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3 Tips For Planning Your First Landscape Design

Are you tired of your average looking front or backyard? If so, you might be thinking about planning out a professional landscape design. But before you begin, you should know there’s a reason why this kind of work is often handled by professionals: it’s not as easy as it might seem. But if you are intent on doing it yourself, here are a few tips that will help you get started.

Create a List and Map It Out

A common error landscape design rookies often make is just thinking they can make it up as they go along. But good landscape design starts with a plan. Sit down with your entire family and think about what everyone wants to see in the backyard or whatever area you are looking to spruce up. Will you be adding patio furniture or a pool? Write it down, then attempt to create a map of where everything will go. This will help you visualize the project before it begins and you’ll be able to quickly see if you are thinking too big or if there is room to grow.

Study the Sunlight and the Breeze

While your map might look great, you won’t know for sure if you can finalize your plans until you actually go outside. While out in the yard, pay close attention to where the sun is shining brightest and which direction the breeze is coming in from. If you have your patio furniture on the west side of the house, you should realize that this will be especially warm and bright during the afternoon, so perhaps you should either move the furniture or add some umbrellas for shade to your design. After you have a better feel for Mother Nature, you can then finalize your plans.

Fill It In One Project at a Time

After everything is mapped out and finalized, it’s time to begin. But good landscape design takes time. Pick one project and work on it until completion. Trying to do too much all at once will just leave you tired and frustrated if things aren’t going to plan. 

If after mapping out your first landscape design, you’ve come to the conclusion that it’s going to be too much work, there’s no shame in reaching out to a professional landscape design specialist for assistance. Bringing in a pro may help you generate new ideas and hiring a professional contractor for the project will help the entire thing come together much faster than going it alone. 

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Roof Cleaning: What The Average Homeowner Should Know

Roof cleaning is a roof maintenance service that should be done as needed. However, this is not something that most homeowners are familiar with. Getting answers to the questions you have about this topic will help you to better understand what it is, when it is needed, and what the benefits are. Here are a few of the frequently asked questions you may have about roof cleaning.

What Roof Cleaning Is

Roof cleaning involves cleaning a roof to remove dirt, dust, bird feces, bug and pest nests, algae, mildew, mold, and other debris that can land on your roof. There are various techniques used to clean a roof depending on what type of roof you have, the age and condition of your roof, and the type of residue and debris that is present on your roof. Soft washing with the appropriate cleaning solution is the recommended method for cleaning the majority of roofs.

The Cost of Roof Cleaning

The exact method to cleaning a roof varies based on many conditions. As such, the cost of the cleaning also varies. Roof cleaning generally ranges from $153 to $850, with the average cost being $414. If your roof is covered in large amounts of mildew, mold, or algae, you can expect your cleaning to take more time and, as such, cost on the higher end of this scale.

Signs Roof Cleaning is Needed

It is recommended that you have your roof cleaned every three to five years. However, your roof may need to be cleaned more frequently if you notice algae or mildew forming on your roof. Additionally, some communities are experiencing pigeon infestations. If your roof is heavily-covered in feces, roof cleaning should be done. When possible, work with a pest control company to remove the birds and prevent them from roosting at approximately the same time as the roof is being cleaned.

What the Benefits Are to Roof Cleaning

Roof cleaning is primarily done for two reasons. First, roof cleaning helps to extend the lifespan of your roofing materials. It prevents items from damaging your roofing materials, which can cause roof repairs to be needed or your roofing materials to fail before they should. Secondly, roof cleaning helps to increase the curb appeal of your home. It helps your home look cleaner and the color of your roofing material to stand out.

Roof cleaning is not a service that many homeowners are familiar with. However, it can be beneficial to your roof. Learning about it can help you get answers to any questions you may have and determine if this is a service you feel may be beneficial for your roof. If it is, contact a licensed and insured roofing contractor to inspect and clean your roof today.

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3 Reasons Your Home Needs Seamless Gutters

If you are tired of the possibility of your gutters leaking or you have already experienced damage to your home or property because a gutter became clogged and overflowed, it is time to upgrade to seamless gutters. However, it will be helpful to understand how the improvements made to seamless gutters can impact the use of your new gutters and the aesthetic appeal of your home. Therefore, it is a good idea to be aware of the following benefits that you can expect after upgrading the external trenches for your home. 

#1-Seamless Gutters Only Have Corners Where Your Home Does

Contrary to what you might think, seamless gutters are not entirely without seams. Instead, they bear that description because on each wall, they can be made from one long gutter that is shaped to the needs of your home. However, new gutters begin when the corner of one wall ends and a new wall starts.

