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    Line painting planned for next year as part of Oakmont’s pedestrian safety improvements – TribLIVE - October 13, 2020 by Mr HomeBuilder

    TribLIVE's Daily and Weekly email newsletters deliver the news you want and information you need, right to your inbox.

    About an hour ago

    An Oakmont pedestrian safety project, inspired by a traffic study and a borough Girl Scout, is planned for next year.

    Borough officials earmarked $40,000 in the 2021 budget for line painting for crosswalks along Allegheny River Boulevard and Allegheny Avenue.

    It is unclear how much painting could be done with that amount of money.

    The decision to improve the crosswalks was done after reviewing a traffic study by Wooster and Associates of Pittsburgh and a report from resident Audrey Myers, a ninth-grader at Riverview High School.

    I think she inspired us to move forward on it, and she has given us a wonderful tool to work with, Councilwoman Nancy Ride said. Were able to use it rather than doing our research with our own staff, and we thank her.

    Audrey examined about 120 intersections this past spring and noted the quality of the crosswalks and whether there were sidewalk ramps. Audrey also took photos of all of the intersections.

    She submitted her data to the borough in March. Officials put that data into an interactive dashboard for Oakmonts geographic information systems a few months later.

    According to Audreys report, 53 of the intersections examined had crosswalks while 61 only had sidewalk ramps.

    Out of those crosswalks, seven were listed in good condition, 20 in fair condition, 21 were poor and three earned mixed reviews.

    Myers is a member of Girl Scout Troop 52359 in Oakmont and Boy Scout Troop 9143 in Monroeville.

    Her efforts will go toward her Girl Scouts Silver Award.

    The traffic study was released a few months ago. It included an analysis of traffic along Allegheny Avenue, Third Street and Cedar Way from Hulton Road to College Avenue.

    The study showed several intersections were dangerous for walkers.

    We have a vehicle/pedestrian conflict in a lot of places, borough manager Scot Fodi said. If we did some improvements on signage and paint on the streets wed have a better chance of lessening the conflicts.

    Fodi said there were a lot of near misses this year and previous years, but no one was actually struck.

    Theres been no pedestrian incidents, he said. The accidents we are seeing at intersections happen to be driver incidents when they make bad judgments. If theres an accident along Third Street and Hulton Road, typically its a driver trying to push the envelope and try to cross when they shouldnt have.

    Wooster and Associates officials said most of the study data, such as how many cars travel throughout the borough, would likely be different now due to the covid-19 pandemic.

    The crosswalks are expected to eventually look like piano keys and be uniform on the main streets and mid-block intersections.

    Fodi said he plans to work with local contractors to find the best paint price. Bids could go out sometime in February.

    Michael DiVittorio is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Michael at 412-871-2367, mdivittorio@triblive.com or via Twitter .

    Categories:Local

    TribLIVE's Daily and Weekly email newsletters deliver the news you want and information you need, right to your inbox.

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    Line painting planned for next year as part of Oakmont's pedestrian safety improvements - TribLIVE

    Diego’s, a husband restaurant to Frida’s, opens tomorrow in University City – St. Louis Magazine - October 13, 2020 by Mr HomeBuilder

    The day has finally come, quips Natasha Kwan, co-owner of Diegos Mexican restaurant which opens tomorrow, It only took 22 months.

    Planning a restaurant, especially retrofitting an exciting one, is never easy because of the unknowns, and there were a lot of them, says Kwan regarding the former Momos Ouzaria Taverna. Our plan was to keep the walk-in and the hood, move the bar, do a little painting, and open the doors. Little did we know there was a disaster behind every wall. Contractors told us it was the top two of the worst projects theyd ever seen. Then in the middle of the prolongation, along came COVID-19.

    Opening a restaurant in the middle of the pandemic is risky, to be sure, but Kwan and Roloff were fortunate to be able to open utilizing 50 percent of the seating rather than 25. The look and layout of Diego's will evolve due to furniture and artwork delays, Kwan says, and patio seating and to-go service will become increasingly important. Regardless, she says, the response from pre-opening guests has been more than positive, with echoes of well worth the wait.

    Kwan and Roloff own a handful of several businesses in a (west-of-the-Loop) pocket of U City that includes Fridas, a vegetarian caf named after Kwans cat and as an homage to painter Frida Kahlo. She married a fellow painter, Diego Rivera, in 1927, and the name and culinary theme was a natural, says Kwan.

