Car Buying Tips From Used Car Dealer

Things to Know When Shopping for a Car

There are 250 million registered passenger vehicles in the U.S. today — and just 115 million American households. According to government statistics, 57 percent of those households have two or more vehicles (9 percent have none).

It’s clear that for the vast majority of us, cars are essential tools that allow us to conduct our very busy and increasingly spread-out modern lives. They ferry us back and forth to work, they move our families from place to place, they help us complete our chores and purchases, and sometimes, they even let us get away from it all

What You Want (and Need)

Know what you want, before you start looking. It will save you a lot of time and could save you from a very expensive mistake.

Your Budget

While a car may be an essential tool, it’s also an expensive one. And unless you have stacks of cash — and even if you do — you need to figure out what you can afford to spend. After your mortgage or rent, your car payment is likely to be the next biggest item in your budget. So calculate carefully, and know what your finances will allow. You may need to cut other expenses to make room for a car loan.

New or Used?

Almost 13 million new vehicles were sold in the U.S. in 2011, along with an untold number of used cars. So which path is right for you? It depends on how you answered Numbers 1 and 2 on this list.

Things to Do Before Heading to a Dealership

to pass a little time before your movie starts, or to get away from the house while your mother-in-law is visiting, you owe it to yourself to do a few things first. These eight duties will each make your life much easier if you find a car, truck, van, or SUV you want to buy on the spot. Although some of them may take a little time, they’ll save you plenty of trouble later.

Make sure you have your trade-in vehicle’s title.

Are you someone who is notoriously disorganized? You probably have the title of your trade-in shoved between other papers. Do yourself a favor and look for it. Check every drawer, every box, and every niche in your home.

Get a copy of your credit report.

Not going to pay for your new vehicle outright? You’ll need financing, and that means the lender will want to check out your credit report. First, though, you need to have a good indication of what your financier will see.

Check out your vehicle’s honest trade-in value.

This is quite simple to do online and shouldn’t take up too much of your time. Be honest when inputting your information, and think the way the dealer will. For instance, would anyone really call your 15-year-old car in good condition if it’s dinged up and barely getting two-thirds of its original gas mileage?

Evaluate your capital and see what you can absorb.

It’s quite easy to get excited when you hop into a new Ford and realize that it’s the car you’ve been dreaming about for a long time. All that adrenaline can lead to poor decision-making, especially when it comes to your finances.

How to choose a car dealership

Your car-shopping experience will vary depending on the dealership you choose. In a recent Consumer Reports survey, 57 percent of those polled said they were very satisfied with their experience at the dealership, and 31 percent said they were somewhat satisfied. On the other end of the spectrum, 10 percent of the respondents said they were somewhat or very dissatisfied with their dealership experience.

That survey makes it clear it’s possible to have a positive dealership experience. It’s also possible to have a disappointing one. Your car-dealership adventure doesn’t have to be a luck-of-the-draw situation. There are steps you can take to make sure you choose a dealer with which you love doing business.

Price.No one wants to pay too much when purchasing a car, and people like to feel as if they’ve cracked the code and beaten the system when it comes to getting a great price on a vehicle. It’s human nature to crave a bargain.

Service. People need people, and even the most informed car shopper reaps rewards from stellar customer service. Service is key because informed client care rooted in integrity fosters trust between the consumer and the dealership, allowing you to focus on getting the right solutions to problems rather than avoidance of unnecessary expense.

Availability.Availability is essential, because if a dealer’s vehicle stock is limited, so are your choices. If a dealership doesn’t have models equipped with the options you seek, the dealer can special-order your vehicle from the manufacturer, but in many cases this can be a lengthy process. The simplest and most straightforward approach is to find a dealer offering a car with the options you want right there on the lot.

Things to Look Out For in a Used Car Dealership

Finding a reputable used car dealership can easily mean the difference between a car buying experience that is a dream come true, or a complete and total nightmare. As a used car buyer, learning to discern the difference between a good dealership and a great dealership, can make all the difference when it finally comes time to buy

the suburban streets are littered with used car lot options. From the roadside lot with shady salesmen and under-the-table dealings, to renowned locations with fair sales practices and a friendly team – the trick is learning how to spot the good apples in a barrel of bad ones.

Things to Look Out for in a Used Car Dealership

As you embark on the excitement of used vehicle ownership, first take a step back and learn four key attributes that every great used car dealership should have

Reputation: If there is one thing that consumers in America are great at, it’s giving their opinion of a buying experience. Whether it involves food at a restaurant, service at a neighborhood grocery store, or acquiring a new car, people in the United States love weighing in and using their voices. If the used car dealership you are considering does not feature online reviews, exercise caution moving forward. This either means that they severely sensor the reviews of their customers, or they are an overnight pop-up sort of shop – neither of which translates into a good thing for you. A reputable used car dealership should have a fair amount of exceptional reviews, with a few bad apples sprinkled in. Pay attention to how management responds to negativity, if at all. This is the best way to measure the level of customer service prior to engaging with employees at the actual dealership. A great business owner will respond promptly to complaints, and offer some sort of resolution. If a car lot has bad reviews without any sort of public response, be wary. Dealerships that do have negative report cards, but promptly respond with conflict resolution measures, are usually on the safe side. Regardless – don’t go into a used car dealership without first exploring its business reputation, and the management of said reputation. This is the first and easiest step to take in order to secure a positive used car buying experience.

Pricing Practices: All too often, used car dealerships take certain liberties when it comes to pricing the vehicles on their lot. New vehicles come with a manufacturer’s suggested retail price, or MSRP, so this unsavory sales method is not an issue when shopping for cars straight off of the assembly line. Keep a watchful eye on window stickers, and ask questions on any line items that are confusing to you. Used car lots are notorious for tacking on excessive items, as most customers don’t think to ask what a “dealer prep fee” is, or why they should have to pay for it. Bottom line – a great used car dealership will include all necessary fees in the car’s overall price, and will practice transparency in their pre-owned vehicle pricing.

Finance Fumbles: When a used car lot can’t get you to pay excessive dealer fees that are tacked onto the sticker prices of used vehicles, their finance department will try and take a shot at skimming more money out of your wallet. While most people will need to finance their new and used car purchases, a vast majority of those individuals don’t realize that they can obtain financing outside of the used dealership they are purchasing from. Whether you plan to get pre-approval from an outside institution or not, at the very least do your homework prior to heading into a dealership. Having a general idea of current finance rates, terms, and conditions, can help you spot a shady deal as soon as it slides across the finance manager’s cheap wood veneer desk.

Unnecessary Add-Ons: When a used dealership can’t get you to pay higher finance rates, or pay $500 for the car wash that took their minimum-wage worker five minutes to complete, they will likely try to upsell you on items you don’t need. While this shouldn’t be a deal breaker in and of itself, it should be approached with caution. Just as the restaurant will try to sell you the margarita with the more expensive tequila, so will any car dealership offer you add-on items to your vehicle purchase. Keep in mind, however, that offering something, and persistently pushing it on you, are two very different things. If the salesperson is making you feel uncomfortable or otherwise pushed into add-on items you have clearly expressed zero interest in, it may be time to move on. Remember, until you sign that final paperwork it’s never too late to get up and exit an uncomfortable buying situation.

secrets to getting the best deal on a new car

Prepare for sticker shock and new-car-loan awe. The average new car transaction price was $34,428 in December 2015, according to Kelley Blue Book. Meanwhile, the average loan amount for a new vehicle in the third quarter of 2015 was $28,936, according to Experian Automotive.

However, it doesn’t mean you have to spend that much to buy a new car. Whether you’re in the market for a new-new car, or looking for a previously owned set of wheels that’s at least new to you, there’s always a way to save money. Here are some of my top cheapskate car-buying tips.

That’s tough-love advice, but there’s a good reason for it. You might need to settle for a lesser model, opt for used instead of new or postpone your purchase to continue saving until you have the cash to buy. That’s because when you pay interest on something that actively loses value, you are losing money in two directions.

Kelley Blue book used the following to illustrate the “typical” financing deal:

Car sales price: $27,000.

Out-the-door price: $30,000

Down payment/trade value: $5,000

If You Don’t Buy With Cash, Get Preapproved

For those who can’t or won’t follow the above advice, at least get preapproved for a car loan before heading to a dealer. This will allow you to compare dealer interest rates to other available auto loan rates. It will also aid in you being able to focus on the sales price during negotiations rather than the monthly payment

Local Moving Guide For A Smooth Move

MOVING SERVICES

everything you need to make your move an efficient and stress-free experience. Whether you require residential moving, long-distance moving or commercial moving storage solutions,

hether you’re looking for moving help to relocate a single item or a full family home, offer our customers moving services that are fast, reliable and stress-free.

PROFESSIONAL AND FRIENDLY MOVERS

You will love meeting our team of efficient and friendly movers! crews will come in standard uniform ready to tackle any job with the proper equipment and a positive attitude. All of crews are led by a moving foreman that will oversee the service and have experienced and trained helpers to move your items as efficiently as possible.

A PUNCTUAL START TIME

will dispatch our crews from one of our various depots around and surrounding areas to get to your move started.

