What Does Engine Rebuilding Mean

What About Rebuilt Engines?

When shopping online, you might see a “rebuilt” engine available alongside other options. While the price tag is inviting, we advise you to stay away from a rebuilt engine as it’s not the same thing as a reman engine.

Remanufactured engines are built to be as close to new as possible and are rigorously tested to ensure their viability. Rebuilt engines are reconditioned by replacing only the worn or broken parts. Serviceable pieces are then reused if they fit within the manufacturer’s wear limits, and the quality varies from rebuilder to rebuilder.

Also, most engine rebuilders do not go to the same lengths as remanufacturers do in terms of inspection. Checking an engine block for microfractures is something that remanufacturers do, but most rebuilders to not.

Remanufactured: Better than New?

Because of the way remanufactured parts are sourced, they are often a better deal than new parts:

  • Remanufactured engines are built from parts sourced from broken down engines
  • All the parts are carefully inspected before they are used in new assemblies
  • Many of the bearings are replaced in a remanufactured engine, as are seals and other wearables
  • The engine is assembled in the same type of facility that builds new engines
  • When it’s all done, a remanufactured engine comes with a substantial warranty

How to check oil level in the engine?

While most young drivers had been acquainted with the procedure of checking oil level as part of their driving license courses and then the exams, not everyone remembers the individual steps. Each of these steps is important, though.

First of all, put the car on a flat surface. Any inclination, e.g. on the drive to the garage or car body inclination with two wheels on the pavement, may significantly distort the actual result. Also, note that the check should be conducted with a cool engine, e.g. a dozen or so minutes after switching it off. Checking the oil level with a hot engine may be dangerous. What is more, you should wait until the entire oil flows down to the oil sump.

The next step is to take out the measure (commonly referred to as “bayonet”) and carefully wipe it with a cloth or sponge to remove oil. Then insert the bayonet back to the same opening and again slowly take it out to check the position of the oil trace. The measure has two lines marking the minimum and maximum oil levels. It is best when the oil trace is roughly halfway between the lines. And what happens when the oil level comes close to or exceeds one of the lines?

How do You Know if Your Motor is Blown?

While a blown motor means your car is on its last limb – unless you fix it, of course – it’s not always easy to tell when failure has occurred. Thankfully, though, your car will give you some tell-tale signs that it’s time to retire.

Unusual Exhaust

Exhaust is normal. In fact, if your car doesn’t have any exhaust, you should probably be worried! However, if the exhaust is blue, or is a thick white cloud that doesn’t dissipate, then you should consider the fact that your engine has most likely failed.

Noises Inside of the Engine

Your engine is going to make some noise – after all, there are intense chemical reactions happening inside. If your car’s engine is making a loud knocking or rattling sound, though, it’s a sign that something within your engine has broken.

Coolant in the Oil

Oil and coolant aren’t supposed to mix. In fact, both of these are kept in sperate valves that are sealed. If you find these two mixed, then it’s a huge indication of an internal problem, such as a blown engine.

Failure to Start

Your engine not starting can mean a lot of things, but it’s important to not rule out a blown engine. If you’re experiencing any of the other signs, it’s more likely than not that your engine has failed.

What to Look for in Used Engines

Most resellers can provide at least some idea of mileage, service history, and overall condition, but whether you’re digging through eBay and Craigslist ads or picking up a parts car in town, there are some things you need to know about used engines before you take the plunge.

Some engines just aren’t worth it. There’s a reason everyone does an LS swap – it’s trusted. Even if you do a total rebuild at great expense, some used engines have inherent weaknesses or parts are hard to come by.

The rest of the car is important. Inspect bearings, bushings, and overall cosmetics to get an idea of whether the previous owners took care of things. Check for oil weeps and coolant residue on the block and heads and for signs that someone’s been in the engine bay before.

Don’t gamble – do a reseal. Plan on spending weekend and a few hundred dollars to pull the engine, take it apart, and have a look at what’s inside. You get peace of mind from having fresh gaskets, belts, and timing, and you can check out the internals.

Some of these used engines are more common than others, but the only real limitations are your wallet and your imagination. Consider how swaps work though – can you swap a gasoline rig with a diesel engine easily? Can this engine fit in that body? Will this engine or transmission mate together nicely? Are diesel engines a better choice? Ask yourself all these questions before jumping into a complicated swap job! Anyway, without further ado let’s dive in to some of the best used engines available, broken down by country of origin.

Car Problems That Are Not Worth Fixing

Sometimes it’s the driver’s fault; certain people still think that oil changes shouldn’t be mandatory and that a smoking tailpipe isn’t a bad sign. Other times, there is nothing that can be done — like when a deer jumps out in front of the car while you’re cruising at 70 miles per hour and in turn the entire front of your car gets rearranged.

But regardless of whose fault it may be, sometimes the best plan of attack is actually knowing when to surrender. Cars aren’t cheap, but neither are they inexpensive to fix, and knowing when to hang up your hat is half the battle when repairs suddenly seem too overbearing.

Road salt is basically a carcinogen to cars

Older cars in particular tend to rust out faster than most people can say the word “tetanus,” and in areas that get lots of snow this issue is expedited at an alarming rate. Surface corrosion quickly eats into quarter panels and wheel wells, while exhaust systems and fuel tanks get the brunt of the road grime underneath. Certain areas are also very expensive and difficult to repair, so if your car has a rear quarter panel or a large section of severe rust along its frame rails, it might be time to reconsider your daily driver.

Rod knock that wants to blow through your block

For those of you who are unfamiliar with this term, by watching the video here you can get a pretty good idea of what I’m talking about when someone says “rod knock.” Drive a car hard enough, or without fresh fluids in appropriate amounts, and chances are that you will eventually encounter this issue, as connecting rod bolts and bearings wiggle their way toward freedom. Some people may try to ignore the issue by adding additives, which works all the way until the day a piston rod frees itself and goes charging through one end of your block.

The bent frame of shame

If your car gets hit hard enough by another vehicle or you plow into something at speed, chances are that the frame of the car is going to take a beating. Sure, you could take it to a body specialist and cough up ungodly amounts of green, but even then, you aren’t entirely out of the woods. Even though the frame may be back to its original shape, it has been compromised and weakened by the strain that was placed on it during the accident and while getting bent back into shape. Avoid cars with frame damage folks, there’s just nothing good about them.

Electrical gremlins and varmints, oh my!

Newer cars may not be as prone to electrical issues as aging models, but that doesn’t mean that modern automobiles are off the hook in the wiring department. Tracking down electrical issues is a very tedious and expensive venture, but it pales in comparison to what happens when critters decide to make your engine bay their home. Pop the hood of any vehicle, and you’ll see a tasty farm filled with wires. So if for whatever reason a small rodent decides to claim this area as their nesting ground, you’re in for some serious issues. Mice, squirrels, and all manner of vermin have the tendency to gnaw on electrical wires, and even though it may not give them any form of sustenance, it will give you and your bank account a nightmare of a time. Replacing a single wire is one thing. Swapping in multiple sets, well, that’s just asinine.

Blown head gaskets and paychecks

When the gasket that separates the block from the head of an engine goes bad, all kinds of pricey problems come to the surface. Oil and water were never meant to mix, so when a head gasket goes, antifreeze and engine oil bump uglies and an emergency C-section needs to take place to save your “baby.” If this doesn’t happen, a cloud of abnormal smoke will form, and at that point you might as well throw in the towel and start looking for a fresh, low-mileage motor. Putting a new head gasket on is possible — and common — even though it is expensive, but heavens knows what else has gone wrong during the “birthing process.”

Balancing Style And Worth With Your Home Remodeling Costs

Key Measurements for a Dream Laundry Room

Laundry rooms rule. If you have the luxury of space, laundry rooms can be more than places to clean clothes; they can be welcoming, accessible places for more activities, such as caring for pets, sewing, doing DIY projects, wrapping packages, starting seedlings and more.

As with kitchens, there are a number of considerations and dimensions to be aware of during the planning stages for a multipurpose laundry room. Below are several functions you might want to consider and some basics for how to lay everything out

Primary Areas and Functions of Laundry Rooms

1. Entry and prep. If you install a laundry sink, you will probably want to place it where you enter the room and set down the items to be washed. Here you can sort, apply fabric treatments and soak stains if necessary.

2. Washing. It is good to have a countertop where you can place your sorted loads before putting them in the washing machine.

3. Drying. You’ll also want another section of countertop for items that need to be line dried, as well as space to fold dried laundry.

4. Storage and ironing. Following the typical sequence, you then need space to put things in preparation for ironing. (Note that ironing space may be less desirable in this room if you want to watch TV while you iron, or if the dry cleaner does much of your pressing.) Folded ironing boards measure about 14 inches wide, 60 inches long and 3 inches thick (36 by 152 by 7 centimeters).

