How to Select the Right Paving Contractor for Your Driveway

Hiring the right paving contractor is vital in ensuring that your driveway project stays within budget, finishes on time and looks exactly as planned.

Finding the right one all boils down to how much effort you place in research. With so many paving contractors on the market, having prior knowledge goes a long way when hiring a professional service of any kind.

The tips below will serve as your guide in selecting the perfect asphalt paving contractor for your kind of driveway.

1. Know what kind of driveway you want

Your driveway preference will dictate which paving contractor you’ll hire.

For instance, if you want a sturdy driveway since it will be subject to a lot of heavy vehicles, then you’ll need a full-depth asphalt application. You have to decide first on the purpose of your driveway then make it the basis for selecting your contractor.

2. Look for several options, then narrow down your choices

Search for a paving contractor that has enough experience working in your area; as much as possible, someone who has already worked in your neighborhood. This way, the contractor will have a better understanding of the soil in your area and prepare accordingly for the excavation.

List down reputable paving contractors based on recommendations from your neighbors or someone you trust. This way, you can narrow down your search and avoid ending up with an untrustworthy contractor with bad service.

3. Get a consultation

A good paving contractor will offer you a free consultation.

You can also invite them to visit your property and inspect your driveway to come up with a comprehensive quote.

A consultation is a perfect opportunity for you to ask questions to assess the contractor’s experience, knowledge and skills.

Your questions should include the following:

  • Do you have a license and insurance?
  • How long will the driveway paving project take?
  • Will there be extra costs throughout the project?
  • What paving equipment do you use?
  • How many people will be working on the driveway?
  • What permits will be necessary?
  • What processes will take place before pouring the concrete?
  • How can you prevent the driveway from cracking?

After you get the answers to your questions, compare the responses from the different contractors you have on your list. This will help eliminate those that don’t suit your paving needs.

4. Cross check quotes from different contractors

Prices vary among contractors. However, keep in mind that inexpensive quotes don’t always mean quality service (and vice versa). Settle for a reasonably priced paving contractor that will give you exactly what you want for your driveway.

Cross check prices with other contractors to get a good picture of the benchmark price in the industry. This will help you hire the best contractor for the job at a standard price. Verify the price with your neighbors, friends or family members to ensure that what you’ll be paying for will reflect the quality of work you expect.

No down payments

Unless your driveway project is huge, you shouldn’t have to pay for a down payment. Depositing money with a contractor puts you at risk of funds misuse.

There are contractors who use down payments to finish paving other pending projects. This is not to say that pavers are unscrupulous; but a professional contractor won’t require a down payment unless the project scale entails it.

5. Sign a contract

Once you have a contractor in mind that clearly stands out from the rest, you’re finally ready to hire and sign a contract.

It’s important to have a contract between you and the contractor as this will protect your rights as a client and, at the same time, delimit the tasks the contractor will be required to undertake. Read the contract carefully and make sure it includes specific and technical aspects of the project such as the cost, materials and schedule.

Discuss the drainage system

Before your chosen contractor can start working, discuss the functionality of the drainage system with them. The drainage system should continue to work in spite of the ongoing driveway construction.

This is an important factor to consider as this may affect your neighborhood.

Factor in the drying time

Even if there’s a deadline set in the contract for the work to be complete, you can’t still use your driveway for at least seven days or a week after the work is finished.

Most paving contractors recommend at least 2-4 weeks of drying time to secure the longevity and strength of the driveway. If you have plans for your driveway, factor in the project deadline by adding several weeks to the completion date.

Think of your driveway paving project as a good investment.

Beyond the price, focus on finding the right paving contractor that can construct a driveway which will last you many years of service. And to boost your curb appeal, consider hiring a landscaping service to revamp your outdoors and complement the look of your brand new driveway.

 

AUTHOR BIO

Ron Shattuck Jr. built Shattuck Paving into a trusted, reputable family business. Ron Jr. learned a lot about the industry and the hard work ethic that Ronald Sr. lived by, and has now followed in his father’s shoes to operate the company and help it grow. Today, Shattuck Paving is more determined than ever to serve their customers’ needs with integrity. No compromises!

 

A Cough After a Common Cold: Causes and Remedies

Coughing is your body’s normal response to the presence of microorganisms, small particles or mucus in your airways, or any object that might have accidentally gone down your windpipe. But often, a cough follows a flu infection or a common cold.

Why? Experts agree that there is no definitive answer why you may experience a cough after suffering from a common cold. But here are two possible causes.

