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.

Must Learn How To Find Good Divorce Lawyer

Queries From The Divorce Lawyer To Make The Procedure Easy

Asking them questions for you divorce lawyer is essential. These questions can help you possess a better knowledge of divorce process and also to find if the lawyer are designed for your situation effectively or otherwise.

Queries

How specialized is he in the area of family law? Apart from family law, there are many fields by which lawyers conduct their practice. You have to get the aid of an expert lawyer who’s experienced within the field. You need to clearly question first whether he’s prepared to handle a situation like yours. Make certain that lawyer will be an person in divorce lawyer Aberdeen.

Is mediation needed inside your situation? It’s another question you are able to ask your lawyer. You are able to question whether he thinks mediation can be done inside your situation or otherwise? If he provides you with an optimistic response then question if he makes use of private mediation together with his clients or otherwise. A lawyer sincere together with his client always attempts to settle the situation once it’s analysed. If he doesn’t use mediation or other mean to stay the situation than he isn’t faithful to his client. So ask your lawyer if he prefers private mediation or otherwise to be able to solve the situation.

 

Questions to Ask a Divorce Lawyer During the Initial Consultation

When you’re hiring a divorce lawyer, you want to gather as much information in your first meeting as possible, including asking questions about the attorney’s experience, how the law applies to your situation, and what your options are. To maximize your time, you should come prepared with pertinent questions to ask the divorce lawyer that you’re interviewing. After the initial consultation, you want to determine if this divorce lawyer is right for you.

How long have you practiced?

If you’re dealing with substantial assets or a custody dispute, you want to hire an experienced lawyer. Ask the lawyer how long they have practiced in divorce law and how many cases they have handled. Further, find out how many of these cases led to a trial to determine the lawyer’s courtroom experience. It’s important to know that your lawyer is comfortable and successful in front of a judge.

How much do you charge?

You also want to understand the lawyer’s fee structure. Does the lawyer bill by the hour? Or do they provide a fixed fee? Does the lawyer charge for phone calls, copies, and postage? What about psychologists, private investigators, or doctors? Are these expenses billed in addition to the flat fee?

What are the divorce procedures in my state?

Each state has different rules regarding divorce, child support, custody, alimony, and other related issues. You need to understand how your state approaches your divorce issues. Review with the lawyer how to initiate divorce proceedings. Find out how your state addresses child custody and visitation. Ask questions about child support calculations. If applicable, ask a question about how the court will calculate alimony and how it divides your assets. What does the court deem as your property versus marital property? How long will it take to get your property after the divorce is final?

Should I do anything to protect myself?

Finally, before you conclude your meeting, you want to ask if there’s anything you should do to protect yourself as you go through the divorce. For example, how do you address joint bank accounts or joint credit cards? What happens to your property if you decide to move out? Do you need a restraining order to prevent your spouse from harassing you or spending money to purposefully reduce your marital assets?

 

What are the procedures for a divorce?

How to file for divorce is a process begun by filing a document with the court that is called a Complaint or a Petition, depending upon the state in which you live. Some states call the procedure a divorce, and some call it a dissolution of marriage. A copy of the Complaint is served on (or officially delivered to) your spouse, usually by the sheriff’s office or process server. This may not be necessary in some cases, where you and your spouse are in agreement. Your spouse will be given a certain number of days to respond to the Complaint. How the case proceeds from there will depend upon how your spouse responds. You and your spouse may reach an agreement, your spouse may file a response (either agreeing to what you’ve requested in the Complaint or contesting it), or may not reply at all. Other documents may also need to be filed, mostly commonly financial statements. Things can become quite complicated in a contested case, with numerous documents being filed, and one or more formal court hearings.

 

Ask How You’ll Be Able To Monitor The Status Of Your Case.

Many lawyers are incorporating technology into their practices – which is a good thing for you. It keeps the process more transparent, letting you follow along at each step. As you interview attorneys, ask if their office uses technology like Clio, MyCase, or other case management software that you can also use to message your attorney, review your filed documents and track the status of your case. (And if you’re a big fan of tech like me, you might want to check out these 10+ (non legal) essential apps to rely on while uncoupling.)

After You Lay Out Your Case, Ask Where They See Things Potentially Going Off Track.

