Home Improvement

5 Steps to a Better Lawn Next Year

Those in the know will tell you, fall and early winter are the best times to start thinking about next year’s lawn. If you’ve always wanted the best lawn on the block, here are our picks for the best lawn enhancements you can start today.

1. Apply Fertilizer tells us, “By fertilizing your lawn this fall, you will be making an investment in your lawn’s root system that will reap considerable returns.” While many might regard cold weather fertilizing as “overkill,” 2 or 3 applications between September and December can be very beneficial to your lawn’s root system. This pays off big-time once the weather gets warmer!

2. Get Rid of Those Leaves!
Raking leaves might be a pain, but allowing them to stay on your lawn for extended periods of time can actually suffocate your grass as well as rob it of light. Save a Tree recommends not waiting till the last minute rake your leaves; a good rake every two weeks is probably your best bet for a better-looking lawn come spring.

Note: Leaves not only make great fertilizer when composted, using them as such instead of leaving them on the curb for collection actually saves money on an individual level and saves tax dollars, too!

3. Don’t Forget to Water
Many don’t realize that watering your lawn in the fall and early winter can make a difference in next year’s appearances. According to MSN’s real estate site, “The ground should be moist as it heads toward winter, but not soggy, which could encourage mold.” This should make your lawn healthier before the winter freeze, which in turn can give you healthier grass when the weather gets warm again.

4. To Seed or Not to Seed
Some experts say that seeding in the late fall or early winter is the key to a better lawn in the spring. However, because weather can be extremely unpredictable, an unseasonably warm winter can wreak havoc on new seeds and leave your lawn looking sub-par. According to The University of Illinois’ Lawn FAQ, “Dormant seeding has risks, so if a large area is to be planted, you may want to consider waiting until spring to do so.” Ultimately, the choice is yours, but if you plan on seeding your entire lawn rather than just a small section of, it is important to know that there is some risk involved.

5. Get Rid of Next Year’s Weeds Now
Weeds are the downfall of many a lawn, and once they take root in the spring, they can be very difficult to eliminate. Star Nursery’s take: “Weed seeds lie dormant all winter before “springing” to life as temperatures warm. Get the upper hand by applying pre-emergent type herbicides early to keep these seeds asleep permanently!” So, by taking measures in the late fall and early winter to prevent future weed growth, you are on your way to a beautiful lawn when you want it most.

Note: When using this tactic, it is important to use a pre-emergent weed control product rather than a post-emergent weed killer, as the two are not interchangeable!

Home Improvement

Newark Tree Service

In Newark, tree service can take many forms (routine maintenance, treatment for disease or ailment, tree removal) and serve many ends (enhance your landscaping, create shade for your home and yard, help sell the home faster). Newark tree service companies are able to offer a wide range services. With ServiceMagic, you can make sure you find the best local contractors out there. Each and every contractor in our database is put through a rigorous ten-step screening process. Our quality-controlled ratings and reviews allows you to see what other homeowners have said about individual contractors, while creating a powerful incentive for contractors to meet and exceed your expectations. Here are some of the things to consider, before and during your professional Newark tree service.

Newark Tree Service: Tree Removal
As great an asset as a tree can be, there is any number of circumstances that will convince or force a homeowner to remove a tree from the lawn. Diseased trees are a hazard to family members, passersby, other trees, and homes. You may need to remove a tree to allow other trees to flourish. Root systems may be causing enormous problems with your home’s foundation or underground electrical wiring. Other homeowners remove trees simply because they feel the tree is cluttering the landscape. Whatever your reason, the only golden rule is that you shouldn’t remove any tree of notable size on your own. It doesn’t matter how obvious it may seem that a tree will fall in a certain direction or that nothing will get in the way. As mystical as a tree may seem while standing, when it falls, its behavior can be truly mystifying.

Before your Newark tree removal contractor gets started, be sure to discuss what will happen after the tree is down. Who will haul it away? Do you want the limbs put through a chipper and returned to you in the form of free mulch? Is the company going to grind down the tree stump? This should help keep you and your contractor on the same page.

