Category Archives: Home and Garden Ideas

What You Should Know Before Installing a Pool

A pool is a great way to add beauty and fun to your backyard. Swimming pools and water features are symbols of luxury and can make your home desirable, despite not offering the best return on investment. Whether you’re interested in hosting pool parties or getting some low-impact exercise, here are some things to know before you get started.

True Cost of Ownership

When budgeting for a pool, be sure to consider the true cost of ownership. In addition to installation, there are also costs associated with maintenance, including filtering, cleaning and heating. You should also budget for a pool cover, decking, ladders, lighting and other auxiliary items. Local regulations may require you to build fencing and other safety elements. Furthermore, there may be increases in the amount of homeowner insurance you’re required to have as well as increases in your property value and associated taxes.

Pool Type

Carefully consider the type of container your pool will sit in. Concrete, vinyl and fiberglass are popular options with various pros and cons. Concrete is usually the most expensive and requires considerable maintenance. Vinyl is less expensive, but a tear requires complete replacement. Fiberglass is relatively low-maintenance, but varies widely in quality. Consult a provider of one-piece fiberglass pools Missouri to discuss your options.

Details, Details, Details!

You’ll also need to pay special attention to the terms of your contract and warranty. You need to be clear on what the warranty covers when it comes to parts, materials and structural items. Some parts are covered by a manufacturer, while others are covered by the dealer. It is important to know who to call when something goes wrong. It is also recommended that you request a sample warranty from each bidder and go over the details.

Having a pool for a private workout or cooling off on a hot day is truly a pleasure. A swimming pool brings visual appeal to your backyard. Before you get carried away, consider all the upfront and long-term costs and make sure to understand the terms and conditions of any contracts or warranties.

How To Use Decorative Lighting in Your Yard

From neighborhood barbecues to quiet lounging, your yard can be used for a variety of events. Make sure yours is prepared for any occasion with the proper decorations. Easily set the right mood with landscape lighting Overland Park. Here are a few ideas to get you started.

Outline Walkways and Fences

Use the natural lines in your yard to create a sleek and clean look with landscape lighting. If you have a fence around the perimeter of your yard, run string lights across it to add a simple touch of beauty.

Even without a fence, you can accomplish this same look. Use the edges of walkways, patios, or porches as your guide. This can also allow you to experiment with different types of lights. If you are not a fan of the look of string lights, try outlining your walkway with in-ground lamps or spotlights. This is an easy way to produce a gorgeous, minimalist aesthetic, while enhancing the features your yard already offers.

Accent Your Yard

If you are aiming for a vibrant and obvious look with your lighting, try using accent lights. These provide a higher concentration of light and often have a noticeable color or shape on their exteriors.

For a subtler accent, you can try an oblong light with a black exterior. This will blend in with your yard while providing a striking flood of light to make your yard pop. If the subtle look isn’t for you, try a different color. Popular colors for accent lights are gold, blue, and green.

Get Up High

Landscape lighting doesn’t have to be confined to small posts or simple mounted sconces. If you want to make your yard stand out, try out a larger fixture. Stand tall with a torch design or a sleek outdoor lamp. If standing lights aren’t your style, hang up a few lanterns for a beautiful rustic look.

Whatever your style is, there are hundreds of fixtures out there for you. Pick up some new lights and have fun designing!

Keeping Your Pavers as Perfect as Possible

You’ve carefully covered your patio or poolside with beautiful paving stones selected for how they look all sparkling and new. You’ve used a paver coating to seal in those good looks. And you’d like to believe you can enjoy it forever without doing another thing. But as with so many home improvements, a little regular maintenance will only improve your new addition’s health and well-being.

Image by cocoparisienne from Pixabay

Clean Sweep

Sweep off those stones from time to time to remove leaves, dirt, stray branches, and whatever other debris may accumulate. Promptly pick up any wet towels or toys so the whole surface gets the same amount of sun and rain and drying time. Sop up spills promptly, and hose or mop off any stains to keep them from soaking into stones and grout.


Take a stroll around your stone-covered area and look for any problems. Keep an eye out for things like weeds growing through the grout, cracks in the stone, chips around the edges, or a faded-looking patch. Trim away any grass that looks like it’s ready to encroach on the stones’ territory, and ward off any critters that may want to burrow underneath. Addressing small concerns right away will keep them from becoming big concerns, and reduce the expense of repair and replacement. 

Use with Care

Of course, better than fixing chips and cracks is never making them in the first place. You certainly don’t want to feel like you have to avoid using something neat and new to keep it from getting messed up, and pavers should be sturdy enough to take a fair amount of walking and running and playing. But you’ll want to be careful with heavy items and dragging around things like tables and chairs and barbecues.

With minimal maintenance and a certain amount of thought, your pavers should be keeping your yard looking trim and terrific for years to come.