Drinking Water Testing And Ensuring A Healthy Pregnancy

Drinking Water Testing

Monitoring drinking water quality for thousands of chemicals in a single analysis

Clean drinking water is essential for life, but our water quality is threatened by 1,000s of chemical contaminants, from everyday products that can seep into drinking water supplies, to runoff and ground water discharge

Drinking water quality testing is fundamental to protecting our drinking water supplies and ensuring safety. supports these efforts by offering sensitive and accurate LC/MS/MS systems for efficient water quality testing for a vast range of drinking water contaminants – monitored from source to consumer.

Drinking water tests typically require extensive sample preparation to achieve the ultra-low detection limits required by regulations. LC/MS/MS solutions for drinking water quality testing provides labs with:

Simplified workflows for direct injection of water samples for analysis – little sample preparation required

Enhanced sensitivity for reliable detection of trace chemical levels in samples

Flexibility to screen for both targeted and non-targeted contaminants at once

Diversity to analyze for many compound classes, including pesticides, herbicides, pharmaceuticals, organic chlorine compounds, industrial chemicals, complexing agents, and even unknown degradants or chemical by-products, in a single injection

 

Testing drinking water

The Department of Health recommends private well owners test their drinking water every year for coliform bacteria and nitrate.  These two contaminates can rapidly affect a person’s health — possibly even with just one drink of water. In most counties when you sell a home with a private well, the county health or planning department or your lender may require you to provide water sampling results to show that your water is safe to drink. You may also want to test your private well if flooding has occurred in your area.

If you own a private well, you are responsible for testing your own water.  Some counties have water quality testing services available through local health departments and districts. We can help you find an accredited lab to help you test your well water for contaminants.

Find a lab

We regulate well construction. We also accredit laboratories that test water. Sampling your well water is easy — just contact an accredited lab. Labs that accept drinking water samples appear as light blue dots on the map below

Public water systems

The State Department of Health is in charge of drinking water for larger water systems. Most public water systems have water quality data available to the public. You can request a copy of their consumer confidence report.

 

Water Contamination

Safe drinking water is a critical component of human life, but pollution threatens many of our water supplies. Agriculture is one of the key causes of water pollution. Industrial activities, overflowing sewers and naturally occurring substances can also contaminate our drinking water. Knowing the signs of water contamination will help you take actions that will keep you and your family safe

Everything from agricultural runoff to lead pipes to byproducts of water decontamination can threaten our water’s safety. And the Safe Drinking Water Act that’s supposed to protect our drinking water doesn’t even look for toxic fluorinated compounds known as PFAS chemicals, even though the contaminants have been linked to cancer and birth defects.

Safe Drinking Water Act

The federal government regulates and protects our public drinking water via the Safe Drinking Water Act. The law, which was first enacted in 1974, covers water that comes from public sources, such as rivers, lakes, springs and groundwater wells. It does not cover private wells that provide water to fewer than 25 people.

DID YOU KNOW?

The Safe Drinking Water Act grants the Environmental Protection Agency the authority to set national health standards for drinking water and to set the legal limits on more than 90 contaminants.

Types of Contaminants

Numerous types of contaminants can threaten drinking water. They include everything from chemicals to pesticides to animal waste to industrial waste injected into the ground. Naturally occurring substances, such as arsenic, radon and fluoride, can also contaminate groundwater.

DID YOU KNOW?

Every day, 2 million tons of sewage and other liquid waste pour into the world’s water supply. Contaminated water kills more people every year than all forms of violence, including war.

 

Water Testing

Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) recommends that private wells be tested annually. Without testing, the water quality is unknown and the water could be contaminated with natural-occurring or other contaminants.

Health Impacts of Water Contaminants

There are a variety of bacteria, parasites, and viruses that can potentially cause Well Water Quality if humans ingest them. Testing water for each of these would be difficult and expensive. Instead, water testing for total coliform levels serves as an indicator of contamination.

Coliform bacteria can enter well water through a variety of ways, including sewage overflows, damaged or malfunctioning sewage systems, polluted stormwater runoff, and agricultural runoff. Private wells may become more vulnerable to such contamination after flooding or fires, particularly if the wells are shallow, have been dug or bored, or have been submerged by floodwater for long periods of time.

Shock Chlorination

Bacterial contamination of well water can come from many sources. The most common include repairing the pump or casing without follow-up chlorination, surface water entering pump or casing, poor construction of the well, or leaks in the well or well casing.

Shock chlorination of a well may eliminate the bacterial contamination, but well rehabilitation may be necessary if contamination continues to occur (as in a rusted or leaking casing). If you plan to shock chlorinate your well yourself, follow instructions carefully to ensure bacteria is eliminated.

 

Water Testing Laboratory

offer testing services and provide information for private customers who have concerns about the quality and safety of their drinking water. can customise analyses to suit your needs and recommend that you contact the laboratory before you undertake sampling to ensure the correct type of samples are taken.

Testing services

Our Laboratory is accredited with International Accreditation for a range of chemical and microbiological tests. We are also able to subcontract specialised tests which we do not perform ourselves. Our staff can collect samples from throughout Whangarei district.

The laboratory is involved in:

testing Whangarei and surrounding district’s drinking water and ensuring the safety of the supply

monitoring the district’s sewage discharges to ensure consent requirements are met

sampling and testing swimming pool water

industrial waste testing

other specialised tests for private customers.

drinking water is recommended to meet the standards set out by the Ministry of Health. We ensure that all households using the town water supply receive drinking water which complies with these standards.

Compliance report

To indicate compliance with Drinking Water Standards 2008, the water will be tested for E coli. A written report detailing NZ Drinking Water Compliance will be issued.

How Certified Public Accountants Become Forensic Accountant

Explanation of T Account, Debit and Credit, and Double Entry Accounting System

What are T Accounts?

If you want a career in accounting, T Accounts may be your new best friend. The T Account is a visual representation of individual accounts that looks like a “T”, making it so that all additions and subtractions (debits and credits) to the account can be easily tracked and represented visually.

Debits and Credits for T Accounts

When most people hear the term debits and credits, they think of debit cards and credit cards. In accounting, however, debits and credits refer to completely different things.

Debits and Credits are simply accounting jargon that can be traced back hundreds of years and that is still used in today’s double-entry accounting system. A double-entry accounting system means that every transaction that a company makes is recorded in at least two accounts, where one account gets a “debit” entry while another account gets a “credit” entry.

These entries are recorded as journal entries in the company’s books.

Debits and credits can mean either increasing or decreasing for different accounts, but their T Account representations look the same in terms of left and right positioning in relation to the “T”.

T Accounts Explained

The left side of the Account is always the debit side and the right side is always the credit side, no matter what the account is.

For different accounts, debits and credits can mean either an increase or a decrease, but in a T Account, the debit is always on the left side and credit on the right side, by convention.

Let’s take a more in-depth look at the T accounts for different accounts namely, assets, liabilities, and shareholder’s equity, the major components of the balance sheet or statement of financial position.

For asset accounts, which include cash, accounts receivable, inventory, PP&E, and others, the left side of the T Account (debit side) is always an increase to the account. The right side (credit side) is conversely, a decrease to the asset account. For liabilities and equity accounts, however, debits always signify a decrease to the account, while credits always signify an increase to the account.

 

Understanding T-Account

In double-entry bookkeeping, a widespread accounting method, all financial transactions are considered to affect at least two of a company’s accounts. One account will get a debit entry, while the second will get a credit entry to record each transaction that occurs.

The credits and debits are recorded in a general ledger, where all account balances must match. The visual appearance of the ledger journal of individual accounts resembles a T-shape, hence why a ledger account is also called a T-account.

A T-account is the graphical representation of a general ledger that records a business’ transactions. It consists of the following:

  • An account title at the top horizontal line of the T
  • A debit side on the left
  • A credit side on the right

 

Why Do Accountants Use T Accounts?

Accountants use T accounts in order to make double entry system bookkeeping easier to manage.

A double entry system is a detailed bookkeeping process where every entry has an additional corresponding entry to a different account. Consider the word “double” in “double entry” standing for “debit” and “credit”. The two totals for each must balance, otherwise there is an error in the recording.

A double entry system is considered complex and is employed by accountants or CPAs (Certified Public Accountants). The information they enter needs to be recorded in an easy to understand way. This is why a T account structure is used, to clearly mark the separation between “debits” and “credits”.

It would be considered best practice for an accounting department of any business (that is not using a single entry method of accounting) to employ a T account structure in their general ledger.

