One of the most valuable tools in a gardener’s arsenal is the cold frame. A cold frame is a small, unheated greenhouse that creates a microclimate by trapping solar energy to warm the plants inside. A cold frame also protects plants from potentially harsh environmental conditions. There are many different types of cold frames and they can be built from various materials. Regardless of the style or materials used, as long as it is an enclosure that allows sunlight in and can be sealed enough to trap the sun’s heat, it can work as a cold frame. The two most common types of cold frames used by hobbyists are box style and hoop-house style.
The box style cold frame is nothing more than a bottomless box with an angled, transparent top. Box style cold frames can be built from a number of materials as basic as a box made of cinderblocks with an old sheet of glass on top or as technologically advanced as a composite structure complete with thermostat and auto-openers. Box style cold frames can be used to either house plants in containers or be placed over plants which are in the ground. Most hobbyist horticulturists looking to start their own seeds in a cold frame choose some variation of the box style.
The hoop-house style cold frame is an arched structure commonly constructed out of PVC or conduit slid over metal stakes that have been driven into the ground. The metal stakes act as anchors and the PVC or conduit material is bent over the desired area creating an archway. The PVC or conduit material create the “ribs” of the cold frame which is covered with some sort of transparent plastic sheeting. This style cold frame is usually chosen when a large area of frost sensitive plants needs protection from the elements.
Cold Frame Benefits
Gardeners that utilize cold frames could gain a few different advantages. Getting an early start on the outdoor growing season is probably the most common benefit reaped by hobbyist horticulturists. With the use of a cold frame, gardeners can get their starts acclimated (hardened off) sooner which allows them to plant larger, more robust plants into the ground. Cold frames will keep the soil and plants contained within approximately 5-10 degrees warmer than the ambient outdoor temperature. This usually allows gardeners to start the acclimation process a couple of weeks before the average last frost date in their area.
Another advantage of using a cold frame is it allows growers to extend the growing season for a number of weeks. This is great for plants that would otherwise wither and die at the first sign of fall. Extending the harvest also means you get to enjoy your own home grown veggies for a longer period of time.
Some gardeners, depending on their geographical location, use cold frames throughout the winter to either protect dormant plants until spring or to continue to harvest root vegetables and cold tolerant greens. A sunken cold frame or one that is at least partially buried under ground are the best types of cold frames for the hobbyist looking to overwinter dormant plants.
A favorite benefit of using a cold frame is it saves money. By using a cold frame to start your own seeds in the spring you don’t have to purchase starts from a nursery. Starting your own seeds also gives you the “pick of the litter” when it comes to choosing which plants you will use and which you will discard. The last two growing seasons my vegetable garden has been prolific and produced more than when I was purchasing starts from a nursery. Cold frames allow any gardener to start their own seeds. This is a huge advantage in itself because it reduces the likelihood of pest insects or other pathogens you may acquire from purchased starts. Besides avoiding the nasty headache of dealing with an infestation, this also saves money otherwise spent on pesticides. Extending the growing season with a cold frame saves money too. When using a cold frame in the fall you extend your harvest of edibles which negates having to buy them at the grocery store.
How to Use a Cold Frame
Last year I made a couple of box style cold frames out of some old windows that the previous owners left behind in our barn. It was surprising how much we ended up using them. We used them to start all of our vegetable seeds, acclimate our herb starts and grow winter lettuce and kale in the fall. After you build or acquire a cold frame it’s really easy to get started using it.
To start in early spring, choose cool-season plants as they will germinate in colder temperatures. You can either plant the seeds in trays or directly into the ground (assuming you have a portable cold frame). If you plan on sowing directly into the ground, be sure to place your cold frame in the desired location a week or so before you begin. This will allow the soil to “warm up” and become ready for planting. If you are growing warm-season plants (most vegetables), you should be able to start your seeds a week or two prior to the average last frost date in your area. Cold frames are great at keeping in the sun’s heat and protecting plants but they are not invincible to drastic weather conditions. Seedlings are very sensitive to temperature fluctuations so it is very important to check on the latest weather conditions. It may be necessary to find an indoor area at night if the temperatures are predicted to drop significantly. We moved our seedlings indoors a couple of nights last year. They may have been alright but it is better to be safe than sorry.
Acclimating (Hardening Off) Starts
In order to properly acclimate starts to outdoor conditions they must be slowly exposed to their future environment. A cold frame works great for keeping young plants sheltered while allowing them a “taste” of outdoor life. The process of acclimation, commonly referred to as hardening off, lessens the chance of transplant shock and thickens the cuticle (the waxy protective covering on the leaf’s surface) which reduces the amount of water the plant will transpire. Plants started indoors or purchased at a nursery can be placed directly into the cold frame for acclimation.
As with seedlings, cool-season plants can be started earlier while most warm-season plants can begin the acclimation process around two weeks prior to the average last frost date. If your cold frame is portable, start in a shady location. Throughout the next week you can slowly increase the exposure to direct sunlight. If your cold frame is stationary, or you don’t want to move it, a small section of shade cloth can be used to limit the exposure to direct sunlight. Each day you can remove the shade cloth for longer periods of time until the plants are acclimated. Most plant varieties will be fully acclimated within 7-14 days when using a cold frame. We acclimated the herb starts we purchased at a local nursery in our cold frame. I got a little anxious to get them in the ground so they were only acclimated for 5 days. I noticed a slight case of transplant shock on a few varieties which I believe was preventable had I been patient and given them a few more days to acclimate in the cold frame.
Extending the Growing Season
Hoop-house style cold frames built right over the rows is a common method of extending the season with a cold frame. Portable box style cold frames can serve the same purpose although usually for a smaller area. I used our cold frames to plant winter lettuce and kale in late summer. This worked great at extending our very short growing season. It felt good to harvest fresh greens long after most gardeners in my area had hung up their hoes. Broccoli, swiss chard, kale, carrots, beets, and winter lettuce are just a few of the veggies whose season can be extended into winter by using a cold frame.
Cold Frame Maintenance
Cold frames are great but they are not a “set it and forget it” apparatus. Unfortunately, there is a little work that is required to ensure your cold frame works for you and not against you. Solar energy is a very powerful thing. It is very important to open a cold frame on warm, sunny days. Gardeners using cold frames must be very aware of the weather conditions. Even late into the fall, my plants could have been cooked alive had I not cracked open their enclosure on sunny days. Squatters can cause additional maintenance as well. A cold frame’s warmth and protection can be very inviting to insects and critters (we had ants and wasps try to make their homes in ours last year). Condensation is very common in a cold frame. This will cloud up transparent material and possibly create an environment for molds or fungus. Regular cleanings should be scheduled to not only retain the transparency but also to reduce the chance of harboring unwanted pathogens.
Not all gardeners have the space or the means to have a greenhouse but every gardener could reap the benefits of a cold frame. Cold frames are easy to build and can take up as much or as little space as desired. Many cold frames are constructed from recycled materials which makes them free or very inexpensive. Even if you choose to purchase a pre-built cold frame from a manufacturer it is absolutely worth the investment. Cold frames allow gardeners to get an early start on the season, extend their season and save money. Those three reasons, combined with relatively easy accessibility, are why every horticulturist should have a cold frame.
Eric Hopper resides in Michigan’s beautiful Upper Peninsula where he enjoys gardening and pursuing sustainability. He is a Garden & Greenhouse contributing editor and may be contacted at Ehop@GardenAndGreenhouse.net.
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5 Ways to Manage a Bedbug Infestation
If you have been unlucky enough to have a bedbug infestation, you know just how frustrating and challenging they can be to get rid of. These pesky critters can be hard to detect and even harder to eradicate, but with these five tips, you can manage a bedbug infestation and get your home back to normal.
Apply a Pesticide Treatment
One proven method for getting rid of bedbugs is to apply a pesticide treatment to the affected areas. Pesticides can be used as a liquid, aerosol, or powder. Be sure to follow the instructions on the pesticide label and avoid contact with the skin or eyes. You may need to call a professional pest control company if you have a severe infestation. Taking these steps will help you eliminate bedbugs and prevent them from returning.
Inspect Your Bed and Bedroom Carefully
Scrutinizing your bed and bedroom is one of the best ways to manage a bedbug infestation. By looking for signs of bedbugs, you can figure out where they’re hiding and how many there are. This information can be invaluable when it comes to treating an infestation. Bedbugs are notoriously difficult to get rid of, so it’s essential to be as thorough as possible when inspecting your home.
Check cracks and crevices in furniture, behind pictures, and other dark or secluded areas. Look for small brown spots on sheets and mattresses, as well as for actual bugs. If you aren’t sure what to look for, professional bed bug inspection services can help you find and exterminate them. Taking action quickly is essential for preventing an infestation from getting out of control.
Use a Steamer to Clean Furniture and Linen
Steaming is an effective way to kill bedbugs and their eggs. A steamer can reach over 200 degrees Fahrenheit, which is high enough to kill bedbugs and their eggs instantly. Steaming is also an excellent way to clean furniture and linens that may be infested with bedbugs. Be sure to steam all sides of the furniture or linen and any cracks or crevices where bedbugs may be hiding.
Steaming is safe for most fabrics and materials, but it is always best to test a small area first to ensure no damage. In addition, steaming is an effective way to clean hard-to-reach places like mattress seams and tufts, which are common hiding spots for bedbugs. When used as part of a comprehensive management plan, steaming can help to reduce the number of bedbugs in your home significantly.
Regularly vacuuming your home can remove bedbugs from surfaces and prevent them from spreading. Vacuuming also helps to dislodge eggs and nymphs, which can be challenging to detect with the naked eye. Be sure to vacuum all areas where bedbugs may be hiding, including carpeting, mattresses, upholstered furniture, and baseboards.
When vacuuming, use a powerful vacuum with a fine-toothed attachment. Empty the vacuum bag after each use to prevent bedbugs from crawling back into your home. You should also keep your home clean and clutter-free to limit hiding spots for bedbugs. Regular vacuuming and cleaning allow you to keep your home free of bedbugs and help prevent them from spreading.
Wash Bedding in Hot Water
One proven tip is to wash bedding in hot water. Bedbugs are attracted to the warmth of our bodies, so washing in hot water will kill them on contact. Be sure to wash all bedding, including sheets, pillowcases, and blankets. While bedbugs are not known to spread diseases, they can be a considerable nuisance and cause stress. If you think you might have an infestation, it’s essential to take action right away. The five methods we’ve outlined should help eliminate the bugs and restore your peace of mind.
Learn More About Planting a Sapling in Our Handy Guide
A sapling is a beautiful new beginning and requires care and love to become a strong addition to your landscape.
If you are bringing saplings into your garden and are looking for some insider advice on setting them up for health, strength, and maximum vivaciousness —stick around. Below TheTreeCentre cover all the important things you need to know about planting saplings in your yard.
The first step in planning your sapling’s grand reception is to set the month of the year. The seasons play into the different ways you will prepare for sapling planting. There is no perfect time to plant saplings, but there are some considerations that will indicate the best time for you to plant your sapling.
Rule No. 1 is to make sure the ground is inviting. If the ground is frozen, soaked, or otherwise inhospitable, your sapling will have to struggle for its life in these conditions. If the weather is especially warm or dry, you will also need to consider the aftercare you are providing.
October – January
Deciduous trees will lose their leaves each year and enter deep sleep, or dormancy, for the winter months. During this time no energy is spent on growth and the tree is focused on hibernation. If you have a deciduous sapling, store it in the garage and keep the root ball moist. Don’t bring the sapling indoors as this will kill it.
Don’t store evergreens indoors at all, no matter the time of year. Evergreens need sunlight to stay alive. Unlike deciduous trees, evergreens are never fully dormant.
If you don’t have a location indoors where you can store your tree, have no fear. Wehave a fine selection of hardy local trees that will survive the elements well. We recommend that you keep these seedlings outside of any frost pockets as you await the perfect time to keep these saplings safe.
February – September
From February to September, the sapling will be coming out of its dormancy or in full leaf mode if it is evergreen. Either way, the temperature is perfect to plant in the ground as soon as the last frost has melted. If the weather gets warm or dry quickly, keep the roots moist in the weeks that follow.
Planting Tree Saplings in Pots
Some of the native trees that we provide include oak, which can grow to a staggering height with extensive limbs. This would make them best suited for a larger property where their massive boughs will not grow into buildings.
But don’t let this concern you, your oak sapling will live and thrive in a pot for over 10 years before it needs to be planted in the ground in its forever home. This is good news if you have to change homes, the treecan come too.
Planting Your Tree Sapling in a Pot
To accomplish this simple task, you will need:
- A watering can
- A trowel
- High-quality potting soil
- A large pot with good drainage holes
- And of course… your tree sapling
Planting Tree Sapling in a Pot
Begin by filling the pot or container with compost and then create a small hole in the center where you will place the plant. This needs to be at the perfect height, if the stem is toolow, it will rot, but if the roots are exposed, they will die. The key is to cover the roots completely, and add top-soil, a mix of compost and soil for a couple inches above that.
Add some soil to replace any that has fallen off the roots. You can thenadd a mixture of soil and compost to the top to get a good amount to cover the roots, but not too much of the stem. Some well-rotted manure can also improve thequality of the soil and its richness.
Secure the sapling in the pot and pat down the top layer of compost. Don’t pack this down too tightly; a good amount of water and air circulation can keep your soil healthy.
Once the soil is sufficiently settled, drive a stake into the ground near the stem for support. A tree guard can also be added. It is important to note that a tree will achieve a healthy trunk only if it is allowed to sway and move without support.
You can then repot your tree every few years until it can no longer be placed in pots and it can be planted in its final resting place outside.
If you expect your sapling to be in the pot for more than 2 years, you can top-dress the soil. This means removing the top layer of soil and replacing that with a layer of compost.
Planting Tree Saplings into the Ground
If you already have a spot where you will place your sapling, then you may be ready to plant it in the ground right away. Here is what you need to do the job:
- Your tree sapling
- A space in the garden to plant
- A trowel or spade
- A watering can
How to Plant Tree Saplings
After you have selected a spot for your sapling, draw a circle on the ground with white chalk that will be the hole you dig. This should be slightly bigger than the root ball itself. Keep the soil that you remove from the hole so that you can fill the holeafter the root ball is situated.
Plant the tree in the hole at a good height where the sapling will not be too low and not too exposed in the hole. Backfill any soil to ensure that the roots are completely covered. Then create a mixture of compost and cover the surface of the roots with this mixture.
Firm down the soil, but avoid packing it down too tightly. Add a stake and protection, but remember these should only be used temporarily. The sapling needs to be mobile to develop a strong trunk.
After Planting Tree Care Tips
Whether you have planted your sapling in a pot or the ground, you can ensure its greatest chances of survival by following some simple tips.
Keep the top-soil, the compost and soil mix, moist. This will allow the root systemto establish itself well. This is especially true for potted plants. Make sure the drainage is good, or you risk rotting the root ball.
Add another layer of mulch —as time goes by you will want to add another layer of mulch and this will allow the soil to retain moisture in dryer climates.
Protect from frost in the winter –frost damage is the killer of young trees. Even though native trees are well-adapted to the climate here, it would be a good idea to avoid damage to your tree if you can.
Ground planted trees —young trees will need all the moisture and nutrients they can get from the soil. Keep the area around your sapling clear of weeds to give it the best possible start.
Why Is Growing Cannabis in a Greenhouse the Newest Trend in Cultivation?
Growing cannabis in greenhouses has quickly become popular, and many individuals are showing interest in growing their own cannabis in a greenhouse. When compared to growing cannabis inside or in a growing room, cultivating cannabis in a greenhouse offers a significant number of benefits.
Despite this, there are still certain challenges to contend with when one is inside. The fact that you can quickly remove unnecessary complexities, such as those found in an enclosed growing chamber, is the nicest aspect about producing cannabis in a greenhouse. Growing cannabis outdoors was thought by many experienced cultivators to be riskier and less reliable than growing the plant in a greenhouse.
You may also simply take advantage of the best natural parts and provide some security for those harsher part factors, which together create the ideal growing environment, particularly for cannabis producers who dwell in northern part regions.
Even cannabis plants can naturally heat themselves in greenhouses; nevertheless, you may still alter the temperature to provide extra heat if necessary. Consider growing your cannabis in Prospiant greenhouses if you are a cannabis farmer who wants to cultivate enough cannabis to fulfill both your medical and recreational requirements.
Why Should You Attempt to Cultivate Cannabis Inside of a Greenhouse?
When compared to other methods of cultivation, marijuana grown in a greenhouse has been known to produce a product that has a higher THC content. If you start your cannabis plant from seeds that have strong genetics, you can anticipate that the bud it produces will be of a high grade when it reaches the conclusion of the growth period. It is for this reason that an increasing number of cannabis farmers are opting to cultivate their plants in greenhouses rather than growing them in indoor or outdoor settings.
What Are the Advantages of Cultivating Cannabis in Greenhouses Rather Than Outdoors?
Cannabis is best and most cost-effectively cultivated in a controlled environment such as a greenhouse. In the structure of the greenhouse, the force of the sun is harnessed to provide a warm temperature and to act as a shield from a variety of climatic circumstances that are not desirable.
The Climate Can Be Managed Inside a Greenhouse
When it comes to the production of a high-quality product, climate control is of the utmost importance. Other cultivators have constructed a conservatory with their very own windows that are designed to be readily opened in order to allow for the circulation of wind to chill the plants or to catch the warmth which the cannabis plants require.
Greenhouses may also protect plants from harsh weather conditions, such as excessive rain, which could be detrimental to the plant’s health. It is also possible for it to occur from the decomposing branches, which provides most of the moisture that is retained within the cannabis buds.
In addition, greenhouse gas warmers (www.epa.gov), fans, and air conditioners will all be able to contribute to the climate management efforts. Growing in a conservatory allows you to manage the temperature and the amount of direct sunlight that your plants receive, and despite the fact that it is more expensive than other types of growing setups, it still ensures that you will end up with a highly stable product.
Exercise Complete Authority Over Every Stage of the Cannabis Plant’s Development
Light deprivation, another name for the approach that is effective throughout the summer months and is the standard process which is used by greenhouse farmers, is an effective strategy for controlling the life cycle of plants and is utilized by greenhouse growers. For more information on greenhouse lighting, click here. They reduce the quantity of light which the plants are exposed to just before reaching its conclusion.
season. You can get around this problem by blooming early. Because of this, you will be able to plant an early crop, which is great for those who reside in colder places.
Growers of cannabis typically harvest that crop before the start of the rainy season, even though doing so may increase the likelihood of mold growth on the plant. You will, however, need to rely more on auxiliary heaters and lights in order to continue cultivating cannabis throughout the colder months of winter and fall.
Cannabis plants have specific lighting and heating requirements. Extending the amount of daylight available each day is necessary if one wants to manufacture goods of a high standard. After it’s too cloudy outside, a modern greenhouse may give supplementary lighting, and when it is excessively light outside, these can block the light.
Capable of Prolonging the Duration of the Growing Condition
The utilization of a greenhouse to cultivate plants provides the best possible conditions for controlling the duration of the growth season. This method is utilized by a significant number of cannabis cultivators as a means of extending the harvesting period. This becomes advantageous for them because they keep sufficient air required by plants, particularly when the temperature inside becomes toasty warm or when the cooler weather of fall begins to approach.
A Sustainable Wood Substitute: Hemp-Based Lumber
When HempWood founder Greg Wilson worked for a bamboo flooring company, the lightbulb went off. He realized that hemp could be used as a sustainable wood substitute and set out to develop a process to make this possible.
When HempWood founder Greg Wilson worked for a bamboo flooring company, the lightbulb went off. He realized that hemp could be used as a sustainable wood substitute and set out to develop a process to make this possible. Hemp is an incredibly versatile plant – it can be used to create everything from hempcrete to hemp-based lumber. In this article, we’ll discuss the benefits of HempWood and how the soy-based adhesive can be used to create sturdy boards from hemp stalks.
HempWood is a more sustainable option than traditional lumber. Greg states, “hemp grows in 4 months, [whereas] bamboo grows in 5 years.” Additionally, hemp doesn’t require pesticides or fertilizers; these hardy plants are resistant to pests. Hemp-based lumber also doesn’t require the same energy-intensive kiln drying process as traditional lumber, making it a more environmentally friendly option.
The hazardous chemicals used to bond traditional wood flooring together affect the health of people and pets in both the production and commercial usage, due to the off-gassing that occurs. Formaldehyde, in particular, is a known carcinogen used in traditional flooring adhesives. According to Greg, during the production process, “when going from a liquid state glue to a solid-state, it has to be heated up where off-gassing occurs […] and if it’s not fully cured or it heats up in the house from sunlight, it will start to off-gas again.” Soy-based adhesive, however, doesn’t off-gas these harmful chemicals, making it a healthier option during both the manufacturing process and when installed in your home.
HempWood is also incredibly strong and durable. According to Greg, with “a hardness of 20% harder than Hickory,” hemp flooring is ideal for high-traffic areas like kitchens and living rooms. HempWood boards are also less likely to warp or cup than traditional lumber, making them a more durable option for your home.
A Clear Winner
If you’re looking for a sustainable, durable, and healthy wood substitute, hemp-based lumber is the way to go! What are some other benefits of using HempWood? Let us know in the comments below! And be sure to check out their website, hempwood.com, or Instagram @hempwood_ for more information on hemp-based products.
Environmentally Friendly Solar Lights for Garden Decoration
As the world becomes more and more environmentally conscious, people are looking for ways to reduce their carbon footprint. Since regular lighting uses a lot of electrical power and can hugely affect your bills, solar lights have been used as an eco-friendly alternative.
Solar lights, as the name implies, are solar-powered lights that perform a lighting function. These lights are usually environmentally friendly and carbon-neutral, meaning they do not produce any harmful emissions – making them the best option for those environmentalists who are concerned about social sustainability. For many households, the use of solar lights can reduce electricity bills, which is a great choice for lighting.
Ways to Use
In addition to the lighting function, the lights can also be used as decoration; therefore, many environmentalists will use solar light elements in their home decor. And solar pathway lights usually need to absorb solar energy for energy storage, so they are often used in gardens.
Advantages of Solar Lights
Because of their widespread use outdoors, solar lights typically have several significant advantages over electric lights:
- Solar lights are very easy to install, usually requiring only simple assembly and plugging into the ground.
- Solar lights do not need to be plugged in, so they are safe and recyclable.
- Solar lights are usually made of durable materials and pass a series of quality tests for wind and rain resistance, so that they can be used normally even in bad weather conditions.
- Solar lights usually consist of many types, solar ground lights, animal sculpture lights, line lights and other kinds of lights, so they can greatly meet the needs of home decoration.
Details to Note
Of course, solar lights are not perfect. Firstly you need to have a place where you can place the light, while some ground-plug lights can only be used on the ground. Different kinds of solar lights have different ways to use, so when choosing solar lights you should buy them according to your needs.
There are various types of lights on the market, and the quality varies, so we need to conduct sufficient research when choosing solar lights to select the best product.
How to Choose
So what kind of solar street lights can achieve the above-mentioned quality performance characteristics? Just try Gigalumi’s solar lights for garden, whose lights have several products with excellent lighting effects, and many customers who have used them praise their products for their good-lighting-effect even at night. And if you are worried about the need for a party at home and do not know what decorative lights to buy; if you also want to make your way home brighter and warmer; if you are also a pursuit of environmental protection, then visit their official website, there may be some surprising gains.
Garden decorating with GIGALUMI solar pathway lights is the wise choice at a time when being harmless to the ecosystem is imperative for the future of the earth and the ages to come. Their goal is to contribute to carbon neutrality, to make clean energy the first choice in people’s daily lives, and to contribute to the green development of society while saving money!
7 Environmentally Friendly Home Ideas
Home improvement might be at the top of your to-do list as you think about getting your house ready for summer entertaining. While planning how to give your home a new look, you can also make choices that are good for the environment and can be wise for your wallet and your health. These green choices will also help your house appeal to potential buyers.
Replace Your Faucets and Toilets With Low-Flow Options
You could throw away gallons of water each year without even knowing it. Switching out regular-flow toilets and faucets for low-flow ones is a relatively easy job with a big payoff to save water and lower your utility bill. You will need to invest in installing new low-flow toilets, but while they might cost a bit more, the water savings will be worth it. For example, replacing an older model toilet with a low-flow toilet could reduce your bathroom water usage by 50 percent. Low-flow aerators for showers and faucets are easy to install yourself and could also lead to 30 to 50 percent water savings. If you expect to have a lot of guests coming in and out of your home this summer, making these small changes can have a big impact. Low-flow toilets and sinks can also add to your home’s value.
Opt for Native Plants
Unless you are an award-winning gardener, chances are your ideal garden is one that is beautiful and easy to maintain at the same time. Any professional landscaper will tell you that going with native plants can help you to keep your watering and pruning time to a minimum and ensure that your plants can look their best all season long. These plants will regulate themselves with your home’s weather patterns, including rainfall and humidity levels. You will also likely be able to avoid pesticides and fertilizers. Because native plants are local, their prices will be lower than plants that have traveled across the country or the world before reaching you. Instead of buying plants, you can also ask a neighbor to take a cutting from their garden to start making your own grow.
Use Recycled Water in Your Garden
Depending on the climate where you live, collecting water can be an option for watering your garden to save on your water bill. Collecting rainwater could be as simple as having a bucket in your garden or getting a more involved system that collects water and distributes it to your plants. Collecting rainwater can also be used to clean your windows or wash your car.
Make Your Decor Green
When you’re thinking about adding decor to your home, plants can be an environmentally-conscious choice. Adding more plants can add oxygen to your home environment and, in general, creates less waste than buying home decor items. Beyond plants, green can be a choice for rugs and furnishing made in bamboo or jute.
With these environmentally-friendly changes, you can give your home a new look with a green focus.
Bathroom Renovations to Increase Your Home’s Value
There are signs that house price growth is slowing significantly, after a period of explosive growth that saw property values increase by an average of 10% in the last 12 months. The potential for market-led growth grows ever slimmer as the year continues. As such, eking that extra bit of value out of your property sale will require more than simply deferring to the movements of the market.
Developing your property by undertaking shrewd renovation work is an indispensable approach to increasing property value – but it can be difficult to know what to do with some spaces, in particular the bathroom. Here are some ideas for targeted bathroom renovations that can increase your home’s overall value. If you need some inspirational ideas to design your bathroom without a tub, I highly recommend this article: https://acremodeling.com/master-bathroom-without-tub/
Installing a Stand-Alone Shower
There is always going to be a market for luxurious bathroom sets – and if you have the room, a standalone bath unit can be a statement piece that sells the idea of a space for pampering. However, not every home has the spare space for a free-standing bath – and new trends in bathroom design are seeing new preferences emerge amongst younger homeowners.
More people are choosing to shower than bathe, for a number of reasons – but regardless of those reasons, the increased popularity and convenience of showers makes it a shrewd decision to install a dedicated shower unit. They are relatively cheap for their utility, can look incredibly sleek when installed, and are much easier for homeowners to maintain; with the right hardware, they can be an extremely cost-effective way to increase value and appeal in one.
Windows are an evergreen choice for increasing house value and can be particularly worthwhile when installed in bathroom spaces. Bathrooms can be commonly dark and dingy, especially en-suites in older homes; rather than playing to type and settling for dark, humid, and boxy bathing spaces, endeavor to let the light in with abundant windows where possible.
Not only can windows provide additional ventilation for shower steam, but they can also drastically improve mood when using a bathroom – and with the right windowsill dressing, can make for a very appealing bathroom overall. Natural light is a natural selling point and will be sure to bolster your home’s market value.
Perhaps it goes without saying that the more luxury features you install in your bathroom, the higher the overall price of your home becomes. However, being judicious about what you design to include in your renovations can maximize your returns in the event of a sale. Rather than cramming features into a small space, think wisely about the available room and the demographic to whom you’re selling.
Installing a bidet can be a forward-thinking renovation idea, enabling new homeowners to up their hygiene and reduce monthly expenditures. Meanwhile, installing smart systems such as lighting and digital showers can bring your bathroom into the modern age, providing unique functionality not often seen in conventional, well-lived bathing spaces.
How to Prevent Garage Door Problems
A garage door is not only a valuable space that allows you to access your cars and even keep items safe inside your home. It is also a significant investment and will be a place you look after with your most precious possessions.
If you don’t have https://fixgaragedoors.ca/services/garage-doors-repair/opener/ garage door opener repairs in your area, you should get it repaired immediately as these small faults can lead to larger issues, especially if you don’t know what you are doing. This is why this post is a guide to help you fix a broken garage door without paying a pro to do so.
No matter how old your garage doors are, you can still be faced with different problems. And you do not need a diploma or special talents to understand that something is wrong and should be fixed. Many things can be broken or function wrongly in garage doors. That’s why you should know what to pay attention to identify an issue. There are a couple of things that you need to pay attention to when checking for garage door issues. Stick to the below tips when you run a door inspection on your own.
1. Pay Attention to Noises
First of all, you need to pay attention to the noises it makes. Thus, it is best that you are aware of any rumbling, groaning, or creaking, and you will be able to check for any small issues even in the quieter of the night.
2. Look for Signs of Rust
Another way of spotting problems is by looking for any signs of rust. Rusting can be one of the most common signs of garage door problems. If you notice any signs of rust in your garage door, it is best to call a professional garage door repair service right away.
3. Check the Springs
If you notice that the force of your garage door is constantly changing, this is a sign that something needs to be repaired. It may be as simple as your springs need replacing. But if you notice any signs of wear, you should call a garage door service immediately. They can check whether the springs are too tight or not, and replace them if there is a need for that.
4. Check the Cables
Another common garage door repair is replacing or repairing the cables. The thing is that cables can be easily damaged by objects hitting them. And as a result of this, they can break and lead to the garage door breaking. The solution is usually the replacement of the cables. But if you can’t find replacement parts, you should contact a garage door repair service in your native town.
5. Look at the Tracks
If you find the tracks are not at the right level and not in good condition, you can assume they are broken. To fix this problem, you need to call a garage door repair service, or you can try to handle the issue yourself. If you notice any issues with the tracks and see they have become bent or crooked, you need to fix them as soon as possible.
6. Check the Panel
Sometimes, the components that are in the panel may need replacing. And if this happens, a professional repair company will be able to help you fix it. Components of the panel like the rollers, cables, and panels need replacing from time to time. But it is always better to contact an expert to make sure everything is working fine.
When it comes to inspecting garage doors, it is best to check them regularly and be wary of those who tell you they can fix them. Depending on the type of door and the issue, repairing it can be challenging and dangerous. Not to mention, the DIY repair can cause more damage to the garage door. If you do not have time to dive deep into all these details and make your hands dirty, we strongly recommend that you order a professional service. Thus, you can be sure that the repair will be handled properly and will not cause a failure any time soon.
Backyard Landscape Design: 4 Important Things to Consider
Wanting your exteriors to look exquisite, it is only natural that you will also focus on the surroundings of your house. After all, a beautiful, well-maintained backyard will only enhance the charm of your property, and it can be the perfect place to spend your leisure time surrounded by nature. That is why so many people are devoted and spend so much time improving their gardens.
Whether you are designing a backyard from scratch for a new property or you want to get your outdoor space ready for spring, your project will need to plan carefully for each element. Unfortunately, it might not be the easiest process, and you have to consider things like the site, your needs, form, theme, plants, and the time it will take for your garden to grow.
Your goal is to create an aesthetically pleasing and functional space. To ensure that your backyard satisfies your needs, here are some things you should consider in your design. Check them out!
One thing you should always do is to consider the size of your property because it can greatly affect the layout and design of your backyard. If you are not quite familiar with the lay of your land, you can easily arrange a meeting with a professional. To have a great design, you need to take into account things like drainage, sunlight exposure, moisture level, and soil pH. Also, do not forget to think about potential hazards like nearby structures prone to storm damage.
Your backyard will be an extension of your home, and it needs to be functional as well. That is why you need to know how you will use it and how much time you will spend there. It can help you decide on the type of plants and materials that you should use in your design.
For example, if you want a place for relaxation, then you should think about adding comfortable seating arrangements and maybe even a fire pit. If you want a space for entertaining guests, then you might want to add a barbeque area or a swimming pool. Think about the types of activities you will conduct in your garden, such as gardening or cooking, and give yourself enough privacy so that you can enjoy your time without worrying about being disturbed by people passing by or peering from behind the windows.
For kids, a playground might be the ideal element. You can build them a treehouse or an obstacle course, or just make sure that they have their own section of the garden where they can play without worrying too much about breaking things or getting hurt.
When it comes to designing your backyard, you need to create coherency between all the elements. That is why it is best to start from the overall concept first before deciding on the details, such as the color scheme and plants.
You don’t have to stick with one theme, but having a specific style in mind for your landscape design will help you decide what materials to use for your project, as well as how to arrange everything. There are several design elements that you can use when creating a landscape for your property, including:
There are plenty of elements you can use to enhance your backyard, such as hardscapes, water features, lighting, walls, and fences. With proper planning, these elements will create a more functional space and will enhance the visual appeal of your garden. For example, installing fences or walls between different sections of your property will not only improve the appearance of your garden but can also offer privacy and security.
You can also choose certain colors that will reflect the mood you want to achieve in your garden. For example, earth tones can give you a natural look, while vibrant colors can make your space feel alive and playful. Specifically, look at things like foliage plants that are available in different shades of green that you can incorporate into your design.
You can find tons of plants that you can use in your garden, such as grasses and flowering plants. These elements are essential in improving the aesthetics of your property while also providing other benefits. You can plant trees that provide cool shade during hot summer days or citrus plants that will help attract wildlife to your garden.
You can incorporate elements or structures that will serve a purpose in your garden, such as raised beds for gardening or a gazebo for seating. Make sure to choose materials that are easy to care for, and that can withstand harsh weather conditions. To make the most out of your backyard, you should consider having a nice pavement that links specific areas.
You should also think about how long it will take for your garden to grow and mature. If you want an instant result, then you can choose plants that require little to no maintenance. Some plants will need more time to grow to a considerable size, and you should ensure that they have enough space as overcrowded plants might not grow or produce as well. You can also incorporate some elements like pots or trellises for climbing plants that can instantly add color to your garden.
Designing your backyard landscape can be fun and exciting, but it can also be a challenge. That is why you need to plan ahead and know what you want before you start doing anything else. Review your site, know your needs and wants, choose a theme, and determine when you can work on your project. You will then be able to create a garden that you will love and that will enhance the appeal of your home.
Kitchen Garden Tips, Ideas, Design, and Benefits
As the world is going back to nature, why not create a kitchen garden? Kitchens can get suffocating sometimes, that is the utmost reason some people run to gardens to create beautiful kitchens for themselves and spend a meaningful time with their friends and family in order to have fresh vegetables and fruits. It promises you healthy and inexpensive fresh vegetables right at your doorstep. Green vegetables are known for their nutritional value and health benefits. In order to get the full amounts of vitamins, you need to let them grow in your sight.
The best part about a kitchen garden is that it helps your house get fresh and unharmful air to breathe. The green vegetables in your kitchen garden can help a large amount of CO2 vanish from the air as they take it all in for photosynthesis. Here are some of the Tips, Ideas, Design, and benefits of Kitchen Garden,
When you are planning to choose the land, try to select the backyard of your house, as it is the perfect place for you to set up your kitchen garden. The north side of the garden should be kept for quick-rising fruits such as Kagzi lime, papaya, and many other tasteful fruits. The fence can be covered with climbers such as pea, cucumber, etc.
The ridges known for separating the beds must be utilized to raise root vegetables such as turnip, radish, etc. The interspace between slow-growing crops can be utilized to give to fast-growing crops. The selection of the crops is better to be done in a systematic manner where the size of the garden and the choice of the family are considered side by side. The climate of your region also has a pivotal part in the overall growth of the vegetables. Plus, never compromise on kitchen equipment, make sure you have the finest in your kitchen garden.
There’s no denying the fact that some of the plants are too beautiful to hide in the rest. Rainbow Swiss Chard is one of the prominent examples of attractive plants. Create a few focal points of your garden and place them there. You can plant them into strawberry pots and they will fill out astonishingly. You will have a lush look when the new leaves come out. The containers are very attractive and you can plant almost any of the vegetables in them.
One of the most admired ideas is to have a garden of hanging vegetables. There’s no certain rule that all hanging baskets are to be filled with flowers, vegetables can also grow in them. Choose any of the plants you think are suitable for the bucket, and try them. When it is about the container, you can use old buckets, recycled soda bottles, ceramic bowls, and whatever you think can add more beauty to your garden.
Designing your garden is surely a crucial part. It is hard to change the design of the kitchen garden. Well, shed builders Houston can be a great help here. Once your garden kitchen is designed according to your preference, you can add custom cast stone to give an alluring site of stonework. Choose a location that gets sunlight at least six hours a day. The harvest surely depended on the amount of sunlight received. A mix of hanging and grounded pants can uplift the quality and beauty of your garden. Don’t forget the importance of stonework as well as the right equipment. Heavy rains can bring floods, and design the kitchen garden in a stable environment.
Benefits of a Kitchen Garden
Here are the benefits of having a kitchen garden at your backyard,
- You get the opportunity to enjoy fresh and healthy vegetables and fruits at your home that are inexpensive too.
- The taste of vegetables harvested at your kitchen garden is much better than the one’s purchased from the market, due to the presence of toxic chemicals.
- The wastewater from the kitchen is also finely utilized.
- The wasteland around your house can become more productive.
- Air pollution is one of the deadliest dilemmas in the urban world, people are looking for unnumbered ways to tackle the issue. The ability of plants to absorb carbon dioxide and give out oxygen can prove to be a free supply of fresh oxygen for you and your family.
- One of the most neglected benefits of a kitchen garden is that it increases the aesthetic value of your house. Whenever you will have a look at it, the kitchen garden will lift your mood, and that’s what nature does.
- As a hobby, you can indulge yourself in the management and creation of a kitchen garden. It will keep you busy and away from any negative thoughts. It is well-known that plants are exceptional for Aura too.
6 Things to Consider Before Demolishing Your Home
While demolition is the fastest in the construction process, there are specific factors you should consider before going ahead with it. This article outlines six things to consider before demolishing your home.
1. The Demolition Method
A demolition method helps you determine the most suitable way to bring down your home. It makes the work more manageable while helping you meet your goal effectively. You may consider the mechanical demolition method, which involves using heavy machinery like excavators to demolish the property, and it takes a relatively shorter period.
Alternatively, you can try the deconstruction method, where the demolition is done manually. While the process takes longer and costs more than mechanical destruction, it gives you a significant advantage to reuse some of the building materials, including doors, sinks, light fixtures, copper pipes, tubs, and other things that you can salvage from the demolition.
2. Hiring Demolition Experts
Hiring demolition experts can be quite beneficial because they have tactical planning skills to help you avoid unwanted issues, including accidents, local law violations, and other dangers. Demolition professionals come prepared with the necessary machinery, tools, and demolition vehicles to make the process easier and quicker, saving time. They also have access to the latest technology and advanced machinery for a safe and successful demolition exercise.
Professional demolition experts are responsible for waste management. They clean and secure the job site surroundings after completing the process, saving you related costs and time. Demolition experts adhere to safety procedures to avoid accidents and damages. A professional and reputable demolition contractor like Cascade Concrete Sawing and Drilling always complies with local demolition laws, avoiding fines and penalties from local authorities.
3. Pre-demolition Inspections
A pre-demolition inspection helps identify the environmental issues you need to address immediately or include them in your demolition bid specifications. This allows you to get more precise bids from organizations that are better placed to handle the environmental issues associated with your demolition project, avoiding expensive contract changes after being awarded. It also eliminates the overhead costs demolitions experts add when they subcontract the environmental work. An inspection can also help identify hazardous building materials like asbestos, whose inhalation negatively impacts health.
4. Demolition Permit
The demolition contractor you pick should be able to handle the local authorities on your behalf by getting the necessary permits and ensuring that the demolition is done as per the local regulations. A demolition permit, also called a building permit, is a legal requirement and must be obtained from the local council before the demolition work begins. This may require relevant documents, including the site plan and title deed.
5. Your Neighbors
Demolition work can be noisy, dirty, and dusty, causing disturbances to your neighbors. Consider informing about the demolition in advance to take precautions about the expected chaos and mess. It also helps prevent protests against you or complaints to local authorities.
6. A Contingency Plan
Demolitions don’t always go as planned, meaning unexpected costs and situations may arise. This is why you need a contingency plan before the demolition work begins. It shields you from sudden occurrences like lack of supplies and bad weather, which can delay the work.
If not well planned, a demolition may not go as expected and could get you into trouble with the law. Consider the above factors before demolishing your home.
How to Make the Most of Your Small Garden
Limited outdoor space needn’t limit your dreams of nurturing a flourishing garden. With some creative solutions and ingenious tricks, you can easily maximise the potential of even the tightest of spaces!
With small gardens, it’s crucial to utilise every inch of available space. Creating a vertical garden does just that. By using walls, archways, trellises, fences, and window boxes, you not only maximise your potential growing area but adding height to the garden also creates the illusion of space by drawing the eye upwards.
Succulents can be grown in even the smallest cracks and crevices in boundary walls. Climbers like passionflower and clematis need very little square footage on the ground to produce beautiful blooms, and hanging baskets provide the perfect home for pretty flowers like trailing lobelia and verbena, without using up precious floor space.
Create Different Levels and Zones
It may seem peculiar, but splitting up a small space can actually make it seem much larger. Concealing areas using trellises, hedges, and low walls tricks the mind into thinking there’s more to discover than there really is, giving the garden an air of mystery and intrigue because not every part can be seen at once.
Raised beds can be simple to build and are a great, practical way to divide your garden. They provide plenty of growing space for plants and even double up as seating areas if the sidewalls are wide enough. They can also be constructed in just about any size and shape imaginable, perfect for utilising awkward corners! Consider staggering a few raised beds of different heights, as creating multiple levels and layers will add to the illusion of space by introducing diverse depths and perspectives.
Scarce storage can be problem in small gardens. Affixing shelves, hooks, or even old boxes and crates to vertical surfaces offers nifty storage solutions for tools, plant pots, and other gardening paraphernalia. Disguise unsightly wheelie bins and maximise growing space by installing a wooden storage unit with a miniature green roof that can be used for shallow rooted plants and herbs.
Be Creative With Colour
Colour choices are really important in small spaces. Opt for lighter colours on boundary walls and fences, as these reflect light, making the area feel more spacious. This doesn’t necessarily mean white; light blue, off-white, and pale grey all bring a contemporary but airy feel to the garden. Alternatively, mimicking the colour of your foliage by using a natural green paint will give the impression of bountiful borders that extend far beyond your boundary.
Ingenious planting can bring a sense of abundance in a small space. Select plants that don’t spread wildly, taking up too much space. Create the illusion of depth by choosing plants of varying heights, structures, and textures. Ornamental grasses will add fluidity and movement to a small border, whilst tall flowering plants like lupin, honeysuckle, or salvia add a hint of drama with their vivid blooms and towering height, all requiring minimal ground space.
If you want to create a vegetable garden, choose crops like tomatoes and beans which grow vertically. Strawberries are happy in hanging baskets, and chilis are perfectly content in a small pot or container.
Most importantly of all, small gardens tend to be much less labour-intensive than bigger spaces, requiring minimal maintenance and leaving you with plenty more time to relax and enjoy your petite, but perfectly formed, garden!
ACME Furniture’s Kitchen Cabinet Collection
Have you ever wished to sit down and have a glass of wine as you prepare dinner? Cooking at home for many cooks entails much more than preparing meals. Kitchen furniture may assist them not only get efficient but also sit back, relaxing and entertaining guests while they spend hours producing delicacies.
Modern kitchens are designed for maximum storage, practicality, and efficiency, not for relaxing and unwinding. These furniture ideas will ensure that your kitchen is a practical room that can get used for discussion and waiting for spaces while your meal cooks to perfection. We will discuss the best kitchen furniture design and types from ACME Furniture.
The Best Kitchen Furniture From ACME Furniture:
Kitchen cabinets are an essential component of every kitchen’s furnishings. Cabinets are handy for storing items. Everyone wants to declutter their kitchen. Thus, the ideal answer is a kitchen cabinet from ACME Furniture Outlet. Minimizing the space between goods might also provide you with more room to store other items.
Cabinets nowadays come with pull-out drawers. These pull-out drawers provide easy-to-adjust storage. These sorts of drawers provide you with a lot more storage space. They’re too adaptable, robust, utilizable, and fashionable.
In today’s kitchens, tables and chairs are becoming increasingly frequent. They are available in various materials, including wood, crystal, granite, and lumber rack glass upper ends. The seats are available in different materials and styles, including wood, bent iron, aluminum, fiberglass, etc.
It may also get used as a dining table. The dining area might get saved by tables with kitchenettes and seats. Ensure your kitchen’s theme and layout get reflected in your tables and chairs. For a traditional look, utilize metal chairs or corrugated iron furniture. If your kitchens have an old or current vibe, you may choose polished and stainless steel furnishings.
Kitchen buffets are elegant and incredibly artistic, transforming medium to big kitchens into home masterpieces. Granite-topped buffets provide excellent work surfaces and may safely exhibit your most treasured crockery or kitchen artifacts. Natural wood kitchen buffets can give more room and storage without compromising the aesthetic of your kitchen, as you can see in our online kitchen showcase.
In today’s kitchen, bar stools are becoming more popular. These barstools come in vast styles and patterns and get built of several materials such as wood, steel, cast iron, and bamboo.
Choose them based on your kitchen’s theme or your preference. Consider the height of the stools while choosing kitchen bar stools. Your kitchen theme should get reflected in your style. Furniture requires maintenance; while choosing kitchen bar stools, keep in mind that the chairs and table should get readily wiped clean. Choose low-maintenance bar stools, such as bamboo or steel.
Pot racks allow cooks to hang cups and pans from a vertical kitchen surface for easy access and help organize the kitchen. Pot shelves provide kitchens with a lot of space inside, and they typically move back and forth to make it easy to find the apt bowl or pan without having to rummage through cutlery cabinets.
