Improvement For All

Month: February 2022

3 Negative Effects Weeds Can Have on Your Lawn

Even though your lawn may host a variety of plant life, the emergence of weeds is usually a problem. They clash against your landscape design and can multiply faster than you can pull them. Beyond these annoyances, they can actually bring greater harm to you and your lawn than you would expect. Deal with weeds fast to avoid the following problems. 

1. Nutrient Competition 

Weeds are invaders that do not fit in your ecosystem and contribute nothing to it. Still, they consume air, sunlight, water and other nutrients that the rest of your lawn needs to grow and thrive. As a result, the native plants in your space can shrink, dry and even die prematurely. They can also lose their defenses against other dangerous factors such as plant disease, drought and insect infestations. Some weeds can even attach to other plants as parasites. 

2. Lack of Space

Another problem with weeds is that they can take up too much space. Whether you have a complex landscape or a simple lawn, you likely designed it so it could support certain flowers, crops or other plants. Weeds impact this curated environment by taking up space, which weakens existing plants and displaces potential new plants. They can also multiply fast and consume more space if not handled carefully. Professional weed control services Oklahoma City OK ensure these pests are eliminated without further spread. 

3. Health Hazards 

If you or anyone at home suffers from pollen allergies, you should be especially careful about weeds. Some of these plants, including ragweed, English plantain and sagebrush, can produce pollens that trigger allergies, asthma and other related conditions. Meanwhile, other weeds such as poison hemlock, creeping buttercup and monkshood contain toxic chemicals that can cause skin irritation to humans and even pets. Proper weed maintenance can prevent these issues. 

Weeds not only disrupt the landscape you created, but have plenty of other harmful effects. Search for weeds and treat them quick before they spread and become difficult to remove.  

6 Ways You Can Reduce Your Utility Payments

Your utility statement comes in every month, possibly adding hundreds of dollars to your monthly budget. You may wince at the number, wishing you could spend that amount on other upgrades. By making a few tweaks now, you could save big down the road. Consider making the following five modifications to pay less each month.

1. Upgrade Appliances

Older appliances tend to use more electricity and water, adding up your total quickly. When one begins to die, consider replacing it with an energy-efficient model. Each new unit could save you a lot in the long run.

2. Seal Windows and Doors

The HVAC unit runs more when your home isn’t properly sealed and insulated. You want to close it off to keep excess air from escaping and coming in, altering the temperatures. Seal off windows and doors to minimize cracks. In addition, work with attic insulation service Elgin IL to reduce loss from there.

3. Use a Programmable Thermostat

Control your air more with a programmable thermostat. This device allows you to change the temperature throughout the day or with a change in weather. Don’t run it as much when you’re not at home, and put it back on when you’re ready to walk through the door.

4. Swap Out Lightbulbs

LED lightbulbs use less electricity. Change out your others. It’s a bit pricey upfront, but they last for years.

5. Use Your Dishwasher

If you’re washing by hand, stop. You’re consuming too much water. The dishwasher is programmed to use a specific amount each day, conserving utilities.

6. Make Use of Power Strips

Your appliances use energy just from being plugged into the wall. Put them into a power strip and turn that off when they aren’t needed. They won’t’ pull as much electricity.

Yes, you could pay less in utility by making a few essential changes. Monitor your thermostat. Seal off openings and consider investing in energy-saving devices.

Taking a Look at Architectural and Engineering Services During Construction

Architecture and engineering are generally considered to be design services. Licensed, experienced professionals employ best practices and compliance with governing codes to create a set of plans that a contractor will use to build a facility. One might think that a designer’s job is finished after the plans are complete and construction has started. The reality is that architects and engineers are needed until the project is built.

Answering Questions

Even though a contractor has a complete set of plans and specs to build the project, questions may arise during construction. This could be due to something unclear in the details or a material that was specified during design is no longer available. Architects and engineers need to be on-hand to answer the contractor’s request for information. Responding to RFIs is crucial for keeping the project progressing.

Reviewing Submittals

When a construction company is contracted to build a job, that organization has agreed to build it in accordance with the specifications. Often these specs will indicate certain criteria for building materials while allowing the contractor to choose a supplier or vendor. The contractor must then make submittals to an architect or engineer for review and approval. Some examples of submittals include concrete mix designs, paint samples, shop drawings and details from a steel construction guide Rock NE provider.

Making Changes

Differing site conditions, owner-requested changes and contractor-requested changes will require input from an architect or engineer to provide an updated design or approve a solution from the contractor. It’s important that field changes fulfill the original intent of the plans. The designer is best suited to offer guidance and re-issue new drawings.

Architects and engineers aren’t just responsible for creating blueprints or drawings. They’re also needed to provide knowledge as the project is being built. These designers help answer questions, review submittals and approve field changes to the original plans.

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