How To Choose A Landscaping Professional

The landscape designer: he knows the plants and the principles of the design of landscaping. He does not necessarily have formal training and often works in a nursery offering a design service. You can find one by consulting the directories of the members of the Association of garden designers of landscaping Austin tx.

The Landscape Architect: His services may cost more than those of the Landscape Designer due to longer studies that include engineering, horticulture, and architectural design courses. The landscape architect usually deals with large-scale projects. To find one, consult the membership directory of the landscaping Austin tx.

The landscape contractor: his training allows him, among other things, to install terraces, walkways, and irrigation systems or to plant plants as presented on the landscape architect’s plan.

If you have the project carried out by a professional, your contract must clearly specify the responsibilities of the parties, the nature of the work, the schedule, the duration of the guarantees, and the terms of payment. The guarantees cover plants (generally for one year from the end of planting), inert materials (for two or three years), and labor. On the other hand, they are often excluded:

  • inert materials not supplied by the contractor;
  • normal splitting of wood and stone;
  • discoloration of concrete;
  • damage caused by force majeure;
  • subsidence of the basement not modified by the contractor;
  • damage caused by customer negligence (poor maintenance).

Before making your choice, ask the professionals to show you some of their accomplishments and provide you with references from past clients. In particular, ensure that the budgets and deadlines indicated in the contracts are generally respected.

Note that the materials must be chosen according to the style of your home, but also the maintenance they require and your budget. It is best to start with work that requires machinery, such as excavation. Then go for it according to your budget. To work safely and avoid an unfortunate accident, it is best to wear the appropriate protective equipment: protective glasses, dust masks, work gloves, and boots.

You can ask a landscape architect to draw you a layout plan and then make it yourself. The cost of a plan varies depending on the complexity of the project (starting at $ 400). If you decide to draw your plan yourself, first draw your land to scale on a sheet of squared paper, then indicate the easements and areas to be developed: dining area, play area, shed, platforms, bands, etc.

In the fall, develop your project and estimate the cost. If you hire a landscaper, also book his services in the fall. He will then be able to take the measurements and prepare the plan and the quotation in anticipation of work in the spring. Depending on the nature of the work, he can also do these tasks in the winter. A few recent photos will make his job easier.

If you need a contractor to do some work, contact them in January to make sure you have a place in their order book. In the spring and summer, do the heavy lifting. If necessary, take the opportunity to recover the stones dug up during the excavation so as to integrate them into your flower beds. And at the end of summer, plant to take advantage of the end-of-season sales.

Aqaba and the Red Sea: what you cannot miss

Plane: Aqaba has the second largest airport in Jordan. It is very close to the city and has
flights mainly to Amman

Own car: We make the trip with a rental car, which we believe is the most comfortable
option to move around Jordan by far. Getting to Aqaba is very easy, as it is the end of the
King’s Highway. From Amman, it’s just over 4 comfortable hours in a straight line. From
Wadi Rum is less than 1 hour and from Petra just under 2 hours.

Private bus: There are private companies like JETT or Trust that offer daily departures. The
price is around 7.5 JOD and the journey takes 4 hours. You will have air conditioning and
more comfortable seats than in the public option.

Public Bus: Public buses depart from Aqaba Bus Station and arrive at Amman South Station.
The price is 5.5 JOD and the journey is 5 hours.

Where to sleep in Aqaba
Aqaba is a large modern city, with a multitude of hotels for all budgets.
You will find luxury hotels such as the InterContinental Hotel, the Mövenpick Resort Hotel
or the Hilton with rooms of at least 130 JOD per night and even what you want to spend.
You will also find a mid-range with hotels like Al-Cazar Hotel or Dweik Hotel, in which
prices are around 50-70 JOD per night and that offer very very good quality. We stayed at
Dweik Hotel and we were surprised: 65 JOD triple room with spectacular buffet breakfast
and one of the best hotels we stayed in on our trip.

You will also find numerous cheaper hotels such as Moon Beach Hotel, Al-Amer Hotel. The
best, of course, is to search through one of the famous search engines such as booking, Expedia
or TripAdvisor, especially if you travel in high season.