What to Look for When Buying Your First Apartment
Buying your first apartment may seem daunting initially. After all, it is perhaps one of the biggest decisions you will make in your life. However, doing your research and knowing what to look for makes the process easier.
First, understand that finding your first apartment is a roller coaster of emotions. Excitement, nervousness, apprehension, these are all emotions that are to be expected. And stress is a big part of the process.
You might be worried that you won’t be able to find an apartment or that you won’t qualify for a
loan. Or you might be overwhelmed and wondering if you’re making the right decision. While all of these feelings are totally normal, there are a few ways you can help mitigate stress.
CBD is quickly emerging as one of the most popular all-natural supplements for stress. CBD gummies for sleep 1500mg are an excellent option. The gummies are delicious, easy to take, and deliver a healthy dose of CBD. If you’re feeling stressed out or overwhelmed while searching for your first apartment, they’re certainly worth trying.
Now, let’s look at the most important things to look for when buying your first apartment.
Consider All the Costs Involved
Financial stresses can take the biggest toll when buying any property. Therefore, it’s important to consider all the costs before beginning your apartment search.
Firstly, depending on how much money you have saved, decide what down payment you can afford. The down payment required depends on what type of mortgage you choose and the lender. In some instances, first-time buyers with an excellent credit record can qualify for a down payment as low as 3%. But you will need to research loan providers and your loan options to determine what down payment you qualify for.
You also need to think about the closing costs, which usually range from 2% to 5% of the loan amount. These are the fees and expenses due to finalize your mortgage.
Finally, think about your move-in expenses. Are you planning on doing any design upgrades? What about the furnishings, home repairs and maintenance. Make sure you budget for everything to minimize the financial pressures.
Do Research on Your Location
Now that you’ve figured out your budget and determined how much you can afford, it’s time to start searching for your dream apartment.
Think about the kind of area you want to live in and what the most important factors are to you. For instance, is safety one of your primary concerns? Then, ask around, do a Google search and see which neighborhoods are the safest in your region.
Of course, you also need to consider your budget.
Also, consider nearby facilities since apartment living usually means less space. Therefore, you may want to be located near a park or open area, especially if you have a dog. You may also want a gym, restaurants, and supermarkets nearby.
Packing space is also an important factor. There is often a shortage of car parks around high rises, especially those close to the city center. Therefore, you may want to check that the apartment has a designated parking space, especially if you have a car.
Think carefully about what you require before deciding on an area.
Inspect What You Are Buying
In search of your first apartment, you’re likely to view a lot of properties. Do not rush your buying decision, and be sure to do a full inspection before finalizing a purchase. You may even want to enlist the help of professionals to help assess the property.
You need to look past the furnishings and conduct a detailed and orderly inspection of the property, its structures, design, and fixtures. Look for any signs of dampness, cracks in the wall, faulty electrical installations, roof sagging, etc.
These are all things that you likely won’t be able to assess properly unless you’re a professional in this area. Hiring a home inspection service company may increase your costs, but it’s worth the investment.
Choose a Real Estate Agent Carefully
Typically, there are a number of third-party players involved in the apartment buying process. It starts with your estate agent, moves to a bank, and then attorneys who help finalize the purchase.
The whole process can be quite overwhelming. A good estate agent will scour the market for apartments that meet your needs and guide you through the negotiation and closing process. Ask other recent home buyers about potential agents, and be sure to interview a few before choosing one. You want a reliable and trustworthy agent with a proven track record to ensure you get the best first apartment at the best price.
Final Thoughts on Buying Your First Apartment
Buying your first apartment is a stressful task that requires a great deal of time, effort, and research. But if you know what to look for and seek help from a few professionals, the process can be a lot less stressful.
Most importantly, know your budget and consider all the costs involved. Also, think carefully about what area and neighborhood you want to reside in and the nearby facilities. Plus, be sure to thoroughly inspect the property’s structures, design, and fixtures. Working with a trusted real estate agent can also be incredibly helpful.
6 Tips To Pet-Proof Your Garden
Pets aren’t meant to be kept inside your home or caged all the time. But, of course, if it’s cold and wet outside, then your pets are going to take refuge inside the house. When the weather permits it, however, there’s no better thing for your pets than to run freely in your garden. It’s good for their health and overall wellbeing for them to get a feel of fresh air, for their paws to feel the ground, and for them to be able to stretch their legs.
While ideal, many homeowners would also unanimously agree that pets and a beautiful garden are a dangerous combination. Pets are known to dig up soil, eat leaves, and be plain destructive to a garden. It’s every homeowner’s nightmare to one day wake up with their garden destroyed by their beloved pets.
When you pet-proof your garden, you can enjoy having your pets and a beautiful garden in your home. Thankfully, one doesn’t have to be sacrificed anymore, in favor of the other. Here’s how you can pet-proof our garden:
1. Plant More Herbs
While there are herbs that are absolute no-nos for your pets, there are also those that serve a good purpose both for the homeowner and the pets. When placed strategically around your garden, the pungent smell of certain herbs can actually help deter pets from going too close to plants.
Some common examples of those pungent herbs are sage and rosemary. If you have cats, there’s also an herb known as ‘Scaredy Cat Plant,’ which comes with a strong smell that felines can’t stand. If you’re looking for further insights into this matter, this article discusses effective ways you can keep cats away from your lush plants.
2. Avoid Growing Plants That Are Toxic To Your Pets
There are certain plants that are toxic to common house pets, like dogs and cats. There’s no uniform enumeration to this to put here, as those plants can differ based on where you’re reading this from and what type of pet you have at home.
The best thing you can do is to ask your veterinarian as to what plants you have in your local area that are toxic to dogs, for example. Commonly-known toxic plants, however, can include:
- Sago Palm
Remember that they can very easily sniff and chew on the plants in your garden, so be sure not to plant any of those dangerous and life-threatening ones.
3. Make Sure Your Garden Has Fences
This second tip applies to those households where their pets are allowed to go off-leash every so often. A sturdy fence without holes and with enough ground support to prevent your pet from digging is needed both for the pet’s safety and your plants’ growth as well.
Fences are very useful especially when you want to section off certain areas from your pet. This gives you a hint of control over where your pet can roam around without necessarily keeping them locked or caged the whole time.
4. Clean Up Any Exposed Soil
Exposed soil is as dirty for your garden as it is enticing for your pets, especially dogs. They’ll be more inclined to actually keep digging when they see loose and exposed soil. The love to dig is inherent in dogs, so there’s no stopping them from doing so. The best you can do to minimize this is to ensure they see and feel as little exposed soil as possible.
A good solution is to plant more grass around your garden. Or, you can also opt for concrete walkways or pavers instead of just having loose soil.
5. Avoid Growing Thorny Plants
As you avoid planting toxic garden plants and vegetables, another thing to forego are thorny plants. For the simple reason that they’ve got thorns, those types of plants can be very dangerous to pets.
Thorny plants may result in abrasions or cuts in your dog. If they happen to run through those plants, even serious consequences, like blindness, may ensue. Some of the most dangerous spiky plants to keep away from are blackberries and cacti.
6. Cover Pools When Not In Use
Lastly, if you have a swimming pool, you have to remember to cover it up when not in use. Or, at least, have a neat and well-made glass fence installed around it. While a nice part of your garden, a swimming pool can be difficult to have if you also have free-moving pets. The last thing you’ll want is to have spent on chlorine for its maintenance today, ready for a party, only to find your muddy and dirty dog enjoying the water.
Transforming your outdoor space into a pet-friendly area is one that’s crucial not just for your garden’s beauty but also for your pet’s safety. Having a beautiful garden is always a dream for many, but some plants may be harmful for your pets. On the other hand, your pets can also be like monsters toward your own garden. The tips above are worth exploring in the name of finally pet-proofing your garden. Rest assured, now, your pets and your garden can co-exist harmoniously.
Tips to Pet-Proof Your Garden
Cats are delightful, but they can also be destructive. If you’re wondering how to keep cats away from houseplants, you’re not alone. As cat owners, we love our pet’s mischievous blunders—until their curiosity results in shattered glass, messy spills, or entire shelves raining down.
Since indoor plants can be toxic to cats, many pet owners find it easier to sacrifice their lively green decor. But if you have just about given up, you should know that cats and plants can coexist.
Though your cat may fight your plant, eat it, dig up its soil, or even use it as a litter box, there are ways to stop them.
We will teach you how to protect plants from cats, but first, it helps to know why your cat wants to destroy your plants in the first place.
Why Your Cat Keeps Getting Into Your Plants
There are several reasons cats get into plants, from how they taste to curing boredom. But if you can determine what motivates your cat, it will be easier to stop them from turning your next plant to shreds.
Whether your cat is fighting, eating, digging, or going to the bathroom in your plants is your first clue.
Your Cat May Like the Taste or Digestive Boost
If you’re wondering why cats eat plants because your cat craves yours, there are instinctual reasons behind their behavior.
For one, cats tend to explore items by putting them in their mouth because it provides sensory data. But if that item tastes good, there is nothing to stop them from going back for more.
Another possibility is that your cat’s instincts tell it to eat your plants to aid digestion. Wild cats often eat grass for the extra fiber, so your cat may be attempting to ease a stomach ache if their food or hairball isn’t doing them any favors.
Important: Even if your cat doesn’t eat plants, only decorate with non-toxic varieties. Some plants are poisonous to cats, and it’s never worth the risk.
When you buy plants that are safe for your cat to eat, ensure that they don’t eat too much, and use the tips below for keeping cats out of plants altogether. Any plant can upset your kitty’s tummy if they overeat it. Contact your veterinarian immediately if your cat exhibits any of the following signs:
- Decreased appetite
- Pawing at their nose or mouth
Plants Bring Out Your Cat’s Inner Hunter (or Huntress)
Cats come from a long line of ferocious hunters that fought and killed to survive, and some cats still perceive themselves that way. It’s why they love to attack toys—and sometimes your toes.
To some cats, your plants look like great victims. Even the gentlest movement can be enough to encourage an attack.
Your Cat Might Be Bored
It is also possible that your cat may first get the urge to hunt or play, and your plant is the best opponent around.
Cats are considered low-maintenance compared to dogs, but they need just as much entertainment to stimulate their brains and encourage healthy behaviors. If a cat is bored, it may experience pent-up energy and frustration. Sometimes, this results in acting out or taking it out on your plants or other belongings.
Why Do Cats Dig In Plants?
Perhaps your cat is more of a digger than a fighter, and you often come home to uprooted plants and dirt scattered across the room. This behavior traces back to the fact that digging is an instinct for cats, as it is for many animals.
If your cat also uses your plants as a bathroom, the digging is instinctual to cover up their scent. In this case, the problem stems from them wanting to use your plants as a bathroom.
Your Cat Likes Your Plants More Than Their Litter Box
Litter boxes are designed to appeal to a cat’s bathroom needs. Their instinct for privacy—and to dig and cover up their business—is why litter boxes look and function the way they do. However, if your cat is unsatisfied with their litter box, they will choose to do their business elsewhere.
If your cat uses your plants as their personal bathroom, start by consulting with your vet. If there isn’t a medical cause, the problem is probably due to an unsatisfactory litter box situation, and you can refer to the section “Litter Box the Right Way” below.
How to Keep Cats Out of Plants
Now that you know why your cat has made enemies with your plants, you know it’s not out of pure malicious intent. Still, you might be wondering how you can duel with a cat’s nature.
Here’s what you can do to enjoy the serenity of having houseplants and the adventure of owning a pet cat all at once.
Make Your Plants Unappealing to Your Cat
One of the best methods for keeping cats away from plants, regardless of their motivation, is to make the plants unappealing to them. If your cat hates the taste or smell of your houseplants, they are more inclined to stay away.
Smells and tastes that are repulsive to cats include citrus, certain spices, and coffee grounds.
To make your plants less appetizing, try mixing water with juice from a lime, lemon, or orange and spraying it over your plants. You can also sprinkle your plants with chili powder, cayenne, or black pepper. If you’re wondering how to stop cats from digging in plants, cover the soil too.
You can also buy spray to keep cats from eating plants; these sprays are made with distasteful ingredients for furry friends.
When using this method, reapply repellents after watering plants.
Cats also naturally dislike certain plants, like rosemary and lemon thyme, but you should check with the ASPCA before buying any plant. Some articles on how to stop cats from eating plants recommend the Scaredy Cat Plant—aptly named because it repels cats—but some research reveals that this plant is sometimes called dogbane, which is poisonous to cats.
Important: Never use citrus essential oils to protect plants from cats. Although they emit a strong scent, essential oils can be toxic to cats. We also recommend checking with your vet before using any homemade or store-bought cat repellent sprays.
Place Your Plants Out of Reach
If your cat can’t reach your plants, they will have a hard time getting into trouble.
One option to keep plants away from cats is to place them high up on a shelf or hang them out of reach. When employing this method, keep in mind what your cat can do. Most cats are excellent jumpers and can rebound off nearby objects when determined. You’ll want to make sure that your cat has no way to access each plant.
Another option is to use a plant cover for cats. You can enclose your plants in a cage, fish tank, or terrarium, but you’ll want to ensure your cat can’t knock it over or paw the lid off.
★ Important: Even with plants out of reach, never buy toxic plants. It’s better not to risk it if your cat is feeling extra capable one day, you forget to put the lid on your tank, or anything else happens.
Cover Plant Soil to Protect from Digging Cats
If you have a digger on your hands, one way to deter cats from plants is to cover up your plants’ soil. There are several creative ways to go about this.
Covering the soil around the base of your plants with aluminum foil is a popular recommendation because cats don’t like the feel of foil. Mesh is another option.
If the aesthetic of foil or mesh isn’t for you, you may consider more decorative options like rocks, stones, or shells. Just be sure to use heavier stones or a thick layer to prevent your cat from knocking them out of the pot.
Train Your Cat
It’s possible to train pet cats just like you would a dog, but it takes time and patience. For this option to work, you need to be consistent and fast. Speed is essential so that your cat can connect their actions and the reward or punishment.
If you are home a lot and willing to commit to their training, you can teach your pet to leave plants alone or engage in a different activity when they want to play with them.
Bonus: Knowing what motivates your cat helps. For instance, treats or pets make a better reward based on whether your fur baby is food or affection motivated. The same goes for punishment; some cats are more deterred by a spray bottle, while others have a stronger dislike for loud noises.
Give Your Pet Their Own Plant
The whole point is to protect indoor plants from cats, so why should you willingly give them a plant to play with? Giving your cat their own plant may satisfy their plant-related instincts, so they aren’t as desperate to mess with yours.
To effectively use this strategy, you will want to train them to play with their plant any time they try to get into yours.
Cat grass is a popular choice for this strategy because it’s non-toxic, has all the plant traits that call to a cat’s instincts, and can even aid your cat’s digestion while providing extra niacin and B vitamins.
Although cat grass is non-toxic, it’s still important to monitor your cat’s consumption of any plant and talk with your vet first.
Catnip also comes from a plant, but your cat may love catnip a bit too much for it to be a great choice.
Bonus: If your vet approves of this method, plant your pet’s new friend in an unbreakable plastic pot. You don’t want to have to clean up shattered pieces or risk an injury when your cat gets too excited.
Litter Box the Right Way
There are three factors to consider when it comes to providing the right litter box situation for your cats:
In terms of cleanliness, cats need their litter box cleaned once a day. If it occasionally slips your mind, you can set a reminder on your phone.
Availability is about how easy it is for your cat to access their litter box at any given time, and it’s important to note that cats don’t like to share. The Pet Health Network recommends always having one more litter box than you have cats (# of cats + 1). Therefore, if you have one cat, you should have two litter boxes; if you have two cats, you should have three litter boxes.
If you have a multi-story house, it can also help to provide a litter box on each story, especially when there are plants around.
Lastly, your litter boxes should be large enough for your biggest cat to use the bathroom comfortably. Get a box as long as your cat, measured from the tip of their nose to the tip of their tail when fully extended.
If any one of these three factors isn’t up to par, your cat may claim a potted houseplant as their preferred place to go.
Protect Your Cat From Boredom
If your cat attacks your plants out of boredom, the best way to stop them is to tackle the problem at the source.
Begin by creating a playful environment that stimulates your cat so they have something to do even when you’re not home. Interactive toys and cat trees are a great place to start.
As a bonus, providing your cat with mental and physical activities is also great for their health.
Your Fallback: Keep a Cat-Free Plant-Haven
Have you tried all the methods above, and nothing is enough to stop your little troublemaker? If plants bring you happiness, you have an option to fall back on: the cat-free plant room.
Creating this room is as simple as putting all your plants in one room and keeping the door shut to keep cats out. Consider picking a room with a decent amount of natural lighting. You may even have other items that could benefit from a cat-free zone.
Talk With Your Vet Before Changing Your Cat’s Lifestyle
Before trying the tips in this article, we advise talking with your vet about the changes you’re considering. If your cat is exhibiting behavioral issues or begins to, there’s a chance they may have a stomach bug or other medical issue to prioritize.
Once your methods are vet-approved, only bring cat-friendly plants into your home. Even when keeping plants away from cats, it’s best to play it safe when it comes to the smaller members of your family.
Attract Clients, Improve Safety, and Support Sustainability: Spruce Up Your Business With Commercial Landscaping
The landscaping business industry experienced a growth rate of 2.5% between 2016-2021 with demand fueled by the outdoor trend, water conservation, and environmental issues. Commercial businesses require landscaping services to improve the curb appeal of their properties, entice customers to enter the premises and create a good first impression. From landscape design to management, there are several improvement options that your business can avail of to attract traffic, improve safety and security, and support sustainability.
Design and Planning
One of the most important services that a landscaping company offers is to design and plan the outdoor site of a commercial property. The design of your outside premises will increase its curb appeal making your business pleasing to customers. A professional landscaper will know where to put and arrange the appropriate plants for your location. For example, Alabama falls under zone 8a. Hence, plants and grass that thrive in Tuscaloosa city will not grow in the same manner when put in the colder climate of Wyoming or Minnesota. Planting, trimming, and mulching is other services that landscapers provide following the company’s design.
Lawn Care and Maintenance Services
If your outdoor area is already established, you might just need care and maintenance services. Mowing, aeration, and weed control are part of the package in addition to tree and shrub care. The advantage of using an enterprise to maintain your outdoor area is that they have the right tools and equipment to do the job quickly and efficiently. Furthermore, the landscaping firm will also ensure that your lawn is healthy and therefore, puts in place a regular fertilization schedule. Fungicide treatments may also be applied to keep the grass, plants, trees, and shrubs disease-free. Unhealthy trees are not only eyesores, but they can also be dangerous to the safety of your clients and company if they are uprooted or big branches fall off.
Water Management and Irrigation
Ideally, water-wise plants should be rooted in your landscaped garden. Landscapers will not only select the right plants for your climate, but they will also create zones based on the amount of supplemental water that the vegetation needs. Hence, a high-use zone is an area that is planted to annuals and borders that should get water whenever they need it because the lack of it will lead to stress or death. A ‘medium-use’ zone may contain plants such as perennial borders that have a good tolerance for droughts while plants in the low-use zone will not receive extra water except during the time that they are being established. Once the roots are in place, rainfall and moisture in the air are their only sources of hydration. Part of the landscaping company’s job is to improve the soil to enhance water-holding capacity and to mulch for water conservation and weed control. Finally, proper irrigation techniques will be used including drip systems to provide water, when necessary, in an efficient way.
Landscape design, lawn care and maintenance, and water management are services that landscaping companies offer to businesses and commercial properties. Outdoor improvement and renovation can improve curb appeal, catch the attention of clients, and even increase the value of the business.
Garden Care Advice – Is Your Garden Prepared For Summer?
Summer is a time of the year when you spend more time in your garden than in any other home area. The warms of the sunshine, a refreshing summer breeze, and the birds’ harmony teething all around you, what is there not to love about this time of the year.
Now is the perfect time to kick yourself into action and get some gardening done. In this article, we will be covering the essential jobs that every homeowner needs to complete to prepare the garden for summer.
Is Your Garden Ready For Summer?
Your garden might be a place that you spend most of your time in during the summer, so it is crucial that you make sure it is ready to use before the summer gets into full swing. To do this, you will need to do a few things:
De-weeding The Garden
Weeds are a real pain in any garden, but you can get rid of them by getting de-weeding done. This isn’t a term that most people are familiar with, but it is something that is done in many gardens each summer. If your soil is moist, you will be more susceptible to weeds growing in your garden. This is because weeds are not only a nuisance, but they also take away nutrients from the plants in your garden, making them look less vibrant. To de-weed your garden, you will need to hire a gardening company that offers de-weeding services, or you may want to purchase a garden sprayer.
Cutting The Lawn
If you want to enjoy relaxing in your garden this summer, then you will need to make sure you take care of your lawn. A lawn can look great when it is fully grown, but if you don’t take care of it properly, it can look shabby in a matter of weeks. To cut your lawn at the right time, you will first need to determine what type of grass you have. If you are unsure, you can buy an identification book from your local gardening store.
Another way to tell is to look for clumps of coarse, thick grass. If you want the best results from your lawn, you will need to cut it at the right time. You should cut your lawn when there is around 10% of growth left. If you don’t know when this is, you can use a lawnmower timer to make sure you get the perfect length each time. You can also use a lawnmower thermometer to make sure the soil temperature is at least 58 degrees Fahrenheit before you mow.
Replanting Dead Flowers
If you have some beautiful flowers growing in your garden this summer, they will probably look much more vibrant and colorful than they did when they were first planted. If you want to keep your garden looking beautiful all year round, then you should consider repotting your flowers before they die. If you don’t know how to do this, you can simply purchase a book from your local gardening store, or you can use an app on your phone. If you want to make sure your flowers grow back next year, you will need to take a few steps:
- Choose a variety that will grow back year after year.
- Dig the flower up carefully and make sure that the roots are still in good condition.
- Replant the flower with the roots facing down.
- Water the soil until it is damp.
Spreading Grass Seeds
If you have a patch of lawn in your garden that has become worn out over the years, or if you simply have an area of land that you want to transform into a lush green lawn, then you should consider spreading grass seeds. If you want to make sure that your lawn grows back properly, you will need to choose the right grass seed.
There are a few things that you need to consider, such as the climate in your area, the type of soil, and the type of grass you have. There are many jobs that need completing in your garden before it is ready for the summer. By taking a few moments each week to make sure your garden is in top condition, you will be able to relax in your garden for longer.
Finding The Right Garden Care Products
Having the right tools is crucial when preparing your garden for those warm summer months. Before you even start your project make sure that all of your gardening equipment is in good condition and is actually functional. The last thing you want is to set some time aside on a Sunday to find out your lawnmower doesn’t work and even worse, all the shops are closed!
Ensuring you have the right garden care products for the rob is also very important. We are now all using solutions to help the garden gain that vibrant luscious appearance so It can be good to order these products in advance. Hydra Int are one of the UK’s leading manufacturers of garden care products and they offer products that can help with your garden care this year.
7 Ways To Make Your Greenhouse Energy Efficient
More people are interested in gardening and growing their vegetables and fruits at home. Especially during the pandemic when people are limited in the vicinity of their homes, they found ways to escape boredom by planting different types of vegetables and flowers on their lawns. For this reason, constructing or buying easy-to-build greenhouses is becoming a fantastic option because it allows people to grow more types of plants.
It also allows gardeners to grow certain plants out of season. You could even start growing plants that don’t naturally grow in your local area. These are only some of the terrific benefits a greenhouse can bring you.
But maintaining a greenhouse can require you to spend more. So, it’s crucial to find ways to make it more energy-efficient. Doing so will help you save money.
If you’re looking for ways to make your greenhouse more energy-efficient, continue reading this article.
1. Install Solar Panels
One way to do this is to use green energy by installing solar panels like the ones you can find at Solar Run and other similar companies. It will help power up the entire greenhouse on its own. And with enough solar panels, it can also produce enough energy to power up other parts of your home. It is no stranger to our knowledge that solar panels can be expensive, but if you consider their long-term benefits, you can conclude that the positives outweigh the negatives. With this, you can save money while also contributing to the betterment of the environment.
2. Use Thermal Screens
Maintaining the temperature in a greenhouse is extremely important. It is because plants and crops can be sensitive to changes in temperature. Fortunately, installing thermal screens can be a great way to keep them insulated. This way, you can avoid using heaters, which can use up a lot of energy.
3. Seal The Greenhouse
Since maintaining temperature is crucial for greenhouses, so you need to avoid problems like heat loss. If it’s your first time choosing a greenhouse, ensure to assess its quality because some materials likely lose heat faster, and some get damaged easily.
For instance, many more affordable greenhouses are fantastic, but they tend to use polycarbonate plastic, which isn’t as durable as glass. If your greenhouse uses the plastic variant, consider examining it regularly to see if there’s any damage, such as tears and holes. This way, you can seal the greenhouse as soon as possible to avoid heat loss and the need for heating equipment.
4. Use Lighting That’s More Energy Efficient
Lighting is vital in a greenhouse, but this can be tricky if you want to be more energy-efficient. If you wish to have better lighting and save on bills, you’ll have to get rid of old and inefficient incandescent bulbs because this can take a lot of power. Instead, it’s better to use LED lighting since it doesn’t require as much energy, and it can save as much as 50% energy on your greenhouse.
5. Seal Around The Fans
For the fans in your greenhouse, it’s a good idea to check around them. It is because some might not be sealed properly. At night, it’s easier to see if there are parts that aren’t sealed by seeing where the light passes. Once you see it, you’ll be able to repair them by using a caulk gun. This way, you can make sure that your greenhouse is at the right temperature to grow all kinds of plants, which is one of the main reasons to get a greenhouse.
6. Clean Up The Fans
Another vital step is to clean up the fans because this can affect how well the fans work. Make sure to wipe the fan blades down and get rid of the dirt from the ventilators since this can cause cold air to get inside. Cleaning up is so effective that it can improve ventilation efficiency by 15%
7. Maintain Boilers And Heaters
If you use boilers and heaters, it’s also crucial to maintain them always as you would with the fans and ventilation. Having them inspected every year is usually enough to identify cracks, leaks, and any problem with their functionality.
It’s also essential to clean up the vents and remove any clogs therein. That is because it can cause incomplete combustion. Also, the noxious gases won’t discharge if the vents are dirty or blocked up. So make sure to clean it up and get it serviced at least once a year.
Why Keep Your Greenhouse Energy-Efficient?
People’s electricity bills can hike up, especially if they have a greenhouse. In colder seasons, heaters and lighting is needed more to keep the crops alive. But constantly keeping these appliances and lighting on will cause a surge in electricity costs. Therefore, looking for energy-efficient solutions would be extremely helpful.
In addition, this is also a choice that’s better for helping the environment. By forgoing using energy from fossil fuels, greenhouse gases can be avoided.
Finding ways to be efficient can be beneficial for greenhouse gardeners. Some of these strategies to make it more efficient can be simpler, but there are also more technical measures. However, it’s good to remember that these are investments that can help you save, avoid environmental damage, and help grow healthy crops.
How to Transform Your Bedroom From Chaos to Serenity
When life gets a bit hectic, all order goes out of the window. Often, the first place you’ll notice this is your bedroom. When you’re in a rush you’ll often chuck clothes down and leave washing all over the place. But, this can leave you feeling stressed, down, and anxious. After all, it’s true what they say, tidy room, tidy mind.
Getting your act together and cleaning your room can feel very over-facing. However, there are things you can do to make your life easier and ensure chaos never strikes again. So, here are some tips on taking your bedroom from messy to tidy.
Storage is key for creating an ordered, presentable bedroom. Built-in storage like fitted wardrobes is perfect for giving your clothes and belongings a place to live. Once you’ve built or made your storage, it’s time to fill it in an orderly fashion. You can do this by sectioning your clothes into designated areas, color coding, or placing labels on boxes. Whatever you choose to do, having effective storage will help prevent a messy room and a stressful life.
Use Hidden Space
If you have space under your bed – use it! The empty gap under your bed is wasted space, dying to be filled with your stuff. Often, under the bed storage is perfect for items of clothing or belongings that you don’t use frequently. For example, now the seasons have changed, why not pack your winter woollies away in a vacuum-packed bag? This way, they’ve neatly tucked away and don’t take up unnecessary space in your wardrobe.
Declutter Your Bedside Table
Bedside tables frame your bed, do you don’t want them piled full of useless junk? Unfortunately, your bedside table often gets lumbered with empty packets, keys, chargers, drinks, and more, leaving it looking untidy and unkempt. So, cleaning up your bedside table is a great way to give your room a tidy finish.
Use Small Baskets
Small baskets are incredibly useful for grouping items together that don’t have a home. For example, you could use small baskets to keep your skincare together, gather your pants and socks, keep your jewelry in, or simply create a home for your random items. What’s more, small baskets now come in all shapes and sizes, so you can choose a style that suits the design of your room.
Top 7 Tips On Keeping Your Family Cool Even In Hot Weather
Hot weather needs to be managed effectively for your family members to stay comfortable while going about their daily routine. Otherwise, the heat can cause sickness, make you feel lethargic, ruin your mood, and even make you feel too uncomfortable to become productive. Fortunately, there are many ways to keep your family cool throughout the summer season. Don’t know where to start? Here are the top 7 tips on keeping your family cool even in hot weather.
1. Install Air Conditioning
Having fans in every room of your home helps keep you cool, but those don’t do much during very hot days as they just end up moving the hot air around. With an air conditioning unit, you have better control over the room temperature. You can consider hiring an air conditioning installer toms brook homeowners trust if you decide to get an AC.
While getting an AC is the easiest way to keep your family cool, it also happens to be the most expensive. You also have to make sure you get a unit that is powerful enough to regulate the air inside your home. To figure this out, get the square footage of the total indoor area that needs cooling down, and look up AC charts to find out how much horsepower (HP) you will need for that much indoor space.
2. Serve Frozen Treats
If you’re serving hot meals during hot weather, your family members will only feel warmer. Serving frozen treats as dessert helps balance this out, plus it helps keep them cool after every meal.
Make sure your fridge is always stocked with frozen treats. This way, one can just get a treat whenever they feel hot. Ice cream is a very popular option, but other frozen treats include icicles, popsicles, flavored ice cubes, and even just plain frozen drinking water.
3. Encourage Water-Based Activities
Taking a dip in the water is always a fun way to cool down, so you should consider planning a trip to the pool or the beach. If you have a pool, this one’s an even better option, since you don’t have to stress about packing stuff for an out-of-town trip.
Aside from taking a swim, you can add more variety to your next pool or beach trip by coming up with group activities such as water balloon fights. Alternatively, you can also visit water parks that usually have fun slides and other water-based features that can keep everyone entertained all day.
4. Wear Light Clothing
Wearing multiple layers of clothing in the hot weather can get very uncomfortable. To make things even worse, it will cause swearing that could increase the risk of causing skin rashes and pimples.
Light clothing is often made of thin or breathable fabric that feels much cooler to wear than thicker options. If you have babies or toddlers, you even allow them to just run around in their diapers. Thin cotton shirts are perfect for the summer because they absorb sweat effectively but dry very quickly.
5. Block Out The Sun
Normally, natural light makes your home brighter and more inviting. On a normal day, you’d want to open your blinds and curtains first thing in the morning. However, keeping your window blinds open throughout the day is a surefire way to make things uncomfortably hot during the summer season.
Blocking out the sun’s heat is a top priority during the warmer days. You’d want to keep your curtains and blinds closed until late afternoon. This is especially true if you already have an AC because the heat from the sun would cause your AC to use up more power to keep the room temperature comfortable.
6. Turn Off The Lights
Aside from the heat coming from the sun, you also have to pay attention to other heat sources in your home, such as the lighting. This is especially true for homes that use high-powered room lighting or incandescent lights.
The best way to minimize the heating effects of artificial lighting is simply to make sure that all lights are turned off when not in use. If there are parts of your home that absolutely need lighting during the daytime, make sure you are using LED lighting, which generally emits less heat when powered on.
7. Freeze Hot Water Bottles
Hot water bottles are great for keeping yourself warm during the colder months but you can also use them to stay cool during the summer season! Instead of filling them up with boiling water, you can use regular water and leave them in the freezer overnight.
Frozen hot water bottles can be used in a wide variety of ways, but the easiest way to cool down with them is by using them like regular cold compresses. Alternatively, you can put a frozen water bottle in a bucket of water. Once the water has properly cooled, you can shower with it to draw heat away from your skin.
Keeping your family cool during the hot weather isn’t as difficult as some people think. Remember these seven tips on keeping your family cool, and you don’t have to worry about being uncomfortably hot during the warmest months of the year.
Potential Health Benefits of CBG
Not many people are familiar with the cannabinoid cannabigerol (CBG). Although CBG is a unique component in a cannabis plant, it is important. Despite its extremely low amounts, all primary and secondary cannabinoids would not exist without CBG.
Cannabis and hemp contain cannabigerol (CBG), a naturally occurring cannabinoid. There are several cannabinoids in it. As the first cannabinoid produced, CBG is an important component in marijuana. CBG is one of the field’s most promising new medicines.
CBG has a wide range of health benefits:
Benefits of Skincare
Acne, inflammation, and irritation can all be healed using this product. You can achieve cellular health with the help of squalane oil and its ability to provide moisture and nutrients deep into the skin’s surface.
The inclusion of CBG in an already effective and straightforward skincare regimen is long overdue. It’s important to take a proactive approach when it comes to maintaining healthy, clear, and hydrated skin.
A Potent Regulator of Mental Health
CBG is also an important component of CBG. CBG oil can be used in the same way as CBD oil to alleviate anxiety and tension, according to several.
It is well-known that stress, anxiety, and depression harm our physical and mental health. Taking CBG oil could be the key to organically resolving your mental health issues. If you suffer from mental health problems, If you have a serious mental health issue, you should always seek medical advice before taking CBG oil or supplements.
Benefits to Your Health
The good news is that many of these advantages also apply to the physical world. Many promising results have been found so far in the physical health benefits of CBG.
It has been proven to reduce nausea, increase appetite, regulate sleep, and even fight cancer-causing cells in other research.
This newly recognized cannabinoid has the potential to be a game-changer. Although it isn’t a new concept, it’s finally making its way into our vernacular.
CBG may ease Cancer-related pain, but it also has the potential to eradicate cancer cells without causing intoxication or euphoria, according to research
CBG appears to be an effective treatment for melanoma cancer cells in mice. You can kill breast cancer cells more effectively with CBG, THCA, and THC.
Israeli researchers have recently discovered the combination of CBG and CBC in the fight against gastrointestinal cancer
Antiemetic qualities are largely due to THC, the active ingredient in marijuana. However, a growing body of evidence suggests that CBG may also be useful in treating nausea. Cancer and HIV/AIDS patients will find the oil very beneficial.
So far, medical experts haven’t been able to pinpoint exactly how cannabigerol oil eases nausea. CBG’s antiemetic qualities may be linked to its ability to interact positively with the endocannabinoid system.
Inflammation and Pain
Inflammation and pain are two of CBG’s most promising advantages. More research is needed to determine if CBG is a better pain reliever or anti-inflammatory than THC.
As a potential muscle relaxant for patients with spasticity, CBG shows some affinity with your brain’s CB1 and CB2 receptors and inhibits GABA reuptake and elimination.
One hundred twenty-seven patients who use CBG-dominant products for medical conditions were recently surveyed, and the results are interesting. For chronic pain, 40.9 percent of the people polled said they used CBG, with the vast majority claiming that it had a significant impact on their symptoms. Most patients who use CBG for chronic pain say it is superior to other treatments, including opioids, which is encouraging.
Worry or Anxiety
In terms of anxiolytic (anti-anxiety) properties, CBG may be superior to CBD or THC.
Anti-anxiety effects of CBG are directly linked to its ability to inhibit and eliminate gamma-Aminobutyric acid reuptake and elimination (GABA). Neurotransmitter GABA has a calming effect on the central nervous system when it binds to GABA receptors.
A cannabinoid called anandamide is responsible for dopamine production, and CBG has the same effect on enzymes that break it down. When dopamine levels are high, people feel good about themselves, which is due to its role in the brain as a neurotransmitter and a hormone.
When used in conjunction with CBD, CBG’s anti-anxiety properties are maximized.
Protection of the Brain From Damage
It is well known that CBG protects the brain from damage. You can think of neuroprotection as protecting your nervous system from harm. Several diseases and conditions can cause harm to the nervous system, including Parkinson’s, Alzheimer’s, multiple sclerosis, and even diabetes. You can reduce nerve death by neuroprotective, or your nervous system can be protected from deterioration by neuroprotective. CBG was significantly more potent than CBD at reducing neurotransmitter depletion, even in low concentrations, when hydrogen peroxide toxicity impacted the brain and spinal cord cells.
Stimulation of the Appetite
As with CBD, CBG is a promising treatment for eating disorders, AIDS, and cancer-related appetite issues because it stimulates your appetite.
Purified CBG isolate was found to increase the appetites of 16 rat test subjects in a recent study. Increased food intake was observed when CBG concentrations were 120 and 240 mg/kg, respectively.
THC is also a good appetite stimulant and induces hunger by activating CB1 receptors in the brain regions that control smell, taste, and appetite. The use of both CBG and THC in combination is a viable option in this case.
If you’d like to reap the health benefits of CBG, you may not know where to begin, or you may be feeling overwhelmed.
A few of the most popular approaches to administering CBG are as follows:
- You can apply many forms of CBG to the body in the form of an oil or tincture.
- CBG crystals can be taken under the tongue or added to smoothies or oils as a dietary supplement.
- Supplements for CBG – CBG pills are indeed available. You can add these to your daily supplement routine on a tablet.
- Through absorption, it is possible to heal the skin by applying topical CBG ointments and products, either directly to the affected area or as an overall treatment.
Making the Most of Your Home’s Solar Panels
Solar energy accounts for 2% of the total US electricity generation in 2019, and this number is expected to trend upwards in the coming years as more and more countries try to cut back on their carbon emissions from electricity generation. And with the high demand for solar energy coming from the Chinese and American markets, it is expected that global solar power capacity will triple in 2022.
Though it might still take a bit more time for it to overtake traditional electricity generation sources like fossil fuels, natural gas, and coal, solar energy is set to become the next prominent source of energy within the next decade or so. Not only is it renewable, plentiful, and sustainable, but it’s also inexpensive. But like every other recently-developed technology out there, a lot of people are still getting used to the concept. In fact, most solar panel owners out there are unaware that the panels require active maintenance for them to function reliably and with longevity. Here’s how you can make the most of your home’s solar panels.
Pick Your Solar Provider Wisely
According to EcoWatch picking a solar provider wisely is the first step to ensuring that a solar panel investment will last for years. After all, a solar panel installation isn’t a one-size-fits-all project, and each customer would have different energy requirements depending on their location, lifestyle, and schedules. That’s why it’s always best to work with a provider who is willing to custom-engineer and tailor a system that is perfectly suited to their customer’s needs.
Think About Panel Placement
The placement of the panels is one of the factors that can affect how much power a system can generate. Simply put, the more sunlight the panel receives, the more energy it produces. Panels should be placed far away from trees and shade or any other structure that can impede sunlight from reaching them. Homeowners should check regularly if there are overgrown trees, shrubs, and other greenery that may block sunlight from hitting the panels at any time of the day.
The direction where the panels face matters too. For example, south-facing panels produce the highest output of energy throughout the day when they’re facing the sun directly. The average 3.5 kW panel facing south is expected to produce 3,000 kWh per year if conditions are ideal. Meanwhile, panels that are orientated to the west produce more power in the afternoon and early evening. The direction that is best for your panels will be ultimately determined by your schedule, and how you use most of the electricity that your panels generate.
Clean Solar Panels Regularly
Work doesn’t stop at installation though. In order to get the maximum performance out of your solar panels and to ensure their longevity, you’ll need to be vigilant about maintenance and cleaning. Dust, like trees, can block sunlight. What’s even worse is that dust left uncleaned can turn into mud, which can trap moisture and damage and erode the panels. Thankfully, solar panels are easy to clean. No need for special cleaning equipment and tools- all it takes is just a simple rinse with a garden hose, and then remove any remaining dust or grime with a soft brush. This is also the reason why, in choosing an installation location, one should consider how accessible the location is for periodic cleaning.
Timing Is Everything
With solar panels, timing is everything. You may find that using energy-hungry appliances, like washing machines, microwaves, and dishwashers during the day would be an efficient use of your panels’ energy. Experts say that the best time to use these appliances is from 11 am to 4 pm, regardless of your country. Working within this timeframe means getting the most out of a solar panel system. You could also try investing in appliances and devices that use rechargeable batteries since they could be charged during the day and run off on battery power at night.
Check Out Incentives and Rebates
For those looking into using solar power for their homes (or those who may have installed solar panels already), there’s a high chance that they might receive rebates and other forms of incentives. A lot of governments, as well as local utility companies, like to offer incentives for households who are getting new solar panels installed. Tax credits and rebates are also sometimes provided so as to offset the costs for installation.
Having solar panels installed in your home can help lower your household’s carbon footprint and save you money in the long run. Consider these tips to make the most of your panels, and remember to have them professionally installed for best results.
How to Find the Best Concrete Contractors for Your Project
In terms of versatility, concrete is one of the most flexible building materials. The material is strong enough to hold up massive constructions.” If you’re looking for something that’s both versatile and easy to work with simultaneously, then concrete is the best option.
So finding a concrete contractor that understands the ins and outs of this material is critical if you want them to assist you in making an informed decision about the type of concrete you need for your project.
You want everything to go perfectly the first time you’re building your dream home. The worst pain is to start anything over or delay development because a contractor does not follow through. You must choose a concrete contractor carefully so that you may receive the most satisfactory potential outcomes from your construction project.
Here are factors you need to take into account while finding the best concrete contractor for your project:
Do Not Be Afraid to Ask Questions
No matter how modest the project, the concrete contractor you choose should be able to answer all of your questions. Moving on to another commercial concrete services supplier should be done if they sidestep particular topics or appear unprepared for the job.
Always Go For Experience Above Pricing
Years of training and experience are required to produce high-quality work. Please find out how long a prospective contractor has been in business before hiring them. The result of a seasoned concrete contractor will be more consistent and reliable, and better. They will be able to solve difficulties faster and more creatively if they have extensive expertise in the topic. Investing in experience is usually a good idea.
Reputation Management and Customer Feedback
You can receive reviews by searching “Google My Business” or the Better Business Bureau to see how the firm and its services are rated. TNA Concrete has a solid reputation, so you know they will do the job right.
Continuity of Employment
With TNA’s decades of experience in the building sector, you can rest assured that it will meet your expectations, if not exceed them. To become better at something, you need to put in more time. They have a wealth of commercial and industrial experience that allows you to develop creative solutions for building solid working relationships and even stronger projects.
Check out their business license and credentials if you doubt their reliability and experience. If the company is legitimately operational and has been in business for an extended period, these records will prove it.
If you’re looking for a trustworthy concrete contractor in Calgary, ensure they have their vehicles and equipment. Determine if they have drum mixers and sufficient trucks to reduce delays in completing your projects by checking their website or gallery. Inquire about the machine and equipment’s capabilities over the phone if you want to ensure it’ll work for your project’s requirements.
Realizing Your Project’s Scope and Necessities
Concrete requirements vary based on the type of project. A garage floor, a driveway, or even a home’s foundation can be affected. Consider hiring a contractor that specializes in cement work. It doesn’t matter your concrete needs; TNA Concrete can handle any size job. The contractor specializes in anything from concrete foundations to stamped concrete and everything in between.
Insist on a Written Bid
You don’t want to work with a concrete contractor who doesn’t present you with a detailed written estimate. Before signing a contract, make careful to get an estimate for materials and labor expenses and any permits or other fees required. It’s easy for everyone involved to stay on budget and meet scheduled deadlines.
Make Sure Insurance, Licenses, and Bonds Cover You
If a potential concrete contractor tells you that there is no licensure for jobs under a specific monetary limit, be wary of their intentions. When hiring a contractor to work on your home or property, you should always verify that they are correctly licensed, especially if they will be working with heavy machinery or undertaking dangerous work. It’s also good to check on their insurance coverage to see if they have any. The contractor must be Bonded and capable of providing evidence of these documents are also important.
Choosing a Contractor With a Positive Track Record
Online reviews of concrete contractors are an essential part of the hiring process. See what previous consumers say about a company on sites like Yelp or Angie’s List. After hearing from both perspectives, you’ll be more equipped to choose a concrete contractor.
Consider Your Financial Situation
The price of a decent concrete contractor isn’t going to be the cheapest option you can find, but they shouldn’t be too pricey either.
Find a Regional Contractor to Do the Job
Hire a local concrete contractor if at all possible. That will save both time and money. They’ll know where to buy the supplies they need, how to secure the licenses, and even where to find the equipment if they need it. When your contractor is nearby, it makes life simpler for everyone. Visit www.elpasoconcretecontractors.com if you are in or near the El Paso area.
Trust Your Instincts
You can judge a contractor by how they communicate with you. You’re looking for a person who is prepared to spend time with you, get to know your needs, and have a good concept of the project you want to do. If they are hesitant to answer your queries, are quick on the phone, or take days to reply to your message, you should be wary. Hire someone who makes you feel heard and at ease from the beginning of the relationship.
But To pick the best concrete contractor and company, keep these four points no matter how large or tiny your job may be. If you need concrete paths surrounding your house or slabs for new commercial buildings:
- You must first compile an extensive list of sources
- Look for a contractor who has worked on similar projects.
- Make sure you ask for five or six recent works they’ve done and the contact information for the client as a reference.
- Verify the level of satisfaction with your possible concrete contractor with these customers.
4 Renovations That Maximize Space in a Smaller Home
Living in a small house often comes with its own set of unique challenges. They might include finding enough space and storage for all your belongings or, at times, struggling with the feeling of being cramped. In such a case, maximizing your space can be tough, but it can also make a huge difference when done right.
So, how do you renovate your home and do it in a way that gives you more space? For instance, you can start by finishing your basement so it can serve as an extra room. Giving your garage a little TLC to turn it into an efficient storage space is also an excellent idea. Additionally, many small-house owners decide to knock down some walls to open common areas and transform their bathrooms with space efficiency in mind.
