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Amazing Solar Powered Homes

One of the first things that I did when I moved into my new home was start looking into my options for solar power. I’m a big believer in reducing dependence on natural resources that are unsustainable, and one of the best ways to do that is by using natural resources that are sustainable, like sunlight. I was thrilled to have my own home that I could customize with solar power. I found that there were all kinds of options for solar power besides those big clunky solar panels. I eventually settled on solar shingles for my roof, and I’m looking into solar powered windows, too. I started this blog to share more information about solar trends with people who are as interested in sustainable energy as I am. I hope to help you understand how contractors can help with these large projects!


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Designing A Barbecue Station In Your Own Backyard

Cooking outdoors allows you to enjoy the beauty of nature while also preparing and eating a meal with your closest friends or family members. If you barbecue outside often, it makes sense to designate a segment of your yard for this purpose, so you're not always having to scramble to set up your barbecue station before every outdoor meal. Here are some simple tips to help you set up a functional and attractive barbecue station in your own backyard.

Tip #1: Separate your barbecue area from the rest of the yard with a fence.

Fencing the area off visually separates it from the rest of your yard, adding balance to your backyard design. Choose a low chain link fence or picket fence that's about 3 feet in height so that you can easily see over it. Wrought iron fences look classy in modern backyards, but if your yard has a more country-style appeal, a white picket fence might do the trick. You can make your barbecue area square or round, depending on your preferences.

Tip #2: Have concrete poured for your grill area.

Few things are more irritating than having your grill sink into the ground. Have a concrete pad poured for your grill. Measure your grill beforehand to make sure you make the pad large enough. If you have the space, you might want to have a second segment of concrete poured for your table and chairs, but this is not essential.

Tip #3: Have a shelter built to protect your grilling area from the elements.

A simple wooden shelter will keep the water off of your grill and eating area. It does not have to extend over the entire space; it just has to be large enough to protect the important areas. You can even use a collapsible tent if you want the option of taking the shelter down for the winter.

Tip #4: Choose your table and chairs wisely.

Even if you have them under a shelter, they will be exposed to the elements. Make sure you choose durable outdoor furniture made from plastic or treated wood. Wicker looks nice at first, but typically won't last more than one season in heat and rain. Make sure you have enough chairs for the number of people who usually attend your barbecue dinners. You don't want to spoil the ambiance of your new barbecue station by having to drag out extra, mismatched collapsible chairs.

Take the time to design a barbecue station now, and you'll have a lovely place to enjoy outdoor meals for years to come. Keep in mind that it's okay to work on this project slowly. You can have the fence put up this year, pour concrete next year, and buy new furniture the year after that if you're on a tight budget.