The Popularity Of The Adagio With Dance DJs

Tips To Pick Your DJ

Finding the right DJ is imperative to ensure your wedding happens just as you planned. A great DJ can take your wedding to a level you never imagined. However, a bad DJ can make it a nightmare. Below are 5 tips to guide you through the process of finding the perfect DJ for your wedding

Experience/Professionalism

One of the single most determining factors in the decision making process should be experience. You can plan every detail to the exact second, but no wedding occurs exactly as planned. There is a flow to weddings and an experienced DJ will make any change or delay appear like it was planned and rehearsed. In fact, a proactive DJ will anticipate common situations and prepare accordingly. You spent hours upon hours planning, scheduling and stressing about every single detail, the last thing you want is to do is spend your entire wedding worrying that something will be missed. A great DJ can put you at ease because he or she has all the necessary details and the ability to improvise should things change or fall behind.

Price

Deciding a budget for entertainment can be very challenging because prices can range anywhere from $300 to $3,000. Many DJ companies offer various pricing packages along with a la carte options, travel fees, and/or per hour add-ons. Similar to buying a car, you have to be aware of what the overall price will be after all the add-ons, extra time, additional audio system (for the ceremony, cocktail hour etc…), and additional fees.

You also have to consider you get what you pay for. Although often overlooked as not being one of the most important vendors, the DJ/Emcee controls the flow for the entire wedding. With all that responsibility, you need to know that he or she has what it takes to make your day perfect

Meet with the DJ and make sure he or she will actually be you DJ

Make sure to meet with your DJ before you book. You want to get a feel for his/her personality and mannerisms. Especially if you want your DJ to also emcee the event, overall appearance and professionalism is key. You should feel comfortable having conversation during the consultation.

How to Select Songs As a DJ

The true mark of a quality DJ is his/her ability to satisfy the crowd and keep people engaged. To be able to truly connect with one’s audience entails much more than playing records or doing fancy tricks. Playing the right songs and stringing them together in a cohesive fashion is the most important thing for a DJ and can be the difference between an event’s failure success. Here’s a little guide on how to choose the right songs when dj-ing an event.

Set the tone. Remember that you are creating the mood and atmosphere of the event, so think about what is appropriate. To set the tone, you should take a few things into consideration

Feel out the crowd. Now that you’ve found your starting point and have determined what genres might work best, it’s time to start honing in on what the crowd wants. The first few songs you play for a new audience are like an introduction, so it’s smart to play it a little bit safe until you get better acquainted. Depending on the crowd, top 40’s music is usually a safe bet, since most people hear these songs on a daily basis. Once you get a sense of which jams they respond to, you can decide what to play next to really satisfy them.

Build up the energy. Get them to crawl before they run. If you start off an event with too much excitement, there’s nowhere to go after that and everything else will seem a little disappointing. Also, people might not be ready for craziness right away. More often than not, folks are a little more reserved at the beginning of a party, so it’s important to use your music to stretch their social muscles and get them fully loosened up. As a DJ, you are in charge of bringing the party to its climax and sustaining it as long as possible. Make sure to build up the energy first so they have something to look forward to.

Experiment and don’t be afraid to disappoint. Once you’ve managed to figure out what works with the crowd, you can start digging deeper into their musical tastes or even get them to fall in love with something they didn’t realize was missing from their lives. But, when you are attempting to expose people to something new, it’s important that you build a foundation of trust first. That way they’re more likely to accept something unfamiliar. If that has already been achieved, then its time to really make your mark and separate yourself from the pack. Remember that you will not always please everyone, but at the same time you can’t be great unless you take chances

How To Choose The Right DJ For Your Wedding

What do you think your guests will remember most when your wedding is over? The first thing most guests say when asked about a wedding is whether they had fun or not. That means the atmosphere of your wedding is what will impact yours and your guests’ memory of your big day. Guess who controls the environment? The DJ!!

Choosing the right DJ can make or break your wedding. Hiring the first DJ available for your wedding is far from the best way to choose the right DJ for your wedding. Once you have the right DJ booked for your wedding, you can really have some fun focusing on other parts of your wedding planning.

Prepare Interview Questions

Hiring a DJ is like hiring someone for any position at any business. You want someone who is qualified and the experience you’re looking for. Would you hire a baker to make your wedding cake if they’ve never made a cake before? Probably not. This means you should come ready with interview questions

Ask Your Recommendations

If you have married friends, they are the first people you should ask for recommendations. You can even use your friends to expand your network for finding the right DJ for your wedding. Some wedding venues have a preferred vendor list that includes DJs, so you can be confident you’ll be in good hands if your venue is recommending a certain company or individual.

Read Reviews

Just like with other wedding services, there are likely reviews and testimonials online for a DJ you are considering. You may have to do some digging to find any reviews on one-man-shops. If you can’t find any reviews, that might be a cause for concern.

Tips To Choose Good Djs For Your Party

Experience/Professionalism

One of the single most determining factors in the decision making process should be experience. You can plan every detail to the exact second, but no wedding occurs exactly as planned. There is a flow to weddings and an experienced DJ will make any change or delay appear like it was planned and rehearsed. In fact, a proactive DJ will anticipate common situations and prepare accordingly. You spent hours upon hours planning, scheduling and stressing about every single detail, the last thing you want is to do is spend your entire wedding worrying that something will be missed. A great DJ can put you at ease because he or she has all the necessary details and the ability to improvise should things change or fall behind.

Price

Deciding a budget for entertainment can be very challenging because prices can range anywhere from $300 to $3,000. Many DJ companies offer various pricing packages along with a la carte options, travel fees, and/or per hour add-ons. Similar to buying a car, you have to be aware of what the overall price will be after all the add-ons, extra time, additional audio system (for the ceremony, cocktail hour etc…), and additional fees

Meet with the DJ and make sure he or she will actually be you DJ

Make sure to meet with your DJ before you book. You want to get a feel for his/her personality and mannerisms. Especially if you want your DJ to also emcee the event, overall appearance and professionalism is key. You should feel comfortable having conversation during the consultation.

Personality/Emcee-ability

You need to make sure that the emcee you hire for your wedding fits the style of wedding your looking for. One of the best clues to discovering the right person is the first impression you get when you meet. Some DJ’s try to be too outgoing, over the top and end up sounding “cheesy”. Other DJ’s are more DJ’s than anything and have a hard time making announcements and speaking in front of large groups. A good DJ/Emcee will find a healthy balance between the two. For most weddings, the Bride and Groom just want their guests to have a great time so the DJ has to know how to use the microphone effectively.

Equipment

You can find a DJ with great personality, experience, talent, affordable prices, but it is imperative he or she uses the proper professional equipment. Beginning with the sound, professional speakers make all the difference in the world. Professional mics are also important. You don’t want microphone to cut in and out of signal because of insufficient range. There are also many different types of microphones for different applications. Make sure your DJ has the right type of mic for your event. A DJ should also have backup equipment in the event of technical difficulties

How to Choose the Right DJ for Your Wedding

The DJ you hire for your wedding reception sets the tone for the whole event. They will act as the emcee, make announcements, and be responsible for organizing your guests as well as mixing the music at the right time. It goes without saying that you want a DJ with superb social skills and a great personality. Of course, they’ll need to know a lot about music. They need to entertain tastefully, and not overpower your celebration. But will they be a good fit for you? We’ve put together some tips on how to choose the right DJ for your wedding.

Get a Feel for Their Personality

Experienced DJ companies will have bios of their DJ staff on their websites. They will also have DJs of all styles, so whether you want trendy or traditional, rowdy or conservative, the more you research and communicate your personality preference with the DJ company the better. The best DJ companies will also have options for hiring specific DJs who are very popular and highly sought-after. You may find it money well spent to upgrade to reserve a specific DJ if that personalized service is important to you. Ask if they have a package that allows you to reserve one of these more popular DJs which includes a face-to-face meeting with the DJ in person before your reception.

Know Their Style and Music Preferences

The online bios from a DJ company’s website will also help you select DJs who like the same style of music as you. A great DJ company will have DJs who specialize in any music genre. Ask the DJ what kind of music they personally like. Hiring a DJ who has a similar taste in music to yours will make things easier. If you’re a fan of country music, having a DJ that also likes country will ensure that great songs are played all night. Having a similar interest allows the DJ to suggest songs that you might not know about and provide a deeper playlist to create a richer experience on your big day

Have the Freedom to Customize Your Reception

Make sure your DJ company has the option to customize your entire reception with current software. The best DJ companies have designed proprietary Online Event Planners that allow you to customize every aspect of your wedding reception. Take the time to log into a company’s sample Online Event Planner and see for yourself if it is interactive and easy to use. There is a big difference in quality in these planning tools and a little research is well worth your time. You should be able to customize all crowd participation, announcements, and music. Ask the company if you can select as little or as much music as you want. View their online music database and see if it’s organized and has tons of music you want. Ask if there is an extra charge for music that isn’t on their Online Event Planner database. Finally, make sure you have the ability to ask the DJ to stick to your custom online event planner as you have put them in writing, and they reflect what you envision for your wedding reception.

How Well Do They Communicate?

