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By: Karine Dutemple
Exterior renovationsRenovation Inspo: 10 Tree and Shrub Ideas for Your Landscaping Project
Are you looking to make some changes to your landscaping? With such a multitude of trees and shrubs out there, this task may at first feel difficult to navigate! Luckily, we’ve got some ideas to inspire your landscaping project!
Source: Pinterest (fast-growing-trees)
This type of red maple never ceases to amaze with its magnificent foliage, which turns a dark green tint in spring and then turns red; it maintains that bright colour until late fall.
Interestingly, the tree is adorned with small red berries in the spring, attracting many tiny animals and birds. Although it adapts to most soils (moist and acidic ones are best), it’s best to plant this tree in a lightly shaded area.
Source: Pinterest (fast-growing-trees.com)
Blooming in the first season after planting, white dogwood usually doesn’t exceed 3 meters in height and blooms pretty white flowers in summer. It’s especially appreciated for its magnificent, dense foliage which provides good shade in summer, despite its relatively modest size.
Those of us who don't have a green thumb will greatly appreciate the durability and low maintenance required for the white dogwood. Note that this tree doesn’t need water in great abundance and that it can therefore flourish very well without regular watering, the showers being sufficient for it. Let's finish by mentioning that this tree remains magnificent from spring to fall.
Source: Pinterest (gardengoodsdirect.com)
It only takes a quick glance to notice the great beauty of this tree, not only for its large leaves but also its delicate white flowers. In fact, the latter contrasts beautifully with the dark red hue of the bark.
Like other varieties of lilac, it has a sweet scent. Due to its fairly dense foliage, it’s easy to use it as a background plant in landscaping.
Source: Pinterest (pahls.com)
If there’s one thing that we appreciate about this tree, it’s the stunning flowers that display a red-purple colour and have an elongated shape. Blooming from mid-April until early May, the magnolia remains sensitive to inclement weather. We must also mention that this tree doesn’t need to be pruned frequently. Of course, if you have to prune this tree, this task should be completed quite soon after flowering.
Source: Pinterest (finegardening.com)
This tall shrub has very dense foliage that turns greyish-green to purple in fall. Around June-July, it reveals pretty bouquets of slightly pinkish-white flowers.
Nevertheless, this type of bush is sensitive to bad weather, so it’s best to place it in an area sheltered from high winds. Requiring little maintenance, the royal purple or smokebush doesn’t need frequent pruning. When necessary, we’d recommend waiting until after flowering.
Source: Pinterest (gardengatemagazine.com)
Unsurprisingly, this small shrub is very popular here in Canada. Indeed, it’s perfectly suited to cold climates, in addition to adorning itself with large pink or white flowers in summer. We also like its delicate foliage which changes colour throughout the year, going from orange in spring and fall to a deep yellow or apple green in summer.
How to enjoy this shrub in all its glory? After flowering, it’s recommended that you prune the tips of the branches to stimulate the growth of brand-new flowers. Also, care must be taken to cut away the damaged branches every spring.
Source: Pinterest (thespruce.com)
Due to its dense foliage, this pretty little decorative shrub is often used as a ground cover. It can also be placed near the foundation walls in order for the vines to climb up the side of your home. Quite resistant, it’s decently able to withstand the summer and the less abundant rains.
Its dark green foliage has a white border that will eventually turn pink in summer. Finally, we should mention that this shrub grows relatively slowly.
Source: Pinterest (bhg.com)
Here’s a classic that we’re still talking about today! The shrub rose continues to seduce with its magnificent blooms. But to enjoy their sublime beauty, it’s important to know how to care for them.
In this regard, it’s essential to take great care to water the rose bush during the first year, especially if you live in an area with dry weather. Are the flowers fading? Cut them immediately and don’t forget to prune the sprouts growing out of the ground (by cutting 3 mm above the bud).
Other maintenance-related tasks will need to be carried out during the year, such as cutting branches in November and pruning to 3 buds, while leaving 5 branches around March.
Source: Pinterest (enkivillage.com)
With its blue spruce-like appearance, this small evergreen shrub is certainly in a league of its own when it comes to aesthetic appeal. Indeed, it has unique foliage, the colour of which is blue-silver.
Due to its size, which only reaches two feet in height, it’s an excellent ground cover that is ideal for rock gardens. Regarding its size, it’s suggested that you remove about a third of the new growth. This task, carried out towards the end of June, is sometimes necessary until September.