The Release of Pro-Inflammatory Molecules

When your body senses that there are viruses attacking your nasal lining and airway, it automatically releases pro-inflammatory molecules, which may also cause you to experience a sore throat. These include leukotrienes, tachykinins, and bradykinins. Coughing occurs as a side effect when these molecules fight off infection.

Production of Mucus

Did you know that mucus is constantly produced by your mucus membranes in minimal amounts around your body? Your throat, mouth, nose, lungs and sinuses have these membranes to protect your airways. Mucus traps viruses, allergens, and dust.

The mucus is less noticeable when you are healthy. But when you are sick, it becomes thick because your body produces mucus in huge amounts to trap the flu viruses. As a result, it stimulates the nerve receptors and endings in your airways, causing you to cough.

Cough can negatively affect your productivity and mood. The good news is that you do not have to tolerate frequent coughing until it subsides on its own. There are a couple of ways to expel the phlegm that causes you to cough, aside from boosting your immune system with essential vitamins and minerals.

Cough Remedies

1. Drinking warm liquids

Make sure to stay hydrated by drinking warm liquids, especially water, because this helps ease the flow of mucus. In return, the fluids loosen your chest congestion.

Adding lemon and honey to warm water or tea is also a good option because these substances can soothe a cough. Drink it as often as you want.

2. Gargling with salt water

Mucus hanging on the back of your throat can be eliminated by gargling with salt water. In fact, this may even soothe a sore throat and kill viruses causing your cough and colds.

All you have to do is to mix a half teaspoon of salt with a cup of warm water. Gargle this solution for several seconds before spitting it out. Repeat this as necessary.

3. Using eucalyptus oil

Eucalyptus can effectively loosen the mucus in your airways so you can easily cough it out. You may choose to spread a eucalyptus balm over your back and chest area or inhale it by using a diffuser.  

4. Placing onions at your bedside

The minute you start chopping onions, you cry, right? The strong vapor it produces when you slice onions can actually help stop your cough.

Cut an onion into four pieces, place them on a plate, and leave this at your bedside. This might appear funny, but this practice is popular in France and Spain. People who did this claimed this helps relieve coughs at night, allowing you to have a good night’s sleep.  

5. Humidifying the air

Humidity plays a crucial role in easing cough because humid air breaks up chest congestion and reduces irritation. Thus, you may have noticed that you don’t cough during a steamy bath or hot shower.

But this does not mean that you must always stay at the bathroom with the hot shower on. Instead, use a humidifier. And always make sure that it is free of molds before using it; otherwise, a new round of coughing will be triggered.

6. Taking cough syrup

Cough syrup is considered an expectorant, meaning that it will help you cough out the mucus by making it thin and loose. Mucosolvan cough syrup, for instance, works in three ways: It loosens your mucus, clears your airways, and prevents new mucus production. Expectorants like this are usually the best solution since they are effective for up to 12 hours.

As with any medication, exercise proper caution in using over-the-counter cough medicines like decongestants and expectorants. Make sure that you are taking the right dosage by checking its instructions either on its label or its package leaflet. If unsure, you have to consult a pharmacist or your doctor.

Seeing your doctor is also highly recommended when coughing does not stop after two weeks, despite doing all the above-mentioned remedies. Bear in mind as well that you should make an appointment with your doctor if your coughing is accompanied by wheezing, difficulty or shortness of breath, chest pain, and blood.

6 Steps to a Clearer, Stronger Digital TV Reception

There is nothing more frustrating than getting choppy images and audio when you are watching a live event on TV. You are actually better off not watching it at all.

Such situation is usually due to weak TV signal or reception. This is a common issue for folks who live in distant locations surrounded by different kinds of obstructions.

You do not have to settle for such an unsatisfying TV-watching experience. Something can be done to achieve a clearer, stronger digital TV reception. You may want to tinker with the settings of your TV first just to make sure that it is tuned correctly.

If the appliance is not the issue, the problem is definitely with the reception setup. This can a tad tricky to fix but if you want to give it a go, you can follow the procedure below.

Listed here are the steps to guide you. Follow these and, in no time, you will get the kind of TV-watching experience you have always wanted.

Step 1: Get an antenna

An antenna is like the fishing rod you use to catch aerial signals. You can easily get one from your local appliance stores or even purchase one online.

Step 2: Find the perfect location for your antenna

This step is something that you can interchange with the first one. Some people prefer to make this the first step to knowing what kind of antenna they truly need to pick up the channels they want to watch.

