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How to Renovate Your Basement into a Rental

If you’ve got a house with a little more space than you need, why not make use of that extra space? If you don’t have use for it yourself, someone else will! We’re talking about how you can renovate your basement into a rental suite. Let’s check out how you can make it happen.

Research and Prepare

The first thing to do before you renovate your basement into a rental is to research and prepare. To start, you’ll need to check local laws on basement rentals. There are often laws in place regarding size, rooms, entrance, and parking space. Understanding what’s expected of your future basement apartment is a necessity before you get started on planning your renovation.

If you find that you have everything you need, aside from the renovation, to legally rent out your basement, the next step is preparation. Any furnishings, decor, or belongings that you don’t plan on including in the rental agreement need to be removed. Doing this early makes renovations easier as well.

Plan for Livability

The next step is making plans to renovate your basement for livability. For example, you’ll want to make sure there’s a full bathroom and at least a small kitchenette available within the basement apartment space. If there’s no exterior door, and you don’t want to provide access to your own part of the house, you’ll also want to have an exterior door installed.

When the renovation is complete, your future tenant should have everything a normal apartment has, at least on some scale.

Hire Premier Group Contractors

When you’re ready to start the renovation process, you’ll want to get in touch with your local basement renovation contractors. In Toronto, Premier Group Contractors is the best in the business. Give us a call and schedule a consultation with us.

When we’re able to sit down with you for a consultation, we’ll take a look at your home’s blueprint and see where we can make changes to achieve the apartment you’re looking for. That might mean adding walls to create a bedroom or bathroom, removing walls to create a more open living space, or installing various plumbing or electrical elements. 

There’s a lot that goes into a basement apartment renovation, and we have experts for all of it. Therefore, instead of hiring different contractors for each type of job, you can get all of them from one place when you hire Premier.

Rent Out Your Basement

When your basement apartment renovation is complete, you’ll be all set to rent it out. Having a tenant living below you can be quite the change, but it can really pay off in the end. Plus, if you end up moving further down the line, instead of selling your home, you can even opt to rent out the upper portion of the house to another tenant. The possibilities are endless, but they all start with Premier.

The Benefits of Electrical Rewiring in an Old House

If you live in an old house, built in the 1970s or earlier, it’s time to start considering a full electrical rewiring. If rewiring your house seems like an unnecessary update, you might want to consider these benefits.

Better Circuit Connections

Have you ever turned on your blender and overloaded a circuit? In a modern house with logical circuit connections, the kitchen would be on one or two circuits. In an old house, your kitchen outlet might share a circuit with the office room down the hall. Suddenly, making a smoothie has turned into losing power to your computer. Hopefully you saved that presentation you were working on!

Bad circuit connections that make very little sense are an extremely common problem in older houses. Rewiring offers a chance to correct this and create more sensible circuits. Similar areas should be kept together while attempting to equalize how much electricity is demanded by each circuit.

Replace Degraded Electrical

After 50 years, we’ve improved the quality of standard electrical materials. Moreover, the ones installed in old houses have had half a century to degrade. This can mean a poor circulation of power to the outlets around your home and a much higher risk of an electrical fire.

Rewiring your home will drastically lower the electrical fire hazard and improve energy circulation in your home. That means less overloaded circuits and possibly even faster phone charging.

Improve Outlet Placement

If you frequently curse the position of your home’s power outlets, it might be a sign that your home was built quite a while ago. It actually makes a lot of sense that outlets are in inconvenient places when you consider the timeline. 50 years ago, computers were still in their birth years. Cell phones didn’t even exist. Outlets were placed in corners and out-of-the-way areas to accommodate lamps, landlines, and box TVs.

These days, outlets need to be placed liberally, like near the bed, to allow for phone and laptop charging. Rewiring your home means the ability to easily move outlets to exactly where you need them. Plus, mapping out your desired outlet locations can get you personalized results.

Improve Outlets

Even worse, old outlets are often without grounding ports! Grounding ports are the little holes beneath the standard two-prong outlet. Power plugs with grounders didn’t used to be standard. However, grounded plugs are standard for certain chargers nowadays. Computers, laptops, and many other appliances are nearly impossible to find without them.

