Planning a Backyard Shed Read This!

Easy Steps For Successful Home Improvement Plans/p>

You need to know how home improvement projects. This article will provide you handy home improvement suggestions. This information can benefit novices and experts alike.

A brand new coat of paint is the quickest and simplest in home improvement. Fresh paint can add refreshing energy to a home for just little expense of funds or time. A fresh coat of paint will also help your house be more appealing to buyers if you have any interest in selling your home.

Consider putting in radiant heat floor tiles if you would like replace the tiles you currently have. These tiles use heat through your electricity. You can do this yourself if you have a detailed guidelines.This project you can add on whether you are hiring someone or doing it yourself.

Sealant strips and draft excluders are but among your choices in preventing air from seeping out door breaks. Draft excluders are made to match on the bottom side of a door to avoid warm air from escaping and prevent cold air from coming in. Sealant strips that are fixed around a door frames works in the same way. You’ll find them at many hardware stores.

A huge cost can be expected from home roof. Have a few estimates prior to getting a new roof and examine all references from the roof providers. There are a number of things to consider with roofing like getting tile, metal and wood.A reputable roofing contractor can help you with the option.

Restrooms are very important to consider if you want to flip a home. Other rooms are easy for owners to fix on their own, but restrooms must always be kept in good condition. If the tub or sink are not in good condition, replace them with new ones. Replace any linoleum floors for tile instead.

As this post stated before, you must know what you are doing when repairing things around the house. The advice found in this article will help those who are new to this topic and those who are experts on it. After you have a project in mind, apply the tips listed here.

Looking to build a storage shed? You’ll surely get something from building manuals. Here’s one: My Shed Plan. You’ll have more than shed plan ideas. You’ll also be introduced to marvelous woodworks. Try the product on this link. http://anthonysonmyshedplansreview.com.

Wireless Doorbells Are They Really Better Than Wired Doorbells

Wireless Doorbells are a relatively new product to the doorbell industry. However, they have improved significantly even a short time to try to take market share away from wired doorbells. Here, are few of the pros and cons of both versions on what people care about the most:

1. Performance depends on your home setup.
Generally, wired doorbells will out perform wireless doorbells. This is because a direct line tends to be more effective than wireless versions. However, this is not always the case, some homes or apartments cannot use wired doorbells for various reasons. In these situations, wireless doorbells shine. In addition, in smaller size homes, the distinction of performance is irrelevant as both models perform equally. For larger home’s wired doorbells still hold a slight lead hopper long range wireless doorbells have closed the gap. In the coming years, we should anticipate the wireless doorbells will outperform wired versions and performance regardless of range limits.

2. Prices are very similar.
Doorbells tend to be cheap in comparison to other consumer products. Whether you choose a wired or wireless doorbell, most versions will run under $100. This is great news for families on a budget. However, it is also great news for wireless doorbell buyers, because it means that they will not have to break the bank to get the benefits of a wireless version.

3. Wired offer better design options, but things are changing.
Since wired doorbells have held an established position in the industry for a long time, it is only natural that most of the design options are wired versions to date. However, wireless versions are improving, and we seen more and more clever designs coming out every year. Reality is you should have no difficulty finding a design that matches your personality and home dcor interests.

4. Wireless wins in flexibility and versatility.
When it comes to flexibility and versatility, wireless doorbells blow away the competition. Since they have no wires, and much faster installation and can be moved around the house with little difficulty. This is great for remodeling and home improvement projects and for families looking to sell their home. Is it is far easier to take a wireless version with you rather than a wired doorbell.

By looking at all these advantages and disadvantages, it is too close to call on whether wireless doorbells are better than wired doorbells. Since each home is unique, you should try to find a version that will match your home the best.

Use Home Lighting for Effective Security and Burglar Deterrent Purposes

There are several different ways that home lighting can be used to keep a building safe. Does this sound a bit strange? Perhaps it does, but when you think about it a dark and unlit building makes it seem empty and unoccupied. Dark and unoccupied buildings often become the targets of break-ins by burglars. If you don’t want your house or your business to be affected by intruders and you want to have peace of mind that your belongings are safe in your absence, you should consider ways to utilise home lighting to make the house appear occupied. This article provides ideas and tips on using lighting in order to keep your house or business safe.

