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High angle view of a stylish outdoor kitchen, gas barbecue and dining table set for entertaining guests with formal place settings and flowers on a paved patio

10 Ways to Prep Your Outdoor Space for Summer

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It’s time for spring cleaning again. This year, don’t forget to spruce up your outdoor space, too! Learning how to choose the perfect furniture and accessories for your yard, deck, or patio can guarantee that you have a summer to remember. Here are 10 tips to get your space ready for summer 2017.

 

High angle view of a stylish outdoor kitchen, gas barbecue and dining table set for entertaining guests with formal place settings and flowers on a paved patio

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Be mindful of your climate. Wicker and teak are dependable materials that can weather many seasons of use in any climate and also select things that may be left outdoors in winter if you don’t have space to store the items indoors.

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If you live in a windy area, consider starting your patio makeover with landscaping. Adding some thick hedges or even carefully placed trees can help create a wind buffer to make your space much more enjoyable.

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To secure your furniture for windy weather, invest in weighted bases for your tables and chairs. Consider stacking furniture when not in use as well.

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Fire pits are a popular backyard feature. They’re both attractive and useful. Use yours to grill, toast marshmallows for the kids, or warm up on a chilly night. Stone and metals like copper and iron are best suited for fire pit construction. You can customize yours to match your patio’s aesthetic.

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Eating outdoors is one of the best parts of summer, but it can get messy. Choosing tables and chairs made of metal is a great way to guarantee easier cleanup after parties or cookouts. No longer will you need to deal with stains!

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Another way to keep your outdoor space clean is to decorate with cushions with removable covers. Rather than flipping to hide stains, just remove the cover and toss it in the wash to make it look like new.

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A quality umbrella can make or break an outdoor space. If purchasing an umbrella for your table, make sure it’s big enough to provide shade for the seats, too. Choose a thick material that can handle summer storms, and consider buying a model that you can angle to provide shade throughout the day.

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Be mindful of space. For patios with a smaller square footage, less is more in terms of decoration. Choosing just a few staple items rather than trying to have it all can make your space more maneuverable and visually appealing.

 

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Don’t be afraid to DIY! Shop around at yard sales or even in your own storage space for furniture that could use a fresh coat of paint or a new cushion. Spend a little time and save a lot of money.

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Decorating your outdoor space doesn’t have to be a solo mission. Including the whole family in planning, purchasing, and construction is a great way to brainstorm fresh ideas. Working together to create the best space possible is a surefire way to get you all excited for the warm weather.

Summer is best enjoyed outside, and there’s no better way to enjoy it than in a space that you’ve designed to your own standards of perfection. Taking the time to individualize your outdoor space will help make summer 2017 the best one yet.


Gardening. Lawn sprinkler spraying water over green grass. Irrigation system - technique of watering in the garden.

Spring Time Lawn Maintenance Guide

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If you want to have a lush, healthy lawn in July and August, you must put in the time and effort in the spring. As soon as your grass leaves its dormancy stage (timing depends on grass type), it’s time to start a springtime regimen that will ensure a healthy lawn all spring, summer, and fall.

Gardening. Lawn sprinkler spraying water over green grass. Irrigation system - technique of watering in the garden.

Run Soil Tests

There are many factors that impact the pH balance of the soil. If a yard is exposed to pine trees and pine needles, it could become too acidic. If there is an abundance of lime or clay, it could prove to be deficient. The only way to determine a healthy soil is to test it. Do-it-yourself soil test kits are available from nurseries and home care stores. Test your lawn’s soil before proceeding with care and maintenance.

 

Treat Weeds

Weeds thrive as a lawn becomes strained. If weeds had taken hold by the end of the previous growing cycle, they would still be present. New weed growth is also capable of taking hold and establishing itself early in the spring even before the grass can become established and strong. A selective herbicide should be used to treat weeds fully in the spring. If weeds are not prevalent, a fertilizer with weed control should suffice. Weed-preventive fertilizers and treatments are referred to as “pre-emergent.” Keep in mind that if a lawn needs to be seeded, the herbicide will also prevent grass seed from germinating. Seeding has to wait 12 weeks after herbicidal application in order to allow the new grass seed to grow and take root.

