Improving Your Backyard with a Do It Yourself Pergola

One of my favorite parts about being a homeowner is the fact that I get to be extremely creative with my backyard. While I’m not a professional landscape artist by any means, I do love thinking of new ideas for how to improve my backyard on a budget.

Last year, our big project was to put in a new outdoor patio with seating and a small stone fire pit, and this year we’d like to boost up the area even more by adding a pergola.

While many people think that having a pergola or gazebo in your backyard will set you back thousands of dollars, the reality is that if you’re on a budget, there are plenty of do it yourself pergola options out there for you to take advantage of.

How To Build Your Own Pergola

pergola ideasIf you’ve decided to take the DIY route and are interested in building a pergola for yourself, you have a lot of different options you can take. First and foremost, there are plenty of DIY pergola plans available online, many of them for an extremely low cost. These are proven blueprints that have been designed by professionals, and are a good way to go if you’re not entirely sure what you’re doing, or aren’t as experienced with small household construction projects as you might like to be.

If you’re feeling a little more courageous, however, then there’s a lot to be said for designing your own pergola yourself. After all, what could be better than a backyard structure that was custom designed for your own house and garden!

If this sounds like something you want to take on, I do recommend that you use an existing plan as a basis for your idea, and work to customize the pre-set blueprint to fit your individual scenario. In my mind, that will provide the right balance of individual creativity and proven plans.

Visit this site for designs and other ideas.

Costs and Other Questions

luxury pergolaIf you’re still hesitant to dive right into your project, then you may have a few unanswered questions about the logistics of building your own pergola.

Probably the most common question is about cost. The truth is that there isn’t a single hard and fast rule when it comes to how much your structure will cost. The reality is that it depends on the size of the pergola you want to build, what types of materials you use, whether you want it covered, and whether you use a pre-existing kit.

In general though it’s good to assume it will cost you anywhere from $300-400 for a basic pergola where you individually buy all the materials yourself up to a few thousand for luxury kits that come with a retractable roof and/or siding.

Another common question is how long it will take you to finish the project, and again it will vary based on the scope. If you use a pre-existing kit, you can easily be done in just a few hours. For a complete DIY version, many people find that they can realistically finish the project in a long weekend.

Finding The Perfect Rent to Own Home In Norfolk, Virginia

norfolk va

How To Find a Rent To Buy House in Norfolk

Choosing to rent to own a home in Norfolk, Virginia is a good idea for many reasons. It allows you to live in the area without actually purchasing a home until you are ready. Also, you typically have more room then you would if you rented an apartment or other type of home. There are also other benefits to renting to own, but what you will learn here is how to find the perfect rent to buy houses in Norfolk, Virginia.

Read on for some great tips that you can use as you look for a rent to own property that fits your needs.

Tips for Purchasing Lease Option Real Estate

One of the first things you will want to do as you consider the perfect rent to own home is set a budget. How much are you able to comfortably pay for rent each month? If you currently pay for housing, you can gauge the amount you want to pay for a new rent house with the amount you currently pay.

norfolkAnother thing you should think about is what you need in a home. How many bedrooms are required? What about bathrooms, square feet, and other things that will make living more comfortable? By making a list of things you need and a separate list of things you want in a rent house, you can help narrow your shopping focus to help you find exactly what will fit your needs.

What about location? Do you have kids in school which will require you to stay in a certain area?Norfolk and Southeastern Virginia can be expensive, so if you have the flexibility in location, you might consider other smaller towns nearby. Charlottesville houses are both affordable and maintain their value, for example, because the town is well-know for having a great small-town community nestled into a leading university.

Do you want to be close to your office? Or, are you willing to move just about anywhere as long as the house and the price is right? This should all be taken into account while you are looking for a rent house that gives you the option of becoming an owner.

As you consider all of the factors above and other things that are important to you when finding a rent to own home in Norfolk, Virginia, you may be wondering how to find the perfect house. You can start by contacting real estate agents in the area. Another option is talking with friends and family who may have helpful information. You can also look at the classified ads, either in the newspaper or online.

As you can see, there is a lot of information that can help you find the perfect rent to own home in the area. See Homeowner’s Guides for more information on lease option real estate, or for more information on opportunities in the region.

Beautiful Kitchen Renovations

kitchen remodelA kitchen renovation company is a type of contractor that will be able to transform your ugly and inefficient kitchen into a beautifully designed, completely efficient kitchen area. It should be noted that doing a major kitchen renovation is a very intense type of project. A major kitchen renovation should never be attempted by those who are inexperienced with proper kitchen design.

