Outdoor Fireplace

How To Create A Perfect Backyard For Your Family

Most homeowners know that the act of buying a property hardly comes without a certain amount of compromise. For some, instead of having sprawling grounds, it is better to make peace with a seemingly cozy yard.

You can transform your postage stamp yard to an amazing hideaway with just a little planning and forethought. You can create a space a highly functional and aesthetically pleasing small backyard if you can put certain simple ideas together. Here are some small background ideas that can help you transform that ordinary space behind your house to a perfect backyard for your family.

 

Render Your Space Function

One effective way to make your space look more cohesive is by defining its function. You can begin by thinking of various ways through which you can ideally choose to use your exterior. This may include installing a large dining table for some kind of al fresco summer feasting or a turning it into a perfect relaxation spot with plush seating area. You can either decide to break up your yard into a few distinct areas or stick with one feature depending on the availability of space.

 

Build a Tree House

This is almost a must have for every home with a backyard and kids. In fact, the tree house is the No. 1 DIY project for the backyard. This is a place where kids will love to set up meetings, play together and have fun all through the day. If you do not have any in your backyard, it is important you start constructing one with your kid but if you already have one, ensure to render a quick makeover.

 

A Nice Pool

No doubt, swimming pools has a calming effect. They tend to give a backyard that cooling effect. Building a swimming pool or even a Jacuzzi in your backyard would definitely go a long way in transforming your space into a soothing oasis. This special edge can even be obtained from a simple bird bath.

 

Plant a Vegetable Garden

Your yard can be brought to life if you plant flowers and shrubs in it. Even if they may only live for a few months, change the look of your backyard and make it come alive by strategically placing flower beds, shrubs and herb gardens. This will make your space lively and perfect for family parties and pensive personal moments.

 

Put in a Hot Tub

Whether in the middle of a regular-length day or at the end of a long day, nothing is more relaxing than soaking in a hot tub. However, ensure to apply extreme caution around the water, so as to keep things family-friendly.  If you want to use your hot tub for health and exercise, then consider getting a swim spa for your home.

 

Construct an Outdoor Fire Place

An outdoor fireplace comes in very handy during the chilling times of the winter season where you and your family members can cuddle up together to share warmth. It is also a great spot for barbecue parties and to enjoy your backyard in the cooler months of the year.

Swim Spa

Should I Get a Pool or Hot Tub For My Home?

If you need a way to relax and have fun in your home, one of the best ways to do this is by adding a hot tub or an above ground pool. Here are some tips on both so you can decide to get one or both:

When it comes to hot tubs, it’s much easier to install an above ground hot tub, as an in-ground one requires digging and/or some renovation to the inside of your house. Some of the options to consider when choosing hot tubs are the size (usually 2-8 people), seating arrangements (molded or benches), color (tan, white, etc.), shape (oval, round, square, etc.), exterior cabinet (wood, stone or composite), water jets (different sizes and types), or upgrades like LED lights or waterfalls or sound systems.

Cost of Hot Tubs

Hot tubs can cost anywhere from a range of about $2,000 and up. It all depends on the choice of the things mentioned above, and if you install it yourself or have the manufacturer do it or if it is delivered, as that can add on costs. Some of the best brands of hot tubs to choose from are Jacuzzi, Coast Spas, LifeSmart, QCA Spas, Sunbelt, and SpaBerry.

Hot Tub Care

It is necessary to properly maintain your hot tub if you want it to be sanitary and last a long time. Things like testing the chemicals and pH levels are some of that required maintenance. Plus, they should be inspected periodically by a hot tub specialist.

Above Ground Pools

Many homeowners also consider building an above ground pool as swimming is fun and a good source of exercise. Above ground pools can be far less expensive than in-ground pools for several reasons. The above ground pools, for instance, require lots of plumbing fixtures, as well as excavating dirt from your yard, etc., while that is not needed for above ground pools.

In fact, above ground pools are said to cost a quarter what an in-ground pools costs. Plus, they come in easy to install kits and can be installed with only two or three people doing the job.

Maintenance And Safety of Above Ground Pools

Above ground pools are also safer and easier to manage. Of course you still have to use the proper chemicals to keep it clean, and remove debris like leaves, but they are easier to maintain. Plus, you can put a special kind of ladder to get into an above ground pool and use a locking gate or just drain it and take it apart when you don’t plan on using it for long periods of time, as this will make it safer to have one in your yard.

