How to Choose the Right Painting Contractor

Not a lot of people think they need professional painting services. Many people, even in Singapore, approach painting as a do-it-yourself project. However, painting isn’t as easy as it looks. There are many things you will need to consider such as the primer, making sure your paint has a smooth finish and making sure that your paint color is even. Not to mention, painting mistakes can be very expensive.

The wrong type of paint on the wrong type of material could mean hundreds of dollars going down the drain. Unless you’re a seasoned painter, hiring a painting contractor can save you a lot of time, effort, and money. But with all the contractors you could hire in Singapore, how do you find the best painter for your house or HDB?

There are many factors that you should consider when hiring a painting contractor. You should consider your budget, the number of surfaces that need painting, the shade and type of paint that you want to use, and the time you could dedicate to the home or HDB painting service. The best painter can keep all of these things in mind while making sure that the quality of your condo painting is the best that it can be.

But before you can make any large decisions about your painting contractor, it’s helpful to understand what a painting contractor does. First, a painting contractor can work under a company as a sub-contractor. These contractors can cost more than contractors who can be hired directly, but they also come with more benefits since they are well-knowledgeable about ideal home wall paint in Singapore and most likely in other countries as well. Because these contractors bring the name of a company with them, it means that they have added certification, and you are more secure if you choose to hire them for your condo painting.

Now, here are some tips on making sure that you’re picking the right painting contractor for you.

1. Make sure your contractor has contracts and licenses

When choosing through the many painting contractors in Singapore, the most important thing you should consider are their contracts and licenses. If your contractor is a part of a larger company, you are more protected from legal matters. However, you can still safely hire contractors directly, so long as you make sure you understand all the legal parts of the contract.

Before hiring a contractor, remember to check their licenses and insurance. You wouldn’t want to get into legal trouble that you could have easily avoided. An insurance policy means that if any accidents happen during the time that they’re on your property, you are not liable for any damages.

2. Talk about preparation work

Inexperienced painting contractors may underestimate the importance of preparation work, but not properly preparing a surface can mean a bad quality in the end-product. Preparation work can mean many different things, and its specifics would depend on the room that needs painting.

Generally, preparation means light sanding of the surfaces that should be painted, as well as covering floors and other areas like floors and countertops. It usually also includes removal of other materials protruding from surfaces that should be painted on, such as nails and electrical plates. Sometimes, it may include moving heavy furniture out of the way, to make space for painting supplies and materials. However, your painting contractor will generally do only minor preparations and will assume that the room will be ready for painting unless discussed in a prior arrangement.

3. Get a formal estimate

Getting a formal estimate for your condo painting or HDB painting service from www.idealcolours.sg in Singapore can help you understand the project’s overall costs. If you’re on a budget, this can be especially important as you can negotiate and lower the costs. Formal estimates also include the scope of the project, the materials they will use, the amount of prep work they will do, the estimated time, and finally the cost. To make sure that your estimates hold water, it should be given to you on an official document, instead of being hastily written on the back of a receipt or a business card.

4. See if they have enough knowledge

Before hiring a painting contractor, it would be best to ask them some initial questions about the project. This can help you gauge their knowledge and experience in their job. You can ask questions and recommendations, such as materials and techniques. Of course, knowing a little bit about the technicalities and jargon of painting services can help, but a lack of knowledge doesn’t have to be a hindrance. The best painter can explain to you their methods without resorting to technical jargon.

5. Guarantees

Along with all the other legal documents that you would need to consider when hiring a painting contractor is the warranties that come with the service. You should make sure that you have a legal recourse should you need to have the painting service fixed for any reason. While your contractor may offer their own warranties, you should also include the warranties that come from paint manufacturers. You should also make sure that your contractor uses reputable manufacturers, as you can be more secure with their guarantees.

6. Consider more than one contractor

Considering more than one contractor can greatly increase your chances of finding the right one for your project. It’s generally a good idea to consider at least three different contractors. Ask the same questions to each of them and go in with the same expectations, keeping in mind your budget and vision. Then, once you receive their quotations, compare all proposals and make sure to weigh the cost, time, scope and prep work, including legal details like their insurance and documentation, as well as what is included in their painting services.

What Should You Look for in Commercial Laundry Services?

With so many choices when it comes to commercial laundry services, how do you know you have found the right one? Here are pointers to remember when looking for the right laundry pick up or laundry delivery, wash and fold, and dry cleaning laundry services in Singapore.

