Home Exterior Tips, From Swimming Pool Custom to Patio and Garage

Modern swimming pools and swimming pool accessories

Enjoy a custom-built fiberglass swimming pool

Conventional in-ground pools are made out of concrete or vinyl, but the development of smooth, good looking fiberglass swimming pools has provided consumers a far superior alternative. If you consider the difference between walking on sandpaper or glass, and you will have an idea of the difference between the rough surface of a concrete pool compared to that of a sleek fiberglass pool.

Fiberglass pools offer even surfaces that are kind to tender skin, while the rough surfaces of concrete frequently leave scrapes and cuts and can readily catch and rip bathing suits. The grooves and divots in concrete also collect bacteria which evolve into algae, and the chemical makeup of concrete also encourages the growth of other unhealthy micro-organisms.

Concrete pools need to be scrubbed and cleaned and treated with acid washes, while fiberglass is non-porous, chemically inert, and doesn’t have to be treated with unpleasant chemicals.

When the weather shifts from hot to cold and cold to hot the ground will often expand and create fissures in the surface of concrete pools which have to be patched, but this is never an problem with fiberglass, a material far stronger than concrete. Don’t look at the initial expense of a fiberglass pool in comparison to a concrete pool and reason that concrete is less expensive, because the extra cost of fiberglass is compensated by savings on cleaning and maintenance. The advantages of owning a fiberglass pool far outweigh the added expense of the initial purchase, as fiberglass is overall easier on your body, your pocketbook, and the environment.

Keep your pool warm with a solar pool heater

Get the most fun out of the family swimming pool by setting up a solar pool heater, and you will save cash over other heating systems. There are four major elements to a solar powered pool heater involving a filter, a pump, a diverter valve, and the solar collector installed on the roof through which the water is pumped and heated and then returned to the pool. The solar collectors on the roof need to be anywhere between 50% to 100% of the surface area of the pool, and the bigger the solar collector the better you can enjoy the pool in colder months.

The first thing you will want to determine is where to place the solar collector to receive the maximum amount of sunshine, and remember to set your pump timer to operate during daylight hours. Pool covers are a top notch investment to keep the pool from losing significant amounts of heat, and halt the debris and wind blown dirt from entering your pool.

Solar pool heater systems normally cost in the $3-4K range, similar to propane heaters or heat pumps, but those systems have on-going operating costs that solar systems do not feature. Since the only moving part in a solar pool heating system is the diverter valve, which controls the water flow to the solar accumulators on the roof, solar systems have very low maintenance expenditures, unlike conventional pool heating systems. Additional advantages to solar pool heaters is the use of natural sunlight instead of pollutant energy sources like propane gas.

Assuming you find the above topics useful, you may also run across additional information concerning pools and accessories on these different websites. Need additional help with solar swimming pool heaters? Then Easy Solar Pool Heaters is a good place to begin. If you are still wondering about a swimming pool cover then try Mesh Swimming Pool Covers. Other posts concerning pools and accessories and solar pool cover reels can be available on Solar Pool Cover Reels.

Various tools for the home

Digital scales

Scales come in many sizes, models, shapes, and functions, but they all have one thing in common: if it isn’t a high quality scale, it isn’t good for much. Digital scales are the most exact you can buy, and you will find one for particular needs such as bathroom scales, shipping scale, or food scales. Weight measuring has been in existence for many millennia using a variety of technologies, and have even secured a place in our judicial system with that symbolic blind justice holding the balanced scale. Even though the digital scale won’t ever attain the level of a national symbol, it has supplanted traditional scales as the most popular way to weigh.

Digital scales are a leap forward in reliability and accuracy, and conventional mechanical bathroom or kitchen scales have never been precisely accurate. Mechanical scales can only give you an approximate reading, but the read-outs from a digital scale provide pinpoint weight measurements. You need to be prudent when you spend your cash on a digital scale, as there are untrustworthy scale merchants selling knock-offs of name brands on the Internet. Again, it should not be stressed too hard, that high quality is your main concern, as there is nothing so worthless as a poorly built scale.

Drill bits can be an essential tool in any home

All of us who have tackled challenging home improvement projects understand that you will normally need a wide selection of drill bits to do the job right. Different kinds of materials call for different types of bits to produce a good result. There are many various sizes available for the highly popular twist bit, which is designed to give you good results with plastic, wood and metal.

