Benefits Of Hiring A Good Immigration Lawyer

Tips to Select the Best Immigration Lawyer

It’s important to make sure your attorney is licensed to offer the service and has the right credentials. You can check that information in the law office or by calling the local bar association. You will get to know about any disciplinary proceedings the lawyer has ever faced.

Ask trusted people if they recommend any immigration lawyer. The local lawyers association will barely recommend any particular attorney, so make sure you’ve gained enough recommendations from your friends, family members etc. In this manner you will also easily get the negative feedbacks about the specialist.

Don’t necessarily look for an attorney with high fees. The best immigration lawyers do usually charge high fees in proportion with the qualified service, but not every expensive attorney is qualified. Look for a lawyer with good reputation, whose fees are reasonable for you.

It can be advantageous for you if the chosen attorney also provides the additional services. You will save a lot of effort and time if you get all your legal work from the same specialist. You can also get help with managing your debt in the most efficient and timely matter if you deal with the best immigration lawyer, who is also a bankruptcy attorney.

In case you are still confused by the means of finding the right immigration Lawyer, the simplest way to find immigration law firms or individual lawyers is through a simple online search like in case with any other service. You can also be easily provided by the feedbacks, usually included in the related website section.

How to find, hire, and work with a U.S. immigration lawyer

Selecting a good immigration lawyer or the best one you can find is very much like selecting a good doctor or any other professional to help you. The time to find the right one is when you don’t need one. Unfortunately, many of us don’t even begin to think of looking for legal help until a need arises.

Having a qualified immigration lawyer on your team — someone you know, trust, and can call when you have questions or a problem — can provide a great deal of peace of mind, even to foreign nationals who prefer to handle some legal matters on their own without the advice of an immigration lawyer. Some businesses, wealthy people, and a few people who seem to need help all the time, may need to keep an immigration lawyer on retainer, but most people find it better to pay an immigration lawyer a retainer and an hourly rate for the legal services he provides on an as-needed basis.

Finding the right lawyer

Finding the right lawyer is probably the most important decision you will make in addressing a legal matter.  Talking with a friend, associate, or family member who is a satisfied client of a lawyer is usually the best way to get a good recommendation, and word of mouth is the best place to start.  Even if you are a new resident of the United States, you will find that your business associates, neighbors, accountants, fellow church members, and sometimes bank employees will recommend the name of a trusted lawyer.  If you are a foreign national, however, it is likely that the people you ask for a recommendation will not be familiar with your special needs, so please beware.  Make sure that the recommendations you get from friends or acquaintances are based on a prior business relationship with the lawyer and not on a personal one, or because the lawyer is simply associated with your friends’ or acquaintances’ business interests.  And make sure that your friend or acquaintance consulted the lawyer about an immigration or visa matter.  The practice of U.S. immigration and nationality law is highly specialized and complex.  And please remember this:  USCIS treats forms filed with its district offices and service centers as legal cases submitted to the federal agency for adjudication under the federal Administrative Procedures Act and its own regulations.

Small firm or large firm?

Many people ask whether a small firm or a large firm is best. There are good lawyers in firms of all sizes, including solo practitioners, and there are advantages and disadvantages in both small and large firms.  You may want to choose a small law firm with practitioners whose skills overlap, giving them the ability to care for each other’s clients should an illness, emergency, or vacation make it impossible for one of them to handle a particular legal matter in a timely fashion. If you are interested in choosing a sole practitioner, you should find out how the sole practitioner handles matters for his clients when he or she is ill or on vacation. Sometimes finding a lawyer who is right for you may be just a matter of luck, but by following these recommendations, you may increase your chances of finding the right lawyer to meet your needs and to form a lasting, confidential relationship with you.

How to consult with and hire a lawyer

Consulting an immigration lawyer to find out whether you need help with a legal matter need not be expensive.  Most immigration lawyers charge a nominal fee for an initial legal consultation, especially if you reach them through a State Bar lawyer referral service.

How to Choose the Best immigration lawyer

It can be quite a tumultuous experience to go through the United States’ visa journey. You have to engage with several authorities and fill a lot of paperwork before you are through. One of the things that you will need to do is take the immigration medical examination. This step is necessary and mandatory in the whole ladder of immigrating to the United States

Check Prominent Attorney Websites

Several online sites can give you referrals for reputable immigration lawyers. Some of the popular websites that you come across provide ranking to the lawyers for green card visas and immigration. You need to choose a lawyer who has a high success rate in this field. These websites also have a lot of valuable data that will help you to get useful information about each lawyer. The best way to arrive at a decision is to leaf through peer ratings of the attorneys that you wish to engage their services.

Customer Reviews

Once you narrow to a particular attorney firm or lawyer, you can check the ratings and Google for more information. Previous clients leave behind objective reviews that will help you to understand how the firm works. Don’t just count the number of reviews and then make a decision. Take your time and go through every review keenly. The options matter because they have a lot of insights about the performance of the lawyer.

Go Through the Firm’s Website

Check whether the website is entirely professional. Search for links to the recognition and awards that the law firm has received and customer reviews. It will tell you that the lawyer will work hard on your case because he has been doing so to other customers. Therefore, it is vital to scrutinize the website of the law firm for you to make an educated decision.

The Level of Knowledge of the Lawyer

The last thing you need to look at is how much does the attorney know? You will gain these insights by looking at where his or her expertise lies. You need someone who specializes in immigration law and not the whole sphere of civil law. The best way forward is to engage the services of a firm or lawyer that has a proficiency in immigration law. The in-depth knowledge and experience on the subject will make sure that you stand in good stead. The lawyer will also assist you to go through the medical examination process that is mandatory.

How to choose your immigration lawyer

Choosing an immigration lawyer is a nightmare. If I wasn’t a practitioner myself, I would have no idea where to start. But as a migrant coming to, or already in, the UK, poor advice from an immigration lawyer has almost uniquely life-ruining potential.So even if you read no further, take your time and shop around: talk to as many lawyers as possible before making your choice.

Background

There are thousands of immigration lawyers practicing in the UK, and hundreds of firms or organisations. An advisor must be regulated to provide immigration advice (or be exempt from regulation). This is explained below. But assuming the organisation you are considering is appropriately regulated, what factors should you consider when choosing between them?

Lawyers often point to certain Unique Selling Points as to why you should hire them. In immigration law, the most common are as follows

Superior expertise

Competitive fees

Location of offices

Languages spoken

Regulatory body; and

Internet rankings

Expertise

A lawyer’s competence is obviously an important factor in deciding whether to instruct him or her. But with most organisations promising sector-leading expertise, it is probably the most difficult judgment for a prospective client to make. Even for those working within the sector, other than hearsay from previous clients, it is almost impossible to really know what kind of service an organisation or lawyer is able to provide until you have either experienced it first hand, or seen a copy of the file.

Training

There is a requirement for all immigration lawyers to undergo Continuous Professional Development (CPD) training. Given how quickly UK immigration law changes training is particularly important, and is provided on a regular basis by experts in the field. If the lawyer you are considering provides training for an accredited training provider, this is usually a good way of assessing expertise.

How to Find the Right Immigration Attorney

When you are dealing with immigration issues and are ready to hire an attorney to help you with your case, you have a lot of options when it comes to legal professionals – maybe even too many. In fact, knowing who to hire and trust with your sensitive immigration matters can as overwhelming as it may be stressful, especially considering the fact that choosing an under-qualified lawyer could

Experience

Immigration law is a complicated field, and the processes associated with different types of immigration affairs can be just as complex. As a result, having an immigration attorney who has experience handling various types of immigration matters is crucial to making sure that your case is resolved as efficiently (and beneficially) as possible.You may be able to find out how much experience an attorney has with immigration cases by looking through his website. If you can’t readily find information regarding a lawyer’s experience on his website, you may also want to call that lawyer directly to ask about his experience handling immigration cases similar to yours.

Glowing Record with the State Bar Association

If any attorney has ever been censured or had formal complaints filed against him by, for instance, former clients, records of these matters will be recorded and kept by the state bar association. If you are considering hire a lawyer to handle your important immigration affairs, checking with the state bar association first is a good idea because it can confirm the lawyer’s experience while also possibly alerting you to any professional problems a lawyer may have had in the past.

Has good communication skills

At any given point while your immigration matters are moving forward, you will likely want to be kept in the loop and informed about what is happening with your case, what challenges may be arising and what you may need to do to overcome these obstacles. This means that you need to be able to rely on the fact that your immigration lawyer will be proactive about reaching out to you and that, when he does, he will be forthright about the status of your case.While you can ask an attorney directly about his communication skills (by, for instance, asking how often he will communicate with you about your case in the future, or how quickly he’ll get back to you if you reach out to him to ask questions about your case), it’s also a good idea to see what his past clients have said about his communication skills.

Will be accessible to you as your case progresses

This quality falls in line with communication skills, as it generally requires that you are able to get ahold of your lawyer when you have questions, need advice and/or simply need reassurance about your case. While it’s not necessarily reasonable to assume that an attorney will always be available to pick up your call the moment you place it, it is reasonable to expect your lawyer to get back to you within a few days.If a lawyer has a history of not getting back to his former clients (which you may learn about from client testimonials, for example), then be careful about moving forward with that attorney, and continue shopping around for another lawyer

The Advantages Of A Standing Metal Roof

How to Choose a Roofing Company and Why You Should Choose Top Metal Roofs?

