A Guide to Home Improvement

Improving home is one best way of recreating a living space to energize the aura of the house and the people living in it. The concept of home improvement has different categories. The most common one is renovation, which alters the existing home structure. However, new constructions, redesigning, redecoration, and repair are also part of the wider concept of home improvement.

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Gardening Book Recommendations

Below are a few gardeining books that I have come accross my research as being some of the best in the past couple of years.

1) Mentors in the Garden of Life’ by Colleen Plimpton

Price $16.95
It is a series of short stories about family, friends, life, plants, and how they all tie together over the course of a lifetime. Really, it’s soulful and delicious.

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Essential Tools for any Florist

By Phineas Upham

If you’re going to take up floral gardening, or if you just want to maintain your own garden of flowers or herbs, there are a few tools you’ll need to be sure you can properly care for your plants. Without maintaining a garden, you might not be able to grow a diverse amount of species. Your box will also fill up fairly quickly, leaving you with limited space in your home garden.

Wire and Cutters

Floral wire, or chicken wire for the cost-conscious, are essential in creating beautiful floral arrangements that last. Flower snips cut stems, not metal wire, so it’s important to have something you can use for the job at hand.

Snips

A good pair of floral snips is essential when you’re pruning your flowers. Good snips should be lightweight, and remain sharp after several cuttings. If you make arrangements frequently, it might be worth it to shell out extra money for better quality snips that retain sharpness. Look for thin, pointed blades that are easier to maneuver with. If you buy right, your hands should feel comfortable without exerting too much pressure.

Pruners

Pruning shears are important when you want to groom your garden, or “pluck” a flower for an arrangement. Just like with snips, good pruning shears should feel comfortable in the palm of your hand and shouldn’t require too much force to close. Avoid big, heavy pruning shears meant for cutting branches. They are far too much for the job of cutting flowers.


About the Author: Phineas Upham is an investor at a family office hedgefund, where he focuses on special situation illiquid investing. Before this position, Phin Upham was working at Morgan Stanley in the Media and Telecom group. You may contact Phin on his Phineas Upham website or Facebook page.

How to Order a Safe Online

ecommerceIf you know what you plan to store, shopping for a safe online should be a simple process. Choose one that provides room for items you might consider adding later. A good burglary safe needs to be sturdy enough to resist repeated attacks and it should have a lock that can’t be easily disarmed. A TRTL30x6 safe is a rating that indicates its ability to withstand attacks on all six sides for up to 30 minutes. These are the highest rated burglary safes, having a thickness of at least 1-inch, and one of four ratings that include a UL label.

If you are considering used safes for sale, the age is always an important factor. Keep in mind newer, higher grade burglar safes, epecially those with UL ratings are constructed with sturdier materials. Quality safes manufactured within the last 10 to 15 years typically have walls made with concrete, layers of steel alloy, and ceramic rods, which make them harder to puncture. Some older, top-grade models are sturdy enough, but the locks can be easily punched by experienced burglars. In addition, many combination safes have steel plates position behind the lock to keep the tumblers in place.

Safes are made with a few different types of locks, including the Smart and biometric locks found on newer models. Still, UL rated floor safes with passcode and combination entry offer a moderately higher level of security. If the electronic lock fails, the dial lock continues working hard to keep its contents secure.


 

First Security Safe offers high security safes, AMSEC and ISM safes, online or at their Los Angeles location.

Add Value to Your Home with a New Garage Door

Written by: Superior Garage Doors

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While there are very few renovation projects that you can do and recoup 100% of your investment, there are many things you can do and still keep a good bit of the value when it comes time to sell. One of the oft overlooked options is to replace your garage door. A new garage door can increase your curb appeal, increasing the speed at which your house moves on the market and adding a bit of value to your home.

Your largest increase in value will likely be if your home has an older, manual garage door. These can be a major deterrent to prospective buyers. In an age where automatic doors are commonplace, few people want to expend the energy to open the door themselves. Not to mention the strength needed to open a manual garage door may be more than an elderly person could possibly summon. If the automation of your door is merely broken, you could also get by with simply getting a company that specializes at garage door repair in Atlanta to come and fix it for you.

To maximize the added curb appeal of your home, make sure to check out a variety of businesses that specialize in garage door installation in Atlanta and preview different materials and styles. There is plenty to choose from, and you could go with some that blends well with the neighborhood or you could try for something that gives your house that extra bit of pizzazz and set it apart from the rest of the market.

Another added bonus, providing you go with a door that it is an insulated, would be a drop in your utility bills. Technology has come a long way since the early days of garage doors. It could  significantly reduce the cost of your heating bill while keeping the garage at a more pleasant temperature in the extremes of summer and winter.

If any of this sounds like something that might help improve the value of your home, a great way to find out if it’s for you is to contact a professional in garage door repair near Kennesaw, GA. Most companies are more than happy to provide you with more information on just what they can do for you.

Why New Yorkers are Being Pushed to Grow Native Plants

By Phineas Upham

Most plants that are used in the front of back yard of New York homes were brought in from outside of the state. These plants tend to thrive because New York meets the conditions for growth, but they are not naturally occurring. If an invasive species were introduced, it could wreak havoc on the eco system.

New Yorkers who own property that can have a garden on them have been encouraged to garden using native plant species found in the New York area. There are a few reasons why that is.

Maintenance

Everything has a maintenance cost, as anyone with a front lawn will tell you. Native plants tend to thrive in the conditions of that city, so New Yorkers will find themselves buying a lot less fertilizer and using less water to grow a particular species of plant. Native plants also save you money on pest control in some cases, as they have adapted over time to the natural pests in the area. This also helps cut down on toxins in the immediate area, which may have a beneficial effect on fruit-bearing plants in your garden.

