Several Uses For Garden Windows In Your Home

Garden windows make a bright and airy addition to most any space. If you’ve been thinking about installing windows like these, you may be surprised to find out how many different uses there are for this type of window as a way to complement your home’s design. Here’s a look at a few of the ways that you can make the most of a newly installed garden window.

Make it Green

If you love to garden but don’t have the space outside for all of the things you wanted to grow, consider using your garden window as an extension of your growing space. The design of garden windows maximizes light, which means that you’ll have plenty of bright sunlight to help the plants thrive. You can grow things like hanging tomato plants, herbs and similar potted items in a garden window with ease.

Maximize Your Colors

Sunlight shining through the glass of a garden window can cast an array of colors across the room. You can capitalize on this natural element by adding shelving in front of the window for glass trinkets and ornaments. The glass items will catch the sunlight as it shines through, casting rainbows of light throughout the room.

You can even set aside space in a garden window to make the most of the sunlight. For things like sun tea and produce ripening, areas like this are optimal. By doing both of these things in one window space, you get the best of form and function.

Create a Display Space

Garden windows are great storage areas, because you can add display shelving and showcase things like shot glasses, kitchen trinkets or even antique items. As an alternative, cover the window sill with an overstuffed cushion and add pillows to make a brilliantly lit reading area. You can easily curl up on the large, open window sill created with a garden window, and it makes a unique reading nook and sun seat. If you have pets, you may even find that they enjoy soaking up the sun in a space like this.

No matter what you’re looking to accomplish by installing the garden window, you’re likely to find that it is a great addition to your home. With the tips presented here, you can see some of the many purposes it could serve. Talk with a window installation technician or a company like W. T. Fary Bros Lumber Co. today to see what your options are for your home.

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Finish A Wooden Gate To Improve Its Appearance And Protect Its Surface

Learn how to sand and stain an unfinished wooden gate on your property to improve its appearance by completing the following instructions. After you have finished the steps, add a coat of varnish to the gate’s surface to keep the wood protected and prevent the stain from fading or peeling.


  • hand sander
  • sandpaper
  • lint-free cloths
  • mineral spirits
  • water hose
  • painter’s tape
  • plastic sheeting
  • mixing stick
  • paint tray
  • paint roller and handle
  • wood stain (for exteriors)
  • thin paintbrush
  • clear varnish

Sand And Clean The Wood

Sand the gate’s wooden surface by attaching a piece of coarse grit paper to a hand sander and moving it with the grain of the wood. Use firm pressure to assist with removing imperfections in the wood and providing the gate with a smooth surface. After the gate’s surface appears to be uniform and feels smooth to your touch, lightly sand it in the same manner with a piece of fine grit paper.

Use a lint-free cloth to wipe away any dust particles on the wooden surface. Remove stains on the wood with a lint-free cloth and a small amount of mineral spirits. Once the gate is clean, rinse its surface off with a water hose and wait for the wood to dry.

Apply Stain And Varnish

Cover hinges or other pieces of hardware on the gate with painter’s tape so that they are not exposed to the stain and varnish. Place a couple pieces of plastic sheeting over grass or foliage that is located next to the gate. Stir a can of exterior wood stain until it is even in consistency. Pour the stain into a paint tray. Apply an even coat of the stain to a paint roller and move it across the gate’s surface with the grain of the wood.

If there are any fine details in the wood, use a thin paintbrush to cover them with the stain. Wait the recommended amount of time for the stain to dry. This may vary, depending upon the color of the stain that you have selected. Rinse out the paint tray and stir a can of clear varnish that is designed for outdoor use. Pour the varnish into the tray and apply it by using the same steps that you used to apply the wood stain. Allow plenty of time for the varnish to dry before removing the painter’s tape or plastic sheeting.

The gate will have a fresh appearance that will enhance your property. The coat of varnish that was applied to its surface will prevent the stain from fading or peeling when it is exposed to sunny or wet conditions. For professional help with gates, contact a company like Carter Fence Co.

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Tips For Dealing With Water Around Your Foundation While You Waterproof

Wet basements are vulnerable to the growth of mildew, mold and other hazards. Persistent moisture can even lead to structural issues in the house. As a homeowner, the best thing that you can do for your home is to take the steps to prevent moisture around the basement. Although waterproofing is the best way to keep existing water from seeping in, you’ll want to reinforce that waterproofing by dealing with the water, too. Here are some of the most common sources of outside water that could be contributing to the wet basement.

