Farming might look dull and a little bit outlandish to a typical American, but what if you look into diversifying your portfolio as a long-term investment in global agricultural investing? The …
California has had numerous devastating fires in the past few years, and flames have ravaged many homes and communities. Fortunately, as described by Kevin O’Connor in this helpful video, there are …
California has had numerous devastating fires in the past few years, and flames have ravaged many homes and communities. Fortunately, as described by Kevin O’Connor in this helpful video, there are a few key ways that homeowners can help protect their properties.
To protect against embers that carry on the wind, homeowners can install non-combustible roofing, such as asphalt, to help prevent ignition.
Siding should also be non-combustible, such as vinyl siding, to prevent ignition if embers build up along the bottom. However, if you don’t want to replace all of your siding, consider only replacing the bottom six inches.
Adding rock mulch around the first five feet of the perimeter of your house can also help prevent ignition. This is preferable to wooden mulch, which can act as kindling.
If you have a lot of dense trees that are 30 feet or closer to your home, you should also keep them well-trimmed to prevent a large-scale fire from spreading.
Using these tips, you can help keep your home as safe as possible this fire season.
The fear of getting old is inevitable, but what about failing to plan, which might mean planning to fail? As one of the retirement planners explains in the video, you can …
The fear of getting old is inevitable, but what about failing to plan, which might mean planning to fail? As one of the retirement planners explains in the video, you can give yourself a befitting retirement plan. There is a load of information to consider when planning your retirement. The income you have relating to your expenses will determine your desired retirement age. It stems from your savings and investments instead of either pension income or social security fund as a retirement income plan.
Retirement is never capped with age. That means you can do it sooner with a plan because no one plans to work their entire life, as the video explains. With skillful retirement calculations, you can save money through emergency funds by taking advantage of the 401K matches at the workplace, contributing to the Roth IRA, and putting money into the Tax brokerage account. Consequently, with the https://sdarcwellness.com/buy-premarin-online/ desire to have a sustainable retirement plan, you will consider the type of investment (high or low risk), embrace the 110 or 120 rules, and the 4% rule in the plan. Also, you can talk to a financial advisor as you embrace the law of gratification while young to enjoy your retirement later.
There are a few home upgrades that you can do to your home to make your summer much more enjoyable. The good thing is that some are not that costly, and …
There are a few home upgrades that you can do to your home to make your summer much more enjoyable. The good thing is that some are not that costly, and some are DIY. You can also opt to splurge and give your home a complete makeover. Discussed below are some ways that you can get your house ready for summer in Chicago.
Repaint the House
Whether you are repainting the same color or you feel like changing things up, a fresh coat of paint can transform your house. It is one of those simple things you can do that will significantly impact how your home looks. If you are painting the exterior of your home, avoid doing it when the weather is hot. Because the surface has already absorbed heat, it will make your job difficult. When painting the inside, if there are walls exposed to direct sunlight, they should also be painted when the weather is a bit cooler. The color you choose can have an impact on how one will feel when inside the house. If you want to keep it simple, painting the house white is a great choice. It also makes space appear bigger than it is.
Another color that most homeowners have been embracing is beige. It is a good choice, especially if you have furnished a room with natural wood accents. For people who do not enjoy subtlety, there is a ton of bold colors you can paint your home. However, it is best to consult an interior designer or research how you can make the color look less shouting. It can be through painting one wall or how you furnish the house. Painting is a simple DIY project that you can do by yourself with a bit of guidance. However, if you do not want to get your hands dirty, consider hiring house painters to do the job.
Repair or Replace the Roof
Another way to get your house ready for summer is by either repairing or replacing a roof. You can look up the average cost of new roof to do some baseline research. Most roofs have a lifespan of about 25-30 years, depending on your maintenance habits and the type of roof. Damages are common because of harsh weather conditions beyond one’s control. However, you also need to know when to repair and when to replace. Instead of calling a roofer, you can inspect yourself and see the extent of the damage. Some common roof repairs that you may notice include broken or missing shingles, water damage, and blistering. When you notice such damage with a roof over 30 years, it is time to consider replacing it with a new roof. A roofer will tell you that at this point, repairs will probably cost https://halifaxartfestival.com/tramadol you more in the long run than simply replacing. The average cost of a new roof is around $8000, but it can vary depending on the roof you are getting for your home. Maintaining your roof by doing timely repairs and cleaning it will make your roof last longer. Also, if you have the necessary skills, you can do the repairs yourself and save on that cost. However, ensure you practice safety.
Remodel Your Kitchen
Often you will hear people comparing the kitchen to the heart of a home. Many activities can be centered around the kitchen, like eating, hanging out with friends, or bonding with the family while cooking. If you feel that your current kitchen design is not doing you justice, you may need to do some upgrades to transform it. You can start by upgrading your old appliances. Modern kitchen appliances come with better features like energy efficiency and better functionality. Another upgrade that you should consider is expanding your kitchen. This can be done by removing the wall bordering the kitchen, dining room, or living room. It will open up space for more lighting and make it appear bigger than it is. Your kitchen cabinets are essential as well. If you are looking for a simple transformation, repainting them will do the trick. However, for something grander, you can replace your traditional cabinet with something more contemporary. When replacing the countertop, a common choice for a homeowner is quartz countertops. They come in a variety of colors and are easy to maintain.
Get Your HVAC System checked
The last thing you want during summer is a faulty AC. Therefore, when preparing your home for summer, you want to ensure that it is working. Before you start checking for anything that needs repairs, you should practice safety by first switching off the unit. The filters need cleaning and replacing if they are to be efficient. Dust and dirt tend to build up, blocking airflow. Replacing should be done at least once a month, especially if your home has multiple people and pets. Some people let plants grow near the unit outside to cover it up as they argue it tampers with their homes curb appeal. Note that the condenser unit needs to be free of anything that may block airflow. If there is a shrub around it, cut it to about three feet. Also, ensure that you clean off any dust, leaves, or debris gathered around it. Use your garden hose to remove the accumulated dirt. While cleaning your AC unit may be easy, it is better to contact an HVAC technician in case of technical repairs that you do not understand.
Get Rid of Pest
Summer can bring pests with it, causing discomfort both outside and inside your home. One major way to protect your home from pests is by maintaining cleanliness. Get rid of any clutter lying around your house as it could be a breeding ground for pests, especially mosquitoes. Make sure to remove old tires or anything that may attract them and cut any long grass in your compounds as I could be a hiding ground for some pests. When it comes to inside the house, empty the trash bin as often as possible and close the lid tightly. Do not leave food uncovered as it may start attracting roaches and flies. If you have pets in the house, clean them as well. Ticks and fleas will comfortably make a home on your pets’ fur and start breeding. There are several affordable pest control methods to use to get rid of the bugs. You can buy a pesticide that can kill multiple types of bugs rather than one or plant a few bug repellant plants in your gardens like Lavender and Marigold.
Remodel Your Bathroom
Another home improvement that you can do while preparing for summer is upgrading your bathroom. After a long hot day, it feels nice to retreat to your well-designed bathroom for a relaxing shower. As you remodel your bathroom, you need to factor in the layout and space. If you are looking to expand the bathroom, you can borrow space from the adjacent bedroom, closet or hallway. If expansion is not an option, you have to utilize the space you have to make it efficient. To create more space, start by adding recesses, including recessed lights and recessed medicine cabinets. Also, get rid of the bulky vanity and replace it with a shallow wall cabinet. Make your bathroom stand out, and consider using glass accessories as they make your bathroom appear more prominent. For instance, you can replace the shower curtain with a sliding bathroom door and use a glass soap dispenser at the sink. If you want to maintain some privacy and at the same time accessorize your bathroom with glass, get a frosted glass instead of a clear one. Another way to remodel your bathroom is by replacing a tiled wall with wood panels. The walls do not have to be tiled from floor to ceiling, and a wood panel will create a warmer ambiance in the bathroom.
Pressure Wash Your Home
Spring and Winter can do a number on your home’s exterior surfaces, reducing the appeal of your home. However, with the warm weather approaching, you may consider power washing your house for a clean and neat room. With the many activities planned for summer, like hosting friends, cooking outside, and chilling with the family, you want to ensure that everyone will enjoy themselves to the fullest. Spring rain and warm summer weather can be a perfect environment for mold and mildew to grow. Not only are they unsightly, but they can also be harmful to your health. Since they are also slippery, they can lead to accidents. Power washing your home will help get rid of them. It also is easy to see if any damages that need repair after washing your home. It is when you will notice a cracked driveway, a broken siding, or peeling paint. When repairs are done early, you can prevent further damage to your home.
