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The Aqua Dam: Water Fighting Floods

Home and Garden September 13, 2017

The Aqua Dam Water Fighting Floods

The Aqua Dam is an innovative new piece of insulation that assists in keeping flood waters  from ruining your land and your home. You can imagine, especially now during the times of tropical storms and hurricanes, this is a godsend for those who can afford it. Although the average price of the Aqua Dam is about $8300, it is well worth it if your home is worth hundreds of thousands and the land around it costing even more. A piece of equipment that can save your property from flood waters, is a bargain. Maybe in the near future there will be aqua dams that are a little more affordable for those with lower incomes.

To give you an idea of how the aqua dam works, imagine heavy tubing that is filled with water wrapped around your entire property to act as a water-filled barrier against flood waters. Water, like fire, has its good purpose along with its ability to be destructive. Here, the aqua dam is using its ability to protect your property from the damage free flowing water can do to your home.

Aqua dams are becoming popular because people are seeing that they can serve many different purposes. The U-shaped aqua dam was used for a project in Port Saint Lucie, Fl. to hold the water of three lakes back so that pipelines could be installed. Again, the Aqua Dam acted as a barrier to hold the lakes into the U-shaped form of the dams while the piping was being laid, eventually, under the rivers.

Besides there being a number of YouTube videos showing homeowners how to install and remove their aqua dams, aquadam.net also has pictorials on how to install and remove the water dams. There will be some who will think the Aqua Dam is just too expensive and unfortunately this may be true, however, the Aqua Dam has shown us a new way to protect homes and businesses from floods, and just maybe if we recognize that water can be used to protect us from water, which sounds strange but true, someone who is a little handy can maybe build an aqua dam of his/her own for less.

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A Great First Impression Made with These Fabulous Doors

Home and Garden September 13, 2017

The door is the entry way to your home and its design says a lot about the home dwellers and their personalities. The front doorway says a lot about tradition and also plays a part in the art of feng shui. Which is the Asian art of placement and color. Red doors have a certain meaning, sometimes it’s good luck, gold doors bring abundance and make us think about all our riches. Green doors can do the same thing. Traditional doors say that the family and the home inside is most likely traditional. Modern doors may tell us just the opposite.

The quality of your front door is also extremely important. A front door is not something you want to replace year after year. A quality door will make an entrance way stand out above others. Quality doors should also last for many years, unless the homeowners changes styles, then changing the entrance would only make sense.

As far as styles go, there are endless types and styles of doors from small simple doors, to grand and ornate doors. If you bought a home and are overwhelmed by door choices, simply think about the way you’d like to decorate the inside of the home, and that should help you choose a style of door that truly complements your home.

Below we share a gallery of beautiful quality doors that would suit many different kinds of houses, enjoy the scenery and maybe you’ll find a door just right for your house.

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Your Patio: The Extra Room

Home and Garden September 13, 2017

Your patio

When the wish for an added room in your home grabs you, but you have neither the resources nor the time, think about creating a patio as an outdoor oasis and your extra room. Whether you  like to sun yourself. or relax under the stars, a patio is your home’s ideal extension. And the beauty of a patio is that you can create one on a budget, as a DIY project, or hire a contractor. Patio floors can be wood, natural stone, pavers, Mexican tiles or painted concrete.

Furniture can be flea market finds or store-bought sofas. Plants are a cost-saving way to add color and texture to a patio without breaking the bank. Small all-weather rugs create added interest. You can feature a home-made fountain or a fire pit for your pleasure and relaxation. The options are endless, and creating this outdoor room can be simple and fun.

If you enjoy entertaining, patios are a wonderful way for guests to spill out of living rooms and dens, and get a breath of fresh air. For shade build a roof over your patio, or put up an awning that can be used or not for added comfort during the daytime. You don’t need an in-ground pool to cool off. Hang curtains for privacy and beauty. No matter your budget, you can create a luxury oasis in your backyard just by adding a patio. It is the extra room you could not add to your house, and provides additional space for parties, and social gatherings. This is something you, your friends, and family can all enjoy.

The images below and resources are all courtesy of Pinterest and can be enlarged.

