3 Tips on Choosing the Best Wood Pergolas to Compliment Your Outdoor Living

Here at Forever Redwood, we support sustainability and want our customers to make the best decision the first time and have a wood pergola to enjoy for many years.  Wood pergolas offer a beautiful shelter for outdoor spaces, improving the appearance of your yard and the value of your home. With so many options available, how do you choose which pergola will make the perfect addition to your home? Consider these three tips before making your decision and purchase.

What do you want to do with your outdoor space?

Do you want to put a cover over a patio or deck or to create a natural covered pathway through a garden? Will the pergola be part of an outdoor kitchen or grill area? Do you want to improve your outdoor entertaining space? You need to know how you want to use your outdoor space to make the right choice on the size and shape of your wood pergola.

Kit verses custom wood pergolas

Wooden pergolas are available in kit form, which are suitable for DIYers and home improvement enthusiasts. Although many people work with a contractor to erect the pergola. You can also purchase a customized pergola designed specifically to meet your needs and expectations complete with assembly assistance. Visit Forever Redwood online to see all of the stunning options available to suit any yard and budget. Which brings us to our final point.

Think about practicalities

To keep your wooden pergola looking its best, some maintenance will be necessary. You may want to consider the differences between treated and untreated wood. Do you want to have to stain or retreat your pergola every year? You may also need to think about your personal DIY skills before committing to a project of this size. Depending on how you anchor your pergola, you may need to sink posts deep into your land or ensure safe attachments to your home. And finally, make and keep a budget. While a pergola is a wonderful investment in your home, at Forever Redwood we have options for every budget. Visit our website or contact us today for more information.

A House is Not a Home

Recently, My wife Jinju and I purchased a home. I think we got a great deal for it. We purchased our house without breaking out small budget. I was able to get it so cheaply because it was old and in need of some repair. I decided that I would fix up the house and make the sales value increase. That way, if I decide to sell it, I will make a higher profit. We thought we were finished with the repairs, but the gutters collapsed. We needed gutters in Perth immediately.

I decided to go the hardware store for information on gutters. I wanted the best ones for my home. I need quality gutters, but I am on a very tight budget. The salesman told me about different of gutters that were available. There were so many to chose from. I could not decide.

First, I though about getting vinyl gutters for my home. The salesman told me that they were the cheapest of the different types.

Chores Aren’t As Much of Hassle Anymore

I’ve always hated household chores. My dad always made me do it. He said difficult chores were just part of becoming a man and that they built character. Needless to say, as soon as I could move out of my parents house, I did. I lived in a condo for about twelve years after graduating but after I met my wife I knew I should probably need to buy a house and deal with the maintenance issues that came with it. Of course my wife fell in love with a house with rusted gutters so I found gutter guys website. I found some great, manor red gutters and they came out and rolled them to fit the dimensions of house and this way they won’t leak ask much as the ones on my childhood home did. They are also rust proof, which is great because this old beast of a house seems to be prone to that sort of thing.

One thing that I have found I love doing now as a homeowner is mowing the lawn. I got a ride on lawnmower and I just go out there with my headphones on and listen to music and get some piece and quiet. I mean obviously I love my wife but it is nice to have solitude once in a while, especially as someone who is newly married and not used to cohabitating.

There are plenty of things on the honey-do list these days. I guess I need to replace some siding and deal with an ant infestation in the driveway but when I get the job done on a hot summer’s day and my wife brings me out a cool glass of lemonade I realize I am the luckiest man on earth. I love my life and my new home.

Choosing the Right Plumber to Carry Out Pipe Repair to Your Home

best-plumberThe first thing you want to check with all the plumbers you consider for pipe repairs is whether they are licensed. Only ever deal with a company that has the relevant licenses in place to show that they have completed the relevant training and that they are authorized to carry out plumbing work at your home or office in your area. A plumber who isn’t licensed is not one you want to take a risk with, so ensure you take the necessary steps to check their licensing before making any decisions on whether to hire their services or not.

The next step you are going to want to take is to identify what insurance the plumber has and whether it protects you in the event that he or she makes a mistake while carrying out the pipe repairs to your home. Whether the pipe is cracked or leaking above or below ground, you need to know that if the plumber makes a mistake and floods your property, that they have the insurance in place to carry out the repairs without any cost to yourself in the future.

Always take a few minutes to identify if the plumber offering pipe repair has a website. Read through the site, especially the about us page, identify how long they have been in business. If they don’t have a site, don’t’ be shy to ask, you have a right to know if they are a new company that opened only a few weeks or months ago, or whether they are a company that has been catering to the local community for years. Obviously the longer they have been in business the better, you will feel more confident using their services now and moving forward.

