Create an Entrance with an Outdoor Water Fountain

When I was a child, one of my favorite television shows revolved around a wealthy family. On occasions, someone would drive up the long entryway to the characters’ massive mansion. While I will never own a multi-million dollar estate, I would like to recreate part of the magic of the long entryway that I remember from the show.

I feel that the best way to accomplish this task is to install a breathtakingly beautiful outdoor water fountain in front of my stately brick home. As soon as guests start driving down the straight path to my home, they will take in this lush regal water feature! On this blog, you too can learn how to create an unforgettable entrance to your estate with an outdoor water fountain.

Prevent Unauthorized Access To Your Car With These 4 Simple Tips

Keeping your car safe used to be as simple as remembering to lock the doors and roll up your windows at night, but thieves have become more brazen and inventive in recent times. Whether you live in a safe neighborhood or have concerns about unsavory elements in your neighborhood, it is a good idea to ensure that your car is an unlikely target. Follow these tips to secure your car and feel more comfortable knowing that you’ve done all you can to reinforce your vehicle’s security features. Car Key Replacement When you purchase a car from a private seller or even at an authorized auto dealer, remember that someone before you had the keys to your automobile. Also keep in mind that master car keys can now be ordered online, then used to gain entry and start any car that still has the standard original manufacturer’s locks in place. This is how requesting a car key replacement can help to thwart against car theft in multiple ways. Car Garages And Secure Lots Criminals who steal cars regularly scope out the surrounding area and work under the cover of night, mainly because they are intend on getting away with their crimes. Parking your vehicle in a well lit area can be helpful, but keeping it locked in a garage or parked in a secure lot is much safer. Parking garages that employ security personnel are an even safer choice for people who live in high crime areas because there are usually both surveillance cameras and routine security patrols.  Vehicle Security Systems  After locking your car and making sure that it...

Environmental Benefits Of Soft Water

If you are environmentally conscious, you may worry that installing a water softener is not a good choice. Although these systems can discharge extra sodium, they actually benefit the environment in several ways. Rest assured that you can have soft water and be a good citizen. Limescale The minerals in hard water cause a buildup of limescale in your pipes, on your bathroom fixtures, and in your appliances. Not only is this substance unsightly, but it also causes your water heater to work inefficiently, wasting a significant amount of energy every year. If you have a gas heater, you will burn approximately 29% more energy, and with an electric heater, you’ll use 21% more. Your coffee maker, dishwasher, and washing machines will also suffer from this buildup, causing them to be less efficient and to need replacement sooner. They will also use more energy and cost you more money than is necessary. Detergents Hard water reduces the effectiveness of soaps and other detergents, meaning you need to use more of these items for personal hygiene and laundry. Since you get a better lather with soft water, you don’t need to use as much water either. You will save money on shampoo, laundry soap, and dishwashing liquid. You will also be able to choose more natural products and still get a good result without using harsh chemicals. Soft water allows your skin to feel softer and your clothes to look cleaner. Your clothing will also last longer, so you’ll cut down on shopping trips. Reducing consumerism is good for you and the environment.   Other Benefits Of course, installing a...

Your Nose Knows: Using Odors To Detect Problems With Your Gas Furnace

Having a functional furnace makes it possible for you to easily maintain a comfortable temperature within your home. Many of today’s homes (85% to be exact) are equipped with furnaces powered in part by natural gas. Your nose can be a valuable tool for detecting issues in your gas heating system. Here are three types of odors you should be attuned to when it comes to detecting problems with your gas furnace in the future. 1. Musty or Moldy Smell The first time your turn on your gas furnace as the temperature begins to drop you should expect a bit of a dusty smell to come from your vents as dust that has accumulated over the summer is cleared out. If the smell doesn’t subside, or if you notice a musty or moldy smell coming from your heating vents, these odors could signal a serious problem. Moisture that accumulates inside your ventilation system can contribute to the growth of mold and mildew. In 2004 the Institute of Medicine discovered a link between indoor mold and respiratory illness in otherwise healthy adults and children, so calling a technician to investigate any musty or moldy smells coming from your heating vents is a great way to protect both the integrity of your heating system and your family’s health. 2. Burning Smell Another odor that can alert you to a serious problem with your heating system is a burning smell. If you begin to notice that an odor resembling the type emitted when plastic melts or electrical wires burn, this smell could be telling you that the blower motor in your furnace...

