Month: September 2016

Despite July Heat, There Is Still Time to Add to the Garden

While July is typically too hot to add most vegetables and flowers to the garden, some plants do surprisingly well when planted in the summer heat.

Plant Hibiscus: Hibiscus trees love heat and will quickly take root when planted in July. Plant in nutrient rich, well-draining soil. Deeply water the tree so the roots remain moist for the first two weeks after planting. Hibiscus flowers only last a day, but new flowers are quick to take their place. Hibiscus can also be planted in pots.

Plant Beans and Squash: While most vegetables should already be producing in July, add corn, cucumber, lima beans and summer squash now for a late summer, early fall harvest.

Plan Your Watering Routine: Although water restrictions have now been lifted, still conserve. Set lawn sprinklers for early morning–6:00 a.m. or earlier, three times a week for 15 minutes. This will enable the water to reach the roots and help reduce evaporation once the sun comes up.

Eliminate Snail Damage Naturally: Snails love to eat their way through tender vegetable leaves, which can damage or kill the plant. Place natural barriers around your garden to keep the snails away. Since they move by sliding on smooth surfaces, place crushed eggshells or diatomaceous earth (an abrasive sedimentary rock) around plants. Mulch is another good snail deterrent because it is made of rough wood chips.

Keep Deadheading Flowers: Summer is the time of year when flowers want to grow. Give new buds the maximum nutrients they need by removing fading or dead flowers daily. This way, plants will focus their energy on new growth.

Plant Shrubs: One way to easily fill out a yard is by planting shrubs. Use them as groundcover or low hedges. Easy-to-maintain, low water users are Lily-of-the-Nile, Star Jasmine, Indian Hawthorn, New Zealand Flax, Rosemary and Mediterranean Pink Rockrose. All will need regular watering until established.

Fill In Your Flower Garden: Add summer-to-fall bloomers like alyssum, marigolds, petunias, red sage, verbena, vinca and zinnias to your garden as other plants slow their flower production. Flowers that do well in shade are amethyst, begonia, coleus, geranium and impatiens.

Replenish Mulch: To help cut down on water use, add a 3-inch layer of mulch around plants and trees. The mulch keeps water in and roots cool even during the hottest times of the day.

Unlike plants and trees that enjoy the heat, begin your gardening day early before temperatures rise to unbearable highs.…

How to Remove Hair Dye From Bathrooms and Bathroom Tiles

If you’ve recently dyed your hair and unfortunately managed to get some hair dye onto your bathroom tiles or your bathtub, there are a number of things you can try to remove it.

Before you start, you should remember that you don’t want to take any of the enamel off the coating of your tile. Porcelain and ceramic tiles often have a high gloss finish that you don’t want to damage. If you do, your tiles will look matted and worn. You may also scratch them.

Also, be sure to do a test patch on a small area on an unseen or un-noticeable tile. (Even better, use a spare tile that’s not on your bathroom wall – at Builder Superstore we recommend adding 10% of your order on top to account for spares, breakages and replacements.)

-If you can, wipe as much of the hair dye off the bathroom tile or bath as soon as it occurs. Spray with hairspray and wipe.

-If you have hair dye stains in your bath, fill the bath with water and bleach, and leave to soak overnight. (Be sure to keep the area well ventilated).

-You can buy specialist products such as Scrubbing Bubbles (used in many salons), or Magic Eraser. (Be sure to do test patches).

-If you have marble tiles in your bathroom, you can use alcohol to remove it.

-Peroxide gel or a bleach pen can also be used to remove hair dye from porcelain or ceramic tiles.

-You could also purchase (at a high cost) colour remover from a hairdresser. This is used to strip hair dye, so may work on your tiles too.

-Cigarette ash mixed with a little water has also been cited as a useful method to remove dye from tiles.

– If you have hair dye in your tile grout, this can easily be re-grouted over the top. Be sure to seal the grout as well, to ensure it is waterproof.

-DO NOT USE LEMON JUICE.

