Avoiding The Pitfalls Of Do-It-Yourself Landscaping Projects

Do-it-yourself landscape projects can be a fun and rewarding way to enhance your outdoor living space. There are few things more satisfying than relaxing in an outdoor oasis that you created and built with your very own hands. However, most landscaping projects will require the “do-it-yourselfer” to do some research and investigation before embarking on a trip into the unknown world of gardening and lawn care. To make your journey a little easier, here are some common mistakes that many new do-it-yourself landscapers have run into.

Planning Is Paramount For The Do-It-Yourself Landscaper

Yes, indeed. A landscape design that has not received any forethought or planning will look hodge podge and disjointed. A plan for your do-it-yourself landscape projects will ensure that your outdoor space will have a flow and a uniformity that will be pleasing to the eye. Think about how you will use each area in your yard and design for functionality as well as beauty. While you want to select a variety of plants for your landscape, a pattern of size, color and texture will be easier on the eye than a complete mix of many different images. Don’t just consider what your yard will look like in the summer, either. Include some early-blooming plants for spring color and trees and bushes that will offer plenty of splendors in the fall. Even your winters can be attractive with the proper plan.

What To Do With That Lawn

A lawn is usually the centerpiece of a yard, but the landscape do-it-yourselfer will want to consider how much lawn he wants to be responsible for irrigating and maintaining. Mowing a large yard every week can be quite time-consuming, and the amount of water necessary to keep it healthy can be expensive. A wise do-it-yourself landscaper will incorporate a lawn into the overall design that will add beauty while not overwhelming the caretaker.

Keep Those Tools Organized!

Any do-it-yourself landscape project will become a frustrating and time-consuming venture if tools are not easily available. Take a weekend away from your yard to spend some time organizing that garage or garden shed. Your projects are guaranteed to go much more smoothly when the right tools are at hand.

Do-it-yourself landscape projects can become a fun and rewarding hobby for the homeowner. Fortunately, there are multitudes of resources available so that the landscape do-it-yourselfer can see success in his undertakings.

So go online and search for a landscaping site. Learn more about it; get some books about it. Go to the home and garden stores in your town and start to browse. Before to long, you will have more ideas than you know what to do with.

For more information on do it yourself landscaping visit http://www.LandscaperBasics.com/ or http://LandscapingBasics.blogspot.com/

A Closet Organizing System – Do-It-Yourself Or Call In The Pros?

Have you been investigating a closet organizing system that will set your budget back to medieval times? Are you wondering why you should spend more on your closets than on your kitchen cabinets?

Or maybe you’ve looked at several closet organizing systems and are frustrated because they are not as customized as you would like?

My spouse and I have been involved in do-it-yourself projects for years and recently completed a major remodel on our own. If you’re wondering if a do-it-yourself closet organizing system is the way to go for you, here are some facts you need to consider that will help you decide.

— Compare costs.

There was a time when do-it-yourself always meant saving money. But that’s not true anymore. Do-it-yourself projects have become immensely popular and therefore, the options and costs have increased dramatically.

Do your homework. Figure out the type of closet organizing system you’ll need, then compare:

— the cost of purchasing one custom-made and having it installed by professionals.

— The cost of purchasing one ready-made and installing it yourself.

— The cost of building your own organizing system from scratch.

The good news is you have a lot of options available for this type of project so make the most of them.

I recently did an online search for “closet design” and “closet design software” and found some useful sites. If you need help getting started with the preliminary design portion of your closet makeover, this is a good place to start.

— Do you have the tools?

If you already have a garage full of tools, a do-it-yourself closet organizing system makes a lot more sense. If that’s not your situation, you’ll need to take that fact into consideration. Tools are not cheap and it doesn’t make sense to acquire a lot of them for only one closet makeover.

However, your tools (or lack of them) can help you make your decision about what type of closet project you can tackle. A pre-made closet organizing system that simply needs to be installed in your closet will only require simple hand tools such as screwdrivers, a drill, a level, etc. But a from-scratch, fully customized closet system will require several power tools and the space to use them.

Which one sounds like you and your situation?

— Enlist help.

I’ve read several do-it-yourself books on all kinds of projects and I always chuckle when I see the pictures of a person doing the project alone. Unless you’re an octopus, you’re going to need some help! An extra set of hands is often smart and always handy! Make sure you have a willing helper on board before you commit to doing your closet makeover on your own.

— Customize.

The beauty of do-it-yourself is that you can often customize your work to fit your needs exactly. Or at least MORE exactly than off-the-rack solutions. Using unfinished pieces will allow you to coordinate your final project with the room’s decor. For example, custom means you decide how many shelves and where they fit…plus how much weight they can support.

