Backyard Landscaping Ideas

No matter where you live, there's nothing better than relaxing outdoors on a warm summer night watching your backyard landscaping ideas come to life.

Unfortunately, re-landscaping your entire backyard during the course of one growing season can be back breaking, expensive and requires major planning.

Here's a simple solution: Break up your backyard into "rooms" and remodel one room each year. This is especially helpful if you're on a budget. You're results will be much better if you spend as much time and money as you can on one project, rather than trying to revamp the entire backyard all at once for the same amount of money.

Although you're landscaping only one section of the yard at a time, you still need an overall plan. Using graph paper, sketch out the permanent structures on your property including the house, out buildings, deck and trees.

This is also a good time to consider which existing plants and shrubs will not be a part of the new landscape.

Make copies of your sketch and experiment with different designs. Incorporate ideas you like from magazines or gardens you've visited.

If you host frequent cook outs you'll probably want to keep the yard open and plant along the borders. If you do not need the space, you could create real drama with an island bed, walkways, solar lighting and cutouts for comfortable furniture to relax on.

Here are some ideas you'll dig:

Screening with Plants

If your yard does not have a fence, you might want to consider planting a row of hawthorn, juniper, arborvitae, or a combination of these bushes to create privacy and provide a back for future flower beds. A strategically place evergreen screen will also provide a windbreak from winter winds and drifting snow.

Planning a Border Flower Bed

The hardest part of designing a border is choosing flowers that complement each other both in color and height. The list of perennials I suggest here is for a six foot wide bed in a mainly sunny situation. Wide, in this case, means outgoing from the plant screen or fence, not the length of the bed.

Use 3 or 5 plants for each kind of flower and allow 16 "-18" between each plant. Allow 20 "-22" between the different plant groups. Planting an odd number of plants is more visually appealing than an even number.

Allow sufficient space at the rear of the bed for access. This will also prevent choking off necessary air and light from the plants in back.

These are my suggestions for a perennial border. They were chosen to give a long display, with the first flowers appearing in April and the last in October.

Tall plants for the back row: SEDUM 'Autumn Joy'; RUDBECKIA Goldsturm; PHLOX White; IRIS light blue or yellow; VERONICA Blue; SOLIDAGO 'Golden Shower'; and HOSTA fortunei 'Picta'.

Shorter plants for the front row: GERANIUM grandiflorum; POTENTILLA 'Firedance'; HUECHERA Pink; ASTER Dwarf Blue; SEDUM Dragons Blood; ACHILLEA 'Moonshine'; and ERIGERON 'Prosperity'.

Obviously, these plants will not be the best choice for every climate. A worthy book to help you choose plants native to your climate zone is The Comfortable Lazy Garden. It's also an excellent reference for beginning gardeners.

Island Bed

An island bed, as the name implies, is planted in the middle of the yard surrounded by a sea of ​​grass. It can vary in shape and size according to your imagination and available space. Scale the plants from tallest in the center to shortest at the edges.

Preplanned Gardens

I understand all of this Latin mumbo jumbo can be daunting for first time gardeners, it was for me. If you would like a ready made solution, Direct Gardening offers a wide selection of preplanned gardens designed to take all the guess work out of plant selection and placement.

Water Feature

Imagine the reflective beauty of a pond or the gentle splashing of a man made waterfall. How about a 100 foot high waterslide? Maybe next year.

Do Your Yard a Favor

Before you buy any vegetation, visit a real garden center for advice on drainage and soil preparation. Also, bring a copy of your plan; a soil sample and an extra credit card just in case you can not wait years to make your backyard landscaping ideas come true.

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The Benefits of Skip Hire

Whether you’re clearing out your shed or garage, renovating your property, or conducting an office clearance, one thing’s for certain – you’ll need to dispose of large quantities of waste. This can be a messy and time-consuming job, and endless trips to the rubbish dump can end up costing you valuable time and money, especially if you live in the capital.

One excellent alternative is skip hire. Here are some of the main benefits you could enjoy.

Convenience

Making multiple trips to the dump or recycling facilities is time-consuming and it can leave your car in a right old state. The main benefit to hiring a skip is convenience.

A skip hire company will deliver your skip to the desired location, arranging any permits where necessary, and collect it once it’s been filled. All you need to do is work out where you would like it placed, and when you want it delivered.