Source: Pinterest (homestolove.com)
Birches have long been a part of the landscape and it’s not without reason! Indeed, the birch tree has a majestic look and its beauty is indisputable. However, it’s better suited to large backyards due to its size, which can reach 10 metres, and its equally impressive width.
If you have a small yard, all is not lost! Indeed, there are dwarf varieties that can be planted within more modest landscaping. For large birch trees, note that a fall or winter trim job will be necessary!
Thinking of completing a landscaping project soon? Here are some articles that might be of interest:
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Last modified 2023-03-20
N/A • 26 Apr 2023
During the summer months, decks make for an entirely new living space in your backyard. It's the perfect spot to savour your first cup of coffee in the morning, share meals with your family, gather with friends for drinks, and, in the evening, wind down with a good book in hand. While numerous articles focus solely on decks, this particular one offers a unique blend of depth and superficiality. It delves into comprehensive information about deck structures, while also providing a cost overview of long-lasting coating options. Learn more about deck structures, including their materials and components, and gain insight into the step-by-step building stages of treated wood, ground-level decks. Different Deck Structures Source: Canva Structural strength guarantees the durability of your deck and, therefore, of your investment. While rebuilding the deck's platform might be relatively simple after a few years, the same cannot be said for its framework. The structure must be securely anchored, carefully designed to withstand freeze-thaw weather conditions, and made from the highest quality materials. All of which ensures its strength and durability. You have to consider the following: High-quality wood has fewer knots and is typically more resistant. The chosen materials have to withstand the harsh Eastern winters. The whole can’t allow any sort of water build-up. The beams and frame must be covered with a membrane to shield them from water. The structure has to withstand repeated freeze-thaw cycles. The materials can’t be affected by moisture. The spacing between the planks must allow water to run off. Foundation When building a wooden deck, it’s important to raise the structure above ground level. Piles, Sonotubes, or cinder blocks can support the deck. It should never be directly on the ground since moisture will lead to the structure’s premature deterioration. A cinder block-supported structure will move according to freeze-thaw cycles. Sonotubes and piles are a more structurally sound option. The latter must be driven 4 feet underground, below the frost line. PRO TIP: It isn’t necessary to use hangers. However, note that with time and excess weight from the deck, the screws can bend and break. Hangers allow even load distribution and guarantee a sturdy, durable structure. Aluminum Decking Source: Canva While decks are typically built with treated wood, others opt for aluminum decking, which is often seen with balconies and patios. Aluminum deck structures have sure advantages: Maintenance-free Especially sturdy Has excellent durability over time It’s lightweight compared to wooden structures It minimizes environmental impact It’s available in a variety of colours to blend in with the décor Are you looking for experts for your deck or balcony project? Fill in our form to be connected with top-rated contractors! What deck base material is best used? Source: Canva A deck’s framework isn’t solely built for the purpose of bearing the intended load, but also for fluctuating temperatures, which will lead to ground motions due to freeze-thaw cycles. To ensure the deck’s sturdiness, make sure the foundation is sound. Concrete Piles (Sonotube) It's a well-proven, standard method. However, it should be carried out properly. Ideally, digging should be done with a mini-excavator rather than by hand or with an auger. The piles should be at least 8 inches wide, made with reinforced concrete (rebar), and rest against a 24 in. x 24 in. base, 54 inches deep at most. Albeit quite costly, it’s often the best option when building a heavy and imposing structure like a sunroom or veranda. Deck Screw Piles Although relatively new, this method has also been tried and tested. You need specific equipment to screw tubular metal piles into the ground. It's the preferred option for small or already landscaped areas since it's less intrusive. Which to choose: 2 in. x 6 in. or 2 in. x 8 in. rim joists? A 2 in. x 6 in. structure will buckle under the slightest overload. The structure itself is definitely not where you want to try to cut corners. When you're building a structure, think long-term. Consider durability...and sturdiness. A trained professional