Lawn Livelihood: How to care for your artificial turf

Nov 25, 2013 by

One of the great benefits of having an artificial lawn is the low amount of work involved in maintaining it. Caring for your lawn will keep your garden looking good throughout the year. The key to garden maintenance is to do it little and often, rather than facing a larger job at the end of the year.

Lawn

Brushing your lawn

It will take around 6-8 weeks for your artificial lawn to reach its optimum condition. In this period, you should lightly brush the lawn on a regular basis. This is because the sand used as infill will slowly bed into the structure of the turf. This is an important step, so try and avoid heavy brushing.

Throughout the rest of the lawn’s lifetime, the most important maintenance you’ll do is brushing your lawn. Brushing should be done once a month; it’s recommended to use a medium soft bristle brush in a number of directions to keep the turf upright. It’s an easy and simple job but you will really notice the benefits to your artificial lawn.

Removing debris and vegetation

All debris should be taken off the artificial lawn, either by hand or through brushing. Even then, there will be an absolute minimum amount of growth of unwanted plants and pesky weeds, and moss may creep up. Therefore, it’s important to prevent organic vegetation, such as fallen leaves, building up in the turf as it can lead to plants growing through the turf structure. Letting it accumulate can also affect drainage.

If you come across stains or marks these can easily be removed simply by using some hot tap water and a household detergent.

debris

Animal mess should be removed straightaway, manually, and the area washed down with hot tap water and washing-up liquid. Most artificial lawns use filtration systems, so when you pet dog urinates on your new artificial lawn, don’t worry; it won’t leave a yellow stain on your lawn.

Dealing with the winter

Snow and ice are always a big concern for people with artificial turf who live in areas which have cold winters such as Europe, Canada et al. A good way to prevent it from icing over is to put an even spread of vacuum-dried salt on the turf.

Snow is a slightly more complex matter to deal with if you happen to get large amounts of it. The best way to tackle it is to shovel the snow off as it’s falling or has just very recently fallen. If this isn’t an option and it has frozen, pour lukewarm to warm water over it but not excessively. More help on this can be found from various articles online from a number of sources.

What not to do…

artificial lawn

The following should not be allowed on your artificial lawn:

  • No  broken glass or sharp objects – not only could it cause injury to others, it could also damage the grass.
  • No sources of heat, such as bonfires, cigarettes or fireworks. This is because the artificial turf is plastic, so it could melt under great heat, which will permanently damage your lawn.
  • No heavy vehicles such as cars, motorbikes or other heavy vehicles. However, bicycles, wheelbarrows and wheelchairs are all fine to use on artificial lawns.
  • No chewing gum and adhesives as they can be very difficult to remove from artificial lawns.

This is all pretty standard advice and therefore should be applicable to almost all types of artificial turf.

Did you enjoy this blog? Can you think of any other maintenance techniques for artificial lawns? If so, please leave your comments below

This blog was written by Alex Cordwell on behalf of TigerTurf, the artificial lawn specialists.

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Accessory Impact: How to spruce up your home

Nov 21, 2013 by

cushionsRedecorating a room from top to bottom can be an expensive job. A full redecorating project is a big commitment and, as a result, will be undertaken less frequently.

However, just because your room isn’t due to be redecorated, doesn’t mean that you can’t give it a new lease of life!

By using accessories in a clever and inventive manner, you can quickly update the appearance of any room. Here are some tips on how to do just that:

1) Start from the ground up

A new rug is the quickest way to make a big impact. It will be the first thing people notice when they enter the room. Think of a new rug as a new foundation to build upon. You can also use rugs to highlight things such as coffee tables.

2) Think in seasons

When you say seasonal decorations, people’s minds immediately turn to Christmas decorations. Whilst everyone loves putting the tree up, seasonal decorating don’t have to be limited to winter.

Spring is an especially great time to bring the outdoors inside. A vase of daffodils can be offset nicely by white cushions and ceramics. However, If you’re the busy type (or lazy) but still want a bit of nature indoors without having to care for it too often, a yucca plant is ideal. They’re very much in trend and only require watering around once every 10 days.

3) Buy more cushions

Cushions are a cheap yet effective way to add colour to a dull room. Not only are they cheap, but they can be removed easily if they do not look good. Also, they’re incredibly practical as they can increase your comfort when you’re relaxing at home!

Try experimenting with different colour combinations until you find something you like. You can use different coloured cushions to tie various elements of your room together.

4) Incorporate art

A stylish and interesting piece of art doesn’t have to cost the earth! A replica of one of your favourite pieces will create a great focal point and conversation starter. Do not be afraid to use multiple pieces if they complement each other.