This is a good chance to get help thinking ten steps ahead. After you’ve laid out the path that led you to pursue divorce and shared the outcome you’re hoping to achieve after your divorce is final, ask the lawyer where they’ve seen things going off the rails in similar cases they’ve worked on. What red flags did your story raise for them? What questions is the lawyer asking you about your situation? This question is your chance to 1) make sure they’ve been hearing you and 2) get insights that could help keep your divorce process moving along without surprises.

 

Steps To Choosing The Right Divorce Lawyer

how do you know you’re investing all of your money, hopes and dreams in the right one? Follow these seven steps to find the divorce attorney that’s the right fit for you:

Be realistic.

First, you need to realize that divorce is a legal process with the sole purpose of dissolving your assets and resolving custody issues. Your divorce attorney’s job is to represent you to the best of his or her ability in this process. While you might want them to listen to your anger, frustration, pain and sadness, that is not their job. They are not trained to be your therapist or coach, and they don’t want to be. Since your attorney has higher rates and the clock is always running, it’s a gross misuse of your money if this is how you’re using them. And divorce attorneys have seen it all. What seems immensely important to you might barely register for them within the scope of the legal process. So be realistic about the role of your divorce attorney, and what you can expect from them.

Know what you want.

Before you rush out to hire a divorce attorney, consider other alternatives to traditional litigation. If you aren’t completely entangled with children and finances, you could hire a mediator to help you negotiate the terms of your divorce. Mediation is the fastest, cheapest way to get divorced, and you might not need to hire an attorney at all! If your negotiation is more complicated, you’ll have to hire a divorce lawyer to negotiate a settlement with your spouse’s attorney. Or you could consider a collaborative divorce. A collaborative divorce is focused on negotiation with the goal of preserving a co-parenting relationship. Your last resort is a litigated trial. Typically, these are the cases when neither side will compromise. So you need to determine what type of divorce attorney you need based on your unique circumstances. Realize that any divorce attorney you talk to will try to steer you in the direction of their own specific expertise. It’s up to you to know what you want first, so you can make the right choice.

Interview And Research Potential Attorneys.

Start with an initial phone call. Ask them about their experience and specialization within family law. Ask them about what type of client they typically represent. Ask them about their rates. Most divorce lawyers charge an hourly fee and require a retainer — a fee charged in advance. Some lawyers will also negotiate fees based on anticipated settlements. Don’t waste your time (or theirs) on a meeting if they’re out of your cost range. Most divorce attorneys provide a free consult to discuss your specific situation and what their legal approach would be. So take advantage of it to gather as much legal advice as possible! Typically, the attorney you meet with will not be handling the day-to-day issues related to your case, so ask to meet the colleague or associate that would. The divorce process can also include financial experts, parenting coordinators, coach facilitators, and forensic appraisers. Find out your attorney’s access to these resources and if any would be relevant to your case, as it will affect overall cost. And even if you have no intention of heading to trial, look at the attorney’s trial record and history of success in court. This track record is an indicator of your attorney’s success in negotiation.

Make your choice.

The divorce attorney you choose to represent you is local, professional, knowledgeable, responsive and communicates well. This attorney is someone you trust and feel comfortable with. This attorney supports your basic philosophy toward divorce and has a style that works for you. This attorney recognizes the importance of your children and puts them first in the legal process by not making unreasonable child support demands or custody arrangements. This attorney is affordable. Divorce is a highly personal and emotional process, the outcome of which can have a significant impact on your life. This is an important decision, and there are no guarantees in this process. However, if you follow these steps, you’ll find the right one — the one who listens to what you want, advises you well and has your best interest at heart.

Do Electrical Panel Upgrades For Your Electricity safety

Thinking of upgrading your electrical panel or service? Some things you should know

Just like many other electrical contractors (ECs), I get numerous estimate inquiry calls for electrical panel or service “upgrades”. Service upgrades are the mainstay for many ECs businesses–and they are very good at doing them quickly, and with excellent quality

However, don’t be fooled. Just because an EC has the experience doesn’t mean that are actually good, reputable, or licensed electrician. As with any other contractor you must do your due diligence. Before hiring anyone, you should know how to spot a shady or unlicensed electrician. And of course, you should also know how to hire a good electrician

One of the big topics of discussion revolves around future home improvement plans. It’s important for the EC to ask about the homeowner’s future plans. What other reno work do they want to do? Does this support their decision to get a service upgrade?