might opt for 2 in. X 8 in. boards when building the deck frame. As such, the structure will be more stable and durable, and you'll be able to space out the ground supports. Treated Decking Source: Canva Treated wood is the most used deck-building material in Quebec. No wonder. It's an easy-to-work, versatile product that's less expensive than most of the competing products and blends well with any and all décor and home architecture. Since it was designed to withstand our climate and the test of time, you’ll simply have to maintain it somewhat to preserve it and enjoy it for the next 10 to 15 years. Since it's durable, it offsets the fact that it can't be salvaged or burned. Since 2004, the chemicals used to make it weather-, moisture- and insect-resistant have been much less toxic. However, it doesn’t render it eco-friendly by any stretch of the imagination. Copper is among the chemical agents used to treat wood. Since it’ll likely cause the screws, nails, and hangers to corrode, the different elements used to build the deck’s structure must be in compliance with the ACQ (Association de la construction du Québec). They're mainly made of galvanized steel, which makes them ideal for all outdoor projects. Pros of Using PVC Deck Membranes Is your deck still structurally sound, but the boards making up the platform appear weak? If you want to save a bit of time and energy for the next 15 to 20 years to come, the PVC membrane is a worthwhile option. It’s a really versatile decking, ideal year-round. It’s waterproof and anti-slip in winter and is able to withstand summer temperatures without overheating. PVC membranes are a convenient and affordable way to give your décor a stylish look while also extending the service life of your deck. It's available in a variety of shades, formats, textures, and patterns, so there's truly something for all preferences. PVC membranes can be installed on treated wood, fibreglass, or concrete. It protects the surface it covers and prevents deterioration. The membrane is adhesively sealed to the surface, while watertight joints ensure maximum water resistance. It’s actually used to cover rooftop decks! PVC membranes are aesthetic, waterproof, durable and, above all, maintenance-free, and are ideal for decking, balconies, patios, and stairs. How to Build a Ground-Level Deck Source: Canva Are you planning on building a deck? Whether you're carrying out the work yourself or hiring a professional, the key is having a clear picture of the various steps involved. Bear in mind that you'll need a plan and permit issued by your municipality before you can greenlight your project. Building a patio, balcony, veranda, or deck absolutely must comply with the Quebec Construction Code. Building the framework Choose where the first landing—the one nearest the ground—will be located. Next, mark the spot where the dek-blocks will sit, roughly 8 feet apart. For every block, dig a hole that’s slightly bigger than the block, 6 inches deep. Fill it with tightly packed stone dust, then drop the cinder block in. Build the deck’s perimeter square using 2 in. x 8 in. planks. Instructions: Position the rim joists against the support blocks, then screw them together. For additional support, double the rim joists. Running parallel to the rim joists in the middle of the structure, fasten the centre joist by securing two 2 in. x 8 in. planks. Before moving forward, make sure everything is perfectly squared off and level (both diagonals must be the same length). Remove the grass under the structure and cover the ground with a geotextile barrier to prevent grass and weeds from growing. Cover the barrier with an inch of 0-¾ crushed stones. Secure the metal hangers to the joists with galvanized steel nails. Fit the 2 in. x 8 in. planks into the hangers—they'll make up the structure's joists—and nail them in. Fit spacers between the joists. Building the top landing Determine the height of the deck’s rim joist by positioning a 2 in. x 8 in. board against the house’s exterior wall. Use a level to ensure it’s straight. Use a hammer drill bit to drill holes where the anchors will be affixed. Anchor the plank to the building. Once the first section is correctly positioned, secure the second one. Outline the top landing by positioning the joists. The second landing will rest against the lower landing and, as such, has to overhang to such an extent that it can be secured with 4 in. x 4 in. posts. Verify that the structure is properly squared off and level. (Both diagonals must be the same length.) Use galvanized steel nails to secure the metal hangers to the joists, 12 inches apart. Install the 2 in. x 8 in. planks in the hangers to create joists. Nail the joists into the hangers and install spacers between every joist. Install the planks that will make up the deck’s platform on both landings, starting with the outermost section.
