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We have a team of dedicated writers, covering off many different topics, in hopes of providing interesting, valuable information and insight.
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Bookkeepers are Road Maps for Businesses
If you are interested in the history of Bookkeeping, you are going to go on a journey way back, to ancient times. As soon as people began to do trade with one another, there was a necessity to start recording the transactions made between parties. Of course, Bookkeeping has advanced significantly since that starting point. But the premise of maintaining accounts or ledgers has been around for centuries.
Not only are accounts and ledgers required to track amounts owed to one party, they also are needed to track what one owes to other parties. Today we know this as receivables and payables.
We also need to use Bookkeeping to track the health of our finances and that of our companies that we operate. We need to understand how much something may cost us to produce, so that we can determine what to sell that same item for. We never want to be in a position that it is costing us more to manufacture or produce items than what we can recoup when we sell it. That is simply a quick route to financial difficulties.
Understanding the fundamentals of what your costs are (expenses) and what you’re bringing in from customers (sales), will help you understand what funds are actually left over (revenue). A Bookkeeper will understand how to track all of this so that you can get a clear picture of areas that may need adjustment.
An Income Statement, or Profit and Loss Statement will give you a very clear picture of the performance of your finances or business. Think of this similar to a review of one’s household budget after a month. You know what funds you have received. Now you will review your outflow or expenses paid. The difference between the two amounts will be what you have saved or retained. For a business, an Income Statement goes more into detail than a simple budget recap you may use for running a household. It will break down various items so that you can get a more inclusive view of the operation of the business.
This includes different revenue sources, such as different types sales, investment interest and income, and other income sources. Imagine you have a flower shop. You will have income from the sale of the flowers, maybe planters, silk flowers, and the funds collected for the delivery charged. Any type of revenue can be broken down to specific categories so that they can be recorded individually on a ledger account. This will really give you insight as to what items are selling well and what items may not be.
To make this even more meaningful, the expenses related to the different activities of generating income can also be categorized in separate ledger accounts. Using the example of a flower shop, an owner will have different kinds of expenses. There are expenses that relate directly to fresh flowers. And there are expenses related to the purchase of silk flowers or planters for resale. Also, there will be expenses associated with the delivery of flowers.
When you can identify specific expenses that relate to specific revenue, you can fully dig down and determine where you are most profitable and where you may not be. For example, a flower shop will most likely have the highest volume of sales from the purchase of fresh flowers. The florist will have a supplier of fresh flowers that they order from. The difference between the cost of the flowers and the amount of revenue that can be generated by flower sales can change due to any fluctuation in the suppliers pricing. If the supplier has raised the cost of roses, as an example, the flower shop may need to adjust their selling prices as well. This is necessary to maintain the desired profit margin on that item.
Other things can also cause fluctuation on your revenue. We cannot forget operating expenses also affect your bottom line or net revenue as well. If you have a rent increase on the office space you are renting, this is going to affect your net income. If you hire additional staff, you should ensure that you have the revenue flow to support the additional cost, without impacting your bottom line.
We hope that we have not confused or complicated you with the above information. That information is very important to be able to assess and understand. Bookkeepers are ideal solutions to getting all that information sorted out and easily displayed on financial statements.
If you are running your business without a Bookkeeper, it is very similar to driving your car with a blindfold on. Bookkeepers can help you understand where you have come from and where you are heading. Having one on your team will really help your business go places.
Tile Installation Prep and Planning
When you are tackling a home improvement project that involves tiles, we recommend you start with floor tiling. Working with tile on a vertical space, such as a kitchen backsplash, can have additional challenges with it. If this is your first attempt at tiling yourself, a floor project might be the best place to start!
The information that we are going to discuss apply to all kinds of flooring. That includes bathroom, kitchen, bedroom, living room, etc. And include the different kind of tiles that you would lay. That being mosaic, stone, ceramic, porcelain, etc.
While this information is good to build a foundation of knowledge off of, they are not by any means to represent all steps in prepping a subfloor. Each project may present different obstacles or challenges. But this will give you some guidance and cover off the basics to get you started.
Prepare the Subfloor
What do we mean by subfloor? This is basically, the surface that is underneath the finished flooring. It usually is either wood or concrete. Regardless, the one big challenge to installing tiles is the movement of the subfloor or surface being tiled. Wood will react to humidity and changes in temperature with movement. Concrete can react to humidity, moisture, temperature, as well as soil movement. It is really important to prep the subfloor correctly to avoid issues in the future.
