Choosing The Right Carpet Flooring For Your Home

How Often Should Carpet be Replaced?

Like most flooring options, carpet doesn’t last forever. But how do you know when it’s time to replace carpet? A few things like the age, wear levels, damages like tears, stains, or smells, and increased allergies can be indicators that it’s time to invest in new carpet. If you’re unsure whether your carpet should be replaced or not, read on to find out more about the signs you should look for when considering replacing carpet.

Age of the Carpet

While carpet has changed over the years, today, its lifespan is usually anywhere from 5 to 15 years. The length of time that a specific carpet lasts depends on the type of carpet, carpet cushion, carpet fibers, and wear and tear the carpet is exposed to. For example, carpet in a spare bedroom where there is little traffic will probably last longer than carpet in a heavily trafficked hallway. Homes with children and pets will see increased carpet wear than homes with quiet lifestyles, so there are many factors to consider. While there’s no set way to determine if your carpet is at the age where it needs to be replaced, there are usually physical indicators that will tell you that it’s time to replace the carpet.

If you want to increase the life span of your carpet, depending on your lifestyle, you should have your carpet professionally cleaned every 18-24 months, vacuum on a regular basis and follow the proper care and maintenance instructions found in your carpet warranty. If you’ve had your carpet for more than 20 years, it’s best to replace it to maintain your home’s indoor air quality and comfort.

Wear, Damage, and Tears

Worn out carpets and carpet cushions can occur for a variety of reasons, and they show wear with tears, damages, and wrinkles. Small tears can sometimes be repaired, but large tears are often damaged beyond repair. Areas of carpet that are heavily trafficked may show wear by their appearance. If your carpet was once a more vibrant color, but now tends to look dirty no matter how much you clean it, it’s probably time for new carpet. Areas in front of doorways are often the first to experience this kind of wear. Carpet can also become faded over time, so if your carpet was once a beautiful, bold color, but now seems dull and worn, you may want to consider carpet options. While carpet fading is not always a necessary reason to invest in carpet, it may be a good option if you have this issue along with another sign of wear.

High traffic areas like entryways, hallways, stairways, and playrooms will also show signs of wear with matting. Matted carpet lays flatter than its original look, and it’s tough to bring matted carpet back to life. In many cases, matted carpet is an excellent reason to invest in new carpet. 

Not only can your carpet become worn, but so can the carpet cushion underneath. Wrinkles in your carpet are a good indicator that you need new carpet. Another sign of worn-out padding is uneven carpet. Areas in your carpet that are higher or lower than other areas indicate that your carpet padding needs to be replaced, and so does your carpet.

Stains and Smells

Stains and smells are some of the most common reasons why carpet should be replaced. Whether you have young children or pets or you happen to be the one who makes messes, stains and smells can cause irreparable damages to your carpet.

Some carpet stains can be cleaned easily, but red wine and bathroom accidents may never come out. While you can move furniture to cover them, it’s not always possible to hide areas of your carpet that have severe stains. Professional cleaning can sometimes help remove or dull the stains, but that’s not true in all cases, especially with tough stains like mustard or bleach.

Stains can also cause there to be a lingering odor. When stains seep into the carpet fibers and carpet cushion, they can bring with them unpleasant odors that last for years. Mold and mildew are a top reason to purchase new carpet, as there is no way to remove these odors without replacing the carpet.

4 ways to make your carpet last longer

Everyone wants to get more for their money -this includes their flooring.  Flooring can be expensive to replace so taking steps to keep it looking its best for as long as possible can be a big money saver.  It will also add to the beauty of the room. Here are 7 great tips for extending the life of your carpet from a true expert.

1. Vacuum…often

How often?  There are varying schools of thought on this.  Some say once a week, some say once a week but hit the high-traffic areas twice.  Some say once per week per adult and dog (2 adults, 2 dogs =4 times/week)

The answer:

  • No kids, no pets: once a week. 
  • Kids, no pets: twice a week.
  • Pets, no kids, 2-3 times per week.
  • Kids and pets, 3-4 times per week.

2. Check your shoes at the door(s)

Everyone drags in loads of dirt from the outside on their feet.  It is unavoidable.  The best way to stop it; take off your shoes.  There are tons of super cool ways to store you and your guest’s shoes.

3. Get a door mat(s)

It may seem like an obvious suggestion, however the type of door mat plays a very important role.  Don’t go cheap when it comes to door mats.  The cheap ones will eventually add to the dirt in the house because they only wipe off what’s on the surface of your shoes and leave it there for the next person to track in.

4. Have your carpets professionally cleaned at least once per year

A professional carpet cleaning using a truck-mounted hot water extraction system every year (sometimes more depending on…kids, pets, etc.) will extend the life and luster of your carpet more than any single suggestion on the list (except for the vacuuming).

Why specifically truck-mounted hot water extraction? Heat and suction! Portable cleaning units don’t come close to generating the amount of heat required to get a good cleaning and once that solution has done its work, you need lots of suction to extract the water otherwise your carpets will be wet for days.

How Do I Know When It’s Time To Replace My Carpet?

They’re a part of your home, witnessing everything from the pitter patter of tiny feet to wine spills, or mud tracked in from soccer practice. However, sooner or later, you have to decide when it’s time for your residential carpet to be replaced.

As you are seeing your carpet every day, it can be hard to notice the little changes over time. So to help you evaluate the state of your flooring, we’ve put together our top things to look out for when deciding if it is time to replace your carpet.

Here are a few of the signs that your carpet might need replacing

You Can No Longer Hide The Stains

A home is not meant to be looked at, it’s meant to be lived in. While this is all well and good when it comes to making a space your own, it can also mean that your carpet takes a hit over the years with accidental spills and stains. Fortunately, if you act fast enough, many stains can be removed or minimised, but some stubborn patches can be near-impossible to get rid of, especially when you use DIY carpet cleaning methods.

Over the years, this results in finding more creative ways to disguise stains from decorative rugs to indoor plants, but if you’re getting to the point where you’re running out of rugs to cover up wear and tear, it might be time for a change.

It Smells, Even After Cleaning

There’s nothing worse than coming home to smelly carpet. Even if you get rid of the visible stain, there are some substances where it’s harder to erase the evidence. This is often the case for homeowners with pets – even if you spot clean little accidents straight away, sometimes the smell can remain, meaning that the odour may have penetrated more deeply into the carpet fibres, or into the padding.

It Has Bald Patches Or Matting

Carpets see a lot of use over the years – especially if you have kids who like to practise their cricket bowling down the corridor, or who like to use the living room for dance rehearsals. Over time, this can result in your carpet wearing thin or matting, especially in high-traffic areas. Polyester carpets tend to be slightly more prone to matting, and often cannot be restored.

It’s Lost Its Cushion

One of the key benefits of choosing carpet over other flooring options is the soft cushioning beneath your feet. The layer of cushion under the surface of your carpet is what makes this possible, helping with both comfort and acoustics. Uneven carpeting, as well as carpet that feels like you’re walking on unforgiving concrete can be indicators that the condition of the padding isn’t what it should be.


Water damage is a carpet’s worst enemy, leaving stubborn stains as well as a lingering damp smell. Dampness is particularly common in Australia’s more humid regions, such as tropical Queensland. Keep an eye out for possible signs of mould and mildew, as well as a stale odour – this can be a sign that it’s time to replace your carpet.

How to Care for Your Carpet if  You Have Pets at Home

When you own pets and have carpet in your home, it can be difficult to keep the carpet looking clean all of the time. Cats are generally cleaner than dogs since most cats are indoor animals. They do still shed and spread pet dander, so vacuuming twice per week is suggested. It is also ideal to have a carpet with a medium tone and that has a few colors woven in to help hide some pet dirt from showing.

Regardless of which pet you have, it’s never easy getting the pet smell out of your carpet. Let’s explore a few tips that just might help.

Purchase Stain Resistant Carpet

If you are able, stain-resistant carpet is always the way to go. Consider this option if you are replacing the carpeting or wish to carpet a wood or tile floor. This type of carpet is often more costly but also lasts for an extended period of time. Stain-resistant carpet already has a protective layer applied to the fibers. There is no need for scotch guarding practices as it can withstand being steam-cleaned, vacuumed and spills without losing too much of its integrity.

Scotch Guard Non-Stain Resistant Options

If you have carpet that is a few years old it is best to scotch-guard the carpets. This will put a protective guard on the carpet. It will need to be repeated after a period of time to help the fibers maintain their structure and help protect additional stains from being possible. You should have this done professionally to ensure that every fiber is treated. Missing a spot by doing it yourself can cause stains to get under fibers that are treated. This can cause stains that do get past the scotch guarding to be harder to get out.

Cleaning Pet Urine

Pet urine is one of the toughest things to battle when it comes to carpet care. In order to get accidental urine spots out of the carpet, you need to catch it rather quickly. Get several paper towels first and step on them, a few at a time, with shoes on. This will help you to pull up the urine without spreading it. Continue to do this until the paper towels come up nearly dry. Make a mixture of 1-teaspoon of ammonia and 1-cup of water. Spray this on the area and let it sit for 5-minutes. Use a stiff brush and make small circular motions from the inside of the spot outward. Use a wet/dry vacuum to pull up the rest of the area. This should prevent the urine from staining and should pull all of it up from the carpet.

