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Helpful Tips on How to Hire An Electrician

Helpful Tips on How to Hire An Electrician

There are many reasons as to why you may be looking to hire an electrician for a particular job at this point in time. For starters, many businesses look to hire these workers at some point when they are in the process of expanding or even remodeling, although the same thing goes for home owners. When you are having a new home built, of course it is vital to make sure that the complicated wiring and electrical work is done correctly, which is one main reason as to why hiring an experienced contract electrician worker is a smart idea in these situations. They are also useful for simple remodeling work or expansions to connect an existing electrical system with a new one in a way that is safe.

However, when it comes to actually hiring one of these professionals, it can be difficult to know whether or not you are making the right choice. And of course, you do not want to choose the wrong electrician because this can lead to a lot of trouble and perhaps even danger in the long run. However, by following some basic tips, the process of hiring the right person for the job can be made a whole lot easier, and it will not be long before you are able to get the electrical work done in a timely and efficient matter at your home or business.

For starters, one thing that it is a good idea to do is to simply ask around to friends and neighbors to see if they have any recommendations when it comes to finding an electrician. Perhaps they have had similar work done in the past and would be able to tell you about a great experience they had with a particular worker or company, or maybe they could even give you an idea of companies to avoid. Either way, asking around cannot hurt. The same goes for reading reviews of local electricians online.

However, once you have an idea of some potential people for the job, the next step is to ensure that you meet with each prospect, interview them, and ask to see some kind of proof that they are certified for electrical work. If they cannot provide this documentation, you may be able to obtain it locally at your city hall or even with the company that they are working for if they are not independent. However, if you are not able to receive any proof of this certification, then it is probably best to look elsewhere to avoid legal problems in the future that could arise if the work is not done to your standards.

Once you have an idea of who you would like to hire for the job, be sure to have a contract written up that both parties sign so that you know how much you are expected to pay for the job and so that they know and agree to a time frame in which this work is expected to be done.

Keeping these tips in mind, you will be able to have your electrical work done right in no time.…

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Why Water Absorbent Materials Can Help You Avoid Becoming A Statistic

Why Water Absorbent Materials Can Help You Avoid Becoming A Statistic

They say that statistics can prove anything and this may be the case, but it does appear that the average homeowner is highly likely to fall victim to water damage at some stage. It is best to be prepared, as they say that it’s a matter of “when” and not “if.” In a typical home, with as many as four bathrooms, one for each bedroom, a network of pipes will connect. As our homes get older, these pipes can start to show some deterioration and you never know who one of those joints is likely to fail. This is the time to make sure that you have water absorbent materials in these vulnerable areas.

You can pinpoint areas most likely to become a problem with water leakage, by doing a little bit of investigation around your home. Underneath the sink, around your water tanks or water closets — all these are areas for concern. Fitting water absorbent materials in these areas will help you to avoid the worst damage, should anything catastrophic happened.

Your water heater tank is probably the area of most concern, should leakage occurred. There is, of course, a significant volume within this tank and it tends to be located in an elevated position. The force of gravity that helps your water circulate throughout your home can be your enemy if something breaks. Before you know it, anything in the immediate vicinity and beneath can be ruined.

If you place water absorbent materials made of super absorbent polypropylene around the base of your water tank and connections, you can get a period of advance warning. These materials can absorb an amazing moment of moisture and will help you to fend off much of the damage. Of course you should make sure that you check to see if everything is okay as regularly as you can.

When you live in one location for an extended period of time, you tend to understand the foibles of the home, places where problems will occur from time to time. For example, you might know that your basement is vulnerable to seepage during extended times of wet weather. Obviously, you don’t want to leave this unattended and should place some water absorbent materials in the right places to avoid the buildup of mold and mildew, over time.

If you feel that you have prepared as much as humanly possible for the risk of damage from man-made creations, such as a burst pipe or a leaking water tank, you should turn to defense against mother nature. Whenever a winter or summer storm threatens, the side of the house that faces the predominant direction of the wind is most at risk. Garage doors or patio doors seem to be the worst when it comes to letting in the rain.

In the 1950s, two Italians named Natta and Ziegler succeeded in creating the product we now know as polypropylene, which is one of the most significant inventions ever. This product is used in a huge variety of different commercial products, due to its dexterity. It is known as one of the most absorbent materials available and can be found in many products designed specifically to absorb water in and around the home.