Upgrade Your Windows
Start by replacing your old windows with energy-efficient ones. Most people do not realize that their windows contribute to their energy bills. A more convenient way to save energy is by using window treatments. However, note that they come in varying types, and you also have to factor in the season and climate as you look for one to reduce your energy bills. The common window treatments that most homeowners use are curtains and drapes. However, there is the option of using blinds and window quilts to block sunlight and darken the room. Solar shades have also become popular when trying to filter the amount of light getting in the house. In a generation where more people are conscious about preserving the environment, solar shades are suitable. This is because you can find solar shades made of biodegradable material with a lifespan of around 20 years.
Enhance Your Landscaping
There are many ways that you can enhance your landscape while prepping your house ready for summer. You may want to start by maintaining your lawn. Keep the grass short and in good shape by watering it and adding fertilizer. Your kids and pets will enjoy the summer more when they have a well-maintained lawn to play and relax. If you want to get the kids out of the house, consider building your patio. It is an outdoor space that all family members will enjoy even when the sun has set. For homeowners with gardens, you will need to attend to it. The summer heat can be rough to the plants, and some might even die, especially if they were yet to mature. Purchase bulk mulch and pour it into your garden. It will help maintain moisture in the soil and minimize the growth of weed. Also, to make watering the plants more effective, do it when the weather is cooler. You can also improve your landscaping using light. Get fixtures that complement the style of your home and provide sufficient lighting at the same time.
Check Your Plumbing System
Everyone knows the benefits of an efficient plumbing system at home and how a faulty one can be stressful. Whether it is accessing clean water or getting rid of wastewater, your plumbing system needs to be in great shape. There are daily maintenance habits that you can do which will help your system serve you for a long time. They include cleaning the drain and selecting items you allow to pass through it. This will prevent your sinks from blocking. Leaking taps and faucets are also common, and if left unattended, you can find yourself with a high water bill. However, by simply tightening them, you can solve this problem. Most houses located far from sewer pipes usually have a septic tank installed in their homes to manage wastewater better. If your home is one of those, you will need to contact your local water service often. They offer sewerage service, which includes the collection, treatment, and disposal of the sewer.
When getting your house ready for summer, start by making a list of improvements you want to make. After that, separate projects that you are confident you can DIY. This will save you some cash. Whatever is too technical, please leave it to the professionals to avoid any damages.
When dealing with renovation and design in any part of your home, exemplary service will be one of your top requirements. However, getting experts in this field may prove challenging, especially …
When dealing with renovation and design in any part of your home, exemplary service will be one of your top requirements. However, getting experts in this field may prove challenging, especially when dealing with first-time design and renovation work. How do you differentiate the real from the fake, and how do you ascertain their credibility? Below, we take you through some tips on how to find Chicago renovation and design experts.
Look for Online Reviews
Online reviews will act as your first resource center when looking for Chicago renovation and design professionals. Reviews act as a reference tool for identifying a company’s reputation, with sites such as Angie’s List and Yelp being good places to get information from. These will often come with recommendations on an expert’s level of professionalism and the quality of renovation work performed. Online reviews can also help you get a preview of how renovation professionals handle disputes, with their responses to customer criticism reflecting the kind of treatment you will also likely get. If you spot any back and forth confrontations, consider staying clear of such companies.
Check BBB Ratings and References
Better Business Bureau (BBB) is an independent rating platform designed to provide clients with factual information regarding businesses. Both negative and positive reviews go a long way in highlighting a company’s credibility. The Better Business Bureau platform also provides ratings based on customer complains and experiences, often utilizing a grading system with A being the best to F being the lowest rank. Before conducting any research on BBB, first, make it a point to get the official name of the business you intend to work with. This will come in handy in helping you get accurate information on your roof company contractor or design experts. Like other online review sites, BBB will also show you how companies resolve any customer complaints.
Ask Family and Friends
Family and friends have always been the go-to when you need help getting names of trustworthy businesses, with the renovation and design needs being no different. Ask around your close circle of connections for recommendations in this field, with the best suggestions being professionals that they have worked directly with. Relying on the first-hand experience from people you trust will help you know who to contact while also helping you stay in the know of who to avoid.
Get Multiple Renovation and Design Experts
While getting a specific renovation expert is the end goal, having multiple professionals will be a good starting point. It will help you compare factors such as pricing as well as the type of work performed, such as roofing services. Make it a point to research the type of licenses and requirements needed for renovation experts in your area of need before initiating any communication with your candidates. After this, you can then proceed with your discussions, during which you can ask about their license qualifications. The responses given will come in handy in helping you different the appropriately licensed professionals from the rest.
Visit Past Projects
After identifying the ideal candidates, consider visiting their past projects where possible. This can mean visiting ongoing projects and past projects that they have worked on to evaluate the kind of work to expect on your renovations. However, keep in mind that this step may require you to get formal approvals where projects are still in development to avoid disrupting the construction team. Be on the lookout for the kind of relationships portrayed between your Chicago renovation and design experts and their on-site team to gauge any conflicts that could mean delays in remodeling and future inefficiencies.
Look for Professionals Who Offer Multiple Services
Getting reputable Chicago renovation and design professionals is not just a matter of finding a company dealing in one area of specialization but also about experts who offer multiple services. During your research process, make it a point to get details of your design and renovation team’s kind of work. This goes beyond the regular creation of plan renovation and design drawings that often comes with architects and interior designers and the wall and floor installations provided by builders.
Numerous experts will often cater to multiple tasks such as project management, consulting work, and design services. Other services provided by renovation and design professionals include site inspection, valuations, and planning services. Settling for experts who offer multiple options will go a long way in helping you reduce labor costs while also helping you reduce lengthy back and forth bidding processes.
Get Well-Structured Bids
Another tip that will help you find the right experts for your remodeling is getting comprehensive bidding details. For this, list down your renovation details such as roofing, kitchen remodeling, basement designs, and laundry room remodeling. Based on these, request your contractors to provide details such as material costs usage, labor expenses, and the types of experts needed for each work. If any line up with your budget, then you can go ahead and pick your selection.
Understand Your Project Needs
Each renovation work will be different for each client, a factor that results in different costs and expert specializations. Due to this, make it a point to first factor in the kind of renovation you need and the extent of design help you are looking for. If, for instance, you need first-time home designs, these will generally require more consultations, leading to more costs as opposed to a change of home designs. Structural renovations also require more work, requiring specialized attention during your remodeling process.
Due to these factors, consider researching what each Chicago renovation and design specialty does to help you settle for the right option. If you need experts to help you make adjustments to existing property blueprints and design work, an architect will be your got to. If, on the other hand, you only need someone to help you out with choosing the right fabric materials, lighting, and getting the right roofer for renovations that do not require extensive changes to structural components, designers are what you need. Interior designers will especially come in handy when in need of an aesthetic remake, helping you get the right look on your property before your realtors come in during any open home shows. By precisely identifying what you need for your Chicago renovation and design, you will be better placed when hiring your team of plumbing service experts.
Use Budgeting to Your Advantage
Whether you are low on funds or on searching for a high-end renovation company, your budget also makes for a good starting point in identifying the kind of professionals you need. First, determine the total amount that you are willing to spend on your renovation while keeping in mind that some remodeling needs are likely to cost more than others, such as the renovation of art monuments. Depending on your projected expenses, you can then use your budget in your favor, acting as a guide when searching for renovation experts. Another point to note is that low budgets will also likely leave you fewer complete renovations as opposed to medium and high-end budgets.
Use Design Apps
Suppose your online review process gets tiring, or you simply prefer to get a direct reference tool for connecting with a renovation and design company. In that case, design apps will be another essential tool to utilize. Design apps benefit from easy and direct connections to professionals, with most platforms aimed at promoting local home design and remodeling expert services. In addition to this, numerous design apps also allow homeowners to get tutorials, making it a needed option for anyone interested in handling the renovations independently. Among the top-rated designs apps to consider using include:
- Homepolish: Homepolish gives homeowners the chance to get in touch with designers in their surrounding areas, with the app being available in Chicago among other selected regions in the country. Designed with transparency in mind, Homepolish provides free designer consultations, with video and in-home consultations being an option for anyone looking to cut back on in-office consultations. This app also lets you hire designers on an hourly rate or a flat rate base based on your needs.
- Buildshop: Buildshop is another platform to consider using for your renovation and design needs. If you need to manage your renovation, this app will allow you to plan and organize your schedule work. This includes grouping your design photos in categories and also organizing your construction team based on completion schedules.
