Living Around a Fireplace InstallationLiving Around a Fireplace Installation

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Living Around a Fireplace Installation

I happen to know a thing or two about living in a home while a new fireplace is being installed. It takes some time for the process to be completed, and the inconvenience can feel pretty intense, but there are tips and tricks you can use to make the process easier on the entire family – like turn a bedroom into the living room (if the living room is where your new fireplace is going, of course) when the construction gets a little loud. In the fifty years that I've lived in this home, I have experienced my fair share of home improvement projects. I decided that maybe some of my experience can help others who are looking to complete their own projects, like installing a new fireplace. Enjoy!

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What Pool Trends Are A Low Maintenance Must-Have?

A home swimming pool isn't just an investment -- it's a lifestyle. A swimming pool provides you and your family with a private place to play and relax and can make you the automatic host for parties and social gatherings with friends. However, swimming pools also often require you to expend quite a bit of effort and money, particularly during the spring months after your pool has remained dormant (or drained) all winter. This doesn't have to be the case, as advances in technology now provide a variety of ways for you to design and install an attractive and low-maintenance pool. Read on to learn more about some pool design trends that can dramatically reduce the amount of time and effort you spend maintaining your pool -- leaving more time for swimming, socializing, and relaxing.

Natural design pools

Traditional in-ground pools are generally composed of a fiberglass or plastic hull that is inserted (along with the necessary plumbing) into a hole in the ground. However, a trendy and energy-efficient spin on this tradition is to construct a pool from natural elements (or natural-looking elements, like artificial rocks and shrubs) and use plants, rather than chlorine and filters, to clean the water. These pools can be made to look as sleek and sophisticated as a fiberglass pool, or may give more of a rustic, pond-like element.

Because the filtering plants you'll use in your pool will be native to your area, there won't be any need to drain your pool during the winter -- these plants will "hibernate" and then begin cleaning again each spring. After you've set up the initial miniature ecosystem in your pool, your only maintenance requirements will be to occasionally replace plants as they die off. There are also automatic cleaners and vacuums that are designed for use in natural pools and can help remove any debris that the plants can't tackle (or debris created by the plants themselves) without harming the pH balance of the water.

The construction of a natural pool can also be a great option for those who are sensitive or allergic to chlorine or other chemicals commonly used to clean and filter pools. Natural pools can be used by everyone, even those with ultra-sensitive skin, and won't require you to use special moisturizing lotion or take a shower after use.

Automatic cleaning equipment

If a natural pool isn't in the cards for your family, you can still minimize the amount (and ongoing cost) of maintenance by investing in some automatic pool cleaning equipment. A variety of self-cleaning devices are available at a price range of $150 to $2,000 or more.

Most of these cleaners operate as vacuums. If you don't have an automatic cleaner and live in an area that tends to have dust, leaves, or blowing debris, you'll find you spend a lot of time skimming leaves off the surface of your water and emptying your pool filters after they've become clogged. If you have heavy debris, or if you don't skim it from the surface in time, you may also have to invest in a long-handled water vacuum -- like a carpet vacuum cleaner, this device helps suck up leaves and debris from underfoot.

By purchasing automatic pool cleaning equipment, you can avoid this hassle. These cleaners operate like robotic vacuums, constantly patrolling the pool in search of debris. Many of these cleaners can be put on a schedule so that they operate only when you're not home -- others have sensors that will allow them to remain in use (at a safe distance) while you're swimming. You'll only need to empty these vacuums' filters occasionally, rather than perform the skimming and vacuuming yourself.

To learn more, click here for info about swimming pool supplies that can help reduce the work your pool requires of you.