Pool Safety Tips Every Family Should Know

pool safetyOwning a pool can be extremely beneficial for health and morale. They are a great means to exercise, relax, and have fun with. However, everyone family, especially those with young children, should be aware of and practice pool safety. “Aside from securing the pool properly with gates and possibly surface alarms, the following are some pool safety basics that all pool owners should be aware,” says the owner of Pool Troopers, a Houston pool service company.

Be Attentive

It is important to always keep a watchful eye for trouble when anyone is in the pool. This is especially true for younger children. Each family member should be aware of proper safety protocols regarding pools, such as no running near the pool or going near opening and drains. Children and teenagers should know to avoid entrapments and to not play near them. A phone should be kept nearby in case of emergencies, the quicker the paramedics are called the better chances a submersion victim has to survive. Neighbors, family, and friends should all be aware of proper pool safety, and any guest should be briefed as well. The most important aspect of being attentive is that should a child go missing, the pool should always be the first place checked as time is very critical. At Pool Troopers, we take pool safety very seriously and support our Sugar Land pool owners.

Be Safe

Families that own a pool should all make sure that everyone knows how to swim and how to perform basic CPR for children and adults. It is also important that yearly refreshers for CPR be taken by everyone. The classes do not take more than a day and can be a vital lifelong and life saving ability to have. It is also important that each member know what they can do in a pool related emergency so that they can help without getting themselves hurt as well. For example, a younger family member couldn’t help pull someone from the pool, but they could call for help and retrieve a pool-based first aid kit.

Choosing the Right Swimming Pool

pool choicesWhen it comes to the types of swimming pools available for purchase, sometimes choosing the right one can become an overwhelming venture. There are many aspects that go into deciding which pool is best for your family and your home, from the landscape surrounding your pool area to the cost of installation and future maintenance fees. One great advantage to owning an in-ground pool is the increase in resale value it adds to your home. Many homebuyers gravitate toward homes with pools, especially while shopping during the spring and summer months. To help in making the best choice possible for you and your family, I’ve compiled a list of the pros and cons associated with different types of in-ground pools.

Things to Consider

Before you take the giant step of buying an in-ground pool, there are several important factors you need to take into consideration beforehand. First of all, you need to fully inspect the area where you plan to have it installed. Calling in a professional pool service company like Bay Area Pool Service in Sarasota is always a good idea to get an evaluation of your property. Is it an appropriate spot for a pool? In other words, are there trees in the vicinity that might pose a problem in the long run by creating too much debris or roots that could damage your pool’s structure? With trees surrounding the area, you risk the likelihood of daily cleanings due to fallen leaves, pine straw, nuts, and other objects that could dirty your swimming pool. Also, if you plan on creating a large outdoor space for entertaining guests, then check to make sure you will have enough room for landscaping renovations after your pool is installed. Décor such as a water fountain, patio tables, chairs, a pool slide, barbecue grills, and lounge chairs take up a considerable amount of space. Combined with the length and diameter of your pool, you might have less space for entertaining than you realize. Triple-check your measurements (or your contractors measurements) so you won’t have unwanted surprises later on when it comes time for landscaping and decorating.

Concrete or Fiberglass

Price is another giant factor when it comes to choosing the right pool, as both concrete and fiberglass have different costs and upkeep expenses, if you choose to go with a pool cleaning specialist or company. Fiberglass pools require fewer chemicals than concrete pools, which is why they are generally less expensive to own and maintain in the long run. But fiberglass pools come in a limited variety of shapes, unlike concrete pools, which allow you to design most any style and shape you desire. Since fiberglass shells are ready-made for delivery, they take far less time to install than the normal four to twelve weeks it takes to construct a concrete shell. For those of you who want the option to design your pool to suit your own unique tastes, a concrete pool would likely be your best choice. With numerous finishes available for the interior, such as paint, pebbles, and decorative tiles, the sky is the limit when it comes to designing your pool exactly the way you want it.

Maximizing Your Premises’ Security with the Right Security Enclosures

It’s very tempting for homeowners to assume that once they buy a place at the part of town where they want to live that security is given. It’s easy to take security for granted. The problem is you don’t want to be the person that becomes a statistic because you overlooked security issues.


The reality is that life, regardless of where you live, is unpredictable. All sorts of random events can happen, and security issues are one of them. You really have to keep your eye on the ball regarding protecting your home from security risks. Don’t ever for a second assume that just because you live in the nice part of town or because your homeowners’ association has a security system then everything will be fine. This is the absolutely wrong way of thinking because crimes, security breaches, and all sorts of problems do happen regardless of where you live. This is the fact of life. So you have really to maximize your premises’ security by making sure you have the right security enclosures or security structures that are built in around your home or your premises by a company like West Florida Fence in Tampa Bay, Florida.

Here are some tips to keep in mind.

Proper space segregation

One key element of security is to segregate space. Basically, when you segregate space, you are telling the outside world that at a certain point, they will be entering, or they will be in contact with a secure space. This is extremely important because if people are unclear as to what is public and what is private, then it’s very easy to violate private spaces. There has to be a segregation of private and public spaces and a lot of this are symbolic.