Before the big day, you should have the opportunity to speak or meet with your DJ and let them know what you expect from the night. This is an opportunity to verify that they are receptive, listening to your wishes and offering suggestions to make the night run smoothly. Playing your custom song list is only part of the job for a wedding DJ. The other part is emceeing the reception and other service providers, like your photographer and venue staff. They will give verbal cues to the guests about what’s going on and what’s coming next, where to direct their attention for the cake cutting, when it’s time for speeches, and the first dance.

Motivations For Plastic Surgery Are Deeply Personal

Top five plastic surgery myths

Many myths surround the seemingly glamorous world of plastic surgery. But in fact, plastic surgery is a lot like every other medical specialty with highly-trained physicians providing everything from reconstructive hand surgery to burn scar revisions. Here are my top five plastic surgery myths.

#5 Plastic Surgery is All About Beauty and Vanity

Although breast augmentations, Botox and facelifts get all the press, plastic surgery encompasses everything from correcting birth defects such as cleft palates to post-cancer breast reconstruction and work-related hand injuries.

Plastic surgeons care about the functional and overall results after surgery, not just the aesthetics (although we are specifically trained to optimize those, as well). When a patient does choose to have surgery for cosmetic reasons, it is often to correct areas which are not amenable to diet, weight loss or nonsurgical procedures.

#4 Plastic Surgery Patients are the Rich and Famous

If plastic surgeons only operated on the 1%, we wouldn’t have a thriving plastic surgery industry.

Most aesthetic patients are not the rich and famous, but are average people who simply wish to restore confidence, enhance their overall appearance and improve their lives.

#3 Only Women Get Plastic Surgery

Although women have been the traditional customers of plastic surgery, men are turning to plastic surgery in increasing numbers.

Less invasive procedures such as Botox, laser treatments and dermal fillers can give men a rejuvenated and naturally youthful appearance without any downtime and at relatively low costs. These, along with liposuction, are the most popular cosmetic surgery treatments for men, with many men reporting a need for a competitive edge in the workforce as the reason they have pursued cosmetic treatments.

#2 Plastic Surgery Leaves No Scars and Lasts Forever

Plastic surgeons are great at making scars look better, more refined and smaller, but all types of plastic surgery will generally cause some type of scar formation. We can often recommend the best way to minimize scarring, and give advice and treatments on how to make your scar look as great as possible after surgery.

And while many plastic surgery procedures are long lasting and can give you years, if not decades of personal satisfaction, many factors determine how long the results will last. Plastic surgery can turn back the hands of time – but the clock keeps on ticking. Great skin care, less-invasive office procedures, surgical touch-ups, and your overall health are all important to maintain your natural good looks.

#1 Plastic Surgery is the Same as Cosmetic Surgery

All plastic surgeons do not have the same training. Many doctors trained in, and board certified in, other specialties such as gynecology or family medicine have ventured into plastic surgery, causing what is known as “white coat confusion”. Yes, they are board certified – but not in plastic surgery.

Most Common Types of Cosmetic Plastic Surgery

Cosmetic plastic surgery may also be used for medical purposes, such as for people who have had accidents, to restore the function of a body part, or to repair scars from surgery.

There are many procedures available, so here is a look at the eight most common types of cosmetic plastic surgery:

1. Breast Augmentation

Breast augmentation refers to procedures which increase the size or change the shape of the breasts. When the size of the breast is increased, the procedure may also be called ‘breast implant surgery’. Breast augmentation is not the same as breast lifts or breast reduction, which are actually different types of procedures.

2. Dermabrasion

Dermabrasion uses a specialized tool that gently ‘sands’ down the top layer of skin. Once the top layer of skin has been removed, the area heals and new skin replaces the old. The end result is smoother-looking skin.

Dermabrasion is usually used for:

  • Acne scars
  • Age spots
  • Crow’s feet
  • Growths or lesions on the skin
  • Sun-damaged skin
  • Wrinkles

3. Facelift

Facelifts repair sagging, loose, drooping, or wrinkled skin on the face. During this procedure, facial tissues are lifted, excess skin removed, and skin replaced over repositioned contours. Neck lifts are commonly done in conjunction with facelifts.

Other procedures commonly done along with facelifts include nose reshaping, forehead lifts, or eyelid surgery.

4. Hair transplantation

Hair transplantation surgery, also known as hair restoration, is performed to improve the appearance of baldness. In this procedure, hair is moved from an area of thick growth to a bald area.

In a single session, more than a thousand hairs may be moved. Some people may require more than one session. The hairs which are moved are permanent, which means that no long-term care is necessary. Most hair transplants result in successful hair growth after the procedure.

Preparing for Surgery

The type of preparation that will be necessary prior to your surgery will depend on what surgery will be performed and the type of anesthesia that will be administered.

Reconstructive plastic surgery may require multiple procedures done in several stages.

The following are considerations for you to discuss with your physician/surgeon prior to your procedure:

  • Ask the surgeon to explain the benefits, risks, and expectations of the procedure.
  • Discuss what type of anesthesia will be administered and what recovery time is expected.
  • Inform your physician of any medications (over-the-counter or prescription) you are currently taking, as well as any prior procedures, history of chronic illnesses, and/or allergies you may have.
  • Be sure to stop drinking and eating for the recommended time period before and/or after surgery.
  • Be sure to follow any specific pre-operative bathing, shaving, or cleaning instructions.
  • Be sure to discuss any post-operative instructions that need to be followed (i.e., changing dressings, post-op medications, follow-up appointments).
  • Do not wear makeup the day of surgery, including nail polish.
  • Do not wear eye contacts the day of surgery.

Unhappy patients keep plastic surgeons up at night

With so many wonderful patients singing our praises, we should be walking on cloud nine. But the reality is, the small few that are not happy (and may never be) weighs on us far more than all the positive outcomes combined.

During a consultation, we sometimes come across patients who we feel cannot be satisfied and we do our best to identify this group, choosing not to take them as a patient in the first place (and saving ourselves a headache).

But it’s not a reliable system and people slip through the cracks. Despite all our efforts before surgery to make sure a patient’s expectations are realistic and doing what we can to achieve their desired results, we can’t make everyone happy all the time.

Some surgeons aren’t affected by it and seem just to brush it off; others are outright mean and divert the blame on the patient. That’s not how things are handled in my or my partners’ practices. We take it to heart, probably too much, and it can be crushing.

How Much Plastic Surgery Really Hurts

No pain, no gain? Nah. New cosmetic surgery techniques are making going under the knife less uncomfortable. Here, doctors rate the ouch-factor of five popular cosmetic procedures.

Breast Augmentation

Pain Rating: 3 to 5/10

Unlike a breast lift, breast implants are inserted into the body either over or under the chest muscle. Dr. Buford, and many other cosmetic surgeons, tend to place them underneath the muscle for a more natural look—and this technique hurts more. The main discomfort that patients feel is related to stretching of the pectoralis major muscle and the resulting spasm. To reduce pain from the procedure, I perform an Intercostal Nerve Block (an injection) right before the patient wakes up from surgery, which lasts six to eight hours. Once this wears off, the pain fibers are reset and most patients report being able to discontinue prescription pain medication as early as 24 to 48 hours after surgery. And while you’ll probably feel well enough to go back to work after a few days, some mild soreness may linger for a few weeks as your body adjusts to the new implants.

Liposuction

Pain Rating: 3 to 6/10

Like any surgery, liposuction can hurt because it involves tissue injury. But that being said, liposuction is not really a painful procedure. However, having lipo on multiple body parts at one time will leave you more sore than having surgery on just one area (which is why the pain rating here could potentially reach a six).

Eyelid Surgery

Pain rating: 1 to 2/10

Since a blepharoplasty involves tightening up the muscles and skin above the eyes, it will leave you with some swelling and bruising for about a week. But patients are always surprised at how little pain they feel. If you go for a lower lid surgery too, that can increase the pain rating up to a three or four. Often those involve fat grafting to fill in lost volume under the eyes, according to Dr. Bloom. In other words, the doctor will suck fat out of your stomach or thigh and place about a teaspoon of that fat under each eye.

Rely On A Roof Inspection Professional When You Need An Inspection

Roof Inspections

Why do I need a roof inspection?

You should inspect your roof or have a professional do it to spot damage, make necessary repairs, and discover flaws that may have occurred in workmanship. If you act before or as problems occur, you’ll extend the life of your roof and prevent problems that could affect the structure and contents of your home, as well as your family’s health.

How often should I get my roof inspected?

The National Roofing Contractors Association (NRCA) recommends checking your roof during the fall and spring to help spot potential problems. You should also inspect your roof after a major storm that involved high winds, hail or flying debris. It doesn’t matter how new a roof is, hail can damage or even ruin it enough to require a replacement.

DIY roof inspections

Sometimes homeowners can make simple checks to their home’s roof to find maintenance needs. But some problems are easily noticed even by the untrained eye. For those who choose to do it themselves, consider these NRCA tips. If you tackle the job, take the following safety precautions

Hiring a professional roof inspector

The NRCA recommends hiring a professional roofing contractor to inspect your roof.  It’s safer, especially if you’re uncomfortable getting on a roof or if you’re not sure what to look for.

