5 Basic Stepping Stones to Water Features

5 Basic Stepping Stones to Water Features

Landscaping is a great way to add some curb appeal to your home, thereby increasing its overall value. When 5 Basic Stepping Stones to Water Featuressprucing up your yard, there are some essentials to keep in mind. You should always install a patio, put in some native plants, and an irrigation system is never a bad idea. But it never hurts to give your exterior a dramatic makeover, and sometimes a flowerbed or garden just isn’t enough. If you have a green thumb and like to spend time in your yard, then a new water feature may be just the thing to add some life to your landscape. Here are 5 basic steps that will prepare you to make the right decision.

Step #1: Sound Selection
First off, what is your intention? Do you want a tranquil pond that will soothe away your worries? A zen-like garden pond or a bubbling brook? Or do you want something a bit more theatrical, such as a splashing waterfall or flowing fountain? Answering these questions will help you determine the size and power of your water feature. Creating a raging river in

4 Vacation Retreats in Your Own Backyard

4 Vacation Retreats in Your Own Backyard

4 Vacation Retreats in Your Own BackyardForgo that summer vacation in favor of a retreat you can use right in your own backyard. Decks, patios, landscaping and gardens, and swimming pools and hot tubs can provide a daily relaxing escape from your everyday routines for years to come.

  1. Decks: Outdoor Living

Decks have become an extremely popular, low-cost way to add living space to a home. They not only make it convenient to enjoy sitting outside day or night, they also open up the home and facilitate entertaining and outdoor dining.

Outdoor rooms are becoming very popular, in fact, and not just in warm weather climates. Homeowners are remodeling their decks and patios into small- and full-scale outdoor kitchens, dining and entertaining areas.

Even with a small budget you can create an enjoyable outdoor room for dining and entertaining. There are three basics to any outdoor kitchen: grilling area, food prep area and sink and, of course, dining area. Unless you have an extravagant budget to work with, the grill is a good basis for most outdoor

Outdoor Stone Fireplaces

Outdoor Stone Fireplaces

outdoor STONE fireplaceExplore your options for outdoor stone fireplaces, and prepare to install a sturdy and elegant outdoor fireplace in your external living space.

Outdoor stone fireplaces can offer a beautiful and elegant gathering place and focal point for your outdoor living space. If you’re considering installing an outdoor fireplace or shopping for a pre-assembled or semi-customizable one, you’ll want to consider the many design and material options available for outdoor stone fireplaces.

One of the first decisions you’ll need to make when thinking about an outdoor stone fireplace installation is where it’ll be located. Which area of your backyard or external living space is best suited for entertaining, gathering and potentially even cooking? Many homeowners choose to build or install their outdoor stone fireplace directly adjacent to their home, on a patio or deck. Others may choose a more distinct location, like a separate gathering area in another portion of the backyard. An important consideration regardless of where you choose to locate your outdoor stone fireplace is the safety factor—namely, you want to ensure that the fireplace isn’t near any low-hanging

Minimizing Water Damage Potential

Minimizing Water Damage Potential

You can get water damage from a lot of things in life. You have to protect yourself, your home and your money from it. You can get water damage from your toilet backing up or sink drain becoming clogged. You can also get water damage from leaks under the sink, ruining beautiful cabinetry and shelving. Make sure you check your appliances like fridge or washing machine. The biggest cause of water damage to houses is storms like hurricanes, depending on where you live and bad rain storms. Make sure your roof is well covered without any holes or leaks coming through.

Water damage can start in the smallest of things. You could see a water stain on your ceiling or when it is raining you could see or feel little drops of water coming through the roof or ceiling. If it is coming through a ceiling though that is from a water pipe which should be checked right away. You need to dry the leak as soon as possible from it to start spreading. Next you should try to figure out if it is clean water or if it water from a sewer back up. It would be

Transform Your Backyard With A Beautiful Gazebo

Transform Your Backyard With A Beautiful Gazebo

gazebo-967632_1280Gazebos offer protection from the rain and the sun without obstructing the beautiful scenery outdoors. They are useful for settings such as family gatherings in addition to providing additional living space. The availability of different types of these structures means that one has to be well informed before purchasing or putting-up one. They may be made of metal, wood or plastic, while some may be permanent or temporary.