CONSTANT COMMUNICATION

From the first time you reach out to the completion of your moving day, are always here to help! commitment to unparalleled customer service is what makes us the best moving company. Prior to moving day, one of experienced moving coordinators will be there to guide you through the payment process and provide you with the most accurate estimate possible.

MOVING TIPS: HOW LONG DOES IT TAKE TO PACK A HOME?

Now this is a loaded question if there ever was one… because all homes are different, packing times vary from house to house. If you are moving house and have decided to do your own packing, these timeframes can be used as an estimate:

Studio to one-bedroom apartment: 1-2 days to pack.

Two-bedroom home: 2-3 days to pack.

Four-bedroom home: 4-6 days to pack.

These estimates are for all day packing and assume some experience with moving home and the organizational skills required. If you have not moved home before (or it has been a while) and want to pack for a couple of hours each day only, double or even triple the time you allocate for packing.

Many people like to do their own packing, as it is a way of ensuring that everything is packed the way that they would like it to be and is also a way to save on the cost of a move. If time is of the essence, however, a professional moving company such as Isaac’s can get the packing completed in a fraction of the time using trained professional packers and also have all the necessary equipment such as strong boxes on hand.

Moving tips to make your packing easier

Start with a tidy home: Packing up a home that’s in a mess is confusing and time-consuming… use the move as an opportunity to spring clean and de-clutter your life.

Start early – it always takes longer than you expect and is more than you thought it would be. Pack a couple of boxes a day for the few weeks leading up to the move and it will be a lot smoother.

Get strong boxes in a variety of sizes: You can buy these from your moving company, or visit your local home improvement store to buy good moving boxes – Supermarket dumpster boxes are not recommended as they are not strong and may fall apart.

Set up a packing area with all your materials and an area where you will put the full boxes that are ready to move. Make sure the full boxes are near the door and in an accessible place for the movers.

Have a packing strategy for each room – identify the items you don’t use daily and those can be packed first (even a few weeks before the move!).

Keep like items together – don’t mix food with clothes or books with ornaments, it will make finding and unpacking a headache.

Pack breakables tightly: Fragile items should not be able to “rattle around” in their boxes – fill in the gaps with packing material, soft towels or even old clothes.

Do an inventory as you pack: Label each box clearly with a number and the room the box should go to in the new house. keep a notebook handy to write down everything that goes in each box. Once you have finished packing, you’ll have a clear idea of exactly what has been packed (useful if any boxes go missing on moving day).

Mark the essential items (the one’s you packed last) with “Unpack First” so you know which are the boxes to open first when you arrive.

Pack a welcome box: All essential items that you might need during the first day or 2 in your new home should be easily accessible – tea and coffee, toiletries, pet accessories, children’s toys, medication and any other things that make your life more comfortable.

Movers can take care of all of the details

for complete home and business relocation services. No matter your needs, customized professional moving services from Movers can help make your move a breeze.

making your move as stress-free as possible. No matter the location – from high rises, to apartments, to single-family houses, to townhomes, to office buildings – fully bonded and insured moving team can handle all of your local area moving needs. With Moving, there’s no need to worry. experienced, professional movers will carefully pack up all your belongings and gently load them into trucks, deliver to your new location, unload, unpack, and even set them in place for you. And we’ll do it with a smile.

area moving specialists, we’re prepared for any challenge.

Moving knows that is a large community, which is why consider local moves to be anywhere within 150 miles of the greater area. You can rest assured that local Boston movers are familiar with the area and prepared to tackle any challenges your move may offer. Bonded and insured, professionally trained team will keep even your most fragile and prized possessions safe during your local move

What included in your local move

Full service packing and unpacking

Clean, fully stocked moving trucks

Protection of your home or office from damage

Same-day moving service when required

Bonded and insured movers

Competitive rates

Moves to locations within 150 miles

based moving professionals

Worry-Free Service

Efficient movers who stay until the job is completed

Delicate handling of your belongings

Available short and long-term storage options if needed

Moving Cost Guide & Estimate

How Much Does It Cost To Hire Local Movers?

One thing to note is that different company charges differently. Some movers charge by per hour basis, while others charge based on per trip, yet others charge based on the number of items.

typically cost between $250 to $1500

cheap movers able to provide the lowest prices between $250 – $500

other mid-tier companies between $500-$1,500.

As for per hour charges, the average moving rate is from $100 to $150 per hour.

Piano Moving Prices

depends on a few other factors, but in general:

Regular upright piano: $80-$120

Baby grand piano: $250-$350

Digital piano: $70-$100

Factors that can affect prices include proximity to the moving vehicle, presence of lifts. You can find out more about piano moving screening process in this article. It is best to talk to a few companies to compare quotations.

Disposal and Junk Removal Prices

Disposal fees start from about $50 and can go beyond $1,000. It depends on factors such as location, number and type of items, and whether there are stairs to climb to reach the customers.

Make the Right Choice with a Moving Company You Can Trust

you can expect only the finest moving expertise from team and accurate in-house quotes for the services you need.

movers are hand-selected to match the size and complexity of your move. Each person in team has undergone extensive targeted training to meet standards before they get the opportunity to serve you.

credentials, processes and systems have been modified and tweaked nearly to perfection over three decades of service.

As an additional security measure, conduct background checks on all moving staff as part of onboarding process to ensure safety throughout your transition. This way, you get most competent, trusted workers to complete your task, no matter how big or small your moving job is.

Secondly, it allows your business more options in the event of a critical change in objectives that requires unplanned mobilization and more. Lastly, being a singular moving and storage company gives you and your business an integrated logistics solution that can be called upon regularly and is already familiar with the layout and processes of your inventory management system.

Negotiating Tips For Home Inspection

What to expect from a home inspection

Home inspection basics

You’ve chosen a home, made the offer and now comes the inspection — a vital step in buying a home, particularly for first-time home buyers. 

How do I choose a home inspector?

Many buyers hire the first inspector they find. But don’t settle for less. Carefully research every home inspector and consider several factors:

Qualifications, certifications and training

Knowledge of building codes

Number of years inspecting homes

Referrals and references

Related work experience

Where can I find a home inspector?

Get referrals from family, friends and your real estate agent. Trusted sources act in your best interest. If you want extra assurance, ask the inspector if he or she belongs to an industry organization

I have a home inspector. Now what?

Your tasks don’t end once you choose a home inspector. You should also:

Attend the inspection

Carefully review the inspection report

The day of your home inspection

Before the inspector begins the review, carefully look over the home to identify defects and damage. Take pictures of anything that needs repair.

Things You Need to Know About Home Inspections

It doesn’t matter if you’re buying or selling a property, you’ll likely have to deal with a home inspection. A home inspection is an important part of a real estate transaction. It involves an experienced inspector checking the property’s appliances, electrical system, plumbing, heat and air system, roof, and foundation for minor and major issues.

Home inspections are optional

Unlike a home appraisal, which is mandatory by the lender, home inspections are not required. They are, however, recommended by lenders and real estate agents. If you’re buying a property and decide to proceed with an inspection, you are responsible for paying the cost. A property can look pristine on the outside, but have major flaws on the inside. An experienced, competent home inspector will be able to uncover many problems. These inspections are noninvasive, so don’t expect your inspector to open up the walls. But even with a non-invasive inspection, he’ll get a clear idea of the home’s condition and bring potential issues to your attention.

Be present for your home inspection

As a buyer, you don’t have to be present for the home appraisal, but you should be present for the home inspection. At the end of the day, you want to make sure you get your money’s worth. On average, home inspections can costs between $250 and $500. The inspection should spend a fair amount of time checking the outside and inside of the property. These inspections take roughly two to three hours depending on the size of the property. You should shadow the inspector so he can explain his findings to you. Also, don’t be shy about asking questions. For example, if you notice a crack in the wall, you can clarify whether the crack is a result of a foundation problem or the property settling over time.

Get a home inspection before listing your house

If you’re a seller, there’s also the option of having a home inspection before listing your property for sale. A house that looks to be in excellent condition and be anything but perfect. If you get a home inspection before listing the property, you can eliminate surprises down the road. A pre-inspection can provide a rundown of problems with the house, and you can take your time making the needed repairs. Once the repairs are completed, you can list your property with confidence.

Negotiating home repairs

There is no such thing as a perfect house. So regardless of whether the house is newer or older, the home inspection report will likely reveal at least one issue. As the buyer, you can ask the seller to repair all or most of these issues. If the seller isn’t prepared financially to cover the cost, you can ask for a credit or a price reduction. The seller can reduce the sale price of the property, or give a credit at closing for repairs.

Check Out Your New Home: The Ultimate Home Inspection Checklist

There’s a lot to remember when you’re buying your first home. To ease your concerns, it’s crucial to make sure that the home you’re buying is in good condition before you close. That way there won’t be any nasty surprises after you move in.

Should First Time Homebuyers Hire a Home Inspector?

Home inspection requirements vary by state. Your mortgage lender may not require a home inspection report to approve your mortgage, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t get one.

A good home inspector’s job is to go through your home and identify any potential problems. These problems could include obvious issues like termite damage, or they could be red flags that point in the direction of costly repairs down the line.

