Trampolines are a fun way to keep fit and get regular exercise. For children, a trampoline can be an exiting form of play. There are many different sizes and styles available. When choosing a back yard trampoline it is important to consider what size and shape trampoline will suit your backyard.
Different Types of Trampolines
There are three main types of trampolines available and they all come in varying sizes. There is a size and shape for everyone. The three types are:
This design is made to keep the person who is jumping in the center of the trampoline. This style is ideal for younger children, especially if a guard is used to stop falls.
This design offers more area to jump on. The springs are also a lot more flexible which enables the person using the trampoline to jump higher. This type of trampoline is ideal for teenagers and is favored by professional trampoline jumpers and gymnasts.
This design is a lot like the rectangular trampoline but will not allow as high a bounce. The square trampoline is also a lot smaller. This is another good backyard option if there are smaller children using it.
It is recommended all trampolines that are being used by smaller children have proper guards and padding on the springs, and that adult supervision be provided for safety reasons. Also it is advisable that trampolines not be bounced on when the jumping mat is wet since the mat can become very slippery.
The Cost of a Trampoline
Trampolines vary in cost a great deal depending on the size and style. For a smaller, round backyard type without guards you could pay as little as $200. If you are looking for a trampoline that is a lot larger, for instance, a rectangular style, you could expect to pay up to $1,800. Prices will vary from store to store so the best thing to do when looking to buy a trampoline, is research different prices. Have a clear budget on how much you intend to spend. Choose a trampoline that fits your backyard and your budget.
What to Look For
The most important things to look for in a trampoline are:
Make sure the structure of your trampoline is sturdy and, preferably, aluminum, so that it is not too heavy to move around should you need to.
*Quality mats are also very important.
A badly made trampoline mat can cause serious injury to a person if they were to fall through it.
*Added safety measures
It is important to make note of the companies that will either give you a discount on guards or padding for the springs or will give them to you as a packaged deal. Safety comes first!
Make sure your trampoline is covered by a warranty for faulty workmanship and badly made parts.
Make note of the maximum weight that the trampoline will hold as children often like to jump together or in groups.
There are many types of backyard trampolines available. Look around and find the best trampoline to suit your needs and your budget. Define exactly what you are looking for, such as who will be using the trampoline. Make sure the size and style will be suitable. If you are on a budget, it is advisable to look around and buy a trampoline that is on sale rather than ‘cheap’. Don’t sacrifice quality to save a few dollars, it is usually not worth it in the long run.
John Furnem specializes in work psychology, stress relief and time management, after a stress relief seminar held in a gymnasium John started using a trampoline for his workout, John publishes Trampoline [http://trampoline.zupatips.com/] advice on the zupatips.com pages
Your new resin fountain was exciting and rewarding. It looked beautiful nestled in your garden. As the summer wore on, the color faded. The spring hail chipped it and now it’s peeling. Your delight diminished as the once-cherished resin fountain deteriorates.
Polyresin, also referred to as alabastrite or resin, is a member of the epoxy-plastics family. “Hong Tze” and “Liberty Bronze” are also resin products. Resin products are commonly sold for outdoor use such as water fountains, statues, birdbaths, furniture, and stepping stones.
Some resin products marketed for outdoor lawn and garden use were weather tested by Gardecor®, LLC. They found that the resin products under testing cracked, peeled, and faded within a year. Some resin products even deformed in the hot summer sun! A reliable resin product such as fountains or statues suitable for long-term outdoor use has yet to be found. Resin technology has not advanced to the point of providing a good polyresin product suitable for long-term outdoor use, unless the item is for use on a covered porch.
When seeking an outdoor water fountain, statuary, birdfeeder, or other outdoor item exposed to the elements, it’s wise to know what to expect it to look like in the future. Here are some common materials suitable for long-term outdoor use.
The Bronzes, including Brass.
Cast Stone Concrete.
Iron: Cast Iron and COR-TEN® Steel.
