Is This Really A Possums

How to Keep Possums Out of Your Garden

Possums are marsupial animals that have a flexible diet and nomadic lifestyle. One of the most famous characteristics that they’re known for is playing dead when they feel threatened. However, if they’re on your property and you prefer that they weren’t, you’ll need some unique animal control tactics to encourage them to leave and to keep them from coming back

Blocking Access

Possums are notoriously attracted to new growth, including fruit on trees, new growth on deciduous vines, and even new growth on pruned evergreens. When they eat the new growth, the stunt the overall growth of those plants, which is a nuisance for gardeners. The first tip is to pay attention to what the possums are going for on your property and start choosing plants that they don’t like. Block access to your fruits and vegetables with cloth bags. You could even go as far as building an enclosure for your garden beds or installing netting that will block their entrance to your yard.

Deter Climbing

Deterrence is one of the most effective animal control tactics and deterring possums from climbing your plants and structures is a matter of making it difficult or even impossible for them to do. Wrap galvanized iron around the posts and over beams. Keep your trees neatly trimmed back from fences and apply greased PVC pipe on top of your fencing.

Sprays and Repellents

There are many different types of possum sprays and repellents on the market. The best tip to ensure their effectiveness is to use them as directed on the packaging. You could also make your own quassia chip spray to deter the possums. There are also household items you can use, including mothball flakes, laundry detergent, tobacco sauce, and other strong-smelling herbs. It may not be everyone’s cup of tea, but specialty stores also supply predator urine, which is also effective for scaring the possums away.

A guide to all species of possums and gliders

Hissing, growling or completely silent, they perform a circus act of acrobatic feats, the larger gliders spreading their gliding membranes to travel more than 100 m at a single jump.

Some gliders have even been recorded doing a U-turn in mid-air. With large eyes to capture more of the light at night, they’ve adapted to watch for owls, quolls and pythons, but their biggest threat – humankind – has increasingly encroached on their territory, destroying old-growth forest and its sheltering, century-old treehollow

One of the most frequently seen gliders in spotlighting surveys on the Great Dividing Range, the greater glider is the largest of gliders, 40 cm long, with a tail longer than its body, and weighing up to 1.7 kg. It has long, luxuriant fur, ranging in colour from creamy grey to black, is virtually silent and feeds almost exclusively on eucalypt leaves.

With a scientific name that means the pygmy acrobat, the fast-moving feathertail glider is the smallest of the gliding possums, weighing only 10–15 g. The most characteristic feature is its exquisite, 8 cm long feather-like tail that is the same length as its body. It also has sweat glands on its feet that create surface tension, so the footpads can act like mini suction cups, able to stick to glass.

Cercartetus concinnus

This tiny possum weighs around 15 g and is found feeding on nectar and insects in mallee heath and dry forest. It is light enough to climb and hang from long grass stems and often moves along the ground, sometimes sheltering during the day in a leaf-lined nest in a grasstree. Its most common indigenous name is mundarda.

Possums

Possums can get inside your roof and cause damage to your property. They like to take shelter in roofs where it’s warm, dark and safe to sleep during the day.

How do I know if I have a possum problem?

First check that it is a possum and not a rat. If you’re not sure contact a licensed pest control agent.

Check your home for:

broken or loose tiles on the roof

loose sheeting

holes around the eaves in timber or brickwork.

Possum problems

It’s illegal to kill possums. You can only legally remove a possum from an area if you have a permit from the Department of Environment and Heritage. Removing a possum is a last resort as it will more than likely come back.

Possum proofing your house

There are things you can do to prevent a possum problem.  These are:

fix your roof (secure lose or broken tiles, secure any lose roof sheeting etc)

place a bright light in your roof or garden area

attach sheet metal collars around the tree trunks, pergola posts or anywhere that possums may climb

prune back overhanging branches

place barriers across access points to your roof

provide nesting boxes with nesting material and fresh fruit inside (away from your house).

Removing possums

Before you remove a possum from your home you must apply for a permit from the Department of Environment and Heritage (DEH). Trapped possums must be released the same day within 50 metres of the capture site. It is illegal and inhumane to relocate possums.

Living with Brush-tailed Possums

The lively brush-tailed possum is one of Australia’s most familiar marsupials, largely because they are highly adaptable to a wide range of natural and human environments. Their natural and preferred habitat is forest, where they nest in tree hollows. They will also cohabit with humans in cities and towns where they seek shelter, warmth and protection in the dark recesses of buildings

A favoured spot is between the ceiling and the roof and this can be a problem to some people. They can damage crops and gardens because they are partial to exotic plants, pasture grasses and vegetables as well as native plants.

The following notes provide practical information to satisfy the house and landowner having problems with brushtail problems, without harming the animal. Remember, brush-tailed possums are protected by law and cannot be bought, sold, taken or harmed except by a permit

Possums in your home

Is that noise in the ceiling a brush-tailed possum? Sometimes, the intruder turns out to be an introduced rat or mouse. Sometimes both possums and rats or mice are involved and separate action is required

Possum proofing

The brush-tailed possum can be the focus of complaints from urban residents for a variety of reasons.

Possum-Proof Gardens

Possums are a protected species so it is important to remember not to harm or hurt them. The goal is to deter them by making your garden less appealing.

Scent

Possums use their sense of smell to detect potential predators and are less likely to spend time in a yard where they feel vulnerable to attack.

Menthol Rubs – Try smearing something ‘stinky’ around the boundaries of your garden like menthol chest rub. Place the smelly ointment on areas where there’s an over-hanging hanging branch or structure. To protect vulnerable trees, you can wrap the limbs in cling film and then smear the chest rub over the top.

Moth Balls – You can also try hanging moth balls in citrus trees to deter possums from taking fruit.

Light

Possums like to operate under the cover of darkness, so anything that you can put in your garden that mimics the reflective eyes of a potential predator or lights up when they enter the garden should help scare them off.

Some ideas include:

Light-up eyes – garden owl ornaments that have motion sensors that activate light-up eyes

Motion sensor lights – aiming a motion sensor solar light onto the possum’s preferred food plants can make fruit trees less desirable

Sound

Sound can work to deter possums from the garden.

Sonic emitters – Many people swear by sonic emitters and clickers and they do work as a deterrent, but in a suburban situation, they can be bad for neighbourly relations, especially if there’s a dog involved!

Radios – You can try hanging a small radio in a fruit tree. Move it to a different position every night so the possums don’t get used to it.

Fencing and Barriers

Possums can be deterred by making it difficult for them to enter your garden.

Rolling fence tops – Try retro-fitting lengths conduit or irrigation pipe to the top wire of fences. Simply make a slit along the pipe lengthways and slip it on. The top pipe will roll on the wire, making it difficult for possums to get a grip and scale the fence.

Wavy, loose fences – Make an arm extending out from your fence at a 45-degree angle from the upright posts and then attach chicken wire loosely across to another arm. Possums are very good at climbing up, but not so good climbing upside-down. The looseness of the wire makes the wire move which further discourages them.

Common Questions About An Engine Rebuilding

Is it worth putting a used engine in a car?

When your car engine fails and you come to the grim realization that you have to start looking for another engine, it may not have occurred to you to look for a used engine instead of a new one. However, relatively speaking, installing a used engine in your car is not much different than purchasing a used car; in fact, it’s a lot cheaper! Keeping the car you have and looking for a used engine is generally the most cost-effective solution to the issue of having a car with a busted engine. Like purchasing a used car, there are several advantages and disadvantages to purchasing a used engine; however, they could simply just be facts to keep in mind while searching for the right used engine to install in your existing vehicle. Whether or not you should choose to install a used engine depends upon your budget and willingness to step outside your comfort-zone a bit in order to save money. The only catch is, you will need to be aware of what a reliable used car engine looks like. Before you begin the process of buying a new engine, consider the following information about used engines.

It will save you a lot of money

Although previously mentioned, it is not emphasized enough how economically sound it is to purchase a used engine. If you find the right one, it will be significantly cheaper than buying a new engine and it will perform just the same. The money saved alone is reason enough for looking into purchasing a used engine. When a car owner gets the news that their engine is out of commission for good, it can place a huge amount of stress on his shoulders just imagining the hefty amount of money he will have to dish out to get the engine replaced. Some car owners might even think, “What’s the point? Why not just look for a new car?” However, most car owners do not consider the concept of purchasing a used engine. The dilemma of a failing engine can be further stressful if one doesn’t know anything about engine reliability and is not familiar with the components of an engine to begin with.

