Simple Landscaping Around Your Home

If you want to give your home a little extra value, and curb appeal then go for plants that will flower at different times during the summer. Simple Landscaping Around Your Home will give you some tips you can work on.

Having a few evergreen trees around your house front will also give the place a good look year round, but just dont plant them too close to the house, or there root systems can cause you trouble with the foundation or any drains you might have.

Hanging Flower Pots

Flower baskets hanging around the place, or window boxes  with flowers always look good, and will only require watering, so are not to difficult to take care of, and even a few flower pots on your porch or steps always gives a good look.

Perennials

For flowers perennials are a great way to go, as they don’t require replanting each spring, nor do they require to much care.

Coneflowers

The Coneflowers grow just about anywhere, and come in a variety of colors, from red, white, yellow, orange or purple flowers.

Bees, butterflies, and hummingbirds seem to love this plant, and it will spread from year to year while growing up to 2 or 3 feet tall, and a herbal tea can be made from the dried leaves.

Bee Balm

Bee Balm is another good plant to grow around your home, with it red,pink, or purple flowers it makes a good attraction for hummingbirds and bees, and also a herbal tea can be made from it, as well as a variety of medecinal salves.

The Black-Eyed Susan

This is another perennial plant that will look good with it yellow or orange blooms, and is best planted in a large group for a more fuller look.

It can grow up to 30 inches in height, and will withstand the heat and dry periods. growing just about any place you put them.

Hostas

Another perennial that looks good around the home, and this plant does like the shade but can tolerate some sun also.

Once they are growing well for a few years, you can cut some off with a shovel, and planting some where else, which saves buying more.

They will flower in the later part of summer, and are an attracter for hummingbirds and bees.

Phlox

Phlox is another perennial that blooms in later summer, and comes in colors of pink, purple, red and white, plus it will spread out over the years where ever it is planted.

It has a beautiful bloom of flowers that attract hummingbirds, bees, and butterflies.

The Bleeding Heart

The Bleeding Heart plant will bloom early to mid summer, and will usually grow 10 to 15 inches tall, with the bees, and hummingbirds enjoying there flowers.

Having planted one in a small barrel planter it just keeps getting bigger each year.

Astilibe

The Astilibe is another perennial, that will give you flowers each year, while requiring very little care, and will spread out in your flower beds.

Its blooms come in pink, red, or white, and can be from 2 to 3 feet high, and this plant is not to fussy as to where you plant it.

The Iris

The Iris is another plant that requires very little care, growing just about anywhere you put it, but it does prefer a moist place.

The flowers on this plant arrive in too early summer in a variety of colors from white, blue, yellow, and many bicolors.

 

Daffodils

Daffodils will be one of your earliest flowers to bloom, showing there colors in early or mid spring, and once planted will return each year.

There flowers come in yellow, orange, white, red, and a peach color, and look real good if planted in groups.

These are just a few of the perennials you can grow around your home, and that require very little maintenance as they will return each spring from there root systems that lay dormant during those cold winter months.

The Annuals

The annuals are a one season plant, so if your thinking about why to bother to plant annuals, well annuals will produce the most flowers for the longest time period. They need to produce a lot of seeds for there shorter life spans, and so more flowers are produced on the annuals.

Personally I usually buy a few hanging pots of annuals each year even if they do require  more care.

Petunias

Petunias grow very easy, and come in just about any color you can think of, but do require attention in order for them to have a continual bloom all summer.

Zinnias

Zinnias are another summer flower that requires lots of sunshine for there blooming, and also come in a variety of colors, along with dalias they make a great display in your flower beds.

Marigolds

Marigolds are also another summer flower, you can plant in your flower barrels or in the garden to keep away any pest that are making a meal of your vegetables.

Geraniums

Geraniums are an easy to grow plant that will last the summer outside, and you can bring them into the house for the winter, and they will keep blooming.

