7 Tips To Help Your College Student Find Their College Housing

student-housing_2402882bAh, for some of you, this is the moment that you have been waiting for 18 years. Some waiting with great anticipation and others with great dread. As your college student gets ready to leave the nest, it’s important that the thought of the actual housing residence doesn’t get left by the wayside. Will they be living on campus or off? Let’s look at 7 tips which will help them and you find the perfect college housing.

  1. Start looking early.

You’re not the only student starting college this semester, which means there are plenty of people looking for housing too! It’s best to start looking as early as you can, that way you get more choice and best pick too. You can find the best places by picking up community newspapers or local advertising magazines, as well as looking out for “for rent” signs around close neighborhoods.

  1. Don’t pick the first apartment you see!

Every apartment is different, so it’s best to weigh in your pros and cons with each one you see. Find a few that fit your price range and have a close inspection of each one, taking notes as you go. One may be closer to college, but in a loud neighborhood, or you may see one that’s in a great neighborhood but a little too pricey. Don’t rush things just to be ahead of the game.

  1. Be ready to leave a deposit.

The competition is strong for student housing, so even though you should be scouting more than just one place, make sure you have enough for a deposit just in case you stumble upon a miracle place you need to snatch up before anyone else! It’s also a good idea to bring along a co-signer with you, as most landlords will require someone with a good credit history before letting you place a deposit.

  1. Read the lease carefully before committing!

This is an absolute must! Always read the lease carefully and thoroughly before signing anything. It should include important information such as when the rent is due, penalties for late rent and who you should contact for help with maintenance issues. It may also include if pets are allowed and subletting, which may be a big problem if you were hoping for roommates to help with the rent!Student housing

  1. House sharing.

It’s always great to plan ahead, making sure you know your monthly budget for everything you may need. This will include food, travel expenses, books and supplies for school and of course rent. If you’re worried about a steady income, whether it is a student loan, parents, or a job, maybe it would be a good idea to house share with friends or find a roommate. This could split your rent in half, or possibly more! Helping you save, or have more money for those little treats and luxuries.

  1. Inspect closely!

Make sure to inspect every apartment you see closely, making a list for each one. Include things like whether or not it includes any utilities, such as a stove or refrigerator, or if pets are allowed. There’s no harm in asking plenty of questions about plumbing, electrics, noise levels, anything you can think that may affect you living there. You can then compare each place, weighing in your pros and cons.

If you can, try and find the most convenient apartment possible. If you drive, it makes it a lot easier for you to get around, although if you don’t drive then an apartment closest to the college and a store would be great! If that fails, having a place close to a bus route would be super handy. Even if you do drive, if you’re lucky enough to find an apartment within walking or cycling distance to the everyday places you visit, then why not leave the car at home and save on insurance, maintenance, parking and gas!

There you have them, 7 tips that can make the whole college housing experience go much smoother. We had friends that had a daughter looking for college housing and found some great weber state university housing at Harrison Heights Apartments. They found it to be much more advantageous for their daughter to live off-campus than on. Need a little more information or housing listings? Check out www.studenthousing.org to see a great index of college/student housing that currently available in your area. It’s up to you to determine which kind of housing will work best with the tips above in mind!

Tips On What to Expect From a Collision Repair

collision-damageMany of us have taken part in one end of the other of a collision, and if not yet, statistically the likelihood is high that one will occur in which we’re involved. With that being said, most people never really think about what to expect after an accident in regards to the auto body repair that will more than likely be involved. It’s one of those out of sight, out of mind events that no one really thinks about until it happens. With that said, and thanks in part to some insights from Laura T. Coffey over at today.com, we have put together a list of tips to keep in mind before having the auto body repair work done.

