Pages Menu

Posted by on Feb 23, 2016 in Uncategorized |

Finding a Contractor to Maintain Your Swimming Pool

A pool takes up a considerable amount of money and investment to construct. Seeing all these colossal amounts of money go down the drain is quite an unpleasant experience. All this can happen when you hire an amateur to do the job. Care has to be taken when maintaining the pool and, therefore, in selecting a proper pool maintenance contractor. There are definitely a few things you will want to consider when looking to hire a contracting company to maintain your swimming pool. 

  1. Do a Background check. A pool is too big of an investment to just let amateurish work spoil it. If you are seriously looking for a qualified contractor, then it is time to do a proper background check. This involves looking at records relating to the business and seeking for any complaints on the maintenance company. Search for a listed accredited company and follow them, even on social media, and get reviews, recommendations, or complaints on the company. Positive reviews equal better customer service.
  2. Get Recommendations. You know that neighbour or colleague with a swimming pool? The best real-time honest opinion about their maintenance contractor is from them. It is from them that you can also settle on a targeted list of who to approach. This group is normally willing to share their experience.  They can direct you away from or to a particular set of contractors. Recommendations can also come from internet forums or community websites where people share insights into the pool maintenance experiences they have had. But care and caution have to be taken in these, as they are easy to compromise.
  3. Get references:  You have spoken to your neighbour and also gotten recommendations from sites and friends. You select the company you want and arrange a meeting. The most logical step to take is to ask for the list of clients that they have maintained pools for. If the contractor is volunteering the list of their clientele, then it’s a great sign. Go through the list and don’t just pick the top four. Randomly go through the list and choose contacts randomly. Get their honest opinion and reviews about the contractor. Most importantly, know when the job was done. This is a pointer to whether the listed clients have been cherry picked.
  4. Always listen to your gut: From the time the contractor approaches you, always ask yourself whether they are worth the trouble. Too-low estimates or asking for payment in cash can be pointers. Follow your gut no matter what.
Read More

Posted by on Feb 9, 2016 in Uncategorized |

How to Create a Mini Yard on Your Apartment Balcony

Exposure to nature is proven to have positive effects on your mental and physical health. However, if you’re one of the 11% of Australians living in a flat, you’ve probably not had the luxury of a yard to visit every day — until now. Here’s a step-by-step guide on how to turn your apartment balcony into a miniature garden.

1. Lay Artificial Grass The logistics of laying down real turf on a concrete or wooden balcony are a little too complex to make it worth your while, but astroturf is a great alternative. High quality commercial synthetic grass can look just as good as the real thing, without all the drawbacks. As long as your balcony is relatively flat with good drainage, you’ll be able to get artificial grass laid on your balcony with little difficulty. Call in a professional to ensure your luscious lawn is the perfect foundation for your new mini yard.

2. Get Potted Plants Since you won’t have any soil to grow them in, pot plants are your next best bet. A variety of plants will adapt to container growing — from flowers to vegetables. The right plants for you will depend on how much space you have, which containers you prefer, and whether your house faces the sun. If you do your research before choosing, you’re bound the find the perfect foliage for your new yard. 

3. Place Outdoor Furniture What good is a yard if you can’t immerse yourself in it? Depending on the size of your balcony and its weight limits, you’ll have plenty of options for outdoor furniture. If you like relaxing, an outdoor chaise lounge and parasol will give you the opportunity to bask in the glory of your new garden. If you’re a foodie, why not opt for a table and chairs with a small barbecue? Unless your have a balcony that can withstand a very high load, opt for lightweight, wooden furnishing.

4. Attract Wildlife You’ve got the flora — now you need the fauna. Being high off up the ground, you’re in the perfect position to attract birds and butterflies to your new yard. Plants with pollen and nectar (like lavender and honeysuckle) will create a haven for pollinating insects like bees and butterflies. If you prefer birds, they’ll appreciate brightly coloured flowers too. If you have enough space, birdbaths, nest boxes, and feeders will all boost your chances of creating your own tiny wildlife park.

Even if you don’t have a lot of space, it is possible to create a mini oasis so you can enjoy the benefits of the outdoors. 

Read More