Plus, if you move away to a new home, you won’t lose your pool if you have an above ground pool because you can just take it apart and move it along with all of your other household goods.

 

Physiotherapy after Car Accident

Massage Therapy After a Car Accident

Car accidents can really change the life of any person that is involved in such an unfortunate incident, especially if that person is a victim. The outcome of such an accident can even be felt dozens of years after it happened, but it can also have a financial impact as well.

While the financial problem might be solved in the end, it’s important to take care of your body after such a perilous problem happens, and the best way to do it by contacting a physiotherapist that specializes in auto accident rehabilitation. It’s important to undertake massage therapy as fast as possible, as this is the best way to take care of any physical problems and conditions that were created by the car accident.

Multiple Injuries

As you might probably know by now, there are multiple types of injuries that occur during an accident, but also some mental conditions go with it as well. The problems that can be encountered might include muscle strains or sprains, whip lash, numbness, vertigo, lower back subluxations and many, many others. A car accident can cause one or even more of these conditions, and there are some situations in which you can get a combination or injuries, which can be really unfortunate. This is why you shouldn’t wait until you get a treatment, and the massage therapy is surely the best way to solve this problem.

All of the conditions presented above can be solved by accessing a great, licensed massage therapist as that is the best way to get forward in your life and get back in shape as fast as possible. With such a therapy you will be able to recover from the trauma, both on a mental and physical standpoint, which is very important, of course.

Deep Tissue Massage

You can opt for a deep tissue massage that can easily help you recover the strength of your muscles after the injury or reverse the effects of the scar tissue. In addition, you can also go for a way to clean up the lymphatic system in order to get rid of those toxins and feel much better, as that is crucial as well. There is also a type of massage called adept therapy that allows you to open up the blood circulation, which in the end will make your muscles work properly. This type of therapy surely increases the chance of recovery, and that is why you should always try it, especially after such a shocking accident.

Always remember that a car accident doesn’t have to be the end of the world. After all, you should realize that with the help of a massage therapist you can easily overcome all those problems without too much hassle. The benefits for your body will be tremendous though, with better muscle movement and a rapid recovery that can’t be achieved otherwise. So, if you had a car accident recently and want to recover very fast, then you should immediately undertake a massage therapy treatment, as this is the best way to heal after such a misfortune.

outdoor-nature-lagoon-home

Should I Use a Mortgage Broker or a Bank

Getting a mortgage is one of the most important steps in the life of any person, a step that needs to be performed with care. One of the crucial things you need to take into account is whom you are contracting the loan from. One of the main options you have is either a mortgage broker or a bank. Both come with advantages and disadvantages, so you nee to be aware of both before taking into account any of the two options.

Despite the fact that mortgage brokers have been around for quite a while, people are still weary to work such an important loan from them because in the past some of these brokers added hidden costs that increased the overall cost of the loan, something that was fixed recently with a law specifically created for this alone.  Mortgage brokers offer homeowners more choices and more education than you would typically see at a bank.

Many people with non-traditional circumstances also benefit from working with a mortgage broker.  People with mediocre credit or self employed people may find a mortgage broker the better option when it comes to getting approved for a mortgage.

The mortgage broker is basically the middleman. He won’t loan you the money, instead he will find the best loaner that you need at an accessible price. This can be either a commercial bank, community bank, credit union, or even a mortgage bank. Some of the most important banks in the country are Wells Fargo, Bank of America and JPMorgan Chase. In Canada, you have Toronto Dominion, RBC, Scotia and BMO as some fo the major national banks. One of the main advantages of a mortgage broker is that is offers you a wide range of variety when compared to the bank, meaning that you have access to a wide range of services from multiple lenders, and you, as a client, only need to select the one that you want. This makes the overall experience a lot more convenient, something that we definitely want.

outdoor-patio-home

On top of that, as a borrower that contacts mortgage brokers you will save a lot of time because the broker will do whatever it takes to fin the best deal for you, according to your own parameters. Brokers also handle the paperwork and meetings with the lenders, so all you need to do is sign the papers and the money will be delivered to you as fast as possible. This surely makes the service very convenient and it’s specifically created to help busy lenders.