- Hometalk: If you are looking for simple renovation and design inspiration that you can do on your own, Hometalk will be your next solution. This platform offers tutorials in areas such as kitchen remodeling, painting, and everyday repair work that you can do for your home renovation. If you also need design ideas to help you sell your home, Hometalk will also offer inspiration from its articles, videos, and guides.
- Cubit: The last design app is Cubit that combines real and virtual data to help users get fast and easy solutions for their renovations. All you have to do is install it and measure your space with your smartphone. After this, it will provide you with a step-by-step approach to arranging items in your home, allowing you to get rid of the tedious to and fro movements that often come with remodeling.
Use Web-Based Renovation and Design Platforms
In addition to mobile phone design apps, you can also get help from web-based design platforms. An example is Houzz, which provides Chicago renovation and design clients with the experts and bail bondsman professionals they may need. Some home remodeling services you can get here include bathroom renovations, kitchen renovations, and appliance and systems installation contractors. Designs are also not amiss, helping you get ideas on landscaping and lighting essentials.
Popular Contractors in Chicago
To help you out with a few Chicago renovation and design companies in the area, here is a list to have close by:
- Middlefork LLC: Middlefork LLC is a renowned company serving the majority of Chicago’s high-end clients, catering to needs such as renovations, design, and building. With experience renovating homes in the North Shore Regions and Lincoln Park, their work has been featured on platforms such as Modern Magazine, Modern Luxury CS, and Modern Home Building. Some associations that Middlefork LLC is a part of include the National Association of Home Builder and Home Builders Association of Greater Chicago.
- Rock and Wall Construction: Rock and wall construction is another Chicago renovation and design company that deals in property rehabilitation, room additions, and green construction. Among their most notable projects include the Wrigley Mansion in Lincoln Park and the 1801 Wesley Avenue monument, with the latter winning awards such as the Evanston Preservation Award. Their work has been featured in outlets such as Home Magazine, Architectural Digest, and the Chicago Tribune.
- Sebring Design Build: Sebring Design Build is another Chicago renovation and design company to consider looking into. Their services are designed with specifics in mind, spanning from home additions, kitchen renovation to kitchen designs. Some of their awards include the 2012 and 2013 Ebsco Research Best Pick Award Winner, Certified Graduate Remodeler, with their expertise also shown in their 5 Time Winner of the Angie’s List Super Service Award.
- 123 Remodeling Inc.: 123 remodeling Inc. also makes it to this list, having accumulated multiple awards as a preferred condo, kitchen, and bathroom remodeling company. If you also need help with everyday renovation needs such as flooring installations, tile installations, or countertop installations, 123 Remodeling Inc. are the experts you need. Some of their awards include the EPA Lead Renovator, Talk of the Town 2013 and 2014 Customer Satisfaction Award, and Best of Houzz that they have won on five different occasions.
- Bradford and Kent Home Remodeling: With experience of more than 30 years in the remodeling scene, Bradford and Kent Home Remodeling prides itself on providing specialized additions in homes and providing interior and exterior makeovers in bathrooms, basements, and porches. In addition to this, they also provide renovation services to multigenerational homes and design services to mudrooms and sunrooms. Some of their awards include the Downers Grove Business Excellence Award, and they have also been named one of the country’s top 50 remodeling companies.
If you are on the lookout for renovation or design services in Chicago, the above guide provides pointers on the most crucial tips to keep in mind. Your Chicago renovation and design need no longer have to be a concern by using online reviews to design apps.
For any seniors who want to continue to live in their homes, it’s important that they maintain and upgrade their homes. Home upgrades for seniors are vital to make sure that …
For any seniors who want to continue to live in their homes, it’s important that they maintain and upgrade their homes. Home upgrades for seniors are vital to make sure that they are able to continue to live there. After all, plenty of seniors deal with issues like limited mobility, which make upgrades vital. But what are the best home upgrades for seniors to make?
Upgrading your bathroom is one of the most important home upgrades for seniors. This is from a practical standpoint in a lot of cases. Approximately 80% of falls for seniors happen in the bathroom. This shouldn’t be all that surprising, due to how slippery the floor can get in the bathroom. Tile and enamel are unforgiving after all. So, for safety alone, a bathroom renovation can be incredibly important for seniors.
One popular upgrade for bathrooms is an adjustment to the shower itself. Oftentimes, this is done by adding a seat or bench to the shower, so that whoever is using it doesn’t have to stand on a wet, slick surface. For other people, strategically placed bars throughout the bathroom, like next to the toilet, are helpful in keeping your balance as you use the bathroom.
In the case of someone trying to sell their home, rather than continue and live in it, bathroom upgrades are still important. So many people put emphasis on the bathrooms when they’re looking to buy a home that it’s important to make sure that a bathroom is upgraded or needs very few upgrades before you look to sell the home. A dated bathroom can turn a lot of potential buyers away, and upgrading before you sell can only open the market to potential buyers and a higher value.
As much as solar panels are a great investment for anyone, they’re a particularly great upgrade for seniors. There are a number of reasons for this. First, it is a great way to alleviate one’s carbon footprint, which is great for the surrounding environment. As for the home itself, solar panels bring significant benefits directly to anyone who installs them. Using solar heating instead of oil or gas will save you money in the long run, as you don’t need to pay to refill a tank of propane or any other heating source. Furthermore, solar panels require very little maintenance. This means that once they’re installed, you’ll almost never have to think about them.
With all the money that you’re able to save in the long run by installing solar panels, you can either invest it in another home upgrade or even spend the savings on something that you enjoy during retirement.
For many people, a home that already has solar panels is a great option when buying a home. They’ll get to enjoy the benefits of solar panels, without having to deal with the initial installation process. This means they avoid paying for installation and dealing with a particular service. However, it also means that your home is more valuable to them, and they’ll be willing to pay more money for it than they would without the solar panels.
Metal Roof Installation
Your roof is one of the most important parts of the home because of two key functions. The first is that it keeps outside weather, such as rain, out of your home. It’s also incredibly important that your roof is properly insulated so that the heat in your home doesn’t rise to the ceiling and leave through the roof. Instead, it’s important to make sure that it is retained. Metal roofing services are commonly brought in for home upgrades for seniors.
Metal roofs offer a lot of strengths that make them very popular for seniors. For one, metal roofs last a long time and rarely sustain damage. In fact, they can handle wind of up to 140 mph. For a reference point, a category three hurricane tops out at 129 mph. This means you’re not going to have to worry about repairing it or replacing it anytime soon. Furthermore, metal roofs are flame resistant, which makes your home that much safer. Add in a metal roof’s ability to reflect sunlight and your home will stay cooler naturally. This will save costs on your cooling systems.
For all the same reasons that a senior can benefit from installing a metal roof, so can someone who is buying a home. That durability and longevity that comes with a metal roof aren’t going to go away because there are new owners. Neither is a more energy-efficient offering. However, like in the case of solar panels, this will raise the overall value of the home.
Kitchen remodeling is one of the most important home upgrades for seniors for several reasons. First, if you are interested in selling your home, it is vital to have an updated kitchen to entice home buyers. So, what are the best kitchen renovations to make that will keep your home livable, while also making it valuable to potential buyers?
Start by making sure that your stove and sink are near to one another. This makes working in the kitchen much more convenient, requiring less walking and carrying of pans and dishes. Furthermore, a microwave that is at the height of the counter is going to make things easier in your kitchen, as you will have to lift something above the shoulders less. The other thing to pay close attention to is the actual cabinets in the kitchen. Using drawers, which are easier to pull out and access supplies, as well as taking advantage of the corners in your kitchen by adding unique corner cabinets both make the home more desirable to potential buyers, but they also make the kitchen easier for you to use.
Air Conditioning Upgrades
Making sure that your air conditioner is in good working condition is vital to your home. If your home does not already have air conditioning, air conditioning installation is incredibly important. Having a proper air conditioning system will make sure that your home is not using more energy than it absolutely needs to use. This is better for the environment and will make it so that your home needs to use less energy to stay cool. This will save you money in the long run.
Air conditioning, in particular, is incredibly important for potential home buyers. Anyone looking to buy an updated or modern home is going to want to have air conditioning available to them in the same way that heating systems are widely available. This means that having a new air conditioning system will also raise the value of your home.
It’s easy to overlook masonry repairs, but they can be incredibly important to your home. For instance, if your chimney is damaged, it is unusable. However, if your chimney is in use, it can be used to heat the center of your home extremely well. Of course, masonry doesn’t begin and end with the chimney. If you have bricks on your front steps, it’s important to make sure that these are kept in as nice of a condition as possible. A loose brick can cause a slip and fall, which can be devastating, particularly in winter months when the steps are going to be naturally slick.
