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Why outdoor lighting is the perfect solution for your garden

In CategoryTim Whitcombe
ByGardenAdvice Tim Whitcombe

For many people buying a house with at least a small garden is a lifelong dream. There’s nothing better than spending a nice, relaxing evening outdoors after a hard day at work. But if you work long hours, you probably don’t get many opportunities to enjoy such moments. Once you come back home, it’s already dark and going outside doesn’t seem so appealing anymore. You’ve probably spent a lot of time working on your garden design and looking for ways to make it look even more inviting. It’d be a shame to let all that hard work go to waste by staying inside the house during your free time.

It’s summer, and your garden is now presenting itself in its most beautiful form. Green leaves are decorating the trees. The flowers are in full bloom. Everything is lively and full of energy. And you’re missing it because you’re busy with your daily life. When you finally have a moment for yourself, all of it will already be hidden in the dark. But is sun really the only lighting you can count on in an outdoor setting? Of course, it isn’t. There are many lighting solutions available on the market to choose from. You can implement them in your project, and transform your backyard into a unique, one-of-a-kind space.

Gain more space

Most people treat their gardens and houses as two separate things. There’s the interior of the house, and then there’s another area that you can spend time in, but they are not really connected. It’s a wasted opportunity. With a good plan, you can easily transform your patio into the building’s extension and gain additional space. By installing lamps around the sitting area, you can create something like a living room but in the fresh air. Having friends over for dinner will be even more enjoyable in such surroundings. Plus, there are many models of sun canopies for patios available on the market. If you find the right one for your house, you’ll be able to shield yourself from the scorching sun on hot summer days.

Make your garden visible

While the specific elements will depend on the location and weather conditions, a perfect garden is not just about plants and trees. It’s about decorations, pathways, and furniture as well. If you live near the beach, you can try to bring some of it to your backyard by utilising sand in your project. On the other hand, if you live in a rainy place, paving may be a better idea. When done right, a simple design can turn into a piece of art and, by installing outdoor lighting, you’ll be able to admire it at any time.

Enhance your project

When you want to showcase a certain element of your interior design, you use light to highlight the area. The same can be done in your garden. Proper lighting can bring out the beauty of any object, so it’s worth considering such a solution. Even a lamp you decide to install can in itself be a decorative element. Just look for models that will complement the rest of the project. However, if you’d rather have more subtle lighting, which will brighten up your evenings but go unnoticed during the day, go for in-ground lights.

Keep intruders at bay

Of course, you want your house and its surroundings to look great. That’s why you’re willing to spend your time and money on achieving this goal. But ensuring security is an equally important thing. After all, nothing in the world matters more than the safety of your family. Lighting up your backyard can become a solution to both of these issues. Keep in mind that most break-ins happen at night. It’s not a coincidence, darkness provides great cover. But it’ll be difficult to get to your house without being seen if there are lights all around.

There’s no denying that we all like to feel appreciated. We like to surprise people with our skills, and we like being praised for our work. Implementing various lighting options in your garden can give you incredible results. And you definitely won’t be the only one noticing it. Your friends and family will love coming over and spending time in your newly created seating area.

 

Factors influencing The Cost of Roof Replacement

In CategoryTim Whitcombe
ByGardenAdvice Tim Whitcombe

It was really amazing to see his roof transformation keeping in mind we had similar problems. Deep down, I felt I had found the missing piece of my roofing puzzle. In a week times, I called them up and got mine fixed. 

Are you having similar problems? Here are some of the factors that will influence the cost of your roofing replacement.

SIZE OF THE ROOF

We really don’t have to scratch our head on this one. It is oblivious that the cost of its replacement will highly depend on your roof size.

The larger the roof, the more money it will cost. A large one requires more material, labor, and time to fix.

If it’s not within your budget to replace the entire roof, you can also take the option of partial replacement as you plan your finances.

Make the little gains, and soon, your entire canopy will be replaced.

I really had troubles with my leaking and not so well ventilated roof and until a friend of mine took me to the Three Kings Construction site to have a look at how an excellent and proper roof installation and repairs are done. 

TYPE OF ROOF

People have different taste when it comes to roofing. You might be madly in love with the butterfly ceiling while someone would take a bullet to have a flat roof over his head.

Different shelters require different, attention, modification, and needs than others, and therefore are bound to attract different repairing and replacement cost.

For example, hipped canopies are more complex and expensive to repair than a flat one due to the many extreme angles involved in its constructions.

MATERIAL USED

At times people like you and me make the common mistake of virtually treating the structure the same despite their visual differences.

