Archive for the ‘Landscaping’ Category

Winterizing Hose Bibs

Monday, December 5th, 2016

Here is the step by step directions for winterizing your hose bib correctly, to ensure no breakage or bursting when spring rolls around.
Step One: Take Off The Hose
You can’t winterize the hose bib with the hose attached to it still. No brainer right? Detach the hose from the hose bib and drain it completely. Frozen water in hoses can cause holes and leaks too, so to keep your hose over winter it needs to be properly drained. You can lay the hose down and walk the length of it, picking up small sections and letting the water flow out. Imagine a tube of toothpaste, and try not to miss any spots. Once it’s empty, roll it up and store it for the winter months.
Step Two: Drain the Faucet
This step is quite like the steps you take to winterize faucets in your home. You’ll locate the shut off valve for the outside water line (if you have any trouble here contact a plumber to help you locate it) and shut the water off. Once the water is disconnected go back outside and turn the faucet all the way on. This will drain out any water currently sitting in the line.
Step Three: Drain the Valve
Go back inside to where the shut off was, and locate a small brass looking plug or cap. Unplug that cap, so that the valve itself will drain. Draining the water out, without emptying the valve, is useless. You must do both. Once that valve and all the water in the line have been drained, you can close the valve and shut the hose bib faucet off.
You’re Done!
It’s a simple 10 minute job, but it can save you hundreds in plumbing repairs when spring thaws the frozen winter water.

Smartphone Apps for DIYers 2.0

Friday, December 5th, 2014

Smartphone Apps for DIYers 2.0 | Spruce Grove Stony Plain Parkland County Real Estate | Barry TwynamWay back in June 2011 I posted a blog article about smartphone apps for do-it-yourself home owners in Spruce Grove, Stony Plain, Parkland County and the Edmonton region.  Three and a half years are a lifetime in tech terms but surprisingly, most of the apps I described in the article are not only still available but are even better than before.

Everybody who has a smartphone knows there are 1000s of apps out there for every possible topic. Where to find the best ones for DIYers? Start with LifeHacker’s article How to Make Your Smartphone the Most Important Tool in Your Toolbox. Then, take a look at these great articles that review the latest and greatest apps.

Home Improvement

Better Homes & Gardens: Don’t DIY Without These 9 Apps
Bob Vila: 5 Top Tool Apps for Your iPhone
Popular Mechanics: The 10 Best Apps for DIYers
Tom’s Guide: 10 Best Home Improvement and DIY Apps
Top 13 Best Android Apps for DIY Projects and Home Remodel Repair

Home Décor

Chatelaine: Six Must-have Smartphone Apps for Home Decorating and Renos
Huffington Post: 21 iPhone, iPad and Android Apps for Decorating, Home Repair, DIY and Crafts
Remodelista: The 12 Best Apps for Remodelers

Gardening and Landscaping

Best Android Apps for Gardening and Landscaping
Best Landscape Design Apps – iPad, iPhone & Android
The Dirt Farmer: 20 Smartphone Apps for the Plant Lover
NY Times: 20 Smartphone Apps for the Home and Garden
Top 5 Gardening and Landscaping iPhone Apps

Let me know what you think of these apps. Better yet, let me know if you find a great app that isn’t on any of these lists and I’ll happily share it with everybody else! Call or text me at 780-910-9669, email me at barry@barryt.ca, or contact me here.

Looking for a Summer DIY Project? Building a Beautiful Wooden Fence in Seven Easy Steps

Monday, June 16th, 2014

Looking for a Summer DIY Project_ Building a Beautiful Wooden Fence in Seven Easy Steps | Spruce Grove Stony Plain Parkland County Real Estate | Barry Twynam

 

Looking for an easy and fun way to add some sweat equity to your home in Spruce Grove, Stony Plain, Parkland County and the Edmonton region? Building a wooden fence is a great way to add beauty and value to any home. Here’s your DIY guide to building a wooden fence for your yard in seven easy steps.

Decide What Type of Wooden Fence You Want

There are many types of wooden fences to choose from, and each requires different building methods. The best way to make your decision is to focus on what the main purpose of your fence will be. If you simply want to add some character to your property, a white picket fence might be just the ticket, but if you’re concerned about keeping out street noise or keeping a large dog in your yard, you’ll want to consider building something much taller.

Make Sure Your Fence Complies With Local Bylaws

Before you start building your fence, it’s important to ensure that your fence complies with local government regulations. If you build a fence that’s declared illegal by the local government, your fence could be torn down. Many municipalities require that you apply for a permit before building anything along your property line. It’s also important to check with the local authorities to make sure you won’t be coming into contact with any water, gas, or electrical lines when you dig your post holes.