The banks on the other hand are the ones in control because they make the decision of lending the money. If a borrower is a longtime client of a bank then he might be able to receive some favorable terms when it come to contracting a loan. Getting the loan using the services of the broker means that you need to pay a fee, while contacting the bank directly will remove that fee. Remember that in the end the bank is the one that sets the interest rate, so the broker is basically a middleman that will help you find the best deal without worrying. However, this comes with a cost.

To sum up, you need to figure out how much time you have to speak with the lenders and take care of the paperwork. If you can do that on your own, then the services of a mortgage broker are not required, but if don’t have the time to do that, then the broker might be a good option. It’s a good idea to find out the fees first, so you won’t end up with unpleasant surprises.

manual-therapy

What Is Manual Physiotherapy?

Manual therapy is a practice that has become very popular in the last few years. Manual therapy is mainly an approach used by physical therapists to find out the causes of the injury and then treat the joint structures as well as the soft tissues, with the final purpose being of modulating pain, eliminating any tissue inflammations and so on.

Moreover, manual therapy is also useful if you want to facilitate movement, improve various body functions and induce a sense of relaxation, something that is needed in a stressful society such as ours.

Manual therapy is basically a way of performing therapeutic techniques without the use of technical equipment. Instead, people known as manual therapists use their own hands to treat injuries or joint problems for example.

A manual therapist is a person that has an advanced training as a physical therapist and which, of course, has obtained a certificate in this field of work. This means that a physical therapist has a lot of knowledge regarding clinical terms and conditions.

There are different types of manual therapy that can be performed. One of the most popular ones is mobilization and manipulation. This one includes different types of high velocity and small amplitude therapeutic movement, all of them combined with the main purpose of helping you move better and easier.

Then there’s the muscle energy technique that specifically uses the contraction of the patient muscles against a counterforce from a certain position towards a certain direction. This particular technique is suitable for engaging the joint restriction barrier without stressing it.

Moreover, there’s the strain-counterstrain technique which places the body in a position of comfort with the sole purpose relieving pain by reduction.

Another technique that is very popular is the soft tissue mobilization that breaks the restrictions between muscles and decreases hypertonus. The hypertonus is usually associated with muscle tightness, which can cause different problems.

The high velocity, low amplitude thrusting techniques is another one suitable for joints, this time it makes it easy to restore the gliding motion of your joints so you can close and open them efficiently. It’s a little more aggressive than the other one, but if it’s used properly it brings a decrease in the muscle tone as well as an increase in mobility.

However, manual physiotherapy can’t solve all problems, that’s why patients are always encouraged to use various types of treatments. Combining these with exercises for back pain and some aerobic can definitely improve the condition, as this is a great exercise for any patient.

In the end, the main goal of the manual physiotherapy is to help the body recover from stress or any other issue. By combining it with other activities you will have the opportunity of living a much better and healthier life.

energy-efficient-pool-cover

What Type Of Winter Pool Cover Should I Buy

If you want to keep your swimming pool clean and safe then purchasing a pool cover is very important. Not only will it keep your safe from the elements, it can also help young children and pets out of your pool.This will remove a lot of tress from your hands and it will also save you quite a lot of money in the long run.

However, there are lots of winter pool cover types, each one catering to a specific need. You do need to take all of these into account before making a purchase.

Leaf Net Cover

This type of cover can be used to keep the twigs and leaves out of the pool. Manufactured using high standard woven polyethylene, such a cover allows the water to fall through, yet it successfully captures all the undesired items that might cause a mess in your pool. Additionally, it’s very easy to clean and maintain, you just have to remove it and the leaves will just fall off. It can even be used with other types of pool covers, offering them additional protection and preventing further damage.

Solar Pool Cover

This type of pool cover has been specifically created to Prevent the heat and chemicals in the water from escaping, and as a result it will keep the pool warm at all times. Not only that, but it also captures the solar rays, heating the water in the process. A solar pool cover helps you lower the operational costs of the pool, as you won’t have to warm it using other means. You need to place and remove the pool cover each time you plan on using the pool. If this sounds like a nightmare for you, the best alternative comes in the form of liquid covers that are made out of Isopropyl alcohol and which float on top of the pool. The liquid is safe to swim in and it even works while the swimmers are in the pool.

