6 Things People Do That Destroy Plumbing

This is why plumbers will always have great job security.

  1. Leaving garden hoses connected throughout the winter.
    This is caused mostly by pure ignorance. Leaving hoses attached to the house can lead to leaking faucets and split supply pipes.
  2. Using more drain cleaner than necessary.
    When used correctly, drain cleaners will work as they are intended. However, some homeowners go overboard on the cleaner causing the pipes to corrode. Now they have made the clog worse, this will not be pleasant for the plumber who arrives to remove the clog.
  3. Cutting, screwing or nailing into a wall with plumbing pipes.
    You will definitely get an emergency phone call if a homeowner finds themselves doing this.  
  4. Joining pipes of different metals.
    You know better than to join copper and steel without the proper connectors, you’re a pro. Count on getting a few calls from homeowners insistent upon doing their own DIY plumbing work!
  5. Putting everything else down the kitchen drain.
    You will have jobs that are caused by a garbage disposal backup. This is because some homeowners feel as if the disposal will shred anything they put in it. Until that day it doesn’t. The most popular time for this type of situation to happen is on Thanksgiving Day. Items such as onion skins and celery strings are usually the main culprits. Plenty a plumber has been called away from his own Thanksgiving dinner to attend to a customer's clogged disposal. 
  6. Mistaking the toilet for a trash can.
    Here we are, my personal favorite. The mistake that can cause a great day to go bad in a hurry.  It's as if people think that when you press the lever all of the contents of the bowl fly off into a black hole. Nope, not the case! That 3-inch pipe can back up every hole in the house. 
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How Drones are being used in Business

Drones were once thought to be used only by the military and considered top secret.  They have now have gone mainstream and are used across all sectors, from small business to large industries, public and private.

Drone technology is progressing at a great rate, and a huge part of that growth is due to the diverse fields in which drones are used. With the increase in popularity comes the growing number of positions available for properly trained and skilled drone pilots.

The future is bright for drones.  The opportunities for businesses to develop further uses for this updated technology is enormous. Let’s look at a few of the top industries that are using drones now.

Farming and Agriculture

Drone technology in farming and agriculture represents a huge opportunity. Drones can assist farmers in many ways.

  • Assessing crops and livestock
  • Marking boundaries and planning wide-scale fencing
  • To establish irrigation systems, and in agricultural consultancy 


  • Drones have been changing the way movies are made, and how pictures are taken. Whether you are a photographer taking wedding pictures or a filmmaker making your next documentary, drones are allowing us to see visual media like never before. With the regulations for production companies constantly changing, we can expect to see drones used in filmmaking more and more.


  • Drones are becoming the new perfect complement to any professional photographer. They are increasingly used to capture special events. Photographers – especially those who serve at special events cannot afford to be left behind and will need to adapt to this new technology. 

Marketing and News Media

  • Drones are providing the marketing sector with the ability to develop rich content. As the demand for video content increases, agencies are under pressure to provide more compelling and productive media marketing. Drone technology allows marketing agencies to showcase even the smallest of businesses with a fresh approach. Progressive news media are also seeing the massive advantage of drones. Drones can capture news and events as they unfold, without the risks reporters could face on the ground. 

Where can we expect to see drones in the future?

Drones are here to stay, and as more businesses take advantage of this technology, we may find ourselves in a world where drones are as common as smartphones.


Individuals piloting drones for commercial purposes must pass the FAA Remote Pilot in Command  Exam in order to obtain a certificate.
Certified Training Institute offers online video exam prep to ensure you pass the exam on your first try!


Arkansas Architects, Its Time To Renew!

Licensed Arkansas Architects, it's time to think about completing your continuing education requirements. If you're not sure what is required to renew your license, check out the continuing education Q&A below.

How many hours of CE do I need to renew my Arkansas architect license?

Arkansas requires all licensed architects complete 12-hours of continuing education in HSW subjects each renewal cycle. If you are also a member of the AIA you must complete 18-hours of continuing education every year including 12-hours in HSW subjects.

When is my Arkansas architect continuing education due?

State continuing education is due July 31st every year. AIA continuing education is due December 31st every year.

Who notifies the State of Arkansas when I complete my architect continued education?

At registration time, each architect shall complete and submit an affidavit prescribed by the board attesting to his or her fulfillment of the required continuing education hours during the preceding calendar year.

Are AIA approved classes accepted as architect continuing education by Arkansas?

Yes, you may complete AIA approved courses to meet 12-HSW hours for both Arkansas and the AIA.

Where do I find state and AIA-approved continuing education courses?

Architects Training Institute offers online video courses approved by both the AIA and the state of Arkansas. All courses are available 24/7 from any internet capable device, with the benefit of a full staff of licensing experts to help you with any questions you may have. Start here!

