The Best Types of Patio Surfaces

Filed Under: DIY Outdoor, Do it yourself, Gardens, Shopping    by: ITC

Terraces and patios have been very popular spaces for the outside of the home. Whether it is in the form of rooftop alcoves or Parisian courtyards, only sunrooms and porches have the potential to compete against such paved retreats. Or, at least, that’s what a recent reader survey has told us. Here are some patio surface types that exist today:

1. Patio Stones
Patio stones are sometimes also known as slabs or flags and are flat concrete blocks either in rectangular or square shapes. A lot of home builders, as well as homeowners, choose this popular type of patio surface because they are cheap and very easy to install. Although in the past, this type of patio surface was only available in grey, a wide color range is now available.

Pick colors that mesh well with your house or garden, or construct a floor patterned with dual colors. This type of patio surface looks best when matched with contrasting material, such as bricks, landscape rocks, cedar, rot-resistant wood, or aluminum. Patio stones can also be found in various surface textures, such as those that come with aggregates that are exposed. Their consistent kind of thickness is what makes them easy to install, but they are typically more expensive than normal stones.

2. Flagstone
Flagstone is a natural material which is only available when local resources have them. Flagstone is normally cut in regular lengths and widths, but how thick the piece is depends on the cutting and the stone. The change in thickness seems to make this kind of material harder to install, though. Natural flagstone pieces tend to cost more than patio stones that are manufactured.

A lot of the time, flagstone is considered artistic paving since these broken stone pieces are usually set in very random yet attractive patterns. However, flagstone is quite difficult to set the right way since a patio’s mortar joints tend to be weak and these pieces of stone need to be set tight together. Professional installers should be able to break the stones by hitting pieces of pipe or rebar that have been placed on the proper break line.

3. Bricks
One very popular type of material for building for terraces and patios are bricks. Brick colors are either in yellow or red (though there are more variations available nowadays). Choosing bricks for your outside space is really a very personal choice, though weather conditions may also play a part. If your house is situated somewhere cold, it is important to get bricks made for severe weather so they won’t crack no matter how cold or how heavy the snow falls. These are more expensive compared to hot or moderate weather bricks.

No matter which kind surface you opt for, it is important to invest a significant amount of time deciding on a design which fits in with the rest of your property.

The Basics of Welding

Filed Under: Do it yourself, Hardware, Metal Working, Tools    by: ITC

Welding is something that has been in our world for centuries, but in different forms compared to how we use it today. The initial process of welding that has ever been used is called forge welding. This is a method which tries to combine two metals from a combination of heating and pounding them together; just as blacksmiths used to do. Since then, however, several advancements have been made in the world of welding. With such innovative techniques and methods, welding can no longer be found within the limitations in industrial settings; instead, welding can be performed virtually anywhere, whether in space or underwater.

From taking a look at the overall history that comes with welding, being able to combine several metallic pieces together onto strong bonds is essential in advancing in various parts of life, whether from transportation to house or from repairs to manufacturing. Truly comprehending the basics of welding is important when it comes to work, but is also important at home, on farms, or in workshops. Due to this fact, welding should be seen as a skill that practically anyone can gain advantages from, no matter what gender or age.

Welding can be used to fix stress cracks, cut or shape new adapters, and reinforce weak joints, so if you tend to have metal machinery or equipment, welding is sure to come in handy.

When it comes to such chores, a lot of welders turn to a certain process called arc welding, where a current of electricity flies through air gaps while the process of welding takes place and gives off a huge amount of essential heat. Such heat is made at the very ends of the welding rods and when this happens, the metal will melt. Naturally, it is a bit more complicated, but this is the overall concept, in a nutshell.

Probably the most basic method of welding that is used in today’s day and age is the one that also saves people the most money; AC arc welding, which is short for alternating current. Basic alternating current welders can be found practically anywhere, from home stores to farm stores in your local vicinity. This welding technique is perfect for the majority of your basic and regular jobs. Because of this, alternating current arc welding proves to be ideal for beginners and novices.

All of these tips and tricks will help you to stay safe when it comes to taking on your very own welding projects; one thing that is of the utmost essence when it comes to learning new crafts.

