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Homeowners invest in outdoor seating areas with an understanding these spaces improve their quality of life and provide a substantial return on investment. The combination of home improvement and financial gain entices working families to build outdoor living spaces and verandas rank among the gold standard. The one drawback patios, pergolas, and verandas have in common is that homeowners must retreat indoors to prepare full-course meals and when the weather turns cold. By implementing the following home improvement strategies, verandas can be transformed into all-season living spaces.
1: Install All-Season Heating System
Because verandas typically have open-air sides, they tend to provide only a limited outdoor experience. The same design element that allows homeowners to breathe in the fresh air and relax restricts space usage.
One of the trending solutions for a cold outdoor space involves installing infrared box heaters. This technology remains well-suited for residential outdoor spaces. Infrared box heaters can be secured to a veranda overhang or attached to the walls. There are three key benefits to employing this next-generation technology. First, they deploy radiant heat that warms objects and people rather than the air. When a cool breeze flows through the veranda, occupants remain comfortable. Second, infrared heaters do not use an open flame, making the system safe for semi-enclosed spaces. Third, many infrared products conveniently run on natural gas or electricity.
2: Install an Outdoor Kitchen
It's not uncommon for homeowners to think about outdoor living spaces as places to get away from hectic life. Comfortable seating and a pleasant view make this an area to be mindfully present with yourself. While that certainly adds quality of life benefits, installing a full kitchen means homeowners can stay in that relaxed state indefinitely. Outdoor grills can be a viable option under the weather protection of a veranda. To utilize these traditional outdoor cooking units, homeowners will need to select a place in the veranda that can accommodate an overhead exhaust fan and venting system. This resolves the problem of having to position outdoor grills away from the secure space. Add a complete countertop, drawers, sinks, a refrigerator and the veranda offers the peaceful enjoyment of your property all day.
3: Add Privacy and Windbreak
Part of the daytime experience of enjoying a veranda involves taking in the picturesque views. However, nighttime areas with lots of lighting reduce privacy. Passersby and neighbors notice the light in the darkness and what you're doing. That's why installing rolling privacy shading such as long lengths of matchstick bamboo makes sense. Many of these easy-to-install products run upwards of 96 inches, making them ideal for open-air verandas. Along with providing visual privacy, they can also curb winds that would otherwise disrupt your sustained relaxation.
Property owners invest in outdoor living spaces to improve their quality of life and property values. Upgrades such as outdoor kitchens, infrared heating and privacy elements allow homeowners to maximize the benefits of verandas all year long.
The benefits of having an outdoor heater cannot be over-emphasized as it significantly impacts the amount of time you spend enjoying your outdoor space during colder weather. There are critical factors to consider when choosing the right outdoor heater.
The Location of The Outdoor Heater
To determine which type of outdoor heating you need, first, decide where you plan to use the heater. Will it be stationary or moved around your property? With this information in hand, you can choose the outdoor heating that best suits your expectations and your criteria.
For example, if you want an outdoor heater installed on the terrace of your garden, patio, gazebo, or other fixed places and don’t plan to move it often, consider opting for an inline gas patio heater. If you like the flames of a gas unit but need it to be portable, opt for a freestanding LP unit. These are heavier and more stable.
If you are looking for a light, space-saving, easily transportable and CO2-free outdoor heating system, then choosing an electric patio heater, an electric heating parasol or a fire pit is best.
The Power of Outdoor Heating
It is crucial to consider the power source of the outdoor heater and its manufacturing material. Be aware that outdoor gas heaters generally produce more heat than electric heaters but are slower in rising in temperature. On the other hand, electric outdoor heaters heat up nearly instantly. For materials, choose stainless steel if you live near the sea or in the mountains to protect against corrosion. Also, note that vertical heat tends to provide more comfort than horizontal units.
Radiation of Outdoor Heating
Different outdoor heaters have a specific range or heating area for which they. Let the surface or area you want to heat influence the choice of your outdoor heating: small garden furniture, dining terrace, large garden furniture, and so forth. For example, an outdoor gas heater is more suitable if the area to be heated is large. Guarantee your outdoor enjoyment by having a professional review your needs to see if a permanent installation (gas or electric) or a mobile option will better meet your needs.
Always remember to protect your outdoor heater from moisture, dust, rain, or ice. Visit your local patio or outdoor living specialty store to explore your options. If outdoor living is important to you, make sure to let your agent know so that homes with exterior entertainment space take priority in your viewing schedule.
A fire pit adds a cozy and fun element to any backyard. Think of the roasting of marshmallows or just enjoying a toasty fire on a chilly fall night. Building a fire pit is a relatively straightforward DIY project. To get started, you’ll need the right materials, tools, location and confirmation you will build it both the legal and correct way.
- Materials: Cast concrete wall stones, cap stones, gravel and sand.
- Tools: Shovel, tape measure, level, steel rake and tamper.
- Location: Choose a place away from your house (or other structure), and be sure your fire pit is not positioned underneath low-hanging trees or placed too close to any hedges or bushes.