Newark Tree Service: Tree-Trimming
Tree removal is far from the other type of tree service in Newark. Most trees need to be periodically trimmed to promote new growth and general arbor health. While many homeowners take care of this task on their own with generally successful results, professional tree trimmers offer several advantages that are worth considering. First and foremost, Newark tree service is the best way to get your tree efficiently and safely trimmed. You won’t need to teeter on a ladder, purchase shears and extension poles, or spend a good chunk of your weekend trying to do your best to give your tree(s) a haircut. Moreover, the professionals will know exactly where and how to trim. The average homeowner frequently doesn’t trim enough, or has little idea where on the branch to cut, leaving an uneven or improperly trimmed tree that doesn’t “bounce back” like it should. You may be surprised or even shocked to see how much trimming the professionals do, but you’re likely to be equally shocked by how your tree responds in the following days and weeks to this expert trimming. In the end, your tree will be healthier and look better than it ever could have on its own.

Tree Service in Newark: Propping Up Property Values
You can’t put a monetary value on a living thing, or can you? Research shows that homes with well-placed and well-groomed trees will outsell more barren homes nearly every time. When a prospective home buyer looks at homes, he or she can see what they may want to do with separate areas, such as bathrooms, kitchens, and guest rooms. Planting and nurturing a tree that can take 10 or 20 years to grow is not something that can be quickly added to a home’s landscape. You may not be able to undercut the prices of nearby foreclosures, and you may not want to, even if your property is “distressed.” Homes sold at bank auctions don’t see any improvements and are often in an advanced state of deterioration. Sometimes, buyers aren’t even allowed inside the house before making their bids. By hiring a landscaper and emphasizing your trees and their value, you may be able to attract more discerning buyers.


The Renewable Hardwood

Bamboo furniture is undergoing a revolution currently. the country furniture of the sixties and seventies, made of unmilled bamboo shoots and poles, continues to be offered if that is your issue. however there’s a brand new face to the current style of furniture still. Milled, sanded and finished fine bamboo furniture that rivals any hardwood furniture in sturdiness and sweetness is taking the furniture trade by storm. augment that the actual fact that bamboo is one in every of the world’s most environmentally friendly resources to lift, harvest, and use, and it’s clear why bamboo has become one in every of the most well liked furniture building materials on the market.

A Piece of the Tropics
Of course, some individuals like the tropical look and beach-bum feel of rustic bamboo vogue furniture. If you fall into that class, don’t fret. There are actually many furniture producers creating everything from couches to low tables to luxurious lined beds using this time-honored technique of furniture building. see a furniture provider who deals in rustic styles concerning finding the proper sort of furniture for your desires.

Bamboo Basics
Rustic furniture aside, it’s a lot of seemingly that you’ve got been drawn to bamboo furniture by the newer, a lot of finished bamboo furniture hitting the market. If that is the case, here are a couple of basics concerning building fine furniture with bamboo in order that you are well informed after you hit the show floor.

Color: Furniture made of bamboo is obtainable in 2 colours. The shade said as natural bamboo is such as the sunshine color of maple. that is the color of bamboo if it’s manufactured into furniture while not utilizing any techniques to change its natural look. the opposite shade is carbonized bamboo. Carbonized bamboo is that the results of a steaming method that brings out a darker, amber shade within the wood.

Composition: the sleek, fine furniture look you are drawn to is accomplished by cutting the bamboo stalk (bamboo is truly a grass, not a tree, hence a stalk, not a trunk) into little, slim sections and then gluing those items of wood along. reckoning on that face is employed, the tip result’s bamboo plywood or vertical grain bamboo panels. Panels are slightly bit sturdier, though visually there’s very little distinction between the 2.
Durability and Cost: The hardiness of bamboo is what’s very superb concerning this furniture. Bamboo is truly more {durable|tougher} and a lot of durable than oak, the gold normal when it involves hardwood furniture. due to this, bamboo is not low-cost, however it’ll value you but most comparable furniture made of superstar hardwoods like oak, maple, and cherry.

