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Coziness is one of the main reasons why people love the winter season. Most places have that warm and fuzzy look with dimmed lights, where you can relax and spend time with your friends or family. Cozy places like this can make you unwind from work, inviting you in another world to feel warm and spoiled. Now, imagine that kind of feeling in your home! It’s like therapy! Your home should be the place where you feel the most relaxed and pampered.

7 Warm and Wonderful Ways to Cozy Up Your HomeThe cold months of winter are here, and all you can think about while you’re at work is to come home to your cozy sanctuary. A long hot shower, a hot chocolate, and a good movie can make you release all that stress accumulated throughout the day. But, although nothing compares to the comfort of your own home, lately, you felt like there’s something about your it that needs improving. You either don’t like the elements of your home anymore, or you just feel the need to add something new, for your own pleasure. Cozy doesn’t have the same meaning for everyone, it depends on how you want to improve your home’s comfort. However, cozy induces feelings of warmth, relaxation, and comfort. Do you wonder what could bring more comfort to your home? Maybe reorganizing your space? Bringing some new decorations? There are tons of interesting ways you can make your home feel so cozy and welcoming. In this article, you’ll find 7 steps to make your home cozier.

Organize Your Home

Have you ever been invited to a place where you couldn’t feel relaxed and comfortable? Maybe it’s because it was filled with too much stuff. A home can’t be welcoming and comfortable if it’s filled with mess. When a place is visually full of clutter, it may disturb your focus. If you think about the hotel rooms, you’ll realize that there’s almost no decor. The purpose is to leave the space cleaner and choose just a few items and put aside the rest of it. Your home will look more open and comfortable. You can look through magazines and see the latest trends in home decoration.

Create a Space for Ultimate Coziness

Your entire home can be cozy, but not everyone can afford it. Some have kids or pets and it might be difficult to keep everything organized. So, design a corner in your home where you can display many candles, small fuzzy pillows, a blanket that can replace a rug, and many other seasonal decorations. Also, you can put a bench where you can relax or maybe you can use it as a table to place all your decorations. Ribbons are colorful, fun, and can be used for different things around your house. You can decorate your curtains by hanging a few ribbons on them, they’ll look more stylish and fun! There’s always a chance to find a discount ribbon in bulk if you do some research on the internet.

Throw Blankets All Over

Blankets are perfect for creating that cozy atmosphere, especially the soft ones made out of cashmere or cotton. Throw a few blankets around the house, so you can easily grab one if you ever feel cold. For maximum coziness, choose a chunky knit blanket and put it on your bed. Also, flannel sheets will give you that soft feeling to your skin and make your bed look much more comfortable. Now, imagine when you get into your bed, after a long working day. Mm, so cozy!

Bring the Elements of Nature in The Decor

For a minimalist look, get inspired by Japanese interiors. Many homes get that cozy look by bringing elements of nature in their décor. The mixture of plants, water, stone, creates a nice contrast and really makes the atmosphere look so calming and have that zen-vibe. If space allows you, get bigger plants, a fountain, and create a garden inside your home. It’ll look awesome and unique!

Introduce Art to Your Cozy Space

So many homes with no art hanging on their walls are simply missing the chance to bring some charisma into them. Art can bring so much coziness into a home but people rarely step out of their comfort zone. This is the element that’ll make your home feel welcoming and interesting. Art is a personal choice, so it should represent you and your lifestyle. Before you hang it on your wall, think about what inspires you the most, it’ll be easier and less scary to introduce it to your home.

The importance of Good Lightning

Do you know those cute cafés with dimmed lights and a warm, comfortable atmosphere? The right lighting can make you feel more relaxed and lift up your mood. It’s an essential ingredient to make your room cozier. If you tend to spend more on the furniture, consider that lightning can completely make the space look warmer. The goal is to create a comfortable, cozy place, and get rid of that boring feeling when entering the room. For extra ambiance, add a few scented candles. The delicious smell will freshen up the room in a moment. But don’t forget to turn them off while you are away.