You are planning to get a hot tub within the next five years to accompany your backyard landscaping remodel. Your Electrician must ensure that your panel is large enough to fit more breakers, or your service is big enough to handle the additional load.

The code details the demand requirements for residential (single-family), commercial residential (multi-family), commercial and other applications. Section 8 Circuit Loading and Demand Factors of the CEC is most helpful for homeowners. It primarily deals with what size your electrical service is required to be based on

 

tips for upgrading home’s electrical system

Wire size is counterintuitive

The larger the gauge number, the smaller the wire. Eighteen-gauge wire is smaller than 12-gauge wire. The larger the wire, the greater the load it can handle safely without getting hot or causing a fire

Generally a 14-2 Romex cable will serve most outlets

This means two insulated 14-gauge wires and one bare wire encased in a rubber sheath. The black wire is the “hot” wire; the white wire is the neutral wire; and the bare wire is the ground wire. It’s suitable for loads up to 15 amps.

Generally, outlets serving the kitchen and dining room should be 20-amp circuits wired with 12-2 Romex

This is because these circuits will likely take appliances that draw greater amperage

Outlets and switches within a certain proximity to a sink or other water source must be protected by a ground fault circuit interrupter (GFCI)

A GFCI breaks the circuit even when a minute amount of water is present. This safety device prevents electric shock and in extreme cases prevents death. Plugs installed in basements, garages, outdoors and bathrooms also require GFCI protection.

Electric dryers require a 30-amp outlet protected by a 30-amp circuit breaker, while an electric oven mandates a 50-amp and 8-gauge wire protected by a 50-amp breaker

 

How to Upgrade an Electric Meter and Panel to 200-Amp Service

Working inside an electrical panel is dangerous and is best left to a professional electrician.

Ensure that power is off to the entire building, which may involve more than just shutting off the main breaker

Have utility company to disconnect electrical cables from the house. Remove the glass meter from the meter socket

Unscrew meter socket from side of house, then use cable cutters to sever the cable connected to the socket. Enlarge existing cable hole in wall using a cordless drill and 3-inch-diameter hole saw

Bore through the rim joist using an extension shaft and 2-inch-diameter hole saw. Attach a length of 200-amp SE electrical cable to the new meter socket

Feed the SE cable through the hole in the wall and then screw the meter socket to the exterior of the house. Use a torpedo level to ensure the socket is level. Install the new PVC weather head and conduit to the exterior wall, directly above the meter socket. Secure the conduit to the meter socket using PVC cement. Fasten the conduit to the house with U-shaped plastic clips.

 

Signs You Might Need an Electrical Panel Upgrade

The electrical panel is an essential component of your home’s electrical system. Within the panel are circuits, which carry electricity throughout your home to outlets, lights, and appliances. The number and size of the circuits determine your home’s electrical capacity.

If you’re experiencing electrical problems like the ones you’ll learn about in this article, it might be time for an upgrade. The first step in the upgrade process is determining your home’s electrical load. Do you have enough amps to meet your electrical needs? If you think about electricity like water flowing through your home, an amp is the rate at which electricity flows. A few decades ago, 60 amps was enough to suit the needs of the average American household. Today, 100 amps is standard in the average home, with larger homes that use a lot of electricity needing 150 to 200 amps.

Signs of Electrical Problems in Your Home

Be on the lookout for any of the following signs of a possible problem. If your home is experiencing any of these issues, call a professional to inspect your electrical system, because it might be time for an electrical panel upgrade.

Electrical shocks. Mild shocks and tingling can mean that the wiring is defective or that it was improperly installed. If this is the case, there’s a risk of ‘electrical leakage’ when you touch the switch or outlet.

Burning odors or sparks. The occasional spark is not unusual, but large or frequent sparks can be signs of deteriorated wiring or a faulty circuit. Also pay attention to warm or discolored outlets. Whether the cause is faulty wiring or an overloaded circuit, you’ll want to talk to an electrician about these issues.

 

Should I Upgrade My Electrical Panel?

