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Here’s How To Have A Firepit In Your Backyard

Posted by on Jan 20, 2017 in Uncategorized |

There is nothing cooler than having your own outdoor fire at night in your backyard. It can be a fun way to add visual excitement to an evening dinner party. And it is also great if you want to have a nice romantic dinner outside with just you and your significant other. Of course, if you have children, they will love the ability to roast marshmallows at night. This is really fun alternative for people who can’t make time to take their kids camping. You could even set up a tent in the backyard and have the fire create a real campfire atmosphere. Here’s two easy ways to do it. Buy A Freestanding Copper Bowl Fire Pit If you don’t feel like doing much work to the yard (digging and moving soil and rocks) then you should get a freestanding fire pit. These have large bowls that contain the firewood. This prevents the fire from touching the ground. So you won’t have to worry about the fire burning up your lawn. You can then let the fire die down and dump the contents into the trash a few days later. And your law, will look immaculate—no messy ash or burnt grass. These are not that rustic, so they might be better for people who are more into throwing elegant dinner parties, as opposed to people who want to sit around a “campfire” like setup. The bowl fire pit designs will often come with a domed screen covering. This screen is made of a mesh metal that will prevent little sparks from floating up and perhaps igniting on nearby tree (so if you use it in the late fall when dried leaves are around, you won’t have to panic about them catching fire). Fire Pit Insert Surrounded By Natural Stone If you prefer a more realistic fire look, then the easy solution is to get a fire pit inserts, and then surround it with natural stone. The fire pit can be placed into a hole dug into the ground, or it can be placed above ground. The fire pit inset is just a metal box (or circle design) that holds the fire. Once the box is placed into the pre-dug hole or situated on the ground, you will surround it with natural stone. Speak with the supplier of natural stone to make sure that the stone you are using is suitable for close contact with heat. If the stone needs a buffer, you can have the stone people suggest a materials (perhaps a cement board) to place between the natural stone blocks and the fire pit insert. You can have the stone stacked high, so that the insulating material is not seen. This setup will best mimic the types of setups fire pits you see in national parks and out in the woods where campers create their own space. However, it’s much cleaner and safer since you are combining the beautiful stone with the protection of a metal fire insert box. Visit websites like http://www.harristone.com to learn more about building with natural...

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Want to Make Your Backyard More Organized? Get Help With Landscaping

Posted by on Jan 19, 2017 in Uncategorized |

When a property is first built, the backyard is typically a large space of dirt, sand, or greenery. You may have bought your home with some plants outside, but it may not be organized or attractive. An easy way to fix this problem is to invest in hardscaping that can provide you with things like pathways and patios. But, you do not need to go this route to get the organization that you seek in the backyard. It is just as viable to hire a landscaping company that can come out and use natural methods to create organization. Create Pathway Borders A paved pathway will easily thread people through the side or back of your yard without a problem. You will also be able to accomplish this by taking visitors through a specific path that you make. Using a combination of grass, mulch, and hedge bushes will allow you to create pathway borders. You can follow this up with putting flat rocks along the pathway to make it easier and safer for people to step on. Filling in the gaps with mulch will minimize mud buildup and prevent weed growth from occurring. Section Off Areas Another thing that you can do to make the backyard a little more organized is to section off areas. It is possible to have one backyard that has multiple areas designed to accomplish several tasks. One spot can be a sanctuary that you create by adding tall hedge bushes to keep the sound down. You can surround it with lavender plants for a calming effect and then add a waterfall for the peaceful and relaxing noise. Build a Green Wall Sectioning off your property from others is commonly done with a fence. But, you can also do this by planting privacy hedges that will grow tall, thick, and wide to cover up the area where you want privacy. This will naturally make the backyard feel more organized because it will not look like the yard keeps going. You will have a clear border that you can work within for future landscaping projects. A landscaper can help you decide which privacy hedge is best based on what you want in regard to house privacy. These are just a few ways that you can drastically improve the organization on your property. Investing in just one or two of these methods will produce noticeable results that will help you love your backyard. For more ideas, visit resources...