 There are different types of roofing materials that can be used to build your ceiling. Depending on your taste, the kind of stuff you choose can significantly impact on the cost of your repairs and installation. 

Asphalt shingle is the most commonly used structural material because of its affordable price and easy installation process.

However, if you want something unique and stylish, you can always go for the wood shake, metal tiles, or even slates. You’re going to dig a little deeper into your pockets to have these types of material on your ceiling.

But price shouldn’t be a significant player when it comes to your home, home is special, and you need to design it tastefully.

To read more on the roofing material, click here.

ROOF PITCH OR SLOPES

 

Another factor that will likely affect your replacement cost is the pitch or slope of it. A steep one is not easy to walk or work on and therefore require more staging installation and labor to fix in the ceiling correctly and more safely.

Additionally, the slope of the roof also determines the type of underlayment installations for your roofing, which in turn affects the overall remodeling cost.

ROOFING SYSTEM COMPONENTS

There are different construction components such as ventilation, decking, and underlayment that make up the essential parts of a good system. This installation can also affect the cost of your shelter.

For instance, if your has troubles with ice dams during the winter and it destroyed your, it would be a good idea not only to replace it but also to install proper ventilation, that help you prevent ice dam in the coming winter seasons.

TIMING OF YOUR ROOFING REPAIRS

Other than the type of roof, construction materials, roofing components, and the ceiling’s slope, the timing of your structural replacements can significantly impact the cost of your roofing repairs and installations.

During the summer season, the demand for these replacements are always high; hence, the roofing cost is always high.

The trick is to schedule your installation during the spring season or late winter season when the prices have fallen. It’s also during this time that you can receive off-season discounts.

TEAR AND DUMP FEES

Replacing your roof means getting rid of the old structure. But you can’t just dump it anywhere and call it a day. There is a fee called tear and dump fee that is paid for disposing it and its material. 

This fee is always on you and depends on the size of your roof. Big ones obviously attracts a higher price.

To learn how to dispose of roofing materials to follow the link below. https://dengarden.com/cleaning/How-to-Dispose-of-Old-Concrete

 

 

 

Has veganism had a direct impact on farming

In CategoryTim Whitcombe
ByGardenAdvice Tim Whitcombe

According to the Vegan Society, 42 per cent of UK vegans made the choice to go meat-and-dairy-free in 2018, showing how rapidly the movement is picking up in recent years…

Whether we’re making a conscious effort to lower our red meat intake or we’re grabbing some compost bags and heading outside to grow our own vegetables for a healthier lifestyle, plant-based diets are enjoying positive press and an enviable limelight. Even outside of complete veganism, many Brits are choosing to reduce or forgo certain animal products, such as avoiding red meat consumption or switching to plant-based milks; it has even been claimed that only 14 per cent of vegan meals are actually eaten by full-time vegans.

A survey by Quality Meat Scotland showing that in Scotland alone, 64 per cent of people are worried veganism will affect the farming sector. Does this highlight that there’s a shift to a more plant-based diet impacting the UK’s agriculture industry?

The impact of Veganuary 

At the start of 2019, a record 250,000 people signed up to Veganuary in the UK — nearly double the amount that signed up in 2018. 

Though the sales of plant-based products obviously increased, this was not apparently at any cost to animal produce sales. Beef, lamb, and turkey were the only products to decline during the period, with processed meats being worst hit. Sales of fish, meanwhile, continued to enjoy overall growth. 

Despite the record sign-up however, a report by Agriland suggested that the figures weren’t reflected in meat, fish, and poultry sales for January. In fact, these markets did not feel any noticeable impact, the outlet claims. 

Dairy reduction 

In July 2019, the Guardian reported that 25 per cent of Brits were opting for plant-based milks. Much like the Vegan Society’s note of veganism shooting up in the UK in 2018, this shift to plant-based milks also occurred during 2018, with a sales surge of 70 per cent for oat alternative milk

While the dairy industry could hardly be described as ‘suffering’ for the switch, it is certainly falling from grace. While the over-45 age bracket is still opting for cow’s milk (92 per cent), there’s less demand amongst 16- to 24- year olds (73 per cent). Overall. the go-to health drink of the 50s is consumed far infrequently in the modern day, with the average person drinking 50 per cent less now than in the 1950s. 

But while sales of cow’s milk have decreased, it is still the largest market within the dairy and dairy-alternative industry. Currently, the impact of veganism on the dairy market is deemed minimal, but if the downward trend of animal-dairy continues as veganism rises in coming years, we could yet see that impact increase. The global vegan cheese market is expected to hit $1.58 billion in Europe alone by 2023, meaning consumers are definitely expected to continue to shift away from animal-based dairy. 

