Beat the Norm and Install Hardwood Flooring for your Kitchen

Nov 16, 2016
Nothing adds more beauty and elegance to a house than hardwood flooring. However, a number of people believe that it should never go beyond the kitchen door. The kitchen is considered an area prone to wetness and the general assumption is that it is no place for wood flooring with all its spills of water and other liquid kitchen necessities.

Admittedly, some of the fears about the damage kitchen water would do to a wood floor are founded—but only partly. The kitchen is not the place for every type of wood. However, there is no reason you should deny yourself the gentle, warm touch of hardwood under your feet as you go about your business in the kitchen.

As a good number of kitchen magazines prove, installation of hardwood floors is gaining popularity fast. In fact, it has been accepted as a trend among modern homeowners. It all boils down to the type of hardwood used and the quality of the installation job.

Site-finished Hardwood

Unlike pre-finished hardwood which is stained and sealed in the factory, site-finished hardwood arrives at your home with no stain or seal. Its surface features only raw wood. The stain and sealer are only applied when the installers finish nailing it down.

Remember, the installation of both the pre-finished and site-finished hardwood flooring is done through the same method – tongue and groove. Nonetheless, the site-finished installation job has the benefit of application of a thin, cohesive layer of sealant from one end of the surface of the floor to the other. It is, therefore, rendered impermeable.

Engineered Hardwood Flooring

When for some reason you cannot install site-finished hardwood flooring in your kitchen, there is still another option. If you keep the quality high enough, engineered hardwood is as good as solid hardwood, sometime better. One of its most beneficial features is its cross-layer make-up which enables it to resist the effects of high humidity and moisture. In addition, it has a top veneer engineered to prevent water from seeping through it into the wood beneath.

Bottom Line

Apart from ability to resist the effects of water and other liquids, there are factors that will surely determine how long your kitchen hardwood flooring will remain intact. The kitchen is accessed by almost everyone and, therefore, it experiences more traffic than some of the other rooms in the house. It is inevitable that after some years, the marks of heavy traffic will begin to show. There is no cause to worry, however, since you can easily screen or sand them down.

You need to protect your hardwood flooring from scratches and dents. In most cases, using a throw rug is good enough. However, bleaching may occur on the parts left unprotected if your kitchen is exposed to strong sunlight. If you visit the Relative Space website, you may be able to find more information.

Difference between Audit, Review and Compilation Engagements

Jul 10, 2016

A chartered accountant’s skill is vital for the prosperity of an organization. It is necessary for businesses to consult accounting firms frequently to evaluate the establishment’s performance. Professional accountants offer services such as business planning, calculation of tax payments due, prepare and audit financial statements. Accountants refer to the services they offer as engagements. There are three engagements related to financial statements of an organization:
• Review engagements
• Audit engagements
• Compilation engagements
It is imperative that businesses understand the work performed by chartered accountants.

Audit engagement
Audits are necessary to provide an organization’s financial statement users with an opinion on whether the statements followed proper accounting methods. Businesses report to shareholders, governments, and creditors through audited financial statements. Legislation in Canada stipulates that limited corporations should prepare financial statements for audit by qualified independent accounting firms.
Creation of financial reports is the sole responsibility of companies’ management. The auditor’s responsibility is to provide an opinion on the fairness of the statements. Auditors employ such activities as evaluate the firm’s structure of internal control, inspection of documents, and observation to gather necessary data to establish whether the financial statements accurately reflect the company’s financial position.

Review engagement
Review engagements are performed to give assurance that there are no modifications that should be made to the financial reports to align them with financial reporting regulations. A review is different from an audit. Review engagements provide little assurance to the user of financial reports. The degree of assurance from a review is expressed as either:
• Negative assurance; in this case, nothing came to the auditor’s attention that would indicate that the financial statements have not followed accounting principles.
• Reservation; the auditor has to provide an appropriate disclosure with details for the reservation.
In performing a review, a chartered accountant would only inquire on matters such as accounting practices employed by the organization and the management responsibility.