5. Extras. Of course, some people with large spaces want to use their laundry room as a craft or sewing area, mudroom or dog washing station, or to hide the litter boxes. These are very specific to each of us; planning spaces with a little extra room for these functions lets individual habits dictate their use.

Note: Conversions to metric dimensions are approximately translated from standard U.S. dimensions. Each country can be unique in its standards. Investigate the customs in your locale or work with a design pro before committing to a plan.

Washing Machine and Dryer Configuration

Side by side. Washers and dryers placed side by side are typically designed to fit within 60 inches (152 centimeters) of width, but some manufacturers make more compact machines. If you place front-loading machines side by side, you will have a nice, broad surface on top of them.

If you have a top loader and want folding and work space, you can add counters next to the appliances or elsewhere in the room. It will help to have between 18 and 42 inches (46 and 61 centimeters) of free counter space on either side. The space above the machines can be used for a drying rod set at about 76 inches (193 centimeters) high. Some newer washers and dryers stand taller than a conventional 36-inch-high countertop, which can work to your advantage if you’re tall.

Key Measurements for a Dream Bedroom

We spend more time in bedrooms than in any other room in the house. Even though we are sleeping most of that time, we end and begin our days there. An organized and well-considered space can improve your mood when you need to get to sleep, and get your day off to a good start when you wake.

Planning bedrooms starts with learning standard bed sizes, which one you prefer and which one will work in your plan. Other bedroom furniture comes in all kinds of sizes. Once you determine your room and bed dimensions, you can make good decisions about dressers, chests, benches, chairs, nightstands and so on.

King-Size Beds

King-size beds provide lots of comfort for two people and extra space for those who tend to spread out while sleeping. All beds dominate a room, but the king-size bed especially demands aesthetic attention. They come in two sizes:

Standard, or Eastern, king-size bed: 76 inches wide and 80 inches long

California king: 72 inches wide and 84 inches long

Queen-Size Beds

Goldilocks might have chosen the queen-size bed. Being just right, it is a great size for two people and does not require a larger room, as do king-size beds. Queen-size beds measure 60 inches wide and 80 inches long and can also be found in an 84-inch length. Their scale works with traditional furniture, such as four-poster bed frames.

Full-Size Beds

The full- or double-size bed measures 54 inches wide and 75 inches long and can also be found in an 80-inch length. Full-size beds can be a snug fit for two taller people, so consider moving up to a queen size if you have the space and plan to use it frequently for yourself or guests. Still, the full size is also good for smaller bedrooms.

Inspired Ideas for Your Empty-Nest Makeover

While children are living at home, it can be hard to fathom a life without little ones (or not-so-little ones) underfoot. So when you do have the house to yourself, it may not be at all clear what to do. Should you keep everything as-is, renovate, downsize — or even upsize? Of course there’s no one right answer — but it makes sense to consider this an opportunity to reflect on what you want from this new chapter in your life and allow your reflections to inform your next step.

Cozy Up in a Couple’s Lounge

After their children left home, this couple tapped interior designer to help transform an underused sitting room into a cozy space to play games, read and watch TV. With a big, cushy sectional anchoring the space, good lighting, a soft wool rug underfoot and all of their favorite books and games at hand, this room has become a favorite spot to hang out in the mornings and evenings.

Get Fancy

While it’s certainly true that there are loads of stylish and kid-friendly decor options out there these days, the fact remains that certain modes of decorating just don’t make sense while kids are in the house.

Tackle a Long-Awaited Remodeling Project

Between saving for college and the general busyness that comes with having kids at home, it’s no surprise that plenty of empty nesters see their new situation as an opportunity to finally invest in the renovations they’ve been dreaming of for years

Create a Hub for Family Get-Togethers

wanted enough space to comfortably host their annual seder dinner, which regularly draws more than 20 guests. As recent empty nesters, they decided to do something a bit unusual: They let go of some bedroom and bathroom space and put it into a great room that can easily fit the large group gatherings they love to host.

How Much Does It Cost to Hire a Kitchen Designer?

If you’re looking to remodel your kitchen, working with a kitchen designer could be well worth the investment. These professionals can bring your remodeling project expertise and ideas that can result in a more beautiful and functional kitchen. But how much does it cost to hire one?

The answer, of course, is that it depends. A designer’s fees can vary based on the scope of your kitchen remodel and the price of materials and design services in your area. To get a sense of the range, we interviewed 13 kitchen designers across the country about what they do and how they charge.

What Do Kitchen Designers Do?

Kitchen designers take a kitchen remodel from the seed of an idea to completion. They:

Create design concepts. A kitchen designer will come up with a vision or design concept for a kitchen that looks, feels and functions right for you. They’ll likely ask about the problems with your existing kitchen as well as how you’d like to use your space. They may want to know who in your home cooks and how often. “If I have a client who uses an oven or a microwave a lot, I want to make sure it’s not on the outskirts of the kitchen,”

Create design plans. Kitchen designers can plan everything about your kitchen, from broad changes like a new layout to details such as where to place an electrical outlet on the island. They create drawings and 3D renderings to give you a realistic picture of how your new kitchen will look.

Confirm a realistic budget. Kitchen designers know the costs of products and materials, as well as the costs to make changes to your kitchen’s layout. When you share your initial budget with them, they can help you gain a realistic sense of what that investment will cover. “The budget is helpful so I’m not overdesigning for their space,”

Key Measurements for the Perfect Garage

Throughout the past century, garage dimensions have remained about 9 to 10 feet wide and 18 to 20 feet long per car, with a single garage door width of 8 feet. The difference in garage dimensions now is that we tend to want more space for storing our stuff along with the car.

It seems that car designers are always enlarging, shrinking and then enlarging their models again to adjust for the latest fashions and technologies, not to mention the price of gas. But there are common parameters that will help you in planning a new garage or remodeling an existing one.

If you have ever scraped your car alongside a garage door frame, you will sympathize with your ancestors, who may have driven even larger cars. Let’s take a look at the dimensions of most garage designs in the U.S. today.

Garage Door Dimensions

Width: Single-car doors begin at 8 feet wide (2.4 meters). You can also get 9-foot-wide doors (2.7 meters), which will lessen the chance of scraping the fenders on the door frame. You will sometimes see doors narrower than this in country club developments, but those are usually for golf cart garages; they can be as narrow as 5 feet (1.5 meters).

Height: The standard garage door height is 7 feet (2.1 meters), but an 8-foot (2.4-meter) height is also available. You can get a custom height for an additional cost.

Tips Concerning Roof Repair For Your Home

How do you repair an emergency roof?

Your roof is your stalwart defender. In the face of adversity—weather, pests, and intruders—it stands strong and protects all that you’ve built and acquired. It’s the first line of defense. But after a while, even the strongest roofing materials require repairs. Today’s roofing systems are vulnerable to stress, unexpected damage, and severe weather. We here in Texas know the curse of a terrible storm all too well. Your roof does, too.

What Qualifies as a Roofing Emergency

Many homeowners feel that a clogged gutter, damaged flashing, or a minor roof leak warrants emergency roofing repair. Often, they don’t. These situations, while surely troublesome, often require nothing more than short-term repairs to really resolve the trouble.

After a serious storm in Texas, damage to your roof that requires emergency roofing repair include:

  • Metal panels or sections of shingles torn off by high winds, with the underlying substrate enduring damage.
  • A tree limb falling on the roof, puncturing the roofing material and decking.
  • A direct lightning hit, with serious burn marks and damage.

Tarping Your Roof

The best option for emergency roofing repair is to tarp your roof in order to prevent further water damage to your home. Usually, this process involves securing a tarp over the damaged section of your roof with the help of a utility knife, measuring tape, a few 2×4’s, a hand saw, a staple gun, and 3 ¼” nails. However, while it might sound easy to carry out this kind of roof leak repair yourself, remember that working on your roof is dangerous, and you should never attempt to finish an emergency roof leak repair on your own. Instead, seek professional help from a qualified contractor.

Though every emergency roofing situation is unique, most tarp coverings will last about 90 days. That said, you should aim to finish your roof leak repair as quickly as possible, since not even the best tarp will protect your home as efficiently as real roofing materials.

Emergency Flat Roof Repair

Emergency flat roof repair is very different from a pitched roof leak repair, and can be executed during a storm. It involves applying a specifically designed sealing compound as a patch over the roofing. The sealing compound should work when wet, and should not interfere with a proper flat roof repair after the storm is over. If you have a flat roof, it’s best to purchase sealing compounds and other necessary products beforehand as a precaution.

Although flat roof repair is safer than working on a pitched roof during nasty weather, remain cautious. Never attempt to patch your roof during a thunder or lightning storm.

