Using Outdoor Electrical Lighting

Guide To: Outdoor Lighting

Exterior lighting brings façades and outdoor spaces to life. Whether utilizing fixtures for security, landscape or dramatic effect, exterior lights can transform how you see and understand a building or pathway. While exterior lighting may fall under a landscape architect’s purview, it’s important for every type of architect to understand how outdoor lights can integrate with a building and its larger site. By understanding the play between light and dark, architects can use contrast and shadows to create inspiring and intriguing spaces.

The main starting point when considering exterior lighting is establish the primary design goal: are you hoping to identify key features, add drama to surfaces that don’t normally stand out, or to simply create a clear path and entryway? You can both highlight a building’s architectural features and draw attention to plantings and trees. From task lighting for safety to ambient string lights for the perfect outdoor party, start by identifying the outdoor spaces you want to use and then find solutions for each area. Next, you should understand the basic types of fixtures when making your lighting plan. Finally, you should consider security and maintenance. These steps are reviewed in the following guide and provide a solid foundation for understanding different ways to brighten your design.

Task Lighting: It’s important to start with task lighting for illuminating pathways and entrances. Task lighting is paramount when performing specific tasks. This type of outdoor lighting can be achieved by using pathway lights, deck lighting and outdoor step lights. If your fixture is exposed to the elements, you will want to make sure to get a wet-rated fixture. And always make sure that the light fixture is specifically identified as outdoor lighting.

Ambient Lighting: This lighting provides an area with overall outdoor lighting. A common mistake is using too bright a bulb outside. A bulb that uses a lower wattage or has a lower lumens output is generally adequate in the dark. Usually, these are outdoor wall lights or post lights. Ambient lighting is also known as general lighting, which radiates a comfortable level of brightness without glare and allows you to see and walk safely.

Accent Lighting: Accent lighting adds drama to an outdoor space by creating visual interest. Take time to plan and focus your lighting for particular features: walkways, the doorway, landscaping. You can highlight trees, planting areas and architectural details. This type of lighting is usually provided by spotlights. Here, up lighting can be used to create drama with a taller structure or tree.

Outdoor Lighting Fixtures

Path Lights: This is the most common type of landscape lighting. Path lights are small posts that have a light built in and are capped with a diffuser. They can be used to frame out a space or feature in a yard, or spread out down a walkway. They can be place around a pond, along a driveway or lining a pathway.

Ceiling Lights & Hanging Lights: Ceiling lights and hanging lights are usually selected for damp locations where they’re never directly exposed to rain. Made to be integrated in a surface or as a featured light, they are normally specified as brighter fixtures. You can find hanging lights in a wide range of styles that offer varying levels of brightness.

Wall Lights: The classic front or back porch light, wall lights can be mounted on virtually any vertical surface. One of the most commonly seen outdoor fixtures, wall lights are a durable and attractive. Outdoor wall lights are usually used for decorative purposes, providing ambient or accent lighting rather than focused, bright lighting. These are the ideal choice for patios or porches

Post Lights & Pier Mount Lights: As the name suggests, post lights are fixtures that mount on top of posts. When a more architectural light is needed, post mount lights are designed to install onto a post or on top of a structure. They’re commonly used for entries, gates, fences or around a deck. Because they’re usually placed in open-air settings like driveways and pathways, most post lights are “wet rated,” meaning they are designed to withstand direct exposure to rain and moisture. Pier mount lights look much like post lights, but are designed to be installed on top of columns or walls.

Landscape Lights: Landscape lighting is a low voltage system separate from the wall and ceiling lights. Path, spot and floodlights can be used in combination to created layered lighting. Spotlights can be used for featuring a number of outdoor elements like trees, buildings, sculptural and architectural details. Well lights are recessed into the ground to create a seamless look in both landscape and hardscape setting. The inset profile is minimal and can be used to up light trees, walls or art.

Deck and Step Lights: Deck and step lights are installed directly into a yard’s hardscape or decking. They are used as an accent to architectural details and added safety to dark stairs. They can also be used for washing light down stone walls or lighting up entertainment spaces

DIY Outdoor Lighting Tips for Beginners

No Electrical Experience Necessary

Since most outdoor lighting is low voltage, it’s safe and easy enough for any DIYer to install. In fact, the only special tool you’ll need is a wire stripper. Find out what’s trending in outdoor lighting before embarking on your project.

Install Underground Wiring After Planting

To prevent accidental cutting of wiring for ground-level fixtures, install wiring after your landscape has been planted. That way you won’t accidentally chop through it with a shovel. Also, don’t install wiring in digging areas like garden beds, and be sure to bury low-voltage wire at least 6 in. below the surface.

How It All Fits Together

A low-voltage system has three parts:

The transformer plugs into a nearby GFCI-protected outlet and reduces 120-volt current to 12 volts.

The low-voltage cable carries current between the transformer and the light fixtures.

The light fixtures get connected to the cable with wire connectors made specifically for outdoor use.

Keep Your Fixtures; Upgrade Your Bulbs

For decades, halogen lights reigned supreme in low-voltage outdoor lighting systems, but LEDs have all but replaced them because they cost less to operate and last much longer. But you don’t have to tear out all your old halogen fixtures to enjoy the benefits of LEDs—retrofit bulbs are available. Just be sure to replace each halogen bulb with equivalent wattage and the same base type. Expect to pay about four times more for an LED bulb, but they use less energy and you’ll get up to 20 years of life from one compared with only two or three years from a halogen.

Don’t Overlap Pools of Light

The purpose of most deck lighting is ambience, and professional outdoor lighting designers say it’s best not to create overlapping ‘pools’ of light on decks and patios. So avoid mounting fixtures too close together. For decks, choose fixtures that cast a 4- to 5-ft. pool of light. Keep them 30 in. up off the deck’s floor and space them up to 10 ft. apart. Overlapping lights on deck stairs and walkways can be a good thing, however, by providing enough light to help people avoid tripping.

Everything You Need to Know for Stylish Outdoor Lighting

As day turns to dusk and dusk into night, some carefully placed lighting will provide warm ambience, enough light to eat by, and a measure of safety along dark paths. Much like its indoor relatives, outdoor lighting can be made up of a combination of overhead, wall, and table fixtures. Additionally, lamps that sit on the floor—in the form of lanterns and hurricane lights—can provide a dash of summertime style.

String Lights

These versatile strands of sparkle can do almost anything: define edges and borders; wrap columns, banisters, or even trees; hang suspended over a space like twinkling stars to cast a magical and romantic glow.

Length: The best way to estimate the length you’ll need is to use twine as a stand-in, stretching it from point to point exactly where your lights would go. (Don’t forget to include enough to reach the outlet.) For columns or trees, measure once around and multiply that by how many times you’ll wind your light around. Once you determine the total length, divide that by the length of a single strand for the quantity you’ll need to purchase.

Installation: To attach to walls, beams, columns, and trees, use a staple gun with 3/8-inch galvanized-steel staples (they won’t rust). Start near the power source, and make sure there’s a little slack when you attach the first point (after unplugging, of course). Always keep the strands centered so you don’t staple through the wiring! For larger, more spaced-out bulbs, staple half way between each bulb. For smaller, closer lights, you can get away with stapling every 12-24 inches, depending on the weight of your lights.

Bulbs: Smaller bulbs provide a gentler, more decorative background twinkle, while larger ones can provide a fair amount of direct illumination. Remember that once they’re installed, you can always add other types of lighting for extra brightness. Consider where your lights are going and don’t overwhelm.

Colors: White lights are the most versatile; colorful strands or fun bulb covers can be vibrant options for special occasions—shell-shape ones for a beach house, flamingos for summertime, mini Japanese lanterns for the backyard. Halogen and LED bulbs are brighter and cooler, while incandescent or Edison-type globes are timeless and warm.

Outdoor lighting: A beginner’s guide

Warmer weather is on the way, which means more opportunities to spend time outdoors. So in addition to picking up some new outdoor furniture, it’s also a good time to figure out your outdoor lighting setup. To help you get started, we asked two experts for tips and advice and included a handful of product picks to consider as well.

“I find value in addressing multiple layers of lighting, especially as we spend more time outside in the warmer months,” she says. “From looking at task lighting for safety and illumination for the entrance of your home, to using ambient lanterns, candles, and string lights to make your outdoor space more inviting.”

Drawing up your own plan is especially important if you aren’t working with a professional. “This will help you put together your budget as well as prevent you from ordering too many lights or not getting the right lights for different areas,”

Start with task lighting

Once you’ve figured out your goals for outdoor lighting, task lighting should take priority. “For task lighting, it is important to illuminate pathways and entrances,”

“If your fixture is exposed to the elements, you will want to make sure to get a wet-rated fixture,” she says. “In many instances, a damp-rated light will work with a fully covered porch.”

OUTDOOR LIGHTING GUIDE

DON’T JUST DREAM ABOUT A PERFECT OUTDOOR SPACE

There are so many places you can add style and so many ways it can make your home safer and more functional at night. Illuminate all those important locations with ease: entryways, driveways, pathways, decks, dining areas and more. With more light comes more reasons to head outside, extending the function of your outdoor spaces well after dark.

Benefits of Outdoor Lighting

Today’s outdoor spaces are extensions of our homes with kitchen equipment, dining spaces, lounging areas and more. Here are a few of our favorite lighting tips to help you enjoy these spaces -day into night.

