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Best Landscape Shrubs – Viburnum Shrub

Using the most effective plants in your landscaping can only be done of course, if the homeowner has some knowledge of plants. Otherwise he should consult with his nurseryman to be sure he is purchasing the proper shrub or tree. Just as an example, there are about 25 or 30 different species of the shrub I am featuring today (the Viburnum) and they range in size from low-growing dwarfs to tree-size plants. Usually, if you tell your nurseryman where and how you are going to use the plant, he will tell you which species to use.

While it is true that we have many shrubs and trees which can be used effectively in many ways in the landscape, it is also true that certain plants seem to be particularly favored for specific purposes and the Viburnum odoratissimum fits perfectly into the picture I have in mind – breaking up the bareness of what would otherwise be a drab uninteresting corner.

Known best by its common name of ‘Sweet Viburnum’ this shrub will easily reach a height of 15 or more feet, has good looking attractive foliage year round and produces loads of fragrant white flowers in four-inch trusses in spring. This excellent shrub is really quite attractive throughout the year, even when not in bloom. The foliage incidentally is quite large and measures about five inches, deep green during summer with some of the leaves turning somewhat red when the weather gets chilly.

Use it if you can. Ideal also as tall hedge material. While it is true that due to the lack of space, very few nurseries can carry even half of the material which could be used with good results in landscaping, the nurseryman can usually suggest the best shrub or tree to use for the special purpose you have in mind. I am thinking now about some of the almost exotic trees such as the Chorisia speciosa which will be in bloom soon followed by other out of this world items including the Hong Kong Orchid tree.

There is no reason why every home should not have at least one outstanding shrub or tree in bloom every season of the year and when I say “Outstanding” I mean something really above the ordinary.

Do as much as you can in the way of soil conditioning ready for later planting. What you will have above the ground will be determined to a great extent by what you have under the surface. Use lots and lots of organics such as steer manure and planter mix with all annuals but go easy on the use of manures wherever you intend planting bulbs. Manures of any kind can cause bulb rot.

Bathroom Remodeling Ideas: Turning Your Master Bath into a Spa

Almost everyone loves the experience of a nice, large master bath, with plenty of space for a walk-in shower, and a separate Jacuzzi tub. Making your bath into a center of attention will not only provide many hours of pleasure, but will add immeasurably to the value of your home, and adds to the resale potential. Consider some simply tips to adding luxury to your bath without breaking the bank.

The major consideration in any bath remodel is space. Older homes suffer from the master bath being closet size, and give new meaning to the old term “water closet.” Today, we see the master bath in design magazines as a big, luxurious room, with ample space and beautiful design. Therefore, every bathroom remodel should start with considering if there is hidden space that can be incorporated to make the bathroom larger. What is on the other side of the walls adjacent to the bath? Is it possible to add on to the house and expand the bath outward? While moving walls and adding to the structure are expensive, the new look and space will certainly increase appeal and value. While I might not go to such great lengths in planning to sale a house, if I planned to remain in the house and/or resale in five years, I would definitely consider these options.

For such extensive remodels, you will definitely need an architect to draw plans, and you should carefully choose the contractor to make the changes. Be sure to get a permit for the work, and do your due diligence in checking out the contractor. Always check references and his rating with the Better Business Bureau.

To attain a spa like feel in the bath, consider extensive ceramic tile work. Pick warm colors and use some design techniques to add style. Simply changing the direction of the tile can add a new dimension. Small design details can add much to the look and offer many decorator options. If replacing windows, always consider larger rather than small windows, and make every allowance for natural light. Earth tones are a beautiful way to give your new bath an earthy, natural feel.

Consider adding steam to your shower set up and always think ahead about handicap accessibility. Having a self contained shower that allows for a wheel chair is worth doing. It is always cheaper to do it now rather than later. Replace commodes with comfort height fixtures and replace cabinetry with a new look and material. A master with a modern vanity and counter tops with either undermount sinks or the new vessel sinks will make the bathroom pop. Consider using as much “green” materials as possible and recycle old cabinetry and fixtures by donating them to Goodwill or other charities. The tax receipt helps reduce your investment.

