Editorial

This is the best editorial for Oklahomans by Oklahomans.

Prime Your Outdoor Deck for Winter’s Unpredictable Weather

justin brotton - Friday, March 10, 2017

by Margo Waldrop

Summer has quickly turned into fall, which means it is time to winterize your outdoor deck. A well-built deck can serve as a great outdoor living space for your family for years and years, but it does take a beating from weather and extended use. Sealing and staining your deck will maintain the integrity of the wood and keep your deck beautiful and ready to stand against harsh weather.

Before you head to Lowe’s for sealant, test your deck with a cup of water. Splatter water on several areas of the deck. If the water beads up then you are safe for the winter, if the water soaks into the board, then it is time to reseal your deck.

Food stains and ground-in dirt can ruin your decks veneer, so you will need to clean your deck before you reseal. A power-washer, or scrub brush and soap will do the trick. Allow it to dry thoroughly before you seal or stain.

If there are damaged boards, sand them down after the deck is dry. If you have peeling or missing stain in large areas, you may want to strip off the current stain and start fresh. Follow the manufacturer’s directions for staining your deck, but keep in mind, it sometimes takes 2 to 3 coats for it to achieve the look you desire. Once the stain has cured properly, then it is time to seal your deck with a water repellent sealer.

A well planned maintenance routine doesn’t have to be time consuming, but it will keep your deck looking almost brand new season after season.

for more information please go to http://www.okcbackyard.com
 

5 Surefire Ways an Outdoor Deck Will Add Value to Your Home

justin brotton - Friday, March 10, 2017

by Margo Waldrop

Everyone wants to add value to their home, whether that is for resale or just peace of mind. Creating an open air living space with the addition of an outdoor deck is a great way to invest in your home’s future. How? By making sure your outdoor deck checks these five boxes:

Budget Friendly

Most homeowners love upgrading their homes: fences, extensive landscaping, updated lighting, new tile floors……the list goes on and on. But one thing that is on everyone’s wish list is to add more livable space. Space for kids to play, guests to be entertained, or just more living space, period. To do that, however, can be costly. Adding a new room to an existing home can be double the price, per square foot, that the original home cost to be built. Fortunately, there is a great way to skip past this pulse pounding expense - outdoor living. And what comes to mind when we think of outdoor living? A backyard deck. It is the perfect way to extend your living space without the mile high cost. Adding an outdoor deck is a fraction of the cost of actually building onto your house and the benefits are endless. Expanded space for entertaining, room for the kids to play, a relaxing place to unwind and a cost effective way to upgrade the standard of your home. A win for your wallet and a win for your home. Win, win!

Out-of-the-box

Decks can be built to satisfy even the most active imaginations, this is the time to let the creative juices flow. The uniqueness of your deck can add value to your home by allowing it to stand out from the crowd. This is priceless in resale. For a quick sale, your home must plant itself in the buyer’s mind and a ‘wow’ deck is a great way to do that. This is where a creative deck design comes into play. This is your deck and your home, it has to fit the needs of you and your family, but a touch of flair certainly won’t hurt either. And why stop at the deck? This is also a great excuse to spruce up your landscaping. Add some privacy to the deck with a lush hedge, or sprinkle in some colorful pansies or petunias. Let your imagination run wild. Your backyard is your oasis, let ‘er fly!

Functional

How your deck functions for your family, is its most important design feature. Building your deck with a purpose in mind will not only increase your enjoyment but will add value to your home for a future resale. Are you a master cook who wants an outdoor kitchen space? Then your deck should have easy access to your kitchen and enough room for a sizable table and chairs. It should also have plenty of room for a grill and even a gas line. If entertaining guests is part of your lifestyle then your deck should have plenty of seating and room to easily move around. If you have small children then limiting the height of the deck and the amount of stairs will need to be considered. Having a purpose for your deck with make it a valuable addition to your home and will help you reap the rewards of your investment now and in the future.

High Quality

Penny pinching is great for the supermarket, but not for adding a structure to your home. Quality is crucial when building your outdoor deck, and for good reason. Cheap materials and labor can cost you big time in the long run. Rotting wood, insect infestation, and bowed boards are consequences of a cheap build. You wouldn’t want the inside of your home to be saturated with these issues, so to keep a sound investment, you need to protect the outside as well. Take your time and do your homework. Choose a builder who is not only licensed and bonded, but has a great track record as well. Are they easy to get a hold of? Do they offer free consultations? Are there previous customers or testimonials available for you to review? Are they knowledgeable about your area and any issues your outdoor environment might present? Lastly, make sure they have a maintenance plan for your deck. Keeping your deck in great condition starts at day one and lasts the lifetime of the deck. A little maintenance goes a long way in keeping your outdoor investment worthy of your hard earned dollars.

