14 Nov 2017

Now that the weather is starting to warm up, it might be time to get your yard ready for summer holidays and parties. A little extra planning and maintenance will also help you keep your trees, lawn, bushes, and flowers as healthy as possible throughout the year. Here is a look at five strategies you can use to make sure that your property is ready well before your first guests arrive.

1. Basic Maintenance

Before you consider any major upgrades or additions, you should first take care of some basic maintenance. A landscaping company can help you with projects such as seeding your grass, turning the sprinklers back on, mulching, and getting rid of dead foliage. Depending on the state of your soil, you might also need to add fertilizer to your lawn and garden. Most landscaping specialists suggest fertilizing your lawn at least twice over the summer.

2. Create a Cooking Station

Even if you aren’t going to make huge meals for your guests, you will most likely want a comfortable area to prepare snacks and drinks. This area should be relatively far away from any flowers or bushes that will attract unwanted pests such as bees and flies. Decks are a popular option for outdoor cooking, but you want to keep open flames away from trees and the walls of your home.

3. Don’t Forget the Shade

Shade is going to be absolutely vital to the comfort of your guests, and you need to be sure that your friends and family members can escape the sun without having to go inside. If you want to turn your yard into the perfect summer oasis, then you might want to work with an experienced landscape design specialist. These individuals can help you come up with a comprehensive plan for your yard such as adding a fountain, gazebo, or covered patio.

4. Have an Area for Activities

Setting up a few outdoor activities will give your guests something to do if you are busy cooking or socializing with other people. Yard games are a popular option, but they might not be the best idea if the weather is too hot. Putting a few card or board games in the shade or near the bar will keep your guests entertained without forcing them to be out in the sun.

5. Nighttime Safety and Security

 

The safety of your family and guests should be your primary concern, and that is why you must install lights if you plan on having nighttime parties. When you are speaking with your landscape design specialist, you might want to go over lighting options such as solar or string lights. These simple additions will accentuate the best features of your property while making the yard safer for your guests. If you would like to learn more, the Royal Decks website is a helpful source for information.

22 May 2017

Lawn care is a top priority for many homeowners. Maintaining your lawn on your own can drain you of time and energy, and professional lawn care services can help you to keep this space looking neat and tidy. A beautiful yard can bolster pride of ownership, neighbor envy and curb appeal. However, weeds are a common problem that homeowners face, and weed control services are often not included in basic lawn maintenance service contractors. If you are looking for weed control services today, consider focusing your attention on these areas as you make a smart buying decision.

The Ability to Kill Existing Weeds and Prevent New Weed Growth
A basic weed control service plan may be used to kill current weeds, but this may not be enough to keep your yard free of weeds. The unfortunate reality is that new weed growth can begin through something as simple as wind carrying weed seeds into your yard or birds dropping weed seeds. You must plan for future weed growth as well if you want your yard to be free of weeds. With this in mind, the weed service you select should kill current weeds and prevent pervasive weeds from growing in the future.

An Integrated Pest Management Plan
The best plan for weed control services will also take pests into account. Pests can bite or sting you and your loved ones, harm your pets, damage your vegetation and even impact your home’s condition. For example, ants can sting you, and termites can eat the wood in your home’s support beams. Through an integrated pest management plan, you can benefit from having your weeds and pests eliminated from your yard.

The Impact of Services on the Environment
You may be well-aware that pesticides and weed control treatments can harm the environment. For example, rainwater carrying pesticides and other elements can filter down into the water supply for the community and can contaminate it. When you search for an effective treatment for your weeds, look for an EPA approved treatment option. This will ensure that your treatment is not negatively impacting the environment. If you visit Weed Man USA, their website may provide you with more information.

Your lawn care company may offer a weed service plan that is integrated with pest control services. However, you may need to look at other service options to find the best deal possible. While cost is a concern, you can see that these other factors should also be considered as you make a buying decision. Carefully research all options available, and read consumer reviews for the companies you are most interested in working with. By taking this effort, you can make the best decision for the care of your lawn.

