Selecting The Best Tile Flooring For You

A Complete Guide To Tiles

Tiles are a fantastic way of updating the spaces throughout your home. They’re long lasting, stylish, easy to install and easy to clean! Here’s a complete guide, with everything you could ever need to know…

We sometimes forget that everyone who comes into our showroom isn’t a tile expert.  With that in mind, we thought it would be useful to give a quick guide to the main types of tiles we sell.  Hopefully you’ll have all the tile knowledge you’ll need once you’ve read this and will be able to start thinking about what colours, patterns and textures you might like:


You’ll see some of these on the wall behind our counter – patterned in a decorative period style.  Using either concrete or pressed clay, the pattern is inlaid in the tile, rather than being painted on. These are extremely popular at the moment.  Due to the technology going into them, they tend to be a little pricey.  However, the good news is that a little of these tiles can go a long way – they work well as a feature paired with a more affordable plainer tile.  Let us demonstrate in store.


These are generally the most budget-type of tile and there are endless options available.  Due to their durability they are best suited to walls.  For floors we typically recommend…


With a lot more strength than ceramic, these are extremely durable when used as flooring.  Porcelain is very versatile and we even have ranges that look like wood and marble.  Porcelain tiles can go on walls, but due to their nature, they are harder to cut and drill. We can match up complementary floor and wall options for you if you’d like to mix and match between porcelain and ceramic – often these are available within the same manufacturer range for a seamless look.


Bringing the outside in is a definite trend and one way to do this is using stone tiles which are literally pieces of rock cut to size.  The main types we sell are travertine, granite, slate, and marble.  They do require sealing which needs to be repeated periodically.  However, despite the maintenance, their natural beauty makes them an ever popular option.


Some consider these an ecological choice since glass is a truly sustainable material and some of our ranges are made of recycled glass – just ask if you would like to find out more.  Glass tiles are very resistant to stains – making them great for splash-backs.  They can get scratched so it’s best to keep these off the floor.  These come in a great range of colours, textures and patterns some of which are very eye-catching .


These can be any combination of materials such as glass, ceramic, porcelain or stone which are set in a small format and set on a mesh sheet for easy installation.  Mosaics are available in an a huge range of shapes, sizes, textures and colours making them perfect for a statement feature.

How to tile a floor

For this project you will need all of the above materials, excepting perhaps the level. Substitute a tape measure instead.


The first part of tiling is spending some time planning your layout. Place as many tiles down on the floor where you want them so you can see how many cuts you will need to make, and if any of the cuts will be problematic. Planning allows you to see problems before you start putting mortar down and it’s too late to turn back. Are there places that will be too difficult to cut – where pieces will be too small or the pattern will look funny? How does the tile line up with objects in the room, or with flooring in the next room where it will meet up in the entry?

Laying out the pattern also allows you to plan for out of square areas. For example, we discovered that one wall dived in about ¾” over an 8’ span, and were able to arrange the pattern so that the tiles that would have to be cut to fit were in an out of sight area.

Cutting the Tile

Tile can be cut using a wet saw or a manual tile cutter (that scores and snaps the tile). I recommend a tile saw. We have used this little Ryobi for I think six years now, and through I believe 6 bathrooms, 4 kitchens, and 1 fireplace. It’s an inexpensive little saw that has paid for itself many times over.

Wet Saw Operation

Wet saws resemble table saws in design, but utilize a diamond blade and have a reservoir of water that the blade runs through to keep it cool while cutting. Set the cutting distance on the fence (using a tape measure for accuracy). Any lines you draw on the tile will likely be washed away during the cut, so I find it best not to rely on those.

Move the tile slowly through the cut, being especially slow and careful at the end of the cut so as not to chip the tile. Unlike a table saw, you can and will need to get your fingers a little closer to the blade.

Mixing the Mortar

Mortar can come either premixed or in powder form. The pre-mix is nice for when you want to do a little work at a time and not worry about the mix drying out quickly. However, it doesn’t always set up so fast or so well, and in some applications is not recommended at all. We used pre-mix to tile our wall, but in the shower we only used the stuff we mixed ourselves.