Reduction of red meat 

Whether people choose to adopt a vegan lifestyle or simply decide to reduce the amount of meat in their  diets, limiting the consumption of animal products could be detrimental for good health. Red meat has certainly suffered a negative image in recent years, and  a number of studies have posited a link between consuming high amounts of red meat and increasing the risk of cancers of the colon. Therefore, it’s no surprise that people are looking to cut back on it. 

But how is this dietary shift changing the UK red meat market, and indeed, the wider agricultural sector?  

According to The Scottish Farmer, there are a number of factors affecting the red meat market specifically. One is the aforementioned health concerns, and another is the ongoing uncertainty of Brexit negotiations. There is also a push from those who are motivated by environmental concerns and see veganism as a proactive way to contribute towards reducing the impact of climate change on the world. In July 2019, the outlet reported that beef values had declined compared to this time last year, with an R3L steer valued at 353.8p per kg, whereas in 2018 it was valued at 393.5p. It may not seem like a significant figure, but as The Scottish Farmer points out, this means that a whole lorry load of finished cattle is worth £5,000 less this year than it was in 2019. 

Plus, with surveys showing that around 37 per cent of consumers were actively looking to eat less red meat, it doesn’t look like this downward trend in red meat prices isn’t going anywhere anytime soon. While we might not be experiencing a universal switch to full veganism, the growing appeal of a ‘flexitarian’ diet or semi-vegetarian approach has been marked as one of the biggest issues facing the farming sector. 

Reduction of meat overall

One report has suggested that most of the meat consumed in 2040 will not come from animals. In fact, it has been suggested by the year 2040 that 60 per cent of meat consumed will be grown in vats or grown a plant-based source. 

This cultured meat, or plant-based ‘meats’, are touted to be more efficient, less harmful to the environment, and arguably morally sound, given that no animal would need to die for vat-grown meat. The major barrier right now is for this meat-alternative to be financially accessible to all, which is where some say the livestock-based meat industry will continue to trump lab-grown meat for the foreseeable future. 

Currently, the impact of veganism on farming seems to be limited to a small scale, with variables such as Brexit and health matters impacting the red meat market specifically. But with the surge of people choosing to go vegan, it could very well be the case that the effects are simply still in the making. 

Sources:

https://www.statista.com/statistics/315804/agriculture-gross-value-added-in-the-united-kingdom-uk/

https://www.vegansociety.com/news/media/statistics#vegandietintheuk

https://www.plantbasednews.org/post/rise-of-veganism-affecting-beef-farmers

https://www.thescottishfarmer.co.uk/business_sales/17708654.demand-hits-red-meat-sales/

https://www.livekindly.com/red-meat-consumption-down-uk/

https://www.theguardian.com/food/2019/jul/19/plant-based-milk-the-choice-for-almost-25-of-britons-now

https://www.pressandjournal.co.uk/fp/business/farming/1728896/concern-over-effects-of-veganism-on-farming-industry/

https://www.worldcrunch.com/opinion-analysis/100-vegan-a-tempting-but-misguided-recipe-to-save-the-planet

https://www.ns-businesshub.com/transport/how-veganism-is-affecting-the-meat-and-dairy-industries/

https://theboar.org/2019/03/rising-veganism-changing-food-market/

https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2019/jun/12/most-meat-in-2040-will-not-come-from-slaughtered-animals-report

 

Airforce Heating and Cooling Named Best HVAC Company in Norfolk VA

In CategoryTim Whitcombe
ByGardenAdvice Tim Whitcombe

HVAC (heating, ventilation, and air conditioning) systems are very good to have in your home, but purchasing the right products is even better. What features should you look out for when making a purchase? What are the aspects you should keep in mind when shopping? This article will give you enough details for a non-regrettable buy.

A complete HVAC system is engineered in such a way that the quality of indoor air in your home will be made as pure as possible. The humidity/temperature levels can also be regulated as you desire. If you need a system that will be suitable for your home, you should consider services like HVAC Norfolk VA to be on the safe side. There are so many factors to consider in the process of installation that should not be taken for granted.

Apart from private homes, other property types that would require HVAC systems include commercial/industrial buildings, skyscrapers, and several others. You should understand the differences in air conditioning, cooling, and heating systems. They are provided as separate systems/units in the market. When installing the system in your home, think of how each unit will fit in an aesthetic sense.

 

The Separate HVAC Units/Systems

In a complete HVAC system, the air conditioning unit regulates the temperature and humidity levels. Your windows and doors will have to be closed securely for this to be effective. The system will feature vents that will enable the passage of air in and out of the building. You will not have to worry about how much fresh air you are getting unless the system’s internal air filter is faulty.