But a lot of folks are inclined to just choose the most powerful antenna offered on the market, so they are fine to find the ideal location for installation as the second step.

You can identify an ideal location for antenna installation by calculating the distance between your area and the broadcast towers. There are websites that offer information on this and you can check them out to effectively determine where you should install and direct your antenna.

Step 3: Clear out the location for antenna installation

Make sure that there are no obstructions around your place such as overgrown vegetation.

Digital signals fluctuate due to interference. You can lower the likelihood of this occurrence if the site of antenna installation is cleared of any kind of obstruction.

Step 4: Go high for installation to ensure the best reception

The foolproof way to ensure reliable reception is to install the antenna up on high as there are likely to be fewer obstructions around. And, while you are setting up the antenna, experiment with different placements. This will help determine which antenna position provides the clearest images and sound quality.

However, steer clear of power lines and check government regulations for mast heights if you are installing the antenna way above your roofline.

Step 5: Use an antenna amplifier

A TV signal booster or amplifier is particularly important if you live 50 miles or farther away from the broadcast towers.

Most antennas have an amplifier built in. But, to get the amplifier to work truly well, it is important to tune it properly. Antenna installers recommend amplifying to around 14db. This is deemed just right in boosting or amplifying the signal to fix the reception problem.

Step 6: Check all connecting wires

Secure all the cables in place and make sure that everything is connected tightly. Dangling cables are not only unsightly; they can cause accidents that can lead to both injuries and bad TV reception again.

Relax, watch your favorite movie

The above steps should be enough to guide you in installing a digital TV antenna for a clear reception so you can finally enjoy TV watching.

However, if you are not a DIY specialist or you simply want your digital TV reception fixed as quickly as possible, just hire a professional antenna installation service for the job.

They are totally equipped to do it, plus, they have tried and tested methods for successful antenna installation (and more!) in much less time.

How to Prep for Stress-free Cleaning After a Home Renovation

A home renovation is typically an extremely messy affair. After having new bedrooms added upstairs to accommodate your growing family, or having your kitchen completely redesigned to suit your lifestyle, construction dust and debris will have settled over the entire space. And not only are they unpleasant, but they can also be harmful to your family and pets.

You don’t want those to linger any longer on your property than they need to, so deep cleaning is in order.

Extensive cleaning would not normally be a part of the contractor’s job. Once the renovation project is complete, and the tools and equipment have been hauled away, it will be up to you to clean up remaining clutter, smudges, debris and dust.

To avoid the stress brought about by cleaning up after your home has been fixed, here are the best things to do.

1. Clear the area

If you want to manage and control what  and how much to clean post-renovation, make sure that you remove anything in your house that is detachable. You should preferably accomplish this before the renovation project starts so that the items don’t unnecessarily collect dust in the process.

Lamps, ornaments, curtains, and the like can collect dust and add more to the must-clean list. Make sure to take them down and put them away or out of the house.

If you are unable to remove them before the renovation, you can at least remove them before you begin the clean-up. This way, you can ensure that you eliminate all dirt and dust by cleaning them separately.

2. Hire a cleaning service

Be honest with yourself. Could you really handle a thorough clean-up after staying on top of the frenzy of activity involved in a home renovation? Why not relax and avoid putting yourself through a fresh bout of stress by opting to hire a house cleaning service instead?

In most cases, you have work, family and many other commitments to attend to. So if you can, don’t shoulder the burden of cleaning the whole house yourself. Get industry experts to do the heavy lifting so you can focus on more important matters.

3. Prepare the essential cleaning tools

If you’re quite determined to do some of the cleaning yourself (perhaps while waiting for the professionals to arrive), then you should be prepared with the right tools so that cleaning can be done more effectively and with less effort.

For efficient cleaning, you’ll be needing the following:

  • Brooms
  • Towels
  • Air Filters
  • Tape
  • Cleaning Fluid
  • Dryer Sheets
  • Vacuum Cleaner
  • Mop

4. Have a strategy

You surely cannot enjoy your newly upgraded home without dealing with the aftermath of the renovation. But on the brighter side, having a good strategy will help you clean quickly and efficiently.

  • Remove large items first

Before you start dusting or sweeping, take all the big items outside of your house first. These include large pieces of furniture, boxes, sheets of metal and pieces of wood.

After the “big mess” is removed, there will be more space in the rooms to be cleaned, you will be less cramped and overwhelmed, and it will be easier to start with smaller cleaning tasks.

