Pages Navigation Menu

Garbage Into Beautiful Decorations

Turning Garbage Into Beautiful Decorations

How To Transform Unwanted Timber Plantation Shutters Into A Gorgeous, Decorative Herb Planter

Posted by on Aug 1, 2016 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on How To Transform Unwanted Timber Plantation Shutters Into A Gorgeous, Decorative Herb Planter

When it’s time to replace your old timber plantation shutters, why not try converting them into a gorgeous herb planter to take pride of place on your patio?  Herbs not only look decorative, they smell great too! This is an easy project that can be completed in a few hours. What you’ll need 4 thin wooden plantation shutters a square, plastic plant tray (with drainage holes) a selection of herbs compost fine gravel sandpaper (coarse and fine grain) wood stain paint brush wire wool stiff brush wood glue Everything you need for this project can be sourced from a good DIY and garden store. How to do it Your first job is to clean the old shutters to get rid of any clinging dirt and flaky paint.  The quickest way to do this is to go over the shutters with a stiff brush, and then use some wire wool to rub off any loose paint flakes.   To shift any remaining paint, take a piece of coarse sandpaper and rub down the whole shutter, making sure that you cover each slat, including underneath and into the corners.   When the paint is all gone, go over the shutters again using the fine grained sandpaper.  This will leave the wood nice and smooth, helping to ensure good coverage with the wood stain.   Now you need to stain the shutters with wood stain.  If you can, hang the shutters somewhere where they can hang freely so that you can get to every nook and cranny.  This also helps the shutters to dry more quickly.   Allow the shutters to dry completely, and then apply another coat of wood stain if you want to.   Next, put the shutters together to form a box shape and glue the sides together with strong wood glue.  When the glue is dry, place a shallow, plastic plant tray inside the shutter box to form the bottom of the planter and glue it into place.   Place the planter in its final position before planting it up; it will be very heavy when filled with planting medium and you won’t be able to shift it very easily!   Fill the planter half-full with an equal-parts mixture of fine gravel and general purpose compost.    Adjust the shutter slats so that there’s just enough space to slot the herb roots through to rest on the compost mix.  Put two or three herb plants into each side of the shutter planter and top it up with compost and gravel to within a few centimetres of the top.  Re-adjust the shutter slats to help keep the plants in place.  Water well.   Plant the remaining herbs in the top of the planter and water the whole thing again.   Remember to water the planter each day, and more frequently in periods of very warm weather. As the herbs grow, they will cascade down over the sides of the planter, filling your patio with scent and providing you with delicious fresh seasoning for your kitchen...

read more

How To Keep Legionella Out Of Your Solar Hot Water System

Posted by on Aug 1, 2016 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on How To Keep Legionella Out Of Your Solar Hot Water System

Legionella is a bacterium that can cause the potentially fatal condition, Legionnaire’s disease.  Legionnaire’s disease affects the sufferer’s respiratory system and is similar to pneumonia.  It’s particularly dangerous for the elderly, young babies and those whose immune system is already weakened by an existing medical condition.  But what has your new solar hot water system got to do with legionella and Legionnaire’s disease?  Read on for some important information. Legionella and your solar hot water system The legionella bacterium lives in water, but is spread through the air.  The ideal water temperature required for this nasty bug to thrive needs to be between 250C and 450C.  But if the bacteria are airborne, can they get into your lungs and cause Legionnaire’s disease? The most common means of airborne legionella transmission is through the inhalation of the fine mist of water particles that is produced when you take a shower.  Another possible method of infection is through using a garden hose that’s connected to the hot water supply, for example when washing your car. How to kill the legionella bacteria in your hot water system Legionella can be easily killed by increasing the water temperature to around 600C.  You only need to raise the temperature to this level for a few minutes in order to despatch the bugs so the process should be relatively simple.  However, when sunlight levels are lower, for example during the winter and autumn months, the solar collectors in your system might only be able to elevate water temperatures to a maximum of around 450C, which is clearly not hot enough to kill off the legionella bug. Most well-designed solar hot water systems are equipped to boost the solar power income with an alternative heat source so that you’ll still enjoy hot water during sun-starved periods.   The usual way of doing this is by providing an immersion heater or boiler as back-up.  The best way of ensuring that any bacteria in the water are killed-off is to set your alternative water heater to come on every day for an hour in the morning and again in the evening, making sure that the water temperature is increased to a minimum of 600C during these periods.  Your boiler or immersion heater will be equipped with a thermostat.  This means that if your solar hot water system has generated the minimum temperature you’ve demanded, i.e. 600C, your booster system will recognise this and not kick-in. In conclusion You can keep your family safe from the legionella bug and still continue to enjoy the money saving benefits of solar hot water by following the simple guidelines given above.  For more tips and advice, have a chat with your solar hot water system...

