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Posted September 8, 2017 No comments |Energy

What makes commercial roofing different from home roofing?

Commercial roofing applies to premises such as hospitals, schools, shops, warehouses, business premises, airports, convention centres and the like.  The corrugated metal sheet is the most preferred roofing material for commercial applications across Australia. In recent times, Colorbond has established itself as a reliable brand for both domestic as well as commercial roofing needs.  Light weight, versatility and great resilience are among the primary attributes that have helped Colorbond gain acceptance from users across Australia.  

Unlike homes, most commercial properties have larger spans which mean that many traditional roofing products used in homes are not viable.  Wind conditions, proximity to sea or large water bodies are also among considerations that will influence the selection of roofing material for commercial applications.  Rubber roofing has gained significant traction in recent times for commercial roofing, though this can be considered for home roofing too.  In some cases, rubber roofing what Euro Solar offers could be an ideal solution to obtain green certification.

Other major factors influencing commercial roofing projects include time as well as budget. Most commercial roofing also chooses metal roofing because of its light weight, ease of installation and a full range of professional solutions.

Colorbond and Zincalume are among the popular options for commercial metal roofing. Both these products have excellent durability. However, with Colorbond you also can choose from a wide range of colours. Zincalume is offered only in one standard colour and is relatively more economical compared to Colorbond.

Apart from material selection, some of the important considerations that go into commercial roofing include:

Design

Though some commercial buildings will have pitched roofs similar to homes, the thumb rule is a flat roof with the low incline. The square footage of most commercial roofs is also significantly more compared to residential roofs and therefore has specific design considerations.  Extra strength for supporting the weight of cooling/warming equipment and ventilation, as well as an implicit drainage system, are among these considerations.

 

Materials

Certain types of materials used in residential roofs also find application in commercial roofs. Black-top shingles and metal boards are prominent among these, particularly on slanted roofs in commercial buildings.  While the ‘low incline’ commercial roofs hold out well against the vagaries of climate, when it comes to leaks, it is generally without defence. Therefore, the material chosen should be significantly hardened to suit the larger areas.  This is also one reason why modified bitumen, built-up roofing and single-ply membranes are used to secure little incline commercial roofs.

Installation

Installing commercial roofs calls for professional expertise since the roofer must have the ability to work with the roofing material he is handling and addressing particular challenges in rendering flat roofs water tight through the effective introduction of flashing, proper sealing of welding creases and working around parapets and blocks to guarantee satisfactory drainage. He will also be expected to address issues related to ‘ponding’ and possible structural failure. To achieve all these, commercial roofers also need specialised equipment and adequately trained workforce.

Maintenance

Maintenance requirements are also distinct for commercial roofs. Membrane punctures, crease partitions, pounding, splitting and shrinkage are among the typical issues in a commercial roof.  Regular checks and appropriate maintenance are therefore necessary to retain the integrity of the roof and manage potential issues quickly. Remember also that roofs of all description are exposed to forces of nature 24x7x365. Oscillating between extreme temperatures, the wind, ice and snow your roof is expected to protect your building and the people inside unfailingly.  This is one more reason why regular maintenance is necessary for your roof.

Additionally, an annual maintenance program will extend the life cycle of your roofing system and allow you to undertake comprehensive repairs to prevent potential hardships.

Geography

Weather direction, climatic trends, and building codes are also among primary considerations while choosing commercial roofing products and roofers.  Geography can play a significant role regarding snow load, wind velocity, and annual rainfall. These factors can also potentially vary from one year to the other.  The orientation of the roof as well as trees in the neighbourhood shading the roof will also have an impact.

Use of the building

Roofing choice for a warehouse and a hospital are different. While a leak proof roof is needed in both the instances, the roof of a hospital should provide the comfortable environment for the patients as well as the staff.  Therefore, the best fit for a warehouse cannot be copied to a school or a shopping centre.

Posted September 5, 2017 No comments |Accounting

5 Reasons Why Your Business Needs An Accountant

Whether you’re a small start-up company or an established business, hiring a business accountant is essential for the welfare of your company. Many people are under the wrong impression that employing the services of an accountant is a luxury rather than a necessity. This kind of thinking might save you money on the short-term. But on the long-term, not having an accountant can turn out to be a very costly mistake.

Here are the main advantages of hiring an accountant for your business.

1. Keep Your Finances In Order

Bookkeeping can be a time-consuming and often boring task. If you don’t have the knack for it, then chances are that you’ll keep putting it off, procrastinating, and end up with a complicated mess as far as your finances go. Proper bookkeeping will make it easy for you to track your cash flow, know where and how your money is being used, and help you plan your business affairs better.

When you have a business accountant to take care of the bookkeeping, you will save a lot of time—time that can then be used in growing your business.

2. Avoid Tax Fines and Penalties

Having your own business means that you have to be on top of things at all times. Tax deadlines should not be missed; you should keep yourself updated on any new tax legislations that might affect you and your business.

