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Monthly Archives: January 2017

Automatic Garden Irrigation Systems

If you have been looking for the best options for automatic garden irrigation, there are options aplenty. there are certain features that you should expect from the automatic systems. Let’s mention them briefly:

    • Rain Sensor: This is extremely important for a judicious use of water. The irrigation equipment should go off whenever it senses precipitation, avoiding the waste of water resources when it is not needed.
    • Timer: The mechanism in place should allow you to set the time period after which you need to work. Consequently, it allows you to appropriately space out the irrigation for different species of grass that you might have.
  • Efficient Sprinklers: The automatic irrigation mechanism shall be mated to efficient sprinklers to make sure that the water is abundantly spread out yet there is no wastage.

The above are just a few of the features that are significant. And when it comes to offering products with all the above features, several experts have tried their best to walk the tightrope of practicality and features. Carefully assessing and choosing features that will gel well with your courtyard, is the key to having an impressive lawn.

Paving Tiles for Swimming Pool

Modern tiles are often geometric and symmetrical or the style has been exaggerated with asymmetrical tiles (different size triangles).

Travertine is a good example of how different shapes can be used to keep the backyard up to date around the pool. The tile comes in many different colours and is able to withstand weather change. The material is also able to absorb water allowing you to walk comfortably without slipping.

Limestone tiles have become common with home improvement and renovations. Not only does the paving tile neaten up the area around the pool but it can also resist different climate changes. Because it has a light appearance, it fits the modern profile.

Modern themes often work for any style house. The modern flair is flexible for most uses whether you have a geometric fountain in the front or a garden full of trees surrounding the pool.

The classic pools have more of a rough layout. Although rough, the area still looks good with its different sized stones and paving tiles. You will often find this look at water resorts for the cave concepts.

Flagstone has a natural appearance with its many shapes and natural colours. The paving tile is slip resistant and can be exposed to any temperatures. For this reason the flagstone tiles can be used for a long period of time.

Slate, which is similar to flagstone, is older and heavier than most tiles. Due to the materials it is composed of, it can be cut into any shape and is very easy to install around the pool. The material also comes in different colours to match the idea you have in mind.

Many classier tiles are made from the same materials as slate and flagstone. This would be the ultimate material to use for the exact picture you have in mind for the older and natural look.

Landscape Drainage

These solutions are usually only used in worst case scenario situations but I wanted you to know the true options that are available that work. In most cases where there is a landscape drainage problem and let’s say there is only five inches of slope when you need ten inches a good drain expert can install a drain that will work by creating slope from the back yard to the front then leveling out to the street because water that is level still flows but not as fast. They will also be able to incorporate your downspouts from your gutter into the system so that the head pressure (the water pouring down the downspout from the roof) will help push the yard drainage water out. These are options that a good drainage contractor will be able to see, and then he will be able to let you know which drainage option will work best for you.

Now let’s say you have enough slope to do a regular drainage system in your yard. The question than is what does a regular drainage system consist of? A regular drainage system consists of catch basins, fittings and pipe. Let us look at drainage catch basins first there are many type of catch basins that drainage contractors use and all but a few are in accordance with good landscape drainage practices.

One approved type is concrete basin which these are used in residential and commercial applications the residential will usually start out as 10 inches by 10 inches and normally have metal grates. They are well constructed but can be an eyesore in a beautiful landscape. Next you have the plastic drainage basins these are made by a number of different companies and most of them are built to last a lifetime. These Drainage basins come in many different shapes and sizes but we would not suggest you go any smaller than 9 inches by 9 inches for the yard drainage basins and 6 inch round for the garden drainage basins. This type of landscape drainage basins are normally the ones used by the drain experts because they are more versatile and easier to work with. These drainage basins come with different grates (Tops) for different applications flat green grates for the grass and black flat grates for others in stone or flower beds. The grates also come in atrium grates which are grates that are built higher like a dome shape to allow water to flow if the bottom of the grate gets clogged. If you clean around the grates after each storm there will be no need to install atrium drainage grates as they are unsightly in the landscapes because of domed shape but you might want to consider them if using them directly in the flower beds to keep mulch from clogging drains. Some drainage experts but very few prefer to build their own catch basins out of brick and mortar this too is an acceptable practice and sometimes can be used to get slope on the pipe in cases where every inch counts because the slope of the land is very minute because this will allow the pipe to be raised to where they need it and a few inches at this point can mean the difference between a successful drain or unsuccessful drain. Always make sure that the drainage contractor is using actual drain catch basins and not sticking a four inch grate on the end of a fitting.

