Are Do-It-Yourself Auto Transmission Repair Safe

Tips For Making Your Transmission Last Longer

Your transmission is one of the key components of your car, truck or SUV.  It is the system that transfers energy from the engine and makes it possible for the wheels to turn and your vehicle to operate in the correct gear. Your transmission is also one of the most expensive parts of the vehicle. The average new car transmission can cost between $1,800 and $3,400. Even a rebuilt transmission is likely to set you back more than $1,000. It just makes good economic sense to do all you can to make your transmission last as long as possible. Fortunately, there are a number of things you can do to maximize the lifespan of your transmission.

What you can do to make your transmission last?

  1. Check your transmission fluid regularly. This may seem obvious, but how many of us really do this. (When was the last time you checked your fluid levels?) If you have your oil changed regularly, the technician will often check your transmission fluid but, If you change your own oil, you may not have checked your transmission fluid for even longer. Experts recommend that you check your transmission fluid level in the reservoir every two to four weeks.
  2. Have your transmission serviced according to your manual’s guidelines. Like your oil, your transmission fluid and fluid filter need to be totally changed periodically. For new cars, this is usually every two years of 40,000 to 50,000 miles. For older cars, you should have this done every 18 months or 20,000 to 30,000 miles.
  3. Modify your driving style. “Jack rabbit” starts and fast stops can take their toll on your transmission. So can constantly accelerating and decelerating. Better to adopt an even speed or use your cruise control on the highway to avoid wear and tear on your transmission.
  4. Consider investing in a transmission cooler. Heat is the number one threat to your transmission’s health. It damages the seals, the metal surfaces and the electronic components. A good transmission cooler can dramatically lower the temperature in the gear box and help your transmission to last two to three times longer.


Know Your Vehicle and Transmission

Reading your owner’s manual is the first step you should take. You should know the ins and outs of your vehicle, including how it should be maintained and serviced. This could impact how often you change fluids and whether flushes may be recommended.

Change Fluids at Regular Intervals

Your manual will tell you how often to change oil and transmission fluids. New vehicles may not need changes for a long time, but used cars with lots of miles on them may need them more frequently.


Stop Riding Your Brakes

Riding your brakes is a bad habit in general, but it can be especially bad for the health of your transmission. Learn to pay attention to have often you do apply your brakes and make a mental note to begin retraining yourself to only do so when it’s really needed.

Shift After a Full Stop

When you are shifting from drive to reverse -and vice versa – make sure that you come to a full stop before doing so. Continually failing to do so can weaken your transmission over time, reducing its useful life and putting it in greater danger of failure.

Think Before You Tow

Unless you have a heavier duty vehicle that was designed to be up to the task think very carefully before you hitch anything up to the tow bar. The added weight of another car, a camper or even a heavily laden moving trailer can cause all kinds of problems for your transmission.

Don’t Ignore the Signs of Transmission Trouble

Strange smells, grinding gears, odd sounds and little drops of red (and occasionally green) fluid on the garage floor can all mean that your transmission is in a bit of trouble. If you notice any of these things don’t delay a trip to your mechanic to get things properly checked out, as a little care at the first sign of transmission trouble can save you – and your vehicle – a lot of hassle and expensive further down the line.


Advice on How to Make Your Transmission Last Longer!

Are you starting to notice jerking and stalling when your car shifts gears? Periodic transmission service is required to ensure that your vehicle will run smoothly and efficiently, with all components properly lubricated and in good working condition. A general inspection and replacement of the transmission fluid, filter and gasket will reveal minor transmission problems that can be fixed along the way.

Here are some expert tips on how to make your transmission last longer:

  • Replace Pan Gasket — The pan gasket (located around the rim of the transmission pan) can get worn and cracked, leading to transmission fluid leaks. The gasket can be replaced quite easily and is relatively inexpensive. If the current gasket is reusable (of high quality and not damaged), it may be possible to simply clean it off and then put it back.
  • Cleaning and Removal of Grime — All parts should be wiped free of any of the sludge or debris that collects over time. This includes the transmission pan, gasket, sealing surface, transmission case, and any fluid that may have dripped onto the exhaust system during the cleaning.
  • Replace Transmission Filter — Clogged or dirty transmission filters will cause undue stress and wear on a transmission. It’s important to replace this filter, a relatively easy and inexpensive fix.
  • Transmission Fluid — If there is significant buildup of sludge or grime, if you notice a burnt smell, if the color of the existing fluid is too dark and has lost its effectiveness, or if your vehicle is overdue for transmission maintenance, a flush of the transmission system may be recommended so that you are operating your vehicle with clean transmission fluid.

Remember: A full transmission service should be performed every 30,000 miles, or every couple of years, whichever comes first.


Differences Between Manual and Auto Transmission Repair

It’s important to know the differences in maintenance between automatic and manual transmissions if you are not familiar. In general, manual transmissions are a bit less expensive to repair, and they are built to last, with many people reporting a decade or more before the clutch needs to be replaced. Automatic transmissions also last a long time, but their fluid flushes and change-overs require more attention and occur more often, so they require more maintenance.

Fluid leaks are a common issue with automatic transmissions, but not so much with manual devices. This is because of the way that fluids become exposed or seals that can be compromised as a matter of course, when you are working with high-pressure systems that continuously operate.

If you are experiencing manual transmission problems and all your prior experience is with automatic transmissions, then you need to realize that it’s far more likely you will experience a slipping clutch or other symptoms from the list above rather than a large-scale fluid leak. That’s simply the nature of the design differences between the two.

Regular Maintenance and Manual Transmissions

If you are used to automatic transmissions, it can be tricky to understand how to read manual transmission signs of trouble; however, the guide above will help and so will taking your car in for regular maintenance. You might not need fluid flushes and changes for a manual vehicle’s transmission, but having your other fluid changes and preventative maintenance done on time means having a professional monitoring your car more often. Having the extra set of eyes can help to identify and diagnose any problems early on.

How To Make A Great Career Out Of Home Builder

What is the Code and why is it important to me?

The Consumer Code for Home Builders (“the Code”) was developed by the home-building industry to make the home buying process fairer and more transparent for purchasers.

Buying a brand new home is an exciting time. But with a new home being one of the largest investments you’re likely to make, it’s important that you understand the process, what you’re buying and what help is available should problems arise.

The Code is designed to help you understand what levels of service to expect from your Home Builder, feel fully informed about your purchase and know your consumer rights before and after you move in. In the unlikely event that problems arise, a speedy, free dispute resolution scheme is available to deal with complaints about breaches of the Code

The Code covers a range of customer service Requirements, including:

Effective customer service training

Clear and truthful advertising and marketing materials

Sufficient pre-purchase information to help you make an informed decision about your purchase

Contact details for the Home Builder and other relevant bodies

Home Warranty information

Contract information including termination rights

Timing of construction, completion and handover

After-sales service

Complaints process

Adopting the Code

Home Builders must comply with the Requirements of the Consumer Code and have regard to good practice guidance.


The Definitive Guide to Liability, Financial Protection, and Risk Management for Builders and Contractors

How Builder Insurance Works and What You Must Do to Protect Yourself with the Right Policies and Coverage at the Absolute Lowest Cost

Start up builders often ask us what policies they need to carry at a minimum. We frequently get the same question from long term builders looking to trim their expenses. Builders may need up to 9 different insurance polices and/or bonds depending on their situation, activities, and tolerance to take out of pocket risk.

At a minimum, almost all builders, regardless of how small or even if they’re a start up operation, will need Workers Compensation, General Liability, and Builders Risk.

