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Keeping Your Pets Warm Outdoors

December 21st, 2010

chain link dog kennelMost dogs and cats love the outdoors, but cold weather during the winter months can be uncomfortable or even dangerous for smaller animals. Keeping you outdoor pet warm and healthy during winter isn’t rocket science, but it does require a few extra steps to make sure they are comfortable and safe.

Dog kennel modifications. If your dog lives in an outdoor kennel, consider covering the top with a tarp to help insulate your pet from the rain and cold. You should also seal up any areas that might let cold drafts in. Keep the bedding slightly elevated to prevent it from sitting in puddled water or becoming frozen.

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Snow Removal Tips for Your Home

December 9th, 2010

snow on a cedar deckThe Pacific Northwest is expecting a particularly harsh winter this year, and many areas may see more snowfall than usual. As a result, Northwest homeowners may end up doing a lot more snow removal than they’re used to.

After a storm, many homeowners simply shovel a path up to the front door and call it done. However, to truly protect your yard from winter storm damage – and visitors to your home from nasty spills – you may need to take your snow removal efforts to the next level. Getting rid of snow from driveways and walkways can be an unpleasant chore, but it’s better to keep up with the snowfall than to let the snow and ice build up.

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Tips for Enjoying a Winter Hot Tub Soak

December 7th, 2010

cedar deck hot tubThere’s no better way to leech the winter chill from your bones than taking a steamy soak in the hot tub. Not only can a hot tub on your deck add a little extra zing to your holiday festivities, but you can enjoy the crisp winter air — and even watch snow fall around you — all while comfortably submerged in a hot, relaxing tub.

If you’re one of the lucky homeowners with a hot tub to come home to this winter, get the most out of it with these winter hot tubbing tips:

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Repairing Storm Damage to Your Fence or Deck

December 1st, 2010

storm damaged fenceA bad storm can leave your yard a wreck. A really bad storm can leave your fence or deck in pieces.

Fallen tree limbs, heavy winds and other debris can wreak havoc on even the most well-built fence or deck. If your yard falls prey to a nasty Northwest storm this winter, don’t despair — help is available, and in most cases the situation can be salvaged.

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Home Tasks to Perform for Winter

November 24th, 2010

Winter is a few short weeks away, and with it will come nasty snow, rain and cold. Now is the time to properly prepare your house and yard for the upcoming months. Whether it’s winterizing your cedar deck, cleaning up your garage or insulating your pipes, a few chores now will save you a world of hurt down the road. Here are a few tips for adequately preparing your house for winter:

1. Prep Your Deck

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Bringing in Your Deck Plants for Winter

November 17th, 2010

deck plantersPlanters may make your cedar decking look great in the spring and summer, but good luck keeping them alive during the fall and winter months. Unless you’re growing evergreens, many planters, pots and flowers need to be moved indoors during the cold months. Here is a little information on bringing in deck plants for winter:

Why It’s A Good Idea

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Deck Maintenance: What to Do After a Storm

November 16th, 2010

cedar deckThe Pacific Northwest has already had a couple of decent storms so far this season, but if you’re familiar with the area, you know that the best is yet to come. Composite decking material and cedar decking handle winter weather differently, but there are some general guidelines to help your decking weather a storm. Following are a few deck maintenance tips to help you take care of your deck after a storm, no matter what type of decking material you have.

Take Stock of the Damage

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November Yard and Garden To-Do List

November 10th, 2010

cedar picket fenceNovember is the perfect time for last-minute yard and garden chores. You may think there aren’t any yard tasks left to accomplish before the nasty winter weather sets in, there’s always work to be done. From raking the yard to winterizing the deck to planting spring bulbs, there’s plenty to do in the month of November. Here are a few tips for getting the most out of your yard or garden this month:

1. Raking

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Tips for Choosing and Using a Deck Heater

October 28th, 2010

propane deck heaterFall is officially here, but just because the sky is overcast and the nights are a bit chilly doesn’t mean you have to stop enjoying your wood or composite deck. More and more homeowners are installing deck heaters to extend the use of a deck into fall and winter. The following are the best types of deck heaters you can buy and how to use them safely:

Types of Heaters

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Decorating Your Yard for Winter

October 23rd, 2010

cedar deckJust because nasty weather is right around the corner doesn’t mean you have to resign yourself to an ugly yard all winter long. Most people assume that once their flowers die there isn’t much more they can do to beautify their landscape. Oh, how wrong they are! Here are a few tips for keeping your yard and garden beautiful all winter long:

Most people put up decorative lights around the holidays, but there’s no reason you can’t use string lights to brighten up your yard all winter long. Use small white lights for a delicate effect, or try Japanese-style lantern strings to a give your pergola a soft glow. Remember to hide the lights well, though – visible string lights can seem a bit tacky during the day.

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