Exterior Design — Reimagining the Lawn

There are countless blogs, magazines, books and television shows dedicated to interior design. Exterior design plays second fiddle all too often. Take a moment to think about your home’s exterior with the same attention you pay to your home’s interior.


Inside, your house has walls that separate different spaces. Outside, you have to get a little more creative. Open spaces are great, and no one wants to have a whole lot of walls outside, but creating definition between different spaces is generally a very good idea. Planted borders and lawn edging Arlington WA or your area can help to distinguish between your vegetable patch and the place where your children play, for example. 

Focal Points

All good designs have some kind of focal point, and exterior design is no different. Think about where you want people’s eyes to land when they look at your house. Is there a particular feature or item that you want them to see first and look at longest? That will be your focal point. 

Social Spaces

Just like your indoor spaces, your outdoor spaces should be designed with people in mind. Homes are built for people first, inside and out, so make sure to include social spaces in your exterior design. There should be places for people to sit and socialize, perhaps even cook or make drinks. Exterior spaces, like interior spaces, are meant to be used by people as well as flora and fauna, so take full advantage of them by thinking socially in your exterior designing.

There’s more to your home’s outside than basic maintenance and mowing the lawn, just as there is more to interior design than vacuuming the carpet. There are rooms without walls in your outdoor spaces, and you paint them with flowers and foliage. Make the most of your exteriors, just as you do with your interiors.

5 Popular Materials for Garage Doors

Most people probably have no idea how many options they have when selecting garage doors. Between installation methods and materials, the possibilities for customization are endless. Here are five of the most popular materials for garage doors.

1. Aluminum

The most popular material is aluminum because it is relatively inexpensive compared to other varieties. Plus, Pflugerville garage door repair is easy with this type of door. Aluminum is also rust-resistant, extending its lifespan. They also require very little maintenance.

2. Glass

These doors are less common but gaining popularity due to their beautiful, modern appearance. They are constructed using durable materials that will look great and last a long time. They can be transparent or frosted and even come in different colors, all of which let in natural lighting that will enhance the appearance of your garage. The glass panels will need to be cleaned regularly but are otherwise easy to maintain.

3. Wood

Wooden garage doors add a classic and sophisticated look to your home. They can be stained or painted in many different colors to accommodate any style. Woods such as fir, cedar or redwood may be used, and details can be carved into them to make the design more interesting. Wood composite doors are also available. They have the appearance of wood while using more eco-friendly materials. Fiberboard is colored and carved to look more realistic and then filled with insulation, all on a wooden frame. Austin’s Greater Garage Doors says that wooden doors are appealing to so many people that they are sure to increase the resale value of your home.

4. Steel

Steel doors can be constructed with a layer of insulation that helps control temperature and increases energy efficiency. These doors are very durable and do not dent easily. Like aluminum, they are inexpensive to purchase and install. They can also be painted to match your home. Steel is not naturally rust-resistant, but your garage installation and repair service can apply a special coating to prevent rusting.

5. Vinyl

This material is especially durable and resistant to denting and rust. They also have a layer of insulation and come in a variety of colors and finishes.

There are numerous possibilities when it comes to creating garage doors. Next time you replace yours, be sure to consider what material best suits your needs from durability to appearance. Then you can select colors and hardware to get the customized look you desire.

5 States Well Known for Beach Vacations

If you are looking to get out of town, particularly if you are feeling a little land-locked, then it’s time to book a beach vacation. Whether you are taking the whole family, or just your special someone, consider the following five states to find the perfect beach for you.


The word California is synonymous with living that best beach life, so the state is an excellent choice for a beach vacation. From the warm sands of San Diego to the ominous beachside cliffs of Pfeiffer, there are so many options to choose to visit. Play on the boardwalk of Santa Monica, drive up or down Highway 1, surf Half Moon Bay (if you dare), or snorkel off the coast of Catalina Island. There is something for all ages to enjoy in California.

