If you are thinking about building a brand new swimming pool, you have likely considered all the required maintenance associated with it. Moreover, if you want to keep your pool in clean, working order, proper maintenance is essential. You would hate to put in a pool just to find that it is ruined after months of improper treatment.
Keeping your pool balanced means that you are working to maintain the water’s pH balance with chemicals. Sodium hypochlorite will raise the pool’s pH while granular acid will lower it. It is important to test the water’s balance once a week. You should also provide additional treatment for your pool following a storm, intense heat or growing algae.
There are additional chemicals you must add to the pool to kill things like algae and bacteria. Chlorine is the most popular chemical used to do this. It comes in the form of liquid, tablets and a powdery substance. The tablets are often a better choice because they dissolve slowly over time and do not require much maintenance.
You should always skim the surface of the water two or three times a week. Pick up leaves, debris and large pieces of dirt that have made their way into the pool.
You should also brush down your tiles and sides of the pool regularly. This will keep algae from growing on the walls since trying to get rid of algae can be a difficult endeavor once it sticks on the walls.
You should ensure that you do not have plants, bushes and trees too close to the pool. This will stop branches, leaves and other debris from falling into the pool. If you do not plan to renovate the rest of the landscaping, you might consider at least trimming back the plants.
Your pool’s vacuum system must be emptied and examined for maintenance on a regular basis since it picks up many of the items you either do not see or cannot reach.
You should be prepared to dedicate at least four hours a week to pool maintenance. This is a large time commitment for many families, but the summertime hours spent in the pool will make it worth your while.
Hanging a picture is perhaps the most simple and common DIY home remodeling project. Nonetheless, hanging pictures can go wrong if you don’t have the proper picture hanging hardware or steps needed to hang pictures straight and at the proper height.
Mark and Theresa ofMyFixItUpLife are back showing you how to properly hang a picture, no matter how small or large that photo or mirror may be.
- For DIY art, a clip and wire hung over a nail or screw is recommended.
- For heavier art, use a picture hanger to accommodate extra weight.
- Picture hangers do the least damage to the walls.
- Try to hang your picture 60” from the floor.
- Use a torpedo level to make sure the picture is straight.
- You can use a laser level to make sure pictures are equal heights across the room.
- For items heavier than 50 Ibs., use professional picture hangers.
- Professional picture hangers hold up to 100 Ibs.
Hanging a picture is not difficult, but without proper techniques, one can damage the wall. Keeping the above tips in mind will ensure that all pictures are hung evenly, looking just as if a pro stopped by.
Holiday lighting installation is something many of us look forward to each and every year, but sadly, many homeowners run the risk of hurting themselves or their loved ones as they hang lights throughout the exterior of the home.
There are always safety precautions one should take before hanging holiday lights, but more so, a helpful guide, including tools needed and step-by-step instructions should always be referenced before attempting a new DIY project.
Continue reading to see all you have to know about installing Christmas and holiday lights.
Recommended Tools for Holiday Lighting Installation
Like any home improvement project, there are tools one needs to complete the project and tools one could use to make your lives easier. Below are all the tools you should consider purchasing (or borrowing) before you hang holiday lights.
- Staple Gun
- Light Clips
- Gutter Hooks
- Extension Cords
- Christmas or Holiday Lights (LED lights recommended)
Tips on Lighting Materials
You can purchase many of these items at The Home Depot or any local hardware store. Before you go spending, make sure you take an accurate inventory of the materials you already own.
First, check out how many lights you own and the condition of each. If any are cracked, chipped or stray wires are present, throw those away as they present a safety concern while lit. Believe it or not, those lights can cause a fire. Also, before you get in the car, test your lights. Make sure you know exactly how many new lights you need to purchase.
While at the store, make sure you are purchasing outdoor lights. Indoor lights are not safe for the outdoor elements, such as rain or snow. They can also blow a fuse or start a fire.
