Lawn Maintenance Tips: How to Make Your Lawn Look Lush and Beautiful

Posted by on May 21, 2014 in green living, Home Improvement, How To's | 1 comment

lawn, watering lawn, watering your lawnWatering and maintaining your lawn is often a chore. And in the hot summer months, watering the lawn can be a waste of precious water. Here are a few ways to extend the life of the lawn and cut down on your watering time.

1. Pest-proof your garden. To give your grass a natural resistance to pests such as billbugs, webworms, any worms and chinch bugs, spread seed that has been inoculated with endophytic fungi. Grasses that are inoculated are more resistant to drought and disease.

2. Let your grass go dormant during the dry summer months. If you apply this methodology to your lawn, it will go green during the fall raining season. You will also avoid fewer disease and pest problems than if you constantly irrigate your grass.

3. Don’t overfeed your grass. Lawns that use unnatural methods to grow may develop more diseases. Lawns in the North require only one feeding per year. Apply the feed to your grass in the early fall or late summer months. In the Southern region of the US, spread only half of the lawn’s fertilizer late in the spring and apply the other half of the lawn treatment in the summer. See more tips here.

4. Water your grass early in the day — before the sun gets too hot. If you water the lawn early in the morning, you will double the amount of water that touches the lawn and reduce any incidental evaporation. Also, if you water your grass and garden before dawn, there will be plenty of time for the moisture to dry before nightfall – when your wet grass is most likely to develop serious fungal diseases.

5. Install a whole house filter and salt-free water softener. If you are interested in filtering out chemicals in your water, a salt-free water softener from PelicanWater.com not only creates better drinking water for your pets, it’s a great source of water for your lawn and garden.

6. Cut your lawn higher in the summer. An extra half-inch of grass will help to shade the roots of the lawn. A higher height protects the grass against drought and reduces the need for constant watering.

7. Promote a mossy lawn, instead of trying to cut it. If your lawn is mossy, you have a stretch of velvety green grass that requires no mowing. To promote the moss, treat your lawn with aluminum sulfate or sulfur dust. When the grass dies — rake it out, and then add water to the soil to keep the surface of the grass moist.

8. Avoid oscillating sprinklers and use the pulsating ones instead. A built-in lawn watering system is the best for watering your lawn. While the pulsating sprinklers are more expensive than the oscillating type, the investment will help your grass stay green and help it grow.

9. Watch out for compacted soil. This type of soil dries quickly because the water can’t soak into it thoroughly and completely. To keep the soil from compacting, run an aerator over the grass. The aerator punches small holes into the soil that allows air, water and fertilizer to reach the roots.

Image credit: redeemyourground.com

Read More

Prepping for a Kitchen Makeover

Posted by on May 4, 2014 in Home Improvement, How To's | 0 comments

The kitchen is one of the most important rooms in the house simply because this is where family meals are prepared. In the past few years we have seen the kitchen evolve into much more than a cooking area. Modern kitchen islands and countertops with barstools can transform your kitchen into a cozy nook where one can cook and entertain guests at the same time. But before you jump into a kitchen upgrade, here are some things that you may want to do prior to your kitchen makeover.

kitchen make over, kitchen renovation, kitchen

1. Get the household ready for renovation. People may either hire contractors for kitchen renovation projects or do the improvements themselves. Regardless of their choice noise, dirt, and workers will definitely invade the house during the renovation process. This can affect some routine activities in the house like nap time or study time of the children, or home security. Household members should at least be made aware of the situation and instructed on how to handle these inconveniences while work is being done.

2. Allot space for displaced kitchen items. Renovation usually entails the removal of kitchen items to give room for construction or repair tasks. As such, you need to look for extra space around the house where you can place these items temporarily. But this won’t be a concern if you plan to throw everything away and replace them with brand new ones after construction.

3. Make arrangements for a temporary kitchen. Since you will not be able to use the kitchen during the renovation process, it is important to find another means to prepare meals for the family. This would of course depend on how long the project is expected to last. If renovations would only take a day or two to finish, then the household could probably survive on take-out for the time being. Otherwise, it may be more practical to set-up a makeshift kitchen somewhere around the house to make sure that the family nourishment is not sacrificed.