Roof Repair After the Storm

Once you’ve finished an emergency roof repair, the next step is to contact a qualified roofer for a permanent fix. Do not attempt a roof leak repair yourself, as the consequences of doing it improperly are too costly and dangerous.

What Is A “Semi-Emergency” Roof Repair Need?

Every leak is serious and calls for immediate attention, but some leaks are more urgent than others. A slow, small leak may call for immediately making an appointment with a roofing contractor but may not need same-day response and a patch job and tarp like full emergencies could require.

The danger of procrastinating on semi-emergencies until they turn into real emergencies is very real. It’s just human nature – you are able to “get by for a while longer”, so you do. The better course of action is to contain the problem while scheduling a roof repair visit as soon as possible.

What Are The Least Urgent Roof Repairs?

Relatively speaking, roof repair needs are among the most urgent (perhaps THE most urgent) on your whole house. But there are some roofing needs that are less urgent than the others.

For example, hail damage would require a quick visit from your home insurance agent and a roof inspection. Then, damaged shingles may need to be replaced because hail impacts weaken their long-term durability. But it’s not usually an emergency need.

Also, if your current roofing is showing signs of its age and is in need of replacement, it doesn’t have to be done tomorrow. But, the sooner you replace old roofing, the sooner you eliminate its inherent risks and gain important benefits like a long warranty, renewed curb appeal, and a more effective water barrier that will stay low-maintenance for years to come.

Checking your roofing for signs of leaking

It makes sense to periodically check flat roofing so that any issues can be spotted and dealt with before they become more serious problems.

Carry out visual inspections regularly, every few weeks to make sure you know your roofing. This way, when things begin to go wrong, you will know. Look for signs of bubbling or cracking in old felt coverings or membranes as this will be a giveaway sign of something going on underneath the roofing. Ponding water on the roof surface is also a sign of potential damage.

Calling in a professional roofer

An emergency roof repair often calls for professional attention, but this can prove costly for homeowners. Often, an emergency call-out incurs an additional fee, as your professional roofer may have to reschedule his current clients and projects to attend. Out-of-hours fees can be even more expensive, so bear this in mind before you call someone out.

Steps to take during an emergency roof leak

During the spring season, heavy rainfall can cause significant damage to your roofing. If your roof shingles blow away and your roof springs a leak, it is important to act fast to stop water damage from spreading to the rest of your home. A contractor that offers emergency roof repair near Bergen County can provide you with storm damage roof repair after a major weather event occurs in your area. By building a relationship with a roofer that offers emergency services, you will know who to call after the next big storm. Let’s take a closer look at some essential steps to take during an emergency roof leak.roof – leak

Minimize Water Damage to the Inside of Your Home

The first step to take when you discover that your roof has sprung an emergency leak is to do the best that you can to minimize the amount of water damage that is occurring on the inside of your home. Once you have identified where the water is leaking, you can use buckets or other receptacles to collect the leaking water.

Determine Where the Damage Has Occurred

Depending on the scope and nature of your roof damage, you may be able to pinpoint where the leak has occurred. Your safety is of the utmost importance, so do not attempt to locate a leak in a roof that has experienced extensive structural damage. If you are able to identify the leak from the ground, you will have a better idea of how to stop the leaking water until help can arrive.

Apply a Tarp to the Damaged Section

In certain cases, you may want to minimize the leak while you are waiting on your roof repair services. A household tarp can be used to temporarily cover up the damaged section of the roof. In order to secure the tarp to the surface of your roof, you can place heavy boards around its perimeter. Once your roofers arrive, they can remove the tarp and start repairing the damaged section of your roof.

Simple Touch-Up Solutions For Your Damaged Interior Painting

How do you hide uneven walls when painting?

Uneven walls can add considerably to the charm of a house or they can drive the owner to distraction.  Which it is depends on the style of interior décor you are trying to achieve.  A modern, minimalist home calls for crisp plaster and smooth paint, to bring light and airiness into the room.  In an old cottage or barn on the other hand, rough textured walls, exposed stonework, beams and cheerful fabrics look cosy and inviting.

Turning Uneven Walls into a Feature

If you want to turn your uneven walls into a feature, or even achieve the ‘cottage’ look in a modern home, try the following:

  • Use textured plaster and apply with a roller or float in broad sweeps for an old-fashioned look.  Textured plasters come in a variety of ‘graininess’, from fine to coarse.
  • For an even more authentic look, add a dash of buttermilk or cream paint to the plaster, and leave the wall unpainted.
  • Alternatively, paint the plastered wall in your chosen shade: Mediterranean colours like bright blue, orange or a dull red can make a feature of one wall or transform a small room, such as a bathroom or a kitchen.

Using Paint Effects to Disguise an Uneven Wall

Disguising unevenness is more economical and less drastic – but you need a little skill with paints.  The easiest way to minimise the effect of uneven plaster is to use paint effects:

  • Repair the biggest cracks and imperfections using filler or plaster
  • Sand the wall using a block and paper or an electric sander.  This is a slow and very dusty job.  Make sure you wear a goggles and a facemask while sanding to protect yourself.
  • When the wall is smooth, wash it down carefully and leave to dry.
  • If the plaster is old and very porous, apply a primer.
  • Paint the wall in your chosen colour, and then apply a lighter shade of the same colour over the top using a sponge, dabbing in a close, irregular pattern.  This works better with a darker base colour.
  • Alternatively, blend shades of grey, yellow, and pink to imitate sandstone.  Shade in shapes of large bricks or blocks with dark grey tones.  If done well, this looks stunning as the backdrop to a sitting or dining room.

Painting Techniques to Hide Flaws in Drywall

Repaired or patched drywall or walls in older homes have scars you can hide by adding textured paint or a faux Tuscan paint finish. Other methods involve adding a secondary glaze coat by color washing, dry brushing, ragging and more. Each of these methods adds at least two colors to the walls to make them appear textured and suede-like or give them an Old World look — while hiding the wall’s defects. Decorative wall painting techniques can actually turn a wall’s flaws into benefits, by helping create an antique and distressed or shabby chic-style look.

Wall Prep

Make needed repairs on the drywall, and sand after the repairs are dry. Wipe down the walls with a moistened cloth to remove drywall dust and any other debris. To hide large imperfections, you may want to add a texture coat of drywall mud to the wall to create a more dramatic effect, but you can also simulate the textured look by using faux painting techniques. Cover baseboards with painter’s tape or remove them altogether, and lay dropcloths to catch paint spills.

Ragged Walls

Hide drywall imperfections and flaws by using the paint ragging technique. After your repairs, add a primer coat to the wall with a roller. When the wall is dry, apply a base coat of, for example, sky blue by roller and then a cloud-white glaze coat ragged onto the walls for a soft cloth-like effect. Once the base coat dries, prepare the glaze mixture and apply it with cheesecloth, a rag or microfiber cloth. Lightly dab paint across the wall with the rag, avoiding too much paint — you want to see the original color through the glaze coat. The ragging technique gives walls a two-toned color density, creating the look of leather or faded, mottled soft cloth on the walls.

Tuscan Faux Finish

The Tuscan faux finish simulates the look of walls in old villas from the Tuscany region of Italy. It’s similar to the rag and dry-brush techniques — once the base coat is dry, add a top coat in a slightly different color to create the look of timeworn stucco. For instance, paint the walls a light warm copper, and add a second coat in a teal brushed on in a crisscross dry-brush technique or applied with a sponge. This color combo gives the wall an aged copper patina look. You can also apply colors in the same family or a muted wheat color overlaid with a sponged pale yellow.

Create texture with old paintbrushes.

Old brushes can add to your existing paint brush or roller work and create a rich texture that hides minor wall flaws like scrapes and chips. In the end, you’ll likely have fun by using your brushes to add extra texture to your wall. Start by gathering different sized brushes from around your house.

  • Wash your brushes so there is no dirt or other debris attached to them.
  • Take your brushes and brush texture in all over your wet paint. Leave enough brush marks so the wall damage blends with your newly created texture.
  • If you need more paint, feel free to use it.
  • Try to complete one small section of wall at a time. For example, paint and texture one 8 foot (2.44 meter) by 10 foot (3 meter) section before moving on to another.

Hang an art piece on a swing arm.

For an even simpler but equally artistic way to cover a thermostat or other infrequently used wall gadget, try hanging an art piece on a swing arm, or hang it from a standard hanger and nudge it out of the way when you need to get at whatever is behind.

Use chalkboard paint.

If a wall has been seriously dented or otherwise damaged, painting over it with a typical eggshell paint won’t help much. The more gloss in a paint finish, the more it will highlight imperfections. On the other hand, matte chalkboard paint gives a great non-glossy texture for hiding blemishes, and writing a fun message on it will further camouflage any dings or dents.