Keep your Pet’s Nails Trimmed

The length of your pet’s nails can cause damage to a carpet. When a pet gets excited and runs around or scoots across the carpet, it can snag the strands of material. This can cause an unraveling effect that would eventually leave spots that are bare, disheveled looking or less fluffy than the rest of the carpet. When trimming your pet’s nails it is also ideal to use a pet nail file on them. This removes the rigidity left to make the nails feel smooth again. This also helps to protect carpet and hardwood floors as well.

Use a Hardwood or Tile Entrance

After taking the dog for a walk when it has been raining or snowing, a hardwood or tile floor entrance with a rug that they can walk over first is ideal. This prevents wet and muddy feet from making prints on the floor and prevents the mud from getting on the carpet. Some dogs will play in mud or splash a little due to their size. Keep a towel handy, next to the entry door, to wipe them off. Some types of mud can be more difficult to remove from carpet than others.

Use a Carpet Powder for Homes with Pets

There are several carpet powders for homes with pets available. Sprinkle it on generously and allow it to sit for the amount of time suggested on the package. Vacuum thoroughly by going over the entire carpet twice. The first pass will pull up the powder and topical particles. The second pass, which should be performed in a slower motion, gets down further to pull up hair, dander and other particles that are deeper into the fibers.

How To Be A Pro Wedding Videographer

What to Know Before You Hire a Wedding Videographer

If you’re considering hiring a wedding videographer to document the biggest day of your life, you no doubt have a big decision ahead of you. Just like choosing a photographer can be quite a process, deciding who to have filming your entire day is important too! As another big-ticket item on the wedding budget and one whose presence will matter long after the day is done, choosing a wedding videographer is not a decision to take lightly – but we’re here to help! Read on for a few must-know tips to keep in mind before you hire someone.

1. Hiring a professional matters.

With so much technology available at our fingertips these days, it’s easy to think, “I’ll just have ___ (a friend or family member) take some video.” But wedding videography is so much more than that. A professional videographer has the equipment and the know-how to capture your day in a way that evokes the best emotions, looks beautiful and lasts a lifetime. Like photographers, they’re the experts in angles, lighting and locations and can truly tell a story through film. A simple camcorder video or phone video simply won’t compare. That said, you can expect to spend just as much, if not more, on a quality videographer as you would a top-notch photographer, so be sure that’s factored into your budget before you begin your search. Some photographers also specialize in videography, and vice-versa, so it is possible to get a package deal!

2. Review the basic wedding videography styles.

While of course these styles can vary, modern wedding films typically fall into one of three stylistic categories:

Candid: the documentary version of a professional wedding film. With more emphasis on raw, candid moments happening as they truly unfolded, without cinematic-style panning shots. Candid films do typically include natural audio and sometimes voiceovers and/or instrumental tunes.

Music video: built on cinematic shots spliced together with professional effects and music overlaid, this style usually won’t include much personal audio, like vows or speeches, but will show several different aspects of the day set to beautiful songs.

Cinematic:a combination of both! With both raw, candid shots that capture dialogue and natural noises, alongside visuals captured in an epic way that will make you feel as if you’re watching a movie trailer of your very own day.

Standard wedding film lengths:

Trailer or Teaser: 1-2 minutes highlighting the most exciting, memorable portions of your day, with very little dialogue. The perfect length for sharing on social media!

Highlight film: 3-6 minutes covering the biggest parts of the day and often just snippets of audio like vows, letter readings and speeches. The video below falls into this category! The video below falls into this category!

Short film: 8-10 minutes long and allows for more complete coverage of the audio elements listed above.

Feature film: 12-15 minutes and longer – a feature film allows for the most storytelling – often including voiceovers to tell backstories, audio from parts of the day not covered in other formats and a more complete, inclusive option to re-live your day.

Long-form: this length will include less cinematic-style editing, but should cover the most important parts of the day, your ceremony and reception, just about in their entirety.

Of course, the lengthier the wedding video, the larger the budget required, generally speaking. With this in mind, you can look at various videographers’ work and have an idea of what your film will feel like, or if you’re not able to tell, ask them what type they specialize in. Many videographers will offer a pairing of a trailer-length film along with a longer format so you can have multiple options to share.

3. Cover your bases.

Once you’ve found a videographer you feel a connection with, it’s time to ask a few specific questions if you can’t readily find the answers. Look thoroughly through the contract and make sure expectations are clear about turnaround time (the industry standard for wedding videos is about six months, although some wedding films can take up to a year to finish). In what format(s) will they deliver your video, and is it a format that will allow as much longevity as possible? A DVD probably isn’t ideal for the long haul, but you may want another tangible option rather than only having your film available online.

Think about the important what-if questions like what will happen in the event of bad weather, of a reschedule, or if the videographer can’t make it for some reason?  If your wedding requires the videographer to travel, which costs are you responsible for? Does your videographer have insurance and a license to legally fly drones, if they’ll be using that type of equipment? Do they only use legally licensed music and songs in post-processing? Make sure all your bases are covered!

Just as you would give the same heads-up to your photographer, you’ll want to let your videographer know if there’s anyone or anything they should make sure to capture, while at the same time, trusting them to film your day beautifully without much direction from you (remember, it’s their job! They do this all the time.)

4. Get ready to be mic’d up.

If you’ve chosen a wedding videographer who will include voices and audio dialogue as part of your final film, they’ll likely need to use various audio equipment to clearly record things. You may have a small microphone and wire attached to you for part of the day, or be asked to hold a microphone at some points. The videographer may need a block of time on your wedding day to get certain shots that will add to the quality of your film – so just be prepared and trusting of their needs. It will all be worth it in the end!

How To Choose A Great Wedding Videographer

Not all videographers are created equal, and of course it’s essential that you choose the best one for your wedding day! Follow these 5 steps to hire an experienced professional to capture your wedding day on film.

Make It A Priority

For some reason, videography doesn’t seem to be at the top of everyone’s priority list when booking wedding vendors. But as couples start to realize the value in watching their big day back on film for years to come, top videographers are booking years in advance. So in order to land a talented videographer, make it a priority, right up there with booking a photographer and venue!

Browse Local Videos

Resources like The Knot and WeddingWire are great for finding local videographers. Also, don’t be afraid to check out local wedding blogs for great examples, or browse Vimeo for inspiration. You may even be able to find a film from your venue, which is a great opportunity for you to picture your day.

Read Reviews

The best way to gain insight into what it will be like to work with a videographer on your wedding day, is to read the reviews from others! Again, The Knot and WeddingWire are great places to look, but also reference Facebook, Google, or even Yelp! Look for detailed reviews that mention how it was coordinating together before the wedding, interacting on the wedding day, and accomodations post-wedding.

Know Your Budget And Non-Negotiables

One of the first things we say to every couple is follow your heart and go with your gut. Don’t pick someone because they are the cheapest. Find a videographer who creates films you love and resonate with. Choose a videographer who makes you feel comfortable and relaxed.

In saying that – you do need to know your budget, so you know what packages to enquire about or you have a conversation starter when you contact a videographer for a custom quote.

Understand what your non-negotiables are and what you’re willing to let go of to secure the best videographer for you. For example having two videographers may be a non-negotiable for you, but having drone footage might be something you can live without. If you know what you’re willing and not willing to let go of it can help you identify the best package, price and videographer for you.

Choose Someone Who Matches Your Style

Most importantly, the best videographer will create films that you absolutely love. When you’re watching different videos, try to pick up on things such as music, audio quality, video quality, and transitions. Jot down notes about what you like (and don’t like) as you watch!

Communication and Confidence Is Key

If you want to be your videographers favourite couple communicate with them clearly before the day and on the day be confident in front of the camera.

Leading up to your wedding day make sure you send your final payment off to your videographer in time and let them know any last-minute changes along with all the information they’ve requested before the day.

On the day acknowledge your videographer but ignore the camera – this isn’t an episode of The Office – don’t spend the entire day kissing and then staring down the barrel of the lenses! It’s easier said than done but the more you can ignore the camera and forget you’re being filmed and focus on each other the better your wedding film will be.

Your photography and videographer have one goal in mind – to capture you both being in love and enjoying your day.

They want to capture you both laughing, kissing, loving each other and having fun with your friends and family. The more you can do that the less direction they’ll need to give you and the more relaxed you’ll feel on the day.

How To Compare Local Moving Services And Their Quotes

How to Plan the Perfect Move

We know that the key to a successful move is planning. Planning and organizing your move will help to alleviate the stress of moving and avoid any surprises. The relocation process takes anywhere from 90–120 days. During this time, make plans for getting to your destination by working We’ll help you to plan what needs to get done before moving day, on the day itself, and upon arrival, organizing all the small and big details. The more organized you are, the less stressed you will be.

8-12 Weeks Before You Move

If you own your home, contact your real estate agent to begin the selling process.

Establish your preferred moving dates.

Research your new community by using Bekins on-line moving tools.

Compare school districts.

Obtain free city reports.

Use our salary and mortgage calculators to compare.

Set up a house-hunting trip to your new city.

