Turn your garden into your extra room

With the summer here we are all looking for ways to enjoy the sunshine as best we can. The very best way to do this is by turning your garden into a sanctuary where you can relax with a drink at the end of the day or have friends and family round at the weekend. With a creative streak and a little money you can easily turn you garden into a place to chill. There is nothing more enjoyable than spending a warm summers evening sitting in a garden with a drink simply relaxing.

We all want a place to chill out after a long day at work. With summers in the UK sometimes short it is always worth taking every advantage of the sunny days when we get them. The first and clearly the most important thing about setting up a garden is that you can use as an extra room is that you have a garden. You do not even need a large garden. It can still be achieved with as little as 15 square feet. There are a variety of things you can do that will turn this small area into an area that will be used to give yourselves the lifestyle you really want.

To turn your garden into your extra room you need a surprisingly few items. These items will not cost a fortune so there really is no excuse for not setting it up and benefitting from it. Firstly you will need to remove all weeds and unwanted bushes. It is often worth pruning trees but they can be used to help give you some shade during the heat of the day. It is best to add shrubs and to create a nice landscaped effect even in the smallest gardens.

It is then worth creating the central attraction. In this case it will most probably be a table with chairs and if you are sensible will be a large umbrella to fit into the table. This will protect you from the sun not to mention the birds. This creates a central attraction that will clearly show the reason for the garden and show people why you would want to go out there. The table and chairs can be purchased for a surprisingly small amount. This is where patient’s pays off waiting for the sales you can get a quality table and chairs for up to 40% off making it a bargain.

If you use the same ideas for the plants and decking you have in your garden you can create a peaceful chilling zone for next to nothing giving you a place to relax every night of the summer. It will give you a chance to chill out and relax in a stress free environment while getting some sun which is well known to help our mental well being. All in all turning your garden into a place to relax is one of the best things you can do for your health. When you do you will wish you had done it years ago.

Rob Stone writes many articles on Home Improvement from Interior Bedroom Design to DIY Constructions such as building your own uPVC Conservatory.


The Roof Replaced ?

I am sure I am not alone in tending to ignore the importance of the roof in the everyday scheme of things. But it really is important. All your worldly goods as the saying goes are protected by the roof against all the elements and inclement weather that nature can throw at it. So it is imperative that you do NOT ignore it but ensure it is maintained in first class condition throughout its entire life. Never let it fall into any state of disrepair.

The roof should be inspected on a regular basis especially if you live near trees and kept clear of any leaves or branches. Look for any loose tiles and check the flashings. Have a look for any mildew or mould which might mean water or moisture is perhaps being retained instead of removing itself in the correct manner.

If problems do arise then try and deal with them the best you can and by getting professional help if necessary. With me it will certainly be necessary as my love for heights is less than nil.

Sadly no matter how much effort you put into the maintenance of your roof there may come a time when replacement is the only option. Unless your DIY skills are pure top quality then you must be advised by a local expert company. Anyway a professional firm will undoubtedly get the job done quicker thus minimizing the inconvenience the job is likely to cause. As with any large job, and this one is a large job, get several estimates from different contractors and do not necessarily go for the smallest quotation. Make sure you get something like a ten year guarantee or warranty so that you can be covered (pun intended) for that period of time without having to worry about extra cash. Ask to see their work if possible before you make any decisions. Make sure you find out just how long the job will take thus enabling you to ascertain just what sort of upheaval all this will cause.

It is doubtful that the job can be done in one day in fact you don’t have to be a rocket scientist to work the out so there can be several hours when the house is open to the elements. A true professional will let you know what you need to do to get your home ready for the roof to be replaced.

One major point to remember is to let the neighbours know what is going on as noise will be exceptional at times both when the old roof is being taken off and the replacement being put on.

Rob Stone writes many articles on Home Improvement from Interior Bedroom Design to DIY Constructions such as building your own uPVC Conservatory.


The Patio Lights

Sitting on the patio during what will inevitably be one of the final days of summer your eyes dart around and you start to look forward to next year and at the same time wondering what will need doing in the garden and grounds. The patio has just completed its first year and a brilliant year at that but what about if there was a way to extend the summer outside. It is not unusual to get barmy nights during October in some parts of the country so what if we were to have some sort of lighting on the patio. Anything to extend summer and make the winter seem shorter would be very acceptable.

I am not sure why we never thought of it before but the presence of lights would surely add that finishing touch and give the area an extra presence. A quick visit through the internet showed just how many different lights and styles there were available. Lighting need not necessarily be placed on the patio itself but could be added around about thus creating a superb atmosphere in the back garden. The superb summer evenings we had been encountering could be even better next year. We had some homework to do before the spring.

Research showed us that patio lighting can provide a tremendous atmosphere in your garden and will obviously allow you to spend additional time in there at night and as stated already will help to illuminate the surrounding area. This in turn makes the area safer to be in at night.

Through the internet we learned that there are several places that lights can be placed on and around the patio. There is Deck lighting, Stage Lighting and Shadow lighting just to name a few.