Find the Right Materials

Your choice of fence style should help you determine which materials you’ll want to use. Be sure to pick something strong as well as stylish, as you’ll want to ensure that your fence is able to stand up to just about anything Mother Nature can throw at it.

Find and Mark Your Corners and Support Posts

When it comes time to build your fence, the first thing to do is mark where your corner and middle posts will be. Stake your corners and use a square level to make sure your corners are 90 degrees. Then tie strings between your stakes and measure out where your support posts will be. Generally you’ll want your support posts to be 8 inches or less apart. Measure so that you have an equal distance between each support post and each corner post if possible.

Dig Your Post Holes and Secure Your Posts

Once you’ve got your post positions marked you can start digging. You’ll want to bury at least one third of the length of each post underground, so you’ll need some fairly deep holes. Use instant concrete to hold your posts in place, and cover the remainder of the hole with dirt once the concrete has dried.

Build Your Fence Frame

Now you can attach horizontal support rails to your fence between each post. These are typically constructed using 2x4s. Depending on the size of your fence, you’ll probably want at least two or three support rails per section.

Add and Treat Your Privacy Boards

The final step is to add your vertical wooden strips or “privacy boards.” These boards are what will give your fence its final look. Choose a style that suits your property and pick a colour or stain that you think will complement the look of the fence.

There you have it! A brand new fence in seven simple steps. Of course you’ll want to do some careful measuring and planning before getting too carried away, and you might want to talk to a builder or property expert if you’ve never built a fence before.

If you’re wondering about what type of fence would best enhance the value of your property, or if you’d like to know anything else about Spruce Grove real estate, Stony Plain real estate, Parkland County real estate, Edmonton real estate, Parkland County acreages, or Edmonton acreages, I’d be happy to answer any questions you might have. Call or text me at 780-910-9669, email me at barry@barryt.ca, or contact me here.

Splendor in the Grass?! Nope, You’ve Got Snow Mold!

Friday, April 25th, 2014
Splendor in the Grass?!  Nope, You’ve Got Snow Mold!  | Spruce Grove Stony Plain Parkland County Real Estate | Barry Twynam

(Photo courtesy of TootsieTime.com)

After another brutal winter in the Spruce Grove, Stony Plain, Parkland County and Edmonton area, you can finally look out your windows and see grass instead of mounds of snow.  But what is that dull fuzzy coating in circles on your lawn?  And how did it get there?  You, my friend, have been afflicted by the dreaded “snow mold”!

What is snow mold?

Snow mold is a fungus that shows up in the early spring as snow melts.  According to Lawncare.about.com, there are two types of snow mold.  Pink snow mold (or Fusarium patch) grows in a pinkish web-like mycelium on the surface of the grass.  When the grass is wet, the mycelium resembles white cobwebs, but as it matures it changes to a pink or salmon color.  The mycelium disappears as the grass dries.  Gray snow mold (Typhula blight) has a mycelium that stays a whitish-gray color.  If you look closely at the grass blades infected by gray snow mold, you may see tiny black mycelial masses (sclerotia).  Plants infected with pink snow mold will not have these, but pink snow mold is actually more damaging than the gray variety because it can destroy the roots and crowns of grass.  And, just to keep things interesting, it’s possible for your lawn to be infected with both!

What causes snow mold?

Many of us think of mold as an organism that flourishes in warm, damp places.  While other fungi live it up during the warm summer months, snow mold is dormant, only coming out to play when the weather is cold and wet. Snow mold especially loves long periods of snow cover on ground that is not completely frozen.  Sounds a lot like spring in our region, doesn’t it?  Snow mold also shows up in yards that were neglected in the fall:  grass left unmowed and leaves not raked before the first snowfall.

How do I stop it?

Prevention:

  • Change your lawn fertilizer at the end of summer to one with much less nitrogen.  This will slow down lawn growth.
  • Continue to mow your lawn until growth stops.  This will leave a short turf that won’t fall over on itself during the winter, giving snow mold less chance of taking hold.
  • Remove any dead leaves from your lawn so that nothing is covering the grass.

Repair:

If snow mold is sitting on your lawn right now, don’t panic.  Most snow mold damage will repair itself as the area dries and the grass grows out in the warm spring weather.  If you are bothered by the ugly look of snow mold in your yard or an allergic reaction to breathing in the spores, you may want to help things along by lightly raking the grass as it dries.  Reduce any piles of snow that still remain in shaded areas.  Overseed bare patches if necessary, and then allow the natural growth process to fill out your lawn.  For more detailed instructions on dealing with snow mold infested grass in the spring, check out “Snow Mold: Causes and Prevention”, an article from Babes Lawn Care.com.