Stack Of Files
Tax planning can be a frustrating task. Not only does it involve pouring over accounts for hours on end, but, if you’ve haven’t been organized with your bookkeeping, you might be in for a shock. Sometimes, the amount of tax you need to pay will be way above what you thought you owed. This happens as a result of bad bookkeeping where the finances were not meticulously tracked. If you want to avoid such hassles, then hiring a tax accountant is the way to go. Not only will an accountant do the paperwork, making your job so much easier, he/she will also be well aware of any changes in tax legislations and will update you about it. Knowing about such changes in advance means that you won’t be caught off-guard at the last minute.

3. Expand Your Business Faster

Experienced accountants are a wealth of financial information and wisdom. They can help guide you through your business decisions, evaluate potential projects to see what the probable outcomes would be and give you ideas on how to scale your business in the most efficient manner.

Calculator And A Pen On Graphing Paper

We live in a highly competitive, cutthroat world. Sometimes, a business might be making good profits in the first few years, but if it fails to expand and reach a bigger market, it can get eaten up by competitors. So, growing your business quickly is key to making your mark in the business world. An accountant can help you do this by giving you valuable advice and insight on all how you can grow your business.

4. Update Your Bookkeeping System

Gone are the days of bookkeeping ledgers and stacks of papers to keep track of your finances. We live in a digital world where everything is handled on the computer. Sure, you can get a bookkeeping software and try working with it. Or, you can hire an accountant who will know of all the best software available in the market and which one will be right for your business. Having an easy-to-use and navigate bookkeeping system in place will be a very efficient, time-saving manner to keep track of your financial business records.

5. Keep Your Taxes Down

Knowing the ins and outs of tax regulations and the legalities of it means that your accountant can help you save money by reducing your tax bill. The trick is to do it in a completely legal manner without any room for discrepancies. Only an expert who has an in-depth knowledge of taxation and corporate finance can do this.

These are just a few advantages that you gain when you rope in an accountant for your business. Accountants are so much more than just number crunchers. They can offer you timely advice when it comes to your business decisions, guide you in making the right investments and even be a valuable asset when it comes to networking and making new contacts in the business world. Not having an accountant can lead to a lot of complications when it’s time to grow your business, during the transition period where your business goes from a small startup to the next big thing in the business world. So, stay ahead of the curve by hiring an accountant.

Posted September 1, 2017 No comments |Energy, Solar Power

How solar power is more cheaper than fossil in most capital cities?

Cost of Fossil Fuel vs Solar Energy – The Sun wins the race in 2017!

Forget the traditional usage of fossil fuels that cost double, did you know that in 2017, solar energy is rapidly turning out to be far cheaper than even wind energy? In more than 30 countries, solar and wind energies have become competitive, and the costs continue to fall drastically this Eyear.

Why solar energy turned out to be a profitable industry?

As pointed out by WEF’s Michael Drexler, “renewable energies, like solar energy, have reached a tipping point to help reserve the threats of global warming’’. Currently, the cost of solar power generation is at an average of $110/MWh whereas, that from Coal is about $220/ MWh. According to calculations, the cost is further going to drop down by 70% within 2040.

Renewable energy VS. Non-renewables

In comparison to traditional sources of energy, three great factors that played a crucial role in taking the shift towards solar power generation are: ‘being cheap, not- polluting and reliable’. Negative impacts of coal such as strip mining, mountain top removal, and most importantly heavy carbon pollution, has forced the world to rethink and implement the use of solar energy. Looking at the environmental concerns and global expenditure of more than $500 billion per year on fossil fuels, the governments of all the main countries have agreed to give subsidised solar energy and because of this factor, solar and wind energy are turning out to be even cheaper. Currently, the subsidies on- renewable energy sources are not even 50% of that of coal based grants. Still, the world has invested in only about 25% of the $1 trillion goals set by the Paris Climate Accord that has the vision to establish green power by the end of the next decade.

Reaching the Grid Parity

When the Levelized Cost of Electricity (LCOE) of an alternate source of energy, like solar or wind, comes out to be equal (or even less) than the traditional sources of energy, that point is called as ‘Grid Parity’. Currently, the LCOE of wind is around $50 per MWh, whereas that of fossil fuels like natural gas and coals is $100 per MWh. Talking about solar energy, back in 2010, the cost of solar energy was about $600 per MWh, coming down to $300 per MWh in 2012, and interestingly last year, solar energy has reached a grid parity of $100 per MWh, that is almost equivalent to that of coal! This year, the figures are going to drop down even lower, thus giving a final and a severe blow to the coal based industry.

Who are the potential bigger players?

Yes, on a global scale, fossil fuels are still cheaper in many places, but, there are quite some examples where clean energy is triumphantly winning. Currently, 35 members of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) are the biggest spenders on renewable energy, with spending of about $155 billion per year. The top investors in solar energy include countries like Brazil, Australia, Chile, Uruguay, South Africa, India and Mexico. According to the Climate Council, power prices in Australia have dropped by over 58% in the past five years. In the developed countries like Japan, the USA and China, prices of solar energy remain at competitive rates compared to fossil fuels.