You will need to closely follow the instructions for whatever mortar that you go with. Your mix should be thick but not runny. It needs to be able to hold the grooves that you will create using a notched trowel. If that’s confusing, read on to the next step…

Setting the tile

Start by setting your full size pieces, and then move to the cut pieces. To set a piece of tile you will butter the back with the mortar. Yeah, “butter.” That’s the term, I didn’t make it up. Just don’t take it to literally – it refers to the action, not the amount or consumption.

To butter the tile you’ll use a notched trowel – we used a ¼ x ¼ trowel for both the 4×12 subway tiles and the 8×8 floor tile in our bathroom. Spread the mortar across the back of the tile, then hold the trowel at an angle (around 45 degrees or so) and run notches through the tile in a left to right direction, as opposed to an up and down direction.

Measuring for tiles

The most common way to buy tiles is by working out total required coverage in square metres (m²).

To find out what coverage you need, start by measuring the floors and walls you wish to tile. If you’re tiling the floor, start by measuring the length and width of the total area, then multiply the 2 measurements together. If you have an irregular shaped room (for example, an L shape or T shape), it’s easier to split it up into rectangles and measure each one separately.

Measuring walls is relatively straightforward. Simply work out how wide your wall is and how far up the wall you wish to tile. Multiply these 2 measurements to get the total square metre coverage for your wall. Do the same for any other walls and add these totals together.

The areas around your windows and doors can prove difficult, so it’s always best to allow an extra 10% on top of what you’ve measured.

What’s the difference between ceramic and porcelain?

The two most common tile materials are ceramic and porcelain. But what’s the difference between them?

Well, they’re both made from clay and are fired in a kiln. However, the clay used to make porcelain is more purified and refined, and it’s fired with higher pressure at a greater temperature, which results in a much denser and hardier material than ceramic.

Porcelain is frost proof, whereas ceramic isn’t – so if you’re tiling an outdoor space in the UK, where we often get frosts throughout the winter, it’s definitely advisable to use porcelain over ceramic.

Ceramic tiles

Most wall options are made from ceramic, such as classic metro designs. Lately, though, more durable ceramic floor options are being released.

It’s a very popular material among tile manufacturers, and it’s used in thousands of designs; from bricks and traditional squares on walls, through to stone effects, patterns and wood effects for floors. In domestic settings, it’s pretty much okay for use throughout the house.

Porcelain tiles

Generally regarded as the hardiest material in the tiling world, and frost proof (which makes it ideal for use outdoors in the UK), porcelain is the main material used for manufacturing floor tiles.

It’s scratch resistant, long lasting, and comes in an incredible multitude of styles; from hexagons and wood look planks, through to marble effects and mosaics.

Where should I use porcelain tiles?

Porcelain tiles come in such an array of shapes, sizes, styles and colours that you can use them wherever you like throughout the home and garden. However, due to some of the qualities outlined above (high durability, frost proof, water resistant), they’re a pretty good candidate for floor spaces with high footfall, wet rooms, bathrooms, and gardens! Hallways tend to receive a lot of foot traffic, since it’s the space that family and friends shuffle through first, so that’s an area that would certainly benefit from some sturdy porcelain tiles.

Plan A Career In Event Planner

Things the Most Successful Event Planners Do Every Day

Event planning is not an easy job. It’s fraught with challenges and high stress situations, yet some organisers seem to thrive. What’s their secret? We look at the 7 things the most successful event planners do every day.

Prioritise and Work on the Most Important Things First

Busy event organisers have limited time so it is critical they understand the most important areas to focus on. Because they’re measuring performance (see above) they can react quickly when a challenge presents itself and put all of their effort into getting things back on track.

If ticket sales are down, you need to get on the case with marketing. If the attendee satisfaction survey highlights a problem with the food and beverage, it’s time to source a new catering supplier pronto!To set priorities, planners must have concrete and useful data about their events, communicate the priorities to their staff, and implement processes to ensure that these priorities are carried out.

