with the repair? Your next issue is paying for it—because it’s probably going to cost a not-so-nice chunk of change. But what if you don’t have the cash on hand to pay the bill? That’s okay. Here are six steps to finding the money you need to fund your repair:

Step 1: Shop around.

Don’t accept the first quote you’re handed. Get the initial diagnosis from a trusted dealership or a larger mechanic shop, but don’t assume their price is the price. The majority of your cost is probably not parts, but labor. And it’s almost always higher at larger, more established shops.

To find a reliable mechanic for a lower price, ask a few friends where they go for trustworthy work. Then call around to find the best price. While you’re on the phone, ask about any current discounts and specials they might offer too.

Step 2: What can you do yourself?

Maybe you need new brakes, but you also need to replace the door handle that came off this morning.Why not get the brakes fixed at the shop, and find an after-market replacement for your door handle online? Then watch a YouTube video and fix it yourself. Just be sure to follow the directions very carefully.

Step 3: What can wait?

If the estimated repair is still out of your comfort zone, ask the mechanic what needs to be fixed now and what can wait a few months. Don’t skip important safety features like brakes, tires and timing belts. But you can live without automatic windows for a while.

Step 4: Make a budget.

Let’s say you’ve lowered the repair price as much as possible. Now it’s time to find the cash to pay your bill. We recommend making a zero-based budget before you start overturning your couch cushions in search of loose change. You can make a budget in about 10 minutes with our favorite budget app, EveryDollar. It’s free, and it’s a way less labor-intensive than digging through your sofa.

Step 5: Move your money.

If you’re still coming up short, no problem. Simply dial your budget back in nonessential areas like restaurants, haircuts and new clothes. You can also divert your savings temporarily. And as a very last resort, you can use your emergency fund for absolutely necessary repairs. Just restock it as soon as possible.

Step 6: Budget for future repairs.

Ensure this issue doesn’t happen to you again by creating a line item in your budget for future car repairs and maintenance. That way, the money will be there waiting for you when you need it—and you will.

If You Want a Replacement: Should You Lease, Buy New, or Buy Used?

Let’s say you’ve decided it’s not worth it to repair your current car. You’re ready for something else. While it’s tempting to want your next car to be new and under warranty (read: no repairs!), the last thing you want to do is head to the nearest new car dealership. Here’s why:

New Cars.

The depreciation on a new vehicle is jaw-dropping. A $20,000 car will be worth about $8,000 in five years. That’s a 60% decrease! Even after just one year, the car could go down in value as much as 25%. So unless you have a net worth over $1 million, don’t buy new—ever. Let someone else absorb the depreciation.

Leased Cars.

A lease is simply the most expensive way to operate a car. Every month, your lease payment goes to cover the car’s depreciation plus the dealer’s profit. At the end of the lease, you have zero equity in the car, but you do have the option to buy it. That may or may not be a good deal since the purchase price is set at the beginning of the lease and isn’t based on the actual value of the car at the end of the lease. Then there are the fees—a fee you’ll pay if you exceed a certain number of miles or have excessive wear and tear on the car, a fee you’ll pay if you decide not to buy the car when your lease is up, and a fee you’ll pay if you do decide to buy it. All that adds up to a good deal for the dealer—not for you.

Used Cars.

Your best bet is to buy an affordable, used car with the money you have saved (combined with the cash from the sale of your current car). That way you own the car, rather than it owning you. Used car doesn’t mean crap car; it just means you’re smart enough to let someone else pay for that initial drop in value. Buying used is the only way to go.

All You Need To Know In Home Remodeling

How to Do an Electrical Walk-Through of Your Home

Taking an electrical walk-through of your house with a contractor before the drywall goes up is a great way to get the best lighting plan for your home and save on costly fixes after the fact.

Review Your Ideabooks

Go back through your ideabooks of spaces you like and home in on the lighting in those photos. Can you identify where the lighting source is located and what type of fixture is being used? Jot down notes, such as “need an outlet under the sofa” and “love the cove light in this dining room.”

Prepare a Floor Plan

Print out a floor plan and sketch in your anticipated furniture layout. If you’re working with an interior designer, solicit their help. Don’t just look to the ceiling for placement of overhead lights. Mark walls that you might use for hanging art and highlight dark corners that could benefit from additional light.