Cost-Effective

Multiple trips to the dump involve wasting unnecessary time and money, especially with the rising cost of petrol. However, by hiring a skip you won’t have to pay a penny extra for transport as that’s built into the cost of hiring a skip.

What’s more, with a range of skip sizes to choose from you will only pay for the size that you need, making it a cost-effective solution.

Versatility

All reputable skip hire companies have a range of skip sizes on offer so their service can be tailored to your exact requirements. Skips are classified according to the volume of waste they hold, which is measured in cubic yards.

They range from a mini skip for light domestic use that holds 2 cubic yards of waste (approx. 20-30 bin bags of rubbish) to a maxi skip for large house clearances that holds 16 cubic yards (or 140-160 bin bags of rubbish). The average skip size is a builder’s skip, which is 8 cubic yards (or 60-80 bin bags of rubbish).

Correct Disposal of Waste

Hiring a man with a van to dispose of your waste may sound like a good idea, but legally waste is your responsibility so if that man decides to fly-tip your waste you will be liable for a huge fine. By choosing a reputable skip hire company you can rest assured that your waste will be dealt with professionally, and your reputation, and bank balance, will remain intact.

Environmentally Friendly

Finally, skip hire companies are responsible environmentalists. Your waste will be transported to a processing plant where it will be sorted, with as much as 90% being recycled.

For further details on skip hire, contact Waste King Skip Hire today.

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The Signage Evolution

Do you may remember the classic porcelain service station signs illuminated with high-watt light bulbs, like “Texaco” and “Skelly” (which are now highly valued collector items)?

Then came the vacuum-formed, plastic-faced signs that were backlit with fluorescent lamps and used a marquis with changeable plastic “Wagner” or “ZIP” letters for specials and fuel pricing.

Yes, the sign industry has evolved over the past few decades. Today, large LED displays offer high impact, animated message systems that employ a marketing strategy.

One of the latest contributions to the signage evolution is interior digital video signage. More and more restaurants, retailers, service locations and medical offices are using these displays for various content to engage their customers.

“Video enhances the customer experience: People like videos and have come to expect them. And often videos are the best way to impart the information. Video boosts customer service by increasing customer engagement, leading to higher customer satisfaction.” – Right Answers Inc.

The days of the static white board food menu are being replaced with high definition product photographs and videos with brief descriptions and pricing. Digital menu boards help customers make decisions faster and more accurately, while reducing order and wait times. CarterEnergy customer, Sugarfoot C-Store & BBQ, experienced this first-hand when they made the decision to go with digital menu boards for their BBQ and their new Fresh Burrito Bar in their C-Store.

Digital signage is being utilized to highlight a menu of specific auto services that KCI Auto Care offers while customers are traveling through Kansas City International Airport (KCI). Big-O-Tires uses their digital signage for service pricing and to educate customers with Auto Seasonal Preparation videos.

Other digital sign applications include interactive (touchscreen) building directories and wayfinding kiosks, company information in lobbies, trade show booths, in-store video billboards, video walls, cylinders and boxes, to name a few.

But in all things digital signage, bigger is often better. Considered the avant-garde of digital signage solutions, video walls, aka architectural media or techorating, depending on the application, can influence the ambiance of the building by the way it is integrated into the environment. Similarly, creative content can stimulate the senses, arouse and influence behavior that complements the purpose of building designs, which reinforces and extends the core brand image. Dynamic content can immerse control rooms, wrap around buildings, decorate expansive interiors with artistic displays, and provide interactive content into an exciting and over-the-top visual experience.

Take a moment to notice the digital signage around you, and you will be amazed how prevalent and creative this marketing tool has become.

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The Importance of Culture in Translation Work

Translation is not just the activity of translating word by word from the source language to another language. This cannot guarantee quality translation as one language cannot express the actual meaning of the other if the transalation concentrated on words only.

In fact there are differences between the meanings built in and the meanings that must be captured and expressed. A translator might face a lot of difficulties while translating from one language to another. This is why a translator working with a Translator Toronto or New York based company needs to think differently by directing their attention to different aspects of the environment.

Translation is not simply replacing words with similar meaning but of finding appropriate ways of saying things in another language. For accurate translation from the source language to the target language importance must be given to the culture of the target language. It is the cultural aspect only that can help in communicating the message in the way it should be. Plus, it also helps in avoiding misunderstandings.