Talk to Clients

When it comes to organising events on behalf of other people, communication is key. As all successful event planners know, assumption is the mother of all screw-ups, so it’s vital to understand exactly what your clients want and expect, and keep them fully informed of progress.

If, on the other hand, you’re organising your own events, then your clients are your attendees – the ones buying the tickets. Be sure to communicate with them just as regularly – via your blog, newsletters and social media.

Research New Ideas and Trends

As well as taking time out to relax and catch up with your team, a wise event planner makes time to read industry news and blogs (like this one!) each day.

To stay ahead, it’s vital to keep your finger on the pulse of industry trends, supplier news, new products and services and developments in technology. Meanwhile, case studies can show you what your competitors are doing.

Take 30 minutes each morning to browse the web, so you can start your day informed and prepared.

Nurture Relationships

Consistently talking with clients is a good management strategy (as we discussed above), but it is also a good marketing strategy.

Regularly reaching out to past clients for a ‘catch up’ will show that you remain interested in their business and keep you front of mind when they next require event management services – this business is all about relationships!

And don’t forget about your suppliers – a great relationship with them will give you extra bargaining power.

Commonly Missed Event Planning Checklist Details

You know that feeling you have when you leave the house and feel like you forgot something? Keys? Check. Phone? Check. Wallet? Check. Suddenly, you realize that you left the oven on, and turn back around to safely turn it off. Scary!

Thankfully you have that feeling to remind you, especially as an event planner. But even the most experienced event organizers can get so wrapped up that they forget a crucial detail.

Whether you’re a first-time planner or a veteran, you could miss a detail at any step of the way. You can easily prevent this from happening by having a sync-up meeting with your team, going over a planning checklist for your event or conference together, and find out those easily missed elements. After working with thousands of customers, we’ve learned lessons that every event planner ought to know, and we compiled an event planning checklist. In the checklist, you’ll recognize crucial items that get easily forgotten and how the use of technology can often eliminate that problem.

Event Schedule

1. Keep the schedule on your event website up-to-date

In the days leading up to the event, small aspects of the event might change, such as a speaker or a session title. As the date of the event gets closer, you should make sure to update the event website at least once a day to avoid any confusion or complaints from attendees.

2. Remind your speakers

How embarrassing would it be if your keynote speaker didn’t show up in time, or even worse— believed the speech was on a different date? Hard to believe but it’s a real story! You don’t want to be the one handling this nightmare so the best way to avoid this is to remind each of your speakers the date and time of their talk several weeks before the event, so they would book the right flight and arrive on time.

3. Prepare for overcrowded sessions

While some sessions with popular speakers or interesting topics may attract way too many attendees and raise safety concerns, dozens of empty seats in a big auditorium can embarrass a speaker. If you want to be well prepared, check if your management platform enables you to set a capacity for each session, verify per-session tickets, and register attendees quickly and easily. See how a session management and check-in tool can help you execute a stress-free, well-organized event.


4. Print a master sheet

This master sheet will have coveted information, such as contact information for all the vendors, Wi-Fi passwords, and even the event checklist. You can keep this in Evernote, Google Drive, or an event app’s logistic section, however, it’s always a good idea to have printed copies on hand as well.

5. Test Wi-Fi stability and bandwidth

The Wi-Fi at event venues often gets unstable because of a sudden overflow of people. Make sure you test and try out the connectivity during busy days at the venue in advance. Also, make sure that your event app can allow offline access to your event agenda, like Whova. It’s a must-have for attendees who come to your event from other countries, hence an essential item in the planning checklist for your event!

What You Should Look For In a Good Event Planner

Event Planner

As you start thinking about planning an event, it quickly becomes evident that it’s much more difficult than it might seem at first – the logistics alone are enough to make one cringe about the idea of doing everything yourself.

That’s why most people and companies turn to a professional – an event planner who plan events for a living usually has the necessary recourses and expertise to organize an event suited to each individual clients’ needs.

Still, even among event planners, there are those who, despite presenting themselves as professionals, might end up causing you headaches, instead of taking the event planning process off your hands. That’s why you have to be careful about who you choose – there are certain traits you should look for in an event planner that can go a long way in making your event successful and efficient.