Image credit: homeconditioning.com

Read More

Bath Tub Qualities for a Perfect Bath

Posted by on Apr 17, 2014 in Home Essentials, Home Improvement, How To's | 0 comments

Soaking in the tub is one of the best ways to relax after a long day at work. A nice warm bath can help ease the tension in the muscles and detoxify the body. It can even help moisturize skin by adding a few drops of natural oil extracts in the warm bath water. The type of tub that you use is a major factor in enjoying these long luxurious baths in the house. Those who would like to make the most out of their bath tub experience may want to check out some of the qualities that make a great bath tub.

bath tub, what to look for in a bath tub, quality bath tub

The size and fit of the tub is usually the first thing that you look at in choosing a bath tub. It has to fit the available space in your bathroom or you might end up renovating the whole bathroom to accommodate your new tub. You may also want to try the tub first and check if it conforms to your body type. A perfect fit would mean that you can stretch out comfortably in it and be able to reach for items that you need while enjoying your bath.

Another quality that you can look for is its ability to provide warmth and comfort. Cast iron, plastic, acrylic, enamel coated steel, and fiberglass are usual options for bath tub materials. Fiberglass tubs usually feel less solid than cast iron ones, plastic ones feel less cold than cast iron ones when entering the tub but the cast iron ones are better at retaining heat. The best choice depends on your comfort preference.

Finally, one should look into the safety and durability of their tubs. Check the tub specifications and compare it against your home structure to make sure that the tub can be safely installed in your home or apartment. Big and heavy tubs would need solid flooring to handle their weight. Look for durable ones that are easy to maintain in order to make the most out of your purchase. Your luxurious bath need not be expensive. A good tub with qualities that fit your bathing needs can be enough to do the job every day.

Image credit: moldse.com

Read More

Renovating your Bathroom

Posted by on Nov 5, 2013 in Home Improvement | 12 comments

Kitchens and bathrooms are the two rooms most people have on their wish list for renovation. Whilst they are some of the most expensive rooms in the house to overhaul or redesign, they also add the most value to your home and a new kitchen or bathroom gives a wonderful feel of luxury and cleanliness. Whereas a living room can be redecorated with a lick of paint and some new furniture however, a kitchen or bathroom requires much more structural work all together.

Bathroom redesigns involve quite a lot of plumbing work as well as aesthetic changes, especially if you plan to change the layout of the room. Moving the toilet, sink, bath or shower means that all the pipework has to be altered and basically restarted from scratch. This is great if you want a blank canvas on which to create a whole new look and feel to your room, but unless you have considerable experience in plumbing you should hire a professional for a job like this, which involves a huge deal of knowledge and skill. There are wires as well as water in a bathroom so extra care must be taken. Plumbing Services from Dyno are top quality and they can offer you Bathroom Plumbing Advice in the planning stage as well as practical help with the installation.

renovating bathroom, bathroom renovation, bathroom designs, plumbingThere are many choices to be made when redesigning your bathroom. One of the biggest is what to have in it. Do you want a stand-alone shower, a bath, or a full wet room? Wet rooms are the most extravagant option and they will set you back the most, however they are increasingly popular and could possibly increase the value of your home by more than their cost. In a wet room you have the option of a wide head waterfall shower or even multi jets to give that extra touch of luxury. Baths come in all shapes and sizes too, and you have more than the traditional options of corner or straight to choose from.

Decorating your bathroom is mostly about tiles so choose carefully. You can tile the whole room, half or just sections. Tiling is actually harder than it looks and tiles aren’t cheap. Cracking any can be an expensive mistake and they are notoriously hard to cut without this happening. Grouting too is tricky and done incorrectly can allow water to seep in, ruining your tiles over the following months. There is loads of advice available for would be tilers, but unless you feel confident with it hiring a professional could save you money in the long run.

Once you have planned the bathroom of your dreams speak to your tradesmen and establish whether or not it is realistic. Work with them to overcome any hiccups and compromise to get the best solution for all involved. Use their knowledge and expertise and listen to what they have to say. There is no point forking out for the bathroom you’ve always wanted if it isn’t maintainable so take their advice and follow any care instructions they give you, and you can enjoy your new bathroom for many years to come.

George Torres is a professional pillow designer and pillows are his passion. He’s more than happy to help anyone out with choosing theirs.