If ceramic tiles are too cold for you, consider the new heating grids that are installed with the tile, providing warmth and making tile a better option. It might also be worth considering the new heated towel bars which heat your towels, and are a nice touch to your new spa-like bath.

Make the shower area as open as possible by incorporating the new clear blocks as a way to retain some privacy, while giving more light to the inside of the shower. Be sure to add a seating area in the shower to sit and enjoy the steam, or simply relax to mediate as you enjoy your new retreat.

While not cheap, adding a spa-like atmosphere to your main bath is both appealing and a good investment. The rule of thumb is that the master is one of two areas where investments will ultimately pay off in a nice return. Be sure to incorporate an interior designer into your planning to help with color, style, and design considerations. Their services are invaluable if you are to get the look you want.

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Everyone seems to be on a budget these days. Therefore, when it comes to remodeling your bathroom on a budget look no further. Here you will find the unique and the best ten tips for budget friendly remodeling of your bathroom. Depending on how tight your budget is for remodeling your bathroom, making a few simple changes can make a world of difference. Changing the hardware on the cabinets, adding new towels, and rugs will change the look whole look of your bathroom. Accent with a few candles, change your fixtures such as the lighting or faucets will make a world of difference. You can put this together on a budget of $ 80.00 or less. Purchase items on sale and look for closeout deals for the most savings. Another simple budget friendly tip when remodeling your bathroom is to change the window trim. When you have a large window in your bathroom adding some nice blinds or elegant curtains will change the look dramatically.

1. When remodeling your bathroom and you are on a budget look to wall-mart for cotton towels and bath accessories

2. Home depot has a good selection of vanities prices right. Sometimes you will find discontinued vanities for a super price.

3. When remodeling your bathroom on a budget you will want to check into Lowe’s for the flooring. At Lowe’s you will find the self-stick linoleum tiles for around forty-nine cents a piece. Once installed properly they will look beautiful and no one will know you did this on a budget. To find the best deal on the flooring you need to visit the store.

4. Purchase some candles from the dollar store to spruce up your bathroom when remodeling for an elegant and romantic feel.

5. Changing your bath rugs can add a new feel to your bathroom.

6. You can change the sink faucet; many times these are on sale at almost all major hardware stores. This can change the whole look of your bathroom.

7. Another budget friendly bathroom or kitchen remodeling idea is to change the wall color. You can brighten the bathroom by painting it a different color.

8. Adding more mirrors to bathroom will make it look larger.

9. Replace your old bathroom lighting with a more modern lighting for a great bathroom design idea.

10. Replace your old cabinet hardware. This will give your bathroom a simple yet elegant

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Installing drywall is not a particularly tough job. However, ending up with a nice looking job that does not highlight every seam in the wall can take a little practice to master. It is always much easier to do a drywall job with an extra set of hands unless you are a professional. Drywall tends to be a little on the heavy side. Because of its 4 foot by 8 foot or 4 foot by 12 foot size, it can be a somewhat unwieldy to handle. Having a helper makes it much easier to lift and hold each piece into position.

Begin the work by measuring the size of the area to be covered. You will need to know the height and length of each wall. Compute the square footage of each wall and add everything together. If you are using 4′ x 8′ drywall, divide the total number of square feet by 32. This will give you the minimum number of pieces that you will need. If the wall lengths are not easily divisible by 4, you will need about 1 or 1 ½ extra sheets per wall beyond the number you came up with when you divided the total wall space by 32. If you have a lot of windows, subtract off the size of the windows when you are making your computations.

Figure the length of the perimeter of the room. You will need about 3 times this length of joint tape. For a small job like one room, just buy two boxes of premixed drywall cement. You may need more than this, but two is a nice number to begin the job. By the time you run out, you will probably have given every joint at least one coat. This will let you judge how much additional, if any, that you will need.

You will need about a 6 inch wide drywall knife to spread the joint cement. You will also need a very sharp and sturdy utility knife to cut the surface of the drywall. Buy a good quantity of 1 or

1 1/4 inch drywall screws. The job will need at least 5 pounds even for one room. You do not want to scrimp on screws. Make sure that your cordless drill is ready for driving screws. An electric drill will also do this, but the cord can be a little inconvenient.

