When only natural wood will do for your brand new deck, there’s no better choice than exotic hardwood! Due to their ability to withstand the elements for decades and their beautiful look, exotic hardwood can transform your deck into a luxury outdoor living space.Continue reading
Summer is here and chances are you’re spending a sizable amount of time soaking up the sun in your backyard on the patio! Dressing up your outdoor space with a variety of annual and perennial plants is an easy way to keep the space looking colourful and inviting all season long. When it comes to deciding what to plant, there are a few important things to consider before getting started.Continue reading
STINGER has been developing innovative roofing and sidewall fastening solutions to protect from the harshest elements since 2007.Continue reading
Spring Cleaning for Your Yard
Once the snow is all melted and winter is finally behind us, you’ll likely find yourself walking around your backyard and picking up debris, fallen branches and pet waste. A little bit of TLC can go a long way in terms of preparing for a successful growing season.
It may be tempting to get outside and tackle yard work on the first warm day of the season, but it’s important to resist the urge to clean up the garden until temperatures are consistently above at least 10 degrees celsius. Butterflies and pollinating insects hibernate in the dead leaves and hollow stems of dead plants, so it’s important not to disturb them too early in the season.
If you didn’t get a chance to rake leaves in the fall, you’ve probably got a case of “snow mold” throughout your yard. Snow mold is more common in springs when the first snows of the previous winter were early and heavy enough to cover ground before it was fully frozen. As the snow continued to fall, the warm ground beneath the snow was actively supporting fungal growth, leading to snow mold in the following spring. If you happen to you find snow mould damage on your lawn, gently rake the affected areas to loosen the grass, as this will help the lawn dry and give new grass room to grow.
To prepare your gardens for a prosperous season, mix some compost to fertilize and soften up the soil. If possible, use compost rather than fertilizer, as fertilizer may burn new plants. Remove weeds and any dead plants you didn’t remove in the previous fall and plant bright spring annuals like snapdragons, pansies and petunias, or blooming perennials like bleeding hearts, black-eyed susans or irises. Prune any shrubs in your yard to remove dead limbs and allow new growth.
Once your yard and gardens are looking good, it’s time to tackle the exterior of your home and your patio area. Clean out your gutters and dispose of dead leaves and branches, and powerwash your siding and patio area to remove built-up grime that accumulated in the winter. Give your patio furniture a good scrub with soapy water to remove any cobwebs and dust.
It may seem like a lot of work, but the payoff of spring yard prep is worth its weight in gold and will leave you with more time spent enjoying your outdoor space all summer long.
Eco-Friendly Tips for Your Home
Choosing to make changes in our lifestyle to benefit the environment has never been more important! Here are 10 easy and affordable ways to make your home more eco-friendly.
1. Use cold water in your washing machine
Hot water requires much more energy per load, with a large majority of the total energy being used to heat the water. Switching to cold water can add up to some major energy savings and will get your clothes just as clean as hot water.
2. Use a clothesline or drying rack
Washing and drying your clothes consumes a lot of energy. If you’re able, consider installing a clothesline to dry your clothes in the warmer months or purchase a drying rack for indoor use. Air drying your clothes will actually help them last longer, too. Win-win!
3. Make your own cleaning products
Homemade, natural cleaning products can be just as effective as store-bought ones, minus all of the harsh chemicals. You can make your own cleaning products using everyday items like vinegar, baking soda, and lemon juice.
4. Use energy-efficient lightbulbs
LED lightbulbs consume approximately 90% less energy than standard incandescent bulbs and don’t contain hazardous materials, like mercury. Energy-efficient light bulbs will give you more bang for your buck because they last about 2 to 4 times longer than standard bulbs, too!
5. Compost your food waste
Using a compost bin will help you dispose of leftovers and will give you free fertilizer for your garden in return.
6. Add window treatments
Curtains and blinds will make a big difference in terms of heating or cooling your home. Even if your windows are closed, hot or cold air can still creep in and affect the temperature of your home – which means your AC or heating system will be used more than needed.
7. Decorate your home with indoor plants
Indoor plants will positively affect the air quality in your home and will help reduce carbon dioxide. Plus, they look great!