Environmentally Friendly
The other reason customers are drawn to bamboo is its well-earned name as a inexperienced building material. As mentioned before, bamboo is truly a grass. which means it grows faster and might be harvested earlier than trees. Furthermore, it does not ought to be re-planted once every harvest since it’ll simply send up new shoots. In different words, bamboo plantations will regularly harvest identical stand of bamboo each few years in perpetuity, while not harming the plant (it’s like mowing your lawn). Once you narrow down an oak tree, however, it’s gone forever.

Talk to a retailer who focuses on bamboo furniture to search out the proper piece of furniture for your desires. By shopping for bamboo you will be obtaining one in every of the strongest, most sturdy and most stunning items of furniture you have ever laid eyes on. and you will even be investing during a piece of furniture that you just will get pleasure from with smart conscience for years to come back.

Home Improvement

Home Decorating Ideas

Designers & Decorators

Home decorating is an exciting project for most homeowners, especially after you’ve made the hard choices for flooring and wall installations, countertops and cabinets, insulation and ventilation. Hopefully, you’re remembered to save enough in your home building project or home remodel to put on the all-important finishing touches that can make or break your home.

Be Yourself and Impress Your Guests
Your first decorating impulse may be go over the top, search out the most esoteric art and the most outlandish or luxurious furniture. Remember, though, that the first priority of home decorating isn’t to impress home visitors who only intermittently grace your home. The biggest priority is to enhance the appearance of your home by making it your own, a comforting, personal atmosphere. Whatever your personal style is, any aesthetic can be made aesthetically pleasing. Like most human interaction, your guests will be impressed your home without you setting out to try to impress them. Homes that are specifically designed to impress are just as likely to intimidate and make guests uncomfortable as anything else.

Borrow from Home Decorating Styles, but Don’t Box Yourself In
There are as many home decorating styles as there are ice cream flavors. The generic chocolate, vanilla, and strawberry flavors correspond to the more loosely defined styles of casual, contemporary, and country. The double chocolate fudge, cherry macadamia nut, and strawberry shortcake are the more esoteric decorating styles, the southwest or Asian décor, the feng shui. You may find a style you absolutely fall in love with, but you should probably be careful allowing any one style to dominate your home. More often, home decorating styles are good to search for home decorating ideas. You may even find a style that fits just right for one of your rooms, but don’t box yourself in with what you think are decorating rules for any particular style. No such rules exist.

Transforming Rooms with Home Decorating
One of the most common reasons for changing your home decorating may be a change in the use of a room. The kids have left the nest and you’re ready to have a home office or den. You may realize nobody’s eaten in your dining room in two years and there’s a better use for the space. Rooms can be used for anything and, often, not for their originally intended use. You may have to smooth things over with your kids or a spouse who wants to hang on to old times, but redecorating a room can be an important step to reinventing the purpose of that room. Carpeting and pink walls may need to be replaced with hardwood or laminate flooring and a more neutral color to achieve the right atmosphere for your new room.


Hire an Interior Designer for Personalized Home Decorating Ideas

You can do all the research you want, but it’s unlikely a home decorating manual is going to speak specifically to the slanted ceiling in your guest bedroom, the corner chimney in your family room, or the 18 inches of extra space at the end of your galley kitchen. Every home has its quirks that an interior designer will be able to generate ideas for that aren’t in any broadly sweeping book or website. An interior designer can help design a comprehensive and cohesive decorating scheme for your entire home or, they can be hired for a one-day consultation to generate ideas you probably wouldn’t see on your own.

