Stop Lawn Weeds Now!

The best time to stop lawn weeds is now, before they even start. Being offensive in controlling weeds in your lawn is a lot less back-breaking and less time consuming than trying to get rid of them once they get a foothold in your lawn. Using a pre-emergent weed control product will be cheaper and better for the environment than weed killer for full grown weeds.

Controlling weeds in other areas of your property besides your lawn such as driveways, sidewalks and shrubbery will also help keep them from spreading to your lawn.

Weeds grow in different conditions than grasses, which is why you will notice them thriving in the heat of the summer when your grass is struggling. Keeping your lawn watered regularly will also help prevent weeds.

Here are some tips on other ways to control weeds without the use of chemicals.

Effective Lawn Weed Control

Here’s how to keep weeds at bay, before they invade your yard:

1. Repair bare or weakened areas.Weeds take hold in bare spots in your lawn, or in areas where the turf is weakened. Make sure you fill in bald spots in your yard in the early spring by sprinkling with grass seed and lightly raking (make sure you also water). If the lawn is thin in spots, add fertilizer to strengthen the grass.

2. Reduce soil compaction. Heavy foot traffic areas are prone to weed growth as the soil gets compacted and grass has trouble growing. If you must, add a pathway (with mulch or gravel) to prevent weeds from growing in place of grass–and spreading to other parts of your lawn.

Source: http://www.allaboutlawns.com

Your lawn needs to be watered, but please be wise on how you go about watering your lawn. Click Here for some great tips on accomplishing this.

Spring Maintenance, Remember Your Lawn.

Now that the weather has turned nice and temperatures are rising, it is time to get outdoors and spruce up your home with a little spring maintenance. There are many projects to accomplish, but don’t forget to take care of the lawn so it turns thick and green for everyone to enjoy all summer long.

Even though you cleaned up all the leaves and debris in the fall, there’s still work to be done now that spring is here. Before you break out the rake to clean up the leaves, old clippings, evergreen needles, and whatever else has accumulated over the winter, be sure the soil is well dried.  Foot traffic and heavy raking a lawn that is still soggy can compact the soil and damage tender, new grass shoots.

Now that you have your lawn cleaned and raked, there are more things to do to help your grass grow and thrive. Here are some great tips from todayshomeowner.com

Seeding and Planting
In the spring, gardeners have to choose between weed control and lawn seeding. Pre-emergent herbicides prevent grass seed from sprouting too, so you can’t do both – the herbicide will be active for up to 12 weeks, which means you’ll miss the spring planting season.

If your focus this spring is on filling in bare spots or establishing a new lawn, time your activities according to the type of grass:

Cool-season grasses can be planted as soon as the air temperatures get into the 60’s and soil temperatures are in the 50’s. Plant as soon as temperatures allow to give the seedlings a chance to get established before hot weather hits. Fall is a better time to plant cool-season grasses, so use spring planting for patching bare spots, and be prepared to keep your lawn well-watered during the summer.
Warm-season grasses can be planted when air temperatures are in the 70’s, soil temperatures are in the 60’s, and all danger of frost has passed. Late spring is the best time to plant warm-season grasses.

Controlling Weeds
Spring is the best time to prevent weeds by using pre-emergent weed control, which works by preventing weed seeds from germinating. Your first application of a pre-emergent herbicide should occur just as the forsythia bushes finish blooming in spring – that should stop crabgrass and other weeds before they have a chance to grow.

Both cool-season and warm-season lawns benefit from weed prevention in the spring. Pre-emergent herbicides work for about three months, so plan on a second application during the summer.

Fertilizing
The type of grass you have also influences when and how you should fertilize your lawn:

Cool-season grasses: Resist the urge to heavily fertilize your lawn in the spring. Spring feeding encourages rapid tender growth that will struggle to survive the heat of summer, particularly in drought-prone areas. If your lawn is in bad shape, fertilize lightly in spring with a balanced, slow-release fertilizer. Save the heavier feedings for fall, when cool-season grasses are at their peak growing season.
Warm-season grasses: Fertilize in late spring as soon as the lawn “greens up” and begins actively growing. This is usually in April or May, after the last frost.

Article Source: todayshomeowner.com

If you notice large brown patches in your lawn you may have an insect problem that will need to be dealt with fairly quickly to keep them from destroying the whole yard.

 

How to Replace an Electrical Switch.

When it comes time for replacing an electrical switch in your home, which can be done with some knowledge and a few tools, there are a few key elements that need to be followed.

