Use the Right Materials for an Abundant Garden and Vibrant Landscaping with Lloyd Enterprises, Inc.

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When choosing materials for a landscape project, our first thoughts are of the variety of plants and flowers, but the dirt beneath them is just as important. It’s essential to select the right materials for soil health which is the foundation of an abundant, lush lawn and garden. Gardeners need to choose between organic topsoil or fill dirt, and bark mulch or decorative rocks. The choice is different for every property and the homeowner’s landscaping style.

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The Difference Between Top Soil, Dirt and Organic Compost

If you’re looking for the right material to help you grow a plush and growing landscape around your home, fill dirt – often deprived of any organic matter – isn’t the option for you. Therefore you’d choose topsoil. Topsoil is loaded with vital nutrients that allow your plants and flowers to grow.

However, fill dirt still has many purposes; as the name implies it’s used to build a stable base by filling holes or low spots in the ground or yard. You can also pack on topsoil if you want to use that land for vegetation.

Compost is known to gardeners as “black gold.” It is a dark, rich, productive soil amendment made of biodegrading plant and organic animal matter that completes the natural soil cycle. There are many benefits to using compost which allows for vegetables to feed themselves more efficiently, and it may also improve their flavor profile and nutrition. According to the EPA, research shows that compost enhances the ability of tomatoes and other vegetables to fight common diseases. Compost has significantly reduced or replaced pesticides which is safer for the plants, food, and gardener. Keep in mind that compost is a concentrate that needs to be mixed with native soil if being used as a backfill.

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Contractor and Homeowner Services

Lloyd Enterprises, Inc. offers delivery of a complete line of landscape materials, and their expert staff can help you choose which options are right for your property and specific landscape needs. Topsoil, fill sand, and organic compost can be delivered right to the property putting the homeowner who loves to dig in on DIY projects in complete control of the project. If the homeowner would prefer professional services, Lloyd Enterprises heralds a combined workforce of more than 100 specially-trained contractors.

Are you looking for a large order of crushed and washed gravel? Do you need a substantial, bulky amount of decorative rock? Are you ordering four cubic yards of topsoil? Landscape materials are often bulky, heavy and let’s face it, dirty. They’re not always going to fit in the back of your sedan, and even your truck bed might not be big enough for the project at hand. Lloyd Enterprises offers contractor and homeowner services like delivery and administering materials designed to simplify any small or large landscape or earthwork project.

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Tip: Lloyd Enterprises’ landscape material calculator assists you with accurately ordering the amount of gravel you need for your driveway, play-sand for your sandbox, or topsoil for your lawn. Before ordering, use this calculator to estimate how much product you need.

Drop Box Services: Drop boxes are delivered to your site and picked up when they are full, saving you trips to the dump or recycle yard. They are fully equipped with convenient side doors for easy access to load with or without any heavy equipment. Drop boxes accept concrete, asphalt, dirt, brush, stumps, demolition debris and construction debris.

Earthwork: Large scale projects require heavy equipment, professional training and a large number of materials. Lloyd Enterprises is equipped with all three to take on any size project from small to complex. They offer site preparation, preloading, road construction, cut and fill, cement and soil treatment, wetland mitigation, athletic ball and field construction, underground utilities, concrete and asphalt recycling, demolition, and wood and yard waste.

Contact Lloyd Enterprises, Inc. for your landscape materials and construction needs.

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Springtime Exterior Home Renovation Guide with Anderson Remodel & Construction

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Choosing remodeling and renovation projects is stressful, but with the right partner, it can be an exciting time to change things up in and around your home. The experienced and educated general contractors at Anderson Remodel & Construction are committed to building a trustworthy, lifelong relationship with you. From the attic to the basement, inside and out, when it comes to remodeling and renovation, they will treat you like family.

Spring is a favorite time for homeowners to begin renovation projects they put on hold during the winter. And after a particularly rough season, there are specific projects that need addressing due to bad weather that damages the home’s exterior.

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Rebuilding and designing a new deck

The key to a successful deck is the quality of building materials, projected lifespan and the purpose it serves for your household. The popular choices for composite decking and railing materials are more expensive than traditional wood, but they last much longer. Building a deck isn’t typically a DIY project, and we advise you look into a professional contractor from Anderson Remodel & Construction. When considering a new or upgraded deck, you should know that it’s not merely about renovating but rebuilding. Without the proper technique and knowledge, poor positioning of floor joists or fasteners and improperly built concrete footings can increase the cost of your project.

