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Landscaping with Palms: Six Palm Trees to Plant

Many homeowners want to create a lush tropical feel in their backyard or their landscape. To do this there are certain plants that are first on everyone’s mind to plant. Palm trees are a great way to add that tropical feel and the atmosphere of the islands to any landscape. These six palms to plant are great starter choices.

Giant Dioon (Dioon spinulosum)

The giant dioon is from the coontie family and is considered an evergreen palm even though it is technically a cycad. It is sometimes referred to as the gum palm. It is a large plant, up to 50 feet tall, with feathery leaves that are five to seven feet in width. Cones are over a foot long. To plant this soil needs to be moist with good drainage and a partial shade to full sun location. It is propagated by division and by seed. There is a warning as the leaves have small thorns and sharp spots. It has a USDA hardiness rating of zones 9b to 11.

Jelly Palm (Butia capitata)

The jelly palm is from the palm family and is an evergreen drought resistant palm that will be easy to grow. This plant typically gets 12 to 15 feet tall with light green or bluish gray leaves five to ten feet tall. There are orange fruits on the palm. To plant this soil must be well drained and sandy and the location must be in full sun to moderate shade. Propagate by seeds. It has a USDA hardiness rating of zones 8 to 9.

Seashore Palm (Allagoptera arenaria)

The seashore palm is from the palm family and is an evergreen songbird attracting palm tree. This plant typically gets to approximately six feet in height. Leaves are feathery and between two and six feet in length. Flower stalks will have both male and female flowers and yellowish green fruits. Fruits look like coconuts but much smaller. Plant this in moderate to full shade in poor soils. Propagate by seeds. It has a USDA hardiness rating of zones 10 to 11.

Rain Tree (Attalea cohune)

The rain tree is from the palm family and is an evergreen palm that attracts songbirds. This plant will get 20 to 50 feet in height with leaves that can range up to 33 feet in length. Leaves are compound and cream colored flowers are clustered up to five feet in length. Plant this is full sun in a good sandy well drained soil. It is a slow grower and will need a palm fertilizer high in nitrogen. Propagate by seed. It has a USDA hardiness rating of zones 9 to 12.

Kitchen Remodeling – How To Get started?

There are a few essential components in the design of a kitchen that you have to keep in mind while you are going for its remodeling. Understanding these basic elements will make it easier to plan your Federal Way kitchen remodeling work rather than focusing on each individual element and trying to figure out what you can do to make it look better or create more space.

Spell out the advantages of remodeling
While you are planning to remodel your kitchen, you must have a clear picture in your mind about what benefits you are seeking from the whole exercise. Be convinced about the things you want to change, the reason why you want to change and the advantages that you expect from the renovation. Remodeling is an expensive affair and you certainly do not want to do something that you are likely to regret later.

Look around but be innovative
If you have kitchen remodeling in mind, it is essential that you keep an open eye while visiting your family and friends and take ideas from their designs. But at the same time, you can create some great ideas by being innovative and creative while thinking about the possible changes that can be done in your kitchen area. Renovation can be quite messy in the short run, but it can be great fun working through the entire process.

Talk to a professional
It is not necessary that you get the work done through a Federal Way kitchen remodeling contractor, though it has certain advantages. Even if you decide to do the whole work yourself, it will be a good idea to talk to a few experts in your Washington area or nearby cities, such as Seattle, Tacoma, etc, who have experience of doing this kind of work. They might give you some ideas that may not strike you at all. Do take bids from them for various services they provide. It is quite possible that you may find it more attractive to get the work done through these professionals rather than doing it yourself.

Make a detailed plan
Make a detailed list of things you would like to do in your Federal Way kitchen remodeling project. Convince yourself about the purpose of doing any change, however small it may be, whether it is changing the flooring, cabinets, quartz countertops or something else. Look at each item carefully in your kitchen. Maybe some of the improvements may come only by shifting the place of some of the items. Think about all those possibilities.

Work out a detailed cost estimate
It is also advisable that you prepare an estimate of the total cost involved so that you know beforehand how much the total work is going to cost you. You certainly would not like to face the situation of running short on cash while your kitchen is in a mess during the period of renovation.

Are you going to sell?
The items that you would like to remodel should be decided based on the prime consideration of how long you are planning to actually stay in the house. If you have plans to sell and move to a new house in the near future, maybe you would like to rethink about how much money you are spending on the remodeling work for your kitchen, bathroom or any other area you may not be happy with. If you decide to go for a Federal Way kitchen remodel you should be doing only those changes that will increase its value in the market so that you get some return from the investment you have made.

We Remodeled Our Bathroom Ourselves

In June 2013, we decided to remodel our bathroom by ourselves. I have had the bathroom remodeled after buying it in 1986 but had a bad experience when using a contractor. He did not use a new tub but one that was resurfaced which I did not know until it started to peel and rust over 5 years later. The brand of tub had a lifetime guarantee a new one would never have had problems. They did not put in the electrical work to code, which we found out when we had all of the electrical wiring redone in 2010.

