For homeowners around the world, a big part of owning a home is landscaping the yard. Front yard landscaping or backyard landscaping, the work must be done. While the front yard is important because it’s more visible to neighbors and others who drive by, the backyard is no less important. The backyard is where families and friends gather for barbeques and birthday parties and where some families place their swimming pools. Most backyards are landscaped with careful thought and preparation. Special consideration is put into the positioning of every blade of grass, each decorative stone and all of the species of flowers that beautify a backyard.

A landscaped backyard can not only be beautiful but functional as well!

A landscaped backyard can not only be beautiful but functional as well!

Flowers, stones and grass are just some of the ways to landscape a backyard. Large shade trees, waterfalls and herbal gardens are some other ways. The theme of your landscape will depend on your hobbies, interests and goals for your backyard. Backyard landscaping can be a lot of fun, especially when you make it personal. Landscape your yard to reflect your personality and your homes personality. If you and your family like to entertain, add a bar to your back patio. Clean up the barbeque grill and don’t forget the citronella candles to keep the bugs away. Maybe you’ll want to build a croquet course, mini golf course, or put in a sand lot for some sand volleyball. Whatever your preference, make backyard landscaping fun for the whole family.

Keep your family in mind too, when it comes time to maintain the backyard landscaping. Large yards will require a lot more maintenance and grooming. Taking care of the yard can be a nice family activity. You can mow the lawn, pull the weeds and get the kids involved in watering the plants. If you have a fruit tree in your backyard, you’ll probably be spending some time picking up the fallen apples or cherries. And of course, you’ll also need to reserve time to tend to your herbal garden. It can be surprisingly rewarding to grow your own herbs and use them in special recipes that you cook when you’re entertaining friends and neighbors.

Trees and large bushes are often overlooked when considering backyard landscaping options. Remember, you can remove and change these larger components of your yard if you choose. A large tree that does not fit into your landscaping scheme can be removed by experts that can grind the stump leaving no trace of the tree. This can free up a lot of space in your yard, remove an unsightly blemish from your landscaping design, get rid of a hazard if the tree is dead and dying, and allow you the room to plant a more appropriate tree if desired.

If you are the type who would rather keep your backyard to yourself, then maybe you don’t need to worry about the huge, green lawn. Perhaps you’d rather have a quaint yard with basic backyard landscaping. You can put in some grass, strategically place some shade trees and plant some of your favorite flowers. You may want to include some bigger bushes, if space allows as they will add some gorgeous green to your colorful backyard. This type of backyard may require the same maintenance as a large backyard, but not nearly the time commitment. No matter what your personality says about your backyard landscaping, one thing’s for sure—homeowners everywhere will tell you to create your backyard just the way you want to.

A shed is an important way to remove clutter from your home and organize your space. This will not only increase your peace of mind, but the proper shed will add value to your property. An often overlooked consideration when purchasing a shed is security. Do keep in mind how you plan on securing the shed and monitoring it from theft.

lock, storage, security, alarm

Securing your shed should be a major consideration during your selection process.

Imagine all your outdoor clutter compiled into one organized space. Storage sheds will give you that extra space, and at the same time allow you to start parking your cars in the garage again. The common idea when you think of ashed is a dull box-like structure, which sits in your backyard and never fits it’s surroundings. Thanks to the modern times, sheds have refurbished themselves into a more stylish and appealing look. Sheds are now made with many different types of material such as, cedar, vinyl, laminated polyethylene covers and they even can be made to look like little houses. Use your sheds for any purpose; organizing your lawn equipment, being a poolside cabana, protecting vehicles or boats or even a tucked away retreat in the backyard. If I have not convinced you already, here are some great tips to know, when looking for that “perfect” shed.

First, take a long look at your backyard and try to picture what kind of style your shed should be. Also, consider the size too, because that will play a major part in your decision. Today, sheds come in many different designs from barn look-a-likes to country cottages. Keep in mind it is all about the detail, so find out what kind of options are out there for add-on accessories. Shutters, flower boxes, shelves, functional windows, lofts, and double doors are just a few additions you can think about to customize your shed. In addition to detail, another thing would be to figure out the purpose for the shed. Finding out the function before you start looking, will help you eliminate most of the sales questions and get you in the category of sheds where you need to be. For instance, if you wanted a shed for your lawn equipment, you would probably be looking at sheds with double doors, shelves, and maybe a few functional windows for ventilation purposes. All together style, options and even function should be recognized when purchasing a shed and most importantly put significant thought into how you are going to secure your shed. Call your home security provider and ask to incorporate your new shed into your existing home security system.