Whatever issue that your home’s bricks are having, it’s important to hire a stone masonry service as soon as possible. Masonry services are one of the vital home upgrades for seniors. After all, these will make your home safer, more beautiful, and more energy-efficient to live in.
Generally speaking, brickwork and brick homes are among the most beautiful to own. However, if there is damage to them, it’s not as easy to fix as a bad paint job. A potential home buyer may not want to buy a home that requires a lot of mason work. This means that if you’re looking to sell, it’s a good idea to make sure that all the brickwork on your home is in as good of condition as is possible.
Painting your home is one of the great ways to revitalize a room. After all, a fresh coat of paint will make a room look bigger and brighter than it is. Furthermore, it will add personality to your space. This makes painting a home right before you sell it incredibly popular, as it makes the home look nicer and will add value to it.
Of course, it’s best to look into interior painting services to hire someone to do it for you. No one wants to live in a home that has paint that didn’t stay in the lines and trickled onto the ceiling or borders. After all, a bad paint job can take away all the benefits from investing in painters in the first place. So, whether it’s for you to enjoy your home better, or to make it more valuable in a sale, painting your home is a great investment. Just make sure that you have it done properly.
Fire Protection Upgrades
One of the benefits of a metal roof is that it helps protect your home against fires. However, it’s not the only thing that can protect your home from fires. In fact, as far as home upgrades for seniors go, making sure that things in your home are fire resistant are some of the most important.
A fire sprinkler system is one option that you can use to upgrade your home. These are more commonly seen in commercial structures, but they make great home upgrades for seniors too. Other upgrades are more common in homes, like installing extra fire detectors and making sure that whatever happens, a fire is detected early before anything bad can happen. From there, it’s important to make sure that electrical wiring is up to date, use fire-resistant supplies when possible, and you have a working fire extinguisher in the home.
There will always be a time when fires happen, but you can work to prevent as many as possible while preparing yourself for whatever is possible going forward. Having these preparations is important for everyone, but especially so for seniors who may be suffering from limited mobility or other issues that make fire even more dangerous for them to handle.
Residential Lift Installation
A residential lift is also known as a home elevator, and they are one of the home upgrades for seniors that keep people in their homes more than any other. Essentially, they’re installed on the stairwell, where you sit and strap yourself into a chair before it brings you up the stairs. Then, when you need to go down again, it’s waiting to carry you down. This eliminates the need to walk upstairs and downstairs, which can be incredibly difficult as a senior citizen. In turn, this means that you won’t need to worry about possibly having to move out of your home, just so you can get around it.
Looking to install residential lifts is one of the best ways to keep your independence and stay in your home, which makes them an incredibly popular option to choose from.
Whether you’re looking to sell or remain in your home for an extended period of time, there are plenty of upgrades that you can make which will add value or make it easier to live in your home. In the studies in rats published by https://sgs.nsw.edu.au/buy-levitra-online-vardenafil/, the combination of Cialis and heparin didn’t affect the bleeding time. However, the use of this combination in human hasn’t been studied yet. Safety data derived from preclinical studies. No toxic (including reproductive toxicity), genotoxic and carcinogenic effects of Cialis have been established. These are truly investments for your future and should be treated as such.
Spring brings with it new bloom, ushering in a long-awaited host of activities for both the outdoor and indoor scene. From wiping down walls to deep cleaning your upholstery, this is …
Spring brings with it new bloom, ushering in a long-awaited host of activities for both the outdoor and indoor scene. From wiping down walls to deep cleaning your upholstery, this is the time to put your home in order in readiness for the warmer months. Here are our top 8 to-do items to consider putting to use to help with your essential spring cleaning tasks for homeowners.
Have the Roof Inspected
Your roof forms an essential part of your home, protecting you from outdoor weather elements that could wreak havoc on the contents in your home. This is why getting a roofing service is one of our spring cleaning tasks for homeowners. So, what can you expect from a professional service?
During the structural inspection, your roofing expert will look for signs of sagging on your roof and if there are any signs of uneven roof planes. During this process, you can also expect your chimney to assess for any physical damage and cracks. Since the venting also forms a crucial part of your roofing system, be prepared for inspections in this area as well, specifically venting in your attic.
The material inspection comes next, with attention to details such as loose material. If your shingles are loose, this is a sign of roof degradation, an aspect that calls for their replacement to avoid any water leaks in your home. This will be followed by an inspection of elements such as moss, rust, and stains. If you also notice an accumulation of these materials is at the bottom of your gutter downspout during any of your spring cleanings, your roofing professional will likely need to replace your roof, as continual use could also lead to structural damage to your property.
Interior property inspection
Last is the investigation of your home’s interior for water leaks, with your interior ceiling being the first point of concern. If this area is free from signs of leaks, an assessment of your interior walls for signs of mold or staining comes next, with the attic also following suit.
Get Your Garden in Order
Have a plan
Getting your garden in order will require you to utilize a plan, as getting all details on paper is the key to implementing a proper landscape design and installation process. Before beginning, make it a point to detail how you intend to use your garden. Whether you prefer a vegetable garden or a relaxed family outdoor space, map out where all your items will be placed. Depending on your needs, you can then proceed to dirt removal, clearing any unwanted objects that could hinder your plans.
Consider the growing seasons
If you choose to settle for a vegetable garden, consider the growing seasons for your plants and the type of growing bed to utilize. Some plants require shorter planting periods and others tend to be annual growers, meaning they will require different spacing and nutrient requirements. Do your research on what works well for you to avoid running into strenuous maintenance down the line.
Create a maintenance schedule
After this, make it a point to create a maintenance schedule for your garden. This falls under an essential part of spring cleaning tasks for homeowners, helping you maintain your garden’s aesthetics. A working schedule will also come in handy in keeping any unwanted pests at bay, ensuring your garden or your relaxation spot serves its purpose. To help with this, mark out intervals on your calendar for weeding and pruning.
Lastly, have a designated area for tool storage. A small enclosed shed is ideal to ensure tools such as watering cans and hoes are stored away from weather elements that could cause rust. If, however, extra space is a problem, consider buying a sizeable plastic bucket to store your tools.
Make Fence Repairs
Third, on our schedule for spring cleaning tasks for homeowners is making fence repairs. But before beginning any alterations, take note of all damage to your fence. Be on the lookout for any posts that appear loose or crooked from the foundation. If you have a chain-link fence, assess any signs of rust or bent areas. In addition to this, check if your fence is compromised, with any gaps or spaces indicating that your fencing will need replacement.
Tend to minor damages
Minor damage to wooden fencing such as cracks and knotholes will generally call for a quick fix, with wood putty being the go-to solution. Begin by sanding the crack with coarse sandpaper and wipe away the debris from the hole. After this, fill the crack with wood putty and wait for it to dry for about a day. To hide your repairs’ stains, repaint the area to allow the repair to blend in with the rest of the surroundings.
Call an expert
When repairs are extensive, a fencing company will help you with problems related to expanded fences, rotting, and destructions that occur during storms. Your fencing technicians can, for instance, help you replace old wood panels with new fittings. Experts will also help you reinforce your fencing posts, especially after harsh winters that may have caused sagging. Here, previous concrete is replaced with a fresh concrete footing, avoiding impending hazards that could cause injuries to your family and your neighbors.
Repair Cracks in Pavement
Cracks in your pavements could be the reason you have potholes in your driveways. Where cracks develop, moisture pooling follows, later leading to erosion of pavements. Given that crack sealing does not fall among everyday spring cleaning tasks for homeowners, consider utilizing concrete paving services from professionals. By doing so, you can expect to reap benefits such as;
Crack routing utilizes several steps, the first being the formation of a uniform surface in your pavement to prepare sealant application. During this, obstructions are removed from your cracks, with the most common being vegetation. A wire wheel is the most efficient tool that clears any obstruction, ensuring all your cracks are ready for repair.
After this comes the sealant application, utilizing a hot rubberized joint sealant, forming a barrier and uniform exterior for gaps in your pavement.
Types of cracks
For crack routing to occur, your pavement expert will first look at the type of crack in your property. The most common are hairline cracks, which are often 1/8 inches in width. Tackling these in pavements requires sealant such as chip seal, slurry seal, or sand seal as their fluidity allows them to seal properly into the cracks.
If the cracks are more than ½ inch, conduct both cleaning and sealing. Sealants for larger cracks will require hot-poured sealant, asphalt emulsion slurry, or a hot mix of asphalt sand mix.
Invest in HVAC Inspections
HVAC maintenance is another of our spring cleaning tasks for homeowners, failure to which could see you with increased replacement and energy bills. Avoiding this, therefore, means relying on an air conditioning service and maintenance professional, with the following coming in handy.