Architecture Tips

Finding a Good Draftsperson

Mass production actually has its edges. If it weren’t for assembly line vogue techniques, we’d have only a few of the trendy conveniences we have a tendency to are currently therefore accustom to. Though it keeps prices down, mass production has one downside that becomes readily apparent during a discipline like construction: It makes everything look constant. Amid the vast quantity of homogenization that happens in several aspects of life during this country, it’s nice to return home to an area that’s actually your own. many householders need a home designed simply the approach they need it, not some house from a cookie cutter builder, and a few are willing to pay a reasonably penny for it.

What a Draftsperson will
As owners explore for the house of their dreams, they’ll find yourself finding a house set up during a newspaper, order plans from a magazine, or simply have a plan of what they might like primarily based on homes they need been in. obtaining those ideas on paper and having blueprints drawn to administer to contractors, however, could be a job that few owners try themselves. Since most municipalities don’t need that construction plans for single-family dwellings be done by a registered architect or engineer, a draftsman is probably going to be ready to place your ideas down on paper at a lower price.

If you’ve got a collection of plans you bought from a magazine or alternative supply, the draftsman also can build modifications to fulfill your wants and/or satisfy native building codes so as to induce a building allow. A draftsman also can take the plans to structural engineers or alternative licensed professionals to be stamped if a specific component within the building ought to would like special thought. Draftspersons also can build drawings of existing buildings if required, like to use for building permits to create modifications.

The Modern Draftsman
Once, a draftsperson’s plans were all drawn by hand, however currently (as with several aspects of recent life) the pc has entered the sphere to permit drafting to be done additional quickly and accurately. the newest laptop Aided Drafting & style (CADD) software will do 3D renderings and drafting which has floor plans and elevations still as plumbing and electrical plans to fulfill the standards set by the UBC, BNBC, BOCA and SBC building codes.

Although personal people might not would like plans for one residence to be drawn on laptop, it’s frequently needed for larger business and governmental jobs. it’s additionally easier to create changes to drawings created on laptop and send them electronically, if needed. thus draftspersons are typically asked to convert plans on paper to a CAD program for future use.

Draftsman vs. Architect
While an architect’s main perform is to style and oversee, a draftsperson’s job is principally to sketch out the styles. If you’re wanting to construct a really custom house from scratch, you will likely find yourself needing the abilities of an architect or a structural engineer. Draftsmen are merely not as completely trained within the style side of home designing, though creating alterations to existing plans and sketching out ideas is well inside their field.


Bathroom Remodeling – Do It Without Going Broke

Home Improvement

A Bedroom Vanity: Simply Beautiful


They may seem to be a holdover from simpler, more luxurious times, but bedroom vanities are making a big comeback in the midst of our hectic modern world. Couples getting ready for work often find that a bedroom vanity is a way to keep them from stumbling over one another in the rush to get ready and get out the door. But just because they make sense, doesn’t mean they can’t be beautiful. The right piece will be an attractive addition to your bedroom.

Bedroom Vanity Styles

Art deco

      is a style that harkens back to the 1920s and 30s. It uses bold primary colors, geometrical shapes, and steel and plastics. An Art Deco style vanity will bring you back to the days of Jay Gatsby and the flappers.


  • Contemporary or Modernstyle vanities feature clean lines, simple, unadorned shapes and few frilly edges. 
  • Cottage is the name for an informal style that uses natural materials and textures for a rustic, rough-around-the-edges feel. 
  • Queen Anne is the furniture style that has its roots in English architecture of the 18th century and is known for its focus on simplicity and refinement. 
  • Shaker/Mission furniture blends the simple, uncomplicated furniture of the Colonial American sect with the American arts and crafts movement as well as Spanish Colonial architecture. 
  • Traditional vanity style is ornate, but measured. It uses natural colors and materials like wood, iron, and brass. Most vanities draw on this style, and are marked by delicate ornamentation, carved woodwork, and fine details.

Bedroom Vanity Materials
Vanities come in a variety of materials, but the best are made of sturdy metal or hardwood such as cherry or mahogany. In metal vanities, look for intricate iron scroll work and a powder coat for a durable finish. In wood, hand-carved construction is a mark of quality.