Getting a chalk line can help your job quality. For sanding the seams, you will need a good sanding block and several pieces of mesh material that is made for this use. Buying a block with an attachable handle will be even better. If you are not familiar with this, just talk to the people at the supply store. They will help you.

Before beginning the installation, make sure that the studs are clean and free of projections or nails, etc. If you intend to insulate or put up a moisture barrier, now is the time. This should all be completed before you screw on your first sheet of drywall. All electrical wiring, duct work, or other inside the wall work should be knocked out prior to the installation.

Most drywall hangers recommend putting the sheets up horizontally rather than vertically. Also, start at the floor and go up. You need a couple of spacers about ½ inch thick to place on the floor for the first row of drywall to rest on when you are getting it ready to install. This will leave a little space between the floor and the bottom of the drywall. This is important because it leaves space for flooring to be installed all of the way to the wall. The finished job will have this little space covered by the base board.

Measure up from the floor 4 feet and ½ inch. Do this in several locations. Use the chalk line and strike a line. Make sure that this line is level. If the floor slopes, you may have to get creative to overcome it. This generally is not a problem.

Using the spacers and following the chalk line, place your first piece of drywall against the studs. Bump it up against the corner where you have chosen to begin the drywall installation. Once it is in place and level, place a drywall screw in each stud along its upper edge. Now, put a screw in each of the bottom corners. You can either add a screw at each stud along the bottom and about every foot along each stud covered by the drywall now or you can come back and do all of the screws later. It does not matter which way you do this. As long as at the end, all of the screws are in place.

You make long cuts on dry wall by marking a line along the place that you want to cut. A good drywall hanger can hold the straightedge against the sheet and cut along it. If you marked the line, use your utility knife and cut through the paper coating and into the interior of the drywall a little. Cut along the entire length or width of the board whenever possible. Standing with the cut side toward you, tap firmly on the back of the drywall while putting pressure on the shortest end protruding past the cut. This should cause the drywall to snap. Bend it until a clear seam is showing. Cut along the paper on the seam to complete the task. If you have done this right, you should have a nice clean cut.

For small openings like an outlet or switch box, you will need to use a small saw or a jig saw to make the cut. This is usually a quick and easy job because drywall is a pretty soft material. Be careful to make close measurements before making any cuts because you can not glue this stuff back together. It will cause additional waste or more seams to hide. Neither of these are good.

Continue the installations and cuts until the job is complete. If you have to install a ceiling, always put the ceiling in first. This way, the edges of the ceiling will rest on the walls. It just makes the job go easier.

You will need to get your tape and mud ready to go. Using your 6 inch or bigger knife, spread a thin layer of cement along a seam. Now, reload your knife. Cover the seam with the tape. Use your knife to put another layer of cement over the tape. Try to feather the edges as much as possible, but do not get to particular at this point. Get enough cement to get everything covered along the seam and several inches on each side of it.

Mud and tape every seam. Now, you need to go back and cover every screw head with cement. The screws should be driven in far enough to be countersunk into the surface of the drywall. This will mean that you have a little depression to fill with mud. When you are finished, you should see a lot of one inch circles all over the wall.

Now, you are ready for the final steps. You will need to carefully sand all of the drywall cement once it has completely dried. The goal is to smooth it so that it disappears when you paint it or cover it. You will need to feel with your hands and stand to one side and look at it carefully to tell how this is going. If you are having problems making it look right, you may need to put on more cement and widen the seam covering even to a foot or more. A wider seam is easier to blend than a narrow one. It is a good idea to let the cement harden about a day before sanding it or sanding it again.

When you are satisfied that you have a good taping job, it is time to put away the drywall tools and get out the painting supplies. Should you see that you have left a seam a little too noticeable, you can always wait on the paint to dry and sand the paint away. You can then make the decision about whether the seam just needed a little more sanding, or you may decide it needs a wider spread on the cement. Either way, it can be done over after a coat of paint if you have to do it that way.

