Qualifications Of A Reliable Electrical Home Inspections

Electrical Installations

Application Requirements:

Wiring Diagram indicating the location of receptacles, lights, switches, and all other equipment to be installed. Include total numbers of each type of electrical device to be installed (i.e. individual receptacles, lights, switches etc).

Either a Homeowner of a single detached dwelling occupied as his/her principal residence or a Licenced Electrical Contractor may apply for a permit.

Completed Electrical application and Declared Value form.

Completed Homeowner Electrical Permit Declaration Form for homeowners wishing to do their own electrical installation.

All the above information must be submitted to the Zoning & Permits Office with your electrical permit application. Homeowner applicants must submit their applications in person. Your application visit will take less time if you complete the application, Declared Value and Homeowner Declaration forms in advance.

How to apply:

Please ensure you have gathered all required documentation before applying.

Apply online (Licenced Contractors only)

Guideline for Inspections and Audits

regularly inspects the electrical works carried out by Registered Electrical Contractors (RECs) in order to ensure that the installation and the REC, comply with National Rules for Electrical Installations and the Regulatory Arrangements

After registration with REC shall undergo two inspections, the first inspection shall be carried out in the first 6 months of registration. In the event the new REC passes the first inspection, he/she shall then be subject to an additional inspection within 6 months of the first inspection.

For the Application Inspection you need to present an electrical installation work. In case you are not able to present an electrical installation work for inspection within the given timeframe (6 months for the first application inspection and 6 months after the first inspection for the second application inspection) your application will be rejected. If the result of the application inspection is unsatisfactory

Routine Inspection

Every REC shall be inspected at least once annually. Inspectors generally select the installation for inspection from the certificates of the REC’s completed “Controlled Works” electrical installations.

If no electrical installation is available for inspection, periodic inspections or maintenance works can also be considered for inspection. If no work can be presented for inspection it may lead to suspension of the REC’s registration and ultimately to revocation of membership


Inspectors are selected on the basis of their competence, training, qualifications and experience in line with the requirements of the CRU Criteria Document.

Electricians on Thumbtack cost

Electrical inspections typically cost around $110 to $125 per session. However, the total cost will vary depending on a few factors, such as your home’s size. By requesting price quotes from electrical inspection services in your area, you can better determine the estimated cost.

Flat rates

Most electrical home inspectors quote a flat fee for performing an inspection rather than charging per hour. Many inspectors also issue official documentation that contains their findings for home inspections required by insurance or mortgage companies.

Cost factors

Your home’s (or building’s) size will play a big part in cost. Building size can increase the flat rate because it takes longer to inspect a larger building If you live outside the contractor’s service range, there may be an additional travel fee. Some companies charge a flat rate for travel and others charge a mileage fee, such as $1 per mile of travel outside the service radius.

What happens during an electrical inspection?

An electrical home inspection involves a thorough look at the electrical connections, installations and wiring in your home. Ultimately, the home inspector’s goal is to make sure everything is working correctly and that your electrical system complies with the code.

Inspectors operate under the National Electrical Code (NEC), which defines the requirements and standards that must be met in the U.S. for electrical systems. Every three years, the NEC is revised. And in 2020, updates involving service equipment supplying dwellings, GFCI protection and outdoor emergency disconnects were added.

Digital Electrical Inspection Checklists

What is an Electrical Inspection Checklist?

An electrical inspection checklist is an essential tool to determine if your workers and worksite conditions adhere to electrical compliance safety rules. Electrical equipment should undergo quality and safety checks before operating. Inadequate checks and poor training can lead to serious electrical injuries and fatalities.

What do Electrical Safety Checks Involve?

An electrical safety checklist accompanies a site walkthrough to identify and report on common electrical hazards. This involves checking if safety barriers and signs are in place, ensuring that tools and equipment are in pristine condition, and looking for exposed wiring that needs proper guarding mechanisms among others.

Reasons to Perform Electrical Inspections

An electrical inspection is performed by a qualified person who is trained and knowledgeable in the construction and operation of electrical systems. It helps to identify unsafe equipment, faulty installation, and unfollowed work practices

To Keep Electrical Hazards at Bay

OSHA recorded that electrocution is the most common hazard and one of the fatal 4 across the construction industry. Performing electrical inspections help prevent electrical hazards in the workplace and ensures a safe environment for all employees.

To Ensure Compliance with Regulatory Standards

Businesses need to comply with regulatory standards to prevent unnecessary incidents, lawsuits, and criminal investigations. Complying with OSHA’s electrical standards helps to protect employees from exposure to danger such as electric shock, electrocution, fires, and explosions.


Inspections ensure that construction and trades work:

Matches the work described under the permit

Complies with the relevant bylaws

Meets safety, accessibility, and green building goals

Get a special inspection

A special inspection is an inspection of all systems and structures (in all or in part) of an existing building to:

Assess general code compliance

Identify upgrading requirements, including any permits needed for the work

When you need a special inspection

A special inspection may be required or recommended by City staff depending on the details of your project. Common scenarios that may require a special inspection:

An existing occupancy classification is changing to allow for a new business or tenant

Significant work has occurred without permits

A building has been damaged by fire

To determine upgrading requirements for a child daycare or community care space

You must provide written authorization from the building owner or indicate that you have permission from the building owner to apply.

Fees will be based on the number of separate inspections required at your building. Some inspections may require the expertise of more than one inspection type. Types of inspections may include a building, electrical, and/or plumbing and gas inspection.

Benefits Of A Home Inspection Before Selling A Property

Your property inspection checklist

Are inspections before you purchase a property really needed? Well, imagine moving into your new home and then finding out two months down the track that portions of the electrical system are not compliant, you have serious water leaks and a major borer problem? Enough said.

If you are considering buying a new property, use this checklist for your own inspection before engaging a professional inspector. This might help you rule out a property before going too far through the purchase process:

Is the house insulated?

Do you see any leaks, water stains or suspicious new paint anywhere?

Do you see any cracks or bulges on walls (could be due to subsidence, moisture or condensation)?

Is there sufficient natural light in the house?

Is noise control within the house adequate?

Are the hot water cylinder and header tank securely fastened?

Are there any water pressure/plumbing problems (check by turning on several taps at once)?

Also, turn on the shower to make sure it has good pressure and is hot.

If the property is connected to gas, are gas pipes working properly (turn on several outlets at once and make sure the flame is strong and high)?

Do all fans and rangehoods vent to the outside?

Are all windows and doorframes in good condition?

Do any of the windows stick?

Do all doors close properly?

Is there any mould in wardrobes, cupboards or bathrooms?

Are toilets and cisterns in good condition?

Are there any signs of damp?

Are there any signs of borer?

Get on the roof and check for any signs of rust or cracked tiles.

Do the gutters show any signs of rust or cracking?

Are metal flashings over windows and doors rusted?

Is there rust or staining on the exterior walls?

If it is a property with a plaster finish, are there any cracks in the plaster, in particular around windows, doors and corners?

Is there any dampness around windows and doors?

Go under the house and check the piles. Are there any missing piles or any that are no longer supporting the house?

Are the piles solid or is there any sign of rot?

Look for any floor problems that may be hidden from above.

Check for gaps in the flooring, dampness and borer.

Are the fences in good condition?

Other considerations:

Are there any protection orders over trees or buildings on the property?

What is the zoning for that property, as well as adjoining properties?

Is a LIM report available?

Is there, or has there been, a claim to the Weathertight Homes Resolution Service?

What is the government rating valuation for the property?

Have all building consents been obtained?

How much are the rates?

If the property has been rewired recently, is there an electrician’s Certificate of Compliance?

Is the property likely to flood in heavy rain?

Even if you are satisfied after completing your own inspection, it is still advisable to hire the services of an expert and independent building inspector to evaluate the structure of the house and provide feedback about other systems such as the roof, plumbing, electrical system, heating/air conditioning units, insulation, doors, windows and more. Some people do have a friend or family member who can perform an inspection, but make sure they have the required expertise to do a thorough evaluation of the property.

Home Inspection Red Flags to Watch Out For When Buying A Home

Buying a home is an exciting process, but many homebuyers are also understandably nervous. Buying a home is a big investment you’re going to have for years. That’s why it’s important to watch out for home inspection red flags that signal big problems. Some slight problems or minor defects are fixable with a bit of TLC, but some issues can seriously detract from your investment, and even endanger your health and safety.

Structural Problems

Structural problems top the list of home inspection red flags. Structural problems, like a cracked foundation or damaged load-bearing walls, affect the integrity of the entire home and signs of these problems should be taken seriously. When selling a house that needs work, some home sellers might not know about structural problems or they might not disclose them, so you may have to detect these yourself. A home inspector will include structural damages in their report, but you can find signs before you get to the inspection stage. Looks for these issues which may indicate structural problems.

Cracks in the basement floor larger than ⅓ inch

Bumps in the basement floor

Misaligned door frames or windows

Misaligned porch or front steps

Walls have been removed


The grade or slope of the surrounding property affects the way water drains during storms or snowmelt. This subtle feature can be a big home inspection red flag if it’s not done properly.If the property slopes towards the home, even at a slight angle, it will cause water to pool in or around the home, perhaps in the basement or around the foundation. If the property slopes away from the home, but the yard forms a valley where water pools, this can also cause flooding and water problems. When studying the grade, look for the following home inspection red flags:

The surrounding yard is completely flat

Patches of dead grass, moist areas or puddles

Property slopes toward the home

Moist areas close to the home


Mold is often a problem if you’re buying a fixer-upper. Sometimes mold results from neglect and it can simply be cleaned up, but other times it can be a serious home inspection red flag. The major deciding factors are the extent of the problem and the cause of the mold. If mold has occurred due to a lack of cleaning and it’s isolated to small areas, the problem may be easily resolved. However, if the mold occurs due to a lack of ventilation or accumulating moisture, the mold will simply come back if you clean it, and you’ll have to fix the cause to stop the mold. This might mean replacing drafty windows, or it might mean redoing the entire attic, roof, or bathroom to ventilate the area or stop a leak. Watch out of these mold-related home inspection red flags to detect really problematic mold issues.