It will lessen the environmental impact

Beyond the cost-effective aspect of purchasing a used engine, there is another benefit that has recently come to the awareness of many consumers worldwide; lower environmental impact. Used car engines help the environment because we are recycling perfectly good engines by utilizing them for as long as possible before they need to be disposed of. This eliminates a huge percentage of engines that are thrown away for no apparent cause—ones that can be fixed or reused. Imagine a car engine rusting in a waste plant somewhere; recycling those engines by repairing and using them for as long as possible is a great way to lessen our environmental impact. By choosing only to install recycled engines, you can make a significant difference in your carbon footprint for an entire lifetime.

Why Buy Used?

A new engine can cost thousands of dollars. Unfortunately, many consumers can’t afford that. The alternative is to buy a used engine at a fraction of the cost of a new one. It’s important not to confuse used engines with rebuilt engines. Used engines come from wrecked cars or those that have damage to a major system. The engine may not have a lot of miles on it and will fit your car. This is the cheapest way to replace an engine, but there are some risks involved.

Rebuilt engines are also pulled out of wrecked cars. The difference is that a rebuilt engine has had parts replaced. The engine may have had some damage but was still in good shape. Therefore, a mechanic replaced the damaged parts and updated all the gaskets. A rebuilt engine can last for many years. A re-manufactured engine is a used one that is returned to factory shape. Pistons, rings, and other parts are replaced, and the engine operates like new. They cost more than the used engines.

If your car gets a brand new engine, is it worth more?

Your car with a working engine will be worth more than your car with a non-working engine. But your car will not be worth more than blue book for a make and model like yours. The new engine does not increase the top value more than blue book.

As a consumer of used cars, I would not pay more than a typical car in the class your car is in. As a buyer, I expect that your engine will work, that it doesn’t use oil, that it has reasonable miles, that it makes the expected power, that you have taken reasonable care of your engine. That you had to replace the engine to make that happen does not compel me to make a higher than blue book price offer for your vehicle. I expect there to be a good engine in your car if I am going to buy it.

Now, I might buy your vehicle over another because you have a “better” engine, but I’m not going to pay more than blue book for your car. That you had a warranty issue with your engine may turn me off on buying it, especially if that is common with your make and model of car.

If you engine is crap, I will offer a much lower price than blue book for your car. I expect to be buying a car in good working condition and an engine that uses a bunch of oil or doesn’t run well or doesn’t make the expected power for your make and model won’t give you top price.

Why Engines Fail

The most common reason for engine failure is inadequate lubrication. When there is not enough oil in the engine, it can cause the engine to overheat, and ultimately, fail. And lubrication is necessary to keep the piston moving smoothly and to protect the cylinder wall.

Neglecting to check your oil levels and routinely replace oil can lead to expensive repairs, and possibly, the need for a costly engine replacement. You must know the importance of maintenance and repair to function smoothly.

Symptoms of Engine Failure

Compression loss, excessive smoke, the rapid burning of oil, a sudden drop in your miles per gallon, engine knocking, and sludge found during an oil change, are the most common signs that your engine is in need of a replacement.

With compression loss, in particular, your car’s engine will misfire frequently. You may also notice excessive smoker coming from your tailpipe, which signals a problem with your vehicle’s exhaust system. You can determine if your engine is burning oil excessively if you are going through at least a quart of oil every thousand miles.

And when it comes to oil sludge, this can be an indicator that your cooling system is on the fritz.

Here are five specific things you want to know before purchasing.

These will help reduce your risk when buying a used engine.

1. Is the Company Reputable?

There are plenty of junkyard scams going on. Before purchasing anything from a salvage yard, take a few minutes to look them up online. Check for any information you can find, including certifications, awards, and reviews.

You want to make sure you’re dealing with a reputable company and not a couple of guys selling auto parts out of their garage. Use common sense and look for any red flags. If the price or value seems too good to be true, it probably is.

2. What’s the Mileage on the Engine, and How Old Is It?

The mileage on the engine makes a difference in its life expectancy. While engines with more miles will typically cost less, they may not last as long. Your ideal motor will have about 15,000 miles per year. With just a little math, you can figure this out by dividing the total number of miles on the engine by its age in years. 

3. Is It Tested?

Often when a vehicle is totaled from a wreck, the engine is still working great. But, not always. Especially if the damage to the vehicle was in the front, or there was a fire under the hood. You have two ways to find out about the condition of the engine. You can purchase the engine and install it and see if it works. Or, you can buy an engine that’s been tested. The second method is obviously easier.

There are two main methods of testing engines. The first is a run test. This can be done by a certified technician who will start the engine and perform tests on the engine whether it’s on a stand or still attached to the vehicle. The second method is a compression test. This is utilized when the car can no longer start, and can tell you a lot about the condition of the engine. Ask about testing before you purchase an engine, especially if you’re purchasing one without a warranty.

4. Will This Engine Work in My Vehicle?

You don’t need an identical match to find a compatible engine. Often manufacturers used the same engine for several years, or in different models of cars. Do your research and make sure the used engine you are looking at will work in your car. Tear-A-Part has a proprietary system at each of their locations that can help you pinpoint which models will work.

5. What’s the Warranty?

You don’t want to purchase a used engine without a warranty. Check around and see what is covered, and how long the warranty lasts. Make sure to ask if there are any conditions on the warranty. Then make sure you get this information in writing. If it’s on the bottom of your receipt, hang onto your receipt! This way if you get the engine installed and something is wrong with it, you will be able to return it. You really don’t want to be stuck with an engine that doesn’t work.

Home Remodeling Tips For Any Home Remodeling Project

Key Measurements to Help You Design a Powder Room

At one time a luxury found only in grand homes, the powder room has become a staple in new American residences. When planned for new construction, they are often given ample space. But when you want to fit one in during a remodel or into an addition, you may have constraints. No matter what type of home you have, it helps to understand how much space is needed for these little — or not-so-little — very special rooms.

Powder Room Doors

You can choose from a variety of types and sizes for the powder room door. It can be styled like the rest of your home’s decor or unique. Common widths are 28, 30, or 32 inches (71, 76 or 81 centimeters). Wheelchair-accessible doorways ideally should be at least 36 in. (91 cm) wide. You can go as narrow as 24 in. (61 cm) if absolutely necessary, but anything less than that will likely be uncomfortable, and the door would probably have to be custom fabricated.

Standard door heights are 80 or 96 in. (203 or 244 cm), and you will probably coordinate the height with that of the other doors in your house. Pocket doors and sliding types provide more choices. Double doors can work nicely if detailed well.

Toilets

Toilets also come in a variety of configurations, such as two pieces or one piece. There also are types that can be wall mounted. If you are selecting a toilet, get the manufacturer’s specifications from the website or from a plumbing supplier before making a decision about what type will fit and operate properly in your home.

A powder room may need to fit in a narrow space, under stairs or both. The trick is to place the toilet with its back to the descending ceiling. You will normally bend down to use this area, so you can cheat some space out of it if you are particularly squeezed. However, don’t place it in any space less than about 5 feet (152cm) in height. You might be able to go a few more inches below that, depending on your circumstances, but once the ceiling goes below 4 ft., its best use is for storage accessed from an appropriate opening.

Before and After: Dramatic Kitchen Transformations

Many people want to change their kitchen, whether because it functions poorly, their taste has evolved or they’ve purchased a home in someone else’s style. If you’re looking for inspiration, check out these kitchen transformations. Some of the kitchens go from wood cabinets to white, others have updated wood cabinets, and still others combine styles for a two-tone or eclectic look. Perhaps you’ll find your kitchen soul mate here

The homeowners raised the roof 18 inches, allowing for bigger windows and a proper view. The remodel also exposed some of the original beams, and added new ones to highlight the space’s historical character.

The renovation was pretty complete: cabinetry, counters, appliances, windows. The result is a streamlined look, as well as a space that the owners find easy to clean.

The Smiths took out the wall separating the dining room from the kitchen, creating a much larger kitchen. They swapped the old dark wood cabinetry for bright new white cabinets, wooden shelves and a tile backsplash.

The couple installed white cabinets and a farmhouse sink. Not installing upper cabinets helps keep the space feeling more open. Though it isn’t visible, the biggest cost during the renovation was plumbing; the owners installed new water and sewer lines, a new water heater and new drain valves.

