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Should Your New Hire Be An Employee or Independent Contractor?

Should Your New Hire Be An Employee or Independent Contractor?

Has your business grown to the point where you are considering adding additional staff? Great! One of the questions you might be asking is if you should hire an employee or an independent contractor? Or perhaps, you are considering becoming an independent contractor yourself? Regardless of the situation, there are a number of factors to consider prior to making your decision.

You may be wondering why it is so important to choose one classification over the other. What difference does it really make? And who determines who is an employee and who is an independent contractor? Needless to say, the IRS cares a great deal how an individual is classified, and so should you. Ultimately it is the IRS who determines what constitutes a valid contractor vs. employee classification.

There are three areas to be examined when determining if an individual should be classified as employee or independent contractor:

Behavioral Control: Do you have control over or do you have the right to control what the person does and how the individual performs the job? In other words, what is the degree of instructions given to an individual?

Some instructions might include when, where and how a job has to be performed, what work must be done and what tools must be used. The more detailed the instructions the more likely the individual would be classified as an employee. The greater the level of autonomy an individual has in performing a service, the more likely the individual could be classified as an independent contractor.

Financial Control: Do you have control over the business aspects of the individual’s work? Are there non-reimbursed expenses in the course of the service performed? Independent contractors routinely incur expenses as part of doing business. Does the individual perform services for other clients? If so, then he/she most likely can be classified as an independent contractor.

Type of Relationship: Does the individual receive compensation typically given to employees (insurance, vacation pay, pension plan, etc.)? Can the work the individual performs for the business be classified as a key aspect of the business’ regular activities? If both answers are yes, than the individual most likely would be classified as an employee. Do you have a written employment contract in place clarifying the relationship as either contractor or employee? Having a written contract aids in defining the classification.

As of today, independent contractors may receive up to $600 in compensation from you before you are required to report the income on Form 1099-Misc.

Keep in mind, that if you are the independent contractor, you will need to file a W-9 with the business you are contracting with. In turn, they have to report the income on a Form 1099-Misc. (Many of you already receive these from insurance companies that pay you.)

Determining the proper classification can be confusing and challenging. It is up to you, the business, to choose the proper classification. If you are unclear what classification to choose, seek proper professional advice. You may also file form SS-8 “Determination of Worker Status for Purposes of Federal Employment Taxes and Income Tax Withholding” with the IRS to help you determine the proper classification.

Further information can be obtained from the IRS.…

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Picking Electric Fencing

Picking Electric Fencing

When trying to decide what kind of fencing you want to buy you first need to decide what you want the fence for. Deciding what you are using the fencing for and what kind of protection you need can help you to decide the kind of fencing you need. If you are going to have animals you will need a barbed wire fence; while if it is for a business, such as a power plant, you may want electric fencing so your business will not have such a high chance of being vandalized.

Animals cannot only have barbed wire fencing, but they can also have electric fencing. If you are worried that your animals are in danger of being stolen or harmed, you may want this type of fencing instead of barbed wire. While barbed wire is reliable in most cases, electric fencing can be more dependable in others.

If you have a large business with large amounts of valuable materials in open places you may want to choose electric fencing over barbed wire, because while barbed wire can poke intruders, electrical wiring will shock them. The shock is not enough to kill someone; just a short, strong-pulsed, sharp electric shock is run through the body. This will usually scare burglars away, in fear of being shocked again.

Security systems may also be added to your security fencing. Alarms will be set off if the fence has to give a jolt. This allows you to catch the bad guys. Perpetrators will have to be on their game to try and break in your property.

The benefits of this fencing ranges from alarm systems, zero penetration, very affordable and lasts a long time, is still able to perform after the lights go out for over ten hours, easy to install, but most of all it offers you a high reliable system. These are all amazing reasons to get an electric fence. You really cannot go any other way.

Having a business such as a construction company can call for a special kind of protection. These are very dangerous places if not kept away from other people and animals. These places can actually be lethal for people who are not trained professionals. This is the kind of time you need to have a good protection for your property. Keeping the community safe is a huge part of being a business owner.

