Which Garden Jobs Should You Attempt Yourself?

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On average, every household in the UK spends around £350 pounds on improving their garden annually, according to statistics. This is for things like new pot plants, weed killer, perhaps some new garden furniture and replacement of essential tools like lawn mowers or strimmers. The pot of money needed for the garden needs to be a lot bigger if you require a bigger transformation. Adding decking, a shed, or a rockery can suddenly take the budget of hundreds, into the thousands. That is without even considering the cost of a contractor, which can then double or even triple those costs. Australian monthly wage expenditure is thought to have risen sharply in the last few years in relation to household spends. This is because households are outsourcing jobs like gardening to freelancers and companies happy to complete the job, for a hefty price tag. It really isn’t cheap to have a professional work on your garden, but the truth is, that it is necessary sometimes.

 

Outdoor projects could be anything from lighting, to landscaping, it depends on the household. Whilst it may seem viable to DIY some of the jobs yourself to save money, some projects need expertise in order to be successful. In some cases, expertise is needed to ensure that a project is completed safely. When you consider whether you should DIY or hire a professional for your garden projects, there are various questions you need to honestly ask yourself. Are you qualified? Do you have the time? Do you have the motivation? Do you have the skills? How much money are you willing to spend?

 

Hiring a professional on some jobs could ensure your project is completed safely and effectively, whereas other projects can be incredibly enjoyable and satisfying to complete yourself. If you’re unsure which projects to DIY and which to outsource, consider the following:

Why You Should Hire A Pro

Some outdoor jobs do require a qualified company to complete them. They may have the tools, skills, knowledge and experience to complete the job professionally. In some instances it is much safer to hire a professional. DIY accidents amongst homeowners are common. Statistics show that 26% of Americans who complete a DIY project end up getting injured as a result. In other situations, it might cost you more upfront to hire a professional, but long term it is cheaper because botched DIY jobs can cost so much to fix. According to recent media reports, Britain as a whole spend millions annually fixing DIY jobs that haven’t been completed properly. There are also benefits to hiring a professional, like the fact they can get discounts on materials, and the fact they own a lot of tools that would cost a lot for you to hire or buy. They can also ensure the project is completed on time, and call on colleagues to complete the task if they need to.

Outdoor Jobs That Could Require Professionals

Landscaping

Landscaping requires professional help, at least in the garden design phase. This will ensure that the layout and plans work for the money you have to spend and for the way you want to use the garden. They can also help you with any permits you need. They can also offer advice on the best plants and accessories for your gardening abilities, area climate and soil type.

Decking

Decking can be very expensive, and is worth the investment of professional help. The materials can cost a lot, and you won’t want to damage them with DIY. A professional can plan the decking, get the materials at cost, and install it all to ensure it is built to last.

Electrics

A diesel generator is a great addition to any home, offering electrics on an ‘on demand’ basis, however for certain areas of your garden, you may want more permanent lighting options. Outdoor lighting should only ever be attempted by a professional. They can ensure that the electrics are safe, and as cost-effective as possible. They can also ensure the electrics are built to last, and built to light your garden in the most aesthetically pleasing way.

Built-in Hot Tubs

Hot tubs are investments and so, for thousands of pounds, you want to ensure that they are fitted correctly. This is especially true of hot tubs that are built-in to decking. You’ll want to be sure the plumbing, electrics and fitting is all high quality to make the most of your new luxurious garden addition.

Outdoor Cooking Areas

Outdoor kitchens are very popular, and they look absolutely stunning, just take a look at some of these stunning designs on this Youtube video for inspiration. However, outdoor kitchens are in need of expertise to ensure they work effectively and look as aesthetically pleasing as they should. They require a professional to install all the different elements properly, and to ensure the kitchen is personalised to your taste and cooking style.

Why You Should DIY

Lots of garden projects are perfectly suitable for DIY and they will provide you with a sense of pride when you have completed them. It is also much cheaper to DIY, so where it is appropriate to do the job yourself, your bank balance will thank you for taking that option.

Outdoor Jobs That Could Be Suitable For DIY

Trellis

Trellis can look absolutely gorgeous once the grapevines or wisteria have taken to it, and it is very easy to put up the structure yourself. The tools and equipment needed are also low cost and easy to use.

A Vegetable Garden

A veggie garden, herb garden or even a dedicated flower bed can easily be set up without any special skills. You can even use garden rubble to make the boundaries if you want to, and old fashioned hard work to prepare the soil and ground for your new green additions. If you don’t know where to start, there are many DIY videos to follow, including this one on Youtube which shows you how to make a veggie garden for less than $15 dollars! This is a wonderful project to complete with the children.