For wooden subfloors, make sure that you remove all staples and you can hammer down any nail heads or screws. Try to get the subfloor as smooth as possible. Then you can put a cement backer board down to give the tiles a solid foundation. It will keep cracking from occurring due to movement. You will want to mortar down the backer board with tile adhesive. And, using specific screws, you are going to anchor the backer board to the subfloor. Make sure that you tape and mortar any joints and then apply a crack prevention membrane, which also acts as a protection again water penetration.
For concrete subfloors, you have to make sure that you remove any old adhesive. Use a floor scraper to get rid of any loose debris. For any cracks, you will have to tackle those depending on the severity of them. Different crack filling products are available at most home hardware stores or home improvement centers. If you have any rough patches, you may need to grind that smooth. A water-resistant membrane can be applied as well, to keep any water from seeping through to the concrete below. Once you have a smooth surface, you can install tiles right on top.
Regardless of the type of subfloor, make sure you have all debris cleaned up. The subfloor needs to be as smooth as possible. Sweeping and vacuuming can be effective in collecting all dirt and debris.
Onto Planning out Your Tiles
Installing tile for a floor space takes a bit of planning. You have the floor prepped and you are ready to start laying out the tiles. Make sure that you do your planning for fixtures, cabinets, and such. You really don’t want to waste material if you don’t have to.
What kind of pattern do you envision for the space? Creativity has given birth to many different designs over the years. You might be looking at herringbone, brick bond or parquet patterns. You should have that pretty much figured out before you purchase tiles. You can easily install a linear pattern with square tiles, end to end. Very basic pattern but still a timeless one.
To start the laying of tiles, you want to find the center of the space. That’s where the tile will be most visible. Leave the tile cutting to fit in around cabinets or walls. If you start in the center of the room, you can move outward in all directions, keeping space balanced. And leaving the cut tiles for the outer edges or around obstacles. To do that, just measure the room to find the center and use a chalk line to snap the markings in both directions. This will help you keep the grid layout visible. Then plan your full tiles, moving outward in all directions.
Now, we are going to go back and contradict all said about starting at the center of the room! Not to confuse you or trick you! It is just there are times when starting at the center and working outward will not suit your space very well. Starting in the center works well when you have one defined space, such as a square or rectangular room closed off to itself. But this isn’t going to include all rooms in your house. You may have rooms that transition or flow from one room to another. Think of a kitchen that transitions to the dining room. Or a bathroom, that flows off of a hallway. If you leave all your cut edges to the perimeter of the room, you will have cuts at the transition as well! It doesn’t leave a pleasing visual.
Instead, we recommend you start at the entrance or transition point. Maybe that’s the opening from dining room to kitchen. Or bathroom to hallway. Where ever one space flows into another. Start your first tile there. You can still use chalk lines to keep your tiles from going off center or help keep them in a straight line. Then just move outward to opposite sides, leaving the cut tiles along those edges of the room.
We hope you can now understand the planning that is required before you lay for first tile. Not only is it meant to save you from wasted material, it is also to produce visual appeal and flow throughout your space and home. Taking a dry run at it first, to get a feel for what you have planned, will definitely help get you to the results you are attempting! Or if you want to simply contact a tile installer near you, they would be happy to give you an estimate on the project.
Framework for Future Waste Management
We are now, more than ever, in need of solid waste reduction education and implementation. Our community needs to be focused in on the most environmentally, economic and social focused solutions to maintain our environment within the community that we live in.
Edmonton Junk Removal has been an advocate for The Zero Waste Framework proposed by the City of Edmonton in recent years. They feel that this framework could have a real impact for the future generations, if we take the time now to educate and implement best practices. But, according to them, the time is now to promote these strategies. “It is really exciting to see the framework beginning to take shape now, especially for the future generations that will follow.”
The Zero Waste Framework really brings to light the need to identify, from most preferred and least preferred methods of managing waste in the city of Edmonton.
Here is a run down on those preferred methods, from top to bottom.
Manufacturers and distributors are encouraged to look at product and product packaging to promote the use of fully recyclable or compostable materials so that they don’t just end up in the landfill. Consumers are encouraged to purchase items that can be repaired, recycled, or even shared within the communities. Being mindful of the environment, from both the producer and manufacturers, and the consumers.