If you are working with stone, concrete or masonry tile you will need the hard cutting tips of a tungsten carbide masonry bit. Bullet pilot points are specifically made with spurs to give you a clean hole through metal, plastic and wood. In order to drill holes at an angle or holes that overlap, a Forstner bit will usually be the recommended choice. Flat holes can be created quickly by using a flat wood bit which offers a center point with flat steel on both sides.

Safety glasses don’t have to look clunky anymore

Over the years those geeky, awkward safety glasses people wore to protect their eyes on the job site have evolved into glasses that are safer, more comfortable, lighter, and better looking. The major difference between regular glasses and newer model safety glasses is the resistance to hard impact has been greatly improved with safety glasses, otherwise you can buy them with the same prescription lenses as regular glasses, or you can wear new model safety glasses with contacts.

Known as the material that is most resistant to UVA rays, polycarbonate is the most common material used in contemporary safety glasses, a material first made for the windows on airliners and the face shields on astronaut helmets. Lenses on older safety glasses were made out of Crown glass or Columbia resin plastics, and did not have the impact resistance of polycarbonate, nor could they be adjusted by applying heat as polycarbonates can be.

Polycarbonate is a flexible material that can bend a little without breaking or cracking upon impact, a lot like bulletproof glass but unlike harder materials like glass or plastics. Safety glasses are made with the same prescription lenses as are available with regular glasses, including single vision, bifocals, trifocals, progressive and occupational lenses.

There are newer models of safety glasses that look good enough to wear away from the job site, such as the more expensive ones with Titanium frames, or the inexpensive ones with frames made out of resin plastic. Sports glasses are another model of safety glasses, and are always developed with polycarbonate frames to withstand situations of high impact.

The inquiry into tools for do-it-yourselfers must cover numerous things. The links which follow will lead you to different sites that could be a good source of information.

Saunas and hot tubs: Tips to remember

Portable infrared saunas

Since you can readily install a portable infrared sauna anyplace in your home or backyard, or take with you on holiday, more and more people are attracted to portable saunas. Simple to set up and take down, portable infrared saunas provide the convenience that traditional Finnish steam saunas can not supply, and infrared heat has a lot health benefits than the old fashioned saunas. Old-fashioned saunas offer indirect heat to heat the air to 180 degrees F or more, whereas infrared saunas warm the body directly, as the sun does, with temperatures between 100 and 140 degrees F.

Portable infrared saunas only take about 15 minutes to warm up, where Finnish steam saunas take the better part of an hour, and thus have greater operating costs. The invisible infrared rays are the most healthful rays created by the sun because they penetrate the skin and activate the sweat glands, which in turn operate to eliminate toxins from your body.

Folks who must put up with back pain, arthritis, or migraine headaches report better health with improved blood circulation after sitting in an infrared sauna. The conventional sauna can really tire people out after a long exposure to the intense heat, while those with infrared saunas feel refreshed and renewed. The health benefits of infrared rays have long been understood, but none of the infrared lamps some doctors recommend can equal the potency of a far infrared sauna and it’s deep heating action.

A tanning bed might be a healthy way to get your “sunshine”

You can do long term harm to your skin when you leave it exposed to the sun for extended periods of time. Even though most of us know about this lots of people are unaware that too little sunshine can also be harmful to our health. Exposure to the sun is vital for the creation of vitamin D which the body uses for controlling blood pressure. It can be tricky getting sufficient healthy exposure to sunlight without taking a chance on some of the negative impacts of overexposure.

One way to control the how much exposure you get is with the use of residential tanning units. Many people take regular trips to a tanning salon which can be expensive and inconvenient. With a tanning unit at home you can climb in it whenever it is convenient without thinking about its impact to your pocketbook. You will enjoy the extra privacy and comfort of tanning in your own home without having to be concerned about what other people think of your progress.

If you can’t locate the help you need from the above articles, possibly the following sites will be more appropriate.

Uncomplicated patio upgrades

Outdoor wood furniture

Wood exterior furniture is generally thought of as the most attractive kind of furnishings for the out-of-doors, but wood needs to be correctly treated for protection against the weather. Wooden outdoor furniture is a wonderful addition to to any backyard landscape design, with many striking pieces like benches, lounge chairs, porch swings, picnic tables, garden gliders, and tree benches.

