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Event Planners: Buy an ATM, It Just Makes Sense

Event planners are constantly under pressure to deliver amazing results while working with tight budgets. One way to maximize your profits as an event planner is to buy an ATM, or Automated Teller Machine, for your parties, annual events and festivals. The key to making a profit is ATM placement, and events are a great source of a large number of people all in one place who need quick and convenient access to their cash.

festival-vendors

The general rule of thumb for those considering a purchase of an ATM is that about five percent of those who have access to the machine will use it. If you are planning events which have over a hundred and fifty people, you will see a good return on your investment. With surcharges at an all-time high and a competitive market for automated teller machines, the reward of buying outright certainly outweighs the risk. An event planner would stand to make a little more than your average machine owner as festivals and events are rarely set up to take credit cards, meaning event attendees will need access to their cash which increases the likelihood they will use your machine.

 

While renting a machine does have a lower upfront cost, the monthly rental fee, surcharges and other hidden costs can quickly eat away at your profits. Buying an ATM will cost more out of pocket, but will have a much greater profit margin. Also, leasing an ATM limits your control over the machine as far as where it is placed, how often you can place it in certain locations, how frequently the machine will receive service and any surcharges involved. Most ATM rental companies will require you to have the machine serviced on a regular basis whether it is needed, or not. This is one of the hidden charges of renting an ATM that place a drain on your profit margin.

 

When you buy your machine, you have full ownership. You get to determine exactly where you would like it placed which opens up the opportunity of moving it to different areas of the event. This will allow you to maximize your total profit and determine which placement is best for each event. You can also decide how much cash is placed in the machine, which is often times limited with a rental machine, and how much you would like to charge per transaction. The surcharge fee is where you will make your profit, but if your rental machine demands a surcharge higher than what your attendees are willing to pay, it will reduce the number of customers who use your machine and, in turn, reduce your profit. As an owner, you will have full autonomy in deciding how much your surcharge is and the ability to change the surcharge accordingly for each event.

 

Buying and operating your own machine is a smart investment, a great way to maximize on a passive income and will also benefit any merchants or vendors you contract with for your events. Most vendors prefer cash as there is no credit or debit card processing fee they have to pay. If merchants are making a good profit, more vendors will be interested in selling at your events which will increase both your foot traffic passing by your ATM and, if applicable, the price you can charge for any rental spaces to potential vendors in key locations.

atm-truck

With the increased demand for automated teller machines and the improvements in technology, owning your own machine has become an affordable option for many people. You will see excellent annual returns for a relatively low-risk investment. Just as with any business, the greatest risk is the loss of profit, however with buying an ATM that risk is significantly reduced. The biggest investment is the ATM hardware itself, which once bought, has low maintenance costs and any repairs needed are affordable. Another risk involved with owning your own ATM is theft or vandalism, but that risk can be mitigated with low-cost insurance. Overall, the risk of buying a machine pales in comparison to the return you will see on your investment.

 

There are several ATM companies you can purchase your machine from, and there are several sources for buying used machines which will reduce your out of pocket cost. While buying a used machine does increase your risk of something going wrong with it, if you are careful and do your due diligence you can find excellent deals. There are several different models that all offer different features, so it does help to familiarize yourself with the various machines and what you are looking for it to provide.

 

Owning your own ATM is an excellent way of maximizing your profit on a low-risk investment. If you cater to events with attendees needing cash, then it would be an extremely savvy business move to buy an ATM and increase your passive income.

8 Ways to Lower Your Car Insurance Premium in Virginia

car and money

Car insurance is a necessary expense for virtually everyone, and those in need of coverage typically want to find the most cost-effective option in Virginia whether you’re in Richmond or all the way down in Charlottesville VA. The price of auto insurance is primarily based on the likelihood of the covered party filing a claim. This risk is determined by examining a vast array of factors and all companies interpret these risks differently. Below are some of the primary ways these rates are determined.