If they get to large the plant can be cut back, as they seem to be very hardy, and I have found a piece of the plant broken off, so just poked it into some soil, and in a couple of weeks it had rooted and was forming new leaves.

One other Geranium to have around the house is the Lemon Geranium, at it will hep to keep the mosquitoes away, so can usually be planted near the doors of your home, along with a few Lavender plants that mosquitoes do not have a liking for.

Pansies

Pansies are also a flower that look good in your flower beds, or pots, and will like the full sun as they flower for most of the summer.

The Morning Glory

This is another summer blooming plant, and if planted early in the spring after frost they should bloom by mid or late summer.

They come in a variety of colors, and are popular with the hummingbirds and butterflies.Exposing them to the full sun will give the longest bloom time, and they prefer a soil that is not to rich in organic matter, and are able to grow just about anywhere.

Evergreens

If your choosing to plant evergreens around the front of your house, then its best to pick a variety that can be pruned and managed, growing to 5 to 10 feet in height.

Blue Weeping Colorado Spruce

An example is the Blue Weeping Colorado Spruce, that will only reach a height of 10 feet, loves the sunshine, and can survive at temperatures to -50F.

North Star Dwarf White Spruce

The North Star Dwarf White Spruce will grow in the shape of a pyramid, with the wider branches at the bottom.

It will reach a height of between 5 to 10 feet , and about 4 feet wide, preferring a sunny spot with almost no pruning involved to maintain it, so is very easy to grow.

Dwarf Alberta Spruce

Another tree s the Dwarf Alberta Spruce, which can reach a height of around 10 feet, and will withstand the colder climates.

Dwarf Japanese Black Pine

If your looking for something a little shorter then try out the Dwarf Japanese Black Pine. This evergreen only grows to about 4 feet in height, and 2 feet wide, and looks great in small gardens.

There are many more evergreens that stay small, and give a great look to the front of your home.

So in concluding evergreens or flowers will give a better look to your home even if some maintaining is required, and if ever deciding to sell the place, they will give you greater value.

You can read also Spring Clean Up Tips

 

Installing Pex Plumbing

If you have to do some plumbing at your place, than I would suggest looking into Installing Pex Plumbing for easy repairs. It will save you time and money compared to copper, galvanized pipe, or CPVC  plastic.

Installing Pex Plumbing

Galvanized Pipe

In many homes the plumbing pipes were made from galvanized steel, but the problem with these pipes is that over time rust would build up, and thus give a lower volume of water. Have had quite a few complaints from people wondering why there water pressure was so low at there sinks.

Many of the galvanized pipes were replaced in the 60s and beyond, by putting in the plastic CPVC which has to be glued at the joints, or the copper pipes which are soldered together.

In the plumbing business copper pipes take so much longer to install than any of the plastic water systems.

Then in the 60s Pex tubing was often used in radiant heating systems, for moving hot water from a heating system to radiators in your home.

As time went on Pex became more popular with being used for plumbing in homes, and in the year 2000 and up it was replacing the copper and CPVC pipes as well.

Advantages

One of the advantages with Pex is being able to bend it, as long as it is not a 90 degree turn, so it can be run often directly to sinks, toilets, or showers without any loss of water pressure from fitting 90 degree elbows.

As far as price goes Pex is cheaper than copper, as a 100-foot roll of 1/2 inch will run about $25 to $30 dollars, and the fittings are very reasonably priced as well.

Valves for Pex are from 6 to 10 dollars each, and are a push fit onto the Pex than crimped tight, making for a very quick connection and saving time, were copper fittings need to be soldered together which is something you need to be good at, plus the price of copper has gone up.

Pex tubing comes in red, blue and white, so if your doing your own plumbing you can use the red for hot water, and blue for cold, so there will be no mix up when connecting up to your showers, sinks, toilets, and laundry machine.

The fittings for Pex are attached using a compression tool on metal bands were ever a connection is needed, and there is a special cutter to cut the Pex tubing that gives a very clean cut.