We recommend choosing the mid-range since we are talking about hotels that, for an
affordable price, offer very good quality.

The city of Aqaba on the Red Sea

The city of Aqaba is the second-largest city in Jordan. Its location in the middle of the desert
and on the shores of the Red Sea, make it have a pleasant temperature throughout the year. If
you also add that it has one of the most crystalline seas in the world … the combination is
explosive. For this reason, it has become one of the biggest tourist spots in Jordan. You can
find large hotel chains, a multitude of restaurants of very high quality, a highly developed
infrastructure, …

Until the 20th century, Aqaba was a rich city, a commercial meeting point thanks to the many
routes that passed through here. Copper minerals from Wadi Araba, pottery from China and
Ethiopian coins passed through the city. Until the year 1068, it was a prosperous town with
great wealth. But then a great earthquake shook the city and the trade routes were displaced,
causing the city to fall into oblivion until the 20th century when the British used the city as a
supply center to support the assault on Damascus.

Today the city does not have exceptional points of interest and its greatest tourist attraction is
the beaches of the expensive hotels and especially diving. The Red Sea has established itself
as one of the most important locations in the world for diving, thanks to its transparent
waters, its more than 1000 species of invertebrates, 1100 species of fish, and 250 different
species of coral.

Diving in the Red Sea

The Red Sea is a gulf of the Indian Ocean that is more than 2000 km long from north to south
and reaches a depth of 2000 meters. It has great world fame and the Dead Sea is known as
one of the 7 Wonders of the Underwater World. Jordan has barely 24 km of Red Sea
coastline, but in them, we can discover a great recital of beautiful corals, colorful fish, and
wrecks that amaze.

Cedar Pride

This old ship was sunk in 1986 on purpose to create a coral reef. Access is not very difficult
since it is shallow and not far from the coast, so even without having a diving course you can
visit it. The marine flora has already colonized its decks and it is impossible not to think
about the Titanic if it is the first wreck you visit.

Power Station

A wall of coral that you can see at a depth of 20 meters and that dips to more than 200
meters. You can see how the coral plunges into an abyss that seems infinite. You will be
amazed by its colors and you can swim along the wall until the tank runs out.

7 Sisters and M40 tank
This reef has 7 coral pinnacles that contain interesting animal and invertebrate life. To
complete the dive you will see this M40 tank in which the coral grows abundantly. It is just 5
meters deep and if you carry a water camera, you will get some envious photos.

Japanese garden
It is a beautiful coral forest with a multitude of colors. You will certainly enjoy it. There are
also many other tourist spots such as Gogone I, Gorgone II, Black Rock, Moon Valley,
Yellowstone Reef … We leave you a diving map of the area, where you can see exactly its
location, although without a doubt they will advise you perfectly at the diving agency that
you choose.

Deck designs to stimulate your imagination

deck design San Antonio

While you are still in the early stages of planning your new patio, there are a lot of things that don’t involve functionality that need to be considered. Ideally, your patio design should reflect your personality and the style of your home, but finding inspiration is not always an easy task. While decks are an important part of your home exterior, they are the perfect place to attempt a bold design. Here are some deck design San Antonio TX ideas that give you the satisfaction of having created your own unique patio design.


Center-to-center spacing for a modern style


The center-to-center spacing pattern, also known as the “twill weave” pattern, is a popular design choice for interior floors and is increasingly seen in patio designs. The “V” shape is a particularly aesthetic feature that can be used as a reference point or across the entire surface. The center-to-center spacing pattern shown is a great way to showcase your dining space as a focal point of your patio. If you are hesitant about using this pattern everywhere, try framing your patio with a color scheme and using this pattern in your corners.


Enhance your patio by decorating it with a unique inlay


Our decking products have been designed to offer endless possibilities. Our mineral-based composite decking boards exhibit almost no thermal expansion, making it the ideal material for creating intricate inlays and designs. With five colors to choose from, there are plenty of options for you to imagine your own design. Don’t be afraid to try something new – outdoor living space is a perfect place to add some creative elements.