Decorate with Books

Books can be a super cheap décor method for making your home cozier. You can purchase them from your local store, or just use the ones you already have at home. There are so many different ideas on how to decorate your home with old books that can add a vintage touch. Decorating with books can be fun but it also brings knowledge and life to your home. Transform your living room into a library by adding a wall of books.  Guests will be impressed with your idea! Place books in different areas of your home, on the coffee table, for example, on the kitchen counter, or even in the bathroom. You can decorate the entire home with books, just pick the right colors that complement the rest of the house. However, the point is to make sure that these decorations ideas stand out visually.

Hopefully, these wonderful, warm tips will help you transform your home into a cozy place where you and your family can spend quality time together.

 

 

As a homeowner, being proud of both the interior and exterior of your home is important. When guests pull up outside your property, the last thing you want is for them to get the wrong impression. If you have a concrete driveway, keeping it well maintained should be your top priority, so to make sure the surface looks its best and stands the test of time, here are five top tips you can use.

How to Look After Your Concrete Driveway

Regular Cleaning

 

To keep your concrete driveway gleaming, it’s important that you factor in time to clean it. If left untouched for a long time, concrete can begin to look really dirty, which can set a bad tone for those coming to visit your property. Giving your driveway the attention and care it needs is important, so using a pressure washer can be a great way to keep it clean.

Seal the Surface

 

No matter how great your driveway sealer is, it will ultimately wear out over time, regardless of how much money you shell out. The main purpose of a driveway sealer is to stop water from getting into the porous surface, as this can cause major damage. It can also help protect the driveway surface from UV light degradation and spillages, so make sure that you reseal the surface every 3-5 years.

Avoid Using Chemicals

 

When it comes to driveway maintenance, there are some harsh chemicals that are best to avoid, such as deicer. Deicers are known to eat into the surface which results in gradual deterioration. If your driveway becomes icy or slippery, it’s best to use sand which will provide traction. Sand can also be easily brushed to one side or swept away once the summer months draw in. If you have any grassy areas at the front of your property, chemical products will only cause damage in the long run.

Avoid Spillages

 

Another way to keep good care of your concrete driveway is by avoiding spills. Your car oil may be the root cause of a spillage or stain that can cause major damage to your driveway’s appearance. If you notice any spillage, make sure that it’s cleaned up quickly and appropriately by using a professional driveway cleaning solution.

Seek Professional Help

 

If you’ve lived in your property for many years and feel the damage done to your concrete driveway is irreversible, it may be time to hire a professional who can lay down a brand new one. Richfield Blacktop is a company you may want to consider using, as they specialize in concrete driveways, asphalt driveways, and commercial paving.

While concrete is known as the easiest surface to maintain when compared to other driveway types, that’s not to say there aren’t measures that can be taken to make sure it looks its best. If you have noticed any changes to your driveway, there are lots of tips that you can take on board, but you may also want to seek out a professional to help.

 

 

Homeownership is one of life’s greatest milestones, and owning a property is often one of the biggest financial investments we will make in our lifetimes.

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Most people will pay a lot of attention to the interior spaces of their homes. Every year, millions of dollars are spent on interior design, home appliances, and features that add both conveniences and value to a property; but not enough people take the time to add some value to their gardens or yards.

Here in this quick guide, we are going to look at the three best ways to add some value and features to the outside of your home to make it one of the most desirable houses in the neighborhood and help you make a quick and profitable sale when the time comes to move on.

Use Decking to Take the Inside Outside

One of the most popular uses for a garden or yard is to use it as a cooking or dining area when the weather permits.

Having a space in your garden for dining is a great way to add value and character to a property and having a barbeque or outdoor oven nearby means you can take your mealtimes outside and enjoy good weather all day and into the night.

Use wooden decking to designate a dining space in your garden or yard, and give you a flat and even surface for a dining table or garden furniture. Decking can be incredibly good value and easy to install. Features like this are fun for you to use, and more than pay for themselves in property value.

Landscape Your Garden or Yard

You may well have a lovely garden on your property, but with a little extra work and investment, you can take a garden to the next level and give your home the ‘wow’ factor with a landscaped and themed garden or yard.

Giving a garden a theme can be a fantastic way to show off your outside space and give you more reasons to make better use of your garden or yard. A Hawaiian theme is a popular choice with a lot of homeowners as it is easy to achieve, uses hard-wearing and low-maintenance plants, and can incorporate desirable features like a hot tub or a fire pit.

