Laminate Flooring Decorating Ideas

The Pros and Cons of Laminate Flooring

Undergoing a laminate wood flooring installation project is the perfect way to add visual appeal to your flooring without the expense or intensive labor of hardwood. When replacing carpet, tile or aging linoleum, floating laminate flooring can be a great option for rejuvenating the look and feel of the space.

At the same time, laminate wood flooring has the same balance of benefits and flaws that any other commercially successful option does. Weigh your options carefully when deciding what you want by consulting this quick guide to pros and cons of laminate flooring.


Easy installation

The installation of laminate flooring is simple enough that you could probably do it yourself. Each plank fits together with the others like a puzzle. Rather than nailing them down or gluing them together, laminate planks are installed using the click/lock method. So it’s a floating floor. Furthermore, laminate flooring doesn’t have to be attached to a substrate and each plank can, therefore, be easily replaced if damage occurs.


Laminate flooring can be made imitate any type of hardwood, stone or tile. Thus, the options are practically limitless with laminate. You won’t get the same benefits and functions of real hardwood, stone or tile, but modern technology makes laminate flooring appear almost identical to the types of flooring that it’s imitating.


Laminate flooring typically costs around $4.50 – $5.00 per square foot. That’s significantly less expensive than other types of flooring, like hardwood, natural stone and ceramic tile. Therefore, some of laminate’s lesser qualities can be triumphed by its reasonable price.

Easy to clean

Laminate surfaces are multi-layered. One of those layers is a wear layer. The wear layer offers support and protection to the surface. It prevents scratches and the sudden appearance of seams. This way, the surface maintains its flatness. In the end, all that’s needed to keep laminate flooring clean is a broom and a vacuum.


Laminate flooring provides the realistic look of all species of wood, and even stone or tile.

Lower cost

Laminate flooring has lower material and installation costs than hardwood or tile.

Longer lasting

Laminate flooring is extremely durable and harder to scratch than most other floors and is one of the best flooring options. A quality product should last 15 to 30 years.


Laminate flooring is easy for inexperienced craftsmen to install because it comes in click- together interlocking planks. Laminate flooring boards snap together without glue.


Some of the disadvantages of using laminate flooring include:

Not for use over carpet. If you use laminate tiles with interlocking edges for your installation, you generally should not install these tiles over a carpeted floor. The seams in the tiles may pull loose as the tile material compresses into the carpet. Max Tiles are yet another exception to this rule.

No chance for refinishing. Unlike hardwood, once this type of vinyl can wear out after several years, you cannot refinish it and return it to a like-new condition. Unless you have a floating laminate floor such as the Max Tiles, the entire floor will have to be replaced. In the case of Max Tiles, they are designed for repeat installations, so only the affected tiles would need to be replaced.

Different feel from hardwood. Some hardwood enthusiasts dislike the feel and sound of the synthetic vinyl in the laminate when walking around on it. However, you may still want to select laminate because of the low cost to buy versus hardwood.


Of the laminate flooring pros and cons, this one is perhaps the most important. Moisture can spell doom for a laminate floor if exposed to it for a considerable amount of time. It’s highly recommended to avoid laminate flooring in a laundry room or a bathroom. Any leak in these areas will ruin any form of wood flooring. The kitchen, however, can handle a laminate floor. You’ll have to be diligent with keeping moisture off of it, but moisture does not come about as often or with as much volume in a kitchen. The goal is to prevent moisture from reaching the core of laminate flooring. If it reaches the core then you’ll probably be needing a new flooring very soon.

Lower return on investment

Because laminate isn’t real wood or stone or tile, it will not add much, if any value to your home. Its shorter lifetime and interchangeability also prevents an increase in value. So, if you are looking for reliable, budget-friendly flooring for a home that you just moved into, laminate flooring is a great choice. If you need a new floor and feel like you may end up selling your home in a few years, you might want to consider a long-lasting, elegant type of flooring that can get you a great return on investment.

Finding Event Planner Jobs

Event Planning Skills You Need for Success

High-profile weddings, product launches, and more have glamourized the life of event planners. But let’s face it, event planning is more than just attending fancy parties. Event planning is one of the most stressful jobs in the world and requires specialized skills. It is a rewarding career for a rare breed of hyper-organized, hard-working individuals. If you think you were born to be an event planner, see how many event planning skills you have.

Event Planning Skills

Organizational Skills

person filling out checklist

Event planners have great organizational skills. Some people can work in chaos, but as a planner it’s important to rely on process and method if you are part of a team. This means, keeping your team informed, adhering to timelines, budgets, and appointments as well as keeping important documents and information organized. After all, a well-executed event doesn’t happen by accident. It requires sharp organizational skills and attention to detail – right from planning to post-event analysis. A successful event planner can recall the minutest of details and is on top of everything – forever with a smile.


Another must-have quality of an event planner is the ability to interact and build a rapport in a short time. Event planners possess great communication skills and aren’t afraid to talk to C-suite executives, event attendees, donors, brand sponsors, and, of course, vendors. Strong interpersonal skills are a must to ensure everybody involved in the event understands their role and things run without a glitch. You also need to possess equally strong writing skills to convey information accurately with confidence, respect, and clarity. Event planners are great listeners, which helps them understand the needs and wants of their clients.

Networking Savvy


Event planners are savvy networkers. Networking is an essential event planning skill since the events industry is based on relationships and is heavily people-driven. It demands a widespread network of vendors, including photographers, lighting and A/V décor, DJs, bands, videographers, etc. This is a network of people you’ll bank upon to make your events memorable.

A Basic Understanding of Events

It may be a no brainer,  but to be a great event planner you need to understand events. Having an understanding of how events work is an important event planning skill. As a planner, you should know how to create a floorplan or draft an RFP, how to review a contract and analyze event data. You should also be well-versed in the basics of bands and DJs, A/Vs, florists, décor, etc. It is an artistic job that requires a deep understanding of what is realistic and what isn’t. These skills require learning and practice and are acquired over time.

Client-first Approach

One of the most difficult aspects of event planning is making clients happy. Bottom line: your stakeholder, whether clients or senior management, want something and it is your job to make it happen. To do this with grace, event planners need to have a strong dedication towards serving clients. Even if the task is near impossible, you need to be polite with your replies.. When you’re courteous and amicable, it eases any anxieties your client may have.


Successful event planners can solve any problem with a cool head. Their resourcefulness is not just limited to sticky notes and safety pins. They can quickly make a decision during unforeseen challenges – all while staying calm. They can keep an audience engaged while the keynote speaker is stuck in a traffic jam or eliminate long lines for lunch. This event planning skill keeps event organizers nimble, adaptive, and creative. Problem-solving skill also comes with time and if you are just starting, you can improve your response by focusing on pre-event planning to iron out any kinks. The key lies in continuously checking for holes in your plans and creating backup plans in case things turn south.

Negotiation and Budgeting

calculator and budget

If you consider yourself good at bargaining, then you possess an important event planning skill. It is crucial for event planners to be able to negotiate a contract with a sponsor or get the best possible deal while booking a venue. Negotiating is an art that requires a mix of preparation, tact, and confidence. Budgeting requires forecasting and tracking spend while juggling invoices, proposals, and expenses.


For event organizers, multitasking is not an option but a must-have event planning skill to create unforgettable events. You need to juggle a lot of tasks, including ticket sales, event promotion, sponsorship acquisition, and day-of logistics. Adding to that, there are multiple events that you need to plan simultaneously. If you have a team, you can delegate some work, but ultimately it is your job to ensure that nothing falls through the cracks. 

Qualities That Show You Are A Born Event Manager

It’s true the world of event management has changed tremendously in the last few years, especially as newer technologies are making their way to make things better. Different kinds of events software help to make the event run smoothly, and if an event manager uses technology prudently he can gain an edge over his competitors.

However, this does not diminish the importance of certain qualities that some event managers are born with. It is these qualities that distinguish an outstanding event manager from an okay one. If you have these qualities, you can say that you are born an event manager and are bound to be great in your job.

Great Interpersonal Skills

An event manager has to work with a team and other people in order to ensure the event is a success. This means that the manager should have the ability to tell and listen without any issues. It is important that the event manager understands what the client needs and then find ways to fulfill those needs or come up with different options.

Developing interpersonal skills is a necessity, but some people are born with these skills. Such people are able to manage their team or communicate effectively and it is these people who often make great event managers.


Nothing is fixed when organizing events. Everything is in a state of flux and things can change at a drop of a hat. Hence, an event manager should be flexible to take these changes in stride and work accordingly. You need to be ready to face any sort of situation and be able to think on your feet. If you have always been flexible where work is concerned, you are carved to become an event manager.


Events are extremely demanding and if you want to host a successful one, you should be full of energy and passion. Do you love to deal with every challenges with zest and passion? If so, you are born an event manager without a doubt!

Creative and Innovative

To be a successful event manager, you need to do things differently. This requires innovation and creativity. If you are the kind of person who always thinks out-of-the-box, you are destined to be a successful event manager. This means that problems and challenges are not an issue for you, as you have an innate ability to resolve them creatively.

Keen Eye for Details

It is the small things that matter. Do you always delve into things and look at minute details and try to get everything right? Well, then you are fit to be an event manager, as your keen sense of observation will prevent small things from blowing up and turning into big issues. Attention to detail allows you to ensure that everything is properly organized and in place for the event.

Good Time Management Skills

Your multitasking abilities are an indication that you are tailor-made to be an event manager. You have the ability to prioritize things at work and this allows you to be more productive and achieve more within a limited time period.

Socialise and Get to Know All Sorts of People

Another must!

More than your personal skills, what matters most is that you make a lot of connections and for that being sociable is a must. You should be highly approachable and put people at ease when speaking to them.

You are working closely with people from different backgrounds and with different ideas. Be it a supplies vendor, corporate executive, government liaison or security personnel, you need to be respectful and accommodating.

A friendly, inviting personality with the thirst to learn, listen and deliver are highly necessary event manager qualities not only to work the room at the functions you organise but also to get people through the door in the first place.

