Monthly Archives: October 2016

Lawn Mowing Blunders You Should Avoid


Are you aware that every year huge amount of money is allocated to lawn care and gardening? Sure, that’s right, billions of dollars and most families believe that it is money that’s well spent. The sad part is the fact that a portion of the money spent on lawn care is actually wasted. The waste comes from the mistakes committed by the homeowners in terms of lawn care. If you’re a homeowner and you have a lawn, then it is highly likely that you will be also guilty of committing a few of these mistakes.

– Using wrong mowers

Picking the right mower can certainly be a challenge. There are so many types, brands, and models available to buy, how could you choose the right one? Each will have different features that will fulfill each individuals needs in a different way. You need to have your own research so as not to end up in a wrong purchase. Don’t use wrong mower for your lawn.

– Not cleaning the mower

It’s also a huge mistake when home owners tend not to clean the mower since dirt and other debris can cause rust and corrosion. Not forgetting, dirt also affects the efficiency of mowers. So, it is imperative to clean the mower to prevent costly maintenance.

– Using dull blades

Dull blades are often over looked yet it can have a major impact on the appearance and health of your lawn. Correct this issue and your mowing gets easier while saving you time and effort. What we’re referring to here is your mower blade being dull as a butter knife.

– Mowing at a very low height

Many make the mistake of cutting their lawn shorter than they should. This is not healthy or beneficial in any way. Short-cut lawns expose surface roots to the hot sun, which may dry out and die in no time at all. Not just that, weed and insect may attack since the grass is stressed and weak from being over cut. As a general guideline never ever remove more than 1/3 of the grass blade. Depending on your lawn type, more or less can be cut-off.

– Ignoring maintenance

Ensure the mower you will use is well-maintained. Keep your blades sharp – have them sharpened monthly or at least twice a year. Adjust the mower’s deck height to about 3 inches. In no way neglect the deck’s underside as well. If possible, after every use, clean out the clippings and debris. This helps maintain the machine’s cutting quality and in addition it prevents rusting.

By understanding all these, homeowners can prevent lawn mowing mistakes that can reduce their finances.

All About Fiber-Cement Siding

What looks just like wood, feels just like wood, but isn’t wood? In the world of siding, the answer is fiber cement. Fiber cement siding is composed of cement, sand, and cellulose fiber, all of which are pressurized with steam to create a solid material


Wonder Siding

gothic revival style home with fiber cement siding  painted to look like wood clapboard

Picking the right siding for your house is a delicate balancing act between good looks, durability, maintenance, and affordability. With wood, vinyl, stone, brick, or stucco, you might get only two or three of these. But with fiber cement, a resilient mix of wood pulp and portland cement, you get all four. It’s the only siding that combines the performance of masonry—minimal upkeep; rot-, fire-, and termite-proof; unaffected by wind or cold—with the look of painted wood clapboards, shingles, even stone or brick. Yet fiber cement goes for just a fraction of the cost of these other materials. No wonder nearly 15 percent of new homes—and many TOH TV projects—are clad with the stuff.

All this has happened in just 25 years, since fiber cement was first introduced. Now architects regularly specify the siding because it holds down costs without compromising aesthetics. It’s even accepted for use in some historic districts.

Shown: The siding on this Gothic Revival-style home looks like wood clapboard, but it’s actually fiber cement painted a custom color. 7¼-inch-wide smooth lap siding, primed, about $1.50 per square foot; CertainTeed

What’s in Fiber Cement?

the four ingredients that make up the recipe for fiber cement sidingd

The basic recipe has just four ingredients.

Water: Dissolves the wood pulp; activates and hardens the cement.

Wood pulp: Improves flexibility and resilience.

Fly ash: Acts as a filler. (Some makers use silica sand instead.)


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10 Sources for a Warm Industrial Style

What is industrial furniture? How can you use industrial look furniture in your home? And where are the best places to source industrial furniture?


It’s hard to say why the warm industrial style has hit the zeitgeist the past few years. Perhaps it’s because we’ve become so far removed from day-to-day industry. Or maybe it’s because it’s a natural extension of the green/upcycling movement. Whatever the cause, this decor style is sure to remain popular. To get in on the look, check out the furniture and accessories from these ten retailers.

Restoration Hardware Well of course Restoration Hardware would top this list. This one retailer is practically responsible for reviving the the warm industrial look.

CB2 Crate and Barrel’s younger sibling has a fair share of warm industrial furnishings sprinkled in among their happy modern offerings. Their Concrete Nightstand and Cage Brass Pendant Lamp would look great in a warm industrial home.