My husband when he was younger had worked in construction, he asked our brother-in-law to help, and at one time, he was an apartment maintenance man. So between the two of them they had some experience and knowledge on what needed to happen and how to do it.

It took them about a week to complete the bathroom. First to buy the items needed going back a few times for additional items. Then to remove the tub, old wood floor boards, toilet, sink, cabinets, shower walls, and bathroom door. Next, it was time to install all of the new pipes, the new tub, wood floorboards, tile, and all cabinets, put back the toilet, and paint.

We were lucky we had another bathroom with a sink and toilet to use during this time. We actually used the new shower/tub too soon and should have waited the caulking was not dry.

Also, have somewhere to shower and use the toilet in case it takes a while to complete yours or you run into plumbing problems.

A hint would be to do remodeling when it is cooler. During the summer, it is hot and tempers can flare if something goes wrong.

Make sure that you will have everything you need and do not go over your budget, which we did. Take into consideration that the things you take out might need new screws, caulking, toilet seal, etc. and all of these items can dig into your budget. Some of the old items may break when you go to reinstall them. As well as painting supplies not just the paint. Get detailed when making your supply list.

Really, think about the color of tile for the floors. I love my white tile but it does not work out with pets and it shows every speck of dust and dirt. Therefore, it has been hard to keep clean.

All and all it was a good experience and we plan to remodel our other rooms as well. Plan by making a detailed supply list, make enough time for the project, have extra help if needed, think ahead from beginning to end so you do not get a surprise in the middle of your project.

If you are looking for quartz kitchen tops in Phoenix, AZ – Please call AZ granite & Remodeling Today at (602) 759-9000.

How to Remodel the Look of a Dishwasher

All too often, homeowners replace a perfectly functional dishwasher, simply because it is ugly. This a waste of money and resources. Instead of ripping out a working appliance, why not just remodel it to get a great new look for much less than the cost of replacing it? Here is how.

Select your Price Range

Remodeling your dishwasher can cost anywhere from $5-$100, depending on what look you go for. If you are just wanting to turn a dishwasher white or black, then remodeling your dishwasher should only run you $5 or so. On the other hand, if you want real stainless steel, you are going to have to part with about $100. No matter what your price range, you can get a great look for much less than the cost of getting a new dishwasher.


Appliance paint that you can find at your local home improvement store is probably the easiest and least expensive way to remodel your old dishwasher. With a can of appliance paint running just $5 a can, you can easily get a new look without breaking the bank. Simply take off the existing panel, sand it down and spray it whatever color you would like it to be. Then, once it is dry, put the panel back on the dishwasher and enjoy.


Another idea is to apply a peel-and-stick stainless steel film to the front panel of your dishwasher. A small roll of this film is more than enough to complete the look and only costs around $25 a roll. To apply this film, take off the front panel and adhere the film to just as you would if you were wrapping a gift. Though you can do this yourself, it is helpful to have someone with you to give you a spare set of hands when you need it.


The most expensive option is to get an all new panel for your dishwasher from the manufacturer. These can cost anywhere from $50-$100, but you are getting a truly new exterior. Simply remove the old panel according to the manufacturer’s directions and then put the new one on. If you do not mind shelling out the $100, you can have a dishwasher that is truly stainless steel.

So whether you choose to paint, cover or replace the front panel of your dishwasher, you are guaranteed to get a great look on any budget. So what are you waiting for? Get the supplies you need and start enjoying your new looking dishwasher.

Next Post: Top 10 Painting Contractor in Chicago Land Area

Top 5 Books on Bathroom Remodeling

If you’ve watched any of the popular real estate shows on cable television, then you are probably aware that bathrooms are huge selling points where any home sale is concerned. If you’re trying to build equity in your house, or even if you’re just ready for a change, here are five bathroom remodeling books that will give you a little boost.

The Luxury Bathroom, Extraordinary Spaces from the Simple to the Extravagant
(by Samantha Nestor)

This book is a great big glossy affair, rich with crisp photographs. While it focuses primarily on the most luxurious bathrooms in the world, the descriptions offer insight into how the rooms were designed, and the reasoning behind certain design choices. The table of contents is great in that it divides the chapters into categories based on the “mood” of each bathroom. For the person who has absolutely no idea in which direction to go, these categories will help you to determine what kinds of styles personally appeal to you. Be sure to read through the lush introduction; it really sets the tone for the visual menagerie of luxurious images. The book’s one flaw? Some of the bathrooms are so spectacular that you’ll be mad there aren’t more photos.

