De-icing, How do you maintain a small pond?

Having a pond is an intriguing venture. It requires a lot of input for it always to look presentable. Although it is not part of your home that you see each day, you will need a maintenance schedule. Ponds suffer from a lot of risks of neglect when they lack a pond de-icer. The water has to be at the right temperature. A pond is like a habitat. The environment has to be conducive for the living things in it to flourish. If your pond has fish, neglecting the pond will result in an untimely death for all of them. As the year progresses, seasons will change. Summer comes in with lots of heat, while winter can cause the formation of ice. It would be best if you exercised measures to shield the fish from such adverse conditions.

Fish camouflage during winter. They work with less food and can survive in the ice water for some time. Unfortunately, there is a more critical effect that comes with such situations. The water is a conducive place for the buildup of carbon dioxide. The only way to prevent this from happening is by working with a pond de-icer. Well, when choosing a de-icer, it is vital to take into consideration some essential factors. The gadget comes in varying designs and sizes suitable for different types of ponds.

Placement.

The location which you choose to keep your pond de-icer plays a massive role in determining its efficiency. Experts recommend placing it in a shallow area near the edge of the pond. The place is ideal since the heat reflects mostly from the edges. The mechanism allows it to reflect and enable the device to do its work as expected. It is also convenient since you wouldn’t have to walk on thin ice and risk getting in the water when you want to check the gadget. At this location, you also shield the device from excessive wind. The wind is good as it brings about fresher air. However, in the case of a de-icer, it blows the heat away, making it inefficient. Depending on the location where you are residing, ensure you avoid this aspect. The best way to prevent this from happening is by employing plywood. Cover one side of the pond, the side where the wind blows from with a piece. Put the device under it. If the ice has already formed, you have to look for a way to create space for the gadget. Do not break the ice; the shock might scare the fish leading to death. Melt the ice in the ideal location, using a pan of hot water. It might take some time, but it is the safest method to use.

Design.

Three are different variations of pond de-icers. Each has outstanding qualifications. The first thing is to ensure the device will work for the amount of water in your pond. Otherwise, you will not see any difference upon installation. Additionally, check on energy consumption. It should be economical and serve the intended purpose. The other aspect is the material. While in the pond, the fish will move freely. Choose a suitable material that will not hurt the fish. Plastic seems ideal, but when too hot, it can burn the fish or your hands. The pond liners also suffer risk. Lastly, ensure it comes with a cord to allow for movement. Also, it can either float or submerge when necessary.

Although de-icers work magic, using additional gadgets like pond air can improve aeration. It will boost the flow of oxygen, making the water a safe home for your fish. As seen above, ponds require keen attention to detail. Without regular checkups, you can lose your fish within the shortest time possible. The approaches are simple, and you can either DIY or seek help from a professional pond attendant.

Joe Cadieux is the Senior Biologist for Midwestponds.com. Joe grew up fishing, hunting, and camping with his family in the Midwest. At home he helped out on the hobby farm with the chickens, rabbits, and goats … and one goose (Gracie).

New Orleans, How can construction cost be saved? 

Are you planning a home renovation project and looking to save on construction costs? If so, here are some of the most effective methods of saving money when renovating your home by courtesy of Richard Earls Construction, LLC New Orleans.

The first step is to go over the building project line by line. Most of the time, your construction project will have elements that can be put off until later or you could do them by yourself. The contractor may not know about all your preferences and DIY abilities. Hence, the most important thing is to go through the building project line by line and strike off such elements in the project. Make sure you question the contractor about anything you don’t understand. For example, the contractor may assume you need crown molding in your renovated space. If you don’t care about the crown molding, you can ask the contractor to take it off the list and save hundreds of dollars in the process. This is just one example of how you can save money when renovating your home.

Every construction project should have at least a couple of tasks that you can do yourself. Whether you are a die-hard DIY fan or a complete newbie, you can always pick a few tasks on the project’s to-do-list and do them yourself. For example, you have to pay a contractor between $20-25 per hour. Just imagine how much money you can save when you do some of the tasks on the list by yourself! But you should be realistic about what you decide to do yourself. Only you know what your construction skills are. If you don’t know what you are doing and just do it for the sake of saving money, you are heading for trouble in the long run. You may end up paying more to have a contractor fix your mistakes. For example, plumbing mistakes can get very expensive to fix. Water leaks can damage the very structure of your home if left unattended for long periods.

Sourcing the materials for your construction project is another area where you can save costs. In fact, sourcing your own materials helps save money in the process. But you may have to inform the contractor that you will be sourcing the materials yourself. You may not be able to source all the materials by yourself. Hence, decide what materials you will be and won’t be sourcing on your own before the project starts.

