Five Fabulous Features For The Best Pool On The Block

A backyard swimming pool is a luxury that many homeowners enjoy, and some swimming pools are more than just a cement hole in the ground filled with water. Here are five features you can add to an outdoor pool, with the help of a company like Charlottesville Aquatics Pools Spas & Billiards, to make it the coolest pool in the neighborhood. 

A Water Slide

Thrill members of the younger generation by installing a water slide next to your pool. Water slides can be simple plastic designs with a ladder on one end, or they can be complicated with covered section and twists and turns. If you pool is next to a hill, consider using the natural landscape to build your slide. 

You can also buy or rent huge, inflatable water slides that sit next to the pool. Water slides may also be part of a rock feature. 

A Bar

If kids aren’t the group you’re aiming to please, consider adding a swim-up bar to your pool. Create a bar area next to the pool, and then add a space where guests can sit in the water as they enjoy a cocktail or other drink. Most swim-up bars also have seats outside of the pool for those who don’t want to get wet. 

Stock your bar with all the essentials, and your next pool party will be a popular one. 

A Fire Pit

A pool is great in the summer heat, but it can also be a beautiful setting all year. Consider adding a fire pit to the area around your pool. You and your guests can relax around a warm fire on chilly evenings and enjoy the beauty of the water nearby. 

A Waterfall

Waterfalls are a feature that gives instant personality to a pool. You can create a waterfall from one area in your pool to another, or you can create a waterfall using a rock feature next to your pool. Smaller waterfalls can be created from a hot tub into the main pool as well. 

A Beach

For a really unique backyard pool, consider building your own beach. Turn your existing pool into a zero entry pool by making one end slope to the edge rather than having steps. Then simply add as much sand as you want next to the pool. The result is an instant beach where you can sit and relax, build sand castles or take a dip in the water. 

With a little imagination, you can add features to make your pool interesting and fun for everyone who visits. 

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Easy Ways To Transform And Enhance Your Current Kitchen Design

There are some aspects of every kitchen that could benefit from a redesign or makeover. Some of these projects are simple and can be done by homeowners in spare time, while other refurbishments may warrant calling a local contractor—such as Stone Forest Kitchen & Bath Center—or kitchen design company to transform.

Consider the following when planning your modified space:

Storage strategies

Get rid of the clutter in the kitchen by implementing and designing some clever storage strategies. This will help contribute to the airy, large feeling of the space.

Some simple suggestions include:

  • Mount racks to the back of cabinet doors to increase storage potential.

  • Use metal grids to hang pots, pans, and utensils throughout the space. This will free up room in your cabinets and drawers.

  • If you have not used a lazy-Susan in any of your cabinets, you don’t know what storage possibilities you are missing! These make it much easier to gain access to items that might otherwise get lost in the back of deep shelves.

Homey hues

The color of your kitchen can go a long way in changing the entire mood and feel of the space. The right shade paint, cabinetry, and furnishings can alter the perceived size of the room, as well as bring a welcoming aura to your kitchen.

Keep the following in mind regarding the colors of your kitchen:

  • If you want your kitchen to seem larger, stick with neutral colors in the paint, furniture, and floor coverings.

  • Avoid painting the room trim in sharp, contrasting colors when you want to expand the size of your room. This will help to make the room flow, rather than give it a chopped-up feeling.

  • Yellow is a great color for the kitchen, bringing a warm element to the room.

  • White accents will reflect light and make the room seem airy and larger.

  • Complement your kitchen with the contrasting color of green by bringing in lots of potted plants.

Brilliant back-splashes

Your back-splash can be an aesthetic detail of the room that brings interest and intrigue. While there are some excellent options available at kitchen design retailers, there are also some ways to integrate unconventional objects to create a stunning kitchen accent.

Try the following back-splash projects:

  • Mix and match a collection of beloved ceramic tiles. These will make an interesting mosaic that blends with your current kitchen colors.

  • Accent your kitchen textiles by using matching napkins or fabric swatches on the back-splash, secured to the wall with double-sided tape. Use a sheet of acrylic or plexi-glass to protect them from moisture and keep them in place.

  • Buy prefabricated panels of etched glass for your kitchen back-splash. Be sure to paint the wall underneath before applying the back-splash.

Try some of these simple strategies to transform the current design of your kitchen, making it brighter, warmer, or larger, with little work. Talk with kitchen design professionals to address specific issues or problems in your kitchen, and to make it more convenient and functional for you.  