You will most likely need multiple extension cords made for outdoor use. It’s a safer bet to go with a three-pronged extension cord, as they are safer outdoors. Also, make sure you plug them into a GFCI outlet. These types of outlets shut off when they detect a short circuit. You can even buy a GFCI to plug into a regular outlet. Either way, there should be weather protection around the outlet.
Next, and perhaps the most important piece of information I can give you, is to buy a very stable ladder. This is not a time to play acrobat and extend a reach you don’t have. Your ladder should extend at least six feet higher than the highest point of your lights.
How to Hang Christmas & Holiday Lights
As long as you follow the simple safety recommendations and precautions above, you should be able to hang your Christmas lights without any issues.
As time has evolved, more and more homeowners are moving away from staple guns and nails and instead, using light clips and gutter hooks. After all, roof repairs are not cheap, so you should always look to minimize the wear and tear on the most valuable part of the your home. If you do go with nails, make sure you attach them to fascia board.
Before heading up, make sure your ladder is firm and fully opened. To be safe, have friend at the bottom, holding the ladder in place. While it goes without saying, never place the ladder on ice or water.
If you are using hooks, now is the time to attach the gutter hooks. Do not try to carry all your lights and gutter hooks up the ladder at once. This is not a race. The gutter hooks should easily attach to the gutter. You should hear a snap once they are installed correctly. Once you have three to four feet of hooks attached, have your friend hand you the holiday lights and hang them from the hooks. Once again, do not rush. Conversely, if you are using light clips that attach to the roof, you can install those just as you did the gutter hooks.
It’s as easy as that. Then again, you could really step up your holiday lighting game like the family below.
Pools are not only beautiful and fun, but add to the value of your home. Building and renovating projects are often financed with a mortgage, much like your home. Finding either a banker who has experience in financing pools or a pool dealer with in-store financing options is also key to making your backyard dream affordable.
Pools are typically financed through a long-term mortgage similar to the one you likely obtained to purchase your home. Since you can spread out the payments on your pool over a longer amount of time than, for example, a home entertainment system, your monthly payments are often small enough to make your dream pool affordable.
The key to successfully financing your pool is finding a lender who has some knowledge of the swimming pool building process and its nuances. Here are some helpful tips.
- Some pool builders offer in-store financing, allowing them to easily tailor a manageable monthly payment to your situation. They can often get you approved in 24 hours or less. The builder can explain financing options, loan terms and current interest rates.
- A bank might do one swimming pool loan a week, but pool builders who offer in-store financing do them all the time, so you can be assured that you’ll be speaking the same “language.”
- If you’re building a home, consider building your pool at the same time. This trend has building contractors advising customers to roll a pool in on the first mortgage along with the house. Talk with your building contractor to learn more about this opportunity
Don’t let sticker shock keep you from getting the pool of your dreams. Financing a pool is just like financing a house, car or any other major purchase. A seemingly overwhelming sum can be easily broken down into manageable monthly payments.
Halogen lights used to be the most popular pool lights, but as times have evolved, so have available pool lights. Halogen lights can be installed in above ground and inground pools. Just like some of the other options discussed, they are affordable and can easily light up your entire pool (or not if you are setting the mood).
The biggest drawback of halogen lights is their efficiency. They are not energy efficient and LED lights are said to use about 80% less energy than halogen lights. Additionally, you will have limited options when it comes to colors.
Another great addition is a new hot tub. See some of our favorite additions at Hot Tub and Spa Accessories.
LED Pool Lights
LED lights are the most popular lighting option today. They shine bright, have plenty of colors, are durable and perhaps most importantly, they are energy efficient. As I said above, they use about 80% less energy than other pool lights.
LED lights can be added to either pool type and are popular with floating pool lights for above ground pools. They are very bright and depending on your pool size, you may only need one LED light. The same can’t be said for halogen or fiber optic lights.
When compared to fiber optic lights, LED pool lights are much cheaper and according toSwimming Pool Supplies, they can last anywhere from seven to 15 years.
