How Awesome Is Your Irrigation Contractor?

Cool And Kitschy Appliances For Your Kitchen Remodel

Remodeling a kitchen is a big task, particularly when you are looking at upgrading all of your kitchen appliances. Instead of settling for the same old stainless steel fixtures, why not check out some of the new and exciting options available in kitchen appliances?

Consider these options when shopping for these appliances:

Cabinet camouflage

One of the biggest style trends in kitchen appliances is making it look as if there are no appliances in the room. This involves styles that are designed to meld with the cabinetry and that have non-traditional facades. Wall ovens, refrigerators, dishwashers, and even microwaves hide behind wood, metal, or other surfaces to appear as though they are merely cabinets in the space.

Attention to size

While many upgraded kitchens utilize industrial style appliances, these may simply be too big to be practical for many. Some of the high-end commercial type appliances are being found in smaller sizes to fit in a conventional space, which means that buyers can have top-of-the-line fixtures without sacrificing square footage of their kitchen. Also, with more consumers opting to downsize and live in smaller dwellings, retailers and manufacturers are offering quality appliances that take up a fraction of the traditional space.

Retro redux

The cool, vintage appliances of the 60s and 70s are coming back with abandon. The best part is that although they look like your grandparent’s kitchen appliances, they are being manufactured with modern technology and top-of-the-line features. These are an excellent option for owners that are looking to give their kitchen a distinctive, one-of-a-kind look.

Contemporary country

When you think of country-style kitchens, you likely think of the big, bulky appliances that are at the very heart of the home. Taking a cue from country home design, buyers may want to consider unique appliances that complement these warm, welcoming spaces. Consider glass-front refrigerators to show off your fresh produce, deep double-basin sinks, and wood-burning pizza ovens for a unique touch in your country kitchen.

Modern minimalist

For a sleek and streamlined kitchen in a modern home, consider some of the chic and stylish appliances hitting the market. For instance, dishwashers that fit into drawers so you can open easily, and hide your dirty dishes from view. Buyers look for under-cabinet appliances and equipment to reduce the visual clutter of the space, giving the room a more clean, contemporary feel.

Appliances are a big deal and can comprise a pretty portion of your remodeling budget. Be sure to talk with retailers and contractors to uncover some hot new options that may give your particular space flair, style, and cohesion. You will find that there are more and more options, providing you with an opportunity to make your home’s kitchen stand out.

Learn More

3 Ways To Keep Your Tropical Fish Happy And Alive

If you want to start a tropical or saltwater aquarium, then there are a few things you need to understand. Here are 3 tips to help you keep your fish happy and alive in their new environment.

Large Tank and More Space

First, you need plenty of space for your saltwater fish so that they have their own homes or territories. Some types of saltwater fish will bully the other fish if they feel threatened or like they do not have enough room to swim.

The amount of space or the number of gallons you need depends on the fish, so plan out which types of fish you want and how many you want to buy so that you get the right aquarium. The number of gallons per fish can vary from one type of fish to another, so there is not a set number to go by. Speak to an employee at a store like Neptune’s Tropical Fish to ensure that you get the right tank for the fish you plan on keeping.

Also, if you choose to have a couple of larger fish, you may want to avoid mixing smaller fish in because they can get stressed and will not survive.

Healthy Diet

Second, make sure that you are feeding your saltwater fish the right kind of food. While you can feed fish food flakes to guppies and a lot of fresh water fish, your ocean fish need a different diet.

One of the best things you can give them is brine shrimp. If you do not want to keep a tank of brine shrimp alive in your home, your next best route is to buy them frozen solid in flat sheets.

When you need to use the shrimp, you just break off the needed amount and put it into some cool water. This will break the shrimp up and bring them to a normal temperature so that they are edible.

All you have to do then is pour the shrimp into your fish tank, and they will float around for your fish to eat and enjoy. Typically, your fish only need to eat once a day, but of course you need to understand each fish’s diet and what is needed so that they stay healthy and strong.

Filtered Water

Lastly, you need to keep a filter in the water in addition to cleaning out the tank regularly. Algae will form and will make the tank turn brown and green. This slime is not conducive to a good environment for the fish and can coat their skin.