Consumers can be proactive when purchasing items that have less packaging that will end up being discarded. Using reusable shopping bags at the grocery stores and when shopping overall. Try to go “bagless” when mowing the lawn. It’s actually good for the lawn anyways. Avoid purchasing items that you really don’t need. Think about what you already have and how you can use it instead.
Try to use items fully, to the end of their expected life cycle. If you have items that do have remaining life, donate them or resell them. When you are thinking about replacing items, try looking for pre-owned items. Get creative! You may discover many other uses for an item that never occurred to you before.
Explore opportunities to turn waste into new products. This can be done by mechanical, chemical, or biological processes. Food waste can be composted to provide a great food source for your gardens and yards.
With enough technology developments and progressive research, we can begin to fully identify and recover materials that are found in waste that are not as yet recyclable or compostable. We can focus on ways to turn those materials into environmentally friendly materials or identify ways to recover and reuse.
6. Residual Management
Working to fully manage our overcrowded landfills, identifying resources that will expand the capacity and lifecycle of the current ones, and developing new and effective guidelines for new ones in the future.
These methods of waste management, from most preferred and downward, are all things that we should be placing first and foremost in mind. Every company, whether environmentally focused or not, has a responsibility to the community they serve. And the constituents of those communities also have a responsibility. Edmonton Junk Removal Service encourages all persons become fully aware of their part in the future of managing waste in the city they call home. Do it for the future generations that will come to call Edmonton home.
Scheduling Asphalt and Weather Impact
You have an asphalt project in the planning. You get in touch with the contractors to do the work. They get you the quote you agree upon and schedule you in for the work. The day of the scheduled work, you get a call from the contractors. They have to postpone the job until the weather is better. This isn’t because they don’t want to work in the rain. They cannot produce results that will meet expectations due to the rain.
We get that you can be frustrated. We would be as well. But unfortunately, weather is beyond anyone’s control. And believe us when we say, the contractor is more eager to complete your scheduled work than you are. They most likely have other jobs to get to once yours is completed. But they cannot risk doing a sloppy job. So, sometimes, they do need to be creative and reschedule projects.
The first thing an asphalt contractor will do, before rescheduling work, is determine what work is needed. If it is something that is quick enough to complete and not weather restricted, they may go ahead as planned. Maybe the rain isn’t scheduled to arrive in your area until later. Maybe they can get your pothole patching done. Or your crack sealing done.
But if it is involving a more intense work effort, complete with crew and equipment, that may be better executed after the imminent weather passes through your area. Sometimes it is just not feasible to start this size of a project in the morning and have to call back all equipment and crew by noon.
Some asphalt companies pride themselves in being pretty good at watching and reacting to weather forecasts daily. And they should be monitoring weather patterns! They are really watching for precipitation forecasts, the areas expecting the rain, and the time that the showers are suppose to occur. While not every forecast is spot on, it is a valuable tool that these asphalt companies use. After all, weather can put the best of plans to the side.
Why can’t they just plow through the rain! Surely they have weather protective gear! Of course they do. But it isn’t about getting the job done at any cost. It is about getting the job done correctly. And rain and asphalt do not mix. Especially fresh asphalt.
Asphalt contains oil. And when the oil and rain mix, it’s not a good outcome. The rain causes the oil to rise to the surface of fresh asphalt. And this causes a lot of issues when it comes to the curing process of the asphalt. The quality of the work diminishes, and no one wants that.
We also have to take into consideration the subsoil, on which the asphalt is to be paved. If it is wet from recent rain, this does not create a sturdy, flat surface to pave. The subsoil, when wet will be weaker and shift to the wait of the asphalt on top. Which will lead to cracks and defects. Another thing that you want to avoid as well. The subsoil should be completely dry when paving asphalt on top of it.
The paving company should always be concerned about their ability to produce quality results. So, you should trust them when they make the call on whether to proceed or to call off the day’s scheduled jobs. If they show up early in the morning but by early afternoon are sending the crew home, there’s your weather forecast right there.
But if you hear that rain is in the forecast and they are still working, don’t be alarmed. They are monitoring weather patterns and radar. Maybe the rain will miss your area. The foreman, who is in touch with the base of operations, will be in the know, if they need to stop or carry on.
Now, every asphalt paving company has had to reschedule work due to the weather. And this can get a bit tricky, especially with contract deadlines and schedule conflicts. Every attempt and every resource will be in action, to get all projects back on track. But sometimes the delay can be more than a day or two. It all depends on the weather and we all know that we just don’t have control of that.