The cutting tool is usually priced at about 30 dollars here in Canada, and the compression tool goes from 70 to 100 dollars, with most hardware stores selling the tools for the Pex fittings.

Copper and the CPVC pipes will bust open from freezing before Pex does, but all plumbing pipes will burst if frozen hard enough, so it is better to drain them if left in an unheated house, which can avoid costly repairs. The foam wrap can also be used to keep the hot water hot on pex as well.

Installing Pex Plumbing

Disadvantages of Pex

Pex does not like sunlight, and will become brittle if exposed for to long a time, so best to go with some other type of plumbing for running water outside.

It also requires special tools for its connections, which can be bought at almost any hardware store that sells Pex.

Pex Through Walls

If you’re running Pex through 2×4 studs in your walls, drill the holes in the center of the 2x4s, so the drywall screws will not put a hole in the tubing, and as an extra precaution you can add a steel plate over were the Pex is installed.

For any home-owner or do it yourself er Pex is an easy product to hook up, and very adaptable to all other plumbing types.

One thing that’s important to remember, is when crimping the Pex tubing to any fittings is to have the ring within 1/8 to 1/4 inch from the end of your Pex pipe on the fittings, and be sure the jaws of your crimping tool close security on the rings.

Manifolds

A manifold for Pex is considered to be a distribution point for the water lines that will run to your shower, sinks, toilet, etc.

It is a copper or plastic tube that has 1/2 inch fittings coming off it, and you can crimp your 3/4 inch line from the water pump to one end of it.

These manifolds come with different amounts of outlets on them, you just need to figure out how many lines your running off it, and buy the appropriate one.

Some also come with valves on the outlets, which are helpful if you just wanted to shut one line off for repairs to taps, or showers, but than I recommend valves close to the sink taps, and toilet to be able to shut them for repairs, instead of running down to the basement, or were ever your main water pump valve is located.

The plastic manifolds are made with a high performance thermoplastic, and will not be affected by heat, moisture, or high chlorine levels, and they also resist corrosion and scaling, so are as good as the copper manifolds.

Connecting to a Hot Water Tank

Connecting Pex to your hot water tank is also very easy, but the recommendations for this is that you have at least 18 inches of copper pipe coming out of your water tank before connecting with the Pex.

Also, if you happen to crimp the O rings the O rings in the wrong place they can be cut of with a rotary tool, or recently i have seen a special tool for this, and than cut the Pex back for a fresh fit on your connection, apply a new ring, and crimp it in the right place.

Bathtub Fittings

When you are connecting Pex for a bathtub, there is a copper stub out that is secured to a 2×4 for this. It will be positioned over the center of your tub, and can be cut later at the right length for your faucet spout after the wallboard or cement board and tiles are installed.

The Pex tubing will be crimped onto the stub out making for a very easy and quick installation.

Expansions

Another thing is that if you’re running Pex for a long distance, you might wont to leave a loop in the run for expansion and contraction, but for shorter runs the Pex can be left loose between connections, and not stretched tight.

There are plastic straps that allow the Pex to move, and are used were ever needed to hold the lines in place, and they come in 1/2 and 3/4 inch size.

Grades

You will find that there are three different grades of Pex A, B, C, with A being slightly more flexible than the other two, but the difference is so little that any of the three grades work well in the home.

So in conclusion if your looking to do some home plumbing repairs, and are looking for a money saving way to do it, than give Pex a try.

Any comments, just drop me a note,

Wayne.

Best Table Saws of 2019

Best Table Saws of 2019

If your into fixing things around your home, then a tool that’s a must is a table saw, and I will give you a review of some of the best table saws of 2019.

After installing new windows then you will find that with most of them you will need to finish them off on the inside, and a table saw is perfect to cut some pine, cedar or what ever type of wood you wish to go with down to the widths you will need.

There are many other projects you can use it for around the home, or even on a construction site.

