A Summer Garden for All Seasons

One thing that is often overlooked when planning and creating a beautiful summer garden for homeowners to enjoy is the fact that the garden exists throughout the year. Unfortunately in the vast majority of summer gardens there is a huge hole in the garden for the vast majority of the year. Carefully planning in order to avoid this process and planting flowering plants that bloom during various seasons of the year as well as plants that provide beautiful foliage and greenery even when the flowers may not be blooming can prevent this absence of life within your summer garden from occurring.

Plant continuously and groom your garden consistently throughout the year. Obviously the winter months are not great months for planting in the earth but this doesn’t mean that you cannot use flowerpots filled with seasonal offerings to fill the gaps of green within your garden. There are all kinds of flowers that thrive in winter weather that would make a beautiful addition to your winter garden without taking anything away from the beauty of your summer garden. In fact, the ability to incorporate these flowers and plants into your garden without necessarily planting may be an excellent incentive to keep your garden up to date even in seasons that aren’t traditionally thought of as gardening seasons.

Add features to your garden that aren’t plant related to bring splashes of color to your garden during winter months while preserving the space needed for planting your summer garden when the appropriate time comes. Flowerpots are a great example of this but so are lawn ornaments and statues that may be either moved to a different location during summer months or removed all together. Keep the earth warm for the summer garden to come during those long cold winter months.

Use the winter months to plan your summer garden. The spring is often spent in preparation and the fall months are spent harvesting. The winter months would be put to excellent use planning the new additions and possible movements that need to occur in the coming months. Working on your garden and improving your garden does not necessarily require working in your garden. Once you have those gaps filled in and a little bit of green and color in your garden for the winter months you can focus your undivided attention on making the coming summer garden even better and more spectacular than ever before.

Be careful not to plant all of your seeds in one garden spot so to speak while you are making your plans. By this I mean you need to keep a certain willingness to make adjustments and corrections as you go and learn more about the growing process and the specific gardening needs of your yard. Every growing season will bring a season of new lessons to learn take the time to reflect upon the lessons learned during previous seasons when making plans for the coming seasons and make the adjustments that present themselves along the way.

By learning from the mistakes of the past and always looking to and anticipating the needs of the future you are insuring greater success each year for your summer garden not only during the dog days of summer but throughout all the seasons of the year.

The post A Summer Garden for All Seasons appeared first on All around the house.

From http://allaroundthe.house/year-round-summer-garden/

Advertisements

Removing Old Trees

Sometimes a tree gets to the point where it is necessary to say goodbye to it. It can be a painful choice to make, but sometimes the tree gets too close to the house, gets too diseased, gets an incurable infestation of some pest, or grows too tall and gets close to a power line. If any of these things occur, its best to do the right thing and get rid of the tree. Although you might have spent hours and hours getting the tree to where it is today, it is almost dishonorable to the tree to allow it to suffer in bad conditions.

Once you have made the choice to remove the tree, you need to plan its removal. I can’t begin to count how many windows I’ve seen knocked out or cars I’ve seen crushed because of poor planning in the tree removal process. Decide what direction you want it to fall, and accurately measure to make sure it will fall completely clear of anything else that it could possibly cause damage to.

Before cutting down the tree, see if proper pruning is possible.

Once you have the falling direction planned out, you should climb up the tree and tie two long ropes near the top. Anchor them on the opposite side of the one that you want it to fall towards. This will allow you to adjust the direction the tree is being lowered in, just in case it starts leaning towards anything it could destroy.

Now that you’ve taken all the necessary precautions, you are ready to begin chopping. If you plan on using a manually operated saw or axe, please step back and consider how insane that is. Chopping down a tree by hand will take you forever, and will not even begin to be as accurate as using a chainsaw. If you don’t have a chainsaw, you shouldn’t even consider doing it without one. Ask around with your neighbors and see if anyone has one that you could borrow. If that doesn’t work, rent or buy one from your local home improvement store.

