Discovering Stained Glass Tools, Materials and Techniques

It’s Automatic: 3 Steps to Keep Your Automatic Gate Operating Properly

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If you’ve had automatic gates installed on your new fence, you need to be prepared for the maintenance that will be required. While automatic gates are a great way to provide additional security for your home, they do come with their own specific maintenance needs. Here are three maintenance tips that will keep your automatic gate running smoothly. Keep the Tracks Clean If your automatic gates operate along a track system, you’ll need to ensure that the track is clean and free of debris at all times. Dirt and debris can interfere with the proper operation of your gate. For instance, dirt on the tracks can cause your gate to get stuck midway through the opening or closing. To prevent that, hose the tracks off with clear water once a week. You should also give your tracks a thorough cleaning at least once a month. Fill a bucket with warm water and add ¼ cup of grease-cutting dish detergent. Dip a broom in the solution and scrub your tracks. Rinse well with your garden hose. Protect Against Pest Invasion Pests can wreak havoc on your automatic gates, especially if they find their way into the circuit box. Spider webs and snail trails can interfere with the electrical connection inside the circuit board. Mice can chew through the wiring and destroy your automatic opener. At least once a month you should open the circuit box and inspect for pest activity. Use a rag to wipe away any spider webs and snail trails you might find. Remove any rodent nesting materials that might be present. To keep pests away, place one or two moth balls inside the circuit box. Lubricate All Moving Parts The mechanical components of your automatic gate opener are exposed to the elements 24 hours a day. To keep your gate operating properly, you’ll need to lubricate all the moving parts at least once a month. Use a water-soluble spray lubricant on all the moving parts, including the chain drive and the hinges. Once you’ve applied the lubricant, open and close your gate a few times to make sure that all the parts have been properly lubricated. If you have an automatic gate opener, such as the Liftmaster LA500 Dual-Swing Gate Opener, you need it to work properly every time you activate it. Use the tips provided here to maintain your gate and keep it working for you. If you experience problems with your automatic gate, be sure to contact a repair...

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3 Ideas To Give Water Collection And Gutters A More Attractive Makeover

Posted by on 12:50 pm in Uncategorized | Comments Off on 3 Ideas To Give Water Collection And Gutters A More Attractive Makeover

Rain collection can be a great addition to your home to start conserving water, but it can also be unsightly or just too plain for your tastes. The common commercial barrel and simple gutter downspouts can be replaced with more attractive features that blend in naturally to your landscaping design. Here are some ideas that you may want to consider to improve your rain collection system with a personalized touch: 1.Use A Series Of Terracotta Barrels For Containers Do you have commercial barrels that are an ugly blue color or plain plastic? You may want to improve these barrels with terracotta containers. These can be simple containers that you can add your own designs to, or you may want to consider getting terracotta pots that already have an attractive design on them. You can also use a series of small terracotta contains to make a simple filtration system for your rain collection. 2. Remove Gutter Downspouts And Add Rain Chains The gutter downspouts may be one of the unsightly components of your rain collection system. With rain chains, you can completely remove the downspouts. There are many options for rain chains, which can give your home an attractive water feature that allows water to flow freely into the collection system. This can also be combined with containers and different elevations to carry water from a roof to lower areas where you may have set up terracotta containers.  Adding a faucet to higher containers can give you natural water pressure to connect a garden hose to for things like watering the garden. 3. Use Rock Beds And Streams For Filtration Of Water Another option that you may want to consider to make rain collection more attractive is water features. This can be done with things like streams that carry water from different elevations around your home. You may also want to consider dry rock beds with larger rocks, which can help to filter the water before it goes into containers. This can also include a hidden sand filter to ensure that water is clean before it gets stored, though it may still need further purification if you plan on using it as a potable water source. These are some simple improvements that you can do to make gutters and rain collection systems more attractive. If you are ready to start a makeover project for your rain collection system, contact a rain chain vendor to get exactly what you...