Before beginning the translation work, it is essential for the translator to do some research on the lexical content and syntax of the target language along with the ideologies, value systems and ways of life in a given culture. This will help the translators to have an idea about the audience in both languages and different elements of the target language. For example there is a lot of difference in the way French is spoken in European countries and in Canadian states and the same goes with English too and any translator in Toronto or Montreal or in some European city will have to take the differences into account.

Key cultural elements to consider while translating:

1) Customs and tradition are part of a culture and for translating a translator must be aware of these aspects. Be it a marriage or a funeral, a festival or some vows, any translator can get into problems if he/she translates without comprehending or understanding the significance behind the occasion. For example, in a Christian marriage, the exchange of kisses is part of the ceremony while the same would be totally inappropriate. Even expressing feelings in public is outrageous here.

2) It is important to verify the connotation of the product name in a foreign language, as there might be different meanings of the same word in different languages. This is even more important when the translation is done for a global marketing campaign.

3) Anything humorous must be treated carefully as the target audience might not appreciate the way it has been written or even understand it. Thus, translation and linguistic expression must be viewed within the wider societal and cultural environment.

4) Keeping in mind the target audience, the grammar, punctuation and vocabulary should be used as it impacts the style of the language.

5) Also consider other cultural factors too such as pictures, symbols and colors as the same picture might have negative connotation in some other country. For example the color white is associated with mourning in Japan but in most of the European countries it is the black color that represents mourning. In the same way even pictures can have a cultural or political implications and can sometimes cause a problem with the target audience.

Thus, for a good translator working with a Translator Toronto or New York based company it is important for him to a thorough understanding of the culture of the source language as well as that of the target language apart from their hold in linguistic. When looking for translation service in Spanish Translation or say German Translation make sure that the company gives due importance to the cultural aspects of both the source and the target language.

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Selling Your House? Mow Your Lawn!

A property that has a well manicured lawn has one of the best opportunities at showing pride in ownership than any other outdoor technique.

For one thing, there is a large upswing in the priority that homeowners place in their outdoor living spaces.

Therefore, the landscaping of your front yard (especially) as well as that of your back yard should look its very best when it's selling time. Your landscaping will make a huge contribution to the resale value of your home, so make sure that it's doing its best to help you out.

In fact, studies have shown that when the landscaping of a home is in excellent condition, it can sell for about 4 to 5 percent higher, while homes with landscaping in very poor condition can sell for 8 to 10 percent less. That's a huge difference in the overall selling price of your home.

You may be wondering exactly how much time you should dedicate to sprucing up the landscape of your property. How much time and money is worth it for your sale?

Even if you put a minimal amount of money, effort, and time in to your landscaping, it will help you in selling your home, and sometimes even getting a boost in the selling price. Every effort you make will help.

However, do not overdo it. Remember that it's not a selling feature; it's only something to help the overall appeal of your property, so that the other selling features will be better appreciated.

You should keep your lawn mowed so that it is even, and neatly short. Keep it well weeded, as these will only appear as blemishes to your landscaping. Make sure to use a weed eater to do the edges, as this gives your work a superior finish touch.

If there are any "bald" patches in your lawn, buy a small bag of seed and care for the spot, filling it in. This is especially important if you have a dog who digs or who leaves "pet damage" where s / he does his or her business.

After you fill in the dead spots that your dog has left, make sure to water the areas after your dog "waters," to prevent new dead patches from forming. Watering the areas will dilute the urine to stop it from burning the grass.

This effort makes an immeasurable difference in the overall malnutrition of the house, and the impression that it will leave potential buyers.

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How to Remove Wall Stickers and Wall Decals

This article is about wall stickers and wall decals that are made of vinyl. Many websites talk about how to put these on the wall, but there may be little assistance for how to remove the wall stickers.

The method for removing wall stickers and wall decals will remain the same, but it might be a little more difficult on certain surfaces and depending on the size of the wall sticker. Let’s look at some of the methods for removing.

Removing from walls

Painted walls are at the highest risk from damage when removing wall decals. This means you need to take some care and focus on avoiding this damage. It is possible to remove wall stickers from even the worst walls.

The worst walls are those that had a poor paint job to begin with. One that has multiple layers of paint and these layers have not been prepared between paint coats. Or one that has air bubbles underneath the paint.