Whichever route you choose for finding an inspector, you should follow these steps:

Check home inspector licensing requirements for your state

Make sure that your inspector is comfortable having you present during the inspection

Verify a good working credit by reading online reviews before you hire anyone

Ask to see a sample inspection report

Ask what is covered in the report and what isn’t

The Home Inspection Checklist

Your work doesn’t end with hiring a home inspector. You should still be involved in this process. It’s your home we’re talking about. So, what do you need to do during and after your home inspection to protect yourself and your new home? Checklists can be an especially useful tool here.

Important Home Inspection Tips and a Checklist

Whether it’s a two-storey in the suburbs, a condo downtown, or a fixer-upper with potential, a home is much more than just a place to sleep. So it’s not hard to imagine why, when inspection time rolls around

Use a checklist

To ensure you’re hitting every corner of your potential new home, print out a checklist of common household inspection items. This should include all areas of the house, including bathrooms, bedrooms, garages and electrical elements.

Inside

Kitchen:

Check countertops, sinks, cupboard doors for damage

Ensure range hood exhaust fan works properly

Check pipes under sink for leaks

Check sink water flow

Floors, Walls, Ceilings:

Check for cracks, damage, water spots

Walk across all floors – ensure minimum unevenness, squeaking

Bathrooms:

Check faucet water flow & pressure

Ensure sink, shower, tub drains properly, toilet functions properly

Check for cracked/loose tiles

Ensure cabinets and plumbing under sink in good condition

Windows, Doors:

Ensure windows and doors open/close properly

Check for cracked/broken glass or damaged screens in windows

Inspect weather-stripping for damage

Basement:

Check for large cracks/stains in exposed foundation

Check for water leaks on ceiling/floor

No decay/damage in structural wood

Attic:

Check for structural and water damage

Ensure proper insulation and ventilation

How to Prepare For a Home Inspection

Home Inspection Preparation

How to prepare for a home inspection is a thought that more sellers should consider. Unfortunately many do not. One of the things that are quite common in the majority of all Real Estate transactions is a home inspection that is paid for by the buyer and performed by a licensed professional home inspector.

When selling Real Estate, a home inspection is typically done within the first couple of weeks after an offer has been submitted by the buyer and accepted by the seller. The Real Estate lingo used is called a “home inspection contingency.”

This contingency is spelled out in the agreed upon Real Estate contract. The traditional language in most purchase and sale agreements gives the buyer an out to terminate the contract if a severe structural or mechanical defects are found during the home inspection.

In some contracts, there will be a specified dollar amount that gives the buyer the option of revoking the contract if issues are discovered more than this agreed-upon figure. In a Real Estate transaction, the home inspection is one of the biggest hurdles a home seller faces to have a successful sale.

It stands to reason that you will want to make an effort to have your home in the best possible condition before the home inspection takes place. I can tell you from the experience of being a Realtor for the past thirty-two years; the home inspection is where most home sales fall apart.

How To Get Rid Of Annoying Ants

What do ants look like?

Ants are common insects that inhabit every continent of the world except Antarctica. Though they come in different colors, they all have three body regions: the head with antennae, thorax, and abdomen.  If you see flying ants, that means they’re mature males who will soon die after mating. Wingless ants are the ones that will infest your property.

At some point, it’s likely homeowners will need to know how to get rid of ants in their yard or residence. Ants are hardy insects that can easily make colonies in the ground and inside buildings. Not only can some species eat wood, but they can also cause painful bites.

While all ants can bite, not all species are likely to bite humans. Fire ants are the most aggressive species and are the most common biters. A blister with red spots forms soon after a fire ant bite. Carpenter, pavement, acrobat, field, and crazy ants can also bite humans when provoked repeatedly. It is usually easy to tell when you’ve been bitten by an ant because the area swells and has a stinging sensation.

What are ants doing in my house?

Ants are part of nature’s cleaning crew: they efficiently find and remove food left around the house. The problem is, sometimes humans don’t want their help.

You’ve probably noticed ants more commonly come indoors in summer – that’s largely because most insects are more active in the warmer months.

Ants occasionally come inside in search of water, particularly during dry periods. In this case you may see them in bathrooms or other humid parts of the house.

Heavy rains can also cause ant nests to flood and force them to relocate to nearby buildings, such as your house.

Home remedies for ants

So which home remedies and DIY solutions can you use for ants? Find out below!

Cinnamon

Cinnamon is often regarded as an effective DIY ant control option. It is believed that cinnamon acts as a natural repellent as ants can’t stand the smell.

This home remedy for ants involves using cinnamon essential oil as opposed to sticks or powder. It is believed that soaking a cotton ball in a solution of cinnamon essential oil and water and wiping down common ant hot spots, such as doors and windows, will help repel ants.

Will cinnamon get rid of ants?

Well yes, to a certain extent. A study in the International Journal of Scientific and Research Publications revealed that cinnamon essential oil can be used to both repel and exterminate ants.

However, there is a catch. The effectiveness of this DIY ant control solution depends on the concentration of the cinnamon oil, as well as the placement. For this home remedy to work, a high concentration of cinnamon oil needs to be used and it needs to be placed in the common areas where ants are entering your home. Identifying all the places where ants are exactly entering your home can prove difficult without proper training.

Vinegar

If you’ve read any of our other myth-busting DIY pest control tips, you’ll know that vinegar is often a common home remedy for insects. Ants are no exception.

To use vinegar as a home remedy for ants you simply need to fill a spray bottle with a solution of vinegar and water and apply it to the common ant hot spots and places where food is kept, such as cupboards and work surfaces.

Is vinegar a successful home remedy for ants?

Yes, but only for a short period of time. It is suggested that the aroma from vinegar masks an ant’s scent trail, preventing it from finding food. However, once the solution has evaporated it will no longer be an effective DIY ant control method.

To add to this, although it might help stop ants from finding food in the first place, it will have little to no effect on any infestation already in your home.

Lemon

Like vinegar, lemon is another home remedy for insects including ants. This DIY solution is thought to work as the acidic property of lemon juice masks ants’ scent trails and as a result, deters them.

For this DIY ant control option, rub lemon juice around door frames, window sills and other common entry points for ants.

Is lemon a successful home remedy for ants?

No, not really. Although lemon juice may seem like a successful home remedy for ants, it is not a foolproof solution. Yes, it may repel them for a short period of time, but in the long run, it has little to no effect.

Chalk

A common home remedy for ants is to use a piece of chalk to draw a border around the common entry points for ants.

It is thought that this works as ants won’t cross the chalk line, disrupting the scent trail.

Is chalk successful against ants?

No. Although it may disrupt an ant’s scent trail for a short period, the ants will soon find another way to continue on its hunt for food.

Carpenter Ant Control

Carpenter Ants are controlled through the application of insecticides and sprays in various forms. These forms include liquid concentrates, baits, dusts, and foams.

  • Non-Repellent Insecticides – Used as perimeter spray.
  • Baits – Used on Carpenter Ant trails.
  • Dusts – Used in voids and galleries
  • Foams – Used in voids and galleries

1. Inspection

The first step in controlling carpenter ants is an inspection. The purpose of the inspection is to determine if they are located outside and simply foraging inside for food, or if you have a colony or satellite colony inside your home.

2. Determine Control Measures

Once you complete your inspection and identify nest locations and foraging trails, the next step is to determine which control measure to use.

  • Baiting – used on carpenter ant trails
  • Spraying- Non-Repellent sprays used as permiter treatment, may be used with baits
  • Treating Voids – Foams or Dusts used in voids or galleries where carpenter ants are nesting

3. Prevention

The final step is to prevent further infestations by ant-proofing your home and yard, by clearing away rotting trees and lumber piles, fixing plumbing leaks, etc.

Little Black Ant Prevention

Homeowners should consider working with a licensed pest professional to employ a preventative pest management plan. There are also a few things that can be done around the property to prevent a little black ant infestation.

Homeowners should seal cracks and crevices in exterior walls with a silicone-based caulk, ensure firewood is stored at least 20 feet away from the home, and keep shrubbery well trimmed. Location of the nest is also important. While it can be difficult to see these ants due to their small size, their nests can be found by following the trial of workers back to the colony.

Interior Painting To Help Sell Your Home

How to Paint a Room

Painting a room can be a task that takes a couple of hours, a half day, or more. It all depends on what and how much you decide to paint. You can freshen up a room by giving a door or cabinet a new coat of paint in just a few hours. Or you can break it into smaller jobs and spread them out over a week or more. Whatever the size of the job you decide to tackle, the painting techniques remain the same.

In this article, we’ll take you all the way through the process of painting a room. From prepping to cleaning up, we have the job — and your room — covered. We’ll start at square one, with how you should use your painting equipment.

Brushes

When you embark on an interior painting job, you’ll soon discover how easy it is to use brushes and rollers competently. Even so, there are a few techniques that will help postpone fatigue and provide a neater job.

The grip you use depends on the brush you’ve chosen. Trim and sash brushes with pencil handles are grasped much as you would a pencil, with the thumb and the first two fingers of the hand. This technique gives you excellent control for intricate painting. With beaver-tail handles on larger brushes, you’ll need a stronger grip because the brushes are wider and heavier. Hold the handle with the entire hand, letting the handle span the width of your palm as you would hold a tennis racket. This technique works best when you’re painting large, flat surfaces.