Facts about lowered costs

Countries like Chile and Dallas are even offering free electricity during certain parts of the year. This is largely done by reducing grid maintenance costs, energy storage, modifying federal tax credits and most importantly, raising awareness. Dubai sets a new record of bringing the prices of solar power energy to as cheap as $29.10 per MWh, which is a healthy dip below the coal prices. The US Solar market stands third in number, and it is growing at a whopping rate of 119% per year! As the costs of PV panels and prices continue to fall, it is much likely that the installation and operation of solar farms will become more and more attractive in the upcoming years. Currently, China, the USA and the UK are the world leaders in solar energy production.

On the website of Euro Solar, they talk about solar in Australia and beyond, the technology advancement and about the key role it played saving people thousands on energy bills. Tesla Powerwall 2.0 battery system and homes equipped with high-end solar power systems have made use of this mode of energy practical and reliable. A typical solar photovoltaic panel in Australia is between 1.5 to 5 kW (or, roughly about 6- 20 panels in numbers). With this, Australia is now a world leader in possessing the highest number of PV systems installed on roofs of home, compared to any other country in the world. This has become practically possible due to the excellent climate and plenty of sunshine showered in the Australian continent.

CME reported that solar powered homes could generate as well as store energy, and the latter can be kept for later use, especially when the energy costs are high on demand on the power grid. Though, it may be a little harsh on the pockets of the home owners while installing the equipment, but, it would certainly equalise or even probably nullify the costs in the long run.

Nevertheless, even without the government support, new solar power plants are practically much cheaper than new coal, nuclear or natural gas based power plants, largely because of usage of thin film solar photovoltaic plants that produce clean and affordable power.

Way Ahead

Australia has already achieved the grid parity. In the next few years, about 3, 700 MW of solar energy, powering 6 million households, will become operational in Australia. Rooftop solar industry in Australia is turning out to be the biggest game changer.

In a study done by BNEF, it was seen that investors are less likely to finance new coal based structures as it will give them not only a substantial risk premium but also reputational damage due to emission intensive investments. More investors are rather likely to pump in money in this solar energy sector as harnessing solar power is not only viable but, it is a long term, inflation protected and a stable investment option that is guaranteed to give huge returns in the future.

wood hammer

Posted August 31, 2017 No comments |Business

Buying Liquidation stock from businesses that wind up

Tall building with glass windows

When some businesses go bust after rising to dizzy heights, it becomes difficult to find an appropriate suitor who will acquire the business and carry on as a going concern. In such situations, an administrator appointed by the liquidator’s office takes charge and puts on sale whatever goods the business has left. In many instances, this is a great opportunity to buy such goods and sell it through retailers. The business going into liquidation often has built up a brand value and you can expect to cash in on that. This is particularly true of non-perishable goods such as apparels and clothing.

How liquidation proceedings work

Let us take the example of Pumpkin Patch, which built up a decent business in children’s clothing. A mum who was shopping for children’s clothing spotted an opportunity and she was right in her perception. Pretty soon, Pumpkin Patch grew from a one location store to multi locations and transnational. In less than a decade the business had grown to command turnover close to $800 million dollars. But, soon afterwards, it started an irreversible journey to doom bringing up the liquidation proceedings now.

Clothing business is fiercely competitive in the global arena and surviving competition is not everyone’s cup of tea. The challenges for businesses seeking to grow fast and spread wings, the path is arduous. But, from a consumers‘ point of view, these businesses offer great opportunities in picking up some quality stuff at great prices. Liquidation stock, particularly in consumer nondurables and perhaps even some durables is also an opportunity for smart traders to quickly move in and make smart profits. Your ability to understand the merchandise and the relative market would be one of the significant drivers of your success. If you take Pumpkin Patch as a case study, the liquidation stock may be offered either at one central location, or you only get the right to access the stock at one or more store locations.

Selling liquidation stocks

Book on sale

When you are buying liquidation stocks in large volumes, you should also do adequate home work to ensure that you can quickly sell off what you buy. Even at great discounts, some stuff like apparels, footwear etc. can fail to attract retail customers for varying reasons. Therefore, if you are saddled with stocks that you cannot sell off quickly, your own business could be heading towards stagnation or in worst case scenarios you could lose the business itself.

Know before you leap

light bulb on black board

To benefit from liquidation stocks, you must do a thorough home work understanding the commodity you intend buying, its brand reputation, the condition of the material offered under liquidation, repacking and re-classification that may be needed. Look for pre-inspection clauses and remember that you might get only one opportunity to examine the condition of the material that you are buying. Look for visible signs of potential damage to the contents of boxes or pallets and ensure that you are not saddled with garbage at the end of the deal.