Image credit: homeposh.com

Read More

When to Hire Roofing Experts

Posted by on Nov 5, 2013 in Care Tips, Home Improvement, Repairs and Maintenance | 0 comments

roofing, roof repair

Your roof is often a neglected part of your home. You do your general cleaning in your interiors regularly and perhaps have renovations or redecorating projects done from time to time. Not a few homeowners fail to check the roof of their homes regularly. Especially if you live in a country with extreme weather conditions, you want to regularly maintain your roof to prevent serious problems that could result in costly repairs. There are times when you have to call in the roofing experts to ensure that you and your family can enjoy the protection of having a roof over your head.

One of the most common roof problems are leaks. You don’t have to wait until you have water dripping from your ceiling or warping your ceilings and walls before you call in the roofing experts. With a regular roof inspection, you can catch leaks early on so that you can have them repaired right away before they cause damage. Cracked shingles, corrosion, and missing bolts are possible causes of leaks. These problems can easily be addressed with roofing replacement or patching.

Flashing, blistering, and water pooling are some of the other problems you can have in your roof. Roofing experts can inspect your flashing for defective seals, your asphalt shingles for blistering, and any defects on your roof slope that might cause water pooling. They will give you recommendations on what kinds of repairs are necessary to prevent these problems from causing leaks or water damage. They should also be able to give you a cost and time estimate for the project.

Roof repairs and maintenance should not be brushed aside. It might seem like a big expense, but not getting the job done properly or not having the job done at all could result in an even bigger expense. It would be to your best interest to call in the roofing experts right away especially if you have not had your roof inspected for quite some time.

Image credit: longfusebigbang.com

Read More

The Lazy Man’s Guide to Cleaning your Back Patio

Posted by on Nov 1, 2013 in Care Tips, Home Improvement, How To's | 0 comments

patio, patio cleaning

Have you ever braved your unmaintained patio in wet weather? It’s like an ice skating rink. Slippery, uneven and incredibly painful when you slip over. Cleaning your patio is one of those household chores that we put in the too hard box and when left alone too long, it becomes one of those areas in the house no one likes to venture to. Especially in the summer months, we’d like to have an amazing entertaining area that isn’t like an untamed jungle. If you’re strapped for time and need your patio in tip top shape, here’s an easy guide to keeping your courtyard clean.

Move the furniture

First things first. If you leave every piece of outdoor furniture where it sits, the likelihood of it getting wet is incredibly high. Move it to a dry place and cover it with a tarp if you think it will suffer backlash from the hose.

Sweep away the dirt

To stop any further pieces of debris sticking to the ground, give the whole area a sweep with a hard bristled broom while the ground is still dry. If you start sweeping after the floor has had water on it, you are likely going to get unwanted rubbish sticking to your broom, defeating the purpose of lazy mans guide.

Protect the surrounding greenery

Have you got a vegetable garden on the outskirts of your patio? Or perhaps just a flower bed? As you will be using a high pressure hose and solutions to complete the cleaning, the last thing you want is for the vegetation to be damaged by chemicals that they are not designed to handle. Be aware of this and cover it with tarp until you are finished.

Remove and treat the weeds

Got a couple of bored teenagers lying around with nothing to do? Then call them to help you out with this job. It’s important that you remove the weeds at the root as they have a tendency to move underneath the ground and cause upheaving of your tiles. After a while, water will start to seep in, corroding the sand that supports the patio. To pull out the weeds, use your brute strength and treat with an eco-friendly weed killer to prevent them from returning.

Power cleaner

There are many different types of patios, but the most common are brick, concrete and stone. To clean these varieties, it’s more than fine to use a high pressure hose or cleaner. Stihl have a great range of cleaners that allow you to attach a detergent bottle, making for an easy clean. Check out http://www.stihl.com.au/ to view their range. Besides this, you can always use your garden hose and a scrubbing brush for any of those imbedded stains. Make sure there are no soap suds remaining when you finish hosing down the ground and always use an eco-friendly detergent for minimal harm.

Dry and seal

The hard part is done and now we are on the home stretch to having a beautiful and welcoming patio area. It is important to let the patio dry completely and if you have patterned concrete, make it look as good as new by putting a seal on it.

Do you have any patio cleaning shortcuts? Tell us in the comments below.

Image credit: redbeacon.com

Read More