Monthly Archives: October 2017

The Benefits of DIY Sheds

The concept of DIY is not a new one but it wasn’t only until recently that their popularity became widespread. In the age of ready-to-assemble homes, it is no surprise that people are so into doing projects by themselves, from fixing their own leaky faucets to building their own garden sheds and garages. There’s just something to be said about building something with your own two hands and seeing it standing erect and proud in your backyard.

The term DIY (do-it-yourself) has been associated with consumers since 1912 mostly in the realm of home improvement and maintenance. The term was coined to refer to the emergence of a trend wherein people took it upon themselves to fix, repair or build various home improvement projects or crafts projects as both a creative outlet and cost-saving activity. Why pay for a plumber to fix your faucet when you can do it yourself for free, right?

As time passed, the concept of DIY grew to include the renovation of rundown older homes and these days, they also include ready-to-assemble modular and kit homes, which has opened doors for potential homeowners and given them better chances of purchasing their dream homes. Also, when you say DIY these days, what comes to mind would be construction projects like sheds and garages which are definitely some of the most expensive home improvement projects if we didn’t have DIY shed kits to work with.

Also, the fact that these shed kits are readily available both online and off also contributed to their rising popularity. For those who lack considerable carpentry skills, these sheds are a God-send because even the most clueless would-be carpenter can easily follow the instruction manual that come with these kits and be able to have a working and structurally-sound shed within days. The fact that these kits also already come with the necessary building materials and with the walls, floor and roof already laid out and ready, all that needs to be done is to check if permits will be required as well as a review of the local building codes.

While the concept of building your own sheds was initially discouraged due to the fact that trying to construct your own sheds with a considerable lack of the necessary skills can result in too many first-time mistakes that can render the whole project a moot point and a general waste of time and money, it is now widely encouraged primarily because it has been afforded a level of ease and convenience that is targeted specifically for amateur carpenters and handymen.

When you simply have to bolt in and connect walls to roofs makes these kits appealing, not to mention the fact that you don’t have to refer to complicated drawings and layouts also makes it ideal for amateur builders who are new to home improvement projects and would like to gauge their level of expertise and understanding. You learn something new and at the same time you grow confident about your ability to learn new things and thus, find it easier to tackle new challenges.

DIY Hydroponics and Strawberries

Hydroponic gardening is becoming more and more popular as a way of growing plants at home and there are many reasons why one would follow this path. Hydroponics is proving to be a very popular method to grow strawberries ans the results are very encouraging for the growers. The plants produce abundant numbers of fruit and they are much larger and more tasty than their soil grown counterparts.

A lot of people have now set up their own DIY hydroponics and produce a lot of their own strawberries and other family favorite vegetables.

DIY Hydroponic gardening is a method of growing plants without soil, usually by suspending the roots in a water nutrient system or having the roots sprayed by a water nutrient solution.

There are several systems that can be used and the Ebb and Flow method and the Aeroponics method have proven to be two of the most favored.

DIY Hydroponic Gardening

Strawberries do not like ‘wet feet’ and one may initially think that for that reason Hydroponics would not suit this type of plant but the ebb and flow system and the aeroponics system both suit strawberry growing.

What does need to be realized with hydroponic strawberries is that plants do require nutrients and with hydroponics they are delivered to the plants in water infused with nutrients.

Usually strawberry plants are grown with their root systems suspended and this is when the nutrient infused water is passed over them. In essence the water is just a replacement for soil which in soil growing is what holds the nutrients that the plants needs. It is not actually the soil itself that feeds the plants and so too with hydroponics, it is the nutrients infused into the water that is giving the plants the required nutrient mix.

Ebb and Flow System

Growing strawberries in a hydroponic ebb and flow system requires the soil-less plant to be housed in a small tube and that tube is pushed through an opening in a larger tube allowing the roots to dangle in a larger tube and it is in the larger tube that the water is passed over the roots on a periodic basis.

Aeroponics Hydroponics

With this Hydroponics system the roots dangle in a container and are sprayed with the nutrient rich solution, keeping the roots receiving moisture but not waterlogged.

Garden Design Tips For New Homeowners

A lot goes into moving into a new home. It can be an exciting, exhaustive, and sometimes scary process for not only the new first timer, or for the well-seasoned owner who’s moved more than a few times in their lives. The amount of energy, money, and time spent moving and eventually establishing yourself into your home and your community are well worth the effort- and that includes how you change and establish your outdoor landscape and garden areas.

The property the house sits on deserves the same attention as the house itself, and for many, a lot of pride is taken into making their landscapes and gardens not only their own, but also well-kept and attractive. But starting from nothing or something unattractive, overgrown, or simply something that doesn’t work can be a daunting task.

Here are some basic landscape and garden design tips for the new homeowner and even some execution ideas for the sake of organization.

Please note: Before you begin any changes in your landscape, make sure you’re aware of existing HOA bylaws or covenants in your neighborhood.

Start Living the Space First

I always recommend that new homeowners simply live in their homes for several months before they start making changes. Mow the lawn, trim the hedges, plant some containers- but don’t remove beds, add plant material, add new beds, create paths, or construct living spaces until you know how you’ll use your property.