So here are some of the most important qualities you should seek in a good event planner:


Lots of things can go wrong in the corporate event planning process – a venue reservation could fall through, suppliers could be unable to deliver, or a speaker might come down with a severe case of the flu just days before the event.

It’s these kinds of scenarios where you’ll be thanking your lucky stars that you’re working with a true professional – someone who has a big rolodex from which he can immediately find an adequate replacement or addition for almost any unplanned problem that might arise.

It also means that the event planner will never be short on thoughts on what would be the best approach to running your product launches, developing corporate event ideas, or anything else that you might need done.

Organisation & Time Management

One can’t be a good event coordinator unless he has a natural talent for multi-tasking – being able to juggle a lot of details, big and small, at once. This requires good organisational and time management skills, as well as the ability to instil these qualities into the events’ staff.

Think about it – when you have to manage dozens of staff workers, make sure that hundreds of guests are all comfortable and entertained, see that the event goes according to schedule and that all key parts of it get properly executed, among thousands of smaller jobs, you have to be a master multi-tasker to pull it off.

That’s actually one of the bigger reasons people even hire event organisers – with so much to plan, most would simply become overwhelmed and inevitably forget at least a few crucial details, which can and usually does cost the entire event.


Finally, no matter how good and experienced the event planner is, if he is not willing to communicate and go through planning the event together, then in the end it might be absolutely different than what you envisioned and wanted.

After the initial interview, constant communication is going to be required – perhaps you’ll start to see new opportunities for the event, or the event planner will want to suggest some improvements.

Now this does not mean that you should go ahead and micromanage the process of planning an event – the event planner is, after all, the professional with years of experience. You should trust that he knows best what approach will work. But no matter the event type, it’s still about your product, or about your company, and you should make sure your opinion is also considered and worked into the event planning process.

Why you should hire an event planner

There can be many reasons why you might want to hire an event planner. Although a good event planner isn’t cheap, they can often save you from making costly mistakes.

1. Time management

There are many things to do in relation to organising an event, and time is your most valuable asset. A seasoned event planner can help you streamline the process and save you time.

2. Budget management

Although time is valuable, so is money. A good event planner can help you manage your event budget and negotiate with venues and vendors on your behalf so you get a good deal.

3. Stress management

Event planning is frequently cited as one of the most stressful jobs in the world. Seeing as you’ll have many other things to think about, why not outsource the extra stress to a professional?

Here Are The Questions To Ask An Event Planner

You now know why you might need to hire an event planner and where to find them. So far, so good. Let’s dive into the fourteen questions to ask an event planner during the interview.

1. What do you specialise in?

Most event planners will specialise in a certain type of event, which could be anything from weddings to business conferences. Make sure their area of expertise aligns with your event.

2. Which services do you offer?

Event planning consists of many moving parts, so make sure that your event planner is able to accommodate all of your needs. Examples include sourcing speakers and organising catering.

3. What is included in your fee?

Establish what you’ll get for your money, and what will cost you extra. Agree on a flat, hourly, or commission-based fee, and determine additional charges like travel expenses and support staff.

4. Who will work on the event?

Find out who your main point of contact is and how many other people will be involved in organising your event. Get an overview of who everyone is and how to contact them. (You might want to think of separate interview questions for event staff, too.)

5. How much time will you need?

How much time your event planner needs to organise your event will depend on the size and type of your event, as well as how many other events they’re working on at the same time.

Long Distance Moving Companies To Move Your Belongings To Faraway Locations

How to Prepare for a Long-Distance Move

What’s the difference between preparing for a local move and a long-distance move? If you guessed “time”, that’s only part of the equation. You have lots of options to prepare for, and unlike a local move, there are more steps you need to take for better results. After moving people for, give or take, a couple decades, here’s what I’ve learned when it comes to preparing for a long-distance move.

How Am I Gonna Get Me and My Stuff Where I’m Going?

You have a number of options when planning a long distance move. Your options will all depend on these three things:

How much stuff you’re hauling

Your budget

Personal preference

What if I’m driving?