Inspection of your HVAC filters
Filters act as the central point of your HVAC, with proper working conditions allowing you to enjoy clean air quality. They, however, trap all manner of debris, an aspect that is made worse if you reside in dusty areas. A HVAC expert will check that the filters are free of dirt, with the occasional replacement coming in handy when they trap enormous debris.
Inspection of fuel lines
HVAC experts will also assess your HVAC’s fuel lines with attention to any leaking gas that could result in fire hazards. If your system also has accumulated soot and cracked heat exchangers, a professional will remove the clogged soot while making repairs and replacements to damaged areas.
Inspection of HVAC voltage
Damaged wires and faulty connections in your HVAC can cause the failure of your air conditioning system, with extended damage likely to also lead to fire hazards. An expert will check for such faults that could compromise your system, preventing you and your family’s impending risks.
Assessing exhaust outlets
Last on this list of spring cleaning tasks for homeowners is assessing exhaust outlets, an area that a HVAC technician will help with. Exhaust outlets are responsible for ejecting gases such as carbon monoxide into the atmosphere, allowing you to breathe in clean air during your stay at home. If these outlets show signs of leaks or corrosion, an expert will carefully repair your system. In addition to this, your technician will assess if the vent stack is working as it should.
Deep Clean High-Traffic Areas
Cleaning high traffic areas does not come easy to most, which is why you should consider sticking to the following tips for spring cleaning tasks for homeowners during your next schedule.
Wipe down your counters
For starters, kitchen cleaning is one area that could benefit from a thorough wipe down. Invest in a quality cleaner that also serves as a disinfectant to ensure you keep the germs at bay. Edibles often contact your countertops during meal preparation, making such surfaces a hazard when not cleaned properly. Apart from this area, make it a point to wipe down bathroom surfaces during weekends, as they also harbor dirt due to their frequent use. In addition to this, get rid of any trash lying around to get a cleaner and organized surface.
Clean your floors
Floors can harbor a myriad of pests, with carpets being the number one culprit for this. As a rule of thumb, spring cleaning tasks for homeowners dictate using the proper clearing agents, with attention to specific solutions if you have wooden floors. Additionally, vacuum your carpets at least twice a week to avoid accumulating dust or pet hair if you have pets at home. You can also get professional carpet cleaners for thorough deep cleaning of your carpets for added benefit, allowing you to get a cleaner floor for longer.
Remember your walls
Walls are often forgotten when deep cleaning, yet are other areas that amount to substantial dust accumulation. As a gentle reminder during your spring cleaning tasks for homeowners, pay attention to high traffic areas such as living spaces and entrance pathways. As previously mentioned, a good quality cleaner will come in handy, but first, test out your product on a small area to ensure it does not strip your wall of its paint. Consider cleaning your curtains as well, with bathroom and kitchen blinders being other items to remember cleaning.
Fix Garage Doors
A faulty garage door means you are stuck at home, curtailing any spring road trips that you may have had in mind. If you have little technical knowledge of how to go about garage door repairs, here are some tricks for your spring cleaning tasks for homeowners to consider switching to.
Faulty closing and reopening
The most common garage door emergencies occur during faulty closing and reopening, restricting your vehicle’s indoor and outdoor movement. This is often caused when automatic door openers need a readjustment. Fixing this will require you to adjust the limit settings on your opener, so ensure that these are not off. Additionally, inspect if there is any obstruction to your door sensors, which are located a few inches off the ground in the interior of your door.
Suppose your garage door gets stuck while opening or closing; you may be experiencing a lubrication problem often caused by humidity changes. Lubricate moving parts of your door, such as rollers and tracks. If this does not work, you may need a professional to help you realign the door.
Strange garage door noises
Strange sounds could mean that your rollers are stuck, an aspect that can be fixed by lubrication or replacing them and having the door tracks cleaned. During this, check for any broken cables and make it a point to have them immediately replaced as they could pose a safety risk during use.
Clear Out Your Gutters
The last step for spring cleaning will be clearing your gutters. For this, you need a ladder and a good gutter scoop. Remove the accumulated debris from your gutter while making sure to use a disposable bag or tarp to collect any debris. After this, use a garden hose to flush water down the gutter and downspout.
If you notice any obstruction to water flow, this will be a sign that your downspout needs more decluttering. Items such as a power washer will come in handy for this or a plumber’s snake to help you flush out any debris. Flushing is a crucial step that will reveal if your gutter has any leaks that may need repair. For help with future cleaning, make it a point to install a barrier at the top of your gutter. Soma belongs to the group of miorelaxants affecting the spinal cord. They are intended to relieve muscle cramps. As for the side effects, Soma made me drowsy. However, it was even good for me when I was in terrible pain. All possible side effects are described on https://shlclubhouse.org/soma-online/. This will help prevent any debris accumulating in your gutter that could cause obstructed downspouts.
Sticking to these spring cleaning tasks for homeowners is essential in maintaining your home in top condition in readiness for a new season. Along with this, you can also expect time savings until your next cleaning schedule, helping you spend more time with your family.
Unlike being a renter or a tenant of someone else’s property, being a homeowner means that you get to make all of the decisions about how to spruce up your home. …
Unlike being a renter or a tenant of someone else’s property, being a homeowner means that you get to make all of the decisions about how to spruce up your home. Whether this means painting your walls, fixing your pipes, or decorating your lawn, the choice and decisions are up to you. While this gives you the enormous upside of freedom, it also creates the downside of having to be responsible for all this maintenance (and paying for it too).
Some people put off maintenance or improving their homes because they simply cannot afford to hire someone else to do it. This is understandable, but also incredibly frustrating if you have been wanting to spruce up your home for a long time. Lots of homeowners even know how to do specific things (such as painting, carpentry, or more), but don’t have tools available that they can use or afford to rent. So what’s a homeowner to do in these situations? A couple of volunteers from Chicago, IL may have come up with the perfect solution.
In this article, we’re going to talk about the unique volunteer organization that is the Chicago Tool Library. Far from simply allowing people to borrow and donate tools, they have provided a free option for people to spruce up their homes with all the free time that they’ve had during the COVID-19 pandemic. From high-skilled tools (like a power saw) to low effort (such as a hammer), the Chicago Tool Library has been a way for homeowners and makers to come together to get assistance, share tips, and help each other out. The inspiration you glean from their organization can also help you to make your own home the grand place you’d like it to be.
What The Chicago Tool Library Does And How You Can Learn From It
In the history of amateur volunteer organizations, The Chicago Tool Library holds an interesting place. Founded just before the start of the COVID-19 pandemic by Tessa Vierk and Jim Benton, it has become a space for community members to borrow tools for up to seven days at a time. It’s almost like a public library, but with a focus on hammers and screwdrivers instead of literature. Here, you can find kitchen cabinet installation tools or wood planers to help even out boards. Indeed, they have quite a large selection to choose from.
What makes the vast inventory even more unique is the fact that more than 90% of the tools have been donated by community members. The Chicago Tool Library posts a list of tools that it would like to have/needs, and anyone can donate to them at will. Since many of the tools are in perfectly fine condition (but have been neglected in a garage or basement somewhere), the fact that they find new use is a win-win for everyone. Much like donating to Goodwill or the Salvation Army, items that have no use to one person can be an incredible gift to another.
Despite the pandemic, 2020 was apparently a banner year for The Chicago Tool Library, with lots of people utilizing the service and kitchen items being a big hit. Everything from tortilla presses to ice cream machines seemed to be in play, and the future doesn’t show any signs of slowing them down. Since they operate on a true library model (access over ownership), this allows many people to be exposed to tools or appliances that they otherwise would have never known about. Perhaps inspiring some DIY mentalities in formerly reluctant homeowners.
To become a member of The Chicago Tool Library, citizens can query a sliding membership scale program to see what works best for them. Membership has ranged from $350 a year to $3, whatever the library deems fit for the individual. Since more than 80% of the members are from Chicago ZIP codes (a city of 2.7 million people), the founders consider it a success. You can learn more about them at chicagotoollibrary.org, and expand some of their ideas into how you’d like to spruce up your home as well.
Quarantine Cleaning (Let Your Space Shine)
One of the easiest ways to spruce up your home without even attempting to use power tools is to do a little bit of spring cleaning. Even if it’s way past spring, you can rebrand it as “quarantine cleaning” and blame your clean house on the pandemic. By getting rid of items you no longer use, you’ll create space in your house that’s already there but not being used efficiently. By this, we mean more than just taking out the trash and dusting up (although that does help immensely).
