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Things To Consider When You Want An Eco-friendly Deck

A deck is built with one goal in mind: to be able to enjoy nature's glories at its fullest. Decks are most useful during the spring and summer seasons when people can sit back and enjoy the sun. They also get to inhale some fresh air that laced with the scent of fresh blooms. This nature-rich relaxation process begs the question: is the deck built to leave only a minimum level of impact on the environment? If not, then is it possible to build an eco-friendly deck at all?

The answer to the second question is yes. The first thing to consider when you want to build an eco-friendly deck is the material to be used. Timber always been the traditional material used for decks in various parts of the globe. However, new advances in technology have made it possible for people to build decks out of other types of materials. Some of the more unconventional materials to choose from include:

  • Composite materials such as fiberglass or plastic. There are cases wherein these two materials are combined.
  • Aluminum.

People who already have a timber deck in Sydney are probably well aware that timber requires a lot of maintenance work. But if this maintenance work is done regularly, then it means that the deck would last for as long as the house is still standing. This longevity ensures that you no longer have to purchase more wood to replace the rotten parts of the deck. Therefore, it lessens the demand for more timber to be cut down, which means that there is less negative impact to the environment. In order to make the existing timber deck more eco-friendly, it is best to use eco-friendly products for its maintenance as well.

There are a number of brands that offer eco-friendly wood sealants and all-natural wood stains. Switching to eco-friendly products is not only beneficial for the environment; it is also good for the family's health. That's because most conventional wood sealants contains trace amounts of arsenic. For those who are unaware, arsenic is the poison that eventually killed Napoleon Bonaparte off as it was added to his food in tiny dosages daily.

But if the timber deck is already in bad shape and needs to be replaced, then it is best to check whether you can replace it with a more sustainable material. Composite decking is not so bad when it is viewed from an environmental point of view. That is because composite materials are often made out of recycled plastic products that are mixed in with sawdust and other wood by-products.

This means that choosing to use composite materials to replace the rotten timber deck not only lessens the impact on trees. It also helps reduce environmental waste. Another plus factor for composite decking is that it requires less maintenance as compared to timber decks. This allows homeowners to save up on the money that they usually use to purchase wood sealants and stains for their timber decks.

Both timber and composite decks have its own pros and cons for the environment and for the family. When it comes to the crux, the final decision would always depend on the homeowner's personal preferences.

Benefits Of Diy Aquaponics And Why It Is A Better Alternative

You can say that diy aquaponics is a revolutionary system that can be implemented in your own backyard. It has some features that are beneficial to both urban and rural farmers. It is also a pretty good system to implement when raising both fish and vegetables for community gardens. The systems efficiency alone is truly something to boast about. Read on and youll find out why.

The following are some of the readily observed benefits of Aquaponics:

The system is completely organic: diy aquaponics requires the use of purely organic materials. No fertilizers are required when raising crops since the fish waste coming from the fish tank supplies the needed nutrients for the plants to thrive. Conventional pesticides may not be used in this type of system because they will kill the fish in the tank.

Completely sustainable: These systems are truly sustainable. The only input you will need to supply is fish food. In about once a week you may need to add some water to the system to maintain an optimum operating level. There are systems that incorporate the use of earthworms on the substrate that is used for growing plants. If the worm population increases you can throw the excess into the tank to feed your fish saves you some money.

Produces minimal waste: All aquaponics systems produce very little waste. Remember that the waste water from the tank is recycled as the input (i.e. nutrient rich water) into the hydroponic side of the system. The system incorporates biological filtration and the water flows in a closed loop system. You rarely have to add water or throw away any refuse since everything is pretty much recycled.

Most systems are customizable: You can actually design your system to be as simple as you and as complicated as you want it to be. Some practitioners add a few special segments to their systems such as water heating or water cooling. Some even add some back up filtering in case there is too much fish waste that is being produced. Everything is customizable. Aquaponic systems can even be designed to incorporate renewable energy, which makes it less dependent on commercial electricity.

Cost effective in the long run: The startup costs vary from system to system in a diy aquaponics system. I mean you can expect a bigger bill in a more elaborate and complicated setup and a much cheaper one in a smaller scale system. The simpler your setup the cheaper it is. You can also cut startup costs by recycling containers and other pieces of equipment. Once you have everything setup, you rarely need to replace anything. Its definitely cost effective in the long run.

Requires minimal labor: Once you have the system running, there are only a few things you need to do. Well, you need to plant new crops after your harvest. You also have to add new fish from time to time as you consume them to maintain a balance in the systems ecology. You also need to do some periodic checkups, and cleaning. And thats pretty much it.