Some people decide to drive across the country, especially if they are bringing a vehicle or two. Beforehand, however, you should consider:

Car’s age and how many miles it has clocked

How many people and things it needs to hold

If it can handle a long trip without breaking down

If you need to get repairs ahead of time, then trust us, do that first. If that seems like it could be an issue or you just don’t wanna add hundreds of miles to your car, consider getting your car shipped. Your other options are hitching it (to a truck for towing) or just ditching it. You can always try selling it or trading it in if you decide this is the end of the road for the car.

What transportation should you get to move your stuff long-distance?

Unless you’re selling everything you own and driving into the sunset, you’re gonna need something safe and reliable to get all your stuff to your new place. What you need depends on your unique move. Don’t worry, you’ve got choices. Here are your best transportation options for a long-distance move.

How To Tip Movers Long Distance

Tipping movers don’t have to be mandatory. However, as a customer who’s paying them for their services, you may find the need to reward them for a job well done. After all, it’s your one way of appreciating all their hard work and good performance for making a move smooth and faster. If you decide to tip your movers for a long distance moving, here are the things you need to know from the very beginning.

Ways To Know Whether Your Long Distance Movers Should Be Tipped

There are specific indicators that will help you decide whether your distance movers should be rewarded or not. Moreover, the moment they’re done with their job, you should already know what to do afterward. You just have to remember that tipping moving companies are an optional thing to do

If you want to ensure you make the right decision, here are a few pointers that will help you determine whether these professionals should be tipped or not:

When long distance movers have shown hard work and dedication from beginning to end without delays, then they deserve a tip from you.1. When long distance movers have shown hard work and dedication from beginning to end without delays, then they deserve a tip from you.

When they have done what’s necessary to prevent damage or loss on your property, your long distance piano movers should be appreciated.

When you have a pleasant and sociable moving experience with your movers, it’s a good idea to tip them with appreciation.

When your moving crew has arrived on time to provide professional moving services, they deserve a generous tip.

When your movers have been professional from the time they arrive at your home, then tipping them will be a good thing to do.

When they handle your possessions like an antique concert grand with utmost care using their van lines, you may want to give them a tip after the completion of the job.

it’s time to go through the right ways to tip them. Even if tipping can be a straightforward thing to do, below are the things you need to bear in mind to appreciate your movers during the moving day:

Inform your movers that good tips await them after a full day of moving – This is a good move to encourage your moving crew to strive hard to work efficiently, safely, and quickly. Remember, giving them with an extra incentive can boost their efficiency and productivity making your relocation a big success. Of course, after giving you an admirable job, you should appreciate their efforts.1. Inform your movers that good tips await them after a full day of moving – This is a good move to encourage your moving crew to strive hard to work efficiently, safely, and quickly. Remember, giving them with an extra incentive can boost their efficiency and productivity making your relocation a big success. Of course, after giving you an admirable job, you should appreciate their efforts.

Take note of timing – When you decide to tip your movers for exceptional piano moving services, it’s essential to know that the timing is right. You can promise your moving team to get a tip once they do an exceptional job. Moreover, you may also opt to give them a dollar bill to show your workers that you’re serious about rewarding them. However, if you’re not sure about giving them an initial tip, then you can always do it at the end of the work. That’s when they’re finished hauling the last pile of moving boxes into your new home. Also, if you’re making an interstate move and you ask for extra service for packing or unpacking, then it’s proper to give them tips after the completion of the job.

Get to know the person you should tip with – In the moving industry, the team of packers and movers are typically supervised by a foreman who makes sure that all cross country moves will be stress-free. This person is also the one you should work with when a problem arises during a long distance relocation. Thus, you may decide to give that individual your token of appreciation. However, if you’re satisfied with how your movers perform their jobs, it’s a wise idea to tip each one of them based on the services rendered, performance, and character. When this happens, you should set aside separate money for tipping purposes only.