Now you are going to want to look at price. Even if you have a handful of plumbers who you are still comparing and reviewing, a price can help you. When it comes to pipe repair you may want to look for a trenchless solution which is faster, more effective and cheaper in the long run. The plumber will be able to repair your pipe within hours rather than days and the price will be a reflection of this.

Ensure that the company you choose offers a warranty. Trenchless pipe repair is a stronger and longer lasting solution, so you may find it comes with a longer warranty than if the plumber is to dig up your garden or drive to reach the pipe. The longer the warranty the more peace of mind you will have when booking their services.

Check to see what services the plumber provides. Once you have gone through this process and chosen a plumber, you will find that if you choose one who provides more than just pipe repair, you will be able to use them with confidence over and over again as and when needed.

The final thing to help you decide on who to use for pipe repair is to ask the plumber for references of clients in the local area. This is also a chance for you to go online and type the company name into your search engine and read through the independent views and forums to get honest feedback from past and current clients.

Plumbing Tips to Maintain the System

There are countless advantages to being a homeowner. But with all the benefits come some of the drawbacks. When something goes wrong in an apartment, all you have to do is call the landlord or the office and they’ll send someone down to fix it for you. When something goes wrong in your house, it means you’ll either have to roll up your sleeves to fix it, or shell out big bucks to have a professional come fix it. That’s why maintenance is such an important part of home ownership. Nowhere is this more true than in the area of plumbing. Here are some helpful tips to help you keep your system maintained.

Keep on top of any leaks, both around the area of your various appliances, and in the walls. Look for telltale signs of water damage at any point in the walls. This is likely a sign of a leaking or broken pipe. Check any appliances in your house that make use of the home’s plumbing. This includes the refrigerator, the toilet, and the washing machine. Stopping a leak in time can save hundreds of dollars in water damage.

Along with looking for leaks, a major component of at-home plumbing includes looking for any signs of corrosion. When corrosion attacks the pipes in the form of rust it can lead to leaks in a hurry. It’s always best to stop a problem before it starts, so make sure to replace any corroded pipes before a major problem arises. Green stains are one of the main telltale signs of corrosion in the pipes.

Take note of your water pressure from time to time. Obviously you don’t have a tool to measure exactly what the pressure is, but you can get a pretty good idea just from feeling it and looking at it. If the water pressure is declining, it could be a symptom of sediment buildup in the pipes. Take apart the shower head and inspect the inside for any sediment. A slowdown in water pressure could also mean you have a problem at the water line, which should also be checked out.

When doing your rounds, make sure and take a little time for the toilet. Take off the tank lid and look inside. Check the flush and the parts inside the tank for any damage or corrosion. Most of these parts are very inexpensive and can be replaced with items from the local hardware store. One of the biggest wastes of water is a toilet that keeps running for a while after it has been flushed. This is sometimes the fault of the flapper not making good contact with the bottom of the tank. Flush again and watch to see what is preventing the flapper from winding up flush against the tank. Repair the problem as needed.

Tips on How to Find an Expert Faucet Plumber

Every homeowner in their life has experienced some problems with their pipes and drains. How many times have we hired a cheap plumber who came over and patched up our faucet, charged us his fee and left only to find that the faucet drain has been clogged all over again in just a couple of days.

Some cheap faucet plumbers will only fix the problem halfway so that when the problem comes back again you will call them and they will make even more money off of you. When looking for someone who is an expert at faucet plumbing there are quite a few factors that you would need to consider before determining if they are good or not.

The first thing you should do when hiring an expert is to do a search on his name in the plumbing forums to see who else has used this particular plumbing company and whether their experience with them was a good one or a bad one. And the plumbing industry word-of-mouth is one of the strongest indicators of a plumbers skill level.

Second, a good faucet plumber will be able to describe in detail the different areas and parts of the faucet like the differences between a single handle faucet and a double handle faucet. They should also be able to describe to you in detail what a ball, disk and cartridge are and how they interact to make your faucet run smoothly. They should also carry with them the top brand quality faucet parts because in the plumbing industry if a plumber or company carries cheap parts with them it generally means that they really won’t fix the problem but can actually make it worse so you can keep calling them up to come over and they will keep charging you extra money over and over again to fix the same problem that a quality plumber will fix in one or two visits. I have learned in my experience with plumbers to never cut corners don’t be afraid to pay a little more now.