Things to Consider When Choosing a Roofing Company

Your roof is a vital part of your house, and you want to ensure that you take the best care of it so that it lasts as long as possible. You may know that you should be getting your roof inspected bi-annually, but don’t know how to choose the right roofing company for the inspection or for any other work. It can be difficult to decide on a roofer when there are so many options. And, with many of the options seeming a bit questionable, you don’t want to make the wrong choice!

ReviewsHow can a homeowner identify a quality roofer? A quick online search can often help to split the good from the bad roofing companies by the testimonials and reviews. When you are browsing a roofing company, does their site include legitimate reviews from happy customers? Happy customers are an assurance that the roofer you are considering knows how to take care of their clients.

Licensed, Insured and BondedA quality roofing company (and its technicians) will be licensed, bonded and insured. This protects you, the homeowner, and the company. If a technician hurts themselves on your property, the company needs to be insured so that you are not liable! Additionally, if you work with a company that is not licensed, you could see the consequences with your home insurance; your home insurance could cover your roof repair or replacement, but they will require you to hire a licensed company. Additionally, not working with a licensed roofing company can void your home insurance. So, if their work causes problems in the future, your insurance company can claim they are not liable to cover damage costs as you did not use a professional that was licensed.

Experienced with Insurance CompaniesYou will want to choose a roofing company that has experience handling insurance cases. Insurance companies typically follow meticulous steps for the insurance claim and expect full documentation of the entire project. Ensure that you are working with a roofing company that not only has experience handling insurance claims, but are also willing to help you work with the insurance company to get the most for your claim

Payment OptionsIt may seem obvious, but you should always discuss your payment options with any roofing company that you are considering. A great roofing company will offer free roof inspections and upfront pricing and have you sign off on all costs before they start the project. Lastly, discuss if payment will be required entirely upfront before the project begins, or if there is an option for a payment plan. A great roofing company will work with you to stay within your budget if necessary. They will ask you what your budget is and bring you material recommendations that align with what you’ve indicated.

When is the Best Time to Inspect Your Roof?

A roof inspection is one of those things we all tend to put off, but it’s an important part of your yearly home maintenance checklist.

The best time to get a roof inspection depends on your roof’s condition, your schedule, and the weather! And of course, a roof inspection is always a good idea after any unexpected (or expected) event that could cause damage, like a heavy tree branch falling on your roof.

Roof Inspections Are More Important than People Think

As long as water isn’t dripping from your ceiling, it’s easy to simply assume everything is fine. After all, you have plenty of other things on your home maintenance to-do list, right?

Should Roof Inspections Happen in Spring or Fall?

A quick Google search will tell you that spring and fall are the most popular times to get a roof inspection, and some people have very strong opinions on which is better. The truth is that the most important thing is just to get regular roof inspections when you need them, regardless of the time of year

Why You Might Get a Spring Roof Inspection

Winter rain, wind, and ice can damage your roof, and they also make it harder to identify any damage that’s there. Once spring hits and the rough weather is behind us, a roof inspection makes a lot of sense. It’s a good time to spot any winter damage and get it fixed before it gets any worse.

Understanding Home Roof Inspections

Roofing and Construction recommends that every potential home buyer get a complete home inspection before any money changes hands. It’s the best way to keep your dream home from quickly becoming a nightmare after you take ownership. The results from a home inspection will give you a powerful insight into the state of the home.

Ask the seller outright to pay for the cost of the new roof and have it installed. Prior to closing, it can be very difficult to get a new homeowner’s insurance policy on a home where the roof is damaged or too old.

Offer to split the cost. If the housing market is tough for buyers, or you think there’s competition for this particular home, then you can make an arrangement to divide up the cost of the new roof with the seller

Inspections to Maintain Your Home

Call a roofing contractor or a licensed inspector if you are curious about the condition of your home. Any new roof system is a big investment. As a result, you’ll want all the information possible if you’re considering a purchase, think you may need a new roof, or want to change the appearance of your roof to better match your home.

Roof Inspection Tips

Some of the best inspectors previously worked as contractors or in the construction industry, so you can look for that experience as a confidence booster. It’s perfectly acceptable to ask how many inspections they’ve performed, if they know what’s normal for the area and how long they’ve been in this profession.

Roof Inspection- A TOP Priority

The National Roofing Contractors Association suggests the homeowners should have their roofs inspected each year in the spring and fall.  Inspecting your roof periodically can help you prevent costly structural damage to your home.  Even the most durable roofs can show signs of weakness, especially after a season of snow and ice, like we experience in Michigan, or a season of heavy rainfall and wind

Trained Professionals

A trained professional is always your best bet for roof inspection. Roofing experts can identify damage that an untrained eye cannot see. Repairing damage before it becomes a real issue, can save homeowners thousands of dollars in repair and replacement costs.

AMR Experts

The experts at Roofs understand the importance of careful and thorough roof inspection services. This is why, during our initial consultations, we provide attic and roof inspections to inform homeowners of any problems that currently exist.

With the attic inspection, we’ll be able to give you a full report of your attic’s moisture levels, mold potential, insulation levels, and more. The roof inspection will allow us to identify any problems with your current roofing system, as well as measure it accurately, so we can provide you with the best possible roofing estimate.

Points To Be Contemplated When Employing Exterior Painting Contractors

How to Choose Exterior Paint Colors Using a Visualizer

Exterior paint colors can make all the difference when it comes to your home’s curb appeal, especially if you’re trying to sell. The color of the exterior of your house is the most public design decision you will ever make. Given the fact that it will add value and beauty to your home, outdoor paint color plays an essential role in how potential buyers will perceive your house. But with thousands of exterior paint colors available, it can be a daunting task to choose the right one. Which is the best one for your home? And how many layers of paint do you need to get the required durability? Technology to the rescue!

The Basics of Choosing Colors

Before you begin choosing the right house color, start out with helpful resources. With a home color visualizing tool, it’s important to get the basics right. For instance, consider the size of your home when planning on painting its exterior. The size can influence whether dark or light colors are more appropriate. As a general rule of thumb, light colors will make your house appear larger and will be more affected by different light conditions, whereas dark shades can make your property appear smaller and help it blend with the surroundings.

Look to a Color Visualizer Before Buying Paint

Once you get the basic idea of what you want for the exterior of your home, you can use a color visualizer to find that perfect color. You can browse by popular colors, color families, or decorator picks. Many major paint companies offer this tool with exterior options including McCormick Paints, Sherwin-Williams, and Benjamin Moore. While the specific interface for each paint tool is a little different, all use similar methods to allow browsers to test various paint options. Simply by uploading exterior photos of your home, you can see what different paint colors might look like on your walls. It is a great way to virtually experiment and gets ideas and inspiration for your home’s color scheme.

Confirm Your Color Choices With Paint Samples

Now that you have narrowed your choices using a virtual tool, it’s time to confirm them with color samples in your staged home. While visualizers are helpful, there is no substitute for seeing the color on the walls of your home in real life. Buy test sizes of the paint colors you are considering and put some brush-outs on the outside. Make sure to put some color on both the south and north sides of your home as lighting there can differ dramatically. Also, visit these areas at different times of the day to get a fair idea of how the finished product will look.

Don’t Limit Your Color Choices

Ideally, an exterior scheme should have three major parts: A field color that dominates; an accent color that brings shutters, doors, and other smaller parts to life; and the trim color. Once you have chosen an appealing combination of field and trim, make it stand out with an eye-catching accent color. Feel free to go bold, but don’t go overboard.

Tips for Choosing Exterior Paint Colors for Your House

Picking house paint colors isn’t just difficult; it can be terrifying! If you choose colors that are boring and blah, your house will seem flat and featureless, but if the paint colors are too bold, they can overwhelm the architecture or might even infuriate the neighbors. The potential rewards are substantial, though. Getting it just right by choosing the perfect exterior house color and trim combinations can change your life.

As you consider paint colors for you home’s exterior, keep in mind that the best paint colors are those that highlight the most beautiful features of your home. That’s one reason to know a little bit about residential architecture since history can tell you a lot about what colors have worked for various house styles over the years. Also remember that skillful use of color can sometimes disguise design flaws, boosting the curb appeal and market value of your home

Tips for Choosing Exterior Paint Colors

How do you find that magic color combination? Professional designers suggest 12 specific techniques. And please note that no expert ever suggests buying a paint color because it’s on sale or because your painting contractor can get you a deal!

Honor History

If you’re planning to paint an older home, you’ll probably want to use a historically accurate color scheme. One way to do this is by a simple form of archeology—you can hire a pro to dig down to old paint layers on your siding and trim to analyze them and recreate the original color of your house. Or, you can refer to a historic color chart and select shades that were common at the time your home was built.

Consider Jazzing Up the Past

In some neighborhoods, it’s common for homeowners to fly in the face of history. Instead of choosing historically accurate colors, they paint with modern colors to dramatize architectural details. Using bright colors on old architectural details can produce startling and exciting results—if your local historic commission approves. But before you buy 10 gallons of bubblegum pink, it’s a good idea to look at what your neighbors are doing. A fluorescent colored Victorian that looks splendid in San Francisco can seem wildly out of place in more conservative neighborhoods of the Northeast. The bright pink stucco that is common in Florida might truly startle neighbors in Washington State—which can be either good or bad. Remember that what’s deemed as an acceptable color scheme may be dictated by region and neighborhood, not just historic architectural style.