Find out if your employer will be paying for the move or will be providing you with a lump sum or a direct reimbursement.

Have a garage sale or donate goods you do not want to move. This will help you save costs on the move.

4-8 Weeks Before You Move

Contact us to schedule a convenient time for a free estimate.

Purchase your new home, arrange financing, and establish close dates.

Make a list of everyone you need to notify of your move.

Obtain change of address cards from your local post office.

Check with your school on transferring your children’s school records.

Research driver’s license requirements for the state you are moving to.

Find out from the IRS or your accountant if moving expenses are tax deductible.

Contact your insurance agent to discuss your insurance needs for your new home.

Select a new bank in your new city.

Begin to organize your medical and dental records.

3 Weeks Before You Move

Make a decision on whether you will pack your own cartons or if you’d like to utilize professional packing service.

Begin the packing process if you are doing it yourself.

Compile all personal records.

Change your address on credit cards, magazine subscriptions, etc.

If you have children, arrange for them to be at a babysitter or with friends/family during loading day.

Arrange to have your utilities disconnected after your move-out day.

Arrange to connect your utilities the day before your scheduled move-in day.

2 Weeks Before You Move

Plan to use all the food in your refrigerator and freezer.

Clean your home and clear the basement and attic.

Cancel all current delivery services such as newspapers.

Dispose of all flammables, cleaners, paints, aerosols, ammunition, etc.

Transfer all current prescriptions to your new local pharmacy.

Clear out your safety deposit box. Transfer bank accounts.

Be sure that you have packed everything in advance.

Drain the oil and gasoline from your lawn mower and other power tools if they are to be moved.

Countdown to Moving Day

6 Weeks

Tour your home from top to bottom. Decide what is to be moved, and plan to sell, donate or throw out the rest.

Decide on the approximate date you would like to move.

Phone us to arrange a visit with a moving consultant.

Show your consultant everything that is to be packed and moved. The estimate of the cost of the services that you will require will be based on these items only.

Discuss professional packing services. If you decide to pack some articles yourself see our packing guide. If you require material to pack we can supply all of your needs at a nominal charge.

Find out what portion of your moving expenses will be paid for by your employer.

Keep all documents and correspondence connected with your move. They will be helpful during the moving process and Tax time. Do not pack them; keep them with you.

Keep notes. Write down any questions or concerns you may have about your move as you think of them.

Gather letters of introduction from your clergy, business associates, club presidents, doctor, dentist, lawyer, etc. Ask your doctor for copies of renewable prescriptions.

Arrange to transfer or resign the family’s club memberships.

Schedule farewell visits to family and friends.

Plan menus to use up present stocks of canned and frozen food.

4 Week

Notify your post office. Find out your new postal code. Send change of address cards.

Arrange to have utilities disconnected. Arrange for temporary cellular service.

Write or phone the utility companies at your destination to arrange services to be connected as soon as you move in.

Ask the phone company at your destination if service can be connected before you arrive.

Ask your bank to transfer your accounts to the branch nearest your new home.

Get a bank draft or certified cheque to cover COD charges for the move.

Arrange for a safety deposit box at the new location. You may want to leave the contents in your present box until one becomes available at destination and then collect them on a return visit.

Never pack valuables. Keep money, jewelry, bonds, etc. with you, or arrange for a courier service to transport them.

If you are planning a garage sale, do it now!

Transfer fire, theft and other insurance. Check your policy to see whether a long-distance move is covered.

Ask your Consultant for a Welcome Wagon card and mail it so that a hostess can welcome you in your new city.

2 Week

Check the notes you have been making. If you have any questions, ask your Consultant.

Be sure to ask your consultant for a “Destination Member Contact Card”. This specifies the name and the phone number your destination agent in your new city who will contact you once you are ready for delivery of your shipment.

Have your rugs and draperies cleaned. Leave the rugs rolled and wrapped.

Prepare a floor plan of your new home and make extra copies. They will be very helpful for moving in. Keep these with your moving documents.

Prepare your car for transportation. If you are driving, make certain everything is in good working order. Obtain the maps you’ll need. Contact your auto club for route information that will be enjoyable for you and your family. Make a list of items that you will take , and plan entertainment for younger children.

Plan a going-away party for your children and their friends.

Arrange for your family’s enroute accommodations through one of the many hotels participating in our New Horizons program.

If you plan to do your own packing, now is the time to start. If you figure that packing will be too much for you, now is the time to contact your Consultant to arrange for professional packing. It explains what items cannot be included in your shipment. Phone your city’s public works department about disposal of toxic dangerous chemicals.

Collect all items being cleaned, repaired, stored and loaned to friends. Return library books.

Arrange care for the baby and youngsters during the busy days of packing, moving out and moving in.

1 Week

If your pets are accompanying you, ask your veterinarian about inoculations, certificates, quarantine and entry regulations if you are moving abroad. Arrange transport by air or rail, unless you are taking them with you.

For the night before moving day, arrange to spend the night with friends. With everything packed away, you will be more conformable.

Take the family for visits to some of the places that hold happy memories for them.

Plants not being moved can be donated to hospitals or nursing homes.

Prepare for meals between now and moving day. On the busiest days, plan to eat out or have meals brought in. Donate excess canned and frozen food to your community food bank.

Keep separate any food, plates, and utensils that you will need for the last days. Pack them on moving day.

Prepare a list of items you will need immediately at destination, such as flashlight, light bulbs, toilet paper, cleaning supplies, packaged snacks, drinks, etc. Pack these last and unload them first, along with necessities such as the crib and playpen.

Place in separate groups the things that you want packed together, such as linens, toiletries, and toys.

Two days before the move, do all the laundry. Remember to pickup clothing from the dry cleaners.

Drain fuel from the lawnmower and other machinery. Safely dispose of all gasoline, matches, paints, aerosol cans etc. listed in dangerous Goods.

Confirm hotel/motel reservations for your trip.

Organize all your moving and travel documents as well as valuables you will be taking with you.

Confirm your destination. Will your new home be ready and will you be able to move in on schedule.

Local movers – your partner to a safe relocation

Moving can be quite difficult when you relocate by yourself. It can also be dangerous and unsafe if you don’t have adequate tools and help. It is more than common that people can get injured when they relocate by themselves. To avoid trouble when relocating, make sure to hire reliable local movers for safe relocation.

Reasons against DIY moving

While most people want to save money while moving, others move on a budget. In both situations, they might try to organize the entire relocation by themselves, find cheap moving boxes, pack their belongings and transport everything to their new home. DIY relocation may be a good idea for someone who has a lot of free time and helps while moving.

Also, relocating for yourself can be very difficult when you have to move a long distance. If that is your situation, you have to be very prepared and have a great knowledge of import and export laws to handle everything without delays.

On the other hand, there are numerous aspects to consider like professional packing that can get you into trouble and delay your shipment. At the end of it all, you may end up spending more money than you expected. Also, you can easily get a fine when transporting „forbidden items“ in your shipment.

When conducting a move by yourself, you may lose valuable time. Even with the help of the best local movers, you should prepare a bit for the moving day. By doing so you may lose a little bit of free time. However, it would not be as nearly as much as you would lose when doing everything yourself. The most important aspect of your local move is safety.

Moving Checklists

Make a Supply Run

Stock up on packing supplies. Moving boxes, bubble wrap, packing foam, packing tape, plastic totes – anything and everything you can gather ahead of time will help when it’s time to begin packing.

Get a Head Start

Start the packing process early. The earlier you begin packing, the more organized and stress-free you’ll be. View our packing tips to get started today.

Label Containers

Mark all moving containers with the contents and location they go in your new home. You and/or your movers can lose a lot of time digging into boxes to figure out what they contain and where they go in your new home.

Get Rid of Some Stuff

De-clutter and purge unwanted items. The more items you can donate, give away or sell, the lighter your load will be which can save you packing time, loading time and ultimately – money.

Make Lists

Make a list of all utilities you’ll need to contact to set up end-of-service dates and final bill details; likewise with start-of-service dates at your new home. Check off each utility as you make arrangements. Make a similar list for all other bills like mortgages, auto loans/leases, credit card and cell phone accounts.

Schedule Cautiously

Try to move during the week when more services like banks, government offices, utilities, mechanics and tow-services are open, in the event you run into any problems and need assistance.



When you make the decision to move, the clock starts ticking. Don’t worry, we can help. This is a handy timeline and checklist you should tackle before your move to help insure a smooth transition. Time will be at a premium on the day’s right before your move, so be diligent in checking off these tasks.


for larger moves schedule a walk though. Weekends and dates at the beginning and end of the month fill up quickly. If you need a specific date it’s best to schedule early.

Discuss insurance coverage and options with other members of your household. Inquire with your homeowners’ policy or renter’s insurance to see what they cover. Our qualified representatives will be happy to explain basic value protection and recommend 3rd party carriers if you require full coverage insurance.

Create a moving binder or folder to keep track of important papers and receipts.

Go through closets, garage and storage to gather old or unused items. Consider selling them or donating to charity. We’ll be happy to assist with charitable donations.

Begin packing items that aren’t used frequently; seasonal items, rarely used items stored in attics or garages, decorative pieces.