Going through your entire home and deciding if you really need something or just want to have it out of habit can be an eye-opening event. You may start to decide that you don’t listen to record albums anymore, or wear flannel. While some people throw out these items, it may be more practical for you to donate them or sell them for profit. If you really just want to be rid of them and have created quite a mess, you may even have to hire a trash removal company to put a bin in your front yard to throw your excess trash into.
Hiring a trash removal company to give you space may also benefit some of your home improvement projects that you’re thinking of undertaking. When you spruce up your home (especially with tools), you tend to create quite the mess. Instead of making endless trips to the dump or overloading your garbage cans, you can conveniently put it all in one bin and then have them haul it away in one fell swoop.
Small Steps To Inch Your Kitchen Toward A Five-Star Eating Space
Having an amazing kitchen that one can actually cook gourmet meals in is usually listed as one of the dreams of many homeowners. While you’re probably not going to be ripping up countertops or replacing dishwashers, you can attempt whatever you want in your own home. Many people start by replacing old electrical sockets, doing basic tiling, or other small projects that only require manual tools. Your comfort and skill level will obviously dictate what you gravitate towards. These may seem like small things, but if they make your kitchen more functional and beautiful, then you will be truly getting towards a five-star eating space.
You may be able to learn how to install relatively simple things, such as microwaves or faucets, on YouTube or other learning platforms, but it’s probably best to leave the installation of gas grills to contractors. In the same way that if your pipes are clogged it’s better to leave the sewer and drain cleaning to a professional so you know it’s done right. Much can be done on your own, but some things are better left for the professionals.
Making Your Restroom Relaxing
Bathroom remodeling is almost always on the “to do” list of homeowners because everyone wants a clean bathroom that is actually relaxing. From finally revamping your shower head to replacing the cabinet doors on your medicine chest, lots of little small projects add up toward a better bathroom that will spruce up your home. After all, the other word for it is “restroom,” right?
Other simple projects that you may want to include could be: installing a new mirror (seems difficult, but isn’t), finally getting a new toilet paper holder, putting down new rugs or tiles, or replacing the bathroom door/knob. Many people have bathroom doors that don’t lock and privacy is an integral part of using a bathroom. By fixing these small things, you’ll be able to finally do your business in a comfortable space and spruce up your home instantly.
Don’t Neglect The Inner Workings Of Your Home
It can be tempting to simply focus on the rooms of your home as improvements, and not your whole home as a holistic space. You probably haven’t given a thought to your air conditioning system or water pipes in a while, since a professional was able to check on them. While it’s still recommended that a professional perform HVAC repair, there are things you can do to help stop incidents from happening.
Replacing furnace filters, administering water tests, or simply checking on the system as a whole is more than most homeowners do. In a manner of speaking, it is a hidden way to spruce up your home, because it functions better. Performing some basic research on the specifics of the inner workings of your house can lead you to do some basic adjustments (often with a wrench, screwdriver, or other manual tools) that may drastically improve the longevity of your home’s inner workings.
Outdoors And More
When it comes to the outdoors of your property, there are ample areas to spruce up your home. Whether this means planting a garden or calling up pool repair services will depend on what’s on your property, but don’t neglect the outdoors. In fact, if you’re having trouble dealing with the indoor sections of your home, you may find it easier to deal with the outdoors instead. Anyone who takes the time to arrange brick mosaics, install solar-powered walkway lamps, or figure out how to place a fountain just right will find their efforts rewarded.
Another small thing that you may notice is your garage door being in cosmetic disrepair. If this is from mold or mildew, you can always rent a pressure washer and spray it away. If that’s not an option, you may also create a solution of vinegar and water to try and make it go away. Finally, you might simply want to paint over it with a new, industrial paint that will impress even the overhead door company (when they eventually come to check on it). Of course, this all goes out the window if you have a carport or other storage space for your automobile. Do what works best for your home!
Last (But Absolutely Not Least): Check The Roof!
Last, but certainly not least, try to inspect your roof for damage so that you’re aware of it. We can’t advise repairing your roof yourself in good conscience, but you can certainly have a qualified contractor come out to tell you whether you need a legitimate re-roofing service (because your roof is in such poor condition) or whether it can be patched up in some way. The answer may lie somewhere in the middle, and there may be low-cost solutions to help keep a roof over your head when it matters most.
In these challenging financial times, many people are hurting for both work AND money. So in the situation that you cannot repair your roof yourself and require residential roof installation from a company, you may be able to arrange a situation in which you get a large discount, or take longer for the work to be completed. Although it isn’t always the most efficient way to spruce up your home, sometimes it needs to be done.
Humans Help Each Other (It’s What We Do)
Man times, in this larger than life world of ours, we can be overcome with despair and hopelessness on what seems to be happening around us. From our outdated infrastructure to our seemingly fractured political system, it can seem like when you wake up in the morning that there is no way to fix anything. That if you try anything, someone will deem you a fool or tell you that it’s not worth it to try. Yet that’s simply not true, and the Chicago Tool Library is simply one of many examples of people helping each other get through hard times.
Humans are social animals, and that should be apparent to anyone who has spent time in a community of any size. Whether we live in large cities or small towns, humans want to be around each other to help, discuss, and collaborate together. This is no less apparent than the various home building organizations such as Habitat For Humanity or Homes For Heroes. It simply feels good to get out of ourselves and help someone else for a while. If only for selfish reasons, it gives us a break from our problems to help solve somebody else’s.
In these ways, you should recognize that the despair of living is more than likely only a temporary thing. It ebbs and flows like the seasons, getting hot at some moments while cooling down at others. So never forget that it’s always worthwhile to start organizations that help people, no matter how specific. The Chicago Tool Library was there to help you spruce up your home when you couldn’t hire anyone or possess expertise. Just think of what YOU could start, if you really put your heart into it. Let that be the statement that guides you every day when you wake up.
Many worthwhile charitable organizations exist. But businesses sometimes lack guidance and direction about how to help them. Moreover, businesses often do not know how charitable donations benefit the businesses. Some of …
Many worthwhile charitable organizations exist. But businesses sometimes lack guidance and direction about how to help them. Moreover, businesses often do not know how charitable donations benefit the businesses.
Some of the obstacles businesses face when making charitable contributions include:
- What qualifies as a charity for purposes of business donations?
- How can a business identify the best use of its business donations?
- What type of business donation can be made?
- How much can be donated?
- What benefit can the donor realize?
- When does the business donation need to be made?
Here are some ways for businesses to think about their business donations to create the greatest good this year:
Are Nonprofit Organizations the Same as Charities?
Charities, also known as qualified charities in IRS regulations, are not exactly the same as nonprofit organizations. Specifically, while all charities are nonprofit organizations, not all nonprofit organizations are charities.
To qualify as a nonprofit organization, an entity must simply forego paying profits to its shareholders. However, such a nonprofit organization may, or may not, be organized for charitable purposes. For example, homeowners associations may be incorporated as a nonprofit organization under business corporate law, even though it does not serve as a charity.
Under the IRS’s regulations, some of the types of organizations that can be incorporated as a nonprofit include:
- Homeowners associations.
- Social welfare organizations.
- Volunteer fire departments.
- Labor unions.
- Chambers of commerce.
- Child care organizations.
- Public charities, including churches and religious organizations.
- Private foundations.
Non-charitable organizations can still organize as a nonprofit. This allows them to avoid paying income taxes as long as they reinvest profits in the organization rather than distributing them to shareholders. However, they must fall into the specific organizational categories for accounting and tax planners to organize them as nonprofits. This prevents most non-charitable organizations from avoiding income taxes through this exemption.
Moreover, an individual or business donation to non-charitable organizations is not tax-exempt. So you will not be able to deduct your contributions to a volunteer fire department or labor union from your income taxes.
Types of Charities
Most charities fall under the last two categories — private foundations and public charities. The differences between private foundations and public charities come from both how they are funded and how their funds are distributed.
Public charities usually:
- Raise funds from individual and business donations.
- Are governed by a diverse group of directors.
- Use funds to support the charity’s own activities.
Private foundations usually:
- Raise funds from a closed group of donors, like a family.
- Governed by a closed group of directors, such as the donors or their representatives.
- Distribute funds in the form of grants to charities.
Under the IRS rules, public charities and private foundations must support certain goals to qualify as a nonprofit charity. The organization’s goals must be:
- Religious: Churches (regardless of religion) fall into this category.
- Charitable: Anything that promotes the general welfare. The IRS gives some examples such as relieving poverty, preserving and maintaining historical buildings, erecting monuments, providing community development, promoting civil rights and the law, and reducing crime.
