How to Become an Airplane Pilot

Note: this article is intended for adults interested in airplane piloting for recreation. {If you are a student or young adult interested in aviation as a career, click here.|Click here if you are a student or young adult interested in aviation as a career.}

Who are you, and why are you writing this?

I am a licensed private pilot, and I am writing this article as a guide for prospective pilots. I have enjoyed my flying very much, and want to encourage others to embark on the grand adventure of aviation.

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{I began my flying in 1990, and have accumlated just over 1,000 hours of flying time. The most common measure of a pilot’s experience is the number of “flying hours.” he or she has accumulated. For comparison, my instructor has over 4,000 flying hours. Many airline pilots have 20,000 hours or more.|For comparison, my instructor has over 4,000 flying hours. Many airline pilots have 20,000 hours or more.} Get to know how to become a private pilot.

I want to fly airplanes. What do I need to do?

{To operate an aircraft in the United States, you must be licensed by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), which since 9/11 is part of the Department of Homeland Security (DHS). There are several levels of pilot’s license; the most basic is the Private Pilot license. This license permits the holder to pilot an aircraft anywhere in the United States, and to carry passengers. A Private Pilot may not be paid to fly an aircraft (to ferry an aircraft from one location to another, for example), nor carry passengers or cargo for hire or compensation. {However, you may share certain expenses with your passengers (with some restrictions).

|You may share certain expenses with your passengers (with some restrictions).}|To operate an aircraft in the United States, you must be licensed by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), which since 9/11 is part of the Department of Homeland Security (DHS). A Private Pilot may not be paid to fly an aircraft (to ferry an aircraft from one location to another, for example), nor carry passengers or cargo for hire or compensation.}

The necessary steps to earn this license are:

Be at least 16 years old.
Read, speak, and understand English sufficiently to understand the aviation rules and communicate with Air Traffic Control.
Pass a basic medical examination.
Receive the required amount of instruction from a Certificated Flight Instructor (CFI).
Pass a written examination (100 multiple-choice questions).
Pass a “checkride” (aircraft equivalent of a driving test) given by an FAA-approved examiner.
How much does it cost?

{Many factors will affect the final cost, including the location of where you train ({rural vs. urban|urban vs. rural}), the type of training aircraft, your learning pace and style, even things like weather. If I had to pick a number, I would say budget $10,000 to $12,000 if you plan to fly in an urban area such as the San Francisco Bay Area, where I fly. This amount includes aircraft rental, flight instruction, books, charts, examiner fees, etc

. {You don’t need to pay this money all at once.|Once, you don’t need to pay this money all at.} Most flight schools operate on a pay-as-you-go basis, so the cost will be spread out over the time you are working on your license.|Many factors will affect the final cost, including the location of where you train ({rural vs. urban|urban vs. rural}), the type of training aircraft, your learning pace and style, even things like weather. This amount includes aircraft rental, flight instruction, books, charts, examiner fees, etc

.}

If you are not sure about whether you will (or can) make the full commitment to a pilot’s license, a good intermediate step is to train to the point of your “solo” flight, i.e. when you are allowed to fly an aircraft without an instructor aboard (but still under supervision). This is usually about the first 1/3 of training. I recommend that amount as a minimum for starting.

How long will it take?

{To receive a Private Pilot license, the FAA requires student pilots have a minimum of 40 hours of flight time, of which 20 must be dual (flying with an instructor). {However, these are MINIMUMS.|These are MINIMUMS.} No one I know completed their training in 40 hours. I took 66 hours. The national average is 60 to 70 hours. About half of your flight time will be with an instructor, and and the rest “solo.” For every flight hour, expect an additional 2-3 hours of reading, flight planning, and ground review with your instructor.|To receive a Private Pilot license, the FAA requires student pilots have a minimum of 40 hours of flight time, of which 20 must be dual (flying with an instructor). No one I know completed their training in 40 hours. For every flight hour, expect an additional 2-3 hours of reading, flight planning, and ground review with your instructor.}

To maintain a good rate of progress, plan for two to three sessions per week, of two to three hours per session. Plan to schedule a few more sessions than you need, since some will be cancelled because of weather, aircraft maintenance, illness, etc. At this rate, you should be able to earn your license in six to eight months.

What topics will I need to learn?

Here is a brief overview of some of the topics you will need to master in order to earn a pilot’s license:

Aircraft systems: the basic components of an airplane, engine, flight controls, instruments, and how they operate.
Aerodynamics: basic priciples of how an airplane is able to leave the ground, and how to control it once airborne.
Navigation: how to use aviation maps and radio navigation aids to get you and your aircraft to your destination.
Weather: basic concepts of weather formation, and how to {obtain and interpret|interpret and obtain} weather information that may affect your flight.
Aircraft operations: just as there are rules for operating automobiles on {roads and highways|highways and roads}, there are rules governing the operation of aircraft in the National Airspace System (NAS).
Regulations: the applicable portions of the Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) which govern licensing of pilots and the licensing and operation of aircraft in the USA.
Where should I go for flight training?

The best way to learn about flight training options is to visit your local airports. {Small and mid-size|Mid-size and small} airports usually have more flight traninig activity than major airline airports.

{If you don’t know the location of airports near you, use the Find Nearby Airports service at fltplan.com to locate airports near your ZIP code.|Use the Find Nearby Airports service at fltplan.com to locate airports near your ZIP code if you don’t know the location of airports near you.}

Enter your ZIP code, change the “Minimum Runway Length” to 0 and change “Approach Type required” to “Doesn’t matter.” You may be suprised at how many small airports are nearby!

Flight training facilities go by several different names. Here are some of the most common types, and how they compare:

Fixed Base Operator (FBO): This type of business offers a full range of aviation services: aircraft sales and maintenance, fuel sales, aircraft charter, flight instruction, or any other services that transient or based aircraft and pilots might need. Aircraft rental and flight instruction may be only a small part of this business.
Flight school: a business whose primary business is flight training and aircraft rental. It may offer other related services such as aircraft maintenance and pilot supplies.

Flying club: a non-profit group of pilots and aircraft owners who join together to help reduce expenses and share resources. Some larger clubs may look just like FBOs or flight schools. Since clubs are non-profit, rental rates are usually lower than at FBOs or flight schools.

{Colleges and Universities|Universities and colleges}: many colleges and universities offer flight training as part of an aviation curriculum. {If you intend to pursue a career in aviation, a college degree in aviation is a definite advantage.|A college degree in aviation is a definite advantage if you intend to pursue a career in aviation.}

Note that some FBOs and flight schools may call themselves flying clubs to imply non-profit status, give them a more “friendly” atmosphere, or provide an excuse to charge monthly dues.