A Tile Mosaic

A tile mosaic feature, a path, or other stone floor feature is easy to complete without any special tools. It is a bit like a beginners landscaping task, and it is very satisfying to complete because it has such a big visual impact.

Painting The Shed And Fences

There are some stunning outdoor wood paints available that enable you to paint your garden wooded areas in beautiful beach style pastels. You don’t need any special skills, just a sunny day and some time. It is an easy, light job that can transform a garden in a matter of hours.

DIY Or Hire A Professional? Take The Time To Make Your Decision

Some garden jobs are suitable for DIY and some are much better suited for a professional. Which is the right option for your project is completely down to you, so you really do need to take time to make the right decision. Some self-completed jobs bring you a sense of reward and save you money. Some jobs that require professionals will save you the cost of a bodged job, and ensure the results are built to last for years. Take your time making your decision so that you can rest assured your garden is built to be your own personal outdoor haven for years to come.

 

Four Ways to Terminate Mosquito Infestations

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Mosquitoes are an irritating, painful, and dangerous fact of life in most parts of the world. Nobody wants to deal with them, but there are so many of them that eliminating the problem seems almost impossible. Fortunately, that isn’t the case. It does take some effort, but there are a few ways to significantly reduce or even eliminate a problematic mosquito population.

Eliminate Breeding Grounds

Most mosquitoes only live for a few weeks. That means that a population that can’t breed regularly will die out very quickly. The easiest way to make sure that they do not reproduce is to eliminate their preferred breeding areas, which should be the core of any mosquito extermination program.

Mosquitoes prefer to lay their eggs in pools of stagnant water. Most of the time, that causes them to lay eggs in old flower pots, basins, and even potholes that have filled up with water after it rains. Draining those containers should be your first priority. If you have any birdbaths or other containers that you want to stay full, try to drain and refill them every week or so to get rid of eggs before they can hatch.

Eggs sometimes stick to the sides of these containers after the water is drained, so it’s best to quickly wash them after they finish draining. Mosquito eggs are not always visible to the naked eye, so don’t assume that a container that looks clean is safe.

Bring in Birds

Birds and bats love to eat mosquitoes. In most cases, the bugs only make up a small part of their diets, but introducing a few predators can help to keep the population down. They can’t eliminate a population on their own, but they are a very easy way to prevent it from getting too big. The easiest way to do that is to set up a bird feeder near your home. That will naturally attract birds, who will eat out of the local mosquito population in addition to eating from the feeder.

Growing Plants

If you’re patient, you can grow plants that act as natural mosquito-repellents. For best results, start by eliminating the existing population, then use plants to keep new arrivals away. Lavender and marigolds are easy to grow, and mosquitoes prefer to stay away from them. Catnip is also effective, although it can mean trading in a swarm of mosquitoes for a swarm of stray cats.

Call in Backup

If you want to deal with the pests quickly, the best thing to do is call in help from the professionals, such as the Mosquito Squad of Greater Indianapolis. They can safely apply treatments that aren’t available to the average person, and their methods eliminate mosquitoes much more quickly than the alternatives. They usually use barrier sprays, which keeps the bugs out of sensitive areas. Many can also apply natural control methods and help to find and eliminate small breeding areas that most people would miss.

Common Warning Signs of Home Foundation Damage

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imagesThe foundation of your home is imperative to the integrity of your overall structure, so if anything goes wrong with the base for your house, you want to catch it as soon as possible and nip it in the bud. We all know what can happen to our homes if we don’t have a strong foundation. Not taking notice of our home’s foundation can result in a lot of damage. The unfortunate truth, though, is that the foundation on which your house is built is hidden under several layers, including a vapor barrier, insulators, concrete slab, subflooring, padding, carpeting, and so on. In short, you’ll have a hard time doing annual inspections or getting a look at it if you think something might be wrong. So you need to be sure that there is existing damage before you start tearing up the floorboards in your basement. And it just so happens that damage to your foundation will likely result in a few telltale signs and symptoms. Here are some that could give you the clues you need to take the next step.

The most common signs of foundational issues tend to present themselves as cracks, and there are several areas around the house where you might notice cracking and separating in relation to issues with your foundation. For example, the average crack you might see creeping up a wall or across the ceiling won’t necessarily indicate that your foundation is to blame. If, on the other hand, you start to notice cracks forming around window and door frames, or the frames begin separating from the walls, there’s a good chance your foundation could be to blame. Cracks in the grout between tiles or in the mortar between bricks could also indicate foundation problems, and if the siding begins to separate from the wall of your home or you see walls starting to come apart at the seams, you have a serious problem on your hands.