Nerves of Steel

Even a pro can sweat from time to time and event management can be pretty stressful at times, as we’ve mentioned. Sometimes it might feel like there are not enough hours in the day to get everything done. Brace yourself to have your successes not talked about as much but your few shortcomings follow you around like a vulture following its prey.

But the ability to remain cool, calm and collected when the florist fails to deliver the order, a keynote speaker bails or the venue you had in mind is booked up is truly an asset. Convey a positive outlook and energy and things will more often than not work out.

Top Traits to Look for in Successful Event Planners

Not everyone is born a natural event planner. What traits does a successful event planner need to display? If you are choosing someone to manage your conference or event, here are some specific qualities we think you should look out for…

1. Being prepared and planning for contingencies

The success of every event is in the detail. The best event planners are the ones who have a complete system for how they go about preparing for events, foreseeing potential threats and risks and staying one step ahead.

2. Having passion for what they do

Event management can be very stressful and often involves a high level of “fire-fighting”. It involves working with lots of diverse customers with different needs – from you, the client, to event sponsors, to delegates/attendees – who all have different expectations. At the same time, they are working with any number of suppliers, which presents its own challenges. So planners must be passionate about their profession and thrive on all the challenges that stand between them and a successful event.

3. Flexibility

In an era of shrinking budgets and shorter lead times, event planners must be quick thinking and able to put things together fast as well as change course without hesitation if required.

4. Staying level headed while under fire

Event planning is not for those who are quick to panic! Clients, sponsors and attendees are all looking for guidance and those who can think on their feet, maintain their composure and stay calm while fixing any type of problem make the best event planners.

5. Having a vision

Most people think that, when it comes to event planning, having a vision applies mainly to event design, but in truth this applies to the event in its entirety. Vision in event planning includes being able to see all the disparate elements of an event coming together, including the event theme, targeted attendees, venue, design/decor, speakers, entertainment, cuisine, sponsors … the list goes on. The key here is to see the bigger picture and have a vision that delivers on what you, the customer, wants and expects.

EVENT PLANNER interview Questions and Answers :-

1. How would you prioritize an event?

Priorities usually depend on the event time and size. I usually find out what a client feels is the most important part of his event and I focus on that primarily.

2. Why do you want to work for us as Event Planner?

Most employers are looking for people with a passion for the company and what they do. Knowing as much as you can about the company and the job is key to showing how passionate you are about the job opportunity. The best way to do this is to set aside three to four hours to learn as much as you can about the company you may eventually end up working for. Use resources such as their website, Facebook page, press releases, and the job description itself. Learn as much as you can about your prospective employer’s products, services, customers and competition. This gives you an advantage when trying to answer many such related questions. Most importantly, the fact that you spent time researching the company, demonstrates your initiative and passion.

3. What Types of Events Do You Plan?

Event planning encompasses many different happenings, including corporate meetings, seminars, lunch-and-learns, hospitality suites, trade shows and conferences. Some event planners focus on private parties such as weddings, children’s birthdays, family reunions or Sweet 16 parties. Sports marketing requires event planning for races, tennis, golf and volleyball tournaments, leagues and exhibition matches. Ask the interviewer to tell you her specific event focus and to give you some examples of events the company has recently planned that exemplify the type of business the company wants.

4. Please explain why did you leave your last job?

I left because I felt I need to utilize my expertise on a bigger platform.

5. Can You Order Desired Skills?

At many event-planning businesses, employees must multitask. You may need to meet with clients to negotiate the contract, help plan the food and beverages, and handle logistics, such as tables, chairs, booths, staff, lighting and music. Ask the interviewer what tasks you will need to perform if you are hired and to rank them in order of importance. This will let you play up certain areas of your experience as you know what the client wants most.

Long Distance Moving Commonly Asked Questions And Concerns

How much do long-distance movers cost?

The national average cost for a professional long distance mover (moves over 100 miles) is $4,300. However, that rate can range from $2,000-$8,000+ depending on the total distance, size and weight of your load and any extras like full-service packing and shipping.

Moving into a new home is never easy — especially if you’re relocating to another part of the state or country. You’re likely starting a new job, making new friends and figuring out how to live in a new city — all on top of moving your belongings. Not only that, but cross country or interstate moving typically costs more than double the average rate for a local move. So, it’s important to understand how long distance movers charge so you can compare quotes and set a realistic budget for your cross country move, while still working with a company you trust.

What affects the cost of hiring a professional for a long distance move?

Unlike local moving companies, which charge an hourly rate based on the number of movers you need, long distance movers quote prices based on the miles traveled, total weight of your household items and the labor costs.

So instead of paying $100 an hour for two movers to load and unload your two-bedroom apartment across tow, expect to pay $2,000-$4,000 for long distance movers to move the same belongings cross country to your new home.

Weight and size of your load

Most long distance movers charge $.50 per pound for moves over 100 miles. To give you an estimate of what this means for your belongings, below are the average costs of local and long distance moves by size of home

Long Distance Moving

Your Long Distance Moving Company

Whether you’re moving the next state over or across the country, let us make your move stress-free. Moving any distance can be stressful, but preparing for a long distance move can feel overwhelming, especially if you’re trying to do everything yourself

How do we do it? We start with the best available movers and moving equipment – our own.

When you entrust your move, you can rest assured that you will be working exclusively with our own employees. From the mover who packs up your home theater, to the team who sets up your bed so you’ll have a place to sleep your first night, you can trust they have all been trained by our management to the peak standards our happy customers have come to trust and expect.

Your Needs Come First & You Stay in Control

When coordinating a long distance move, there are a lot of moving parts (pun intended!), from scheduling to packing, keeping things safe in transit to unpacking and setting up your new home. We understand how much goes into a move of any size, logistically and emotionally, and are dedicated to accommodating your needs and attending to all the details from start to finish.

Do More than Move Your Belongings from A to B

In addition to safely transporting your belongings to your new home, we also offer complete packing and unpacking and other moving services and can assist with tasks after unloading, such as assembling beds and arranging furniture to your liking to help you make your new place feel like home. Save yourself the heavy lifting and let our team of movers get everything set up for you

Getting the Best Long-Distance Removalists

When you’re ready to make your move, you want to choose the right movers—but how do you know that you’re making the right decision? What should you be looking for as you choose the best long distance moving company for your needs? Consider these key elements as you evaluate long-distance movers and make the choice that’s right for you and your family.

Does the Moving Company Carry Insurance?

As you choose a moving company for your long-distance move, make sure that the company has insurance and that it is current: that is, that it has not been allowed to lapse. Accidents can happen during the moving process, though your movers will take every possible step to ensure that your goods remain as safe as possible. You want a company that is insured against potential damage. Not only that, your moving company should have insurance that will protect their movers if they suffer an accident en route or on the job. Don’t be afraid to ask to see a current copy of your movers’ insurance policy.

What Services Does the Long-Distance Moving Company Offer?

Moving can create a lot of stress. You have many tasks that you need to take care of as you prepare to transfer your life to a new, far-away location. The services that your long-distance moving company offers can make that move much easier. Utilising those moving services can streamline your move and get you settled in your new home faster—not to mention reducing your overall stress.

Packing Services

Packing up your home can take a great deal of time and energy. You may need to start packing weeks before your long-distance move, especially if you’re trying to move a family. While there are some tasks you will still need to take care of yourself—sorting through the items you want to donate or sell before your move, for example—some long-distance moving companies will offer services that include packing up your possessions for you.

Storage Services

Some people, as they prepare for a long-distance move, discover that they cannot move into their new property as quickly as they might hope. You may need to leave your current residence as your lease expires or in order for new owners to move into the house. Unfortunately, your new home might not be ready for you yet. You may need to wait for the former residents of a house to move out, or you may have a new landlord who needs a few more days—or in some cases even a few weeks—to be ready for you to move into the property.

Long distance moving guide

People believe when they are moving that they are changing their lives. Or maybe a big part of it. That is a complete truth. Never the less, it matters if you are moving local or long distance. Long distance moving is complicated and more difficult than residential moving because it has so many more factors inside the long-distance moving process

The starting point is to choose a reliable moving company for long distance moving

When you are moving you need to think about a lot of things. And you can’t make it up everything on your own. Long distance moving is a process that requires the touch of a professional hand

Everyone in the moving process knows his place in the system. That is a formula for success! With our moving experts, you won’t be feeling like you are moving because they are highly trained in moving and experienced. When you look at them and how they work, you can think that it is easy and that you can do it by yourself. But, that is not like that. They have passed so many situations during the different kinds of the move and they can not be unprepared. We are accurate and careful.

Arrange storage services

When you are long distance moving delays are possible. For many reasons like bed whether, problems in transportation, disagreement with the landlord, etc. which will protect your belongings in the right way. You can easily wait for the delay to pass and relax because your things will be safe and sound in our storage facilities.

storage facilities are clean, dry and well protected from moisture, damp and damage. When your belongings arrive in our storage, we will take good care of it, as long as you need it. They can stay long-term or short-term. For arranging storage services it doesn’t matter if you are moving long-distance or local. You can arrange storage even ‘’just in case” scenario

Guide to Completing a Long Distance Move

Deciding to make a long distance move can be a big mixture of both excitement and anxiousness. Whether it is across the country or even just to the other side of the state. Excitement about the new adventures that await you in your new home. But, also anxiousness for everything leading up to that point. It’s not an easy thing to take on.

Other factors are thrown in that don’t usually happen when you’re tackling a shorter move across town. A long distance move is much more complex and requires more planning than your typical move. You can’t just pack up a truck and call it a day. From looking for a home online to hiring a mover who specializes in interstate moves and everything between, things can get complicated fast. But it can be done successfully.

With some tips, some planning, and some patience, you can make the move an exciting adventure all the way through. The preparation stage is absolutely critical to the success of your move. Here are some great tips to help you plan for your long distance move and make it as smooth of a transition as possible

Take Your Time

It is essential that you allow yourself plenty of time for your move. Whether you are the type that likes to plan everything out line by line or more of a going with the flow personality. A long-distance move requires much more planning and preparation time compared to a usual inner-city move. If you try and squeeze everything into a short time span then you are almost guaranteeing problems along the way. Many people recommend allowing 12-16 weeks for a long distance move. Any less than 8 weeks and you’re asking for trouble.