The first thing that can help greatly in the battle to keep a building secure is to invest in a security light. Either the light can remain on all night or it can be on a sensor. Having the light on a sensor is the best idea because the intruder will not know it is there. When they are suddenly bathed in a pool of light the automatic response is likely to be to run away. If the security light is on the house and you are asleep inside, then the light could wake you up too which can prevent a break in from occurring. The security light should be placed on the outside of the house in a place where a break in is most likely to occur. This is often around the back of a house in a secluded space. You may also want one on the front however, especially if this is the only way to access the house at all.

Another way you should use lighting to protect yourself from break-ins is to leave one or two lights on in the house when you go away. The lights that should be left on must be seen from the outside if this system is to work. You can either draw the curtains and leave a light on or you can leave a hall light on that can be seen from the road. Although this might seem wasteful, it can be a big help because it makes the house or building appear occupied. At the very least it brings in the element of doubt which can be all that is required for an intruder to think again.

Having lights on timers can be a great way to protect your house whilst you are on holiday. The lights can come on for a few hours in the middle of the night (when break-ins are most likely to occur). For it to work effectively you should have more than one light coming on each night. If you want more security than these simple lighting measures then you should invest in an alarm system of some kind. These provide excellent security as not only do they act as a deterrent, but they also alert a local security company who can send around a guard to check everything is secure.

Going even further than lighting and alarms, you could also buy a CCTV camera or two and place them on the outside of your house. Large cameras act as deterrents, as do domed cameras where you can’t see the camera at all and which way it is pointing. Small, wireless cameras can be hidden completely from view which can work well if you want to catch an intruder in the act.

Home and business security is very important these days. If you want to save money on alarm systems or CCTV then you can use simple home lighting ideas and downlights to make the house or building appear occupied. There are also some good security lights available that can work well to protect the home.

Arzberg Plates and Glasses

Serve up your tea in this beautiful and stylish teapot. To keep it warm, pair it up with the matching warmer with tealight. Great for entertaining. TRIC, the award winning design from Micheal Sieger embodies, practicality, style and function. A classic and colorful collection that is fun to mix and match. From bold, energetic to soft subtle colors, or a little of both this line is perfect for any host. From oven to table to refrigerator, Tric’s multi-functional pieces makes entertaining a breeze. The Arzberg company, since 1887 has stood for the highest quality in materials and design.

TRIC from Arzberg is the lifestyle range for the kitchen and dining room. At the core of this range are outstanding functionality and a simple, clean design by Michael Sieger from Sieger Design, who has been awarded numerous prizes. TRIC’s irresistible design and colour give it its stylish feel. Collectors who are inspired to look for one of these four designs should be aware that a great deal of copying has taken place over the years, notably by Japanese and Chinese manufacturers.

For years, Pier One has offered a range of coupe-shaped white porcelain that can easily be mistaken for either “Urbino” or “Form 2000”. Both KPM’s and Arzberg’s porcelains are marked on the bottom of each piece; knock-offs are usually unmarked. The impeccable feel and finish of German originals is not found in copies, which generally have some roughness, waviness, or glaze runs. Arzberg White Tric, and fashion forward collection that is fun to mix and match.

A great option whether you prefer bold & bright or soft & subtle, use TRIC to create your individual design statement. Start with white, add a color, mix in a pattern and transform your table for every meal. The multi-functional pieces move from oven to table to refrigerator. They are safe for microwave, oven, and the dishwasher safe. Please purchase on online http://www.etabletop.com

Tools Homeowners Need In The Tool Box

Whether you’re building a new home or buying an older resale home, chances are, you’ll want to put your own personal stamp on your home and make it your own. That usually means taking on some home improvement projects. To safeguard your investment and protect the resale value of your home, you’ll also want to stay on top of the basic home maintenance tasks that will keep your home looking good and running smoothly. Taking care of the small things as they arise will help eliminate the need for major repairs later. This will involve time, some good old-fashioned elbow grease and a well-stocked tool box. Having the right tools on hand will make the job both faster and easier.
Essential Tools for the Homeowner’s Tool Box