Other policies that are commonly carried include:


Business Auto

Excess or Umbrella

License and Permit Bonds

Performance Bonds

and Home Owners Warranty products

The percentages that are indicated on this page are a rough estimate of the percentage of our builder clients that purchase the respective insurance policy. As you can see, it ranges from a low of 1% for performance bonds to a high of 100% for Workers Compensation and General Liability.

Why exactly are all of these policies possibly needed?

Some of these policies are required under state or local law such as Workers’ Compensation, Auto Liability, and License Or Permit Bonds. If you don’t carry these policies you face serious fines and sanctions.

The builder’s bank or lending institution will always require proof of Builders Risk to secure the value of the new start or project for which they have extended the loan. Also, banks want to make sure that they’re lending to a legitimate business as no legitimate business would operate without Workers Compensation and General Liability.


Books Every Builder Should Own

Old-house expert Brent Hull has an extensive library of books about building and design. He believes every builder should have a collection of at least 100 books—with a focus on house design and building styles, because today many builders have become too separate from the architectural field and lack a broader understanding of building design that will better inform their work. He includes a list of titles categorized into historical architecture, building styles, architectural details, and how-to, with additional books to consider beyond those on the list.

If you trace the word “architect” back to its mid-16th-century roots, its meaning is literally “chief builder.” Back then, and for hundreds of years after, a builder was not just expected to be skilled at the manual aspects of the craft, but also knowledgeable in the design side of the process.

Today, many builders are more specialized in their work compared to those generalists of the past, and architects have become solely focused on design. It doesn’t have to be like this. With a bit of self-motivated studying, we can gain a broader education and better understand all of the moving parts that influence what we produce on a day-to-day basis.

Builders have the how-to down pat, but don’t know why they are building what they are building. We know how to frame a house, but aren’t as good with which style is appropriate, or how to keep that style consistent. What we have lost is a deeper awareness of the subtleties of building style, house design, and construction methods, all of which make the difference between a good project and one that is truly excellent.

that the lost arts of building are found in books—many of them old ones. I think every builder worth his or her salt should have a library of at least 100 books, and to help, I’ve put together this list. Many of the titles that follow are out of print and can only be purchased from secondhand sellers; a quick search will show some of them available for viewing online. You can choose the titles that most interest you, but what follows is organized into a guided curriculum of sorts.


Guide for New Home Builders

Included in this guide are all the application forms you may need when building a new home in our beautiful Shire. All, some or none of these forms may be included in your approved cost set out by your builder and/or building surveyor. Please check what is included so that documentation isn’t completed twice

Each department has a direct email to help get your information to the best person efficiently. To ensure everything can be processed quickly, please make sure that all the requested information is attached including

for the total amount. By submitting these forms you are ensuring that all bases are covered and Council has the information required to make a quick decision. In the final section there is a collection of forms for the very end of your build such as requesting a garbage service.

Planning Permits

Depending on where your block it situated you may require a Planning Permit. Complete the Request for Written Planning Advice so that a town planner can assess whether a permit is required or not. If it is not required this will be forwarded to you in writing signed by a Statutory Planner.

Please complete the application and return with the appropriate fee. Please provide all requested documentation to ensure we have the correct information to make a quick and informed decision.


Home Building Tips for Young Families

You’re young, your family is growing, and you’re eager to build the best house possible to last for years and years. Congratulations! Now is a great time to start planning so you can enjoy your home-sweet-home as your family evolves from two to three to many.

The Home Layout

It’s easy to just go with standard layouts when you’re building your first home, but think beyond the given architecture. Imagine yourself actually living in the house. What is most important to you? Colored floor plans make it easy to see areas for entertaining, storage, de-stressing, and flexible space.

For instance, many young couples want to have clear sightlines indoors and outdoors so they can be in constant visual contact with their children. This usually means an open floor plan and window and door access to exterior spaces. Imagine yourself in each room, and envision your ideal visibility level.


Keeping a home spotless when you have a family is tough, but not impossible by any means. Proper home building planning can minimize clutter. Be sure to include plenty of spaces for overflow of “stuff” that accumulates over the years. Spaces may include closets, pantries and basement rooms.


We all want safety for our loved ones, and you can make this a mantra throughout your discussions with your preferred custom builder.

Pros And Cons Of Buying Commercial Roofing

Helpful Roof Maintenance Tips

Your home’s roofing is a major investment and you want it to hold up strongly for as long as possible. By taking some basic preventative measures, you can potentially extend the life of your roofing. Here’s a look at tips for roof maintenance.

Keep Gutters Clean

If your gutters are filled with leaves and other debris, then they may not be able to properly send away water. In such a scenario, water could spill over onto the roof, which could increase the risk of a roof leak occurring.

Trim Nearby Trees

Tall trees are a beautiful property feature, but they can pose a hazard to your roof if they are dropping significant amounts of twigs and cones, which could trap water.

Visual Inspection

Twice yearly, it’s a good idea to get up on the ladder and check your roofing for issues such as missing/damaged shingles, broken gutters, missing flashing, and piles of granules.

Seal Off Potential Nesting Sites

Your roof eaves could potentially provide ideal nesting sites for a variety of unwanted creatures. You’ll want to look for openings and seal them off as necessary.



Business building roofs such as complexes, retail shops, warehouses and even offices require a professional roofing contractor in order to ensure the quality and efficiency of output. Since these roofs differ in sizes, shapes and materials, it is helpful to ask an experts opinion on which best types of roofs suit your business establishment.

Finding the fitting commercial roofing contractor might be a little difficult due to the increased competition of equally good contractors in the market today. It is best to read tips and guidelines on how to select the best people for the job to avoid wasting time, money and effort altogether.

The first thing that you need to do is ascertain the legitimacy of the contractors you’re eyeing at working with; this helps warrant the work they do. Moreover, legal commercial roofing companies have verifiable addresses and work history that could be helpful in establishing credibility and even assurance of quality workmanship. You need to be cautious of companies or contractors that hesitate on providing certification proofs; a reliable and truthful commercial roofing contractor is one who’s prepared to make available legal information and written proposal since they have nothing to hide.

Second, you need to establish and consider the outcome you have envisioned for the contractor to achieve. Having the commercial roofing contractor see your desired result will lead you both to the same direction. Also, try not to hesitate in asking questions and clarifications to your contractor; many of them specialize in certain types of commercial roofing, thus, asking them queries about such can give them time to study, research and even ask other professional commercial roofing contractors in case they have little knowledge on the matter.

Third, verifying the contractor’s previous works through people who have had earlier involvement with them could arrange for a great appraisal on your part. You can simply ask around the neighbourhood, or better yet check out their work profile or online customer feedback sites. People prove most contractors’ trustworthiness according to what previous clients have to say about them. It’s the common SOP people do nowadays.



The first thing you should do after a storm hits your area is ensure your family’s safety and make sure you have emergency supplies. Shelter is also critical, so if your roof appears to be damaged, here are some tips from your trusted residential roofing expert on what to do.

Inspect Your Roof

If your roof has sustained significant damage, keep your family away from the affected area, perhaps even have your kids stay at a friend or family member’s home while you deal with your roof. You can inspect your roof from the ground with a pair of binoculars, so keep your own safety in mind and leave the roof-climbing to roofing professionals.

In addition to impact damage, note signs of wind damage at the roof edges. Other areas you should check are the valleys, dormers and pipes – areas where flashing would be. Inspect all the ceilings in your home and note any leaks. Knowing the extent of the storm damage can help you determine whether repair, re roofing or roof replacement is the best solution.

Avoid Storm Chasers

Storm chasers are transient roofing contractors that typically arrive after storms. They prey on homeowners who are desperate to have a shelter over their heads, and thus offer what can only be described as cleverly disguised hack jobs. For example, the roof might look like it’s fixed, but will come apart a few weeks down the line. By then, these shoddy roofers will be long gone. In situations like this, it’s better to entrust your home to local, established professionals.