Choosing a roofing company can be a daunting task especially if as a homeowner you’re clueless on what to expect, or have had minimal to no experience with a roofing company

A poor choice of a company will leave you frustrated from having poor installations and even poor quality roofing solutions Getting the right company to perform the task will not only save you on money but also guarantee you quality, durable workmanship, great warranty, and customer service

How old is the company?

The number of years a company has been in business can be a good indicator that they are well established and maybe in business for long. This means you will not need to worry about their existence soon

Do they provide written contracts?

A good roofing company should be able to supply their clients with contracts for any roofing needs they have. If you are not guaranteed of a written contract, this should act as a red flag for you.

Evaluate their communication

Did they receive your call? Did they answer your email? Did they provide you with a quotation when you requested for one? If the answer is “no” to the above questions, look for another company. A good company will ensure that they communicate with their clients as well as potential clients.

How Much Does a Metal Roof Cost to Install?

A metal roof costs more to install than basic asphalt shingle roof installation, but comes with many advantages. Homeowners can expect metal roof prices to range from $5 to $14 per square foot depending on type of metal material installed. Metal roof installation on an average size home would cost around $15,850 in total. In comparison, the price of asphalt shingles are much cheaper at $1 to $4.25 per square foot and around $10,572 for installation cost.

Metal Roofing vs Asphalt Shingles

When comparing metal roofing to asphalt shingle types there are a few things you’ll want to take into consideration such as price, durability, roofing style preference, overall maintenance, and lifespan of each roof type.

Life Expectancy:

While the initial material and installation cost of a metal roof type is higher than asphalt shingle roofs, their longevity is far superior lasting 40 to 80 years depending on metal type. Metal roofs last two to three times longer than a typical asphalt shingle roof, which sometimes only lasts 7 to 14 years.

Return on Investment:

Metal roofing can also increase the resale value of your home. Homeowners who invest in metal roofing get an average return on investment of 85.9% on their home’s resale value. Metal roofing can also lower your insurance rates and save you money because of its fire resistance, especially in states that are vulnerable to wildfires. Metal roofs boast a contemporary style, extensive warranties (30 to 50 years), and are very durable even in extreme elements such as heavy snow, hail, and even fire. It is best to find metal roof installers near you to help with any roof installation projects you want to complete. It takes an advanced knowledge to properly install metal roofs and it’s best left up to the roofing professionals in your area.

Metal Roof Prices by Type

It’s important to understand that “metal roofing” is a broad term covering a range of materials with a large disparity in price. Metal roofing will generally run you anywhere from $5.00 to $12.00 per square foot, depending on which kind of metal roof you choose to install. There are more affordable metal roofing options, like steel panels, which usually cost you slightly less, as well as high-end materials, like copper roofing, which tend to average out on the pricier side and new roof replacement costs could reach up to $48,000 to install.

Choosing The Right Metal Roof For Your Home

Have you considered upgrading to a metal roof, but are overwhelmed by the options? In the past, the variety of metal roofing materials were limited. Now, thanks to advancements in technology and manufacturing, there are a wide range of selections available. At CMR Construction & Roofing, we enjoy helping our residential and commercial clients find the perfect solution for all of their roofing needs. Here are some tips on how you can choose the ideal metal roof for your home or business

Style

Modern metal roofing comes in an impressive range of styles to suit any design preference. Choose from a wide variety of models that match your home’s décor. Minimalists and farmhouse style homes and businesses often prefer conventional standing seam. Old World Spanish architecture can be enhanced with a metal roof that is inspired by the ceramic tile of the Mediterranean. Other popular designs which mimic wooden shakes or even slate rock shingles offer a fresh and sophisticated charm. With today’s incredible selection, property owners can enjoy a roof that embraces the beauty and nostalgia of traditional materials, with the durability and longevity that metal offers.

Materials

Another consideration is what kind of materials you want to use for your metal roof. Options may include copper, stainless steel, aluminum, zinc alloy, and more. The materials chosen will affect the weight of the roof and its resistance to rust and corrosion. For some materials like copper, the gradual transformation from brilliant metallic to seafoam green verdigris patina is a benefit to the overall aesthetics of the property. Be sure to discuss the various features of your metal roofing options with a professional so you can make the most educated choices for your home or company.

Color

Most metal roofing materials come in an array of hues, providing extremely versatile choices for homeowners who want to improve their curb appeal. Metal roofs are already energy-efficient, but this benefit can be further amplified by choosing a lighter tone for maximum reflective qualities.

Are You Ready to Invest in a New Metal Roof? Call CMR Construction & Roofing

Is it time for you to update your home or commercial property with beautiful, durable metal roofing? Then call the experts

How to Choose the Right Fastener for Metal Roofing Panels?

Metal Roofing fasteners are only Link between Structure and Building Envelopes and critical components of buildings, Your reputation hangs on specifying the right fasteners. Metal roof fasteners may seem like only a minor aspect of a big system in both cost and size. Yet, they are the part that holds it all together. If this small, inexpensive part fails, it can result in costly issues down the road. That being said, you must make sure that all exposed fasteners are long-lasting. They are a key factor in a metal roof replacement or installation project.

Whether your roof is a ROOF panel or a standing seam roof panel, it will have some exposed fasteners. The fasteners, therefore, must be durable to prevent perforation of the roof panels. A non-durable fastener will always begin to rust, even if painted. Avoid this by always using long-lasting fasteners in all exposed fastener locations. Failure to adhere to this could reduce the service life of your roof.

A fastener must be able to withstand all the environmental elements it is exposed to. These include UV degradation, salts from marine environments, acid from industrial pollution, rain, extreme heat, fumes and gases from within factories and plants, etc. While exposed to these conditions the washers must remain elastic, intact and watertight for the life span of the complete roofing system.

The cost of the Fasteners is normally less than 2% of the total Building cost or less than 1/2 % of the total cost of the project. But specifying inadequate fasteners can cause up to 100% of the defect in the Project. It would lead to the replacement of roofs, the Obstacle of production, water leakage, mess up of finished products, machinery, and all related issues.

Many companies state that they supply EPDM Washer, but because there are currently no standards in place that specify the percentage of EPDM required in the washers, the EPDM contents vary greatly. The number of ingredients in any given EPDM blend can range from 5 to 20 with hugely varying properties, such as UV stability, elasticity, compression resistance and resistance to heat aging. An important fastener additive is carbon black. A small amount of carbon black is required in the EPDM blend as it offers important performance characteristics at a relatively low cost.

Choosing the best company to reroof with a metal roof

From shingles to metal roofing panels

You have decided to reroof with a metal roof, and after the initial research, you are concerned that it is a gigantic undertaking and you want to get it right. You have questions, such as what materials to use and which Charlotte roofing companies are qualified to do the work. You will want to know the difference between cost and value. To add to your confusion, there are product warranties, a wide range of colors and styles, and different types of energy efficient systems. The best place to start is to find a trustworthy roofing contractor to help guide you with their expertise. This contractor should also be qualified to help you with honest pricing and finding the best value for your home.

Charlotte metal roofing companies

Rather than being overwhelmed by the choices, a Charlotte roofing company will help you see the wide variety of finishes, designs, and colors as an advantage. You can practically give your home a new and distinctive look, which will separate it from all the cookie cutter homes in the subdivision. The metal roofing panels create a stylish design that not only makes your home look great, but it also means that your new roof will be significantly more durable and resistant to severe weather. Metal roofs resist cracking and shrinking, and they even stand up to hail. Metal roofing is a valuable asset in areas that are prone to high winds and wildfires.

Energy efficient metal roofing

Energy Star rated metal roofing will provide greater energy savings compared to standard shingles and most other non-metal roofing materials that are out on the market today. Your roof absorbs a tremendous amount of heat in the summer and cold in the winter. Energy efficient metal roofing panels will stabilize the temperatures in your attic, making it more cost efficient to heat or cool your home. Think of the savings over the long lifespan of a metal roof, which can become a significant return on your initial investment

Reroof with a metal roof as an investment

Because more people choose to stay in their homes longer, the decision to reroof with metal is significant. Homeowners understand that temporary and substandard roofing does not make sense, even if you plan to sell the home in a few years. In any case, temporary fixes do not make sense. Metal roofing is an investment because it adds value and it lasts.

Leading brands of metal roofing

If you need expertise to help you choose the best metal roof for your home, Advanced Roofing and Exteriors is the answer for residents of Charlotte, NC, and the surrounding areas. They specialize in residential and commercial metal roofing installation.

Photograph Your Underwater Adventures With A Marine Digital Camera Operator

Choosing the right size camera crew

There is a lot of planning and preparation involved when it comes to creating a video. When you are planning, you must consider what size crew you will need to get the best results possible for your project. This post will walk you through the process that goes into choosing what size production crew you will need.

Single Camera Operator

For the vast majority of our video work, a two-person crew is the bare minimum. There is just too much work involved to ensure that both sound and vision come out perfectly. However, there are a few instances where you can get away with just a single camera operator who will also operate the sound equipment.

2 Person Crew

A two person crew (director/camera operator and camera operator) is a great place to start for an average project based on interviews and most corporate interview work.  It’s perfect for talking head style interviews, as two cameras can be operated, giving you options to cut between angles and give you much more room to edit

3 Person Camera Crew

We firmly believe that every crew should have a director on set,  someone to keep everything on track and someone to defer to with tricky decisions. But it’s a great idea to have at least three crew members on set to make sure no aspect of the production is left unattended. Two focused camera operators give the editor more cutaway options and footage to work as well as less pressure for someone to monitor the shots on two cameras. If you’re looking to shoot an interview but need to ensure the shoot runs smoothly with the best possible footage, we suggest a three person camera crew. The additional member can do the odd jobs that pop up on a crew; charging batteries, moving lights, and applying make-up.