1. Work slowly and do not rip, snatch or pull the wall sticker of the wall

2. Using a hair dryer, heat the vinyl directly at the edge you are removing

3. When the vinyl feels warm gently lift edge ( you might need to get a finger nail under)

4. As you roll or pull the vinyl away from the wall, you need to heat the next section of vinyl directly in front of the piece you lifted. Basically you are working gradually heating and lifting.

5. If you can visually see or you can feel a bubble under the paint surface you need to take care lifting over this area. If there is a second person, you can ask them to control the hair dryer while you use your second hand to press down on the bubble as you lift the vinyl off.

6. Continue until all of the vinyl is removed.

7. If there is any gum residue (not common on walls) then wipe the surface with an acetate based cleaner such as nail polish remover.

TOP TIP: Pull or roll the vinyl back against itself like it is being folded back. Do not pull the vinyl out from the wall at 90degrees as this will put more pressure on the paint.

Removing from glass and metal

When removing wall decals from glass or metal, the issue is not normally related to surface damage. It can be much harder to remove from these surfaces because the vinyl sticks so well to them. If you have a paint scraper or metal edged scraper this will be useful, otherwise it will have to be your finger nails.

1. Heat the vinyl directly in front of the area you are removing.

2. Peel/pick at the edge and pull. The vinyl is likely to tear as you do this, then you heat the next bit and remove.

3. Removing from these surfaces is more likely to leave a residue. Deal with that at the end, first remove all the solid vinyl by heating and pulling.

4. To clean the surface you will need an acetate or orange based cleaner that can lift the remaining glue. There are lots of purpose built cleaners for this, or simply use nail polish remover.

TOP TIP: If you hold the vinyl closer to the surface it is less likely to tear. For example, if you are pulling and as you pull, the piece of “free” vinyl is getting longer it is more likely to tear, simply move your hand back down closer to surface to reduce the chance of breakage.

By working patiently and not forcing the vinyl from the surface you will be able to remove the wall stickers and wall decals with no problem.

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Tips on Choosing an Outdoor Garden Fountain

SIZE of the garden fountain should be the first thing to consider. A fountain may be great to look at but more importantly it needs to fit into your garden landscape. If you have a relatively small garden, it doesn’t make sense to install a grand fountain that covers most of your garden views. The fountain must not stand out and be the sole focus in your garden. It should either blend in with the rest of your garden or the garden must enhance the fountain. Picking the right size outdoor garden fountain is vital.

SHAPE of the garden fountain is the next important thing to decide. This has less to do with garden space and more to do with you and what you prefer. You need to determine what suits your garden and more importantly, what expresses you and your lifestyle. Garden fountains come in a variety of shapes including animals and wildlife, statuary, tiered, pedestal, rock and wall, just to name a few. Deciding on the shape of your fountain may be your most difficult task.

TYPE of fountain water flow must be considered when you are deciding on a shape.

BUBBLING FOUNTAINS are the most versatile and perhaps best-suited for most home gardens. Typical design involves a single jet of water produced below the water surface in the center of a glazed pot. The water runs over the edges of the pot and runs quietly down the sides into a basin where it’s collected and recycled by a small pump. These fountains are perfect for smaller, intimate spaces since they don’t make much sound, just quiet bubbling.

SPILLING FOUNTAINS have water exiting from a spout and dropping unimpeded into a basin. Be sure you listen to these types of fountains before you make your purchase. They can produce quite a bit of sound. Even a single arc of water splashing into a basin can be too much sound for a small space. Unless it’s just a drip, the sound is energizing and active, not relaxing,

JET FOUNTAINS are perfect for large spaces since the water becomes rather architectural and rather dramatic. In a large space, seen (and heard) from some distance, these fountains can become a main focal point. But there are also simple, small-scale jet fountains for small spaces, too. The water hits the surface as multiple droplets and jet fountains are typically not as loud as spilling fountains.

SEASONAL or YEAR ROUND Another important factor to consider when deciding on a garden fountain is whether you want it functioning year round. A seasonal fountain must be shut down in the winter months if you are in a colder climate. Otherwise the water could freeze and cause damage. You may also need to relocate it inside to protect it from harsh temperatures.Year round outdoor fountains are heated and can be left running in the winter months. The two main types are solar powered or electrical.

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Distinctive And "Instinctive" Differences Of Cats Compared To Dogs

Anybody Need Help Understanding Bizarre Cat Behavior?