1. Maintaining Good Credit

Insurance companies almost always use customers’ credit ratings as one way of determining the cost of car insurance. In most cases, individuals with perfect or excellent credit histories are considered far better risks than those with lower scores.

2. Driving Record

Avoiding citations is another way to ensure inexpensive car insurance because statistics indicate that drivers who ignore traffic laws and speed on a regular basis are more likely to become involved in collisions than conscientious drivers. For this reason, most auto insurance agencies provide premium rate reductions to motorists who have maintained spotless driving records for three or more years.

3. Lowering Mileage

Every extra mile a person drives on an annual basis adds to his or her auto insurance costs. For this reason, if a person can use public transportation or carpool frequently, it may result in a significant decrease in coverage cost.

Almost all insurance companies view those who drive extensively as poorer risks than those who do less driving. For example, individuals who only drive “around town” may qualify for a low-mileage discount. This is simply because the longer a person spends behind the wheel, the greater the likelihood of an eventual incident or accident.

4. Make and Model Discounts

The kind of automobile a person drives also substantially influences the price of coverage. SUVs or other large-size models that are expensive to repair usually cost more to insure. Additionally, sports models almost always cost more to insure than traditional models do, as most insurance companies believe that there is a greater temptation to speed when one is driving a sports car. This, in turn, means that the risk of becoming involved in an accident is higher as well.

Factors such as this can make it challenging for certain individuals to acquire cheap car insurance rates. Therefore, if one is planning to purchase a new car, it is wise to consider a medium-size sedan as opposed to a large SUV or sports car.

guy in car

5. Safe Driving Tips

As previously mentioned, maintaining a safe driving record is an ideal way to help keep auto insurance premiums at a minimum. Being a safe driver is not difficult, and includes simple actions such as always using turn signals, staying off icy roads during bad weather, pulling off the road when drowsy and avoiding driving while under the influence of alcohol or medication.

6. Alcohol-Related Accidents

Sadly, drunk driving is a costly and dangerous problem in the United States. Approximately 10,000 individuals die every 60 minutes in the U.S. as a result of drunk driving. Additionally, at least one individual is injured every 60 seconds due to an alcohol related collision.

7. Avoiding Road Rage

Long commutes, heavy traffic and other conditions can sometimes lead to aggressive driving or what is more commonly known as “road rage.” Sadly, those who give in to this emotion have been known to cause accidents, harm others and even damage their own vehicles.

Regardless of how frustrating the situation may be, all drivers should avoid yelling at other motorists, calling out threats or verbal insults, taking unnecessary risks to cut off another driver, tailgating or slamming on brakes. These behaviors only serve to escalate negative situations. Staying calm and refusing to give in to emotion are the best ways to stay in control. Similarly, those who see other drivers exhibiting the aforementioned behavior should refuse to react to the other driver’s aggression.

8. Stop Texting and Driving

The use of cell phones, blackberries, and similar devices while driving has led to an increase in crashes. Although specific statistics are still being created regarding the link between accidents and cell phone use, there is enough evidence to prove such activity leads to collisions.

For example, a driver who was texting ran off the road, hitting a mother and child on the sidewalk. In the absence of texting, this accident likely would have never occurred. Even simply talking on a cell phone, which can be done with one’s eyes on the road, is not a good idea. No matter how much a person may think he or she is in control, it is impossible to fully concentrate on driving while engaged in a phone conversation. In Virginia, it is now illegal to text and drive.

Fortunately, car insurance rates are competitive among various providers as long as one is considered an overall good risk. In addition, using the tips outlined above can significantly reduce the chance of being involved in a collision. Finally, when searching for coverage of this type, it is always wise to comparison shop before making a final decision.