If you don’t already have a set of tools, you’ll need to build a basic tool kit to handle those home maintenance tasks and home improvement projects around the house. If you already have a tool box, you may want to check the list and stock up on any items you may be lacking. Having the essential tools on hand will save time and eliminate emergency trips to the hardware or home improvement store; you’ll be ready to handle almost any job you’re confident enough to tackle – from hanging artwork to unclogging a drain. The recommended tool list varies from expert to expert, but these are the tools that professionals most consistently recommend for the homeowner’s tool kit:
Tool Checklist

* Screwdrivers – Phillips #1 and #2 sizes, Flat – small, medium and large from 1/8 to 1/2 or consider a multi-screwdriver which has a regular screwdriver handle with a socket for inserting various types of drive bits. Many jobs involve tightening and loosening screws like assembling furniture, tightening knobs, mounting shelving or heavy artwork and small electrical jobs.
* Hammer – 16-ounce for men or 14-ounce for women, either wood or fiberglass shaft with a claw end. A hammer is essential for a variety of jobs including hanging artwork, installing moldings, and driving and pulling out nails in small building projects.
* Cordless Drill/Driver – a 14.4 volt model should be suitable for home use and provide plenty of torque for most projects. You may find that you’ll reach for your drill more often than any other tool. Besides drilling pilot holes and installing wall anchors, your drill can be used with driver bits to drive screws for heavy artwork, mirrors and shelving.
* Drill Kit with various twist and masonry bits and square, torx and hex tips.
* Tape Measure – 25-ft. retractable tape measure to measure for window treatments, mirror/art placement, small building projects and outdoor projects.
* Level – basic torpedo level indicates horizontal and vertical plumb. A must for hanging artwork, mirrors and molding straight and leveling outdoor hardscaping/paths and porch railings.
* Combination Square – for marking measurements, drawing and cutting perpendicular lines.
* Pencils – for marking and figuring dimensions
* Pliers – needlenose, slip-joint and 12 lock-jaw pliers. Pliers act as an extension of your fingers – only stronger. Use them to grasp and hold objects.
* Adjustable Wrench – 12 and 8 crescent wrenches, pipe wrench. Wrenches are used for turning bolt heads or nuts. You may need one for tightening the kids’ toys or the legs on the kitchen table.
* Allen Wrenches or Hex Keys – 2 sets, one standard and one metric. Often needed for putting together bicycles and unassembled furniture or storage pieces.
* Clamps – assorted types, basic-C clamps, 2 – 4 bar clamps with squeeze clutch, a small portable vise. Clamps are made for holding parts together while the glue dries.
* Utility Knife with Sharp Blades – for opening boxes, cutting dry wall repairing window screens and removing old caulk.
* All-Purpose Knife – folding, locking pocket knife for cutting, opening, marking, scraping, trimming, whittling, scoring and puncturing.
* Razor Knife with Replaceable Blades – for scraping paint off of windows.
* Scissors – heavy-duty scissors for cutting rope, cording, small gauge wire and plant stems.
* Knife Sharpener – simple carbide-V sharpener to keep the blades of your cutting tools sharp.
* Crosscut Wood Saw – cuts across the grain of the wood for a smooth edge – use for cutting plywood, hardboard panels and making mitered and angled cuts.
* Hacksaw – used for cutting metal, plastic and pipes.
* Metal File – for sharpening large blades.
* Flashlights – handheld lantern-style light and snakelights that wrap around and hold themselves up. Flashlights are vital for emergency lighting in a black-out or if power must be shut off for electrical work, plumbing repairs and seeing into dark cabinets, closets, attics and crawl spaces.
* Non-contact Voltage Tester – safety device for use in electrical projects will flash or chirp when it comes near a hot wire.
* Stud Finder – will help identify where the wall studs are located inside the walls for mounting shelving, closet organizers, cabinets, etc.
* Electrical Tape – for repairing exposed wiring or electrical cords.
* Wire Stripper – removes insulation from electrical wires so they can be twisted together and capped – handy for simple electrical projects like replacing a light fixture.
* Outdoor Extension Cord – an outdoor cord is more versatile since it can be used outdoors and indoors if needed.
* Safety gear – safety glasses and work gloves should be worn for any project involving cutting, sanding, scraping, filing, or chemicals/solvents.
* Plunger – flange plunger for unclogging drains or toilets.
* Vacuum Cleaner – a 6-gallon wet-dry shop vac for cleaning up messes after projects like stripped wallpaper, saw dust, spackle dust or plaster, scraped paint, etc.
* Shop Bucket – large bucket for catching leaks, mixing goop and heavy-duty cleaning jobs.
* Shop Rags – for wiping hands and cleaning up tools and messes after projects.
* Putty Knife – for filling cracks or nail holes.
* Broad-Blade Scraper – for scraping off loose paint
* Sandpaper – an assortment of grits
* Duct Tape – great for temporary repairs of all kinds.
* Wood Glue – for repairing wood items like picture frames and for small building projects.
* Instant Adhesive (Crazy Glue) – all-purpose for adhering a variety of surfaces to one another (plastic, rubber, metal, leather). Watch your fingers!
* Fastener Assortment Kit – organizer containing nails, screws, wall anchors, nuts, bolts, washers, picture hangers, etc. A starter kit will handle a variety of jobs, but you may still need to purchase individual pieces or packs for specific jobs.
* Tool Container – consider a 5-gallon bucket with an apron/organizer to hold tools and removable trays that fit inside to hold smaller items. They’re great for organizing the tools and toting them around.
* Ladder – if the budget allows, purchase two ladders: one light-weight aluminum or fiberglass 2 – 4 ft. stepladder to pull out for quick indoor jobs, and one multi-position ladder (13 ft.) that can be adjusted for use as a staircase ladder indoors and an outdoor extension ladder for painting or roof access.