The Rest of the Crew

For simple things like an interview or a bit of B-roll, a larger crew than 3 will be overkill. However, the more people on camera at once, the more camera operators you will need. For a TV interview chat with say, 4 participants, you will need at least three camera operators and a director, and the scale just gets larger as the production gets bigger. For example, a sound recordist is required if your video will feature more than 2 speakers. A gaffer (electrician and lighting expert) may be required if the filming needs a specialist shot, like large outdoor scenes or shots on a moving car. Production assistants, runners, camera assistants will all get involved as the project gets bigger and more complex.

What You Need to Know for Successful Multi-Camera Live Video Streaming

if you have an upcoming event and you want live video streaming, you’re thinking about the end product: you want your event up on the web, and you want people to see it. But before that can happen, there are an awful lot of moving parts that have to come together. And there’s a lot that can go wrong. Here’s what you need to know to make sure your event is successfully live streamed.

What is Multi-Camera Live Video Streaming?

Today, anyone with a cell phone can live stream an event. But while cell phone video streaming is easy, it doesn’t provide anywhere near the professional look your corporate or institutional event requires.

Multi-camera live video streaming uses video from several live cameras, and switches between those video feeds to create a highly produced, highly professional live streamed broadcast

Of course the success of your live streaming depends on having good cameras and good camera people. But most of the work actually happens before the event – and this is where things can go wrong.

Set-up

Your video crew will schedule three or more hours before the event, for set-up and testing. This can be done the day before (if the room is available) or day of. Exactly how much time is needed depends on the number of cameras, and on whether your video crew is also doing lights and audio.

WORKING AS A CAMERA OPERATOR

What Does A Camera Operator Do

Film and video editors and camera operators manipulate images that entertain or inform an audience. Camera operators capture a wide range of material for TV shows, motion pictures, music videos, documentaries, or news and sporting events. Editors take footage shot by camera operators and organize it into a final product. They collaborate with producers and directors to create the final production.

Duties

Film and video editors and camera operators typically do the following:

Shoot and record television programs, motion pictures, music videos, documentaries, or news and sporting events

Organize digital footage with video editing software

Collaborate with a director to determine the overall vision of the production

Discuss filming and editing techniques with a director to improve a scene

Select the appropriate equipment, such as the type of lens or lighting

Shoot or edit a scene based on the director’s vision

Education

Most editor and camera operator positions require a bachelor’s degree in a field related to film or broadcasting, such as communications. Many colleges offer courses in cinematography or video-editing software. Coursework involves a mix of film theory with practical training

Training

Editors may complete a brief period of on-the-job training. Some employers may offer new employees training in the type of specialized editing software they use. Most editors eventually specialize in one type of software, but beginners should be familiar with as many types as possible.

Licenses, Certifications, and Registrations

Certification is a way for editors to demonstrate competence in various types of editing software. To earn certification, video editors must pass a comprehensive exam. Candidates can prepare for the exam on their own, through online tutorials, or through classroom instruction.

Types Of Camera Shots To Consider When Filming Church Services

As a camera operator for your church, you can make your message even more powerful by taking some time to consider the goal of each sequence of a service. Are you trying to evoke emotion? Do you need to emphasize the scenery behind the pastor? What’s the theme of the pastor’s sermon?

As you’ll see, just like in reality, the closer you get to your subject, the more personal it feels. Your distance to your subject is just one element that can entirely alter the impact of each frame.

The way you frame your shot is often just as important as the subject of what you’re shooting.

How To Film an Event

How you film an event can either make or break that event. If we watch closely events like those organized by TEDx, we will realize that these events are not shot haphazardly, but are directed in various ways to really embrace the nature of the speech given, the speaker’s expressions, as well as the audience’s reactions. The same goes for entertainment events, sports events, etc.

Write a Plan

Shooting an event can get really tricky. There’s usually something that’s the center of the event, whether it’s a performance, a speech, a prize-giving, etc, as well as the audience or crowd, and the atmosphere of the event. Each of these elements has to be included in the plan with the right balance so as not to waste any of your assets.

Keys to A Successful Event Video

One of the keys to success in capturing an event on video is the formation of the right crew for this particular event. A director, cameraman, or sound engineer might be great at their job and highly qualified, but nothing works without them having the right specialty. Just like a heart surgeon would not perform plastic surgery, you have to make sure the team you pick for your sports event is specialized in such events, which would substantially differ for example from a conference on astronomy.

Live Event Camera Set-up

The first thing you have to make sure is available while shooting your event is the variety of angles. Whether you are using one camera or more, you need to make sure the organizers take into account this issue while setting up the stage or the hall where the event is taking place. Also, if there are seats for the audience, it would serve you best to secure a seat in middle for front shots.

Camera Positioning

When you position the camera, you have to know what your limitations are. If you’re only using one camera, keep it close to the stage, because if you’re only shooting the event from one spot, it should obviously be focused mainly on the main performance. However, if this is the case, then you should at least manage to get a sliding deck so that you can move smoothly from one angle to another without causing any disturbance to the video or any rigid movement.

Faster Than Average Growth of Accountant And Auditor Jobs

How to Select a Good Accountant

The quick and easy answer to how to select a good accountant is to say, “Select me!” That, however, is not the purpose of this article, so we will provide you with some additional criteria for the selection of an accountant for your business. Before we discuss the attributes of a good accountant and accounting firm, let us review why you need the help of any accountant, good or bad.

At the very least, you will require an accountant to assist you in the preparation of your tax return. The tax department views your business as a series of taxable income and deductible expense transactions. The income tax return summarizes these transactions and calculates your contribution to the national revenue system. Unless taxation is a major hobby of yours, you will need an accountant to sort this out for you. Therefore, it is in the area of taxation that you need a good accountant.

The next reason to use an accountant is to prepare your monthly, quarterly and annual reporting to the government. Each report to the government, be it sales tax, payroll taxes or whatever, requires the completion of forms that are governed by strict regulations… regulations that, if not followed, will result in the taxing agency levying heavy fines. Again, unless you have a outside interest in this, it’s best left to people who work with it every day.

You may be thinking that the above reasons for using an accountant imply that you will be financially punished by the government if you do not do so. Partially, this is true. Inadvertently, the powers that be have devised a tax collection and reporting system that places a large burden on the independent business owner. With few exceptions, the reporting required by a five-person operation is similar to the reporting required by an organization employing thousands of people. The difference is the resources available to accomplish the task.

Now let us turn to some positive reasons for using an accountant in your business. After handling your compliance issues with the various levels of government, a good accountant should go further and help you with the financial circumstances of your business. This leads us to the first major criteria of a good accountant. Will you and your accountant be able to fully understand each other? It is extremely important that the lines of communication are clear, and the accountant takes the time to review the financial information provided. A good accountant will drop the jargon and speak to you in a way that helps you better run your business. When selecting an accountant, select someone who appears interested in your business and someone with whom you feel you can develop a rapport. The second step is to ensure that this person is the one with whom you will talk. Is the person selling the service the one who will work with you? How will this contact be made? On what schedule and under what circumstances will your calls be returned? You cannot expect this accountant to be available 24 hours per day, but it is reasonable to expect a return call within 24 hours.

How to Choose a Good Accountant

With so many accountancy firms to choose from, how do you choose a good accountant? Remember, what’s good for one business, may not be quite right for the next. Certainly, with your startups’ finances, you’ll want to choose an accountant you can trust. Not only that, but one that’s qualified and ensures you’re compliant with Companies House and HMRC. Therefore, choosing an accountant for your startup is definitely an important decision. The right accountant will keep on top of your accounts. In addition, mitigate fines and penalties and any other unwanted tax bills. Ultimately, this supports good cash flow & your ability to grow, so choose the right accountant for your startup.

How to Choose a Good Accountant?

It’s a good idea to ask people in your network. For instance, ask them how they went about choosing a good accountant and do they have an accountant they trust. Most importantly, what has been there experience with the accountant(s) they’re using or previously used? Try to drill down as much as you can. Whilst it may seem like a ball ache, avoid choosing an accountant without checking them out for the sake of ticking it off your to do list.

In addition, compare this with a general online search for local accountants. Compare at least 3 accountancy businesses and weigh up the pros and cons for each. As a startup and particularly in the early stages, cost is a driving factor for a lot of the choices we make. On average, you’re looking at around £500-750 for annual accountancy services. For example, for account filing and tax returns, although the more complicated and niche your startup, the higher the price. Your location may also affect price, but as a ballpark figure in and around London, this is what you can work towards and compare quotes with.

Choosing an Accountant for your Startup

First of all, decide what accountancy services you need and why. It’s important to be clear in your mind about what you need and who can provide this to your expectations. Remember, accounting and financial reporting requirements differ according to your business structure.

Secondly, check that your shortlisted accountant(s) are qualified. For example, the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales (ICAEW) and the Association of Chartered Certified Accountant (ACCA). This gives you the chance for recourse in the unfortunate event that mistakes, or other issues crop up.

How to choose the best contractor accountant

The right contractor accountant will take care of your tax paperwork and help you make sure you don’t pay more than you have to. More importantly, they’ll advise you on complicated rules like IR35, so you can crack on with your work without having to worry about what would happen if HMRC were to investigate you.

When should you hire a contractor accountant?

Before we discuss how to choose a contractor accountant, a quick word on when to hire one. While you might think it’s a big expense — especially if you haven’t made any money from contracting yet — it’s worth hiring one before you even start

What qualifications do they have?