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How To Transform Your Traditional Garden Into An Industrial Garden

Posted by on Jan 17, 2017 in Uncategorized |

Industrial gardens were popular for a while, and then they fizzled out. However, their popularity is being rekindled by a mix of nostalgia and fascination from older generations and younger generations respectively. If you want to transform your traditional flower garden into a more industrial garden, the following tips should help. Less Green, More Grey In a sort of reverse of the grassy-area-in-the-city landscaping design plan, the industrialist garden has much more grey, copper, steel, and other metal colors in it. It also has much more metal than grass or flowers. That said, lawn ornaments made from various metals can really help transform your yard into the industrial garden you are hoping for. Metals and Metal Objects Anything metal that looks like a salvage piece or something that someone recycled could work in your industrial garden. Coffee-can bird feeders are a popular addition, as are bird baths made from old metal water fountains. In fact, if you can get the water fountain to continue spouting water out into the fountain’s catch basin, and then it becomes a conversation piece as well as a functional addition to your industrial garden. Other metal objects can include: Aluminum horses and other metal menagerie animals Metal lawn ornaments made from recycled soda cans, which can also provide a splash of color in your greyed-down landscape Chrome fenders mounted to steel stovepipes to act as bird feeders Metal storage sheds that mimic the appearance of full-sized warehouses Washers and nuts embedded in concrete for walkways, patios and stepping stones Pot-bellied stoves in place of outdoor burning pits and campfires Riveted roofing panels as fencing panels Contact a company like Outdoor Living At Saratoga for additional ideas. As you and your landscape artist begin to plan the yard, keep thinking about industrial objects and things fabricated from all kinds of metals. If you want to add a little color, burnished copper, steel heated to certain temperatures, and natural metal patinas can all be used to create metal flowers, metal trees and even metal decorations for your natural trees. Industrial Gardens Can Be as Beautiful as Greenery If executed properly, an industrial garden can be as beautiful as a traditional garden filled with flowers, shrubbery, bushes, and trees. Fabricating some nearly realistic and useful garden items and combining them with fantastical metal objects can really make a unique garden space. The best part is that industrial gardens are less maintenance. They require no watering and are typically hypoallergenic too. For anyone who would like more outdoors with less allergic response, the industrial garden is the...

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Next Level Gardening: 3 Ways To Enhance Your Outdoor Space

Posted by on Jan 12, 2017 in Uncategorized |

You’ve finally mastered starting seeds and getting them to grow into beautiful plants. Yet, you can’t help but feel as though something is missing in your outdoor oasis. It is common to suddenly discover that what started as a passing interest has suddenly transformed into a lifestyle. When you realize that you are spending more time outdoors than inside, it is time to add a few decorative touches to your garden that makes it more appealing to all of your senses. Get Creative With Your Planters Traditional raised beds and in-ground gardens are always effective. However, it is also fun to repurpose common household materials into useful planters that surprise your visitors. For example, an old tractor tire can give your garden a touch of country charm when you use it for a raised bed garden. Alternatively, old rain boots can line your walkway as they hold colorful blooms. Once you start looking at your old cast-off objects, you will begin to see a planter in almost any type of container. Appeal to Your Other Senses Many beginner gardeners spend most of their time focusing on the visual appeal of their garden. However, advanced gardeners know that adding other elements to the display creates a multi-sensory experience that enhances the beauty. Check out aluminum wind chimes for sale that come in a variety of scales that can be used alone or together to generate your desired sound. You can also add plants according to their scent so that certain areas of your garden generate different sensations. Try adding lavender near your favorite reading spot for relaxation or a bit of thyme near areas where you want more energy. Bring In the Wildlife Showing off your garden to others shouldn’t end with just your friends and neighbors. While you naturally want to shoo off pests such as rabbits that eat your produce, other types of wildlife increase the aesthetics while helping to spread seeds and pollen. Consider hanging a bird feeder near your favorite tree or plant a butterfly garden to encourage pretty winged insects to visit in the spring. Once your plants are thriving, it is time to look at your garden with a fresh set of eyes. Gardens should dazzle the eye along with bringing your other senses into full focus. By adding a few decorative elements to your garden, you will enhance the appeal while creating a beautiful outdoor space that instantly transports you to a state of...

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Keeping Mice Out of Your Home in the Winter