Siding Contractors in Richmond VA

Different types of House Siding

Sometimes the structure of an exterior wall provides a complete and decorative finish. However, most require additional material for weatherproofing or decorative purposes. For instance, a stone or brick wall provides both structure and finish, but a block or wood frame wall requires coverage with siding. For the majority of homeowners, the techniques and systems for different types of siding only become relevant when repairs are necessary. Below are the pros and cons of some of the most popular styles of home siding available:

Stone Siding

Of all building materials, stone is one of the most durable. Stones like granite, slate, and limestone are beautiful and virtually impermeable to different weather conditions. Additionally, stone siding is created by nature and as such, it is environmentally friendly and comes with everlasting benefits.

Pros

Decades after its initial installation, stone will look as attractive and natural as ever; all that is required is a bit of maintenance. Stone will safeguard a home against the elements for a very long time and will not be affected by severe weather like hail and high winds.

Cons

For the most part, the initial costs of stone are considerably higher than other siding varieties. Furthermore, adding stone to an existing structure has a high level of difficult. Typically, this accrues additional costs as installation requires the skills of a professional, like the siding contractors at Blue Ridge Exteriors in Richmond VA.

stucco sidingStucco Siding

For hundreds of years, stucco siding has been used by many builders and homeowners. It is essentially a type of cement mixture added to lime or sand. It can be textured and shaped and as such, it is used to pull off a number of architectural styles. For application, the wall is typically covered with tar paper over galvanized metal screening; the stucco is applied after that.

Pros

Among the biggest pros of stucco siding is that it is strong, durable and can last for a tremendously long time. In addition, it is more likely to be resistant to earthquake damage when compared with other house siding. It is also fire proof and provides superior insulation to keep indoor temperatures comfortable throughout the year.

Cons

Among its drawbacks is that the materials can be heavy and costly to apply. Additionally, paint does not stick to it very well; therefore, it will have to be repainted every few years.

Cedar Sidingcedar siding

Typically, Western Red Cedar is used to make this type of siding; however, White Cedar is often used as well. Its application can be in the form of traditional shingles or horizontal lap panels. It can be left untreated, treated with oil, stained, or painted.

Cedar house siding is available in a variety of styles, including bevel, lap siding, and traditional cedar shingles or shakes. You can use a board-and-batten pattern for a rural look or get a seamless, contemporary look with tongue-and-groove panels.

Pros

It has amazing aesthetic appeal which makes it highly sought after. There is also a range of grains and colors to choose from. Additionally, there is the option of creating a variety of textured walls based on the placement of the siding.

Cons

Cedar siding poorly reacts to iron and as such, it accelerates the deterioration rate of the material. Furthermore, contact with iron will amplify the cost of general maintenance.

Fiber Cement Siding

Fiber cement siding is available in a variety of textures that resemble actual wood. It is nonflammable, water-resistant, termite-resistant, and most are guaranteed to last for 50 years. Cellulose fiber, fly ash, or sand and cement are used to make fiber cement siding.

Typically, fiber cement siding costs less than wood siding, but is more costly than vinyl. It is installed over exterior wall sheathing placed on moisture barriers or on studs. Choosing factory painting is highly recommended and the painting is usually warranted for 25 years.

Pros

Fiber cement is a cost-effective material that simulates wood siding. Additionally, it is low maintenance, provides fire protection, and it is free of termites.

Cons

One of the drawbacks of fiber cement is that its handling and installation costs are higher than those associated with other types of siding.

There are a number of other varieties of siding to choose from to get the look and function you prefer. Additionally, you can choose a form of home siding that fits both your needs and your budget.

Franchise Business Consultants

For this week’s service spotlight, we’re highlighting a group of business consultants that specialize in franchises. Read on to learn more about what to avoid when buying a franchise business!

Avoiding Common Mistakes Made by Franchise Owners

A number of individuals dream of becoming their own boss. However, there are risks associated with exploring franchise opportunities, and people tend to make a lot of the same mistakes. Typically, the prospect of taking advantage of franchise opportunities is exhilarating. However, after the initial excitement wears off, reality sets in and stress levels rise. When it comes to franchise sales, there are a number of things to consider, and it can become quite daunting. Refusing to ask the right questions and face the stress head on is one of the worst ways to handle being a new franchise owner.

