New Plastic Surgery Information That You Need To Know

Plastic Surgery Safety

Because your safety is our primary concern

The Importance of Preparatory Research

As an elective procedure, cosmetic surgery affords patients the time for thorough research. Patients should seek a specifically qualified, board certified plastic surgeon with extensive experience, as these are the most important factors in the success of your cosmetic surgery.

The Meaning of Licensing and Specific Plastic Surgery Board Certifications

While all US physicians must be licensed to practice medicine, board certification is a voluntary process that demands proof of skills beyond that required by basic licensing. A physician’s board certification is his most important credential; it ensures that he has fulfilled the comprehensive medical and surgical training required for excellence in his specialty. Any physician may claim to be a cosmetic or plastic surgeon, and may even be board certified in a given specialty. Therefore, it is important to establish that a cosmetic surgeon is board certified by American Board of Plastic Surgeons ( ABPS).

The American Board of Medical Specialties (ABMS) includes twenty-four member boards. Together, these organizations have collaborated in the development and implementation of the rigorous professional standards that constitute a credential for qualified practice in each specialty. To earn an American Board of Plastic Surgery ABPS board certification, a physician must meet the education requirements and residency training standards in Plastic Surgery specialty, and pass a written and an oral examination. In further support of his expertise, the candidate must officially present several of his own cases as selected by the ABPS Board from the list of his past surgeries. In order to maintain his board certification, a doctor must also practice the latest advances in his specialty, and demonstrate best practices for patient safety, communication, and ethics.

The credential for the practice of plastic and cosmetic surgery granted by the American Board of Plastic Surgery (ABPS) is the only plastic and cosmetic surgery credential recognized by the ABMS. In addition, it is the only credential that ensures that a surgeon is qualified to perform plastic and cosmetic surgery on the entire body, including the face and neck.

Beauty Procedures This Plastic Surgeon Says ‘No’ To

Bogus tummy tuck marketing

While tummy tucks are one of the most common operations performed, many doctors will claim that they have a new or “better” version, or create a ‘branded’ tummy tuck. (Tummy tucks do continue to evolve in ways to reduce complications and hide scars, but this isn’t a “new” procedure.)

Some doctors may make up variations of a tummy tuck, particularly those that include liposuction, which Youn says many surgeons abandoned years ago. If you look up these branded tummy tucks in a scientific journal, there’s nothing on them.

There are standard ways of doing many of these procedures. [And] there are doctors who try to separate themselves by making variations of operations that aren’t necessarily better. But if the patient doesn’t have anything unusual, I’m not going to tell you that I’m going to do this very different than the doctor down the street from me.

Buccal fat removal (cheek)

During this procedure, fat from the inside of the mouth is removed to reduce the fullness of the cheeks. While Youn has been performing this procedure for about 15 years, he says he’s seen it recently become trendy on social media with influencers and other surgeons.

As a result, many doctors perform it on people whose faces are already thin.

Dr. David Shafer, board-certified plastic surgeon in New York City, agrees. When cheek fat removal is performed by an experienced surgeon on the right candidate, the procedure is not dangerous, and can have effective results.

Thread lifts for the face

Thread lifts were a popular procedure between 2005 and 2010, and are now making a comeback.

The point of thread lifts is to insert temporary sutures to subtly “lift up” skin. the skin may look better right after the procedure but the effects only last about a year.

“We realized that they didn’t work [because patients] would have these permanent sutures sticking out of their skin years later. Unfortunately, they’re back. At least the sutures today aren’t permanent so you don’t have to pull them out of people’s faces, but there is still the question of whether the procedure will last.

Noting that people often think thread lifts can create similar results as a surgical facelift.

There is a lot of confusion because there is the word lift in it. But you’re putting a barbed thread underneath the skin, which will pull and give you a little bit of a lift, but it’s very temporary. When you do a facelift, you are lifting up all the skin and moving it as a unit.

Still, Shafer says thread lifts do have a place.

We offer them for someone who has a big event in the next few days and wants more definition to their jaw line, so we might put in a few threads to get them that, but this is not for someone who has been saving up for years and thinks it will be equivalent to a facelift with less down time and less risk.

Top 3 Tips for Maintaining Your Cosmetic Surgery Results

Cosmetic surgery procedures boast high patient satisfaction rates, and most patients are thrilled with their results for many years after surgery. However, it’s important to understand that your results require upkeep to stay in shape, and that nothing can fully stop the effects of aging, lifestyle habits, and genetics.

The great news is that there are some things you can do to successfully maintain your results for years to come! Here are some suggestions for maximizing your cosmetic surgery outcomes:

1. A healthy diet & regular exercise are key

Body contouring procedures can transform your curves, providing a more pleasing and proportionate look. While the results may seem magical, the look you see now can only last if you remain at a healthy weight. For instance, fat removal procedures such as liposuction will permanently rid you of targeted fat cells, but if you gain weight, you will see it in other areas as remaining fat cells expand. It’s even more important to keep your weight within a stable range if you’ve had a surgical lifting procedure (such as tummy tuck or body lift)—you’ll want to avoid stretching your skin again and nullifying the improvements you worked hard to achieve.

The best way to maintain body contouring results is to continue exercising regularly and eating a healthy diet. The good news is that sticking to this rule will also help you feel great and improve your overall health, in addition to helping you retain the look you love after surgery.

Pro tip: Cosmetic surgery recovery can be a challenge for active patients, as required recovery time will put a damper on your regular exercise routine. Don’t become discouraged and know that it isn’t abnormal to gain a little weight during your recovery period. Eating the right things and introducing non-strenuous activity when it’s safe can help keep you healthy and make getting back to the gym easier once you’re healed.

2. Good skin practices make a big difference now and later

Immediately after your procedure, proper care makes a big difference in scarring. And as time goes by, great skin care will help your results look as good or better than ever.

First off, scarring is a necessary aspect of many surgeries and while your surgeon will take care to place your incisions where they can be most easily hidden, making sure they heal optimally and fade nicely over time is partially in your hands. First, it is critical to follow any postoperative activity restrictions; these rules will help you avoid straining your scars, which could cause them to become wider or more visible. Secondly, be sure to protect your incisions in the sun, keep the area clean, and use the topical scar care creams and ointments recommended by your doctor.

Later on, the right medical-grade skin care products can help enhance and maintain your cosmetic surgery results, particularly when it comes to facial procedures. Good skin care is so helpful that many surgeons have an aesthetician on staff to guide their patients to the right products for their skin. Even if you have an existing skincare routine, it’s best to ask about your products and see if you should adjust anything going forward.

Pro tip: Follow your surgeon’s aftercare instructions to the letter. There are a number of holistic scar care products on the market making unsubstantiated claims—and some of these can even cause wound healing problems. Save yourself the time, money, and potential harm by only using what is recommended by your cosmetic surgeon.

3. Healthy habits inside & out

What you put in and on your body not only impacts your surgical results, it can make a huge difference in your overall health. For instance, most board certified cosmetic surgeons require patients to quit smoking tobacco for at least a few weeks before and after surgery. Nicotine greatly impacts your body’s ability to heal, resulting in prolonged recovery times and, potentially, complications that can lead to pain, bleeding, and more visible scarring. Excessive alcohol consumption is another pitfall you’ll want to avoid; there are a number of health drawbacks to overdoing it when it comes to drinking.

Pro tip: Be honest with your surgeon about your lifestyle habits. Let him or her know if you smoke, how much you drink, any medications you are on, and even what supplements or vitamins you use both internally and externally. Your surgeon will let you know the steps you should take to prepare for surgery and what to avoid to ensure your results are optimal.


Liposuction, or suction-assisted lipectomy, uses thin cannulas, or hollow metal tubes, to vacuum fat from various parts of the body, usually the abdomen, thighs, buttocks, hips, backs of the arms, and neck. Liposuction may also be used for male breast reduction.

Tools used in liposuction include standard, ultrasound, mechanical, and laser devices. They all tend to involve suction of fat through a tube.

To prevent complications, there is a limit to the amount of fat that the surgeon can safely remove, depending on whether the patient will be discharged immediately after surgery or admitted to the hospital.

Liposuction should not be intended as a weight-loss procedure. When performed in the right patient, the goal is to improve contour and decrease limited areas of fat deposits.

Complications are rare but possible. They include the accumulation of blood under the skin, known as hematoma, infection, changes in sensation, allergic reactions, damage to underyling structures, and unsatisfactory results. The doctor must discuss these with the patient beforehand.

Liposuction does not reduce the risk of developing diabetes, heart disease, or high blood pressure.