    A bright blue, orange, and green color palate matches the one at Museo Frida Kahlo (a.k.a. La Casa Azul), the artists childhood home. Homages to Frida and Diego are both obvious (prints on the wall) and hidden (check the mosaic tile in the window seats and the art on the patio walls). The script in the logo was built off of Diegos signature.

    The back bar is festooned with Mexican masks, the bar top has moveable dividers, and the bar face boasts a sea of Day of the Dead-themed tile. Liquor cubbies (where tequila and mezcal are both featured) are splashed with colorful ceramic tile, a theme repeated throughout the three-room cantina.

    Espolon is the house tequila and Montelobos supplies the mezcal (we want people to understand and recognize the difference, says Kwan). The former is base for an unconventional margarita, served in a pint glass and made with fresh lime juice, a touch of agave, and splash of orange juiceno Triple Sec or orange liqueur of any kind. The resulting quaff is brighter and thankfully, not cloyingly sweet.

    The cocktail list includes a selection of two margaritas on tap, $10 house and classic cocktails, and a flight of tequilas. Except for a $75 top, top shelf margarita, topped with Grand Marnier Cuvee du Centenaire (a blend of XO Cognacs aged up to 25 years combined with the essence of wild tropical oranges), there are no overwrought preparations. No 10-minute cocktails and no two-foot mixing spoons, says Kwan. I would rather my bartenders establish a rapport with the customer than spend that time crafting a cocktail with an egg white that took forever to froth. To me, tending bar is about knowing the customer and getting them a cocktail, fast.

    Those speedy cocktails are paired with street food-themed, small plates, featuring seafood and poultry, but no beef or pork. Its more about the seasoning and the sauce, rather than the choice of meat, says Kwan. Favorites are the tacos with grilled barramundi, chicken carnitas (pictured above), and grilled shrimp, served in a flavorful and just-thick-enough single corn shell.

    Recommended are the costras, traditionally a cooked disc of cheese that doubles as a surrogate taco tortilla. Here, the cheese is cooked onto the tortilla, and the result, served two ways, is memorable.

    Other options include tlayudas (like a thin masa pizza); sheet pan nachos, thoughtfully constructed in a single layer (not a heap); and the attention-grabbing queso flameado (think: Mexican saganaki), an homage to Chuck Paner, the late owner of the former Momos.

    Theres a dessert showstopper, too: grilled bananas with strawberries and caramel, dusted with cinnamon and a smidge of cayenne, an adaptation of a dish that intrigued Kwan.

    Knowing that tables at Mexican restaurants often get cluttered (chips, salsa water glasses, margaritas, plates, etc.), Kwan opted for more real estate at Diegos, which is all the more dramatic since theyre all made of different, hand-selected stonepink, gray, yellow, and quartzite (Rick and I share a mutual dislike for wooden tabletops, Kwan says).

    There are hanging gardens, a copper Mayan calendar, Mexican fishing baskets doubling as pendant lights, and kitschy coconut palm trees. Mexican tiles sweeping the archways cause guests to linger, just for a moment. Arriving soon are works from local artist Kevin Glazer and a print from Espolon, to be set in an 8-by-6 foot frame.

    In a nod to the times, Kwan and Roloff have pulled out all the stopsdividers, partitions, air scrubbers, stanchions, single use tableware, table carafes, and bags for masksto keep staffers and diners safe. Despite the current climate, we plan on being here a while and we have other things in the works," Kwan says. "A pandemic wont stop us building the community we have created in U City."

    Read the original post:
    Diego's, a husband restaurant to Frida's, opens tomorrow in University City - St. Louis Magazine

    Examining the Hardest Contractor JobsExamining the Hardest Contractor Jobs – Building Indiana - October 10, 2020 by Mr HomeBuilder

    Construction work can be brutal at times. Shake hands with a contractor if you ever need proof of that, but prepare for the possibility of damaged fingers. Tough work produces tough people, and its easy to tell when a person has worked a lifetime of hard work by the force of their grip. But out of all the different types of occupations in construction, which ones stand out as the hardest contractor jobs?

    Not all construction jobs are equal in terms of the effort they require, that much is for sure. Some are much, much harder than others. We took a look at several data sources to pin down some third-party perspectives about which jobs stand out among the hardest.

