Thursday, September 19, 2019

How To Get Your House Ready For Winter

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The nights are getting longer, the temperatures are falling and the leaves are changing colour: it’s definitely that time of year when we leave summer behind and get into autumn. Before you know it, there’ll be ice on the car and snow on the ground.

These first few weeks of cooler weather usually prompt us to dig out the big, cosy sweaters and boots as the seasons change. Some of us start putting the heating on in the evenings and - would you believe it? - you’re still feeling a bit chilly.

If you feel the cold even after putting on the heating and adding several layers, you may wish to see where all that heat is going and how you can warm up your home. Here are some hints and tips to help you out.

Look at insulation
Most of the heat generated from your home’s boiler is lost through your roof (25%) and walls (35%) so, if you have a chilly house, have a look at these and see what you can do. It may be that you need to improve what insulation you’ve already got, or add any that’s not been installed at all.

Try putting in roof insulation first, as this will be relatively easy and cheap to do. There are many different options for you to choose from, so see what best suits your situation.

How you insulate your walls depends on the age of your property: if it was built before the 1920s it will probably have solid walls, and anything before will usually have cavity ones. Cavity walls can be injected with an insulating material; solid walls need insulating either internally or externally.

Also check for gaps around external doors, for example. If you find any - and this will include items such as letter openings on doors, or chimneys - draught-proof them so you don’t lose heat from these areas.

Boost your heating
First, have a look at your boiler. If it’s an old, inefficient unit, you may want to think about replacing it for something newer and more cost-effective.

Also, check out your radiators. If they take a while to warm up, it may be because there’s trapped air in them, valves are open or shut when they shouldn’t be, or the radiators themselves need to be flushed.

If you have any large rooms in your house, you may want to add another heating unit to help make this area a little warmer for those cooler times. One option you could consider is a balanced flue gas stove: it has the good looks and cosy nature of a wood-burning stove, but the convenience and control of gas heating. This would be great in a living room where you spend time with your friends and family.

Check your windows
About 10% of your home’s heat will escape through your windows. This will be through small gaps that may be the result of age or the windows being badly installed, and radiation through the glazing.

The way your windows open may also affect how efficient they are at keeping heat in. Sash windows are usually less efficient than other types.

Wednesday, August 28, 2019

A Guide to Updating an Old Property

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While you might have fallen deeply in love with a historic property’s architectural design and features, it might require an injection of modernity to bring it up to the standards of 21st-century living.

If you want to make important tweaks and changes to your home without losing its charm and character, read this informative guide to updating an old property.

Install Spray Foam Insulation
Older buildings are often a little draftier compared to modern properties, as they won’t feature the same level of insulation. If you want to keep the bitter cold out of your home, you should install spray foam insulation to make your property warmer and more energy efficient. It is one of the most effective solutions for preventing air infiltration via your property’s joints, seams, and cracks. Contact a spray foam insulation contractor at www.allstatesprayfoam.com.

Sand and Re-stain Your Flooring
If you are lucky enough to have bought a home with natural wood flooring, you should consider hiring a specialist firm to refurbish them for you. For example, they can effectively sand and re-stain the flooring, which will make them look as good as new without losing their charm. If, however, you need to install new flooring, opt for either new or refurbished wood that can complement period properties.

Highlight Decorative Focal Points
If an older property features decorative focal points that are filled with character, you should aim to highlight them to create an impressive home you’ll proudly show off to your loved ones.

For example, you should spruce up stained glass, an antique fireplace or period moldings, which will ensure your home exudes tradition and charm. Regularly cleaning the decorative features will also prevent them from looking tired and outdated, which could detract from your interior design.

Mix Period Items with Modern Features
Complement an older property’s history and architecture by incorporating period items into your home. For example, you could install a Victorian fireplace into your dining room or an Art Deco armchair into your living room. It will add a touch of sophistication and timeless style into your home, which can mix perfectly with modern upgrades, such as a TV or smart home device.

Stick with Traditional Designs
It doesn’t matter if you’re installing a light fitting, radiator or cabinet, you should invest in traditional designs that can create an elegant home. There are also many modern pieces on the market that can accurately emulate an era, such as Gothic Influence, Georgian or Art Deco, and investing in the replica furniture and furnishings will not break the bank.