SoumissionRenovation.ca • 21 Apr 2023
Buying an above-ground pool means enjoying the best of what the summer season has to offer, and that, on a daily basis. Although such an installation has many advantages, it may seem challenging at first to set up and blend in with your current landscape. However, with a little planning and the right material selection, you can create a design that'll complement your overall décor. As such, your pool is sure to please all generations for years to come. The first step towards achieving this vision is to build the actual pool deck. A deck isn't only practical and safe, but it's also an extension of the house, just like patios, porches, and balconies. Here are some pro tips and ideas to make the most of it. Advantages of Wood When Designing a Pool Deck Source: Canva When it comes to choosing pool decking, the first thing to look for is a water-resistant surface. Other features to look for are durability and structural strength. Given its intended use, it's also critical that the materials are foot-friendly, non-slip, and won't overheat in the sun. Wood is an excellent material to build a swimming pool deck. It's by far the material that has the most balanced combination of aesthetics, comfort, durability, and manageability. It's natural and warm, fits in with all architectural styles, and has a unique landscaping appeal. Pressure-treated wood or essences that are humidity-resistant—choose a product that’s both rot-proof and adapted to outdoor use. Our personal favourite: teak since it has an exotic feel to it! How to Build an Above-Ground Pool Deck Source: Canva When building a pool deck, careful planning is a must. While a small platform with steps is all you really need to access a pool, designing a more elaborate, but most importantly, well-thought-out layout, will allow you to fully enjoy the pool, as well as the entire backyard. Beyond its utilitarian factor, think big, consider all possibilities, and then dive right in! Think outside the box! When thinking of an above-ground pool deck, one usually pictures a structure surrounding the whole of the pool or simply a section of it. Beyond that, it can feature different levels, it can bridge the gap between the pool and the house, have a seating area or flower boxes, etc. A pool deck is also a convenient excuse to alter backyard lighting and build a privacy screen, or a pergola where you can hang curtains or veils much like a resort. Take advantage of your new structural element to customize it! Are you looking for experts for your deck or balcony project? Fill in our form to be connected to top-rated contractors! Pool Deck Building Steps Here’s a step-by-step guide to building a standard deck that’ll surround the entirety of your above-ground pool so you can benefit from a beautiful outdoor living space. Plan your project Measure the pool’s diameter and determine the dimensions of the deck. If your deck also doubles as a backyard patio, you may need to fence off the pool to meet municipal and government safety standards. Make sure the deck has enough room to easily walk on it without fear of falling into the water. Keep in mind that your deck will come in handy when you're doing any sort of pool maintenance. Make sure you have enough room to get around! Inquire as to the current standards; Shop around for plans; Request a permit from your municipality; Choose the pool decking. Build the structure Drive stakes into the ground and run a string from one stake to the other to determine the deck’s exterior perimeter. Build the foundation and install the treated wood posts around the pool. These will serve as the deck’s frame. Use a level and a carpenter’s square to correctly position the posts. Inside the deck’s frame, fit joists hangers every 40 cm (16 in). Affix the treated wood joists perpendicularly to the hangers. Install the braces diagonally to connect the interior stakes to the exterior ones. Install the decking Install the decking while ensuring there’s about a 1 cm clearance between the decking and the pool to account for a possible expansion. With a spacer, make sure the boards are equally spaced out to allow the water the drain and the wood to expand. With a circular saw, cut the end of any too-long boards to even them out. Build the steps and guardrails Install guardrails according to construction standards. Build the steps. You can use prefabricated stringers, which are sold in hardware stores. Make sure they’re positioned on the cinder blocks. That way, they’ll be protected against the moisture from the ground and won’t rot prematurely. For safety reasons, the steps leading to the deck must be equipped with a door and locking mechanism. For more information regarding a swimming pool installation, click here. Our Top Ideas for Extra Privacy on Your Pool Deck Source: Canva And there you have it! You can now really enjoy your pool! Are you already picturing yourself sunbathing on your deck? Even if you love your neighbours, it’s highly likely that you’d rather enjoy your backyard in total privacy. If the case may be, here are a few simple ideas that’ll allow you to fully (and in a mere instant) benefit from your outdoor space. Build a Fence or Privacy Screen These installations prevent onlookers from peering into your backyard and allow you to enjoy this oasis in complete peace and tranquillity. Planks, trellises, or even louver fences are great options. They can easily match the décor or be draped with climbing plants for a trendy green wall effect. Various types of vines grow quickly, but for floral options, try climbing hydrangeas, clematis, honeysuckles, or climbing roses. Pro tip: Install a fence yourself in no time with HOFT products. This brand of beautiful fences comes with a variety of accessories like planters, hooks, and shelves. We also really like Barrette Outdoor Living fences that combine metal posts with wood panels for a sleek look. Set Up a Pergola Source: Canva The pergola is a type of structure that can be customized in an infinite number of ways. You can give it a modern look with right angles and a black tint. Or, if you prefer a romantic flair, it can be painted white and decorated with beautifully shaped ends. As an added bonus, the structure can easily be used for climbing plants, hanging curtains, or wispy veils that'll catch in the slightest breeze. Most professionals offer their services when it comes to building your dream structure at home. Hardware stores and department stores also carry different pergola models. Pro tip: Toja Grid modular DIY pergola kits allow you to build the perfect triangular structure for your pool deck! Use Prefabricated Screen Panels Not looking to build anything? Hardware stores and garden centres sell great-looking prefabricated screen sections that are easy to install. Available in different materials and offered in various styles and colours, there's something for all tastes and budgets. For an exclusive product, use a province-based artisan or manufacturer. Prefabricated screen sections are an easy solution. They can be used as a one-off, two-piece unit, or at will.