Most portable table saws today are made of aluminum, or other lightweight materials, so are very easy to move around, and you can also buy the table saw stands with wheels to make life even easier.

One of the first table saws that I owned was from about twenty years ago, and was made of cast iron and steel with a large motor on it, and would weigh about 300 pounds or more, so was not easy to move around, unlike todays modern table saws.

Best Table Saws of 2019

Below is a review of some of the better table saws on the market today, so if you are interested in buying one, then have a read.

The Bosch 4100-09

This is a 15 amp 10 inch table saw that will give you 4 HP maximum, and 3600 RPM will give you a very clean cut for your wood projects.

The motor has a slow start, but will maintain a constant speed when cutting, and features a 5/8 inch arbour for compatible blades, also for keeping the saw at a lightweight it is made of aluminum giving it a tough durability and a long life.

The table is 29 by 21.5 inches, so you can easily cut anything up to 25 inches wide, or even wider if you want to add some stands to the side of the saw.

The Squarelock rip fence is one of the best that is engineered for maximum accuracy with every cut, and it locks in place for a very precise measurement to the blade.

A Smart Guard System on this saw gives good visibility when cutting, and protects the user. It has a built in riving knife, blade guard, and anti kickback pawls, and will require no tools to install on the saw.

Bosch also makes a Gravity-Rise table saw stand, the TS 3000 with pneumatic wheels for this saw, and with both saw and stand it will weigh about a 100 pounds. This stand can also be adapted for other brands of saws to fit it.

Best Table Saws of 2019

The Dewalt DWE7480 Table Saw

This is another excellent lightweight table saw, and weighing only 45 pounds will be very easy to move around.

It has a 15 amp motor, and cuts at 4500 RPM, so will even cut through hardwoods, and has a dust collection port at 21/4 inches so that a shop vac can be connected to it to keep the dust down.

This 10 inch compact saw features a rack and pinion telescoping fence rail to let you make fast adjustments for your cuts.

The table will let you cut up to 241/2 inches, and for bevel cuts it will adjust from 0 to 45 degrees.

It has two small feet at the back of the saw that are adjustable for keeping your saw at a level, and it also has places so you can keep your push stick and parts for the Site Pro Guard system attached to the saw.

The 10-inch blade on this saw is carbide tipped, and will cut to a depth of 31/8 inches at 90 degrees while the 45 degree cut will go to a depth of 21/4 inches.

Dewalt also has a mobile stand for this table saw which is easy to set up and take down providing excellent stability when cutting.

.Best Table Saws of 2019

The Makita Model 2705×1 and 2705

Makitas table saws are some of the best you can buy, and the only difference between the model 2705×1 and 2705 is that the x1 comes with a stand.

This model was made for professional contractors, but that only means that it would work great also around the home, and being quality built you know it will last.

The table is 24×22 inches, and with the rails extended you can cut up to 25 inches, and with a weight of 82 pounds this saw is easy to move around.

With a 15 amp motor, and turning at 4800 RPM it is one of the best in its class for power, and has an electric brake for a safety feature which can stop the motor in less then a second, plus the off on switch on this saw is large enough to work if your wearing gloves, or you can even hit it with your knee.

It also has the three-piece modular safety system with the riving knife, anti kickback pawls, and the blade guard which is very easy to move ans set up.

The saw will cut 3 5/8 inches deep at 90 degrees, and 2 1/2 inches at 45 degrees with its 10-inch carbide tipped blade.

As table saws go this is one of the best, and of an excellent quality to make it a high performance tool to have for your tool collection.

Our Next Table Saw is Mastercraft Model 055-6737-2

This saw I have used for the past 4 or 5 years with almost zero problems. After quite a bit of use the crank handle would not raise the blade, but it would go down very easy. In order to cure this problem give it a good cleaning, and an air compressor works well for this, then spray some graphite on the screw rods and thrust washers, and it should be cured. It is not recommended using a wet lubricant on this as the sawdust will stick to it.

