Professional Squirrel Removal

How to Get Rid of Squirrels

There are several species of squirrel, but tree squirrels are the most common nuisance for homeowners because they inhabit attics and garages and cause damage. They often gnaw on the exterior and interior walls, timbers, cables, and electric wiring. They have been known to short out electric power transformers due to their activities around power lines. Squirrels are typically discovered because they make a lot of noise in the area they inhabit. The gray squirrel is the most common structure-infesting squirrel species.

Squirrels are abundant in the wild because their numbers far exceed the number of predators. The large population and decreasing natural habitat due to construction in many areas cause them to seek shelter in houses. The chilly months of fall and winter cause squirrels to seek the warmth that is found in attics.

Squirrel Control Recommendations

Removal of any diet source: bird seed for example, because they attract the squirrels is the first order of business.

Using gutter guards and covering downspouts will reduce the number of squirrels that are entering through the rooftop and facia boards.

There are no poison baits on the market that squirrels will eat and die, except Ditrac Ground Squirrel Bait that is only made to control the California Ground Squirrel (found in western states). Typical rodent control bait for mice and rat control will not work against other squirrels.

Live trapping method of trapping squirrels is the only way to remove unwanted squirrels. Catching a squirrel is really the only way to get rid of squirrels in your attic, once they have chewed holes. It is important to seal up and repair all entry points after trapping the squirrels, so they no longer have access.

Trapping Tips

Always use work gloves when handling the traps with a squirrel inside.

Some trappers like to use a technique called “pre-baiting” to gain the squirrel’s confidence. Leave the trap out, wired open (so it won’t shut) with the bait so that they can get used to the object in their environment. However, most of the time this technique is not needed to trap squirrels successfully.

Place traps where you hear or see the activity. Using a Rat/Squirrel lure (walnut/nut oil based) on a cracker or piece of fruit behind the trip pan is very helpful as a lure. You may also try peanut butter. Next use sunflower seeds on top of that and trail a line of sunflower seeds out the front door of the trap so that there are “free” seeds a couple of feet in front of the trap. This will help overcome any anxiety the squirrels may have about entering the trap.

Exclusion and Relocation of Squirrels

After trapping and relocating the squirrels you can seal the openings with 1/4″ mesh hardware cloth or metal flashing. Look for all possible entry points. If you are not handy with tools, many nuisance wildlife control companies will seal entry points with a year’s guarantee for a fee.

 

TIPS FOR HOW TO GET RID OF SQUIRRELS IN THE YARD

Squirrels can be a nuisance in the yard or garden by eating fruit, vegetables and birdseed and chewing tree bark. Squirrels also have a way of making their way into your attic or crawlspaces and setting up nests. Here’s how to get rid of squirrels in the yard and keep them out of your home.

Don’t feed them. If you feed them, they will come. Any food found in your yard is fair game for roaming creatures or those already calling your property home. When you’re hanging bird feeders, scattering plant seeds or throwing compostable food scraps into your garden, you create the opportunity for easy meals. You should weigh your enjoyment of bird watching with the potential to attract pests with uneaten birdseed.

Remove what attracts them. The sight and smell of fallen fruit, nuts and seeds lures squirrels. Rake your yard regularly to remove these items from under bird feeders and trees. Use garbage cans with tight-fitting lids to keep squirrels out of your trash.

Scare them. A dog or cat may keep squirrels out of your yard, particularly if your dog chases squirrels. If you don’t have a cat or dog, you can place plastic owls around your property on elevated surfaces such as fence posts or the roof to frighten squirrels away. You can also buy containers of predator (wolf or tiger) urine to spray in your yard or garden. The scent scares many animals, including squirrels, deer and rabbits. You need to re-apply the solution after it rains.

Spray them. Motion-activated sprinkler systems may help keep squirrels out of your yard.

 

How To: Get Rid of Squirrels

Most of the time, squirrels are completely benign, but in some situations, they can cause considerable damage. If you want to put an end to your squirrel problem, don’t miss our five-point action plan.

Don’t let the bushy tails fool you. They may be cute and and bright-eyed, but if left unchecked, squirrels can do an impressive amount of damage, not only to your garden, but also to your home (particularly the attic and eaves). While there’s no quick and easy way to get rid of squirrels, you can do a number of things to slowly shoo away these mischievous creatures. Whether you’re responding to an existing squirrel problem or seeking to prevent one, read on for a five-step action plan.

Focus on food.

If the neighborhood squirrels seem to be more interested in your house than in the one next door, it only makes sense to investigate the reason why. First things first, scan your property for an obvious food source, such as a bird feeder. Even if mounted on a tree or atop a pole, bird feeders are well within reach of squirrels, agile animals capable of jumping eight to ten feet with relative ease. If not going to go great heights in search of food, squirrels are just as likely to dig for it. Garden bulbs, in particular, are vulnerable. In lieu of protecting your flower beds with chicken wire, consider planting strategically placed daffodils. Since these perennials are poisonous to squirrels, they act as effective deterrents.

Prevent passage.

Everyone knows that squirrels are expert climbers. What you may not have realized is that, by banding tree trunks with plastic or metal collars (sometimes known as baffles), you can prevent squirrels from progressing along those routes that afford access to vulnerable areas, such as the overhang of your roof

Opt for odors.

To augment your other efforts, hang ammonia-soaked rags on the branches squirrels seem to favor. Doing so has proven moderately successful for Lindsay Wildlife Museum in Walnut Creek, CA. Alternatively, you can purchase and spread predator urine, available for sale at garden supply stores or home centers. The downside is that such treatments must be reapplied after every rainfall.

 

How to Get Rid of Squirrels

Squirrels are funny animals; however, despite the cute looks they have gained a reputation of the well-known pests. The pair of jittery squirrels can grow into an entire army of invasive pests and inhabit your property for a long time. This guide explains how to get rid of squirrels fast. Here you’ll find two best ways of controlling squirrels approved by scientists and 10 best products to help you succeed in eliminating your scurry nuisance.

The squirrels literally damage everything they can reach and repairs can get pricey. These curious and naturally inquisitive animals feel fine on your territory all year long. They feed on bird seeds, damage vegetables, and fruits, destroy your favorite flowers, and turn everything upside down in the attic

Start with the area outside your house. It is easier to chase squirrels away from your backyard rather than from the attic or any other space indoors, where rodents usually nest. Remove foodstuff: all fallen fruits, nuts, and other debris from the backyard to reduce food availability for squirrels. Tightly seal garbage cans. Trim the trees and shrubs adjacent to the house and avoid planting new ones, otherwise, their branches will turn into a perfect bridge to your house.

Inspect your house for any openings and cracks in the structure. Seal them with foam insulation or use metal mesh. If squirrels have already established their nests in your house, wait until they leave for hunting and only then block all access points. When applicable, build a fence extended 12 inches below the ground level, so that squirrels can’t get underneath.

Since the attic is a prime target for squirrels, clean it up: remove any garbage and foodstuff if you store it there.

 

How to Get Rid of Squirrels

They dart across the street, scurry up trees, and claw their way through small openings in homes and buildings. Squirrels are among the most widespread rodents in North America, one of the family that includes chipmunks, marmots, and prairie dogs

They have a benign, almost cute appearance with their bushy tails, short arms and legs, and pointed ears. But they can wreak havoc within the walls, crawl spaces, and attics of homes in search of shelter. As they move about, they can even harbor infected fleas and ticks that may transfer diseases.

Gray Squirrel

Though helpful in some ways to the environment, gray squirrels can be quite a pest in highly populated areas. When tree cover isn’t available for a habitat, gray squirrels will seek out telephone poles and roof lines. If they gain entry to the interior of your home, they will claw or chew at electrical wiring and wooden supports, leading to structural damage or even a power outage.

Red Squirrel (Pine Squirrel)

The smallest of the tree squirrels (but larger than chipmunks), this species is known for its territorial behavior. This species is most often home in wooded areas dotted with pine trees.

Fox Squirrel

This is the largest species of tree squirrel. With sharp claws and athletic bodies, fox squirrels are natural climbers and will spend most of their days in trees. During that time, they search for food ranging from nuts and flowers to insects and small birds. Fox squirrels build their nests during summer and endure the winter inside trees.