Considerations for a Laundry Service

Professional commercial laundry services are not only useful for busy households, but it’s also a practical option for commercial businesses in Singapore. Therefore, you need to choose a reliable laundry service that will meet all your needs. Look for the following requirements in a commercial laundry services shop:

1. Professional Equipment – Not only should a laundry delivery and laundry pick up service in Singapore like laundry first dry cleaning be able to handle demands for washable items, but they should also have the right equipment for dry cleaning, steaming, pressing, ironing, mending, and folding clothes. Most modern washers used in commercial laundry services nowadays are safer, efficient, and sustainable, that is why you should pick only the laundry service shops that use fewer resources and safe chemicals that will not be harmful to the environment.

2. Excellent Customer Service – The laundry service staff should be friendly and ready to answer your questions. After all, you’re entrusting your personal items to them, so they must be reliable and knowledgeable about their tasks. If you own a business, make sure that they can handle the professional demands of your business for hygiene, quality, and timeliness of their services. They should also provide a clear list of their services and prices, so that there are no surprise charges later.

3. Variety of Laundry Services – Most laundry service customers are too busy to do their own laundry, which is why the commercial laundry services in Singapore should offer a variety of services for both individual customers and businesses. The services should include standard wash and fold, dry cleaning, spot-treatment, steam-cleaning, uniform laundry, pressing or ironing, laundry for spa, and laundry delivery. They should also be willing to tailor services according to your needs, especially if it’s a hotel or restaurant business. A 24 hour laundry like http://www.laundryfirst.sg/ in Singapore is also ideal for these types of businesses, so you will never have to worry about interruptions in your daily operations.

4. Reliability and Guarantee of Service – Don’t hesitate to look at reviews online of the commercial laundry services shop, especially from first-time customers. If you own a business, you should ask for recommendations from your colleagues about the types of laundry service offered. A reliable laundry shop should also offer guarantees of quality of their services in case the items are lost or damaged during the cleaning process.

5. Certificates and Permits – Lastly, look for permits and certifications associated with a commercial laundry business in Singapore. The shop must adhere to the strict requirements of the handling and disposal of detergents and dry cleaning solvents. If the commercial laundry service offers services for restaurants, hotels, and hospitals, you should look for hygiene certifications that will ensure you’re getting clean and disinfected items.

5 Common Methods to Make Your Home Pest-Free

Do you find yourself locked in a constant struggle to get rid of cockroaches or are you in a losing battle to exterminate rodents that seem to always find ways to evade your traps? Pest control management can help you come up with fast and safe solutions through a thorough assessment of the problem. However, if you are hesitant about the methods used by pest control services, remember that the pest control management company uses not just one but a variety of methods to terminate pest.

Pesticides

Pesticides make from chemicals that target specific pests can be used to get rid of cockroaches, bugs, flies, and to eliminate termites. Your pest control services from Singapore might spray specially-formulated chemicals in your home to control the number of pests. Although this is the most common and fastest method to eliminate pest, it also comes with its own problems. Some pests could develop resistance to the chemicals and beneficial insects such as bees and butterflies could be affected.

Trapping

Small mammals such as rodents can be eliminated by setting traps such as live, snap, electronic, ultrasonic, and glue traps. This method, however, can only exterminate rodents if the pest infestation isn’t significant. Trapping also works with insects by baiting them and using natural traps. To eliminate flies for example, the pest control management team will use bottle traps and vinegar and dish soap traps besides the usual fly traps.

Natural Products

If pesticides are not a viable option for your family, ask the pest control services for natural alternatives made from safer sources. These natural pesticides are also effective because they target specific pests, but they do not harm other species. For some bugs, many pest control services will likely encourage you to use bug repellent natural products that act like poison to the pests.

Space Fumigation

This is a common method to terminate several pests such as mosquitoes, cockroaches, and ants in all life stages. However, it can also be complicated if done in an apartment complex because the area needs to be sealed or covered before the gas can be used. To be effective, the gas must be trapped in the space for at least 24 hours. The treatment can also last for several sessions if the space needs to be treated with other pest products.

Baiting

Baits can be used to attract pests and eliminate them. To get rid of cockroaches for example, a poisoned food is placed in areas near hiding places until their numbers are significantly lowered. Cockroach bait such as gels and boric acid can also be used, but these are not recommended if you have children and pets at home. Termite colonies can also be baited using wet cardboard, while bait stations with rodenticides are also known to be effective when you need to exterminate rodents.

