25 October 2021

Looking for the Best Locksmiths in Portsmouth, Hampshire? Read This:

There are various reasons why you might require the services of a locksmith. Almost everyone will experience a lock issue at some point, whether it's inside their home, business, or even the front door. If you have a lock problem, you may be tempted to fix it yourself, but it is best to seek expert help from a locksmith to avoid more damage.

Residential, commercial, and automotive locksmiths are skilled specialists who install, adjust, and repair locks in homes, businesses, and automobiles. Locksmiths make copies of locking keys, bypass locks with authorization, and modify lock combinations.

If you live in Portsmouth, Hampshire finding a great locksmith can be what stands between you and a cold night especially during the winter. They can also be the reason you are in danger if you randomly hire without verifying one. For tips on how to successfully find the best locksmiths in Portsmouth then keep reading.

Before you start having issues with your locks, it is important to do your research and have the contact of more than one credible company. This will help you avoid hiring one in an emergency and causing you to overlook some security measures.

It is clear that danger is lurking everywhere, knowing this is the first step to guarding and protecting your home. Anyone can be a victim but you can reduce your chances of falling victim to danger by following the tips listed below.

Tips on How to Find the Best Locksmith

If you have any issue involving locks, you should be looking out for a trustworthy, skilled and professional locksmith company to work with. The fact is locksmiths can have access to your home and this can be dangerous.

If you’re looking to employ the services of the best locksmith you can find in Portsmouth, then the following tips will be of great use to you. 

Be Clear about the Services You Want from the Locksmith

There are various services you can get from your local locksmith and to avoid any form of confusion it is important to clarify the services you require beforehand. The services you can get from your local locksmith include:

  • Repairing locks
  • Duplicating keys
  • Changing locks
  • Supply, installation, and maintenance of high security commercial locks
  • Installation of mechanical or electronic locks 

There are so many other services you can get from your local locksmith services. You can check out this video to learn more about the services offered by locksmiths.

Get a Referral

An effective method of getting a trustworthy locksmith is through referral. Getting a company this way can guarantee that they are legit. This can serve as an extra security measure as they will be reluctant to try anything shady.

Another benefit of going through this method is that you get to see their work first hand. Nobody wants to refer someone with a bad track record; therefore this can serve as a guarantee that you will be getting a great service.

Request to See Necessary Documents

Having a certified locksmith matters a lot especially when it’s your first time experiencing any problem with your lock. No matter how cautious you are, eventually you will experience some issue with your lock.

Using a certified locksmith means you can expect credibility and accountability if anything goes wrong. In Portsmouth, locksmiths with the right documentations tend to have the most progressive instruments.

This is another benefit of using a certified locksmith. In Portsmouth, it is normal to find locksmiths without certifications. Usually they don’t have up to date apparatus, and it is most likely for them to cheat you after providing substandard services.

Trust Your Gut

Sometimes a locksmith can fulfill all the requirements you set, like having a great referral, complete license and documentation but you still feel weird about it. In situations like this, it is important to trust your instincts, and keep searching for another locksmith that you feel satisfied and more comfortable around.

Know Which Locksmith Service Operates 24/7

This is very important for you as a home owner. The fact is lock emergency knows no time, this means that you can get locked out of your home at any time of the day. To be on the safe side, it is important to have a locksmith that will be available if such scenario occurs.

Red Flags to Observe When Hiring a Locksmith

Here are some red flags that can help you detect that a locksmith is not reputable:

  1. When the prices are too good to be true: Often times when you see prices that seem too cheap, or a lot of discount, it is usually a scam. You might even end up getting poor services and usually will have to spend more than your budget to make up for it.
  2. Bad reviews: the reputation of any locksmith is important. When a locksmith company is getting bad reviews online, there is a big chance that company will not do a good job. Therefore, when you come across a company with bad reviews, it is best to avoid them.
  3. Lack of professional certifications: As shown earlier, you can see that having professional certifications can go a long way in proving a locksmith’s credibility. Every professional locksmith should have certifications.
  4. No estimate for repair work: before beginning any repair work, a professional should provide an estimate of the overall cost. This would be a guide for you to know how much you are expecting to pay.