The goal of loading a brush is to get as much paint on the wall as possible without dribbling it all over the floor and yourself in the process. It will take you only a few minutes to be able to gauge accurately how much paint your brush will hold along the way. Meanwhile, start the job by dampening the bristles of the brush (with water for latex or the appropriate thinner for other types of paint) to condition them and make them more efficient. Remove excess moisture by gently striking the metal band around the handle’s base against the edge of your palm and into a sink or bucket.

Decorating Home

Get the home of your dreams with our selection of decorating equipment and accessories

Wallpaper

Whether you’re giving your kitchen a new lease of life, jazzing up the kid’s bedroom or creating a statement wall in your living room, we’ve got wallpaper to suit any DIY project.

If you love wallpaper, paint and all things interior design, then you have come to the right place. The Range has a huge collection of wallpaper, interior paint, sanding and stripping tools, adhesives, fillers and more accessories to redecorate your house with style. If you’re going to do some wallpapering at home, The Range offers damask wallpaper, feature wallpaper and kids wallpaper. Get all your DIY done for bedroom, living room, kitchen and bathroom walls with our pasting tables, surface covers, ladders and brushes. And don’t forget to check out our design trends, best sellers and brands such as Coloroll, Crown and Arthouse.

If you’re looking to paint rather than wallpaper, stock Dulux, Hammerite and Crown among many other brands in every colour under the rainbow! Once you’ve got you got your primer sorted, take home some tester pots and choose your colour scheme. And to complete the new look of your home, we also stock exterior paint for your outdoor walls. Shop by brand, including Ronseal and Cuprinol, and be the most house-proud people in the street. Inside and out, The Range has got all your decorating needs under one roof.

How to Paint a Mural

Learn how to paint a mural in acrylics! These pages will cover all the common questions you might have if you want to paint an indoor mural, such as:

What type of paint should I use to paint a mural?

What other materials do I need to paint a mural?

How do I prepare a wall before painting a mural on it?

What are some mural painting techniques?

How do I finish or seal the mural?

What type of paint to use for an indoor mural

When you paint a mural, you’ll have two distinct stages of painting, just as when you paint on canvas: first you’ll create an underpainting to block in main areas of color and outline the general composition, and then you’ll paint in the detail.

To paint large blocks of color (such as a stretch of blue sky, green hills, etc), use  interior household paint, also known as  latex paint. This is the kind of paint you would normally paint walls with. Painting large blocks of color with latex paint is more economical than trying to cover the entire wall with the artist quality acrylics that you buy from art supply stores. You will get better coverage from interior household paint and save yourself a ton of money in the meantime as you learn how to paint a mural.

Interior household paint comes in four different sheens: flat, eggshell, satin and semi-gloss. An eggshell sheen works best for mural. Steer away from satin or semi-gloss sheens, because they will be too shiny. The flat sheen is also not the best choice because it cannot be scrubbed. Eggshell, however, is just right, because it can be cleaned and it can safely accept layers of paint on top of it. 

To tackle the detailed work on your mural, use your tubes and jars of artist-quality acrylics and proceed just as if you were painting on canvas. Most brands of acrylics will work well for indoor mural painting

Unique Interior Paint Ideas That Show Personality

One of the things that makes a home truly yours is showing your unique style. Interior paint is one of the best ways to do this, and even a small change can showcase exactly who you are. There are a number of ways you can use interior paint in unique ways to create a space people will ooh and ahh over.

Wall Colors

The most obvious choice for paint is adding color to your walls. Don’t be afraid to use a color a bit outside the norm, especially if you plan to live in the house for a while. If you’re planning to flip the house or sell soon, neutral colors are often best.

Furniture

If painting walls a unique color isn’t your thing, then choosing a bright color and painting an end table, dresser or table might be the way to go.

Kitchen Cabinets

White cabinets with black granite countertops might be the current rage, but what if you thought outside the box a bit? Instead of painting old, builder’s grade oak cabinets white, what if you went with a color that was unique? More distinctive trends include cabinets in a deep navy blue with gray tiles on your backsplash.

Ceilings

One trend that has been growing in popularity is adding a pop of color to a ceiling and keeping the walls a neutral color. This tends to add a fresh color without overwhelming the room. If sitting with friends and visiting, the color is barely noticeable, but it does make a statement when someone walks into a room. Consider white walls and a pop of orange or lime green on the ceiling.

Easy Fixes for Interior Painting Mistakes

Painting a room can be an easy and inexpensive upgrade, whether you’re freshening it up or dramatically changing the color. With a little planning and a few expert tips, this do-it-yourself project can be as quick and easy as it seems. Consumer Reports’ paint pro offers foolproof ways to prevent goofs and make flawless fixes.

Missed Spots

The goof. Blame this painting mistake on the lighting, fatigue, distraction, or spreading the paint too thin.

The fix. Good thing you kept the leftover paint (in a tightly sealed container, or course). After the paint dries—usually about 4 hours—touch up the missed spots with a brush. But if you do it before the paint dries completely you’ll mess up the paint surrounding the spot. As for spreading the paint too thin, a roller dipped in paint should cover a 2-by-2-foot section of the wall. See the video below for how to ace it.

Paint Runs

The goof. Perhaps you’re using a long-napped roller, loading too much paint on the roller or brush, or not spreading the paint well.

The fix. Once the paint dries, use fine sandpaper to remove the run, then retouch the area with a brush and a little paint, feathering the edges.

Roller Marks

The goof. A cheap roller with obvious seams could be the problem, and the paint makes a difference too.

The fix. Synthetic short-napped roller covers (1/4 inch) work best on most walls, ceilings, and trim. Use longer-nap roller covers for textured walls, or walls that have a very uneven surface from patching, for example. Rollers with steel frames and lots of tines are sturdier and stiffer than ones with just caps on the ends, and those sealed ends keep the paint on the roller cover.

Before using a new roller cover, use a piece of painter’s tape to remove loose lint. As for the paint, be sure to check out the smoothness scores in our interior paint ratings. They indicate whether marks from roller, brushes, or runs are obvious once the paint dries.

Why Do You Need A Car Accident Lawyer

Why is My Car Accident Settlement Taking So Long?

It depends on the case when it comes to knowing how long it will take for a car accident case to settle. Occasionally, a car accident settlement can take a long time due to unforeseen circumstances. Every car accident case is determined either by an out-of-court settlement or by trial. Either way, it is possible to take a long time. Here are some factors that can cause a car accident settlement to take a long time.

Trial

The majority of motor vehicle accident cases do not go to trial. Most personal injury attorneys avoid going to trial for the following three reasons.

An attorney knows what your car accident case is worth. Due to the experienced of an attorney, they have a good idea of what your injuries cost for medical treatment and damages. Your attorney can usually determine a fair value for your case without the input of a court.

A jury is unpredictable. When it comes to personal injury cases such as a car accident, juries have a hard time being objective. A jury may relate to one party over another or they may be unsympathetic to either party if they have experienced a car accident themselves. A good attorney does not want to leave their client’s chances up to the whim of a jury.

The cost to go to court is not worth it. Court proceedings are costly, and most attorneys are not willing to upfront the cost of a trial. Instead, an attorney will want to negotiate in a settlement.

In the event that one of the parties involved will not agree to settle, the case will go to trial. The time a trial takes varies from case to case. Typically, you can expect a personal injury case in a trial to take at least a year from the date of the accident to the conclusion of the trial.

Problems with the Case

Sometimes a car accident settlement can take a long time because of problems with the case. For example, proving that the other driver was 100 percent at fault may be difficult and take time if it is questioned at the time of the accident. Your attorney may need to take some time to investigate the accident and prove that the other driver is liable.

Another problem that could prolong a settlement of your case is if the insurer does not accept the evidence. In this case, your attorney may need to file suit and take the case to trial.

Big Settlement

If your case has the potential for a large payout, it may take a long time to settle. No insurance company likes to hand over large sums of money without a fight. For example, if your injuries are severe from the accident or involve lifelong disability, you could receive a large settlement. The insurance company, however, may delay the case in hopes that you will settle for less.

Common Causes of  Car Accidents & Injuries

The car accident lawyers help clients who sustained injuries in single and multiple car accidents. Whether your crash involved a head-on, rear-end, or side-impact collision, They protect your legal rights and help you recover financial compensation from the party who caused your accident.

Some of the most common reasons for Denver car accidents include

  • Impaired driving
  • Reckless driving
  • Distracted driving
  • Negligence
  • Road hazards
  • Vehicle failure or defect
  • Trucks and busses
  • Failure to yield

Pain and Suffering Multiplier

The multiplier method is an equation frequently used by insurance companies and is a common way to calculate pain and suffering damages. You add up all actual damages (also called special damages) and multiply that number by a number between 1.5 to 5. The number by which you multiply is called the “multiplier,” which indicates the degree of seriousness of your pain and suffering and any other general damages you suffered.