If you feel like you need more ideas and details, read the article below. Here, you’ll find some of the most clever solutions for your small house.
Turn Your Garage Into Storage Space
Most people treat garages solely as the space where they keep their car along with some junk that they need to get rid of but never do. Don’t be the person who remembers their garage only when something goes wrong and it’s necessary to use a garage door service – instead, be smart and use it as an efficient storage space.
However, you’ll likely need to clean out and declutter your garage before that happens. Go through everything accumulated there over the years and throw away everything you don’t need. Then, install new shelves or durable cabinets that will help you keep your things organized. Head to the storage and purchase clear plastic storage bins with lids.
Once you get them home, you can use these bins to store things such as holiday decorations, seasonal clothes, DIY and craft supplies, or even some products that you buy in bulk and take a long time to use up. Make sure to label every bin, and voila – you just managed to free up lots of space in your small house by giving your garage some much-needed TLC.
Finishing your basement can be a huge help when it comes to maximizing your space. Basements can serve as extra rooms for your family, especially if you don’t have much space upstairs or want to be able to host guests from time to time. If you want to finish your basement, there are a few ways to do this, depending on the size of your house and the overall layout of the basement.
You can, for instance, divide one large room into several small ones with the help of drywall. You might also want to move the living room downstairs or create a big playroom area for your children to enjoy. Finishing your basement can be especially useful if you are also planning to expand your family, as it allows you to utilize the space in your current home without having to look for a bigger house to fit everyone. The room is already there, you just need to show it some extra love!
Small and cramped bathrooms can be a true nightmare, especially if your house has only one that everyone shares. Luckily, it’s not a lost cause, and there are a few things you can do to free up some space.
For example, if you have a bathtub, getting rid of it might be one of the best decisions you could make. Bathtubs tend to be bulky and take up a lot of unnecessary space that could be used for storage purposes or simply help to make moving around easier. Transform your bathtub into a standup shower and enjoy your newly gained square footage. Fill the extra room with a linen closet, a laundry basket, or a cabinet for toiletries.
Then, take a look at your vanity. If it’s too big, it needs to go, as it’s simply a waste of space. Instead, you can try fitting in a corner vanity for both under and over-the-counter storage. Make sure to change your mirror for the one that comes with a medicine cabinet so you can store more things in there. If you need some inspirational ideas to design your bathroom without a tub, I highly recommend this article: https://acremodeling.com/master-bathroom-without-tub/
If it is possible to open up the kitchen and living room in your home, then creating an open concept space is one of the best ways to make your small home feel more spacious without having to throw away anything (besides the debris left after knocking down some walls). Keep in mind that if you want to remove a wall, it can’t be a load-bearing one. Make sure to consult your idea with a professional before starting demolition.
When you open the space and feel like the space needs to be brought together, you can add a kitchen island to make the transition from the kitchen to the living room look more seamless. A kitchen island is also a great way to add more seating and provide you with some extra storage space.
When it comes to maximizing the space in your home and showing it some love, you have plenty of options. For instance, you can add an extra room by finishing your basement. You can also knock down some walls to open common areas or turn your bathroom into a space-efficient one. Your garage should also get some attention, especially if you need extra storage space.
Whatever option you choose, just make sure that you do some research and plan it out carefully so you can get the most out of your renovation and plan your budget wisely. Good luck!
Ideas for Your Garden in Retirement
Gardening is good for you. In fact, it’s prescribed on the NHS. Getting outside gives you the chance to get some vitamin D, which is great for your immune system while doing a hobby you enjoy triggers dopamine, the hormone that helps you feel motivated.
If you’ve recently retired and you’re planning on using your garden more, now could be a great time to plan what you’re going to do with it. Maybe you saved enough funds for a project in your retirement. Perhaps you can benefit from equity release to allow you to focus on renovating different areas of your home.
Whatever the reason for pepping up your outside space, here are some ideas to inspire you.
Grow Your Own
Why not set aside a corner of your garden for a vegetable patch? Whether you’re a gardening pro or a novice, there are plenty of vegetables that are relatively easy to maintain. Plus, it’s rewarding to be able to tuck into the different foods that you’ve grown.
Some key points to remember are to set up your fruit and veg patch on a flat part of your garden and to make sure the plants get plenty of light. You might need to invest in a protective cover to ward off insects and birds, too.
Get an Outdoor Pizza Oven
Are you thinking of hosting some garden parties? While barbecues remain one of the most popular ways to cook outdoors, pizza ovens are gaining in popularity and are sure to be a hit with any guests you have.
These are a particularly great choice if you don’t have a large outdoor space and can make mealtimes fun.
Build a Garden Studio
If you saved enough to retire and have enough money for a larger garden project, an outdoor studio could be ideal. This is a step up from a tool shed and can be used to create something truly special.
This could be a space where you can enjoy crafts, such as pottery and painting. Or maybe you could use it as a writing room or somewhere you go to do yoga. You can really make this your own.
Make a Play Area
Set aside a section of the garden for the grandkids. They’ll love having their own little part of your home where they can play outside and enjoy games.
This could also be a great use for your garden room if they visit a lot. Add some slides, games, and bright cushions to make it special.
A pond or bird watching shed is ideal for wildlife lovers. If you’d love nothing more than to watch the creatures that visit your garden, this is your chance to create a place for them.
What will you do with your garden?
Why Do You Need a Garden Shed in 2022
If you enjoy gardening, you probably have a list of required tools. You will need plenty of storage space for your devices during the wintertime. Most people keep garden tools inside their garages. However, they frequently notice that their area is scarce, and their garage is crammed with different tools.
The more you put into your landscaping and home, the more equipment and tools which require a location to set up. A shed for your outdoor is a good option because of its proximity to your backyard and the ample space. For a lower cost, you can build your shed with the help of shed builders LA.
Reasons You Need a Garden Shed
Here is a list of reasons you may need an outdoor shed for your garden and why it is beneficial:
Clear Out Your Garage
Do you get bored with looking through boxes in your garage? Take gardening equipment, tools, and Christmas decor, and bring them to the storage shed. Garden sheds are an excellent alternative to storing items. That’s why you must ensure the declutter of your garage.
Instead of spreading all of your toys, equipment, and bicycles scattered around your yard, ensure they are secured in one spot. It will also make your home less appealing to burglars and provide you with a sense of security. Protecting your children from hazardous tools like lawnmowers, power tools, pitchforks, and hazardous gardening chemicals. A storage shed purchase allows you to secure all dangerous items and keep your kids away from danger. Also, you can look for shed floor covering ideas since floors are an essential part of ensuring safety.
It Will Allow You to Work and Have Fun
A garden shed can offer you a place to enjoy all of your interests. When you buy or build your shed, you’ll find that perfect spot that you’ll always need to visit for a relaxing time and unwind. The garden shed gives you additional storage. However, you’ll be able to turn it into a space where you can create something, such as an entirely new piece of furniture.
If you purchase an outdoor shed, you’ll be able to store everything you use for gardening, bicycles, tools, and other things that you may not use every day. If you purchase a 9×6 foot metallic garden shed, you’ll be capable of having an uncluttered garage and garden. A less cluttered space will mean less cleaning. If everything is in order, cleaning these areas won’t be a hassle and will take less time to complete.
Accessibility and Organization
There is no need to rummage through your garage to find the one thing you’ll need. If you organize the garden shed space, you’ll not be trying to find something. It is simple to build shelves, cabinets, and tables in your shed. So, you can also add storage space. It is also possible to classify the items you require knowing their location.
Protection Against the Weather
Winter can be very hard on your garden and the gardening tools. Therefore, you’ll be able to bring the most vulnerable plants inside in winter, which will help ensure they are warm and healthy. If you choose a shed that includes windows, you can make the appearance of a “greenhouse” that your plants can use too.
How Do You Choose the Right Shed for Your Garden?
It’s clear why you’ll require an outdoor shed by 2022. There are numerous factors to consider before you purchase a new garden shed. The most crucial aspects are listed below.
What Will You Do With the Shed?
The thought of this can assist you in determining the size of your shed. If it’s merely something to store your garden items, consider their value and what you need to keep. If you own powerful, expensive power tools, you’ll need the largest and most secure shed than you would if you were storing small pots and hand tools.
If you’re thinking of using the shed for a workshop to work on DIY projects, you’ll require enough space and headroom to work and move about. Also, you’ll need adequate lighting so that you may be thinking about double doors, windows, and electricity. If you’re planning to spend much of your time in your shed, you might consider investing in heat and insulation.
What’s the Price of Garden Sheds?
The cost of your garden shed is contingent on the material and the dimensions you pick and other options like shelves and security lighting. In general, you’ll be able to find smaller sentry-style sheds at less than £150. Make sure you budget at least £200 to get a high-quality medium-sized shed, whereas you’ll require more than £500 to get a more oversized wooden shed. Although you’ll want an enormous shed for your price, you should keep in mind the quality of the materials, and a sturdy roof, sturdy frames, and strong doors will always yield value.
Do You Require Foundations for Your Garden Shed?
Garden sheds usually include flooring or adding flooring as an option in the event of an exception. If you don’t have a stable basis for your sheds, like concrete or paving slabs, you’ll have to build the base or purchase an entire shed base.
How Can You Keep Your Shed in the Backyard?
General upkeep shouldn’t require all amount of time. The most important things to keep in mind are to ensure that the roof is free of debris, dirt, and moss, treatment of metal and wood with protective paint or stains every couple of years and grease hinges to prevent corrosion, and then fix any leaks or holes at the time they occur.
As you will see in this article, there are a few aspects you’ll be able to think about before choosing whether or not to construct your garden shed. It would help if you thought about the most crucial things are your time and expense.
When you buy a garden shed from Urban-Sheds, you will gain additional space, an area to do your favorite activities, and an unofficial greenhouse for your plants in winter.
Growing a Garden That Birds Will Love to Visit
Bird species are dwindling across the globe, with forests in the US and Canada alone having lost one billion birds and nearly three billion in total since 1970—as found in a Cornell University study. Common birds—those you may have seen in your yard in your youth—are the most affected, since over 90% of losses arise from common birds like sparrows, warblers, and blackbirds. If you want to ensure the survival of common birds species in your area, optimal garden design can help you achieve your aim. Read on to discover a few small changes that can make a big difference.
Planting Native Species
Native plants enable wildlife such as birds to thrive, thanks to their nectar, acorns and nuts, seeds, fleshy fruits, and insects. In order to work out the optimal combination of plants for your yard, it is vital to research the different wild birds that are native to your area. Study the different species and take note of the preferences of any endangered bird species you wish to help proliferate. Sparrows, for instance, are attracted to blackberries and wild grasses, finches take to pines, spruces, hemlocks, coyote bush spruces, and composite flowers, while warblers are known to favor maples, oaks, American elderberries, and serviceberries. Some of these trees are chosen for nesting, others for their fruit, so try to create a garden that combines both types of plants or trees.
Sticking to Organic Growing Principles
Birds are vulnerable to the immense harm that pesticides can cause. Birds can either swallow pesticides directly, drink tainted water, or absorb toxins to the skin. This can have an array of effects, including deformed embryos, lack of appetite and weight loss, suppressed immunity, greater vulnerability to predators, and the inability to orientate correctly for migration. Organic, gentler alternatives to pesticides include companion planting (which can keep specific pests at bay) and soft chemicals (like rhubarbs, stinging nettles, and soap). For a small yard, try plant oils like rosemary, geranium, thyme, rosemary, lemongrass, and lavender. You can also consult gardening specialists about parasites that may be useful for targeting specific host insects. Finally, some predators can help reduce pest populations. These include frogs and lacewings. As your yard begins to fill with birds, you will find that they, too, help reduce the presence of pests.
Adding Active Water Features to Your Garden
Once again, it is important to study the specific needs of native birds. Warblers, for instance, are attracted to running water, so adding a fountain to your garden may increase their presence (and that of many other beautiful birds). You can additionally set up a birdbath where birds can enjoy a bath on a hot summer’s day. When choosing your bath, remember that although smaller baths are easier to clean, the larger the bath, the more birds you are likely to attract. You should also prioritize height since high baths enable birds to frolic while still keeping an eye out for predators. Your chosen fountains and baths should be made in materials that will withstand challenging weather. If you live in a cold zone, avoid resin baths, which can crack in the winter.
Many bird species are in danger because they don’t have enough green spaces. Designing a bird-friendly garden will take time and a small investment, as you will need to cater your landscaping features to the need of specific birds. In addition to planting suitable plants and trees, remember to give water features the importance they deserve.
6 Best Matching Guides of Furniture and Mattress
Allrightsleep.com recommends, when it comes to furniture and mattress shopping, it’s essential to have all the information you need before purchasing. Whether you’re looking for a medium-firm mattress or a bed frame that fits your specific dimensions, we’ve got you covered. Our handy tips will make the shopping process more accessible than ever.
Which Bed Size is Right for Your Bedroom?
Here’s how to ensure a perfect fit.
- To determine the right bed size, first, measure the length and width of your room.
- Remember that you’ll also need to leave enough room for other furniture pieces like a dresser or nightstand.
- Avoid covering the window to ensure you get maximum light. You should also have at least two feet of space on either side of the bed for easy access.
- Parents may want to consider bunk beds or trundle beds to make the most of a small room but give children their own space.
- Taller people may want to consider a California king mattress because it’s longer than a standard king mattress. Their dimensions are 72″ x 84″, making them ideal for taller people or couples who want the extra length.
- Twin-size mattresses are a good option for partners who don’t mind snuggling but still want their own space or a different mattress firmness.
- Full-size mattresses (also known as double beds) are best for single sleepers or couples who don’t mind sleeping close together.
- Queen size mattress dimensions are 60″ x 80″, making them an excellent option for couples who want more space than a full-size mattress.
- King size mattress dimensions are 76″ x 80″, giving couples even more room to spread out.
- An XL full queen mattress is slightly longer than a standard queen mattress, making it a good option for taller people or couples who want more space.
What are the Different Types of Mattresses?
The mattress you choose should be based on your sleep habits and preferences. If you tend to sleep hot, look for a mattress with cooling features. If you have back pain, consider a mattress with additional support.
- Innerspring Mattresses are the most popular mattress and feature coil springs that provide support and comfort.
- Memory Foam Mattresses conform to your body and relieve pressure points. They’re a good choice for people with back pain.
- Latex Mattresses are made from natural or synthetic latex and are known for durability. They’re also a good choice for people with back pain.
- Hybrid Mattresses combine the best features of innerspring and memory foam mattresses. They’re a good option for people who want the support of an innerspring mattress with the comfort of a memory foam mattress.
Before you start shopping for a mattress, it’s important to know the dimensions of the bed frame you’ll be using. That way, you can be sure to find a mattress that fits perfectly. Here are the standard mattress dimensions:
- Twin: 39″ x 75″
- Full: 54″ x 75″
- Queen: 60″ x 80″
- King: 76″ x 80″
- California King: 72″ x 84″
Whether you like to sleep on your back, side, or stomach will play a role in finding the perfect mattress firmness for you.
For example, people who sleep on their side need a softer mattress to support their hips and shoulders, while stomach sleepers need a firmer mattress to prevent their hips from sinking in. Ultimately, it’s crucial to find a mattress that strikes the perfect balance between comfort and support.
If you’re looking for a mattress that’s not too soft and not too firm, a medium-firm mattress is a way to go. This type of mattress provides the perfect balance of comfort and support and is ideal for people of all sleep styles. Plus, it’s perfect for couples who may have different firm preferences.
Bed Frame Dimensions
When considering bed frame dimensions, you’ll need to consider the mattress dimensions. That way, you can be sure to find a frame that’s the right size for your mattress.
Bed frames can be made from solid wood, metal, or both. They come in various styles, from minimalistic and straightforward to more ornate and detailed.
Bed frame dimensions match mattress size, so use the information above about mattress dimensions to help you find a bed frame that’s the right size for your mattress.
Other Bedroom Furniture
Now that you know all about mattresses and bed frames, it’s time to start shopping for furniture! Here are a few other pieces you’ll need to complete your bedroom:
- Nightstand: A nightstand is a perfect place to put a lamp or alarm clock.
- Dresser: A dresser provides ample storage space for clothes, linens, and more.
- Chest of drawers: A chest of drawers is an excellent alternative to a dresser and can be used to store clothes, linens, and more.
- Bedroom set: A bedroom set includes a bed frame, mattress, nightstand, dresser, and drawers. It’s the perfect way to furnish your bedroom all at once.
Great Bed, Perfect Sleep
Now that you know all about mattresses and bed frames, it’s time to start shopping for furniture! With so many options available, you’re sure to find the perfect pieces for your bedroom. If you need curtains for your bedroom, read Top Reasons to Buy Custom Curtains.
Top Reasons to Buy Custom Curtains
Drapes are more than just light-blocking strips of cloth; they can add drama, refinement, coziness, and warmth to your home in an instant. Whether you want to make a design statement or probably make a house look more like a home, selecting the proper set of curtains online may make a huge difference. Nowadays, it’s so simple to design your own curtains online that there’s no need to drive to a store or get someone to come over to measure your windows.
There is a broad choice of high-quality window coverings and inexpensive custom-made curtains online that may make your home both comfortable and attractive, ranging from graceful sheer curtain materials that allow air to flow through intelligently-designed blackouts which help to regulate temperatures. You might be amazed at how many custom window treatment options are available and how simple it is to obtain the right look by choosing custom curtains. Here are some of the benefits of purchasing bespoke curtains:
Advantages of Custom Curtains
1. Perfect Fitting to Window Measurements
The first benefit of having custom made curtains is that they are produced to your window specifications rather than a set of stock sizes. Today’s windows come in a variety of sizes and dimensions, and it might be difficult to find stock curtains that match them. However, if you choose to have your curtains custom-made, they will perfectly match your windows.
2. Customized Curtain Headings
There are many different types of headings available, each with its own style and purpose, such as double pinch pleats, tab tops, eyelets, waves, pencil pleats, and so on. When you order bespoke curtains, you can select any heading for the window curtains as per your choice.
3. Higher Quality End Results
Customizing your curtains also leads to superior quality outcomes because your fabric alternatives are sturdier and long-lasting than stock options. Because of this, these curtains will provide you with years of enjoyment and utility.
4. Unique Style Statement With Curtains Customization
Another advantage of custom-made curtains surely is that they make a one-of-a-kind statement that you will not find in other people’s homes. Everyone who enters your home will be impressed by how unique you are. Furthermore, with custom blackout curtains ideas, you may choose the capabilities that are most important to you depending on the needs of your home.
5. Long-Lasting and Cost-Effective Choice
You may not require replacing your customized curtains as frequently because they will outlast stock choices. Because of this, these curtains are a good long-term investment. Yes, they are more expensive at first, but since you will require replacing them quite less frequently, the cost per year of use is lower than with stock options.
We all have different needs when we talk about the curtain’s functionality. Some people want their curtains to totally or partially block out light, while others want them to keep the house warm in the winter and cool in the summer. These features are usually determined by the nature of the lining material of your bedroom curtains. The most common lining types are standard, interlining, blackout, acoustic, and thermal. Most of the time, one must sacrifice utility for fabric style, or vice versa. With customized curtains, you can put an end to these compromises.
Considerations for Choosing Custom-Made Curtains
Good things obviously take time; between consultations to installation, you might be looking at a three to four-week wait, if not longer. The initial cost of custom-made curtains would most certainly be more than the cost of ready-made curtains. However, the cost can easily be justified by the product’s quality. To avoid measuring errors, you must properly measure your windows.
How to Take Measurements for Curtains
There are a few things to keep in mind when measuring for curtains. To begin, measure the length of your window starting right from the top of the curtain frame to the floor. Second, take a measurement from the left to the right side of your window. Third, you’ll want to figure out how much additional fabric you’ll need on each side of your windowpane. Curtains can drape over the window frames or fall just inside them, depending on the effect you want.
How to Pick Fabric and Materials for Custom Curtains
One of the key advantages that custom-made curtains have is that you may choose your own materials and fabric. You have the option of having your curtains made entirely of cotton. There’s also the option of blackout lining. Perhaps you have a certain specific hue in mind regarding your space and can’t locate anything similar in the store. It is possible to get exactly what you want with custom-made curtains.
Also, with custom-made curtains, it’s not only about appearances. You can also choose long-lasting curtain materials if you’re concerned about sun exposure or other potential issues with wear and tear off the drapes. This helps you to ensure that your curtains will last you for a long period without being damaged.
Once you have determined your budget, wants, and preferences, you may adorn your windows with curtains that express your personality in the most attractive way.
How CBD Is Made: The Whole Production Process
CBD has been trending in the natural wellness space. It’s a powerful cannabinoid touted for its potential anti-inflammatory, stress-relieving, mood-enhancing effects, and more.
A key ingredient of the cannabis plant, CBD is added to various products, such as tinctures, gummies, and lotions. Before we dive into how CBD is made and explore the whole production process, it’s important to understand the difference between hemp and marijuana.
Both hemp and marijuana are varieties of the Cannabis Sativa plant. The defining difference between the two is the tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) content. THC is the primary intoxicating cannabinoid found in marijuana, notorious for making users high. Hemp contains less than 0.3% THC, while marijuana features much higher levels of THC.
Generally, hemp is the preferred plant for CBD extraction because it has a higher CBD content and contains minimal amounts of THC. Therefore, hemp-derived products are non-intoxicating. Also, the 2018 Farm Bill made hemp federally legal.
Here is a step-by-step overview of how CBD is made.
1. Cultivating and Harvesting the Hemp Plant
CBD production all begins with planting, cultivating, and harvesting the hemp plant. According to Farm Journal, the ideal time to plant hemp is towards the end of May and into the first week of June. The hemp grows quickly, sprouting up in 60 days.
Hemp grown for CBD extraction is harvested for its flower heads, which contain the bulk of cannabinoids. Moreover, these plants are grown and nurtured to contain high levels of CBD.
Harvesting usually takes place around October, depending on the climate. Before processing the hemp, a sample should be tested to ensure it does not exceed the THC limit and that it’s free of toxins that may contaminate the finished product.
Once harvested, hemp plants are hung up to be cured or air dry in a well-ventilated area. This process usually takes three to four weeks. Once dried, the flowers are stripped from the plants and sent to manufacturers that extract the cannabinoids.
2. The Extraction Process
When discussing how CBD is made, the extraction process is integral. There are a few different techniques for extracting CBD from the hemp plant.
Many extraction methods require the use of a solvent. Some are considered safer and more efficient than others, but each method has pros and cons. Solvents act to separate the CBD molecule from other compounds in the hemp plant and turn it into a usable extract for ingestion.
Here are the most popular extraction methods.
CO2 extraction is widely regarded as the most effective method, resulting in the cleanest, purest, and safest CBD extract. Typically, this process involves using a closed-loop extractor to isolate cannabinoids.
The hemp is placed into a chamber filled with carbon dioxide. By applying pressure to the chamber, the CO2 is turned into liquid (supercritical CO2) as it enters the second chamber. The supercritical CO2 runs through the plant materials and extracts the cannabinoids, trichomes, and terpenes. Then, the cannabinoid mixture is pumped into a third chamber, where the contents are separated. No chemicals or residue are left behind.
CO2 extraction is an expensive process that requires the use of robust equipment. However, CO2-extracted CBD is some of the world’s purest when done right.
Another effective way of extracting CBD from the hemp plant is using high-grade grain alcohol (ethanol). This method involves soaking the hemp in ethanol to extract the CBD oil.
Ethanol is highly efficient and can dissolve an array of substances in the hemp extraction process, including cannabinoids, terpenes, waxes, and lipids. This efficiency means that ethanol extraction occurs in one single-stream process under warm or cold conditions, making it a very time-efficient process.
CO2 and ethanol are not the only solvents that can be used to extract CBD. Other options include butane, hexane, or isopropyl alcohol. However, using these substances often results in low-quality CBD extract.
Although the process works similarly to the previous two methods, such solvents dissolve the plant waxes containing nutrients. Furthermore, not all solvents can remove impurities, and chlorophyll from the plant may be left behind in the oil extract, resulting in a bitter taste. While chlorophyll can be filtered out, the filtering process reduces the oil’s potency.
Since many of these liquid solvents are highly flammable, this is often considered a more dangerous extraction method than others.
3. Advanced Purification
Typically, companies committed to crafting pure and effective CBD products submit their CBD extract to further processing. Therefore, it’s important to check how CBD is made when shopping for high-quality CBD.
Winterization is the process used to remove undesirable components, such as fats, lipids, and waxes, from the extract. This process is only necessary when high pressure/high-temperature extraction (supercritical CO2) is used. The intense extraction pulls everything from the plant, including the material you don’t want, into the final product.
The oil goes through short path distillation to further refine the CBD extract. This simple technique involves slowly heating the CBD oil until unnecessary substances, such as terpenoids and contaminants, begin to boil off. As the extract is heated, each compound is separated because each one has a different boiling point. Each compound is isolated and can be used by itself, depending on whether the manufacturer wants to create a full-spectrum or isolate CBD product.
4. Creating CBD Products
Now that a pure CBD extract has been obtained from the hemp plant, manufacturers can start producing CBD products. Typically, the CBD oil extract is combined with other ingredients, including carrier oils, like MCT oil or hemp seed oil. Natural flavorings are also often added.
This step largely depends on the company, its product offerings, and what effects they want its products to have. For instance, CBD products designed to improve sleep also often contain melatonin – a popular natural sleep aid.
Companies crafting a CBD concentrate need to turn the oil into a CBD wax, CBD shatters, or CBD crumble. To make CBD capsules, the extract must be infused into soft gels, while CBD topicals require the CBD to be immersed into the relevant cream, lotion, or balm. CBD tinctures, like a 1000mg CBD oil, require less processing.
There is also the matter of full-spectrum or isolate CBD formulas. Full-spectrum CBD oil 1000mg means that the product contains an array of cannabinoids extracted from the hemp plant. CBD isolate is pure CBD with no extra cannabinoids. It means the CBD was completely isolated from the hemp extract.
Final Thoughts on How CBD is Made
Hopefully, now you have a good idea of how CBD is made and what goes into producing a high-quality CBD product. The process is, of course, a lot more detailed than what we’ve covered here, but it’s a step-by-step overview of what goes into making CBD.
Always shop from CBD brands that provide information on their manufacturing processes to ensure you’re getting top-quality products.
Benefits of Low-Voltage Lighting in Your Home
Initially, low-voltage lighting was meant to promote landscape lighting. Soon after, it became an indoor lighting option. It can be applied in recessed lighting, under cabinet lighting, strip and tape lighting, track lighting, and more. Recessed lighting is ideal for general lighting, indoors and outdoors, or directional lighting for highlighting specific features. Low voltage cove and under cabinet lighting can be used in closets, kitchens, and bathrooms for countertops, surfaces, and shelving illumination. Discussed below are the benefits of low voltage lighting in your home:
1. Great Lighting Option for The
Outdoor lighting improves your home’s curb appeal while enhancing safety. With outdoor lighting such as the Low Voltage LED Deck Lights and other outdoor options, you can illuminate flower beds, pathways, fences, trees, patios, doorways, decks, and driveways. You can also light up your pool’s interior.
Thanks to low-voltage outdoor lighting, you can add comfort and warmth to your space. This allows you to enjoy your outdoor space even at night. You can also use it to highlight your home’s essential features, especially when selling. Moreover, outdoor lighting can improve safety by preventing break-ins and burglary.
2. Easy to Install
Low voltage lights are easy to install. With proper guidelines, you can install it yourself without the help of a professional because there’s no risk of electric shock. Upon purchasing your low voltage lights, you can find an installation guide to lead you through connecting wires to the transformer and then readjust the light to ensure its functionality.
Low voltage lights are safe to install and use compared to high voltage lights. It uses less than 50 volts of electricity through a transformer linked to a standard voltage outlet. There’s no need to worry about electrocution even if you or your loved one touches a cable, transformer, or fixture. Moreover, you can install low voltage lighting even when the transformer is on. This helps you ensure that your connection is done correctly during the installation process without going back to fix them if needed.
Low voltage lights are energy-efficient. They provide eco-friendly lighting options to make your home greener, making them suitable for the environment. Low voltage lighting emits an equal amount of light as standard lighting but less energy. Adopting low voltage lighting fixtures makes your home more environmentally friendly. These lights also require low wattage, meaning powering the system costs less, saving more money on energy in the long run.
LED is a popular low voltage lighting form whose technology generates suitable conditions for longer-lasting bulbs than halogen and incandescent bulbs. This saves you money since you don’t need to replace them frequently.
6. Low-Cost Lighting
Low voltage lights consume less energy than incandescent lighting while providing excellent lighting. Their energy-efficient nature saves you money. Low voltage lights are also a cost-effective lighting option and are more practical than other lighting options.
Low voltage lighting is versatile. It offers you multiple light bulb options and beams size varieties. You can also use different lens types with low voltage lighting fixtures, allowing more control over the light being cast.
Low voltage lights can be very beneficial as a home lighting option. Consider investing in these lights for these benefits and more.
5 Green DIY Ideas for Your Dorm Room
If you really care about the space around you, creating a green, eco-friendly dorm room should be on top of your mind. Most modern students do choose to get into the matter of this and create a healthy environment to live in.
Many articles and essays are now written about eco-friendliness; yet, there is always room for improvement. This is a perfect chance for you to dive deep into best practices and choose what resonates with you. After all, this is your room, your safe haven, and you need to make it as comfortable as possible the way you see it.
If you are really determined and still haven’t given up on this idea, below, you’ll find a few tips on how to make your room greener.
Make Your Own Cleaning Products
If you can get rid of all these chemical detergents within your living space, please do. They are not good for most people, especially those allergic to any component.
You can make your own cleaning products at home. Lots of ideas are described all over the internet. Moreover, there are recipes for all-purpose cleaners that are really easy to do. Just invest some time to research the topic, and you’ll get a healthier DIY alternative to Domestos.
Students are often required to write an essay about green DIY ideas and their application at home. It’s sometimes hard to explain your determination to make your room greener, but you can always count on professional help. Type “write my essay for me” and you’ll find an EssayHub team waiting to help. Do not hesitate to reach out and use your chance.
The best idea to make your room eco-friendlier is to believe in the power of upcycling. It is a fantastic way to give some older staff a new life. Why? Because when you try to upcycle, some things find a way to be repurposed.
For example, your older jeans can be easily converted into shorts. A plastic bowl can become a great place to grow your favorite house plant. Lots of stuff can be repurposed before you finally have to recycle them.
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Utilize Used Things
Just think of it: do you really need all the new stuff for your dorm room? Isn’t it greener (and cheaper) to buy some used things and mix them up the way you see fit? This will help you live not only to make your place eco-friendlier. Also, it will ensure that you have done everything to minimize waste while arranging your room in the best way possible.
Again, the topic of waste management or waste minimization is often a number one topic for essay writing. Students must know best practices and be able to apply them in practice. If you’re looking for a company to help you in writing, check the Essay Pro review on the NoCramming review website. This is the best way to find a reliable company to get essay help.
Light It All Up
Think of the ways to ensure you have enough daylight and artificial light while preserving nature the best way you can. Place your table close to the window to enjoy the sun while studying. At night, your light must be eco-friendly as well. Make sure all your light bulbs use LED technologies. Also, buy some candles and second-hand garland to save energy while making your room cozy.
If you really dive deeply into the topic of lighting in the room, you will find lots of interesting ideas to follow. Research more if you want to maximize your eco-friendliness. The same applies to essay writing. If you want to get the best essay written for you, check EssayReviews.com to find the best company. Research all your options to find the best offer. The quality matters, after all.
If you can buy all the appliances and stuff you need for the room locally, do it. You can combine new or used things to arrange your place the way you see it. Do not, however, encourage cross-border or cross-country transportation unless you absolutely need that thing. Just remember: any transportation you use is not green. Try to minimize this waste.
At the same time, buying things locally and designing them the way you see it will not only give you aesthetic pleasure. It will also help you be creative and more aware of the things around you.
If you are really concerned about making your room greener and eco-friendlier, take your chance and do your research. This huge step into independent living, which you are doing right now, actually predetermines your attitude towards the space around you. Make all you can do to live more responsibly and try to help nature sustain.
The Plant Guide for Southern California
One of the best things about SoCal life is that a lush Mediterranean dream can always come true, which is why it’s easy to find a list of the best outdoor potted plants for Southern California.
It just seems to be quite the statement to have patio plants to pair with the serene setup of your home, and we have just a few helpful tips for you if you’re already ready to expand your green thumb’s capabilities for a much bigger space.
1. Bask in the Light
You may already know that not all plants love the sun. There are some who prefer breathing under a shade. Before you decide to buy plants for your patio, plan out where you want to place them.
Plants that thrive in full sunlight are those that enjoy a good six to eight hours of basking. On the other hand, those that love being under the shade need only an hour to two of direct sunlight.
It will be good for both visual appeal and ecology that you have a balance of plants that require full sunlight and some that thrive in full shade. This way, you have space to sit down and relax on the patio, as this avoids cramping all of your plants to a single area or side.
2. Make Room for Growth
Compared to growing plants indoors, a patio space is a win.
Work well with the space as you consider not just how many or how much more you can add to your growing nursery, but more so, that you still need space for your own furniture and also for the plants’ growth.
Because a patio gives you not just floor space or possible shelves but also the space to work with hanging plants, you can maximize this to create an aesthetic flora and fauna in the confines of your own home.
However, also remember that hanging plants can create or add more shadows to your patio. Ensure that plants that require full sunlight will still be able to access their healthy dose.
Additionally, because of the bigger room that you can have on a patio, you can check out a more comprehensive array of pots and containers that you can choose from for the plants you’ll be having.
3. Be in the Zone
Another great thing about SoCal is that the entire state has its own planting zones. California is known as a state for growing both food and plants all year round, and SoCal’s specific planting zones are 5A to11A.
Knowing which one is nearest to your home will help you plan ahead and learn which specific plants thrive during particular seasons. These are also where you can purchase new plants.
Planting zones study the changes of temperature and weather within the state itself and thus, be able to predict the specific plants that are strongly suggested for when you make your plan come into fruition.
This is also a great learning tool for you if you want to keep developing your green thumb, as these zones do not only discuss plants for your home but also flowers and all forms of vegetation.
4. Consider Flowers and Vegetation
Since a patio gives you the ability to plant outdoors, you can diversify your plants by also looking into growing your own flowers or even fruits and vegetables.
This part is exciting as you get to practice a micro-scale of agri-farming by enabling you to grow your own food. You also get to learn more about farm-to-table practices while you’re doing this.
Growing your own flowers also reminds you about the importance of other life forms outside of you and your plant. You get to interact with the bees that help your plants grow with you.
Suppose you’re conscious about your carbon footprint. In that case, this upgrade to your nursery elevates that consciousness to a much bigger scale by allowing you to participate firsthand in how the rest of the planet grows, even within the small space of your own patio.
5. Reconnect With the Space
Your patio becomes an entirely different space to your home when it has new life within it. It no longer becomes just another room for you, but it becomes a space for reconnecting.
With plants in your patio, you get to be in touch again, not just with our environment, but the plants in your deck will exude breathing room for you to have a clear mind.
If you live alone, this is not just a space to take a break, but the commitment itself to take care of plants will also allow you to join a growing community of plant lovers.
Compartmentalizing Your Garden Areas for Children of Various Ages
Children in the US, the UK, and many other countries are currently undergoing what Nature author, Richard Louv, calls “nature deficit disorder.” Having a strong bond with the world outside is key to so many elements of healthy child development. Being outside helps children calm down, test their limits, and hone physical abilities and skills like strength, balance, and flexibility. Spending time outside has been shown to boost children’s ability to calm down and focus during classwork. If you have a sizable garden space and you have children of various ages, then compartmentalizing is an important way to encourage them to spend more time outside together in a harmonious fashion.
Creating a Fun Play Area for Smaller Children
From the time children are toddlers until they are adolescents, they usually love playing in dedicated playgrounds and treehouses. Setting a playground up on one side of your garden is easy and does not have to be expensive. Check out secondhand sites for slides, outdoor houses, and play structures with various components (such as steps, a walkway, and a slide) in one. Children somehow don’t get tired of climbing structures, spending time watching the world from their playhouses, and honing their strength at tasks such as swinging or utilizing monkey bars.
Compartmentalizing Your Grass/Turf Zones
The one bad thing about kids running around in the yard all day is that they can cause damage to grass, as does any heavy equipment that sits on a grassy area. To reduce expense and ensure your garden looks spic and span, consider creating paved two or more green spaces surrounded by paving (think of these areas as small play rectangles). Kids can also get hurt if they fall from even a small height onto a hard surface or one with short grass. Artificial turf will enable you to kill two birds with one stone since it requires little to no maintenance and provides a safety net for your kids. The area occupied by younger, super-active kids and playgrounds can contain turf for safety. Use taller turf if you have a high tree house or playhouse, to provide more protection for your children.
Creating a Zone for Older Children
Children of middle-school age will most likely enjoy being in the garden to chill out with older siblings or take part in activities like swimming, reading, and making s’mores. Their paved area can have real grass, as well as features like a small pool or hot tub, benches, and a fire pit, which will keep them outside in all but the coldest winter months. If you don’t have the room for a pool, a simple fountain surrounded by benches (shaded by a tree) will be a good enough reason for kids to head outside with their favorite books for reading or studying activities. The pleasant sound of a fountain can help kids relax, as can specific aromas like lavender, so encourage them to plant species whose aromas can help them calm down and concentrate.
A Place for Older Teens
Older teens will most likely enjoy having the patio space to themselves. Make sure your patio is well-decked and protected against the sun with remote control awnings or attractive shade sails. You can up the appeal of a large patio by including statues, potted plants, and (if space permits) a Balinese bed. A greenhouse will also be an ideal place for teens to escape from their little siblings for a while, so they can concentrate on growing their favorite plants, flowers, and herbs.
Many children in current times do not spend enough time outside to build a vital bond with nature. You can make a big difference by designing an attractive garden. Compartmentalization is key if you have a big family with children of various ages. The great thing about creating different spaces is that you, too, will be more tempted to enjoy them all in your free time, when the kids are at school, and you have the house all to yourself.
Buyer’s Guide to Water Filtration Systems
There are many different types of water filtration systems on the market today. With so many options, it can be difficult to know which system is right for your home. This buyer’s guide will help you understand the different types of water filtration systems and what to look for when choosing one for your home.
The first step is to understand the different types of water filtration systems. There are three main types of water filtration systems: whole-house systems, point-of-use (POU) systems, and reverse osmosis (RO) systems.
What Are Whole House Filtration Systems?
As the name suggests, whole house filtration systems are designed to filter all of the water coming into your home. These systems are typically installed at the main water line coming into your house. Whole house systems can be used to filter out a variety of contaminants, including sediment, chlorine, lead, and more as QWL suggests.
Activated Carbon Filtration
One of the most common types of whole house filtration systems is an activated carbon system. These systems use a process called adsorption to remove contaminants from water. During adsorption, contaminants are attracted to the surfaces of the carbon filters in the system. This leaves clean, filtered water to flow through your home.
What Are Point-Of-Use (POU) Systems?
Point-of-use (POU) systems are smaller filtration systems that are designed to filter water at specific faucets or appliances in your home. These systems are typically installed under the sink or at the point of use, such as a refrigerator or coffee maker. POU systems can be used to filter out a variety of contaminants, including sediment, chlorine, lead, and more.
Reverse Osmosis Filtration
One of the most common types of POU systems is a reverse osmosis (RO) system. These systems use a process called reverse osmosis to remove contaminants from water. During reverse osmosis, water is forced through a semi-permeable membrane. This leaves clean, filtered water on one side of the membrane and contaminants on the other side.
Another type of POU system is a UV filtration system. These systems use ultraviolet light to kill contaminants in water. UV filtration systems are effective at removing bacteria, viruses, and other microorganisms from water.
These systems remove hardness minerals from water, such as calcium and magnesium. Water softeners are typically used in homes with hard water.
These systems treat water to improve its quality. Water conditioners can be used to remove taste and odor-causing contaminants from water. They can also be used to remove iron and other minerals from water.
Having a Professional Water Test
Before considering any of the above filtration systems, it’s best to have a water test done by a professional as suggested by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). A water test will identify the specific contaminants in your water. This information will help you choose the right filtration system for your home.
When choosing a water filtration system, it’s important to consider your specific needs. There are a variety of factors to consider, including the type of contaminants in your water, the size of your home, and your budget. With so many options on the market, you’re sure to find a system that’s right for your home.
What Potential Contaminants are Common in Drinking Water
You would be surprised to learn what potentially lurks in your drinking water. While the water that comes out of your tap may look clean, it can actually contain a variety of contaminants. These contaminants can come from a variety of sources, including agricultural runoff, industrial waste, and sewage treatment plants.
Some of the most common contaminants found in drinking water include:
Chlorine is a chemical that is used to disinfect water. While chlorine is effective at killing bacteria, it can also be harmful to your health. Long-term exposure to chlorine can increase your risk of cancer.
Lead is a metal that can be found in water due to leaching from old pipes. Lead is harmful to your health, particularly for children and pregnant women.
Nitrates and nitrites are chemicals that can come from agricultural runoff. These chemicals can be harmful to your health, particularly for infants and pregnant women.
Harmful algae are microscopic organisms that can grow in water. Some types of harmful algae produce toxins that can be harmful to your health.
Bacteria are microscopic organisms that can be found in water. While some types of bacteria are harmless, others can cause diseases, such as cholera and typhoid fever.
Viruses are microscopic organisms that can be found in water. Viruses can cause a variety of diseases, including hepatitis and polio.
If you’re concerned about the quality of your drinking water, it’s important to have it tested by a professional. A water test will identify any contaminants that may be present in your water. Once you know what’s in your water, you can choose the right filtration system to remove these contaminants.
What To Look For When Choosing A Water Filtration System
Now that you understand the different types of water filtration systems, it’s time to learn what to look for when choosing one for your home.
The first thing you need to consider is what type of contaminants you want to remove from your water. This will help you narrow down your choices and find a system that is designed to remove those specific contaminants.
Once you know what contaminants you’re dealing with, you need to consider the size of your home. The size of your home will determine the size and capacity of the water filtration system you need.
You also need to consider your budget when choosing a water filtration system. Water filtration systems can range in price from a few hundred dollars to several thousand dollars. Choose a system that fits your budget and meets your needs.
Finally, you need to decide whether you want a point-of-use or point-of-entry water filtration system. A point-of-use system filters water at the tap, while a point-of-entry system filters.
How to Fix a Worn Out Shower Head Holder
When it comes to all of the moving parts in your bathroom, the bracket that holds your shower head is usually low down on the list of priorities. That is until the bracket gets worn out or breaks entirely, making showers a lot more complicated.
If your shower head holder has become faulty, it needs to be repaired or replaced. We have ways of doing that below, so you can get the job done yourself, save some money, and have your shower in perfect working order in no time.
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1. Remove the Shower Head
The first step is simple and obvious, you’ll need to remove the showerhead before you start. Then you can get at the bracket properly. Depending on what kind of bracket you have, you’ll need to unhook or unthread it to get it free. Place the showerhead somewhere safe where it won’t get in the way.
2. Try Tightening the Bracket
Before you try anything, check if your shower head holder hasn’t just become loose. Sometimes, these brackets become loose and won’t hold the showerhead as effectively, but those issues can often be solved quite easily.
For example, if there is a screw adjacent to the pit (where the showerhead clips/threads into) then you should grab a compatible screwdriver and get to work. Try moving the bracket to see if it’s still loose, then place the showerhead back temporarily. If it holds the head, you still have some use left in your bracket!
3. Remove the Shower Head Holder
If tightening the shower head cradle didn’t work, you’ll need to remove the head holder entirely. Inspect the shower head holder to see how it is anchored to the wall. Once again, this is usually through screws. If you’re lucky, it’s connected by a suction cup and is very easy to remove.
Use appropriate tools to remove the bracket. If you have a manual for your shower system lying around, this will have specific information on how to take the bracket off without causing damage. Usually, a screwdriver, adjustable wrench, and pliers are required.
4. Repair the Shower Head Holder
If the holder is plastic, check for cracks. It may be possible to repair any visible damage or imperfections on the bracket that could cause it to become loose and ineffective. Try water-resistant superglue when making repairs but know that it will be much less effective in the wet environment of a shower. It may give your damaged bracket some extra mileage but it is ultimately a temporary solution.
Maybe your holder is metal and has become loose, in which case you probably can’t repair it yourself. Instead, you should pursue replacing it. Fortunately, this is cheap and there are many, many shower head holders out there.
5. Replace the Shower Head Holder
If the showerhead holder cannot be fixed, you’ll need to replace it entirely. You can get a new one or, if possible, you may be able to contact your shower manufacturer to get a replacement that originally came with it. Otherwise, you should search for alternatives that match the décor of your bathroom and how the rest of your shower system looks.
If you are replacing the showerhead cradle, you may need to remove other parts of the shower system like the riser. That’s why you should have a full toolbox at the ready to do any required DIY work.
Sometimes, you need to admit defeat. If for whatever reason, you don’t have the equipment or expertise to tamper with your shower system, you should seek help. This can come from the manufacturer or a third-party contractor. Some manufacturers purposely make systems that are hard to tamper with.
Those are your options if you’re currently looking at a worn-out shower head holder and you’re not sure how to fix it. If you’re lucky, you can quickly repair it by re-tightening it, or your bracket is connected to the wall via suction cups. If not, you’ll need to grab some tools and put in some elbow grease to remove and replace the bracket.
Remember that you may be able to repair a damaged plastic cradle, though this will only prolong its lifespan and it will still need replacing in the future. With how cheap showerhead cradles are, you shouldn’t spend too much if you do need to buy and replace your bracket.
3 Reasons Why You Should Add Reishi Mushroom to Your Diet
Superfoods are known as being great sources of large amounts of vitamins, minerals, and all that good stuff we need to be fit and healthy. That’s why they are called super.
There are many different kinds of superfoods out there, and while adding any of them to your daily routine may provide you with a boost of extra vitamins, we thought that today, we would focus on the many health benefits you could experience when you add Reishi mushroom to your diet.