Come Prepared

Make sure you or your contractor come with a floor plan, a tape measure, permanent markers and a clipboard. It never hurts to have a tape measure to figure out spacing and furniture arrangement. Permanent markers will allow you to mark the studs and subfloor with locations. And the clipboard? It may be the only clean writing surface in the home

Walk, Don’t Run

Walk through the home room by room, and expect to spend several hours if you are building a new home. Compare your marked-up floor plan with the actual structure to make sure your preferred light fixture is possible in that location.

Construction Contracts: What to Know About Estimates vs. Bids

When homeowners are planning a remodeling or construction project, one of the first things they usually want to know is how much the work will cost. Part of asking about cost is not just defining what the work will be but also knowing what form you would like the contract to take — fixed price (also known as a bid) or time and materials (also known as cost plus or estimate of cost). Understanding the subtleties of these contract forms will help you decide which is right for you.

Fixed Price

A fixed-price proposal, also known as a bid, guarantees that a specific amount of work will be accomplished for a specific price. For example, a bid might be: “Three layers of roofing will be removed and replaced with 1,000 square feet of new 30-year CertainTeed composition roofing, including starter flashing, ridge vents and underlayment for $5,000 plus tax.”

The idea with a fixed-price proposal is that the cost will not exceed the agreed-upon price unless work is added, subtracted or changed. For instance, upgrading to a 40-year product would increase the cost of the material and labor. Similarly, if there isn’t a plywood substrate, installing plywood under the roofing would be an added cost. Those costs would be documented in a change order, which shows the change in cost to the contract price.

Pros of fixed price. Bids are the preferred method of contracting for many firms and homeowners. Homeowners choose it for a variety of reasons. Many like knowing that there is a not-to-exceed amount for the project, barring any change orders.

The fee for work is usually paid on a schedule that is tied to the calendar or to milestones, like the completion of framing or installing Sheetrock. That means checks are written less frequently and for a predictable amount. Some people are more comfortable having a specific price rather than one that can vary based on actual cost. Others want to be assured they are getting the lowest possible price by comparing bids from several contractors.

Remodels That Make Good Resale Value Sense — and That Don’t

Repeat after me: I am the master of my remodel. Perhaps you should say it again, because sadly, it’s not always so. Remodels sometimes have a tendency to develop their own inertia, as decisions lead to new dilemmas, unintended consequences and surprising outcomes. In some cases, these flights of fancy are perfectly acceptable, provided the design and completed execution truly align with the vision and budget.

But if your budget is a concern, and the wise investment of limited home improvement dollars matters, then there are a few basic guidelines you should familiarize yourself with before planning your remodel. Today we review remodels that typically make good financial sense, providing a nice return on the investment at the time of resale

Kitchens. Updating a tired old kitchen is one of the wisest methods, and a tried-and-true one, of increasing the value of your home. When planning a kitchen remodel, and making design decisions and selections for plumbing fixtures, appliances, cabinets and countertop materials, you should determine whether you are prioritizing your own design aesthetic or the return on your investment.

For example, using the existing kitchen layout and affordable cosmetic materials is a sure way to keep the cost of your kitchen remodel manageable. When you start tearing out walls, bumping out the exterior home footprint to gain a few feet, and moving plumbing fixtures and appliances, the cost of the remodel will jump and your dollars will be less efficiently spent.

Adding living space. A straightforward addition of a new living room space is typically a very good investment. Newly added square footage generally increases your home’s value. There are certain costs that will be associated with your addition regardless of the size. New square footage will require the demolition of existing exterior walls, a new foundation, a new roof, new exterior siding and probably new windows. If you are going to incur these expenses, it’s important to get some bang for your buck. It’s important that the added room is sized so that the space can be efficiently produced.

How Much It Costs to Work With an Architect

If you’re planning to remodel your home or build a new one, an architect could be a key individual to hire. These professionals can not only design your new home but can also manage the construction process so you don’t have to. But how much does it cost to hire one?

What Do Architects Do?

Architects listen to your ideas and build on them to design a home that’s often better than what you originally imagined.

Design homes and home remodels. Residential architects specialize in designing homes, both from scratch and as remodels or additions to existing homes. To get started, your architect will ask questions about how you live, why you want to remodel or build and, if you’re remodeling, how you live in your home and what’s currently not working for you.