Bronze and Brass can last long enough to hand down through generations as heirloom treasures. Bronze art dated B.C. has been uncovered from underwater archaeological sites. Now that’s a long time!
Left to weather, the bronze family continually develops a stunning aged patina (surface finish). Just look around your local park at the bronze statuaries. Depending on the metal composition, bronze and brass can age to beautiful blues and greens (from the copper and nickel), yellows (iron) and other colors.
Aging doesn’t happen right away, but takes decades. Bronze and brass statues age in the same manner, but not exactly the same. Each piece will have an unique patina. Bronze and brass can have the same overall appearance because copper is the predominant metal in both.
Bronze contains tin whereas brass contains zinc. Other metals are present in small amounts and can contribute to the color. Tin makes bronze harder than brass; however, the homeowner won’t be able to tell the difference. Brass is strong enough for hardware and fittings. Pure bronze can be 3-4 times more expensive than brass. That’s why some outdoor fountains and statues are brass with a bronze patina.
If you want color, look for bronze with a colored patina. Gold foil can give brilliant oranges to the artwork whereas other techniques can impart deep blues, reds and brilliant yellows to your piece.
One more note about casting bronze statues. Look for those manufactured with the lost-wax method. Although more arduous, the lost-wax method produces pieces without seams seen on other methods of casting.
Aluminum. Aluminum being lighter than the bronzes is preferred because transport is cheaper. Exposed to the weather, aluminum doesn’t weather as nicely as either bronze or brass. That’s probably why you don’t see aluminum fountains or statues in parks or in front of corporate buildings. You can maintain your aluminum piece by coating with a clear acrylic floor wax.
Cast stone is popular for outdoor water fountains, statuaries and birdbaths because of it’s strength, bold appearance, and barring a hurricane, it won’t blow over. Classical statues of cast stone are reminiscent of the Grecian ancient times. Some manufacturers have developed colored surface finishes that last.
Cast stone concrete is great in the southern states, however, in the northern states, it’s susceptible to water freezing and thawing in tiny crevices. You might have to dry the fountain bowl and cover it during the freezing months. Statues tend to withstand the winters because they don’t have bowls that hold a large volume of water. Formulated properly, cast stone can withstand more than 10 winters.
Fiberglass is less often used for backyard statues and fountains. Not many consumers are familiar with fiberglass for a decorative statue. Fiberglass won’t crack or break as easily as resin. The surface finish is tricky to apply for long-term use, but some manufacturers have had success with it. Fine detailing is also hard to accomplish with the fiberglass structure. Detailing is usually done with the surface coating. You’ll see enormous fiberglass statues in amusements parks and other places because it’s not only strong, but also lightweight and easy to move without a crane.
Iron and Steel Products. Rust can provide a protective surface to outdoor decor. Iron products should be considered if you want an aged or antiqued outdoor decor. Iron is more brittle than the bronzes and less frequently used for statues and water fountains. Iron and steel can be powder coated to prevent rusting and add long-lasting color.
Marble statues and water fountains are valued for the artistic sculpting and uniqueness each marble piece imparts. Some marble is harder than others. Outdoors, marble tends to age differently than the bronzes. Moss and small plants can make a home on the marble making it a truly living piece of artwork. Depending on the amount of acid rain, the surface texture can change with time. As with concrete, it can crack in the winter’s freeze-thaw. The same care must be taken with marble as with cast stone. Marble should be used indoors to preserve the original finish.
Lead Metal. Many designers and architects prefer wall fountains and decorative plaques because of it’s traditional antique quality. Lead can turn darker as it ages and isn’t prone to weathering like aluminum is. It’s a very soft metal and fountain bowls may need periodic reshaping with careful pounds of a soft mallet. Care must be taken when handling lead products. Maintaining the surface with a clear wax or acrylic coating can help you prevent lead from leaching into the environment.
Whatever you decide, to re-design your outdoors every year with resin or to show off heirloom pieces of artwork, be certain to know the characteristics of the materials used before you buy.