So, if you’re looking for a way to increase your intake of antioxidants, minerals, and vitamins, keep reading!
What Is the Reishi Mushroom?
As part of the fungus family, the Reishi mushroom is one of the many super mushroom varieties that is believed to provide a number of different health benefits.
The Reishi mushroom grows in the hot and humid climates of Asia and has long been a staple in Eastern medicine.
The health benefits associated with Reishi mushrooms are often attributed to the presence of several molecules, like peptidoglycans, triterpenoids, and polysaccharides. Now, before you reach for a medical dictionary, don’t bother, because today we’re going to attempt to explain how these may benefit your health.
How Reishi Mushrooms May Improve Your Health
Here are only some of the amazing health benefits that Reishi mushrooms may provide for you.
1. Give Your Immune System a Boost
The immune system is the body’s first line of defense to help us ward off illnesses, infections, and diseases. And while the body does a pretty great job of keeping it in check all by itself, it can always benefit from a little extra help.
One of the ways we can help improve our immune system is through healthy eating and a balanced diet. The addition of the Reishi mushrooms is beneficial when it comes to the immune system as it has been shown to have an effect on one of the immune system’s main fighters, the white blood cell.
Reishi mushroom is believed to be able to increase the activity of a particular type of white blood cell which is particularly important when it comes to fighting off cancerous cells. While research is still ongoing, it couldn’t hurt to strengthen those white blood cells with a little bit of Reishi.
2. It May Increase Your Lifespan
The Reishi mushroom is actually nicknamed the “Elixir of Immortality” as it is believed to increase the human lifespan.
How does it do this?
Well, the presence of the polysaccharide molecule we mentioned earlier, as well as the high antioxidant count is what is thought to help here.
Polysaccharides and antioxidants are believed to help in ridding our bodies of free radicals. Free radicals are nasty and unstable atoms that can damage and threaten our cells. When cell damage is caused by free radicals, this can lead to cancer or speed up the aging process.
However, the addition of Reishi mushrooms is believed to prevent this from occurring.
3. It May Help to Fight Fatigue
Depression and fatigue are two conditions that can truly affect the quality of life. And while the free-radical fighting and immune-boosting qualities of the Reishi mushroom are often talked about, the impact it might have on the body’s ability to fight fatigue is often underrated.
The ability to help strengthen the immune system and fight off potential free radical damage means the body’s cells can concentrate on other things, and potentially allow your body to have more energy.
In addition to this, it’s believed that the Reishi mushroom is able to help regulate testosterone levels in the body which can help to promote better energy levels.
Get Your Fix of Reishi Today
Reishi mushroom is a super simple addition to your diet. Reishi can be eaten fresh or it is readily available in powdered extract forms, which makes it even easier to add to meals, smoothies, and dishes. If you’re looking for Reishi mushroom powder in Australia, look no further than Superfoods Australia, the leaders of organic and ethically sourced superfoods in Australia.
9 Benefits of Gardening for Young Scholars
As remote learning becomes the new norm, students have more time to spend at home. For people with backyards and gardens, this new normal presents an opportunity for students to reconnect with nature by taking up gardening.
But while students take care of plants and flowers in their backyards, they still need a reliable essay writing service to help them complete their school work. For this purpose, students can use EssayService, one of the best writing services available online. Once they are done with the homework, young scholars can enjoy growing and nurturing plants in their gardens.
This article covers the importance of gardening for young scholars. Continue reading to find out why you should consider this activity a full-time venture or part-time activity.
Educates Them About the Environment
In this current era of climate awareness and sustainability initiatives, children can learn more about the environment from gardening. By bringing kids closer to nature, they will better appreciate the fine details of their ecosystem as well as learn how the elements in the environment interact to promote growth.
Also, some institutions are now using gardening programs to educate their students about the benefits of planting trees and flowers in the modern world. Students enrolled in such programs can also take advantage of paper writing services available online. To find good ones, they can start by checking out Essay Hub reviews on NoCramming.com.
Boosts Their Creativity
Kids can improve their problem-solving capabilities by finding solutions to gardening problems. For example, if a water source is clogged, the student has to find a way to clear it up and get the water flowing as it should.
Also, experts claim that gardening is good for cognitive functioning because it exercises the memory-related nerves in the brain.
Serves as a Source of Exercise
Garden work is not all rosy. Sometimes, you’ll have to get your hands and garments dirty. In some cases, you might need to lift heavy equipment around the garden space or work in high temperatures.
Essentially, these working conditions help you burn calories and exercise several muscle groups in your body, which, in turn, helps battle obesity and weight gain in children.
Besides, outdoor gardening exposes you to direct sunlight — a major source of Vitamin D, which the body needs for strong bones.
Gives Them a Sense of Responsibility
Taking care of a plant is similar to owning and caring for a pet. You take additional measures to ensure they are nourished, watered, and viable at all times. By handing over care to the scholar, you help them understand how to care for the things they love.
Helps Them Develop Survival Skills
Gardening allows young scholars to learn how to grow their own food or live off the land. This skill will come in handy when other sources of food become unavailable, as we’ve seen in recent pandemics and armed conflicts.
Boosts the Immune System
With the prevalence of diseases that affect the immune system, any activity that boosts immunity is a welcome addition to the routine. Experts have also shown that kids who practice gardening have more robust immune systems because they are in constant contact with microbes.
And how does this work? First off, the immune system comes in contact with a microbe from a soil or compost sample. Then, the body gets used to these germs, which helps it develop a strong enough defensive mechanism to deter similar diseases when they appear.
Fosters a Sense of Community
When students work on a garden as a class, they need to collaborate. One student waters the plant, while another makes sure it gets enough manure and light.
By working together toward one goal, young scholars can develop a camaraderie that blossoms into long-lasting friendships. At the same time, dividing labor and monitoring individual contributions makes the project participants better at working together.
Helps Them Eat Healthy Foods
Dedicating time to grow your own food gives a sense of fulfillment that comes full circle whenever you eat the food. For young students, this sense of contentment serves as a justification for them to eat fruits and vegetables, even if they are picky about eating them. And by doing so, they can introduce healthy meals into their diets.
Being in nature helps young scholars relieve stress and decompress after long days of studying. And when you are in the presence of beautiful flowers and budding plants, you’ll feel some mental relief.
Scientists have also identified horticultural therapy as a means of using gardening to relieve stress and improve social skills. The American Horticultural Therapy Association has also outlined guidelines to help gardening enthusiasts and students build therapeutic gardens.
Gardening brings kids closer to the environment and helps them find effective ways to solve problems. It also boosts their immunity by introducing them to germs. And in terms of eating, gardening helps young scholars manage their diet and eat healthy fruits and vegetables.
Maximizing Your Garden Space for Year-Round Enjoyment
Spending time in a green area—be it a park, forest, or your very own backyard—brings about an array of benefits, including a significant reduction in stress levels, enhanced focus and alertness, and higher energy levels. Unfortunately, statistics show that most families in the US spend around 90% of their time indoors, with many children and adults firmly glued to their phones, tablets, and desktop devices. If you have a garden, you have a true gift that many people across the planet do not have access to—a healing green space that is 100% your own. To make the most of it, consider incorporating one or more of the following elements into your landscape design.
Setting Up a Greenhouse for a Fun Family Activity
A garden needn’t simply be a place of passive rest. Study after study has shown that being active in the garden through the pursuit of horticulturalism, can hone various skills ranging from hand strength to self-esteem. A greenhouse is a comforting, enclosed space where family members can work together for sowing seeds germinating tender crops, and other tasks, together, away from technology and its isolating effects. Those with green thumbs can also take a few activities outside the greenhouse, setting up a vegetable garden or trying their hand at aeroponics or other unique, water-saving ways of growing produce.
Designing an Appealing Deck
In order to entice family members to spend more time outside, creating a comfortable patio adjacent to the garden will definitely work. Beautiful wooden decking, comfortable outdoor furniture, shade sails or retractable awnings, and a fire pit are examples of exterior features that make great investments. A designer deck, for instance, can add up to $100,000 to the value of your home, yet installing decking can cost as little as $3,400 (approximately). Your patio should face the most beautiful aspects of your garden—be they flower beds, stately trees, or outdoor sculptures.
Enticing Your Kids Outdoors
Children need to spend time outdoors to stay active, hone skills such as strength and flexibility, and become confident about climbing trees, jumping, and testing their limits (in a safe, supervised fashion). You have many choices when it comes to keeping them happy. One is to build a treehouse. If you’re not up for something quite so architecturally challenging, then buying a ready-made fort kit (which contains flexible poles and joiners and which can be used to make large and smaller forts alike) is a great way to give them a space of their own. You can also choose a scenic part of your garden for swings, a slide, and a playhouse. Make sure the flooring is soft (wet pour fours are ideal) and rubbery to withstand the impact of falls and jumps.
Your garden is so much more than a place in which to rest or enjoy a glass of wine while watching the sunset. It has the potential to accommodate a greenhouse, designer deck space, kids’ space, or even a pool! The ideal garden has a bit of everything—the beauty of nature combined with the ability to encourage human beings to get active and create an important and consistent bond with the Great Outdoors.
How to Start a Landscaping Business
If you’ve got a talent for reshaping gardens, then you might be tempted to start a career as a landscaper. It’s something that there’s considerable demand for – given that gardens have a natural tendency to become overgrown and to generally fall into disrepair.
But to succeed as a landscaper, you’ll need the skills to achieve respectable results. Moreover, you’ll need to be able to market yourself and liaise effectively with clients and sub-contractors. Perhaps most importantly, you’ll need a few basic business skills.
Let’s take a look at a few steps you’ll want to take before getting your landscaping business off the ground.
People who start profitable landscaping businesses tend to have experience in the industry, to begin with. But this isn’t necessarily a requirement. If you’re willing to pick up the skills by working in your own garden, and working at first for friends and family, you can gradually pick up the skills you need.
To keep yourself covered, you’ll need to be qualified for all of the services you’re going to offer. You’ll need to be aware of any risks posed by equipment and materials like pesticides. You’ll need to appraise your customers of these risks and take precautions in the form of protective clothing.
You’ll also need professional indemnity insurance, to cover yourself against potential mishaps. The equipment you’ve invested in will also need to be covered.
You can and should promote your business via multiple avenues. Look into print advertising that can be posted through local front doors. Think also about word of mouth, which may be your most powerful means of spreading a message. Most of your customers are going to be local, so be sure to promote your business as such.
On the Job
While you’re on the job, you’ll need to do a whole range of different tasks. It’s partly for this reason that the job is so satisfying. You may need to occasionally work from plans laid out by designers and landscape architects. You might need to install paving and water features, prepare the ground and prune trees and shrubs. But you’ll also need to be able to direct and instruct your workers to do the same thing, both verbally and via posters and other messaging, which can be used to promote safe practice. Make sure that you have a robust supply chain in place. If you can’t work because of a lack of basic materials and equipment, then you’ll end up losing money in the long term.
As your business grows, and you gain experience as a manager and a landscaper, you’ll be able to secure larger and more lucrative contracts. This can sometimes throw up legal difficulties. You’ll need to pay closer attention to your health and safety responsibilities, and possibly hire a dedicated solicitor to address them.
￼Low Maintenance Ideas for Your Garden
Tackling your garden can often seem like an overwhelming task but it doesn’t have to be! Here are some low-maintenance ideas for creating the garden of your dreams, so you can spend less time worrying and more time relaxing.
The best way to create a stress-free gardening experience is to start as early as possible. Start planning for spring and summer in the winter months and get a jump on your garden preparation. The first thing to do is to brainstorm some ideas for what you would like to achieve in your garden. Once you have a plan together, it’s time to start planting.
Plant spring bloomers nice and early, then when the sun starts shining, you’ll have a garden full of flowers without any work on your part. The same goes for seeding your lawn – plant grass seed early on to ensure you have a lush lawn ready for the summer months.
Install Composite Decking
It’s all well and good creating a beautiful garden full of shrubs and flowers but you need somewhere to sit and enjoy it. Installing some composite decking is a great way to create a low-maintenance seating area to relax on summer evenings with a glass of wine or for a barbecue.
Composite decking is a man-made material, unlike natural timber. This comes with a few unique benefits. Firstly, it is much hardier than traditional lumber, meaning it will last longer. Secondly, it is far easier to clean and keep in good condition, only requiring basic cleaning to keep it looking fresh and new. Thirdly, since it is man-made, it is often crafted from recycled materials, meaning it is much better for the environment. Finally, the nature of the material allows it to be very flexible in how it is designed, providing lots of options for the exact style you would like to fit in your garden.
The cost of composite decking tends to be slightly higher than that of traditional timber, and will of course depend on the size of the area you are hoping to have decked. However, the long-lasting nature and easy upkeep of composite decking will offset the cost significantly. Have a look at the options available and see if they would work for you!
Start a Low Maintenance Project
There are plenty of fun garden projects for the whole family that can really add something to your space, but without lots of hassle! A compost heap is a great way to recycle food waste and help the environment. Even better, it is a very easy thing to get started with, only needing a place for you to store your compost. Once you have a heap going, it will take care of itself with minimal input from you and produce fertilizer to keep the rest of your garden healthy. Win-win.
Another great, low-maintenance project is installing some insect houses in your garden. Unlike bird feeders or tables, insect houses do not need to be periodically filled with food – just hang them and leave them to attract their occupants. Different types of houses will attract different types of insects, so have a look around and decide on which critters you would like to welcome into your garden.
There is nothing worse in the winter than watching your borders turn into a barren wasteland as all of your plants lose their leaves. A great way to combat this is to plant evergreens in the borders of your garden. These plants won’t lose their leaves when the cold comes and will ensure that your garden is always surrounded by a thick layer of greenery for a luscious space every month of the year.
Reduce the Size of Your Lawn
Related to the previous idea, consider reducing the size of your lawn by expanding your borders. While it is nice to have lots of space to move about on, lawns require a lot of upkeep, water, and nutrients. Border plants and shrubs on the other hand need far less maintenance. By increasing the size of your borders, particularly with evergreens, you will have a garden that feels rustic and bountiful all year round, as well as one that requires much less water and input from you. An added bonus is that the reduced water usage will also make your garden more environmentally friendly and better for the planet.
Consider an Artificial Lawn
While reducing the size of your lawn will reduce the upkeep you have to do on it, consider going one step further and putting down an artificial lawn. There are now many options available for synthetic turf that looks and feels like real grass but does not come with any of the associated maintenance. There is of course an upfront cost to having artificial grass put in, but the money and time you will save not needing to look after your lawn will quickly add up. Plus, with artificial grass gone are the days of your lawn turning into a mud bath over the winter, ensuring you have a rich layer of turf year-round.
Hopefully, this has given you some ideas for how you can start to create a low-maintenance garden for the whole family to enjoy. There are many ways for you to reduce the hassle of your outdoor spaces, so let your creativity run wild and start crafting the perfect, low-maintenance garden now in time to enjoy it this summer.
How to Take Care of Your Furniture
The right item of wooden furniture can make or break a room – especially if it’s solid wood. But to get the best from these items in the long-term, you’ll need to put a little bit of effort into care and maintenance. You don’t need to be a skilled carpenter to do this, and in many cases you can do it with tools and consumables you can pick up cheaply from good DIY shops.
Furniture-making, at its heart, is the art of getting different pieces of wood to stick together. A skilled joiner can create joints that not only look the part, but that can withstand pressure and punishment.
Occasionally, however, a joint will break – or even just loosen slightly. If you notice that this is happening, then you can often fix the problem with the right adhesive. This will likely prevent more serious damage from being inflicted.
Wooden furniture should be cleaned only using non-abrasive substances that won’t strip away the finish. Anything containing ammonia should be avoided, as this will inflict a lasting stain that you won’t ever be able to get rid of. Instead, go for mild soap and water. Then rinse with just water, before patting dry.
If your furniture is starting to look a little bit on the dull side, then it might be time to treat it to a new finish. This might mean sanding back the existing finish, sweeping away any loose sawdust, and then applying several coats of the new finish. Waxes, oils and paints each have their distinct advantages. It might be that you want to go for something different from what you already have. On the other hand, you might elect to swap like for like.
Bear in mind that MDF and other fibreboard can’t be re-finished in the same way as solid timber (and plywood faces). This is because it’s made of tiny bits of sawdust, which will soak up the finish rather than displaying it.
Fill in Scratches
It’s inevitable that your wooden furniture will accumulate scratches over time. These can usually be fixed with a little bit of wood filler. You can match the colour of the filler to that of your timber, or to the paint that’s covering it. Put in more than you need, so that it’s slightly proud when it’s wet. Then sand it back so that it’s flush. If you’re going to be finishing again, then make sure that you fill any scratches beforehand.
4 Tools to Start Your Career as a Professional Gardener
Working as a gardener can be intensely rewarding. You’ll spend your time out in the sun, and you’ll be physically active. What’s more, you’ll have the flexibility that comes from working for yourself.
Professional gardeners have slightly different requirements when it comes to tools than amateur ones have. You’ll need equipment that’s able to cope with constant use, and deliver reliable results every time.
Several items stand out as particularly
Heavy Duty Gloves
When you’re gardening, you’re going to be dealing with rough, spiky and potentially finger-damaging equipment and environments. Consequently, it’s essential that you invest in appropriate protection for your hands, in the form of a solid pair of work gloves.
If you injure your hands, or even just expose them to chronic low-level damage, then you might quickly find yourself unable to work effectively. This will hurt your income.
Spades come in many shapes and sizes. You’ll want to have a selection of them to hand, so that you can turn to them when the relevant task presents itself. You’ll want a border spade and a digging spade. The former comes with a slightly flatter blade that’s more manoeuvrable in tight spaces.
Carbon steel is lighter and more resilient than the stainless variety, but it’ll need to be treated well and looked after if you’re going to get the best from it. Similarly, the shaft of the handle can be made of metal, fibreglass, wood or plastic. Personal preference, and the task at hand, will influence your decision.
Similarly, you’ll want several different types of hand trowels at your disposal. You might look for trowels with different lengths and breadths, or with bladed edges for easy sawing and chopping through any roots that get in your way. You can pay anything from £10 to £100 for a quality trowel – and it’s better to get a handful of good ones than to have to keep replacing the cheap alternatives.
A rake is one of the tools that you’ll reach for frequently. Look for one that’s matched to your height, so that you don’t have to waste energy, or stoop unnecessarily. Like all of the tools we’ve mentioned, rakes come in a range of different styles to suit a range of different purposes. The landscaping rake is the one with many short metal wires that shoot out of the end in a fan formation. It’s ideal for levelling out surfaces, and for collecting debris, like leaves.
Affordable AC Installation in St. Petersburg FL – Licensed AC Installers in St. Petersburg FL
When your air conditioning unit in your St. Petersburg, Florida, home stops working, there are only two options you can use to get the problem resolved. Basically, you can either fix the existing system or install a new one. You can start by troubleshooting the issues, as explained on this page, and checking if those can be fixed. If not, then you should resort to getting a new unit and installing it.
In case you have bought a brand new home in St. Petersburg, then you will also have to think about installing an AC unit because you want to be sure that the temperature will be kept just right in your house and you want to be comfortable inside it. Anyway, whether your old unit has run its course or you are simply moving into a new home and need to buy an AC, one thing is for sure. You’ll have to have it properly set up.
Do you think you can do this all on your own, though? You might be feeling optimistic enough to try it, but here is the thing. Unless you’ve spent a lot of years working as an HVAC technician yourself, there is no way you’ll be able to go through the installation process all on your own. What does this precisely mean for you, though?
Well, I am certainly not saying that you should invite some friends to help you out because that won’t be a good idea either. In short, what you have to do is find and hire the right professionals from St. Petersburg, i.e. licensed AC installers, and let them do the hard work for you. I suppose you do understand why hiring these experts is the best possible move.
If you’re still adamant to try this on your own, you should at least get properly acquainted with the process: https://www.thisoldhouse.com/heating-cooling/21015106/adding-central-air-unit Anyway, while you might understand that hiring experts in your area is the right move, there’s one thing that might be confusing you. Basically, there is a chance that you don’t know how to find and hire the best people for this job. Well, that’s about to change, since I’ll share some tips that will help you in that process. You’ll find them below.
It is always the right move to start this process by getting a few recommendations from the people around you, i.e. people who have already had their AC units properly set up. They will be ready to recommend certain installers if they have had great experiences with them. Of course, they could also tell you which installers to avoid in the event that they’ve had some troubles with them. In any case, talking to the people you know is a good start.
Check Experience & Reputation
Whether you get recommendations from the people around you or you find some potential installers online, your next step should always be the same. Simply put, you should check their experience and their reputation, because you want to choose highly skilled, experienced, and trusted installers to do the work for you. The good thing is that you’ll manage to do the research and find the necessary information online.
Have A Conversation With More Companies
Now, if you think that you are ready to make your choice after you’ve done the above-mentioned research, you are certainly wrong. There are still a few significant steps to take. For instance, you’ll need to have a conversation with the Gulf Coast Heating & AC of St. Petersburg companies that you have come across. You should use these conversations as an opportunity to ask any questions you have and ensure that the entire installation process is perfectly clear to you, as well as to check specifically how each of those companies operates.
Apart from that, you should also use those conversations as an opportunity to talk about the prices of the installation services they are offering. These can be different from one contractor to another, and it is your task to do the comparisons. Keep in mind, though, that you should never make your final hiring choices based simply on those prices because quality is what matters most.
5 Types of Flooring to Consider While Buying a House
When buying a house, you consider many factors, such as its condition, location, price, and the like. You want your home to be a place where you can live with comfort and ease. And with that, you need to consider the layout of the rooms, the space, or even the furniture. The type of flooring used for the house is as essential as the other factors.
There are various types of flooring to choose from, but picking the right one for your home can be a challenge. However, it is not just about the design, style, and appearance but also durability and longevity.
To help you pick the correct type of flooring for your house, here are some of the most popular choices, including hardwood flooring, natural stone, carpet flooring, and laminate flooring:
Tile flooring is one of the traditional choices, especially for the bathroom and kitchen. This type of flooring is not as easy to install as laminate or carpet, but it is certainly worth the effort.
Tile flooring can be made from various materials such as porcelain, ceramic, marble, and the like. It comes in multiple colors, too, so you can choose the one that best suits your taste and preference.
Tiles are known for their resistance to moisture and water, and they can also last longer than most of the other flooring types. For example, terracotta tiles are famous for their timeless beauty, elegance, and durability. They have been used for centuries to construct buildings and structures, especially in the Mediterranean region. Nowadays, this kind of flooring is used for indoor and outdoor flooring alike. And you can easily find reclaimed terracotta tiles for a more eco-friendly and affordable price.
Depending on your preferences, style, and budget, hardwood floors can be made from various trees, such as oak, teak, hickory, ash, and so on. Many people choose hardwood for their homes because of its natural beauty and elegance. Besides, this kind of flooring is also known for durability and longevity.
The different types of hardwood floors have their characteristics and qualities. Although they all have in common, they are relatively easy to maintain, they can be costly, especially those made from less common tree varieties.
Natural Stone Flooring
Natural stone flooring is another popular type you can choose for your home. There’s a wide range of stones to pick for your floor, such as marble, granite, limestone, travertine, slate, etc. Natural stone flooring has its advantages, one of which is its durability, but it may not be the best fit in terms of thermal insulation.
The high cost of natural stone flooring is another thing that you should factor in, especially if you will install it in your whole house. However, if you are looking for something elegant and stylish for your home, natural stone flooring is certainly a good option.
Carpet flooring is among the most affordable options; it is highly effective at insulating and is suitable for a house prone to extreme weather conditions. However, its affordability comes with a different price – the soft surface of the carpet makes it vulnerable to dirt and stains, so you need to put a lot of time and effort into maintenance.
Nonetheless, carpet flooring is more prone to lose its luster and beauty. Only the proper maintenance can prolong its longevity, but it still won’t serve you as long as other flooring types.
However, if you are looking for an affordable floor for your house, carpet flooring is undoubtedly a good option.
Laminate flooring is another quite affordable type. It will provide you with comfort and, contrary to carpets, it is pretty durable, given its resistance to scratches and stains. However, laminate flooring can be prone to damage when the moisture content in the air is too high.
Similar to carpets, laminate flooring can lose its beauty after several years, but you can still make it look new again with proper maintenance. It can be re-vamped with an electric sander and additional layers of laminate. Moreover, laminate flooring comes in various styles and color schemes to be a good choice for any home.
To Sum Up
When looking for a home, it is essential to consider all factors that can affect your life inside and outside of your house. Flooring is among the most critical features that determine the house’s look, feel, and aesthetic. You have to take your time to choose the right flooring for your home, especially since the cost can be pretty high.
Picking the best floor for your house is not an easy task, especially with so many types of flooring to choose from. Still, you can select the flooring that will suit your taste and lifestyle the best with some research and preparation.
4 Reasons Why You Should Consider a Full Body Checkup
While it’s undoubtedly true that a healthy lifestyle, exercise, and a balanced diet are vital if you want to keep yourself in good health, it’s just as important that you don’t forget about going for regular checkups.
Doing a full body checkup includes a range of tests for all body systems. The results will let you know how well your organs are working and whether there’s anything you should be concerned about. It’s a great way to determine the overall condition of your body. Still, it can also help in the early detection of different diseases, increase your chances of getting more accurate and better treatment, and reduce the cost of healthcare in the long term.
Diseases do not discriminate, and rather than being convinced that something can’t happen to you, it’s better to stay safe than sorry and make sure that you do regular checkups. Below, you will find more helpful information on the topic.
To Detect a Disease Early
Going for regular checkups can help you detect a disease in its early stages when you might not even know it exists. There are millions of people suffering from diseases but don’t even know it. By performing a routine screening, whether it is a sexual test, an X-ray, or a detailed study of kidney function, it’s more likely that the doctor will diagnose severe or even potentially life-threatening conditions and will be able to start the treatment as soon as possible. In some cases, you might even be able to treat the disease without going through unnecessary invasive procedures due to how early it was detected.
To Reduce the Cost of Healthcare
It’s no secret that healthcare can be very expensive, and while most people don’t want to be thinking about this until they need it, the fact is that both you and those who will be taking care of you will probably be better off if you go for regular checkups.
Because the early detection of certain diseases allows you to receive appropriate treatment, you may save lots of money in the long run. A complete body checkup can offer you peace of mind and let you avoid going through what could be unnecessary and expensive treatments. While it’s true that screening does have some financial implications, you should also know that a routine checkup is less likely to involve invasive techniques or surgeries.
To Learn the Risks of Developing Certain Conditions
One of the most important benefits of a complete body checkup is that it helps you learn more about the risks associated with developing certain conditions, such as Alzheimer’s or heart disease, and what you can do to prevent them. Older adults develop more health conditions due to the natural process of aging, but knowing what the risks are and how to keep yourself safe will be an excellent advantage for the future.
Moreover, your doctor will also ask about any health issues that run in your family to ensure that the necessary precautions are in place and that the family history is taken into account when it comes to medical decisions.
To Create a Personal Medical History
When you make sure to get regular checkups performed by the doctors you trust, you can receive medical care that’s tailored to your personal needs. The results of the checkups will let your doctor know exactly what measures are needed, which issues should be addressed, and what the best plan for your future treatment might be. It is a great way to receive personalized medical care that can be much more effective in preventing diseases and keeping you in good health.
It is also an excellent opportunity to build a trust-based relationship with your doctors. It will give you the confidence to be as open and honest as possible about your medical issues and concerns. It will also enable your doctor to notice more details about changes in your health, and you won’t have to worry about disregarding any symptoms that don’t feel right.
To sum up, doing a complete body checkup is not just for detecting diseases in the early stages or preventing them from occurring in the first place. It’s also an excellent way to improve your overall health, especially if any conditions run in your family or you’re at a higher risk of developing certain diseases due to other reasons.
Regular full body checkups will help you maintain a good quality of life and let you feel more in control; it may also save you lots of money in the long run. You will undoubtedly feel more at ease thanks to being aware that you’ve done everything in your power to check whether there are any potential health concerns.
7 Ways to Keep a Pet Safe in the Garden￼
We are a nation of pet lovers, and whether you are a dog or a cat person, the safety of your beloved friend is paramount. Dogs especially need access to a garden, and making sure that the garden is safe is essential. With cats, you have a more individual animal that will do its own thing, and they need to have a safe environment to live in.
We’ve put together a list of seven things you can do to ensure that your pet is safe in the garden, so let’s get started.
Ensure Fences or Hedges Are Secure
There is some excellent advice at cockapoohq about safety for dogs in the garden, and we want to talk about our ideas. This means installing a secure fence or, if you prefer, a dense hedge that the dog cannot get through. If you already have one or the other, it is essential to check it once in a while to make sure it is not damaged in a way that may allow the dog to get through it. This one doesn’t apply to cats, but a secure boundary is vital for dog owners.
Keep Chemicals Stored Out of Reach
Making a garden dog friendly and safe for cats means keeping any garden chemicals out of reach of the animal. Items such as fertilizers and weed killers can contain ingredients that are poisonous to animals and humans. Anti-freeze should be kept out of reach of cats, especially as they are attracted to it, and it will more than likely kill them if ingested, so any spills of chemicals of this type should be dealt with carefully.
Be Careful What You Plant
It may surprise that many popular garden plants can be dangerous for dogs if they eat them. It is not unusual for a dog to eat plants, so you need to be careful what you put in your garden. Daffodil bulbs, for example, are toxic for dogs, as is the amaryllis. Yew berries and leaves are also dangerous to animals, while many other plants that may grow wild or be cultivated should be avoided. Click the link for more information.
Fence off Your Pond
If you have a garden pond and a curious dog or cat, you should install a fence around it. Pets can get into trouble in the water, and there is a real risk of drowning. This also applies if there are small children in the home. Some dogs like water and will be entirely at home in your pond, while those not familiar may get confused, so it’s best to make sure the pet cannot reach the pond.
Don’t Leave Tools Lying Around
Tools such as saws can cause injury if a dog or cat stumbles upon them, ad they should always be put back where they belong and locked away safely. Power tools should always be unplugged and put away, as accidents happen.
Keep Gates Closed
Finally, keep gates that give access to your garden closed and, if possible, fit them with an automatic closing device. Ensure there is a polite ‘Please Close the Gate’ sign visible for people coming into your garden. A dog is a curious animal and will take every chance to have a good look at the outside world!
We hope that we’ve helped you with some helpful advice on keeping gardens safe for your pets, so check your hedges and fences now and make sure your dog cannot escape easily.
How to Carefully Pack and Store Your Plants When Moving
Preparation is crucial when planning to move your household items. However, it would help if you were more prepared when moving plants. This is because transporting plants is not an easy task. You need to consider various factors such as temperature, weather, and mode of transport.
But with a bit of preparation, it might not be a stressful procedure. By planning how to move the plants carefully, it is possible to relocate them without damaging them.
You can choose to hire commercial movers or move the plants by yourself. But there are a few things you need to consider to ensure everything goes well. Below are essential tips on packing and storing your plants when moving.
How to Pack and Store Plants When Moving
1. Consult the Authorities
If it is a long-distance move, you need to consult the authorities. This is because there may be restrictions when moving plants from one area to another. Some states prohibit the moving of dangerous plants.
So, before you start packing your plants, make sure you have the green light to relocate them. You do not want to be on the wrong side of the law.
2. Take Care of Them Before Moving
The next important thing you need to do is take care of your plants before moving. For instance, you need to replace the old soil with a fresh one. This is to ensure you do not transport bugs from one place to another. Also, you will ensure you do not infect your car or the moving truck.
In some states, you may need to get a certified inspection. Hence, call the local agricultural department to plan for an appointment. After inspecting the plants, they will give the required papers to present to the authorities.
Also, two to three days before moving, water the plants. Make sure the soil is moist but not soaked. It would help if you kept the roots damp when in transit.
3. Pack the Plants Properly
The next step is to pack your plants. It would help if you packed them properly, to protect them from cold, heat, and sunlight. Therefore, you need to get suitable packing materials.
Happily, you can be creative when packing the plants. For instance, you can take a craft paper of the same width as your plant. Then wrap the paper around to make a cone shape at the top. You can use staples or tape to keep the form.
But for delicate plants such as succulents or cacti, place them in a box and cushion the empty spaces with towels or bubble wrap.
4. Store Them Safely When Moving
When moving the plants, you need to store them properly. You do not want them to get damaged or break your other items. It is recommended you pack the in the back seat of your car. Here, it is a bit tighter, and it might not slant.
But if you are moving the plants in the truck, make sure several items are packed around it. This will ensure it does not fall over.
5. Take Care of the Plants During the Move
During the warm weather, make sure you regularly stop in shaded places and open the windows to allow fresh air in. Also, during the cold weather, make sure you maintain a comfortable temperature inside the car.
In addition, do not expose your plants to direct sunlight or harsh winds. During stopovers, make sure you take your plants inside as well. It is not a good idea to leave the plants inside the car throughout the night. But make sure you do not crush the branches or the leaves.
6. Take Care of Your Plants After the Move
After reaching your new home, take care of the plants as soon as possible. Unwrap them and then water them. But give them a few weeks to recover from the moving shock.
Some plants may wilt or lose leaves. However, you need to note that this is normal and will be back to normal after settling in.
7. Take a Cutting
If some of your plants are too cumbersome or big to relocate, the best option is to take a cut. Use a knife to cut a healthy growth, and remove any excess leaves. But make sure you keep the cutting as moist as possible.
Hence, wrap it with damp towels or paper, then secure it with a rubber band. The cutting will start to root after some days. That is the time to be replanted in the new place.
Moving a plant is not a simple process. Whether you have done it before or your first time, the process is a bit complicated. You need to research the new place’s climate and the soil.
Happily, you can hire professionals such as NYC movers to help you with the move. But before you choose a moving company, it is essential to compare the quotes. In addition, not all movers agree to move plants. So, research well and ensure you select a reliable moving company.
Biggest Design Errors and How to Fix Them
Decorating your home can prove to be a challenging task, especially if you don’t have much experience with interior design or feel overwhelmed by the abundance of different ideas.
Most homeowners have one common goal: to create a cohesive look among various rooms to look their best and not look like a collection of random trinkets. You’ll need to choose the right furniture, the perfect paint colors, and the ideal decor accessories for every space. This leaves a lot of room for making mistakes, but there’s no need to worry, as there are many quick and easy ways to fix every design misstep.
With that being said, if you feel like you could use a few easy tips, we’ve prepared this article just for you.
Comfort is an essential factor in creating a cozy and liveable space instead of turning your house into one extensive showroom. There’s no need to sacrifice comfort for aesthetics, so try to keep this in mind when shopping for furniture. If possible, always try to go to the store and try out sofas or chairs for yourself because what looks great in the pictures might be incredibly uncomfortable in real life.
Look for sectional sofas with stuffed cushions and choose fabrics such as cotton or linen. Clear plastic or rattan chairs might look great from a distance, but they can be impossible to sit on for longer than a few minutes without proper cushions. And don’t hesitate to decorate your home with small touches that can improve comfort even more. For instance, a soft footstool or pillows can go a long way in making your furniture more comfortable – you can check the best adjustable pillow here.
There’s no shame in saying that you love classic and neutral colors. The truth is that they make for a safe and timeless choice, but at the same time, they can get pretty dull after a while. That’s why it might be better to mix them up a bit.
For instance, if you choose to paint the walls in your room in colors such as eggshell, ecru, taupe, brown, or cream, you can try to add some bold accents by choosing the right furniture or decorations. Different shades of green make for a great accent color, so feel free to incorporate them into the decor in the form of an armchair, curtains, blankets, or pillows. Dusty pink, teal, crimson or purple can also help arrange a visually-interesting space. Don’t be afraid to opt for bold accents to break up the monotony!
Light bulbs play an essential role in determining the mood in a room and have the power to make or break entire interior designs. For instance, yellow light bulbs are perfect for creating a cozy atmosphere that will make anyone feel relaxed and comfortable after a long day at work or school. They should work best in bedrooms, living rooms, as well as for outside lighting.
Cool light bulbs can also prove to be helpful but in different rooms. They usually work best in kitchens, especially if you’re going for a modern and sleek look, and in bathrooms that often have no windows and need bright lighting.
Overdoing It With Patterns
If you love patterns, then there’s nothing wrong with using them liberally throughout your home; however, it would be better if you chose to stick to a few essential rules when mixing patterns. Try to use similar colors and use them on objects that vary in size.
Chevron and herringbone are pretty versatile but can be overwhelming in large quantities; that’s why it’s better to keep them for things like vases and pillowcases instead of grand wall art. It would help if you also kept in mind that plaid rarely works with polka dots, and floral prints don’t go together with animal prints – there’s too much going on at once.
Following these simple rules will help your house look much more harmonious and balanced in the end, especially if you use complementary patterns rather than striking ones that aren’t likely to complement each other well under any circumstances.
Usually, people like to decorate every room in a way that makes each of them look unique, but at the same time, try to keep them connected with the others. However, this might prove to be a big mistake if you don’t mix up your accessories and furniture enough.
For example, if you have an elegant living room, keeping the same sofa in your study might be an easy but boring choice design-wise. The same goes for decor. If you find a piece of art that you like, you might feel tempted to buy more of it and set it in every room. Instead, you could perform a Google search using keywords to describe this accessory and find similar items that will help you create a cohesive look.
Additionally, even if you like a particular shade of green or blue, using them as accent colors throughout the house might make your decor look dull. Instead, try to either go for different shades of your favorite colors or take a look at the color wheel and find opposite colors to create exciting contrasts.
Designing your home can be a very rewarding experience, especially if you take your time to do it right. However, it can also be pretty challenging, especially these days, when we’re bombarded with new trends on each step. That’s why knowing how to avoid and fix the most common interior design mistakes is so important. By following the tips in the article above, you’ll be able to create a visually-appealing space that you’ll be happy with for years to come. Good luck with transforming your space!
Chic Modern Dining Room Ideas to Style up Your Space
Modern dining spaces are more appreciated than traditional design because they still give alluring and classy looks. Although modern means sleek and streamlined, it doesn’t have to be too formal, making the area more welcoming. But what is modern design? What furniture and accessories should you get?
There isn’t one answer to those questions. You can make a statement with modern art and graphics, or you can opt for a more minimalistic look. If you want your dining room to be a happy place, you probably want to make sure that it’s in the best shape for everyday use, as well as for get-togethers and parties.
Whether you need some inspiration to redecorate or design your new home, get ready to take notes from the chic modern dining room ideas to style up your space below. It will surely impress anyone who comes over to your house. Read on!
Do you have a minimalistic approach throughout your home and want your dining area to have the same style? Choose accessories and paint colors that will add dimension to the room. Since you picked pieces that play well with your furniture, you can stick to having the “less is more” feel without it feeling unfinished.
There are endless ways to pull this look together. For example, if you have ever wondered what is hybrid flooring and how it can help you, you should know that it’s a great way to add depth and texture to your dining room. Let’s say that you have a white-and-black patterned floor; you can add dark-colored chairs to make a bold statement.
A statement piece is something that sets the tone of your dining area. If you’re looking to bring in a beautiful centerpiece, traditional artwork, framed photos, and other art pieces are great ways to add interest to your space. It doesn’t make sense to go with cheap-looking pieces to create that chic look.
Another idea is to opt for a beautiful rug. To create a modern feel, choose colors that are neutral or cool tones. A nice rug will also help you define the different areas in your dining room, like the living room and the kitchen. On top of that, it adds a softness to your space.
One of the things that can make any space more modern is a vibrant portrait or piece that creates a purposeful and tasteful look. Sleek angles and stark lines of modern furniture can make an area of your home feel cold. A pop of color to an oversized piece can bring that contemporary tone with a cozier and warmer feel.
Modern style has a different meaning for everyone, but the bottom line is that it gives you a chance to experiment with designs and colors that scream “fearless.” You may already have a striking modern chandelier, as well as soft-toned chairs, so try an extraordinary graphic rug to bring all your pieces together.
Speaking of walls, there’s another way for you to get a modern dining room design besides painting it – bold wallpaper. You can even use a simple shade then experiment with accents and patterns without overpowering the space and furniture, and it will make your dining area unique and interesting.
Glass is an excellent material to use in modern dining spaces because it makes the area pops with light and makes the space feel bigger. Glass tables, chairs, and chandeliers can all make your room look more spacious while still being contemporary. If you’re using glass items in your dining room, choose a soft-colored floor such as cream or white to enhance the light quality.
If you have a home with a traditional design, it’s not right to go modern all at once. It’s best to layer your space with different styles. You can start by painting the walls of your dining area a soft shade such as gray or beige and add a few more modern pieces. Mixing elements from different eras can create a unique feel. And don’t forget that you can always use accents such as rugs, flowers, and artwork to spice things up.
A cozy dining room is one of the essential areas in your home because you spend a lot of time there with the family. You want everything to be just right, including lighting and décor. A great way to make your dining area feel more comfortable is to add some beautiful throw pillows on a sofa or couch. The next time you and your family have dinner together, you can take a little break and lounge around.
Are you ready to go for a chic modern dining room design? If you’re looking for a new way to make your space pop, it’s time to take a closer look at some of the pieces above. All of them are easy to style and install. Don’t forget that the success of your design depends on how well you combine all the elements. So, go on and choose what’s best for you!
Is Well Water High in Iron Bad for Plants?
Many areas have soil naturally rich in iron. Iron-rich soil always looks a bit orange, depending on how much iron it contains. But if your soil’s color has recently changed from brown to orange, it could be because you’ve been watering your garden with iron-rich water.
Since well water contains more iron than tap water, you’re more likely to water your plants with iron-rich water if you use a well.
Effects of Iron-Rich Water on Your Plants
Having iron in your water isn’t always bad for your plants. Plants need some amount of iron to flourish, but there’s such a thing as too much iron. Plants draw iron from the surrounding soil as they grow and develop.
When you water your plants with iron-rich water, you add more iron to the soil, which leads to a buildup of soil iron over time. Here’s what happens when there’s too much iron in the soil:
1. Overexposure of Plants to Iron
With too much iron in the soil, your plants are exposed to more iron than is safe for them. They may droop, lose their color, or even die.
2. Plants Lose Other Minerals
Excess soil iron can make it harder for plants to absorb other necessary minerals like phosphorus and magnesium, two essential minerals they require to survive. Plants need phosphorus for cell division and photosynthesis. At the same time, they need magnesium to produce chlorophyll, which gives them their green color. Chlorophyll also helps plants produce sugars and starches. With too much iron in the soil, your plants miss out on these important minerals. You can expect your plants to experience discoloration, trouble controlling photosynthesis, and weak roots.
Unbalanced levels of several other important elements, like zinc and manganese, are also expected with too much iron present.
How You Can Remove Excess Iron from Well Water
Iron exists in our water in different forms, but ferrous iron is the most common kind of iron found in well water. If your well water contains a lot of iron, you need to take steps to reduce the iron content. You can achieve this by using an iron water filter. You can also lower your well water’s iron levels by treating it with a water softener or an oxidizing filter.
There are different types of iron water filters, some of which are more effective than others. To choose the right iron filter for your home, you need to know the kind of iron present in your water and how much there is. You can find out the exact form of iron by conducting a water test. Take a water sample and head down to a lab near you. There’s the option of using water test kits, but lab results are often more accurate.
Your lab test results will determine the kind of iron filter you should get. Sediment or carbon filters won’t remove dissolved ferrous iron, but they’ll be effective against low amounts of ferric iron (which causes red, brown, or black deposits to form). Moderate and high concentrations of ferric iron can only be removed using a more advanced filtration device.
You can also remove iron from your water using a water softener. Water softeners work by trapping positively charged mineral ions in a resin tank filled with negatively charged resin beads and exchanging them with sodium ions. Water softeners remove iron from water to some extent, but they may not be the best choice.
If you’re filtering out ferric iron with a water softener, you’ll need to filter it first with a sediment pre-filter. Most water softeners can only remove up to 3 ppm of iron. They work well for low iron contamination, but using them on highly contaminated water can permanently damage them.
If you have a water softener, you can rely on it to remove hardness-causing minerals and low levels of iron contamination. But to fully optimize your home’s water filtration, install an iron filter along with your home’s water softener.
Can I Bring a Dead Succulent Back to Life?
If there’s one type of plant that we know to be trending not only because it’s pretty but also for its low maintenance, that would be succulents. Succulents are naturally resilient and drought-tolerant. As such, they will most likely survive even if you forget to water them every once in a while.
Then again, this doesn’t mean that they’re completely invincible. Just like many other plants, succulents need certain things to survive, including water. What if your succulents are already dead? Is there a way to revive succulents? That’s what we’re going to talk about today.
Can You Bring a Dead Succulent Back to Life?
In all honesty, no. If your succulent is already dead, there’s no way to bring it back to life. However, there are ways to revive a dying plant. As long as there are still signs of life in your plant, there’s a chance to save it. You can expect the process to be challenging, though. Just like us, the closer plants are to the brink of death, the harder it will be to revive them.
Have you ever wondered if you have what it takes to save a dying succulent? Before we move on to the actual steps, there are two things you need to determine.
1. What Type of Succulents Do You Own?
Is it a tropical or desert succulent? Knowing your succulent and its specific needs will help you ascertain the root cause of the problem. At the same time, it can also help you choose the best revival steps later on.
2. What’s the Cause of the Issue?
Speaking of the root cause, that’s the next thing you should figure out. Knowing the issue is critical if you ever want to stop what’s happening to your plant, resolve it, and more importantly, prevent it from happening again in the future.
The Most Common Causes of Succulent Death
There are usually five common causes of succulent death: overwatering, too much sunlight, neglect, abrupt temperature and weather changes, and pests and diseases. To know the reason your succulents are dying, let’s talk about each one.
The most common cause of succulent death is overwatering. As mentioned, succulents are drought-tolerant, so they don’t need as much water as other plants. Overwatering your succulent can lead to root rot and disease.
The fact that they are drought-tolerant doesn’t mean they would love to get burnt by the sun. Exposing your succulents to too much sunlight can scorch their leaves and may even lead to their demise.
Though hardy and low-maintenance, your succulent plant will still need care. The failure to provide them with what they need is a sure way to kill even the most resilient of plants.