    In this review, were not necessarily looking at the riskiest jobs or ones most likely to encounter an injury, but rather which ones are the most physically demanding on employees every day. With that in mind, the following are several examples of what experts consider to be the hardest construction jobs out there.

    Sweat Index

    Its tricky to find any actual metrics regarding how difficult a particular job can be, because levels of difficulty are often subjective. But earlier this year, editors with Business Insider put together a pretty cool resource using data from the Occupational Information Network (O*NET), which is a database of occupational information developed for the public and for the U.S. Department of Labor.

    O*NET provides a lot of data on physical activities and strength requirements that people need in certain occupations, such as dynamic strength, explosive strength, time spent walking or running, stamina, and trunk strength. These are given a score between 1 (low) and 100 and those numbers were then averaged into an overall activeness score.

    Jobs mentioned in the report came from an array of industries, most of which were construction-related but several were not. For example, the most physically demanding job out of any category was dancers, which were ranked as requiring the greatest amounts of stamina, flexibility, and coordination. Athletes/Sports Competitors and Fitness Trainers/Aerobics Instructors came in at numbers two and three, respectively.

    Most of the list pertained directly to construction and maintenance jobs. The following were among the most physically demanding and are listed with their overall activeness scores:

    Perceptions Vs. Reality

    In another report from late last year, an interesting survey was published by an online construction industry lead-generation resource called CraftJack. The organization reached out to more than 1,600 contractors and more than 650 consumers to gain their perspectives on what they felt were the hardest jobs in construction. There was a bit over overlap between the two points of view, and some big differences.

    According to the survey results, Consumers and contractors agreed roofing and demolition are the most physically demanding trades. And while contractors voted carpentry as the third-most physically demanding trade, it barely cracked the top ten for consumers.

    This indicates there is a lot more exertion happening in construction than most consumers realize, which is likely attributable to average people having limited knowledge of what actually takes place on jobsites.

    As far as an informed audience goes, contractors themselves ranked the most physically demanding jobs as:

    Its worth noting that construction professionals had varying views of difficulty regarding jobs beyond their own specialties, but they share a mutual respect for some roles. For example, the authors pointed out that Contractors dont believe [jobs like] painting, carpet cleaning, and electrical work to be very physically demanding unless its their specialty. On the other hand, carpentry was equally saluted by both carpenters and non-carpenters.

    The survey also included some details about which construction jobs were the most difficult to master, when it comes to skill levels and training. In this subject area, the surveys responders had a much tighter consensus. They ranked Electrical, Carpentry, HVAC, and cabinets and countertops as the jobs that were the most difficult to master, generally uniformly across respondents.

    Sore Workers are Vital Workers

    It probably goes without saying that although many of the jobs listed in this article are really hard jobs, theyre also vital to our economy. After all, construction is an investment-driven industry. And as such, it contributes greatly to the overall growth of the country. If it werent for the tough men and women who were willing to endure difficult physical jobs, its likely that our whole way of life would be totally different.

    Although this article likely wont settle the debate among professionals about who works the hardest, it does provide a few baselines of comparison. At the very least, we hope it will add to the mutual respect shared by members of various trades, because they all work so incredibly hard.

    Go here to see the original:
    Examining the Hardest Contractor JobsExamining the Hardest Contractor Jobs - Building Indiana

    New! Datacolor ColorReader EZ The Portable Tool that Simplifies Matching, Selecting and Coordinating Colours – Property Community - October 10, 2020 by Mr HomeBuilder

    Datacolor, a global leader in colour management solutions, announces the launch of ColorReader EZ, the latest addition to the companys ColorReader family of products that includes ColorReader and ColorReader Pro for professional markets. The recommended retail price is 65 including VAT.

    The affordable new device incorporates the companys advanced colour technology in an easy-to-use tool designed for the consumer audience of home decor DIY enthusiasts. It simplifies the often challenging and time-consuming process of paint colour selection, such as finding wall and trim colours that coordinate, as well as selecting wall paint colours that complement existing dcor elements, tying the look of a room together.

    The portable, Bluetooth connected ColorReader EZ device works in conjunction with the ColorReader mobile app (available for both iPhone and Android). The ColorReader app displays the exact measurement data in CIELAB, Hex and RGB as well as the three closest paint colour matches from the most popular paint brands.