Contact Your Insurance Agent

A homeowner’s insurance agent and a roofing professional will assess the extent of the repair work needed and provide a written estimate. Coordinating between the two can be complicated, which is why you need to hire a contractor with extensive experience navigating the insurance claims process. This helps ensure you get the compensation you deserve


What You Need to Know About Commercial Roof Maintenance

Commercial roofs are meant to be functional and durable. Depending on the roofing material used, with proper maintenance, a roof put on a commercial building can last anywhere between 20 and 50 years.

Have Your Roof Carefully Inspected

Though you likely won’t be getting on your roof regularly, it is still useful to know what types of problems roofing contractors are looking for when they inspect your commercial roof. The problems will vary depending on the type of roofing material that you chose, so an experienced contractor will use a detailed checklist tailored to the needs of your roof.

Here are a few problems that are sure to be included on those lists:

Flat roofs are prone to leaks and surface degradation due to weathering, so you should look out for granular loss, bending, holes and punctures.

You’ll need to examine a shingled roof for granular loss, curling and bending.

Metal roofs should be checked for rust and corrosion as well as loose, bent or damaged panels.

If you come across chips or cracks in your tile roof, you’ll need to call a roofing professional to further inspect it

Correct Problems Right Away

Having your roof inspected is only the first step. Following the inspection, you need to prioritize any recommended repairs to ensure your roof is not further damaged. Typically, contractors will prepare a detailed report that notes any deficiencies and provide you with cost estimates. This allows property managers and business owners to plan and budget for their repairs.

Keep Detailed Records

When you visit your doctor for a check-up, the doctor or nurse will have your medical records handy to ensure they can give an adequate assessment about what is ailing you. The same concept should be applied to your roof when asking a contractor to give you an assessment on your roof’s health.


Helpful Tips in Finding Legit Roofing Companies

Nowadays, it’s hard to come by a trustworthy company that can provide you with your roofing needs. However, do not let this discourage you. There are still a number of legit roofing companies that will not take advantage of you. The key is knowing how to find them.

Check for business licenses This is the best way to confirm the legitimacy of a roofing company. Simply, check if they have a business license to operate. This will verify that they have fulfilled all legal requirements that are imposed by the state.

Find out about their insurance When a company is bonded, you’ll be secured that you are protected financially. This means that the company will not run away without completing the job. Roofing companies that are insured, on the other hand, makes sure that the contractors are covered for any liability issues that can come up during the working period. In this way, the company will less likely to blame you for the accident and demand that you pay the hospital expenses.

Always remember that a legitimate roofing company will always have up-to-date bonding and insurance. However, it is so easy for any roofing company to claim that they have these. Be smart enough to confirm these claims by asking them for a physical copy to serve as evidence.

Ask Questions Responsible and trustworthy roofing companies are likely to have a list of references you can contact to inquire about the quality of their work. Bee sure to call and check multiple references, not just one or two. This allows you to fully understand the services that the roofing company really has to offer. Don’t hesitate to ask questions, particularly about the roofer’s project-related behavior and consistency.

How Sewer Trenchless Pipe Replace Lining Is Done

Sewer Line Belly Vs Pipe Channeling

Sewer line belly vs. pipe channeling – are you wondering what’s wrong with your pipes? What does each diagnosis mean for your property and what repair options do you have?

You might not think the difference between having a sewer line belly or a pipe channeling diagnosis will ever impact you. After all, most people call a specialist to provide a solution and don’t worry too much about the details of the problem. Still, it’s a good idea to understand the difference and what’s involved in each situation. Once you understand the meaning of each condition, you can make the choice in the most appropriate and cost-effective repair options for your sewer line.

What is a sewer line belly?

A belly is a sag in the pipe that bows downward, creating a negative slope. Once a sag develops, the flow of the wastewater is no longer effective. Some of the wastewater will move across the belly normally. The rest gets trapped inside the sag, becoming stagnant over time. When more wastewater enters the pipe, it strikes against the stagnant water, slowing or blocking its movement. Over time, particles of waste accumulate in the belly, creating a solid clog. Eventually, the entire pipe could become clogged. With a belly, you will usually have problems with wastewater not draining out.

Sewer belly causes

Several external and internal forces can lead to a sewer line belly. If something causes the soil on the outside of the pipe to shift, it may cause the pipe to change shape. Sometimes specialists cut corners during the sewer line installation, keeping it from working effectively. If the line breaks at the joints, the pipe can take on a different shape, potentially creating a belly.

Some specialists only recommend repairing a sewer line belly if it’s causing a problem. They may suggest letting it go if there’s little to no risk that it will get worse. The problem is that the problem has already advanced to this level. Who knows how much or when it will turn into a more serious problem?

The reason many homeowners prefer to take a ‘wait-and-see’ approach is that the only repair method for bellies is to replace the affected section of pipe. Installing a new pipe will restore the slope and improve the integrity of the existing pipe. Unfortunately, this is often a large project that involves a lot of time and money. Trenchless pipe repair methods offer a less disruptive and cost-effective method of pipe repair over conventional methods. A belly is one of the exceptions where these methods aren’t recommended.


What is sewer line channeling?

Sewer line channeling is the development of a channel into the bottom of a sewer line. The motion of the water continually crossing the same area of the pipe causes it to wear down. The damage also makes the pipe vulnerable to the infiltration of tree roots, insects, and more. Sewer line channeling is a common problem in cast iron sewer pipes. Sometimes, the pipe is already gone by the time you realize there’s a problem.

Some signs of sewer line channeling include odd sewage odors, green patches in your yard, and water seepage. Like bellies, channeling sometimes causes slow drainage, making it easier to confuse the two situations.

One major difference when considering a sewer line belly vs pipe channeling is that with the latter condition, the sewer line usually retains its slope. Even though the pipe may be completely gone in one area, trenchless pipelining might still be an option. This modern approach to pipe repair doesn’t cause the disruption to your property or your lifestyle that you can expect with traditional plumbing. It also costs thousands of dollars less.


Sewer Line Belly Vs Pipe Channeling: Getting Past The Confusion

Specialists who get calls from clients saying they have a sewer line belly often end up with a pipe that’s channeled. Initially, both problems seem the same. Once you call a specialist, the first step is diagnosing the problem with a special sewer camera. But that isn’t enough to identify the whole problem.

The only thing the camera shows in either case is a lot of water. Using a water jet to clear out the water and debris allows the specialist to clearly view the pipe. The importance in distinguishing between the two problems is the difference in the options for repair.


Bellied Pipe Explained

The term “bellied pipe,” also known as a “low spot,” essentially refers to a pipeline that’s sagging. A bellied pipe usually occurs as a result of improper installation, particularly when the installer uses insufficient bedding. Pipeline and trench bedding consists of a number of materials which provide a solid surface for the pipe to rest on. Without bedding, the pipeline becomes susceptible to sagging from shifting soil or poor soil compaction. A bellied pipe can only be fixed by manually repairing the line. A camera inspection will usually reveal the presence of a sagging pipe, the severity of it, and whether it requires immediate repairs.

Implications of a Bellied Pipe

A low spot will trap water much the same way as a P-trap pipe under your bathroom. This may not necessarily cause problems, and your pipes may continue to function normally. However, solid waste can collect in the low spot, causing a soft backup. This isn’t anything too serious and can usually be fixed by a local plumber using a typical manual auger. However, the low spot should still be corrected to prevent the need to clear a backup every few months.


What Is A Sewer Line Belly, Sag Or Low Area?