By the time cracks and separation start becoming apparent, you can pretty much guarantee that the foundation is the root of the problem. But there are some less noticeable signs that could offer even earlier warning, before real damage to your home begins. For example, a foundation that is sinking or shifting may do so uniformly rather than cracking and breaking. In this case, you might find that once-even floorboards now tilt to one side, something you can determine simply enough by placing a marble on the floor and seeing if it rolls. You may also find that you suddenly have trouble opening and closing windows or that doors are sticking in their frames when you previously had no such issues. Of course, these signs are not definitive, but they may be enough to prompt you to call in a specialist to take a look and render a professional opinion.

Whether your foundation is sinking or the walls are starting to lean in or out, you want to catch the problem as early as possible so you can spare yourself the time and expense of further damage, or worse, having your house condemned as unfit for habitation. Detecting the problem at an earlier stage not only will it save you money, but it will save damage from occurring. With the services of qualified professionals from a reputable company like Dura Pier foundation repair on your side, you should be able to uncover and repair any foundation issues your house may have. But first you have to spot the warning signs. So don’t be blind to the cracks and shifting that could signal problems starting in your foundation.

 

5 Tips for Keeping Your Lawn Green and Healthy in a Drought

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imagesKeeping your lawn healthy, green and lush in the summer is often difficult, especially is your area is experience a lack of rainfall. Droughts can easily dry out and destroy a lawn if the lawn is not prepared and maintained properly. Most of us want to keep a well-maintained lawn all year long because it really can beautify someone’s house. Luckily with these 5 tips, you can keep your lawn green and healthy even while experiencing a drought.

  1. When watering your lawn, try to water it early in the morning. During this time of day, the temperature is significantly cooler, allowing more water to be absorbed by the soil instead of evaporating in a hotter temperature. Watering during the day wastes water and doesn’t reach the roots of your grass effectively. Watering in the evening actually promotes fungus and disease, so try to avoid watering at this time.
  2. In addition to watering your lawn early in the day, you should also start a practice called deep watering. Deep watering requires you to water grass with at least an inch of water for every 12 inches of grass. This takes longer, however deep watering only requires you to water the lawn once every 3 days. This practice will help to ensure that enough water is reaching the roots of your grass and nourishing the blades appropriately to overcome drought conditions in your area or region.This method can really make a difference with keeping your lawn vivid and lush.
  3. Especially if you have a newly sprouted lawn, a thin layer of mulching straw can be very helpful in protecting the lawn and allowing it to grow properly. The straw can then be removed about three weeks after germination. Grass clippings can also work in the same way to protect the grass and soil from heat and allow water to be retained more easily. Just make sure not to leave too many grass clippings, since this can actually cause soggy clumps and can even smother the grass.
  4. Allow grass to grow longer in the summer. While cutting the grass is important, you don’t want to cut grass too short or too often. Cutting more than one third of the blades can potentially affect the growth of grass, so make sure not to overdo it. Allow grass to grow as long as possible, without it looking messy. You just want to make sure the blades don’t start looking like weeds instead of grass. The longer blades will be able to protect the crown where new growth develops, keeping grass healthier.
  5. When cutting grass, make sure that your mower blades are sharpened. When grass is cut with a sharp blade, it is easier for the grass to grow back and repair itself. If cut with a ragged or dull blade, it is much more difficult for the grass to grow back properly.
    Using these tips and strategies can help you to maintain your lawn and overcome drought conditions your area may experience in the summer season. Water early in the morning, use deep watering practices, use mulch to protect a new lawn, let your grass grow longer than usual, and sharpen your mower blades as needed. These practices will help you to achieve cutting edge grass that you can enjoy all summer long. Having a maintained lawn during the summer will make you and your family have a more enjoyable experience. Plus, your yard and home will look fantastic and you can enjoy entertaining or watching kids play in the yard throughout the summer months.

 

Which Design Is Ideal For Swimming Poolsin Melbourne?

We dive into swimming pools in Melbourne to blow off steam on a hot summer day. This is the zone of the house where we can have picnics at day or night, so don’t you think you should have a swimming pool in Melbourne that complements your house?
In this article, we will introduce you to different types of swimming pools that will not only make your house look beautiful, but will also cater to the needs of your family members of all age groups. Continue reading “Which Design Is Ideal For Swimming Poolsin Melbourne?”