Art doesn’t just mean hanging paintings. Experiment with sculptures and other mediums. These will add more character to your room.

5) Use lights effectively

Table lamps can be used to add dramatic lighting to your room. Positioned in the right place, a lamp can make a room seem much bigger.

Lampshades are also another quick change that can make a big difference to the overall appearance of your room. These can be picked up rather cheaply and there are plenty of alternative designs available.

6) Mirrors

Mirrors work wonderfully when used correctly. They help bounce light around the room which then also makes the room feel more spacious. The vast array of mirrors available to use gives you great diversity when looking to add some character too. Look in antique shops if you want something really unique.

7) Don’t overdo it!

When it comes to accessories, it is easy to go overboard. Incorporating too many alternating features can lead to your room looking messy and cluttered. By all means, get creative, but do so wisely. Using fewer accessories allows you to effectively create focal points.

8) Work within a budget

Finally, a short point on working with a budget. I personally think you should always set yourself a somewhat challenging budget to work within. This will force you to be resourceful and often lead to a surprisingly interesting collection of items. It’s also much more satisfying knowing you achieved your goal.

Do you have any additional tips relating to using accessories in the home? If so, leave a comment below. We would love to hear from you!

This piece was written by Mark Enright, a writter for Desser, the rattan furniture specialists.

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Discover The Correct Way To Lay Artificial Turf

Oct 4, 2013 by

Artificial Turf

We have seen artificial turf in sports arenas for many years now, but a fairly new trend has seen people installing these surfaces in their homes; typically as a replacement for a grass lawn. This probably has much to do with the amount of maintenance required for a grass lawn, which includes watering, fertilising, weeding and mowing. The growth of natural grass can also be affected by various things and if you happen to have a large tree in your backyard that blocks out the sun. This creates a shadow over much of your lawn and you may even notice that the growth of grass is uneven; thus making your lawn look unattractive. With that being said, if you decide to have artificial turf then none of this will be a problem. This post will introduce to the correct way to lay artificial turf.

Instructions to Lay Artificial Turf

-Firstly, you will need to remove every single item from the area you are going to use. This should include all garden furniture, your kids or pets’ toys and of course a sprinkler system if you happen to have one.

Lay Artificial Turf

-You will then need to remove the topsoil from the surface and the best way to do this is with a shovel. You will generally need to dig anywhere from a couple of inches up to six inches to finally reach the subsoil. This action will ensure that you have very good drainage for your artificial turf. You should finally check the surface is even and completely dry.

-You will then need to mix together pea stone and sand in identical measurements and then fill the area from which you removed the topsoil. This mixture will once again help with drainage.

-You will then need to use a plate compactor to compact this mixture onto the surface. You can typically hire one of these machines form a hardware store or of course you could purchase one outright if you so wish. This will ensure that the entire surface is even and will also stop sand from shifting around the surface now and in the future.

-You should then check for any holes or uneven levels of surface. Basically any part of the surface that is uneven by more than an eighth of an inch should either be removed or filled. If you have made any changes to the surface go over it again with the plate compactor afterwards.

-You should then place a roll of the turf on the surface and then roll it out. If you find you have too much simply cut away the additional roll with a knife. This is also a great way to trim around inanimate objects, such as trees.

carpet

-You will need to glue together the seams of the turf and it is best to use carpet glue. You should add the glue with a trowel to the seaming tape, which will be used to stick separate rolls together.

You should then nail the artificial turf to the subsoil below and then fill with sand to help weigh the turf down. Once completed you have managed to lay your residential fake grass and you no longer have to worry about hours of maintenance on a weekly basis.

Today’s guest author, Leslie Kramer, is a freelance blogger who often writes for EverGreen Synthetic Grass, a company dealing in commercial artificial grass in Perth. Her hobbies include cooking and baking. Log on to www.evergreensyntheticgrass.com.au/ to know more about her team. You can also follow her on twitter @les_kramer.

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Redesign Your Kitchen With 3D Design Software

Sep 30, 2013 by

turbo floor plan kitchen design softwareFor most families, the kitchen is the busiest room in the house, and this is even more true for families that are trying to live a healthy lifestyle. More and more people are opting to cook from scratch so that they can have control over the kinds of food that they eat.

It’s hard to cook nutritious, tasty meals from scratch if your kitchen is small, cramped, cluttered or outdated. If you’re struggling to get the motivation to spend more time in your kitchen, why not treat yourself to a new layout? You can experiment with your kitchen layout using design software, and then invite the kitchen design fitters round to measure up once you’re happy with the way things look.