Re-Lay Your Driveway

If you have a driveway in the front of your home, you have a great opportunity to increase your home’s ‘curb appeal’ by re-laying and recovering your driveway with a new surface that is easy to maintain.

Asphalt, or blacktop, has become the driveway covering of choice recently as it is inexpensive, quick to install, is easy to maintain and lasts a long time. At Richfield Blacktop, you can get a comprehensive planning service and a professionally laid surface for less than ever before. Having a blacktop surface also creates an opportunity to use your drive for sports like basketball and street hockey, which are popular with teenagers. You can even get ‘court markings’ painted on your asphalt, adding a feature to your home.

Our homes are one of our life’s biggest investments, and many of us will have our financial future tied closely to our home’s resale value. Small, high-value investments like these can make a huge and profitable difference to a home’s resale value, and our retirement.

 

 

When you have children, change is to be expected. Not only do you have to adjust your life so it works around your children, but you will also have to adjust your home. When you make changes to your home, you need to make sure you choose wisely. Wrong decisions can reduce the value of your property and can end up costing you a lot more money than the improvement was worth, but when something is done right, not only will your property go up in value, but your family will be happier for it. To help you make the right decision, here are five home improvements you should consider if you have children.

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Convert Rooms

Reinventing a room can increase the value of your home as well as make your life easier. You can convert spaces that aren’t being used, such as a garage, basement or attic space, into something that could be used. You could change them into an extra bedroom, a second living room, a games room or a room that can be used by your child if they have a particular hobby they want to excel in, such as music, craft or exercise.

Consider a Playroom

A playroom is another good idea if you have the space and they have many benefits. This can keep the rest of your house tidy and in good condition because your children will have their own area where they can play and make a mess. If you decide to move home, this feature would appeal to buyers who have or plan to start a family.

Add an Outdoor Play Area

Exercise and fresh air are essential for child development. If you have a good-sized back or front yard, then installing an outdoor play area for your children is a great way to ensure they get outside, and it will be a safe area for them to do so. If you don’t have the time or skill to create your own outdoor play area, you should contact KG Landscape to help you create a safe, fenced play area.

Increase Storage

Nowadays, people like a minimalist look when it comes to their homes. This can be a hard thing to achieve when you have children, but it isn’t impossible. Making alterations that increase the amount of storage your home has will increase the value of your property and will make it look neat, tidy, and modern while you live there. It can also make your home safer, especially if you have young, curious toddlers walking about.

Improve Your Home’s Efficiency

There is no denying that children are expensive, so making changes that help to save you money as well as increase the value of your property whilst helping the environment are always great ideas. One of these changes would be to improve how energy efficient your home is. You can do this by adding installation, adding renewable energy sources, and installing double glazed windows. These are just a handful of things you can do.

To summarize, when you decide to make changes to your family home, space, efficiency, and usefulness are the key things you need to consider. If the alterations will help you, then there is a high chance it would help someone else, which leads to a rise in property price.

 

 

Entertaining at home is often done outdoors, on the patio, deck, verandah or in the garden. Lush greenery, floral scents, stone paving and well thought out garden beds all inspire serene feelings of calmness and joy.

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Even you are an avid gardener, you have spent many happy hours outside either tending to your garden or just relaxing in the sun or breeze. If you enjoy being outdoors, perhaps now is the time to transform your piece of green heaven and introduce some new and exciting features to use outside. Think pergola.

Perfect Pergolas

The quickest and easiest way to transform your outdoor space is by placing a pergola outside. There are so many ways to use these structures, you will never be stuck for pergola ideas.

Pergolas come in a variety of makes. You can opt for the traditional timber pergolas, composite, steel frames or a combination. Add vinyl, cloth or shutters on the top and your pergola can take on many functions.

Pergolas give the sense of incorporating an extra room to an area because of the pillars and roof which mimic a room. This makes a pergola the perfect outdoor addition which will not only delight homeowners but adds value to the property.

Function And Form

Whether you want a practical outside dining area, seating area or relaxing area, you can achieve any look and feel with a pergola.

