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How To Upgrade a Boring Backyard

You don’t have to live with a boring backyard. Making even a few upgrades will transform the space into a place you want to hang out in with your family and friends. Here are a few ideas to get you started.

Light it Up

It’s amazing what adding landscape lighting Tyler TX does to give your yard a magical look after dark. Light up pathways or add spotlights to highlight trees, shrubs or a garden.

Install a Patio

A patio gives you your own spot to enjoy the outdoors. Add a grill, few comfortable chairs and a table or two and you create a go-to place for a family barbecue or a night of stargazing. String a few lights around the perimeter to give the space a warm glow when the sun goes down.

Build a Fire Pit

A cozy fire pit creates a great gathering place for chilly nights. You can easily build one out of bricks or stones. Place some chairs or benches around the area so your family can enjoy a round of s’mores or an evening of stargazing.

Add Some Shade

If your yard is sunny, add some shady spots to give you a chill place to hang out with a glass of lemonade. A slotted pergola blocks the heat but still allows filtered sunlight through. For full coverage, install a gazebo or plant a large tree.

Plant a Garden

Give your yard instant appeal by planting a garden full of flowering blooms. The scent alone will entice you to hang around for a bit. If cooking is your hobby, plant a vegetable garden to provide your treasured recipes with fresh organic produce picked from your own backyard.

Making one or more of these changes to your backyard will transform it from a boring space no one uses to the new favorite spot of your home. 

3 Ways To Make Your Pool the Hippest Place To Hang Out

As if yours wasn’t already the coolest house on the block, you can make your pool area an even greater place to gather with some simple tricks and tips. When it’s time to start the swimming season off right, pool opening service St Charles County MO can help. You can keep the party going with some easy and affordable additions.

1. Get Your Game On

Purchase a beachball or two for an awesome game of volleyball in the water. You can even find a net for more serious competition. Dive sticks offer a fun underwater adventure. See who can gather the most. If you want to dry off for a bit, have a frisbee or badminton set available nearby.

2. Float Away

Rafts are available in all sorts of whimsical shapes and sizes. Sun yourself on a floating version of a huge piece of pizza or go for a ride on a giant unicorn. These make for great photo ops, so go ahead and snap some shots to share with friends and family. Add some props to take it to the next level.

3. Catch a Movie

Use a projector to play a film. Find a new favorite or put on an old classic. You can use a screen or you can show it on the side of your house or a hanging sheet. Enjoy the evening’s feature while you swim under the stars or lay poolside. Remember to make some popcorn and get out a box of theater candy. Everyone will be sure to want an encore!

Your pool can be whatever type of space you want it to be, and that can change over time. Spend a morning by yourself watching the sunrise while you get in a few laps one day, and turn it into a family-friendly party place the next. You are only limited by your imagination.

5 Ways To Upgrade Your Yard

A beautiful outdoor space can enhance your enjoyment of your home and increase its curb appeal. There are many different directions you can go when upgrading your yard. Consider these five.

1. Resurface Your Pool Deck

Depending on how well you take care of it, your pool can either be an attractive focal point of your outdoor space, or an unsightly eyesore. Pool deck resurfacing Boca Raton can revitalize your chipped, cracked, peeling or run-down-looking pool deck. This will not only improve the appearance of your pool area but may also make it safer. 

2. Get Rid of Clutter

Is your yard full of bikes your kids no longer ride, rusted gardening tools, empty planters and other debris? Donate, throw out or sell anything that you aren’t using. Put everything else in an organized storage area, instead of leaving it lying around in your yard. If you don’t have the space for it, consider purchasing a garden shed or storing seasonal items in a rented storage unit. Sheds are available in a variety of modern designs that enhance both your storage space and the look of your yard.

3. Tend To Your Plants

Pull up any dead bushes and remove any dead trees. Trim overgrown shrubs. Get rid of weeds. Remove any dead leaves, limbs or branches. Once you have your existing foliage cleaned up, consider adding a vegetable garden or some flower beds to add color and interest to your landscape. 

4. Install a Path

Adding a backyard path can both make it easier to walk across your yard and provide an attractive dividing point for different areas of your yard. You can use gravel, stones or sand to make a path. Paths can be used to mark areas of your yard, such as the play area, garden or dining area. Consider adding plants to the borders of the path for visual interest.

5. Buy Some Outdoor Furniture

Outdoor furniture can increase both the aesthetic appeal and the comfort of your yard. If you think you are limited to plastic chairs or tacky patio sets, think again. Some outdoor furniture is nearly indistinguishable from indoor furniture. You can make your outdoor seating as lux or as basic as you want. 

