Nick Mayers

My Home Improvement And Decoration Blog

Remodelling Your Backyard

In order to enjoy your stay at home, you should ensure you have arranged the backyard well. This is necessary because any time you will feel bored of staying indoors, you will always go out and enjoy yourself with your family members. Apart from carrying out landscaping services which will make your yard stay attractive, there are also other outdoor additions that you can have which will make it enjoyable while staying outside your home. You can do it yourself when trying to carry out the landscaping services or just hire a professional landscaper who will do for you the job in a professional way. Here are outdoors additions that you can have in your outdoor for you to stay in your home and enjoy great time with your family members:

remodelling backyard

1. Install a Barbecue Stall

In case you have limited space in your outdoors, you should not be stressed on how you will be able to create space where you will sit and enjoy time with your family members. Just erect a barbecue. Sometimes you may receive a lot of friends whom you will like to have a party in your yard. It will be a great fun in case you decide to host them in a barbecue stall where you will roast meat and have fun. The barbecue stall will also form an interesting part of your home because each summer you will spend time in it for you to see the sun set.

2. Building an Outdoor Room

You can decide to build a wooden gazebo where you can spend some time with your family members while eating outdoors. This will make you have fun while eating supper. It will easily allow you avoid the monotony of eating from the same place each day. In order to make the outdoor room stay beautiful, you can decide to plant beautiful flowers round the outdoor building.

3. Garage

In order to ensure your car is safe and protected against any harmful effects of weather, you should build a garage. As a way of making your yard stay organized, you should store all items that you do not use in the garage. There are different designs of garages available, in order to ensure the garage that you are about to build is able to store your equipment well, you should go for a garage that is big enough to accommodate all the items. The gates of your garage should be strong for you to avoid cases where your items may be stolen. Due to advancement in technology, you can have garage gates that are very durable and secure, even if it will cost you a lot of money, it is better for you to have a strong garage door that will ensure you achieve great safety of your items. Alternatively, for the purpose of storage you can purchase a shipping container, or simply rent one.

remodelling backyard1

4. Mini water oasis

In order to make your outdoor stay attractive, you should make a point of building a water oasis. It will make your garden stand out. Your family members will like to be seated around the oasis where they will chat and pass time. For beatification purposes, you can decide to plant beautiful flowers around the water oasis.

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Winter Is Coming – Set Your Home for It

The arrival of every new season should be hailed by making all the necessary preparations to set your home into the ready mode for every new forthcoming season. Since now we are waiting for winter (in the northern hemisphere), every home owner should do a couple of easy repairs to get ready for this season. Most of these actions are inexpensive and can be done with a use of duct tape and maybe a few more items.

Let it flow down the house

gutter_cleaning_mnSince fall usually leaves the gutter full of various pieces of wood, brick, concrete, mud etc, cleaning the gutters before the arrival of winter, snow and cold weather is something that will have many positive effects. First of all, when the snow starts melting down, it will just flow down the gutters, into the ground. Lack of space for flowing away can cause the water originating from snow find its own way, which can lead to leakage in the ceiling or damage on the wooden under-roof items. Secondly, clogged gutters before snow mean that in case of very low temperatures and excessive amounts of snow and strong winds, your gutter will become a potentially dangerous thing. With such a large mass stuck inside it, it can be taken down by a storm and crash onto something else in its surroundings. If you discover that your gutters are in need of repair, contact a reputable contractor like Allstate Roofing.

Shut off the water in the basement

Most of us have a water supply system in the basement, as well. However, as winter comes, basements become incredibly cold, which then affects the pipes in this part of home. Nobody wants a pipe burst when the temperature falls below zero degrees (Celsius; 32 F), so make sure that all the basement-only pipes are shut off. Apart from the basement set of water pipes, close all the outside water inlets, as well. Not only that pipes bursting in the middle of winter are hard to repair, since it is cold outside and you need to be skillful at plumbing and possess all the necessary tools, but they are also a financial pain in the neck. If you cannot do it yourself, you have to call a plumber and the whole thing becomes a real nuisance. To prevent all that, just shut the water off.

Heating system to be tested

No matter whether you live in a house or in an apartment building, you have to test your radiators or stoves already in September or at the beginning of October. For those getting heating from a town central heating system, it is vital that everything is checked before the authorities start with their checks. If you have slightest doubt that there is something wrong with the valves or radiators, call the professionals from your central heating service to test your heating devices.

