Stunning Roof Gardens Also Have Beautiful Advantages

fgjutkThe thought of building a natural oasis on top of a building may seem a little odd, but the fact is that rooftop gardens have been around for centuries. Roof Gardens began in Europe a long time ago and since then have become the latest trend in gardening. Not only are rooftop gardens beautiful and unique, they are also efficient in many unique ways.

Hidden Hideaways (and Benefits)
Of course, one advantages of the roof garden is its secrecy. No more kids, vermin, and strangers tromping through your flowerbeds. Not only does their “secret” location keep them safe, but it adds a concealed privacy to your outdoor habitat. And this uniqueness can actually add economic value to your home due to its aesthetic appeal.

Here are some other ways rooftop gardens benefit you and your environment:

Energy Efficiency: Roof gardens absorb a lot of energy by being on top of a structure. They provide natural noise and thermal heat insulation, thereby cutting down on utility bills. Plus, since the foliage itself needs water and sun, they actually retain twice as much rainfall

The Ins and Outs of Yard Landscaping

ghjkuykYour yard landscaping options are heavily dependent on a few factors. Where you live will determine what kinds of plants you can grow. The slope of your lawn and its soil type will determine how those plants should be watered. The size of the lot and your yard landscaping budget are also significant factors. Additionally, front yard landscaping is often different than backyard landscaping. Of course, these factors can be limiting at times, but with early planning and a little expert advice, it is often possible to create excellent landscaping no matter how big your yard or how demanding your climate.

Front Yard Landscaping: Ideas and Advice
A front yard is a window into the life of a property. If well-maintained and smartly organized, front yard landscaping is likely to raise your home’s curb appeal as well as positively effect the house’s over all value. The front yard should look as open and healthy as possible. Remember, this is how people enter the home; having to dodge too many plants on the way in can be off putting.

Just because front yard landscaping is not

What Should I Do With My Shade Trees After a Storm

jholStorm damaged trees are something many homeowners will have to deal with at some point. Since storm damaged trees are often an accident waiting to happen, calling for tree damage repair is not something you want to put off once a problem is noticed. Visually inspecting the trees on your property after a storm is a great way to spot problems early and avoid further damage to person or property; though some might view tree damage repair as an expense they’d rather forgo, ignoring storm damaged trees is likely to lead to larger, more expensive repair costs down the road.

Arborists: The Experts on Storm Damaged Trees
Arboriculture is the science of tree care. The International Society of Arboriculture is a worldwide organization dedicated to the care and preservation of trees. They stake their reputation on their certification program which confers the title of Certified Arborist on experienced and properly trained tree experts. A Certified Arborist must have a minimum of three years experience in tree care and he or she must pass an exam developed by an international panel of experts.

Some tree companies

Expand your Land with Outbuilding Plans

Additions to the home are a great way to increase its financial value, square footage, and overall potential. However, it’s sometimes not possible to add a room directly to the home due to foundation dilemmas, property line limitations, or other obstructions in your preexisting construction. But if you still want to add space to your house, it may be time to think about investing in outbuilding plans. A detached outdoor structure that still compliments your main house is sometimes the best way to create extra storage area and expand the usability of your land. However, before you jump in and begin building, it’s smart to first consult an expert and create some preliminary blueprints.

Country Convenience
Most people associate outdoor structures with country life. And it’s true that many farms and ranches require several additional buildings around their property. Whether it’s a chicken coop, horse stable, or a barn for tractors and other implements, these exterior edifices are a valuable asset to most acreage. However, outdoor storage has become a necessity amongst many city dwellers as well. A lot of suburban houses have large yards that aren’t being put to good use, allowing valuable square footage to go to waste. Plus,

Garden Fencing That Will Established Your Garden best to Others

Picket secure fencing can vary tall. If you have a number of flowers that happen to be tall, including tulips as well as black-eyed susans, you might want to have a low picketer fence to ensure the flowers are easily seen. On the flip side, if you have plants and flowers of differing heights, think about installing a 3 foot high fence which has a gate. Keep the gateway partially available so passer-bys can hook a peek of your backyard. Picket secure fencing is usually created wood that is painted white-colored or vinyl.

If you’re looking to get some privacy in your backyard area, subsequently consider choosing vinyl secure fencing. These walls ranged with four your feet to half a dozen feet upright. Each board consists of half a dozen or more content. Usually you will have choice of round, squared as well as pointed post tops. Softtop fencing is the best well in a large number of kinds of climate. If your backyard contains a compact pond or simply a water water fountain, then this may be a good choice. It will decrease animals as well as small children with entering the backyard.