How Much It Costs to Work With a Bathroom Designer

If you’re planning a bathroom remodel, hiring a professional bathroom designer could be well worth the expense. These specialized professionals have creativity and technical knowledge that can make your new bathroom more beautiful, functional and safe. But how much does it cost to hire one?

What Do Bathroom Designers Do?

Bathroom designers can transform the spark of a remodeling idea into a beautifully refreshed bathroom. They:

Create design concepts. A good bathroom designer will ask questions to find out what isn’t working about your bathroom now — whether it functions poorly, has unappealing style or lacks space. Your designer will want to know who uses the bathroom and how often. He or she may also ask how long you plan to stay in your home and whether you’d like your redesign to include features that support aging in place. “If you’re planning to retire in this home, maybe we’ll look at anti-slip porcelain tile options and opt for a linear drain without shower glass so that one could wheel into the shower should there ever be a need,”

Create design plans. Some bathroom designers plan every detail of the room, from layout changes down to the precise pattern of tile for a shower niche. Others design or select only cabinets and hardware. Either way, bathroom designers create drawings and 3D renderings that offer a realistic preview of how your new bathroom will look. And good bathroom designers can help you prioritize your wish list. “A lot of times we’re working with a limited amount of space, so our clients have to decide what is most important to them — a larger vanity or a larger shower? A walk-in shower or a large tub?”

Confirm a realistic budget. Bathroom designers know current costs for products and materials as well as for making layout changes. Therefore it’s a good idea to share your budget with your bathroom designer at the outset — that way they can help you understand how far it will go. Many homeowners are surprised at the price tag for a bathroom remodel, but when you think about all the components going into a relatively small space, the relatively high price per square foot for bathroom remodels makes more sense. “It is the most complex room in the house, with complex plumbing along with electrical and space constraints,

Select and design products, finishes and materials. Depending on their business models, bathroom designers may recommend cabinet door styles or countertop materials, pick out the fixtures for the sink and shower and talk you through the merits of keeping the tub or going with a shower alone. They also can purchase products and materials that are available only to the trade (not sold directly to homeowners)

What It’s Really Like to Live Through a Remodel

If you’re thinking about remodeling or are about to break ground on your first renovation, odds are you probably know a bit about how the project is going to go. After all, you’ve watched a few TV shows, your cousin’s husband is a general contractor and the guy you sit close to at work tells you every detail of how his wet bar is coming together. So you pretty much know all there is to know, right? Not so fast.

As much as you may be able to glean from friends and family, articles and TV, there’s no experience quite like personally getting down into the dirt (more on this later) of a remodel. And what you don’t often hear about are the harsh realities of wading through such a detailed, often stressful project.

We’ve written before about how remodeling a home is the ultimate litmus test for your relationship. And that’s why I think understanding a few of the common negative things that happen during remodel is a vital component of being prepared.

It Will Upset Your Daily Schedule

Say, for example, every day before you leave for work you like to brew a cup of coffee or tea, settle in with your tablet at your breakfast nook and prepare for the day by going through your emails.

Now picture this exact routine while your kitchen and breakfast nook is under construction. The peace and tranquility (and cleanliness!) of your morning retreat is no more.

The Essentials: Key Measurements to Help You Design Your Home

You know what you want in your new kitchen, bath or bedroom — but will it fit in your space? Architect helps you answer that question with his Key Measurements series, which takes the guesswork out of room planning and design. In stories covering each room of the house, he details the standard sizes of furnishings, appliances and room features and the square footage in which they need to be placed. And he suggests ideal room layouts and dimensions for different architectural styles.

The Kitchen

A well-designed kitchen makes meal preparation and dining more pleasurable. offers measurements and advice for storage areas, prep and cleanup spots, and cooking and baking centers.

Kitchen measurement tip: To get your kitchen cooking, store pots, pans and baking sheets around the burners and oven. You can put your toaster and coffeemaker here as well to keep prep areas free. Seasonings, breadboards and potholders should go in nearby drawers and cupboards. Allow 21 to 36 inches (53 to 92 centimeters) of counter space on either side of your cooktop, and locate a wall oven next to an open countertop so you have a place where you can set down hot food.

The Bathroom

Whether you install a single, double, pedestal, floating or braced sink will depend as much on your available space as on your needs and desires. And that’s just one element of the bathroom. This story examines your options for sinks, toilets, tubs, showers and towel bars.

Bathroom measurement tip: Want to extend your countertop over the toilet tank, as seen here? Counter heights vary from 32 to 36 inches (81 to 91 centimeters), so you’ll need to consider whether your toilet will fit comfortably underneath. You also must be able to lift the lid without obstruction.

Low Cost Water Heaters Efficiency Upgrades

Smart water heating could help

energy crisis has many dimensions, from political and economic to technical and environmental. Recently, the country’s power utility, Eskom, has been generating only about 60% of its capacity and has had to restrict usage to prevent a regional blackout

new chief executive officer has affirmed the importance of demand management to handle the crisis. But his approach of merely “subsidising energy-efficient lightbulbs” won’t cut it. The country needs drastic interventions – and the elements of the fourth industrial revolution are available to make this possible. These are: wireless connectivity, the internet of things, big data analysis, machine learning, artificial intelligence and intelligent centralised control.

What tends to be overlooked is that these water heaters are perfect for storing thermal energy. They absorb electrical energy when heating water, and discharge thermal energy later when the hot water is used, with little loss in between. This makes them well suited for flattening the grid’s morning and evening demand peaks. Centrally switching them on during off-peak times would distribute demand for electricity more evenly through the day.

The benefits of scheduling heaters don’t stop there though. Our research has shown that the energy they guzzle, and the resulting emissions, can be significantly reduced too by applying optimal scheduling

Two thorny issues compete with demand and energy management in water heating. One is customer satisfaction. The most energy-efficient and demand-optimal water heater is one that is never turned on, but who wants a cold shower?

Gas vs. Electric Water Heaters: Which Is More Energy-Efficient?

Other than equipment costs, you might not have thought too much about selecting a water heater. But, to get hot-water heater energy savings, there are some factors to consider before you purchase. For example, what size water heater do you need? What types of hot-water heaters are there? And how should water heater energy use be factored into your decision-making?

Understanding water heater energy usage

Most of us turn on the faucet and don’t pay much attention to how the hot water arrives — until, of course, it doesn’t. We tend to take the hot-water heater in our homes for granted.

But ignoring your hot-water heater might mean passing up an opportunity to gain some hot-water heater energy savings. Water heater energy usage makes up about 18% of the average utility bill, after all. You can find hot-water heater energy savings a few different ways. But knowing how to choose a hot-water heater that’s energy-efficient from the beginning is the best way to lower your energy costs from the first time that heater kicks on.

How to choose a hot-water heater

First, some basics for selecting a water heater. A single-family tank water heater has a reservoir of hot water ranging from 20 to 80 gallons. When someone turns on the hot-water faucet, the hot water is released from the top of the tank and piped to where it’s needed in the house. The hot water in the tank is replaced with cold water entering the bottom of the tank to ensure the tank is always full.

Determine the type of fuel source in your home.

The fuel source that powers your home can help you decide which type of hot-water heater to get. Although some homes are fitted for natural gas, 1 in 4 U.S. homes is all electric. Additionally, those living in rural areas may have difficulty accessing natural gas. If your home is limited to just electricity, the choice between an electric vs. gas water heater has been made for you unless you’re willing and able to put in a gas line.

Water heater repair

Water heaters are a tricky business. Water heater tech’s do not always require the same technical training or licensing as plumbers and other contractors. It is also sometimes difficult to distinguish between a company simply on the hunt to sell water heaters instead of repair them. It is important to carefully select a water heater repair service for your home needs.

Here are things to consider before you hire a water heater repair service:

Avoid Door-to-Door Representatives – You get a knock at the door, and someone wearing a uniform tells you they need to check your water heater. If you let them, they will likely tell you the water heater is old and inefficient and should be replaced, even if that’s not true. You should not invite door-to-door salesmen into your home; there are much better ways to find a reliable water heater repair company.

Reputation – The internet allows you to easily find out which water heater repair companies have the best reputations. By checking water heater repair services out online, you are able to access customer reviews and ratings. It is advisable to check with the Better Business Bureau for complaints, as well.