    In addition to the RAL and NCS colour standards, the app includes paint colour fan decks from Farrow & Ball or Sikkens and more for convenient access to up to 20,000 colours. ColorReader EZ also provides coordinating colours and suggested colour schemes, answering the question of What colour goes with this? immediately.

    Along with their matched colours, users can create colour palettes and effortlessly share these with paint retailers that offer online ordering and curbside pickup, as well as with paint contractors, architects, interior designers, family and friends. The greater level of colour confidence afforded by ColorReader EZ saves consumers time and money on reworks for colour errors. Whether its quickly finding a paint colour for a room refresh or finding the right shade to repaint an old dresser to match a childs room dcor, ColorReader EZ is a must-have tool for every project that includes colour decisions.

    The paint colour selection process can be a challenge for all of us, since so many factors can affect how we view colour. We wanted to bring a level of ease and colour-confidence to consumers with an affordable product that they would use whenever they needed to make a decision about colour. ColorReader EZ takes the guesswork out of selecting and coordinating paint colours. It lets you capture colour inspiration where you find it, with an accuracy you cant get from a smartphone image. Its easy to then bring that colour inspiration into your home dcor whether thats painting a wall or room to match your favourite sports teams jersey or finding which shades complement your prized plant collection, said Stefan Zrenner, Director of Sales & Marketing, Consumer Solutions, for Datacolor.

    To learn more about ColorReader EZ, visit ColorReader.Datacolor.com

    Disclaimer: The use of third-party trademarks is for identification purposes only and does not connote any affiliation with, or sponsorship or endorsement by, the respective trademark holders.

    Continued here:
    New! Datacolor ColorReader EZ The Portable Tool that Simplifies Matching, Selecting and Coordinating Colours - Property Community

    IRS reminds taxpayers of the home office deduction rules during Small Business Week – Williston Daily Herald - October 10, 2020 by Mr HomeBuilder

    WASHINGTON During Small Business Week, Sept. 22-24, the Internal Revenue Service wants individuals to consider taking the home office deduction if they qualify. The benefit may allow taxpayers working from home to deduct certain expenses on their tax return.

    The home office deduction is available to qualifying self-employed taxpayers, independent contractors and those working in the gig economy. However, the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act suspended the business use of home deduction from 2018 through 2025 for employees. Employees who receive a paycheck or a W-2 exclusively from an employer are not eligible for the deduction, even if they are currently working from home.

    Qualifying for a deduction

    There are two basic requirements to qualify for the deduction. The taxpayer needs to use a portion of the home exclusively for conducting business on a regular basis and the home must be the taxpayers principal place of business.

    To claim the deduction, a taxpayer must use part of their home for one of the following:

    Exclusively and regularly as a principal place of business for a trade or business

    Exclusively and regularly as a place where patients, clients or customers are met in the normal course of a trade or business

    As a separate structure that's not attached to a home that is used exclusively and regularly in connection with a trade or business

    On a regular basis for storage of inventory or product samples used in a trade or business of selling products at retail or wholesale

    The term "home" for purposes of this deduction:

    Includes a house, apartment, condominium, mobile home, boat or similar property

    Includes structures on the property, like an unattached garage, studio, barn or greenhouse

    Doesnt include any part of the taxpayers property used exclusively as a hotel, motel, inn or similar business

    Qualified expenses

    Deductible expenses for business use of home normally include the business portion of real estate taxes, mortgage interest, rent, casualty losses, utilities, insurance, depreciation, maintenance, and repairs. In general, a taxpayer may not deduct expenses for the parts of their home not used for business; for example, expenses for lawn care or painting a room not used for business.

    Claiming the deduction

    A taxpayer can use either the regular or simplified method to figure the home office deduction.

    Using the regular method, qualifying taxpayers compute the business use of home deduction by dividing expenses of operating the home between personal and business use. Self-employed taxpayers filing IRS Schedule C, Profit or Loss from Business (Sole Proprietorship) first figure this deduction on Form 8829, Expenses for Business Use of Your Home.

    Using the Simplified Option, qualifying taxpayers use a prescribed rate of $5 per square foot of the portion of the home used for business (up to a maximum of 300 square feet) to figure the business use of home deduction. A taxpayer claims the deduction directly on IRS Schedule C. Revenue Procedure 2013-13 (PDF) provides complete details of this safe harbor method.