Large patches of black mold anywhere in the house

A noticeable mold odor

Bathrooms without fans or windows

Large areas of patchy paint

Old Wiring

Faulty electrical wiring can make it difficult to run modern appliances, and it is a leading cause of home fires, which makes it a serious home inspection red flag. Electrical wiring is also difficult to fix, making it easy to lose money on this home renovation. Homes constructed before 1930 may use dated wiring methods like knob-and-tube wiring, which can limit power output and even cause electrical fires. These wiring systems are often complex and disorganized, making future renovations difficult and expensive. They can even cause home insurance providers to refuse coverage due to the increased fire risk. If the home was constructed before 1930, ask about electrical updates or ask your home inspector if they can determine the type of wiring used. You can also look for the following home inspection red flags yourself:

Flickering lights

Outlet faceplates are hot to the touch

Outlets aren’t grounded

Certain appliances won’t work or won’t work properly

Certain appliances can’t run together

How real estate agents can ensure safe home inspections during the COVID-19 crisis

how things have changed! Living and working in this pandemic era has brought many challenges to the real estate industry. Agents have all had to turn to a highly digitized office to move transactions forward. Zoom meetings, FaceTime, virtual tours, DocuSign and the ever-present email attachments now fill your workday at home

However, despite the many technical advances that home inspectors embrace, it is still largely an analog procedure of actually touching and manipulating the physical structure of the home. The value of our work is to discover the defects of the various systems and components that help define the quality of a house. These discoveries cannot be found without being on site.

Are there social distancing strategies that can make this process safer? Some have proposed agents doing live video tours of the home while the inspector makes notes for their report. An adjunct to this plan is to have the inspector visit later to open and inspect the utility systems in detail. Unfortunately, this defies quarantine guidelines because now two people need to enter the home. Also, how many agents are going to climb onto a roof or into a crawl space to view these critical areas? Not many, I think

There is also a proposal where the seller performs the video tour. This is an obvious conflict of interest because they can easily avoid known defects and may lack the motivation to visit dangerous locations such as the roof and crawl space. Under this scenario, the disclaimers in the report would likely outnumber the found defects. This also reduces the value of the report, and thus, the fee for the inspector. This will not be received well among my colleagues.

However, there is some middle ground. The International Association of Certified Home Inspectors has developed a training course for inspectors titled, “COVID-19 Safety Guidelines for Home Inspectors and Contractors” which will allow them to become certified in the protocols needed to improve services amid this emergency lockdown. In essence, the training calls for observing the same precautions we’ve come to use in our daily lives

Here are a few details proscribed in the training:

Personal and wardrobe hygiene

Disinfecting tool kit

Personal protective equipment, such as masks, gloves and shoe coverings

Touching as little as possible

Alcohol wipes for cleaning control surfaces

Digital payment and documents

Home Inspection Precautions COVID-19

Here are some of the precautionary steps we are taking to minimize risk for our clients, agents, and property owners:

[UPDATED March 26, 2020] I have completed the International Association of Certified Home Inspectors’ (InterNACHI) COVID-19 Safety Guidelines for Home Inspectors Course and will adhere to their recommended safety guidelines and standards. View certificate of completion.

I have Supra key access, so for homes secured on a Supra, the agent does not need to be present to grant access.

[UPDATED March 24, 2020] Although I encourage home buyers to be present for part (or all) of the inspection to meet face-to-face and walk through the property with me, at this time and following the recommendations of both InterNACHI and the CDC, we will be conducting virtual meetings with clients and agents until further notice. I always have been and will continue to be available for phone calls with clients to discuss findings, and I can also live-chat with them via video either at the home and/or after issuing my written report.

I take all necessary precautions when it comes to protecting the inspection property. This includes wearing shoe covers inside the home and gloves/additional PPE gear when necessary.

I practice regular hand washing or use alcohol-based hand rubs when a washing station is unavailable. I always wash my hands when they are visibly soiled during an inspection and after removing any PPE.

The inspection agreement is delivered to clients via email and they can easily submit their assent via electronic signature. Likewise, payments can be handled conveniently and securely as well via our online payment system.

Inspection reports are delivered to clients electronically via email link.

In all seriousness, home inspection is a fairly solitary process. Even before now, I quite often complete inspections completely on my own without direct contact with other people. If clients, agents or home owners are on-site during an inspection, I am respecting social distancing recommendations including maintaining a minimum distance of 6 feet from others and avoiding handshakes (which is particularly difficult for me! I’m a handshake kind of guy.) I am making every effort to protect YOUR health and am also taking precautions to protect those I love as well.

Tips for a Clean and Sanitized Home

As home inspectors, we are often privy to some of the more unseemly (and sometimes downright disgusting) areas of a home. We’re not just talking about disorganization. Yes, clutter has its own disadvantages, but even the most tidy homes can harbor unwanted germs. Here are a few simple strategies to keep your home as germ-free as possible

Home Air Filters

We’ve received quite a few inquiries lately about how often the air filter(s) should be changed out in a home. Clean air filters save energy and money. Routinely changing or cleaning the filters from your home’s heating and air conditioning system helps the units run more efficiently and enjoy a longer lifespan. In addition

“Filters help to keep dust from building up in your ducts, or being blown into other rooms of your house. In recent years, this air cleaning function has become more important to homeowners, and manufacturers have designed filters that use your heating and air system to remove microscopic particles like dust, pollen, pet dander, bacteria, plant and mold spores, and even smoke from the air in your home.”

Air filters – How often you change out your home air filters depend on a number of factors, including:

Type of filter

Overall indoor air quality

Number of pets in the home

Number of people in the home

Amount of exterior air pollution and/or construction around the home

Essential Property Buying Tips Before, During and Following Inspections

Prepare a Non Negotiable List

Getting to wander through gorgeous homes all day when buying a home is very exciting. However, it’s essential to not let the excitement cloud your judgement. It’s a practical idea to make a list of the must-have property features before open house inspections. A disciplined property buyer will check items off their list while you are at the open home to keep you on track.

Stay Focused on the Must Have’s

Things such as off-street parking, storage space, an extra bathroom, outdoor spaces, a garden shed; are all things you put on your list for a reason, knowing the lifestyle you currently have. Deciding ‘oh we’ll work it out’, because you got dazzled by the cute cottage with terrible local resident parking options, will be a real pain as you do laps of your own house late on a rainy night looking for a park.

Take Photos At the House Inspection

Once you arrive at the open home, ask for a floor plan from the real estate agent and take detailed notes as you inspect the property. You only need to see 3 or 4 properties before you start to forget which one had the ensuite and whether you even saw the laundry in that other one. Take some photos if you need to, to supplement the ones online, but also photos that correlate with your notes. Open doors, cupboards and windows. Check for touch up painting to hide cracks in a wall or ceilings. Be aware of how close earth is to floorboards, water drainage outside and stand in one spot to see if there is a damp smell.

Location, Location. Location

An open home inspection for property buyers really begins as your drive past the property once it is listed for sale. Take in what’s in the local area, what the traffic is like and how well maintained the streetscapes are. Look for warning signs such as overgrown nature strips, graffiti on fences or empty shops in the local shopping precinct. Once you have parked, check out the aspect of the property and where the sun is in relation to the house’s orientation. Depending on your location in Australia, the amount of sunlight the house gets can have a significant impact, not only on your lifestyle but your energy bills too. You want to get the most light possible in the winter months and have options to keep the property cool through the summer.

External Physical Inspection

As you approach the property, look at the external surfaces. Ideally the vendors have cleaned up and prepared the house for sale but there are always exceptions. Does it need repainting? Are the gutters and external drainage pipes in good condition or rusty? Are balconies well maintained?

Tax Preparation Career Overview

Understanding tax return preparer credentials and qualifications

Any tax professional with an IRS Preparer Tax Identification Number (PTIN) is authorized to prepare federal tax returns. However, tax professionals have differing levels of skills, education and expertise.

An important difference in the types of practitioners is “representation rights.” Here is guidance on each credential and qualification:

Unlimited Representation Rights: Enrolled agents, certified public accountants, and attorneys have unlimited representation rights before the IRS. Tax professionals with these credentials may represent their clients on any matters including audits, payment/collection issues, and appeals.

  • Enrolled Agents – Licensed by the IRS. Enrolled agents are subject to a suitability check and must pass a three-part Special Enrollment Examination, which is a comprehensive exam that requires them to demonstrate proficiency in federal tax planning, individual and business tax return preparation, and representation. They must complete 72 hours of continuing education every 3 years. Learn more about the Enrolled Agent Program.
  • Certified Public Accountants – Licensed by state boards of accountancy, the District of Columbia, and U.S. territories. Certified public accountants have passed the Uniform CPA Examination. They have completed a study in accounting at a college or university and also met experience and good character requirements established by their respective boards of accountancy. In addition, CPAs must comply with ethical requirements and complete specified levels of continuing education in order to maintain an active CPA license. CPAs may offer a range of services; some CPAs specialize in tax preparation and planning.
  • Attorneys – Licensed by state courts, the District of Columbia or their designees, such as the state bar. Generally, they have earned a degree in law and passed a bar exam. Attorneys generally have on-going continuing education and professional character standards. Attorneys may offer a range of services; some attorneys specialize in tax preparation and planning.

Irs annual filing season program – record of completion holders

The Annual Filing Season Program (AFSP) recognizes and encourages the voluntary efforts of unenrolled tax return preparers to increase their knowledge and improve their filing season competency through continuing education. AFSP – Record of Completion Holders must meet annual educational requirements set by the IRS and either take and pass an annual tax refresher course or have passed other IRS recognized state or national competency tests such as ACAT’s Accredited Business Accountant and Accredited Tax Preparer. (Read more on ACAT credentials below.)

