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Tips for Creating an Amazing Landscape

Do you want eye-catching landscaping that increases your home’s value? You can have it. Before you search “landscaping services Jacksonville FL,” consider the following tips for creating your dream landscape.

Write Down What You Want

You should have a general idea of what you want to see in your outdoor space. For example, do you want a secret garden, an outdoor kitchen or flower gardens? Identify your hardscape features, such as firepits, a pool and patios or decks. Then, consider what type of plants you want. For example, are you looking for a privacy screen, which may require large evergreen trees and smaller evergreen shrubs, or do you want fruiting trees and plants? Don’t forget to determine your budget.

Plan for Year-Round Coverage

Buildings, including homes, and sidewalks have harsh vertical and horizontal lines. Proper landscaping softens these lines, but remember to plan the winter. Evergreen trees and plants provide year-round curb appeal. Choose plants that thrive in your USDA Hardiness Zone.

Create Focal Points

Your landscape should have at least one significant focal point, such as a water, sculptures or fire feature. It should draw the eye across the yard. Build your landscaping plan around these focal points. Make sure you don’t mask them with plants or other features, but don’t crowd too many focal points into your space.

Design for Comfort

Design for comfort. For example, don’t forget your outdoor living and dining rooms or seating areas. Consider positioning these outdoor rooms in close proximity to your home, near patio or back doors. Also, create paths that connect your spaces.

Berms and Beds

After you position your main trees and shrubs. You may have some blank spaces. If you don’t want to have extensive grass areas, consider including berms and flower beds. These can be as expansive as you wish, but they should have soft corners. Don’t forget to vary the plants.

Whether you are reworking an existing landscape or starting from scratch, consider working with a landscaping professional.…

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4 Home Heating and Cooling Tips

With some predicting an approximately 3% spike in energy prices, many individuals are left worrying about the impact on his or her home’s climate. Whether heating a house in the winter or cooling it in summer, it’s the HVAC system to which many turn to regulate the temperature. It’s an effective tool for making a home more comfortable, but its impact on the electric bill is another matter. If you are burdened by rising costs, try these low-cost hacks to reduce reliance on the HVAC unit.

Start Stripping

Much of a home’s heat gain or loss is the result of air leaks around movable components. Installing door and window weather stripping is an efficient way at sealing a house and preventing treated air from escaping. These foam strips form a barrier that also helps prevent moisture from seeping in. Weather stripping should be checked every spring and fall and replaced as necessary.

Foiled Again

If you’ve ever used an emergency foil blanket, you’ve witnessed how effectively foil can trap heat. It’s that same principle that makes it so effective at keeping a house warm. Just tack up strips of aluminum foil along the wall behind a radiator. Instead of escaping outside through the wall, the heat will now bounce off the foil and be pushed into the home.

Curtain Call

The simple act of opening and closing curtains can have a big impact on interior temperature. On sunny days, keep curtains open for the natural heat that sunlight provides. Once the sun sets, however, quickly close them to keep warm air inside.

Fan Favorite

Understanding your ceiling fan is another no-cost way to heat or cool a home. In winter, set the blades to turn clockwise to help redistribute the rising warm air throughout a room. Be sure to reverse the motion to counterclockwise in the warm weather months so the fan can push air downward and create a cooling effect.

Whether you like it hot or cold, you don’t always have to pay to be comfortable. Try these tips to keep energy costs down.…

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3 Affordable Ways To Upgrade Your Backyard

Backyards are a perfect place for playing with kids or pets, relaxing and entertaining guests. To make your backyard a little bit more aesthetically pleasing and pleasant to spend time in, consider one or more of the following upgrades.

Simple Patio

If you spend a lot of time in your backyard, it can be nice to have a defined patio area. You might not be able to fund a full wrap-around deck, but a simple patio space can be created with some pea gravel or concrete pavers. This creates a clean space for gatherings without being expensive or obtrusive. The stone can even be chosen to match existing natural features in your backyard for a really peaceful feel.

Fire Pit

An in-ground concrete fire pit may not be in the books for you, but a prefabricated fire pit or DIY fire pit solution may be possible. A simple metal pit will look right at home in nearly any backyard, while still being compact and even portable. DIY fire pits can be a simple as a stacked ring of retaining wall blocks to form a gorgeous stone pit that will be ready in time for your next backyard s’more party or hot dog roast.

Outdoor Furniture

A simple selection of outdoor furniture will help make your backyard feel super cozy. Barbecues and bonfires will become much more relaxed events if everyone has a comfy place to sit. Full patio sets with tables and umbrellas are great, but even a few wooden folding chairs and cushions can set the tone. You may even be able to repurpose existing furniture for this purpose; a simple coat of weatherproof paint can turn old pieces into the perfect outdoor set.

Backyards are a fantastic gathering place for nearly any occasion. With a few simple upgrades, you can make your outdoor space feel like a true oasis.…

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Things You Can Do To Protect Your Business From Fires

There are over 1.3 million fires in the United States annually. Many of these fires start in commercial buildings. Lots of damage and destruction will be left in the wake of a commercial fire. Rather than dealing with the damage and stress that a commercial fire can cause, your main goal as a business owner should be to avoid this force of nature.

Failing to take fire protection and prevention seriously can be disastrous. Working with a fire protection agency can help you figure out how to fully protect your business from the destruction fire can cause. Here are some things you can do to prevent fires from occurring in your commercial building.

Keep Your Fire Extinguishers Maintained

One of the first things you need to invest in when trying to keep yourself and your employees safe is a fire extinguisher. Depending on the size of your commercial building, you might need multiple fire extinguishers. Consulting with reputable fire protection services Elk Grove CA is crucial when trying to figure out how many extinguishers you need.

Once you have these extinguishers in place, you need to have them inspected and maintained when needed. Over time, the powder in a fire extinguisher will begin to clump up. These clumps can prevent the powder from coming out. This is why hiring a fire protection company to perform this type of maintenance is so important.

Develop An Exit Strategy

Another important thing you need to do when trying to protect your team from fire is to develop an exit strategy. When a fire starts, you and your employees need to get out of the building immediately. Having an exit strategy in place can help you avoid injuries in the event of a fire.

With the help of a fire protection service, you can keep your extinguishers and sprinkler system in good working order.…