When you are planning to renovate a building, the most important thing is to choose the right contractor. Most people make the mistake of going with the first estimate they come across. It’s important that you shop around before choosing the right contractor for the project. This is an area where you can save a lot of money if you know how to shop for the right contractor. Get at least three estimates before you choose the right contractor for the building project. The reputation, experience, credentials, and customer feedback of the potential contractor play an important part when choosing the best construction expert for your project.

Staying on top of your construction schedule is another important part of reducing the costs associated with the project. For example, if you plan to source the building materials by yourself, you should have the materials ready at the right time so that the project doesn’t delay and you end up paying unwanted labor charges. In fact, unexpected hiccups mean additional charges. You can avoid such hiccups by staying organized.

The aforementioned article provides information on some of the most effective methods of saving money when renovating your home by courtesy of Richard Earls Construction, LLC New Orleans.

Richard Earls Construction is a general contractor that has 28 years of experience and provides the New Orleans area with foundation specialist, new home construction, residential construction, commercial construction and more.

Quartz,  Proper Care to Keep Your Granite Countertops Beautiful

Quartz and granite are two of the most popular materials for kitchen counters. If you’re looking into granite countertop installation san antonio, you’ll want to learn more about the steps you’ll need to take to keep your counters in great shape. With proper upkeep, you’ll be able to maintain your counters and keep them looking fantastic.

Clean Your Counters On A Daily Basis

It’s important to clean up spills quickly, but you’ll also want to wipe down your counters if you haven’t made a mess. Ideally, you should be giving your counters a light cleaning every day.

Avoid using harsh cleaning products or abrasive sponges on your counters; these kinds of products can be damaging. Simply wiping your counters with a soft cloth will be enough to get them clean. You can use a separate cloth or a paper towel to dry your counters after you’ve finished cleaning them.

Protect Your Countertops From Heat

Although granite is durable, it’s still smart to take a few extra precautions to protect your counters from high levels of heat. If you’re placing a hot pan on your counters, for example, it’s a wise idea to place a trivet beneath the pan. That way, you can protect your counters against damage.

These kinds of precautions aren’t always necessary, but they can prevent cracking or staining caused by extreme changes in temperature. When it comes to your counters, it’s better to be safe than sorry.

Always Use A Cutting Board

Another basic precaution you’ll want to make sure you take is to use a cutting board when you’re slicing up items in your kitchen. Since granite is known for being resilient, you might think that it’s easier to cut up items directly on your clean counters. However, a sharp knife could wind up damaging your counters or your sealant.

Using a cutting board is a small step that’s more than worth the effort. Not only will it protect your counters, but it can also keep your knives in great shape. Knives can become dull when they’re used directly against granite.

Polish Your Counters From Time To Time

If you want your counters to look brand-new years down the road, it’s smart to give them the occasional polishing. You can buff your counters with cooking oil, but you can also use a polish that’s specifically designed for granite. There are a wide range of products on the market.

Polishing your counters will leave them looking better than ever, but it will also provide them with an additional level of protection. Polishing is an excellent way to protect your counters from water spots and fingerprints. It’s an excellent way to reinforce the sealant on your counters.

Have Your Counters Resealed As Needed

Your granite counters are protected by a sealant. It’s important to remember that the sealant isn’t going to last forever. You’ll want to make sure that your countertops of periodically resealed so that they always have the protection that they need.

How often do your counters need to be resealed? While recommendations vary, you’ll generally want to have your countertops resealed around once a year. If you have lighter countertops, you may need to have them sealed more frequently. If you have darker counters, you may be able to wait longer before having them resealed.

With the right care, you’ll be able to keep your counters in excellent condition for many years to come. Make sure you maintain your granite countertops and keep them looking their best. Your countertops are a big investment, and you should make sure you take the necessary steps to protect that investment.

Jason Goldblum is the owner of AGS Granite and has always had a great passion for design, cooking and innovation. He started AGS Granite in 2007 and has been going strong ever since, specializing in stone countertop Fabrication and Installation.

Property management, The Role of Property Managers

Property investment is a complex business and balancing income against financial responsibilities is essential to achieving the potential profits in this advantageous market. A common question for most property investors is whether to handle the responsibility of property management themselves or sign on with a professional management agent or agency like at Dallas property management agency.

It is a common assumption that property managers are just another expense on the list that can be eliminated. But, if the role of a property manager is superfluous, why is it that the most successful property investors always employ these valuable services?

If you have been wondering about signing on with professional property managers and what advantages such a move would have for you, you are at the right spot. Let’s take a look at some of the major benefits of property managers.

The 5 Benefits of Professional Property Managers

1. Avoid the Legal Learning Curve

There is a lot to learn in the real-estate and property management game and facing the learning curve alone can mean serious setbacks. A proper property management professional will have the skills and experience to help you avoid this learning curve and get right to the profits.

