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Lava Rock and Landscape Design

Believe it or not, lava rock comes in all shapes, sizes, textures, and colors. The lava takes on these characteristics due to its mineral content, and by the rate at which the magma cooled. This is one reason why lava rock lends itself so generously to landscape and design. Lava rock colors range from rust, to grey, to black, and considering the variety of shapes and sizes available, the landscape applications of this medium are endless.

Lava rock can be used strictly as a decorative measure in the yard, or it can be dual-purpose, such as using it for a walkway or decorative ground cover. Many outdoor patios today feature an outdoor in-ground fire pit; they use the lava rock as a bed of coals over the gas line. As the lava rock heats up, it resembles burning embers. This creates a wonderful evening setting the whole family can enjoy.

Lava rock also works wonderfully in a flower, herb, or cactus garden. The rust or the black colored lava rock create a wonderful backdrop for a variety of plants. In more arid climates such as Arizona and New Mexico, lava rock is used abundantly in yards due to its low-cost at purchase and low maintenance upkeep.

The larger specimens of lava rock can also be purchased and displayed as ornamental lawn art. Another popular use for the larger lava rocks is to place them in and around a Japanese sand garden. The visual effect can be quite appealing. I’ve seen homes where they’ve placed a large lava rock at the side of the walkways approaching front doors and it looks amazing!

Another factor that makes lava rock so attractive to homeowners is its general low cost and affordability, not to mention its low long-term maintenance cost (lava rock doesn’t need to be mowed or watered). Although they do have different grades and the prices vary, you can’t go wrong with lava in your landscape. It looks amazing, lasts forever, and it makes a good conversation piece too – Call Moreno Landscaping Today and Get your free quote.

Planning to tackle a home remodel project that includes removing wallpaper? Here are 5 Steps to help easily remove wall paper.

Step 1: Cover and remove anything that is in the area. When you pull off wall paper it is a messy job. If you intend to keep the floor, cover it with a water resistant tarp cloth that is taped to the baseboard or the edge of the floor where it meets teh wall so it doesn’t slip and slide or move. Otherwise, you are going to spend a lot of time cleaning up after yourself.

Step 2: Get your working materials ready. You will want to use a big sponge, a bucket with warm water and depending upon the wallpaper’s application, a wall paper scraper, a five in one tool, and if the paper was stuck on with glue, you are going to need several green scrubbies and a lot of elbow grease.

Step 3: Score the paper with a five in one or a wall paper scoring tool you can buy at your local hardware store.

Step 4: With traditional paper, create a mixture of two parts warm water to one part vinegar and using your sponge, completely saturate the wall and let it sit for at least 20 minutes to allow the moisture to seep through the paper. With modern papers, you may need to purchase a solution that will break down the glues and follow the same process.

Step 5: Use a wall paper scraper, or a 5-in-1 blade, and set the blade beneath one of the scores and pull it against the wall. The paper should curl up in a small ringlets and drop to the floor. If it is resistant, soak a green scrubby and then use some muscle by scrubbing through the paper and glue to the wall on the other side.

Any blemishes that on on the wall will show through whether you are planning to paint or wallpaper. The only exception would be if you are planning on paneling.

Note: Even the most professional painters will occasionally gouge the underlying wall with their blades. Be prepared to allow enough time to fix the blemishes in the wall with spackle or wall compound. You will need to sand the area with a fine grit sand paper; leaving the wall baby smooth, prior to either repapering or painting the area.

Tip: Removing Wall paper can be laborious work. While painting a room might take a few hours, removing the old wall paper may take days. Be sure to allow yourself ample time for this labor intensive phase of your project.

Next Post: Learn about the cost of Granite Countertops in Arizona.

In one town there may be several handymen & lawn care workers all competing for the same job. Each one may be an excellent choice but the extraordinary choice is the one that stands out and wins customers. To be that extraordinary choice there would have to be something to draw in the customers, something enticing that singles them out. To do this they would have to offer something extra that the other guys didn’t and it’s those little extras, which could put them on the map.

Advertisements are the start of putting them on the map. Where they advertise could make a difference in fending off competitors. A really great place to advertise would be in a phone book. A local phone book is the place that locals in the area will usually go first for a service that pertains to their house or lawn care.

Low rates & coupons are great for luring customers. Everyone loves to feel like their getting a good deal.

Longer hours & the hour’s in-between will bring in customers. Some handyman & lawn care services have set hours. They won’t work past a certain time frame. This is where the longer hours & hour’s in-between will win over customers. Working just a couple of hours longer then what the other guys do is for instance, where they close at 5 p.m. but you stay open till 7 p.m. The hour’s in-between times for example is when the other guys are taking a lunch break you work or you go in earlier hours such as you go in at 7 a.m. when they go in at 9 a.m.

Having a completion time frame of, won’t leave till it’s done, if at all possible will make customers happy who have plans for the next day.