For example, if you sustained serious injuries, the multiplier should be close to 5, and it can possibly go higher (6 or 7) if your injuries are very serious. Use FindLaw’s Damages Estimate Worksheet to determine the seriousness of your pain and suffering damages. Here are some factors to consider in determining the appropriate multiplier for your pain and suffering:

  • The obviousness of the other driver’s fault
  • Seriousness of your injuries (e.g., permanent disability)
  • Clear proof of pain and suffering based on verified documents
  • Period of recovery

Keep in mind that the amount calculated with the multiplier method is an estimate – there’s no guarantee that you will receive that amount. If you apply a high multiplier without justification, the insurance company can deny your claim. So, make sure your calculations are supported by accurate facts and documentation.

Sample Multiplier Calculation

Here’s a sample scenario to help illustrate how the multiplier method works in practice. While you were driving on a highway, a car behind you carelessly bumped into your vehicle. As a result, you hit your face on the steering wheel and sustained a broken nose and teeth. Not only do you need to undergo a surgery, you are now suffering from chronic pain. You can no longer eat and speak without feeling sharp pain and discomfort.

Your special damages, including medical expenses, lost wages, and other treatment bills, are $10,000. Your multiplier would most likely be close to 5 because you are suffering from broken bones and long-lasting disability. So, your total estimate of damages, including pain and suffering, would be: $10,000 (special damages) x 5.0 (multiplier) = $50,000.

Evidence of Pain and Suffering

Before you start calculating your damages, it’s important to remember that pain and suffering damages must be supported by evidence. In minor cases, medical records or doctor’s note may be sufficient. However, if it involves more serious injuries, you might need to provide witness testimonies, if available, and other supporting documents such as police report, medical treatment bills, and photos of your injuries. If you have no evidence of pain and suffering, the insurance company will assume you didn’t experience it.

How to Dispute Fault for a Car Accident

If you’re involved in a car crash in one of the many fault-based car insurance states, and an insurance company (either yours or another driver’s) denies your claim because they wrongfully consider you to be at fault for the car accident, you need to immediately notify the insurance company — via phone and in writing via a follow-up letter — that you dispute their finding of fault.

If the insurance company’s determination is based on the fact that you received a traffic violation in connection with the accident, or if the insurer is basing its conclusion on the police report issued in the wake of the incident, you must fight the ticket in court and/or attempt to speak with the investigating officers to present your side of the story. If you disagree with the police report, you may even be able to get it amended.

Often, voicing your disagreement will result in further investigation that could lead to revised findings. At the very least, it begins to create a record of your disagreement that may be important further down the line.

Some insurance companies have internal policies regarding disputed fault investigations, and you may be asked to give a statement or present your side of the story to an insurance adjuster. It is important to know your rights in these situations, as you don’t want to make any kind of statement that may hinder your ability to recover should your claim proceed to the lawsuit phase. If you are disputing liability, it may make sense to get a lawyer involved on your side, even if just in an advisory capacity.

Who is eligible for pain and suffering in a car accident claim?

Pain and suffering is a catch-all term. Legally, it’s known as general damages. Your general damages are the non-financial losses you suffered—anything from emotional anguish to physical pain. Permanent injuries, disabilities, and an inability to work are all losses that count under this category.

Basically: if you have losses that go beyond your medical bills and lost work time, you are probably eligible for pain and suffering.

How much money should I ask for pain and suffering?

Because pain and suffering is not based on actual financial costs, it’s hard to quantify an exact amount to pay. But insurance companies have come up with a formula to try to do so.

There are three parts to this formula:

  • They start with the amount you’re already owed. That means adding up all your medical costs, car repairs, and other hard costs. This is the easy part of the equation.
  • Then they try to “rate” the severity of your situation. If this sounds hard, it is. And it’s very subjective. But there is some logic to it. For example, living with pain for several months is bad, but living with pain for the rest of your life is worse. And if you’re left unable to walk, that might be even worse still. Based on how severe your suffering has been, they assign a number to it between 1 and 5.
  • Then the starting cause is multiplied by the rating. For example, if you had $50,000 in medical costs and other hard costs, and your suffering was rated at about a 3, then the pain and suffering damages should come to about $150,000 (3 x $50,000 = $150,000).

This system is far from perfect, but it tends to work: people who have suffered more get paid a lot more money. But you still have to prove your case. Unfortunately, insurance companies are notorious for undervaluing pain and suffering damages. This is why it’s so important to have a lawyer represent you.

Shop For Kitchen Faucet With Ease And Reliability

Kitchen Faucet Reviews

Unfortunately, I lack the time and the budget to get each and every faucet in the market, try it out and put up a well thought out kitchen faucet review. Nevertheless, I will be testing new faucets every now and then, uploading my take on various designs and styles. My hope is to create a meeting place for homeowners, designers and interior decorators, who can interact and share ideas, find inspiration and eventually buy a kitchen faucet of their liking. Every single faucet on this site is rated on various criteria such as functionality, design, warranty, extras, durability and more. It is my goal to provide a diverse and detailed range of reviews, with faucets in every conceivable budget range, starting from the lowest of lows to the designer end.

Feel free to browse around the site. You will find plenty of information on kitchen faucets starting from styling, to repair and maintenance. Plus, you can use my concise buying guide to select an exact kitchen faucet style and design, suited to your existing or soon-to-be kitchen. Also, feel free to leave comments and suggestions anywhere on the site, it will only help me improve my site and serve the community better

If you are just starting to shop around for a kitchen faucet, one thing is going to become clear to you early on: There are a lot of brands and products to choose from. When it comes to choosing a kitchen faucet, there are several conditions and features that you will want to keep in mind. For example, there are essentially two major types of faucets, these being deck-mounted faucets and wall-mounted faucets. You will also want to choose between one-handle faucets or two-handle faucets. There are also a number of different finishes, including bronze, chrome, nickel, and stainless steel.

The mid-range price tag means you are getting a solid faucet with a number of features, easy installation, and much more. Delta Faucet has a good reputation with their products. This faucet, which is ideal for vintage-style kitchens, is a good example of what we are talking about. The touch-clean spray holes and diamond seal technology means a faucet that provides performance and durability for a long time.

Moen is another brand name with a good reputation among contractors, homeowners, interior design experts, and others. Moen 7594ESRS offers motion sense technology, which makes using the faucet a snap. The faucet is also AC adapter powered, which means you can choose to run your faucet sensors on either AAA batteries (six total), or with the AC adapter that will be included with your purchase.

The best kitchen faucets

The workhorse kitchen faucet is often taken for granted — until it breaks. Just think of how frequently you and other household members use it to wash your hands, get a drink, scrub vegetables, rinse dishes, wet sponges, and more. Ideally, you want one that stands up to everyday use.

Choosing a kitchen faucet may seem like a mundane task, but it’s actually important. You want the right kind to fit your needs and your kitchen’s decor, and you don’t want to simply opt for the cheapest model.

Valve Control: This is the mechanism that turns your faucet on and off, and adjusts the temperature of the water. Single-handle designs use one lever to control both temperature and flow, while double-handles have two (each handle controlling either the hot or cold water supply). Touch and motion-activated designs are convenient in a lot of ways, but they are dependent on a power source for their sensor.

Spout style: Choose from revolving or stationary, regular (steady stream) or two-mode (regular and spray), low arc (3 to 8 inches above the top of the sink), or high arc (also known as gooseneck, which is more than 8 inches above the top of the sink) models.

Spray head: The sprayer can be separate from and next to the faucet, or at the end of the spout. The latter type is either pull-down (often on taller faucets) or pull-out (which sometimes includes much of the spout itself).

Best Types of Kitchen Faucets

The importance of having a good faucet in the kitchen cannot be overemphasized. In fact, any small problem with the faucet is enough to cause a significant amount of inconvenience to its users. This is the reason why home or establishment owners have to work hand in hand with professional contractors when planning a highly functional kitchen that is not prone to damage and other issues. Part of planning a functional kitchen is the installation of a good faucet

However, searching and determining the perfect faucet for your type of kitchen may prove to be daunting. To make this process a lot easier for you, we have the best kitchen faucets reviews for you to check out. Spoiler alert: You may fall in love with more than one faucet, so choose wisely

This faucet is perfect for people looking to have a faucet endowed with a metropolitan minimalistic design which is capable of accommodating tight backsplashes. Its visual angularity works beautifully with its clean, sleek and modern look. Everything about it never fails to enhance the interior surrounding where it will be installed.

It has a pull-out spray head mechanism along with its 1.8 gpm that gives you the chance to adjust the amount of water that goes out from its spray head. Plus, its toggle feature also enables people to toggle between a stream mode and a spray mode.

Delta Faucet Essa 91130 has all the basics that make faucets capable of giving the best cleaning experience for its users. There is more to its function rather than its form as it also ensures good sink access. It also boasts of easy clean features. This one is available in four different types of finish, with each design suitable for a 3-hole or 1-hole sink

Choosing the right kitchen faucet

The fit: Start by examining how many holes are on your sink or countertop. This will determine the kinds of faucets you’re able to choose from. Deck plates are used to cover up old holes, allowing you to go with a newer one-hole faucet, but more homeowners are choosing the clean look of a faucet without a deck plate.