 

Introduction to Debits and Credits

Did you know? You can earn our Debits and Credits Certificate of Achievement when you join PRO Plus. To help you master this topic and earn your certificate, you will also receive lifetime access to our premium debits and credits materials. These include our visual tutorial, flashcards, cheat sheet, quick tests, quick test with coaching, and more.

What are debits and credits?

Debits and credits are terms used by bookkeepers and accountants when recording transactions in the accounting records. The amount in every transaction must be entered in one account as a debit (left side of the account) and in another account as a credit (right side of the account). This double-entry system provides accuracy in the accounting records and financial statements.

The initial challenge is understanding which account will have the debit entry and which account will have the credit entry. Before we explain and illustrate the debits and credits in accounting and bookkeeping, we will discuss the accounts in which the debits and credits will be entered or posted.

 

The Double-Entry Accounting System

Double-entry bookkeeping was developed in the mercantile period of Europe to help rationalize commercial transactions and make trade more efficient. It also helped merchants and bankers understand their costs and profits. Some thinkers have argued that double-entry accounting was a key calculative technology responsible for the birth of capitalism.

The accounting equation forms the foundation of the double-entry accounting and is a concise representation of a concept that expands into the complex, expanded and multi-item display of the balance sheet. The balance sheet is based on the double-entry accounting system where total assets of a company are equal to the total of liabilities and shareholder equity.

Essentially, the representation equates all uses of capital (assets) to all sources of capital (where debt capital leads to liabilities and equity capital leads to shareholders’ equity). For a company keeping accurate accounts, every single business transaction will be represented in at least of its two accounts.

For instance, if a business takes a loan from a financial entity like a bank, the borrowed money will raise the company’s assets and the loan liability will also rise by an equivalent amount. If a business buys raw material by paying cash, it will lead to an increase in the inventory (asset) while reducing cash capital (another asset). Because there are two or more accounts affected by every transaction carried out by a company, the accounting system is referred to as double-entry accounting.

This practice ensures that the accounting equation always remains balanced – that is, the left side value of the equation will always match with the right side value.

Learn How To Look For Professional House Cleaning Services

The Ultimate House Cleaning Guide

Whether you clean your own home on a regular basis, or clean others’ for a living, you can understand when we say it is a dirty job! Dirt, dust, spills, and grime, there are a lot of different messes you encounter when cleaning a home. The best advice from any house cleaning expert is to pick-up and put away on a regular basis. This means divide your housework into daily, weekly, and monthly tasks. That way your cleaning to-do list is more manageable.

Daily Tasks

The first thing most people do in the morning after getting dressed is make their bed. It may seem like an insignificant thing to do, but it really helps to give your home that neat and organized feeling.

From there, tackle the kitchen. This can range from emptying the dishwasher, putting away breakfast bowls, cereal boxes, and plates, to wiping down countertops, the kitchen table and take out the garbage. No one wants to come home after a day of school or work to find more work in terms of a dirty or stinky kitchen!

Once the kitchen has been dealt with, don’t overlook the bathroom after you’ve used it in the morning. This might include wiping the countertops, putting away hair and toothbrushes, and making sure towels are hung up. All of these are small steps that go a long way to helping you keep your home clean.

Weekly Tasks

Start with dusting all of the surfaces in your home. Vacuum all of your rugs, sweep your hardwood or tile floors and then finish up by mopping them. Change and launder all bed sheets, duvet and pillow covers; wash bath mats, towels, or any other floor coverings. Clean out your refrigerator and your freezer, discarding anything that is no longer edible. Wipe down your toaster over, the inside of your microwave, and oven (some ovens have the self-cleaning option); not to mention clean your stovetop as well. Scrub your bathtub, sinks and toilets to make sure they’re spotless. Fluff and rotate pillows on your sofa or other seating areas. Sort through the pile of paper work that is sitting by your bedside on in your study, remember if you don’t do it now it won’t get any smaller by itself. And don’t forget to clean all the hand and animal paw prints from the windows, mirrors and other glass surfaces.

 

Should I have the house cleaner in my home? What about the plumber? Here’s what the experts say

Is there a risk to having people in your home, such as house cleaners and plumbers?

Answer: Yes. Every time another person comes within 6 feet there is a risk of transmission, and that’s why our experts recommend that you factor in the possible risk when deciding who should come to the home.

Process:

In an attempt to “flatten the curve,” people across the globe are attempting to practice social distancing. This has prompted questions online about who should be allowed to come to the home. “Is it safe to have your house cleaned by outside workers,” asked on person in an email to the Verify Team. And of course, it’s not just house-cleaners. What about the plumber or the electrician? The Verify Team turned to the experts to get a feel for the possible risk.

The Centers For Disease Control and Prevention did not offer a clear-cut yes or no answer. Instead, they offered guidelines that all people should follow. The CDC said special precautions should be taken by those who are older, or have an underlining health issue. “(They should) prohibit visitors who do not have an essential need to be in the home.“ Meanwhile, the CDC said everyone else should also practice social distancing by limiting “close contact with others as much as possible.”

agreed that people should take the risk seriously. “In general, not having people in your house who are not essential would be my recommendation,” he said. Price said that he made the decision to tell the housekeeper not to come this week for this reason.

The Verify Team also reached out to the American Association of Cleaning Professionals. A spokesperson said that they are recommending work as normal, although recommending that cleaners wear gloves and face masks.

 

How to clean a hotel room – A guide for housekeepers and travellers

First rule of hotel housekeeping

Every respectful hotel cleaner will knock and announce themselves ( say HOUSEKEEPING) at least twice before unlocking a guest’s door and then again upon entry. As a traveller, if you do not want housekeeping staff to knock on your door, hang the DO NOT DISTURB sign on the outside door handle.

Hotel cleaning: a step-by-step guide

To keep things simple, here’s a numbered list of steps to take when cleaning a hotel room. If you’re a hotel guest, you can use this as a guide to know what should have been cleaned before you checked in.

Clean a hotel room bedroom

Strip the beds of all sheets and pillowcases. Inspect mattress and pillow protectors; blankets and quilts for stains. Change when necessary. Sorry travellers but these items are not changed between each guest (I wish they were).

Make the bed by laying the bottom sheet over the mattress. Tuck the sheet at the top end of the bed only. This will secure the sheet so it does not “come loose” when the guest is in bed. Next, lay down the top sheet. Lay down the blanket. If the triple sheet method if used, apply that over top of everything. Now, tuck the sheets and the blanket all together on 3 sides of the bed, with hospital corners at the bottom. There is NO need to round that bed more than once or twice. Smooth the quilt, duvet, doona, whatever is being used on top, over the bed and make it look nice and neat. Stand fluffed, freshly covered pillows at the head of the bed. Apply bed accessories (footers and throw pillows) as per hotel decor.

Empty the rubbish bins. If there is dry garbage only, use gloved hands to remove and save a plastic bag. Use discretion here.

Dust all furniture and picture frames with a slightly damp, clean cloth.

Wipe baseboards and spot clean walls if needed.

Check balcony for rubbish and lock sliding glass door.

Sanitise the TV remote and telephone with the supplied cleaning product on a dry cloth. Do the same with the fridge, if the room has one.

Spot clean bedroom mirror and windows. Full window cleaning is usually done monthly or seasonally.

Replenish all guest room amenities: tissues, stationery, coffee, tea, sugar and milk.

Wash glasses and coffee mugs in the bathroom with hot water and soap. Dry with a clean tea towel.

Check all drawers and wardrobes for items that may have been left behind. Push hangers to one side of the closet. Check extra pillows and blankets for use and neatness.

Vacuum the floor, including under the bed(s).

I personally don’t believe that strong chemicals are needed throughout the bathroom but for simplicity, I will go with standard hotel practice here.

Remove all used towels.

Discard all used soap, shampoo and lotion.

Empty the bin.

Check toilet paper levels. If less than 1/3 left on the roll, replace with a new roll and fold to make a neat triangle. Keep the unused roll for use in hotel staff bathrooms. Be sure there is a spare roll in the bathroom too.

Clean the mirror with clean water. Dry with a streak-free micro-fibre cloth. Enjo is best if you have it.

Spray the sink, bathtub, shower and toilet with supplied cleaner. Go light. Chemicals are harsh on skin, lungs and the environment.

Use a clean, wet cloth to wipe (and scrub if necessary) the sink, bench-tops, bathtub and shower tiles. Check shower grout for mould. Rinse excess cleaner, then dry all surfaces with a clean, dry cloth/rag.

Do the same with the toilet, inside and out. Any cloth used on the toilet must not be used on any other surfaces.

Wipe down bathroom walls when soiled or splashed.