Next time, we’ll discuss what you should know about materials used in outdoor lawn, garden and patio furniture and discuss the difference between authentic wrought iron and ornamental ironwork.
Shella R. Dee is the buyer and product specialist for Gardecor®, LLC. She is responsible for selecting outdoor products suitable for long-term use. Shella has degrees in both chemistry and biochemistry that helps her to understand the science of the materials. At Gardecor®, http://www.gardecor.com, you can see the outdoor products that she chose for her clients and you.
There is nothing that can bring a family closer together than playing different backyard games. Being outside is very relaxing and calming and provides a fun environment for everyone. The backyard is a perfect place to play because it offers the space and functionality you’ll need. There are many great games you can play together!
One of the most popular games for families to play outside is football. Most everyone loves this game because they only thing you need to play it is the football itself. It is very important that everyone agrees on the rules before you play. It wouldn’t be very nice if daddy tackles little sister Sarah!
Other people prefer to play soccer in their backyard. Many children belong to a soccer team at school. It will be great practice to get the whole family in on the fun! You will need some more items for soccer than for football. A soccer ball and two goal posts are at the top of the list.
If you’re lucky enough to have a very large family or have some friends over, dodge ball is a great game to play in your backyard. It is very important to get a soft ball for this game so that you do not hurt anyone! Dodge ball is a very low maintenance game, but can be a lot of fun.
Volleyball is another great backyard game. You will need a net and volleyball for this one. You may think that you need a whole slew of people to play this game. However, volleyball does not have to require a lot of people. In fact, you could play with just two people and hit the ball back and forth.
Having a swimming pool in your backyard opens up another world of possibilities. Everyone loves to swim in a swimming pool and will probably have many ideas of what to do for a good time. Some popular things people do are dive for rings, play pool volleyball, and play Marco Polo. It does not matter whether you have an in-ground or above ground pool, there are still many fun games for you to play.
Even though it can be fun for the whole family, you have to be careful no to let your surroundings become disorderly. One mistake that many people make when they get interested in playing backyard games is leaving their equipment laying around everywhere or trying to find a place for it in the house. We all know how awful clutter can look, so its best you come up with a storage plan.
My family decided to get an arrow storage shed to store our entire backyard game supplies in. We were really happy that we were able to have our things outside, but it was an extra plus in that they are protected from the weather and we don’t have to see them out in the open. Find a storage solution that works well for you so you do not become overwhelmed.
Your backyard has so much potential for fun. There are too many people who let their backyard sit there unused. Organize your materials, get up off the couch and go outside and play! You will become closer as a family and will be using your backyard to the fullest.
Is your backyard in need of de-cluttering? These backyard sheds will give you what you need, so you can organize your backyard and have room for some fun.
In your search for a shed, you will find manufacturing companies and dealers selling sheds.
Most manufactures have their own retail sales lots and some may also use dealers
Some sheds are pre-built and painted and delivered whole to your back yard and some are stick built, piece by piece in your backyard. You must have room for a truck and trailer to be able to buy a pre-built shed that’s delivered to your backyard.
A manufacturer who sells their own sheds will be less expensive then one who uses dealers. The dealers make a commission and that money usually comes from a higher price.
You will find nation wide, regional and local companies.
The nation wide companies for the most part use the big box home improvement stores as their dealers. Because of this, they are priced about 30% higher then most of the regional and local companies. That is a lot to pay extra just to deal with a big box store. The only benefit from buying your shed from them is the financing they might offer. Their employees sell hundreds of items if not thousands. Do you really think they know much about storage sheds? And their employee turnover rate is huge so it’s hard to find anyone working at those stores who know anything at all about the storage sheds or even buying them. Do yourself a favor and stay away from the big box stores when you are shed shopping.
The regional companies will be a little better priced but they still sell their sheds through dealers and that 10 or 15% commission has to come from somewhere.