There are many specific details involved in every successful kitchen renovation. Many of these details involve important decisions in regards to appliances, counter tops, colors, flooring, cabinetry, plumbing fixtures, electrical and lighting fixtures, and layout. A qualified kitchen cabinet designer will understand the relationship between all of these areas and will provide you with a proper working triangle that will make your kitchen both efficient and enjoyable to work in.

A kitchen renovation company will be responsible to hire all of the sub trades that will be involved in the transformation from old to new. Some of the sub trades that will be visiting your home will include cabinet installers, plumbers, electricians, painters, floor layers, counter top installers, and appliance delivery personnel.

Before you hire any particular kitchen cabinet renovation company you should ask a series of questions to the kitchen designer. Some of the questions that you can ask should include, how long has your company been in business doing kitchen remodeling? You can also ask what qualifications and experience your kitchen designer has. Make sure that you ask them for some testimonials from previous customers.

renovated kitchenIf it is possible for you to visit a current job site where the company is doing a kitchen remodeling job then you should take advantage of this opportunity. If the homeowners are there you can also ask them some specific questions about their dealings with this particular company. Never be shy about asking any of these questions up front because once you have signed a contract, it will be too late.

You also will be able to tell a lot about a kitchen renovation company by visiting their showroom. If the showroom is disorganized, dirty, and there are kitchen displays not completed then you should take this as an indication of the type of work that will be performed in your home. A reputable kitchen cabinet renovation company will have a showroom that proudly displays their quality of work and service.

Another important thing to consider before signing on the dotted line is the type of payment structure that the company requires. There are many fly-by-night kitchen renovation companies that will ask for a huge amount of money upfront. These fly-by-night companies will then proceed to offer an endless amount of excuses why they are not able to start your project on time.

An honest kitchen renovation company will ask for a minimal down payment of approximately 15-25 percent. They will then ask for a 50-70 percent payment when the job begins which will leave you with a final 15 to 25 percent holdback until job is completed to your satisfaction. Otherwise, enjoy your new beautiful kitchen.

Go to to learn more!

10 Tips for Your Backyard Garden

gardenHave you been trying to grow a vegetable garden for years but struggled to get good results?

If so, then this video is a must watch. You’ll see 10 incredibly easy tricks you probably haven’t heard of that will teach you how to turn your average garden into a spectacular source of food for your family, all without spending a ton of money or time doing so!

These super simple tricks will help your plants grow better, faster, and provide more food for longer periods of time.

Learn how to apply them to your local climate and get started now!

What To Know About Plumbers Before You Hire

plumbersDid you know that your average plumber may have a lot to do with improving environmental issues? It is a well-known fact that the earth is being challenged by a variety of environmental problems. Many of these environmental challenges have the potential to cause serious damage to our planet. The greenhouse effect is causing havoc with our weather as we see more and more droughts and floods.

The destruction that we see taking place is both physical and economical in nature. We all have a huge responsibility to do our share by reducing the planetís reliance on damaging fossil fuels. It has been well proven that these fossil fuels are the major reason for the greenhouse effect. Many scientists believe that we do not have a lot of time left before a future catastrophe could happen.

As a homeowner, there is something that you can do to help the planet. You can switch your hot water heating system from electricity, oil, or natural gas to the more environmentally friendly solar energy. A hot water heater powered by solar energy is an excellent option. You simply need to have a series of solar panels placed in your yard or on your roof and have a qualified plumber connect them up to your hot water heater.

The solar panels will collect energy from the sun and convert it to energy that will provide your home with adequate hot water. If the sun decides to take the day off you will still have a backup heater for your hot water needs. Your local plumber will be able to explain this very efficient and cost saving process to you.

Today’s modern day plumber knows a lot more about solar hot water heating systems that you may think. Therefore, if you are in the process of building a new home or doing a hot water tank renovation then you should call in the services of an experienced plumber. He will be able to thoroughly explain all of the different options that you have.

Your experienced plumber will inform you that there are two different varieties of solar panels. One solar panel is called a flat plate collector while the other solar panel is called an evacuated tube. People who are concerned about having solar panels on their roof in regards to their appearance need not worry. There are solar panel collector plates that can be incorporated into your roof’s shingle tiles.

In the long run a solar hot water heater will not only save you a ton of money but you will be doing your part to help save the environment. Your plumber will also point out the fact that a solar panel heating system comes with very low maintenance costs. Most hot water heaters also have a long term warranty and therefore you will not have to worry about your new hot water heater for many years.

Simply call your local plumbing company and ask them to send over a representative to explain all of the wonderful features of a hot water system that is hooked up to energy efficient solar panels.