That is why you need to keep a filter in the water that runs all day and night, and you also need to drain most of the water and use a suction tub to pull grim out of the rocks at the bottom every few weeks. You can then fill the tank with clean water and balance the pH level.

By doing these 3 things, you can give your fish the best chance of surviving when they are transported from the ocean to your home.

Learn More

Eight Great Flowering Landscaping Trees

Are you looking to provide your yard with shade and color? Choose flowering trees, and you can have both! Additionally, these trees attract pollinators such as bees, butterflies, and hummingbirds, which are good for both your garden and the environment. Here are 8 great choices to consider for your landscaping.

Sassafras

The sassafras tree is one of the earliest flowering trees in spring. Dainty yellow-green clusters of flowers give way to dark black fruits on vibrant red stems if pollinated. Their fall foliage is splendid in shades of deep yellows and rich purples. They grow to a height of 30-60 feet.

Eastern Redbud

Showy magenta pink flowers show up in abundance in early spring. The flowers last nearly a month before giving way to huge dark green, heart-shaped leaves. Come autumn, their leaves are a bright, cheerful yellow. Redbuds grow to 25 feet.

Flowering Dogwood

These white flowers kissed with pink are a clear sign spring has sprung! Birds flock to their bright red berries in fall. Growing to a maximum height of only 20 feet, they are perfect for small spaces and terraced gardens.

Crabapple

Flowering crabapples are prolific, with showy pink and white blossoms that are buzzing with bees. Birds enjoy their fruits in early autumn. Most varieties only grow to a height of 25 feet, making it another good choice for small areas.

Fringe Tree

The fringe tree is an old-fashioned North American tree with wispy, bright white flowers that resemble a fringe. The females also produce a small fruit that birds like. The fringe tree is one of the smallest ornamentals, growing only to about ten feet.

Magnolia

Long a mainstay of the south, the magnolia tree has one of the most showy flowers. Giant saucer-sized white flowers adorn silvery leaves that glimmer in the sun. Larger specimens grow down south, but the magnolia tree can flourish as far north as New England. In northern climates, they reach a height of approximately 12 feet.

American Yellowwood 

This large tree may take about 12 years to bloom, but it is well worth the wait. Tiny white flowers hang from drooping branches. The bark of the tree provides a stunning silvery smooth backdrop for the prolific flowerings stems. American Yellowwood can grow to a height of 50 feet or more. 

Crape Myrtle

This multi-trunked tree is best in southern locales as it requires hot summers to fully bloom. Bright magenta blooms have yellow centers. They are perfect for providing late summer color to landscaping. They grow to a height of about 25 feet.

Learn More

Tips To Make Your Move More Affordable

Moving to a whole new place is exciting! Unfortunately, it can also be expensive. You have to buy boxes and packing materials and maybe even pay for movers or a moving van. The good news is that there are a lot of things you can do to make your move easier on your wallet.

Declutter Your Home

Moving is the perfect time to declutter your life. By getting rid of items you don’t need, you’ll not only have a fresh, junk-free start at your new home, but you’ll save money on your move too. Movers, like Wheaton World Wide Moving, base part of their charges not only on the distance, but on the actual weight of your items.

Since some bigger trucks carry more than one household’s shipment, you may actually want to go to the weigh station to make sure only your items are being included on the receipt. There, the movers must follow a tariff–a legal document about weight and pricing. Make sure they calculate the tare (an empty truck’s weight) and the gross (when all your items are loaded) correctly. Since weight is such a big factor in the moving price, the less stuff you can leave behind, the better!

Ask for Help from Your Work

This tip only applies if you’re relocating for work-related reasons. If you are, then don’t hesitate to ask your employer if they’re willing to help with some or even all of the costs of your move. Most companies will broach the topic upfront and offer their financial support. Just because yours doesn’t offer to help doesn’t mean you shouldn’t ask. Many businesses even have funds set aside specifically to help with moving costs of new or relocated employees.

Don’t Pay Big for Boxes

Since many moving companies charge an extra fee when providing boxes, you may want to try getting boxes for free instead. You can find free boxes at your local grocery store. Apartmenttherapy.com offers some great ideas for finding boxes. For instance, bookstores have tons of leftover boxes from moving books.