With everything, be sure to seek professional opinion, do test patches and follow manufacturers instructions.…

Decorating A Vertical Fish Tank

Vertical fish tanks have recently become a hit in a lot of house holds. A long time ago, creating vertical fish tanks posed a challenge because the water pressure builds up the taller the tank, and this will eventually cause the aquarium glass to crack. But these days, with new technologies emerging in the field of glass reinforcement, better sturdier glass and even acrylic has allowed aquarium designers to produce taller and broader variations that they once could not. This allowed a lot of creative and space maximization with the cylindrical and hexagonal tanks.

But though they look awesome, they do however pose a problem when it comes to fish tank decorations. Any fish tank decor you place in there would occupy the base of the aquarium but leave the rest of it looking bare and empty. No matter how tall the tank ornaments are, they would not sufficiently fill up the room. And then, if you do manage to get some form of decorations that is tall such as driftwood and place it in the tank, it will eat a lot of the swim space meant for the fish. Being vertical, the tanks are generally very narrow.

However, if you do have one, there is a way to decorate them superbly and that is by combining base aquarium decor with floating ones.

Base Aquarium Decor For Vertical Tanks

In a vertical aquarium, the decorations that you place at the base generally go unnoticed. Is is because the main view is in the middle of the tank. To compensate for this, you may want to select tank accessories that are very colorful. Then, to make them lively and fill up some space, you should arrange the rocks or ornaments to form a hill, with the peak directly in the middle of the tank base.

Another important factor that you need to consider is to provide your fish with a cave. Vertical aquariums leave the fish exposed to scrutiny all day. The constant attention that the fish gets will eventually make it feel stressed and they would want to hide away and rest. So ensure that the base decor provides the fish an opening to enter when they feel the need.

Floating Aquarium Decorations

With the base of the fish tank settled, your next step is to have some form of fish tank decoration that floats on the top and hangs towards the bottom. Some good ideas for this would be floating plants. These plants have long roots that hang downwards filling up the empty spaces with their roots. These plants will not just be thee for decorative purposes, but if you do have fish fry in the future, they will also provide cover for the fry as they grow.

These days you would also be able to get tank ornaments that float freely around the tank. These ornaments are made to look like fish and even have hinged tails. As the water cycles around the tank, these artificial fish seem …

Building a Dog House? – The Type of Wood to Use

Despite the fact that many families provide their dog with a wooden dog house in their backyard, only a few people realize there happens to be quite a few various kinds of wood offered on the market.

Cedar is definitely the most popular kind of wood used nowadays. It is a very common choice for wooden dog house simply because of its resistance to corrosion, rotting and insect devastation.

This type of wood is simple and easy to work with as well as being resilient, reputable, and low maintenance.

Pine and hemlock are among other kinds of wood that are chosen in constructing a dog house although they do not tend to be as popular. It is attributed to the fact that they are lacking resistance to decay, rotting and destruction by insects as opposed to cedar wood. Whenever in contact with the yard, these two types of wood will get rotten rather fast so they are hardly ever used to construct the frame work of a dog house as well.

If you decide to build your own dog house, be weary of utilizing pressure-treated timber. Even though they resist rotting and damage from bugs, they carry dangerous chemical substances that may possibly present a threat to your dog.

Also, you should decide on a wooden house over a plastic one simply because they keep a lot warmer throughout the winter season. Additionally, a wooden dog house will help to dissipate warmth the natural way during the summer time.

Furthermore, wood is less of a challenge to work with when compared to plastic material. All you need to have is a hammer, a saw, and a good quality woodworking plan to construct your dog house. In case you are eco-conscious, then making a wooden house is actually much more environmentally friendly in addition to being conveniently recycled for various other uses.…

Benefits of a Kitchen Exhaust Fan

The kitchen is one of the most common places of get together in many homes. It is a place to loosen up and bond with family and friends. Therefore, the kitchen should be cozy and convenient. But from all the warm images that the kitchen may present, there is something hidden that lingers, its pollution!