Warm winter evenings outside with a fireplace and blanket might be your taste or a functional dining area in spring where everyone can sit outside comfortably. Add a bar for that instant poolside feeling.

Perhaps you desire privacy and would like your outdoor spa to be covered, or a quiet place to lie outside and read in the hazy summer days. All these functions can be achieved by using a pergola.

Adding color and accessories to your pergola area is easy when you have decided on what the look and feel of your space should entail. Keeping it classy and chic is just as easy if you plan the accessories properly. Look for weather-resistant or outdoor pieces that will be easy to maintain and move around.

The great thing about having a pergola is that when you decide to update or refresh the look and design of your outdoor space, you simply bring in new elements to make the change. Remember less is more, a cluttered outdoor space is not a haven of peace and tranquillity.

Simply Add Furniture Or Plants

Attaining chic looks under your pergola can be done in so many ways. The best way to add flair and functionality to your pergola is to add furniture.

Do you want a seated area? Add weather-resistant outdoor furniture and pillows. Include small side tables and an ottoman or two to entice relaxing family gatherings outside. If your pergola is poolside, add sun loungers and potted plants with a side table or two.

If you prefer your pergola be a simple extension of your garden added creepers or plants in pots to grow against the pillars and over the roof. Perhaps you can grow a grapevine and add two chairs and a table for intimate Italy like dinners by candlelight.

 

Stamped Concrete: Why Is It the Most Popular Material For Driveways?

There are a number of routes you can take when choosing the right material for your driveway. If you’re confused about making the right choice, you can take the route most people take and choose the most popular material for driveways – stamped concrete. You don’t have to take our word for it, ask popular contractors like https://www.kansascityconcreteartisans.com/ about the most popular driveways people want and we’re sure you’ll get the same answer.

Why it is so popular and the various designs and styles you can get with stamped concrete will all be broken down in this handy guide to understanding why stamped concrete is such a popular choice for driveways and why you should take the leap.

Why is it so popular? The advantages of stamped concrete

There are various reasons why stamped concrete is a great choice for your driveways, and knowing all of them can help you understand why it is such a popular choice.

Durability

There is nothing quite like concrete. And by that, we mean that when it comes to sheer strength and resistance, concrete is king. For a driveway, it is important that the material used is able to hold up against things like weather, weight, spills, grease stains, and track marks.

On all those things, concrete ranks high. It holds up well against sun exposure and rain and is stain-resistant against most things. You also don’t have to worry about concrete driveways cracking under the weight of numerous cars.

Longevity

It can be a real pain to both your time and your wallet to have to constantly think about replacing and redoing your driveway over the years you’ll live in your home.

With this in mind, it is important for your driveways to have good longevity to make sure they will hold up for many years to come. Stamped concrete driveways are able to last a long time because concrete is a durable material that does not need constant maintenance. With proper care, it can last for up to 40 years.

Furthermore, you can be assured that the design imprinted on the stamped driveway will remain there and not fade away over time.

Cost

Compared to other driveway materials, concrete comes at an affordable and cost-effective rate. It is a widely available material that has a speedy installation period which helps keep the cost of it low.

And when you add a stamped design to the mix of things, the cost does not dramatically increase. Because it is a process that is neither labor-intensive nor timely, stamping concrete can be done in a single day depending on the size of your concrete.

Customizability

More than anything, the customizability of concrete elevates it from the rest of the flooring materials on the market. Concrete has the ability to be personally stamped and customized according to your wishes.

This means that for houses with unique layouts and decorations, stamped concrete driveways offer a way to customize your driveways according to what looks best with your home.

Value

Stamped concrete driveways are highly attractive features for a home that can increase the overall value of your home. Not only does it look expensive and attractive, but buyers will know that a concrete driveway is a good investment for a home that will last a long time.

The many design options for stamped concrete driveways

Driveways don’t have to look boring or standard at all, and they especially don’t have to when you choose to have concrete driveways. Stamped concrete is an option for everyone that can deliver unique design options, like:

  1. Border designs

1If you’re hesitant to stamp the entire driveway with a pattern or design, you can get a very attractive appearance for your driveways by stamping only a portion of the area, more commonly the border of the driveway. With this technique, you choose a design for the border of the driveway like a geometric pattern or a faux stone and either apply a simpler pattern to the middle or keep it completely plain. The contrast between the border and the middle of the driveway will look elegant and not overly done.