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Protecting Precast Stone From Becoming Stained

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If you are planning on using precast stone pieces to construct a wall on your property, you will soon be enjoying the majestic appearance it will give to your land. Many people enjoy the aesthetics of precast stone as the pieces are not mottled in color or riddled with flaws as with natural stone. Protecting precast stone from becoming stained is very important from the time you receive the product to store and continuing until after it is installed. Here are some steps you can take to minimize staining of this high-quality medium so the pieces look as pristine as they were at the time you purchased them.  Storing Precast Stone Properly To Avoid Staining After receiving a shipment of precast stone pieces, they should be placed in an area where debris is not likely to settle upon them. Placing them in a shed or garage is a good idea as they will be in an enclosed area away from any contaminants or inclement weather. Elevate the stones on pallets or planks. This will keep them safe from unfortunate spills of chemical agents. Make sure the wood they are placed upon is untreated so there is no risk of coloring transferring to the stones. If the stones will be stored for an extended period of time, place a tarp or piece of cloth over them to keep debris from setting upon their surfaces. Removing Debris From The Stone Pieces When debris is transferred to precast stone, it can cause discoloration to the pieces if it is not removed promptly. Is is best to avoid using a sandblaster or pressure washer to remove any dirt from these stones as the impact of the air or water hitting the surface can cause chips or nicks to appear. It is also best to stay away from the use of a wire brush to scrape away dirt as this can lead to scarring of the stone. Use a mild cleanser made especially for the type of precast stone you had purchased. Commercial precast stone cleansers are usually slightly acidic in nature, helping to eat through stains easily. It is important to identify the type of stain present before using a cleaning agent. This will help you pinpoint which product will do the best job in fading the stained area. Make sure to read the packaging to match it to the stain you are attempting to remove. Apply the cleaner to a non-abrasive sponge and scrub the stained spot by hand. Rinse well with a garden hose.   For further assistance, contact a local stone supply...

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Fun Summer Uses For Your Christmas Lights

Posted by on 12:58 pm in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Fun Summer Uses For Your Christmas Lights

If you invested a lot of money in LED Christmas lights last holiday season, or if you found an amazing after-holiday sale to stock up on them, why not use them during the summer months, too? LED Christmas lights can add a fabulous touch to your outdoor summer landscape  Light Your Pool Area Nothing says summer nights like a lighted pool area. Blue or green strands are the ideal colors, but multi or white are beautiful, too. The LED lights are so bright and vibrant in this area and can create a fun and relaxing atmosphere. You can string the lights on a fence, in the shrubs, in trees, or anywhere else to accent your current outdoor landscape. These lights can add some extra fun to an evening swim party, a pool patio cocktail party, or just having a cocktail after a long day at work. Light Up a Pergola Do you have a pergola in your yard? If so, liven it up with some LED lights along the top rungs. To make it a more useful space, place some tables and chairs beneath and create a fun seating area. You can have a casual dinner party in an area you may not have been able to use because it was too dark at night. This detail can add an alfresco feel to your regular landscape. Illuminate Your Walkways If you are having guests over after dark, string some lights along your pathways so they know where to walk. This is particularly helpful for those who may have never been to your home or are not familiar with where to go. You only need some stakes that you can find in the camping section of a department store. Place the stakes along the walkway, and then string the lights between them. This can be a very inviting aspect to your outdoor space. Create Centerpieces For those shorter, battery-operated strands, they can be very useful in table centerpieces. You can wrap them around inside a clear vase with some sand and seashells for a coastal look. If you would rather a more generic use, place the vase of lights on a mirrored tile that you can get from a home supply store. Adding a simple touch to your tabletops is a great way to add some excitement to your summer landscape. Using your extra LED lights in summer is a great way to add some excitement to the hot summer days. If you want to implement these ideas but do not have any lights on hand, check your local stores near the end of the summer. You may very well find some Christmas items stocked on the shelves. There’s still plenty of summer left to decorate your exterior, even in August! To learn more about wholesale Christmas lights, contact a company like River City...