Trellis secure fencing is a wonderful Garden Fencing

Spruce Up the Look of Your Outdoor Property by Getting Garden Water Features

A beautifully and well-designed outdoor area can spruce up the whole look of a property. Be it a big, small, residential or corporate property, it makes the whole place look pleasurable and relaxed. Garden is that place of the property where people like to get together and spend some quality and quiet time with their friends and relatives. Peaceful sound of water flow, fragrance of beautifully blossomed flowers can contributes in maintaining the ambience of the house. But even with these, the look of your garden might seem incomplete which you can balance by getting intricately designed water features.

 

Finely structured, these water features comes in distinctive style and adds aesthetic value to your premises. In various cultures across the world, garden designing can be witnessed. This adds some natural beauty and eliminates abrasive noises and other disturbing sounds that keeps occurring the environment around. Therefore once incorporated, garden water feature brings calmness and tranquillity and also transforms the garden into a different space altogether.

While getting a feature installed in your garden or any kind of property, there are number of things that need to be considered. There are number of styles

Fill in Your Loose Paving

For many homeowners, every extra dollar spent on one area of your home means another area is left neglected or unfinished. If you recognize this in your own home, you’re probably looking for cheap home improvement alternatives that still retain the beauty and quality you demand from your home projects. One of the opportunities to stretch your home improvement dollars is to consider eschewing high-end stones and bricks for loose paving in your outdoor landscaping projects. Gravel, sand, small rock and wood chips are all types of loose fill. They are just as functional as any other landscaping material and with a little creativity can be nearly as beautiful.

Loose Paving Options
Because there are so many loose fill options, you need to assess the use of the area before deciding which fill would work best. If you are installing a swing set or playground for your children, sand, wood chips and pea gravel are appropriate and have adequate shock-absorbing properties when installed at an appropriate depth. For even better shock-absorption, you might also consider rubber mulch.

For driveways, coarser gravel is appropriate. If the rocks in the gravel are fairly small, and you live in

Healing Powers of Outdoor Living

The idea that a natural setting is good for the body isn’t a new one. To quote a WebMD article, “A landmark study by Roger S. Ulrich, published in the April 27, 1984, issue of Science magazine, found strong evidence that nature helps heal. Ulrich, a pioneer in the field of therapeutic environments at Texas A&M University, found that patients recovering from gallbladder surgery who looked out at a view of trees had significantly shorter hospital stays, fewer complaints, and took less pain medication, than those who looked out at a brick wall.”

Since then, other studies by scientists worldwide have bolstered the theory that scenes of nature and being outdoors has a positive effect on our health. However, not every American has the time or means to hit the wilderness whenever he or she wants. For most of us, getting our recommended intake of nature needs to occur much closer to home.

Get your Nature any Way you Can
One of the best things about the healing power of nature is that you don’t have to be in the middle of nowhere to reap the benefits. Creating a small indoor garden or keeping houseplants can

Should You get the Shovel or Your Checkbook out this Winter

It’s a question many people ask themselves each and every winter. Even if you’re willing and able to shovel your own snow, there are also a handful of legitimate reasons to stay inside with a cup of hot chocolate and have someone else take care of the snow for you. First and foremost is safety. You don’t need a slipped disk or scoliosis because the rigors of shoveling snow may be too much for your back to take. Even back-friendly shovels and proper technique won’t eliminate the health risks for many people.

In fact, according to the U. S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, tens of thousands of people are treated at emergency rooms each year for injuries related to snow shoveling. The key is to get out there early and often. When a big snow storm hits, shoveling throughout the day, while the snow remains fresh and powdery, is critical.

Forget Shovels – What about Neighbors, Snow Throwers?
Of course, most people can find a friendly neighbor or entrepreneurial teen who will shovel their sidewalks for them, but larger projects may render this solution impractical. In addition, people in rural areas may not have a

Safe Drinking Water

Safe drinking water is not a major concern for most Americans, but should it be? The truth is that many municipal and rural water supplies contain chemicals, minerals, and metals that are hazardous to your health. Fortunately, if you’re concerned about safe drinking water there are a number of water purification options out there for you to choose from that can significantly reduce the level of chemicals, metals, minerals, and other particulates in your drinking water.

Do You Have Safe Drinking Water? Test It to Be Sure
Many homeowners have questions about the safety and content of the water that comes out of their kitchen faucet, and for good reason. Mine tailings, agricultural runoff, livestock waste, sewage, and industrial wastes are just a few of the possible sources that can quickly pollute an entire water supply.

If you live in an urban or suburban area, the EPA requires that every municipal water district print out an annual CCR (Consumer Confidence Report) that provides you with information regarding the levels of chemicals, bacterial contaminants, heavy metals, and other pollutants that exist in your municipal water supply.

