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Home Maintenance

Hardscaping to Beautify Your Outdoor Space

Hardscaping has become a popular trend when referring to outdoor home improvement. Landscaping is one way to improve your yard and overall outdoor space, but when landscaping is mixed with hardscaping the results can be quite impressive.
Landscaping vs Hardscaping
Landscaping refers to things like plants, flowers, shrubs, trees, gardens and lawns, while hardscaping refers to things like pathways, stamped concrete, structures, stone and decorative rocks. When you blend these two together you can create some beautiful and distinct looks that add appeal and character to the look of your home.
Adding a curved, brick pathway bordered with flowers and plants can give a very inviting look. If you live in an area with slopes and hills you may want to add a terraced retaining wall filled with shrubs, plants and flowers to add layers and texture to your yard while also eliminating some of the hard to mow grassy slopes.
Outdoor Living Areas
Both hardscaping and landscaping can play a crucial role in the development of an outdoor room or outdoor living space, especially since expanding our living space into our yards has become increasingly popular. With our busy lifestyles more people are wanting to find a close place to relax and that space is often times the outdoor living area in the back yard. For some this has become an outdoor room with a ceiling and complete set of outdoor furniture, for others this has become a nicely designed patio with an outdoor fireplace or waterfall.
The use of hardscaping can add both convenience and luxury to your home. It also makes the square footage of a home feel like it has increased. With the help of outdoor kitchens, patio tables and outdoor fireplaces the yard can easily become a comfortable part of your living space.
Not only does it make your place feel bigger but it will also add value to your home. A nicely designed patio or outdoor room has become a big selling point. But even if you don’t plan on selling your home anytime soon an outdoor home improvement like this will make you enjoy being home even more.…

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Bathroom Remodel

How To Set Up Outdoor Christmas Lights Safely

The festivities of the Christmas season are upon us; giving the homeowner a chance to display their home with spectacular outdoor Christmas lights. This is a great way to bring the whole family together.
When putting up Christmas lights, plan how you want them displayed. Drawing a simple sketch on paper will help you remember your ideas. Some people choose to decorate with a single colour. Using blue, red, white, or green lights, gives your home a look of an old-fashioned Christmas. Using multi-colour lights express the excitement and delight of Christmas time. Measure the area you plan to decorate; and figure out how many light sets you will need.
Once your plan is solid, gather all materials such as wires, extension cords, and all the tools you may need. Everything must be in your hands before you climb up a ladder. It is very important to use only outdoor Christmas lights. Check every wire and light, making sure there is no breakage or fraying. Replace any broken or burnt light before you decorate, including damaged extension cords.
Replacing old wires and insuring you have enough extension cords to go around helps to keep your property safe. The recommendation is three standard-size Christmas lights to one extension cord. This means no more than two hundred small lights or one hundred and fifty large lights. Plan how much you need beforehand.
If your plan includes wrapping trees with lights, keep in mind that small outdoor lights give off less heat saving your trees from becoming dry. The bigger the light, the more heat they give; use the larger lights sparingly on walls and around doors. Do not put the big lights around trees or plants as large lights may create a fire hazard. Do not use metallic trees and lights together as it is a definite fire hazard.
Clean the area from any dry leafs; including, any obstruction that may cause wires to fray or lights to break. Use fireproof surfaces. Be sure that all your light sets passed the manufacturer’s safety inspections it should be marked on the box. Install a timer with your lights, automatically turning them on and off when you are not at home. In addition, set up a time to shut off the lights at night when you are asleep keeping your home safer.
Having done all of the steps above, test your lighting once more insuring everything is up to par. Gather members of your family to help you with the joy of decorating, it’s a great way to start the holiday season as everyone can help, even the smallest hands. When finished decorating, celebrate with special treats to mark the occasion.
Do not forget to take pictures for beautiful lasting memories of your Christmas lights with the whole family there. Then you can just enjoy the special festive glow inside and out.…