Do Your Own Electrical Home Inspections Prior To Making An Offer

Tips for Sellers – How to Prepare for a Home Inspection.

A home inspector is required to inspect inside electrical panels, attic spaces and crawl spaces. Making sure the inspector has unimpeded access to these areas will help the inspection go smoothly.

If you have service records for any major components (such as furnaces and air conditioning), or invoices or engineering reports for any structural repairs that have been done to the house making them available to the inspector can answer questions he may raise and reduce the possibility of his calling for further evaluation on these systems

If there is any paper or wood scrap in the crawl space, or firewood stacked near the foundation, having it removed will greatly reduce the possibility of pest inspectors finding termites, which can result in an expensive treatment.

Be sure splash blocks or drain pipes are in place on all gutter downspouts, and that gutters are clean. Then check grading around the foundation to be sure all surface water drains away from the home. Water accumulation near the foundation is a primary cause of crawl space or basement water leakage, mold growth and foundation settlement. These can be expensive to repair.

Check the GFCI outlets around the house to be sure they trip when tested. This is one of the most common electrical defects found, and easily repaired by an electrician.

Electrical Safety Hazards & Safe Electrical Inspection Procedures

This electrical safety procedures article discusses safety hazards at residential electrical systems both outside and indoors, and suggests safety procedures for the electrical inspector, home inspector, or other professionals who examine residential electrical systems.

Safe electrical inspection procedures and safe use of volt meters, DMMs, multimeters, and similar electrical test equipment is discussed at the end of the article.

Homeowner advice for electrical panel safety: These safety suggestions are for professional inspectors and are not a guide for homeowners.

Homeowners should not remove the cover from an electrical panel – it is unsafe to do so. Homeowners should look at their electrical equipment for signs of trouble and should contact a licensed electrician to address any concerns that arise.

How much electrical energy would it take to kill a home inspector?

Wet skin (standing in water, sweaty) has a resistance of about 1000 ohms. (Dry skin will have a higher resistance, and of course an inspector wearing protective gear such as rubber gloves, rubber-soled shoes, standing on an insulated mat, will have still higher electrical resistance, and safety.)



A home inspection isn’t just about protecting your investment, but also about protecting you and your family. Our Warranty Program protects against surprises that show up when you take possession of your new home – that were not evident at time of inspection. Also included with each inspection is complimentary appliance recall check and technical advice for as long as you own the property.

Residential Home Inspections

A home inspection isn’t just about protecting your investment, but also about protecting you and your family. The home inspector understands this and take their profession very seriously.

Pre-Listing Inspections

For Sellers and Selling Realtors; No one likes to be the last to know something, especially when you are selling your biggest asset! Be the most educated person in the room by having your own home inspected prior to listing the property.

Home Maintenance Inspections

Home Maintenance Inspections are for homeowners who want to educate themselves, identify any safety concerns and protect their biggest investment!

Electrical Inspection

Electrical systems in homes are very complex and potentially dangerous. The Electrical system causes more deaths every year than any other single system. Is it the electricity causing the deaths or neglect and unsafe practices? Your Seven Stars Home Advisors Inspector will always check the electrical supply where it enters your home. We will describe to the best of our ability the capacity and any variance that may be present. Once the main Electric panel is inspected and deemed safe the inspector will move indoors and inspect all of the other major components that comprise your homes electrical system. All safety issues will be acknowledged. An inspector will review whether the panel appears to be in a safe, operable condition and whether it has sufficient energy for the appliances and energy consumption typical of a modern home.

A representative number of receptacles will be tested and any concerns will be reported. Grounding and reverse polarity are a concern, however they are common and in most cases they are easy fixes. Appliances are included in this. Some of these items use massive amounts of energy and determining whether or not they are grounded is a valuable asset to the home owner.

If the home has electrical heat or electrically-driven air conditioning, the inspector will examine that component of the electrical system. In addition, he or she will look at electrical wiring to make sure the wires aren’t showing signs of cracking or aging that could spark fires or not properly conduct power.

Home Inspections Has You Covered

Pre-Purchase Inspections

Purchasing a new home also means buying that home’s problems. With a pre-purchase home inspection you can see exactly what you’re buying. Problems discovered during the inspection could allow you to renegotiate to offset the costs of repairs — potentially saving you thousands of dollars. We’ll even help you become familiar with the property.

New Construction Inspections

Unfortunately, new does not always mean perfect. In fact, new doesn’t even guarantee good. Material defects and human error during the construction process can lead to expensive problems later on. A new construction home inspection can help identify these problems early, when they’re cheaper to fix. Some issues may even be covered under warranty.

Annual Home Maintenance Inspection

Homes are composed of several complex systems, with components wearing out over time. We’ll give you an overview of the current condition of your home so you can see potential expenses before they happen. We’ll also give you helpful tips on maintaining your home to keep things running smoothly for many years to come.

Pre-Listing Inspections

Sometimes selling your home can be just as much of a roller coaster as buying one. Getting a pre-listing home inspection can help ensure a quick and smooth transaction. You can enter the selling process with confidence that there won’t be any nasty surprises. You’ll also avoid delays, which could last for weeks or even months.

The Importance Of Water Testing Kits And Regular Legionella Risk Assessment

Water Quality Indicators

Volunteers test for several key water quality indicators. The resulting water quality data provide baseline information, helps identify trends or changes in water quality, and aids investigations into problems such as nonpoint-source pollution and nutrient enrichment.

Dissolved oxygen (DO)

The DO test measures the amount of oxygen dissolved in the water. Oxygen is essential for both plants and animals, but high levels in water can be harmful to fish and other aquatic organisms. Nonpoint-source pollution can decrease the amount of dissolved oxygen in water, which can be harmful to fish and other aquatic organisms. The decomposition of leaf litter, grass clippings, sewage and runoff from feedlots decreases DO readings. Dissolved oxygen is measured in milligrams per liter (mg/L). Expected levels: 4.0 to 12.0 mg/L

Water temperature

Aquatic organisms are dependent on certain temperature ranges for optimal health. Temperature affects many other parameters in water, including dissolved oxygen, types of plants and animals present and the susceptibility of organisms to parasites, pollution and disease. Causes of temperature change in water include weather conditions, shade and discharges from urban sources or groundwater inflows. Temperature is measured in degrees Celsius (°C). Seasonal trends: May to October: 22 to 35°C, November to April: 2 to 27°C


A pH test measures the alkalinity or acidity of water. A pH of 7 is neutral, below 7 is acidic and above 7 is basic or alkaline. Acid rain, from auto exhaust or other pollutants, causes a drop in the pH. Pollution from accidental spills, agricultural runoff and sewer overflows can also change the pH. Buffering capacity is water’s ability to resist changes in pH, and is critical to the survival of aquatic life. The limestone soils of Central Texas act to neutralize these acids and often result in a more basic pH. While young fish and insect larvae are sensitive to a low pH (acid), extreme values on either end of the scale can be lethal to most organisms. Expected levels: 6.5 to 9.0

Testing Your Water

Domestic wells should be tested annually for the presence of coliform bacteria, as an indicator of pathogens. More frequent testing is suggested if visual changes in the water quality are noticed or if unexplained health changes occur. The table below provides a schedule and list of analyses for testing. When water tests positive for pathogens, owners may choose to use shock chlorination to disinfect the well casing and household plumbing. This may not eliminate the contamination if it is found in the aquifer water itself. In that case, the owner should seek an alternate source of water or install a home water disinfection system.

Water Testing

Before purchasing or installing a water treatment system, test your water at the tap. Be aware that water testing is not an easy or inexpensive step. Laboratory fees for water quality analysis vary greatly from one parameter to another. In 2004, for example, testing for hardness, TDS, and pH may cost about $50. Testing for lead or nitrate may cost about $25. However, testing for all possible individual pollutants can cost more than $2,000 per sample.

If you suspect that your house plumbing may be contaminating your water, test your water at the tap for those contaminants that may be present. Carefully choose the list of contaminants to be tested with the assistance of a qualified water quality expert. See the table of water problems and suggested tests, and review the national drinking water standards.

Laboratory Test Results

Have the tests results explained to you by a qualified analyst or water quality expert. For example, terms mean that a pollutant could not be detected below a certain value or detection limit. We values should be listed in the laboratory report and they should always be lower than maximum contaminant level.

Determine which parameters have values above drinking water standards and which parameter you would like to lower in order to improve water quality. (Information below on health effects and likely sources is from the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry, its parent organization, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and the Environmental Protection Agency.)

Best Water Test Kits

Water is always at risk of being contaminated with harmful bacteria. Whether you use it for laundry, drinking, bathing, or swimming, there is always the risk of coming in contact with contaminants. Therefore, water quality is a concern for many people.