I have extra continuing education hours, can I apply them to the next renewal cycle?

No carryover of continuing education hours from the previous calendar year is permitted.



Roofing with Drones

In August 2016 the FAA updated the regulations on the non-recreational use of UAS (unmanned aircraft systems) or drones. It has now become easier for roofing contractors to utilize drone technology while staying within the laws.

The new drone regulations are quite beneficial to the roofing industry. Let’s look at how the use of drones can save money and benefit your roofing business.

  • Inspecting- You will be able to take imagery of the entire roof and show the homeowner it's condition first-hand. Whether it is a thermal imaging inspection to check for leaks and wetness, or photos that show missing shingles or broken pipes. Drones are especially valuable for inspections of extremely steep roofs. Using a drone for roof inspections reduces the risk of death or injury from a fall.  Once the drone inspection occurs, you have the ability to use collected information to review with the home-owner any problems and explain how you can fix them.
  • Measuring- Drones equipped with the proper mapping software can also save you time and money by gathering measurements in a timely and safe manner. You will also gain a broader view of the workspace.
  • Professionalism- Drones could help you to look more professional in the client’s eyes. You will stand out from the competitor. Using a drone to gather your information quickly will be impressive to a potential client. Not to mention the pictures and videos you'll be able to show them.
  • Marketing- Using before and after photos/videos will be a powerful tool for your website and marketing outlets. Potential clients will be able to see the high-quality work you are able to do. There’s a reason that drones have played a big part in real estate marketing. There’s no denying the flare drones bring.
  • Recruitment- The ability to advertise to potential new hires that there is no need to frequently climb onto steep roofs could turn you into a more attractive company to work for. This safety advantage will help you attract and keep valuable employees.
  • Savings- Finally, and maybe the best part of using drones in your roofing business, saving money. You will no longer need to dispatch trucks with ladders and a crew of workers to do an inspection. So, think of all that money you will save on gas and labor. Measuring a job will take less time, and allow your employees conduct more inspections and estimates per day.

You will want to make sure you are aware and up-to-date on all the UAS laws in your area. Make sure to practice and become familiar with your drone before taking it out.


Individuals piloting drones for commercial purposes must pass the FAA Remote Pilot in Command  Exam in order to obtain a certificate.
Certified Training Institute offers online video exam prep to ensure you pass the exam on your first try!


Summer Lovin’ for Your Drone!

Longer days and warmer temperatures can only mean one thing. Summer is around the corner. Drone owners are rejoicing all over the country. Summer is the most popular time for drone pilots to head outdoors. While it is tempting to charge those batteries and head outside, there are some safety standards to keep in mind when it comes to flying your drone in the hot summer months. Be sure to ask yourself these three questions before you head out.

Is it too hot to fly my drone today?

The ideal temperature to fly a drone is 75° Fahrenheit.  With that said your drone will still perform above 75°. All electronics with moving parts including drones are going to generate heat, so, the higher quality drone will do better in the hot summer sun. Avoid those hot days where the mercury levels are high, this will cause unnecessary wear and tear on the computer and battery systems. Don’t forget to store your drone in a place that doesn’t get extremely hot, as that can cause long-term damage to your drone.

How humid is it?

Not only does summer bring high temperatures, it may also bring a lot of humidity. Some U.S. cities have average relative humidity levels over 72 percent. This means that in the summer, there can be more moisture in the air than you might realize.

When it comes to humidity, you should worry more about where you store your drone. Flying a drone in a humid weather shouldn’t feel all that different from flying in a dry area. The key is to store it in a dry area, as humid air can condense on electronic parts and cause major problems. If you don’t have a dry place to store your drone, consider running a dehumidifier to prevent damaging moisture build-up.

Are there too many people to fly in this area?

Drone pilots aren't the only ones who will be outdoors when the weather is nice. Just about everyone under the sun is outside enjoying the sun during the summer months. For drone pilots, it’s important to keep these crowds in mind when flying. The last thing you want to do is to accidentally crash into someone at a busy park. It is best to fly your drone in less-crowded places, this way you won’t accidentally cause harm this summer.

The summer months should be all about fun times and sunshine. By following these key points, you can be sure that your drone makes it through the summer unscathed.


Individuals piloting drones for commercial purposes must pass the FAA Remote Pilot in Command  Exam in order to obtain a certificate.
Certified Training Institute offers online video exam prep to ensure you pass the exam on your first try!


Minnesota Architect Renewal Requirements

How do I renew my Minnesota architect license?

  1. Complete 24-hours of continuing education including 2-hours of professional ethics.
  2. Renew your license online by paying the $120 renewal fee

What are the  Continuing Education Requirements for Minnesota architects?

