How To Set Your Outdoor Christmas Table

You can’t wait to prepare for the Christmas dinner, especially with your new outdoor cooking area the outdoor kitchen builders have pulled off for you. Surely the most memorable holiday happenings you and your family can remember has taken place at the dinner table. So this Yuletide season why not create another set of memories with your tribe starting with the best set up of your dinner table.

Although there are many ways to set a dining table, the holiday season is extra special. If you wanted to give your dining area a different look, here are some table decorating ideas that can make your Christmas table as stunning as it can ever be.

DRESS UP YOUR HOLIDAY DINNER TABLE

  • The Classic Candle Centerpiece

Adding silver bells to your traditional candle centerpiece means Christmas is here! Put out all your fancy candlestick and dress them up with silver and gold linings. Elegance at its finest.

  • Try Some Red Fruits and Berries

Placing fresh greens, together with your table candles and some cute red berries, your holiday dinner table will surely be a merry dining experience.

  • The Mercury Glass Table Pieces

Make your dining table shine like a diamond with mercury glassware that will reflect the glow and warmth of the candles and other colors of this season.

  • A Frugal Centerpiece Style

If you wanted to save for your holiday decors this year scavage your old Christmas ornaments and see what you can still use as a centerpiece. You can also use fresh pine, or winter berries or cut out tree branches and place them on your dining table to give your indoor or outdoor dining experience special.

  • How About A Little French Vibe?

Some sparkling lights and a romantic mistletoe feel can give your home a different holiday mood and you can go all artistic on how you wanted your centerpiece to be like.

  • Have You Tried The Birch Centerpiece?

This project just needs 3 materials: fresh greens, pinecones, and birch candles. This centerpiece will definitely bring the Yuletide season ambiance straight into your center table.

  • Rustic Toy Centerpiece

This may seem oddly unique, but if you have an old pickup truck where you can put candles or bottlebrush trees with other Christmas ornaments then you can set them all up on your table and give your dining area a little country holiday feel.

  • Keep it Neutral With A Metallic Touch

A piece of green over a fine wooden slice on top of your dinner will blend well with your metal wares. Create a matching centerpiece will definitely nail your table setting décor.

  • Outdoor Dinner

So what if it’s a bit chilly? Set up an outdoor dining table for an all-day bonding and food-indulging with your favorite people. You can decorate the table with mini wooden houses together with candle centerpieces which can make you enjoy more your hot chocolate or eggnog for a more comfy feel. Just don’t forget to wear warmer clothes, of course.

  • Copper Pipes?

Well, if you love to create pieces out of copper pipes why not create a candle holder out of it? Use your playful mind to produce a stunning centerpiece you can even use on any occasion.

  • Dress Up Your Table With Prints

If you have huge printed scarfs or linen pieces that you seldom use put them out to serve as tablecloths. Match them with plain napkins and dinnerware and your Christmas table is all set. This set up can be done both indoor and outdoor dining.

  • An Inviting Centerpiece

If you have a glass compote collection, use them as centerpieces. You can place a festive candle, then surround it with either berries, clementines, or cherries it’s all up to you then finish it some fresh pines and voila! You can use this centerpiece idea for any occasion, plus, you can also use them as a living room centerpiece too.

  • Mason Jars

Of course, Mason Jars! This can be easy for you. Using different sizes of mason jars, half-fill them with Epsom salt, then put candles in some of the jars, while other jars are filled with cranberries and juniper. Arrange them alternately on your dining table and create a warm, romantic ambiance you and your family will surely love.

When it comes to centerpieces, you should not limit your ideas and creativity.  Even the patio builders Long Island can help you with great ideas on how to transform your outdoor dining area into something festive. This season, bring out the joy in every heart by creating wonderful outdoor dining pieces.

Chimney Contractors: Common Problems With Old Chimneys And How To Fix Them

When talking about old chimneys, we are talking about chimneys that were constructed in the 1950s. Most of these chimneys are made from bricks, although there are a few made from blocks. Chimney contractors report that these chimneys have a wide range of problems that include:

Lack of lining

Unless you are extremely lucky, your old chimney doesn’t have a lining. This exposes your unit to a wide range of problems. The most common ones being:

Unlined chimneys have bad draft characteristics that causes them to work inefficiently.

The chimneys also leak noxious gases into the living spaces

If you use your chimney for wood burning, the resulting condensation aids in the formation of tar and creosote which as you know is flammable. This puts your home at the risk of fire.

If your chimney isn’t lined, you should ask the contractors to install the lining.

Old bricks and mortar problems

Most of the houses constructed in the 1800s and 1700s have bricks that are in great condition. This is because the bricks were fired in a better way compared to the modern ones.

While this is the case, there are a few chimneys that have bricks that have come off or have cracked. You should work with your contractor and inspect the nature of the bricks.

If you can repair them, go ahead and do it. If the bricks are in an awful shape that you have to replace them, get new bricks fired in a high-quality manner. You also should ensure that the bricks are installed properly.