Should I upgrade my electrical panel? The electrical panel remains one of the most essential components of the house. The electrical panel brings comfort and convenience to the residents in the form of electricity. This device is responsible for providing power throughout the entire house. After some time, the electrical panel becomes old or outdated. At this point, you are faced with the question: should I upgrade my electrical panel? There are various kinds of electrical panel upgrade. You can upgrade electrical panel to 200 amps. You can also replace fuse box with breaker panel. Continue reading to discover more about electrical panel replacement and upgrade.

Your Home is Old

Old residential apartments offer cozy and retro atmosphere. This is not present in a modern home. However, these older apartments with obsolete electrical panels may not be able to support your modern electrical needs. If your old home has a 60-amp electrical panel, you may need to upgrade electrical panel to 200 amps. This way, you can use modern electrical equipment you need.

Introduce New Appliances

Furthermore, outdated electrical panels may not be able to handle the workload required to power an entire home of new major appliances. This includes your refrigerator, air conditioning unit, hot tub, dryers, water heaters, and washing machine. The majority of these electrical appliances require a 240V circuit. If you want to introduce new appliances, electrical panel replacement or upgrade will be a good idea

Replace Fuse Box with Breaker Panel

What’s more, fuses have become outdated. Circuit breakers are now more efficient. They do not trip off due to overload. An electrical panel replacement offers you an excellent opportunity to replace fuse box with breaker panel. In case you are wondering why should I upgrade my electrical panel? Then, you may need to do so to replace your fuse-based electrical system with circuit breaker.

Prevent Potential Electrical Fires

Over time, over-crowded connections can turn to loose connections. Thus, causing a wiring fault which can potentially lead to electrical fires. Electrical panel upgrade can help prevent possible electrical fires

Tips To Find The Best Pediatric

How to Find a Good Pediatrician

Wondering how to find a good pediatrician for baby? First and foremost: Ask around. Good old-fashioned of word of mouth is probably the best way to find a great doctor. No matter what medical school a pediatrician graduated from, it really all boils down to patients’ reports. You can’t go wrong by asking your friends and family for advice in this department—you’ll be sure to get an honest answer and a valued recommendation from someone.

Also try calling up your insurance company to get a list of doctors in your area that accept your plan. Once you’ve got a list of possible candidates, verify that your top choices are members of the American Academy of Pediatrics. That means they’ll be up to date on the latest developments in child health

Before you start making some phone calls and setting up consultations (don’t worry, they’re usually free), check out our Interviewing a Pediatrician Checklist. Some things to consider: What are their hours? Is the waiting room kid-friendly? Do they have any sub-specialties? Do their views on bottlefeeing or vaccinations align with yours? A round of interviews will weed the bad ones from the good, and you should have yourself a good doctor in no time.

And don’t stress too much about it! It’s easy to get worked up about all the details and decision leading up to baby’s arrival, but keep in mind that nothing is irreversible. If it turns out later that the pediatrician you picked isn’t quite working out, you’ll simply find a new one and move on.

Here’s how other Bumpies made the final decision on their own pediatricians: “We wanted a clinic that had more than one doctor, that was affiliated with good hospitals in the area, and that had emergency hours and after-hours lines. We also went with a man because we hope that he will be our pediatrician for our son’s entire childhood.”

 

Shopping for a Pediatrician

Choosing a pediatrician can be daunting. Here are tips to find the right doctor for you and your baby

Experts say it’s a good idea to actively look for a pediatrician who is not only competent but is agreeable to you. After all, this person will be your healthcare soulmate — the one who will patiently answer when your little one has a high fever and won’t stop crying. You’ll need to feel comfortable enough with this doctor to discuss your kid’s ailments, immunizations, thumb sucking, bed-wetting, and developmental changes during puberty.

Check a Pediatrician’s Credentials

The best time to start searching for a pediatrician is in the last few weeks before your expected due date, according to the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP). Families that move or change insurance are encouraged to find a doctor well before the child needs a checkup or becomes sick

Do the Footwork to Find a Pediatrician

During her eighth month of pregnancy, Lilybell Nakamura wanted to find a pediatrician she felt comfortable with, who was accessible for checkups and emergency visits. So the 29-year-old human resources professional made appointments to talk with several doctors.