Some AC systems can work automatically, where the desired temperature/humidity level you set will be maintained without having to regulate it manually. If the system features an evaporator and dehumidifier, the humidity levels will be regulated better.

Heating systems are important for keeping you and loved ones warm during cold weather. Some sophisticated types can provide hot water, but they are more expensive. Ensure that you hire trusted HVAC experts for the installation of the system. They should be able to check for issues like gas emissions that can be harmful to human and animal health (pets).

To ensure that the quality of indoor air in your home is healthy, the type of ventilation system that will be installed should not be taken for granted. Apart from gas emissions, there are other pollutants like particles, odors, radioactive gas, dust, and so on which can only be expelled by an efficient ventilation system. Try mechanical ventilation for a change, if you feel that the natural method is not working as desired. Read more about that here.

 

Hiring HVAC Experts in Norfolk VA

Better HVAC technology is still being developed for greater performance and suitability in the homes of consumers, no matter the structure of the property. The innovative ideas are targeted at improving features such as functionality, compatibility, design, and other aspects. 

If you are a resident in Norfolk VA, ensure that your chosen experts have the necessary certification and other professional requirements. Certified. They must have the necessary experience to handle new tech in case your budget can handle the expenses. The firm’s reputation as regards the rate of customer satisfaction should also be considered.

It is advisable to be in contact with experts who can attend to issues with your HVAC units/system at any time of the day (24/7). This is good in case of an emergency. You do not want to be freezing during the winter or nearing suffocation in your home at any point in time.

Homeowners should exercise some level of patience in deciding which company to hire for the installation/repair of their heating, ventilation, and air conditioning units/system. They should learn as much as you can about the products available in the market before placing your order.

 

Read more about that here: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Heating,_ventilation,_and_air_conditioning

For property owners, the health of the tenants needs to be considered. That fact that you are not an occupant of the building should not mean you should install heating, ventilation, and air conditioning systems that are below par.

With the information contained in this article, regrets can be avoided. The systems can cost a lot to acquire so you must make that non-regrettable buy. High quality products should be targeted regardless of whether it is an old or new property.

 

 

 

Virginia HVAC and Plumbing Companies for Hire Explain Systems Functions

In CategoryTim Whitcombe
ByGardenAdvice Tim Whitcombe

 

A HVAC unit is an essential device for your home because it heats and cools your home. When you install a first-rate HVAC unit, you can say goodbye to extreme summer and winter temperatures. 

Have you have ever wondered how the HVAC in your home works? Well, let the professionals at  https://www.dmselectservices.com/fairfax-station-va-hvac-repair explain. 

 

Types of Heating and Cooling Distribution Structures

Knowing how each type of distribution structure works, will give you a clearer understanding of how the one in your home works.

Forced Air – This mechanism uses a blower to push cold and hot air through metal ducts. The hot and cold breeze are pushed through different ducts but that is dependent on whether you’re using the air conditioner or furnace. 

These systems are prone to blowouts and as they malfunction or stop working as they get closer to their lifespan. There are volume issues with the cheaper ones. 

Gravity Systems – These function along with the “hot air rises and cold air sinks” theory. Therefore, gravity and air conditioning mechanisms cannot be used jointly. Gravity mechanisms are installed in basements. When turned on, the hot wind goes the ceiling, heats your home then falls when it cools. The cycle continues. 

Radiant Systems – These are similar to gravity systems in that you can’t use them along with air conditioning ones. Radiant heating heat rooms via heat devices such as radiators, which circulate heat throughout a room. The main disadvantage of using these is that the pipes used to carry hot water tend to breakdown because they deteriorate or there’s a buildup of mineral residues.  

HVAC System Parts and their function

Understanding how the different parts of your HVAC unit works is important. Although there are several models with special features, there are few differences between them. Each unit has four major parts.

  1. Furnace: The furnace contains a heat exchanger that burns oil or natural gas that heats the air to the correct temperature. The furnace is usually placed inside in the basement, attic or a closet space designed solely for it.  
  2. Air conditioner: This device is placed outside. Electricity and coolant liquid in the air conditioner lower the temperature
  3. Ductwork: This is the transport mechanism whereby both hot and cold air are carried to every section of your home.
  4. Thermostat: This is the core of the HVAC unit. It works like a switch to turn the unit on and turn it off. It also regulates the temperature and controls other special features you might have installed with your HVAC.   

The core of the HVAC System

The thermostat is the heart of your heating system. It is heat-sensitive. It controls the temperature in your home and responds automatically to the present temperature.