If you use wood to make your home warm in winter, always call a chimney sweeper somewhere in the middle of fall to clean the chimney and make your wood-using heating system safe and sound.

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Small Home Wood Repairs that Make a Difference

Every home needs occasional repairs. Due to the economic crisis that has been here since 2008, only really rich people decide to make larger home investments. Members of the working class and the middle class try to save as much money as possible to have at least some kind of a private fund in case of another economic tsunami. However, that is not a reason to skip home improvements, especially the ones that do not demand too much money, but which contribute to a fresher look of the home. Today we are going to try to give you some affordable ideas on home repairs.

Regular wall repainting

walpaint

While many other repairs and redecorations can wait, walls are a serious hygienic issue. If you cannot afford painting them every year, it has to be done at least once in two years. Also, some rooms in your home will have dirtier walls than some others. The two rooms that demand more regular repainting are the kitchen and the bathroom. The kitchen is the place where you prepare meals and both the ceiling and the walls are exposed to vapor and the walls are especially prone to all sorts of food stains. When you want to repaint the walls, make sure that all the furniture is either removed or protected with nylon and plastic covers. You do not need additional expenses of furniture cleaning.

Varnish the doors and windows

woodpaint

Wood requires constant care. Doors and windows fit this image and requirements. So, in order to make the doors and windows last longer and have better heat insulation and a higher esthetic value, you should also (re)varnish them at least once in two years, too. The only investments here are the brush, the sand paper and varnish. Also, when varnishing the windows, always check the condition of the blinds, especially if they are wooden. Varnishing the blinds once in a while will protect the wood and also save you from additional investments in these items for a longer period of time.

Trees need treatments

Apart from the wooden items in and on your home, the world of wood also has its outdoor representatives – trees; or, rather, the indoor wooden items originate from the outdoor trees. Trees are usually situated in front of your house, as an add-on to your home’s curb appeal, or, on the other hand, in the backyard, as a sort of decorative plants that also help keep the air around the house and inside it fresher, especially in hot summer nights. When planting trees around your house, always avoid trees that have deep roots.

On the other hand, when removing trees from your garden(s), if you do not have experience with taking them down, always ask for professional assistance. No matter whether you are in need for tree lopping in Sydney or your Paris-based garden needs more space, cutting down trees on your own can be extremely dangerous. Pros will know how to handle it. It might be the priciest of these three ideas, but safety has not price.

No matter how dark your financial perspective might seem, remember that trees and wooden items need regular care. If they have it, they will cost less on longer tracks and you will get more comfort out of them.

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Tips For Ergonomic Computer Workstations

Improper desk set up which strains your back & wrists, may lead to repetitive stress-injuries, poor posture, headaches and neck pain. An ergonomic workstation will allow you to be more comfortable when working for prolonged hours at your home or office computer. As a matter of fact, proper desk set up will increase your productivity since you’ll feel less stiff & achy, thus allowing you to easily focus on the tasks at hand. Keeping your workstation-ergonomically correct will prevent tension build up in the body, maintain alertness & prevent chronic injuries. All the things you need to use should be quite easy to reach so as to help you maintain a good and comfortable posture whilst conducting your day to day work. Some simple adjustments to the workstation will greatly enhance your work experience.

ergonomics computerComputer Monitor, Keyboard and Mouse
Desktop computers are the best choice-for an ergonomic workstation since the monitor & keyboard are separate & can be easily adjusted to give you a comfortable working position. In case you use a notebook or a laptop, an external keyboard or monitor will help create a proper ergonomic setup. Your monitor needs to be centered right in front-of you and you should be an arm’s length away-from it when seated comfortably in your working chair. The monitor’s top should be at your eye’s level. You shouldn’t have to tilt your-head so as to comfortably view the screen. You should also have adequate room or space for your mouse and keyboard so as to add comfort. Your keyboard needs to be centered to your-body around the alpha numerical keys, instead of including the numerical-pad, which is generally less frequently used. Your mouse should be-at a comfortable short distance; typically to the right-of the keyboard & 1 to 2 inches above your keyboard. This will help avoid overreaching & will keep your wrist straight whenever you are using the mouse.