Deck Lighting is excellent for highlighting the changes in elevation or the edges of the decking. This should create a dramatic effect and simultaneously add safety. The lighting can be placed under benches if you want to hide it away or attach ot to vertical posts.

Stage Lighting also known as step lighting will enable you and your visitors to walk their way from the house to the patio in safety and security.

Final of the three ideas is Shadow Lighting which is a way to highlight any sculptures or large plants you have in the garden near the patio by putting a light in front of the object in question and there will be a shadow cast on for example the wall of the house.

Whatever lighting you decide upon you must seek professional help where electricity is concerned unless you are fully competent. It is highly dangerous to DIY a job like this without professional input.

Rob Stone writes many articles on Home Improvement from Interior Bedroom Design to DIY Constructions such as building your own uPVC Conservatory.


How to get the most out of your child’s bedroom

When it comes to a kid’s bedroom you must make sure that you have enough room for them to play in and also the room should grow and change as your children do. It is important that your kid’s bedroom is as useful as possible. If your kids have a very limited amount of floor in their room the last thing you want is to have clothes and toys all over it. It is important to make sure that it is a room that has what it needs.

A great way to make the most of space is to look at it a little more vertical rather than horizontal. For this a loft bed would be a great solution. It is a very functional and cost effective piece of furniture. Bulk beds are along the same idea. It is about making the most of the inches of floor space whether that is a bunk bed that has one bed on top of another or a bed that is above a set of drawers. There are even beds that are above a wardrobe and desk giving the kid room to study as well as a place for their clothes with their bed above. This can be cost effective as there is no need to buy three different pieces of furniture.

If you decide to go down the loft bed or bunk bed then there are a number of factors you need to think about. The safety issue is top of the list with the problem being the height. It is a good option but you may have to wait for the eldest to be old enough to go into the top bunk. It is important that they are old enough to be able to climb both in and out of the top bunk. You will need to be confident that the top guard rail is enough to keep your child safe. When it comes to your children you have to be totally sure that they will be safe when getting in and out of the bed.

Another option similar to the bunk bed or loft bed is the trundle bed. This is where one bed is basically pushed under the other. This can be good even if you are just having friends round to stay the night. It can be a great space saver for those who are really short of space and on a budget. In some trundle beds the bed that comes out from under the bed can be raised to the same height effectively creating a double bed. If you like you can remove the second mattress and use it for storage.

Once your kids grows up you can change the bed to a normal wooden framed bed with open space beneath the bed. Get a number of storage units that fit perfectly under the bed. That will maximise the storage of your child’s bedroom. As your children do grow you will also need to be more creative with the storage units as well such as wardrobes, drawer chests and ottomans.

Finally the last way to maximise space in your child’s bedroom is to make sure you are using every inch. To do this it is best to find the furniture that fits in leaving no gaps. There are now items of furniture like tall thin chest of drawers and wardrobes with drawers at the bottom. With the introduction of the internet there are now a huge number of companies you can buy from selling a huge range of products giving you the chance to buy the perfect items for the room in question. Following these steps can help you really make the most of your child’s room giving you the space that is needed while saving you a fortune.

Rob Stone writes many articles on Home Improvement from Interior Bedroom Design to DIY Constructions such as building your own uPVC Conservatory.


The Garden Path

Anyone who has visited the gardens of one of our Stately homes will have probably been met with a massive area of trees and shrubs probably all connected with each other by lovely winding paths. If you are contemplating a path through your own grounds then what should you consider to start with.

A path is similar to a guide through the various plants and should take on an inviting look to the visitor so they can explore every part of the garden even into the vegetable plot. A garden of any sizeable amount will inevitably need a deal of thought before starting. If you are lucky enough to be blessed with a very large expanse of garden then it might be worth calling in landscape contractors or perhaps garden designers. To most of us though creating our own path is something we can manage on our own.

Assuming that there will be no tractors or similar heavy plant machinery then our path will be used purely by persons walking on it. How long it will take to do depends of course on its size. So how do we start?

Brick, gravel and bark seem to be the most common these days with bark gaining in popularity. The humble brick has been tried and tested over the years but for a natural look you cannot beat the bark. Try and make the path winding if possible as straight paths can appear too regimental. The first job whatever material you decide upon is to prepare the area down to a depth of between four and six inches. Put down a layer of sand to start with. If you are using bricks or paving slabs then sand is ideal for the base. The bricks or slabs can be laid out flat and more sand then swept between them. The bricks or slabs need watering when finished and more sand if necessary. Extra preparation needs to be done if you are contemplating using cement.

With bark or gravel then the procedure is slightly different. Edging will be needed along the sides of the path to hold the desired material. Wood or plastic will suffice and the materials need to be at a depth of about four inches. There are downsides to using gravel and bark in that they can get trodden away from the path and onto the main lawn. Bark may also need changing every so often given that it is an organic material and will break down in time.

The building of a garden path needs just a little imagination and you should find it does not prove very difficult to complete.

Rob Stone writes many articles on Home Improvement from Interior Bedroom Design to DIY Constructions such as building your own uPVC Conservatory.