North Carolina

If you are looking for a relaxing vacation spot, look no further than the quiet islands and gorgeous beach towns dotting the coast of North Carolina. Bald Head Island, the Outer Banks, and Cape Hatteras National Seashore are just a few of the incredible places to choose from many North Carolina coast rentals. Making a home away from home will add to the fun and relaxation of a beach vacation with your family or significant other.


The beaches of Florida are lined with fabulous amenities that may speak to the younger generations, but Florida is really for all ages. From the bustling nightlife of Miami and Fort Lauderdale to the simplicity of the out-of-the-way Florida Keys, there is no shortage of adventure to be found in Florida.


Although most beach vacations equate to warm summer weather and sunny stretches of sand, there is a whole different perspective of beach beauty to be found along the coast of Maine. There is a wonderful national park to explore (Acadia Beach), plus several charming coastal fishing and tourist towns. The coastline is decorated with incredible rock formations, and you can tour the old lighthouses with your children.


Texas may be the land of cowboys and ranches but don’t let that stop you from considering a trip to one of the state’s beach towns. Corpus Christi, Galveston, and South Padre Island are all known for family-friendly beaches, a vast array of beach activities, and warm ocean water. The towns have wonderful cuisine, tours for every age and aquatic interest, and a bustling nightlife for those of age.

No matter where your destination takes you, you are sure to find fun and relaxation at the beach.

How To Prepare Your Home for a Hurricane

For those living in coastal areas, prepping your home for a hurricane will help protect it from potential damage and provide your family with necessities if the storm does hit. Taking care of these tasks at the first warning of an impending storm will ensure you have the supplies you need to complete them.

Remove Exterior Items

The winds of a hurricane can pick up even heavy items and hurl them into your home. Collect all the toys, chairs, patio tables, potted plants and grilling supplies and store them in your garage or a room in your home. Leave nothing sitting on your porch, patio or in your yard. If you have a large fountain or sculpture on your property, cover it in burlap and tie it securely to the ground with metal cables.

Arrange for Backup Power

There is often a period of power outages during and after a hurricane. To make sure you are not left in the dark, test that your portable generators South Florida are working properly and that you have adequate fuel to run them for an extended period of time. If you don’t have a generator, inquire about renting one from a local company or buying one of their used units.

Secure Your Home’s Exterior

Check your roof to make sure all the tiles or shingles are secure and fix any that are cracked and broken. Inspect the seals around your doors and window and caulk any areas that have deteriorated. Cover the windows with shutters or plywood. To protect your garage, install metal vertical braces on the interior of the garage door and reinforce them with thick horizontal wooden beams. Trim back any large shrubs around the perimeter of your home and trim your trees of any dead or loose branches. If possible, cut any tree branches that extend over any part of your home, including the porch or patio.

Stock Up on Supplies

Get a three day supply of food and drinking water for every person living in your home. Make sure you have enough batteries to keep your weather radio and flashlights operating properly. Fill all your bathtubs and any other large containers in your home with water to be used if the storm compromises your city’s water supply.

Completing these steps in the days before a hurricane strikes will protect your home from damage and provide for your family in the event of any utility outages.

What You Need for the Perfect Beach Vacation

Vacations are something we look forward to all year and planning one can be a lot of fun. Whether you are doing a beach getaway or a grand international trip, there are a lot of things to take into consideration. If your next trip is a beach trip, make sure to do the following things.


When planning a beach vacation, location is everything. East Coast or West, or maybe even Gulf? Perhaps you want an island vacation. Think about what time of year you are going. If this is a winter or spring break trip, you’ll want to pick somewhere guaranteed to be warm. During the summer, you might want to go further north to escape the oppressive heat of the South. You should also plan what activities you want to do and make sure that you choose a place where you can do them


After you’ve picked a location, you need to choose your accommodation. All-inclusive resorts are perfect for people who don’t want to have to worry about a single thing on their vacation. If you are planning on travelling with a large group or want to be able to cook for yourselves, you might want to choose short term rental properties Balboa Island. These are great for large groups because you can easily split the cost between yourselves.

