3 Tips For DIY Pergolas

Building a DIY Pergola can be a fun and cost saving experience if it is done right. Even if you don’t consider yourself a handyman you can build a beautiful pergola if you take the right steps. There are a few important things to think about before tackling a DIY project. These 3 tips will ensure that your pergola turns out just as you imagine!

1. Know how you want your pergola to function

Sometimes you can tackle DIY jobs without really thinking about what you want to accomplish. It is important that you understand why exactly you want a pergola. There are a couple options you have when it comes to design. An “attached” pergola is actually an extension of your house and is usually used for patio or grilling areas. The second option is a “free-standing” pergola. This is an independent structure that is often used for gardens or pool areas. Take the time to think about what is the best design for you and what will add the most value to your home.

2. Decide which way your pergola will face

This is actually a very important piece of the design but is often overlooked. Decide if shade is important to you and how much you want to produce. Pergolas that face north make the best use of the sun. Keep this in mind and think about what time of day you want shade and where you want it to fall.

3. Buy quality plans and materials

By building a DIY pergola you are most likely going to save a lot of money. Labor cost is going to be the biggest saver because contractors can get pretty pricey! Do not, however, try to cut too much cost on your plans and materials. The idea is to save money but still build a quality structure that will add value to your home. Be sure to purchase good plans and materials that will lead to a sturdy and long lasting structure!

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5 Steps to an Organized Closet

1) Become charitable, have a garage sale, or give your clothes to family and friends. Most of us keep way too many clothes in our closets. How many times have you switched out winter for summer clothes only to realize that you didn’t wear half of them? The first step to organizing your closet, or any other part of your home for that matter, is to get rid of junk. Start looking at extra things as “space stealers” instead of “things that I might eventually need”. Now that the excess is cleared out, you can work on the next phase of organization; categorizing.

2) Categorizing is probably the most important step in the organization process. If you can’t figure out what category something should go in, then it will inevitably become junk or clutter. Everything needs a place and before you can assign it one, it has to fit in with other things that you keep. If it’s pens and pencils, categorize it with office or school supplies. If it’s your son’s precious handprint mold or finger painting, categorize it as a keepsake. You can create categories and sub-categories to keep things organized. Depending on what you have, you may have an entire dresser dedicated to keepsakes, souvenirs, and memorabilia. One drawer could be things made by one child, another drawer for the other child, one for your husband’s keepsakes, and one for yours. The dresser top can be used to rotate things that you would like to look at into and out of storage.

3) The next step is to measure out how much space you will need to get your closet organized. Let’s say that you have a big stack of t-shirts. You can hang them and measure how much space they take up, or fold them and see how much of a shelf they will occupy. Write it down and then come back to it later. Do the same for your pants, dresses, skirts, shorts, socks, etc. Then you will have all of the data that you need to figure out which combination of bins, drawers, shelves and hanging rods will best accommodate your wardrobe. You may be amazed how much space you can save simply by swapping out a shelf designated for holding your shorts for a couple of cascading hangers that keep them wrinkle free and easy to access in a fraction of the space.

4) Now that you’ve figured out the most efficient arrangement for your clothing and accessories, think about what you use most. Most professional closet organizers will tell you to place the things that you use most front and center. If you store your socks up high on a shelf, you’re not very likely to keep putting your socks in there. You’ll end up making another pile somewhere that is more convenient. The key to staying organized is to make it as easy as possible to put things back where they go. You don’t want baskets with latching lids, for example. It’s much easier to toss things in without having to put everything down in order to open the lid.

5) You can make even more space and protect the investment that you have in your wardrobe by selecting the right
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10 Steps to Installing a Sump Pump

Having a sump pump in your home can serve many purposes. The most important purpose is protection against flood. Anyone who lives near a river or in a town that is susceptible to flooding should really consider getting a one a sump pump for their basement. Also, anyone who has stores valuables in their basement should also consider getting one of these powerful devices. While it is not highly recommended to install you own device, here is a ten simple steps for those who are interested in trying to install one on their own.