Before you start chopping away at the tree, you should wear proper eye and face protection in case any wood chips fly towards your eyes. I had a friend who blinded his right eye while cutting down a tree, so I hope all of my readers do not make the same mistake as he did. Whenever you operate a power tool, always be sure to wear proper protection for any exposed parts of your body.

When making the cut, you do not want to just cut a straight line into the tree. It is best to cut a sideways “V” into the tree. This is because if you cut the straight line, the tree will end up rolling to one side or the other. If you cut in a “V”, the tree will be able to fall in the exact direction that you want it to fall. Occasionally it might be a few feet off due to human error during the cutting process, but if you have some strong friends pull on the ropes you tied, you can line it back up with the path you wanted it to take. The entire process shouldn’t take more than an hour.

Removal of the stump can be slightly more difficult. You have several choices; you can rent out a stump chipper that will completely destroy the visible section of the stump. Or you can spend countless hours digging it out. Digging out the stump is much more thorough, but takes forever. If you have kids this shouldn’t be a problem. Kids often find the thought of digging fun, and are excited to go outside and dig all day long with their friends. This was the method I used, and I had the entire stump out within a week. Keep in mind that my stump was about 1 foot in diameter, and digging probably won’t work for stumps much larger than that.

The post Removing Old Trees appeared first on All around the house.

From http://allaroundthe.house/removing-old-trees/

Most eco-friendly lawn mowers

So, you want to be more environmentally friendly? Ever think about the fact that your gas lawn mower generates carbon monoxide and your electric lawn mower requires carbon to be generated in the creation of electricity. What if you could mow your lawn without generating any carbon footprint and get exercise at the same time? Old school push reel mowers are the answer for eco friendly lawn mowers.

Yes, whether you call them push reel mowers , push mowers, old fashioned mowers, or just manual mowers, they are making a big comeback for the eco conscience home owner. Consider some of the benefits these push reel mowers provide.

They’re Green. Gas powered lawn mowers are a major contributor to emissions. The engines on most gas mowers are very basic and contribute to pollution. Once a push reel mower is manufactured, the pollution it produces is gone. Push reel mowers provide clean pollution free mowing. (they also produce low noise pollution)

They’re Economical. I never thought mowing my lawn was an expensive task, until gas hit $4 a gallon. I used to be able to fill my gas can with pocket change, now I use my credit card. Push reel mowers run on a renewable resource, you! Push reel mowers are available under $100 and need very little maintenance and always start on the firs pull or, push if you will.

They give a free workout. We have spent so many years trying to make things easier for ourselves that we now have it to easy and have to pay to get a good work out. Push reel mowers will give you a nice low impact work out at your own pace.

Your lawn will love it. A good sharp reel mower will leave your lawn in beautiful shape. If you wear your old steel golf spikes, you will can aerate your lawn at the same. Speaking of golf, many golf courses use a form of a reel mower to keep their grass in top shape.

Below are 5 areas where a reel mower is not the best solution for everyone

  1. Yard Size. Most push reel mowers can cover up to 2500 square feet without too much trouble. If your yard is much larger than that, you may want to consider a powered mower, and perhaps even one that’s self-propelled or a riding mower.
  2. How often You Mow. If you mow less than once every 2 weeks, then your lawn will be taller than what’s manageable with a reel mower; especially in the late-Spring and early-Summer time. Most reel mowers can handle up to 2″ fairly well; some can even handle as high as 3″ or more. If you routinely wait until your grass is higher than 2″ you could be making more work for yourself with a push reel mower.
  3. Yard layout. If your yard is on a hilly terrain then it’s even more work to go back up the hill on each pass. One way to mitigate this layout would be to cut horizontally instead of vertically, so you don’t have to go up the hill each time, just across it.
  4. Trees. If you have trees in your yard whose branches cover most of the yard, you may have quite a few fallen twigs, sticks and branches to contend with. That would mean adding the extra work of picking up as many sticks as possible before you begin cutting. Whereas powered mowers can cut through most twigs and small sticks easily; those items will quickly stop a reel mower in it’s tracks. Which would add to the total cutting time because you would have to clean the debris from the blades each time they got stuck.
  5. Weather conditions. If your grass is wet, it will make cutting a bit more difficult. Depending on just how wet the lawn is, the wheels could simply slide across the grass which would not allow the blades to rotate properly.

