Union Gazette - Yard and Home Improvement Tips

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Explore differing views on traditional home improvement. We have a team of builders who aim to consistently update and build upon this online resource to ensure it's the go to place to find tips on electrics, heating, plumbing, gardening, and much more.

We will also be analyzing, researching, and testing various tools and hardware from the industries leading brand names. Hopefully, a bit of professional i nsight will enable readers to find the right equipment for there requirements, be it drills, pruners, or otherwise. This research process will also include looking into toilets, showers, space heaters, and several other home appliances that require a significant investment.

A Toilet buying guide for beginners

It's so easy to get sucked into buying something these days. Shady marketing techniques can leave consumers with a sub par product along with buyers remorse. This article will identify the things that help a toilet stand out from the crowd. There is plenty of little things that are easy to overloook, and we aim to help ensure our readers are aware of these things below.

With the help of the impressive best rated toilets guide by thetoiletthrone.com, we've compiled and condensed quite a large amount of information into something beginners and new homeowners can understand.

Flush power - Shopping around, you will probably notice numerous flushing mechanisms designed to handle waste in different ways. Pressure assisted, dual flush, touchless, single, siphonic, and wash down are all methods brands use to push waste out of the bowl effectively. However, what you should really be looking at is how powerful the flush is. We personally use MaP toilet testing for this purpose. If you search through the site, you will discover that they have devised a system which rates individual units performance based on grams of waste flushed. This is between zero and one thousand. Anything over six hundred is effective and recommended. Any that have a one thousand rating are best in terms of power. Download their spreadsheet which lists almost every model on the market. Thank me later.

Size of rough in - No, it's not as simple as picking out a unit you like the look of. You need to understand and measure your rough in to ensure you're buying a product that fits your bathrooms plumbing system. It's not unheard of for older washrooms to require a ten inch size. A rough measurement to use is to grab a tape measure and note down the distance from the wall to the middle of your waste outlet hole.

Manufacturer - I'm of the opinion that you should avoid lesser known manufacturers in this industry. The last thing you want is your toilet falling apart within the first year of use. Some brand names to consider include American Standard, Delta, TOTO, Niagara, and Kohler. These are companies that aren't going to dissapear overnight and ones that are going to want to defend there reputation.

Price - Some things in the household you can aim to look for cheaper options. However, there are some cases which we would advise to not work with a low budget, and your toilet is one of them. For something that can last for a decade of day to day use, it's worth spending a bit extra for quality. My personal opinion is four hundred dollars upwards is a good starting point and one that you should stick to. If you're looking to purchase a model that's under three hundred bucks, you may be setting yourself up for dissapointment. And worst still, requiring a replacement shortly after.

These four things should form the basis of any decision you make when buying a new toilet. They may appear to be somewhat simple facts, but you'd be surprised how many consumers make mistakes when it comes to renovating their bathrooms.

Heating up your home effectively

Some locations around the world are constantly cold and require effective space heating appliances to heat all the rooms. Of course, there are plenty of steps you can take to reduce warm air from escaping such as properly insulating the walls and roof. However, in the bitterly cold months of winter, this isn't going to be sufficient. This is where generic heaters or wood stoves are effective and a welcome addition to any home.

We've teamed up with the guys over on warmhomeguide.com to help you find the best log burning stove. This will be a simple guide which people can learn about the typical specifications and features included.

BTUs - Most wood burning stoves you research online will have a piece of data known as BTU, which stands for British Thermal Units. This is essentially the heat output. Generally speaking, anything between 5000 and 25000 BTUs is going to be effective for smaller to medium sized households. However, there are plenty of models that offer up to 80000 which have impressive heat output and will warm up a large area.

Brand - There are several leading brands to keep an eye on. Pleasant Hearth, US Stove, Vogelzang, and BOSCA are options I suggest you consider as they have some well designed products with plenty of consumer feedback around the web with high ratings.

Dimensions - Make sure you have enough floor space in a room you plan on installing it. Compare the dimensions with the area you'll be using before you buy. These wood stoves are big, heavy products, so the last thing you want to do is unbox it, work hard moving it around, then find out it doesn't fit.

Material - The material used can say a lot about a products durability. Reinforced plate steel is a good one.

Design - Does it come with a ceramic window at the front for aestetics, does the window open from the front, is it equipped with a blower. Does it have a self feeding log system in place? These are all questions about the design you should be able to answer before you buy.

Pruning overgrown trees in the yard

As someone who takes pride in the appearance of my gardens and back yard, anything showing the slightest hint of being overgrown is immediately pruned back. Now there is an old fashioned way of doing this, or a modernized way that takes a lot less effort on your part. After all, using traditional pruning tools like shears can put unecessary stress and strain on your muscles and joints.

Having spent time reading pole saw reviews on polesawpicks.com, I came to the conclusion that pole chainsaws are undoubtedly the way forward should you wish to effectively trim those overhanging branches that block out the natural light and put the whole garden in the shade. And that is exactly what I used to smarten up my own back yard.

After spending several years planting new grass, flowers, and trees, this is the sort of task I can expect to carry out from this point onwards. They really do make light work of yard maintenance and something I highly recommend getting.

However, in the near future, we will be digging up the path and making small changes such as laying down decking in its place which will be used as a summer barbeque area for family gatherings. Once we've done that, expect to see a step by step guide for you to follow uploaded on the blog.