Write Out Your Plan

When starting your planning for your long distance move, sit down and write out your plan for each week leading up to the actual move. This should be the first thing you do. Break up your tasks throughout the weeks to not overwhelm yourself. This also ensures that time-sensitive things like utility connections do not slip through the cracks.

Local DUI Lawyer Schooling

Charged With a DUI? What to Do Before You Start Calling DUI Lawyers

In one of my previous posts I had discussed several factors which you will need to consider before hiring a DUI lawyer. In this specific article I’ll discuss several matters which you will need to take care of in order to prepare yourself for interviewing DUI Lawyers. There is an old saying that “knowledge is power” and this is certainly accurate. You need to have some basic background information in order to assess what the lawyers will tell, you before you call DUI Lawyers.

Info About Dui Lawyers Can Be Categorized into 2 parts

  • Information about the DUI Attorney
  • Info about DUI Laws in your own state.

Before calling any DUI Attorney you will need to learn about them through search engines such as Google. Please visit their private website if possible. Please find out if they normally handle other kinds of cases. You will need to be aware if they’re experienced in handling DUI cases. Clearly, you just need to speak with an Attorney who handles many DUI cases. This is the only way to make sure that the attorney is well versed in DUI laws. Additionally, try and discover the kind of training they’ve had. Was the attorney a Prosecutor before moving to defense work? (Former Prosecutors have a tendency to get plenty of experience and classroom training as the government always trains them well). Is the attorney a member of any organization or is he dedicated to DUI Defense? A number of these organizations provide their members with training. Don’t forget that, you don’t want to be represented by a civil lawyer who is picking up a DUI defense case for the first time.

Before calling DUI Lawyers, it is also wise to study the DUI Law in your own state. Utilize those internet resources which make it possible for you to discover the DUI statutes in your state. You ought to attempt to discover several matters when reviewing the DUI statutes of your state. The crucial among them are

  • Are you currently facing the chances of a mandatory jail term?
  • Are you facing a mandatory driver’s license suspension? If yes, then for how long?
  • Above all, does your state provide a pretrial diversionary program?

It is an application which will let a first-time offender to serve some probation rather than facing jail time. These plans quite often carry lesser, or no, permit suspension. Most of these applications will lead to your DUI charges being dismissed and expunged. This means that you would NOT HAVE ANY criminal record as a result of this.

It is when you have all this info that you ought to speak with a DUI Lawyer. Subsequently, as an example, if a lawyer doesn’t mention the pretrial diversionary plan then you will be able to question his advice. If a lawyer motivates you to defend the charges rather than choose this program (because they charge more money for a trial), then you will need to question minutely as to their reasoning for this particular advice. Never forget to ask any Attorney about the number of years of DUI defense practice that they have done.

DUI Tips

DUI Tip # 1.  Play it safe, if you go out to Drink Alcohol, have a Designated Driver, or a safe way to get home.  It sounds very simple:  Don’t Drink & Drive.  Yet every day, hundreds of people around the State do just that.  If you have never been convicted of a DUI, you can’t fully understand the consequences of a DUI conviction on your record.  Not only will it have an impact on your license, and possibly your livelihood, but there are thousands of dollars in fines and fees, numerous counseling sessions, the requirement for an Ignition Interlock Device, potential for probation, and jail time.  These are all mandatory requirements for anyone convicted of a DUI, and these are the minimums for a 1st Time Regular Misdemeanor DUI conviction.  If you have a higher blood alcohol content, or it is not your first time, or you are charged with a Felony, everything gets much, much more serious and difficult.  It is not illegal to drink alcohol, then get behind the wheel of a motor vehicle.  That type of clear cut rule would not fill the coffers of the cities, counties, and state of Arizona.  However, knowing the potential consequences of a DUI conviction can put you in the position to plan ahead if you decide to go out and drink.  Have a designated driver, arrange for a cab, do your drinking at home, or if you are going to go to a bar or restaurant to drink, leave the car at home.  Unlike most criminal offenses, people don’t intend to drive drunk.  It just kinda happens.  One of the consequences of drinking alcohol to excess is that your inhibitions and reasoning go out the window.  Even police officers, prosecutors, defense attorneys, and doctors get DUIs, and these are the people who you would think would know better.  Plan ahead, it is the best, safest way to have your fun, without potentially suffering the consequences.

DUI Tip # 2.   If you get pulled over, don’t be your own worst enemy.  There is a fine line between being cooperative and protecting yourself.  When an officer stops you, especially if it is late at night or early in the morning, chances are the officer believes that you are driving drunk.  The officer will approach your vehicle and may ask you some questions.  The officer may tell you that they stopped you for something (didn’t use turn signal, made a wide turn, have a crack in your windshield, etc.) but it is really just an excuse to see you, and talk to you, and determine if there are any signs that you are driving under the influence.  There are certain things the officer may notice that you just can’t help.  Bloodshot and Watery Eyes, Flushed Face, Slurred Speech, Odor of Alcohol, these are all things that tend to show up in a police report, and are things a person does not have control over.  However, Bloodshot and Watery Eyes, Flushed Face, and Slurred Speech can be caused by numerous things.  Odor of Alcohol can be due to recent consumption rather than quantity consumed.  The problems really pile up when that nice, friendly officer starts asking questions.  With only the above information, all the “signs and symptoms of alcohol impairment” that the officer will point to can potentially be explained away.  Not so much when the officer asks if you have been drinking, and you answer “Yes, 7 beers.”  And when the officer asks if you feel impaired by alcohol, and you say “Yes, absolutely.”  With those admissions, the case becomes worse.  Without those admissions, the case is easier to argue before a jury.  This isn’t to say that you should lie to the officer.  The fact of the matter is, you have a Constitutional Right to Remain Silent, and not incriminate yourself.  Utilize it.

DUI Tip # 3.  Don’t do Field Sobriety Tests (Walk & Turn, 1 Leg Stand, Finger-to-Nose Test, Watch-the-Pen Test, etc.) or the Portable Breath Test (small handheld device often used on the scene of the stop).  While you have to give the officer your license, registration, and proof of insurance upon request, you DO NOT need to do any of those Field Sobriety Tests that the officer requests, nor blow into the Portable Breath Test device.  Do you really think the officer is going to put a gun to your head and force you to do these things.  The ONLY reason the officer wants you to do those test is so the officer can mark down everything you did wrong, in order to prove at trial, if necessary, that you truly were impaired by alcohol.  I have seen, very very rarely, people do fantastic on those tests, yet they were still arrested, the same as everyone else, and were still charged with DUI.  The officer’s can’t force you to do these tests; it only gives the officer evidence to use against you; just don’t do it.  The officer may tell you that they just want to make sure you are OK to drive.  It is a trick.  Don’t do it.  You may still get arrested, but 99.9% chance you were going to get arrested anyway.  At least now, there is a definite lack of evidence to use against you if charges are ultimately brought.

The DUI Legal Process

First, it is important to note that in many states, you may be charged with both driving under the influence and having a blood-alcohol level above the legal limit (often called a “DUI per se”), although one charge is often dismissed if you plead guilty or proceed to trial.

Regardless, the first step after a typical DUI charge is usually an arraignment, a hearing during which a defendant is formally charged with a crime before the judge. You will be asked to plead guilty or not guilty, but you can change your plea later; for this reason, you may not yet need a DUI attorney. You can simply plead not guilty, and you may have the option to request a jury trial at this point as well.

If the charge is a misdemeanor and you haven’t already posted bail, you will likely be released on your own recognizance, which means you are trusted to come back to court for your next legal proceeding.

Options for Dealing with a DUI Charge

After your arraignment, you should start thinking about hiring a DUI lawyer or having one appointed for you if you cannot afford one. Remember, again, that DUI laws vary greatly by state, so be sure your DUI attorney specializes in your jurisdiction.

With your attorney, you can decide how you would like to approach the DUI charge. The general options are as follows:

  • Plead guilty
  • Try to plea bargain down to a lesser charge
  • Request a trial before a judge
  • Request a jury trial

Plea bargaining, or reaching an agreement between the defense and prosecution, often involves agreeing to a conviction for reckless driving, called a “wet reckless” because it involves drinking and driving. In exchange for the plea, the defendant receives a lesser sentence than would have been available for the more serious offense. Note that “wet reckless” pleas are prohibited by law in some states.

10 Things You Should Know About Facing DUI or DWI or OUI Charges:

  • Whether the charges are referred to as DWI, DUI, or OUI depends on the state.
  • You will now be a “high-risk driver,” so car insurance rates and life insurance rates will likely increase. Your current insurance company may even drop your coverage.
  • DWIs, DUIs, and OUIs are not strictly reserved for alcohol consumption. The charges can also be applied when operating a vehicle under the influence of other substances (including both illegal and legal drugs that leave the driver impaired).
  • Most first offense DWIs, DUIs, or OUIs are not felonies; they are generally misdemeanors. Exceptions may occur for extreme circumstances.
  • A plea bargain can sometimes allow you to reduce your charge to something like reckless driving; especially if it is a first offense.
  • Generally speaking, being charged with a DWI, DUI, or OUI means your driver’s license will be suspended.
  • If you are convicted of the charges, the court will often require that you complete a treatment program before you are eligible to get your license back. You’ll probably also need to request an SR-22 form from your insurance provider to prove that you carry liability insurance. This form is required in most states when attempting to get your driver’s license back.
  • The judge may impound your vehicle for a certain period or even order you to forfeit the car (get rid of it). These are extreme measures that only occur in rare circumstances. Most judges will now turn to Ignition Interlock Devices (IDDs) that keep drivers from starting their ignition if their BAC is too high.
  • Don’t be surprised if sentencing also includes fines, jail time, probation, or a court-ordered SCRAM bracelet that monitors alcohol in the sweat.
  • If convicted, the charges remain on your record and show up in background checks for approximately five years (actual time depends on the state).

Do I Need a Lawyer for a DUI?

Without doubt, anyone facing DUI charges should consult with a DUI lawyer in their court location. The average citizen thinks that drunk driving is not that big of a deal, but that is because they have never investigated the DUI penalties and DUI consequences that follow a conviction.