If you live in a rural area, or want to

Driveway Paving Tips and Ideas

Driveway-paving is one of those blanket terms that gets tossed around every time a homeowner’s concrete slab cracks or a new driveway needs to be poured. Here’s a quick list of the three most popular driveway-paving materials and the plusses and minuses of each.

Asphalt Paving
Asphalt is a great place to start when discussing driveway paving materials. It’s relatively inexpensive to pour, especially on larger jobs, plus it is easy to maintain. As long as you regularly seal your asphalt driveway, it should serve you well and look great for years to come. Asphalt also makes for an excellent choice if you live in an area that experiences extreme cold spells. It is much more weather-resistant than its main rival, concrete, because of its ability to expand and contract without damage. On the downside, asphalt doesn’t offer many design options. Black and flat are the extent of your choices there. And you need to be careful when it comes to plowing asphalt drives, since it is more susceptible to damage from large plows and other machinery.

Concrete Paving
Perhaps the most widely used material out there is good old concrete. As far as driveways are

Backyard Swing Sets and Kid Slides

With the enormous amount of children’s products available today, deciding what to spend your money on can be difficult. As a parent, you want something that will be durable and provide a lot of good times for your kids. When sifting through the wide variety of games and toys, many find that the things they enjoyed as a child are what they want for their children.

When it comes to classics, a backyard swing set or kid slide is a home addition that has stood the test of time. No matter what the current trends are in children’s products, generations of happy kids have enjoyed swinging and sliding and will no doubt continue to for generations to come.

Backyard Swing Sets
Backyard swing sets are generally made from wood, wooden composite, or metal. Deciding which material to go with can be a difficult one. A backyard swing set made from metal will be sturdier and require little, if any, maintenance. On the other hand, many homeowners shy away from these swing sets because they don’t want their backyard to look like the local, municipal playground. No doubt, a wooden swing set is a classier choice, and

Healthy House Healthier Body

Though factors like exercise, lifestyle, and age certainly play a huge role in our bodies’ natural immunities, your environment can also help or hurt your chances of getting sick. If your home contains one or more of these elements, you may be at risk for ailments that could have been avoided!

Mold Problems
One of the most well-known culprits in house-borne illness is mold. Generally associated with upper and lower respiratory symptoms, some estimate that up to 30% of American houses may have a mold problem. The best way to find out if your home contains toxic mold is, of course, to have it tested. Mold testing averages less than $1,350 and mold removal generally runs about $2,500.

Ventilation Issues
On a similar note, indoor air quality in this country has taken some serious hits in recent years. Probably the biggest factor in this trend is the fact that many remodels and new constructions are far more air-tight than older homes. While this is great for heating and cooling costs, when extra insulation is not supplemented with better ventilation the air-borne particles that would seep out of an older home can become trapped indoors and reduce

Maintenance Free Aluminum Fencing

Aluminum fences are fast becoming one of the most popular fencing solutions for residential, commercial, and industrial needs for many reasons. They are lightweight, sturdy, never rust, and are available in a multitude of colors, making them suitable for just about any application. If you’re looking for fence for your home, pool, yard or business, take a good, long look at this increasingly popular product.

Tougher Than Steel
As mentioned above, the reasons to choose aluminum for your fencing needs are many, but perhaps the best reason to choose this material is its durability. Aluminum fencing is nearly indestructible, and because it doesn’t rust it is an excellent alternative to steel or wrought iron fences that have to be carefully maintained and painted to preserve their integrity. For just this reason, aluminum fences have become the preferred material for installation around swimming pools and other areas where regular contact with water is inevitable.

The availability of powder coating for aluminum fences only adds to their durability. Powder coating is a special painting process that cures paint onto the metal and protects the fence from the elements, fading, and even graffiti. Add all those together and you’ve

The landscape designer they would hire again

Your landscaping makes a huge impact on the look and function of your property as a whole, and it is well worth the effort it takes to keep it looking as good as possible. However, while there are more than enough landscaping companies to go around, some projects are too large or too involved to simply hire landscape services. Is your project big and/or intricate enough that you should hire a landscape architect? Is your landscaping in the kind of shape where hiring a landscape architect is simply not necessary? If these are the kinds of questions that pop into your head when you look at your front lawn, this story may give you a better idea of what exactly a landscape architect can offer!

The Decision to Hire a Landscape Architect
The two-year undertaking at Jose and Mary Armario’s Hinsdale, Ill. home was so extensive and held so many opportunities for snafus, they knew that they couldn’t hire landscape services from a company that couldn’t handle the load. Having a good idea of what they wanted (the design and installation of a swimming pool, a patio and outdoor kitchen, a driveway, a brick wall, two porches, and fresh landscaping throughout

6 Steps to Prevent Indoor Air Pollution in Your Home

Reputable studies have shown that indoor air pollution is now a greater health hazard than outdoor air pollution. These hazards run the gamut from allergies, toxins, contagions, and even radiation. The health effects can range from mild fatigue to severe respiratory distress and death. There may not be a silver bullet—or at least a cost-effective one—to eliminate all indoor air pollution, but looking at these six steps, big and small, will set you on the right path to a healthy home environment.