Diagonal lines for an eye-catching design


Give your patio the illusion of spaciousness by installing your new patio boards diagonally. Does your terrace have several levels? Installing your planks back and forth will create an ornate style with minimal effort. Installing your deck boards in a way that creates an invisible highlight is also a fun way to play with symmetry.


Hyphenation Boards for a Uniform Appearance


Using hyphenation boards to reinforce the style of your decking is ideal in homes with a more classic style. If you live on a century-old farmhouse, using the modern center-to-center spacing pattern could destroy the harmony and aesthetics of your property. However, the contemporary styling of hyphenation boards will match the era of your home very well while giving it a new style. Hyphenation boards can be used as a simple accent piece on your patio.

Spotless Rugs The Best Tricks!

To keep your carpeting and rugs looking flawless like the first day, you just have to keep in mind some very simple tips.

  1. For the carpets and rugs to be as good as new, and also to revive and restore the original shades, you will need to sprinkle on them a generous amount of common salt and leave it to work for 24 hours. The next day, run the broom or the vacuum cleaner, and you will see that the results are surprising. If you don’t have that much time and need to clean the carpet quickly and eliminate odors and disinfect it from parasites, sprinkle abundant baking soda. Let it sit for 15-20 minutes and then vacuum.
  2. To restore your carpets to their original bright tones, cover them with dry tea leaves – which you will have previously used as an infusion – and let them work throughout the night. The next day a brush moistened with water, and ammonia passes. They will be like new.
  3. To clean your carpets, use a mixture of warm water, a stream of ammonia, and a cucumber’s juice. They will be impeccable.
  4. If you have left mud on the bottom of your shoes on the carpet, wait for it to dry and then rub with the mixture of a liter of water and a tablespoon of ammonia.
  5. When the labeling allows, wool rugs will be perfect by washing them with a mild detergent. Don’t forget to add a vinegar spray to the last rinse.

Eliminate signs on carpets

    1. If what you want is to eliminate the signs that a piece of furniture has left on your carpet, all you have to do is apply to the place pressed by the support; a cloth dipped in warm water. It passes over a very hot iron, but without making any kind of pressure. You must pass it more than once until the cloth is completely dry. In this way, you will get the wool to straighten, and the marks will disappear.
    2. If you have a small cigarette burn on the mat that left a sign that ugly the mat, rub it gently with sandpaper in a circular motion.
  • If you plan to store your rugs until after the summer and want to prevent them from losing their original shades while rolled, spray them with sparkling water. Then let them dry before brushing.

How To Cool The House Naturally?

The only and longed for a place where you can take refuge and stay many hours safe from the heat is your own home. More and more homes are enjoying an air conditioner, a system that is no longer “luxury within reach of a few.” And it is that few things are appreciated as much as getting home and enjoying a cool and comfortable temperature that makes us feel comfortable in our home. The most effective way to achieve this is thanks to air conditioning systems for air conditioning the house.


When thermometers rise, and the body suffers from heat, air conditioning in the home becomes essential, so we help you choose the one that suits you best. Also, experts offer us some simple natural measures to keep the house cool, without increasing electricity costs.


Looking for good insulation


Put adhesive tapes on the window and awning joints, as well as translucent adhesive panels and sheets on the glass. Normal glass lets 95 percent of the incoming solar energy pass into the home, while less than a third of the sun’s radiation reaches it if covered by a sheet.


Surround yourself with abundant vegetation


Placing plants both inside and outside the home helps reduce the effects of air pollution and environmental noise and improves thermal and climatic comfort, as well as relative humidity. The only contraindication to “dress your house in green” is that one of its inhabitants is allergic.

Proud Precision Painters
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Choose natural ventilation


Ideally, for a home to be well ventilated, its windows face each other, making it easy for drafts to form. Aeration refreshes the environment in hot seasons and helps eliminate gases and toxic particles in the air during winter.


Turn off lights and electrical appliances


Not only conventional incandescent bulbs are an important source of indoor heat. The television, music channels, computer, and video players also warm the room, even when they are in “stand-by” or on standby. Turn off these gadgets when you don’t use them or pay attention to them. It will thank you not only for your body temperature but also for your pocket because you will avoid a waste of electricity. 