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Eliminating Mischievous Mice From Your Yard

Posted by on 5:22 am in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Eliminating Mischievous Mice From Your Yard

If you noticed field mice scampering through your yard every time you are outdoors, you will want to take action to keep them far away from your house. Since mice are known to carry bacteria that cause disease, it is important to keep them on the exterior side of your house if possible. Here are some precautionary steps you can take to keep mice from becoming a problem inside of your home.  Take Away All Food And Water Sources If mice have a spot to grab a meal and drink, they will be more likely to stick around the area. It is important to eliminate food and water sources from easy access both in and out of the home. Inside, take the time to keep floors vacuumed and counters cleaned so crumbs are not ready for the picking. Outdoors, cover all small pools, fountains, or bird baths during nighttime hours so mice do not have a watering hole to grab a drink. If you have an outdoor pet, make sure their food dish and water bowl is brought in at times they are not nearby. Keep your grill covered, or even better, place it in your garage or shed where grease remnants do not attract rodents. Clean your grill often to help take away food odor as well. Eliminate Spots Where Mice Can Squeeze Inside If your home has any damage to its exterior, a mouse could easily make its way inside. Mice can squish themselves into spots the size of a dime. Take a look at your siding and reset any panels that have come loose. If your home’s exterior is made from wood panels or logs, fill in any cracks you find with a wood caulk. Stuff pieces of steel wool inside bigger holes and cover them with wire mesh or flashing until you can replace the siding with a new piece. Use a door sweep under doorways so mice cannot scoot underneath. Use Appropriate Trapping Methods To Reduce Numbers If you still see mice in the area after trying the above steps, you can try trapping them to help control the population in your yard. Humane cube traps can be placed in areas of your yard if you do not wish to kill the mice. Add peanut butter to the inside the traps and leave them in place overnight. The next morning, release any trapped mice to a wooded area far from your home. If you would rather end the mouse problem by killing them, there are many kill trap options available on the market. Be sure to remove carcasses promptly so you do not attract other pests in your yard. A pest control service like ASE Pest & Weed Supplies could also be helpful in eliminating mice if their numbers seem to great to handle on your...

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Four Creative Locations For Mirrors In Your Home

Posted by on 8:36 am in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Four Creative Locations For Mirrors In Your Home

When it comes to the placement of mirrors in the home, many people opt for the standard locations in the bathrooms and next to the front door. While these locations are certainly helpful, it’s important to realize that you can get creative with the placement of other mirrors to make the interior of your home seem larger, brighter and even more visually appealing. With so many different styles of mirrors available today, you’ll have no trouble shopping for the right look to suit your home design and overall style sense. Here are four spots that can benefit from a mirror. Above A Couch If you’re not pleased with the look of the blank wall above a long couch and you can’t find the right art to hang in this location, consider a tall mirror turned on its side and hung over the couch. This is an ideal mirror location because it instantly makes the room look bigger. Additionally, provided that the mirror’s frame is thin enough, it won’t feel bulky and obtrusive over your head when you’re seated on the couch. On A Stairwell A flight of stairs that turns in the middle and has a small landing can be improved with the addition of a mirror hung in the landing. Landings tend to be small and cramped, and the mirror will open up the space. Additionally, if you can’t see what’s happening up or down the stairs when you’re on one of the sections, the mirror will give you the ability to clearly see what’s ahead of you, which can feel comforting. In The Bedroom If you’ve been getting dressed in front of the mirror on the back of your walk-in closet door or in the bathroom, there’s a better way. A large, tall mirror with a bold frame that is hung in your bedroom can save you time and hassle each morning when you get dressed, as you won’t have to do so in the cramped closet or bathroom. Above The Kitchen Sink Many homes have windows about the kitchen sink, which can provide visual entertainment when you’re doing dishes. If you don’t have a window in this location, consider a mirror. In addition to making this confined space — which is often surrounded by cupboards — larger, a mirror in this location means that you can see people who might be sitting in the kitchen behind you, which allows for easier conversation when you have your back turned. To find a mirror suited to your taste and the location you’ve selected, contact a company like Glasshopper Schor...

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Residential Weed Control Tips For Homeowners

Posted by on 10:48 am in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Residential Weed Control Tips For Homeowners