Having a business is an important accomplishment. You want to have the best kind of protection that you can. This is not only for you but also for your customers. Having an electric fence is the best way to protect yourself and your belongings. Vandalism can be a devastating thing to happen to your company so you need to protect yourself. An electric fence is the most affordable and reliable defense mechanism you can have. It usually comes with an over ten year guarantee. That means that this product will last you for many years to come. Being smart and saving money are the best ways to go.…

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How to Rear Pigs: Housing and Electric Fencing For Pigs

How to Rear Pigs: Housing and Electric Fencing For Pigs

Pig Housing

Pigs, contrary to common belief, are very clean animals and like a lot of animals like to nest, so it is essential to provide a nice dry straw or hay bed in a purpose-built shelter or ark. Pigs won’t go to the bathroom in their sleeping area, so there’s no need to fear the clean out as it will be cleaner than many other animals. Pigs are actually quite interactive animals and like attention, so don’t be surprised if your pig decides to give you a hand when you are cleaning their housing.

It’s worth cleaning their sleeping area every 4 weeks or when the pigs have ground the existing straw down. Most purpose-built arks or shelters have a cleaning hatch that swings open giving you easier access to their sleeping area. You should be able to sweep the old straw out and replace it with new, fresh straw.

Most pigs will sleep in their shelter all night and often during the day as well. The shelter will act as a shade in hotter weather; most pigs are pale and have little in the way of hair making them prone to sunburn so it is important for them to be able to retreat to the shade of their housing if needs be. If, as is too often the case in the UK climate, the weather is bad pigs will also retreat to their housing to take shelter from the elements.

Protection: Electric Fencing for Pigs

As well as housing for your pigs, you will need to consider how to contain them and keep them safe. Traditional fencing can work, but electric fencing works much better. The pigs soon learn to respect the barrier and can easily be contained. Another benefit of electric fencing for pigs is that it deters predators from entering the pig enclosure as most electric fences can be made high enough to make leaping the barrier a difficult challenge without getting zapped first. Electric fencing also has the benefit of being totally portable, so if you need to move your pigs to a different grazing area or temporarily move your pigs then you can, quickly and easily.

When selecting your fencing solution you need to consider which type is most suited to your own situation; consider whether the area where the pigs will live is going to be near crops, gardens or even a road. Based on these factors you will be able to decide whether to invest in a permanent fence, possible traditional post and wire, or an electric fence that is more reliable and portable.

It is important to introduce your pigs to the fence in a controlled environment or they pigs may force their way through it, getting zapped all the while, or panic and get stressed. Educating your pigs is essential, once they have touched the fence a few times they will quickly learn that they don’t want to go near or through it.

Powering your fence will be easy; there are numerous options available to you. Electric fences can be mains powered or battery-powered, the later is particularly useful for fences erected far away from a mains supply. The power of the shock should be tailored to the animal, contrary to popular belief, electric fencing for pigs is not dangerous in any way if properly maintained. The shock is simply aimed at making the pigs uncomfortable, not inflict pain. It is after all just a deterrent. The height or your fence should be approximately 4 to 6 wires high.

Pigs are also notorious for digging and snuffling around in the soil that your fence will be planted in, so including some electric fence netting on the bottom of your fence will deter them from digging their way under the electrified wire. The lowest wire should also be very close to the ground. This also helps keep smaller predators out.…

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Post Puller Review Series – The Appliance Dolly With a Jack Style Post Puller for Fence Repair

Post Puller Review Series – The “Appliance Dolly With a Jack” Style Post Puller for Fence Repair

Summary

Advantages

Contractor-grade equipment offers powerful lifting mechanisms that can deliver several tons of lifting pressure to the post.

Effective at removing posts that are strong and undamaged, when the post is still secure within the concrete footing.

Disadvantages

The same powerful lifting mechanism can be dangerous to the operator and can damage the post puller.

Only effective when the post is intact and still secure to the concrete footing.