View images here.

Think about it, the last time you saw a fence, chances are you could probably scale over the fence. Chances are you could easily enter the private space that the fence guards. One of the main reasons why you didn’t breach the fence is because it was sending you signals that there is private space beyond. Always remember this when looking for security enclosures because they must do an adequate job of sending out the right signals and right messages regarding proper space segregation.

Hard to take down

This is pretty basic. Whatever security measures or structures you put in place; it must be hard to take down. Otherwise, it’s a worthless measure. I hope this is pretty straightforward.

Unfortunately, too many homeowners think that as long as they put up something that communicates to the outside world the space beyond is private, that structure is good enough. Well, the structure that you pick must have the integrity to back itself up. At the very least, it should be sturdy enough so that when somebody pushes against it, it doesn’t fall apart. A weak warning isn’t going to do you any favors.


You don’t know how your security needs may change in the future, which is why it’s very important to factor in scalability when it comes to your security enclosures. At the very least, make sure that you pick a product that is modular enough so you build it up fairly quickly and easily.

Container Gardening Layout Designs

Container Gardening Install & Maintenance

You do not need a big patio or porch to put up a garden of flowers or crop of vegetables in containers, even the smallest can do. Some of the containers that you can use include: wooden barrels, large flowerpots, planter boxes and hanging baskets. Your imagination should not limit you as a container gardener. The practice of growing plants exclusively in containers instead of planting them in the ground is referred to as container gardening.

Container gardening install

container-gardeningGlazed ceramic pots are the most preferred containers because they do not deteriorate in UV light and they don’t dry out fast. Redwood and cedar are rot resistant therefore you can go for them because they do not need to be stained or painted. You should go for light-colored containers when the climate is hot. Containers with capacity between 15 and 120 quarts works better for vegetables with deep roots.

Adequate drainage is very important for the container. A half inch across holes is preferred and you can prevent soil loss by lining the base of the pot using a newspaper. You can set your container on blocks or bricks to allow free drainage. Always closely monitor your plants when you are using a clay pot.

The procedure of planting will depend on the plant that you choose to keep in your container. After getting the right container and plant for yourself you can then check on the soil that will suit the growth of your plant.

Here is a summary of the install process: first decide on a plant, get the right container for the plant, get the best soil for your plant, put the soil in a container and then the plant, water the plant and then keep it where you want it to be.

Container gardening maintenance 

We asked popular gardening and design company Gardensmith in Tampa Bay, Florida, some tips for proper gardening maintenance and upkeep.

Do thorough watering. You container plants should be irrigated and it depends on factors like plant size, pot size and temperature. You should spread a layer of mulch very well in the garden because it will make large containers look attractive. Remember to keep mulch an inch from plant stems. It will help in retaining moisture.

Feed container plants regularly. You can use compost tea, diluted fish emulsion or seaweed extract to fertilize the plants by watering. Diluted solutions of foliar feed can also be an option when sprayed on plants’ leaves. Feeding the plants once every two weeks can be a start then the frequency will depend on the response of the plant.

Containers should be given special attention. You should always keep them in good condition because they are the focal points in your garden. Deadhead flowers, tattered leaves and plants that always get leggy should be removed. You can keep your mixed pots attractive by removing plants that clash or are not growing well. Of course your goal should also be to keep the container pest-free. By following these simple guidelines you’ll have an attractive and healthy container garden that you can be proud of.

Installing Crown Molding For Aesthetic Appeal

Crown Molding Service & Installation

crown moldingCrown molding is one of the architectural features that can add value to your home. If well installed, these moldings make your home more beautiful. It is one of the most visually pleasing additions to any interior. These installations range from simple to very complex depending on the size of your house and the budget.

Here are some of the steps that you need to follow when installing crown molding provided by Ryan Gloger of popular home remodeling and design company Gloger Construction in Tampa Bay.

Plan your installation

The first thing that you need to do is to assemble tools and materials that are needed for the project. Some of the tools that you need for this project include hammer, tape measure, miter saw, 4-foot level, finishing nailer, stud finder, coping saw, drill and clamps. You also need materials such as molding, nails, caulk and wood putty.

Take measurements of the area where molding will be installed

Molding is nailed on the wall studs. Thus, you need to locate the studs. Use a stud finder to locate the studs. After locating each stud, you should mark them using a pencil. Make the pencil marks high on the wall where they will not be covered by molding. This is important because the marks will guide you when making installations.

You should also measure the distance between the molding age and the corner. This can be done using the framing square. Cut a piece of lumber to the correct dimension and draw layout lines on the ceiling and walls. Those lines will guide you in aligning molding.

Start installing

To start installation, you need to cut molding to the required length. Mark the location of studs and then transfer those marks to the molding. Drill holes that are of the same size as the finishing nail. This will prevent splitting of molding during installation.