  1. Faux stone designs

2Stamped concrete is capable of mimicking other flooring materials for driveways, such as stone. If you want the aesthetic value of stones like slate and cobblestone but the durability, cost, and longevity of concrete, stamped concrete is capable of delivering that. For faux stone designs, you can have them laid out straight or patterned in a fan effect for a more stylish stamping.

  1. Unique patterns and designs

3If you’re interested in stamped concrete driveways for its versatility, you may be interested in getting more unique designs on your driveway. For example, you may be more inclined to get a large-scale pattern or a large design like a specific image like a sunburst or compass. This can likewise be done with concrete stamping.

  1. Brick patterns

4If you love the look a brick driveway but are concerned about its cost and need for constant maintenance, you can achieve a “brick” driveway with stamped concrete. Choose the kind of brick you want to emulate for your driveway and leave the rest to your contractor to get the best results possible.

 

 

 

For better or for worse, your fencing will have a huge influence on how your place feels and looks. While for some, utility will be the most important factor, for others, they might prefer something that complements their house first. Factors such as climate and cost also have to be considered as well. This is why the question of which material should be used can be a tricky one. Let’s take a look at two of the most popular options, vinyl and wood, and the pros and cons of each to see which option would be the best for your needs.

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Wood: The Pros

One of the best things about wood fences is the way they look. Some people just love the whole white picket fence aesthetic, and stained wood can give a rustic feel to any backyard. So, if your first goal is for it to look good, then wood is a sure bet. Wood is also one of these materials you can work with even if you’re not a professional, so it’s a good pick for those DIYers out there. Wood also gives you a wide array of colors and finishes based on the staining and the wood you pick.

Wood: The Cons

Wood fences demand a lot of maintenance. And they’re not the best suited for every climate. You have to work on them every year so they can keep their appearance, whether its repainting or treating them. They’re also vulnerable to things like insects, especially termites. And they have a tendency to warp as well, especially when they haven’t been properly treated.

Vinyl: The Pros

Vinyl is one of the most low maintenance materials you can use as far as fencing goes. And it comes in a wide variety of styles, textures, and shades as well. While you can install it yourself, it’s always better to work with professional fitters. Teams like Northland Fence will be able to set up your vinyl fence in as little as a day and all their vinyl fences come with a lifetime warranty on the material. Good luck finding that with wood.

Vinyl: The Cons

One of the issues with vinyl fencing is that it’s slightly more expensive upfront than wood. But you end up recuperating these costs with lower maintenance and higher durability. Another issue with vinyl is that repairs are a bit more complicated, but since it’s so durable, it doesn’t require repairs as much as wood.

The Verdict

At the end of the day, it’s all about your priorities and what you need in a fence. If you want something that will last a long time and require little to no maintenance, go for vinyl. If your main priority is the look and you don’t mind having to maintain it every year and replace it at the end of its lifespan, then wood might be the choice for you.

Conclusion

Whatever choice you pick, make sure that you consider how much time and money you can afford to spend on your fence. Also, consider if your climate or even the general look in your area would make either option more suitable.

 

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Your home design is all about you, your partner and your family. Every element present at home reflects a certain aspect of life. The colors painted all over the walls remind you of peace and serenity. The decor beautifying the walls project decision-making and artistic skills. The materials used inside and outside the house, from flooring to roofing, display style and preferences. Spacing and arrangement either defies customs or depicts centuries-old traditions and beliefs.

When buying a new home, building one or making a facelift, you want to be immersed in the process, from planning the details to the finishing touches. After all, the house is your safe haven for years or even for a lifetime. It is a pleasure to flip through the color palette, the portfolio of home decor and the gallery of design ideas you want your eyes to scour. It is also no wonder if you have been making sketches or notes with design ideas for the kitchen, living room, master bedroom or even the garage.

To help you out, we have compiled a list of unique bits of design that may seem bizarre but are actually awe-inspiring ideas that will make your house stand out from the rest.