How do I choose a flight school?

Here are some factors to consider when selecting a flight school:

Location: you will be making many trips to the flight school, so it should be in a location convenient to you. Be sure to include travel time to and from the airport in your lesson scheduling plans.

Insurance coverage: it is very important to have adequate insurance coverage for any flight operations. Training aircraft can be valued anywhere from $15,000 to over $100,000, and even minor damage can be very expensive to repair.

Ask the school for details about its insurance coverage, and whether you as a student/renter are included in the coverage. There should be coverage for damage to the aircraft itself (called “hull insurance”), damage to other property (” liability insurance,” for damage to structures on the ground, for example), and medical coverage, should you or your instructor be injured.

{Like auto insurance, aircraft insurance usually has a deductible. Find out amount of the deductible, and if you are responsible for it. {Also ask if the insurance policy has a “no-subrogation” clause.|Ask if the insurance policy has a “no-subrogation” clause.} This clause is desirable, because it means the insurance company can not try to recover damages from you (except the deductible) for any incident in which you may be involved.|Like auto insurance, aircraft insurance usually has a deductible. Ask if the insurance policy has a “no-subrogation” clause.}

{Some schools carry insurance that covers only themselves and the aircraft owner. In case of an accident, you could be liable for all damages. {If this is the case, you can purchase renter’s insurance.|You can purchase renter’s insurance if this is the case.} For an annual fee, this type of insurance will cover you for any liabilities not covered by the school’s policy, up to the stated amount on your policy. You can also purchase renter’s insuance to cover the deductible of the school’s policy.|Some schools carry insurance that covers only themselves and the aircraft owner. For an annual fee, this type of insurance will cover you for any liabilities not covered by the school’s policy, up to the stated amount on your policy.}

Scheduling: find out how many aircraft and instructors the school has. Ask to see the school’s schedule book, and see if there are aircraft and instructors that fit your schedule. Scheduling lessons one week in advance is fairly common, but if you have to schedule two or more weeks in advance, the school might have too many students for the number of aircraft and instructors.

{Instructors: most flight schools will want to assign you the first available instructor. {However, if you have specific requirements, don’t hesitate to request a different instructor.|If you have specific requirements, don’t hesitate to request a different instructor.} It is best to make your initial selection before beginning any training, as many schools and instructors are reluctant to switch instructors during training. {However, during your training, you find an instructor is not meeting your needs, approach the school’s manager or chief instructor to discuss the problem.|During your training, you find an instructor is not meeting your needs, approach the school’s manager or chief instructor to discuss the problem.}|Instructors: most flight schools will want to assign you the first available instructor. It is best to make your initial selection before beginning any training, as many schools and instructors are reluctant to switch instructors during training.}

{Aircraft maintenance: the quality of aircraft maintenance is difficult for a new student to assess. {Because of the overall age of the general aviation fleet (the average aircraft is 23 years old), even well-maintained aircraft may appear {dingy and worn|worn and dingy}.|Even well-maintained aircraft may appear {dingy and worn|worn and dingy} because of the overall age of the general aviation fleet (the average aircraft is 23 years old).} Many training aircraft have seen a lot of use, and this shows as worn carpeting and upholstery, and labels worn off of {switches and controls|controls and switches}. Check around {the nose and the engine|the engine and the nose}. Well-maintained aircraft have meticulously clean engine compartments, much cleaner than the average automobile. Any sign of leaking oil or soot build-up could be a sign of problems.|Aircraft maintenance: the quality of aircraft maintenance is difficult for a new student to assess. Because of the overall age of the general aviation fleet (the average aircraft is 23 years old), even well-maintained aircraft may appear {dingy and worn|worn and dingy}. Many training aircraft have seen a lot of use, and this shows as worn carpeting and upholstery, and labels worn off of {switches and controls|controls and switches}.}

One way to find out about maintenance problems is to talk to other students, perferably out of earshot of instructors or other school personnel.

{{Rental rates and other expenses|Other expenses and rental rates}: compare the aircraft rental rates at differnet facilities. Be sure you are comparing apples to apples (see the next section for an explaination of aircraft rental terms). Find out if there are any deposit requirements, monthly dues, and if you will be billed later, or required to pay at the time of your session. {Also check for block discounts.|Check for block discounts.} Many facilities will offer a discount if you buy a “block” of 5 or 10 hours at once. {Don’t get too carried away with this, however.|Don’t get too carried away with this.} Flight schools have been known to go belly up and leave their prepaid “block” customers with nothing but a receipt. {Also find out about the terms of a refund if you decide not to use all of your block.|Find out about the terms of a refund if you decide not to use all of your block.}|{Rental rates and other expenses|Other expenses and rental rates}: compare the aircraft rental rates at differnet facilities. Be sure you are comparing apples to apples (see the next section for an explaination of aircraft rental terms). Flight schools have been known to go belly up and leave their prepaid “block” customers with nothing but a receipt.}
What do the aircraft rental rates mean?

{Most aircraft are rented by the hour (to the nearest 1/10th, or 6 minutes), as measured by the length of time that the engine is running. A device called a Hobbs meter records the time, usually activated by the engine oil pressure. Rates for training aircraft usually include the cost of fuel for the airplane. This type of rental is called wet Hobbs. Some aircraft rental rates do not include fuel. This is known as dry Hobbs, and you must pay for fuel in addition to the rental rate. When comparing rental rates, be sure take into account any differences between {wet and dry|dry and wet} rentals.|Most aircraft are rented by the hour (to the nearest 1/10th, or 6 minutes), as measured by the length of time that the engine is running. Rates for training aircraft usually include the cost of fuel for the airplane. Some aircraft rental rates do not include fuel.}

{More advanced aircraft are sometimes rented using slightly different measures.Tach time counts the number of revolutions of the engine rather than actual elapsed time. {An hour of tach time will equal an hour of real time only when the engine is running at nearly full power.|When the engine is running at nearly full power, an hour of tach time will equal an hour of real time only.} Otherwise, tach time will be less. Tach time can also be used if the aircraft does not have a Hobbs meter.Air Hobbs is frequently used for twin-engine aircraft, and measures the time the aircraft is actually in the air. Both tach and air Hobbs can also be either {wet or dry|dry or wet}.|More advanced aircraft are sometimes rented using slightly different measures.Tach time counts the number of revolutions of the engine rather than actual elapsed time. Tach time can also be used if the aircraft does not have a Hobbs meter.Air Hobbs is frequently used for twin-engine aircraft, and measures the time the aircraft is actually in the air.}

Can I fly aircraft other than airplanes?