Elevated Aesthetic

Outdoor lighting enhances the natural beauty and energy of your home. It highlights charming features, illuminates pathways and creates an alluring ambiance. As you think about outdoor lighting, consider all of the features worthy of attention. Do you have a beautiful tree in your backyard? Spotlight it. Are there attractive architectural details on your patio? Call attention to them with outdoor accent lights. Did you work hard on a gorgeous garden? Lead the way with path lights.

Increased Safety and Security

Safety is always a priority. When you’re home, evenings are prime time for outdoor entertainment so key pathways need to be well-lit. When you’re not home, outdoor lighting can help protect it.

Safety

At night, the right outdoor lights allow you and others to move around safely in the dark. Outdoor post-mounted lanterns are perfect for driveways and stair railings. Outdoor wall lights help you identify doorways and exits and brighten entrances. Step lights and path lights illuminate stairs and walkways, while address lights make it easy for people to find your home.

Security

Outdoor lighting triggered by timers helps protect your home against intruders. They look great, too. Our outdoor wall lights are elegantly designed to enhance security without sacrificing style.

Home Inspection When Buying A Home

All About Home Inspections

Before buying a house, you’ll want to conduct a property inspection. Read on to learn more about your options when it comes to home inspections

Thinking about buying a house? That’s a big and exciting decision. Before making such a major financial commitment, you’ll want to check out this prospective property from top to bottom. A home inspection can identify all kinds of issues–from tiny details like drywall cracks, to major problems like water in the basement.

A home inspection can also help a prospective buyer create a wish list of upgrades. All of this information feeds back to the negotiation process, giving buyers and sellers key details that affect the property’s value. Some mortgage lenders require a building inspection, to get an accurate assessment of the investment they’re funding. But it’s smart for any prospective homebuyer to go through an inspection process. There are several options for having a house inspected.

Hire a Licensed Building Inspector

First-time homebuyers and buyers who don’t have a basic knowledge of all the systems that make up a house are good candidates for the services of a licensed home inspector. You’ll pay for this service (prices start around $300), but you’ll get a report full of details on all systems, including the home’s structure, insulation, roofing, HVAC components, windows, doors, etc. Some building inspectors include a radon test.

Get Inspections from Specialist Contractors

Houses can have a wide range of problems, and many of these demand the expertise of specialty contractors. For example, if you conduct a radon test on a house you’d like to buy and get a result above 4 pCi/L (4 picocuries per litre of air), you’ll want to call in a radon mitigation specialist to inspect your home and develop a bid for a radon abatement system.

Home Inspection

Home Inspections involve a visual inspection to assist home buyers/sellers by providing information related to the condition of a home prior to sale. Home Inspectors must be knowledgeable with all aspects of residential building systems and their operation. They must be able to recognize and report on conditions and/or the potential for failure.

The systems and components of a house include roofing, structure, electrical, heating, air conditioning/heat pumps, plumbing, exterior, insulation and the interior. The ten subjects in this certificate course have been organized to address each of these, as well as to provide students the communications skill and knowledge of professional practice required to be successful in this growing industry. Successful completion of this program fulfills the OAHI Baseline Academic Requirements including

Residential HVAC Inspection

Residential Electrical Inspection

Introduction to Home Inspection – Practical

Students wishing to use these Program Courses towards their Registered Home Inspection designation (RHI) must achieve a minimum grade of 70% or better.

Program outcomes

Describe the types and the materials involved.

Recognize the typical defects and their implications for system performance, including safety concerns for the occupant and the inspector.

Describe the features of adequate installation and repair technique as applicable.

Use proper terminology.

Perform inspections in a manner that is consistent with the North American Standards of Practice of the home inspection profession.

Admission procedures

Submit a completed Conestoga College Program Application Form.

Attach proof of Admission Requirements.

Final selection is made following an assessment of the admission requirements.

Home Inspection Terms

A/C: An abbreviation for air conditioner or air conditioning.

A/C Circuit: Alternating Current. The flow of current through a conductor first in one direction, then in reverse. It is used exclusively in residential and commercial wiring because it provides greater flexibility in voltage selection and simplicity of equipment design.

A/C Condenser: The outside fan unit of the air conditioning system. It removes the heat from the Freon gas and turns the gas back into a liquid and pumps the liquid back to the coil in the furnace.

A/C Disconnect: The main electrical ON-OFF switch near the A/C condenser.

ABS: (Acrylonitrile butadiene styrene) Rigid black plastic pipe used only for drain lines.

Absolute Humidity: Amount of moisture in the air, indicated in grains per cubic foot

Accelerator: Any material added to stucco, plaster or mortar which speeds up the natural set.

Access Panel: An opening in the wall or ceiling near the fixture that allows access for servicing the plumbing/electrical system.

Accessible: Can be approached or entered by the inspector safely, without difficulty, fear or danger.

Acre: 43,560 square feet.

Acrylic: A glassy thermoplastic material that is vacuum-formed to cast and mold shapes that form the surface of fiberglass bathtubs, whirlpools, shower bases, and shower stalls.

Activate: To turn on, supply power, or enable systems, equipment, or devices to become active by normal operating controls. Examples include turning on the gas or water supply valves to the fixtures and appliances and activating electrical breakers or fuses.

Actual Dimension (Lumber): The exact measurement of lumber after it has been cut, dried and milled.

Adaptor: A fitting that unites different types of pipe together, e.g. ABS to cast iron pipe.

Adhesion: The property of a coating or sealant to bond to the surface to which it is applied.

Adhesive Failure: Loss of bond of a coating or sealant from the surface to which it is applied.

Adversely Affect: Constitute, or potentially constitute, a negative or destructive impact.

Aerator: An apparatus that mixes air into flowing water. It is screwed onto the end of a faucet spout to help reduce splashing.

Aggregate: Crushed stone, slag or water-worn gravel that comes in a wide range of sizes which is used to surface built-up roofs

RESIDENTIAL INSPECTOR

GENERAL HOME INSPECTIONS

THOROUGH HOME INSPECTION SERVICES

performs inspections during the resale of a home or upon completion of a newly constructed home, just prior to the walk-through with the builder. Our home inspectors, armed with the most advanced equipment, complete a thorough structural and mechanical analysis of each home

EXTERIOR

Siding, trim, exterior doors, windows, gutters, downspouts, deck, landings, sidewalks, driveway, chimney, crawl space, foundation, and roof

INTERIOR

Interior doors, floors, walls, ceilings, windows, kitchen appliances, attic, attic ventilation, attic insulation, basement structure, all non-cosmetic items, and foundation

PLUMBING

Hot water heater, piping, venting, toilets, tubs, showers, and sinks

ELECTRICAL

Main service cable, service rating, main panel box, main disconnect, all visible wiring, wall outlets, GFCIs, light fixtures, and switches

HVAC

Heating unit, cooling unit, supply and return ducts, room registers, and returns

ONLINE REPORTS

Detailed review of each area of concern same day as inspection

NEW CONSTRUCTION & 1-YEAR WARRANTY INSPECTIONS

DO I NEED A NEW CONSTRUCTION INSPECTION?

Many people believe that a new home means there is nothing mechanically or structurally wrong with it. They feel that the county inspections and/or the walk through with the builder are adequate substitutions for completing a private inspection. County inspectors may not spend the necessary time in your home to find all the issues

Catching problems early on can save thousands of dollars in repairs later. If there are code violations, the builder may be required to fix the items for you. Any code violations or problems that exist in your home may pose a problem when you decide to sell if they are not found and corrected sooner.

PRE-DRYWALL INSPECTION

Pre-drywall inspections are conducted right before the drywall is installed in the home. It is a structural analysis that evaluates all load bearing and framing components, ensuring these items were properly installed. The inspection certifies that the home is structurally sound and compliant with building code standards. A pre-drywall inspection also includes an examination of the electrical, plumbing, and HVAC rough-ins for code compliance.

1-YEAR WARRANTY INSPECTION

A newly constructed home typically includes a 1-year warranty in which the builder will correct any problems encountered in the first year of ownership of the new home. It is wise to have an inspection conducted shortly before the 1-year warranty expires. The best time to schedule this inspection is at the 11-month mark so there is plenty of time to notify the builder of any items that need to be repaired or replaced

Emotional Investment In An Accountant Practice

Choosing the Best Accountant For Your Business

When starting your company, the last thing you want to do is spend unnecessary money. Thanks to money constraints, many freelancers and startup owners often view accountants as an expensive luxury, believing instead that they themselves have the knowledge to fill out and file the necessary paperwork.

However, not hiring an accountant can often be an expensive mistake.

A good accountant offers much more than filling out and filing forms; they can provide expert advice and information, help you to grow your business, prevent your from running afoul of the IRS, and save you thousands of dollars in taxes.

The benefits of hiring a small business accountant:

An accountant can bring a range of benefits to any startup. There are the obvious ones such as navigating the mountains of paperwork and cutting through the red tape new businesses are faced with, but this isn’t all. A good accountant should do more than just balance the books.

Here are a few of the benefits you and your business will reap:

1. You will save time

You’re not an accountant. As a business owner, your time is your money. Hiring an accountant buys you time to focus on your business. A useful rule of thumb is to compare your hourly rate to the cost of an accountant. If you charge $100 per hour, and your accountant charges a flat fee of $100 per month, that is $100 well spent because it’s unlikely that you can complete your monthly accounting chores in a single hour.