Annual Filing Season Program participants are included in a public database of return preparers on the IRS website. Annual Filing Season Program participants have limited representation rights, meaning they can represent clients whose returns they prepared and signed, but only before revenue agents, customer service representatives, and similar IRS employees, including the Taxpayer Advocate Service. PTIN holders without an Annual Filing Season Program – Record of Completion or other professional credentials will only be permitted to prepare tax returns. For returns prepared and signed after December 31, 2015, they will not be allowed to represent clients before the IRS.

Accredited Tax Advisors (ATA) – These practitioners can handle sophisticated tax-planning issues. Their expertise covers tax returns for individuals, business entities, fiduciaries, trusts and estates, tax planning, and tax consulting. ATAs follow a code of ethics and complete continuing education requirements.

Accredited Tax Preparers (ATP) – These practitioners have a thorough knowledge of tax code and the preparation of individual tax returns. Their expertise covers comprehensive 1040 issues, including supporting schedules and self-employed returns. ATPs follow a code of ethics and complete continuing education requirements.

Ways to verify you have a reliable tax preparer

If you use a tax preparer to file your tax return for you, you give them a lot of delicate information. They know all about your finances, your marital status, your contact information, and they even have your Social Security number. So wouldn’t you want to verify that the person you’re handing that data to is someone reliable?

Your answer is probably yes, but according to a recent survey, roughly 80% of people who hire a tax preparer never ask about the person’s credentials or qualifications. If you choose to hire a tax preparer,  steps you should follow to ensure that the person you work with is reliable and qualified to handle your return.

Ask for their ptin

Anyone who is paid to prepare federal tax returns is required to have a Preparer Tax Identification Number, or PTIN. Be sure to ask anyone you hire if you can have their PTIN, and be sure to check it on the IRS’s directory of federal tax return preparers. Note, however, that volunteer tax preparers are not required to have a PTIN, only paid professionals.

Ask for other credentials

Getting a PTIN actually isn’t all that difficult, so it’s best if you work with a tax preparer who has other qualifications and credentials. You should only entrust your return to a certified public accountant, enrolled agent, licensed attorney, or someone who has completed the IRS’s Annual Filing Season program. All of these credentials require the individual to study, pass certain exams, and participate in ongoing education courses, which means you can be certain that they are up to date on tax laws and can handle your return appropriately.

If you want to find a tax preparer with specific credentials, you can search the IRS’s directory. This will show you tax preparers in your area that possess both a PTIN and some form of IRS-recognized credential. Volunteer preparers and those with only a PTIN are not listed in the directory.

Examine their fees

Flat-rate fees can be eye-catching and quite tempting when you’re looking to save a few bucks on preparing your return. But legitimate tax preparers usually charge by the hour. So, if you find a preparer that is charging based on the size of your return, you should be skeptical. Additionally, if the person is promising they can get you a bigger return than another preparer, this should be a major warning sign for you; legitimate preparers cannot make promises about the size of your return.

Make sure they e-file

If a paid preparer processes more than 10 returns for their clients, the IRS requires the preparer to file the returns electronically through their e-filing system. So, if your tax preparer does not offer the option to e-file, this is likely a sign that they’re doing as much tax prep as you thought. You’re usually better off working with someone who handles many returns in a single year.

Ensure they’ll sign the return

Any paid preparer is required to sign their clients’ returns and provide their PTIN when the return is filed. Make sure that anyone you work with is willing to do both these things. If your preparer gives you a return that they have not signed or that does not have their PTIN, don’t sign. And never sign a blank return—the preparer could put anything on the return after you’ve signed it, including their own bank account information, which would allow them to steal your refund.

Ask if they’ll have your back

When you work with a certified tax preparer that has both a PTIN and an IRS-recognized credential, you’ll have professional support and backing with the IRS if there are any issues regarding audits, payment plans, collection issues, or appeals. So, if you work with a preparer who doesn’t have a PTIN, or who has one but possesses no other professional credentials, you’ll be on your own if the IRS decides to audit you.

Eye Care Career Options Comparison

Blindness: Causes, Types & Treatment

What is blindness?

Blindness is defined as the state of being sightless. A blind individual is unable to see. In a strict sense, the word “blindness” denotes the inability of a person to distinguish darkness from bright light in either eye. The terms blind and blindness have been modified in our society to include a wide range of visual impairment. Blindness is frequently used today to describe a severe visual decline in one or both eyes with the maintenance of some residual vision.

Vision impairment, or low vision, means that even with eyeglasses, contact lenses, medicine, or surgery, someone doesn’t see well. Vision impairment can range from mild to severe. Worldwide, between 300 million-400 million people are visually impaired due to various causes. Of this group, approximately 50 million people are totally blind. Approximately 80% of blindness occurs in people over 50 years of age.

When is one considered legally blind?

Legal blindness is not a medical term. It is defined by lawmakers in nations or states in order to either limit allowable activities, such as driving, by individuals who are “legally blind” or to provide preferential governmental benefits to those people in the form of educational services or monetary assistance. Under the Aid to the Blind program in the Social Security Act passed in 1935, the United States Congress defined legal blindness as either central visual acuity of 20/200 or less in the better eye with corrective glasses or central visual acuity of more than 20/200 if there is a visual field defect in which the peripheral field is contracted to such an extent that the widest diameter of the visual field subtends an angular distance no greater than 20 degrees in the better eye. Blindness in one eye is never defined as legal blindness if the other eye is normal or near-normal.

What Causes Blindness?

Normal vision depends on a multi-faceted, complex process. Light enters the eye through the cornea and lens, with the iris helping to focus the image. The light is projected onto the back wall of the eye, where it is perceived by millions of tiny nerve endings that make up the retina. From here, the retina translates the images into nerve impulses that are transmitted to the brain through the optic nerve.

When any of these eye parts are damaged, either through illness or injury, blindness can occur:

  • The lens may cloud, obscuring the light entering the eye.
  • The eye’s shape can change, altering the image projected onto the retina.
  • The retina can degrade and deteriorate, affecting the perception of images.
  • The optic nerve can become damaged, interrupting the flow of visual information to the brain.

What are the main causes of blindness?

The two main causes of sight loss are uncorrected refractive errors and cataracts. This is closely followed be age-related macular degeneration (AMD), glaucoma and diabetic retinopathy.

These eye conditions can all be detected by your optician during a routine eye examination, and if caught early they can be treated effectively. This is why it is so important to visit your optician every 2 years and have your vision and eye health checked.


Uncorrected refractive errors, such as myopia, hyperopia or astigmatism, can all cause severe visual impairment. However, with the right corrective lenses, they can be avoidable. Refractive errors can sometimes go unnoticed or uncorrected, often in children where they do not recognise that something is wrong.


Cataracts usually affect those aged over 65 but it is also a common side effect of conditions such as diabetes. Cataracts occur when the lens of your eye becomes less transparent and can cause your eyesight to appear cloudy.

Diagnosing cataracts is usually straightforward, and it can be detected during the type of tests you experience at a regular check-up with your optician. Surgery is a highly effective treatment for cataracts and is one of the most common procedures in the UK.


It is not known what causes macular degeneration, except that it is closely linked to age. While it is a painless condition, you will begin to lose central vision as the macula in your retina begins to deteriorate.

AMD can make day-to-day activities increasingly difficult, but it could be between 5 and 10 years before vision loss significantly impacts your daily life. This gradual loss of vision can mean it often goes unnoticed for some time.

Your optician may detect AMD early during an eye examination, or you may begin to notice blurry central vision. If this happens, you should see your GP or optician. There is currently no cure for AMD, but there are a number of treatments available to help make life a little easier. The earlier it is detected the more effective management can be.


Glaucoma happens as a result of a build-up of fluid and pressure in your eye. A regular eye examination will pick up signs of glaucoma through a tonometry test, which measures intraocular pressure.

The damage caused by glaucoma can be irreversible, so it is crucial that the condition is diagnosed and treated as early as possible. There are a whole host of treatments available for the different types of glaucoma,

If someone else in your family has suffered from glaucoma, your optician may recommend that you attend more frequent eye examinations.


If you suffer from diabetes, you are at higher risk of developing problems with your vision due to diabetic retinopathy. This is a condition whereby the blood vessels in the eye are damaged by high blood glucose levels.

Early signs of diabetic retinopathy are usually picked up during a diabetic eye screening. If you notice your vision getting steadily worse or blurred, or you feel pain in your eyes, you should speak to your GP or optician.

Being aware of diabetic retinopathy if you have diabetes can be instrumental in preventing any future eye problems.

As you can see, some of the most damaging eye conditions can be prevented or treated if they are picked up early enough. By understanding the symptoms of conditions like glaucoma or myopia, you can take positive steps towards prolonging your vision and avoiding sight loss. 

What are treatments for blindness?

The treatment of visual impairment or blindness depends on the cause.

  • In third-world nations where many people have poor vision as a result of a refractive error, merely prescribing and giving glasses will alleviate the problem.
  • Nutritional causes of blindness can be addressed by dietary changes.
  • There are millions of people in the world who are blind from cataracts. In these patients, cataract surgery would, in most cases, restore their sight.
  • Inflammatory and infectious causes of blindness can be treated with medication in the form of

Low Vision

Low vision is vision loss that can’t be corrected with glasses, contacts or surgery. It isn’t blindness as limited sight remains. Low vision can include blind spots, poor night vision and blurry sight. The most common causes are age-related macular degeneration, glaucoma and diabetes. Visual aids can help people with low vision.

What is the definition of low vision?

Low vision is the loss of sight that is not correctible with prescription eyeglasses, contact lenses or surgery. This type of vision loss does not include complete blindness, because there is still some sight and it can sometimes be improved with the use of visual aids.

