Colorfully designed lawn with gazebo

Avoid These Common Home Landscaping Mistakes

The lawn adds value to your home; it beautifies it, adds an aesthetic appeal, provides you with a green space, and it gives you a place to rest. However, it can also detract the overall look of your home if you make some or all of the following landscaping mistakes.

Spaces are Too Small

Some homes, such as those in big cities or apartments, have small spaces for a lawn. These tiny spaces limit their choice of plants, flowers, and ornaments. The size makes it difficult to be creative; some homeowners just put everything they can on a small area. A lawn expert in Salt Lake City notes that if you will put a table with chairs, the bare minimum space required is around 10’ x 10’.

Cluttered Design

Some homeowners make the mistake of putting as many vases, pots, plants, flowers, chairs, tables, and ornaments on their lawn. This results in a cluttered look that distracts and overwhelms; you’ll need to give the garden spaces to breathe. Choose complementary colors for the paint job, pieces of furniture, flowers, and plants. Put complementary pieces together so that they form a cohesive design that adds value.

Lack of an Indoor to Outdoor Connection

You’ll need to create flow in the design of the lawn and the rooms that connect to it. Each room is a visual extension and contributes to the overall design of the exterior and interior. The connection relies on the flow of the textures, styles, and colors of the elements. For example, use a slider or a French door because it allows the eyes to travel through it. Another way to achieve this connection is to use flooring that matches the indoor and outdoor rooms.

These are just some of the common landscaping mistakes that most homeowners make. You may get the help of an expert to correct these. Doing so improves the value and overall aesthetics of your home.

Man in a wheel chair in need of mobility aid

How to Choose a Stair Lift For Your Home

If you or someone you love finds climbing your stairs to be too difficult, a stair lift is a great solution. Stair lifts can safely and comfortably carry anyone up the stairs in no time. Experience a new level of convenience and independence by installing one in your home.

Kinds of stair lifts

There are currently two types of stair lifts available in the market. The type you need is based on your staircase’s design. A straight stair lift travels on a flight of stairs in a straight line. One of the most reliable models is the Brooks stair lift in Denver from Ascent Mobility. Meanwhile, a curved stair lift can easily bend or change directions to accommodate spiral staircases.

Some lifts are also weatherproof as they are made for outdoor stairs. For those who have difficulty bending their knees, standing stair lifts are also on the market. Other lifts can be mounted onto the treads of the stairs and not the wall. These are sturdy and can be easily installed in any home.

Stair lifts are also easily customizable to accommodate your particular needs. Heavy-duty lifts with wide seats are available for heavier users. Some seats have foot plates, arm rests and seat belts. A few seats could even swivel, and come equipped with safety features.

Where to purchase stair lifts

You can buy lifts either online or from local accessibility experts. There are also benefits and financial grants available to help you pay for one. For example, know Medicare does not offer coverage for purchasing stair lifts but certain states provide Medicaid waivers and allow payment for stair lifts. Veterans with disabilities can receive cash grants for lifts.

All in all, purchasing a stair lift can help you or your loved one make your home more accessible. Though some secondhand lifts are available, a brand new lift comes with a warranty and ensures you receive quality maintenance services. Whichever you choose, your loved ones are sure to be grateful for them.

Top Reasons to Sleep in a Cold Room

Are you wondering why you have a difficult time falling or remaining asleep? Your room temperature can be a factor affecting your sleep patterns. Experts on air conditioning repair in Salt Lake City suggest you try lowering the temperature to sleep better. Here are some reasons to consider sleeping in a colder room:

You Fall Asleep Faster

The body falls and stays asleep longer when it and its surroundings reach a certain temperature. The ideal room temperature is around 60 to 67 degrees Fahrenheit. At this temperature, the body remains appropriately cool and comfortable throughout the night. If the temperature of your body or the environment is below 54 degrees or above 75 degrees, there is a higher chance of waking up in the middle of the night.

You Sleep Better

If the room’s temperature is too cold or too hot, the body will try to regulate its temperature more often, causing you to toss and turn the whole night. At the right temperature, the body will not have to adjust your temperature too often, resulting in deeper slumber and reinvigorating sleep. Researchers have also found that a cold sleeping environment is effective against insomnia.