The Art Of Working With A Bookkeeping

A Beginner’s Guide to Small Business Bookkeeping

Part of the accounting cycle, bookkeeping is the act of tracking, managing, and recording all financial transactions for your business. If the thought of bookkeeping is frightening, rest assured, there are a variety of small business accounting software applications on the market today that make the process easy, even if you’ve never recorded a financial transaction before

Overview: What is bookkeeping?

Bookkeeping is the proper recording of all financial transactions for your business. Bookkeeping involves a lot of attention to detail; everything from properly identifying and coding invoices, purchase orders, and vendor bills, to ensuring that bills are paid promptly

What is a bookkeeper responsible for?

Bookkeepers are responsible for accurately recording all financial transactions for a business.

Why your small business needs bookkeeping

It’s next to impossible to manage your business properly without bookkeeping. Imagine trying to run your business without knowing how much you’re spending on expenses each month, or not knowing how much money your customers owe you. Imagine not accounting for those expenses properly and then trying to prepare your tax return the following year.

You need to know how much money you have

Once you start a business, you become responsible for a lot of things. As a business owner, you need to know how much money your customers owe you and how much has been received. You also need to know how much money you need to spend in order to keep your business running smoothly.

 

How to Choose a (Great) Bookkeeper

Finding a good bookkeeper is an investment in your business

Many small business owners see their bookwork as an obligation to stop the taxman knocking. In fact it’s an integral part of running and managing a successful business. Your accounts, bookwork and transaction history, when accurately recorded, provide an important tool for all planning and decisions you make in your business and without it, you’re running blind

BAS Agent Certification

This is without a doubt the most important thing to look for in a bookkeeper. The Tax Practitioners Board holds a register of all qualified bookkeepers in Australia. Qualified bookkeepers must prove they have sufficient knowledge, qualifications, experience, insurance and ongoing professional development to sufficiently serve their clients. It is illegal to provide BAS services including entering GST transactions, Payroll and bank reconciliations without being registered

Experience

There are some things you just can’t teach and being a good bookkeeper is one of them – a good bookkeeper should have sufficient experience to answer your questions, know their way around accounting software, know where to go to get answers to the tricky questions and know when to refer to your accountant.

Skill Set

What range of business and accounting software can they use? Do they have a sound understanding in more than just the basic MYOB and Reckon (prev. Quickbooks AU). There is a huge range of software available and in many cases these out-dated program’s may not be the most time or cost-effective software for your business. If you’re going to change things up, will your bookkeeper be able to handle it?

Education

All registered BAS agents must hold a bookkeeping or accounting qualification. You should ask a potential bookkeeper what qualifications they hold so you know their level of understanding of the accounting systems. Ensure you have a bookkeeper who understands the important relationships between transactions and Profit & Loss and Balance Sheet. Holding additional or extended qualifications shows they have a varied or higher knowledge base.

 

How to Choose the Right Accountant for Your Business

Deciding that it is finally time to look for an accountant is a big step for any growing business, but you will have to make sure that your financial information — one of the most important areas in your business — is in the right hands

Certification and Experience

Passing the CPA exam is a difficult process — intentionally so. While all CPAs are accountants, not all accountants are CPAs. Make sure your accountant is trained well enough to meet the expectations and demands of today’s accounting profession. Although they got through some rigorous courses and exams in the past, they should also be taking continuing education and professional development courses to remain certified, licensed and on top of changing rules and regulations within the accounting landscape

Technology

Thanks to the rapid advances in technology, accounting software has become more robust — adding automation and tons of time-saving features — transforming accounting into a fast-paced and dynamic industry. Accounting software, like Xero and QuickBooks Online, helps improve productivity by performing tedious accounting tasks while reducing one’s margin of error with a single click of the mouse

Business Growth

Finding an accountant who has an empathetic ear and can truly connect and understand your business is essential. It is crucial that your business receives all the support it needs and that you are comfortable with the people handling your accounts. Remember that your CPA’s role does not stop at tax planning and preparation — they are your trusted business advisors. They can be your source of light when your business is facing uncertainties and they can help you make the right financial decisions when you need some guidance. Look for an accountant who would treat your business affairs as they would treat their own.

Services

As a business owner, time is money, and choosing the right CPA can buy you more time, allowing you to focus on achieving your goals. Some accountants are willing to do bookkeeping and payroll for example, on top of the usual services they provide.  Other accountants stick to the core stuff only, like financial statements and tax filings. You’ll need to evaluate where your strengths and weaknesses are and what your pain points are — so that you can free up your time to run and grow your business.

Security

Although the digital age has opened the gates to faster and more convenient methods of handling information, it also brought along new risks and threats. Find someone who is proactive in taking regular security methods to keep their clients’ sensitive information safe. Do they use encryption software to handle your private information? What are their practices for data integrity and security? It is crucial that your CPA guarantees security that is “airtight” and has a very low risk of facing a security breach.

 

How to Hire Bookkeeping Help

Is it time to hire a bookkeeping service for your small business? Perhaps your business is growing, or you don’t have time to do it all on your own anymore. Whatever the reason, there are plenty of bookkeepers out there ready to help you keep your books in order.

Why Hire a Bookkeeper?

According to research by Clutch, almost half of small businesses (45%) don’t employ a bookkeeper, and a quarter of small businesses still record their finances on paper instead of a computer. Doing your bookkeeping by yourself isn’t easy. It can be easy to make errors or miss something important. Manual bookkeeping can also put your data at risk from damage or theft.

Hiring a Freelance Bookkeeper

Freelance bookkeepers can benefit your business in many ways. Because they typically work from home, their overheads are low and their fees competitive. Rates can range from $15-$50 per hour depending on the nature and range of work you want them to do—and you only pay for the hours you use. Freelancers are also business owners and stake their reputation on meeting deadlines and taking their work seriously.

Working With a Bookkeeping Firm

Bookkeeping firms may cost more than a freelance bookkeeper but for good reason. They bring a range of experience to the table, access to a larger team of experts, and guaranteed coverage. Unlike a freelance bookkeeper, if your dedicated bookkeeper takes a vacation or is otherwise unavailable, someone else can seamlessly step in

Understand the Difference Between a Bookkeeper and an Accountant

In your search for bookkeeping help, don’t confuse bookkeepers with accountants or CPAs. Many accountants provide bookkeeping services, but they can also prepare detailed financial statements (profit and loss statements, balance sheets, etc.).

 

What is the best way to find companies needing bookkeeping and accounting services?

To find companies who are need of bookkeeping and accounting services we need to market our company and reach through different mediums of marketing. Those companies who really need bookkeeping and accounting services can contact outsourcing companies, they can search from the internet and other mediums. If you have marketed your company good then there are more possibilities of getting selected. The other fact is that the outsourcing company should be genuine and provide professional services at competitive rates.

It is not an easy decision to take when looking for an accounting or bookkeeping service. You could be facing a dilemma of choosing an offline service over an online one. However, with the shortage of availability of good accounting services offline, it is recommended that you choose online accounting services

Industry Experience and Certified Staff – Make sure you are hiring an accounting and payroll agency with expertise and specialized knowledge of your industry

Cloud or Web-Based Service Architecture – Find an accounting agency that can provide you with immediate access to your own financial data anytime, anywhere using any devices

Metrics for Quality Assurance – The main reason you are hiring a third party accounting outsourcing agency is that they offer core functions that you lack

Pest Control Wasps Or Bee

Getting rid of wasps the right way

The best way to remove a wasp nest is contacting a pest control professional. It may seem like an easy job, but a pest control expert is professionally trained to handle and remove wasp nests in a safe and efficient manner, and here’s why:

  • Safety equipment: An exterminator has access to personal protective equipment (PPE) and respiratory protective equipment (RPE). This fully protects them from wasp stings, ensuring their safety when removing a wasp nest
  • Working in small spaces: Pest specialists are trained and qualified to work in small spaces such as your attic. This allows them to successfully remove a wasp nest safely from a property.
  • Expert knowledge: A pest control professional has expert knowledge on wasps; they know all about their behavior and instincts as well as how to identify the signs of an allergic reaction to wasp stings.
  • Professional products: Wasp exterminators have access to, and are professionally trained to use a variety of pest control products not available to the public. These products are more powerful than any DIY products on the market and have a proven track record of successfully removing wasp nests.