Aside from the potential damage that the summer sun’s heat can cause, succulents also don’t like being left outside in the wintertime to freeze.
Finally, your succulents can get cross-contaminated with disease from other plants or even attacked by pests.
After figuring out the issue, you can now move on to the next step: resolution. Here’s what you can do to save your dying succulents:
- If your succulent is dying due to overwatering, consider repotting it into a more well-draining medium and container.
- If the issue is sunburn, you should relocate your plant to a spot where it can receive bright yet indirect light. Relocation is also a good solution to save a succulent dying from the winter chill.
- There’s no resolution for neglect other than taking better care of your succulents. For example, if you feel that they are too dry and thirsty, the best way to revive them is to give your plants a good soak.
You can do this by placing its pot in a larger container with about a couple of inches of water. Allow your succulents to sit there for a while until you feel the topsoil already getting moist. Don’t let your plant soak for too long to prevent drowning it.
- Finally, there are different products and organic formulas (some you can even prepare yourself) you can use to save your succulents from diseases and insects.
Bringing Your Succulents Back to Life
One of the reasons many people love growing succulents is their resilience. Sadly, this translates to some people as a license to neglect their plants.
Once your succulent has completely died, there will be no way to revive it anymore. However, there are some steps you can take to save a dying plant, as long as you see that it’s still showing some signs of life.
You will need to determine what type of succulent you have and the root cause of the issue before you can revive it. Once you’re able to account for them, you can then move on to try the various tips we shared. Good luck and happy planting!
Don’t Move, Improve: The Best Ways to Achieve Your Dream Home
It seems fair to say that most of us have spent a lot more time in our own homes over the last couple of years than we maybe would have previously. And when the time came when we could finally step outside of our own four walls and think about heading further afield, the UK property market hit us with a painful dose of reality. Housing prices have been going up and up for a long time now, and experts have warned us that we should not expect this trend to change any time soon.
With that in mind, why not think about the ways in which you can bring your property closer to the perfect home you have in your mind? It is so easy to put these changes, upgrades, and major alterations off because we think they are going to be expensive, or because we think they are going to be hard work. But these are the projects that can remind us why we fell in love with our homes in the first place. With that in mind, here are a few suggestions for how you can breathe new life into your property this spring.
Ask Yourself What You Want From Your Kitchen
The kitchen is the big beating heart of any home, but it is also one of those rooms that can leave us feeling like we are putting up with something instead of enjoying what we really wanted. We complain every time we struggle to find room for all of our shopping in the fridge that has been too small for our needs ever since we moved in. We mutter under our breath every time the oven fails to do what it’s supposed to in the time we were counting on.
If you have been putting up with something that is not making you happy for far too long, then it is high time to change things. Whether you have always wanted marble countertops, a kitchen island, or new appliances, treat yourself to the heart of the home that you can be proud of.
Make Your Garden Feel Luxurious
With spring coming in, we are all looking forward to spending a lot more time in our gardens. The winter has felt endless, with long stretches of freezing cold and torrential rain. During those months, it can be tempting to write the garden off completely. We’ll pop out every now and again when the sun is shining, sure, but apart from that? Well, now is the perfect time to think about how you can give your outdoor space an upgrade.
If your garden has felt purely functional for far too long, then there are several different ways that you can make it feel more elegant and luxurious. Consider adding decking to give your outdoor seating area more definition. Could this be the year that you commit to learning how to raise flowers and plants? If you plan on doing a lot of relaxing outdoors this year, you should absolutely consider looking at awnings or a veranda. They will help you to enjoy your outdoor time no matter what the weather is doing. Nationwide Home Innovations has decades of experience in this area, and they can help you find the perfect awning, louvered patio roofs, and glass veranda for your home.
Get Your Bathroom In Order
While the kitchen may be at the top of most of our lists of most-wished-for improvements, the bathroom tends to come a close second. We always tell ourselves that we will get around to reworking our bathrooms when we move into a new property, but it is so easy to keep putting it off. It is impossible to underestimate the impact that a refitted bathroom can have on your home.
Why spend another year wishing that you had a different shower or bathtub? Why not see how much difference slatted blinds would make to the lighting in the room? It can be as bold as underfloor heating or as simple as new faucets on your bathroom sink. But given how much relaxing we do in the bathroom; you owe it to yourself to really make it somewhere you enjoy spending time.
The Home Office Is A Priority
With the restrictions lifting in the UK, most of us are heading back into the office for at least a couple of days a week. However, we are still spending the rest of the time working from home and you really need to have a space that works for you. Stop making do with working from the kitchen table and think about how you can create a home office that fosters productivity. Look at fully committing to turning that spare room into a bright and organized space where you can get your best work done, and that you can close the door on at the end of the day.
How to Use an LCR Meter
An LCR meter is the name of a specialized measuring instrument that is used for the purpose of measuring the typical parameters of electrical components. LCR meters specifically measure a physical property called impedance, which is the opposition offered by a circuit to the flow of current that goes through it.
L refers to inductance, with C being capacitance and R meaning resistance. This device is a dedicated meter that comes with a high degree of accuracy in its measurements.
If the operation of a precision instrument is not standardized then there is the risk of damaging the instrument, which can result in an inaccurate measurement result. Therefore, it is of vital importance to make sure LCR meters are used correctly.
How to avoid common LCR meter mistakes
In order to avoid common LCR meter mistakes, it is important to make sure the device is correctly grounded. Users need to ensure that they are utilizing the three-phase AC power cord that came with the LCR meter.
Avoid making use of autotransformers, lead wires, or power cords that do not have to protect grounding conductors, or else the grounding protection is likely to fail. Proper grounding is vital to preventing the creation of static electricity that can cause damage to both the LCR meter and the user.
Before starting to make use of LCR meters, operators should be certain that they have checked the polarity and the quality of the AC power source. LCR meters usually use a voltage of 100V, 120V, 220V, or 240V. The standard grounding resistance value is <1Ω, with the voltage being <1V between the neutral and ground lines. It may sometimes be necessary to configure a UPS (uninterruptible power supply).
The LCR meter needs to be stored in an environment that is both clean and dry. The ambient temperature of the storage environment should not be higher than 35C, with the best working temperature ideally being between 23 and 25C.
Cooling fans and cooling holes need to be checked on a regular basis and cleaned before any problems can develop. Making sure that the working environment is kept clean is of vital importance due to the fact that the LCR meter can be damaged by dust because of static electricity, with the dust accumulating on the fan sometimes preventing the LCR meter from starting.
DC voltage or current should not be applied to unknown terminals or you risk damaging the LCR meter. The capacitance should be checked to make sure it is free of charge prior to the capacitance is measured. Being both the LCR meter and the device being tested is connected or disconnected, the power should be turned off.
The device being tested should not be placed outside of the fixture for testing. The bias current should be outputted or turned off via the DC Bias button, which can be found on the LCR meter’s front panel. The current should not be disconnected by replacing either the cable or the device that is being tested.
LCR meters are available in both analog and digital forms, though the latter tends to be more accurate, and are ideal for performing precise, direct measurements of capacitors, inductors, and resistance that make use of different test frequencies.
Growing in Pots: 9 Secrets to Successful Container Gardening
Growing your container garden is a fun & easy way to unleash your creativity & add some color to your outdoor space. The best thing is that container gardening is not limited to a balcony garden. You can have your container plants anywhere like patios, walkways, front doors, decks, etc.
Container herbs are your saviors when you want to grow your food but are tied up with limited time & space. You can grow anything from a mini-farm to a specimen tree with the right pot, soil, and place.
You have endless choices when it comes to container gardening. Railing baskets, fish tanks, cedar boxes, half barrels, resin pots, storage totes, and even kitchen sinks can grow vegetables. Below are some secrets to growing these versatile plants successfully.
Choose the Right Container/Pot
Your container should have adequate drainage. When you water your plant, the water should quickly move through the soil & effectively out of the hole in the bottom. The herb may suffer when the water sits in pots after heavy rain or simple watering. So having suitable drainage holes are necessary.
The growth of the plants largely depends on the soil mass as well. Small hanging baskets of 10-inch are tempting but they are quite inefficient to grow a healthy plant. Hangers with at least 14 inches of diameter are preferable.
Some plants require sunlight, and some don’t. For instance, plants like Bromeliad, Chinese Evergreen, and Dumb Cane don’t need sunlight to grow. It’s essential to put the pot in the blazing sun only if it helps with the herb’s growth. Try to know the amount of sunlight your plant requires and place the pot accordingly. That is a prime requirement for the health of your plants.
Feed the Right Soil Mix to Your Plants
If you fill the containers with garden soil, your plants will deteriorate. Your containers must contain lightweight and well-draining potting mix. A 50-50 blend of compost and potting mix is advisable, as the former will add nutrients and hold the soil moisture.
You can mix a slow-release fertilizer in your potting mix and continue doing the same every week. It will also give the plants the nutrients they need to grow.
Water Your Plants
Water is the most significant ingredient required by your plants, especially rainwater, it is warm, soft, and charged with oxygen. Ensure that you allow the container soil to dry between watering.
Watering is also necessary because after the water transpires through the plant, its space in the soil is replaced with oxygen-rich air.
Only Good Neighbors Should Stay Together
When you place multiple plants in one pot, you should consider if they will be good neighbors to each other or not. If you place multiple plants in one pot, they should require the same amount of water, sunlight, and moisture. Plants with different needs will not thrive together.
Read the Tag
Tags are crucial to know all about your plants. They will inform you about the needs of your flora, such as how much food, water, and light is required. It will help you provide them with everything it needs in optimum quantity.
Tags will also inform you about the structure, growth rate, shape, etc., which will help you arrange the combinations depending on the container designs.
It’s vital to know that container plants require more nutrients than garden ones. The high need for nutrients is due to the soil volume in the roots. Markets are filled with fertilizers that are organic or synthetic.
You should choose the one your plant needs depending on the tag. You can get to know about it through a quick internet search, or you can ask the salesperson as well.
Remove Dead Flowers
Removing the dead flowers will restore your plant’s energy and make the soil healthy. Along with improving the look of your plants, it will help grow more flowers, leaves, fruits & vegetables.
Get a Cure for Pests
Flower buds & leaves can be damaged when pests start to take place in your well-maintained plants. Snails, slugs, earwigs are just some of them. You should recognize the pest based on the trails and then remove them. For instance, slugs often leave a slime trail.
You can peel off the slugs easily & remove them. You can also spray insecticide directly on the insects (not bees and ladybugs). Just give the leaf-top and bottom a good drenching, and you are good to go.
These easy steps will take you one step ahead towards having the perfect container garden. It will give a colorful and aesthetic look to your home and the many health benefits that comes along.
7 Tools That Every Backyard Gardener Should Own
While there may be snow covering your property at the moment, if you are an avid gardener, you are likely making your plans for the spring. If you have been inspired by the movement towards a more sustainable lifestyle and dream of growing your own food, you will want to arm yourself with all the tools you will need to be a garden warrior.
For most gardeners, working with plants is about more than growing vegetables. It’s about nurturing the soil and the seeds so that they can produce a vital bounty. Many people get out in their gardens as part of their relaxation routine. Whatever your reason for loving the garden, it’s important that you have the right tools to get the job done.
If your gardening passions extend to the rest of your property’s landscaping, you could have a lot of spring chores in the near future. If you plan on pruning your trees with a chainsaw, you will need a pair of chaps to start. Safety should always be a priority when you are working on your yard or your garden. Let’s take a closer look at some of the must-have tools that every backyard gardener should own.
No respectable gardener’s work belt is complete without a hand trowel. This handy and sturdy tool can help you dig out those stubborn weeds, prepare your soil for transplanting, and add new plants to your garden. If you spend a lot of time in the garden, you will be using your hand trowel often and should purchase one that is durable and has a firm grip. To prevent rusting and extend the useful life of your hand trowel, it should be cleaned and dried after every use.
A gardening spade is a very handy tool for the garden. Whether you are digging holes for new plants, dividing rooted saplings, or edging your new garden space, a spade is the right tool for you. Your spade should have a long handle and a flat edge, unlike a shovel to do the job properly.
Cleaning up leaves in the fall isn’t the only chore for which your rake is good. Your rake can be a handy gardening tool. When you are ready to clean up your garden beds, your rake can be very helpful in the spring. It can help you to remove rotting leaves, turn the soil and remove clogs from your beds. For your comfort, you should have a rake with a sturdy and long handle that is covered with the right grip material.
Water is the nectar that helps your garden grow into beautiful maturity. If you are going to be spending lots of time in your garden this spring, you will need a sturdy and reliable garden hose to help with your work. Traditional garden hoses can be bulky and heavy to carry around the yard. You may want to invest in a retractable hose that is light and easy to work with.
The key to keeping your garden looking great is knowing where and when to do some pruning. To do the job right and with ease, you will need a reliable pair of pruning shears. Ensure that you get a set of shears that fits your hand and aren’t too stiff to operate easily. To extend the life of your pruners, you should rinse and dry them after each use. You should have your pruning shears sharpened at the beginning of the gardening year.
Gardening can be hard work, and your hands will take the brunt of your labor. If you will be spending any time in the garden, you should have a quality pair of gardening gloves. Gloves that have rubberized palms are a good choice to help protect your hands and keep them dry. Working with gardening gloves helps you avoid small knicks and cuts from your plants and be safe from the toxic fertilizers you use in the garden.
Spring is a time for planting in the garden, which means a lot of physical labor. If you are putting in new plants, you will want to have a wheelbarrow to help you carry your load. Carrying heavy bags of soil, pavers, or mulch can be tough on your back. Use your wheelbarrow to move the heavier loads around your garden.
If you are itching to get your hands dirty and bring your spring garden to life, make sure you have these essential tools. Every backyard gardener needs the right tools to make their gardening chores easier and more enjoyable.
When we think about a wildlife garden, we tend to think about thatch-roofed cottages surrounded by the sprawling British countryside, but many don’t consider that, in fact, our city and suburban gardens can be perfect for wildlife too.
While not home to the same creatures you might find out in farmlands and meadows or along riverbanks, there is, in fact, plenty of wildlife that passes through urban areas, and some that even takes up permanent residence. If you’re looking at attracting more critters to your garden, then take note of our top tips for turning that urban garden area into a haven for wildlife.
The foundation for attracting wildlife into your garden is to get planting. You don’t necessarily have to plant in the ground, but, if possible, this is the best choice as many insects like to live in the moist soil and dirt beneath your plants and flowers. Flowers will attract pollinating insects, most notably bees, to your garden, which are great for the environment as many plants require these bugs to breed.
This symbiotic relationship between plants and pollinators is a very important one, as bees will help keep plant populations healthy, and the nectar that bees take from these flowers sustains them and their hives. Pollinators also partly serve as prey for larger insects and birds, further strengthening the food chain.
Consider Wild Growth
A great way to attract a wealth of interesting creatures is to let nature do its thing, of course, with a bit of a push. Plant a wild assortment of native plants in a space and allow it to just do its thing. Grasses and wildflowers are perfect for wild growth areas and serve as a perfect hiding place for so many different creatures, from rodents to creepy crawlies.
This undergrowth will also provide these creatures with shelter for hibernation and rest. You could even allow a part of your lawn to grow wild, even if you cut the rest of it. Just be careful when cutting plants back, especially grass, as there could be countless things living within.
It’s very common to want to fully secure your garden, especially in the city, and while we’re not suggesting you take down any fences, you have to remember that if you’ve closed up holes and gaps in every wall and fence, the only creatures that will be getting into your garden are things with wings or those that have good climbing skills.
The best kind of border to provide cover and security, as well as access to wildlife, is a hedge, especially one that either has plenty of spikes or one that remains green and full all year round. Allowing this increased access will let creatures in like hedgehogs and foxes that may not have otherwise been able to deal with your fences or walls.
Another great method of attracting animals to your garden is to turn it into a handy rest-stop for birds. Adding feeders and birdbaths is a sure-fire way of attracting birds to your garden very quickly. Visible seed dispensers and fat ball holders will draw passing birds in, as will birdbaths. These baths also function as a means for birds to hydrate as well as clean themselves or cool off.
You can find loads of great bird supplies online from dedicated sellers like Little Peckers. They sell everything from different types of wild bird food to tables and even tools for deterring squirrels. Although, remember that squirrels need to eat too, and it may be worth getting a specific squirrel feeder alongside your squirrel-proof bird feeders so that everyone is happy!
You don’t necessarily need a fixed pond to have aquatic life in your garden. Of course, if you have the means to do so, this could be a great addition to your wildlife garden. If you can’t dig out a pond, you could use a large pot or another sturdy container to add pond life to. You can add everything from lily pads to rushes and even some amphibious creatures to it as well.
Remember though that, while frogs and newts love to spend most of their time underwater, they actually need to rest on land at times too. If you’re going to put some in your makeshift pond, make sure they have a way to get out and down to the ground, as well as back in again.
Homes for Insects
Providing undergrowth for bugs to live in is great, but some insects actually prefer to find tiny holes in tree trunks, walls, and fences, which they can squeeze into and, in some cases, block up for added security.
You can get what is often known as a bug hotel, a selection of holes of varying sizes suitable for many types of creatures like ladybirds, spiders, solitary bees, and wasps. The creatures living in these homes are great for your garden, as many eradicate pests and try their hand at pollinating.
Liven up Your Garden Area With Large Plant Pots
Gardening is an amazing hobby for most individuals. It takes you close to the beauty of nature. You get to raise plants that would remain seeds if you do not nurture them.
Many people use gardening pots to decorate their garden. If you have little or no space in your garden, gardening can be a challenging hobby. However, with 15-gallon pots, you can grow large plants and trees in a limited gardening area.
Gardening pots are available in different shapes and sizes. You need to consider the area and the type of plant you want to grow in the pot to choose the right one. These pots would enhance the beauty of any plant.
15-gallon nursery pots give you the pleasure of fulfilling your gardening passion by planting large plant pots. Big gardens around the city use these pots to grow large trees around.
Read on to learn what you need to know about gardening pots.
4 Reasons to use large gardening pots
Here are a few positive reasons to place large gardening pots in your garden:
Design and Beautification:
15-gallon planters add a sense of beautification and versatility to your garden. They allow you to lend instant color to your area. Large pots are placed indoors to add an artistic touch to your house. They add to the beauty of your home décor.
Whether you place them outdoors around the wall or mount them on the windowsill, they look extremely attractive. Not only do they add color and ambiance to your balcony but they also serve the purpose of having a welcoming decoration in your house.
You can either place a single or a group of pots on your outdoor patio or balcony. However, it is best to arrange small and large pots in a group. This would give a good visual effect to your house. Moreover, you can place different shapes of pots in a particular area to add more design and style to your house.
Easy to move around:
The best thing about 15-gallon plastic pots is that you can take them anywhere you want. Planting trees and shrubs in the garden without plant pots makes it impossible for you to move. You have to uproot the tree or plant to change its place. When you use plastic pots in your garden, you can choose to either place them indoors or outdoors. You can change the position of the pots whenever you feel like it. There is no risk to the survival of the plant.
Large plant pots allow you to have a beautiful garden on your terrace. You can place a few pots on your terrace in an organized manner and uplift the look of the house.
If you are planning to plant large trees in your garden, 15-gallon tree pots are going to prove to be quite useful. You’d be able to make your garden appear organized by positioning the pots in a proper manner.
Moreover, if you have limited space in your garden, you can manage the growth of large trees with 15-gallon plant pots. You can plant a couple of pots with single rosemary species and put them in a unique way to add a touch of beauty to your terrace.
Oftentimes if you plant trees in your garden, they grow in an unorganized manner making the garden appear unattractive and shabby. With tree pots, you can make your garden look beautiful and adorable.
Large plant pots hold more soil:
You can plant flowers, shrubs, and trees in any size and shape of the pot. However, if you want to plant something that requires enough root space, you should consider buying a large plant pot.
You need to choose the size of the pot carefully. During hot summer weather, the small pots tend to dry up quickly. You need to water them often. If you want to resist temperature fluctuations and keep the soil moist for long, you should choose large plant pots for your garden. Moreover, to keep the soil cooler, you should opt for light color containers.
It is essential to have a drainage hole in the pot you choose. Without a drainage hole, the plants might die. Make sure that the holes are large enough to drain the water out.
You can bring so many variations to your garden with large plant pots. Different varieties of plant pots are available that cater to every style and taste. Lots of pots can also be customized according to the size and color you want.
Whether you want to seed a few herbs or you want to plant large ferns, garden pots are a must-have. They become the center of attention in your garden. You need to make sure that you water them properly and feed them on a regular basis. Remove the dried-out leaves and deadheads of the flowers. If you want to keep the pots looking beautiful, cut off the plants that don’t grow properly.
Tips for Choosing the Perfect Spot for Your Greenhouse
Before you start construction on a greenhouse, you’ll need to find the perfect spot on your property to place it. You want it to get plenty of sunlight and be close enough to your house that you can take care of it easily, but far enough away that the greenhouse doesn’t steal too much heat from your home during the winter months.
As discussed in this full article, there are many choices you need to make when building your greenhouse, but location plays the most important role in its effectiveness. It’s worth taking the time to find the right spot if you want great results with minimal effort. Below we’ll explore five expert tips to help you choose the perfect site for your greenhouse:
1. Consider Your Climate Zone
Your climate zone (arid, mild/warm, or cold) can have a huge impact on your greenhouse site. Try to find a place that is suitable for your specific climate zone. If you’re building in an arid climate, for example, finding a site that receives plenty of moisture and shade will help keep your plants alive during dry spells. If you’re setting up in a cold or windy climate, it’s especially important to make sure you pick a spot with good shelter; trees, and buildings that help shield your greenhouse from high winds.
2. Pick an Area With Easy Access to Utilities
You’ll need to run electricity, plumbing, and other utility lines to your greenhouse. Make sure you find an affordable way to connect those utilities to your site. Some greenhouses are fully off-grid, relying on rainwater or a well water source. This might limit where you can put your greenhouse if it’s not near an existing water source. If you’re lucky enough to have a choice in your location, pick an area that makes for easy access to running water and electricity.
Additionally, consider where you will keep your equipment when it’s not in use. Many commercial greenhouses have attached storage buildings or sheds. Are there several nearby options, or do you need to be close to a busy road where trucks can pull up and deliver materials and supplies? How many times per day will you need to access your tools and supplies? Plan accordingly and build your greenhouse in a location where you can easily access essential tools and supplies.
3. Consider Pest Pressure
Another major factor in determining greenhouse placement is whether or not there’s a large pest population near your proposed site. Your greenhouse should be protected against pest infestation. There are a few extra precautions you’ll want to take, depending on your geographical location. Remember, pests in one region may not be present in another; pay attention to what local farmers face when choosing your site and prepare accordingly.
4. Choose a Spot With Enough Room for Expansion
An important part of planning your greenhouse is choosing a site with enough room to expand. If you have your heart set on a specific location, find out if it has enough space to accommodate growth. You might think you’ll only need an acre or two now, but what about in 10 years? Plants grow quickly, so if you build a greenhouse that’s too small and then need to upgrade in a year or two, you’ll have to move it, and that can be an expensive process.
5. Don’t Compromise on Safety
All greenhouses need a place to store pesticides, chemicals, and other potentially hazardous materials. Make sure you choose a spot that won’t endanger local wildlife or groundwater supplies in case of leaks or spills. Ask any neighboring landowners if they are concerned about safety issues, as well. Check with local regulatory agencies to ensure your proposed site is zoned properly.
Wherever you decide to site your greenhouse, make sure the site is at least two feet above potential flooding or high-water marks. Water damage can result in costly repairs and could compromise your greenhouse’s structural integrity. Choose a spot away from areas that are likely to be hit by storms or hurricanes. Additionally, if you plan to work with sensitive or rare plants, or if your greenhouse will operate on public property (such as an educational institution), you may need to pay extra attention to its safety.
Greenhouses serve many functions, but they must stay warm enough to grow crops year-round while also remaining cool enough to prevent your crops from cooking themselves to death. Choosing the right spot for your greenhouse can be tricky since it can seem like there are dozens of factors to consider when narrowing down your options. However, with proper research and preparation, you can easily pick the ideal spot and have your greenhouse in place within no time.
Hempwood: Laying Down the Foundation for a Greener Future
Hemp is the low-THC-bearing cousin to the marijuana plant. Since the 1800s, fiber hemp has been utilized for everything from rope to textiles. With the re-introduction of hemp in 2018, hemp products have flooded the market. From clothing to plastics, it is all being done with hemp. While there are many hemp-based products in the industry, there remains only one manufacturer of HempWood®.
HempWood® is a hardwood alternative that is made from full-length hemp stalks with both the fiber and hurd included – no decortication required! HempWood® can be used for making lumber, flooring, woodturning blanks, and even DIY kits. This hardwood alternative is sustainable, healthy, durable, and all American-made.
HempWood® starts within 100 miles of the factory located in Murray, Kentucky. All of the hemp used for production is sourced from local farmers. “By keeping the hemp close, we support the local agriculture community and cut down on transportation cost, which we can pass along savings to our customers,” Plant Manager Tommy Copeland said. After the hemp is received, this is where Fibonacci, LLC -the parent company of HempWood®- gets to work. From seed to flooring, it only takes 150 days. For traditional domestic hardwoods, it takes anywhere from 60 to 100 years to produce hardwood flooring. HempWood® is about 100 times faster and it even sequesters carbon from the atmosphere.
“No, this building material won’t get you high if it burns,” CEO Greg Wilson said. “It doesn’t even smell like marijuana.”
In addition to hemp, another healthy material is utilized – soybeans. Once the hemp is put into production, it is submerged into the soy-based adhesive, which has no-added formaldehyde. Fibonacci, LLC opted for this adhesive, so the health of its consumers is not sacrificed. Unlike other building materials, HempWood® Natural Flooring has no detectable VOCs levels, meaning that you are not subject to illnesses such as sick house syndrome. “It has been said that LVT makes up 50-80% of new floors in the US,” Parsons Healthy Designs Lab said. While LVT is a popular option many are unaware of the negative impacts on their health. For more information about healthy flooring materials, go to Healthy Materials Lab | Flooring.
“Get good in, you’ll get good back is our philosophy,” said Wilson. In addition to the good materials and responsible manufacturing processes, HempWood® Natural Flooring is durable. This flooring has a Janka rating of 2,200 lbf, which is about 20% harder than American white oak. HempWood® Natural Flooring can even be refinished up to four times. This flooring option not only matches your lifestyle but will uphold for your lifetime.
HempWood® Natural Flooring is going beyond the stigma of marijuana. It is an American-made, sustainably sourced hardwood that offers both durability and peace of mind. For more information on the newest hardwood on the market, go to www.hempwood.com.
Corded vs Cordless Hedge Trimmers: What You Need to Know
Thanks to the marvels of lithium-ion battery technology, power tools have gotten a great deal more mobile over the past decade or so. This advantage is particularly noticeable if you’re using your tools outdoors, where there isn’t always easy access to a power outlet.
If you’re in the market for a hedge trimmer, then you might wonder whether it’s worth investing in something cordless – or whether it’s better to go for a traditional corded one, instead.
For gardeners, a hedge-trimmer is a fairly indispensable piece of equipment. You want yours to be easy to use – that way, you can be sure that you’ll stay on top of the task of keeping your hedge in good condition.
But is a cordless hedge trimmer worth it? Let’s take a look.
Why Go Corded?
Corded trimmers tend to offer more power than their battery-powered equivalents. This means that you’ll be able to get the job done faster, often using less power overall. You also won’t have to worry about the environmental cost of creating the batteries in the first place.
Since you won’t need to charge a battery, corded trimmers can also be much more convenient. You just pick up the device, plug it in, and get going. What could be simpler?
Why Go Cordless?
Going cordless can be incredibly liberating. You’re no longer tethered to the power outlet, and you don’t have to invest in another extension cord. Just remember to keep your battery charged, and to keep a spare one so that you can rotate and work uninterrupted.
Then there’s the problem of the cord itself, which can be a trip hazard. If you manage to cut through a cord, then you face a costly fix – and, naturally, you put yourself in danger. Given that the tool in question features a set of reciprocating teeth, this is an issue.
On the other hand, lithium-ion batteries tend to lose their ability to dispense power and hold a charge over time, which means that your hedge trimmer won’t ever be as powerful as it was on the day that you bought it.
While you can buy replacement batteries later, and most batteries are compatible with those of the same manufacturer, this is a little bit of an inconvenience. If you do shop for replacement batteries, make sure that you match the voltage, the amperage, and the polarity.
3 Reasons Why Farming Is One of the Most Dangerous Jobs in the United States
When you go to the supermarket and grab a gallon of milk, perhaps the furthest thing from your mind is the process that occurred in order for you to enjoy that nice cold glass of milk. And believe it or not, that process wasn’t without many hazards.
All across the country, those picturesque landscapes you might envision with a rustic fence leading up to a big red barn are far from the reality of what farm life truly entails. In fact, most farms look nothing like the images we associate within popular culture today.
The truth is, farm life is hazardous. And it can even be deadly. For example, it’s been estimated that approximately 400 farmers and farm workers die each year due to farm-related accidents.
If you work on a farm, or if you’ve ever thought about farming as a career, the following will detail why it’s an extremely dangerous job.
If you’ve ever wanted to start a vegetable garden, you probably bought a few seeds and some tools and got right to work in a promising corner of your yard. And while this might have been a pleasurable experience for you, just imagine doing this on a massive scale.
Large areas of farmland are home to a variety of critters. And though many of these critters are important for pollination purposes, many aren’t friendly to the growth and quality of crops. As such, large amounts of pesticides and herbicides are often used to prevent damage done by pests and weeds.
The major problem with using chemical herbicides and pesticides is that they have been linked to a variety of health problems, including various types of cancers. And these can be deadly if you’re exposed to these chemicals on a consistent basis.
If you look at most frontier landscape paintings, a large silo is often a part of the composition. But while these large storage silos might offer a romanticized image of a carefree farmland environment, these silos can also be quite deadly.
Perhaps the most tragic reality of a grain silo is the fact that just about every year a percentage of farmers and workers make a miscalculated step and fall into the silos.
Grains within the silos don’t offer a stable surface. In fact, you can think of falling into a grain silo much like stepping into quicksand. Eventually, you will sink and suffocate.
Additionally, working around the silos while loading the grain is also a dangerous job as particles and dust from the grains can make breathing difficult or painful. And this can translate into other respiratory problems over time as well.
As you probably know, large-scale farming often requires the use of heavy machinery such as tractors, plows, moveable irrigation systems, and many other pieces of large equipment. And much of this equipment can be deadly when operated without safety in mind.
For example, it’s difficult to see anyone who might be in the way if you’re plowing over a vast field of crops. And it’s not uncommon for a worker to get caught in the path of a plow or tractor.
Additionally, combines used to harvest crops such as corn are often the cause of a serious or fatal injury on farms across the country. As these machines use a large number of moving parts, if any loose clothing is caught, the combine can easily sever limbs or cause other life-threatening injuries.
Working on a farm is hard work, often requiring long hours and intense physical labor. This alone can cause major fatigue which can also result in a lowered state of situational awareness.
At the end of the day, exercising proper safety and maintaining awareness of your surroundings is your best defense for staying safe while working on a farm.
What to Consider When Replacing Exterior Doors
Exterior doors are the gateway to a home and are used to link different rooms in the house. Choosing the best fit door for your house that is well insulated and strong enough ensures that you minimize energy costs, you feel secure, and have the sense of privacy that you require.
When any of the doors in your house begins to rot have weak hinges and have difficulties in opening and closing, it means it’s time they are replaced. The replacement option that you settle on should fit your preferred design, style, and your budget. The following is a guideline that you can use when choosing replacement front entry doors for your house.
1. Exterior and Front Door Installation
This guideline on the best color and designs could best fit you and your home according to your personal preferences.
Find a color that best contrasts with the rest of the furniture in the house. Choosing the color of your door is not a tedious process as you can choose the color of the existing window frames and slides. Choosing a bright color is an inviting gesture to your home while a dull color could be a show of elegance. Modern doors from different materials like wood and steel come in a variety of colors.
B. Frame Type
Front entry doors require strong frames that can withstand bad weather, especially water. The frame should not rot easily or chip off due to extreme heat from sunlight. Frames range from the simple to fit ones to those that add to the beauty and safety of your door.
The door you want to use for a front door should be able to provide the attractiveness that you want your home to have. The door accessories that you plan to use for your door also add to the design of the door. The doorknobs, glass panels, and the door décor are some of the considerations you need to make before choosing a replacement door.
2. Patio Door Installation
These types of doors vary in size, shape, and design. Some of the common types of patio doors are;
A. Sliding Doors
This means that they are two attached exterior doors but one is stationary while the other slides open to facilitate entry. They are the best ideal for lighting and ventilation as they provide a wide view of the outside environment. Besides, they are also easy to open so if you have aged people and young ones, it would be easy for them to open.
B. Swinging Doors
They are usually paned doors that can be designed to offer a sense of security as well as provide you with a great view of the exterior environment. Swinging doors could either be single or double fixed doors depending on what you prefer.
C. Folding Doors
They are a perfect choice of patio entry doors as they add the entrance space and they come in variety according to the glass type and frame that you want. These doors ensure that you minimize energy expenditure in terms of cooling and heating the house as the majority of them are energy efficient when fitted well.
3. Provia Entry Doors
These exterior doors are built using the best quality materials, they are energy efficient and they can be customized according to your personal preferences. Most of them are made of steel which is a door material best known to last and cheap to maintain as servicing is not done often. They are also environmentally friendly as they do not chip off easily polluting the environment. They are considered the most durable door especially because of the material that makes them last longer.
Whatever type of door you choose for your home, you should ensure that it fits the preferences you want. The surrounding weather conditions are a consideration to make before you decide on the material you want your door to be made of. Choosing a door that is resistant to all weather conditions ensures that you do not need regular replacement or servicing hence saving on cost. The other important factor to consider is your budget. The type of door you choose should fit into your financial plans.
10 Best Questions to Ask Before You Hire a Landscape Designer
Want to make your home a tremendous place of living? It is a pain with no assistance from a professional landscape engineer! Read further on how to find only the best one.
In case you’re considering collaboration with a landscape designer, revealing the perfect fit (plus preventing the unexpected midway through the project) strongly depends on your knowledge regarding which questions to ask at the initial stage of your potential partnership. Meet 10 best queries you should ask before you delegate your home to a landscape engineer.
Seeking the greatest hiring places to initiate the search process of a landscape designer? It would be ideal to evaluate landscape design companies at Engre. Landscape engineers at B2B engineering marketplaces can do everything, starting from the support in choosing the right color of the flowers in a garden to constructing a terrace leading to the garden.
Can You Depict the Process in Details?
Begin the interview by asking a landscape designer regarding the whole development procedure from start to finish. It is vital to know the phases, from scheduling to installation. Discover the number of in-person appointments to expect. Ask whether certain consultations can be held via phone calls.
In case you want a guaranteed service to interact throughout the design process, ask a landscape designer the ideal method and period to communicate queries and challenges.
Can You Demo Samples of Your Former Solutions?
For example, in case you want a contemporary, sustainable city garden, ask whether they have designed any before.
As an option, if a specialist’s portfolio has nothing connected with the particular style you expect, monitor their credentials for proof of the education/training to bring the vision of your project to life.
Who Will Join in the Process?
A landscape designer’s process is based on the services they deliver. Getting to know who else will take part in the process to control each stage from the beginning is crucial for you to understand what to expect once the solution is finished. In case you are lucky to have a team of 2-4 landscape design specialists, ask who the key person is to negotiate modifications to the project or other significant cases.
How About My Solution’s Budget?
Frank communication about the estimated landscape project cost is a must. Ask a landscape designer for detailed pricing specifics for the development and the installation. The majority of installation estimates are created by landscape specialists depending on the cost per square foot of a designed area
Is My Project Vision Clear to You?
Find time to discuss with a potential landscape designer what your dream yard looks like and the scale of yard maintenance you are ready to undertake.
Check Pinterest or other resources to share samples of landscape projects you love. This will help you to explain what is in your mind. With this data, a landscape designer will prepare a 3D rendering of what your novel landscape will look like.
Ask then to explain the rendering to you to ensure both of you are in sync.
Where Do You Purchase Trees, Flowers, Etc.?
Though you don’t obligatory have to order local species, ensure that a landscape designer applies plants grown in your city. What for?
- Local plants usually cost less while plants from abroad can cost you a fortune;
- Such plants have more chances to survive as they don’t have to adapt to novel growing conditions. Moreover, they will be more resistant to pests and diseases;
- Local plants need less maintenance (they don’t require additional watering and care from your landscape services team).
What Deadlines You Need to Estimate the Solution?
Similar to any other home optimization solution, bad weather, and other unexpected issues can happen. So, you should be ready that the release dates for landscaping solutions can be complicated to determine. Don’t forget to let a landscape designer know whether you possess any deadlines (for instance, a planned party in the yard).
However, always remember about schedule-changing events that nobody can predict. Anyway, have a detailed communication with a landscape designer regarding all those things.
What Will Be a Typical Day for a Landscape Team on My Yard?
Planning conflicts frequently happen. However, you should ask the leader of the landscape team for a general idea regarding the timing to expect the landscape team to come and leave daily.
What Can You Recommend to Save My Budget?
Decks or patios are traditionally more costly compared to planted garden locations. That is why the higher percentage of hardscape you have in the 3D rendering, the more it will cost to install. Furthermore, the materials implemented for hardscape greatly vary in terms of installation specifics.
It is perfect to discuss the approaches to minimize the project cost to stay on budget with a landscape designer during the initial plan.
What Is a Must to Perform at the Moment and Later?
Ask a landscape designer what can be realized immediately to optimize your project and what is better to finalize at a later date. You will get a better idea of what aspects you should put in priority this season and what to start during the next one.
How to Design a House Surrounded by a Forest?
In the Twilight movie, when Edward finally invites his beautiful Bella to meet the family, we are granted a peek into the private life of the elusive Cullens. What we see is truly impressive – a gorgeous modern pad in the privacy of the woods. The Hoke House, as it’s called, so impressed the audience that many started dreaming about their serene residence surrounded by the forest.
Even though nature offers you a peaceful environment, it also poses a challenge for your dwelling. While planning a home on a wooded lot, you should consider how the trees will affect your property. During your design process, you will have to think about clearing the area and accessing natural light. There is also the matter of durability as your house will be exposed to different elements than in a suburban area. Finally, you will want your property to harmonize with its surroundings.
Designing a house surrounded by a forest might be a daunting task, but don’t let it spoil your enthusiasm. Here is a guide that will help you build the home of your dreams.
Clearing the Area
If you’re planning on building a house surrounded by trees, you will have to remove some of the first. Unfortunately, it’s not as simple as chopping down the tree and calling it a day. You have to remember that a forest is an ecosystem of interconnected elements and removing too many trees can cause damage to the area. For example, clearing on slopes may result in soil erosion and mudslides.
That’s why you have to be selective about deciding which trees to remove. It’s better not to disturb the areas that present a possible hazard. You might also want to leave the trees on the northern side because they will shield you from the cold winter winds, which will help you reduce the heating costs. On the other hand, it would be better to remove the trees from the southern side so as to have better access to the sunlight.
Of course, it’s better to alter your surroundings as little as possible. If you ask an Architectural Rendering Company, you may hear that there are many other ways to design the surroundings. But if you have to clear some of the areas, have a licensed arborist evaluate your lot and assess the trees before making any changes. Also, you should start the removal with sick and withered trees that pose danger.
Natural light plays an important role in your home’s design. It can make rooms look bigger and brighter or add intimacy to your living space. If your property is surrounded by trees, it’s likely that there will be less natural light coming through your windows.
You can harness this light by adding window walls, which will allow sunlight to enter your home through the huge opening they offer. This way, you will gain an excellent view of the stunning surroundings outside and let the air of serenity into your household. Moreover, you might reduce some of your heating costs during winter with the sun’s energy.
As your home is situated in the woods, you will most likely have to rely on artificial illumination during the winter months. During that time, try to choose lights that use warm colors such as yellow or orange. These colors will help create a cozy atmosphere and make your home feel warmer.
Even though nature contributes to the beauty of your home, it also poses a challenge for your dwelling. Your house will have to withstand the elements that are unique to the woods.
It’s best to build your house using materials that can withstand potential damage from the forest. For example, cedar is a great option as it is resistant to water and insects. It’s also much easier to maintain than most other woods. Alternatively, you might want to use a composite material that mimics the look of wood. It’s more expensive than cedar, but it can be a good investment as it is more resistant to termites, mold, and mildew.
Harmonizing With the Surrounding Nature
The natural environment plays an important role in your life and shouldn’t be neglected when building your dream home on a wooded lot. You should try to blend your home into the natural surroundings and make it look like it belongs there.
The best way to do this is to choose similar colors for your home like the ones used in nature. Many designers recommend using neutral colors such as beige or gray as they will go well with everything else on your lot – from furniture to landscaping.
You could also include elements that reflect the natural environment surrounding your property. For example, if you have a lot of trees around your house, you should consider adding wooden furniture and decor. This way, your home will have a rustic appeal that matches its forest setting. You might also want to include wooden beams or rough stonework in order to add an extra layer of authenticity.
Designing a house surrounded by a forest is nothing short of a challenge, but it is also one of the most rewarding experiences. If you put some thought into your design process,
you will be able to create a stunning dwelling that works well with its environment.
Such a home provides you with a relaxing environment filled with natural beauty that you can enjoy day and night. Take your time planning your new home, and don’t be afraid to ask for help from experts. As you can see, the perfect house surrounded by the forest is within your reach!
How Does a Greenhouse Work?
Gardening is a great way to get fresh air, physical activity, connect with nature, and spend time outdoors. But if you’re looking to take your growing operation to the next level, you should look into greenhouse construction. Ideal for large agricultural operations or even just your backyard garden, a greenhouse can extend your growing season, provide optimal growing conditions, and protect your plants from predators.
We’ve all probably heard of a greenhouse, but before you make the investment, it’s wise to do your research and understand your options. It’s also important to understand how a greenhouse works and how it affects the growing conditions of your plants. Well, that’s why we’re here to help. In this article, we’re taking a closer look at greenhouses and how this technology can help transform your growing season and plants.
We’ve all heard of this type of structure, but do you really know what a greenhouse is? A greenhouse is a structure that consists primarily of transparent materials for the roof and walls. In the majority of cases, glass is used to allow sunlight into the space, but it then cannot exit, which creates a warming environment. Greenhouses range in size from shed-like structures you might see in someone’s backyard all the way to industrial-scale operations where they can take up acres upon acres.
What is this all for? The purpose of this structure is to allow in sunlight, which warms the interior of the greenhouse while protecting the plants inside from cold temperatures, bad weather, and pests and predators like deer or rabbits. Greenhouses are popular and can be used throughout the world, especially in colder climates, to create an ideal growing environment for plants, herbs, or any type of produce.
Greenhouses are versatile and customizable and can be used by anyone, ranging from multinational companies to your neighbor who loves to garden. If you’re looking to grow in optimal conditions, a greenhouse could be beneficial for you.
Greenhouses are popping up everywhere—and for good reason. Take a look at just a few of the top benefits of having your own greenhouse:
- Your own growing space: have you ever dreamed of having your own dedicated growing space? If so, you’ll need a greenhouse. Don’t worry about clutter or determining the best space for your plants. A greenhouse does all that for you and even will help you finally get organized with your growing.
- Optimal growing conditions: by trapping heat and sunlight, a greenhouse creates ideal growing conditions for a wide range of plants and herbs. With a greenhouse, you’re in control of the growing conditions.
- Protection: spending time on your plants only to have them eaten or destroyed by local critters is one of the worst feelings. To keep your plants safe from pests like deer or rabbits, use a greenhouse that provides maximum protection. It’s also an ideal method for keeping out disease and fungi that can harm or destroy your entire yield. With a greenhouse, give your plants the protection they need.
- Extend your grow season: depending on where you live, you may have a rather short growing season, which can severely limit how much (and what types of plants) you can actually grow. A greenhouse changes all this by providing you with optimal growing conditions throughout the whole year. All you need is sun.
- Save money: while the initial construction of your greenhouse will, of course, require some costs, most greenhouse owners end up saving quite a bit of money in the big picture. Since you can extend your growing season, you can grow more and more types of plants or produce. And since a greenhouse provides protection for your grow, you won’t waste money on replacing damaged or dead plants nearly as often. It will also cut down on your need to buy expensive fertilizers throughout the year.
As you can see, there are quite a few reasons to use a greenhouse for your grow needs. Greenhouses will let you extend your growing season, and at the same time, protect your plants from pests and predators. But have you ever stopped to consider how this technology actually works? Well, let’s take a closer look.
A greenhouse works by allowing sunlight to enter your space. This is why it’s so important that the building materials are transparent, such as using glass. Light will enter the greenhouse and then the heat from the solar radiation is absorbed by the plants in the interior space of the greenhouse. Remember, the darker the surface area, the more heat is absorbed.
When heat is absorbed, the wavelength of the incoming light is changed. In this new length, the heat cannot exit the greenhouse as it was able to enter. So, effectively, the greenhouse traps these wavelengths of heat inside. The heat remains in the greenhouse and radiates throughout the space, warming up the environment inside. As long as you’re receiving sunlight throughout the day, your greenhouse and your plants will stay warm.
A greenhouse construction project can truly transform your growing operation—no matter how large or small. From a full-scale operation to a simple home garden, a greenhouse could be the perfect solution to help you grow the best plants yet. By allowing sunlight and heat into the interior space, the greenhouse traps heat and ensures optimal growing conditions for your plants, herbs, and produce. A greenhouse enables you to have complete control over the growing environment, which will end up giving you the best yield yet.
Building a greenhouse is ideal for any space. Since you can customize the size and shape of your greenhouse, it can suit any yard or full-scale operation. Extend your grow season, create an amazing growing environment, protect your plants from pests and predators, and create your own dedicated growing space. All of these are just a few of the benefits when you’ve added a greenhouse to your space. If you’re really looking to take your grow operation to the next level, there’s no doubt about it, a greenhouse is a must.
What Tools Do You Need to Start a Vegetable Garden?