The internet offers a wealth of do-it-yourself information and it’s simple to locate an appropriate forum and find out what solutions other do-it-yourselfers have discovered works. The library is also a great resource that costs nothing but your time. Some excellent resources I can recommend for do-it-yourself closet or storage projects are the following.

— “Reader’s Digest Storage and Shelving Solutions” with the editors of “The Family Handyman” magazine. (  2006)

— “Black and Decker Build Your Own Custom Closet”. (  2007)

— “Sunset Smart Closet Makeovers” by Cynthia Overbeck Bix (  2006)

These books also offer excellent advice about the planning and designing of your closet organizing system and will give you a good feel for the tools you’ll need to complete your closet project.

Frankly, even if you end up hiring out your closet make-over, books like these will help you talk intelligently with your closet contractor and ensure you end up with a final project you love.

A closet organizing system can be an excellent do-it-yourself project if you take the time to properly plan your tools and costs, enlist help, and decide on the level of customization you want.

And the satisfaction of saying “I did it myself” isn’t bad either.

Colleen Langenfeld has been parenting for over 26 years and helps other moms enjoy mothering more at http://www.paintedgold.com . Visit her website and learn more about the basics of a closet organizing system today.

A Guide For A Do-It-Yourself Water Damage Restoration

A water damage restoration can be a do-it-yourself project for you and your family especially if there has been minimal damage. Just know the important areas of this task and keep in mind a few safety tips.

There are four key areas in a water damage restoration and the first one is water removal. If there is a substantial amount of accumulation water, you may want to make sure that electrical shocks accidents do not happen by turning off your home’s main electrical supply control switch. If you are not trained to handle electrical systems, have a professional electrician check it out first. And if you choose to use electrically powered water removal tools, use a generator or make sure it is safe to use your home’s electrical power supply.

If there has been structural damage in your home, then the next step to a water damage restoration will be structural repairs. It is important that this is done before the cleanup so no accidents such as falling debris or structures happen.

Cleanup or disinfecting is also one of the four key areas of water damage restoration. If water damage is caused by flood, then you naturally have to take care of bacterial growth. In this area, you will have to wear the proper cleanup attire to avoid bacterial contact and ingestion. Then a disinfecting or cleaning agent will be needed along with a few cleanup tools. Start by scrubbing clean walls and floors. You may use a sprayer fitted with a disinfecting solution to make the job a lot easier. Then, make sure to wash and disinfect every furniture/fixture that came in contact with flood or dirty water. If you have delicate water damaged carpet or furniture, you may just send them to professional cleaners so you have a greater chance of saving them.

The last and most important step in water damage restoration is drying. Every surface that came in contact with accumulated water must be successfully dried to avoid mold growth. Mold is a type of fungi that can grow in wet or damp surfaces. While many will not be affected with mold growth, some may experience skin allergies and respiratory problems such as coughing or asthma attacks. Symptoms can even be fatal for individuals already diagnosed with respiratory diseases.

A water damage restoration can be a do-it-yourself task for you and your family. Just make sure you cover all the four key areas and follow safety precautions to avoid accidents.

Richard Barthallo shares How-To tips and other information for Flood Damage Cleanup and Water Damage

Home Projects: Do-It-Yourself Woodworking Project Ideas

The most important first step of any woodworking project is to make proper plans. The Internet provides lots of detailed DIY woodworking plans that you can download, print out and refer back to as-needed so you can get the job done right.

The first thing you need to do is to figure out what it is you want to build. Think about whether the finished project will be able to suite the purpose you want it for. Take into consideration the design and if it’s suitable.

The key to all woodworking projects is the planning. Figure out what the costs will be and what kind of time your project will need to be completed. These important features are a vital part.

There is also the matter of tools. You need to determine what tools will be needed for the project at hand. The number of tools are almost as varied as the projects themselves. While some tools are relatively inexpensive, others can be quite pricey. Its always helpful to pick a design that doesn’t require extremely expensive tools. You may want to consider the tools you already have before deciding on a specific project. You should also look over the tools you own to see if any need maintenance. Since many tools can become dull, this is an extremely important step that must not be overlooked. That’s because blunt tools can adversely affect your project. They can not only present a safety hazard, but can cause damage to soft wood or make your cuts look rough and unappealing.

Once you have completed the planning process, its time to get to work. This is the best part for many people. However enthusiastic you are, be sure to take your time. Be careful to follow the instructions — both on your plan and those that have to do with using your particular tools. Don’t forget to wear safety glasses and other safety gear. Take your time and do it right the first time. That’s because making a mistake can end up costing you. Its also essential that you follow the instructions to a tee and don’t veer from the plan.