Locksmiths are really important to homeowners as one of the major issues that occur in the home is related to locks. Doors and locks are the primary source of security in the home and needs to be properly looked after.

Having a locksmith look at your locks is more than just a job; it is giving a total stranger access to your home. This can save or cause you a lot of troubles. There has been a lot of news going around about crimes committed in various homes and majority starts with a locksmith.

Due to the access they have to these homes they have the chance to commit crimes and get away with it. Therefore it is important to pay attention to the company you give access to your home. 

20 October 2021

Boiler Installation, Maintenance and Repair

Modern life affords us so many benefits that were not there in previous centuries. Life generally is easier for all today than at any other point in history. This doesn’t mean that life is perfect now; no it isn’t. But thanks to technological innovations and inventions it is what it is. 

One of the benefits of our lives today is the availability of options. An example would be the option to bath in cold or hot water or to keep our house warm on a cold night without using a fireplace. You can only have this option though, if you have had a boiler installed in your house.

What Are Boilers?

These are instruments or vessels used to produce heat (mostly warmth) and steam. It is usually an enclosed vessel and with fluid on the inside continually being heated to produce steam, a piping system then circulates the steam or fluid and in the process transferring heat. The heat being transferred through this process serves various purposes outside of heat generation such as serving as a heat exchange system, power generation and more.

Boiler Maintenance

The thing with boilers is this; they can be dangerous if not maintained or operated properly. Again, its installation will definitely cost you a bit therefore, adequate and proper maintenance is necessary to prevent corrosion or any damage in the first place. Here are some maintenance tips to follow:

Observe The Pilot Light

The first thing to lookout for in your boiler is its pilot light. If it burns a blue flame then it is in good shape however, if it is yellowish or orange in color then there is a problem, it could be a sign that it is not burning its fuel completely. This has to be fixed as quickly as possible as it poses a safety hazard for your home.

Keep The Pressure Up

Generally, over time, the heating system will definitely lose pressure. However, your system needs a certain level of pressure to function properly; it shouldn’t be too low or too high. For this reason, you have to regularly check the pressure gauge to prevent any malfunction. Note also that due to different manufacturers, there might be slight differences between one boiler and the next so always consult the manufacturer’s manual.

Ensure That The Area Is Cleared

It is important that the area where the boiler is kept is free of clutter. This is important because, in order to function safely, it needs to have good ventilation. This is also true of the flue pipes as they have to also be in good condition and not be blocked.

Install Lagging For Your Pipes

This refers to things that serve to insulate your pipes from the effect of the cold (freezing primarily) and other occurrences that might affect the pipes. The problem with leaving them (the pipes) un-insulated is that it leaves them prone to any circumstantial occurrence like freezing over which would affect its heating ability. Also, overtime, some of the blockage will result in pressure building up in certain points of the pipe which will cause much strain on it and eventually lead to leakage and finally a total breakdown.

Insulate Your Home

Nothing makes the boiler look ineffective like when the house is not well insulated from the outside weather condition. Therefore, ensure that the doors and windows are shut and airtight; close up any hole or opening in your house where air can escape from or come in through. When all these are done, you will definitely get the best of your boiler.

Ensure That It Is Serviced Annually

It is likely the case that you are not an expert in this area and there is a limit to what you are able to do in this area. Therefore, it is only wise that it gets serviced by a professional on a yearly basis. In doing this, a proper maintenance check will be conducted and any fault that you might not have noticed will be fixed. You can find out more here

What To Look For In Professional Boiler Installer

The following are things to do and look out for when looking for a boiler installing service provider. They include:

First Run A Survey

You wouldn’t know what service is better if you do not know the standard expected in rendering that service. For this reason, do a market survey, compare prices and the services being offered and generally have an idea of what to expect.

