Monday, 25 December 2017

How to Transform a Boring Backyard into a Spa Haven

Even though most people don’t like spending too much money on outdoor projects, investing in your backyard should be an exception. Probably the most enjoyable thing you could do there is creating a spa-like retreat where you can recuperate after a long and hard day. This sounds like a ton of work at first, but it’s actually doable if you put your mind to it and make a plan. Here are a few suggestions that might help you turn your ordinary backyard into a spa oasis.

Safety and privacy

First of all, you need to take safety and privacy into consideration, no matter how cool and friendly your neighbours are. If you want to relax and take your mind off everything, you can’t have peeping Toms lurking ogling at you all day long, especially if you’re wearing nothing but a pair of speedos and a bathrobe.

So, you need to build a fence all around your backyard or, if that sounds too expensive, grow some vines and thus get a more natural look that’s going to be just as effective. Building a fence is a project you can tackle on your own, but get informed first and make sure your protection is high enough.

Start with a bathtub

Even if your backyard isn’t as spacious as you’d like it to be, you can still turn it into a spa-like area with a proper bathtub – this could really become the focal point of your outdoor area and give you all the pleasure you need. It’s basically the same thing as taking a long bath in your bathroom, surrounded by scented candles and soothing music, but it’s outdoors and therefore about a million times nicer.

A bathtub is a great way to cool down during the summer and if you maintain and clean it regularly, you’ll be able to use it for decades.

Throw in a pool

If you’re really dedicated to your own comfort and wish to take things to another level, you simply have to look into a small pool. It’s a perfect way to relax, but also stay physically active, and just imagine teaching your kids how to swim right in the middle of your own backyard.

Moreover, if you think outside the box a bit more and are looking for the absolute best option on the market, you should definitely go for one of the popular concrete pool designs, which are for those who don’t want to settle for standard shapes. Whatever shape and size or you desire, your pool can be fully customize into something unique, with your imagination being the only limit. All you need to do is pick your favourite, install it in your backyard and start enjoying your free time on a whole new level.

Finish it off with a sauna

If you’re in a position to invest more money into your backyard spa experience, go all in and hire someone to build you your own private sauna! Yes, this might be quite costly and require lots of time and patience, but the results are extraordinary – just picture coming home from work, taking your shoes off and stepping right into a sauna just a few feet away, or, even better, spending the entire Sunday doing nothing but relaxing between your pool and a sauna.

Of course, you can build a smaller, simpler sauna or hot tub on your own in a matter of days, and it might be just as good as a professional one, so give it a go as soon as possible.

Other features

Some of the other things you could incorporate into your backyard spa area include massage tables, foot baths and, finally, a comfy bed you can dive into right after a pampering spa session.

Creating a spa haven in your very own backyard takes some time, money and a pinch of imagination. When you think about countless hours of pampering joy you and your loved ones are going to spend in it, every effort seems justified. Don’t you agree?

Thursday, 26 October 2017

Top Tips to Finding a Good Plumber

Whenever there is a problem with your pipes and taps, it’s usually quite serious. A water leak is something that you will want to have fixed as soon as possible. In the event of this, the first thing you will need to do is find a plumber. This creates a different problem. The last thing you want is a plumber turning up and not being competent enough to complete the job. You’re going to want someone who is professional and reliable. One of the best ways to find a trustworthy plumber is to search online. A local area search (such as typing in ‘plumbers London’ for example) will bring up a plenty of results.

Here are some tips and tricks to help you find a plumber you can rely on:

Check Experience and Licences

First things first, you’re going to want to make sure the plumber is qualified for the job. Make sure you check he has all of the necessary certificates that qualify them to undertake the work intended. Also check whether the plumber has a license and whether it is up to date. Anyone who has a license is a professional and has gone through the proper channels in order to become a qualified professional.

On the other hand, an unlicensed plumber is a liability, because if anything was to go wrong, you would not have their professional details to hold them accountable and would not have a case to argue if taken further. Experience is one of the best tell-tale signs of a reliable worker. After all, practice makes perfect!