A fallback comes when you have to change the bulbs. You will have to remove the sealed housing unit and take it above water. The entire process for changing the bulb could take up to 30 minutes. Some homeowners may have an issue holding lights within a pool and if so, you should contact a pool contractor in your area.
Fiber Optic Pool Lights
We have come to the Grand Poobah of pool lights that can set the mood or enhance your swimming experience. Fiber optic lights come a wide array of colors and can be easily installed under water, around your pool or within a waterfall. Perhaps the greatest advantage of fiber optic lights is the simplicity in replacing them. They are frequently placed above the pool in a dry box. All you have to do is open the box and change the bulb. It’s much faster than changing LED bulbs.
When it comes to cost and durability, LED wins out. Fiber optic lights require a hefty fan to cool the bulb down. This comes with an extra cost. Also, compared to the 15-year lifespan of an LED light, fiber optic lights rarely make it past seven.
Pool lights may be one the more expensive pool items you purchase, but they can have the greatest effect in your swimming experience. Whether you want to take a dip at night or set a romantic evening with your significant other, pool lights is one decision you should never overlook.
If you want a permanent hot tub that looks rustic and requires very little maintenance over time, one great option is the wood fired hot tubs. Rather than using electricity or gas, these tubs operate by burning traditional logs of wood to heat the water. These tubs may be heavy, but they don’t require any electric wiring or plumbing since they are standalone items that can be placed anywhere. Plus, wood fired hot tubs typically cost far less than traditional versions, and average prices may be well under $2,000 depending on size.
Portable & Inflatable Hot Tubs
If you want to set up a hot tub and then remove it in the winter, or if you like to travel with a hot tub, a small inflatable version might be best. As long as you have a flat surface, you can install it on your own within an hour. These hot tubs are also the cheapest, and they can cost upwards of $400 for the basic models.
Traditional Hot Tub Materials
Wood-burning and portable hot tubs are definitely viable options, but the more traditional version is one made from vinyl, fiberglass or acrylic. Seating in these varieties is comfortable, and cleaning is very easy thanks to the flat, smooth surface of these options.
If you have a compacted space ready for a hot tub, your installation costs will remain low. If you need to build a deck or pour concrete for the tub, however, expect your price to go well beyond the $395 limit mentioned above.
Hot Tub & Spa Benefits
There are so many benefits to hot tub ownership! Some of the most obvious benefits include relaxation, therapeutic exercise and, of course, just plain fun!
Here’s to Your Relaxation
- A past study shows that 70% of employed Americans suffer stress-related conditions, such as depression, ulcers, high blood pressure, anxiety and insomnia.
- A National Sleep Foundation study found that a 15-minute soak in hot water can actually help you fall asleep faster.
- Studies show that warm water allows your blood vessels to dilate, allowing more blood and oxygen to flow to your muscles – and you relax!
- More than 50% of hot tub/spa owners cite relaxation as the primary reason for purchasing a hot tub or spa.
Spas and hot tubs are a great getaway from your daily routine. Warm, smooth bubbling water can turn even the most stressful day into pure pleasure – just for fun, just for romance or just because!
Here’s to Your Health
Water exercise is proven to be a safe and effective way to stay in shape. In fact, water exercise can be safe for many people that can’t participate in other forms of activity. The soothing heat and buoyancy of water creates an ideal environment for relieving the pain of many chronic health conditions such as arthritis, fibromyalgia and orthopedic injuries. Water supports sore joints to encourage ease of movement while at the same time providing gentle resistance to build strength and muscle. As with any health regimen, consult a physician prior to beginning a new exercise program.
Here’s to Your Entertainment
For a party of many or a party of one, hot tubs and spas are THE source for enjoyment, amusement and pleasure. It’s a perfect environment for the whole family to come together, relax and spend time together. You could also grill out with family and friends, or just enjoy a romantic evening with your spouse. The entertainment possibilities are endless, and the best part is that you never have to leave home – your escape is only steps away!