How to Use Weed Burners

Filed Under: DIY Outdoor, Do it yourself, Gardens, Outdoor, Shopping, Tools    by: ITC

Most gardeners face a lot of problems when it comes to the seemingly never-ending onslaught of weeds. Many of these unnecessary plants are actually quite simple to get rid of yourself, while others do tend to be quite persistent as days go on. No matter what your garden situation is, if you manage the weeds in the wrong way, there is always the possibility of a full hard day’s labor or being exposed to harmful chemical herbicides that may cause damage to the environment or to you. This article will show you alternative methods to managing weeds so that you will no longer have to result to chemicals or manual labor: fire.

Weed burners are actually highly effective tools when it comes to getting rid of unwanted and unnecessary plant foliage. These devices come with fuel hoses, metal wands with burner heads, control valves to control gas, and fuel tanks for propane. Hand-held varieties also exist and these are quite similar when it comes to the weed burning function. The difference is that the propane tanks are disposable and can be screwed onto burner wands. Also, hand-held burners are not as powerful and they cost more to use; which is why they aren’t typically recommended.

Weed burners can often be found anywhere online or at garden hardware stores. Most weed burners come in similar functions and designs. What is important is that you are comfortable using a particular burner, as well as its controls. One big difference between weed burners is the BTU rating, which can measure the amount of heat that the burner can actually produce. If the BTU rating is high, the available heat to get rid of plant foliage will also be higher. If your particular weed burner happens to not have strikers or any kind of igniter, you will have to buy one. Before you buy your first weed burner, however, it is important to take some time to get acquainted with the local laws of your state regarding owning and using such a device.

There may be some localities that forbid the use of weed burners during particular times during the year, while some might just forbid them all together. A lot of localities insist that fire extinguishers be nearby while weed burners are in use, while some need you to have a permit to burn. It is always best to be safe and know this before you go ahead with a purchase.

Weed burners tend to be a great alternative to herbicides that are made from chemicals, but users must completely comprehend that weed burners are only meant to manage weeds; safety is always key when using burners to burn weeds.

Essential Tips for Waterfront Living

Filed Under: DIY Outdoor, Do it yourself, Home repair    by: ITC

One of the most wanted destinations, in terms of living accommodation, is waterfront living. This is mostly due to the beautiful scenery which surrounds the home as well as having the option to take a short walk in order to go boating or fishing. But beware, life isn’t always fine and dandy when it comes to waterfront living.

The most common fear that some waterfront homebuyers tend to have concerns the potential rising and rolling of the river, and ultimately having water entering their property. Although this is not entirely impossible, it is quite a rare occurrence. In most cases, the water that is the riskiest, when it comes to waterfront homes, does not stem from rivers, but from water that flows over the land towards the river.

Always keep in mind that rivers are places in which water flows into. Depending on how certain houses are situated and how they hinder the water flow to the river, these factors can determine whether or not the houses in question will stay free from water flow.

Therefore, when considering waterfront property, it may be important to opt for a wonderful view, but it is also important to take a look in-land to ensure that you have the best waterfront living experience without damaging your home.

If you do end up experiencing a flood in your home, do not give up hope. Although everything inside your home may seem to be damaged beyond reason, a lot of your items can still be saved by acting fast and cleaning, drying, or rebuilding it what was damaged. There is also the option of seeking professional assistance in order to keep your home safe.

Here are some tips and tricks to consider if your home is ever subject to flooding:

1. Always protect your family and yourself from fatigue, stress and other health concerns that may come after a flood.

2. Treat your home with first aid by protecting your belongings from any further damage.

3. Organize your things and figure out which ones are no longer worth repairing or may be far too difficult or costly to do alone. Recovery plans can help a lot in making the most out of both your money and your time.

4. Dry out the house to reduce the chances of damaged materials, mildew, silt, mud, and other unknown contaminants.

5. Restore your utilities, such as clean water, electricity, heat, and sewage disposal.

A lot of people sincerely love waterfront living because it is a truly fulfilling experience. It is even more rewarding, if you know exactly what you should be looking for. So pick and plan the smart way.

Planning My Home Improvement: How To Do It

Filed Under: Do it yourself, Home repair, Redecorating, Remodeling    by: ITC

Planning your home improvement projects can be overwhelming, especially if you have never done one before. However, if you have the information that you need, you should be able to go through it easily, allowing you to accomplish the project properly. These are some of the things that I do when I plan for my home improvement projects. Read on and you might be able to find a thing or two quite useful.