Low vision includes different degrees of sight loss, from blind spots, poor night vision and problems with glare to an almost complete loss of sight. The American Optometric Association defines low vision as two categories:

“Partially sighted”: the person has visual acuity between 20/70 and 20/200 with conventional prescription lenses.

“Legally blind”: the person has visual acuity no better than 20/200 with conventional correction and/or a restricted field of vision less than 20 degrees wide.

The ratio measurement of vision describes visual acuity, or the sharpness of vision, at 20 feet from an object. For example, having 20/70 vision means that you must be at 20 feet to see what a person with normal vision can see at 70 feet.

Who is most at risk of having low vision?

Anyone can be affected by low vision because it results from a variety of conditions and injuries. Because of age-related disorders like macular degeneration and glaucoma, low vision is more common in adults over age 45 and even more common in adults over age 75. For example, one in six adults over age 45 has low vision; one in four adults over age 75 has low vision.

Deep Cleaning Carpet Methods

Free Printable Cleaning Checklist

If you are anything like me, my friend, I just bet you are a bit overwhelmed by your house. Clutter happens, and before we know it, stuff is taking over, and the dust just keeps piling up. I hear you loud and clear, and even more to the point, I’m with you! That’s why I put together this free printable cleaning checklist. It will help you stay organized as you clean your home room by room, top to bottom.

Let’s talk about how to create a cleaning routine. Personally, I find it most effective to clean room by room. I know some people tackle one task at a time and do the whole house. However, for those of us with short attention spans, this method seems to be the most effective. Taking each room one at a time keeps us focused and interested!

Let’s say you clean your floors then wipe your counter. Well, there’s a good chance there will be crumbs onto your newly-cleaned floors. No good. There’s no use in doing things twice! I hope that this list is effective at helping you tackle the toughest messes in your home. When you’re done, kick up your heels and enjoy a nice beverage of your choice.

Deep Print Head Cleaning

If print quality does not improve by the standard cleaning of the print head, clean the print head deeply. Cleaning the print head deeply consumes more ink than the standard cleaning of the print head, so clean the print head deeply only when necessary.

Make sure that the power is turned on.

Press the Setup button.

The  (Setup) icon and “1” appear on the LCD.

Press the + button until “3” appears on the LCD.

Press the Black button or the Color button.

The printer starts cleaning the print head deeply.

The cleaning will be complete when the ON lamp lights after flashing.

Do not perform any other operations until the printer completes the deep cleaning of the print head. This takes about 3 minutes.

Check the print head condition.

To check the print head condition, print the nozzle check pattern.

The Ultimate Guide to Deep Cleaning the Toilet

As a Mom of two boys with terrible aim and poor toilet flushing abilities {this is seriously one of my biggest pet peeves!}, our toilets require frequent cleaning and disinfecting. Unfortunately, toilet cleaning involves much more than just swirling the toilet brush in the bowl with some cleaner, and often those areas on the outside of the toilet {and surrounding areas!} are the ones that are forgotten in our basic cleaning routines.

Cleaning the Toilet Bowl

For the most part, I think we are all pretty good at swishing the toilet brush around in the toilet bowl.  What we often miss; however, is cleaning the underside of the rim and the siphon jets {these are the holes underneath the rim where the water actually comes out}.  If you are starting to notice vertical stains along the sides of your toilet bowl, this is a sign that they need to be cleaned.  Often times, toilet brushes can’t quite get up into these spaces, and over time, grime builds up

To give your toilet bowl a real deep cleaning {without any harsh chemical cleaners}, pour some castille soap down the sides of the toilet and thoroughly scrub all areas of the bowl with a toilet brush.  Next add about 1/4 – 1/2 cup of Borax along the sides of the toilet and use your toilet brush to bring up some of the soap mixture from the toilet bowl to form a thicker foam

This should by thick enough that it sticks to the sides of the toilet bowl rather than just sliding down into the water {just add a little more Borax if it is not thick enough}.  Use a toothbrush to scrub away any grime around the rim and siphon jets.  To get up a little further into the jets, soak a paper towel with the foam and place it around a metal hanger to really get up into the jets.  If you are having trouble seeing these you can use a small mirror to get a better view.  Allow the foam mixture to sit for 10-15 minutes, give it a final scrub, and flush.

Removing Mineral Build-Up

If you have hard water and significant mineral build up in your toilet that doesn’t come clean with the cleaning method above, you just need to add an additional cleaning step.  Start by completely closing off the water supply to the toilet.  Next you need to flush the toilet until the bowl no longer fills and then plunge out as much water as possible.  If there is still water remaining, use an old towel to soak it up.   Once the bowl is empty, add some cleaning vinegar {or regular white vinegar if this is all you have} to the bowl to completely cover any stains.

If your stains are more up underneath the rim or along the sides, soak a rag or paper towels in the vinegar and place over stain.  Leave overnight and then scrub.  If all stains are not removed, you can either repeat the process again or try the same method with a product containing hydrochloric acid {HCL}.  Just be sure to follow the safety precautions on the product as this is a much stronger chemical.  Also note that bleach SHOULD NOT be used on rust stains as it can actually cause the stain to set.

Genius Ways to Deep Clean Every Inch of Your Home

Be it a 1BHK, 2BHK, 3BHK or more, maintaining a clean and hygienic home is a must. Scrub your way into a clean and happy home with our tried and tested cleaning tips for every room. From cleaning chimneys to removing stains from sofas, our home-keeping tips will help you streamline your approach on how to clean house. Keep this handy guide as you work on your cleaning skills and check out our exhaustive list to be sure you don’t miss a spot!

How Often Should You Clean?

There are certain basic cleaning chores that need to be done daily, other things can be done weekly or monthly. Remember, not everything requires deep cleaning frequently.

Doing the dishes, wiping the kitchen counters, wiping bathroom surfaces and cleaning sinks and bowls acts as a daily chore. Whereas, cleaning microwaves, bedding, mirrors, computers and dusting furniture is a weekly activity. Furthermore, monthly cleaning includes clearing out your fridge, wiping light fixtures, blinds, fans and washing machines. Lastly, seasonal cleaning is done during a festival or work that requires plenty of effort such as, moving out furniture to clean. Here, we’ve sorted it out and made an easy checklist for you to follow.

What Should You Clean Everyday?

Here we learn that making your bed first thing in the morning is a productive way to start the day. Moving on to sorting clothes, every piece of clothing has a place of its own. So, make sure to return it to its place. Wiping surfaces regularly is an important task in order to avoid a layer of dust from accumulating. Keeping shoes outside the home prevents dirt from being dragged into the house. Subsequently, doing dishes immediately is better than doing a stinky pile at the end of the week

Have You Cleaned These Spots Yet?

These are spots that, regardless of how much you clean, still hold on to a layer of dirt. For example, door handles and knobs that are hotspots for bacteria. Or, remote controls that should be wipes with an alcohol-based disinfectant.

Cleaning following a confirmed or probable case of COVID-19

Guidance on cleaning a room that has been used by a confirmed or probable COVID-19 case, including cleaning products and the personal protective equipment that may be required.

General principles

Good hand hygiene is essential to minimise transmission of infectious droplets to yourself, others, and other surfaces.

Hands should be thoroughly washed with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, making sure you dry them thoroughly. If soap and water are not available and your hands are not visibly dirty, use hand sanitiser (containing at least 60 percent alcohol). Cover all surfaces of your hands and rub them together until they feel dry.

Avoid touching the face (eyes, nose or mouth) to reduce the likelihood of transmitting the virus from contaminated surfaces or items.

Always wear disposable gloves when cleaning. When finished, place used gloves in a rubbish bin, then wash your hands immediately.

When cleaning, remember the following two principles.

1. Top to bottom

Start cleaning surfaces higher up and work your way to the floor. This method ensures that any particulates or debris fall to the floor which will be cleaned last.

2. Clean to dirty

Start by cleaning surfaces and objects that are cleaner and work your way to cleaning dirtier items (eg, toilets).

Avoid going from an area that has not been cleaned to an area that has been cleaned. This avoids dirtying the cleaned area and will ensure you aren’t cross-contaminating items or surfaces.

Cleaning products

Coronaviruses can survive on surfaces for many hours but are readily inactivated by cleaning and disinfection. Any hospital grade detergent/disinfectant products are suitable for cleaning following a confirmed or probable case of COVID-19. Always follow the directions on the label. The label will include safety information and instructions for safe and effective use of the cleaning product, including precautions you should take when applying it. Specific personal protective equipment (PPE) and dwell time (how long the cleaning product should remain wet on the surface before drying) should be included in product instructions.

Perform hand hygiene then:

put on gown or apron

put on mask

put on protective eyewear (if the cleaning product manufacturer recommends eye protection, wear a face shield or goggles. Note that prescription eyeglasses are not classed as eye protection)

put on gloves (these can include heavy-duty household gloves).

How Do Male Bat Court Females To Mate

A guide to dealing with bats in the attic

Dos and don’ts when it comes to bats

Bats are an endangered species and are protected by law, which means it is a criminal offence to try to kill or remove bats or to change/block their roost. If you’ve discovered bats are roosting in your dream home, you either need to forget about the property, or accept that you’ll have a brood of small and furry tenants living in the loft.

If you don’t want to give up on the property you’ve found, then you should read through the points below about why bats are less of a problem than you might think.

1. Bats are clean and sociable animals; they are not rodents and will not nibble or gnaw at wood, wires or insulation.

2. Bats don’t build nests, so they won’t bring bedding material into the roost.

3. Most bats are seasonal visitors to buildings, so are unlikely to live in the same place all year round – although they do tend to return to the same roosts year after year.

4. Female bats usually have only one baby each year, so properties don’t become ‘infested’.

5. All bats in the UK eat insects and are actually a great form of natural pest control.

On the other hand, there can be implications for any building or remedial work you may want to have completed. You will need to gain permission to undertake any timber treatment, which is normally allowed when the bats are not present.

How To Get Rid Of Bats In Various Scenarios?