How to Select Exterior Paint Colors for a Home

If you’re painting the outside of your home, don’t be afraid to take a little time with the color decision. “Your interior is about your personal color tastes,” says Tom Lee, Senior VP of Consumer Marketing for Behr, “but the exterior is really about durability. It’s about protecting the biggest investment you have.” It isn’t an easy decision to redo, so don’t rush it.

Plan to spend a little more money. Investing in a premium paint such as Behr Marquee Exterior Paint & Primer in One is a wise choice. You don’t want to be climbing up a scaffold again anytime soon — or paying for someone else to do it — so paint needs to cover well, resist stains and stand up to weather.

Think about your permanent materials. If you have an existing brick or stone foundation, patio, or accents, work with their underlying tones as you’re choosing a paint shade. If you’re stuck, try pairing opposites in terms of color temperature. For example, if you have a warm red brick foundation and you want brown for your exterior paint, choose a taupe with cool gray/blue undertones instead of a peachy tan.

Take advantage of technology. You can usually bring in a sample of permanent materials to the paint store for computer color matching. Behr also offers an online tool called that lets you choose an initial color, recommends matching/coordinating colors, and helps you experiment with color combos on images of a home exterior so you can imagine the finished look.

Don’t forget the trim. If you want something other than the usual white, try your exterior color just a few shades lighter for a subtle, elegant effect.

How to Choose the Right Exterior Paint Colors

Are you struggling with choosing the right exterior paint color for your home? I’m here to help and walk you through each step for choosing the right paint color combination for the exterior of your home.  I’m going to make this real easy for you guys, I promise!

The number one paint question I have received over the years is about choosing exterior paint colors because it’s one of the most difficult paint decisions you can make for your home.    You want your home to have beautiful curb appeal and you don’t want to make any color mistakes. If you follow my seven steps below, I promise you will avoid the common mistakes and will be able to make exterior paint color decisions that will be beautiful! Stick with me on this!

CHOOSE YOUR SHADE FIRST

The first thing you will want to do when deciding what color you want to paint the exterior of your home is to choose the shade of a color first. When I say “shade”, I mean do you want a light, mid-tone or dark color on the body of your home? At this point, you don’t have to consider anything else except to make a decision if you want a light or white color, a mid-tone or medium shade, or do you want a dark color.

For most of you, choosing a shade is an instant easy decision and you immediately know that you want a light or dark colored home.  However, some of you may not be sure and are open to any shade and need a little help making that decision. It will help if you search Pinterest for exterior homes for inspiration to determine what shade would look best for your home. For example, if you have a ranch style home, search “ranch style home exteriors” in Pinterest search to see all the different color options to inspire you

CONSIDER YOUR ROOF COLOR (AND OTHER ACCENT COLORS)

Before you can go much further in your color decision-making, you will need to consider the color of your roof.  If you have a black or neutral gray, you don’t have to worry as much about color clashing. Unfortunately, I have a dark brown roof with slight red undertones, so colors like shades of green or blues wouldn’t work for me and would clash.  For those of you that have a roof with red, tan, green or blue gray undertones in your shingles, you will for sure need to factor in your roof color as you choose your exterior paint color palette.

Tips for Choosing the Best Exterior Paint

Summer is here and that means we can finally tackle those big outdoor summer projects! If you’re planning on painting the exterior of your home this summer, I wanted to share some important tips that will help you when choosing the best exterior paint for your home that will last years

It’s not easy deciding on a high quality exterior paint for the home because there are hundreds of different exterior paint products on the market. I know it’s seriously overwhelming and I’m gonna make it real easy for you today and help you sift through so you can zone in on the very best exterior paint for your project

NOT ALL EXTERIOR PAINTS ARE EQUAL

I have learned so much over the years about exterior paint products from my own projects, client projects and also working with paint companies. Unfortunately, I have also learned the hard way that not all exterior paints are created equal. Nothing is more frustrating than spending a fortune to have your house painted and you have to repaint within 2-3 years!

DURABILITY

The most important factor when choosing an exterior paint is durability.  You may be surprise to know that a highly durable exterior paint finish should last at least 5-10 years. Yes! You read that right! The best exterior paint that is applied properly can last up to 10 years! It is possible!

PAINT AND PRIMER (ALL-IN-ONE)

In my opinion, nothing is more important than using an exterior paint product that has primer in it. This is absolutely non-negotiable for me and the most important requirement that I have when it comes to choosing an exterior paint. The reason it’s so important to me is that unlike traditional paints, primer paint contains binding properties (fancy word for glues), which means the primer will act as a sealant.  Primer creates a binding layer (or) sealed layer on the material being painted that will increase durability making it more water and mold-resistance. Not too mention that you will have better coverage because primer will mask underlying color and imperfections better! That’s exactly what we need to have from an exterior paint.

Colors And Letters Of Electrical Wiring

All About Electrical Wiring Types, Sizes, and Installation

Much of what you need to know for electrical repairs and remodeling involves wiring—how to identify it, how to buy it, and how to install it with proper connections. If you’re planning any electrical project, learning the basics of wiring materials and installation is the best place to start. Understanding basic wiring terminology and identifying the most common types of wire and cable will help when investigating wiring problems and when choosing the wiring for new installation and remodeling projects.

Understanding Wire Sizing

The proper wire size is critical to any electrical wire installation. Wire sizing indicates the diameter of the metal conductor of the wire and is based on the American Wire Gauge (AWG) system. The gauge of a wire relates to the wire’s current-carrying capacity, or how much amperage the wire can safely handle. When choosing the right size of the wire, you must consider the gauge of the wire, the wire capacity, and what the wire will be used for.

Non-Metallic (NM) Sheathed Cable

Most interior wiring is done with non-metallic, or NM, cable—also known by the popular brand name “Romex.” NM cable is made of three or more wires wrapped inside a flexible plastic jacket, or sheathing. It is used for most interior circuits, such as those for outlets, switches, light fixtures, and appliances. Learn the basics of NM cable to choose the right type for your next electrical project.

Electrical Wire Color Coding

Color coding is used both on the outer sheathing of bundled electrical cables and on the individual conduction wires within cables or inside conduit. Understanding this color coding can help you identify what the wiring is used for and helps maintain consistency within an electrical system.

Understanding Electrical Wiring Labeling

Electrical wires and cable have markings stamped or printed on their insulation or outer sheathing. These markings provide important information about the wiring and insulation, including the wire size and material, the type of insulation, the number of wires contained (inside a cable), and any special ratings or characteristics of the wire.

How to Choose Electrical Wires and Insulation

Resources and description

In this video you will learn about the different kinds of insulation and conductors, and how to choose your own.

The different steps of this short tutorial will show you how to choose the right conductor size, how to determine the conductor’s core and then how to choose the insulation. By learning these three elements, you’ll be able to choose the right conductors and insulation for yourself!

Electrical Wire and Cable Buying Guide

First, understand the difference between wire and cable:

A wire is one conductor that carries an electrical current through a circuit.

A cable is a collection of wires sheathed together.

The American Wire Gauge (AWG) system provides the sizing of wires. The higher the number of the gauge, the smaller the size of the wires. The National Electrical Code (NEC) mandates the regulations for wires and cables that can be used for electrical applications.

Warning

Follow the manufacturer’s instructions for installation and safety. Check to see if you need a permit. Observe applicable building and electrical codes. Contact a licensed electrician if you have any doubts or questions about the connections or if your home’s wiring doesn’t appear compatible with the changes you’re making.

How to Identify Wires and Cables

Each jacket will have information printed on it to help you choose the correct product for your job. A letter code provides the attributes of the wire, along with material, gauge and voltage rating.

Naming and Taxonomy

The NEC provides a system with letters to quickly identify what a wire’s capabilities are. Some common lettering for wire includes THHN, XHHW, THW, etc.

ELECTRICAL TECHNOLOGY

How to Find The Suitable Size of Cable & Wire for Electrical Wiring Installation?

Whenever current flows through a conductor, a voltage drop occurs in that conductor. Generally, voltage drop may neglect for small length of conductors but in case of a lower diameter and long length conductors, we have to take into account the considerable voltage drops for proper wiring installation and future load managment.

In electrical wiring circuits, voltage drops also occur from the distribution board to the different sub circuit and final sub circuits, but for sub circuits and final sub circuits, the value of voltage drop should be half of that allowable voltage drops (i.e. 2.75V of 5.5V as calculated above)

Normally, Voltage drop in tables is described in Ampere per meter (A/m) e.g. what would be the voltage drop in a one meter cable which carrying one Ampere current? There are two methods to define the voltage drop in a cable which we will discuses below.

To find voltage drop in a cable, follow the simple steps given below.

First of all, find the maximum allowable voltage drop

Now, Find load current

Now, according to load current, select a proper cable (which current rating should be nearest to the calculated load current) from table 1

From Table 1, find the voltage drop in meter or 100 feet (what system you prefer) according its rated current

Wire Types and Sizing

When wiring a house, there are many types wire to choose from, some copper, others aluminum, some rated for outdoors, others indoors.  In general however, there are only a couple varieties used for wiring a residential home.