This saw has a table size of 26×19 11/16 inches with extensions on the sides for wider cuts.

It has a 15 amp motor and spins at 4500 RPM with no load, and come with a 10-inch carbide tipped blade, some tools for blade changing, and a sturdy plastic push stick that can be stored on the side of the saw.

This saw was very easy to set up with the blade running perfectly true to the table, as I have heard that one of the newer models has a defect for adjusting the blade, so be careful when buying-check the blade.

It will cut 3 9/16 inches at 90 degrees and 2 5/32 at 45 degrees, and with this saw weighing 65 pounds it is easy to move around, and comes with a stand also but no wheels on it.

This is a very good saw for around the home, and even some construction work.

The Rockwell Rk7241S Table Saw with Laser Guide

This saw comes with a 15 amp motor, and a no load speed of 4800 RPM, and has a Maximum cut at 90 degrees of 3 9/16 inches, ad 2 9/16 inches at 45 degrees.

It has a sliding extension for the table on the left side to allow for a 36-inch cut, and comes with a laser guide, rip fence, miter gauge, push stick, riving knife, dust bag, and two blade wrenches.

There is a stand included that has wheels, and is able to be folded for moving around.

The saw weighs about 88 pounds so should be good for those home jobs or construction work.

It claims to have the most cutting depth of any saw, but then my older Mastercraft has the same depth of cut, so always do your homework before buying.

The laser guide on this saw will adjust for when the blade is tilted for angle cuts, but from my own experience I find a laser guide on a table saw- unless often cleaned- will get coated in dust, and then becomes hard to see as I took the one on my saw off.

One other thing when buying a table saw always check to see if the blade is running true to the table, or if there is an easy adjustment for setting it up correct.

Skillsaw Model SPT70WT-01

This is a 10-inch portable table saw with worm drive, and the table is able to give you cuts up to 25 inches in width.

It has a 15 amp dual field 5HP motor, which won’t heat up with any heavy cutting, and has a worm drive gearing for extra torque and power spinning up to 5300 RPM, so will not quit when cutting thick or dense material.

The saw will cut 3 1/2 inch material at 90 degrees, and the bevel cuts can be made from 1 degree to 45 degrees.

It comes with a 10 inch 24 tooth carbide tipped blade, miter gauge, self aligning fence, guard system, anti kick back, push stick, and wrenches for the blade changes.

This saw does not come with a folding stand, so it will have to be bought separately, but with the saw only weighing 49 pounds is very easy to move around.

The Hitachi Table Saw is Model C10RJ

This saw is powered by a 15 AMP motor with a soft start function, and an electric brake for safety, plus it will turn at 4500 RPM.

The table is 28 3/4 inches by 22 inches, and can be extended to 35 inches on the right of the saw for wider cuts, and comes with the riving knife, and anti kick back pawls to make things a little safer.

On this saw the miter gauge has convenient marks of 0, 15, 30, 45, and 60 degrees on both sides of the blade, and for bevel cuts it is 0 to 45 degrees, with a cutting depth of 3 1/8 inches at 90 degrees, and 2 1/4 inches at 45 degrees.

It also comes with a folding saw stand that has 8 inch rubber threaded wheels, and you will notice that the legs of the stand have a wider spread for more stability when cutting, and with a total weight of 96 pounds it can be loaded into your truck by yourself.

The fence is of a rack and pinion design, so is adjusted with a knob on the side, and also comes with a 40 tooth carbide tipped blade, and a dust port for attaching a vacuum for the sawdust.

Also, on this saw you might first have to adjust the blade so it runs perfectly parallel with the miter slots on the table, and you will have to remove a pair of bolts under the table to do this, which was not mentioned in the Manuel for this saw.

The Ridgid Table Saw Model 4510

This saw has a 15 AMP motor to spin the blade up to 4400 RPM.