Posted by on Jan 12, 2017 in Uncategorized |

As temperatures drop, mice will see your home as a perfect hotel for the winter. A warm environment and all the food they want will have them trying anything to get through the door. But if you take precautions in the fall and stay on top of the potential problem in the winter, you’ll have a home free of little rodent invaders. Read on for some tips on how to keep mice out of your home in the winter. Weatherproof Your Home In the autumn, do a perimeter check of your home. Look for tiny cracks and holes in the foundation, keeping in mind that mice need only a hole the size of a dime to slip through. Search your basement during the daylight, and look for cracks where daylight shines through. It’s also a good idea to feel for moving air, which can indicate a crack. Think of this process as an energy-saving measure that also will deter pests.  Winterize Your Yard Weeds, tall plants, and fall leaves left on the ground provide havens for mice. If you allow this type of vegetation to build up near your home’s entrances, mice will hang out in the vegetation, just waiting for the chance to dart in your house when you leave the door open for a moment. Remove fallen leaves, get rid of weeds, and trim tall plants before freezing temperatures hit.  Close the Door Everyone in your home should be mindful of open doors, including garage doors. If you leave garage and house doors open, you’re asking for mouse trouble. Closing the front door between trips to the car for grocery bags may seem like a pain, but you’ll save yourself a headache in the long run. Eliminate the Buffet If you leave food out, mice will see that as an open invitation to come eat. Clear the dinner dishes before going to bed and be sure to wash any dishes left in the sink. Food packages in cupboards should be sealed, as should pet-food containers. Take care if your pet’s food dish is left on the ground. It should be clean, or it could attract hungry mice.  Mice are wily creatures and might get in your house despite these precautions. If you have an uninvited guest in your home, call your local pest-control services company, perhaps Bisaillon’s Rid All Termite & Pest Solutions. There are over-the-counter pest deterrents that work, but these could also drive mice into the walls. Mice also can carry disease, so if you live with someone who is very young, very old, or ill, it’s best to leave a mouse problem to the professionals....

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How To Naturally Remove Hard Water Stains

Posted by on Nov 23, 2016 in Uncategorized |

Do you cringe each time you look in the mirror because your once golden locks are now a dingy orange? Is your once bright-white sweater streaked with brownish-red stains that match your tub? These problems are most likely caused by hard water. Many people have hard water in their homes, which is water that is high in mineral count, such as magnesium, calcium and iron. As water travels through soil and rocks before making its way into your pipes, it absorbs these minerals. The more of these minerals there are in the water, the “harder” it is. Effects of Hard Water Although hard water isn’t harmful to your health, it can be a headache. It makes detergents and soaps less effective, causing unsightly stains, films and spots on dishes, rust spots on laundry and orange stains on your hair. Hard water can also cause serious problems with your homes plumbing and appliances. Removing Hard Water Stains The good news is that with a little elbow grease and a few items found in most kitchens you can successfully remove hard water stains. Clean the Shower and Sink To break up the stains, place two lemons cut in half in a spray bottle, add a about one cup of water and shake. Spray the area with the lemon water and wait about 15 minutes before proceeding with the following steps: In a spray bottle, add equal parts of water and white vinegar. Spray the vinegar mix on the tile, shower doors and bathtub. Allow the mixture to sit for a few minutes, then wipe clean with a paper towel or cloth. For severe stains, make a paste from baking soda and vinegar. Spread the paste on the stains and wait 15-20 minutes, then scrub with a sponge. Rinse with warm water and towel dry. Clean the shower head: Add equal parts of vinegar and water in a plastic bag. Slip the bag over the shower head, making sure it submerged in the mix and secure with a rubber band. Leave the shower head to soak for about 30 minutes, scrub with a sponge and rinse with warm water. Clean the Toilet Pour one cup of vinegar, followed by 3 tablespoons of baking soda into the toilet bowl. Using a nylon bristle brush, swish the cleaner in the toilet bowl for a few minutes, then allow the cleaner to sit for 15-20 minutes. Using the scrub brush, scrub the surface to remove the remaining stains. Flush and repeat if necessary. Remove Rust from Blond Hair The iron content in hard water will often cause rust stains on blond hair, turning it a brassy orange color. Thankfully, the staining is typically temporary and can be treated easily with the following solution: In a small bowl, make a paste of lemon juice and cream of tartar. Wet hair; apply the paste to the hair and let sit for about 10 minutes. Rinse away the solution and wash hair as normal. The best way to prevent future hard water stains is to purchase a water softening system. A water softener is designed to remove the minerals in the water by replacing them with sodium ions. In most situations, installing a water softener system will help save you time scrubbing as well as money spent on...

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3 Reasons To Plant Wildflowers In Your Garden