What Are Bats?

Many people believe that bats are mysterious mammals. They are the only mammals that are capable enough to fly rather than to glide.

In some places, people believe in superstitions that it is a bad sign if bats enter the house.How much ever brave a person might be, if a bat enters the house, there is no surprise if the person panics.

Actually, bats are helpful to humans in the way that they eat away the insects that are harmful to man. However, their existence is still a nuisance to many people as they make scratching and squeaking sounds from various places where they roost.

It is illegal and inhumane to kill bats. Therefore, follow methods to send them out without hurting them. Many people find it very difficult to get rid of these mammals as they might become aggressive in certain scenarios when they want to secure themselves. However, there is no need to worry if you know the way to manage without endangering yourself or bats,while getting them out.

How To Free Your Home From Bats?

A bat unintentionally enters a house, generally after the dark. It generally happens when a window or door is open or they may fall through an opening of a chimney or any outlet on the exterior of the house. They appear big while flying, but even an opening of ½ cm diameter is enough for them to enter.

How to get rid of bats in your house

Whether it’s a single confused bat or a whole flappy family living in the attic, or a maternity roost in your roof space, knowing how to get remove bats in the house may be something you’re unfamiliar with. Here we’ll provide an easy guide for bat removal and ensuring you don’t break the law.

Dos and don’ts when dealing with bats:

Before we show you how to get rid of bats, there are a few important things you should be aware of.

DO contact a professional. Whilst it is unlikely you will ever face an ‘infestation’ of bats, always contact a professional to ensure that you remove bats in the roof safely and appropriately.

DO aim to remove them before the mating season. Bats breeding places are protected, so sorting out the removal of bats before the mating season will prevent one or two resident bats from turning into a whole family, as well as following regulations.

DO make sure you are well-informed about bats. Bats are misunderstood creatures to the general public. Whilst some species of bats can produce harmful excrement, UK bats have no known health risks associated with them.

DON’T break the law! Bats are a legally protected species. If you need help or advice in your home contact the National Bat Helpline. You will get free advice, information, and help.   

DON’T capture a bat in your house.

DON’T use pesticides or poison. Bats are not pests. In the UK they are a form of pest control themselves as they love to feast on bugs! Other creatures like rats are pests and do need to be dealt with more urgently

How to get a bat out of the house: Easy steps to remove bats in the roof and keep them out

If you find bats living in your house, it is best to call the National Bat Helpline for advice. With bats being a protected species, taking to right steps in removing them safely is very important.


Several of these species—pallid bat (Antrozous pallidus), big brown bat (Eptesicus fuscus), Yuma myotis bat (Myotis yumanensis) and other Myotis species, and Mexican free-tailed bat (Tadarida brasiliensis)—frequently use man-made structures such as attics, barns, or bat boxes for roosting sites and are the species you most likely will find in urban areas

Bats have relatively long lives—5 to 30 years depending on the species—and are among the slowest reproducers for their size of any mammal. For example, the little brown bat, the most frequent user of artificial bat habitats in the United States, can live for 3 decades with the female giving birth to 1 pup per year.

In most cases, bats don’t cause problems for homeowners or gardeners, and because of their nocturnal habits, you rarely will see them. Because they eat insects, bats also might provide some control of insect pests in the landscape.

Problems that do occur often happen when migrating bats roost in buildings, usually during warmer months. Their droppings can accumulate, they can make noise, and some people are uncomfortable with close proximity. Bats also can transmit diseases, with rabies being a special concern.


As mammals, bats have fur, give birth to living young, and provide their young with milk. In spring, female bats form colonies to give birth and rear young. Roosting sites include buildings, bridges, or other structures as well as caves or tree cavities. Adults leave roosts at night to forage for insects. Young bats develop rapidly, and most are able to fly within a month or two after birth. Generally males and females with young will roost separately, but in late summer or fall, males might join the colony, and bats might migrate to warmer areas or hibernation roosts in the winter when insects are scarce.

Managing Bats in Buildings

Bats help the ecosystem by eating insects, including crop, forest and human health pests. Bats can eat up to half their weight every night. All 15 species of bats in B.C. are protected from being killed or harassed under the Wildlife Act, and many are listed species-at-risk or endangered. Bats need our protection, including conservation of colonies that live near humans.

Bats may cause some concerns, but many people live safely with bat colonies that are separate from their living space. Bats can carry fleas, mites, ticks and bat bugs (which are similar in behaviour and appearance to bed bugs). These pests are specific to bats and don’t usually affect humans

Bats may also carry rabies, but this is rare. Less than 1% of wild bats have the rabies virus. However, because rabies is fatal if not treated, you must never touch a bat with bare hands. Contact public health or a physician if you have been bitten or scratched by a bat. If a pet has been in contact with a bat, contact a veterinarian for an assessment. 

Removing Bats from Buildings

If bats are roosting in an area that isn’t interfering with human activity, consider leaving them undisturbed. They won’t destroy wood, wires or insulation.

If a bat has entered the living area of your building, try getting them to leave on their own by:

Closing interior doors

Opening outside doors and windows

Turning off the lights

A sleeping bat inside a house can be safely picked up:

Always wear thick gloves if handling a bat

Use a pillowcase or a box to gently trap the bat

Place the bat outside in a safe spot, out of reach of cats or other predators. Select a place where the bat can swoop down to take flight (for example, high on a porch, the top of a vehicle, or a tree branch)

Bats are protected under the Wildlife Act. Certain actions are illegal and ineffective for bat removal.

Do not use pesticides

Do not play loud music

Do not use ultrasonic devices

Do not scatter mothballs

Do not set up bright lights

New Life For Used Truck Tires

How Often Should Semi Truck Tires Be Replaced?

On any vehicle, there are certain systems, parts and components that need to be closely monitored and regularly cared for in order to ensure that drivers stay safe while on the road. Tires are responsible for your vehicle’s traction on the road, and they become much less effective as they age and wear out. Because of this, it’s important that you regularly inspect your tires, monitor their air pressure and replace them when necessary. The problem is that a lot of truck drivers and owners don’t know how often they should have their tires changed or what signs to look for to determine whether replacement is necessary.

Mileage guidelines

Because every truck is different, and each semi will carry different loads and drive in different road conditions, there isn’t a reliably consistent guideline for tire replacement. Though mechanics and automotive experts don’t have a replacement recommendation that can be applied to all trucks across the board, you can generally expect to get 100,000 miles of drive or more out of a set of semi tires in Florida, since they are designed to be rugged and durable. Ultimately, without a universally accepted replacement guideline, the best way to ensure your tires stay in the best condition possible is to get routine maintenance and inspections.

Looking for signs of wear

Just like with regular vehicle tires, you can check for excessive wear with the penny test. If you place the edge of a facedown penny into the tread of your tires, you shouldn’t be able to see the entirety of Lincoln’s face. In addition to the penny test, you can also look for visible signs of wear. Perform a visual inspection to check whether the tread wear indicators in your tires are visible.

Along with tire inspection and replacement, make sure that you keep balance and alignment in mind. Replacing tires on one side of your truck, but not the other, will likely result in uneven wear and could lead to major safety and operational issues.

To keep your tires in the best condition possible, you should take your semi truck in for regular service and routine maintenance. A trained and certified technician will be able to accurately assess the condition of your tires and take care of any necessary patches, rotations or replacements. They can also advise you on steps that you can take to keep your tires in good condition through safe driving practices and preventative maintenance for your tires.

Difference Between Symmetrical & Asymmetrical Tires

The ribbed patterns on a vehicle tire are known as the tread design. These patters are carefully thought out by the tire manufacturer to perform well under the tire’s anticipated operating conditions. The tread design may be symmetrical or asymmetrical in nature.

Symmetrical Tires

Symmetrical tires have a tread pattern that is the same across the inner and outer portions of the tire.

Asymmetrical Tires

Asymmetrical tires have a tread pattern that is different across the width of the tire. When looking at an asymmetrical tire the inner and outer tread patterns will not be the same.

Benefits of Symmetrical Tires

Most non-high-performance passenger vehicles will use symmetrical tires. Symmetrical tires are typically quiet and long lasting. Their tread patterns allow them to be rotated in many different ways, which substantially increases the life of the tire.

Benefits of Asymmetrical Tires

Asymmetrical tires are designed with vehicle performance in mind and are commonly found on sports cars. Asymmetrical tires have large blocks of tread on the outside to increase cornering stability and narrower blocks of tread along the inside of the tire to aid winter or wet weather driving.


When replacing a vehicle’s tires, never mix symmetrical and asymmetrical tires on the same vehicle. Mixing these two types of tires may cause the vehicle’s handling to become unstable, particularly in wet weather.

Best Options for a Lifted Truck

If you’re thinking about lifting or leveling, it sounds like you enjoy adding some personality to your truck. Why have it look like all the others? If you’re willing to get your hands greasy, consider these other options while you have your truck jacked up in the garage.


When you lift a truck, you open up your options. A factory-spec truck usually takes tires that measure up to 33 inches. A lifted truck can take tires up to 37 inches. Before proceeding, be sure to measure your old tires and the wheel wells, along with the distance between the tire and hard parts when the wheels are fully turned left and right. That way you can avoid having your new tires hitting the wheel well while you’re driving.

What’s the advantage of bigger tires? Obviously, there’s the jacked-up showroom look that many truck enthusiasts love. Also your truck will also go faster, since every revolution of the tire covers more ground. You may want to recalibrate your speedometer for exactly that reason. If you opt for wider tires, you may find you have better handling and performance. One slight disadvantage is that your fuel economy will suffer slightly because bigger tires add weight and rolling resistance.


If you’re lifting your truck for better off-roading, you also might consider upping your performance. A cold air intake pulls air from outside directly into your engine. Like fresh oxygen to a fire, this provides better combustion. That means the engine doesn’t work as hard, providing better horsepower and torque.