When you are an employee, it’s easy to remember the tax deadline—there is only one, April 15th. If you’re a freelancer, you have to file taxes quarterly: the 15th of April, June, September, and January of the previous tax year.

That’s a lot of deadlines to keep track of, on top of your client deadlines. If you don’t keep track of those dates, the IRS will charge you fines and penalties.

Can you afford all of that time and the penalties and fines if you miss a deadline? If the answer is no, an accountant is a legitimate business expense.

2. You’ll have access to a valuable source of information

The American tax code is not set up to benefit individuals; it’s set up to benefit businesses because businesses are job creators. The tax code is also quite complicated. So while you have created a business entity, you will not reap the tax benefits unless you understand the tax code.

The tax code also changes often so even if you understand something now, in a year, the code may be different. Your accountant knows the tax code and stays up-to-date on changes to it and will ensure that you are getting the maximum benefits.

3. You’ll gain a trusted advisor

It’s difficult enough keeping track of personal expenses. Throw a business into the mix, and it gets even harder.

Your accountant can help you monitor your expenses and help you keep personal and business expenses separate. The IRS does not look kindly on business owners who mix the two. Doing so may trigger an audit, and the burden of proof is on you to show the questionable expenses were indeed business related.

4. You’ll have help growing your business

Growing the business is the priority for all business owners. Your business is your baby, and that can affect your objectivity. Your accountant will take a dispassionate view of your business and can give you objective advice on the best ways to grow it.

If you’re at the point where hiring employees makes sense, your accountant can also walk you through the process.

Where can you find a good accountant?

A good accountant is hard to find if you don’t know where to look. Before exploring outside resources, use your own connections. Ask your colleagues or other business owners for referrals. Make sure you do your due diligence when investigating anyone you are seriously considering hiring.

  • If you want to do a background check on the CPA firm or CPA you’re interested in, check your state’s CPA society on The American Institute of Certified Public Accountants.  The nonprofit organization creates and grades the exams CPA candidates take to be certified. All of the CPAs listed there have been vetted and state-certified.
  • Look for an accountant who is a fiduciary. Accountants who follow a fiduciary standard are required to put the client’s best interests above their own.
  • The National Association of Personal Financial Advisors is also a good place to find trained financial advisors who are dedicated to meeting their clients’ needs.

The basics: the fundamental services they should offer

An accountancy practice should provide a variety of services to you and your business. You may not necessarily need them all straight away (i.e. payroll), but it’s useful to know that they have the capacity to handle your growing needs over time.

Accounting, book keeping, tax returns, payroll

These services ensure you can monitor expenses and make sure you are obeying all HMRC tax requirements (known as “compliance”) and that you know where you stand each month. An accountant can help you get set up on accounting software and bookkeeping systems, saving you time, money and hassle when it comes to producing financial statements and tax returns. They’ll also be able to advise you on any tax relief.

Tax advisory

Tax is always going to be an inevitable outgoing, but if you run a small business, there are plenty of ways that you can save some money on your tax bill legally. An accountant can help you plan effectively to make the most of tax relief schemes and reduce your overall tax burden, while still ensuring you are in line with all tax laws.

Audits

Auditing is the process of reviewing a business in-depth in its entirety, and is usually reserved for more established or larger businesses. This is unlikely to be needed during the early stages, so is not covered in-depth in this guide – however again, depending on what your business aspirations are, it’s good to know that an accountant has the capacity and skill-set to cope if needed.

How to Choose an Accountant for Your Business

Businesses look to be facing very precarious times for at least the next year. The pandemic of 2020 has brought with it serious financial uncertainty and a global recession that it will no doubt take a while to recover from.

Arguably, it is more important now than it has ever been for businesses to ensure that their finances are in order.

An accountant can help take the pressure off these processes for business owners and entrepreneurs.

Some people opt to do it themselves, but as a business grows, it might not be the best use of time and resources; business owners might find their time is better spent on their areas of specific

Here are five simple factors that you can use to select the right accountant for your small business.

1. Look for Qualifications

You can benefit greatly by having an accountant with significant business, tax and accounting knowledge to advise you on ongoing business matters.

In most cases, choosing a qualified accountant with a strong financial background, qualifications, such as an account with a CPA (Chartered Professional Accountant) designation, and experience would be an ideal option for a small business owner looking to grow and succeed.

2. Find Someone You Like

It won’t matter how experienced or skilled a particular accountant is if you don’t immediately feel comfortable with him/her as a person. If you don’t like the accountant on a personal level the relationship will ultimately not be successful.

Before you make a decision to engage a new accountant, make sure you can see yourself working with this individual for many years to come. Changing accountants can be difficult and will result in an unnecessary distraction from your ongoing business activities.

3. Make Sure You’re a Priority

Don’t be shy to ask if your potential accountant has a sufficient amount of time for you. Having your accountant react to your queries in a reasonable amount of time will only be beneficial for your business.

4. Consider It an Investment

We all love to make the most of our budget. However, be very careful about choosing your accountant based on price. The money you spend on good accounting and tax advice is an investment in your business and future success.

5. Don’t Be Afraid to Be Selective

Sometimes, even with proper planning and due diligence, you may choose someone that is simply not a good fit. While it can be uncomfortable to have this discussing with your accountant, the long-term benefits of having the right team for your business is worth the short-term discomfort of having to part ways with an employee.

Pediatric Physical Therapists

What is a Pediatric Cardiologist?

If your pediatrician has a question about your child’s heart, he or she may refer your child to a pediatric cardiologist. Pediatric cardiologists specialize in diagnosing and treating heart problems in children. In those children who might need heart surgery, pediatric cardiologists work closely with pediatric heart surgeons to determine the best treatments and interventions.

A number of heart conditions can affect children. Some are structural differences they are born with. Others involve the electrical system that controls the heartbeat. Pediatric cardiologists are specially trained to diagnose and manage these problems. If you have a concern about your child’s heart, please discuss with your pediatrician whether referral to a pediatric cardiologist is needed.

What kind of training do pediatric cardiologists have?

Pediatric cardiologists are medical doctors who have completed

  • At least four years of medical school
  • Three years of pediatric residency
  • Three or more years of fellowship training in pediatric cardiology

Some pediatric cardiologists spend the last 1 to 2 years of fellowship focusing on special skills to diagnose and treat heart problems in children. Common focus areas include

  • Advanced imaging methods such as MRI, CT, and ultrasound
  • Heart catheterization procedures and interventions
  • The heart’s electrical system (Electrophysiology or “EP”)
  • Heart failure and heart transplant
  • Care of children in the cardiac ICU
  • Adults with heart differences they were born with (Adult Congenital Heart Disease or “ACHD”)

A pediatric cardiologist typically:

  • Evaluates a patient’s medical history and educates the child and family about heart health and heart disease prevention
  • Performs a physical exam including evaluation of blood pressure and vital signs, weight, and the health of the heart, lungs, and blood vessels
  • Orders and interprets laboratory and imaging tests and prescribes medications
  • Diagnoses and treats acute and chronic diseases and conditions that affect the heart and blood vessels, including arrhythmias and congenital heart disease
  • Screens, treats and monitors conditions known to increase the risk of adult heart disease in children, such as hypertension, smoking, obesity, and high cholesterol. For some complex risks, such as having diabetes, a pediatric cardiologist will provide referrals to other specialists such as a pediatric endocrinologist.
  • Performs procedures, such as EKG, echocardiogram, and cardiac catheterization
  • Works closely with your child’s primary care doctor and other specialists to provide optimal care

Nature of the work

Paediatric cardiology is concerned with diseases of the heart in the growing and developing individual. As well as expertise in heart disease, paediatric cardiologists also need a thorough grounding in general paediatrics, in order to provide all-round patient care.

Paediatric cardiologists broadly treat congenital heart disease (present at birth), arrhythmias (variations in heartbeat rhythm) and disturbances of circulatory function.

The initial assessment performed by the paediatric cardiologist might start with a physical examination using a stethoscope, after which more detailed investigations may be suggested.

Patients often present with complex diagnostic and medical problems and after the initial assessment the paediatric cardiologist then chooses an optimal management plan. They work closely with a wide range of specialists as part of a multidisciplinary team to assess and treat patients.

Paediatric cardiologists play a vital role in the teaching of medical students, doctors. GPs, nurses and paramedical staff. Most are also involved in research.

Who should see a pediatric cardiologist?

Your pediatrician or family doctor can often monitor your child’s general heart health, but will refer your child to a pediatric cardiologist for diagnosed or suspected heart or blood vessel problems, such as a heart murmur. In some cases, an obstetrician-gynecologist will refer a pregnant woman to a pediatric cardiologist to diagnose a possible heart problem or birth defect in the fetus.

Seeing an experienced pediatric cardiologist for early treatment or preventive care before serious complications occur is the best way to ensure optimal heart health for your child and reduce the risk of permanent heart or organ damage, disability, and other life-threatening problems.

When should you see a pediatric cardiologist?

You should seek care for your child from a pediatric cardiologist under the following situations:

  • Your child has serious risk factors for adult heart disease including obesity, high blood pressure, diabetes, and high cholesterol.
  • Your child has unusual changes in an EKG test.
  • Your child has a form of heart disease that requires ongoing monitoring and specialized care including arrhythmia and heart valve disorders.
  • Your child needs specialized heart procedures including cardiac catheterization or echocardiogram.
  • You are pregnant and your doctor finds or suspects that your baby has a heart problem.
  • Your child has undergone surgery for a congenital heart disease and requires ongoing management through adulthood.
  • Your child has a congenital heart disease that requires ongoing medical management through adulthood, such as complex arrhythmias that require a pacemaker or implantable defibrillator.