Granted, this is not a short list, and if you’re a new homeowner, you may not have a lot of extra resources available right now. If that’s the case, and you can’t swing all the items on the list, invest what you can in a good quality set of screwdrivers, a claw hammer, tape measure, level, pliers, an adjustable wrench, a utility knife, cordless drill and drill kit, fastener assortment kit, flashlights, plunger and a ladder. And don’t forget the tool bucket and organizer to keep them in! Then add a new tool to your kit as you can afford it, or on an as-needed basis. I’ll bet that within the first year living in your new home, you’ll have a need for every tool on the list (and maybe a few more).

A special thanks to my personal friend, home improvement consultant and handyman extraordinaire, Handy Hans, for his advice and expert opinion on which tools should make the recommended basic tool kit list! I’d recommend his business and give him a plug, but he tells me he has all the work he can handle right now. And so it goesthe best ones are always busy!

Remodeling Your Home to Increase its Value An Overview

Although you may love your home now, there’s no guarantee you will want or be able to live there forever. Circumstances change, and you may need to move to another city, downsize to a smaller and less expensive place, or buy a bigger house because the size of your family has increased. For this reason, it’s important to find ways to increase your home’s value in the event that you one day decide to sell it.

Remodeling is one of the best ways to increase the value of your home. However, you need to make sure you choose the right remodeling projects, because some are definitely more lucrative than others. Choosing to fix up one part of your home may give you a different return on investment than if you chose to remodel a different part of your home, so you need to do some research about the most cost-effective remodeling projects before you make any plans to give your home a makeover.

You will also need to evaluate your budget before you start making any changes or improvements to the way your home looks. The bigger the budget, the more extensive of a home improvement project you will be able to pursue. If you don’t have the money to take on an extensive project, there are many small changes you can make that will add value to your home in the long run. For example, painting your walls is extremely cost-effective. You don’t need much money to give your home a fresh paint job, but it will make your home look much better and will add value to it when you try to sell. The key is to choose warm, inviting colors, but nothing too bold or unusual, so the new buyer won’t have to repaint once he or she moves in.

Landscaping is another inexpensive, cost-effective remodeling project that will add value to your home. Keeping your grass neat and tidy, planting a garden or putting in a flowerbed, or adding some trees to your yard can all pay off when you decide to sell your home. Prospective homeowners are drawn to homes with neat, manicured yards because it will mean less work for them once they move in.

If you have a bigger budget, you might want to consider remodeling your kitchen. Your kitchen is the center of your home, and it deserves special attention. Prospective homeowners pay a great deal of attention to the kitchens in the homes they’re thinking of buying. Upgrading your appliances, adding a kitchen island, or installing new countertops will add value to your home and make it much more appealing to prospective buyers. Adding a sunroom or other outdoor living space can also be extremely lucrative, because these types of rooms are also very effective at drawing in prospective buyers.