Any beginner gardener can get easily overwhelmed by the variety of gardening tools available. Don’t let this confusion keep you from growing a thriving edible garden of your own, especially when there are a lot of references online that can help you out.
Garden Tools and Accents is always here to help you out. Today, we’ll list down all the essential tools you will need to get you started.
Any gardener needs a hand trowel. It should be one of the first tools that you need to get. You’ll find it especially helpful when transplanting your herbs, regardless of whether you’re opting for an actual outdoor bed or a small container garden in a bright corner of your kitchen. It will also give you more control when you’re pulling out weeds.
When choosing a trowel to work with, we recommended getting one with a handle that fits comfortably in your hand. If you expect to work with rocky soil, getting one with a longer, narrower blade will be ideal. Meanwhile, getting a broad blade will allow you to move more soil and work on larger areas at a time.
You also need to consider the sharpness and material of your trowel blade. Investing in a stainless steel piece is worth it as it will be more durable. The sharp blade will prove helpful if you’re thinking of planting bulb vegetables such as garlic and onions.
Speaking of blades, you will also need a pair of pruning shears. Depending on your location, it is also referred to as hand pruners and secateurs.
Like getting a hand trowel, we highly advise getting one that fits the palm of your hand. Being comfortable handling your pruning shears is crucial, or else you’ll risk hurting your plants by accident.
There are different types of pruning shears. We personally recommend getting bypass pruners since they can minimize the risk of bruising fresh, green stems. We’re not saying that you shouldn’t consider getting anvil shears, though, especially if you expect to be dealing with a lot of dead wood.
Regardless of the type you choose or whether you decide to get both, the most important thing is to keep them nice and sharp. This will give them more cutting power, minimize plant bruising, and, more importantly, prolong their life.
Most beginner gardeners don’t really prioritize getting gardening gloves, and we get it. A lot of us don’t really worry about getting our hands dirty. However, you should still consider them since certain vegetables are known to be prickly.
For instance, specific varieties of turnips are known to have prickly leaves. Having gardening gloves on will protect your hands from getting scratches and blisters. It will also come in handy during pruning sessions. After all, one can never predict when accidents happen, especially if you’re handling sharp tools and trying hard to be as gentle as you can.
That said, we recommend getting padded gloves for that added protection. Just make sure that it won’t be too bulky to the point that it will get in the way when you’re handling seeds and delicate seedlings.
Cinchable wrist straps are also a nice feature to consider. They will keep soil from getting inside your gloves.
Like other gardening tools, there are different hoes to choose from. Those who want to start a vegetable garden should consider getting a wide, flat hoe. It will make your life easier when you’re removing weeds and turning the soil of your rows.
The width of the blade will get your job done faster, but don’t forget to consider the space between your rows as well. Getting one with a shorter handle will give you more accuracy for smaller gardens.
As you have probably guessed already, you won’t need this tool if you’re only planning to start a container garden.
Here’s something that every garden will need: a watering tool. The ideal one for you will depend on the scale of the vegetable garden you’re planning to grow. If you’re planning a small container garden, a watering can suit you perfectly. On the other hand, getting a hose with an adjustable nozzle will suit larger gardens better.
The National Wildlife Federation suggests timing your watering sessions accordingly to help conserve water. You’ll be pleased to learn that hose nozzles can also help reduce water consumption. It’s something that we highly recommend every gardener should consider getting.
We cannot put into words how much joy our vegetable garden gives us. The health benefits alone make every drop of sweat we put into our garden worth it.
There is a way to reduce all that sweat, though. Getting reliable gardening tools will significantly make everything easier. We hope that our quick lineup has given you an idea of which tools to get first. After all, you can always expand your gardening tool shed in the future.
Helpful Tips to Clean Up Your Lawn and Garden
Your yard is the perfect place to spend time with family and friends, relax, and enjoy life. However, to truly enjoy your space, you must have a clean and tidy outside space. If your lawn and garden need some attention and clean-up, there are a few tips that will help you along the way.
If it has been a while since you spent time cleaning up your yard, now is a good time to play catch up. Take some time to clear any leaves and debris, remove dead plants, and get rid of anything you no longer want or use. It may be a good time to rent a dumpster for all the items you are getting rid of, which will make the clean-up process faster and easier. Use this dumpster rental guide to know what size and type of bin to choose.
Focus on Your Lawn
Once you have cleared away leaves, branches, and debris, it’s time to turn your focus to the lawn. It’s necessary to trim it regularly to keep it healthy. For the best results, you should know the right grass care methods.
A helpful tip is to make sure you never cut your grass over one-third of the existing height. It’s also a good idea to set the mower deck higher and spread out how often you mow as the weather gets drier and hotter. The final mowing for the season should occur when the temperature has dropped and stayed under 50 degrees.
If your mulch seems thin, old, or dull, now is time to add more. While you don’t have to do this all the time, adding a new layer of mulch can help your yard look fresh and revived immediately. Remember that mulch can be beneficial for more than just tree patches and flowerbeds. Consider adding a layer around the front garden areas and your mailbox. This can add quite a bit of curb appeal to your outside area.
Fix Any Broken Structures
If you have a shed, fence, hardscape patio, or deck, you need to check it for cosmetic and safety issues each year. Be sure your lawn is dry and that the snow and rain have passed. This gives your yard ample time to settle, giving you time to plan what fixes you need to make.
Trim Your Shrubs and Bushes
Some yard excerpts recommend that you trim your shrubs before they start to bloom in the spring to easily see the dead parts of the plant. Others state you need to wait until they have grown and bloomed for the season, which allows you to trim and shape them. In either case, it depends on your yard and needs.
Regrow the Patches in Your Lawn
Your lawn can take a beating through the year, and some patches may appear. It doesn’t matter if you have a small area to replace or a larger area, remove any leaves or other debris first.
The most important aspect of ongoing lawn care to remember is that grass is a plant and grows best in the right conditions and healthy soil. It’s a good idea to overseed, which will help thicken up your lawn.
Improving Your Lawn and Garden
A few tips can help you improve the look and health of your lawn and garden. Keep the tips above in mind for the best possible results.
Can I Build a Man Cave In My Garden?
Given that you have enough space in your garden or don’t mind altering the said space to suit your relaxation needs, then the only answer to this is a resounding yes. Among the fresh ideas for relaxing and hanging out at home is to do it in your very own man cave.
So, now that we’ve established that you can erect a man shed in your backyard, you’re probably wondering how to go about things properly. Let’s shed light on some important stuff to consider before pushing through with a garden man cave project.
Let’s begin with the most important question: would you need permission to erect a garden shed? Seeing as how almost everybody is constructing these works of art in their very own backyards, you wager the answer would probably be no. Well, you would be right.
What’s great about building sheds in your garden is that it won’t require planning permission. And if you follow the guidelines set by the governing body for these projects, things should proceed smoothly for the most part. Here’s what to keep in mind to avoid unwanted visits by the local planning inspector:
Build the shed for domestic purposes only. If you plan to invite people over to show off your creation or host a party, feel free to do so. Just make sure you don’t charge them for the alcohol; otherwise, you would need a license.
None of your guests should stay the night because you aren’t operating as a hotel. Trust us; you may think you can get away at first, but these inspectors are keen about what’s going on on their turf.
You don’t want to take the chance. Suppose it ends up being an oversight. You know what they say: ignorance of the law excuses no one. Make sure you are well-informed, so you can avoid these untoward mishaps.
Garden sheds can function similarly to a workshop, office, or bar. Don’t use it as a bedroom unless it’s for taking afternoon naps.
Specifically, the shed should take up only half of your garden at most. You want to take this seriously because a square foot above the required space could get you in trouble. Except for the main house, no building within your property’s boundaries should take up more than half of the available land.
That’s not to say you can’t go big with your project. Just make sure the size of your property allows it; otherwise, you would have something serious to answer to.
As much as you would love to show off your man cave to the world, having it built in front of your garden is not the way to do it. The rule indicates that no more than half of your shed should be visible to by-passers outside when it faces walkways, front driveways, or roads.
Guys are prone to going crazy with their man caves, building them to equal the size of or be even bigger than their homes. That is not the way to go about this venture.
A multi-story shed is off the table since the height of a backyard man cave should not exceed four meters. So, if you have big expectations of your dream shed, it would be a good idea to take them down a few notches. That way, you’ll save yourself some disappointment.
Building codes also dictate that skylights are a no-go. There’ll be no recreating your dream science-fiction space where the rules are concerned. Dormer or skylight windows are off-limits, and you’d do well to remember that.
Furthermore, external dimensions are always the basis for calculating measurements. You may or may not install an electrical wiring system in your shed. Most guys’ dream man caves would include a fridge, gaming area, bar, fruit machine, and the whole nine yards. If this also happens to be your dream, your playground will need a good power supply.
While you can install electrical systems using DIY methods, we recommend hiring a professional if you aren’t too experienced with the job. In fact, even if you are, the chances of doing things safely and properly would be so much higher with an expert on board.
Even under the above conditions, it’s still very much possible to create an entertaining and relaxing space for you and your friends in your garden. The backyard is where a man’s interests come together to make experiences more fulfilling. Consider adding foosball tables, or other lawn games around your new man cave as well. It’s where guys can escape and be themselves when their homes are not conducive to freedom and relaxation.
5 Reasons Why You Should Hire an Interior Designer
It feels like you’ve tried everything. You redecorated your entire house a million times, went with a bunch of different themes, even rearranged the furniture, and spent your hard-earned money on a few new pieces of furniture, but your space still doesn’t look right. Something’s lacking, but you can’t quite figure what. If this situation sounds familiar, hiring a professional interior designer might be the solution you need.
You can toss aside the idea that interior designers are only for the rich or those with so much money that they don’t know what to do with it anymore. Actually, a professional decorator might save you money and time. No more wondering how to execute your style — let someone else do the budgeting and planning for you and take advantage of their access to resources that are usually out of reach. Soon the only thing left to do will be to relax in your new, beautifully designed space.
The article below looks in detail at some of the main reasons you should stop putting yourself through the headache of arranging a cohesive design and let a professional do it for you.
Whether they work in a firm or freelance, a professional interior designer has spent years studying and training. Throughout their career, they have seen thousands of different design and home decor types. It means that they’ll see the bigger picture and know what elements will look good together.
For example, they will know if installing retractable awnings would be beneficial for the design of your house. After all, while it sometimes can be helpful to block sunlight from entering your home’s interiors, it is not always the case.
Moreover, a local interior designer will be familiar with the conditions. For instance, if you are moving in Washington DC, and you used to live in Texas, or the other way around, you might not know what will work best in the area when it comes to its climate, trends, or way of living.
Furthermore, they’ll also know how to make everything match while still providing less obvious solutions. It is something that most people can’t do on their own because they’re too close to the project and are focused on the small details. Sometimes, you have to let someone else take the lead to open yourself up to more possibilities.
An interior designer will have contacts in the industry and know who’s suitable for what type of job. While you may find a decent contractor, there’s nothing like having someone who can vouch for them and make sure they’re reliable and know what they’re doing.
A professional will also know what’s needed for the job, which means that if you need anything else, such as materials or even just a piece of advice, they can point you in the right direction.
One of the reasons people hire professionals is that they want their projects to look as expensive as possible while sticking to their budget. When you hire an interior designer, you don’t have to worry about spending too much money — they can do wonders even if your budget is limited.
A true expert always knows what to do without breaking the bank. You’ll get what you need without overspending or getting something that doesn’t fit with the rest of your home design.
If you’ve ever tried to arrange a room on your own, you know how much time it takes to think about every little detail, from furniture placement to wall colors and everything in between. Hiring an interior designer will significantly shorten the time spent on such things. All you need to do is show them an idea or a few pictures of what you want and let them do the rest.
Interior designers have access to all kinds of suppliers and people in the industry who can help them get whatever they need for your project. There’s no need for you to do any searching because a professional will know precisely where to go.
It is also useful if you need to find specific items quickly at a moment’s notice because they can reach out to their network immediately and get what you need without delay.
Although some people enjoy decorating, it’s a daunting chore for most of us. We usually end up having to do it ourselves because we’re hesitant to let someone else decorate our living space. However, if you want your home or apartment to look stunning, it may be worth hiring someone who can create a good-looking house for you while making it fun and exciting to see how the whole project develops.
Your decorator can show you pictures and examples and update you on progress. They will also take care of all the hard work so that when everything is done, there will be nothing left for you to do but sit back and enjoy your new living space. Have fun decorating, and good luck!
Why Should You Invest in Steel Doors?
As soon as we hear steel doors, we think of prisons or a cage though that may not be the case. Today we will learn about the essential elements of steel doors in everyday living. You would be surprised how far their use has come along.
Top Five Reasons to Consider Steel Doors
Steel doors are not a one-and-done fixture. The doors come with numerous varieties to choose from, so you can complement the house architecture or office interior. The steel door comes in colors, different frames, and with or without the windows. Furthermore, you can purchase steel doors with a single or three locks. However, the steel door with more locks will likely cost you more.
You can also hire a craftsman to create custom steel doors. These doors will fulfill all your requirements, such as measurement, security, and design. Furthermore, you can even customize the color too. Steel doors are preferably a convenient feature for homeowners who wish to introduce safety into their haven.
Steel doors are a one-time investment. Erect them once, and you are set for the next few decades. Steel doors provide long-term use, which justifies their expensive construction. The doors can withstand water, weather, rust, and peeling. It will not swell when contacting water, so no need to replace them either.
Steel doors are mainly used in houses and offices to maintain security, privacy, and structure. The doors will protect the employees and household members from unwanted visitors, so better be safe than sorry!
3. Multiple Uses
Slide the steel doors and step into the backyard to take breath depths in the spring air! Is the cold draft in the winter annoying you? Close the doors and keep the house warm. Assuming you live in a high-rise flat, you can leave the doors open for fresh air and sun to enter and illuminate the rooms. The steel doors are multipurpose use that provides more than just security.
Some steel doors also have a mesh design that provides better ventilation, though primarily installed in houses and flats. These steel doors prevent the circulation of clean air and prevent mold build up in the vents. The mesh steel doors also keep the bugs and vermin outside of the house where they should be!
4. Increase Property Value
Steel doors are also a genius addition to increasing property value. The doors are pleasing to the eyes and a wise investment if you are thinking long-term. You can increase the house’s safety which in turn increases its value. Home dwellers which to feel safe in their house, which is achievable by installing steel doors.
You can sell your house in the future for a profit if it incorporates steel doors. The added protection may seem pleasing to a few while claustrophobic to others. You can also rent or sublease at a higher rate too.
5. Increased Rate on Investment
The steel doors are very essential to the structure of the house or building. You can incorporate steel doors into presenting a control system that monitors movement in a building. Furthermore, you can also install steel doors in conjunctions to solid structures to boost their appeal.
The steel doors are primarily used as an additional feature in construction. Some of these doors will last you at least 30 years which means at least two generations.
Time to Wrap Up!
Whether you want steel doors in a commercial or domestic setting, professional businesses are available to do the hard work for you. The doors will provide you with a high rate of return while being multi-purposeful. Contact the local contractors today for an estimate. If you want to learn more about home safety, check the blog from Speedy Locksmith from Denver, Colorado.
From Molehill to Mansion: Upgrades That Will Add Value to Your Home
There comes a time in every homeowner’s life when their home could use some sprucing up. Now, this doesn’t mean that you have to completely change the look of your home— it can be something as simple as painting the walls or buying new furniture. However, if you plan on selling your home one day, you’ll want to look into home upgrades that will increase the property value.
Home improvement projects can take a while and cost a lot of money, so it’s best to gradually upgrade your home, rather than try and upgrade everything all at once. Here are some home upgrades for both the inside and outside of your home that will increase the property value.
If you have a basement or attic that’s just used for storage, consider converting it into another bedroom/living space. What this does is add another bedroom/room to your home, increasing its value. This project also helps you to declutter these storage spaces. So if your basement and/or attic can be converted, talk to a contractor about making it happen.
Updating the tiles, countertops, and hardware in your kitchen and bathroom(s) also adds value to your home. Other updates to consider are a new shower/tub, toilet, and vanity in the bathroom, and maybe adding an island in your kitchen.
As for the type of flooring in the rest of your home, hardwood floors add the most value. They’re pet and child-friendly, and they last much longer than carpet. You can also opt for laminate, vinyl, or tile flooring in your high-traffic areas.
Owning a home evokes images of families spending time together for most people, so many people are going to love homes that have a porch, patio, or deck for gathering. Another idea is to add a pergola to your backyard for those cozy family gatherings around a firepit.
Over time, the paint on your house starts to fade and it may not be noticeable to you at first. A new paint job can really brighten up your home, making it stand out from the other homes on the block. Even simply painting the shutters makes a huge difference to the outside of your home.
Also known as curb appeal, the first thing people notice about a home is its front lawn. You’re probably already making sure that your grass is trimmed regularly— which is a great start— but you also want to make sure that any hedges are neatly trimmed as well. It’s also not a bad idea to plant some flowers and other greenery around your home.
While many upgrades increase a property’s value, there are also some that will decrease a property’s value. If you’re planning to stay in your home then you can definitely add these upgrades if you want, but if you plan on selling, you’re more likely to spend way more money on these upgrades than what will be added to the overall property value.
- Adding a sunroom
- Building spaces for your hobbies
- Expanding the garage
- Installing a jacuzzi/hot tub or pool
Now some of these additions will pay off in certain circumstances. For instance, if you’re buying a vacation rental property, the addition of a pool or sunroom may pay off for you because more people may want to rent properties with these features. However, although many people may desire these features for their home, they also know that they’ll have to pay more for these features.
In conclusion, be smart about the upgrades you make to your home, whether you plan on selling or not. If you do plan on selling, there may be some home additions that will increase your property value depending on where you live, whereas it may decrease property value in another location. And if you don’t plan on selling your home, you can spend your money on whatever additions you want— just don’t go overboard.
Simple Landscaping Tips to Increase Your Vacation Rental Property Value
If you’ve ever driven by a home and had to stop, get out of the car, and look around at the beauty of the landscape, this is what’s referred to as “curb appeal.” And this is one of the biggest selling points of any home on the market today.
When it comes to vacation rentals, curb appeal is one of the biggest attractors for potential customers who may want to rent your property. And landscaping is the key to creating this type of appeal.
Vacation rentals are supposed to be getaways for vacationers who simply want to leave their lives behind and indulge in nice, new scenery in a great location. And the more work you put into your landscape, the easier it will be to attract vacationers from all walks of life.
If you’re looking to get more value (and renters) out of your vacation property, the following will offer some helpful landscaping advice.
One of the best ways to sculpt the landscape and tie it into the property itself is to have pathways or pavers which lead to different areas of the property. And studies have shown that landscapes with walkways, pavers, or other stylized pathways, are much more valuable than those without.
When vacationers are on the hunt for vacation properties to rent, believe it or not, all of the little details are taken into consideration. And when you have a property that looks amazing on your online listing, this will make a potential customer stop and view your property.
Landscaping your property with pathways offers a means to walk the grounds and explore the landscape up close, without having to worry about walking on the grass or getting mud on your shoes. And this can also add great value to your vacation rental as well.
Adding a floral garden to your landscape is a great way to add color to the overall design of the property itself. And it also makes your property all the more inviting and beautiful.
The truth is, even planting smaller gardens is a great strategy to add appeal and value to your vacation property. And you can place these around the property in many different locations to add a bit of color to areas that might be otherwise dull or lifeless.
Gardens are also great for the soil and can be looked at as selling points to make your vacation rental listing much more attractive when a potential customer views it online.
Additionally, if you take your garden to the next level by adding expensive flowers, such as a rose garden, you’ll add even greater appeal, and your property will be much more fragrant as well.
Every home needs a gathering space or two. And having a deck or a nice inviting porch to welcome guests, friends, or family is a great addition to consider.
A deck or porch not only adds gathering space to your property, but it also adds a good bit of value. For example, if you were to spend 10,000 dollars on a deck or a porch, you could factor that amount into your overall property value. And though this will fluctuate over time, you’ll still be adding significant value.
Decks and porches should also be able to tie into the overall design of the property. Basically, you’ll want to have your deck or porch match the design of the home itself so that they don’t look out of place. And once you have a cohesive design, your curb appeal (and the appeal of your listing) will be much greater than before.
Landscaping is perhaps one of the most cost-effective methods for adding value to a property. And even simply adding grass seed and fertilizer can actually work wonders for your curb appeal. All it takes is a little bit at a time, and you’ll be easily able to add significant value to your property through landscaping design.
Narnian Gardens: Large-Scale Outdoor Renovations for Your Personal Castle
Do you ever notice that in fantasy literature, the royals always have the most elegant gardens? There’s something about the image of a well-maintained, luxurious garden that recalls images of royalty to us, that suggests the ability to cultivate and nurture, that puts us at ease and assures us that we are in a great good place.
While a well-maintained front yard is how first impressions are made, a beautifully sculpted, royalty-worthy backyard is how that impression is maintained: you want your guests to feel like they’ve stepped through the wardrobe when they walk into your backyard as if Mr. Tumnus is waiting under your gazebo with fresh-baked pastries. You want them to feel as though they have stepped into your own fantasy world, to hear the message that a well-maintained backyard can communicate: this is your paradise, and they are welcome to come and stay as long as they like.
Doesn’t that seem like hyperbole? After all, how many of our backyards look like something out of a fantasy novel? How many of us spend enough time in our backyards to warrant treating it like our own slices of nature; let’s get real, how many of us even think about our backyards, neglecting them and not treating them like the necessary fixtures of our home they are? However, with the right investments, and regular pest control maintenance, you can easily convert your drab, lifeless backyard into a magical, outdoor hangout space that would be the envy of fantasy royalty.
Building outdoor furniture isn’t easy and will likely require you to hire contractors to install to make sure everything is up to code. With that in mind, here are a few projects you can undertake to renovate your backyard, making it a paradise for your family and friends.
If you haven’t had a deck before and you don’t have one now, starting by having a deck constructed by a reliable, affordable deck builder is your best bet. A good hardwood deck acts as a balcony from which you can survey your kingdom, a customizable hangout space where friends and family can come, sit, and enjoy being outdoors. While most of the fixtures on this list provide space for communities to gather, decks are special, being closely mounted to the house and having room for a variety of activities. You can set your deck up as a purely social area, with several types of outdoor furniture allowing friends and family to sit and chat, or you can use it as a cookout space instead, with plenty of room for a grill, a table, and an assortment of supporting furniture.
Gazebos: The Height of Luxury
If you can afford it, installing a gazebo might be a great way to construct a space where people can gather in the middle of your backyard, in the midst of the natural world, instead of being distanced from it like a deck. Aside from the aesthetically pleasing design of most gazebos, recalling beautiful natural gardens such as those in elfin paradises, gazebos come with their own lighting, lots of seating area, and (if put in the right place) a prime location from which you can survey your backyard. Gazebos make great spaces for you or other members of your family to retreat to, reading a book in a sheltered space while basking in nature, or even for smaller communal gatherings.
Benches, Swings, and Things
If you have the space for it, installing benches throughout your backyard to give people places to hang out might be a great way to provide a way for guests to relax in the outdoors. However, if you’re running low on backyard space, you can also hang hammocks or swings on large trees to give your guests a place to hang out or kids to play. The idea behind this would be to give people a place to relax outdoors, but also a place for them to bask in natural beauty privately, so don’t be afraid to position your benches, so your guests are looking at flowerbeds, gardens, or even placing them in more secluded areas as well.
Whether you want to install large furniture or not, investing in your backyard can be a great way to construct new communal spaces, taking advantage of an oft-neglected resource in our hustle-and-bustle, mostly indoor culture. Don’t hesitate to take advantage of your backyard’s natural beauty, doing what you can to convert it into the fixture it is.
Doing It Yourself: Easy Home Renovations for Amateur Tradespeople
It’s shocking how many of us like taking on the challenges associated with homes that are a bit of a fixer-upper, especially for the first homes we purchase. After years of living in apartment complexes where you could only change the configuration of the furniture (if that, depending on how much space you had in your apartment) or condos with noisy neighbors and strict landlord guidelines, buying a house that needs a little bit of TLC presents a bit of a blank canvas on which you, the homeowner, can create.
It isn’t enough to own your first home, to be out from under the ever-oppressive heel of leech-like landlords and obnoxious upstairs and downstairs neighbors: you have to be able to do something with it, to make it your own. Homes that need renovations here and there tend to be cheaper than homes that come fully refurbished, and also allow new owners to customize them to their heart’s content. While some jobs are a little too complex for your average Joe to do by themselves and require a seasoned professional to avoid serious damage to your health or property, like installing pressure treated wood decks or wiring issues, there are plenty of jobs you can take on yourself if you want to have a direct hand in building your own corner of the world.
A quick note of caution: while many of these jobs are included on this list because they are easy for amateurs to jump into and represent a minimal health or safety risk if things go wrong, you should still be careful. Minimal risk does not mean no risk, and engaging in any kind of construction endeavor carries an inherent danger.
With that said, here are a few home renovation projects you can take on if you want to work on your home, shaping it into your ideal dream home without employing contractors.
Whether your home has been standing for decades or was just built a few years ago, the façade of your home has likely accrued a fair amount of grime: dirt caking the paint, ever so slightly changing its color, as well as present threats like the presence of wasps nests or spider webs. One of the first things you might want to do to improve your home’s outer appearance is to take a powerwasher to it, sloughing off years of grime in a matter of seconds.
While deceptively low-effort, not requiring you to don your hard hat or pick up any tools, this can take years off the look of your home, making it appear brand new in a matter of hours. If you have more fragile siding, like vinyl siding, a hose with a brush will also do wonders, though it will take longer.
Refurbish Your Floors
Even if the flooring appears stable, chances are that if you’ve bought a property that has been well-lived in, the flooring hasn’t been changed out in a while: you might want to consider at bare minimum re-finishing and sanding them, as those two processes can take years off the look of your flooring and make your home appear new on the inside as well.
If you should notice structural issues or even dislike the kind of material used in the flooring, you can also take matters into your own hands and replace the flooring material. If you decide to do this yourself, be careful that you do your due diligence, looking over the floorplan of your home to avoid any potential hazards while re-doing the floors. Instead of tearing up the floors yourself, you can also use vinyl tiles that stick onto your current flooring, available from popular e-commerce sites. This is more of a band-aid, though, until you can either do it yourself or hire a professional.
Work on Your Backyard
There are several ways to renovate your backyard, as it’s one of the most easily customizable features of any home. With few safety concerns associated with it (as you aren’t likely to, say, accidentally cut into some wiring), you can redesign your backyard at will, shaping it into a Wonderland-esqué paradise. Grow a garden, add some new furniture, construct bird feeders or weed-resistant planters for your plants: just make sure for more serious construction projects, like gazebos or decks, that you hire a professional.
With the right tools and information, you can do little things here and there to shape your home into your dream house. Make sure you call a professional for larger-scale projects but feel free to experiment with safe ways to modify your home to your liking.
Lawn Care 101: Essentials for a Successful Landscaping Business
If you have an entrepreneurial spirit, a love for the outdoors, and are crafty with your hands, diving into the landscaping industry can be a lucrative and fulfilling career path. Starting a landscaping business gives you the freedom of being your own boss while allowing you to connect with nature and provide a helpful service to your community. While getting your landscaping business up and running is a simple process, it is essential to lay a strong foundation for your company by investing in quality equipment.
So whether you are thinking about starting a landscaping business or just have questions about the best lawn care tools, here are the essentials you need to start a successful landscaping company today.
One of the most important things any successful landscaping business needs is a reliable work truck. Your truck will not only get you from job to job but carry your tools and your crew. However, it is important to note that your truck is also a representation of your business and yourself. Therefore, it is essential to keep your truck clean and maintained. Many landscapers drive around in beat-up dirty work trucks, so keeping yours sharp not only looks professional but helps you stand out among your competition.
Investing in brand new work trucks can be challenging, especially when you are trying to get your business up and running. Instead, consider renting your next company truck. Renting your work trucks allows you to keep up with the latest technologies and truck models without breaking the bank.
To run a successful landscaping business, you’ll also need at least two trailers. You’ll need a utility trailer to carry your heavy landscaping equipment and tools. In addition, investing in a dump trailer will help you haul materials like mulch and topsoil and take away debris like leaves and branches.
While powered lawn equipment can be quite an investment, they are essential for operating a successful landscaping business. Without breaking your budget, it is important to purchase the best quality power equipment you can find. Not only will quality equipment last long longer with fewer repairs, but it will allow you to do the best job possible. The higher quality your work is, the quicker you’ll see a return on your investment for the equipment.
No landscaping business is complete without a quality lawnmower. Consider investing in a ride-on zero turn mower for your large flat lawns and a commercial walk behind for the small properties with hills. However, if you are inexperienced with lawnmowers, it is essential to understand lawnmower safety to ensure the safety of you and your crew.
Aside from the lawnmower, a weed whacker is one of the most critical pieces of power equipment for your landscaping business. You’ll need a weed whacker to trim the permitter of each lawn, as well as spots the mower can’t reach, like tight corners and around the mailbox and flower beds.
While a leaf blower is essential for leaf clean-ups and lawn maintenance, you’ll need it for every kind of job, from plantings to mulch jobs and patio jobs. You never want to leave a client’s property messy. A gas-powered leaf blower will help you clear off lawns, driveways, sidewalks, decks, and more from leaves, spilled dirt, grass trimmings, and other debris.
Many customers who want their lawn taken care of will ask you to trim their bushes and small trees. A hedge trimmer helps you trim and shape hedges with ease.
Aside from power tools, every landscaper needs a solid arsenal of hand tools. The necessities consist of shovels, rakes, pruning sheers, wheelbarrows, tarps, and buckets. Just like power tools, it is crucial to invest in quality hand tools. Look for tools with strong wooden handles instead of tools made of plastic.
Investing in these tools will help you get your landscaping business up and running. As long as you invest in quality equipment, work hard, and stay committed, you’ll have a successful landscaping career.
Healthy Habits: Outdoor Activities to Keep Your Older Adult Feeling Spry
People take to aging differently. Some choose to embrace the tired feeling they’ve been feeling in their bones since they graduated college, retiring in a mostly sedentary fashion and watching Judge Judy, spending their twilight years turning their brains off and just enjoying life. Some people retaliate against old age, doing everything they can to keep themselves healthy so they can cross everything off their bucket list, going through a late-life crisis. It’s safe to say that we all fall somewhere on that spectrum as we age, whether we get to retire from our day jobs or still need to go to keep food on the table.
Unfortunately for those who were looking to spend their golden years relaxing in splendor, it’s also important to make sure that you get a good amount of exercise to stay healthy. As we get older, it becomes easier for us to injure ourselves if we fall, as well as for us to pick up any number of annoying and frightening health conditions; moreover, the loss of stamina and physical strength that is correlated with old age is most often the cause of inactivity, which most older adults find themselves drawn to as they age.
However, for older adults who stay active, their risk of developing any number of health conditions goes down (most specifically heart disease), and they stay stronger longer, picking up a number of other potentially useful benefits and maintaining their overall quality of life.
This is why most nursing facilities have an exercise schedule in place for their residents, as maintaining a good exercise schedule can be seen as a vital component of your older adults’ health. That is also why if nursing facilities do not follow through on that exercise schedule, leaving older adults inside all day, it can be seen as neglect, and neglect severe enough to warrant an experienced legal professional getting involved.
It’s important to make sure your older adult gets enough exercise, no matter the setting of their care, and spending time outside can also have a positive effect on their mental health. For your consideration, here are a few activities your older adult can do outside that will improve their physical and mental health.
You knew it was coming, but gardening is actually one of the best hobbies that older adults with mobility challenges can perform. In addition to being an activity they can do with minimal aid, it’s also an activity that gives them a lot of agency and responsibility: they can choose which types of plants they want to seed, are in charge of their feeding and watering schedule, and the positive mental health effect of seeing something they grew to start to sprout and flower cannot be denied. Even in colder months, the practice of gardening can be an excellent hobby for older adults who are struggling with their mental health, looking to be active and outdoors but not having the capability to run the pacer test anymore.
As opposed to its more energetic counterpart (running), walking allows older adults to take their own pace when seeking to spend time in the natural world, letting them get out of their rooms and easy chairs and exercise at a leisurely pace. If you’re in a nursing home, consider driving your charges to a nearby park and let them explore the place at their pace: an unfamiliar setting may be the perfect way for them to get out and enjoy their time outdoors. If you aren’t in a nursing home, you have total freedom in where you walk: go to a setting with an abundance of natural beauty, and you’ll find that the peaceful magic of the area works its way into your very bones as you partake in some light exercise. You can also check buzzrx.com for tips on how to lead a healthier lifestyle.
Yes, team sports: though we aren’t talking about something like football, which gives people in their prime serious injuries. We’re talking sports like kickball, capture the flag, just things to get people outside and working in teams, as team games can build friendships and relationships among residents that are struggling with socialization or depression-related issues. Make sure the appropriate safety precautions are taken, however, as you want to make sure that these activities don’t leave anyone hurt. Also you may want to install a Rolex wall clock to keep time on your activities.
Finding little things for you to do as an older adult outdoors can have a massive impact on your mental and physical health. Feel free to experiment with the suggestions above, as well as others, until you find what works for you.
4 Factors to Remember When You Invest in Solar Panels
Are you considering using solar energy in your home? The use of solar panels to light your house and power your household appliances has numerous benefits compared to using electricity produced through the burning of fossils fuels. However, you need to invest in the best solar panels to realize these benefits for a long time.
Times are gone when consumers set out to purchase something based on how cheap it is. Nowadays, before you go out shopping, you need to do extensive research to find the best product that will satisfy your needs and provide value for your hard-earned cash. To help you switch to solar panels, below are factors you need to consider when you invest in solar panels.
1. Roof Shape and Slope Direction
You likely designed the roof of your house years ago when the use of solar energy was not so widespread. Therefore, the roof installer did not consider solar panel installations. Before investing in solar panels, it is essential to determine if there is enough room. You can hire a roofing company and let them inspect the roof before hiring solar panel guys.
Also, it would be best to consider the areas that get maximum sun exposure before starting installation to harness maximum solar energy. Another vital factor to consider is the mounting system. If you live in a windy area, getting a quality mounting system is crucial to avoid losing your solar panels during a typhoon season.
2. Energy Needs
The amount of energy you consume in your house or facility differs from your neighbors. Therefore, before investing in solar panels, you should first assess your household’s average electricity consumption. This will help you determine the size of the solar system to invest in.
A 1.5kW system is sufficient to power a house of 2 people and power LED lights, 1 load a week of washing machine, a fridge, and a TV. For a house of more than 4 people, you will need a 5kW system to power more than 5 loads of washing machine a week, computers, TV, LED lights, fridge, and other standby appliances
3. Maintenance Provider
To keep your solar panels working at the highest standards for a long time, you need to perform maintenance on them regularly. Otherwise, they will degrade rapidly, and you will be forced to replace them after a short while. Maintenance of solar panels involves cleaning, debris removal from the surface, and components check.
Find a solar repair professional near you to perform yearly components check and repair works. A solar repair professional can also help you if you want to downgrade or upgrade your solar system.
4. Panel Type
Solar technology has evolved a lot over the years. There are different kinds of solar panels available to power your home and meet your needs. The three types of solar panels available in the market are thin film, monocrystalline and polycrystalline.
Even though you have the final say when choosing among the three, it is important to know the pros and cons of each.
- Thin Film – The newest entry invention in solar technology. It is lightweight, affordable but has lower power output.
- Monocrystalline – The oldest and most developed type. Monocrystalline panels are the most expensive and most efficient type of panels.
- Polycrystalline – This panel type is relatively newer than monocrystalline panels but older than thin film. It is cheaper and has a lower efficiency than its older counterpart.
Sydney Property Valuers: Considerations and Tips When Hiring One
Hiring a Sydney property valuer can be a daunting task, but following these tips will help make it easier. By choosing a qualified and experienced valuer, you can rest assured that your property is in good hands.
When you are thinking of hiring Sydney Property Valuers Metro, there are some things you need to take into account. Below we have outlined some key considerations and tips to help make your decision easier:
It is important that you check the qualifications of any potential valuer before hiring them. They should be registered with either the Australian Property Institute (API) or RICS (Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors). If they are not, then it is best to steer clear.
What Is Their Experience?
A good property valuer will have a lot of experience in the industry. Ask them how long they have been working as a valuer and what type of properties they have worked on in the past. This will give you an idea of their level of experience.
Are They up to Date With the Market?
It is also important that your valuer is up to date with the current state of the property market. Ask them what research they have done to come to their valuation and whether they think the market is likely to rise or fall in the near future.
What Are Their Fees?
Be sure to ask about the fees your valuer will be charging before hiring them. This will help you budget for the valuation process.
What Type of Report Do You Need?
There are different types of reports that can be produced following a property valuation. Make sure you know what type of report you need so that you can ask your valuer for it.
Your valuer should be fully insured in case any damage is caused to your property during the valuation process.
It is always a good idea to get at least three quotes from different Sydney property valuers before making your decision. This will give you a good range of prices to choose from and help you find the best deal.
Tips for Hiring the Best Sydney Property Valuer
When it comes to hiring a Sydney property valuer, there are a few things you need to keep in mind. Here are some tips to help you find the best valuer for your needs:
- Look for a qualified and experienced valuer. Ideally, they will have been practicing for at least five years.
- Ask around for recommendations. Friends, family, and colleagues may have had good or bad experiences with different valuers in Sydney.
- Compare quotes from several valuers before making your decision. This will give you a good idea of the market rate for their services.
- Check that the valuer is insured and licensed by the appropriate governing body. This protects you in case of any damage or mishap during the valuation process.
- Make sure you understand what is included in the valuation report. Some valuers may charge extra for additional services such as a site visit or a copy of the title deed.
- Ensure the valuer will provide you with a clear and detailed report. The more information they give, the better equipped you’ll be to make informed decisions about your property.
- Get quotes from at least three different professionals and compare them carefully before making a decision.
- Check that your chosen professional has appropriate qualifications; ideally, they should have been practicing for five years or more.
When choosing a Sydney property valuer, it is important to consider all of the above factors. By following these tips, you can ensure that you make the right decision for your needs.
Samantha Grant is a specialist in her field and has been working within the property valuation industry for over 20 years. As a Senior Valuer, Samantha is an authority in all forms of residential, commercial, and industrial valuations and has served as an expert witness in high profile litigation proceedings. Samantha’s professional knowledge is often utilised in industry conferences, seminars as well as performing guest lectures as an industry expert.
Everything You Need to Know About Solar Panels
Solar power is the next step to clean and renewable energy that both people and the Earth can benefit from. It lessens the use and dependence on fossil fuels and aids in fighting greenhouse gas emissions. With the continuous pollution globally, people should start to be more knowledgeable about the source of the energy we use in our homes. By being more considerate about the type of energy that we use, we may avoid contributing to greenhouse gasses and pollution all around the world, one home at a time. The way to prevent the increase of carbon dioxide and pollution into the air is to use solar panels.
What Are Solar Panels?
These are devices that absorb the sun’s rays and convert them into energy or electricity. Another definition for standard solar panels, also known as photovoltaics, is that they catch light particles from the sun called photons. From there, it can produce an electric current that can be used in our homes (link: https://www.livescience.com/41995-how-do-solar-panels-work.html) to know how it works. According to research, it is a group of solar cells that are spread over an area to work together and produce a sufficient amount of power.
Why Use Solar Panels?
Aside from the fact that it greatly helps with the environment, it can be beneficial to you as well, especially when it comes to electric bills. To put it simply, you can generate your own electricity for free and in your home by investing in these devices. It’s easy to say that it may be worth the investment since the device will continue to produce energy even on cloudy days. Not to mention that it will reduce the cost of your bills in the future. Considering it’ll last for an average of 25-30 years according to the industry standard lifespan.
Of course, some may view these devices as inefficient. Still, it is, in fact, one of the most efficient ways to preserve the environment by replacing the use of fossil fuels to prevent the production of large amounts of carbon dioxide. Carbon emissions are responsible for trapping heat into the atmosphere, resulting in climate change. Each home can contribute to an environmental cause by using solar panels, and you can visit Solar3D to learn more about it. However, like any other device, it may have both advantages and disadvantages.
Here are its common pros and cons.
Low Maintenance Costs
The only maintenance cost for solar panels would be the inverter, which needs to be changed after 15 years of operating. These panels are designed to be resilient and durable and can withstand the elements thrown at them even in bad weather. To homeowners, you can rest easy knowing that these devices have no maintenance requirement, but always be cautious when it comes to spotting malfunctions or issues.
Renewable Energy Source
Solar power comes from the sun, which is a free energy source and is considered to be sustainable (read more). It occurs naturally and is the best alternative if you’re aiming to reduce utility bills.
Reduces Electricity Bills
Although it’s one of the big investments you’ll have to make in your life, it will most definitely be worth it in the long run because you are producing your own energy for your home.
Needs A Big Space
Solar panels take up a lot of roof space, and it’s important to consider that before having one installed. Of course, there are also a few factors to consider when it comes to how many panels your home may need. It’s essential to consider your location, how much electricity you normally use, and how much power your panels are capable of generating.
This is a well-known disadvantage when it comes to solar-powered devices. Since the sun is its source, it cannot collect energy during the night, and a few changes in the weather, such as rainy or cloudy days, may affect its energy system.
We can all agree that a solar system is not cheap, and it’s a big investment. This is because of the necessary stuff like the inverter, wiring, installation, batteries, and of course, the panels. Additionally, excess energy can be stored in large batteries that are charged during the day and are free to use at night. However, solar energy storage may be costly and, at the same time, worth it in the long run.
How Many Solar Panels Are Needed to Run a House?
Thinking of converting to a solar power system? That’s great! It’s a decision that will benefit not only you but the entire planet as well. Solar power is a clean, safe, and renewable source of energy. If you want to learn more about solar energy, Energy Report can help.
If there’s one question you need to answer before making the switch, it would be how many solar panels you actually need to run your home. After all, one panel won’t cut it. Meanwhile, getting too many will cost more and prove unnecessary.
According to Energy Sage, the average American home requires 20 to 25 solar panels to power it completely. However, figuring out the actual number will require more than just relying on this statistic. There are various factors that you’ll need to consider.
A reputable installer will provide you with all the information you’ll need, including an accurate computation. Unfortunately, as with any industry, there are solar panel providers who are simply out there for the money.
At the end of the day, it’s a thriving industry. Hence, it might prove helpful if you can at least estimate your needs. You can start by considering the following factors:
The first thing you need to account for is your annual electricity usage. This will depend on your household’s kilowatt-hours (kWh). As such, it will vary according to the electrical appliances and fixtures you have at home and how often you use them.
The latest report by the U.S. Energy Information Administration states that the average American household consumes almost 11,000 kWh per year and almost 900 kWh per month.
Next, you’ll need to learn about your solar panel’s power rating. Also referred to as solar panel wattage, it is the amount of electricity your solar panel can produce under ideal conditions. As the name suggests, it is measured in watts. Depending on their size and quality, solar panel wattage can range from 250 to 400 watts.
Another thing to keep in mind is your chosen system’s production ratio. Basically, it is the correlation between the energy output of your system in kWh and the actual system size in watts. It’s rarely 1:1. Most of the time, production ratios fall between 1.3 and 1.6.
The amount of power that your solar system can produce goes beyond just its capacity. There are still other things to consider, one of which is your home’s geographic location. It will determine how much direct sunlight your house gets each day.
For instance, California definitely gets more sun than Alaska. That said, it doesn’t mean you won’t be able to harvest enough solar energy to power your home in Alaska. You will simply need to install a larger solar array.
The bigger your house is, the more electricity it will require. Homes that are around 1,000 square feet typically need 15 panels. Meanwhile, 3,000-square-foot homes usually require up to 45 panels.
A higher square foot doesn’t necessarily mean a wider roof. After all, homes come with multiple stories. Fortunately, a panel’s efficiency doesn’t necessarily rely on its size. There are a lot of compact yet premium quality panels with a higher energy output than larger ones.
Don’t forget to consider your consumption. How many appliances do you have at home? What kind of light bulbs do you use? Do you need to recharge an electric vehicle? Do you have a heated swimming pool?
We understand how challenging it is to compute for all the electrical devices you have and use regularly. However, you can get a pretty rough estimate by noting the most power-hungry equipment in your home.
Converting to solar energy can require a substantial investment upfront. It will pay you back in time, but we understand why it’s a factor that makes even the most determined homeowners doubt their decision.
Fortunately, there are lending institutions that provide financing options. We also recommend researching any tax incentives and government assistance programs available in your area. They can help you cover the hefty installation costs.
Finding out the number of solar panels you need to power your home can be a tricky puzzle. There are numerous factors you need to consider, but you can get a reliable estimate.
This doesn’t mean you won’t need the expert opinion of your chosen solar panel installer anymore because you still do. In fact, it’s common practice for these companies to give you a rough estimate of your needs.
Fortunately, most reputable companies provide a free estimate. Thus, we recommend setting an appointment with multiple installers for more insight. Also, don’t hesitate to ask them any questions you might have.
Top Tips for Protecting Your Driveway This Winter
Taking care of your home and garden can become much harder in poor weather. When it freezes, water becomes trapped in small spaces, expanding and causing damage. Our pipes freeze and burst, our gutters become clogged, they overflow, and rainwater causes damage to the walls of our home. Fallen leaves, mud, and other debris get compacted and turn into mulch, causing slip hazards. Some of the effects of bad weather are purely aesthetic. Some of our plants die and we have to spend more time and money on cleaning and maintenance. Others can be expensive and even dangerous.
One area that faces challenges over wintertime is your driveway. You drive on it every day, visitors to your home walk across it, and it can easily become untidy and damaged, leading to slips, costly repairs, and poor curb appeal. Here are some of the things that you can do to protect your driveway, even in the worst weather.
Don’t Let Snow Sit
Letting snow sit on your drive allows a layer of ice to form at the bottom. This gets compacted, becomes deeper and stronger, and causes damage to your driveway, as well as risks to your safety. Instead of letting snow pile up, shovel snow as much as you can after every new fall.
