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Good Home Improvement Ideas

Fireplaces with faux stone panels are the new way of influencing a space while saving a few bucks. These stone panels come in different styles, shapes, and colors to suit every possible project or idea. The traditional ways of updating or upgrading rooms through real stones are over. The installation of imitation stone is very easy, lightweight, and less time consuming than that of the heavier and costly real stones.

The main goal of any home improvement project is to maximize value while minimizing costs and time, which can only be done through faux stone & rock panels. Many companies look to them to add value to an area of a home or office to give a space that unique flare. There are so many designs to choose from with faux stone panels that make an idea easy to bring to life.


When installing these faux stone panels, the only necessary tools are a hammer, screw, and construction adhesives such as Liquid Nails. The light weight of the panels should make it easy for anybody to install and secure the placement of the panels. Through the ease of installation, the labor time and costs should drastically be cut down to a minimum.


The Knowledge!


Consumers often see buying home improvement products as a hassle or inconvenience because of all the fraud artists and extremely high prices for stone panels on the internet now a day. A lot of manufacturers and engineers may help you to get the ideal fake stone solution to decorate your current space with but may cost a pretty penny. Considering all the brand new materials emerging on the market can be tough to keep track of just what is new or old. Home designers and contractors can intimidate many consumers with jargon and steep prices but they need to know there are materials and products that can be used to replace traditional rocks or stones for decor at an affordable price.

There are many  products that are new, bold in design, and relatively affordable for consumers to add value to their homes. There’s no reason for hiring some contractor any more for homeowners due to the fact that with such new products and replicas on the market that are easily installed a homeowner with a “can do” attitude will certainly finish the project with relative ease.

Many think their place may be looking great inside and still constantly disregard what the outside looks like. Wouldn’t a nice outdoor fireplace help with that?
You will also stop worrying about having people over and having a place where guests can be left alone while you maintain the supply of food and drinks.

One last thing you can do is put a husband to good work by asking to remove all the weeks that surround the walls that are in contact with the ground.

It only take a small amount of knowledge to keep your place inviting

More Outdoors This Summer

Nothing is more relaxing than the usual breath of outdoors, which can be likely the key reason why the lines between indoors and out have blurred immensely. More homeowners are moving their living rooms outside to well-appointed patios and decks, furnishing these spaces with the comforts of the favorite indoor gathering spaces. A decent way to help transform a space is to implement wall treatments such as light fixtures or even rock panels. Give your outdoor space an intimate feel with a new fireplace or gravel pit. Fireplace’s don’t have to be expensive anymore, with the use of faux stones its now easier than ever to dress up that old traditional looking fireplace or pit. Add some flare with the ease of installing faux stones or rocks around the fireplace to give the outdoor space a great theme.

Studies have shown homebuilders are now incorporating two- and three-sided outdoor rooms into home plans. Manufacturers too are addressing the popularity by providing several products designed for outdoor living, giving homeowners nearly as numerous choices to decorate their outdoor living rooms as those inside their homes – including furniture, textiles, lighting,  and in many cases WiFi-enabled outdoor entertainment systems.

“Homeowners are spending as much determination on outdoor living projects as they quite simply do indoor decorating endeavors,” notes Denise Patterson, product manager for Krylon, the nation’s leader in spray paint. “With all the summer season just nearby, now’s some time to renew your outdoor living space making it ‘relaxation ready’ for the warm months of fun ahead.”

Pep up with paint

One of the easiest and many inexpensive ways to spruce up a backyard area is as simple as refurbishing existing furniture along with other pieces with spray paint. Whilst you want furniture to look stylish, in addition, you want something which put in at home to wash and gaze after, and stands up against rain, heat and sunlight. No-one wants freshly painted furniture to fade, chip or rust prior to the season ends.

From wicker furniture and patio tables to pottery and planters, Krylon’s Outdoor Spaces type of spray finishes offers an array of durable, yet contemporary colors that may easily assist you to achieve sophisticated looks using the convenience of spray paint. Because homeowners are trying to find not only basic colors, they’re available in several new, vibrant and exciting hues, including Poppy, Ivy, Ocean and Sunlight.