Get a box-labeling system in place. Numbered boxes, color-coding by room, and a master list with inventory are key elements.


How’s your packing going? If you’re feeling a bit overwhelmed now is the time to call us. We have professional packers available that would be happy to assist with as much or as little help as you need.

Fill out you change of address cards with the post office. Consult your list of businesses, services, credit card companies, etc. and schedule address changes on all accounts.

Make arrangements for child and pet care if necessary.

Schedule utility services to be turned on at the new house and turned off at the old house. Be sure to allow some crossover time with electricity and water services so you can come back to the old house and clean or do final walkthroughs.

Clean all major appliances. Put deodorizer in refrigerator and freezer.

Cancel or forward any newspaper or magazine subscriptions.


Be sure to emphasize items that require special handling.

Organize items that should be packed together.

Set aside an area and place all the items that you don’t want packed in that space. This should include medication, checkbooks, important papers, cell phone chargers, garage door openers, keys, overnight bags, children’s items, etc. Let the packers know when they arrive that these items are not to be packed. Empty closets, bathrooms, and beds work very well.


Put all refrigerator and freezer items in zip-lock bags and place them back in the refrigerator. This makes it much easier to place in the ice chest the next day.

Shut down and disassemble all electronics. Blue painters tape works very well to label the individual wires. Put all cords and remotes in a box and label accordingly.

If you’re handling your own disassemblies start a small box or bag for all misc hardware and pieces. Label accordingly.

Make sure you have an open box or two available for last minute items. Label them ‘open me first’.

Personal Injury Lawyer Case Samples

Questions to Ask Before Hiring a Personal Injury Lawyer

Many people who are hiring a lawyer are hiring one for the first time and are thus not familiar with the profession and its specialties. There are criminal lawyers, divorce lawyers, corporate lawyers…and a lot more…but when you need a personal injury lawyer in Joliet, you need a lawyer who can do that job the best. Here are some questions to ask before hiring a personal injury lawyer.

First of all, ask about fees

It is important that you and your personal injury lawyer in Joliet get to know each other so you can both work well together. The first thing that you will want an answer to is whether or not the law firm will charge you a fee. Most often, lawyers promise that you only pay when you win, but it is still a question to ask about. How does the law firm get paid if you don’t win, and will any expenses or other fees come your way? It is also a good idea to ask around to find out how this agency’s fees match those of personal injury lawyers at other firms.

Secondly, ask about their successes and failures in the past

Ask if they have ever tried cases like this one before. Have they had any experience with cases involving personal injury? Most importantly, does the personal injury lawyer in Joliet have any interest in this type of case? This will give you some idea of whether or not they will be dedicated to you.

These questions also speak to experience. If you and your personal injury lawyer in Joliet have to go to trial, does this lawyer have the experience to represent you? Do they have a strong success rate? You don’t want a lawyer who will push you to settle too early, but one who is ready and willing to go to trial armed with as much information as they can get to lead you to the best outcome.

Thirdly, ask about their experiences with other clients and their relationships with other law firms

Will they allow you to talk to other past clients? Do they have reference letters to give? You will also need to know how busy they are and how many referrals they get from other firms. Can they give your case the amount of time that it needs, and are they respected enough in the field to take clients from their peers? Do they know their stuff? This questioning will also tell you if the personal injury lawyer in Joliet has enough time to give you.

Have You Worked on Similar Cases Before?

If you’re filing a personal injury claim, you’ll want to work with a personal injury lawyer. They’ll understand the ins and outs of your case and be able to give you the best representation possible.

So ask your lawyer if they’re worked before on cases that are similar to yours. If they avoid answering this question, you might want to take your business somewhere else.

What Types of Cases Do You Usually Take?

Isn’t this question the same as the one above?

Actually, no. There’s an important distinction between the two. Just because a lawyer has worked on a case similar to yours before doesn’t mean it’s their usual area of practice.

For example, you won’t want to work with a lawyer who primarily focuses on dog bite injuries if you have a car accident injury.

What kind of strategies do you typically use?

This is a great question to ask so that you understand the methods that an individual lawyer will use in your case moving forward. Some personal injury lawyers are extremely aggressive, and others are patient, yet no less successful. It’s up to you to decide which strategies work best.

Have you ever had a case that was similar to mine?

You most likely want to know if the personal injury attorney has any similar experience in his or her past that will help you win your case. Some people only want experienced attorneys. Others are okay with allowing new attorneys to work on their case. It’s up to you, but you should be able to make the choice yourself.

How does pricing work?

Don’t forget to ask this question. Even if you forget to ask, it’s the attorney’s responsibility to discuss the breakdown of pricing with you. You need to know exactly what you’ll be paying for and how much your personal injury lawyer gets if he or she wins the case for you.

Tips for Hiring the Right Lawyer for Your Case

Finding the right attorney to represent you is absolutely essential to any personal injury or accident case. With 1.35 million lawyers in the United States, choosing the right one can be challenging. We’ve gone over some questions to ask before hiring a lawyer, and now it’s time for some additional tips to make sure you have the right legal team by your side:

  • Make sure the lawyer has the right kind of experience
  • Set expectations for communication right from the start
  • Make sure the law firm’s approach fits your own intentions
  • Go with an attorney who is familiar with your state’s laws
  • Call references for the attorney and talk to past clients, if possible
  • Don’t be shy! Ask about the attorney’s fees
  • Use an attorney who specializes in your case
  • Consider the lawyer’s reputation and credentials
  • Make sure your lawyer is objective and isn’t looking to settle right away

What Should I Know Before Hiring a Lawyer.

Are you in the midst of a tough dispute and feel like you are out of options? Or, perhaps you are not fully aware of the legal routes you can take. Either way, if you are about to pick up that phone to call a lawyer, there are a few things you should know first.

How can my case be handled?

Just because you are hiring a lawyer, you do not necessarily need to go to court. Attorneys can be of assistance in many different ways both inside and outside of the courtroom. There may be alternate methods of resolving your dispute. A good lawyer can review your case and help you develop a cost-effective strategy. It is a lawyer’s job to know the ins-and-outs of the legal system, making them a true asset to you during these difficult times. A lawyer’s advice is always given with your best interest in mind, whether it be before a judge or outside of the courtroom.

What kind of lawyer do I need?

Although lawyers are highly trained in the legal system, each one tends to have their own specialty. For example, if you are going through a divorce, you should seek out an attorney who focuses on family law as opposed to say, criminal defense. There are also certain areas of the law that are very specialized, in which case, you would want a lawyer with the experience necessary to succeed. So, before you pick up the phone to call the first lawyer that pops up on Google, narrow down your results by searching for the right attorney for your specific needs.

The Specifications.

Before agreeing to anything, make sure you are fully aware of the scope of your contract. What exactly is the lawyer representing you for? Will the lawyer provide litigation services? What type of fee structure will you be paying? These are important things to know before hiring a lawyer. It is important to ask questions! And remember, there is no such thing as a stupid question. The more you know about the case and contract, the better off you will feel.

What Is Important If You Want To Train As An Electrician

Preparing for the IBEW Aptitude Test

What Is An Aptitude Test?

Aptitude tests are one of the most commonly used assessments in measuring a candidate’s suitability for a role. The IBEW wants to ensure that their candidates have a solid ability to comprehend written text, basic algebra, and have some mechanical aptitude.

What You Need To Know Before Taking The Test

The most common issue I hear from people who have just completed taking the test is, “I really wish I had brushed up on my math skills.” Now those individuals may have to wait another 6 months to a year before they can test again.

Math and Mechanical

The math portion covers algebra and functions with a total of 33 questions that must be answered within 46 minutes. Now, along with the math portion you will most likely see some mechanical questions. These questions may ask about pulleys, how loads are distributed, the best way to balance a load being hoisted, and basic mechanical theory.


The reading portion covers comprehension with a total of 36 questions that must be answered within 51 minutes. This measures your ability to obtain information from written passages. You’ll read a lengthy bit of text and then have to answer specific questions about the text.


The test is scored from 1 to 9, with 9 being the highest possible score. Most apprenticeships require a qualifying score of at least a 4 to be considered for an interview.

Electrician Prices List

How much do electricians charge per hour in? Every electrical contracting company has its own electrician prices list for the range of services they offer. Your electrician, once they’ve qualified and they’ve undergone a number of years of on-the-job training offers you and your family a wide range of services which not only make living in your property more comfortable but which also protects them against real risks of fire and electrocution.

But the problem for many of us is that we have no idea how much an electrician will charge us for an individual job – many of us don’t really know what a fair rate would actually be

In this article, looks at:

electrician hourly rates

the importance of electrical safety certificates

central heating repair service costs

light fitting costs (including outside lights)

shower fitting costs

earth bonding services costs

smoke alarm fitting cost

light fitting cost

fan fitting cost

the qualifications your electrician needs and whether they should belong to any trade bodies

how to save up to 40% on electrician costs

You can get 3-4 quotes from local, trusted, experienced electricians and electrical contractors by clicking on the button below. We’ve done all the background checking on them (as have our partners, Rated People) meaning that you’ll be receiving quotes from time-served professionals who actually do have the knowledge and the skill to do what you need them to do.