10 Steps to Installing a Sump Pump

Find where the water will collect: While many choose to find a spot near a ground fault interrupter outlet, it is better to find a spot where the flooding may occur. Once you find this location it is best to install one of these outlets if there isn’t one already or have someone with some electric experience install it for you.

Dig your hole: Make sure to measure how big your sump it before digging your hole, because this will give you the information that you need for your sump size. Measure your sump and then build your hole 6 inches deeper and 10 inches wider than the size of your sump. After digging this hole, you should put approximately 3 inches of gravel into the hole, before placing the sump inside of the hole.

Stand in the Sump: Standing in the Sump will compact it into the ground as you pour gravel around the sump. If you do not stand in the sump many times it will shift and become off center. Leave an inch of the sump exposed at the top with gravel filling in the rest of the sump.

Add Adapters: Glue the male adapter into the discharge pipe, after doing this you can place the female adapter onto the pump. Now get your drill and make a ? inch hole that is 6 inches above the pump.

Add your Check Valve: Using wire ties attach the pumps electrical cord to the discharge pipe. Make sure to add the check valve on the open end of the discharge pipe. After completing this you are reading to check the pump and discharge water. Put the pump inside the sump and prepare for discharge of water.

Create a channel for water: Using 1 ? inch PVC piping create a tube for water to be discharged out of the house.

Create a hole for your pipe: Using a hammer or another utensil creates a hole just large enough for the PVC pipe to go outside of your home. Be careful to allow for the pipe to come at least 5 feet outside of the house and to be aimed at land that slopes away from the house.

Seal up the hole: Make sure to seal the hole you created with a waterproof sealant such as silicone. Once you complete the sealant allow time to dry before testing anything else.

Create a mouth at the end of the pipe: Apply an increase with a wide circumference, usually 3 or more inches to the end of your outside pipe. This allows water to flow out faster and spread throughout your yard, avoiding any major puddles.

Cover up your sump: Place gravel around the corrugated pipe to make it stay in place and add your cover to the pump.

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6 Easy Ways to Start a Coal Fire BBQ

The tastiest food from a BBQ comes from a coal fired BBQ. From steaks, chicken, sausages, shrimps or hamburgers, nothing beats the natural smoky flavor of a coal fired BBQ. Having a coal fired BBQ allows the meat to be cooked by the warm hot heat from the coals and also by smoke cooking. Gas or electricity fired BBQ cooking has nothing to be compared to the taste of a coal fired BBQ. A coal fired BBQ is also the cheapest way to start a BBQ. All you need is coal. The main problem of coal fired BBQ is starting one.

Here are 6 easy tips to start a coal fire BBQ:

1. If you can, get a small metal container the size of a small rubbish bin. Put a lot of holes in the container and then fill it one half way up with coal. If you don’t have a small metal container, just put the coal in the BBQ, and then clump them together like a mountain.

2. Pour lighter fluid on the charcoal as liberally as possible. Do not ignite the charcoal yet when doing so, as you may light up the lighter fluid canister making a potential fire hazard. If you just have briquettes (ignition cubes), you need to clump all the coal around the briquette and then ignite.

3. If you don’t have any lighter fluid or briquettes, you can use the old fashion way and burn newspaper on the coal. Just ignite the newspaper and then chuck on the coal on top of it.

4. Let the fire burn until there is a consistent flame.

5. Once you have started a fire, get a newspaper or a large firm thin object, and fan the coals in a slow gentle manner. Once the coal has started to turn red, fan the coals in a rhythmic and brisk manner. This will help speed up the heating and temperature of the coals. If you have the coals in a small metal container with holes in it, this process will be shorter for you.

6. Once the coal has a red glow with a white ashy tinge to it, it is time to put the meat on. If you have the coal in a metal container, you can empty the coal into your BBQ.

Once you tried coal fired BBQ, you’ll start to see the taste difference!

If you follow these 6 simple steps, you have the perfect steak. Bon appetite!