Here’s to Your Home Improvement
Your home will look better and you’ll feel better with the addition of a new spa or hot tub. You can say goodbye to membership dues, travel reservations and extra recreational fees … your dollars are invested in you, your home, your family – now and for the future – there’s no better investment!
Did You Know?
- A typical hot tub costs about $10 – $30 per month in electricity to operate (based on a range of $.07/kWh – $.10/kWh. The 2003 US national average is $.0871/kWh.)
- A hot tub that is installed in a sunny location can use up to 5% LESS electricity than one installed in the shade.
- Hot tub owners can save about 5% by minimizing heat loss due to wind. Shelter your hot tub by planting shrubs and/or installing a fence.
Hot Tub & Spa Accessories
There are so many options available to make your hot tub or spa as simple or sophisticated as you want. Jet types and seating configurations can be customized to fit specific preferences, rather than just using the pre-installed ones in the tub already. You can also add drink trays or high tables outside of the hot tub if you want to eat or drink while in the tub. There’s also the option of fiber optic mood lighting at night to make it seem like the right kind of atmosphere, especially if you’re having a party with friends. Built-in stereos and TVs are another good idea if you’re having a party with friends. There are even spa-friendly game boards that you can have floating in the hot tub to play.
Then there are other kinds of accessories to consider, like the cover. Sometimes these don’t come automatically with the hot tub, which means you’ll need to find one that fits the confines of the hot tub and can withstand the weather conditions. You want to avoid children or pets falling in, along with having to clean because of trees, shrubs and bugs. You also to have think about the filter, which will need to be changed at times, as well as the water chemicals needed to keep it at a certain pH level. You should also have a thermometer to monitor the temperature of the hot tub so it stays just the way you like it rather than too hot or cold. Also, you’ll need to consider cleaning accessories for when you do need to maintain it. Whether it’s netting, a scrubber, vacuum, skimmer or any other kind of supply you might need, you’ll most likely have to purchase these accessories if you buy a hot tub.
You should know –
- You may need a permit to cover the installation and electrical work necessary for your hot tub. Check with your local building inspections office.
- For the price of a week-long stay at some luxury resorts, you can make an investment that will provide you with a spa retreat in your own backyard.
- The National Spa & Pool Institute (NSPI) offers certification courses for hot tub dealers. Find out if your local retailer is a member of the NSPI.
Swimming pools have been around for a long time and play an important part in actualizing the American dream. In fact, earliest reports of swimming pools go back more than 5,000 years, according to archaeological findings.
Design trends evolve constantly as new materials, technology and pool features arrive on the market. You now have more choices than ever to add interest and character to your pool. These eight trends are among the hottest for 2016.
1. Pool Structure
A traditional in-ground pool has distinct edges, typically with a deep end and a shallow end. The only way to get into the pool is by jumping in or taking the stairs. The pool typically has relatively consistent depths, a shallow end around 3′ to 4’ and a deep end about 8’ deep. The latest trends for 2016, however, turn this convention on its head.Vanishing edge pools create the illusion that the water just keeps on going, blending seamlessly with the sky above.
Beach entries create the same smooth walk into the water that you’d experience at the ocean. Tanning ledges allow for pool enthusiasts to enjoy a few cool, refreshing inches of water while still getting plenty of sun. Also known as a lounging ledge, this shallow waterbed, with 12″ or less of water, is perfect for keeping cool in the water while exposing your skin to a good amount of sun for tanning and relaxing. Tanning ledges are perfect for relaxing in chaise lounges, enjoy splash time with toddlers or cool off without the effort of treading water.
Perimeter overflow pools allow water to overflow the edges of the pool, where it’s captured and recycled back into the pool water. It’s similar to a fountain, but is over the entire pool. The constantly moving water has a wonderful and calming sound and relaxing nature. As a bonus, it also tends to be self-cleaning!