Furniture
An adjustable chair that has lumbar-support will help reduce the back strain & discomfort. If the desk is big, a chair with wheels can be quite helpful as it’ll allow you to easily move in front-of your desk & access all the things you need without exerting pressure/strain on your back or even forcing you to stand up. Your chair should have armrests so as to reduce strain-on the arms especially when you are not typing, & be reclined to a 100 to 110 degrees, since this is a much more relaxed posture. Your chair is basically at the right-height when your eyes-are in line with your computer monitor’s top, your feet are both resting on the surface of the floor, and you don’t need to bend wrists so as to reach your mouse or keyboard.

Ergonomic furnitureFrequently Used Items
The frequently used items need to be kept close. Keep staplers on your desk or in your top drawer along-with notepads, pens and phone logs. Your phone should be no-more than an arm’s length away. If you’re frequently on the phone, it’s best you invest in a hands free headset. This will allow you to easily work on your computer using both hands or even take notes without cradling your phone under your chin.

Proper computer workstations are basically designed to enhance comfort and benefit the user, rather than the user having to conform to the workstation. An ergonomic workstation offers the user many physical, mental and productivity benefits.

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What You Need To Know About Using Container Shelters

It’s very well known that when you need a container shelter for general storage, for machinery servicing or maybe for site work, you actually need a very solid structure that you can fully rely on. Not only that, but everyone has different needs and expectations when it comes to how their container shelter should look, the materials it’s made of, its height and so forth.

Therefore, if you’d like to have one or more container shelters built, then you should know that you’ll first of all need to speak to a reliable company that offers such services in order to see what your options are. In general, a shipping container subframe is going to provide you with plenty of space that you can use in many ways, including storing dangerous goods. And if you want to relocate it, then you don’t need to worry about that, since such shelters are built with relocation in mind without causing too much disruption.

Main pros of using a container shelter

1. Solid build quality.
2. Very simple to install and fast to relocate.
3. Comprehensive engineer certification.
4. Available in a wide range of height and spans (from as little as six meters up to thirty five meters)

container shelter
Features

Each company has their own process and materials they use for making a container shelter, but most of the times they’re going to be made out of high strength woven polyethylene fabric. Not only that, but since they are generally exposed to sunlight, these shelters are made with UV ray protection in mind and are wind rated for your region. Containers are also specially treated against rust and many of them feature non-corrosive steel.

Environmental

A container shelter is 100 percent environmentally adaptable and since the material is semi-translucent, you don’t need to worry about using electrical lighting solutions during the day, therefore saving a lot of money on power. On the other hand, if you need extra coolness and shade, there are semi-blockout and full block-out fabrics available.

Safety

Safety is very important when it comes to getting a container shelter and one of the things you’ll love about it is the fact that it can easily and effectively dampen sound waves. As previously mentioned, the fabrics are UV stabilized so they can easily reflect the sun’s damaging rays. In terms of wind rating, they are rated for maximum 300km/h with the cover still attached.

Ideal for workshop applications

If you plan on getting a container shelter to open a new workshop, then you’ll be very happy to know that they are an ideal solution for those who want to use them this way. You can also fit yours with doors and windows in order to enhance the covered space.

All in all, a container shelter is a great choice if you want to use it for storage space or for workshop applications and what makes it so amazing is that it provides a one hundred percent clearspan interior that is free of braces and wires. As a result, you get a massive height clearance that you’ll fully appreciate once you start using the shelter.

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Little Upgrades That Will Boost Your Real Estate Value

Your house is one of your biggest assets. When you want to sell it, you obviously want to do it at the best price. There are little upgrades that you can use that will help to increase your real estate value. Increasing the value of your home can be very helpful especially if the value of houses around your area has recently dropped for one reason or the other. Here are some things that you can do to improve the value of your home;

1. Clean the home and get rid of all clutter

This is one of the inexpensive things that you can do to increase your real estate value. Do basic cleaning to remove dust grease and other unappealing stuff that are in the home. Cleaning will help a lot to make the homes more appealing. Get rid of all clutter by removing junky and unnecessary items. If you have things that you don’t want to part with, keep them away in the store until you sell the house. Getting rid of clutter will not only make the house look neat but will also help to make it look more spacious. It is always better to show a potential buyer a house that is empty than showing a house that is cluttered. Get rid of all unpleasant odors. Bad odors can discourage a potential buyer from buying the house at the set price.

fresh coat of paint

2. Add a fresh coat of paint

If you have not painted the house for a long time, or if the walls do not look as good as the walls of a new house, you should consider applying fresh pain. This will help to make the house seem new and appealing. When you have a freshly painted house, you can easily convince a buyer to pay more. This is something that you can do yourself. If you don’t how to paint well or you don’t have time, you can seek the services of professionals who can paint on your behalf. Do not forget about the house’s exterior because it is the first thing that people see when they come to see the house. A good looking exterior gives a good first impression.

