Landscape Lighting Tips For Home

 Landscape LightingLandscape lighting tips will help brighten your gardens and landscape during the evening hours. Some landscape lighting tips are meant to show off different areas of your garden landscape. Landscape lighting is not only popular to homeowners but also business owners to highlight the business building during the evening. Everyone enjoys low voltage lighting and solar lighting because they are inexpensive and easy to install and are available to purchase almost anywhere.

Low voltage lighting has been around the longest and you will find are used by many homeowners. Low voltage refers to the line that is sending the voltage from the house outlet to a transformer and lowers the voltage to only 12 volts. This style is quite safe and can be install easily without hiring an electrician or without procuring a permit. The transformer that comes with the low voltage kit will plug into a 110/120v outlet located on the exterior of your home. Multiple cable runs are attached to the transformer that can connect up to a group of six light fixtures.

Solar units have become more popular these days as outdoor lighting because they are easier to install than the low voltage kits due to the fact there are no wires attached. All you do is attach a fixture or solar panel where it will receive direct or indirect sunlight. Some solar lights come with a solar panel that is attached with a wire; these are usually spot lights or uplights that highlight an area that is usually sitting in darkness most of the time. You position the light on a tree or some other object to be highlighted and the solar panel needs to be inserted in an area that receives sunlight to absorb the sun’s energy. There are some solar lights that are recessed for placing in decks and others for placing on posts or railings; these will need a screwdriver for installation. The solar landscape fixtures consist of a solar panel, LED bulb, and anywhere between 1 and 4 rechargeable batteries. The energy from the sun will be changed to electrical energy by way of the solar panel and be stored in the batteries. It will take about eight to ten hours of sun to completely charge the batteries after the initial installation of the solar landscape lights. After the charging is complete the units will come on at dusk.

Here are more landscape lighting tips that will apply either to low voltage or solar lights for good results in the garden. You can accomplish uplighting by placing the light below a target and positioning the beam on an upwards angle for highlighting, this will create a focal point. Downlighting is done by doing just the opposite; place the light source high above an object and position the beam of light on a downward angle to highlight an object or large area. By placing a downlight close to ground level it will create light puddles to light a walkway or pathway. Grazing an object means to position the light close the surface and it will display the texture of the surface. To silhouette an object hide the lights behind and below that object and the night sky will show its silhouette.

Other than the above ways to light objects there are other ways such as spread lighting, path lighting, moon lighting and security lighting. Spread lighting is done by using low-level lights to cast light upon ground covers, shrubs, or flower beds; these can also be used underwater to highlight a pond. Path lighting can consist of low impact lights or lights that are shielded so they shine on the path for visibility and safety. Moon lighting is accomplished in the same manner as downlighting as described above. We use security lighting to guard against crime and uninvited pests. It is best to illuminate all areas that intruders like to hide and the best ones for that are spotlights that are set to come on when any type of motion occurs.

There are a few things to avoid in regards to landscape lighting. When there are too many lights lighting up your property it will look too garish and you do not want that. You basically only want to bring out the most interesting aspects of your landscape features, structures, and/or special areas. When you place lights along a pathway do not line them up evenly, alternate them for each side and make sure they are spaced according to what the manufacturer recommends.

Do some experimenting with low voltage lighting and solar lighting. Both types of lighting are flexible enough to move things around and adjust angles for the right effect. Some solar lighting spotlights and the low voltage lighting kits have wiring that you can bury but can be left until last until everything is positioned correctly. When your patio area and the landscape in the front yard look good to the eye you wisely used some good landscape lighting tips.

Solution to Plumbing Problems – Annual Drain Cleaning

Annual Drain CleaningYour home is the most expensive purchase of your life. It requires attention and care. If you are a homeowner, you must be spending your time in keeping the rooms tidy, mowing the lawn and keeping the property clean. But, you must not forget cleaning one of the most important parts of your home: Drainage System.

To ensure the well-being of your home, make sure that the drainage system is working properly. If it is not efficient in discarding waste, you will have to face severe problems such as:

  • Unhygienic environment
  • Water back up from the drain
  • Release of toxic gas and odor from the drain
  • Damage to structural integrity of the home
  • Aggravation of existing problems such as asthma, allergies, etc.

So, do not ignore plumbing problems. If you feel that the kitchen sink is not draining water properly or the bathroom shower is leaking, contact a licensed plumbing contractor immediately. He/she will detect the problem and provide you with an accurate solution.