Fold clean towels and bathmat to the hotel’s standards and place either in the bathroom or on the beds.

Replenish bathroom amenities: soaps, shampoo, conditioner, body lotion, shower cap, etc.

Scan the bathroom surfaces for hair. Be sure to remove any stray hairs you may have missed during cleaning.

Wipe the floor tiles with a damp cloth. Mops just spread dirty water and bacteria around. They should not be used.

 

How Much Does House Cleaning Service Cost?

The standard house cleaning cost per hour can be around $30 to $40. For a 180m2 home with two bedrooms and one bathroom, expect to pay around $240. Prices vary depending on your location and other inclusions to add. Some home cleaners charge on an hourly basis. Others provide fixed rates for services which may take longer to complete. For instance, end of lease cleaning may cost tenants around $250 (two-bedroom unit).

Paying for a home cleaning service gives you more time for leisure and other important activities. It pays to know how professional cleaners charge and for what type of cleaning jobs the cost may fluctuate to help you manage your finances.

Labour Rates for House Cleaners

Most home cleaners charge an hourly rate of around $30 to $40. Prices differ based on the demand for professional house cleaning jobs and other factors.

What are the Factors that Affect House Cleaning Prices?

Size of your home

The size of your home largely affects how you will be charged. Some home cleaners measure their rates per room or square metre depending on the requirements. For example, cleaning a one-bedroom unit with one bathroom can take two to three hours to complete. Homeowners with a double-storey residential property pay more due to the number of rooms to clean.

Location

Hiring a professional cleaner outside your vicinity may attract increased costs. Expect to pay extra fees for transportation and call outs. Consider the business location of your prospective house cleaner to keep you from incurring additional costs.

 

How to Clean Your Entire House in 45 Minutes

Your bachelor pad. Your family home. That apartment with all the architectural detail and the amazing view. Wherever you live, houses get messy. And they stay that way, until you clean them. When your plans to let someone inside ends up happening before your hopes of getting your home back to normal, then it’s time to clean it. Quickly.

45:00 – Pick a music album (or playlist) you know and love.  Not Ramones-length short, but no double LPs here either. An average 12-14 song album that you can sing along to and not focus on. Your house will be clean by the time the secret bonus track comes on.

44:00 – Fill up the sink with hot soapy water. Or, if you have a dishwasher, make sure it’s empty with the racks pulled out. You’re gonna need somewhere to place all the  dirty plates and coffee mugs lying around all over the house.

42:00 – Start in the Bedroom.

Pick up all your laundry and put it in the hamper. Don’t worry about emptying pockets or removing belts or turning socks right side out – just get it off the floor. If your hampers are overflowing, place items in laundry baskets and put them in the most hidden corner of your room.

Pick up any books and magazines and stack them neatly. Clean off dressers and side tables. Close all dresser drawers, making sure there’s no little pieces of sock or t-shirt sticking out of the closure.

Make your bed like you mean it. Arrange pillows neatly.

38:00 – Begin the bathroom and kitchen. You can’t make the whole thing spotless, so focus on the areas that need the most help. Use time and the power of the cleaners to your advantage.

Put your toiletries and daily use items away and where they belong. Hang up towels.

Then spray the hard surfaces with bathroom cleaner. Get the sink, faucet, outside of the toilet, and the bottom of the tub or shower. You can use the shower curtain or doors to your advantage. Just clean the outside. (Unless you know someone will be using it. Then spray away.)

Fill the toilet bowl with toilet cleaner, getting as high up as possible (that’s where the real crud lives).

Spray cleanser on the kitchen surfaces: stovetop, counters, and any sticky spots on the floor.

32:00 – Tackle the Living Room.

Deal with the surfaces: clean off the coffee table, entertainment cabinet, side tables etc. Stack books and magazines and place remote on top.

Fold blankets, then smooth cushions and neatly arrange pillows. It sounds fussy, but it’s amazing what a difference it will make.

Roll up any cables or cords, close and store your laptop, and turn on all lamps.

Embrace the stack. If you don’t have time to put things where they belong, place them on top of each other from largest to smallest. It might not look like an display of objets d’art, but it’ll look like you intentionally put them there. Which you did.

Understanding The Other Dental Specialty Your Dentist Might Practice

Important Questions to Ask Your Dentist

Going to the dentist regularly is not only important for your oral health, it’s also a key way to maintain your general health. Neglecting your teeth and gums can have a ripple effect on your overall health.

Dentists are seeing patients right now with precautions in place to stop the spread of COVID-19. Before you make an appointment, there are some questions you might want to ask a new dental provider. The right inquiries can provide you with the information you should know before, during and after your visit with the dentist.

Make the most out of your next visit by asking these important questions:

Do you accept my health plan?

This one is a no-brainer. Before you make your dental appointment, make sure your dentist accepts your health plan or that you can handle the out of pocket possibilities. Have your dental office confirm your benefits and discuss any fees that may be incurred.

What can I anticipate during my first exam?

To start the conversation, your dentist will ask about your dental and medical history, evaluate and record any fillings you may have, check for decay and periodontal conditions. They will take appropriate x-rays and explain any treatment that may be needed so you know exactly what to expect. If you anticipate anything out of the ordinary though, just be sure to ask.

 

How Do You Keep Up To Date On The Latest Procedures And Technology?

Assuring that you are getting up-to-date care should bring you peace of mind and ensure the fact that you are getting the best treatment available.

Is there anything different or unexpected going on with my oral health?

During your visit, your dentist will keep you posted on what they’re observing and how everything looks. They will make recommendations based on their findings and ask for any input you have along the way. Listen to their observations and ask questions if you don’t understand. Your dentist will probably appreciate the fact that you’re being an engaged patient.

What kind of maintenance plan and follow up appointment would you recommend for me?

After your appointment, your dentist will tell you how to keep your mouth healthy and clean and make suggestions on how this can be accomplished. Be sure to ask them about the details of your new routine before you leave the office.

 

Questions to ask when finding a new dentist

If you’re looking for a new dentist you will most likely be either because you are dissatisfied with your current dentist or have a particular dental issue which you need to resolve in a short period of time, either of those situations can be quite stressful, hence writing this article.

Are you taking all new patients.

It seems quite obvious to ask this question, the reality is that most dental practices will be taking on new patients but not all will be able to take on new NHS patients. NHS contracts have a specific number UDAs (units of dental activity) this needs to be carefully managed by the NHS dentist to ensure they have enough UDAs to go round all patients that need them. Private dentists on the other hand are usually limited in the number of patients they can see purely by the hours in the day and the length of time they wish to spend with each new patient.

What if i am anxious of the dentist.

Most people admit to having some kind of anxiety about going to the dentist. If this extends beyond this into a fear of phobia it’s always worth mentioning this to the dentist beforehand.

Many dental practices will have special protocols to help deal with anxious nervous patients, some dentists also offer dental sedation which can help you drift off into your own world during treatment.

Always mention any fear or anxiety about going to the dentist to the receptionist when you initially call, they can then put your mind at rest and modified their procedures if need be to help you relax.

Do you have any areas of special interest?

Some dentists, whilst being fully trained in general dental procedures will undertake further training in more specialised areas of dentistry. Some dentists take a Masters level degree in one of the specialist areas, these specialist areas are regulated by the General Dental Council in the UK.

Not all dentists decide to take this Masters level education but do however attend many ongoing and high quality training courses, in particular areas such as cosmetic dentistry or dental implants. If you have a particular concern which you would like addressed by your dentist it’s worth asking them if they have a special interest in or specialism in that particular area.

 

Can i pay by credit card.

If you have a particular means by which she would like to pay always remember to ask before treatment. Credit cards and debit cards are taken by most dental practices now but it’s good to ask just to be sure.

Do you have a membership scheme.

It might sound odd being a member of a dental practice, it’s hardly like being a member of a local gym! However, membership of a dental practice will often give you travel insurance, discounted rates for treatment and access to emergency dentistry which is not available to non-members. Membership at a dental practice can begin from approximately £12 per month.

Do you have a payment plan available?

Payment plans can be extremely useful for expensive treatments. Some dental implant and orthodontic or restorative treatments can run into many thousands of pounds so having a payment plan facility can make things more affordable on a monthly basis. Many dentists offer either payment plans or finance.

 

Will i have all recommendations in writing before going ahead?

This is an extremely important question to ask. No one wants to be taken by surprise with treatments they weren’t expecting or costs they hadn’t budgeted for. Your dentist should always give you a written treatment plan of exactly what is required prior to beginning treatment. The treatment plan should include the treatment specific to you, exactly what will happen and all costs involved.

What is your cancellation policy?