This brings us to proper fittings to be used in backyard drainage systems. The more fittings used in a drainage system or as many know as French drains (which we will discuss in this article and more in-depth in a future article soon to follow) will slow down the water so an ideal system is using the least amount of fittings as possible. The fittings used in a drainage system include a 90° long and short, 45°,22½°, Y’s, and T’s all these fittings come in different material for the different types of pipe which we will discuss next. Even though they sale short and long 90°’s the long 90° is the only one that should be used and is the only one a drain expert will use. I myself prefer to use two 45° separated so to slow the water flow as least as I possibly can. The suppliers also sell T’s but they are not an approved fitting in a lawn drainage system unless they are being used as a clean out access which is only needed if you have an extremely long run without a drainage basin for access. The Y’s are the only proper fitting to be used by the drain expert to connect another pipe into the main drainage system. All of the other fittings can be used but always try to find the straightest route possible.

The Final material in a system which is also one of the most important is the type of drain pipe. There are several types of drain pipe that are used in drainage systems such as Schedule 40 (The thickest), SDR35 (The next step down), and Sewer pipe (Thin Wall), and corrugated pipe. The only two that are considered correct installation practice by the drain experts are schedule 40 and SDR35 all others are the cheap way out and come with expensive consequences later on. The SDR35 pipe is the norm and followed by all of the drain experts because schedule 40 is considered overkill. If you choose to do a drainage system and not use the approved pipe a few years from now you may have to redo the whole system. The first of the unapproved options sewer pipe is thin and very easy to crack under pressure from roots or future digging. Once the pipe breaks dirt and roots can get into the pipe and cause the system to get clogged and no longer function as it should. Corrugated pipe which is a black flexible pipe can and will hold dirt in the ridges and after the years will get clogged with dirt slowing down or stopping the whole drainage system or another problem that can occur is a root can grow underneath it and since it is flexible will cause the pipe to raise and stop the flow of the drainage system. All of the above scenarios will cause the system to be dug up and redone which can become very costly.

About Fireplace Designs

• Brick-this is the most common type of fireplace design because it is easy to install, easy to maintain, and durable. It also blends in with most of the contemporary home styles. The drawbacks with this design are you have to chop wood, use kindling, and matches to get it started. To keep it lit you have to keep adding wood.
• Gas-this one lights instantly and has temperature adjustments, which are remote controlled. It uses no real wood so it is pollution free and requires less maintenance because there is no chimney. To accelerate the warming of the room there are blower fans installed in the fireplace.
• Electric-this design is ideal for homes that are small or do not have a chimney. You can easily install this design without remodeling the home and come in different sizes and shapes. They are also pollution free and portable.
• Stone-this design retains heat, durable, and efficient. They are low-maintenance and can blend with other fireplaces. They are also reasonably priced.

One thing to note is that if your home does not have a chimney you will have to have one built if you want a real wood burning fireplace. This can be expensive, as you will usually have to do some remodeling in the room where the fireplace is being built. This is why many choose other fireplace designs not requiring a chimney.

Other components you will need include:

• Smoke chamber-this is the passage between the flue and the fireplace
• Hearth-this includes the extended and inner hearth
• Firebox-this is the place that holds the fire
• Damper-this is what helps to regulate the flow of air and when the fireplace is not in use prevents leakage
• Fireplace throat-the part that lies between the base of the smoke chamber and top part of the firebox.