Get Referrals and Read Reviews

If you are going to get any service or product, you’ll want to hear what other people have to say, to determine whether or not they provide a good service. For plumbers, you can speak to previous customers and find out if the plumbing work completed was to a good standard. If it is, find out whether the service was reliable and the proceed to get some contact details.

Sometimes you may not be able to get referrals because people have not had the opportunity to use the plumber in question. However, you should read different customer reviews before choosing a plumber. These reviews will guide you on whether or not you should us the plumber in question.

Compare Prices and Check for Guarantee

Another important tip when looking for a reliable plumber is to compare the prices they give you to complete the job. A plumber should be able to give you the most accurate quote when pricing up a job. They can estimate for everything they need and give you an official quote. Plumbers who give cheap quotes over the phone are not the best to use, as they can often change prices midway through the job. Make sure you always get them to provide a written and singed quote before any work starts.

Once you do have a quote, compare it with other plumbers in order to get the fairest price. Additionally, you need to ask about the guarantee that the plumber offers. Any plumber who is confident of their services will attach a guarantee to the service.

Wednesday, 25 October 2017

The Art of Mixing Scandinavian Dining Tables and Chairs

Has it happened to you that you choose the best of the best dining tables and chairs but when you put them together, it looks dull and mismatched? If yes, this is because dining tables and chairs should be well synchronized to get an appealing and utility-based set, or else they look like random pieces of furniture kept together just for the sake of it. The art of mixing Scandinavian Dining Tables and Chairs requires careful attention and consideration of various factors that work towards making the set a stunningly beautiful pair. To master this art of mixing Scandinavian Dining Table and Chairs, here are 5 factors that you absolutely can’t afford to miss out on.

Dining Tables and Chairs

1. Shape

Since Scandinavian style furniture comes in very artistic and designer forms, matching Scandinavian dining table with Scandinavian dining chairs might come across as an overwhelming task but it no longer has to. The one and only key to a perfect match is to use similar shape. If you choose a round or oval table top, then it is suggested that you choose chairs that have the back support of the same or similar shape. However, if the chairs are very innovative and have a dominating style, then any kind of table might go well with them as the chairs attract all the attention anyway. If this is so, you can keep on pairing the chair if different tables in your head, unless you get a perfect match.

2. Size

There are a lot of different sizes available in Scandinavian Dining Tables and Chairs. There isn’t any such rule that restricts you from using the largest or the smallest of the chairs available except one which is that the chairs must match the comfort level that you are looking for and must suit the dining table and the dining room as a whole. It is rather odd if you have a table with small surface area and small legs but chairs with long back support resembling the royal chairs. One other rule that the experts believe in is that the size of the dining table and the chairs must be such that when you sit straight on the chair, your elbows must be on the same level as the table top.

3. Color

The color of the dining table and dining chair must match each other, and not necessarily be the same. It would be great to use same hues to get the best look. You can also try famous color combinations if you don’t want to experiment with colors of your own. Try white and turquoise or white and blue. The colors of the dining table and chair must match the vibe that you might want to get from your dining room. For a calm vibe, try neutral colors, for instance, beige chairs with a white table or vice versa. Scandinavian dining tables and chairs come in a myriad of shades so feel free to try out which ones look good as a set and not as individual furniture.

Dining Tables and Chairs

4. Built and Design

Although it is not a fact, a generalized concept is that the more the dining tables and chairs are of the same building, the more they suit each other. One of the main aspects to be careful about, when pairing Scandinavian dining table and chairs is the leg built of both pieces of furniture. If a dining table has a metal chrome finish to it, choose dining chairs that have metal chrome finish as well. Even under Scandinavian style, there are a lot of styles of dining tables and dining chairs available. So it is important to choose tables and chairs with the same appeal to them. Combining modern chairs with a contemporary table is the safest option available but don’t hesitate to try to mix and match different styles like retro with modern or vintage with rugged. You never know, you might just get a heavenly set in this process.

5. Material

It is important to understand that the materials of the dining table and the chairs must match, or at the least complement each other. It is a weird combination to pair a glass table with rugged wooden chairs. For most of us, we like to keep it same and use the same material, for example, if we have a solid oak dining table, we pair them with solid oak dining chairs. The other aspect of material that you will need to consider is the material used in the seats. If you value classy looks more than comfort, you might want to go with leather. But if comfort is your topmost priority choose chairs with soft cushioning and smooth fabric and pair them up with a non-edgy table with a smooth finish. The material must entirely depend on your need and choice.