Pest control services from Singapore like www.pestdestroyer.sg may recommend doing any or a combination of these methods to help maintain a pest-free home after the treatment, so make sure to follow through.

12 Electrical Problems You Should Watch Out For

Problems with your home’s electrical works potentially lead to bigger problems that can place the entire family in danger. While some minor problems can be solved without having to call a licensed electrician in Singapore, other issues need the expertise of a professional electrician.

1. Flickering Lights

If you just replaced a faulty light in your home but there are still no improvement, the problem could be more serious than just a used up light fixture. Flickering lights might just be one of the signs, but the appliances are also affected by problems in your home’s electrical works. For example, watch out for dimming lights in the refrigerator, the air conditioner, or other appliances with lights whenever you turn on another electrical appliance. A licensed electrician from Singapore will be looking for such signs when doing the inspection before any repair can commence.

2. Electrical Circuit Breaker Trips

Is your circuit breaker tripping more often lately? Maybe it cannot handle the wattage that you require and needs to be upgraded to meet your demands. Before moving into a new apartment, ask an electrician to inspect the circuit breaker to determine if it can handle all your energy needs.

3. Few Electrical Outlets

Do you use a lot of power strips at home, creating tangles of cables on the floor and walls? You might set the house on fire if you continue such practice. The best solution is to hire a good electrician in Singapore who will determine how many outlets you can have installed so that you do not work your electrical system beyond its capacity. If it is an old home, for example, there’s a good chance your electrical system is already harbouring some risky problems. A thorough inspection by a professional electrician will solve this problem.

4. Plugs Are Not Grounded

Perhaps it is time to call a licensed electrician to inspect your plugs to determine if they are grounded properly. Modern homes nowadays should have outlets that will accept three-prong plugs that are grounded. The electrician should be able to install a new grounded plug to make sure your home safe for your family.

5. Old Wire Insulation

Old homes need to be inspected by an electrician before being moved in to determine if there are problems that have been overlooked by the previous owner or the apartment manager. For example, some old wires may need to be replaced if their insulation has been worn out, because you could get electrocuted if you are not careful. Replacing old, worn-out wires is cheaper than hospital bills and structure renovations.

6. Warm Switches and Outlets

If you notice any electrical switches, plugs, and other nearby surfaces are warm to the touch, do not use these anymore as it indicates that they need to be replaced or upgraded because its circuit has reached its capacity. This problem is common in old homes that have not been inspected by an electrician for years. If it is a home built with aluminum electrical wiring for example, a regular check by an electrician services company is needed to ensure its safety.

7. Rusty Service Panel

If you notice that the service panel is slowly rusting over, it indicates a serious problem that needs immediate attention from a licensed electrician in Singapore. Its deterioration could cause problems with the wiring inside and might also affect the rest of the electrical works at home. Perhaps it is time to upgrade and replace some of the wirings and connections because they are worn out and old. Homes that are older than twenty-five years need to be up-to-date with the standards in electrical works.

8. Expensive Electrical Bills

Changes in your electrical bills could indicate a problem in your electrical works that you might have not noticed. Perhaps the problem could be that you are not using energy efficiently at home, but if you cannot determine the source of the problem, you should call an electrician to pinpoint the cause. Maybe your old appliances need to be replaced or your electrical wiring must be upgraded to be energy-efficient.

9. Exposed Wires

Exposed wires are fire hazards that should not be ignored even if your electrical works seem to be working fine. If you have just renovated or repaired your home, make sure that you consult a licensed electrician in Singapore to inspect any damage to the electrical wiring. Exposed wires should be spliced, covered, or attached to your home’s structural framing properly.

10. Odor from Receptacle or Switch

Your switch and plugs should not emit any odor because it could start a fire. Stop using the plug or switch, then call a professional electrician in Singapore like http://www.powermax.com.sg/ to find the source of the smell and attend to any electrical problems that could be causing the odor. The switch or receptacle might also have to be replaced if it is defective.

11. Receptacles Won’t Hold

If you have just moved into a new apartment in Singapore, you need to make sure that there are no problems in the outlets, lights, and switches. Old units for example, need upgrading after a thorough inspection. Observe if the insulation in the wires come off every time you plug or unplug a switch. Do the plugs’ receptacles hold if you plug in an electrical appliance? Are there bits of rubber on the switch covers? The wires should be replaced by a licensed technician to keep the home same for your family.

