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April 9, 2014

Jonathan Tobin: Why Did Kerry Lie About Israeli Blame?

Samuel G. Freedman: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Jessica Ivins: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Kim Giles: Asking for help is not weakness

Kathy Kristof and Barbara Hoch Marcus: 7 Great Growth Israeli Stocks

Matthew Mientka: How Beans, Peas, And Chickpeas Cleanse Bad Cholesterol and Lowers Risk of Heart Disease

Sabrina Bachai: 5 At-Home Treatments For Headaches

The Kosher Gourmet by Daniel Neman Have yourself a matzo ball: The secrets bubby never told you and recipes she could have never imagined

April 8, 2014

Lori Nawyn: At Your Wit's End and Back: Finding Peace

Susan B. Garland and Rachel L. Sheedy: Strategies Married Couples Can Use to Boost Benefits

David Muhlbaum: Smart Tax Deductions Non-Itemizers Can Claim

Jill Weisenberger, M.S., R.D.N., C.D.E : Before You Lose Your Mental Edge

Dana Dovey: Coffee Drinkers Rejoice! Your Cup Of Joe Can Prevent Death From Liver Disease

Chris Weller: Electric 'Thinking Cap' Puts Your Brain Power Into High Gear

The Kosher Gourmet by Marlene Parrish A gift of hazelnuts keeps giving --- for a variety of nutty recipes: Entree, side, soup, dessert

April 4, 2014

Rabbi David Gutterman: The Word for Nothing Means Everything

Charles Krauthammer: Kerry's folly, Chapter 3

Amy Peterson: A life of love: How to build lasting relationships with your children

John Ericson: Older Women: Save Your Heart, Prevent Stroke Don't Drink Diet

John Ericson: Why 50 million Americans will still have spring allergies after taking meds

Cameron Huddleston: Best and Worst Buys of April 2014

Stacy Rapacon: Great Mutual Funds for Young Investors

Sarah Boesveld: Teacher keeps promise to mail thousands of former students letters written by their past selves

The Kosher Gourmet by Sharon Thompson Anyone can make a salad, you say. But can they make a great salad? (SECRETS, TESTED TECHNIQUES + 4 RECIPES, INCLUDING DRESSINGS)

April 2, 2014

Paul Greenberg: Death and joy in the spring

Dan Barry: Should South Carolina Jews be forced to maintain this chimney built by Germans serving the Nazis?

Mayra Bitsko: Save me! An alien took over my child's personality

Frank Clayton: Get happy: 20 scientifically proven happiness activities

Susan Scutti: It's Genetic! Obesity and the 'Carb Breakdown' Gene

Lecia Bushak: Why Hand Sanitizer May Actually Harm Your Health

Stacy Rapacon: Great Funds You Can Own for $500 or Less

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Ways to Save on Home Decor

The Kosher Gourmet by Steve Petusevsky Exploring ingredients as edible-stuffed containers (TWO RECIPES + TIPS & TECHINQUES)

Jewish World Review

Hardscaping: Homeowners upgrading outdoor areas

By Angie Hicks




http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | (MCT) Building experts say homeowners are turning the old design mantra of bringing the outside in on its head. Instead, they’re keeping the outside where it is but making more use of it.

The good news about this trend is that nearly everyone can participate, as savvy builders design phased approaches to fit most any budget.

Tim Niemiec of American Paving Design in Bluffton, S.C., is excited to see the interest as well as the range of possibilities.

“I’m seeing a lot more outdoor living areas,” Niemiec said. “It doesn’t even have to be a large-scale project. It’s almost like you’re creating your own outdoor room — smaller and larger patios that are really just an extension of your home. Fireplaces, small outdoor kitchens, grilling areas ... a lot of retirees move down here from the north and northeast and want to enjoy the outside areas, so they’re going more and more to these larger outdoor living areas.”

Many landscaping companies are focusing more on the hardscaping component, features like paver patios, sitting benches and retaining walls, where they incorporate different styles for a customized look while creating more usable space in the yard and bringing balance to the landscaping.

Both Niemiec and John Ruggeri, of Precision Pavers in Lutz, Fla., said they’ve seen a big increase in homeowners with pools upgrading their pool decks to incorporate more stone pavers instead of concrete. Travertine pavers, for example, have grown in popularity. They’re stylish and cool on the feet in a hot climate.

“The No. 1 scope of business right now seems to be remodeling the pool deck,” Ruggeri said. “Most people with existing pools that were built in the 1980s, ‘90s and even the early 2000s were of the pool deck nature. They had a concrete deck that was stained. Most of those are kind of outdated at this point. Most customers are upgrading and remodeling those with either pavers or travertine.”

The increased interest in hardscaping by homeowners has led to more hardscaping options being made available by manufacturers.

“We’re seeing a lot of different styles of pavers,” Niemiec said. “The selection and variety is just unbelievable now. Instead of seeing the same thing over and over again, like maybe 10 years ago when you saw maybe five different colors and two different shapes, now we’re seeing 10 or 12 different shapes and 30 different colors from all these manufacturers. So, it gives them a wide variety of looks and styles and shapes they’re able to utilize.”

Because of the increased popularity, more homeowners are also taking the do-it-yourself route in hardscaping projects. Many are also finding out just how difficult it can be to do a hardscaping project on their own. The biggest issue, both Niemiec and Ruggeri said, is homeowners don’t properly prepare the base. The result is often hardscaped areas that are uneven.

“We’ve ripped up quite a few homeowner-done patios,” Niemiec said. “They did it (themselves) initially to save their money but then they have to redo everything they’ve done and end up spending almost twice as much money. It’s really a costly process. I’m a fan of having homeowners do things themselves, but this is very physical, demanding type of work and it’s very difficult to do it right. It really takes a good eye and good knowledge to do this type of work.”

Hardscaping projects can range in price. A paver patio can cost several thousand dollars, whereas an outdoor kitchen can cost in the tens of thousands of dollars. For homeowners on a budget, most hardscaping design can be executed in phases. Niemiec, for example, said he puts together a three-dimensional design for homeowners with different options. The first option might just be a paver patio, while the second option would include a sitting bench and fire pit and the third option would include a full outdoor kitchen.

“Phases are a very, very important part of my business,” Niemiec said. “They can see the add-on that they can add later, or they can do it all at one time. It’s definitely something they can start with just a basic patio and grow from there.”

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Since 1995, Angie Hicks has been dedicated to helping consumers get the real scoop on local service companies and health providers. Inspired by the frustrations her co-founder had trying to find reliable contractors in suburban Columbus, Ohio, she started Angie's List to help homeowners find who they should hire and who they should avoid.


Previously:


Dryer vent cleaning
Home automation
Central Vacuums
Know signs of a qualified locksmith
Mold Testing and Remediation


Most water softeners are fully automatic
Property sealing your home's envelope
New thermostats can 'learn' home's routine

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