But Shovel with Care
Using heavy shovels can cause damage unless you take care. You could inadvertently scratch or even crack your drive, especially if the snow is deep and you can’t be sure where the ground is. Instead, invest in a good plastic shovel and use it carefully.
Seal Any Cracks and Gaps
If there are any cracks or gaps in your drive, make sure they are well sealed before the snow hits. If your drive is concrete, you can typically do this with sealant – just make sure you choose a dry day when it has time to set.
If you have to pave and it is uneven and filled with cracks, it will look poor, and give ice plenty of places to expand. Black Tar Construction can makeover your uneven driveway with interlock driveway services, reducing the risks of winter damage and improving its appearance. Black Tar will remove specific uneven areas, levels, and relay your existing paving. They can also add new interlocking pavers and clean and seal your driveway.
Avoid Harsh Chemicals
There are many products on the market to help you keep your drive clean and ice-free. Many of these contain harmful chemicals, however, which could cause more serious damage over time. Instead, use sand to avoid ice and slippery patches and clean with natural products.
Sweep Leaves and Other Debris
Get into the habit of sweeping leaves and keeping your driveways clean and tidy now, and then keep on top of things as the weather worsens.
We never know what kind of winter we’re going to face. We don’t know how much it will snow, how fast the winds will be and how many storms we’ll have to endure. But we do know that winter is coming. So, it’s always best to be prepared as the weather starts to worsen.
How Tree Grates Helps Modern Cities to Become More “Greener”
As urban populations continue to grow, the need for greener cities becomes more urgent than ever before. With the rapid growth, the danger of cities developing into concrete jungles is real. Trees can halt this trend and make the cities greener and healthier. Trees not only enhance the beauty of cities but also improve air quality by drawing out carbon dioxide. Trees provide more serene surroundings, which improves mental wellbeing. They also provide shaded spaces and have a cooling effect, among other benefits.
But even with all these benefits, urban trees are under constant threat from pedestrians, vehicle traffic, air pollution, chemicals, and other dangers. One way to protect trees is through the installation of high-quality tree grating. These landscaping features don’t receive a lot of attention, yet they can help transform cities from concrete jungles into greener spaces.
This post explores how tree grates can help attain the dream of greener cities.
1. Protecting Tree Roots
Roots are essential for a tree’s survival. As the tree grows, so do the roots, and this poses a big problem in an urban setup. With so many people walking on pavements and other public spaces, damage to tree roots is real. Such damage hinders the supply of nutrients to the other parts of the tree. Root damage causes stunted tree growth and with time, such trees have to give way. Local authorities won’t invest resources to care for stunted trees.
This is where tree grates come in handy. The main function of the grating is to cover the root and provide ample room for growth. Under the tree grate, your trees can thrive with no exposure. Some of the most beautiful green cities have invested in high-quality tree grates to protect their trees from physical damage by foot or vehicle traffic.
- Allowing Free Flow of Traffic
One major complaint against trees in urban landscapes is that they cause obstruction. Of course, you expect poorly maintained trees to become a hindrance to the free flow of traffic in busy cities. Local authorities sometimes have to give in to such complaints and remove the trees. With proper tree maintenance, it’s possible to accommodate trees in the busiest of cities.
Tree grates are an integral part of urban tree maintenance. By installing tree grating over tree roots, you make it easier for foot or vehicle traffic to flow. This is the simplest technique to allow tree growth even in the biggest cities.
With the use of flexible expandable Jonite tree grates, you won’t have problems even as the tree trunk grows. By removing a ring from the tree grating, you allow more room for the tree to thrive. If you want to play a part in making your city greener, start with the installation of tree grates on your property.
3. Keeping the Environment Clean
Poorly maintained trees end up becoming an eyesore in the city. Most people dump litter around the tree trunk. What was initially a smart idea to make the city greener can become a frustrating endeavor for the authorities. If trees on urban landscapes create an environment for dumping, the local authorities might end up removing them.
A simple solution to this would be to install beautiful tree grates. These attractive installations not only enhance the impact the tree has on the surroundings but deter dumping. Installation of custom tree grates might not seem like a big deal, but these installations can easily save those trees on your property. Local authorities can also prevent dumping by installing tree coverings. This simple move protects urban trees and is a huge step towards greener cities.
4. Easing Customization Efforts
When designing urban landscapes, most authorities try to get a custom look for their cities. Older trees around the cities can hinder such efforts if not properly maintained. Luckily, the correct choice of tree grates makes it easy to get a custom landscape outlook.
There’s a wide variety of grating materials, shapes, patterns, colors, and styles to choose from for decorative purposes. Whatever urban landscape outlook the city wants, it’s possible to find tree grating that perfectly fits into the design. By using such grating systems, you can save trees and make them easier to integrate even more into the vision of the city.
5. Choosing Natural Grating Materials
Another way to use tree grates for greener cities is by choosing natural-looking products. One type of tree grate that comes to mind is natural stone grating. These easily blend into the environment. You can choose a stone color that fits the rest of the landscape. The natural-looking tree grates add a touch of natural beauty to the environment. The best tree grates accentuate the tree’s beauty and bring the dream of a greener city closer.
Green cities are the future of urban living. They are healthier, safer, sustainable, cooler, and more convenient to live in. Adding trees into urban landscapes is one of the easiest steps into greener cities. To protect these trees and ensure they thrive, consider using high-quality tree grates. These landscape installations are a big step towards achieving the dream of greener cities.
The Top Benefits of Solar Panels and Why You Should Consider Getting Them
These days, more and more people are considering switching over to alternate energy sources – particularly those which are considered renewable and clean sources of energy.
A while back, this would not have been possible for many people due to the high prices of these energy sources. While there’s no denying that it is still costly, it is often much more affordable these days, meaning it could be a valid option for you.
Solar energy in particular is a very popular source of energy, so if you’re considering having solar panels installed, this is the post for you. Keep reading as we discuss some of the benefits of having solar panels and why these benefits mean that you should at least consider getting them.
Reduced Electricity Bill
No matter how frugal you are, most of us need some kind of energy in order to go about our daily lives. Often, this comes in the form of electricity.
If you have a big family, work from home or live in a cold area, you may find that your electricity bill is incredibly high. Not only does this negatively impact your finances, but it also harms the environment.
Reducing your electricity bill is thus beneficial for many reasons. Since solar panels can help with this, it’s a valid reason for getting them. If you are buying a house with leased solar panels, be sure to do your research so that you can keep getting the benefits of them.
We all know how important it is to do our part in protecting the earth, especially because of situations like global warming. Many people have thus taken to trying to reduce their carbon footprint.
Solar panels can help with this, which is another benefit and a reason why you should consider getting them. Because solar energy uses energy from the sun, it is a renewable source of energy. And while almost all kinds of energy have some kind of impact on the environment, solar panels are one of the cleaner kinds of energy.
If you are serious about being more eco-friendly, there are plenty of other ways to do so alongside getting solar panels. An example of this would be creating an eco-friendly garden.
You Can Save Money
We’ve already discussed how solar panels can help you save money by reducing your electricity bill, but they can save you money in more ways than that.
You might be under the impression that solar panels are expensive, and that is true. However, the installation is generally the expensive part. After that, solar panels don’t require much maintenance at all, and since you won’t need to pay an electricity bill, most of your money will be spent on the installation and the panels themselves – once that’s been paid, your solar panels won’t cost you much.
Saving money is always important, no matter what your financial situation is, especially since you never know what unexpected thing can happen. For more ways to make saving money a habit, click here.
Everything You Need to Know About Home Security Systems and Technology in 2022
Technology is advancing towards new beginnings every day. It is not just electricity that is making things easier; we also have artificial intelligence, which is thinking smart and saving that energy.
An easy lifestyle that is also sustainable is the goal! Technology is making every sector of our life effectively simpler. Then why should something as important as home security have all the manual work. Here are some smart home setup tips.
Let’s face it, we can never be too secure, and there will be times when we will double-check the gate. But there are smart home security appliances that can give you much ease and peace at night, when you sleep alone, or with children, or with defenseless elderly parents.
Here are some of the important, expert proven smart technologies which can provide ironclad home security and everything you need to know about them.
If you are planning to get all the security systems to safeguard your house, DIY-ing it is the last thing you would want to do. It might look easy with all the YouTube videos, but if you want to secure your house with perfection, then getting professional help is the way to go.
Smith Thompson announced the best equipment that can safeguard your home from burglars, and they are worth checking out.
1. Hardware Can Be Placed Anywhere
Yes, you would want to intimidate the burglar, but you wouldn’t want to make everything very obvious. The sign that is provided by the home security installer is enough to scare the suspicious invader away, but they shouldn’t know the position of all the cameras set up within the house.
This is like giving them all the ammunition to simply plan it better. Now you have several pieces of hardware that blend with your house’s decor, and you can place them anywhere. For example, innovative speakers or motion sensors are a part of a wall hanging or a painting.
2. Everything Can Be Connected to the Wi-Fi [Hence to Your Phone]
Now you can have everything connected to your house Wi-Fi, whether it is the motion sensors, nanny cameras, or CCTV cameras. You do not have to set up a big screen somewhere in the house to get updates on everything happening.
You can now get quick notifications on the phone every time the alarm goes off or the motion sensor detects something. This can help you save valuable time and think quickly rather than being shocked by the panic of an unexpected incident.
False alarms are irritating on their own.
First, it induces panic when heard in the middle of the night out of nowhere.
Second, it could be very difficult to turn them off because of the complication in their making.
You literally have to call a maintenance person to finally set the alarm back. This is extremely dangerous for elderly people as it can cause paranoia. But, with AI technology coming into play, everything is getting smarter.
You do not even have to go switch the alarm off. False alarms are a rare case when it comes to AI-powered home security, but even if they do go off, the AI will always know that it is a false alarm in a few minutes.
4. Alarms for Children
Yes, you have to protect your house when it comes to the outside invasion. But security also means protecting the people inside from other things. For example, if you have children and you ask for a regular babysitter when you are not at home. Wouldn’t you want to know what they are doing?
With the cameras in your house directly interlinked with your cellular device, you will better understand how they are being taken care of. One more important technology that helps you monitor your children without physically being there is restricted alarms.
Sometimes when kids are playing, they have a tendency to wander off when not supervised. If you are in a different room and you do not want your toddler to walk out of their playroom, then getting these alarms can be of great help.
Whenever a certain boundary is crossed, the alarms automatically go off. Additionally, you also get a notification on your phone, allowing you to immediately take action.
You do not have to sit for hours with a user manual or a YouTube tutorial in order to install the hardware of these security systems because now you have trained professionals to do that.
Before you shift in a home, you can hire a home security installation company, and they will happily take all the burden from your shoulder. On top of that, their training will pose a great importance as they can analyze your home better.
For example, that small utility room in your backyard. While you were trying to get all the cameras set up near your front gate, you forgot that this room is an amazing hiding place for any intruder.
Don’t worry, the workers from the installation company will never forget about all these spaces. They will protect your house under the smart security system.
The reason why smart home security technologies are so hyped about is that they can save valuable time. A simple nanny camera with motion sensors might sound like a big investment right now, but you never know when dangers strike.
With things like danger siren alarms and panic buttons to contact the nearby police and hospitals, these smart technologies take away the panic of puzzlement and give you the time to think and take action.
There is essentially no going back when you start using these smart home technologies! You will finally realize how less was achieved through manual safeguarding. These smart technologies will give you a peaceful sleep at night.
Plus, you wouldn’t have to worry when you are leaving your house empty. You can always monitor through the camera and get a notification of any suspicious activities caught in the sensor.
Home Decor Tips
You might have been wondering how to make your home your desired Eldorado. How to ensure that you excel with colors, align arrangement of your room furniture, mix the right paint gradient, and how to improve on the aesthetic ambiance of your home amongst others. Stay put, as you are guaranteed to receive amazing home décor tips here.
Tell the World Who You Are
Proclaim your personality from the main entrance to your home! Whether from the gate, main porch entrance, or your flat’s door, declare to the world who you are. Your profession, personality, and religion all come to play from your first main entrance. To further amplify your declaration, you might need wall art to do the talking for you while you relax.
Add Some Greenery
Of what use is your home without some appreciable greenery? You need to consider having some green plant baskets hung on your walls for effect. Interestingly, these plants come in diverse shapes, sizes, and pocket-friendly prices. However, you might not have the patience, time, and energy to tend to these green plants. A suitable alternative would be to have wall arts to depict your choice of green plant, and you are good to go.
Hang at Least One Wall Art in Every Room
While the saying that hangs at least one mirror in every room is okay, we say; hang at least one wall art in every room and see the magical transformation this would bring to your rooms. Depending on your personality, you can decide to tell a story or say something profound to your existence with the wall arts in each room.
Avoid Pushing Your Furniture to the Wall
For whatever reason, avoid the temptation of banishing your furniture to the walls all in a bid to make your room look bigger. This reasoning is illusory, as pushing your settee to your room does not make your room look bigger, rather the reverse is the case.
Let In Some Sunlight and Fresh Air
Sometimes it might just be okay to have your window blind shut tight or your thick curtains hugging your windows and walls and not ready to let go. But sometimes it might just as well be a splendid idea to turn off your air conditioning system or fan, part your curtain or window blind wide, open your windows wide and let in some doze of fresh air. Let your room take in the early morning or cool evening therapeutic refreshing breeze. Savor the taste in the air, hear the chirping birds sing, or the honking cars move, appreciate the scenery of the busy street daily hustle and bustle from your bedroom, living room, kitchen, or even toilet! If you are unable to do these, then you need not worry much as you can still relish the ambiance of these scenic environments with extraordinary wall art that depicts these features.
Try Out Rugs and Tapestry
The advantages of using either rug or tapestry for your home are quite much. The major one is that they are easily detachable and foldable. They come in a myriad of colors, shapes, and sizes.
It is great you have stayed put to the end! However, the decision to put these ideas to use lies solely within your reach. Make the right choice today with Elephant Stock art gallery for more alluring wall art.
Things To Consider Before Purchasing a Vacation Home
Buying your first vacation home is a huge investment. There are a few things that you should take into consideration to help you make an informed financial decision. Think about what you require from your vacation home and your ideal location. Here are a few things that you should consider before making an offer on your dream vacation home.
Weigh Up the Pros and Cons
Before you purchase your vacation home, you should take time to weigh up the pros and cons. Write down a list of pros and compare them to the cons. Think about why you want a vacation home. Most people see vacation homes as an investment. Rent out your home to other vacationers to help you cover the costs of upkeep. Research shows that many vacation homeowners already do this as 2.58 million rental properties in the US are seasonally occupied. Take time to understand how much money you could save on holidays each year.
Consider A Jumbo Loan
Examine the loan options that are available to you. Jumbo loans are commonly used on properties that are of high value or to refinance existing loans. Use expert advice from organizations like The Home Loan Expert, who can guide you through each step of the jumbo loan refinance process. Have a clear idea of how big you wish your vacation home to be. Using a jumbo loan will help you to finance larger amounts. Take into account that you may need a larger down payment.
Work Out Your Finances
Ask yourself how much money can you afford to spend on a vacation home each month? Take time to write down a list of the total costs required to maintain a vacation home. Consider the cost of your monthly mortgage payments, bills, maintenance issues, insurance, and furniture. Use a budget planner to help you stay organized. Avoid spending your money on unnecessary items to help you save up money for your new property.
Choose Your Location Wisely
Research a few different locations for your holiday home. Try to widen your options as different areas will vary in price. Ask people who live in your desired location for recommendations.
Renovating Your Backyard: 5 Things to Keep In Mind
Winter is one of the best times to renovate your backyard to have it ready to enjoy during the warm summer weather. Please keep reading to learn more about five important things to keep in mind when doing a backyard remodel.
The Outdoor Life You Want
There are a few things to consider when renovating your backyard, such as how you currently use your backyard now and how you want to use it in the future. It would help if you thought about what the perfect backyard oasis means to you.
If you have children and/or pets, it also makes sense to include them in your vision as well. A pool is great, but a pool could be a safety hazard if you have young children. If you have adventurous pets, making sure you use pet-friendly plants and proper fencing is also something to consider.
It boils down to how you want to use your backyard. Do you want to use it for entertaining or relaxing outdoors? Do you like playing sports and want to enjoy your own soccer field steps from the house? The outdoor life you want is critical for planning your new backyard.
When planning your backyard remodel, when to start construction is something to think about. Construction is generally a hassle, so choosing a time that works best for you is ideal.
Starting in the fall or winter, when you are less likely to be outdoors and so that your oasis is ready by the warmer months, might work best for you. If you live in an area that gets a lot of snow or rain, that’s okay! Thankfully, with construction crane mats, snow doesn’t have to slow down the work in your backyard. You can use construction mats to gain traction across snowy or wet ground if using large equipment for your remodel.
When looking at construction mats, composite mats are best. They are more lightweight than wood or wood-like mats and make clean-up a breeze. Composite mats help protect the ground underneath and create a path for any machinery that needs to come into your backyard.
The design of your backyard vision is essential as a functional, low-maintenance design will be best in the long run.
Landscaping can make a dramatic change in the look and feel of your backyard. Sometimes all your backyard may need is a simple change in landscaping or plants, and it feels brand new. Updating the landscaping may be all your backyard needs.
When choosing plants, trees, and flowers for your new backyard, make sure to consider the climate and topography of your backyard as well. Foliage that does well in your environment and regional soil is the best choice. Depending on how much work you want to do in your backyard, maintenance levels are essential to factor in as well.
The costs for remodeling can quickly get out of hand if you don’t go into the project with a set budget. Not only are there costs for the construction and remodel itself, but you also need to factor in additional maintenance costs of the backyard once it is complete.
Make sure to consider whether you can finance your remodel not only with the upfront costs but also the upkeep costs later down the line.
Hire the Right Person for the Job
This doesn’t apply if you’re going down the DIY path. But depending on how extensive your backyard remodel is, hiring a proper, professional contractor who does excellent work is critical.
Doing your research, talking to multiple contractors, and asking others who’ve gone through this process before for recommendations can help you find someone who will do a good job, is certified, and has the right price.
Redesigning your background correctly requires the proper expertise, vision, and time. Having a plan in place can facilitate the process and result in not only a beautiful new backyard oasis, but also sticking to your budget and timeline.
Marketing on Google: 8 Tips to Market Your Home Business
Businesses often have a love-hate relationship with Google algorithms. As the search engine giant demands high-standard content from websites, it can be quite picky when it comes to ranking and assessing a company’s online authority.
Here are some tips to help market your business:
1. Sign Up for a GMB Account
The first and most crucial step for all businesses is setting up a Google My Business account, which provides you access to all the digital marketing tools that Google offers.
Here you’ll be able to edit and manage your Google Business profile, which contains the most basic information about your company, from its name, address, contact number, and products.
Any updates or changes that you have in terms of prices, operational hours, and more will have to pass through this account.
It also gives you updates regarding any changes in the search engine algorithms that are evaluating your website. More importantly, this account is free, which is especially beneficial for a budding home business that’s trying to save funds and resources.
2. Connect Through Gmail
Local SEO Search Inc., one of the best SEO companies in Toronto (Canada’s central digital hub) will tell you that reaching out to customers first is always a good move. And, one of the most effective ways that you can do that is through a cold outreach technique called email marketing.
Using Google’s efficient and reliable Gmail software, you’ll be able to easily send reminders, vouchers, and promotional messages directly to your clients. However, it’s important to properly tailor and optimize your messages first to avoid getting classified as spam by users and by Google’s strict algorithm.
3. Highlight Location
Digital marketing experts often tell you that content quality should be a top priority when it comes to enhancing your SEO.
However, solely relying on this principle will give a slow customer yield and can have some businesses asking, “How long will it be until we can expect SEO results?” Sure, content quality matters, but the key is to accompany it with other techniques such as local ads promotion.
You can do this by creating a separate location-specific site page that focuses on your target area.
This strategy works best with home businesses that have a limited working space that customers can access due to the absence of a physical establishment. A separate location page is also highly appreciated by Google search engine algorithms as it helps them to pinpoint stores for customer queries that specify a location.
4. Invest in Local Ads
LSAs or Local service ads are Google’s solution for home businesses aiming to expand their local customer reach.
Similar to the original Google ads, this localized version can have your businesses listed as a top result in SERPs when customers input a particular location. Now, even though this service is not free, packages and prices are very affordable and can be easily customized depending on your proposed budget.
5. Business Profile Optimization
After you’ve signed up for a Google My Business Account, you will then be redirected to your Google My Business Profile, which contains all your business’ information.
There will be plenty of things to fill out, ranging from zip code, address, name, category, photos, FAQs, reviews, posts, and more. And, depending on which category you are in, it will open up to a new section concerning bookings, appointments, amenities, services, and more.
The important thing to remember when filling out this profile is to never leave a blank. Optimize your profile by filling it with updated and factual information. Doing so will increase your website authority and customer trust.
6. Get Listed as a Service-Area Company
A home business’ greatest strength is its location and its capability to offer service to a loyal local following. Since you already have insight into the area, you’ll be able to know the current demands and needs of your target audience.
So, if you’re a shop offering appliance repair in Markham, it’s best to focus your resources on catering to your local customers.
You can better reach out to them by listing your shop as a service-area business in your Google My Business Profile. Doing so will allow you to provide more information about your services, which customers highly appreciate.
7. Provide Authentic Photos
Using stock photos is frowned upon by Google’s algorithms. Not only will it alert them that your content is possibly fraudulent but it can also confuse some of your customers.
To ensure that you are providing the most authentic experience and service, try to upload original, self-captured photos of your products, location landmarks, and employees.
8. Utilize Google Search
Google, like any business, will appreciate it if you’re using their services. So, to get on their good side you should use their software tools in every online and surfing need. Use it as you look for competitors, keywords, sponsors, opportunities, and more.
At the end of the day, what you’ll see in its results will also be seen by your competitors and the audience. So, by familiarizing Google’s ins and outs, your home business can have an easier time adapting to digital marketing.
With more than 1 billion people using Google to surf the web, the failure to shift to digital marketing on this platform can be the end of your home business. One simple listing can create a huge difference in your market influence and open new doors of opportunity for you. So, for a budding home business like yours that aims to increase local market influence, Google provides affordable services that can launch you towards success.
We Buy Houses in San Bernardino – Common Issues Encountered During Property Sales
San Bernardino, located in Southern California, might be one of the best places to raise a family. As the second-largest city in the inland empire of Southern California, it has lots of public schools and health centers and is full of attractions.
However, the most common reason why people move to this place is the availability of affordable houses. Its excellent sunny weather is another reason why people move to this area.
Besides these fantastic attractions, occupants of this area enjoy access to several luxuries, including tennis courts, a shooting range, and adventurous hiking trails.
Regardless of these excellent benefits of living in San Bernardino, people still move out due to the inefficient transport systems in some places.
Whatever reason you decide to move out of the area, you might want to consider the stress of selling a house in San Bernardino. Not to worry though, we buy houses in San Bernardino.
Before you go online to look for buyers for your house, there are some things to know. The information is well detailed in this write-up.
What Documents Do You Need To Sell Your House in San Bernardino?
Before going through search results on “companies that buy houses near me,” it’s essential that you make some documents available. Here are some of the relevant documentation requirements to finalize a deal.
This document passes the rights of ownership that you have on a property to the buyer. In San Bernardino, you can get the deed to your house from the area’s county recorder’s office.
Collecting the document is free, but you might pay a fee depending on the locale.
Information Regarding Personal Identification
As important as it is to confirm the identity of companies that advertise their services with the tag “we buy houses in San Bernardino,” they also have to verify your identity.
These companies verify your identity because many individuals partake in fraudulent activities, causing the buyer of the property a considerable loss.
So, make sure to have your driver’s license or state-issued identification card available to prove your identity.
Housing Society or Association Documents
Before a transfer of ownership of your house between you and the buyer can take place, you must obtain authorization from a competent authority. In San Bernardino, the society is the San Bernardino homeowners association (HOA).
This document is one of the most crucial when selling a house in San Bernardino or any other area. The sales agreement covers all the terms of closing of the deal and includes disclosures.
The document is the most powerful during a transaction because it’s accepted legally as evidence. If someone makes a claim over your property, you’ll need to provide this document to prove ownership
Problems You Avoid When We Buy Your House at PropertyEscape
Even though people are always searching for houses to buy, selling off your property might turn out to be too stressful for you. In the possibility that someone comes to check out the house, their offer might not be attractive.
Most individuals contact real estate platforms like PropertyEscape because we buy houses in San Bernardino as-is and for cash without hassles.
Some other problems that you could face when trying to sell your house are:
Structural Issues With the Building
After staying in a house for long or due to poor maintenance, you’ll either have to spend some money on repairs or sell the property as-is. Although there are buyers who don’t mind buying properties that need repairs, there are very few of them.
The majority of buyers would not want to pay for a house where they would need to spend extra on repairs. So, depending on your financial condition, it may be better to fix the problems to increase the market value of your house.
The Buyer Might Change Their Mind
Indecision is typical among people who buy houses. Since they usually have several offers, they can easily change their minds about buying your home, leaving you heartbroken.
There’s nothing you can do to change their minds most of the time. So, you have to start the process again, looking for a new buyer.
We buy houses in San Bernardino as-is and with cash so you can skip the entire process of finding buyers for your house, especially if you’re in a hurry to sell.
Difficulty in Attracting Buyers
If you’re trying to get a good deal from cash buyers for houses in California, you need them to see the property in its best shape inside and out so that you can gain their interest.
Most likely, because you don’t have the experience of a real estate agent, you’ll not have the knowledge required to get this done. Thus, securing a buyer for your house can become very tough or nearly impossible.
A competent real estate agent will relieve homeowners of the stress of finding buyers to purchase their homes by offering fair prices with zero stress.
Selling a house to a cash buyer in San Bernardino isn’t an easy feat to accomplish, especially if you have no experience in real estate. We’ve covered some of the common issues that real estate investors may encounter when trying to sell a property.
From being aware of all the potential pitfalls and how they can be avoided or mitigated to knowing what kind of buyer you’ll need for your specific situation. If you have any questions about anything in our article, please don’t hesitate to reach out! We’re always happy to provide more information on these topics as well as offer guidance on where else you might find help with regard to selling a house.
What are other issues real estate investors may encounter when trying to sell? Have there been times when one issue was particularly difficult for you? Let us know below!
Environment-Related Activities in Your Company to Promote Sustainability
If you want to help address the global environmental issues today, the efforts have to start right at your firm. Well, the problem of global warming might look huge, but the combined effort of individual companies can have a huge impact. As a corporate, your overall goal should be ESG sustainability reporting. This is the process of disclosing company data and its impact in three areas, environment, social, and governance. In this post, we take a closer look at the environment, and the activities you can undertake in the company to promote sustainability.
Before looking at the best activities that you can engage in for sustainability, let’s start with understanding the importance of the environment. Whether you run a processing firm or an insurance company, the operations are directly or indirectly linked to the environment. A manufacturer will require materials that are drawn from the environment, while a bank will generate reports on papers harvested from trees.
Even for firms that do not directly impact the environment, the effects of degradation still affect them. The impacts of global warming are affecting everyone. Therefore, it is paramount to identify areas where you can contribute towards addressing the challenges facing the environment. So, let’s look at environment-related activities and how you can use them for ESG sustainability reporting.
If your facility generates some waste, failing to address it can result in serious damage to the environment. A manufacturing company releasing toxic waste into the natural waterway can cause harm to marine wildlife. If the toxic waste finds its way up the food chain, it can even reach and affect human beings. You can avoid this in a number of ways:
- Cutting down the waste coming from your facility.
- Treating the waste before releasing it into the environment.
- Recycling the waste coming from the facility.
- Working with other recycling facilities to help with waste recycling and energy recovery.
You might also want to consider changing the raw materials and adopting those that generate no or very little waste.
If you have a manufacturing facility, the success you can achieve depends on the equipment installed in the production line. If they are not efficient, this means that you are likely to be releasing a lot of emissions and wastes. A good course of action would be replacing them with high-efficiency models. If the cost of the equipment is very high, the chances are that it will be a lot lower when looked at in the long term. Remember also to capture the information on costs in the ESG report because this might be the step you need to justify the need for additional funds.
Global warming, the biggest problem of our times, is caused by the excessive release of greenhouse gases into the atmosphere. Therefore, your company can help address it by shifting to sustainable energy solutions. Good examples of clean energy include wind energy, solar energy, and geothermal. Make sure to indicate addressing global warming as part of the company’s ESG sustainability reporting goals.
To make your efforts deliver greater impacts and impress your stakeholders, ensure to demonstrate a clear plan for the actions. This means starting the ESG reporting process with a review of the company and making the action specific. Again, the data should be correct and verifiable. To achieve these, and adhere to all the ESG sustainability reporting principles, it is important to have an appropriate program. Visit Diginex.com to pick the best environmental management software and expertise.
Author Bio = Mashum Mollah is an entrepreneur and passionate blogger. He is on a mission to help small businesses grow online. He shares his journey, insights, and experiences at SBNewsRoom. If you are an entrepreneur, marketing professional, or simply an info-holic, then this blog is for you.
4 Tips for Successful Hydroponic Growing
With the global population growing at a rate of approximately 1.05% per year or 81 million people annually, the increased demand placed on the Earth’s natural resources calls for new and innovative solutions to farming methods and food production.
One possible solution which has developed in the field of horticulture is a method of growing plants known as Hydroponics. Here plants are grown without soil, by using a nutrient-rich growing medium such as coco coir, gravel, rockwool, or sand, allowing for nutrients to be absorbed directly into the plant’s roots.
Without the need for soil, crops such as corn can be grown throughout the year, resulting in higher yields and fewer fluctuations in price. If you are looking for some growing tips for your hydroponic plants then read on.
Before plants can be introduced to a hydroponic growing system it is important to check the quality of your water supply to ensure the pH levels are correct. Ideally, the water should have a pH of between 5.5 and 6.5 which can be measured using pH strips or a pH meter.
EC or Electrical Conductivity levels of water measure its ability to dissolve salts and other chemicals and should also be checked to ensure your plants receive the nutrients and minerals they need from the water. The temperature of the water should be kept between 68°F and 72°F and can be maintained through the use of a heater or chiller.
One of the most important factors when it comes to hydroponic plant growth is light. Grow light for indoor plants is an essential factor in the cultivation of hydroponic plant growth, especially when there is less sunlight available.
Light-emitting diode lamps or LEDs are a preferred method for many growers due to their efficiency and effectiveness and their full spectrum of light which is similar to the rays of the sun. Lighting can also be adjusted according to the life cycle of your plants.
The right growing medium is another essential step when it comes to your hydroponic success. Due to the absence of soil in this method plants must be supported in other ways.
The growing medium must have the right combination of oxygen and moisture allowing for nutrients to be properly absorbed by the roots of the plants. Coco coir and rockwool are some of the popular mediums used by growers as they retain moisture and oxygen well.
Without the presence of soil to nourish your plants, hydroponic plants will require nutrient-based solutions which are specifically designed for growing plants hydroponically.
Hydroponic plants need 17 essential nutrients in order to grow and develop properly, therefore, a good quality nutrient fertilizer will be required. With a variety of nutrient-rich fertilizers on the market to choose from it is advisable to purchase from a reputable supplier and to ensure the solution is right for the types of plants you are growing and the stage they are at in their life cycle.
These four tips will help to ensure the success of growing your plants hydroponically.
Choosing the Right Greenhouses for Your Backyard – Tips to Buy the Best
A greenhouse is an essential part for gardening enthusiasts. It is ideal for sowing seeds, growing tender plants, germinating tender crops, and taking cuttings.
A wide range of options is available when choosing a greenhouse. The prices depend upon the variety you choose. The cost of a greenhouse may vary from a hundred to thousands of dollars.
The final choice of greenhouse depends upon your budget and available area. When purchasing a new Greenhouse, you should look for a quality brand that comes with a guarantee, to safeguard you against any manufacturing defects.
It is better to settle on the site first, as it is the prime determinant for the size of a greenhouse you are installing. After finalizing the site, and size, you can proceed with other factors. Decide whether you can lay the greenhouse foundation yourself or need a professional to do it.
Here in this article, we will provide you with some tips that help you choose the best greenhouse option. We also discuss the factors to consider while making a correct choice.
After finalizing the greenhouse, there are some essential kits and accessories that you will need to maintain the greenhouse. Garden sheds are also the options if you opt for outdoor storage over growing space. But choosing a greenhouse is a better prospect.
Factors to Consider When Buying a Greenhouse
1. Size of a Greenhouse
The greenhouse comes in 2 feet increments. The area is measured in width, length, and height. For a limited or smaller site, a 6 feet wide greenhouse is a good option. Although having an 8 feet wide greenhouse enables you to have shelves on both sides.
A height of 5 feet will allow a sufficient amount of sunlight. Gardening enthusiasts wish to have the biggest one if their budget and area are enough to do so.
Vertical gardening is an excellent idea for a small area. You can have a greenhouse with maximum height even if your site is smaller in size. With an elevated greenhouse, you can opt for vertical gardening.
2. Greenhouse Shape
Traditional shape, Octagonal shape, and Lean-to shape are three primary shapes of a greenhouse. New shapes, like domes, are also in trend. Domes and Octagonal shapes are best for an awkward open area. A lean-to shape gets a benefit of an already existing structure. If a wall of an existing structure faces the south, it will remain warm even at night due to sunlight absorbed in the wall helping the plants to rise faster.
3. Timber or Metal Greenhouse?
Aluminum is economical and low on maintenance. It is available in different colors and comes powder-coated. Timber is attractive but costly and needs regular maintenance. Wooden models are better than metal in maintaining temperature. It requires a brick or timber wall up to half of its height for support. It holds the sunlight heat very well, but you cannot do plantations at ground level.
4. Which Glaze to Choose for a Greenhouse?
Glasses for horticultural use allow maximum sunlight. It is easy to replace if damaged and long-lasting. Comparatively, toughened glasses are more costly. However, it is a better option when kids and heavy traffic surround the place. A toughened glass shatters safely on the damage. Polycarbonate is also an alternative for durability and cost and provides better insulation but allows lesser sunlight through it.
5. Greenhouse Ventilation
Ventilation is necessary for humid and hot weather. A greenhouse measuring 6 x 8 feet in width can have two hinged vents at the roof and also on the walls. An automatic vent opener for a greenhouse is a new technique that is trending nowadays.
Greenhouse ventilation helps in every system of plant growth.
6. Greenhouse Floor
The flooring of a greenhouse is necessary. A level floor is essential for better results. Gravels on sand or hardcore top allow easy drainage. You can make it wet in summer for humid air ventilation. Borders with soil are excellent to sow crop seeds in a greenhouse.
7. Greenhouse for Home Office
To go green at your workplace is like showing responsibility towards the environment. Be careful while installing shelves to your work desk yourself. Your desk should have enough space so that it does not hamper your work. The height of the desk or counter will work well if you sit on a chair or stool. Add a hardtop to your desk to write comfortably making a perfect greenhouse for the home office place.
8. Placing the Greenhouse
Take some precautions while installing a greenhouse at your living place. One of the precautions you must consider is not to install a greenhouse near the swimming pool deck. If a greenhouse already exists, never construct a swimming pool nearby. A greenhouse near a swimming pool has its negative impacts.
9. Greenhouse Alternatives
A polytunnel is a cost-effective alternative to a greenhouse. However, it is a less attractive option. A polytunnel is an alternate way to grow tomatoes in summer and lettuce in winter. It does not hold sunlight like a greenhouse in winters, thus unable to give sufficient protection to tender plants in winter.
A cold frame is helpful to provide a supplement to a greenhouse. It helps take cuttings, shield plants in the worst of winter, and harden off plants. It is used in seeds sowing that requires a cool temperature.
Mini greenhouses are good options for small gardens. They are feasible in growing tomatoes, peppers, and aubergines. Mini greenhouses are effective in small kindergarten schools to teach gardening to students. Gardening by students makes them aware of their responsibility towards the environment.
Guidance Is Necessary
Greenhouse helps grow off-season plants, crops, and vegetables, providing a feasible environment. Never hurry to install a greenhouse. Instead, follow the tips given above to choose from the available options.
With the help of the tips provided in this article, you will surely make the best decision in choosing a greenhouse.
4 Ways to Get the Most Out of Your Outdoor Space
Sometimes, our outdoor spaces do not get as much love as the interiors of our homes. We tend to forget about our backyards, patios, and decks, focusing on living rooms and bedrooms instead. Nevertheless, an outdoor space is an integral part of every home that significantly affects its curb appeal.
To make the most out of the outdoor space you have, you might want to search for ways to improve its looks and practicality. Lucky for you, we have a list of solutions that will help you do just that. From installing retractable awnings and planting some herbs in your backyard to going for water features and adding a fire pit in the middle of your outdoor living area — there are plenty of things you can do to make your outdoor space more appealing.
If you want to learn some of the best tips to incorporate into your outdoor space, read on!
One of the most important aspects of your outdoor space is its shade. If you live in an area with really sunny days, you might want to find a way to get some shade in your backyard without having to build some kind of structure or buy an expensive umbrella.
A retractable pergola is a perfect solution that will allow you to enjoy your outdoor space while maintaining an optimal level of comfort. This type of awning allows you to control the amount of shade it provides, so you can choose whether you want to sit in direct sunlight or in the shade.
If you decide to install a retractable awning, make sure to get one with high-quality materials. The awning frame should be made of stainless steel or aluminum, which is rust-resistant and sturdy. You should also make sure that the fabric is resistant to ultraviolet rays and water since it will be exposed to both during hot afternoons.
Herbs are not only good for cooking purposes but also for enhancing the beauty of your outdoor space. You can plant all kinds of herbs in your patio or backyard, especially if you have enough space for them to grow.
For example, you can plant some basil, cilantro, oregano, thyme, or rosemary. These herbs have various uses for cooking, but they also add a touch of nature to your outdoor living area. They are also easy to grow and maintain, so you will not have any issues watering them or keeping them alive.
If you do not want to plant herbs in your backyard or patio, you can choose some decorative pots instead. Make sure they are made of high-quality materials. The pot should be made of solid plastic or metal, and it should be durable and resistant to weather conditions. You should also pay attention to the design and color of the pot — this way, you will be able to match it with your current decor.
There are plenty of reasons why adding a fireplace in your outdoor area is a great idea — first of all, they look fantastic. If you have a fireplace in your house, you should go for a fire feature that matches it — this way, your house will look like a complete set.
However, the main reason why fireplaces are such a great addition to any backyard or patio is that they provide warmth and create an intimate environment for those who sit next to them. If you do not want to go for a fireplace because it is too big and bulky, opt for a smaller fire feature like a gas fire pit that provides an intimate and cozy feeling without taking too much space.
If you want to install a fire feature in your outdoor area, make sure it is well-protected from weather conditions and vandals — otherwise, it will not serve its purpose for long. Also, try not to place it near susceptible objects like furniture and plants — it could cause damage to these items if it comes into contact with them!
In addition to providing a cool decoration for your backyard or patio, water features can also help improve the aesthetic value of your outdoor area by adding a bit of life and movement. If you want a waterfall or a water fountain that will add a touch of nature to your outdoor space, then this is what you need!
There are plenty of different types of water features available nowadays — from elegant water fountains that stand on their own base to small-scale architectural fountains that can go right into your pool or pond. The choice is up to you — all you have to do is pick one that fits your needs perfectly!
Your outdoor space is an important part of your house that can significantly improve its curb appeal. If you want to make the most out of it, there are many ways to do it. You might consider adding a retractable awning, planting some herbs, going for a fire or water feature. These additions will make your outdoor living area more appealing and enjoyable at the same time!
Nevertheless, there are a plethora of other ways to improve the aesthetics and practicality of your backyard or patio. All you have to do is find a solution that matches your needs and gives you the results you want. No matter what you pick, make sure it is made from high-quality materials and that it matches your current decor!
The only thing that remains is to take action and start improving your outdoor environment!
5 Tips for Garden Plumbing
The plants in your garden require enough water and at the right frequency. If any of this isn’t achieved, the plants in your garden will start to wilt and eventually die. This is the last thing you want as a homeowner who is passionate about playing your part to make the world a greener place to live. Fortunately, an irrigation system helps you accomplish this goal by ensuring that your plants are watered at all times.
Getting the right irrigation system isn’t straightforward, and you may need help from a plumbing expert. You may also want to take a few plumber courses. However, this guide will take you through garden plumbing tips to consider when installing your garden’s irrigation setup.
1. Be Familiar With Your Area’s Water Regulation
Before you buy the necessary gardening components from EasyMerchant or hire a plumber, make sure to first familiarize yourself with your locality’s implemented water regulations. You can find this information either by reading over resources explaining in detail your area’s water regulations. This means either personally visiting your state’s offices or checking their website.
Another option would be consulting with a certified professional who’s well-versed with the local water regulation. You can also research online to find all the relevant information on your area’s water regulation. Doing this gives you the peace of mind to proceed and install a quality irrigation system without worrying about any legal repercussions later in the future. It also saves you from paying more money on plumbers for repair or redo.
2. Know the Right Components
It would be best to avoid installing an irrigation system on your own. Otherwise, you might spend more money on this project due to issues that later arise in the future. This usually happens because you aren’t familiar with the proper plumbing equipment required to get the job done.
3. Inspect the Irrigation System
You’ll need to regularly examine the irrigation system to make sure that it’s in perfect working condition. During this inspection, you need to pay close attention to the nozzles and valves to confirm they’re working well. Doing this is critical as rocks and soil usually find their way into the valves or nozzles and block the smooth flow of water. As a result, this affects how well your garden gets watered.
Other changes you need to make are replacing depleted batteries and inspecting the timers to check the dates and time. In addition, you should carefully examine the lines for potential leaks that might prevent your garden from getting adequate water.
4. Use a Drip Line Emitter
Water pressure keeps changing from time to time. The best way to address this problem is by using a drip line emitter which ensures that all the plants in your garden are always well-watered regardless of the water pressure. In addition, the drip line emitter prevents damage to your flower bed due to excess water pressure as it controls the flow of water. The water also gets directed straight into the soil, meaning your plants won’t suffer any damage.
5. Prepare Yourself Financially
Setting up an irrigation system isn’t cheap, and you don’t want to rush into this project without preparing yourself financially in advance. There are many costs involved during this project, such as buying the necessary components and paying a professional plumber.
When looking for a plumber, you should take your time and try to find one who charges reasonable prices without compromising on the quality of their services. You also need to carefully examine the components to install in your garden’s irrigation system, as some can considerably stretch your budget.
For the plants in your garden to thrive, they need a constant water supply. However, this can’t be achieved without a proper irrigation system that ensures your garden is appropriately watered.
4 Energy-Saving Tips for Every Season
Energy-efficient home improvements are, without a doubt, a worthwhile investment that will help you cut down your bills and ensure that you’re doing something good for the planet. What is best is that going green doesn’t necessarily mean you have to make significant changes to your lifestyle. In most cases, it’s all about the small improvements that work together to help you live a more sustainable but comfortable life.
For example, you don’t have to resign from using a microwave or an oven just because they use a lot of energy — you can switch to new, state-of-the-art, energy-efficient appliances. It’s really that simple!
Installing a programmable thermostat, switching to LED light bulbs, and minding your appliances are just a few more of the many simple steps you can take to make your home more energy-efficient. Does it sound like something you’re interested in? If so, then continue reading for more information that will help you improve the efficiency of your property.
When it comes to saving energy, your appliances play a huge part in contributing to your utility bills every month. Appliances account for around 15 percent of a family’s energy bill, and some of the biggest culprits include refrigerators, freezers, televisions, and dishwashers.
In most cases, these appliances have a lot of power-consuming features, such as a built-in freezer. To lower your energy consumption, it’s essential to check the settings on your devices and, if necessary, adjust them accordingly.
You might also want to take a closer look at your water heater, as a typical one will heat the water in your home even when no one is there. For this reason, you can install an occupancy sensor, so it won’t heat the water unless someone is present in the house.
Additionally, if you ever hear your water heater making noise, you should pay close attention to the sound that you hear. Among other issues, it might mean that your water pipes aren’t properly insulated, which leads to losing the produced heat and energy.
Some people know that they can save money by installing a programmable thermostat but are unsure whether they should do it. Others are simply not aware of the benefits that come with having one of these convenient devices installed in their homes.
It’s important to note that programmable thermostats are automatic in most cases, meaning that you don’t have to manually make adjustments to the thermostat to get it to turn on or off. Smart thermostats allow you to adjust the temperature even when you’re away by using the app on your mobile phone. The app also lets you program your climate control systems, so they adjust to your schedule.
For instance, if no one is at home from 8 AM to 4 PM, you can program your thermostat to power down during those times, so it lowers the temperature and uses less energy. Suppose you get home from work at 5 PM. In that case, your programmable thermostat will automatically adjust the temperature so that you come home to a cool (or warm, depending on the season) and comfortable house.
Doing this will help you save up to 23 percent on heating and cooling costs, which is an amount that can account for several hundred dollars in savings per year!
One of the easiest ways to reduce your energy consumption is switching out your old light bulbs for newer, more efficient LED ones. Most LED light bulbs last longer than regular ones, consume less energy, and often require less maintenance than older ones.
It’s important to note that due to their high efficiency, LED light bulbs might be a little bit more expensive than regular light bulbs, but over time you’ll be able to save money by not having to buy replacements as often. The only downside is that while LEDs are more efficient than regular light bulbs, they don’t work too well with most dimmer switches. If this is the case in your home, it’s best to use an electronic ballast (such as preheat ballasts) that will allow you to dim the lights.
The good news is that if you decide to install LED light bulbs in your home, the chances are that you won’t need them replaced for around ten years.
If you want to lower your electricity bills and increase safety simultaneously, consider replacing your traditional lighting controls with newer models such as smart lighting controls. These types of fixtures allow you to control both lighting level and intensity from anywhere that you can access the Internet, giving you total control over your property at all times!
By lowering the light intensity and switching them on and off automatically, you’ll be able to manage energy usage and save on your electric bill more than you might think.
It’s hard to deny the fact that there are many benefits to saving energy. Not only will you be helping the environment by reducing your carbon footprint, but you’ll also be able to save money on energy bills while doing so. With that in mind, there is really no point in waiting any longer: if you find yourself in need of an energy-efficient home improvement, the time to get started is now!