It goes without saying, but you should only work with an accountant if they’re suitably qualified. At a bare minimum, they should have an AAT foundation certificate. This is an entry-level qualification which gives a good grounding in bookkeeping, costing, and other basic issues around financial administration.

Do they specialise in contracting?

As a contractor, you have to comply with complex and tricky legislation such as IR35 and the rules around expenses. These can have dire financial consequences if you get them wrong.

Individuals vs accountancy firms: who should you go for?

Like other businesses, accountants can vary enormously in size — from one-man bands to large firms with thousands of employees across the country (or even across the globe). Both have their pros and cons.

How to choose a good accountant for a new business?

When starting a new business, what are some important considerations for choosing a good accountant? What should one look for / ask for? What are some red flags?

Choosing the right accountant is one of the most important steps a new company can make. Here are some tips to consider while choosing for an accountant:

Consider a certified of chartered accountant – a qualified accountant will be able to add value to your company, especially if you expect your business to grow

Relevant experience – could be beneficial for you if the accountant you choose has experience and expertise in the market sector or industry of your business

Accounting software – if you already have an accounting software set up it’s best if your accountant already has knowledge on it

Ask for referrals

Determine the fees and costs – the accountant could offer various services for which other fees may apply, have a clear communication regarding payments

Consider whether you would prefer to hire an individual accountant or an accounting firm depending on your business’s needs

Some red flags to watch out for:

Communication and the lack of

They don’t know your industry, especially if it is something specific

They only have short contracts in their portfolio – clients would not want to let go of a good accountant

Bending the rules – a good accountant will always maintain their integrity as otherwise could get you into trouble

They are vague when answering your questions

You don’t feel confident in choosing them

How to choose the right accountant

When it comes to choosing an accountant, you’re looking to build a business relationship with someone, who ideally you’re going to be with for long haul. Of course it’s possible to switch and change, but it’s not ideal, so it’s definitely worth putting in the groundwork right from the start so you can find the right solution.

THE FIT

The first consideration is the fit.  Think, are you happy discussing the inner workings of your business with the accountant you’re considering? Would you be comfortable asking them various questions about your accounts and would they explain things in a way that you understand? Do they appreciate the general ethos of what you’re trying to achieve with your business?

CREDENTIALS

In short, is the accountant you’re considering up to the job?  In this video I explain that accountancy isn’t actually a regulated profession, which means anyone can potentially call themselves an accountant. So you might want to check they’re a member of a professional body

THE LEVEL OF SUPPORT

It’s important to think about what support you’ll need. Remember, you don’t need to have an accountant. So start considering what’s required and whether your potential accountant can support you with what you want now.

And also perhaps more importantly, coming back to the idea of building a relationship with someone, can they support you going forward with where your business wants to be? There’s no point in working with someone who will be great for a year or two and then suddenly you’ll have to swap and change. So try and think a bit longer term.

Interior Painting Trends That Are Off The Charts

How to Estimate a Painting Job in 7 Steps: A Simple Guide for Beginners

Estimating a painting job can be tough for those new to the painting business. You don’t want to bid so high that you don’t get the job. Nor do you want to price yourself so low you don’t make a profit.

1. Do a Site Visit

Do yourself a favor and visit the site first before you start your estimate. There could be factors that will up the price like poor condition of the walls. You’ll need more paint if you’re covering dark walls. Multiple accent walls and different colors will take more time.

Asking all of these questions beforehand will make your estimate more accurate and save you trouble down the line. If you’re inexperienced at painting or estimating, try to bring someone more experienced to the job site with you.

2. Estimate the Cost of Paint

Paint can cost from $15 to $80 a gallon depending on the brand, your discount and the quality. Contractors typically pay up to $45 per gallon, according to Painting Leads.

Ask your paint supplier if they give a contractor discount. They’ll be much more willing to cut you a break if you’re buying lots of paint every month and you have a good relationship with them. It may take time before you can get a sizable break on your paint costs, so don’t rely on this in the beginning.

Now that you’ve chosen your paint, take your measurements from step one and figure out how much paint you’ll need for the job.

Let’s say paint is $25 per gallon. Here are some rough estimates for either the exterior or interior of a house, including body and trim:

  • 1,500 square foot house: 10 gallons, $250 cost of paint
  • 2,500 square foot house: 15 gallons, $375 cost of paint
  • 4,000 square foot house: 25 gallons, $625 cost of paint

3. Estimate the Cost of Materials

You’ll need the following materials for an exterior painting job (the material amounts are based on a 2,500 square foot house that needs a medium amount of prep):

  • Primer: 1 gallon
  • Caulking: 6 tubes
  • Tape: 10 rolls
  • Masking paper: 3 rolls
  • Masking plastic: 2 rolls
  • = $115 approximate cost of materials

That said, material amounts depend heavily on how much prep is required—more prep means more primer and caulking.

It also depends on how many windows there are and how much roof line and brick there is if you’re doing an exterior—more of any of those things means more masking paper and plastic.

4. Estimate the Cost of Labor

Here’s a rough estimate for exterior painting: two to three painters can paint the exterior of a 2,500 square foot house in one to two full days. The crew will cost about $800 per work day, so you’re looking at $1,600 max.

A 1,500 square foot house will take a day ($800) and a 4,000 square foot house will take three days ($2400).

Then again, the following problems might triple the time a project takes:

  • Multiple coats of paint required
  • Ivy, trees in the way
  • Difficult to paint windows, like embedded windows
  • Difficult house access: hard to place ladders, steep roofs
  • Lots of prep work: wood damage, peeling

5. Estimate the Cost of Marketing

Here’s a hidden cost you should definitely take into account: marketing. Paying for lead providers, printing and distributing flyers and making lawn signs don’t pay for themselves.

Always monitor your marketing costs and stick with tactics that generate leads. Just make sure you’re spending no more than 10 percent of a project price to get the job. This will leave your profit margin intact.

  • For example, a $1,000 paint job shouldn’t cost you more than $100 in marketing.

6. Apply Your Markup

Why the difference? Overhead costs, for one. More experienced companies usually have a staff, an office, accounting fees and higher sales and marketing costs.

Before you decide on your markup, you should always know your total overhead costs to make sure you’re not selling yourself short. Insurance, a warranty fund, clothing, vehicle costs and gas are other costs you need to be aware of.

7. Do the Final Calculation

Calculate your final estimate using this formula:

Paint Cost + Materials Cost + Labor Cost + Marketing Cost + Markup = Total Project Cost

Some companies choose to include their marketing costs in their markup—it’s up to you.

Consider rounding up your total fee, like rounding up $1,150 to $1,200, to create room for unexpected costs.

Ever Thought Why Some Paintings are so Expensive? Here is the Answer

The Artist – One of the biggest, if not the biggest, factors that make prices of paintings sway in one direction is the artist behind the painting. Have you ever heard of Picasso or Cezanne painting sold for less than million dollars? Probably not! This is the kind of an impact that name of an artist can have on the price tag. The demand for paintings by celebrated artist has also contributed in making their art expensive.

For example, there are only less than 30 paintings by Leonardo da Vinci remaining today. Now, who doesn’t want to own a Da Vinci painting! This, in turn, causes the price of these paintings to go up. This is why, when some paintings by world famous artists turn up for auctions, attracts so many eyes. In some cases, works of an artist became popular only after his or her death. Works of artists like Frida Kahlo, Amrita Sher-Gil etc are examples.

The Quality of Work – This is not something that is applicable for paintings from famous artists. They already have the reputation of being the best. The quality of work comes under scrutiny in the case of paintings by lesser known artists or artists who are trying to paint their name in books of history. They way an idea is developed, manner in which it is depicted, technique used for portraying the idea and all that matters. Some artists manage to achieve this quality and this is when the paintings become expensive.

Materials Used and Time Period – The price of a painting might also depends on the time period during which it was created. A painting made in the 16th century is likely to cost much more than art paintings of the modern day.

When it comes to art paintings, even the materials used for the painting can affect the price. The canvas used, paints and so forth can directly affect the price of a painting. It is also noted that thickness of paint can also affect prices. Some art paintings use minimum amount of colors while others use thick layer of paints. This could reflect directly on the amount displayed on the price tag.

Using a Paint Sprayer

While rolling has its points, paint sprayers do exist for a good reason: they are fast. You may wish to use a paint sprayer if some of these conditions are met:

  • Priming new, large interior spaces: When the room is in the early phases of remodeling, it is a blank canvas. This canvas lends itself well to paint spraying. You can spray with abandon, masking off only a few key areas such as plumbing stub-outs, electrical boxes, and windows. When a room is at this point of remodeling, it will always be faster to spray than roll the paint.
  • Painting an exterior with a clear perimeter: Exteriors with mature landscaping, extensive decking, sunrooms, playsets, garages, and anything else close to the house that will not be painted significantly drags down your preparation time. A clear perimeter means that you only need to mask items on the house, not around the house.
  • You have lots of detail work or texture: Paint sprayers make short work of complicated textures, such as those found on crown molding, popcorn or cottage cheese ceilings, built-up baseboards, deep exterior textures, cornices, dentils, or masonry. Paint sprayers have the ability to work into the narrowest crevices, laying down a thin coat. By contrast, brushing or rolling detailed surfaces can result in pooled up paint and drips.