World Market This may seem like an unlikely source but World Market has actually upped their warm industrial offerings lately. Check out their Twist Swivel Stool and Jackson Dining Collection.

Urban Outfitters Much of their furniture and home accessories lean toward the mid-century modern side but you’ll also find the occasional warm industrial item mixed in — like the Factory Side Table and Metal Bookcase.

Terrain You may think of Terrain as having more of an organic modern style but in fact there’s a lot of warm industrial on offer, too. Check out the Steel Wire Chair and Suspended Crate Shelf as examples.

Yorkwood The folks behind this small company re-use old wood pallets and steel to create warm industrial furnishings. Even their iPhone 5 Dock would be a good fit for a warm industrial setting.

Beam & Anchor This 7,000 square foot space in Portland, Orgeon, houses a collective of makers and their workshops on the upper floors and, on the main level, a retail space that is stocked with warm industrial wares.


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Tempered Glass Table

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Lately the word tempered glass has been floating all the more rapidly. If you go to home sales, they’d most probably boast that their homes have this type of glass. Should you visit your local supplier, they would probably recommend you to go with tampered glass table. It is no longer only for the rich and famous but readily available for all property owners now. Therefore, you ask yourself just what is the big deal with this particular glass type?

There are several advantages to having tables made out of tempered glass. They’re more powerful, for one, so they will not break as quickly as regular ones. Additionally, given that they don’t shatter, they provide safety for your family and your home. It is different than the glass you are accustomed to and has to be treated in a different way. Designers are choosing to have this table over the traditional ones.

In addition to this, the tempered glass table is environmentally friendly and promotes sustainability. All this stems from the fact that materials utilized in its production are recyclable. Typically, tables were made of wood. After a while, the wood would suffer damage and in the end are discarded. Even though some wood are recycled, a lot of them are brought to landfills to be burnt and wasted causing a never ending demand for wood and so environmental damage.

With the tempered glass table, the primary materials are glass, aluminum or other types of alloys. All these alloys can be made from recycle materials. The same goes for tempered glass that could be produced from recycled glass. Hence, in addition to style, the tempered glass table is another good choice for the environment concerned person.

Apart from being stylish and sustainable, additionally it is a safe piece of furniture. Yearly, approximately 20,000 emergency cases are documented because of ordinary glass table. It is because ordinary glass table breaks into many jagged shaped pieces. This is harmful as it can certainly cut arteries or cause other more serious injuries.

Even so, tempered glass table is nearly 5 to 10 times stronger when compared with its untempered counterpart. One very visible quality of this type is that it breaks down in to small granular pieces rather than sharp shards. Meaning, it decreases injuries and accidents. This can be caused by the way it is constructed.

Compared to normal glass, it is heat treated to increase its strength. Therefore it can stand up to more force and stronger impacts. Furthermore, the microstructure of the glass is changed such that the glass shatters directly into smaller pieces as opposed to into few sharp and dangerous pieces when it breaks.

Even though this kind of glass table cost a little much, the huge benefits they give allow it to be an easy sacrifice. The strong glass lasts longer, provide great protection from several elements and keep your family safe. Not only that, it is also an eco-friendly choice compared t o other sorts of tables.

The Best Deck Stains?

Deck staining makes your deck look beautiful and also keeps it protected. Paint serves the same purpose but there is an essential difference between the two.

The Best Deck Stains

The point of this article and is to offer guidance in choosing a quality deck stain that works well and will not create larger issues down the road when time to reapply. We have updated our original article by including answers to some of our most popular questions that we receive.

Here are some of our most popular answers to remember, before proceeding with any questions below:

  1. No deck stain will last 5+ years. A good quality stain will last 2 or maybe 3 years on a deck floor (horizontal) and typically twice as long on railings, siding, etc. (verticals).
  2. Penetrating stains will have less chance of peeling as they soak into the wood grain and do not film on top of the wood grain when fully cured.
  3. Penetrating deck stains are easier to maintain by cleaning and reapplying after 2-3 years.
  4. Filming Deck Stains that dry on top of the wood are harder to remove and/or reapply as they are more prone to peeling, wear, flaking, etc.
  5. Not all Deck Stains are penetrating. Even when they claim otherwise.
  6. Semi-transparent, Transparent, and Semi-Solids will show the grain of the wood to some extent. Solid stains, Deck Resurface Coatings, and Paints will not.
  7. Clear sealers without any pigment/color will not prevent UV graying. Lighter Pigmented stains that are Transparent, Semi-Transparent, or Semi-solid will have less UV protection than Darker Pigmented stains in the same transparency. More color/tint = better UV protection.
  8. Deck Stains are either Oil Based or Water Based. Filming or penetrating. Transparent, Semi-Transparent, Semi-Solid, Solid (opaque) Stains or a Deck Resurface Coating. See here for more info on Deck Stain Types.
  9. Oil based stains can still be used in all States and Canada as long as they are compliant to local VOC regulations.
  10. When switching brands of deck stain it is always best to remove the old coating first. Do this by using a Deck Stain Stripper and/or sanding.
  11. Always apply a Wood Brightener after prepping with a Stain Stripper or Wood Deck Cleaner to neutralize the caustic.
  12. New Decks (less than a year) are treated differently than older decks (more than 1 year). New decks need to be prepped and usually cannot be stained right away. See this about Staining New Decks.
  13. Prep, Prep, Prep = increased longevity of a stain.


What is the Best Deck Stain For My Deck?

This is the top question by far that we have gotten on Unfortunately, there is not a “best” deck stain out there that will outperform every other stain, every single time.

A better way to approach this common question is to ask, “what is the best stain for my deck and it’s environment?” A wood deck stain that performs well in humid South Carolina does not mean it will perform well in the snowy Midwest states. VOC (Volatile Organic Compounds) Laws come into effect for different parts of the country as well. This may limit what is available …


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6 Gardening Habits You’re Probably Doing Wrong

Gardening errors are common even amongst the prolific gardeners. Once into a certain habit it’s a bit hard to break that habit.


“Gardening is so easy!” said no one with a black thumb ever. Regardless of where your thumb falls on the green to black spectrum, it’s possible you’ve picked up some bad gardening habits over the years. Don’t worry, though. It’s not your fault. There is a ton of bad and/or outdated gardening advice floating around in the Google-sphere. So make sure you are avoiding these mistakes, and then sit back and watch your beautiful garden bloom.


1. Rocks and Pebbles a Well-Drained Pot Does Not Make

Broken plant pot pieces

You can’t throw a rock without hitting this piece of gardening pot advice: Rocks, pebbles, or broken crockery at the bottom of a pot encourages proper drainage.

However, this is not true. If you’re putting rocks or pebbles or broken crockery at the bottom of your pots, stop! It turns out not only does adding drainage material not work, but it’s probably having the opposite effect.Actual scientists discovered “water does not move easily from layers of finer textured materials to layers of more coarse textured.”

In plain English, what ends up happening is the water won’t easily drain because of the stuff you added and your plant’s roots end up sitting in soggy soil. Your best bet is to get a good potting soil. That way water has a better chance of draining.

2. Gardeners Who Fail to Plan, Plan to Fail

Every wannabe gardener has at one point or another wandered through the nearby nursery and whipped out a credit card to buy all the pretty flowers in sight. But did you know you shouldn’t go buying just any old plant willy-nilly without a plan? Before you jump the gun and buy whatever strikes your fancy, you need to consider some things first. In short, you need to plan before you plant! And this goes for any type of garden, whether it’s your yard or a container garden for your kitchen window sill.

There are many things to consider like the …


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Sleep Better with Black-Out Curtains: Sources for Buying & Making Them

Black out blinds are universally used to keep the light of bedrooms and hotel rooms around the world. They are intended to help a person sleep when there is too much light entering a room.


Being awoken by the sun is actually good for you, but there are times when darkening a room aids in sleep especially for napping children, shift workers or others with non traditional sleep schedules and for blocking artificial night time light such as from a streetlamp. Blackout curtains also are energy saving (keeping heat from escaping in the winter and the hot sun from heating up your room in the summer) and help block or muffle outdoor noise.

(Image credit: IKEA)

Blackout Curtains with Liners

Traditional blackout curtains have a liner behind them to block light. You can find blackout curtains in all kinds of colors and patterns, even light-hued ones. Search online for “blackout” or “thermal” curtains.

  • Eclipse sells blackout curtains through a variety of retailers including Target, Walmart, JC Penney, Kohls, Amazon, etc.
  • IKEA sells one lined blackout curtain,the MARJUN.
  • has a wide selection of blackout curtains in solids and prints.
  • Bed, Bath & Beyond carries several brands of blackout curtains including Insola and SoundAsleep.
  • Home Depot carries Martha Stewart, Eclipse and Home Decorators brand blackout curtains.