Certification – While they do not require the same amount of technical training as other contractors, water heater repair service technicians still require certification. It is important to check their certification before allowing them to repair or replace your water heater.

Experience – Experience is extremely important when it comes to water heater repair. Generally, the more experienced the technician, the higher the quality of the work.

Price – At the end of the day, price is always a deciding factor. However, it shouldn’t be the only factor—you should be very wary of a company that gives you an estimate that seems too good to be true.  You will probably end up paying more in the long run to fix their poor-quality work or to repair or replace the water heater again just a few short months or years later.

Off Grid Water Heater: The Ultimate Guide

When building an off grid lifestyle, there are comforts of modern day living that we just do not want to give up. On-demand hot water is one of the fundamentals that we have grown accustomed to; we feel it is a necessity for life as we know it.

Not too long ago in humanity’s history, hot water was a nicety that was only used for cooking and for the occasional bath. If you wanted a hot bath, you would have to boil water and pour it into a washbasin. I could only imagine how many kids were doused in a tub of cold water!

My appreciation for hot water began when I moved into a camper full-time. We were on a 6-gallon hot water heater which allowed for maybe 5 minutes of hot water. I had grown accustomed to 30 minute luxurious steamy showers where I could daydream and shave my legs at my leisure.

This really got me thinking about how we can manage to have continuous hot water in an off grid scenario. As you know me by now, I have spent hours of research building this very article to provide you with the best ways you can build an off grid water heater system so you can enjoy modern day living without being connected to a municipal water and heating source.

The Methodology of an Off Grid Water Heater

The essence of being off grid is to be independent from municipal sources. Being free from monthly utility bills and providing your home with your own energy is the foundation of living the off grid lifestyle. There are two commodities that you will need for your off grid water heater: energy for heat and water.

How Much Does It Cost To Repair A Water Heater?

Hot Water Heater Repair Cost

The national average cost to repair a water heater is $573. The typical range for repairs is $217 and $931, though homeowners have spent as little as $100 and as much as $1,300.

There is nothing worse than waking up on a frigid winter morning to a cold shower because the water heater that is on the fritz, or worse, has completely died! Conventional water heaters are relatively simple and straightforward in the way that they operate, so there are only a few things that can malfunction. Cold water enters the tank and is heated by an electric element or gas burner. As the water heats, pressure builds inside the tank. When you turn on a tap, pressure sends hot water out of the faucet. Problems could be as simple as a pilot light that has gone out, a circuit breaker that has tripped, or a thermostat that is broken. The average thermostat replacement cost is between $100 and $300. Most other repairs are equally affordable.

There are two main types: gas and electric. A gas unit works by way of a gas flame while an electric one works using electric elements, or coils. The two types have similar life spans and repair costs. A gas one will cost more to install and replace, though it won’t use as much energy over time as an electric unit. Here are a few things to consider when faced with the cost of repairing or replacing your water heater.

Gas Water Heater Repairs

Gas models will have issues that are unique to their power source. The three most frequent problems are with the pilot light, the thermocouple, and the gas control valve. To figure out the root of your problem, a professional will need to troubleshoot each element as they go. Plumbers charge $45 to $150 per hour and the most common issues with gas units cost between $150 and $500 to fix. Some of these repairs can be done without a professional, but only if you follow instructions and secure your gas line. Before you relight a pilot light or perform repairs on your own, make sure that you are comfortable working with gas and that there aren’t strong gas smells around your unit. If there is a strong gas odor, call a professional and address the problem as soon as possible.

Pilot Light Assessment and Reignition Cost

One of the most common problems with gas units is the pilot light going out. There may be no need for repairs, if this is the case. It could be that it was blown out or that your unit temporarily lost its gas connection. If you follow safe procedures, you can relight this component on your own. This would save you a service call fee, which could range from $45 to $150 per hour. If it doesn’t light, you could have thermocouple or valve issues.

Great Ideas for Choosing The Right Type Of House Carpet Flooring Plan For Renovation

How to remove carpet and refinish wood floors

Today I’m going to teach ya’ll how to pull up carpet and refinish those gorgeous wood floors that may be hiding under your carpet. This is a project I’ve wanted to tackle for a while and recently got the “go ahead!” from our landlords. Let’s be real, kids are hard on carpet. Carpet is great but there are always areas that just don’t hold up well in those high traffic areas. That was definitely holding true in our living room area and the main hallway of our home.

I’m going to take you through how WE did the process and I’ll try to show you a cost breakdown the best I can so you can budget for your remodeling project! First, the hubby vacuumed the carpet and we started at one end and pulled it up and rolled it in a giant roll. Next, you’ll do the same thing with the carpet pad. The carpet pad was not glued down as it is in some homes, but it was stapled to the wood flooring in various places.

Do you see all that paint on the floor? It looked like the people who renovated the house knew they were going to lay carpet down after they painted the room because there was pretty much just random paint splatters everywhere

We will need to get all that paint and old stain and poly off of the old floors. I didn’t want the rest of our house covered in dust so we used clear plastic drop cloths (from the dollar store) to tape off the open hallway to the rest of the house.

Next, comes the crazy part. Sand. Sand. Sand. Sand. Sand.

You will need to rent a drum sander for this step. Using a drum sander (you can rent these for between $30-50 from Home Depot depending on your store and how long you need it for.) We rented it for 4 hours and it was plenty of time to sand our living room and hallway. It took about 3 hours. You may need to rent for the full day if you have a larger space.

TIPS FOR CHOOSING COMMERCIAL CARPET TILES

Selecting commercial carpet is a much more intricate process than purchasing residential carpet. As well as considering budget and the aesthetics of each option, there are a wealth of practical considerations to balance.

To help you select commercial floor covering that’s best matched to your organization’s unique requirements, we’re sharing ten top tips, to help you avoid the most common mistakes people make when choosing commercial carpet tiles.

CHOOSE SUITABLE CARPET

There’s no one-size-fits-all solution for commercial modular carpet: if your organization is very busy and lots of people use the space every day, you’ll have different requirements than a small office used by half a dozen people.

DON’T JUST FOCUS ON AESTHETICS

Flooring makes a significant contribution to the overall aesthetics of a space. However, if you want carpet that continues to look good for years to come, you must look beyond color, pattern and design.

CONSIDER THE TOTAL COST OF OWNERSHIP

Over the lifetime of flooring, purchase price becomes minimal. For installation alone, the cost differences between apparently similar carpet tiles can be astounding.

reasons why you should have carpet in your home

Of the many home decorations that are available today, carpet is considered as one of the most popular and the most widely-used home décor items of today. A lot of people choose carpet because this kind of home décor provides versatility and a good sense of fashion inside your home. The use of carpet in your home also offers a great sense of practicality and that is without doubt. Definitely, carpet is something which provides you with lots of advantages and benefits which can never be offered to you by any other types of flooring choices out there.

Slip Resistant

Carpet provides a surface that is slip-resistant. This is a benefit which is very essential because it prevents tripping and accidents which can cause injuries; if in case accidents happen, you will never have to worry on falling on to a surface that is hard and rough. Carpet comes with a cushion and padding that insulates your impact.

Gives Warmth to Your Feet

Carpet is a good choice to cover your floor. It is an ideal choice which is essential during cold weather. This simply means that it provides warmth to your underfoot. So, for those who stay in a place with cold weather, choosing a carpet for your floor should be given with high consideration.

Reduces Clatter and Noise

Other benefits which you can get from using carpet include the reduction of clatter and noise. This is great when you prefer walking inside your home without the annoying sounds of clatters coming from your shoes and slippers.

The Fact – Get Relief from Allergies

Carpets can help in the reduction of allergens in your home: that is a fact and this is especially true when you ensure carpet cleaning is done on a strict and regular schedule. On the contrary, if you happen to neglect regular carpet cleaning procedures, this will be the cause of certain health concerns and problems which you may not be aware of.

Questions & Answers

I just wonder if your hotel room are carpet floor or no… because we are looking for non carpet floor room

Rooms on the lower floors are parquet floors, whereas those on higher floors are carpet floors. If you want non-carpet room, please kindly write this when you book.

no, it did not have carpet. Keep in mind we chose the PH floor suite… so I don’t know if the other floors had carpet or not. But like the others have said, just phone and ask them to put you in a non-carpet room. They speak good english at the hotel

The room I had on floor nine was not carpeted. I cannot say if all of their rooms have similar flooring, but the rooms without carpeting feel cleaner and cooler too me, thus more appealing. This would be especially applicable to a place

My room had carpet but there was another couple with us that stayed in a room without it! So if you can contact them prior to your reservation they might guarantee the room the way you want!