12. Too Many Appliances

Maybe you do not have problems in your home’s electrical wirings, plugs, and switches but you are using more energy than your circuit panel can handle. Hire an electrician to inspect the outlets and circuit panel to determine the best possible solution.

You should only trust a licensed electrician in Singapore to address these problems, especially in older homes that might have more problems that you have overlooked. The best electrician services companies will be able not just to solve these problems, but will also make the home safer by keeping up with the updated electrical standards and demands.

The 8 Roles of a Property Manager

Are you planning to hire a managing agent in Singapore for your real estate properties? Knowing what the responsibilities are in property management can help you maximize your returns for such an investment. Estate maintenance cover four areas of responsibility to keep the business running; these are administration, marketing and finances, tenancy, and facilities. These responsibilities are further divided into the following eight tasks.

1. Property Maintenance

Estate maintenance involves the responsibility of keeping the facilities in good condition with regular inspection, troubleshooting, and minor repairs. However, if you own other businesses or you cannot supervise your properties, the upkeep of the facilities can be a stressful task.

Hiring a property management at Singapore will ensure that your properties get regular servicing from trusted contractors to avoid major repairs that will cost more money. They will also have connections with contractors in Singapore in case the property needs repairs or renovations. The condo manager will make sure that all the repairs and other projects are finished on schedule to avoid interruptions in the daily operations.

2. Employee Supervision

The managing agent assigned by the property management office can act as your representative when hiring, training, and supervising your in-house employees. They can perform the background checks and interviews on your behalf to make sure that you will only hire the best workers. You can also delegate the task of handling the salaries and the right to fire an employee. Instead of talking to you directly in case there are any concerns, the employees can speak to the property manager instead and make the reports to you later.

3. Tenant Management

Besides making sure that your apartment units have shorter vacancy cycles and finding long-term lease contracts, the tenant condo manager can also check all applicants and manage the existing tenants to make sure there are no problems. The property management team has all the resources and knowledge in handling different customers and the means to screen the applicants for credit records, criminal records, tenancy history, and other related information.

They can also provide a buffer between you and your tenants if they are given the responsibility of enforcing lease agreements and evicting troublesome tenants. The property manager is the authorized point of contact for all your tenants, so that there will always be one person who can deal with complaints, questions about the leases, vacancy notices, emergencies, and evictions.

4. Leasing Contract

An estate maintenance agent is not only skilled in customer service but is also an expert in real estate. This means that they will have more resources to help you come up with fair lease contracts that will be attractive to prospective tenants but will also bring in more profits for you. They can also come up with marketing and advertising strategies in case you have vacancies.

Most landlords/landladies fail to take into consideration the fair price of the monthly rent because they do not have the experience and training, but a managing agent can come up with solutions based on the average rates in the area, the trends in real estate, and estimating the value of each unit.

5. Rental Collection

One the major responsibilities of estate management is to make sure that the rents are collected on time. However, there will be tenants who will have problems with the rent, a task that some landlords don’t have the ability to deal with fairly. If collecting rent is stressful for you, a managing agent can act as your representative to collect and adjust rents. Not only are they equipped with good communication skills, they are also experts in renting costs and market value to attract more tenants. It will also spare you from having to deal with problematic tenants yourself, so that you can focus on other things.

6. Financial Reporting

As the responsible party for rent collection, the property management team will also help you in managing the finances related to your properties. This will ensure that your properties will always have a higher value in the market as well as keep up the maintenance and repair costs. Your condo estate manager can help you compute the deductions for taxes, daily expenses, monthly bills, and the salaries of your in-house employees. The reports will tell you if your business is doing good or if it needs improvement in specific areas.

7. Additional Paperwork

Besides managing your tenants, employees, and financial reports, the managing agent is also your go-to expert if there are paperwork and budget reports that need to be completed. If you set a monthly budget for the maintenance and upkeep of your real estate, the property management team must make sure that the money is used honestly and judiciously by keeping records. If there are any areas in property management that you are not familiar with, such as taxes, leasing contracts, and laws related to real estate, the estate manager can help you deal with these problems.

8. Risk Management

Estate maintenance means that record-keeping must be meticulous to avoid liabilities. It is a sensitive task because it deals with making money on behalf of a landlord as well as dealing with tenants through an agreed lease contract. The goal is to make the interests of these two parties meet, so that both are happy and satisfied with the relationship. The managing agent must be skilled when it comes to risk management when handling the budget, receipt of payments, management of funds, paying monthly expenses, and even looking for contractors in Singapore to complete projects and repairs.