Improving your profit margins through insights and experience is only one advantage. The role of a professional property manager covers a vast amount of legal experience that is essential to avoiding the serious problems connected to real estate marketing.

The most important advantage is that your property manager will know exactly how and to prevent issues and how to respond effectively when these problems do arise. Because legal issues tend to be more complicated if they are not addressed right away, this is an indispensable part of top-notch property investments and management services.

2. Better Tenants

A property manager understands that it is far easier to avoid unpleasant tenants than to try and kick them out after they have moved in. for this reason, a screening process is an important part of the property manager’s primary functions.

It takes a special kind of judgement and discernment to choose top-quality tenants who will take good care of your property, make payments on time and bring you no heart ache. This type of insight does not come overnight and only years of diligence and experience is what will give you the upper hand in property business. This is something you can expect from the finest property managers.

3. Less waiting Time Between Tenants

Unless you are throwing your entire time and focus into property management, marketing your property can become a difficult task. But, your property manager will have the desire, incentives and capacity to make sure your property is being advertised to the right kind of tenant.

It is important to remember that your property manager will only be making a profit from the properties they manage if the occupancy is top-quality and consistent. For these reasons, you can count on your property manager to do everything they can to find top-quality tenants and keep your properties profitable.

4. Enhance Investor’s Goals with Industry Insights

You will typically have a solid plan for what you would like to do with the properties you are investing in. This is where your property manager will do all they can to understand your vision and help you achieve your goals. They will also understand the various advantages each property has to promoting your goals as well as where to best apply your investments in order to bring your goals to fruition.

5. Apply Industry Know How to Setting Prices

It is not easy to select the perfect renting price for your investment property. If your price is too high, the property will sit on the market while you pay expenses for its upkeep. If the price is too low you will not cover your costs of doing business. Having a property manager with the skills to place the perfect price that will cover your costs and bring profits is invaluable to widening those profit margins.

Austin Sparks joined CW Sparks Management in 2008, and now serves as the company’s designated broker. He is responsible for the oversight of all marketing, management, and financial operations, as well as all licensee activities and compliance with the Texas Real Estate Commission. He is a married father of 4, with a passion for investing in businesses and real estate. He enjoys spreadsheets & high adventure outdoors.

How do I become an ADA Inspector?

What is ADA compliance, and how do I become an ADA inspector? The Americans with Disabilities Act or ADA requires a business to make reasonable accommodations for people with disabilities. This act provides protection for people with disabilities and offers them equal opportunity to access similar to individuals without any disability. If you operate a business in the United States, it’s important to know when you are legally required to be ADA-compliant. The ADA law applies to your business if your business falls under one of these categories:

. All government agencies – such as local, county, state and federal

. Businesses that rely on the general public

. Charitable and non-profit organizations with more than 15 employees

. Charitable and non-profit organizations that operate for the benefit of the public

. Private businesses with more than 15 employees

To know if your business qualifies under the ADA Compliant act, you need to work with a certified ADA inspector in the area. An ADA inspection should be carried out only by a highly qualified and experienced ADA inspector. An ADA expert will work with business owners, facility managers, realtors, building owners, property managers, and ADA coordinators to make sure their businesses are set up according to the guidelines of ADA. This is important to make sure your employees and customers have a safe and accessible experience.

ADA inspections are usually priced based on an individual scope of work including:

. The number of buildings and floors

. The type and size of the facility

. The age of the building and renovation dates

. Type of business

. Travel distance from the ADA inspectors office

. The completion deadline

. Other specific services requested by the business owner

. Any current litigation

Becoming an ADA inspector is well worth the effort since it offers a rewarding experience to the individual. The first step in becoming an ADA inspector is to find a training organization that provides ADA certification programs. The completion of an ADA Basics course is a prerequisite for this purpose. You should complete at least 40 training credits approved for the Certification Program. You need to get through an online examination to become fully qualified and certified as an ADA inspector. All these requirements need to be completed within three years of registering with the institute to follow the ADA inspector certification program. If you cannot complete the requirements within 3 years of registration, the institution may ask you to extend the period for another year. You should pay $25 to extend the period of the program for another year.

Once you complete all the required credits, you need to pass an examination to be certified as an ADA inspector. The examination is open book and online. You will be called to answer questions of many ADA issues. As an aspiring ADA inspector, you should be able to find the required information to answer the questions. The examination will be designed to mimic the challenges involved in the ADA industry. The ADA training certification is valid for three years from the date of issue. You should renew the certification every three years. When qualifying for renewal, the applicant should:

. Complete a minimum of 10 credits within the three years of the validity of the certificate

. Pay an annual renewal fee of $25

. After the first renewal, the applicant should acquire five credits for each year he/she wishes to renew the certificate

Are you wondering how to become an ADA inspector? If so, you have come to the right place. Becoming an ADA inspector is a rewarding career. The aforementioned article provides information on how do I become an ADA Inspector.