 

How To Keep Wasps From Building Nests Around Or In Your Home

Like we mentioned above, food is a key motivator for wasps when it comes to choosing where they might build their nest. To ensure they don’t do so, it’s imperative to remove any unwanted food or drink around your property and to keep your trash cans and trash areas covered and tightly sealed. More specifically, though, since wasps are drawn to sweeter foods, you may want to consider removing nectar and bird food that you may have intended for other animals if your priority is keeping wasps away.

If you are on a wasp control mission, another consideration is your home’s structure. As we mentioned above, queens find cracks and holes in your home during the colder months to ensure a secure and a warm place to hibernate. To avoid attracting additional queen wasps, be sure to repair any broken panels or siding, patch cracks in walls and repair any additional crevices you find on both the interior and exterior of your home. In your lawn, consider filling in any holes—occupied or vacant—with dirt or debris. Doing so will keep a wasp colony from making and building their home in a burrow.

 

Wasps: How to get rid of a wasp nest in your home according to pest control expert

WASPS are a dangerous pest to have in your home, bringing the risk of painful stings. An expert reveals how to get rid of a wasp nest from your home. Wasps in the home can cause misery and fear for property owners. If you experience a huge influx of wasps, it is likely you have a wasp nest and will be keen to learn how to get rid of it.

This could be in a often uninhabited part of your house, for instance in your loft. Alternatively, it might be on the side of your roof. A scratching or crackling noise could be a sign wasps are making a nest in your home. Wasp nests cause damage to your property, because they are produced by wasps chewing wood materials in your home into pulp.

 

Why Wasps Go Dormant

Although they are a fearful flyer for those who don’t enjoy the stinging insects, wasps will leave once they know their stay is no longer tolerated. This takes some work on your part to give them their walking papers without causing serious injury to you or them. Wasps will go dormant once the nest is no longer viable. There are many ways to adios unwanted wasps near the spaces where you, children or friends and family gather. If you spray the nest with soapy water at a safe distance wearing protective clothing at night, you can render the nest useless. Once a nest is useless, the wasps will go dormant, and it is safer to remove the entire nest so that the wasps know not to return to your wasp-intolerant abode.

 

How to Get Rid of Wasps in Roof Vents

Wasps cause problems when they build nests in or around your home. They will defend their territory and get aggressive if you get too close to a nest or try to disturb them. Roof vents are attractive to wasps because the vents are covered and therefore offer protection. If wasps aren’t dealt with as soon as they start nesting, an infestation becomes a greater risk. Getting rid of wasps in roof vents requires diligence to make sure they don’t return.

Step 1

Spray an insecticide into the vent to kill any wasps that are currently in the vent. Wear a breathing mask and follow all instructions on the package to prevent inhalation. Spray at dusk when the wasps are more likely to be dormant inside the nest.

Step 2

Cover the vents with plastic bags for several days to prevent more wasps from going into the system.

Step 3

Check your attic for openings that the wasps could be using to get into the vents. Breaks in the insulation or small holes in the wood are common sources for wasp entry. Any breaches require sealing to prevent more wasps from entering. Wear long-sleeved shirts and long pants to help protect against stings.

Step 4

Call a professional if the wasp problems continue because stings could be dangerous, especially if you’re allergic to them.

Advice On Tile Flooring Choices For Your Next Home Remodel

How Marble Flooring Can Make a Small Space Appear Larger

Many older homes feature rooms that are a little on the small side, and even a brand new house can have a kitchen or bathroom that feels claustrophobic. Before you put an addition on your home, consider making some decorative changes.

Sometimes the smallest adjustment can have a powerful impact and effectively make a small room feel large and luxurious. Here are a few of the ways that adding marble to tight spaces will make them look more spacious and welcoming.

Monochromatic Colors Fool the Eye

Choose a single color of marble with minimal veining to trick the eye and visually enlarge the space.

Light colors like Bianco Dolomiti are generally a smart choice because they naturally make areas feel larger. However, the consistent shading in Adalia Cappuccino will also work nicely.

Carried to the Vertical Surfaces

Another trick used by designers is to carry the flooring materials up onto vertical surfaces. The goal is to use it in small ways that will make a great impact, including on bathtub aprons and as baseboards.

When these materials match each other perfectly, the mind automatically assumes that the vertical surface is part of the floor. While people will logically realize that matching tiles have been used, that initial impression of spaciousness remains the same.

This method works beautifully with tiles in light to medium tones. It’s commonly used with white or cream tiles, but you can create a stunning effect using light beige and even gray.

Larger Tiles, Fewer Grout Lines, More Spacious Effect

The tiles you choose are important, but how you space them is also a vital element of the room. When tiles are set a distance apart, the gap must be filled with grout.

Even when you choose a matching shade, grout lines will show across the floor.

When developing an intricate pattern, you want those lines to stand out to make the pattern more visible. Yet when you’re trying to enlarge the room and make it feel more luxurious, you’ll want those lines to be virtually invisible.

Light Colors Work Well in Small Areas

A general rule of thumb is that dark colors make a space feel cozy while light colors open it up. This is partly because shades of white and cream reflect more light to make any area feel larger and more welcoming.

 

Marble Look Porcelain Tile

There is a big market for porcelain tile that looks like Carrara marble. Carrara look porcelain tile is a popular option because of how good of a job it does resembling the real thing. This is also one of the most highly recommended porcelain marble look tiles by many professional interior designers and decorators, as it encapsulates the smoothness, durability, and natural veining of the familiar Carrara tile.

As with natural marble, there are many different types of porcelain tile that looks like Carrara marble. Depending on the location of the marble, and the kind of impact you want to have, you will find a variety of colors and styles to match the look you prefer for your home.

Some popular Carrara marble-look porcelain tile brands include:

  • Tierra Sol
  • Olympia Tile
  • Ames Roccia Series Bianco Carrara
  • Julian Tile

 

Marble tiles smaller than 2 feet across are most common in home installations.

Marble flooring comes in tiles of differing sizes, ranging from small, 2-inch by 2-inch squares, to large, 6-foot by 8-foot slabs. For residential purposes, marble tiles are rarely larger than 2-foot by 2-foot, because larger slabs, which are very heavy, require specialized installation. Large slabs are usually found only in commercial and public buildings. Tile thickness ranges from ¼-inch to ¾-inch for residential tiles, while commercial marble slabs can be up to 2 inches thick.

Quality also varies by surface design and density. While no industry standard exists, a few factors can tip you off to the tile’s quality.

  • Mesh-backed tiles are mounted on a backing of fiberglass resin. These are typically lower-end marble tiles, which are often less dense and more prone to scratching or breaking. Mesh-backed tiles are suitable for low-traffic rooms, such as bathrooms, but they are less desirable in high-traffic areas where they may show signs of wear more quickly.
  • Lower quality tiles may feature filled areas. When you look at the tile straight on, you might not notice any difference, but if you turn the tile at a 45-degree angle, you might spot irregular dull patches, which indicate holes in the tile’s surface have been filled with a resin compound. Over time, the filled areas may work loose, leaving holes in the surface that require patching.
  • Marble tiles with deep fissures are at a greater risk of breaking under the pressure of heavy furniture or appliances. When trying to determine the quality of a marble tile, turn it over and check the backside—if a fissure is noticeable on both the front and the back, the tile may crack is something heavy is placed on it.

 

Floor Tile Designs So Good, They’ll Make You Lose Your Footing

Modern and Architectural

Play with the classic grid pattern by giving it a more modern, architecturally inspired twist. The abstract bench cushions and wall-too-wall windows in this breakfast nook reflect the grid pattern in an interesting way, too.

Colorful Alfresco

Bring some oomph to your outdoor space with colorful tiles. These cheerful blue Mediterranean-inspired tiles make a small outdoor patio feel special.

