Construction Rental Equipment Company Blog | El Camino Rental

Building a backyard BBQ and bar is not only a stylish way to transform a home for those that love to host get-togethers, it is also a great way to save some money while improving the overall value of the property. Before setting off on one of these projects though, it is important to have a clear idea of design, style, materials, tools, and any other costs that could put someone over budget if they are not carefully planned.

The final design of the bar is going to be slightly easier in most scenarios, but the BBQ is going to take some serious consideration including the size and scale. In its most basic form, a backyard BBQ can be nothing more than a simple firepit either above ground or built into the ground. The most elaborate backyard BBQs are often referred to as outdoor kitchens and house everything from smokers and heating racks to griddles and convection ovens. Deciding on the scale will also help with the decision on what the heating sources will be including charcoal, wood, electricity, or gas.

The location of the BBQ and bar is another concern, and most homeowners are going to want to blend safety and convenience. For larger projects, it is important to look at what kind of enclosure will work best such as a wind-breaking wall, partial covering, or full covering. In the event of a full covering, it is important to provide maximum ventilation directly above the grill. In most cases, it will be necessary to clear back brush or trees within a few feet of the BBQ or any electrical cords running to the bar.

For those that decide on gas or electrical hookups, there will be two primary options. The first option is to run a channel to the BBQ or bar, but this will require a closer look at zoning in the area and a call may need to be made to the city to check for underground lines. For those that will be running these lines or storing propane above ground, they must be kept in a secure location away from pests that will chew into the lines.

Keeping these few simple steps in mind will not only help owners keep their gear safe and attractive, it will also help to save a little extra money with an amazing custom home addition.

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A retaining wall can help improve water drainage and reduce erosion on your property. It’s also a great way to create a garden area or terraced landscape section in the yard. If you’re thinking about adding a retaining wall, follow these helpful tips for a successful project.

Prepare the Site

Layout the site where you plan to build your retaining wall. Measure out the area and use stakes and string to create the length, width and height. If you have curved areas, create the curves on the ground with flexible tubing or tape.

Dig a trench along the perimeter lines of your layout. The trench should be deep enough to bury the bottom row of blocks and about an inch wider that the block width. Try to keep the trench level on the bottom.

You will need to rent a soil tamper. After you dig a level trench, fill the trench with four to six inches of a paver base or rock dust. Rake the paver base to create even coverage and make sure the height is level. If not, tamp the trench bottom again to compact the paver base and create a level surface.

NOTE: Before you begin digging, you should contact your local utility companies, gas, electric and phone, to make sure there are no cables or pipes in your building area.

Lay the Foundation

The bottom row of blocks must be level for proper support. Make sure they are tightly packed together to support the rest of the retaining wall.

You will need a rubber mallet and some coarse sand. Begin your first row of blocks. If your bed is level, the job should be easy. If not, use the coarse sand to create a level surface, then use the rubber mallet to hammer down the blocks.

When you get the first row of blocks in place, add crushed stone or gravel around them. This will stabilize the bottom blocks to prevent slipping and movement over time.

After you complete the foundation, remove dirt, gravel dust and debris with a broom. You need a clean surface to complete the rest of your retaining wall.

NOTE: If you need to trim blocks, cut them with a mason’s saw to adjust the size. Make sure you use proper eye and body protection when working with equipment.

Complete the Wall

Begin your second layer of blocks by staggering the pattern. Don’t lay the blocks in the same position as the row below. Stagger each level of blocks as you build up. This will make your wall sturdier when it’s completed.

As you add layers, apply adhesive to the bottom of new blocks and press them down firmly on the blocks below. Continue this process through completion.

When the retaining wall reaches the desired height, add topper stones for a finished look.

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As a home gardener, you certainly want to keep your lawn as healthy and beautiful as possible. In order to achieve excellent results, you will have to do certain gardening activities that will ensure lush grass and plants. This includes mowing, watering and administration of fertilizer. The lawn requires all the most important nutrients in the soil in order to be at its best. Aeration can help and is an essential aspect of having a healthy lawn. Of course, the key is knowing exactly when and how often you should aerate.

Aeration is a process that involves penetrating the soil with small holes. These holes allow water, air and necessary nutrients to get into the roots of the grass, helping grass to grow more strongly and healthily. On the whole, aeration allows the lawn itself to become more healthy, strong and to grow more vigorously. It also breaks up the soil to an extent so that it is less compact. When the soil is compacted, there are too many solid pieces, which inhibits the circulation of air, water and nutrients from penetrating the soil and makes for a greater risk of disease, mold or insects.

Generally, the best time to aerate your lawn is during the growing season. This is so that the grass can more effectively heal. Of course, there are also two different types of grasses — cool season and warm season. Cool grasses best thrive when they are aerated in early spring or fall. Warm grasses should be aerated during the late spring or early summer.