Expose the Beautiful Brickwork

The older your home, the more beautiful the brickwork underneath will be. Rather than hiding your walls away, you could uncover your property’s bricks to create an industrial, rustic interior design. While many people are stocking up on brick wallpaper, you could embrace the real thing that won’t look out of place in your period property. So, consider stripping an entire wall or chimney breast back to its original state, which will undoubtedly draw your guests’ eye.

Thursday, July 18, 2019

4 New Ways To Enjoy Your Garden

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If you’re going to go to the effort to put in and maintain a garden, then you may as well enjoy it. You don’t want all of your hard work to go to waste and not make any time for this beautiful investment once it’s in place. Don’t worry if you’re new to the activity and need a little help getting it to look nice.  

Be glad to know that there are a few new ways for how you can use your garden and that you may want to consider doing in the future. What’s most important is that you get a lot of use out of it and feel that installing a garden was worth your time and energy at the end of the day. Most importantly, have some fun putting it together and take pleasure in up keeping and preserving it. 

1. For Your Health & Well-being
One new way to enjoy your garden is to use it as a way to boost your mental and physical health. Gardening is a great way to relax and is also a mindful activity that is worth working into your routine. You’ll be burning a few calories in the process of maintaining it and can use it as a way to escape from all your other household responsibilities and tasks. A few hours in your garden and you’ll soon forget about your stress and any worries you have.

2. The View
In addition, you can enjoy your garden more by stepping back and taking in the view every once in a while. Head to Water-garden.co.uk and consider upgrading your garden by adding a beautiful and soothing pond and some mood lighting. Once the look is complete, consider taking in your new view while you meditate and clear your mind once in a while. Think about building your garden in a place where you can easily see it from your kitchen windows while you wash dishes or have a meal as well.

3. Dinner Party
Another new way to enjoy your garden is to use it as a place to entertain your guests or visitors. For example, host a dinner party and set up your seating in and around the garden to create a unique and classy environment. It’ll feel like you’re outdoors at a restaurant without even having to leave your home. Your guests will appreciate the rare chance to eat a meal in an attractive and lush garden area. 

4. Furniture & Fire Pit
Finally, you should think about adding furniture and a fire pit in your garden space. This way you can enjoy your garden with friends and family in your free time. You’ll have places for people to sit and relax and will be able to keep warm on cool, fall nights in your garden. You’ll love having all of the gorgeous plants, flowers, and herbs that will be surrounding your get together. The fire pit will set the mood, and before you know it, you’ll all be resting around the fireside engaged in good conversation.

Wednesday, July 10, 2019

6 Ways To Make Your Home More Environmentally Friendly

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Environmental impact is something that every homeowner needs to consider. There is constantly news on the damage done to the environment and what the future holds if action is not taken and experts state that everyone needs to make changes in their lifestyle in order to reduce and slow down this damage. It may seem like making a few minor changes to your lifestyle will not make a big difference, but this is a dangerous mindset to have. Instead, you should look to your home to identify a few ways in which you can reduce energy consumption and be more environmentally friendly. Here are a few tips.

1. Use Solar Power
One of the most obvious ways to make your home more environmentally friendly is to switch to solar power. While this can be a high cost, you can make huge savings in the long run while also knowing that you have taken a big step to reducing your carbon footprint.

2. Use Energy Efficient Light Bulbs
Everyone needs good lighting at home, but you will find older, incandescent bulbs use a lot more electricity than energy efficient bulbs (which can also last longer). This is a small switch to make but one which can make a big difference while also helping you to reduce your energy bills.

3. Insulation
A well-insulated home can keep the home at a comfortable temperature no matter what the weather is like outside. This is helpful because it means that you do not need to use energy to heat/cool the property, which reduces your usage and your energy bills. This should include attic insulation, wall insulation, double glazing, and using rugs to cover exposed hardwood floors and cracks.

4. Use A Smart Thermostat
A smart thermostat is a great example of how modern technology can be used to reduce your environmental impact. These thermostats give you greater control over the heating by allowing you to control the thermostat from your phone no matter where you are. You can internet search find a thermostat service near me to find services that install and maintain smart thermostats, and they could also teach you ways to be more eco-friendly with your energy consumption.

5. Buy Second-Hand Furniture
Buying second-hand furniture is a terrific way to be more eco-conscious while also making big savings on your decorating costs. You can usually find practical and stylish items from thrift stores or online, which can look great and give you the satisfaction knowing that you are stopping items from being disposed of.

6. Fix Leaky Faucets
You must also think about your water consumption and try to reduce this where possible. One of the biggest wastes of water is leaky faucets, which is why it is important to get these repaired sooner rather than later.