Practical Ideas For Move In Cleaning To Make A Property Clean And Tidy

End of Tenancy Cleaning: A Complete Guide

When it comes to end of tenancy cleaning, I’m sure you’ve heard enough about guaranteed deposit return and inventory check out. If you’re looking for some guidance on what it’s all about, and if you even need to do it, then you’ll love this infographic.

What is it?

End of tenancy cleaning refers to the specialist deep cleaning of your rented flat or house before the new tenants move in. It’s also called move out cleaning, tenancy cleaning and just deep cleaning.

Do I need it?

Essentially whether or not you will need to carry out end of tenancy cleaning will depend largely on your tenancy agreement. Most modern tenancy agreements state that you need to have your rented flat or house professionally cleaned before you move you. (Your agent or landlord will be able to help you with this if you are unsure)

What’s included?

Just getting a cleaning company to carry out a clean won’t cut it. It needs to be a professional deep clean that adheres to the inventory clerks strict cleaning checklists. Even if you haven’t got an inventory check in the landlord or agent may have their own cleaning lists.

How much does it cost?

We get asked this question a lot. It really varies depending on the size of the property and if you need carpets cleaning. Lots of companies offer cheap cleaning and you may end up paying more in the long run if it’s not done right first time around

Move-In/Move Out & Turnover Cleaning

Packing, moving, getting the utilities transferred, renovations, etc. The list can go on and on when you are moving. Cleaning is usually the last thing on anyone’s mind, whether you’re the homeowner, landlord, or tenant. However, when your home is cleaned before you settle in or after you leave, it makes the transition smoother

How Much Does Apartment & Move Out Cleaning Cost?

Apartment Cleaning Prices

The average cost for a small 1-bedroom, 1-bathroom apartment cleaning is $75 for standard cleaning and $110 for a move out clean. For a large 3-bedroom, 2-bathroom apartment cleaning, prices start at $135 for standard cleaning, and go up to $180 or more for a deep or move out clean. The average hourly rates for apartment cleaning are $50 per hour for routine cleaning with a typical range of $25 to $70 per hour.

Apartment Cleaning Prices List

Apartment cleaning prices also change based on one-time cleans like a vacant apartment or move-out cleaning. The two most intensive areas for cleaning in an apartment are the kitchen and bathrooms, and the time and effort to clean a bathroom is significantly more than it is to clean a bedroom or a living room, and you’ll see that reflected in our apartment cleaning pricing list.

Cleaning Service Add-Ons

Look for a cleaning service’s a-la-carte list of services to see what you can add to a regular clean. Expect to pay:

Indoor pets – $5

Doing the laundry – $10 to $50

Window cleaning – $50

Cleaning the insides of the windows – $10

Cleaning the fridge – $12

Cleaning the interior of the oven – $15

Cabinet organization – $50

partment Cleaning Rates Per Hour

In general, average hourly rates for apartment cleaning services are $30 to $50 per worker per hour, with many jobs totaling between $90 and $195. Prices depend on the number of rooms and bathrooms, and the extent of the cleaning needed. Some cleaning companies advertising a specific dollar amount for the first three hours and then a different rate for each subsequent hour.

Apartment Cleaning Cost Per Square Foot

Most cleaning services will not quote you based on the square footage of your apartment because the number of bathrooms in your apartment impacts your cleaning cost the most.

Cost of an Apartment Standard Clean

The national average cost of a standard apartment cleaning is between $75 to $110 depending on the size of the apartment, the extent of cleanup, and how often. A standard clean is a perfect choice if you have been keeping your apartment pretty clean already and most cleaning services offer a discount for recurring jobs.

End of Tenancy, How Clean is Clean?

So, you’re ready to move on from the property you’re renting and there’s a lot to tick off the list before you leave. One of the key things you’ll need to sort out is cleaning your rental. To help you, here’s a guide to getting your place ready to handover to your Landlord or their agent.

Why take the time to clean the property?

There are a couple of reasons why it’s worth spending time on cleaning the place you’ve been renting:

Avoid disputes

The cleanliness of the property is one of the largest reasons behind tenancy disputes. According to the Tenancy Deposit Scheme (TDS), over half of the disputes it adjudicates concern cleaning. By ensuring the property is as clean as it was when you first moved in, you’re more likely to get all of your deposit back.

Get good references

You may need your landlord to provide references for when you move into your next property. If you’ve not cleaned it to an adequate standard before you move out, your Landlord may well include this information in their reference to your new Landlord.

What will your landlord or letting agent be looking for?

The expected level of cleanliness is generally open to interpretation. What could be considered spotless by one party may be very different to someone else’s opinion. This is possibly why so many disputes adjudicated by the TDS are about cleanliness levels.

Therefore, whether you opt to hire a professional cleaner to do the job or decide to do it yourself, it’s important to make sure you have your inventory with you so you can see what things looked like before your tenancy began. By keeping your inventory with you as you clean each room, you’ll be able to focus your attention on cleaning the skirting boards rather than trying to fix the scuff on the wall that was there when you moved in.

How clean does your rental property need to be when you move out?

The 26-year-old spent more than $350 getting the house professionally cleaned by a contractor recommended by the agent, and another $160 to steam clean the carpets. But after he dropped the keys back, he got an email from the agent, pointing out marks on the wall.

It ended up costing him another $250, and it left a sour taste in his mouth. “Everyone I talk to has the same experience. You move in with 20 rats and a family of cockroaches, there’s marks on the wall and the lights don’t work,” he says.

“On the way out, they look through every room and check the skirting boards. “It does feel very opportunistic and you’re in this terrible hostage situation with your bond.”

How clean you need to leave your rental property

The rules around rentals are different in each state, but they tend to be largely similar when it comes to cleaning standards.

“Landlords often get very heated when a property isn’t left in a pristine condition, but that’s simply not the test,” he says. What tenants do need to do is leave the property in a “reasonably clean” condition

How To Get Rid Of Raccoon In Your House

Wildlife Trapping

If wildlife deterrents have not resolved your issues, property owners can trap wildlife using a humane trap or can hire a wildlife agent to remove the animal.

The Province has regulations in place for the removal of wildlife. The property owner or wildlife agent must:

abide by all municipal bylaws and other applicable laws

not harass or capture more wildlife than is necessary to protect your property

deal humanely with wildlife that is captured or harassed

restrict activity to your property

not destroy the den of a furbearing mammal without approval from MNRF (Requirement for approval does not apply to fox or skunk dens)

release captured live wildlife within 24 hours

release captured live wildlife within 1 kilometre of where they were captured

release wildlife on private property only with the landowner’s permission

Nuisance Wildlife Control and Removal

There are more than 100 permitted Nuisance Wildlife Control Operators located across the state. Contact the Nuisance Wildlife Control Operator closest to you for assistance with nuisance wildlife.

Make sure there is no food for wildlife available around your home.

Never feed wild animals.

Don’t leave pet food out at night.

Secure trash can lids and compost heaps.

Don’t leave domestic animals that may be potential prey loose or in shoddy or weak shelters

Eliminate areas that can possibly be used by wildlife as shelter.

Seal any holes that may give wildlife access to your attic or the interior of your home. Some species of bats can fit through holes the size of a dime. Keeping your home well-maintained is imperative for keeping nuisance animals out.

Install skirting under mobile homes to prevent animals from going underneath. Use chicken wire or lattice used under raised houses.

Keep grass mowed to eliminate cover for wildlife.

Eliminate piles of wood or debris that can be used as shelter.

Live trap the animal and release it.

Administrative Code Title 76 outlines the rules for live trapping and releasing wildlife without a permit.

It can be dangerous to handle trapped animals. It is often easier to get an animal into a trap than to get one out. Wear heavy leather gloves and use extreme caution when releasing animals. Always stand behind the trap and point the open end toward a clear area when releasing the animal.

Should you get bitten, don’t release the animal if it hasn’t already been released. Contact the state public health veterinarian for instructions on having the animal tested for rabies and contact your doctor. If you have already released the animal and can’t immediately recapture it, still contact the state public health veterinarian and your doctor. Animals that appear healthy may be sick. Certain mammals including bats and skunks may be infected with rabies and can transmit it to humans. Rabies is fatal to humans if not treated before symptoms develop.

Release trapped animals at least five miles from where they were trapped to prevent their return.

Avoid trapping in the spring and early summer, which are breeding seasons for most wildlife. Removing adult animals may result in orphaning young animals. If orphaned young are in an attic or under a house, they could die, which could cause additional issues as they decay.

does not loan or rent traps. Traps are available from some parish animal control offices. You can also purchase traps at hardware stores and lawn and garden centers.

The dark side of homeownership: Trapping raccoons

Being a homeowner was supposed to be about taking the mortgage interest tax deduction and painting my kitchen carrot-orange. It wasn’t supposed to be about trapping live animals in my backyard. But now, I’ve done the deduction, painting and trapping, too.

It all started with the unofficial litter box, which I later learned is called a latrine. Day after day, when I went out into my backyard, I found a wet stinking mess of animal droppings in a gravel-covered area planted with cacti. One or more animals, species unknown, had claimed the area as a communal toilet.