Bold and Non-Repeating

Use a larger, non-repeating pattern in a bold and cheerful color to create a unique aesthetic in the bathroom. We love how the tiles extend from the shower throughout the rest of the space in this Arent & Pyke bathroom, ensuring visual flow.

 

Marble Ceramic tile Floor For Tiny Houses

Since marble floor tiles are actually being marketed by means of square foot, therefore you have to understand the dimension needed to have before you head out and also buy marble tiles. If you do not have sealant, start by carefully cleaning your flooring along with a strong detergent or astringent and also water. Laninate floor covering is designed of a level of plastic peak and bottom along with a hardwood sustance in between. Glazed floor tiles from distinct shades and forms are made use of extensively for bathrooms as it is actually immune to water spots.

Why Tile Flooring Surpassed Linoleum In American Homes

How to choose floor tiles

Choosing floor tiles? A great flooring choice for hallways, kitchen diners, bathrooms, contemporary living spaces and even outdoors, floor tiles come in ever more varied design choices. Pick from natural stone, such as terracotta, limestone or marble, or from manmade materials, such as porcelain, ceramic or concrete. Find out everything you need to know about floor tile materials, installing floor tiles, and tips for floor tile maintenance.

NATURAL OR MANMADE FLOOR TILE MATERIALS?

Natural stone tiles have unique textures and tones, but are more likely to crack or scratch than a manmade materials, and may need sealing once laid – and resealing in future. Manmade materials are usually more affordable and come in a wide range of designs, but tend not to have natural stone’s character.

NATURAL STONE TILES

Natural stone tiles typically come in natural, honed or polished finishes. Natural surfaces tend to be matt with texture and pitting; honed tiles are smooth but matt; polished tiles have a smooth sheen. The higher the polish, the more water-resistant, but also the more slippery the tile will be

Granite is very hard, available in many colours, and if sealed and polished, resists scratching. However, it can crack. Ideal for kitchens, living and hallways.

Marble is porous so choose honed or polished finishes, particularly in a kitchen. Available in a range of colours, it’s a good choice for bathrooms

Limestone comes in earthy shades and both textured and polished finishes. It can stain and scratch, so avoid putting it in high traffic areas, such as kitchens.

 

How to Choose Floor Tiles

Tiles are a great flooring option that can work for any room. They’re easy to clean, long-lasting, and stylish, but choosing the right floor tiles for your home can feel challenging. Luckily, it’s easy to choose floor tiles if you consider your needs and personal style. You can then select a material, incorporate your own style, and shop for the tiles you want.

Selecting a Material for Your Tiles

Choose ceramic tiles for an inexpensive, classic option. Ceramic tiles are popular options because they are inexpensive and fit with any decor. You can choose large tiles or small tiles, depending on your preference. They are easy to install on your own, but you’ll need to work harder at keeping them clean, as they are porous and absorb liquids

Select porcelain tiles for a durable option that’s still budget friendly. Porcelain tiles are one of the most durable on the market, and they’re also water resistant. Another perk is that they’re easy to clean. Porcelain tiles have a classic look that is easy to fit into any style

Opt for cork tiles if you want soft, quiet floors. Cork is a recent trend that can be a nice addition to any room, if you like the look. It’s great for people who want a floor that absorbs impact, and it’s also resistant to water and germs, making it a good choice for kitchens and bathrooms

Select bamboo floor tiles for a durable, sustainable option. Bamboo is becoming a popular choice for people who want to use environmentally-friendly materials in their homes. Bamboo tiles look similar to wood flooring, but they’re made of the fast-growing grass. You can find bamboo tiles in strips or planks

 

important things you should consider when you’re choosing tiles

Before you start

Think about the style of your home. Have a look through magazines and online for images of tiles you like. Try and not go against the style of your home – instead, work with it.

Tile size

Small-sized tiles are usually suited to small residential areas such as kitchens, bathrooms and toilets.

Room size

Large tiles make a room feel larger and airier. Using floor tiles on the walls will make the space seem more cohesive, but you can’t use wall tiles on the floor. A floor tile will have a harder glaze and will be made of harder materials to withstand traffic. In a small room, light-coloured tiles will make the space feel bigger. If you have a large room you have more options; you can chose from light to dark tiles

Colour

Consider the general feel you want to achieve in the room you are tiling – serene and relaxing or moody and atmospheric? Unless you have a feature area such as a splashback, tiles aren’t normally the focus of a room, but they can complement other design features of a room. In a bathroom you might want a restful relaxing setting, so go for colours that blend well together. In a kitchen you might want a more vibrant option, so choose colours that contrast.

Grout

Don’t forget the importance of choosing the right grout colour. A contrasting grout will emphasise lines and the design, while a grout in a complementary colour as the tile will give a subtle effect. Ensure your grouted areas are sealed to prevent staining

 

How To Choose A Tile Floor

Choosing a tile floor for your home can be intimidating. The combinations of color, size, style, and texture are impressive, but once you find tiles you like, how do you know they’re going to fit your home décor style?

Finding tile floors that will match your personal style and complement your home décor takes some thinking about location, color, size, shape, layout, surface pattern, and spacing. Find out how these elements combine to create a flooring surface that best complements your living space.

Location

Tile is durable, water-resistant, and easy to clean, making this material a good choice for your kitchen, bathroom, and entryway. However, not all tile suits every room in your house. Your first choice for tile should be one that is safe and practical for your floors.

Color

Color influences the overall attitude of your room, which makes choosing the color of your tiles important. Dark tiles add warmth, but make sure you have an open area and light to keep the tile color from overwhelming the palette of your living area. Consider chocolate brown, navy, or burnt-colored floor tiles in a large kitchen space

Pattern

With today’s technology, flooring tiles are available in many affordable patterns to complement your home’s interior design.

 

tips for choosing tiles

LIGHT COLOURS

Choose light colours to make a small/dark room feel bigger and brighter

BE ADVENTUROUS!

However, don’t be afraid of colour, which can also create some unique effects and environments in your home. Personal preference is the key.

DON’T COMPROMISE

See tiles as an investment, not a cost; never compromise on quality, which can still be picked up at great prices

PLAN AHEAD

Always purchase an additional 5-10% more tiles than you actually need. This allows you (or the tiler) to compensate for cuts and breakages and ensures you have the same batch/shade should you have needed additional tiles. Most companies will offer a refund on unused boxes of tiles

BLEND IN THOSE GROUT LINES

Choose a tile grout colour that compliments your tiles to help blend in grout lines.

Everything You Need To Know About Circuit Breakers

What’s Inside the Circuit Breaker Panel

The service entrance wires connect to two large terminals, called lugs, near the top of the panel. These lugs are always energized unless the utility company shuts off the power. The lugs—and all the wiring connecting to the panel box—are covered by a flat metal panel called the dead front cover. This is what you see when you open the door of your breaker panel. The dead front cover has cutouts that allow access to all the breakers, and that’s as far as homeowners need to go. Do not remove the dead front cover unless you know what you’re doing.

 

Basic

The simplest circuit protection device is the fuse. A fuse is just a thin wire, enclosed in a casing, that plugs into the circuit. When a circuit is closed, all charge flows through the fuse wire — the fuse experiences the same current as any other point along the circuit. The fuse is designed to disintegrate when it heats up above a certain level — if the current climbs too high, it burns up the wire. Destroying the fuse opens the circuit before the excess current can damage the building wiring.

The problem with fuses is they only work once. Every time you blow a fuse, you have to replace it with a new one. A circuit breaker does the same thing as a fuse — it opens a circuit as soon as current climbs to unsafe levels — but you can use it over and over again.

 

Main Safety Features of a Circuit Breaker Panel

These are the main electrical supplies and materials of the circuit breaker panel:

  • The Main Circuit Breaker – This is the switch that goes on and off to control the flow of current. So if there is an overload due to a short circuit or because too many appliances are running simultaneously, the corresponding circuit breaker automatically trips to shut off the flow of current. Standard breakers can be further subdivided into the following two categories:
  • Single-Pole Breaker – These single switches are typically between 15-20 amps, are commonly found in most circuit breakers and can handle up to 120 volts.
  • Double-Pole Breaker – These pole breakers are available in different amperages and can handle 240 volts. Double-pole breakers are designed for large home appliances like air conditioners, water heaters, washing machines and stoves.
  • Arc Fault Circuit Interrupters – These are special purpose circuit breakers designed for additional safety against electric fires and electrocution.
  • Sub-Panels – sub-panels are small breaker boxes designed to handle more circuits when you don’t have the space to accommodate new circuits.
  • Bus Bars – The two rows in the main circuit breaker panel connect to hot bus bars. This is where the current flows from the main breaker to the branching circuits and reaches the outlet.