The best prices will be from local manufactures who also sell their own sheds. Additionally, their employees are very knowledgeable and they will have the best products available. I strongly recommend buying from local manufactures.
Out of the local manufacturers there will be some regular ones and some religious based ones.
The regular companies pay salaries, unemployment and workers compensation taxes and other taxes. Some of their employees are veterans and the companies help support their local communities.
The religious groups that run shed companies are usually tax free entities. I don’t think you will ever see one of their employees come home in a body bag from Iraq because they don’t enlist into the service. Usually their prices are lower and they should be, they don’t pay taxes and they offer next to nothing to the local community. They want nothing to do with us but they will take our money. They make a nice shed but I just can’t see supporting them and I strongly suggest you do the same.
For the best price, quality and service, stick to your local shed manufactures who are not backed by any religions.
Who wants to spend hours watering the grass on a regular basis when there’s a better option that offers less backbreaking toil? Or mowing their lawn every month and removing weeds in sweat-soaked clothing under the baking midday sun? If you can dodge the exhaustion and backbreaking pain while reducing the amount of time, money and effort involved in landscaping lawn maintenance, then it might be advantageous to your bank balance and stress levels to read up on the following benefits of a synthetic turf installation.
Artificial grass is used in many locations in everyday life that you might not be aware of, such as school playgrounds, public parks, golf courses, tennis courts and other sporting grounds. Offering an identically bouncy springback performance in all types of temperature or weather conditions – be it hot or cold, sun and rain- the synthetic material used in its construction is durable, hard-wearing and wholly weather-resistant. Additionally, its feel and aesthetics are equally comparable to the real thing, but without the accompanying allergies that can cause rashes and the pesky sniffles.
Many commercial landscapers tell all-too-common horror stories where both cats and dogs have been poisoned after inadvertently eating or chewing on blades of natural grass that have been sprayed with numerous kinds of fertilizers, pesticides, insecticides and/or fungicides. It’s a tragic ongoing concern that faces pet owners at the moment. Furthermore, with the mounting price of water bills nowadays and the amount of physical work it takes to maintain a beautifully lush and green front garden and backyard lawn, many people are now turning to purchasing artificial grass.
Along with its striking green appearance and luscious feeling on bare feet, fake grass also has the advantage of not developing brown spots due to the sun, or wearing thin and becoming both patchy and straw-like through continuous foot traffic. For those who actively enjoy spending as much time outdoors in your front garden, patio or backyard as possible, you’ll be pleased to know that artificial turf stay stunningly beautiful, verdant and green all year round. If gardening is one of your favorite recreational hobbies in your spare time, then a synthetic lawn installation will make your gardening work much easier.
Regardless of it being utilized for residential or commercial purposes, artificial grass will help your wallet out. Without the need for habitual upkeep and continuously grueling and arduous work, fake grass will help to alleviate all of the constant (and irritating) interruptions to your daily routine that you have to compete with when you own a high maintenance lawn area. You won’t have to worry about the persistent growth of unwanted weeds, or relentlessly having to water your lawn at routine intervals. Getting rid of real grass means that you can also dispose of the weeds and other garden-based frustrations.
Synthetic turf can help you to decrease the amount of watering you have to do that, in turn, will end up conserving your time, as well as benefiting the environment by lowering your energy expenditure. Moreover, an artificial grass installation will also guarantee the safety and well-being of your beloved pets, and you won’t need to buy pesticide and fertilizer sprays any longer, which will save you money and reduce your outgoing costs.
Whether you decide to put in an synthetic turf area by yourself or through a professional installation team, fake grass is becoming the intelligent alternative all over the nation for anyone thinking of the important practical and environmental aspects.
A backyard wedding is so much fun and great to plan. You can really be creative when planning your backyard wedding. You need to make sure you are careful when you plan so that you don’t run into problems.
If you don’t want to plan the backyard wedding yourself, you can always hire a wedding planner. Wedding planners plan backyard weddings all the time so they know what to be careful with and what you need to have so your wedding will be perfect.