The problem had to be dealt with

At first, I hoped the animals would go way, but after a week, I realized the problem was serious and had to be dealt with unless I wanted to spend 30 minutes every morning cleaning up animal waste.

Questions

In desperation, I did more research and found out that I could hire an animal trapping service. I’d never heard of such companies and knew of no one who’d used one. Before I called, I prepared a list of questions:

What are my options to get rid of these animals?

Where is your company located?

Would you come out yourself or send an employee or subcontractor?

How long have you, or the person who would come out, been trapping animals in this area?

What’s your background for this type of work?

Do you have a state license?

How much notice do you need to come out? Same-day? Next day? A week?

What does the service include? What should I expect?

How much will it cost?

Finding a trapper was difficult

The first person I spoke with seemed competent, but wasn’t state-licensed. The second person told me the company’s trappers were licensed and removal of the animals would cost $160 to set up two traps, plus $80 to remove each animal caught. The traps would stay two weeks. There was no guarantee, but they usually caught something. This person was so pushy I had to assume he was being paid a bonus for every appointment he made.

Living with Wildlife

Raccoons

Raccoons have adapted well to residential life because they are primarily nighttime feeders. They find lots of places to hide during the day, and foods they thrive on are often readily available.

Here are some tips to keep them off your property:

Don’t leave pet food outside. Feed your pet indoors or pick up the dish after they finish.

Fasten garbage can lids with a rubber strap. Don’t place meat products or other attractive foods in uncovered compost piles.

Keep surplus bird food cleaned up around feeders. Place bird feeders out of reach of raccoons.

Close openings to animal cages and pens.

Close garage, storage buildings, basement, and attic doors and windows, especially at night.

Close off all vents or open spaces under buildings with metal, hardware wire or boards, but be careful not to seal animals inside. If an animal is present, close off all of the area except for one small 12 inch by 12 inch opening. Wait until after dark, and then close it off. If the animal is still inside, repeat the process. If raccoons or skunks are using the site, be sure not to lock the young inside. Raccoons and skunks leave their young in the nest for 3-7 weeks. You should wait until they are old enough to travel with the parents.

Prevent raccoon access to chimneys by securely fastening a commercial cap of sheet metal and heavy screen over top of the chimney. Consider fire safety first.

Prune all large overhanging tree limbs that animals may use to gain access to building roof or upper floor windows and vents. If trees cannot be pruned, tack a metal band, 16-24 inches wide, around the tree trunk below first limbs but 4-8 feet above the ground.

A TIDY GUIDE TO CLEANING RACCOON LATRINES

Think raiding your trash can on garbage day is the worst thing raccoons can do on your property? Then you’ve never been the proud owner of raccoon latrines. Raccoon latrines are what they sound like: areas where trash pandas go to do their business, and sadly, they don’t care about proper zoning.

Raccoon latrines are often found on flat, raised areas such as roofs, decks or even inside your attic (ugh). More than just disgusting, raccoon latrines are highly dangerous due to the presence of roundworms within raccoon feces. A single roundworm can lay 100,000 eggs a day and they live within soil for several years, proving a constant danger to your family and local wildlife. Though rare, a human who gets infected with them can face serious health hazards including eye, spine, and brain damage, as well as death.

PROTECTING YOURSELF WHILE CLEANING RACCOON LATRINES

Because of the dangers posed by roundworm infection, you have to take serious safety precautions before you start cleaning raccoon latrines. In addition to N95 quality face masks, you should wear disposable clogs and boot covers that you need to keep far away from the inside of your house to prevent eggs spreading.

When you finish cleaning the raccoon latrines, make sure to clean your clothes thoroughly and DO NOT blow raccoon latrines away with a leaf blower, otherwise the worm infestation will spread further. Once the area is clean, make sure to call a wildlife removal company quickly, before the local raccoons can turn your manicured lawn into a bus terminal bathroom all over again.

HOW TO CLEAN RACCOON LATRINES

First off, you should lightly spray the area with water to keep dust from carrying roundworm eggs throughout your yard. From there, use a shovel to gently transfer the droppings into a hefty garbage bag and double bag it when it’s full.

Are You Overloading Your Truck Tires

Trailer Tires vs. Light Truck Tires

Choosing the best tires for your trailer, 5th wheel, or recreational vehicle should be carefully done. You have to carefully make your choice and study all your options, so your ultimate choice will be one, which is perfectly suitable not only for your rig but also for the normal conditions and situations that it is constantly exposed to.

In this case, two of your options are the trailer tire and the light truck tires. Find out which between the two can handle your needs the most by having a comparison of trailer tires vs. light truck tires. By comparing the two, you will get a clearer idea about which one can provide you with the highest level of satisfaction.

Trailer Tires Definition

If you are thinking of getting a trailer tire then note that it actually refers to that, which is designed in such a way that it can handle trailer-position axles only. It is not designed for use on steering or drive axles. In most cases, you can see these tires being developed with bigger polyester cords than the others.

It also features stiffer sidewalls as a means of boosting its strength while improving its ability to handle the stress often linked to high-load capacities. In comparison to the standard passenger tires often utilized in tow vehicles that are mainly created to offer more traction, the trailer tire is created with durability in mind.

This is a major help in allowing it to handle the wear and tear often associated with extended towing. Also, take note that the trailer tire often features strengthened sidewalls that are used in preventing the tire from rolling beneath the rims in case of turns and during the time when it is cornering.

Furthermore, all trailer tires often boast of a max 65 mph speed rating. They also make use of materials that can handle the high demands and load requirements that can often be expected from a towing trailer.

Light Truck Tires Definition

A light truck tire, on the other hand, is designed in such a way that it is stronger when compared to passenger car tires. However, when you compare it to its trailer tire counterparts, you will instantly notice that it is less durable and more flexible, making it prone to blowouts and swaying.

It should be noted that one common definition of a light truck tire is any size or line of a tire, which is typically applicable to a light truck – ex. van, SUV, and pickup. However, you can also see it being used in recreational vehicles sometimes. It is not generally used on utility trailers, though.

It is mainly because as a kind of passenger tire, it does not have a thicker sidewall just like what is provided in a trailer tire. It should be noted that a thick sidewall is often essential in ensuring that the tire will be able to handle a higher amount of vertical load. Still, many consider light truck tires beneficial.

One major benefit that people enjoy about this tire is that it comes with a high-speed restriction. In fact, it can go over 65 mph, which is higher than what the trailer tire can usually offer.

For you to distinguish the two, though, consider checking out the letters preceding the number set found on their sidewall. You will know that a tire is a special trailer tire if it starts with the letters ST. Light trucks tires, on the other hand, start with the letters LT.

Speed Ratings

More often than not, the trailer tire has a max speed rating of 65 mph. Note that traveling at a speed, which is higher than what’s rated will cause the tire to fail. It causes the buildup of heat, which will eventually lead to tire failure and fatigue. That’s why if you use a trailer tire then ensure that you do not go beyond its max speed rating.

However, you can also do something to make it handle more than that rating. If you intend to use it at around 66 to 75 mph speed then you can do that but you still have to make sure that you raise its cold inflation pressure by around 10 psi over the pressure recommended for the max load rating.

By increasing such pressure, it will not supply additional load carrying capacity. Ensure, though, that the added pressure does not go beyond 10 psi over the specified inflation for the max tire load.

As for the light truck tire, note that it can give users with a max speed rating of more than 65 mph. With that, it is no longer surprising to see it being used in recreational vehicles and some trailers from time to time.

Additional Information on Your Tires

DOT Code

The DOT code is used by the Department of Transportation (DOT) to track tire production for recall purposes. If a tire proves to be defective, this number helps keep track of where these tires ended up so buyers can be notified of the problem. At the end of the DOT code you’ll find a four-digit number. This is the manufacturing date of the tire. The first two digits stand for the week; the other two are the year. For example, if your tire had “1613” listed, it was manufactured on the 16th week of 2013.

If you come across a three-digit number, you have a tire that was manufactured before 2000. A DOT tire code of “127” indicates the tire was made on the 12th week of the seventh year of the decade. But it’s difficult to know whether that was 1997 or even 1987. According to tirerack.com, some tires produced in the 1990s may have a small triangle following the DOT number to identify the decade. But any tire that has a three-digit code is history. Tire experts recommend that you replace tires that are six or more years old, regardless of their tread depth.

Sometimes the DOT number will be located on the inside of the tire. In this case, you can either jack up the car to inspect it, or check with your local mechanic or tire shop. You should also make a habit of checking the manufacturing date on your spare tire as well.

Maximum Air Pressure

This number refers to the maximum amount of air you can put in a tire before you harm it. It is not the recommended tire pressure; that number can be found in your owner’s manual and on the doorjamb.

Traction Rating

A traction rating can also be found on the sidewall of all modern tires. It can be represented as AA, A, B or C. This is a rating of a tire’s traction when tested for straight-line braking on a wet surface. For this rating, AA signifies the best traction performance and C indicates the worst.

Temperature Rating

The temperature rating refers to the ability of the tire to withstand heat at high speeds. The ratings, from best to worst, are: A, B and C.

