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Author: Ryan (page 2 of 26)

Impressive Ways to Upgrade Your Yard

If you are looking for some exciting ways to make your backyard an oasis for relaxation and entertainment, you have come to the right place. Creating your outdoor paradise may take some planning and work but it will be worth it in the end. There are many ways to make any space more inviting and unique. Here are some great tips for taking your backyard to the next level.

Raise Your Deck

An elevated deck can make a vast difference in your yard. Being low to the ground limits your line of vision and you can miss out on some of nature’s most breathtaking shows. Building a raised deck enables you to take in more of the beauty that lies in your yard and beyond. Imagine sipping your morning coffee with the best view in town and basking in the sunrises and sunsets from your new deck.

Make a Splash

Nothing says luxury like a water fountain. Adding a fountain, pond, or other water feature lets you get creative with your yard design. Water adds a sense of serenity and peace to your outdoor space. You can keep the water feature classic or play it up with lights and colors. You can install water features that are functional or purely for pleasing aesthetics.

Light it Up

Yards with lights are safer and more enjoyable. When it comes to landscape lighting, there is no shortage of available options. From uplighting to hanging luminaries, you can add light sources to create a variety of styles. You can add color or go for pure white lights. Lights low to the ground illuminate steps and paths and lights from above improve overall visibility.

No matter what your desired style, there is a yard improvement for you. From better views to water features and everything in between, you can take your yard up a notch with these tips.

When Was Your Restaurant Kitchen Fully and Professionally Cleaned?

Commercial kitchens require a standard of cleanliness that is beyond reproach to provide the best experience possible for customers and to keep them safe. That’s why so many chefs and other food service professionals make it a point of pride to do a thorough cleaning job whenever they notice an issue. Still, no matter how diligently you clean, there’s no way to perform the kind of deep clean that fully eliminates buildup and also takes care of infrastructure like your grease traps unless you shut down for the process. Even if your staff is fully trained for it, that means an overnight shift or a day of lost revenue if you do it yourself. That’s why so many successful restaurants call in the professionals for extra help.

Deep Cleaning for a Fresh Start

When you have periodic pressure cleanings, you wipe out the stuff you can’t see until it’s built up to a tough layer over time that’s hard to knock back down with regular cleaning. That’s when commercial kitchen cleaning services Orlando FL are most useful. If you schedule your deep cleaning on the right schedule, you’ll never even see an issue because the hard to manage buildup will get wiped back out before it’s developed enough to show itself. That means a cleaner kitchen for you and a better, safer experience for your customers.

Set a Standard

While your customers might never see the inside of your kitchen, they will taste the difference when you set your crew up for success by making sure all of their equipment and the work space itself are both spotless and ready for their return. That makes it easier for them to produce the food that will keep your customers coming back. It might be an invisible investment, but it’s one that will give you great returns in the long run.

How To Choose the Right Roofing Contractor

There are many reasons someone might need to hire a roofing contractor. Storms often cause damage to the roof of a house or building, age takes a toll on the roof of any structure and sometimes an update is needed because the current roof style is not cutting it. Whatever the reason may be for hiring a roofing contractor, choosing the right one is key.

Identify Your Reason

Often, contractors will specialize in certain types of repair. What repairs you require will drive your decision. Contractors will often discuss their specialties on their websites. Some specialize in high-quality roofs, historic structures or storm repair. The reason to repair your roof may be due to a variety of issues, but making this determination is a good starting point to begin the search for your contractor.

Do Your Research

Hiring a roofing contractor is one of the biggest decisions you could make regarding your home or business. The roof provides shelter from sun, rain and snow. However, the roof is also one of the most overlooked parts of a house or building. Fortunately, a roofing contractor understands how to fix a roof and keep it working properly. Unfortunately, not all contractors have the level of expertise you may need. The best place to start your research is the internet. For example, if you search for roofing contractors St Charles County MO, you will likely find several contractors in this area. A great way to narrow your search is to look at the Better Business Bureau rating of each contractor and then consider those who are higher-ranked.

Contact Them

After you have identified your reason, done the research and gone through the contractors’ websites, it is time to contact your choice. This can be done by simply calling the number listed on the website. During the call, try to give them the reason for the repair, the type of roof and any other information you can think of.

Information is so important in making the decision on which contractor to hire. Therefore, do your research and be confident in your decision.

Three Ways to Revitalize Your Home

If you own an old or outdated home, chances are you have a few projects you’d like to work on. From a fresh coat of paint to new floors and lighting, there are endless options to help you make your home your own personal sanctuary.

Watch Where You Step

New floors are a great way to update a home and can help make it feel cohesive from room to room. Whether you prefer the classic and timeless look of hardwood flooring in Highland Village, or prefer something less traditional such as laminate or tile, you can really transform the look and feel of your living space.

Refresh With Some Paint

A new coat of paint can do wonders for refreshing a house’s vibe. Whether you want earth tones, cool colors or something bright and cheery, you can really change the atmosphere by choosing a new color palette. Whether you choose one color for the whole home or prefer to use different colors in each room, this is a project you can do yourself if you choose. Add an accent wall or choose decor to add visual interest.