Every time we recommend an electrician to you, they also know they’re in competition with each other to win your work and our clients have told us that the cheapest quote they receive can be up to 40% less expensive than the most expensive quote. It always pays to shop around so please do fill in the form below.

What Electricians Do

Electricians install, maintain, and repair electrical power, communications, lighting, and control systems in homes, businesses, and factories.

Electricians typically do the following:

Read blueprints or technical diagrams

Install and maintain wiring, control, and lighting systems

Inspect electrical components, such as transformers and circuit breakers

Identify electrical problems using a variety of testing devices

Repair or replace wiring, equipment, or fixtures using handtools and power tools

Follow state and local building regulations based on the National Electrical Code

Direct and train workers to install, maintain, or repair electrical wiring or equipment

Almost every building has an electrical power, communications, lighting, and control system that is installed during construction and maintained after that. These systems power the lights, appliances, and equipment that make people’s lives and jobs easier and more comfortable.

Installing electrical systems in newly constructed buildings is often less complicated than maintaining equipment in existing buildings because electrical wiring is more easily accessible during construction. Maintaining equipment and systems involves identifying problems and repairing broken equipment that is sometimes difficult to reach. Maintenance work may include fixing or replacing parts, light fixtures, control systems, motors, and other types of electrical equipment

Electricians read blueprints, which include technical diagrams of electrical systems that show the location of circuits, outlets, and other equipment. They use different types of handtools and power tools, such as conduit benders, to run and protect wiring. Other commonly used tools include screwdrivers, wire strippers, drills, and saws. While troubleshooting, electricians also may use ammeters, voltmeters, thermal scanners, and cable testers to find problems and ensure that components are working properly.



Electricians install, inspect and test wiring systems and components in all types of buildings, structures and machinery. They play a key role in the construction, engineering, manufacturing and service industries.

Their area of work may be:

Installing and maintaining the electrical circuits and wiring found in every home and business – installation is probably the most well known area of electrical work.

Panel building – installing the control panels that operate and maintain the infrastructure of a building such as lighting, heating, air conditioning and ventilation systems, or that control supply systems in industrial, commercial, leisure and domestic premises.

Repairing and rewinding electrotechnical system components.

Instrumentation – installing, calibrating and maintaining the tracking systems found in manufacturing and building services.

Maintenance – servicing electromechanical equipment such as heavy plant machinery used for production and chemical processing.

Traffic management – installing and maintaining street lighting and traffic management equipment, such as traffic lights and highway signs and signals.

Installation electricians work on construction or refurbishment projects. They follow architects’ or contractors’ plans, which show where to fit wiring systems, power outlets and electrical equipment.

This involves:

Fixing wiring systems in wall cavities, ceilings, floors and metal structures.

Fitting fuse boxes, circuit-breakers, earthing systems and control equipment.

Connecting wiring to sockets, switches, light fittings, appliances and equipment.

Laying the cabling which connects equipment to power supplies and computer networks.

Installing security systems, such as CCTV.

Inspecting and testing wiring systems and equipment.

Electricians use a variety of hand and power tools to measure, cut, join and fit cabling, wiring and equipment. They may work alone or in teams, and will also liaise with other tradespeople, such as plumbers, carpenters and builders, as well as architects and site managers

Guide for landlords: electrical safety standards in the private rented sector


The majority of landlords are proactive when it comes to ensuring the safety of their tenants and make a welcome contribution to the housing market. But a minority fail to do so, putting their tenants in danger as a result.

These new Regulations require landlords to have the electrical installations in their properties inspected and tested by a person who is qualified and competent, at least every 5 years. Landlords have to provide a copy of the electrical safety report to their tenants, and to their local authority if requested.

This means that all landlords now have to do what good landlords already do: make sure the electrical installations in their rented properties are safe. The Regulations came into force on 1 June 2020 and form part of the Department’s wider work to improve safety in all residential premises and particularly in the private rented sector.

This is a major step towards levelling up the private rented sector, making sure it will offer high-quality, safe and secure housing. Along with our social and owner-occupied sectors, this is housing this country deserves. This government values the contribution made by good landlords, the majority of whom provide well maintained, safe, secure and high-quality places to live, work and raise families.

Landlords of privately rented accommodation must:

Ensure national standards for electrical safety are met. These are set out in the 18th edition of the ‘Wiring Regulations’, which are published Standard 7671.

Ensure the electrical installations in their rented properties are inspected and tested by a qualified and competent person at least every 5 years.

Obtain a report from the person conducting the inspection and test which gives the results and sets a date for the next inspection and test.

Supply a copy of this report to the existing tenant within 28 days of the inspection and test.

Supply a copy of this report to a new tenant before they occupy the premises.

Supply a copy of this report to any prospective tenant within 28 days of receiving a request for the report.

Supply the local authority with a copy of this report within 7 days of receiving a request for a copy.

Retain a copy of the report to give to the inspector and tester who will undertake the next inspection and test.

Where the report shows that remedial or further investigative work is necessary, complete this work within 28 days or any shorter period if specified as necessary in the report.

Supply written confirmation of the completion of the remedial works from the electrician to the tenant and the local authority within 28 days of completion of the works.

Home Inspection Education Partnership Counts Toward College Credit

Items Home Inspectors Can’t Evaluate

When a home inspector examines the property your buyer is under contract to purchase, you should know that there are some items the inspector legally can’t determine about its condition. Inspectors are bound by a set of rules that limit what they can share with a buyer

Termites, rats, or mold. Most inspectors aren’t licensed to determine whether these types of infestations exist. Instead, they may note evidence such as sagging floors (which could imply a termite problem), shredded insulation (an indication of rats), or black discoloration on the walls (which could mean fungal growth). If an inspector notices these items, your client should follow up with a specialist who can better evaluate the issues.

Hidden flaws. Inspectors check for what they can physically see without having to move anything. Therefore, they may not be able to say whether the foundation is cracked behind the wood paneling or an electrical plug behind a sofa isn’t working. Inspectors should note if they are unable to evaluate a critical component of the home. In some situations, the seller could be asked to move an item in order to give the inspector a better view.

Evaluations of pools or septic systems. Specialists may be required to come in to take a closer look at certain aspects of the home. Inspectors are not certified to inspect everything. “We’re general practitioners,”

Unnecessary repairs. Inspectors may take note of every little flaw in a home, from chipped paint to window scratches. That could leave your buyer with an overwhelming list of defects. “Some inspectors like to show they know more than somebody else,”

Ask the Experts: Taking Care of Your Home Inspection While Following Proper Guidelines for COVID-19

Q: This is certainly the most unusual of times. How is Pillar To Post Home Inspectors®\ handling customers and business in the wake of COVID-19?

A: This is something none of us has ever experienced, although there have been other disasters and trying times for our industry. Like every other business is likely to say, the health and safety of our customers is our highest priority. As such, we are diligently monitoring updates from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the World Health Organization (WHO)

Q: How do you minimize contact and keep the proper distance while conducting home inspections?

A: Fortunately, we have years and years of experience building solid relationships

Q: Why should people continue with home inspections or other semi-essential services?

A: We feel that people are going through enough, as are our home inspectors. They are all small business owners who would like to get on with a task that will bring everyone a step closer to getting back to a normal life. While following all safety guidelines, our home inspection is just one more large task that people can move forward with. At a time when many items and services have to be put on hold, it’s great to keep up with those that can be managed. This causes less stress and allows people to feel less “behind” on life.

Q: Where do you see the other side of this crisis?

A: Hopefully, we will all have learned a lot about personal distance, safety, helping others in a time of need and putting proper protocols in place for an unlikely event such as this.

Managing Home Inspection Fears During the Pandemic

As real estate professionals learn to complete transactions virtually and in other ways that take social distancing guidelines into account, a trouble spot may be the home inspection. Already, sellers are retreating from the market, fearful of letting people into their homes and potentially coming in contact with the coronavirus. So, the home inspection—which requires an inspector’s physical presence at a property—may be a tough negotiation point. “The biggest fear people have is of the unknown—not knowing the inspector, not knowing the people coming into their house—and what inspectors do already is pretty intrusive,”

First, many inspectors advise that no more than two other people besides the inspector should be present at a home during an inspection. And you don’t have to be one of them. “Don’t attend the inspection unless you absolutely have to—and there’s no reason why you should if your clients are already going,”

But if you absolutely must be present, wear masks and gloves, maintain the recommended six feet of distance from others, and use a laptop with a Bluetooth mouse to direct others through a digital copy of the inspection report plus photos and videos

You also may ask a home inspector to video call you and your client to review items in real time while the inspector is at the property so no one has to meet face-to-face “That way, the inspector can still take us over to the wobbly railing and show us exactly where it is, or show us how the window is loose and doesn’t stay open. So, it’s kind of like being there,”

It’s also incumbent on those who visit a home in person for an inspection to keep sanitation in mind. “When I walk into somebody else’s house, I used to like to leave it as I found it. Now I’m doing my best to leave it better than I found it,”

Can buy and sell a house in person again

In-person home showings, appraisals, inspections, and other real estate activity can resume throughout under certain COVID-19 safety guidelines, according to an executive order

Before the order reopened real estate, was the only state that deemed real estate activity “nonessential” and barred in-person real estate transactions for a majority of its residents. The ban was part of the business shutdown meant to slow the spread of the coronavirus. The commonwealth permitted in-person real estate activity only in counties in the yellow phase of reopening.