Unfortunately it is sometimes necessary to cancel appointments at the last minute. Being aware in advance of what your dentist cancellation policy is can save heartache and upset. Most dental practices will have a 24-hour cancellation policy, after this time many practices will charge if appointments are cancelled without very good cause.

Vacation Rentals Cleaning Management

VRMA and VRHP launch cleaning guidelines for SafeHome campaign

The Vacation Rental Housekeeping Professionals [ VRHP ], a subsidiary of the Vacation Rental Management Association [ VRMA ] has created a new set of cleaning guidelines for managers and owners of vacation rental properties to limit the spread of the coronavirus in the United States.

The guidelines come into effect as part of the joint VRMA and VRHP SafeHome campaign, which aims to empower association members to adopt a consistent set of cleaning safety standards and to openly communicate with guests and employees about the precautions they are taking.

Recommendations for augmenting existing cleaning programs include:

Disinfection and sanitisation techniques

Proper use of personal protective equipment [PPE]

Recommended products, cleaning agents and equipment

Updated cleaning and inspection processes for soft surfaces, upholstery and linens

Trash removal and maintenance processes

Communicating expanded cleaning processes to guests

“Housekeepers are responsible for completely resetting properties and creating a like-new experience for arriving guests. These new guidelines are intended to enhance the safety of properties, and provide more peace of mind for property owners and guests,” he added.

Both the VRMA and the VRHP say they will continue their efforts to educate and inform members and the professional vacation rental management community of evolving guidelines and recommendations, in order to provide a safe and enjoyable environment to guests, staff and the general public.

 

Vacation Rental Cleaning [Options & Costs]

There are many components involved in managing a vacation rental property. How you plan to keep it clean is arguably one of the highest priorities to consider, which is why it is crucial that you explore all your options before choosing the one that works best for you. Decide well in advance whether you plan to hire a cleaning service, do the work yourself, or use a company like Grand Welcome, which offers a comprehensive vacation rental management system.

Vacation Rental Cleaning Options

When guests arrive at your vacation rental property, they expect it to be immaculately clean, which means you need to pay attention to the details you may otherwise overlook. If clean dishes are still in the dishwasher instead of the cupboards or the picture frames have a layer of dust, it can quickly diminish the feeling of luxury they were hoping for.

House Cleaning vs. Housekeeping

Generally speaking, the term “housekeeping” is used to describe the type of cleaning that is done on an ongoing basis between guests. This type of service should be supplemented with a deep house cleaning at least once a year, or as needed. Deeper cleaning would include items like carpet cleaning, washing curtains and large appliances, and repairs and maintenance.

How to Clean Your Airbnb or Rental Property Yourself

Do you have to clean Airbnb properties? Yes, whether you are the property owner or a guest, you will need to do some cleaning in your vacation rental. If you’ve ever been an Airbnb quest, you were most likely charged a cleaning fee to cover some of the cost of housekeeping, and you also may have been asked to wash dishes or take the trash to outside garbage cans.

Vacation Rental Cleaning Services

Hiring someone to perform vacation rental cleaning services may be a better option if you do not live near your property or you want the job done by an expert. Someone from a cleaning service will have mastered a few trade skills, like how to complete each task in the most efficient and effective manner, as well as how to make a bed housekeeping-style so everything looks professional and inviting.

 

RENTER OBLIGATIONS

PLANNING FOR YOUR ARRIVAL

Your rental home will be cleaned and prepared for your arrival at 4pm on the day your rental begins.  There will be 2 rolls of toilet paper in each bathroom, 1 paper towel roll at the kitchen sink, and pump-hand soaps at each sink. Beds will be made up with freshly cleaned linens and bath towels will be provided.

BEFORE YOU DEPART

Each renter should complete the following no later than 10:00 am on the final day of the rental:

Replace any furniture that was moved.

Remove trash from any garbage cans. Place used bags in town trash bins. Place recyclables in recyclables bin.

Leave the kitchen clean: Wipe countertops, and wash any dirty dishes.

Remove all food from the fridge or cupboards.

Turn any lights and appliances off.

Ensure any exterior windows and doors are closed and locked.

Reset the thermostat to temperature provided in welcome letter

Double-check all drawers and closets for personal items.

WAVERING FROM THE RENTAL AGREEMENT TERMS

You may be charged up to $1,000.00 additional in the event of a violation of our “no smoking”, “no pet” (if property is NOT pet friendly), or “maximum occupancy”, policies or neglectful damages which occurred during the tenancy. Additional housekeeping charges will be applied in the event for the need of extra cleaning by our staff and the occurrence of exceeding the maximum occupancy of the cottage. We charge $35 per hour for additional cleaning above and beyond normal expected cleaning times plus one hour.

DAMAGE PROTECTION PLAN

  1. As a part of your stay, you may purchase a Vacation Rental Damage Protection plan designed to cover unintentional damages to the rental unit interior that occur during your stay provided they are disclosed to management prior to check-out. If purchased, the policy will pay a maximum benefit of $3,000.00. Any damages that exceed $3,000.00 or are not covered under the plan will be charged to the credit card on file. If, during your stay at one of our rental properties, an insured person causes any damage to real or personal property of the unit as a result of inadvertent acts or omissions, the Insurer will reimburse the Insured for the cost of repair or replacement of such property up to a maximum benefit of $3,000.00.

INCIDENT MANAGEMENT

Vacation Rentals and it’s Property Owners regret that they cannot be held responsible for failure of cable or Dish TV, high speed internet, or any special/unique property amenities. If an appliance breaks, there is a plumbing, heating, or cooling issue, we will make every effort to resolve the problem with as little inconvenience to our guest as possible.

 

Checklist for cleaning and prepping your vacation rental

Guests have successfully booked your vacation home meaning you did a great job on your property listing with Owner Direct. Congratulations! Now what? What should you do next to make sure you don’t fail the expectations of your guests? The answer: Go clean up and get your vacation rental ready for welcoming your guests. In the era of COVID-19 and heightened guest sensitivity upon us, having a clean and sanitized home is more important than ever.

Cleaning vacation rental checklist

Clean ALL your kitchen equipment and appliances (e.g. coffee maker, microwave oven, refrigerator, stove top, oven, grill, etc.).

Replace or remove defective or broken appliances, including light bulbs.

Replace furnace and air filters.

Empty dishwasher, washer, dryer, garbage bins, and fireplace (remove ashes).

Organize pantry and cupboards.

Replenish coffee filters, dish soap, hand soap, detergent, trash bags, etc.

Provide clean pot holders, dish towels and a new dish sponge.

Clean glass windows and doors to perfection. This is even more important when there’s a beautiful view through it, otherwise fingerprints, dust, dirt or hard water residues will ruin the view. Here’s a quick guide for cleaning glass windows and doors (applies to mirrors too).

Check the battery of the TV remote controls and smoke detectors. Replace as needed.

Vacuum floor, carpet, rugs, and sofa, including under seat cushions and furniture.

Dust and clean furniture, vents, blinds, lamps, ceiling fans, air conditioners, etc.

Wash rugs, curtains and blinds as needed.

Change bed sheets and pillowcases. For comforters, make sure it is not stained or spilled with anything or you will have to have them laundered. Opt for white bedding or other light neutral colors beige, ivory, taupe, black and gray to give your bedroom a hotel vibe.

Remove your personal belongings inside closets and drawers (powder tables, bedside tables, etc.).

Clean, scrub and sanitize toilet and bathrooms (walls, floors, bathtub, toilet, flush, door, faucets, shower, etc.).

Remove hair buildups in the drains.

Provide clean linens, hand towels, bath towels and washcloths.

Replace toilet flappers and toilet bowl brushes as needed.

Clean dryer lint trap and washing machine.

 

Short-term rentals providing updated cleaning guidelines due to pandemic

As we come up on a holiday weekend and more states are relaxing restrictions, people are considering getting away, but within driving distance and staying in short term rentals.

They’ve also released updated cleaning guidelines for property owners, things like disinfecting high-touch surfaces, building in time between bookings to avoid back-to-back stays, and stocking antibacterial soap, cleaners and hand sanitizer for guests.

Guests should also ask questions before booking.

“And it will be great for the property owners to hear those concerns directly from the incoming guests, so they can continue to make adjustments to attract those guests and figure out what they need to market and publish out on the various platforms,”

says guests should also ask about the surrounding community where they plan to stay, what stage of reopening are they at, and about things like mask requirements. “It’s a great way to open up that conversation with the property owner and also to determine are there any other concerns that anybody’s got that the property owner can address or that the guest wants to bring up,”

You’ll also want to ask about refunds and flexibility in canceling, because you don’t know if an area may suddenly see a surge in cases and have to close down again.