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Indoor Water Features and How to Create a Basic Fountain

Home and Garden September 13, 2017

Who doesn’t love to relax to the sound of water – the ocean waves crashing on the shore, a waterfall, a babbling brook, even a soft rain? Indoor fountains and water features accomplish this feeling of peaceful relaxation in the same way. And they also have a beautiful aesthetic that can compliment any decor. There are tabletop fountains, free standing floor fountains, as well as wall fountains, and they are created in all different shapes and sizes and made out of a wide  variety of materials. Whether you buy a fountain, have one customized for your home, or create your own all of us can have this kind of water element in our living space.

How to Create Your Very Own Tabletop Fountain

This is a totally cost-effective way to have a fountain. First, choose a container to house your fountain. It can be glass, plastic, or something more outdoorsy like terra cotta, but with terra cotta you first must polyurethane the container to make it water-tight. You can use wide-mouth jars, bowls and fish bowls.  Buy a small submersible pump at a home goods store. These are cheap and effective, and they also have a way to adjust the height of your water spout. They also have a filter that it is very easy to clean. Next, gather rocks or other colorful stones and pebbles from either your yard or purchase them from a craft store where you can buy beautiful sea glass or polished stones in your choice of colors.  

Once you have all your supplies, putting your fountain together shouldn’t take more than five minutes. Place the pump into your container first. Make sure the electrical cord is near enough to an outlet. Then pour your polished stones, rocks, and sea glass into the container all around and atop the pump, leaving the spout uncovered. Last but not least, add water. Add enough water to cover the base of the pump but never the spout. Plug it in and adjust the water height to your liking.  You now have your water feature! Voila!!! Enjoy!

Remember: Keep an eye on the water level and always make sure the entire base of your pump is covered. Also clean the pump’s filter now and again so the flow of water isn’t impeded.

All the images in our gallery are courtesy of Pinterest, as well as the resource material. The images can be enlarged for better viewing.

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4 Popular Home Trends That Happen to be Green

Home and Garden, Uncategorized July 17, 2017

Eco-friendly and Green homes are trending these days because people are caring more about the environment in which they live. In a lot of ways we have come full circle, many decades ago, homeowners tried to create a safe and healthy environment for themselves and their families, but as technology has expanded into areas of food planting and unsafe ways of growing something simple like grass and plants, life is not as healthy or economical as it could be. Now many people are getting back to basics with how they live and also with the homes they live in. Below we list 4 an popular trends and a few simple ways that you and your family can engage in to create a greener lifestyle.

1. Smaller Homes

Flicker Gauvin pictures

Homes that are smaller use less resources. They are easier to heat and cool in the summertime. Using less natural resources like gas, electric, and water, is a simple and doable way to live a greener life.

2. Leed Certified Lighting and Energy Star

Better lighting is another key to living greener. There are certified forms of lighting for homes now that guarantee a lifetime of use and they use less electricity. Homeowners should look for LEED and Energy Star certified forms of lighting.

3. Bamboo

Flicker 

Bamboo is an eco-friendly material used more now for home flooring. What makes it a greener choice is that bamboo comes from a source which replaces itself. It is a renewable energy source. You can also use bamboo for cabinets in your bathrooms and kitchen areas.

4. Conserving Water

Flicker

By simply replacing a shower head in your bathrooms, you can conserve water and be a part of the solution on the planet instead of the cause. There is such a thing now called “gray water”, this is doing your dishes and then reusing that dishwater for plants, watering the grass, e

One of the most important ways to go green is to stop waste. If you have leftovers in the fridge, repurpose them into a new dish or use them as compost in a garden sending them back into the earth. Use your gray water for watering plants or if you don’t have a garden, simply pour the gray dish water into the earth. Another way to go green is to stop running your water while you are doing your dishes. Fill a large pan with water and do your dishes that way. This is one way to create and use gray water. You don’t lose it, you use it instead to help the earth. Going green can be as simple as not running water while you brush your teeth. Only run water in your home when it is necessary. Being green is simply being mindful, and in the long run if we all take on at least one of these practices, the earth can be replenished.

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Great Gazebo Ideas!

Home and Garden May 4, 2017

Great Gazebo Ideas

Garden furniture with his own hands for 1 day!

It seems like gazebos have been around forever. In earlier years they were used for secret meetings between lovers, places where a string quartet would entertain lunch guests, and conversational  areas of the outdoors. Nowadays the gazebo has found its place as an extension of the main house – an extra room if you will. It is a little hideaway to relax in, sip your morning coffee, read a good book, and have an afternoon snack.