The function: A good faucet is about much more than just looks – it needs to keep up with you in the kitchen and work the way you like. Test out different faucet styles to see what feels most comfortable. Do you like the straightforward function of separate hot and cold handles, or do you find it easier to use single-handle faucets? Would you really appreciate the convenience of a hands-free faucet, or are you looking for something more classic?

The finish: Basic faucets are the standard polished chrome, but there are so many more possibilities once you start to look around. Bronze and black finishes add drama and sophistication to a kitchen and brushed nickel while unpolished chrome finishes are sleek and modern. You can also get kitchen faucets with a beautiful slate finish.

The aesthetic: Instead of the standard side sprayer, did you know you could choose a faucet with a pull-down spray wand? Homeowners with minimalist kitchens love the clean design of these double-duty faucets.

The height: Chefs and foodies tend to choose faucets with a high arc – a faucet that’s 8-10 inches above the sink – so they have plenty of room to lift pots and dishes in and out of the sink.

The Plumber: Down and out over kitchen faucet choices

I was looking to upgrade to a new kitchen faucet and wanted a faucet with a built-in spray head. I always called that type faucet a “pull-out” but now I’m finding out that there is a “pull-down” style as well. What is the difference?

For kitchen faucets with built in spray heads I’ll break your question down to three types and give some advantages to each style. First, pull-out spray: This type pulls out horizontally and features a larger hand grip for easy control. Also is great for filling things like tea pots and pet bowls.

Finally, spring-loaded: This semi-professional style looks like a faucet you may see in a busy professional kitchen. The spout is basically a flexible spring and can be moved in every direction. So, if you’re not sure about pull-down or pull-out, a spring-loaded can give you a new twist on your faucet choices.

We have a large master bathroom with a walk-in shower complete with a seat. For years I wanted to add a steam unit to this shower and figure now is the time. What are some bathroom basics to consider when adding a steam unit?

First, you’ll be introducing extra moisture into the bathroom area and that moisture needs to be removed. So, work with your contractor to check if your bathroom fan and fresh air intake can handle the additional moisture. If not, exhaust fan upgrades may be required.

How To Find The Right Carpet Flooring For Your Home

What to Know Before Buying Carpet

Buying carpet for the first time can seem overwhelming, but when you know all the pros and cons of the most common carpet styles and fibers-as well as a few translations of showroom lingo-it’s a task that any homeowner can tackle with finesse. The carpet styles we’re highlighting here can be installed wall to wall, or ordered in a specific size with bound edges to be used as an area rug (a great solution for oddly shaped rooms). Professionals are better suited to discussing your needs for specialty rugs, such as Orientals, so you’ll probably want to visit a special retailer for these kinds of purchases.

Two kinds of construction are most common when it comes to rugs: tufted and woven. Most carpets are tufted, consisting of rows of machine-punched yarns held together by adhesive and backing, and they last between five and seven years. Woven carpets, on the other hand, are known for their long lifespan: 20 to 30 years, thus making them more expensive than tufted options. The first thing to do when shopping for carpet is to ask for a sample to identify its style of pile, or the yarn that was used to make the carpet. If the yarn has been sheared, it’s known as “cut” pile, which is different from “loop” pile, a kind of yarn that’s been left in its original form

HOW TO EXPERTLY CLEAN AN AREA OR SHAG RUG

Samples can help you understand how high the pile of a carpet is, as deeper pile can feel softer to the touch, but a short pile is easier to care for. You’ll glean even more information from the carpet’s label, which lists the fiber content and where it was made, as well as other details as required by law. Most of the styles and fibers listed in the following guidelines are used in both woven and tufted carpets, and understanding their differences can help you shop for the best option for your home.

In addition to the pile, you’ll also want to ask about a carpet’s padding, which can help offset ground-in dirt and even absorb sound. You’ll need to lay down the proper padding before installing an area rug, but most floor-to-floor carpets should be installed by professionals, as they’re able to disguise seams as best as possible while properly fitting carpet to padding as well. When working with professionals, you’ll notice that carpet is often sold by the square yard, not the square foot-you’ll have to divide the price by nine for a per-square-foot quote. If you’d like to see what the carpet looks in your home, try asking for a “roll-cut” sample, which is a piece of carpet cut from the lot you would actually purchase, as the coloring on the sample may be different from the final product. You’ll also have to clean the carpet properly to keep the original coloring intact-check the manufacturer’s instructions, and start with a weekly once-over using a vacuum with a rotating head. For delicate carpets, such as hand-woven or hand-tufted, use a vacuum without a rotating head. A professional can steam-clean synthetic and wool carpet if needed.

Common Cuts of Pile to Know

The carpet’s pile can determine how it looks in your home, and more importantly, how it feels underfoot. Pile can be short and sturdy, or it can be shaggy and soft-the following pile varieties are the most commonly used by carpet manufacturers. We’re sharing details about how each variety feels, plus how well the product holds up under normal wear and tear over the years.

Tips for Carpet Replacement

No matter how kind your occupants are to the carpet, eventually you’ll face the arduous task of replacing it at minimal expense, time investment, disruption and health effects.

Get Out the Elbow Grease

Take a proactive stance toward potential health concerns and thoroughly vacuum the flooring you plan to replace. This will root out dirt, dust and biological debris that would otherwise go flying once the flooring installer starts to tear up the carpet.

“When you’re removing carpet, nobody’s thinking of cleaning it,” says Jeff Bishop, administrator of Clean Care Seminars, Inc. “Maintenance stops and you get a buildup of pollutants that tend to be aerosolized in the removal process.”

One recent investigation in Tampa, FL, involved students who frequently developed respiratory problems by mid-week, recovered over the weekend, and became sick again the following week.

Make a Game Plan

Once the old carpet is clean, coordinate with your contractor, flooring installer, and other key players. Plan around occupants’ schedules to minimize the number of people you’ll displace, and choose the quickest, most painless way to remove partitions and other items.

Is carpet a bad idea for flooring in our house?

REASONS TO SELECT CARPET FOR YOUR NEXT PROJECT

Spring is always a good time to spruce up your home or to revamp the house interior. Most people simply resort to the dreaded annual decluttering and deep spring cleaning, but there are those who are already “window shopping” online for new paint colors or a colorful plush carpet to change the look of their bedrooms, living room or family room. They are eagerly coming up with ideas on how best to remodel their home. So, we can all agree that a dream renovation project renders the perfect opportunity for folks to choose and buy new carpeting.

The Instant Home Changer

Carpets are a great way to completely transform your interior. With the vast choice of patterns, yarns, colors and fibers, you can refurbish your floorings relatively cheap and achieve a dream new look for your living spaces. So, whether you are replacing old carpeting or you are carpeting a brand new remodeled room or home; installing a soft floor covering will instantly alter the overall appearance of your home interior.

Promote a Cozy Feeling at Home

There is nothing like walking barefoot on a plush carpet and enjoying the snug feeling without the need to look for your misplaced slippers. Carpets are the ultimate booster of comfort and coziness. They are warm in the cold months and can give your dwelling an unmatchable luxurious feel. You wouldn’t sit by the fire on a bare parquet floor, would you?

Environmentally-Friendly

This is a little farfetched–but they do have proven insulation properties. Carpets keep your heating bills low and save you money in the process. By not wasting energy, like so many poorly insulated homes, you undoubtedly contribute to the environmental cause. A carpeted house keeps the heat in better and requires less energy to stay warm for longer. Modern carpet technology has evolved and improved over time to produce hardy and long lasting floor coverings. While all carpets are not easy to recycle, it is only good and rather eco-friendly that carpet lovers can enjoy them for longer.

Vulnerability Proofing Medium

Anyone can slip on a shiny hardwood floor, but children and older people are more prone to lose their footing. Carpets not only provide good traction, but will also soften the blow if a toddler trips over and falls.

Secrets to Keep Your Carpet Looking New

Carpets get dirty—it’s a fact of life. But if you just let the problems pile up, those snags, spills, and everyday accidents can make your carpets look old and dingy. Follow these proper maintenance tips and damage-control strategies to keep your carpeted flo

Vacuum Regularly

It’s obvious that vacuuming keeps your carpets clean, but this common chore is also the key to ensuring they stay looking like new. Dirt has abrasive qualities, and when it’s repeatedly ground into the carpet by everyday foot traffic, it can actually erode the backing over time. Vacuuming once a week (twice a week in busy areas) can remove up to 75 percent of the dirt and debris and prevent your carpet from aging before its time.

Soak Up Spills

Spills are inevitable, but how you clean them makes all the difference. The most important carpet commandments to keep in mind are to work quickly and never rub. Dab cleaning solution onto the trouble spot immediately—the longer you wait, the harder it will be to remove the stain. Then, blot with paper towels or a clean cloth, as this gently puts a small amount of pressure on the liquid, helping to soak it up instead of letting it set in. Remember to blot from the outside in to prevent the spill from spreading.

Choose the Right Vacuum

It’s imperative that you choose the right vacuum for your household needs. Do you have kids or pets? Carpeted stairs? Because no model excels at all types of cleaning, it might be wise to invest in more than one vacuum so you can handle all your cleaning challenges. A cordless handheld vacuum can be convenient for stairs, for example, while an upright is great for large carpeted rooms.