 

Still searching for the most friendly eco-friendly lawn mowers? Check out our recommendations below:

 

GreenWorks 25052 16-Inch Reel Lawn Mower

We’ll say it again – our whole production will never launch ounces of carbon as exhaust into the air. 4 Season Assurance – Dual Conventional. When looking for garden resources, we know you’re considering about high quality. You’re looking for something that will get the job done and get you returning to relaxing on the weekends. That’s why GreenWorks supports every device with a full four-year warranty – we know our items carry out at the biggest level and will always be efficient. GreenWorks the best high quality goods are produced to last. That’s why we back again our products with a guarantee that’s twice the industry standard. We’ll provide all the power you need without damaging the air or pushing you to keep transporting your gas can to the closest place (especially in the middle of a job). No more tune-ups or servicing. No more pollutants. Fifty-four thousand People in the U.S. mow their lawn every weekend, according to the EPA, using 800 thousand gallons of gas annually. Along the way, property owners leak more than 17 thousand gallons of gas while refueling. That’s equal to the 1989 Exxon Valdez catastrophe. You are going to shift beyond awkward, dangerous gas-powered lawnmowers. It’s here we are at GreenWorks to be your garden resources for life.

 

American Lawn Mower 1304-14 14-Inch 5-Blade Push Reel Lawn Mower

American Lawnmowers reel mowers offer real advantages. All it takes to start a reel mower is a little manual force. There’s no cable to pull. No key to remember. No engine also indicates low maintenance. No gas, oil or ignition connects to blunder with. No running to the gas station or shop to get supplies or parts. This American reel lawn mower is simple and ready to operate when you are. You push, it cuts. Whenever.

American reel lawnmowers don’t have engines which indicates they don’t produce pollutants or create disturbance. Just the clean, silent cut of the reel mower. Mow your lawn without disrupting the serenity in the area. The only sound a reel mower will create is a fulfilling silent cut as the mower reduces the height of lawn. American lawnmowers are light and portable and simple to advance. Due to do convenience of reel lawnmowers they perform every efforts and are simple to service. Pushing a reel mower is a healthy solution for you and your lawn.

Specs:

  • 14-inch cutting size,;
  • 5 knife reel, with heat treated blades to stay sharp longer;
  • durable 10-inch blend wheels;
  • Height flexible from 1-inch to 1-3/4-inch;
  • Lightweight and simple to maneuver .

 

Scotts 2000-20 20-Inch Classic Push Reel Lawn Mower

This traditional Scotts push reel lawn mower gives you the fuel savings of a manual mower and the extensive cutting dimensions of a powered mower. Its unique back wheel design helps move and improve ability to maneuver in tight spots.

  • Drive Force, Engine None,
  • Cutting Size in. 1-3,
  • Knife Type 5-blade, 5-spider football shaped reel with full bearing movement,
  • Rear Wheel Size in. 6 wheels,
  • Cutting Width in. 20, Dimensions L x W x H in. 28 x 18 x 11,
  • Front Wheel Size 20in
  • Rear Wheel Size. 9in.
  • 9-position QuickSnap height adjusters for easy-to-use reducing options

 

Cutting dimension comes close to a powered mower along with 1in.-3in. height range, which is unheard of in other push reel mowers

5-blade football bearing reel has the optimal number of rotor blades for simplicity of use and superior reducing.

Resilient heat-treated rotor blades Welded reel bonnet defends low plants and vegetation. Comfortable cycle handle with foam grip

This unit is Light, maneuverable, economical. The Scotts 2000-20 Classic push reel lawn mower manages dense yards without difficulty and provides a quiet, pollution-free solution for any lawn. The mower’s double monitoring wheels and ultra-sharp steel rotor blades make easy, accurate cutting and efficient function. Powered by you, the mower has an extensive cutting path for a push reel mower and quick-snap height adjusters that keep you in complete control of your lawn height.