Bedroom Vanity Features
The devil is in the details, and so is the value. Here are some of the features of a quality bedroom vanity:

  • Jewelry Armoires have small drawers (often fabric-lined) that will protect your valuables. Some feature a side door that will open to reveal hooks for your necklaces.
  • Stools and benches are a great alternative to the traditional chair. Often they will come with the vanity set and enhance the beauty of the piece, as well.
  • Mirrors come in as great a variety as there are vanity designs. Often they come with the stand, but mixing and matching is a perfect way to customize.

With so many options, it shouldn’t take long to find the bedroom vanity that will both beautify your home and simplify your life.

Home Improvement

Health Concerns in Your Basement


You can use potpourri, aerosol sprays, burn candles, and any other imaginable ploy to remove that basement odor, but these topical treatments will not remedy the culprit. The problem is mold. And while it is possible to cover up its smell, its health effects will linger around until the mold is removed.

Home Health and Basement Odor
House mold and black mold emit toxins that are not particularly deadly on their own, but they can become serious health risks if people are exposed to them for an extended period of time. Basements are always suspect because they are typically the dampest room in a house. These toxins can cause headaches, dizziness, lethargy, and sundry other neurological ailments. Mold and other organic toxins can be a compound problem in a damp home, and the possible health risks to young children with vulnerable immune systems is serious, not to mention a notable cause of childhood asthma.

House Mold and Mold Tests
If you suspect that house mold is building in your home, you need to execute mold tests in the areas that are suspect. The results of these tests will determine how you need to go about eliminating the mold in your basement.

First, get a portable air cleaner and place these devices nearest to the mold epicenters. This will reduce the available amount of toxins in the air, which will reduce how much can be absorbed into the lungs. House mold grows most easily in areas of over 50% humidity. Dust mites are the same, as they will also thrive in wet environments. In your basement, place a dehumidifier which will help to reduce the humidity that acts like food to house mold and dust mites. Once the humidity drops below 50%, it will be difficult for house mold and dust mites to grow, much less thrive.

Mold Removal and Hepa Vacuums
Mold removal is a tricky task. If you scrub the mold spores they can very easily become airborne and spread to other areas of the home or into the lungs of those who inhabit it. Mold removal professionals can be called in to do what they do best. This will not take very long, not to mention that mold removal contractors have the correct equipment to best remove mold from any situation.

Mold removal contractors use Hepa vacuums to pull the mold from where it lives in your home, and into their systems, which is then disposed of properly. If you know that you need a mold removal contractor to remove mold from your basement—or any other place in your home—click this link to remove house mold.

Preventing Black Mold
After a mold removal contractor finishes removing mold from your basement, you still have some work ahead of you to prevent the black mold from returning. First, wash the specific areas where the Hepa vacuum removed the mold. Use soapy, warm water and clean those areas. However, you need to make sure that you dry the washed areas thoroughly; otherwise that same mold might grow right back in those damp areas.

Basement Odor
There are some things that you can do to reduce that basement odor: candles, potpourri, etc. And there are some methods that can deter mold from growing, such as dehumidifiers, portable air cleaners, and the like. Just remember that mold produces toxins that are dangerous to those in the house, especially young children. Mold removal is the sure fire way to eliminate the problem of basement odor, and to protect your family’s health.

Home Improvement

Loft Bed Plans and Loft Design: Add Some Levity to Your Home


In rooms that are particularly small, a loft is a great way to save some space. It keeps the area that would usually be covered by a bed open for a desk, dresser, or anything else that needs to be in the room. The extra space is all the more significant in a smaller room where 35 square feet can mean the difference between plenty of leg room or standing room only.

Loft Bed Plans
Those with a pension for building can have a lot of fun constructing their own loft out of lumber and elbow grease. A few common tools and a good loft design is all you will need. Loft bed plans are usually pretty easy to follow and will make the journey to a larger floor space a safe one. They can sometimes be found online for free, or if you want something more impressive, they can be purchased from a designer (often quite inexpensively). Plans for loft ladders are also available online.

