Posts by Sean Riviera

Get Your Yard Ready for a Summer Bonfire with Three Landscaping Tips

Lighting a bonfire in your backyard can be a fantastic way to enjoy the pleasant summer weather and spend time in the evening with friends or family. If you’re interested in how to go about lighting a bonfire in a safe and fun way, you need to make sure that your yard is up to the task. Instead of starting a fire right away, it’s a good idea to look into what you can do to make your yard safer.

With the following tips taken into consideration with your landscaping, you can make sure that there isn’t a major fire hazard so that the bonfire can be a fun experience.

Have an Empty Spot for the Bonfire

One of the best things that you can do to prevent a fire from getting out of control while having a bonfire is pick out a good spot for it. A lot of people make the mistake of having a bonfire in an area that has a lot of plants nearby, which leads to there being a higher chance of something catching on fire. Picking an empty spot, preferably on gravel or another flat surface without vegetation, can help make sure that your bonfire will not grow out of control by accident.

Clear Out Highly Flammable Items

Along with picking a good location that’s away from most items, you also need to clear out the space entirely. While you may want to have chairs nearby so that you can relax and even roast marshmallows, that is not a good idea if safety is your main concern. Instead, make sure to clear away flammable items so that the fire can grow large without as high of a risk of spreading.

Make Sure Safety Is Taken Seriously

Since you’ll likely have a number of people over while enjoying your summer bonfire, you need to make sure everyone is on the same page about safety. The fire can quickly grow out of control if everybody doesn’t know about how to control a fire and know what needs to be done if any sparks start moving away from the bonfire. For extra safety, you can even keep a fire extinguisher somewhere nearby on the off chance that the fire spreads by accident.

Planning a bonfire in the backyard is always a risk, and this makes it important that you get the yard ready ahead of time with the right landscaping and know what to do in case a fire breaks out of the main bonfire area.

For more ideas about how to create a spot for bonfires, visit sites like

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Flower Options For Xeriscape Gardens

A xeriscaped garden doesn’t have to depend upon cactus plants, yuccas, or other succulents to provide a touch of color. There are many flowering plants that can grow well in low water conditions. The key is to pick plants that grow well in your natural climate with little outside irrigation. The following list can help you select a few options.  

Seasonal color

For color in spring, few options beat the flowering bulbs, which include daffodils, tulips, and hyacinths. Although bulbs do need water, they only need it for their short growth period, which fortunately coincides with moist spring weather. If you prefer annuals that don’t have high water needs, then consider orange-red California poppies, bright yellow creeping zinnias, or greenish-white dusty miller. These will flower or grow through summer needing only minimal amounts of water to thrive.

Pretty perennials

Many perennials can do well in a xeriscape bed. Always look first to plants that are native in your area. Your county extension office or a local nursery can help you. Columbine grows well in many climates and rarely needs extra water. The interesting flowers are available in nearly every color imaginable. Coneflowers, or echinacea, provide large bright purple blooms that thrive in dry soil. For a sunnier option, opt for bright yellow black-eyed Susan flowers. If dainty is your thing, delicate white shasta daisies are a good option. For a plant that makes a statement, consider red hot pokers. The tall flower spikes are each tipped with a cluster of flowers that are red at the tip, fading to yellow at the base, so that it truly resembles its name.

Adding height

Flower shrubs and sub-shrubs are another way to add color. Lavender can thrive almost anywhere as long as the soil is dry. This evergreen sends up purple flower spikes in early summer, with a second show sometimes occurring in late summer. Daylilies are another good option. Most varieties are yellow, although there are some red varieties, too. They bloom almost all summer. Watering can lead to increased flower production, but it’s not necessary. Another option with deep purple flower spikes is sage. This grows especially well in desert climates.

If you want even more height, perhaps as a hedge, consider serviceberries. These flowering trees feature white blooms in spring and edible berries in late summer.

Contact a landscaper in your area that focuses on xeriscaping. They can help you pick out the best blooms for your low water needs.  

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3 Tips To Prevent Speeding In Your Neighborhood

There are many reasons to worry about speeding in your neighborhood. If drivers aren’t being careful and are driving through your neighborhood’s residential streets at a higher-than-safe speed, you might be worried about yourself, your children and the others in the neighborhood getting hurt. You might not think that there is anything that you can do about other people’s driving speeds, but you do have options. These are a few steps that you can take to help prevent speeding in your area.

1. Install Speed Bumps

Installing speed bumps in areas where speeding is prevalent is a great way to slow everyone down. Not only can it help encourage drivers to reduce their speed, but it can also cause them to pay more attention in areas where you might be concerned about accidents, such as near the neighborhood pool or the park where the children play. Work with your homeowners association — if you have one — to find out more about having them installed. You can also communicate with the city government in the area that you live in to find out if having speed bumps installed through a road construction company like Lien Transportation Co is a viable option.