The post Most eco-friendly lawn mowers appeared first on All around the house.

From http://allaroundthe.house/eco-friendly-lawn-mowers/

Poison Oak

Commonly known as Pacific poison oak or Western Poison oak, is a woodsy vine or plant in the Anacardiaceae (sumac) family. It is allocated in western Northern America, inhabiting conifer and combined broadleaf forests, grasslands, and chaparral biomes. Optimum blooming only happens in May. Like other members of the Toxicodendron genus, T. diversilobum causes itchiness and sensitive rashes in many people after contact by touch or breathing.

 

Toxicodendron diversilobum is extremely varying in growth and foliage overall look. It develops as a heavy 0.5–4 m (1.6–13.1 ft) high Plant in open sunshine, a treelike grape vine 10–30 feet (3.0–9.1 m) and may be more than 100 feet (30 m) long with an 8–20 cm (3.1–7.9 in) footprint, as heavy thickets in shady areas, or any form in between It reproduces by growing rhizomes and by seeds. The plant is winter deciduous, so that after cold temperature sets in, the vines are leafless and keep only the casual group of fruits. Without leaves the stems may sometimes be recognized by periodic black spots where its milky sap may have oozed and dried. Poison oak is typical in various environments, from mesic riparian areas to xeric chaparral. It grows in sketchy and dappled mild through complete and sunshine circumstances, at heights below 5,000 legs (1,500 m). The vining type can ascend huge plant and shrub trunks into the canopy.

The post Poison Oak appeared first on All around the house.

From http://allaroundthe.house/poison-oak/

How to Calculate the Size of Pond Liners

The pond liner is one of the most important parts of a water garden pond because it is used on the inside of a fish pond to retain water and prevent leaking. Pond liners come in several materials and a variety of weights, and are either available pre-cut in standard sizes or from a large roll, much like a carpet roll. Purchase pond liners online or at specialty water garden pond stores as well as at and big box stores selling fish pond supplies. Prices vary along with quality. Follow these basic directions for calculating the size of any pond liner needed for most water garden ponds, pondless waterfalls and pond fountains.

 

Choosing the Correct Material for a Pond Liner

  • Determine the type of material. There are several products available for pond liners available such as Polyethelyne, Fiberglass, PVC and rubber. Rubber, however, is probably the best product for garden pond liners because it is inexpensive, very flexible, comes in several weights, will not harm fish or plant life and can be used permanently.

 

Measure the Garden Pond Accurately

  • Measure the length, width and depth of the water garden pond using a tape measure. If the garden pond is irregular in shape measure the longest, widest and deepest parts. Don’t skimp on the measurements because it’s better to have a pond liner that is oversized than one not large enough.

 

Calculate Pond Liner Size with a Simple Equation

  • Determine the length of a pond liner by adding the length of the water garden pond + twice the depth + 2 extra feet. For example lets say the water garden pond is 6 feet long and 3 feet deep. The length of the pond liner would be 6 + 6+ 2 = 14 feet.
  • The additional length allows for adequate manipulation and placement of the fish pond liner into nooks and crannies of your water garden pond. It allows room for the pond pump as well as rock placement without risking tearing from over-stretching.
  • Determine the pond liner width by adding the width of the water garden pond + twice the depth + 2 extra feet. For example lets say the backyard garden pond is 3 feet wide and 3 feet deep. The length of the pond liner would be 3 + 6+ 2 = 11 feet.
  • Using the above calculations as an example, the appropriate fish pond liner will be at least 14 feet long by 11 feet wide.
  • The added size also offers the option of being able to install the pond liner in one piece, an important facet of building a good, leak-proof garden pond or backyard waterfall. Extra lining material along edges can be folded under, tucked in or trimmed to reduce bulk. The additional size also makes it easier to clean a pond and not risk pulling the liner edges out from under rocks.