Did you know that you can test the quality of the water you use? There are water testing kits that allow you to check whether your water is good or not. There are various types of kits as well, and they come at multiple prices to let people use healthier water.

What Do Water Kits Test For?

Water test kits have one goal – to detect the contaminants in your water, so you can take the proper measures to ensure your safety. Water test kits detect many contaminants, such as iron, lead, nitrate, nitrite, alkalinity, pesticides, hardness, bacteria, and many others. Home water test kits could detect these and not only in different water sources, allowing you to live a healthy life with safe and contaminant-free water.

The Comfort of Your Home

What is great about home water test kits is that you can use them at home, and you don’t need to hire an expert to complete such a test. All you have to do is fill up some recipients with water and use the test kit you purchased. In various ways, the tests will show you if the water you use is safe or not. Thus, they help you take measures in case the water is bad.

No Contamination

Drinking water that is contaminated by chemicals could have a serious impact on you and your health. If the test is negative, then you know you have to take some safety measures to stop the contamination and start drinking clean water again.

Different Ways to Test Water Quality Professionally

Biological Indicators

Biological monitoring metrics is the simplest and least expensive method

Insects such as the mayfly, stone-fly and caddisfly. Generally, the greater the number found, the better the water quality. Organisations offer guidance on developing a monitoring program and identifying members of these and other aquatic insect orders.

Bivalve molluscs are largely used as bio-indicators to monitor the health of aquatic environments in both fresh water and the marine environments. A typical project today they are used worldwide

Macro-invertebrates (such as the aquatic earthworm) is a bio-monitoring tool that is used to measure river health. We are a simpler scoring system that can be used by anyone, even school children.

Test Strips

Test strips for various water quality parameters are available, such as pH, chlorine, etc. Here you dip a little paper strip with graduated colours into your water sample and match it with a colour on a printed list, to determine the level of the parameter

How You Can Reduce Exposure to Lead

Run your water to flush out lead. 

If the water has not been used for several hours, run each tap for 30 seconds to 2 minutes or until it becomes colder before drinking or cooking. This flushes water which may contain lead from the pipes. This can reduce lead in water levels up to 90%.

Use cold, fresh water for cooking and preparing baby formula.

Do not cook with or drink water from the hot water tap; lead dissolves more easily into hot water. Do not use water from the hot water tap to make baby formula.

Test your child for lead.  

Ask your physician to find out how to have your child tested for lead. A blood lead level test is the only way to know if your child is being exposed to lead.

Check whether it reduces lead – not all filters do. Be sure to maintain and replace a filter device in accordance with the manufacturer’s instructions to protect water quality. Learn more about how to choose a water filter on the treatment page.

Particles containing lead from solder or household plumbing can become trapped in your faucet aerator. Regularly cleaning every few months will remove these particles and reduce your exposure to lead.

Things To Do Before Moving Out Cleaning A Mutual Exchange

Move In/Move Out Cleaning

A Difference You Can See

Let’s face it, moving can be a pain! It becomes a nightmare when you move offices, given all the equipment and staff belongings that need to be transferred. It’s hard to know exactly how much dust and dirt have accumulated over the years – until you move the desk. Then you can see it!

we provide quality move in / move out cleaning services for commercial properties that make the moving process easy. We handle the dirty work so you can focus on what truly matters. Additionally, with our cutting-edge technology and advanced methods, we leave the space spotless, which can help you save time and money.

Benefits of Our Move In / Move Out Cleaning Include:

In-Depth Cleaning – Our team has the tools and knowledge to clean beyond the surface. From deep carpet cleaning to window washing, we make sure no detail is left unnoticed.

Whether you’re looking to leave your old property clean and presentable for new tenants or want a clean space in which to move in, we’ve got you covered. We help make your property look its best.

Time Saver – In the business world, they say time is money. We respect both with our services by providing quality services that are effective. Allow us to handle the dirty work and focus on what really matters – safely moving in or out of your building.

The Ultimate Professional Move-Out Cleaning Checklist

House cleaning is hard. Moving is stressful. So when you’re faced with the task of house cleaning for when you are moving out, it can be overwhelming – especially if a damage deposit is on the line. Between all the packing, planning and paperwork, it can be easy to move cleaning to the bottom of your list. To bring this essential task back into the fold, we’ve created an easy reference printable checklist (skip to download) to use for cleaning an empty house while moving.

What’s included in a move-out cleaning?

It’s important to know what needs to be cleaned for a move-out regardless of whether you are cleaning yourself or using the services of a professional move-out cleaning company.

A good reference point to start is your rental or purchase agreement. Realtors often require certain levels of cleanliness be met so if they aren’t specified, it’s best to ask so that you avoid having to re-clean areas or losing part of your deposit. Our professional move-out cleaning checklist is a great place to start.

Cleaning bedrooms for a move

The most efficient approach to cleaning is to work your way through tasks from top to bottom. This rule applies if you’re cleaning a single room or cleaning your entire home. If you are working with two storeys, work your way from the rooms on the second floor to the first, and work on every room from top to bottom.

Move-out cleaning for bathrooms

Cleaning a bathroom when it is empty is much easier than routine cleaning because you don’t have to work around linens or personal products. This means you can lay some old towels at the door and really wet and wash your entire bathroom.

Tips for moving out

Clean the property thoroughly before you move out or hire a professional cleaning company to do it for you. 


clean all cupboards (inside and out)

wash all countertops and surfaces

clean inside and outside of oven, microwave, dishwasher, fridge, defrost freezer (if supplied)

clean cooktop, grill and rangehood

clean sink and taps (including descaling)

clean windows, window sills/tracks, window and door frames and fly screens

sweep/vacuum and wash floors 


clean sink, toilet and bath (including taps)

clean tiles

remove any mould from walls/tiles and ceiling

wash shower curtain/clean shower doors or enclosure

clean all surface areas, shower rails and mirrors

sweep and wash all floors

Other rooms

dust and wash all surfaces

dust and wash door and window frames and window sills/tracks

clean mirrors

dust fans

wipe outside of air conditioning units, clean filters

clean out any cupboards or wardrobes

dust and clean skirting boards

vacuum and wash floors

Outdoor areas

mow grass, weed and trim edges

clean out any leaves or debris in the pool (check for any special conditions in the tenancy agreement)

sweep external areas

empty and wash out bins

remove any oil stains on driveway or in garage

remove cobwebs


remove all rubbish from property

get carpets cleaned and pest control conducted if specified in the agreement

After the property is cleaned

move all your possessions from the property

complete the Exit condition report (Form 14a) or the Exit condition report (Form 14b) for moveable dwellings/sites, in a systematic way (room by room) and use extra pages if needed.

ask for a copy of the Entry condition report or the Entry condition report for moveable dwellings/sites from the property owner/manager if you do not have one. It will be compared to the Exit condition report.

provide your forwarding address and include it on the Refund of rental bond.

Move Out Cleaning – Tips from Start to Finish!

So, you’re moving house or moving country; either way, you’re moving out! The excitement of moving into a new house is one that no homeowner forgets, nor is the bittersweet memory of saying goodbye to an old home. Nevertheless, it has to be done and moving out is no walk in the park. What can make it easier though, are these move out cleaning tips.

For homeowners that are giving up the lease or planning to put their house on the market, cleaning the place up thoroughly is important. Upon the owner’s lease agreement, you may have to return the house in a clean, sanitary condition. On the other hand, a spick and span house increases your chances of getting a potential buyer to make a purchase. So now that we’ve established the importance of move-out cleaning, let’s tell you how to go about it from start to finish.


If you’ve already begun to move boxes to the new place, that’s great because the lesser stuff you have in the house, the easier it is to clean. If you’re planning to load the moving truck with all your stuff on moving day itself, we’ve got some suggestions for you. Try to devote one room for storing packed boxes so that the empty rooms can be cleaned first. Even if it means you have to clean one room every day, it beats having to clean the entire house in one day.


When you start cleaning an empty room, target the ceiling first. If you don’t have a long-handled broom, tie an old tee-shirt over your mop and use it to remove cobwebs from ceiling corners and wipe the entire ceiling to remove dust.


Use the same contraption you made to dust your ceiling, for cleaning your walls. Start from the top and make your way downward as you wipe from side to side. If your paint finish/wallpaper permits, gently rub away stains using a clean, damp cloth. Even if there aren’t any obvious stains, using a damp cloth to wipe all the walls will give them more life and look cleaner.

Cleaning Tips When Moving Out of Your Rental Property

When you are moving out of your rental property one of the things that you will want to ensure is that you get your bond back. Your bond can be worth hundreds or even thousands of dollars, and you’ll likely need this bond before renting your next property.