Assess Your Feelings About a Pediatrician

The bond between the parent and pediatrician is a critical one. A doctor may be well-qualified, but experts say if a parent doesn’t have confidence in the physician, it may affect the welfare of the child

 

How to Choose the Best Pediatrician for Your Child

Parents seem to go to a lot of different extremes when choosing a pediatrician. Some do almost nothing and simply choose the pediatrician on call in the hospital when their baby is born or pick a doctor randomly from a list in the phone book or their insurance directory

The Importance of Choosing a Pediatrician

Choosing the right pediatrician is more important than most parents think. While you can simply change doctors if you don’t like the first pediatrician you see, if your newborn or older child is truly sick, the first doctor you see could be making life-changing decisions about your child. Or they could miss a potentially life-threatening problem.

Pediatrician Recommendations

A common way for parents to choose a pediatrician is to get a recommendation from their friends or family members. This is probably one of the best ways, but when someone tells you that they love going to their pediatrician, be sure to ask why before you blindly follow them to the same office

Choosing a Pediatrician

Although we like to think that things like cost and convenience should be secondary when making such an important decision, they can be very important when choosing a pediatrician. If the pediatrician you would like to see is not on your insurance plan or is an hour away, it may not be very practical to go to her office

Interviewing Pediatricians

Although you can typically narrow down your choice of pediatricians by figuring out who is on your insurance plan and in your area, who is accepting new patients and getting some recommendations from friends and family, the best way to find a good pediatrician is to actually set up an appointment and meet with a few

 

Steps to Picking the Best Pediatrician

Find someone you’re comfortable talking to.

“As a physician and a parent, I think the most important component in choosing a pediatrician, or any physician for that matter, is the level of comfort you have with the physician. One of the most important relationship one will have in life is the physician – patient ( parent) relationship. In today’s ever-expanding digital world, there is still the need for humanism in this relationship.”

Get recommendations.

“I think board certification and education go without saying. More importantly to me I recommend that patients get personal recommendations, so looking for personal experiences online from other parents is very important.”

Focus on the staff.

“As a nurse for 8 years and a dad of two young daughters, I know the frustrations of finding a great pediatrician. My go-to list for finding someone great has always been to first make sure they understand our insurance because nothing is more annoying than having them bill your insurance wrong every time. You are hiring the staff as much as you are hiring the doctor.”

Choose a prevention-focused doctor.

“Does the Pediatrician practice prevention? The old model where you waited until the child was sick to seek medical care no longer applies. You need a Pediatrician who believe that a child doesn’t have to be sick to get better.”

Make sure their philosophy lines up with yours.

Determine if a pediatrician’s tenants of care are in alignment with your own, including philosophy of care, emergency procedures, conveniences and supportive or supplemental treatment options in the case of the primary doctor’s absence.

 

Ways to Find a Good Pediatrician You Can Trust

Your gut instinct feels good

A parent’s instinct should not be ignored, and may even be the best way to make important decisions when it comes to your children. No one knows your child the way that you do, and if you feel good about a decision regarding his care, then trust yourself. Everyone has heard the stories about parents saving their children based on instinct alone, that simple gut feeling that you get when something just isn’t right. So if you’re feeling good about your child’s physician, chances are that you’ve made a good choice. The American Academy of Pediatrics suggests that you consider how you feel during an appointment: rushed and hurried, or as though the doctor is genuinely concerned about your child’s health? Examine the way you feel about the care you received after a visit as well. Do you feel at peace with the decisions made, and like your concerns were considered to be valid? Choosing a doctor for your child and yourself can sometimes feel a bit like any other relationship: it either clicks or it doesn’t. This is not the time to settle. If it doesn’t feel like there’s a connection and understanding about your wishes for your child’s care, it might be time to move on

You feel comfortable enough to tell her your biggest health worries for your child

Every parent worries about their child’s health. It starts as soon as they’re born. Are they eating enough? Pooping enough? Breathing correctly? For first-time parents these fears can feel magnified, as every day with their newborn is uncharted territory. Having a physician who understands this, and can sympathize, is invaluable. You need to find someone that takes each of your concerns seriously, even if you must preface them with, “I know this sounds crazy but…” A parent should never feel like they cannot bring up an issue with a pediatrician for fear of seeming paranoid, over-protective, or annoying. This is a non-negotiable issue that directly affects the health of your child. Your child needs an advocate who isn’t afraid or intimidated to ask every question necessary concerning her health. Find a pediatrician that hears your concerns, validates them, and then puts them to rest