You can also try your hand at tuning your truck. Tuning means adjusting the settings on a truck’s electronic systems. Why do that? Factory settings don’t usually optimize performance or fuel economy. Manufacturers usually take a middle-of-the-road approach, programming the truck to have general appeal or meet government or company standards. When you tune, you can mold the truck to function the way you like by changing the electronic systems to your specifications, not anyone else’s.


When lifting, your hands will be on the suspension of your truck anyway. Let’s see what options you have there. If you want to enhance your off-road performance, you’ll be interested in installing some performance shocks. Leaf kits allow you gear your truck to off-road adventures, and purpose-built springs in the link system can help you change up the cushioning system to either get a stiffer or softer ride across various types of terrain.


If you notice more vibration after lifting your truck, you may have to replace your drivetrain. Your old U-joint-style driveshaft might need to be replaced with a double cardan or CV joint that can operate smoothly at higher angles.


Here’s where your lifted truck gets really fun. When you’ve taken care of the logistics and made sure the guts of your lifted truck are in shape, look at accessories. Lifted trucks can add an extra layer of utility with things like lights (opt for light bars, strobes, square lamps, flood or spot to help you in the backwoods), winches (which can help you get out of some seriously sticky or sandy situations), and storage racks. Want to protect your undercarriage? Armor can help the rocks bounce off without damage.


typically starts with a letter indicating the type and ends with a two-digit number, giving the rim size. Between these parts, you will see additional information about the tire size and construction.


The first letter represents the type of vehicle you should install the tire on. P indicates a passenger vehicle or light-duty truck. Generally, these tires require lower pressures than other tires. LT designates a light-duty truck, but these often accompany larger 3/4 and one-ton pickups. If there is not a letter at the beginning, the tire is a Euro-Metric tire, usually used on passenger vehicles. In the example P235/75R15, the P means this tire fits onto a passenger vehicle.


Look at the three numbers after the letter or the first three numbers in front of a slash mark if your tire does not have a letter at the beginning. These numbers give the measurement of the tire’s width from sidewall to sidewall in millimeters. Most tire measurements come from the metric system, regardless of the company making the tires. The example of P235/75R15 has a width of 235 millimeters between sidewalls.


After the slash mark, you will see a two-digit number. This value refers to the aspect ratio, which is the percentage of the sidewall’s height to its width. In the example tire, P235/75R15, the 75 is the aspect ratio. This tire’s sidewall height measures 75% of the width of the sidewall.


Following the aspect ratio, you will see one of three letters — R, B or D. This letter tells you about the tire’s construction. An R designates radial tires, which have their internal cords laid at 90-degree angles to the tire’s centerline.

Bias-ply tires have a D in this position to indicate their diagonal design. On these types of tires, the cords cross each other at 30 to 45-degree angles. While once common early in the 20th century, bias-ply tires no longer dominate the market. They have been replaced by longer-lasting, more comfortable radial tires.

Belted tires have a B to designate their format. These tires mix the diagonal design of bias-ply with added belts inside the construction. While rare, these have applications on some off-road trucks, trailers and antique vehicles.

For the example used, P235/75R15, the R means its construction is radial.


While the sidewall width uses millimeters, the wheel diameter, the last digits after the construction letter, comes in inches. The larger the number here, the larger the wheel size. If you replace your rims, you will also need to change the tires to fit. Be careful when changing wheel sizes because larger wheels affect the handling of the vehicle.

In the example tire, P235/75R15, the 15 at the end means you must install it on a 15-inch diameter wheel.


Following the size information, you will see two numbers and a letter. The numbers give the load rating for the tire, while the letter indicates the speed rating.

Using P215/65R15 85H as an example, the 85 gives the load index, also called the tire ply rating, and the H is for the speed rating, which tells you the maximum speed at which you should use the tires. This speed ranges from 3 mph to 186 mph.


If you take a close look at a tire, you will find a large amount of information. Everything from the manufacturer’s name to the tire size and load rating appear on the sidewall. Interpreting these numbers requires you to know what values to look for and their meanings.

On the sidewall, you will find the tire’s type, the width, aspect ratio, construction, wheel rating, load index and speed rating. You can identify the values based on their position relative to each other and how many numbers or letters they have. The Tire and Rim Association standardizes these values for all American tire manufacturers.

Some tires may also have Uniform Tire Quality Grading, UTQG, which refers to information for traction and temperature grades. AA traction grades perform best in wet conditions, and the classes go down in performance — AA, A, B and C. Temperature categories refer to how well the tires dissipate heat at various speeds. Those rated with A perform well at speeds over 115 mph. B-rated tires operate best between 100 mph and 115 mph, while C tires remove heat best at speeds between 85 mph and 100 mph.

The first part to look for is the string of letters and numbers that may start with P, LT or no letter. For example, P235/75R15 or LT215/65R15. Manufacturers put a lot of information into this alpha-numeric code — the tire type, width, aspect ratio, construction and tire diameter.

Home Renovation Tips To Enhance Your Movie-Watching Experience

How can you improve curb appeal with exterior home renovations?

One of the best things you can do for your home is improve your curb appeal. It impresses the neighbours and increases the value of the property. Exterior home renovations don’t have to be complex and expensive, either. There are many things you can do to make the outside of your home and yard look better.

Decide if the external wall covering needs fixed up or renovated

Wood is the most common home siding in North America. Look over the wood carefully – you might even want to look at it from a distance with binoculars. Is a paint job, patching, and/or scraping necessary? Should the wood be replaced entirely?

Older homes may have artificial sidings that have been added on over the original shingles or clapboards. Consult with a renovator to find out if the original siding can be restored.

Install landscape lighting

Outdoor lighting serves many purposes. Its primary purpose is to light up the walking path to the door to make it easier to find your way to the home at night. Other ideal places for lighting to be installed include pool areas, patios, driveways, gardens, and architectural elements.  A good strategy is to put lights up all around the yard so that there are no dark spots when you look out of any window at night. However, you don’t want to go overboard with the lighting, as too much of it can hurt the eyes.

Make sure the front door is appealing

The focal point of a home’s front entry is the door. Either give it a new look with fresh paint and finish or have it replaced. You can get away with using a bright colour, since you will want it to look as warm and inviting as possible. Since it’s the focal point, it can’t be dull.

How Can I Prepare for a Home Renovation Consultation?

The first step toward completing a home renovation is requesting quotes from contractors who can help you get the word done properly. Especially if you are not very familiar with renovating and remodelling, this can be a daunting step. You can get the most out of your time speaking with a perspective contractor if you do your homework and a little bit of preparation first

Make a Plan

What are your goals for your home renovation? Are you going to be remodelling one room or transforming the entire house? You do not have to create detailed designs for your finished remodel, but it will be helpful to your contractor if you can describe which areas you will be renovating and the changes that you would like to make.

Determine a Schedule

Anyone who has ever been involved with a building project knows that it is laughable to expect every step to follow a precise schedule, but it is worthwhile to determine when you would like major aspects of your job to be completed. If it is important to you that your guest bathroom be finished before the holidays, this is something you should tell your contractor during your home renovation consultation. Remember to be realistic and flexible when it comes to scheduling expectations.

Take Measurements

One of the first pieces of information your potential contractor is going to want is the measurement of any areas being renovated. These measurements will be used to estimate materials and labour costs and you can save time by having them on hand. Before an estimate is provided, your contractor should take measurements personally, but for the sake of an informed initial home renovation consultation, it is good for you to already have these numbers.

Research Potential Contractors

Once you have this information ready, you can begin to look for contractors to hire. Do not limit yourself to the first contractor you find in your area. Do your research to find multiple contractors with extensive and relevant experience and a strong reputation in the community. By contacting multiple contractors for estimates, you can then find the company that not only has the strongest portfolio and history, but also one that provides you with a clear and reasonable estimate that plainly provides you with great value.

How Can a House Renovation Reduce My Utility Costs?

Utility costs have been steadily rising from year to year and this trend does not show signs of stopping. This is why many homeowners throughout have been looking for ways to make their homes more energy efficient. During the house renovation process, there are many changes that you can make to reduce the amount of energy it takes to run your home.

Improve the Insulation

Especially during cold winters, heating costs are generally the largest utility cost. Your heating equipment does not have to work as hard or run as frequently if your house is well insulated.

Seal the Building Envelope

Speaking of air barriers, you can further reduce your heating and air costs by sealing the building envelope. This means taking steps to eliminate areas where air can flow in and out of your house, such as gaps around windows and other areas where there are drafts.

Update Your Appliances

You can also cut your utility costs by upgrading to major appliances that require less energy to operate. This might include your washing machine, dryer, refrigerator, or dishwasher. These are obviously very large purchases and it will be a while before your utility savings allow you to see returns on this investment. It is likely best to wait to replace your appliances until they are in need of costlier repairs or they are clearly beginning to run quite inefficiently.

Replace old HVAC Equipment

The same rule applies to your HVAC equipment. Your heating and air conditioning systems may be operating more frequently not because the house is poorly insulated, but because the equipment is struggling to supply the temperature control that is needed.

Common Mistakes Made During DIY Home Renovation Projects

It is admirable – and sometimes quite fun – to decide to get your hands dirty and renovate your home on your own. It is very rewarding to not only have a remodelled home, but also to see and enjoy the fruits of your labour. However, especially if you are not trained in many facets of construction, home renovation projects can quickly spiral out of control and you could have a nightmare on your hands. Below are just a few examples of how DIY home renovation projects can go wrong.

Having Unrealistic Expectations

When you are working on your own home, it is easy to have tunnel vision and only think about the end result. This can mean taking on more tasks than you can handle, running out of funds, and/or having your project go unfinished much longer than anticipated. Before you ever start your project, it is necessary to have a specific and realistic design and budget in place before ever beginning any work. Allow yourself room for unexpected expenses as well.