Light It Up

Updating the lighting can make a huge difference in the feel of your home. Although not typically the focal point of the room, old or outdated light fixtures can detract from an otherwise beautifully designed room. Older homes may be lacking in light, so adding recessed, can, track or chandelier lighting can be a great investment. Floor and table lamps can also be beneficial if you are looking for a quick fix.

Updating, renovating or just redecorating a home can be both exciting and overwhelming. With all of the options out there, it may be hard to narrow down the choices. Flooring, paint colors and light fixtures are just a few places to start.

4 Routine Home Maintenance Tasks That Are Often Overlooked

Owning your own home is a big achievement, and it can also be a larger responsibility than you may realize. Make sure you take proper care of your investment by keeping up with these routine maintenance tasks that many homeowners overlook.

Maintain Your Septic System 

Many older homes and those in rural areas have private septic systems to handle household wastewater. Located underground, they filter solids from liquids and ensure that biological waste doesn’t contaminate the surrounding area. While many people don’t really consider the septic system as a household system that needs routine maintenance, taking the time to have it checked every few years could save you a lot of trouble down the road. Septic tank draining and cleaning is something you want to schedule ahead of time, not in the case of an emergency backup.

Inspect Your Roof and Gutters

Your roof is another item that may be out of sight and out of mind. However, you don’t want to wait until a heavy downpour to find out that yoru roof is not up to the challenge of keeping the weather out. Shingle roofs should be checked annually for missing or lifting shingles and areas with excessive wear. The seams and fasteners on metal roofs should be secure and sealed. Gutters should be clean and free of debris so water can be channeled away from your home.

Drain Your Water Heater 

Taking the time to drain your water heater once a year will help keep sediment from building up in the water storage tank and may extend the life of your unit. You can use a bucket or attach a hose to the drain valve and simply open it up. Make sure you turn the water heater off first and allow it to fill before using hot water.

Clean Your Dryer Vent 

Keeping your dryer vent clean can help with a couple of things. First, your dryer will most likely run more efficiently with a clean vent hose. It will also be safer. Dryer lint is highly combustible, so a clogged vent line can be a fire hazard. Pull the dryer out from the wall about once a year and clear out any lint that has gotten past the machine’s filter screen to help it run its best.

3 Things to Know Before Operating a Service Station

As an investor, you may be thinking about owning a franchise to build wealth and diversify your asset portfolio. Vehicle usage has risen steadily over the past 50 years. Owning a service station has great income potential. As you research and plan, here are three things to know in advance.


Location is crucial to the success of your operation.  Visibility from the road, average daily traffic and demographics factor heavily in potential profit. You should also consider competitors in the vicinity. If your service station is the only one around for miles, you could make a lot of money. If there are several direct competitors, it might be harder to generate the revenue needed to stay open. Consider the neighborhood. Will you be in an area where many customers would be inclined to bring their vehicles by for repairs?


You will need to secure permits to build a service station and operate it. Carefully consider all the services to be provided. Will customers also be able to fill up on gas and wash their vehicles at your business? An experienced, certified contractor will be fully knowledgeable about permitting requirements, such as a provider of service station construction California. Violation of local regulations could be detrimental to your project and business.


You’ll want to work with a qualified contractor. Make sure that the bidder has properly accounted for all project requirements. Don’t just go with the lowest bid. Mistakes in the bidding process can lead to delays and change orders that eat into profits. You also need to contemplate which companies to partner with in terms of franchising and sales. Major corporations usually have conditions that will impact what you can do with your service station.

Owning and operating a service station can generate significant income. It comes with risk and great reward. Thorough planning and location selection, hiring the right contractor and choosing the right companies to partner with can increase your odds of success.

How to Protect Your Floors

From shoes that scuff to pets who scratch, your floors have many enemies. But their most dangerous foe is furniture. Whether you’re trying to maintain a tile, hardwood, or laminate floor, tables and chairs make the worst and most lasting damage. The good news is that there are many ways to prevent them from doing so. Here are just a few.


Affix Soft Material to the Legs

Felt pads and gliders do a great job of preventing furniture legs from damaging everything from expensive tile to provenza wood floors. At the same time, they allow for easy gliding of furniture across any floor type.


Trim Pet Nails

If you have a dog or cat that routinely leaves scratch marks, consider having their nails trimmed during your next visit to the veterinarian.

Lay Rugs

Although you may not wish to cover up a floor you love, rugs are a foolproof form of protection. What’s more, they can also be removed when entertaining or if you decide on a different method.

Go Shoeless

Most shoes or sneakers can leave unsightly scuffs and streaks on any floor. So take them off and leave them at the door. Politely ask guests to do the same, especially during bad weather.


Consider Bamboo

Bamboo strand offers a higher density than traditional wood. Bamboo floors are engineered to handle the most demanding home and commercial environments. It’s one way to head off damage before it even sets foot in your home or office.