  1. Be prepared to actually see what you signed up for in your insurance policy. Unless your an avid accident causer, most of us don’t fully realize what our insurance covers until it’s time to use it. With that being said, you may be in for a surprise, starting with the deductible. While many of us end up grabbing a higher deductible to lessen our insurance, this is where is may come into play. The average deductible is $500, which means you have to pay that amount first before the insurance can/will begin to cover repair costs. For some, the deductible is much higher due to wanting a smaller premium. Take a look at your policy and see where it stands. Also to note, that if you have caused the accident, you will need to confirm whether you even have collision coverage to pay for the repairs. If you went for a lower premium, there’s a good chance you may have removed collision from the coverage.
  2. If you’re using insurance and want them to coverage the collision repairs, it’s important to know, understand, and follow the system. Realize that the insurance company will often want to direct you as to whom to go to in order to get quotes and may even have recommended or approved repair shops. Be aware that when working within their network, you are still best off doing your own research. See what kind of reviews the shop has, how long they’ve been in business and even a gallery of their work if possible.
  3. Always get more than one estimate. This will benefit you in several ways. It will allow you to see a healthy cross-section of what the repair costs truly can be. If you go with just one estimate, you won’t know if it’s the highest, lowest, or somewhere in between. It will also be beneficial to see different opinions on the repair work that will be needed to be done. Some shops may recommend going further while others may recommend only touching what is absolutely necessary.
  4. 2-collision-repair-advertisementChoosing the repair shop. You should always have at least a little bit of choice as to whom you use to do the repairs. Even if you must stay within the insurance companies list of approved repair shops, they’ll usually have several to choose from and some insurance companies will allow you to choose your own. With this in mind, keep the following criteria on a checklist:
    1. Replacement parts. Are the OEM (original-equipment manufacturer) parts? Are they salvaged or generic parts. What do you prefer and what do they use?
    2. How does the repair shop rate in the area. Do they have strong reviews with a history of great work or are they a brand new company that looks a little shady?   Check into their reputation and complaint history and with the internet, this can easily be done from home.
    3. Do they specialize in your type of vehicle – especially if you have a European auto. They will often need specialized tools and procedures to work on foreign automobiles and it’s important to note whether they are certified to do so or whether they are just piecing the tools together to “make” something work.
    4. Do they offer a rental car or is that something you need to try and obtain through your insurance company? Some auto body repair shops with offer you a rental car at their expense (often written into the quote) and others have no such option, but be sure you know how you will get around while your car is in the shop.
    5. Ask them how accurate their estimation of the timeframe of the repair is and how often they meet that estimation. This can help save you a lot of headache if they consistently over promise on the timeframe, you don’t need to be so locked into what they say. Rather you can plan additional time if they tend to consistently miss their mark.
    6. What kind of warranty do they offer? Salt Lake City collision repair shop Go-Collision offers a lifetime warranty on all collision work for as long as you own the vehicle. Some shops over limited warranties, while others offer no warranty. Obviously, we would recommend finding a shop that offers a long and strong warranty and that has been in business long enough to have serviced that type of warranty.

If you’ve done the research right and followed the above tips, your auto body repair should come out looking like new. When done right, you should even be able to tell that there was ever any damage and your vehicle should run like new. When done wrong….. well just follow the tips and focus on getting it done right by knowing what to expect.

Wiring the Whole House Stereo Speaker Systems

wiring-whole-house-audio-system-blueprintWhen you’re getting ready to install a whole house stereo system, it can be a daunting task. While it is always easiest to do this during the new construction of the house, we can understand that you also may be looking to do this in an existing house. No matter if you want is simple light speaker system or you want to create a recording audio space to rival the best recording studios in DC, this can be done and with today’s technology it can be done much cheaper than ever before.   The video below does a great job of showing the preparation that should go into setting up the whole house system.

As you can see, deciding that you want to have a whole house sound system is only the beginning. You must determine if you want a sound system which is all controlled from one central location is an entirely different setup than one that can be controlled from several places or can play different music in different rooms. It would include even more components if you want to include the ability for recording and playing through the house – whether you want your own recording studio or just love to throw karaoke parties. Here are some of the key points to take note of when planning the actual wiring of the sound system:

  • Decide where you want to control the system from.
  • Determine where you need to put the control center of the system – and it can be separate from the user control. Take it a step further with a remote control system.
  • Taking the time to decide on where you want to place the speakers must not only take into consideration the sound and how it will fill the room, but should also include recognition and alignment with other fixtures which are already in the ceiling or wall.
  • The right kind of wiring is critical. Don’t think there will be a difference if you use cat5 instead of cat5e? I wouldn’t take the chance as you don’t want to have to change the wire down the road.
  • Be sure to properly plan. Don’t be afraid to take the time to plan it out properly as it will make the whole project flow more smoothly.  Here’s some great home audio layout/blueprints from Crutchfield Corporation.

There you have the basic foundation blocks to prepare that whole house audio system you’ve been wishing for. Take the time, plan it out properly and create that dream sound system in your house.

15 Handy Tips to Help You Find The Perfect Wedding Reception Venue (Or Help Your Daughter Find It)

outdoor-wedding-receptionIt might come as a surprise to see a blog post about finding wedding reception venues on a handyman blog, but after having gone through our fair share of weddings, both planning and participating, we decided it would be a great idea to put together a blog with tips as to how to pick the perfect one or help your loved one pick the right one. Nothing like being able to be the hero to your son, daughter, or spouse-to-be by having a little bit of inside information to make the perfect choice. Without further adieu, here’s the list of tips.

  1. Determine What Your Budget is. Figure out what can be afforded and what can’t. This may dictate not only the venue, but the amount of guests. Some venues, such as Aspen Landing- one of the most beautiful wedding venues in Utah already covers a preset number of people and that may dictate your choice and change your budget. Others may have a base cost with a per person additional cost.
  2. Determine the number of guests. At least determine a rough number of guests you feel like you can’t live without as that will help you determine the smallest venue that you would be willing to utilize, while allowing you to grow from there. This will also help you with the price as mentioned above.