Posted by on Nov 23, 2016 in Uncategorized |

The addition of flowers to your home’s landscape can be a great way to add interest and curb appeal. While there are many different types of flowers to choose from when planting your garden, filling your flower beds with wildflowers can be very beneficial. Here are three reasons why you should consider investing in wildflowers for your home garden. 1. A wildflower garden can reduce water consumption. When you make the choice to plant wildflowers in your home’s garden you give yourself the opportunity to reduce your reliance on water. Maintaining a lush landscape requires access to regular water, but the addition of wildflowers to your garden means that you will have plants that are accustomed to the climate conditions in your area. Wildflower varieties are able to thrive on the water that falls naturally from the sky, eliminating the need to use municipal water to keep your landscape looking healthy. 2. Wildflower gardens are diverse. Instead of planting only a single variety of flower in your home’s flower beds, incorporating wildflowers into your landscape design can create interest and add variety to your yard. Wildflower seed packets contain seeds for several varieties of flowers that can be found growing naturally in the environment around you. Since you won’t know exactly which flowers will grow after planting, your wildflower garden can serve as a source of surprise for the members of your household. 3. Wildflowers encourage pollination. Bee populations across the United States have been suffering in recent years as a result of limited access to flora. If you want to do your part to encourage a healthy bee population in your area, then planting wildflowers in your home garden can be beneficial. Wildflower species provide easy access to pollinator organs and make it possible for bees to engage in behaviors that contribute to a healthier ecosystem. You will have the opportunity to watch the pollination process at work in an up close and personal way when you choose to incorporate wildflowers into the design of your home’s landscape in the future. Finding the right flowers to incorporate in your home garden can be a difficult decision. When you opt to plant wildflowers, you get the benefit of having plants that are used to thriving with limited water, a diverse selection of flowers, and blooms that attract your local bee population. Taking advantage of these benefits will allow you to appreciate the beauty that wildflowers can...

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How To Properly Install Landscape Lighting To Highlight Your Home’s Features

Posted by on Nov 23, 2016 in Uncategorized |

Landscape lighting is so much more than a few solar lights scattered around your flower beds. Although these are nice to have, other types of landscape lights such as low voltage lighting can really highlight your home. Up lights, down lights, flood lights, bullet lights, and even solar lights can all help showcase your beautiful home at night and ensure everyone on the block can see just how great your landscape and home looks (even in the dark). These lights all need to be installed properly. You can hire a landscape lighting professional, or you can install the lighting yourself. See below for helpful tips. Well, Flood, Bullet, And Up Lights These types of lights can all be used to highlight trees, bushes, and other tall features in your yard (such as posts or flag poles). When using these lights, be sure that the base is flooded with most of the light. This helps showcase the object, without the light becoming lost in the sky. You can also hang lights up in the tree (down lights), pointed downward to the ground. Be sure to hang them as high as possible in the tree. Solar Lights Solar lights are perfect for flower beds and for lighting up special plants/flowers at night, especially if your flower beds are further away from your home. This way you don’t have to run electric lines all over your yard. Be sure to space these lights out enough so that the lights have their own separate glow—not continuous or connected lighting. There are a number of different styles of solar lighting in all shapes, sizes, and colors. Look for solar lights that fit your own personal style. If your flower beds aren’t in direct sunlight, your solar lights may not work as well, and you may need to use low-voltage lighting instead. Bullet And Wash Lights These lights work well to showcase architectural features of your home. Point them up at corners of your home or at beautiful features on your home, such as an archway. Use softer lighting in between the bolder bullet lights. These lights can also be used to showcase different objects around your home, such as a fountain or arbor. Use two lights aimed at the object to really highlight it. String Lights String lights are a great addition and can be used on a patio to light up the open space. They can be run in a square around the patio and held in place using tall beams/posts, or you can use multiple strings that are run back and forth above the patio for even more lighting.  Landscape lighting can be found at your local hardware store, as can the electric wiring, bulbs, and extra transformer (if needed). If running the electric seems a little too complicated, it may be best to hire a professional. Have a peek at this website for more information on outdoor...

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Five Things You Can Do To Repair Your Hair After Hard Water Damage

Posted by on Oct 27, 2016 in Uncategorized |

One of the biggest reasons why people decide to have a water softener installed is because hard water wreaks havoc on their hair. Unfortunately, hard water damage to your hair isn’t going to go away immediately after you have a water softener installation performed by a professional. New hair will have to grow out to replace the damaged hair before you completely recover. However, in the meantime, you can improve the condition of hair that has suffered hard water damage by doing the following: Washing the hair with a clarifying shampoo A clarifying shampoo can help you get rid of some mineral deposits that are stuck to your hair follicles and cause much of the dullness that detracts from your hair’s appearance. In particular, you should look for chelating shampoo that will help you cope with mineral buildup. Chelating shampoos are similar to clarifying shampoos, but they contain chelating agents that will bond to mineral residue and allow it to be more easily washed away. Rinsing the hair with a vinegar rinse Like clarifying or chelating shampoos, vinegar rinses are effective at removing residue from the hair. The acidity of apple cider vinegar, in particular, helps get rid of scale buildup while also balancing hair pH. Mix vinegar and water and massage the mixture into the hair. Then, leave the mixture on your hair for a few minutes before rinsing it away. Fortifying the hair with vitamin C and vitamin E supplements Vitamin C and vitamin E are important nutrients when it comes to hair health. These nutrients can cleanse the hair while also fighting brittleness by moisturizing the hair. To supplement the hair with vitamin C, use a citrus rinse that contains lemon, lime, or orange juices. Rinsing with these acidic substances will cleanse the hair in the same way vinegar does while also supplementing the hair with vitamin C. Adding a small amount of olive oil or coconut oil to the rinse will add some vitamin E.  Start using a leave-in conditioner to soften the hair Leave-in conditioners replenish the hair with moisture and contribute a glossiness that is typically not present when hair has suffered hard water damage. Using a leave-in conditioner that contains argan oil is especially helpful at restoring hard water damaged hair.  Get a hair cut If you’ve suffered hard water damage to your hair, it’s a good idea to get a hair cut right after you get your water softener installed. This way, you’ll get rid of some of your damaged locks and remove much of that unwanted mineral deposit from your...