Treadwear Rating

Finally, you might find the word “TREADWEAR” on the sidewall followed by a number like 120 or 180. This is a rating of the tread’s durability, as tested against an industry standard. The reference number is 100, so a tire with a treadwear rating of 200 has a predicted tread life that’s twice as long as the industry standard, while a rating of 80 means a predicted tread life that’s only 80 percent as long as the industry standard.

How to Use a Truck Tire Patch Kit

Following the step-by-step instructions described below will help you to complete the task of truck tire repair successfully:

Identify the punctured spot

The first step is to find out the spot that is leaking the air. If you see a sharp object such as a nail, spoke, or something else pierced into the tire, remove it by using the pliers.

However, sometimes it becomes a little difficult to find out the leak. In that case, mix a small amount of dish soap into water and brush the mixture onto the tire. You’ll see bubbles coming out of the leaking area.

You may need to remove the tire if the puncture is located somewhere where it’s not possible to reach with the tire attached to the truck.

Probe the Puncture

Now, it’s time to use the puncture probe. Pour a couple of drops of rubber cement or sealant on the tip of the probe tool. The use of sealant will lubricate the hole and act as adhesive for the plug.

Insert the tool into the puncture and then take out. Repeat the process for a couple of times with applying adhesive each time. It will widen the hole and clean it out.

Insert the Tire Plug

Hold a tire plug with the tire holder and see if the plug fits into the needle eye of the tool. Apply a few drops of sealant to the end of the tool and insert the plug into the hole. You may use some force to do it properly.

Insert the entire plug except for about ¼-inch. Remove the holder tool while the plug is still inside the tire. Cut the excess part of the plug with scissors.

Inflate the Tire

As you are now done with the patching work, it’s time to inflate the tire. Fill it with air at the correct pressure level and see if any air is leaking through the patched hole.

Tire Blowout Risks and Driver Safety

Any type of vehicular tire blowout is scary. But a tire accident involving a passenger car is not the same as an accident where a 50,000-pound truck is involved.

You can still protect yourself if you are involved where a truck tire is blown out by using some of the tips provided in this article. Imagining or understanding some of the risks that may be involved is important. The worst cases involve the following scenarios.

  • Truck Driver Losing Control
  • Flying Debris and Loosened Cargo
  • Other Driver Panic
  • Truck Rollover

The best way to protect yourself from a situation that involves an emergency situation like this is to prevent over-reactive steering and braking to a stop immediately.

Typical Tire Blowout Causes

  • Poor maintenance – It is up to trucking companies to keep a regular maintenance schedule, ensuring their vehicles meet certain safety requirements and are fit to be driven and transport materials. If a company does not take its maintenance obligations seriously, the fleet can quickly deteriorate and put other drivers in danger every time a semi hits the road.
  • Improper tire inflation – When a truck’s tires are over-inflated or under-inflated, they are not safe. An over-inflated tire puts too much pressure on the tire itself and can bring it to the point of exploding. An under-inflated tire can explode when heat fills the empty space inside and causes the air to expand.
  • Roadway hazards – Sometimes, even when a trucking company keeps their trucks properly maintained and follows all of the rules, a truck can still have a tire blowout. If a road is in disrepair,

has potholes, or the pavement is uneven, tires can be damaged.

Where to Turn for Help If You’re Injured

There are even more reasons that a truck tire blowout can occur, so if you’ve been the victim of a truck accident caused by a tire blowout, it may be in your best interest to seek legal advice from an experienced personal injury attorney. Take a look at some of Attorney Steve Lee’s case results and see how he’s been able to help injury victims just like you.

Master Bathroom Remodeling For His And Hers

Bathroom Remodeling Guide

Get the most out of this hardworking room with advice on efficient bathroom layouts, quality material choices, and top-notch construction techniques.

Whether you’re building a simple powder room or upgrading your master suite, you will have to make a lot of careful choices to get get the look and functionality you want. bathroom remodeling articles should help make those choices a lot easier. From layout ideas for small bathrooms, to tips on how to design a bathroom for accessibility, to a look at the most common pitfalls of bathroom remodels, we have all the resources you need to ensure your next bathroom project is a success.

The Future of Tile is Big

Full-wall porcelain panels offer the seamless look of stone with less cost and maintenance

Supertough and virtually stainproof and waterproof, porcelain tile is the undisputed champion of the modern bathroom. The latest development— and a logical extension of the big-tile trend—is full-wall porcelain panels, which nearly eliminate grout lines, delivering the rich look of marble with much less maintenance. Better yet, big-slab porcelain tile has an installed cost that’s 30% to 40% less than thick stone slabs.

Porcelain-slab basics

Large porcelain slabs are known formally as gauged porcelain tile panels (GPTP), with “gauged” referring to their precise thicknesses. The most common thicknesses are 6 mm (roughly 1/4 in.), the bread-and-butter choice for residential builders, and 12 mm (1/2 in.). The 6-mm panels are much lighter—160 lb. for a 10-ft. by 5-ft. slab vs. 320 lb. for the same size 12-mm panel— they’re easier to snap and cut, and their edges are quicker to polish.

Bathroom Layouts that Work

A bathroom remodel can range from something as simple as upgrading a vanity or replacing a toilet to a complete overhaul, which includes the relocation of plumbing and electrical lines or even enlarging the room. Layout is a key consideration, not only because it has a major impact on what the remodeled space will be like, but also because it affects the overall scope and cost of the project.

Creating a large bathroom opens the door to a number of design options, including the addition of a large soaking tub or walk-in shower that wouldn’t be possible in a smaller space. It’s one argument in favor of expanding an existing bathroom into an adjacent bedroom or closet

There’s no better place to start than with the bathroom you already have. Its shortcomings as well as the features you’d like to preserve can be a guide to what you want in a new bathroom. You might be lacking storage for linens, feel cramped when there’s more than one person at the sink, or find there’s not enough room around the tub to towel off comfortably after a bath. On the other hand you might want to keep the vanity sink for storage or the tub/shower unit because you have three young kids. Whether you work with a design professional or devise your own room layout, a detailed scale drawing will help you spot problems and envision design solutions.

Planning on Paper

Drawing a new bathroom on an existing floor plan can help you visualize new possibilities. This existing 6-ft. by 9-ft. bathroom is in a mid-1970s Cape Cod. It includes a fiberglass tub/shower unit, a single-sink vanity, and a toilet. By moving one interior wall about a foot and shifting fixtures around, a much more pleasing bathroom is possible, as evidenced in the after floor plan.

Important Considerations

The position of the fixtures was well planned in this remodeled second story. Painting the walls and ceiling the same color takes the focus off the shape of the roofline

Bathroom Renovation Checklist

You usually start a bathroom renovation to improve your bathroom’s form and aesthetics. This then leads to an opportunity to improve the functionality, usability and storage space. A smarter bathroom renovation encapsulates the whole bathroom design, planning and building work that will thoroughly consider your needs now and in the future. Careful planning and then execution of the whole process will ensure you end up with a beautiful bathroom.

Choosing the best layout for your new bathroom depends on many factors. Functionality, design preference, fixtures and fittings, and cost all contribute to the decision. We recommend consulting a qualified interior designer before commencing any home renovation to fully explore your options

ASSESS YOUR NEEDS

Measure the dimensions of your current bathroom

Make comparisons with what your neighbours have (This helps assure that your home’s value is in line with the neighbourhood.)

Decide what features you like about your current bathroom and what you’d like to change

PLAN YOUR PROJECT

List all your bathroom remodelling goals

Create an idea folder for your dream bathroom remodelling project

Determine what your top priorities are

Plan for alternate facilities while your bathroom is being worked on

DETERMINE YOUR PROJECT BUDGET

Add 20% if you intend to hire an interior designer

Set an additional 20% for contingency expenses

For a full bathroom remodel, expect the following breakdown:

– Labor: 20%

– Cabinetry and hardware: 16%

– Fixtures: 15%

– Faucets and plumbing: 14%

– Countertop: 7%

– Floor: 9%

– Doors and windows: 4%

– Walls and ceiling: 5%

– Lighting and ventilation: 5%

– Design fees: 4%

– Other: 1%

How to Renovate Your Bathroom

Bathrooms are one of the most commonly used areas of the home, which also makes them one of the most popular rooms for renovation. Bathroom renovations are an excellent and often simple way you can give your bathroom and home a fresh, new look. If you want to do your own bathroom renovation, you will need to set aside plenty of hard work, patience, as well as money for tools and supplies that will help you achieve the perfect DIY bathroom renovation of your dreams. The following guide will help you figure out how to renovate your bathroom, step-by-step.

Cost of a Bathroom Renovation

First, it’s important to consider how much a bathroom renovation will cost you in the long run. The average cost for a full bathroom renovation is $15,000 to $18,000 when you are using professional renovations services like ours; however, if you are renovating the bathroom on your own, you can save thousands of dollars but obviously take on the stress and responsibility if things were to go wrong.

The cost of a bathroom renovation when you’re doing it on your own will depend on what tools and materials you need to purchase. Since you won’t be paying for labor, the costs will be limited to the materials and tools you buy for your DIY renovation. As a general rule of thumb, you can save money by choosing more budget-friendly options and less expensive materials. For instance, rather than buying high-end bathroom tiles, you can opt for tiles that are priced more modestly.

Planning Your Bathroom Renovation

Before you can begin your DIY bathroom renovation, you will need to plan it out as thoroughly as possible. The more work you do at the planning stage, the easier it will be to carry out your plans once you move on to the next step.