3. Replace everything that is broken

If you have been staying in the house that you want to sell for some time, there may be some things that are broken. This includes things such as switches, electrical wiring systems, door handles, etc. Replace them with new modern pieces. Although this will cost you some money, they will really increase your real estate value. The amount of money that you are going to spend to replace these little things is nothing compared to the value they are going to add to the house. You can also install new systems such as digital surveillance systems to boost your real estate value.

These are the little upgrades that you can use to boost the value of your house before you put it on sale. Do not sell your house at a price that is a cent lower than the maximum price you can set. Ensure that you get the most out of it.

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Tips For Choosing Your Ideal Hot Tub

If you’ve decided to purchase your own hot tub (and if you are doing…choose a Vita Spa model…you won’t regret it!), you need to be certain of picking the best model for your requirements, so here are some useful tips to make sure you get the very best.

Obviously your budget is a large consideration and will determine the size and specification of hot tub you end up choosing. However, don’t just automatically opt for the cheapest model thinking it will do. Consider models slightly higher in price as well as you may be pleasantly surprised to find how much more space you can get for very little more money.

Think about who will be using the tub. Will it just be yourself and partner or do you have a large family who will never be away once you have had it installed? For convenience, it’s going to be best to buy the biggest model you can afford if that is the case.

Where do you plan on locating your new hot tub? If it’s going to be positioned in your garden then how much space do you have? If space is not a problem then you could really enhance the appearance of the surroundings by installing decking at the same time or even paving if you prefer. Add some large shrubs in pots and you can really transform an area fairly easily.

How about placing your new tub in its own garden building if funds allow? That way you will have all year round access in comfort rather than having to brave the elements in the colder months.

What do you want to get from your new hot tub? Will it just be an aid to relaxation, will you use it to help relieve the symptoms of arthritis or as a way of treating insomnia? Do you want to exercise in it? If so you may want to consider a swim spa instead. You’ll get all the usual benefits but with far more space to exercise in as well.

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5 Cool Small Kitchen Remodeling Tips

Most often we find ideas for remodeling of large kitchens in books or house magazines. It’s quite rare to come across some article telling us how to remodel a small kitchen. Well, we have quite a lot of freedom while working on kitchens with larger space, but that doesn’t mean there is not much that one can do in case of kitchens with smaller area.

There are quite a few things that need consideration while undertaking remodeling of a small kitchen. I’ve seen a lot of great ideas, pictures and tips on http://dodeko.de/ so I wanted to make a post and expand on this idea. Here are some tips that you’ll helpful when decide to rearrange or renovate a small-sized kitchen.

1. Use common layouts for small kitchen spaces

Even if the kitchen has more length and short width or is in square shape, you can still undertake its renovation or remodeling and give it a better look, while making best use of the available space.

You have to opt for one of these layouts: U-shaped or L-shaped, one wall, or galley/corridor. Though the trend these days is to have a kitchen island, it doesn’t work when the kitchen is small and you’ll end up crowding your kitchen and make it look still smaller.

2. Check out your big appliances

It’s typical of many households to buy bigger appliances, ignoring the fact that they occupy a larger area too and thus leave insufficient space for other items that have more functional utility. You should avoid falling in that trap and look for smaller devices that remain more functional without eating into the small space that you might have.

3. Identify your priorities

You should be able to differentiate between what is really needed and what you wish to have. Quite often it so happens that one likes to include some nice looking items in the kitchen, even if they are of no functional value. When your options are limited, you need to decide your priorities.

4. Make use of old cabinetry

Remodeling of kitchen shouldn’t be a very expensive project if you consider reusing some of the items that are already there. For example, you could reuse old or unused cabinets for storage. Usually, they just need to be cleaned or at the most repainted to be put to good use as they begin to look like new cabinets.

5. Bigger and lighter

Flooring should comprise of larger tiles to make the space look bigger. Likewise, having tiles in lighter colors also helps to make a smaller kitchen look larger than it actual size. Lighter colors reflect back the falling light and thus create an impression of larger space.