Yes! Flight training is available for helicopters, sailplanes (aka gliders), even hot air baloons! More about these in a later update.

I can’t afford flight training right now. What can I do to work toward my license?

There are many things you can do before beginning flight training:
Ground school: most flight schools and community colleges offer inexpensive classes that teach you all of the “book work” you will need for your license. Many classes will finish by allowing you to take the actual FAA written examination. A passing score is good for up to two years.

Flight simulators: PC-based flight simulators have become {extraordinarly capable and realistic|realistic and extraordinarly capable}, so much so that the FAA now allows a certain amount of pilot traiing to be performed on a PC flight simulator (under the supervision of a flight instructor). Since Microsoft has discontinued Flight Simulator, X-Plane has become the most prominent PC flight simulator software.

Rides with other pilots: riding along in an airplane is not only a lot of fun, but will help you become familiar with the appearance of your airport and local area from the air, and help you develop pilotage skills (navigation by reference to the ground) This will be of great benefit for when you strike out on your solo cross-country flights.

Aviation conferences: the AOPA and EAA hold several fly-ins and conferences in different parts of the country throughout the year. These conferences are usually low cost ($ 100 or less) and feature seminars and presentations on a wide variety of aviation topics. Here are two of the largest:
A Private Pilot may not be paid to fly an aircraft (to ferry an aircraft from one location to another, for example), nor carry passengers or cargo for hire or compensation. If you are not sure about whether you will (or can) make the full commitment to a pilot’s license, a good intermediate step is to train to the point of your “solo” flight, i.e. when you are allowed to fly an aircraft without an instructor aboard (but still under supervision). Aircraft maintenance: the quality of aircraft maintenance is difficult for a new student to assess. Because of the overall age of the general aviation fleet (the average aircraft is 23 years old), even well-maintained aircraft may appear {dingy and worn|worn and dingy}. Tach time can also be used if the aircraft does not have a Hobbs meter.Air Hobbs is frequently used for twin-engine aircraft, and measures the time the aircraft is actually in the air.

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{Get the latest list of our Credit Card Numbers that works! Credit card number are updated for 2015– 2018 expiration dates along with security codes or CVV. We provide the best and working credit card numbers for your own personal use. Rest assured that we are only giving you the FRESH and UPDATED account, absolutely, zero duplicates or reuse!|Credit card number are updated for 2015– 2018 expiration dates along with security codes or CVV. We provide the best and working credit card numbers for your own personal use.}

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Get the latest list of our Credit Card Numbers that works! Credit card number are updated for 2015– 2018 expiration dates along with security codes or CVV. We provide the best and working credit card numbers for your own personal use. Our free credit cards that work are internationally activated and is working on all Countries. These are almost real credit card numbers 2016 and you can use on any purpose you want just like a normal real credit card number that no where else you could get.

Pest Control Tips.

Many people don’t think about pests or pest control until they are forced to do so. When pests enter the home, {affect the garden or cause|cause or affect the garden} damage, some quick tips may be helpful.

Image result for pest control

Identify the Pest
This is the first step of pest control. Proper identification will help you develop appropriate control measures.
Decide How Much Pest Activity You Can Tolerate
You may be able to tolerate an insect that will only be in your garden for a few weeks, or an occasional ant in the kitchen, but most people have zero tolerance for {fleas and ticks|ticks and fleas}. Find more on pest control.

Learn About Your Pest
By learning about the pest, you can identify the most vulnerable stage in the pest’s life cycle, identify needs and dislikes, and use your knowledge to zero-in on your target. Learn about how the pest is gaining access. A pet could bring fleas into the house, a gap in your window could invite spiders into your office, or a humid bathroom could provide enough moisture for mold to grow.

Consider an Integrated Pest Management (IPM) Approach

Many pest problems can be controlled without pesticides. IPM emphasizes {non-chemical and low-toxicity|low-toxicity and non-chemical} pest controls whenever possible.

{If Using a Pesticide, Select the Right One|Select the Right One if Using a Pesticide}
Pesticide labels describe the locations where a product can be used. When selecting a pesticide for a specific pest, look for that pest on the product label.

Read the Entire Label
Read the entire product label before you buy, mix, apply, store, and dispose of a pesticide. {If you have questions, contact the manufacturer or NPIC.|Contact the manufacturer or NPIC if you have questions.}

Protect Yourself

Make sure you use all of the protective gear specified on the label. To reduce your risk further, you can wear additional protective gear. Wash your hands before eating, drinking, smoking, or using the restroom.

Protect People, Pets and the Environment
Ensure the application site is free of people, pets, toys, and food dishes. Be careful when using pesticides around streams, wells, schools or edible garden plants.

Prevent Drift
To avoid drift, read the label directions, and only apply the product under the conditions specified on the label. Most pesticides can not be applied when the temperature is high, when conditions are windy, or when it is raining.

Store and Dispose of Pesticides Properly
Buy only what you need this season; mix only what you need today. Store pesticides in areas inaccessible to {children and pets|pets and children}, and consider locking the area. Follow the label directions for disposal.

Find Ways to Prevent Pests
Tactics may include eliminating food or shelter, sealing cracks and crevices that allow access, or including pest-resistant plants in your garden and keeping plants healthy.

Don’t be Afraid to Ask for Help
Call NPIC to speak with a Pesticide Specialist or use your zip code to find local contacts.
By learning about the pest, you can identify the most vulnerable stage in the pest’s life cycle, identify needs and dislikes, and use your knowledge to zero-in on your target. Learn about how the pest is gaining access. Make sure you use all of the protective gear specified on the label. Wash your hands before eating, drinking, smoking, or using the restroom.
Store pesticides in areas inaccessible to {children and pets|pets and children}, and consider locking the area.

Headphone Types

Whether you crave high-energy tunes to juice up your workout, private listening at home or work, an adrenaline-pumping gaming experience, or just a great-looking, great-sounding accessory to express your personal style, you’ll find headphones that fit your needs at Best Buy. With so much variety in headphone styles, including wired and wireless models, you may want to consider more than one pair for different uses. Learn more about the different types of headphones below, or stop into a Best Buy store to try some on and find a style and fit that works for you.

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Topics in this Headphones Buying Guide:

Headphone TypesLifestyleWired vs. WirelessTech specsSpecial FeaturesShop Online or In Store
Headphone Types

Headphone Types
In-ear monitors (IEMs) and earbuds
In-ear monitors (or IEMs) are headphones that fit snugly inside each ear canal. The majority of sports headphones fall into this category. Most models come with foam or rubber tips in several sizes for a secure fit so they stay put while exercising or moving about, and replacement tips in custom sizes can be purchased separately. Some professional-grade models can be precisely molded to fit your ear canals. In-ear monitors are excellent for passive noise isolation, and higher-end models deliver sound quality that rivals larger headphones. Know About Kanoareview.