 

Aerate and Thatch

Grass that has died over the winter is just waiting to become thatch (if it hasn’t already). This grass needs to be removed, along with any remaining thatch from the previous year, to allow both existing and emerging grass the room it needs to breathe and absorb both sunlight and water. While raking and removing thatch, you should check the lawn for compaction, which can occur from the weight of snow or ice and an overabundance of thatch. Compaction will also inhibit growth. A strong raking motion with a metal thatch rake should assist with both removing the thatch and breaking up compaction.

 

The next step in the springtime lawn cleanup and preparation is aeration. There is some debate about the best time to aerate a lawn. If done too early, it can damage emerging growth and weaken existing growth. Ideally, aeration should take place in the fall but, failing that, it can be done in the springtime when the lawn has had a chance to grow and strengthen a little.

 

Repair

There are several different approaches to repairing a lawn. Over-seeding is the process of applying a light layer of topsoil and a limited amount of grass seed over the top of an existing lawn. Over-seeding will allow the lawn to self-repair by filling in bare spots and growing strong. Patching a lawn is filling in bare spots with both topsoil and seed. Laying sod can be a final option if a lawn is damaged beyond repair, or the homeowner seeks a full lush lawn. Whichever option is chosen, a liberal amount of water should be supplied to the seed or lawn to allow it to take root and grow. Repair should take place early in the spring, once grass has begun to grow and there is no danger of a frost.

 

Fertilize

Fertilizer is food for a lawn. While it is important that to fertilize a lawn receive fertilizer , it can be overdone. It can also be applied unevenly and contribute to unused chemical runoff that might eventually make its way into the water supply. A soil test at the outset of spring is important for determining a lawn’s deficiencies. The ideal time to fertilize a lawn is in the fall. Fall fertilization allows for storage of necessary nutrients in the root system and will provide all that is needed for the following growing season. If you must fertilize in the spring, make sure it is evenly spread and applied with rain in the forecast. It is also best to use a time-release formula.

 

Cut and Water

Contrary to popular belief, watering the grass does not need to be a daily event. To create the strong, deep root system that characterizes a healthy lawn, watering deeply two times a week (or as needed to supplement rainfall) is sufficient. Daily, shallow watering makes the lawn dependent on the watering frequency and promotes shallow root growth, since the water doesn’t penetrate deep into the soil.

 

Another common misconception involves the ideal length of grass blades. Too many people cut their lawns short, often in an effort to reduce labor and increase the time needed between cuts. Dropping the mower blades too low puts undue strain on a lawn and opens the door for both burning and weed emergence. Refer to the suggested cutting height for the grass type and set the mower blades accordingly.

 

While the effort and amount of work needed in the springtime is significant, it will pay rewards all summer long.


Sela Decks Are A Perfect Way Spend Summer!

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Remember if you want to have an amazing summer, a Sela deck is always a good idea!

 

 

Contact us today for a free estimate!


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When Do You Need To Call In A Roofing Contractor Pro?

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Is your roof beginning to show its age? Are you starting to see signs of weather damage and wondering whether it might be time to hire a roofing contractor? Before you start to panic and worry over the thousands of dollars a new roof might cost, it is imperative you understand whether your roof truly does need replacing or not.

 

If the following warning signs are present, it might indeed be time to replace your roof:

 

Shoddy Shingles

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If the shingles on your roof are beginning to look cracked and dry, it is time to consider a new roof. There are a host of new shingle options available to today’s homeowner; a contractor like Sela Roofing can advise you as to which roofs are best for your house type and the Minnesota weather.

 

 

Light in Attic Crawl Space

 

If you peek your head into your attic crawl space and notice light coming through from your roof, it is time for a roof upgrade. Heat loss through a worn out roof can have a huge impact on your yearly utility costs. Make sure your roof is completely impervious to sunlight and moisture to ensure you are not providing a perfect breeding ground for mold, insects, and small rodents.

 

 

 

Moss Garden

 

 

 

If your roof is starting to look like you have a rooftop garden instead of a standard shingle roof, it is time to call in the pros. Too much moss growth on your roof can lead to rot issues and interior water damage. Keep the moss in your garden and not on your home’s roof.