Both cats and dogs make fabulous pets but they certainly are not similar and that is because they are wired completely different! Remember the book, "Men are From Mars & Women are From Venus"? Well it is kind of like cats and dogs are from different planets too.

To be good pet owners we need to understand a cat's basic instincts that make them have the, sometimes, strange way that they do.

Cats are not scared of the dark!

I have a cat that loves to hunt and if I let her, she would do a lot of hunting at night. But she is a black cat and we live near a highway so I call her in at night for obvious reasons. (And she actually comes – that's my girl!)

Not only do cats instinctively hunt, they are also instinctively nocturnal because long ago they would do their hunting at night to avoid predators. They have trained themselves to detect motion with very little light. The long, stiff whiskers on a cat's face are extended sideways when resting but when moving they extend forward to aid in hunting.

We all know that a dog's strongest sense is smell. Well for a cat, both sight and hearing are stronger senses and prove very useful in the dark when hunting.

So if you are up in the middle of the night and find your cat wide awake, do not think she is sick or crazy, she is just instinctively a cat! Your dog, on the other hand, will wake up from a deep sleep, stretch and wonder what's wrong with you!

Cats are very touchy!

By this I mean that cats love to rub their bodies against us, and all the furniture in the house, and the trees and fines outside of the house. What is this all about?

Well our lovely little feline is intentionally marking her territory by putting her scent on all her surroundings. This is how cats tell other cats to stay away from their claimed area. Do not be surprised if your cat makes a ceremonial walk around your property every morning to freshly mark her territory. And she kindly has her favorite spot in your home to lie down where no one else is allowed to be.

Is not it nice to know that when your cat rubs herself against your leg, she thinks she owns you and not the other way around? Well, at least this territorial behavior is more pleasant than a dog's, who urinates to mark his territory.

Cats are very independent!

My cat loves to be careless and cuddled but usually only for a few minutes and then she wants to be left alone so she jumps out of my arms. I do not take offense because I know she loves me and that instinctively cats like to be alone. There are not many "lap cats" out there so if you are looking for a cuddly pet to rest on your lap, then you need a "lap dog".

Once again it goes back to a cat's origins and their hunting habits. When too many cats were around, there were too many scents so cats would find their own territory to hunt their prey. As a result, cats prefer to be alone.

Dogs historically live in packs but cats choose to be alone and can easily entertain themselves for hours making the care of a cat much simpler then a dog.

Cats are superb stalkers!

Some cats actually stalk their food – a very humorous sight indeed! After all how hard can it be to "catch" the kibble or Fancy Feast that is in the dish waiting for them?

My cat, being a hunter, does not stalk her food but we have certainly seen her on the prowess numerous times in our hay field or ditches. And sometimes she even corners her prey and just stares at them in utter cruelty while they fearfully wait for their demise!

Well my precious little kitty, like all cats, learned the "stalking stature" for hunting from her mother to help her survive. And she taught her kittens about hunting by bringing home her "kill" for show and tell.

Cats are not dogs and dogs are not cats!

Both cats and dogs have their natural instincts dating back to their origins that make them unique. Hopefully, learning a little more about the instincts of cats will help you understand their natural behaviors a little better.

Cats have been domestic pets for over 3500 years providing their instincts or "old habits die hard!"

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Mistaken For Each Other

There is one distinction between two words that people typically garble in their everyday speech and they are park and playground. The words park and playground are typically used interchangeably in the vernacular, but do not actually refer to the same places. Typically a playground will be inside of a park, so the mistake is understandable. But, there will never park inside of a playground. They do have one thing in common and that people typically go to either of them to enjoy themselves. Other than that, parks can have a variety of purposes, while playgrounds always have the same purpose.

Playgrounds are already used as place for playsets, swings and such, on which kids play. Playgrounds tend to be located in urban areas, school yards, amusement parks and parks. Playgrounds are also specifically geared towards kids. Parents play in playgrounds for the benefit of their kids and teenagers might just because they are being obnoxious. To summarize, a playground is found in the same places and used by the same age group. Also, playgrounds tend to contain roughly the same type of things, playground equipment. Although, despite the largest difference between a playground and park is the that a playground can be found indoors, while it is impossible to find a park indoors ..