Whatever your personal style is, you can find outdoor upgrades that will match it. Get the most out of your living space by creating a yard that you will love. 

Garden Terrace Design Tips

With everyone spending more time in their homes, every inch of space is being utilized. This is especially true with outdoor spaces. Having a place to get much needed fresh air is a hot commodity these days. You may have overlooked your terrace in the past. However, this is the time to turn that blank space into a retreat to enjoy. It may look cold and hard right now, but with some special touches, you can turn your terrace into your own private sanctuary. 

Structure

Cement floors and metal railings are not inviting. Although it is tempting to jump right into decorating your terrace with plants and furniture, first address the structure itself. Improving the base of your terrace will go a long way towards making it feel warm and luxurious. Consider updating the floor with a floating rooftop deck. These wooden panels sit on the surface of the floor, which allows you to maintain proper drainage. The warm color of wood floors, along with the visual interest of a geometric design, will vastly upgrade your space. If your terrace has a railing, consider switching to glass panels. This will really open up the space and make it feel larger.

Greenery

Raised flower beds are a great way to disguise ugly HVAC units or other equipment on the terrace. Just make sure they have proper drainage in the base. They can be built with wide edges for some added space to sit a coffee cup or cocktail. If your terrace doesn’t have a good view, then consider planting taller plants to create your own secret garden. Bamboo is a durable option that grows quickly. Another nice touch is to incorporate vines that climb the walls of your terrace. It will maximize the green space of the area. 

Lighting

You want to be able to enjoy your terrace as much as possible, so do not forget about the nighttime. Less is more when it comes to lighting your terrace. You want to be able to see, not feel under a spotlight. String lights are a popular option and are not expensive. For a custom look, consider floor lighting on steps or around the perimeter. If your terrace has any art or an eye-catching tree, then point a soft spotlight at it to give the space a focal point.

Garden terraces can change with the seasons, and evolve over time. Paying attention to these specific design elements will elevate your terrace to the most popular room in your home.

Tips for Making a Splash With Your Pool Party

Kids enjoy swimming as much as they enjoy parties. The two go naturally together. If you own a pool or you have access to one at a public facility available for rental, think about centering your child’s next birthday around it. Because of how active the children will be at this event and its water-based location, you do need to plan carefully to pull it off appropriately and safely. To meet those goals, dive into these pool-party suggestions.

Choose the Guests

Creating a birthday party guest list can be fraught with faux pas decisions under the best of circumstances. While inviting the whole class may make the task easier, you may not want such a large group around the pool; that decision will depend on the safety measures you implement. In any case, you may consider inviting parents along if your children are young, which will increase supervision possibilities. Otherwise, work with the birthday child to narrow the list.

Take Care of the Pool

Make certain the pool is prepared for the day. Have water testing Pittsburgh run samples to ensure it is clear of harmful microbes so that no one becomes sick by accidentally swallowing a mouthful. If you are renting space in a pool, check into the procedures the staff uses to clean and maintain it.

Hire Watchful Eyes

If you can, hire a certified and trained lifeguard; a public facility will already have one or more in place for your event. You may know of a teen in your neighborhood who has the skills, or you can ask at the local YMCA for contacts.

Get Your Gear

You can rent larger pool floats that will work to keep everyone engaged. You may also want to purchase extra small pool toys, such as soft balls and Frisbees to supplement any already on hand. Check with the rental facility to see what they can supply if you go that route. You should also have extra swimming and outdoor essentials for those who do not come prepared. These can include sunscreen, swimsuits, goggles and towels. Don’t forget to keep lots of water on hand; children can become dehydrated under the hot sun.

In addition to these extra swimming pool preparations, do not forget the traditional snacks, drinks and the birthday cake, of course. When you put everything together thoughtfully, a pool party does not have to be much work on the day itself; usually, the guests make their own fun and the event goes swimmingly.

9 Home Projects To Spruce Up Your House

Rather than buying or building a new house, why not update your current home? There are dozens of shows that are inspiring families to look at the potential of their residences. Don’t start swinging your sledgehammer until you have made a plan. The first step is to take inventory of the areas that need attention right away. Make a list of needs, wants and wishes — and then prioritize them. Consider the costs and establish a budget. Here are some ideas to get you started.

1. Freshen Your Paint Color

Get rid of outdated accent walls in your kitchen and bedroom. Use a neutral color of fresh paint and save the bright tones for your new rugs and throw pillows.