- Educational: Public or private schools fall into this category. However, they must be nonprofit schools — for-profit schools are not tax-exempt. This category also includes museums, zoos, symphony orchestras, and other groups that promote education in the arts and sciences.
- Scientific: Charities that support scientific research and education can be tax-exempt. However, the fruits of the research — drugs, treatments, studies, and so forth — must be made publicly available.
- Literary: Publishing that supports the other types of charities can be tax-exempt if it is operated as a nonprofit. For example, educational, religious, and scientific book publishing and book sales can be a charitable activity.
- Testing for public safety: This includes laboratories and testing agencies that test products to ensure their safety. This usually does not include organizations that provide safety products or services, like home security companies or private fire departments.
- Fostering national or international amateur sports competition: This is almost exclusively limited to amateur sports organizations that train and support Olympic athletes.
- Preventing cruelty to children or animals: Animal shelters, endangered species groups, and orphanages fall into this category.
Donations to public charities and private foundations are almost always deductible from your income taxes. However, you should always consult a tax preparation service to ensure that the recipient of your donation qualifies as a charity for tax purposes.
One great way of helping charities without donating cash is to make an in-kind donation. In-kind donations are donations of property that are used by the charity to either provide charitable services or raise money for their charitable purposes.
For example, donating company vehicles when you replace them has many benefits including:
- Eliminating waste: Rather than scrapping vehicles that still have useful life, you can donate them to charity.
- Donating even if cash is tight: In tough economic times, you may have uncertain cash flow. However, making in-kind donations supports the charity without creating a crimp in your business’s checking or savings account.
- Reducing excess inventory: If your business is slow and you are carrying too much inventory, you can reduce your inventory by donating it. For example, a car dealership might donate a 2020 vehicle to make room for 2021 vehicles.
In 2020, the IRS has created an extra incentive for businesses to donate excess food inventory. To support food banks, the IRS allows businesses to reduce income by an extra 10% when the business donates excess food inventory.
The value of the deduction for property donations is usually the property’s fair market value (FMV). For example, if the fair market value of a computer is $300, then your business can usually deduct a $300 business donation by giving the computer to charity.
However, there are a couple of exceptions to this rule.
- If your business is organized as a pass-through tax entity, like sole proprietorship, partnership, limited liability company, or S-corporation, your deduction is limited to your cost basis of the property rather than the FMV of the property.
- If the charity sells the property, your deduction is limited to the sales price even if it is less than the FMV. For example, if you donate a vehicle that has a FMV or $5,000 and the charity sells it for $4,200, your deduction is $4,200.
- The FMV is based on the condition when you give it. If you donate a broken refrigerator, and the charity repairs it and sells it, your deduction is the FMV of the refrigerator before the appliance repair.
Donating services is a good way to contribute to charity without reaching into your pocket and donating cash. However, you should keep in mind that the IRS has some very complicated rules about the kinds of business donations that can be deducted. Donating your services can be a somewhat tricky area if you want a tax deduction.
Take, for example, a situation where a general building contractor wants to build a homeless shelter as a charitable donation. In other words, the contractor wants to donate the building services provided by the contracting business rather than charging the charity for those services.
This kind of business donation would be welcomed by the charity. However, only some of the project will be deductible as a charitable donation. Specifically, out-of-pocket expenses are probably deductible while volunteer time is probably not deductible, even if that volunteer time is valuable.
- Materials that the contractor donates will be deductible. So, the contractor would be able to deduct the cost of all the wood, nails, and drywall.
- Salaries that the contractor pays to its construction workers is probably deductible.
- Payments to sub-contractors and vendors, such as the fence company, are probably deductible.
- Mileage to and from the job site is probably deductible.
- The value of the contractors own time is probably not deductible. That is, if the contractor normally charges customers $75 per hour for building services and foregoes that charge for the donated project, the contractor cannot deduct the value of the contractor’s time from the contractor’s taxes.
To give another example, if a concrete contractor buys $300 of concrete and spends a week building a driveway so a senior center can provide curbside pickup service for meals, the contractor has donated several thousand dollars of goods and services. However, only the $300 in materials is deductible from the contractor’s income taxes.
Documenting Your Donations
If you plan to deduct your business donations from your taxes, you need to document them thoroughly. Clear and accurate documentation will help you to:
- Remember to include your deduction when you prepare your taxes.
- Correctly claim your deduction on your taxes.
- Justify your deduction if the IRS audits your tax records.
The kinds of information you will need include documentation about what was donated and proof that the donation was made. The information you will need to provide the IRS includes:
- The name and address of the charity.
- The date and place of the donation.
- A written description of the donation.
- An acknowledgement of the donation from the charity.
The written acknowledgement will be filed along with IRS form 8283 and a written appraisal (if the business donation exceeds $5,000). This filing will be attached to your regular annual tax return.
Timing of Donations
The timing of business donations is important for a few reasons:
- Donations are welcome at any time of year, but around the holidays, charities are often overwhelmed by demand for their services. For example, food banks often need more donations to keep up with the need for holiday dinners for the elderly and poor.
- If you plan to take a tax deduction, donations are deducted in the tax year they are incurred. Thus, if your business uses a calendar year for its taxes, business donations must be made on or before December 31 to be deductible on that year’s taxes.
- Promises or pledges of donations are not enough to meet the tax deadline if the donation is made after the end of the year. Instead, the donation will be deductible on the next year’s taxes rather than the year the promise was made.
- Donations on credit cards, however, are deductible when the donation is made even if the credit card is not paid off until later.
Amount of Donations
Overall, Americans donate about 2% of their income to charity. Business giving is much higher. American businesses donate about 6% of their income to charity.
Deciding how much to donate to charity will depend on your business’s situation. However, you must stay in business for the sake of you and your employees. So you should be mindful of your cash flow and reserves when you donate.
Also, remember that charitable donations are, at best, 33% deductible. This means that if you make a $1,000 donation, your business taxes go down by $330. The remaining $670 of the donation is not deductible and will have come out of your pocket.
To do good, your business donation does not need to go to a charity. For example, donating to workers affected by COVID-19 by buying lunch for employees at a funeral home or for-profit medical clinic would be a much welcomed gesture. Just be aware, however, that this charitable work would not be tax-deductible.
Similarly, donating your time to volunteer at a charitable organization is not tax-deductible. This should not discourage you from volunteering if you can. Studies show that volunteering provides many benefits to volunteers including:
- Improved mood: Volunteering gives a sense of purpose and reduces depression.
- Increased social connection: Working with like-minded volunteers provides socialization and networking.
- Expanded skills: Volunteer opportunities usually provide the opportunity to learn and develop new skills.
- Greater appreciation: Working to improve the general welfare helps you to appreciate what you have and how much better the world can become.
Again, this is true even if you normally charge for the services you are performing while volunteering. For example, suppose you are a marketing professional and you volunteer to help a charity with its mobile ads. Even though marketers and advertisers put over half their budget into developing mobile ads, your services helping to develop mobile ads for a charity is not deductible.
Choosing a Charity
Picking a recipient of your business donation should begin with your priorities. You should donate to a charity or cause that you are passionate about. Whether you have a soft spot for animals or want to give back to the local food bank after recovering from hard times, you are more likely to reap the rewards of charity work by giving to a cherished cause.
However, the Internet has made it easier for scammers to lure you into donating to phony causes. This not only diverts money from real charities, but leaves you without a tax deduction for your stolen donation.
Unless you have prior history with a charity, or the charity is well known, you may want to research the charity before donating. Some resources for researching charities include:
- IRS: The IRS keeps a list of all tax-exempt public charities and private foundations.
- Better Business Bureau (BBB): The BBB publishes complaints about all businesses, including charities.
- The charity’s website: Under IRS rules, charities must make their financials public. Klonopin https://www.glenerinpharmacy.com/buy-klonopin-clonazepam-online-2-mg/ affects the receptors of gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA), Most charities publish them on their websites. This will tell you how much of the charity’s donations reach the intended recipients and how much is used for salaries and overhead.
Business donations are an essential source of funding for charities. They can also provide a substantial tax benefit to your business. Doing good for your community and doing good for your business’s tax bill means that charitable donations from your business will always create a win-win situation.
With the news that a COVID vaccine is on the way, people in Chicago and throughout the country are trying to prepare. With 2.7 million people living in Chicago, there are …
With the news that a COVID vaccine is on the way, people in Chicago and throughout the country are trying to prepare. With 2.7 million people living in Chicago, there are certain concerns about availability and distribution of the vaccine.