When you establish the set point, the temperature is set manually and the thermostat will respond by turning off the furnace if the temperature does not correspond with the set point. The bimetallic element is the key component that either contracts or expands when there is a change in the temperature inside your home.

Older thermostats models have two visible contacts. The bimetallic element bends as the room cools and contact electronically before the second contact is made. The second contact results in activating the system, and this starts the heating mechanism.  For more info check this URL: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Heating,_ventilation,_and_air_conditioning

Modern thermostats

Modern thermostats don’t function like the older ones since the contacts are closed to the elements. They are protected behind glass.  As the temperature falls, the contacts straighten. A steel bar and a set of magnets close the contacts to complete the electrical circuit whenever the temperature gets too low.

It works directly in the opposite way when you have to turn off the furnace.

Modern thermostats are more accurate than the older models. They also last longer because the electrical contacts are protected behind glass.

Conclusion

A HVAC system is not a complicated device. Basically, it is a furnace and an air conditioning system. The thermostat controls the way your unit works.

If you are planning to install a new HVAC unit in your home, you need to do a thorough research. Select several companies and ask for quotes and get a professional to come and do an inspection of your home. The costs will be dependent on the type of house you have and its layout.  

 

 

 

 

 

 

The hidden value of trees

In CategoryTim Whitcombe
ByGardenAdvice Tim Whitcombe

There was a time, not so long ago, when large trees in the garden were seen as a problem. Now that way of thinking is rapidly becoming outdated. The need to take urgent action on climate change is making people more aware of the value of trees and plants as a means of taking carbon out of the atmosphere, and how that’s just as relevant in an English garden as it is in the rainforests of the Amazon. This, in turn, is acting as a reminder of all the other amazing things that trees can do for us and how much pleasure they can bring.

How it works

Just how do plants store carbon? It’s part of the process of photosynthesis, whereby they use the energy from sunlight to power a chemical reaction between water and carbon in the atmosphere in order to produce food. This, in turn, enables them to repair damage and grow. Waste carbon is secreted into the soil while other carbon remains bound up in plant tissue. If wood is used to make furniture, building materials and so forth instead of being burned or allowed to rot, the carbon remains stored safely within it.

 

Chestnut Tree

Unfortunately, when large areas of forest are destroyed or when long-frozen peat bogs thaw out, releasing carbon stored thousands of years ago, the carbon they contain goes back into the atmosphere. We can all work to counter this by planting as many trees as we can – either indirectly, through actions as simple as using the search engine Ecosia, to directly, in our own gardens.

Different types of trees

When it comes to storing carbon, not all trees are created equal. Fast growing trees like sycamore and chestnut, which have traditionally been seen as weeds, are starting to be valued more because of the speed with which they can do it. Other trees, however, offer their own environmental benefits. Flowering trees like cherry, apple and acacia help to support bees, which is particularly important at a time when bee populations are in decline. Hawthorn, birch and oak provide multiple sources of nutrition for wild animals and birds, supporting the wider ecosystem. Studies suggest that most trees do best when in the company of different species rather than more of their own kind, probably because they’re not competing for the same balance of nutrients in the soil.

Caring for your trees

If you want your trees to prosper, you can help by ensuring that they’re well supplied with nutrients – especially when they’re young saplings – and that they’re protected from injury and disease. The best tree surgeons in West London can offer experts skilled in this sort of work – despite what some people think, they’re not just there to chop trees down but offer a wide range of other services. If you have a problem with trees blocking the flow of light into your home, pruning them or training them so that they grow in a different direction is a much better option than simply removing them. You can also shape them deliberately to form attractive features like bowers or to provide shade for key areas like your driveway. On hot summer days when you want to be outside but not get too much direct sun exposure, having a tree-shaded spot in the garden is ideal.

 

Oak Tree

Green cities

Increasingly, city planners around the world are looking for ways to introduce more trees to the urban environment. As well as helping to tackle larger scale problems like climate change, trees help to purify the air locally, reducing the effects of pollution, as well as releasing oxygen and soaking up excess heat. They muffle the sound of traffic and there’s increasing evidence that just seeing them has a positive effect on mental health, just one more reason to look after our trees. In Japan, ‘forest bathing’ (shinrin yoku) has been practised for centuries as a means of reducing stress and promoting emotional wellbeing.

It’s probable that the cities of the future will be much greener places and that we’ll all be better off as a result. While councils always take their time turning ideas into plans and plans into action, however, homeowners can get on with planting and caring for trees right away. Even renters have the option of keeping smaller trees in pots and planters as long as they have a bit of outdoor space. These trees have immediate benefits for all of us and by soaking up carbon they also help to keep the Earth healthy for future generations.