Enjoyable

The most important feature of your new deck will be its personal value to you and your family. It’s always a smart move to think ahead, concerning the resale of your home, but the best thing you can do as a homeowner is to enjoy your home, now. Let your indoor and outdoor space serve your family by tailoring it to your needs and desires. Choose a stain color that soothes you and encourages you to be outside. Configure your outdoor kitchen to suit your family chef. Design your deck to allow for every aunt and uncle you have to come visit. String purple lights and plant every prickly bush you can find. In other words, make this deck yours and yours alone. Resale will come later. The love you have for your home will show in the pride you take with its care, and that will pay off later on down the line when you are ready to move on. Enjoy your backyard, it’s yours after all.

So when planning your new deck, consider these five surefire features. The future value to your home should always be considered with any additional structure you add, but the most important quality is the enjoyment it will allow your family to have together. There is nothing better than fresh air, and a personalized space to enjoy family and friends, so the true value of your outdoor deck is the space it occupies in your life.

for more information please go to http://www.okcbackyard.com
 


5 Critical Reasons to Keep Your Tree Branches Trimmed

justin brotton - Friday, March 10, 2017

by Margo Waldrop

There is something about the richness of healthy, green trees that calms us and helps us to appreciate the wonder of mother nature. If you are lucky enough to live on a greenbelt, on in a wooded neighborhood, then the health of trees is even more important. To keep your landscape beautiful, trees need to be regularly trimmed. Here are five important reasons why you need to keep the pruning shears handy:

1. First and foremost is safety – Dead branches can easily break during storms, high winds and even ice. Unfortunately, falling branches can cause serious injury and even death. Weak branches are also capable of becoming flying missiles during severe storms, so the need to keep your dead branches pruned or removed is essential.

2. Protect your home – Not only can dead branches cause injury to humans, but they damage your home as well. Branches hanging over your roof can break and harm shingles, roof structure and guttering. Overgrown branches also tangle with powerlines, which can be its own danger during a storm.

3. Prevent the spread of disease – Web worms, and other issues can cause your trees to become diseased, and fragile. A good tree pruning will help keep disease contained and unable to spread to other foliage.

4. Improve your view – Over time, trees can become one big canopy and while their shade is welcome, the canopy can also block your view. If you have a lake or golf course view you wish to protect, then keeping your trees trimmed can prevent too much overgrowth.

5. Encourage a healthy tree – The overall health of your tree is protected when the branches have been properly pruned. New branch growth, fruit production and stronger roots can all result from keeping those branches trimmed.

Maintaining the health of your trees doesn’t have to be time consuming, but the effort certainly pays off. Not only do trees add oxygen to the atmosphere but they provide privacy and a peaceful beauty to your environment.

for more information please go to http://www.landscapesokc.com
 

3 Reasons Why Your Kitchen Needs Energy Efficient Windows

justin brotton - Friday, March 10, 2017

 

by Margo Waldrop

Windows and doors are infamous for being drafty, energy bill killers. Inconsistent seasonal temperatures only add to their inefficiency. Fortunately, there is an easy fix. New energy efficient windows and doors can turn your monthly utility bills into a blessing instead of a curse. In fact, replacing older windows with ENERGY STAR® certified products can save, on average, over $500 annually.

Energy efficient windows contain an insulating unit of two or three glass panes as well as Low-E overlays, Argon gas fill and other protective features that prevent the transfer of heat and cold. The following three features make energy efficient windows well worth your while.

Double or Triple Paned

Double or tripled paned windows provide an extra layer of protection against air leakage and heat transfer. They are designed to help your home maintain a consistent temperature so the heating and air-conditioning systems don’t have to work so hard.

Low-E (Emissivity) Glaze

The protective glaze on Low-E windows protects your home by keeping heat from escaping in the winter, or invading in the summer. It also allows visible light to enter your home while protecting against harmful ultraviolet light.

Argon Gas Fill

Compared to normal air, Argon gas is extremely efficient at reflecting heat. Windows with this feature have Argon Gas compressed between the panes of glass. This helps to ensure a stable, comfortable climate in your home as well as noise reduction.

While the initial investment for energy efficient windows is slightly higher than normal windows, your return on investment will multiply over time. Utility bills will be much lower, and the comfort of your home will be dramatically increased.

Fore more information go to http://www.okcwindows.net or go to http://www.okckitchenandbath.com
 


 





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