A sewer line belly, sag, or low area, can be identified by a pipe holding water after flow has stopped or other causes of pooling water, such as debris build up and channeling, have been ruled out. Sewer line bellies or low areas become problems when debris collects and causes a blockage or backup. A belly in a sewer line, sag, or low area is often caused by geological events such as soil erosion, foundation settlement, earthquakes or by human error such as poor soil compaction or poor installation.

Wide Plank Hardwood Flooring For Your Home

Steps to Save on Hardwood Flooring Costs

You’ve got the walls painted the perfect shade and the lighting is to your liking. Now you need the right floor to tie the room together. If you want a new hardwood floor, tread prudently: You have a forest of options at a wide range of prices.

It costs an average of $2,400 to $4,000 to buy and install 200 square feet of hardwood floor, according to national survey. That’s a wide range of $12 to $20 a square foot. How much you spend depends on:

The species of wood.

The grade and cut, which describe qualities such as color variation, whether knots are visible and the direction of the grain.

Whether the wood is solid or engineered (multiple layers of wood veneers).

The amount of preparation and cleanup work the contractor must do.

How much does it cost to install hardwood floors?

When a hardwood floor contractor prepares an estimate, the costs are usually divided between materials and labor. There might be another section of the estimate that itemizes other costs.

The cost of flooring is calculated by the square foot. The contractor usually adds between 5% and 12% to the square footage as a “cut allowance” or “waste factor” to account for scraps that will be left over. For example, a 100-square-foot room might require the purchase of 105 to 112 square feet of flooring because the planks will have to be cut to size. The leftover material is the cut allowance.

Less-expensive species of solid hardwood, such as oak and American cherry, cost $5 to $10 a square foot, according to HomeAdvisor, a referral service for home improvement professionals. Pricier species, such as Brazilian walnut and mahogany, cost $8 to $14 a square foot.



Solid wood flooring is made of one piece of wood from top to bottom and can be used in any room that is on or above ground. One of the many benefits of solid wood flooring is it can be sanded and refinished many times.

Engineered wood floors are also made of real wood, but include multiple layers, with the top layer made of high-quality wood. Because engineered wood floors expand and contract less than solid wood flooring, they are ideal for basement installations. While this type of flooring can be sanded and refinished, it cannot be done as many times as solid wood flooring.

OPTIONS Wood floors are manufactured in almost any width. Some of the most popular styles are strip, plank, and parquet. Each style is available in a variety of species, colors, and widths, so choosing the right one is a matter of preference. Strip flooring is less than 3” wide and often makes a room appear larger. Plank flooring is equal to or greater than 3” wide and often creates a more casual look. Parquet flooring varies in size and generates a geometric, non-linear look.

SPECIESWood flooring is made from hardwoods, softwoods, domestic lumber, and a variety of imported lumber. Each wood species has unique visual characteristics and maintenance needs.

APPEARANCEMany factors impact the appearance of wood flooring, including its grade and saw cut. Wood grades are determined based on the physical characteristics of the wood. All grades are equally strong and serviceable, but each looks different. Additionally, the angle at which a board is cut determines how the finished product looks and performs as well.


Best Mops for Hardwood Floors

The best type of mop for hardwood floors won’t scratch the surface. It picks up fine debris that broom bristles miss. Then, the best-wet mops for hardwood floors won’t saturate the wood with water.

Best Dry Mops for Wood Floors

Dry-mopping is a gentle but efficient way to keep your floor clean. A quick spin around the house should only take a few minutes if you haven’t let the dirt build-up.

The Freedom dust mop from Libman is best for small rooms and tight spaces. It’s just under a foot wide, but it holds a lot of hair and dust. The secret to its high capacity is the long fingers on the washable microfiber pad. It’s handy for knocking down cobwebs, too.

This dust mop has cut ends, not loops, so it’s less likely to snag. It’s made from natural cotton yarn and hand-sewn in the USA. The handle adjusts from 42 to 72 inches long when you twist to unlock it.

Sladust’s wool mop is impregnated with natural lanolin that draws dust like a magnet. It stays put until you give it a shake. On the downside, you can’t toss this dry mop head into the washing machine—it’s hand wash only. Hand-washing ensures that it retains its natural ability to dust well.


Prolong the Life of Your Hardwood Floors

Hardwood floors have long been a coveted house feature because they positively radiate a sense of classic warmth and tradition. Because hardwood flooring has literally been around for centuries and many of the floors found in historic homes are still the originals, it is easy to think of them as being impervious to damage.

But like any house element, hardwood floors are prone to damage from accumulated wear and tear as well as unexpected events such as flooding. The potential for damage is magnified by the fact that, unlike ceramic or vinyl flooring, hardwood is an organic material. Wood’s cellular structure will break down more easily than ceramic’s minerals or vinyl’s polymers, especially when subjected to moisture

Overview of Hardwood Floors

Lines tend to blur when it comes to categorizing hardwood flooring. With technological innovations in floor manufacturing in the last couple of decades, these lines have become even blurrier. Basically, though, it comes down to three areas

Solid Hardwood

Solid hardwood flooring is 100 percent natural wood from top to bottom, no additives or changes except in the case of prefinished flooring, which comes with a factory-applied urethane-based top coating. Even so, this is just a surface coating, and all material below the coating is natural wood sawn directly from hardwoods such as ash, cherry, maple, or oak

Engineered Wood

Compared to solid hardwood’s deep history, engineered wood is a baby. In the mid-20th century, flooring manufacturers began to laminate thin veneers of real hardwood on top of thicker layers of plywood. Thus, well over 95 percent of this flooring is plywood. However, the top – the part that is visible – is 100 percent real wood


Realtor Q&A: Carpet or hardwoods … which is better when selling?

“Hardwood for sure, as everyone loves that. Carpets, colors, texture can vary and not everyone likes the same thing. Tile would be preferred in the lower level and maybe the kitchen area.”

“Hardwood is preferred over carpet on the main level any day. When you get upstairs, if there is a preference, having hardwood in the hallways is important. It’s all price-sensitive.”

“Hardwood is generally preferred over carpet. Buyers can always add a rug over top the hardwood. We had heard buyers say that because of allergies they prefer hardwood over carpet. Tile can be good too in certain areas of the home.”

“Today’s home buyers are certainly attuned to the specific amenities a home has to offer and as such, hardwood floors are seen as an upgrade relative to homes with carpet (in similar price points). Sellers are aware of these competitive differences and try to position their homes in the best light possible, and often times, offering hardwood floors, over carpeting, can help justify a pricing strategy or help a seller in direct competition with other active homes in a similar pricing category.”

Homes in our area with carpeting are a tough sell. Carpeting is one of those features that buyers often cannot see past (like bold paint colors). Although hardwoods can always be installed after the sale, buyers will not pay top dollar for a home with carpeting – especially if on the main level – and it will surely affect the price for the sellers.”

Can You Afford To Hire A Criminal Defense Attorney

Criminal Defense Attorney

Experienced Criminal Defense Attorney

Being in the crosshairs of the criminal justice system can be as stressful as it may be intimidating. The important thing to remember when this happens, however, is that having an experienced defense attorney representing and defending you can be pivotal to the outcome of your case, as well as your future.

here to aggressively defend your rights and help you bring your case to a successful resolution. are dedicated to providing each of clients with exceptional service, ethical treatment and aggressive representation.

That’s why are here to help you:

Successfully navigate the intricacies of the criminal justice system

Minimize the negative impacts that criminal cases may have on you and your family

Work diligently and relentlessly to help you protect your freedom and future.

An Arrest Can Be Devastating

Getting arrested for a serious crime can be a devastating experience. You may be overwhelmed with thoughts and emotions of fear, anger, regret and uncertainty for the future.

Regardless of if you are under investigations or have been formally arrested, the most effective way of protecting your rights is to seek legal representation from an experienced and skilled criminal defense attorney.