Check Their Reviews 

It is through this medium that you will find out what previous clients think of the quality of service the organization provides. If the reviews are not good, then maybe you should reconsider.

What Are Their Certifications?

The expectation when engaging these services is that you are engaging a professional therefore; there should be documents to prove this. Where there are no certificates to prove this, then, you are obviously in the wrong place.


Another thing to check out for is their license. This makes you know that they are legally permitted by the city or town to carry on business in that environment. 

Insurance Coverage

Though not usually expected, accidents do occur and depending on what got damaged or who got injured there will be bills to pay as you will be held responsible. To avoid this, you have to ensure that the people that you chose are insured.

24/7 Emergency Service

They should also be able to render a 24-hour emergency service and be ready to respond at short notice. This is because, an issue can come up that needs to be handled urgently and their ability to meet up with the emergency shows that they are reliable.

You can visit heatquickdirect.co.uk to learn more about what to expect from professional installers. 


One of the purposes that a house serves is the purpose of providing shelter to individuals from the elements. However, depending on the weather, you might need much more than shelter to be comfortable.

A boiler serves the purpose of keeping you warm even in the harshest of cold weathers. But these tools can be damaged and in need of repair or there might even be need for an entirely new one to be installed.

19 October 2021

How to Prepare You House Against Winter Pests

Photo by Ante Hamersmit on Unsplash

Winter is just around the corner, and depending on which state or region you are currently residing in, the weather is definitely getting colder. And, soon before you know, your house, front porch, or the garden at the back might be invaded with pests, and you will have to call in the home pest control services. 

It means that as you will be unpacking your winter clothes and stacking up the wardrobe, you should start preparing your house against the infestation of winter pests. If you have a garden, you can expect mice as the first arrivals, seeking protection against the cold and searching for food along the way.

Nonetheless, you should also be concerned about cockroaches, spiders, bugs, and raccoons, who are in equal need of shelter. While you can immensely benefit from calling in the best home pest control services and protecting your home from winter pests, you can also integrate the following methods and tips to keep your house pest-free all winter.

Read on to learn more!

Declutter Your House

This is a no-brainer: we all know what attracts mice, cockroaches, and bugs the most! It is the clutter and the trash cans that need to be emptied. Don’t leave any leftover food on your kitchen counters. Each night, before you go to sleep, you ought to clean everything and stock things properly. By removing the clutter inside your house, you will take away the privilege of the pests to find a nesting place. Remember, the decluttering of your house includes the inside and outside of the house, including your garage and garden. 

Assess Your Home Thoroughly

Before you do anything, do a tiny yet intensive research on the exterior and interior of your home. Understandably, the winter pest will move in from the outside, which is why the exterior of your home needs to be thoroughly inspected for potential cracks, holes, and gasps that might serve as a threshold for the pest to enter your cozy home. 

If you find cracked walls, windows, doors, or holes and gaps at any other area of the house, you can indulge in DIY home projects and use a sealant to cover and seal those cracked surfaces. This way, you will prevent all kinds of winter pests from getting inside your house and ruining your peace of mind. 

Over time, it is normal for the foundation of homes to develop cracks, gaps, and holes, including in the area where the pipes are. A thorough inspection of your home exterior can help you detect the areas which can serve as an entrance for potential winter pests. 

Get Rid of Moisture

Did you know that winter pests aren't necessarily in search of warmth during the cold season? Often, it is also the moisture they seek, just like us humans. That said, don’t neglect pools of water. They might not harbor mosquitoes, like in the summers, but the moisture can definitely attract winter pests, giving them life and sustenance. 

We recommend using heat tape integrated with plumbing to prevent the entrance of moisture inside your home during the winter. Also, the heat tape will prevent your pipes from freezing, saving you more annoyance in the long run. 