2. Replace Flooring

 Add some new tile, vinyl planks or wool carpets Lakewood CA for your home makeover. It is amazing how a new floor can add to the comfort and beauty of your residence. 

3. Add More Space

You can build a new room onto your existing structure or assess that unused area above your garage. It may the ideal place for a bonus room. 

4. Get New Appliances

Purchasing a new fridge, dishwasher, washer and dryer is like having a brand new house. Try it!

5. Change Your Mailbox

Most neighbors may never step inside your front door, but they see your mailbox every day. Paint it a bright color, add a brick column or plant some flowers at the base.

6. Review Your Master Closet

Extend your closet by using some of the areas next to your existing one. If making it larger isn’t possible, add some shelves and cubbies to help you stay more organized. And don’t be afraid to make more space by donating clothes and shoes you no longer wear.

7. Look Under Your Stairs

You can turn that wasted space into extra storage, a toddler’s playroom, a place for your dog to hang out or a new home office.

8. Kitchen Island Makeover

Replace the countertop and add some seating to create a breakfast bar. Change an attached peninsula that was popular in the ’80s to a real island that you can walk around. It will save you dozens of steps every day. 

9. Improve Energy Efficiency

Consider new energy-efficient doors, windows and HVAC systems. An easy upgrade is to switch out your old thermostat for one that can be programmed and controlled from your phone. 

You might choose one or two items to update your home, or you might decide to do several. After the dust and noise of remodeling subside, it will be worth it!

Tips for Creating Neighbor-Pleasing Yard Appeal

No one wants their home to be a blight on the neighborhood. If your front yard is worn and frayed, you may consider it your duty to spruce up these areas so that your neighbors remain happy and property values stay in line. Consider voluntarily undertaking these cost-effective front yard home improvements before a petition is circulated demanding you take action.

Form Beds or Maintain Existing Ones

Flour and shrubbery beds are one of the more distinctive landscaping enhancements you can undertake. If you have yet to carve out groomed borders, plan out at least a few sections to start. If you have some already in place, clean them up: weed fully, clear away debris edge the perimeters and trim overgrown plantings. Finally, order delivery of bulk mulch Cincinnati; the result will be a clean, professional look.

Choose the Right Plantings

Cleaning your beds is just the first step toward an upgraded landscape. After removing dead shrubs and cutting back those that are dying, add classy, colorful flowers and bushes to bare areas. Make certain that your selection is appropriate for your climate zone, and be diligent about amending and preparing the soil beforehand.

Refresh Your Lawn

Lawns get tired over time. Yet, a manicured lawn is necessary for a cohesive front-yard appearance. Unfortunately, decay is a self-perpetuating cycle. Bare spots attract weeds, which then overtake other areas of the thinning lawn; dirt becomes compacted, so water and nutrients have a hard time reaching the grass’ roots; and root-eating insect grubs feast readily, further weaken the whole plant. You may need to call in lawn experts at this point, to aerate the soil, enrich the earth and lay down new sod or spread seeds.

Take Care of Trees and Large Bushes

Lawn trees and shrubs should be shaped to look beautiful in both the winter when their branches are bare and in the summer when they are full of leaves. It is especially important to remove dead branches and twigs that diminish the natural form of the plantings. Tree and landscaping specialists can help you determine what growth needs to be trimmed and how to do so without harming the plant. They will also assess the trees for diseases and advise whether or not any should be removed.

Enhancing your yard is a neighborly undertaking. However, your neighbors will not be the only ones who would delight in this home improvement. By rejuvenating your front green area, you can be sure you too will enjoy the view every time you pull into your driveway at the end of the day.

Landscaping Water Features for Gorgeous Aquatic Décor

Some property owners are fortunate enough to have an abundance of water gracing their land. Others simply possess a deep and abiding love for all things related to the water, and they want to incorporate that magical feeling into their home life. If you fall into either category, you likely want to know how to make informed choices in landscaping water features. Luckily, there is no need to become an expert on things like installation, maintenance, and aeration. Your choice of water feature will likely be determined by the type of water (or amount of space) to which you have access, be it large and still, swiftly running, or virtually nonexistent.

1. Lakes and Ponds

These offer the greatest freedom in spatial design, but they can also require the most responsibility. If you’re not the type to shy away from tending to your very own aquatic ecosystem, you might consider a friendly koi pond and a bit of research into the importance of lake aeration. Perhaps you simply want a big, soothing pool to gaze into with nothing looking back at you, or maybe you’re not looking to take big design leaps. The calming sight of a simple spray fountain at the center of a lake or pond is not to be discounted. Many people could stare at those cascading droplets for hours on end.