If your outlets have no grounding ports, the only solution is to buy converters – little plastic plugs that you can plug into an ungrounded outlet and that has a hole for a grounding pin on the other side. These converters are an extreme fire hazard. They extend the weight of the plug further from the wall. Therefore, it’s easy for the ungrounded converter to tilt out of the outlet and cause a fire.

While rewiring, we’ll replace old, ungrounded outlets with safer, grounded ones. This will make converters unnecessary, improving convenience and safety in the process.

Improve Efficiency and Lower Prices

Last, but not least, rewiring an old house improves electrical efficiency, lowering your electrical prices. Did you know old and outdated wiring can eat up electricity that you’re not even using? This ends up wasting your money on your electrical bill. Instead of wasting more money on wasted electricity, invest in electrical rewiring. Then you can improve your home electrical experience from one end to the other.

Give us a call at Premier Group Contractors if you’re in the market for some electrical work. We’ll be happy to send our experts to the rescue!

4 Steps to Recovering from Flooding in Your Home

Flooding is one of the most devastating ways to sustain damage to your home. It can destroy memories, belongings, and make the safety of your house debatable. However, ensuring you take the proper steps to recovering from flooding can make all the difference. Save yourself some money and heartache by being proactive in your flood recovery. Here are the 4 steps that will help save your home from permanent ruin.

Assess the Damage

The first step is assessing the damage. This part can be difficult, as it involves coming face to face with the extent of it. Once you’ve salvaged any belongings that fell victim to the flood, it’s time to take stock of what’s happened.

Furniture that has been soaked in flood water needs to be removed from the house and put somewhere to dry. This furniture may be possible to save, with proper drying and decontaminating, but may succumb to mold or rot. It’s best not to use this furniture until it’s successfully recovered.

Find out what areas of the house have gotten water damage. You’ll need to take stock of:

  1. How high up the damage to the walls goes
  2. If any areas of the floor feel weak or squishy
  3. If water has reached any electrical sockets (Do not use any of your home’s electrical until you can confirm it’s not wet)

Get Professional Help

The next step is getting professional help. Recovering from flooding is not a one man – or even one family – job. If there’s still water pooled in your home, you need to have it removed. This is possible to do with a shop-vac, but is easier and more efficient to do with a pool vacuum.

Have someone come out and assess the damage from a professional viewpoint. You know what’s obvious, but a professional will spot the less noticeable things. They’ll also know how to check for moisture in your insulation, how extensive flooring damage is, whether or not your drywall will need to be replaced or simply repaired, and more.

Replace Ruined Flooring

More often than not, recovering from flooding will mean replacing ruined flooring. It’s rare for any floor to survive a serious flood. Carpet gets soaked and cannot be dried enough to prevent mold. Hardwood coating is damaged and the wood underneath can become soggy or rotted through, making it hazardous to walk on.

Premier Group Contractors does flooring replacement for the GTA. If you’re in Toronto, we’ll be happy to help in the flood recovery process by ensuring your floors are safe to traverse. If that means putting down clean carpeting or tearing out old hardwood to replace it, we can make it happen. 

The important thing is not minimizing what damage has been done to your floors. These are one of the most important parts of your house structure. Even if the damage is tolerable to look at, if water has made it to your subfloor, it could completely rot the floor structure of your home without you realizing until much later.

Follow Up on Damage

And, lastly, the most important step to recovering from flooding is following up on damage later. Moisture is incredibly insidious. It can get into cracks and begin growing mold and rot in tight spaces without your knowledge.

2-6 months after the flood, have an inspector out to your house to check for any remaining damage. If mold has begun to grow, this will give it enough time to come out into the open, and give you enough time to cut it off at the source. It’s not infrequent that people recover from a flood only for it to come back to haunt them years down the line in the form of structural rot or mold growth. Keep your home safe with some extra cautionary measures.

Remove Walls That Make Your Home Feel Small

There’s nothing quite as depressing as a large home that feels small the moment you step inside. You’ve got all this space, and yet it feels like you have barely any room to walk. How did this happen? The short answer: many older homes, or those with poor design, simply have too many unnecessary divisions. Luckily, there’s an easy solution. When you remove walls that cause unnecessary divides in your home, you can make it feel exponentially larger. Let’s take a closer look at that process.