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12×16 Shed Plans

If you want to build it yourself, chances are you will need 12×16 shed plans to get it done. Many of us can figure out how to read these types of plans, but not all of us can draw up these types of plans ourselves. Of course, it would not matter if we didn’t care whether the shed turned out or not. Since most of us are unwilling to spend the time on a project and have it turn out wrong, we should really get plans for building it.

You can find websites on the internet that have 12×16 shed plans. Many of these you can download right onto your computer. This is great since it also allows you to print as many copies as you might need. Personally, I always seem to lose something at least once. Most of these blueprints will be designed for average people to understand and use them easily. Not all of us can be construction workers after all, and a simple shed should not require us to be either.

Many will have cross-sectional diagrams to show you the details, and they should also come with a materials list as well. This is an added benefit since most of us cannot look at a diagram and just know how to figure out how much we need of certain things. With the materials lists included in the 12×16 shed plans there is no guesswork. No guess works means that you will not have to worry about not having enough to finish the project, or having a bunch left over either. We do this to save money not waste it on materials that we did not need.

You can also find 12×16 shed plans that use ordinary tools as well. There is no point in ordering blueprints to save money and finding out you need hundreds of dollars in special tools after you get them. It can also be tricky trying to figure out how to use those specialty tools effectively as well. You will want plans that use simple tools like hammers, saws, screw drivers, nails, tape measures, levels and such. It does not have to be elaborate to work.

Quality is something that you can insure as well. Since you are buying the materials yourself, you can get the quality you want. (You should also know that good quality does not have to be the most expensive one either.) No more disappointments when a package shows up and it is flimsy construction. Some of the pre-built structures are not very sturdy anymore either. Though the prices never seem to really drop of them. I am sure if you are taking the time to get a shed, you are going to want it around for more than just a year or so before it is leaning or falling in. If you are getting good quality lumber and other materials, you should have your shed for quite a few years before you have to worry about it being rickety.

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5 Tips to Help You Use LED Lights for Christmas

For Christmas decorations, you can opt for LED lights. While they cost a bit more, they stand the test of time and utilize less power. if you know how to hang and fix LED lights, you can decorate your home a lot better than other people. Follow the 5 tips given below before using them as Christmas decorations.

Tip 1: Decide on Brightness Level

What brightness level do you like? For brighter displays, you can choose a light string with lights fixed not far away from each other. if you are unable to find this type of string, you can buy 2 light string sets and then put them together to get the same results.

Tip 2: Choose a Color

White LED lights emit light that is a little bit blue. In the same way, the light emitted by incandescent lights is a little bit orange. Hanging different colored lights side by side will be a bad decision if you are after a beautiful uniform color. You can choose any color based on your personal taste.

Tip 3: Know Power Levels

The beauty of LED lights is that they consume a lot less power than the older incandescent lights, which means you can use more lights without raising your utility bills. Make sure you know the power that your LED lights will consume in watts. Most lower power LED lights consume no more than 1 watt.

Tip 4: Know How to Hang LED Lights

Do you know how to install them? If you are doing it for the first time, make sure you know how to fix the lights outdoors and indoors. You can change these lights on walls, trees, and pillars. Usually, people use them for decorating trees without spending a good deal of money.

Tip 5: Understand How to Repair them

The strings comprise a pair of wires acting as a parallel circuit. And each circuit gives power to half of the bulbs on each string. If one light on the circuit burns, it breaks the circuit turning off all of the remaining lights on the string. Therefore, you should learn how to fix LED lights on your own.

For this, you can use a good quality voltage meter. Using the meter, you can detect voltage on each end of the wire. If you find a point with no power, you have to replace the light in that area. You won’t need to spend several hours in order to detect a non-functional light on the string as long as you own a voltage meter. You can get help from a friend who knows more about this stuff. If you don’t own a voltage meter, you can buy or borrow one.

So, LED lights for Christmas are easy to use if you follow the tips given above. As a matter of fact, LED lights are brighter than other types of lights and don’t consume that much power. That is one of the most common reasons they are an ideal choice for Christmas decorations.

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