First, you need to look for resources. Homeowners actually have an easier time nowadays when looking for design ideas and home improvement guides because of the internet. There are plenty of home improvement blogs and websites which provide not only guides and step-by-step procedures but also relevant photos and illustrations which could help you understand the process even better. There are also some websites which offer downloadable manuals.

If would be working on a large home improvement project, make sure to talk with an inspector and call the local building department. They usually provide handouts on the code requirements for the more common projects and would be happy to answer your questions. You might also consider calling the local utility company if you would be working on a project which includes digging holes so that they can check any buried utility lines.

If you can, try drawing your home improvement project plans on graphing paper. This would help you with the design process and it would make the construction details a lot clearer. When you have your ideas and design on paper, you would also have an easier time listing the materials that you need.

As you choose the materials, you should make sure to do plenty of researching and comparing so that you would end up choosing those that would be the most durable and the best for the kind of project you would be working on.

Try to keep the details of the construction as simple as possible so that you would be able to avoid mistakes and problems later on.

Make sure that you would be buying or renting quality tools and equipment. This is very important as it could make the difference between getting the result that you want and ending up with a poorly done home improvement project.

I also make it a point that before I start to work on my home improvement project, I already have all the materials that I need so that I would not be wasting any time later on making trips back to the home builders center. Make a list of the items that you need and check through each one of them to be sure that you have enough and if you have the right type.

Try to keep these things in mind when planning any home improvement project to get the most out of your time, effort and money. Through incorporating them into your planning, you would be able to accomplish any repair, renovation or remodeling project that your home needs.

How A Home Improvement Blog Can Help Homeowners

Filed Under: Do it yourself, Home repair    by: ITC

Today, you can find all kinds of information on the internet. There are blogs about virtually any topic you can think of. Blogs can be quite useful especially in providing helpful pieces of information about a certain subject. One example of a useful blog would be a home improvement blog. There are plenty of home improvement blogs on the internet which homeowners can certainly pick up plenty of ideas from. Here are some of the other benefits of a home improvement blog.

Home improvement blogs are able to offer all kinds of information from tips on organizing clutter to the types of flooring that you can use for your home to how you can create a Japanese garden. Most of these blogs cover a wide range of subjects which are related to home improvement so you can easily search for a particular topic or project that you are interested in.

A home improvement blog can help you save plenty of money through providing easy-to-follow guides on how to do various home improvement projects. Hiring a contractor or a specialist can be quite expensive and if the task or project that you want to have done is easy or simple enough, getting the proper procedure from a home improvement blog might just be what you need to do the project yourself. The guides that you can find on these blogs do not just give the proper procedure; they also usually give advice on which materials you could use.

These blogs also give information on home improvement products that you could get. They offer links to online stores or retailers of home building and construction materials which you might need for a home improvement project that you are working or would be working on. Sometimes, they also give discount coupons or updates on which stores are offering special deals or discounts on which items. This can greatly help you find home improvement products or materials that you need which could save you money.

A home improvement blog usually allows readers and visitors to leave comments on the posts or articles that it has. This would give you the opportunity to interact with the author of the post or the other readers, getting even more valuable information. You might even want to ask the other readers about some recommendations on home improvement projects or materials that you are considering to use.

These are just some of the benefits that you can get from reading a home improvement blog. You can start searching online today to find some of the best home improvement blogs which can give you everything you need as far as enhancing your home’s beauty and functionality is concerned.

Easy Home Improvement Projects You Can Do In A Day

Filed Under: DIY Outdoor, Do it yourself, Gardens, Home repair, Plumbing, Redecorating, Remodeling    by: ITC

Homeowners are always planning to work on home improvement projects to enhance their homes. However, most people are usually hesitant to start working on one because they think that they would need to work on it for a couple of days or even a week. If you are one of these people who lead a busy lifestyle, there is no need to completely give up on the idea of working on a home improvement project. This is because there are actually plenty of projects which can be completed in just one day. Here are some easy home improvement projects and ideas that you can try.

The first easy home improvement project would be updating lighting fixtures. Before installing a new fixture, you may want to assess the theme or the existing design of the room or space where you would be installing it in. This is needed so that you would be able to choose a fixture which would complement the existing décor or accentuate a certain area. You might also want to replace your existing lights with energy-efficient bulbs to save on your future energy costs. Installing or updating lighting fixtures can easily enhance the theme or design and dramatically change the mood of a room or space and can be done within just an hour or two.

