Discovering Stained Glass Tools, Materials and Techniques

3 Tips To Improve Your Garden’s Soil Quality

Posted by on 11:58 am in Uncategorized | Comments Off on 3 Tips To Improve Your Garden’s Soil Quality

Quality soil can make the difference between having and not having a successful garden. If your soil’s quality is bad, the plants in the garden do not receive the nutrients that they need to survive. To improve the soil, there are several things you can do.  Use Charcoal Powder Activated charcoal powder can be beneficial to your garden’s soil. One of the main benefits is that it can help to reduce the pesticides that naturally occur in your soil. It also helps to remove other pollutants that impact the quality of the soil.   In addition to this, the charcoal acts as a conditioner of sorts. When applied to the top of your garden, it functions much in the same way as lime. It helps to increase the nitrogen fixation of your plants.   To use the powder, you need to till the ground and spread the charcoal when the dirt is dry. The charcoal needs to be deep enough in the ground to be effective. Once the charcoal is applied, you can water and fertilize the garden as you normally do.   Start a Compost Pile Composting can help to improve your garden in a number of ways, including providing nutrients that it needs. As the compost breaks down, nutrients are released into the soil. The slow-release of the nutrients can bolster your soil and help with water retention.  There are several methods of composting you can use, including sheet composting. With sheet composting, you can apply layers of grass clippings and dry leaves to the garden. You do not have to worry about building a layer or a bin to hold the compost since it is applied directly to the garden.  Layer Mulch on the Garden Mulch is used by many gardeners, but sometimes it is not applied in the amount needed to improve soil quality. Mulch works by protecting the organisms and nutrients that are in the soil. It essentially covers it from the elements so that nutrients can penetrate the roots of the plants.   When laying mulch, you need to do so in a thick layer. The thick layer provides additional covering and helps to keep weeds from growing in your garden.  There are many other ways that you can give your soil a boost. Work with your landscaper or visit your local or online plant supply store, such as Buy activated charcoal, to get tips on what you can do to improve your soil’s...

read more

Update Your Patio with Modern Style

Posted by on 10:27 am in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Update Your Patio with Modern Style

Modern style can be a very attractive look for your patio. First, the clean, geometric lines speak to a sophisticated minimalism. What’s more, modern decor complements a contemporary home. Such a style can also feel as soothing as it is simple. If it’s time for a patio remodel, consider making it over with these contemporary design ideas. Choose a Subtle Palette For the interior of your home, it’s possible to go bold with black and white or pop art colors. For the patio, it makes more sense to choose a subtle palette. One option is a monochromatic color scheme. You could utilize shades of the same hue all through your patio. Another option is to keep the palette naturalistic, such as shades of taupe, sand, and eggshell. You should bring the color palette through in the decor and even the flooring. Overlay the Flooring Speaking of flooring, one way to make a big difference with your patio remodel is with updated flooring. If you have a concrete floor, consider having it overlaid. According to the Concrete Network, contemporary concrete overlays are a mix of polymer resins, cement, and sand with acrylic for color. You can choose a subtly-colored overlay or add a metallic sheen to your floor. Install Cable Railings The next area of attention is your patio railing. Stainless steel cable railings are a good addition for your modern-style patio. For one, metal is a prime material for modern decor. Secondly, cable rail seems to disappear into the vista, thus allowing the view to take center stage. You have different options for the posts and handrails. You could keep the look all-metal. Alternatively, wood or composite also blends well with stainless steel cable railings. Add a Fire Box A boxy fire pit will give your patio heat in fashion. Contractors construct such a fire pit out of concrete. You can have it dyed to match your color palette or have it left natural. Consider installing a gas line to fuel the fire pit. For the well, you can even add sculptural metal or glass adornment. Plant Architectural Landscaping Speaking of sculptural accenting, modern decor doesn’t mean omitting landscaping. Instead, choose plants with architectural appeal. Cacti and succulents are a natural. However, if you like flowers, consider lupine, sea holly, delphinium, and allium. Other plants with architectural style include giant elephant’s ear, reed, and bamboo. Consider having the contractors add boxy planters that match your fire pit to house your plantings. Utilize the chic geometry and clean lines of modern decor to make over your...

read more

How To Refinish Kitchen Cabinets

Posted by on 11:32 am in Uncategorized | Comments Off on How To Refinish Kitchen Cabinets