Shifting ground and old chimney

The ground is always moving. Fortunately, houses are elastic thus allow enough movement and don’t fall. Unfortunately, the stresses can break the bricks over time. When the damage is extensive, the chimney can be too weak to the extent that it puts you and your family at risk.

What you need to do is to inspect the chimney and if the bricks are too damaged, replace them. In some cases, all you need to do is to repair them.

Weather damage

Sun, wind, and rain are usually hard on the masonry work, especially the mortar. Well maintained mortar should last at least 60 years. When the mortar wears out, you may have to rebuild or re-point the chimney.

Re-pointing is the process of grinding out an inch of the old and broken up mortar and putting in new mortar without necessarily removing the bricks. You should note that you don’t have to do this, unless your chimney is too large.

If the chimney is small, you will have an easy time dismantling the chimney and rebuilding it using the same bricks.

Lack of waterproofing

One of the major flaws of old chimneys is that they soak up a lot of water from the rain. This is due to the nature of the bricks used in making them. During the cold seasons of the year, the bricks hold water which puts the house at the risk of freezing.

You can fix this problem by waterproofing the chimney. There are plenty of waterproofing materials on the market that you can go for. These materials don’t block the masonry pores but give you the results you are looking for.

When waterproofing, avoid using silicone as it tends to block the pores. It also has a shorter life due to the UV light breaking down the silicone.

Old or lack of chimney crown

The chimney crown is the cement part on the top of the chimney that prevents the rain from getting into the structure. The crown is greatly affected by the wind, rain, and sun. Is your chimney crown old or isn’t present at all? You should fix it.

If it has cracks in it, you should fix it. In some situations, the crown is in bad shape that you have to replace it. In such a case, you should take it off and relay it.

Lack of clearance to combustibles

Chimney experts rarely cared about clearances to combustibles when they were constructing the chimneys years ago. Due to this, it’s common to see beams laying against the masonry of the chimney. To protect your property and loved ones, you should work with the chimney repair professionals and create more clearance.

Outdoor Grilling Startup and Recipes

Rather than preparing kitchen-cooked gourmet dishes for your friends who are coming over for an outdoor get-together along with some drinks, why not have an outdoor barbecue party instead? It’s fast and everyone can take turns in grilling their favorite food. You can have your outdoor kitchen builders create a perfect outdoor kitchen for your backyard patio.  An outdoor cooking space where you and your guests can enjoy every dish that can come out of that grill.

What You Should Know About Outdoor Cooking

  • Convenience

Cooking outdoors is one of the best options to once in a while free yourself from the four walls of your kitchen area. A breath of fresh air while cooking will boost your mood more. Plus, it is also a good way to socialize with your visitors as the enticing smell of grilled food, the sound and the sight of outdoor cooking calls for an inviting chit-chat around the grill.

  • Healthy Perks

Aside from the fact that cooking over the grill is much faster and even, it is also less in calories and fat compared to kitchen frying and cooking. Too much fried food will only lead to health risks like high blood pressure, heart disease, obesity, and stroke. Grilled-cooked dishes do not contain as much fat as indoor cooking because all the grease, oil and fat seeps out the food during the process of grilling.

  • Possible Health Threats

So grilled foods are safer for the health because it has less fat and calories, yes. But if your meat products are grilled too much that is where the risk will start because it will possess heterocyclic amines that can cause cancer.

  • May Cause Fire

Do you know that one of the major causes of fire involves grills, barbecue stands, and hibachis? Thousands have lost their homes while a million worth of property damage is on record from 2004 to 2008 just because of irresponsible grill handling and cooking. So to avoid this from happening to make sure that you know the do’s and don’ts of grill cooking and the safe ways to keep your outdoor cooking equipment in good condition.

Time to Grill Some Enticing Dishes

  • Grilled Chicken California Style

Plate it within minutes and savor every spice on it.

Ingredients:

  • Balsamic vinegar (¾ cups)
  • Garlic powder (1 tsp)
  • Honey (2 tbsp)
  • Virgin olive oil (2 tbsp)
  • Italian seasoning (2 tsp)
  • Kosher salt
  • Fresh ground black pepper
  • Boneless, skinless chicken breasts (4 pcs)
  • Mozzarella (4 slices)
  • Avocado (4 slices)
  • Tomato (4 slices)
  • Sliced basil (2 tbsp)
  • Grilled Chicken Bruschetta

Another dish that you can assemble in minutes that even the kids will love.

Ingredients:

  • Extra-virgin olive oil (4 tbsp)
  • Lemon juice
  • Kosher salt
  • Fresh ground black pepper
  • Oregano or Italian seasoning (1 tsp)
  • Skinless and boneless chicken breasts (4 pcs)
  • Fresh tomatoes (3 slices)
  • Garlic (2 cloves, minced)
  • Mozzarella (4 slices)
  • Grated Parmesan, fresh
  • Grilled Shrimp in Foil Packets

Wanted to try grilled seafood? Then this one should be included in your outdoor grilling in minutes.