Earbuds, on the other hand, feature small drivers that rest on the ridge of your outer ear. They usually deliver lesser fidelity and isolation than other types of headphones, but at a highly affordable price. These are the headphones that come with many portable music devices; higher-quality earbuds or in-ear monitors can be an inexpensive upgrade.

Shop in-ear and earbud headphones

Over-ear
Also known as “around-ear” or “full-size” headphones, over-ear headphones have cushioned earcups that enclose the ears. Usually considered the best headphones for sound quality, most over-ear models also do a good job of isolating the user from outside sound. This feature is sometimes called “passive noise reduction.”

Shop over-ear headphones

On-ear
On-ear headphones are similar in design to over-ear models, though the cushions sit on the outer ear rather than enclosing the ears. Generally, on-ear models deliver good sound quality, but with less bass response than over-ear models. When you are wearing on-ear headphones, you can still hear outside sounds, and others nearby might be able to hear your music.

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Wired vs. Wireless

Wired headphones
Wired headphones connect to your MP3 player, phone, streaming device, or other audio device using a wire. Advantages include excellent sound quality, and the fact that they do not require any batteries. Gamers often prefer wired headphones so they never have to worry about batteries dying in the midst of a heated match. Plus, some wired headphones include highly reflective cords to provide greater visibility while walking or jogging at night.

Wireless headphones
Wireless headphones are great for sports and outdoor uses, since they don’t require you to connect to a music player using wires. Instead, wireless technology connects the headphones to your music player, giving you freer movement and fewer tangles.

Most wireless headphones use Bluetooth, a technology that digitally encodes audio and transmits sound wirelessly over short distances. Bluetooth is a popular format because it’s highly reliable, and most new smartphones and laptops have built-in Bluetooth functionality — syncing with Bluetooth-enabled headphones is quick and easy. Of course, there are other types of wireless technologies as well.

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True wireless
Even wireless headphones usually have some sort of wire, such as earbud models in which individual earbuds are connected to each other with a wire. True wireless earbuds come in pairs of separate wireless units — one for each ear — which means no tangles whatsoever. Low-profile models fit inside your ear canal, while other models stay in place by wrapping around the back of your ear.

Shop true wireless headphones

Neck-sitting
Traditionally, headphone bands rest on the top of your head, but there are also models with a band that rests on your neck. To many people, neck-sitting models are more comfortable than standard headphones, and they won’t mess up your hairstyle.

Shop neck-sitting headphones
Special Headphones Features

Noise canceling and sound isolating
Noise-canceling headphones use one or more tiny microphones to capture ambient sounds. The sounds are then electronically phase-reversed and reintroduced into the output of the speakers, effectively canceling out the original sounds in the ears of the listener.

Sound-isolating headphones use material to create a barrier between your ear and the sounds of the world around you. Since they fit snugly inside your ear canal, most in-ear headphones are sound isolating.

Shop:
noise-canceling headphones sound-isolating headphones

Volume limiting
The ability to keep the volume at safe levels is an excellent feature to have when your child wants to use headphones. Volume-limiting headphones do exactly that: They are typically designed to keep volume at 85dB or less. Plus, not all volume-limiting headphones are designed for children, so they can be a good alternative for adults concerned with protecting their own hearing as well.

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Bone conduction
Bone-conducting headphones sit on your cheekbones, usually in front of your ear. They work by bypassing your eardrum to deliver sound straight to your inner ear via vibrations in the bones in your head. This feature is particularly useful for people who want to hear their music clearly but don’t want to drown out background noise. For example, bone-conducting headphones are a great option for joggers who need to hear traffic over the sound of their music. Some bone-conducting headphones are specifically designed for underwater use so you can listen to music while swimming. Additionally, many bone-conducting headphone users claim that there is less temptation to turn the volume up extra loud, resulting in less ear strain.

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Biometric
Biometric headphones monitor your heart rate by gathering information directly from your ears while you listen to music, and some models even feed you audio cues to aid in your workout. Fitness enthusiasts are able to keep tabs on their heart rate without needing an additional device. Plus, many biometric headphones are compatible with popular fitness apps like RunKeeper.

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Surround sound
While some high-end headphones for gaming and home theater employ multiple drivers within each speaker enclosure to accurately reproduces multichannel surround formats like Dolby Digital, most so-called “surround” headphones use electronic processing to emulate the directional cues of surround sound from just two speaker drivers.

Microphones and controls
Headsets designed for gaming often feature a boom-mounted microphone so you can talk with other players during multiplayer gaming sessions. Portable headphones designed for use with smartphones and MP3 players may include a small cord-mounted (or “in-line”) microphone, along with controls for volume, mute and track advance. With wireless models, these controls and mics can be found on the earpiece itself, and many models are equipped with control functions that are optimized to work best with a specific operating system.

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headphones
Choosing the Right Headphones for Your Lifestyle

For sports and fitness
Music motivates. A variety of lightweight in-ear and on-ear designs are available to ensure that your headphones stay put while you’re active. Some earbuds feature various types of ear clips to hold the drivers in place, while several other types of headphones use a band that circles the back of the head or neck. Comfort and fit are matters of preference, but with the range of options available, you’re sure to find one that suits you.

Some sports headphones are made with water-resistant materials to protect against sweat and the elements. Many feature cord-mounted (or “in-line”) microphones and controls that let you take phone calls, adjust volume, or change your playlist without slowing down. To eliminate the cord altogether, look for a wireless model that’s compatible with your smartphone or MP3 player.

Other features to consider include biometric capability to monitor heart rate, motivational audio cues, and reflective cords to help you remain visible while exercising at night.

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For Home
For home entertainment
For serious music listening, nothing beats a great pair of over-ear headphones. Their oversized drivers combine deep, robust bass and a high-frequency response for unparalleled sound quality. Because of the way the earcups encircle the ears, over-ear headphones also deliver an enhanced sense of space or “soundstage” compared to other styles. Models with surround-sound processing can further enhance the audio experience for home theater use.

“Closed-back” designs feature solid, acoustically isolating earcups. They excel at blocking out external noise for a private listening experience, but also color the sound (most notably enhancing bass response).
In “open-back” headphones, the rear of the speakers is covered by an acoustically transparent mesh or fabric. This de-emphasizes low-end thump and generally delivers a “flatter,” more even response that many audiophiles prefer.

For people who find the weight of over-ear headphones distracting, there are high-end on-ear and in-ear models that approximate the fidelity of over-ear headphones.