 

Solve an AFCI tripping problem

If you have a problem with an AFCI (arc fault circuit interrupter) shutting off in you main electrical panel, you’re not alone. Arc fault circuit interrupters are prone to “nuisance tripping,” which is probably what you’re experiencing. AFCIs are designed to sense an arc, which is an electrical “leak” caused when a hot wire touches a neutral or ground but doesn’t trigger the circuit breaker. Although current-sensing circuitry enables AFCIs to detect arcing conditions, unintended trickles of current may also cause the breaker to shut off (AFCIs are very sensitive!).

To solve the nuisance tripping problem and provide arc fault protection, start with things you can do yourself. Unplug or turn off surge protectors plugged into bedroom outlets, fluorescent lights with electronic ballasts, and lighting controls with LED displays that are on the AFCI circuit. They sometimes allow current “leakage” that can trip the AFCI and create a situation where a circuit breaker keeps tripping without a load. Damage or deterioration to wires or cords (which can happen when furniture is pushed against plugs in an outlet) also causes arcing faults and will trip the circuit. If you identify one of these sources, you’ll have to replace the electrical item.

 

Are All Circuit Breakers the Same?

There are different types of circuit breakers. The most common ones include:

  • Simple domestic circuit breakers: Prevent damage to home wiring by cutting power to overloaded circuits.
  • Ground fault circuit breakers (GFI): Prevent shocks caused by ground faults, which may occur when electricity contacts water.
  • Commercial circuit breakers: Used with extremely high voltage circuits, these have circuitry to adhere to per pre-defined safety criteria.

High Performance Exterior Painting

Tips for Choosing the Best Exterior Paint

Summer is here and that means we can finally tackle those big outdoor summer projects! If you’re planning on painting the exterior of your home this summer, I wanted to share some important tips that will help you when choosing the best exterior paint for your home that will last years.

It’s not easy deciding on a high quality exterior paint for the home because there are hundreds of different exterior paint products on the market. I know it’s seriously overwhelming and I’m gonna make it real easy for you today and help you sift through so you can zone in on the very best exterior paint for your project.

If you’re having your home professionally painted, it is critical that you are involved in the decision making process of what paint to use on your home. Don’t let your painter make that decision alone!  A good professional painter will welcome talking you through the paint decision so both of you are happy with the job! It’s also very important to ask your painter to paint a sample of the paint he/she is recommending for you to makes sure you are happy with the coverage

NOT ALL EXTERIOR PAINTS ARE EQUAL

I have learned so much over the years about exterior paint products from my own projects, client projects and also working with paint companies. Unfortunately, I have also learned the hard way that not all exterior paints are created equal. Nothing is more frustrating than spending a fortune to have your house painted and you have to repaint within 2-3 years!

DURABILITY

The most important factor when choosing an exterior paint is durability.  You may be surprise to know that a highly durable exterior paint finish should last at least 5-10 years. Yes! You read that right! The best exterior paint that is applied properly can last up to 10 years! It is possible!

 

TIPS FOR YOUR PROFESSIONAL EXTERIOR PAINTING PROJECT

Exterior house painting projects are a big deal. While the interior of your home is only seen by friends that you invite in, the outside of your home can be seen by anybody and everybody. You want it to have impressive curb appeal. Nobody wants to be “that house” on a street of well manicured lawns and beautifully painted exteriors.

House painting, whether interior or exterior, takes some prep work. Once you have taken the time to choose the perfect paint color, you will want to make sure your project goes smoothly. A professional painting company like New Life Painting will follow these, and other steps, to make sure that your exterior painting job is done in a timely and professional manner with beautiful results.

Clean: Even if the outside of your home looks clean to you, a professional will know to take the time to pressure wash the surfaces that you will be painting. Painting over a dirty surface will leave the exterior of your home looking rough and dirty. The house will need to fully dry for a day or two before painting

Prep other surfaces: If your painting team is painting wood trim or an area that has been painted before, these surfaces will need to be prepped for the job. A good painting company will scrape away any loose or flaky paint from these surfaces and sand down these areas to be sure that your new paint color will go on smoothly.

Watch the weather: Weather can be slightly unpredictable in most places, including Santa Ynez, Pismo Beach, and other Central Coast cities. If latex paint is involved in your painting project, weather that is too cold or too hot can keep the paint from adhering to your surface or compromise its durability. Moisture from rain or even heavy dew can negatively affect an exterior paint job, so a few good days of weather and your professional painters can get to work.

 

Smart Tips for Painting Your House

Few home-maintenance projects are as important as exterior painting because paint and caulking form the first line of defense against rain, snow, and ice. And a nice paint job will enhance the curb appeal and resale value of your home, too.

You want to repair and repaint as soon as you notice paint starting to crack, blister, and peel. Ignoring these problems will lead to a much more extensive—and expensive— job. Below are seven exterior painting tips every homeowner should know, whether you’re planning to paint the house yourself or hire a pro.

Paint Options

There are two basic types of exterior paint: water-based latex and oil-based alkyd. Latex cleans up with soap and water, dries quickly, has low odor, and remains flexible longer so it’s less likely to crack. The best quality latex paints contain 100 percent acrylic resins.

Paint Prices

There’s no absolute formula for picking the best paint for your home. Most paint manufacturers offer a wide variety of paints ranging from good to better to best. As a general rule, budget how much you want to spend on the project and then buy the best paint you can reasonably afford, because cost is an excellent indication of quality. Expensive paints contain more pigments than bargain paints, so they produce a thicker, longer-lasting, more protective coating

Read the Label

Few homeowners bother reading the tiny print on the paint can label, but they should. There’s a wealth of information printed right on the can that can help you produce a beautiful paint job. Pay particular attention to the instructions about prepping the surface and outdoor air temperature. Most paints shouldn’t be applied when the temperature is 50 degrees F or colder. But some paints are specially formulated for application when the temperature is as low as 35. Just take the time to read the label before you start painting and before the label becomes smeared with paint and impossible to decipher.

 

House Painting: Everything You Need to Know

House painting is often an important step of the moving process. If your home or rental property is in need of a fresh coat (or two) of paint, you’ll have to decide how you want to proceed. Do you hire a professional painter or break out the ladder and purchase the exterior house paint yourself? Depending on the scale of the project, your time frame, and whether it’s an exterior or interior house painting job, the answer might be different. Read up on our house painting tips and tricks to see what choice is the best for you.

House Painting Options: Hiring Help vs. DIY

When deciding whether to hire help or take on a house painting job yourself, there are a few factors to consider. Depending on your level of ambition, certain circumstances may prompt you to leave house painting up to the professionals. Think about your painting needs and see how the following situations apply to you

Scale

Scale has one of the biggest impacts on deciding whether to hire painting help or take matters into your own hands. If you want to paint your home, consider whether or not this is a realistic task to take on yourself. For instance, is your house multiple stories or a townhouse? Do you just want to paint the kitchen or the entire exterior? Once you factor in the time it takes to do the prep work and lay down multiple coats of paint, a DIY paint job can get complicated. If the house painting job is extensive, you may want to leave it to professionals

Current state of paint

Painting a brand new house with smooth surfaces dramatically reduces prep work. On the other hand, if you’re painting an old home with peeling walls or siding, it’s going to take a lot longer. When deciding whether to hire house painting professionals or do it yourself, take the current state of the paint into consideration. If you’re not up for the challenge of scraping and sanding for hours, you should hire help to get the best results

Interior vs. exterior

Needless to say, an exterior paint job tends to be more complicated. Indoors, you don’t have to deal with the elements. When painting the exterior of a home, however, you have to think about tough to reach places and the unpredictability of the weather. If you just want to repaint your front door, we trust that you’ll be able to do it yourself. Contrarily, a full exterior makeover requires professional help

 

What to Look for in a Professional House Painter

It’s true that a handy homeowner can tackle many tasks around the house without professional help. However, house painting isn’t one of them. Repainting your home, especially the exterior, is a monumental task that requires extensive use of ladders and other equipment to safely reach high heights, not to mention years of experience mastering the precise prepping, priming, and painting techniques. For these reasons, the advantages of professional house painting far outweigh attempting a DIY job

Do you provide free estimates?