Concrete bottomed pools are on the way out. Glass and stone tiles are the material of the future. The reflective quality of glass tile against the water is picture perfect and can be used throughout the whole pool or as luxurious accent. The beautiful colors and patterns created by the tiles evoke a spa-like feel that will enhance your swimming experience. Although typically used as a waterline, glass tile can also be implemented on the ground of the pool to create a magnificently beautiful look. Stone tiles create a stunning and more traditional, Romanesque effect for your pool. Additionally, the smoother surface is also more soothing for bare feet.
3. Fire & Water
Many families are choosing to combine the elements of fire and water to create fascinating effects and enhance the appearance of the pool. Fire pits and fire bowls add light that sparkles on the surface of the water at night. Not only that, they add a sense of luxury and elegance to the pool area.
4. Water Features
Water features come in a myriad of options that can really enhance your outdoor living experience. The sound of falling water and the gorgeous visual effect of flowing water create a relaxed atmosphere. Hydrotherapy jets aren’t just for spas and physical therapy pools anymore. This latest feature is now available for in-home pools. These relaxing jets can transform your backyard space into an enchanted oasis and bring a sense of relaxation and peace to your home.
Concrete and natural paver stones cover the ground around many pool areas. These stones and concrete can appear in a variety of colors and will blend beautifully with any style of pool décor. Because concrete is durable, it’s can hold up to plenty of traffic in the pool area.
6. Poolside Patio Décor
Standard white poolside chairs and a table with an umbrella aren’t cutting it anymore! If you want the ultimate pool experience in your backyard, you need poolside patio décor that’s designed to take your elegant style into consideration. Current trends includeexotic wood, travertine and marble that blend together to create stunning, relaxing effects that wouldn’t be out of place in a spa.
7. Going Green
Eco-friendly trends are one of the foremost considerations for many contemporary decorators and going green in the pool area is no exception. Geothermal and solar heating provide a comfortable water temperature even in the late spring and early fall, when the air can be a bit too crisp. Bio pools offer another eco-friendly option. These natural pools use plants and other biological filters, rather than harsh chemical substances, to clean and refresh the pool.
A bright swimming pool on a sunny summer afternoon is always filled with smiles, laughs and all around fun. Swimming pools are great for the family and increasing your home’s value, but they also come with many maintenance items that will lighten your pockets.
Before installing a new outdoor swimming pool, be sure to see the most common costs of buying and maintain a swimming pool.
Costs of Inground vs. Above Ground Pools
Off the bat, all homeowners should know that inground swimming pools are more expensive to install than above ground. You will have to dig a very large hole to place the pool and this can only be done by a swimming pool professional. On average, the cost of installing a new inground swimming pool runs between $14,961 and $21,649. Choosing a pool installed at the ground level won’t require excavation (save $$$). In fact, the cost of an above ground pool is typically a third of that price. They rarely cost more than $4,500 to purchase and professionally install. To see the price in your area, check out our swimming pool installation cost estimator.
Costs of Pool Materials
Like any other home remodeling project, the materials you put into it have a great effect on the durability and price. Swimming pools are no different. Solid concrete pools are at the highest end of the spectrum and are designed to last the longest. Vinyl and fiberglass pool shells, which can be simply installed rather than crafted on site, are slightly cheaper than concrete. Customized tiled pools are also expensive because of their higher labor costs.
Costs of Pool Accessories
Many families want more than your average circular swimming pool. We want action. We want more fun. We want jaw-dropping designs. We want extra pool accessories.
Swimming pool slides generally cost around $1,674 for purchase and professional installation. Diving boards, while still providing just as much fun for the kids, are far less at an average of $384.
Other common accessories like pool lighting and tile mosaics have a wide range in prices.A professional pool contractor can help you narrow it down and determine the best ones for your new pool.