Consider other ways than money to tip your movers – Tipping piano moving companies shouldn’t always about money. There are different ways to show your appreciation to them without giving cash. After all, your crew also experience hunger, thirst, or fatigue. Sooner or later, they will get hungry, tired, or thirsty and their level of performance will start to decrease. To maintain the energy of these professionals from start to finish, you may consider rewarding them with food other than monetary tips at the end of the day. Imagine their happiness when you offer them with snacks and drinks. If you’re happier with the way they handle their customer service, buying them lunch or dinner can be a perfect reward. However, avoid serving them with beers after the move because most long distance moving companies follow strict guidelines when it comes to drinking while working on the job.

Long Distance Movers Reviews: Things To Know About Tipping

Typically, nobody exactly knows how much to tip movers at the end of the day. With so many things to consider before tipping them, it’s indeed very difficult to come up with a standard figure. Fortunately, there are a few reliable sites as well as long distance movers reviews site that provides advice on tipping a moving crew

Long Distance Moving Guide

When you talk about a long distance moving, the first thing you need to consider when hiring professional movers. What is the exact definition of a long distance move? A long-distance move is any move that is over 40 miles, that can be in-state or out of state.

Before hiring a moving crew for a long distance move, make sure to have all your dates and addresses locked down and correct. Some companies may charge you if you need to change moving dates at the last minute, so before booking make sure to have all your information correct. Next, you need to decide how much you are moving. Are you moving all your furniture or just some or none and buying new?

Long Distance Moving Tips

Once you have a list of what you are going to take, the next step would be to pack. Of course, packing yourself or having friends and family help can save you some money over having a company pack your stuff. Canceling your utilities at your old place and scheduling new installs at the new place is something you should consider doing as well.

Job Relocation Basics

The type of relocation package you receive from your employer—whether you’re being transferred or newly hired—depends on how badly the company wants you, the size of the company, or its policy for your job level.

Getting the most from your employer’s relocation program starts by looking at the benefits that other companies offer. This information might help you negotiate a better package.

Here’s how a good relocation program should work:

An assigned relocation counselor: First, someone in the human resources department will give you a copy of the company’s relocation policy and discuss the relocation schedule. They should assign you a personal relocation counselor who will answer questions about finances and other concerns you might have. Covering Your House-Hunting Costs: About 46 percent of companies pay for one house-hunting trip to the new city and 49 percent cover two or more trips.

Selling your current home: Nearly all companies will help if you have trouble selling your house. Your employer might buy the house at market value, or more typically, contract with a professional relocation company to buy and resell your home. The price is usually derived from the average of three appraisals. They also require home inspections and may deduct for major problems like termites and such.

Covering your closing costs: Most moving companies cover normal closing costs of buying a home but typically limit coverage to employees who are prior homeowners or those at certain job levels.

Finding the best schools: Either your company’s relocation counselor or real estate companies you normally work with will provide information on local schools.

Job placement for your spouse: About half of U.S. moving companies offer employment assistance to spouses, usually through an outside job-placement agency. About one-quarter of companies offer employment assistance to unmarried partners under formal company policies; 19 percent more do that on a case-by-case basis.

Elderly care and day care: You might not find these in typical relocation policies, but employers are becoming more flexible about such quality-of-life issues.

Temporary housing: Most companies will cover costs of temporary housing while you are in the middle of your relocation.

Covering Moving Costs: Most company-paid moves include shipping, packing, unpacking, storage and other costs charged by the moving companies.

Other perks: Many moving companies offer one month’s salary to cover costs such as appliance installations and auto registration. Most don’t require itemized receipts. If you have moving expenses that are not covered, save the records for tax purposes.

Online help: Some companies might offer a Web site where you can find current information about home buying and selling status, moving dates, progress of shipments, utility hookups and other service connections.

Moving & Delivery Release a Guide for Long Distance Moving

“There are lots of moving parts when it comes to fine-tuning your plan to move long distance,” the infoguide suggests. “The best thing to do is break your move down into steps to ensure you have all your bases covered.”

The guide provides an in-depth breakdown of the steps you should take to coordinate your long distance move, from making your schedule at the outset, all the way to double and triple checking your belongings on the way out the door.

It even addresses some of the more daunting faces of coordinating the long distance move: budgeting. “Money talks, and there’s no denying it. Your budget will decide a lot of things for you.” says the guide. It recommends allowing enough financial padding to catch you in case of an emergency.