Ventilate the house


To maintain the so-called “thermal comfort” temperature (about 20 degrees Celsius), and as a hygiene measure, try to ventilate the house, opening the windows wide, preferably in the early morning or at night, leaving aside the central hours of the day, when the heat is more intense.


Choose plants and flowers well


It is not enough to increase the presence of decorative vegetables in the home, giving color and joy to the environment and refresh it. It is also advisable to choose the most suitable plants. Varieties with large green leaves are recommended, which can be sprayed with water to keep the temperature lower.

Tips To Save Light At Home And In The Office

Light consumption is somewhat responsible for greenhouse gas emissions. The irresponsible expenditure of light energy can end if we consider some tricks.


To reduce this high consumption in the home, it is convenient to take advantage of sunlight until it sets. Sunlight is natural, less polluting, and also free.


The light colors on the ceiling and walls also help save light as a reflection of natural and artificial light makes the feeling of lighting in the room greater.


In areas of the house or office where more light is needed, or where the light is on for longer hours, such as in the home kitchen or the office, it is convenient to use fluorescent tubes, which consume less energy than light bulbs. Although they are much more expensive than ordinary bulbs, the consumption with the new low consumption bulbs is reduced by up to 80%. Also, the average life of traditional light bulbs is about 1,000 hours, compared to energy-saving light bulbs with a life of 15,000 hours.


Remember that the savings will be more noticeable if the use is prolonged and avoids turning on and off, a process that shortens its useful life. The ideal is to leave the light bulbs if you do not stay outside the room for more than 10 minutes.


Another tip to keep in mind when saving light is that LED emissions (light-emitting diode) consume less than older bulbs. These emissions not only reduce the cost of lighting but also cooling, and it is that only 15% of the energy consumed by an incandescent lamp is used to illuminate, and the rest of the energy is converted into heat.


And finally, it never hurts to remember the expense of leaving lights on that are not being used. Remember to always turn off the lights in rooms that are not being used. And, if possible, reduce outdoor ornamental lighting, for example, in the garden.


By following these tips, we will not only save light, but we are also contributing to the reduction of polluting emissions to the environment. We are reducing energy consumption worldwide. In the short term, we save money, which always comes in handy.

Tips To Make A Home Renovation A Success, No Surprises!

Facing a home reform is not an easy task. Whether we have just moved and want to rehabilitate the space to our liking, or if what we want is to change the face of our current home to adapt it to new tastes and needs, carrying out reforms poses a series of difficulties that, well-posed from the beginning, are They can minimize so that we can enjoy our new home smoothly and on schedule.


Imagine your new space


The first thing we must do before undertaking a reform is to imagine what we want our new house to be like: if we need more space, if we want to have more natural light, if we like a classic style more or on the contrary, we bet on a more modern one, if we need more functionality … In short, be clear about what we want to achieve with this reform.


Make a list of all the elements you want to do without (doors, partitions, etc.). We must check if we can do without them with a real plan of the house. Sometimes, it is impossible to make changes due to the presence of load-bearing walls, columns, or beams that cannot be removed.


Permits and licenses


Before starting any work at home, we will consult with the City Council of our town to inform us about the permits and licenses that we will need. These documents will depend on whether we carry out minor works (reforms in kitchens or bathrooms, changes in cladding, installations …) or major works (which affect the structure of the building, the facade, or the common elements).


Request various quotes from professionals with references


For the result of the reform to be satisfactory, it is very important to have accredited professionals who have professional civil liability insurance covering them in the event of an accident. Good professionals will guarantee that the work is carried out correctly and get cheaper materials since they are usually purchased in construction warehouses where the sale of material is only allowed to professionals in the sector.


It is also advisable to request several budgets broken down by item: masonry, electricity, plumbing … not forgetting to reserve a margin of approximately 15% of the total for possible unforeseen events that may arise.


Set an end date for the reform


Once the budget that best suits our needs has been selected, it is advisable to set a writing date for the completion of the works. If this date is exceeded, we can claim a penalty from the person responsible for completing the reform.


