Lawn care is not rocket science. It does, however, require some technical knowledge. And the failure to understand, apply and master basic concepts can result in damage to your turf.
When summer time is around the corner and scorching hot days will become the usual for the next couple of months you’ll want to make sure that your air conditioner is fit to provide some relief.
Needless to say, it is always advisable that you rely on an air conditioner professional to come and inspect your unit, check the ductwork and look into the filters. Air conditioners are sensitive devices and if you let someone untrained to review it you can easily damage it.
Whether you are looking to sell your house or just want to spruce it up to make a nicer living space for you and your family, home improvements don’t need to cost a fortune. Here are seven quick and effective ways to improve your home without breaking the bank.
Plumbing is to your home what your circulatory system is to your body. As a homeowner, you need to know as much about it as possible, and do everything in your power to keep it safe and running. Otherwise, you will be spending a fortune on plumbing repair, not to mention the damage leaks or bursting pipes could cause in your home.
Whenever you need plumbing services, from repairs and maintenance to new installations and pipe replacements, we will gladly help. In the meantime, we would like to help you avoid plumbing disasters and keep your home safe, so here are a few tips you can follow:
1. Get to Know Your Plumbing System
Knowing how to turn off the water can help you avoid floods and water waste in case of leaks or bursting pipes. Knowing the average water consumption in your household can help you identify leaks. Many things can go wrong with your plumbing. If you know how the system works, you can prevent problems, or at least catch them early and solve them before they escalate and require expensive and complex plumbing repair services.
2. Don’t Take on Plumbing Repairs You Know Nothing about
In an attempt to save money, you may be tempted to avoid hiring professional plumbing services and try to solve some issues by yourself. It may be easy to replace a tap, but trying to repair leaks or overflowing toilets by yourself could turn into a home and health hazard. Besides the fact that you lack the necessary knowledge, skills, and experience, you will also need tools and equipment you probably don’t possess. In the end, you could end up spending more to repair the damage you caused.
3. Take Measures to Help Your Plumbing System Withstand Bad Weather
In the summer, when the weather is hot, keeping the bathroom, kitchen, and basement windows open is the best way to prevent mold and mildew. In winter, the windows should remain closed most of the time – half an hour a day should be more than enough for ventilating the rooms. More than that, the heating system should remain at a bearable temperature, even when you leave the home, and you should insulate the pipes to prevent them from freezing and bursting.
4. Be Careful What You Let Down the Drain
You could be clogging your kitchen and bathroom drains without realizing it. The waste coming out of the garbage disposal will stick to the drain walls, pile up, and eventually clog the drain. By the time the sink starts to back up, the clog is too severe to dissolve with common drain cleaners or plungers. The toilet paper, wet wipes, and feminine products you throw in the toilet take a long time to dissolve. They will most likely stick to the waste along the drainand form clogs. Preventing such clogs is much easier than dealing with them, so avoid letting any thick, slow-degrading waste down the drain.
5. Don’t Ignore Your Plumbing
Just like your car, your plumbing needs regular checks and maintenance. A professional plumber should inspect it regularly and clean the ducts or perform any repairs necessary. Also, you should never ignore drips since, besides wasting a lot of water and raising your utility bills, they could escalate into more serious problems that will require expensive plumbing repair services. Whatever you do, you can always count on our technicians for your plumbing maintenance, diagnosis, and repair needs.
Once you have finished preparing your garden for winter, and the snow begins to fall, gardening outside just doesn’t make sense. Yet, just because the snow has arrived doesn’t mean that your green thumbs stop tingling. So, if you want to continue gardening in the winter, planting indoors makes the most sense.
Indoor gardening also offers unique opportunities that don’t always work in outdoor gardens. For instance, in most climates, aloe or snake plants simply wouldn’t work if you tried to plant them outside. At the same time, they make for some of the best and heartiest indoor plants.
When most people think of the exterior home improvement projects, they think about all things affixed to their house; a porch, shutters, light fixtures, etc. But one of the greatest investments you can make in your home is planting trees. Trees increase your house value, enhance curb appeal, provide privacy and shade, reduce your energy bills and lower your stress. Can you think of any other singular home improvement investment that packs that much punch?
Not only are there multiple benefits of planting trees, but according to Clemson University, the financial return on that investment is 100% or more. No other home improvement boasts returns like that. Imagine planting a $100 tree that grows to a mature 40 feet tall in less than 7 years and adds $1,000 to $10,000 to the value of your house. That’s what the Council of Tree and Landscape Appraisers report a “sound, mature tree” will add to the value of your home. If only we could identify stocks with a 10 – 100x return on investment as easily as we can identify this home improvement tip!
Return on investment is one financial benefit of planting trees. But it isn’t the only one. Properly placed trees reduce your energy bills. In colder months you can expect to save 20-50% in energy used for heating because of these trees, according to the USDA Forest Service. And in the summer months, the same properly placed trees can reduce your cooling bill by up to 50% says The Mast Tree Network. Said another way, “The net cooling effect of a young, healthy tree is equivalent to ten room-size air conditioners operating 20 hours a day,” reports the U.S. Department of Agriculture.
Plus these trees provide wonderful shade for you to sit under and enjoy your outside space or to plant flowers that require shade in order to bloom and thrive.
Feeling a little stressed? Try sitting under your trees. Too cold to sit outside? Just stare at your trees. Based on research conducted by Dr. Roger Ulrich at Texas A & M University, “visual exposure to settings with trees has produced significant recovery from stress within five minutes, as indicated by changes in blood pressure and muscle tension.” After reading about this research, I was skeptical. Sure, a walk in nature absolutely reduces stress. But just looking at trees? Surprisingly it works.
For those looking to create a privacy wall, we recommend the Lombardy Poplar tree. It grows in every region of the United States and when several Poplars are planted 5-8 feet apart from each other they create both a natural privacy “fence” and a strong wind block. The Lombardy Poplar is a very fast-growing tree, growing at a rate of 8-10 feet a year, so it doesn’t take long at all to grow an impressive privacy panel.
Then when it’s time to put your house on the market, you’ll fall in love with your trees all over again because they will definitely help sell your home. The curb appeal created with landscaping reduces the time to sell by 10-15% and increases the sales price. A joint project by the University of Washington and the National Gardening Association suggests mature trees in a well-landscaped yard increases home value by 7-19%. The International City/County Management Association pushes that to 20% while landscape economist John Harris suggests it can go as high as 28%.
While they don’t all agree on how much, everyone agrees that homes with healthy trees sell more quickly and for more money than houses without them.
So now the question is, what kind of trees? If your number one priority is financial return on investment, check out this cool tree benefits calculator at www.treebenefits.com/calculator to determine the worth of your trees or the trees you are considering planting.
And once you’ve decided on the right trees for your yard, look into a professional tree care service such as Bloomington Tree Care in Bloomington, MN. After all, well cared for trees are what’s going to get you the highest return on your investment!