With these factors in consideration, you will be able to make up a pair of Scandinavian Dining Table and Chairs that you will truly admire and pride on in years to come.

Tuesday, 24 October 2017

How to Bring Your Driveway Back to Life

When it comes to home design, we tend to focus more on the interior than the exterior. Sprucing up the outside usually comes later, when we are done with all the interior décor. Even then, driveways often come after the backyard and landscaping. However, when carefully designed, driveways can be a great feature that will complement its surroundings and enhance the overall curb appeal.

Here are some tips on how to bring your driveway back to life.

Bring Your Driveway Back to Life

Gravel driveway

If you’re going for a rustic, old-fashioned look, gravel is a great solution for your driveway. It’s relatively inexpensive and easy to install. One of the most recommended materials to use is pea shingle, which is a small, smooth, round stone, in brown or white. It’s more environmentally friendly than asphalt or concrete, it fits great with any landscape and with the crunching sound that it makes under the tyres, it adds to the overall rustic vibe. Just bear in mind that this surface also requires a certain amount of maintenance and you’ll need to rake it occasionally, so it doesn’t scatter around.

Circular design

Circular driveways have always been very popular with homeowners for two simple reasons: firstly, they’re very practical since they let you avoid going through the trouble of driving in reverse and turning your car around; and secondly, if designed well, they can act as a beautiful centrepiece art feature in front of your home. If you have an ample amount of space for a turning circle, the easiest way to improve your driveway is to make it circular.

Driveway Back to Life

From that point on, you can get as creative as you desire. The centre of the circle is an excellent place to create a flower oasis or install a water feature, and around it you can simplify the design by pouring concrete, or make it even more interesting by paving it with bricks and adding patterns to impress your visitors.

Concrete driveway

If you’re looking for a surface with the lowest maintenance level, concrete is your best option. It’s very easy to construct and it can be done in a short time frame. It will make your driveway look clean and neat, but on the other hand, it might also be quite bland and dull, design-wise. A long piece of concrete can be rather boring, so you should add some details to break it up and bring it back to life.

One solution is to pour concrete into squares during the construction and set blocks between concrete slabs. This will give it shape and form and also create an interesting pattern. You can make the edges stand out by outlining it with premium line marking paint in different colours. Instead of just one, draw two parallel lines in contrasting colours and you will not only increase your driveway’s visibility, but you’ll also add playfulness to its form.


Grass driveway

One of the best ways to improve the look of your driveway is using grass as a design element. By incorporating a strip of grass down the central part of the driveway, you’ll create an attractive visual effect. It’ll break up the single dull tone of a long concrete driveway and add some life and colour to it.

In addition, it will also save you money since it will reduce the amount of concrete needed. However, this design does mean you’ll have to put in some extra maintenance work and mow the grass from spring till autumn, but the appeal it will add to your house will be well worth it.

As you can see, there are different things you can do to resuscitate your driveway. Following these pieces of advice will definitely facilitate your efforts. 

Friday, 22 September 2017

Choosing Kitchen Appliances: Things to Consider

Kitchen appliances are an investment into the future rather than an immediate expense, and while usually a costly project, they are intended to serve your household for years, if not decades to come. That is why choosing your essential kitchen appliances requires prudent planning that will get you the best results in terms of functionality, financial savings, design, and your personal satisfaction as well.

You will need to settle on a reasonable budget beforehand, and then proceed to take into account various factors that will determine the look, functionality, and feel of your brand-new kitchen. Here are the essential things to consider when choosing kitchen appliances.

The price tag

You might feel tempted to spring for the latest stainless steel range, but that might not be what you and your kitchen need. After all, are you looking to create a functional place in your home to prepare food, or a professional restaurant kitchen? What’s more, high-end ranges have quite a sizeable price tag attached, so not only will you be extending far beyond your needs, but your financial reach as well.

Balance is everything, and you can find extraordinary appliances that are both durable and affordable; you simply need to realistically assess your needs. Moreover, consider purchasing one appliance at a time instead of a complete set, and pick out different pieces from a multitude of ranges: you might need the latest refrigerator, but you might not need the latest generation dishwasher.