Final Thoughts

While the above-given methods are a sure way to prevent pests from entering your house, you don’t necessarily have to wait to “see” pests before you call the best home pest control services. A team of professionals doesn’t only help you get rid of pest invasion, but they also know how to seal and safeguard the house from pest invasion altogether. You can also rely on a pest control service for a thorough house inspection, especially if you have a tight schedule and cannot do the inspection yourself. 

Is Window Replacement Worth it in Texas

Window replacement is one of the most significant improvements Texas homeowners can make. Thus, the question "is it a good investment?" Well, there isn't any exact answer when it comes to this, as we will have to consider different variables and their roles in home windows, which include:

  • The present condition of the window frames
  • Local temperature
  • The density of current windows
  • Homeowners choice of window

Also, these factors contribute to the cost of replacement and the anticipated energy savings. New windows that are less performing and allow condensation on the window's glass may benefit from simple DIY repairs. Plano Home Window Replacement (planohomewindowreplacement.com), a leading provider of window installation and replacement in Plano, TX, typically recommends bolting the frame all around which solves draft problems and increases energy efficiency. Insulated window glass restores the original double-pane properties, too. 

How Much Can Window Replacements Save?

Even after considering these variables a lot of time, a window replacement will result in greater energy efficiency — usually accurate when you substitute standard single-pane windows with Energy Star certified double-pane models. The United States Department of Energy states that the average amount homeowners can save with new windows differs by locality. However, in some parts of the country with relatively low temperatures, the annual energy savings can amount to $400.

Landlords in cold regions like Southern California also tend to enjoy savings, unlike homeowners in environments that require consistent air conditioning like Florida and Texas. Any home that installed single-pane windows is suitable for a window replacement project.

How Much Does a Window Replacement Cost?

Unfortunately, there aren't any exact figures for this, as it may vary by different windows installers.

Also, a complete building window replacement project is dependent on how many windows were installed in the home, but prices per window are roughly the same for any size project. Double-pane average standard-size, such as the double-hung vinyl window prices, range from $450 to $600. The estimation includes the window and installation. If you are a wood frame window fan, they are more expensive compared to glass windows. A single installed wood frame window price ranges from $800 to $1000; moreover, if it's the entire frame you want to replace, whether vinyl or wood models, it costs an extra $50 to $100 for each window.

The United States Department of Energy estimates that, for a home in a spring, summer, fall, and winter climate, the energy savings will incur an approximate cost of one window per year for vinyl and one window for two annuals for wood windows. With these estimates, The project will pay for itself, at last, considering this calculation, but it may take you 10 to 12 years or more for a home that has more windows.

What About Equity?

According to Remodeling Magazine, homeowners who replace their windows will get back almost 82% of the total expense incurred when they sell the home. The estimation of the percentage is based on standard and energy-efficient windows. Investing in customized windows is not often worth the extra expense because it has a shallow effect on the overall equity despite the excellent price tag. 

The Alternatives to Whole-House Window Replacement

In this case, it depends on what you want — your aim or goal. If your objective isn't based on long-term purpose, applying for transparent window insulation film is your best option. This transparent window insulation film is like a thick plastic that stretches over to the window and grabs the frame. It's not as expensive. It gives an extra layer of protection regarding the temperature from the outside, but you can still open the windows without the need to remove the film. Hence, this is a good option during wintertime but not suitable for keeping cool air inside in the summer.

If your home is older, the windows can be an essential part of the architectural process, and more modern substitutes would ruin the home's traditional appearance. There are alternative options that help hold the aesthetic appeal of the property including custom-made window replacements.

Crucial Things To Note

It's suggested now that you should choose alternatives of wood because wood frames get worn out sooner and are more expensive to replace. Experts from Money recommend going for vinyl windows. If you like wood frames, explore the styles with aluminum cladding. By doing so, you can help prevent future maintenance expenses and any premature repairs will reduce the profits generated by energy savings and equity. 

Try to consider repairing your current windows before obliging to a whole-house window substitute. 

