Posts made in January, 2015

Ten Tips For Low-Maintenance Landscaping To Beautify Your Home

Taking care of a lush lawn and gorgeous garden can be burdensome, and many homeowners may find that hiring a landscaping company is the most practical choice. However, there are some tips that can help you plant an easy, appealing yard and garden that will require little effort later.

Try these ten tips for low-maintenance options:

#1. Start simply.

Begin in one spot, and focus on making an attractive garden or creating your vision, instead of worrying about the entire green space at once. It is easy to become overwhelmed and to take on too much outside, resulting in more work for you later on.

#2. Make smart choices.

There are many different varieties of plants, vegetables, and flowers that will thrive in your climate conditions, so choose those species that are easy to grow. Be sure to ask about the care of the plants, took before making buying choices.

#3. Begin with healthy specimens.

Don’t try to bring plants back from the dead to plant them in your space. Buy only healthy, well-cared for plants and seedlings, which will have a better chance of adapting to the new growing environment when you plant them.

#4. What’s your zone?

It helps to know what your zone is when buying plants; this identifies the hardiest plants for your region You can ask a gardening retailer or landscaper what zone you live in, or you can consult with online zone charts.

#5. Get some scents.

If you want something simple and low maintenance in your space, flowers are a great option. Choose flowers that have a pleasing scent- not all do- and go from there. Some aromatic flowers that are easy to care for include:

  • Lily-of-the-valley

  • Peonies

  • Phlox

  • Sweet Alyssum

  • Narcissus

  • Hyacinth

  • Irises

  • Sweet peas

  • Violet

#6. Remember the oldies, but goodies.

There is a reason that some plants are considered classic and remain popular; usually, this is because they are easy to grow and thrive widely. Some classic plants to consider in a low-maintenance environment include:

  • Impatiens

  • Phlox

  • Blanket Flower

  • Cosmos

  • Dahlias

  • Flowering Tobacco

  • Nasturtium

  • Petunia

  • Marigold

  • Sunflowers

  • Zinnias

  • Geraniums

#7. Experiment in small areas.

Try your hand at creative landscaping in some small plots of your yard or garden. Try creating a round bed filled with eye-catching blue blooms, or try bordering a small fountain or well in bright red flowers.

#8. Create compost.

It is important to build up the soil in your garden and yard to ensure plants thrive and require less effort. Make a compost pile to periodically add to your soil and garden by tossing kitchen scraps and lawn clippings together in a wire cage or container.

#9. Design simple shapes.

Try something easy to maintain by opting for rounded or oval shaped beds. Gentle curves are easier to keep looking good, as well as far more convenient to mow around.

#10. Try some low-maintenance features.

Break up the garden or green-space by adding a no-effort feature, such as a water fountain or stone wall. Try adding a pergola or arbor to the yard to create a unique focal point that also has function.

When planning and planting your yard and garden, try these tips to create low-effort spaces that will delight and appeal all season long!

Talk to your local landscaping experts, such as CNC Lawn Care, Inc, for more information.

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Cleaning Ceramic Floor Tiles Naturally

You don’t need to use harsh cleaners and toxic chemicals to keep you ceramic floor tiles sparkling clean. Not only will you avoid having to smell strong fumes on cleaning day, you’ll know that your floors are both kid- and pet-friendly. You may also save money by opting for natural tile cleaning, as you most likely have all of the products you need on hand.

These environmentally-friendly cleaning tips will come in handy whether you deep-clean your tile floors once a day, once a week, or once a month:

General Maintanence

A fast and simple way to ensure that your tile floors look their best is by sweeping up any dirt and debris on a daily basis. Small pebbles, stones, sand, grit and dirt can be tracked in the bottom of shoes and may scratch the glazed ceramic. Over time, the debris may make the tiles dull. 

If you’d prefer to vacuum the tile floors instead of sweeping them, be sure to set your vacuum cleaner to it’s “bare floor setting” for best results. Also, consider placing rugs inside or outside of each home entrance to catch any debris. 

Make sure to wipe up any liquid spills as soon as they happen to avoid staining the tiles. Use a soft, clean, cloth to absorb the liquid, and follow up with a cleaning solution of one part distilled white vinegar and one part water to remove any residue. 

Removing Residue

Due to everyday wear and tear, a residue may form on your ceramic tiles, dulling the surface. You can restore the floor’s brilliant shine by mopping it with a gentle cleaner. Mix a few drops of natural dish soap with warm water, and apply it to the tiles either with a mop or by hand with a soft towel. Give more attention to especially dirty areas, such as around the refrigerator or near a door.

If the dish soap cleaner isn’t strong enough, you can treat hard-to-remove residue by mixing a mild acid, such as lemon juice or distilled white vinegar, with water instead. Rinse the tile floors thoroughly with a mop or towel dampened with clean water, and buff them dry with a lint-free cloth or chamois,

Cleaning Grout

When cleaning your tile floors, don’t forget the grout. Since grout is porous, it can absorb stains, making the floors look dirty. Deep-clean the grout by applying a baking soda and water paste and allowing it to sit for an hour or two. Rub the paste into the grout with a gentle nylon brush and wipe it away with a water-dampened cloth. 

For larger projects, consider contacting professional floor cleaners, such as Logan Carpet Cleaning Inc.

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Finding A Storage Unit On Your Limited Budget

If you have a lot of excess items that you’d like to put in storage, renting a unit is a great way to go. If you fear that you are unable to rent a storage unit due to your poor budget, you may be surprised to learn that there are units available at a variety of price ranges. Many companies have low-rent storage units available so you are able to house your items temporarily with ease. Learn how to find a great storage unit even if you have a limited amount of money to spend.