How to avoid Plumbing Problems in the Future?

What you do today can improve all your tomorrows – Ralph Marston

Homeowners often neglect the drainage system of their homes. They pay attention to it only when it creates problems. But, if you want to save yourself from plumbing problems, there is a solution: Annual Drain Cleaning.

The Effectiveness of Annual Drain Cleaning

Annual drain cleaning should be a ritual for every homeowner because it ensures proper functioning of the drainage system. Following are the benefits of annual drain cleaning:

  • Prevention from Plumbing Problems

It will prevent emergency plumbing problems in the future. Also, it will save you from expensive plumbing replacement and repairs.

  • Freedom from Clogged Drains

Hair, food particles, dirt, grease, oil, soap suds, tree roots and several other contaminants get accumulated in the drain pipes. Annual drain cleaning removes the contaminants from the drain and reduces the problem of clogged drains and water backup. Also, it helps in reducing corrosion of drain pipes.

  • Healthy Environment

Annual drain cleaning ensures that the drainage system of your home doesn’t become a breeding ground for bacteria. It plays an important role in keeping your family members healthy by preventing formation of moss, mildew as well as insects and rodents. Also, it is instrumental in eliminating odor coming from drain pipes.

To ensure the proper functioning of the drainage system of your home, annual drain cleaning is a must. It will save you from expensive repairs in the future and keep your home healthy.

If you want to ensure proper functioning of the drainage system, hire a licensed plumbing contractor for annual drain cleaning. Do not worry about the damage caused by the drainage system to the concrete structure of your home. Pour Concrete’s efficient concrete installation and repair service will take care of it.

Roofing Tips and Advice For Your Next Roofing Project

If your roof is in need of repair and you insist upon doing the work yourself, it might be in your best interest if you follow a few roofing tips and advice to save yourself time and money.

The first thing you should remember to do when you are tackling a roofing project is to make sure that you apply an ice and water barrier to the roof, especially around chimneys, sky lights, etc. Another important tip to remember is that all materials that you use must be dry, or they could distort the entire roofing project.

If the roofing on your deck needs to be replaced as well, make sure that you only use three quarter inch pieces of plywood for the job. Also make sure that the space you leave between the plywood pieces is at least one eighth of an inch. This will give the wood room to expand.

Drip edges are a very important part of your overall roofing project and the roofing tips and advice for these would be to make sure that drip edges are installed to not only to give a finishing touch but to also help keep your work completely water proof.

It is important that your drip edges are placed on eaves as well and that the material that it is placed on is already been ice and water barrier treated.

Another key thing to remember is that you need to make sure that all the drip edges are securely nailed to the roof.

The homeowner that lives by the ocean would be wise to follow these roofing tips and advice so that all the work they have done remains secure and that is to make sure that all of their shingles are secured by hurricane nailing. What that is, is that you use far more nails on the shingles than you would normally use elsewhere.

It is never wise to do any type of roofing in the winter or early spring. The best times would be late spring or early summer. The latest that you can get away with repairing a roof would be in early fall. The roof needs time to completely seal before winter hits.

Tips For Choosing the Right Contractor

A well-installed roof should last for 20 years, although is it easy to take its service for granted. If you are currently in the market for roofing on your home or place of business, here are some tips for selecting and working with a contractor that will provide the best results.

First, this probably isn’t the best time to go bargain hunting. While you might find prices to vary dramatically, keep in mind that higher prices mean that a contractor has built enough cushion into their price that they can still work with you, profitably, down the road if there are problems. If you negotiate them down so low that the roofer is barely covering their costs, they will have no incentive to help you later on.

It’s not unusual for the best roofers to routinely turn down work. To find these sought-after professionals, ask around amongst your network to identify a quality, trusted contractor. Even if you find a contractor through a referral, it’s still probably a good idea to be cautious.

The referrer could be a friend or relative of the contractor, or business staff or practices could have changed in the time since their project. Take the time to interview several roofing contractors, get multiple quotes and to check additional references. You can also check them out with the local Better Business Bureau.

Before your start interviewing, find out what rules your state has for licensing, bonding and registration of contractors. Then you will be able to request related documentation from potential service providers. At the same time, ask to see proof of insurance that will protect you from worker injuries, should they occur on your property. Ask the contractor to explain the safety guidelines and quality control procedures that the workers are trained to follow.