Pricing a Pond Liner

  • Check with various stores selling fish pond supplies for the best pricing on pond liners. The larger they liner needed, the more expensive, and some stores are significantly less expensive than others. It may be tempting to choose a garden pond liner made from lighter gauge material to save money, or of an inferior fabric, but beware. When installing a pond liner, it can tear or be punctured by rocks or develop small leaks over time where better quality materials will not. To be safe and ensure the pond liner will last a good long time, choose one that is heavier gauge rubber.

 

Careful measuring will help to avoid having to use more than one piece of liner and prevent the need for seams and sealants which may leak. Once the pond liner size has been properly calculated, it’s easier to build and maintain a beautiful water garden pond with confidence.

The post How to Calculate the Size of Pond Liners appeared first on All around the house.

From http://allaroundthe.house/calculate-size-pond-liners/

Carpet Surface, Important Considerations

Carpet offers you several advantages that other flooring surfaces can’t compete with.  Below, you will find many of the features that carpet will add to your home.

Important things to consider when covering a surface with carpet

Warmth

Carpet is the best choice you can make for your bedroom, family room, and other areas where you need warmth underfoot.

Insulation

Both carpet and carpet padding will provide an extra layer of much needed insulation between the floors of your home.  Depending on the density and weight of the carpet, it contributes to the R-value of your home, which adds to the energy efficiency as well.

Safety

Carpet offers a slip resistant surface that will prevent accidents along with a natural cushion in the event of someone falling.  For young children and the elderly, this is very important.

Reduction in sound

Carpet will also reduce noise better than any other type of flooring.  Carpet works to dampen noise in three ways:

  1. Reduces surface noise from foot traffic
  2. Absorbs airborne sound
  3. Blocks transmission of sound

These qualities are valuable in apartments as well as semi-detached homes.

Surface

Adding carpet to a room can also disguise any existing damage to the floor and also hide any other problems such as warped floors.  The thicker density the carpet is, the more problems it will be able to hide.

Easy to care for surface

The carpets of today are more stain resistant than they have ever been in the past, which makes cleaning even the worst possible spills easier than ever.  No matter type of spill it may be, there is always a way to clean it up.

Clean air

Research has proven that carpet can indeed improve the quality of air by trapping allergy causing dust and allergens if it is properly cleaned and maintained.

Variety of use

Carpets aren’t only for floors anymore, which is a great thing.  You can easily add carpet to steps, stairs, walls, posts, and other nonlevel surfaces, without having to worry about it slipping, lifting, or buckling.

Flexibility

Carpet is the primary foundation in almost any room.  Because it is available in a variety of different colors and textures, it helps to create an unlimited number of possibilities for decorating.  From the neutral tones to rich solids, carpet is the first step you can take to make your home look better than ever.

Low cost

Carpet doesn’t cost a lot of money, as it offers an economical alternative to the other types of expensive flooring.  Even with professional installation, you won’t pay near as much as you would for hard surfaces.  Unlike hard surfaces, carpet can keep you comfortable if you decide to lay down on it.

Life span

The carpets of today are very durable and can outlast most other types of flooring available on the market.  All you must do is select a type of carpet that has a life span of 5 – 30 years or more, which is very common now days.

Warranty

With most manufacturers, you can get great warranties with your carpet purchase.  This way, you’ll be protected when you install your new carpet.  Once installed, all you must do is enjoy it – as the warranty will ensure that you are very well protected.

The post Carpet Surface, Important Considerations appeared first on All around the house.

From http://allaroundthe.house/carpet-surface-important-considerations/

Tree Pruning Tips

There are two kinds of winter gardening. The first method usually starts in January as the gardening catalogs begin to arrive in the mail. This type of gardening is as easy as sitting in your favorite chair, browsing the catalogs, and either dreaming about what you’re going to do this spring, or actually drawing designs for the gardens you intend to work on.