While the cost shouldn’t be your only determining factor when hiring house painters, free estimates allow you to shop around before committing to one painter or another. Keep in mind that a low price doesn’t guarantee quality products or a job well done. You’ll want to ask for details about paint grade and warranties to ensure you’re not comparing apples and oranges.

Will you keep me up-to-date on the progress?

Exterior house painting and multi-room interior projects are quite extensive, possibly taking more than one day to complete. Your painters should provide you with timely updates about their progress and whether they expect to complete the job on time. It’s also reasonable to request daily start and end times, especially if you want to be at home while the painters are working.

Do you clean up after yourselves when the job is complete?

The last thing you want is to be left scrubbing mud off the floor or paint splatters from your windows. Accidents happen, but true professionals take measures to prevent them, such as by wearing shoe covers and laying down drop cloths on furniture, counters, and floors. Before they leave, your painters should thoroughly scour the work area for messes and vacuum or sweep up any dirt or dust they left behind

Can you help me find the right paint color?

After years of experience on the job, professional painters should have a keen eye for what hues look best together. If you’re not sure what color to paint the walls or exterior of your house, it’s fair to ask for advice. Painters can also recommend particular brands or grades for the work at hand. Remember, when it comes to paint quality, you get what you pay for.

Self Fullerton Mold Remediation Versus Professional Fullerton Mold Remediation

How to Choose a Professional Mold Remediation Company When Doing the Work Yourself Is NOT an Option

Every week I receive countless emails from readers who are attempting to or who would like to attempt to remediate their own homes in order to avoid the cost of professional mold remediation. Sometimes, this is easily done with techniques and products I have featured on the blog. Most small, contained mold issues are pretty easy to successfully tackle with EC3 products, a “cold” fogger, proper protective gear, and a certified HEPA vacuum. As a matter of fact, there have been many situations in our current home when we have had a small leak or water intrusion incident and have addressed and remediated the issue ourselves lickety-split. Those situations are isolated events and leaks and/or water intrusion that is caught quickly and right when it occurs.

There are other indoor mold situations that are not so straightforward and contained. Thus, I feel it is my responsibility to address the fact that there are definitely times when hiring a professional mold remediation company is the best decision for you and your family. Even with the tools and knowledge I have now, there are some mold clean-up jobs that I would not touch or advise anyone to do themselves, because the risk is not worth the possible reward or savings

When water damage has gone undetected for an extended period of time, causing lots of visible or invisible “behind the walls” damage to a home. In these cases, the damage is often structural and extensive and needs to be fixed along with proper remediation. This is also the type of work that grows in scope as walls are opened up and the extent of the damage and mold growth is revealed.

When you or your family members are extremely sick and/or mold sensitive. Attempting to remediate your own home if you are ill or mold-sensitive can cause major health problems and expose you to mold at levels that can cause your already suffering body more harm. In my opinion, it is just not worth the risk

When elevated levels of “toxic molds” have been identified inside your home. There are certain molds that produce mycotoxins which makes them more acutely dangerous to human health, even in small exposures. These molds are difficult to remediate as the mycotoxins linger and the mold can cause even more health problems when it is killed. Even the dead mold releases VOCs. A professionally trained remediator can clean structures and contents and knows best how to properly contain and handle this type of situation. Some mycotoxin-producing molds include Cladosporium, Penicillium, Fusarium, Aspergillus, and Stachybotrys

 

Remediation for landlords

Mold can be a serious problem—it’s difficult to detect, expensive to remove, and can cause health issues for your renters. Per landlord-tenant laws, however, the implied warranty of habitability requires landlords to keep their rental properties free of health hazards. That’s why it’s important to spot mold issues and remediate them immediately.

Signs Your Rental May Have a Mold Problem

If you do have mold in your rental property, detecting it early is important for the health of your tenants and your finances. Unfortunately, the presence of mold isn’t always obvious, making mold detection challenging in many cases.

Check out areas that have the most exposure to moisture, like the basement and the attic. Basements are usually the dampest parts of a home and have less exposure to light. Also check the attic, where a leaky roof could be creating a friendly environment for mold. Bathroom ceilings are also common offenders because of moisture from showers even if there’s a fan or window. Regularly inspect the ductwork of your HVAC (heating, ventilation, air conditioning) systems too as ductwork can easily circulate spores. Mold also loves dusty surfaces and condensation (from an A/C coil or faulty dehumidifier).

The Difference Between Mold Removal and Remediation

Like we said before, microscopic mold spores exist naturally almost everywhere, which makes the concept of true “removal” impossible. They float through the air and can settle on any kind of surface. However, when mold takes root in a humid environment and forms a damage-inducing colony, the process of clean-up is considered remediation (aka getting the spores back to normal/natural levels). Removal and remediation may be used interchangeably, but it’s important to know what they mean, especially as you do your research.

Steps to Take for Removing a Mold Infestation

If you can see mold, it needs to go—visible mold growth has no place in a healthy home. The CDC recommends removing all kinds of mold, so it’s usually not worth the time and money to pre-test the spores to see what kind of mold it is or the concentration unless you need specific data for proof or negotiation (e.g. buying a new property or submitting an insurance claim).

 

HOW TO START A MOLD REMEDIATION BUSINESS

With more natural disasters occurring each year, the restoration and remediation industry is growing at a rapid pace. With the right amount of knowledge and an investment you can start your own mold remediation business. In times of recession, a business like mold remediation remains untouched. Recession conditions do not stop disaster from striking, leaving plenty of work for the companies in business at the time

LOCATION

There are a few requirements for starting up your own mold remediation business. One is your business location. Pick an area with a high occurrence of floods or other water damage. Opportunity is key, so don’t forget to do your research before choosing a specific area.

CERTIFICATIONS

To start your own mold remediation business, you will need to check with the regulations of the state where you will be doing business. Some states require specific licensing to conduct business, and without it, you’ll be dead in the water. A mold inspection and remediation certification is a great place to start. The certification will give you the knowledge to start your business while also giving your clients peace of mind. The more certifications you hold, the more services you can provide, expanding your reach.

EQUIPMENT

Equipment is a huge expense when starting up a new business. With mold remediation, you need to be sure to get the commercial-grade equipment, designed to last on the job for hours at a time. While it will cost more up front, you won’t be constantly replacing equipment as you go, saving you money in the long run.

BENEFITS OF STARTING A MOLD REMEDIATION COMPANY

Owning your own business is a feeling like no other. You are the boss who sets the schedule and you get to choose how things operate. You do not have to worry about a recession getting in the way with a mold business, as there is always water damage somewhere. Design your business schedule around what works for you and your family, giving you precious extra time with loved ones.

 

How much does mold removal and remediation cost?

The national average cost of mold removal or remediation is $1,140. However, this cost can range from $60 to $4,300, depending on the size of the mold infestation, its location inside your home and how much specialists charge in your area.

Factors That Impact the Cost to Remove Mold

The size of the affected area can impact the mold or black mold removal cost. If your mold growth is confined to a space that’s less than 10 square feet, you consider cleaning it up yourself for a lower cost. In this case, you’ll want to buy household cleaners and gear (i.e. masks, gloves, goggles) to protect yourself as much as possible.

What to Expect During the Mold Remediation Process

Mold remediation is a multi-step process that involves mold-killing, removing the dead fungi and disinfecting the surfaces and areas to protect against mold regrowth

Performing a mold inspection. Mold testing (or sampling) takes place to identify the type of mold. This step is generally not necessary if you can already see the mold growth. If you think you need an inspection,

Identifying and fixing the source of the mold. Mold thrives and spreads in damp environments. Before mold removal can be effective, the source of the water or dampness must be identified and repaired or removed. A professional may check your attic, crawlspace, air ducts and other areas that typically experience mold growth. The water source may also need to be sealed. Professionals might use infrared scanners and probes to find hidden leaks or seepage.

