Best landscape design tips for beginners

Being able to have an exterior attraction for guests sounds like something fun to do on your own, but there are a lot of different ways to design your front and back yards that provide plenty to see when you are hosting outdoor parties and cookouts. To get started, here some basic ideas for those who are landscaping for the first time.

landscape designList your wants and needs

This is where you would decide if you can fit in a garden for growing your own vegetables and being able to have a play yard for the kids. Maybe you can also fit a patio, which depends on how much space is available behind your home.

Live with it for awhile

Making a quick decision about your yard might lead to choices you will likely regret later. So spend some time seeing how it sits with you and then build your design and make the changes you feel will be necessary.

Study sun, wind and weather

These have to be placed under consideration because you might have to place your patio in an area where the sun provides a lot of attention or where you would like to have outdoor meals in the evening without a distracting breeze that might knock over a glass of wine. The wind might put a damper on your fire pit plans as well.

Don’t break the bank initially

You want to start slow and build it a little bit at a time so you don’t rush into a design you might regret after only a few days. Being able to take your time provides you with a chance to maybe make some changes to the design plans if you start to notice things you might have missed in your initial survey.

Center around a single focal point

Maybe you have a specific plant in your yard that you would like to highlight, or maybe a sculpture that you want everything to be the center of attention around. That doesn’t mean you need to pick just one – you could have a series of focal points that everything in your landscape design draws attention towards.

Tips on how to design an outdoor kitchen

out door kitchen renovationThere are plenty of people who love to use the summertime for outdoor meals and there are a lot of outdoor chefs who love hosting cookouts for the family and friends. Why not spice it up with an outdoor kitchen that can make you stand out from the rest of the neighborhood?

Here are some tips when planning how you will add an outdoor kitchen to your home:

Start from scratch

When you are designing your new outdoor kitchen, maybe you can build it from the ground up to allow for a fresh floor layout and foundation. When doing this, you also want to consider the types of weather your kitchen will face and have it prepared for whatever Mother Nature might throw at it – even consider getting the right contractor to handle your Roofing Winnipeg.

Location is important

You want to make sure wherever you place this outdoor kitchen, you won’t let the smoke drift into the house. That means you should study the regular wind patterns and position where you will place the grill in an appropriate location. Also keep in mind that you will have to carry the supplies from inside to out and back in later – so make sure you aren’t having to walk a long distance.

Kitchen size must match the appliances

You don’t want the appliances to overshadow the counters and other parts of the cooking space. When designing the layout, you’ll want to spread out the appliances enough to have the preparation space needed for what you like to cook and be able to place the platters and other cooking tools on either side of the grill.

Have the proper storage space

You will want to have places to put a lot of your cooking utensils and tools so that they are available when needed without feeling like you have to make multiple trips back inside if you didn’t grab it right away. This is equally important in your home.

Add some ambiance

This is where you could add a nice dining area that has some comfortable seats where you can enjoy a great outdoor meal. Maybe you can add some lighted torches or candles to fill the area with some subtle light for some evening meals that will help make the outdoor dining area feel just like the rest of your home.

Top tips for hiring the right contractor

remodeling contractorThere are plenty of ways to do construction projects yourself to save a few bucks, but sometimes the DIY process can only get you so far – especially if you aren’t experienced with building your own home. That’s why it might be a good idea to hire a professional contractor to do the job for you.

Finding the right commercial painters, or other contractors can be quite a challenge and finding someone who is substandard could lead to various consequences – delays in the project, work that isn’t up to par and even legal problems if the work leads to something like an electrical fire. The following are some tips in finding someone who is professional and reliable.

Trust your gut – Since this contractor will be in your home and around the family, you have to like the person and get a positive vibe from him or her.

License and insured – You don’t want to hire someone who doesn’t have the proper paperwork and doesn’t have protection when things go wrong. Don’t be liable for irresponsibility.

The right specialty – If you project revolves around lighting, hire someone who is recognized for that field of construction.

Draft a contract – Make sure you have gone over complete terms of the agreement for the job before any work begins.

Know the crew – If the contractor has a staff, make sure you get to know his crew like you did with the leader.

Provide contractor with guidelines – Make sure the contractor understand things like what hours are acceptable to work so it doesn’t impact your family life, or sleep schedule.

Know your responsibilities – Know what has to be done prior to a job being done, like moving the furniture out of a room that’s about to be painted.

Learn about “Mechanic’s Lien” laws – There are some states that states if anyone working on the project, or even supplies materials, isn’t paid, a lien is placed on your home.

View any work samples – Proof of the contractor’s craftsmanship and how experienced they are in the field.

Hire locally – It’s good for the local economy to hire someone in the area.

Five money-saving steps for DIY kitchen renovation

kitchen renovationThe kitchen is one of the most popular parts of a home to improve and a big focal point of many home remodeling television shows. But maybe your funds won’t allow you to make a five-star kitchen while you are battling with immigration trying to protect your immigration rights, for example,

Have a complete design plan before starting

You should be prepared for everything from the location of your appliances to how you want your cabinet doors to swing open. A great way to save money is use the existing walls and current configuration during the initial tear-down so you don’t need to have new electric and plumbing systems built – no tearing down any walls, which can be costly.

Ordering cabinets, appliances and fixtures

These are the biggest investments that you will have to make on this project and they can be ordered any time after the plans are completed. If you can’t afford new appliances like the ones from Harms Kitchen Design & Renovations, use the older ones to replace later as the budget allows. Lighting fixtures can also be purchased later if the old ones are fine at the moment. With cabinets, have it match the older flooring for additional cost savings.

Electrical and plumbing work

This requires having to move all of the appliances out of the kitchen and gutting the entire kitchen where you will have to remove the older cabinets and appliances so the walls can be opened up for the newer electrical circuits. If you can move the appliances near the laundry room, you will be able to remain cooking during the remodel.

Installing cabinets, counters and others

If you can’t afford the high-end countertop and backsplash, you can always go with a temporary top like painted plywood or even just some cheap piece of laminate. There’s always a chance to upgrade to something more solid like marble, granite or tile.

Upgrade when possible

Whenever you get the chance, you can replace the laminate floor with a tile or hardwood option once you have the financial abilities. There’s no reason you have to rush to buy that new refrigerator if the funds aren’t necessary there.