Choosing Design

The design of your bathroom renovation is one of the most important elements of the project. The design you choose for your renovation should be based on your personal preferences, what aesthetic and design elements you think will look best in the space, and the budget.

The Ultimate Guide to Planning a Bathroom Update

When it comes to a petite space like a bathroom, the tiniest details can make a huge difference. Small fixtures (faucets, towel holders, lighting) impact the space both visually and functionally. Faucets offer an array of functions (from no-touch to water-efficient) while hardware finishes help define the style of a bathroom.

Consistency is key when it comes to hardware. To create a cohesive space, be sure to use the same finish throughout on all lighting, faucets, and knobs. For a vintage look, consider antique-style features, like cross-knob faucets. To keep it modern, stick with brushed nickel or chrome fixtures.

For lighting, a set of wall sconces nestled on either side of the mirror offer the most flattering level of brightness. An overhead light is another must-have, providing maximum illumination for cleaning, showering, and getting ready in the morning.

Large fixtures anchor a space, so be sure to consider your style and function needs before purchasing. Replacing a vanity can completely change the space’s look, depending upon finish, color, or style. Vanities are also a key place to incorporate storage, whether it’s with a series of open shelves below the sink or a spacious cabinet.

Installing a new bathtub is also a labor-intensive project, but it comes with lots of style and luxury opportunities. See below for more ideas on how to choose a bathtub, vanity, or sink.

How To Fix A Broken Pipes With Water Gushing Out

WHAT TO DO ABOUT BURST PIPES

Shut off the water

If you have a burst pipe, the first thing you need to do is turn off the water at the mains by shutting off the main stopcock. This will stop the flow of water into the house and prevent any more coming into the pipes. If the flow of water continues, drain the cold water in the system by flushing the toilet several times and running all the cold taps until the flow dries up.

Contact your insurer

If your home is damaged by water or has become unsafe or your contents are at risk of further damage, contact us as soon as possible. Home Insurance from John Lewis Finance offers round-the-clock support for domestic emergencies like burst pipes. If you have Home Emergency included in your policy

Contact a plumbing professional

Once you’ve stopped the flow of water, contact a reputable professional plumber (or get one through your insurer) to assess the damage and make immediate repairs. If water has reached power sockets, call out a certified electrician. Don’t use any appliances which have come into contact with the water.

Document the damage

Check exactly what you need to do to make a claim. This could include photographing damage and keeping receipts for replacement items. We will either give you the nod to start making repairs, for which you should keep receipts, or we’ll arrange for a loss adjuster to come and examine the damage in person.

Putting things right

Getting your home back to normal after damage from a burst pipe can take time.

Cleaning and drying out: some cleaning is likely to be needed and the affected areas could take between 4-8 weeks to dry out or maybe more in difficult cases. To speed up the drying process, give walls, floors and furniture enough space for air to circulate.

Stripping out: furniture and fixtures which have been damaged will need to be stripped out and damaged plaster removed.

Repairs: it may be some time before your house has dried out enough for you to start cosmetic repairs. Walls need to dry fully before they can be replastered and redecorated.

Don’t forget: you should avoid throwing damaged items away immediately, as they’re used to help validate the insurance claim.

BEST BURST PIPE INSURANCE CLAIM TIPS FOR WATER DAMAGE CLAIMS

Dealing with a burst pipe insurance claim can be frustrating. A burst pipe can quickly cause thousands of dollars in water damage. Making matters worse, some insurance companies will refuse to cover certain burst pipe damages.

Today, we’re explaining everything you need to know about burst pipe insurance claims, including how to handle claims, how to maximize your insurance payout, and how to proceed with the claim process.

SIGNS A PIPE HAS BURST IN YOUR HOME

A burst pipe isn’t always as dramatic as it sounds. In some cases, a burst pipe may start with a small leak. This leak from a broken pipe can go unnoticed for days or months, silently filling your home with moisture and mold. The sooner you spot a burst pipe, the sooner you can limit damages from water.

Listen: Do you hear a bubbling, whistling, banging, or clanking sound when turning on the water in your home? Do your pipes make a funny noise when flushing the toilet or turning on the sink? If so, then it could be the sign of a broken pipe.

Strange Odors: A burst pipe can often cause strange odors in your home. Do a sniff test when using your pipes. Is there a strange odor coming from your sink or toilet when you flush it? Does your washing machine have an odd smell when it fills with water? All of these could be signs of a burst pipe.

Look for Water Damage and Discoloration: Water damage can be found on our ceilings and walls. It might appear as a small discoloration mark at first before turning into a bigger, more noticeable mess.

Bulging: Your walls and ceilings could start to bulge after being affected by water damage. Watch for unusual bulges in your walls, as they could be the first signs of a serious burst pipe problem.

Higher Water Bill: One of the most obvious signs of a serious burst pipe problem is a higher-than-usual water bill. If your water bill has suddenly skyrocketed, then it could mean you have a burst pipe.

Low Water Pressure: A burst pipe can lower the water pressure throughout the rest of your house. If you suddenly notice a lower water pressure when showering, bathing, or using other plumbing, then it could indicate that a pipe has burst or is broken.

HOW TO HANDLE A BURST PIPE INSURANCE CLAIM

Discovering a burst pipe in your home can be a scary experience. Sometimes, it’s a long, slow leak that has caused significant damage over time. In other cases, a burst pipe is an emergency situation that requires immediate action.

THINGS EVERYBODY SHOULD KNOW ABOUT PLUMBING AND THEIR PLUMBER

When you own a home, you have to take on a lot of different responsibilities. Many of those responsibilities require a good amount of knowledge and experience, which is why it’s important to get professional help. When it comes to your plumbing system, you can help avoid expensive calls to your plumber by understanding how things work and what you can do to keep everything running smoothly. If you don’t know the first thing about the plumbing system in your home, here are some of the plumbing basics every homeowner should know.

Shut Off Valve

If there’s one thing every homeowner should know about their home, it’s where the main water shut off valve is. When there’s an emergency that could cause serious water damage if left unchecked, this shut off valve stops the flow of water and keeps things somewhat dry. If you don’t know where your shut off valve is, you should locate it now or have a professional help you find it.

In most homes, the shut off valve is located in the basement If you don’t have a basement, your shut off valve may be located underneath the kitchen sink. Regardless of where the valve is, it’s important to know that information so you can create a plan of action in case of a plumbing emergency.

Depending on the plumbers who plumbed your home initially, there may be shut off valves for individual fixtures and appliances in your home. While this isn’t required, it’s a nice luxury to have when you don’t want to shut water off to your entire home. If you want to be completely prepared for an emergency, you should check to see whether or not you have any individual shut off valves as well.

Drain Care

One of the most important things to understand if you want to avoid costly calls to a plumber is how to take good care of your drains. While this might seem fairly straightforward, chances are you’ve been doing some things completely wrong.

Household Tips to Avoid Expensive Plumbing Repairs

No one intends on having a plumbing disaster, but there are several things you can do to avoid disaster. You can’t foresee or avoid all plumbing repairs, but some regular maintenance can save you hundreds—maybe thousands—on some of them.

Below are a few helpful household tips to avoid expensive plumbing repairs.

Toilets – DO NOT flush ANYTHING other than toilet paper down your toilet. Those “flushable” wipes are NOT flushable and will eventually cause a block in your plumbing.

Tubs – You would be shocked how much hair you actually lose down your bathtub drains! To avoid having to call a plumber we suggest adding a small wire mesh basket to catch hair before it clogs the drain.

Kitchen Sink/Garbage Disposal – The Kitchen is the second most common area for clogged drains because of all the items that get poured down them. We highly recommend disposing of your food by scraping your plates into the garbage or keeping a waste bucket to use for a compost pile for your garden to prevent future blockage.

Washing Machine – To keep your discharge drain from getting clogged we suggest putting a screen attachment on the end of the drain hose. This will help block dirt, hair, lint and other build up.

Broken pipes – To prevent broken pipes, don’t let your pipes freeze during the winter. One of the most common causes of broken pipes is frozen pipes. You can prevent frozen pipes by wrapping your pipes in heat tape and making sure they’re properly insulated.  You can also let a small trickle of water run continuously when the weather is very cold to help prevent them from freezing.

If you want to avoid plumbing disasters, one of the best things you can do is to call a professional plumber to inspect your plumbing and for advice

Steps to Deal with a Burst Pipe and a Flooded House

If you are reading this, you likely are looking at a big puddle of water in your home. While some residential flooding is caused by leaking water heaters, clogged sewer lines, or heavy rainfall, the most common cause is a broken water pipe. Freezing temperatures or other malfunctions can cause cracks to form in water pipes, connections, or valves, and within minutes, you may have water pouring down your walls and ceilings or pooling in your basement.

Disconnect your electrical

To prevent electrocution, make sure the electrical systems in your home are turned off. Do not wade into standing water with the power on. If water is blocking your path to your breaker box, look for a main shutoff on the exterior of your home or call an electrician.

Stop the source of the flooding

If your flooding is caused by a burst pipe or valve rather than an act of nature, it should be fairly easy to stop at its source. Just turn off the main water shutoff valve. Some homes have a valve located near where the main water line enters your home, while other homes have a valve attached or adjacent to a water meter, which is sometimes buried near the street.

Salvage anything you can from the flood zone

Water damage occurs almost instantly, but you still may be able to remove some items from the floor. For instance, if you keep any boxes or papers on your basement floor (never a good idea, but too late now!), try to remove any items toward the top that may not be soaked through yet.