The beauty about water absorbent materials composed of polypropylene is that they can be used again and again, so if you find yourself trying to repel the advances of storm driven rains around your home, you simply need to wring out the water into a nearby drain and continue your defense.…

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How To Find A Good Local Plumber

How To Find A Good Local Plumber

Inevitably when you own a house the time will come when the homeowner has to perform routine maintenance and repairs to keep the house functioning properly. Plumbing in particular is one area of the home that is prone to break downs and leaks. So what happens when your faucet springs a leak or your toilet starts running water and won’t stop? Well if you don’t know how to fix your own plumbing chances are you’re either going to be calling the first plumber you find in the phone book and that’s the worst thing you can do…

Before you hire a plumber you want to at least check a few things out but things get a little harder when you have an emergency on your hands and you have to hire a plumber in an instant. You know like when you have water pooling around your ankles… Unfortunately you don’t have a lot of time to hire a plumber when you’re facing an emergency. The first thing you should do is ask your friends, acquaintances and family members for recommendations of plumbers they’ve worked with in the past. If you have enough time, you can also check out the local home improvement stores and materials suppliers in the area for referrals. If you happen to know one a general contractor could help here as well. What you want to do is put together a quick list of about 3-5 plumbers that you can pre-qualify in a short amount of time.

Once you put together a list of about 3-5 plumbers you can start to seek out feedback and reviews from past customers. The internet makes finding this kind of information quite easily actually. You can begin by placing the name of a plumber into a Google search. You’re not actually looking for the plumber’s website; you’re actually looking for reviews and feedback from past users. You can search for reviews on feedback on websites like , and .

Another thing you definitely want to check is whether or not the plumbers have a license. A license from the state isn’t a guarantee that you’re going to get a good plumber but it is proof that the plumber has been finger-printed, had his background checked and passed a competency test. It’s easy to check for a license online but I recommend you actually call your local state licensing board so you can also ask about any complaints that have come in. If you’re really short on time you should at least check online to make sure the plumber you hire has a license.

The state licensing board is one of the first places a homeowner will call to complain about a bad experience with a plumber so it’s an excellent place to check. Another great place to check is with the Better Business Bureau and online you can check at . The point is if there are “bad apples” in the bunch of plumbers you put together you’ll want to weed them out and exclude them from your list of finalists.

Prior to hiring a plumber and if you have time you may want to ask if they have any references they could provide you with. This may not be necessary depending on how big your job is but it’s always a good idea to speak with past clients who can vouch for the plumber.…

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The Basic Home Repair Tool Kit – Part Three

The Basic Home Repair Tool Kit – Part Three

Hammers, Bars, Tapes, Squares and Levels

The home repair tool kit has undergone a transformation over the years. When I was younger, there were no power tools in my father’s vast array of tools. The brace-and-bit and folding wooden rule have gone. Now, everything needs to be plugged in or recharged. Not a bad thing at all, but not being a carpenter, like my father and his father before him, I wonder how mobile power tools make the professional carpenter.

However, the jobs to be done remain the same and the rule for buying tools remains the same, buy the best you can afford. So, let’s take a look at a few modern tools that would make up a very well-equipped set of tools.

Hammers: Carpenters make it look very easy to drive in large nails, but in fact, it is like most things, it takes a lot of practice to do it well. That is, without bending the nail or leaving dents in the surrounding timber from misses. The handle is the important part of a hammer, otherwise a rock would work just as well.

The handle increases the length of swing, amplifying the power of the swing. The heads come in different weights too. Most professionals will use a 20 ounce hammer, but a 16 ounce hammer is OK too.

Pro Tip: when withdrawing a nail, put a block under the hammer. Use the claw and pull on the block. It will increase your power and will not mark the timber.

Flat Bars: the flat bar is useful for light demolition. It is really handy for removing skirting boards and floor boards. Use a board to lever against so you don’t damage the surface your pushing against. You could slightly sharpen the ends of the bar with an angle grinder to make it easier to insert behind the boards.

Pro Tip: after removing boards, bend over or extract every nail to prevent injuries. Falling or stepping on rusty nails is a major hazard on building sites.

Tape Measures: most tapes in use in the industry are of the flexible, retractable type. They are sold by length. In the USA, they are still in feet and inches, whereas in Europe, one edge of the tape is in metric and the other in Imperial feet and inches. Most builders carry a five meter (15 foot) tape on their belt and a longer one in their bag or van. Try to measure from the I” mark, because the nd of an old tape becomes damages and may show more than an inch.

Pro Tip: mark the point you need with an arrow head or ‘V’. This is because if you have to make several marks and you come back later, you might not remember which end of the line is the mark, which can make a big difference if the line is not straight.