 

“Mold Removal” vs. Remediation

What’s the Difference?

Since microscopic mold spores exist naturally almost everywhere, indoors and outdoors, removing all mold from a home or business is impossible. Some restoration businesses advertise “mold removal” and even guarantee to remove all mold. This is a fallacy.

A qualified restoration company understands the science behind mold and mold growth. SERVPRO Franchise Professionals have the training and expertise to remediate the mold in your home or business. Mold remediation focuses on getting mold levels back to normal, natural levels

Understanding Mold

When water intrudes into your property, mold growth can start in as little as 48 hours. Consider the following mold facts:

Mold is present almost everywhere, indoors and outdoors.

Mold spores are microscopic, float along in the air, and may enter your home through windows, doors, or AC/heating systems or even hitch a ride indoors on your clothing or a pet.

Mold spores thrive on moisture. Mold spores can quickly grow into colonies when exposed to water. These colonies may produce allergens and irritants and have the potential to cause other health effects.

Before mold remediation can begin, any sources of water or moisture must be addressed. Otherwise, the mold may return.

Mold often produces a strong, musty odor, and that odor can lead you to possible mold problem areas.

Even higher-than-normal indoor humidity can support mold growth. Keep indoor humidity below 45 percent.

The Process Of Hiring A Wedding Dj

How to Choose Your Wedding DJ

It’s time to add another key player to your supplier squad! You may have chosen your wedding’s key songs, but now you’re going to need to hire someone to play them. Your wedding DJ will be responsible for making sure the energy stays up from dawn ‘til dusk (and probably long after), so you’ll want to find one with awesome emcee skills and a killer tracklist.

Sort out the important stuff

Step one is taking the time to write out any wedding details that may affect your decision. Knowing things like your venue size, venue style, budge and wedding theme will help you figure out exactly what you’re looking for in a DJ. You should also note the genres of music you love, your favourite artists and your most played songs – those will come in handy when you start interviewing potential candidates

Do your research

Now it’s time to do a little bit of homework (it may not sound fun, but it is!). Scroll through our wedding supplier listings, check out Instagram and ask your recently married friends and/or relatives for recommendations – you’re sure to find a handful of amazing options by the time you’re finished. Pay close attention to their reviews and ratings – comments from couples who have used their services in the past are super insightful.

Get in touch

Once you’ve selected your faves, start reaching out. If you’re using WeddingWire, simply click the blue “Request more information” button at the top of a listing and it’ll connect you right away. If you’re using another method, reaching out via their website or through email is your best bet (no sliding into DMs – Those are easy to miss!). Remember to ask key questions like, “are you available on my wedding date?”, “what is your rate?” and “can I see a copy of your standard contract?”. If you’re satisfied with their answers, book a meeting with them IRL or schedule a Skype call.

Sample their work

When you’re meeting with your candidates, you’ll want to do a deeper dive into their work. Yes, you’ve probably already sampled a playlist or two, but at this stage you’ll want to get a bit more. Ask your potential DJs about their music repertoire and give them a bit of insight into the types of songs you love. You’ll also want to let them know exactly what you’ll be needing music and emceeing for (i.e. the ceremony, the reception, dinner, the after party). This will help them customize a tracklist just for your event.

 

Tips For Getting The Most Out Of Your Wedding DJ

Depending on where you come from, the things you take into consideration when choosing the music for your wedding are dramatically different. Back when I got married, I would NEVER have used a DJ in a million years, having coming from the school of thought that a DJ is a loud obnoxious creature who incites your guests to do dances you would prefer never be a part of your biggest day (Macarena, ChaCha, Slide, YMCA… I could go on forever). While my guests had fun dancing to the bands I selected both in Vieques and Washington, DC, now that I know more, I certainly wonder if we might have had a much, much better time if we’d had a good DJ with a good playlist instead.

Establish up front that you are the CLIENT and you are in charge. Let him know if you don’t like a talker. Tell him if he has absolutely no room for independent judgment. If you don’t want to hear a single song that isn’t on your personal playlist, let him know. Lay out the ground rules and don’t be afraid to be a little bit aggressive and put it writing, asking him to acknowledge your requests. Many DJs prefer you be upfront and direct. Just don’t be rude about it. There’s a way to be demanding without being Bridezilla. Be a little nicer if he’s your only option at the venue

Be very specific about your playlist and, if he doesn’t give you a good form to work with

Decide whether you’re going to let the DJ take requests or not, and make sure you’re clear on the system with the DJ. If you’d prefer he not take requests, you can ask him to tell people that he doesn’t have the music being requested up to a certain point. If somebody gets aggressive, he might have to explain that the bride and groom have requested no spontaneous requests.

Be VERY SPECIFIC about your “Do Not Play” list. Those are the songs you really, really don’t want to hear at your wedding. You never know what your friends may request, and you’re better off making sure the DJ knows at the outset exactly how you feel about that. Trust me, “We are Family” can be a very awkward music selection in many groups

 

How to Find the Right Wedding DJ for You

So you’ve decided on a wedding DJ…we love that! But, how do you choose the right one? It all starts by knowing what you’re looking for on your wedding day. Do you want a DJ that will create an all-night dance party with everybody’s favorite hits? Or maybe you’re looking for a DJ who can play more obscure songs that you and your spouse love? Whatever it is, the good news is there a wedding DJ out there that will have the same tastes as you (or at least close to it!). But first you have to know the right questions to ask! These will help get you started

Finding the DJ: Seek out Recommendations

Whether your venue provides a list of recommended wedding DJ’s, or your friends’ brothers’ cousin used the DJ at their wedding, we always suggest meeting with prospective wedding DJ’s that come highly recommended from sources you know and trust. The next step? See if the DJ has an upcoming gig in your area, or vet DJ’s on YouTube by searching for performances. Like what you see? Then, set up a meeting.

Are you a full-time DJ, or is this a side gig? You want to make sure you have his or her full attention the week of your wedding.

Do you have examples of your work? This is the time where he or she will attempt to impress you with what they’ve done. Make sure to keep your ears open to see how songs are transitioned from one to another. You want to ensure there’s no break in music between tracks and that one song goes smoothly into the other one

Have you played at our venue before? It’s best to choose vendors that have worked at your venue before (this goes for everything). If the wedding DJ has, they’ll know how to work around the room’s acoustics, and your sound will be perfect on your wedding day. If the DJ hasn’t worked the venue before, see if they wouldn’t mind doing a site visit prior to your wedding so they’re prepared the day of.

 

Questions to Ask Wedding DJs and Bands

every wedding day has a soundtrack of its own—from the walk down the aisle to the first dance, the bouquet toss to your final farewell, music helps set the tone for the entire day… which is why your DJ or band has such an important role. To help you better vet the candidates, we’ve compiled this master list of questions to ask wedding DJs and band before booking. The more knowledge you have, the better equipped you’ll be to make the right decision and find the one for your wedding.

How long have you been doing this professionally? Why you need to know this: Obviously, there’s a difference between volunteer gigs and legit, paid performances. Make sure your candidates are seasoned so there are no hiccups on the most important day of your life.

How many weddings do you do on an average weekend? Why you need to know this: If the band or DJ is playing ’round the clock all weekend, their performance might suffer. If they’re running on empty, you might want to rethink booking them.

Will you be the DJ/bandleader personally playing at our wedding? Which band members should we expect? Why you need to know this: Bands usually have a roster of performers and might alternate who’s playing based on their availability.

The Music

You probably already know a little about the wedding band or DJ since you were interested enough to interview them. Learn more about them and their style so there are no surprises on the big day

 

Everything Your Wedding DJ Wants You to Know

you’re getting married—and that calls for celebration that has everyone on their feet from cocktail hour until last call! The best way to do that? Craft a catchy playlist so people can’t help but spring out of their seats! From your first dance to the final steps, music sets the tone for the reception and has a heavy hand in determining your guests’ experience.