 

 

 

If any of these roof problems are present, please give us a call us for a free estimate to help you better access the state of your home’s most important feature. Without a properly maintained roof, everything from your walls to your electrical wiring can be at risk. Postponing roofing repairs can end up being a costly mistake in the long-run.

 

Take a chance to assess where your roof stands this fall so you can go into winter without worries!


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Great Garden and Patio Gadgets

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With warm weather just around the corner the patio and garden will be waiting!  Spending time outdoors is even more enjoyable with the following nifty gadgets that compliment life in the garden.  The following are gadgets you may want to consider for your own patio or garden or to give as gifts.

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The E-Light is a terrific gadget for enjoying those spring and summer evenings.  This cordless umbrella light, powered by an LED light, will transform your gatherings by brightening up the patio or deck.  Additionally, this affordable gadget features a built in jack so you can plug in your iPod and bring music to the party.  The light is perfect to read by or to sip drinks along with family and friends.

 

Another stylish light is made by Mathmos and is called the Aduki Bling.  This indoor/outdoor light boasts a cool metallic sheen that can add up to eight hours of light to any setting in the garden.  While not in use, the light appears like a gorgeous golden bean.  Once the light is powered, it will cycle through one of three great colors.

 

If you live in wooded area and want pest-free yard, consider the Ultra Sonic Cordless Repeller.  This helpful device prevents unwanted pests like dogs, rodents, deer and others from roaming the grounds and getting into the garden!  When the motion of these animals is detected, the repeller humanely emits ultrasonic tones to send them away.

 

The SunCalc is a great device for novice gardeners who may need help with plant placement.  Before planting your new plants, place the SunCalc in the desired spot for twenty-four hours.  After a full day, the SunCalc will tell you whether the spot is ideal for plants that need full sun, partial sun, partial shade or full shade.

 

The Lay-Z-Spa allows you to bring place the hot tub almost anywhere in the patio or garden.  This portable jacuzzi is a British import that can be toted anywhere.  This spa holds 240 gallons of water and its pumping system and heater can have the water at an ideal temperature within a day.  The spa even features a filter to ensure clean water.  Bring it to the campground or place it out on the balcony or deck; the Lay-Z-Spa brings the fun and relaxation wherever you want to take it.

 

For patios that see a lot of entertaining around the grill, consider the Electronic Venus Flytrap, a useful gadget that rids your eating area of pesky flies.  Your friends and family can enjoy their burgers and chips without swatting insects away throughout their meal.  Without the smelly fumes of sprays, this gadget acts just like a carnivorous Venus Flytrap collecting flies in its belly.  Great for patios and porches, this gadget also makes a nice inexpensive gift for anyone who enjoys spending time outdoors.

 

The Viteo Garden Shower is a cool gadget that allows you to take a fountain-like shower before getting into the pool.  Just step on the simple white platform that hooks up to a garden hose and experience an outdoor shower from the ground-up.  A great gadget for pool parties, this device is also useful for rinsing off sweat after a morning of gardening.

 

Glow in the Dark Pebbles look like ordinary pebbles during the day, but at night they light up with beautiful outdoor displays of color.  These pebbles can make walkways and garden paths safer for strolling, but they can even highlight special plants of flower beds in your landscape.  During the day, the pebbles accumulate stores of sunlight to provide up to six hours of light in the evening.

 

Outdoor Misting Systems are ideal for those sweltering summer days or for people who live in extremely hot climates.  Perfect accompaniment for outdoor gatherings, your system can be set up to mist along the patio to provide a cool climate for your outdoor parties.  Such systems can cool your space by as much as twenty degrees!

 

The Misting Fan Cooler is not as extensive as a misting system, but it is a portable misting center that is guaranteed to cool you off after a spell in the sun working in the garden.  It has the ability to reduce the temperature of a space by twenty-five degrees.  Covering 950 square feet, it is perfect for a patio, deck or porch and can really help your guests beat the heat while waiting for the barbeque to cook up lunch or dinner.