Trim Snags

Carpets, particularly Berbers, are bound to snag eventually—especially if you have kids or pets. Rule number one: Never pull a snag. This will inevitably make the problem worse, as it’s likely that you’ll tear the carpet away from the backing. Instead, grab a pair of scissors and trim the snag at the base to prevent further damage.

Got a question about carpet or flooring?

Where do I start?

If you’re looking to update a room in your home but unsure where to start, begin by visiting our online product selector. This simple tool will run you through a series of questions to better understand what you are looking for such as the room you are wanting to update, the style you are hoping to achieve and of course, your budget. Once completed, we will send you a selection of our beautiful products, perfectly suited to your needs.

What can I do on the website?

Whether you’re updating an existing space or selecting product for your brand-new home – Carpet Court have a fantastic selection of online tools to assist you along the way

How do I request a quote?

To receive a quote on Carpet Courts’ range of flooring or window furnishings, simply book a free home measure and quote online and a friendly member of your local Carpet Court store will be in touch to organise a time and date that suits you. It’s also great to know that your free home measure and quote is obligation free.

How does the online pricing work?

Online pricing provided on all flooring is indicative and should only be used as a guide. Furthermore, the pricing provided for each room size is based on a pre-set size and does not include underlay or installation. To receive an accurate quote for your installation, request a quote online and a member of your local Carpet Court store will be in touch.

Do I need to come into a store when selecting my products?

No, there is no need to come into store when selecting products, this can be done online. However, it may be a good idea to visit your local store before making any purchases, so you can view and touch the product. Of course, there is no obligation to purchase when you do come in store, so do not hesitate to visit us any day to browse our fantastic range of products on offer.

Reasons To Use A House Cleaning Checklist Every Time You Clean

How do cleaning companies ensure that they do a quality job?

So you’ve taken the leap and hired a cleaning service to clean your home. How will your new cleaning crew ensure that they’ve done a great job and that you are happy with their service?

The number one reason people drop their cleaning company or switch to a new one is due to a decrease in the quality of their house cleaning they receive over time. Customers love that first cleaning; it was spectacular! But then they feel that the quality went downhill from there. An experienced, professional cleaning company will give a lot of attention to doing a good job for you and will verify your satisfaction over and over because they don’t want to lose your business. When you ask your cleaning company about their quality control program, you should expect to hear something similar to ours.

Here are some specific steps we take:

  • Train all yours cleaners to clean your home following our proven method to consistently deliver a high quality cleaning. We never assume that a new employee can clean well. Our new hires study our cleaning techniques and practice them in different scenarios, working closely with one of our certified trainers. Residential cleaning business all over the U.S. and Canada come to us to learn our Perfect Maintenance Cleaning methods so that they can improve their quality and efficiency. Our owner literally wrote the Perfect Maintenance Cleaning book that professional services use to train their cleaners.
  • Do house checks. Members of our management team perform random house inspections after a home has been cleaned so that every cleaner’s work is checked periodically. We’ll provide feedback or recommend additional training, if necessary.
  • Make it easy for customers to tell us how we’re doing. We encourage comments and offer three ways to reach us: text, phone call, and email. We also leave behind a quality score sheet or comment card at every cleaning. All feedback is reviewed by our Operations Manager who shares it with our cleaners directly—both the compliments and the opportunities for improvement. We believe that it’s our job—not the customers’—to give employee feedback caringly and constructively.
  • Act on any complaints we receive. Any complaints we get will guide the steps we take to re-train our cleaners or to remove them from our business if re-training fails.

Hiring: What Traits to Look For

In the beginning of your business, “the right people” are most likely to be you and any business partners you start your company with. It’s harder to hand off the cleaning work to someone else when you’re starting out. We really had to do it ourselves in the beginning while we got the hang of our business and worked out our hiring process.

If you’re busy enough that you need to hire staff, here are the traits you should look for when hiring.

Previous Cleaning Experience

You can lose a lot of time and money training people who are new to cleaning and who might quit after a few months. It’s very physical, and it’s just hard for some people. Although you’ll probably need to hire some people who don’t have a lot of experience, try to look for people who do have cleaning experience and even want to make a career out of it. They already know how to do the job, they already understand what hard work it is, and they already know they like cleaning.

Independent, Self-Motivated and Hard-Working

Cleaners go out into the field on their own, so housecleaning is a job for people who are highly independent and self-motivated. You definitely need people who like to work on their own, because you are working alone most of the time. You might have a partner, but you’re not working side by side. So your staff need to be comfortable working alone and able to do their work without a supervisor standing over their shoulder. They also need to be able to work hard physically, because the job is physically demanding.

Friendliness

Although your ideal cleaners are the kind of people who are comfortable working alone, it’s still important that they’re friendly too, as quite often they will communicate with clients on your behalf. In many ways, your cleaners are the face of your company—to your clients, they are the company. It’s essential that they make a good impression.

Commitment to the Job and Loyalty to the Clients

Your staff must be able to commit to showing up every day without the other commitments in their lives getting in the way. You have to be committed to serving your clientele,” says Katie. “If you don’t show up, there’s nobody else who can step in. I had a few staff with such a high level of commitment that they would genuinely be upset if they got sick. They felt bad that their clients that day weren’t going to get their houses cleaned.

Training Tips to Get Your Cleaning Service Employees on the Right Track

Now that they’re hired, it’s likely that the majority of applicants for entry-level cleaning jobs will need training. This isn’t necessarily a disadvantage; in fact, you may prefer to handle this yourself since hiring individuals without professional cleaning experience lets you train them to clean your way.

If you think you can’t afford to spend time on training, think again–can you afford not to adequately train your employees? Do you really want them interacting with customers or cleaning homes and offices when you haven’t told them how you want things done?

These tips will help you maximize your training efforts:

  • Find out how people learn best. Delivering training isn’t a one-size-fits-all proposition. People absorb and process information differently, and your training method needs to be compatible with their individual preferences. Some people can read a manual, others prefer a verbal explanation, and still others need to see a demonstration. In a group training situation, your best strategy is to use a combination of methods; when you’re working one-on-one, tailor your delivery to fit the needs of the person you’re training.
  • Use simulation and role-playing to train, practice and reinforce. One of the most effective training techniques is simulation, which involves showing an employee how to do something and then allowing them to practice it in a safe, controlled environment. If the task includes interpersonal skills, let the employee role play with a co-worker to practice what they should say and do in various situations.
  • Be a strong role model. Don’t expect more from your employees than you’re willing to do. You’re a good role model when you do things the way they should be done all the time. Don’t take shortcuts you don’t want your employees to take or behave in any way that you don’t want them to behave. On the other hand, don’t assume that simply doing things the right way is enough to teach others how to do things. Role modeling is not a substitute for training. It reinforces training. If you only role model but never train, employees aren’t likely to get the message.
  • Look for training opportunities. Once you get beyond basic orientation and job skills training, you need to constantly be on the lookout for opportunities to enhance the skills and performance levels of your people.
  • Make it real. Whenever possible, use real-life situations to train–but avoid letting customers know they’ve become a training experience for employees.
  • Anticipate questions. Don’t assume that employees know what to ask. In a new situation, people often don’t understand enough to formulate questions. Anticipate questions and answer them in advance.

Give Your Employees the Power to Upgrade Customer Service

Although ensuring a thorough cleaning job is the best way to provide excellent customer service, your employees should feel confident in going above and beyond. By allowing your staff to give your clients “extras,” such as a complimentary carpet deep clean or a ten percent discount, you are increasing their ability to deliver amazing service.

Your cleaning business training should also include tactics for providing great customer service, such as:

– Taking notes on client preferences and passing those along to team members.

– Having answers to client questions.

– Returning phone calls, emails, and other correspondence promptly.

– Allowing time gaps between jobs to minimize arriving late to a task or needing to leave early to be on time elsewhere.

– Showing up to the job in uniform and with all the necessary tools and equipment (plus backups as necessary.)

How to prepare for your first professional house cleaning experience

From a couple of must-dos, to treating your house cleaner with respect; here is everything you need to know about being fully prepared for your first house cleaning service by a professional maid.

Don’t Let Anything Get in Your Cleaner’s Way

You can’t expect your cleaning professional to do a satisfactory job if they haven’t been given a fair chance to do so. In other words, it is your responsibility to ensure that there is no clutter or untidiness around the house that will hinder their cleaning process. This means picking up stuff from the floor and tidying up surfaces so that they can be cleaned efficiently.

It should be noted that some cleaning services include tasks that go beyond basic tidying up; however, for those that do not, it conveys a certain level of respect when you do your bit to make the cleaner’s job a little easier. Moreover, the help you hire should not feel like they are being taken advantage of when doing things that aren’t part of their job description become a habit.

Give Clear and Concise Instructions

A professional maid understands that their job is to clean your house; however, every home and family is unique and therefore, the requirements differ. Along with this, you may have a set of rules or boundaries that you would like the cleaner to follow such as knocking before entering a bedroom or bathroom.

Along with this, some homeowners have specific preferences where home cleaning is concerned; for example, you can request for the use of eco-friendly cleaning products or simply supply the hired professional with your choice of cleaners. This, of course, is something that should be discussed with the professional prior to their arrival. If you have any other instructions, be clear and concise when politely explaining them to the cleaner.