Finding Local Home Improvement Contractors

Finding local home improvement contractors is very easy. Our homes are the best asset of our lives. After a hectic day of work, everyone thinks to be at their home. So, it should be cozy and comfortable enough. So, to make it more to reflect your ideas and personality, you can hire home contractors. It is so simple that even you can do it by yourself. But the problem is it is a time consuming job. You cannot spend so much time on it. So it is better to submit in good hands.

Home improvement contractors are workmen who are qualified to work small jobs at houses. Smaller jobs include landscaping, remodeling of floors, roofs, cabinets and windows. Sometimes it becomes a tiring job to interview contractors after contractors. May be sometimes you might have hired a contractor and they did not show up. So it becomes necessary to find a proper local home improvement contractor. You will get top notch remodelers, local contractors, plumbers and electricians.

These people will be top class professionals. They are also well approved. They are well screened as well. How can you find approved home improvement contractors? Or how can you hire local home improvement contractors? So, to find local contractors, you can search online. Type in the proper keyword in your favorite search engine and get loads of good results. You can seek help from your friends. They are very close and you can say that you are looking for contractors in a limited budget. They may know a few.

Hire local home improvement with the help of your family members. You can also take help from your neighbors. They might have numbers of a few. You can see that there are many local home improvement stores nearby your house. You can have a talk with them and find local contractors through them. You can also check out with the decorating and remodeling systems. Like paints, tiles, windows and many more. Once you get hold of a contractor, check with their websites. Read the reviews and ratings at their site.

The best thing is to have well round communication at first. Make a list of your priorities. Submit the list in their hands. Then give them a description of your imagination. Then communicate with them on a regular basis. Ask them if they need anything else? How is the work going in your absence? Always confirm with the references.

Do not be embarrassed and feel free to call them. Local home improvement becomes better with these help. These contractors are available nationwide and also in your locality. Thus, these are the ways in which you can find local home improvement contractors.

C# Gauge Custom Control And Its Functions

Generally, gauge is the term used to denote a typical form of measurement referring to an objects quantity, capacity or even its dimension. It may also refer to the instrument employed whenever an item is being measured or examined. C# Gauge control is an exceptional web-based application system for creating and displaying reports and presentations. C# gauge control is a very useful skill in data manipulation. As there are various functions of C# gauge control in different aspects it is quite essential to know that the selection of a right net gauge software depends upon the nature of your business. These C# gauge control tools can be used for different kinds of business.

The C# gauge control is a gauge chart that signifies the principles of the needles on a semicircular surface. It maintains the multiple dials or gauges on one main single chart. C# gauge control also enables its users to utilize the areas of the dial surface if the numbers are cut and this generates the flat bottom circle that is clearly visible in the chart and presentations. The gauge fits on the chart to remove the slight drop shadow effect. The presentation of these reports usually depends on the preference of the users creating the report.

The main benefit of using c# gauge control is that they use a separate single data from many data that becomes clear and precise for general people to understand. Everyone can understand the report and this is what c# gauge control provides its programmers. Data manipulation and control has increased a lot as we are advancing in this modern age of computer. C# gauge control is an innovator and expertise in this particular area of data manipulation. As everyone want their work perfectly and with distinguishing colors, C# gauge control can help its users to make their report attractive and comprehensive. C# gauge control offers various software options for data manipulation.

Some of the excellent features of C# gauge control includes supporting the many dials or gauges on a main single chart and apart from this it also enables the accommodation of the needles of a single chart and allows for the magnificent array of customized options.
The meticulous color differences enabled by C# gauge control allows for the demonstration of the magnificent blue needle. Specially designated arrow points are marked with axis tick. The axis markers are specially designed to exhibit the difference that shows the variances between the hatch styles distinguishing the two areas of the gauge.

The final feature of C# gauge control is the shading effect that displays the needle on top of the centre whenever the information is relevant. This C# gauge control is the most colorful and exciting tool which can be remembered and easy to use. It also really enhances your tasks. The C# gauge control not only offers its users to create colorful reports but there are many more that meets the eye.
One could only imagine to what extent C# could be in a few years. However C # is not without its own weaknesses as a programming language. The showcase of objects created using C # show its beauty as well as how it comes up short. Improvement of the C # programming language could only create new discoveries and reveal more problems until a better alternative is found.