read more

Various Ways LED Grow Lights Would Be Beneficial For Your Indoor Garden

Posted by on Jul 22, 2016 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Various Ways LED Grow Lights Would Be Beneficial For Your Indoor Garden

If you have a green thumb, undoubtedly you have thought of ways to maximise on the sun’s natural lighting in your yard for your plants to flourish. However, with the advancement of technology, this is now becoming a thing of the past. The current trend is to have an indoor garden. One of the most essential things needed when it comes to these indoor gardens is the lighting. Here are some of the various ways LED grow lights would be beneficial for your indoor garden. LED grow lights are not extremely hot The first thing to watch out for when purchasing grow bulbs is that you are not selecting grow lights that will burn too hot. Not only do high temperatures pose a safety hazard, but they are also harmful to the plants that you are trying to grow as they will heat the air around them. Additionally, high heat grow lights need extra expenditure on your part, as you will have to install a cooling system when they become that hot. This is why you should consider LED grow lights. Although LED grow lights will emit some radiant heat, they will never get too hot for easy handling. In addition to that, they tend to cool down at a faster rate, thus not posing any risks to you or your plants. LED grow lights emit the right wavelength for plant growth When purchasing grow lights, you need to ensure that you are choosing grow lights that give out the wavelength that is needed by your plants. In essence, light is made up of numerous wavelengths. The light that you can see is known as visible light. This type of light starts off red in colour on one end of its spectrum and blue on the other end. Plants need both ends of the spectrum to be able to accomplish the different tasks they need to stay alive. LED grow lights will give you all the necessary spectrums of light that are needed by plants ranging from the blue spectrum which they need for the development of leaves to the red spectrum that they need for fruiting and general growth. LED grow lights are energy efficient A large number of light bulbs tend to produce more heat rather than light. What you are looking for are grow lights that will produce more light than heat. For example, take a look at an incandescent lamp. This contraption will use almost all of its energy producing heat instead of light. On the other hand, you have LED grow lights that will make the most of their energy to produce light rather than heat. By conserving the energy, you are going to ensure that your indoor garden is cost...

read more

Designs You Can Consider When Selecting Blinds for Your Home

Posted by on Jul 12, 2016 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Designs You Can Consider When Selecting Blinds for Your Home

When it comes to window treatments, most homeowners resort to conventional options such as curtains and drapes. If you would like a unique alternative for your interior décor, then you should consider blinds. Blinds come in a multitude of materials to ensure that every homeowner will find something to suit their needs. Knowing the various designs that are available to you goes a long way in helping you choose blinds that will complement your décor theme. Here are some of the different designs that you can consider when selecting blinds for your home.  Roman blinds These types of blinds are made up of fabric that has been mounted on horizontal slats. When you open the blinds, the fabric folds in on itself to create neat horizontal pleats at the top of the window. Oman blinds are typically operated by tugging on either a cord or a chain. If you are looking for a window treatment that will enhance heat retention in your home, you should consider roman blinds. This is because when they are closed the fabric lies flat on your windows, which creates a layer of insulation. This works to prevent heat from escaping through your windowpanes. Venetian blinds These types of blinds do not have any fabric. Instead, they are made up of slats that have been arranged horizontally. When the blinds are fully open, the slats stack together at the top of the window. One of the advantages of Venetian blinds is that they provide you with privacy without having to compromise on natural lighting. If you would like to keep prying eyes from peeking into your home, you could keep the blinds lowered but open the slats at an angle. This way, light can still stream into your home, but people outside will not be able to see inside. Venetian blinds are also ideal for homeowners who would like the option of regulating the amount of natural light that streams into their residence at any given time.   Roller blinds As the name suggests, these types of blinds operate by rolling up and down. They are made of a layer of fabric that is not attached to any solid panels. Since there is no support in the form of slats, the blinds easily wrap around a cylinder when they are opened. Roller blinds are a convenient option for homeowners who are looking for hassle free window treatments due to the easy operation of these...