You’ll begin to notice that there are some things about your new landscape that concern you above others. Maybe prevailing winds are cooling your home too much in the winter and you could use a windbreak to help. Maybe you need some shade somewhere on your property where your family likes to play the most.

You’ll learn about where the most used pathways exist around your property, where established areas for certain jobs are naturally occurring (like where you like to play, where you visualize your vegetable garden in the sunniest spot next to the best water spigot, where you tend to want to put yard waste, and where you think a tool shed would work well).

Privacy screen needs, windbreaks, steep slopes that are hard to mow- these are all things you’ll discover need immediate attention. Establish the few pressing needs you find yourself wanting first, and start your landscape plan from there.

Establish the Budget

The best way to approach setting ideas into action with landscape changes revolves around one simple thing – how much money can you spend on your projects? If you have the money, you could hire a landscape architect who you will work with to establish all your needs at once, and then hire a landscaping firm help to get it done.

But, if you’re like most homeowners, you might need to think about which projects should come first, and if you should go Do-It-Yourself or not. One common mistake a lot of new homeowners have is they underestimate how much money landscaping actually costs, so projects often go partially unfinished. Be sure to do a lot of research before you buy anything and take on only what you can comfortably afford. For some, this may mean small weekend projects until the budget loosens. If this is the case, start with the most pressing needs first such as repair needs and projects that simply make the landscape livable.

Get your Plans on Paper!

Before you buy one brick or toss your spade into the lawn, make sure you have an established plan, written down and drawn out, step by step, so that you have a beginning and a goal in mind for one specific project. A designer can do this for you and work with an installation team, but if you’re going DIY landscaping, you can easily write and draw down plans yourself. Decide on a solid plan and stick to it, so you don’t get ahead of yourself.

If you’re using hardscape materials, make sure you calculate how much you’ll need accurately. If you need help, you can contact a professional or the company that makes the material you’ll want to use and they can help guide you through an estimation process so that you don’t buy too much, or too little of a product. Make sure you have all the tools needed to install the product properly.

If you’re going to be planting materials, check your states invasive species list to avoid planting possible pests into your landscape. Make sure your choices of plants are well suited for the application you want them for and if you can provide the care they’ll need so that they stay looking healthy and happy for years to come. Create a plant list and work with a reputable nursery that offers a guarantee on their plant stock.

Get Ready for Hard Work.

Ahh, the joys of DIY and homeownership on a budget! And, if you hire all your help, the stress from working with others on plans for your own home, and having to deal with installers you don’t really know and construction issues aren’t easy either. Whether you’re laying the foundation for a new patio yourself or living through weeks of endless noise from jackhammers and bobcats, you’re about to have your work cut out for you.

Set aside plenty of time to get your work done, or simply do what you can in the time you have and don’t stress about it. Sometimes things go well during installation of a project, and sometimes they don’t. Expect blisters, maybe a twisted ankle, dirty nails and clothes, and maybe even sunburn if you’re installing yourself. If not, expect a messy house and strangers wanting to use your bathroom and the lack of privacy can get to some too. This is another reason I always highly recommend one simple job at a time to get it finished quickly before too much damage happens and you regret the whole experience before it’s even finished.

When it’s all Said and Done, BRAG!

Your hard work is starting to make your new home look and feel like your own. Invite family and friends over to enjoy, and post lots of photos on your favorite social media site. Enjoy the congrats and envy, you earned it!

DIY Home Improvement Ideas For Beginners

If you are a home owner, with a certain amount of involvement, patience and creativity doing DIY projects for your house can be a very rewarding and cost effective experience. One of the most exciting aspects of owning a home are the vast number of changes that you can keep incorporating in your house to increase its value and looks. And when it comes to home improvement projects, it is not always essential to hand over every task to a professional.

So if you are a home owner and are thinking of simple and easy ways to begin DIY projects the following list of ideas will be surely helpful to get you going:

o Indoor and outdoor painting – One of the most easiest and effective way to give your house an instant facelift is to paint it yourself. Painting a home is one of the simplest DIY tasks as well as an inexpensive one. All you have to do is to choose colors that complement your rooms as well as the exteriors of your home. An important point to keep in mind while painting your home is to keep all the flooring, woodwork, switchboards well covered before starting your task.

o Creative woodwork – Though woodwork and carpentry requires practice as well as skill one can always begin with a simple task such as building a bird house in the garden or your porch area. You can look up a simple birdhouse design and include a bird bath as well as a feeder which will be sufficient to keep your home bright and chirpy with your winged guests.

o DIY garden projects – Your garden area is one the best places to do home improvement tasks which can give your whole residence a beautiful look. From mowing your lawns to pruning and weeding you can include a fountain, tree benches, hammocks as well as wind chimes and gravel paths.

o Exterior lighting – Lighting can beautifully enhance the exterior appearance of your home. You can experiment in diverse ways like putting up Victorian style lamp posts at the entrance or creating beautifully lit corners in your garden area.

o Repair work – Another great way to begin DIY home projects is to take up minor repair works such as electrical repairs and plumbing. For this you would need to invest in a good tool box as well as read up about home repair basics in order to perform your task safely and successfully.