Built-in House Appliances That makes Your Kitchen Look Sharp

Kitchen appliances can make the kitchen appear wonderful. Many amazing built-in appliances exist out there. These appliances mainly come in the form of wonderful packages that are in tandem with the changing world of improving technology. Cookers and ovens are some of the appliances that you cant do without. For many years, it was unheard of for a kitchen to have built-in appliances.

A real shine has illuminated the kitchen and the world of catering has taken a new dimension. These days, everybody wants to have what is popularly known as the integrated kitchen. It looks neater and everything seems to be in the right place. If you dont have some built-in appliances in your kitchen, then you are missing out on flexibility and enhanced functionality of your appliances.

Some people think that things become difficult when you have a built-in appliance, that you have to call an engineer everytime you want it fixed when it gets damaged. This is true but there is another untold side of the story. For instance, you have to bear in mind that there is a very remote likelihood of your built-in cooker getting damaged when it is always in the same position.

In a family where there are many kids, it is very easy for things to get rather messy when microwaves are in a free standing position. There is high possibility that kids are going to tamper with them, play around with them and basically destroy them. As if that is not enough, they may even injure themselves. In short, a free standing appliance is more of a hazard than a kitchen utility.

When properly designed, the options are endless for a family in need for various options. Some appliances that dont have to be exposed to the public can be positioned in the farthest corner to avoid them becoming an obstacle. A built-in dish washer does not make the kitchen look glamorous. For this reason, it should be positioned in a rather concealed positioned. This is a good way of designing the layout of your kitchen. Dryers and freezers may literally occupy any position in the kitchen.

There are simply no limits to the extent of attractiveness that can be brought into the kitchen through proper positioning of appliances. In order to reduce noise, those appliances that may easily become a nuisance ought to be positioned in such a way that noise levels are kept at all-time low levels. Designing or installing an enclosure for such items might bin the kitchen.

Personal preferences always determine where various items ought to be kept. This sometimes brings about disagreements in the home, with every member of the family preferring one position and not the other. Fundamental principles of efficiency should determine positioning decisions. For instance, ovens ought to be installed near the exit door although this will depend on availability of space. Another place is ideal for an oven is underneath the counter. Modern induction hobs should easily fit in with the working surface.

Backyard Playground Safety – Part 2 Selecting The Best Protective Playground Surface

The protective playground surface is the most frequently overlooked component of home playground safety. While approximately 80% of public playgrounds have some type of shock-absorbing protective surfacing under playground equipment, only 9% of home backyard playgrounds do, according to a 2001 playground injury study performed by the U.S. Consumer Products Safety Commission (CPSC). The study found that, of the approximately 50,000 injuries per year associated with home backyard playground equipment, 69% of the injuries were a result of falls to a non-protective surface below the equipment.

Perhaps the most familiar backyard playground surface options are grass and dirt, but neither surface adequately protects children against serious injury due to falls, even falls that occur from 30 inches or less above the ground. Fractures of the arms and hands, and cuts and bruises of the head and face are the most often reported injuries that result from a child falling from playground equipment to a non-protective playground surface such as grass or dirt, as reported by the CPSC.

The good news is that a variety of protective surfaces exist that can fulfill a homeowner’s need for playground safety. Not surprisingly, playground surface options range in cost from reasonable to pricey, and each option has its own list advantages and disadvantages. Considering the advantages and disadvantages of each type of playground surface material, as presented in this article, should provide you with enough information to choose the most appropriate playground surface for your backyard playground.

The first and most vital piece of information to know before selecting a material to use for your protective playground surface is the critical height of the playground equipment. Critical height refers to the “maximum fall height from which a life-threatening head injury would not be expected to occur.” The critical height of your playground equipment equals the height (in feet) of the uppermost portion of your backyard playground equipment that is accessible to children. The protective playground surface you decide on for your backyard playground should be installed with a depth that is appropriate for your equipment’s critical height.

The following information details the critical height (in feet) for each of the loose-fill surface materials described in this article “when tested in an uncompressed state at depths of 6, 9, and 12 inches. The [information] also shows the critical height when a 9 inch depth of each material was tested in a compressed state.” For instance, if the critical height of your backyard playground equipment is 8 feet, then your options for protective loose-fill surface materials, according to the information below, would be 9 inches of compressed or uncompressed wood chips, 9 inches of uncompressed shredded bark mulch, 12 inches of uncompressed play sand, 12 inches of uncompressed pea gravel, or 6 inches of uncompressed recycled rubber mulch.