Since every state in the USA and the District of Columbia have different DUI-DWI laws, no common rule can be followed on issues like expungement, diversion, deferral programs, ignition interlock programs, or first offender alternatives. So, speaking to a good DUI attorney is imperative.

Luckily, most DUI attorneys offer free consultations. Some may limit this to short phone conversations, but the best DUI lawyers in most jurisdictions gladly speak to a potential client who is seeking private legal counsel in person. Our DUI law firm encourages it, because our perspective is that you would not want to hire a surgeon for a serious medical problem without meeting with him or her.

Plus, a lot can be gleaned from visiting a DUI lawyer’s office, and meeting his staff. Many drunk driving defense cases take months or years to resolve, so it is good to know if you the DUI defense lawyer has a great team.

Public defenders are free DUI attorneys, that the Government pays, for those who are indigent. The guidelines for establishing indigent status varies. But, if you are basically going from month-to-month, barely covering your bills, and have no savings beyond a few thousand dollars of emergency funds, then applying — at your criminal court — for an appointed lawyer is the first step.

Most courts charge you to apply, since the court clerk will undertake a background check on you, to confirm your indigent status. Most courts are about $50. Plus, when you apply ask what the requirement is, for paying back the Government, if you are not acquitted of the charges. Most states, due to austerity plans, tend to make the indigent offender pay back the appointed lawyer’s cost, if you lose or plead guilty.

Posted inLegal

Is It Time To Upgrade Your Electrical Wiring

Electrical Work & Repair Costs

Electrical prices average from $150 to install a switch, $200 to install an outlet, $465 to install a lighting fixture. Electrical panels cost about $1,100 to upgrade or replace and $1,300 to install. Generators cost about $4,000 to install and $250 to repair. Find detailed electrical work prices in the Cost Guides below.

The electrical power that courses through your home is like your house’s life blood. Ceiling fans, computer networks, lights, and perhaps even your heating and cooling rely on electricity to function. Whether you’re having electrical problems, adding outlets, upgrading a panel to accommodate a new appliance, wiring a new home

Electrician Rates

When hiring an electrician, be aware that most electricians charge a minimum fee for their visit. This even includes visits for small projects such as installing a plug or light switch. But that fee will roll into the cost of the job. In other words, although an electrician may charge $70 just to walk in the door, that money might cover their first hour of work. Hiring an electrician can be an expensive task if you’re not aware of possible hidden cost factors.

Most electricians charge by the hour, and an experienced professional should be able to give you a reasonably accurate hours-needed estimate from the start. But there are other factors that can affect the cost of your electrical job, depending on the type of job you need accomplished. The average electrician charges from $50-$100 an hour, plus additional costs for parts depending on the complexity of the project. This brings the national average cost to hire an electrician to just over $300.

Install and Repair a Home Generator

The basic cost to install a home generator varies based on the generator you choose. Home back-up generators, such as Generac brand generators, start at around $2,000 plus installation. Your electrician will be able to determine the type of generator appropriate for your household and needs. Different types of generators provide different services such as full power to your home in the event of an outage, or just partial power to keep major appliances running such as hot water and your refrigerator


Our autonomy and comfort depend a lot on the electrical system of our DIY camper van conversion. No power means no fridge, no lights, no smartphone = no Instagram = no #vanlife as we know it 😛 Therefore, we want our electrical system to be safe, reliable and to work from the first time; trial-and-error is not acceptable here.

After three years on the road full time, we’re happy to report that our system works as we planned, nice! Designing the electrical system was one of the most intimidating task of the conversion process and if you’re reading this, you are probably looking for some guidance

To mitigate these scenarios companies like Battle Born Batteries, Trojan, Relion, Victron, now include BMS (Battery Management System) built-in their batteries. The BMS is in charge of watching if parameters (temperature, voltage, current) are within safe range. For example, the BMS will prevent charging the battery if the temperature is too low; it will also regulate the amount of power you can take out of the battery. It makes using a Lithium battery safe.


That’s quite an issue for us, knowing we use our van for skiing all winter. An battery do better in that department, but still performs better around room temperature; that’s the main reason why we installed

Because we live full-time in our van, we never let the interior freeze (because food/liquid/comfort) so that solves the issue for us!

Note 1: While LiFePO4 cannot be charged below freezing temperatures, they can still be discharged. So it would be possible to install a 12V heat mat to prevent the battery from freezing…

Note 2: In fact, some brand of Lithium batteries can be charge below 32F/0°C, but at a slower rate. Check your battery specification sheet

A Comprehensive Guide for Wiring Diagram

What is a wiring diagram?

A wiring diagram is a visual representation of components and wires related to an electrical connection. This pictorial diagram shows us the physical links that are far easy to understand an electrical circuit or system. One wiring diagram can signify all the interconnections, thereby signaling the relative locations. The use of a wiring diagram is positively recognizable in manufacturing or electrical troubleshooting projects. It can prevent lots of damage that even derail an electrical plan.

Why do we use wiring diagrams?

Wiring diagrams are highly in use in circuit manufacturing or other electronic devices projects. The layout facilitates communication between electrical engineers designing electrical circuits and implementing them. The pictures are also helpful in making repairs. It shows whether the installation has been appropriately designed and implemented while confirming the safety regulators.

A wiring diagram can also be useful in auto repair and home building projects. For example, the proper location of light fixtures and electrical outlets can be easily by a home builder to avoid costly defaults or building any code violations.

Benefits of Wiring Diagrams:

Drawing a wiring diagram offers several advantages, as given below.

The diagram is easy to share even electronically.

The process of creating a diagram is fast and allows for conventional construction.

Access to hundreds and thousands of wiring symbols makes the diagram more efficient to be understood.

The diagram is simple to edit as per the different conditions.

The proper tool provides precise placement of symbols, which is an impossible task to be done by hand or other means.

Type of wiring diagram

With the use of different symbols, an electrical wiring diagram mainly consists of three main types. Everything related to an electrical system can be shown on one of the charts to ensure that interconnections are working correctly. Its three main kinds are as follows

Some Guidelines to Colour Marking

Guide to colour marking for three-phase circuits

Durable and legible markings shall be provided at the interface where the new and old versions of colour code for fixed electrical wiring exists. A warning notice shall also be displayed prominently at the appropriate distribution board that controls the circuit.

Where the existing red-coloured or yellow-coloured cable (phase conductor) is to be connected to a new brown-coloured cable (phase conductor) of the same circuit, at the interface, the existing and new circuits shall be labelled as shown below.

Where the existing blue-coloured cable (phase conductor) is to be connected to a new brown-colured cable (phase conductor) of the same circuit, at the interface, the existing blue-colured cable shall be labelled and provided with brown-coloured sleeve as shown to avoid confusion.

Warning notice at distribution boards

Where new circuits using the new colour code are to be added in existing electrical installations installed having circuits in old cable colour code, the licensed electrical worker responsible for the work will have to do the necessary colour marking on the cables and place a warning notice (see below) on the relevant distribution boards.

How Much Does It Cost to Wire a House?

Electrical wiring is the process of connecting various wires throughout a given space for the purpose of conducting electricity. This could be the rough wiring done in a new addition or building prior to connecting appliances and fixtures, or it could mean the finished wiring and addition of a new electrical circuit to a home.

Wiring projects differ in cost depending mostly on the scale of the project. Rewiring an entire home, for example, will cost far more than the new wiring involved in a home addition. Costs also vary by area, as some electricians will charge per hour while others charge by the job. On average, the cost to wire a home is around $4 per square foot. Therefore, to rewire a 2,000 square foot home, the total cost would be about $8,000.

Basic Wiring

Take a look at any panel or wiring inside a home, and you’ll likely find wires in different, distinct colors depending on the area. Black and red wires indicate a “hot” wire or the conduit for electricity. Black means a hot wire that goes to a switch or outlet. Red is a hot wire for switch legs or for connecting smoke detectors. White wires indicate a ground, or neutral, wire. Green wires and copper wires are used solely for grounding. Blue and yellow wires are hot wires pulled in a conduit. Blue is for 3- or 4-way switches and yellow is for switch legs.

Each wire is marked with its material, size, type of insulation, and, in many cases, the brand that produced it. For example, a cable with three wires inside, one being a ground wire, made of copper, measuring 12 gauge, and rated for heat resistance and 600V will be marked 12-3 to indicate the gauge and number of wires, G for ground, AU for copper, 600V for the maximum volts it can carry, and NM-B for non-metallic, heat resistant insulation.

Other codes may include:

12-2: a 12 gauge cable with 2 wires.

14-2: a 14 gauge cable with 2 wires.

14-3: a 14 gauge cable with 3 wires.

14-3G: a 14 gauge cable with 3 wires, including one ground wire.

AL: an aluminum wire.

T: thermoplastic insulation used.

H: heat resistant.

HH: high heat resistant.

W: this wire can be used in wet areas.

X: synthetic polymers are used to insulate.

N: this wire is nylon coated.

The Absolute Importance Of A Home Inspection

A home inspection is one of the last steps in the home-buying process

A home inspection can help you choose the next steps in buying a home. You may decide you want to close, negotiate the price, request repairs by the seller, or back out and find another place.

You aren’t required to schedule a home inspection, but doing so can save you from major problems down the line. An inspection can alert you to any problems, and you may even realize you don’t want to buy the home after all.

What is a home inspection?

An inspector visits the home to assess the condition and put together a detailed report. They won’t tell you the value of the home, but they will reveal problems or potential problems that could affect the value.

You don’t have to attend the inspection, but you can. Walking through with the inspector gives you the chance to ask any questions and see problems for yourself. If you don’t have time to attend the entire inspection, ask the inspector if they can give you a quick walk-through once they’re done.

Don’t be alarmed if the inspector finds minor problems — if an inspection comes back with zero issues, then your inspector probably wasn’t very thorough. Pay attention to bigger problems that could cost you big bucks or jeopardize your safety.

Home Inspections are Essential in Making Informed Decisions

That house you’re considering buying consists of a collection of complex structures, systems, and components. A home inspection examines, evaluates, and objectively details the true condition of each element. As a result, you’ll more fully understand the home you’re buying, which enables you to make informed decisions. And that goes a long way toward eliminating the stress of buying a home.