The second type of winter gardening is to actually get out in the yard and do a little work. Of course if it’s bitter cold, you’d be better off waiting for a good day. Winter is a good time to do some pruning if the temperatures are around 30 degrees or so. I don’t recommend pruning if it’s considerably below freezing because the wood is brittle and will shatter when you make a cut.

One of the advantages of pruning during the winter is that you can see much better what needs to be cut out and what should stay. At least that’s true with deciduous plants. The other advantage is that the plants are dormant, and won’t mind you doing a little work on them.

Ornamental trees should pruned to remove competing branches. Weeping Cherries, Flowering Dogwoods, Flowering Crabapples etc. have a tendency to send branches in many different directions. It is your job to decide how you want the plant to look, and then start pruning to achieve that look.

But first stick your head inside the tree and see what you can eliminate from there. This is like looking under the hood, and when you do you’ll see a lot of small branches that have been starved of sunlight, that certainly don’t add anything to the plant.  They are just there, and should be cut out.

Any branch that is growing toward the center of the tree where it will get little sunlight should be cut out. Where there are two branches that are crossing, one of them should be eliminated. Once you get the inside of the plant cleaned up, you can start shaping the outside.

Shaping the outside is actually quite easy. Just picture how you want the plant to look, and picture imaginary lines of the finished outline of the plant. Cut off anything that is outside of these imaginary lines. It is also important to cut the tips of branches that have not yet reached these imaginary lines in order to force the plant to fill out.

Check out this post to learn more about cutting and pruning

For the most part plants have two kinds of growth: Terminal branches and lateral branches. Each branch has one terminal bud at the very end, and many lateral branches along the sides. The terminal buds grow in an outward direction away from the plant. Left uncut they just keep growing in the same direction, and the plant grows tall and very thin. That’s why the trees in the woods are so thin and not very attractive.

When you cut a branch on a plant, the plant sets new buds just below where you cut. When you remove the terminal bud the plant will set multiple buds; this is how you make a plant nice and full. Don’t be afraid to trim your plants, they will be much nicer because of it. The more you trim them, the fuller they become.

Lots of people have a real problem with this. They just can’t bring themselves to prune. Especially when it comes to plants like Japanese Red Maples. It kills them to even think about pruning a plant like this. Just do it! You’ll have a beautiful plant because of it.

Look at the plant objectively. If you see a branch that looks like it’s growing too far in the wrong direction, cut it. If you make a mistake it will grow back. Not pruning is the only mistake you can make. I hope this helps and doesn’t get you in trouble with your significant other. Many a family feud has started over pruning.

The post Tree Pruning Tips appeared first on All around the house.

From http://allaroundthe.house/tree-pruning-tips/

All About Power Screwdrivers

Have you ever had to deal with a stubborn screw that just wouldn’t go into the material like you wanted? How about one that wouldn’t come out for you? This can be frustrating as well as time consuming. Power screwdrivers are a great solution for these issues. They are very efficient and inexpensive.

In line power screwdrivers are designed for basic household projects. They aren’t too powerful, but more than sufficient to get the job done. For heavy duty projects, consider using a drywall screwdriver. Some models offer various speeds. There are several models to choose from. Some are very similar in design to a basic screwdriver. Other are shaped like the number seven, with a handle for you to guide the screws in. Others come with a handle that pivot to help you get into just about any angle you can imagine.

Select a power screwdriver that fits well in your hand. Some of the handles are rough and others have a soft, foam grip to them. Hold the power screwdriver in your hand and see how it feels after a few minutes. If you will be using it for lengths of time then comfort is very important. You don’t want to end up with sore hands or blisters.

Different power screwdrivers have varying amounts of torque power and speeds. You will want to compare this information before deciding on the power screwdriver you wish to purchase. Take some time to review what each power screwdriver is recommended for. Compare that to the projects you are likely to undertake with the power screwdriver.

It is good idea to keep your power screwdriver fully charged. This will give you the best possible results from it. If the battery won’t hold a charge for very long, you are going to have to replace the battery. Some people choose to purchase a second battery separately so that they can have one charging and one in the power screwdriver. This is highly recommended if you will be using the power screwdriver on a regular basis.