Talk to Your Landlord or Agent

The first thing you should do is talk to your landlord or agent. You should find out what they expect and what is required. What will make them happy? What will make them angry? It’s easier to make sure you’ve covered everything your landlord wants when cleaning before moving out if you have actually spoken to them. There’s no point doing more than you need to in order to get your bond back. By talking to your landlord you know what areas they will focus on, so you know where to focus your cleaning efforts.

Clean Kitchen Countertops, Sinks, Cabinets and Appliances

Cleaning the benches and appliances in the kitchen is super important. Yes, you have probably been a bit lax whilst you lived there but they need to look as good as new before you ask for your bond back. This includes wiping down the stove and cleaning the inside of your oven

Clean the Bathroom

Over time, bathrooms can build up a grime, soap scum, mineral deposits and mould. If it wasn’t there when you moved in then it needs to be gone when you move out. Wipe down the bath and shower. Wipe down the sink and taps. Clean the mirror. Clean the toilet bowl. Make sure you clean the bathroom thoroughly.

Clean the Floors

You need to clean all the floors. You may also need to steam clean your carpets. You need to scrub any tiles and you need to clean any floorboards as well. Make sure you do your best to remove any stains that may be there.

Bathroom Vinyl Flooring Provides Low Cost Advantages

Before You Buy Vinyl / Resilient Flooring

You’ve made your decision and are ready to select and install your new vinyl flooring. So let’s cover some important properties about vinyl and why you should consider it;

  • Vinyl is a decorator’s dream since it comes in so many colors, textures and patterns.
  • Vinyl is durable, water resistant, and doesn’t fade or dent.  Best of all, it is affordable.
  • Vinyl is the great imposter. It can look like wood, tile, even marble.
  • Vinyl is constructed in layers: the wear layer, the printed or decorative layer, an inner core consisting of a foam and vinyl layer, and a backing.

Before purchasing your luxury vinyl floor here are 5 Things to Know

5 Things you need to know about luxury vinyl flooring before purchasing and installing your new floors.

1. Subfloor

  • See Installation Instructions regarding approved subfloors for installation. Otherwise, you could experience telegraphing, adhesive release and peaking or gapping.

2. Moisture

  • Luxury vinyl is water resistant on the surface, but it may trap moisture between subfloor and luxury vinyl.
  • Check moisture levels subfloor first before beginning installation.

3. Sunlight

  • Exposure to sunlight can cause expansion and contraction (excessive movement) of luxury vinyl.
  • To avoid such movement use Hallmark 3 in a wet set application, in addition to controlling the environment. See installation instructions and Maintenance and Warranty brochure for environmental parameters.

4. Scratches

  • All Luxury vinyl scratches and is not covered under warranty.
  • For excessive scratching or high traffic wear use Hallmark ABC Recoat System to restore the surface coating.
  • Note: always test a small area before applying to the entire floor.

5. Maintenance

  • Hallmark Floors only recommends the use of Hallmark Trueclean for maintaining its luxury vinyl floors.
  • Other cleaners can leave a residue, hazing or incompatibility with the recoating process.

How to I clean a vinyl floor?

Cleaning is straightforward, with 
a vacuum and an occasional mop. Buy  vinyl-safe floor cleaner – nothing abrasive. It can stain if spills are left to puddle so wipe them up straight away. Heavy furniture can create indentations in vinyl so use felt or rubber covers on chairs and casters. Never drag heavy furniture across vinyl as it may scratch or dent the floor.

How do I know a vinyl floor is good quality?

Thickness is a good indication of quality, for both sheet and tiled vinyl. Cheap sheet vinyl starts at 1.1mm thick, which will make it easy to fit but not very long-lasting. Aim for 3.5mm upwards.

Vinyl Plank Flooring

The most popular vinyl flooring option is vinyl plank flooring. These planks typically mimic the look of solid hardwood, offering a warm, inviting and expensive feel to your home.

Today’s luxury vinyl planks even offer the texture and character of trending hardwood options, including handscraped and wirebrushed looks.

One of the major benefits to choosing vinyl plank flooring is the easy, approachable, DIY installation. Most vinyl plank options come as interlocking or “floating” floors and simply click together, similar to laminate. Other DIY options include loose lay (the easiest – just lay your floor down and you’re done!) and peel and stick.

For high-traffic and commercial installation, you can always glue down your vinyl planks for a permanent solution.

Pros of Vinyl Plank Flooring

  • Gorgeous wood looks: Luxury vinyl plank flooring mimics all the most popular colors and textures of solid hardwood. In fact, most people can’t even tell the two apart.
  • Easy, DIY installation: Most vinyl planks offer an easy interlocking or “floating” installation, perfect for most homeowners to do on their own without the help of an installation professional.
  • Comparable to laminate, engineered wood and hardwood: Other types of vinyl flooring can’t truly compare with long-standing industry leaders like laminate and wood. Vinyl planks totally can.
  • Easy to maintain: Vinyl plank flooring is super easy to take care of. Most options are water-resistant and many are fully waterproof. Just make sure you choose a thick wear layer to prevent scrapes and scratches.
  • Waterproof options: Yes, 100% waterproof. They are awesome!

Cons of Vinyl Plank Flooring

  • Doesn’t feel like real wood: To the touch, vinyl feels pretty different from solid hardwood. This feel is important to some homeowners.
  • Price: As you move onto waterproof and luxury options, this can run you more than other wood-look options like laminate. But they come with a whole lot more bells and whistles!
  • Low-quality planks scratch and dent easily. If you want a vinyl plank that can stand up to high traffic, family and pets, you’ve got to go with a high-quality plank with a thick wear layer. The cheaper options just won’t hold up.

How to Choose the Best Vinyl LVT Flooring?

LVT (Luxury Vinyl Tiles) can all seem similar on the surface. However, if we dig a little deeper there are several key features to consider.

LVT Vinyl Flooring Thickness

Vinyl flooring has different thickness grades, starting at 2mm and usually ending at 5mm.

If you are wondering “what thickness of LVT vinyl flooring should I use?”, it is often not the most important thing to consider. The wear layer (see below) is the most important aspect, however for low traffic areas, such as a cupboard or spare room, you can easily get away with a 2mm vinyl floor tile or vinyl sheet. For areas with more traffic, like the hall or living room, you may want to consider a thicker one , or one with a better wear layer.

Think thicker flooring is naturally durable?

Sometimes it is. However, with vinyl flooring, it is the wear layer that determines the overall durability of the floor. The best choice for ultra-sturdy and durable flooring is to pick a thick floor with a thick wear layer to match.

The wear layer itself is a protective layer that sits on top of the flooring. This protects the floor from any scratches and marks.

Registered Embossing Quality

Luxury Vinyl Tiles can be embossed the same way paper can. Embossing is simply adding texture. Now there are two kinds of embossing; 1) registered and 2) blind.

Registered: Registered embossing is where a texture has some logic behind it. This usually involves the embossing replicating a pattern that matches an image. This image can express delicate detail, such as texture, which can be replicated using registered embossing.

Blind: Blind embossing does not follow an image, rather a pre-set mould or punch. Some detail is achievable, but blind embossing is used mostly for bold, 2D elements.

The quality of registered embossing is important when choosing the best vinyl floor. The texture is an important sign of quality. Embossing is there to replicate the true wood feel on LVT flooring.

Design and Quality of Visual Layer

The visual layer is what gives your flooring the overall design. Vinyl flooring can be engineered to be both sturdy, durable and realistic but at the end of the day, we are all looking for flooring that looks beautiful in our homes. Nothing less.

Why Bathroom Remodeling Pays


If you’ve finally decided to remodel your home’s bathroom into the bathroom of your dreams, choosing the right bathroom contractor to work on your project is by far the most important decision that you will need to make over the course of taking your bathroom remodel from concept to finished result. In the end, the bathroom contractor that you choose to hire will impact the final results of your bathroom remodeling project more than any other single factor, meaning that it’s certainly important to make the right choice


The more experience that a contractor has with bathroom remodeling, the more you are able to rest assured that your bathroom is in good hands. Bathroom remodeling is a task that presents a number of unique challenges, and it is essential to work with a contractor who is used to overcoming these challenges in order to deliver exceptional results with each and every project. Hire a contractor who has been in the business of remodeling bathrooms for years and you won’t be disappointed with your choice.   