Unlike other common materials used for outdoor furniture, you can paint or stain wood to improve its looks, or you can leave it with a natural look with by giving it a clear finish. Among the types of wooden furniture pieces which can be acquired for the backyard are oak, cedar, teak, birch, eucalyptus, and redwood, all of which have their own distinctive charm. The most popular wood material for both exterior and interior furnishings may well be pieces constructed out of oak, a wood valued for its lasting beauty and strength.

One of the most distinctive wooden furniture pieces is cedar, which is famous for having natural insect repellent qualities that make it very popular for outdoor use. The most costly wooden furniture is old-growth redwood, a tightly grained beauty that can be regarded as a collector’s piece and heirloom as much as something you sit on outdoors during the summer. Seamless wood furnishings are always placed in enclosed decks or patios, and should not be left outside in the hard weather since this type can readily warp.

Wooden picnics table

Among the true pleasures of maintaining a backyard is the opportunity to serve food on your own wooden picnic table. There are several varieties of wooden picnic tables of assorted shapes and sizes that can be treated with many types of sealers, paints and stains.

Picnic tables are available in lots of different types of wood such as popular ones like pine, redwood and cedar Avoid older wooden picnic tables which might have been treated with a pesticide that left arsenic residue in the wood, an obvious health hazard. If you find yourself a little cramped in your backyard you may find that hexagon or round tables are a better fit than the standard rectangle.

The way the table is finished is also a significant matter since it needs to endure all weather conditions. Moisture is the worst thing for a wooden table and it would be a good plan to put a coat of lacquer on it to be on the safe side. If you purchase an unfinished table and apply all the finish yourself you can get the exact look you want and save money to boot.

Fun in your backyard pool

Swimming pools covers reduce safety issues

Safety is the primary issue when it comes to swimming pools, so when your pool isn’t being used lay a pool cover over it to keep your children safe and your pool clean. No matter if you have an above ground or in-ground swimming pool, water evaporation will be far less if you cover the pool when it’s not in use. Vinyl covers which feature insulation are very popular and valued for strength and durability, as are the less expensive non-insulated ones.

Solar models trap the energy of the sun and keep the pool warm, and usually cost less than the ones made out of heavy duty vinyl. Many of these can’t support the weight of a little kid landing on them, so solar covers may not be suitable for families with smaller kids.

Automatic models are commonly the most costly, followed by semi-automatic covers and then manual ones, the three basic models of pool covers. Bargain shopping is the what you’re looking for with pool covers since you will find a lot of different models around at a lot of different prices.

Fiberglass swimming pools

An in-ground swimming pool will produce fun for you and your family, and among the options are concrete, vinyl or fiberglass models. Vinyl pools feature liners that usually wear out and need to be swapped out every 5 to 7 years, while concrete pools will eventually show cracks and need to be patched. There is an amount of flexibility in fiberglass that prevents it from cracking when there are shifts in the ground from changes in climate, temblors, or the effects of growing tree roots. The up-front installation costs of fiberglass pools are higher than either concrete or vinyl, but with lower on-going maintenance costs fiberglass is eventually more cost-effective.

You can save a lot of money not having to treat fiberglass with harsh chemicals to combat algae or mold since bacteria won’t grow in the non-porous surface of fiberglass. It only requires two or three days to install the pre-built shell of a fiberglass model as opposed to at least a week to put in a concrete or vinyl pool.

Effective garage improvements

Metal storage cabinets

Undoubtedly, there is no space in your house more susceptible to the chaos of clutter than your garage, especially if the garage is often used for several functions including storage room, workshop, and the place where you keep your car, boat, or motorcycle. You need to do some serious planning ahead of organizing the garage, then the first step is to measure the amount of room that’s available on your walls and floor for storage. With your measurements taken you will be able to figure out just how many metal cabinets you require and where on the floor or wall you can put them. The most significant factor to consider is how strong, sturdy and durable the cabinets are, and because metal cabinets can withstand more punishment than cabinets made of wood, the decision will be easy. The decor of your garage isn’t typically as big a deal as the interior designs in the rest of the house but that doesn’t mean you have no choices other than drab, conventional gun-metal gray cabinets in your garage. Nowadays garage cabinet wall systems are built in a wide range of styles and colors, and some of these storage systems are very stylish. The newer models of metal cabinets have a sleek, modular look, and those typically fit better with modern decor plans than the more ornamental traditional look. You may want to call up a professional contractor to install an comprehensive wall storage system, but as a do-it-yourself project it isn’t too difficult.