Expensive – the equipment ranges from approximately $500 to upwards of $3300 for professional contractor-grade machines

Heavy and bulky to store – even the smallest design weighs more than 50 pounds and that model didn’t have wheels.

Conclusion

If you run a handyman or fence repair business you may have need for this type of post puller, but for the typical homeowner that needs to replace their privacy fence or remove a few posts on occasion there are more cost-effective and practical solutions. The Wood Post Puller method and tool is the only solution that actually works by eliminating the hold of the ground on the post – allowing the post and footing to slide out of the ground on a layer of mud.

Full Review

If you are going to invest in a commercial grade piece of equipment, this is the group you should consider. The jacks can provide sufficient lifting force to remove posts set several feet into the ground and with large concrete foundations – provided the post and footing are strong enough to withstand the strain. The wheeled dolly configuration is of little practical benefit – the weight and length of a full-length post and concrete footing combined with the dolly becomes very unwieldy and you will likely find it easier to handle the post by itself, separate from the dolly.

Consider the type of posts you will be removing when selecting the post puller and pay special attention to how the puller will grip the post. If you are a handyman you can customize this item yourself, but the common options from the manufacturer are either a chain-binding system or some type of clamping mechanism. For wood posts wrapping a length of chain around the post will usually provide a secure hold on the post, as will the clamp attachments. Chain link or metal sign posts present more of a challenge, the chains and clamps will tend to slide up the post and not grip – so plan to provide a means of securing the post puller to the post. A common solution is to simply drill a hole through the metal fence post and use a bolt to attach the lifting chain.

The main advantage of the dolly-with-a-jack style post pullers is also their most significant drawback – the same powerful lifting mechanism that is effective at removing posts can be very dangerous – the frame itself can collapse, a weld can crack, the puller can slip off the post or the post could give way – all of these hazards can cause injury to an operator. Just read the safety warnings for these tools – one operating manual was 3 pages of safety warnings and A� page of instructions!

Another shortcoming of these post pullers is their ineffectiveness at removing posts that are broken off or rotten, or when the post itself is gone and the concrete plug or ‘stump’ remains and must be removed. Some pullers offer screw attachments – essentially a large eyebolt to screw into the wood – this can function when the post has snapped off due to wind damage or impact but does not work well when the wood post is rotten or deteriorated. Other units offer extractor claws or scissor clamps that are meant to grab the outside of the concrete footing or post plug and tighten their grip as the jack pulls up. Again, these accessories are most effective when the concrete plug is one solid piece – cracked or deteriorating concrete will break into pieces (another hazard!) and not be pulled out. These attachments also require the clamp to be held in place during the jacking process so that they are positioned properly on the post or footing – putting the operator directly in the danger zone if the attachment slips or the cable or chain break.

Final Conclusion

The typical homeowner or do-it-yourself handyman will find the “appliance dolly with a jack” style post puller to be an expensive toy that eats up their storage space and only gets brought out on rare occasion. Other products on the market offer more cost-effective and practical solutions that are effective even on broken or rotten posts and when the concrete footing is fractured and in pieces.…

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Build a Fence Like a Pro – Follow These Tips

Build a Fence Like a Pro – Follow These Tips

If you plan to build a fence, it’s easy to find plans and directions online that will guide you through the project. But here are some key points you should be aware of before you put your shovel into the ground to plant your first fence post.

Check to see if your town requires you to get a permit to install a fence on your property. And, certainly, if you belong to a homeowners’ association, get permission to put up a fence.

When you track down a set of building plans for the type of fence that meets your needs and matches the look and style of your home, make sure those plans include a list of building materials — and their quantities — required to build the fence.

Without a high quality set of DIY fence plans that includes such a list, all you can do is make rough estimate of the materials you’ll need. You may wind up short of materials and money before you finish the project.

Next, ask at your lumber yard, hardware store or any other knowledgeable resource how deep the frost line goes in your area. You’ll want to dig your post holes well below this level so your fence posts don’t heave up or loosen when the ground repeatedly freezes and thaws.