Pendant Lighting

More and more restaurants, especially intimate ones, are now adorned with pendant lighting that hangs just slightly over the heads of guests. From a style perspective, pendant lighting offers a great addition to your home. But it provides more than just a decorative accent. It also plays a major role in terms of highlighting a room, adding a different glow while incorporating a decorative style.

Now, how do you plan on adding pendant lights at home? You can try hanging them to illuminate your entryway, a kitchen counter or dining table. Although the lights are usually close, you may also opt for a design that spreads all throughout the space you want to brighten up, like a dining table with a large seating capacity.

Natural Lighting and Ventilation

Sustainability solutions start at home. Measures to lower consumption of energy and water do not just lead to lesser utility bills but also contribute less to greenhouse gas emissions. Apart from using less electricity and water, you can incorporate sustainability measures in your building design.

This means you will need less light during the day and nature’s fresh breeze will surround your home, instead of turning on air conditioning for cooling the house. Ask your home renovations and remodeling service provider or a local Excel Builders to craft a design that allows natural lighting and ventilation to come inside the house.

Big Plants

Desert plants are the usual staple for decor inside the house. But it is 2019, and trends change over time. Small plants, flowering or non-flowering, are also attractive. Nowadays, big plants are eye-catching accessories that can attract attention. Before you purchase bold plants, you need to know the relevant information such as water and sunlight requirements to keep plants healthy and green.

Floral Patterns

While people live in a modern world, everybody loves a design redux for styles that were trendy in the past. In 2019, floral patterns have risen to the occasion. You might think the floral pattern thrived during your grandma’s adolescent period. Well, yes indeed. But filling your home with floral design may be a better replacement for bland or flashy colors that dominated the previous years.

Fortunately, floral print today is redesigned with contemporary lines and is much bolder than in years past. There is a list of fresh design for your floral patterns, from orchids to cherry blossoms, to give your room an updated look. 

Multi-Functional Space

Whether you’re limiting furniture to save space or just practicing less is more through minimalism, a multi-functional space can work wonders at home. You can remodel existing furniture pieces or purchase new ones that offer more than just one function, such as a bed with pull-out drawers or ottomans with added storage.

You can also design two or more rooms in one space, such as an office space in a living room or transforming kitchen counters into a workstation. Success in multi-functional space depends on layout. The design should manifest proper balance between two or more functions, and clearly indicate the division between spaces.

Bar Area

You, your partner, friends and family members can enjoy the spirits and entertainment at your home by putting up a bar. You can display your prized wines, tequila and other liquor you want to enjoy. Hang those wine glasses, put in the rotating stools and roll out those barrels to start partying without going outside.

With a bar area, it’s easy for guests to get cold drinks while the party is hot on the dance floor. The bar does not have to be limited to drinking alcoholic beverages alone. You can also have your morning coffee, brew a late-night tea or whip up a smoothie at the bar.

Biophilia

It is now that we are seeing more and more people that are interacting with nature. By installing sustainable solutions at home or in the office, everyone is more involved today than on previous years when it comes to getting closer with nature. At home, people create gardens to commune with the environment. Now though, design has brought nature closer to you through biophilia. A biophilic setting expands beyond houseplants or floral patterns. It has design and decor that bring the sight, sound and smell of nature indoors.

So, how do you create this biophilia? For one, work with water. The sound of flowing water not only relaxes our senses, it also blocks noises caused by street sounds. Another element is to breathe in the fragrant scent of nature with aromatic candles or essential oils. Aim to create a space devoid of gadgets, equipment and screens. A biophilic setting wants us to awaken our senses and technology works against it. Just have a corner where distractions are absent.

There is a Santa Claus list of eclectic home design ideas you can experiment in your new dwelling or for an upcoming renovation. As long as it speaks to your style, character and beliefs, you can never be wrong with your choices.

 

Whats So Special About Saltwater Pools

Saltwater pools are gaining popularity as an alternative to traditional chlorine pools. Saltwater pool owners enjoy key benefits, but it’s important to learn what you’re in for before deciding on the right type of pool for your home.

Here, we’ll clear up some common misconceptions about saltwater pools, and weigh the pros and cons of saltwater pools over traditional pools.