According to Money, you'll spend about $100 to $350 per window on the renovation. In that case, even at the high side of this price tag, your total amount spent will still be half of what it costs for a complete replacement. If you notice your windows do not need to be replaced, it saves you money by asking your contractor to keep the existing trim. 

If you want your contractor to put a window insert inside the frame and fasten it into place, it'll also save you some cash — between $150 and $300 on labor costs per window. However, this cost is not guaranteed if your window frame or trim needs to be replaced.

Financing Your Window Project

Sure, as a Homeowner, there are always various options to choose from when financing your home windows. Contractors will often offer customers special financing, the most convenient option just like a one-stop-store option. However, these interest rates are less and not always suitable.

PACE financing is another option(property assessed clean energy financing). The program was established to take advantage of the energy saved with efficiency upgrades — installing Energy Star certified windows. Homeowners who meet PACE requirements can use this as an opportunity to finance their whole-house window replacement project and pay it back bit by bit over a convenient period on their annual property taxes. Any energy savings received from the new windows will cover the project's cost over the long term.

16 October 2021

Plant Delivery Services: An Overview for First Timers

When it comes to home decoration and aesthetics, there are so many things that one can do to beautify the home to make it livelier and more inviting. Paints and wallpapers do a great job of setting the tone of a room; art as well gives a home a lot of character. 

However, while paints, art, and wallpapers can be used to pull off various types of looks and feel, it is quite difficult to pull off a natural look without, of course, having something from nature. To do that, one would need plants, real plants. Plants are able to brighten up the dullest of rooms, and they do so by just being there, it’s effortless!

What Is A Plant Delivery Service?

What is a plant delivery service? A plant delivery service is simply a business that sells plants online and delivers to customers. In this business, having an office isn’t a necessary requirement for success since plants can easily be grown in your backyard and shipped anywhere an order comes from. But a beautiful, well-built, easy-to-navigate website is certainly a requirement for success in this line of work

While an office may not be necessary, it certainly doesn’t hurt to have an office location that is not your home. In fact, if you plan on making it a full-time business, you may need one as it would help with company branding. 

Thanks to the growth of e-commerce, shipping goods to different parts of the world have gotten easier and faster. But while that may be the case, shipping plants to a customer’s home is a completely different story and can be quite a hassle. 

This is especially true if you want the plant to get there in peak condition. It is for this reason that most plant delivery businesses restrict their services to a particular geographical location to increase their chances of delivering healthy plants. These businesses aim to meet the needs of the fast-growing market of indoor plant enthusiasts. 

Why The Need For This Service?

Getting a nice look and feel to your home are not the only perks that come with having real plants scattered around your house. There are several other science-backed benefits that homeowners with plants stand to gain. Some of them include:

  • Reduced stress levels
  • Treatment of anxiety and depression
  • Quicker recovery from illnesses
  • Improved quality of indoor air
  • Increased productivity and creativity

It is because of benefits like these that more and more homeowners are beginning to shop for indoor plants. As a matter of fact, the demand for plants, especially indoor plants, soared in March of 2020, when the pandemic struck and the whole world went into lockdown. You can learn more about the benefits of having greeneries around here: https://www.ecowatch.com/health-benefits-of-having-plants-at-home-2608386260.html.

Because nearly everyone was stuck at home, people began to seek means to brighten up their living spaces and bring life to their homes; plants were one of the most sought out options. Fast forward to today, the demand for indoor plants is still high and isn’t showing any sign of falling. 

This is because a significant percentage of the global workforce now or still work from home, and they make effort to stay productive. As pointed out earlier, plants do help with productivity and creativity. Now, putting all these together, one can see that there’s a growing market for small, mid-size, and large indoor plants. 

How Can I Find a Plant Delivery Service?

Since most, if not all plant delivery services have a website, the best place to start would be on the internet. As you may know already, thanks to the internet, we’re able to access an incredible amount of information with absolute ease. More interestingly is the fact that most businesses nowadays have established an online presence either through their website or social media. What this means is that you shouldn’t have no problem finding a plant delivery service that is closest to you. 