Some Things To Know When Protecting Your Baby From Mosquitoes

How to Get Rid of Mosquitoes

Mosquitoes can make our life really miserable. Besides causing constant annoyance and irritation, some species can also transmit deadly diseases. In fact mosquitoes are considered the deadliest animal on Earth, causing more death compared to any other animals. As mosquitoes are pervasive pests, the most effective way to get rid of mosquitoes is to arrange for specialized treatments by fully licensed pest control professionals.

IMM is a specially designed, holistic program proven to be an effective approach to mosquito control in the long run. It is targeted at every stage of the mosquito life cycle, through a simple 4-steps program which includes removing potential mosquito breeding grounds, larviciding, thermal fogging, and using adult mosquito traps. This integrated approach can effectively get rid of mosquitoes from the get-go.

Eliminate Mosquito Breeding Grounds

Eliminate Potential breeding grounds by frequently checking and removing stagnant water collected by unused items in the premises.

Common breeding grounds for Aedes mosquitoes include flower pot plate, unused container and hardened soil of potted plant.

Reducing potential breeding sites in your premises is crucial so that mosquitoes will have less

Larviciding

It is a treatment to control the development of mosquitoes’ larvae.

Larvicide treatment at mosquitoes hotspots can help to reduce its infestation.

A thorough inspection for any potential breeding ground will be conducted before we carry out

Thermal Fogging

Thermal fogging can be carried out to eliminate breeding of adult mosquitoes.

It is essential to fog at the right time when the mosquitoes are active to get a more effective control.

There are 2 types of fogging, namely water-based thermal fogging and diesel-based thermal fogging.

Both are equally effective in eliminating the harboring and breeding of adult mosquitoes surrounding your premises compound.

Water-based fogging is recommended due to its properties that are effective, environmental friendly and safe.

Water-based fogging does not produce carbon emission and releases minimal rate of smoke,

 

Best Ways to Get Rid of Mosquitoes in Your House and Yard

People are so sick and tired of mosquitoes that they keep inventing new ways to kill them. Amateurs and experimenters recommend rubbing herbs all over the place, while the manufacturers keep producing new electronic devices.

In order to kill mosquitoes smartly, let’s figure out what the modern treatments can and cannot do, and what purposes each of them serves. Here, we have listed ALL ways to get rid of mosquitoes ever invented by humans: from bacteria killing larvae to modern powerful propane traps.

How to Kill Mosquitoes with Methods Based on Scientific Research

There are only a few killing methods approved by the scientists: repellents, traps, foggers, mosquito larvae killers and insecticides for adult mosquitoes. Let’s see when and how each of them is to be used.

Obviously, repellents can only drive away mosquitoes. DEET- and Picaridin-based sprays, bands, and Permethrin-treated clothes are considered to be very effective.

Traps are suitable for catching adult species, but they do not control the mosquito population as the insects continue breeding regardless of whether the trap is working. UV, carbon dioxide (CO2), heat, water (H2O), and propane traps are such products; we have covered them in details in a separate review.

Mosquito killers not only kill adult species but also break the breeding cycle and these are represented by powerful insecticides (for killing adult mosquitoes) and bacteria and insect growth regulators (IGRs) which are poured into the water for killing larvae.

All in all, if you live and have to deal with thousands of mosquitoes, be ready to combine all these treatments. Use repellents for personal protection, traps for catching the mosquitoes, and synthetic chemicals and bacteria which kill mosquito larvae and thus break the breeding cycle for reducing mosquito population.

 

How To Keep Mosquitoes Away From Your Home for Good

What do mosquitoes look like?

Adult mosquitoes are small flying insects with spindly legs and narrow abdomens. Mosquitoes range from dark black to light brown in color, with different species carrying varied markings. All mosquitoes, however, possess a long and slender proboscis, an elongated mouthpart.

Female mosquitoes are biting insects that feed on blood, inflicting painful and itchy bites when they do. The itch is caused by an allergic reaction to mosquito saliva. Bites often appear as small red or white puffy bumps within a few minutes after the bite. After a few days, bites typically harden, darken, or blister. Mosquitoes can bite any part of exposed skin, so check areas such as your neck, arms, hands, or ankles following exposure.

The presence of mosquitoes is undesirable, especially when you’re dealing with mosquitoes in the house. Knowing how to get rid of mosquitoes and how to keep mosquitoes away are important factors every homeowner should learn.

Are mosquitoes dangerous?

Aside from irritation caused by bites, mosquitoes pose a serious threat to human health. Many mosquito species are notorious spreaders of infectious diseases. Mosquitoes can transmit serious and sometimes deadly illnesses to humans, including West Nile virus, Zika virus, chikungunya virus, malaria, and dengue fever.

What are mosquitoes attracted to?

Female mosquitoes are attracted to their hosts by a combination of carbon dioxide exhaled as breath and particular body odors. That’s why mosquitoes tend to bite some people more than others. Some mosquito species target specific animals, while others are equal opportunity feeders. Once they find a host, mosquitoes are attracted to body heat in order to land and start feeding.

 

Your Field Guide to Battle Mosquitoes

Control Mosquitoes Where You Live

Eliminate standing water. Mosquitoes can breed in as little as a teaspoon of water. Here are 12 locations to check at least weekly for standing water — tip and toss that water:

Buckets, watering cans, bottle caps or any trash that can hold water

Corrugated pipes for downspout drainage

Bird baths and pet water bowls

Potted plants with saucers

Children’s toys

Tarps on woodpiles and garden equipment

Grill and patio furniture

Wheelbarrows

Containers under decks and porches

Garbage cans, recycle bins and other barrels

Tires

Boats and boat covers

Not everyone will check or know to check these locations, so please share this list with neighbors and your homeowner’s association.

Treat standing water with a larvicide if it cannot be eliminated. If you cannot get rid of the water, treat it with a mosquito-specific, environmentally-friendly product such as Mosquito Dunks®, which are available at hardware stores and garden centers. Follow label instructions when applying.

If mosquitoes are biting, consider treating your yard with an insecticide. When used according to label instructions, an insecticide can help control biting mosquitoes. Pay attention to areas where they hide, such as dense vegetation and ground cover.

Organize a neighborhood clean-up. Get rid of litter and debris, discard old tires and manage vegetation that mosquitoes may be using as hiding places.

There may be other places or containers in your yard where water collects that are not on this list, so be sure to check throughout your yard for standing water.

Protect Yourself and Your Family From Mosquito Bites

Wear an EPA-registered insect repellent containing DEET, picaridin, oil of lemon eucalyptus, IR 3535 or para-menthane-diol and 2-undecanone. Insect repellent is safe and effective for children and pregnant women, too. Always apply according to label instructions. If using sunscreen, apply sunscreen first and then repellent.

Dress to protect. Cover exposed skin by wearing loose-fitting, light-colored long-sleeved shirts and pants. For extra protection, treat clothing with permethrin or purchase permethrin-treated clothing and gear. Never apply permethrin on skin and always follow label instructions.

Keep mosquitoes out of your home. Keep doors and windows closed. Make sure screens are in good repair. Use air-conditioning when available.

Why Wage Battle Against Mosquitoes?

Besides the unpleasant and itchy result of bites, mosquitoes can transmit disease. West Nile virus is found in Culex mosquitoes in Northern every year. When people are infected with the virus, it can cause symptoms such as fever, headache, body aches, joint pain and rash. It is also potentially fatal.

 

What’s the Best Natural Mosquito Repellent: A Comprehensive Guide

Summer provides amazing opportunities for spending quality time outdoor and having fun in the sun. As enjoyable as such activities may be, there’s one major annoyance to take care of – mosquitoes. Mosquito bites are incredibly irritating, not to mention the fact that certain health risks are associated with them.

Using a repellent is one of the best ways to keep mosquitoes away from yourself and your family. The market offers a wide array of options but chances are that you’re looking for something free from chemicals and synthetics. A natural mosquito repellent is an incredibly good idea because it will get the job done without causing skin irritation and other issues.

The Main Benefits of Repelling Mosquitoes Naturally

With so many products to choose among, it’s possible to feel a bit overwhelmed. There are so many insect repellents out there, why should you go the natural route? Even if you decide to do so, which natural product is the most potent one? This guide will provide the answers to all of your questions.

There are several reasons why natural insect repellents, particularly the ones targeting mosquitoes, are superior to chemical-filled sprays and creams.