The most common gazebos are made of wood for both residential and commercial purposes. They offer a natural look and have a variety of design options. They are easy to construct and maintain, in addition to lasting many years without the need for replacement or repairs. Redwood or cider is commonly used due to the durability, natural moistness and resistance. A wooden gazebo can be prefabricated or custom-built. Making a decision on which one to use depends on individual design needs, size of space, and budget.

When using prefabricated gazebos made of wood, there is a significant difference in cost, depending on the type of wood used. Cedar

Owning Rattan Garden Furniture

Owning Rattan Garden Furniture

45135482_sRattan is a variety of the palm tree family found in Africa, Australasia and Asia. The largest supply is from Indonesia in South East Asia. A good example is the Kalimantan rattan, which is water and termite resistant, making it most suitable for rattan garden furniture. However, this does not mean that all rattan types are resistant to these elements. Only the best rattan material is used to create furniture meant for the outdoors.

Benefits of Rattan Outdoor Furniture

While aluminum and plastic based furniture is still widely used, rattan furniture remains essential set pieces for many homeowners. The rusty and natural look of the material separates rattan from the rest, making the furniture blend in more naturally in the garden. Today, furniture made out of rattan comes in superb designs that compliment any type of garden. The types are of the present-day, traditional, and a combination of the two elements. The material is extremely lightweight making transportation simple and a single person can arrange or rearrange these pieces in the garden with ease. Additionally, the material is durable and

What to Do If Pests Have Moved In Your Yard

What to Do If Pests Have Moved In Your Yard

Pests can be so-called for many different reasons. They may be a health hazard because they carry harmful bacteria or viruses. They can be destructive. For example, caterpillars can wreak havoc on vegetable plots, while termites can destroy the fabric of a home. Other pests can pose risks to humans or pets through their aggression if they believe they are being attacked. Think wasps and hornets. Yet others may be simply just nuisances.

Whatever the reason you consider something a pest, you will want to take action if you notice pest activity in your yard. The first thing to do is try to figure out why your yard is attractive to pests. Most pests visit our yards and homes in search of food or shelter. If they find both, they will definitely want to stay.

Are pests able to get food in your yard? Check that your trash can is pest proof. Make sure all food waste is disposed of properly. Using leftovers to try to add nutrients to your soil by scattering them around the yard is simply making an excellent dining area for pests. Always compost food waste first before using it as a

Fireplace Tiles That Always Get Results

Fireplace Tiles That Always Get Results

Picking the right fireplace tiles can be a little tricky.  It doesn’t help that there is a lot to choose from either.  Here are our top picks that can help you to totally transform your fireplace.

Marble

Natural stone has always been a consumer favorite and no stone makes an impression like marble.  Not only is it simply gorgeous but each tile made from it is totally unique with its variations in color and striking vein patterns formed by Mother Nature.  Marble fireplace tiles can actually range in color from white to black with many interesting options in-between such as red and brown.  This material is often the top choice for those looking for green fireplace tiles as well especially if they are interested in creating a luxurious looking space which marble is well-known for being able to do.

Slate

Another stone which is always in demand are slate fireplace tiles.  These are different from marble in that they portray a much more rustic look and feel.  Slate tiles have unique textures that unlike other stones are uneven to the touch which makes them very appealing to anyone who loves natural beauty.  Tiles cut

Outdoor Tiles Fast And Simple

Outdoor Tiles Fast And Simple

Regardless of what the home improvement project you are thinking of completing is, it’s always imperative that it is started out right, and with outdoor tiles this is just as true. By reading up first you’ll be hedging your bets that your project will come out just like you’ve dreamed.   Here are the tips and info you need to help begin in the right manner.

Starting Your Project Out Right

One of the most important things you can do to make sure this is the case is to take a look at the style of your home and the outside space you are working with.  Once you have clear idea of what this is whether modern, contemporary, etc. then use it to help you pick only the tile materials that work with that style.  This will make sure that your property as a whole has a cohesive and well-blended look.

Different Types Of Stone

The majority of homeowners prefer the look and feel of natural stone.  Fortunately there are many to choose from. Each type of outdoor stone tiles has their own unique range of colors, toughness, and of course looks.  Some are more

Doctor, Can You Help Me with Pain Management?

Doctor, Can You Help Me with Pain Management?

Do you or a family member suffer from back, neck, shoulder, or knee pain? Has arthritis, neuropathy, sciatica, spinal stenosis, or accident injuries reduced your quality of life? Many people who suffer from chronic pain have heard horror stories about surgery, fear drug addiction, and continual injections and are looking for a safer alternative. Laser therapy is an alternative solution for successfully treating pain, reducing inflammation, and speeding recovery.