When you are done constructing the piece, it’s then time to finish it. This final step will most likely change the appearance of your project and bring it to life. The finish is very important and you must take your time in deciding how you want your piece to look.

Big or small woodworking projects take careful planning and following through with them. Makes it very easy.

I’m a huge time hobbyist of wood working. I have made some pretty big projects like a sleigh bedroom sets and my personal favorite lingerie chest for several members of my family. I know hot to get the job done.

Building Do-It-Yourself Solar Panels – Some Questions You Need to Ask

The process of building do-it-yourself panels can have its rewards and its challenges. If you want to build your panels correctly, you need to do your research first in order to understand what you are getting into.

A good plan is key to everything in a do-it-yourself project, such as this one. In order to build your own solar panel array, you need to be able to see how you can get to your end goal.

Before beginning your solar panel project, you should find out some key bits of information. What materials are available in your area, or what direction your roof is pointed, or even if you are allowed to build solar panels, in your area.

Here are some questions you should ask, before beginning your project:

1. How much electricity do you need? One of the very first steps before building do-it-yourself solar panels is to check your electricity bills and evaluate how you can reduce your current usage. Beyond power saving steps, you need to know how much power will you need to produce each year.

2. Where is your roof pointing? One of the most common problems when building solar panels is to have everything ready to go, then realize most of your roof is facing the shade. Do an assessment of your roof, in the morning, midday, and afternoon, to find out which areas get the most sunlight. Also, keep track of your finding, as the seasons pass.

3. What is the weight of your solar panels? Depending on the materials you use for your panels, the resulting panel box can be considerably heavy. And, if your roof has some structural flaws, the panels will make them even weaker. Before building your solar panels, you should see if your roof can handle the weight. If not, then look for external mounting possibilities.

4. Do you have all the tools & materials you need? Starting with a good solar guide is probably the first step, before purchasing all of your materials involved. Sure, you can buy all recycled parts and build a system for less than $ 200. But if you want to build a system big enough for your house, you’ll need to shop for a few extra tools & parts.

5. Does your homeowner association or city allow solar panels? This is likely the most missed question, since everyone allows solar panel installations, right? Although federal and state laws often encourage you to build solar panels, neighborhood and homeowner associations may disagree. Although you can sue your association and likely win, it is best to work with them first, to ensure a successful and headache-free project.

Once you have answered all of these questions, you will have a good idea about how to start your solar panel project. A good installation guide is key, but doing your research is a priceless step you can’t be without.

Find out how easy it is to start building your own solar panels, and start saving money today!

Do-It-Yourself Drinks

Have you ever wanted to make your own drinks? Using a soda siphon or a cream whipper, you can mix and serve your own ready-made drinks.

A soda siphon is used to carbonate and serve club soda and seltzer. Club soda contains a tiny amount of baking soda while seltzer doesn’t contain any baking soda.

Soda siphons are also pressurized so that they can dole out soda carbonated water. It is the carbon dioxide that gives that yummy taste.

The pressure inside the canister helps combine the carbon dioxide into the water. The higher the pressure, the better your soda water will turn out. You should also pay attention to your water temperature. The colder it is, the more it will absorb carbon dioxide.

Once you have purchased a soda siphon, make sure that you clean it very thoroughly before you use it.

Read the instruction manual and follow each step, Here is one way to clean a soda siphon: first, detach the head from the bottle by unscrewing it. Take out the ascending tube. Then take out the measuring tube. Now all you need to do is to rinse out the soda siphon thoroughly with clear water. Don’t stick your soda siphon in the dishwasher and don’t boil it. As soon as the soda siphon is cleaned, replace the measuring tube.

Now you’re ready to use your soda siphon. Once you’ve cleaned the siphon, make sure that you also clean the head. Detach it from the bottle by unscrewing it and wash it with warm water.

Once you have placed the measuring tube back into the bottle, fill the soda siphon with cold water. Remember that temperature is important. The colder the water is, the more your soda water will sparkle.

Now put the ascending tube with seal into the bottle through the measuring tube.

Put the siphon head into place and screw it on. Make sure that you no longer see any threading on the bottle.

Then insert a soda charger into the charger holder. Twist the charger with the charger holder into the siphon head until you can hear gas discharging into the bottle. Now comes a very important step, Shake the bottle hard several times. After this, unscrew the charger and charger holder. Your siphon will have come with a protective cap, which you will no put over the threading.

Your soda water is now ready for consumption. Just press lightly on the lever and aim the stream of water that comes out into the glass.

Once you’ve had your fill of carbonated water, press down on the lever until all the water or as has been discharged.

If you want to have soda water, add a soda tablet. Ta-da. You know now how to make carbonated water and soda water. Both are essential ingredients when making fizzy drinks.