David LoPresti, co-owner of ADA Compliance Professionals, brings years of architectural design and ADA compliance experience to the table. With a mother who has had a life-long disability, he has seen first-hand the complexity and challenges of making a property ADA compliant. This experience has led to him dedicating his life to improving ADA access for businesses across California so they can be enjoyed by all.

Renting or Buying A Home: What To Decide

One of the biggest dilemmas people face today is whether they should buy a property or rent one. It’s a big decision that needs serious consideration. If you were given a choice, what would you choose? It helps to get expert advice from real estate agents at Maxwell Realty Company, Inc. Asking for their insight and advice will enable you to come up with a sound decision – one that you won’t regret in the end.

Before you make a final decision, you have to carefully consider and weigh your options. Keep in mind that what you choose, whether to rent or own, will impact your finances, your lifestyle and the amount of money you’ll save at the end of each month. If you don’t think about this carefully you may end up paying for a property you could not afford.

The following are the pros and cons of renting and owning. Consider each one carefully and find out which option is more practical for you.

Renting A Property

When you rent a property, you can transfer anywhere you want without paying for penalty fees as soon as your contract lease ends. The downside to renting is that any moment your landlord can ask you to leave if he or she decides to put the property up for sale. It’s also possible that your landlord will convert your property into an apartment or a condo unit. There is also the possibility that your landlord will increase your rental fees to an amount that’s outside of your budget.

Many people don’t want to rent because they think they are just throwing their money away since they won’t be able to own the property. Well, this is actually a myth because one way or another, you’ll need a space to live in. If you can’t afford to pay for the monthly dues needed for a house, renting is a practical option. Before you rent, make sure you come up with a budget plan. Determine how much money you are willing to spend each month for the rent.

Owning A Property

Owning a property gives you a sense of security that renting doesn’t offer. It will make you feel proud that you invested your hard-earned money into a tangible asset you can pass down to your children or you can sell in the future. Of course, the total cost you’ll pay for a house you’re going to own will be significantly higher than the monthly cost if you rent a property.

Basically, it all boils down to what your goals are in the future. If you have a big family it would be better if you buy a house rather than rent an apartment or a condominium where the number of rooms are limited. Renting doesn’t give you liberty to do whatever you want with the property. For example, if the apartment you are renting has red walls, you can’t paint them white because you don’t have the authority to do so. You can’t change the interiors as well and you’re going to have to deal with the current condition of your space. Usually your landlord doesn’t shoulder repairs so that means you’ll have to shell out cash for that. Meanwhile, owning a property give you complete freedom to design your space. You can choose if you want wallpaper on your walls or paint them with a shade you want.

If you still can’t decide whether to rent or own, ask for expert advice from real estate agents. They’ve been in the industry long enough to give you helpful insight that will allow you to ultimately decide if you’ll rent or invest in a property.

Nancy Alperin of Maxwell Realty has not only a keen understanding of real estate, but a genuine passion for it. She believes in garnering client respect by listening to their needs and delivering results for them. Her in-depth knowledge of the Philadelphia real estate market plus her ability to broker complicated deals with infinite finesse enable her to navigate the challenging elements of buying, selling or leasing properties while making it all appear seamless. This is also strengthened by her years of owning, buying and selling for her own portfolio. Committed to the health and longevity of her father's company, Nancy has helped Maxwell Realty Company, Inc. achieve its reputation for unparalleled service as well as for being an innovative and rewarding work environment for its associates.

4 Ways to Find Condos for Sale

Finding condos for sale can be a daunting task, especially if you are looking for a condo for the first time. Do not rush to choose a condo. You may spend most of your savings on your condo. So, you need to do your due diligence if you want to find the right condo.

Here are the best ways to find condos for sale.

1. Do Proper Research

What is your ideal area? Where do you want to stay? There are so many places you may like. Therefore, visit these places. Choosing the right location is important. If you want a place that is close to major tourist attractions, look for a condo that appeals to you in that area.

2. Facilities

Do you want to live with lots of neighbors? Choose a condo, which is a complex unit. Complex units are great because they come with several amenities and facilities. For instance, some units come with fitness centers, laundries, swimming pools, etc. Choose one of these units if you want to enjoy these facilities and amenities.

3. Use an Agent

Don’t have time to look for the best condos for sale? Use an experienced agent who has sold several units in the place you want to live. Why? They know the best condos in that area. And they save time and money because they will show these condos.

4. Attend Open Houses

To view all the condos in your favorite location, find out when these condos are available for viewing. Attending open houses helps you to know the pros and cons of these condos. If there are no scheduled open houses, contact the seller to set up a separate viewing.

These are the best ways to find condos for sale.