Overall quality and longevity

The price tag is somewhat able to give you a hint as to the quality and longevity of your appliance. However, more often than not, you’re paying for the brand and not the product itself, so it is always best to search for authentic online reviews rather than rely on the advertisements or the words of “professional” chefs within the industry.

Appliances should be designed to last for decades, protecting both your wallet and the environment in the process. Energy star certified Viking refrigerators are an excellent example of this, with sturdy frames, cutting-edge operating mechanisms, air purification systems, as well as a variety of easy access drawers with temperature and moisture controls.

Pick your essentials

Perhaps you don’t actually need a completely new set of appliances, maybe you only need a new fridge or a new, eco-friendly dishwasher or microwave. It is easy to fall prey to modern consumerism and believe that you need to completely equip your kitchen with the latest technological advances; however, that is rarely the case.

Be sure to be rational and prudent at all times, and you will be able to make a sound decision that will save you money, time and effort. Don’t allow yourself to be persuaded by your local store clerk looking to sell as much as they can.

Go green

The aforementioned need to cut down on energy and water waste across the household becomes all the more important in the 21st century as humanity is faced with numerous ecological problems.

As natural resources are becoming increasingly scarce across the globe, now is the time to look for appliances that will not only allow you to decrease your upkeep costs, but also use less energy and precious clean water. Remember, the kitchen is the single most wasteful area in your home.

The perfect fit

Finally, you need to consider the overall impact your new appliance will have on your décor and kitchen setting. Choosing the wrong appliance can add to the clutter of the room and make it seem smaller than it actually is ‒ this is not a situation you want to find yourself in if you have a growing family.

Therefore, you also need to take the size of your kitchen into account when choosing your appliances so as to maintain the spaciousness of the room. Be sure to consider building custom-size countertops and even a kitchen island in order to make room for your new appliances.

As you can see, choosing your new appliances is not quite an easy task as one would initially assume. Be sure to consider these crucial tips and you will have no problems making the best possible decision for your kitchen.

Friday, 15 September 2017

Metal Roofs: An Insulation Guide

Corrugated metal is not an uncommon roofing material. In fact, it has been popular for quite a long time. A lot of buildings, offices, communal spaces and homes have metal roofs in order to reduce noise pollution and save energy. However, just like with any other type of room, insulation is the issue that needs to be tackled in order to achieve energy efficiency. With properly insulated metal roofs, you will retain the heat in the building while blocking the outdoor noises. If this checks all the boxes for you, read on for a comprehensive insulation guide for metal roofs.

Foam batting is the best option

If you are still thinking about what the best option when it comes to insulation material is, foam batting combines flawlessly with materials such as metal roof sheets. As you probably already know, fiberglass comes in roll-ups, whereas foam batting comes in panels (or, in other words, it is purchased in panels). It also offers you some wiggle room – it can be used on the inside or the outside of the sheathing. It is highly malleable, which is one of the most important traits of any material in the world of construction.

Staples will make sure it is fixed

When we talk about staples in construction, especially when it comes to roof insulation, we are not discussing your regular paper punchers. These staples can easily go through several inches of insulation and they are probably the easiest way to attach metal roof insulation and keep it fixed. Furthermore, they will not create large or particularly noticeable holes in the sheathing and you can always remove them if additional repairs need to be made (which cannot be said for most of other insulation fasteners).

Paper wrap can be very helpful

Lay down paper wrap on the sheathing. It will prevent water from accumulating in the small space between the metal roof and the sheathing. This is important for several reasons and the most important one is definitely the factor of mold. Since this space is damp and dark, mold can develop really quickly and cause all sorts of respiratory health issues to the residents. This is a specific problem that becomes really hard to detect or pinpoint once it has grown to dangerous proportions. People will usually search for the source of the problem in different places and this space between the metal roof and the sheathing will be the last thing on their mind. Therefore, make sure to put the paper wrap on the sheathing and prevent this problem from ever occurring.