Don’t Move at Peak Times

If you can help it, don’t plan your move during peak moving times. Moving at the end of the month or on Saturdays, for example, is a big no-no. Moving companies know that the pickings get pretty slim during these peak times. So, not only do you run the risk of not being able to find movers, but you also run the risk of paying more for their services if you do!

As you can see, there are lots of little “tricks of the trade” that you can utilize to enjoy a cheaper move. Make sure you take advantage of them.

Learn More

3 Important Mattress Materials To Consider When You Buy A New Mattress For A Bad Back

Choosing the right mattress is especially important if you have back or neck problems. Here are 3 important materials you should look for during the selection process so that you get the perfect one.

Gel 

First, you may want to avoid just traditional mattresses that only contain springs. These beds can be comfortable, but they do not always provide enough support for the back.

Instead, look for a mattress that combines different layers and materials. One of the best materials for a firm bed is gel. A gel layer is not only going to provide a nice, firm cushion for your back, but it will also help you to stay cool at night while you sleep.

One of the nice features of gel is that you kind of float on top of it. When you lay down, you may sink just slightly as your body contours in the gel pad, and this should help your spine to line up correctly. Gel does not compress too much either, so this layer will provide great support for your back and neck.

Memory Foam

Another great material for a bad back is memory foam. Memory foam is not cooling like gel, but you can buy entire beds made of memory foam. This material will form to your body when you lay down, and then it will return to its flat shape as soon as you get up. No matter how long you sleep on the mattress, the indentation will not remain because of the material structure.

A bed made completely of memory foam can be expensive, so you may want to consider a bed that contains this foam as the top few inches on the bed, or you can even buy a memory foam pillow top to go on your bed for greater comfort.

Either way, you should have a better night’s rest because your spine will be aligned as your body contours to the foam in all of the right places.

Pillow Top

Lastly, look for a bed that has a firm pillow top if this is a feature you desire. While a pillow top should be soft and allow you to fall right into the bed, a firmer top will be better for a bad back. When you test out a mattress, lay on all sides of your body to see how the pillow top contours to your body.

This is especially important if you are buying a coil or spring mattress that does not contain the other high quality materials. If your hips sink into the bed too far while your shoulders and legs stay higher, then this will hurt your spine and can cause you to be in pain while you sleep. 

By looking for these features on a mattress, you can find a bed that will help you to sleep well without being in pain. Need more help? Try contacting a company like Denmark’s Furniture Mart & Sleep Shop with any questions you have.

Learn More

Not So Delightful: Common Fireplace Blunders Made By Homeowners

When the snow starts to fall and the weather outside truly does turn into something frightful, you may think that cleaning up that old fireplace and building a cozy fire is one delightful idea. However, if you are not careful, that old fireplace can be a major safety threat to your home and everyone in it. Here are two not so delightful blunders homeowners tend to make when it comes to using an old fireplace in their home.

Do-It-Yourself Chimney Sweeping

Before you start hauling in wood and grab the matches, it is a good idea to head up on the roof and make sure the chimney is not blocked or dirty. There can be soot, dirt, and debris way down in the chimney that you may not be able to see when you take a look. Many homeowners make the mistake of trying to sweep their chimney with a broom or other household tools, but this is never really a good idea. If you accidentally damage the liner of you chimney during the sweep, it can leave your home prone to fire and smoke damage. It is a much better idea to trust professional chimney sweepers, like those at http://www.earlytimeshomesolutions.com, who have all of the right tools to tackle the job.

Forgetting to Check the Carbon Monoxide Detector

Unlike the smoke detector, that old carbon monoxide detector you have in place can easily get disregarded when it comes time to change batteries. This is especially true if you rarely use your fireplace or have a reason to be concerned. One of the biggest mistakes you can make before building a warm and toasty fire is to not check the battery on this device to make sure it is set and ready to go if something goes wrong. This is the one thing that will alert you if something in the fireplace is not working as it should and there is dangerous carbon monoxide leaking into the air.

Homes have been heated with fire for a lot longer than any other modern heat source has been in place. However, anytime you bring fire into the house for heating purposes, there is a reason for a little extra caution to stay safe. Make sure you keep these two common blunders in mind before you aim for a delightful fire and end up making a mistake that causes damage to your home.

Learn More