If you plan to prepare your backyard wedding yourself, here are some tips you can use.
You will want to be careful of the date you choose when you plan to have a backyard wedding. Rain and wind can cause problems, so you will want to plan your wedding accordingly. Of course, the weather is unpredictable so you will need to make sure you have a back up plan just in case.
The first thing you need to be very clear about when you are planning your backyard wedding is the number of people you invite. You are limited on the space and the number of chairs you can have, so you don’t want to invite too many guests and not have enough chairs. The worst thing you can do is have your guests stand during the ceremony.
When you are planning your backyard wedding, you will want to rent a tent so your guests will have shade. In the summer, it can be very hot and the clothes you and your guests will be wearing can make it even hotter. So the tent will help shade them from the sun and get some relief as well.
Decorating is minimal when you have a backyard wedding. You will have chairs for your guests so you won’t have pews to decorate. You may not be able to have a candelabra so that will be another expense you won’t have. Flowers are another thing you won’t have too many of since you will be outside.
The dresses your bridesmaids wear will also need to go with the atmosphere. You may consider spaghetti strap or strapless dresses to help keep them cooler with the warm temps. It’s a little more difficult with the men since they will need to wear a tux. You can help by eliminating the vest that goes under the jacket and have them wear short sleeve shirts rather than long sleeve ones.
You will also need to be careful with your cake, drinks, and food for your reception. Most brides who plan backyard weddings plan for the reception at the same location. This will save you money because you won’t have the rental expense of a reception hall, but you have to be careful with the food. You don’t want it to go bad before your guests get a chance to eat it. You will want to keep it refrigerated for as long as possible.
Planning backyard weddings can be so much fun. They are so beautiful and you have many more options that you may not be able to do in a church. There are things you have to be careful with, but in the long run you will be so happy that you chose to have your wedding outside. Backyard weddings can also save you money because you won’t have too much decorating to do, you won’t have the cost of renting a hall for the reception, and you won’t have the cost of the church. Planning a backyard wedding is the way to go!
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There are so many backyard playground sets for sale that it can be hard to know which one to buy. As purchasing a playground set is by no means cheap, it is important to do some research before buying one. Following is an overview of some of the options available as well as some helpful tips on how to choose the right set.
What are the Options?
Most residential playground sets are made from metal, wood or plastic. Plastic and wood swing sets consist solely of a couple swings. However, most sets have a swing, slide and perhaps some monkey bars on the side. There are also some sets that have two ladders and two slides.
Choosing the Right Material
While a metal playground set is quite durable, it looks tacky once the paint has peeled off. It is usually best to invest in either a wood or plastic set. Wooden playground equipment should be treated so that it will be impervious to termites and humidity. Plastic is a good option as it is easy to clean, durable and will stay reasonably good looking for some time, although wooden play equipment may be more durable and is often more aesthetic than plastic.
Choosing the Right Set
When choosing a playground set, it is important to consider the age of the child or children in question. While a parent should be in the yard supervising the child, the child should be able to play on the equipment with little or no help. On the other hand, the equipment should be a bit challenging for the child, or else he or she will quickly get bored with it.
It can also be a good idea to look up online reviews of various sets before purchasing one. These reviews are written by customers who have bought and used the set in question and so are straightforward and easy to understand. While no set will ever get all positive reviews, good sets should have at least a three to four star average review rating.
Where to Buy a Playground Set
While some large stores and supermarkets sell playground sets, it is easier to purchase such a set online instead of at a local store. Online retailers not only have a large variety to choose from but also have good prices as well. Just make sure the retailer provides free shipping, as this can be quite expensive.
Many children enjoy background playground sets and it is not hard to see why. Such sets are not fun but also provide good exercise and help a child develop motor skills. However, it is important for a parent to choose the right set. A good set should be well made, sturdy, the right size for the yard and suitable for the child or children who are to use it.