Learn more from: DIY Aquaponics - Aquaponics System Solutions

How The Experts Use Under Cabinet Kitchen Lighting

A well-lit kitchen not only makes it more appealing but also makes kitchen tasks easier to carry out. There are three basic types of kitchen lighting, which are ambient lighting, task lighting, and accent lighting. Moreover, one way to create ambiance for your kitchen and make kitchen tasks easier to do is to have a well-placed under-cabinet kitchen lighting.

There is a wide range of under-cabinet lights to choose from, and the great thing about them is that they are easy to install. Your choices include rope lighting, puck lights, tape lights, and bar lights; they can be either connected to your power outlet or run on batteries. But, when you are not sure about installing the lights by yourself because you have concerns regarding handling electrical items, you may choose battery-powered lighting.

Known for their versatility, puck lights can be used to make pooling light highlighting specific areas on your countertop. Moreover, they are an excellent choice for night lights when you go for a midnight refrigerator raid. Different types of puck lights include xenon, halogen, and LED.

Moreover, rope lighting and tape lighting function efficiently as runners along the entire length of your under-cabinets; they are a source of low-level light, helping you find your way in the dark or reinforcing the overhead lighting scheme. In terms of color, white is the most popular, although if you are adventurous, you can use different accent colors. Lighting bars, on the other hand, work well as a source of bright light. They illuminate a bigger area than puck lights and are not as low-level and drawn out as tape and rope lights.

You can have all these styles in the form of LED lighting, which is more energy efficient and lasts longer than traditional bulbs. In addition, since it is programmable and easily controlled, you can be more experimental with it. You can even get fixtures with motion sensors, so you can be assured that you do not leave the under-cabinet lighting on when your kitchen is empty.

When remodelling your kitchen or opting for replacement kitchen doors then lighting is a major consideration. Under-cabinet kitchen lighting is one of the important things you should introduce in your new or remodelled kitchen. They both cater to the aesthetic and functional aspects of your kitchen, which should be your primary consideration. Moreover, installing the lights can be a rewarding activity, especially when you see the result of your work.

Interior Paint Ideas - 4 Color Misconceptions And Why To Bust Them

The 4 interior paint concepts that follow go contrary to a few of the Interior decoration color myths I often hear on the task ... I make certain you've heard some or all of these myths too.

As you learn and explore more about the world of Interior Design colors, you'll develop your very own interior paint concepts and, many of those concepts will fly in the face of color dogma you've heard for many years.

Hold your ground!! You're finding out Painters Sydney, Residential Interior Design color concepts and your eye will tell you when your paint colors work.

Let's take a look at 4 of the Most Common Interior Design Color Misconceptions ... Why you ought to disregard them ... and, some alternative interior paint ideas that really work!

Myth # 1-- My space is so small; color on the walls will make it look even smaller sized.

Fact-- As far as understanding of size goes, color isn't going to make a huge difference. If a few of you have had interior paint ideas that consisted of deep saturated colors for smaller sized rooms ... Go all out!

I just recently read of a color design research done with two identical rooms-- mirror images of each other. One was repainted off-white, the other a quite sage green. A variety of people travelled through both spaces and were then requested for their opinions. The overwhelming bulk didn't observe the smallness of the room at all ... however, practically all chosen the green space to the cold, naked off-white space ... So, why sacrifice design?

Designer Pointer: An interior paint concept that will make a little room feel larger is to paint nearby rooms the exact same color. The result is a roomy sensation as the borders between spaces disappear.

Misconception # 2-- My windows are too little ... there isn't really sufficient natural light for color on my walls.

Truth-- If your windows are little, they will not matter anyhow.

The little bit of light you're getting from your small windows isn't really going to make a huge effect even if your walls a white. I want to commemorate small rooms with deep color. Color highlights the intimate values of a little area and makes a personal statement about you.

Misconception # 3-- My furnishings is so dark, I require white to lighten the room.

Truth-- Surrounding huge, bulky, dark wood furniture with white, off-white or pale pastels is the worst thing you can do. Why? Due to the fact that the severe contrast in between light walls and dark furnishings makes the home furnishings stand apart and feel out of character to the rest of the area. Once more, deep, saturated color will tend to diffuse the contrast and the darker colors will make more sense.

Misconception # 4-- My room faces west. Won't warm colors make the space feel hot? Or vice versa-- my space faces east, will not cool colors make the room feel cold?