Yes i am afraid it has a carpet, i would ask for a non carpet room and im sure they will ablige you, they are very nice people. Just to remind you my room was on the tenth floor at the front of the building. hope this helps. ps send them an email bearing in mind they are six hours ahead of us.

Carpet Luxury & comfort within your home

You wake up in the morning and stretch, stepping out of bed to put your feet on the floor. Your bare toes sink into the plush fabric of a soft and warm carpet. If you want to create this kind of luxury and comfort within your home, take a look at range of high quality carpets.

Carpet provides comfort all over the home that most other floor covering cannot compete with. You’ll find an excellent array of carpet colours and styles so you will be certain to find the right carpet to complement the unique decor of your home.

Luxurious wool carpet is practical because it is easy on your feet and prevents slips. It will also reduce the noise level and it is very attractive as well. offer a varied selection of styles such as twist carpet flooring, wool carpet and more. offer carpet tiles, which are easy to install and very practical for using in awkwardly shaped rooms. These tiles can be laid on top of concrete, vinyl or laminate and if a tile is damaged it will be easy to replace the tile rather than the whole floor.

also offer marine carpet, which is the ideal way to provide a soft floor covering inside your boat. marine carpets are able to stand up to harsh conditions including heat, UV rays and saltwater, while still remaining soft and stylish.

Take a look through selection of quality carpet products. If you have any questions about our products, friendly customer service team is happy to help.

Becoming A Wedding Photographer

Steps to building a successful wedding photography business

A landscape photographer photographed my wedding. It was a sweet gift from a kind friend of the family, and I appreciate having great photos that document my big day. But, I don’t swoon over those images. This taught me that there’s more to wedding photography than technical skill. I knew that if I wanted to build a wedding photography business with take-your-breath-away images, it would mean careful planning, practice and an eye for capturing love.

I’m going to share how I got started and what I’ve learned over the years. Because, when you’re a wedding photographer, you get just one chance to get it right. But that pressure doesn’t have to turn you off from wedding photography. It can propel you forward to creating a wedding photography business where your clients feel taken care of and you feel confident in delivering swoon-worthy images every time.

Learn the business by being a second photographer.

When I decided to begin photographing weddings, I joined a couple Facebook groups for local photographers and posted to see if anyone was interested in having a free second photographer in exchange for the experience of learning all things wedding photography. One photographer took me up on my offer. I joined her for a couple of weddings that season and learned a lot about the wedding photography business.

Work with clients that are a good fit.

Approaching wedding photography as a second shooter helped me gain experience and gave me time to think about what I wanted to offer clients and how I wanted to run my wedding photography business. One important thing I learned is that the interview process with prospective couples is extremely important.

Price your services high enough to avoid burnout.

A valuable lesson I’ve learned over the years is that shooting a large number of weddings in a short time will lead to burnout very quickly. It’s important to price your wedding photography services high enough to avoid this problem.

Things To Consider When Choosing Your Wedding Photographer

STYLE

Every photographer has their own unique style, from traditional, contemporary, documentary, fine art etc. Have a browse through a photographers website and social media to get sense of their work and if it is something you admire and reflects you. Ask yourself if you can picture yourself in these photos and if you would like to have similar photos. It is also helpful to the photographer if you mention what it is about their work you like

PERSONALITY

This is important to consider when choosing your photographer especially if you have met with a couple others. You may love a photographers work but when you meet them you may or may not click. You want to make sure you can get along and feel comfortable with your photographer as you will be spending majority of your day with them. It will make the whole experience more enjoyable.

EXPERIENCE

Make sure your photographer is experienced in photographing weddings. The quality will reflect in your photos and experience in the end. They will be able to give you helpful planning tips to make the day run smoothly and deal with unexpected hiccups in a professional manner. You want to be able to trust your photographer as they capture such an important stage in your life

AVAILABILITY

Seems obvious but when inquiring with a photographer make sure they are available on your wedding date. Depending on if your wedding date is flexible and how interested you are in a specific photographer consider working with their availability. This way you can secure getting your #1 pick and not having to settling for another. Wedding photographers book up years in advance so it is recommended to not leave booking your photographer to last minute.

REFERRALS

Word of mouth is a powerful method for finding out about who is all out there. Ask around to friends and family to see who they would recommend and ask them questions about their experience and what made them unique. Do some research and try to find sources of referrals and reviews on a photographer you are considering. It is a great starting point and put you in the right direction instead of feeling lots with so many options to pick from

Tips for Creatively Photographing a Wedding Ceremony

It’s funny how the one really important part of the wedding is often the last thing we think of when shooting weddings. Couples usually buy big prints of portrait shots, and even in albums, the ceremony isn’t the main focus.

Make it a technology-free zone.

We’ve noticed that this is becoming more and more popular during wedding ceremonies. If you haven’t considered suggesting this to your clients, ask them to issue a no-phone/no-camera policy for guests during the ceremony.

The best time to suggest this is after you feel that you’ve gained the trust of your clients, which could be right when you first meet them or after the engagement session. The only downside is that it’s all up to you to capture the important moments, and therefore, I highly recommend that you never shoot a ceremony alone.  Always have at least a second shooter.

Another reason why a no-phone-no-camera policy is a good idea is that you are actually giving all the guests a chance to enjoy and experience the ceremony instead of staring at a 5-inch screen. They’ll be able to see the real thing in “super-real-because-it-is-real” HD.

It’s probably a thankless gift, but trust me, it is a great gift for all the guests. Guests might ask you where to see the photos after the wedding, so have some cards made out with links to your online gallery or let them know that the couple send out the link to each of the guests.

Wedding Photography business

As someone who started and grew my own Wedding Photography business from a really young age I originally fell into the industry with little business knowledge, a camera and a limited skill set. I failed miserably in my first year as a Photographer, I lost more money than I care to think and racked up more debt than I’d care to mention because I was bit of a fool with my money and didn’t nail the fundamentals behind running a Photography business, or any business for that matter.

Now, if you’re reading this and you’re just about to make your first forays into the industry please don’t let what I’ve just said scare you. What I have just disclosed was not something I enjoyed telling many people, but here I am pouring my heart out on the internet, the biggest stage on the planet. I’m writing this because I want you to succeed where I had failed, and prosper where I had faltered.

Be Ready

Make sure your skills are up to scratch. I made the fatal mistake of thinking I was already a great Photographer that would find everything super easy. This was before I even had any real experience shooting a typical wedding day. Knowing how weddings run and the pressure you can be under is key here, expect the unexpected.

Age Isn’t An Excuse

Young or old, it really doesn’t matter! Many people who already know about my beginnings often ask me this question and my response is always the same, if you produce quality work, then there’s no worries. A great peripheral skill to add to your arsenal is develop some great marketing tactics to nail future work; when you throw this in with strong branding and quality photography, you can’t really go wrong. You do still have to work hard for it though, so toughen up and get to work.

Learn, Learn, Learn!

There are tonnes of useful blogs and videos out there for Wedding Photographers to discover new skills and hone existing ones. Here at Freedom Edits we work tirelessly to deliver quality content over on our blog, but you can pretty much take lessons from anyone within the industry. It’s important to be open-minded and realise that everyone has something to offer, so get out there and learn.

A wedding photographer slammed guests who ruin photos with their phones: ‘Let me do my job’

Some wedding etiquette rules are well known. Don’t upstage the bride by wearing white. Don’t RSVP “yes” and then not show up, wasting the cost of an expensive plate. Don’t give a drunk, unplanned speech.

photo she took of a bride walking down the aisle that would have been perfect if not for someone holding their phone in the way of the shot. In a Facebook post, she urged wedding guests to “let me do my job” and enjoy the ceremony instead of taking photos that they won’t use, ruining hers in the process. Her open letter has since been shared 59,000 times.

Not only did you ruin my shot, but you took this moment away from the groom, father of the bride, and the bride. What exactly do you plan on doing with that photo? Honestly. Are you going to print it out? Save it? Look at it everyday? No. You’re not. But my bride would have printed this photo, looked at it often and reminisced over this moment as her dad walked her down the aisle on her wedding day. But instead, you wanted to take a photo with your phone, blocking my view, and taking a photo that you will not use.