read more

Carports, Insurance And Rainwater Harvesting

Posted by on Jun 22, 2016 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Carports, Insurance And Rainwater Harvesting

Homeowners often choose to incorporate carports (instead of garages) into the structure of their homes because carports are often cheaper to build. Despite their cost-effectiveness, a good quality carport can have a positive impact on the resale value of your property should you ever choose to sell the house. In addition to this, a carport can also help you make significant savings before you decide that it’s time to take advantage of the higher resale value. This article explains how. Lower Insurance Premiums Auto insurance companies may have different formulae for calculating the risk potential for individual motorists. Risk potential is a measure of how likely you are to make a claim. Clients with a higher risk potential often end up paying higher premiums. Various factors are considered when your risk potential is being calculated. These factors include, but they’re not limited to, the following: The age and physical condition of the vehicle to be insured Your driving history How vulnerable your vehicle is to physical damage Physical damage on vehicles is often as a result of exposure to harsh weather conditions (e.g. hailstorms and excess UV radiation from the sun). If you install a carport with a polycarbonate roof, your vehicle will be protected from nearly all forms of physical damage resulting from harsh weather conditions. Polycarbonate is often the material used to make bullet proof shields that police officers use. A polycarbonate carport roof will therefore keep hailstones away from your car with no qualms. Polycarbonate roofing panels are also designed to be UV-resistant so your vehicle’s paintwork is protected from the potentially damaging effects of UV radiation. Installing a carport reduces your risk potential in the eyes of the insurer and you can use this as a bargaining chip for lower monthly premiums. Lower Water Utility Bills A carport may also help to lower your water utility bills by reducing your reliance on the main water supply. How is this possible? The carport provides an excellent opportunity for you to harvest rainwater around the house. Installing gutters on the carport roof allows you to harvest rain water, which can then drain into a storage tank. Harvested rainwater will supplement the main water supply, which can lead to a significant decrease in your water utility bills. If you already harvest rainwater, the roof and gutters on a newly-installed carport provide an additional source of harvested water around the...

read more

Air Conditioning | 4 Problems Associated With Unchecked Dirty Air Filters In Your Air Conditioners

Posted by on Jun 10, 2016 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Air Conditioning | 4 Problems Associated With Unchecked Dirty Air Filters In Your Air Conditioners

Air filters are designed to trap pollutants and debris from external air before it enters the room through your cooling unit. Dirty air filters are not only ineffective for purifying the cool air that enters your room, but they could eventually trigger the break down of your entire air conditioning system. This guide is designed to show homeowners the problems that are associated with unchecked dirty air filters in air conditioning units. You will need to replace them as soon as possible to ensure an optimally functioning air conditioning unit once again. Air Pollution  If your air filter is dirty, then it cannot fulfill its purpose of filtering the allergens out of the air in your room. When it clogs beyond its capacity, it will start allowing dust and debris from outside to enter your home. Allergens can combine with other polluting elements to affect your health, which can trigger allergies, sneezing, headaches and respiratory disorders. To prevent this, you must get your dirty air filters cleaned or replaced as soon as possible. Increased Energy Consumption When your air filter is dirty, the fan motor has to work harder to run cool air from your unit. An extra hard working unit will cause more energy to be consumed. Dirty filters cause frost to start building up on the coils because the airflow is restricted. A build up of frost not only increases the load on your air conditioning unit, but it also reduces cooling over time. This will end up propelling your energy bills upwards. Inefficient Cooling A dirty air filter will lead to an inefficient cooling or heating system because of the restricted airflow within the system. When there is not enough air flowing through the system, the refrigerant flowing through the coils does not have enough heat to absorb and can start to freeze up. This freezing up and reduced airflow will cause your entire system to break down if you’re not careful. Uneven Cooling A dirty air filter will cause uneven cooling in your room because of the blocked airflow. You may find some spots cold, while others remain hot. You may also find it difficult to reach your desired cooling temperature inside your room. Cleaning or replacing your air filter may be the only solution for efficient cooling throughout the room.  Air filters should not be taken lightly because they are important components for cooling your room. Based on your manufacturer’s recommendations, you may need to get these air filters changed every once in a while, but this will ensure that your air conditioning unit remains efficient for the long...

read more

Why Choose External Blinds for Your Home?