Fact-- There are many influences on a space's "mood". Do not base your interior paint options on just one lighting or ecological element. The psychological heat of a compact west-facing space with a warm color combination once again celebrates the intimate realities of the space.

Remember too that context is everything. Focus on ecological impacts. Light infiltrated the trees brings green; light bouncing off bricks likewise moves the state of mind and look of interior paint colors. Lastly, evaluate the color where it will be utilized. Do not select interior paint colors for your holiday house in New Mexico while back house in Montreal. Nevertheless fantastic you feel your interior paint ideas are, never forget the big influence light and location play on the understanding of color. Constantly earn little tester pots of paint colors ... Paint examples on all the walls and analyze the colors at various times of day ... Then, trust your instincts.

I hope the interior paint ideas on this page have actually empowered you. Keep learning as much as you can about Interior Design colors and you'll feel your confidence grow.

Hanging Wallpaper

Hanging wallpaper is one of the easiest ways to give any room a facelift. Deep colours and vivid patterns can lend any room an intimate feel while light tones and dainty prints create the illusion of more space. Whatever effect you desire, hanging wallpaper is a task that requires both artistry and engineering. To get top quality results, you must choose the right type and amount of wallpaper, prepare the surface, and apply the wallpaper with precision.

Choosing Wallpaper

Find out how much wallpaper you will need by measuring the height and length of each wall. At the store, check the total area of each wallpaper roll and divide the wall area of your room by this number to determine how many rolls you need to buy. Remember to buy more than the actual area of your room because you will need to match the patterns when applying the wallpaper.

Choose vinyl wallpaper if moisture is an issue. Canvas-backed vinyl is best for bathrooms and basements. Embossed wallpaper is a good choice for covering up imperfections. It is also durable and easy to paint over. Textile-based wallpaper has a sophisticated look and gives you more control during application. However, textile-based wallpaper is difficult to clean and its application is time-consuming.

Preparing the Walls

Start by turning off the electricity and removing the wall plates. Cover the outlets and switches with pieces of tape to protect them.

Strip off old wallpaper in sections. Use a putty knife to scrape off the adhesive underneath. If the wallpaper is older, it may be tougher to get off and the adhesive underneath may be permanently stuck to the wall. If this is the case, use a belt sander to remove the wallpaper and adhesive.

After you have stripped off the old wallpaper, clean the wall with a sponge and regular household cleaner. Let the wall dry thoroughly. Afterwards, check for mildew. If mildew is present, use a mixture of bleach and water to remove it. Never apply wallpaper over existing mildew.

Use a good quality filler to smooth cracks in the wall and fine-grit sandpaper to sand the surface smooth. Apply primer to give your wallpaper a solid foundation and to help it adhere to the wall.

Hanging Wallpaper

Use a pencil and a carpenters level to mark guidelines on the wall. When cutting the wallpaper, cut a length that is 4 inches longer than the wall. Line up the wallpaper with the marks you drew on the wall. Start at the ceiling. Leave about 2 inches hanging off the top and below the floor. Make sure that the wallpaper is lined up properly and flatten it with a wallpaper brush. Smooth the wallpaper from the middle out, making sure that there are no bubbles or wrinkles. Let the wallpaper set for about 15 minutes and then wipe off excess adhesive from the seams with a wet sponge.

Get help if you need it before you start

If you are unsure about your ability to do a good decorating job, then get help before you start. In Glasgow can get a Painter Glasgow before you begin. You'll get a free estimate and advice.

Diy Troubleshooting Tips For Your Air Conditioner

When the heat is unbearable, and your A/C suddenly decides to take a break during the peak of summer, you must come up with a swift solution. Even though a lot of air conditioner problems need an experts help, average homeowners can fix some of the usual home air conditioner problems on their own.

The A/C is Not Running

If your A/Cs condenser is not running, inspect the power to ensure that you have plugged the unit into the electrical outlet. Once you see it is plugged in, inspect for a blown fuse or perhaps a tripped breaker. Turn back on the power and check if it will now start.

Another likely cause is not setting the thermostat right. Lower the setting on your thermostat by around five degrees and check if it starts working. If nothing happens, you have a faulty compressor or motor. You require the services of an expert to fix this issue.

Insufficient Air Cooling

If you notice that your homes central A/C unit is not cooling your home sufficiently, adjust the thermostat five degrees lower. If your air conditioner problem persists, suspect a filthy evaporator. Clean the evaporator carefully and allow it to run for several hours. If the problem is still there, it only means that you do not have the right A/C size.