Clear, complete and convenient home inspections you can trust.

At this point, you’re well aware how hectic and utterly confusing buying a home can be it doesn’t have to be. We’ll provide you with a comprehensive, unbiased opinion of the property’s condition and spend time to walk you through it, so you can have peace of mind that you’re making the most informed decision on the most important purchase of your lifetime.

point home inspection eliminates surprises

Irrigation systems*

Structural components

Heating and air conditioning systems

Plumbing system including water heater

Siding, trim, and exterior windows and doors

Foundations and footings

Gutter and downspouts

Walls, floors, ceilings, interior windows & doors

Electrical system

Kitchen appliances

Roof, chimney and flashings

Driveways, patios, decks and porches


Attic and insulation

Home Inspection

Hire a good home inspector

Do your homework: While many homebuyers hire a home inspector recommended by their real estate agent, you can hire your own, but be sure to check them out. Ask to see proof of state certification or proof of membership in the National Associations of Certified Home Inspectors (NACHI), National Association of Home Inspectors (NAHI) or the American Society of Home Inspectors (ASHI).

Look for experience: Both NAHI and ASHI require a minimum of 250 inspections, however most experienced professionals will say it’s better to find someone who’s performed at least 1,000 inspections and has at least three-to-five years of full-time experience.

Ask for licensing and insurance: Ask to see proof of licensing if your state requires home inspectors to be licensed, and inquire about proof of general liability insurance as well as and errors and omission (E&O) insurance.

Consider average cost: Home inspections generally cost between $300 and $450, and typically take three to four hours. The cost of an inspection will vary depending on such factors as the age and size of a home.

There are a number of things homeowners should do and know before getting a home inspection:

Get involved with your home inspection: While it’s not required that you attend the inspection, you should be there with your home inspector to discuss expectations and findings.

Demand a detailed inspection: Home inspectors should look for structural problems; roof damage; fire hazards, such as improperly vented chimney flues; electrical safety issues, including old wiring; and problems with plumbing and major appliances, like the HVAC system and hot water heater. Inspectors should physically crawl the attic and crawl space, if possible, rather than just taking a quick look around from the opening or doorway.

Read the inspector’s report: Many inspectors provide the report the same day as the inspection. The report should be thorough and easy to understand and should include narrative accounts of the inspector’s findings that are specific to your house, along with pictures and diagrams. Many inspectors will also include photographs with their reports. Keep in mind that few houses are perfect, so you should expect some issues to be found. Don’t hesitate to question your inspector about the report.

Are home inspections necessary for new homes? Newer homes can have just as many problems as an older home. And, if you are building a home, inspections at key points during construction should be a part of the process.

Home inspection report can impact sales price: A home inspection report reveals problems that need to be fixed. You might use this information to renegotiate the price that you originally offered or you may be prepared to adjust your selling price. Keep in mind, sellers aren’t required to fix anything, no matter how egregious the situation.

Common Problems Found During Home Inspections

Buying a house is serious business. Whether a recently built estate or a modest fixer-upper, getting the lowdown on your potential home is of tantamount importance. A qualified home inspector is always your best bet for a thorough home evaluation, but it’s a good idea to have a general understanding of what to look out for.

Grade sloping (or draining) back toward the home. This could lead to damp or wet crawlspaces, foundation movement, cracking or settlement. Water wicking up the foundation could lead to rot in the walls, framing members and mold. Some indications of foundation movement include windows that are out of square; interior doors that have large, uneven gaps at the top when the door is closed; or floors visibly out of level. If you see this, know that the cost to correct this problem could add up quickly.

Stucco issues. Homes with stucco exterior surfaces, when applied correctly, will last a lifetime. However, a major flaw we see in the field could add up to water in the living space and big bucks out of your pocket. At the base of exterior walls, where the foundation and the bottom plate (sill plate) meet, a component of a stucco-surfaced wall called a weep screed is applied.

We know water can enter stucco through cracks, around unsealed light fixtures, outlets and the like. The water then hits the house wrap and sheds down to the weep screed and out the building. This is brilliant, but when concrete patios, stoops or sidewalks have been poured too high and the weep screed is buried, the system cannot work and water may enter the walls and living space. When you are walking around a house and you see the weep screed disappear into the concrete, this may one day lead to water intrusion and damage

Roofing materials. As homes age, so does the material covering the roof. This is the component of the house that keeps us and the internal workings of the house dry. As the roofing material ages, it lends itself to water intrusion and can lead to expensive repairs or even replacement. If roofing material is improperly installed, it can lead to premature aging. There are many types of roofing materials used to protect us from the elements. The most common, starting with the most economical, are asphalt shingles, wood shakes/shingles, terra cotta tile, concrete tiles and slate, just to name a few.

Home Inspection

You should expect quality and integrity in a home inspection. You can do better than accept “opinions” in place of evaluations. You can expect a home inspector to give you a thorough assessment of every single part of any home and help you understand what it means. You deserve to make an informed decision about buying, selling or maintaining your home.

Essential Home Inspection

This is the pre-purchase inspection that will help you make the right decision about buying a home. Checklist items include Roof Inspection, Interior Finish Assessment, Heating & Ventilation Review, Electrical Inspection, Plumbing Review, Structural Assessment and a Foundation Inspection. Each assessment is comprehensive, giving you as a homeowner, the knowledge you need to buy the right home for you. That means PEACE OF MIND.

Extended Home Inspection

This house inspection includes all checklist items from an Essential Home inspection plus a Thermal Imaging Assessment. Using industry approved technology and equipment

Premium Inspection

This includes all checklist items from an Extended Home inspection plus air quality testing to check for abnormal indoor mold growth. Mold overgrowth can trigger respiratory ailments, sensitivities and allergies. The home inspector will go through your house and take indoor air quality samples. You can also book a standalone mold test here.

Home Inspectors Checklist

Roof, Shingles, Flashings, Chimneys & Vents

Gutters, Downspouts, Soffits & Fascia

Exterior Drainage, Lot, Landscaping, Decks & Porches

Foundation, Exterior Structure

Siding, Windows & Doors

Attic, Roof Structure

Plumbing, HVAC & Electrical Systems

Interior Structure

Unwanted Pest Intrusion

Poor Construction Practices

Income Tax Preparation Courses

Pros And Cons: Filing Your Own Taxes Vs. Hiring A Professional

With the tax filing deadline of April 18 looming, are you still trying to decide whether to file your own taxes or hire a professional?

In this post we’re breaking down the good and bad of hiring a tax preparer, plus the perks of filing taxes on your own. Get comfy!


#1) Confidence your tax return is filed correctly. We all want to avoid problems with the Internal Revenue Service (IRS). A mistake on your tax return can lead to penalties, interest on your balance or even an audit. Not fun.

An advantage of working with a qualified tax professional is the peace of mind that what you’re filing is void of any major errors.

#2) Getting one-on-one advice on deductions and credits. Your goal is to take as many deductions and credits that you qualify for to reduce your tax bill.

Researching the rules for tax deductions and credits on the IRS website is enough to give anyone a headache—including me. This is where an expert comes in handy.

Guidance is particularly helpful for anyone who’s self-employed. Reporting self-employed income, business expenses, health care coverage and other items can be challenging. You may find it helpful to work with an advisor, at least the first year you file to learn the ropes.

#3) Tax advisor fees may be tax deductible. Tax preparer fees are a miscellaneous expense. Depending on how many other miscellaneous expenses you have annually you may be able to write off tax preparer fees.

Examples of other miscellaneous expenses are costs that help you bring in income like courses for work and unreimbursed business expenses from your job.

Your miscellaneous expenses in total (including tax preparer fees) have to equal over 2% of your adjusted gross income to take this deduction. If you meet this requirement, the write-off is another incentive to pay a little more for a tax advisor.


 #1)  Fraud is rampant. When you work with an expert that offers a service for less than the going rate, there’s a greater risk of identity theft or errors in your tax return. You need to invest in someone with the right credentials and stellar testimonials to make sure they’re legitimate.

Extra Tip: If you do taxes on your own, use a shredder to get rid of documents you don’t need in order to avoid fraud. If you don’t have a shredder, head to your local office supply store to do bulk shredding. I’ve found a deal just for you: At Office Depot and OfficeMax retail locations, you can get a coupon for five pounds of free bulk bin shredding now through April 23. Check out Office Depot’s 2015 taxes guide for your free coupon.

#2) Tax preparers make mistakes, too. You can’t sit back and assume your tax preparer will do everything correctly.

Just last year, someone I know trusted a tax preparer for the first time. In January, she got a letter from the IRS stating her tax return for 2014 was never actually filed. Even if you pay a preparer, you must review your final tax return and request confirmation that your return is filed.

What Are The Pros And Cons Of Using Tax Preparation Service?

There are various software, websites, and applications programmed to assist people in preparing and filing their taxes. A software developed by a U.S.-based company. While there are advantages of using such a tax prep service, there are disadvantages as well.


  • Easier and Smoother Tax Preparation and Filing
  • Various Features for Various Tax Needs
  • Updated with the Most Recent Tax Laws
  • Ability to Save Files/Reports from Previous Fiscal Years
  • Costs Less than a Professional Tax Accountant


  • Might not Efficiently Address Complicated Situations
  • The Output is as Good as What you Input
  • You Won’t Know the Bill Until You’ve Finalized Everything
  • Improper Usage of Software Might Lead to Unwanted Audits/Penalties

Here are some of the pros and cons of being a tax preparer.


  • Suitable for people who likes to follow routines
  • Suitable for people who values relationships between co-workers and customers and wants to work in a friendly non-competitive environment
  • This career is perfect for people who love to work indoors.
  • It is not too difficult to get into this career. Previous work-related skill, knowledge, or experience is required for this career.


  • Not suitable for people who likes to work with designs
  • Salary is below average
  • Long working hours (More than 40 hours per week)

Reasons to Hire a Professional Tax Preparer

Asking the right questions can help ensure you get a good one

For taxpayers who are still wading through tax records and fretting about filing their income tax return, there’s hope. You don’t have to go it alone.

