So You've Decided to Finish Your Basement!

Written by Patrick Condon

When a family decides to finish a basement space, there are so many factors to consider it can seem overwhelming. What does your family want to achieve withinrepparttar new basement? Are you looking for a play area, a family room, a work-out room, home theatre, bedroom, bathroom, kitchen, wet bar, etc? Do you haverepparttar 100160 square footage required to accomplish what you want? How do you get started and how long will it take? How much will it cost and is it worthrepparttar 100161 money? What if there is a huge beam inrepparttar 100162 center of you basement? Do you have to have a building permit? Do you have to removerepparttar 100163 items you currently have stored in your basement?

If these questions make your head swim, try this approach: look forrepparttar 100164 right team of design/build consultants to navigate you through these waters.

People often know they want their basement finished, but don't know how to put it all together, whether they haverepparttar 100165 necessary space, or even how to get started. Specialty design/build consultants are able to assess your needs and, after accurate measurements are taken, will design various blueprints to fit your requests. From these drawings you can chooserepparttar 100166 ideas that best suit your requirements and come up with a final blueprint. With this final blueprint in hand, your designer/builders will be able to determine whatrepparttar 100167 cost ofrepparttar 100168 basement finish will be, and provide a start-to-finish timeline on whenrepparttar 100169 project will draw to a close.

When determining whether finishing your basement is going to be a worthwhile investment you should consider several variables. Are there comparable homes in your area with finished basements? How long do you intend to live there? Willrepparttar 100170 homes there increase in value, and if so, how fast? With a little bit of research you will be able to answer these questions, and decide if finishing your basement is right for you.

Seeding Flowers Indoors: An Inexpensive Way to a Beautiful Summer Garden

Written by Debbie Rodgers

Every year you plan that THIS will berepparttar year you have pots and pots of lush plants on your balcony or deck. Then you visit your local nursery inrepparttar 100159 spring and reality hits -–repparttar 100160 cost for your fantasy is just outrageous! Sound familiar?

But you can haverepparttar 100161 planters of your dreams at a fraction ofrepparttar 100162 cost and with a choice of varieties far beyond whatrepparttar 100163 local garden center offers. How? Start your own flower seeds now.

If you’ve never grown from seeds indoors before, it’s best to begin with just a few types. Easy starters: Trailing lobelia and petunias make a bright and simple garden for sunny spots. Licorice plant and dwarf nasturtiums are also attractive.

Once you’ve decided on your plants, you must know two things to determine whenrepparttar 100164 seeds should be started:repparttar 100165 last frost date for your area, andrepparttar 100166 time required before transplanting.

•The last frost date isrepparttar 100167 date beyond which there is a low chance (usually about 10%) of temperatures at or belowrepparttar 100168 freezing mark. This is important because many traditional plants for hanging baskets are tender, that is, they will not survive when frozen. You may already know whatrepparttar 100169 frost date is for your area. If not ask gardening neighbors or your local gardening center. If you are inrepparttar 100170 USA, visit for information fromrepparttar 100171 national Climatic Data Center.

•The time required before transplanting is different for each type of flower. You’ll see this listed in seed catalogs or onrepparttar 100172 seed packet. For example, a packet might tell you to “start indoors 6-8 weeks before last frost date.” Some seeds such as nasturtiums, zinnias, or cosmos may be sown directly outside but if you have to wait afterrepparttar 100173 danger of a frost has passed, you may want to get a jump on spring by starting those inside too.

Licorice plants and geraniums need 12 weeks to sprout from seed. So if my last frost date is May 15th, I’ll want to start them aroundrepparttar 100174 last week of February. Petunias, impatiens and lobelia require 10-12 weeks, so I would start them aroundrepparttar 100175 first of March. Morning glories, which make a beautiful privacy fence from a plain piece of latticework, need six weeks from start to transplant, but can’t be put outside until two weeks afterrepparttar 100176 last frost date. This would mean starting them indoors about mid-April. I’d start nasturtiums and zinnias about then too.

Your goal is to promote germination (with heat and water) and seedling growth (with light) while preventing your seedlings’ chief enemy, “damping-off” (with air circulation and proper drainage). Here are some tips for successful seed growing.

•Use plastic containers, about 2” deep, fairly wide and with multiple drainage holes. Growers’ cell packs are ideal but you can also use yogurt or cottage cheese containers as long as you sanitize them with a mild bleach solution (one part bleach to nine parts water) for 15 minutes and then punch several holes inrepparttar 100177 bottoms.

•Use commercial seed-starting mix. It’s sterilized and containsrepparttar 100178 necessary food to aid germination. You might also want to try using a product specially formulated to prevent damping-off.

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