When this happens, there is a high likelihood that a lot of other mistakes will follow. It is inevitable and natural to make a few mistakes; however, consistently making huge mistakes can be disastrous. These sort of mistakes include not carrying out in-depth research, misunderstanding the franchise agreement and failing to have invaluable discussions with individuals who are already owners of the franchise you are interested in.

Below are some of the common mistakes made by individuals when purchasing a franchise business:

franchise mistakesNot Conducting Sufficient Research

Ignoring the needs of the area and just going for a trendy franchise is a major indication that the necessary research was not carried out. You have to conduct thorough research to determine whether there is truly a need and customer base for the business. Additionally, you must figure out if the location will be beneficial to growth and whether product sales are ideal for success.

Meticulous research can also help you to determine whether there will be any significant changes in the market that could positively or negatively impact the business. Even if the acquisition of a particular franchise business is something you are deeply passionate about, this is usually not enough to guarantee success.

It is extremely essential to take the necessary steps to ensure due diligence is conducted before accepting franchise opportunities at face value. In addition, you have to do an evaluation and determine if you will be able to personally invest time into growing the business. You must also be honest with yourself about whether proper funding is in place. It is also important to establish if there is adequate capital to sustain the business through the early stages of growth. Capitalizing on what you see as franchise opportunities, without taking the necessary steps to ensure the business is sound, often ends up being the biggest mistake made by franchise owners.

Misunderstanding the Franchise Agreement

The franchise agreement should be carefully and thoroughly reviewed by yourself and your lawyer. He or she should also give you legal advice about contracts such as real estate or lease agreements; these are integral aspects of becoming a franchise owner. To prepare for the consultation with your lawyer, write a list of the questions or concerns you have.

After getting advice from your lawyer, present the concerns and questions to the franchisor. Ensure any clarification you get is in writing. While changes to the standardized agreements are very unlikely, things can be added that would provide clarity and be beneficial to a franchisee. It should not be an impossible task for the franchisor to provide additional documentation to clarify any part of the agreement that you or your lawyer find confusing.

Not Engaging with Current Franchise Owners

A number of potential franchise owners have discussions about their intention to buy into franchise opportunities. They talk to friends, family members, business developers and lawyers. However, they totally forget to have a most essential discussion; one with a current franchise owner of the business in which they are interested. Current owners have in depth knowledge of that business and can provide priceless insight into many different aspects of the business. These include customer behaviors, market research and generating online sales.

Capitalizing on franchise sales is not something everyone should do. However, if the commitment is made to become a business owner, ensure you do your homework through thorough research. You also need to follow the model of the franchise in which you invested and be prepared to put in some hard work. In franchising, as in any other business, the harder you work, the more success you will have.

Financial Services

This week, we’re highlighting Call Federal Credit Union in Hanover VA. They are a local credit union that offers savings and checking accounts, credit cards, home mortgage loans, and vehicle loans. One of the most common questions they hear from customers is simply: What’s the difference between a credit union and a bank?

The Differences Between a Credit Union and a Bank

According to data from the Federal Financial Institutions Examination Council, there were 14,400 commercial banks during the first quarter of 1984. By the second quarter of 2015, this figure had dropped to 5,441 banks. Additionally, data from the Pennsylvania Credit Union Association shows there are 6,557 credit unions in the U.S. serving 100 million members and holding assets worth more than $1 trillion. While both these institutions offer financial services to the public, a credit union’s organizational structure and operations are largely different from that of a bank. Here is a detailed look at the differences between a credit union and a bank, as well as key reasons why you should choose the former:

Organizational Structure

Credit unions are based on a cooperative organizational structure. As such, they:

  • Are member-owned
  • Are not-for-profit financial institutions
  • Are comprised of members who have a say in day-to-day operations
  • Aim to promote savings culture
  • Improve credit access among members
  • Are democratically governed by volunteer boards of directors

Give this type of organizational structure, credit unions serve the interests of their members — not shareholders. In contrast, banks:

  • Are owned by shareholders
  • Have customers, not members, who have no vote in day-to-day operations
  • Are for-profit financial institutions

Unlike credit unions, the board of directors of a bank does not necessarily reflect a true picture of its customer base.