Like we mentioned earlier, to be able to deliver plants to customers in the best condition possible, these businesses stick to a defined geographical location, usually the one within and around them. They do this because in a way, it gives them some level of control over the outcome of their deliveries. 

Putting all these into consideration, you’d have to limit your search to your location. Google already makes this easy since most of the results you get whenever you run a search are influenced by your location. If you’re not satisfied with what Google brings out, you can always search with your location manually. For instance, if you live in California, you could simply search for plant delivery services in California or plant delivery services around me; anything around these lines should work fine.

Of course, there’s also the option of asking friends and family. If you have an acquaintance that works from home, chances are that they may have recently ordered a plant. 

How Do I Know Which Plants to Order?

People usually have different tastes and preferences when it comes to these types of things. If you’ve never bought a plant online before, you may feel pressured because you don’t want to get one that you won’t like. Thankfully, plant delivery services have clear and professional pictures of all the greeneries they sell. 

So, when you find one you feel good about, simply browse through all the products they have listed on their site to see which catches your fancy. That said, if you have any allergies, you may want to check with your doctor to know what plants to avoid. 

Final Thoughts

You need to know plants that are dangerous for pets, especially if you own a pet. You certainly don’t want to joke with this. Don’t worry, sorting this out won’t be as stressful as you might think. Simply send an email explaining your concern to the company you wish buy from, and they’d be more than glad to help. 

Space is another thing you should consider before placing an order. You wouldn’t want to purchase a plant that is bigger than your workstation. Fortunately, most of these businesses sell only plants that can fit into just about any space. 

15 October 2021

Why You Need a Mold Removal Professional

What if we told you that from the twenty-one million reported asthma cases in the United States, 4.6 million are said to be associated with mold and dampness? Furthermore, a whopping 90 percent of chronic sinus cases are associated with mold. 

Moving from the health issues that mold exposure causes, these little guys can wreak devastating damages to the buildings they grow in. Visit Superior Home Restoration and learn more about molds and the damages they can cause. They spread super-fast and can become colonies before you even have the chance to get rid of them. 

Removing molds from your home could be a real problem. You may be contemplating DIY, believe us when we say this is not a good idea in any way. There are so many risks involved, you could inhale it, unsettle the spores, and cause more trouble since they would spread more, and so on. 

Therefore, when you have a mold issue in your home, the ideal thing to do would be to get a professional for the job. In this article, we will be discussing the reasons you need a mold removal professional rather than doing the removal by yourself. 

1. It Is Not an Easy Job

You must have considered doing the job yourself a couple of times. Therefore, you may have even gone through the stress of checking Google for tricks and tips that will help you get rid of your trouble. 

While some of these remedies you may have learned can do the trick, you have to believe us when we say getting rid of these guys isn’t an easy task at all. You can try; after all, you simply need cleaning products, protective gloves, and determination, right? Well, we hate to break it to you but after you think you have handled the problem, the molds may simply grow back or move to a new location. 

This is because the growth you think you handled was in visible areas whereas they are still growing in hidden corners. Therefore, it will only take some time before they come back to the areas you can see them. 

But with an expert, proper remediation will be done. They often have equipment that lets them detect where molds are growing, therefore, they will be able to take care of every growth in the home. 

2. You Will Save Your Money and Time

When you try to tackle this problem by yourself, you risk making the mold spread even faster. With further spread, you will eventually have to call in a professional. At which point, you must have already spent a lot of time tackling the issue yourself and money on special cleaning products. 

You will be surprised at the places these guys can grow in your home then read this article to learn some of these hiding spots of molds in the home. So, instead of going about this whole thing blindly and risk further spread and reoccurrence; get a pro that will do the removal once and for all. 

3. A Professional Has the Proper Knowledge 

This is perhaps the most important reason you need a professional to handle the issue. While all you know about tackling this serious issue are tips you got off the internet, a professional has gone through proper training to handle the situation. 