    Daycare facilities

    Taxpayers who use their home on a regular basis for providing daycare may be able to claim a deduction for part of the home even if it is used as the same space for nonbusiness purposes. To qualify, both of the following requirements must be met:

    The business must provide daycare for children, people age 65 or older, or people who are physically or mentally unable to care for themselves.

    The business must have applied for, been granted, or be exempt from having a license, certification, registration, or approval as a daycare center or as a family or group daycare home under state law.

    Additional resources

    IRS Publication 587, Business Use of Home (Including Use by Daycare Providers)

    Form 8829, Expenses for Business Use of Your Home

    More:
    IRS reminds taxpayers of the home office deduction rules during Small Business Week - Williston Daily Herald

    Building Finishing Contractors Market Is Booming Worldwide | APi, Performance Contracting, Cleveland Construction and more – The Daily Chronicle - September 23, 2020 by Mr HomeBuilder

    The report offers a complete research study of the global Building Finishing Contractors Market that includes accurate forecasts and analysis at global, regional, and country levels. It provides a comprehensive view of the global Building Finishing Contractors Market and detailed value chain analysis to help players to closely understand important changes in business activities observed across the industry. It also offers a deep segmental analysis of the global Building Finishing Contractors market where key product and application segments are shed light upon. Readers are provided with actual market figures related to the size of the global Building Finishing Contractors market in terms of value and volume for the forecast period 2020-2026.

    The following Companies as the Key Players in the Global Building Finishing Contractors Market Research Report are APi, Performance Contracting, Cleveland Construction, Irex Corp Of Lancaster.

    Free Sample Report + All Related Graphs & Charts @ https://www.statsandreports.com/request-sample/361027-global-building-finishing-contractors-market-size-status-and-forecast-2019-2025

    North America is expected to hold dominant position in the global Building Finishing Contractors market, owing to increasing collaboration activities by key players over the forecast period.

    Market Overview of Global Building Finishing Contractors

    On the basis of product, this report displays the production, revenue, price, market share and growth rate of each type, primarily split into Drywall And Insulation Contractors, Painting And Wall Covering Contractors, Flooring Contractors, Tile And Terrazzo Contractors, Finish Carpentry Contractors and Others.

    On the basis of the end users/applications, this report focuses on the status and outlook for major applications/end users, consumption (sales), market share and growth rate for each application, including Utilities, Commercial, Residential.

    Geographically, The Building Finishing Contractors market report studies the top producers and consumers, focuses on product capacity, production, value, consumption, market share and growth opportunity in these key regions, covering: North America, Europe, China, Japan and others.

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    Major Players: The report provides company profiling for a decent number of leading players of the global Building Finishing Contractors market. It brings to light their current and future market growth taking into consideration their price, gross margin, revenue, production, areas served, production sites, and other factors.

    Building Finishing Contractors Market Dynamics: The report shares important information on influence factors, market drivers, challenges, opportunities, and market trends as part of market dynamics.

    Global Building Finishing Contractors Market Forecast: Readers are provided with production and revenue forecasts for the global Building Finishing Contractors market, production and consumption forecasts for regional markets, production, revenue, and price forecasts for the global Building Finishing Contractors market by type, and consumption forecast for the global Building Finishing Contractors market by application.

    Regional Market Analysis: It could be divided into two different sections: one for regional production analysis and the other for regional consumption analysis. Here, the analysts share gross margin, price, revenue, production, CAGR, and other factors that indicate the growth of all regional markets studied in the report.

    Building Finishing Contractors Market Competition: In this section, the report provides information on Competitive situations and trends including merger and acquisition and expansion, market shares of the top three or five players, and market concentration rate. Readers could also be provided with production, revenue, and average price shares by manufacturers.

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    Building Finishing Contractors Market

    Major Highlights of Building Finishing Contractors Market in Covid-19 pandemic covered in report:

    Market Competition by key manufacturers in the industry. Discussed Sourcing strategies, industrial chain information and downstream buyers data. Distributors and traders marketing strategy analysis focusing on region wise needs in covid-19 pandemic. Vendors who are providing a wide range of product lines and intensifying the competitive scenario in covid-19 crisis. Also highlights of the key growth sectors of Building Finishing Contractors market and how they will perform in coming years.