Indoor Air Pollution Solutions:

Install Adequate Ventilation
This latest concern for indoor air pollution is a side effect of better energy-efficiency. Modern homes can trap too much air inside your home and reduce air circulation. The solution is not to return to higher utility bills and greater energy consumption but better ventilation. Bathrooms, basements, and attics are the big problem areas, but anywhere can present considerable indoor air pollution without some degree of ventilation.

Know What’s in your Air
You have to test your air. There may be things you can’t see or smell. Not everything that does smell is pollution. Take, for example, radon. Rising up through the ground, this radioactive gas

Invisible Fences Offer Unseen Benefits

When people think of invisible pet fencing, the first thing that comes to mind is often the whine of a neighbor’s dog. Don’t worry; it isn’t as bad as it sounds. In fact, many electric pet containment systems have adjustable controls for any kind of shock your dog may, or may not, feel. There are also many other flexible advantages invisible pet fencing is able to offer, for both your dog and your property, as well.

Hidden Benefits of Electric Dog Fence Installation
Unlike traditional wooden-plank or chain-link fencing, which can take up a lot of space in a yard, most invisible pet fencing is buried underground. By planting a perimeter of wire around a designated area and attaching a radio transmitter to your dog’s collar, you now have a barrier that no one will notice but your pet! If you want, you can use flags around your yard to denote where the fence ends and begins, but if you don’t place any markers, these systems are practically undetectable!

Cost and Maintenance of Invisible Pet Fencing
Another great benefit of electric dog fence installation is this: these systems are much less expensive than traditional fencing. Not only is invisible pet fencing cheaper

Don’t Replace, Resurface

Concrete resurfacing is an easier and cheaper way to fix your deteriorating driveways, walkways, and slabs. It consists of fixing cracks, holes, and fissures with a repair material, then applying a full coat of polymer concrete resurfacing material over the entire surface. The end result is a brand new looking driveway or other concrete surface that will last for years to come.

Can It Perform Miracles?
That depends on what your definition of a miracle is. If your concrete problems include severe buckling, underlying soil issues, or other major problems, you’re probably going to need to tear the old concrete out and start over. If you’re talking about bringing back a brand new shine to a driveway that’s seen one too many winters, then concrete resurfacing is definitely a miracle in the making.

How About Extras?
If you’re going to resurface your driveway, walkways or another concrete surface anyway, why not go the extra mile and have some decorative work done as well? Concrete doesn’t have to be a boring, uniform gray anymore. To the contrary, ask your concrete resurfacing company about borders, textures, coloring and other improvements you can incorporate into your resurfacing

A Spot for Spot Dog House Plans

Just because you’re getting an outside dog, doesn’t mean that he or she won’t need the comforts of a home. Outdoor dogs are often left to fend for themselves under porches or beneath over hangs. Owners and prospective owners should take into account that a dog’s transition from indoors to outdoors could take some time. Ideally, those in the market for what will eventually become an outside dog should make sure to have the dog house ready and begin setting the ground rules when your pet is a puppy. You know what they say about teaching old dogs new tricks! So, why not get your Spot a place to call his own?

Benefits of Having a Dog House
Some dogs need a lot of time outside. Depending on the breed, a dog might be more comfortable with direct access to the yard. A dog door will do the trick in some cases. In the case of a very frisky canine, a life outside is a better option. It will save the owner a lot of headache due to chewed furniture, “accidents” on the carpet, and tracked in dirt and fur. For these cases, a dog house provides excellent shelter from the

Protect Your Driveway

Driveway sealing is an easy and cost effective way to protect and prolong the life of your driveway. Asphalt surfaces are particularly susceptible to wear and tear, both from weather and from automobile traffic, and the grade of asphalt commonly used on driveways is even more so. Driveway sealing at regular intervals gives your driveway the added protection it needs to last longer and resist deterioration.

Needs Regular Upkeep
If you’re not sure on this point, consider the constant upkeep the asphalt roads in your community need in order to stay in good shape. Add to that the fact that the asphalt used on roads is generally a higher grade and made to withstand a higher level of abuse than the asphalt typically used in driveway applications, and you can see why it’s important to keep up on regular maintenance, including asphalt sealing, in order to fend off major projects such as repaving a crumbling asphalt surface.

The Benefits
Sealing your driveway has many benefits when it comes to preserving your concrete driveway. First and foremost, a properly applied driveway sealer repels water, perhaps the single most harmful agent when it comes to deteriorating asphalt surfaces.