  • Clean light fixtures and fans

Don’t even think about tackling the messes on the floor without dealing first with what’s above your head. You should primarily clean any dust-coated light fixtures and fans to prevent dust from landing on clean floors.

By doing so, you do not have to face the consequence of sweeping and mopping the floor all over again because they got dirty.

  • Use a damp cloth

With the amount of debris and sawdust that’s most likely to accumulate on the walls, using a damp cloth will be efficient for removing dust and not spreading it around.

For places that are hard to reach, you can make use of a broomstick or dust mop and secure the cloth over it.

  • Sweep, vacuum, then sweep again

One sweep isn’t enough to make your floor look clean, shiny and new. To get the best results, start by sweeping large debris and thick dust, then vacuum the rest. Follow it up with one more sweep using a dust mop to remove the remaining dirt.

  • Opt for mild cleaners

If the right cleaning tools and damp cloth aren’t enough to get the work done, you will need the help of cleaners and detergents next. Opt for mild and eco-friendly ones to avoid ruining your newly renovated home. You can also stick with water and vinegar if you want something 100{8e75f7971914660853e1dc23e9fbbd0210bce18b2504394577698ab6c82c52d0} safe and affordable.

5. Review your work from time to time

Dust can take several weeks to settle after the renovation, so make sure to check back and do a brief cleanup every few days. Doing short sessions of light cleaning more frequently will help prevent dust build-up and save you from the hassle of doing a deep clean that takes longer.

You’ll be doing a lot of cleaning, but after you’ve removed all the dirt and dust, you’ll be able to truly enjoy your new, spotless home.

Doing a thorough clean after a home renovation is tough work. But with the right tools, strategy and enough patience, plus the assistance of experienced professionals, in no time you’ll be able to sit back and relax, look around at your beautiful, clean home, and say that it’s all worth it.

                                                                                               

AUTHOR BIO

Mohamed Samad is the Founder & CEO of Matic Services. He started the company in 2016 after a series of small start-ups within the home services sector. Prior to that, Mohamed was Vice President at Greenstone Equity Partners, where he spent 24 months building the UAE business from 2011-2013 with its founder.

A Guide to What Parents Should Do With a Knocked-Out Baby Tooth

Most parents do not worry much about their children’s milk teeth. After all, they will lose them all in a few years. Baby teeth are, however, an important part of the correct growth and development of the jaws and face. It is always a big concern when a little one’s tooth gets knocked out because it’s usually due to an accident.

To take control of the situation, below is a step-by-step guide below that parents can follow in the case of a knocked-out baby tooth, as they prepare to take the child to an emergency dental clinic.

1. Stop the bleeding.

To reduce bleeding:

  1. Apply a cold compress on the affected site to control the bleeding swelling.
  2. Alternatively, get a piece of sterile gauze. Ask your child to bite down hard on it for a minute or so. The pressure will reduce the blood flow and eventually also cause blood to clot.

Stopping the bleeding first is important because it will help to calm your child down and usually stops them crying!

2. Do not replace the baby tooth

Baby teeth that are knocked out are never replaced. They will not rejoin to the jaw correctly and can affect and damage the adult tooth that is growing underneath.

If the tooth is an adult tooth, re-implant the tooth in the socket as quickly as possible and avoid stopping the bleeding as detailed above first or re-implantation will be more difficult. Do not rinse the tooth in water. If it is dirty, rinse gently in milk or saliva and do not remove the gum tags that are on the root of the tooth. These are important for healing.

3. Find the knocked out tooth.

You do not do this so your child can get a visit from the tooth fairy although this is often a good way to help your child make good of a bad situation!

It’s to find the tooth so the dentist can examine it to ensure there are no broken fragments still in place.

Keep the tooth in a container until you get to the dentist.

4. Head to the dentist for an examination and reassurance.

Everything will be completely under control once you get to a children’s dentistry clinic where the dentist can take over. The dentist will be able to assess the true condition of your child’s mouth to ensure that no other trauma has occurred.

Prompt professional dental treatment is always required in this emergency, for at times, the damage may go beyond the knocked-out tooth. The gums may have sustained an injury as well, and the injury may actually compromise the condition of the permanent tooth that will come out in the same location one day.

It’s crucial to have a good assessment of what happened, so the most appropriate treatment can be carried out. The assessment also helps parents prepare for potential complications to keep an eye on.

