5 Tips to maintaining your lawn and garden as the weather gets cold

Keeping your lawn and garden in top condition becomes more and more of a challenge as the cold season draws near. During the winter, thick sheets of snow accumulate on your lawn while small plants may get encrusted with hard frosts. Your garden and lawn may look a little lifeless above the ground once the winter season sets in, but there are actually several processes going on below the earth’s surface. Most plants naturally shed their leaves as their metabolism and growth slow down, keeping their buds nourished and ready to bloom for the next spring season.

Plants may have their natural way of adapting to the cold season but that doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t look after them at all. Taking care of your plants in preparation for the cold season actually, makes them healthier and look more blooming once the warm and sunny spring days arrive. Check out these five useful tips to maintaining your lawn and garden as the weather gets colder.

  1. Clear up the area.

After your plants stop shedding their leaves, you may start to do a cleanup on your lawn and garden. Remember to rake the leaves, twigs, branches, and other debris on the ground as they can be a potential nesting ground for destructive fungi and bacteria. Remove infected foliage to prevent diseases from spreading across your garden. Cuttings and bulbs from annual plants may be stored indoors depending on how the plant species can adapt to the cold season. Perennials should be trimmed off of dry stems right after the first frost occurs in your area.

  1. Fertilize the soil just right.

With the absence of flowing rain and the hibernation of earthworms during the winter, nutrients in the soil may not be efficiently distributed in your garden. Thus, it is important for you to add the right amount of fertilizer around the plants and lawn to make them more available for absorption. Avoid putting too much fertilizer as it can cause an imbalance to the nutrients in the soil and stunt the growth of your plants.

  1. Aerate the soil.

Aerating the soil allows more air to flow around the roots of the plants. It also reduces the compaction of the ground and allows the proper circulation of nutrients. Make sure to trim the lawn low and to aerate the soil before the first frost arrives; that is to make it easier for you do work on a soft and damp ground. Avoid watering the lawn and plants too much as the days grow colder to reduce extra moisture that may result in the hardening of the ground.

  1. Add the right amount of mulch.

When using mulch in your garden, make sure that you apply a thin layer, just enough to prevent birds from eating the seeds which you may have just planted. Add an extra layer of mulch around the trees to protect the soil throughout the winter. You may want to do this after the frost to prevent active critters from burrowing beneath the mulch.

  1. Protect the trees too.

They may be huge and tough, but trees need extra care too during the winter season. The cold air is usually low in moisture, so make sure to continue to water small plants and trees. You can tell if the amount of water is just right once you feel that the soil is damp and soft. Protect young trees by wrapping them with a netted wire, and thin-barked ones by using paper tree wrap.

Know more about the best gardening tips, lawn care techniques, and other home improvement advice only at homeandgardeningguide.com.

5 Things You Need to Ask Before Hiring a Plumber

Hiring a plumbing professional is something that most, if not all, take for granted. Arguably, it is not as if there is a daily need for plumbing in your household, right? However, if the need to find a potential plumber arises, it is good to be prepared and know what to consider. There are many factors that one must take into account when choosing which plumbing expert to hire. Most of the plumbers available on the market offer multiple services, such as Arlington Plumbing Co. Before choosing which would best fit your needs, we’ve come up with a list of smart questions to ask to be able to help you decide.

  1. Check for the validity of their registration and license.

This is the most crucial factor to ask your potential plumber right from the start. It is highly encouraged that you check for the legality of their registration and license so that you will be assured that you are dealing with professional people. Plumbers who do not have these will seem sketchy and risky to hire.

  1. Do a background check.

Once you have verified that the plumber has all the necessary paper works to operate, the next best step to perform is to ask for their background. You may start off by asking them their past experiences, what is their specialization, which locations they cover, and other relevant matter that you may deem important for a background check. It is imperative that you are comfortable to work with them after knowing this information.

  1. Ask them how they will solve your specific problem or needs.

Now that you have established comfort with your potential plumber, it is important to relay your exact needs and find out how they will deliver them. You can discuss here >materials to use, the timeline of the project, and all other details regarding how the project >will commence.

  1. Confirm if insurance exists.

To get protection for both parties, make sure that the plumber of your choice has a liability insurance. This will save you from hassle in case of poor workmanship or unmet expectations, damage in any part of your house, and even in such unfortunate events as workers’ injury through accident.

  1. Ask for their rates.

Finally, the one thing that all of us ask before sealing the deal: how much is the total cost? For some, this alone is their deciding factor. After all, money is always one of the top constraints before committing to a project. For a plumber expert, we don’t expect them to work cheap and get high-class service. This goes hand in hand. That’s why you should expect to get the quality for what you pay for.

There are other things you can ask that would help you out with choosing the right plumber. What is important is that both parties, by the end of the day, have agreed, understood, and signed the deal without any open issues or concerns.

5 Tips to repairing the foundation of your home

Your house’s foundation is the most important aspect of your home; there is no question about that. After all, it is the one holding your house in place and protects it from collapsing. That’s why you should always repair all foundation problems swiftly. Unfortunately, repairing a foundation is not that easy. If you do not have the necessary experience, you might damage it even further if you try to repair it yourself. That’s why you need a professional for this job. If you live in Texas, A—Best foundation repair would be a good choice for foundation repairs. It’s a licensed company fixing Houston foundations.  But in case you are the do-it-yourself type and have the necessary experience, here are 5 tips to repairing the foundation of your home.

  1. First find out the cause of your foundation problems.

The best way to repair the foundation is to find out the cause of the problem in the first place. You can do this by checking around the house for any pointers. For instance, if there is a crack, you may check for tree roots, or leaked pipes draining water into the foundation. By doing this, you will be in a better position to deal with the root cause of the problem, and take good care of your foundation once and for all.

