3 Great Backyard Upgrades That Will Encourage Your Kids to Be Active

Looking for a creative way to encourage your kids to get up off the couch and get active? Here are three great outdoor upgrades that will help you and your kids get more physical activity, all from the comfort of your own backyard.

1. Install a Putting Green

A putting green in your own backyard? This fun feature is actually easier to add to your own outdoor space than you may think. Find a level area of your lawn that’s free from any landscape obstructions. Replace the turf in this area with quality synthetic lawn products Thousand Oaks. You’ll have a maintenance-free putting green that you can customize with lawn ornaments to create a custom mini-golf area that your kids will love.

2. Add a Swimming Pool

No upgraded backyard is complete without a refreshing place for your family to swim. You don’t have to install a huge in-ground pool to encourage activity – even a small pool will entice your kids to step outside and burn some calories. Above-ground pool options can be installed in a weekend, and they’re a cost-effective alternative to a complicated in-ground pool.

3. Create an Obstacle Course

If you have the space in your yard, consider creating a custom obstacle course that will get every member of the family running, jumping, climbing and having fun. Customize the course to suit the needs of your kids. Some classic obstacles to include could be a rope swing, climbing wall and even a balance beam. Don’t forget to create a soft surface by using rubber mulch to cushion falls in these areas.

Give your kids, and yourself, an upgraded and inviting outdoor space that will become the site of endless activities. By following these tips and adding these exciting features to your backyard, your kids will ditch the screens and head outdoors for fun and entertainment.

3 Tips for Making Your DIY Paint Job Look Professional

There are lots of reasons why someone might decide to make their next home paint job a DIY affair. Doing things yourself doesn’t just save you money. It gives you the rewarding feeling that comes with personally taking care of your property as well. Here’s how to make sure your DIY paint job looks every bit as good as anything a professional could do.

1. Prep Your Surface

Great paintwork starts with an ideal foundation, so it’s important to fully prep your wall or other surface before you begin. Free the area to be painted of any old paint first, and then follow up with a thorough sanding job. If there is dirt, grime, or grease to be dealt with, you should thoroughly clean the area with soap and water as well. Finish with a coat of a good primer.

2. Use Quality Equipment

It’s not just the quality of your actual paint that counts. Professional paint jobs look as good as they do largely because of the equipment used, so it’s well worth your while to make an investment here. Especially if you plan on handling your own paintwork going forward. Think top-tier brushes, rollers, and paint sprayers. If you’re going to be mixing and filling your own paint containers, you may want to consider professional filling machines and equipment as well.

3. Let the Equipment Do the Job

When it’s time to actually apply your paint, fall back on the quality of the equipment you picked and let it do the job. With good rollers and applicators, very little pressure and effort is needed to get an even application. Paint from top to bottom as you work your way over the area for best results. This will give you a chance to paint over any flaws in your paintwork as you work your way down, just like the professionals do.

At the end of the day, professional-looking DIY paint jobs are a challenge, but they’re not impossible. They just call for some time, effort, and attention to detail.

Should You Build or Buy a Home?

Many people are choosing to have a home built rather than buying an existing one. For first time home buyers, it is an opportunity to design a home exactly as they want. Everything is brand new, and it helps eliminate the worries of replacing a major appliance in the near future. Additionally, it is often difficult to find a home that has all the amenities wanted and is in a neighborhood that is preferred.

Less Noise and More Privacy

One of the major benefits of choosing to build a home is the ability to decide where it will be built. If privacy and being in a setting that offers peace and tranquility is important, there are many areas available. When choosing an existing home, you may be surrounded by other homes or in areas where there is a lot of traffic. Listening to noisy neighbors is not conducive to relaxation. Choosing the area where you will build also offers the ability to take advantage of gorgeous views from whatever room you want.

Do the Homework on Financing

Whether you are buying a home or building a new home, financing will be part of the process. It is important to find a lender that offers the best interest rates. Another thing you may want to consider is obtaining a construction loan that allows you to pay only the interest while the home is being built. Once it is completed, the loan amount would include the principle and interest just like a regular mortgage.

Custom Design Your Home

One of the reasons most people choose to build a home is the ability to design it exactly as they want. From the number of rooms to the flooring, counter tops, and bath fixtures, the home can be built to suit your needs. One example of new home construction mandarin is Collins Builders.

Building a home can be a good choice if you would rather have a home that meets your specifications. It will be even more special because you have watched the construction from the ground breaking to the finished home.