Knowing the right things to do in this type of dental emergency can prevent further problems. So, arm yourself with the guide provided here. With this, you can be sure to do the smart thing when you find yourself dealing with such dental emergencies in the future.

 

AUTHOR BIO

Dr. Michael Letham is the owner and dentist at 24/7 Dental and Bayside Smiles. He graduated from Sydney University in 2000 with Honours, receiving the R Morse Withycombe Prize for Proficiency in Clinical Periodontics (gum treatment). Striving to provide a modern, holistic approach to dental care that is tailored to each individual’s requirements, Mike’s focus is on being thorough and meticulous whilst being caring and compassionate.

Top 5 Common House Pests to Look Out For

Bees Hi res

Despite what many non-Australians may think, Australia is not the haven for deadly animals that it’s often made out to be. Unlike other countries, we don’t have many large, natural predators. What we do have, however, are several other types of pests that can put your comfort and safety at risk.

They may not have claws, vicious teeth or a venomous bite, but these five pests can cause major destruction to your property and wellbeing when given the chance. Luckily, if you know what sort of common household pests to look out for and how to combat them, you can reduce the overall level of threat to your property.

The following five pests are by no means the only creatures capable of causing a nuisance, but they are the ones most likely to affect Australian homeowners. Keep an eye out for them so that you can minimise potential problems before they escalate.

  • Termites: Did you know that termites don’t sleep? Given their 24-hour schedule, it’s no wonder they can so easily cause thousands of dollars of domestic damage if left untreated. Australia has several varieties of wood and subterranean termites that can affect the health of your home and surrounding property. It’s important to know the warning signs of termites (such as sighting wings, droppings or mud tubes) so that you can exterminate them before structural problems occur.
  • Rats and Mice: Despite popular opinion, not all household pests are insects, as anyone who has dealt with mouse or rat infestations can attest. While quite different in size, both rats and mice are similar vermin that can cause quite a disturbance in your property. Not only will they give you a scare, but they can also chew through electrical wires, ravage your dry goods, leave droppings, transport disease and damage other belongings.  
  • Cockroaches: These insects are durable enough to withstand harsh environmental conditions and even certain pest control methods that would deter intruders. They are attracted to warmth and moisture as well as crumbs and spills, and they typically come out in the dark. Make sure that your food is properly sealed and your rubbish bin lids are on tight to detract these crawly insects from being drawn to your home.
  • Ants: Ants may be small, but they can have a large impact, from carrying disease and eating your food to potentially nesting on your property. Where there is one ant, there is usually a whole colony (but if there’s not, there may be soon). Ants are quite prolific, meaning they may breed within the confines of your home and lead to a much larger problem than you ever anticipated.
  • Bees and Wasps: In Australia, adorning one’s yard with lush gardens and bountiful fruit trees is quite common. What you may not realise is that, despite being beautiful, flowers and fruit plants can be a beckoning call for bees and wasps. If you see swarms of either of these stingers around your property, you should seek help immediately, as it probably means there’s a hive nearby. That being said, bees and wasps can still pose a threat even if they are not in a group. They tend to be quite aggressive; which can pose danger to you and your family.

Knowing which pests pose a threat to you and your home is the first step in combating infestation; The next step is taking appropriate steps to exterminate these creatures if they’re around. If you spot any of these five pests within your property or nearby, seek the help of a local pest control technician to help you get them out and keep them out for good.

Moving in to a New House? Here are Security Tips You Shouldn’t Ignore

So, you have recently moved in to your new house. You are looking around thinking what color your living room walls will be or how you will make your kitchen stylish yet functional. You are already thinking of the artworks you will hang on your walls and where to place your collections.

Decorating may be the fun part of having a new house, a new blank space to work with. But do not ever take for granted the one thing that will keep your home and your loved ones safe and sound: security.

For your sake and your family’s, and for your peace of mind, take note of these home safety tips when moving to a new house.

Change the locks

Photo courtesy of 33lockman via Pixabay

This is one of the first things you should do. Whether it is a brand new home or previously owned by someone else. The reason is that you never really know who has keys to your locks—caretakers, workers, realtors, etc. For all you know, a person who is up to no good has access to your new home. Never take that chance. Hire a reliable locksmith to change the locks in your entire home.

Install a security system

Photo courtesy of CCTVsmartsystems via Pixabay

This is one of the best investments you’ll ever make. Times have become more dangerous and a home security system is a necessary expense these days.