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How To Clean Your Sprinkler System

Posted by on Oct 27, 2016 in Uncategorized |

Your sprinkler system provides irrigation to your yard and garden throughout the year. However, over time, dirt and debris can become stuck within the system itself, which can reduce the amount of water that it is able to spray and the area that your sprinkler system is able to cover. Thankfully, you can clean out your sprinkler system fairly easily with a few basic tools. What You’ll Need Before you get started, you should gather all the tools and materials that you’ll need to speed up the process. All of these items can be found at most hardware and grocery stores if you don’t already have them at home. You’ll need a screwdriver (or a hex key, depending on the brand of your sprinkler system), a paper clip, a bowl, dish soap, and a toothbrush. Cleaning the Sprinklers First, remove the heads to your sprinkler system with the screwdriver or hex key, turning counterclockwise (to the left) to loosen them. Once you’ve removed the sprinkler head, reach in with your hand and remove the nozzle body, which is the long piece that connects the head to the water supply within the sprinkler. Lay the body off to the side somewhere safe. Bend the paper clip into a straight line, and use it to fish out the filter that is at the bottom of each sprinkler. Do this for every sprinkler head in your sprinkler system. Once you’ve removed all of the filters, you can turn the water on to your sprinkler system. Let it run for a few minutes, or until streams of clear water come out. This helps flush out any dirt that may be in the sprinkler lines. Combine a mixture of warm water and dish soap in a bowl, and dump all of the sprinkler filters into that bowl. This will help dissolve all the dirt and other contaminants that may be stuck in the filter. After letting the filters sit for a few minutes, take the toothbrush and scrub each filter to remove any dirt or other materials that may be stuck on. Rinse each filter off once you’ve scrubbed them clean. You can now place the filters back into the sprinklers, pushing them into place with your finger or the paper clip. Reinsert the nozzle body, and then screw the sprinkler heads back onto the nozzle body by hand, and then with the screwdriver or hex key by turning them clockwise (to the right). If you need to replace any parts of your system, reach out to a company like Krupske Sprinkler...

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Some Things You Need To Know About Granite Countertops

Posted by on Sep 29, 2016 in Uncategorized |

Many people wonder what kind of countertops they should install in their house. Granite and natural stone are good options for a variety of reasons. Here are some things you need to know about installing granite countertops in your house. Why Should I Pay For Granite Over Something Cheaper Like Laminate? Granite is ideal because it is so sturdy. Yes, the initial prices will be a little more expensive compared to Formica or laminate but it will last longer and will look great for decades. For example, you can cut on granite, and it won’t scar, you can put hot pots and pans on it and it won’t burn, and you can pretty much drop anything on it and it won’t chip. Granite is one of the strongest stones, which is why it will last so long. So even though you will pay more money in the beginning, you will probably save money in the long run since you won’t have to replace it. Another reason to choose granite is that it will increase the resale value of your home. You can charge more for the house when you do choose to sell it because the granite is so desirable for many buyers. Thus, even though you put money into buying the granite, you will most likely get it back when you sell. Do You Have To Do Anything To Care For Granite? In order to keep your granite looking nice, you should do a couple things. First, you need to seal the granite every year and a half or so. When you first get the granite you should put a heavy seal on it before you use it. This seal will act as a buffer and barrier between the granite and any moisture. For instance, when you put water on granite that hasn’t been sealed it will show a small stain until the water has vaporized. This will look much like wet rocks outside. But the sealer will help the water to stay on the surface without soaking into the rock. Second, you should get a cleaner that is specifically for granite. Although you can use all-purpose cleaners, it is safer and better if you can use something that was made specifically for granite. It will keep it cleaner and will protect the granite from discoloration. This really is the only thing that needs to be done to keep the granite looking nice. As you can see granite is easy to care for and worth the money. For more information on granite countertops, contact a company like Artisan Granite &...

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