But a good asphalt paving company will have all lines of communication open with clients and project managers. When an unavoidable delay is expected, that will push the completion date, this needs to be clearly communicated to the client. After all, other services to be completed after the paving will be further pushed as well. Keeping everyone in the know helps to get things back on track quicker.
As frustrating as it may be to have asphalt work delayed, remember the name of the game is quality. The outcome has to be quality work. For you, as the client, and for the paving company as their reputation is important to them. Just chalk up any delay as a “rain day”!
Clean your Car like a Professional!
As a vehicle owner, you want to make sure that your vehicle is looking good! Not only because it makes you feel good to have a clean car, but it also protects the investment that you have put into your vehicle. You keep the mechanical maintenance up to date, so that the vehicle keeps running correctly. You also want to protect the condition of the exterior and the interior of that vehicle as well. Car detailing isn’t something that is really complicated. But there are some things that you should be aware of that the professionals already know and do. Here is a bit of information that we hope will be of benefit to vehicle owners.
You may remember back in the day, helping your father wash the car on the driveway at home. The both of you would be armed with bucket or hose, bits of towels or sponges, and you would tackle the task together on a sunny afternoon. While the memory is great, we would suggest you change a couple of things if you are building new memories with your own kids.
First, you should be using a couple of buckets. One with the soap in it, and the other just plain water. Try to keep the soap bucket from getting contaminated with the dirt, grime, and dust that is coming off your car. The second bucket, of just water, should be used to rinse off contaminants, before dipping into the soapy water.
Let’s mention here, that if you are using dish soap to clean your vehicle, you should stop doing that. Professional car detailing does not use this household detergent, as it will cause damage and strip your clear coat finish from your vehicle. There are still a lot of vehicle owners that use dish soap, so we would love to get the word out on this. There are many different brands of car soap available and they range in prices, allowing owners to find one that will fit their budget. Dish soap may already be on hand, but please consider simply purchasing car cleaning product specific to this job.
So, what is the deal with microfiber cloths? We will tell you! If you use a towel or sponge for cleaning your vehicle, chances are you are not getting all the contaminants out of the material before plunging it back into the soap bucket. Bits of dirt, sand, and grit can still be caught in the material and this can cause abrasive scratches and such on the surface of your vehicle. Microfiber rinses much cleaner than sponges or even old towels. There are microfiber mitts available almost everywhere car detailing supplies are sold. They are kind of fun to use too!
And, is a warm sunny day good for washing your car? Well, sure it is! Except, instead of doing it under direct sunlight, you may want to move your vehicle to a shady spot. A warm vehicle, sitting in the sun, will heat up, both inside and out. The surface you are cleaning should be cooler, so that the water doesn’t rapidly evaporate, leaving behind streaks and soap spots. Besides, being in the shade might make the job even more enjoyable for you too.
Some car owners have not yet jumped on the new mobile auto detailing services that are popping up in there city. If you are interested, you can always check out Mobile Auto Detailing in your neck of the woods! It might be something you prefer, having someone do the detailing and really making you love your car!
Epoxy Countertops - DIY Project?
Have you been considering updating your kitchen or bathroom countertops? If so, you may have seen some really impressive results that epoxy coatings can do to countertops. The beauty of this solution is that you can keep the countertops you currently have in place, and apply the epoxy over them. Many homeowners have been aware of the effect that epoxy can give to floors and even walls. This is a very versatile material for many renovation projects.
One thing that you need to keep in mind is the speed at which epoxy sets and hardens. So often, if an error occurs, it has to be remedied quickly. And for the average DIY project, this can be a more advanced application. It is best to research first, to fully understand some of the pros and cons that you can encounter with the project.
Let’s discuss a few of the pros of epoxy applications.
Epoxy can be applied to many different surfaces, such as concrete, wood, metal, ceramic, and even laminate. One benefit is that you don’t necessarily have to remove the current surface. You can apply epoxy over it.
Epoxy is also extremely durable. It will resist scratches and stains and is not affected by household cleaners and chemicals.
Epoxy adheres to porous surfaces very well and can act as a sealant on material such as concrete. It will actually strengthen the material and protect it from dampness, mold, and rot.
Once epoxy has hardened and is set, it becomes heat resistant. Putting a hot pan or pot from a stovetop or oven on the surface will not cause any damage (although, with limited time on the contact surface of the epoxy).