  1. Clear soil from the damaged area.

It doesn’t matter whether the damage is minor or a serious one, dig up that area until you can see it in its entirety. This way, you will be in a position to fix it permanently, and help increase the lifespan of your home. For instance, if it’s a minor crack, you may choose to fill it up with a concrete mixture from top to bottom. This will strengthen that area and protect it from future cracks.

  1. Keep it exposed for a few weeks after concrete repair.

Most times foundation repairs involve concrete.  To ensure that the repairs last long, keep soil away from the repaired area for some time. This will give the concrete enough time to bond in the cracks, and strengthen your foundation. The best way to do this is by making sure that the dug up soil is taken as far away as possible, from the repaired area. This way, chances of it falling back in are minimized.

  1. Use hydraulic jacks to fix the foundation in place.

Sometimes, damage on the foundation can shift it from its original position. To repair such damages use a hydraulic jack to return the foundation back to where it is supposed to be. After that, you can then use concrete to fill up those cracks, and keep your house firm and stable. Filling with concrete before fixing it in the right place, might affect the structural strength of your house.

  1. Use good, high quality cement.

Not all cement is the same. Some cement is of low quality and may not hold together when exposed to the elements such as wet conditions or extremely dry weather. To properly repair your foundation, ensure that the cement you are using is of good quality.  It would be wise to consult local constructors on the best quality cement sold in your locality.

Exposed Brick Wall Decorating Ideas

Exposed brick walls add a certain level of oomph to a house. Anyone with this kind of wall should be extremely proud of themselves. One advantage that is brought about by having a brick wall is the fact that it is so easy to decorate. Its natural look presents a variety of styles to choose from, and also, you can easily play around with colors. With so many options, it may become a daunting task when it comes to determining which style best suits your house.

We will discuss the different exposed bricks decorating ideas, and you can choose one that perfectly fits your sense of style.

Ideas for Decorating Brick Walls

Add art to the wall. Brick walls go well with classy yet straightforward pieces of art. Do not go overboard. Putting one piece of art will do and will help revamp the brick wall.

You can paint the exposed brick wall white and pair it with wooden furniture. The combination of the two brings out a medieval kind of look which also brings out a beautiful contrast.

Have you ever considered a mix match of black and white? These two colors are a perfect match. You can paint the brick wall white, and the adjoining wall can be painted black. This combination will give you an A-class look.

Mixed Styles. The neutrality brought about by brick walls gives you a chance to play around with different styles. You can have a mixture of traditional style and a modern look.

Wallpaper. Not everyone is enthusiastic about the brick walls. Therefore, if you are one of these people, you can put a temporary wallpaper. The reason for putting temporary wallpaper is because you still want to be left with the option or removing the wallpaper at any time.

Hanging Plants. Hang the plants around the brick wall. However, do not use the brick wall as the hanging point. Let these plants hang directly from the ceiling.

• Lights and garland. You can string lights together around the wall. Garland can also work the same as the lights. Use either of the two and arrange them on the wall like a ribbon. A tassel garland can also be a good option. Choose a pitch-toned tassel and hang it on the wall.

Brick walls are especially popular in New York, and they need maintenance to prevent decay. However, you can hire professionals who will preserve the wall. One of such companies is the Point Brik, you can visit their website at www.pointbrik.com.au. The organization specializes in rejuvenating decaying brick walls and ensuring that the brick walls are pleasing to the eye.


A bare brick wall is not very attractive. It may sometimes project the illusion that the house is unfinished. However, with the right decoration in place, it brings out a much more sophisticated look. The brick wall is becoming popular in many households today. If you cannot decide which look you want to go for, you can consult with an interior designer.

4 Tips to Finding a Qualified Electrical Contractor in Perth

Do you need to do some electrical work on your premises?  Whether at home or business, it is very important to choose experienced and skilled electrical contractors to do the job. It is however impossible to know the qualifications of an electrical contractor before meeting and talking to them or getting information about their services from one of their clients.  

Working with qualified contractors is important in that it ensures the safety of all parties concerned. You as the client will be safe from accidents such as electrical shocks, your premise will be safe from fires that may be caused by faulty electrical work and the contractor will be safe from accidents while doing their job. Here are four tips that will ensure you choose an electrician in Perth that guarantees safety while you get the best services money can buy.

  • Ask to see the relevant certificates of qualification from the contractor

As a client, you have the right to ask questions and seek explanations.  Before allowing any contractor into your premises, look at their educational or professional certificates.  You should also see their work licenses and insurance.  A qualified electrician will be happy to answer your questions and give you the documents you require to assure you of their competence. You can also easily find out all these information from the contractor’s websites or by emailing them before they send an electrician to you.  A contractor with insurance assures you that he will take care of any damages or accidents that may happen while work is ongoing.

  • Get quotations from several contractors

Do not settle on the first contractor that answers your call or replies to your email.  Know exactly what you want to be done and get quotations from at least three different contractors in Perth. This will help you compare their prices and see the various services they offer. Getting different quotations may also help you land a discount as a new client from one of the contractors.  While comparing prices, it is important to note that, expensive does not necessarily mean quality work but you should also not grab on the cheapest quotation presented. Find out why the prices differ by asking the respective contractors and then decide on the quotation that best suits you.

  • Seek references

This is perhaps the best and most effective way of knowing a great electrical contractor.  Ask your friends and family to refer you to some good electricians they know. You can also ask about the electrical contractors that they think you should avoid and get the reasons why. Talk to the electricians you have been referred to so that you make an informed decision.

  • Read customer reviews

Luckily, you can get reviews from different clients on contractors just by going online and on their websites. Note that it is best to read from both happy and unhappy clients this is because people are different and they have a different interpretation of things. Something that made an unsatisfied client might be the same thing that made a different client happy.