On the other hand, a park is a broad open space, as in no buildings or buildings of which to speak, used for various purposes. A park is just a piece of land set besides for people to go through it. There are national parks, which are spaces protected by the government, but people travel through them to marvel at nature. A state park are much like national parks, but they are also geared towards providing a place for outdoor activity than conservation. Lastly, there are city parks. These parks are grassy places, maybe trees. The city park is supposedly to a place where people can escape the concrete and breath some reliably fresher air, because of all the oxygen processing greenery. A park, because it is a place of recreation in one sense or another tend to contain at least one playground, although they do not have to have one.

Most people in their daily speech fail to distinguish between a park and a playground and use the words interchangeably. Although both places of recreation, a park is spot of natural space, having various purposes. Meanwhile, a playground is a place that contains playground equipment on which children play. The name playground summarizes what it is entirely. In fact, park and playground are not interchangeable.

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How to Build Your Own Home – Lesson 3 – Your Plans – Draftsman/ Designer Vs Architect

1. The Draftsman/Designer

Draftsman/Designer’s have expertise with design of interiors, carpeting, furniture, paint, etc., in actuality; draftsmen follow the directions of an architect, engineer or designer to make (vs. create) the plans. They are not licensed, as an architect is, to stamp plans in order to receive city building permits – More on this later.

If you choose to hire a draftsman/designer, be sure to find one that has a good working knowledge of building. I knew a draftsman/designer that designed beautiful country homes but you could tell this designer was relatively new to the industry because some of her designs could not be built the way they were drawn. This is because designers often do not understand how the construction process works. This is a key difference between draftsman/designers and architects. Choose someone that has had experience creating drawings that have been successfully built from by homebuilders, and who comes highly recommended.

Another source for a qualified draftsman/designer is the American Institute of Building Design. You can locate member in your area by visiting their web site. If you see a home that you like, check with the owner to see if they know who designed it. If the home is fairly new, you could go to the building department and possibly see the plans on file, you can acquire the name of the designer from those plans.

2. The Architect

Architects have expertise in design but are especially helpful because of their knowledge of technology and structural aspects of how to put together a building. He or she has gone to school a long time and are licensed professionals who are qualified to offer clients a wide range of services. Working with an architect can give you someone to lean on from start to finish. He/she can help you with your site and landscape plans. He/she can help you select colors, furnishings, etc. as well. The architect can offer several other valuable services to help your construction plan go smoothly. For example, he/she can visit the site, monitoring and observing construction. The architect can be a valuable asset in reviewing contracts and helping you ultimately select a reputable contractor or subcontractor.

Another service the architect can provide is to walk through your plans with the city/county to expedite getting the necessary permits.

Keep in mind that an architect’s fees are going to be higher than those of a draftsman/designer, which makes sense considering all of the additional services and safeguards that you’ll get the benefit of. A good architect can charge anywhere from 7% to 10% of the final cost, or more. Fees may be negotiable, though. For example, I hire very qualified architects in the Atlanta area for less than a third of those figures, which, by the way, is a very cheap price to pay for someone that qualified to create your house, plans and see the job through to completion.

As always, when hiring someone, it is best to discuss the exact services that the architect will provide under the contract, so you know what services to expect for the fee you will be paying. Also, ask for references and examples of his/her work. Not all architects are wonderful artists. Perhaps their style does not mesh with our style, either. If you want an original work of art, a thing of beauty – just because you’ve gone to the expense of an architect does not mean you automatically will have hired an artist. I feel only one in three architects are true artist. For that reason, I have sometimes hired an artistic designer to design a home of beauty, and then I would hire an architect to do the working drawings.

Note: In many areas, you do not have to have an architectural stamp on a set of residential drawings. You could draw them yourself. I’ve seen some builders draw a sketch on a piece of scratch paper, hand it to the framing carpenter and say, “Make it look like the third house on the left!” Find out if you will need stamped drawings from your local government.

In many areas you could build a duplex [two unit building] or a triplex [three unit building] without an architectural stamp on the drawings. However, if you build four units or more, which in many areas is considered multi-family, or if you build commercial or industrial, you would be required to have an architectural stamp or a professional engineer’s stamp on the plans.

If you build anything unusual like a “foam home,” the only way you may be able to pass the local codes and inspections would be to have an architectural stamp or a professional engineer’s stamp on those unusual plans. Having a stamp is no guarantee, because the local government reviews everything and you don’t know what is going to pass.