You trust him to tell you the truth

If you know without a doubt that your pediatrician is always truthful with you, even when it isn’t what you want to hear, that is a very good thing. When a child’s health is at stake, there is no room for sugar-coating. This doesn’t mean that he delivers bad news with a harsh tone or attitude, but rather that the information is given in its entirety. Dr. Spitalnick says, “You know you’ve got a good pediatrician when he is willing to admit he doesn’t automatically know the diagnosis to an illness, but he can explain what steps they will take to help you find out. It may take lab work, a call to a sub-specialist, or simple follow up as an illness evolves, but a great pediatrician is willing to admit there is more than one possible reason you are sick, and understand the process needed to narrow down the answer.” You should never leave an appointment wondering if there were other tests that could have or should have been performed to help diagnose your child. Your pediatrician should also offer you any and all information you request about a diagnosis, and be willing to go the extra step to provide other recommendations of resources such as helpful books or websites

She returns your calls

Not every illness requires a visit to the doctor, and sometimes a simple question about medicine or care can be answered with a quick phone call. If your pediatrician understands this and returns your calls promptly, it can make life with little ones at home much easier. Moms and dads that place requests for their child’s doctor to return a call should also be prepared for the possibility that a visit is recommended by front office staff. This should be taken seriously, as they are properly trained to determine when a child needs to be seen and a phone call will not suffice. Having trust in not only the physician you have chosen, but also in the ability of the front office staff to ensure your child receives prompt and considerate care is key. While awaiting a call back from the doctor, have questions to ask a pediatrician ready, so that nothing is forgotten. Dr. Spitalnick says, “You know you’ve got a great pediatrician, when you feel you can reach her when you need her. If you know your pediatrician’s office has access seven days a week then you can expect consistency; as opposed to using urgent care centers for sick visits.” When interviewing physicians, one of the questions to ask a pediatrician is what their call return policy entails.

Must Know How To Find Good Bookkeeping

Tips for Better Small Business Bookkeeping

Are you one of those small business owners who just love poring over spreadsheets? Me neither. Yes, your business’s books are a scorecard of how well you’re doing—but if you’re not a “numbers person,” doing your bookkeeping may sound as appealing as a root canal. Still other business owners mean to go over their business finances but get caught up in the day-to-day and never get around to it. No matter how you feel about bookkeeping, it’s one of those tasks no business owner can avoid forever.

Separate business and personal finances

Co-mingling expenses and income is a common mistake in small business bookkeeping—and one that will cause huge headaches for your business in the future. Open a business bank account as soon as you decide to go through with your startup, and get a separate business credit card. This not only separates your accounts, but also helps your business build its own credit rating.

Automate whatever you can.

Entering data into spreadsheets and reconciling numbers manually is so old school. Use cloud-based bookkeeping software, and do your business banking online. That way, you can sync your bookkeeping software with your business bank account so you always have accurate, up-to-the-minute records. Plus, with the cloud, your critical financial data is backed up safely off-site.

Ask a pro

Talk to your accountant to figure out if you can use off-the-shelf accounting software or if you’d benefit from customizing it. Your accountant should be able to not only offer advice but also set up the software for you and show you how to use it

Perform regular financial checkups.

If you put off bookkeeping too long, you end up with bounced checks, overdue invoices or figures that don’t add up. Go over your books weekly to make sure everything is ship-shape.

 

tips for good bookkeeping

Get into a routine

Set aside some time so you can concentrate on bookkeeping for your business. We suggest you do this either once a week or month. And, if Making Tax Digital affects you, then getting into a routine like this will help you make the transition to digital tax returns easy. By getting into a routine, it will also help you to see your income and expenses each month and monitor invoice payments from clients.

Ensure any paperwork is kept safe

Use the latest apps to scan your receipts and invoices. This will help you make the transition to Making Tax Digital and keep all documents in documents in one place and will make finding them a lot easier! Online accenting software such as GoSimpleBooks will allow you to view your books from anywhere. One of the great benefits of accounting software is that it allows you to view your books on the go meaning you can benefit from secure, remote data storage.