2. Post Additional Signage

Posting additional signage to warn drivers to slow down can be more effective than you think. Make sure there are ample speed limit signs throughout the neighborhood, and consider using “Caution, Pedestrian Crossing” or “Children at Play” signs to help call attention to areas where increased attention should be paid and where decreased speed is even more important.

3. Alert Law Enforcement

In some cases, it takes a traffic citation for someone to learn to slow down in certain areas. Consider alerting your local law enforcement about the speeding issue in your neighborhood. Local law enforcement officers may spend more time in your area to catch speeders and to discourage speeding through a police presence. This can be a good way to reduce speeding and to make the people in your neighborhood feel more safe at the same time.

You do not have to deal with people speeding in your neighborhood without at least attempting to do something about it. You and your family could be put at risk by people driving at too-high speeds in a residential area, and you also have to think about the safety of your neighbors. Luckily, trying these three tips is a good way to get started out with reducing speed in your neighborhood.

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Avoid Pricey Storage Services With The Help Of The Right Junk Removal Business

Hiring a junk removal business may sound like something suitable only for people that are in the process of moving or getting rid of excess items that are cluttering their home, but it can also be beneficial for those that don’t have a serious overflowing problem. One way that you can rely on junk removal services is using it as an alternative for self-storage if you have a lot of items you no longer use. Many people look towards renting a storage unit as a solution when they begin running out of space at home, but it’s best to first look into how a junk removal service can be a smart alternative to pursue.

Items You Don’t Use Any Longer Take Up Room

It’s common for people to rent a storage unit as a form of extra storage for items that they hope to use again—whether it’s old clothing, camping supplies, or sentimental belongings. Whatever the item is, it’s important that you take some time to assess whether or not the item is worth keeping. In many cases, you’ll discover that you no longer need the item due to it not serving any purpose. This could be due to a change in your interests, your clothing size, or your family dynamic—such as your adult children moving out.

By tossing some items with the help of a junk removal business, you won’t need to worry about paying for storage that is going to waste.

Storage Can Increase in Price Regularly

Renting a unit at a storage facility may sound like a good deal initially, but in many cases, the rates can increase over time. This can be a major problem if you’re concerned with saving money and don’t want to overspend. Being at a disadvantage with a storage facility over what they charge can make renting a storage unit much more expensive then you initially hoped for.

Junk Removal Makes Hauling Away Discarded Items Easily

If you’ve made up your mind to get rid of some of your extra belongings instead of renting a storage unit, you will then need to figure out exactly how to get rid of everything safely. While it’s certainly a possibility to move items on your own, it’s much easier to hire a junk removal business, such as The Dump Guy. From lifting heavy items to loading things away, you can rest easy with their help.

As you explore all of the benefits of junk removal services over renting a storage unit, you can feel good moving forward with hiring a professional for the task.

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How To Install Modular Hardwood Floors

Installing hardwood floors in your kitchen is not that difficult if you buy the right product. Modular hardwood floors are specifically designed with the consumer in mind. That is, they are made so non-professionals can install them quite easily. You will need a few power tools, and the work can be physically demanding, mainly because you have to bend down so much, but it is certainly a manageable DIY project. This article explains how modular hardwood floors are installed so can decide if you want to do it yourself or let a professional contractor do it.

Cutting the Planks

The hardwood floor planks are easy to cut if you have a miter saw. But, make sure your saw has a movable blade that allows you to make angled cuts. Cutting the planks lengthwise is easy, and you will have to make a lot of cuts. However, there is also a chance that you will need to reduce the width of a row of planks. This is much more difficult if you don’t have a table saw. You won’t need to make too many cuts like this, but it still might be worth renting a portable table saw. Otherwise you will need to cut the plank with a handheld circular saw. The best technique is to clamp your plank to the edge of sturdy table and then cut it.

Ultimately, cutting the planks is the most time consuming part of the job. But, you can speed it up if you have helpers. One person can measure the space while the other cuts the planks to size. If only one person is working on the floor, it becomes very time consuming as you constantly need to bend down, take the measurement, stand back up, walk over to the, make the cut, and then go back to lay the plank. Doing this hundreds of times takes forever on your own.

Physical Requirements

The last thing you need to consider before deciding on installing your own floor is the physical nature of the work. Besides needing to constantly bend down and work on the floor, you also need to carry the planks. By themselves, the individual planks are not that heavy, but they are a little awkward to carry since they are so long. The planks are sold in packs that include 6 to 10 planks, so you need to be prepared for a fair bit of lifting before you begin the job. In the end, you really shouldn’t have any problem installing your own hardwood floor.

For more information, contact Bob Carroll Building Contractor or a similar company.

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July 2017
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