Working on your yard and garden is another easy home improvement project which can be done within a day. You might want to turn a corner of your yard into a place where you can relax through setting up new outdoor benches and planting some bamboo plants. You could even get one of those miniature outdoor ponds or waterfalls which are powered by a small motor and provides soothing sounds of water in motion. These are readily available from most stores selling home building and gardening supplies. You can also add new plants and seedlings as install some outdoor lights to enhance the look of your garden.

Lastly, another easy home improvement project that you can do would be fixing any corroded or leaky water fixtures. These are not very difficult to replace and can be done within just a couple of hours, depending on the number of faucets you have in your home. You can search for the procedure online and you should be able to do it on your own. Changing your faucets or repairing them can greatly improve the look of your kitchen or bathroom while ensuring that you would not be wasting water because of any leaks.

The Top 10 Most Popular DIY Projects

Filed Under: Crafts, DIY Outdoor, Do it yourself, Featured, Gardens, Home repair, Kitchen, Redecorating, Remodeling    by: ITC

We’ve looked around a little to find some of the coolest and most popular DIY projects out there, and these are our favorites. Click the links to get to the original how-to guides, if you see something you like.

10. Mailing Tube Wine Rack

Re-purpose sturdy mailing tubes to create a stylish wine rack. This project is flat out simple: just stack the mailing tubes under a shelf. If you like, you can add a quick coat of colorful enamel. The end result is quite handsome, too. Use the money you save to expand your collection of vino.

9. CD Stack Lamp

This clever lamp takes some effort, but is well within the DIY reach of most of us. It’s the perfect way to transform all those AOL CDs into an awesome accessory. This quirky lamp is an eye-catcher best suited for the basement rec room, game room or family room.

8. Wall-mounted Magnetic Knife Block

Kitchen knives shouldn’t be left to bang around in a drawer, but who has the counter space for a chunky knife block? This wall-mounted magnetic knife holder is a happy solution. Carve slots into the backside of a wood block, then glue heavy duty magnets into the slots. Mount the wood block, and slap your knives on it. Check out the video when you click the link! This baby is way stickier than it looks.

7. Auto-on Watch Holder Pantry Light

Take a plastic wristwatch holder and mix in a dash of ingenuity, and put an end to fumbling in a dark cupboard, pantry or closet. This light works like the one in the fridge. Hook up a reverse switch to rope lights inside the closet or cupboard door. Mount the switch in a watch holder. Open the door and the light comes on; close the door, which opens the switch and turns off the light.

6. Hands-free Flusher

While this gizmo would probably fare best in a frat house, it works if you want hands-free flushing. A foot pedal is fashioned from a wire clothes hanger, shoe polish and some paper towel rolls.

5. Wall Outlet Safe


Your Own Secret Hidden Safe! For Under $2More amazing videos are a click away

Watch the video to see how this one works and for details to make one of your own. A thief probably won’t think to look behind an outlet plate for your valuables, making it the perfect spot to hide jewelry and small treasures.

4. Secret Bookshelf Door

If you’ve ever dreamed of a secret door that is activated by taking a book off the shelf, this project grants your wish. Avid DIYer Simon Shea offers this outstanding project, –or, he used to, but you’ll find an alternative method on Instructables if you follow the link. It takes time and dedication, but it’s really cool.

3. Automated Garden Watering Drip System

DIYer and Green Thumb Matt Haughey explains how to construct an automated water drip system to keep plants properly hydrated, even if you’re away for several days. A parched lawn and garden become things of the past.

2. Homebrew $30 Air Conditioner

When you can’t bear another sultry summer day without air conditioning, this project offers some relief. You can build an effective air cooling unit for about $30. Necessity was the mother of invention for this one, brought to you by college summer schoolers stuck in a dorm with no AC. It’s a bit clunky, but it works. And there’s a closed circuit version that eliminates the water run off.

1. Remote Control Deadbolt

This project isn’t easy, but it gets loads of points for being clever as well as utilitarian. Watch the video for the demonstration, and click the link for instructions on how to build a remote control device to unlock the deadbolt in the garage or tool shed.