Own tools & ride are a couple of things that not everyone in the handyman & lawn care business has. If it is an individual seeking work in either profession and are just getting started they may have neither and while they may be cheap the customer may have to supply the tools and give them a ride both to and from their home just to get anything done.

Hard to find spare parts can be a big deal when it comes to repairs on older machinery, tools or any hardware necessary to completing a job. Besides keeping the necessary replacement parts around to repair your own equipment a variety of spare parts can come in handy in doing odd jobs for customers such as washers for older faucets.

Ideas for Remodeling a Small Bathroom

Bathroom remodeling can be a big challenge especially if you have a small bathroom. Many homes have an average sized bathroom of 5 by 8 feet which is an out of date standard size. It is possible to update your small bathroom to look roomier and make it more functional by utilizing these three things: Stretching the space visually, adding storage, and bringing in efficiency.

Visually-Keep the room a neutral solid color, patterns or darker colors will make the room seem smaller. You can add texture instead of a pattern for a custom look. A large mirror will add extra visual space as well, but keep mirrors to a minimum and all on the same wall or they will play tricks on your eyes. Have glass doors on your shower or bath, sliding doors take up less space. Glass doors work well on vanities and other storage cabinets too, these can be customized with etching while still giving the room a larger feel.

Corner cabinets work well for storage in a spot that is out of the way and usually unused. Adding lighting to the cabinets is also a good way to add space and make the room more inviting.

Bringing in green- The newer more efficient toilets come in tankless models. where the tank is installed inside the wall freeing up a good chunk of space. These come in many modern looking models as seen here and can also save you money on your water bill. Lighting can also be made more efficient. Energy Star rated light fixtures come in hundreds of designs some seen here and are good for the environment and your energy bill.

Some good places to find ideas for your bathroom are local home improvement centers and catalogs. Looking in the showrooms and at pictures of finished bathrooms can give you inspiration to get your project started. Having a good plan of exactly what you want will make the process of remodeling much quicker than figuring it out as you go along. Another thing to keep in mind is that the bathroom is the most used room in your home, so it is important to remember that with any remodeling project that it can take time. If it is your only bathroom you might want to stay somewhere else with working facilities while the remodel is taking place.

Source: At RG Stone Countertops, we custom stone work for Kitchens, Bathrooms, Fireplaces, Bars and more!

Go Green – Environmentally Friendly Non-Toxic Cleaning Products

The home should be a safe place for the family in all respects, including environmentally. Indoor pollution is the result of toxic chemicals that are in fabrics, flooring, walls and cleaning products. Keeping the house clean without using harsh, toxic chemicals can be a challenge, but it is possible.

Green Cleaning Products

While shopping for cleaning products, look at the list of ingredients on the label. Most people are surprised to see toxic chemicals that may be harmful to the family. Phosphates, chlorine bleach and formaldehyde are a few of the toxic ingredients that may cause or provoke cancer and respiratory diseases.

Healthier ingredients can do just as good of a job as the toxic products. Some of the cleaning products manufacturers have created non-toxic, green cleaners that are available in grocery and discount stories. With some of the basic ingredients that are already found in many homes, it isn’t difficult to make cleaning products at home, and they’ll save money.

Inexpensive homemade household cleaners:

  • Baking soda is a mild abrasive that can clean and deodorize sinks, bathtubs and toilets. Used in the clothes washing machine, it helps soften fabric.
  • Borax is a deodorizer as well as stain and mildew remover.
  • Vinegar is effective in cleaning windows and deodorizing carpet.
  • Olive oil and mineral oil are good for polishing furniture. For a fresh scent, add a few drops of freshly squeezed lemon juice.

Heavy Duty Household Cleaning Products

Some areas are more difficult to clean, including the oven, clogged sinks and toilets that have been neglected. The chemicals in commercial products designed to clean those items is even more toxic than other cleaning products. Before reaching for toxic compounds, try using natural and organic cleansers first.

Heavy duty natural cleaning:

  • Oven – Make a thick paste of baking soda and water. Coat the inside of the oven with the paste and leave overnight. The next morning, wipe it down. Repeat if necessary. In the future, prevent oven spills by placing a cookie sheet beneath whatever you are baking to catch the spills.
  • Clogged sinks – Pour a half cup of baking soda into the clogged sink and follow it with one cup of white vinegar. The bubbling action should work to loosen some of the clog. Follow up by plunging or using a snake to remove the clog.
  • Toilets – Mix 1/4 cup of baking soda and one cup of vinegar in the toilet bowl. Leave it for a half hour then use a toilet brush to scrub it clean.

Environmentally Friendly Air Fresheners

Heavily scented perfumes and air fresheners can cause respiratory distress for those who suffer from allergies or asthma. Prevent health problems by opening the windows and allowing fresh air in. Replace the filters on air conditioners and heaters frequently. For gentle fragrance, use natural potpourri made from fresh herbs, dried flowers, wood chips and citrus.

Avoid using toxic chemicals around the house for cleaning. Natural, green cleaning products and air fresheners are just as effective as those with harmful chemicals, and they are much better for the environment.

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