Romex Cables

Romex (shown in yellow above) is the trade name for a type of electrical conductor with non-metallic sheathing that is commonly used as residential branch wiring. In fact, Romex will be the most common cable you’ll use in wiring a house

The following are a few basic facts about Romex wiring:

Romex ™ is a common type of residential wiring that is categorized by the National Electrical Code (NEC) as underground feeder (UF) or non-metallic sheathed cable (NM and NMC).

NM and NMC conductors are composed of two or more insulated conductors contained in a non-metallic sheath. The coating on NMC cable is non-conducting, flame-resistant and moisture-resistant. Unlike other cables commonly found in homes, they are permitted in damp environments, such as basements.

Underground feeder conductors appear similar to NM and NMC cables except that UF cables contain a solid plastic core and cannot be “rolled” between fingers.

The following NEC regulations apply to Romex conductors:

They must be protected, secured and clamped to device boxes, junction boxes and fixtures.

Support devices that may damage the cables, such as bent nails and overdriven staples, are not permitted.

NM and NMC cables should be secured at intervals that do not exceed 4½ feet, and they should be secured within 12 inches of junction boxes and panels to which they are attached. Cables that do not comply with this rule can sag and are vulnerable to damage.

They are intended as permanent wiring in homes and should not be used as a substitute for appliance wiring or extension cords.

Romex is used for most lighting and outlet circuits in your home.  Romex will be labeled with “12-2” or “12-3”.  The first number indicates the gauge of the wire.  You choices are typically 10, 12, or 14 gauge.  The second number indicates the number of conductors. A 12-2 Romex will have a black(hot) and a white(neutral) wire as well as an unsheathed copper wire for ground.  A 12-3 Romex will have a black(hot), red(hot), white(neutral), and bare copper.  The red on a 12-3 is used for three-way light switches which are covered later

Hunting Racoon A Change Of Pace

A Guide for Choosing an Ethical and Humane Wildlife Control Company

WILDLIFE REMOVAL companies are not government licenced. Without any form of regulation governing the needed requirements to start a wildlife control business, homeowners are being exposed to fear mongering, incompetent advice, poor workmanship, health and safety issues and inhumane treatment of wildlife. The following guide will assist the townhouse homeowner, manager and board in choosing an ethical and humane wildlife control company.

Request a referral contact from your local animal welfare (Humane Society, OSPCA, etc.) or animal care and control agency to obtain a referral for a humane wildlife removal company. These organizations should also be able to give information on the few legal stipulations governing wildlife removal in Ontario.

Knowledge of wildlife. Ask the wildlife removal operator to describe the lifecycle of the animal causing the problem. An experienced operator will have an in-depth knowledge of the intruding animal’s biology and behaviour at that particular time of year

Years in Business. Make sure the company has been in business for more than five years. This inquiry is not to be confused with how many years in the pest control business, since controlling insects is very differ- ent from controlling wildlife.

Insurance Coverage. Be very sure that the company has at least a two million dollar business liability insur- ance policy and the employees are covered by the Work- ers Safety Insurance Board. Verifying this will protect you from any personal liability claim.

Choosing a wildlife control company

If you need to hire a wildlife removal professional, here’s how to find one that uses humane, effective practices

With the right information and supplies, you may be able to solve some conflicts with wildlife by yourself. But when it’s time to call in a professional, here’s how to find a humane, effective and ethical company.

ask for an inspection and written estimate

It will be difficult for any company to assess and price the job over the phone, but they should be able to give you a rundown of their services and fees. Any fee for the on-site inspection should apply toward the work that is contracted

Get specifics on how the problem and the animals will be handled

Request specific details about how the intrusion or problem will be resolved and how the animal(s) will be treated. Will the animal be killed, and if so, why? Are there offspring that will be orphaned or abandoned? Will the method used resolve the problem for the long-term?

Insist on humane techniques

If an animal is inside a structure, insist on the use of guaranteed eviction/exclusion strategies, such as one-way doors and/or hands-on removal and reunion of families that will ultimately lead to their release outside of the structure.

Prevent a recurrence of the problem

Make sure that the company provides a full range of animal-proofing/exclusion services that carry at least a one-year guarantee against re-entry. The job is not complete until the identified access points have been effectively refitted with exclusion material that will stand up to challenge by wildlife.

Raccoons

More and more, we are hearing about raccoons in the NY and NJ areas and the dangers associated with these “cute” creatures. These trash-eating animals are not just nuisances. They are dangerous and destructive, and have been linked to an increasing number of rabies cases among children who are bitten by these friendly-looking animals. Like other pests, they love to nest in attics and other storage spaces in homes and commercial properties. And when left unchecked, they can cause extensive damage

What should I do if I see a raccoon on my property during the day?

Stay away! Raccoons only come out during the day if there is something wrong (they are starving or have rabies). Call a raccoon professional to immediately remove them from your property and ensure your safety

Where do raccoons live?

Raccoons can live in a lot of different places in and around your home, such as: attics, chimneys, crawl spaces, roofs, vents, ducts, and even between your walls

How do you get rid of raccoons?

One of the best non-lethal ways to get rid of raccoons is by trapping them and setting them free far from your home. We do not recommend doing this yourself as it puts you and anyone in your home in danger of being attacked by the raccoon. Contact us today to learn how we can help trap and stop your raccoon problem!

Raccoon

Highly intelligent and curious creatures, this nocturnal pest can quickly become a nuisance to any homeowner or property owner. Raccoons have incredible dexterity, allowing them to open doors, jars, bottles, and latches. They communicate with each other using over 200 different sounds and 12-15 different calls.

Diet

Raccoons are omnivores and stick to a balanced diet of plants, insects, and small mammals. Some food sources include beetle larvae, berries, nuts, apples, fungi, earthworms, crayfish, pet food, mice, rabbits, and squirrels. Gardens, especially ones containing sweetcorn, are another prime target for the pests. In urban areas, where their natural food sources are limited, raccoons are notorious for scavenging trash and compost.

Habitat

Raccoons are extremely adaptable. Typically, raccoons live in heavily wooded areas near trees, water, and abundant vegetation, making their dens in the hollow parts of trees or abandoned burrows. In suburban and urban areas, they make their homes in man-made structures like attics, sewers, barns, and sheds.

Life Cycle

Raccoon mating season starts in late winter and stretches to the late spring months. Females will mate with several males before the season is over. As raccoons prefer to dwell in dens and similar spaces, they often settle in rock crevices, tree cavities, caves, farm buildings, storm sewers, hollow logs, and chimneys to give birth and raise the young. An average raccoon litter produces three to five offspring, though the mammal is capable of having up to seven cubs at a time. The gestation period lasts about 63 days, and it takes another two to four months to wean the cubs. Mothers are very protective of their young until they separate after about a year. Adults live in loose-knit communities of four or five raccoons for better protection against predators. Raccoons have been known to live for 17 years, though few live past six years of age due to the many dangers and potential problems encountered in the wild.

Signs of Infestation

Yard Damage: Overturned turf as a result of grubbing

Crop Damage: Chewed sweet corn, hollowed-out watermelons

Sightings: The sighting of an adult raccoon

Odor: Unpleasant odors produced by urine and feces

Property Damage: Damage to shingles, rooftop ventilators, or attic insulation

Trash: The disruption of trash cans usually indicates the presence of the pest

Raccoon removal

A raccoon is small, with gray fur, and the famous “black mask” across their eyes. They often have bushy tails that alternate between black and gray stripes. This mask and their cat-like appearance has made many people consider raccoons “cute,” but the fact remains that raccoons are wild animals and they can cause damage to property, pets and people.

Raccoons are unique than other urban animals because they are renowned for their cleverness, often able to do things like lift and remove lids from garbage cans. They also have very dexterous, with paws that resemble five-fingered hands, that allow them to open jars and even doorknobs.

What do raccoons eat?

Raccoons are omnivores, which means they eat just about anything. They love to eat fruit and nuts and plants, but they also have teeth designed for tearing and chewing so they are more than happy to eat meat.

Raccoons will open garbage cans or and dig into containers to get food. They can also pry off roof shingles to seek shelter.

Raccoon damage

Property damage caused by raccoons is most commonly due to their desire to get to food and seeking shelter. A raccoon will often try to find shelter in attics and other areas in your home. A mother raccoon and her kits have been known to pry up roofing tiles to get access into a home. Once inside a home, raccoons will leave behind urine and feces.

You Would Be Surprised At How Important Family Law Attorney

Things to Tell (or Not Tell) Your Divorce Lawyer

Divorce clients worry about whether they should tell their attorney everything or keep some facts secret.

It’s difficult to be totally honest because the issues are personal and can be embarrassing. Even when you know conversations with your attorney are confidential, some things make you feel ashamed so you are reluctant to be totally open about them. For example, suppose you have slapped or spanked your child or you are having an affair. You may be tempted to omit these details–but that’s dangerous because if your attorney doesn’t know about the potential problem, it may damage your case.