Garage organization systems

A garage is an excellent storage space, but if you want to do work there, such as woodworking, auto repair, or home improvement projects, you have clear up the clutter to organize it. It’s harder to keep the garage organized than any other room in the house because it acts as a work space, a storage room, and a place to keep major property items like cars, boats, motorcycles, and lawnmowers. Adequate garage organization calls for making enough room to finish work projects, keep important appliances and tools handy, and keep infrequently used items as far out of the way as possible. Larger items such as riding lawnmowers, vehicles, and boats obviously won’t fit up on the wall, so you first need to find a convenient location for them. You will ordinarily find there is more space on your walls for storage than anywhere else in the garage, and you can maximize your wall space with a storage system that includes wall mounted cabinets, shelving, hutches, and hangers. Work benches are great places to maintain tool boxes, either on top of the bench or underneath it where you can quickly get at it as you set about your work.

The category of garage accessories is quite extensive and there are many Internet sites which address a specific topic. Here are a couple of recommendations that may be of help. For example, when you are interested in garage door insulation kits, then Garage Door Insulation Kits has a lot of usable advice.

Organizing your garage

After you mount cabinets in your garage, you will have plenty of room for new junk

Adding cabinets in your garage will help organize what is perhaps the most disorderly section of your residence. Whenever you are deciding on which type of garage cabinets to purchase, it is a good idea to take some time to consider all of the options. A key to selecting the perfect cabinets is figuring out how they will be utilized. Those cabinets that come with movable shelves should give you the maximum amount of versatility whenever your needs happen to change.

While choosing the material for the garage cabinets, it will be helpful to consider the different conditions your garage will likely see. A few of the most accepted material options for storage cabinets include wood, metal and plastic. Storage cabinets made from wood are the most popular. They will be especially durable and are available in a broad range of types and designs. While wood garage cabinets are very resilient, you need to be mindful that they can require a degree of maintenance to stand up to the wear and tear they will get.

Steel storage cabinets can be constructed in a lot of different sizes, styles, and finishes, and are the strongest of the three materials. The most popular kind of metal storage cabinets these days is manufactured from stainless steel. The primary disadvantage of stainless steel cabinets would be their higher price. Stainless steel cabinets are most often favored by those who have a passion for working on their vehicles.

The least expensive style of garage cabinets are those built from durable plastic. They can be found in several different designs and require almost no maintenance. They are an economical means to manage and clean up all those precious items in your garage. It is also possible to have your cabinets custom made when you can’t find exactly what you need to fulfill your storage requirements. Although custom cabinets are apt to to be more expensive, frequently the unique solution they provide is worth the extra money. Garage cabinets can provide you a simple approach to properly care for your costly equipment and tools.

Caring for the garage floor can enhance the worth of your home

When researching ideas to upgrade your garage floor there will be several essential questions that need to be answered. A few of the most important things to know are the total cost, can it withstand the treatment it will get, and will you have the ability to install it by yourself. These days garages have turned out to be more akin to multi-purpose rooms.

Along with a place for your vehicles (if that is still possible), you also must have room to stow gear like seasonal decorations, sporting equipment, and craft supplies. Frequently garages will be used as either a family entertainment room, a mechanics bay or a workshop. To make the garage a more practical area, people are installing all kinds of accessories, with cabinets, lighting and shelving leading the list.

A great idea to quickly make the space useful is to enhance the concrete. When it involves the garage floor there will be many separate alternatives to consider. Each one of them could enhance both the appearance and functionality of this valuable space. While choosing paint for your garage floor you need to remember that it will most likely experience all kinds of abuse, such as chemical spills, heat, high humidity, and abrasion. Painting a garage floor will require that you carefully prepare it, patching any cracks or chips prior to painting. Since standard concrete paint can rapidly start to peel and erode, you will need to select a paint that can bond completely with the concrete and be scratch resistant.

In case that strikes you as too much effort, you may want to consider putting in tile or mats to cover the floor. Mats will be easy to clean and designed especially to conceal older floors that are chipped or stained. They allow you to cover the existing floor without needing repair work. Another quick-and-easy choice is interlocking plastic mats. These big squares are notched on the sides and fit together similar to pieces of a puzzle.

One of the advantages of this kind of garage flooring is that you can replace individual pieces in case they happen to get damaged or stained. Interlocking mats are offered in a wide assortment of colors and can withstand just about any spill or stain. There is no need to prepare the floor before installation, just fit the pieces together and the job is complete.