Once the over all style has been selected, you must look into the materials that are being used. Technology has allowed us to use many different types of commodities to create long lasting sheds. However, cedar is the most popular, because it is known for its warm wood characteristics, beauty, durability and outstanding weather resistance. Vinyl is another good choice and it is weather and rust proof, fire resistant, and does not fade. If you need to store large items like motor homes or boats, laminated polyethylene covers are great source for protection from the outdoor elements. Always make sure that wooden sheds are evaluated, so it can minimize the wood deterioration along the base.

It is easy to love a shed that is already assembled at the store, but the real test is when you bring it home. Assembly is the factor that will make or break a sale; so make sure you ask about how to construct the shed first. The best choice is to find a shed that is built by panels and uses simple hardware. By using the panels, there is no dangerous, wasteful, or time consuming cutting required. Windows are already attached to the wall and the shingles are attached to the roof panels making it a stress free process.

Another option that not only provides a ton of storage space, but also is very secure is to buy or rent a shipping container. A shipping container is virtually impenetrable to theft is secured properly. Here is a Charlotte, NC storage container supplier that will give you an idea of the size and pricing options associated with shipping containers: http://www.allstatescontainers.com/

This is just a simple guide to help you start searching for the shed you have been waiting for. By laying out the basics in style, function, materials and assembly, you should be able to create an idea of what you may want in ashed. Think of it this way, a shed can help organize, organization minimizes the workload, less work equals more fun.

Possibly you have renovated most of your home except for the bathroom. The thought of renovating your bathroom crosses your mind each time you go in it. You’ll be able to go through the building product stores and look at different products that you could use to do your remodel. Check out the bathtub options, sinks, countertops, and bathtubs. Also, check out the different flooring that is available. To see exactly what you really want in your redesigned bathroom, you can take home samples. It’s also possible to bring home a sample of countertops. There are individuals who want all of their counter tops to be granite.

You can think about just how much you want to modify your bathroom. It’s possible you’ll think about laying tile floors or change your lone sink to double sinks plus a host of other options. After you decide, then you revisit the building store and check out the prices of the products that you will want to buy. Before you even spend a dime, be sure to have a spending plan set in place for the entire project. Be sure to incorporate what you genuinely wish to change first and foremost, and spend most of the budget on that product.

Color is a key component in terms of remodeling any room in your home. It is a good idea to have samples of colors and see how they might probably look in your bathroom. Should you use dark colors in a bathroom with no windows, it will feel dark and gloomy. The best color can easily make a room look much larger. The people in your building retailers can help you find the colors that would be good for your bathroom. When you go to the store to seek help, be sure to bring a picture of your bathroom along so that salesperson can give you good advice.

Getting a consensus for precisely what kind of flooring to get may be a bit of a challenge. Tile flooring are often cold during cold months while vinyl floors will be warmer. The floor can be still chilly even with a throw rug. There are usually quite a few choices when it comes to flooring but you are able to get 12’x12′ samples to see how they will look in your bathroom. It is essentially a matter of individual preference.

The biggest thing that will impact the overall look of your bathroom are the large components such as tubs, counters, and cabinets. Much thought, planning, and budgeting needs to be applied when deciding the next steps in regards to making any changes to these existing items. You could go the do-it-yourself route which will take lots of skill on your part, or you could hire an expert to replace the items and make any necessary plumbing adjustments. Another avenue to consider is refinishing the existing components. Specialized Refinishing Company, a bath tub refinishing company out of Cary, North Carolina offers some excellent examples of before and after photos on their website.

Enough light is necessary if your bathroom doesn’t have windows so put some thought into it. The amount of light is extremely important if people in your home wear makeup. There are various kinds of lighting offered and many stores have a lighting area for you to browse. Since many have lights always on, you can see how bright they can end up getting. After opting to renovate your bathroom, you will be happy when it is finished.

Personally, I’ve always been attracted to stonework of all kinds. Whether it’s a cobblestone driveway, a fireplace made from river rock, or a ledge stone wall, I think that stonework adds beauty and interest to a home. Given that stonework can cost upwards of twelve dollars a square foot, however, I’ve never been able to afford to remodel my home using the stones, rocks, and tiles that so attract me.

Then I ran across an article about concrete paver molds, and discovered that there’s a new trend in home improvement: making your own, custom colored, concrete stones, rocks, tiles, and bricks. I’ve tried it, and with the right preparation and instructions, have found that I can make my own building materials for just pennies. In a nutshell, here’s how it works….

Concrete Molds

First, you need to start with high quality concrete molds (although some people call them cement molds or plaster molds). There are companies that make concrete stone molds, patio molds, concrete paver molds, stone veneer molds, and brick veneer molds. Depending on the type of stone or tile, the mold may cover an area ranging from about four square feet to about seven square feet. A ledge stone mold, for example, may produce 16 ledge stones, while a river rock mold may produce 12 river rocks. Ideally, you should buy several molds so that you have a rocks or stones with a variety of appearances. Keep in mind, though, that you can use different colors or turn stones in different direction so that it doesn’t look like you’re using duplicate stone or rock shapes.