It will cut 3 1/2 inches at 90 degrees and 2 1/4 inches at 45 degrees, and the table can give you a cut of 25 inches.

This is more of a heavy-duty saw for construction work or around the home, and weighs about 95 pounds but comes with a folding stand with wheels for moving it around.

The fence on this saw is of very sturdy quality, and works smoothly on the table with a lever that locks it in place. It comes with a tape measure for figuring the fence distance from the blade, which does not look like it would last too long, but if your like most people using a table saw, then just measuring from the fence to the blade usually works the best.

The saw has a place to store the tools, and replacement blades on the side of it, and the miter gauge with this one works very well.

The gravity stand for this saw is very convenient to fold and unfold, just by pushing the locking lever, and the handle of this stand is at the right height to support larger cutting materials, so will be a good table saw for around the home or for what ever else you won’t to use it for, plus it has a place to hook up the vacuum for sawdust collection.

The Genesis GTS10SB

This 10 inch 15 amp table saw is not very expensive for anyone on a budget that needs work done around the home, and it can do a variety of cuts with ease.

The 15 amp motor will run the blade up to 4800 RPM for smooth cuts, and the table is 24 inches by 20 inches made from aluminum.

Its miter gauge is larger then most for accurate cuts from 0 to 5 degrees, and the fence is self aligning, and locks up from the front and rear on the table.

The saw weighs about 56 pounds, and comes with a stand but no wheels on it for moving around, and it also has a 2-year warranty.

There is a place on the saw for storing the push stick, miter gauge, and a blade holder. The 10-inch blade is 40 tooth carbided tipped for sawing just about anything, and has the tools for changing it.

For the price you pay, this is actually an excellent table saw for around the home.

Our Next Table Saw is the King Model 5100C

This saw has a 15 AMP heavy-duty motor that will turn up to 4400 RPM, with a table that is 30 x 21 inches aluminum cast, and comes with a folding stand with 8 inch wheels for easy moving.

There is a storage on the saw to secure the rip fence, miter gauge, extra blade, push stick, and wrenches when moving it from one place to another.

The saw weighs about 75 pounds and comes with a 40 tooth general purpose blade, which can be adjusted for height and angle from the front of the saw, and will cut 3 1/8 inches at 90 degrees, and 2 inches at 45 degrees

This is not too expensive a table saw to try out for cutting around the home.Best Table Saws of 2019

The Kobalt Table Saw Model KT1015

This saw has a 15 Amp motor, and a no load speed of 5000 RPM.

With a 10-inch blade that is 28 tooth carbide tipped it has a maximum cutting depth at 90 degrees of 3 1/2 inches, and 2 1/2 inches at 45 degrees.

The table is 26 inches by 19 1/2 inches, and you have a 30-inch cutting capacity on the saws right side of the blade.

It weighs about 68 pounds and comes with a folding stand on wheels for easy moving from place to place.

Like many of the new saws it has a storage for the rip fence, miter gauge, and blade guard assembly, push stick, and extra blade on the side of this saw.

The dust chute is 2 1/2 inches so you will need an adapter down to 1 1/2 inches for some of the shop vacuums.

When setting up the fence, you will notice that it locks on both sides of the table, and might need a little adjusting.

For the price this is a good saw to use around the home for the DIY.

Conclusion

When your out looking for a table saw, try to find one that meets what you want to use it for, and within your budget. Table saws come priced from $150 to a thousand plus for the higher quality saws.

Another thing that should be mentioned is to always keep the safety factors on these saws working well, because 5 fingers is way better then just 4, so be careful using a table saw.

Some of these saws have a lock mechanism on the switch to prevent any accidental start-ups if you have children around, or even some adults, so always cut with safety on your mind.

There are other brands of table saws that I have not mentioned here, but have reviewed most of the better known brands, so always do your homework before buying one.

I hope this gives you a few ideas on your next purchase of a table saw to meet your needs.

You can read also tools for home repair

Any comments, just leave a message.

Wayne.