The National Society of Accountants (NSA) has made a Letterman-style top ten list of the reasons why people should hire a professional tax preparer:

  • It takes the hassle out of doing it yourself.
  • You don’t have to keep up with the many tax law changes or understand complicated tax law.
  • Making mistakes can be very costly.
  • Your time is worth money – add up the hours you would spend doing it yourself and calculate what that’s    worth.
  • A tax program in a box cannot represent you in an audit.
  • A tax professional can answer your questions to help you make smarter tax-saving decisions.
  • A tax professional can help you plan all year and for future years.
  • A tax professional can recommend ways to save on taxes
  • It gives you peace of mind knowing that a professional is taking care of it.
  • It can save you money – if your tax preparer finds even one significant deduction or tax credit you may have missed, it can easily exceed the average $246 fee it costs to have a professional prepare your return.

Requirements To Be Pediatric Nurse

Becoming a Pediatric Physical Therapist: 5 Things You Need to Know

What is pediatric physical therapy?

Pediatric physical therapist work with a variety of children ranging from babies with torticollis or delay, orthopedic sports injuries, and children with delays due to diagnoses such as cerebral palsy and autism. Pediatric PTs help to improve gross motor skills, walking pattern, strength, balance, coordination, and motor planning through a variety of interventions that incorporate functional play.

Pediatric physical therapists focus each session on improving the child’s quality of movement and/or facilitating a gain in gross motor milestones.  These gross motor skills typically follow a pattern such as gaining head control, tolerating prone (tummy) positions, rolling, sitting independently, crawling on stomach, creeping on hands and knees, pulling to stand, standing without support, walking with hand held assist, walking without assist, jumping and running.

Within Kids Place, we not only assess if a child can perform a certain skill, but we assess the quality of movement to make sure that they participate in gross motor skills safely, effectively and efficiently.  Pediatric physical therapists are focused on making sure the child is safe to move around their environment and perform games/sports with the peers.

How to Become a Pediatric Physical Therapist

I often reflect on the journey I took from deciding I wanted to become a pediatric physical therapist when I was in high school, to my first day of PT graduate school, to today as a pediatric PT at NAPA Center Boston. What advice, tools, and tricks would I give my high school self to better prepare for what is ahead? If you are thinking about becoming a pediatric physical therapist yourself, or are a parent of a child working with a physical therapist and are curious how we ended up in this field, here are 5 things you need to know about becoming a pediatric physical therapist.

1. Be committed

Most physical therapy programs in the country are a 3-year graduate program, in which you will become a Doctor of Physical Therapy (DPT) following graduation. This requires an undergraduate degree, pre-requisite courses, and many logged hours of observation.

Whichever program you choose, know this: it is not easy.

You will learn A LOT in those 3 years. A lot of PT programs wait until you have learned all the foundational knowledge before even touching on pediatrics in year 3. If you have an interest in working with kids even prior to starting PT school, contact local pediatric outpatient clinics, early intervention agencies, school therapists, or even local pediatric hospitals— many clinics (including NAPA!) love having volunteers. It allows you to observe the therapists in action to log your shadowing hours and also gives the therapists an extra set of hands!

If you discover your interest in working with kids during PT school, talk to the clinical coordinator for your school’s program about completing a pediatric clinical rotation. PT students typically have 4-6 clinical rotations throughout the 3-year program and it is important to capitalize on any pediatric experience you are able to complete. It is even helpful to babysit or work as a summer camp counselor to find out if you enjoy working with kids!

2. Learn, learn, and learn more!

Even after graduating and becoming a PT, you will never stop learning. There is always new research being published, new colleagues with different experiences to learn from, and kids with unique diagnoses walking through the doors who you have not worked with previously. Specifically in pediatrics, it is crucial to learn from other disciplines, such as occupational and speech therapy, so you can aid in treating the whole child. Seek out these learning opportunities as often as possible, collaborate with your team members, and never fear asking questions!

3. Build your professional network

You will find that the world of PT, specifically pediatrics, is very small. Reach out to and stay in contact with any PTs you have shadowed in the past, your professors and classmates, clinical instructors, past colleagues, and peers you meet at conferences and continuing education courses. This will allow you to make connections and take advantage of any opportunities for your career that may arise in a variety of settings! 

4. One size does not fit all

Every child and family you work with is different. Even if multiple children have the same diagnosis, each will present uniquely and with his or her own personality. What works with one child may look completely different with another child. It is crucial to try, adjust, be creative, try again a different way, and be ok if something does not go as planned. And don’t be afraid to ask for help! Brainstorming ideas and problem solving with colleagues is the best way to help your kiddos meet their goals.

5. Your family will grow by hundreds of children (and their families!)

Working with children as they develop, grow, and meet new milestones allows you the honor to become an important addition to their family. The most exciting part about being a pediatric PT is teaching and empowering parents, siblings, and extended family members to help their child meet his or her goals.

How is pediatric sports physical therapy different from general therapy?

Bringing your youth athlete to a Children’s sports physical therapist means you’re working with a team of highly qualified, skilled and experienced pediatric and adolescent sports medicine experts. They know sports injuries, and they know the special needs of children and teens. And while physical therapists who see adults can treat pediatric patients, children and teens may make up a small percentage of their practice. Pediatric PTs, on the other hand, are specialists in kids and teens, dedicating their careers to treating them..

Children’s bones, muscles and joints require special care. Growth plates—–the areas at the end of the long bones in the arms and legs responsible for making new bone tissue—–are still open in children and teenagers. If these growth plates become injured , and are not diagnosed or treated properly, it can lead to damage that may leave youth athletes permanently sidelined from their favorite activities. Pediatric sports PTs are trained to recognize, identify and treat these types of injuries specifically.

How Can Sports Physical Therapy Be More Youth Friendly?

Pediatric sports PTs can translate your child’s or teen’s therapeutic goals into exercises that seem more like a training session than therapy, making rehabilitation both challenging and fun—that can mean better compliance and a faster recovery.

Pediatric sports PTs bring a special understanding about children and teens:

  • Young athletes need special attention.
  • Teens need individualized treatment too—they are still growing and are not young adults.
  • Children need hands-on cuing, and teens benefit from this too.
  • They need close supervision to perform exercises with proper technique.

Sports Physical Therapists Share a Passion for Children and Sports

A pediatric approach to sports physical therapy offers passion, atmosphere and experience to your child’s treatment. We have a passion for young athletes and will bring that passion into our work. After all, many pediatric sports PTs were youth athletes themselves; they come to your family with a personal understanding of what your child may be going through.

For children and teens, that passion results in good feelings about their treatment:

  • They feel understood and heard.
  • There’s a mutual understanding that fosters respect.
  • It translates into more effective therapy.

The role of the pediatric physical therapist for children on the autism spectrum

The role of pediatric physical therapy is to help children who have difficulty with functional movement, poor balance, and challenges moving through their environment successfully. Some children on the autism spectrum have low muscle tone, some have poor balance, others may not be well-coordinated, and still others may have a combination of all of the above. These are all areas that a physical therapist can address. After an assessment, the physical therapist will design and implement a program that will help to improve the individual child’s areas of need and increase overall function and participation.

(Many children or adults who have an accident and hurt themselves can benefit from physical therapy, whether they are diagnosed with ASD or not. This article does not address this type of rehabilitative therapy.)

Physical Therapy Areas of Intervention

Gross Motor Skills – using large muscles for sitting, standing, walking, running, etc.

Balance/Coordination Skills – involves the brain, bones, and muscles in a coordinated effort for smooth movement; for example, as in climbing stairs, jumping, etc.

Strengthening – building muscle for support and endurance; for example, to walk for a distance without becoming tired.

Functional Mobility/Motor Planning – moving through space, day to day, for independence and efficiency; for example, to climb onto the rocking chair and make it rock back and forth.

The Importance of Motor Skills

Gross motor skills enable children to explore and learn from their environment. Young babies’ neck muscles develop, allowing them to hold their head up and see things from an upright position. Trunk muscles strengthen, enabling children to sit and soon after crawl and begin to explore their surroundings on their own. Toddlers learn to walk, climb, and eventually run. As children become adults, motor skills continue to be important for independence.

What is the Goal of Physical Therapy for a Child on the Autism Spectrum?

Every child on the autism spectrum is unique. Not every child on the spectrum will need physical therapy. If physical therapy is found to be medically necessary and the child could benefit from physical therapy services, a program will specifically be designed for his or her needs.

Give Yourself A Break From Housework With Professional Move In Cleaning Services

Move-in / Move-out Cleaning

Pre-move and Post-move Services:

During the weeks before the move our friendly and efficient staff can provide advance help to the entire family. Working closely with adults, children, and teens, we help plan and prepare for the move, ensuring that no clutter will follow you to your new place. We will carefully help with packing your most cherished items while sorting out unwanted items for donations and hand-me-downs. After the move, we are available to assist with unpacking, organizing, and even decorating the new space.

Move-out Cleaning Services:

provide two levels of cleaning for your needs:

Basic cleaning service targets apartments that will be renovated in the future and need to be handed to owners / management in a broom-cleaned condition for a sale-closing or inspection. This service includes dusting and washing of all surfaces, wiping the outside of kitchen appliances & cabinets, basic cleaning of the bathrooms, and vacuuming & mopping of all floors.

Deep cleaning service targets apartments in which the new residents will move in without replacing the appliances or doing major renovations. This service includes cleaning the inside of kitchen cabinets & appliances, thorough cleaning of the bathrooms, and detailed cleaning of fixtures, window sills, closets and floors.

Move-in Cleaning Services (tailored to customer request):

Throughout the home or apartment: Dust / wipe / vacuum doors, baseboards and moldings, windowsills & window frames. Vacuum & mop floors.

Closets: Dust shelves and lay liners, clean the doors and the floors. Detailed closet-organizing services available upon request.

Bathroom cleaning: Including tiles, tubs, sinks, toilets, shower areas & doors, as well as inside medicine cabinets, light fixtures, cabinets & floors.

Kitchen: Clean & sanitize insides and outsides of all appliances. Scrub and wash cabinets. Put liners on shelves. Wash and polish all surfaces and clean the floors. Carefully clean all stainless steel, marble, tiles, upholstery, wood, and stone surfaces according to specification.