Stick to your budget

You can get a small storage unit (around 9 square feet) for around $20 a month, but average storage unit rates will run you from $30-$50 a month. What you pay is dependent on many factors, including the size of the unit you need, whether you have a padlock rental, or even where you live. If you live in an area where there are limited storage unit companies available, you often pay more for your service, versus living in an area where there are many companies to choose from. Pick your solid budget for a storage unit, and only choose storage unit facilities that can work within your means. This includes your security deposit and any additional fees you may pay per month. Before you sign a rental contract, know what your true monthly rental fees will be so you are better able to stay within your budget’s limits.

Skip the extras

Unless you have certain items that need special storage care, such as a fur coat or a prized painting collection, there are certain extras you don’t need in your storage unit. The following extras tend to make basic storage units more expensive, so beware:

  • temperature controlled units
  • indoor units
  • units with built-in heaters
  • built-in storage shelves

Opt for a plain unit with outside parking instead (provide your own lock so you don’t have to rent one) so you can get the best rate possible for your storage needs. You can save several dollars a month by not renting storage units that have additional perks tied to them.

Pay in advance

If you offer to prepay for your storage rental service, you can receive a discount from the company. Companies love the security of knowing that their storage unit rental are paid for upfront, and are willing to give people an incentive to pay for everything all at once. Whether you pay a few months in advance or a whole year, the company you choose to rent from should be willing to give you a discount or other incentive to continue doing so.

Renting a storage unit may seem impossible when you have a limited budget to work with. If you shop around for a great deal, compare companies for deals, and offer to pay for only basic services upfront, you just may find yourself getting a great storage unit on the budget that you have.

Talk to your local storage unit experts, such as, for more information.

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How To Repair Your Broken Window Screen

If you have a broken window screen on one of your doors or windows, it can cause problems such as leaves and insects coming into your home. You may think that you need to take your screen to a professional to have it repaired, but this is simply not true. Replacing a broken window screen is an easy job you can do on your own. If you follow these steps, it will be fixed very quickly.

Measure The Screen And Purchase The Materials

Begin by grabbing a measuring tape and determine the height and width of the window screen. With that information in hand, you can go to a home improvement store and purchase the following materials:

  • Window spline
  • Window screen
  • Spline roller

Select The Window Screen Material

There will be several options for window screen material at the home improvement store. Vinyl-coated fiberglass screens are going to be the cheapest option available. You really cannot go wrong with using it, as the material does not stain, rust, or corrode. The only downside is that it will tear easily compared to other screen materials.

Aluminum screens are a bit stronger, and come in a couple colors such as silver, black, and dark gray. A darker color is going to give you better visibility when looking outside, but will not reduce glare from the sun as well as other screens. If you are concerned about the visibility, but still want protection from the sun, consider purchasing specialty solar screen material.

If you need protection from pets, there are heavy-duty screens made out of vinyl-coated polyester. They are very durable, and will not rip or tear when your pet jumps up on them and put their weight against the screen.

Replace The Screen

The process of replacing the screen is simple. Once you have removed the frame from your window or door, place the screen material over the frame. There should be at least a two-inch overlap on each side of the frame.

Place the spline over the screen in one of the corners, and press down on it using the spline roller until the spline is inserted on a single side. Pull the screen taut on the opposite side, and continue inserting the spline into the screen using the spline roller. Once all of the spline has been inserted, trim any excess screen.

Your home will now be protected from bugs and debris from outside with your new replacement screen installed. For more information on how to replace broken windows, talk to a professional, like those at United Glass Service Inc.

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When Do You Know That Your Mattress Is Old?

An old mattress can be uncomfortable to sleep on. This can leave you physically sore, grumpy and generally unhealthy. Here are signs that you need to change your mattress:

You Are More Comfortable Sleeping Away

You should be more comfortable in your own bed than nowhere else. Therefore, if you find yourself sleeping more comfortable away from home, then your mattress might be an issue. Of course, it may mean nothing if it happens once or twice, but you should be worried if it is the norm. This is especially the case if you have eliminated other sleep distractions such as noises and bright lights.

You Wake Up Sore

A good night’s rest should leave you refreshed and relaxed, not sore feeling pain. Therefore, if you wake up with pain in your body, especially in your lower back, then the mattress may be the culprit. It might mean that the mattress is either too soft or too stiff for you. According to WebMD, this is likely to be the case if the soreness or lower back pain goes away after stretching or walking around for 15 minutes or so.

The Mattress Is Lumpy

Your mattress should be lumpy, saggy or frazzled. That is how mattresses wear out, and if that is how yours looks, then it is already worn out. The unevenness will make your sleep uncomfortably, and it may be why getting out of your bed is such a painful task every day.  This form of wear and tear is more common with some types of mattresses such as innerspring and pillow-top mattresses.

You Sneeze Whenever You Lie On the Bed

Mattresses attract different types of household allergens. Normal cleaning gets rids of most, but not all, types of these allergens. Over time, the accumulation of these particles may make you sneeze every time you lie down on the bed to sleep. Some materials such as latex may also trigger sneezing, so you should rule out other bedding materials as the culprits before accusing the mattress.

Your Mattress Is Old

Finally, if your mattress is old, then you shouldn’t wait for any of the above signs. Mattresses have different lives depending on factors such as material, manufacturing quality, use and others. Therefore, it’s not easy to give an exact number of years after which you should discard your mattress. According to, you can easily get ten years out of your mattress if you treat it well. However, if you have used it past its manufacturer’s warranty date, then it’s probably time to discard it.

Make sure you dispose of your old bed properly. Most mattress stores have disposal programs where you can dispose of your old specimen when you pick up a new product. The mattresses are usually recycled as a form of environmental conservation.

For more information, contact Mattress & Furniture Express or a similar company.

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