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headphones
For work
Over-ear headphones are a great way to distance yourself from the clamor of the workplace. Models with noise cancellation are designed to enhance the effect. Alternatively, in-ear headphones, with or without noise cancellation, can also effectively isolate you from outside noise while keeping your music private — and without messing up your hair.

How to Hire the Right Painting Contractor

Realizing that you need to hire a professional Greenville painting contractor to address your need for painting services is the first step towards getting improved results. Too many Greenville homeowners think that their interior or exterior painting service is something that they can turn into a weekend DIY project, and they soon learn how wrong they are.

Image result for painter

Yet if you already know that you are in need of an industry expert for house painting in the Greenville area, then the trick really becomes about making sure that you pick just the right one. Since you don’t want to make a mistake selecting your industry expert, there are some things you should know in order to make the best choice for your unique situation.

What You Need to Know About Finding a Painting Contractor in Greenville
Being able to rely on a professional Greenville house painter to take care of the work for you is going to make this a stress-free process for you. However, it still means making sure that you pick the right pro.

It is always a good idea to ask people you know and trust who it is that they used. Or, if you notice a home in your area that you think looks good, this is also a good candidate to inquire about which professional they hired.
Keep in mind that while getting 3 different quotes is still a good idea, you are not doing this just to find the cheapest price. The idea is to find value. This means exceptional results for a fair and reasonable price.
Find a Greenville painting services provider already reputable and established. This means a contractor who has already spent years earning a strong reputation through hard work, quality results and excellence in customer care. Fell free to ask for a portfolio of previous work as well as references.
Get a clear idea of what all is included in the price. Get that spelled out in writing and if you or the painter make any amendments, you should both initial it. You would be surprised to learn that some so-called pros try to cut corners by leaving out the preparation work or using inferior quality paint.
The bottom line is that this is your home and your painting project and you should never settle for inferior results.

The Name to Trust for Painting Services in Greenville, SC
Ask around and you will hear countless homeowners rave about Jim Summer Painting. Since 1995, we have been providing both residential and commercial clients with the finest in superior results. Now, we look forward to taking care of the painting service needs that you have for your home or business.

How to Hire an Accountant

Every dollar counts for business owners, so if you don’t know where you stand on a monthly basis, you may not be around at the end of the year. And while using do-it-yourself accounting software can help monitor costs, the benefits of hiring good accountants extend far beyond crunching numbers. Potentially, they can be your company’s financial partner for life, with intimate knowledge of not only how you’re going to finance your next forklift, for instance, but also how you’re going to finance your daughter’s college education.

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Before you hire one though, make sure you understand the four basic areas of expertise in a general accounting practice:

{Business advisory services. Since an accountant should be knowledgeable about your business environment, your tax situation and your financial statements, it makes sense to ask them to pull all the pieces together and help you come up with a business plan and personal financial plan. Accountants can offer advice on everything from insurance (do you really need business interruption insurance or is it cheaper to lease a second site?) to expansion (how will additional capacity affect operating costs?). Get in touch with Lelystad accountant.

Accountants can bring a new level of insight, simply by virtue of their perspective.|Since an accountant should be knowledgeable about your business environment, your tax situation and your financial statements, it makes sense to ask them to pull all the pieces together and help you come up with a business plan and personal financial plan. Accountants can bring a new level of insight, simply by virtue of their perspective.}

{Accounting and record-keeping. These are perhaps the most basic of accounting disciplines. While it makes sense for many business owners to manage their day-to-day records, an accountant can help set up bookkeeping and accounting systems and show you how to use them.

A good system allows you to evaluate profitability and modify prices. It also lets you monitor expenses, track a budget, spot trends and reduce accounting fees required to produce financial statements and tax returns.|While it makes sense for many business owners to manage their day-to-day records, an accountant can help set up bookkeeping and accounting systems and show you how to use them. It also lets you monitor expenses, track a budget, spot trends and reduce accounting fees required to produce financial statements and tax returns.}
{Tax advice. Accountants that provide assistance with tax-related issues usually can do so in two areas: tax compliance and tax planning. Planning refers to reducing your overall tax burden. Compliance refers to obeying the tax laws.|Accountants that provide assistance with tax-related issues usually can do so in two areas: tax compliance and tax planning. Planning refers to reducing your overall tax burden.}
Auditing. These services are most commonly required by banks as a condition of a loan. There are many levels of auditing, ranging from simply preparing financial statements to an actual audit, where the accountant or other third party provides assurance that a company’s financial information is accurate.
Choosing an Accountant

The best way to find a good accountant is to get a referral from your attorney, your banker or a business colleague. You can also check in with the Society of Certified Public Accountants in your state, which can make a referral.

{While accountants usually work for large companies, CPAs (certified public accountants) work for a variety of {large and small|small and large} businesses. Don’t underestimate the importance of a CPA. This title is only awarded to people who have passed a rigorous a two-day, nationally standardized test. Most states require CPAs to have at least a college degree or its equivalent. Several states also require post-graduate work.|While accountants usually work for large companies, CPAs (certified public accountants) work for a variety of {large and small|small and large} businesses. Several states also require post-graduate work.}

Once you have come up with some good candidates, it is important to determine how much of the work your company will do and how much will be done by the accountant.

Accounting services can be divided into three broad categories: recording transactions, assembling them, and generating returns and financial statements. {Although the first two categories require a lower skill level than the latter, many firms charge the same hourly rate for all three.|The first two categories require a lower skill level than the latter, many firms charge the same hourly rate for all three.} This is why it’s important to determine exactly what work you want an accountant to handle.
And while using do-it-yourself accounting software can help monitor costs, the benefits of hiring good accountants extend far beyond crunching numbers. Since an accountant should be knowledgeable about your business environment, your tax situation and your financial statements, it makes sense to ask them to pull all the pieces together and help you come up with a business plan and personal financial plan. While it makes sense for many business owners to manage their day-to-day records, an accountant can help set up bookkeeping and accounting systems and show you how to use them. There are many levels of auditing, ranging from simply preparing financial statements to an actual audit, where the accountant or other third party provides assurance that a company’s financial information is accurate.
While accountants usually work for large companies, CPAs (certified public accountants) work for a variety of {large and small|small and large} businesses.

Tip of the day How to hire a painter

Most homeowners hire a contractor to repaint the exterior of their home. Follow our advice to help ensure a high-quality job, whether you’ll have your house painted this fall or next spring.