Laser Treatment Therapeutic Effects

The laser treatment is painless, restores function, and assists injured areas of the body to return to normal. Laser treatments provide many benefits to the injury area including increasing circulation and providing oxygen and nutrients to the affected area. These benefits result in a favorable healing environment. Inflammation is reduced as are swelling, stiffness, muscle spasms, and overall pain.

Laser Treatment Cellular Effects

Therapy treatments use the infrared laser light to interact with tissue at the cellular level, and it increases the metabolic activity within the cell. The transportation of nutrients across the cell membrane is improved, which initiates cellular energy production. The treated area experiences increased cellular function, improved health, and other beneficial effects.

Laser Therapy

The Characteristics And Convenience Of A Lockable Storage Box

The Characteristics And Convenience Of A Lockable Storage Box

Most storage boxes on the market are made from plastic or metal and provide convenient storage for anything from small and to very large items.  Plastic ones are especially popular because many have strong tabs and latches that are easily padlocked for security.  A lockable storage box does an excellent job of protecting any possessions you store within it.

Convenient Protection

Inside a home, on your deck, beside your pool, on a boat, in the woods when camping, or on a job site, storage boxes are all about convenient protection of your possessions.  Sturdy and portable, they are also offer protection for the items stored within from the weather. They have other valuable qualities as well.

Characteristics of Lockable Storage Boxes

There are many positive characteristics and qualities of today’s lockable storage boxes, whether made of metal or plastic, although plastic are by far the most popular ones.  These storage boxes are:

  • Lightweight
  • Portable
  • Available in many sizes
  • Available in many types
  • Versatile
  • Weatherproof
  • Built for convenient use

Portable and Lightweight

The fact that these boxes are light in weight is one of their biggest advantages.  This makes them easy to move and thus portable.  Just grab

Make the Perfect Decoration for Your House

Make the Perfect Decoration for Your House

Here we are going to talk about home. If we talk about home, Pembroke painters will be important here. House is the place where everyone will live. There is no one who can live without a home. The home here is like the place where most of people spend most of their time in. Let say when we were born, we will stay in a house with our beloved family. When we grow up, we also will spend our time in a home. When we already married and have the family, we will need the house for our beloved family also.

It means that house and our life cannot be separated to one another.  That’s why we need to make sure that we can prepare all of the ways to make the best look of the house since the importance of a house for our live. When we can prepare the best way for decorating our home for example, why do not we apply it for our home? Remember, the one who takes in charge of the condition of your home is yourself.

Choosing the right painting service for your home is one of

Masonry without the Thick

Masonry without the Thick

Any type of masonry work adds value and beauty to a home, whether it’s inside or out. However, conventional brickwork has several drawbacks: it’s expensive, messy, labor-intensive, and most importantly, the stuff is heavy. So for homeowners who want the look of brick veneer, but don’t have the walls or foundation to handle the load, often choose to install thin bricks as the more efficient and cost-effective alternative.

The Blocks without the Bulk
First, thin brick is light. Unlike conventional brick, it’s only about an inch thick. This makes it cheaper and easy to install, though it truly is a veneer: it’s only for decoration and holds no structural component.
Second, because it’s easy to install yourself, you have complete control over the product. It can come in any color (or combination of color) and texture (rough, smooth, glossy, adobe, etc.). Plus, since it plays no structural role, it can be placed in any pattern against any surface. And it can be installed year around.
Third, it requires no maintenance, painting, or re-painting (though adding color is certainly still an option).
Fourth, though it doesn’t have the full durability, strength, fire protection, and insulation of conventional brick,

Brace Yourself against Foundation Problems

Brace Yourself against Foundation Problems

If you notice cracks around your home, you may be having some foundation problems. This is a very dangerous situation because if your foundation is cracking, sinking, or shifting, it puts your whole house at risk of collapse. So routinely check for any brick walls or chimney cracks, drywall fractures, and always look in your basement to see what your foundation is doing down there. If you notice any problems it’s best to address the situation immediately because there are solutions available, the most common being the installation of wall anchors.

Midwestern Moisture
Often in the Midwest, since the water table is high and the ground is usually saturated with rain and snow, foundation problems can occur. Underground water seeps next to your foundation, forms pressure, and eventually finds a way to leak through any porous, concrete material. This water absorption will, in turn, crack or bow foundations especially in older houses constructed of concrete-block (it has several weak points that water can easily penetrate). However, this doesn’t just apply to the Midwest. If downspouts aren’t properly placed, if gutters aren’t cleaned, or if your walls aren’t routinely examined, you may still be putting yourself at risk.