Tips

I’m going to leave you with a few hints and tips that I’ve picked up in this project and will use on all the next paint projects I tackle:

  • Spend the extra money getting better tools. Buy the $6 dollar bendy handle trim brush ( I won’t do trim without it) as compared to the $2 chip brush. Get the more expensive paint tape with edge lock tech. You’ll get crisper lines, less paint seeps. Cheap brushes and tape don’t help and usually cause double work. You’ll still save money by doing the painting yourself.
  • Take the extra time and tape off your windows, sills, countertops, floors—basically anything not getting painted. The same thing with door hardware, take off the knobs, tape hinges. It takes a lot of time to do. It’s a hassle. But after you’re done painting, and you’re peeling off the paint and plastic and putting back on the knobs, it’ll look so good! You’ll feel so good!
  • Clean your brushes thoroughly right after use. Especially if you’re buying the more expensive ones! That extra care will go a long way. You can reuse the brushes for future projects.
  • Paint trim first, then walls. 
  • After painting, if need be, install door stoppers right away. Save the walls from abuse!

The Clean-Up Process

There are a few different things to consider when cleaning up after painting.

First, don’t clean oil paints in a sink. You have to use thinner to clean up your gear and brushes. This will require you to clean your gear in a separate receptacle, like a disposable tub or plastic bucket, filled with any cleaning agents, like soap and water or laundry detergent.

The thinner can’t be disposed curbside. Find out how your city handles disposal of paint thinners and where you can turn in the bucket of thinner to be disposed of properly by a professional.

You can dispose of paint via curbside trash pickup, but you have to add a drying agent to the paint before putting it out. Drying agents include cat litter and sand to soak up any remaining paint. The paint lids must also be removed.

However, if you’d rather keep your extra supplies and paint, Ray Wheeler suggests washing the brushes in a softener mix.

“By mixing two tablespoons of fabric softener and warm water, you can create an overnight soak that will lift dried on paint to be scrubbed off the next day,” explains Wheeler.

Additionally, you might not want to throw out your leftover paint, Always set aside paint reserves in case of unexpected stains in the near or distant future. Different batches might come with different results in terms of color.

A Guide To Different Electrical Wiring Products

Common Electrical Wiring Questions

Whether you are a skilled electrician or an at home do it yourselfer, it is not unusual for you to have some common electrical wiring questions. These may come up in reference to a rewiring job you are doing or you may wonder if wiring is to blame if there are issues with the electrical equipment in your home. Whatever the case may be, here are some common electrical wiring questions and answers.

What do I need to know about appliance wiring?

This is a common electrical wiring question since homeowners often encounter an issue involving appliance wiring. Every appliance has an electrical connection and each specific outlet requires a certain breaker they need to be connected to. Some appliances, such as garbage disposals, need a simple 120 volt circuit breaker or single-pole circuit breaker. Others need a 240V feed that requires a double pole circuit breaker.

 How do I know if my electrical wiring connection is good or bad?

Some electrical connections are good…others not so much! Product manufacturers might give you a choice of connection points which include switches and outlets. You may be able to ascertain which will be the wisest choice by researching and using common sense. Whatever you do, beware of loose connections that can cause devices to heat up and result in an electrical fire. Create a safe and secure connection that will last a long time.

What do I need to know about electrical device wiring?

This is a common electrical wiring question as many homeowners may have issues that involve electrical device wiring. Like appliances, devices may need either 120V or 240V outlets. You need to be aware of which outlet your device requires. You should also know the proper way to strip, bend and tighten connections so that they are safe, secure and long lasting.

Why Aren’t My Outlets Working?

One of the most common reasons outlets stop working is that a GFCI (ground fault circuit interrupter) has been triggered. If your electricity accidentally gets rerouted the wrong direction or too much power is coming through your system, this breaker will be triggered. Go to your circuit breakers and see if something needs to be switched.

Why Is My Light Flickering?

A common cause of flickering lights is that your bulbs are suffering from a bad connection. This could mean that you need to screw your bulbs in better. It could also mean that you need to check for frayed wires along your line.

What About My Flickering LEDs?

LED lights have trouble dealing with the powerful alternating current coming from your walls. Often, they fall out of sync with your line and they might flicker. As technology improves, this problem will go away.

Common Electrical Problems in Your House: Harmless or Hazardous?

Harmless

Loose Outlet Plug

Turn off the breaker. Double check for voltage to the outlet (use a volt meter or plug something in). Unscrew the cover plate and add outlet shims until the outlet is flush with the wall.

Broken Light Switch

Turn off the circuit breaker (the light will go out when you choose the right one). Use a flathead screwdriver to remove the faceplate and a Phillips head to remove the light switch. Test the two wires connected to the screw for electricity. If it’s safe, disconnect and reassemble the light switch.

Simple Short Circuit

Some electrical appliances, such as hairdryers, can frequently trip or short circuits. Reset the breaker. Repeated occurrences with the same appliance indicate it’s the appliance – not the electrical system. Without the appliance? A short in the wiring or receptacle needs to be addressed by a pro.

Cut or Damaged Extension Cord

Unplug both ends. Cut off the old plug. Gently score and peel back the insulation jacket. Strip each wire with a wire stripper, twisting each wire tightly at the end. Screw them into the back of the plug: black to gold; white to the silver screw; green to the green screw. Then close the plug and secure the wires. Cut in the middle? Purchase extra ends and turn the damaged cord into two new ones.

Hazardous

Flickering or Dimming Lights

This could be a sign of a poor connection and can lead to eventual arcing – loose/corroded connections making intermittent contact that could result in sparking, overheating, and fire.

Light Bulbs Burn Out Frequently

If you’re experience frequent bulb blowouts, it could be more serious than overuse. You may have a loose connection in the socket or circuit. Recessed lights that frequently fail? Nearby insulation could be causing overheating and these fixtures are designed to shut off to prevent fire.

Dead Outlets

Dead outlets can result from a tripped poor connection (and possible arcing), or a tripped breaker due to excessive heat buildup resulting in melted wires or outlets.

Warm Outlets or Switches

Unless it is a dimming switch, warm outlets are as a serious safety concern and should be addressed by a pro immediately.

Frequently Tripping Breakers

Usually a sign the circuit is overloaded and using too much electricity. You should add a circuit or consider upgrading your electrical service.

Electrical Problems and Solutions

The problem is that the circuits fitted during older days were not designed to power different types of electronic equipment or lighting of this era.

There may be obvious signs of strains with more extension cords and single outlet paving the way to sprout power strips or lurking not seen at the back of ceilings, walls and cover plates.

So when considering household electric appliances, your safety is the main goal. If you are facing high bills, flickering lights and damaged appliances at your home, you can make sure the home circuit is not in a proper working condition.

Here are some common electrical wiring problems and their solutions

Electrical surges

It can be occurred due to poor wiring in the house or lightning strikes or faulty appliances or damaged power lines. Surges are common and last for a microsecond but if you experience frequent surges lead to equipment damage that degrade life expectancy particularly.

Check the device that connects to the home grid or the wiring and try disconnecting the poor quality powerboards or devices from the outlet. If the surges don’t occur again, your problem is solved. If it is not, you must call an electrician.

Overloading 

Sometimes your light fixture has a bulb or other fitting with high watts than the designed fixture. This is a code violation and the risk level is quite high. The high heat from the bulb can melt the socket and insulation present in wires of the fixture. This results in sparks from one wire to another and causes electrical fires. Even after the bulb is removed, the socket and wires will still be under damage.

It is always better to fit a bulb or any other fittings by staying within the wattage. If the fixtures are not marked with wattage, it is advisable to use a 60-watt bulb or even smaller ones.

Power sags and dips

 Sags are dips usually occur when the power grip is faulty and electrical appliances are connected to it. It also occurs when the grid is made of low-quality materials. When this is the case, it draws more power when switched on.

A junction box that is uncovered

 The junction box has lots of wires that are connected to each other. If it is not covered, a person gets a shock from damaged wire too. This is a code violation and the risk is minimal if the wires are not within the reach. Thus it is better to cover it with the screws provided.

Electric shocks

 When the electricity is not properly used, it results in electrical shocks with a nasty experience. The chances of such electrical problems in old homes were quite high because the circuits fitted during older days. An electric shock happens when you switch on or off a device. The issue can either be with the appliance or the wiring. To check the issue, you can test with another device. But to be on the safer side, just talk with your electrician to resolve the issues.

Electrical Wire Color Coding

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

Cable coloring relates to the size of the wires inside the cable and the cable’s amperage rating. For example, white-sheathed NM cable is used for 15-amp circuits, while yellow NM cable is rated for 20-amp circuits.

The coloring on individual conducting wires usually does not indicate a size or rating but rather the standard or preferred use of the wire. For example, black and red wires typically are used for current-carrying or “hot” connections, and white wires usually are grounded “neutral” conductors. Green-insulated wires and bare copper wires are used for grounding wires.

Pet Snake Care

General Facts About Snakes

How Snakes Move

The bodies of snakes have no feet, flippers or legs to propel them along. They must use the action of their scales and muscles to scoot their bodies across the ground. The scales on the underside of their bodies are specialized for this purpose like the tread on a tire.

Different species of snakes use one of the four manners of movement: concertina, serpentine, sidewinding, and caterpillar.

Where Do Snakes Live?

Snakes are common animals and chances are that you have seen a snake slithering around at some point in your life. They can be found on every continent on Earth except Antarctica and can be found in a variety of habitats. A habitat is a place where an animal naturally lives and includes the animal’s surroundings and home.

Some snakes live in habitats on land, including forests, prairies, and deserts. Others live in water environments. Even though snakes can be found all over the world, most of the snakes live in warm tropical climates.