07 Feb 2017

When you think about hiring a sub-contractor, such as a plumber, to assist with home remodeling plans, you may think that such services would cost you a small fortune. It is true that your plumbing company will likely charge you an hourly rate for the time spent working for you. However, there are also several ways that a plumbing company can save you money through work performed on the remodeling project. In fact, in some cases, your plumbing specialist may save you more money over the long-run than the cost of the services. With a closer look at two of the main ways plumbers can save you money, you may be ready to start looking for the right company to hire for your upcoming project.

Exceptional Design Plans
Many homeowners do not think about consulting with a plumber during the design stage of their remodeling project, but it is wise to do so. There are many facets of your project that may require the relocation of plumbing features or the installation of new features or fixtures. Your plumber may be able to make educated recommendations regarding how to best relocate certain items in a way that saves you money. For example, by placing the tub in a new location against one wall of your bathroom, you may not have to pay to relocate pipes to a new area. If you are adding a new wing onto your home, your plumber may assist with determining where pipes are in connecting walls and in the ground outside the home.

Water-Saving Features
While the cost of labor can be reduced when you create thoughtful design plans, your plumber may also be able to help you save money through the installation of water-saving features. There are different facets of the cost of these features to consider. For example, the cost of installation and materials may vary from one product to another. More than that, the amount of water saved over a lengthy period of time can vary drastically from one product to another. Furthermore, your plumbing expert may be able to guide you into choosing products that have a rebate or a tax incentive on them for further savings.

With all of the many ways a plumbing company can save you money during a home renovation project, the services of the right professional may be worth hundreds or even thousands of dollars. In fact, you may find that you save more money than you pay out to your plumbing team. Your selection of an educated, experienced and helpful plumber will go a long way toward helping you to maximize the benefits that a plumbing company can provide.

18 Nov 2016

Each home is different and your heating and cooling system choice will be dependent on your special circumstances and requirements. It is, therefore, worthwhile taking some time to identify what you need. Other vital HVAC aspects to consider include the following:

Getting HVAC ContractorsAmong the biggest mistakes often made by many homeowners is to just compare the AC equipment costs, and not also compare the Heating, Ventilation and Air Conditioning contractors or dealers they would be purchasing it from. Even the best heating and cooling system, when installed by unqualified or inexperienced HVAC contractors could potentially end up costing you thousands of dollars in repair costs over the long-run.

Some of the clear indications that your installation contractor might not have the necessary qualifications to handle your HVAC equipment include arriving in a truck that lacks Technical Standards and Safety Authority (TSSA) number. Be cautious if they are not willing to offer you service and maintenance guarantees.

Financing Your Air-Conditioning

For many people, getting an air conditioning system is typically prompted by the need for comfort. However, what turns to be a major factor is the cost of purchase, installation and annual operation. You may, therefore, want to calculate the cost of operating an AC system per year to establish whether it is something worth investing in.

Understanding all the available options should be your first step towards picking the right AC system for your home. Did you know, for instance that it’s possible to rent the equipment for an affordable monthly rate during the critical months rather than purchasing the equipment?

HVAC Maintenance

Proper and regular maintenance of your air conditioning system is critical toward making sure it operates efficiently and serves your house for many years. The best time for getting your AC serviced is just before the onset of the cooling season.

Some municipalities in Canada have enacted by-laws limiting the acceptable levels of noise from air conditioning equipment. Confirm with the local municipal office in case such by-laws are applicable in your area or if there are any additional requirements under the Canada’s Energy Efficiency Act of 1992 that you may be required to meet.

In some Canadian Provinces, it is illegal for residents to release HCFCs into the open atmosphere. Only select HVAC contractors that are known to practise refrigerant recovery and also have the proper training and equipment to do so.

Conclusion

Heating and cooling your home can become one of your biggest monthly expenditures, accounting for between 35 and 50% of total energy costs annually in colder Canadian areas. When it comes to installing or replacing your HVAC system, choosing the right system and qualified HVAC contractors could affect not just your wallet and the environment but the health of you family.