Tips To Choose Stones For Your New Tropical Freshwater Tank

Although most people think of saltwater when they think about tropical fish, there are many tropical fish that thrive in freshwater, too. If you’re looking to create a freshwater aquarium, tropical fish can make it bright and vibrant. Knowing which rocks are best to put in the tank with these fish is important. Here’s a look at what you need to know to avoid releasing harmful minerals into the water while still giving your fish rocks to swim around and make part of the habitat. Slate Pieces Slate is an ideal stone for freshwater aquariums because it doesn’t release any chemicals into the water. It’s pretty heavy, which means that if you plan to build a structure of any kind, you’ll need an aquarium-quality sealant to keep it together. It’s best to use it solely for tank-bottom decorations so that it can sit flat on the bottom of the tank. When you use it this way, the smooth texture of the slate surface provides an ideal environment for fish to nest and lay eggs.. Quartz Stone Quartz stone makes a great addition for a freshwater tropical tank. The stone is inert, so it won’t alter the tank chemistry at all. You can find it in many colors, which is ideal when you’re putting it in a tropical tank because you can find colors that complement the fish you put into your tank. It’s strong, stacks well and stays where you put it, so it’s a good rock choice if you want to build any kind of stone structure in the tank. Lava Rock Lava rock is wear-resistant and durable,...

What Is The Difference Between A Water Conditioner And A Water Softener?

If you live in a rural area, then you may have minerals in the water that make normal home functions difficult. If you live in the city, then the water from your tap may taste like it comes from a swimming pool. In either case, you have to take matters into your own hands to improve the quality of the water coming into your home. In some cases, a water conditioner is the way to go, and in others, you will need a water softener.  Water Conditioner Recommendations A water conditioner removes chlorine to improve the taste of water. If you live in the city, your water is most likely free of hard minerals thanks to the city’s efforts to preserve a clean drinking supply to its citizens. On the other hand, the chlorine that municipalities use to kill germs, bacteria, and algae in the water can leave the water tasting like chlorine. If you live in a municipality, then you really don’t need anything more than a water conditioner to improve the taste of the water in your home. Water Softener Recommendations A water softener uses salts to remove magnesium, calcium, and other minerals from the water. How would such minerals get into a water supply? As water moves through deposits of limestone and other rocks in the ground, it picks up minerals from the formations it moves through. These minerals can interfere with the function of soaps and detergents, insulate water in water heaters so that ti doesn’t heat up like it should, and coat water fixtures with a thick layer of chalky film. Thus, if you...

Three Tips For Caring For Your Granite Countertop

Granite is a popular choice for countertops because this stone is durable and aesthetically pleasing. However, there are some homeowners that may make mistakes when it comes to caring for this type of countertop, and this can result in the stone sustaining unsightly damages. Fortunately, you can help to minimize these risks to your granite countertops by making sure to use the following three tips. Avoid Cleaners That Contain Ammonia Or Bleach Over the course of cooking, it will be possible for you to spill a number of substances on your countertops. However, you should never use cleaners that contain ammonia or bleach. These substances can discolor your stone and leave etchings in it. Rather, when you are cleaning your granite countertops, you should only use a mixture of water and dish soap. This should allow you to remove any substances that have spilled on your countertops without causing harm to the stone. Clean The Countertops With Microfiber Cloth When wiping down the countertop, you should avoid rough sponges or bristle pads. While granite is very strong stone, vigorous scrubbing with these rough materials can leave minor scratches in the stone’s surface, which can make your countertops appear dull. To minimize this risk, you should consider always using a microfiber cloth for this task as these cloths are very soft, and this can allow you to vigorously scrub stubborn spots without having to worry about scratches or other forms of damage impacting the surface of your countertops. Regularly Inspect The Backsplash Granite can be a remarkably heavy stone, and this weight can put pressure on the supports of your...