 

All these gadgets can easily be found online and some may even be found at your local mall.  Such gadgets are useful for making the most of outdoor life and complimenting your patio and garden activities.  Be sure to include some as gifts for other outdoor enthusiasts who appreciate interesting devices.


landscaping, showing walkway, flower bed and green lawn, stamped concrete

Refresh Your Back Yard For Spring With Stamped Concrete

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Decorative and stamped concrete are one of the hottest trends for patios, driveways, concrete floors, entryways, countertops, pool decks, and much more. Decorative concrete is a very unique element that can bring beauty and design to your new or existing project. No better way to refresh your backyard just in time for summer!

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landscaping, showing walkway, flower bed and green lawn, stamped concrete

Do you want to hear more? Just Say Sela – by chatting, clicking or calling!


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Owens Corning Offers Fashionable Advice For Your Roof

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We have been Owens Corning Preferred Platinum Contractor for years, and we love installing their full line of products. Lately they have brought a touch of fashion and color trends to their line of shingles and we are loving homeowners reactions to them.

Watch the video and find out if you are a spring or a fall when it comes to roofing!

Call us or click today to find out more about all the options we can offer you at Sela Roofing!


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Winter Home Improvement: Tackle That Closet!

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Is getting more organized on your to-do list? You can start with your messiest closet…and have a fun winter home improvement project! There are tons of things you can do to customize your closets for your needs that are fairly inexpensive with high impact. To start, consider adding shelving or and over-the-organizer so that everything has its place in the closet.

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This is also a great time to pare down your belongings and donate things you no longer use or need to a local charity. Get some more ideas here!


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Checklist For Getting Your Home Ready For Spring

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Once the long winter is over, people begin thinking about the outdoor activities they will soon enjoy. You can get a head start on your plans by doing a thorough assessment of your property as soon as the worst of the winter is over.

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Here is a good checklist:

 

Roof and Gutter Damage

If you have had significant snowfall or icing during the winter, you should have your roof and gutters inspected for small problems that could lead to larger issues in the future. Heavy icing can damage your gutter system, rusting connectors and causing a hazard to anyone standing or walking below.

 

Outdoor Porches, Decks, and Patios

The outdoor structures on your home, such as porches, decks, and patios, may have experienced wear and tear from the moisture and weight of snow. These structures should be carefully inspected to ensure that the wood floors and railings are intact and secure. Problems, especially structural ones, should be repaired immediately so that you can enjoy your summer and spring safely.

 

Yard Debris

The winter snow and ice may have pulled down a number of branches from your trees and shrubs. In some cases, the damage will be complete, while in other cases, pruning may be all that’s needed to stabilize these plants. If broken limbs have caused a safety issue, you might  be able to restore the integrity of these plants on your own; but if the damage is significant, contact a tree and landscaping professional to ensure the repair is done right. Once this aspect is safely remedied, you will be able to remove the minor leaf and twig debris in readiness for spring lawn maintenance and gardening.

 

Garden Areas

If you are an avid gardener, you probably await the thaw with eager anticipation. As soon as most of the snow has melted, you can assess your garden and find areas for new plantings. Homeowners often find that garden beds and fencing need repairs or tidying before the planting can begin. Make a list of supplies, such as additional top soil, new fencing, landscape cloth, or other items that can help you get a head start on your gardening efforts.

 

Foundation Inspection

Homeowners should also take a stroll around the perimeter of the home to inspect the condition of the foundation. The freezing and thawing of the ground around foundation walls can widen small cracks that let in moisture. After inspecting the exterior, also check the interior walls to note any changes in the condition, and make note of any increase in moisture inside the home.

 

Outdoor Play Equipment

Homeowners should begin inspecting outdoor play areas and equipment immediately after the worse of the snowfall. Children are likely to start using these areas of the yard at the first sign of warm weather. To prevent accidents from damaged or hazardous equipment, check the chains or ropes on tree swings and play sets; inspect metal surfaces for rusting, breakage, and sharp edges; and check fasteners and connectors on all parts of the equipment. Also check the surface below swings, slides, and other components to make sure they are free of hazards. You may wish to resurface this area to ensure a “soft landing.”

 

Maintaining these areas of your property will allow you to begin enjoying outdoor activities as soon as warmer temperatures arrive. You will also ensure your family’s safety, which will give you peace of mind as you tend to other tasks.

 

When you need help, remember to Just Say Sela!