Costs of Pool Maintenance
Below are the costs many homeowners don’t consider before buying a brand new swimming pool. Since the pool is exposed to the outdoors 24/7, it will require regular maintenance throughout the year. Understanding some of the most common maintenance items will help you determine the true cost of owning a swimming pool.
Maintenance Costs of Natural Pools
Natural pools are often chosen because they use fewer chemicals and create a peaceful look on your property. While they do require less maintenance overall, they are not cost-free additions to the home. Expect to pay a minimum of $78 monthly for the maintenance of any plants in the pool, keeping the filtration system operating efficiently and cleaning debris from the surface.
Maintenance Costs of Standard Pools
Most likely, you will be installing a standard swimming pool that will require you to maintain the water’s pH balance with chemicals. Sodium hypochlorite will raise the pool’s pH while granular acid will lower it. It’s important to test the water’s balance once a week. You should also provide additional treatment for your pool following a storm, intense heat or growing algae.
There are additional chemicals you must add to kill algae and bacteria. Chlorine is the most popular chemical. It comes in the form of liquid, tablets and a powdery substance. The tablets are often a better choice because they dissolve slowly over time and do not require much maintenance.
On average, expect maintenance to cost $178, but know that the costs will be heavily dependent on the size and quality of your pool.
Costs of Pool Covers
You will not be using the pool 24/7 and therefore, need to protect it from snow, leaves and other harmful items. Every pool owner needs to have a pool cover.
One of the most affordable types are mesh pool nets that cover the tops of both inground and above ground swimming pools. While these won’t necessarily warm the water or stop it from freezing, they do prevent leaves and debris from falling in and blocking the filtration system. Expect to pay anywhere from $40 to $200 for a mesh pool net cover.
Some pool covers are designed to heat the water of the pool, which makes it a viable swimming option for much of the year. These covers can be made for inground or above ground pools and they are often a thick blue insulated material. The low-end price for these covers is $139, but professional installation and high-quality solar warmth may cost as much as $1,305.
Finally, winter pool covers are designed to stay in place for several months at a time, and it secures the pool from leaves, debris or snow. Expect to pay upwards of $59 for a winter pool cover.
Cost of Resurfacing A Fiberglass Pool
Gouges, chips or cracked fiberglass pools are unsightly and not safe for children. Rather than replacing the pool entirely, bringing in professionals to resurface the material can give the pool a fresh new look. On average, resurfacing costs between $655 and $744.
Cost of Liner Replacement for Above Ground Pools
Despite its lower cost for installation, above ground pools may eventually need substantial repair. The biggest problem is a ripped liner, which will have to be replaced entirely. Expect to pay $700 for this replacement, with $500 going to the costs of labor and $200 going to the replacement liner itself.
You should be prepared to dedicate at least four hours a week to pool maintenance. On top of the maintenance costs, this can be a large time commitment. But remember, the hours spent in the pool will undoubtedly make it worth your while.
Swimming pools play a major role in the American Dream. Whether it’s hosting a Fourth of July party or summer BBQ’s, bright swimming pools give your family and friends every possibility to enjoy one of our greatest pastimes.
On the other hand, there are certain swimming pools made for the best possible location. While it may be hard to visualize any of these seven astonishing swimming pools in your backyard, they certainly make you look forward to summer every year. It’s time to step into Paradise.
This vacation home is ideal for more than just getting away from work. This remodeled pool has it all with the canopy above the home, umbrellas all around, a grassy surrounding (easy on the feet) and stepping stones to get around this huge backyard. The sliding doors leading inside the home also allow for easy access, something anyone would need as they host pool parties with this terrific evening view.
Tropical backdrops make for the best pool parties in the world. You will certainly get that luxurious setting with this hillside pool, a separate deck for sunbathing, colorful flowers all around and of course, the gorgeous view of the ocean. You will also notice the covered patio above, great for getting a bite to eat or mixing your next cocktail.
Besides hosting parties, there are other benefits to swimming pools.