Lastly, the guide addresses some key topics for a move like labeling, decluttering your belongings, and inventorying all your essentials. To learn more about the Guide for Long Distance Moving

Tips On Finding The Best DUI Lawyer

Interviewing DUI Lawyers For Legal Representation

When you start your search for DUI lawyers you should keep in mind the things that matter most to you such as what happens now? What types of charges do I face? What will I lose because of getting a DUI? Is it possible for the lawyers that I interview to get my case dropped? One of the first things you should do is to get familiar with your states current DUI laws. When you make up a list of DUI lawyers you should check out what their experience has been in the past. When you go to meet the lawyer the first question you should ask is May I contact your current customers to see what they have to say about your law offices? The knowledge and experience of the DUI lawyer that you interview is very important. When you go to different meetings with the local lawyer you should take any paper work that you have available concerning your case with you such as:

  • Take the original ticket that you were given when you were stopped
  • If you have a copy of your arrest record that shows the exact charges that you will be facing
  • If the police department that arrested you gave you any other paperwork you should take this paperwork with you as well
  • If you were bonded out of jail take this paperwork to show your DUI lawyer
  • If you have received any court notifications you should take these with you to show the lawyers, If you have anything that shows when your next court date is make sure that you have this with you

How to Interview a DUI DWI Attorney for Hire

If you’re facing DUI or DWI charges, you’ll certainly want to make sure that you’re being represented by a reliable and experienced attorney. You’ll also want to make sure that there are no surprises when you get the bill. In order to make a good decision, you’ll need to conduct a useful interview. The following are a list of questions to ask a DUI / DWI attorney that you are considering hiring.

How much experience do you have as a DUI / DWI attorney?

In addition to confirming that the attorney is licensed to practice law in your state, you’ll also want to hear about how long he or she has been performing relevant DUI / DWI defense work. It’s not impolite to confirm licensing requirements. If you feel awkward, you can always ask the attorney which states he or she is currently licensed to practice law, which should answer your question. Licensing status is usually made available online via a state government or state court website. For example, you can search for license status at the New York Unified Court System Attorney Search and at the New Jersey Courts Attorney Index.

What percentage of your legal practice consists of DUI / DWI defense?

Attorneys typically possess a general knowledge about the law and legal system. But in order to excel in specialized areas such as drunk driving and DUI / DWI cases, specific knowledge and experience are highly recommended. The law, courts, court procedures and judges who hear cases can vary greatly between different types of legal issues. You probably not want to put your faith in a personal injury lawyer who primarily handles civil lawsuits and occasionally defends a drunk driver in criminal court. It’s similar to asking an eye doctor for help with a broken bone. These follow-up questions can also help you ascertain relevant work experience.

  • How many years have you been practicing DUI / DWI law?
  • How many DUI / DWI cases have you handled?
  • Have you handled cases similar to mine and what were the outcomes?

You may also want to ask about expert witnesses to see whether they are needed and what they may cost. Active DUI / DWI attorneys should be able to rattle off a list experts they have used in the past without much effort.

What are the fees, costs and coverage of your legal services?

In general, DUI / DWI attorneys will charge clients in two different types of fee arrangements: (1) an hourly fee, and (2) a flat fee or flat rate retainer. With hourly fees, an attorney will charge you for all the time spent that is spent on a case. This may include the time spent discussing your night drinking at the bar, the review by staff of a sobriety test performed by police officers, filing motions in court as well as time spent in court. A flat rate retainer will usually cover all the basic costs of representation, including the court appearance. It usually does not cover the cost of any appeal that might be recommended. Before signing a retainer agreement, you’ll want to have a ballpark number of what your case is expected to cost.

Who will be performing the work on my case?

Law firms can comprise of several different types of people. They will frequently include legal support staff, interns, junior and senior attorneys (or “associates”) as well as partners in a law firm. You will want to understand who is expected to be performing the work on your case, how it is delegated and how it will be billed. You may want to confirm that the attorney you’re hiring and in whom you’re placing your faith will also be representing you in court.