These are the main ways that you can make your property more environmentally friendly. It is the responsibility of everyone to look at their lives and homes and to take action - even if it is just a small change, it could make a big difference when everyone pulls together.

Thursday, June 20, 2019

Material Options for a New Roof

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A house renovation doesn’t have to be restricted to the interior of your home. While having a new bathroom or kitchen installed will give your property a new feel on the inside, the ultimate way to transform it in the eyes of those who only see the outside is by installing a new roof.

The roof is arguably the dominating feature of your home when it is viewed from the outside. That makes it the prime candidate for upgrading if you are looking for a fresh new look. Changing the color or the material of your roof can have a striking impact on those who pass it by on the street.

If you want your roof renovated, then the big question is which material to go for? Here are some of the possibilities.

Clay tiles
Tiles are the most tried and tested roofing material in human history, having been used as long ago as 10,000 BC in Neolithic China. It’s not unusual for a tiled roof to outlast the building that it has been placed upon; indeed, if you look at some of Europe’s most historic buildings, you’ll notice that many of them contain tiled roofs and some of those will have had very little maintenance carried out on them since they were constructed.

Both clay and concrete tiles are versatile and can withstand pretty much whatever the elements throw at them. Clay tiles, in particular, will add a striking new look to your property with their dark red or brown appearance, especially if you live in a neighborhood where this sort of roofing material is rare.

A tiled roof is relatively straightforward to install and given its long life, it’s cost effective too. For more information, speak to All Star Roofing, tile roofing specialists Tampa, FL, today.

Metal
The overriding factor that puts most people off having a metal roof is the concern that when it rains, it’s going to make an almighty noise. This isn’t actually true as with proper insulation in place, noise is greatly minimized to the point where it is no louder than a more traditional roof.

A metal roof has a long lifespan with some copper roofs known to have lasted up to one hundred years. It’s that longevity that is making them a popular choice.

Wood shake
If you’re searching for something a little different, a material that is environmentally friendly or just love the idea of giving your home a more natural look, then a wood shake roof could be perfect for you.

A wood like cedar is strong, beautiful and helps to reduce the amount of energy that your home consumes by being nature’s best insulator. Cedar roofs also have longevity due to all the natural oils they contain and absorb, which makes them resistant to both decay and pests.

Finding a contractor who specializes in wood shake roofs can be difficult and because of the specialism involved, they don’t come cheap either. They are however a stunning addition to any home, although it should be noted that they can only be constructed on sloped roofs rather than flat ones. 

Tuesday, June 4, 2019

Home Improvements That Make a Difference

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Most of us struggle to find the energy, time or money to spend on grand home improvements. However, smaller adjustments can actually make the world of difference in the home. When done smartly, home renovations don’t have to be an expensive venture. Even small improvements will make your house more comfortable and enjoyable to live in, and could also boost your home’s value should you decide to sell in the future. Here are some of the most affordable home improvements that will have a big impact.



Repair and paint walls

If you are dying to make a change on a tight budget, you can’t go wrong with paint. A new coat of paint will give your home a quick facelift and instantly freshen up your interiors. It’s amazing what a can of paint can do - you could opt for a neutral shade to create a calming atmosphere, or choose to liven up your decor with a bright pop of color or vibrant feature wall. Before you paint your interiors, it’s a good idea to repair any wall damage to create a smooth base. This includes things like scratches, dents and chipped paint. Contact Philadelphia drywall repair specialists who can repair any visible damage and create a perfectly smooth interior to give your home a more polished look.

Update your lighting

Lighting has the power to completely transform a room. It can welcome guests in for a cozy dinner, or create a more productive working atmosphere. Most potential buys want space that is flooded with more than adequate light. Cleaning the fixtures allows more light to shine through while painting old fixtures will help create a brighter look. Replacing mismatched light fixtures is also a great investment. Upgrading to a dimmer switch is the perfect way to create mood lighting and will also reduce the amount of energy you use. This will save you money on energy bills and help reduce your carbon footprint. Under cabinet kitchen lighting is another great option that will aid in cooking, and give an elegant look to your kitchen.

Give your front door a facelift

Your front door is extremely important because it’s the entry to your home. It’s the first thing people will see as they approach your property and sets the tone for what the rest of your house is going to be like. This is why it is a good idea to update your front door if it appears worn and starts to show signs of aging. Painting your front door can cost as little as $20 and choosing a bold hue can have a massive impact, making your home stand out from the rest in your area. You can also update doors by replacing squeaky hinges and installing new door knobs.