Looking to buy a property with a great lawn or sell your well-tended garden property this spring?  Let’s talk!  Call or text me at 780-910-9669, email me at barry@barryt.ca, or contact me here.

DIY TV

Thursday, September 29th, 2011

DIY TV | Spruce Grove Stony Plain Parkland County Real Estate | Barry TwynamWhere do you go to get information for renovation projects?  The television set in your home in Spruce Grove, Stony Plain, Parkland County and the Edmonton area is probably not your first choice, but flipping through the channels these days reveals something surprising:  Among the many sports, movie and mainstream networks, there are a large number of worthwhile programs and even whole networks offering valuable information to homeowners.  Check out some of these offered in the Spruce Grove/Stony Plain/Edmonton area by Shaw Cable and TELUS Optik TV.  A little disclosure:  After you’ve checked them out, let me know what you think because I admit I haven’t seen most of them myself!

A & E

(Shaw 25, HD 233; Telus 170, HD 670)

$100 Makeover, Disaster Guy, Drill Team, Fix This Kitchen, Fix This Yard, Flipping Vegas, Flip This House, Hoarders, Sell This House

CBC  (Click on Find a Program)

(Shaw 4, HD 209; Telus 4, HD 618)

All for One With Debbie Travis, Steven and Chris

Discovery Channel  

(Shaw 32; Telus 200)

Canada’s Worst Handyman

DIY Network  (Click on Shows A-Z)

(Shaw 136; Telus 144)

A whole network of house-related programming, such as:  Decked Out, The Dirt on Gardening, Disaster DIY, DIY Hot List Kitchens & Baths, Dream House, Garage Mahal, Holmes on Homes, House Crashers, I Hate My Kitchen, Man Caves, Rehab Addict, Turf War, Wasted Spaces, Weekend Handyman, Yard Crashers, and many, many more.

HGTV 

(Shaw 19, HD 231; Telus 142, HD 680)

Too many shows to list them all here!  A few of the more popular:  Colin & Justin’s Home Heist, Debbie Travis’ Painted House, Gardening by the Yard, Holmes on Homes, Holmes Inspection, House Hunters, Property Virgins, Real Renos, Sarah’s House.  Many more.

OWN (Oprah Winfrey Network)

(Shaw 92; Telus 202, HD 651)

Divine Design, Home Takeover with Simon & Tomas

PBS

(PBS Spokane on Shaw 22, HD 204; Telus 23, HD 607 Seattle

PBS Detroit on Shaw 81

PBS Boston on Telus 54, HD 629)

HandyMa’am with Beverly DeJulio, The Perennial Gardener with Karen Strohbeen, The Router Workshop, This Old House, The Woodwright’s Shop

Slice  (Click on Shows)

(Shaw 33; Telus 141)

Family Renovation, House Poor, Shotgun Reno, Till Debt Do Us Part

TLC The Learning Channel

(Shaw 35, HD 236; Telus 140, HD 671)

Hoarding: Buried Alive, Home Made Simple, Kitchen Boss, Spouse vs. House

W Network

(Shaw 34; Telus 146)

The Agents, All for Nothing, Anna & Kristina’s Grocery Bag, Building Bryks, Candice Tells All, Colour Confidential, Divine Design, Grin and Build It, Help My House is Falling Down, Home Wreckers, Inside the Box, Love It Or List It, Making House, Million Dollar Decorators, My House Your Money, Property Brothers, Take This House and Sell It

Not strictly related to houses and real estate but still very much related to home, so we have to give an Honorable Mention to:

The Food Network 

(Shaw 29; Telus 143)

Ace of Cakes, Barefoot Contessa, Chef at Home, Eat Shrink and Be Merry, Family Restaurant, French Food at Home, Iron Chef America, Jamie’s Meals in Minutes, Restaurant Makeover, The Best Thing I Ever Ate, Tough Cookies, and much more!

This list isn’t intended to be comprehensive, but if I’ve missed anything that really should be on it, please let me know!

I’d love to help you find a house to turn into a home.  Call me at 780-910-9669, email me at barry@barryt.ca, or contact me here

 

 

 

Barry Twynam, Realty Executives Leading
#1 14 McLeod Avenue, Spruce Grove, Alberta, T7X 3X3
Tel: 780-962-9696 Cell: 780-910-9669 Fax: 780-962-9699
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