Minnesota architects must complete a minimum of 24 continuing education hours including 2-hours of Professional Ethics by June 30th of even-numbered years.

Do I need to complete continuing education requirements for my AIA membership?

Yes, as an Architect member of the American Institute of Architects (AIA), 18 learning unit hours are required per calendar-year for membership renewal.  Of these 18 hours, at least 12 hours must be in subjects designated as Health, Safety, and Welfare (HSW). Architects Training Institute offers a 24-hour continuing education package that meets all state and AIA requirements.

I have extra Minnesota architect continuing education hours, can I apply them to the next renewal cycle?

Yes, you may carry-over a maximum of 12 hours to the next two-year cycle for hours obtained above and beyond the required 24 hours. You will still need to keep documentation of the activities you carry-over in your files in case of an audit.  If you are carrying-over continuing education credits for the next renewal cycle, you will need to keep that documentation for at least two years after the cycle the hours are applied to.

Who notifies Minnesota of my architect continuing education?

Licensees are required to report the total number of hours on your renewal form – either online or paper.  Records and supporting documentation need to be kept for a period of two years after submission to the Board.  If you are selected for audit, you will be contacted and asked to submit supporting documentation of your reported activities. Architects Training Institute will store your continuing education records for 6-years at no extra cost.


How Drones Are Helping Forests

Every year 15 billion trees on average are cut down, then just 9 billion are replanted. That is a loss of 6 billion trees in just one year. Replanting forests has been a slow and expensive process, until now. A UK based Engineering company recently teamed up with a drone manufacturer and to create a quicker, cost-efficient method of reforestation.

How do drones plant trees?

  • First, a drone is used to make a 3D smart map of the terrain to be planted. The engineers will calculate a planting pattern that will be the most efficient for the planting drones.
  • Next, the “firing drone” is loaded with germinated seed pods. These pods contain the germinated seed for a native tree along with nutrients needed to guarantee a healthy sapling. Each drone can carry a mixture of different species at one time.
  • Lastly, the drones follow the smart map pattern; flying about six feet above the ground. They fire the seed pods quickly to penetrate the soil, hitting their marks within centimeters. Each drone pilot can operate up to 6 drones at a time.

Engineers estimate the drone method is 10 times faster and can save 80% in cost compared to planting by hand. One drone pilot can plant 100,000 trees in just one day. Because there is no heavy machinery needed it’s possible to plant in hard-to-reach areas that have no roads or, inaccessible terrain. There has been testing in various locations and recently a trial reseeding in historic mining sites around Australia.


Individuals piloting drones for commercial purposes must pass the FAA Remote Pilot in Command  Exam in order to obtain a certificate.
Certified Training Institute offers online video exam prep to ensure you pass the exam on your first try!


Architect Specialties: Standing Out from the Crowd

Architecture is a profession with options. You can work on many different projects, from a small home design to a town mall or even the whole city.  As an architect, you are a designer and a developer. The skills and artistic sense you hold as an architect makes you capable of being a jack of all trades, or you can be a specialist in a specific field. Let’s take a closer look at your specialty options.

  • Residential Architect
    Residential architects deal with clients who would like to have their own customized homes designed. They take note of their specific requirements and start to design the plans. They estimate the costs of materials and services, as well as the time needed to complete the construction and finishing.
  • Commercial Architect
    A commercial architect is responsible for the designing of a building that is not only functional but also aesthetically pleasing as well.   They specialize in non-residential buildings, this specialty requires not only engineering, construction, and artistic skills, it will also require full awareness of building codes, safety regulations, and construction costs.
  • Interior Designer
    Interior Designers have great knowledge of materials, fabrics, colors, and basics in furniture design. Some architects prefer to work on the larger scale and not to get involved with the smaller details, while others, prefer to do the interior design for their own projects.
  • Green Design Architect
    The role of Green Design Architects has become increasingly essential since the changes in climate and the steep decline in non-renewable energy resources. They are responsible for making eco-friendly, energy efficient, appealing architectural designs. They continuously work on innovating effective green design. These architects should be knowledgeable in fields like aerodynamics, sun, and shading, as well as properties of materials.
  • Landscape Architect
    Landscape architecture focused on outdoor spaces like parks, gardens, and public spaces. Landscape architects focus on designing these spaces to be efficient, engaging, and balanced with the surrounding environment. They decide the locations for buildings, walkways, greenery, and other hardscape elements. They also choose the materials for the walkways and the types of trees and shrubs for the green areas. So they need to have a background in the science of urban horticulture. They should be aware of the suitable materials and plants for different climates and uses.
  • Urban Designer
    Urban Design is a broad subject that brings in other specializations like building architecture, landscape design, and green design. Urban designers oversee the grouping of buildings, designing paths, and street networks. So, they give the city its shape and sense of order. They can design cities from scratch or develop existing ones. Urban designers additionally face a wider range of issues that have to do with the economy, politics, and culture. They, also, must be in touch with the communities they serve who are their actual clients.
  • Industrial Architect
    If you are an industrial architect, you will focus on industrial facilities. The design of an industrial facility can be vital to its functionality. They need a suitable envelope that aids the flow of the industrial process taking place inside, and that is what Industrial Architects specialize in. If you have a passion for an envelope, this may be a great fit for you.