Get creative with your decor

Bring out the artist in you and decorate your wall with things like paintings, old photos, stencils and wall art. This will allow you to create a truly unique interior that showcases your individual style. Mirrors are the simplest way to make any space feel bigger and lighter, so make sure to include some in your design ideas. If you want some design inspiration then check out ideas on sites like Pinterest.



Do some landscaping

Landscaping is a great way to create the all-important first impression and even a bit of lawn maintenance can increase your home's value. Keep your yard looking its best by removing dead grass and weeds, then plant a few attractive flowers around your yard to add color. If you’re not sure where to start when it comes to outdoor projects, check out these tips for landscaping your backyard. Adding an outdoor dining table to a porch or yard makes it seem like there's even more space, and creates a welcoming space for people to relax outdoor on warmer days.

Modernize your bathrooms

Replacing the toilet seat, upgrading fixtures, replacing broken tiles and deep cleaning, are the quick fixes that can spruce up a bathroom. There are also several more adventurous ways to freshen up an old bathroom. A pedestal sink won't cost a fortune and can instantly breathe new life to your bathroom. If the floor is worn, then change it up with vinyl or laminate. You can also add a modern twist and touch of vibrance by painting a bathroom wall or using a stencil to create depth.

So there you have it - home renovations don’t have to break the bank! There are plenty of affordable home improvements that can make a big difference.

Monday, May 13, 2019

7 Things to Consider When Buying a New Kitchen

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A kitchen is the heart of a home. It is one of the most important rooms to get right when you are designing your home because it is one of the most difficult rooms to change. When the time comes to sell your home, the first rooms that prospective buyers will check will be the bathroom and the kitchen.

When the time comes to pick out a new kitchen for your home, you want to ensure that you choose the best kitchens available. There are a lot of different factors to consider when buying a kitchen and you will want to make sure that you factor all of them into your final decision about which kitchen to buy. The ideal kitchen should marry both form and function, making it just as good to use as it is to look at.

Storage
Your ideal kitchen should have plenty of space to store everything that you need to cook the meals you love. Needless to say, your storage requirements will vary depending on a number of factors. All that matters is that your kitchen has enough storage space for your individual needs.

Modern kitchens can offer a number of ingenious ways of using all the available space as efficiently as possible with regards to storage. For example, pull-out collapsible cupboards can unfurl to reveal a lot of storage space in a relatively small area.

Obviously, if you live alone, then you won’t need quite as much storage space as someone who will be living with a number of other people. Getting a new kitchen presents the perfect opportunity to declutter if you have been gradually accumulating new kitchen appliances for some time.

Custom Kitchens
If you have enough funds available, you might want to consider having a custom kitchen designed. You can either hire a professional kitchen designer to undertake this for you, or you could design your own using specialist software. For example, this design software enables the user to design a kitchen in unprecedented detail.

A custom kitchen design will give you complete control over all aspects of the final look. You will be able to tailor each aspect so it is perfect for your individual tastes. However, custom kitchens will generally be more expensive, although your individual tastes will impact on the price.

Surface Area
This is a similar consideration to the amount of storage space in your kitchen but will depend more on the type of food that you like to cook. Some people only require a small amount of surface space in order to do all the cooking they need to. However, many people like to spread themselves around all the available kitchen space.

As well as thinking about how much surface space you need, you will also need to consider which material you want the surfaces to be made out of. There are lots of materials to choose from, each with their own advantages and drawbacks. Make sure to research your options carefully before you commit to a particular material or look.

Appliances
The wrong appliances can completely spoil an otherwise perfectly good-looking kitchen. It is generally much easier to change your appliances to suit the kitchen than it is to alter your kitchen in order to make it match your appliances. Some people will prefer to design their kitchen and then find the right appliances to populate it. However, you could also do both in tandem if you prefer.

If you have a particular set of appliances or a particular aesthetic look that stands out for you and which you think can form the basis of your overall design, keep it in mind when you are selecting the other elements of your kitchen.

Color Scheme
Finding the right color scheme for a kitchen can sometimes be a real challenge. You might already have a color scheme in mind, in which case it should be easy to pick out the right paints and fixtures. However, if you are unsure, then there are a number of things to consider when deciding on a scheme.