Beauty

New York plants are attractive, and feed off the natural beauty present in parts of the state. There are also a wide variety to choose from, leaving homeowners with their choice of color or shrub. Plus, you’ll be doing your part to help native plants reclaim their landscape.

There is one final benefit you don’t see up front: erosion control. With native plants, the soil erodes less. That has all kinds of benefits, including keeping storm drains clear for heavy rainfall.


Phineas Upham is an investor from NYC and SF. You may contact Phin on his Phineas Upham website or Twitter page.

Design Your Own Walk In Closet

Summary: If you need extra space, turn a room into a walk in closet.

If you own a house and have an extra room or two that’s not being put to use, consider a walk in closet. While it may not seem cost-efficient and worth your time, take a good look at your current closet’s space. Are you lacking space within your closet? Do you need more storage space? Are you constantly looking for misplaced clothes? If you answered yes to all of these questions, then you might need a larger space and should consider transforming a spare room into the closet of your dreams.

Closet organizerCloset organizing systems are the bread and butter of your closet. If you are on a budget, there are various articles on creating your own DIY closet systems. It’s important that you set a budget so you won’t go overboard and shop-happy.

When you design a closet, spatial awareness is important. With a walk in closet, your options tend to open up more because of the amount of space you are provided with. Plan ahead by creating an idea of how you want your closet to look. Then, with a mental blueprint you can start mixing and matching the various pieces of furniture that you have to create a masterpiece of a design.

There are several manufacturers that offer rods and hooks at a budgeted price. Utilize these small accessories to add more depth to your walk in closet. Also, if you want to get one foot in the door of the design phase, take a look at the various online closet look books. You’ll be surprised at the creativity and simplicity of closet owners. You might even find the perfect closet design to model yours after. There are no limitations, so explore your creativity and see what happens.


 

Bio: Solid Wood Closets carries high-quality, custom modular closet systems that will immediately transform your closet into a luxurious one. Browse their online catalogue today.

Using an Electric Fence for Horses

By Farm Supply Store

If you own horses, you most likely have their best interest in mind at all times. For one thing, they’re a rather expensive animal, so you want to make sure they’re taken care of at all times and live a nice long life. However, most of us tend to think of our horses much like a lot of people think of their dogs. That’s why we take their safety so seriously.

Farmsupply2This is why it can be so hard for many people to consider using an electric fence for these animals. No matter what, horse fencing is essential. You need to keep them from running far from your property and hurting themselves. At the same time, you want to keep large predators on the other side of your property too.

With an electric fence tester, you can always make sure the voltage you’re using is enough to accomplish both safely. You don’t have to worry about predators getting in, but you also won’t have to worry about your horses hurting themselves. Usually, after they make contact with it once, they’ll never want to do it again, but they won’t have any serious injuries either.

So don’t let your horses get hurt; use an electric fence for their own protection.

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Whether you want to build your own electric fence or you just want an electric fence charger to ensure yours is always working perfectly, you’ll love the selection of parts at Farm Supply Store.

Tips on Buying a New Garage Door

Garage DoorWhen you look for a new garage door, there are several different factors that you need to consider before purchasing one. Approaching the process can be confusing at first but here are some tips to get you started.

The Insulation Factor

Garages aren’t known to retain a lot of heat. Today’s doors have improved and now include better insulation techniques. Not only do they protect from the elements, but they also keep the temperature inside cool which makes for a more comfortable environment.

Consider what direction your door is facing also. If it’s directly facing the sun, you would be better off purchasing an insulated door for its temperature regulation.

Make Sure Your Garage Door Protects You

If you live in an area where hurricanes or natural disasters can happen, you would want as much reinforcement as possible. On the market there are storm-ready garage doors that have a reinforcement system built into it.

When you purchase a quality garage door, most of the time it will come with the installation of a garage door opener so you do not need to worry about a separate purchase.

How Much Does A Garage Door Cost?

Depending on the size of your garage and the quality of materials put in to your door, you can expect to pay in between $700 to $1600. If you are looking for an automatic door opener, tack on another $300. This is not including contractor costs or taxes.

Look around for different contractors offering you a better deal. It would be best to get multiple quotes and narrow down your options based on quality of work and professionalism.

Bio: ETO Doors is a quality distributer of high end doors. Supplying to many of the largest big box industries in the world, ETO Doors has high regards for success and customer satisfaction. Check ETO Doors reviews online to see what everybody is talking about!

 

 

Why You Should Choose Artificial Grass Over Other Grass Alternatives

artificial-grass

Written By: Better Backyards

More people than ever before are opting to either build their new homes without natural grass lawns or to replace their existing grass lawns with alternative lawn options. There are plenty of good reasons why people will choose an option such as artificial grass instead of natural grass. In areas where droughts are common, removing natural grass can save the environment and reduce water bills. Removing natural grass also creates a lawn that is easy to care for and always looks great.

Artificial grass is just one alternative to natural grass. Other choices can include gravel, dirt or even concrete. While these are all options that are easier to maintain and more water efficient than natural grass, in most cases they don’t make as much sense as an artificial turf installation. There are several reasons to select artificial turf over other types of grass alternatives:

Aesthetics: Removing your natural grass doesn’t mean your lawn can’t be green. In fact, you can ensure that you have a green and lush lawn year-round with artificial grass.

Heat Reduction: Gravel and cement get very hot over the summer. It can act as a heat sink and certainly isn’t fun to walk on barefoot. Newer types of artificial turf are designed to be cool to the touch.

Safety: Gravel and rocks create choking hazards for small kids along with unstable footing that can lead to falls and twisted ankles. A properly installed artificial turf lawn is free from divots or holes that can lead to dangerous conditions.