Posted by on May 26, 2016 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Why Choose External Blinds for Your Home?

External blinds are often used in restaurants and other such facilities as a way of creating a comfortable environment for diners and others who are inside. However, external blinds can be a good choice for your home, more so than blinds in the interior. Note a few reasons to choose external blinds for your home and then ask a contractor about this option. 1. Easier cleanup Blinds are often notoriously difficult to clean, as you may need to manually wipe down the area between each slat. External blinds may be easier to clean because you can often close them and then use a hose to wash them down. The water can simply run down to the sidewalk and if any dirty water gets on the windows behind the blinds, you can also use the hose to rinse that away. Your blinds are then cleaned quickly and easily and always look their best. 2. Security and safety Interior blinds do little to improve your home’s safety and security; they usually cannot lock into place so that they discourage burglars and don’t stop anyone from breaking a window. However, exterior blinds can cover the windows completely and may lock into place so that you deter potential intruders. This also protects your windows in case of storms, hail, hurricanes, and the like. They can be a great choice for homes located near a golf course or highways, as you might be more susceptible to stray golf balls and gravel that could hit your windows during high traffic times. 3. Better insulation Interior blinds may provide some protection against the blazing hot sun or drafts that might slip through windows, but they typically don’t offer any noticeable insulating features. Exterior blinds are often made to be much wider than the windows and fit very snugly against your house so that they can block out the sun completely and also reduce the drafts and cold air that might otherwise get in. This can mean lower utility costs and a more comfortable interior environment on those hot summer days. 4. Appearance Your home’s window treatments, inside and out, are like accessories to an outfit. They can enhance your home’s overall appearance and make everything look polished and updated. If you cannot afford new windows and they are looking a little shabby, you might opt for exterior blinds that you can close over those windows. They are more affordable than new windows, and a pop of color can make your home look its best from the...

read more

2 Important Upgrades For A More Energy Efficient Home

Posted by on May 18, 2016 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on 2 Important Upgrades For A More Energy Efficient Home

The cost of a buying/building a new house is often a stumbling block to achieving “homeowner” status. Thus, many prospective new homeowners welcome the idea of investing in a pre-owned house. Many times, homeowners find it necessary to upgrade various features of the home in a bid to make it more habitable and more supportive of their lifestyle. This article discusses two home features of a pre-owned home that should be upgraded by a homeowner looking to improve residential energy efficiency. Outdoor Living Spaces In a large number of residential properties, the use potential for outdoor living areas less than fully exploited. Making structural adjustments to outdoor living spaces can have a significant role in reducing the residential consumption of electricity. For example, the installation of metal or fabric awnings on the deck area will block much of the sunlight that would have otherwise penetrated into interior living spaces. Thus, temperatures within indoor living spaces will often be cooler after the installation of awnings. This could easily translate into a reduced need for air conditioning within the indoor living spaces, thereby cutting down on residential power consumption. Alternatively, homeowners can choose to plant leafy trees in outdoor areas that are close to the house. The leaves and branches of the tree will intercept sunlight much like an awning would. However, homeowners who choose to go with leafy trees for outdoor living areas should remember that energy savings may not be realized until the plated trees mature and grow tall enough. The Fireplace The fireplace and chimney are common features in a large number of residential properties. Properties that feature a fireplace and a chimney are often more expensive than similar properties that may lack the two features. The fireplace is one of the main avenues through which energy loss occurs in the residential setting. Common reasons for this loss of energy include loose-fitting seals around the flue damper on the fireplace and poor insulation within the chimney. It is a good idea for new occupants of a pre-owned house to have the fireplace and chimney checked by a licensed professional. A chimney sweep (for example) will inspect the condition of the fireplace and chimney before making recommendations on the best way to kick energy efficiency back into the fireplace. Homeowners get to recover the money spent on the acquisition of awnings and that spent on hiring a chimney sweep in the form of a lower electricity utility bill at the end of each billing...

read more

Stained Window Treatments | 4 Guidelines To Prepare Your Wooden Blinds For Staining