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Duckweed Control And Restoration Of Your Beautiful Pond

Duckweed control is perhaps the most onerous task that one has to undertake, irrespective of whether you like it or not. It’s imperative that you maintain a fine balance between the plant and animal in your pond, and if one overpowers the other the ecology will get disturbed and there will be commotion inside the pond.

How to Identify Duckweed

Duckweeds are miniature green plants that floats atop the pond, lakes, or in still water. These can be easily identified with very little leaves (around 1-3) and a quarter of an inch in total, and usually consists of only 1 to 3 leaves. Each little plant has its own short roots coming from the bottom.

Even during the winters, they remain green and continue to float, though majority of them die out. During summers, duckweed accumulate in abundance and form bed like or string like formation and float on the top of the still water.

Is It a Bad Plant?

A lot of people by its sheer ugly look form an opinion of it as a bad plant and there have been debates if it’s good to completely remove it from the pond or keep it in minimal quantity. Experts feel that it’s good to completely eradicate rather than in bounty. The main thing with duckweed is that every single plant have the capacity to reproduce a new plant within next 24 hours, provided the environment is conducive.

When duckweed covers your entire pond, it obstructs sunlight entering the pond and the aquatic flora and fauna can’t get enough of it which is imperative for their survival.

As a result, all water-dwelling plants die and in due course it becomes fatal for other plants and animals to survive inside the pond. This will lead to formation of newer duckweeds as they consume nutrients like phosphorus and nitrogen from the dead organic matter present at the bottom of the lake.

On the other hand, if the duckweed is present in smaller quantities, it will bolster much better ecosystem which is beneficial for both fish and plants. The sight of duckweed in small numbers floating around the lotus or water lilies even look beautiful just remember that is an indication that it may soon be covering the entire pond.

Hence, a lot of people long to get duckweeds inside their pond. As a matter of fact, many pond owners have shown interest and take counselling as how to grow duckweed. Also, to control its growth, many pond owners introduce koi fish and grass carp which will limit their growth.

To sum up, its ideal that you hire a professional agency such as Aquacide Co. who can help guide you in your pond maintenance from time-to-time. These individuals offer expert advice and can recommend treatment or maintenance procedures and when to use products such as Fluridone to completely eradicate it.

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Tips For Choosing A Sectional Sofa

A sectional sofa is a perfect addition for anyone’s living room. It is the perfect place to feel cozy and comfortable around friends while watching a movie or a football match. Since their popularity has increased in the recent years, so is their diversity. Picking the right sectional may be a matter of taste, but there are several general guidelines to follow. Stick with them and you will soon relax in the sectional you always wanted.

The first thing to do is to determine the size and shape of the sectional. Basically there are three sectional shapes available: the U-shape, the semi-circular shape and the L-shape. Pick the shape you like the most. But this is only the first step. Sectionals are modular and can include 3, 4 or even more sections. Ordering customized sofas may allow you to add multiple modules. Of course, the cost will be higher. It is recommended to draw a floor plan of the room where you want to place the sectional. Next, add the shape and size and see which configuration suits you most. For example, you may want a larger side of a sectional, in order to cover more space to the walls.

Consider the use and the object placement of the room. For example, if the TV sits across a corner of the room, a sectional is the best solution. In this case the rounded corner provides lots of seating, and everybody can easily watch the screen. The only problem with semicircular sectional is that it takes a lot of space. Measure the room exactly before placing an order. If you choose an L-shaped sectional rather than a rounded one, beware the disadvantages of the one-cushion square corner. It will be the very last seat people want. It is now the time to remind you that reversible sectionals offer the freedom of change, allowing you to switch the placement of the chaise whenever you want. This provides a better space management.

When you buy a sofa, comfort is everything. And comfort is largely dependent of the fabric used to make the furniture. Fabrics with natural fibers like cotton, linen and flax are breathable, are comfy and get softer with use. Similarly, go natural with leather for a timeless look and soft, buttery feel. Personal style should also be a priority. You can opt for vintage, classical sofas and for modern sofas, as well. You just have to browse the internet and find the style and colors that appeals you the most.

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Medieval Occupations

You’ve probably had some rotten jobs in the past, but I’ll bet none of them were as bad as the jobs from Medieval times.