You Have Lower Risk of Acquiring Metabolic Diseases

A study conducted over four months revealed that when a person sleeps in a room with a temperature of 66 degrees Fahrenheit, they burned more calories when they were awake. Other than burning calories at a higher rate, the body’s brown fat (which is a good type of fat) increased as well. These reduce the possibility of developing certain types of metabolic ailments.

These are some reasons to lower your room temperature when you sleep. Just remember that there’s no exact temperature for everyone; set your thermostat lower and find a comfortable level that will allow you to fall asleep faster and stay asleep longer.

Top 5 Benefits of Vehicle Wraps

Vehicle wraps are big sheets of printed vinyl or decal applied over the original paint of a car. The wrap is easily removed by simply peeling it off the vehicle. Vehicle wraps are easily applied to or removed from any vehicle surface. Rockwall Wraps, vehicle wraps expert in Houston, Texas, compiled a list of reasons why you should wrap your car:

1. Attractive Look

Wrapping your car will make it stand out. When buying a new car, you have a limited color selection. Vehicle wraps come in different colors, so you get to choose the one that best appeals to you. For a great outcome, you can decide to mix up the colors, thus giving your car a stylish look.

2. Protection

Wraps protect car paint from scratches or abrasions, which happen for various reasons. These include using harsh cleaning tools and detergents, pet scratches, and accidentally brushing jewelry against the paint. They also protect your vehicle from small dents caused by road debris.

3. Economical and Convenient

Wrapping your car is cheaper than repainting it, so it saves you money. Additionally, the wrapping only takes a few hours while painting could take a few days. Frequent repainting also reduces the value of your vehicle.

4. Advertising Platform for Businesses

Car wraps offer a cost-effective and attention-grabbing advertisement opportunity. Wraps with bright colors and creative designs will catch the attention of many passersby and drivers. Thus, it is a cheaper advertising option than billboards, television commercials or newspaper ads. It is also easier and less expensive to remove the wraps at the end of the promotion period.

5. Preserves the Resale Value

It is likely that you will resell your car in future. Most second-hand buyers prefer the vehicles to have original paint and finish. It is therefore wise to wrap the car with your preferred colors and maintain the original paint color. In addition to being inexpensive, vehicle wraps will preserve the value of your vehicle.

Vehicle wraps are undoubtedly a great addition to your car. If you decide to get one, it is advisable to have it installed and removed by a professional. This will avoid damaging your vehicle.

Line of used cars

The Popularity of Used Cars in New Zealand

Make no mistake about it: New Zealand is aggressive in selling new cars. In fact, in 2017, the country welcomed the Seat, Infiniti and Tesla brands to their local market. But many Kiwis still buy used cars. What could be the reason behind this trend?

No Tariff

New Zealand doesn’t impose any tariff on imported motor vehicles unless they are motor homes (used mainly for habitation) and ambulances. That doesn’t mean, however, that importers won’t have to pay anything. They are subject to a 15 per cent tax. If the vehicle’s value is at least $1,000, importers would need to pay an entry transaction fee of $29.26 and a levy of $19.98 for each unit.

The removal of the tariff affects the used-car market in two ways. One, it increased the number of used vehicle imports over the years. Second, because of the huge and continued growth of the market, a lot of those on sale are already used cars.

Cost of Vehicles

New Zealand doesn’t have the lowest price for used cars. In fact, it ranked 19th out of the twenty countries surveyed for the most expensive cars. But the price of the car isn’t the only factor to use to determine total costs.Insurance is another factor to consider. The country doesn’t make it compulsory, so that can already save you as much as $600 a year (although it is highly encouraged to get one).

Moreover, New Zealand has the fastest depreciation rate in the world — more than 50 per cent, according to Carspring. For many, therefore, it makes more sense to invest in used cars for private use.

The biggest challenge with used cars is the customer support you receive. Fortunately, if you’re driving a Japanese car, you can get the components you need quickly and easily. You can buy Nissan parts from K.D. Auto Spares in West Auckland, for instance. The car shop can also install the part for you, which may be to your advantage. It lessens the chances of making costly errors, after all.