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Boiler Trouble: How To Pinpoint Problems Before Catastrophe Strikes

Cold weather creeps across most of the country in the last quarter of the year. Your old boiler creaks to life, and you just hope that it keeps cranking heat out like a champ again this year. It’s best to do a little more than hope where it concerns your family’s comfort and safety. Watch for these primary warning signs that trouble might be brewing in your boiler, and take steps to fix it.

Radiators don’t heat evenly

Every radiator in the house – or within a temperature zone, if you have zoning dampers – should have an identical heat level. Keep an eye on that water level; low water is often the first thing that makes some radiators go cold while others still work. If levels are good, then the culprit may be scale buildup in the pipes that has to be professionally removed to restore full function.

There’s a water leak

No matter how old, a boiler should never leak. Water on the floor is a sign of loose or corroded fittings, damaged pipes, a cracked tank, or overfilling. Any of these are dangerous conditions that require a boiler repair technician immediately.

The boiler stops heating completely

It’s unlikely that a boiler will crash and completely shut off all at once, especially if it didn’t show any signs of trouble before. First, check the electrical breaker. An electrical surge is usually invisible to home occupants, but it will trip breakers to shut off power to your home as a protective measure.

If you have a gas boiler, look for the pilot light. You should be able to see it burning inside the heating element under the boiler tank. Re-light the pilot light only if you’re comfortable with the process – otherwise, call a service technician.

Make sure the pump works. A boiler may heat perfectly at the tank level, but it won’t do any good for your home if the heat isn’t circulating through the entire system. Pumps fail for a number of reasons, and it usually indicates that extensive maintenance or repair is in order.

Your heat bill starts climbing

With energy prices and outdoor temperatures constantly fluctuating, it’s tough to know if you’re spending more than you should to run your boiler. Check with your utility company for a consumption history report for at least the last 18 months – most companies have these reports available.

Look at consumption only. If the trend is incrementally higher each year, then your boiler may have excessive sediment in the tank, minerals built up in the pipes, or other such issues. It still runs and heats, but has to work a lot harder to heat adequately when it’s fighting old gunk.

Overall, boilers usually heat much more efficiently than other popular heating systems, but they do require a bit more than simple furnace maintenance. Make sure to get the system serviced regularly, and address potential issues immediately before they leave you in the cold. For more information, contact a repair company, like A Bailey Plumbing.

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3 Super Simple Steps To Reviving A Dingy Looking Carpet

Old, worn down looking carpets can work against your efforts to make your home look its best. While re-carpeting your floors may not be an affordable option, there are several things you can do to revive dingy, trampled carpet without having to replace it. Here are 3 ways to get your carpet looking like new again. 

1. Trim Loose Carpet Threads 

Unless your carpet is meant to have a “shaggy” look, loose carpet threads can easily make a carpet look like it’s in poor condition, even if it’s not. New or clean carpets that have loose threads look un-cared for or like they’re unraveling. Before you clean your carpet, take a quick trip around the room with a pair of scissors and trim any loose carpet threads so they are even with the rest of the carpeting height. Never pull on a carpet thread, because you may cause it to unravel. Simply trim the thread by holding the scissors parallel to the carpet. 

2. Remove Spots & Stains

In order to remove spots or stains from your carpet, you can use a pre-formulated stain remover, or you can use a simple solution of baking soda and vinegar. Simply blot the stain with vinegar and sprinkle baking soda on top of the vinegar, allowing the mixture to sit overnight. When completely dry, use a broom to lightly sweep up the dried baking soda without brushing it back down into the carpet. Vacuum the spot thoroughly. 

3. Fluff Worn Areas With a Damp Cloth & an Iron

Older carpeting tends to show a lot of wear, which can make even a clean carpet look dingy or matted. You can fluff worn areas of carpeting by placing a clean, damp cloth over your carpet and then placing a hot iron over the cloth. Hold the iron over the cloth for a few seconds, and never allow the iron to touch the carpet itself. Afterwards, fluff your carpet with a stiff brush. This should cause the carpet fibers to stand back up on their own. 

4. Put Rugs Down in High Traffic Areas 

Once your carpet is clean and looking good, you’ll want to protect high traffic areas from getting dirty again as quickly. By putting down rugs in front of doors or in heavily used hallways, you can protect your carpets from foot traffic and dirty shoes. 

Keeping your carpets looking fluffy and clean is key to making your home look its best. By regularly cleaning your carpet, trimming loose threads and protecting carpets from high traffic areas, you can extend the life of your carpets significantly. Contact a company like Carpet King & Tile Carpet One Floor & Home for more information.

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