All real estate-related businesses, including title companies, notaries, and mortgage loan officers, must follow guidelines from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and conduct business remotely when possible, according to the executive order.

In-person activities such as showings and final walk-throughs must be scheduled by appointment and be limited to one real estate professional and two others inside a property at one time. Real estate agents and clients must travel separately. For in-person showings, appointments should be 30 minutes apart or more, agents should minimize the time spent inside the property, and everyone should avoid touching common surfaces such as doorknobs and light switches. Group showings remain banned

real estate activity in his business closures roughly two months ago, real estate agents have been relying on virtual tours and open houses to sell properties. But the ban on in-person showings and other interactions has depressed home sales. Some potential sellers and buyers have been stuck in financially perilous situations in which they couldn’t move forward with transactions.

Real estate business is ‘essential,’ but showings must be virtual

The guidance from ESD still encourages real estate agents to “maintain social distance to the extent possible,” but notes that showings (for both residential and commercial properties), inspections, and appraisals may resume.

What this doesn’t mean is that traditional viewings—open houses, or even having an agent bring a client into a home for a one-on-one appointment—should continue, as was previously reported.

“Being an ‘essential’ industry does not mean business as usual — business can only be conducted if social distancing and other public health protocols are followed and all must be doing everything they can to help stop the spread,” a spokesperson for ESD said in a statement. “For real estate, that means brokers can only transact business in their offices or show properties virtually, and anything else is off limits.”

Essential Businesses must continue to comply with the guidance and directives for maintaining a clean and safe work environment issued by the Department of Health and every business, even if essential, is strongly urged to maintain social distance to the extent possible.

The following functions of real estate and/or realtors (sic) are considered essential: residential home and commercial office showings; home inspections; and residential appraisers.

Succession Planning And Selling An Accountant Practice

How to build accountability into your corporate culture

What is a “Culture of Accountability?”

A culture of accountability is a work environment where people demonstrate a high level of ownership to think, respond, and proceed in a manner necessary to reach business goals. Accountability in business is directly related to higher performance.

Why Should Your Company Have a Culture of Accountability?

In many companies, employees are working across time zones and different departments to achieve their business goals. Creating a culture of accountability in the workplace is a multi-dimensional and multi-layered issue in this fast-paced business world.

Building an accountability culture makes a powerful impact on your business goals and success. Accountability helps you ensure that your employees show up for shifts, know what their roles are, and meet deadlines. This structure makes every employee responsible for fulfilling their duties and automatically makes a positive impact on business growth.

Why Is It Important To Build A Culture Of Ownership And Accountability In The Workplace?

When employees take ownership of their work, they treat the business they are working for — and its state of well-being — as if it were their own. They take more care with decisions, because they see the business as a part of themselves. They also tend to be more driven and motivated, looking for creative ways to improve the quality of their work. Critically, this mindset is infectious, and the more powerful your culture of ownership becomes, the more successful your business will become.

People who don’t take ownership are more likely to simply go through the motions and do the minimum that’s required because, ultimately, the result doesn’t matter to them. Unfortunately, this mindset is also infectious, and if left to fester you can quickly see large parts of your workforce rotting away.

How does ownership and accountability connect to trust in the workplace?

Trust is built on confidence that your teammates are striving towards the same objectives that you are. It’s the comfort that comes from knowing that everybody really cares.

Thinking about delegation and micromanagement helps you to identify whether or not you have trust in your workplace. If you don’t feel that your teammates will do the right things and come back with results, then you’re lacking in trust. Low trust translates to poor productivity, and you end up devoting extra time and energy following up and managing details you shouldn’t have to. If you don’t feel trusted, you’re less likely to take initiative because you’re already afraid of the criticism that’s coming your way.

Ownership and accountability build trust. And trust encourages employees to take ownership. Trust reinforces accountability because when you know that you’re trusted, you don’t want to squander that by letting your teammates down.

An example of responsibility vs. accountability

Consider this real example of how large companies often operate. Imagine the CEO of a big multinational organization has a critical meeting coming up with the government representatives to discuss tax rates for the following years.

The CEO intends to demonstrate the company’s contribution to the country and asks one of his executives to take care of collecting the data and preparing the presentation. The executive sends the task to a subordinate, the middle manager who forwards it to the trainee saying: “you have all the information in the database, just put it in the slides”.

Everybody fulfills their tasks: the trainee prepares the slides and sends them on time to the middle manager. The manager confirms that everything is in line with the information in the database and sends it to the executive who forwards the slides to the CEO.

Only at the last step, while preparing for the meeting, does the CEO realize that the indicators are lower than expected. At this point, nobody is able to explain the difference and there is no time left to dig into the details.

Of course, presenting such disappointing results, the company does not manage to negotiate the desired deal.

How do company results change in an accountable team?

Imagine what could have happened if the organization promoted an accountability culture. If not already included in the briefing of the delegated task, the trainee would ask about the goal of the analysis. While analyzing the data, she quickly realizes that the numbers are not in line with the expectations.

As she has been working directly with the customers and documentation, she knows that the contribution for the past quarter should have been much higher.

The trainee calls the accounting department to discuss the issue and together they discover a reporting mistake that has affected the data. They fix the mistake on the spot and the trainee sends the correct slides to the manager.

The manager – surprised to learn about the challenges that this task uncovered – contacts the accounting department to discuss how they can prevent such mistakes in the future. The executive, in turn, shares the conclusions with other related departments to ensure that the same improved quality standard is implemented across the organization.

After delivering the presentation to the government, the company manages to negotiate a beneficial deal for the taxation terms.

This example demonstrates how an accountable organization can not only increase their chances of achieving individual results but also work on process improvements to increase the overall quality standard across the entire company.

Let’s look at some ways to make accountability part of your business world:

  • Be reliable and consistent. Simply put, do what you say you’re going to do. And, expect the same of others. The path to accountability is through consistency, predictability and follow-up. As leaders, we need to be accountable in terms of providing interim guidance throughout the project and not just at the end.
  • Communicate your expectations clearly. Don’t assume someone can fill in the gaps. For people to succeed, they need to know what the successful completion of a project looks like. This includes key metrics, dates, costs, etc. It’s important to give team members the opportunity to ask questions to get a full understanding before starting their projects. It’s then that they can take full ownership.
  • Empower employees. Once everyone understands the expected results, they should be empowered to get the job done. They should have adequate resources and structure to allow them to succeed. They shouldn’t have to circumvent process or continuously fight upstream as a means to achieve successful outcomes.
  • Foster collaboration and mutual accountability. Ensure everyone knows what major initiatives are on each other’s plates. It’s amazing how effective a business can be when people talk to each other and hold each other accountable.
  • Create a learning environment. It would be nice if everyone completed everything right on the first attempt. That’s just not realistic, though. Rather than overreact when someone drops the ball, try to create an environment where people learn from mistakes. Likewise, take responsibility for your own decisions, good or bad, to model the behavior.

Using your engagement survey to measure accountability

There are multiple ways we can utilize data and feedback to build a culture of high accountability.

First, we can ask questions in our engagement surveys to measure feelings of accountability at the individual, department, and organizational level. Using Culture Amp’s analytic features such as demographic filtering and the heatmap, you’ll be able to identify whether specific departments or groups of employees are struggling with accountability.

Second, surveying is a two-way communication tool. We are inherently communicating the behaviors and outcomes that we seek through the types of questions that we ask. Thus, if we ask employees about their perceptions of accountability, we will drive home the types of behaviors that are important and central to our workplace culture.

Biggest Mistakes Veterinarian Make

Choosing The Right Veterinarian For Your Cat

Next to you and your family, a veterinarian is the most important person in your cat’s life. You want to make sure your veterinarian is giving the best care possible because he or she is responsible for your cat’s health and well-being. So how do you go about doing this?

One of the best ways to find a vet is through the recommendation of a friend. If you know someone in your area with a cat, ask them what clinic they use and what they think of the vet. The phone book and internet are also good places to start your search. Select a few practices in your area and call to see if you can come past and have a look. You don’t need to bring your cat for this initial visit. It will help you to get a feel for the clinic. You’re going to be entrusting your cat’s life to these people so it’s important that you feel comfortable with them.

Here are some things to take into consideration:

Is the facility clean?

  • Are the staff professional?
  • Are they friendly and approachable?
  • What is their policy for emergency care?
  • Do they offer boarding or grooming services?

Most veterinary clinics have one vet and several vet technicians. However, group practices are increasingly common because they allow several skill sets to be available to the patients. One is not necessarily better than the other, so use your judgment to find the ideal type of clinic for you and your cat.

Tips Before Taking New Pets to Vet

Congratulations on acquiring your new pet family member! Whether you have owned many pets or this is a first for you, this is an exciting time. It won’t be long before you get to know your pet’s normal behaviors and quirks. But, first, you must take care of your pet’s healthcare needs.

Here are five things to know before taking your new pet to the vet for the first time.

1. Don’t Delay

Even though your new kitty or pup may appear perfectly healthy, you should have him examined as soon as possible after you bring him home.