The Basics

In a traditional pool, the chlorine level is maintained by periodically adding chlorine to the pool. However, a saltwater pool generates salt chlorine from added salt by the process of chemical electrolysis, using a salt chlorine generator. This highlights an important fact: a saltwater pool is a chlorine pool, it simply uses an alternate means of chlorination. That being said, a saltwater pool’s chlorine content tends to be much lower than that of a traditional pool. The significantly lower chlorine content in a saltwater pool is much gentler on the skin, hair, and eyes.

 

But, What is a Salt Chlorine Generator?

A salt chlorine generator is a metal cell that carries a low voltage electrical current. The generator is installed inline the pool’s existing pump system so the water is pumped through the generator before being returned to the pool. As the water passes through the metal cell, the current splits the salt into water and hypochlorous acid, which provides the disinfecting function normally achieved by adding chlorine.

A saltwater generator creates salt chlorine from simple table salt (NaCl), eliminating the need to handle chlorine. Because the chemical electrolysis converts the salt back and forth between salt and salt chlorine, and because salt does not evaporate (unlike chlorine), there is a reduced need to replenish the pool’s chlorine content. Still, the chlorine content of a saltwater pool must be monitored and salt must be added, as appropriate, to maintain safe levels.

 

Is It Like Swimming in The Ocean?

Note quite. The salinity of a saltwater pool is about one-tenth that of seawater. In fact, a saltwater pool is less salty than human tears. In the ocean, it’s easier to float on your back due to the added buoyancy of the salt. Saltwater pools don’t provide the effect quite as well.

The reduced salt of a saltwater pool in comparison with the ocean has a few benefits. You won‘t feel the “salty” feeling on your skin and hair quite as intensely after drying off. A pool’s water also does not sting your eyes in the same way ocean water will.

 

How Do I Convert My Pool?

Converting a traditional chlorine pool to a saltwater pool is fairly easy, but can be expensive. First, you would need to determine what size pool you have and install a salt chlorine generator capable of handling the volume. Salt chlorine generators range in cost from several hundred dollars to thousands of dollars. If you are not completely confident in your understanding of the system, you might also want to high a professional to do the installation so as to avoid damage to your equipment. It’s also important to not that the salt chlorine generator will need to be replaced every few years.

Then, you need to determine how much salt your pool needs. Pool salt test strips can tell you your pool’s existing salt level so you can accurately determine how much you need to add. Again, a saltwater pool uses simple table salt which should be easy to find. After you add the salt, you should run the pump (but NOT the salt chlorine generator), for 24 hours to allow the salt to evenly mix with the pool water. After that, you should test the water for appropriate salt, free chlorine, pH, cyanuric acid, total alkalinity, and calcium hardness, before running the salt chlorine generator. This process is referred to as “balancing the pool water.”

 

Are Saltwater Pools Low Maintenance?

Again, we’re here to debunk a common misconception. While saltwater pools require reduced maintenance steps, the water must still be routinely tested and adjusted to maintain proper sanitation. The salt chlorine generator cell must also be inspected at regular intervals for buildup and debris. Calcium buildup is a common issue in salt chlorine generators.

 

Is It Worth It?

The general consensus has been that the benefits of a saltwater pool far outweigh the negatives. The popularity of saltwater pools is on the rise as people appreciate the improved swimming experience:

  • The low salinity of the water means that very little salt remains on the skin.
  • The significantly lower chlorine level gives the water a softer feel, and is gentler on skin, hair, eyes, and even clothing.
  • Not having to physically handle toxic liquid chlorine or tablets has also been a big selling point among pool owners. Owners also appreciate the savings from no longer needing to purchase chlorine.
  • Also, there is generally less loss of chlorine to the environment with a saltwater pool than there is in a traditional pool.
  • Restoring a saltwater pool’s chlorine level can be as easy as simply adding some table salt.

 

While the benefits of saltwater pools are clear, it’s important for a potential owner to know the facts about what they are and what they are not:

  • A saltwater pool is not quite like the ocean. The salinity of a saltwater pool is far lower than that of seawater.
  • Installing a saltwater pool requires a higher initial investment, and fixing any broken equipment can be more expensive.
  • A saltwater pool is not low maintenance. Maintaining a sanitary saltwater pool requires consistency and attention to detail. All other parameters required for a safe pool still need maintenance.
  • Since a saltwater pool simply employs an alternate means of chlorination, many of the same issues that come up with a traditional pool will persist with a saltwater pool.
  • Salt can be corrosive to equipment surrounding your pool.