Aggressive Criminal Defense Attorney

Criminal defense Attorney, has been aggressively defending the rights for over eighteen years. is a seasoned litigator who has tried every kind of criminal defense case. clients receive his cell phone number, so they can connect any time they need help. From arrest through trial, works hard to get the best possible results in and out of court.

Federal Criminal Defense

Defended countless clients accused of federal crimes. As an experienced federal litigator, I know how to assemble an effective defense for high profile crimes

Drug Possession

Because drug possession is a serious crime that can result in life-changing penalties, it is absolutely imperative to work with a criminal defense lawyer who understands the law in this area

White Collar Crimes

Because these types of cases are often subject to both state and federal prosecution, it is important to work with a lawyer who is comfortable defending a case at any level

DWI Charges

A DWI Charge Can Put Your Life on Hold. A single arrest can seriously jeopardize your job, your freedom, and your reputation. If you have been arrested for drunk driving, you can’t afford to delay your defense.



Criminal Defense Lawyer

Are you or a loved one charged with a crime?

Are you under investigation by a law enforcement agency in the State?

Right now, you may be at a low point in your life and not know what to do. You may be worried that your job, your career and your reputation are on the line. You want to do all you can to protect yourself but do not know where to turn.

There is good news. In the legal system, a good criminal defense lawyer can make the difference. You can WIN criminal cases in the State. I have been involved in cases where the evidence against the defendant seemed insurmountable, but somehow, some way we found a hole in the prosecution’s case that gave us a window of opportunity

Many people do not realize that choosing their lawyer could be one of the most important decisions in their life. It is extremely important to choose wisely. Your lawyer will be your voice on what could be the most important thing in your life. You should hire a defense attorney that has the skill and courage to effectively try a criminal case. Prosecutors all share one thing in common: they hate to lose. If the State knows your attorney is a serious trial lawyer you will probably get a better plea offer or even have charges withdrawn.

A Real Trial Lawyer

I am a criminal trial lawyer in the State. For past two decades I have dedicated myself to the art of trial practice which has been my passion and obsession. I thrive on taking difficult cases and solving difficult problems for my clients.


Aggressive Defense Attorneys

Being faced with criminal charges places one in the difficult position of having the resources of the State, from the police department through the prosecutor’s office, being used to punish.  One must also be aware of the potential effects of pleas and convictions on careers, families, domestic relations, custody, drivers licenses, CDLs, and more.

A guilty plea with hopes that a court will show leniency may at first seem the easiest way to resolve a criminal charge; however, the best approach is to put the State to the test with an aggressive criminal defense attorney, demanding your rights be protected.

The criminal defense attorneys Law Offices provide their clients personalized representation, the benefits of the experienced legal knowledge required to navigate the criminal process, the legal experience to fully understand their options to make their own decisions without pressure, and the trial lawyer experience to aggressively take the matter through trial when needed.

Do You Need a Lawyer? Pro Se (Self Representation)?

Can you represent yourself when faced with a criminal charge?  Yes you can, but no you should not.

These are some facts:

Being right means little unless you can convince the prosecutor, judge, or jury that you are right and make them understand why.

What seems simple at first may quickly become complicated, especially if you do not know what is around the next turn in the process.

If your case goes badly, you may regret representing your self, but by then it may be too late.

The law is complex, including for example the rules the police must follow, the rules to follow with the court (e.g., State and Local Rules of Criminal Procedure), the rules regarding the presentation of your case (e.g., Rules of Evidence), the potential implications of the charges, the statutes that define the crimes, and the thousands upon thousands of cases that interpret the rules and statutes and your Constitutional rights.

Attorneys are the professionals who are trained to understand these laws, how they may relate to you, and how to protect your rights and interests.


DUI and Criminal Defense Lawyers

Criminal Defense Attorneys Fighting for You

Through excellence in criminal defense and as DUI lawyers, mission at the Defense Firm is to help people win back their lives. With more than 100 years of collective criminal law experience at both the State and Federal levels, the criminal defense attorneys at Defense Firm know how traumatic it is to be charged with a crime

Just being the focus of a criminal investigation is enough to cause most people many sleepless nights or worse. The criminal justice system is disturbing and demeaning. For many of our clients their greatest wish is for things to just return to normal, and that is what we do, every day

Defense Firm have unmatched and specialized expertise handling criminal cases involving:

DUI/OWI Drunk Driving

Assault/Domestic Violence

Sex Crimes/Assault

Health Care Fraud

Firearms Law

Driver License Restoration

Drug Crimes

Financial Fraud/White Collar Criminal

Defense Firm provides Statewide criminal defense representation

Getting The Best Bookkeeping Rates

What is the process of bookkeeping?

When starting in business it is good to have a bit of an idea about bookkeeping.  Although you most likely will hire someone to either keep the books for you inside or outside the office, it is still important to have an overall idea about the steps taken in this process as well as an overall idea as to what is being done. There are generally five steps in the book keeping process:

  • When a transaction occurs there is some original paperwork involved such as an invoice, a credit note, a receipt or petty cash voucher, etc. This original documentation must be retained and filed away where it can be easily found and referred to if necessary.
  • Details from the original paperwork are recorded in the “original books of entry”.These are records such as the cash book, purchases book, sales book, petty cash book or sales returns book.
  • The details written into the books of original entry are transferred to the ledger. The ledger is the main book of accounts which records all debits and credits in the business operations.
  • A trial balance can be made when required by adding the debit column and adding the credit column, and comparing the two additions to determine the current state of financial affairs. If credits are greater than debits, then you are making money; but if debits are greater, you are losing money.
  • The ledger is used to prepare a set of final accounts at the end of a given period…normally at the end of each financial year. These final accounts include such things as a Profit and loss account, a Balance sheet and a Trading account. These accounts may be necessary for taxation or other purposes.


What is the bookkeeping equation?

The bookkeeping equation for a sole proprietorship is assets = liabilities + owner’s equity. The bookkeeping equation for a corporation is assets = liabilities + stockholders’ equity. The bookkeeping equation is also referred to as the accounting equation.

In the bookkeeping equation:

  • assets are the resources owned by the business
  • liabilities are the amounts the business owes
  • owner’s equity is the amount the owner invested plus the net income of the business minus the amounts the owner withdrew for personal use (all since the business began)

Often it is said that the liabilities and owner’s equity are the claims against the assets. It can also be said that the liabilities and the owner’s equity are the sources of the assets.


There is a difference between the two terms bookkeeping and accounting

  • Bookkeeping is concerned with the recording of financial transactions whereas accounting involves recording, classifying and summarizing financial transactions.
  • Bookkeeping is clerical in nature and usually is the junior staff performs this function whereas accounting requires skills of accountant and knowledge of various accounting policies.
  • The Bookkeeping is the base for accounting. Accounting starts where the bookkeeping ends and is thus broader in scope than bookkeeping.
  • Bookkeeping is in accordance with the accounting concepts and conventions. Whereas, the accounting methods and procedures for analyzing and interpreting the financial reports may vary from entity to entity.
  • Financial statements do not form part of bookkeeping. Thus, these are prepared from the accounting process.
  • The accounting reports help in ascertaining the financial position of an entity, however not bookkeeping records.


Relationships Between Financial Statements

Income Statement

The Income Statement is also called the Earning Statement or the Profit and Loss Statement, sometimes shortened to the P&L, but no matter what it is called, net income or loss is always the bottom line. This bottom line flows to the next statement, the Statement of Owners’ Equity. That is why it is the first statement to be compiled from the adjusted trial balance.