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    ** The market is evaluated based on the weighted average selling price (WASP) and includes the taxes applicable to the manufacturer. All currency conversions used in the creation of this report were calculated using a certain annual average rate of 2020 currency conversion.

    Crucial points encompassed in the report:

    Customization Available

    With the given market data, Researchers offer customization according to the companys specific needs. The following customization options are available for the report:

    Regional and country-level analysis of the Building Finishing Contractors market, by end-use.

    Detailed analysis and profiles of additional market players.

    About Us

    Stats and Reports is a global market research and consulting service provider specialized in offering wide range of business solutions to their clients including market research reports, primary and secondary research, demand forecasting services, focus group analysis and other services. We understand that how data is important in todays competitive environment and thus, we have collaborated with industrys leading research providers who works continuously to meet the ever-growing demand for market research reports throughout the year.

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    Stats and ReportsMangalam Chamber, Office No 16, Paud RoadSankalp Society, Kothrud, Pune, Maharashtra 411038Phone: +1 650-646-3808Email: [emailprotected]Website: https://www.statsandreports.comFollow Us on: LinkedIN | Twitter |

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    Building Finishing Contractors Market Is Booming Worldwide | APi, Performance Contracting, Cleveland Construction and more - The Daily Chronicle

    How to avoid common and costly home renovation mistakes – MarketWatch - September 23, 2020 by Mr HomeBuilder

    Many of us are spending more time at home in 2020, which could mean having more time to take on home improvement projects. But home renovations arent just a way to fill time; you want the results to be worth the hard work. The key to any successful project lies in careful planning including financial strategizing long before the power tools come out.

    Roughly 3 in 5 American homeowners (61%) have taken on home improvement projects since March 1, 2020, spending $6,438, on average, according to an August 18-20 NerdWallet survey conducted online by The Harris Poll among 1,414 homeowners.

    Whether youre outfitting your home with a new office or classroom, or taking on long-intended improvements such as painting or installing new flooring, here are five tips to help you make sure youre heading into the right project, the right way.

    Any project may be worth your time if doing it makes you happy, but if you plan tosell your homesoon, make sure you focus on projects that give a good return on your money. Many renovations cost thousands of dollars but wont increase the value of your home by the same amount.

    See: Which DIY home renovation projects could add the most value to your house and which ones to avoid

    For example, it costs about $50,000 to add a new bathroom, but homeowners typically recoup only about 54% of the cost in increased home value, according to Remodeling Magazines 2020 Cost vs. Value Report. A minor kitchen remodel, on the other hand, returns about 78% of its cost, so that type of project might make more sense.

    Consider calling local real-estate agents to ask them about the return you might receive from a home renovation project. Some local markets or neighborhoods may reward certain upgrades more than others.

    You dont want to run out of cash in the middle of a home remodeling project. But unless youre careful, your project may get more expensive while its under way. That nicer tile may add only $7 a square foot, but if your kitchen has 100 square feet of floor space, watch out! To avoid running short on cash, add up your expenses before you start the project. Then add 10% or 20% to the total to allow for cost overruns.

    To get an idea of how much youll have to spend on a specific project, look at what others have spent on comparable projects using aproject estimate calculatoror perusing sites like HomeAdvisor or Remodeling Magazine.

    Since March 1, 34% of homeowners who undertook home improvement projects used cash on hand to fund those projects, 25% used money they had saved for those projects specifically and 14% used money from their economic stimulus check, according to the NerdWallet survey. As long as these projects arent being funded to the detriment of more important expenses, using available cash or savings can be a good way to keep from paying interest on your home improvement project.

    If you have to finance your project, explore your funding options carefully. Among them are a home equity line of credit, a personal loan, a cash-out refinance or even credit cards. But they come at varying costs depending on the interest rate and how long it will take you to pay off the loan. Ahome improvement financing calculatorcan help you weigh these costs and make a savvy decision.

    If youve decided to hire a professional, get written estimates from different contractors. As those estimates roll in, check their references and ask about their credentials. At a minimum, make sure each contractor is properly licensed to do the work on your home. You can also ask about their membership in trade associations. Many reputable contractors belong to professional trade groups such as the National Association of the Remodeling Industry or the National Association of Home Builders.