Wall Painting Techniques For Imperfect Walls

Old and damaged walls require special wall painting techniques in order to cover up the surface imperfections – be it loose and cracking plaster or gouged and peeling drywall. Wall flaws can be a real eyesore, but drywall installation or replacement is not the best or only solution available. In fact, the right wall painting techniques offer you a faster, cheaper and easier way to handle the problem, and one of the following 3 options will surely work for your situation.

Fix It Up – With Proper Surface Prep

Even if the walls look really bad to you, chances are they can still be restored and made smooth – don’t underestimate the power of a good, thorough surface preparation. Old and damaged walls can look like new with proper surface preparation

Depending on the extent of the damage (for example, walls with decades of accumulated neglect), some walls may need to be skim coated entirely, to create a new surface.

Cover It Up – With Wall Paint Textures

If your walls are really ugly but you are not married to the idea that they must be flat and smooth, using a textured paint may be a better alternative to skim coating (you’ll still need to patch up deeply gouged spots first but you won’t have to make it perfect). Textured wall paint can camouflage many surface imperfections

With textured wall painting techniques, not only can you hide many surface flaws, but you will also add a decorative value to your home at the same time. And if you’ve seen some wall texture styles and didn’t care much for the look, think again – there are dozens of ways to texture a wall, so no matter what your preferences are, you are bound to find the look you’ll like.

Play It Up – With Faux Painting Techniques

What if you could use those unsightly wall flaws to your advantage? Well, with decorative wall painting techniques, you can! Faux painting finishes can make wall flaws look decorative

With faux painting, you can deliberately highlight and enhance any surface “defects” and turn them into benefits, where they will now look intentional, and play an important part in creating a lived-in, distressed or antique look and feel. And unless you have some major holes in the walls, you don’t even need to do any repairs to the walls, because when incorporated into a faux finish pattern, all the dents, scratches and uneven spots will actually add to the chic and authenticity of the finish. The best techniques for this purpose are those that use at least 2 colors for an effective play on textures: color-washing, lime-washing, glazing, rubbing and sponging.

Why Wedding Couples Should Use Wedding Photographer

Wedding Photography Prices

Wedding photography can be jaw-droppingly expensive. You found your dream photographer, but they come with a hefty price tag. You may be wondering how you can book them, but without emptying your bank account in the process.

WELL, HERE’S THE DEAL…

Knowing all the little details and information about wedding photography prices, will help you make an informed decision and allow you to stay within your budget.

Wedding Photography Prices

The average cost for a wedding photographer from all of these sources was around the between $1380 and $1630 mark. It is recommended to spend about 5-10% of their total budget on their wedding photography. That is a big range but is consistent with the pricing indicated by “Your Perfect Wedding Photographer”

Local Wedding Photographers Prices By Region

Prices vary greatly within local regions for wedding photographers. Your Perfect Wedding Photographer has cited from their 2019-2020 survey some of the differences in regions throughout

I took a closer look at different wedding photographers to get a regional average and found some discrepancies that produced. I looked at different wedding photographers in all of the regions and took an average of each region’s local prices of the photographers that had them listed on their site for all day wedding packages

HOW TO BECOME A SUCCESSFUL WEDDING PHOTOGRAPHER

No sugar coating it

In meetings with photographers new to the business, the question I get asked the most is, ‘How do I become a successful wedding photographer?’ I decided to write this to help you succeed in your business. This is based shooting weddings over the last eight years. Perhaps the following will shed some light in a very competitive industry that seems to have gone through a huge creative spurt in the last 15 years. Let’s get on with it, shall we? Feel free to add your comments to the conversation below.

The fast track

The first point to get across is there are no fast tracks to becoming a successful wedding photographer. OK. That’s it! Just kidding. But seriously, I hope you haven’t come here after a google search looking for a quick and easy fix. There isn’t. Still with me? It takes immense time, passion, dedication, self determination and, like any successful business, discipline and perseverance. Some talent is needed no doubt. And this talent has to be nurtured, developed over years. I’m still a work in progress and that is the humbling attitude that I suggest you keep in mind

How do you start shooting weddings for a living?

Just don’t do it for the money. You probably won’t make that much anyway for the first few years. Do it for the love of photography. Yes, once full time, it is a business and you have to make a net profit at the end of the month. But right now, at this moment, how do you get started? How do you know you will like it until you try it?

Second shooting

First. I wouldn’t shoot a wedding without getting some experience. Most likely, the preferred start will be a gradual up-the-ladder approach as a second or third shooter. I do not recommend shooting a wedding without doing this first. I say this with peace and love. I wouldn’t even shoot a friend’s wedding, just because, well, you’re a friend or family member and things could go south. I’ve seen too many situations arise that go horribly wrong on the day or after a wedding. You’ve seen those news stories.

The right attitude

Weddings are high intense and super challenging. Having the right attitude, being courteous, deliver what you promise and then over deliver. It would seem that anyone can shoot a wedding, right? Especially if you just do a quick google search for wedding photographers. It would also seem that almost every guest at a wedding has a camera. Speaking from experience, it would also seem that there is a certain ‘uncle’ with a superior camera to mine. And it has a very very long zoom on it with an equally sized flash gun. Wow, he must be good with the camera set to ‘P’ for professional.

Pointers for Picking the Perfect Wedding Photographer

Wedding preparation is both exciting and full of challenges. You have time-sensitive decisions and investments to make, from choosing the perfect location to agreeing on which vendors to set as your wedding day team. These professionals will be part of many special memories of your wedding day.

One of your most important vendor choices is who will capture the events of your wedding. A friend or relative may own a DSLR camera, but you should hire a professional photographer to ensure the day is properly documented.This simple guide will help you decide how to hire the perfect wedding photographer.

As a professional wedding photographer, I have been interviewed by and have consulted with countless couples preparing for their big day.  I have also interviewed dozens of photographers, both from my own wedding and as a portrait studio manager, and believe I’ve narrowed down the most important factors for great wedding photographers.

Portfolio

An artist’s body of work is your window into their styles, skills, and stories. While looking at the images, you can evaluate each photograph using the same elements the Photographic Exhibitions Committee (PEC) of PPA uses as their “gold standard.” These elements are Impact, Technical Excellence, Creativity, Style, Composition, Presentation, Color Balance, Center of Interest, Lighting, Subject Matter, Technique and Story Telling.

Every photograph can be measured or graded on all twelve elements, but you may want to simplify by picking the most important elements to you and your partner. Score each photograph, and keep track of your highest rated works.

THINGS TO NOTE WHEN SELECTING YOUR WEDDING PHOTOGRAPHER

Wedding photography has become one of the key highlights to a perfect memory of a couple’s marriage. Everyone’s excited for your marriage and you can’t wait to see your wedding photos. But lets take a step back into the planning stages where deciding on a photographer became the biggest headache to begin with. But freight not for those who just began their wedding planning

PHILOSOPHY

For certain wedding vendors, you really don’t need to care about their philosophy. Wedding photography is not one of those places. Chances are, you’re going to spend more time with your actual day wedding photographer than with your bridesmaids and groomsmen on your wedding day, so you want to make sure they’re someone you’ll click with. The simplest way to start is to sort through the vendor listings of a wedding website or scroll through instagram hashtags to see who vibes with you. Once you’ve found photographers you’re interested in, look at their About pages. Those pages are carefully constructed to give you a sense of who the photographer is and how they work. Look for written philosophies that feel like they just click, and then see if that feeling continues when you meet with the photographer in person or talk to them on the phone

DO YOU LIKE THE PHOTOGRAPHER?

Once you’ve narrowed down photographers whose work you like, and whose philosophy you seem to click with, arrange for a meet up with your photographer. Then, figure out if you LIKE them. If you don’t, please don’t hire them. You spend enough time with your photographer on your wedding day that you should find them generally pleasant at minimum, possible-BFF-forever at maximum. (Only you know how much you care about love-loving them, but make sure you like them.)

LIGHTING SITUATION FOR YOUR WEDDING

Before we get too far into this idea of, “Just hire someone whose work makes you feel happy inside,” let’s have a quick reality check. The easiest wedding to shoot is a wedding in the daytime, with a ceremony under shade and great natural light. If that applies to you, ignore the rest of this paragraph. If, however, you’re getting married in a dark church or an outdoor evening or in a warmly lit ballroom for your wedding reception, it’s really important that you specifically look for a photographer that’s skilled with those lighting environments. Don’t assume that experience equals skill in low lighting. Look for weddings shot in similar lighting environments in your photographer’s portfolio, and ask them specifically how they would handle your particular situation. (Some photographers use external lights for dark receptions, while others may rely on their camera’s ability to see well in the dark.) If you notice that after it gets dark, every wedding photos in the portfolio are processed in black and white, that’s a hint that the photographer may not be super comfortable in darker situations. Don’t get me wrong, but a few black and white photos are totally fine to give some photos the added mood, but every photo in black and white? Red Flag! (Please note: Your wedding in a Dark Lit Church is not going to look like a wedding in a sunlit field, no matter who you hire, so don’t expect magic tricks.)