The traditional pool still has its place in America. These homeowners wanted to preserve that old-fashioned look with the Greek columns, Mediterranean design and a covered second-story overlooking the entire pool. When you host a pool party or family gathering, you need an area to oversee it all. That paved patio is the perfect spot.
Floor to ceiling windows make for a happy family and an even better home. Add in a large, oval pool with pebble concrete, a covered patio and you have yourself the perfect setting for a Paradise pool party. If you don’t have a cloud in the sky, it would be a crime to not invite your friends and family over.
Outdoor pools and settings do not get more beautiful than this. The cement tile walkway presents the perfect welcome into this gorgeous swimming pool. The tropical trees in the background, small stones around the pool and breathtaking view of the ocean complete this perfect renovation.
Waterfalls are not just for the kids anymore. We are starting to see homeowners add this element to their adult pools as well. It goes great with the eclectic art pieces, flower beds and red Spanish tile behind it. This inground pool also has pool seating right up against the poolside bar. If that doesn’t scream vacation or pool party, we don’t know what does.
It may be hard to tell just how gorgeous this remodeled pool is, but many pool parties and get-togethers go into the night. You should know what the view is like in the evening.
This renovated pool implemented a curved design, a grassy landscape with ivory tile beside it and tropical trees all around to give it an elegant flair many other pools can’t accomplish.
When summer arrives, hot weather is everywhere. In some parts of the country, temperatures can reach a sweltering 100 degrees or more. Now, if you’re anything like me, the longer days days are great but the hot, outdoor temperatures present a challenge. If I’m outside in the hot weather, a beach is absolutely necessary for me to enjoy it.
For those instances when a beach is not convenient, solutions are needed to keep cool. From low-key picnics to large backyard BBQ parties, the summer is made for outdoor fun. See cool ideas you can incorporate into your summer plans to ensure everyone is comfortable and enjoying the best of what summer has to offer.
The No. 1 way to cool off in the summer is with a swimming pool. Contact a pro to begin your pool installation today.
1. Swimming Pool
A swimming pool can bring hours of fun with friends and family, with instant relief from the heat. Host a pool party with neighbors to bring together the community, or enjoy floating on a sunny afternoon. A swimming pool will prove its convenience on a hot summer day.
The keys to truly enjoy your pool this summer is with pool maintenance. The average cost to maintain a swimming pool is $254, but this can depend on the size of the pool. Maintenance is important for the overall health and the longevity of your pool. Here are some ways to regularly care for your pool this summer:
- Skim Debris
- Clean Out Baskets & Filters
- Test pH Balance
- Maintain Water Level
2. Backyard Water Slide
Swimming pools are a large investment that take extra time to care for properly. If you’re looking for a short-term option to keep the kids cool and entertained outdoors, look to the traditional backyard water slide. Many stores offer a wide variety of backyard water slides, with sprinklers attached to various areas and inflatable options for safety. These bring hours of fun to those of all ages and are a welcome activity on hot days. Always read safety instructions for each model so you can ensure a great time in the water.
Most homeowners are concerned about lawn damage when it comes to these water activities for children. To prevent harm to your grass, be sure to only have the water slide out when it’s in use, to prevent burning or damaging the grass. Put it away immediately after use. It’s likely the slide will flatten out your grass. If you’re able to plan for it, let your lawn grow longer than you normally would before using the waterslide. Cut the grass once you have removed the water slide. Damaged grass may take up to two weeks to return to its green hue again.
3. Seek Shade
If water activities aren’t for you, adding more shade can help to cool down. An arbor or pergola installation can help reduce the amount of sun you come into contact with. Not only will this help you keep cool, but it will also increase your home’s ROI.
Pergolas are a stylish way to add partial shade to your yard and can be placed almost anywhere. For extra coverage, try draping a large canvas or fabric between the slats. This beautiful, airy look will have you loving summer in no time.