You will be surprised how refinishing your kitchen cabinets can change the feel of the entire room. Just by changing the stain tint, you can make your cabinets look newer and match better. If you restain while also repainting the walls or updating the flooring, your room will look brand new. The job is actually fairly simple if you want to do it yourself to save some money. This article explains how to restain kitchen cabinets. Remove the Doors and Drawers First, you want to remove all of the doors and drawers. The drawers slide right out when you hit the release latch on the slider. It should not be hard to find. Some modern door hinges also have a simple release latch. However, you want to take the hinge off of the faceframe of the cabinet. So, keep the hinges attached to the door and just remove the screws that secure the hinge to the cabinet faceframe. Sanding You will want to sand the doors and drawers in a remote location. You can set up a work station on a table or large drop cloth. This way you can control the mess and streamline the sanding and staining. This part of the job is time consuming because you need to remove all of the existing stain. A vibrating power sander will make this much easier. However, you will also need a sponge sander that allows you to reach the nooks and crevices of the mitered door panels. You will also need to mask off the kitchen around the cabinets. Sand as much of the door as you can with the power sander. Then, use the sponge sander to hit the spots you couldn’t reach. Use a fine grit sandpaper because you don’t want to scratch the hardwood. Once all of the stain is removed from the wood, you should use an extra fine grit sandpaper to further smooth out the wood and create a surface that is ready to be stained. Staining Applying the actual stain will seem easy after all the time you spent masking off and sanding. For the best results, you should use a lint free rag to dip directly into the stain can, and then rub it onto the wood. Rub it on with a damp rag, and the wipe it down with a dry rag. This will create a consistent and smooth finish. When the stain is dry, you can reattach the hinges and put your doors and drawers back in your cabinets. Your kitchen will suddenly look much...

read more

Getting A Generator? Make Sure You Know About Carbon Monoxide Poisoning

Posted by on 10:24 am in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Getting A Generator? Make Sure You Know About Carbon Monoxide Poisoning

Having an emergency generator can certainly come in handy when the power goes out. But, generators do come with certain risks. One of those is carbon monoxide poisoning. This gas is generated whenever fuels, including propane, natural gas, and gasoline, are burned. If you’re not careful, your generator may exhaust carbon monoxide, or CO, into your home. Here’s a look at how to keep this from happening. How do you prevent your generator from leaking CO into your home? Never put the generator in your home, in an attached garage, or on an enclosed porch. Place it outside and at least five feet from any windows, vents, or doors so that the fumes are less likely to blow into your home. If you have the space, push the generator even further back for more protection. Note that most homes have soffit vents under roofing overhangs, so putting your generator against the home under an overhang is not a good idea. Figure out which way the prevailing winds blow before placing your generator. You want to place it on the side of your home that results in the wind blowing the fumes further from your home, not towards it. If you can, have a professional install your generator so you can be confident it is placed safely. What other precautions should you take against CO poisoning? Make sure you have a CO detector in your home on each floor. If CO does enter your home, the detector should beep and alert you. If this ever happens, get everyone out of the house and turn the generator off. Don’t return to the home until the power is restored and the place has had a chance to air out. Test the air by resetting the detector to see if it still rings. What are signs of carbon monoxide poisoning? Even when you take all of the precautions above, accidents can happen. If anyone in your family complains of these symptoms while the generator is running, they should seek medical attention and you should get out of the house: Nausea Headaches Confusion Feelings of mental fog Memory problems Struggling to wake up Lethargy Most people recover just fine from carbon monoxide poisoning if it is caught and they are moved somewhere with fresh air. However, the gas can be deadly if it is breathed in over a long period of time or if you inhale it throughout the night while you’re sleeping. Be as cautious as possible when installing and using your...

read more

Help Your Air Conditioner Run More Efficiently

Posted by on 9:53 am in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Help Your Air Conditioner Run More Efficiently

If your air conditioner isn’t running efficiently, then not only could you be experiencing poor performance from your unit, but you could also be paying more for your electricity bill each month. Instead of continuing to run your air conditioner in this condition, be sure that you improve its performance by taking advantage of the following: Maintain the Condenser Unit: Your condenser unit is a critical part when it comes to the performance of your air conditioner, which is why routine maintenance is a must. When servicing your condenser unit, you will want to clean off the fins since the fins can easily become clogged by outside debris and dust. If the fins are clogged, then the condenser won’t be able to work as well when it comes to pulling in air to convert into cold air. Because of the lack of air intake, the performance of your AC can be compromised, which is why cleaning your unit often is a great way to improve the efficiency of your system. You can do this by spraying down the unit with a garden hose or by using a soft sponge brush to brush against the fins. Replace Dusty and Dirty Filters: Filters that have a layer of dust and debris on them won’t only impact and potentially harm the air that is delivered to your home, but they can compromise the airflow that your air conditioner delivers. If you are noticing a lack of air coming through the vents, then consider inspecting and replacing your filters as they could be the cause of air failing to enter your  home. Inspect and Repair Duct Leaks: Air leaks can be the main source of your air conditioner performing poorly. This is why inspecting for leaks is critical. Leaks in your air conditioner’s duct could compromise the performance of your air conditioner by as much as 30%, and this could easily be costing you extra on your electricity bill. So, check for air leaks and repair them by simply applying mastic tape to the exposed leak. Using these tips is a great approach when it comes to improving the efficiency of your air conditioner system. Not only will it help revamp the performance of your unit but it can end up saving you money each month that you utilize your air conditioner, which is a major benefit. So, before you continue to run your air conditioner in its current conditioner, be sure to take advantage of these three...

read more

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

Posted by on 6:20 am in Uncategorized | Comments Off on It’s Automatic: 3 Steps to Keep Your Automatic Gate Operating Properly

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 ΒΌ 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...

read more

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...

read more

Protecting Precast Stone From Becoming Stained

Posted by on 12:14 pm in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Protecting Precast Stone From Becoming Stained

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...

read more

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...

read more

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...

read more