REVIEWS AND RECOMMENDATIONS

Every photographer is going to have their strengths and weaknesses. It’s pretty easy to get a sense of what someone’s strengths are (let’s assume taking stunning photos is one of them). The trick is to get an accurate sense of what a given photographer’s weaknesses are, and then decide what you can live with. You can do this by a robust conversation with a photographer. (Just ask them flat out what their weaknesses are. A professional will tell you. Run away if they say they have none.) Or you can ask to chat with a past client. Here are a variety of weaknesses I’ve observed in various photographers (most of whom are kick-ass people and artists): not super good time managers on the wedding day, slightly socially awkward, slow delivery of photos, slow or poor client communication, not cheerful and outgoing with the couple, don’t take direction well.

Wedding photography tips on wedding shot lists, equipment recommendations, and more.

Wedding photos are only part of the equation.

They call it “The Big Day” for a reason. Weddings require a massive amount of planning. And those logistics don’t just apply to the ceremony, the cake, and the conga line.

“I respect the hell out of wedding photographers,” says editorial and portrait photographer. She doesn’t normally do weddings, but shooting a recent destination wedding gave her a new perspective on the genre. “It’s really tough. You have to embody fashion, documentary, event, portrait — every field of photography — into one day where you have seven hours to create a huge body of work.”

With so much to juggle, from lengthy shot lists and multiple locations to wrangling a large wedding party, and a finite amount of time to get your photos, it’s a tall order for even the best wedding photographers. Putting together a strategy is essential, and that preparation can save you when the best-laid plans fall apart.

Schedule and shot list

With just one day to get it all done, you don’t want to miss a thing. Meeting with the wedding couple in advance to go over the schedule and develop a shot list means you won’t have disappointed clients.

This not only lets her get the day’s schedule down on paper, but it also provides a way to address potentially unrealistic timing. Helping a couple realize they won’t go straight from the ceremony to the reception when they have to greet 300 people in the receiving line will ensure you’re scheduling the proper amount of time to capture the shots that are most important to the bride and groom, or brides and grooms.

How To Pick A General Contractor For New Home Renovation Or Remodeling

Weird things during renovation

Home renovations are just a part of life, right? Not for these cases, where people started digging down or opening walls and found things they would have never imagined.

Witches Potions

It’s said that witch’s bottles full of things such as finger nails, urine and the likes were hidden in the walls of homes to fight off witch’s curses!

Inside the bottle was some urine, finger nail clippings and a small heart shaped piece of leather that was pierced with a nail. Researchers even managed to discover that the urine contained traces of nicotine!

A living board game

Beneath the carpet was a giant monopoly board, and not some artists creation but an actual replica of the board with everything from the Pass GO sign to jail. There were a couple of extras though, can you spot the naked women silhouette – hey, like we said, no judgement

A Mummified Cat?!

We’re not actually the superstitious kind here at STORED, but these findings have got us thinking. Okay, this one isn’t strictly renovation (or not at all) but we couldn’t resist including it!

Renovation Nation: Things to Consider When Making Changes to Your Home

There are a lot of reasons you might buy a home. Maybe you love the kitchen or the feel of the master bathroom. It could be the big backyard that gives your golden retriever a lot of room to run. And the schools could be great as well.

As many great reasons as there are for loving any particular home, they’re almost never perfect. Maybe you’d like to knock out a wall between the living room and kitchen to create a more open floor plan. Maybe it’s a matter of putting a skylight in the bedroom so your kids can sleep under the stars. You might want to redo that ugly, lime green bathroom that’s straight out of the ’70s

Goals

You really need to determine your goals at the onset, because it’s going to drive everything else you do. The first thing to figure out in terms of goal setting is who this is for.

Budget

One of the first remodeling considerations should be what you plan to spend. This determines the scope of the project. It may also help with determining if the renovation is cost effective compared to other options.

Cost of Materials

Once you know how much you want to spend, it’s time to budget in the cost of the materials. The hard part can be getting an accurate estimate of what’s required for the job. How much hardwood or wallpaper will be needed for your particular project?

Tips When Renovating An Older Home

I’m in the renovation business and business is booming. Everyone is renovating, which is one of the reasons it’s so tough to find a good contractor. Consider the age of your house when deciding on kitchen renovations, bathroom renovations, home improvement renovations and house additions.

Asbestos & Home Renovations

Many older homes and buildings today still contain asbestos. When we started demo on the River House on Holmes+Holmes, we realized that there was asbestos. When asbestos fibres are disturbed they get released into the air, and if they’re inhaled they can get trapped in the lungs and cause serious health issues, including cancer.

Get To Know Your Wiring

If you are using about the same amount of electricity as people used in the 40s and 50s, then there may not be any issue with your wiring. But that is rarely the case. Old wiring was designed for different amperage, when people just didn’t use as much electricity. Most insurance companies won’t even insure houses that have knob and tube wiring.

How Can You Tell If The House Has Knob & Tube Wiring?

In older homes, one plug was usually all you got in a bedroom. If there are two or three outlets, you can bet there is old and new wiring patched together.

New plugs installed with new wiring to make it look like the entire wiring was replaced. Sometimes it could be attached to old knob and tube about four inches away inside the wall.

Any time you find surface wiring run along the top of the baseboard and around the door casings, it’s likely you have new patched into old.

Other Problems In Older Homes

When budgeting for a home renovation, I always recommend getting a pre-reno home inspection done. A home inspection can alert you of safety issues prior to starting work, so you can budget appropriately. It will point out deficiencies in your home. Here are some other issues with older homes:

Rusting pipes

Rotting beams

Mould and termites

Water damage

Hazardous framing

Uninsulated walls and ductwork

Undermined foundations

Damaged exteriors, such as cracks in plaster

Smart ways to pay for home renovations

Let us guess: Your dream house has Pinterest-worthy landscaping, a modern kitchen, 2.5 spacious bathrooms, gleaming wood floors, and enough room to give everyone in the family a little privacy when they want it. And, unfortunately, that’s not the home you actually own.

Homeowners are very busy renovating and improving these days, according to a HomeAdvisor survey. The homeowners surveyed had spent an average of more than $6,600 on improvements in the last year, and almost half of them were thinking about doing more.

What’s driving all this home improvement? Part of it is that, with home prices so high, a lot of us are buying places that need work. And with too few homes to choose from, we’re remodeling instead of moving when we want more or better space.

Consider this if you:

Also have a separate emergency fund saved

Can save what you need before repairs become critical

If you had a pile of cash, you probably wouldn’t be reading this post! But still, we have to say it: the best way to pay for a renovation is with cash, so you can keep your overall debt to a minimum. Put yourself on an automated savings schedule and take the opportunity to cultivate that virtue called patience.

Of course, patience can wear thin when core rooms like the kitchen and the bathroom are way past their prime. And waiting until you have cash isn’t always realistic — or even smart. Case in point: don’t delay critical repairs for too long. A leaky roof would fall into this category. Neglect a problem like that, and it might turn into a bigger, more expensive one.

Renovating My First Home — Here’s What I Learned

The first time I walked into the quaint white colonial house with black shutters, I knew it was going to be ours — despite the overgrown landscaping, butter-yellow hardwood floors, and retro pink-and-blue bathroom.

It was going to take a serious amount of work and several large-scale renovations to turn it into our dream home, but we were ready.

PAYING IN CASH CAN PAY OFF

We tried to pay cash whenever possible and ended up getting some great discounts in the process. The savings is real, people!

THINGS WILL GO WRONG, SO BUDGET ACCORDINGLY

This goes for time and money.

For example, we hired a general contractor to do several smaller jobs around the house for a great rate. Then his wife went into labor early, and we had to work around a new baby-dictated schedule. (Ironic, we know.) In the end, it took an extra month to finish the work.

DON’T BE AFRAID TO BARGAIN

Despite all its troubles, our new master bathroom is easily my favorite room. It now has white and gray herringbone marble floors, a spacious double vanity and the biggest shower we could fit. At $15,000, it was also our most expensive room.

Professional Athlete Accountant

TOP PAYING ACCOUNTING JOBS

The spectacle-wearing pencil pusher in the green visor is so far in the past, it barely even registers as a stereotype anymore. Accounting today is one of the most high-tech, cutting-edge professions out there, making advances in realms ranging from Big Data analytics to cloud computing to blockchain technology. Accountants are the professionals who make sure that the money of corporations, governments, organizations, and individuals are being used well, and that means that, as long as there’s money, accountants will be indispensable.

WHAT DO ACCOUNTANTS DO?