Inspecting and fixing siding and rain gutters

Siding is on the frontlines of brutal weather. It takes a slashing from the wind, pounding from the hail and chips away in the regular wet and humid days. Quality siding needs to be strong enough to withstand everything that the Pacific Northwest throws at it. Your siding should be inspected and potentially partially or entirely replaced with high-performance, energy-efficient options. Along with siding, have your roof inspected too for any chips, dings or missing shingles.

We’ll throw in rain gutters to go along with exterior siding. Regardless of the quality of siding, without properly installed and functioning rain gutters, homes are defenseless against rain storms. Water from the rain not properly disbursed could erode the soil around the foundation, leak in the basement or cause other cosmetic issues to the siding. Rain gutters need an inspection after a harsh winter season, particularly in the Pacific Northwest where it rains year-round. The rain gutter systems should lead water away from the house and keep leave and other objects from clogging up the system.

Investing in a new fence

Is your wood fence deteriorating and rotting? Are there post casualties and severe damage? If it’s time for a new fence, there are several factors to consider. First, think about the future of your fence and the amount of money and time you’re willing to spend on maintenance. Building or replacing a fence is a significant investment. Thus it’s essential to evaluate the many material options available. For example, while offering privacy, wood fences need to be stained, treated and repaired annually if you want them to look new and pristine. Aluminum fences, similar to the look of wrought iron but cheaper, don’t offer full privacy but is an appealing look to many yards. Secondly, consider that your HOA may also have a say in the materials, style, and height of fences. A professional contractor has the specialized tools and experience needed to fence your yard and can obtain the proper permits.

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Anderson Remodel & Construction provides free estimates and offers a five-year guarantee in writing against any defects in craftsmanship. They are committed to providing a clean and safe working environment, ethical and professional service, and pledge to meet your standards. Their home repair projects cover every inch, both inside and outside. From that new deck to custom built-in furniture to the sparkling new kitchen, they have you covered.

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Easy DIY Plumbing Tips from Pac West Plumbing

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Plumbing and electrical projects are not simple DIY fixes. Some homeowners have years of experience or training and can fix a leaky faucet without using Google. But beginner homeowners or those without any true knowledge should be careful when tackling any at-home plumbing and electrical projects; sometimes you can cause more damage when you don’t know what you’re doing.

Pac West Plumbing has served the Puget Sound area for more than 20 years with fast, affordable and reliable plumbing services. They can handle all projects from emergency flooding to installing beautiful new fixtures.

Always be safe and don’t take risks when it comes to plumbing projects. Here are three very simple, hacks you can try for minor plumbing problems. If it doesn’t work, don’t worry, the professionals at Pac West Plumbing can repair your issue in a customer-focused manner.

Before beginning any plumbing project, first, you must stop any flowing water. Bend down and look behind the toilet, locate the valve and turn it to stop the water from flowing immediately. You’ll also want a bucket or two of water to help flush the toilet during and after your project.

Use a shop vacuum to remove stuck objects

If you have kids you know it’s not difficult to imagine a toothbrush, dolly or a set of keys stuck in the toilet. If you have a shop vacuum at home, try that first. It’ll suck out the water first and then pick up whatever is stuck in there. If that doesn’t work, contact Pact West Plumbing for a professional who can get the object removed right away.

Fix a running toilet

Do you hear a mysterious, constant cycle of running water? It could be a running toilet which is wasting water and spiking your bill. Your first thought might be that your toilet is about to overflow. Quickly remove the tank lid, reach down (don’t worry this is clean water) and push the flush valve closed (the valve that covers the tennis ball-sized opening in the bottom of the tank).

With a wire cutter and screwdriver, you can try to fix a simple issue with your running toilet. A flapper can become worn out from mineral deposits and a new one can be picked up at any local home store for about $5.  Also, the chain that pulls the flapper up could be too long. You want it to have just a little bit of slack, so use the wire cutter to adjust the amount of slack on your wire. If these simple, DIY hacks don’t stop the problem, contact a plumber who can find the mystery behind the running toilet.

Clogged kitchen drains and disposals

Broken disposals and clogged kitchen drains are two of the most popular calls for plumbers. Kitchen drains can be clogged and damaged if there has been any liquid grease or cooking oil poured down them. Try using a plunger first and avoid caustic drain cleaners when you have a clog.