Risk Taking

Compared to banks, credit unions tend to be risk averse. This is largely because members can influence operational decisions. Moreover, CUs tend to focus on satisfying their members’ needs, not the needs of a few wealthy or institutional shareholders. For these reasons, CUs are not prone to business cycle risks or stock market and economic shocks similar to those that brought the U.S. financial system to its knees during the 2008 subprime mortgage crisis. In fact, data from the Credit Union National Association (CUNA) shows that loans extended to small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs) by credit unions stood at 17% in 2007 and dropped to 6.2% in 2010. Banks on the other hand cut SMB lending from 7.9% in 2007 to 9.3% in 2010. Risk aversion has also made CUs very prudent lenders. CUNA data shows that net loan losses (as a percentage of loans) has remained largely below 1% since 2007. The only exceptions were 2009 and 2010 when net loan losses hit 1.21% and 1.14% respectively. During the same period (2009-2010), banks registered net loan losses of 2.52% and 2.55%.

Fees

Credit unions generally charge lower fees that banks. CUNA figures show that credit unions collect $80 in fees from low-balance accounts and $42 from high-balance accounts annually. In contrast, banks charge customers with low-balance checking accounts $218 and those with high-balance accounts $90 per year. This means CU members can save more thanks to low account fees.

Loan Rates

When it comes to loan rates, credit unions trounce banks. Data published by Informa Research Services shows that CU credit card loan rates stood at an average of 11.8% in 2014. Across the U.S. banking industry, credit card loan rates stood at 15.9% during the same period. The interest rate on a four-year used auto loan stood at 2.78% in 2014 across the CU industry while banks slapped customers access the same loan with interest rates of 4.10%.

Savings Yields

Contrary to popular belief, CUs have better savings yields than banks. More data from Informa Research Services shows that a regular savings account at a CU yields 0.20% per annum while banks typically offer yields of 0.10% to consumers with similar accounts. A CU checking account earns interest on savings of 0.36% annually while the same account at a bank will earn 0.15% over the same period. If you are planning to invest in 1-year certificates, do so via a credit union. In 2014, 1-year certificate investors with CU accounts enjoyed yields averaging 0.48%. For investors who stuck to traditional banks, their ROI was much lower at 0.28%.

credit unionConclusion

Banks and credit unions differ a lot in terms of organizational structure risk, risk-taking culture, account fees, loan interest rates, and savings yields. Consumers interested in maximizing savings should keep their money in credit union accounts. If concerned about the financial stability of credit unions, it is worth noting that the CU industry has only had 156 institutional failures since 2008. Banks have registered 507 failures over the same period.

HVAC Repair

Are You and Your Heating System Ready for the Winter?

winter heating systemAutumn may have just begun, but that doesn’t mean it’s too early to start thinking about preparing your home for the cold winter weather lingering around the corner. As important to this time of year as pumpkins, chili cook-offs, fleece-lined boots, and bonfires is the condition of your home’s HVAC or heating system. Sure, with temperature highs hovering around a comfortable 72 degrees, your heating system may currently be your lowest priority – but you wouldn’t want to get stuck with an exorbitantly high gas bill or worse, a non-functioning furnace during the coldest part of the year.

As we approach the winter months, it’s critical to begin thinking about the two main functions of your heating system: that it works to keep you and your family warm, and that it works efficiently to keep your energy bill as low as possible. Here are some suggestions for ensuring that your home stays warm this coming winter, and that your heating system is operating at an energy-efficient, low cost level.

Check and Adjust Your Thermostat

Check to make sure that your thermostat is working properly, and replace the batteries if you need to. This should be one of the first places to turn to if you think your heating isn’t working, and should be an easy fix before you call a professional.