Put Valuables Away

Firstly, it pays to hire a maid from a reputable cleaning agency wherein employees are thoroughly vetted, as well as insured and bonded. On the other hand, from a cleaner’s perspective, they are not always comfortable working in a house where money or valuables are left lying around. This is because if you were to misplace something of value, they are likely to be the first ones to get blamed.

This is particularly true when a homeowner is hiring help for the first time, or dealing with a new maid. In other cases where clients and cleaners have formed a strong bond or close relationship over a long period of time, this doesn’t become a problem. Having said that, when hiring the services of a professional maid, it is your responsibility to make the cleaner feel comfortable on every occasion, and this includes securing valuables.

Choosing A Veterinarian For Your Pet

Common Myths about Surgery and Dogs

1. Myth: “My dog is too old for anesthesia”

Please do not let your neighbor, your friend or the internet tell you that your dog is too old or sick for anesthesia. And don’t be afraid to seek out an expert on the topic. Keep in mind, if your dog is that old, surgery is probably not being recommended for merely cosmetic reasons. Your veterinarian is probably talking about it because of a life or death situation, or a serious quality of life issue.

A thorough physical exam and blood work should always be performed before anesthesia. In older dogs, it may be wise to also take chest and belly radiographs, as well as an ECG to be safe. Some dogs may need to be stabilized prior to anesthesia, which may mean fixing blood work abnormalities, giving IV fluids, or giving a blood transfusion prior to anesthesia and surgery.

2. Myth: “Surgery is painful”

This is actually a true statement. However, surgical pain should not be ignored in 2015. We have many safe pain medications to choose from to treat pain before, during and after surgery. We should also remember that depending on what dogs’ conditions are, they are most likely already in pain, which will continue to stay the same or worsen without surgery. The goal of surgery is often to decrease pain.

3. Myth: “There is no point if there is no cure”

This mostly relates to dogs with a tumor. It is a matter of opinion and expectations. And it’s a very personal decision. Without the benefit of a biopsy, we don’t know whether a mass is cancerous or benign until it is removed and analyzed. Even when a mass is cancerous, it doesn’t necessarily mean that it’s the end of the road. Ultimately, your decision should not be based only on quantity of life (survival), but mostly on quality of life.

Ironically, sometimes, the situation doesn’t depend on whether a mass is benign or cancerous, but on where it is located. A perfectly benign mass blocking the windpipe, the esophagus (the tube between the mouth and the stomach) or the urethra (the tube between the bladder and the outside world) will have life-threatening consequences.

4. Myth: “My dog will not survive confinement”

Confinement is often required after surgery. The time required depends on the procedure. Confinement may be in a crate, an upside down baby/puppy play pen, a small room, or part of a room. The larger the dog, the larger the area can be – within reason of course. It may seem cruel to some, but preventing jumping and running is critical to allow proper healing. Outdoors, dogs in recovery need to be under supervision and on a leash for just enough time to eliminate. Dogs don’t know what is best for them. You should.

Minimizing the Risks of Anesthesia in Dogs

Anesthesia is like any medical procedure—there are benefits and risks, and death can occur under anesthesia. Approximately one in 1,000 healthy cats and one in 2,000 healthy dogs die under anesthesia each year. While any anesthetic-related deaths are unacceptable, these incidence rates are actually quite low. But of course, there’s still plenty of room for improvement. One of the reasons we still see deaths related to anesthetic procedures is because not all practices are actively taking all of the steps necessary to reduce anesthetic risk.

The Anesthetic Process

Anesthesia occurs in several steps, with opportunities at each step to minimize risks for your pet.  Below I present a simple outline of the steps involved in anesthesia. 

  • Assessment.  Anesthesia starts with an assessment of your pet’s health.  The veterinary medical team will assemble any needed medical history and lab results, and perform a physical exam.  Here is where they could be assigning an anesthetic risk factor and determining if any specific interventions might be helpful to reduce anesthetic risk for your pet.  Complications such as low blood pressure, shallow breathing, low body temperature, slow heart rate, and delayed recovery from anesthesia can all be anticipated and planned for during the assessment stage.  An anesthesia plan can provide guidance for prevention, recognition and treatment of anesthetic complications.
  • Pre-anesthetic medications.  “Pre-meds”, as they’re referred to in the hospital, have many benefits. Amongst other functions, they provide preventive pain management, reduce stress, and minimize the necessary dose of other anesthetic drugs.  Pre-meds are specifically chosen for your pet, based on his or her unique anesthesia profile.
  • IV catheter.  This allows for the administration of IV drugs and fluids, as well as the IV induction of anesthesia, which is safer and less stressful than mask induction.  Presence of an IV catheter is especially important if an emergency drug is needed to treat a complication.
  • Pre-oxygenation and IV induction.  Pre-oxygenation charges the lungs with oxygen and it, along with the IV induction step, promotes a smooth, controlled transition to unconsciousness.
  • Endotracheal intubation.  Placing an endotracheal, or “breathing”, tube protects the airway and lungs from accidental inhalation of foreign material such as stomach contents, saliva, blood, water, cleaning paste, or tartar. Such a tube is also necessary to maintain anesthesia with inhalant gases.
  • Maintenance of anesthesia with patient monitoring and support.  At this point the patient is unconscious and the procedure is underway.  Isoflurane or sevoflurane anesthetic gases are the most appropriate agents for maintenance of anesthesia.  Clinical research indicates they both are equally safe and effective.  Monitoring of your pet is crucial to assess vital signs and enable recognition and prevention of complications, or timely treatment of them should they arise.  Patient support might include administration of IV fluids and drugs to prevent or treat complications and warming of the patient to prevent loss of body temperature.

Considering surgery for your dog? Take these 4 steps

If your veterinarian is recommending a procedure for your senior dog, it’s because she or he believes that it will help your dog feel better. (And maybe live longer too!)

Here are specific steps to take to help you determine what’s best for your dog:

  • Have a frank discussion with your vet about the procedure and share any concerns you have.
  • Ask your vet to lay out the pros and cons of the surgery.
  • If you or your veterinarian feels uncomfortable about proceeding, you can ask for a referral to a specialty facility (usually a large, 24-hour hospital with specialty doctors and advanced equipment).
  • Please don’t write off the procedure because of the myth that your dog is “too old for surgery or anesthesia.”

Before Anesthesia

Prior to receiving anesthesia, your veterinarian will perform a thorough physical exam on your pet, review your pet’s medical history and discuss any risk factors. Your veterinarian may also perform blood tests on your pet to check for any indications of a developing medical problem or anesthetic risk. If you have any questions about your pet’s health or his or her anesthetic risk, ask your veterinarian for an explanation that will help you make an educated decision.

Prior to anesthesia, your pet will likely be given a pre-anesthetic sedative to reduce his or her stress and ease the process. An intravenous catheter is usually placed to allow administration of fluids and medications. The anesthetic may be delivered by gas inhalation (using a gas anesthesia machine), intravenous infusion, or a combination of the two.

During Anesthesia

While under anesthesia, your pet will receive monitoring and care comparable to what you’d receive if you underwent anesthesia. This may include intravenous fluids and/or medications to support your pet’s circulation and blood pressure; an endotracheal tube inserted into your pet’s trachea (windpipe) to deliver the anesthetic gas and provide oxygen to your pet’s lungs; pulse oximetry to measure the oxygenation of your pet’s blood; blood pressure monitoring; temperature monitoring and warming blankets to prevent hypothermia (low body temperature); and electrocardiography (ECG, also called EKG) to monitor your pet’s heart.

After Anesthesia

Once the procedure is done and it’s time for your pet to wake up from the anesthesia, your pet will likely be placed in a quiet, semi-dark cage or kennel to recover. Pets are closely monitored during this time to make sure that they are recovering normally and that care is provided quickly if there are any problems. Pads and blankets are used to keep your pet warm during the recovery, but it’s not uncommon to see a pet shivering while they recover from anesthesia; however, this doesn’t necessarily mean your pet is cold. Some pets may also vocalize (whine, bark or meow) during recovery. The endotracheal tube is removed when your pet is awake enough to swallow normally. Fluids and/or medications may be continued through recovery, depending on your pet’s condition.

Preparing for surgery

Before the procedure, ask your veterinarian if you can give medications in the morning — some may be needed, but some can be skipped. Also ask if you should drop off your pet’s medications or food the day of surgery. It’s always betterDog preparing for surgeryfor your pet to eat his normal food, whether it’s generic food or a special diet. You may have been told how much confinement your pet will need after surgery, and what that entails; please make sure you have a room, a play pen or a crate prepared for the day your pet comes home.

The morning of surgery

You will need to drop your pet off early in the morning, even though surgery may not occur until late morning or the afternoon. Why is that?  There are multiple reasons, depending on your pet’s specific situation. Your veterinarian may wish to:

  • Run a physical exam
  • Run blood work
  • Place an IV catheter
  • Administer IV fluids
  • Start specific medications
  • Take X-rays
  • Perform an EKG
  • Calculate anesthesia drug doses