Several studies have shown the correlation between a home alarm and reduction in crime. A survey among convicted burglars by the University of California found that 83{8e75f7971914660853e1dc23e9fbbd0210bce18b2504394577698ab6c82c52d0} of burglars would think twice about breaking into a home with a security system. Another study revealed that at least 43{8e75f7971914660853e1dc23e9fbbd0210bce18b2504394577698ab6c82c52d0} would discontinue the attempt.

There are many types of security systems that are available in the market, depending on a homeowner’s needs and preferences. DSC security products offer a wide range of alarm systems that are easy to install and offer flexibility with multiple covered zones. Adding motion sensors on your entry and exit points is a must. There are also add-on features that allow you to control your security system remotely, receive real-time alerts, and manage your home wherever you are.

Be secure with lighting

Lighting is an integral part of security. One way of deterring burglars is to install lights on your house’s exterior. As much as possible, install lights before moving in. Burglars want to operate in the dark and lights would surely intimidate them.

Choose lighting that you can set with a timer or can control remotely especially if you are routinely out of your house at a certain time. For all you know, a burglar is recording your routines. It is advisable to keep lights on your doorstep, for example, when you are away to create the impression that someone is home.

There are also motion detector lighting that you can invest in. You can install motion detector flood lights on the front, back, and sides of your home. If the light goes off in the middle of the night, chances are that some burglar tried to break in.

These security lights may be connected to certain security systems for as long as they are compatible with each other.

Ensure integrity of doors, windows

Photo courtesy of paulbr75 via Pixabay

Add a layer of security to your home by ensuring the integrity of your doors. Are they strong enough to frustrate burglars? Check locks and jams, too. Make it harder for criminals to enter your home.

Another helpful move-in tip is to check your windows. These days, sliding glass windows are very in demand. They do make a house look truly modern and stylish. But evaluate whether the glass is of good quality or whether you need to install grills in your windows. You may also consider installing glass break detectors that notifies when someone tries to break your window.

Check your neighborhood

Photo courtesy of Free-Photos via Pixabay

Like when signing a contract or entering into a negotiation, you must perform due diligence when moving in to a new house by checking your new neighborhood. You have probably done this already before deciding to buy the property, but it wouldn’t hurt to take a look around again and maybe even meet new people.

Locate the nearest police and fire stations in your area. This is a good time to also familiarize yourself with the surrounding, and see for yourself whether the neighborhood or community has a good vibe.

Test your detectors

You wouldn’t want to discover that your smoke detectors aren’t working after a fire incident. Before moving in your furniture, test your smoke detectors first. You must also test your carbon monoxide detector, if you have one. In some cases, these detectors can be wired to a security system so that emergency teams may be alerted in case of fire or any other emergency.

Check electrical system, pipes

Photo courtesy of stevepb via Pixabay

Do you even know where your electrical circuit box or fuse is located? Adults in the family must be familiar with it and must at least know how to shut it off in case of an emergency.

You must also check the pipes for rust and leakage to ensure a smooth move-in for the family. You must also learn how to shut it off when you need to do so.

Tried and tested deterrent: Get a dog

Photo courtesy of PDPics via Pixabay

If you think old-fashion crime deterrents such as a guard dog do not work anymore, think again. A 2017 survey revealed that loud barking dogs put off burglars as effectively as security cameras. If you think you are capable enough of taking care of a dog, then maybe this tried-and-tested way to deter burglars should be something you should seriously explore.

By applying these home safety tips, you can be assured that you are going to have a safe and smooth move-in. And most importantly, you can sleep soundly at night knowing your home and your family are safe.

5 Ways to Relax This Weekend

women getting relaxing massage at spa

The weekend is a time to relax. It’s a mini vacation so you can unwind from the stress of work. Even though it’s only two days, you can still relax during the weekend. There are different ways you can do that. Some take this time to read a book. Some go to the park to unwind. Some people go on weekend road trips and others go on binge watching. How about you, what is your way to relax this weekend? If you don’t have any idea, here are five ways to relax that you can try the next weekend.

  1. Family Bonding Time

Bonding with your family is a great way for you to spend your weekend, especially if you’re not always at home because of work. A great way to make an extra memorable family bonding time is going on a small road trip to a local attraction or even just to your favorite ice cream parlor.  Just to be with each other is enough to rejuvenate you after a stressing weekday.

  1. Hang Out With Your Friends

If not with your family, hanging it with your friends is a great way to spend your weekend. During the weekend, it’s a nice way to relax to change your scenery. From being with you usual coworkers, it will be great to be with your friends, especially those you haven’t seen in a while. You can catch up on how’s life has been to each other.