Failing to Plan or Having a Plan that Fails

In addition to knowing what you are going to do, you need to know how you are going to do it, step by step. Many renovation projects must be completed in a certain order. If you go out of the necessary sequence, you may find yourself having to remove finished drywall, pull up new flooring, or otherwise backtrack in order to repair your misstep.

Using Inappropriate and/or Cheap Materials

One of the reasons you might choose to do DIY home renovations is to save money. Homeowners that do this will often be tempted to buy the cheapest materials possible. This can lead to using materials that are not right for a particular installation or using materials that are going to need to be repaired or replaced soon. It is important to do your research and know that you are getting a quality product and not just a good price.

Ignoring or Not Knowing Safety Procedures

When beginning to work, you might not have the safety goggles, gloves, kneepads, masks and other protective gear that is necessary for safely completing many DIY home renovation projects. You may not even be aware of the recommended precautions and gear for different activities. Failure to follow recommended safety procedures can lead to serious, potentially life-long injuries.

Before and After House Renovations – Room By Room

You might want to whip out the camera and take pictures before and after house renovations – the transformations are amazing. Looking at other homeowners’ before and after images is also a good idea, as you can get some inspiration of what you want done to your house.

The Kitchen

The kitchen is often considered to be the most important room, since it’s the one that every occupant visits several times throughout the day. For this reason, it should be where you spend most of your budget.  Tips include:

If there are small children in the house, keep the stovetop and oven away from the traffic areas. This way, you won’t have to worry about the kids running through and catching handles or causing spills. The refrigerator should be accessible to everyone.

Consider the countertops. If you cook frequently, you will need plenty of counter space. If you just prepare simple meals and don’t cook as often, you can get away with less counter space.

Invest in durable materials for your kitchen’s renovation. Since it receives so much traffic every day, high quality hardwood or porcelain is ideal for the flooring. You will also want fire and scratch resistant countertops.

The Bedroom

For bedrooms, comfort is the most important factor. Do whatever you need to do to enhance the level of comfort in each bedroom. Get new windows to eliminate stuffiness. Add better lighting fixtures if more illumination is required. If illumination is too bright, consider having a new lighting system is put in. Decide whether you want a hard floor with rugs or carpet. If anyone has allergy problems, use only hypoallergenic materials and make sure the quality of air is good in that particular bedroom.

The Living Room

There are so many ways to renovate and remodel a living room, no matter how big or small it is. When the ideal colours, furniture, wall art, and accessories come together, an amazing livable space is created.  If it’s too small for your liking, you can either add some space by knocking a wall down (if possible) or swap your existing furniture pieces for small, compact pieces.  An L-shaped sectional, for instance, can be situated in a corner, making it a better choice than a typical long couch. You could also get a flat screen TV panel mounted on the wall.

The Bathroom

Before you renovate your bathroom, have your plumbing checked out. Make sure your pipes and draining system are in good condition. Select durable, water-resistant flooring. Marble, ceramic, and stone tiles are all good choices. If you want to go with hardwood, make sure it’s well-sealed. Install an energy-efficient toilet and tub/shower. For larger bathrooms, install wall scones beside or over top of the mirror. For smaller bathrooms, consider having an open shower area that does not require a door or curtain.

Eco-Friendly Ways Of Unclogging A Clogged Toilet

How Do You Unclog a Drain?

One of the things parents dread hearing your child say: “The water’s not going down the drain!” You are totally repulsed. It’s going to be wet, and slimy, and probably smell bad, and, ugh, that’s not fun.

Clogged drains are just part of the joy of indoor plumbing. The good news is that you can troubleshoot the issues and prevent them from happening again, including chronic problems. But to get there, we’ll need to get into what causes drain clogs in the first place.

Common Causes & and Possible Fixes For Clogged Drains

Most bathroom drain clogs result when dirt, skin flakes, and especially hair binds to soap scum on the walls of drain pipes. Over time, this gunk accumulates and reduces water flow.

Troubleshooting: Remove and clean the drain stopper. Next, try using the humble drain plunger, keeping in mind to block the over-flow drain in the tub or sink. If that doesn’t work, remove the drain elbow joint and clean it out. Clean drain stoppers routinely to prevent clogs and use a hair strainer drain-cover to trap hair before it goes down the drain.

Clogged toilets are a nasty business. These mainly happen when people try flushing down items that do not dissolve or break apart in water such as:

feminine hygiene products

cotton-tipped swabs

dental floss

pre-moistened diaper wipes

Troubleshooting: The plunger is the first line of defense. The most effective plungers shoot jets of water to clear the drain pipe. Many have anti-microbial coatings. Next, use an inexpensive hand-powered drain auger. While not a pleasant experience, a hand auger can reach between 2 to 5 feet down the toilet’s drain pipe to break-up or retrieve things (such as Junior’s action figure) that are blocking the pipe.

Ways To Unclog A Toilet Without A Plunger Or A Snake

Are you currently experiencing a clogged toilet and have no plunger or a snake to help come save the day? Whether you just moved into a new place or haven’t made it down to you nearest Lowe’s yet, fear not. Believe it or not, there are actually multiple ways to unclog your toilet with common household items without having to get your hands dirty.

A Wire Coat Hanger

The first method you should try is the Wire Coat Hanger approach. For this you’re going to need to grab your nearest wire coat hanger and a rag. To unclog your toilet this way you’re first going to need to completely unwind the hanger until it is completely straight with the exception of the hook at the end. Next, completely wrap a rag around the hook end of the wire to prevent any scratching or minor damages to your commode. Finally, you will insert the hanger in toilet and gently rattle the hanger until you feel the obstruction has been moved.

Dish Soap And Half A Bucket Of Hot Water

If you don’t want to even bother getting your hands near your toilet (we don’t blame you), another alternative is to try to soften the obstruction. To do this grab a bucket of water and some dish soap. First squirt a bunch of the dish soap into the toilet bowl (chopped up pieces of bar soap will work as well). Next slowly pour a bucket of warm water into the toilet. Try to match the temperature of the water to something pretty hot but still would be drinkable, like hot coffee. Now all you have to do is wait until the water in toilet slowly goes down. If this has occurred then your clog has been taken care of. If not, repeat the process over again.

Baking Soda And Vinegar

This method is extremely similar to the dish soap and water method as described above. Once again, you will first need to gather your supplies which are: baking soda and vinegar. You should use an entire box of baking soda to ensure optimal success. Next, dump the baking soda in the toilet and then very slowly add vinegar. Allow the mixture to sit for a while and then flush your toilet. Your clog should be completely taken care of.

Drain Cleaning Chemicals

This method should only be used as a last resort as it can be the least effective and can cause harm to the environment. If you think that obstruction is not something that can be softened then avoid this method and call your local plumber instead.

How To Prevent And Unclog Toilet Blockages And Clogs

How to unclog toilet blockages is not on the top of anyone’s “to do” list, or “know how to do” list either. But when needed, it can be a simple task taking only minutes, or a complicated ordeal requiring a professional. As house cleanliness is an inseparable part of a healthy lifestyle, preventing and clearing a toilet clog is a big part of that. You can sweep a dirty floor, wipe clean a kitchen counter-top, and throw away spoiled foods, but you cannot always tell when your toilet is about to get clogged.

Let’s all admit a toilet clog is one of those things we go into denial about, especially when we hear those weird gurgling sounds. Let’s also admit that there are very few things more unpleasant and unsanitary that a water-backup from our toilet bowl.

Some causes of a clogged toilet

A clogged toilet ruins our floors, bathroom rugs, and puts a damper on the mood all around the house. If you are like most people, a clogged toilet is an almost inevitable occurrence in your house. There are times when somebody throws away something that doesn’t belong in your toilet, and flushes it down the bowl. For example toys, plastics, cigarette butts, cardboard toilet paper rolls, and what have you. Sometimes immediately, other times over time, those items will get stuck in your toilet, drain pipe, or somewhere in the S-bend or U-bend toilet trap. Even small objects, like Q-tips, which should go down as you flush, can stick to the pipe and build up a stubborn obstruction.

The most common culprit of is toilet paper, or an overused quantity of it. If you tend to use a lot of toilet paper, do not throw them all together at once and then flush, flushing twice is nice! The toilet has a better chance of flushing everything down the drain pipe when it is not overloaded with papers. Rolling any type of paper into balls does not help either. Another typical issue is sanitary napkins, which should go into the trash bin instead of a toilet. Children may try to flush their toys down the toilet just to see them swirl in a circular motion, then drown! It is probably fun for them, but not for you. You will end up with a clogged toilet, trying to figure out how to unclog toilet blockages.

Get a plunger

There are two different types of plungers: sink and toilet. Although you can probably use either for this purpose, the latter is designed specifically to work inside a toilet bowl. It has a rubber bell-shaped end to fit the bowl, allowing you to generate greater force to push down any obstruction in the S-bend or U-bend trap. A stiff rubber plunger that has been laying around for awhile can be hard to work with. So running hot water on the rubber end of the plunger to soften it up a little bit before you plunge can be a good idea. While you push the plunger in and out, always keep enough water in the bowl to cover the plunger. Without water in the bowl, the plunging action will not be forceful.

Ways to Unclog a Toilet When a Plunger Is Nowhere to Be Found

There’s probably no worse feeling than clogging a toilet – that is, unless there isn’t a plunger in sight. Most of us have been there before, we tend to use lots of toilet paper and sometimes the toilet just can’t handle the load. So, is there actually a way to unclog a toilet without a plunger? Find out below.

Dish Soap & Warm Water

Chances are you have some dish soap in the kitchen. Contrary to popular belief, you can use dish soap for more things than simply getting your dishes clean. In the event of a clogged toilet, squirt a generous amount into the bowl. Then add a gallon of very warm, but not boiling, water. Wait a few minutes and watch the combination of soap and water break up the toilet paper.

Coat Hanger

Have a wire coat hanger in the closet? Unravel it and use it to poke through the clog. Push the obstruction until it frees up and flows down the drain.

