Blog :: 06-2014

Backyard Improvement Ideas

Sunny days and nice weather are ahead of us this summer making it the ideal time to make backyard improvements. Creating the right features in a backyard make it the ideal close escape. Here are some ideas that will make any backyard pop:

Lighting- The right outdoor lighting helps with late night relaxing and prevents people from tripping or running into objects in the dark. Both electrical lighting and torch/lantern lighting will make a backyard more inviting.

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Outdoor Fireplace/Firepit- Cheap and easy to make, fireplaces and pits are great places to gather with friends and loved ones. This project can be as easy as digging a pit and filling it with some stones to hiring a contractor to make a big project out of this. Fireplaces and pits are good gathering spots to roast some marshmallows with the kids or have some drinks with friends.

Digital Vision/Thinkstock

Create Your Own Beach- With enough sand you can create your very own beach in your backyard.

Digital Vision/Thinkstock

Sources: Top 10 Ideas for Outdoor Living Spaces 25 Ways to Create an Outdoor Oasis

Reducing Summer Utility Bills

The summer months are the best time to save money on utility bills and make up for the long months of winter this year. Here are some ways to reduces energy use to keep those utility bills low during the summer:

1)      Unplug Devices - Unplug unused chargers and cords because they still eat up energy even when out of use. 2)      Use Windows and Fans - Save A/C costs by using ceiling fans and breezes from outside. 3)      Close Doors to Trap Cool Air - Dedicate one or two rooms as A/C rooms and close the doors to hold in the cool air. 4)      Turn Off Lights - Use natural daylight during the day to save electricity costs. 5)      Turn The Thermostat Off - When you're not home turn off the thermostat to avoid heating/cooling the house when no one is home. 6)      Hang Laundry Outside - If you have the space, try hanging laundry outside to save the costs of going to a Laundromat or high energy bills. 7)      Stay On Lower Levels - Heat rises so stay on the first floor or basement where the house will be coolest. 8)      Grow Trees Surrounding Your Home - The Trees will provide shade and cool your home.

Sources: 10 Ways to Reduce Your Summer Utility Bills 10 Ways to Reduce Your Summer Utility Bills 20 ways to REALLY reduce your summer utility bills