Also when looking for a good plumber make sure that he is licensed and that he also carries insurance for workers compensation and don’t forget to ask the very basic questions that most people forget like how long he has been in business and he has a list of clients that he has done work for that he can give to you. The Better Business Bureau is also a great place to check on whether the plumbing company has had any bad writeups done against them. Never paid the full amount upfront when hiring a plumber. A good suggestion is to pay a portion of the fee upfront and the rest on the plumber has finished his job. If he can agree to these terms then he isn’t the one for you.

The last factor that you should consider when hiring an expert faucet plumber is to make sure that they actually have the expertise to install a whole new faucet system for you.

These are some of the things that you need to research before hiring a good plumber to not only fix your faucet but any other drains or pipes in your home.

How to Hire a Good Plumber

Having a good plumber to call when needed is an ace up the sleeve. Although a rare occurrence, a plumbing disaster can be very disruptive, not to mention damaging and expensive. If you don’t already have a plumber on your emergency call list then finding one in a pinch can be difficult. In an emergency situation, there isn’t time to shop around so most end up taking whoever they can find and usually pay through the nose for it.

The best advice on finding a good plumber is to locate one you trust before the need arises. In doing so, you have the peace of mind that someone you already know can assist you when you need it, and you’ve already negotiated ball park fees and established guidelines on their work.

Following are some good tips for locating such a person who will give you this confidence:

Seek referrals from friends, family, neighbors, co-workers, church members, etc. Going to people you already know and trust is a great way to find a good plumber. Contacting your local Chamber of Commerce is another excellent source of plumbers in good standing with the community.

If you have to resort to the Yellow Pages, be sure to ask for credentials and references. Also, find out if they have insurance and what it covers. A reputable plumber will carry enough insurance to cover any damage or injury from an accident or mishap.

You will want to discuss fee guidelines before they actually begin any type of work. Inquire about a minimum rate. Most plumbers charge a minimum fee for a set amount of time, say 30 minutes, and then place additional fees on top of that.

Also, ask if there is a fee for travel time. Many plumbers charge this. You will also want to ask about evening and weekend fees. Plumbers will normally make calls during these times since they know most emergencies can’t wait. However, they generally charge quite a bit more.

It is also important to ask whether or not they carry supplies with them, or if they obtain them from a supply store. Going to a supply store adds extra time and expense to the bill.

If you have an emergency and haven’t found a good plumber yet, increase your chances by finding out as much of the above as you can, as well as giving them as much info as possible about the situation.

Do-It-Yourself Plumbing Tips

If you’re like most people, plumbing jobs are outside your comfort zone. When we see water overflowing a basin and blockages where it should flow freely, we’re at a loss, and our only solution is to call a plumber ASAP. Actually, most plumbing problems fall into only a few categories, and the fixes are simple enough that anyone can do them provided they have the proper tools. For tips on repairing easy plumbing issues without involving the expense of a professional plumber, keep reading.

The most common plumbing issues involve clogs and leaks, and they can happen anywhere within your plumbing system. Acquaint yourself with where the shut-off valves are located in your home so that if you develop a leak, you’ll be able to turn off the water running to that area until it’s diagnosed and repaired. Just this little knowledge can end up saving you from a lot of expensive damages and repairs.

The tools that you’ll need to fix most plumbing issues can be purchased in your local hardware store, and it’s a good idea to have the basics already on hand, because when a water emergency happens, and it will, you’ll be ready to respond immediately. Some of the items you should have include:
* rubber gloves
* safety goggles
* a heavy-duty rubber plunger
* a plumber’s snake
* plumber’s putty
* both a regular and a Phillips screwdriver
* simple household cleaning products, such as lemon juice and baking soda
* slip-joint pliers
* adjustable pipe wrench

Although the list may seem intimidating, you don’t have to buy everything at once. Start with a plunger and then add to your plumbing toolbox gradually as you can afford to.

Clogged drains are the most common plumbing problem. It’s just something that happens from time to time. A plunger is an absolute necessity. Usually a clogged toilet or sink can be cleared by just plunging it several times. A plunger forces water and air into pipes which usually is enough to clean it out and let water run freely again. If this doesn’t work, you can try running a plumber’s snake down the drain to see if the metal tape will free it up. Once you’ve opened the pipe, run plenty of water down it to make sure it’s clean.

Leaking faucets and shower heads can be removed using a pipe wrench or screwdriver. Take the fixture apart and clean every piece inside and out with a gentle solution of baking soda or lemon juice and water. Replace worn screws and gaskets. Once the faucet is reassembled and back in place, make sure everything is tight. Most times, this will correct the leakage problem. Be sure you shut off the water before tackling this job, though.