If you are looking for honest, reliable feedback about the quality of service offered by a contractor that you are considering, there’s no better place to look than reviews left by customers who have worked with that contractor in the past. Thankfully, in the Digital Age, it’s now easier than ever before to find customer reviews on most any company – bathroom contractors included. Yelp, Google+, and Angie’s List are a few great places to look for reviews. Once you’ve found a good source of customer reviews for the contractor that you are considering hiring, take the time to read as many as you can in order to get a good feel for how satisfied the average customer is with that contractor’s services.


Unless you happen to have an unlimited budget for your project – and most people don’t – it’ll be important find a bathroom contractor in Los Angles that offers competitive rates as well as high-quality service. Since bathroom remodeling projects tend to vary wildly in their scope and final price tag, though, most bathroom contractors are not going to list any kind of standard rate on their website or in other promotional material that they may publish. Instead, it’s standard for such contractors to offer a free quote on the cost of your project, and this is certainly something you should take advantage of. Take the time to request a free quote from the contractors you are considering and compare the numbers that they come back with in order to find the right services for the right price.

Most bathroom renovation projects will require you and your contractor to choose a number of materials, fixtures, and other products, and contractors tend to have suppliers that they partner with to procure these products. Of course, the quality of the materials you use to build your new bathroom is every bit as important as the quality in which these new materials are installed. This means that in addition to researching the contractor you are considering, you will also want to research the suppliers that they partner with as well. In some cases, this will be information that you can find on the contractor’s website. In other cases, you may need to call and inquire about the suppliers that a contractor partners with. Once you have the list of suppliers that a contractor works with in-hand, though, do your research and make sure that the products these suppliers offer are the right products for your new bathroom.

Reasons Why You Should Hire A Professional and Not DIY your Bathroom Remodel

If you’re considering a bathroom remodel for your home, you probably have just as many questions as you do dreams and ideas. Both large and small bathroom spaces can be a lengthy and stressful process, but if you hire the right professionals for the job, you’re more likely to have peace of mind and a better outcome when all is said and done

The end result is likely what you care about most, and with good reason. A professional will be able to offer guidance with selecting the appropriate materials for your home and will be well-versed in the best installation practices that deliver quality results. Hiring a bathroom design professional increases the likelihood that your dreams will become reality, and save you a major headache in the process.

Hiring the right professionals for the job eases stress and anxiety for you and your family. Professionals will be kind and courteous, respectful of your home and the remodel, and eager to please their clients. A professional will save you countless hours of running to showrooms and educating yourself on the various materials and installation processes needed for your beautiful remodel.

Hiring the right professionals also protects your hard-earned investment. Choose a licensed contractor who has insurance, and stands behind their work. This protects your home during the work and after completion, and leads to greater satisfaction with your bathroom remodel. Don’t choose the first contractor or designer in the phone book: ask for recommendations, speak to friends and family, and above all, ask for a consultation.

If you have been avoiding a bathroom remodel for years because you’re too busy, partnering with a designer is a huge help as you develop the plan for your project. A design professional can help you sort through the design specs, plumbing and electrical needs, and fun elements like choosing the right paint colors and accessories.

Bathroom Renovations

I used to be so uninspired when designing bathrooms. The options felt limiting and all the hard surfaces left me feeling cold. Well, times have changed. Pinterest and Instagram have raised expectations and the design threshold, bringing us colour, texture, interesting metals and thoughtfully designed vanity profiles.

While bathroom trends come and go, it’s important to remember that renovating a bathroom can add value to your home when you go to sell – so it pays to know what will be appealing to buyers down the track.


Nude, apricot, and peach tones have been dominating interiors of late and will continue to be a go-to colour into the new year and beyond.

For many people nervous about employing colour in general, these muted tones provide something that feels palatable and easy to live with long term while still making an impact

Shaped mirrors

Mirrors of all interesting shapes and sizes will continue to appear in bathrooms next year, as we turn our backs on the standard wall to wall rectangle.

Complete Bathroom Remodeling

If you’re looking for complete bathroom remodeling services or bathroom renovation company in Northern Virginia, then Baths by RJ can help! Since we ONLY do bathrooms, we are experts when it comes to full bathroom remodels, partial bathroom remodels, bathroom expansions, reconfigurations, renovations and more

Bathroom Remodeling Topics

When giving thought to remodeling a bathroom you may find the following information useful. Of course working with a professional to assist you with the overall bathroom design and who specializes in bathrooms will make the entire process much easier from start to finish.

Bathroom Flooring – Your flooring choice should be able to endure the wet, moist environment found in a bathroom.

Bathroom Lighting – You’ll need bathroom lighting that not only lights up the space properly, but that also is a true reflection of how you look. Natural lighting is a key factor.

Choosing A Bathroom Sink – Before choosing a bathroom sink, consider how the sink material might influence your bathroom style, how durable the sink will be and the maintenance it will require.

Choosing A Bathroom Vanity – Space is a key element in choosing a bathroom vanity. Choose a vanity that is appropriately sized for space.

Choosing The Right Bathtub – Will you replace the tub with one the same size? Will you decide on a free standing tub or to remove the tub entirely?

Custom Shower Installation – A custom shower can be designed to not only fit the space it can also be customized to meet your needs including handicap accessories (universal design) and more.

Tips on selecting the best material for Bathroom Remodelling

Shopping for the best bathroom material will not be difficult once you know what you need and what you want. When you have detailed list of material specification, you can browse on Internet for the best suppliers.  The Key to choose the right and best material for bathrooms is research, educating yourself with product literature and books in an effective way, to make sound purchasing decision.  You can even read some good blogs and some magazines to know the latest trend going on in bathroom remodelling

Sometimes if you don’t understand what you are reading, you should always take help of professionals for their interpretations and opinions. Well proportioned bathroom, presented in excellent order and spacious bathroom is always eye catchy. You should always select subtle colour bathroom fitting and suites for your bathrooms.

Good bathroom lights are very important in bathroom as lights have the ability to change the atmosphere of a complete room.  Track Lighting for bathrooms are gaining importance and are especially attractive in bathrooms and kitchens. Track Lighting is very affordable way to obtain a good lighting atmosphere in bathrooms.

Don’t Replace That Old Flat Roof

Your Home’s Existing Architecture May Affect Your Flat Roofing Replacement

If you’ve looked at all the alternatives and determine that a roofing conversion is really the best option for your home, it’s time to start planning your home’s new architectural design. There are a couple of different ways to go about a conversion. You can install a shallow pitched roof over your existing flat roof, add a trussed ranch-style roof to convert to cathedral walls, or even build a new floor and install the pitched roof above that. Either way, your home’s existing design may interfere or affect the changes you can make. For instance, if you’re not building a new floor into your home, your design may be limited if the existing ceiling joists aren’t arranged correctly. That means you may have to tear out the ceilings below the roof as well. An architect or structural engineer should be able to provide advice on what’s possible in your home—and what additional changes you’ll need to make before you can get your dream roof.

Expect to Spend More for Complicated Roofing Systems

Most homeowners choose to convert a flat roof to a pitched one using a simple trussed roof with two angled planes. While that’s the easiest route, it’s certainly not your only option. Additional valleys, angles, and gables can be built into converted roofs as well—but adding these elements may affect your project. For instance, it may be difficult to build a large gable into a low-pitched roof that you install above the flat roof surface. Always make sure your design gets an okay from an engineer or architect—someone who can sign off on the structural integrity—before making changes.

Pitched roof installation guides

When considering the best roofing solutions, some property owners choose a flat to pitched roof conversion. This can be a good choice for those looking for both functional or aesthetical improvements to their roofing. But is it the right choice for you? Here are a few of the reasons you may choose to convert your flat roof to a pitched structure.

Renovating Your Home’s Exterior

We often look at home improvements and renovations within our property, but what about giving the outside an uplift too? While many people know about the benefits of replacing their windows and doors or painting their brickwork, little consideration is given to how their roofline and general roofing areas could be harming the overall look of the property. A popular place to convert a flat roof to a pitched roof is over the porch or garage areas at the front of the home. The conversion creates greater cohesion between these areas and the main property, rather than feeling like ‘add-on’ spaces. It’s also a simple way to transform the façade, adding an attractive feature with tiles or slates along the new pitched roof. Ultimately, you’ll enhance the curb appeal of your home with this type of change.

Eliminating Problems with Your Flat Roof

While there are plenty of high-quality solutions, when the time comes to upgrade your flat roof, for those who have experienced a lot of issues over the years, you may want to install pitched roofing to eliminate these problems entirely. Unfortunately, some flat roofs made from poorer quality materials or those which weren’t installed well when originally chosen can experience recurring issues. This includes leaks, water pooling, blistering and tears. High performance flat roofs can resolve these problems, or you may decide that pitched roofing will create the effective drainage system you want, while increasing the longevity of your roof.