Analyze your site. Architects can glean information about a particular property to help you decide where to best position your home on the land — or whether to buy a property in the first place. “We look at the topography, slopes and flat spots, sinkholes, rock outcrops and soil features that are significant,”

Document your home. When remodeling, it’s a good idea before you make any changes to understand which of your home’s walls are load-bearing and where the electrical and HVAC are located. Architects document a home’s existing conditions through “a detailed set of drawings that show the interior and exterior of the space,”

How to Get Your Pendant Light Right

Pendant fixtures have become a popular lighting choice for a wide range of rooms. Being aware of a few basic rules of thumb can prove to be very helpful — both in selecting a fixture for a specific location and for determining how high to hang it

Over a Table

The recommended height to hang a pendant above a table is 28 to 32 inches, but the fixture can be hung slightly higher or lower depending on personal preference, fixture size and ceiling height.

Address whether or not the fixture is to provide task or ambient light (or both) and select a fixture which meets the lighting needs of the location to be hung. A large drum pendant hung over a table not only anchors the vignette, but if placed on a dimmer the fixture can provide brighter light for any tasks done at the table and softer light while dining.

Hanging multiple pendants above a rectangular table can be a very effective choice, not only to properly light the entire table surface, but also for aesthetics. Here the pendants are hung sightly lower than in the previous example and both look appropriate for their specific spaces.

In the Hallway

Fixtures hung in an entry or hallway can add a lot of drama and beauty, casting shadows while providing light. In spaces with tall ceilings it is important that the fixtures not be hung so high that they are outside of the line of sight while standing in the space.

Reasons Why You Need To Install Hardwood Flooring

The Best Way to Clean Wood Floors

Hardwood flooring manufacturers recommend using the least intrusive cleaning techniques possible for your wood floors. If you sweep and vacuum often, you shouldn’t have to do much else, but when a cleaner is needed, it should be a pH-neutral one. Acidic or caustic cleaners can etch the finish and make it look hazy, abrasive cleaners can scratch, and oil soaps can leave residues that make the floor look worse than it did before cleaning.

You’re Cleaning the Finish, Not the Wood

Most contemporary hardwood floors have a coating of polyurethane varnish, and when you wash the floor, you’re really washing the finish. Although it’s durable, polyurethane scratches, and certain chemicals react with it to make it appear cloudy. Ammonia has a high pH and can basically corrode polyurethane, and full-strength vinegar has a low pH that can etch it. Many experts recommend cleaning hardwood floors with a solution of vinegar and water, but you should never use vinegar at full strength. Abrasive cleaners, such as scouring powder, dull the finish in a different way; they leave microscopic scratches. Steel wool and abrasive brushes can have the same effect.

Avoid Oily Cleaning Products

Many consumers have complained about certain wood cleaning products available on the market. These products do a good job on your wood furniture but aren’t good for your floors, because they contain vegetable oils or waxes that remain on the surface after the cleaning solvent has evaporated. This residue dulls the finish, attracts dirt and causes visible streaking. It builds up as you continue using the product for cleaning and must ultimately be removed to make your floors look clean. Some flooring experts caution that paste wax produces the same dulling and streaking problems and recommend avoiding it.

Removing Oil Soap Residue

Although you should normally avoid ammonia when cleaning hardwood floors, removal of the residue from oil soap is a special case. Mix a cleaning solution consisting of 1/2 cup of ammonia per gallon of water, or mix concentrated window cleaner with water in a 1-to-3 ratio. Water is just as dangerous for wood floors as ammonia, so you must use this solution with care. Get a sponge or microfiber mop wet; spread a thin film and let it stand for five minutes. Wipe up the solution with a clean, dry cloth; then use another clean cloth to go over the floor to ensure it’s dry.

The best way to clean wood floors

In addition to using a damp mop to clean wood flooring, there are a handful of other useful tips and tricks to consider. Keep reading to find out the best way to clean surface-sealed wood floors, including what to avoid.

Steer clear of furniture sprays

Surface-sealed wood flooring does not need oil or wax to shine. In fact, using greasy formulas — such as furniture spray or the paste wax used on other types of wood floor finishes — can make surface-sealed floors slippery. Not to mention: Applying wax can be time-consuming and complicated (which is why so many newer wood floors are surface-sealed).

Use a gentle cleanser

When cleaning your surface-sealed wood floors, be sure to avoid products with high alkaline levels, abrasive formulas, or ammonia — all of these can scratch the finish. Instead, use a gentle pH-balanced soap (or a little bit of dishwashing soap) mixed in warm water. To clean, simply dunk the mop inside the mixture and ring out until damp. Then, apply the mop to the surface and get cleaning!