3.Determine whether you want a spiritual/religious wedding, or a non-religious setting. Deciding this will help you determine if you need to look at more religious venues or those that would allow more of a religious presentation apart from those that either don’t allow it or don’t lend themselves to it.

  1. Indoor, outdoor, or both. Some wedding venues allow you to have both an inside and outside space, such as Aspen Landings mentioned above. Other venues may only have one or the other which will change the experience and setting. Also be sure not to forget about the weather. If you do decide on an outdoor only venue, be sure to have a back-up plan for inclement weather.
  2. Determine what you would like, or be okay with, the venue providing. Some venues have they’re own catering service or a list of services that are allowed to work with them. The same could go for videographers, photographers, officiators, DJs, etc. What is it that you want control of and what are you comfortable with the venue dictating.
  3. Determine the look and feel you want. Are you looking for a more elegant wedding or modern setting? Realize that it can often be difficult to change the style of a place no matter how you change the flowers. If the decor is already a certain style you may have a hard time masking or changing it and you’ll want to know what kind of style, look , and feel you will want.
  1. Utilize the internet. Start the search here. See where some of the most popular places are and get a list of them. Check out their population limitations, catering and dancing choices, as well as the look and feel. Don’t be afraid to check out their prices online if they’re listed as well. This can save a lot of early leg work.
  2. Narrow the list down and go there in person. Now that you have researched the list, be sure to go in person and visit the location. See how you like it and how the bride and groom-to-be feel about it. Does it match what it looked like online? Is it a lot different?

 

Canyon-Ridge-wedding-staircaseThose are 8 of the biggest issues when choosing a wedding reception venue, but we’ve added another 7 that we consider the super simple, but often forgotten issues that you want to note before the day of the event.

7 Super Simple Secret Tips

 

9.Does it have ample bathrooms for all the guests.

  1. If it’s outdoor – go there during the time your planning your wedding- so you get the real feel.
  2. Will there be other weddings taking place around yours? Are you okay with that?
  3. Lighting. Will you be able to see everyone? Is it too bright?
  4. Is there a place for the bridal party, including the bride and groom, to change and/or relax. Is this available in the morning of or just during the ceremony and reception?
  5. Liquor. Does it have a liquor license? Does it provide the alcohol? Do you even want alcohol to be served? Is a bartender needed or provided?
  6. Can the engaged couple see themselves getting married here. That is the biggest question that needs to be answered.

With the 15 highly useful tips above, our handyman friends can be much more prepared to pick the perfect venue as well as be the hero for their loved one. Looking for more information?  You can check out https://www.theknot.com. They have a lot of great information on getting married as well as finding the perfect venue. There are many great venue choices and we wish you and your loved ones the best wedding and reception experience anyone can have!

What’s The Difference Between Topsoil and Garden Soil

topsoil-vs-garden-soilWhen looking to improve the soil on your property you have probably come across the phrases topsoil and garden soil. These are common especially when you look at a “big box” stores and local landscaping companies. In the bigger stores, most of the soil is bought and sold in bags for smaller projects. Often this is garden soil and can come in a variety of different soils, everything from flower garden soil, to vegetable garden soil and herb garden soil. The question then becomes are these different than “topsoil” or is this all the same type of soil, simply put together in a different format to sell? Most handyman will know that these are indeed different soils and here’s why.
Topsoil
Topsoil is just that. It is the top 5 – 12 inches of surface on the earth depending on the location. The amount of topsoil will differ depending on the climate and composition of the soils in different areas. For instance topsoil Utah county can tend to be more sandy and arid due to the dryness of the Utah weather and the salt from the Salt Lake area. This can increase the need for fresh quality topsoil to be added to property. All soil, including topsoil has a mix of clay, silt and sand. Topsoil generally has a mix of 7-27 percent clay, 28-50 percent silt and under 52 percent sand. Topsoil is perfect when you need to prepare a large landscaping or lawn area.
Garden Soil
Garden soil tends to have its own mix of sand, silt, and clay but also is mixed to pertain to particular types of gardens, such as flower gardens, vegetable gardens, and herb gardens. This ingredients in the various blends will vary but will often contain different types or fertilizers and organic matter to help bolster the richness of the soil and better feed the plants that you may use. Often this type of soil is sold in smaller quantities than topsoil and is often available only in bags. Occasionally you can find this type of soil in bulk through local landscaping companies. If bought locally, it is always a good idea to ask where the soil was acquired from, what sources the company uses for its sand and any fertilizer or organic matter that may be present in the soil to ensure the quality of garden topsoil you’re looking for as well as compatibility with your soil.
Once you know the difference between garden soil and top soil, you can now determine which best fits your needs and you are better prepared with this home tip!