Improving Home Insulation

Most homeowners understand the importance of creating a well-insulated home, conserving energy, warmth and reducing those energy bills. A flat to pitched roof conversion should be considered for these type of home improvement plans. The insulating properties of a flat to pitched roof comes down to two factors. One is the increased weather resistance provided by pitched roofs. The second is the way in which the conversion is built. At Collier Roofing, for example, we build the pitched area over the existing flat roof. This means you have an extra layer of protection and insulation for your home. Always ask your roofer about the techniques they’ll be using for this type of roof conversion.

The Process of Changing the Pitch of Your Roof

If you own a building with a flat roof, the first thing your contractor will do is consult a structural engineer to make sure your structure can handle the conversion. Pitched roofs are usually much heavier than flat roofs, so an easy replacement may not always be possible. If it is determined that your building can support a pitched roof, the next step will be the removal of all of your roofing materials and the main roofing structure.

Pitched roofs require more manpower and time to install, especially when making a major structural conversion. A pitched roof will require new roof trusses and supports. Any damaged wood will need to be removed and replaced.

A contractor may choose to construct new trusses on the spot or have them delivered pre-assembled once he has taken measurements. Part of the process involved in changing the pitch of your roof will be calculating the cost of all necessary materials. You will choose your new roofing material as well, as this will be completely different from the materials used to cover a flat roof.


Flat roofs have a reputation for leaking and this is one of the main reasons people make the switch. Two of the most common reasons flat roofs can leak are:

• Poor fitting –a bad installation may leave gaps in the waterproofing, the roof may lack the slight pitch needed to prevent water collecting on it, or your guttering may become blocked if fitted badly. All of these can allow water to penetrate the roof and enter your house.

• Bad maintenance – a flat roof needs regular attention to ensure its upper surface remains waterproof. UV damage from sunlight, small holes or tears caused by animals and abrasion of the waterproof membrane due to people walking on it can all result in water leakage.

A pitched roof has a significant advantage when it comes to keeping out rain. The roof’s slope allows the water to naturally flow away, minimising the amount of time it spends on the roof.

The materials used for pitched roofs are usually much thicker and harder wearing than those used on flat roofs, making it much less likely they will suffer enough damage to allow water through.

Why Consider a Roof Conversion?

Here are the primary reasons homeowners choose to convert a flat roof to pitched:

  1. Solution to a maintenance problem. Poor design and/or construction of the existing flat roof may have resulted in frequent or recurring problems.
  2. Cost. The old roof may have structural issues requiring significant repair or renovation. If corrective measures are extensive, the cost of fixing a flat roof may be close to the cost of converting to a pitched roof—or close enough.
  3. Longer roofing lifespan. In theory, roofing on flat roofs can last as long as standard materials on sloped roofs, but in reality, pitched roofs tend to have greater longevity. It’s important to compare the durability of pitched-roof materials (like shingles) with high-quality flat-roof materials (not just tar-and-gravel or torch-down roofing), though.
  4. Easier insulation and ventilation. Flat roofs often aren’t (and usually shouldn’t be) ventilated, and their space constraints make it challenging to achieve high R-values with insulation. Pitched roofs offer more space for insulation and can be ventilated with fewer problems.
  5. More space. A pitched roof can create an attic space for storage or possibly additional living space, or both. How much space depends on the house size and the slope and structure of the new roof. A pitched roof may also add visual space if the old roof is removed and the new roof structure is designed for a cathedral ceiling.
  6. Aesthetics. This depends on the house and the owners’ taste. A pitched gable roof is the quintessential roof style in most of the Western world. On the other hand, flat roofs have been a characteristic feature of Modern home design for decades — and for centuries before on various styles of homes. In any case, some homeowners make the conversion for nothing other than aesthetics.

Cool Tips To Electronic Leak Detection

Where Leaks Come From

Water leaks can happen for a lot of reasons. There’s a lot of hot, pressurized water shooting through your pipes every day. Even though your pipes are built to withstand it, over enough time, that water will begin to cut through or erode the walls and joints in your pipes; this same process is how canyons are formed.

Pipe Jointspipe joint leak

Most water leaks occur near or in a pipe joint, where one pipe connects to another. When water passes through joints on its way through the system, it gets shaken up as it is forced to swirl and squeeze to get from one pipe to the other. This little bit of extra turbulence makes the pipe walling around the joint wear down that much faster. Consequently, leaks are more likely the more bends, turns or elbows you have in your system.

Hard Waterhard water leak

The integrity of your pipes is also affected by the attributes of the water in your system. If your home has hard-water (mineral-heavy), it’ll eat through the pipe walls more quickly. Minerals are hard on pipes because they are coarse; as they move through the pipes, they scrape up against the inside, wearing it away. The pH value of your water will also affect corrosion. Water with subtly acidic properties will eat away at the lining of the pipe, weakening it and making it more susceptible to wear and damage.

Water Pressurewater pressure pipe leak

The more pressurized your water is, the faster it’ll shoot through your pipes. The higher the velocity of the water moving through the pipes, the rougher it’ll be on the inside of your pipes. Over time, the pipe will be worn away enough that tiny hairline fractures will be worn into them by the water. When water passes through the part of the pipe that’s worn away, the pressure of open water in the closed system will suck the water out causing leakage. If you think you might have a leak, don’t wait until it’s too late to contact a professional plumber.

How to Detect Leaks

Monitor the Water Bill

Monthly water bills are fairly predictable, so if you receive one that’s unusually high—and you haven’t been using excess water—you may have a leak. The Environmental Protection Agency suggests that a family of four will typically use no more than 12,000 gallons per month, except perhaps during the summer if you water a garden or lawn. Even small leaks, such as a faucet with a steady drip, can waste as much as 10,000 gallons of water per year, so keeping an eye on your water bill is a smart, proactive practice.

Watch the Water Meter

If you suspect a leak, monitoring your home’s water meter will give you a definitive answer. The meter is often located beneath a manhole-type cover near the street or (in areas where temperatures don’t dip below freezing) on the side or back of the house, near to where the water supply line enters the house. Follow these steps to monitor the meter:

  1. Turn off all water faucets in your home and make sure the washing machine and dishwasher are not running.
  2. Check the water meter and make a note of the numbers you see. Come back in an hour and check again. If the numbers have changed, there’s a leak somewhere.
  3. To determine if the water leak is in the house or outdoors (only for homes with meters located at the street), turn off the shut-off valve on your home’s main water supply pipe. This is either located in a basement or a utility room where the water pipe enters the home.
  4. Check the water meter, write down the numbers, and wait another hour. When you check again, if the numbers have not changed, the water leak is inside your home. If the numbers have changed, the leak is in the buried water line that runs to the house.

Check for Patches of Greener Grass

Everyone wants a lush lawn, but if an area in your yard is much greener (and grows faster) than the rest of the grass, it could indicate the spot where a buried water line is leaking. If the leak is profuse, you might even see some puddles on the surface of the ground.

 Investigate Appliances and Fixtures

If the water meter test indicates a leak inside your home, check the cabinets under the kitchen, laundry, and bathroom sinks to make sure they’re dry. You’ll also want to look for puddles around the bases of tubs, toilets, and showers and beneath the water heater, dishwasher, and clothes washer. If you find any puddles, turn off the water supply valve to that appliance or fixture and call a plumber.

Leaking Faucets

Leaking faucets are generally a result of a worn rubber washer. The washer on a sink is usually located under the handle. These are relatively easy to replace, if you have the right tools. It does require shutting off the water under the sink or at the main shutoff valve and removing the handle. (Note: faucet handles are not shutoff valves.) Check your local home center or hardware store on how to repair faucet leaks.

Leaking Toilets

Toilet leaks can waste hundreds of gallons and often times are silent. Even a small leak can add up to a lot of wasted water and money over time. Fortunately, most toilet leaks are easy and inexpensive to repair.

To help determine if you have a leaking toilet, simply remove the tank lid and place a few drops of food coloring in back of the toilet tank. (If you don’t have food coloring, you can purchase dye tabs from any hardware or home center). Wait about 30 minutes, without flushing, and then look in the toilet bowl to see of any color has come through. If the water is clear, water is not leaking. If you see food coloring in the bowl you have a leak.

In most cases, you will simply just need to replace the toilet flapper and/or filling mechanism. These are available at hardware or home center stores for about $8.00 each.

Flapper Valve Leaks

The most common reason for a leaking toilet is one that has an improperly working or sealing flapper. The flapper is the rubber valve in the bottom of the tank that lifts up when the toilet is flushed. If the flapper is worn or cracked, it allows water to continuously flow from the tank into the toilet bowl without flushing.