Galley Kitchens

One feature in any house that’s sure to make it feel cramped is a galley kitchen. If your kitchen feels like a hallway with counters on either side, leading from a breakfast nook to, perhaps, the living room, you’ve got yourself a galley kitchen. These kitchens are meant to save space and be compact but, in the end, they feel unbearably cramped.

Removing the dividing wall between the galley kitchen and the rest of the house can open it up considerably. Depending on what’s behind that wall, it can be turned into a half-wall, a breakfast bar, or removed entirely. If removed entirely, the half of your kitchen that was against it can be left as is, the back of the cabinets covered in paneling or wood, or renovated entirely. This is a great opportunity to give yourself an island and move those cabinets slightly further from the others, providing more kitchen floor space.

Separate Dining and Living

Another way that houses are often unnecessarily divided is by putting a wall between the dining room and living room. While this may be suitable for a formal dining room, most of us aren’t hosting formally. Because the majority of us just use our dining room for family dinners, a dividing wall is providing nothing but a sense of encasement. Removing this wall will allow better light flow, easier conversation between dining and living spaces, and a more open appearance.

Entryway Borders

A feature in many homes that can cause a surprising amount of tightness is the presence of entryway borders. These borders usually come in the form of a wall, 1-3 feet in length, beside the front door. This wall is often between the entry and living space. Perhaps its original intention was to keep solicitors from seeing into your living space when you open the door. Regardless of its original intention, these borders do little more than cut off light and visibility.

Walled-In Stairs

Last, but certainly not least, let’s address walled-in stairways. Stairways that are walled in on both sides are incredibly stifling. Even walking up them can feel cramped and unpleasant. Fro the outside, the stairs are invisible, but so is the open space above them. Removing any unnecessary walls around stairs can really open things up. 

If your stairs border an external wall, this will add some more visible space to the living area your stairs are bordering. If your stairs fall somewhere in the middle of the floor, you can even remove the walls on both sides. Replacing these walls with stair to ceiling bars or glass will allow a huge increase in light-flow and visibility, opening up the area noticeably. 

Make Your Custom Home Design into a Finished Blueprint

It’s not uncommon for people to daydream about their dream house. Some of us even take to designing them for fun. Getting the perfect custom home design and layout – something of a personal heaven – is a feeling that can’t be matched. However, even countless sketches and doodled floorplans can’t be handed to a team of construction workers. However, they can be handed to a design consultation team. If you have a custom home design, let Premier Group Contractors turn it into a finished blueprint. Then, you can really get started on making your dream home a reality.

Gather Your Designs

The first step is gathering your designs. Whether you have them in a folder, or tucked into notebooks throughout your house, you’ll need them in one place. The more detailed information on what you need, the better. Therefore, if you plan to come in for a custom home design consultation, you may even want to take some time to fine tune your ideas.

Know Your Needs

When you come in for consultation, it’s important that you know your needs, or a rough approximation of them. While we can work with less information, having more is always a plus. That’s because, when we make a blueprint, we can’t leave anything out. Therefore, knowing your preferences for the details is a huge help, even if you can’t put them on the blueprint yourself. 

These are the features that will help a lot in the blueprinting process:

  • A rough-handed floorplan of your own (even if it’s simple).
  • Markers for doors or archways.
  • Markers for windows.
  • Roughly how you want the house to look from the front. A rough drawing of the shape you’re going for will help. This gives us an idea of whether it will be on a raised foundation, how the roof should be built, and so on.
  • Where you would like outlets or light fixtures to go.
  • Where you would like plumbing fixtures to go (such as sinks, tubs, and toilets).
  • Dimensions for fixtures, such as stair width, hallway width, and so on.

If you’re uncertain of any of these things, it can help to use a tape measure around your existing house to compare what you have with what you want. For example, if you want an island, but your current kitchen’s island is too close to the other counters for comfort, check the distance. This will give you a jumping off point for determining a distance that would make you happy.

Come in for Consultation

When you have notes on all of your preferences, a folder of your designs, and the readiness to work together, come on in for your consultation. Whether you schedule before your additional preparation, or after, is completely up to you and how much time you’ll need to refine your ideas. 

When you get here, we’ll sit down together, go over your vision, and work out the details together. When we’re sure we understand exactly what you want, we’ll get to work on the official blueprint and let you know when it’s finished. The final product will be something complete, that can be given to a construction crew and turned into a beautiful, architectural reality. Call us now to get started.