- Legal requirements: Check your municipality’s building codes and your HOA’s rules (if applicable) so you can ensure you follow all required specs and regulations.
- Safety first: Call 811 to check for any potential utilities that may be underground where you plan to dig.
Once you’ve got everything together and in order, you’re ready to get started. Here are the next steps you’ll need to take.
Step 1: Lay out your stones in the shape and size of your fire pit, approximately 36 to 44 inches in diameter – make sure the stones are touching and connected.
Step 2: Mark your circle for the pit and then temporarily move the rocks.
Step 3: Dig a foot-deep hole within the perimeter you marked to serve as your pit.
Step 4: Pour gravel/sand into the hole, wet it down and then tamp it.
Step 5: Stack your stones around the hole’s perimeter one row at a time until they are one foot above the ground, be sure to stagger the joints with each layer. Apply landscape/masonry adhesive between layers of stone to lock them into place.
Step 6: Repeat Step 5 two to three additional times until you get the right height for your wall (total layers should be three to four).
Step 7: Pour additional gravel and sand into the hole, making it about four inches deep.
Tip: If you’re a little concerned about choosing the right materials on your own, you can also purchase a fire pit kit from any big box or another type of hardware store.
Building a fire pit is a DIY project that can easily be done over a weekend. Once you’ve put it together, you can sit back and enjoy the fruit of your labors.
There are many responsibilities that come with homeownership. One important aspect to monitor and maintain is your plumbing system. With any system that is used daily, problems will arise from time to time. The earlier issues are identified, the quicker and simpler they can be to resolve. Here are a few signs to watch for that might indicate a larger problem with your home's plumbing.
A Drop in Water Pressure
One of the first signs that might indicate something is wrong with the house's plumbing is a drop in water pressure. As a homeowner, you're likely used to a certain amount of water pressure coming from sinks, bathtubs, and showerheads. If the water suddenly flows with a reduced amount of force, you may have a build-up of sediment or mineral deposits within the faucets or spigots. They will need to be cleaned or replaced to regain the pressure you expect. However, low water pressure could also be an indicator that there is a blockage or break in the pipes. If that is the case, you'll most likely need to contact a plumbing professional.
A Rise in the Water Bill
Another common sign that the plumbing system in the home need maintenance is that the water bill has gone up dramatically. Watch your water bill for any spikes in use that don't align with your regular routine or expected per gallon increases where you live. There may be corrosion or a leak within the system that is causing the spike and potentially damaging other parts of the home at the same time.
The Toilet Keeps Filling Endlessly
If the toilet seems to fill endlessly it is likely that a component within the toilet itself has failed. The mechanism within the toilet that allows for flushing and filling is usually something that can be replaced without professional intervention. However, if replacing the moving parts inside the tank does not resolve the running toilet, there may be sediment or leaks that are creating issues with the expected water flow.
Aromatic oils have been used for millennia by cultures like the ancient Greeks and Egyptians for use in medicines and ointments. And, to this day, many of us use products containing essential oils, such as perfumes, shampoo, cleaning supplies, and even the food we eat.
More recently, essential oils have become a popular DIY ingredient for household items. In this post, I’m going to share with you some of the many household uses for essential oils and break down which oils are suited for each purpose.
Read on for tips on using essential oils in your home.
Perhaps the most common use for essential oils is in an oil diffuser that emits an aromatic steam into the air of your home. Oil diffusers are great for a desktop that you work by, particularly in the winter time when the air tends to be dry. This mist can help mitigate the effects of dry air on your throat and nasal passage, and emit a pleasant air freshening odor into the room.
There are several oils and oil blends that are used in oil diffusers. Some of the most common oils used are lavender, peppermint, and several citrus-scents like lemon, bergamot, and wild orange.
When using an oil diffuser, be sure to use only a few drops of the oil--using too much can become easily overpowering and even irritating to the skin, nose, and eyes.
Many top-brand air fresheners use essential oils as part of their ingredients. However, they also contain a number of other additives that you might not enjoy. Essential oils give you the ability to create a blend that works for you.
Combine water with a few drops of essential oils into a spray bottle for a refreshing room mist. This solution can even be used on most fabrics--however, just like with an oil diffuser, make sure you don’t put too many drops of essential oils in your solution to protect your fabrics.
Cleaning supplies can get expensive very quickly. Fortunately, the ingredients to make a simple all-purpose cleaner are cheap and can make over a gallon of solution that you can keep refilling as needed.
Vinegar and water-based cleaning solutions often incorporate a few drops of essential oils like peppermint, lemon, and other fresh, “clean” smelling scents.
The best part? These solutions are made from non-toxic ingredients that can typically be used on your countertops, inside microwaves, and on other surfaces that food may come into contact with.
A quick warning: essential oils are made by distilling vast amounts of plant material into very concentrated oils. This means that the oils are exponentially more potent than their plant counterparts. Overuse can easily cause rashes and irritation, so use sparingly, avoid contact with your eyes when working with oils, and always read instructions before use.