Set up the miter saw

To cut the crown molding, you need to position the molding in such a way that the wall edge is tight against the fence and the ceiling edge on the bottom of the miter box. The saw should cut your molding at 45 degrees.

Use a coping saw to undercut along the profile

The miter cut will expose the profile of the molding. Cut down the excess wood beneath the profile to create an outline that can match with the adjacent molding. Tilt the coping saw at 45 degree angle to cut a thin edge where the two moldings will meet. Fit the joint against a cutoff to check if the joint is perfect. If you don’t get a perfect fit, you should fine tune the joint until it fits. You can also sand high spots on the joints to create the desired fit.

Nail the molding on the wall and ceiling

After fitting the molding, you need to nail the molding on the wall. Use your hammer and nails to fix the crown molding firmly on the wall. You may paint the moldings after the installation to create a perfect finish. Make sure that the color of the painting matches that of your wall or ceiling. This will make your house more beautiful and presentable.

Six Tips to Help You Thrive in Architecture School

If you want to have a great career as an architect in the future, then it’s important to make the most of your time at architecture school. You will learn many valuable lessons during your time there, and build a solid foundation for your future career.

The Architect – Vancouver Film School (VFS) from Vancouver Film School on Vimeo.

Here are six tips to help you thrive in architecture school:

Get good sleep

While partying all night with your fellow students and hitting the bars will certainly be a novelty when you first start architecture school, after a few months you really should settle down and get on with working hard.

This means getting a good sleep every night so you wake up refreshed every morning and are ready to perform your best.

Listen to people

Architecture school is full of people that you should listen to so you can learn. The students that never listen and think they know it all are the people that will eventually fail. You should listen to your peers, listen to your teachers, and listen to the expert speakers that come in on a regular basis.

Identify your passion

The earlier you identify your passion and the area of architecture that you want to focus on, the quicker you can get to work at becoming the best architect you can possibly be. Many students dabble in a bit of everything but never truly find their passion, which ultimately leads them to a career of mediocrity

Find a couple of hobbies

It’s great that you’ve identified architecture as what you want to pursue in life, but that doesn’t mean you should spend every waking hour thinking about it.

In fact, it’s a good idea to find a couple of hobbies that allow you take your mind away from architecture for a while, and actually, this kind of break allows the mind to relax and you’ll often find new ideas spinning around in your mind when you get back to your work.

Study business

There are many great architects who are not very good in the business area of the industry, which is why they always end up not being compensated for what they are worth. It’s okay to have goals of becoming very rich as an architect, and you can only achieve this if you study business and learn the fundamentals about how to market yourself and your architect business.

The best way to do this is by purchasing a few business books on Amazon, or even taking an evening class on business studies.

Learn good communication skills

In order to become the best architect possible it’s important that you learn good communication skills. Not only will you have to give speeches and presentations at architecture school, but once you have graduated you will have to communicate effectively with clients so you can get the job done.

If you don’t learn the skills of communicating effectively then you’ll always struggle no matter how talented or creative you are.

The final word

Keep these tips in mind and your time at architecture school will be awesome!

Do You Need an Architect?

If you are planning on building your own home or some kind of property now or in the future then you might be wondering if you need an architect?

The answer to this questions will depend on many different factors, such as the style and complexity of the house you want to build, your budget, and how quickly you want to proceed with the project.

The case against hiring an architect

It doesn’t matter if you are building a multi-million dollar mansion or a block of apartments, there are many reasons why you don’t have to hire an architect to make a custom design for you.

One of the main reasons is because you can easily buy a stock building plan that has been designed by an architect but is not custom. In other words, it is available for many people to buy, which means your building won’t be unique.

This has actually become a very popular option over recent years, mainly due to the fact that you can still get a quality house design done by a professional architect but at a much cheaper price than if you were to go down the custom route.

Best of all, there are now many different stock building plans out there, which means no matter what size, style or budget you are looking for, there should be something there to cater to your needs.

There is also the advantage of being able to make modifications to your home in the future in order to make it more unique.

Another reason why hiring an architect might not be the best option is because you could easily hire a professional building designer at a fraction of the cost.

In a nutshell, a professional building designer, or home designer as they are sometimes called, are cheaper because they don’t have the same level of qualifications and training that an architect has.

However, that doesn’t mean they can’t design a quality house for you, and when you are prepared to do some research and do some “shopping around” then you can easily find a great building designer who will do marvelous work.

How to find an architect

If you have decided that you definitely DO want to hire an architect, then you may be wondering where to find one? Here are a few ideas…

Ask around

The easiest way to find a quality architect is to simply ask around. You can ask family, friends, neighbors and people you work with about their experiences with architects. Also, it might be a good idea to seek the advice of builders and real estate professionals in your local area as they will no doubt have many recommendations.


Another way to find architects is by connecting to the internet and going online. This can be as easy as a search in Google or Bing, a browse through online directories, or even a look at an architects portfolio on YouTube.

Local historical society

If you are planning on renovating or restoring an old building then you will no doubt want to find an architect who has experience in this area. One of the best ways to do this is by contacting your local historical society for recommendations.