    Also see: Im a 54-year-old widow. My fianc and I plan to renovate my home. Is that a good idea?

    A good contractor will guarantee the work and offer a warranty. You can check Better Business Bureau ratings to see if others have had complaints about companies youre evaluating. If there have been complaints, check to see how they were resolved.

    When you select a contractor, make sure you get your agreement in writing.

    Permits help protect your home and your safety. Without the necessary approvals to perform work on your property, theres a chance the renovation wont meet local building codes. It could even affect your ability to sell your home in the future. Contact your municipality for details about what permits you must have for your renovation project. And follow up to make sure your contractor has permits in hand before beginning the work.

    Youre probably planning to pay hundreds or thousands of dollars on a remodeling project. Its understandable to look for ways to save money, but dont automatically cut corners by using the cheapest materials.

    Talk to your contractor about the trade-offs between quality and price for your project. Youll probably be better off selecting the best-quality products that fit your budget. Otherwise, you could be stuck with having to make costly repairs after a few months because you skimped on quality.

    A home remodeling project can give a big boost to your homes aesthetics and market value if you avoid costly mistakes. By setting a budget, researching contractors and making sure your improvements use quality materials, you can help avoid expensive pitfalls and enjoy your homes new design.

    Survey methodology is available in theoriginal article, published at NerdWallet.

    More here:
    How to avoid common and costly home renovation mistakes - MarketWatch

    Who Qualifies for the Home Office Deduction Under the New Tax Laws? – CPAPracticeAdvisor.com - September 23, 2020 by Mr HomeBuilder

    Small Business Week, Sept. 22-24 is a good time for individuals to consider taking the home office deduction if they qualify. The benefit may allow taxpayers working from home to deduct certain expenses on their tax return.

    The home office deduction is available to qualifying self-employed taxpayers, independent contractors and those working in the gig economy. However, the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act suspended the business use of home deduction from 2018 through 2025 for employees. Employees who receive a paycheck or a W-2 exclusively from an employer are not eligible for the deduction, even if they are currently working from home.

    Qualifying for a deduction

    There are two basic requirements to qualify for the deduction. The taxpayer needs to use a portion of the home exclusively for conducting business on a regular basis and the home must be the taxpayers principal place of business.

    To claim the deduction, a taxpayer must use part of their home for one of the following:

    The term "home" for purposes of this deduction:

    Qualified expenses

    Deductible expenses for business use of home normally include the business portion of real estate taxes, mortgage interest, rent, casualty losses, utilities, insurance, depreciation, maintenance, and repairs. In general, a taxpayer may not deduct expenses for the parts of their home not used for business; for example, expenses for lawn care or painting a room not used for business.

    Claiming the deduction

    A taxpayer can use either the regular or simplified method to figure the home office deduction.

    Using the regular method, qualifying taxpayers compute the business use of home deduction by dividing expenses of operating the home between personal and business use. Self-employed taxpayers filing IRS Schedule C, Profit or Loss from Business (Sole Proprietorship) first figure this deduction on Form 8829, Expenses for Business Use of Your Home.

    Using the Simplified Option, qualifying taxpayers use a prescribed rate of $5 per square foot of the portion of the home used for business (up to a maximum of 300 square feet) to figure the business use of home deduction. A taxpayer claims the deduction directly on IRS Schedule C. Revenue Procedure 2013-13 (PDF) provides complete details of this safe harbor method.

    Daycare facilities

    Taxpayers who use their home on a regular basis for providing daycare may be able to claim a deduction for part of the home even if it is used as the same space for nonbusiness purposes. To qualify, both of the following requirements must be met:

    See the article here:
    Who Qualifies for the Home Office Deduction Under the New Tax Laws? - CPAPracticeAdvisor.com

    Its done! Heres a behind-the-scenes look at the restoration of Eastons iconic steeple, clock tower – lehighvalleylive.com - September 23, 2020 by Mr HomeBuilder

    Whats old is new again.

    First United Church of Christs steeple and clock tower has been successfully restored, after crews began the process back in early August.

    Saturday night, the church marked the completion of the $125,000 restoration with a steeple lighting celebration, including a private gathering for VIP donors in the courtyard, followed by lighting up the newly restored steeple and clock tower.

    In 2017 the church conducted a study of the condition of the steeple and tower and concluded that all of it needed to be addressed including the clocks, lighting, finials and nine chimes.