Flush Handle Problems

If the handle needs to be jiggled to keep the toilet from running, the flush level bar and chain (or the handle itself) may be sticking. Adjust the nut that secures it in the toilet tank. If that does not work, the handle may have to be replaced.

Water Leak Detection Checklist

  1. The leak may be coming from your water mains supply, or there may be a mains water leak from your neighbour’s property. A leaking water main further up the road also could cause any leakage into your basement that you may be experiencing. You can contact your water supplier and get them to check your mains supply and your neighbours’ supply – the only neighbours that can really affect you are those either side of you or those on higher ground than you.
  2. If water has come through your walls or floor or into your basement you can get your water supplier to test it to determine where it’s come from – they will be able to tell you whether it’s ground water, mains water or sewage.
  3. You can test whether your foul water pipes have any leaks by blocking them up. Find out where your foul water drains away by turning a tap on and lifting up your manhole cover. You can block the hole the water flows from into the manhole with a bung available in either 4 inch or 6 inch sizes from your local builders’ merchants. Fill up your toilet bowl or sink with water and mark the level of the water. Leave the water overnight and see what happens – if the level of the water has dropped overnight then you need to get a drains company to come in to investigate and trace the leak in your pipes. You can find a qualified company to do this on the National Association of Drainage Contractors website. Alternatively, you may have a pretty good idea of where the leak is coming from at this point if you know where your wet area is, so you will know what needs to be mended. Make sure you remove the bung after completing the test!
  4. You can check whether the leak is coming from a fault in your surface drain by using a bag of drains testing dye that you can buy from your local builders’ merchants. Put the dye in the drain and then filling the drain up with water. This dye glows in the dark so you can then look at your leak at night and look for the dye to confirm that the water is coming from your surface drain.
  5. If the water is leaking in your bathroom or kitchen it’s a good idea to check your plumbed in appliances and bathtub/shower cubicle, sink and toilet.
  6. If the water is appearing in your floor you should check your central heating system as this may be the source of the leak – check your pipes and radiators, with your first check being the pipes that run under the area of damp floor. You can also ask a plumber in to do a pressure test as this may help to trace where in the system the leak is coming from if this is the source of the leak.

The Process Of Leak Location

Electronic leak detection devices locate and confirm leaks by listening to the sound of water running along the pipes, using a microphone. Your plumbing contractor will choose the best location to set up the electronic leak detection device. The sounds it records will then be transmitted to a computer program, where the plumber will analyze the information. An experienced licensed plumber will know whether the sound is from a cracked pipe or a leaking faucet. From there, they will determine the best repair technique appropriate to repair the leak.

Electronic leak detection is not only used to determine water leaks. It can also be used to locate leaks in other pressurized systems, like the compressor of an air conditioner or refrigerator, and in natural gas lines.

Concerned About Wall & Floor Damage?

Don’t be. Back in the day, a licensed plumber would need to rip open the wall or dig up your entire floor in order to find the location of a leak. Today, with electronic leak detection, wall and floor damage is minimal. Since the plumber determines the exact location of the leak beforehand, the part of the wall to be removed or the area of the floor that will be dug up will be smaller. A smaller hole also means bigger savings for you in terms of time and money.

What Are The Duties Of A Family Law Attorney

How to Choose the Best Lawyer for You

Even if your case seems pretty straightforward, go to someone who has handled matrimonial cases before. You don’t need an attorney who works solely in that area, whose fees might be very high. But you do want someone who knows which papers have to be filed in which courthouse and who can take your case to trial if need be. Now is not the time to do your third cousin a favor by hiring her son, who was recently admitted to the bar.

Red Alert

Make sure you choose an attorney you can afford. Some lawyers want a large retainer, but their hourly rate is relatively low, or they have a junior attorney who can do some of the work at a lower hourly rate.If you want to hire a lawyer for only certain aspects of your divorce, you might prefer someone who specializes in unbundled services. If you have millions of dollars at stake, a legal powerhouse could be best for you

Some very competent matrimonial lawyers will tell you from the outset that they do not go to court. They might be very good negotiators, but if your case doesn’t settle, they will recommend another attorney, either in their firm or at another, to take over the case. For some people, that’s fine. Others prefer to have an attorney who will go the distance. Be sure to ask.

Your First Meeting

When you’re with an attorney for the first time, he or she will ask you for some background information about your situation. You should be told, briefly, how the laws work in your state and what that will mean for your own case. The lawyer can also tell you which court will handle your case. Is the court in your jurisdiction backlogged? Knowing this could determine your strategy in resolving your case—is it helpful to drag out the divorce or to end it quickly?

Fees and Billing

During this first consultation, the lawyer should also explain his or her fees. Does she take a retainer—a lump-sum payment—up front? That practice is common. As the lawyer works on your case, she subtracts an amount equal to her hourly rate from the sum you have prepaid. For example, if you paid Attorney Greenfield $1,000 and her hourly rate is $100, you would have bought 10 hours of work in advance. Most will quote a flat rate for the retainer

Tips for Choosing a Family Law Solicitor

When it comes to choosing a family solicitor where do you start? Well there are many ways, from phoning friends and family, to scouring the internet or even picking up the phone and speaking to one of the family law firms that advertise on the back of buses or at hoardings at the railway station.

Why it is so important to choose a family law solicitor that is right for you

Getting divorced or taking part in children or financial court proceedings is stressful. It is still going to be tough, whatever family law solicitor you chose. However, the process will be easier if you find a family law solicitor you can work with and feel comfortable instructing.

Questions to ask when choosing a family law solicitor

When you chose a family law solicitor, you are likely to be working with them for some time so it is important to choose with care. I deliberately say ‘’working with’’ as a family law solicitor should not tell you what to do. Instead, they should talk to you about what information is needed, assess your legal options, and help you make informed choices, whether that is a referral to mediation, the commencement of court proceedings or an agreed financial settlement.

Who will you be instructing?

That is not as stupid a question as it sounds. In some family law firms you may see a partner on the first meeting but not speak to them again as they will delegate the work to a junior solicitor or paralegal. That can be frustrating if you chose the firm based on the recommendation to an individual family solicitor or thought that the price quoted for the advice was based on an experienced senior solicitor carrying out all the work for you. Many family solicitors delegate work and normally it is in your interests that they do so, but you need to understand who will be helping you.

Is the solicitor a specialist?

Most people assume that a solicitor knows what they are doing but is your solicitor a specialist in family law. Do they do a bit of family law as well as property law and Wills? Nowadays professionals will specialise in one area of law. In large firms or niche family law firms, you will find solicitors that specialise in child law or child abduction or financial settlements or prenuptial agreements

What are the tips for hiring a Family Law Attorney?

Looking for a family lawyer is necessary when needing help with a case involving civil matters such as pre and post-nuptial agreements, divorce, child support, parental timesharing, mediation, modification, adoption, and bankruptcy. A lawyer specializing in these matters makes a big difference in obtaining the best outcome possible for his or her client. While it is true hiring a lawyer is costly, it is often true benefits exceed costs. To make sure you find the best Family Lawyer to handle your case, their area number of things to consider.

Probably the best way to be sure a lawyer is well suited to take Family Law cases is by listening to those who have used his or her services in the past. These persons can be family, friends, or persons writing reviews on a lawyer’s website. Also checking with the state bar association as to recommendations and any past discrepancies will give an idea as to the qualification of the lawyer under consideration.

In today’s computer world it is relatively easy to check a lawyer’s qualifications by going online and reading his or her website. This website should be well done and professional with pictures of the attorney, his or her guiding principles, and an overview of the services he or she provides.

Also. on the website should be additional information important in consideration of choosing the right Family Law Lawyer. You will want to know how long has he or she been in practice, what areas of practice are available, what awards have been given, what areas of community service are he or she involved in, and in what physical counties in the state of your residence does he or she represent clients,

Does he or she offer a free, initial consultation? This is vitally important as to truly consider a Family Law lawyer you need to meet him or her in person. You need to ask questions regarding your case as well as explain the particulars of your case. What is this lawyer like as a person? Do you feel comfortable with his or her personality? How will this lawyer communicate with you, will it be by phone, e-mail, or text? Does he or she have experience in mediations as in many states mediation is required before a court date can be set? Also, a lawyer’s attitude regarding mediation is important as settling a case in mediation costs the client a lot less in lawyer fees, and some lawyers don’t want this to happen

Tips For Choosing The Best Family Law Attorney

Family law involves one of the most important things in life family. And if it’s your family that is in need of legal help, you are particularly invested in getting the best legal help you can find. A family law attorney can assist you with a variety of matters, including divorce, adoption, and child custody. But how do you know which family law attorney is the right one for you? Also following are some tips on choosing the best family law attorney that best fits the family’s needs.