For those of you who intend to use your power screwdriver regularly, consider purchasing a power screwdriver kit. It comes with a sturdy carrying case. Inside you will find the power screwdriver and a slot for each accessory. You will often get many sizes of tips to use. It will also include a power cord. Some of the power screwdriver kits also include an extra battery as well as a charger that plugs into your cigarette lighter. You can get a power screwdriver kit at a much better price than having to purchase accessories separately.

Very few accidents actually occur from using a power screwdriver, but they can. While using a power screwdriver, remember the driving force behind it. Both of your hands should be away from the area that turns. The turning blade can slice your hand if you aren’t careful. It is a good idea to use eye protection as well.

Power screwdrivers will drive through most anything. It is very important that you make sure there are no power cords or wires behind the area where you are working. Keep your hair pulled away from your face as well. Leaning forward to see your progress can result in loose hair getting caught and twisted.

The post All About Power Screwdrivers appeared first on All around the house.

From http://allaroundthe.house/all-about-power-screwdrivers/

Halloween Home Decorating Tips

If there is ever a time of year when the ghosts and goblins roam the streets of the modern world, that time would be Halloween. Today’s ghost and goblins are probably a little more frightening than at any other time in history but they are often tempered by a princess seeking frogs and a few witches and wizards along the way. Halloween is a great day to be a kid but can also be a great day for grown ups as well. Decorating for Halloween can be almost as fun as going out and begging for candy any day of the week.

 

decorating your front lawn for halloween is important to set the toneBesides, having a well decorated home for this holiday gives you the perfect excuse to scare the evil out of some young ghoul or vampire that thinks he or she has the market cornered on frightening. The really cool thing about decorating for Halloween is that it is not one size fits all. You are perfectly free to find some very scary home decorations for this delightful holiday or take on a kinder, gentler, more kid friendly style of decorating. Either decision is yours and yours alone and should carefully monitor the scare-ability of your own children when deciding. You certainly don’t want them afraid to come home.

 

For a more frightening Halloween scene you will probably want to use some strobe lights, frightening music and sound effects, dry ice in order to incorporate spooky fog, and plenty of spider web type netting in order to give those who dare approach your door bells a complete and thorough case of the willies. Doesn’t this sound like so much fun? Coffins with headless straw men are also a great addition as well as skittering spiders and the occasional chainsaw or two. A glow in the dark hockey mask may also be a good choice. Bodiless heads suspended by fishing wire are also quite the highlight for a true and robust fright.

 

kid friendly halloween decorationsIf your goal is to create a kid friendly Halloween atmosphere there are cheerful pumpkin decorations that can be found in many shapes and sizes as well as Casper the friendly ghost, Frankenstein piñatas, and countless other fun party favors that are designed to bring entertainment and delight rather than terror and far. String pumpkin lights around the porch for added lighting and another friendly face in addition to keeping plenty of candles and lanterns lit nearby. Not all trick or treaters are older kids who appreciate a good scare so keep this in mind as the little ghosts, goblins, princesses, and super heroes arrive.

 

For adult gatherings all bets are off when it comes to home decorating for Halloween. There are all kinds of themes that can be followed from the incredibly zany and outrageous to the frightening or flamboyant. The biggest suggestion in these matters is to have fun at all times and bring the be the life of the party rather than having the decorations upstage your efforts. Far too many people spend more time concerned with how they will decorate their homes rather than wondering how they will decorate themselves for the festivities. If you find the perfect costumes all eyes will be on you and not your decorations.

 

Favorite suggestions for adult parties would include strobe lights, much like the frightening scene described above, low additional lights, perhaps black lights near the food and drink area of the party. More dry ice (if tolerable some people have difficulties with the smell particularly those with allergies or asthma so you may want to avoid this inside your home and leave it for the exterior). Bales of hay in the corner make excellent additional seating and can contribute to the harvest/autumn/Halloween atmosphere you are attempting to create. Just remember that the underlying goal is for you and your guests to have a great time. Have good food, good music, and good friends, and the decorations really and truly should be a secondary concern.