Woman experiencing back pain

4 Simple Ways to Take Care of Your Spine

According to the American Chiropractic Association, 31 million Americans suffer from lower back pain at any given time. This figure is increasingly high because chronic lower back pain is also considered the second most common reason people pay their doctors a visit. Whether you plan to go to a cervical spine specialist in Hurst for your neck pain or go see a chiropractor to help you with your lower back pain, preventing the problem from happening in the first place is a must. Texasdiscreplacement.com shares some simple but effective ways you can take care of your spine health.

Have a comfortable sleep

There is no cookie cutter way to determine the level of comfort when it comes to sleeping. Every person has their own preferences when it comes to what gives them a good night’s sleep. However, choosing the right pillows and mattresses is a must, as they determine the quality of your rest. As long as it can make you comfortable and give your spine a good rest, then it is the right one for you.

Have your computer at the eye level

Spending too much time sitting in front of the computer is one of the culprits for lower back pain. Not having your screen on the eye level, on the other hand, causes neck and shoulder pain. Always work with the right posture and position to prevent putting too much strain on your spine.

Go for a massage

Loosen those tight muscles and allow yourself to enjoy a good massage every once in a while. Your body would definitely thank you for it.

Get some exercise

Like a machine, the more you don’t move your muscles, the more they become stagnant and gets tight. A good exercise is not only healthy; it also helps make your whole body stronger. Say goodbye to neck and back pain. Consult with your doctor and follow these simple steps for a healthy and pain-free spine.

Front view of a BMW car

Quick and Easy Guide for a BMW Checkup

Having a good old regular car requires quite a few routine maintenance check-ups to make sure it is running the way it should be. How much more does having a BMW do you think will need? All cars, whether it is a ten-year old second-hand clunker or a shiny brand new BMW, need proper care.

Here are a few tips on how to do just that (with a little more focus on BMW’s of course!).

The Fuel Tank

It is always a good idea to keep your fuel levels at least above the half tank volume. Top up your fuel as soon as it is down to a quarter of its capacity. Debris and contaminants gradually build up over time inside your tank, and with a low volume, the concentration of these bad things get higher.

Of course, BMW’s filters will get most of these pollutants out but over time, these can clog up your lines, and you will need your filters changed that more often.

The Tires

BMW’s are quite possibly one of the best cars out there, but no amount of advanced technology or superb handling will save you from disaster if your tires are out of commission. You should always follow the tire maintenance schedules. There is no exception.

Bad tires can mean the difference between road safety and horrible accidents. There are plenty of BMW service stations in Layton such as shadetreeautomotive.net that can help you with a more in-depth tire check but here are a few you can check on your own as often as possible.

Insert a penny between the treads of your tires so that Lincoln’s head is pointing (not facing) the tire. If the treads cover even a small part of his head, you are good to go. If not, it may be time to replace your tires. Check for wear from regular use.

If you notice uneven wear and tear on one side of your tires, you will need your alignment checked. Tire pressure can be verified using a pressure gauge and must be done at least monthly.

These are only a few quick and easy tips on how to keep your BMW running as smoothly as possible. If you have any doubts about any other potentially problematic areas, always consult a professional for help.

Keep Your Home Plumbing System In Prime Condition

At the mention of water damage, most people think of a heavy rainstorm that floods entire neighborhoods. Unfortunately, natural disasters are not the only causative factor. One slight mishap or oversight in the home could have you staring at certain disaster.

An overflowing sink, bathtub or a leaking pipe can have you contending with a flooded house. In most cases, plumbing specialist All Hours Plumbing and HVAC notes, such problem arises when you have a problem with your plumbing systems.

Inefficient Water Flow

Improper installation of water pipes in the home cause you to experience period water shortages in some parts of the house. You might experience water scarcity in the upper floors of your house, which is a great inconvenience when you have a large household.

Other than the frustrations of having to wait for turns, it increases the likelihood of leaving the taps open. Most people fail to close a tap upon finding it dry. After leaving the house, regular water flow resumes, causing the bathrooms to flood.

