Kenneth_Blum Archive

5 Easy Ways to Turn Your Yard into a Private Haven

Wonderful backyardBackyard privacy allows homeowners to do the things they love without worrying about their neighbors. Whether you admit it or not, we all feel annoyed when the neighbors’ dog bark nonstop or when some strange peeps into our windows. Here are five smart landscaping solutions that can help you add a layer of privacy to your yard:

Install a fence and decorate it

Fences and walls are a quick way to add privacy in houses, pools, patios or playgrounds. If there are local ordinances that restrict fence heights, you can add tall perennials that rise above your metal fence panels to provide extra screening. If your partition looks dull, you can also decorate it with flowering or evergreen shrubs.

Use container gardens for deck or patio privacy

Potted plants are ideal for adding privacy to small spaces such as a raised deck or patio. Find containers and plants that fit your landscape style. Ideally, go for a sometimes long-lasting with a mix of beautiful colors, textures, and types of foliage.

Plant trees and use privacy plantings

Trees can effectively and inexpensively block views from neighbors or streets. They offer almost year-round screening and are usually not subject to municipal ordinances that limit fence heights.

Make use of structures on your property

You can creatively use structures on your property. In this case, you hide behind the walls of established structures such as your garage, effectively blocking views from neighbors.

Use rippling water to mask sounds

Invest in a rippling water partition such as a stream or fountain to muffle annoying noises and create a soothing, tranquil environment.

You can’t achieve full comfort if you’re not putting effort in your backyard. Use foliage, fences, walls, and rippling water to add peace and quiet to your yard and keep your neighbors out of your affairs.

3 Ways to Make Your Home Exteriors as Appealing as the Interiors

Home Exterior Improvement in New ZealandSome homeowners spend all of their time designing and beautifying the rooms inside their home because this is where they spend most of their time. However, you shouldn’t be like them. It’s best to take care both of your interiors and exteriors, so you can keep your family safe, avoid damages and impress guests and neighbours with your home’s appeal.

Here are some exterior home improvements you can do:

Replace the Windows

If you’ve never replaced your windows before, now is the right time. Energy-efficient models are now the norm, with new frames and glasses to freshen up the exteriors. Auckland Glass Ltd recommends calling the most reliable window replacement expert to help you find the windows that would best fit your home.

Use Boxwoods for Landscaping Variety

Aside from the usual mature trees and mini garden, you can choose to buy boxwoods instead for a tidier landscape. This will bring variety to the look of your front yard. Grow bushes, roses and other flowers for that lush and fresh look. Using boxwoods is a good way to not overwhelm other aspects of the exteriors, as well.

Repaint the Exterior Walls

One of the least costly yet most effective ways is to make your home exteriors look lovelier by applying a new coat of paint. Use a colour — pastel, beige, white, or something dark will do — that doesn’t overpower everything for that timeless look. Make sure the colour matches the overall look of your home and other design elements of the exteriors. It should put everything together in a fresh and appealing way.

These are only some of the improvements that will help you keep your home exteriors as beautiful your interiors. Choose the right upgrades that you think your home needs for better results.

Sitting by an Open Fire: Why It Isn’t Always Dangerous

Open Fire System in TahunanuiOpen fires don’t simply exist to burn you and your belongings. Under controlled settings, the experience of gathering around it can be fun. Tim Miller Plumbing even shares that open flame-settings have more benefits than you initially thought. So, get your log fire heating system ready and working for the upcoming season — you’ll be sure to enjoy keeping warm by the fire even more.

Physical Effects

Many people avoid getting too close to fire for fear that it will burn them, but an open fire actually is good for your body. Proper heating has a positive impact on your heart, blood pressure and respiratory system, which could counter the negative effect of chilly air on your body. Additionally, the physical sight, smell and sound of an open fire is relaxing and can calm your body down.

Furthermore, a study by Thomas Gale Moore for Stanford University shows that the cold is a bigger killer than heat is. In fact, numerous findings associate winter with a higher number of deaths.

Mental Well-Being

Research has also shown how heat helps improve your alertness, attitude and memory skills. It increases the production of serotonin and endorphins — hormones that commonly enhance cognitive abilities and are associated with mood. As such, warmth makes you feel good and think clearer. This is probably a major reason why being bundled up in a blanket and drinking hot chocolate or warm milk is a popular comfort ritual across the world.


3 Ways to Keep Your Home Secured

Burglar in ChicagoNobody is safe from burglary. No matter how safe you think your neighborhood is, there is still a threat to your home because burglary can happen to anyone. However, you must not expect to fall victim to this kind of crime, especially if you know that you’re doing your best to keep your property safe. Here are some tips to help you protect your home, belongings, and family from burglary.