If you like the more traditional, conservative kitchen look then you will want to stick to blacks, whites and other flat colors. If you want to go for something bolder, you could add in some primary colors to the mix. Regardless of the approach you prefer, it is a good idea to at least consider a variety of color options. If you work with a professional designer, they will be able to advise you as to what works and what doesn’t.

Lighting
Ensuring that your kitchen is adequately lit is a vital part of its overall design. There are lots of different types of kitchen lighting available to you. These range from ambient and low-lighting lights, to main lights that will illuminate the entire space. If your kitchen doesn’t receive much natural light, you will need to compensate for this by adding in more artificial lighting.

Conversely, if you are lucky enough to have a kitchen that lets in a lot of natural light, you might want to think about fixtures you can add that will maximize the amount of natural light coming in.

Flooring
Finding the right flooring means finding the right balance between form and function. You will want at least some of your flooring to be easy to clean, around the area where you prepare your food. This type of flooring often doesn’t look very stylish. However, this is one area where you should be prioritizing function over form. Carpet might look good in your kitchen but it will be a nightmare to clean.

When you next find yourself in the position of needing to choose a new kitchen, make sure that you carefully consider all the available options. You can customize your kitchen to a large degree these days, so you will have plenty of choices to make. If you are new to the world of kitchens, consider consulting with a professional designer instead of trying to do it all yourself.

A Guide to Choosing and Installing the Right Hardwood Flooring for Your House

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When renovating a home, you have to make many decisions. The purpose of all those decisions is to add to the beauty and style of your house in a cost-effective manner.

Choosing the right category of flooring is another difficult decision to make. Although when renovating a house, the flooring is the first thing that comes to the mind of the user, it still is the most complex decision due to the limited options available.

The debate on which flooring is the best is never-ending. If you have chosen hardwood, then we have compiled a step-by-step process for choosing the right hardwood and then installing it.

The process of installation of a hardwood floor needs guidance and the input of a qualified installation service professional. However, having an insight into the process and the science that goes behind it will provide you a better understanding and make choosing an installation service easier.  

We know that the installation of a hardwood floor can be a strenuous task. This is why it is important to find out more before you go about installing the floor.  

Step 1 - Points to Consider
When choosing flooring option you need to be wary about various factors. The factors can be both internal and external. The residents of the house and your family should be your top priority before choosing a hardwood floor.

Consider the needs of your family before making a decision. Having pets around means that the hardwood floor is under the threat of constant scratching by the long nails your pet has. Maintaining your pet regularly and ensuring that the animal is well kept is an important aspect that you need to consider.

Another factor is the presence of babies or toddlers in the house. A disturbed sleep cycle can affect the health of the young ones. We all know how easily distracted a young toddler can be while sleeping, a sudden light or sound is enough for waking the baby.
The addition of underlayment products in a hardwood floor provides a base and extra insulation to the floor, this limits the noise in the house and ensures that the baby does not wake up by a slight sound on the floor above.

Step 2 - Study the Options
Once you are perfectly sure about your need for the hardwood flooring, the next step is to choose the right type of flooring.

Now, this is where the challenge lies; in order to choose the right hardwood flooring, you need to be perfectly sure about the specifics that you are looking for.

Selecting between Solid or Engineered Flooring
Like all other home appliances, the flooring has also been subject to technological upgrades.

Traditionally, users choose thick planks of solid timber as hardwood flooring. However, we have numerous engineering companies that add a thinner top layer of hardwood that’s bonded with other layers. It prevents the movement of hardwood from expansion and contraction during seasonal changes.

However, despite the added insulation, some homeowners still prefer using solid wood because of its more comfortable and quieter nature.

Choose the Type of Finish
There are two types of finishes available: Oil and Polyurethane. Both finishes have their own look and effects.

Oil adds a more sophisticated look to the flooring in addition to penetrating the wood. Polyurethane creates a top coat on the surface of the wood, acting as a deterrent to the regular wear and tear that other flooring go through.

The Wood types
Although you may find many options, Oak and Walnut are the kings of hardwood flooring in the US.

Oak is popular for the durability it offers and for making the floor of the house look aesthetically pleasing. Walnut is a popular choice because of its deep color, making it suitable for rooms where a darker finish is required.

Picking a Pattern and Determining Plank Width
Picking the grain pattern is the result of the options available due to the variety in log-cutting styles. Logs are cut primarily in three different ways: Plain-Sawn, Quarter- Sawn, and Rift- Sawn. All styles of log cutting produce a different result and texture.