Anyone with basic handyman skills will find the following article very helpful to replace a bad switch or to just update the one you have.

If a fuse blows or a circuit breaker trips every time you turn on a switch, the switch itself is probably to blame and should be replaced. There are many different types of switches, but replacement procedures for most of them are very similar. You may wish to substitute a different type for the faulty one; for example, replacing an ordinary switch with a mercury (silent) type.

Make sure the electricity is turned off before beginning to work. Either remove the fuse, or trip the breaker serving that circuit. Remove the two screws holding the cover plate, and lift off the plate. Remove the mounting screws holding the switch to the wall box, and pull out the switch.

Carefully note the wiring of the switch. It will depend on where the switch is located with regard to the rest of the circuit. Wiring for a three-way switch (where a fixture can be controlled from two separate locations) is somewhat more complex, so make sure that the new switch is wired in the same way as the faulty one. If space permits, transfer one wire at a time from the old to the new so that you get them right the first time. If you don’t have any space, label the wires with masking tape and a pen so you can remember which one is which.

Loosen the terminal screws and remove the wires from the faulty switch. Place the loops around screws on the new switch in such a way that they will be tightened when the screws are tightened. With needle nose pliers, squeeze the loops closed around the screws. Tighten the screws firmly. Place the switch in the wall box, and install mounting screws. Replace the cover plate. Restore power to the circuit by replacing the fuse or turning on the circuit breaker, now check the operation of the switch.

Back wired switches are also available, and may be used as replacements for most ordinary switches. Installation is essentially the same as that described for back wired outlets.

Dimmer switches allow you to set the lighting mood of a room, from a soft, dramatic glow to dazzling brightness, and all ranges in between, simply by turning a knob or a slider. They also conserve electricity when set at a position other than full on. Installation is similar to other switches, except that the control knob is pressed on after the switch is mounted and the place re-installed.

It’s just that easy!

Shell Busey

http://askshell.com/

Shell Busey has national recognition in Canada, with more than 50 years of home improvement industry experience under his belt; including over 25 years as a radio program host, and 118 episodes of his Home Check television program! Shell continues to deliver the how-to, what-to, where-to, why-to, when-to, and who-to of home improvement.

For more articles, tips and videos, please visit http://askshell.com/

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/expert/Shell_Busey/2052965

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/8884847

10 Home Improvement Projects You Can Finish This Weekend – On a Budget

1.) Programmable Thermostat:

OK, so we know that this particular home improvement project doesn’t add anything aesthetically to your home design, but let’s be honest-trimming around 5-10% a year off your heating/cooling bill, plus allowing you more control over the interior temperature, all while getting a new high-tech gadget is a win-win-win-win situation. A programmable thermostat allows you to avoid ever having to come home to a sweltering heat after a long day of work. It allows you piece of mind when leaving pets at home, no matter how hot it is outside. Coming in at around $75-$120 to have one installed for you-it’s truly an incredibly cost-effective way to make sure you get the most comfort possible out of your home. HouseLogic.Com has some pretty good information on choosing what type of thermostat will suit your needs. And no need to fear! Programmable thermostats (like most other electronic devices in our day-and-age) have become more and more user-friendly and easy to operate.

2.) Add a Splash of Color with an Accent Wall:

Painting an entire wall can be a nightmare (believe me, we know), and after a long week of work, the prospect of taking on such an overwhelming and exhausting task inevitably leads to a room that stays that same old neutral beige. Well-here’s a compromise. How about an accent wall? The difference a single wall of bold color can make in a room cannot be ignored. An accent wall is a great place to start remodeling or refurnishing your home. It gives you a base color palate with which to work, and can aid in the later selection of pillows, rugs, chairs etc. With an overall project time hovering around 6-8 hours (depending on the size of the wall you’re painting) from start to finish; painting an accent wall is a sure-fire way to add a touch of pizzazz to your room.

3.) Paint a Custom Headboard or Faux Headboard:

The sky is really the limit on this one. And the best part is that your ventures through a local thrift shop or Goodwill can yield amazing results at unbelievably low prices (if any). Being in touch with, and actively monitoring Craigslist is a secret weapon when it comes to designing on a realistic budget. You can go with vibrant, muted, pastels, or even fabrics and various textures!