Since each wall is given a custom gutter, there are fewer weak spots for leaks to appear. As a result, your upkeep is likely to be reduced and easier in the future, as explained next.     

#2-Your Seamless Gutters Are Made To The Specifications Of Your Home

While it often seemed as if traditional gutters were cobbled together to the approximate size of your home, seamless gutters are produced in sizes from 10 to 22 feet long and are then adjusted to the specifications of the exterior wall itself.

That means that not only will your new gutters fit your home better, but they are also likely to have an increased aesthetic appeal that may add to the value of your home in the future.   

#3-You Will Not Spend As Much Time Or Money On Upkeep And Maintenance

The construction of standard gutters and the previously mentioned weak spots mean that you have probably spent a fair amount of time in recent years unclogging them and patching holes as they appeared. Since twigs and even clumps of mud can stick in a corner, avoiding damage entirely can be problematic and challenging. Fortunately, you will be able to reclaim the bulk of your wasted time because seamless gutters are so sturdy.

However, the convenience of seamless gutters does not end there. Another attribute that you are likely to appreciate in the future relates to the appearance of your new gutters, since they are given an enamel finish prior to making their way to your home. That means that you will never need to paint your seamless gutters due to fading, but you can change the paint color in the future if you want to.     

In conclusion, seamless gutters are an ideal solution for any homeowner who is concerned about the leaks and clogs that are commonly associated with traditional gutters. As a result, if you are considering upgrading to more sophisticated gutters, you should consider the information discussed above. For more information, contact local professionals like D & M Exteriors.

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2 Things You Need To Know About The Sump Pump In Your New Home

If you just purchased a home that has a sump pump in it, it is important that you understand how the sump pump works and how to take care of it. As a new homeowner, it is now your job to take care of all the details of your home, including the sump pump.

#1 Sump Pumps Keep Water Out Of Your Basement & Crawl Space

Sump pumps are designed to move ground water away from your home. A sump pit is generally dug inside of your basement or inside of your crawl space at the area that is the lowest. It is put at the lowest point in your basement or crawl space because that is where ground water would naturally gather in that space, and your sump pump is designed to remove that water from under your home.

A drain system is set up around your basement or crawl space so that all ground water will be diverted to the sump pit. Inside of the sump pit rests a sump pump. When the water inside of the sump pit hits a specific level, it will trigger the sump pump and the sump pump will then remove the water from your home. The water should be directed out of your home to the closest storm drain. It may also be directed to a detention pond or a dry well, depending on the set-up around your home.

Sump pumps are used to ensure that basements and crawl spaces do not flood.

#2 Sump Pump Needs To Be Maintained

In order for your sump pump to protect your basement and crawl space from flooding, you need to take care of it before a big rainfall hits. A couple of times a year, you should test out your sump pump. It is pretty easy to test out your sump pump; all you need to do is pour enough water into the sump pit to trigger the sump pump, and then watch and make sure that the sump pump turns on, removes the water, and turns back off. This process should be rather quick.

You should also clean your sump pump a few times a year. When you clean your pump, make sure that you get rid of any dirt, gravel or other debris that may have gotten into the pump. These things can get carried into the pump via the water that it pumps. Keeping your sump pump clean will help ensure that it is there when you need it.

The overall light of your sump pump depends upon how often you use it and how well you maintain it; it is a good idea to get a professional inspection of your sump pump to ensure that everything is working properly and to get a better idea of the life expectancy of your particular pump. Visit websites like to learn more.

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Three Ways To Turn Your Outdoor Patio Into A Nice Dining Area

If you want to transform your ordinary patio into a cool space to have lunch or dinner when you have guests over, then you need to get a few things in order. Of course you need a nice outdoor dining table and chairs, but what else do you need? This article is going to give you three cool ideas to spice up your patio and turn it into an area that is more fit for dining and entertaining.

Install A Fire Pit

Nothing is more visually interesting than a bright fire. You can use it at night to provide extra light and ambiance, as well as throw off some warmth. It’s also cool for late afternoon lunches when people are drinking beers and having burgers and want a “cookout” feel without an actual cookout. There are two ways to get this design for your patio. First, you can have contractors come out and install an actual brick fire pit. The other way is to buy a standalone fire pit. These are made with steel fire bowls that will hold the logs and they come with metal grates either on the side, or in a dome/cage like design to prevent sparks from flying up.