Even someone with very little carpentry knowledge can achieve structural success with a loft bed plan. Those who are new to building, however, should stick to the loft design exactly to make sure the finished product is sound. Deviating from the plan you use might seem like no big deal while you’re doing it, but it could have unforeseen effects later. Remember people are going to sleep up there.

Easy Assembly Lofts Kits
While pretty simple as far as projects go, a loft bed plan is not the right fit for everyone. There are many loft kits that are widely available for those who would rather get the job done as quickly and efficiently as possible.

These loft designs are meant to go together without a lot of hassle. Basically, you purchase a box with all the wood and hardware you’ll need, though you might have to provide a hammer or screw driver. Many kits will come with loft ladders, but some may not. Loft ladders are generally not very expensive, but the price should be taken into account when comparing kits.

Custom Lofts
The most expensive and most impressive option is to have a contractor design and build a custom loft. A professional will be able to come into your home, take all the necessary measurements, and build you the optimal loft for your space.

Many times, a carpenter will be able to see options that you might not think of yourself and would certainly not be found in a free online plan or kit. Small additions like built-in shelving underneath can really save a lot of additional space in the room.

Hiring a custom builder is often the only option available (unless you have a fair amount of carpentry experience) for those who need a loft made for a large bed. Most kits and loft bed plans are for twin or kid beds. Some can be found made for full-size beds, as well. Anything larger than that will probably need to be a custom job.

Home Improvement

Replacing Sliding Doors

Replacing sliding glass doors is a home improvement project that comes up often, especially in older homes. Before energy efficiency became a priority, and before technology improved building materials, sliding glass doors were some of the most inefficient aspects of a home, bar none. In fact, an older sliding glass door that faced the wrong direction was almost like not having a barrier there at all. All that being said, replacing sliding glass doors can beautify your home and do wonders when it comes to improving your home’s energy efficiency.

Your Replacement Options Are . . .
The thing about replacing sliding glass doors is that you’re going to have to decide what to replace them with. Fortunately, there are a number of very attractive, and efficient, patio door options to choose from. However, don’t be fooled into thinking that sliding glass door replacement is an easy process than any homeowner can tackle. Installing doors is tricky business, and you’ll want a professional on your side.

French Doors—Double French doors are beautiful, and can be a wonderful addition when replacing sliding glass doors. There are a few drawbacks to a French door, however, the first of those has to do with space considerations. When you want to leave the doors open, they take up valuable living space, and they can also restrict areas where you might otherwise place furniture. Also, French doors do not generally have screens, which can be an issue if you like to leave your doors open to encourage air circulation in pleasant weather.

Patio Doors—A great alternative to double French doors are center swing patio doors. They look exactly like two French doors sitting side by side, but one side is fixed and does not open. The other door swings open back against the fixed panel, saving valuable wall space. Not only do most brands of center swing doors come with a sliding screen, but they are also less expensive than double French doors when it comes to final cost.


Sliding Patio Doors—Finally, it might sound like a crazy suggestion if you’re dead set on replacing sliding glass doors, but you may want to consider newer sliding glass doors, or sliding patio doors, for your door replacement. New sliding glass doors are made with the same energy efficient standards and options that are available with the most cutting edge windows, so that draft you’re trying to get rid of will be a thing of the past. And if you like sliding doors, but don’t like the cheaper appearance of sliding glass doors, think about replacing sliding glass doors with sliding patio doors, instead. Seems like a matter of semantics, but sliding patio doors, with wood frames, and all the craftsmanship and design possibilities of French and swinging doors, are some of the most beautiful, head turning door designs currently on the market.

Talk to an Expert about Sliding Glass Door Replacement
If you’re thinking about sliding glass door replacement and improving your home’s energy efficiency, talk to a contractor about which door design is going to be best for your home design and personal needs.