Planning A Beautiful Backyard Landscaping Design

There are few things in life more enjoyable than relaxing in a beautiful outdoor living space that you have created. This scene can be easier to attain than you might think. With some planning and research, your backyard landscaping design can become an outdoor oasis for your entire family to enjoy.

Before you start working that soil, you need to plan your backyard landscaping design by what your family will use the space for. Will you need an area for the kids to play? Do you intend to do much outdoor entertaining? Or are you mainly planning to use the space for relaxation and quiet family get-togethers? Perhaps you want space for all of these activities, and your backyard landscaping design can incorporate areas for all of them.

Don’t simply formulate your plan in your mind however, draw a sketch of your backyard landscaping, or invest in a computer program that will allow you to create a backyard landscaping design similar to what professional landscape architects will construct.

Plant Selection For Your Backyard Landscaping

Once you have an idea of the areas you would like to include into your backyard design, it is time to begin researching the types of plants you want to bring in. Find plants that will do well in the area you live in, so that maintenance will be minimal. Your local nursery or extension office can be a valuable source of information to learn which plants are guaranteed thrivers in your area. Don’t be afraid to include a variety of trees and shrubs, but maintaining some consistency or symmetry to the size, color and textures of your plants will make your backyard landscaping design pleasing to the eye.

You also want to consider each area that you will be planting in. Do you have a …

Decorating A Rental Apartment

Those who live in a rental apartment are usually quite limited in the amount of decorating they are able to do. This can have the impact of making a rental apartment not quite feel like a real home. In many cases the rental apartment is painted a bright white and residents often feel as though this color is somewhat impersonal but are not able to repaint the walls to a more appealing color. This is just one example of the decorating restrictions which may be placed on an individual renting an apartment. There may be other restrictions and reading the contract carefully will help the renter to determine what is allowed and what is not allowed.

Review the Contract Carefully

Renters who are living in an apartment should review their contract documents carefully before they begin decorating their apartment. This is important because there may be some common decorating items such as painting or installation of shelving which may not be allowed by the contract documents. Decorating in any manner which is strictly prohibited may result in harsh penalties. These penalties might involve the assessment of fees at the conclusion of the rental period or possibly even eviction.

Most standard decorating items such as hanging pictures are usually acceptable but some particularly strict policies may either prohibit this completely or place restrictions on the type of nails which may be used or the methods of patching the holes. Renters who have questions regarding whether or not specific decorating actions are permissible or prohibited should contact their leasing agent before taking action. This will help to ensure the renter is not penalized in the future for their actions.

Additionally, if the leasing agent tells the renter it is acceptable to perform an action prohibited by the rental agreement, the renter should …

How to Shop for Home Insurance

While the residential mortgage market continued to pace a modest economic recovery in the U.S. in 2004, homeowners found themselves paying more for homeowner’s insurance — if they were able to find it.

Homeowner’s insurance protects homeowners from damages to their home that are sustained from bad weather, tornados, fire and similar casualty losses. (Flood insurance is sold as a separate policy.) It also protects them from potential liabilities that occur on their property — a neighbor’s child who falls on the driveway, for instance.

Mortgage lenders require borrowers to obtain a homeowner’s insurance policy as a means of protecting the collateral of their loans. Since state commissions regulate the insurance industry, availability and affordability of homeowner’s insurance varies among states. The National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC) maintains a directory of state offices at its Web site.

The Wall Street Journal reported in May 2002 that 23 state insurance commissions had granted Allstate Corp. permission to hike homeowners’ premiums an average of nearly 20{cc4c0f41df947dcf89440097a971836e5349577156fc397a0a7b175f1b8e4086}.

In Texas, premiums have doubled in some areas while the number of homeowners whose policies were not renewed has soared. Meanwhile, State Farm Mutual Automobile Insurance stopped underwriting new policies for homeowners in Texas, California and Louisiana, the Journal said.

What are some of the reasons for these premium hikes and the drying up of policy coverage?

Major sources of blame are a rash of weather-related catastrophes, higher home-repair costs and the emergence of mold claims, says Robert Hartwig, chief economist for the Insurance Information Institute.

While mold claims have been around for a long time, Hartwig blames an explosion in claims and related lawsuits for directly impacting the availability of homeowner’s insurance in Texas. He says mold-related claims in Texas increased nearly sevenfold in the second quarter of 2001 over the first quarter of …

Making Money From Your Backyard

Many persons find it challenging to think of practical ideas to earn extra income. The key to making more money is first to identify where people have unmet needs or pressing problems that you can solve for profit. When you are trying to create a part-time source of income, you should always stick to options that fit in with your natural talents or the resources that you already have on hand.