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Meet the pros. Call in at least three different contractors for your job. (Friends and family are good reference sources.) And be home for the initial meeting with them. That way, you’ll know how much time each contractor took to assess the condition of your home. The longer he takes, the more realistic the estimate you’ll get. Even an experienced painter will need more than a quick walk around your house.Visit out website to know more.
Also ask each contractor about the size of his crew and the members’ experience level.

State your expectations. The number of coats a painter applies isn’t the only factor in determining the quality—and price—of the project. Preparation is also key. If you want a surface that’s free of unevenness from past paint jobs, tell the contractors—and be prepared to pay extra. But if you can live with some imperfections, agree on what level of prep is acceptable and what isn’t.

Get estimates. Seek a written estimate from each contractor. It should include a breakdown of labor, material costs, the number of coats of primer and paint, the brand and model of materials, and a detailed description of the amount of surface preparation that will be done.

Check references and past work. Get a list of references from each contractor and call them to find about their experience with the pro. A history of positive references is a good sign. Also examine jobs the painters did several years ago to see how their work is holding up. Use recent projects to check the skill of their current crews.

Consider credentials. Before you hire someone, consider his credentials. Membership in a trade or local business group, for example, isn’t a guarantee of quality work, but it shows a level of commitment and reliability on his part. Also verify whether the pro has the appropriate license(s). (You’ll find the licensing information in your state at the Contractor’s License Reference Site. Also check with the Better Business Bureau, the attorney general’s office in your state, or a local consumer-affairs agency to learn whether the contractor has a history of unresolved complaints.

Obtain a complete contract. The contract should include all the contractor’s key information: name, address, office and cell numbers, and license number, plus whatever details were in the estimate. Make sure the contract clearly states what is and is not included in the job.
Get a copy of the painter’s liability and workers’ compensation insurance certificates. If he doesn’t have coverage, you could be on the hook if, for example, the crew drops a ladder on your neighbor’s car or a crew member gets hurt on the job.

Ask for a guarantee. The painter should promise to correct any chipping, peeling, blistering, flaking, or excessive fading or chalking that occurs within two years after the job is done at no or little cost. If he tells you the paint itself has a warranty, remember that doesn’t include labor, which is a far more costly proposition than material.

Choose the paint yourself. Your painter might try to talk you into a paint he prefers, but use the finish you want. See our latest report on exterior paints and stains and refer to our Ratings (available to subscribers) to find top performers.

Look for lead. If your home was built before 1978, older coats of paint could contain lead. That means the painter might need to take extra precautions to avoid any hazards. See “Getting the lead out” for more information.

Hold out. Finally, don’t make a large down payment and withhold the final payment, typically 10 to 15 percent, until you are fully satisfied with the job.

How to take Care of your Pets at Home 10 Tips

{Your pets are your best friends and your constant companions. There’s no one in your house who you would talk to and wouldn’t get a reaction from. There may be some people in your life who don’t even like listening to you. {But your pets aren’t one of those.|Your pets aren’t one of those.} They’ll always listen to you NO MATTER WHAT YOUR AGE IS, WHERE YOU COME FROM, IF YOU ‘RE A MALE OR FEMALE, ETC. They just need love and how you show it, is what this list is about.|Your pets are your best friends and your constant companions. There’s no one in your house who you would talk to and wouldn’t get a reaction from. Your pets aren’t one of those.}

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10. PROPER DIET

{This is a priority for all kinds of pets. Well, I’m sure you’re a pet lover but if you’re not feeding them properly, then there’s something missing out in your affection for them. Pets love being around people who feed them. {Consider a stray, for example.|Consider a stray.} {If you feed a stray for a long time, it is but obvious that they’ll create some attachment with you.|It is but obvious that they’ll create some attachment with you if you feed a stray for a long time.}|Well, I’m sure you’re a pet lover but if you’re not feeding them properly, then there’s something missing out in your affection for them. Pets love being around people who feed them.} Find the best cctv installation experts

{Eating is similar to love for them. It is a pet’s way of loving you back. It gives immense happiness to be loved by such a pet. And so, making sure that their diet is proper and the kind of food given to them contains all the {nutrients and minerals|minerals and nutrients} your pet needs to keep {healthy and playful|playful and healthy} all the time, is the right way to go!|It gives immense happiness to be loved by such a pet. And so, making sure that their diet is proper and the kind of food given to them contains all the {nutrients and minerals|minerals and nutrients} your pet needs to keep {healthy and playful|playful and healthy} all the time, is the right way to go!}

9. WALK IT OUT

{{Breathe and let|Let and breathe} breathe. This is the perfect quote that fits in here. Pets need to get out of the house in order for you to train them. This is the best way they’ll listen to you and understand that they have one and only one owner. {However, they’ll also listen to others, but will know how to behave and what to do only if you train them well for it.|They’ll also listen to others, but will know how to behave and what to do only if you train them well for it.}|Pets need to get out of the house in order for you to train them. This is the best way they’ll listen to you and understand that they have one and only one owner.}

{Also, going out is best for them because sometimes, even pets want to break the monotony.|Going out is best for them because sometimes, even pets want to break the monotony.} Let them free outside.

8. VACCINATIONS!

{This is a MUST. All pets need these injections. There’s nothing more serious than having your pet get admitted to the hospital for {infections and allergies|allergies and infections} and in case you didn’t know, pets have allergies too. {And it is best if these infections are well known to the owner so as to avoid rough conditions.|If these infections are well known to the owner so as to avoid rough conditions, and it is best.}|All pets need these injections. There’s nothing more serious than having your pet get admitted to the hospital for {infections and allergies|allergies and infections} and in case you didn’t know, pets have allergies too.}

{Also, keep in mind that your pet doesn’t have any after effects.|Keep in mind that your pet doesn’t have any after effects.} In rare cases, pets tend to have allergic reactions to even the {vaccines and injections|injections and vaccines}. Make sure your pet stays out of danger.

7. CLEAN ENVIRONMENT.

{{This is important because your pets live where you do.|Because your pets live where you do, this is important.} {They will only be free of germs if you keep the house {clean and hygienic|hygienic and clean}.|If you keep the house {clean and hygienic|hygienic and clean}, they will only be free of germs.} {Pets are really prone to getting infections if your house isn’t {neat and tidy|tidy and neat}.|If your house isn’t {neat and tidy|tidy and neat}, pets are really prone to getting infections.} {Although, its different when your pets make their own mess.|Its different when your pets make their own mess.} {But well, that’s another case.|Well, that’s another case.}|Pets are really prone to getting infections if your house isn’t {neat and tidy|tidy and neat}. Its different when your pets make their own mess.}

{Also, it is important that whatever you use to clean your house, isn’t harmful to you and your pet.|It is important that whatever you use to clean your house, isn’t harmful to you and your pet.} Because they’re going to be trained enough not to climb on {sofas and beds|beds and sofas}. And that’s why, make sure the that the floor is a good place to be.