Budget Friendly Kitchen Cabinet Tips

Retail sales continue their downward slump, with more and more consumers opting for value-priced retailers over big-name stores. Regardless of their position on the social ladder, everyone seems to be looking for a bargain these days. From clothing to groceries, the more cost-conscious an item is the better. That mentality is even spreading into the home decorating sphere, where homeowners use to be willing to splurge in the knowledge that home upgrades were an investment that would repay them over the long haul. With the housing market in turmoil, even that once certainty is no longer a sure thing.

The main feature in most kitchens, kitchen cabinets often present the most expensive element in a makeover of the home’s hub room. Money-conscious homeowners, however, don’t have to be scared away by the economy. In a recent article titled “Take tips on kitchen cabinets,” the “Fort Wayne Journal Gazette” offered some “budget-friendly ideas for improving your kitchen.”

By implementing the advice from that article’s expert, you can have new kitchen cabinets and still save a pretty penny in the process.

Tip # 1: “Refinishing or replacing cabinet doors can make a huge improvement at a fraction of the cost of new cabinets.” A leading manufacturer of kitchen cabinets will offer you the widest selection of wood door styles and finishes. If you’re really looking to cut corners, you can always opt for lower-end wood and paint it yourself, but keep in mind the long-term value of your home.

Tip #2: “Don’t fill all available wall space with cabinets.” It’s easy to fall into the trap of overdoing things, but invest in only the kitchen cabinets you actually need. That way, you can afford to spend a bit more. Plus, you won’t be tempted to spend even more on pots, pans and other kitchen items to fill empty kitchen cabinets. Downsizing your lifestyle is a recessionary trend that can save you a bundle in the way of cabinetry.

Tip #3 “In lieu of a wall of costly cabinetry, use the space for something other than storage.” This tip is actually an extension of #2. All that space you didn’t fill with unnecessary kitchen cabinets can be devoted to furnishings that will encourage quality time with your loved ones. A breakfast nook, a cooking island or even a children’s play area can fill the leftover space. Create a culinary masterpiece by visiting a leading kitchen cabinet manufacturer’s online Storage Solutions section. The design solutions you find there can help make your kitchen function for the way you live today.

Tip # 4: “Flush-overlay cabinet doors generally are less costly than inset doors. Open shelves are decorative, provide easy access and also save money.” Here again, a reputable kitchen cabinetry manufacturer can provide you with a multitude of door style offerings to suit the tastes of even the most discerning consumer.

Tip # 5: “Plants and fresh flowers enrich any kitchen design.” A vase of fresh-cut blooms from your garden, a basket of gourds or a kitchen-themed wreath “enlivens a space for next to nothing.”

Tips For Successful Kitchen Improvement Projects

What is one way to be sure that your kitchen improvement project is a success? Working with a professional design firm is always the key to achieving your goals. Why can’t someone do it on a DIY basis? They can, but a kitchen improvement specialist is going to know all about the latest appliances, materials, designs, and styles that can make even a small-scale or simple project turn out fantastic.

Consider that designers are well-aware of the top upgrades, the hottest appliances, and even the preferred luxury options too. They can make suggestions and recommendations that an untrained homeowner would never have even recognized or heard of, and which might make the entire project a complete success.

Before heading to a kitchen design studio or showroom, however, it is wise to have some ideas about the completed looks of the specific kitchen improvement project. For instance, preferences in a basic color palette, cabinet materials, flooring, countertops, appliances, and any specialty decor items should be noted down. It might even be a good idea to put these concepts for your kitchen improvement project into a notebook or sketch in order to give your designer an idea of what you would really like to see when the project is completed.

You should also create a somewhat firm budget for the project too. It is often very frustrating to everyone involved when a project cannot move forward because the homeowner was unaware of the costs associated with their plans. This is the reason most designers draft estimates or quotes, but many require their client to offer at least a “ballpark” figure of the amount available for the work.

Remember too that a designer’s fees might be separate from the materials and labor portion of the work. A discussion well in advance of the start date will help to clarify any questions around budgets, time lines, and worries about the costs connected to the work.

In addition to drafting a budget, it is also a good idea to work only with a design firm that requires contracts for the project. This protects everyone involved because it establishes the amount budgeted for the work, states what will happen if deadlines or terms are not met, and provides a means for the client to respond to any unsatisfactory issues.

A kitchen project is one that involves a brief period of turmoil, but which can make the “heart” of the home a much more efficient, stylish, and happy room.