Find out how many workers they expect have installing your roof. Inquire about their experience, particularly of the person who will be supervising. The more professional and organized the roofing crew is, the faster the installation will be completed.

Ensure that they are willing to consult with and explain to you, in layman’s terms, the best construction method and materials for your new roof. Get the final specifications in writing – request a detailed proposal that includes a timelines and details regarding roofing materials to be used and work to be done. Finally, ask what services and warranties the roofer offers should problems occur.

Home Roof Installation Tips and Basics

Home remodeling is a popular way for homeowners to inject some personality into a house and it can all start with a new roof installation.
The roof is not only one of the most noticeable parts of a home’s construction, but it’s one of the most important as well.

As a result of both its prominence and the important job that it does in protecting your, your family and your property, it makes sense that you want your home’s roof to be in its best condition while, at the same time, looking its absolute best.

Roof designs are extremely versatile, with the various styles and materials that make home rooftops being designed to serve different functional purposes. With that in mind, there are many different things that you want to remember when you’re looking at the different choices that are available to you for your roof installation.

Use the shape of the roof as the basis for your remodeling project.

The shape of the roof is often the first thing that many people notice when they look at it and all roof designs are functional in some way.

When looking at the shape of a roof, it’s important to consider the inherent advantages and disadvantages that each style has. Gable rooftops, for instance, are relatively cheap and easy to build but they aren’t ideal for environments that often see windy conditions because gable rooftops aren’t often braced in such a way that they can effectively stand against the strength of a powerful wind.

A hip roof, on the other hand, can withstand high winds, but its design leaves less internal roof space. This is an important thing to keep in mind simply because that means that maintenance from the inside of the roof will be harder to perform due to the more cramped space that this type of roof creates.

Follow these examples and look at the shape of the roof when you consider what you’re going to do with the roof installation portion of your home renovation project. What you ultimately choose should go beyond the aesthetic qualities and accommodate your needs for both environmental protection and any future maintenance that you might need to perform.

While the shape of your home’s roof is an important thing to keep in mind during the planning stages of your roofing project, you also want to put a lot of thought into the material that you use.

When thinking about the material to be used in your roof installation, you want to factor in not just the cost, but how much maintenance the material will need, how well it can protect against certain elements and how much repairs would cost if something were to damage the roof.

Some common materials used in roof construction can include rubber, wood and metal, which all have their inherent advantages and disadvantages. Wood, for instance, is well liked for its aesthetic value, but has much higher maintenance needs than many other materials and not as long of a lifespan.

Metal, on the other hand, lasts much longer than wood and is durable, but its weight has to be considered by any homeowner considering using it for their roof installation and it can be easily damaged by hail, not to mention the noise during rain fall.

Rubber has high heat retention, making it a good insulator that will allow you to save on your energy bills. Its relative newness to the market, however, means that not many roofing contractors are as well trained in its repair and maintenance as you would find with many other roofing materials.

Undertaking any kid of home remodeling project, especially one that involves working on your home’s roof, involves a lot of work and a lot of research beforehand. Your budget, the weather that your area sees and even building codes are just a few things that you have to consider before work ever begins but, once you do all of that, you’re well on your way to making your home renovation dream into a reality.

Home Roofing Tips For Do-it-Yourselfers

We were nailing off some drip edge that was still wet with dew. Now days I would do that with a nail gun, which would make short work of the matter. Back then I was hand nailing… and not very good at it. In fact, I was still holding nails between my finger and thumb.

Fats had taught me that a pro drives nails with two whacks: a soft whack to set the nail and a hard whack to drive it home. And I certainly wanted to show Les Bergstrom (who was watching over my shoulder) that I could pound nails like a pro. What I didn’t understand was that the nailing advice applied to shingles, but not to wet metal…

The first nail slipped as I tried to drive it home. The hard whack from the hammer split the end of my thumb open, and it started spurting blood. It hurt so bad I could barely breathe… but I didn’t want the boss to know I couldn’t even drive a nail properly.

So I pretended nothing happened and quickly grabbed another nail with my trembling hand. Then I proceeded to… DO THE EXACT SAME THING AGAIN, smashing my sore thumb to a pulp. If the Boss hadn’t been watching, I would have screamed like a little girl!

