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Archive for July, 2016

Protect Your Home The Right Way

Protect Your Home

Having a carefree and relaxing holiday can be overshadowed with worry if you don’t have safe measures set up for your empty home. Whether you’re leaving for a week or a month, an empty house can be an invitation to trouble – whether it be burglars, bugs or worse. Luckily, according to this website, there are some measures you can take to protect your home while you’re away, and give you the peace of mind that you deserve.

Make it look like someone is home

While you are away, certain gadgets and measures can be used to make it look like someone is home. There are timers for lights and even for televisions and radios. You could also leave one car in the driveway and arrange to have someone mow your lawn weekly so the grass doesn’t get unruly. Also, don’t be afraid to leave a bit of a mess outside – for example, a toy or two on the front lawn will give the illusion of a home being lived in.

Turn off your water

We’ve all heard terrible stories of people who have come home to their house underwater – a pipe had burst when they were away, and it sprayed water into their home for weeks, or until a neighbour noticed and alerted them. Prevent this from happening by turning off your main water source before you leave. If you can’t find the primary water source or aren’t sure how to do so, you can get a water alert alarm that will signal if water is touching your floor. Many alarm companies (if you have monitored service) will also alert you if it detects water as well.


Hold your mail

Nothing says “empty house” more than a pile of mail on the front steps. Contact your postal service to get a hold on your mail, or get a neighbour to pick it up for you until you’re home.

Advertise Your Security

It’s always a good idea to have a visible sign that advertises your security measures. You could even go so far to install fake security cameras to deter the would-be thieves from even thinking of breaking into your home.


Despite having timers to control lights/electronics in your home, unplug any unnecessary electronics while you’re away. Not only is this better for the environment, but it’s also helpful to protect your home should there be a power surge or an electrical fire. Less plugged in = less chance of an electrical fire.

Lock up

This would seem obvious, but you can always take it an extra step. Place pieces of plywood in any sliding doors or windows that prevent it from being slid open at all. If you have a garage, be sure to lock that up as well; in fact, you can even unplug the power source for the garage door too.

Tell someone you trust that you’re away

One of the best ways you can try to prevent issues in your home while you’re away is to entrust someone to watch over your home. Whether it is a trustworthy neighbour, a good friend or a family member, you can give them a key and get them to come in a few times to check the place out. They can collect your mail, mow your lawn, open the blinds and just give an overall sense that someone is home.

A few key things NOT to do while you’re away:
• Never advertise that you are on holidays; this means no “vacation alert” answering machine messages, and most certainly not on social media. Although it is tempting to advertise tot the Facebook world that you’re going to Hawaii, this could invite trouble
• Don’t hide a key outside. Put it away for the time being. You’d be surprised at how efficient burglars are at finding these hide-a-keys.
• Don’t make your home look dark and empty. If you take the above precautions before you go away, you should be good!

Shade Options for your Backyard

Shade options for your backyard

Your backyard can be your haven. It’s a perfect place for relaxation, and to sit and read a book or sip a cold drink. In the summer, it’s the place where the family gathers to visit, to eat and to play. However, if you live in a warmer climate and the sun beats down on your yard, spending time out there can be hot.

Luckily you can remedy this problem with a shade-producing mechanism that can be installed in your yard. There are many options to choose from, each offering shade, style and function for your backyard haven. The amount of shade you need will be determined by what climate you live in.

If you reside in a hot region, then you should be shading up to 75 per cent of your garden. A cooler or more variable climate would only need about 50% shaded. Shaded areas should focus mainly on the areas where people will be eating or entertaining, as well as any plants or veggie gardens that don’t like a lot of sun. Here are some options:


Gazebos, like those at Outdoor Living Today, are a gorgeous and stylish addition to your yard. They come in both portable and fixed designs and are available in a range of materials and designs. The simplicity of installation and the beauty of their presence will make a lovely addition to your yard. They can offer seating inside, can come with windows, and even canvas shade and wind protectors for the sides. A beautiful gazebo can add that perfect element of style and shade to your yard that you’ve been seeking.


Umbrellas come in a wide range of materials, colours and designs and are an easy, portable shade option. They’re easy to move and angle to the sun’s position at any given time of day. There are several types of umbrellas out there; some come as a market umbrella that inserts into a patio table and shades above an eating area. There are other larger options, such as a cantilever umbrella which features the pole at the side, secured to its base. This way the umbrella hangs over the table or area without a pole in the way in the middle.

Shade Sails

Shade sails are like a large tarp, but more aesthetically pleasing. They are perfect for larger areas like patios, pools and decks, and their flexible options allow them to be put up in summer and taken down in the winter. They are usually made from a canvas fabric or PVC, and they allow a sturdy and lovely shade for your yard.


Imagine a lovely wooden pergola in your garden that transports you directly to a French vineyard. Pergolas are gorgeous because of the nature of their wooden beams and posts that can accommodate creeping vines and plants, which can provide a natural shade over your head. Place an outdoor rug under the pergola with a patio conversation set, and you will be all ready for an outdoor extension of your living room. You can build a pergola from the ground up, or you can purchase a kit with easy DIY instructions.

Outdoor Blinds

Outdoor blinds are an easy and inexpensive way to shade your home and keep it cool on the inside. You can find roll-up, roller and retractable blinds in a variety of colours and patterns, as well as sizes that can be customized to fit your windows. There are also bistro blinds which can be installed around your pergola or gazebo. They are perfect for keeping insects, the wind and hot weather out of your shaded areas.

Whatever you choose, there are a variety of options for your shade needs in your yard this summer. Visit your local garden supply store for more variety and information.