Keep business and personal bank accounts separate

It is absolutely essentials that you keep your private and business accounts separate. If you’re a director of a limited company, then you can’t spend the company’s money for your own purchases, unless they are a business expense. If you’re self-employed, you can take money from your business, but you should still have a separate bank account to help balance the books at the end of the month. Keep track of your finances easily by keeping your business and personal finances separate.

Budget for tax

Dealing with tax and paying the tax can sometimes be difficult for small businesses, therefore it’s vital to start budgeting. It is easier to budget for tax as you go so that you are more prepared for the end of the tax year. You could open a business savings account and put at least 25-30% aside for your tax bill. The process of budgeting and putting away a dedicated sum for taxes will ease the worrying and stress when the self-assessment approaches.

Use online accounting software

Using good, cloud-based software will save you time and money. Online accounting software can allow you to create invoices, track payments, report VAT and manage stock levels. There are many benefits of online accounting software as it allows you to keep track of all your financial information in one place.

 

How to Hire the Right Bookkeeper for Your Small Business

Freelance, firm, and remote bookkeeping

Unless your business has roughly thirty or more employees, or over a million dollars annual revenue, you probably don’t need to hire a full-time, in-house bookkeeper.

Hiring a freelancer

A freelance bookkeeper is the most affordable option if your finances are simple, and you’re okay with your bookkeeper not being available for you every single business day.

Price

On average, freelance bookkeepers charge lower rates than firms do, since they have less overhead. A freelance bookkeeper will charge either an hourly or flat rate.

Process

A local freelance bookkeeper should be able to visit your business in person in order to collect and organize your paperwork. If you have a paperless office with digitized documents, you may find you’re comfortable hiring and working with a freelancer online

Schedule

One drawback of working with a solo freelancer is they may leave you hanging if they go on vacation or get sick unexpectedly. Also, bookkeeping has its busy season. This typically comes at the end of the financial year, when clients’ books need to be “closed” for tax season. Your bookkeeper may not be able to devote as much attention to your business during this time of year as they normally would

 

Questions to Ask Before You Hire a Bookkeeper

What is the scope of the bookkeeping work

This may sound like a simple question, but there is a big variation between the services that bookkeepers offer. Your requirements will also vary depending on your own skills and the scope of the work your accountant completes. Some bookkeepers act as management accountants and can help to interpret the figures and other bookkeeper’s skills are limited to data entry

Are they registered and qualified

You will find that some bookkeepers will have a diploma, accounting degree or may even be Chartered Accountants or CPAs. If your bookkeeper is going to be lodging your BAS in Australia then, at a minimum, your bookkeeper should be a Registered BAS agent. BAS agents are registered with the Tax Practitioners Board.

What is their level of expertise

You want your bookkeeper to process your accounts accurately and on-time and to communicate with you in a way that doesn’t take up much of your time. You don’t want to get to the end of the financial year and have to pay your accountant to clean up a mess. You probably aren’t an expert bookkeeper, so sometimes it can be hard to work out what level of expertise the bookkeeper you are engaging is.

How familiar are they with your industry

If the bookkeeper is unfamiliar with your industry there may be a learning curve while they familiarise themselves. We recommend asking whether they have any other clients in your industry (past or present) and ask them to give a few examples of common bookkeeping issues that come up related to your industry and how they would resolve them.

How do they communicate with their clients

Processing the day to day transactions in your accounting software is one element of bookkeeping. It is likely that you are going to be communicating regularly with your bookkeeper, especially in the first few months of working together. As a business owner, your time is valuable and working with a bookkeeper who takes up hours of your time with ineffective communication will slow down your business growth.

 

APPROACHES TO BOOKKEEPING: TIPS AND TRICKS TO HELP YOU BECOME A PRO

TEACH YOURSELF

Out of necessity, most small business owners start by doing their own books. It’s certainly the most cost-effective method—after all, you can carefully control costs when you’re the one doing the job. DIY bookkeeping is also a way to keep a close eye on costs and expenses. When every cent matters, there’s a certain sense of confidence that comes along with managing your own books.