The Ultimate Moving Guide For An Easy Move

Move In Cleaning Services

When it’s time to move you have so much stuff! The only way to make moving out a little more comfortable is to plan it carefully and embrace the following tips and hacks

Cook In Advance

Before the move you should be preparing some meals in advance, because no one is going to have time to cook while moving, nor while unpacking in the new house. The best way to ensure you won’t be living on fast food for the next weeks is cooking crockpot meals in advance. To do this, just prepare bags with all the ingredients needed for a crockpot meal and freeze them. When you don’t have time to cook, let the crockpot do its job, after tossing everything inside.

Set Up The Utilities

No one wants to move into a new home without utilities. Unfortunately, many people end up doing just that. Don’t be one of them and call the utilities companies in advance, making the arrangements needed to set up everything in the new house. Also, print a file with all the utilities numbers, in case you will need to contact them during the move.

Save Money On The Move

Don’t settle for the first moving company you find; keep looking and, more important, keep playing with the moving dates. Moving services are expensive, but you can save a lot of money by paying attention to the deals. For example, most companies offer discounts for moving during weekdays. The time of the month is also important: most people move at the end/beginning of the month, so companies offer discounts for middle-month movers.

Keep All The Receipts

Some moving costs are deductible, so keep all the receipts from the move.

Move Management – Moving House Cleaning Plan

A question we often get when people are looking to move is “How clean is a seller or tenant required to leave a house or unit once moving out?” As you load the last of your belonging into the moving truck, unfortunately your hard work isn’t done yet. Before any relocation is complete, it is essential to thoroughly clean your house or apartment to pass the all important final inspection with either your landlord and or the new owners of your home.

When there is an absence of any legal requirement to clean the house before moving out, most sellers will take special steps of their own to present the home in an acceptable condition, for the buyers or for handing back to the landlord or leasing agent. It’s understandable that after moving all day, sellers or renters will often be too tired to spend a lot of time cleaning but unfortunately that’s no excuse to not get it done.

For this reason, having a “moving house cleaning plan” set in place is an important way to stay organised and clean efficiently after any relocation. Your first step in home cleaning before you move house as previously mentioned is to adhere to any specific cleaning regulations set in place by your body corporate, landlord, or real estate agent.

Depending on what was stipulated in your lease, you may be required to steam clean the carpets, clean your oven, or even hire a professional cleaning service to do the work and show receipts as proof of work done.

How to clean a house you just sold or are vacating?

We have all been there; the temptation to opt out on those last few cleaning chores is a force to be reckoned with! But don’t give in. How dirty you leave your home isn’t just about etiquette—it could also cause problems with the sale of your home if you are selling.

Post-move cleaning tips

You put everything in its place and start to relax. Then you figure out that you need to do additional cleaning. At that point, you might need all the post-move cleaning tips that you can get. And that is exactly the meat and potatoes of this article

Post-move cleaning tips – what you should know?

To be really effective with cleaning, you need to do one room at a time. The best place to start is the bathroom, of course, but here is a nifty list:




The Rest Of Your Home

Clean your bathroom first

To start things off, we will begin in the bathroom, as any of the respectable moving companies will tell you. The reason for this is simple. You want to do tackle the worst when you have the most energy and motivation. You want your bathroom to shine and you do not want to be tired. Start off by removing all of the stuff that you can, so you can approach most of the room. After that, start cleaning!

Post-move cleaning tips – the bedroom!

The next room that we are going to devote our attention to is the bedroom. While you may ask why won’t we save this room for last, it is because we want to be able to sleep in a nice bed if we feel too tired and wish to continue our work tomorrow. How’s that for one of the post-move cleaning tips?! However, even if that does not happen, having our bedroom clean is always a good thing! Make sure to remove all of the dust in the room because dust can cause allergies.

Clean kitchen thoroughly

The third room will be the kitchen. Again, same as the bathroom, you will want to move everything so you can approach corners and difficult places. This is especially true for spaces behind the fridge, stove and any other “fixed” kitchen element. If you have some elements that you can not move, then you might need some professional cleaning products. It is a wonder what we can get nowadays. Basically, if you think that you have a problem, you can bet that someone else also had that problem and that someone made something that will solve it. Just google your problem and you can order a nifty thing that will make that problem disappear

Tips for Cleaning Your New Home Before You Move In

The last thing you want to do is clean. You just packed your entire life in boxes and loaded them unto a truck. And you still must drive the distance, unload and unpack. Just the thought of going back in your old place and picking up the mess you left is daunting to say the least. However, you do want your security back don’t you? If so, quickly replace the thought of a cleaning rag in your hand with a wad of cash, and you are almost guaranteed to get the burst of energy you need to clean.

This brief guide will give you some quick and efficient cleaning tips to help you tidy up your old place so you can move on with your new life. Just remember, the cleaner the apartment, the quicker your security will end up right back where it belongs–in your hands.

Cleaning Supplies and Getting Started

Ideally, you took pictures when you first moved in as to document any damage the former tenant made. With said photos, you will have a reference point of what the place looked like when you handed over your security. Your goal now is to get your digs back in the same shape so your money will be fairly returned.

After taking pictures, the next thing you will want to do is stock up on cleaning supplies. The basic materials you will want to have handy are a vacuum, dry and damp cleaning rags, sponges, paper towels, Windex, Pledge, Scrubbing Bubbles, Easy Off Oven Cleaner, Lysol Toilet Bowl Cleaner, Fantastik, Comet, Resolve Carpet Cleaner, Mr. Clean, toilet brush, mop, gloves, air freshener and garbage bags

Clean Little Before Big

Obviously the easiest way to clean your apartment is to start in the room furthest from the front door and eventually end up at the entrance. Cleaning this way assures you will not track dirt back and forth. However, before you start tackling the rooms, take care of the tedious tasks first.

The Best Way To Get Rid Of Raccoon

Educational guide will help you to resolve your problem with a raccoon

Remember, raccoons are wild animals, and although they are not interested in attacking a person, and they very rarely transmit disease, please take proper safety precautions. Raccoons are basically urban animals, and they love to eat out of garbage cans or dumpsters or pet food dishes, and they frequently set up a den or a nest inside human dwellings, including in the walls or attic. They are very strong and have dexterous hands. You will find that the best way to get rid of raccoons is often with simple and free habitat modifications.

WARNING: In most cases, a raccoon in an attic is a female with a litter of babies.

STEP 1 – Inspect the exterior of the house, and find the raccoon entry hole.

STEP 2 – Climb into the attic space, and intimidate the mother. She may move out.

STEP 3 – That failing, spread raccoon eviction fluid in the attic and around the entry hole.

STEP 4 – If that didn’t work, attempt bright lights and loud radio in the attic for a week.

DECISION – If the female doesn’t move herself and the babies out, decide if you want them out now, or if you are willing to wait 8-10 months for them to grow and move out on their own.

STEP 5 – If you want them out, go in the attic and remove the litter of young by hand.

STEP 6a – You can either wait for the female to leave, and then seal the entry hole shut,

STEP 6b – Or you can use the young as “live bait” to lure her into a trap with them.

STEP 7 – Relocate them all together (this is a delicate process so read more about it).

STEP 8 – Seal the entry hole, and all vulnerable areas, with professional grade repairs.

STEP 9 – Clean the raccoon droppings and disinfect the attic space.

It can be a fairly simple and easy process, or it can be very complex, depending on the behavior of the raccoon. For more detail on each of the above steps

PREVENTION IS KEY – In most cases, you can solve the problem by taking away the attraction. You do not need to trap and remove the raccoon – that’s just a temporary fix anyway.

GARBAGE CANS – If possible, keep garbage indoors, and put it out for the garbage men in the morning. If not, you can drill holes in the side of the can and lid, and then use standard bungee cords to strap the lids on tight. Note, this isn’t a guarantee – it has to be very secure to work.

BIRD FEEDER – You can install a large squirrel baffle, which will also work for raccoons. You can also temporarily leave the feeder empty until the raccoon stops associating with a food source, then re-fill it.

PET FOOD – This is a no-brainer. If you leave pet food outdoors, it’s an open invitation to raccoons, opossums, skunks, stray cats, and more. Bring it inside if you don’t want wildlife eating it!

KILLING GOLDFISH – If you have a decorative pond with goldfish, simply buy some chicken wire at a hardware store, and either anchor it down, or make it into a ball that the goldfish can hide in.

RAIDING GARDEN – Raccoons are strong, and excellent climbers. So the usual trick of a fence around the garden won’t cut it, unless it’s a really good fence, with razor wire around the top.

IN THE YARD – If you think a raccoon is digging in your lawn, it’s quite possibly a different animal. Regardless, if you simply want to get rid of raccoons in your yard, your best bet is to find out whatever is attracting them, and modify it: remove it, or raccoon-proof it.

WARNING: In most cases, a raccoon in a wall or chimney is a female with a litter of babies.

IN THE WALL – If the raccoon is or climbing up and down the wall (or in a tight ceiling area), follow the above instructions for raccoon in the attic. The only extra challenge is accessing them. You may need to drill a hole near the warm spot (don’t drill into baby raccoons!) and install the raccoon eviction fluid there. You may need to cut a hole in the wall if it comes to removing baby raccoons by hand.

IN A CHIMNEY – Follow similar instructions as removing them from an attic. You have the negative of inaccessibility to deal with, but the positive of such a small space, in which eviction fluid works well. Never start a fire! That is the worst thing you can do. Read more detailed instructions: raccoons in chimney. After they are out, be sure to secure the open flu with a steel chimney cap.

STUCK IN A DUMPSTER – This is fairly simple, just stick a 2×4 plank of wood, or a thick branch into the dumpster, so they can climb out. Prevent future occurrences by moving dumpsters away from walls or fences that raccoons can easily climb, or better yet, leave the lids shut.

STUCK DOWN A WINDOW WELL – Same thing. Drop in something that will allow them to climb out, and then leave the area and wait. Window well guards will prevent it from happening again.

INSIDE THE HOME – If a raccoon somehow got stuck in your bedroom, kitchen, or living room, the best bet is to just open all doors, go elsewhere, and wait. It’ll find its way out. No brooms necessary. Same goes for the basement or cellar, if one gets stuck down there.