A great way to save money and energy is to adjust your thermostat. Lowering your thermostat by just one degree for eight hours each night while you sleep can save around 5% on your monthly energy bill in the winter. If you have a programmable thermostat, you can set it to keep your home 10-15% cooler during the day if no one is home. Many new thermostats let you adjust your home’s temperature even when you’re out of the house, using your smartphone.

Check for Leaks in Air Ducts

Leaks in your ductwork can waste your precious heated air and lower your HVAC system’s energy efficiency. Leaks can be sealed with mastic sealant or special metal tape – despite its name, duct tape is not effective in sealing leaks in your air ducts.

Have Your Furnace Inspected and Serviced

Getting your furnace checked by an HVAC professional will help to make sure that your system is performing in optimal condition in time for the cooler months. This is also a good time to replace your dirty air filters, which should be changed every 1-3 months to improve your indoor air quality and prevent energy waste.

If your furnace isn’t working, check your circuit breaker or pilot light prior to calling in the experts. If the specific breaker is tripped, see if flipping it back will work. If that doesn’t solve the problem, or if this happens again, be sure to call a professional. Aire Serv of Newark DE provides 24/7 HVAC service, so you’re covered even if you have an emergency at night.

Replace Your Old Furnace

Most furnaces have a lifespan of 15 years, and heat pumps typically have a life expectancy of 10 years. If you notice uneven heat distribution in your home, unusual sounds coming from your furnace, or abnormally high energy bills, it could be a sign that it’s time to replace your furnace. An HVAC system can be costly, but a worthwhile investment in the long run to save you money on monthly bills and to improve your home’s resale value if you’re considering selling in the future.

This fall, be proactive and make sure that your heating system is functioning appropriately before you and your family get stuck freezing with a broken furnace.

Day Care Services

Finding the Best Day Care for Your Child

day carePreschool is a very important part of a child’s development. It presents an opportunity for your child to be independent and make their own choices, as well as develop both socially and intellectually. Enrolling your child in a quality preschool or day care program can help to prepare them for kindergarten, while allowing time for you to work. That being said, private preschools and day care centers often come along with quite a hefty price tag. According to the National Association of Child Care Resource & Referral Agencies, the average cost to enroll your child in preschool can be anywhere from $4,460 to $13,158 for a year. For that kind of money, you want to be sure that your child is receiving an excellent education that will inspire their creativity and challenge them intellectually.

When you’re searching for a good day care, it’s not always the best practice to make your choice based on tuition cost alone. Of course you should be able to afford your child’s care program, but as a high quality preschool is bound to cost more than a low quality one, it’s necessary to take a look at these important qualities:

Meets Your Child’s Needs

This is the highest priority, as day care and preschool have an impact on your child’s cognitive and behavioral development. Consider what your child needs from the day care program and interview your prospective schools to see if they meet those needs. For example, does your child need more one-on-one attention, or do you think he would better benefit from a more social environment with more children? Does the school offer enough playtime or naptime for your child to be physically active and well-rested? Does the program’s disciplinary policy in line with your own?

You should also be sure that the school will meet his nutritional needs, especially if your child has any food allergies. Many day care centers don’t allow children to bring in candy – if the center permits sweets, you may not want to send your child there.

Meets Your Own Needs

Depending on your personal preference, you may want to place your child in a day care located near your home or near where you work. If you working into the evenings occasionally, you’ll want to make sure that you will be able to call and have them accommodate. When you call a prospective school, they will be able to let you know what their hours are as well as if they have a specific summer vacation schedule.

Excellent Teachers

When you’re away from your child during the day, it will be up to their teacher or caregiver to look after them and educate them. You want to make sure that your child’s teacher is someone that you can trust – so be sure to meet with him or her before you hand over any tuition money. Additionally, be sure to tour the school and look to see whether the teachers seem happy and enjoy their jobs, and that they keep their environments clean and safe for the children.