Track-style pool covers

The main purpose of such a pool cover is to provide you with convenience and non-stop operation all year. It uses a track style cover system that can be manual or automatic. What makes this type of cover convenient is that you can easily cover your pool on a daily basis without a problems and it can easily be installed on all types of pools. It reduces heat loss, evaporation and it even keeps the water clean, which is crucial.

Safety pool covers

If you want to protect your kids or pets from falling accidentally in the water, then the purchase of a safety pool cover is more than recommended. This type of cover works with other covers as well, and it will provide you with all the necessary protection. By using it your kids won’t get hurt and you will have the best protection for your pet as well.

In the end, it falls up to you to select the best pool cover, depending on your needs. Determine what you want more from your pool cover and then make your purchase accordingly.

Electric-Car

Going on a Road Trip in an Electric Car

With range still being a huge issue surrounding electric cars, they are clearly far from ideal vehicles for long-distance trips, but it doesn’t mean that going on a road trip in an EV is a mission impossible. While most people would not dare to start such an adventure, given that electric cars are more suitable for city driving, or for short-range commutes, because of their limited range, longer trips in an electric vehicle are actually quite feasible, as long as you plan your route accordingly and make sure you use driving techniques and behavior that help extend your car’s range.

Obviously, the biggest challenge of an electric car road trip is finding charging stations along the route, and recharging your car’s battery as quickly as possible, so you don’t have to take long breaks too often. Maybe a couple of years ago, this was an issue that was difficult to get around, but now, there is a relatively good charging infrastructure, albeit only in certain parts of the country, which allows you to cover longer distances in a reasonable time. Even so, you must choose a route that will allow you to be near a charging station during the whole trip, so that you don’t get stranded with an empty battery, and no station in sight.

If you are driving through an area that doesn’t have any charging stations, you can go to an RV park, since most such parks have designated spaces with hookups, that usually provide RVs with electricity, but can also be used to charge electric vehicles. No matter how many stations there are along your route, bringing an emergency recharging kit along is always a smart move. It’s basically a device that is called Electric Vehicle Supply Equipment, which includes a portable charging cable and a couple of power adapters, allowing you to connect your car to a standard household outlet, and recharge your battery fairly quickly. This way, you will get enough range to get to the nearest charging station and fully charge your battery, before you can continue your trip.

Another factor you need to take into account when driving long distances in an electric car, is that your driving habits and road conditions may affect your car’s range. There are a few driving habits that can drain your battery pretty quickly, such as fast acceleration and hitting the brakes too hard, and driving at high speeds for longer periods of time. Additionally, excessive use of the car’s air conditioner decreases range, as well. Climbing hills, and driving in stop and go traffic can cause a battery to go empty much sooner than expected.

Even with all these challenges and the extensive planning that is required, electric car road trips can be quite fun and fulfilling, given that one of the biggest downsides of electric cars – long recharge times, can make your trip that much more rewarding, as it will give you some extra time to stop and enjoy the beautiful sights and discover some new places along the road.

women-hot-tub-ontario

The Many Health Benefits of Using a Hot Tub

Did you know that almost 80% of Americans suffer from some sort of back pain?

From an increasingly lethargic lifestyle to foods that are making us more sick then healthy, the human body and our backs are suffering.

After stretching,  which is my #1 recommended way to keep your body fit and healthy, relaxing in a hot tub might be my second favourite.  Here is Canada, the Winters are quite long, sometimes the Spring and Fall combine to create one giant winterfest, so being able to relax the body in a nice hot body of water definitely helps.

Relaxation is an often overlooked health benefit.  We are so used to a go go go mentality with work, family and play that we often forget to stop sometimes and unwind.  A hot tub is a great way to stop the clock and recharge the body and mind.  It’s a great way to relieve stress and to relax the muscles in your body.

Jane McMillan of International Pool and Spa, one of Ontario’s largest hot tub dealers, says that most of their sales come from older couples that are looking for a way to relax and unwind without having to go to a gym or other public place.  She says that the initial costs are outweighed by the ongoing benefit of having a health spa right in your back yard.