You can switch to LED light bulbs, use programmable lighting controls, or start paying more attention to your appliances. Whichever option you choose, you will be doing something good for the planet and your wallet!
5 Things You Need To Know About Plant Delivery
The idea of getting plants delivered to your house, and to the houses of other people for that matter, has been around for a while and it has recently started gaining in popularity. There are quite a lot of reasons why people decide to use this specific option instead of visiting their local shops and buying the products there. Among other things, they prefer this option because it is much more convenient since all you have to do is visit plantedpot or a similar place, order your products and wait for them to arrive.
As you can see, the entire process is quite easy, especially for those people that are used to general online shopping. Given that we live in a world that’s driven by technology, I think it’s safe to assume that most of the people reading this are actually quite familiar with the concept of online shopping, so there is no need for me to dwell on explaining that. I also suppose that you can conclude all on your own what the benefits of buying plants this way are.
Yet, even though you might be familiar with the benefits and with the general concept of shopping online, there is no doubt in my mind that you still don’t know everything about the idea of buying plants this way, and that certainly needs to change. If you are wondering how it can change, let me immediately make it clear to you. Basically, the only way to change this is by spending some time learning about this whole notion and getting familiar with everything that it entails.
Well, we are here today to begin the learning process. To put everything as simply and as straightforwardly as possible, I am going to tell you a few things that you absolutely need to know about the concept of online plant shopping and delivery. This way, you will get a much clearer idea about how it all works and about whether you should use these specific services.
Of course, you might also want to learn which mistakes you should avoid when shopping for these products online: https://anaturalcuriosity.org/buying-houseplants-online-mistakes/
1. It Is Quite a Popular Option
While this might not be the most significant thing that you need to know about this concept, it is undeniably still worth mentioning. In short, this option has actually become quite popular in recent years. People are increasingly shifting towards the idea of buying these products online and I am quite sure that you will fall in love with this option too the moment you try it. The popularity of the concept keeps on increasing and things aren’t going to change any time soon, meaning that we could easily expect this to become the primary option of buying plants.
2. The Plants Are Delivered Safely
A lot of people are worried about the idea of getting these plants delivered because they might create all kinds of scenarios in their heads about those products getting damaged during transport. While I can undeniably understand your concern, the truth is that you shouldn’t expect to get damaged products, as those are delivered in a completely safe manner. They are kept protected during the transport and they are bound to arrive to your doorstep intact and in perfect shape. Of course, this will depend on the supplier you choose, but we will get to that a bit later.
3. There Is a Wide Assortment to Choose From
One of the disadvantages of those physical shops lies in the fact that those shops usually don’t have a wide assortment of plants to choose from, and that can be quite disappointing for everyone. Well, this brings us to the next thing you need to know about the concept of buying these products with the help of the Internet. Since you will get to visit quite a lot of different shops with just a few clicks on your smart device, you will easily be able to find a wide assortment of products to choose from. Practically every single shop will be available to you and easily accessible, meaning that you will certainly find both those plants that you are looking for and some new ones that might grab your attention.
4. Not Every Supplier Is the Same
As mentioned previously, the place where you’ll buy your plants will play a huge role in their quality. There are certainly a few detrimental errors you can make when shopping for these products, but not researching the suppliers is probably the worst one. What you need to know is that not every supplier is the same. The quality of their products differs significantly, as well as their delivery methods and a lot of other important factors. Since I’ve mentioned mistakes, you might want to check out what experts have to say about the worst thing you can do when plant shopping.
5. Prices Can Differ Too
Apart from those suppliers differing in the aspects of product quality, reputation, experience, and similar factors, you should also know that the prices of these plants can also vary significantly from one place to another. This is why you should always shop around and do extensive research about certain suppliers and their products before doing any shopping whatsoever. I would advise you to gather as much info as you can about specific suppliers, compare your findings and choose the right shop.
Which Rose Is Best for Your Garden?
If there is a traditional garden flower among the millions of species it must be the rose. Officially ‘Rosa’, they come in an abundance of exciting colors and also in many different types and formations of blooms. Roses are beautiful, whatever type you choose, and many are fragrant too. But are they easy to grow? And what are the different types of roses you can buy for your garden?
In the article that follows we look at what to choose in a rose, where best to plant them for maximum effect, and what you need to do in terms of maintenance. Let’s start by looking at some different types of roses.
What Types of Roses are There?
Roses come in a wide variety of types. For example, there are some roses where the blossoms look like Pentas, which are very popular with US gardeners. These are some of the various types of rose you could put in your garden:
- English Roses are the most prevalent type and come in a vast array of colours. These are the hardiest form of rose and the original English garden rose.
- Climbing Roses are often called vines but are not, they are simply roses that like to spread out more than the regular type.
- Groundcover roses are fast growing shrubs with a less grand flower than other types and are useful for filling spaces.
- Hybrid tea roses have been developed as garden roses with many large and colourful buds but are often affected by diseases so are avoided by some growers.
- Rambling roses are another form of climber and a vigorous one. This traditional type of rose is found in formal English gardens.
- Tea roses are the original form of rose from China that were first brought to the west by explorers. Just about every type of rose arises from this beautiful variety.,
- Miniature roses are as described and are often grown in pots on patios; hence they are referred to as a patio rose. Very pretty, easy to grow and hardy.
These are a few of the types of roses you can find in your garden and garden stores across the USA, so are they easy to grow? Let’s have a look in more detail about growing roses.
Are Roses Easy to Grow?
In general, roses are easy to grow and many types are in fact surprisingly hardy. However, it’s best to know that roses will struggle in dry soil or ground that is waterlogged, so need to be kept at just the right level of moisture. Furthermore, when planted in the shade they will not flower as abundantly as when in a spot with access to light. Roses love sunlight and will reward you with bloom after bloom during the summer season. Look for colors such as deep reds, bright orange, pinks, and whites and you’ll be able to put together a collection of roses that will be the pride of your neighborhood. Finally, a bit about tending for roses.
Tending for Roses
As we have said most types of roses are beautiful and hardy plants that will grow practically anywhere. You will need to wear gloves when pruning a rose – it should be cut back to encourage growth at the season’s end – as they do feature sharp thorns. Also, cut away dead flowers to bring about replacement blooms throughout the season. Apart from keeping the ground in which the plant grows regularly watered – but not overwatered – that’s just about all the maintenance needed, so check out the roses that take your fancy and give your garden more color.
Top 5 Natural Health Remedies
Throughout history, many cultures worldwide have relied on plant and herbal medicines for reaching and maintaining optimum health. Despite incredible advances in technology and medicine with an ever-growing pharmaceutical industry, the demand for natural remedies is increasing.
There is plenty of educational resources which list the health benefits associated with natural remedies. They are a popular alternative for many people who fear the risk of addiction and side effects associated with many drugs. Natural remedies also tend to be more affordable and accessible than conventional medicines. Especially the ones you can make at home. This article discusses some of the best natural remedies used in health today.
CBD (cannabidiol) is a chemical compound derived from the cannabis plant. It affects the brain and body but notably does not cause euphoric highs like the other chemical compound, Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC). CBD has been used for thousands of years for medicinal and therapeutic benefits, with much scientific research proving these in recent years. Therefore, you can reap the health benefits of CBD without experiencing the psychotic effects and dangers of addiction associated with THC.
Using trusted information sources such as CFAH, you’ll learn CBD can be incorporated into many products with benefits for sleep, mood, pain, and many more. Examples of products include vapors, topical creams, oral drops, supplements, teas, and edibles. Therefore, there’s something for everyone.
Herbal supplements are another natural health remedy, with many using them in their daily health routine. For example, Echinacea, also known as purple coneflower, is one of the most popular herbal supplements to relieve cold and flu symptoms. It’s also been shown to help reduce pain, migraines, and inflammation.
Turmeric is another health supplement example. Better known for its use as a spice in Asian and Indian cuisine, turmeric makes curries yellow. Turmeric contains a health-promoting compound called curcumin which is a potent antioxidant with anti-inflammatory properties.
Coconut Water & Oil
Coconut is known as being a leading superfood. It’s naturally low in calories but is packed with essential vitamins, minerals, and nutrients like potassium and magnesium, which people often experience deficiencies in. Coconut water has gone mainstream since it has become popular for boosting sports performance.
Coconut oil is another product of the coconut renowned for its health benefits. Its high concentration of fatty acids, medium-chain triglycerides (MCTs). These fats are processed differently by the body and are associated with several health benefits. Coconut oil is popular for those following the keto diet because MCTs can be converted into ketones by the liver. Ketones can be broken down as a quick energy source for the brain in glucose for those on stricter diets.
Homemade Ginger Tea
Homemade ginger tea is a must when you have the flu, sore throat, or experiencing symptoms of nausea. It’s a natural health remedy that you can easily make at home by brewing grated ginger in hot water. Another benefit of ginger is its anti-inflammatory properties.
Its anti-inflammatory properties target inflammation by blocking certain inflammatory compounds and breaking down inflammation through antioxidants that interact with acidity in fluids.
Fresh ginger can also be fermented. This is where grated ginger is fermented in sugar water and lemon juice, allowing the natural yeasts in ginger to feed and multiply, creating a probiotic beverage. Probiotics and fermented food have become so popular, given their remarkable benefits for gut health. Modern diets high in sugars, fats, and salt can be harmful to our gut microbiome. Probiotics feed our gut with healthy bacteria that protect and rejuvenate our gut microbiome.
Natural Activated Charcoal
Activated charcoal is made from coconut shells, wood, peats or olive pits, and other substances. It becomes activated when high temperatures combine with a gas or activating agent to expand its surface area. It has a tremendous ability to absorb impurities, hence why it’s a popular health product. People ingest it to trap toxic substances in the gut and thus prevent their absorption into the body.
The Pros and Cons of Getting an Artificial Lawn
Folks living in the arid area of the Southwest USA know full well how hard it is to grow a full, lush lawn in those conditions. It is difficult even when trying different drought-proof hybrids of grass. So difficult, in fact, that many people turn to install artificial turf.
Now that other parts of the country are seeing some difficulties, those people there are beginning to look into whether it makes sense for them too. In many cases, there is little downside to having one but it does pay to know what you’re getting into so you can make an informed decision if it is the best move for you.
In this article, we will go over the pros and cons so you can see if getting an artificial lawn is your best option.
Pros of an Artificial Lawn
People that haven’t heard much about artificial lawns likely still think of how it used to be back in the 60s and 70s when it was first being used in sporting arenas. These days it has come a long way and it is much different than it used to be. Once they realize that the turf of old is long gone and things are different now they will want to know what the benefits are.
First and foremost you’ll have an attractive lawn that requires very minimal maintenance. Since it is fake, it doesn’t dry out when it is hot. With more frequent heatwaves hitting the country and the water bans that follow, it is difficult to maintain a green lawn. Those days are over with artificial turf.
There is also no need to be using any pesticides or herbicides on the lawn. This makes it a much safer environment for pets and children. There are no pests that can burrow in the turf and cause problems both for your lawn and for your pets and children by having them around. And you won’t have pesky weeds that are difficult to eradicate when you want to avoid using an herbicide.
It doesn’t matter what type of environment or climate you live in. The lawn can handle direct sun as well as shade. If you live in an arid area it won’t dry out. And those that live in a spot with far too much water for a regular grass lawn to survive will also benefit.
Lastly, it takes a day to repair a bad lawn when you go with artificial grass. If you have a lawn that needs to be repaired it can take over a year for it to come back and look good. This includes if you buy sod to have it done quickly since it takes a while to look natural and not have the cut lines between the rolls visible.
Cons of an Artificial Lawn
There are hardly any downsides to installing an artificial lawn. However, that doesn’t mean that it is going to work for everybody. There may be a disadvantage that stands out to you and makes you have to reconsider.
The most obvious disadvantage to getting an artificial lawn is the upfront cost. It can cost upwards of $12 per square foot to install. A big lawn can cost a small fortune putting it out of reach of many Americans. There are few ongoing costs, except for one. Every few years you’ll need to buy some infill as an anti-shock layer as it compresses.
The next disadvantage is how hot the turf can get. Since it doesn’t have any water in it like a blade of grass, it heats up quickly and stays hot for a while. If the lawn is in the shade it stays cool, however.
What Is the Maintenance Like?
Luckily, maintaining a turf lawn is far easier than a real one. It takes cleaning it occasionally and brushing it up so it looks clean and natural. Raking it up in the high traffic areas will prevent it from matting and getting compressed.
Planting some trees around the lawn will provide shade and cool down the surrounding air so the lawn doesn’t heat up. After all, you do want to be able to walk around barefoot in the yard.
When you need to clean it off, it is as simple as rinsing it off with a hose. Food dropping on the lawn can cause a stain so it is important to wash it off, but at least it will be easier than if it fell into some long grass.
How Much Does Tree Removal Cost?
Trees are essential assets to properties, adding beauty and shade while stopping soil erosion. However, when a tree becomes a liability, it must be removed. When a tree is damaged, dead, leaning, or too near to your house, a tree removal service can dispose of it for you.
Whether it’s big or small, removing a tree is best left to the experts. But the question is, how much will it cost you? Tree removal services are usually priced based on the size and height of the tree.
But other factors impact the removal costs, as well.
For tree removal services, you can expect to pay anywhere from $150 to $2,000. The prices largely depend on the size of the tree. The bigger the tree, the more expensive the tree removal service is.
As mentioned, bigger trees cost more to remove since they require more powerful equipment. Plus, the process is riskier, and there is more stuff to dispose of. Even so, other things go into deciding the price of removing a tree.
Volume, height, and tree species are closely related when it comes to determining the price of tree removal. For example, pine trees and maple trees tend to grow up to 100 feet and can cost at least $2,000 to remove.
Another thing, oaks tend to grow twenty feet lower than pines and maples. As such, they’ll likely cost at least $800 to $1,500 to remove. Keep in mind that height is not the only deciding factor.
Mediterranean cypress can go up to 50 feet high. However, their shallow root systems, low volume, and thin trunks make them easier to remove. Sometimes, they can safely be pulled out and tipped over. The price of removing this type of tree is much lower, about $400.
In another example, palm tree removal costs are at the lower end of the scale because they lack volume even though they are tall.
An unstable or dead tree can be a safety hazard to your family, property, and other trees. Compromised trees may be less expensive to remove since they are easier to cut down. However, it could quickly become expensive if placed in a risky position and could cause harm if it falls.
To get a quote in this particular situation, make sure to arrange an inspection with a tree removal service such as Tree Triage’s tree removal services. What’s more, a fallen tree is more affordable to remove than a living tree as long as it has not caused an emergency.
Physical obstructions can make the most uncomplicated removal hard and challenging. The following are some hindrances that surcharge the cost of tree removal:
- Nearby trees
- Muddy or rocky soil
- Steep property
- Limited vehicle access
- Not enough space for the tree to fall on
- Poor tree condition
Emergency tree removal, as with other emergency services, will come at a hefty price. Generally, it will cost at least three times more than the regular price. Also, emergency tree removal is riskier because experts will have to be extra careful not to instigate more damage.
Prices will vary by the contractor and by the situation, although prices can quickly reach up to $5,000.
If a tree removal requires a crane, you may need to pay another $250 to $600 per day to the total price. Also, you will need to pay another $100 for the operator. Crane-assisted tree removal is the most difficult to do because of the following:
- Plumbing pipes
- Power lines
- Experts have to use rope and climbing equipment
- Time and grunt work involved in removing the tree
Once the tree is removed, the tree stump remains. Naturally, stumps will decompose on their own. However, it’s only possible after several years. Throughout this time, new buds and twigs might even develop from the tree stump.
With that said, removing the stump is important. The average cost of stump grinding is around $300 to $400.
Residing in a secluded area is great for peace and quiet. However, a tree removal service will usually charge for the travel. Of course, this differs widely. As such, it is quite impossible to give an idea of the price. If you are located in Oahu you can try Oahu Tree Removal.
If a street must be partially or entirely closed down, the cost of flaggers, corners, and traffic control will add to the total price of the removal service. On average, expect to pay at least $175 for a two-person flagging crew.
It’s safest to have trees removed by a qualified tree removal company, except for small trees wherein you don’t need to climb a ladder. For a tree removal service, expect to pay between $150 to $2,000. Make sure to hire a certified arborist to determine whether a tree should be maintained, treated, pruned, or removed.
The Smart Way to Install Your Garden Shed
You picked out the perfect garden shed, the cherry on top of your landscaping sundae. But even installing a prefabricated shed comes with challenges. Before scheduling delivery, it’s worth taking the time to consider the impact heavy construction equipment will have on your yard.
Self-Installation vs. Professionals
Start by thinking through when you will be available to supervise construction. Once you block off your schedule for that time, determine what type of equipment will be required to move your shed or the component pieces.
Unless you plan to place your shed directly beside the road, you will need to move it into its new home. If you aren’t a trained professional or confident operating heavy machinery like a forklift, it’s probably a good idea to opt for professional installation. Despite the extra expense, make safety a priority.
Protecting Your Yard
Self-installation can save you time and money, but you’ll need to consider how skid-steering and weight impact your existing landscaping. Even with professional installation, you will need to require that they provide yard protection.
More than any other consideration, you don’t want to tear up your newly laid sod or brickwork, or even burst any pipes running beneath your yard. Construction crane mats are a great way to protect your lawn and any pipelines underneath. Also called access matting, these portable platforms create a temporary roadway. A crane mat effectively distributes the machinery’s weight while protecting the surface of your yard.
Your contractor either should own or be able to rent these premade composite mats. There are also mats made of other materials, but composite is easier to set up and it protects your lawn better because the mats join together.
Choosing Heavy Machinery
Ask yourself if you’ll need to rent your own forklift. If you choose professional installation, instead, determine what type of equipment will be crossing your yard. Either way, the odds are good that you will need to set up your space to accommodate these machines.
Keep in mind that local bylaws might require you to park your rented equipment on your property rather than the road. Make sure you have a spot cleared in advance and check your city ordinances before starting installation.
Preparing the Area
Before you can place or build your shed, you need a firm and level foundation. The simplest way to prepare the ground for a shed is to use pegs and string to measure the space. Then, you’ll need to dig down at least 6 inches and roughly level the bottom of your hole.
A simple wooden framework inside this hole will support the concrete for the base. First, however, fill the space approximately half full of stone or similar material, like hardcore. Now, the area is ready for your cement.
Ensure you understand when and how to mix your chosen cement and use a spreader to level the surface once it’s poured. When your cement is cured, you can bring it into the shed.
Cleanup is an often overlooked aspect of residential construction projects. In certain areas, muddy runoff into storm drains will earn you significant fines. You’ll also need to dispose of the packaging or other materials, like the pallets used to support the shed during relocation.
The less time construction mats cover your sod, the better it will recover. Plan to spend an entire day post-installation dedicated to matting breakdown and removal. If you don’t own a truck, it may be worth renting or borrowing one.
Once your yard is clear, you’re finally ready to fill your new shed with all those garden essentials.
Different Types of Pest Control Treatments
Household pests are commonplace across the USA. Whether we’re talking rodents or roaches, ants, and termites, they are everywhere. While some pests are essentially harmless, you still don’t want to share a home with them. That’s why we’re going to be looking at different types of pest control treatments and methods.
If you want to look at an example of a typical pest control company, we believe Majestic Pest Control is a good one. They have some interesting information on their website about how to get rid of many different pests. We’ve put together some information on how to deal with pests and what methods are suitable. We’ll start with something that is often overlooked, and that’s knowing what you are dealing with,
It is important to know what you’re up against when dealing with pests in the home, as each different one presents a separate scenario. Rats and mice, for example, will be caught mainly by bait and traps, while roaches are usually only eradicated by chemical methods.
The first thing a professional pest control expert will do is thoroughly examine your property for signs of pests that identify the species involved. They will then trace back to where the creatures are coming from and how they get into the home.
In the case of insects, it is vital to destroy the source to prevent further infestations and kill the creatures in the home. Some pests will not be exterminated. Bees, for example, are vital to the ecosystem. A bee’s nest can be dangerous and should not be tackled yourself – the same applies to wasps and hornets – and the expert will remove the nest and the bees to somewhere they can thrive.
So, step one is identification, and the next step is choosing the correct treatment method.
Organic Pest Control
The three main methods of eradicating pests are organic, chemical, and bait and trap. Many people do not like to use chemical pest control methods – more on them in a moment – and indeed, many commercial pesticides that have been removed from the market are now illegal to use after previously facing mass tort lawsuits. If you have any old pesticides in your shed or garage, please check if they are among the banned substances and ensure they are disposed of safely and correctly.
What do we mean by organic pest control? It’s an umbrella term that applies to any non-chemical – or safe chemical – pest control method. For example, Sodium fluoroacetate is a poisonous substance to many household pests and is regularly used in baits for rodents, roaches, and more. It is considered safe as it is biodegradable and causes no harm. Other organic methods include insecticide soaps, safe oil sprays, and even nematode worms targeting pests. Talk to your local pest control experts for more information on organic methods.
Chemical Pest Control
Chemical pesticides – as we have already mentioned – are the last resort. Many have been banned as the residue they leave behind finds its way into the watercourse and the ground. This is dangerous not just to us but to animals and plants. However, your pest control experts will be licensed to use certain chemicals, for example, when getting rid of roaches and other problematic insects.
These methods use sprays, bombs, and other devices to eliminate even the most troublesome pests. As they know how to use these products correctly and safely, they will leave your home clean of chemicals and pests. The experts will advise you on how long you, your family, and your pets will need to remain off the premises while the work is carried out and ensure that the home is safe to return to before you do.
If you have an infestation of roaches, ants, or other insects, this may be the only treatment that works. On no account, dig out those old pesticides mentioned earlier as they will be dangerous, and don’t try using chemical methods yourself. Always talk to the experts and remain on the safe side.
Baits and Traps
Baits and traps are not just used for mice and rats – and other rodents – but can also be successful for insect pests. Roaches may be caught in a trap and are easily attracted by the right bait. The same applies to ants and termites, each of which can be drawn out from their hiding place by a carefully considered bait.
The knowledge that comes with the services of an expert in pest control cannot be overestimated here. They will carry out their home assessment and know precisely where to place the bait and trap and what bait to use. This method has a high rate of success. The expert will revisit your home regularly to collect the dead pests and monitor progress, and eventually, no more will be caught – they’ve been eradicated.
Preventative Pest Control
A professional will also be able to assess your house for preventative measures. Some of these are simple. For example, ensuring all food in the house is kept in airtight containers, and none is left out on the side for roaches and mice to enjoy. Also, look for leaking water pipes and other sources of moisture that insects tend to enjoy.
Then there’s proofing all entrances – including doors, windows, and air bricks – and filling in cracks and holes in masonry. You will be surprised how small a gap a mouse can squeeze through. There are many preventative measures you can take, and while none are a guarantee, each will help to an extent.
There is a strong likelihood you will experience an infestation of household pests at some point during your life. We recommend an immediate call to your local pest control experts as the best course of action. If you think you have a pest problem, get in touch now and have them assess your home for immediate treatment.
Practical Tips for Buying a Mountain Cabin
Many Americans love the outdoors and this love for the outdoors birthed the concept of mountain cabins. If the mountains are one of your desired places to visit, I believe buying a mountain cabin will be a dream come true. Besides, you can use it as a second home for vacations and occasionally make money off it as a rental property.
Suppose you’ve always dreamt of owning a secluded place in the mountains, it’d be best if you went through the proper channel and looked out for features you’d love in your new mountain cabin.
While plenty of cabins are scattered across the country, you’d want to choose one that provides the satisfaction and flexibility you require. So, before you begin your search for your dream mountain home, you’d like to ask yourself these crucial questions:
What Kind of Cabin Do I Want?
Many people perceive the word “cabin” as just any mini wooden house on the outskirts of the town. However, that perception is wrong. There are lots of cabin options worth exploring and you can even rent it out like other best smoky mountain cabin rentals. The following are some types of cabins:
As the name suggests, this log cabin is made from wood. Suppose you prefer this type of cabin, you’ll want to decide on the wood type, corner style, and shape of the logs for the place. Spruce logs are known to be famous for building log cabins. And they’re desirable for their resistance to decay, thereby increasing the longevity of the cabin.
The name of this type of cabin gives its design away. It’s a simple triangular-shaped accommodation with vaulted ceilings and sometimes a lofted sleeping area.
This type of cabin surfaced a few years back. And it’s mostly made of metal and wood. The components of prefabricated cabins are factory-produced and transported to the customer’s desired location.
What Can I Afford?
Many see cabins as a luxury. Yes, some can be. But with reasonable lifestyle adjustments and careful budgeting, you’ll find out that they can be affordable. And a fantastic opportunity to get a property and vacation time as well.
If you’ve been able to provide answers to these questions, you can proceed on your search for the cabin of your dreams. The home market comprises many mountain cabin properties, and you might stumble upon one you love.
Interestingly, the easiest way to acquire a mountain cabin is to buy from someone else. You’ll save yourself money that way. The thought of getting a mountain cabin can be exciting, and it’d be best if you’re not overwhelmed by the excitement of the moment. Else, you might make an unwise decision.
If you’ve decided on buying a mountain cabin, you can check out this resource link https://theshorttermshop.com/log-cabin-investments-in-the-smoky-mountains/ or use the following tips:
In a case where you’re already making a mortgage payment on your primary home, you may find it hard to keep up with two mortgage payments. Yes, luxury and comfort do come at a price. However, you wouldn’t want to pay a fee that will cost your peace of mind.
Recall, it’s advisable that housing shouldn’t gulp more than 30 percent of your monthly earnings. So, before you look to get yourself a mountain cabin, you’d want to do your homework to know if you’re capable of financing multiple properties.
Maintenance and Repairs
Is buying a mountain cabin necessary? I thought you’d ask that. I wouldn’t say it’s essential. However, I know it’s a wise decision and a profitable investment. It’d be pleasant to have a nice mountain cabin to enjoy some days off and make some cash off of it. The only problem you might have is its maintenance.
Not a small amount of money goes into home maintenance. For a place you’ll visit occasionally, regular maintenance is required. And that’s going to cost money. So, you should get ready to cover these costs.
For ease of management, it’s advisable to earmark one percent of the cabin’s price for maintenance. Maintenance cost is a key reason you should consider the age and condition of the mountain cabin you’re about to get. The older the home, the higher the possibility of an increased maintenance fee. An old cabin will likely need multiple repairs. And that’d cost you some extra dollars.
Ease of Commuting
Suppose you intend to run Smoky Mountain rentals, you’ll need to consider the ease of commuting from the cabins to the major roads. Mountain cabins often have limited access to the larger roads and highways. It may take half of an hour to get to any significant road from some mountain cabins.
Are you the unorganized type? Are you sure you want a cabin that’s far from any major road? These questions and more require answers from you. Imagine driving up to your place on a beautiful weekend to find out you’re out of milk or eggs. I bet you’ll be frustrated.
So, when searching for a vacation mountain cabin, keep in mind to look for one that best suits your persona. One other important thing you’ll want to consider is the power supply and the condition of the roads when it rains. Trust me; you’ll not regret looking into those aspects before getting your dream mountain home.
Don’t Rely on Pictures: Visit Property Site
Not everything is as excellent as it appears in pictures. With shots taken from the perfect angle, an undesirable property can be made to look exceptional – and otherwise. That’s why you should visit any cabin property of your interest.
Even if the pictures speak well of the cabin, you’ll still want to check the mountain cabin’s surroundings, its proximity to a major road, and other personalized features. You wouldn’t want to settle for a beautiful cabin in an undesirable location. Hence, you should be ready to make physical inspections.
Since you probably won’t be staying in your cabin most of the time. Renting it out would be an excellent idea. Imagine how profitable it’d be to run a rental cabin. That’s an easy way to earn some money and even invest it further, for example in cryptocurrency. You could buy BNB, Bitcoin, USDT etc., get some profit and have some extra income.
You can list your property in the Airbnb Smoky Mountain cabin rentals section or have someone manage the property including its rental.
Owning a mountain cabin will save you the cost of lodging your family in a hotel for multiple days if you’re in the area for vacation. And this will limit your spending to probably gas and groceries.
Whatever is worth doing at all is worth doing well. If you’ve concluded on buying a mountain cabin, you should be prepared to look until you find something you like and one you can afford. These tips will guide you on your quest to buy the mountain cabin of your dreams.
Buying a Home: Tips for First-Time Buyers
If you’re embarking on the exciting journey of buying your first home, you may feel overwhelmed by the sheer number of homes on the market.
Or maybe you’ve perused all the listings of homes for sale in Alabama and know exactly what you’re looking for, but you’re confused by the buying process and have no idea what to expect?
Not to worry. Here’s everything you need to know about purchasing a home as a first-time buyer. From getting a mortgage to the day of closing, we’ve covered everything below – and more.
Save Up for a Down Payment
Before you even consider buying a house, you need to assess your finances. As a first-time buyer, you’ll need a mortgage. Getting a mortgage means that a lender will front you the money to buy your home, and you’ll pay the amount back with monthly payments.
To qualify for a mortgage, you’ll need to put some cash down – this is called a down payment. Usually, a down payment on a mortgage is twenty percent of the price of the house (if you want to avoid additional fees).
If you don’t have a down payment of twenty percent, certain types of mortgages will accept five to ten percent.
Know Your Credit Score
When you decide to buy a house, you need to know your credit score. First-time buyers will need a good credit rating (as well as a down payment) to qualify for a mortgage. If you have let a few of your payments to lenders lapse, it will negatively affect your credit rating.
Your credit score is a three-digit number that represents your credit history. Your credit report will also include a document with details that disclose the payments you have made on time, as well as any lapses. This document will display all your past debts, such as student loans, credit cards, and any other credit accounts you have.
When you apply for a mortgage, the lender will check your credit report and credit history to calculate your risk – which is the likelihood that you will pay back the mortgage – and the interest rate you will pay.
A history of non-payment or late payment will reduce your chances of being approved for a lower interest rate, or even decide if you qualify for a loan at all. That’s why it’s vital to check your credit score before applying for a mortgage – knowing what to expect makes it possible for you to rectify any errors or non-payments and improve your credit score.
Once you have checked your credit score (and perhaps made some improvements) you should get pre-approved for a mortgage to buy your home. Getting pre-approval from a lender entails meeting with a loan officer – preferably from several different companies as you shop around for the best rates.
The lender will assess your debt-to-income ratio, as well as your assets. This is to determine if you qualify for a loan, and what amount you can afford to pay monthly for your mortgage.
Getting pre-approved for a mortgage will assist you by minimizing the risk that you will default on your payments. When it comes to looking at potential houses, your pre-approval amount will provide a realistic figure for houses that fall within your price range.
Bear in mind though, pre-approval for a mortgage and mortgage pre-qualification are not the same. Getting a pre-qualification is a simpler process that will only give you a rough estimate of the amount you may qualify for, and it’s not guaranteed.
Getting pre-approved takes time and requires a lot of paperwork – which is worth it because it guarantees your creditworthiness.
Find a Trustworthy Real Estate Agent
Once you have been pre-approved, you’ll need to find a trustworthy buyer’s agent. A good buyer’s real estate agent can help you find a home in your price range based on your specifications and help you negotiate a deal.
A good real estate agent will also be able to help you with the process of buying your first home and navigate any pitfalls and paperwork. Using a real estate agent’s services as a buyer is free – all sales commission is covered by the seller.
Now, it’s time for the best part about looking for a home – looking at listings and attending viewings.
You should be able to find hundreds of listings online, in local papers, and by driving around. Once you find a suitable listing, ask the agent to set up a viewing so you can go and see it.
Due to the sheer number of listings, you’ll come across, the best approach to looking for a home is to make a list of your non-negotiable features and “nice to have” features and go from there.
Make a list of how many bedrooms you want, how big the yard needs to be (do you plan on having children or getting pets?) and any other must-have features to narrow down your options. You should also consider the area or neighborhood you’d like to live in.
This is also where you’ll decide if you want a new home with all the bells and whistles or if you’re looking for a home that you’d like to fix up or renovate to your specifications.
Put Down a Strong Offer
Once you’ve found your dream home, you’ll need to make an offer. In a competitive buyer’s market, you might consider limiting your contingencies and offering more than the asking price of the home.
Your real estate agent will be able to help you negotiate and give you an idea of what constitutes a strong offer.
Get a Home Inspection
You’ll need to hire a home inspector to thoroughly inspect the house. An inspector will be able to see if there are any problems – such as faulty electrical wiring, a weak foundation, asbestos, mold, garden pests, or anything else that might make you hesitant to move in.
The results of the inspection will allow you to find out more about the home that may not be noticeable at first glance, and it can help you when asking for concessions from the seller. You might also want to do some of your own inspections. Conveniently, there are testing kits for asbestos. You can never be too safe.
Prepare for Closing
The final step in the process is closing – which is also referred to as settlement or escrow. In the closing phase of purchasing a house, all the relevant parties will meet. This includes the seller, the buyer, mortgage representative, real estate agent, and anyone else who is part of the transaction.
On the day of closing, you’ll pay everyone who was involved – which includes the down payment for your mortgage, closing costs, and any other fees. You’ll also be given the keys to your home.
Closing costs vary, ranging from two to seven percent of the price of the home.
How to Find the Best Outdoor Grill
For many American homeowners, the barbeque grill is the centerpiece of their backyard space. It is the central piece of equipment for every successful family gathering and can be used to grill up delicious meals all year long. Choosing the right grill for your family will take some serious consideration.
If you are a casual barbeque, you will likely opt for either a gas or a charcoal grill, two of the most popular types of equipment. For barbeque experts, you may want to compare wood-burning stoves like the Z Grills vs. Traeger grills. In this article, we will take a closer look at the factors to consider between a gas and charcoal barbeque. You can also read about different electric grills, if you are interested in the topic
Whether you want to throw a steak on your barbeque or are more interested in taking things up a notch with seafood and side dishes, you need a grill that fits your needs. Let’s take a closer look at some of the factors to consider when buying a gas or a charcoal grill.
Gas Grills: Factors to Consider
Different foods need to be cooked at different temperatures for the best results on the grill. If you like to cook everything from steaks to fish on your grill, you will want to check the temperature ratings of your candidates. The higher the score, the better the range of temperatures are on the grill, making them the right choice to cook various foods.
The burners on gas grills are the most common part of any gas barbeque. For that reason, it’s crucial to find out how long your burners are under warranty. On average, a burner will last up to 10 years with proper maintenance, so you want your warranty to cover a minimum of that period.
Your barbeque will have to stand up to the weather of every season and a lot of abuse from yearly usage. You want to find a unit that is of solid construction. When looking at different grills, check out the pressure points and joiners to find the one that has the most solid construction.
Grilling can be dangerous if you aren’t working with a safe grill. Sturdiness is an essential part of keeping you safe. Make sure that your unit also comes with the appropriate safety screening and automatic shut-off features.
Charcoal Grills: Factors to Consider
Your charcoal grill will need proper airflow to regulate your cooking temperature. You will want to choose a model with adjustable vents, a secure lid, and solid vents to help you adjust your temperature.
If you are cooking on your barbeque for an extended period, you will need to add more charcoal. Look for models that have an accessible side door so that you can safely build up your charcoal.
Coal briquettes burn fairly evenly, so your temperature regulation will depend on the size and shape of your grill area. For a hotter and longer-lasting flame, you will want a cooking size that is larger. For low-temperature cooking, your grill surface should be slightly smaller.
Charcoal grill flames are controlled by the user, not by an adjustable setting. This makes them slightly more dangerous than a gas grill. It’s a good idea to have an extinguisher around your grilling station or a garden hose to handle any flare-ups.
Grilling for your family is an American tradition. Consider these factors as you choose your new barbeque that will be with your family for many seasons to come.
How to Clean Your Greenhouse This Summer in 8 Easy Steps
1. Make Sure Your Greenhouse Is in Good Working Order
Take a good look around your greenhouse. Remove everything that isn’t appropriate so you can start over. Look for broken pieces of plastic, glass, or wood, make any necessary structural changes, and check for leaks in the irrigation system. If your home becomes flooded during the winter, you’ll want to repair it without delay. Also, keep an eye out for any bug hiding spots (keep reading to learn more).
2. Sweep Your Greenhouse’s Interior and Exterior
Remove any dead plants, pots, tools, and other abandoned items from the greenhouse. For the garden, fill a bucket halfway with hot water, some soap, and disinfectant (they’re available at any home improvement store or even regular supermarkets). Use a clean cloth to clean and sanitize the outer surface of plants and pots. Do not forget to sweep and clean the floor.
When you’re ready to plant, clean out any unused jars or pots you have. Clean the outside of your greenhouse with a high-quality pressure washer. Then double-check to see if there are any leaks.
3. Pay Attention to Seasonality
March is an ideal time to plant the seeds for those plants that need a little more time to mature before harvest. Begonias, geraniums or even peppers, and eggplant are just a few examples of plants that like to begin growing early. Check the online resources to find a convenient and comprehensive schedule of how to make sure your gardening tasks are season-appropriate.
4. Conduct a Pest-Prevention Sweep
The cold, contrary to common opinion, does not solve your insect issues. Snails, critters, and other tiny animals hibernate in previous year’s leftover pots and crevices, as well as in the crowns of plants. The vine weevil has larvae that like digging through compost heaps for plant roots to eat. To cleanse your greenhouse against annoying vine weevils, weed out any you discover and apply the anti-parasitic chemical liquid. This is another reason to make sure your deep cleaning is comprehensive and thorough before the new season starts.
5. Make Sure the Beds, Gates, and Trellis Are in Good Working Order
Well before sweltering heat sets in, get the hard lifting done. It’s important to repair any structures or equipment that have fallen into disuse now, so once the warm weather arrives, it’ll be all about the garden. Another excellent idea is to put a wood preservative on any wood material in your greenhouse during extended periods of dryness.
6. Keep Your Gardening Equipment Clean and Sharp
If it wasn’t obvious before, cleaning everything that will come into touch with or be in proximity to your greenery is critical. Dirty tools may spread illness and introduce germs and fungus to newly pruned plant markings. Keeping your tools sharp can also help you save time and money in the long run. If they are sharp, they will function better. They’ll also be more convenient to deal with and provide cleaner and more precise cuts.
7. Prepare Your Compost Pile
It’s time to create a compost pile in your yard if you don’t already have one. It doesn’t matter whether you buy a prepared compost container or construct your own out of scrap wood. This achieves two objectives: You now have a place to store your garden trash, and your crops will appreciate the fertilizer full of nutrients, that is produced as it decomposes! Green clippings, vegetable and fruit peelings, wood chips, and even shells may all be used to make the ideal mix. To keep your compost fresh, turn it in once a month with a garden shovel or fork to keep it fresh and oxygenated.
8. Check to See Whether the Ventilation Is Enough
Inadequate airflow in the greenhouse is a common cause of fungal infections. Make sure that your greenhouse has adequate apertures and that they are properly positioned to allow for optimum air circulation to prevent a catastrophic infection for your plants. This should ideally include two vents on opposing sides of your greenhouse, as well as two vents on the roof. Investing in a fully automated vent-opener is one option. This may preserve your whole crop if temps increase and the greenhouse becomes hot. If you fail to open those vents for whatever reason, the automated vent guarantees that warm air escapes, avoiding the withering of plants.
The preceding are only a few things to think about before the official season begins. How long does it take you to get your greenhouse ready for the season? Share your ideas with us so that others may benefit from a beautifully prepared garden.
5 Factors to Consider When Renting Out Your New Jersey Home
Renting out your New Jersey property is a terrific way to supplement your income. With New Jersey’s higher-than-average family income of $73,702 compared to the national average of $55,322, the potential for profit in the rental business is substantial.
The apartment renting business, which includes more than 500,000 rental units in buildings of five or more units each, is a vital component of the New Jersey economy. The industry has helped produce nearly 44,000 jobs in 2010, accounting for 1.2 percent of total state employment.
Furthermore, the industry actively or passively contributed 1.2 percent of total state GDP, amounting to $5.7 billion to state GDP. The renting business also generated local tax revenues worth more than $1 billion. The rental apartment business in New Jersey has significant revenue potential for you. However, before you get started in the rental business, you should consider the following.
It is critical to present a clean rental property to potential tenants. However, don’t expect your rental property to be impeccably clean and in good shape once the previous tenant has left.
A well-kept property reflects highly on you and your property. You’re sending the message to your tenants that you care about your property and want them to keep it in good condition. However, cleaning between each guest can be quite challenging and time-consuming.
You can either get to someone to perform this or save money by doing it yourself. Remember to account for the time it will take to clean between each guest. Make sure that everything left behind by your prior tenant is removed. Double-check closets and shelves, and clean up any stains on the walls.
Some other cleaning basics include:
- Empty all cabinets and refrigerators.
- Vacuum the carpets, cabinets, and other areas of the house.
- Make sure your property is spotless and freshly painted.
- Take a video to record the property’s condition for your next client.
With over 500,000 rental units available, competition can be intense. Therefore, you must ensure that your house stands out from the crowd. Adding additional decor and providing items such as shampoo and conditioner can help set your rental apart from the competition.
To finish your house makeover:
- Add paintings and accessories.
- Place a vase on the table or arrange various boxes, candles, and books on the shelf.
- Arrive at your property at least 20 minutes early to meet with prospective tenants (unless you have a lockbox).
- Clean the front porch, vacuum the carpets, set a lightly scented candle, and open the shades to allow in natural light.
Renting out your property has several responsibilities, and you should always be prepared for unexpected events. While tenants are living in the rental home, everything from bug infestations to leaks can occur. You must be prepared to deal with common household pests such as cockroaches, bugs, ants, and beetles. These pests have the potential to contaminate your tenant’s food and personal items.
It is better to be prepared with service providers to remedy the problem ahead of time and have services readily on hand. Be ready to contact pest control services in NJ or a handyman that can fix a leak and do minor repairs easily.
You must ensure that your property is protected before renting out your home. Make sure you have a signed lease that outlines your tenant’s rights and responsibilities. A decent lease contract should be following insurance laws and other housing, rental, and tenant requirements.
It is critical to protect your property with the appropriate insurance policy or home warranty coverage. You’ll be required to have rental home insurance as a landlord. This covers policy that protects your home, as well as medical expenditures, legal fees, and loss of rental income.
Typically, visitors to New Jersey come during the early summer months. That would be from July to August when the weather is usually hot and humid. As a result, this season should see an increase in the number of prospective tenants.
Most tourists avoid winter because it is too cold, preferring the milder weather of autumn and spring. So people likely won’t travel to New Jersey as much during the winter. So consider this to be your low season for rentals. Try to rent out your house during peak season if possible.
Renting can generate additional revenue if the rent is greater than the mortgage payments. So, if you have a vacant property, one alternative to explore is renting it out to generate rental revenue. But, of course, you must be prepared to deal with tenants and maintenance along the way.
8 Modern Features You Need for Your Home Exterior + Bonus Tips
It’s not just the inside of your home that sets off the first impression. Your exterior is also important. That’s why modern homes are doing things like adding glass walls, radiant heating and cooling systems, skylights, green roofs, and more to their exteriors. Let’s explore some of these features in detail!
1. Glass Railing
The first thing that most people see when they step up to your home is the railing. You can make a great impression with a glass railing since this beautiful design sets off both your home’s exterior and provides safety for those entering it. You can also find more online if you need new ideas.
Extra Tip: Glass Railing for Stairs on Porches and Added Porch Space
You can add stairs on porches to help protect your house from damage caused by weathering and erosion while adding more living space for you and your guests. When you add a glass railing for the staircase on stairs or porches, it provides an eye-catching look that adds extra safety features.
Adding porches is another way homeowners can enjoy more living space without breaking their budget by moving into a bigger home. With added porch space, families can eat dinner together outside or enjoy time with friends and family around the grill without feeling cramped inside their home! This is also great if you have small children playing nearby in the yard because you can keep a closer watch on them.
2. Green Roofs
You know green roofs provide homes with insulation and natural beauty, but they also help insulate them against noise pollution and bad weather conditions such as high winds or hail. This feature also helps filter pollutants from the air for cleaner indoor air. If you’re building a new home, consider adding one to help keep your house cool in the summer and warmer in the winter.
3. Sliding Glass Doors and Energy-Efficient Features
Sliding glass doors are an increasingly popular feature to add to homes because they can turn any room into a fully enclosed patio space. With these types of doors, you can open up several rooms for entertaining or relaxing while enjoying the fresh air!
When you add energy-efficient features to your home, you will have all the above benefits without paying more on your utility bill each month. These features include things like double pane windows, insulation, and radiant heating and cooling systems. With these in place, you can save money by lowering your monthly energy costs. Of course, if budget is not an issue for you, then there are even more modern features that you can choose from – it’s truly up to you!
Super Tips: Radiant Heating and Cooling Systems
You can also add radiant heating and cooling features to your exterior design because these types of systems are easier on the eyes when compared with traditional HVAC units. Not only do radiant heating and cooling systems look better, but they also offer the added benefit of keeping your home more environmentally friendly since they recirculate air instead of needing to draw in new air after each cycle.
4. Modern Exterior Lighting
Adding exterior lighting is another way you can turn your house into a modern home. This feature is important because it allows people to see your home more easily at night, but there are some other reasons that exterior lighting is great for homeowners. For instance, security lights will help protect your home against intruders and thieves during the evening hours when most burglaries occur.
5. A Glass Wall on the Garden Side
You can also add glass walls around outdoor spaces like pools or gardens for safety purposes and design appeal. These types of enclosures keep children safe without compromising the look of your property since these glass walls blend in with any kind of architecture that you’re using throughout the rest of your property.
6. Placing the Garage at the Front of the House and Front Entrance Areas
With home exteriors all about adding more living space, why not consider placing your garage at the front entrance? This feature is becoming increasingly popular with homeowners because it adds square footage for parking or future expansion room. Plus, this type of layout typically showcases a beautiful front yard and walkway, so you can add amenities like flower gardens or even a water feature to make your home stand out from the crowd!
If you’re going to be remodeling or updating your home exterior, then making sure that the front entrance