Keep Your Lawn Well-Maintained

Don’t let burglars have any chance to hide in plain sight because of the overgrown shrubs and bushes in your yard. They take advantage of these hiding places so they could sneak in the entry points of your home especially during the night. That’s why it’s important to keep your lawn well-maintained so they couldn’t have the chance to conceal themselves and carry out their evil plans.

Get a Security System

There are a lot of innovative security systems in Chicago, IL, such as those by Alarm-One Security Systems that will help keep your home safe from burglars even while you are away or sleeping. A security system detects suspicious activity around your house and alerts the authorities so they could respond and prevent the burglars from successfully breaking in. When you have a security system, burglars will automatically get discouraged because they know the chance of getting caught is high.

Make Sure Your Locks Work

The entry points of your home are the target of burglars because they know it’s the easiest way to break in. If you have a habit of leaving your doors and windows unlocked, especially if you’re just going out for a few minutes, then you’re leaving them an easy way to steal from you. Always make sure no entry point is unlocked no matter how fast you’re going to be back. If you need to hire a locksmith to update your locks, then do it as soon as possible.

Follow these tips to have peace of mind about the safety of your property and family against burglars.

Practices to Make Kit Home Financing a Breeze

Kit Home Door in PerthObtaining the necessary funds for any new home construction project is generally not easy to do. Unless you have special qualities as a borrower, traditional lenders are less keen to release the funds for your construction.

This is one of the hurdles of buying and erecting kit homes — especially if you’re an owner-builder. This type of Prefab housing may be one of the most economical in the industry, but it’s, of course, still not that affordable enough for many to pay for it upfront.

While lenders are no genies to grant you the sum you wish to borrow without fuss, you can use these tips to increase your chances of getting approved:

Reduce the Risk

According to Grandesigns WA, you couldn’t change the fact that banks would always be conservative to loan money for building new kit homes in Perth, Western Australia, but you could lower the level of risk they have to take.

Apart from buying a piece of land in a hot market, you should save as much money as you could for your deposit. As you’d have to pay a down payment that’s worth 5% to 25% of the land and construction’s price, proving you have a large amount on your bank account could give more confidence to the lender.

Find a Lender That’s Willing to Work with You

Each lender has his or her own set of requirement, which you should meet. If you wish to tweak the procedure to suit your situation, it’s always best to find a willing lender than argue with a company that’s reluctant to go outside of their normal lending procedures.

Set Everything in Stone

When you apply for a home loan, make sure everything in your application is final. You’re allowed to make changes along the way, but doing so may cause the financial institution to reassess your application. This naturally slows down the process, and may even get you denied the second time.

Getting your kit home loan approved is harder than you think. Especially if you don’t fall into the safe category of lenders, you may have to go through the eye of the needle first.


Best Additions and Upgrades to Boost Curb Appeal this 2016

Craftsman-Style DoorThere are just so many things you can do to improve the appeal and functionality of your home. However, most of the advice you will get are kind of outdated and sometimes impractical, although they will cost you less.

To make your home boast of a higher curb value this 2016, here are three techniques you should implement.

No dead and bare spots allowed

One of the key issues with healthy, leaf-packed, shade-giving trees is the shade itself: no plants will grow within this spot, seeing as it does not receive enough sunlight. Also, their roots can capture all the soil moisture and nutrients, leaving you with dead and bare spots that can quickly reduce your home’s curb appeal.

To counter this, go for flora that thrive with minimal sunlight. You may also consider going for mulch and applying it around the base.

Get a new entry door

Most of the advice you will get for improving curb appeal is to apply a fresh coat of paint on your front door. Although this is definitely a consideration, why not take it a notch higher and install a new door instead? With modern craftsman style doors for sale nowadays, Uber Doors says you will have no problems finding a great replacement the old and worn-out existing one. Besides, these doors do not just boost curb appeal; they also the overall safety and security of your home.

You may also want to go for new garage doors. Modern garage doors offer both function and appeal. Also, thanks to all the improvements and innovations they have undergone throughout the years, they now deliver even more convenience too.

Trim your garden

When you have a forest-like garden (overgrown plants and trees), it defeats the purpose of all the additions and replacements you will do. So trim up your garden. Overgrown tree branches, shrubs, and other plants can partially or even completely obscure the beautiful features of your home, and can even make it look dark and scary.

So, clean out and trim up your garden. With a well-manicured lawn, combined with an overall healthier, lusher looking garden and a new entry and garage door, your home and its surrounding property will make it everyone’s envy.