Pool Culture At Home: Modern trends, features and technology in backyard pools.

As the warm weather hits are brains shift gears towards warm weather activities. One of the most romanticized of which is the family pool. The family pool has drastically evolved from the days of the preformed plastic kiddie pools of our youth. There are a variety of features and options that can accompany the central summer activity centre.

When thinking of the family pool we often conjure up images of a simple concrete rectangle adorning our backyard or an octagonal aboveground contraction. But a pool can be much more than even that. The household pool has become a paradise to be enjoyed by all.

The modern pool is chalked full of technology and features that have advanced well past those traditional models still found in area homes. In order to facilitate these new and more luxurious models the pricing of has risen. Typical pool budgets start from $50,000 for a basic in-ground pool and for the more opulent models prices can exceed $500,000.

Features such as shallow tanning shelves, sports pools with two shallow ends with depth in the middle have made pools much more usable for the homeowner and their family. Pool-scapes have begun to incorporate more natural elements, such as stones, waterfalls and vegetation surrounding the pool area. This beautifies your pool area rather than having a concrete slab in your backyard. Shot-crete has allowed designers to create freer and more flowing pool forms that are not confined to the traditional backyard rectangle. Colour is determined by the final plaster finish and can be customized for your own personal tastes.

The family pool is often used as a focal point for outdoor entertaining and as a place to share time with the family. It provides a cool and refreshing break from the heat and commotion of the daily summer grind.

Many people are beginning to speculate that with soaring prices for cottage and recreational properties, the market for pool upgrades will continue to soar. In addition to this fuel and energy costs continue to rise. The cost to commute to a remote rural destination is becoming more costly as well causing people to reconsider the cost of recreational properties.

Ultimately when your pool is completed it you can feel the same freedom that you feel jumping into a lake. Finishes found in nature, more usable features and customizable features are making backyard pools stylish again. As homeowners embrace the technology, trends and features associated with modern pool design a new generation is discover that wet and wonderful joy.

Improve Front Yard, Increase Curb Appeal

I, myself, didn’t think that improving your front yard can do a lot to the image of your house. Either you are selling your house or just want to upgrade your front yard,continue reading the article that I stumbled upon and I want to share to you, guys.

A good first impression can make a world of difference when you’re selling your home. By upgrading your curb appeal, you have a chance to influence how potential buyers feel about your home before they even step inside. While it’s important to balance the money you spend on improvements with a realistic idea of what you can recoup, many improvements to your landscaping can cost little, compared to the benefits of increased home value and a faster sale.

Below is a list of some simple ways to improve your curb appeal when selling your home.

Get a fresh perspective

Before you can choose which projects to start with, it helps to see your landscape with fresh eyes and a broad, overall view. We get so used to our landscaping that it can be hard to pinpoint what others might see. There are two simple tricks to seeing your landscape with a new viewpoint. With both of these techniques, the goal is to forget what you think you know about your landscape and to instead see what is actually there.

The first is an old artist’s trick. Stand back from your landscape, far enough away that you can see all of it at once. Then squint your eyes until they blur, and try to clear your mind.

There may be areas that, when viewed with blurred eyes, appear dark and overgrown. Some areas might feel messy because there are too many small plantings, statues, or pots. Or, you may have an area that is bright and clean, but a little too bare. All of these insights can give you a general idea of which projects to tackle first.

The second technique you can use to see your landscape with fresh eyes is to take some black and white photographs of your landscaping. Taking color away can make a familiar space seem new, so you can see it with objective eyes. Nowadays, most digital cameras have a black and white setting, so this is easy to do even if you’re not a techno-whiz.

Define the borders and add mulch

Clean edges fool the eye into seeing the entire landscape as neat and well-maintained. If lawn has crept into your garden beds and created an uneven line, then defining the border can improve the look of the whole landscape.

Start by laying out a garden hose, or using spray chalk to outline the new border. Don’t make the beginner’s mistake of creating a wavy, “drunken snake” of a line; instead go for broad, sweeping curves that are in scale with the size of your home. Then, use a mattock or pulaski to chip away at the grass until you have a clean, attractive line.

Once you’ve established a neat border, a layer of wood chip mulch adds a refined look. Not only does it help keep weeds down during the selling process, but the bright color is attractive, smooths out an uneven soil surface, and generally gives the landscaping a professional finish.

Prune overwhelming shrubs

While pruning can be tough to tackle if you don’t know what you’re doing, there are a few simple pruning techniques that can make a fast difference.

Just remember that you don’t want to prune anything severely if you can help it, or attack anything with the hedging shears unless the plant is quite clearly meant to be a hedge. That kind of pruning makes it obvious that the maintenance got out of control, which is not the signal you want to send to potential buyers!

Instead, focus on subtler ways of pruning. One technique that makes shrubs look neat with little effort is to “skirt” them. Skirting is when you prune around the base of a shrub, removing any branches that are within 6 inches of the ground. This gives a more open appearance, and works wonders on Rhododendrons and other shrubs that can look moundy and overwhelming when sprawling on the ground.