Kitchen Design Software

There are lots of different kitchen design software programs available, both as desktop applications and apps that run inside your browser. Many of the free apps contain products made by the people who provided you with the app itself, so you can be confident that everything you use in the app is really available for sale. Some good apps to try include:

Don’t worry about the term “3D” being in the title. These apps are drag-and-drop apps that are easy to use. If you’re not confident in your ability to use the software, you can start with a pre-made template and just make small changes to the layout until you get a design that you like.

Think Triangularly!

The first thing to think about when making your design is the kind of cooking you do the most. Kitchen designers like to talk about the “triangle” in the kitchen. This includes the oven, fridge and sink – the three most frequently used parts of the kitchen. Make sure that those three areas are easy to get to, and that anything else you will use a lot, such as the blender or the microwave, will also be able to reach. If you do a lot of baking or preparing vegetables, give yourself plenty of floor space to work with.

Try Different Designs

Don’t be afraid to try several different designs. Remember that it’s better to put together lots of designs on your computer than it is to rush to spend money on a design and then regret it once all the counters are installed. Be realistic about the amount of storage space that you need in your kitchen, and remember that you can build up (using tall cupboards) as well as out. Look at some of your favourite recipes and think about how easy they would be to cook in your new layout. Will you run out of counter space? Will you find yourself having to reach over a hot stove to get something from an awkward cupboard? Plan for those things now.

The Small Things in Life

Don’t forget about small items such as knives and spoons, or items such as loose spices. Consider adding a spice rack or a wall-mounted knife block to your design while you’re still playing with the computer software. It’s those little touches that will make the difference between a boring kitchen and a truly functional one that suits your lifestyle. Storage trays, blocks and hangers will save you a lot of time if you put them in the right place.

Adding Appliances

think about appliances in your new kitchen design

If you have room in your budget, consider buying some new appliances at the same time as you re-design your kitchen. A dedicated juicer is a great time-saver for someone who currently juices with a traditional blender, and a bread maker will save you a lot of money compared to buying supermarket bread. Home-made bread is often healthier, too, since it contains fewer preservatives. Other additions such as a rice cooker or an air fryer can be big time-savers too, and will help you cut down on unhealthy foods.

Design Health into your Kitchen

Base your kitchen design around your typical cooking habits, and around the lifestyle that you want to lead. The easier it is for you to make good food choices, the less tempted you will be to eat out, or to order a takeaway. You’ll be far more likely to stick to your diet if you actually enjoy cooking.

Featured images:
  •  License: Creative Commons image source
  •  License: Royalty Free or iStock source: http://www.turbofloorplan.co.uk/

By Geoff Roy

Geoff Roy writes about kitchen design for specialists such as Planen based in Surrey, UK.

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LED Lighting

Sep 27, 2013 by

With the cold weather creeping in on us all the electric bills are beginning to soar.  Everyone is feeling the pinch in their pockets and you have to try and squeeze more out of your penny! You may ask how can you save on electricity? Well the answer is energy saving LED lighting.

LED lights have a small chip which creates the light. The advantages of Led lighting are outstanding, the LED bulb lasts longer meaning less cost in the home as the bulbs wouldn’t have to be replaced as often making them earth friendly too! LED lighting requires less electricity than a standard light bulb making them more efficient and will reduce energy bills. Another advantage of LEDs is they produce little infrared light meaning it protects sensitive objects in the home.

LEDs have been around for many years and are best known for lighting things such as Christmas lights, and power on signal on devices such as our TVs and laptops. However LED lighting in our household has become more popular and is rapidly replacing standard incandescent light bulbs. The most popular LED lighting that can be seen in homes today are LED spotlights and LED floodlights.

LED lighting can use up to 80% less energy than the standard house bulb meaning a huge cut in costs and they are known in some cases to last up to 100,000 hours.  However, they do carry a disadvantage, a higher initial purchase cost, which is why at Meteor Electrical we are aiming to keep them affordable for you!

led-infographic

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What Your Interior Design Style Says About You

Sep 24, 2013 by

Your personal style is reflected in the way that you lay out your home and in the way that you decorate your rooms. Some people prefer a very traditional look while others opt for a very high-class appearance. And still others are minimalists who prefer to keep things as simple as possible.

No matter what your personal style is, there are assumptions that’ll be made about you, whether they’re true or not. Continue reading to learn a little more about what your interior design style really says about you.