How Can You Install a Loft in Your Home?

For many of us, having a loft in our home is a long-time dream. Lofts simply have this fun, youthful feeling to them, while also being practical and attractive. However, if you’ve already bought a home and committed to it, moving somewhere else just to acquire a loft is pretty impractical. For some, it may be possible. For others, not so much. So, the question then becomes, can you install a loft in an existing home? Premier Group Contractors is happy to inform you that, yes, you can!

A Question of Difficulty

While the answer to whether you can add a loft or not is almost always yes, there comes the question of difficulty. You certainly can add a loft to any home, but some homes will take a lot more work than others. This has to do with many factors, such as the area of the home, the height, whether you have vaulted ceilings, and so on.

It goes without saying that in almost any case, this is a large enough job that it requires professional assistance. Adding a loft is not something most people should DIY, and those that should are already in the industry.

Adding to an Existing Structure

If you want to add a loft space over your living room or kitchen, it’s possible to do so without changing what’s there. Well… it’s possible under a few conditions.

  1. If you have vaulted ceilings, so as to provide enough head space above a new loft.
  2. If you have enough floor space to accommodate a new set of stairs, a spiral staircase, or a ladder.
  3. And, finally, if you don’t have windows or supports that cut into the desired, new loft space.

If these things are true for the area you plan to add a loft to, we can simply install a loft without making alterations to what’s there. This will involve our team:

  1. Creating new supports, to ensure the loft is held up adequately.
  2. Adding the loft structure, and anchoring it to the walls.
  3. Placing down flooring across the loft framework.
  4. Installing a stairway in the style of your choice.
  5. Putting up safety railings.
  6. Installing any new wiring, light fixtures, plumbing, or other features needed.

Remodeling to Accommodate

If your home is two stories but does not have vaulted ceilings, we may be able to add a loft with the removal of the ceiling. Frequently, flat ceilings are put in under an otherwise vaulted roof to provide attic space or to insulate better. These can typically be removed without too much hassle. However, we may need to add insulation to the roof, apply drywall, and more, to ensure you can still look up from your couch without cringing at an unfinished ceiling space.

Shorter homes without the height to add a loft may have one added, provided they are willing to raise the roof, quite literally. In some cases, this is possible to do with an existing roof. However, in most cases, the roof should be rebuilt to ensure it attaches to the rest of the roof properly and doesn’t lose integrity from being moved about. It goes without saying that this kind of remodel is extensive. However, if a loft is something you care a lot about, there’s no reason not to undergo the remodel to make your house more yours

Call us today at Premier Group Contractors if you’re looking to install a loft. We look forward to assisting in the process.

Make Working from Home Easy and Comfortable

With COVID-19 forcing us to social distance as much as possible, many of us have had to transition into working from home. What was hoped to be a temporary measure has simply become a way of life for many. Even if you worked from home before the global pandemic, things have certainly become different. Those trips to a local cafe have been cut short and we’re now a lot more confined to our home offices. At least, those of us with home offices are. 

If you didn’t have a home office before COVID-19 hit, you’re almost certainly wishing you did. Why not get one? Premier Group Contractors can make working from home a lot easier for you with a little bit of renovation. Here’s how we can help.

Use What You’ve Got

As you may know, expanding your home can be a lot more expensive because of how much extra work and material it takes. Why not use what you’ve got? If your home has plenty of space, but not in the right places, Premier Group Contractors has the solution. We can simply take some of that space and move it around.

Here’s an example. If you have a guest room attached to a den and neither one needs 100% of their space, why not borrow some? First, we’d remove the wall between the guest room and den. Then, we’d build a new wall, further into the den’s original space, and one dividing what is basically an expanded guest room. In the end, the guest room and den are a bit smaller, but there’s now a new room between them.

This same principle as well as others can be applied all over the house. By moving around a wall here and a window there, we can redivide the existing space in the house to give you the office you really need.

Make Some More Space

If there’s not enough space to go around, we can always expand your home to accommodate an office. Taking some of that yard space to build on a gorgeous attached office is an easy exchange. Plus, by expanding, you have a lot more freedom to make your office exactly how you want it. You have a lot more choices for where to put the door, what shape and size you want it to be, and where its windows sit.

Outfit Your Office

There’s more to an office than just space. Making sure your office is built for its purpose takes a little bit  more than that. Premier Group Contractors has the expertise to give it everything you need.