Did you know that snakes need to control their own body temperature? You can find snakes laying in the sun to warm themselves up and slithering to shady spots to cool themselves down. Snakes that live in cold places hibernate (sleep) all throughout the winter so that they survive!

How do snakes sleep?

The snakes have a circadian rhythm, and this is when they are totally active at a certain period of time. There are some snakes that are completely diurnal while others are completely nocturnal. However, others are found in between. Others will be active in the night or in the day according to the season. This is why it is hard to talk about how long the snake can sleep. Sometimes the snakes may exhibit sleep-like behaviors such as staying in one place for some hours, days and sometimes weeks without moving. However, the snake may exhibit this behavior when in reality it is foraging. A snake in this position may be waiting for prey, ready to ambush, envenomate or strike, and it will be fully aware of its surrounding. During this time, the snake will not sleep but will be completely attentive.

The eyes of the snakes do not have eyelids and they are covered by clear scales in the wild and in captivity. A motionless snake may never twitch and all signs that seem to show that an animal is sleeping like irregular heartbeat and breathing may just be normal to the snake. Since a snake will not be able to hear loud noises or see bright lights, it is hard to known when it is sleeping because it won’t react.

It is known that snakes do sleep, but what is not clear is for how long, how deep it can sleep, if it has a paradoxical sleep or not, and if it dreams. The sleep pattern is also different for various species of snakes. The snakes may also yawn but only as a way of gathering chemical cues or repositioning the musculoskeletal elements, which are not the same reasons that humans yawn. Sleep is important in the human biology, but the benefits of sleep in snakes are not well studied and more information is needed.

What should you do when a snake approaches you? I heard that one must stand still and the snake will not attack. Is this true?

When you see a wild snake approaching you, hold stock still. If you make a movement, it will see you and flee. If you make no movement, it just might get close enough for you to observe a fascinating creature in very close proximity. No snake wants to have anything to do with a human; if it is approaching you, it obviously doesn’t see you.

There is a common but false impression that snakes are bloodthirsty creatures that want to get people. Nothing could be farther from the truth. The only reason a snake will bite a person is if it is attempting to protect itself. Often this will happen if a person takes a snake by surprise by nearly trodding on it.

If you see a snake moving toward you, a simple movement will cause the snake to freeze to escape detection (and subsequent predation as far as it knows), or it will flee for its life.

Snake Protection : Snake Boots, Gaiters, Chaps and Gloves

Throughout the world, people are living, working and playing in venomous snake territory every day.  Venomous snakes are found in every continent besides Antarctica and are responsible for 2.5 million envenoming snake bites, resulting in up to 125,000 deaths each year.  While most snake bites are nonlethal with the help of medical treatment and antivenom, most are also preventable.  Aside from avoidance, the most effective means of snake bite prevention is by using snake protective clothing such as snake boots, snake gaiters, snake chaps, and snake

Unfortunately, the parts of the world with the most snake bites and deaths are also parts of the world where poverty is very prevalent and antivenoms are very limited in supply.  To make matters worse, the average person cannot even fathom spending money on snake proof clothing as food and water are more important.

Here is a list of the different types of snake protective clothing and the ways in which it prevents bites:

Snake Boots

Perhaps the common method of snake protection is through the use of snake boots.  Most snake boots that are designed to stand alone in snake bite prevention are more than twice the height of regular boots.  The common length is between 16 and 18 inches, which is beyond the most common striking height of snakes when it comes to the lower extremities.  Most boots will resist penetration of snake bites without any special fabrics, but many of the higher end products claim to use puncture proof materials.  Even though snake boots are substantially taller than standard boots, the difference in comfort goes mostly unnoticed unless the temperatures are hot.  Even when noticed though, the piece of mind that snake boots give a person is worth any downside they may experience.

Snake Gaiters

A close second in snake bite prevention are Snake Gaiters.  These are basically gaiters that are designed to stop the penetration of snake fangs.  There are many different brands out there and most of them are effective at heights similar to snake boots at about 16-18 inches.  Snake gaiters differ from manufacture to manufacture with the cheaper examples made out of hard plastics and PVC and the more expensive ones made out of high quality puncture proof fabrics.  Obviously the more expensive fabric models are more comfortable, but they will cost a person twice as much.  The main consideration when buying snake gaiters is that they are something you will wear.  Most of the less expensive models are far less comfortable, hotter, and sweatier than the more expensive models.  If you buy the cheap pair but don’t wear them then they won’t do you much good.

Snake Chaps

Designed to protect more than just the lower half of the leg, snake chaps, also known as snake leggings, typically attach to a belt or belt loop and run the entire length of the leg clear down to the boot.  Snake chaps are good for areas that are home to the longer species of venomous snakes such as Diamondback Rattlesnakes and Cobras, as their reach can easily exceed that of a person’s knee.  Again, like snake gaiters, there are both expensive and less expensive brands of snake chaps.  One thing that is common among the lower priced models is that many only offer snake proof protection to the knee and not above.  This is even the case on some expensive models as well so it is important to find this information out before you buy.  Protection below the knee is no better that the less restrictive and less expensive snake gaiters.

Snake Gloves

When most people think of snake bites they think of stepping on a snake and getting bit.  What many fail to realize is that many snake bites occur to the fingers and hands of people.  This is why snake gloves are also an important part of snake bite prevention.  Most bites to the hands occur when doing such activities as gardening, picking up brush, or sticking hands in places where snakes might be hiding.  As you probably already know, snakes blend into their environment very well and unless they hiss or rattle, most will not ever be seen.

Deep Cleaning Your Carpets To Avoid Dirty Carpets

Keeping your Kitchen Clean for Longer

When it comes to maintaining your premises, the never-ending need to constantly conduct cleaning is a challenge. But taking a few preventative steps can help keep your kitchen clean for longer.

So, here’s our guide to some quick wins for keeping your restaurant squared-away and tidy:

Keep your Floor Clean(er)

Taking care of nooks and crannies is essential to help keep dirt away longer. Try to work at your grouting lines and focus at the spaces between your tiles. Check that the staff carrying-out cleaning know the order they should clean items and that regularly used items like mops and sponges are thoroughly cleansed to avoid contamination. This should also extend to any items touching the surface of the floor, including kitchen mats, tray bottoms, or other devices you may have.

Avoid Greasy Buildups

Remember that greasy residue should always be cleaned as soon as it occurs, as build-up will only prove costly to fix in the long-term. Caked on grease will end up clogging your canopy fan, which can lead to overheating, and carry the risk of slips or contamination. To help counteract this, make sure that you conduct regular ventilation cleaning to maximise your fan’s effectiveness. You can also try to make sure that your tiles have an anti-slip sealing attached. Applying this sealant will help prevent accidents and provide a helpful barrier against dirt and germs on your floor.

Maintain your Surfaces and Windows

While it can be easy to focus on cleaning utensils and surface-tops, windows are easy to overlook. Ensuring that windows are clean allows your staff the best light to carry out their work and prevents the buildup of dust and dirt that can be easily dislodged and find its way into your preparation areas.

Maintenance as well as Cleaning

It’s important to remember that wear and tear will inevitably happen across your kitchen. And this will make itself known in damage to your equipment, utensils, and most-often used items. Make sure that when you conduct regular stock, or sanitation checks that the state of the item itself is reviewed. Keep an eye out for dents, damage and try to catch any potential problems before they get any worse! Ideally, this should involve regular checks on any automated cleaning equipment, processors and fixtures.

Don’t Forget to Check your Drains

Making sure that your drains are clear is crucially important, as build-up of grease and residue can stop a kitchen dead in its tracks at a critical moment. And after a ‘fatberg’ was discovered under the streets of London, making sure you dispose of residues in a responsible way is as much as a responsibility as a benefit. Accumulations only happen over time, so taking preventative steps is key – avoid pouring fatty or oily products down and that you clear residue from plates and equipment before cleaning.

KITCHEN HYGIENE

clean kitchen means a healthy kitchen. Maintaining the highest levels of hygiene will stop bugs from accumulating in your kitchen and will also help to prevent accidents. Apart from the hygiene and food safety aspects, kitchens can also be dangerous places to work in, with many potential hazards like hot surfaces, slippery floors, sharp equipment and hazardous chemicals.

Kitchen hygiene tips

  • Always clean surfaces first with detergent to remove any grease or dirt, then apply disinfectant to kill any remaining germs.
  • Allow time at the end of the working day to thoroughly clean the kitchen so it’s ready for the next day.
  • Surfaces and equipment that come into contact with food are the most important, but don’t forget to regularly clean walls, floors and storage areas.
  • Do not just wipe surfaces and utensils with a damp cloth. Remember that towels and cloths can contain a lot of germs themselves, and you could end up simply spreading them around.
  • Keep kitchens free of clutter.
  • Do not allow pets into the kitchen.
  • Keep the floor dry by quickly mopping up any spilled liquids.
  • Cleaning substances should leave no toxic or tainting residue.

Make a list of things to clean in a kitchen
Walk through your kitchen and make a list of everything that needs cleaning. Be sure to review this list regularly. Also note that some equipment may need to be cleaned more than others. Focus more on those utensils that are more likely to be touched by food handlers, such as;

  • Cooker knobs
  • Can openers
  • Door handles
  • Fridges
  • Knives
  • Microwaves
  • Sinks

How to Prevent Spills in the Kitchen

Slips and trips continue to be the most common cause of injury in European workplaces. It takes all members of staff to create a safe working environment for everyone. We’ll cover the steps your kitchen should already be taking and what more you can do to prevent spills and accidents.