Statement of Owners’ Equity

The Statement of Owners’ Equity reconciles beginning capital to ending capital. Remember that the Balance Sheet shows that assets are equal to liabilities plus equity. Ending capital and equity are synonymous, so the bottom line from the Statement of Owners’ Equity, ending capital, flows to the next statement—the Balance Sheet.

Balance Sheet

Net income from the Income Statement flows to the Statement of Owners’ Equity, and the ending capital balance flows from the Statement of Owners’ Equity to the Balance Sheet.

Statement of Cash Flow

Finally, the statement of cash flows reconciles beginning cash and cash equivalents from the balance sheet (ending cash from the prior set of financial statements) to ending cash from the current balance sheet, effectively reconciling accrual basis accounting to cash basis.


Close the books

Bring the bookkeeping for the fiscal year just ended to a close and get things ready to begin the bookkeeping process for the coming fiscal year. Books is the common term for a business’s complete set of accounts. A business’s transactions are a constant stream of activities that don’t end tidily on the last day of the year, which can make preparing financial statements and tax returns challenging. The business has to draw a clear line of demarcation between activities for the year (the 12-month accounting period) ended and the year yet to come by closing the books for one year and starting with fresh books for the next year.

Flooring Options For Your Home Remodeling Project

Things to Consider Before Remodeling

Remodeling your house can be a true test of patience.

No matter how happy you are with your house, you probably have an idea or two on how to make it better. From adding a few feet of space in the kitchen to knocking down a wall, it’s easy to picture a room “as it should be.” However, the reality of undertaking a remodeling project in order to make it so is an entirely different beast.

The design of your dreams

Inspiration for a dream space in your house can come from anywhere — a magazine, social media, a friend’s house, a TV show, even a vacation. Your job is to collect and manage that inspiration. Take photos, clip images and save scraps of your favorite types of material to help focus the design.

Be realistic with the budget

Knowing what you want and being able to afford it are two very different things. Determining the budget for your project is step one of the remodeling process. You need to have a clear idea of what you’re willing to spend and secure those funds before calling your first contractor. The budget is the roadmap from which all else is decided, so it’s important to establish this upfront.

Who to hire

Deciding which contractor to hire for the job is going to take some time, so prepare yourself to do your due diligence. It is a process to vet potential hires, but it’s an important one in order to avoid hiring someone who’s unqualified and could possibly leave your house worse off than when you started.

The reality of remodeling

Oh, if only it was as easy as they make it seem on TV. The reality of remodeling is your life will be upended from beginning to end — especially if you tackle a larger project such as adding a new room or renovating the kitchen or bathroom. Having a plan to workaround the mess is key to surviving.


Simple Steps to Assess the Real Cost of a Fixer-Upper House

Decide What You Can DIY

TV remodeling shows make home improvement work look like a snap. In the real world, attempting a difficult remodeling job that you don’t know how to do will take longer than you think and can lead to less-than-professional results that won’t increase the value of your fixer-upper house.

Price the Cost of Renovations Before You Make an Offer

Get your contractor into the house to do a walk-through, so he can give you a written cost estimate on the tasks he’s going to do.

Check Permit Costs

Ask local officials if the work you’re going to do requires a permit and how much that permit costs. Doing work without a permit may save money, but it’ll cause problems when you resell your home.

Double-Check Pricing on Structural Work

If your fixer-upper home needs major structural work, hire a structural engineer for $500 to $700 to inspect the home before you put in an offer so you can be confident you’ve uncovered and conservatively budgeted for the full extent of the problems

Check the Cost of Financing

Be sure you have enough money for a downpayment, closing costs, and repairs without draining your savings.


Home Remodeling Contractors

Remodeling deserves all the stars in the sky. These guys are true gem. Dream makers is what I called them. I couldn’t have made a better choice selecting a contractor. Knowledgeable, caring, diligent, punctual, polite, and the list goes on. I am very happy with how everything turned out from start to finish. I’ve had my fair shares of hellish contractors helped me see the brighter side

Experienced and Caring Professionals

experienced professionals to provide your home with the best home remodeling contractor in areas. If you’ve been thinking about getting a kitchen remodel, bathroom remodel, or any type of home renovation in the area then you’ve come to the right place! Remodeling is a full-service home remodeling contractor committed to quality, craftsmanship, superior customer service, and professionalism.

Locally Owned & Full Service

are a team of family-owned home remodeling contractors that has been proud to serve the area for years. Remodeling has all the services that you need to complete your remodeling, so there is no need to hire different specialists for each part of your home

Amazing Work For Affordable Prices

understand home improvements can get expensive and that as a customer, you want to stretch your dollars as much as possible. offer customers the most cost-effective options that will not only save you money but also leave your home looking beautiful. No matter the size or condition of your project, up to the challenge and are committed to your satisfaction.



is a great way to invest in your property and extend the life of your home. If you are tired of the same old layout, look, or function, it might be time for an upgrade. When it comes to remodeling your home, there are four things every homeowner needs to include and consider in their budget. So the next time you sit down to think about a remodel, don’t forget to include these items in your to-do list.


Any home remodel starts with a review of the existing structures in place. Ensuring that your home is structurally sound is an important first step in any home remodel project.


Spending your money where it matters is an important part of any home remodel project. You might be tempted to blow your budget on expensive finishes, but really, your money should be spent on the areas that aren’t easily changeable. For example, cabinetry in the kitchen, flooring in the bedroom, and windows and doors throughout the home. You can change lighting one at a time as your budget regenerates, but adding a new floor every 6 months is time consuming and frankly, quite messy. When a home remodel projects is on your radar, be sure to discuss the best ways to improve the foundations of your home before actually spending that money.


Remodeling your home is going to be a lot of work. As transparent and professional home remodelers, work to be honest and truthful about the process of remodeling. set realistic expectations with clients and ensure that they are aware of what the projects will entail and how long their daily lives may be disrupted. help you take into consider the layout and space of your home so you can decide whether or not to reside in the home during renovations.


Any good contractor will tell you to add a slush fund to your bottom line. There are always unforeseen circumstances that arise during home remodels, especially when dealing with older homes. If wiring needs to be upgraded or a window is not meeting code, those things need to be replaced. Some items, such as a broken window, might not hold up inspections, but a wiring problem certainly will. When sitting down to plan out your home remodel project, always include at least 10% of your budget over and above what you originally planned to allow for overages and surprises.



Creating the ideal home isn’t just about interiors, it’s about creating an attractive outdoor environment as well. That’s why more and more homeowners are choosing backyard remodels to create the perfect stay-cation, and to extend entertaining and living areas beyond the walls of their homes. Just like an indoor remodel, a backyard remodel requires careful planning, design, and execution to ensure the best possible outcome. So what do you need to keep in mind when planning your backyard remodel? Here we look at some of the points you need to consider for building your dream space.


When you’re thinking about how to redesign your backyard, you need to consider a couple of things – how you use your backyard now, and how you would like to ideally use your backyard in the future. Whether you want to use your backyard for entertaining, relaxing, playing sports, or all of the above, a carefully planned design based on your lifestyle can help you make the most of the space you have.


Considering that you’re remodeling your backyard for family use, it’s important to think about your kids and pets, too. If there are little ones at home, it’s highly crucial to take extra safety measures to keep your backyard kid-friendly. An experienced remodeling contractor can set up child-safe plants and hardscapes, proper fencing, and an additional room to play and move. It can be either a cubby, treehouse, or any home playground of your choice.


Warm summer nights and longer days can’t help but suggest outdoor entertaining. Adding an outdoor entertainment area is one of the most popular ways to extend home living space. Outdoor entertainment is fun, low-maintenance, and relaxing. It allows hosts and guests to enjoy a laid back social time. If creating a tranquil outdoor space is one of your top priorities, your design-build contractor can help develop the perfect structure to balance outdoor functionality, aesthetics, and entertainment, while considering your location.