SoumissionRenovation.ca • 19 Jul 2023
Flux-cored arc welding is a well-known method used among DIYers, it rarely requires gas, and appeals to most for its numerous advantages. However, note that it isn’t suitable for all types of work. The Fundamentals of Flux-Cored Arc Welding Source: Canva Flux-cored arc welding (FCAW), also known as dual-shield welding, is a type of welding method that: uses a flux-cored wire and; an electric arc; is gasless and; can be used in windy conditions (self-shielded). Flux-cored arc welding machines are single-phase devices into which a spool is inserted. What’s a flux-cored wire? When using a flux-cored arc welding device, the spooled wire used isn’t solid, unlike the one employed in MCAW (Metal-Cored Arc Welding). Instead, it’s a tubular electrode wire filled with powder. This powder serves as the flux, acting as the bonding agent between the pieces that will be welded together. The flux-cored wire is: Wrapped in a metal sheath (0.8 mm to 3.2 mm wide). Continuously spooled. Fed at a constant speed (up to 3.28 ft [1m] per minute). The flux-cored wire is placed on a spool and passes through a wire feeder that guides it to the welding torch’s nozzle. The faster the wire unwinds, the higher the welding intensity. But that’s not all; to adequately weld using a flux-cored wire, the stick-out is of crucial importance. What’s the stick-out when flux core welding? The stick-out refers to the appropriate length between the contact tip and the piece to be welded. Typically, it’s 0.6 inches to 1 inch (15 to 25 mm) depending on usage, with a maximum tolerance of 0.11 inches (3 mm). Why is that important? Because if the stick-out is too short, the welding wire will end up being too close to the contact tip, resulting in overheating and creating blowholes in the metal piece. On the other hand, if it’s too long, the wire itself overheats, causing an increase in slag, which is the substance that shields the weld. Electric Arc An electric arc is formed between the welding machine’s contact tip and the metal piece (object to be welded). Its purpose is to generate intense heat, melting the piece to be welded and flux-cored wire resulting in the creation of a “molten pool.” The electric arc is generated by a variable direct current, with an intensity ranging from 40 to 700 amps, depending on the following factors: Welding position Size of the metal pieces Size of the flux-cored wire Bonding The higher the amperage, the smoother and more stable the electric arc will be, making it easier to handle and forming a well-defined molten pool. A Gasless Process The term “gasless” for flux-cored arc welding isn’t entirely accurate for two reasons: Firstly, a shielding gas is naturally generated during the welding process. As the flux-cored wire disintegrates and the parts melt, carbon dioxide is produced. This gas forms a shield around the weld during the welding process. Secondly, while a shielding gas can be added to the welding process, it isn’t mandatory. Welders have the option to save on gas consumption by using a specially formulated aluminum flux-cored wire for welding. Ideal Outdoor Welding Method Flux-cored wire welding is an ideal outdoor welding method used on worksites because it typically doesn’t require an external gas supply. Since there’s no external shielding gas, the wind doesn’t blow it away, making the process more practical and often used on large worksites, such as when constructing bridges. Are you looking for general contractors for your renovation project? Fill in our form to be connected with top-rated contractors! Why use this welding method? Source: Canva Flux-cored arc welding often competes with 3 other types of welding: Shielded Metal Arc Welding (SMAW); Gas Metal Arc Welding (GMAW); Submerged Arc Welding (SAW). If one welding method can replace another in numerous circumstances, the question is, why choose flux-cored arc welding? The answer lies in its cost-effectiveness compared to gas welding methods. While some DIYers just want to stick with flux-cored welding, it’s essential to note that this method isn’t always suitable. What can you weld with a flux-cored wire? Source: Canva According to the American Welding Society (AWS), flux-cored arc welding is suitable for the following materials: Carbon steel Stainless steel Low-alloy steel Nickel alloys Cast iron Hardfacing alloys However, certain materials aren’t suitable, including titanium, zirconium, magnesium, and copper alloys. And the list doesn’t end here. The depth of flux-cored arc welding is rather impressive. However, it can cause metal parts and supports to warp or distort, making it unsuitable for thin sheet metal, such as 0.6 mm sheets. Therefore, the bodywork of a vehicle can’t be welded with flux-cored welding machines. Attempting to do so would result in blowholes, distortions, and a shoddy end result. 10 Advantages of Flux-Cored Arc Welding High and variable deposition rate based on the flux-cored wire used. Deposits a larger amount of metal compared to arc welding. Possibility of working in windy conditions. Faster work compared to using TIG or shielded metal arc welding (SMAW) methods. Fewer welding repairs. Welding can be done in all directions since the flux-cored wire is small in size. Better welding penetration than SMAW. Gasless welding is a possibility depending on the flux-cored wire used. Continuous spooling, therefore there’s little time spent on changing the wire. Very good mechanical characteristics.