Also, when it comes to putting the fence posts into the ground, make sure you align the post holes properly and position them accurately on one another so your fence runs true. You don’t want your installed fence posts to come out looking like a row of crooked teeth.

Post installation should start with the end posts. Set the end posts into concrete and wait until they’re secure in the ground. Then run a tight string from the top of one post to the other to create a perfectly straight line.

Follow your fence building plan and put a series of properly-spaced stakes in the ground along this line. Space the stakes equally according to your building plan, then use these stakes to determine where you’ll dig your post holes.

• Fill each hole with concrete

• Set each pole into the concrete

• Align the top of each pole with the string so they’re all level with each other and perpendicular to the ground

• Brace each post in position while the cement sets up

• Let the concrete cure for a day or two before attaching the actual fencing.

It’s best to use rust-proof screws rather than nails to secure your fencing to the posts. Hammering nails into the posts could loosen them in the concrete.

Prime, seal and paint your fence to make it attractive and weatherproof.

By following the directions that come with a good set of fence building plans, your DIY fence will look professionally built and remain sturdy and secure for many years.…

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Understanding Fencing Types

Understanding Fencing Types

Fencing had been an integral part of the human civilization, since the early days of the colonization. With the creation of unique and identified human made structures, the practical use of this technique was felt by our ancestors.

As per the English dictionary, fencing is a structure or a boundary which acts as a separator among two or more than two pieces of land. The area on either side of the fence can be any type of property and land. In the earlier days of our civilization, this concept was initiated so as to differentiate the land occupied by several of the owners. Farming was the only professional use of land at that time, and thus this method was originated to avoid disputes and fights regarding the crops.

As time went by, the concept of fencing was diversified to various other implications with respect to the land. Soon the humans developed houses along with gardens, and then the fence was used to keep away the animals and other predators.

Depending on the usage, there are several types of fences available today. Few of the issues which should be always kept in mind while selecting the right kind of fences are:

Privacy: This factor needs to be considered very smartly while selecting the right type of fence for your property.

Landscape Enhancement: In case you wish to further expand or alter your property, you should always go for the flexible kind.

Security: This is the most important factor which needs to be considered while selecting the fence. Security can not and should not be compromised while selecting the fence.

Some of the most popular types of fences are:

Twisted Wired, Chain Link, Wooden Fence, Barbed Wired, Picket Fence and High-Rise Fence.

Different landscapes have different types of requirements. It is best left to the owner of the particular landscape to decide upon the type of fencing required.…

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Fencing Can Enhance Your Garden and Home

Fencing Can Enhance Your Garden and Home

I’m sure you’re aware that by using a fence gate you are protecting the perimeter of your homes property. It can be an enclosed security area. This can of course also be used to help showcase the landscape and property of your garden especially when friends and family visits or someone passing by simply trounces over to enjoy how elegant the garden looks and because it is enclosed within a fenced area is simply adds to the design and enhances the garden.

There are a variety of materials that can be used when constructing a fence, for example you can use iron, wood, and vinyl. There are many different styles and designs available that can look simple but elegant, extravagance, luxurious and most you’ll find will be just perfect. The size of these gates can depend on the size of your property so you need to make sure that whatever you choose will match and looks absolutely perfect. To explain this a little if you are in a city area you’ll most likely come across high fences wears compared to rural areas the majority of people will actually use low fences.

If you’re on a budget one of the most affordable and cheapest materials you can use his wood. This is a natural material that can maintain and give me beautiful idyllic feel to your garden. There are many different types, styles and colors available in one of the great things is that they are pretty easy to install and easy to maintain for years to come. You also want to make sure that it has been treated so that it is not open to the elements and termites attack. It is also advisable to apply a number of coats of paint which will help to protect the fence from damage.

I particularly prefer a wooden fence because it can be easily maintained and can get a whole new lease of life by repainting. Being able to repaint your fence is ideal if you plan on changing how the landscape in your garden looks good by simply changing this you can change the look and feel of your overall property.