Don’t use vinegar to clean

Vinegar might be a common DIY cleaning ingredient, but it has no business on your wood floors. In fact, some suggest vinegar gives wood floors a dingy appeal. In addition, you don’t want to use plain water either, as that will only spread the grime around — not lift it from the surface. Soapy water is the way to go.

Ask your floor finisher for recommendations

If you’re stuck on what type of floor cleaner to use, reach out to the floor finisher for a recommendation. As experts — with knowledge of your specific floors — they should be able to recommend a safe wood floor cleaner.

Clean often

We can all agree: Cleaning wood floors is usually the very last thing we want to do. Luckily, there is a way to prolong the life of your clean. In areas with high traffic — e.g., the dining room, kitchen, or family room — sweep or Swiffer often to help maintain cleaner-looking floors.

Replace dirty water

Cleaning with dirty water defeats the purpose. When mopping wood floors, swap out the water as often as needed to ensure you’re using clean soapy water. After you’re done mopping with soapy water, go over the areas with fresh, clean water (hold the soap!) to get rid of any leftover residue.

Get rid of scratches with baking soda

If you notice a few scratches while cleaning, don’t panic. Reach for a damp sponge and apply a small amount of baking soda. Once you’re armed and ready, rub the sponge gently across the floors for less-noticeable scuffs and scratches.

What Can I Use to Get Smudges & Smears Off My Hardwood Floor?

While some people prefer the ease and comfort of carpet covering the floors of their house, many opt for the polished look of a hardwood floor. Though this can be a significant investment in your house, the wooden floors can pay off with their sharp looks if you keep them clean. This can sometimes be harder than it sounds, as your floors may tend to collect smudges and smears. But these eyesores can be removed with some easy techniques.

Water-Based Cleaners

As one of the cheapest and easiest methods of removing smudges and smears from your hardwood floors, water-based cleaners are safe and can be used on floors of different finishes. With a water-based cleaner, you should normally apply about three coats onto your floor, but it may take as much as four in areas with heavy traffic or multiple trouble spots to remove the smudges. These cleaners will not react with the oil or wax-based finish of your floor, but they work to effectively remove the spots and blemishes.

pH-Neutral Cleaners

A pH-neutral cleaner can be one of the most effective tools in cleaning your finished floor, and leaves a glossy shine on your hardwoods. In addition to removing the smears and smudges, this type of cleaner can dissolve dirt and grease as well. Be careful, however, to monitor your use of this type of cleaner. Extended use of pH-neutral cleaners may leave your floor dull over time. They are also not as safe as water-based cleaners, and you should be careful not to expose your skin to them.

A Damp Mop

A much simpler way to clean your hardwood floors, the effectiveness of a damp mop should not be underestimated. If the smudges and smears are not deep into the surface, a damp mop can get rid of the spots in as little as two cleanings. Start by wetting your mop slightly, wringing it out to almost dry, and then going over your floor twice. The first pass dissolves the smudges, smears or dirt, and the second pass gives you the chance to wipe them off of the floor.

Wood Washes

A wood wash is a type of product that is meant specifically for use with wooden items, such as your hardwood floors. This cleaning solution is safe on a glossy finish, and is both concentrated and inexpensive. Apply the wood wash with a mop, or apply it while on your hands and knees. This will allow you to really attack the smudges and smears with a soft brush or with a wet rag. After scrubbing the spots, you can then remove them from the floor with a clean pass with your rag or mop.

Cleaning your hardwood floors:

When it comes to cleaning your hardwood floors, it is important to recall how your hardwood floors are sealed because it is the finish, not the wood type, that determines how you should clean your floors.

There are three different types of finishes that your hardwood floor may have. These finish types are:

  • Surface-sealed floors: new wood floors are usually sealed with urethane, polyurethane, or polyacrylic, and these types of seals render the floor mostly stain and water damage resistant. Surface sealed floors are fairly easy to care for and clean.
  • Penetrating-seal-treated and oil-treated floors: a penetrating soil or an oil finish soaks into the grain of the wood and hardens. Penetrating seal-treated or oil-treated are a bit more delicate and must be pampered with liquid or paste wax.
  • Lacquered, shellacked, varnished, or untreated floors: These types of finishes are technically considered surface finishes, but floors covered with lacquers, shellacs, or varnishes are not as resistant to moisture, spills, wear, and tear as other surface-sealed floors are. Therefore, floors with these finishes should be treated as carefully as penetrating-seal-treated or oil-treated floors.