The post Halloween Home Decorating Tips appeared first on All around the house.

From http://allaroundthe.house/halloween-home-decorating-tips/

Ten Ways to Repair Your Home for Winter

Quite a few homes around your neighbourhood are not actually ready for the winter months. Through a variety of reasons they are wasting on energy efficiency. Hopefully your home is not one of them, but here are ten repair projects, just to be sure.

Tip Number One

Draft is an absolute killer on central heating. Simply put the more cold air coming into a home the more heating required to balance it out. Professional auditors can be called in to look for draft areas inside the home and it can be a bit surprising with what they find. For instance, I once had a home where, to fit a pipe into the attic, a five inch hole was cut for a three inch pipe. Obviously a mistake like that is going to let a lot of air out. A bit of insulation patching worked just fine for that job. Only took a few dollars to repair what would otherwise be a few more dollars each month on electricity.

Tip Number Two

Tip two is more about human nature than an actual repair. Closing doors during the winter is absolutely essential. There are not radiators in a lot of hallways for a reason! It is not meant to be heated. Honestly, how many people do you know that spend lots of time in the hallway? Probably not a lot, so start getting into the habit of making sure doors to heated rooms remain closed when at all possible. Otherwise the heat will escape into the hall and boost the electricity bill. Also make sure every door can shut properly as draft applies inside the home too.

Tip Number Three

Double glazed windows are-and rightly so-a huge craze right now. With considerably less heat loss compared to single glazed (normal) windows it does not take a lot to figure out why. I have seen claims as high as a 15% reduction in heat loss. Moreover, they can help to combat draft too. While they initially might cost a lot they are worth it in the long run. Besides saving on the electric bill they also increase rental value, future sell value, security, and noise as well.

Tip Number Four

Plumbing can be a dangerous hazard in the winter. If outside water is not turned off, then there is the potential for the pipes to actually burst. On that same thought a leak in the line could lead to the same sort of disaster. A lot of people do not go through this step, but it can be worthwhile to have a plumber come in and inspect everything is on the up and up.

Tip Number Five

On that note leaks should also be taken care of prior to the icy season. Not only will it allow heat to escape but it can be very troublesome should a really bad storm hit the home. Be especially prepared for new leaks throughout the season if you live in a winter wonderland. With so many things falling down due to high winds and ice every so often something big enough will fall to penetrate the roof. Nothing quite like waking up to a tree top falling through the garage!

Tip Number Six

Leaks in sinks are another common waste of money. They do not take a lot of green paper to fix either. A small drip can be surprisingly costly though. There should not even be a need for a plumber on little drips. Tightening some bolts, replacing a pipe, or maybe a new faucet should do the trick.

Tip Number Seven

Make completely sure to trim back trees and shrubbery before the season hits. Anything too close to the home is a potential hazard for coming in through windows or onto the roof. If you choose to take down an entire tree, though, I recommend calling in a professional. It can be difficult to predict which way the tree will fall and surely you do not want it to fall against the house.

Tip Number Eight

When was the last time your gutters were cleaned? They can be a bad source of water damage to the house. Make sure to check them every so often throughout the season as well. It may also be worth looking into gutter systems such as K-Guard, which advertise gutters where leaves will not clog the water flow.

Tip Number Nine

Call in professionals to check the heating system thoroughly. Heat can be lost through damaged ducts, a clogged filter, and a multitude of other problems. Your heater will be your friend through the season; do your best to take care of him too!

Tip Number Ten

Be on your toes. Things will go awry during the season. Just be prepared for problems to arise, stay calm, and everything will be okay. Even new builds have problem areas in dealing with the winter months!

The post Ten Ways to Repair Your Home for Winter appeared first on All around the house.

From http://allaroundthe.house/ten-ways-to-repair-your-home-for-winter/