Home décor experts believe that there is no good or bad texture amongst these three. It is the application of these textures, however, that makes it fit the look of your house.

Determining the plank width requires an accurate understanding of the style that you want to depict. Usually, hardwood flooring has a plank size of two to three-inch strips. However, exceeding the norm is now considered as a sign of luxury.

Step 3 - Installation
Once you have finalized the type and texture of your hardwood flooring, the next step is installing it.

The installation process depends upon the type of hardware flooring being installed. A step-by-step guide will help you understand the process of installation

The Installation Method
The first step is to determine the method of installation. Installation techniques vary depending on the dimensions of the hardware product.

Hardwood flooring might need to be stapled or glued to a wooden subfloor, whereas engineered flooring can be mechanically fastened and glued.

The installation of a floor requires precise DIY knowledge and experience. Remember that you have spent a fortune investing on these hardwood floors and a slight mistake can turn out to be very costly.

Acclimatize the Floor
It is necessary that the wood acclimatizes to the climate of your room. To ensure this, move the packaged boards into the room and allow the moisture on the wood to adjust to the conditions of the room.

Additionally, monitor the humidity in the room because moisture in the air often leads to movement within the hardwood. A humidity level between 35-55% is ideal in this regard.

Prepare Your Space and Install
It is good to be confident in your abilities but a flash of overconfidence can lay all the hard work to waste. This is why we recommend watching a tutorial before going about installing the hardwood.

Hardwood can be installed over existing flooring. Before you proceed, you need to ensure that all surrounding doors can still open once the flooring is installed.

Install the flooring using the manual instructions, begin by rolling out the underlayment, and use it to bond the layers of hardwood. The process can be a lengthy one and hence, needs patience and focus.

Once done, apply the finishing touches by tracing for contours that can be cut and fit according to the instructions of the installation guide.

Thursday, May 9, 2019

3 Home Improvements That Will Increase Your Property Value

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When making home improvements, it’s very important to evaluate how they will affect the value of the property. If you have no intention of selling the property and want to live there for the rest of your life, then making improvements for your own enjoyment is fine. But if you intend at one point or the other to sell the property and turn a profit, you have to consider which option will add the most to your home’s value and which ones will allow it to sell faster. Let’s take a look at some of the renovations that could increase the value of your property and give you a better return on investment.

Installing New Siding
Not only can re-doing your siding add to the value of your property, but siding that looks like it has deteriorated will be a sure deterrent for prospective buyers. And it’s a renovation that doesn’t cost much either. You could have vinyl siding installed for as little as $11,000 and you’ll be able to recuperate most of these costs upon sale.
Things like insulated vinyl siding will be a winner, especially in markets like Sacramento, since it helps prevent damage and fading from UV rays. If this is where you live, you should consult with a reputable contractor who does siding Sacramento. They will be able to give you the best options for your budget and the kind of return you’re expecting.

Remodeling the Kitchen
Kitchen remodels are usually winners with most buyers, but they also can get tricky. While minor and reasonable remodel projects can work, you could easily go overboard.
Instead, you should stick to doing things that won’t break the bank, like replacing lighting fixtures or adding features like counter lights, changing or repainting the cabinetry, adding new countertops, or going for new stainless appliances. What’s great about adding new appliances is that you’ll get to take them with you once you leave, even though they’ll make the kitchen look better to buyers. Even doing simple things like changing the range or adding colorful window treatments could do a difference.

Basement or Attic Conversion
People demand more from their homes nowadays, and transforming unused spaces like the attic or a basement into actual living spaces could be a huge selling point. People like the idea of being able to transform a room into a playroom, office, or study. And this is a much better idea than adding an extra room to the house, since you’ll have to pay much more and deal with the foundation costs, framing, and dirt work. Adding a new room could cost you double what you can expect to convert a room, and you could recuperate up to 83% of the cost of a room conversion upon sale.
Make sure that you consider these options and always take the costs and ROI into consideration when making any decision. These renovations will allow you to make your house more attractive and valuable, even with a minor investment.

Thursday, May 2, 2019

The Amazing Benefits of Wood Mulch for Your Garden

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Home gardens benefit from wood mulch as much as forest plants. Wood is a good compost, offering a natural texture that helps plants grow, reduce weeds, and provide a lot more benefits.