Compilation engagement
A compilation engagement aims to assist the management in presenting financial data in the form of statements. Compilation engagements do not provide assurance that the statements have conformed to accepted accounting principles. Compilation requires the accountant to gain knowledge of the business including the financial accounting systems applied and prepare the financial information as financial statements. Compilation engagements do not require the auditor to provide an opinion on the accuracy of the statements presented.
While independence is paramount in audit and review engagements, accountants do not have to be independent of the business in question to perform a compilation engagement.

Professional accountants offer many services other than audit, review and compilation engagements. Different businesses need accounting services for different reasons. It is crucial to understand the dynamics of each level of service while seeking assistance.

Why your Office Floor Need Maintenance

Jul 9, 2016

Organisations spend large amounts of money on commercial buildings and interior design concepts. Flooring is always part of the deal, as part of the overall image. With the rapid weather changes, it is obligatory for business owners to keep up with the proper office cleaning and maintenance in each season. Hiring a commercial cleaning company comes with a wide range of benefits, from saved productivity time to reduced safety risks.

Investment Protection
It is essential to embrace and implement a customised office floor maintenance program to ensure the floors are preserved and their life is extended. Poorly maintained floors tend to affect a facility’s image adversely, and lead to the waste of huge amounts of money on misdirected cleaning. Poor maintenance also reduces the performance of the product and accelerates the need for a replacement. Professionals can revitalise, clean, and restore the floors by customising a program that suits your budget and needs. Commercial cleaning services ensure the accumulation of dirt and grime that could potentially damage your flooring is prevented. With the many commercial buildings, there are today, multiple floor coverings that need special maintenance and cleaning feature. This can be very challenging for various reasons. One, there are different types of machinery available on the market today, all from different manufacturers. It is vital that top grade cleaning and maintenance equipment be chosen. The other factor is; will the machinery be moved from one site to the other or is it stationary? Professionals understand attachment variations of each type of machine, keeping it in mind that the wrong type of brushes or abrasives could quickly damage a commercial floor. Also, understand that using the wrong chemical pH levels on the covering of your office floor could lead to an irreversible damage.

Promote a Healthy Working Environment
Indoor quality air can cause absenteeism, lost revenue, and lost production time. Poorly maintained floors attract the build-up of microorganisms and increase the amount of particulate, thereby deteriorating the working conditions. Instead of dissipating valuable productivity, it is necessary to hire commercial cleaning services to save time spent on cleaning large establishments while other business-oriented matters could be handled. Understand that being a business facility with varying floor sizes, there could be different floor types that are not all cleaned the same way. Professionals have experience, leading technology tools, and products for each floor. Business owners must always consider the safety of their employees and visitors when it comes to their establishment. During rainy seasons, for example, high traffic areas including hallways, cafeterias, and major entrances can be major scenes of falling or heavily covered by mud and dried residue. As such, it is only important to hire a professional cleaner.

Maintaining the appearance of your office floor goes beyond choosing the right cleaning method. The right products for each floor weigh heavily on the performance of your floor. This is why professionals must be involved to assess the layout of the facility, the traffic patterns and the hours of operation for proper maintenance.

Car Rental Saving Tips

Jul 6, 2016

If you are planning on going a road trip, a car rental Toronto company should be the first that you contact. Even if you have a car of your own, there may be opportunities to rent a luxury or sport vehicle that you may not have the chance to drive otherwise. What are a few ways to get the car you want while saving money at the same time?

Travel During Down Times of the Week and Year

Rates tend to be lowering during the week than they are during the weekend. This is because fewer people are looking to take a trip on a Wednesday compared to a Saturday. Furthermore, people are unlikely to want to drive during the cold winter months compared to the warmer spring and summer months. While there may be some exceptions when kids are off of school, the late fall and winter months are generally slower than other times of the year.