At that point it was pretty obvious I didn’t know what the heck I was doing and Les gave me a few pointers. It was a lesson I’ve never forgotten and these are the home roofing tips I want to share with you…

Home Roofing Tip #1: When hand-nailing metal flashings, hold the nail PALM UP between your pointing finger and your middle finger. Give it a few light taps to penetrate the metal, THEN GET YOUR HAND OUT OF THE WAY, and drive the nail home. Be especially careful when the metal is wet!

Home Roofing Tip #2: Once you get the hang of holding nails like that, you can hold several nails in your palm while you’re nailing. That’s much faster than fishing nails out of your pouch one at a time.

Home Roofing Tip #3: When installing drip edge, tack the metal on first with just a few nails in each ten foot piece. Then go down to the ground and walk around the entire house inspecting the drip edge. It’s a lot easier to fix any cosmetic problems before the metal is nailed off every six inches.

Three Big Tips For Green Home Plumbing

When you think of going green there’s probably a lot of things that come to mind. Recycling your trash, efficiently reusing just about anything you can, and reducing your usage of a lot of things, like electricity, are just a few. How many times, however, do you think about your home plumbing? Pleasant Hill residents can make a great impact on the green movement in their community simply by making a few structural changes, and lifestyle changes, with regard to the plumbing systems they have installed in their homes or businesses.

The truth is that going green doesn’t really cost all that much more than the traditional cost when it comes to plumbing. Pleasant Hill consumers can make a number of different green choices that will save them droves of money in the long run, and make a huge positive impact on their carbon footprints.

Green Plumbing

Insulate Pipes – If you knew how much heat you lose in your hot water system from the time it leaves the tank till it arrived at your tap, you’d actually be amazed. When you insulate the pipes in your home or business plumbing, Pleasant Hill residents can drastically cut down on the amount of energy that is required to make their water hot by the time it reaches their taps.

Install an On-Demand Hot Water Circulator Pump – On-Demand means that your system will supply you with hot water when you need it rather than use energy to keep the water that just sits in your pipes till you use it hot. Not only will this save you money, it will allow you to cut down on your water usage as you won’t be running water down the drain as you wait for hot water to arrive at your tap.

Install a New Hot Water Heater – Older hot water heaters are one of the most inefficient parts of your plumbing. Pleasant Hill residents can save up to 15% on their annual energy costs simply by replacing their old hot water heaters with a newer version. Having the old one pulled out and another one put in doesn’t involve all that much effort so, aside from the water heater itself, there shouldn’t be any huge costs involved.

Even though there is an initial cost involved with these green techniques for home plumbing, Pleasant Hill residents who want to go green and make a significant impact on their energy usage will find that these investments are well worth it in the end.

Taking Care of Your Plumbing System

While at some point, almost all home owners will need to have a visit from a professional plumber to take care of some home plumbing system, there are preventive measures you can take that will help you control the cost that you could possibly occur when you’re plumber does make a visit. If you do some preventive maintenance to your home plumbing system, you’ll be in much better shape.

Leak Detection:

No matter how small the leak may be, early detection is a must or you could be in for some major damage. Leaks that are left undetected even for small periods of time can and will cause you a rather expensive plumbing service repair. Leaks can start anywhere, but the main place you will find them is in fixtures found in the bathrooms or kitchen. It’s also important to check places that do not have much insulation as this leaves your plumbing pipes more open to corrosion from the elements. While insulation is not the end all “protector” of your plumbing pipes, it does give them more protection from erosion and cracking. Contacting a local plumber to make sure you have checked the possible areas that could be a problem will not only give you piece of mind, it will also give your wallet a break should there be an undetected problem.

Weatherproofing Potential Problem Areas:

Broken or damages seals in your home can cause problems which go undetected for months. By the time the visible signs appear, the damage has most likely already been done. Checking to make sure your seals around windows, doors, vents and fixtures should be routinely checked for any signs of damage. While the repairs for these problems can be done in minutes and many times by the home owner, the damage caused by letting these problems go undetected can be extreme. You can seal these problem areas with some simple caulking.

Insulating Pipes Which Are Exposed:

As mentioned above, exposed plumbing system pipes are more vulnerable to corrosion, leaks and cracking than ones that are insulated. Take some time to insulate those pipes which do not have any. You can do this by simply wrapping towels around them or picking up some foam wrap from the local hardware store. The easiest way to do this however is to hire your local plumber as they will know the best way to insulate the pipes in different areas.