Eco-Friendly Home Improvement Projects

Filed Under: Do it yourself, Hardware, Home repair, Plumbing, Redecorating, Remodeling    by: ITC

Due to the raised awareness of the society on environmental issues, more and more homeowners are opting to “go green” in their home improvement projects. If you have been thinking of having some repairs and renovations done in your home, here are some eco-friendly options for you to consider.

Installing a Tankless Water Heater


Tankless water heaters can either be powered by electricity or gas and they can be installed either inside or outside your home. Although electric tankless water heaters are cheaper, the gas-powered variety are more cost efficient. These water heaters save energy because they heat water on demand. This means you would not be wasting energy with a heater which continuously heats 40 to 50 gallons of water even when you do not need it.

Installing Bamboo Flooring

Bamboo is a renewable resource, making it one of the most eco-friendly flooring types available today. Although many people think that it is a tree, it is actually a type of grass which grows relatively quickly. It can also easily be maintained. Floors which are made with bamboo are much more resilient than floors which are made with vinyl or pine. When properly cured, bamboo flooring can withstand the elements and high traffic. If you are planning some home improvement projects which include the installation of new flooring, consider using bamboo.

Using Low VOC Paint

Painting has always been considered as one of the simplest and most cost-effective home improvement projects. If you are planning to repaint your walls to cover up old and damaged paint or to enhance the look and ambiance of your home’s interior, you may want to consider using paint which has low amounts of VOC or volatile organic compounds. Volatile organic compounds contribute to air pollution and smog and have been studied to cause various respiratory problems. Through using low VOC paint, you would be able to do your share in keeping the air clean and make sure that you and your family would be able to enjoy your safe and beautifully-painted walls.

Installing Cool Roofs

Installing cool roofs is also considered as one of the most eco-friendly home improvement projects today. Cool roofs help in saving energy because they reflect the light and heat of the sun, reducing the amount of heat that goes inside the house. This means that during warm days, the interior of your house would remain cool. You can get cool roofs which are made from tile, asphalt or metal.

These are just some of the environment-friendly home improvement projects which you may want to consider. Regardless of the home improvement project you are working on or are planning to work on, make sure to choose materials and products which are eco-friendly to make sure that they are not only safe for you and your family to use but also safe for the environment.

Simple DIY Home Improvement Projects

Filed Under: DIY Outdoor, Do it yourself, Gardens, Home repair, Redecorating, Remodeling    by: ITC

Today, doing things yourself seems to be the best way to go. This is especially true with home improvement projects. If you have been thinking of enhancing the beauty and functionality of your home but are afraid of having to spend hundreds or thousands of dollars, you need to know that there are many DIY home improvement projects which are simple and easy to do but can give you amazing results. Here are some of them that you can try.

The first would be painting your home interior. This is a simple DIY home improvement project which can certainly be done by any adult and it can greatly enhance the appearance of your home indoors. A simple color change on your walls can instantly enhance your home interior without having to spend too much. Hiring painters to do this project could have you spending quite a bit so it would be a better idea to do it yourself.

When painting the interior of your home, you just need to remember to protect your flooring and trim from any spills. Make use of tarps, paper and paint tape to cover up anything which you do not want to end up getting painted on. If you would be painting large areas, make use of rollers. For more detailed painting jobs, make sure to use a brush.

Another simple DIY home improvement project would be installing new flooring. However, although this is simple, it does require some basic handyman skills. You can first decide on what type of flooring you want to have such as carpet, linoleum or tile. Check the proper way of installing each type as the process usually differs from one type to another.

Refinishing your cabinets would also be a great DIY home improvement project. It could be done by sanding, painting or varnishing. You can also look into some of the newer refinishing techniques such as color washing, which could be simple provided that you have the proper steps of doing it.

Refinishing would be a good alternative to replacing the cabinets altogether since new cabinet systems are quite expensive. Once your cabinets have been refinished, you might be surprised at how much better they look and how much they can enhance your home interior.

A simple but interesting DIY home improvement project would be landscaping. It can easily be done by first planning out your desired landscaping and then researching for some new ideas online. Simple landscaping is not too expensive and could even serve as a DIY home improvement project that everyone in the family can participate in.

Lastly, you could consider constructing a deck or patio. This is still a DIY home improvement project but it could be more suited to those who have some skill in carpentry and building. However, it could still be an easy project because there are many kits which are readily available in the market. When building a deck, it is important to make sure that the ground where you are building on is level, stable and is not prone to sinking.