Probably one of the more expensive options for garage flooring will be installing ceramic tile. This would be a job that is usually best left to a flooring professional. They will need to put in a commercial grade tile which will withstand the situations the garage is liable to encounter. Ceramic tile garage floors will be almost entirely maintenance free, thus they will look great for a long, long time.

Furniture for the patio

Kick back on an outdoor lounge chair

When shopping for recliner lounge chairs for the backyard patio, deck, terrace or barbecue area, you have a wide range of styles and colors that are available in four basic materials: wood, metal, plastic, and polyresin. There are four key factors that should govern your buying decision, comfort, price, looks and durability, and you need to consider each factor carefully before laying out hard cash for new patio lounge chairs.

Before you make any buying decisions you will want to set a budget and then figure out how often will these lounge chairs be used, and whether you are more interested in comfort or looks. If you are going to use your new chairs often then comfort will be of chief importance, which means you will want some padded cushions.

The quality of outdoor patio lounge recliners ranges a lot, and high quality, durability and looks frequently depend on the material used to make the chairs. The most attractive loungers are made of wood, but wood is not as durable as other materials.

Aluminum is the only rust-resistant metal, but you can get steel and wrought iron pieces treated with rust-resistant coatings. Plastics will not be as good looking as lounge chairs fashioned of the other materials, but plastic is inexpensive and easy to clean.

Probably the finest all around outdoor patio furniture is made of polyresin, since chairs made out of polyresin are nearly as inexpensive as plastic, are better looking than metal chairs, and are more durable than metal or wood. A handy feature you ought to always consider are cup holders in the arm rests, a appreciable convenience that allows you to keep your drink at hand.

Enhance your patio with outdoor lawn furniture

Whether you enjoy your backyard as a place of quiet repose, or a spot to gather friends and family, you will want quality outdoor furniture to ensure that everyone has somewhere to sit. Outdoor furniture typically consists of the same types of furnishings we use indoors, such as tables, chairs, recliners, and stools, but also items manufactured specifically for outdoor use, like swinging chairs or tree benches. Comfort, appearance, and durability are the three principal qualities you should look for when buying outdoor lawn furniture.

Depending on your personal taste, you can buy outdoor lawn furniture to perfectly suit your needs, whether it is made of poly-resin, plastic, metal, wood, or wicker. Outdoor lawn pieces constructed out of poly-resin are highly popular these days since poly-resin is less expensive than metal or wood, is more durable than wicker, and looks a lot better in your backyard than plastic products. Of all your choices of metal outdoor furniture, aluminum, wrought iron, or steel, the most rust-resistant is aluminum, while iron and steel have to be specially treated.

Lots of people find that wood furniture is the most attractive, but wood pieces are less durable and less weather-resistant when exposed to active outdoor use. You will want to shop carefully for bargains when it comes to outdoor furnishings, as prices can vary widely depending on the season and the outlet through which you buy your pieces.

Pool installation and maintenance

Above ground swimming pool covers

Adding an above ground pool is an excellent way for friends and family to enjoy the summertime right in the backyard. One simple method of keeping your pool in great working shape is the regular use of a cover. You will notice a huge difference in the overall quality of your water and the reduction in how long you have to spend cleaning the pool. It is also important that you cover your pool during those months when it isn’t warm enough to swim. An neglected pool will probably become damaged and full of debris during the wintertime.

Additionally, they can lower your pool heating expenses by retaining the heat trapped in the water. A protected pool will also lead to less evaporation and thus spare the costs of replacing water and adding chemicals. You can notice that there are a range of options for pool covers so it is smart to shop around and find the one that works best in your circumstance.

Buying scuba diving flippers

Scuba diving is a great recreational activity that enables you to travel around the world and explore new places. One of the main roadblocks to getting involved with this sport is buying all the equipment that is necessary.

Flippers are one piece of your gear that you just cannot do without using. The problem is that with so many assorted kinds of flippers that it can be hard to know which set will work best for your needs. Both full foot and open heel styles are on the market to allow for easier movement in the water. The smaller full foot flippers are usually worn barefoot and work most effectively for snorkeling. Scuba divers typically prefer the larger open heel fins that go with special boots that really slice through the water.

A lot of beginners are smart to begin with paddle fins which are less costly than a number of the other models. The more experienced divers who require extra performance for longer distances often decide to purchase split fin models.

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