Maintaining the appearance of a lawn or garden can be a daunting task for many people. Successfully doing this task will require you to keep the growth of weeds to a minimum, but this can be a seemingly endless battle. For homeowners that are having a difficult time with this aspect of yard maintenance, there are a couple of tips that can be used to help make the process of battling weeds easier. Increase Plant Coverage A highly effective option for helping to reduce the growth of weeds is to make sure that you keep your plants relatively close together and have them cover much of the yard. This will make the weeds have to compete with these plants for nutrients, which can help to inhibit their growth. However, it should be noted that plants should not be placed too close together because this can cause their roots to become tangled or it can prevent their branches from receiving enough sunlight. Due to the fact that the exact spacing needs of plants can vary widely, homeowners should consult with professional landscapers to determine the optimal distances between plans when trying to prevent weed growth while keeping the plants healthy. Remove Weeds When The Ground Is Wet Manually removing weeds from your lawn and garden is essential for controlling the growth of the plants. However, pulling weeds from the ground can be difficult because their roots can hold them securely in place. Sadly, if enough of the root system is left in the ground, the weeds will just grow back. A simple way of combating this problem is to make sure to always remove weeds from the ground when it is wet. When the soil is wet, it will be easier to loosen the weed’s roots and pull the weed free. This will make the weeds far easier to pull out of the ground, and you may find that you are able to remove more of the root system. If left unchecked, weeds have the ability to ruin the appearance of your yard, while also robbing your plants of the nutrients that they need to thrive. Preventing weeds from overtaking your yard or garden does not have to be an impossible task for you to do. By appreciating the benefits of close plant placement as well as the advantages of pulling weeds when the ground is wet, you will find that keeping these unwanted plants out of your property is easier. If you want help with this process, contact professionals. Visit a site like for more...

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Home Alone: Three Things You Can Do To Keep An Elderly Parent Safe When They Live Alone

Posted by on 6:50 am in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Home Alone: Three Things You Can Do To Keep An Elderly Parent Safe When They Live Alone

If you have an elderly parent who lives alone, you probably worry about their safety, especially if they aren’t able to get around as well as they once did. You may have suggested they consider moving in with you or moving to an assisted living facility. However, giving up their independence isn’t easy for most elderly people, as they desire to remain in their home and live a normal life. Fortunately, there are several things you can do to help keep your elderly parent safe when they live alone. Perform a safety check of their home Make sure their home is equipped with working smoke detectors and carbon monoxide detectors. Test the batteries in all detectors and offer to change the batteries on a regular basis. Check for frays in extension cords and the cords of all electrical devices. Eyesight isn’t as sharp as people age, and this can make it difficult for them to see damaged cords that may lead to a fire hazard. Eliminate fall hazards A fall can cause a serious physical disability that requires a long and painful convalescence period. Making the home less conducive to fall hazards is vital to the safety of someone living alone. Rugs are notorious for causing falls. Not only are they easy to trip over, but the smooth backing on rugs makes them slide across the floor with minimal effort. Don’t worry, you won’t need to replace all of the rugs with new ones. You can purchase non-slip rug pads to use under existing rugs. Use rug pads under every rug in the home. Non-slip rug pads will prevent the rugs from slipping on smooth flooring surfaces. They will also provide added stability to rugs and make them less likely to bunch up and become easy targets to trip over. Check the layout of the furniture throughout the house, and rearrange furnishings to allow plenty of space for your parent to walk freely. Install tap lights or night lights to light the pathway between the bed and bathroom to make it easy to navigate those late night trips to the bathroom. Don’t give your parent an excuse for climbing up on chairs to retrieve items in the kitchen. Move essential items to lower shelves where they can reach them with ease. Establish an emergency plan Work out an emergency plan for your parent in the event of a fire or other emergency. Plan an escape route to be followed in the event of a fire. Print a list of phone numbers to be placed where they can access them easily. Use a large print to make reading the numbers easy. You should also include the phone numbers of several family members, neighbors, and friends who live close by and can provide assistance if needed. The emergency contact list should be posted in the bedroom and at least one other room in the home. Making your parent’s home safe will be worth the time and effort spent. Not only will a safe home allow your parent to remain independent and live a fulfilling life, but it will also give you peace of mind knowing your parent is well taken care...