Combination Squares: this tool is unparalleled for checking square and marking straight cuts across timber. They often have a bubble in them too in order to make a rough check on level. A longer level is required for complete accuracy.

Levels: a bubble level is an essential tool for hanging shelves, doors etc. The longer the level the more accurate it is likely to be. A 2 foot level is minimum, a 3 foot level the norm. Make sure the bubble is precisely in the middle, about right is not good enough, because an error is magnified over distance. ‘A little bit out’ can mean a foot out in a garden wall.

Pro Tip: levels get bashed about and lose their accuracy. To make doubly sure, check one way then turn the level around from end-to-end and check again.…

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Dual Flush Toilets in Modern Society

Dual Flush Toilets in Modern Society

Many people fail to realise that toilet flushing is one of the major water usages in the house. If the gallons of water that are used every time you flush are added up, you will be very surprised how much is wasted down the drain every day. If the idea of wasting so much water unsettles you, do not worry as there is something you can do.

The dual flush toilet system is designed to avoid this wastage of water. The system gives you the choice between choosing two different flushes. Thus, the flush for the liquid waste will use a minimal amount of water in comparison to solid waste which will use more.

The reasoning behind it is very straightforward. It is well known that human beings generally produce two types of waste; liquid waste and solid waste. The liquid waste will not need as much water to flush as solid waste will. Therefore, there is no need to use a whole tank of water for liquid waste. This is why the dual system is designed the way it is. It enables you to choose to the more suitable option depending on your situation, and thus you end up saving so much water. Therefore you contribute to the environment in a beneficial way.  Using only half of the water will also reduce your water bill.

What is the actual difference?

In comparing the conventional toilet system with a dual flush system, the reports have indicated that using a dual flush system as opposed to a conventional system can reduce water consumption up to 67%. These reports have pushed some countries to pass laws ensuring  that only dual flush systems are installed in homes. Some countries are suffering particularly hard due to water shortage, thus the dual flush system has become even more essential.

Innovative  designs

Many of the dual flush toilet systems on the market today come in a variety of innovative and classy designs. Many companies are competing to make them look as pleasing as possible as more people start to realise its worth.

Negative aspect with the dual flush system

A point of negativity with this product is that the installation process is rather complicated. Of course, as the installation process is not the same as your average toilet installation, the process becomes rather tricky. Once you have reached your decision to install a dual flush system, contact your professional plumber to install it. This way you get the job done professionally, and risk running into problems later.

In today’s modern society we need to be more environmentally conscious than ever before. It is very easy to forget that our natural resources are dwindling rapidly, and we should all be making more of an effort in order to conserve them as much as possible. Using a dual flush toilet system will help the environment considerably in conserving water. The installation costs may be slightly higher than the average toilet, however it will be worth the extra cost in saving water.…

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Wood Does Rot and Creates Problems For Homeowners

Wood Does Rot and Creates Problems For Homeowners

I don’t know how many times I’ve went to work on someone’s home to replace rotted wood. Wood does rot and create problems for homeowners all around the world. If you live in an extremely dry or humid climate, you can plan on having problems with wood and other types of building materials.

If the home was built correctly and maintained properly, there’s a good chance that you will limit the amount of wood that will rot around your house. If you have boards exposed on the outside of your house, there’s a good chance that these boards will need to be replaced if they aren’t maintained regularly.

I’m going to share something with you that some people don’t know about. It’s not complicated and it’s not hard to understand. You don’t need a degree in philosophy or rocket science to figure it out, but wood does rot. Especially, if it’s soaking in water for long periods of time.

Obviously I’m not talking about a piece of wood floating around in a swimming pool. I’m talking about a piece of wood on your home that might have a water supply or drain pipe leaking on it, 24 hours a day. I’m talking about a small roof leak that provides enough moisture on a regular basis to do some serious damage.

I realize that most homeowners aren’t interested in maintaining their property, but I’m here to tell you, that you better change your thinking and change it fast. I’ve seen small water leaks destroy large areas and even small key structural areas in homes. This means big home repair bills in the future.

Take care of your home and it will take care of you. Remember that wood does rot under certain conditions, especially in areas where it rains or snows often.…

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5 Brilliant Home Repair Tips

5 Brilliant Home Repair Tips

With the present slump in the housing market and foreign holidays becoming more expensive many people are investing money in their own homes. Whether it’s for home repairs or larger scale home improvements people will benefit from enjoying a more polished home whilst also increasing its value.