Ingredients:

  • Large shrimp (1/2 lbs, peeled and deveined)
  • Garlic (2 cloves, minced)
  • Smoked Andouille sausages (2 pcs thinly sliced)
  • Corn (2 pcs cut into 4 pcs crosswise)
  • Red potatoes (1 lb, chopped)
  • Extra-virgin olive oil (2 tbsp)
  • Old Bay seasoning (1 tsp)
  • Lemon (1 pc, sliced)
  • Butter (4 tbsp)
  • Kosher salt
  • Ground black pepper, fresh
  • Parsley leaves (2 tbsp, chopped)
  • Grilled Pineapple with Sundaes

Welcome the summer season with a blast of pineapple and sundae to complete your sunny getaway.

Ingredients:

  • Fresh pineapple (4 pcs, sliced)
  • Vanilla ice cream (4 scoops)
  • Dulce de leche
  • Sweetened coconut (2 tbsp, shredded and toasted)

Excited to start grilling? Well, gather up your family and friends and start trying these delicious, mouth-watering outdoor cooking recipes to make your backyard party more memorable. Have your outdoor kitchen contractors Long Island install your outdoor cooking equipment safely and teach you also how to keep a harm-free, but fun-filled exterior cooking. Cooking for the people you love is priceless, but remember to maintain safety in all your cooking activities may it be indoor or outdoor.

Interior House Painting: Understanding How To Paint The Ceiling

When painting the interior of your house, you have to paint the ceiling. To give it a look it deserves, you need to consider a number of tips recommended by interior house painters. Some of the tips to consider include:

Prepare the ceiling

Just like when painting the walls, you have to prepare the ceilings for painting. This is necessary if you had applied the paint previously on the ceiling. When you apply paint on the ceiling, it’s common for bumps and crud to get stuck there. To get rid of it you have to sand the ceiling. After sanding the surface, wipe it clean with a damp sponge. All you need to use is a high-quality sandpaper. By sanding the surface, you have an easy time applying the paint.

In addition to painting the surface, you also need to protect the areas that you don’t want to apply the paint. You should cover these areas with a piece of paper.

Use rollers instead of brushes

Once the surface is clean, you should go ahead and paint it. To do it you should use a roller instead of a brush. The main benefit of using the roller is that you can complete the project fast. To paint the surfaces evenly, you should make use of some tips. One of the tips is to paint the surfaces in sections. Here you need to cut your ceiling is sections of 5-6 feet and then paint them individually.

You should paint sections fast and move to the next one before the paint along the edges gets dry. This is known as “keep the wet edge,” and it comes in handy in preventing lap marks. House painting contractors recommend that you paint the different sections in right angles to get the best results.

Invest in high-quality paint

There is no way you will get perfect results when you use cheap paint. To get the most, you need to invest in the high-quality paint. Good paint is one that doesn’t spatter, dries up slowly and is flat—it isn’t glossy. Many brands are selling high-quality paints. It’s up to you to research the one that is ideal for your application.

Conclusion

These are the golden tips that you should consider when painting your house ceiling. While you can do the painting on your own if you have the skills, it’s always wise to hire experienced local painting contractors to help you out.

It’s the objective of every person painting the house to get the best results. It’s good to note that you don’t get ideal results just like that—you have to work for it. To help you out, here are tips proposed by professional painters on how to give your house a perfect look:

Prepare your painting surface

You won’t achieve ideal results if the painting surface isn’t properly prepared. You should fill all the holes. You should then wait for it to dry then sand the patches. If the wall is dirty, use a damp cloth to dust it off. It’s common to have gaps between the walls and the trim. Before you start the painting work you should first fill the gaps using paintable caulk. You should also fill hole and divots in the wood and smooth it after drying.

Use the right painting tools

Again, there is no way that you will have ideal painting results if you don’t use the right painting tools. When it comes to the preparation of the painting surface, you need the following tools: sandpaper, putty knife, damp lint-free rag, and spackle. If you need to fill the trim you need to have wood putty and paintable caulk. For painting, house painting contractors recommend that you have a stir stick, angled paint brush, roller cover, roller tray, roller extension pole, and rollers. You can use painter’s tape to protect the floor but if you don’t have it you should use a drop cloth. For ideal results, ensure that the brushes you use are of high quality. In addition to high-quality brushes giving a great finish, they also last for a long time.

Be wise in your paint selection

Different types of paints give different results and are ideal for different rooms of the house. For the trim, millwork contractors recommend that you use semi-gross paint. Contractors also recommend that you use eggshell paint for the bathrooms and kitchen. When it comes to the rest of the rooms, use flat paint. You should use latex paints as they dry quickly and give off less fumes. They are also easy to clean with water. All you have to do is ensure that the paint that you are using is of high quality.

Conclusion

By putting the right tips into place you will give your house a perfect look. To have an easy time, work with reputable local painting contractors.