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Flowers Didn’t Make It Last Year Due To Not Enough Water? 2 Ways To Make Sure They Survive This Year

Posted by on 4:56 am in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Flowers Didn’t Make It Last Year Due To Not Enough Water? 2 Ways To Make Sure They Survive This Year

Even though it is still winter, spring is only a few months away, and this means planting flowers. If your flowers didn’t do well last year due to not getting enough water, you can do a few things to make sure they get enough this coming up spring and summer. Follow the tips below and your flowers will stay healthy and happy all season long. Provide Water Underground Flowers need water at their roots, so providing them with water underground is the perfect strategy. You can purchase pots that are buried under the ground. These pots are made of a low fired unglazed porous clay. They are submerged into the ground with the opening at the top of the soil.  Water is poured into the reservoir, and a cap is placed over the opening. Once placed in the ground, the water slowly irrigates through the porous clay to the surrounding plants. These pots only irrigate plants that are surrounding them, so you may need to purchase more than one. How many plants this is depends on how large the pot is. It will come with instructions advising you how many plants they will irrigate. This method of watering saves you money on your water bills, and it saves you time from having to water the plants yourself. Your plants will also be much healthier as they will always have enough moisture. The pots you choose will come with instructions on how to install them, how many you need to install, and how often you need to refill them with water. You can even add a liquid fertilizer to the water to provide your flowers with nutrients all season long. You can purchase these pots at many garden centers, as well as online. Mulch Mulch in your flower garden serves many purposes. It keeps weeds away, which are not only unsightly but steal moisture and nutrients from your flowers. Mulch also holds in moisture, which protects your flowers from drying out. If where you live has cold winters, it can help protect your flowers from the freezing temperatures. In the summer, it keeps your flowers’ roots cooler. Three types of mulch you can choose from include: Wood chips: Looks attractive and stays put. It also decays slowly. Readily available in bags or by the truckload from garden centers. Shredded bark: Commonly used, inexpensive, and breaks down slowly. May take up nitrogen from your soil as it decomposes so you may need to add fertilizer. Determine this by doing a soil test. Decaying leaves:  Does a great job at smothering weeds. Maple leaves, which are soft, are not a good choice, as they can mat very easily. Oak leaves are acidic, which means they may lower the pH levels in your garden. You should apply a couple of inches of mulch in your flower garden. When you are finished, pull the mulch away from the base of each plant, as you do not want to smother them. Contact a landscape contractor who can help you choose the best way to keep your flowers...

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Cheerful Window Treatments For The Living Room

Posted by on 10:28 am in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Cheerful Window Treatments For The Living Room

Some living rooms are formal spaces, but others serve as family gathering places. For such casual living rooms, the traditional layers of curtains may not feel right. Instead, consider infusing your living room with cheer by adding colorful or creative window treatments. Bay Windows A bay window bump out is a common feature in living rooms. However, that does leave you with some unusual geography to drape. According to Better Homes and Gardens, one attractive option is having a single rod custom-made so it angles inside your bay bump out. Hang a bright curtain panel on the rod in front of each separate window, creating a cohesive look that still allows you to control the incoming light. Window Bank Even if you don’t have a bay bump out, you may still have a bank of multiple windows. For this setup, consider neutral-colored plantation blinds topped by colorful valances. The plantation blinds provide a useful window treatment that won’t take over the décor profile of your entire living room. Yet the valances draped above add that cheerful pop of color. Sliding Glass Door If your living room has an exit to a patio or deck, you probably need special window treatments for a sliding glass door. In this case, Roman shades are a colorful option. They come in a wide variety of colors and patterns that can match any décor. Choose a pretty pattern, and consider adding contrasting trim for added visual interest. Picture Window A picture window is often the highlight of your living room. You may be tempted to leave it bare and let the view take center stage, but that’s rarely the most cohesive option in window treatments. Instead, treat the window like the grand portal that it is by framing it in jewel tones. Look for solid curtain panels in emerald, sapphire or other jewel tones to showcase the pretty scene outside. Creative Curtain Rod Even if you don’t have any specialty windows in your living room, consider drawing attention to the space by adding a whimsical curtain rod. For example, Better Homes and Gardens describes using a smooth tree branch as a curtain rod. Spray paint the branch a color that matches your décor, and select tie-top curtains to allow for the branch’s curves. Further the theme with curtain panels featuring a botanical motif. Layered Treatment Perhaps you’d like to give a nod to the traditional living room treatment without setting up heavy layers. So, lighten up the layers. Replace blackout curtain panels with airy ones made of gauzy material. In place of the heavy drapes, hang a swag above the window. Go bold with a lime green or turquoise blue. Add to the look with decorative tiebacks at the top corners. Get creative with your window treatments to add cheer to your family’s living room. For more options, visit Cover Up...

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