There has also been an increase in people making use of their gardens to grow vegetables or to use their roofs to install solar panels which again means that your home not only has added value, but over time is actually creating value! Home improvements can offset the cost of any home repairs which, unfortunately, need to be carried out on a regular basis.

So if you feel you’re up to the challenge, have recently acquired a great DIY book and have a back-up handyman as a friend (purely for back up!) then read below to see what steps you should take:

Snag List – With all Home Repairs it pays to plan ahead so the first thing you need to do is to make a full “snag list” for the entire home and garden. Maybe it’s touching up the paintwork in the hall, replacing an old skirting board, fixing a faulty socket, fixing a leaky tap or mending a broken fence. Some jobs can be quite big and others quite small, but don’t worry about that just make a full list of everything. Once you have a full list you can then begin to decide what’s most important.

Prioritise – Prioritising your jobs is the next most important step, so once you have the full snag list in your hand think about what’s most critical. For example if it’s nearing Christmas it would definitely make more sense to fix a leaking tap rather than mend a broken fence at the end of the garden – which will more than likely be covered in snow – by the time Christmas arrives! So think about what needs to be done, talk to family members, look at your budget and then put a corresponding number beside each job!

Materials – OK so now you have your full job list, and you know what jobs you want to do next, but what about the materials? Many jobs around the house like doing a paint touch up, may already have the existing supplies in the garage or attic. So take an inventory of what you have, there’s no point in buying things you already own! After that you may need to buy something, for example if you’re replacing an old floorboard or door handle you may need to go to your local hardware to buy the necessary materials.

Advice – As mentioned above its always great to have a recommended DIY book to hand but there are always some questions that only someone with experience can answer. You may have a neighbour who is quite handy, or you may have a handyman friend who you can phone but at the very least your local hardware store should always be able to give advice on a whole range of things. In fact the local hardware store is always more willing and able to offer advice than the larger depot stores, and for that reason alone we would always recommend them.

Reward – Lastly one of the great things about doing DIY and performing Home Repair jobs is the gratification you and your family will receive when finished. But also try to get other family members involved as the old saying goes “many hands make light work!” has never been more true. And it’s also a great way for children to learn about the importance of maintaining a great home whilst having some fun!…

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Avoiding Unsafe Gas Work

Avoiding Unsafe Gas Work

There have been many stories in the newspapers surrounding the tragic consequences of unsafe gas work. There have been reports of people suffering from brain damage and paralysis from carbon monoxide exposure. Often this would be a result from faulty fitted or badly repaired gas appliances. Unfortunately the sting in the tale is that most of these tragedies could have been prevented, had the correct safety measures been in place.

The purpose behind the Gas Safe Register

The public needs to be protected from unsafe gas work and this is the sole purpose behind the register. It works in keeping track of any reports detailing faulty appliances or repairs which threaten gas safety and these reports are taken very seriously.

It is generally expected that the Gas Safe registered firms should take gas safety very seriously, and as part of the rules of registration, they are responsible in rectifying any faults reported by a customer. As most businesses owe a duty of care to their customers, they will be quick in taking action. The consequences of not doing so will be far worse for the business as the sanction against a firm can include suspension of their registration or even complete removal from the Register.

It is important to note that most businesses are very dedicated and honest in their approach by sticking to the law. They invest quite a bit of time, funds, and training into their registration, therefore they may feel it’s unfair when it comes to complaints from customers.

Nonetheless, public safety comes first, and therefore substandard levels of gas work are unacceptable. A great effort is made to strike a balance between taking care of customer’s needs whilst treating registered engineers with fairness and respect.

In many cases the complaints can be unfounded. This is why it is essential to keep the communication open between the customer and the business so that the customer can complain to the business when they are not happy with the gas work.

Maintaining the right balance

The Gas Safe Register is responsible for ensuring that the businesses are treated fairly whilst maintaining public safety. To demonstrate its fairness policy, as part of the investigation process, the Gas Safe Register invites businesses to participate too. This has many beneficial aspects. It allows to business to amend its ways and put things right. In addition, it allows the business to learn from the mistake to avoid future problems. It also gives the business the opportunity to maintain good customer relations.

If it is brought to the attention that the work was carried out by an incompetent or unregistered person, then this will call for immediate inspection and the information will be passed on to the Health and Safety Executive.