 

About the author:

Jason Caldwell is a Seattle-based writer and contributor to lifestyle blogs and magazines. His clients include An online swimming pools supply company. When he’s not running up against a deadline, he enjoys planning DIY projects and cooking for his family.

 

 

Keeping your landscape healthy, green and attractive throughout the hottest part of summer is easy, provided you know all the right tricks. Want to know the best ways to keep your gardens growing and flowers blooming despite the summer heat? The following tips will show you how to help your landscape thrive all summer:

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1. Know When to Prune

With some trees and shrubs, you can wait until fall or winter to prune. In fact, the University of Minnesota recommends that you prune many trees during the last stages of winter while the trees are still dormant. The exceptions are sap-heavy trees like maples, butternuts and birch trees.

In the summer, however, you’ll need to focus your attention on the ornamentals that bloom early in the spring. Azaleas, lilacs, forsythia and anything else that blooms early needs plenty of time to recuperate before winter so that you have a good flush of blooms during the following spring. For these plants, start pruning after the blooms fade but don’t prune any later than the end of July. As a bonus, because early blooming plants devote more energy to producing new branches once they’ve been pruned, you’ll be rewarded with a flush of fresh greenery to enjoy over the summer.

2. Mow to the Right Height

In the spring, grass can take a little more abuse, simply because the extra moisture in the ground helps it recover after a harsh mowing. As the weather heats and the soil dries, you’ll need to be a little more particular about mowing. Make sure that you never remove more than one-third of your lawn’s height, even if that means you need to raise the mower deck. This will prevent stress to your lawn, which in turn keeps your lawn green and healthy rather than brown and parched.

3. Deadhead Your Flowers

Deadheading seems like a no-brainer — it gets rid of all the ugly, lifeless blooms. However, there’s an even more important reason to keep up with the deadheading. Flowers, whether annual or perennial, put a lot of energy into seed production. Let some flowers go to seed, and you’ll have far fewer blooms for the rest of the summer, whereas if you pluck the spent flowers, the plant will release chemical signals to increase bloom production.

4. Top Your Mulch

If you’re like most people, you do your mulching in the spring. Between rains, wind, transplanting and weeding, however, some of that mulch can disappear in a matter of weeks. Keep in mind that mulch is doubly important in the summer — not only does it give your gardens a neat, weed-free look, but according to Cornell University, mulched soils can retain twice as much water as bare soil. In addition, the soil will stay eight to 13 degrees cooler, which is good for your plants’ root systems. With that thought in mind, buy a few bags of mulch and top your beds wherever necessary.

5. Tend to Your Cool-Season Vegetables

Come July, certain crops in your vegetable garden — cool weather crops like peas, cabbage and broccoli — should be finished for the season. With those plants out of your vegetable garden, you can do three things with the extra space:

  • Mulch the empty beds to keep the weeds down and help prepare the soil for the next year.
  • Replant cool season vegetables for a fall crop.
  • Plant cover crops to help enrich and soften the soil.

If you try cover crops, look for late season crops like radishes, wheat and rye. Plant them thickly, and these crops will choke weeds even as they improve your vegetable beds.

6. Pick the Right Time to Water

Should you water daily, weekly or not at all? The answer to that question depends on the amount of rain your region has received and the water requirements of the plants within your landscape.

However, if you do need to water, then always water as early as you can in the morning. The logic behind this is two-fold: Watering early gives the moisture more time to soak into the soil before the heat of the day evaporates it, but at the same time, leaves will have enough time to dry, which makes it harder for diseases and fungal infections to take hold.

With these tips, you can easily keep your summertime landscape healthy and lush without a lot of fuss. As the weather gets hotter, relax and enjoy all the hard work that led to your gorgeous landscape.

Author Bio

Rick Ryan is the owner and president of All Valley Landscaping. With more than 21 years of experience in landscape renovations Rick is a certified expert in the construction industry, including: landscape renovations, yard renovations and exterior home, tree trimming and removal services and sprinkler repair and installations.

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