Chances are you may not even know that molds are of different types. You would be going about the whole process blindly, whereas a pro would know what exactly has to be done. 

They can also determine how much damage has been done, and regardless of how severe the issue is, they will look for ways to handle it. The efficacy with which an expert will remove the molds is something you cannot achieve unless you have been trained to. 

4. Potential Spread Will Be Controlled and Reduced

During the removal process, the spores may spread throughout the house. Now, if the process is not done properly, the spores may settle in other places in the home and begin to grow there. This is a major reason DIY for mold removal is not recommended at all as it could cause an even bigger problem. 

If you mistakenly get the spores in your HVAC system, the spread will be very rampant as the AC moisture would create a perfect breeding environment for the spores. 

So, you want to leave the job to a pro that is better equipped with expertise and the necessary tools to mitigate the spread as well as eliminate the spores. 

5. You Will Save Yourself Future Problems

We hope we don’t sound like a broken record at this point when we say molds are very hard to remove from a home. They’ll grow back yet again so long as spores are left behind, they are quite relentless. This is made especially true when your home has areas that are prone to moisture. 

If you tackle a mold problem by yourself, chances are you would do this repeatedly. You would not just cause further spread, but you would cause further damage to your home. Therefore, the wise thing to do would be to get an expert that will ensure reoccurrence is prevented in the long run. 

6. You Will Not Put Your Health at Risk

At the beginning of this read, we spoke about how mold exposure can cause certain health issues. You can visit https://realtimelab.com/mold-statistics/ to see the statistics of health issues associated with mold exposure. 

When you want to take care of this problem yourself, we bet you would know to take precautions. You would know to put on protective clothes and so on. But, despite all these, you may end up being too exposed to these little guys and this can put your health at risk. 

Rather than doing this, why don’t you hire someone trained for the process to properly take care of the situation? 


You may think you have all it takes to get rid of your little mold issue by yourself. However, this may not be the case. In this article, we have discussed some major reasons why a professional is a better person for the job and not you. 

07 October 2021

Growing food in a balcony garden or other small spaces

Photo by Sandie Clarke on Unsplash

Growing vegetable plants doesn't require more than decent soil, lots of sunlight and paying attention. Notice that "a lot of room" isn't on that list. It's entirely possible to grow vegetables in pots for a balcony garden if all you have is a balcony.

When I lived in Florida, I grew things like tomatoes and herbs on my balcony. The growing seasons work differently in warmer climates but with some experimenting, I was able to grow and harvest things from there and it was incredibly satisfying.

But now that I live in Pennsylvania I have an actual yard and six years ago I built myself a real kitchen garden.

My kitchen garden with beans, okra, cabbage, lettuce and arugula. This is how it looks in the spring. I grow an autumn garden of different veg after I harvest all the spring stuff

My early gardening education consisted of figuring out how to grow things in small spaces and that early training is hard to shake. My kitchen garden (actually gardens because I've built two more in recent years) is small. However because I work with the soil so much and study everything there is to study about companion planting, I get a lot out of my small spaces.

I like vegetable gardening for many of the same reasons I like other things like photography or baking. As with any of those pursuits, I will always be improving and learning and I will never fully master any of it. My goal is always to improve my proficiency.

With that said, I experiment a lot. Sometimes those experiments work and sometimes they fail spectacularly. This year's bold experiment was growing corn and the less said about that the better.

In the photo above you can see that there's a raised bed garden directly behind what I call my kitchen garden. That's a dedicated tomato garden. I figured out a couple of years ago that tomatoes have such specific needs that are different from say, cabbage, that it's easier to grow them in their own garden.

What I mean by that is that tomatoes need slightly acidic soil but they need calcium at the same time. Calcium raises the Ph of soil so I have to be able to counteract that alkalinity with sulphur and magnesium. Acidic soils and many other vegetables don't play well together, hence the separate bed for tomatoes.