Less Is More

interior design

A minimalist approach to interior design focuses on adding only the essentials to a space and leaving the clutter out. This is a great way to prove that you’re the type of person who wants to keep everything in your life organized and neat, and that you also want to provide enough open walking space throughout your home so that it doesn’t feel tight. People who follow this approach usually incorporate smaller pieces of furniture that are also multi-functional, thereby saving even more space.

The Lover of Nature

Lake house

Nature lovers focus on bringing the outdoors in, and guests quickly realize that they love the environment. These individuals use natural woods and fabrics, and many times will also incorporate eco-friendly products constructed using sustainable materials. Those who follow this casual approach to interior design often follow the styles found in lake houses and cottages. The idea is creating a tranquil space that’s reminiscent of spending time in nature to get away from it all.

Vintage

Lighting

For those who have a love for great antique and vintage items, the home will be filled with a mix of elements that actually end up going together really well. Decorative elements can be considered shabby chic or more traditional. They can include repurposed furniture, antique light fixtures, and pale colors that are soothing and reminiscent of the past. These individuals tend to be intrigued by objects from the past and would rather bring those items back to life rather than focus on modern items only.

Traditional and Sophisticated

Living room

Traditional spaces tend to contain more elaborate décor. The furniture, for example, would be ornate and heavy, with elements that call back to a different era. You may find chairs that are covered in a damask fabric or a dining room table with a crystal chandelier above it. These individuals are sophisticated and want everyone to know it as soon as they walk through the door, but they may also be a bit uptight.

Trendy and Modern

Modern Furniture

Some individuals prefer to follow all of the latest trends. Their homes, therefore, will contain all of the most popular design elements, with furniture that’s focused more on looks rather than functionality or comfort. These spaces also focus on openness, with various textures, colors, and patterns throughout. Trendy people, though, tend to be fickle and change with what society dictates is “in” at the time, so the décor will go out of style sooner.

With so many different interior design styles, it’s no wonder that people are able to make their homes truly their own. From vintage to minimalistic, you can decide what style works best for you and your space.

This post has been contributed by Danny Jake, a sales professional at Best Offer Furniture, a company selling bedroom furniture sets online. He enjoys bowling and golf when he isn’t busy working. Log on to bestofferfurniture.com/ to know more about his team.

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Ideas For Creating The Perfect Office Space In Your Own Home!

Sep 23, 2013 by

If you are planning to work from home then you will need a suitable space to work from. Often, people find that when they work from home they are constantly distracted with all the other goings on in the house, and it can be difficult to concentrate and apply themselves. Your only sensible option is to create a space which is completely separate from the main house, where you can shut the door and get on with your work. This is easier said than done, but it’s not impossible. Here are some ideas for creating a workspace in which to be productive within your house:

A Loft Conversion

Converting a loft into an office is a great idea! You won’t be bothered by anyone as there will be no through traffic – so you’ll be left alone to get on with things. People will even forget that you’re up there! You may well need to draft in a building contractor to help you convert the loft, particularly if it has never been inhabited before. But it’s a relatively simple job and it won’t take long to do. An office in a roof space has the added benefit of having a direct view of the sky if you do it right! Ask the builder to build a couple of skylights into his plans so that you get plenty of daylight. You can also gaze through them towards the stars when you’re burning the midnight oil!

A Garage Conversion

Because the garage is usually completely separate to the house, or at least connected by an adjoining door, you are very unlikely to be bothered if you set up your office in there. A builder may need to visit to make sure it is not damp and that there are enough windows etc. You’ll also need to make sure that it is decorated, and also make sure that there are no tools or anything stored in it. Find another place for all these things, as your office should only contain things that you need for your work. If the room is multi-purpose, you’ll end up getting bothered regularly.

A Spare Room

If you have a spare room then put it to good use! It can be the perfect place for an office, however because it is in the house there will have to be some rules about the rest of the family keeping noise to a minimum while you’re working. Working in a spare room may be slightly harder than working in a separate space as you are bound to be distracted by noise every now and again. However, it is still a better option than setting up for work at the kitchen table! Just make sure that the rules are set and adhered to.

Working from home gives you a wonderful amount of freedom and flexibility, so while there are disadvantages too, you should make sure that it works in your favor. Creating a quite space where you can be productive is really important; in fact it is critical to the success of your working from home.

Today’s feature writer, Susan David, is an employee at ESV Construction which provides house renovation services across Los Angeles. She has quite a pleasing and active personality, and she enjoys challenging herself at new feats. Log on to esvconstruction.com/ to know more about her work.

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