Create the airflow

When you are constructing and insulating metal roof, there is an additional method you can apply to lower the chance of mold infestation – create small gaps to let the roof breathe. This can make metal roof maintenance much more manageable. These spaces between units of insulation should be no wider than 3 millimeters. If this is not done as precisely as possible, the problem of a leaking roof can emerge, which is followed by other issues.

Solving a small problem now can prevent a big problem later

You can argue there is hardly such a thing as an impregnable roof. This is definitely true when it comes to regular non-governmental and non-military buildings. For example, a constant flow of water will find its way through anything, and it can create big problems with your roof over time. Metal roofs are not immune to damage or corrosion. In order to stop these ever-evolving problems in their tracks, you need to be vigilant and give a professional a call as soon as you notice the need for any potential roof leak repair. Pay close attention to the state of your metal roof during and immediately after the rain season.

We all want to achieve the perfect balance between comfort and practicality. Homes and residential buildings usually go for different roof material, but metal sheets are just as good as your average roof tile. It is quite unfair to see people turning their back to metal roofs due to the very nature of metal – it cannot retain heat. However, with a bit of knowledge and solid insulation, it is a perfectly reliable kind of roof material. 


Thursday, 24 August 2017

Swimming Pool Solutions for Smaller Spaces

There is nothing like taking a dip in your own pool on a hot summer day. However, there is one particular problem you don’t know how to solve. You have the means and will to put a pool in your backyard, but you don’t have the space. Fortunately, people are resourceful thinkers. This is a unique problem but you don’t have to look around too much to find swimming pool solution for smaller spaces.

Swim spas

You could marry the lack of space with comfort and add a swim-spa to your backyard. It’s an ideal solution if you don’t have enough space and it’s an amazing solution for single people or entire families. It’s basically a smaller pool with a bridge that separates smaller spa section from the rest of the water. It comes with ample seating space and it’s a perfect hot-spot for relaxation after a hard day at work. Spa jets meant to massage you come with a variety of settings. In most cases, it is built to accommodate six adults, though if we are talking about children’s birthday party, it will probably hold more than ten children.

Plunge pools

This is a good solution if the space in your backyard is exceptionally small. Typically, this sort of pool won’t take up too many square meters from your yard but they will be appropriately deep, usually filled with cold water in order to invigorate your body. This way, you can enjoy a pool experience as if it’s a full-sized swimming pool. Even swim jets can be added in order to offer increased resistance for you to swim against. It’s a fantastic exercise. These pools are usually very durable and safe, with walls made of fiberglass.

Lap pools

Lap pools are fantastic variant for people who want to power-swim after work. It is very specifically designed for those who don’t have necessary backyard space but want to exercise, just like in the case of plunge pools. Contemporary lap pools offer a single depth throughout (dual entry steps, if they are even added, are really narrow), and they usually cover a great length but only enough elbow space for one person to swim. Maximum width is usually around 2.5 meters. The design is functional and practical, a fantastic solution for focused and hard-working individuals who enjoy healthy recreation.

Freeform pools

Freeform pools are truly unique beasts. They usually require creative input from the owner of the household, but you can also hire the help of professionals to assess the space and see what’s the best type of shape and size for you. The key feature of building freeform pools in your small backyard is versatility of shape and form. Irregular shapes and organic, natural style can also serve as a form of decoration to your yard. Likewise, these pools are usually made from natural materials (usually rocks) and designed to emulate the look of naturally occurring pond or a spring. These sorts of pools are not only recreational zones, they can also be turned into your own Zen hideouts.

Courtyard pools

Courtyard pool is mostly an umbrella term. This sort of pool offers features that mostly combine some of the above-mentioned additions. These solutions are ideal for cramped-up backyards and they are designed with multi-purpose modes in mind. They can serve for comfort and physical activity, depending on your mood. Swim jet systems, spa jets, seating areas, depth, it is all modifiable for your desired experience. Some of these courtyard pools can even be added to an interior, if you live in a sizeable mansion that take up most of the space on your lot.

No matter why your backyard space is limited, it doesn’t mean you should give up on adding a pool to your area. The solutions are numerous and the designs are feasible. After all, your backyard is your own small kingdom, and nothing should stop you from creating a little getaway from daily worries that perfectly suits your sensibilities.