Kitchen can be the main source of pollutants in a home. Think all the grease, smoke, unwanted odors and moisture produced during cooking. Pollutants that stick to the walls, ceilings, carpets, furniture, and upholstery may require frequent cleaning and all the effort and expense it entails. But having an exhaust fan system will get rid all of these problems.

A good, reliable kitchen exhaust fan system is what you need especially if you are fond of cooking frying and broiling foods. Cooking methods often produce evident particles as well as an unseen mist of greases that can cover the surfaces of your kitchen if they are not vacuumed and exhausted to the exterior of your home. And, without an effective kitchen exhaust fan, air inside will be packed with dangerous contaminants and disease-causing agents released into indoor air.

Cooking releases excess moisture in the air and make indoor air very humid. If not ventilated properly and adequately, it can decrease the quality of indoor air and may lead to a number of problems like asthma, allergies, skin rashes, headaches and nausea and other breathing disorders.

It can possibly cause formation of fungus, mold spores, and mildew that may cause severe health problems. Home furniture may be warped due to excess humidity. Wall paints may crack and peel.

There are wide selections of products in the market that will keep your kitchen well ventilated. It may cover a choice of kitchen range hoods, kitchen exhausters and kitchen fans. All these products are well designed to keep the air inside your home fresh and the atmosphere comfortable.

Kitchen range hoods can furnish an attractive look and be functional additions in your kitchen. It can drive out heat, smoke, moisture and odors fast and directly. These kitchen range hoods are available in different designs and colors. This type can also provide cook top lighting and some models even offer a selection of light levels like a subtle nightlight.

Kitchen range hood are installed directly over the range to trap the heated air, smoke, moisture and gas fumes while a fan exhaust it through duct work to the exterior of the house. It has a filter that traps grease that can be easily removed and cleaned. This type of kitchen ventilator must be with the same width as the cooking surface. It serves and sets up directly over it at a height of at least 18 to 30 inches from your burners.

You can have it installed. Most of it comes with free service installation when bought. Otherwise, you can do it yourself by following the instructions in the manual.

Whatever type of exhaust fan you decide to install …

Valuation of Property and the Benefits It Provides

When people come to think about buying or selling a house, they move on to the procedure of Independent house valuation, which helps them understand the value of their house as per the rates of the market. Though they are not quite aware of the details of property valuation in detail, they make it a point to evaluate their house only at the time of selling or buying. It has to be understood that there are a lot many theories that are included with the valuation of a property these days.

What is Income Method?

Income method is a type of property valuation method that estimates the worth of a property according to the revenue potential. The income that is generated that is calculated can either be from the rental income or from the re sale value. This method is pretty complicated, but is used widely by investors when they are about to place a value on any kind of property investment or to assess whether what they are investing will be profitable in the coming future.

For being accurate with the help of income method, one has to rely upon certain assumptions. They are:

• Resale value of property

• Income that will be gained from renting the property

How to calculate the value of property

For calculating these assumptions the current data of properties similar to the one owned is made use of, for getting a good idea on the value of the property. Valuation of this kind comes into reality when the income generated should be set against the capital so as to find out how property will become profitable for us, for estimating the property’s profit, is should be compared to a similar investment or same capital expenditure. This will help in assessing whether the property guarantees investment in future.

Can you calculate the risk factors?

The most difficult part of any kind of investment in property is to calculate the risk. Though we can research about the past, we will not be able to get the right solution for the same. It is a true fact that predicting about the property market is simply an impossible task. Though we can put an estimate on the property by taking a look at the current data and trend, it is extremely difficult to predict the speed or magnitude of the risks.

Income valuation method does not attempt to find out the current market situation. On the other hand, it depends mainly on the property value in the coming future. It takes the value of the future and compares it to the price that has to be paid at present. The estimate of the final sale value and the income for rent mainly depends upon predicting the market, which is to an extent very difficult.

Though this method is mainly used by serious investors and not by home buyers, we find that this method has a lot of advantages over the method of comparable sales. The advantage of …

How to Find a Reliable House Painter

You’ve decided it’s time to bring in a professional to paint your home but how do you find a reliable house painter? There are many things to consider when making the important decision of who will paint your house. While it might be easy to find a painter it’s not easy to know which ones are qualified and reliable so you know the work will be done to last.