Look for Specials Offered By a Particular Car Rental Center

Car rental centers may offer specials to get certain cars off the lot or to spur interest throughout the year. You may be able to get a top sports car or luxury vehicle for only a few dollars a day during the week or get free upgrades during certain weekends. It may be possible to track these deals online or by going to car rental company websites to find deals.

Go Through Online Booking Sites

Online booking sites will scour the entire market to determine where the best deals are. Instead of going to various sites to find deals, these sites will do that for you in a matter of seconds. All you need to do is tell the site what you would like to drive, when you need the car and how long you plan on keeping the vehicle. Once you find a deal that you want, you can book it and get confirmation in a matter of minutes.

Get Good Deals By Acting as a Fleet Transport Driver

Car rental companies may offer discounts depending on what cities you are driving to or where you are willing to drop off your car. This is because car rental companies may need to send more cars to different hubs to meet demand. By going to a city where demand is high, you may get a discount for your troubles.

Saving money on your rental car gives you more money to spend on a hotel or other discretionary spending while away. Therefore, it is in your best interest to make sure that you get the lowest possible price and remain flexible in how you achieve that goal.

Why team building activities are more important than you think

May 10, 2016

Team building activities like scavenger hunts can seem like a waste of time, but games and events offer a lot of value to organizations. While some activities might seem silly, bringing your team together outside of their work roles can lead to better performance.

Building Trust
Employees need to trust in the commitment and capabilities of their teammates in order to do their best work. Building that trust takes time and a willingness to share both information and personalities.

Corporate team building activities offer a unique setting for creating and nurturing trust. The activities allow team members to collaborate and communicate without the pressures of their job responsibilities. This type of less-formal interaction allows team members to see how people behave and gain insights into their thinking processes. A good team building exercise can reveal the traits that make someone good at their job and highlight why they should be trusted by their teammates.

Getting New Employees Comfortable
Starting a new job can be extremely stressful. Not only are you trying to learn your new role, but you are also trying to learn about your coworkers and decipher the internal dynamics of the organization.

Corporate team building activities offer new employees a more casual environment in which to make introductions, ask questions, and get a feel for their coworkers. Managers can also take advantage of the activities to explain and promote the company culture.

Breaking Down Silos
As companies grow, it can be difficult to build relationships across department. Over time, people stop knowing each other and start thinking of people in terms of their department or role. This can lead to a lack of trust and respect for the contributions that other departments make to the success of an organization.

Scavenger hunts, dinners and special events are all opportunities to remove the barriers that naturally arise when departments don’t regularly interact. You can use these events to promote mingling, educate about the value of every contributor, and reduce the potential for future conflict.

Relieving Stress
Let’s not underestimate the value of having a little fun. While it’s important that people get their work done and behave professionally, sometimes people need to laugh or meditate or play games. The occasional retreat where employees get to relax can lead to higher productivity and a better attitude when they get back to their desk.

Team Building is Worth It
Team members benefit from interacting outside their work roles. And so do their organizations. Bringing people together to build trust, relieve stress, and educate about how the company succeeds are all benefits of corporate team building activities that shouldn’t be overlooked.

7 Qualities Every Real Estate Agent Should Have

May 9, 2016

When looking to rent or buy a home, it can require a lot of thought and planning beforehand. Whether you’re looking for your first place or you plan on moving into your fourth home, it’s always helpful to have a good real estate agent to help you along the way. Though some real estate agents have a bad reputation and only want to earn a large profit, there are some real estate agents that are great at what they do.

 

7 Qualities Every Real Estate Agent Should Have:

Experience

Though it takes time and people to gain experience, it’s always helpful to seek advice from a real estate agent that has a lot of experience in buying and selling houses. The more experience a real estate agent has, the greater the chance you’ll find your dream home and a home that’s affordable to your budget.