Standard insect repellents rely on harsh chemicals that create a barrier against bugs. Most of them feature N,N-Diethyl-3-methylbenzamide, a substance that’s called DEET for short. DEET repels a wide array of insects but it may have an adverse neurological effect, clinical studies suggest. Researchers also believe that DEET could potentially interact with other ingredients in a mosquito repellent and become more toxic.

How To Save Money On Auto Transmission Repair

How can I extend the life of my transmission?

There are several ways to prolong the life of your performance transmission, and if you employ them, it’ll save you from making huge expenses in the long run. A transmission is one of the most expensive components in a car and as such, a replacement could take a huge chunk out of your wallet.

And that may be the least to worry about since serious issues that arise in your transmission may be difficult to repair. Nonetheless, you can cut costs and at the same time, avoid potential transmission problems just by applying certain tips. These tips will help to extend the life of your performance transmission.

A Great Performance Transmission

Transmission in a manual or automatic car helps to transfer power from the engine to the wheels. What this power transfer does is to enable the car to change its gears and also move in the desired direction.

Now if your transmission is in bad shape, it either has to be overhauled or replaced entirely. The process is expensive and may become a bitter pill to swallow. But the good news is, it can be avoided by carrying out certain checks.

 

How to Extend the Life of Your Performance Transmission

You can extend the life of your performance transmission by doing the following:

Check the Transmission Fluid Regularly

Transmission fluid helps in cooling and lubrication, and it transmits force and pressure, while also preventing build-up. Therefore, one surefire way to prolong your transmission’s life is to check its fluid regularly.

The transmission fluid may run low or contain impurities as it gets old. When either of these happens, it could lead to common transmission problems such as overheating. Nonetheless, overheating can be avoided if you know just the right time to refill or change the fluid entirely.

Now you may be wondering, how often should you check the transmission fluid? You can inspect the fluid once every month to ascertain its level and condition.

Pick up your dipstick and check the level of the transmission fluid, and if it looks opaque instead of clear red, then the fluid is bad and needs to be changed. Similarly, if you give the fluid a good whiff and perceive a foul smell, then it could be a sign of a problem.

Use Synthetic Fluid

Synthetic transmission fluid is more preferable than ordinary fluid for a number of reasons. For starters, a synthetic fluid is better at resisting cold, heat, oxidation, and shearing. Heat, on the other hand, can break down the organic compounds in a regular fluid thereby making it less effective.

Therefore, if you want your transmission to last longer, synthetic fluid would be your go to option. Heat-resistant, synthetic fluid will help an aging transmission to still offer good performance over time.

A good number of manufacturers are already replacing regular fluids with synthetic fluids in a bid to ensure that the vehicle is not impacted by certain elements. In line with that, it is worth noting that poor quality fluid can harm your transmission; hence, the high-quality fluid must be used at all times.

 

Service Your Transmission Every 30,000 Miles

Your transmission can last for 300,000 miles or more if it is serviced regularly. The reason can be tied to the fact that the transmission can fail within 100,000 miles. What this means is that if you tend to drive around 10-15,000 miles a year, the unit could be down in seven years. Here’s what we’re getting at:

Another way to extend the life of your performance transmission is to get the unit serviced every two years or 30,000 miles. During the servicing process, one of the most effective maintenance procedures will be carried out on your vehicle and that is changing the transmission fluid.

Accordingly, the old fluid will be drained from the transmission, and the pan will be cleaned.  The filter will then be replaced before new fluid is poured into it. At the end of the day, you would’ve been able to enhance the performance of your car just by changing the fluid and allowing its filter to work better at trapping dirt.

Interestingly, a service of this nature would cost you around $60-$100 or less depending on where your car is being serviced. If you want to reduce the cost of servicing your transmission even further, learn to carry out the process yourself.

 

Use an External Filter

You may have taken the needful step to clean your transmission’s filter. But an external filter to the cooler lines can also help to keep dirt away from the fluid. This is because the original filter may be unable to handle all the particles it may encounter, hence an external filter will help it to do a better job.

In the end, more contaminants will be trapped and the transmission fluid will be as clean as possible. Much more, the fluid will be clean for a longer time compared to when a single filter is used.

Maintain the Cooling System

Your car’s radiator also serves to cool the engine since heat can cause a lot of damage to the transmission. While you may have a radiator in place, its level of performance may reduce with time, which is why it is advisable that you maintain it every two years.

These maintenance checks will involve inspecting the coolant levels, changing the antifreeze, and inspect the hoses and belts. Other checks you can carry out include carrying out a radiator cap pressure test, and a thermostat check.

A transmission cooler might also prove very useful if you tend to travel in environments where the temperature of the transmission might be raised to high levels. The same applies if you drive with heavy loads frequently, or in heavy traffic.

Practice Good Driving

It is important to drive your car more easy. Especially on a cold start since transmission fluid is thicker when it’s cold. If the fluid does not move well from the bottom to the top, it could lead to friction thereby causing damage.

What’s more, the transmission takes time to warm up and if it doesn’t, you may be putting too much strain on it. The point is, don’t drive even before the transmission has warmed up.

If it is in cold weather, let the car idle. When the engine’s RPM has lowered, the vehicle can be put into gear. Asides from being easy on the unit, you can use the emergency brake when you’re parking on an incline, and avoid resting your hand on the gear lever as you drive.

 

Tips for making your vehicle’s clutch last longer

How you drive your vehicle can determine how much time and use you will get out of your clutch. Follow these tips to reduce wear and tear and enjoy your clutch to the maximum life capacity possible.

  • Never ride your clutch. This burns out your clutch quickly. Instead, keep your foot off the clutch any time you are pressing on the accelerator.
  • Only use your clutch when you need to. If you stop, put the car in neutral and take your foot off the clutch. Keeping the clutch pressed down when it is not in use can increase the likelihood of a clutch repair in the future.
  • Do not treat your clutch like a foot rest. Doing so can release the bearings.
  • If you drive a manual transmission vehicle, do not downshift each time you slow down the vehicle. This is what you should use brakes for instead.
  • Take full advantage of your car’s parking brake. Leaving your car in gear may prevent it from rolling, but it puts significant strain on your clutch.

Do not forget routine maintenance—it keeps your clutch in better shape

Even if you use proper driving techniques, you can wear down your clutch if you do not maintain your vehicle. Full vehicle maintenance prolongs the lifespan of each component, including your clutch. Just some things you should do to prolong the lifespan of your vehicle include:

  • Keeping your vehicle’s fluids new and clean. That includes frequent oil changes so that you can prevent any harmful buildup from making your vehicle have to work harder than it should.
  • Replace transmission fluids and filters. Every 40,000 to 60,000 kilometers, you should take your vehicle to a company that specializes in transmissions in Lethbridge, Medicine Hat and Calgary. Have them inspect the transmission, replace necessary components and replace the fluid.
  • Listen to your clutch and vehicle. Drive with the radio off at least once a week and get used to the noises of your car. That way if you hear something out of the ordinary, you can take it in for a repair or at least an inspection.

Laws Can Be Crazy For Home Builder And Homeowners

HOMEBUILDER: WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW

Eligibility of the HomeBuilder Grant

The Government has announced a HomeBuilder Grant of $25,000 for all new home buyers, not just first home buyers. Read on to see if you are eligible! Would a $25,000 Grant encourage you to build a new home? That’s what the Government hopes to achieve with the announcement of the HomeBuilder Grant as part of the Treasury Coronavirus Economic Response.

When is it available?

HomeBuilder will be available to eligible owner-occupiers where the contract is entered into between 4 June 2020 and 31 December 2020. This is subject to approval, implementation and administration by the State Revenue Office. We are committed to ensuring every single one of our eligible customers receives the Grant, when it is confirmed.

How do I apply?

Following the announcement by the Federal Government, the Grant will be implemented by respective revenue offices in each of the States. Being the Housing Industry Association’s Most Professional

Jump into spring with Q Collection

The all-new Q Collection is where sought-after unique inclusions are matched with the award-winning industry stamp on innovation, design and customer service, proudly brought to you by Plantation Homes.

Fathers Day at Home

There’s no doubt Father’s Day might look and feel a little different for some of us this year, but there’s still good reason to celebrate the occasion, whether you are with loved ones, or missing them, or just want to have a fun day at home! We share our tips for hosting Fathers Day

 

Expert Guide for Building a Unique Single Storey House

Pre-planning and construction stages are crucial steps when building a unique single storey house

Are you planning to build a unique single storey house and wonder where to start? You have purchased your land and selected your architect. Now comes the important part of planning to build your unique single storey house. It can be an exciting stage of your life, but the process is far from smooth and easy.