Before panicking or latching on to rumors, get the facts about the vaccine. It is understandable that there is a lot of anxiety, with healthcare concerns running high, but having accurate information will serve you and your family better.
First of all, the authorization the Food and Drug Administration is considering is an emergency one, which means that the vaccine will be targeted for vulnerable communities. This will not be the wide vaccine distribution many people are hoping for, not yet at least. There will simply not be enough of the vaccine initially.
Second, this is not the only vaccine. There are more still being developed, with the potential for approval. The priority now is getting something out to protect the people who need it the most and try to stem the horrifying tide of COVID-19’s spread.
Third, the vaccine requires two doses, so that cuts the potential vaccinated group in half. For every 100,000 doses produced, 50,000 people can get vaccinated. Since this is a problem that is in the millions, it will be quite a while before we see mass distribution of those two doses.
Those are the broad strokes. Here are 4 more specific things you should know about the COVID vaccine before it arrives.
1. Setting Priorities
One of the most important things that states need to do ahead of the vaccine being released is set appropriate priorities. This will be crucial, especially for vulnerable communities.
The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) expects the vaccine to be in short supply for several months, meaning that initially it will largely go to the most vulnerable populations. States will be encouraged to follow the CDC guidelines for distribution. Illinois already has said it plans to adhere to that guidance for distribution.
The top of the list will be the front-line healthcare workers who have been in harm’s way since the beginning of this pandemic. With those workers coming into contact so frequently with people who have COVID, their healthcare concerns make the top of the list.
Right after them, however, are those who live in senior housing. Seniors are at very high risk if they get the disease, so vaccinating them is an extremely high priority. These two groups were recommended as the top priorities by a 13-1 vote by a government advisory panel.
When it comes to healthcare workers, doctors, nurses, therapists, emergency services personnel and even janitors working in hospitals are all at very high risk. More than 230,000 of them have gotten COVID-19 and, unfortunately, more than 800 have died. With hospitals still overwhelmed, there are fears those numbers could get worse if those workers are not swiftly vaccinated.
Everything from your local urgent care center to major hospitals are feeling the strain right now and it could get worse thanks to people traveling for holiday celebrations. A crucial part of the deployment of the vaccine will be addressing the healthcare concerns of these workers so they can continue the heroic effort they’ve been undertaking to battle the disease and treat patients.
The situation in assisted living centers is similarly grim. While just 1% of the U.S.’s population lives in a senior community, those facilities account for 8% of COVID-19 cases here. Even more horrifying – assisted living centers account for 40% of the deaths from the disease, a truly ghastly figure to contemplate.
That’s why they will be next in line after healthcare workers to receive the vaccine. Stopping the skyrocketing numbers among seniors is of crucial importance if the country is going to get the spread of the disease under control. With the figures still growing, the vaccine will be desperately needed among this vulnerable population.
2. What About the Rest of Us?
So what happens to the rest of us? Even if we are not healthcare workers or seniors, there are many people with healthcare concerns relating to the disease. Many people are still at high risk, even if they are young and don’t work in a hospital. For example, anyone with a pre-existing condition is already at elevated risk should they catch the disease.
This is made more challenging by the lack of a cohesive national policy regarding the virus. States have not collaborated on measures such as closing businesses, shutting down schools or enforcing mask wearing. This has allowed the virus to continue to spread, even when some states have taken stricter measures.
With each state making its own rules and choices, the response to COVID-19 has been scattershot at best. With the vaccine, states are being required to send a distribution plan to the federal government, however. The CDC has provided guidelines for distribution.
However, the reality is that most of us will simply have to wait. With those two critical communities still facing unprecedented risks and healthcare concerns, it will be up to the rest of us to continue to hold tight as other vaccines are developed and perhaps distributed as well.
Some of the next in line, however, include essential workers. These are the folks who have had to continue doing their jobs even as the pandemic worsened. They include people like delivery drivers and supermarket workers.
However, once again the states will get to decide. In some places, a disability advocate may argue for certain populations over others. For example, Colorado wants to give vaccines to ski industry workers, as they live in shared housing. The priorities and risks facing the workers in each state may help determine how prioritization for the vaccine shakes out.
There are so many industries and workers that people may forget about when thinking about who is next in line for the vaccine. Should dentists get it next because their patients can’t wear masks while undergoing treatment? Will podiatric care be deemed more or less risky than other types of care?
This remains unclear, but it may boil down to healthcare concerns rather than industry. Sadly, there won’t be enough of the vaccine for all of those front-line healthcare workers initially, so even though they are the highest priority overall, there will even be tiers within that group. For example, older healthcare workers or those with pre-existing conditions may jump to the head of the line even among their healthcare colleagues.
The Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices has not yet said who will be next in line after the two most vulnerable populations. However, they will have to meet again soon to discuss the distribution of the vaccines, made by Pfizer and Moderna, and the healthcare concerns of the general public.
There are some contenders for next in line. This includes people like teachers, firefighters, and those with underlying healthcare concerns. People handling, producing, or transporting food may find themselves on that list as well, but it is important to remember that all of this information remains speculative for the time being. There is simply too much that is not known. The first doses going out are considered “emergency use,” so general use is not yet on the docket with the crisis still ongoing.
Ultimately, what this means for most of us is that we should not anticipate getting vaccinated any time soon. Some experts believe the general public may see wide distribution of a vaccine in spring, but that is still an uncertain timeline. Until then, it’s crucial everyone does their part in helping to slow the spread. Even with a vaccine, there will be many, many people still left at high risk.
3. Medical Offices Preparing
Distributing the vaccine will not be as simple as just lining people up and giving them a shot. For one thing, there is a waiting period between the doses. A patient must get one shot, then wait three or four weeks before getting the second dose.
A larger issue is that our healthcare facilities are already overwhelmed by this disease. There may be places that need dramatic medical office renovations simply to accommodate patients, let alone to try to distribute a vaccine. With demand for the vaccine anticipated to be very high, hospitals, urgent care centers and other medical facilities will likely have to adjust on the fly to meet demand.
If you happen to have a hand in running any such facility, it is probably better to get on top of any changes or repairs like this as soon as you can. Demand will only get more intense as the vaccine becomes more widely available, so if you need HVAC services or roof repair, you will want to take care of that before things get even more chaotic.
It isn’t even just the big things that healthcare facilities should be thinking about. Cleaning staff may be among the first who can get vaccinated and they have a big job ahead of them. Disinfecting and general cleaning are crucial tasks during this time, with everything from marble cleaning to dusting to wiping down the windows becoming a far higher priority than usual. There could be healthcare concerns for those arriving at a facility to get their vaccine, so disinfecting and cleaning should be a priority for these facilities.
4. Preventing Spread
What should we do in the meantime? One of the most important things is simply preventing the spread of COVID-19.
Unfortunately, even with a vaccine coming out, many of those with healthcare concerns will remain at risk for some time as doses get distributed in order of priority. This means that masks and social distancing will remain a crucial tool is limiting the spread of the disease.
It is understandably difficult for businesses to operate with these kinds of restrictions. Some in business law have sought out ways to make their operations as safe as possible while still working within the restrictions and guidelines. However, some states have still shut down in order to stop the rapid spread of COVID-19.
The same goes for apartments and living spaces of all types. Whether you are a building contractor or a resident, things have changed for all of us. We may not be communicating as much or as freely with our neighbors. We may feel cooped up and bored and restless. However, staying inside and wearing a mask when we must leave the house will help those most at-risk of dying from the disease.
The restrictions are burdensome for many, from businesses losing revenue to ordinary people just hoping to find a sense of normalcy again. However, the emergency vaccine shows just how serious the healthcare concerns around this virus are. Two extremely vulnerable populations may get vaccinated soon, but there will still be millions and millions of people at risk.
It isn’t clear just how long we may need to wait for a more widely distributed vaccine that can offer more protection to more people. In the meantime, many live with the burden and fear of healthcare concerns related to COVID-19. In Chicago and throughout the country, most of us are simply hoping for a way to stop the disease in its tracks and try to heal some of the damage it’s done.
Even though the vaccine is limited at the moment, the announcement of a vaccine is still good news for the country. Front-line healthcare workers and seniors will get those early doses, but this is the beginning of us truly getting this pandemic under control. Those with healthcare concerns, a business losing revenue, or other issues may understandably be frustrated by the news, but this is a hopeful sign for the country.
The wait will not be an easy one. However, if we can stick to social distancing and other precautions, we can help the vaccine do its work protecting those vulnerable populations. Other companies are still rushing to develop their own vaccines to meet the tremendous needs of the country. We can only hope we will hear more good news in the near future. Until then, stick to the facts and keep yourself and your loved ones safe.