Cleaning epoxy is very easy. You can use pretty much any household cleaner or chemical on it. And the glossy, polished look lasts for a very long time, unlike many other kinds of countertops. If it should appear to be getting a bit dull, a light touch of mineral oil to the cleaned surface should restore its lustre.
With these pros mentioned, we will also mention a few of the cons to using epoxy.
Epoxy is a resin that consists of several different compounds, that assist in the hardening process. Some of these compounds are volatile organic compounds (VOC). Therefore, for health reasons, it is very critical that, during the application process, there is sufficient ventilation to dissipate these chemicals. And you should try to not use this area for approximately a week, to ensure that there is no risk to health.
You must do detailed preparation of the current surface before applying epoxy. The surface must be sanded well, removing any stain that may linger there. This will ensure that the epoxy adheres correctly to the surface. And you will need to cover household items in the home with plastic, due to the VOC that is released during the process. It will take 24 to 48 hours for the epoxy to cure.
Epoxy is very unforgiving and is very hard to correct any error that occurs during the application. As a DIY project for someone without experience with epoxy, results may not necessarily turn out the way that you had hoped. You can redo the process but it will become costly.
The entire process of applying epoxy can become very messy. The resin reacts a certain way and drops over the counter edge can occur. Air bubbles can get trapped, causing for an uneven application. Quite often frustration and dissatisfaction can occur while attempting this as a DIY project.
We would recommend that anyone looking to attempt epoxy coating as a DIY project, do full research on the method of application. If you are in doubt, reach out to a company that does Epoxy flooring in Edmonton and other applications. It may be more cost efficient to have a professional handle this project, while you choose a different DIY project around the house.
Paint Like a Professional!
One of the most common DIY projects that a home owner will take on themselves is painting interior walls. Easy project, right? Well, the basics of interior painting may sound pretty straight forward, getting the finished product just the way you want it may not be. For professional painters, who make this task their trade, there is a lot more that goes into getting the job done right. They have secrets to their trade and we are going to let you in on a few of them.
Let’s begin with the paint brush. You might not want to just grab the brush, plunge it down into the paint can and then spread it around randomly. Believe it or not, there is a professional technic to loading the brush, applying the paint, and then smoothing out the paint on the surface.
To load the paint onto the brush, you want to just dip the paint brush into the paint to about a third of the bristles. Don’t completely dip it in. You will end up with too much paint on the brush. Just dip it in to about a third. Then, gently push each side of the brush against the inside of the can, so that the paint on the brush is distributed to the middle of the bristles. An error that a lot of DIY painters do is scrape the brush off against the top of the can or rim. What you end up doing is removing the paint, compacting the bristles against one another, and causing the brush to become less effective when you apply the paint to the surface.
OK, now that the brush is loaded correctly, you are ready to cut in the wall or surface. By cutting in, we simply mean the painting of the perimeter of the wall. For a large surface, you will most likely want to use a roller to fill in the space. But the roller will be ineffective when it comes to covering the outer edges of the wall. So always cut in the wall first.
Starting at the ceiling edge, begin in the corner that is opposite the hand you normally use. For instance, if you are right-handed, you start in the left corner. By doing this, you will be able to see the applied brush strokes more easily as you paint. Use the edge of the brush and gentle pressure to apply the paint in a straight line. Overlap the next stroke slightly, so as to create an even application. Next, you will then go diagonally down the corners where walls may meet. If you are using multiple colors on each wall, you may want to cut in the darker color first, and then cut in the lighter color. Just to keep the darker color from bleeding through under the lighter one.
Now, for the interior area. You can either fill this in by using a paint brush or a roller. Using a roller may be a bit quicker to apply the paint, but using a paint brush can give you great control, especially if you are wanting to create a textured finish. Just remember to apply the paint on the brush horizontally, and smoothly, with a gentle stroke. If you are using a roller, you will want to pour paint into a roller pan. Gently roll the roller pad into the paint, to cover the entire surface of the roller. Then, using a “W” pattern, roll downward, then upward – slightly overlapping the first downward stroke, and then downward again. Continue until the area has been filled in.
Now, to smooth out the paint. This is the step that professional painters will take to really create a great finished project. With a freshly loaded brush, stroke lightly right across the entire wall, from one edge to the other. Use a horizontal stroke and when you reach the other edge, lift the brush completely off the surface. This will correct any brush strokes showing on the paint, from different directions. Just make sure that you are covering wet paint, so as not to leave any visible lap marks.
The end result should be a clean, smoothly painted wall.