Baking Soda & Vinegar

Two more common household items come into play with this method. Pour 1 cup of baking soda into the bowl, followed by 1 cup of white vinegar. Wait a few minutes and then pour a gallon of warm water in.

Here’s How to Figure Out Why Your Toilet Keeps Clogging

When a toilet keeps clogging, there are several potential causes of this issue. What you flush down, problems with your drain lines, and issues with the toilet itself are all possibilities.

What’s to Blame When Your Toilet Keeps Clogging?

Frequent toilet clogs are a sign something is not right – the issue typically has to do with your plumbing, your toilet, or what goes down it. Common causes when a toilet keeps clogging include:

You have an older model low flow toilet

Items that shouldn’t be flushed have been flushed

Too much toilet paper use

The toilet trap is clogged

The toilet vent is blocked

Your sewer line is clogged

Older Low Flow Toilets

If your home is equipped with early model low flow toilets, the fixture itself could be the reason your toilet keeps clogging. Some older low flow toilets simply do not have the pressure needed to consistently push material through the trap and drain. Poor flushing pressure leaves material behind which results in constant clogs.

What to do:

Replacing your older low flow toilet is a sure-fire way to eliminate constant clogs caused by lack of flushing pressure. However, if replacement is not an option, reduce the amount of toilet paper you use and materials flushed to help prevent toilet clogs.

Flushing Non-Flushable Items

The only items meant to go down your toilets are human waste and toilet paper. When households begin to send other types of paper or hygiene products down with a flush, a toilet keeps clogging because it is not meant to dispose of these items.

Styles And Types Of Residential Roofing

Importance of Good Residential Roofing

When you think of your house’s best feature, does your roof come to mind? For many homeowners, roofing falls low on the priority list, and while many of us forget about it, the roof over our head is the most important aspect of any house. For homes in the development and those looking for a little facelift, a high-quality roof is a must. Your home’s roof has not only aesthetic value, but it also plays an important role in maintaining household health. Let’s take a look at what makes residential roofing in Albuquerque so important for any residence.

Protection from the Elements

If the role of a roof is to protect you and your belongings from the weather, it better be a good one! Having a poor roof can cause a number of headaches for homeowners, including annoying leaks that can turn into much more serious, and costly water damage problems. No one wants to deal with mold in their home, and once mold and mildew take over, your repair bill starts to climb. Good residential roofing in Albuquerque goes a long way in preventing harmful situations that can come from leaky roofing.

Promotes Energy Efficiency

Don’t let the warm air out! Many homeowners likely don’t think of their roof as an opportunity to save on energy bills, but a good roof will help keep your bills down by maintaining consistent temperatures. Consider how much heat is lost to a house from a worn-down roof with creaks and cracks here and there. It can add up quicker than you may think! Residential roofing in Albuquerque is a key player in maintaining an efficient and comfortable home.

Increases Property Value

If your roof is showing some serious wear and tear, the appeal of your house takes a nosedive. Worn down shingles and a lackluster appearance is not a good look for any home. Residential roofing is a major indicator of a property’s health. A good roof does wonders for the aesthetic of your home and can bump up your property value. While it may not be the first thing on the homeowner’s minds when they are assessing the appearance of their home, a well-maintained roof plays a key role in determining your house’s worth.

Sleep Easier with a Better Roof Over your Head

With a good roof over your head, you will sleep soundly at night, knowing you and your family are safe from storms, water damage, and a list of potential hazards. Investing in a good roof makes for an efficient household that will keep your heating bill down—and look great while doing it.

Important Reasons to Keep Your Roof in Good Shape

The roof is one of the most fundamental parts of a home. That’s why it’s surprising how often homeowners overlook the maintenance and care of their roof. Rather than waiting until you have major issues, have your roof routinely inspected by a professional roof repair company in Jacksonville. Here are top 6 reasons to keep your roof in good shape.

1. Weather Protection

If your roof is in poor condition, it can leave your home susceptible to considerable weather damage. When your roof is properly maintained, it will more effectively protect your home from the harsh weather and the elements.

2. Energy Efficiency & Comfort

A roof that is in top shape should have good insulation and a proper ventilation system which will keep your home’s indoor temperature steady. This helps to keep your home more comfortable and can significantly cut down on energy costs.

3. Serious Issues

By taking the time to maintain the health of your roof, you reduce the chance of potentially serious issues in the long run. It will also help you locate any small problems before they turn into larger, costlier issues. If you spot anything that could be a concern, it’s important to have a company that provides roof repair in Jacksonville take a look at it asap.

4. Curb Appeal

When your roof shows signs of wear and tear, it detracts from your home’s overall appearance.

Since a home’s roof is one of its most prominent features, one that is beautiful and well maintained will add great curb appeal.

5. Health Concerns

A leaking roof that goes ignored can cause mold and mildew to grow in your home, which can lead to some serious health issues. Once mold and mildew have spread, the repairs become much more complicated and costly.

6. Home Value

A good-looking roof is a selling point that increases a home’s value. Potential buyers are wary of buying a home that has an older roof or one that may need repairs. A roof that is in newer, well-maintained condition can significantly increase the value of your home.

The Importance of Proper Roofing Installation and Maintenance

The roofing of an establishment varies on different climates and the type of establishment that you have. For commercial establishments, they usually have flat roofs because it is the simplest roof to build; the simpler, the lesser it costs. The hip roof is commonly for residential houses; this roof has four slopes, which could be both square and rectangular in shape. On the other hand, an A-frame roof is commonly used for churches, cottages or other types of homes; this kind of roof serves as the roof and wall for the whole infrastructure. There are so many types of roofs. You can choose any of those for your house, but keep in mind the compatibility of the roof to your house.

Aside from having different types of roofs, the materials used for roofing also varies from the design of the roof and the kind of place that you live in.

Alike other things, the roof of your house or any establishment can also be damaged by certain causes like storms, cyclones, heavy rain and etc. If it is not attended properly, you might as well need to change the materials such as clay tiles, asphalt shingles, concrete tile, metal, slate, wood shingles or any type of roof that you have, and this will need an expensive cost. We want our roofing to last, so here are a few tips on proper installation and maintenance.

Find the Right Materials

When getting the right materials for your roof, you should invest on materials which can: last long, protect the house from natural disasters, not too heavy for the roof framing, should complement the style of the house or building and if it is allowed by local building codes.

Installing the Roof Deck Protection

It is best if you would hire a roof contractor. You cannot do this process by yourself, you’re going to need experienced and trained roof contractors for the proper installation of the roof. The roof deck protection prevents wind-driven rain from getting inside your shelter, another reason why you need it installed is so that your shingles would lay flat and neat.

Installing Leak Barriers

Your roof should have a leak barrier especially in the edges where it is prone to leakage. This should be done to reduce the risks of having your roof damaged.

Installing Shingles

It is important to nail your shingles in the right angle. Installing the first line of your roof shingles should be done with no error because it serves as the base of the other shingles that are to be installed. It should have a strong base to prevent it from being damaged when a storm comes.

Installing Flashing

Flashing is another material to protect the water from seeping into your roof. It is commonly placed on areas where it is prone to leakages like valleys and vent pipe.

What is a roof plan and why is it important?

A scaled drawing, or diagram, of a planned roof development, is called a roof plan. Your contractor will use your roof plan as a visual aid during the entire length of the project. A roof plan often includes the dimensions of the roof, which includes the design of the roof, its shape and size, and the material placement — vents, drains, valleys, and slopes, etc. When planning for new roof construction or repairs and renovations of an existing roof, the roof plan is crucial. Don’t be surprised if the plan changes as the project is underway.

To determine what needs to be done for your project and the materials needed, a roofing contractor will complete a survey of your roof. Small jobs only require a basic roof plan, which focuses on the roof shape and the material placement. On the other hand, larger jobs will use an architectural roof plan, which includes much more detail about the design and materials placement.

How to design your roof?

Many people only dream of designing a custom home, and you are ready to do just that! In order to design a successful building plan, you must take into consideration the things you need to do to comply with the law and the things that will make your home a comfortable place to live. You will need a footprint, a floor plan, schematics, and a roof design.

When designing your roof, you must consider the function of the roof —a protective barrier— not just what looks good. You must take your time in designing the roof of your home because it is an important protective barrier and oftentimes, it is more visible than the walls! You must fully understand the measurements of roof design as well as important information about the location of your property— climate and size. Follow these steps to design a roof for your home:

  • On your graphing paper, draw an exact replica of your home’s floor plan. You need to be extremely accurate with the measurements.
  • Next, identify the roof angles in relation to the vertical and horizontal rises from the structure to measure the pitch of the roof. Then, identify where the roof pitches come together and draw the intersections. Annotate where the run-off will happen with the ravines and slopes. Keep water run-off and melting snow away from your windows, doors, and walkways by directing them elsewhere. Your local hardware store will carry adjustable triangles that will help you plot your roof angles. These triangles will save you a lot of time because you won’t have to worry about measuring the rise and run on your own.
  • Include a variety of shapes with specific areas of your roof that may require a certain style. Some examples of styles used in residential roofing systems are A-frame, gambrel, gable, shed, and mansard. This is not an exhaustive list but does represent a majority used. Each style has features that are designed for various aspects of a roof —run-off, solar panel positioning, temperature control, and appearance. After you have decided the styles you need and their location, you are ready to draw the measured roof application.
  • From shingles to metal panels, include notes on the drawing about these various materials and details. The roof is an important part of your home’s visual appeal, so be sure to include your topical treatments in your plan as well.
  • Finally, you should have a professional draftsman assess your work, including your chosen measurements, styles, roof pitches, and finishes. A professional not only has experience designing roofs using detailed measurements but also has access to software to help check your calculations for accuracy. They can determine if your design will present problems for you, such as ice buildup, water and snow run-off problems, etc. Think of them as an editor for your roof plan.