18 Nov 2016

Hardwood flooring has always been popular, and for good reason. It offers durability, minimal maintenance, and health benefits for people with allergies. Those benefits, along with a few others, have been causing more and more people to choose wood flooring for their homes. Production has both increased and relocated to meet the demand, which is unlikely to decrease any time in the near future.

A Growing TrendSeveral factors are driving the increase in demand for hardwood flooring. Most industries have recently seen a shift towards natural and sustainable products, and the flooring industry is no exception. People who want the natural look tend to choose wood over carpeting or tile, so the increased interest in natural products has served the industry well. Health concerns are another factor. Allergies are becoming more common over time, and people want to avoid carpets that can trap dust and pet hair in their home.

Economic factors are also encouraging the shift towards wooden flooring. Popular wisdom says that hardwood floors can increase a home’s value, so they’re a popular choice for renovations. Their durability also makes them cheaper than carpeting in the long run, which makes it popular with the tiny house movement and other groups that are building new homes on a small budget. The real estate industry in North America is also rebounding after several years of decline, which is encouraging people to build new homes for profit. Many of these builders are choosing hardwood flooring to appeal to environmentally-conscious consumers.

Shifting Westward

The increase in demand is leading to increased production, but that production is not spread evenly all over the world. In general, the production of hardwood flooring has moved towards Europe and North America, while China has actually seen a decrease in production in recent years.

Several trends are contributing to the shift towards western production. Many people who choose wood floors for environmental reasons prefer to buy local products in order to cut down on carbon emissions from shipping. Most of those consumers live in Europe or North America, so they choose wood that comes from those regions. Other consumers are concerned about the quality of floors that come out of Chinese factories, and they are opting for other sources to prevent potential problems. The final contributing factor is the consumer preference for certain woods, including oak and ash, which do not grow in large quantities in China.

Looking Forward

Production is likely to increase for as long as the demand for wood floors continues to grow. Since the move towards environmentalism and cost-efficiency shows no signs of slowing, demand is likely to increase for several years to come. That is an excellent sign for the wood flooring industry, which will most likely prosper in the future. If you want to learn more, you may be interested in checking out the resources at Fuse Flooring.

10 Nov 2016
furnace-not-working

The furnace in your home is designed to last for approximately 25 years, but in some cases, it is a good idea to replace the device before it stops working completely. You might wonder what the signs are that indicate that it is time to replace a home’s furnace, and these are the things that you should look for before contacting a heating company to have a new furnace installed.

 

1: A Home’s Furnace Is Requiring Numerous Repairs

Most homeowners need to have a furnace repaired occasionally, but if you must call a heating technician frequently, then it is time to have a new furnace installed. The cost of a repair to a furnace can get expensive when you consider the charges for labor and parts along with surcharges for weekend or nighttime services. You and your family are also inconvenienced by needing frequent service calls to fix a furnace because you might need to stay in a hotel until a repair person is available.

 

2: It Is Difficult to Get Replacement Parts for a Furnace

If your home’s furnace is old, then getting replacement parts is difficult. A technician keeps extra parts on a service van for fast furnace repair, but when a furnace is an older model, they will need to order replacement parts from a warehouse. It can take days or weeks to receive a rare replacement part, and during this time, your home is not going to have adequate heat. To avoid this situation, it is time to have a furnace replaced with a new model.

 

3: A Furnace Is Making a Lot of Noise

When you have a furnace that is making a lot of noise, there is something wrong with its components. Not only is a loud furnace annoying, but also, it can indicate that something is breaking down inside the device. If a mechanism inside a furnace malfunctions, then it is possible that the device will overheat, leading to a fire. Alternatively, there might be a blockage inside a furnace that is creating a noise, and if a furnace doesn’t have proper airflow, then you can have a buildup of gases such as lethal carbon monoxide.

 

4: Your Monthly Heating Bills Are Increasing

If you notice that your monthly heating bills are increasing, then you probably need a new furnace. Old furnaces were manufactured before there were strict requirements concerning fuel efficiency. When you have a new furnace installed, it must use less natural gas or electricity, leading to a huge reduction of your heating bills. While you are having a furnace replaced, the technicians will often replace some of the ductwork, creating better airflow that heats your home quickly.