Posted by on Apr 29, 2016 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Stained Window Treatments | 4 Guidelines To Prepare Your Wooden Blinds For Staining

Wooden blinds are both aesthetically pleasing and functionally effective for keeping the harsh rays of the sun out from the interiors of your room. Over time, these wooden blinds may start to fade or wear out because of sunlight and prolonged operation. Luckily, you don’t have to throw them out. Simple wood staining will restore their near-new look once again. This guide equips you with actionable guidelines to prepare your wooden blinds for staining. Purchase Wood Stain In The Colour You Desire You can get wood stain in any colour you desire at a local home improvement store. You can choose wood stain to match the interiors of your home or to contrast against them depending on your personal preferences. For instance, a contrasting look would be to use dark stain against lighter interiors and vice versa. A contrasting appearance adds dimension to the room, while a blending look creates a homogenous appearance for your window treatments and interiors. Remove The Blinds From The Brackets The easiest way to prepare and stain your blinds is to remove it from the brackets. You can then place them on a flat surface to make it easier for you to work with them. Make sure the surface is not susceptible to damage from your wood staining effort. Alternatively, you can place plastic tarp below the blinds to prevent any damage to your table. Clean The Wooden Blinds Clean the wooden blinds using a damp lint-free cloth to remove dust and grime from the surface. Avoid saturating the blinds with too much water because too much moisture may cause the wood to warp. Wipe the cloth over each slat thoroughly to remove as much as grime, dirt and dust as possible from the surface. Take care not to wipe the surface with too much force because you could potentially damage the slats. Apply Wood Cleaner To Remove Any Stubborn Dirt Specialised wood cleaner is formulated for cleaning and removing stubborn stains from timber surfaces without causing any damage to them. You can easily purchase wood cleaner from a home improvement or interiors store. Wood cleaner is available in liquid form, so you will need to apply some to a lint-free cloth before wiping down the surfaces. Make sure you focus on stubborn stains to remove them from your wooden blinds. Let the wood cleaner dry before applying the stain on the surface of your blinds. Once you follow these preparation steps, you’re ready to apply wood stain on your timber...

read more

Tips For Getting Rid of Common Garden Pests

Posted by on Apr 20, 2016 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Tips For Getting Rid of Common Garden Pests

If you are struggling with garden pests like slugs and earwigs, you’re not alone. These are among some of the most common and frustrating pests to have in the yard. Luckily, there are things that can be done. Here are some tips for getting rid of these and other common garden insects and pests. Slugs The first type of insect you will likely come across often in your garden or landscaped yard is the slug. These are more likely to be found near the plants and trees, and less common just around the patio or grass area. Slugs will attack the leaves and pants, giving you a lot of dead plants that need extra care. If you notice signs of slugs around your leaves and seedlings, you need to set out traps to try and capture them. Beer traps are often used for slugs and snails, and are often very effective. You can also try calling your local pest control company. Earwigs You may also notice signs of earwigs in different parts of your garden. These are long, black and brown bugs with antennae and little stingers in the back. They often crawl in wet areas of your home, so not only will they be found near your garden hose and plants shortly after they have been watered, but near outdoor plumbing fixtures as well. To capture earwigs, you can set out a trap by wetting some newspaper or cardboard and waiting for the earwigs to climb on top. You can then kill them or capture them and dispose of them elsewhere. If you suspect that they have made their way into your home, you might prefer having a pest control company exterminate your entire property. Aphids Aphis are small insects that like to go straight for the leaves on your plants, flower bushes, and trees. You will notice microscopic bugs that are walking around on the leaves, along with tiny holes in the leaves. Since they are on the leaves, you need to stick with natural and organic pest control methods so you don’t do damage to the trees. In this case, look to citrus and water solutions. Grate the rind of some oranges, then add that to boiling water. Let the citrus water steep overnight, then strain it in the morning to remove the larger pieces of rind. You can then add it to a spray bottle and spray it on the leaves. This will get rid of the aphids without damaging our plants or bushes. Cutworms You may also have a problem with cutworms, which are moth caterpillars. These insects will exist in the soil of your garden, eating through plants in the ground and destroying them from the ground up. To keep cutworms out of the garden, sprinkle some diatomaceious Earth or crushed eggshells around the areas where you have seen...

read more