The Grading Around the Foundation

One of the common causes of basement water in older homes is the erosion of the soil around the foundation. In many cases, new homes have soil back-filled against the foundation to help keep water at bay. Over time, this soil can shift and settle. When that happens, it can cause low spots along the foundation.

Those low spots can encourage water runoff because water naturally seeks the path of least resistance and will flow to the lowest available point. This may cause pooling water along the foundation and seeping water into your basement.

Walk the perimeter of the house, looking at the soil along the foundation. It should all slope away from the basement and then gradually fall away as you move a few feet away from the house. If you see any areas that have settled or have low spots, you’ll want to have it filled again after your basement waterproofing is complete.

Check the Downsouts

A roof’s downspouts can be a common cause of leaky basements. If the downspout isn’t pointed in the right direction, the water runoff from the spout can actually form a pool along your foundation. Check the position of the downspouts during the next rain. They should be routing the water away from your house, and that water shouldn’t be flowing back toward the structure. If this isn’t working, you’ll want to have a drainage channel put in or an extension attached to the downspout.

Check for Water from the Neighbors

If you have ensured that your property isn’t the source of the water, you may have a problem coming from next door. This is most common if your water issues are only on one side. Check along the property perimeter to see if you have water flowing from the neighbor’s yard into yours. You may find that their drainage is flowing directly to your property. If the grading of your property allows the water to flow toward the home, it can pool along the foundation on that side. If this is the problem, you can install a French drain system to encourage drainage.

Basement waterproofing is an important investment, but keeping the water away entirely is just as important. With these tips, you can spot any problematic water accumulation and stop it, ensuring the most possible benefit from your waterproofing investment.

For more information, contact Central Penn Waterproofing or a similar company.

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3 Reasons Why You Would Hire A Land Surveyor

As the job title suggests, a land surveyor is an individual who surveys land. The purpose of a person with this job is to collect information regarding property or boundary lines. This can be helpful during construction or remodeling projects. Whether you are a homeowner or business owner, you may find yourself in a situation where you need to hire a land surveyor. It may even be helpful to know what some of those situations could be beforehand.

Reason #1: Purchasing New Property

If you are purchasing a new piece of property, it is in your best interest to have a land surveyor come out to help you learn about the property and the land itself. The land surveyor can make you aware of any problems with the land, roughly how much value it holds, exactly what size it is, and where the property lines are. You live in a world where neighbors are quick to sue if you build something on even the smallest part of their property, so it is beneficial to know where you can and can’t build.

Reason #2: For Legal Documentation

Being an official, a land surveyor is someone who can sign legal documents verifying boundary lines and parameters. The information a land surveyor provides can be helpful with getting legal documents and permits. Hiring a land surveyor to collect information for legal documents could be because:

  • You want to sue someone and need to know the exact property/boundary lines
  • You have been willed property, but the deed is outdated and you need to know how much of the property is now yours
  • You are adding a garage, additional rooms, or driveway to your home and you need to know where the property lines are

Reason #3: Property Disputes

Neighbors can be extremely bothersome when it comes to property lines. Imagine being in a situation where your neighbor has decided to install a fence, but you think the fence is being installed on your property and in your yard. Hiring a land surveyor to come out and tell you exactly where the property lines are is a lot easier than fighting with your neighbor about where he or she can and can’t install the fence.

Land surveyors have a great deal of experience when it comes to examining land and mapping out property lines. If you ever find yourself in a dispute regarding property lines or you want to expand your home or place of business, it is in your best interest to have a land surveyor such as Michael E. Rapier Surveying, Inc check things out for you.

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Know How To Handle Common Kitchen Fires

At some point it’s going to happen, you are going to end up having a fire in your kitchen. Some grease is going to get on a burner, an oven mitt is going to end up somewhere on the stove, and whoosh, you have a fire on your stove. When there is a fire on your stove, your adrenaline gets pumping through your body, and you may not always have the time or the calm to figure out what to do. Knowing how to handle a fire before it happens means that you are going to know how to handle any fire before it happens. 

Grease Fire

Grease fires are probably the most common kind of fire in any kitchen. Don’t reach for that water when you have a grease fire or you think you have one. That’s because water won’t put out the fire. What it will do is make the fire spread out. Oil and grease don’t mix with water, they just float on top of it. Grease that is on fire will just float on the water. The best way to put out a grease fire is to smother it. Cutting off the oxygen to the fire will take away one of its fuel sources. Put a lid or cover on the pan or the burner after you have poured baking soda on it. The best way to put out a grease fire is to have a fire extinguisher that lives in your kitchen. The extinguisher will deprive the fire of oxygen while keeping it from spreading. 