For the best possible results with your lawn, you should have the grass aerated twice per year. Exactly when you do so, however, depends on what kind of conditions exist in your region and in your particular lawn. For instance, if your soil is more clay-like, you will have to aerate more often because this type of soil is generally more compacted. On the flip side, a sandy soil requires less frequent aeration because it allows for much more air to pass through it.

The one thing to keep in mind is that you should aerate your lawn immediately before you fertilize or reseed its grasses. This will ensure that your lawn has more access to the nutrients it needs because your soil will be better broken up. Remove any excess weeds on your lawn before you aerate as well for best results.

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Installing landscape irrigation is simple, and individuals should recognize potential obstacles, like trees and sidewalks, capable of blocking sprinkler patterns before installation. Landscape designs and curves requiring special attention should also be noted, and homeowners should measure property boundaries and record measurements upon diagram layouts before work begins. Utilizing graph paper for planning, mark down irrigation systems and draw each section to scale and with allocated plots. Draw driveways, streets, sidewalks, houses and landscape elements.

Select the Best Irrigation System

Once the layout is on paper, homeowners should evaluate various components required for the landscape irrigation system. Sprinkler heads should be taken into account, and the process should be begun by collecting knowledge pertaining to an irrigation system’s basic elements and features. Polyethylene pipes are recommended for many irrigation systems, and highly durable, light and flexible selections are great for most situations. Meanwhile, PVC pipe is a great selection for homeowners looking for cheap alternatives to such a pipeline. PVC’s rigid construction offers durability, but its lack of flexibility can make a situation difficult, and many homeowners require maximum flexibility during installations.

Learn About the Materials

Next, homeowners should learn about a typical system’s basic fittings and assembly. These components are normally crafted from polyethylene, similar to flexible tubing, and are available in a variety of pieces. The straight coupler offers variability by connecting separate pipe sections, and it allows the individual to change direction of a system or extend a pipe’s overall length to reach an area.

A poly plug, meanwhile, acts like a stop sign; it is utilized at a pipe’s end to halt water beyond a specified point. An elbow coupler creates a 90-degree angle within a pipe system, and it is useful in many areas surrounding buildings. It lets water turn sharp corners, and it may fit different pipe sizes. A T-coupler fitting can join three pipes at an intersection, and it lets pipe coming from a main line and leading into a valve room. An electronic valve is used to control water released into pipes.

Create a Mockup

To illustrate a valve’s operation and a pipe’s accommodation for an entire system, create a T-formation within a section’s mock-up. Connect this with a T-coupler fitting. Coils of wire connected to a valve’s top section are called solenoids, and these coils may be connected to individual zones.

A programmed clock may be wired to each system’s valve, and it may activate them at specific and appropriate times in a pre-set manner. Each valve will release when it is signaled by the clock, and it will let water reach its corresponding zone. The water then prompt’s a sprinkler head—and the sprinkler head ejects water upon designated areas.

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Replacing a Fence Post

March 20, 2014

Wooden fences often last at least 20 years, but they begin to rot over time. When they do, they normally break. Even new wooden fences can break within a strong storm or during accidents, and a broken fence can be impossible to repair. When this happens, the fence must be replaced. Replacing an old fence for a new one may require work, but it doesn’t require special tools or skills. A strong work ethic and a little creativity will suffice.

Replacing a fence requires the individual to detach the old fence from both sides of a broken post. Then, once the broken post is removed, re-installation begins and reattachment follows. Those with broken fences will require a few supplies before beginning work. Remember, removing an old fence pot will require physical labor, so individuals are warned to be prepared.

A replacement fence post will be needed, and a nail puller, crow bar and scrap wood will also be needed. A reciprocating saw may be useful, and a post-hole digger, a shovel and bracing two-by-fours will be required. Concrete and galvanized nails and screws will also be needed for the reconstruction process.

Disconnect the fence from both sides using the reciprocating saw while removing its screws and nails. Once the post has been freed, swing its sections a foot away from the post to make room. Each loose end should be braced with two-by-fours while work is commenced. If posts are set in concrete, dig away at the soil atop the concrete; sometimes, posts may be lifted from concrete when tugged. This leaves a hole for a new post.

Break away any exposed concrete with a sledgehammer, and remove the concrete base with the old post. Then, make sure the remaining hole is at least 36 inches deep. Insert a concrete form and pack it with dirt extracted from the hole. Utilize a shovel to empty 6 inches of gravel into the concrete form’s bottom, and stand the post upwards within the tube.

Mix a bag of quick-set concrete, and pour it into the hole. Utilize a level to ensure the new post’s straightness, and brace it into position. Let the post dry overnight. Remove the braces on the following day, and re-attach fallen fence sections to the newly-installed post. Finish replacing the broken fence post by lengthening the new post’s top. Make sure it’s similar to the old post’s height.

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