Lighten up with fabric and lighting

Once your painting projects are complete, accent your bold color choices with unique and interesting cushions and throw pillows made from stain- and mildew-resistant fabrics. Keep in mind that your new furniture colors and coordinating cushions will “pop” and appear brighter using the right kind of outdoor lighting. Depending on how we configure your outdoor normal space, you’ll be able to install lighted ceiling fans, place environmentally-friendly solar accent lighting in surrounding flowerbeds, and use portable lamps designed expressly for exterior use.

Add nature … having a twist

Surviving in the great outdoors wouldn’t be complete when you didn’t weave in natural elements such as fire and water. A grill, fire bowl and water features, such as a container pond, bird bath or waterfall planter further tie together an ideal mix of inside meets outside.

Additionally, portable patio heaters are an easy way to permit you to enjoy your outdoor haven even if nights get chilly, enabling you to maximize your space all season long.

Include enticing entertainment

And don’t forget the entertainment. Outdoor-friendly systems exist for just about any budget – including WiFi- or satellite-radio-enabled speaker systems to get a little mood music, to high-end comprehensive systems that include plasma TVs and multichannel audio. All are meant to withstand any weather.

With every one of the stylish and unique design possibilities open that will help you create your backyard oasis this summer, why even consider expending spare time indoors? The growing season lasts only a few months in several climates, so make the most of it by designing a supreme outdoor lounge that’s perfect for gathering, cooking, entertaining and relaxing with friends and family.

Retaining Wall Construction

The initial step in retaining wall construction is to determine the size or area of the retaining wall by linear foot. This will figure into the estimate of materials needed later. Mark off the area with a string line and allow for extra room on the sides of the retaining wall blocks for a good gravel base.

Estimate the materials required, chose ideal retaining wall blocks, the size you choose will determine the amount needed, for example: if 12 inch blocks are used the number times the linear foot needed is obvious. If 8 or 16 inch blocks are used, convert total linear distance needed to inches and divide by 8 for an eight inch block. Estimate base material- gravel(3/4 quarry process) for under retaining wall, use 4- 6 inch gravel base, more if retaining wall is higher in size.

Preparing for a good retaining wall construction the base is the most important and will be probably the most time consuming procedure. Excavate by shovel or loader if available, use local digging laws to make sure to avoid any buried cable. If possible use a landscape fabric under gravel for greater support and protect base from soil. Some areas may need a deeper base(6 or more inches) due to poor soil or recent disturbed soil from new house construction. Next- get the gravel base in by wheelbarrow, shovel, loader, and rake it out to approximate level.

Grade the retaining wall base with a rake and 2X4 to get an even base where the wall might be placed. The string line ought to be in place with a proper level set and the direction of the wall. So when the base is ready and compacted to the correct string level, all you need to do is line the rear flat side of the retaining wall blocks with the string and keep on placing blocks. When installing string line, remember that the first coarse of blocks needs to be 3/4 buried for good support of the entire wall.
Use a plate compactor or like compaction device to get a good strong base for the wall. If the gravel is too dry, wet it down some using a garden hose to make it pack better. Grade additional times after each compaction until complete.

Lay the retaining wall blocks along the string line until the first layer is complete, remember to have this first coarse secured well, some bury the first layer almost entirely or 3/4 buried so the base is strong. When layer 1 is done, the next coarse is easier, up to the height you want to allow it to be. Use a landscape block adhesive between each coarse for extra strength.

Some retaining wall blocks may have to be cut to finish or match nicely to a foundation or other structure. Use a diamond blade chop saw to get a good cut. measure block in place and cut on your marked line. Retaining wall caps are an effective option to use, they add the best appearance and will not allow weeds to grow between the joints on top of a wall. (depends on type of block used) secure using a landscape block adhesive for added strength.

Finish the retaining wall construction by adding or back fill any more base material or black dirt in front or behind the wall, seed grass if needed. If retaining wall is located in an area that water drainage is a concern, use a drain tile pipe along the back base of the wall and use rock or water friendly material for drainage purposes. Use this on the back of the retaining wall before black dirt or other soil is added.

Tip: Use Landscape Block Adhesive between each coarse of blocks, run a bead of caulk along the blocks, this may make the wall stronger and moisture won’t trickle through the blocks, they will be sealed. An excellent alternative to think of, is the use of faux stone panels or stone veneer sheets which mostly come in lightweight materials that make installation easy and simple. Not only do veneer panels offer a variety of designs, but most come pre-caulked and insulated for use.