Don’t Drag

Finally, if you prefer to not take any of the above actions, at least make sure that you never drag furniture across floors. Make an effort to always lift and place your chairs and tables.

Flooring is an investment, and should be treated as such. Whether in your home or office, it’s an investment that demands protection.

Ways to Make Your Home Look Great

Have you been looking around your home recently and thought that you’d like to make some changes? Perhaps you’ve been perusing pictures online and in magazines and found some incredible design ideas. You want your home to look high-end, but maybe you don’t have the budget. Fortunately, you don’t need to have a large budget to get a great looking home. Here are some ideas that can help you make your home look great.

Light Fixtures

Standard light fixtures get the job done, but they often look just like the fixtures you can find in just about any other home. Instead, try adding some custom light fixtures. With custom fixtures, you get lighting and a touch of elegance that is harder to come by.

Hardwood Flooring

There’s something about hardwood floors that screams elegance. It’s a classic that never goes out of style. Several types of woods are used for flooring. You can select a type that best fits your budget without sacrificing appearance.

Crown Molding

Crown molding is a small touch that has a lot of visual power. It can take a room from appearing unfinished to complete. Wider trims tend to have the biggest impact.

Window Treatments

Window treatments are another small touch that can have a huge impact. Without them, your home looks unfinished. With the right ones, your home instantly appears more opulent. Choose materials like linen, cotton, or silk. Or, if you don’t want flowing fabrics, you can choose wood blinds.


You don’t have to spend a lot on brand-new furniture to get a high-end look. Instead, there are many benefits to buying second-hand. You can sometimes find great pieces of furniture for much less. You can refinish the furniture you find to look more modern and fit in with your home’s décor.

Just because you’re on a budget, that doesn’t mean that you can’t have a home that looks high-end. It doesn’t take much to create an expensive look that you (and everyone who steps foot in your home) will love.

The Importance of a Clean Water Supply

Every home or business releases wastewater throughout the day. Wastewater is the term for used water, and it can be broken down into either black or gray water. Before any of this water can be released back into the environment, it must be treated to remove pollutants. Nature can do a decent job of absorbing small amounts of pollution or wastewater, but with the billions of gallons produced every day, nature would be overrun. Wastewater isn’t just about the sewage or used water released from schools, home, businesses, or industries. Any rain runoff that has come in contact with parking lots, roads, buildings, or other synthetic materials can bring pollution to the natural environment.

Treatment is Life-Saving

The job of treating wastewater is left of up to wastewater treatment companies. Removing the pollution and impurities from the water is good for the environment and the health and safety of the human population. There are several reasons why treating the water is a priority.

  1. Wildlife habitats. The natural homes of wildlife are found in oceans, rives, and lakes. Not only do hundreds of fish species dwell in these areas, birds and wildlife use these spots for feeding, drinking, and resting. Polluted water can poison more than just fish or other aquatic life.
  2. Clean water promotes the growth and health of both plants animals living in the water. The fishing industry relies on these ecosystems for a natural food source that is uncontaminated.
  3. Human recreation. Hot summer days are perfect for a dip in the lake or a trip to the ocean. Water is nature’s playground, and people enjoy recreational activities near these sources just as much as wildlife. Clean water makes these areas suitable for all types of play, sport, and leisure.

The foremost concern of treating wastewater is the health and safety needs of humans. If not thoroughly cleaned, it can carry diseases and bacteria than can be life threatening. Caring for our water supply means caring for ourselves.

Steps Towards a Greener Home and Wallet

Leading a more environmentally-friendly lifestyle at home will help both your wallet and the environment. Here are a few areas to consider.

Switch to Solar Energy

Are you familiar with Solar ITC New Jersey? The Federal Solar Investment Tax Credit (ITC), enacted in 2006, provides a 30 percent tax credit on solar systems installed in residential and commercial properties. Construction must begin before the end of 2019 for the full credit. After 2019, the tax credit tapers off.

The solar energy that you contribute to the grid will be credited against your utility bill. Contact your energy provider for specific information.

Inspect Insulation and Weatherstripping

Improving the insulation in your home will help keep warm air inside in winter and keep the hot air outside in the summer. If you have an older home, your insulation may need upgrading to current building codes.

You should also look around your windows and doors for air leaks. Your utility company can provide you with references to reputable companies to do an energy audit. Any leaks should be sealed with weatherstripping.

Participate in Recycling and Composting

Reducing your trash that goes to the landfill helps the environment. However, it is important that you follow your local government’s guidelines on recycling and composting collection. Just because an item may be marked as recyclable on the packaging, it does not mean that your local jurisdiction can accept it. It is important to follow the guidelines. Sometimes one wrong item or a food-soiled material in a recycling bin will result in the entire load going to the landfill trash pile instead.

Use Green Cleaning Products

You can save money as well as the environment when you use everyday household items such as vinegar for cleaning tasks instead of commercial chemicals. Search online for cleaning recipes. Adding essential oil to the vinegar will give you the pleasant scent that you are used to from commercial products.

Solar energy, insulation, recycling, and green cleaning products are all steps you can take at home to protect the environment and your cash flow.

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