8. Grow your own herbs and vegetables
Growing your own herbs and veggies will help save you money and reduce transportation emissions. Herbs like basil, mint, cilantro and chives or garden vegetables like lettuce, onions and celery can be continuously re-grown with just a bit of water and patience.
9. Unplug any electronics and appliances you aren’t using on a regular basis
Unplug any power bars or electrical cords whenever you’re done using the electronics or appliances. Everything from TVs to phone chargers can act as “leech appliances” sucking energy even when they aren’t being used.
10. Upcycle old decor and furniture
Breathe new life into old items with a fresh coat of eco-friendly paint, or you pick up pre-loved furniture and decor from a secondhand store like Habitat for Humanity or Value Village.
Diamon-Fusion Protective Glass Coating
Over time, untreated glass products may start to lose their lustre due to harsh chemical cleaners, UV rays and even saltwater mist. Diamon-Fusion is here to help keep your InvisiRail Glass Railing system looking as good as new!
Diamon-Fusion is a new ultra-thin, UV-resistant protective coating that permanently transforms ordinary glass panels into high-performing, water-repellent surfaces. Glass treated with Diamon-Fusion becomes easier to clean and requires less upkeep, making it the perfect choice for glass railings and showers. Diamon-Fusion protective coating can be added to existing glass products — removing the need to replace any of your glass panels.
When applying Diamon-Fusion coating to glass railings or shower doors, you’ll notice a substantial difference in your railing’s appearance. The protective coating will help protect against water stains, corrosion, etching and harmful UV rays, leaving you with more time to sit back and enjoy your crystal-clear view.
Diamon-Fusion comes with a lifetime warranty on residential applications, and a 15-year warranty on commercial applications. For videos and more information on Diamon-Fusion, click here to visit our product page today!
Wood Screws vs Metal Screws: What’s the difference?
When preparing for a new project, it is important to make sure you have all of the right tools required for the build. When it comes to something as seemingly simple as choosing the right screws, going with a “one-size-fits-all” mentality doesn’t always cut it.
In terms of their similarities, metal and wood screws are both available in standard lengths ranging from ¼” to 3”, and both types can be drilled using the same tools. However, as their name suggests, wood screws are better suited for builds involving lumber, plywood and other materials made of wood. While it’s true that metal screws can be drilled into wood, their unique features make them better suited for working with softer materials.
Wood screws consist of four parts: the head, shank, threads, and tip. The tip’s sharp point will guide the screw precisely as it cuts into the material. The shank forms the screw’s core and the thread is wrapped around it. The thread cuts grooves which allows the screw to grip the material securely as the screw is driven deeper. This grip prevents the screw from being pulled out, securing the workpieces together.
Metal screws differ from wood screws in their design and function. Their design elements are specifically geared towards securing sheet metal to metal, plastic, fibreglass, wood, or other materials. They can also be used to attach hinges, hasps, brackets, and other types of hardware. In short, metal screws are designed to withstand the stress of holding together heavy metal pieces for an extended period of time.
Want to know more? Visit our store locator to find a local hardware store or building supplier near you.
Simple Ways to Increase Your Home’s Value
Thinking about selling your home, but feeling overwhelmed by the amount of preparation (and money) that can go into making your home market-ready? The good news is that there are many ways to update the look of your home without being too time-consuming or expensive. A lot of value can be added to your home with DIY projects that can be completed on a weekend with a few helping hands.
It’s no secret that first impressions are important. Curb appeal sets the stage for the rest of your home, so simple upgrades like installing a new front door, power-washing your home’s siding or even installing new exterior lighting can make a big difference without breaking the
bank. Planting greenery in front of your house, along walkways or patio space will draw attention to your home. Don’t forget that perennial plants come back year after year which will ensure you get the most bang for your buck.
One of the easiest and most cost-effective improvements you can make to your home’s interior is a fresh coat of paint. When it comes to selecting colours, keep in mind that neutrals appeal to most people, thus making your home appeal to more buyers. Freshly painted rooms, cabinets and windows will look clean and updated — and that translates into value!