Questions You MUST Ask Any Lawyer

The most important thing to remember when speaking with a potential lawyer is not to be afraid to ask questions. The best and most qualified lawyers will welcome your questions, and they will take it as a sign that you have done your homework. Remember that when you are inter­viewing an attorney, the attorney is also interviewing you to see if he or she wants to take your case.  A good lawyer would rather represent a truly prepared client, and a client who is committed to getting the best legal representation available.

Here are the 5 questions you should ask to make an informed choice of who will represent you:

1. How many years have you been in practice?

Although the answer will tell you much about the attorney’s potential experience, you should also ask, “What kind of experience do you have?” Lawyers can be listed as a “DUI Lawyer” in online directories and referral services but not have any DUI defense experience whatsoever. Also, I see more and more attorneys who have had their particular niche slow down or dry up completely who are trying to develop a traffic practice to increase their firm’s income.

2. How much experience do you have representing persons who are charged with DUI?

You should leave the attorney’s office confident that you have spoken to someone who has real expertise and experience in DUI law. DUI law is too complex to be trusted to someone who “dabbles” in DUI defense.

3. Are you a member of the National College for DUI Defense?”

If an attorney is a member of the NCDD, he has taken steps to specialize and make the most recent and relevant information available to assist in your trial. He has applied to and been accepted by a selective organiza­tion of attorneys who are committed to DUI advocacy.  If a lawyer does not mention prominently in his advertising that he is a member of the NCDD, it is probably because he is not!

4. Are you a former prosecutor, and if so, where were you a prosecutor?

If a lawyer does not mention prominently in his advertising that he is a former prosecutor, it is probably because he isn’t! Watch out for the phrasing used in the ads! If a law firm advertises that it has “former prosecutors” or “former prosecutor help available,” the obvious and important question that you need to ask is, “Is this former prosecutor going to be representing me in court?” The firm may be sending their newest and lowest paid associate to represent you while all the “former prosecutor” does is walk to the bank and deposit your check for a huge legal fee!

5. Have you ever been hired to represent another attorney on a DUI charge?

The mark of a skilled and respected trial advocate is a request for repre­sentation from one of his peers, especially when the trial can have a serious, lasting, and detrimental effect on the client attorney’s profes­sional career. No lawyer would consider stepping into court as a defen­dant unless he was convinced that he had hired a competent, ethical, dedicated attorney. I have been hired as counsel to my brethren of the Bar who have been charged with drunk driving.

Why is it necessary to employ a DUI lawyer?

First of all, it is critical that you seriously consider this issue. DUI security is a specialist field in criminal defence and is a somewhat complicated one. It might make a big difference to the results of the lawsuit to have an accomplished DUI defence lawyer by your hand. So, after you have been pulled over for a DUI crime, it is really critical that you employ an accomplished DUI defence lawyer.

How do I pick the best DUI lawyer?

This dilemma is a big issue for every survivor who is searching for an advocate. Choose an advocate who:

  • Work in the area of DUI security.
  • Many DUI proceedings have been brought to trial and claimed.
  • Had full awareness of the measurement devices included.
  • Spend ample time in collaboration with customers.
  • It extensively discusses all the evidence from the outset to the conclusion of the event.

How Win The Casse A Dui Lawyer Support Me

The accomplished counsel on the DUI appeal will help you secure the trial. They are always watching out how to help win the case for their client. Below are some of the items DUI attorneys can look for while analyzing the argument.

Is there a good cause for the police officer to pause the vehicle?

Did he clear situational sobriety check properly?

Did the officer have carried out the preliminary alcohol screening (PAS) test properly?

Whether the police records are unbiased (FST and chemical testing)?

Is the blood alcohol content above the regulatory maximum while you were driving?

Therefore, the DUI counsel should be able to carry forward as many mitigation arguments as necessary to help you fight the case so you should not think too hard about getting the powerful DUI defense attorney on the side.

Posted inLegal

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.”



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.


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.


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




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


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


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


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


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


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


Detailed review of each area of concern same day as 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 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.


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.


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.


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 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.


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.


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.


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.