A couple of places to look for a painter:

Ask around – have any of your family members, friends or acquaintances recently used a local painter? If so, go check out the work they did – there’s nothing like seeing it with your own two eyes to determine if that painter did a good job.

Check for advertisements in the local community and regional newspapers.

Check with a few local contractors, real estate agents and your local paint store.

Once you’ve found them you should probably:

Check the Better Business Bureau for complaints against the painter you choose to hire.

Word of mouth is a powerful thing – ask around to see if anyone you know has heard anything negative about the painter you choose.

Ask for references – any reputable painter will gladly provide contact information for previous clients.

Ask the references or the people that referred the house painter if they were happy with the work, if the non-painted surfaces were protected and how the painter was to deal with, were they pleasant, on time and reliable?

Ask the painter to come out and see the scope of work and request a quote. Make sure the quote has details such as which areas will be painted and how many coats of paint will be provided at the price he’s providing.

Once you’ve found a few painters that gain your initial approval and that are within your price range, there are a few key things you should be looking for.

Your house painter should have extensive knowledge and experience with regard to the tools they use like brushes, scrapers, tape and rollers. They should know how much paint and primer a job would require and what type of paint to use. They should also know things like how to remove wallpaper and how to properly fill a hole.

A responsible painter should have business insurance as well as worker’s compensation insurance. If your painter doesn’t have insurance and accidentally breaks something or hurts themselves it would be your responsibility to incur the charges associated with the accident. Ask for proof of insurance before hiring your house painter – it could save you a lot of money in the long run.

Also inquire about preparation of the area to be painted – will your house painter take all necessary actions to ensure the painting job is done correctly? Will holes need to be filled and sanded prior to painting? Will your painter be able to tell if an area will need to be primed before painting? How many coats of paint …

Benefits Of Sheer Curtains Within The Home

Curtains are there to provide privacy within the home as well as to help accentuate your decorative style. You need to find a balance between the practical requirements of a room and matching the room’s decor. Rooms have different requirements when it comes to choosing curtains.

You may have a room that requires a certain amount of privacy from the outside world, but at the same time you still want the light to shine through during the day. Sheer or semi-sheer curtains are perfect for this scenario as you can keep them closed, but still provide light to the room. Silk and satin materials are popular choices, but you can also use voile which is a light weight woven fabric made from cotton. They are also available in many colors, but it is best to stick to bright and airy colors in order to allow as much light as possible into the room.

The advantages of sheer curtains are that you have the opportunity of layering the fabric. You could buy very light shades of sheer curtains to hang together, providing a desired mood. You could also combine these curtains with regular window treatments. An example would be to have sheer curtains hung over the window to gain privacy and blackout curtains hung in front. This would allow you to benefit from the light and privacy during the day, but still be able to close the blackout curtains when you want total privacy or to darken the room. This also allows you to insulate the room from the outside cold temperatures during the winter.

Other rooms that can benefit from sheer curtains are the bathroom and kitchen. These two rooms always need as much light as possible during the day as the windows are normally quite small. Sheer curtains will be able to allow the daylight through and provide the privacy that you need.

These curtains are not expensive to buy and they are readily available at local stores and online. They are also machine washable, but make sure you follow the washing instructions. An added benefit to washing these curtains is that they can be hung back up and left to dry as they dry very quickly.…

Don’t Bug Me – Telling The Difference Between Harmful and Helpful Insects

There is a certain order in nature that should be maintained to make the lifecycle in the ecosystem continuous. This sense of order also applies in your garden, and the crucial factors would be your plants and insects surrounding them. That’s why telling the difference between harmful and helpful insects is important.

Garden Wars: Knowing Your Allies And Enemies

A lot of people think that having insects in their garden is a bad thing. This is true because some insects, like aphids, can be annoying and harmful. But not all of them should be considered pests. Other insects, like ladybugs, are very helpful. The trick here is to get a balance between the helpful insects and the harmful ones.