Steps to Remove the Footprints:

  • To cut through the build up, it will require a mild acid (vinegar) for removal. Once the build up is removed, the footprints will not be noticeable.
  • Start by mixing about ½ cup to 1 cup of vinegar per gallon of warm water in the bucket.
  • Wet a mop (for flooring) or soft cloth (for other wood surfaces) in the solution, then wring it out. Make sure you get rid of all excess water until the mop or cloth is just damp.
  • Wipe the surface with the vinegar solution, rinsing the mop/cloth frequently.
  • Allow the wood surface to air dry. If there are any wet spots lingering, towel dry them.
  • If the footprints remain, it means there is still build up present. If the waxes and wood polishers have been used for some time, it may necessary to repeat the above steps to remove the additional build up.

Contemporary Kitchen Faucet

What causes a faucet to drip?

A leaky faucet, if left unrepaired, can become a major problem beyond the money it’s costing you on your water bill. A faucet dripping water can be indicative of a larger problem that could cost you hundreds of dollars. The most common causes for sink faucets leaking include defective parts like o-rings, washers and gaskets. Corrosion and mineral depostis can also lead to sink faucets leaking.

There may be several reasons behind why your faucet is dripping. Below we review some of the most common causes of a leaky faucet.

Problem in the O ring:

A stem screw is used to hold the handle of a faucet in place. This stem screw includes a small disc attached to it, known as the O ring. This is an integral place where dripping can occur. The O ring can become loose or wear out over regular use, causing the faucet to drip near the handle. Replacing the damaged O ring will fix it if this is the issue. This problem occurs specifically in cartridge faucets.

Corroded Valve Seat:

A valve seat serves as a connection between the faucet and the spout in the compression mechanism. Accumulation of water sediments can cause the valve seat to corrode, causing leakage around the spout area. Make sure that you clean the valve seat regularly with the help of a professional plumber.

Worn out Washer:

This is one of the most common causes behind a dripping faucet. During each use, the washer is forced against the valve seat, and this constant friction causes it to wear out. As a result, dripping is noticed around the spout. Dripping caused by worn-out rubber washers can be mended by replacing the washer. This type of leak is found in a compression faucet.

Improper Installation of Washer:

Often, if the washer is not installed properly or is not the right size, it can cause a leaky faucet. We suggest hiring a professional plumber to help you install the washer properly, allowing you to say goodbye to your leak.

Broken Parts

If the leak is coming from the pipes that are under your sink, the most likely issue is a broken fitting or pipe. If this is the case, it’s best to call a plumber, Broken pipeas they will fix the broken pipe problem and ensure no other issues are present.

Loose Parts

Modern faucets have an array of small parts that work together to deliver seamless water flow. After years of use, the parts can wear out and no longer work efficiently.

If the faucet has started to leak close to the base, it may be that the packing nut or adjusting ring is loose. If you have a rotary ball faucet, all you have to do is remove the handle and tighten up the adjusting ring. If there’s still a leak coming from the base, it may be time to replace the seals or springs

Worn-Out Cartridge

A leak in a cartridge faucet could also be due to the cartridge itself, which may need to be replaced. You’ll need to make sure you have a matching replacement cartridge to swap it with.

Worn-Out Seals

Much like the valve seats, inlet and outlet seals can become corroded by the accumulation of water sediments.

Taking the DIY Approach

If you want to try to handle a leaking faucet on your own, there are several steps you can use. These include:

Step 1: Determine the Type of Faucet You Have

You need to first determine the type of faucet you have. This will dictate the direction of the repair. The three most common types of faucets include:

  1. Ceramic disk faucets
  2. Ball faucets
  3. Cartridge faucets

Once you know what type of faucet you are working with, move on to the next step.

Step 2: Prep Your Work Area

Before doing any work on your sink or faucet, make sure to turn off the water supply. You also need to plug the drain with a rag or some other barrier to prevent losing anything down the drain. You don’t want to lose any of the parts! It’s also necessary to remove the decorative part from the handles. There should also be a screw that connects the faucet’s handle to the stem that needs to be unscrewed, and the handle removed.

Step 3: Checking the Parts and Components

Once you have removed the handle, you can use your wrench to loosen the packing nut and the stem and inspect these parts for damage. Also, check the washer and O-ring in the valve seat. Try replacing the washer to see if that fixes the leak. If none of these steps work, it’s time to call in a plumber. They can quickly and easily identify the underlying issue.