Keeping Your Staff Safe

It’s your responsibility to ensure that the workplace is a safe environment. Creating a risk assessment isn’t enough when it comes to preventing accidents. You need to be proactive.

The Right Shoes

Slips, trips and falls can all be reduced in your kitchen by supplying staff with the right footwear. Depending on their job role, you can provide chefs, kitchen staff and waiters/waitresses with specialist non slip footwear to keep them safe and comfortable while they work. When looking for footwear for staff, look for shoes that have been designed with slip-resistant outsoles, preventing the wearer from falling even if the floor is wet. Some designs have TripGuard that can stop falls when moving between different floor surfaces.

The Right Training

Your staff should receive regular safety training so that they’re fully aware of the hazards in the kitchen and what they can do to minimise risk. They might find this boring and unnecessary, but it shows them that you care about their health and wellbeing. The team should take pride in the kitchen and even though it isn’t seen by customers, it should be just as important as front of house. Don’t leave cleaning to the same people and encourage the whole team to help. Training is just one step towards a culture of care and safety in your kitchen. Staff should want to keep the kitchen safe, clean and tidy, rather than have to be told to do it. They’ll need the right equipment and clothing to be able to improve health and safety.

The Right Tools

To keep the kitchen safe, your staff need the right tools and equipment. Knowing the equipment best suited to a particular cleaning task is important and staff should have the right tools on hand. From disinfectants to the right kind of scrubbing pads, make sure staff have all the equipment they need to leave the kitchen looking spotless. It’s also important to think about the floor in areas of the kitchen, including fridges and outdoor areas. Spots that are more likely to be wet could benefit from safety mats to prevent the floor from becoming too slippery. Different floor surfaces are more at risk of becoming dangerous. Determine the kinds of floor surfaces you have in your kitchen and take the necessary steps as outlined in the Health and Safety Executive’s helpful table.

Explains Accident Prevention

“Prevention is better than a cure” is an old and popular proverb, which means it is better to stop bad things from happening, than to fix them after they have already happened. Accidents are preventable, but steps must be taken to prevent them. It is a legal obligation of organizations to comply with the laws, standard practices, and safety observations to avoid emergencies and accidents.

Many accidents occur due to human factors. These factors include unsafe acts, un-mindfulness, negligence, lack of knowledge and training. Another leading factor of accidents is working conditions. Unsafe working conditions can include faulty machines, faulty designs, substandard processes, occupational hazards, fire and other hazards, etc.. Accidents will continue to happen if preventative measures are not taken. Accident prevention can be achieved by commitment and cooperation between management, safety programs, safety culture and accountability. Prevention requires the following actions:

  • Hazard identification by risk assessment
  • Removal of unsafe work by research and development
  • Removal of unsafe machines, tools and improvement of working conditions and environments

Slips, trips, and falls

Kitchens often have numerous slip, trip, and fall risks created by human error, meaning you and others need to focus closely on proper safety practices and housekeeping.

Slip, trip, and fall hazards include:

  • Floor contamination, such as spillages of water, sauces, oil, and flour.
  • Wet floors from cleaning.
  • Obstructions in walkways, including trailing cables, boxes and crates, bins, cleaning equipment, etc.
  • Uneven, worn down, or loose flooring.
  • Using a ladder to access high pantry shelves.
  • Standing in a truck to unload deliveries.

Preventing floor contamination is critical as people are constantly moving around on their feet, sometimes while transporting hot food that could spill onto them if they fell.

To minimise slip, trip, and fall hazards, you should:

  • Carry out good housekeeping – clean spillages and move obstructions out of walkways right away.
  • Take extra care while cleaning – avoid leaving puddles behind and make sure the cleaning materials you’re using are correct for the type of floor in your kitchen. Dry mop where possible to eliminate slip risks altogether.
  • Keep cables out of walkways – use the nearest plug socket for appliances.
  • Report any issues with the flooring or work activities that are generating hazards when they shouldn’t, for example leaking equipment.
  • Use ladders in accordance with safety instructions – rest ladders on a firm, level surface and only use them for up to 30 minutes. Do not lift more than 10kg up a ladder.
  • Avoid accessing heights without a suitable ladder – chairs and shelves are unsafe to stand on.
  • Carry out deliveries with a co–worker – working with someone minimises the amount of times you have to step on and off the back of a truck and put yourself at risk of falling.

How To Choose The Best Wedding DJs

How to Choose Between DJs

“Awesome article on choosing between a band and a DJ.  My fiancée and I decided the DJ route is the way to go for us, but now it’s my job to pick the most kick ass DJ St. Louis has to offer. Do you have any tips on choosing between different DJs.  Oh, and none of them will let you attend a function they are putting on, disrespectful to the clients (or something like that).

You found some good news. Do you really want to attend random functions of random people you don’t know, just to hear the random DJ? I mean, yes, that would be helpful for your decision, and yes, we (half-heartedly) recommend doing just that. But trust us–you dodged a bullet. It’s sort of like if you go on a beach vacation and “forget” your jogging shoes. Oh no, you can’t go jogging, you have to sleep in, instead. Damn.

Plenty of experts suggest that you get technical. They instruct you to ask your DJs about his sub-woofers, about the specs of his lighting system, etc.  Screw that. You’re not really going to know what you’re talking about, and he’ll secretly laugh at you.

Ask other friends who have recently gotten married. Ask your other vendors.  Hell, as geeky as this sounds, even ask your co-workers. If all that yields nothing, you’re stuck doing things the old-fashioned way: google.

And we know, we know, it’s a crapshoot. When we just googled Best St. Louis wedding DJs, we got 87 pages of shot-in-the-dark, standalone businesses. A better option: check out sites like OneWed.com or MyWedding.com, which aggregate vendors and provide user reviews.  In this case, there’s something to the wisdom of crowds. Call me lazy, but if I see one vendor who has 17 user reviews with an average of 4.7, and they charge the same as the dude with only 1 rating (2 stars), well, that’s not exactly an agonizing decision. Why over-think it, right?

How to Pick a Band or DJ for Your Wedding

Picking the right sound and mix of entertainment on your wedding day will not only help set the tone but also ensure your guests have a night to remember. Here, a few of the industry’s top music experts share their advice on how to pick a wedding musician or DJ and what to ask before you make a decision.

Match Your Band To Your Style

“When choosing a band, ask for their song list and make sure that they specialize in the genres that you like best. Find out their policy about taking specific song requests and what their approach is to making announcements to make sure it fits in with your style

Pick A Genre

“Know what type of music you like and what kind of experience you want your guests to have

Pay Attention to the Band Leader

“Always ensure the band has a very experienced emcee or band leader that is a part of the band. This person is the communicator for the wedding coordinator to the guests

Look for Passion

“I really love having true musicians for weddings—working with a talented performer who might DJ on the weekends for extra cash, or a bluegrass trio who loves random small gig

How to Choose Your Wedding DJ

It’s time to add another key player to your supplier squad! You may have chosen your wedding’s key songs, but now you’re going to need to hire someone to play them. Your wedding DJ will be responsible for making sure the energy stays up from dawn ‘til dusk (and probably long after), so you’ll want to find one with awesome emcee skills and a killer tracklist.

Sort out the important stuff

Step one is taking the time to write out any wedding details that may affect your decision. Knowing things like your venue size, venue style, budge and wedding theme will help you figure out exactly what you’re looking for in a DJ. You should also note the genres of music you love, your favourite artists and your most played songs – those will come in handy when you start interviewing potential candidates.

Do your research

Now it’s time to do a little bit of homework (it may not sound fun, but it is!). Scroll through our wedding supplier listings, check out Instagram and ask your recently married friends and/or relatives for recommendations – you’re sure to find a handful of amazing options by the time you’re finished. Pay close attention to their reviews and ratings – comments from couples who have used their services in the past are super insightful.

Get in touch

Once you’ve selected your faves, start reaching out. If you’re using WeddingWire, simply click the blue “Request more information” button at the top of a listing and it’ll connect you right away. If you’re using another method, reaching out via their website or through email is your best bet (no sliding into DMs – Those are easy to miss!). Remember to ask key questions like, “are you available on my wedding date?”, “what is your rate?” and “can I see a copy of your standard contract?”. If you’re satisfied with their answers, book a meeting with them IRL or schedule a Skype call.

Sample their work

When you’re meeting with your candidates, you’ll want to do a deeper dive into their work. Yes, you’ve probably already sampled a playlist or two, but at this stage you’ll want to get a bit more. Ask your potential DJs about their music repertoire and give them a bit of insight into the types of songs you love. You’ll also want to let them know exactly what you’ll be needing music and emceeing for (i.e. the ceremony, the reception, dinner, the after party). This will help them customize a tracklist just for your event.

Choosing your DJ set

Choosing your DJ set is the most important part of preparing for any Stick It On party. Initially you might think it’s easy, you’ll just stick three great songs down and that’s that. But will the songs you choose fit the event you’re attending? Do the three songs work well together as one set? How do you pick just three songs from the countless hundreds that you love?

Once you start to think about choosing your DJ set you’ll realise it takes quite a bit of thought. You may LOVE Rage Against the Machine’s Killing in the Name of, but will it suit your friend’s tastes? We know from experience that people who agonise over what to play are the people that really get it. Have a dozen or so songs in mind to whittle down to a final three . A three song set needs to flow – two up-tempo electro songs followed by a slow acoustic track is going to sound strange. It will also break up the rhythm on the dancefloor. However, a chilled out number flowing into a mid-tempo tune finished off by a high energy anthem will work. That, ladies and gentlemen, is how DJs build their sets.