Pre-planning

Single storey house plans require that all the necessary legalities are completed before any construction of your modern storey home can commence. This stage can take close to 1 year to complete. At this stage you can commence the formal contracts, the licenses required to build, finance applications are submitted.

Site planning and Construction stage

The size of the land and work required determines how much planning work is put into scheduling all the relevant trades to site. Demolishing of land and Excavation or flattening of the Site are the first bases of construction. After that comes the piers, footings and slab.

Structure

This process involves the installation of termite protection (a must in as per BCA standard) then internal and external bricks, or if the home is of a brick veneer construction, its frames then brickwork. Specialized work is introduced at this stage and expert electricians, Aircon and plumbers are hired to complete the installation of wires, pipes, gas and water.

Roofing

After all the preceding tasks have been completed your house will start to take shape. Your roof is installed, whether it be tiles or colorbond, the process is almost the same. then you can get a clear picture of what your home will look like. Gutters are added just prior to your roof, along with downpipes. The home is now watertight to install the plasterboard.

 

Tips to help you choose the right builder

Choosing the right builder is one of the most important decisions you’ll ever make. Fortunately, there are some proven ways to speed up the selection process to help make sure you find a quality builder who’s a good fit for you.

Work out what you need

What size, type and price range are you looking for for in new home? Most builders specialise in a specific type of home, price range or style. The building materials, tradespeople and even the building process itself can differ greatly by type and price of home. So look for the right fit for you.

Look for an experienced builder

Experience does matter. Look for a builder with strong experience in the type of home you want. Doing some research upfront will definitely pay off.

Are past customers happy?

Ask for references from past customers. Most builders offer references and referrals. Here are a couple of questions you may like to ask: Would you build again with this builder? Would you recommend them to friends and family? And don’t forget to ask for the reasons why they would or wouldn’t recommend them.

Make sure the builder is licensed and insured

Only choose a licensed builder. Also ask about the relevant insurances required. Make sure you have appropriate insurance cover during the building process, for total peace of mind.

 

A GUIDE TO HIRING HOUSE BUILDERS

Once you decide to build a home, you need to hire professionals who will become critical partners in the house construction process. One of these professionals is an architect and the other one is a home builder. Hiring competent house builders

One of the roles of a house builder is working with a mortgage company to track costs, collect payments and process lien requests. The builder will also act as a liaison with a building inspector, the local jurisdiction and architects for approvals and inspections among other things. Generally, the builder will have vast knowledge of every aspect of home construction and will help you make the right choices. The professional will oversee the project to ensure that you achieve your goals.

If you do not know people in this county, you can check reviews on the internet. Goods builders usually have many positive reviews. It is also wise to ask the builders you speak with to provide you with references from their former clients.

As you speak with builders, you should also seek to know how long they have been in business. The firms that have been in business for 3 or more years are more likely to be more financially stable than newly established firms. You should also consider if a company has a permanent office where you can reach it for reasons like warranty services. If a builder has a permanent business address, this is a sign of having a good reputation with suppliers, subcontractors and lending institutions.

Another factor to consider is whether a home builder is insured. The professionals should have general liability and workers compensation insurance. Responsible builders protect both their workers and their clients from liability.

 

YOUR BUILDING PROCESS

As an award-winning builder, we know that building a new home is easier and more enjoyable when you know what to expect.

DISPLAY INSPIRATION

Homes display centre is your first address for new home inspiration, showcasing the best of what we can do; a reflection of the quality and style we build each and every day. With six display centres, including three World of Homes experience centres located in premium locations

LET’S CHAT ABOUT YOUR NEW HOME PROJECT

Take the opportunity to chat one-on-one with a Homes New Home Consultant. They will assist you with choosing a home design and will take you on a personalised walk through of our display homes to assist with the preparation and presentation of your sales quotation.

SECURE YOUR QUOTE

A refundable deposit is required to secure the current listed base house price and promotional offer (if applicable). The initial deposit for all building projects is $1,000.

BE INSPIRED

Your New Home Consultant will book you in for your Inspiration Session, held in our Design Studio located in our Springwood head office, where you will discover how the colour selection appointment and process works.

CONFIRMING YOUR BUILD

Your New Home Consultant will confirm and review your land information and applicable site requirements, as well as finalise any plan or design changes and pricing queries. Please ensure all structural changes are finalised with your New Home Consultant during this appointment and your façade has been selected.

Avoid Using Vinegar To Clean Hardwood Flooring

Wood-Flooring Problems and Their Solutions

I’m impressed by a surface that receives such a tremendous amount of abuse yet—when installed properly—lasts as long as a house. Installing a wood floor requires a substantial investment in materials and labor. When problems arise or when a floor fails, it can be costly. Every year, an estimated $1 billion worth of hardwood-floor damage occurs across the country

I’ve made it my business to understand what causes all that damage. The good news is that if you take your time, use the appropriate tools and techniques, and understand wood acclimation, you can create a floor that lasts a lifetime

Wood floors are prone to movement. Installed correctly, floorboards hold tight to one another during humid times of the year and might reveal gaps during drier times. Abnormal gaps are generally the result of flooring that’s too wet when it is installed (sidebar p. 80), but they also can be the consequence of installing flooring in areas of excessive dryness. I’ve worked on floors that had abnormal gaps because floorboards were installed directly over heating ducts, in areas that received a lot of sunlight, and in homes heated with woodstoves, which creates a dry interior environment.

Most often, cupping happens when flooring is installed over a wet basement or crawlspace. A vapor retarder installed between the subfloor and the floorboards can help the condition by slowing moisture migration, but it shouldn’t be relied on as a permanent solution to moisture problems.

Moisture resistant, not moisture-proof. Aquabar “B,” which is composed of two layers of kraft paper laminated with asphalt, slows the movement of moisture through a subfloor, but it doesn’t stop it. An elastomeric membrane has similar characteristics, but is best used in glue-down flooring applications

 

Things to Know Before Refinishing Hardwood Floors

Consider these tips before hiring a contractor to refinish wood flooring

During rainy periods and if the humidity is high, consider rescheduling the job. Wood is a porous material, and when the old finish is stripped away, the floor will absorb moisture. If that happens or if it is just very humid, the new finish will take significantly longer to dry.

Since all the furniture will be removed, the room is rendered unusable for several days. Even then, extra care is needed to avoid scratching the floors. Plan on buying rugs (not the kind with rubberized bottoms) for all entries into the room, and keep your pet’s nails trimmed.

Controlling dust is an important task. No matter what the contractor does to prevent it from spilling into adjacent rooms, he or she won’t be able to control it entirely. Protect furniture and other items that you don’t want ending up covered with a film of dust. Also, keep in mind that the odor of polyurethane will linger for a few days. It can be remedied somewhat by leaving windows open and ventilating the room, but not if rain is expected.

Research flooring contractors

You don’t have to become an expert on hardwood flooring. But it’s wise to learn enough that you can properly evaluate your contractor before, during and after the job. Developing an eye for well-installed and properly maintained floors makes it easier to spot those that are not. Visit various showrooms.

Hire the right hardwood floor refinisher

Plan to interview at least three contractors, and remember that cost is not the sole or best measure of a good contractor. Ask for and take the time to contact references. Examine a portfolio of each contractor’s work. Make sure that anyone you hire is properly insured and licensed, and that every important detail is written into the contract. Good planning and communication will make the job go more smoothly and help you avoid any bad surprises. Make sure you are given a quote instead of an estimate, and be sure to ask about what kinds of unexpected costs can crop up.

 

Things You May Be Doing That Can Ruin Your Hardwood Floors!

Hardwood floors can last 100 years or more with proper care and maintenance but not everyone knows all the rules. These floors are more resilient than carpet flooring, tile and and linoleum floors. You benefit aesthetically and avoid the common issues that come along with Carpet Flooring  Even so, owners can make simple mistakes that can cause damage needing professional repair. There are differences in Unfinished and Prefinished flooring care and not all cleaning products are made the same. Before you make a simple mistake check out this list of Hardwood Floor No-No’s!

Don’t pour cleaning product directly on floor

It may be tempting to create a puddle of cleaner to spread spread over your floor but this can cause the same effect of water damage Cleaning products that are liquid can be absorbed into wood, cause swelling and an uneven look over time.

Don’t Neglect your Sweeping Chores

Remember to sweep regularly, as built-up sand and dirt can act like sandpaper, scraping the gleam off of your floor. Pre-Finished floors are notorious for seams.