2. Running Water

The sound of a flowing stream tends to be even more captivating, but it is often paired with visual artistry in aquatic decor. The classic standalone fountain has maintained its dignity for multiple centuries, but modern contenders are no slouches. For a more natural aesthetic, you’ll find a wide variety of options, including simplistic rocks with well-concealed internal springs, pondless waterfalls and stone bowl birdbaths. If you’d like to have more flair, you can browse an impressive array of mosaic waterwalls, ostentatious rain curtains, and various jets and gurglers that can even include LED lighting.

3. Little to No Natural Source

Do you live in an apartment but long for the peace that comes from the sound of a babbling brook? Does the arid climate of your home make outdoor water features untenable? No need to worry. The library of tiny and stunning water features is vast and possibly related to the popularity of cat drinking fountains. You will be able to find exactly what you seek when it comes to your miniature water feature, whether that is a geometric waterfall or a lilypad fountain. If you have the space indoors, you can even implement some of the larger features mentioned above.

Regardless of which water feature calls to you, be sure to do your homework. Water can be a testy mistress if handled carelessly, so it is important to consult an expert before committing. The bigger the project, the more informed you will want to be so you can ultimately enjoy that lovely, relaxing feeling only water can seem to provide.

Why You Need To Get Rid of Mice ASAP

Not everyone is frightened of mice. In fact, some people think they’re cute, so what harm is one mouse? If the image of an adorable, fluffy mouse has you looking the other way, you’re making a mistake. Here are four reasons to put on your grown-up pants and evict that mouse today.

One Mouse Is Never Just One

When you see one mouse, it seems like an easy catch. The problem is that one mouse is rarely the only one. Mice have several litters per year and that adds up. The only way to know for sure is to call a professional exterminator Staten Island for an expert analysis.

They Carry Diseases

It’s hard to believe a tiny mouse could carry such a big disease, but they do. One of the most worrisome is an illness called hantavirus. This sickness can be contracted by merely breathing in infected air that contains the virus and it could lead to serious pulmonary complications, so it’s crucial to address a mouse problem.

Your Allergies Could Get Worse

If you have allergies, they could be compounded by the presence of mice. Start looking around your home for signs of rodents when your allergies take a turn for the worse. Mouse droppings can exacerbate symptoms and even aggravate asthma. 

You’ll Never Relax

When you’ve got mice, you’ll never truly relax well. Mice are active at all times, but they love scurrying around at night. Since they’re excellent climbers, you’ll hear them in the walls and even what sounds like the ceiling. The scampering and scratching noises will keep you up at night and have you tired by morning.

Don’t Wait Any Longer

If you’ve seen proof of mice in your house, or you have a sneaking suspicion, don’t wait. As cute as they are, mice can cause health-related problems as well as a lot of extra cleaning. Call a professional today to help eliminate your mouse problem once and for all.

3 Signs of a Squirrel Infestation

Squirrels can be fun to watch as they play outside or scamper up and down trees looking for mates or food. However, they also search for places to live that are sheltered from danger and the elements. Sometimes that can lead them into a house, which causes problems for the homeowner.

1. Damage

They will generally live in the attic or chimney, so if there are piles of messed up insulation, they may contain nests. Other signs include chewed wires, wood beams or drywall. An entry point may be spotted that is a damaged area of the roof or a broken air vent. If there are signs of squirrels, contact a company that does environmentally-friendly pest removal Sacramento CA for help.

2. Odor

A bad smell may emanate from the area they have taken over as squirrels urinate and defecate. A buildup of waste can damage walls and ceilings, as well as create an unpleasant stench. Be careful about cleaning it up, as the droppings may contain diseases or harmful bacteria. Call a company to come out and rid the house of the animals and clean up the mess. Another odor source may be a squirrel that has died and is beginning to decay.

3. Noise

Often one of the most noticeable signs of an infestation is strange noises. A squirrel scampering around the attic makes a lot of noise as they scurry across wood beams or dig through insulation. If babies are born, they will make noises as they move around the nest. They love to chew on things, so listen for the sounds of wood beams or the ceiling itself being eaten.

One of the best ways to deal with squirrels is by keeping an eye on the attic and making sure the roof and air vents are in good repair. If they cannot get in, then there is no problem. If they do manage to enter, a professional should be called to handle it, as wild creatures can be dangerous and carry diseases.

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