These are just a few simple tips to take care of your home plumbing system. The best thing to do is enlist the service of a professional plumber to make sure you don’t have any major problems that need to be fixed. Once you are secure that everything is properly in place, then follow the maintenance suggestions outlined above.

Home Plumbing Repair Tips

If you are no expert when it comes to the topic about plumbing, well you are not alone. Many home owners all throughout the United States face plumbing problems at least once every month. With the plumbing repairs going on so frequently, home owners could be wasting a great amount of money and time hiring professionals almost every month. Be a bit more knowledgeable when it comes to protecting your home against water damages so that you can save yourself some extra cash and also utilize the repair tasks done to their home. Find out more about home plumbing repair tips to keep in mind.

Avoid damages from leaks

You do not have to be an expert when it comes to looking out for leaks in the piping under your bathroom and kitchen sinks. Most people have a good idea of what a water leak looks like and when you see one, make sure to do something about it immediately. You could hire a plumbing specialist to get that fixed for you so that the leak will not get worse. Try to find external dripping taps which could also cause problems. Get your dishwasher and washing machine pipes checked regularly for any cracking, leaks and / or bulging. If there are problems, get new pipes fitted as soon as possible.

Check for frozen pipes

If you live in an area where in pipes could start freezing, make sure you prevent this problem from occurring immediately. Try getting your pipes and also water tank insulated. Try to put insulation foam on the top of pipes. Make sure to repair any dripping taps because once they freeze, they can block your pipes causing more damage. Also, get all the taps checked regularly during the chilly months to prevent frozen pipes. If any of your pipes freeze up, you can turn off the water at the main areas and let them thaw out using a hot water bottle. Do not use a blow torch or gun heater in doing this.

Make sure your drains are free

Prevent putting any type of food items down the kitchen sink. For the bathroom, avoid any clumpy materials going down the drain. The reason for these restrictions is to avoid any type of blockage that could occur.

Hire a plumbing specialist

If do not have a knowledge to fix plumbing tasks, then do not force yourself. Try hiring a professional who could do the job for you. When they do a thorough check of all the pipes, even with minimal problems, try getting them fixed as soon as possible to avoid accumulation of bigger problems. Ask family and friends for any professionals that they could refer to you that could get the job done well. You could also try researching online for any plumbing companies available in your area that have excellent feedback from previous customers.

Prevent Those Plumbing Emergencies

Simple, general maintenance that anyone can do to save a great deal of money, reduce water damage and inconvenience.

Do:

1. The first thing to do in an emergency such as a burst water main or pipe (where possible) is to turn off the water at the mains. By doing this you know that there is a limit to how much damage will be caused, how much water will be wasted and how bad the plumbing emergency will get.
2. Where you have pipes exposed to the outside or cold temperatures, insulate them. This is fairly easy to do and is relatively inexpensive when compared with the cost of dealing with pipes that burst.
3. Gently warm frozen pipes with a hair dryer. The key word here is gently, so as not to crack the pipes.
4. Toilets use a large proportion of the water in any home and it is important to check them for leaks from time to time. The easiest way to do this is to use a colored liquid or dye in the toilets’ water tank. Leave it for a while and if you see colored water appear in the toilet bowl, you have a leak that should be dealt with.
5. Even if you don’t live in an area known for hard water, it makes sense to periodically de-scale your kitchen appliances (kettle, washing machine, dishwasher), water heating systems and water pipes. This can easily be achieved without a great deal of expense and will extend their lifespan and hence save you money in repairs and replacement. Washing machines and dishwashers will require less detergent, showering and bathing will require less soap and shampoo and you should notice that your boiled water tastes better too.

Don’t:

1. Don’t pour very hot liquids into the toilet or the bowl may crack.

2. Don’t flush any material other than toilet paper. Clogging a toilet will cause it to overflow and even sewer back-flush.
3. Planting trees or other plants with large root systems near water or sewage pipes can cause pipes to move and break.
4. Don’t pour oils or fats down the kitchen’s drain or sinks. This is the equivalent to cholesterol build-up in arteries: it can cause all sorts of problems.
5. Don’t ignore that leaking tap or pipe. It will continue to waste water and money and it WILL get worse. Deal with it right way before it turns into a costly emergency.