Going Green: How to Optimize Your Aircon Usage

While Singapore tends to be a hot and humid country, none of this should deter you from living an eco-friendly life. Here are a few tips to help you beat the heat while minimizing the cost to your budget, and the environment.

1. Ensure air flow

One of the things that people often ignore when installing aircon units is the air flow in a room. Simply put, aircon units need good airflow for it to optimally cool down a room. For it to do this, make sure that there aren’t any objects that are directly in front of your unit. Also note the items inside your room. Make sure that there aren’t objects that are directly in front of your unit.

You could do other things to make sure that your room is well ventilated. For example, you may choose to close the windows in the afternoon to stop the heat from getting in, and open it up again in the evenings when the temperatures outside are cooler. You could also invest in energy-efficient window coverings or curtains that won’t let the heat in. You could also choose to tint your windows, which can help you keep sunlight out. Call a cheap aircon servicing from Singapore to help you check whether your home has optimal airflow for your aircon function efficiently.

Another thing that you could do to ensure ventilation is using a fan. Fans do not have a large energy consumption and can help move the air around in a room. With a fan, your aircon unit does not have to work as hard to cool an entire room.

2. Optimize your thermostat

Since most aircon units are often designed to change a set temperature, one of the most important aspects of your aircon is its ability to determine the temperature in a room. To optimize your thermostat, you should make sure that it is in an optimal location. Keep your thermostat away from any objects that produce heat. This can include objects like lamps, or appliances like the back of televisions. Also, make sure that your thermostat isn’t in a location with direct sunlight. Making sure that your thermostat is giving you an accurate reading can help you optimize your aircon usage.

3. Put your aircon in a suitable location

All electronics need to be kept in a suitable environment that is neither too hot or too cold. Otherwise, they would require an excessive amount of power to do its job, causing you to spend more electricity. Keeping your aircon in the shade can help it run more efficiently since it can be kept cool.

Covering your aircon can make sure that it is kept clean and free of foreign debris, but make sure to remove the cover before removing it. Covering the aircon would make it heat faster, causing it to use more electricity.

4. Insulate

Insulate your area to make sure that cold air stays in and hot air stays out. You should put insulation in your attic or ceiling. Also, make sure to pad your walls. There are several wall paddings available in Singapore, and some of them even double as a sound-proof barrier.

Make sure to seal all cracks and openings in your room. Cracks can usually be found around windows and doors. Also, remember to seal ducts. You may seal them yourself using a caulking agent, or contact a utility company.

5. Automate

If you tend to stick to a regular schedule, you could automate the time your aircon should operate. This is especially helpful if the aircon is being used for an establishment.

Try to turn off your aircon unit when you are not in the room. For those who do not want to come home to a hot room, you could simply close all the windows curtains to trap the cold air in. Chances are, the room wouldn’t be too hot when you come back. To really save on your electricity bill, you could turn off your aircon unit in the evenings, and simply open the windows to let the cold air in.

6. Optimize your appliances

One of the things that you should consider are the other things that generate heat inside the airconditioned room. Remember that appliances emit heat, some more than others. Try to limit the number of appliances running, especially those that emit a lot of heat.

Also, remember that light fixtures emit heat. Incandescent light bulbs generate more heat than its modern counterparts. Make sure to turn off any light fixtures that you do not need, and consider switching to more efficient lighting fixtures, such as LED and CFL light bulbs.

7. Contact a professional

Make sure to keep your aircon regularly maintained. You may choose to do the aircon maintenance yourself or have it be done by an aircon expert in Singapore like www.airconmaster.sg to guarantee quality maintenance every time. There are many tutorials that could guide you online, should you choose to maintain your own unit. However, you can be sure that your aircon unit gets fixed properly if you contact an aircon servicing provider. There are also a few things that only a licensed aircon servicing provider could do to maintain your aircon unit. Remember to have your unit checked before the summer months to ensure that would not need aircon repair at an inconvenient time.

8. Replace your unit

If all else fails, perhaps your unit is simply outdated. There are a lot of newer, more efficient models on the market available in Singapore that can help you make sure that your area is kept cool, without sacrificing electricity consumption.


*This list is compiled in no particular order.*