  • Giving it that hardwood or luxury vinyl tile that you need to comfortably move your office chair is a no-brainer.
  • Placing windows or moving old ones may be something that’s necessary for you. We want you to be able to get sunlight without causing light glare on your computer screen.
  • Built in shelving is a great way to store files, books, manuals, records, and more. It’s more stable than cheap, store-bought shelving and is built to match the room’s design.

When you’re ready to upgrade your home to accommodate working there, Premier Group Contractors is here to help. Move your desk out of your living room and make working from home easy and comfortable.

Are You in Need of Help Replumbing Your Home?

If you continually have problems with your plumbing, it’s possible that it’s just not doing its job right. Frequent backups, clogs, inadequate draining, poor water pressure, and more can indicate bad plumbing. The question is, how do you tell whether something is a quick fix or cause for replumbing your home entirely? Let’s look at some common issues and see what they’re telling us about your plumbing needs.

Old Plumbing Issues

One of the most common reasons why you would need help replumbing your home is if it’s fairly old. Plumbing standards change gradually. Over time, society changes its overall water usage and so on. That affects how much water volume our drains need to be able to handle. There’s a lot that goes into plumbing and its standards. So, if you house is 50+ years old (built before the 70s), there’s a very good chance your plumbing is not meeting those current standards.

In the case of old plumbing systems that were built to different standards, there’s rarely an easy fix. The problem isn’t just one broken piece, it’s that every piece is now inadequate. The whole system has to be replaced. 

That’s where replumbing your home comes in. By updating your entire plumbing system, we can bring your home’s plumbing up to current standards. That means no more pooling in the shower because your drains can’t keep up. That means no more weak water pressure. Most importantly, it means your quality of life goes up.

Broken Plumbing Issues

When a plumbing system is experiencing a lot of breaks, it can be a serious problem for the home’s residents. One burst pipe can cause a litany of problems, but it’s not necessarily cause for alarm regarding your plumbing in its entirety.

However, if you have repeated issues with bursts, cracks, breaks, or otherwise, there is likely a system-wide issue. Plumbing systems that begin showing breakage across the board are likely failing entirely. This can be caused by age, use of cheap materials, which we’ll explore more in the next section, and bad upkeep. 

Replumbing your home is the only way to get down to the bottom of broken plumbing systems. Spend the initial time and money on replumbing. If you don’t you’ll continue experiencing breaks, bursts, and more. In the end, you’ll pay more to replace things one piece at a time.

Incorrect Plumbing Issues

Lastly, we have to take a look at incorrect plumbing. If you are experiencing consistent issues, but your house isn’t that old, there is a very real chance the plumbing was done wrong. This is not as uncommon as we would hope, and can really screw things up for homeowners.

Incorrect plumbing is done for a lot of reasons. Most commonly, it’s due to amateur plumbers doing the installation, or someone looking to save money by cutting corners. Either way, the result is a plumbing system that is not up to plumbing code and that is not made to last.

Common issues found in incorrect plumbing are:

  • Bad drainage due to pipes of an insufficient diameter
  • Frequent bursts because of an insufficient pipe thickness
  • Leaks caused by poor pipe connections
  • Frequent clogs due to improperly connected pipes, joints, and inappropriate use of corners and intersections
  • Poor water pressure due to pipes that are too wide or that are badly connected

These issues are not one-off problems. They can only be truly solved by removing all of the failed work and replumbing your home.

Finding Solutions

If the solution to your problem looks like replumbing your home, Premier Group Contractors is here to help. We do general contracting work as well as all of the specialty work that comes with construction. We have a lot of experience with plumbing work, and look forward to giving you that modern standard that every building strives for. Give us a call to schedule or get a quote.

The Benefits of Adding Interior Walls to a Stone House

If you own a stone or brick house, you may never have considered the possibility of adding interior walls. In truth, many wouldn’t even consider it, knowing the benefits. Brick and stone walls are incredibly beautiful to look out. However, they do have some drawbacks, and Premier Group Contractors wants to tell you a bit about them. So, why should you consider adding interior walls to your stone house?