    The clocks havent worked for years and the 1916 brass gear clock controller was not operational.

    The church needed to raise the money for the restoration, so they sought several grants at the state and county levels. But none came through. The church then focused on donations.

    Our church membership and community members who value the history of our church and steeple were very responsive to fund this project, said Doreen Arnold, Chair of Steeple Restoration Committee. So far the committee has raised $117,800 in donations and commitments.

    The church has been serving the people of Easton and Phillpsburg since 1745. The steeple was erected in 1833, and has some historical significance.

    The churchs steeple was designed in the Greek Revival style by architect Thomas Walter, who was the architect associated with the Capital Dome in D.C. and the Academy of Natural Sciences building.

    The bells in the steeple were rung for several historical occasions, including the death of Abraham Lincoln, the 1876 U.S. Centennial, the end of WWII, the assassination of John F. Kennedy and the midnight turn of two centuries, 1900 and 2000.

    The steeple and clock tower were last restored in 1971.

    Crews started pressure washing, chipping and sanding the exterior early this August. Gordon Bennett Painting, Elderhorst Bells Inc. installed new clocks and repaired the bells; and Zdepski Fine Woodworking created new finials.

    But, as with any project, there were obstacles along with way.

    As donations were flowing in, Arnold remembers celebrating when they reached their first big milestone of $10,000. Then COVID hit, and all the donations came to a halt.

    Thats when we pushed out a strong social media campaign. Through hundreds of small donations from the community and our members, we were able to inch closer to our goal.

    "As the actual work began, people started to believe it was really going to happen, and thats when we finally reached the $100,000 mark, said Arnold.

    One interesting find during the project, Glenn Kanaley, a steeplejack with Gordon Bennett Painting, counted 76 balusters around the clock tower. No one is quite sure the significance of the number or if there is one, but given the fact 1776 is the year of Americas independence and the Declaration of Independence has a connection to Easton, Kanaley and others involved in the project said they find it quite interesting.

    In mid August, priming and painting was well underway. New clock arms were constructed and new bell strikers were installed. New finials had to be produced from the one remaining decorative finial. The damaged original, carved from solid wood, was repaired and used to create a wax mold that was then cast using fiberglass to replicate the original finials. Arnold explained.

    The second and third weeks of September noticeable changes happened. New LED lighting was installed, new painted finials were put in position and the final coats of paint were lathered on.

    Arnold said she is excited the project is finally done.

    I am bursting with pride. As I watched the transformation of this beautiful historic steeple and clock tower each day, the dream slowly became a reality, not only for me but for the Easton community, who cherish its value and beauty as part of the Easton skyline.

    From the start, she has been documenting the restoration process, taking photos and videos for their social media. I didnt want to miss one thing so I came down every day to snap pictures or chat with the contractors. The process has been as exciting as the finished product.

    "Such a majestic piece to view, highlighting the city, for all to enjoy, Arnold said.

    Please subscribe now and support the local journalism YOU rely on and trust.

    Saed Hindash may be reached at shindash@lehighvalleylive.com.

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    Its done! Heres a behind-the-scenes look at the restoration of Eastons iconic steeple, clock tower - lehighvalleylive.com

    Troy Promotional Agency Launches New Name And Rebrand To Serve Businesses Seeking To Blossom | newkerala.com Business World – New Kerala - September 23, 2020 by Mr HomeBuilder

    PRN | 19 hours ago

    The new name comes from the Greek word Kairos, which means the right moment or time. Besides the name, the company has launched a new logo and website that reflects Coleman's goal of helping business blossom.

    Our name has changed but not our values, said Coleman, who has a MAS designation (Master Advertising Specialist), an industry certification awarded to promotional professionals who meet rigorous industry requirements. Our intent is to assist companies in accomplishing their business goals, helping them to stay top of mind with customers and prospects and helping employees stay excited and engaged.

    Coleman is a member of the Promotional Products Association International (PPAI) and the Michigan Association for Female Entrepreneurs.

    Kairos will continue to target potential clients in many sectors, including software firms and radio stations, as well as companies who want to remain visible to customers or who want to show appreciation to their employees. The firm has also worked with a number of area businesses, including painting contractors and HVAC firms seeking a uniform look for their teams in the field.

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