Also, it is important to keep in mind that the works often affect the rooms of the house that we use daily, such as the bathroom or the bedroom. Thus, the ideal is to carry out all the interventions during vacation periods or to have possible alternatives planned, while the reform lasts.


Inform the neighbors


Reform can not only inconvenience those who carry it out, but it can also be a reason for a dispute with the neighbors. Although the works that do not alter the security, structure, or exterior configuration of the building do not require authorization from the community, it is always recommended that they are informed to avoid misunderstandings.


Where do I keep my things during the reform?


During the work, we probably need to get furniture, books, electrical appliances, clothes, shoes… and where do we keep all those things? If you have a second home, you can temporarily store them there, although the safest and most comfortable option is to move them to a rental storage room.

Final review of the reform


Once the reforms are completed, it is convenient to carry out a final review of the same to verify that everything included in the project has been carried out to fruition. It is also checking that all the facilities (plumbing, electricity, gas …) are working correctly. If so, we can already make the final payment for the work and prepare to enjoy our new home.

The Best Homemade Tricks To Clean The House Before The Holidays

The cleaning experts give us the best homemade tips and tricks to get the house ready before the holidays and not find any unpleasant surprises around the corner.

Every year before we go on vacation, the same story is repeated: packing our bags, watering the plants, leaving the house clean, and for the return…. An endless list of things to do to leave the perfect house before going on vacation prevents us from relaxing and disconnecting.

But all of the above is about to change. The cleaning experts at Helpling have put together a list of things to do to get the house ready before the holidays so that you don’t come across any unpleasant surprises. Take note!

Cleaning begins on the balcony

It is best to start cleaning outside structures, so you don’t bring dirt back home. If you have an iron railing, it is best to clean it with a little water and ammonia. Also, if you add a few drops of oil, they will help prevent metal oxidation. In some terraces, we can also find marble floors, a difficult material to clean. To make it look new, get a good brush, water with Marseille soap and wax for the finish, it will stay clean and shiny until your return!

Don’t forget the flowers

If you have a neighbor that you get along with, it is certainly best to ask them to water your plants during your absence. If you don’t have it, a very effective option is to put a bucket full of water at a height slightly above the plants and connect it to them with filter paper or knitting wool so that it touches the bottom of the pot. In this way, a certain degree of humidity will be maintained, and the plant will absorb the necessary water from the bucket without drowning. Another good method is the inverted bottle, which consists of inserting a 2-liter water bottle in the plant’s soil.

Unplug the fridge and clean it with a 100% natural homemade solution

Did you know that there are 8,000 bacteria for every square centimeter of your fridge’s vegetable drawer? Various natural remedies can be used to prevent odors and mold inside the fridge. First, remove all the shelves and soak them in 2 liters of water with a glass of vinegar for about 1 hour and a half. Then moisten a cloth in vinegar (or in water mixed with baking soda) and wipe it on the inside and surfaces to clean them. This method is ideal even for cleaning supermarket food coolers. To finish, rub the entire surface with a mixture of water and lemon juice to disinfect everything. Don’t forget to unplug the fridge and leave it open with a cloth to absorb the drops derived from condensation.

Check that there are no leaks and discover the best natural plunger

Before you go on vacation, you can not forget the bathroom, or you will find some unpleasant surprise when you return from vacation. Standing water is the main focus of bacteria and mold buildup. There is a most effective method to unclog drains using common ingredients that can be found in every home: 500 ml of white wine vinegar, 1 liter of water, and five tablespoons of salt. On the one hand, heat the water and salt to a boil in a saucepan and, on the other hand, pour the vinegar down the drain. Next, add the water with boiling salt after it. It is a foolproof natural plunger!

Remember to throw away the trash

Is there anything worse than coming home after the holidays and encountering a horrible smell because you forgot to throw away the trash? In summer, heat is the best friend of bacteria found in the garbage can, so before you go on vacation, make sure you remove the plastic bag from the bucket and that there is no moisture. Also, keep in mind that there is not only the kitchen trash, you should also throw the trash out of the bathroom and take a tour of the house to ensure you do not find surprises upon your return as undesirable bugs.