Obviously, specific job duties depend on the specific jobs, but there are some skills that are pretty much required across the board. Obviously, a strong grasp of mathematics is essential. Every accountant, at whatever level, should have a general understanding of basic bookkeeping, in addition to more complex understanding of areas like auditing, payroll, financial reporting, and (of course) taxes. Even if you’ve worked your way to the managerial or executive level as an accountant, knowing the lower-level, day-to-day work of accounting will make you a better leader. Modern accounting is highly collaborative and team-based; while accountants do their fair share of individual work, being able to work well with others will be critical, especially in a corporate environment.

EDUCATION FOR ACCOUNTANTS

There are highly rewarding jobs available for accountants at every degree level, from associate’s to doctorate. Associate’s Degree: Most students will get a 2-year associate’s in accounting, or a 1-year diploma in accounting from a community college, and that’s all most people will need to get a bookkeeping job, or a job as an accountant’s assistant. While it’s limited in terms of opportunities, students who graduate with an associate’s can transfer for a bachelor’s degree at a local university.

VICE PRESIDENT, FINANCE

Right at the doorstep of the C-suite, the Vice President of Finance is a crucial link between the highest executives and the management, making sure the desires of the C-Level is communicated to the lower rungs of the organizational ladder. The job of the Finance VP is to lead and coordinate company financial planning, debt financing, and budget management, while reporting back to the upper levels. V.P. Finance professionals usually work their way into their job from the management level; it’s not usually necessary to have a master’s degree, but having an MBA or MAcc in finance can distinguish the ambitious from the merely competent.

CHIEF FINANCIAL OFFICER (CFO)

Chief Financial Officer – the CFO – is one of the highest levels of authority and responsibility an accountant can aspire to. To become a CFO, an accountant must have the highest level of expertise, experience, and excellence – a long-standing track record of leadership and results. The larger and more complex an organization, the more crucial the role of a CFO becomes, as a centralized source of authority around all things money in the company. In other words, the buck stops with the CFO.

Careers in Accounting

Professional accountants of today have careers that use e a wide variety of skills applicable to highly specialized roles. When the editors of the Journal of Accountancy wrote in 1912 that an accountant is beginning to be “looked upon as a business physician,” they could not have envisioned the dynamic array of practice areas that would exist 100 years later.

According to the U.S. Department of Labor, between 2016 and 2026, the number of jobs for accountants and auditors in the United States is expected to increase by 10%. Changes in tax laws and the regulatory environment, as well as the expansion of global commercial business and increased financial controls continue to drive the demand for skilled accountants in the public and private sectors.

What is an Accountant and What Do They Do?

Accountants work with individuals, small businesses, large corporations, non-profits and government agencies to prepare and organize financial and tax documents.

Accounting is defined as an organized way to keep records of business and financial transactions, summarize those transactions, and analyze, verify, and report financial results. Another way to look at accounting is that it’s an information system designed to identify, measure, record, and communicate reliable, relevant, and consistent information about the economic activities of an organization.

These are among the many tasks that accountants perform for their clients:

Organizing and maintaining financial records

Evaluating financial operations and making recommendations to management about best financial practices

Examining account books and accounting systems to make sure they are efficient and conform to accepted standards and accounting procedures

Preparing tax returns and related tasks

Examining financial statements to make sure they are accurate and meet legal requirements

Suggesting ways to increase revenue, reduce costs, and improve profits

Things To Know About Accounting

things the accounting sector should know, because it was one of the first to feel the impact of advancements in data technology. Some accountants, but most regular people, were adopting and implementing new technology like tax software and online tools to make the process faster and reduce the number of errors. Despite these new tools, which have advanced even more and made it easier for anyone to do their own accounting, accounts are more valuable than ever.

Technology Will Change Accounting

Automation is not scheduled to impact accounting at all, but there will be some changes in the field and how accountants do their job. Artificial intelligence and machine learning is advancing quickly, and administrative accounting jobs will not be needed soon and phased out. The administrative accounting positions will fall to technology that is able to do the jobs quicker and with more efficiency, but it will not place the jobs of regular accountants at risk. Accounting has many cogs where computers will not be able to replace people, such as consulting, advisory positions and many CFO responsibilities. The firm, Accounting Principals, feels skilled professionals are the most sought after to expand departments, not software. Admin roles may have decreased, but the need need for accountants will not disappear anytime soon.

Right Now Is an Especially Good Time to Be an Accountant

Accounting firms and accounting departments inside major companies are expanding. The biggest concern companies and firms have concerning accounting is there is a shortage of quality accountants. This is good news for people wanting to become CPAs though. They will not be entering a saturated field. The unemployment rate for accountants is well below the national average.

Accounting Positions Are Finding Masters Degrees to Be Essential

Accounting careers may be in demand, but it is important to bring along a master’s degree before entering the field. It allows people in the field, especially accountants, quite a bit of room for salary growth. Online programs with flexible class schedules make it easier to go after an advanced accounting education while working. There are many accounting firms and companies even willing to subsidize their employees’ educational pursuits as long as they will benefit the firm or company in the long run.

Accounting Employees Do Better If They Have Specialties

Accounting careers generally turn out more financially positive if the accountant carves out a niche and becomes well versed in a specific branch of accounting. Any accountant that takes the time to develop a niche increases their value. Accounting will always be relevant and critical. Additionally, the accounting field will always have jobs. It is recommended to pursue more classes or seminars whenever possible and finding a mentor in the desired niche that can help with growth and connections.

It’s almost tax time. Do you need to see an accountant or could you do it yourself?

Tax time is just days away, and this probably isn’t the first year it’s snuck up on you.

Maybe it’s even your first time. Yep, adulting is hard. It’s even harder if you have a small business, multiple incomes, an investment property or just a pile of receipts you’d rather not deal with. But even if your tax seems relatively simple, the question of whether to get an accountant to help might have crossed you mind.

Doing your tax for the first time

If you are doing your tax for the first time, it’s likely to be pretty simple, despite what you might have heard. “Doing your taxes is often portrayed as a very challenging — and potentially scary — thing, so it is understandable that a young person may feel overwhelmed,” says

How much are you hustling?

The more complex your income, the more reason to see a registered tax agent. Small business, rental properties, capital gains — all these things can be difficult to get right when lodging a return.

Do you know what you can claim?

You’ve kept your receipts, but do you know what you can rightfully claim? “Common deductions include work-related expenses, self-education expenses, charitable donations and the cost of managing your tax affairs [like paying an accountant],”

Other reasons an accountant might help you

If you’ve made a mistake on a past tax return, you can request an amendment through myTax yourself. But if you’re unsure about whether you should be making an amendment or what impact it might have, an accountant would be a good idea,

What does a Accountant do?

An accountant is an important career field in finance and business. Accountants prepare taxes, examine financial records for accuracy, and prepare financial reports for individuals and businesses. They track a company’s profits and losses and ensures their clients comply with tax laws and regulations.

Earn a Bachelor’s Degree in Accounting

Though you may think all accountants have a bachelor’s degree in accounting, a degree is not mandatory. In fact, OnLine reports a little over 40% of accountants have earned a bachelor’s degree. The rest of the accountants surveyed had earned an associate’s degree or have taken some college courses. Given that over 40% of people in this career field have earned a bachelor’s degree, we’re listing a bachelor’s degree in accounting as step one so you can be competitive in the job market.

Become a Certified Public Accountant (CPA)

To become a licensed certified accountant, you must earn a CPA certification. Accountants who earn the title of CPA have met education and experience standards and they passed the CPA exam. Not all accountants become a CPA. Others gain experience as an accountant while working toward their education and experience requirements and then study to pass the CPA exam. Though the requirements to become a CPA vary by state, the CPA exam is the same for everyone. Learn more about a career in accounting and the CPA exam on the American Institute of CPAs website.

Gain additional certifications in accounting

Accountants can choose to become certified in a focused area of accounting. Though this is voluntary, a specialization can earn you a competitive edge over other job applicants. Certifications that an accountant can earn to include a Personal Finance Specialist certification, Accredited in Business Valuation certification, Certified Information Technology Professional certification, or a Certified Fraud Examiner. Each specialization may have its own requirements to meet. For instance, to become a Certified Fraud Examiner (CFE) you must become a member of the Association of Certified Fraud Examiners, hold a bachelor’s degree or meet experience requirements if you do not have a bachelor’s degree, and then pass the CFE exam.

Job Description of an Accountant

An accountant makes sure a company or organization is efficiently operating by accessing their financial records. Duties include analyzing data, finance reports, budgets, tax returns, and accounting records. They send financial reports to their clients that include current financial status, and future trends. They may also recommend ways for their clients to become more financially stable or advise on ways to take advantage of tax incentives.