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Vaporooter Treatment – Dealing With Roots In Your Pipes

Vaporooter is definitely the usage of a laboratory-designed chemical foam treatment to eliminate any dangerous roots which could find the way into your sewage drainage systems. The chemical is poured down a drainage opening like the toilet and flows down and in to the sewage system in which it has a corrosive effect on any roots it comes into contact with.

Rather than waiting for the nuisance to turn into a serious problem expecting that the roots will develop elsewhere, resolve the issue now. When left unresolved, the problem of invasive roots is going to do more severe problem than to a minor treatment.

An experienced and skilled plumber may use a water jet or an electric eel to deal with the roots. These procedures will get rid of the roots but the problem is the fact that these roots usually tend of growing back thicker than ever before. To prevent this, it merely requires a lasting solution in dealing with the roots. Vaporooter covers this problem completely.

How Does It Work?

The use of the herbicide will kill the roots in the pipes and drain. It however does not damage the tree itself for the reason that foam simply wipes out the part of the root it is in contact with. The foam then bonds onto the walls of the pipe as well as any cracks and joints, and that means you won’t have any new root growth in your pipes for many years.

The treatment, in contrast to other treatments, will not corrode sewer lines. Its ingredients are very mild. The treatment is safe since it’s ingredients, metam sodium and dichlobenil are used to reduce the growth and development of weeds in food crop gardens. The treatment won’t harm the land close to the affected pipes. It makes sure that the environment is well cared for.

Generally after verifying the issue, the plumber will put on the foam within the drain to keep any new roots from growing in the drain. After that treatment, your drain and pipes would be root free for at least twelve months. You can ask for experts to return following the twelve months to check the condition of your pipes. They’re going to then advise whether Vaporooter needs to be reapplied.

Why Vaporooter Is Important:

1. The vaporooter treatment will save you time and expense.

2. It really is a convenient treatment option because it is only done once per year and you will enjoy a clear drain throughout the year.

3. Vaporooter works well for decreasing replacement of ruined pipes. It is because there aren’t any mechanical processes included in the treatment. Many mechanical treatments destroy the pipes.

4. In addition, it will save you time since the application requires a very short time. You don’t have to wait for a very long time for the plumbers in order to complete handling your sewer pipes.

4 Types of Sprinklers

Watering your lawn, plants, or garden is essential when it doesn’t get enough rain. There are various different ways to water or irrigate these areas and it’s important to choose the right way, so that the process is simple and easy to do. Sprinklers are one of the most common methods that individuals make use of to water their lawns and gardens because it’s affordable and easy to setup. There are several many sprinklers on the market; therefore you want to make sure that you understand how each one of these works to get the right one to suit your needs.

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Oscillating sprinklers typically have 17 holes that water is disbursed out of. It waters the lawn or garden very delicately and moves to and fro to cover a substantial area. It’s very economical, which means that anyone’s budget can afford it and it’s also very easy to put in anywhere that you choose. Oscillating sprinklers hold up well to weather and can work for a very long time.

Drip Sprinkler is yet another thing to consider for watering the plants. The benefits of have a drip sprinkler is that it’s more economic on water – it is an particularly significant point if you live in an area with really low rainfall. It is said that efficiency is over 90% as long as it’s been installed and set up the right way. Drip irrigations happen to be utilized commercially for quite some time by farmers growing vegetables etc.

Single stream lawn sprinklers are an excellent choice for big or mid-sized yards. The 360-degree arc which they travel to water your lawn will cover a wide area, to ensure that there is not any place missed. They rotate around in order that all of the lawn or garden is covered. When they are not in use, they just collapse down, so that you can easily mow the lawn, be in the lawn, or do anything you wish with no worry of tripping over the mechanism.

• An impact or impulse sprinkler is a superb choice for big fields or lawns. The sprinkler pivots on a bearing to make sure that no area is left dry. The circular motion covers a huge area and the spring-loaded arm moves it back to allow it to circle repeatedly. The long throw radius that it has ensures that it can reach an extremely large area for crop watering or lawn watering. These are resistant to sand and dirt and will last for a long time, which is why they are quite commonly used to water crops in an gardening setting.

These sprinklers are usually used in residential areas; however they can be used commercially in agriculture and more. By determining the right sprinkler for your specific area and requirements, you’ll allow your lawn or garden to withstand the harsh sun of summer with great health. Sprinklers could make watering any area much simpler on you and more efficient for your lawn or garden.