1. Disclose All Relevant Information.

It’s important to share all relevant facts with your divorce attorney so he or she can prepare for and deal with potential problems. Even if you think a particular fact is irrelevant to your divorce, make certain to mention it to your attorney so he or she can decide whether the item could create a problem down the road. You don’t need to tell your attorney everything about your marriage and children, but make certain to share all items relevant to the issues of your case. If you are in doubt about what your attorney needs to know, get guidance on what’s relevant.

2. Provide a Written History of Your Marriage.

It’s helpful for your attorney to have a written statement outlining the important facts in your marriage, including how you met your spouse, when you married, the names and ages of your children, your education, where you work, critical events in your marriage, what you think caused the divorce, and who wants the divorce. A good way to organize the history is chronologically from when you met your spouse. Put together a time line of important dates. Also, list the major assets you and your spouse own and any property that one of you claims is separate.

3. Share Sensitive Information.

You probably don’t want to tell your attorney you are having an affair or physically abusing your spouse or children, but it’s critical that your attorney knows about these difficult facts so he or she can be properly prepared to defend you if they come up in the course of your divorce. During the discovery process, if you opt for a litigated divorce, these facts are likely to come up and in a collaborative divorce, you are obligated to share all relevant information with the other side. Some attorney use investigators to search for damaging facts, and if there is a suspicion of an affair, an investigator is likely to be involved. If you are in an abusive relationship, make certain you tell your lawyer, even if you are ashamed of it. Also, if you have contracted a sexually transmitted disease or have hidden assets or debts, tell your lawyer.

4. Issues to Discuss.

There are a number of important issues you will need to discuss with your attorney during the first meeting, including child custody, child support, spousal support, division of the marital estate, any separate property claims, community debts, and your expectations about the likely outcome of the case. You will want to discuss sole or joint custody of the children, standard visitation or shared custody of your children, who is likely to be responsible for paying child support, how much that might be, whether your spouse is eligible for spousal maintenance, and the division of your community estate. Make certain you share with your attorney any facts that might favor you getting a larger share of the community estate, such as higher income earned by your spouse, health issues, disability, separate property of both spouses, and whether there has been spousal abuse.

5. Things Not to Say.

Finally, there are some things you should not say to your prospective attorney, such as “I don’t care about costs because I want to punish my spouse, I want to bring a friend with me to our meeting, I need to get this over with as soon as possible because I want to remarry, or I will never pay child support to my ex-spouse.”

Telling a lawyer you don’t care about costs may double your attorney’s fees. Bringing a friend to the meetings with your attorney may destroy attorney-client privilege. Being in a hurry will put you at a disadvantage and may increase the cost of your divorce. Never say never, because you will likely have to change your mind during the course of the divorce process. Finally, make certain you are clear about attorney fees, who will manage your divorce, and if you understand what your attorney has told you.

In a Divorce, Who Gets the 401k?

A divorce settlement can be excruciating. It is not always patient; it is not always kind. It can be rude. Self-seeking. Easily angered. And if you’ve developed a comfortable nest of 401k funds, you may find these benefits at the center of your divorce settlement maelstrom.

“I’ve seen 401k participants who’ve been abandoned by their spouses. Participants who’ve been left with kids to support and a household to run,” says Ted Benna. “I’ve also seen participants with huge account balances doing irrational things – like forbidding plan administrators to work with their spouse’s divorce lawyers – all in an attempt to keep their spouses from getting any of the retirement benefits.”

Your desire to protect your funds may be self-seeking. Or it may be a matter of survival. But either way, your spouse has the legal grounds to claim all or part of your 401k benefits in a divorce settlement. And in most cases, you’ll have to find a way to make a fair and equitable split of the funds. By being organized, prepared and knowledgeable about your legal options and rights, you can split your 401k reasonably.

How to Find the Best Divorce Attorney

It’s not easy to maintain a positive attitude at work when your marriage is heading for a divorce. The right solution is to get a lawyer to handle your case as quickly as possible.

Here are ten tips to help you find the best divorce attorney:

1. Ask Your Friends and Family

Ask your friends and family if they know a professional divorce attorney. Make sure to find an attorney who specializes in divorce cases and family law.

2. Understand What You Want to Get from the Divorce

As tough as the divorce may be, you must still ensure you get what you want from it. For example, you can push for sole parental rights. Your attorney can use a child support calculator to get you the right amount from your former spouse.

3. Consult the Local Bar Association

The local bar association has a list of the top attorneys in your area. Consult with them and get a list of names. Do some research on the attorneys you find, and see if any of them offer free consultations.

4. Search Online

Thanks to the internet, you can get all the information you need about legal experts in your area. There’ll be reviews posted online about each of those attorneys as well. Reading these reviews helps you choose the right attorney.

5. Consider Your Budget

Legal fees can go very high if you are dealing with one of the best legal firms. As such, consider your budget first. Then, look for attorneys who are within your price range.

If asking whether a lawyer is male or female is not the right question to ask, what is? These three questions:

Who a Lawyer Is

The question of “who a lawyer is” encompasses a lot, and it is probably the single most important question to ask yourself about any lawyer before you hire them. Who is this person? What is his/her reputation? How does s/he operate? Is this person fair? Is s/he honest? Is s/he experienced? Does this lawyer know the law, the court system, and the judges?

All of these questions are designed to provide you with the information you need to answer the one question that matters the most to you: Can this lawyer competently represent you and help you achieve your goals in your case? If not, then it doesn’t matter whether the lawyer is male or female. That lawyer is not right for you.

Does the Lawyer Have Time for You?

You can have the best divorce lawyer in the country, but if that lawyer does not have the time to devote to your case, you are not going to be happy with the result. If your lawyer is part of a big law firm that has dozens of junior associates ready to handle your case, that’s fine. That means your case will not be neglected. (… at least in theory). But it doesn’t mean that you will get the attention you wanted from the lawyer you actually hired.

Solo lawyers are not necessarily better. They can be. At least, when you hire a sole practitioner you know which lawyer is going to be handling your case. But if your solo lawyer gets buried in other work, your case might take longer to resolve than you thought.

What Kind of Divorce Process Does The Lawyer Use the Most?

There are at least four different divorce processes that are commonly used in this country: litigation, negotiation, mediation and collaborative divorce. If you want to mediate your case, but you hire an ace litigator to represent you, your mediation has a greater chance of failing than it would have had if you had hired an attorney who was mediation friendly. If you hire a lawyer who is skilled at negotiation, but lousy in a courtroom, and you end up going to trial, you are going to get screwed. You have to hire the right lawyer for the divorce process you use.

THINGS TO BRING TO YOUR INITIAL CONSULTATION WITH A DIVORCE LAWYER

Most attorneys that practice divorce law offer a free initial consultation where you can schedule a time to meet in person with the lawyer.  The guide provides you with advice on how to prepare for an efficient and effective consultation.  While most divorce attorneys in Irvine and elsewhere in Orange County don’t specifically provide direct legal advice during this first meeting, having the right information will not only provide for an effective first meeting, it will show the attorney that you will be a well-prepared client.  Let’s get to the list.

1. PREPARE YOUR SCHEDULE OF ASSETS AND DEBTS

The Schedule of Assets and Debts is one of the most important documents in any California divorce case.  Every party in every divorce case in California has to complete this form before their dissolution of marriage will be granted by the court.  You may as well start now and get this document completed, which will be extremely helpful for the attorney during your initial consultation.  Here are answers to frequently asked questions about the Declaration of Disclosure, which consists of the Schedule of Assets & Debts.  As the name announces, the Sched. of Assets and Debts lists out all the community and separate property assets, debts, and includes supporting documentation.

2. PREPARE YOUR INCOME AND EXPENSE DECLARATION

The Income and Expense Declaration is the other document included in the Declaration of Disclosure.  The IED includes the party’s income, expenses, and must include recent pay stubs of the person filling out the form.

3. PREPARE A LIST OF QUESTIONS YOU WANT TO ASK THE DIVORCE LAWYER

Having a bullet-point list of questions ready to ask is imperative to managing your time with the attorney and getting the information you need.

4. TAX RETURNS

Bring at least the most recent tax return filed by you and your spouse, if you file a joint return.  If you file separate returns, try and bring your spouse’s latest tax return as well.  If you can bring the last two years’ tax returns that would be greatly beneficial.

5. SELF-EMPLOYMENT DOCUMENTS

If you or your spouse are self-employed, bring as many documents as you can regarding the business operations, income and expenses.  Bring a current profit and loss statement, balance sheet and any other relevant current documents.  Be sure to bring the last year’s Schedule A tax return document.  For more information about

Understanding Flat Roof Maintenance

6 MOST COMMON FLAT ROOFING PROBLEMS

Whether you own a commercial building, or your home just happens to have a unique flat roof, you know that it often requires more work than other standard types of roofs. While it may have been simpler to build, it requires a lot of maintenance and inspections to keep it up and make sure that everything is functioning as it should. The hard part about a flat roof is knowing whether you need to get it replaced, or if you just need to do a few minor repairs. We’ve put together a list of the top 6 most common problems that occur in flat roofs, and how best to deal with these issues depending on their severity:

Alligatoring – One of the surest signs that your flat roof needs replacement is a phenomenon called alligatoring. What happens is the asphalt used to build your flat roof has aged and lost its elasticity, causing it to crack and bubble and look something like the skin of an alligator. Unfortunately, this means that your asphalt flat roof has deteriorated past the point of no return, and will need replacement.