Sealing a Foundation

Sealing a Foundation

A strong foundation is necessary in tackling any construction project. While many precautions are taken to insure that a foundation will hold up for the lifetime of the house that’s set upon it, sealing a foundation is one of the most important aspects of keeping it functional over the long haul. If foundation sealing is done improperly, moisture that enters the home through the foundation walls and floor can lead to problems such as mold growth and can contribute to a variety of health problems for the homeowner. Knowing more about sealing a foundation can help you understand not just the problems that can occur if it’s done wrong, but also what you can do to fix problems that already exist in older structures.

Foundation Sealing in a New Structure
The bottom line is that sealing a foundation is a different process in different parts of the country. Soil composition, annual rainfall levels, and annual temperature changes all play a role in how foundation sealing is done in your area.

In general, moisture and soil gases can be eliminated by specific construction techniques and materials. Often a special mastic coating and drain board is applied to

7 Steps to a Backyard Playground for Kids

7 Steps to a Backyard Playground for Kids

A yard offers enough room for kids to explore and grow without being too far from supervision. Installing a home playground is one way to encourage children to exercise and have fun outdoors. As with anything, however, the best backyard playgrounds are those that have been properly planned out. When changing the landscape of your yard to be more kid-friendly, there are a few things to consider.

1. Don’t Skimp on Open Play Areas
One thing that some homeowners might forget when planning a home playground is to leave enough open space. A spacious, flat, grassy area that lends itself well to a wide range of sports and play activities is essential. You could also consider installing synthetic grass in the play area. It’s durable, designed to be realistic, and maintenance-free. Open play areas allow for a wide variety of games from badminton to tag. A few trees around the perimeter of the yard are also a plus. Besides offering some shade, trees can serve as bases, hiding places, and net supports.

2. Home Playground Containment
Fences are the most common solution for keeping children in one area and discouraging strangers from entering your yard. If your neighborhood has restrictions on fencing,

5 Ways Home Automation Can Keep Your Home Safe In 2016

5 Ways Home Automation Can Keep Your Home Safe In 2016

The dawning of a new year brings new resolutions, new goals and all the best intentions. Most of these are related to things like our waistlines or the junk drawer, but 2016 can be your year to shake things up by adding smart home technology to the mix. Home automation isn’t the future — it’s now — and it can help us live a safer, healthier 2016.

Here are the five top home automation products you need to know about this year.

1. Smart Air Purifiers

Nothing is worse than enduring the short days of winter while battling seasonal bugs and allergies. Keep the sniffles at bay this year by adding a smart air purifier to your home. When your smartphone is in range, a smart air purifier can access the latest local allergen and smog reports via Bluetooth or Wi-Fi and adjust its own settings. You don’t even have to lift a finger.

Smart air purifiers continually monitor allergen and pollutant levels in your home and outside. And because they can be controlled from the other room or across town, you can start purifying the air in your home before you leave the office

10 home design trends to ditch in 2015

10 home design trends to ditch in 2015

Brass hardware — out. Big showers — in.

Home design trends may come and go, but homeowners are always looking for inexpensive, easy ways to increase their property’s value. Some of those trends can translate into bigger bucks when it comes time to sell a home, while others can actually drag value down.

Part of figuring out whether to change a design element involves predicting what potential buyers might want down the line, while also considering the needs and tastes of the people who live there today. It’s a balancing act for almost every homeowner’s budget. The risk? That some design decisions make your home look dated before its time.

We talked to three interior design professionals about which trends to resist and where they would put their renovation dollars instead. Here are 10 trends they think homeowners should steer clear of in 2015.

Until recently, lots of interior designers thought it would be useful for homeowners to build a desk space directly into the counter top. People used the space, which was usually about six inches shorter than the average kitchen counter, for storing cookbooks, making telephone calls and paying the bills.

10 Exterior Design Lessons That Everyone Should Know

10 Exterior Design Lessons That Everyone Should Know

While we all want a spectacular home that stands out amongst the rest; we also want a home that blends with its surroundings and neighborhood.

Designing the exterior of a home can be a complicated process of color choices, materials, balancing shape and lines— it is not a job for novice designers.