Recently a trend has been becoming more and more popular in US homes: a faux headboard. What does this mean? It means that you literally use the wall and space already available to create a creative and very innovative design in place of a bulky headboard in your room. Pinterest has some beautiful galleries if you’re looking for some inspiration. The complexity and project time it will take to finish a headboard creation of your very own is entirely up to you. Some companies even offer templates and decals that can be stuck directly to a wall. The advantage to a faux headboard is beyond aesthetic. Aside from the space you can save, and the flexibility in design you will have, a faux headboard is easy to change, easy to update, and can be modified to reflect changing trends or a changing room.

4.) DIY Message Center:

If you’re anything like me, your life is a constant cacophony of mental “to-do” lists, family engagements to keep, errands that need to be run, bills that need to be paid, and a way of communicating that often gets lost in the mix. Creating a DIY message center is a perfect way to make sure everyone is on the same page. What’s wonderful about these types of message centers is that most, if not all, of the materials you may need can either be found at a local thrift store or on the free section of CL. Don’t marry yourself to chalkboard either. Although chalkboard is an easy solution (especially now that it comes in huge sheets with an adhesive back ( like contact paper), you should also consider using a pane of glass (painted on one side) and framed! It’s the perfect mimic of a dry-erase board, but with markedly more style. You can even use a very thin piece of aluminum if you want to exclusively use magnets, and for those talented seamstresses out there-cloth and ribbon will also create a beautiful, versatile, and most importantly-functional piece to your home… and on a budget. Many of these message centers come with a section for mail, a section to write notes, and a board to post important bulletins to yourself or your family. I’ve seen every design style from rustic to modern, so whatever the style of your home, you can build a message center to compliment your design scheme while adding functionality.

5.) Change Your Faucets:

An often over-looked item on the “home improvement” list-changing your faucets is a simple way to really alter the look and feel of a room. Outside of accent pillows, it is the easiest way to breathe life back into a kitchen or bathroom. Your local hardware store has some great selections – don’t be afraid to be a little daring! Just make sure that all of the hardware matches, and decide whether or not it is important to you to have the same hardware throughout the house. This is also a perfect opportunity to re- pet-proof and child-proof your low lying cabinets.

How to change your faucet, Click Here!

6.) Add Some Under/Over Cabinet Accent Lighting:

If you want to really add some wow to your living space, consider over/under cabinet lighting. I cannot stress enough: spend the additional money and get lids. At $20 a roll, you can get LED rope lighting in any color you can imagine. Dramatic lighting like this can add incredible depth and dimension to your design space while creating a great atmosphere and additional lighting without the bulk or hassle of adding a new lighting fixture. Some companies do offer these types of lights at a premium-requiring electrical work and a contractor, but the same effect can be achieved with a simple trip to a local store and a little bit of clever fastening. Secure the rope lights out of sight at the junction where your counter meets the body of the cabinet, or hidden on the very top. The lights will reflect light off the wall or cabinet (depending on placement) and will create a dramatic, and beautiful effect that really gives a cutting edge style to any room.

7.) Add a Back-Splash:

Now, depending on how you go about this-it can be both costly and time consuming to install a back splash on your wall. Unless you have some experience with DIY home improvement, I would suggest leaving tile and grout projects to a professional, however, there are ways to install a back splash that can be done by anyone, regardless of experience level. Many home improvement stores sell sheets of pre-made, self-adhesive back splashes that mimic the look of real ceramic tile. Of course-consult with a professional (even if only your native home improvement associate) about which type and material of tile or tile replica you should get. A backsplash is another element like the accented wall; it’s a dash of color and a break up homogeny that adds texture and life to a drab space.

8.) Throw Pillows:

This is more a decorating tip than a home improvement tip-but it is details like these that can really tie a room together and help a design space make that leap from concept to polished idea. Think bold and bright. Throw pillows can be just enough color to make a room interesting without being overwhelming or overbearing. Experiment with different texture and fabric combinations, find a mix that suits you. Inexpensive, with big impact; throw pillows are the un-sung heroes of home interior design.

9.) Paint Your Front Door:

Look at almost any “tips, tricks, and ideas” for home improvement, and somewhere on that list will be replacing/repainting the front door. I couldn’t agree more. Beyond the obvious curb appeal, painting your front door can really refresh your home and add some vibrancy and style to your home-front. First impressions are the most important, right? Make the first impression of your home to be one of happiness and warmth. For less than $30, you won’t believe the difference it will make!