Leaks and moisture – Probably the most common problems with flat roofs, leaks and lingering moisture are issues that can be dealt with effectively, as long as you stay on top of them. Just like any roof, a flat roof will develop leaks, but since it’s flat, the water doesn’t have anywhere to go but straight down. This means that moisture can seep into the roof itself and cause problems that may lead to mold and fungus. The best way to deal with this is to make sure that you have your roof inspected regularly, and maintenanced every time you find an issue.

Buckle in membrane – Most asphalt flat roofs are constructed similarly to shingled roofs in that they are made up of a membrane soaked in asphalt, and then laid across the top of the building to make the roof; unlike shingled roofs, however, the membrane on a flat roof is all one piece. This means that over time, as your house shifts and settles, so too will your roof. Excessive movement can cause buckles in that asphalt membrane, which signals the end of your flat roof’s life. A roof that is buckling is not safe to live under, and can cause major problems down the line. It’s a good idea to get it replaced as soon as possible.

Pooling water – Since your roof is flat, when it rains or snows, there’s nowhere for that precipitation to go. As your home settles over time, the roof itself will shift a bit, meaning it might not be as level as it was when it was first installed. This may cause water to pool in divots and dips in your roof. While most materials are manufactured to hold up to water, you should drain these pools as soon as possible and check to make sure that water didn’t seep into lower layers of the roof. If pooling is allowed to linger, it’s likely to deteriorate the exterior of your roof, shortening the lifetime of the flat roof.

Crack in roof – Flat roofs tend to have more pressure exerted on them, since they are flat instead of slanted. Sometimes this pressure can build up, and if the pressure and stress become excessive, it can cause your roof to crack. In the event that your roof does crack, you should call a professional immediately. In addition to exposing your home to precipitation, a crack in the roof is often a sign that your roof is structurally compromised, and it’s time for a new one.

Flashing – Just like most other materials, asphalt flat roofs tend to expand and contract with changing weather and temperatures. Over time, this continued expansion and contraction can cause the flashing to pull away from the edges and corners of your roof, leading to leaks and moisture that can get trapped inside your roof. The best way to avoid this is to inspect and maintain your flat roof regularly. Once the leaks become significant, or if you have a lot of deterioration in the flashing, you’ll be forced to get a new roof.

Benefits of a Flat Roof

Not only are flat roofs as capable as their steeper counterparts but they also carry a significant number of advantages as well.

Save money on heating and cooling costs

One of the benefits is the savings in heating and cooling costs that it provides.

Many don’t think of this fact, but a steeped roof adds extra space to a structure and the more space there is, the more your heating and cooling systems need to work to fill all of this space with heat or air conditioning. Flat roofs help to control this extra air with slightly less space.

Save money on upfront costs and repairs

Flat roofs are typically less expensive than steep slope roofs, mostly because flat roofs use less material than their sloped counterparts.

Flat roofs are also much easier to install so labor costs are lessened and they are easier to access for maintenance and repairs.

They give you room to build upon it

Flat roofs also have many functional benefits as well because they give you more room to build upon your house. If you want to create a roof garden or install solar panels, the process is much easier to implement on a flat surface.

4 Best Flat Roof Materials

PVC Roofing

For many projects, PVC roofing is our preferred choice as the best flat roof material on the market. PVC roofing is somewhat more expensive than other single-ply commercial roofing materials, however it offers a wide range of benefits for the price. First, the reinforced membrane makes PVC roofs resistant to impact damage and the cracking which normally shortens the lifespan of single-ply roofs. PVC roofing is one of the best flat roof materials because it is low maintenance with a long lifespan. At J. Smucker Contracting, we offer a 20-year warranty on new PVC roofing we install. In addition, just like TPO roofing, PVC is a reflective white color which is useful as it dramatically lowers the business’s energy bills.

Metal Roofing

A commercial standing seam metal roof is the ideal choice for a building with a roof slope greater than 2 inches. Metal is different from most other commercial roofing material types for a few reasons. Due to the expert installation process and the nature of the material, metal is the most expensive roof type to have installed. However, metal roofing has the longest lifespan, lasting between 20 and 30 years. Metal is an extremely durable material and is immune to cracks that affect single-ply roofs. However, metal roofs can be susceptible to leaks around the seams and roof edges.

TPO

This very popular roof type is also among the best flat roof materials to install. Not only is a TPO roof an inexpensive option, it has a decent lifespan between 10 and 20 years. In addition, these white-coat roofs have all of the same energy saving properties as PVC roofs. Plus, they require less maintenance than EPDM roofs, as the seams are heat welded to prevent leaks.

Modified Bitumen Roof

When compared to other commercial roofing materials, modified bitumen stands out as the more-budget friendly option. Modified bitumen roofs use an asphalt membrane as the base of the roof itself. This surface is susceptible to cracking and blistering which reduces the typical lifespan to just 10 to 15 years. While the lifespan is less than the more advanced options, the price point alone can make modified bitumen one of the best flat roof materials for some businesses.

How to Find a Leak on a Flat Roof

The best time to look for a leak is when the roof has been dry for at least three days, and in the evening/night-time, when after cooling down, the flat roof leak ‘hot-spot’ will release heat that has stored underneath the hole during the day.

If this technique is not possible, below are other ways to detect a leak on a flat roof – and remember to clearly mark the area of the leak when you find it:

  • Firstly, measure, from the outside wall of the room, along the ceiling to the damp spot/dripping area. You may find, especially on more slanting flat roofs, that there is no damage or ponding of water above this marker.
  • Next, it’s time to look directly upwards of this area for somewhere that could cause the leak – usually around obstacles or junctions – for example, step or metal flashing that has come loose due to heat expansion and may need replacing or repairing (around chimneys and skylights). Check for loose tar and materials that may provide gaps in which rain water could seep through – if it can be pried back under inspection, then water can get into it.
  • The sun’s heat can cause movement of a roof structure, creating splits or cracks and whilst the roof felt’s flexibility should be able to withstand this, be observant for small areas of damage by clearing away leaves, chippings or other debris. Check any seam in the roofing material, as any gap or hole could be the culprit causing the leaking roof.
  • Check that there are no missing roof nails, or excessive rust damage on existing ones, as these may be causing the leak. At the same time, inspect the guttering around the flat roof for blockages or leaks that are accelerating the deterioration of the leakage area.
  • Plants should be kept for internal flower pots and in garden beds, so if you see any on the flat roof, this could be another place where water is collecting and where the leak could potentially be.
  • If there are any flaws in the top layer, like additional roofing tar patches or caulking, these are temporary patches that may have deteriorated quickly due to poor application.
  • Should you still not be able to find the leak, it is time to start adding water, with a hosepipe or manually applied, to the roof in small sections, whilst someone checks the inside ceiling. Remember, water takes the least resistant path to get to where the dripping/damp patch is, so do not predict the leak to be directly above it. This process can be time consuming and the more detailed and regimented that it is executed, the more accurate it can be in determining the location of the damage on the flat roof.

The Pros & Cons of Flat vs. Pitched Roofing

If you are planning to add a new roof to your home or shed, be sure to consider all the available options. Pitched roofs come in a variety of styles, such as gable, cross gable and hipped, all of which are sloped to different degrees. Flat roofs have no slope, and are available in built-up, single-ply and sprayed polyurethane foam designs. Consult with a roofing contractor to determine which roofing option is best for your individual needs.

Maintenance

Both flat and pitched roofs require regular maintenance. However, although pitched roofs may be more difficult to clean and inspect, due to the sloped structure, flat roofs often require more maintenance throughout the life of the roof. Flat roof drainage is not quite as effective as a pitched roof’s, and without regular inspection, drains can become clogged, leading to damage and leaks. The roof requires a waterproof seal, which must be maintained regularly to prevent leaks and costly repairs. Many flat roof leaks are due to a lack of regular inspection and maintenance, so be sure that you have the time to check your roof regularly if you choose a flat roof for your property.

Cost

According to Improve Net’s online roofing calculator, a flat roof is significantly cheaper than a pitched roof. A 900-square-foot flat roof in the San Francisco area, made of concrete tiles, costs approximately $6,108 to $7,635, whereas a moderately pitched roof with the same specifications ranges from $7,878 to $9,848. Of course, if you live in an area that receives a large amount of rainfall each year, any money you might save in flat roof installation costs might be compensated for in future repairs. Flat roofs’ repair costs are more expensive than pitched roofs’ are, and because they are less prone to moisture damage, a pitched roof may be more affordable in the long-term.

Advice For Painting Your Ceiling

Suspended Ceilings – What Types Are There?

The best part of suspended ceilings is that they can be installed using DIY methods; thus, you can save cost on professional services. However, a little know-how of ceiling installation and use of tools and equipment is required if you want to opt for DIY methods.

If you are contemplating the idea of getting a suspended ceiling installed in your room, you must be aware of its different types available in the market. In this article, we have covered all the common types of suspended ceilings. Continue reading further to know about them.