Your veterinarian may be able to detect medical issues that aren’t readily apparent at first such as a subtle skin condition or a congenital heart murmur.

Also, you’ll want to develop a relationship with a veterinarian, if you haven’t already. This way when you have a pet illness or emergency you can more swiftly to receive care.

Extra tip: For everyone’s safety, be sure you have your dog on a leash or your cat in a pet carrier when you arrive at the vet.

2. Have Reasonable Expectations

Surprisingly, I’ve met a lot of new pet owners who have the misconception that their new pet doesn’t need any booster vaccines, viral tests or deworming because someone told them that the pet “has had everything.”

Puppies and kittens need vaccinations and dewormings at regular intervals up to a certain age (this age may vary per locale). If their vaccine history is unknown, they may need more frequent boosters initially to ensure immune protection against certain viruses.

Also, heartworm tests and oral preventives, as well as feline viral tests for Feline Immunodeficiency Virus and Feline Leukemia, are important to have early on.

It’s important that pet owners—even experienced ones—know that protocols and paradigms are forever changing in the veterinary field as new information arises and thus the standard of care may have changed. Rather than make assumptions about your pet’s well being, it’s always best to schedule that new pet exam right away.

Extra tip: Remember, your new pet exam is also your opportunity to ask the veterinarian many questions about potty training, obedience and introduction to other pets and family members.

3. Spaying or Neutering

Some people think that a dog must go into heat or reach a certain age before being spayed or neutered. We now know that dogs that are spayed before their first heat have a 90% less chance of developing mammary cancer. Cats that are neutered early have minimal chances of developing urine marking behaviors.

Many new discoveries as to the long-term effects of spaying and neutering have recently been published. There are many things to consider when determining the best time to spay or neuter a cat or dog, including the breed. Talk to your veterinarian about what is best for your new pet, including any concerns you may have.

How to Choose the Right Vet for Your Pet

For most people, choosing the right vet for their pets is much harder than choosing the right physician for themselves.   When choosing a vet, you’re not just looking for  someone with exceptional medical skills, but also for someone with excellent people skills who understands you and your pet.  And since most veterinarians work with a team of professional support staff, you’ll want to evaluate them, too, as you look for the best fit for you and your furry family members.

The worst time to find a vet is when your pet has a medical emergency, so plan ahead and do your research before you need one.   The following suggestions can help you in your search.

Yellow Pages/internet search

While this is a good start, I think this should only be a first step.  Proximity to your home will certainly be a factor in your decision, but it shouldn’t be the only one.  A good vet is well worth driving a few extra miles.  If you’re using the internet to look for a vet, use common sense if you’re visiting review sites such as Yelp.  The opinions posted there are only that – opinions.   Do your own research and make up your own mind after visiting potential vets.

Word of mouth/referral from friends, neighbors or family members

With most service businesses, word of mouth is usually the best way to find a provider.  But a word of caution:  make sure that the person referring you shares your philosophy when it comes to how to care for a pet.  Not all pet owners consider pets members of the family, and even among the ones who do, there are varying degrees.   Don’t necessarily trust a referral from someone you just met.  When I got Feebee, who was my first cat, I was not only clueless when it came to how to select a vet, I was also new to the area, so I did what most people would do – I asked a neighbor who had a dog and a cat and didn’t pursue any other recommendations, nor did I research the clinic myself.  I later found out that the vet I took Feebee to had a reputation for cutting corners during anesthetic procedures, especially in the area of pain control.  Sadly, I didn’t find this out until after Feebee had already been neutered and had had a dental cleaning.

Important things to consider before getting a pet

If you are here, that means you are probably considering getting a pet. While owning a pet is rewarding, be mindful that pet ownership is also a huge responsibility. Here are several important things you should consider before getting a pet.

1. Can you commit?

Pet ownership is a long term commitment. Dogs and cats have an average life span of 10-15 years. Would you be able to commit to them for such a long time? Dogs and cats require a lot of attention. If you feel that you can’t devote your time for your pet, getting a choice is not a wise choice for you. Or perhaps you can choose getting a pet like a fish as they are less time demanding.

2. Can you afford?

Know your financial condition. Owning a pet can cost you a lot. Food, grooming, toys, veterinary care and treatment are the expenses you can’t avoid if you own a dog or cat. Owning a fish is less costly compared to other pets.

3. Will pets fit your lifestyle?

If you have long working hours, a busy social life and you travel a lot, think twice before you are getting a pet like a dog and a cat. Like I mention before, dogs and cats require attention. They need you to play and interact with them constantly. Solitude can lead to serious behavioural problem. Make sure your pet can accommodate to your lifestyle.

4. Do research

Do research beforehand on the pet you wish to get. Pet care for instance, require a great deal of knowledge. Grooming, nutrition tips and safety are stuffs you need to know before you get a pet dog or cat.Just google it. You may find tons of information through internet. If you think information from the internet are not reliable, you can always refer to the vet in your commnuity.

5. Allergies

Make sure you or your family don’t have allergies towards fur and animals. If you are not sure whether you or your children are allergic to cats and dogs, spend time at your friend’s house with a pet to find out.

Pet Insurance

Even though I am a veterinarian, I have pet insurance for my pet as there are services that I can’t always provide and they come with associated costs.

I recommend getting pet insurance BEFORE ever bringing the pet in for an exam. In my experience, owners with pet insurance are able to make decisions based on expected prognosis rather than cost when they know that some or all of the veterinary care is covered.

Once a medical condition is entered in the file, however, it may become a “pre-existing condition.” I can’t tell you how many times someone has brought a sick pet to me and, after discussing the diagnostic tests and treatment plan, they say, “Do you think I should get that pet insurance now?” Just as you want to have health insurance for yourself prior to needing medical care, the same is true for your pet!

Let’s Have Some Scorpion Control Please

Scorpion Identification & Prevention

What are scorpions?

Scorpions are a type of arachnid; like all arachnids, they have eight legs. They have a segmented tail that curves up over their back, and the last segment of their tail has a stinger attached that they use to capture prey or to defend themselves. Because of their venom-filled tails, no homeowner wants to discover living in their yard or home. Scorpions are predators, and feed on a variety of prey, including insects, spiders, other scorpions, and even lizards. A unique fact about scorpions is that they give birth to live young (average litter size is about 31). After being born, they climb onto their mother’s back until they have their first molt and then become independent.

One of the most common species of scorpion living throughout Nebraska is the striped bark scorpion (Centruoides vittatus). These scorpions have a yellow or tan body with two wide, black stripes on the top of their abdomens.  Striped bark scorpions have long, slender, claw-like structures they use to capture and hold onto their prey.

Are scorpions dangerous?

Scorpions are poisonous and can be a health risk to people. Worldwide, there are about 1,500 species, and of those, only about 25 species pose significant dangers to people. You should always be careful around scorpions, including the striped bark scorpion. Depending on the sensitivity of a person, a sting could result in pain and localized swelling or a severe reaction that requires medical attention.

Why do I have a scorpion problem?

Striped bark scorpions are active foragers, which means they don’t wait for their prey to happen by; they actively hunt down their prey. Properties with a lot of insect and spider activity are often attractive to scorpions. Scorpions, like any other creature, need water for survival, and they prefer to live in cool, damp areas. When the weather outside becomes too hot and dry, scorpions often move indoors to get out of the heat.

Where will I find scorpions?

Scorpions are mainly outdoor pests that live in sheltered areas that keep them hidden during the day. Scorpions become active at night, hunting for food. Spaces under rocks, logs, firewood piles, and fallen trees are common hideouts for scorpions. They can also be found in flower beds or gardens hidden under dense vegetation or mulch. Many species, including the striped bark scorpion, are excellent climbers, and you’ll find them on trees and on the walls both inside and outside of our homes.


What are scorpions?

Scorpions are a type of arachnid and therefore related to spiders, mites, and ticks. Scorpions have many eyes but poor vision. They rely on touch and vibrations to hunt their prey. They are excellent hunters and, despite being dangerous when living near people, they are beneficial. Scorpions feed on populations of nuisance insects, arachnids, small lizards, and small rodents.

One of the more common species living in our area is the bark scorpion. The bark scorpion is a smaller scorpion species, with adults growing to between two and a half to three inches in length. Their body is a light brown to brownish-yellow color and has darker bands that run lengthwise down their body. Compared to other species of scorpions, their pincers are much thinner and more elongated. They have a slender tail that curves up over their body and has a venom-filled stinger at the end.

Are scorpions dangerous?

The Arizona bark scorpion is the only scorpion living in the United States that causes significant health concerns. While a sting from a bark scorpion can be fatal, that is rarely the case. However, being stung by a bark scorpion should never be taken lightly. Their stings are excruciating and cause symptoms that include numbness, muscle twitching, and difficulty breathing. Young children and the elderly are more likely to have a severe reaction to their venom than a healthy adult.

Why do I have a scorpion problem?

Bark scorpions thrive in the area because of our desert landscape. They will make themselves at home on any property that provides them with ample hiding places, burrowing spots, and prey to hunt. Another reason that bark scorpions are attracted to your property is that it offers them a source of water. Leaky pipes, dripping air conditioners, and clogged gutters provide bark scorpions with areas of cool, damp soil that help them to maintain their moisture needs.