Bath Design Guide (Better Homes & Gardens Home Reference)

Better Homes & Gardens magazine is perhaps one of the most reputable sources for home improvement and redesign ideas. Included in their series of books dedicated to various aspects of home décor is “Bath Design Guide”, a thick paperback book that you can actually receive complimentary with a one-year subscription to the publication (Ok, Public Service Announcement over…) The book features a more scaled down approach to bathroom remodeling; but the featured rooms are just as stunning. It is less likely that you’ll find ancient Victorian soaking tubs shipped from Europe in this book. The book offers many of the same kinds of materials, but provides more of a guide for how to actually achieve the looks you’ve seen in high-end luxury bathrooms. Additionally, the “Bath Design Guide” provides information on fixtures, plumbing basics, and even tips on how to work with a contractor.

Norma Vally’s Bathroom Fix-Ups (More than 50 Projects for Every Skill Level)

On the cover of this book a smiling brunette woman wearing a tool belt poses, wielding a power drill. Her name is Norma Vally. She’s the host of “Toolbelt Diva” and the founder of website site (and product line) dedicated to helping women empower themselves by learning how to handle basic repairs and remodeling projects. But “Bathroom Fix-Ups” isn’t filled with a bunch of fluffy descriptions. Inside, you’ll find tons of photographs featuring her manicured hands engaging in various tasks, and lots of illustrations on how to make simple (and more time-consuming) repairs.

1001 Ideas for Bathrooms, the Ultimate Sourcebook-Fixtures, Accessories, and Decorative Treatments
(by Jerri Farris)

Now this is a book that leaves no stone unturned when it comes to deciding what kind of remodeling project you are willing to invest in. In fact, the book offers aerial illustrations of the typical square footage found in various types of bathrooms (guest bath, master bath, powder room, etc.) But the photographs are plentiful, and numbered so that you can easily find their descriptions on the page. Gadget junkies will love the technological advancements in bathroom design. Sunken tubs, LED lighting, and lumbar massages are just a few of the extravagant options shown. But even if your budget doesn’t allow for laser light shows in the bath, you’ll appreciate the idea of making the bathroom more than just a place to shower and shave.

Bathroom Ideas that Work, Creative Design Solutions for Your Home
(by Scott Gibson)

In perusing this book, the contents may seem like all the others featuring opulent powder rooms. But Scott Gibson’s approach offers a more detailed explanation of the higher end materials that you may not find in your ordinary Home Depot. “Bathroom Ideas that Work” is for the moderately proficient home “remodeler.” While this book (part of a series) can be helpful for virtually anyone, home design “enthusiasts” (those who only watch the occasional HGTV program) may find the fussier details of remodeling to be a bit tedious. All in all, the juicy photos and wide array of bathroom styles will make your visual palate water. When it comes to creatively re-designing your personal space, you can never be offered too many ideas.

If you are looking for quartz countertops in Phoenix, AZ – Please call AZ granite & Remodeling Today at (602) 759-9000.

Home Cleaning Tips to Start Off the New Year

Since I retired and my wife is still working, I have taken on many of the typical household cleaning duties. This article examines some great cleaning tips that I have discovered. Many of my readers already know these tips. However, there are some readers that will find these tips helpful.


If you use an automatic dishwasher, I have found that liquid soap works best. Yes, it might cost more. But, this is what I have discovered. The powdered soap many times will cake up and collect inside your washer. It doesn’t dissolve as well as the liquid does. For some reason the liquid tends to clean better and not leave a film either. If you haven’t tried the liquid, check it out for yourself.

Laundry Tips

1. Too much detergent, for dirty clothes, will only attract more dirt and fibers. always use the recommended amount.

2. Use chlorine bleach for 100 percent white cotton items. For blends use a oxygen bleach.

3. Towels, underwear and socks need to be cleaned in hot water to kill germs and bacteria.

4. Cold water will clean just as good as hot water will.

5. Air dry works as good as hot dry for clothes. I discovered this by accident. My dryer broke and all it would do is air dry by tumbling. It takes longer, but works just as well.

6. Faded blue jeans can be refreshed a bit by washing them with new blue jeans. The dye transfers from new to old.

Vacuuming and Dusting

I have found that vacuum cleaners spread dust. for a dust free home, vacuum first and then dust.


Vinegar can be used for cleaning just about anything. It is great for removing burnt food from a pan, cleaning toilet bowls and basins, windows and even floors.

Blinds and Curtains

1. Shut your blinds first and then remove dust. It is easier.

2. Curtains can be vacuumed with a hand wand Using a brush attachment works best.

Throw Rugs

A lot of people don’t pay close attention to floor rugs. They attract immediate dirt from the outside. This can be transferred to other places. Keep them clean. Place them before going into a home and just inside your doors for the best affect on collecting outside dirt.

Trash Cans

Keep the inside clean of debris. They can collect germs in a hurry. Use plastic liners that won’t break. They might cost more, but are worth it.

These are just some things that I have discovered since I have taken over the home chore duties.