  1. Have a Massage

The weekend is also a great time for you to pamper yourself. The stress from work can wear you down, both mentally and physically. You can relax and release those tensions in your body by getting a massage. Go to your favorite salon and have your favorite masseuse to take care of you. I like to go monthly to the best spa in Charlotte.  Surely, after a nice massage, you will feel better and more relaxed so you can enjoy your weekend well.

  1. Take a Hike

Do you love the outdoors? Are you close to nature? If you are, then taking a hike will be a nice way to spend your weekend. If a trail is around your neighborhood or maybe in the town over, go get your circle of friends for an outdoor adventure. It’s not stressing and though you may get tired a little, it is fun and exciting way to spend your weekend.

  1. Start a New Movie or New Series

With Netflix, Hulu and other streaming services, it’s never been this easy to discover a new TV series, movie or any other show that would fit your entertainment wants. Today, you can just sit down and binge watch a whole season of a show for a few hours. If you want to, you can watch a long series of movies too. You can do all these all the while comfortable and relax in your couch and under the covers.

These are just simple things to help you relax during the weekend. Some without getting out of the comfort of your home while some you need to be outdoors, but they all are easy, quick and effective in de-stressing.  

5 Ideas For Turning Your Backyard Into A Tranquil Retreat

inground pool

It is quite easy for homeowners to design their indoor space. Regardless of personal style, most homes include some combination of lighting fixtures, vases, throw pillows, some pieces of furniture, wall art, and area rugs that can all be mixed, matched and updated to create a cohesive look and a comfortable vibe. However, not as many homeowners may be spending as much time taking advantage of their outdoor space.

Remember that your outdoor space is more than just a few square feet of balcony space and yard. The opportunities are limitless when it comes to transforming your yard into an excellent outdoor living and recreational space.

Reputable landscaping professionals share some ideas for creating your own backyard retreat.

1. Plant Shrubs and Flowers

Plants can bring yards to life. By strategically placing shrubs, herb gardens, and flower beds, any outdoor area can be transformed into a lively space that is perfect for parties with your family and friends or for meditative personal moments.

Choose plants with a soft color palette. Avoid planting those with hues that are too bright because they can alarm and upset the senses instead of lending to a serene experience. Aside from green plants, you can also go for dark or pale shades, like burgundy leaves instead of red.

Moreover, choose different plant heights, including small shrubs, trees, ground covers, and clumping perennials. Use the taller plants as a backdrop with the small plants in front. Different heights will make your landscape appear softer and more relaxing.

2. Set Up Comfortable Seating

Hard metal furniture without cushions can be less inviting to guests. Instead, opt for chaise longues, cozy chairs, and benches with washable cushioning.

Furthermore, landscape designers recommend adding a small café table with a couple of small chairs. This will create a perfect spot for an elegant and intimate breakfast or an afternoon tea.

3. Add Accessories and Statues

Give your backyard more personality by opting for some garden statues and accessories with character. For instance, you can add elaborated painted birdhouses, large colorful rocks, recycled metal sculptures, and unique planters.

You can also add weatherproof art like garden plaques, plates, and decorative wrought iron.

Similar to your interior spaces, your exteriors should also reflect your personal taste and preferences.

4. Use Water Features

Flowing water has an excellent calming effect. It is for this reason that fountains have existed in sacred spaces and gardens for centuries. Aside from fountains, a simple birdbath, and a small pond with man-made streams, a swimming pool can help you achieve your own backyard oasis.

Pool landscape is crucial when creating a backyard retreat. Swimming pool contractors can build the most suitable pool for you and your family. Even if you have a small backyard, these experts can add a petite pool. All it takes is smart planning, a hint of ingenuity, and enough space to squeeze in a small swimming pool.

These professionals can make the pool seem like an extension of your home, shaping it like a lovely deck that will act as a transitional zone between the pool and the edifice.

But beyond the classic rectangle, there are other options to consider. These include circular pools with semi-circular designs. When these pools are combined with the right canopy and natural stone, the whole scene can mimic the dreamy mood of a tropical retreat.

With some amazing lighting, you can look past the fact that your swimming pool is small. Just like in the fashion industry, curves are sexy in the world of petite pools.

5. Plan Outdoor Lighting

Include outdoor lighting so you can enjoy your yard even after the sun sets. Porch lights can provide ambient lighting as well as illuminate access to your house.