When You Should And Shouldn’t Do Your Own Car Auto Repair

Car Not Fixed Right? Get Results from the Auto Repair Shop

“We couldn’t replicate the problem.” Sound familiar? There are few things more frustrating than spending time and money to fix a car problem, only to have the issue persist or reoccur. You’re not stuck, though. Most car problems can be resolved by a combination of diplomacy and perseverance, and here is a plan of attack.

Communication Is Critical

Before accusing an auto repair shop of botching the job, it’s important to ask if you properly communicated the specific nature of the problem to the service personnel before they started troubleshooting your car’s problem.

Have a service advisor or technician take a ride with you to try to duplicate the noise or behavior. That way there will be no question about what the mechanic is trying to address. If you didn’t do this at the first visit, definitely do so on the second try.

Ask what the guarantee is on the parts and labor before beginning work. The answer will vary depending on the type of shop you use (dealer vs. independent) or parts installed (original, original-rebuilt or aftermarket. This will prevent surprises if the fix doesn’t “stick” with time and driving.

Work the Dealership’s Chain of Command

If your car’s problem isn’t resolved when you pick it up after the first visit, or it reappears soon after (like the notorious “Check Engine” light that keeps appearing), it’s time to escalate the issue to the next level.

Ways Auto Repair Shops Can Communicate Better With Customers

If you’re running an auto shop, you’re probably looking for a way to increase your profits, gain a better reputation in your community, and win over loyal customers for life. Communication is the best way to accomplish all three of these goals. By simply communicating with customers more effectively, you can ensure the success of your auto shop

Listen To Your Customers

The first thing you need to do is truly understand your customers. Let’s face it – nobody really wants to come to an auto shop. From basic maintenance to full-scale repairs, most people view your business as an inconvenience. Because of this, you should do everything you can to listen to your customers, and be honest and genuine when interacting with them. Empathize with their issue, and truly understand what they want from you.

Request Preferred Communication Methods

When communicating with customers, it’s critical to utilize the method that they’re most likely to use. You could communicate really well over email, for example, but if your customer fails to check their email regularly, they will miss your updates and messages – leading to communication and customer satisfaction issues.

Send Regular Service Reminders

After a customer has used your shop for repairs or servicing, you should try to keep in touch with them using regular service reminders. If they were only a one-time customer, this will provide them with a reminder of the great service they received at your shop, which will make them more likely to choose your services in the future.

Provide Real-Time, Updated Information To Keep Customers Informed

The best way to win over your customers is to keep them in the loop about what’s going on with their vehicle – no matter what

Repair Shops

Are you frustrated with the service, communication and professionalism of your present automotive repair facility? Maybe you’re new to the area and confused about which repair shop is dependable and with whom you should trust your vehicle. Finally, maybe you’re tired with the constant run-around you get at the dealership. If any of these situations is familiar to you, then I would like to show you how to dramatically improve your experience when you take your vehicle for maintenance or repairs.

experienced mechanics will get your vehicle up and running again, and we’ll keep it in top operating condition.

provide a range of services, including 4×4 Services, Alignment, Brakes, Car & Truck Care, Domestic Cars & Trucks, Electric and Hybrid Vehicle , Electrical Services, Electronic Services, Engine & Transmission, Engine Maintenance, General Services, Heating and Cooling Services, Import Cars & Trucks, Lube Services, Miscellaneous Services, Tires, Towing, Transmission Services and Undercar Services

have years of experience working on many different types of vehicles. They have the knowledge required to diagnose your problems, and to find affordable solutions to get you back on the road quickly.

Domestic General Repair

No matter how carefully you drive, your domestic car will need occasional general repairs. These general repairs may include engine diagnostics and repairs, alignments, brakes, front end and rear end diagnostic services and electronics service and repair.

THE IMPORTANCE OF CUSTOMER SERVICE

spend a good deal of their workdays underneath cars or hovered over an engine. However, brake repair and engine rebuilds are not the only assignments tasked

Some customers can be extremely picky when it comes to their vehicles. They often pay large sums of money for their vehicles, which gives them the right to be discerning. Making vehicle owners feel at ease is part of the job of an auto mechanic. Those mechanics who fail to realize this fact usually see a decline in business.

The auto repair industry is one that is not limited in choices. Vehicle owners have a lot of options when selecting an auto repair shop. They are typically not going to frequent an establishment where mechanics do not conduct themselves in a professional and friendly manner

Having a little extra patience can go a long way as customer service in the auto repair industry is different than it is in other fields

Trust builds business as customers come back to certain mechanics because they are comfortable with the fact that they can trust them. But trust is built through more than just quality work. Honesty and integrity go a long way with customers. That means taking the time to present customers with the best options for their specific repair problem. Looking out for the best interest of the customer is a way to really heighten trust levels and is considered very good customer service.

AUTO REPAIR SERVICES

comprehensive auto repair services that include 4×4 Services, Brakes, Car & Truck Care, Domestic Cars & Trucks, Electrical Services, Electronic Services, Engine & Transmission, Engine Maintenance, General Services, Heating and Cooling Services, Import Cars & Trucks, Inspections and Emissions, Miscellaneous Services, Tires, Towing, Transmission Services and Undercar Services.

would like to inform you of a service provide that could possibly save you thousands of dollars in auto repairs if you are considering purchasing a used vehicle.

will inspect and completely go through the vehicle you are considering buying and inform you of any problems that may exist with the vehicle and give you an estimate on the potential cost of repairing these problems.

encourage you to ask the selling dealer or individual to allow you to bring the vehicle in for this service. If for any reason they object, that should raise several red flags in your mind that there IS something wrong with the vehicle.The total cost for this service is $45.00.

Stop and Check Your Brakes

Brake Safety Awareness Month in August is the perfect time to have your brakes checked to make sure they are

Water Testing Methods: Detecting Salt Levels In Fluids, Food Items

Pool Water Testing Is Essential to Pool Health

We simply can’t stress enough how important it is to regularly test your pool water early and often. After all, a personal home swimming pool is a major investment, so why not take all of the necessary precautions to ensure the long term health of your pool?

How to Test Pool Water Accurately

  • Get a clean container for the sample (depending on the type of testing equipment you are using, this may be provided).
  • Flip the container upside down, with the mouth of the container open toward the ground.
  • Find an area of your pool away from return jets or the pool skimmer—preferably in the dead center of your pool.
  • Submerge the container into the water until the water comes up to your elbow.
  • Flip the container right-side-up, which will let the water into the container, collecting the sample.

Filters Keep Things Clean

The job of the filtration system is to remove any undissolved dirt and debris from the pool water. There are three types of swimming pool filters:

Sand Filters – Inexpensive and easy to operate, sand filters remove dirt and debris through a process called “backwashing,” which basically means flipping a switch to reverse the water flow. All you have to do is check the filter’s pressure gauge. If the gauge indicates a 7- to 10-pound increase over normal operating pressure, it’s time to backwash.

A few things to keep in mind if you’re considering a sand filter:

  • Sand filters are more efficient when they are slightly dirty, which means you shouldn’t backwash more than necessary.
  • Sand filters should be cleaned at least every season with a filter cleaner.
  • You should completely replace your filter sand every five years or so.

Cartridge Filters – Although a cartridge filter costs a bit more upfront than a sand filter, many swimming pool owners feel that it’s worth the extra money. Cartridge filters remove more dirt and debris than sand filters, and they don’t require backwashing. Instead, you simply remove the cartridge when it becomes too dirty and hose it off.

Here are a few tips to get the most out of your cartridge filter:

  • At the minimum, you should expect to do a deep cleaning twice a year. Depending on pool size and usage, you might want to do it more often. Check with your local pool professional.
  • To avoid 12 hours of filtration “downtime,” consider buying a second cartridge so you’ll have a spare when it’s time for cleaning.

Diatomaceous Earth (DE) Filters – DE filters are similar to sand filters and operate in much the same way. Like a sand filter, a DE filter requires backwashing when the pressure gauge rises. However, unlike sand filters, DE filters only need to be backwashed a few times a year. What’s more, DE filters are also the most expensive of the three – but they also offer the best filtration capabilities, superior to both sand and cartridge filters.

Additional care and maintenance considerations include:

  • To remove build-up, you should deep-clean your DE filter grids at least once every season using filter cleaner.
  • Once a year, you should disassemble your DE filter for a deep cleaning and inspection to look for damage such as tears or rips in the grids.

How to Make Your Pool Crystal Clear Again

Keep Up with pH and Chlorine Levels

Do you have a water testing device in your supply kit? If not, you might want to add it to your arsenal as soon as possible. Keeping up with the chemicals in your pool is the first step to maintaining crystal clear water.

Test the water a couple times a week and take note of what you find. Ideally, the chlorine levels should be at 1 to 3 parts per million and the pH levels at 7.2 to 7.6. Maintaining these levels helps to avoid cloudiness and bacteria growth.