HIRE A BOOKKEEPER

The easiest way to handle receipts, payroll, and taxes for your business is to hire a bookkeeper. A trained bookkeeper can do all of the essential functions that you no longer have time to handle when your business scales up. Already hired a bookkeeper or accountant? See our easy-to-follow guide on how to add an accountant in QuickBooks Online

AUTOMATE THE PROCESS

There is a more affordable and scalable option than hiring a bookkeeper or teaching yourself: automation. Services like Botkeeper allow small business owners to take a hands-off approach to bookkeeping without sacrificing quality. Using an AI bookkeeper will cost you far less than hiring an employee to do the same tasks. As a bonus, with Botkeeper, you can select a service that comes with a certified CPA backing up and checking the work of the AI

Use Outdoor Electrical Lighting To Make Your Garden More Beautiful At Night

Outdoor Solar Lighting – The Solar Benefits

What is solar lighting?

The principle of how solar lighting works is actually quite simple. The physical explanation behind why it is possible to collect the solar energy and transform it into lighting lies in the photovoltaic effect which is being used in a solar panel or photovoltaic cell that is able to collect the solar energy (i.e. the energy that is produced by the Sun) throughout the day-time.

After being collected, the energy is usually stored in a rechargeable gel cell battery and used later in the evening when there is no sunlight to produce lighting. The light is being turned on by an intelligent controller which is switching on the LED light using the energy that has been stored.

 

 

Advantages of solar lighting

Cost effective

Several benefits of solar lighting make it one of the most popular outdoor lighting systems used in homes today. The major benefits of solar lighting are its cost effectiveness and unique design. It is very suitable for saving energy consumption because it used solar energy to power up its light bulbs. It does not use any electricity . Thus it would greatly help you in reducing your electric bill. The mechanism of this solar lighting system is powered up by rechargeable batteries. Once the sun’s rays hit its solar panels, the batteries are automatically recharged. Since it mainly depends on solar energy, there is no need to install any outdoor outlets or power cords. This would greatly reduce the cost of adding extra lights.

 

Affordable

Trying to reduce that pricy power bill? Outdoor solar lights are extremely cost-efficient since they are operated by rechargeable batteries via the sun and do not require any digging, trenching or wiring whatsoever. In addition, many of Gama Sonic’s new products are crafted using our new patented LED light bulb technology. Using LED bulbs is beneficial for consumers looking to cut back spending since they generally last longer than traditional bulbs and use less energy. Learn more from Energy.Gov about the different types of light bulbs and how they can affect both your energy-output and spending.

Environmentally Friendly

Solar lights are an easy way for you to decrease their carbon footprint. Aside from using converted energy from the sun, solar-powered lights are also eco-friendly due to the materials they are made with. For instance, the new Gama Sonic LED light bulb boasts a 10-year lifespan, meaning you will not have to constantly replace and throw away old and dead light bulbs. In comparison to incandescent light bulbs, LED light bulbs are designed to consume less energy and last longer.

 

Green Alternative

Solar lighting is a green alternative to traditional lighting using no power at all from the grid. Since the systems are completely powered by solar energy, one of the world’s leading renewable energy technologies. The solar feeds batteries during the day and most batteries are completely recyclable, especially the ones used in a solar application. At night, the long lasting LED fixtures operate off the stored power to illuminate the area. The next day, this process repeats with no outside energy source.

Low Cost Installation

Installation can be very low cost, sometimes much lower than trenching grid power to the location the lights are required. Poles still get set just like with standard grid powered light, well maybe with larger footers; however, there is no underground conduit running from the main power source from pole to pole. All wiring is located at the top of the pole or on a nearby pole for some installations, and is also low voltage which makes it much safer for installation and maintenance. Finally, barriers such as root systems, underground utilities, or other obstacles typically causing issues with standard electric trenching are no longer an issue.

 

Little maintenance.

Solar power products have few moveable parts which means that fewer parts exist to break. They last for a long time and require little attention once installed.

Renewable resource. Solar power is a renewable resource. Other energy resources, such as coal and oil, have finite supplies. The power of the sun, on the other hand, will keep on shining, potentially beyond human existence.

  • With solar lighting there is no risk of electrocution and the lights are cool to the touch, making them safe for children and pets.
  • Solar lights continue working even if there has been a power outage. Because the energy isn’t coming off of an electrical grid, power outages make no difference.