Where will I find scorpions?

Outside, in our yards, scorpions regularly hide behind tree bark, and under things like rocks, logs, fallen trees, woodpiles, and mulch in garden areas. They often live in the soil or on trees located close to our homes. Scorpions excel at climbing, and can easily scale a home’s exterior walls and move inside through torn windows screens, vents, gaps in exterior walls, and spaces around windows or doors. They also move inside through cracks in the foundation or spaces they discover under exterior doors, and regularly invade garages and sheds, hiding in dark corners or moving into boxes and other storage containers.

How to get rid of Scorpions

Scorpions can be an issue that many have to deal with. While they may be an issue not all scorpions are the same. There are also different things they are attracted to, different reasons why they may enter your home and special ways that you can provide treatment to get rid of the scorpions.

it can be fairly simple to recognize a scorpion by the shape of a body, but not all scorpions are created equal. There are many different species of scorpions that you will be able to find in fact, there has been an estimation of 3-5 species that you will see

Bark scorpion: These scorpions tend to stay in very dry climates. During the day they hide because they are delicate to the loss of moisture from their body. Most of the water they have in their body the get from their prey. They choose to go indoors when they want to leave the outdoors and generally choose a place that has more food sources. They commonly use a gap they find under doors or ground-level windows; they may also use gaps they’ve found in your foundation.

Striped scorpions: This species of scorpions usually habitat under rocks, debris or boards. They will stay either outdoors or indoors; they are considered to be bark scorpions because they are associated with fallen tree logs, dead vegetation in the earth and human dwellings. These scorpions like most stay out of sight during the day and come out at night. This helps them from losing too much water and it regulates their body temperature.

corpions will feed off of insects, spiders, centipedes, small lizards, snakes, and mice. The majority of the time they will feed on insects and mice, but they don’t have to eat often… they can go without eating for six months.

Practical Guide To Scorpion Control

Whether or not you’ve been stung by a scorpion before, you probably believe us when we say you don’t want these pests in your home. There is a reason many people are scared of scorpions! In order to lower your chances of an encounter with one of these stinging arachnids, keeping them out of your home is a good place to start.

the most common is the bark scorpion, sometimes called the striped bark scorpion. They are pale yellow or tan with two dark stripes on top of their abdomen. Scorpions are easily identifiable by their long, segmented, curved tail. At the end of their tail is the stinger, which they use to inject venom into their victims. Scorpions are nocturnal, so they are most active at night.

Scorpion Dangers

Scorpions are a dangerous pest because their venom can be painful and dangerous for humans. In most cases, a scorpion sting will be sore for a day or two and then may feel itchy for several days. Some people may have a more severe reaction, including swollen limbs, rashes, fever, or more. If you are stung by a scorpion, especially if it’s the first time you’ve been stung, you should seek medical attention.

How To Prevent Being Stung

Scorpions are not especially aggressive toward humans. The vast majority of scorpion stings happen because a person did not see the scorpion and accidentally put a body part in the scorpion’s space. A scorpion will sting because someone steps on them, sits on them, or reaches into an area where they are hiding

The best way to prevent being stung is to practice being more observant and checking for scorpions around your house. Here are some areas where scorpions might be hiding:

in laundry baskets

in beds

in furniture

under sinks

in the back of a cabinet

under a box

in basements and attics

in dark corners of closets

outside under rocks and logs


Scorpions are one of the most feared pests in the area! Even the name, Scorpion, sounds like a name from hell.

There are three different types of Scorpions in the area:

Devil Scorpion

Desert Hairy Scorpion and

Bark Scorpion

The Bark Scorpion is a tough creature. When it senses a pest spray, it can sometimes slow down its metabolism big-time. This behavior allows the scorpion to just barely survive while the pest spray dissipates whereupon the scorpion can resume life where it left off. Even when scorpions do encounter enough spray to kill them it can still take up to 2 weeks.

How To Get Rid Of Scorpions

If you have a scorpion problem please call or text us. We have helped many customers get scorpion problems under control over the past 20+ years and we will be happy to help you too.

Tip: One of the most effective ways to quickly limit an active scorpion population is to use a black-light flashlight around the exterior of your home at night to locate scorpions (they glow green under black-light) and spray them directly with specific over-the-counter aerosols that will kill them.

Scorpion Stings

I’ve experienced a scorpion sting personally and it’s not a pleasant thing. If you have infants or children in your home, and you have a scorpion problem, we can provide tips to help you protect your children from scorpion stings while we get your scorpion problem under control

Online Engine Rebuilding Education Programs

Things To Know About Engine-Swapping

The practice of engine swapping is nothing new, and dates back to a time when materials like rich mahogany and canvas were regulars amongst the automotive design arsenal. Stuffing bigger, more powerful engines into smaller, lighter-weight chassis is one of the most effective ways of generating a power-to-weight ratio that the factory won’t. Your grandpappy did it; so can you.

The number and variations of engine swaps are seemingly limitless, but the principles for one that doesn’t end up in failure don’t change. Sandwiching an engine in between a unibody is the easy part; getting ancillaries like electronics and power steering to work as well as properly retrofitting fuel and cooling systems into place can mean the difference between a fully functioning hybrid or 2,500-pounds worth of salvage stuck between you and your lawnmower. At the very least, these engine swap checklist considerations should be made before starting any power-plant switcharoo.

Engine Swap Checklist

  • The Right Car
  • An Engine
  • Engine Mounts
  • Axles and Drivetrain
  • Pedals
  • Shifter
  • Fuel System
  • Cooling System
  • A/C and Power Steering
  • Intake and Exhaust

Changing An Engine Is More Than Just Changing An Engine

Changing an engine is never as easy as changing an engine. You will spend more time in the scrapyard searching for pieces than you ever thought possible. There are several reports of people attempting this feat, only to end up with a piece of junk at the end of the day.

Your sweat and tears will mix with the dirt of your labor, and by the end of your project, you should feel glad because you achieved the impossible. It might be hard at times, but it is never enough to give up on your dream of performing an engine swap.

Understand The Effect Of The Added Weight

This is true for anyone putting a different engine into their vehicle. People have been known to remove a 300-pound engine and place in a 600-pound engine without thinking about the consequences. Your car is only meant to carry so much weight, and adding a larger engine can cause it to bog down, or cause issues with your chassis and suspension.

It is definitely possible to do this, as we have seen with the classic American muscle cars, but it is not always smart. You want to ensure your car has a stable center of gravity and upgrade it to be able to handle this added weight.

Never Force Anything

It might be frustrating when pieces refuses to come out or go together, but forcing anything will only cause major damage. Many times, people try to pry something out of their car, but the problem is that there is still one bolt holding it together.

Another error is when people try to force the engine and transmission together, which is a huge mistake because these should fall easily together. If you crack your transmission because you tried to force something, you will not be happy. Damaging this is the last thing you want to happen, as it will lead to a costly replacement.

Expect Challenges To Arise

All engine swaps are not created equal, and the cars are ultimately changed by the end of the process. Your new engine might not fit with the hoses and other components from your old engine, which can put you in a predicament.

This is part of the reason why doing research is so important, so you know exactly what you might need in addition to the engine itself. It is always recommended you use an engine from the same manufacturer as they are generally easier to install, but putting in an engine from a different company is a whole other story.

Special Rules For Inline Engines

When performing an engine swap, you usually have to remove the intake manifold and the exhaust manifold. This is not the case with inline engines, as you have the luxury of disconnecting them and pushing them aside. It is about fourteen bolts, but it will save you a tremendous amount of time.

Usually, you would have to reconnect all of the sensors and plumbing when the new engine is dropped in, but it is not necessary when you choose an inline engine.

Understand The Risks Before Going For The Reward

You should understand the amount of work that goes into these vehicles, and be able to figure out how to do it well. Oftentimes, people who have no idea what they are doing perform some shady repairs that result in a faulty engine. They use alternative methods that can lead to dangerous mishaps and potentially put everyone involved at risk.

If you plan on upgrading your steering and suspension at the same time as en engine swap, make sure you understand the complexity of the process. No one wants to see their pet project go up in flames (literally), but crazier things have happened when someone doesn’t understand the risks of their actions.

Should You Fix Up or Break Up With Your Car?

You’re looking at a $1,200 repair estimate for your ailing car when an ad catches your eye: a brand new set of wheels for a mere $450 a month.

At first, dumping your old car might seem like a no-brainer — and you can’t help picturing how good you would look in that new car. But automotive experts say you’ll almost always come out ahead — at least financially — by fixing old faithful. There are, however, other important considerations when deciding whether it’s time to say farewell.

Deciding what to do

To make the best decision for your situation, consider the pros and cons of both options.


  • Faster than shopping for and buying a new vehicle.
  • No change in insurance costs.
  • The car’s history is known.
  • You won’t waste time and money advertising and selling your car.
  • But your repaired car might soon need more repairs.


  • Purchase can include warranties and sometimes maintenance.
  • Recent cars have advanced safety features.
  • Younger cars are more reliable.
  • You’ll stop wasting time schlepping to the repair garage.
  • But a new car loan is a long-term financial commitment.