A Fine Lady Garden Helper

As said, ladybugs are very helpful insects, especially in your garden. This is because they feed on small caterpillars and Aphids mites, which are damaging to your garden. Both the larvae and adult ladybugs eat the pests in your garden.

Ladybug larvae are mainly active between the months of May and July, while the adults come after. You can even buy Ladybugs at many nurseries and greenhouses, or order them through mail.

Delicate Laces For Predating

One of the most excellent insect predators that you would want to have in your garden are Green Lacewings. Its larvae eat Mealybugs, Aphids, Spider mites, white flies, Thripes, and scales, just to name a few.

Hover Helpers

Another good insect for your garden are Hover Flies. They are very helpful insects and look like wasps or dark bees. Hover flies eat caterpillars, green flies, and fruit tree Spider Mites. Hover Flies are easily attracted to plants like phacelia plants and marigolds. Putting plants like these throughout your garden will encourage Hover Flies to thrive.

Dragon Friends

Dragonflies are also one of the best beneficial insects. They eat mosquitoes, which are not only harmful for your plants, but for humans as well. You should plant reedy plants to encourage dragonflies to thrive in your garden.

Busy Bees

Although bees may seem dangerous to some people, they are actually quite helpful to gardens and harmless to other insects. They do not eat or predate upon other insects. They help out in your garden by pollinating flowers and trees. A lot of vegetables need flower pollination too. Having bees close by will aid this process. You should plant flowers throughout your garden to encourage busy bee workers to visit.

Know Your Foes

Insects that you should watch out for are Scales, Leaf Miners, Japanese beetle and Spittlebugs. All of these are very harmful insects for your plants. So if you spot them thriving around your garden, appropriate action must be done.

Most people choose to use insecticides or pesticides. Yes, this may be the easiest way to kill insects, but too much of this can also be harmful, especially to your plants. That’s why making use of good insects is, generally, a much better way to deal with pests than the use …

How to Start a Profitable Home Improvement Referral Service

Home improvement referral services are cropping up from New York to California. They are taking the time to do the legwork to find reputable and reliable contractors and these businesses are reaping profits from good work.

It really does not take much to start. A home improvement referral service business takes only a little money and not more time than a regular 40 hour a week job. They can actually start making money within the first year of business.

The first thing to consider is what types of home improvement businesses will refer. This can include gutter cleaning and replacement, remodeling, building additions, fencing, lawn maintenance, and many others. Remember, all because you may like to paint a client may not like it or have the time. Therefore, no business should be overlooked.

Once you have an idea of ​​the types of contractors for your referral service business, you will need to call the local, county, and state government offices. Get the regulations and requirements regarding licensing, bonding, business registry, and insurance for each type of contractor. This is the first step to building your list. Any contractor that does not meet government regulations should not be on your referral list.

By knowing these requirements and using them, your home improvement referral business will gain credibility with your clients. They will know that if the contractor does not meet these requirements, they will not be on your list. It makes the client feel more sure the job will be completed professionally and correctly.

Another way to ensure creditability of your referral service business is to only look at contractors that are recommended by their past happy customers. But this is not the end of the screening process. Recommendations are not enough.

Once a contractor is recommended to your home improvement referral business, you need to check out his or her service. Talk to them, explaining your referral service business. Many contractors will give you the needed information happily. Ask to see their licenses, bonding information, and insurance to ensure that they are current and up to date. Ask for a list of services they provide and the cost for these services. Finally ask for references you may speak to.

Now you have gotten your contractor referral list started. While working on creating this list, you should have started thinking about a name for your referral service business, advertising, office area, office equipment, and ordered a phone line for the business. You may want to use a computer right away, but an index card or file system could work just as well and for a fraction of the cost, until your company grows. Keep in mind that as your company grows, the office space, office equipment, and referral list system will probably need to become computerized to save time and money.

Since your referral business is going to begin locally, check with local newspapers and periodicicals to see if they would be interested in doing an article about your business. Make …