With younger children, consistency is vital. Ask the preschool director how long the teachers  or caregivers have worked there, and what their turnover rate is. Your child will ideally form a strong, positive relationship with his or her teacher, which won’t be possible if teachers frequently come and go.

Your Child Likes the School

Make sure that you’re not getting caught up in the logistics of the preschool. Though important, your primary focus is obviously your child. When you tour the facility, bring your child along and see how he or she takes to the surroundings. He may seem a little overwhelmed at first, but might get excited to see shelves full of books and toys, and the friendly faces of the teachers. This preschool in Independence MO, for example, features an “Exploratorium” that is bound to excite any child.

Finding the right day care can be quite a process. You can expect many phone conversations with prospective day care directors, many tours of different schools, and maybe a disappointment here or there if you have to be placed on a waiting list. No matter what, a quality preschool or day care program will adequately enrich your child and stimulate his intellectual development.

Home Cleaning

Is it Time to Invest in a Maid Service?

Contrary to popular opinion, house cleaning services are no longer just for the wealthy. Many people feel as though maid services are only for lazy or exceedingly rich people — but the fact of the matter is that in today’s world, numerous people find it difficult to find time to give their home as deep a clean as it needs and deserves. And if they can make the time to clean, cleaning typically comes at the expense of time that could be more preferably spent with loved ones. We all need a little help every now and then, and when it comes to the cleanliness of our homes and the well-being of our families, it’s important to consider receiving help with home cleaning.

Although hiring a maid service hardly requires justification, there are a number of valid reasons to consider cleaning assistance. If your answer to any of the following questions is “yes,” you may especially want to think about calling a home cleaning service. This way, you can leave the cleaning to the professionals, and spend more of your time doing the things you love with the ones you love.

house cleaningDo you have a busy schedule?


Many families require both parents to work full-time to support themselves
. This means that significantly less time is spent in the home cleaning. When one comes home after a long day of work, cleaning is often not a priority — and weekends are much better spent relaxing and having fun. Yet, most people would prefer to always come home to a clean living space. Coming home to a mess can be stressful, especially when you’d rather sit back and relax. If your schedule often leaves you tired at the end of the day and unmotivated to clean the house, regular cleaning appointments can help you feel relaxed and stress-free.

Do you have a newborn or young children?

Small children require a lot of attention — meaning less time and energy to clean for new parents and parents with multiple children. Keeping a clean home is important to parents, but is simply not always a possibility. Hiring a maid service to clean up once or twice a week can help lighten the load of busy and stressed-out parents.

Don’t have professional cleaning equipment?

Professional cleaners have access to special equipment like commercial vacuums and carpet extractors, and they also know the most effective (and safest) cleaning chemicals to use in your home. Certain chemicals can be toxic to your family’s health, and others can damage fragile surfaces such as porcelain and wood. If you’re in need of a deep clean, it might be best to leave the work to the professionals. With service backed by a guarantee, you’ll feel safe knowing that your home will be clean and healthy at the end of a cleaning appointment.

Everyone needs a helping hand every now and then — especially people who are busy with work and/or children. And these days, who isn’t busy and would much rather spend their free time relaxing in the sun instead of being trapped inside with the feather duster? Ask yourself if it’s time for you to finally consider hiring a maid service, and then give The Maid Crew a call for the best Richmond home cleaning services.

Why and How to Have the Cleanest Carpets

Especially if you have young children or pets, a lot of time gets spent playing around on the floor in your home. And every day, our shoes track in dirt, dust, and other nasty particles from the outdoors that you wouldn’t want coming into contact with your loved ones. So when it comes to your carpets, you want to make sure that they’re as clean as they can be. Unfortunately, regular vacuuming and the occasional spot cleaning aren’t enough to get rid of all of the dirt that builds up deep in your carpet’s fibers. And you’ll notice how, over time, your carpet loses that fresh, crisp look it had when it was brand new — instead it may appear dull and yellowed from dirt that might require more than just a vacuum to extract.

truck mountThat’s where professional carpet cleaning comes in. Professional cleaners are skilled to use and are equipped with heavy duty cleaning tools such as a truck-mounted carpet cleaner. These machines are mounted to the floor of the technician’s van, and include both a vacuum hose and a hose for the cleaning solution, which are led into your home. These technicians are professionally trained to use this equipment, and have the expertise to properly clean your carpets with the right cleaning products. A professional cleaning for your carpets will mean the extraction of stubborn dust and dirt particles, nearly impossible to do on your own. And with technicians who are knowledgeable about the different kinds of cleaning products, you can rest knowing that the solutions that are used will be safe around your children and pets.