Another good pruning task is to gently prune any plant that is touching the house. Plants that lean on the house can cause chipped paint as well as mold and ant infestations. If your buyer has a home inspection done, it’s a problem that will be noted in the report. Pruning plants 8 inches to 1 foot away from the house will give the landscaping a more open appearance, as well as give you room to power wash the house or touch up paint as needed.

The only shrubs that should be pruned heavily are those that are flopping over a walkway, blocking the view from the street to the front door, or keeping light from streaming into a window. Even then, it’s better to thin plants gracefully or consider even removing them, rather than going in for The Big Chop.

Add color with paint and pots

If a focal area isn’t drawing the eye as it should (think front door, patio and seating areas), a bold shot of color can be just what’s needed. While the obvious solution is to use container plantings, there are a few important points to remember.

First, less is more. Choose just one or two larger pots that have a distinctive color or shape, rather than lots of small pots that can feel cluttered.

Next, go for a simple one- or two-color planting scheme that highlights what is special about your home, like the color of the stone, trim, or surrounding shrubs. This keeps the focus on your home, rather than on the individual plantings.

Lastly, don’t be afraid of paint. If your patio furniture looks tired and worn, it will be hard for potential buyers to envision themselves sitting there. Freshly stained or painted patio furniture can draw the eye and help buyers imagine the great times they’ll have in their new landscape. Choose a color that picks up on some element in the landscaping, and add a few cushions to set the scene.

Ask for help

Most landscape designers offer a one-time consultation service. If you’re having trouble deciding what to focus on, even a short meeting with a professional can help you pinpoint the tasks that will bring the greatest return.

As you can see from these projects, even a small investment in the landscape goes a long way towards increasing your curb appeal and making it more likely that buyers will fall in love with your home.

Myths about Major Home Improvements

home improvements

Every homeowner desires to enhance their home appearance. However, there are some believes that are not true and you must abandon them. Otherwise, you may find the entire process of enhancing the aesthetic value of your home difficult. Here are the top 5 myths about home improvement you need to know.

You can only get best deals from home improvement retail chains

Most homeowners normally think that they can only get the best deals on home improvement products from huge retails like the Lowe’s and the Home Depot. One thing they tend to forget is that such retailers tend to overcharge their products especially on labor and installation. You may consider an independent interior designers and contractors because most of them offer good discount and charge less.

The bedroom and kitchen remodels are disappearing with the housing organizations

kitchen and bathroom remodel

Surprisingly, this belief is a new one and runs counter to a earlier myth that remodeling essentially paid for itself in regard to added value. The truth is that you will see a temporary in big remodeling projects, especially for individuals who are likely to seek home loans from banks to finance the home improvement projects. Therefore, what you should understand that the kitchen and bathroom remodels can’t be entirely replaced by the housing market.

The geothermal and solar panel heating systems have arrived

Inquire from various HVAC contractors about the geothermal or solar heating systems and they will all give you same answer: the systems aren’t cost effective. Well, I don’t dispute the fact that these heating systems and environmentally friendly and the economic benefits of these systems have enhanced with the favorable tax credits and the cost of oil. However, some HVAC contractors claim that the installation cost of geothermal and solar panel heating systems is high and it will take between 15 and 20 years to get your money back.

Home inspection is necessary only when you will be selling or buying a home

Home inspections are important when it comes to buying or selling a home. However, these are not the only instances when you will need home inspection. A professional home inspector can help in identifying home problems that can be addressed and prevent the chances of the problem spreading further. For example, a professional home inspector can help in identifying the loosening roof fasteners, harmful movement on the foundation, mold that might be growing behind your walls, and more.

 

Rain Gutter Maintenance during Dry Weather

Most homeowners think that they don’t have to do anything regarding gutter cleaning and maintenance during the dry weather. They tend to forget that dry weather offers homeowners a great opportunity to make routine maintenance to the roofing system since during this time it is easier and safer to climb up the roof and make routine maintenance to your roof gutters and the whole roofing system at large. Check for signs of wear and tear along the seams of your current system.

It does not mean that during the dry weather your home is protected from rain water. Prolonged drought will have opposite effect on your home. Gutters and downspouts help to redirect rainwater away from the homes foundation. Dry weather conditions however can leave the soil to erode around the base of your house. When it eventually rains the eroded areas will be more vulnerable to rain water damage. Occasionally water the soil around the base keeping it hydrated to prevent erosion during the dry season.

Take advantage of the dry weather to remove debris as to make them visible if there are any damages. This means that you will have to scoop the debris out using sturdy gloves and a plastic scoop. The gutters should be clear of any remnant of the last fall.

The dry months nesting birds will have moved on to gather food for the cold months. Take this time to check if there are any signs of life and if there is non remove the nest from the gutters. Look for wasp nest also and if inhabited remove them. Soon as you have finished removing the debris from the gutters, you will almost see them clearly. Use a scrub brush and a gentle abrasive or soap to clean out your gutter.

After cleaning the gutter you can now clearly see the damaged areas that will need to be repaired or parched. Use a recommendable material to seal holes and you can even replace fallen shingles.

Perhaps you are busy with the work or busy with kids. Or, you are scared of climbing up the ladder to scoop the dirty, smelly stuff that has made your gutters their home. In such instances, you may need to look for a professional gutter cleaning company to help with the gutter issues. This is important to avoid injuries associated with gutter cleaning activities.