How To Get There

You’ve picked your location and where you’re going to stay. Now you have to figure out how to get there. If the beach is within driving distance you may want to drive and have your car there for getting to and from the beach. If it’s further away you’ll probably have to fly. To save money on the tickets, try to pay with airline miles. If you are on a budget, do some comparison shopping on airlines.

You work all year for your vacation, so you might as well enjoy it. Take the time to plan just what you want and what you can afford and it will be a trip to remember.

4 Tips for Your First Trucking Job

Trucking is a high-demand job with favorable career prospects. However, it can be difficult, especially the first year out. It may come as some comfort to know that the first year of trucking is always the hardest. There are also some things you can do to make it a little easier.

1. Know Where the Truck Stops Are

When you need to rest, refuel, or refresh yourself, truck stops are there to accommodate you. A truck stop list Farmington NM can inform you where you can find these facilities. This can be especially helpful in sparsely populated rural areas where truck stops may be few and far between.

2. Prioritize Safety

Accidents can happen due to driver error, equipment malfunction, weather conditions, etc. The risk of injury from a collision is greater for the occupants of passenger vehicles with whom you share the road because your vehicle is so much bigger than theirs. Because you drive the bigger vehicle, you bear the brunt of the responsibility to prevent accidents:

  • Perform regular maintenance and inspections
  • Avoid driving under the influence
  • Maintain appropriate speed for conditions
  • Pay careful attention to your surroundings

3. Refer Back to Training

Experience will come with time, but for now, your training is all you have to fall back on. It is, therefore, perfectly acceptable to talk to your trainer or refer back to educational licensing materials periodically until you feel more comfortable.

4. Communicate Your Needs

With its long hours and physical demands, trucking is not easy. It can take a toll on you physically and mentally. If it is getting to the point where you are having trouble functioning, don’t feel like you have to just make the best of it. Talk to your supervisor about the difficulties you are having. It may be possible to make adjustments to your schedule or the length of your route to better fit your needs.

With so many trucking jobs available, you don’t need to put up with one that isn’t a good fit. You can and should find one that complements your lifestyle.

3 Great Tips for Creating a Contemplative Backyard Retreat

Wondering how to conveniently get away from the stresses of daily life? You can find your balance by reconnecting with nature, and you don’t even have to leave the house to do this. Here are three great ways to create a contemplative retreat in your own backyard.

1. Create Your Outdoor Living Space

Your contemplative retreat should include a private, peaceful place where you can feel at peace. The experts in patio installation West Palm Beach provide you with the foundation for your private outdoor space, all that you’ll need to do is select some comfortable furniture so you can relax and enjoy nature. You’ll be pleased to know that adding an outdoor living space is a great selling feature for any home, giving you a great return on investment.

2. Add Water

The beauty of water, whether in motion or at rest, adds to the feeling of serenity in a garden. There are plenty of ways to integrate water into the design of a backyard garden. Install a self-contained fountain if you want to add some movement and sound to your space. Alternatively, set out a beautiful bowl filled with water to create a tranquil feature that the birds will enjoy, too.

3. Create Privacy

Privacy is an important consideration for a contemplative retreat, after all, you’re looking to connect with nature instead of with any nosy neighbors or passersby. If you want instant privacy, install a quality fence or trellis and train climbing vines to populate the structure. Another option is to use privacy hedges, such as arborvitae, as a living wall. These hedges take some time to grow, but the results are stunning and natural, and they provide a dense screen from neighbors.

Your personal retreat is well within your reach. Follow these tips and create your own backyard oasis to soothe your spirit.

Tips For Investing In Real Estate

All of us want to secure a consistent revenue stream, and one of the best ways to do this is by investing in real estate. If you are new to the game, here are a few tips to help you get your feet wet and start you on your journey to real estate investing.