Just saying.

6. VET VISITS PLEASE.

{This is one job that should be on your weekly ‘to-do’ lists. {This is necessary because you need to {check and keep|keep and check} into account how your pet is growing up and how well its adapting to its surroundings.|Because you need to {check and keep|keep and check} into account how your pet is growing up and how well its adapting to its surroundings, this is necessary.} Make sure you have a clear account of what it eats and how its reacting to it, what its allergic to etc
. Vets are important as they make sure that your pet has the right amount of everything. Visiting them once a month is beneficial for both you and your pet.|Vets are important as they make sure that your pet has the right amount of everything. Visiting them once a month is beneficial for both you and your pet.}

5. SOMEONE SHOULD ALWAYS BE AROUND!

{Make sure that some one is always around to take care of the pet. Problems don’t {ask and come|come and ask}. And if there’s an emergency and you all have to go somewhere, please leave the pet at someone’s house. Someone who you all trust. A pet’s needs can be {as big or small|small or as big} as yours. This is vital, keep in mind.|Make sure that some one is always around to take care of the pet. And if there’s an emergency and you all have to go somewhere, please leave the pet at someone’s house. A pet’s needs can be {as big or small|small or as big} as yours.}

{Sometimes, pets need shelter and a place to be at. And in the very next moment, they want to go out. Please make sure to train your pet in a way that they’re disciplined. This will help.|Sometimes, pets need shelter and a place to be at. Please make sure to train your pet in a way that they’re disciplined.}

4. PET SHELTERS!

{Adopting pets are like bringing home babies. They’re as needy and as adorable. {Also, if you’ve fully convinced yourself to give shelter to a pet, then make sure you’re also ready to do whatever it takes.|If you’ve fully convinced yourself to give shelter to a pet, then make sure you’re also ready to do whatever it takes.} Build a small home (for example, kennel for dogs) and train your pet to be inside its home whenever it has to sleep or is told to go there.|If you’ve fully convinced yourself to give shelter to a pet, then make sure you’re also ready to do whatever it takes. Build a small home (for example, kennel for dogs) and train your pet to be inside its home whenever it has to sleep or is told to go there.}

It is necessary for pets to start responding to their owners. Sometimes it gets out of hand if they aren’t given proper care.

3. KEEP AWAY FROM BACTERIA AND DIRT!

A hygienic environment is a bacteria-free environment. Pets, as mentioned above are vulnerable to bacteria and pesticides because they’re always either inside cages or on the floor. It is recommended that you use a particular kind of cleaner in order to clean your house as pets might not react well to other cleaners.

{If possible, ask the vet to give you one which is suitable for both your family and your pet.|Ask the vet to give you one which is suitable for both your family and your pet if possible.}

2. ALLERGIES!

{This is is different from the one discussed above. Pets have allergies too and as soon as they’re found out, the better it is. Try giving all kinds of food to your pet (the food that is prescribed by the vet.) {Then make sure that the pet eats it without having any allergic reaction to it.|Make sure that the pet eats it without having any allergic reaction to it.}|Pets have allergies too and as soon as they’re found out, the better it is. Make sure that the pet eats it without having any allergic reaction to it.}

{However, if the pet has reactions and infections because of it, stop that food immediately.|If the pet has reactions and infections because of it, stop that food immediately.}

1. GIVE LOVE, TAKE LOVE!

{This is the most important one. {Perhaps you know that pets need a lot of support and care when it comes to handling them.|When it comes to handling them, perhaps you know that pets need a lot of support and care.} And trust me, they don’t have ways to tell you how much they love you for being {so affectionate and loving|loving and so affectionate} them. {All pets need a little bit of discipline as well.|All pets need a little bit of discipline.}|Perhaps you know that pets need a lot of support and care when it comes to handling them. All pets need a little bit of discipline.}

Discipline is what is important too because in this way, the won’t bite/scratch/snarl at anyone or any other pet. It is most important for them.
Your pets aren’t one of those. And so, making sure that their diet is proper and the kind of food given to them contains all the {nutrients and minerals|minerals and nutrients} your pet needs to keep {healthy and playful|playful and healthy} all the time, is the right way to go!

Pets need to get out of the house in order for you to train them. There’s nothing more serious than having your pet get admitted to the hospital for {infections and allergies|allergies and infections} and in case you didn’t know, pets have allergies too. Make sure that some one is always around to take care of the pet.

7 Home Remedies to Get Straight Hair Naturally.

{For those of us blessed with {curly or wavy|wavy or curly} hair, we constantly wonder how to get silky straight hair. It’s adaptable, it’s manageable and lends itself to various different hairstyles. Why wouldn’t we want it? The problem is, without subjecting our hair to heavy chemical treatments, running to the salon for a blow-dry or straightening it with an iron every day, we can’t achieve this. Even worse, most of these remedies are temporary and can cause long term damage to your hair.|For those of us blessed with {curly or wavy|wavy or curly} hair, we constantly wonder how to get silky straight hair. Even worse, most of these remedies are temporary and can cause long term damage to your hair.}

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{There is hope though.|There is hope.} Natural hair straightening does exist. These 7 home remedies for straight hair show you how to get straight hair naturally, and avoid damaging it in the process.

7 Home Remedies to Straighten Hair Naturally:
{1. Egg and Olive Oil: Egg and olive oil work wonders to nourish your hair and make it strong. {But did you also know that they can straighten your hair?|Did you also know that they can straighten your hair?} For this home remedy all you need is|Egg and Olive Oil: Egg and olive oil work wonders to nourish your hair and make it strong. Did you also know that they can straighten your hair?} Find more on izunami titanium flat iron.