Guests, please stop viewing weddings you attend through a screen but instead turn OFF your phone, and enjoy the ceremony. You are important to the bride and groom, you would not be attending the wedding otherwise. So please, let me do my job, and you just sit back, relax and enjoy this once in a lifetime moment.

“My main focus of that post was to make people aware of how often we rely on our phones when the real world is right in front of us and we are missing special moments like this one,” she said. “This moment cannot be redone, as a lot of moments from the wedding day. It’s so sad and I wish people would enjoy this once-in-a-lifetime moment and see it with their eyes instead of living through a screen.”

Why Hire A Home Renovation Company

How can I renovate my house cheaply?

Smart ways to add value to your house at a low cost:

Kitchen and bathroom revamp

It’s a smart idea to spend money on bathroom and kitchen renovations because you can do this without blowing out your budget but at the same time make a return on investment.

To achieve an impressive kitchen renovation but at the same time stay within budget, consider the following ideas:

  • Add composite stone bench tops (cheaper than natural stone)
  • Freshen up your cupboard doors with a coat of paint
  • Replace cupboard door handles with a modern option
  • Replace window coverings with shutters or new blinds
  • A splash-back refresh (consider new tiling or glass)

Update your outdoor entertainment space

Do you have a large unused space in your yard, a little nook of wasted space or perhaps it’s just time for an existing backyard revamp? Here are some outdoor entertainment ideas to get you started:

  • Level out, then pave, deck or stone an area
  • Place outdoor furniture in the area
  • Add a pendant light or two above a sitting area
  • Build retaining walls to section off your garden
  • Add new plants (both in the garden and pot plants)

If you’d like to do more to your garden, it could be a good idea to hire a landscaper to re-do your entire outdoor space.

DIY storage solutions

If you’re an IKEA fan, installing smart storage space is probably up your alley. If you’d like to save your pennies for structural work, we’d recommend adding storage space yourself if you’re handy with tools. You can purchase storage flat packs at a reasonable cost. And, if you’re not confident in building them yourself, you can hire someone to set them up for you which can also be cheaper than having something built from scratch.

Here are a few smart built-in storage solution ideas:

  • Storage at your property’s entrance – a great spot for shoes, keys, umbrellas and so on.
  • An office nook – if you have a spare unused corner, why not build in a desk to store away your life admin?
  • Open cupboard space – to achieve a stylish kitchen, take away clunky overhead cupboards and display your kitchenware with open cupboards.

Add natural light where possible

If you’re making small structural changes, consider adding windows where possible. Adding natural light can reduce your energy costs by up to 75%, and has also been proven to have significant health benefits too. Natural light on the side of your property where you get morning sun is ideal as the sun isn’t as hot in the morning so it won’t heat your house too much! If you’re renovating with the intention of selling, adding natural light can add thousands of dollars onto your final sale price.

Don’t underestimate the power of paint

Lift the mood of a room by applying the perfect coat of paint. If you have darker walls throughout your property, consider painting the walls lighter or white. This can give the illusion of more space, and simply looks fresher.

It’s a good idea to look for durable paint supplies which you’ll be able to find for a good price.

Balance High and Low End Materials

Get the most bang for your buck by spending more on statement items, such as quartz countertops or a statement stove, but reserve funds in other less impactful areas. This is a balance you’ll have to figure out yourself, since it varies so much depending on your project and style inclinations. But, in general, I like to spend more money on hardware and less on doors/cabinets. Find your own balance, but don’t make the mistake of going too fancy with an appliance only to install cheap formica countertops. The key is to find balance, not extremes.

Wait For Sales Before Making Big Purchases

There are times of the year that are better for purchasing certain big-ticket items, such as American holidays for appliances, Black Friday for electronics and power tools, and the end of summer for outdoor furniture and lawn care items. Research the best time to make your purchase, and don’t let your impatience steer you away from getting a good deal. And don’t forget about buying scratch-and-dent appliances or floor models!

Home renovation tips

You want to remodel everything, but you basically cannot afford major renovations.

Budgeting

First and most important rule according to home addition builders is that you should plan your renovation budget. Estimate an amount which you can afford for renovation and then split it into sections so that it would become easy for you to figure how much money you can spend on a particular part.

Research

Once you have estimated your budget, now start inquiring for the things you wish for. Buying brand new things will always go out of your budget. Try searching second-hand machines or furniture. Remember, you can always get good quality used products, you just need to search for them carefully. Don’t forget to surf online stores and take advantage from them.

Painting Your Home

It would be expensive for you if you’ll choose different colored palettes. Opt for a classy theme such as black and white, it will give your home an advance modern look and won’t even cost you much – or if you want to add some colors to your home, you can paint a single wall which looks so attractive. You should also discuss this with your architects builder to see if there is any better option.

Kitchen

The heart and soul of every home, renovating your kitchen is an easy game changer when it comes to selling your property.

  • Counters: Taking out your old, worn out counter and replacing it with a simple and natural stone counter top is a relatively simple task. Just pick up a counter top at your local hardware store and bring your kitchen to life with a sleek new counter top. (Average cost: $600)
  • Kitchen cabinets: Have any plastic cabinets? Swap them out for some solid wood cabinets to give your kitchen a more antique look. Simply unscrew the hinges of your old cabinets and secure your new ones in. (Average cost: $60 per cabinet)
  • Handles: An easy fix for any worn out kitchen – just use a screwdriver to get rid of those old rusty handles and replace them with several new ones. (Average cost: $6 per handle)
  • Remember to stage your kitchen for sale. This doesn’t have to cost you a dollar – it’s all about making the space clean, uncluttered and inviting for when prospective buyers inspect the property.

Bathroom

Whilst buyers can overlook some aspects of a property, bathrooms are definitely a sensitive point for most buyers. A dirty bathroom is generally off-putting and can be disastrous to the value of your property if left unattended.

  • Updating: Simply swapping out old tap handles and shower heads can easily change your bathroom appearance from mouldy and ageing, to new and modern. Make sure you take off any excess grease which may come off when changing the handles and heads. (Average Cost: $200 tap handles; $500 shower heads)
  • Tiles: Renovating your bathroom floor is a sure way to completely invigorate your bathroom’s appearance. Using large, light coloured tiles can make a bathroom appear more spacious and appealing. (Average cost: $15 per tile *500x500mm tile)
  • Plumbing: For some of the more keen eyed buyers, easily and inexpensively update plumbing by re-piping with PEX or plastic tubing. (Average cost: $3 per metre PEX pipe)
  • Don’t forget to make the space as clean, spacious and inviting as possible on inspection day. An outdated bathroom can be overlooked if it is well cared for, but dirt and grime is never ok.

General

To make your house look accommodating and new without having to go through every nook and cranny, here are a few general rules of thumb to keep in mind when renovating common living spaces and rooms:

Paint Job: A paint job is a simple way to lighten up your house and get rid of any furniture marks or signs of wear. Look for lighter cream colours to make your house more welcoming and well lit. (Average cost: $13 per litre)

Floors: Old and ageing carpet can be off-putting and give a bad first impression to home buyers. Rip them up and put in some new timber floors to give your house a fresh and younger look. Already have timber floors? Bring them weathered hardwood floors back to life with a coat of timber oil to make them look as good as new. (Average cost: $55 per 1.5 SQM timber floors; $25 per litre timber oil)

Curtains: Exchange any old or outdated curtains you may have with simple blinds to make your rooms appear more spacious and tidy. Simply detach your old railings and install your new blinds in. (Average cost: $25 per metre)

Simple Tips In Selecting DUI Lawyers

Is it better to get a lawyer for a DUI?

For many people, a DUI charge is the first legal matter requiring them to appear in court. Most fear the thought of going to court alone and prefer to have an attorney present, giving them peace of mind in the belief that they are going to reach the best possible outcome.

However, there are some who would rather face the unknown alone because the thought of hiring a lawyer is just as scary.

Some people arrested for DUI want to know whether hiring a lawyer will make a difference in the outcome of their case. I heard a great response to this question about 10 years ago. I had a friend who was arrested for DUI in Phoenix, Arizona. He was worried about going to jail in “Tent City” and wearing a pink jumpsuit but was skeptical about whether an attorney would make a difference because he believed that his case was unwinnable.