How to Keep Your Home in Good Shape

How to Keep Your Home in Good Shape

It’s important to always keep your home in good shape, both for your family’s comfort and safety and for its resale value. This can mean maintaining things such as your roof and siding, but it also means making sure that your foundation is sound. This often gets overlooked in the grand scheme of things since it’s mostly out of sight and out of mind, but contacting someone who specializes in exterior foundation repair on older homes will definitely be in your best interests.

First of all, having a foundation repaired and waterproofed will help keep your basement dry, even if you live in a region that sees a lot of rain. A flooded basement can cause thousands of dollars in damage to the structure of your home and to your belongings, but that can be avoided with the right kind of foundation repair service.

A foundation repair service can also solve some minor problems around your home. Windows and doors that won’t close properly, sloping floors, and cracks in the walls can all be caused by an uneven or damaged foundation. Some of these problems will need to be repaired on their own if they’ve gotten too out of hand, but many of them can actually be solved with some proper foundation repair.

Finally, a good foundation repair service can help you avoid some costly repairs down the road. It may not be exactly cheap to repair a bad foundation, but it will still be more affordable than the repairs that will need to be made if you don’t address the problem quickly. Think of it as a bit of preventive maintenance that will save you a lot of time and money in the future.

While a brand new home might not have any foundation issues, older homes often have problems that are overlooked. If you suspect that your foundation is damaged or uneven, don’t hesitate to contact a foundation repair service near you.


Albertville, AL, 05/26/2017 – When it comes to replacing lampshades, no one beats our quality or craftsmanship. Jack of All Shades, LLC. caters to the homeowners needs. The best part is that with each purchase, we send matching donations to St. Jude’s Children’s Hospital.

Homeowners will no longer have to accept resorting to major retailers such as Home Depot, Lowes, Walmart, or Target. Jack of All Shades, LLC, offers RETAIL PUBLIC DISTRIBUTION of lampshades through their online website:  www.jackofallshades.com.

During their shopping cart checkout, customers can donate $1, $3, or $5 to St. Jude’s Children’s Hospital and Jack of All Shades, LLC, will be matching their donations.

Buying from www.jackofallshades.com is a great way to:  (1) get the lampshade in the exact size, shape, and color that customers want. (2) support American Workers. (3) know that purchases are helping a great American Organization like St. Jude’s Children’s Hospital.

Custom Made Lamp Shades are a very cost-effective way to update a room or living space that is customized. Customers can replace existing lamp shades and get the size, color, and shape that they are looking for.  No longer are the 10 or 12 sizes showing up on the big box store shelves the only choice that a lampshade customer has.

Currently, buying a lamp shade from a major retailer means that customers must accept whatever size, shape, and color they offer on their shelves. – Normally those will be manufactured in China with questionable quality and low selections!

Homeowners can now purchase CUSTOM LAMP SHADES at www.jackofallshades.com in the color, size and shape that are desiring. Knowing the purchase is from an American Company.  JackOfAllShades offers round custom lamp shades, oval custom lamp shades, square custom lamp shades, rectangle custom lampshades, pendant custom lamp shades and many other shapes and sizes.  Lampshade range from 4 inches for Chandelier Lamp Shades up to Oversized Lamp Shades that are 5 and 6 feet in diameter, they are also offered in every size in between.

JackOfAllShades has over 120 colors and materials available in stock to choose from.  They also allow the customer to send in their OWN MATERIAL to make a customized lampshade that matches a room’s exact décor.

Jack of All Shades retail store is conveniently on the internet at www.jackofallshades.com.

Selling to every American homeowner coast to coast – Everywhere from New York to California, Florida and Texas. Lampshades are shipped out of Albertville, Alabama. The best part is the minute you check out, you can donate to St. Jude’s Children’s Hospital and Jack of All Shades is matching each donation.  (Of course, if you decided not to donate, you can skip this option).

In addition to our custom manufacturing facility, Jack of All Shades also stocks an inventory of HIGH QUALITY Silk (Soft Backed) lampshades as well as the ability to repair existing Silk (Soft Backed) lampshades.

In conclusion Jack of All Shades

Jack of All Shades is an American Company based in Albertville, AL.  We began making Lampshade Manufacturing to your Specifications over 28 years ago and MANY of our employees have been here since we opened.  We proudly craft each Custom Lampshade to your specification.  For more information, contact: [email protected] or call us at 866-231-JACK(5225).

Lampshades – You Dream it, We Build it