Remember that a very hot day can significantly affect your A/C units efficiency. If outside temperatures reach 100 degrees or over, it is likely impossible for your A/C to maintain a 62-degree coolness inside your house regardless of the amount of cold air it blows. Another factor is a home that has many windows that allow the sunlight to penetrate inside. Always discuss your concerns with an industry expert before deciding if your homes current A/C needs replacement especially if the weather is also unusually hot.

A/C Runs but does not Cool

If you have a running A/C but it is not capable of cooling your home anymore, the first thing you need to inspect is still the thermostat. Then, inspect the units condenser. Is it filthy or blocked? If it is, clean it first and get rid of the obstructions. Tall grass, weeds, or similar airborne debris can block your condenser.

If theres still no cool air coming out of your cooling unit, it is likely the result of insufficient refrigerant levels in the system or a faulty compressor. Hence, hire an expert to take a look at these issues and solve it for you.

A/C Unit Constantly Turns On and Off

This one is another air conditioner problem that is a result of a blocked or filthy condenser unit or evaporator. Mostly, cleaning the entire unit and taking off all the blockage can solve the problem.

When to Ask for the Help of an HVAC Expert

You can clean your A/C by yourself as long as you have basic knowledge of the various parts of the system. But whenever you face issues with the coolant, it calls for an expert HVAC contractor. And if you also performed some basic troubleshooting, and the situation is still the same, call for the reliable HVAC contractor in your area right away.

5 Home Improvement Projects That Will Transform Your Life

There are many projects that can make a significant difference to your house and home, and in fact your life. Here we talk about some not so cheap projects that are all worth doing, for those that have a little extra cash.

Each project was chosen because of their ability to completely transform your everyday life.

  • Loft Conversion
  • This is a big project and you can expect the entire complete job to cost around £30,000 for your average 3-4 bed semi detached house. A loft conversion can easily add 15% on the value of your home, so if your 3-4 bed semi is in the right location you're quids in.

    Having an entire floor of extra space, in a two storey house add 50% to the amount of floor space that you already have. You're not just converting the loft for an extra bedroom, you are creating a complete self contained living area. The only thing you are less likely to put in your loft is an additional kitchen.

    There is enough space for a good sized double bedroom, open plan living area and an en-suite or separate bathroom. If you need that much more space and can't afford the £150,000 plus to move home then this is a great option. The extra space is transformational to your living.

  • Garage Storage Solution
  • We all have clutter somewhere. If you have a drive and a garage then the vast majority of people store all their rarely used items in the garage and the car sits on the drive. Over the years, the garage becomes a no go area. Hours spent looking for things you may never find can be depressing as well as wasteful.

    A complete garage makeover, with a company like Garagetek UK, will transform your garage into a completely new room. Many people choose to remodel their entire garage, wall to wall, with storage cabinets, workbenches, bike racks, gardening hooks and the like. The floor can be tiled or completed with a resin finish and the entire central area can still be used for the car or as an exercise gym.

    Budget around £7000 for a complete garage makeover it will change the way you think about your garage forever.

  • Conservatory Installation
  • Adding an extra room directly onto your home gives you so many new options for living that it is often a wonder why everyone has not already done it. Most people that have a conservatory spend the majority of their free time either in it or in the kitchen next to it.

    The warmth and extra light you get all year round can boost your levels of Vitamin D and also help stave of Sunlight Acquired deficiency (SAD) a real illness that impacts the lives of many people in the UK.

    A well installed professional DIY conservatory, one that you build yourself or with a very handy DIY friend, will cost you around £5000. Once you have one, you'll wonder why it took you so long to get it.

  • Landscape Your Garden
  • If your garden is a jungle, unkempt, rustic or just a mess, then having it professionally landscaped will give you years of pleasure you just didn't know existed. The garden has long been recognised as one of the most relaxing and pleasurable additions you can have in your home.

    As well as time spent on the upkeep, the regular connection to nature is so important for day to day living. It can make you calmer, lower your heart rate, blood pressure and help you live longer.

    Expect to pay around £4000 for a top quality and well finished medium sized landscaped garden.

    Watch this video on Garden Landscape Design

  • Kitchen Makeover
  • Considering how much time we spend in our kitchen, not just cooking but socialising, relaxing and just being, a complete kitchen makeover can be one of the most well spent investments you will make.

    Kitchen makeover companies like thedoormaker can transform your kitchen by replacing the doors and drawer fronts. A new kitchen can set you back just a few thousand pounds with a professional makeover.

    And once you've made the change, it will look and feel like a brand new kitchen, at a fraction of the cost.

    All of these projects are transforming, changing not just your life, but your home as well.