Tips For Designing Your Custom Cabinets

If you are remodeling your kitchen, chances are good that you are going to want to install new cabinets. This is important because this allows you to determine exactly how you are going to be organizing your cooking supplies, spices, and pots in the future. You have the opportunity that many do not, namely to determine exactly where the inner shelves of the cabinet are going to be placed. Here are some tips to make the most of that opportunity. 1. Figure Out the Corners First You should start with determining what you are going to do with the corners of your kitchen first. You want to do this because it is going to determine how you set up the rest of your cabinets and how well they are designed. Some options for corner storage include small shelves that hold bottles of wine, recipe cards, or spices. You want to be sure that you are making use of this space in order to avoid finding yourself in a position where you don’t have enough storage space. 2. Size Out Your Pots and Pans Pots and pans can be difficult to store because they can be oddly shaped and not stack neatly. This can be very frustrating for you if you don’t have custom cabinets because you might have shelves that leave too much unused space when you start stacking items or not leave you with enough space.  In order to properly size the shelving within your cabinets, first take all of your larger, unstackable items. These could be mini-grills, donut makers, panini presses, or crock pots. You want each...

Key Adjustments To Make To Your Office Chair For Better Posture

If you’re the type of person who spends long stretches of time sitting at your desk, it’s important to make sure that you’re doing so in a comfortable chair. Sitting for prolonged periods of time can aggravate your back and put strain on other areas of your body, especially if your chair isn’t comfortable to begin with. When you’re shopping for an office chair, try to buy one that’s as adjustable as possible. While a chair can feel comfortable for a minute or two in the store, you need to know that you can make tweaks to it to keep your body feeling right during long periods of sitting. Here are some specific adjustments to make. Moving The Seat Up And Down It’s ideal if the chair has a lever that allows you to lift and lower the actual seat part of the chair to suit your height. This is a common attribute among office chairs, but make sure that any chair you’re considering has this capability. You want to be able to adjust the seat so that your legs are bent at about 90 degrees. Place both feet firmly on the floor, sit back in the chair and note the angle of your legs; if they’re not positioned at a right angle, you’ll need to make this adjustment for optimal postural support. Adjusting The Armrests Many office chairs are equipped with armrests that not only support your elbows and arms, but also allow your shoulders and upper back to relax. When the armrests are too high, your shoulders will be elevated unnaturally, which could lead to pain. When...

Repurposing Wooden Items For Outdoor Flower Beds

Spring is fast approaching. But it’s never too early or too late to plan out your flower garden for the first planting of the year. Repurposing and reusing items in the garden is a great way to cut down on consumption and reduce your overall carbon footprint. When it comes to garden beds, wooden planters are a popular choice by gardeners. Here are a few ways to repurpose and look for items to create cheap wooden planters in your backyard space.   Pallets Upcycling wooden pallets that can be found at area businesses give you an opportunity to reuse them in your garden area. In many cases, these pallets are low-cost or free. Pallets can be taken apart, stripped from their nails and used for re-cutting and recreating a garden planter or container suited to your needs. When using pallets, keep a few precautions in mind, such as: Avoid gathering pallets from chemical companies Select pallets that used to carry and transport dry goods or canned foods Keep in mind that many pallets have been chemically treated Pallets are lightweight and easy to cut and restructure. You can stain or paint them to create an attractive wooden planter that matches your outdoor decor. Chairs Scouring antique shops and barn sales for old wooden chairs offers a unique style that is inexpensive and easy to put together. Wooden chairs can be painted, stained or left with their existing chippy paint to create a shabby chic look. Some chairs that already have a hole on the seat allow you to easily add a mesh screen or planter to create a foundation...

Be Prepared For A Disaster With The Help Of A Rented Self Storage Unit

Disaster can strike in many forms, from an unexpected blizzard hitting your town to a fire that has damaged your home. While it can be difficult to prepare for many of the effects that these disasters can come with, a stocked self-storage unit can be very helpful for preventing any serious problems while you are waiting to get back into your home. For ideas of what to store in your climate-controlled self-storage unit, consider some of the following emergency supplies that will help you considerably in the case of the unexpected. Gas-Powered Generator If the power is out in your home due to a blizzard or other weather event, you may find yourself without power for the unforeseen future. Instead of making do without power, you can look into buying a gas-powered generator. Since these generators can provide the necessary wattage output (usually anywhere from 2,000 to 10,000 watts) for powering up anything from your laptop charger to the freezer. While it may be convenient to store the generator at home, it can take up a lot of space and may not be kept maintained in a warm garage or shed. A rented storage unit can keep the unit in good condition and stored out of sight until you need it in an emergency. Non-Perishable Foods and Drinks One of the biggest problems people face when worried about the power going out or another emergency at home is food. If there is no way to keep your food cool, you are going to run out of food very quickly—especially if the disaster has hit your entire town, running the...