Using these basic principles, it should not be difficult to find several opportunities to become more productive in your spare time. Today, let’s look at how you can use your backyard, whether big or small, and a little elbow grease to work your way into extra cash.

Producing Seedlings

The Ministry of Agriculture is currently encouraging persons to focus on backyard gardening, so it’s an opportune time to piggyback on this campaign. Even if you don’t have a green thumb, it is relatively simple to produce seedlings for basic crops such as lettuce, cabbage, string beans and tomatoes for supply to your friends and colleagues. The advantage to growing seedlings is that you can harvest a large crop in a relatively small space.

Growing Organic Vegetables

While some people will gravitate towards growing what they eat, even more will be happy to buy fresh produce directly from you. You can create a steady income by cultivating vegetables and seasoning produce in a small area of your garden. If you produce crops without using pesticides and chemical fertilisers, then you can tap in on the increasing demand for organic food items.

Preparing Container Gardens

There are many people who would like to grow their own food items but lack the necessary backyard space to do so. Here’s a perfect solution – you can prepare and sell ready-made vegetable gardens in …

How To Eliminate Noise From Neighbors And Floors

Let’s admit that as much as one wants to be quiet for neighbors or family on a lower level of the home or apartment, it is difficult to do so. Hardwood floors tend to create noise from people walking and children playing and running. For area rugs on hardwood floors, use of a recycled jute rug pad will reduce much noise and sound.

Recycled jute rug pads are available in different weights and the higher the weight, the better the sound and noise insulation quality. The weight refers to the density and thickness of the pad. When possible, try to purchase a 40 ounce weight recycled jute pad as this is one that provides the best comfort and noise insulation. There are 20, 28, 32 and 40 ounce weights yet the 40 ounce one proves to be best. The fact that it is recycled lends itself to being odor free, mold and mildew resistant and perfectly safe for the hardwood or wood floor. You may visit Rug Pad Corner for more on recycled jute rug pads.

If you need protection from noise as well as a non slip rug pad, then there is a quality jute and rubber combination pad for this. Here, the jute surface is recycled and the rubber bottom is a solid layer of natural rubber. The solid rubber is important in that it provides an absorbing layer from noise and sound and will not hard your floor. Be careful of the ones available that are rubber like or an adhesive. This is a sprayed on application and not only will it not work as well for sound and noise, it may also harm your floor.

Choosing the proper rug pad for rugs on hardwood or wood floors in apartments, co-ops or multi-level homes will eliminate the …

Planning a Backyard Wedding

Planning any wedding day is never easy. A backyard wedding, though sounding casual, charming and inexpensive, can get as out of control as any other wedding. What is important to keep in mind is the intention to be as stress-free as possible on the special day. Here are some tips and tricks to provide a beautiful and charming, cost-effective and stress free day.

The backyard:

Given the size of the location you have, you can combine the ceremony and reception into one and cut down on price. It will also be more convenient for your guests to not have to travel to different locations.

The foliage of the yard can be used to create its own ornamental decorations. It can even cut down on the price of your flowers. Don’t be too cheap though. In creating the perfect atmosphere you may want to include some pricier accessories such as topiaries, aisle bows, a wedding arch or even your bouquets. The point of the backyard wedding is to create a unique setting, and use as much as what is naturally there to add to your own style.

Decorating is a personal choice but some décor tips for this summer are:

Keep with the ‘green trend’ in both materials and colors. Earth tones and natural hues are popular, using chocolate browns, beiges, natural woods and metals. Alternately, ‘loud’ prints are also big. They are also a nice contrast to the natural look. Use wide stripes, geometric designs and florals to make a personal statement. Remember not to over do it, too much can lessen the restful, peaceful atmosphere. Use prints with subtlety, such as on throw pillows or furniture coverings.


Remember the location in reference to the sun. When setting up your ceremony location, be sure that the guests won’t be …

Decorate your bedroom in style

All the rooms in your apartment have to look great, but we should take extra care of the bedroom. Even if it’s not the first place we take our guests, our bedroom has to look good for us. It is where come back to every night, tired and stressed out after a day’s work. It’s also the place where couples usually meet for some alone time. That’s why we should try to incorporate these two functions of our bedroom, by creating a relaxing but stimulating environment.