To ensure safety, it is necessary that when a defect notice is issued, the business takes the responsibility of completing the rectification work within the deadline specified by the Gas Safety Register. If for some reason the business fails to carry out the remedial work, then it should make alternative arrangements with the customer for another registered business to do it.…

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Why Home Sellers Need to Be Flexible About Repair Issues

Why Home Sellers Need to Be Flexible About Repair Issues

Home sellers are very frustrated these days by the state of the housing market. If you bought your home in the last decade, depending on how much money you put down, you may be underwater (your mortgage is larger than your property is worth). Or if you still have some equity, it may not be enough to get you into your next house. Or you need more money to fund your retirement. For a multitude of reasons, sellers are balking at pricing their houses at what buyers want to pay. When sellers do get their homes under contract, many dig their heels in when the home inspection reports find defects in their houses. The home repair clause in the contract has become the hook on which many real estate deals fall apart. If you are a seller, don’t let that happen to you.

I know that sellers are very emotionally attached to their homes. Most sellers fall in love with their houses and to hear that something they love is flawed is difficult. Also, most sellers adapt to the defects in their home and don’t find them to be the problems that their buyers make them out to be. Many sellers feel that many of the defects that home inspectors find are trivial and don’t warrant a repair or a credit for the cost of the repair. Finally, many sellers that I have represented initially told me that because they had lowered their asking price so much, they didn’t have room in their budget or the inclination to essentially lower the price again by spending money on repairs.

Don’t let these reasons be your reasons for not making the repairs that your buyer has requested. If the goal of the sale is to move on with your life, you need to get emotionally detached from your house. You will spend thousands of mortgage payments and real estate taxes on a house that you no longer want to own if you do not complete this home sale. Your life will be in limbo until you complete your home sale. Add up the costs of saying “no” to your buyer’s request for home repairs. If may be less than one month’s expense of mortgage payments and real estate taxes.

We are in a buyers’ market right now. You cannot say to yourself or anyone else that you “need to clear a certain amount of money from this deal.” Buyers are willing to walk away from contracts if everything does not go their way. They want to move in and be hassle-free. No one wants to deal with home repairs or replacing worn out carpeting or repaint over your custom colors. It may be unfair but it is reality. Buyers have so many other houses to choose from that if you balk at making repairs because you hated the fact that you had to lower your asking price, they will cancel your contract. There is no such thing as selling a house “as-is” in this market.

Don’t forget that if you make the repairs and close on your sale, as the buyer of another house, you get to be in the driver’s seat and negotiate hard for everything you want. But first you have to sell your current house.…

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Do Carpet Cleaning Companies Offer Additional Services?

Do Carpet Cleaning Companies Offer Additional Services?

Nowadays, carpet cleaning is not limited to removing dust and grim off your carpets. Carpet cleaning companies, today, have started offering additional services to their valuable customers in order to run circles around their competitors. Given below are some additional services today’s carpet cleaners offer to their customers.

Professional Vacuuming

Homeowners use vacuum cleaners to clean their carpets on a regular basis. Many cleaning companies now offer professional vacuuming as an extra service. It is important to note that the bulk of companies offer this service free of cost; however, some charge a small amount. Vacuuming the rugs prior to cleansing them reduces the amount of dust. Later on, special cleaning machines are used to remove dirt embedded into the rugs.

Pre-Treatment

If you are going to have your rugs cleansed for the first time, you can consider pre-treatment techniques prior to the deep cleaning. Aside from professional vacuuming, some providers offer this service free of cost, while others charge a paltry sum for this. In pre-treatment, carpets are soaked in chemical-free natural cleaners. This technique targets the dirt on the surface of the carpets and protects the carpet fibers from the harmful effect of artificial chemicals. Pre-treatment is especially useful if you are going to get your carpets cleansed for the first time.

Drying

The bulk of carpet cleaners apply dry cleaning technique because this technique does not require them to rinse the rugs. However, a small amount of water is still contained in the carpets, so you have to dry them after cleaning. If you do not have time to do that, your carpet cleaner can also provide this service. The company will use powerful fans in order to dry out your rugs in a few hours.

Stain Guards

Another extra services offered by many cleaners is termed as stain guards. In this technique, nanotechnology is used to apply a protective lawyer on carpet fibers. This layer prevents dirt and stains from attaching to the fibers. As a result, it will be easier to cleanse the rugs down the road because there will be fewer stains on the carpets.

Do not hesitate to check out different cleaning services in order to find out the most reliable and trustworthy service that offers additional services as part of their main services. Of course, it is risky but you will surely find a provider offering best services you need. This will be immensely beneficial for you in the long run.…