Finding Your Way
Studying architecture opens many doors to different paths. They all require hard work, dedication, and creativity. No one said deciding on a specialty will be easy.


Online HD Video Courses for Architect License Renewal


Real Estate Farming, Choose The Right Soil!

Real Estate farming, Choose the right soil!

What is Real Estate Farming?
Real estate farming is the act of focusing your marketing efforts on a certain geographic area “geographic farming” or certain types of clients “demographic farming” to add the most value for clients in the specific area.

Real Estate farming is very simple and can be applied to many areas of real estate. Think of your marketing strategy as the seeds you plant on your farm. Like a literal farm, there are two imperative elements to an abundant harvest. You need to tend to your seeds by watering them and removing weeds. You also need time for the seeds to grow.

How do I Choose the Right Farm Area?
Because it may take a noticeable amount of time to see a decent return from your farm area, your choice is very important. Here’s how to make sure you pick a productive farm area.

  1. Stay Close to Home
    If you are just getting started, staying close to home is most likely your best option. In fact, the neighborhood you live in is probably one of your best options.

Why should I farm close to home?

  • Your family, friends, and people they know are likely to be concentrated nearby, you probably know local business owners, and best of all, you can genuinely recommend the neighborhood.
  • You’ll have greater flexibility to offer last-minute showings and previews. That means last minute showings won’t be an issue, and clients with busy schedules will respond better if you are available at a moment’s notice.
  1. Do Your Research
    Another important element to choosing your farm area is the local demographics. Before you begin farming, you need to know as much as possible about the area. This will assure you can make it’s someplace you’ll be happy working in. Here are some things to research:

    What do I research when looking for my farm?
    • Average income
    • Average age
    • Is it a commuter area?
    • Employers
    • The types of homes in the area
    • Amenities
    • Transportation options

Once you choose a geographic farm, you may also wish to narrow down a specific demographic that you want to work with. For example, you might want to focus on homes of a certain value, or a particular community. Researching the local demographics will help you make this choice.

  1. Choose an Area with Well Defined Boundaries
    Whenever possible, try to pick a neighborhood with well-defined boundaries to help market your listings. If you do, you'll have a much easier time marketing. You don’t want to farm in Dayton and then show clients a home in Beavercreek. This may be too far if they are expecting to see homes in Dayton.
  1. Make Sure it’s the Right Size
    In real estate farming, size matters. You need to make sure the area is large enough to ensure a decent response but small enough that you can build a name for yourself there. A good farm area would have around 400 or fewer properties. More than that may send your marketing budget sky high.

We provide state-approved online video courses for license renewal.


New York Real Estate Renewal Requirements

Real estate professionals in New York must renew their licenses every two years by the anniversary of license issuance.

New York 1st Renewal Cycle:

  • All licensees are required to successfully complete 22.5 hours of approved continuing education
  • At least 3 hours of instruction pertaining to fair housing and/or discrimination in the sale or rental of real property or an interest in real property
  • At least 2 hours of Agency Training

New York Requirements:

  • All licensees are required to successfully complete 22.5 hours of approved continuing education.
  • At least 3 hours of instruction pertaining to fair housing and/or discrimination in the sale or rental of real property or an interest of real property.
  • At least 1 hour of Agency Training

How Do I Renew My New York Real Estate License?

Renewing a Salesperson license click here
Renewing a Broker license click here

Are you approved by the state?

Yes! Course approval numbers are listed next to the course title.

What happens if I do not renew my New York real estate license?

You cannot conduct any real estate activities that require a license. You have two years to renew your license. If you do not renew within two years you will have to retake the state exam, however, you will not have to retake the 75-hour pre-licensing course.
When submitting your new salesperson application, you must include your new exam results, your application fee, and a copy of your expired license.

I have extra New York real estate continuing education credits, can I apply them to the next cycle?

No, New York only accepts continuing education from the current cycle.

Are there any exemptions from New York real estate continuing education?

Yes, license holders who have maintained their license for 15 consecutive years prior to July 1st, 2008, do not have to complete continuing education.