POOPING IN THE SWIMMING POOL – Raccoons like to wash their food in water, if possible (procyon lotor means “washes with hands”), and they like to defecate in water. They will often enter the swimming pool via the shallow front step and do their business. To stop this, you can install a board with nails sticking up on the front step, or just put unstable chicken wire over the area.

ENTERING HOUSE THROUGH PET DOOR – They often enter in search of pet food! So either keep the pet food locked in another room, or lock the pet door for a period of time until the raccoon quits. Or get a magnetic pet door that responds only to the collar of your dog or cat.

KILLING CHICKENS IN A COOP – Not much to say here except that you need a sturdier chicken coop. That goes for future raccoons, increasingly common urban foxes and coyotes, etc.

ROLLING UP SOD – They sometimes roll up fresh sod to look for worms/grubs. Some people have had success with motion-sensor water sprayers at keeping them away. If that doesn’t work, this is a tough case, and one of the few in which you may have to resort to inhumane cage trapping and euthanization if you can’t stand sod destruction.

UNDER THE HOUSE, PORCH, OR SHED – Find out how they got in. In many cases, the entire perimeter of the structure is open, and that’s an invitation to raccoons, skunks, stray cats, everything. If you don’t want animals under there, install a strong steel mesh exclusion barrier. Bolt it into the structure, and bury the bottom at least 8″ underground, with the mesh sloping outward. To get them out, you can use the newspaper trick or a one-way door.


Raccoons are “well-rounded,” often plump, with reddish brown to grey fur. Adults weigh an average of 15 pounds, and are readily identified by alternating rings on the tail and characteristic black “mask.” Raccoons are important furbearers, providing income and recreation to hunters and trappers. Many people enjoy watching or photographing raccoons. Some people feed them, but this is unnecessary and unwise. Keeping raccoons as pets may be harmful to both humans and raccoons, and is illegal.

Distribution and Habitat

Raccoons are among the most widespread mammals. The adaptable raccoon can be found everywhere, from the most remote forest to the crowded inner city. Raccoon populations often are more dense in large cities than in the wild, but abundance varies widely in different types of habitat and different parts of the state.


Raccoons feed mainly at night. They eat fruit, nuts, berries, small animals, and insects and also will feed on pet food, garbage, and garden crops. Female raccoons look for den sites in late winter. Litters of one to seven young are born in April and May. Young raccoons open their eyes about three weeks after birth, and often announce their presence with mewing, twittering, or crying sounds. They nurse for about six weeks, then leave the den to follow the mother until September or early October when they disperse and establish their own territories.

Mortality and Disease Factors

Canine Distemper

Canine distemper is a common disease and is usually fatal. Raccoons with distemper act tame or confused, and eventually lose coordination, become unconscious, and die. Distemper cannot be transmitted to humans or immunized pets.

Raccoon Rabies

Raccoon rabies reached in 1990 and has become widespread. Rabies is a viral disease with symptoms similar to distemper. Rabid raccoons may behave aggressively, salivate heavily, or have paralyzed hind legs. Rabies can be transmitted to humans and other animals by the bite of an infected animal. If you suspect a raccoon is rabid, avoid or destroy the animal and contact local health officials.


Roundworm infects most raccoons at some time in their lives. The roundworm rarely causes the raccoon any problems, but the animals pass large numbers of eggs to the environment. Eggs ingested by another animal may hatch and cause nerve damage.


Raccoons are protected by law. No one may possess a raccoon without a license, and licenses are not issued for pet wildlife. Hunting or trapping raccoons requires a license. The law allows unlicensed homeowners and farmers to destroy raccoons that damage property. However, property owners should try eliminating food and shelter before killing the animal.

Nuisance Wildlife

One of the most common wildlife problems face is garden raiding. The culprits are usually rabbits, groundhogs and deer, but occasionally a raccoon or bear will drop in for things like sweet corn and berries. Inexpensive solutions include using scarecrows, hanging pie tins and spraying peppery liquids on plants. Many home gardeners also place fences around their gardens.

Live-traps come in a variety of sizes and are of a cage-with-closing-door design. These traps are ideal for residential areas because if you catch the neighbor’s pet by mistake, all you have to do is open the door to release the dog or cat from the trap. Troublesome rabbits and squirrels can be relocated to another area. However, anyone who sets one of these traps must recognize it has the potential to catch something other than he or she may have ever expected; namely a skunk. The problem, of course, is what to do with the skunk. It’s liable to spray just about anyone who comes near the trap, even if the person is just trying to set it free.

Since skunks – as well as raccoons, bats, groundhogs, foxes and coyotes – are rabies vector species, they should not be relocated like other wildlife. Homeowners who set traps and catch these species face the choice of killing the animal or releasing it. Releasing a skunk or a raccoon can be a risky situation. There’s a chance that you could be sprayed by the skunk, or bitten or scratched. What follows promises to be unpleasant. You’ll either have to be deodorized or anxiously await test results on the trapped animal’s brain tissue to determine if it’s rabid.

Before you set a trap to resolve a wildlife conflict, ask yourself these questions:

Are you prepared to kill the trapped animal?

Do you know how to properly dispose of an animal carcass?

Do you know how to release a trapped animal?

Do you know what bait should be used to ensure you catch the targeted species?

Do you know how frequently you must check a trap set to capture wildlife?

If you can answer “yes” to the aforementioned questions then you should know what you’re getting into when you set a trap. Landowners and homeowners may not trap beavers, bobcats, migratory birds, big game, threatened species or endangered species. Landowners should contact the region office that serves the county where they are located before trapping nuisance wildlife. Also, once traps are set, they must be checked daily.

Get Rid of Raccoons

Why Get Rid of Raccoons?

Despite their innocent looking, cute little faces, raccoons actually have quite a reputation for being mischievous and destructive. Raccoons often knock down trash cans and uproot gardens and sod in search of a meal. Raccoons may also carry and transmit diseases such as rabies or roundworm. Raccoons are capable of becoming aggressive and biting humans or other animals when they are rabid or feel threatened.

There are Steps to getting rid of raccoon pests.  When it comes to getting rid of raccoons, there is no magic spray or repellent. These chemicals and other products like sound devices are really just gimmicks. The only proven way to get rid of a raccoon is through preventing access, limiting food sources, and trapping and removal.

Prevent Access

It is a little known fact that adult raccoons can fit through an opening as small as 3″ to 4″ in diameter. To prevent access, you should inspect the home or structure for all possible openings, and then seal them off. The most common entrance to a home for raccoons is down the chimney, or else through a window by way of the roof. Methods of preventing access include:

Trim trees and other shrubbery away from the house and roof

Secure a cap of sheet metal over the chimney outlet

Repair openings or holes in the home with heavy wire cloth or wood secured into solid substrate with screws

Electric fences may keep raccoons out of lawn and garden

Important Note: If you suspect a female raccoon or her litter may still be trapped inside your home, seal all entry points but one. This one existing opening will serve as an exit through which you can wait for the raccoon or raccoons to leave the structure before sealing it off. If you seal off ALL openings while a raccoon still exists inside, it may become trapped where you are unable to get to it and proceed to starve to death, resulting in a foul-smelling carcass. If there is a litter trapped inside and you seal the mother out, the litter will die and the mother will be inhumanely kept from her young. Be sure there are no raccoons left inside the structure before sealing off the last opening.

Limit Food Sources

Raccoons are not going to stick around long or make your home their home unless there are enough food sources to sustain them. To limit or eliminate food sources:

Keep all trash in metal cans or bins with tight fitting lids

Regularly splash the outer sides and lids of metals cans with ammonia, since raccoons are repelled by this scent and it also covers up food smells

Weight trash can lids with something heavy like a brick to keep raccoons from removing the lid

When throwing away meat or other foods with a strong odor, double-bag them to reduce smells

Elminate as many sources of water as possible in your hard and near your home

Regularly clean up fallen fruit such as berries in your garden

If possible, cover garden crops with a cage of wire netting.

Don’t leave pet food out at night

Problems with raccoons

Raccoons are living under my house (or in my attic). How can I get them to leave?

Your number one objective is to keep mothers and babies together. If you follow these steps, you should be successful. During nesting season (springtime and summer) patience is a virtue. It’s best to do nothing and wait until the young are big enough to leave on their own. If the mother is removed from the property, the now orphaned babies will soon begin to starve.

After you’ve determined that all of the raccoons – mother and babies – have moved out, you can prevent the situation from happening again by sealing the opening of the den. If you need to hasten the process, the best thing to do is to encourage the raccoons to leave by using mild repellants. To make the den inhospitable, we recommend the following combination of repellants done at night when raccoons are most active.

Place rags soaked in cider vinegar in an open container and place the container near the opening of the den.

Place a drop light or flashlight near the opening of the den.

Place a blaring radio tuned to an all-talk station near the den opening; not so loud that it keeps you or your neighbors awake.

How can I protect my garden from raccoons?

Plant squash around your beds to deter raccoons; they don’t like walking on the prickly squash vines.

Install motion sensor lights around your garden. Raccoons are nocturnal and bright lights often deter them from an area.

Grind up garlic, mix it with an equal portion of chili powder, and spread it around the garden, or sprinkle cayenne powder around the garden.

Have a dog. Even when dogs are inside during the night, the barking will often deter the raccoons.

Install a motion detector sprinkler system that is activated at night.

Raccoons keep getting into the garbage, what should do I do?

If there is no food and shelter to support them, most wild animals will go away and thrive off the natural environment. An abundance of food left out will only attract wild animals.

Do not feed raccoons.

Eliminate all food sources such as pet foods, birdseed, etc.

If your pets must be fed outside, remove all food at night.

Use heavy trash containers and fasten the lids securely with bungee cords or rope.

Harvest all ripe fruit from trees and shrubs and remove fallen fruit from the ground.

Keep pets inside and close off all pet doors so raccoons can’t enter through the door.

Keep BBQ grills clean or stored in a secure place.

Light the area with motion sensor lights.

Wrap metal around trees to prevent raccoons from climbing.

Discourage neighbors from leaving pet food dishes out at night or feeding the raccoons.