Do you ever wonder what makes a home exterior visually appealing? Why are there certain homes on the street that make you stop in your tracks and gawk in awe of its beauty?  It is more than likely that those jaw-dropping homes have followed some key design principles.  Yes, every design, interior or exterior, needs to follow some simple “rules” of design in order for the final outcome to be visually appealing.

1) Balancing Shapes With Symmetry

Like in all types of design, balance and symmetry play an important role in achieving a well-designed space. The facade of every home needs some semblance of balance and symmetry in order to appear pleasing to the eye and properly designed.

Whether it is the eye-catching appeal of a symmetrical Georgian home, where the door is centered and the windows

Selecting The Right Window

Selecting The Right Window

The decision of what kind of windows to use on your new house will be one of the most important decisions you will make. Windows add warmth, beauty and light to your home. Since windows are one of the most visible features of your home from both the inside and out, you’ll want to make a wise and practical choice. Most people spend 10 to 15 percent of their home building budget on windows and doors.

Window Configurations

Besides size, color and shape, when selecting windows you will also need to decide the window’s configuration – in simple terms, how, or if, it opens and closes. There’s no one “right” choice, and each has certain advantages and disadvantages but certain areas do lend themselves for easier opening and closing options.

Fixed
A fixed window, also called a picture window, doesn’t swing, tilt or glide. Its sash is permanently fixed to a frame, so if you’re looking to let some fresh air in – fixed aren’t the way to go. Fixed are often flanked by double-hung windows or casements or set above or below an awning or hopper. From an architectural standpoint – you can get fixed windows in a variety of

7 Design Secrets for a House You Can Live in Forever

7 Design Secrets for a House You Can Live in Forever

The words dream house may conjure up fantasy amenities and custom trims. But smart homeowners also imagine a home they can live in forever — with a young family, through busy midlife, and with many of the common physical limitations that getting older can bring, from arthritis to needing a wheelchair.

Universal design (UD) is the design of products and environments that are usable by most people, regardless of their level of ability or disability, and at little or no extra cost. From entryways to kitchens and bathrooms to bedrooms, they often increase the value of a home. UD brings together the principles of accessible design (meeting standards for handicapped access, using “adaptable” design, meaning “normal”-looking design that can be revised later for disabled use), ergonomic design (allowing people and things to interact most effectively and safely), and green design (environmentally friendly spaces). UD is sometimes also called “lifespan design.”

These seven principles, set out by the Center for Universal Design at North Carolina State University, a national resource and technical assistance center, help inform useful design for all ages and stages of life:

1. Design that’s equally appealing to all users

What it

A Beacon of Green Design

A Beacon of Green Design

BrightBuilt Barn is a small blue outbuilding that sits atop a hill full of birch trees in Rockport, Maine. It is also an answer to the question, How green can you go? Or more precisely: What would happen if you asked some of New England’s top green builders to make the most eco-conscious structure possible, a cutting-edge building that would be beautiful, affordable, durable, sustainable, and reproducible? And what if you did all this in Maine, a state in which the challenges of heating cannot be ignored? Keith and Mary Collins, a physician and artist respectively, first asked these questions when they were looking to build an office and studio next to their Rockport home. Now, two years later, they have a sustainable structure on their property, one that generates enough electricity to give back to the grid. Indeed, on days when BrightBuilt Barn is working most efficiently, the electric meter runs backward, working as a virtual outboard motor for the couple’s home, while paying off the carbon debt incurred in construction. And how will the couple know when the environmental bill has been settled? Well, the building will help them estimate. A computer panel in the loft

Choosing The Right Bathroom Sink

Choosing The Right Bathroom Sink

Choosing the right bathroom sink involves a little more than just finding which one looks good. Sure, you want your sink to project your bathroom’s style and some sinks, like vessel sinks, can actually be the focal point of the bathroom. But before you make any buying decisions there are a few things to consider.

Your scenario, relative to whether you’re building new, remodeling or just replacing an old sink, will determine which direction to take when choosing a new bathroom sink.

For example, you’ll need to be sure the sink you want is compatible with the faucet you currently have or will have, if you’ll be buying both.

Other factors such as how the sink is installed (installation type), it’s configuration (more on what this means later) and the material it’s made of come into play.

Finally, it helps to know what kinds of features and innovations are available so that you don’t limit your options.

Once you consider these aspects and blend them with your own wants and needs, you’ll be better equipped to make the right choice.

What Do I Need To Know About Bathroom Sinks?

Choosing the