Run That Filter

It’s recommended that you run your filter for 8 to 10 hours a day when using your pool. Doing so keeps the water fresh and healthy. Without regular filter use, the water will grow stagnant, and bacteria will flourish. That means you’ll spend a lot more time scrubbing and cleaning than swimming and laying out.

Skim, Skim, Skim

Yes, something that simple can be the trick to clear water. Skimming the top of your pool only takes a few minutes but is totally worth it.

What makes skimming so effective? When you skim the water, you remove all that organic material lying around. Leaving that material in the water allows it to break down and cloud the water. Do this once a day for best results.

Shock the Pool Once a Week

As you keep up with chlorine and pH levels, don’t forget to shock your pool once a week during the summer. This treatment kills any bacteria or algae that are hanging around. If you’ve noticed a lot of algae growth, follow up with algaecide

Easy Steps in Pool Water Testing without Kit

You may not know it, but your chemistry teacher has taught you an important skill for any pool owner: how to test pool water without a kit. Remember those experiments on acids and bases? Who knew that would come in handy when you run out of test kits, huh? The following method works whether you have an in-ground or above-ground swimming pool. That said, let’s get started.

1. Gather Your Materials

Pool test kits are composed of indicators or chemicals that indicate an imbalance in your water. So the objective here now is to create your indicator (a.k.a. “red cabbage juice indicator”) using the following items so that you can do pool water testing without a kit.

  • Red cabbage
  • Clear glass bowl and glasses
  • Pot or kettle
  • Kitchen knife
  • Distilled water
  • Wooden spoon or ladle
  • Strainer

2. Prepare the Red Cabbage Juice Indicator

First, you’ll need to cut up or slice the red cabbage into small strips or pieces. After that, put the sliced cabbage into a clear glass bowl and put it aside.

In a pot or kettle, boil about two cups of distilled water. Once it boils, pour the water into the glass bowl with the cabbage until the cabbage is submerged.

Stir the solution with a wooden spoon or ladle occasionally then set it aside. After about 30 minutes, get at strainer and separate the liquid from the red cabbage. You will see that the water has now turned into a purplish red color.

3. Test Your Pool Water

Get a small amount of water from the pool using a clear container. Then, get your red cabbage juice indicator and put a few drops into the water to be tested. At this point, you will either see the color change or not.

Based on basic pool chemistry, if it changes into a red or pink color, it means that your pool water is acidic. On the other hand, if it changes into a greenish-yellow or bluish-green color then that means your pool water is too basic or alkaline. If there is no color change, then the water is balanced or neutral.

To make things easier, you can use a color chart that came with your old pool test kit. Simply match the color of the water to the color chart and you should be able to determine the pH levels of your pool water right away.

When to Test Your Pool Water

Determining how often to test your pool water can be a bit of a challenge. This is because the various chemicals you need to test for need to be tested at different rates. For the two most important readings, pH and chlorine levels, you should test weekly. However, most experts suggest testing for these readings two to three times per week.

We will discuss the frequency required to test some of the other chemicals in greater detail later in this guide. For now, just know that you should be testing the pH and chlorine levels of your pool’s water at least once a week.

Of course, beyond this regular testing, you should also test your pool water more often when it is being used more often. Also, if it has rained recently, and the pool wasn’t covered, it’s a good idea to test again before getting in the pool.

Important: You should always test your pool’s water both before and after adding any new chemicals. This is to ensure your safety and proper chemical balancing of your pool water.

Cockroaches Control Advice

Finding and Killing Cockroach Eggs

The moment you spot a cockroach making a beeline to some corner of your house, mark it and get ready to kill an entire colony of pests and their eggs. Kill all the cockroaches and their eggs in that corner. Cupboards, bookcases, the underside of stove burners, and kitchen trolleys are the favorite places of roaches when it comes to laying eggs. Mostly, cockroaches lay eggs near leftovers that are not properly disposed and also near food items that are not safely stored in air-tight containers.

How to Kill Cockroach Eggs

You can vacuum the eggs out, burn them or pour some boric acid over them to completely eliminate them. You can also use natural pesticides or try out some home-based remedies, such as a mixture of sugar and baking soda, to gain some control over the cockroach population.

How to get rid of roaches naturally

Kitchen is the most common place, where cockroaches find their home and it is difficult to kick them out. They can poison your food, as they carry disease-causing germs as well as bacteria that infect your food and may harm your health. Here is a list of best DIY pest control ideas to remove cockroaches from kitchen and rest of your house.

Silica aerogel and sugar

Silica aerogel is an effective ingredient to get rid of cockroaches. Mix silica aerogel and sugar in 3:1 ratio. Sprinkle this mix around the cockroach-infested places. Repeat the process for best results.

Peppermint oil

Mix 10 drops of peppermint oil with 250 ml of water. Mix these two thoroughly and spray around cockroach infested areas. Repeat the process for immediate results.

Pepper, onion and garlic

Prepare a solution of pepper powder, onion paste and garlic and then mix it in one litre water. Sprinkle the solution around the infested places. The smell of the mixture will keep them away.

Neem leaves

Make a paste using handful of neem leaves and water. Now, filter the water and pour this liquid into a spray bottle. Spray the mixture in the infested areas at night.

How to Prevent Cockroaches in Bedroom?

Prevention is always better than cure. But if you failed to stop roaches from entering your bedroom and they already got inside, it’s important that you get rid of them and kill them completely. To eliminate them and keep them out of your house, you need to make your house and rooms less inviting and maintain a clean environment. Here are 5 practical tips that will help you prevent cockroaches in your bedroom:

1. Don’t Leave the Food Uncovered

Cockroaches thrive on sugary foods, so you would want to keep all your food covered. Since bedrooms aren’t really the place to keep food, a lot of us are in the habit of eating in our rooms, or storing snacks somewhere in the cupboards. Therefore, be sure to keep them in air tight containers and not to leave dirty dishes in the room for too long. Roaches can also make their way into pet food as well, so don’t leave that uncovered either.

2. Fix Leaky Taps

Any leaky taps will create a moist and humid environment, which is ideal for roach breeding. Dry and cold environments prevent roaches from entering your room. Absence of water can kill them within a week, while they can survive without food for as long as four weeks. Therefore, you need to fix any leaks in the washroom or kitchen to keep them from entering the bedroom.

3. Keep Your Room Clean

Goes without saying, clean and hygienic conditions will keep the roaches out of your room and eventually, your house. Cluttered rooms are highly welcoming for roaches so you should keep your room decluttered. Garbage cans attract oriental and German cockroaches like a magnet, so if you have any in the room, make sure to keep them clean and empty them regularly.

4. Seal any Entry Points

Sewers, drains, plumbing pipes, crawl spaces under the floor are all entry points for the roaches, so make sure they’re all cleaned regularly and sealed properly. They breed in warm and moist places so they are naturally found near taps and plumbing pipes. Keep your cabinets and shelves clean and dry at all times.

5. Clean the Trash Can

Make sure to take the trash out on an everyday basis and clean the garbage can every now and then as well. Also be careful not to dispose off any beverages or sauces into the trash since that can attract roaches who feed on such conditions. A common mistake people make is of keeping trash uncovered in the kitchen or bedroom. Foul smelling trash is a big yes for roaches.

What attracts roaches?

If you have cockroaches, you may think that your home is dirty. However, that isn’t the truth, especially if you live in Dallas! Texas is full of cockroaches because they love the humidity. And, everything is humid in Texas. Cockroaches love the moisture. Whether it’s an annoying leaky pipe or a wet bathmat, it’s paradise as far as cockroaches are concerned.

But, if you don’t have anything wet in your home, that doesn’t mean you’re immune to cockroaches. They love your trash, dirty dishes, food left on the counter, and crumbs. Have kids? That pretty much means you’re running a cockroach hotel! They love cleaning up after your children, but unlike your dog, they are vile and not welcome in the house.

Do cockroaches climb beds?

Although they might seem like tiny creatures, they sure can climb beds, especially in the night when its dark. As we’ve discussed before, roaches thrive on darkness and dampness. Although their favorite place might be the kitchen and washrooms, they might crawl up to your bed just casually. This doesn’t necessarily have much to do with how clean your room is since a lot of other factors contribute to their presence.

Do roaches hide in mattresses?

It’s very unusual for roaches to hide in mattresses, however, you must check underneath them and clean them regularly to avoid them from making their home there.

Will keeping lights on keep roaches away?

We have established the fact that roaches are fond of darkness and that is where you will usually find them. But, unfortunately, leaving lights on doesn’t do much to keep roaches away. They will find other darker spots to hide until a full blown infestation is ready. This is when you’ll see them in broad daylight as well, which is alarming. Therefore, you should locate their breeding source as soon as you see them roaming around during the day.