When installing a wooden fence you need to make sure that the posts you use are steel posts or cement posts as you need to ensure you have a very strong foundation. This needs to be done to ensure that it can stand the daily pressures and will last you for many years to come. Many people choose to install their own fencing and that this is an option you wish to use it really can be quite simple to do. If however you feel this is beyond your capabilities you can simply call in a professional should be able to do the job in a day or two. It’s always possible to try and get a recommendation from a friend or family member that has use someone previously. It’s also nice to be able to get some references of homes that they have previously come this way you can be assured that you are choosing the right professional to do the job for your home. Remember everybody is going to see this and this is going to have a lasting effect on your home for a long time to come just make sure you choose the right professional to get the job done properly.…

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Choosing a Fencing Contractor

Choosing a Fencing Contractor

When it comes to having a fence installed at the home, it is often best to go with a professional company for the work. In choosing fencing services, there are a number of different things to keep in mind and some specific questions that should be asked of the contractor before any work is done.

The first concern would be with the reputation of the company. They should be a reliable business and they should be able to provide pictures of previous work and give a list of references or referrals. If the fencing services company is not willing to provide such information, there may be some underlying issues. One place to look for information would be the Offices of Fair Trading. If the company has had complaints from previous customers, there may be records and reviews that are available.

When determining which contractor to use, having free estimates and a free proposal drawn up is essential this should be provided by any fencing contractor when asked. If there is an initial fee for an estimate, it is best to look for another contractor. A proposal will often have a timeline in which it is valid. If it will take time to come to a decision, the contractor should be asked how long the prices will be locked in and honoured.

All of the pricing information for the fence should be presented to the homeowner in advance. There should be a basic contract that outlines any necessary deposit that is required and goes over the payment terms. If there are any terms in this agreement that are unclear, these should be understood and cleared up before anything is signed. On the other side of things, if there is no contract and all of the dealings are done verbally it may be best to find a different contractor.

The services should include complete preparation and preliminary work before the fence is built. Check with the contractor to see if they are willing to take care of obtaining necessary permits and if they will work directly with local utility companies. They should also be aware of property lines and know all of this information before beginning their work.

Finally, it is important to know if the fence will come with a warranty. This should be in writing and it should be known what is specifically covered. This will vary from one company to the next and may simply cover the initial installation and workmanship or may be a long term and possibly a life time warranty.

By asking the right questions of the contractor, the homeowner will be able to be completely informed and make a wise decision on the installation of a new fence.…

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Selecting the Perfect Fencing Material

Selecting the Perfect Fencing Material

A CT fence company must work in all kinds of weather. From the very hottest day of the summer, to the most frigid winter temperatures, in the snow and ice, and even in the rain. When there is a job to be done, a good Connecticut fence contractor will work hard to get the job completed quickly, despite the weather conditions. These contractors are just like the materials they will use; able to withstand any environment. When a homeowner is choosing to enclose their property, it can be for any number of reasons, but the one thing that unites all homeowners is their desire for a durable and functional structure. Enclosures can be constructed of many different kinds of materials. The following are some of the most popular choices in enclosure products featured in today’s market:

– Vinyl fencing has seen a huge increase in popularity over the last decade or so. Known for its durability and performance, many are choosing to install using this very reliable material. Reasonably priced and carried by most all enclosure companies, it is typically a quick and easy solution to a homeowner or businesses needs.

– Wrought Iron enclosures are a consistent choice among higher end residential properties as well as some commercial properties. Wrought Iron is a classic, sturdy look, enjoyed by many.

– Wood based enclosures are, and have been, a very popular choice among those enclosing their yard or business space. Nothing is quite so traditional as a wood enclosure, particularly in a picket style. Those living in older homes often opt for wood enclosures, in keeping with the period in which the home was originally built. The drawback to wood enclosures has always been the maintenance involved in their upkeep. Cedar wood seems to be a popular choice for those selecting to use wood as their enclosure material.

– Chain link enclosures have been around for a long time. Most popular in the 1970’s, this material is still a viable choice for many situations which call for enclosures. Chain link enclosures are made of a very durable steel wire, which can be coated so as to fend off rust and fading.