SoumissionRenovation.ca • 31 May 2023
Are you yearning for the ultimate outdoor experience this summer? Look no further than a patio or balcony awning, a perfect solution that fulfills both your practical requirements and aesthetic desires. By selecting the perfect model, you can revel in its multitude of advantages, basking in shade and protection from the scorching sun during heatwaves, while also reaping the benefits indoors as your AC unit enjoys a well-deserved respite. It's a great way to enhance both backyard space and home comfort. We'll walk you through the different models and the many options available to help you choose the one that suits both your outdoor space and your lifestyle. This summer, let your awning extend beyond your balcony or patio to delight your senses. Why install a balcony awning? Source: Canva Living in a region where summers never seem to stretch out long enough, a balcony awning allows people to spend more time outdoors. Come rain or shine, a balcony awning can turn your outdoor space into a wonderful little cocoon. It’s an undeniable value added to your outdoor space and it takes your patio game up to a whole other level. Why settle for merely decorating your deck when you could transform it into a whole new space that expands beyond the confines of your home? Your new outdoor dining area or living room could be the perfect place to gather with friends, but it could also be the perfect living space for the whole family. 7 Advantages of Having a Balcony Awning It’s an exceptionally comfortable space to relax or gather with guests. It personalizes your backyard and contributes to the uniqueness of the space. By shielding you from rain or sunshine, it allows you to fully benefit from the summer months. It’s a value added to your property. It’s a long-term investment: a well-maintained awning can easily last 15 to 20 years, 30 even. It envelops a part of your home with shade, helps keep rooms cooler, and saves you up to 17% on air-conditioning costs by creating zones of shade in certain areas in your home. In an exposed backyard, it adds a sense of privacy to your patio or deck, shielding you from prying eyes. How to Choose a Balcony Awning Source: Canva Before settling for one particular awning, you have to consider several factors, such as: The square footage to cover; Sun exposure; Wind strength. You also need to determine whether or not you want to use it as a shelter when it's raining. Consider whether you want it to be fixed or retractable, so you can enjoy the sun from time to time, or the starry night sky. Since there’s a wide range of models available on the market, it’s best to think over your decision to ensure you’re making the right choice based on your long-term needs. Don't buy one on a whim! Some flashy models may appeal to you at first, but may not meet your long-term needs. Keep in mind that it’s best to choose patterns and colours that blend in with the rest of your house—siding and style—rather than succumbing to a favourite that won’t necessarily, once the spell has worn off, meet your needs down the line! 5 Fan-Favourite Brands of Awnings Based on the space to cover and the property’s architecture, some brands could be a better fit compared to others. Here are a few brands that stand out from the crowd, awning-wise. Mitjavila Made in Quebec, Majavila awnings offer great flexibility and are available in various sizes, both manual and motorized. Also worth noting: they're easy to repair, if necessary. BAT Here’s an Italian best, a meticulously crafted model, with over 500 colours, variable slopes, and motors to suit all needs. The ultimate sun and rain protection. Corradi A high-quality, European-looking, retractable awning. It features a fixed, waterproof structure made of aluminum or exotic wood. While the colour scheme is rather limited, people still steer toward it due to its smartphone feature. Bellon With over 125 years of experience in the industry, Bellon offers its own exclusive brand, developed to meet the needs of residents of Quebec. This results in a wide range of fabrics and flexibility in terms of awning slope. Bellon also offers awning fabric storage, cleaning, and repair services. Stobag Yet another well-known brand, hailing from Switzerland. Available in 300 patterns and colours to give your outdoor space a unique look. A Tailor-Made Awning for Your Home Every year, a lot of people mistakenly choose to invest in a low-end awning, which proves to be just so. Albeit cost-effective at first, it deteriorates rather quickly and offers very few advantages when compared to a custom-made awning. Aside from its superior quality in general, the first advantage of a custom-made awning is that it’s perfectly fitted to your outdoor space to fully meet your various needs. Designed based on the size of your patio, it perfectly blends in to enhance your décor. You also have access to a huge selection of colours and patterns that perfectly match your house. It takes 3 to 4 weeks to design and manufacture a made-to-order awning. By just grabbing one off the shelves, you can install it the same