Bring In Designer Heating Stands

While the fire pit will throw off some heat, it’s more for ambiance. If you want the patio to be comfortably warm during the cooler parts of the year, then you need to get heating stands. These operate on propane and will keep the area nice and cozy for your guests. These come in many different designs, but the typical configuration is similar to a tall floor lamp. You can situate them at the corners of your patio, on the edge near the outside, so that they bounce heat in towards the table and house.

Have A Contractor Install A Patio Cover

The most important aspect of your dining and entertainment space is going to be the patio cover. You should decide if you want an open design, such as a pergola, or if you want a closed in roof. The open design is great for dry areas where rain is not a common issue. However, if you do live in a rainy area, and still want that “open sky” look that a pergola style patio cover gives, you can have the contractors install a Plexiglas skylight design in between the rafters. This will prevent the rain from falling on you and your guests, but also let the moon and stars shine through.

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Four Common Services An Electrical Contractor Should Handle For You

Whether you are building a new home, adding on to your existing home, or remodeling to make better use of the current space, changes and updates to the electrical system in your home is best left to the professionals. In some states, any electrical work needs to be done by a licensed electrician or electrical contractor to be legal. But what can you expect from an electrical contractor? They offer many services from basic work to completely wiring a home. Here are a few services you might get from an electrical contractor.

Moving or Relocating Existing Wiring

It is common to remove or relocate a wall or section of a wall during a remodeling project. But what happens if there is wiring running through the wall that is critical to the home or the lighting and outlets in that room? Often the best solution is to remove the wiring from the wall and reroute it through the ceiling, floor, or another wall; an electrical contractor is your best option for this work.

Adding Additional Lighting

If you want to add built-in lighting options to a room, hiring an electrical contractor is a great option. They will come into your home and assess the current wiring, determine if it will handle additional lighting, and install the fixtures for you. If you need additional wiring to handle the new lights, they can run the new wiring from the breaker box and ensure that there is not going to be an overload to the existing circuit.

Installing a New Circuit for a New Room

If you are adding on to your home, you will need electricity in the new room or space. Determining if your current electrical service is up to the task will fall to your electrical contractor. If your service is adequate, they will still need to run the wiring, install outlets, install lighting, and add wall switches to the room.

Upgrading Your Electrical Service

If you need additional electrical circuits in your home or space, you may need to have the service entrance, breaker box, or fuse box upgraded. The service will be rated for a specific amperage coming into the home and may not have been able to handle the added requirements. If that is the case, the electrical contractor can upgrade the service entrance and breaker box to a higher amperage to handle the additional requirements. This is not work you should attempt on your own as it is very dangerous work, and if it is not done right, it could have catastrophic results. Let a professional handle it and get the peace of mind that comes with that. 

For more information, contact local professionals like All American Air & Electric, Inc.

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Why Stud Welding Equipment Is Handy

Do you need to hire a few welders for your fabrication company on a small budget? Rather than paying for more welders, you might find that stud welding equipment can increase the productivity of your business. Even if you decide to hire more welders, you will be able to reduce how many are hired. Below, you will learn about the various ways that stud welding equipment can be useful for your fabrication company.

Completing Welding Tasks Will Be Speedy

If your intentions are to hire more welders because work isn’t being completed fast enough, you will enjoy stud welding equipment. The equipment will be able to make bonds in a satisfactory amount of time. The speed of creating bonds will actually depend on the method of stud welding used, but you will be satisfied no matter what. For instance, you can choose between capacitor discharge (CD) and stud welding, with CD being the fastest method. Bonds will be created within a few seconds via CD stud welding.

Extensive Cleaning Will Not Be Necessary

If you require that your welders clean up at the end of the day, stud welding will give them a smaller mess to clean. One of the perks of stud welding is that debris does not fly beyond the workspace. The metal pieces will simply fall into a pile near the workspace that can be cleaned up in no time. Stud welding equipment has a ceramic shield for keeping flying debris under control.

Welders Can Create Bonds Using Painted Parts

Flash welding is the method that requires metal being painted after bonds are made to prevent damage from being done. The task of flashing welding and painting sometimes requires several workers to complete the project in a timely manner. With stud welding, a single welder can simply paint the metal and move on to create a bond. The paint will not get damaged in the process because there won’t be much debris flying around chipping it off.

You Will Save Money On Business Expenses

Due to stud welding equipment not being as messy as flash welding, you will not have to waste a lot of money on cleaning supplies. You can also get away with not having to pay as many workers to weld metal and clean up. Your business will be more profitable in the end. Buy stud welding equipment to start taking advantage of the benefits.

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