If you and your fiancé opt for a DJ instead of or in addition to a band, you’re putting the responsibility in their hands to ensure your wedding reception hits the right notes—literally! Along with finding an entertainment company that falls within your budget and has your wedding date available, you want them to be able to fluent in your favorite ‘90s boy band hits, understand what’s going to go down on the dance floor when your family does the Hora, or know that you’ll be expecting a heavy rotation of Dean Martin and Frank Sinatra to keep great aunt Jane happy. No matter what you’re looking for, a DJ and their team should be able to work with you and your partner to make your wedding night special.

Know how to spot a fraud

We all know a guy who considers himself a DJ because he played top 40 hits at his frat’s parties in college. And the one who thinks being a DJ means only playing EDM and house music. “Technology now has enabled everybody to call themselves a DJ,”says Scott Siegel of Purple Parrot Entertainment. “Don’t just find somebody on Craigslist or some social media site and go by pricing. If it’s too good a price, you have to hope the person’s going to show up.”

Don’t rely on WiFi

Siegel also cautions against letting your party playlist live on the internet. “Nowadays a lot of DJs are starting to say, ‘I’ve got 50,000 songs and they’re on the cloud,’” he says. “You know very well how many times have you gone to make a phone call somewhere and you can’t get a signal. There’s a chance you’re not going to be able to get a signal at that barn, the vineyard, or a catering hall. Or if you go to a catering hall and the venue says, ‘I can’t give you our password.’” Instead, go with a DJ who not only has all of their songs downloaded, but also has a backup drive in case of emergency

Figure out your DJ’s preferred form of communication

Can’t get that Justin Bieber remix you just heard on Pandora out of your head? Siegel wants you shoot him an email right then and there if you want to add it to your wedding rotation. “I‘ve always told prospective brides, my phone’s always open. Call me, email me. If you heard a song on the radio and love that song, call right now,” he says. “For me to write it down in my notes is no big deal, but you could forget about it in five hours. I like to keep the line of communication open.”

Small Businesses Relying On Online Payroll Service

What Should I Look for in a Good Payroll Company?

When it’s time to drop everything and run payroll, even the most experienced small business owners can find themselves grinding their teeth. In fact, SCORE discovered that owners (and the people helping them) spend one to five hours on payroll every month. And even when they’re careful, 40 percent of small employers make a payroll mistake each year, resulting in average fines of $850.

You’re good enough and you’re smart enough, and gosh darnit, you’re gonna get payroll straight. When you set off down the path to payroll paradise, there are two ways to do it: You can sharpen your pencil and slip on your green visor, or you can find the best payroll service to automate parts of the process and free you up to focus on everything else your business needs

How much do payroll services cost?

For a lot of small businesses, the first question that likely springs to mind is: How much does payroll cost? Because there are different pricing structures, it’s not always easy to compare apples to apples. Most payroll companies charge a flat monthly fee, plus an additional fee for each employee. Typically these fees start at around $5 to $10 per employee per month

So what do payroll companies provide?

First of all, payroll services give business owners peace of mind. Those late-night payroll runs, emergency calls to your accountant, and energizing (not!) visits to the IRS website will likely become a distant memory if you pick the right provider

Support and switching payroll providers

Because payroll never takes a vacation—and neither your employees nor the government are okay with errors—it’s crucial for any good payroll company to offer strong support when you have problems or questions

 

Payroll Tips You Should Know

Determine whether your employees should be salaried or paid hourly.

For most employers, putting employees on salaries is easier to manage. Salaries take the stress out of determining how much your employees are paid each month and keeps everything consistent.

Decide how often you’ll pay your employees.

Every employer needs to decide on a pay period for their employees. Pay periods can be weekly, bi-weekly, or monthly. This will help you stay organized and make payroll run more smoothly.

Classify your workers.

Another important payroll tip to follow is properly classify your workers. Whether you hire full-time employees, independent contractors, or interns, if the person is performing work for your company, they typically should be classified as an employee

Pick the best software for the needs of your business.

When choosing payroll software for your company, try to select an option that’s hosted on the cloud. This will make it easier to access all of your payroll information in one place, whenever you need it.

Simplify your process to save time and money.

According to the National Business Association survey, 27 percent of small business owners report spending three to five hours per month on payroll; one-third of employers are spending more than $500 month on their services

 

onsiderations to Make While Choosing A Payroll Service

Determining how to choose a payroll service for your business can be difficult. There are many payroll software providers and features from which you can choose

Whether this is your first time looking for payroll software or you want to switch software programs, you need to know what to consider. Knowing what to look for in a payroll service can help you make a good purchase.

At Patriot Software, we want you to make an excellent payroll service choice the first time. That’s why we created affordable payroll software that is easy to use. But, we also want you to make superior business decisions, which is why we created a guide about how to choose a payroll service.

A few of the points you can learn about in this guide include types of payroll software, software costs, and software security.

When you download and read our guide to choosing payroll software, you can prevent a bad payroll software decision. You don’t want to be locked into a contract or discover hidden fees for the features you need. You should purchase payroll software that you like on the first try.

 

Looking for Payroll Services? Here are Things to Consider

What kind of customer service can I expect?

Businesses run at all hours and so should your payroll provider. Because questions and issues can come up at any time, look for a company that offers 24/7/365 support. It’s also worth looking for a company that provides Single-Point-of-Contact Support. Save yourself time and hassle with dedicated support who knows your story rather than starting from the beginning with someone new every time you reach out.

Is their technology in step with current trends?

Technology is always changing, and you need a payroll provider who is on top of the latest trends. There are more options to getting money to employees these days. Physical checks, direct deposit, and reloadable debit cards are all options to consider when researching companies. In addition to that, you need to look into how user friendly their software is. Cloud-based options make it easy for you and your employees to keep track of and update important information from any internet connected computer instead of submitting requests that can take days to process

How safe will my business’ and my employees’ information be?

Sharing sensitive data with an outside company can be scary. Breaches and crashes have been in the news more often so it’s imperative you look in to how your data is stored. Look for a company who can provide round-the-clock security and has a comprehensive disaster recovery system in place

ho is responsible for any penalties incurred from inaccurate tax filings?

As was stated before, errors in tax filings have resulted in billions of dollars in fines levied on an annual basis. It’s possible that some of these errors came from professional payroll services. While everyone will promise accuracy, you should look for a provider who puts their money where their mouth is. If mistakes do happen, find someone who will pay for their own gaffes instead of passing the fines on to you. An extra point to consider: A company will be more invested in doing things right the first time if it’s their money on the line instead of someone else’s.

Can they do more for me than just payroll?

While many payroll providers include HR services with their offerings, it’s worth asking if there are other business solutions they offer to help with the management and growth of your business. Payment processing, employee benefits, insurance, technology, and loans are all needs that you may have to address at some point. Finding a company who houses all those options under one roof can simplify your life even more.

 

How to Choose the Best Payroll Service for your Company

Every company has to pay their employees. Sometimes the most experienced business owners can find themselves spending a large amount of time trying to process payroll monthly. Outsourcing this function to a payroll provider can be very beneficial and help reduce costs. However, finding the right one, can be challenging

Checklist: Before choosing a payroll provider, you will want to make a checklist of what your company needs. This will help you prepare questions to ask a provider once you start researching your options. Some questions to ask yourself are: Do you need a payroll provider that can process multi-state payroll and handle different state taxes? How many employees will they be processing payroll for? Do you need additional HR services such as benefits, onboarding, etc.? It is important to be open to other options. They may offer a service you didn’t know you could benefit from.

Ask a lot of questions: It is important to ask a lot of questions when researching a payroll provider. You will want to essentially interview them to make sure they are the best fit for your company. Review your checklist and make sure you are asking questions that cover all of your company’s needs. Make sure to ask questions that touch on the provider’s pricing, software capabilities, taxes, reports, customization, etc.

Reduce Cost/Risk: By being the employer of record, the payroll provider will reduce your company’s risk.

Offload Duties: The payroll provider can assist with the onboarding process, benefits and payroll processing. Offloading these functions will allow your HR team to focus on other functions & projects that are important to your organization.