day; however, an awning that’ll last for years surely is worth waiting around for a few weeks. Also, the manufacturer almost always offers installation services. Some models can be installed by the homeowners themselves, but most of the time, it’s best to call in professionals. A poorly installed awning may cause both damage and injury. Are you looking for general contractors for your renovation project? Fill in our form to be connected with top-rated contractors! The Different Types of Outdoor Awnings Source: Canva Choose from various models with tinted glass, opaque or clear tops, and UV protection. Enjoy numerous configurations, with or without a valance. Let us guide you through the diverse choices to find your perfect awning. Fixed or permanent awning A fixed awning is permanent, in the sense that its structure remains in place all season, or year-round, depending on the model selected. If the awning is made of canvas, it should be carefully removed before winter and stored in a warm, dry area. Retractable or manual awning A retractable awning is kind of like a wall-mounted sunshade. It's fixed to a building wall and has retractable brackets that allow it to be folded away as required. It provides cover on hot summer days and can be retracted when you're out on the patio, looking to soak up the warmth of the sun at the beginning or end of the summer. It can be manually retracted using a hand crank. In winter, the awning has to be retracted since the freeze could damage it. For added protection, a custom-made cover or case can be purchased to prevent rodents from nesting in it during the cold season. NOTE: The retractable awning can also be freestanding if you’re not inclined on having it affixed to the side of your house. It’s a practical concept if you’re a tenant and aren’t allowed to alter the exterior shell of a structure. Motorized awning (remote-controlled) Investing in a remote-controlled, retractable awning means getting the most out of the summer months. Versatile and ultra-functional, it suits all patios to help shield you from the sun and bad weather. It retracts by means of a motor connected to a wall switch or remote control. Some home-automated awnings can also be controlled via a smart device. This means you can remotely control the awning if unexpected rainfall jeopardizes your patio furniture. WE LOVE the wind and rain sensor that automatically retracts the awning when the wind picks up or rainfall occurs. A range of settings enables the awning to withstand different weather conditions. And, as an added bonus: the retractable awning and patio heater can be connected! Glass awning The fixed or permanent glass awning allows you to benefit from your outdoor space, at all times, no matter the weather. Your patio furniture is always protected and you’ll never have to postpone outdoor gatherings due to bad weather. These are custom-made and ideal for decks, patios, or balconies, and, as an added bonus, said structure allows you to significantly limit the heating value inside your home! Designed to withstand the harshest weather, there's no need to worry, winter or summer. Now that's something to feel good about! Aluminum composite structures guarantee up to 30 years of service life, while 5 mm thick tempered glass is synonymous with peace of mind, come rain or shine. Opt for clear or opaque panels or a combo of both. Last but not least, make sure your structure can withstand the weight of snow and is certified by local engineers. The Different Awning Materials Source: Canva Polycarbonate and aluminum are two quality materials used to manufacture awnings. It’s two really good options. Here’s essential information about each option: Aluminum Pros More resistant and durable than polycarbonate Doesn’t fade Withstands extreme weather conditions, including hurricanes Average service life of 18 years Easy soap-and-water cleaning Higher resale value Cons More expensive than polycarbonate Heavier (requires heavy-duty anchors) Limited colour range, but can be painted More prone to corrosion if exposed to salt water or chemical products Polycarbonate Pros More affordable Withstands the weight of snow Doesn’t deteriorate over time Available in a wide range of colours and finishes Slightly more sheer so it doesn’t obstruct views Lighter, doesn’t require any structural support Easier to install Cons Doesn’t withstand extreme weather conditions as well Made with PVC plastic, which can crack Less cold-resistant Not as UV ray-resistant More high-maintenance Turns yellow or gray if not cleaned with bleach every year
SoumissionRenovation.ca • 24 May 2023