10.) Pick a Room: Replace All the Cloth You See:

Updating window treatments, runners, rugs, pillows, and can transform any room in a matter of an instant. That’s the wonderful thing about color; it can change not only the look, but the feel of any space. Even something as simple as replacing curtains can shed years off the appearance of your home – and let’s face it – replacing window treatments is another task on that perpetual, and unending list of “I’ll get to that one day” projects we all keep tucked away. Changing accents like these is flexible, non-committal, and allows space for experimentation and growth over time. Not many home improvement projects can provide that kind of fluidity.

In closing – as much as we would like to think that the only way to make a real impact on the aesthetics of a home is through big design projects, there are clearly small ways in which anyone can transform their home on a realistic budget, in a short amount of time. The above listed improvements can be a family project, involve family, friends, and enjoy creating a beautiful home space and spending some quality time with those close to you. You don’t have to break the bank to change your home’s style. It’s a journey that can be accomplished one step at a time.

For more information on home improvement projects, home remodeling, and interior design, visit us online at http://www.pearlremodeling.com

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/expert/Mark_Segal/650380

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/9178142

Tired of Painting? Consider Vinyl Siding.

Tired of repainting your house every 5 to 10 years? Vinyl siding may just be the right solution that you have been searching for. This type of siding will usually entail a lower cost upfront as compared to conventional siding such as a traditional cedar siding. Some may believe this exterior finish looks plastic in appearance, but many siding manufacturers have made great strides to give the product a more painted ‘wood like appearance’ with grain accents and a lower gloss finish.

Over one-third of home exteriors in the US have this siding. When choosing exterior cladding, a budget friendly solution that is aesthetically appealing is what most homeowners look for. Past concerns with vinyl siding include yellowing, fading, rigidity and warping. Thanks to titanium oxide and other innovations, this siding is manufactured to resist weathering and maintain a fresh appearance over extended periods of time. Low maintenance exteriors on a home are also typically desired by most homeowners. Vinyl siding offers a piece of mind and is easy on the pocketbook. Let’s look at some of the various ins and outs of this exterior finish.

Color, Appearance & Other Options

In the past, vinyl siding was passed over because of the color fading over time. However, most siding manufactured today shows limited fading over the years. Another advantage of vinyl siding is the full range of color choices available. The Vinyl Siding Institute (VSI) has certified over 300 colors of vinyl for colorfastness. There are quite a few options available for this siding including fish-scale shingles, simulated wood grain, smooth panels and the list goes on. Different sizes in siding is also possible with the most common being 3-, 5- or 8-inches.

The Elements

This type of siding can withstand sub-zero winter temperatures and up to the hottest of summers. It is also built to withstand high winds and hail.

Installation

A unique advantage of vinyl is that it can be installed over nearly any type of surface. Even over stucco or brick. Vinyl siding isn’t for every home as it may not match the character and style. And not all siding installers are created equal. The majority of siding companies offer comparable products, whereas the installer’s craftsmanship will vary much more. Because this type of siding expands and contracts more than other conventional siding materials, the more knowledgeable the installer is with this siding the better.

Maintenance

While vinyl siding does offer low maintenance, it may not be entirely maintenance free. Homeowners won’t need to paint or stain it like traditional wood siding, but the cleaning of the vinyl may need to be done to mitigate any grime or mold build-up. Simply scrubbing or power washing the siding will go a long way in giving it new life and maintaining it for years to come. If fading of the siding does occur, a coat of exterior latex paint can be applied (as major paint manufacturers have exterior paint products specifically designed for this type of siding). Vinyl does have the ability to hide potential problems. When a house is sided with wood, the paint may chip or peel away when there is a problem.

Vinyl siding can be used in a variety of exterior home applications. This type of siding offers durability and often comes with a lifetime warranty from the manufacturer. According to the VSI, vinyl offers the lowest installation cost of all types of home siding. Whether it’s new construction or updating an existing home, vinyl siding offers a cost efficient and low maintenance alternative to homeowners. In most cases, vinyl siding will have a positive effect on the home value.

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/expert/Rick_Toney/2103701

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/9392456

Home Renovations to Consider!

Home renovation costs vary greatly from market to market as well as well as from contractor to contractor. If you plan on living in your home for a long time certain renovations make sense based on your needs and desires. If you plan on selling in the next few years, some major projects are best to avoid as you will only recoup a small portion of what you will spend.

There are some large home renovations you can do that will be worth you time and money that even if you don’t recoup all of your investment will help make the house easier to sell.