An important benefit of remodeling small kitchen is that it’s an easy DIY project, which is not difficult to manage and remains manageable. Another important feature of such a project is that to a large extent it just means to sorting out things and getting rid of all that is not needed around the place.

It will be a good idea to trade your items that are in working order and look nice but are not suitable for small kitchen. If you keep in mind the above-mentioned tips while remodeling your small kitchen, you’ll surely end up with a small but more functional and better-looking kitchen.

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Learning More About Home Maintenance – Grout Sealers

You probably aren’t aware of how many different tasks you have to do to make your home running smoothly. Things may look simple when you take a look at the surface, but if you scratch it a bit…oh boy! There are many little details every homeowner needs to take care of to make his home clean and functioning.

I realized that there are more and more things we need to take into account when cleaning and maintaining our home simply because there are too many options now. When you want to buy a certain tool or appliance, you have to go through a lot of rubbish and a lot of faulty or expensive models to find the one that’s perfect for you. I recently had to buy a grout sealer for my bathroom tiles and discovered I needed more time to do the research than to do the actual sealing!

Yes, and this was because you can’t mix the chemicals – your grout cleaner has to be compatible with your grout sealer. So you got to read the labels. But since I didn’t want to go to Home Depot and read one label after another, I did a few searches online. I found several good guides on sealer options and discovered there are 3 different types of grout sealers: coatings, penetrating and color sealers. Each of these had their advantages and disadvantages and could work with specific cleaners only. Some could repel oil, others couldn’t. Some penetrated the surface, others did not. And so on.

I read the whole thing and figured out what I needed. Only then did I go to Home Depot and got the goods. I finished working with it in a couple of hours only and it was a piece of cake. I don’t know, maybe I am more a doer than a reader. Once I knew exactly what I need and what will make my bathroom tiles look good, I got down to business. I’ll tell you that bathroom flooring is the easiest surface to clean and maintain. It hardly gets any dust, while hardwood flooring has a lot of it, water won’t hurt the tiles and even if there is some dirt and grime, it is not as noticeable as it is with laminate or vinyl for example.

In the end, there’s a lot of things we, homeowners, need to know about to keep our home looking great and operating at optimum. It’s a tough job, but, it brings a lot of satisfaction!

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Renovating Norwich Bathrooms – A How To Guide

When you have lived many years in your house, it can get boring, leaving you feeling uninspired and unhappy. While renovating your house can be too much of a pull on the money strings, a perfect way to remedy the situation is to renovate your bathroom.

Nothing can improve your Norwich homes than a new bathroom. It’s something for you to focus on, and can make a great individual or family project. If you’re still wondering whether you should or shouldn’t renovate Norwich bathrooms, here are six reasons to help you decide.

Monetary value of your home rise

When prospective buyers of your home notice the fact that the house has been well maintained the value of your house is increased as they will be willing to pay a higher price for it. A well kept new bathroom is a major plus point when you’re looking to sell. This is an excellent way of making back all the money you invested in your property in the first place.

Safety features

While renovating your Norwich bathrooms, you can fix all the leaks and loose tiles, making it more secure and easy to be in. This way, you’re also checking your bathrooms for unwanted mould and other unhygienic things that you can get rid of at the same time.

Storage space

When your house is overcrowded and you are desperately in need of storage space, the bathroom inevitable becomes the one spot you can dump all the extras in. If you remodel your Norwich bathrooms while keeping this in mind, chances are you’ll be able to create more space for storing items too, typically killing two birds with one stone.

Relax in style

Perhaps the best reason to renovate your bathroom is for yourself. Nothing is more relaxing than taking a long shower or bath in a tub. And the best part about this is that when you redesign your bathroom, you put in exactly what you want in there, so you know exactly what pleases you. This makes a long shower or baths something to look forward to even more. What’s more, if you have kids, this is a great way to get them interested in a bath too. So your Norwich bathroom is not just a place for you to unwind after a long day, but advantageous to the rest of your family as well!

bathroom-renovation-

Give your home some freshness

Renovating one part of the house has a two-fold benefit. It isn’t as pricey as renovating the entire house and at the same time makes the whole house feel fresh and new anyway. This makes you happy, as well as prevents you from burning a large hole in your pocket.

Get your dream new bathroom

Another reason is that in this process your Norwich bathrooms will reflect the new bathroom of your dreams. It can be the one place where everything is exactly how you’ve always wanted it to be. After all, it’s the small things in life that matter!

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