In addition, you can install low-voltage lights and solar-powered accent lights to add interest and drama to your landscape as well as to highlight paths. Make your backyard a magical place after dark by combining different lighting sources.

Be careful in choosing the landscape for your home concept. Indeed, there are plenty of things to think through to improve the appearance of your home’s exterior. Remember that small space is not a hindrance in creating a tranquil backyard. Reputable landscape designers know exactly what must be done to transform your yard into a calming and beautiful oasis.

 

Planning A Bathroom Remodel? 8 Luxury Upgrades To Consider

bathroom

The bathroom is typically one of the first areas that homeowners aim to remodel because it is among the first ones to easily show signs of wear and tear. And as design experts say, investing in luxury bathroom updates offers many benefits, regardless of whether you wish to stay in the home for a long time or are planning to sell it in the future.

So if you’re planning on renovating your bathroom, consider adding some of these luxury features. From beautiful tile accents to radiant-heat flooring, these upgrades will only require a reasonable investment.

Here are some bathroom luxury upgrades to consider so you can reap the rewards of a stylish and restful home.

1. Steam Showers

Installing a shower that doubles as a steam shower is the best way to enjoy a spa experience without leaving your home. Custom home builders recommend equipping your shower with a door that will seal tightly on all sides to make it steam-ready.

Moreover, have a vapor barrier installed on wall framing and ceiling to prevent moisture from reaching joists and studs. Outside the shower, a steam generator should be included to heat the water from your water system with an electric heating element.

Having a seat in your shower is also a good idea as this encourages a slower pace while in the area. You can either add a bench made of glass or tile the bench to match your bathroom’s aesthetics.

2. Fine-Looking Tile Accents

Tiles are an affordable luxury bathroom upgrade. Install a backsplash of glass mosaic tile over your vanity to add a bit of sparkle and glamour. If not, you can tile the entire wall of your bathroom. Consider using colored tiles to craft an accent wall without investing in paints and paintbrushes.

3. Radiant-Heat Flooring

Avoid shivering as you step out of the shower with a radiant-heat system installed on your bathroom floor. Luxury home builders can install this under cold materials like stone and ceramic tiles. Add another layer of comfort and style with soft area rugs.

Aside from heating the floor, another cozy idea is to install heated bars where you can hang your towels. This way, you can wrap yourself in warm cloth after a warm shower or bath.

4. Soothing Sounds

It would be more relaxing to listen to your favorite music playlists while rejuvenating. Whether you opt to stash an MP3 player on the shelf or install a sophisticated sound system, music will have a great impact on your mood. It is recommended that you place two speakers in opposite corners to maximize sound quality.

If possible, custom home builders can also install a small TV in your bathroom. This way, you can keep up with the news as you get ready in the morning. Individually designed homes usually feature water-resistant, low-voltage televisions that are meant for areas near water. Just make sure to keep the humidity levels low to protect your television.

5. Freestanding Tubs

A deep soaking tub can wash away stress. You can invest in a whirlpool tub that is roomy and does not strain your muscles if you lean back. Remember, though, that plenty of hot water is required to fill the tub, which can add to both your electric and water bills.

6. Smart Storage

Adding pretty and practical storage will take your bathroom’s aesthetics and functionality to a higher level. Often, your bathroom gets cluttered with grooming products and cosmetics. With smart storage, you can put everything in one place. Combine open and closed storage to add more interest to the room.

7. Skylights

Brighten your bathroom by adding a skylight. The size will depend on your room’s features and proportions. A skylight is a better option than windows if you have limited wall space. Sky windows will offer light and ventilation. Also, its frames can match wall windows.

8. Comfortable Seating

Lastly, a cushioned chair will give you a place to sit down while toweling off or a spot to lean your back and relax for a few minutes. This will also increase the comfort level in your bathroom.

Bathroom remodeling is more than just a trend – it is a necessity. How you want your bathroom to look and feel will depend on your taste and lifestyle. Since a bathroom remodel project will involve different areas of expertise, including construction, electrical, lighting, and plumbing, working with reputable custom home builders is a smart choice.

The work of these experts, such as demolish and build remodeling services, will be backed by a guarantee or warranty, and they will make sure that you get the best value for your money.

 

AUTHOR BIO

Robert Allam is the Finance and Sales Manager for Trendsetter Homes. Through his journey from being a Sales Consultant then Office Manager, to assuming his current role, Robert has seen the company grow and has guided many clients through the process of developing their dream of a unique luxury home.