Concealed Grid Suspended Ceilings

If you want a smooth and clean look with your suspended ceiling, opt for concealed grip. This type of suspended ceiling hides the grid system using acoustical tiles. The advantage of installing concealed grip suspended ceiling comes in form of its appealing and aesthetic look. On the flip side, it doesn’t allow easy access to areas above the ceiling for repair purposes. Moreover, it can prove to be expensive as compared to other types.  

Gypsum Board and Plaster Suspended Ceilings

This type of suspended ceiling is commonly used in different parts of public buildings such as theatres, lobbies, and auditoriums etc. A gypsum board and plaster suspended ceiling can either be screwed to simple light gauge steels or some special framing components can be used for this ceiling. While simple light gauge steels are suspended on wires, special framing components are specifically developed for this type of ceiling that are available in different complex shapes.

The major benefit of installing a gypsum board and plaster suspended ceiling is the value it adds to your room. It has a distinct design, which will give your room a contemporary look.

Exposed Grid

It is a common and inexpensive type of suspended ceiling. The factor that set exposed grid suspended ceiling apart from other types is its composition. It has long metal strips known as mains. These mains are connected to each other using tees. Tees are the short metal pieces.

Tees and mains combine to make a grid system. Acoustical ceiling tiles are used to fill the said grid system. Around each tile of the exposed grid, there is a standard metal frame. This frame is available in different measurements.

Fire Resistance Rated Suspended Ceilings

This type of suspended ceiling is preferred due to its resilience against fire. It is made of a specifically designed material that resists fire. Installation of fire resistance rated suspended ceilings is a process that must be performed by experts as it requires ample knowledge and skills. Moreover, lighting fixtures used in this type of ceiling must also be backed up using a material that is resistant to fire. Simply put, each part of this type of suspended ceiling including the panels that give access to repair and maintenance of ducts and pipes must meet fire resistive requirements.  

Suspended Drywall Ceilings

A suspended drywall ceiling uses hangers and wires instead of metal grids. If you do not want to spend a huge amount of money on suspended ceilings with frame, you can opt for this type of suspended ceiling. It gives an aesthetic look because of its different design.

Ceiling Tile Materials and Design

Ceiling tiles come in an infinite variety of textures and designs. Most ceiling tiles are made from mineral fiber, but other materials are available, such as fiberglass. Mineral fiber tiles typically have a high Noise Reduction Coefficient (NRC), which means they are good at absorbing sound within a space to prevent echo or loud environments. While some tiles have a high Ceiling Attenuation Class (CAC), meaning they prevent sound from passing through the ceiling to another space, acoustic ceiling tiles are generally not used to provide privacy between spaces.

In addition to tile material, there are a wide variety of designs available. Tiles may have a rough appearance or a smooth appearance. Tiles may also have designs imprinted in them or other patterns scored into the tile.

Ceiling Features

If you’re having noise issues, you can conveniently add a sound absorbing ceiling to your space that dampens the sound within a room and helps block sound between rooms with a suspended/drop ceiling. In addition to acoustics, eliminate the worries of staining and sagging with these ceiling options and gain moisture performing benefits that are ideal for a basement.

It’s important to remember that different types of ceilings offer a variety of functionality. It’s never been more important to make choices that simplify our lives, especially when it comes to the task of cleaning. Selecting easy-to-clean, time-saving materials for your new ceiling is possible with our wide selection of wood, coffered or metal products that are ideal for kitchens or half baths where cleanup is easier than ever.

A Few Good Reasons to Choose a Drop Ceiling vs. a Drywall Ceiling

Easy

Home improvement enthusiasts agree hands down that a drop ceiling project can be easily and quickly tackled by most home owners. It is not difficult to install, does not create a mess and is fairly quick to complete.

Decorative

When it comes to decoration and design, your options are endless with a drop ceiling. Simply browse our website and you will understand why.

Practical

One of the biggest benefit to a drop ceiling is that you have easy access to plumbing, wiring, and duct work. If any maintenance issues arise, you can simply remove a ceiling tile. If a tile gets damaged, simply remove it and replace it.

How are suspended ceilings installed?

To install a suspended ceiling, the first stage is to measure the dimensions of the room to be able to accurately design the suspended ceiling grid.

Once the dimensions have been accurately taken, the drop of the ceiling needs to be determined to measure around the perimeter of the room. By effectively measuring and marking the drop of the ceiling, this prevents any nasty surprises when the grid is fitted.

The false ceiling is hung from a bracket fixed to the underside of the floor slab, supporting a series of interlocking metal sections that form the grid. Beam systems are also available, in which tiles are laid between parallel beams rather than a grid, and there are a wide range of different grid profiles and tile edge details that can be used to allow the grid to be exposed, flush, recessed or concealed.

When the grid has been fitted, installations can be made for lighting, speakers, air conditioning and anything else that needs to be concealed within the ceiling.

The final stage is to place the chosen tiles within the frame to complete the finished suspended ceiling. There are a variety of tiles that can be used, dependent upon the chosen aesthetic.

Know What A Home Inspection Really Is

Home Inspections – Their Purpose and Proces

What is the purpose of a Home Inspection?

Many people misunderstand the purpose of a home inspection. The main purpose of a home inspection is to give you the information needed to make an informed decision on the purchase.  

Most home inspectors focus on the major defects that will cost the buyer a lot of money above the purchase price to repair. Cosmetic items are rarely reported. By bringing these major defects to the buyers attention, the buyer can choose to negotiate with the seller with the intent on getting the major components repaired or a reduction in the selling price. This is acceptable and reasonable for the buyer. 

However, I have seen buyers hand the report to the seller and demand that all the items listed in the report be fixed or they will walk away from the deal.   Another buyer asked me to really pick the house apart because they wanted me to make the house appear as bad as possible so they could cheat the seller into greatly reducing their asking price.  If this is your intent for an inspection, please call our office and cancel the inspection you have scheduled with us. Be sure to tell us why.  Even though I work for my client’s best interest, this practice in unfair to the seller and is unethical  for any inspector to agree to do.  Our company will not take part of any situation that is questionable, dishonest or unethical.

If the seller can not afford to have the repairs corrected, you can still choose to buy the house with the full knowledge of what repairs are needed and the cost of the repairs will be your responsibility. Or, you may decide the cost of repairs is too much, then you can walk away from the deal and still get your earnest money back provided your contract has a “sale contingent on inspection” clause.

Home Inspection Process Explained

  • A typical home inspection takes two to three hours, and during this time the house is examined from the ground up and from the outside in.
  • A good home inspection should include observation, and when appropriate the operation, of the plumbing, heating, air conditioning, electrical, and appliance systems, as well as observation of structural components: roof, foundation, basement, exterior and interior walls, chimney, doors, and windows.
  • Findings should be provided in the form of a comprehensive inspection report, which includes an objective evaluation of the condition the home clearly outlining any existing defects and potential problems.

Why Do You Need a Home Inspection?

A home inspection is particularly important when purchasing a home.

Buying a house is likely one of the largest purchases a person will ever make but few buyers are experienced in building construction, and overlooking a serious issue could result in a costly problem down the road. As a result many buyers choose to have a property inspection conducted prior to closing the sale. The inspection can identify any issues so the buyer can discuss these with the seller during negotiations.

At Pillar To Post we encourage our clients to accompany us during the home inspection. This gives buyers a chance to ask questions, and to get detailed information about maintaining the home and its systems. For homeowners this allows them an opportunity to answer any questions the inspector may have. In either case, accompanying an inspector can help a client get the most from a home inspection.

Strata inspection

A unit inspection involves a different set of criteria than a house inspection. Aside from the physical condition of that unit, the inspector will also examine the strata agreement as well as certain aspects of the building in which the unit exists. Some of the details that will be looked at in a strata inspection include:

  • Exterior of the unit
  • Interior of the unit space
  • Whether the strata scheme is in compliance with asbestos & fire rules
  • Insurance for the building
  • Other special levies
  • Entitlements and voting rights
  • Building reports
  • Major expenditures & proposed major expenditures
  • Quarterly strata fees
  • Whether or not the structure is harmonious

A strata inspection will also look at all the copies of the minutes from meetings such as the owners’ corporation AGM’s etc. A strata inspection report is important because the apartment unit you’re purchasing doesn’t exist in isolation. It’s subject to all the rules & regulations governing the property in which it exists.

While a house inspection report and a strata inspection report examine different details, both of these are crucial for a property buyer. The few hundred dollars that you spend on getting these inspections done can provide you peace of mind and save you a significant amount of money in the long term.

Home inspection checklist: the components

Here’s what the inspector will review, according to the American Society of Home Inspectors’ (ASHI):

  1. Heating system
  2. Central air conditioning system (temperature permitting)
  3. Interior plumbing and electrical systems
  4. Roof
  5. Attic, including visible insulation
  6. Walls
  7. Ceilings
  8. Floors
  9. Windows and doors
  10. Foundation
  11. Basement
  12. Structural components

Clearly, the inspector isn’t going to tear your home apart to inspect piping and wiring. But the more she has access to, the better the final report will be.