Insulation

The first and most important reason to consider adding interior walls to your stone house is the matter of insulation. Raw stone and brick do a very poor job of insulating. As a matter of fact, clay – as in bricks – is porous. Yes, even when fired. That makes brick a very poor material to have as your only barrier from the elements. While it looks absolutely delightful, it’s not doing you a service.

With modern brick houses, the building is made with two layers of brick with a gap between them. This is superior to a single-layer brick wall for many reasons. This gap can be filled with spray foam insulation to improve interior temperature regulation. However, some older brick houses don’t have the same double-layer. While these houses use other means to improve weight-bearing, these solutions don’t improve the insulation issue.

To improve insulation, you can coat brick or stone walls with damp proofing and build an interior wall. The interior wall involves building a wooden frame that lines the stone or brick and then adding insulation and drywall. This massively improved insulation and also gives you a new inner wall.

Interior Temperature Regulation

One of the primary reasons to consider adding interior walls is to help regulate the temperature of your home interior. No one likes being freezing cold in winter or overheated in summer. Having poorly insulated walls is going to guarantee temperature issues during less than ideal weather.

Plus, when you have bad temperature regulation in your home, it costs you big time. That brings us to the second reason why you should consider adding interior walls to your stone or brick home. You can save money on electric or gas, which can get expensive when trying to keep up with bad insulation. Stop running your heater nonstop throughout the winter. Instead, give your heater a house that can actually keep all of its hard work within its walls, rather than leeching out into the environment.

More Customizable

While it’s somewhat of a side convenience, adding interior walls does make your home more customizable. While you have to say goodbye to the exposed brick, you can say hello to painting, wallpaper, molding, and easier mounting. Being able to easily nail or screw things into your wall makes decorating ten times easier. So, with your new interior walls, mount your TV or hang a painting, all while staying at a comfortable temperature. Premier Group Contractors is happy to help.

How to Remove Crown Molding from Your Walls

Tired of the crown molding in your house? Want it removed temporarily to paint? Either way, the process is much the same. Although, if you plan to remove it permanently, you may not need to be quite as careful as if you plan to put it back later. To remove crown molding from your walls, just follow these simple steps. While time consuming, it’s fairly easy.

Save Your Wall

The first step is to ensure your wall doesn’t get damaged in the process of removing the molding. Use a utility knife to cut the paint that’s long-since dried between the molding and wall. You’ll want to cut right along the edge of the molding to effectively separate the two.

By separating the molding from the paint on the wall, not only will you avoid the paint pealing or tearing, you’ll also keep it from putting unnecessary strain on old dry wall as it pulls. If you’re hoping to save your molding, you’ll also want to cut the paint between molding pieces where they attach at the corners.

Between a Rock and a Hard Place

The next step is going to involve a firm, metal putty knife. These tools are thin enough to get into tight spaces while still strong enough to act as weak crowbars. Begin at one end of a piece of molding. Place the corner of your putty knife against the seam between molding and wall and attempt to shove it in between the two. If you have difficulty, try tapping the handle of the putty knife with a hammer. The extra force may be all it needs to separate the two.

After getting your putty knife between the molding and wall, it’s time to begin prying the molding away from the wall. If you have no interest in saving the molding, this doesn’t have to be a delicate task. As a matter of fact, you can quickly replace your putty knife with an actual crowbar, which will more quickly pull the molding away. Although, it is also more likely to split the molding into small pieces, which is why you should only take this speedy route if you intend to throw the molding away.

Save Your Molding

If you’re more interested in saving your molding to put back on after a paint job, you’ll want to go much slower. In order to avoid bending the molding to a breaking point, you’ll begin at one end, prying the molding only about 1/8th of an inch from the wall before moving further down. Gently pry all the way down the molding, making an even amount of progress before returning to the beginning.

As you get more space between your molding and the wall, you can switch to a straight-edged crowbar. Just remember, you still need to be careful to avoid splitting the wood of the molding. When the molding is fairly loose, but still secured by nails, you’ll have to use a bit more force to pull it away from the wall. Finally, the molding should be removed. Repeat this process on any remaining walls where you want to remove crown molding.

Get Professional Assistance

Don’t want to spend hours to remove crown molding from your walls? Don’t fret; that’s exactly what Premier Group Contractors is here for. We do this kind of thing all the time, and are happy to do it for you as well. Give us a call if you need some help to remove crown molding from your walls and we’ll let you know when we’re free to help.

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