The Arizona attorney told my friend: “Look – if you hire me, I may win the case or I may not. However, if you do not hire an attorney, you have no chance of coming out on top.” My friend hired the attorney and avoided jail time. Could he have avoided jail time without an attorney? I don’t know for sure, but I believe the lawyer’s statement was true.

In DUI cases, lawyers may win the case on constitutional grounds (where evidence is excluded) or on the merits of the case (where evidence is insufficient to convict). Under the exclusionary rule of the fourth amendment of the U.S. Constitution, some of the mistakes police make result in people winning DUI cases. The exclusionary rule prevents law enforcement from benefitting from unlawful searches and seizures.

How Does Having a DUI Lawyer Affect the Likely Outcome?

Most players in the criminal justice system would agree that it’s almost never a good idea to represent oneself when facing charges. Let’s take a look at what the data says about private DUI lawyers versus public defenders and self-representation.

Outcomes for People Who Hired Private DUI Lawyers

A majority of DUI defendants who hired private lawyers were convicted of some form of DUI, whether by a plea bargain or a conviction after trial (as with those who used public defenders and those who represented themselves). But the percentage convicted—65%—was the lowest for readers who hired private lawyers. Charges were dismissed or never filed for another 12%, and 1% were acquitted (found not guilty) after a trial.

Notably, 22% of people who hired private lawyers were able to plea bargain for lesser, non-DUI offenses. These offenses included reckless driving, “wet reckless,” and impaired driving. By comparison, only 7% of public-defender clients and 0% of self-represented defendants ended up with such “lesser” pleas. While one of the benefits of having an attorney seems to be a better chance of getting a favorable plea bargain, sometimes the prosecution will offer a standard deal regardless of whether a lawyer is involved.

An attorney can help you plea bargain

If it is your first offense, depending on your blood-alcohol level and your driving record, you might be able to plea bargain where you don’t contest your guilt in exchange for a minimal sentence. This is where an attorney with knowledge of the prevailing climate in your location and the local prosecutors is most able to help. There are various plea bargaining strategies that an experienced attorney can use to obtain a favorable outcome for their client. Some states acknowledge “wet reckless driving” charges, which is when a DUI Is reduced to reckless driving with alcohol involved.

In instances where you’re unsure of how to proceed with your plea—are you pleading guilty or no contest, for example—the advice of an attorney could be helpful in determining your next move. At the very least, you can seek advice rather than hiring someone for a full-fledged case, and you can potentially argue your case down to a lesser charge.

The advice of a lawyer for reducing your charges is also helpful in navigating the collateral consequences for a DUI charge—that is, the penalties you will face that do not involve fines, licensing suspensions, or jail time. It’s worth it to hire the best DUI attorney you can afford.

Using an Attorney to Reduce Your Sentence

Courts in most states are willing to bargain down a DUI sentence in exchange for a guilty plea in certain instances. For example, you may be facing charges for a second or third DUI, which can land you in prison for a few months or years. Instead of taking it to trial, the prosecution may be willing to reduce the sentence in exchange for a guilty plea. And if it’s a DUI charge involving drugs other than alcohol, an attorney may be able to negotiate away random drug testing or other conditions of probation.

But, as with plea bargaining, “sentence bargaining” goes much smoother when handled by an attorney. Keep in mind that it is very difficult to negotiate the sentence for a first-offense, non-injury DUI case.

Why Would I Need A Quality DUI Attorney As Opposed to a Cheaper Attorney?

You cannot win unless you fight. A good DUI lawyer will take your DUI case and if they feel like they have a motion to suppress, they will bring the motion to try to get the evidence knocked out. That means the officer did not have sufficient probable cause to pull you over and do a DUI investigation. Ask the attorneys who are charging in the low two thousands or less than two thousand, how many of their cases they do suppression hearing on and then ask them to show you evidence that they do those hearings. They don’t do them, we’ve never seen them doing suppression hearings. We see them pleading people guilty or no contest, same thing all the time. You need a lawyer who will fight. I have never seen anybody get evidence thrown out when they didn’t do the suppression motion.

You’ve got to do the motion to suppress the evidence if you want a chance to win the case, to have the evidence thrown out because everything that happened after that invalid stop goes out if it is an invalid stop. We don’t do a suppression motion in every case. Some are obviously frivolous and we don’t do that. When we have a fightable case, we may win with a suppression motion. We bring it. So that’s something to ask a low fee attorney about. Will they bring a suppression motion? How often do they bring a suppression motion? We fight them, if we don’t win and think, the judge made an incorrect decision, we will appeal it. We don’t stop fighting, you can’t win unless you fight. You need an attorney who can take the time to win your case and an attorney who only charges you a couple of thousand or less is not saying, ”I understand this case is important, it is going to take a lot of time, and I am going to fight.”

Import Auto Repair

Marketing Ideas for Auto Repair Shops to Keep Customers Coming Back

A Car Advice Blog

In 2018, operating a website for your business is a given. Maintaining and updating that website is the challenge auto shop owners face. One way to drive visitors to your site is to start a car advice blog. If the content you produce provides direct value to your most-likely customers, consumers will revisit your website and maybe even subscribe. This gives you opportunities to inform them of specials, educate them about their vehicles, and remind them of services that their cars need (more on this last point later)

Social Media

Just like your website is a standard part of your auto shop’s marketing, so is creating a social media presence. Consistent posting on Facebook is essential to show those who hear about you that you’re open and ready to help your customers. Pick a schedule and stick to it so that your followers (who are most likely also your customers) can learn when to expect new content from you

While you might post at a consistent time each day or each week, the possibilities for the type of content you post are limitless:

coupons and special offers

links to your blog

customer testimonials

helpful advice and recommendations for maintenance

Recall information for major car manufacturers

Coupon Advertising

Coupons provide a low-cost, high-exposure option that draws new customers and reminds existing customers of the excellent service you provide. Offers you could use include:

Half-off oil change

Free oil change with purchase of an emission/safety test

Free oil change with any repair of more than a certain dollar amount

Free/reduced cost tire rotation with the purchase of another service

A certain dollar amount off a specific service (e.g., $25 off a tuneup)

A certain percentage off the cost of an overall bill

The key to making coupons work is getting them into the hands of the right people. Register tape advertising that appears on the back of grocery store receipts offers a perfect—and cost-effective—means of delivery. Because your auto shop coupon is placed on the backs of receipts at a grocery store that is close to your shop you will repeatedly deliver the coupon to people who are most likely to use your services.

Keys to Selling Auto Service Professionally and Ethically

Be prepared to cost-justify. When it comes to selling maintenance, one of the single greatest mistakes that shop owners and service advisors make is being unprepared to cost-justify the services. You’ll need to be able to quickly explain to your customers, in clear financial terms, why the service is a great investment for them

Know your customers’ buying habits. You’ll need to know your customers’ buying habits as well as their service histories. You should always request your first-time customers’ service records, and should ask them about their service histories verbally as well. This information can be extremely helpful during any sales process, especially when it comes to selling maintenance. Great doctors are always interested in a patient’s medical history, just as great service advisors are always interested in a customer’s service history. This information not only indicates which maintenance services are due, but will give you valuable insights to your customers’ buying habits as well.

Have the right tools available. People believe what they see, so whenever possible, you should get your customers visually involved. are big supporters of complete vehicle inspections, proper documentation, and visually showing your customers what was discovered. Since third-party documentation is usually viewed as a credible source, you should use your customers’ owner’s manuals, their service records, and print-outs that show industry recommendations, maintenance brochures, and repair orders that show the high cost of repairs, failed components and fluid samples.

Emphasize the benefits. You’ll need to know the key benefits of every service you offer by heart. You’ll need to know, in very specific terms that your customers will understand, how they will win by authorizing the maintenance services that you recommend. You’ll need to make sure they know it can maximize their fuel economies, protect the value of their vehicles, protect their warranties, help them avoid unexpected and costly repairs, and provide them with peace of mind in knowing that they’ll have good, safe transportation.

Let the customer know you have great news. When you call your customers, make sure you begin your presentation by telling them that you have some really great news. This will not only set the tone for your presentation and put your customers at ease, but it will send a strong message that as a professional, you feel the service you are about to recommend is truly a great value.

How Auto Mechanics Can Rip You Off, and How to Avoid Being Taken for a Ride

Have you ever gone to an auto repair shop for an oil change, only to have the mechanic say your car needs a new transmission? Has the “check engine” light come on, and suddenly the mechanic says you need expensive new engine parts?