These days people are so busy that they simply don’t have the time or disposition to search through furniture stores, or they don’t afford an interior designer. This may be the reason why so many home owners delay redecorating. What they don’t know is that you don’t have to break the bank in order to have a totally new bedroom. With a little imagination and some spare time, you can get that bedroom you’ve been dreaming of. We’ll give you some ideas on how you can transform your bedroom in a totally different and inviting room.

The first thing you notice when you enter a room, are usually the walls. That’s why the color of the walls should make a statement. First impressions count!. The perfect choice in wall coloring will not only change it’s entire look, but also influence your mood. Choosing the wall color is not an easy task. Consider the two functions we talked about: our bedroom has to be welcoming for us when we are tired and want to sleep, but also when we want to have a romantic evening. If you want a serene, relaxing place, chose different shades of light blue or green. For an invigorating atmosphere, choose reds, oranges or yellows. It’s up to you to choose …

Carriage House Floor Plan – Turn Of The Century Style Increases Modern Real Estate Value

The carriage house floor plan became popular around the turn of the century when families began moving from rural areas to urban and suburban areas. A general misconception is that most families lived in what could be called a carriage house, but the truth is that only wealthy families, the upper 5 to 10 percent, could afford to own a home with a carriage house.

The carriage house floor plan was typically 500 to 700 square feet and approximately one and a half stories high. Most were designed to match the exterior decor of the main house and built to house the groomsman, the horses, buggy, hay and the livery. If you had been a groomsman one hundred years ago, this would be both the place you lived as well as the place where you conducted your business. Even though the horse and buggy no longer exist as they once did, a carriage house in good condition is very valuable.

A piece of real estate with a carriage house attached to it can bring a 10 to 15 percent increase in resale value. The idea of taking a carriage house floor plan and turning it into a habitable studio or apartment first became popular during the Depression as a way to create a rental income or house elderly relatives. Carriage houses today are generally used for either a home office or mother-in-law flat or apartment.

Carriage houses are defined as a subordinate structure that have one or more habitable story and must have existed before November 1956. They may be used only as residences. Renovation of an original carriage house floor plan is not cheap, but in most cases it’s less expensive than building from scratch. The main reason that renovation is expensive is due to the fact that zoning …

Amazing backyard landscaping ideas

If you have a house that you’ve really spent a lot of money for building and want it to look at its best, for you only deserve the best things in life, then I bet you want to know some backyard landscaping ideas that will make your dream a reality. Here are some of the best front yard landscaping ideas that you can use to make your home look gorgeous:

A tropical backyard would really sound very nice and if you want to consider getting one, you should know that it mainly consists of many shapely elements and of nice bright colors. The tropics are very abundant in sun and this make them to be very diverse when it comes to the flora and fauna. Because of this, you will need to choose some flowers that are very colored and have different shapes.

Venous stems, big leaves, thick roots and so on are just a few of the elements that you will be able to incorporate in the design of your backyard. Yes, I bet that you know the fact that the rain is very abundant in the tropics, so you will have to make sure that you will get plenty of water to keep them moisturized properly. But even though you will have a very nice and colored backyard, you can expect uninvited guests, like different types of bugs and insects.

Opting for a bamboo backyard is a very good choice as they will never die and will be evergreen all year long. You will also never have to worry about them losing their colors, their leaves or anything close to that. Having a bamboo, you will definitely attract people’s attention and one thing you should know is that they can grow up to a few feet high, so …

Available California Homes for Sale

Southern California realty is truly a buyer’s delight. There are several kinds of properties here which are available for sale and which are quite different from other kinds of properties which are available. California homes for sale offer some of the best designs, styles and choices for buyers who are looking for best in California real estate.

Here are some important facts which are related to Southern California realty.

Budget – Southern California realty is available for every kind of budget. You might have a budget for a small home or a palatial apartment or just a studio size apartment. You shall get them all when you search the right kind of homes from wide choices available from California homes for sale. In fact, you may not always buy such properties and you desire to check them out just – you have a great option of hiring such properties. You can hire any San Clemente real estate which is located in some of the most picturesque places and check out the properties yourself. You will love the properties and the choice you get here. You will agree that you will not get such a wide variety of choice anywhere else.

Designs – You will find some of the best architecturally designed properties in this region. Most properties are designed keeping in mind the sale factors or rental requirements, so that they are made convenient to use and stay by the residents. Some of the best architects are hired to design California real estate properties so that unique and very innovative homes are designed. Most homes are considered to be architectural marvels and are not only good to look at but very pretty to see too.

Available in different locations – This is one of the most striking features of these …