For some homeowners, adding beautifully structured hardscapes for curb appeal becomes the main focus of a backyard remodel. But for others, spending time cultivating plants and nurturing living garden components are the most important.

Questions To Ask Your Party Planner Before Making The Hire

How do event planners get clients?

When starting out in the field, gaining clients is of the utmost importance to establish a solid foundation for your new business. That aspect is also one of the most difficult challenges with an event planning business. Consider the following options to help build your client base:


The best way to start building a portfolio is to volunteer your services to family and friends. You will feel more confident in working with the general public, once you have organized several events for people you know. Be sure to take photos and put them in a binder to show potential clients in the future. You can also use your photos for a digital portfolio to place on your website. To learn more about volunteering as an event planner, read this article: How to Volunteer as an Event Planner.

Launch A Website

You don’t have to be a computer wiz to build a website. Something as simple as WordPress and your own domain name is a great way to build authority. You can buy a domain and launch a WordPress site with a free template for less than $100 at HostGator. List your contact information, along with the services you offer, so you have a place to direct your clients when you receive inquiries. Post photos of the events you have done so your work is visible. Be sure to use keywords in your site description, such as all of the locations you service, as well as the services you provide.

Add A Blog To Your Website

Your basic website will have a few pages. You can direct people you meet to your website, but to get traffic in the long-term you’ll need more content. A blog is a great way to add regular content to your site. For topics, focus on the questions your target clients have. Brainstorm 12 ideas and you’ll have enough for one blog post each month for a year.

Become An Expert In Your Niche

When it’s time for people to organize events they usually search around for articles and tips; and if you can position yourself as an expert in your specialty there will be a lot of eyeballs on you. For example, when a corporate event opportunity comes up and they need to hire an event planner – the decision maker will most likely go online and read information about their type of event. If your specialty is in this category and you have information online about your expertise with freely available advice potential clients are much more likely to reach out to you. You can become an expert in a niche by:

  • Writing articles on your own site
  • Writing articles on popular sites that take user submitted content like, eHow, Huffington Post, etc
  • Posting Youtube short videos of you or your employees giving advice

Create A Facebook Page

Facebook Pages are very simple to create. Invite all of your friends to “like” it and ask them to “share” with their friends. You can also create ads inexpensively to grow your audience and give exposure to your services. Post photos, links to your blog and website along with any specials you are running. We will post additional articles in the coming weeks with tips on building your Facebook following in much more detail.

Business Cards

For event planners, business cards are a must. Hand them out to anyone that inquires or leave them in places where potential clients may gather, such as coffee shops or banquet halls. Give some to your friends and family to pass out to others that may be interested. Be sure to list your website, blog and Facebook links along with the description of your services and other contact information on the card.


Get Private Testimonials Or Endorsements From Your Targets’ Peers.

Sometimes your dream clients are hard to reach. But if you’d like to bust through their secretary’s keen defense mechanisms, the best way to do it is by infiltrating their network through other professional means. Build your network while simultaneously closing the degree of separation between you and your targeted accounts.

Some of the best ways to do this are to attend industry related events at which one of your prospect’s peers will be presenting or giving a speech. Because they’ll be a featured attendee, they know they’ll be meeting new people and networking a lot throughout the day. Which means they’ll be more open and receptive to you when you approach them to introduce yourself. There are also plenty of industry meetups, seminars, and happy hours you can attend in your city that may get you closer to your goals.

You can even do this online. There are plenty of avid LinkedIn users, personal brand developers, and social media content creators in the corporate world who make a point to be very knowledge and well followed. If you see that your dream clients like, comment, and share their material, make sure you’re doing the same. Because you’ve demonstrated interest in someone they love, you’ll also be showing your prospects that you share their values too.


Event Planner Marketing Strategies

In a perfect world, your event planning services should be mentioned in the first stages of a client’s event dialogue. To make this happen you need to be an effective marketer. Follow the strategies below to position your service in the minds of potential clients at the very moment they discuss hosting an event.

Build Your Online Network

The internet provides the largest network for generating sales leads, so it should come as no surprise you’ll need an attractive website and active profiles on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn.

Each one of these online assets has the capability to drive unique prospects, but none of them are passive outlets. To reap the benefits of each one you need to participate in discussions, share your expertise, and join groups where you can leverage the assets of others.

Engagement is the key, and this is where those who try to “do it alone” often fail.

Go Public, Target and Advertise

Even the most qualified planner will struggle to land new clients without live exposure. This includes public participation at industry events and media appearances.

You might think it is difficult to land a spot on a television or radio show but often times it is as easy as submitting a great story idea to the producers in the form of a press release. It is not an easy job to fill a show with content every single day, and if you can approach the right person with a unique angle then you will have no problem getting your foot in the door.

Design your messages specifically for the consumer audience you are targeting. If you manage to find media spots, see if you can get yourself included in the times that are best to reach your market.

Help Those in Need

Donating your time to a worthy cause can open several new opportunities to gain new clients. A lot of non-profit events would appreciate having the expertise of an event planner available.

Even if you can’t commit to running their event, there are plenty of other ways to participate. Perhaps you can be in charge of the floral arrangements or marketing materials? Little tasks like this can bring exposure and allow you to network with others.

Non-profit advisors and committees are typically staffed by local dignitaries and business leaders, all of whom have the connections to drive large quantities of leads to your business.

Refresh Existing Customers

Sometimes we get so focused on landing new customers that we forget about the existing assets sitting dormant in our contact lists. Go through your contact lists, email, LinkedIn and Facebook contacts and ask yourself: Does each person on this list know what I do for a living?

Obviously, you want to reach out to those who are unaware to update them on your career, but you should also reach out to everyone you haven’t talked to in over a year. Let them know what projects you have been working on and give them the necessary information to refer business your way.


Savvy Ways to Promote Your Event Planning Business

As you develop your event planning business, it’s impor­tant to market in order to grow your client base. Following are eight ideas for advertising and promoting your event planning business:

Networking. For most planners, networking is at the top of the list in terms of developing a strong client base. Networking can help your business in two ways. If people have met you and know what services you offer, they may refer business to you or use your service themselves. Furthermore, networking with hotels, caterers and so on will give you a chance to meet some of the people whose services you may need as you plan events.

Advertising. Print advertising covers a broad range, from a free—or inexpensive—Yellow Pages advertisement to an ad in a glossy national publication costing tens of thousands of dollars. Most planners agree that an ad in the Yellow Pages makes good business sense. A line advertisement, simply listing your business name, is often provided free of charge when you connect your phone (if you have a landline). You can also opt for a display advertisement — the bigger, bordered ads in the Yellow Pages — but there’s a charge for these.


Business card.

Don’t underestimate the power of this small but mighty marketing tool. Even in the computer age, a succinct, professionally printed business card is still critical. Consider it a diminutive brochure, especially if you opt for a tri-fold business card. Many planners opt for this business-card format because more information can be included than on a traditional business card, while the card remains small enough to be tucked inside a wallet or purse.

Informative brochures. Like your business card, a well-designed, professional brochure can help cement your image as a professional planner. Prospective clients will make judgments about your company based on your brochure, so make sure it’s conceived and produced at the highest level possible.

The brochure should include all the information listed on your tri-fold business card and allow you to expand upon this information, in particular, by adding photographs. The photos should be of successful events you’ve designed. You may also want to include a photo of yourself.

Maximize your chances of success by making sure your company brochure matches the type of business you have. All materials should look professional, but if you are marketing to a budget-conscious group, a too-glamorous brochure can send the wrong message—and send potential budget-conscious clients running in the opposite direction.