It may seem insignificant in the grand scheme of things, but updating hardware and light fixtures can go a long way. Switching out cabinet handles in your kitchen, installing new towel racks or toilet paper holders in your master bathroom, or updating the vanity lights and mirrors
in your powder room will provide a nice facelift.
Preparing a house for sale can be stressful, so remember to give yourself a break and take care of yourself just as well as you’re taking care of your home!
2022 Backyard Bucket List
If your 2022 resolution is to spend more time enjoying and beautifying your outdoor space,
you’ve come to the right place! Here are 30 seasonal activities or projects to add to your 2022
backyard bucket list:
- Re-stain your deck and/or fencing
- Plant spring annuals and perennials
- Power wash your patio stones/pathing
- Upgrade outdoor furniture and textiles
- Make a wind chime or suncatcher
- Add a water feature to your garden, like a fountain or birdbath
- Create a vertical garden with a lattice trellis and climbing plants
- Make a rain barrel
- Install a new firepit
- Upgrade patio lighting
- Build a pergola with flowy curtains
- Plan an outdoor movie night
- Have a water balloon fight
- Grow a backyard vegetable garden
- Invest in a new barbeque
- Plant mosquito-repellant greenery, such as lavender or basil
- Power wash your outdoor belongings
- Paint your backyard shed
- Decorate with seasonal hanging baskets
- Enjoy fall-themed hot drinks by the fire pit
- Tidy up your gardens
- Plant bulbs for spring
- Decorate steps with pumpkins and lanterns
- Make your own Halloween decorations
- Build a backyard ice rink
- Set up birdfeeders
- Decorate your outdoor space with cedar, pine, or birch planters
- Add a heat lamp to your seating area
- Decorate with string lights
- Regularly shovel and salt your deck or walkways
Your Official Guide Outdoor Entertaining in the Summer
Now that we’ve officially kicked off the start of summer in Canada, you may be thinking about outdoor entertaining. Whether it’s a family barbeque, a cozy bonfire, or an intimate dinner on the patio, outdoor entertaining plays a major role in the lives of many Canadians in our very short-lived summer season. However, after the harsh winter, your backyard and outdoor spaces may be in need of a little TLC. Here are a few simple steps to get your outdoor space ready for entertaining this summer!
First, start with a deep clean. Over the winter, harsh Canadian conditions like snow, frost, wind and rain may impact your backyard. Your landscaping, deck, and outdoor furniture will be in need of some maintenance. Roll up your sleeves and start with some gardening. Make sure you remove all the unwanted weeds and give the lawn a fresh cut. If the grass in your yard is suffering after the winter, (like all yards do!) try removing all the dead grass, scattering some compost and grass seed, and making sure your lawn gets watered weekly. Next, be sure to maintain any plants and trees in your yard, including making sure the base soil is neat and tidy. If your plants and trees are overgrown, don’t be afraid to give them a trim. And of course, water them accordingly. Next, give your furniture and outdoor features a deep clean using any multi-purpose or outdoor furniture cleaner. This includes cleaning up any furniture, bird feeder mess, water features etc.
Once you’ve done a deep clean, you’re ready for organizing! Nobody likes a disorganized space. To reduce clutter, try keeping any tools and gadgets tucked away in a garage, shed or storage room. If everything has a designated place, your space will feel clean and organized, and will automatically be more relaxing for you and your guests. Next, be sure to do a surface clean of your deck, patio or railing to get rid of any dust or dirt
Lastly, pay attention to your personal goals for the specific space, and use small details to achieve that goal. For example, are you looking for a cozy outdoor dining space? Try using lanterns with soft lighting and comfy dining chairs with outdoor blankets and pillows. This is a great way to create a warm, cozy and intimate space for outdoor dining in the evenings. Are you looking for a fun pool and deck area for daytime family entertaining? Try some comfy loungers and some pool toys and games to keep your guests entertained! If you are looking for ways to upgrade your fire pit area, try adding comfortable chairs, (with blankets!), and soft lighting guiding your guests around the fire pit.
Whether you have an outdoor dining patio, or a fun fire pit, enjoy the Canadian summer season and make most of your outdoor space!