Check out the infographic below that gives some visual representation on the health benefits of using a hot tub.

hottub-infographic

 

 

zero-waste-movement

5 Steps to a Zero Waste Home

When it comes to helping the planet, every little helps and whilst attitudes have changed in recent years with the use of household recycling bins and the rise of the reusable bag, there is still much work to do in order to achieve a ‘waste less’ society. Here we reveal the five steps every household can take to cut waste…

 1. Love food, hate waste

Food waste puts a huge burden on our landfill sites, and a recent survey showed that over a quarter of waste thrown away by UK households is food. With rising food costs, you’d think that everyone would take on a ‘waste not, want not’ approach, however as a nation we are still buying and throwing away too much food.

Being savvier when it comes to food shopping is the best step to reducing food waste and the amount that you spend at the checkout. Take a look in your cupboards before you leave to see what you need and write a list concentrating on creating meals for the week ahead.

2. A bag is for life…

Talks are still underway regarding enforcing a charge for the plastic bags found in the supermarket, and whilst the reusable ‘bag for life’ has risen in popularity, many people still rely on using plastic bags. We understand that it’s not always easy to remember your bag for life every time you hit the shops but by carrying one in your car, you will always have a bag for life to hand. Cloth bags also work too!

3. Recycle or reuse

As well as household waste, many individuals throw their household furniture and fixtures in the trash too. Instead of visiting your local tip, aim to recycle or reuse these items. There are many ways in which you can recycle household goods, kerbside recycling schemes pick up unwanted items or you could give something back by donating to charity.

4. Profit from your recycling prowess

There’s even an opportunity to earn a quick buck from unwanted household goods, salvage yards pay good money for good quality items. These items will then be sold on to their customers, who are certain to repurpose and breathe new life into products that you find tired or unusable in your own home.

5. Say ‘no’ to junk mail

Whilst many of us have become pros at recycling paper goods, there is still 550,000 tonnes of paper used to create unsolicited mail in the UK alone. If we all work together to say ‘no’ to junk mail, we could save over 9 million trees and 16.5 billion litres of water! Use a ‘No Junk Mail’ sticker to tell your postman and other visitors that your home is no place for junk mail.

This post was written by the UK’s leading salvage and reclamation specialist Cheshire Demolition. Their Macclesfield-based yard is the perfect place to buy and sell unwanted household items.

washing-car-kids

Reducing Your Impact on the Environment When Washing the Car

There are many ways in which we are harming the environment and waste resources on daily basis, but few of us consider car maintenance (and the associated costs) to be one of them.  For instance, car washing has a huge impact on the environment, since it wastes huge amounts of water, and the wash water that is created in the process, containing petroleum, dirt, oil, cleaning agents, goes into storm drains, which then carry it to the nearest water bodies. That’s why people should be very careful when they wash their cars in their yards, and do whatever they can to avoid polluting nearby bodies of water and wasting large amounts of water while doing it.

When washing your car at home and in your garage, you probably don’t think too much about where the wash water goes, or how much water is wasted. The waste water contains various potential pollutants, such as rubber, mud, detergents, grease, and it usually enters storm drain systems, that transport it to lakes, rivers, or oceans. Alternatively, it can also go directly into the ground, which also pollutes the environment. As far as the amount of water that is wasted, various studies suggest that on average, people waste 10 gallons of water per minute when washing their cars in their yards.

If you want to save some water while washing your car, you should try and follow a few simple tips.

For starters, you can put a quick-action shut-off nozzle on your hose, or a trigger hose, to prevent wasting water when the faucet is on, but you don’t need to use the hose. Also, you can save a lot of water if you use a bucket.

When it comes to the wash water and what to do with it, it’s important to know how to dispose of it properly. A lot of things depend on the area you wash your car on. If you wash it on your driveway, the waste water will probably run into a roadside drainage ditch, a gutter or a curb inlet, which means it will end up in a nearby lake or river. That’s why it’s better to do it on your lawn. This way, the wash water will run off directly into the ground, and you prevent it from flowing into the street and entering the drains. However, you need to be very careful when washing your car on your lawn or garden area, and prevent the waste water from running off into an area that’s close to your vegetables or fruit trees.

The best way to save water and prevent wastewater from entering your storm drains is to take your car to a commercial car washing facility, where water is treated before it is disposed. They clean the water, removing all pollutants that may harm the environment, and then discharge it in the sewer. They also recycle it and reuse it several times before disposal. Additionally, they waste much less water, as they use more sophisticated, automated equipment, which is far more efficient than using hoses and buckets.