Don’t Style and Profile in High Heels across your Hard Woods

A hard, pointed heel is perfectly suited to ruining the finish. Remember, there is no such thing as a scratch-proof finish. It is wise to leave high heels at the door and make sure that they are always in good shape. Damaged high heels can quickly become a chisel on your wood floor. A 125-pound woman walking in high heels has an impact of 2,000 pounds per square inch. An exposed heel nail can exert up to 8,000 pounds per square inch. This kind of impact can dent any floor surface.

Hardwood Floors have a Water Phobia

Do not wet-mop a wood floor. Standing water can dull the finish, damage the wood and leave a discoloring residue. Wipe up spills immediately with a slightly dampened towel.

 

How to Clean Engineered Hardwood Floors (and Some Mistakes to Avoid)

Hardwood flooring often becomes the pride and joy of homeowners who are lucky to have them in their homes! They create a feeling of warm hominess that can’t be replicated with many other types of flooring.

If you want to make sure that your engineered hardwood floors stay looking and feeling like they did when you first moved in or when they were first installed, keep reading. We’re going to let you know how to clean engineered hardwood floors… along with a few common mistakes you should avoid.

Simple Steps for How to Clean Engineered Hardwood Floors

Learning the basics of maintaining and caring for your hardwood floors doesn’t need to be super complex! You might see articles out there advocating for almost constant cleaning, expensive specialty products, and almost unattainable perfection with your floors

Clean Dirt and Debris Regularly

One of the main things to note with maintaining and cleaning engineered hardwood floors is that consistency is key. Now, don’t worry, this doesn’t mean scrubbing on your hands and knees every day!

Damp Mop

Running a damp mop over your engineered hardwood floors will pick up any set in dirt or debris that your vacuum, broom, or cloth couldn’t get. However, be careful with this step. When we say “damp” we don’t mean sopping wet.

 

What Are the Benefits of Hardwood Floors?

Easy to keep clean

Hardwood floors are incredibly easy to keep clean. You can sweep, steam-clean, and vacuum the floors to keep them looking and feeling good.  And unlike carpet, wood floors don’t hold on to dust mites or pet dander

Hypoallergenic

Because of the ease of cleaning and the ability to deep clean, hardwood floors are great for people that have allergy issues

Strong & Durable

Why do many homeowners choose wood flooring?  Because it’s durable.  Wood floors can handle the wear and tear of daily living.  Wood floors can get scratched or dented, but if taken care of properly, can last many years.

Adds Value to Your Home

Wood floors can add value to your home. Buyers are often willing to pay more for a home that has wood flooring than any other type of flooring. Other floorings just don’t have the luxurious feel of hardwoods.  Because it’s a feature sought out, wood flooring may even help sell your house faster.

Can Be Refinished

As we mentioned before, wood flooring is easy to keep clean and is durable. Wood flooring also gives you the ability to make your old flooring new again.  Do you have some dents and scratches?  You can refinish the floors.  Want a different look or a different color?  Refinish the floors. The cost to refinish is significantly lower than buying and installing new flooring. You can make a fairly drastic change in your home without spending a lot of money.

Exterior Painting Ideas

Should exterior trim be lighter or darker?

How to Choose Exterior Trim Colors

The ideal exterior trim color will depend on the look you want to achieve. Monochromatic siding and trim create a subdued, elegant quality, while a high-contrast color scheme can give your exterior depth and interest. Black exterior trim on a white house, for example, emphasizes architectural features for a more modern look.

For homes with darker siding, such as brown or charcoal gray, white trim is always a good option. Bright white can make other colors appear more vibrant, so it’s perfect for highlighting a vibrant front door. If you prefer a bright, colorful look, consider choosing a complementary color for your exterior trim, such as yellow trim against blue siding. These shades are opposite each other on the color wheel, so the effect is energizing and dynamic yet still pleasing to the eye.

To create a subtler contrast, choose an exterior trim color that’s a few shades lighter or darker than your siding color. Combining shades from the same color family highlights your home’s architectural details without going too bold. For example, if your siding is off-white, try painting your exterior trim a light tan or taupe. This tonal look works especially well on traditional-style homes where a bright splash of color might look out of place. When in doubt, earth tones, such as browns and greens, are usually a safe bet for exterior trim colors, as they can help your home blend in with its natural surroundings.

 

Choose High or Low Contrast for Your Exterior Trim

Your house’s trim can either blend in with your siding, or stand out and create an entirely different look. If you’re looking for a muted color that will have a low contrast with the rest of your exterior, look at colors that are within the same color family as your existing (or planned) exterior.

For example, if your home is a dark grey, using taupe for your trim can add some color without creating a strong contrast. This subtle difference between the walls and trim prevents it from falling flat without making the exterior trim very evident.

Use a Monochromatic Finish for Your Home’s Exterior Trim

A monochromatic color palette is considered different shades of one hue. So if you have a dark grey exterior with light grey exterior trim, that would be considered a monochromatic palette.

You can also achieve a monochromatic exterior for your home with one color, but with different finishes. If the entire exterior is painted a matte grey, it could fall flat. Instead, reserve the matte finish for the siding or brick, and choose a glossy finish for the shutters and doors.

Determine Neutral Tones or Bold Colors for Your Exterior Trim

One way to create a unique exterior for your home is painting your trim a color. You could choose either neutral tones or bold colors to complement the primary color for your exterior.

A neutral color is a great way to introduce color to your home’s exterior without a stark contrast. This could be a neutral like olive green that adds color without being too overwhelming, and can complement the rest of your home. Earthy tones are common in home exteriors, as they blend well and maintain a classic feel.

Using Your Home’s Style to Find Your Colors

We’ve written about your home’s interior style when painting before, but you can also bring in your desired style when choosing your exterior paint color. If you’d like a classic look for your home, a tan or grey exterior with a red door is the perfect choice.

If you love a vintage style or are looking for something unique, your home’s exterior trim can accomplish that. This home’s blue accents are reminiscent of the mid 1900s, and creates an exterior that gives your guests a peek of what’s inside.

 

The Do’s and Don’ts of Choosing a New House Color

When it comes to picking exterior paint colors, there are a number of things to consider before making a final decision. Here are some basic do’s and don’ts to help you choose the perfect color—or colors—for your dream home.

DO: Consider Colors

Many homeowners worry that a unique color scheme will end up costing more, but fortunately that’s not the case! Applying a little imagination to the selection process won’t stress your wallet any more than choosing a neutral shade would—so why not have a little fun?

DO: Take a Hint

Notice what colors exist on your exterior that cannot be changed—the dark gray flecks in your brick, for instance, or that blue cast in your roofing shingles. A cohesive color scheme will take into account these unchangeable shades.

DO: Accent

Add character and charm by painting your window trim and architectural details in a contrasting accent color. And don’t forget that you can also use color to emphasize your entryway.

DON’T: Misplace the Accent

Accenting is great, but only when used to highlight the more attractive elements of your home. Avoid drawing attention to drab features like gutters, air conditioning units, or unevenly placed windows.

DO: Consider Trends

Trends in exterior paint move at a snail’s pace. The color you choose today is very likely to still be in style tomorrow, or ten years from tomorrow. White used to be the “safe” choice, but more and more homeowners are experimenting with color and tinted neutrals. Tour a few neighborhoods to get a sense of what others are opting for.

DON’T: Ignore the Neighbors

While it’s a good idea to get creative, it’s usually a bad idea to pick colors that will clash with your neighbors’ exteriors. You can always stand out, but try to do so in an unobtrusive way!

 

Final Coat

Every color choice must be tried out on the house – don’t ever buy a gallon of paint from the color chip alone! Most paint stores offer quarts of paint at reasonable prices so you can try out several colors or color combinations before you commit to a scheme.

Get a couple of paint decks (those color wheels that fan out) from a couple of paint manufacturers to get started. Narrow your choices down to two or three paint schemes, then buy a quart of each color – AND a quart of several other colors that are nearby on the color strips.

 

What are the most common mistakes homeowners make when choosing exterior paint colors?

Assuming that a colorful and imaginative color scheme will cost a great deal more for product and labor. Unless the scheme is a “painted lady” with numerous colors, this is rarely the case. Accenting unattractive elements such as gutters, downspouts, a protruding garage door, air conditioning units, unevenly placed windows, etc.

Ignoring neighboring houses: your color scheme choice should not clash with the neighbor’s house — it’s a lose-lose situation. Choose a scheme that blends with the neighborhood or stands out in a subtle, unobtrusive manner. Landscaping counts: consider tress that change color, flowering shrubs, flower gardens when selection colors, for compatibility. Heavily wooded lots will make colors look darker due to shade; also could camouflage homes, so attention to detail is needed. Greens are not a good choice in this situation.

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