If you like to mix your own drinks and like them bubbly, it is good to have a soda siphon on hand. That way, you’ll always be able to have a cold drink.

For more tips and information about soda siphon please visit cream whipper

Do-It-Yourself Favors

As a bride, one of the last things you want to be doing is operating a hot glue gun on hundreds of favors just weeks before the wedding. One of the worst parts about do-it-yourself favors is that if you aren’t creatively inclined, you could end up wasting more money in the process.

So how can you achieve the affordability of do-it-yourself favors without running the risk of looking cheap?

Mix and Match – While we understand that the main reason for creating do-it-yourself favors is generally to save money, you can’t cut too many corners on your favors. One easy way to ensure that your favors will still look great is to combine a pre-made favor with your own DIY creation. This works well if you want edible favors, like cupcakes, cookies or chocolate covered treats. You can bake or create your edible portion of the favor the week before the wedding and order a simple custom container, like monogrammed bags, or personalized jars or tins.

Quality – Go for quality materials on your favors. If you’re creating a do-it-yourself favor you should be able to cut costs drastically without cutting out the quality of your favor. If you’re being crafty, make sure you’re using the right kinds of adhesives, fabrics and paints. Cutting corners on materials can lead to a DIY favor disaster, so if you’re following instructions, make sure you follow them to the tee.

Make it meaningful – Some people prefer to create their own favors to thank their guests in a unique and personalized way. This is great for creative brides and grooms that take pride in their special baking, drawing or musical skills. For instance, if you have a secret family recipe that your friends and family love, packaging it yourself shows you took the time to show your gratitude. For truly unique wedding favors, you could include a portion of your vows or some of your favorite quotes.

Personalize – Adding some customization to your DIY favor is one of the best ways to achieve a high quality look. Attaching tags with ribbon or ordering personalized stickers are a simple and cost effective way to personalize your gift. If you really want to personalize for each guest, you can replace your placeholders at dinner with your personalized favor, which helps combine two costs. One tip on personalizing is to avoid handwritten tags and stickers whenever possible. Even if you’re going for a casual look, hand-writing on your favors is a quick way to give away the secret of your favor’s origin. Unless you’re great at calligraphy or custom lettering, it’s easier to print tags, buy pre-made ones or even go without instead of going with handwriting.

About Jessica’s Wedding: Jessica’s Wedding is the top source for jewelry, gifts and wedding favors for your special day! For more information or to check out our unique wedding favors, and personalized bridal party gifts please visit Jessica’s Wedding at www.jessicaswedding.com.

Do-It-Yourself Candles

Do-it-yourself candles have become a recent craze. More and more homemakers are turning to candle making as a source of income and a worthy pastime. It is a great way to make personal presents and giveaways. But as we all know, this craft is nothing new. Before there were light bulbs and lamps, there were candles.

In order to earn big bucks from making your own candles, buy good quality materials.

If you want to cash in on candle making, or would simply like to make your own candles, you must perfect the process of molding the candle itself. You want to get high quality materials for you candles. Materials include wicks, molds, coloring and scents. These are all available in either craft or hobby shops.

The first step in candle making is to prepare the wax. You do this by melting it in a double boiler. A double boiler is simply one large pot filled with water and placed on the stovetop. Another smaller pot that contains the un-melted wax is sat inside the larger pot. Wax will burn when you try to melt it so using a double boiler makes it easy.

Carefully place a wick on the center of the mold you choose while filling the mold with your melted wax. Let it sit until the mixture is solid. To make the process a bit faster, you can put the mixture inside the freezer. To ensure easy removal of the wax mixture, coat your mold with non-stick spray.

There is almost no end to the different types of candles you can make at home. With the different fragrances, colors, and decorations your only limit is your imagination. Some candle making enthusiasts have gone as far as to make their own molds using liquid latex in order to create amazing candles.

These molds however are notorious for being flimsy.

It is going to be quite hard to fill it with wax if you don’t have anything to support the mold from the outside. You can use a cardboard piece to remedy this. Just place a hole big enough for the mold to fit inside the cardboard. Be sure that the cardboard only covers until the lip of the latex mold. The board will prop up the otherwise flimsy latex mold.

Selling candles can be extremely simple, once you acquire the skill for making candles. Coupled with your own creativity and attractive packaging, you will definitely find a market for your homemade candles. Perfecting candle making requires a few tries but once you’re on a roll, you will be surprised at how fast you’ll be selling them.

Janine Holden is a Candle Making expert. For more great tips on candle making visit http://candlemakingguidebook.com/ or check out her e-book at http://candlemakingguidebook.com/tips/