Oven Fire

An oven fire can start if something falls on the heating element on the bottom of the oven. It can also start because something gets cooked a little too long. If you think that you have an oven fire, the important thing is to just leave the oven door closed. The fire will burn out all the oxygen in the oven and start to die down on its own. Opening it gives the fire a new source of oxygen and can cause a flashover which could hurt you or cause a bigger fire. 

If you do a lot of cooking, it may be a good idea to invest in a sprinkler system or fire suppressant system in your kitchen. That way if there is a fire, the fire system will automatically handle it while you get to safety and call 911. Even the most careful cooks run the risk of having some kind of fire. Being prepared will make it easier to take care of the fire if it happens. For more information, visit sites like

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How To Use A Main Sewer Line Drain Snake

When you have slow drains in your home, you typically try using a plunger or basic snake tool to get them unclogged. However, if multiple drains are running slow, it is usually a problem with the main sewer line, which needs a more advanced tool. If you want to try to tackle this yourself, you need a professional-grade sewer drain snake. Here are some tips for using this type of plumbing tool.

Find the Main Line

Once you have your sewer drain snaking tool, you need to find the main line. This will be located somewhere outside your home. If you don’t know where it is or how to find it, try contacting your home’s previous owner or ask your local utility company. You might also be able to get assistance from a professional plumber in locating it. If you have a septic tank, it will be close to where the septic system is installed. Once you find the main line, look inside for standing water. If you see standing water, you want to run the machine cable toward the street. If not, it is going to run toward your house.

Position the Snake Tool

You now want to get the snake tool ready since you know which direction it should be pointing at. Get the snake as close to the drain as possible in order to prevent tubing of the snake cord. The machine might move fast, so it is a good idea to protect your hands with sturdy work gloves. If you rented the sewer snake machine, the rental place might provide you with protective gear and simple instructions for using it.

Start Using the Drain Snake

With the snake positioned correctly, start pulling out several feet of the cable. Insert it into the main sewer drain pipe and turn the machine on. Use both hands to hold onto the cable while it is operating. If you let go, it could snap back and injure you, so keep a firm grip on the cable. The machine will be put in the forward position, with as much cable as you can feed into the drain. When you feel pressure on the cable, you are as far as you can get in the drain. When the machine is on, it will start rotating quickly to try and capture obstructions in the drain. Pull up the cable and dispose of what it has caught, then repeat the process. Continue doing this until the drain is clear.

For more information, or if you would like professional assistance, contact Royal-T-Rooter Service or a similar company.

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Phones Are Getting Bigger, But Are Traffic Lanes Going To Get Narrower?

Anyone who has a brand new smartphone knows that the trend towards bigger and better in technology is gaining steam, but this perspective might not have the same bearing when it comes to traffic control. In recent years, study after study has come out in support of narrowing traffic lanes in order to reduce crashes and increase the flow of traffic. Here are some of the major points of this argument, and how it could affect your city in the coming years.

Narrow Lanes Mean Slower Lanes

This part of the argument for slower traffic lanes might sound like a step in the wrong direction at first, but makes sense when you consider the big picture. The time when traffic needs to move more quickly is when there is high volume, like during rush hour. On the other hand, traffic during off-peak hours might not quite be as urgent, and traveling 40 miles per hour through city streets is unsafe by any measure. Having narrower lanes causes drivers to slow down during times when they could be going fast, but the smaller spaces won’t impede rush hour traffic, since the main impediment to speed here is other cars, not the width of the lane. 

Slower Lanes Mean Safer Lanes

It’s only logical that slower traffic would mean that crashes that would normally take place at high speed would be notably less severe since cars would be moving slower. A professor from Rutgers indicated that wider traffic lanes and their effect on the speed of traffic could be responsible for as many as 900 traffic deaths per year. This staggering number sounds shocking, until you consider three main logical steps:

  1. Wider lanes means faster travel
  2. Faster travel means worse accidents
  3. Faster travel also means more accidents

These three ideas all point to the fact that narrower traffic lanes, and their mental speed control on drivers, will inevitably cause a downtrend in the severity and frequency of traffic accidents. 

Narrow Lanes Still Move Traffic

According to the National Association of City Transport Officials, lanes as narrow as ten feet are appropriate in urban areas, and don’t impede traffic operations. That means that even though cars move slower during off-peak hours, the rate and flow of traffic will still be comparable come rush hour. In short, the number of cars that can pass in a given hour will still be the same since the number of lanes will not change, but cars will travel slower when traffic is less of an issue than speed. Contact a traffic engineering company like GBA INC. for more information.  

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