The right songs for the right party…

You’ll know in advance the type of event you’ll be attending and can make safe assumptions about what the atmosphere will be like. Use that as your starting point for choosing your DJ set, and ideas for the right songs will soon follow. You’ll probably change your mind and start again, get frustrated and have your mind go blank – but when you settle on your set, play it and the dancefloor responds it will have all been worthwhile.

Tips To Pick Your DJ

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

Experience/Professionalism

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

Price

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

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

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

Personality/Emcee-ability

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

How To Easily Deal With Garbage Disposal Installation Problems

How to Choose a Garbage Disposal

It’s hard to imagine getting by without a garbage disposal nowadays. Garbage disposals (sometimes called garbage disposers, depending on where you live) are strictly essential, but they save you quite a bit of dirty work and make cleaning dishes a lot more pleasant than it would otherwise be. If you’re building a new home, replacing a broken garbage disposal or simply want to upgrade your garbage disposal, you’ll want to know the different options that are available in today’s garbage disposals before you make your choice. Keep reading for some information on the options that are available and how you can choose a garbage disposal that works for your home.

Weigh the differences between types of garbage disposals.

Garbage disposals come in two different basic designs: continuous feed garbage disposals and batch feed garbage disposals. Continuous feed disposals run as long as the switch is flipped, so you can funnel food into the disposal while it’s still on. Batch feed disposals only turn on when you put the disposal cover in place, so you run the disposal one batch at a time. Continuous feed sink disposals are the most common kind of disposal since they are convenient and relatively inexpensive. However, some people prefer batch feed sink disposals since they won’t turn on unless the cover is on, eliminating the risk of injury or flying particles.

Choose the level of horsepower you want for your garbage disposal.

The biggest difference between the least expensive and most expensive garbage disposal is horsepower. The most basic garbage disposals have as low as 1/4 horsepower motors, and the most powerful disposals have 1 horsepower motors; however, that doesn’t necessarily mean that the 1 horsepower models are the best garbage disposals available. If your household has few members and you don’t work your disposal very hard, then you can probably get away with a 1/4 horsepower or 1/3 horsepower model. Of course, if you want to be able to grind chicken bones and you have a larger family, a 1 horsepower garbage disposal may be a wise choice.

Consider how noisy you want your garbage disposal to be.

Sink garbage disposals are known for being noisy, but modern disposals have come a long way in terms of noise reduction. Many of the high-end sink garbage disposals have noise-dampening materials that significantly reduce the rumble that usually accompanies operating a disposal. If you want a quiet garbage disposal, you will have to pay extra. If noise is a key factor, look around for quiet garbage disposals. If saving money is more important, you can find plenty of garbage disposals that do a great, loud job

Decide whether you want a garbage disposal with stainless steel parts.

A garbage disposal repair often comes up when some piece or another inside the disposal becomes corroded after years of exposure to water and food. Garbage disposals made with stainless steel components can help you avoid these kinds of repairs. Since stainless steel resists corrosion, garbage disposals made with stainless steel grinders can last significantly longer than disposals made with other materials.

Garbage Disposal Buying Guide

Garbage disposals do double duty, meeting the often competing demands of convenience and conservation. They pulverize leftovers and other food waste—from peach pits to corn cobs to fish bones—so you can send them down the drain instead of hauling them into the trash, reducing waste and odors, and the critters they can attract.

Apart from convenience, washing food waste down the drain also means it doesn’t end up in landfills, where it can emit harmful greenhouse gases as it slowly breaks down. Instead, food waste ends up at a wastewater treatment plant (unless you have a septic system), where, when processed the right way, it’s even more environmentally friendly than composting.

How We Test Garbage Disposals

Consumer Reports tests garbage disposals on a number of factors. For our speed test, we grind pieces of beef rib bones for 1 minute with cold running water, then measure how much food is left in the disposal. The more food that’s left, the longer it takes to grind and the lower the score.

To see how well the disposals grind food, we toss a mix of bones and raw vegetable scraps into each model and run the resulting fragments through four different-sized sieves to gauge fineness. A garbage disposal that garners an Excellent rating turns out food particles fine enough to slip through most of the sieves. If bigger bits are left over, there’s a greater chance the kitchen sink drain will clog—and that model will receive a lower score in this test.

Are my pipes up to the task? Food debris might not present a problem in a newer home with slippery plastic drainpipes, but clog risks go up substantially if you have rugged old cast-iron drainpipes. Polyvinyl chloride (PVC) piping became more commonplace in homes built after the mid-1970s. One general rule of thumb: If your pipes already clog fairly often, a disposal might not be for you.

How to Select a Garbage Disposal

To many of us, the garbage disposal is one of the best kitchen appliances. It not only saves you from having to scrape off every bit of food from each and every dish, but it also lets you do the dishes without worrying about small pieces of food clogging your sink drain.

Garbage disposals are pretty simple devices so you don’t have to spend a lot of time narrowing down what you want. You can quickly select the feed type, motor size, and a few other features that fit your use and your budget. You also don’t have to spend a lot to get solid performance, but it’s a good idea to buy a quality product ad to keep the disposal clean. Better disposers are more effective and last longer than cheaper models, which means you won’t have the expense and effort of replacing it as soon.

Components of Design

Invented in 1927 by John Hammes, the garbage disposal hasn’t changed much over the years. A classic version is little more than a plastic housing containing a motor connected to a metal grinding plate with two “teeth” (called impellers) that help break down the food waste. The plate is surrounded by a perforated metal ring called the grinding ring. As the waste is ground up, water flushes the particles through holes in the grinding ring, out through the discharge opening of the housing, and into the drain pipe. The impellers help the grinding process, but they aren’t sharp and they don’t cut up food as a blender does; rather, they and the spinning plate force the food against the grinding ring, which is stationary and has a textured surface that breaks down the material.

Feed Type

Disposals come in two basic types: continuous feed and batch feed. Continuous feed disposals are the most common and generally the easiest to use. They are the open-mouth disposals that turn on and off with a wall switch. Batch feed disposals require you to fit a stopper lid into the mouth of the disposal to activate the unit. This makes it impossible to turn on the disposal while your hand is fishing down inside the unit. It also helps prevent accidental mishaps like turning on the disposal just as a fork is slipping into its mouth. Batch feed disposals can be more expensive than continuous feed and generally are less commonly available.

Motor Size

The motor size of a disposal is rated in horsepower (HP). Standard sizes include 1/3 HP, 1/2 HP, 3/4 HP, and 1 HP. For most households, 1/2 HP is plenty of power, but paying a bit more for a 3/4 to 1 HP motor can mean fewer jams and smoother operation, especially if you tend to be hard on your disposal. If you don’t want to worry about what goes into the disposal, lean toward a larger motor.

Garbage Disposal Buying Guide

Garbage disposals—sometimes called garbage disposers—are a cook’s best friend, grinding up and washing away kitchen refuse with the touch of a switch. If you are in the market for a new garbage disposal, this garbage disposal buying guide will show you that choosing one is a very simple process because your choices are limited

From an environmental point of view, garbage disposals have pluses and minuses. They help minimize the amount of garbage that is delivered to landfills, but, in doing so, they require using significantly more water and energy, and they can strain septic systems and sewage treatment facilities. A good compromise is to compost food scraps whenever possible and use a disposer when not.

All garbage disposals sold in the United States are made by only a few companies, though they are branded with several names. InSinkErator makes eight out of 10 of them, with consumer ratings favoring the Waste King and Kenmore models in their group

Disposal Grinding Power

Power, for example, makes a big difference both in performance and durability. At the low end, you can buy 1/3-horsepower units, but we recommend that you spend a little more to get a lot more.

Disposal Connections and Switches

Most garbage disposals interlock at the bottom of a sink’s standard drain outlet and are designed for easy connection. Various adapters and connection kits are available. They must be hard-wired or plugged into to a 120-volt receptacle with a 3- to 6-foot power cord that sometimes must be ordered separately. And they are connected to a drain pipe.

Tips for Choosing a Garbage Disposal

There’s no doubt that it’s very useful to have a garbage disposal in your kitchen. However, you need to be sure that you choose the right garbage disposal for your own specific requirements. When you look for a garbage disposal, you will find that there are many models available. Finding the right garbage disposal is quite easy once you know a little bit about them.

Regulations

The first thing to determine is whether local regulations allow you to actually have a garbage disposal. If you’re simply replacing an old model, this is unimportant. However, if you’re putting in a brand new unit where you haven’t had a garbage disposal before, remember to check beforehand. Not all areas allow for the installation of garbage disposals because of the increased strain they place on sewer lines.

Plumbing

Will your plumbing handle a garbage disposal? Not all existing plumbing will so take the time to check first. It’s also important to check your fixtures to discover what types of garbage disposal will be compatible with your current plumbing and sewer system.

Motor Size

Many small garbage disposals come with a motor that’s just 1/3 horsepower. While that may be fine if you’re a single person in an apartment, you need something more powerful for a family home where the garbage disposal will be used more. You should ideally look for a unit that has a 1/2 horsepower motor. With a big house and plenty of people, you might even want a 1 horsepower motor on your garbage disposal.

Stainless Steel

Look for a garbage disposal with stainless steel blades. These are harder and sharper and will not only last longer, but will grind up the food more finely so you won’t have to deal with clogs in the pipes. Cheaper units will use far less stainless steel in their construction and are likely to wear out sooner. Bear this in mind as you check out units.