Repairs: 10 Mistakes that Most People Make

Choosing the Right Foundation Repair Contractor

Foundation work is hardly a do-it-yourself project, so it makes a lot of sense to get three licensed contractors no less to give you a thorough proposal, including an assessment of your needs. On average, an inspection runs for about two hours. Here are tips to help you find a reliable foundation repair contractor:

1. Get a bird’s eye view of foundation repair.

Ask questions, read and educate yourself on foundation processes. Don’t decide based on advertising or pricing. If something sounds too good to be true, it likely is.
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2. Select a contractor with foundation repair processes assessed by the International Code Council Evaluation Services.
9 Lessons Learned: Repairs

The job of the ICC-ES, a nonprofit organization, is to ensure code compliance of building products.

3. Find a contractor that has a clause for hydraulic piling depth (usually 20 to 30 feet).

Beyond this depth, there is probably an added charge, which could be anywhere from $20 to $30 per foot. Be careful with a contractor who has no depth clause. It’s unbelievable that a contractor to want to continue operating at a loss.

4. Keep in mind that in certain foundation repair projects, landscape must be removed, and the contractor usually won’t guarantee the survival of a shrub or bush after it is removed and replaced.

5. Choose a contractor that offers a warranty.

Note that warranty is only as reliable as the company that provides it. Preferably, you’d like to work with a national company that offers a warranty trust. Should the company go out of business, a plan will be in place to provide follow-up service, if required.

If you’ve request for a foundation inspection, you can expect it to run for at least two hours. Ensure that the inspection is performed by a certified and trained specialist. The inspection has to include the whole building and in your company so as to ensure that both you and the foundation consultant understand well which parts of the structure are having problems. The consultant has to measure and move to graph paper your home or building’s actual dimensions so as to help in the evaluation. Cracks and foundation failure area signs must be included in their service plan profile.

You have to get a full service plan which includes an explanation of any issues that surfaced during the inspection and a full explanation of actions to be taken for the correction of the problems. Recommendations should come with a plan of repair that discusses the type and placements of pilings so that the structural loads are safer. Even if the foundation problems have been repaired, maintenance is still important, if only to prevent other problems from occurring.

6 Pointers to Help Your Internet Business Choose the Right Merchant Service

You’re setting up to run an Internet based business and obviously need to find a way to take money online. There are a large number of service providers who will allow Internet based businesses to do that. How do you choose between them?

First, there are your local and national banks that provide Merchant Services to businesses. This is generally a costly solution with set-up fees, recurring charges, and lots of hoops to jump through. For many Internet start-ups, these initial costs can be a bit prohibitive, as they have no idea at that stage what turnover they can realistically expect.

If for whatever reason you are unable to obtain the service you need at a reasonable rate from your bank, it isn’t the end of the world. On the contrary, PayPal, Google Checkout, Nochex, Worldpay are probably the best known alternatives, but there are a host of others. Your favourite search engine will have plenty of answers for you.

Once you start checking out their offers and terms and conditions, here is what you have to look out for:

  1. Set-up costs for opening the service:Some service providers don’t charge, others can charge up to £200 ($300) or even more.
  2. Monthly fees:These can range from no fees to £20 ($30) a month.
  3. Commission per transaction:They are usually somewhere between 2% and 4.5% plus a fixed transaction fee (in the UK generally 20p)
  4. Remittance charges:They can vary a lot from less that $1 to $23 per transfer. These charges can be a killer, especially if the service offers frequent or even daily transfers; make sure you do your sums very carefully.
  5. Remittance period:This is the delay from the time the money is paid into your merchant account to the time it is transferred to your bank account. Make sure that you are comfortable with the remittance period offered. There is generally some margin for negotiation.
  6. Percentage of funds retained: Most service providers will insist that you retain sufficient funds in your merchant account to allow for refunds. These are approximately 5% of the total funds taken, which can be held for up to 6 months.

There is no universal rule or best solution that fits all. You need to take a good look at your business, expected turnover, payment conditions and refund rules, and then choose what is best for your business. The best package for you may not always be the one that at first sight appears as the cheapest solution available on the market. Investigate all the pointers to avoid paying over the odds.

The Importance of Choosing the Right Merchant Services

If you are thinking of expanding your business by opening a new branch or outlet, then perhaps you might want to hold it off and consider a virtual store. A virtual store has no physical location except that it exists in cyber space. You don’t need to pay a hefty amount of money for rent and you do not need to employ store personnel to tend the store and best of all, no store hours.

Your store is open to anyone 24 hours a day, 365 days a year and can sustain all by itself if done properly. A virtual store does not need to ‘stock’ items unlike a physical store where you need to check and fill your inventory. You can sell things halfway across the world and supply dozens other countries as well without getting ‘out of stock’, unless the item you are selling is not in production anymore.

Another difference is the simplicity of an eCommerce site to manage its accounts, inventory, earnings and other accounting procedures. The underlying merchant services do all these things for you, automatically.

If your physical store is located on your street, chances are most of your customers will be in that area. You are limited by your location as people factor transportation cost as well as time to travel to your store when they can get something roughly the same within few kilometers of where they lived. With an online store, however, you are only limited by the language that your website can reach. Bear in mind that you can also translate and redirect your users to a specific site of yours based on their region and language preference, so there’s actually no limit to how far your business will reach.

One of the most important things to consider when building an online shop is the merchant services you’re getting. Although there are a lot of good providers out there, it is of outmost importance that you understand the different charges and how it will affect your business. Different companies have different rates and limits, and it can have a profound effect on your profits overall.

Sometimes, these charges are not obvious, as most companies would alter their payment scheme to sound good on paper but actually charges more if you summed up all the charges. That is why it is of outmost importance that you research and evaluate each company. You need to interview and read opinions regarding their service and how well they cope during down-times.

Not all people are comfortable doing the research, as this might open up more questions rather than answers and which can easily turn into highly technical matter. As a businessman, all you want to see the most important information and cut through all the other unnecessary details. Luckily, there are a couple of aggregator services in the internet which offer research and evaluation for free. These websites work by doing all the research and screening process and are usually compensated by advertisements on their websites.