2 eggs and 1 part olive oil.
Mix them together thoroughly and apply it on your scalp.
Wash this off in an hour.
{2. Milk, Honey and Strawberries: Sounds delicious doesn’t it? {However, milk has proven to be an excellent natural straightener.|Milk has proven to be an excellent natural straightener.} Rich in protein, milk smoothes out your hair and fortifies the hair shaft.|Milk has proven to be an excellent natural straightener. Rich in protein, milk smoothes out your hair and fortifies the hair shaft.}
For this treatment,

Mix milk with two tablespoons of honey
{Then add fresh, crushed strawberries.|Add fresh, crushed strawberries.}
Apply this on your hair and wrap a towel around it.
After 2-3 hours, wash it off.
3. Aloe Vera: Aloe vera is choc-a-bloc with enzymes that promote hair growth and keep your hair {soft and smooth|smooth and soft}. It also penetrates the hair, moisturising it thoroughly, reducing the chance of frizz or curls.
Steps for this treatment:

Mix half a cup of warm oil and half a cup of aloe vera.
Apply this pack to your hair
Wash it out after 30-40 minutes!
DAILY MOISTURE REPAIR SHAMPOO
Pantene Daily Moisture Repair Shampoo
Keep hair looking {healthy and shiny|shiny and healthy}

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4. Castor Oil: Amongst its other benefits like treating skin infections, stomach problems and constipation, castor oil works wonders for straightening your hair.
For this remedy,

Warm the oil and massage it into your hair.
Wrap a warm, damp towel around it and keep it on for 30 minutes.
{Then wash your hair with a gentle shampoo like Pantene.|Wash your hair with a gentle shampoo like Pantene.}
5. Vinegar: One of the more popular remedies – vinegar is well known for adding sleekness and shine to your hair. After you’ve rinsed out the conditioner from your hair, add some drops of vinegar into a mug of cold water and rinse out your hair one last time with it.

{6. Lemon Juice and Coconut Milk: When people ask how to straighten hair naturally? – the answer is lemon juice. It is a natural straightener. Additionally, if you mix it with coconut milk, it gets the benefit of the creamy milk, which acts as a conditioner. Apply this mixture on the strands of your hair and then wash it out with lukewarm water.|Lemon Juice and Coconut Milk: When people ask how to straighten hair naturally? Additionally, if you mix it with coconut milk, it gets the benefit of the creamy milk, which acts as a conditioner. Apply this mixture on the strands of your hair and then wash it out with lukewarm water.}

7. Banana, Curd, Honey and Olive Oil: This hair mask is power packed with natural conditioners like curd and olive oil.
Steps involved:

Take two overripe bananas and 2 tablespoons of honey, olive oil and curd and mash them into a fine paste.
Coat your hair with this mask and protect it with a shower cap.
Leave this on for 1/2 an hour and then wash it off.
It is important to note that these remedies should be used twice or thrice a week, and not on a daily basis. Are you still wondering how to get straight hair naturally now? As a final note, we ‘d like to remind you that each remedy needs to be given time for any effect to be seen, but the result, is well worth the wait!
For those of us blessed with {curly or wavy|wavy or curly} hair, we constantly wonder how to get silky straight hair. These 7 home remedies for straight hair show you how to get straight hair naturally, and avoid damaging it in the process.

Rich in protein, milk smoothes out your hair and fortifies the hair shaft.
Aloe Vera: Aloe vera is choc-a-bloc with enzymes that promote hair growth and keep your hair {soft and smooth|smooth and soft}. After you’ve rinsed out the conditioner from your hair, add some drops of vinegar into a mug of cold water and rinse out your hair one last time with it.

Steps to Help You Hire the Right Contractor

{Building your dream home is one of the most exciting things you’ll ever do, but all that excitement comes with a lot of responsibility. Hiring the best general contractor for you and your project is an extremely important decision. That choice will determine the quality of craftsmanship and will minimize emotional stress and unexpected costs. Bringing in the right contractor early in the design process is one of the most important ingredients in staying on budget and on schedule during construction.|Hiring the best general contractor for you and your project is an extremely important decision. Bringing in the right contractor early in the design process is one of the most important ingredients in staying on budget and on schedule during construction.}

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Here are five simple steps to help you hire the right contractor for your project.

{1. Get referrals. Talk with people you know and trust. Your architect is an obvious source, but talk with family, friends, neighbors, lawyers, real estate agents and others who have built projects similar to yours.|Talk with people you know and trust. Your architect is an obvious source, but talk with family, friends, neighbors, lawyers, real estate agents and others who have built projects similar to yours.}

Browse professional listings to find general contractors in your area. Check out their reviews and browse photos in their portfolios to see how their work lines up with the scope of your project. You can even message them to get a conversation going. For more information visit Company website.

Are there recently completed or under-construction projects in your area? Ask the owners about their contractor and the working relationship they have with him or her.

{2. Verify licenses. Make sure your contractor candidates are licensed and in good standing with your state license board. Ask to see the contractor’s pocket license, picture I.D. and certificate of insurance.|Make sure your contractor candidates are licensed and in good standing with your state license board. Ask to see the contractor’s pocket license, picture I.D. and certificate of insurance.}

Proper licensing demonstrates a company’s best practices management, but hiring a licensed contractor will also protect you. {For example, worker’s compensation insurance is a contractor’s responsibility, not a property owner’s, but that’s not the case if a contractor is not licensed or does not carry proper insurance.|Worker’s compensation insurance is a contractor’s responsibility, not a property owner’s, but that’s not the case if a contractor is not licensed or does not carry proper insurance.}

In California anyone who contracts to perform work on a project valued at $500 or more, including labor and materials, must hold a current, valid license from the Contractors State License Board. Check out the National Association of State Contractors Licensing Agencies to find information about contractors’ licenses in your state.

{3. View recent work. After looking at a contractor’s portfolio, request to visit a few projects similar in size and style to yours. Try to check out one that was recently completed, one that’s under construction and one completed five to 10 years ago. Ask yourself:|After looking at a contractor’s portfolio, request to visit a few projects similar in size and style to yours. Try to check out one that was recently completed, one that’s under construction and one completed five to 10 years ago.}

5. Understand the contract. Decide on the contractor you wish to hire and while your plans are in the permit-review process, discuss the different kinds of contracts available and ask for one to review.
{Ask for updates to the construction bid if plans change for any reason.|If plans change for any reason, ask for updates to the construction bid.}
Do not sign the contract until your permits have been approved and all costs have been finalized.
{Be aware that there are always unknowns in the construction process that create change orders and additional costs. This is normal. Expect it. Allow 5 to 8 percent of your total budget for these extras. With good planning, design and management, they can be minimized.|Be aware that there are always unknowns in the construction process that create change orders and additional costs. With good planning, design and management, they can be minimized.}
There are far more reputable, {honest and hardworking|hardworking and honest} contractors than there are the slapdash, fly-by-night operations we read about in the news. With proper planning and research, you will find the perfect contractor for your project. Invest the time and remember that spending a few extra dollars in the beginning could save you thousands of dollars in the end.
Hiring the best general contractor for you and your project is an extremely important decision. Bringing in the right contractor early in the design process is one of the most important ingredients in staying on budget and on schedule during construction.

After looking at a contractor’s portfolio, request to visit a few projects similar in size and style to yours. Decide on the contractor you wish to hire and while your plans are in the permit-review process, discuss the different kinds of contracts available and ask for one to review.
With proper planning and research, you will find the perfect contractor for your project.