With the swimming season around the corner, the only thing you’re probably awaiting is taking that first refreshing dip into a nice, clean pool. But first, you have to open it, which isn't a fun thing to do. Fear not, as this article will guide you through the swiftest and simplest method to open your pool! How to Open an Above- or In-Ground Pool Source: Canva Regardless of whether your pool is above- or in-ground, the initial steps for opening it remain basically the same. The key is to ensure you have the appropriate equipment for your specific system. Below, you'll find a list of the materials typically needed to open a pool: Plumber’s tape Pool silicone lubricant Wrench Garden hose Leaf skimmer Cleaner Tongue and groove pliers Pool brush Test kits or strips Safety goggles Gloves Pool Starter Kit A pool starter kit contains the tools and products necessary to prepare your pool for use following the winter months. Generally, it includes: Cleaning and disinfecting products, like chlorine; Water treatment products; And required items such as pipes, filters, and robotic pool cleaners. There’s a wide range of products, readily available at hardware and department stores. Prices range from $15 to $50. Before purchasing, check the volume of litres treated per container. Certain brands offer distinct starter kits tailored to above- or in-ground pools. Keep in mind that opening an in-ground pool generally requires a larger quantity of products compared to opening an above-ground pool. How to Start an Above-Ground Pool Source: Canva To open your above-ground pool properly, you'll need to follow a set of precise steps: Step 1: Start by cleaning it The initial step toward successfully opening your pool is cleaning. Twenty-four hours prior to opening your pool, start by removing any leaves or debris floating on the pool’s winter cover, then remove it. Take this opportunity to thoroughly clean and dry the pool cover before storing it until next winter. Clean the bottom of your pool with a pool brush or pole. You can also pour in a pool degreaser to facilitate the cleaning process. Step 2: Plug in the pool filter and other equipment This next step consists of plugging in your pool’s filter system. Before turning on the filter, make sure it’s correctly fitted. Also, verify that all other equipment (skimmers, nozzles, lighting, pumps and filters) is properly connected and in good condition. Make sure that all connections are firmly secured. Are you looking for experts for your landscaping project? Fill in our form to be connected with top-rated contractors! Step 3: Vacuum After plugging in all equipment and ensuring their proper functioning, set the pool filter to “Waste” and clean the bottom of the pool with a pool vacuum. Also, clean the filter’s skimmer basket to maximize debris extraction. For more effective cleaning, run the pool for about 5 hours. Step 4: Analyze pool water To prevent potential skin irritation or diseases, it’s best to analyze and treat the pool water. You can either take a sample of the water to a pool professional or use a DIY water test kit to monitor the water’s total alkalinity, pH, and calcium hardness. In the event of a problem, ask a specialist for the right products. And there you have it! Your pool should be good to go! Now you take that well-deserved first dip. What products should you use first to perform a pool shock treatment? A pool shock treatment is an essential step in purifying your pool's water. It effectively eliminates microbes and algae, restoring the water to a healthy and pristine state. Start by slightly increasing the water level compared to normal, while simultaneously pouring a degreaser straight into the water. Allow it to take effect for a minimum of 24 hours, meanwhile, you can clean the area surrounding your pool. Run the filter system and set it to "Waste" mode. Empty and refit the basket several times to remove any residual dirt. Increase the pool water level once again and backwash your pool. Use the products found in your starter kit and backwash your pool once more. We strongly recommend that you run your pump, uninterrupted, for at least 24 hours to have crystal-clear water. When Is the Right Time to Open an In-Ground Pool? Source: Canva The general recommendation is to open an in-ground pool after the ice melts, typically around mid-April. However, the specific timing may vary based on your geographical location. Note that algae growth typically occurs as the water’s temperature rises. CAA-Quebec recommends opening a pool prior to water temperatures reaching 21°C. Thus, it’s best to open it as soon as possible to mitigate algae growth. If the algae start lining your pool, it will render the cleaning process much more difficult. Moreover, this will help limit the amount of pollen vacuumed by the filter system. Another benefit of opening your pool sooner rather than later is that it'll allow you to look over its general condition and repair any equipment that may have been damaged during the winter months. You'll then be able to enjoy your pool, worry-free, all summer long. Pool Opening Tips Here are a few useful tips to successfully open your pool: If this is your first time opening your pool, it’s best to have the company that installed it perform the work. A pool professional will carry out a complete inspection to spot any potential anomalies before the warranty period expires. Regularly maintain your pool to ensure that it’s in tip-top shape throughout the summer months as it’ll ensure quality water and an extended service life. Remember to change the sand in your filter every 4 years.