While you'll never fully feed yourself from vegetables you grow yourself (unless you have about 50 acres to dedicate to veg farming), what you can do is supplement your diet. Preparing food I grew myself is on of my great pleasures.

Growing some of my own food has also got me hooked on home canning and that came about as a necessity. Until I learned how to stagger my planting so I could stagger my harvest, everything would be ready to harvest at the same time. There are only two of us and as much as we like cabbage, we can't possibly eat 12 heads of cabbage when 12 heads are ready to pick.

But what we can and do eat is sauerkraut and fermenting my own kraut was my entry to the world of home canning and food preservation.

Growing vegetables has opened up a world to me and I know stuff about biology, soil ecology, hydrology, chemistry and so many more things it makes my head spin sometimes. I accumulate knowledge over time and get better and better at the task at hand. And frankly isn't that the whole point of being alive? I think so anyway.

So start small and play around with gardening. If you're anything like me, you'll end up with a new obsession.

02 October 2021

Why Quality Deck Materials Matter

Photo by JuniperPhoton on Unsplash

A beautiful home requires a beautiful and durable deck. And a durable deck will only last longer and look good if you use suitable materials. Using cheap materials for your deck and completing it under a low budget can cost you a lot in the future. 

The importance of using quality material while making or planning to make your deck is very crucial. The deck is something that is going to face all the harsh weather and has to stand beautiful. And only quality deck materials can help it achieve it. 

Using low-quality deck materials or not focusing on them is not a good idea. In this article, we will discuss some of the deck material options that you can choose from and the importance of selecting the suitable deck material for your deck. So let's begin. 

Types of Deck Materials

You can make a deck of many materials. Some of them are expensive, cheap, durable, or more beautiful. It all matters what you want and how you want it. Some of the most commonly used deck materials are:

1. Cedar Material

If you plan to give your house a very natural and woody look by making a deck, then Cedar would be the right option. The beautiful light wood color is very attractive and has been used very commonly for creating decks.

It is also a very durable material because it does not rot quickly. It absorbs moisture and prevents insect attacks as well. Cedar material is definitely recommended

2. Redwood Material

Redwood is a little darker than cedar material but looks breathtaking as well. It is also commonly used for making decks and definitely looks very attractive. Redwood's deck designs are widely famous. 

Another reason why Redwood is commonly used is because of its stability and durability. It is a solid type of wood and does not rot quickly. 

3. Composite Material

Composite material is the most beautiful material you can use to make your decks. The deck looks ten times more attractive if it is made of composite material. You may have seen composite decking nowadays a lot. 

But the major drawback of composite decking is that the color fades away due to direct sunlight. So if you live in a place where you get a lot of the sun, composite material might not be the best choice for you. 

Why Quality Material Matters?

Quality material is what you should look for the most. Deckbuilding is not an easy task, and you do not want to get it done repeatedly. If you still have doubts about why you should choose and make quality your priority, let's explain a few benefits of choosing quality materials for decking. 

  • Less Maintenance

We do not have much time in our busy lives that we keep maintaining and spending on our decks. Low-quality deck material will require a lot of maintenance, whereas, on the contrary, you can relax for a long time if you choose the suitable material for your deck. 

  • Durability

High-quality materials are more durable. Deckbuilding is not an easy task and requires a lot of manpower and money to be built. If you choose durable materials, it will be like one-time investing. You invest a little more and choose suitable material, and then you can relax and enjoy your deck for a long time. 

  • Safety

A low-quality deck will be very dangerous. If you have children who enjoy playing outside, you should always use the proper methods to keep them safe. And using quality material for your deck is essential for your and your family's safety. To prevent any deck accidents, use quality materials. 

  • Appearance

A quality and durable deck will not only save you from daily maintenance but will look very beautiful as well. You can quickly tell the difference between good quality and cheap material. It will affect the overall appearance of your house. So make sure to choose quality materials for the deck so that your home will look perfect!