License

To become a real estate agent, one must become licensed. Since there are all sorts of terms, conditions and legal ties in a real estate agent’s work, not just anyone can become a real estate agent overnight. It’s very important that you find someone who is credible and someone who has a license.

Ratings

One of the best ways to find a good real estate agent is to check out the ratings and reviews for each one in your area. By searching the Internet, you can see what an agent’s previous customers thought about him or her. You can also see what the agents are rated on a scale of one to ten or one to five. This can keep you away from bad agents and increase your chances of finding a good one that people like working with.

Helpful

It’s important to find a real estate agent that is helpful. Oftentimes a real estate agent is dealing with several clients at once. When this happens, it’s hard for them to make time for everyone. Find a real estate agent that always has time for your questions, and one that won’t let you miss a great opportunity for buying or renting a home.

Considerate

Real estate agents must make a sale to make money. Since real estate agents would like to make a living like anyone else, it’s easy for them to be inconsiderate and want to sell or rent you a home that is way out of your price range. Try to find a real estate agent that isn’t pushy, but instead one that is considerate and is looking out for your best interest.

Tech savvy

With the technology we have today, it’s important that real estate agents are familiar with the latest and greatest trends. Since homes used to be listed primarily in the newspaper, and there was no Internet at one point, it’s important that real estate agents learn the new advances in technology.

Familiar

For a real estate agent to be good at what they do, they must be familiar with the market and the local areas. Try to find a real estate agent that can take you around town and tell you where all the great places to buy or rent a home are.

To feel confident in your purchase, and to be happy with your end result, you must find a real estate agent that is easy to work with. From knowing the area to having good communication, there is a lot to take into consideration.

Tax Time Means Open Season For Identity Thieves

Apr 25, 2016

It doesn’t take much thought to realize that with all of the personal information that is passed around between people and businesses during tax time, this is the high season for identity thieves. To make matters worse, tax season not only finds your name, contact information, and personal identity numbers such as your social security number, but also your financial information all over paper that leaves your home or workplace.

 

Identity Information? Shred It!

Although it is true that only a certain amount of control can be exerted over the information you turn over to others, especially for tax purposes, you can control all of the extraneous paperwork associated with this process by using paper shredding to eliminate the threat posed by outsiders. In fact, paper shredding is probably one of the most effective means a person has to foil identity thieves. This applies to your personal information whether it’s during tax season or not.

 

Isn’t Good Enough Good Enough?

Anyone who was alive during the Iranian hostage crisis of 1979 will recall that prior to the takeover by students, officials of the American embassy made the shredding of all important documents a top priority. Unfortunately, after the students took over the building, they were busy at work reassembling the documents, patiently piecing together many documents detailing classified information being stored by the embassy. The point is that even the shredding being done at the embassy wasn’t thorough enough to prevent important information from being leaked to hostiles.

 

Paper shredding today is much more complete than that done in 1979. Today’s shredding capabilities can be performed to whatever degree it is felt necessary to prevent disclosure of sensitive information, whether it be turning documents into narrow strips or hardly more than pulp.

 

What’s Most Important?

Most experts agree that the degree to which personal information is shredded is not near as important as is the fact that it has been shredded. Whether we realize it or not, Americans are generally very casual about the information they throw away every day. This makes the job of being an identity thief very easy. There is so much personal information available to thieves out there that they very often don’t worry about data that has been shredded, ignoring it in favor of easier targets.

 

Obviously, your goal should be to shred the personal information that leaves your home or office to as great a degree as possible to eliminate theft threats. This is especially true during tax season when so much personal financial information is readily available to those who are looking for it.

 

No End in Sight

Experts agree that the occurrence of identity fraud shows no signs of abating any time soon. In fact, incidents continue to increase. Last year, 12.6 million Americans were hit by identity thieves, who stole more than $21 billion from them. The ease by which thieves can get information should make Americans even more cautious about the information they give out and to whom. Besides this precaution, when it doubt, shred it.