Preparing Concrete Molds

Once you have your concrete molds and are ready to begin your project, you need to apply a mold release product so you can easily take out the stones, tiles, or bricks when they’re finished. While some companies recommend using motor oil, the run off is bad for the environment. Some of the newer mold release products can be sprayed into theconcrete molds with a spray bottle – a much preferable method.

Mixing Colors

The artistry in making your own concrete rocks, tiles, and bricks is in finding and mixing the colors you like. Initially, you mix a base color into a concrete and sand mixture. Once you have this base color, you can add additional amounts and combinations of color to give you the variety you seek. Indeed, you can create an infinite variety of colors simply by adjusting the color densities. The best colors are made from synthetic iron oxides, although some people have had success with natural oxides, ceramic stains, and even latex paint.

Concrete Pouring and Curing

Your concrete mixture should be relatively stiff and not soupy. Using a scoop, you pour the concrete mixture into theconcrete paver molds and fill the mold to the top. If you simply want a veneer stone or tile, you can partially fill the mold.

If you’ve ever worked with concrete, you know that it’s important to get all of the air bubbles out after a pour. This can be accomplished by bouncing the concrete stone molds up and down, or by purchasing and using a vibrating table. Next, cover the mold in plastic and let it rest out of the direct sunlight.

The longer you let the concrete cure, the stronger it will be. The concrete molds and be unmolded after 24 hours, but it’s best to wait longer. Once you release the stones, tiles, or bricks, you should rewrap them in plastic to preserve the moisture and let them cure for an additional two weeks. Then, you simply have to apply sealant to your creations, and they’ll be ready to install.

As with any do-it-yourself project, you may decide ahead of time or worse, realize along the way that you may need local Raleigh, NC concrete professional to help you out. Just call and let them know what you need and if they can’t help you out they will point you in the right direction.

I’ve discovered that able to create a beautiful stone pathway, tile entryway, or river rock fireplace is incredibly rewarding. And to think that it all started when I read an article about concrete paver molds.

Your bathroom may be the smallest room in the house but it is perhaps one of the most important for your family. This is where you spend your alone time either relaxing or brainstorming your next life project. If your bathroom is in need of updating there are many things that you can do to create a pleasant, ambient feel. The bathroom can increase the value of your home if you upgrade it correctly. That is why it is essential that you create the right feel for your bathroom.

If it’s been some time since you last upgraded, you may need to change out the bath, shower, toilet and wash basin. If you don’t change everything that is old and shabby will really stand out in an upgraded bathroom. Whatever style that you are after, you have many to choose from like modern to retro or classical to hip. You will need to have a budget so that you don’t have the cost to upgrade going through the roof. Top of the range bathrooms can be found from companies creating bespoke designs. On the lower and more budget conscious end, you can easily get nice suites on the internet or at high street stores. Besides the design, you need to include the fitting costs into your budget. If you are unable to fit the appliances yourself most companies offer a fitting service but this may cost extra.

If you are not able to replace the entire bathroom at the moment, there are more inexpensive options. Old taps on a bath or wash basin can be replaced with new modern designs that can be found in any DIY store and can be fitted quite easily. There are several Lowes and Home Depot locations in the Triangle area that will have plenty of options to choose from. Alternatively, you may want to replace a tatty shower curtain with a clear screen to provide a cleaner look and feel. These options are very affordable and very easy to upgrade. New tiles on the wall or floor of the bathroom can be very effective and can offer a clean, sleek look to the room and are also very simple to maintain. When looking at flooring, whether it’s wood, carpet or tile, be sure that it can handle the humidity in your bathroom.

Yet another awesome way to save time, money, and completely makeover your bathroom is to hire a professional refinishing company. If you are looking for a great shower repair company in Cary who can also refinish tubs, countertops, and cabinets, then look no further. Specialized Refinishing, a North Carolina favorite, can handle all your home refinishing needs. The company is a great example of the many services offered by a licensed refinishing company that may not have even knew existed.
Apart from the main appliances in the bathroom there are several other ways to create a fresh new look. Decide on a color scheme that suits your mood. Soft furnishings such as bath mats, curtains or blinds and lots of soft, fluffy towels can be co-ordinated. With a huge selection of options, you should take your time and have fun coming up with the design of your bathroom. You can also add some color to the bathroom by adding pictures and paintings or you can create a focal point like potted plants or scented candles. The candles can also create a sensual mood with its aroma. Other affordable options include adding a new soap dispenser, toilet roll holder or toilet brush.

Finally, make sure you have adequate storage to hide away those bathroom essentials, keeping the look tidy and perhaps, most importantly, clean.