One seasoned auto mechanic is warning consumers to be well-versed in how a car works to avoid being ripped off at the auto repair shop.

some mechanics may try to squeeze more money out of customers by doing unnecessary repairs. What drives mechanics to cheat or push unnecessary repairs, said, is the tiny profit margin at many repair shops. Most mechanics are honest, he said, but many are pressured by their bosses to perform unnecessary work.

“The shop has to stay in business,” said. “There are pressures to do things that maybe you wouldn’t do normally.” admitted that he has used shady tactics, himself, in the past.

“I’m ashamed a bit to admit it, but when your boss tells you … ‘Either you do it here or the door’s right there,’ what are you going to do?” he asked. The Automotive Service Association says the majority of the service repair industry is ethical and only charges the consumer for necessary work.

How to find a good garage

Finding a good, trustworthy garage that’ll charge you a fair price is crucial to keeping your car roadworthy and your bills in check. These tips will help you choose wisely.

Looking after your car properly is vital. Your wellbeing (and perhaps life) depends on it – as does the safety of your passengers, fellow road-users and even pedestrians. Yet all too often, our main concern is how we can get our car fixed as cheaply and conveniently as possible.

Find a good garage As with most buying decisions, it pays to do a little homework before taking your car to be repaired or serviced. First, search online to create a shortlist of garages near you – if you need to leave your car at the garage, which is highly likely, you’ll be glad it’s not too far away.

Check prices in advance Continuing the research theme, it’s now possible to get an idea of how much a service or repair is likely to cost before a mechanic even looks at your car.

What to do at the garage Before the mechanic gets started on your service or repair, ask for a written quote and make sure it includes parts, labour and VAT. Check that the garage will use approved or equivalent parts, so you don’t invalidate any remaining warranty on your car. You may like to enquire about a courtesy car for the duration of the work, but be wary of steep insurance excesses on such vehicles.

BRAKES & BRAKE REPAIR

Anti-Lock Brake System

Anti-lock Brake Systems (ABS) ensure that the wheels don’t stop rotating during braking, preventing the car from skidding and offering greater control. If your ABS light comes on, visit Auto Repair Services where will be happy to diagnose and fix the problem.

Brake Fluid Flushes

Brake fluid will absorb water from the air over time, causing the brake system to become less effective and the fluid to become corrosive, possibly damaging the system. It is important to perform a brake fluid flush regularly to ensure that your vehicle is using fresh fluid. Talk to technicians at Auto Repair Services about when it’s time for a brake fluid flush.

Brake Hoses

A brake hose is a tube carrying pressurized brake fluid from the master cylinder to the brakes. A crushed hose can cause a lagged or slow brake, and a leak in the hose can cause the brake, or the entire brake system, to fail. These don’t need to be replaced often, but should be replaced at the first sign of cracking or wear.

Brake Pad & Shoe Replacement

Brake pad problems can usually be identified by squealing brakes. If your brake pads deteriorate completely, you’ll hear a grinding metal-on-metal sound when braking, meaning that it’s too late and you’re ruining your rotors or drums! Those with knowledge of auto repair may be able to fix this at home, but you should always see an auto repair professional immediately if you have brake problems.

Caliper Replacement

The brake caliper houses your brake pads and fits around the rotor like a clamp, pressing the pads against the rotor when you brake. A brake caliper problem could cause uneven braking, making your car slide forward when you brake. Uneven braking can also cause your vehicle to slide out of control in bad weather conditions, so contact Auto Repair Services as soon as possible.

Water Testing Methods: Devices Used To Test For Total Dissolved Solids

The Benefits of Water Quality Testing

No matter if you have well water or public water, you worry about the quality of the water that comes from your home’s tap. It’s entirely understandable considering how many places are facing problems with their water. Stop being concerned about your water quality and employ water test labs to help you in determining if there’s anything to be concerned about with your water. Several benefits come from having your water tested through water test laboratories.

Peace of Mind

The first benefit is that it offers peace of mind. You’ll know for sure if there’s anything wrong with your water and its quality without a doubt. Then, you can either relax or address the issue that was found with the test.

Hard to Find Contaminants

Having your water tested privately will cover a wide range of contaminants in your water. Every water treatment plant has different standards and tests that they run. By having your water tested yourself, you’ll know that a comprehensive analysis has been done on your water’s quality.

Insights into Health Concerns

Contaminants in the water could be behind health concerns that you have. For instance, you may have problems with your skin, such as dryness, itchiness, or even rashes. You may have issues with your scalp, or your hair always feels dirty. It’s easy to assume that it’s from the weather, not drinking enough water, or just the way your body is. But, it could be from the water that you’re showering with during your daily routine. Hard water can be an underlying cause of your skin condition, and knowing this can help you address that root problem. Hard water doesn’t thoroughly rinse you off during a shower as soft water will.

What are the Effects of Waterborne Contaminants on Health

The EPA has a list of more than 80 contaminants that can effect your water quality which can pose a risk to your. The contaminants fall into two categories according to the health effects that they cause.

Acute Effects

Acute effects occur within hours or days of the time that a person consumes a contaminant. People can suffer acute health effects from almost any contaminant if they are exposed to extraordinarily high levels (as in the case of a spill). In water, microbes, such as bacteria and viruses, are the contaminants with the greatest chance of reaching levels high enough to cause acute health effects.

Most people’s bodies can fight off these microbial contaminants the way they fight off germs, and these acute contaminants typically don’t have permanent effects. Nonetheless, when high enough levels occur, they can make people ill, and can be dangerous or deadly for a person whose immune system is already weakened.

Chronic Effects

Chronic effects occur after people consume a contaminant at levels over EPA’s safety standards over the course of many years. The water contaminants that can have chronic effects include chemicals (such as disinfection byproducts, solvents and pesticides), radionuclides (such as radium), and minerals (such as arsenic). Examples of these chronic effects include cancer, liver or kidney problems, or reproductive difficulties

Basics.

Getting enough water every day is important for your health. Healthy people meet their fluid needs by drinking when thirsty and drinking with meals. Most of your fluid needs are met through the water and beverages you drink. However, you can get some fluids through the foods that you eat. For example, broth soups and foods with high water content such as celery, tomatoes, or melons can contribute to fluid intake.

Water helps your body:

  • Keep your temperature normal
  • Lubricate and cushion joints
  • Protect your spinal cord and other sensitive tissues
  • Get rid of wastes through urination, perspiration, and bowel movements

Your body needs more water when you are:

  • In hot climates
  • More physically active
  • Running a fever
  • Having diarrhea or vomiting

How do contaminants (germs and chemicals) get into my drinking water?

There can be many sources of contamination of our water systems. Here is a list of the most common sources of contaminants:

  • Naturally occurring chemicals and minerals (for example, arsenic, radon, uranium)
  • Local land use practices (fertilizers, pesticides, livestock, concentrated animal feeding operations)
  • Manufacturing processes
  • Sewer overflows
  • Malfunctioning wastewater treatment systems (for example, nearby septic systems)

Many contaminants that pose known human health risks are regulated by the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). EPA makes sure that water meets certain standards, so you can be sure that high levels of contaminants are not in your water.

Signs of contaminated water

It is important for the EHP, or whoever is in charge of the water supply within the community, to constantly monitor the quality of the water.

One sign that the water supply might be contaminated is when several people from different families in the community become sick at the same time. A contaminated community water supply can make lots of people sick at the same time. Remember, however, such sickness may also be caused by contaminated food or vectors carrying disease-causing germs.

It is, therefore, a good idea to occasionally check the complete water supply system for any problems. If any are found they must be fixed. It might be necessary to call the water supplier for help in locating and fixing the problem. Where contamination by germs is suspected, sampling of the entire water supply system is recommended to find the contamination source. This is done by working through the water supply system and sampling at different places.

The results of these samples will show which parts of the system are contaminated and where the contamination may be happening.

It is important that every water tank is inspected regularly for signs of water contamination. These are signs that the water in the tank is contaminated:

  • The water is a green or brown in colour
  • Green slime is growing on the sides or bottom of the tank
  • Faeces, rotting leaves or dead animals are in the water
  • Live animals, such as frogs, are in the water
  • There is no lid on the tank
  • The lid of the tank is not on tightly or is rusty and has holes in it