– Aluminum fencing is a choice that many commercial sites and some residential sites will make. It is typically an economical choice, as well as a fairly durable and visually appealing choice.

After you have chosen an enclosure company you feel comfortable with, take some time and talk to them about the material options they have available for your purchase. There are so many different materials available, it is easy to be overwhelmed when making your decision. The last thing a buyer wants is to be uninformed about the choices which are available to him. A specialty enclosure contractor will be able to tell you the pros and cons of each material and style, as well as the price differences. Feeling good about your selection is so important since no matter what material you select, your enclosure is sure to last you for a good many years to come.…

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How to Dig Out a Fence Post and Concrete Footing Using Hand Tools

How to Dig Out a Fence Post and Concrete Footing Using Hand Tools

Confirm Digging is the Only Option

To begin, evaluate the condition of the post and the concrete. Intact posts are a significant benefit and will make removal much easier. Posts in good condition that are still sound make their removal much easier. Also evaluate the concrete base (if present) – is it still solid or is it cracked/crumbling?

If the post is broken or the concrete is cracked there may be no other way than to dig out the post and concrete base, but before resorting to heavy manual labor try the Wood Post Puller method – its biggest strength is that is works in synergy with all of the lifting and digging methods to improve effectiveness and can easily remove posts and concrete bases that stymie other techniques.

After you determine there is no other way than to dig out the post, the following instructions will make this difficult task as easy as possible:

How Deep and How Much to Dig?

Dig a hole next to the existing post and concrete base approximately the same size as the post and base – don’t dig all the way around the post and don’t dig a hole that is larger than the post – it is just extra work digging and then re-filling the hole after you are done.

Do you know how deep the post is buried? The following are typical starting lengths before posts are set in the ground:

4×4 wood posts will typically be 8 feet long set 3 feet in the ground

Metal t-posts will typically be 7 feet long set 2 feet in the ground

Galvanized posts are typically 8 feet long set 3 feet in the ground

If you are not sure, you can also measure the height of the post that is above ground (or the length of the piece if it is broken off) and approximate the length that is buried. Dig your hole at least 75% as deep as the post that is buried – for example, a typical wood post will be buried in the ground 3 feet or 36 inches, so dig down to a depth of at least 27 inches (36 x 0.75 = 27).

Digging Technique

Start the hole using a round point spade to get through any turf, roots, or other surface debris. As the hole gets deeper, a trench spade (also referred to as a ditch spade or trenching tool) will make the digging easier until you are down to about 16-24 inches. With shovels and spades you are using your legs and body weight to loosen the soil for removal – keep going until the hole becomes too tall and narrow to gain leverage at the bottom and then switch to the next stage.

This is where you transition to tools that are driven by arm power – the post hole digger and digging bar.

Tip – Choose a post hole digger that is smaller and lighter – unless you are a weightlifter type, the large heavy post hole diggers with the fiberglass handles will wear you out – the smaller, lighter post hole diggers are more maneuverable and will be more effective for most people, even if they sacrifice some reach.

Tip – Use a digging bar – a San Angelo bar is designed to make digging easier – it has a chisel head to loosen the soil at the bottom of the hole and to trim the sides of the hole, the other end of the bar is a point for breaking up difficult soil. Other types of digging bars will include a tamper head on one end for packing loose soil. Look for a bar that is high quality heat treated carbon steel – no need to pay extra for a brand name, digging bars are available at discount supply stores for approximately $25.

After you have reached the target depth, use the chisel head on the digging bar to clear out any soil remaining between the post and your hole. As you dig a round hole next to a round post foundation there will be a ridge that should be removed.

Removing the Post

Now you begin the removal process, the general concept is to tip the post into the hole you just dug. Start by simply pushing the top of the post towards the hole, it may break free from the soil and slide into the hole – then you can insert the pry bars underneath the post and concrete and lift it out. If the post doesn’t move, try jamming the pry bar into the ground next to the post or concrete footing on the side opposite the hole and pry it towards the hole. To …