You can help avoid clogs by engaging in weekly maintenance with a mixture you can make using ingredients from your pantry. Pour a half cup each of salt, baking soda and vinegar down the drain and follow with two quarts of boiling water (the water must be hot). When you’re running your disposal, it’s best to use cold water not hot. Always let the cold water run as long as the motor is running. Grinding up a lemon can help clear up any funky smells stuck in your disposal.

Remember, don’t risk causing any more damage to your plumbing system if there is a major concern. Pac West Plumbing offers professional and affordable services so you can get your system back running properly and without any hassle on your part.

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Cordless Blinds and Safety Tips for Kids from Olympic Blinds

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The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) labels corded window coverings one of the top five hidden hazards in American homes. According to the CPSC, from 2012 to 2017 there have been 50 fatalities reported that were related to window cord strangulation among infants and young children.  The agency recommends that homes with small children replace corded blinds with shutter style or other cordless window coverings.

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If your budget or other factors don’t currently allow for a replacement, there are some important tips you can take to help protect your child.

  1. Move all cribs and furniture away from windows and window cords.
  2. Make sure that tassel pull cords are as short as possible.
  3. Keep window cords well out of the reach of children.

Click here to read more safety tips and learn about window covering recalls.

Cordless Blinds Are Safe and Stylish

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Safe, cordless window treatments and blinds come in many styles and functions. There are cordless lift systems, cordless top down/bottom up shades and motorized shades where a remote raises and lowers cellular, roller and sheer shades.

Olympic Blinds offers a great selection and value on cordless blinds and has all your needs covered with design advice, accurate measuring, affordable pricing, and professional installation. Choosing a cordless window treatment is not only safe but can also offer better quality style, function, and ease for your home.

Roller and Solar Shades

This stylish solar protection fabric blocks the sun’s harmful rays and provides energy-efficient solutions by reducing solar heat gain.

Roman Shades

Otherwise known as top-down/bottom up shades, this option allows the shade to be opened from the top or bottom making Roman shades a winning solution for both privacy and light control. Ask about the two styles, the classic teardrop, and the contemporary flat panel.

Eco-friendly Products

Olympic Blinds offers GREENGUARD Certification of 10 of our products. The GREENGUARD Certification Program is an industry-independent, third-party testing program for low-emitting products and materials. These products include cordless options like plantation shutters, cellular shades, roller shades, and sheer shades.

Plantation Shutters

Shutters are a fine window treatment that provides high-quality style, privacy and light control options. Olympic Blinds is the largest volume distributor for Norman shutters in Thurston County.

Mini Blinds

This sleep style can be used in combination with various other window coverings or as a stand-alone for a clean-lined look.

“Thank you for the work you did on my shutters and blinds at the Executive Mansion. The work is outstanding. The Sun Room is exactly what we hoped for: The Roman shades provided warmth to the room, and the added color makes it a much more comfortable space for breakfast meetings, lunches, and small dinners.” Christine O. Gregoire, Governor, Olympia, WA

Contact Olympic Blinds to get expert consultation, design, and installation. Be sure to ask about any current specials.

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Roof Trends that Save Money, Energy and Look Stylish

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Home improvement articles are loaded with the latest trends in style and function.  Picking out paint colors and new flooring is very exciting and the abundance of magazines and television shows about them proves that. But have you wondered if there is such a thing as roof trends?

The answer is yes.

To get to this answer we have to first look at location, location, location. A home in southern California has a different interior, exterior and roof style than a home in the southeast.  New roof styles aren’t created like they’re fresh off the runway but by unique influences such as state codes, weather, changing climate, home values, and homeowner income. Other factors that play into roof trends are advancements and innovation in material and labor techniques.

Here we focus on the latest in roofing trends and materials for homes in the Pacific Northwest.

Cool roofs

According to the Department of Energy, a cool roof is one that has been designed to reflect more sunlight and absorb less heat than a standard roof. They are made with highly reflective paint, a sheet covering or reflective tiles or shingles. A cool roof can stay more than 50 degrees cooler than a standard or dark roof. While the Pacific Northwest weather doesn’t soar like in the southern part of the country, there are still significant cost savings measured in the warmer months. Cool roofs will also help regulate temperature throughout the home and in spaces like garages or covered patios that aren’t equipped with cooling devices.

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Metal roofs

Metal roofs have a very long life to give, and some may never need replacing. The coated steel or aluminum roofing systems seal out water, survive high winds and are resistant to fire, mildew, and rot. They are a popular option in roofing not just for commercial buildings but in residential homes. Don’t think metal roofs have to be boring either; today they can be made to look like shingles with a coat of granular texture. Some adverse effects to consider are upfront costs and noise. Their upfront costs may be more expensive than a standard roof, but you may not have to replace it or worry about individual shingles being damaged or ripped off. An expert can help control the noise with materials that minimize the drumming effect.