A 15-year study that examined a farm using wood mulch as compost found that the nitrogen level in the plants increased over time. The results show that using wood mulch as compost lead to enhanced plant growth.

In this blog post, you will learn what exactly wood mulch is and the best ways to ensure its proper use in your garden.

Wood Chip Mulch: What Is It?

Many expert gardeners have a lot to say about the benefits of mulching with wood chips. Using wood mulch provides the required nutrients for the plant. Wood chips are organic, and they break down nutrients over time.

In addition, the nutrients protect the soil and provide ground cover. Wood mulch can also reduce the weeds resulting in a clean look.

Mulching with wood chips helps even out soil temperature levels. This helps reduce erosion and improves the soil structure. Using the mulch also conserve the moisture thereby reducing the risk of pests and other plant diseases.

Why Use Wood Chips Mulch?

Wood mulch greatly benefits the plants as well as the ecology. The mulch is readily available for free. You can find wood mulch everywhere.

The great thing about wood mulch is that it doesn’t get blown away similar to other lighter mulch. One study examined 15 organic mulches and found that wood chips are much better at moisture retention, weed control, and temperature moderation.

Tips to Apply Wood Chips Mulch

Wood chips mulch should be applied to a garden at a depth of at least 75 mm for the best performance. This will give the best weed suppression and water holding capacity thereby preventing the soil from becoming dry out quickly.

Before you apply mulch to the garden, you need to consider the natural characteristics of the soil. Consider adding fertilizer to the garden soil before adding wood chips mulch. This will ensure adequate nutrition of your plant.

For heavy clay soil, you may need to improve soil drainage first by adding a sandy loam soil. Consider adding a good organic garden mix to the soil.

An important consideration during summers is ensuring that the soil retains water. The soil can become water repellent that can suffocate the soil. To address this issue, you must option.
  1. You can add a wetting agent to the soil. The wetting agent will lessen the surface tension and help the soil to retain water for a longer period. Make sure to water the soil and keep watering for up to one week before adding wood chip mulch.
  2. You can also add organic material such as Nitro Humus in the soil at 25 percent per volume of compost. The organic matter will act like a sponge retaining moisture in the soil. It can also help the water to penetrate deeper thereby promoting the growth of the plant root.

How Often Should You Add Wood Mulch?

You can apply wood chip mulch around the plant at any time. Consider mulching newly potted plants after watering them. Due to the abundance of wood mulch, fall is the best time to collect wood chips for mulching.

Moreover, you can contact a wood chipping service to extract wood chips from fallen trees.   

How much mulch to apply to the soil depends on the density and texture of the mulch. Most bark and wood mulches consist of fine particles. They should not be more than 3 inches deep after they are settled. Wood mulches of pine bark and pine needles are a course that allows excellent air movement. These should be kept not more than 4 inches deep.

Don’t put a large amount of mulch near the trunk or stem of a plant. This is important as excessive mulch near the plant could suffocate the roots resulting in poor growth and soil conditions.

Myths about Using Wood Chips Mulch

Some people say that wood chips mulch should not be used. They claim that it leads to nitrogen deficiency. Although it’s true that the nitrogen is deficient at the soil where wood meets the soil, the bottom of the soil will still receive nitrogen. This is the reason you should leave the mulch at the top of the soil. In addition, you can use high nitrogen compost below the mulch to ensure adequate nitrogen for the plant. 

Wood chips obtained from branches with leaves are a great source of nitrogen for the plants.

Another concern regarding wood chips mulch is that the pH may be acidic. Although the original wood mulch is slightly acidic, the soil produced by the decomposition of the chips will not have a high pH level. No study has confirmed that the wood chip mulch could lead to increased acidity as claimed by some expert gardeners. So, you should not worry about the soil turning acidic and harming your plants when you add wood chips mulch.

The fact of the matter is wood chips mulch provides a lot of benefits to the plants. They provide adequate soil covering. In addition, the mulch leads to reduced need for weeding. Water retention ability will mean that you need to water less in the garden. This will create the perfect condition for the plants to grow healthy.

While inorganic mulches such as pebbles last for a longer period, but they don’t add as many nutrients similar to wood chips mulch. In addition, they also don’t condition the soil for maximum water retention similar to wood mulch. Still, you can add gravel and pebbles during the winter as they keep the soil warmer and promote plant growth.

Wood chips mulch is much better as compared to other organic and inorganic mulches. You can rest assured of healthy plant growth when you use wood chips obtained from the ground or a wood chipping service.
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