Referrals from friends and family

The first thing to do when looking for a family law attorney is to ask close friends and family for references. Most people need to use an attorney at least once in their lives, and chances are you know some of those people. Ask neighbors or colleagues for recommendations. Maybe you are considering filing for a divorce. Ask any close friends who have been through a divorce if they liked the attorney they worked with.


Once you have narrowed down your list to two or three attorneys, consider setting up an initial consult. Some attorneys offer the first consult at no charge. Ask each family law attorney that you call if they offer the first consult free. Even if the consult isn’t free, it may be worth paying some money to find an attorney who is the right fit.

Ask Question that assists to make a decision

Before your first consult, write down any questions you may have, so you don’t forget anything. Ask the family law attorney if he has handled a case like yours before and how many years he has been working with such cases. Ask him about his legal strategy. Ask him about his fees and the fees of any paralegals or legal assistants he works with. Explain your case to him and ask him how the case will proceed and what he feels the outcome will be. As you do this, you will able to discern which lawyer will best fill your needs.

Choosing The Best Divorce Lawyer or Family Law Attorney

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

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

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

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

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

Factors That Affect Home Renovation Costs

Home renovation guide: Tips to avoid getting duped when renovating your first place

Congratulations on crossing another milestone in life – getting your first home! But amidst all the excitement you are probably feeling jittery about the home renovation process. Fret not.

In this guide, we will share some insider tips to avoid getting duped for your first home renovation project. Choosing your ideal contractor or interior designer, the theme, getting a loan and more, we got you covered


Start planning your renovation the moment you get the floor plan, and not till you get your keys. Because with more time on hand, you’ll be able to ask around, meet different interior design companies and compare offers carefully. Since you’ll likely be spending a 5-digit sum for your first home renovation project, never rush into making a decision!


We understand that almost every new homeowner wants the interior design of their home to be as up to date as possible. However, don’t try to incorporate too many trends into your home. It is essential to consider an interior design theme that fits your budget and lifestyle instead of following trends blindly. Do choose a pragmatic style that suits your needs, or even increase the value of your property should you rent or sell your home in the future.


In case you didn’t know, hiring an interior designer (ID) typically costs more than a contractor. Why? Because an ID is really a project manager, who will oversee the entire renovation project from ideation to completion. On the other hand, a contractor is a person who can carry out your specific requests.

How to choose the right loan for your 2019 home renovation project

When you own a property, there will inevitably come a point when it needs an upgrade. If you have enough money to cover the costs, that’s great! But for many, a loan is likely to be the best route to take. That’s why we’ve asked Phillip Garlick, Head of Commercial at H&T, to explain what you need to consider if you’re looking to take out a loan to renovate your home in 2019.

If you’re thinking about taking out a loan to complete some renovation projects on your property, there’s some key information you’ll need to know. Not all loans are the same. Lenders often offer a wide array of options for term length, interest rates, charges, and fees. As with anything, finding the best deal comes down to comparing various lenders and products.

What to look for

Every lender is different, and each one will be willing to offer you different terms. That’s why it’s important you take your time and compare each of the various offers available to get an idea of which one might be the best. Broadly, there are three main areas you want to consider when assessing which loan is right for you: the amount of money you will borrow, the interest rate, and the terms of the loan. The best way to choose is to compare the three criteria below across lenders and products, and then apply it to your needs.

Loan amount

The amount of money you will be allowed to borrow is based on a number of factors, but lenders will typically offer you a minimum and a maximum loan amount they are prepared to lend. Some lenders might require a certain minimum income that must be met to get accepted for a specific loan, while others will want to see proof you can afford it. If you aren’t accepted, it is wise to seek a lower loan amount or consider asking a close relative to be a guarantor.

Interest rates

Lenders are required to provide you with an annual percentage rate (APR), which combines the standard interest rate on the loan with all other costs of borrowing, such as fees and charges, allowing you to determine the overall cost of the loan to you. The rate you are offered will vary from lender to lender but you will generally pick the loan with the lowest APR

Home Remodeling & Renovation Ideas

Whether you’re looking to increase the property value of your home ahead of a sale or closing on a house you can’t wait to make your own, chances are there’s a renovation or remodeling project in your future. Which means you’ll have a lot of things to consider, not least among them how to find a contractor, how to mitigate costs, and, no less important, how to translate your Pinterest ideas into reality. AD is here to help. We tapped some of our most trusted renovation sources and combed our archives to bring you this compendium of power home remodeling ideas for every room, including tried-and-true advice from the experts, checklists to help you get started, and stunning before-and-after kitchen, bath, and living room transformations for inspiration. So whether you’re revamping a space to make it more functional or simply more beautiful, this handy guide is your one-stop shop for all things home renovation

Kitchen Design Inspiration

Whether your goal is a multifunctional, family-friendly kitchen or a sleek, contemporary one, there’s something here for you

Bedroom Design Inspiration

Sweet dreams are made of these. Here, pro tips and trusted decorating sources to help you achieve the coziest of sleeping spaces

Patio and Outdoor Space Design Inspiration

From creative seating ideas to inviting landscaping arrangements, these magazine-worthy suggestions will turn a boring backyard into everyone’s favorite hangout

Living Room Design Inspiration

Read on to transform your family room or den into a stylish gathering space with comfort to space

How to Pick a Good Home Renovation Company

Picking the right renovation contractor for the job is essential; they will be responsible for helping to control your budget, and providing you with the product that you are paying for. You also need a contractor that is insured, because any damage that is caused to your home could end up costing you thousands of dollars in repair expenses otherwise. Whether you’re just doing a renovation to one room of the home, or you’re giving the entire house a makeover, you’ll need to work with a contractor that you can trust. As a new homeowner, where do you begin the search? The answer is usually with the advice of others.


If you know someone in the area who has had work done to their home, whether they are a family member, friend, or co-worker, then they might be the right place to start your search. You can ask them about what type of work they needed, how much it cost them total, and how long the job took to complete. You can also ask them about the quality of the work. In some cases, you’ll be invited to go to the home to inspect it for yourself. This can inform you of what to expect from the contractor, should you decide to choose one based on a reference. It can also give you valuable information to use during a contractor estimate comparison.

Make it Official

The contractor you choose for renovations needs to be insured, as previously mentioned, but they also need to be licensed. Your city should have a Contractors Licensing Board, where you can check up on credentials of a contractor that you’re interested in working with. There should be proof of certification, along with Liability Insurance proof. Contractors that don’t have these aren’t worth the risk.


Finally, estimates are an important part of finding the right contractor. They will tell you the cost, the time frame for the project, and what the contractor will actually be able to do. If you hire a specialist for the renovation task you need, such as a contractor that specializes in window treatments, you can sometimes get both a better price and better service than if you could a more generalized contractor. Go over all of your options carefully with your budget in mind, and you’ll have no trouble finding the right contractor for the job

Tips for Choosing a Remodeling Contractor

Type “remodeling contractor” into Google, and you’ll be presented with the sites of hundreds of contracting firms in your area, each one claiming to be the best. With so many choices to sift through, choosing the right contractor for your home improvement project is no small task. But making this decision is as important as it is challenging, since the success of your interior remodel will be in the hands of the contractor you choose

Take the time to interview each candidate. This one’s a given. Just as you’d carefully interview a babysitter for your kids or a personal assistant for your business, you should take the time to discuss your prospective contractor’s experience, work philosophy, and vision. In the initial interview, you should ask your contractor to provide you with a portfolio and list of previous clients and projects

Examine portfolios closely. Your contractor’s portfolio should have plenty of examples of projects in your area that are similar to your own. A contractor with experience in your type of home improvement project will be able to mastermind a remodel that accommodates your needs, complies with local building codes, and anticipate any complications that might arise

Call up references and visit projects in person. While reviewing their resume is a good way to get an initial idea of your prospective contractor’s work and areas of expertise, the only way to truly get a feel for their craftsmanship and skill level is to visit their project in person. Ask your contractor to provide at least three verifiable references to past clients with projects similar to yours. Contact these references, and ask if you can do a walk-through of the remodeled area

Ask about permitting. Whether you are installing outlets, knocking down a wall, or remodeling a bathroom, the vast majority of home improvement projects will require a permit. Your contractor should take care of the process of obtaining a permit for you, from drawing up permit-ready plans to submitting the necessary documents. Beware of contractors who try to convince you that you don’t need a permit—this is often a red flag that he or she is trying to cut corners.