Rather than buying a ready-made gazebo, more and more people are rolling up their proverbial sleeves and building their own gazebos to suit their personal needs and desires for that extra outdoor room. This particular gazebo is perfect for a DIY weekend project, and you can imagine the satisfaction you will feel having put up your own gazebo!

Check out the gallery of photos below (all images on our site are expandable, even the featured image at the top).

Find more from other outdoors builders we’ve indexed in our Home Designers and Builders Directory. You can search the company’s name and look builders near your area. And to see more outdoors, click here.

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How to Stage a Home Yourself Without a Professional

Home and Garden, Uncategorized April 24, 2017

Home staging has become a huge business these days, particularly, real estate agents are drawn to their services because it has been proven to help sell homes, and anything that helps that process is popular with agents. You may ask, “what is staging”, if you are not working in the real estate world or trying to sell your home. Staging is a process by which you decorate a home to make it feel more comfortable and appealing to a potential buyer. Professional home stagers often will take a percentage of the sale once the house is sold, or get paid a pretty hefty fee at the beginning.

What if you are either selling your own home or just desire not to be bothered with that aspect of the sale, and you want to do the staging yourself? Well, you can do the staging yourself, but before you head to the nearest home store here are a few tips on how to stage your home successfully without a professional.

Get Rid of Clutter

Your clutter could be the death of a sale. When a potential buyer sees a home cluttered with your family’s items, it is hard for them to imagine themselves inside that home, decorating the way they really desire. Plus, clutter just looks awful and though a buyer may like the layout of your home, the clutter can completely throw them off mentally and emotionally.

Paint

That’s right! A fresh coat of paint can work miracles. It’s very unattractive to see a home with chipped and dirty paint. Often home owners may neglect repainting their homes for decades. They get used to the look and never think about if it’s fresh or not. If you are selling a home, one of the first things you want to do in invest in a fresh coat of paint.

Make Repairs

Many home owners tend to neglect small repairs because they get used to it as a family. For example, if you’ve been turning your faucet on with a wrench and that has worked just fine for you, that small bit of neglect will cause a buyer to move on to another listing. Repairs that need to be made, should be on your staging list. A home that appears neglected is a turn off to buyers and agents.

Thoroughly Clean Your Entire Home

You can do this yourself or hire a professional cleaner, which is the best idea. We often overlook things we don’t necessarily find important but a professional cleaner gets into the nooks and crannies of the house and will have it looking like new.

Make it Smell Good

Potential buyers are drawn to homes that smell good and this is one of the easiest parts of staging. Buy a few scented candles and place them throughout the house. Just the aroma, will make a buyer feel at home. Often, they don’t even know that they are being drawn in by a scent, they just know that they feel good and that the house smells fresh.

Rent Furniture if You Have to

If your furniture is in disrepair, you may need to move it out and replace it with rented furniture. This process is easy enough these days. There are many companies that rent whole rooms of furniture for the staging process. You will just need to let them know why you want to rent the furniture and often they will send a consultant with the furniture to make sure it has good placement and looks attractive.

These are just a few of the most important tips when it comes to staging your own home without a professional. If it seems like a lot of work for you, then do what you can, or hire a professional in your price range. Make sure they know what your budget is so that there will be no surprises at the end of this process.

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Create a Garden that Can Move with You

Home and Garden March 30, 2017

A mobile garden is something that sounds like an impossible task, and one that would be painstaking, but if you plant your garden in a way that it can be mobile, it won’t cost you too much trouble to take it with you. This is perfect for renters and those who live lives of traveling.

Here is a way you can plant a garden that is mobile:

Of course, the largest garden wouldn’t be a good idea, but you can create a smaller mobile garden that can follow you wherever you choose to live.

Plants in Pots

The easiest way to create a traveling garden is to plant in pots. You need to make sure that these plants are the right kinds that are able to thrive in pots. Yucca and Bergenia, Japanese Pieris and Arborvitae,which has great health benefits. There are many more plants that thrive all year in pots. A florist or nursery will be able to assist you with finding plants that will suit your needs.

Planting in the ground

If you’d rather plant in the ground but still looking to create a mobile garden, you can plant your pot and plant and put it into a raised bed. A raised bed is lifted slightly above ground and surrounded by stone or wood. You see this type of planting on office parking lots because they need to be mobile in case the business moves and want to take the plants with them to the new location. You can do the same moving from home to home.