Bathrooms are the Best

A mid-range bathroom remodel is on average one of the easiest ways to get the most for your money. Mid-range means $3,000 to replace the toilet, light fixtures, maybe add a new or double sink. If you have a bit leftover you can even update the wallpaper. On average, according to Zillow Talk, a bathroom remodel of this type results in a $1.71 increase in home value for every $1.00 spent on the project.

Pay Attention to the Attic

Adding fiberglass attic insulation is the only renovation that gets more than a 100-percent return on your investment according to Remodeling Magazine’s 2016 data. With a national average investment of just over $1,200, the recoup is around $1,482, a 116.9% return. If you’re willing to go all-out, converting attics into bedrooms is another particularly popular project that also offers a high return, as much as 84.3 percent. Even better? If you have exposed brick, play it up in your listing and you could get nearly 5% above the expected listing price and sell your house 36 days faster.

Check out the other great ideas from Zillow.com that will help you decide on what your next project should be.

 

What Do I Paint First?

When you start a paint project, the first question that always comes up is, what do I paint first?

Depending on what you are painting of course, will change the answer to that question.

If you are painting the whole room.

Start with the ceiling. It is best to do the ceiling first for a many reasons.

  • If you splatter paint onto the walls, which you will, it will be easily covered by the wall paint.
  • We will generally use a flat paint on the ceiling, which is easy to work with and hide a lot of imperfections. Unless you are doing a kitchen or bath, then there is paint specifically for that, to help with moisture and grease.
  • When you cut in the corner between the ceiling and walls, bring the paint an inch or so onto the wall, this will ensure a clean line when you cut in with the wall color.

 

Next you will want to do the walls.

When paint your walls it is best to use a satin or eggshell finish. Flat paint will mark up really quickly and is not washable. While semi-gloss will should all the imperfections in the wall.

  • I always do the cutting in of my corners and trim before I do my rolling. Cutting in corners and along trim before you roll the walls or ceiling will give you a cleaner  job. When you roll over the edge of the cut in, it will blend it nicely.
  • Cutting in the ceiling is a fine art, you need a good brush and a steady hand to get a fine line. see the video on the Next Page for some great tips on cutting in the ceiling.
  • Next you will want to cut along the trim work. If you are going to paint the trim, I use the same method as the ceiling as far as making sure I get the whole corner and part way on to the trim.
  • If you don’t plant to paint the trim you will need to cut along the corner with a good brush or use painters tape to cove the trim.

 

 

Finish with painting the trim.

  • When painting trim work, it is best to use a semi-gloss trim paint. It has a sheen to allow the trim to stand out and is very durable and washable.
  • Cutting in the trim work is the toughest part of painting your room, you need a real good trim brush and the right technique or a lot of taping.
  • Start from the top and work your way down, this way you catch any drip along the way.

 

Check out the video on the Next Page for great tips on cutting in your paint job.

[nextpagelink][/nextpagelink]

Awesome Dollar Store DIY Fall Projects

Being handy and a little artistic can go along way when you are doing crafts and making great decorations around the house.

When you enjoy making things for your home as I do. The Dollar stores are a great place to find DIY project items so you can make some wonderful decorations.

There definitely is a lot of junk at the dollar stores, but if you know how to weed through the trash to find the treasures, you’ll never look back.

Try these easy and inexpensive decorations that any DIYer can put together and enjoy sprucing up your home or office with just a few things from your local dollar store.

Happy Fall. Hope you enjoyed these tips.

DIY All Natural Bug Repellent Candles

We all enjoy the great outdoors in the summer, that is until the sun sets and the bugs start flying around. Not much will break up a gathering faster that being attacked by mosquitoes.

Before you break out the citronella candles or other harsh chemicals  that nobody likes the smell of anyway, how about some all natural bug repellent candles instead?

Don’t break up the wonderful outdoor party because Claire over at A Little Claireification makes these great all natural mason jar candles that put a little light on things and also helps repel the bugs.

Here is a list of the supplies you will need to put them together.

Supplies You Need:

 

See how she puts them together, visit her blog at A Little Claireification.com

Properly Clean Your Laminate Floor!

Laminate floors are a wonderful investment and look great. But there is a proper way to clean them to keep them looking great for years to come.

Like most floors you will have in your home, they are made up of different materials and different finishes and therefore require the right products to clean them. You do not want to use the same product as you would on tile or hardwood as you would on your laminate floor.

In the video below you will learn the proper way to clean your new laminate floor.

Armstrong_floor