As with your business cards, leave your brochure with caterers, florists, photographers, and other vendors with whom you’ve worked.

Direct mail. You may choose to distribute your brochure via direct mail. If you do, make sure your mailing list is well chosen. Event planner David Granger says that while word of mouth is his most effective advertising, he uses mailing lists of the organizations his company belongs to (International Special Events Society, Meeting Professionals International, National Association for Catering and Events, and the Dallas Convention and Visitors Bureau).

Unethical Carpet Cleaning Tricks And How To Avoid Them

Carpet Cleaning Tips and Tricks

As much as we would like out carpets to remain clean 24/7, it is practically impossible. Despite all the efforts in keeping it clean, dirt will eventually come for different reasons -maybe from stepping on it, spilling and staining. It is the reason a carpet requires to be cleaned regularly to maintain their look. It is a fact that a clean carpet adds value and authenticity to your home or office. But how clean your carpet is equally important- you should apply some of the most effects cleaning methods. Here are 10 of the best Carpet cleaning tips and tricks you can use.

  • Vacuum regularly

Every time you step on the carpet, you leave some dirt behind. Since it is not possible to deep clean you carpet regularly, you need to have a way through which you can be removing this dirt regularly to keep it looking nice. This is where regular vacuuming is recommended. A vacuum cleaner will pick dust and debris thus keeping your carpet looking good always. The frequency at which you vacuum will be dictated by how much the carpet is used. If you are a bachelor, doing it a week will enough. If you have a large family and pets, do it at least thrice a week.

  • Deal with spills immediately

Be very careful with spills. It is easy for them to become stains if they are not treated immediately. The secret to keeping your carpet clean for a longer time is dealing with any spill straight away. The best way to deal with them is soaking it with a dry sheet or using the carpet cleaner before it soaks in. You must also be wary of how clean it. The worst that you can do to your carpet is trying to rub off the spill. This will drive it further into the carpet making it hard to clean and may result into a stain.

  • Use the right solution

Use of the wrong solution is a common mistake in carpet cleaning. For the carpet to be cleaned properly, the right solutions must be employed. In many cases, the manufacturer will recommend the right solution to be used. Most of the suggested solutions are manufactured specifically for those carpets. Most people will be tempted to go for cheaper solutions that are poorly manufactured. Others may opt to go for homemade solutions. These solutions are likely to damage the carpet either by fading or tearing it with time. Some may leave behind a foul odor even after rinsing several times.

  • Test for solution’s colorfastness first

If it is the first time to clean with a solution, it is important to test its colorfastness first. Some solutions can destroy your carpet mostly by fading its color. You need to check out if the carpet color will be affected by the solution. Start by cleaning small area first and see how the detergent works. You may also use a white towel to rub the carpet to find out if there will be any color on it. If at all there will be even small traces of carpet’s color on the towel, you should avoid using that solution since it will fade the carpet. It is also likely to lower the lifespan of your expensive carpet if used.

  • Pre-treat if necessary

If you don’t clean your carpet regularly, pre-treating it before actual cleaning will be required. Sometimes the carpet may be extremely dirty and intensely stained for regular cleaning. Pre-treating helps in soaking the stain and dirty for easy remove. You need to apply the pre-treatment solution on the heavily stained or soiled areas and allow it to soak in for a moment. This will make it easy for the cleaning exercise and save on the cleaning solution used. It is also worth noting that pre-treating reduces wear and tear associated with the vigorous scratching of the carpet on heavily stained areas.


When can i put down furniture after a carpet cleaning?

Once your carpet is professionally cleaned, you will need to wait a few hours before you can resume normal day to day activities as well as putting the furniture that goes into the room with the carpet back. The general rule of thumb is that you should wait about 24 hours before putting the furniture back on the carpet. This will ensure your carpet is fully dried and ready to go. You should also consider purchasing waterproof protectors beneath the legs of the furniture. These protectors let you replace the furniture immediately after the cleaning.


After your carpet has been professionally cleaned, you will want to wait at least 6 hours before you can walk on it. This way it gives the carpet enough time to dry in most areas that can handle walking. The time is increased to 24 hours for furniture because they are normally heavier and stay in one spot rather than moving across the carpet. If you need to walk across the carpet, then you should wait 30 minutes after the cleaning finishes to walk on it. For extra protection, remove your shoes and walk on the carpet with clean socks, preferably white.


What Is Carpet Steam Cleaning?

Steam cleaning carpets is preferred by many people because it only uses heat and pressurized water or steam to remove ground-in dirt and other particles. The professional will use a truck-mounted steam cleaner in most cases to propel heated water and steam into the carpet. This combination of high pressure and a high temperature effectively dislodges particles that have been cleaning to carpet fibers. Some commercial steam cleaners have an agitation feature to dislodge more particles. A powerful vacuum then extracts the moisture and the loosened particles.

The Pros and Cons of Getting Carpet Steam Cleaned

As you explore the best methods for cleaning carpets, the pros and cons of various steam cleaning methods should be reviewed. When professional cleaning services are used, steam cleaning is an effective way to remove ground-in dirt, and it is even effective at removing mold and mildew. Because the truck mounts generate substantial power from the commercial-grade carpet cleaning equipment, more water and dirt is extracted than what a consumer-grade carpet cleaner may be able to remove. Furthermore, the drying time is minimal, and related staining is not a concern if the carpet has adequate time to dry before you walk across it. Steam cleaning is an effective way to rejuvenate carpeting and to extend its life, but it is not effective at removing stubborn or deep stains.


Reasons Why Your Carpet is Respotting

There are two main reasons why your carpet shows stains after giving it a thorough scrubbing and shampooing. They are: wicking and residue. Let’s see how each manifests itself and how to tell one from the other.


Stains from wicking are deep and come from the core of your carpet. When you spot such a stain, it means that the carpet’s fiber, pad, and back are all soiled.

As you scrub a notorious stain, there are chances of using excessive water during rinsing. It leads to saturation of the stained area, and the excess moisture finds a way into the padding and backing of the carpet. When the water reaches into the depth of the stain, it is discolored, and the dirt spreads outwards.

You may try to rinse your carpet as many times as possible, but the deep stain will keep wicking dirt to the surface. As the carpet dries, the dirty water wicks to the top, and you will see ugly stains staring back at you.

When the spots appear right after the carpet dries, you can be sure that wicking is the culprit. It is as a result of over rinsing and saturation of the carpet’s fiber, padding, and backing.


Residue stains are shallow. They actually come from the carpet’s fabric. Typically, these are the remains of detergents you use while cleaning. These stains are common when you use traditional cleaning and rinsing methods, which leave behind soap and shampoo residue that could even result in mildew.

The residue will attract all manner of dirt and dust. It can turn out to be a nightmare for those living in areas with high traffic. Anyone stepping on the carpet in their shoes will leave soil in the fabric.

As long as you are using convention carpet cleaning methods, the residue never goes away. Even if you try vacuuming it, the stains will keep showing up.

You are dealing with a residue problem if the stains appear a week or longer after cleaning. The sad conclusion is that the cleaning method you are using cannot take out the residue..


What Is Carpet Shampooing?

Carpet shampooing is similar to steam cleaning in that high temperature and high pressure are combined to clean the floor, and this cleaning method adds the additional element of carpet shampoo. In many cases, this is a dry foam cleaning agent, but your professional may use an alternative shampoo method. These elements are combined to create a thick lather that effectively loosens dirt so that it can be extracted. The cleaning machine usually has rotating brushes that provide suitable agitation to loosen more dirt and even to scrub away deep stains that have been engrained in carpet fibers. Carpet shampooing includes the additional step of rinsing the carpet with fresh, hot water. This moisture must then be thoroughly extracted with a powerful vacuum.