Plants that Thrive  in Water

The English Ivy and the Philodendron, and Chinese Evergreen are just three common water plants. Certainly if a plant can thrive in water, you can simply move them easily to a new home or new outdoor location. Again, be sure you consult your florist or nursery sales person about which plant will thrive year-round in water. Some water plants, like other plants have seasons in which they may need to be potted or re-potted.

Garden art is becoming truly popular and no matter what kind of mobile garden you choose, you can decorate the area with garden sculptures and all sorts of other garden art, and of course those items are simple to move.

Photo: Inspirations Deco

Source: Plant a Garden that Can Move with You

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8 Organizational Tips for a Small Kitchen

Home and Garden, Uncategorized March 24, 2017

In many magazines that cater to the homeowner, there are these dramatically huge kitchens. Kitchens in which you can host a whole party of family and friends comfortably. However, not all of us are fortunate enough to have a kitchen as large as some New York apartments. So what do you do differently in a small kitchen so that it can still take on a glamorous twist? It’s all about organization.

Here are 8 organizational tips for a small kitchen that will leave you feeling satisfied with the size, the decor, and the neatness.

1. Hang High

It is simple enough to find baskets that screw into the ceiling. They are usually metal and mesh and are great for holding your fruits and vegetables that don’t require refrigeration. Not only is it practical but it also adds some decoration to your kitchen.

2, Utilize Your Wall Space

Walls are a great place to hang large knives and other large utensils. They now have these magnets you stick on your walls just for this purpose. It holds anything metal and keeps it all out of the way until you need to use it.

3. Only Buy What You Need

If you have a tiny kitchen, it doesn’t make sense, unless it comes with a large pantry, to stock up, as they say, at one of those big box stores. Buy only what you need and what you’re going to cook within the next few days.

4. Utilize Other Closets in the House

If you have other closets in the home that have a lot of empty space, you can use them for your dried goods, like rices and flour and your canned goods, like beans and jarred sauces.

5. Fill Your Kitchen with Smaller Appliances

Don’t try to fit regular or large ovens and refrigerators into a small kitchen. It will only make it look crowded and cluttered. If you have the opportunity to choose, choose apartment sized refrigerators and ovens, or instead of a full oven, get a convection oven that does everything and some small burners for when you need them.

6. Use Drawer Organizers

Instead of having your silverware sitting on the counters or in the dish drains, put them away into drawer organizers and only pull them out when you need them. There are many kinds of drawer organizers these days and some are quite colorful and stylish.

7. Label leftovers Immediately

Don’t leave your counters and refrigerators full of leftovers. It only causes you to waste food and you end up throwing it out. If dinnertime leaves you with leftovers, cover with plastic wrap or foil, label them with the contents and the date, and freeze them in your refrigerator freezer or a stand alone freezer kept in the mudroom or garage.

8. Put Smaller Appliances Away Until You Need Them

Items like blenders, juicers, toasters, should be put away in a nearby cabinet until it’s time to use them. Don’t take up your counter and prep space with these small appliances. Normally, they are not used everyday, so you don’t need them cluttering up your space.

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Single Story House with Porch and Vintage-style Hip Roof

Home and Garden January 10, 2017

Be in A Relaxing Abode All Year Round

Here’s a house that’s not too big and has a bright, airy interior. It’s by Rivergum Homes, and it’s a single-story dwelling with a stylish hip roof.

This house is said to be ideal for the weather conditions near the tropics — like the sub-tropical zone.

The decor is vintage styled, something that lends a particular aesthetic to being in this house.

The rear patio area also has another zone, a small corner for those who want privacy.

The open floor plan includes places many elements in a single room. The front corner of the living room has a sofa with simple wooden tables. Next to it is the dining table. And a kitchen counter.

The house also has airy bedrooms with large windows. The decor matches the simple concept of other areas in the home.

In total, the house has four bedrooms, two bathrooms, a living area of ​​169 square meters. This one was built in Thailand for around 1.9 to 2.1 million baht ($57,000).

Check out the gallery of photos below (all images on our site are expandable, even the featured image at the top).

Find more from River Gum Homes and other home and garden builders we’ve indexed in our Home Designers and Builders Directory. You can search the company’s name and look builders near your area. And to see more home and garden,click here.

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