But with so many different methods of carpet cleaning out there, and so many potentially toxic cleaning agents, how do you ch
oose a cleaning method that will be the best for both your carpets and your family’s health?

Because of their innovative approach to home cleanliness and family health, our choice for the leader in the carpet cleaning industry is Sahara Chem-Dry. These Las Vegas carpet cleaners offer their customers the best of both worlds with their unique carbonated hot water extraction method in combination with their patented, all-natural cleaning solution. Their method utilizes the power of carbonation to stir up the dirt that is lodged deep in your carpet’s fibers, and then along with the cleaning solution, gets vacuumed up with their truck-mounted vacuum. Unlike typical steam cleaning, Sahara’s method uses significantly less water, which means your carpets dry in only a couple hours, instead of a couple days. The amount of water used in conventional steam cleaning can also create mold growth in your carpets, which can be dangerous for your family.

If the cleanliness of your carpets isn’t already a concern for you and your family, you should consider having a professional carpet cleaner come by and take a look. Cleaner carpets will mean a healthier home for a healthier family.

Home Care for Seniors

Aging in Place

in home careDue to rising costs of assisted living facilities as well as the stigma associated with leaving one’s home to move into a nursing home, more and more seniors are choosing to stay in their own homes as they get older. Known as “aging in place,” seniors who choose to stay at home retain a sense of independence by remaining in the same house they’ve lived in for years, rather than leaving it to move into a facility. Although they are not living in a designated assisted living home, many seniors still receive care. This is typically a family member, such as a son or daughter, who takes on the role of caregiver. However, being a full-time caregiver for a family member, especially while working and having children to care for, can cause a lot of stress. That’s one reason why adult children often choose to hire an in-home care service to help care for elderly parents who are aging in place.

In-home care helps to lighten the load of family caregivers, allowing more time to spend interacting with their loved on instead of taking care of them. In addition to relieving some of the stress of family caregivers, hiring an in-home care service comes with several other benefits, including:

Flexibility

Home care offers a great degree of flexibility. Most care services, including this Charlotte NC home care provider, offer as much or as little help as you want and need. If your elderly parent needs help with getting up in the middle of the night to get to the restroom, many services offer overnight care. If you only need someone to come by a couple times a week to check in on your parent or help them with errands, shorter sessions are also typically available.

Greater Focus on Everyday Tasks

Non-medical in-home care is great for seniors who don’t require 24/7, round-the clock care, such as those with Alzheimer’s or dementia. Because there is less of a focus on health care, in home caregivers are better able to help with everyday tasks, like chores that involve bending or reaching, or even providing simple companionship. Home care can be an ideal source of assistance for seniors who simply need someone to help out around the house.

Cost

Although costs can vary depending on whether you hire a private caregiver or a caregiver through an agency, as well as the frequency of the caregiver’s visits, in home care can be a lot more cost-effective than an assisted living facility — especially if all your loved one needs is some help around the house. The AARP estimates that an assisted living facility can cost upwards of $70,000 annually, so for many seniors and their families, in home care may be their only viable option.

For seniors who are in need of help, it is important to understand the variety of options out there for elder care. Though assisted living facilities and retirement communities may be the most widely known form of senior care, other choices such as in-home care exist for those who don’t wish to leave their home and don’t require round-the-clock care. If you or a loved one is contemplating senior care, be sure to consider whether in-home care may be appropriate.