Essential Services You Must Look For When Hiring Wedding Photographer

Essential Equipment for Wedding Photographers

Photographing weddings can be a lot of fun, and come with it’s fair share of challenges, too. Bringing along the right gear for the job is one way to make sure that you will be able to get all the shots you want (and need), and more importantly, get the ones the couple you are working for want!

As a new wedding photographer, it can feel like an uphill challenge to get all the photography equipment that you need and want to create the best art possible for your clients. Unless you are a lucky person who has an infinite amount of money to spend, it will become necessary to determine what items are “essentials,” what items would make life a little easier, and what items are more novelty. For sure, we have a mixed bag of equipment ourselves – some that we use constantly, while others we only use in special instances. For the sake of being transparent, in the first year of running our business, we spent around $30,000 upgrading our old equipment, and getting professional level gear. Keep in mind, this is photography equipment for two photographers, so we would expect a solo photographer to be spending around 15k – 20k ideally assuming you need to purchase new or update camera bodies, lenses, flashes, and other types of equipment that will be of significant use during the wedding day.

Contained below will be referral links to other websites. These are provided for your benefit – as they include more detailed information regarding each product (most importantly to us: a lot of user reviews!). Some items are also available in special package deals (at same cost) that may not be available in store or elsewhere online, which may include some freebies like SD card(s), camera backpacks, tripods/monopods, etc. The majority of our large purchases are handled through Amazon for this reason + their consumer friendly return policy. Any purchases made through these links do benefit us as well, as we earn a commission from each sale at absolutely no additional cost to you. There is no obligation, but if you feel the content here is useful and you are looking to purchase new wedding photography equipment, please consider using these so as to support future content like this on our website.

All products showcased below are representative of photography gear we use and would recommend to a friend. Our experience with investing in our own photography business has taught us much, and we have made mistakes in the past with purchasing gear we end up not needing, or ended up replacing – in some cases unintentionally. We do not link to gear that we do not get value from.


Let’s start with the obvious! You will need a camera. And not just any “camera,” but a good quality, professional level camera suitable for a diverse range of environments that come up from wedding to wedding – and within an individual wedding day, too. The camera body you choose to use will be up to you, your budget restraints, and specific considerations that you may want to make. These days, there are also considerations to be had for mirrorless camera body options, though we do not use these at this time

How to Master the Art of Wedding Photography

Wedding photography is the nuanced art of capturing one of the most important days in a person’s life. Wedding photographers provide a very special service to society, giving shape to the manner in which families remember the day they came together.

Wedding photography is one of the most financially rewarding artistic professions in vogue today because it is indispensable to the newlyweds’ grander theme of romance. It has also become the most common option for practitioners of the craft of photography to keep earning a living wage.

As a prevalent part of commercial photography, wedding photography encompasses several fertile branches of photography. It may include portrait photography, concept, documentary, and candid photography. An imaginative wedding photographer will not just document weddings and related events. She can also borrow conventions from landscape photography, architecture, interior design, event planning, and storytelling. A wedding photography assignment can include capturing records of elaborate ceremonies and bridal portraits before the wedding, including the preparation of announcements, thank you cards, etc. It may also include post-wedding activities such as the reception.

How to become a great wedding photographer

A good wedding photographer is comfortable around people and has a trustworthy personality. She has an eye for detail and practices discretion. Here are some of the best qualities that make for a great wedding photographer.

Dealing with Pressure

Since a couple wants their wedding day to be documented in the most comprehensive manner possible, they would want to invest in hiring a good wedding photographer. Because of this, there is pressure on the photographer to perform exceptionally well.


As you can see, this particular inquiry gives me nothing really. No date, what type of session, etc. So, I will have to write an email back asking those things before I can even give this person a quote.

Your date: As you can imagine, this is the number one thing that I need from potential clients when they inquire! No point of both of us getting excited and wanting to book if I do not know what date it is, and if my services are available to you! One piece of advice:  Don’t book any vendors until you’ve secured a venue and therefore, a date.  If your date switches, your photographer and other vendors may already be booked.

Your Venue: Please be specific on this one! Understand that, especially for here in Hawaii, saying “Hawaii” isn’t Specific enough, and even saying “Four Seasons Hawaii” is not specific. Why? Because there are 8 Hawaiian Islands, and there are 4 Four Seasons, each on a different island! Same thing goes for any type of session- knowing which island and where you are at is key!