Don’t leave dirty dishes

Whether you have a dishwasher or not, if you don’t leave all the dishes clean before going on vacation, you will surely have to throw them around. If you do not complete this task, the food will remain embedded in the dishes, and it will be much more difficult to clean it and remove all the remains when you return home after the holidays. All this, without considering that the sink contains more bacteria than the bathroom since the sponge alone has more than 50 million bacteria, is not it enough to overcome laziness?

Do the laundry

Why should we worry about it? The more dirt accumulates in the washing machine, the more bacteria there will be, and the odors will become stronger. In fact, in each wash load, there are more than 100 million bacteria, and if we leave our clothes unwashed, they multiply. If you want your washing machine to be clean and disinfected, add a glass of white wine vinegar and start it, it will look new!

Deck Or Terrace: 4 Wise Tips From An Exterior Designer

At the heart of most landscaping is a versatile living space that can take the form of a deck or deck. To plan your layout well, you will have to choose from the outset whether you prefer one over the other. This decision will completely change the look and functionality of your outdoor yard.

The difference between a deck and a terrace

Although the terminology may change depending on who you are talking to (balcony, deck, and terrace), we will make a distinction here to explain two types of construction, even if, in reality, the terms are regularly interchanged. The terrace is considered a structure raised above the ground, supported by concrete pillars or screw piles. This structure can then be made of poured concrete, wood, composites, etc. The deck is considered here to be a construction that is at ground level. It can have several bearings if necessary and also be constructed using several materials.

Good advice for choosing between a terrace and a deck

The deck and deck both have advantages and disadvantages. A landscape architect will help you assess your needs according to your tastes, interests, and constraints to create the outdoor courtyard that will suit you best. Here are some tips from a landscaping professional.

Take into account the functionality of the space to be created

When you have to choose between a ground deck or an elevated terrace, you must first ask yourself how you will use this space and how your residence is located on your land. We must determine which access will be the most used to move from the residence to this new living area. Then, you have to see with what other space, interior or exterior, it will be linked and how the circulation will be done. For example, if you walk between the house and the new space very frequently, you may find a deck more practical, as it can be installed at the same height as your house and limits the use of steps. If you have a swimming pool, outdoor kitchen, other relaxation areas, or other pavilions on your property and do not make too many entries and exits of the residence, you may prefer the deck to the terrace.

Take into account the cost and life of the construction.

When it comes to costs, the two are similar when building a quality structure. Since it is possible to install the most quality covering materials on both types of construction, it is the structures that support the whole that will change. In the case of a terrace, you will need to provide concrete pillars or screw piles and a structure to accommodate finishing materials. For ground decks, it is imperative to provide good compacted granular foundations to support the covering materials. Compared to the lifespan of the two structures, the ground deck wins hands down.

Explore the different designs of decks or terraces

Although nowadays it is possible to build decks and terraces with the same design criteria, certain characteristics lend themselves better to one or the other. For example, if you want to have a deck on the ground that is at the height of your ground floor, but your residence is not built to receive it, it is still possible, but it will probably require modifications to the residence. If you wish to have a raised terrace but which is not attached to the residence, it will be necessary to plan the structural elements accordingly to stabilize the platform to avoid it waltzing under your feet when you walk on it. There are also some materials, like wood, which should not be installed on the ground unless a structure and drainage are provided accordingly to avoid premature rotting of the structure. Moreover, even if it is possible to install a covering of natural stones on a raised terrace structure by reinforcing it, you must make sure to choose a stone that will be calibrated (all of the same thickness) with a different finish than natural (sawn, flamed, sandblasting, etc.).

Think about the panoramic view

When planning your deck or deck, you must consider the constraints and potentials offered by the environment to make the most of the assets and reduce the disadvantages. For example, if your neighbors have a direct view of your backyard, a ground deck will give you more privacy. On the other hand, if you decide to go for an elevated terrace for its convenience, you may need to incorporate privacy panels into your project. Finally, if your land offers a breathtaking view and wants to take advantage of it, you can set up a deck on the ground, which will have a better lifespan while keeping level access.