Rat Catcher

Not exactly the kind of eye-catching name to attract new-hires in the Want Ads. However, rat catchers were actually held in relatively high esteem by town-folks. Rats, mice and other vermin were often carriers of many diseases and afflictions. A rat catcher who could rid a town of these critters could be very handsomely rewarded. However, putting himself in unsavory locations and risking his own health went, as they say, with the territory, as he frequently would come in contact with diseased or rabid animals.

Grave Digger

This field was a growth industry during the Middle Ages as war, famine, and diseases provided plenty of “raw material” for the gravedigger. Much like the rat catcher, a busy digger could earn quite a good income.

Messenger

Hmmm, this doesn’t sound like too bad of a job. After all, how hard can it be delivering messages. No doubt, you’ve heard the term “don’t kill the messenger”. This kind of gives you a clue as to the main problem with being a messenger. Oftentimes, the delivered message was not well received. The messenger was the lucky victim of this wrath frequently leading to the death or imprisonment of the unfortunate messenger.

Miner

The need for gold or silver was hugely important for most kingdoms as a way to field their armies and expand their territories. While the wages of miners were above average, they had to work in very dangerous conditions. If cave-ins, lethal gases, and collapses weren’t bad enough, a miner would not see the light of day for two to three days at a time. They weren’t especially skilled, but the job did require a certain raw determination to overcome constant obstacles.

Leech Collector

Leeches were widely used for centuries as a medical aid. The thinking was that the leeches would suck out the bad blood from an ailing person, leaving only the good blood behind. Obviously, leeches had to be found. Enter the leech collector. Easy enough job – just wade through muddy marsh water and let leeches attach themselves to your legs. When you’ve “collected” a sufficient number, return to dry land and remove them. Ah, there’s the rub, as Shakespeare once said. Not only were the leeches constantly sucking blood while they were attached, but if not pulled off properly, their teeth were left behind, still embedded in the flesh. This condition often lead to festering, infection, and not infrequently, death. Even if the extraction is done right, the sores left behind could easily become infected. I can see the ad for this job “Work outside in the fresh air, stroll leisurely through natural water, collecting valuable animals that are used in medical treatment. Will train, no experience needed”.

Fuller

Even given the jobs described above, this may be the worst job of the Medieval times. To remove grease and other impurities from freshly woven woolen cloth, it had to be placed in a vat of stale urine and then stomped on for hours (kind of like crushing grapes only not so pleasant). Besides the obvious stench, the fuller had to be constantly alert to make sure that the whole woolen batch was evenly treated; if not, the entire batch was ruined and the process would have to start all over. That would really make me PO’d if that happened!

Petard Engineer

This job has a nice ring to it – after all, an engineer is a pretty prestigious profession. However, being a petard engineer was not so glamorous during Medieval times. A petard was a small bomb used to blow up enemy fortifications, such as castle walls or gates. The engineer’s job was to run as quickly as possible avoiding enemy arrows, all the while carrying the lit petard that he would eventually place next to the fortification (assuming he made it that far). If the fuse was a little “short” or faulty, then the petard would detonate before it was put in place, gently lifting the hapless engineer up into the air for a much better view of his surroundings. Thus the term “Hoisted with his own petard” is used to describe a situation in which a person is harmed by one’s own actions.

Treadmill Operator

No, there were no health or athletic clubs in the Medieval world. Instead, think of a giant hamster wheel attached a hundred feet or so high up on a not-yet-finished cathedral. The operator would trudge for hours, turning the big wheel which moved a winch attached to a crane which then hoisted building material. In addition to the mundane nature of the job, it was also dangerous in that if the whole assembly had been poorly constructed or sudden bad weather hit – the whole device could come crashing down. Many times, blind people performed this work since they didn’t really need to see where they were treading.

Whipping Boy

Yep, there really was a job called whipping boy. When the prince misbehaved or fell behind in his schooling, only the king had the divine right to administer punishment. But, alas, the king was often away, doing whatever kings do when not in their castles. So, no king, no punishment for the prince. But someone had to pay. Enter the whipping boy. Normally, he had been raised and educated with the prince since birth. Often, a bond of friendship developed between the two. The thinking was that since they were such good friends, when the whipping boy received punishment, the prince felt at least emotional pain for his friend.

This job seems similar to that of a fireman. A lot of sitting around, waiting, and them – bam! – you’re on the job. No word on what happened to the whipping boy once the prince became king. Maybe he became the whipping man, although that title just doesn’t really rock.

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