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Composite Roofing

As the name suggests, composite shake shingles are made from a blend of other roofing materials such as recycled paper products, fiberglass, and asphalt. It is a popular synthetic choice for the eco-conscious consumer as they are made with recycled products and have a 30-50-year warranty which can save money in the long run as asphalt singles last 15-20 years.

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However you decided to roof your home or commercial property, make sure you enlist the help of a trust specialist.  Tony’s Roofcare is family-owned and operated, fully licensed and insured and is professionally managed with factory trained and certified roofers.

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Five quick tips to keep your home warm and prevent damage from the cold and snow

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1. Protect your pipes

By now you should have already winterized your pipes. But if you’re concerned about the big storm causing issues, make sure you don’t get busted or frozen pipes by allowing a tiny drip of cold water to trickle from each faucet. Do not adjust the thermostat during the day while you’re away (or even bundled up at home) thinking you’ll save money; this is a prime time for pipes to get cold and freeze.

2. Seal windows and doors

Mini drafts can cause a major problem. Even the smallest leak in a window can bring in enough cold air to dip internal temperatures. If you see or feel a leak, temporary protect it with bubble wrap or a towel and then contact a window and door contractor who can fix it as soon as possible.

3. Get rid of icicles

When icicles form, it’s best to remove them right away before they fall on their hurting someone or damaging a car or parts of your home. Wear a hardhat, safety glasses and use a broom to sweep them off the roof. Don’t forget to clean them up! No one wants to trip over broken icicles on the ground.

4. Keep your driveway and walkways clear

As the snow keeps piling up, you may need to make multiple trips outside during the day to remove snow from the driveway and walkways. Once it piles up too high, it gets more difficult to remove. Throwdown ice melt or rock salt especially on steps to keep dangerous ice from forming. Watch the awning above your doors as ice can pile up here and collapse. Try sweeping it off with a tall broom.

5. HVAC and fireplace maintenance and repair

If you have a fireplace you want to make sure you’re properly cleaning and maintenance, it to keep it functioning and safe. Read our best tips for keeping your fireplace in pristine condition, and if you need extra support to reach out to a contractor for their expertise. An HVAC contractor can help make sure your furnace, heat pump and other systems are functioning properly.

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3 Tips to Fix Variable Temperatures Throughout Your House

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We don’t need to live in a house with uncomfortable temperatures from room to room. Do you notice your living room is a cozy 72 but the guest room upstairs is frigid cold? There are a few factors that can cause varying degrees in each room of your home. To help your home be more temperature efficient, correct these irregularities by staying on top of regular maintenance and call in the expert when needed.

1. Stop window and door leaks

Replace the door weather guards which help keep air and water passing through the cracks in your exterior doors bringing in the outside cold or hot air. Older or improperly installed windows and doors can also be ineffective at trapping the exterior heat from entering your home. If you feel like cold air is coming through your windows, reach out to a window and door specialist who can make sure you have the right sizes and quality.

2. Hire professionals to fix ductwork and other HVAC issues

Sometimes factors such as the location and size of a window can cause varying temperatures in different rooms of a house. A north or east facing room might be difficult to keep warm in the afternoon when the sun moves west, whereas a south and a west-facing room can be more trouble to keep cool. Some rooms may feel extremely warm or cool and not at all what your thermostat says. Remolding your home’s layout is not always the most realistic solution, but there are some other things you can easily control. This could be something simple such as blocking the sun with blackout curtains or a bigger issue like improperly sized ductwork. A duct cleaning contractor or HVAC specialist can inspect your system to make sure there isn’t a greater problem with your system.  Depending on the size of your house, a second HVAC system might be the solution to regulating upstairs temperatures.

3. Easy DIY solutions for balanced airflow

Changing your air filters regularly is one easy way to help clear up your vents. Dirty filters can restrict consistent airflow to all rooms so make sure you change them every three months or more if needed. You can also try leaving the interior doors open to each room which can help with airflow.

Of course, you can always layer up or add a small space heater or fan to instantly feel more comfortable in an individual room. But this can be inconvenient, and always running spare heaters or fans can add to your electricity bill. If you see a consistent issue with one room, it’s best to contact a contractor who can help fix this issue so you can be comfortable as you move from room to room.

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