How to Hire a House Cleaning Company

It may seem easy at first to determine which cleaning company you will hire for cleaning your home or office. However, there are various aspects that you may simply take for granted, such as their quality of work, their pricing for services as well as the security of your personal items while there are hired cleaners in your home or office. You will need to know these and other things concerning any cleaning company that you are considering. Before you sign any cleaning contract, you need to make sure that you do understand these essential factors.

You should never make this important decision concerning the selection of a cleaning company, based solely on an impressive webpage or advertisements. You should always research a company to find out what types of services they provide as well as checking to see that they offer reasonable pricing. Make sure they have current insurance coverage. The reason for doing so is it that some companies may be cheaper to use than their competitors, since they have no such insurance coverage. If you find they are not find another company that is, since you cannot recover any damages that may incur while an uninsured company sends someone who may break or steal your belongings. Remember, reputable cleaning companies will be crystal clear concerning their pricing and fees.

Another aspect to consider when making a selection of a cleaning company is to check their policies of recruitment. This allows you to verify that their workers have a clean record and that they follow proper employment regulations. Always ensure that your home or office belongings are fully secure in order to ensure that you do not hand over your keys to a group of inferior individuals. Make sure they are adhering to all employment regulations so that you do not contribute to the exploitation of employees by employers that may cut their costs by doing such.

When you are comparison shopping for a cleaning company you will need to verify their task lists to find out what they are and if they cover the same issues as other types of cleaning companies and their fees. While you are reviewing, the various task lists of different companies make sure that they can accomplish those tasks that you may desire but are not included on their lists. There may be some service that you need, that they can take care of for you. Make sure that they provide a cost per item attachment for every task they do for you, so that you can monitor your incurring expenses accurately while using their services. It is a good sign for you when you find that a cleaning company has this to offer you. It proves that they are an organized and professional service provider.

With the exception of any other details, the standards of a cleaning company that you choose to use should comparatively the same, whether you want to hire a cleaning company for your home or office. You should also verify with the customer services department of any company to find out how they handle your questions and inquiries. These various aspects can aid you in making your cleaning company selection, since there may come a time when you need immediate attention and a slow reply can totally ruin your plans.

You should always have a guarantee when you have found their work to be unsatisfactory, make sure they offer a free back job policy. Always ask for their customer references when you are seriously consider using their services. When you are able to converse with their clients, you can get a better idea of their quality of work. While speaking with their references, find out if they recommend that particular company to those they know. This crucial test will be enlightening since an unsatisfied client would ever consider recommending that others use a cleaning company that provides poor or careless work.

How Cleaning Out Your Home’s Junk Can Help You Get the Down Payment for a New Home

You may be considering buying a home, but perhaps you don’t have the down payment money needed. Many are not able to set aside large amounts of their income for the down payment so they just end up not getting a home. What many don’t realize is that they may have the money needed for the down payment sitting in the basement, or in the attic of their home. What could possibly be sitting in your home?

Why not try planning a yard sale. A yard sale where you sell all of your items for just one dollar. You may be thinking that there is no way that you can get the money you need for your down payment but you may be happily surprised. First by placing everything on sale for just one dollar you will attract just about everyone in your neighborhood to look at the items you have for sale. More people have a few dollars that they can spare to buy a few things for their home or for their kids. If you put all of your items on a table for a dollar you will be surprised at how quickly you can get rid of them.

Of course you will need a large amount of items to add up to your down payment for your home, but this means that you have to put all of your items into individual pieces. For example each of your dishes should be no more than a dollar. If you don’t want to list all of your items for a dollar why not list some of them for five dollars. For example old coats, and clothing can be placed at a five dollar charge. I would recommend that you keep the price below the five dollar mark, in order to keep these items affordable, and keep all those who come interested in buying. Remember to check every area of your home for any items that you are not using. Remember that the more items that you have for sale the more money you will get. If you don’t want to go with the one dollar price you can have a set your own price sale. If you allow people to set their own price for items, you may be able to get a lot more money. Don’t negotiate with anyone over the price just let them pick their price. I would set a limit so that no one can go under $1. You can write down on the sign that you can name your own price over one dollar. These are just a few suggestions on how you can come up with the money you need for your homes down payment.

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