Left unchecked the water spreads to the rest of the house, soaking up the carpets and anything else along its path. Your expensive electrical items close to the floor are not spared either.

Dangerous Aftermath

Depending on your floor plan, draining a flooded house might be a simple or complex issue. While many people manage to drain their houses after such an incident, they ignore the most dangerous problem. Water damage extends beyond the visible staining of the floor and walls.

Water seeping beneath the floorboards and drywall creates the ideal conditions for the establishment of mold and mildew. The moisture also leads the wooden floorboards to rot from within, causing you to incur extensive losses.

Consulting a water damage specialist in Salt Lake City helps rein in the situation before it gets out of hand.

Water damage possesses a considerable danger to your home that could cause you to incur losses running into thousands of dollars. Keeping the plumbing system in good condition is a sure way to keep your home safe.

A man smiling inside his car

US Car Sales Drop Despite Positive Economy, Jobless Rate

A growing U.S. economy and improving unemployment failed to uplift the number of cars sold in July, when sales plummeted 5.7% year over year. The industry, however, recorded an increase in sales for trucks and SUVs in the country.

This distinct growth will partially maintain a need for commercial garage doors here in Salt Lake City, New York and Los Angeles, among other cities, as car dealers will require storage facilities amid a glut of inventories.

Analyst Insights

Autotrader analyst Brian Moody said that sedans currently pose the biggest problem for car manufacturers. Ford and General Motors in particular struggle to boost its sales since sedans seem to be countering any growth in consumer transactions.

Other analysts believe that the decline mostly stems from drivers’ increasing shift towards other vehicles. Even as gas prices continue to drop, the transition to other car models will probably be for good. Crossover SUVs, for instance, continue to draw attention from more buyers.

The trend can be attributed to a crossover SUV’s bigger space and better mileage.

Car Trouble

General Motors Co. likely reported the biggest decrease in sales in July, down 15.4% to 226,107 cars and trucks. Ford Motor Co.’s sales fell 7.4% in the same period, or 199,318 vehicles, while Fiat Chrysler Automobiles N.V.’s sales reached 161,477 vehicles, or 10% lower than the sales figure in the same month of 2016.

It remains uncertain at this point whether or not sales will begin to pick up in the near future, especially since car sales in the U.S. have fallen in July for the seventh month in a row.

Conclusion

While the decline in car sales does not bode well for the automotive industry, the decrease serves as good news for buyers. That is because dealers will likely attempt to outsmart their competitors by offering reduced prices and other attractive incentives.

A residential street in a neighborhood

Illinois Association of Realtors Releases June Home Sales in Chicago

Home sales in Chicago fell in June, along with a drop in median prices for sold properties in the city, according to data from the Illinois Association of Realtors (IAR).

The number of sold homes and median prices for the month fell at their lowest rate since August 2016. These figures also indicated that the city’s residential real estate market was at its weakest since June 2011.

Declining Market

The association based its data from a nine-county suburban region, where housing sales and prices grew at the slowest pace since March 2016. If you’re looking to buy homes in Chicago, it’s very likely that you’ll have difficulty finding properties.

That’s because the lack of supply for houses on the market have caused a weak residential sector, according to industry experts. IAR President Doug Carpenter said that declining inventories have made it hard for buyers to acquire homes not just in the city, but in the rest of Illinois.

Hottest Areas

Goldy Locks, Inc. agrees that those who are planning to own houses with security doors in Chicago, among other safety features, should visit Bridgeport, where single-family and attached homes continue to be popular among buyers. The neighborhood emerged as the only one, among 76 others, with attractively priced properties in the two categories.

Bridgeport’s proximity to the Loop, restaurants, and Palmisano Park contributed to its popularity as one of the “hottest markets” in the city for the first six months of 2017. Single-family properties in the area amounted to $480,000, while condominiums had a median price of $254,500. Among the hottest markets, South Chicago homes had the lowest price for single-family houses at $74,000, while the most affordable condominium prices are in West Ridge ($125,000).

You should carefully consider where to buy homes in Chicago, as the market is generally weak amid a lack of supply. Don’t forget to think about your budget and the security of the house before you make a decision.