Understand the Types of Real Estate

One of the first things to understand is that there is private real estate and commercial real estate. Commercial real estate mainly includes businesses who are your tenants whereas private real estate is for the general public to be tenants. For example, large investors will hire a private equity real estate manager Manhattan NY to acquire multiple or large pieces of real estate. Areas such as New York have some of the most expensive real estate markets in the country, which is why private equity firms will pool money in order to afford large properties in areas such as these.

Invest in Multi-Unit Dwellings

If you don’t have the backing of a private equity firm behind you, one of the simplest ways to get your feet wet is by purchasing another single-family residence, or better yet, a multi-unit dwelling. Multi-unit dwellings simply means that more than one individual can live at the property and pay rent, such as an apartment complex, or a duplex. These sorts of properties are the best way to increase your revenue stream as having multiple income streams is always better than only having one. By having multiple streams, you can better absorb the loss if you have a tenant leave unexpectedly, or if there are damages that need to be repaired. 

The world of real estate is very large and expands across several different markets, which is why having an agent who understands the ropes and can help turn you to profitable properties is a must.

Why You Need To Get Your Plumbing Checked Regularly

When you’re a homeowner, there can be a lot of things to keep track of, and because of that, your plumbing may not always be at the forefront of your mind. That doesn’t mean, though, that it isn’t important. If you haven’t contacted plumbing services Geneva IL here are a few reasons why it might be helpful. 

It Can Prevent Major Damage

One of the primary benefits of getting regular plumbing maintenance is that it can help prevent major damage to your plumbing, especially when you do it in the fall, before cold weather hits. In many cases, major plumbing issues started out as something small that built up over time, and the emergencies that happened as a result were highly preventable. This can be particularly important to do before winter, as cold weather can cause pipes to crack and burst, especially if they are already damaged and leaking. 

It Can Save You Money

Another benefit of getting regular plumbing maintenance is that it can save you over time. While this may seem counterintuitive at first because you will have to pay a fee to get it looked at, the reality is that it will help your plumbing to function better, which means fewer leaks and wasted water. Ultimately, this can mean lower utility bills over time, and it can also help save you from ever having to spend money on fixing a costly plumbing emergency. 

Being a homeowner often comes with a lot of responsibilities, and because of this getting your plumbing checked may not always be at the top of your of things to do. That doesn’t mean, though, that it isn’t important. By getting regular maintenance for your plumbing system you can not only help prevent major damage and emergencies, but you can also save yourself some money in the long run, too. 

3 Career Paths To Consider That Don’t Require College

If you’re ready for a change in life, chances are you have been considering a new career. Maybe the thought of finding money to pay for college is holding you back, or perhaps you’d like to start working sooner rather than later. If that’s the case, here are three potential job paths that are worth considering. You won’t need a four-year degree and have the possibility of finishing your studies in a year or less.

1. Study Medical Billing and Coding

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the growth outlook is much faster than average for medical coding and billing. That makes this a good career to think about if you are seeking work in a field that shows no signs of slowing down. If you’ve ever thought about work in the medical field but were put off by the amount of education required, this might be an ideal position. 

2. Choose a Career as a First Responder

Firefighters, police, and EMTs are all first responder positions that make a difference in local communities. In education for these types of careers, you study specific topics and have practical training that prepares you for this line of work, such as how to put out a building that is on fire for firefighter certification Texas. Individuals looking for a career that keeps them on their toes and requires quick thinking should consider these fields.

3. Consider Getting a CNC Certification

Another career option that is fast-growing and in need of skilled workers is CNC, short for computer numerical control. These manufacturing positions, although requiring certification, are very hands-on. If you’d rather work with your hands and don’t want to spend a lot of time in class, this could be a good choice.

There are many different types of positions that allow you to get to work right away without spending years in college. If you’re looking for something new, consider one of these options.