Arbors typically are attached to the home and will provide you with complete shade, as it is a solid frame. They are a great way to add a permanent, shady retreat to your yard.
Whatever you choose, be sure to include comfortable lawn furniture or a hammock to rest and relax in the shade.
4. Deck Out Your Deck
As nicer weather begins to become the norm for a few months, more homeowners begin to utilize their decks. Enjoy a dinner outdoors or find a cozy place to read, there are plenty of things you can do to stay cool on your deck. An awning or umbrella can add shade where you need it, when you need it. While awnings tend to be semi-permanent features, umbrellas can be moved from one area to another typically without an issue.
If your deck has a roof, a ceiling fan might be just the touch you need to get a little breeze going outside and keep the bugs away. The average cost to install a ceiling fan is $229. Even though your deck may provide some shelter from the elements, it’s important to choose a fan that is weather-resistant.
DIY bathroom remodeling is not only a popular trend going around the U.S., but it’s also one of the most valuable. In fact, on average, bathroom remodeling projects yield a 60% return on investment. As such, you may not only get to enjoy the luxury of using an updated bathroom, but the monetary return as well.
Nevertheless, bathroom remodeling is not easy. To make a difference, you need honest advice from the pros. As such, we rounded up six common DIY bathroom remodeling projects and the steps to complete each without a pro.
If you feel some these are biting off more than you can chew, be sure to contact aprofessional bathroom contractor near you.
Bathroom Remodeling Costs
Before we dive into each project, we must cover the average costs. According to ourbathroom renovation cost estimator, the national average for a bathroom remodeling job is $7,920. This price includes hiring a professional. Therefore, expect your DIY bathroom project to be much less expensive (expect longer completion time though).
DIY Bathroom Planning
Before you start your DIY bathroom remodel project, you must ask yourself six essential questions. By asking and answering all six, you will know if this bathroom project is not only worth your investment, but time as well.
The six questions you need to ask yourself before every DIY bathroom remodeling are:
- What is in the bathroom remodel budget?
- What do I need & what do I want?
- Who will be using the bathroom & what is its function?
- How long can the family function without this bathroom?
- Do I want to install energy efficient products?
- Do I need more bathroom ventilation?
For more tips and guidelines into this six questions, please see DIY Bathroom Remodel Planning.
DIY Bathroom Ideas Painting
Time to jump into your DIY pants. I am going to start off with the easiest and most prevalent DIY project around the house. Believe it or not, new paint can transform your bathroom from 1980s drab to 2010s fab. Whether you go bold with dark blue or casual with stripes, new paint will not only give new life to an outdated bathroom, but make it feel larger as well.
Making your small bathroom feel large is not as hard as it sounds. There are easy, proven painting tips that can make your small bathroom feel like the lavish master bath you deserve.
- Use light colors
- Keep all same tone
- Blend tile color & wall color
- Paint ceiling & wall same colors
- Paint vertical stripes to make it seem taller
- Paint horizontal stripes to make it seem wider
- Use light colors on doors, windows & molding
- Color unexpected accents
- Paint a statement or accent wall
Painting is one of the most popular DIY projects around the house, but it can also be one of the most frustrating. That’s because many homeowners do not fully understand the amount of work that goes into a simple painting project. Likewise, if you go bold and forgo the standard one color per wall method, different patterns can complicate things.
Fortunately, thanks to our good friends at MyFixItUpLife, there are a few easy ways and tips to paint professionally looking patterns in your own home without kicking the wall in.
- Paint Brushes
- Tape Measure
- Painting Tape
- Paint Bucket
- Edge Tool
Tips for Painting Patterns
- Start with reliable paint brushes from your local hardware store.
- Use your level and tape measure when adding the painting tape.
- Stay inside the lines.
- Remove tape after you are done painting, but before paint completely dries.
Painting can be time-consuming, but it’s a doable project that fully transforms a room for very little cash. Before calling a painting professional, take a shot yourself and follow Mark and Theresa’s handy tips above.