Contact information: Please make sure you leave both an email and phone number! Don’t worry, I’m not calling unless I have to!! But sometimes, keyboard mistakes are made, and I will try and email a person back, and it gets bounced back to me, and I have no way of contacting them to let them know!


Budget: I think this is a big one! Hopefully, you have looked on my website, you have seen what my starting prices are, so you know, right off the back, if I am in your price range! Again, don’t want to waste your time! But, also know, I can customize your package as well!

Hours of Coverage:  I know you may not have this right off the top of your head, but you may know if you want a full day wedding package, an elopement package, or somewhere in between!

A note about you:  Tell me about you! Or something you want from me! Just jumpstart us getting to know each other, because if you chose me, we will know each other very well!

Things Your Photographer Wishes You’d Do

Being a wedding photographer is a huge responsibility; one we don’t take lightly. Our job is to literally come alongside our couples and help make their day the absolute best it can be. Wedding photographers put their heart and soul into each one of their couples’ big days. By the time a bride books with us through the journey to her wedding day, we’ve had back and forth communication, Skype planning dates, and multiple conversations. We’re also the one vendor who quite literally is by the bride and groom’s side from beginning to end on their wedding day. It’s fair to say because of the energy and time we invest, we often don’t consider ourselves just a vendor on someone’s wedding day, but a trusted friend.

I make it a priority to invest time into creating a friendship with my brides and grooms, as do most wedding photographers in the industry. It’s important to me that my couples and I are on the same page and that we click. Who wants a stranger they don’t get along with following them around on their wedding day ?? Uh, NO ONE!

Send Us Your Wedding Invitation

Okay. Duh. If you booked us, we obviously already know when and where your wedding is. We don’t want an invite for logistical purposes. There’s just something so exciting about getting mail from your couples that lets you know they count you as a guest at their wedding- not just the photographer.

Tell Us You Trust Us.. and Then Actually Trust Us

If you’ve hired us to photograph your wedding, we hope that means you fully trust us to create magic for you on your wedding day. Trust (to us) means asking what time is best for photos and adjusting your timeline accordingly. Trust is giving us the authority to make decisions regarding the location and time of your portraits so they’ll be the best ever. Trust is NOT giving us an entire page long shot list you got from Pinterest. If you truly trust us to capture your wedding authentically, we don’t need a shot list. We want to create photos for you that OTHER people will pin on Pinterest

Text Us Photos of Your Dress

This might just be me, but I’m a hopeless romantic. I LOVE it when my brides text or email me photos of their wedding dress once they’ve chosen it. Maybe it’s the giddy little girl inside me, but I adore texting and sending silly GIFS to my brides. I get to connect with them on another level and show them how excited I am to capture their wedding day.

best outdoor wedding photography tips (including night and lighting tips))

Today we’re sharing our best outdoor wedding photography tips for day or night. (Plus two bonus tips on star photos and lighting for outdoor photos.) Whether you’re planning an outdoor wedding or photographing one, it’s important to be one with the elements. The outdoor wedding photography ideas below are a comprehensive guide to get you started taking better outdoor wedding photos.

Most of our wedding photography advice below is for photographers. However, we threw in some tips for brides too. At the end of a few sections we mention a wedding planning tip gleaned from the topic. You can always skip to the bottom for a concise list of the tips for brides. And don’t miss our Wedding photography tips for brides

battling the mid-day sun (seek shade)

One of the biggest challenges of photographing an outdoor wedding is the lack of control over the light. Sure you can influence the timeline (see next section) or you can add artificial light which we’ll talk about later. But odds are, you’re going to have to shoot something in the middle of the day.

simple (but effective) timeline adjustments for better photos

As photographers, setting the timeline can be incredibly helpful in getting the best photos. If your couple schedules portraits at noon and the sun is directly overhead, it is going to be much harder than if you have a sunset portrait session (see above section).

control the direction of the sun

Obviously we can’t tell the sun where to go but we can move ourselves! For our more adventurous elopement couples, this usually means we can help them decide where the ceremony should be and what direction they should face. For our couples getting married at a venue that has an established ceremony site, this often means choosing which side of the ceremony to shoot from. Typically, I will opt to shoot from the side with more direct sunlight. This allows me to expose for peoples faces and get a good exposure of the backdrop as well.