Call your insurance company

Your water damage will most likely be covered under your homeowners insurance policy. The first step to start the claims process is to call your insurer to let them know about the situation. To make sure that your claim is successful, ask your insurer whether a claims adjuster needs to visit your home to document the damage before you begin the cleanup and repair process, or if your photos of the damage will suffice.

Metal Roof Installation

Factors to consider before you install a new roof

Before you choose a roofing system for your home, there is a multitude of factors to consider. Your personal tastes, architectural style, and budget will all have a great amount of influence on the type of system that you select. If you need to install new roofing in Ontario, here are four basic things to take into consideration.

1. Material

The type of material that you choose for your roofing system will have a major impact on its durability, physical appearance, longevity, and cost. Many areas of the country also have building codes regarding roofing material, so you should check with your local authorities before choosing one. Certain neighborhoods may also have strict aesthetic requirements.

2. Budget

As with any home improvement project, your budget will undoubtedly come into play. Asphalt shingles are the least expensive, and slate is the most expensive material. Companies that specialize in roofing in Ontario can help you choose a system that fits your budget, and by browsing their inventories, you will be able to compare your options.

3. Architecture

The architectural style of your home will undoubtedly influence the type of roofing system that you choose. The majority of homes use asphalt shingles, but many homeowners are willing to spend extra in order to maintain architectural integrity. The majority of roofing experts recommend installing a system that complements the style of your home.

4. Color

The color is extremely important when it comes to roofing systems. Darker colored roofs tend to retain heat, while lighter colored roofing in Ontario tends to repel it. Consider the climate that you live in, and choose a roof that keeps your energy bills low.

Factors That Affect Roof Performance

Roof performance varies between the different systems, however the factors affecting the performance of your commercial roof are relatively the same. Your roof is valuable and you need something that will be reliable in the long-run to protect your assets. Chances are you’ll be staying in the same building for an extended period of time, so it’s important that your roof stays with you.

1. Roof Design

The design of your roof plays a large role in overall roof performance. Typically, this factor is overlooked as contractors are asked to scope the work and provide their own kind of design rather than specifying the proper design for the building. Since the contractors are trying to win the bid, they often provide designs with the lowest cost. This can be detrimental to your roofing performance as cheapest does not mean best quality. In order to ensure you are getting the best design, ask for detailed specifications from all parties bidding on your roof, and then choose the design that will protect your assets for the long haul.

2. Roof System Selection

After your roof design is complete, the proper roofing system needs to be selected. There are 6 main types of roofing options available to you: built-up (BUR), modified bitumen, EPDM, PVC, TPO, or KEE. Each system has its own unique set of properties to consider when making your decision. For example, one frequently overlooked item is the system’s resistance to UV rays. While some of the systems can add coatings or stabilizers to improve UV resistance, performance in other categories, such as fire, can decrease.

3. Contractor

The contractor you select to install your roof is another key factor in overall performance. Improper installation of your roof will dramatically increase the chance of failures and reduce the life expectancy. Manufacturers have specific assembly instructions for each of their roofing systems that need to be followed carefully to ensure a successful roof. In order to find a contractor who will not cut corners, ask your potential contractors for professional references as well as asking among your peers for their recommended contractors.

4. Maintenance

Without the proper maintenance, a little deficiency can turn into a major problem for your roofing system. Maintenance should be proactive – don’t wait until there is a leak to have your roof inspected. Schedule routine inspections in order to catch potential failures. Once the inspection is complete, timely and proper repairs to your roof are a must. Much like roofing installation, your repairs should be completed by a contractor who will do it right to minimize overall costs and damage.

5. Warranty

With the multiple types of roof warranties on the market, it is important that you read the limitations and exclusions. Too often, a warranty is a  piece of paper written to protect the manufacturer rather than the roof and owner/manager.If any of the limitations or exclusions occur, your warranty could be nullified. You want to look at the specifics and then determine if your environment (i.e. experiencing hurricane winds over x mph) is covered and if not, how costly it will be for you to repair. Improper maintenance can also nullify warranties. However, if proper precautions are taken, warranties can provide remedies for leaks, thus prolonging the life of your roof and decreasing long-term costs.

Services & Maintenance: Three Steps To Roof Replacement

STEP ONE: DESIGN

Proper design is the foundation of a successful roofing project. Just like a house built with a poor foundation, an improperly designed roof will fail. Unexpected repairs can be inconvenient and costly.

There is the old adage, “You get what you pay for.” Fms should choose a design professional who has the expertise and knowledge to design a roof system that follows applicable codes and meets the facility’s specific needs and requirements. In addition, design parameters should not be dictated based on relationships with manufacturers or contractors.

Here are a few of those criteria explored in further detail.

Building form and function. Often during the life of a facility the processes taking place inside change from when originally constructed. Changes such as adding dock doors, transitioning from unconditioned to conditioned space, and contaminants being discharged on the roof surface can have a significant impact on the performance of the roof system.

Roof contaminants. Fms should identify chemicals, oils, or animal fats discharged on the roof. Depending on the type and quantity, contaminants can have a significant, negative impact on the performance of certain roof membranes, resulting in premature failure. By identifying potential contaminants before a roof system is designed, fms can evaluate alternative strategies such as: incorporating containment basins, using different roof membranes, modifying ventilation systems, or increasing maintenance to reduce the impact on the roof.

Codes and insurance requirements. Federal, state, and local building codes as well as insurance requirements have a significant impact on roof design. Storm water runoff, reuse or recycling of materials, air quality issues, energy efficiency (e.g., R-values), and wind uplift rating requirements are several design elements that may be impacted by code and insurance requirements. [See accompanying sidebar for more on building codes.

Slope and drainage. Water is the number one enemy of roof systems. Fms should ensure—and building code requires—a roof is designed with positive slope and the necessary drainage devices and emergency overflow.

Finally, when beginning the design phase of the project fms should consider incorporating preliminary design options as part of the process. The use of preliminary designs allows fms to compare various design elements to available budgets, so they can make informed decisions.

STEP TWO: CONSTRUCTION

Embarking on the construction phase of a roofing project with well designed plans, including clear and detailed specifications, puts fms in the position to execute a cost-effective and successful project. Just as critical, fms need to ensure their design professional effectively communicates with the contractor and other project participants.

For the contractor, finding qualified labor, effective project supervision, working safely, and incorporating a quality control process to ensure the roof is installed as specified are the primary factors that will determine the success of the project once construction begins. Because these factors are critical to the project, fms should be aware of and understand how these factors may impact the project.

STEP THREE: MAINTENANCE

Once a roof system has been successfully designed and constructed, fms will want to protect their investment by considering maintenance as a cost-effective strategy in maximizing the service life of the roof. There is significant industry information that supports implementing a roof maintenance program to extend roof life and reduce life cycle costs.1

The best time to develop a preventive maintenance program is during the design phase. The type of roof system impacts the maintenance program that will be considered. A simplified approach includes inspecting roofs twice per year and after major weather events. Cleaning debris from drains and identifying and fixing minor problems (e.g., punctures, caulking failures) before they require major investment to repair or replace help ensure long-term performance.

What’s the Importance of a Good Roof?

Protection

Your roof stands between the interior of your home and the exterior world. If it’s in good shape, your roof serves as a barrier against snow, hail, rain, ice, branches, and debris. If your roof is in poor shape, your home can get leaks, develop mold and mildew, and experience other problems. Even a small leak in the roof line can cause large-scale water problems across major home systems.

Home Value

A good roof enhances your home’s curb appeal, one factor in home value. If your roof is full of moss and algae, sags, or appears decrepit, it sends a signal that your home hasn’t been kept up. If the roof is in good shape, a potential buyer can assume the rest of the house has been tended to with care. That can translate into higher prices when you sell your home.

Energy Efficiency

Even if you aren’t selling your home, a good roof adds value. When you have a structurally sound roof, proper ventilation, and sufficient attic insulation, your home will experience fewer air leaks. You’ll be more comfortable with the air conditioner at a higher temperature, and you’ll see lower heating and cooling bills. If you care about comfort in the home, want to save money, and want to protect home value, then you need a good roof.

Factors to Consider in Roof Repair, Recover and Replace Decision

Managers can not turn to a book that tells them when to repair, recover or replace a roof, so they need to consider several essential factors in making this important decision:

The roof’s potential design service life. Knowing the type of roof system and application method, the general quality of the installation, climatic conditions, and the roof’s service requirements can help determine the potential design service life.

The potential deterioration curve. By knowing the potential design service life, present age, and condition, a manager can determine approximately where the roof is along the deterioration timeline.

The nature of leaks. Crews can repair isolated leaks in the field, along perimeter edges and penetrations if they can identify them before they cause significant damage. But if the leaks are systemic or difficult to prevent, repairing the leaks might only be a temporary fix.

Risk. Roof condition is only one aspect of the prioritization process. Managers also need to consider the way the decision to repair, recover or replace the roof will impact building occupants, facility operations, and long-term roof performance. In many cases, risk and the potential cost associated with that risk can be the driving factors for repairing, recovering or replacing a roof.

Life-cycle costs. Managers can use a life-cycle model to make a decision on whether to repair, recover or replace a roof. To ensure the results are as beneficial as possible, managers must be sure to base their assumptions on objective, sound information.