WOOD CHIPS*
– Six inch depth, uncompressed = 7 feet
– Nine inch depth, uncompressed = 10 feet
– Twelve inch depth, uncompressed = 11 feet
– Nine inch depth, compressed = 10 feet

*This product may also be referred to as Wood Mulch, but the term Wood Chips more accurately describes the product.

SHREDDED BARK MULCH
– Six inch depth, uncompressed = 6 feet
– Nine inch depth, uncompressed = 10 feet
– Twelve inch depth, uncompressed = 11 feet
– Nine inch depth, compressed = 7 feet

ENGINEERED WOOD FIBERS**
– Six inch depth, uncompressed = 6 feet
– Nine inch depth, uncompressed = 7 feet
– Twelve inch depth, uncompressed = >12 feet
– Nine inch depth, compressed = 6 feet

**This may also be referred to as Uniform Wood Chips, but, in the playground industry, the product is more commonly known as Engineered Wood Fibers.

FINE SAND
– Six inch depth, uncompressed = 5 feet
– Nine inch depth, uncompressed = 5 feet
– Twelve inch depth, uncompressed = 9 feet
– Nine inch depth, compressed = 5 feet

COURSE SAND
– Six inch depth, uncompressed = 5 feet
– Nine inch depth, uncompressed = 5 feet
– Twelve inch depth, uncompressed = 6 feet
– Nine inch depth, compressed = 4 feet

FINE GRAVEL
– Six inch depth, uncompressed = 6 feet
– Nine inch depth, uncompressed = 7 feet
– Twelve inch depth, uncompressed = 10 feet
– Nine inch depth, compressed = >6 feet

MEDIUM GRAVEL
– Six inch depth, uncompressed = 5 feet
– Nine inch depth, uncompressed = 5 feet
– Twelve inch depth, uncompressed = 6 feet
– Nine inch depth, compressed = 5 feet

SHREDDED TIRES***
– Six inch depth, uncompressed = 10-12 feet
– Nine inch depth, uncompressed = N/A
– Twelve inch depth, uncompressed = N/A
– Nine inch depth, compressed = N/A

***This data is from tests conducted by independent testing laboratories on a 6 inch depth of uncompressed shredded tire samples produced by four manufacturers. The test results reported critical heights which varied from 10 feet to greater than 12 feet. It is recommended that persons seeking to install shredded tires as a protective surface request test data from the supplier showing the critical heights of the material when it was tested in accordance with ASTM F1292.

Alternatives to loose-fill surface materials are rubber playground tiles, rubber mats, and poured-in-place playground surfaces. These choices are available from a number of manufacturers who may use a variety of shock-absorbing materials. The manufacturers should be able to provide you with test data that shows the critical height for the protective surfaces they offer.

Knowing some of the advantages and disadvantages of loose-fill surface materials will assist you in narrowing the choices to meet your particular needs. In general, loose-fill playground surface materials like wood chips, shredded bark mulch, pea gravel, play sand, and recycled rubber mulch are most often chosen for backyard playgrounds because they are inexpensive and readily available from a local garden center or home improvement warehouse. Recycled rubber mulch can also be found in a variety of colors and sizes through internet suppliers.

LOOSE-FILL MATERIALS – GENERAL GUIDELINES

A retaining barrier of some kind is necessary to keep the surface materials from becoming displaced as a result of active play or weather conditions. In addition, loose-fill materials should never be installed on top of hard surfaces like concrete or asphalt. Lastly, good drainage beneath the protective surface is crucial.

Overall Advantages:

– The initial cost of installing a loose-fill playground surface under your backyard playground equipment is generally low because the materials are easy to find and are relatively inexpensive.

Overall Disadvantages:

– Over time, loose-fill materials can become compressed, thus lowering their protective capabilities.
– Recommended depths become compromised when active play or windy conditions displace the loose-fill materials.
– Debris such as broken glass, nails, and other sharp objects which can cause injury can be easily hidden by loose-fill materials.
– Continuous maintenance is required to maintain proper depth and to remove debris. Maintenance can include raking, sifting, grading, and leveling.
– Periodic renewal or replacement of loose-fill materials is necessary, which can require more time and money than expected. The exception to this is recycled rubber mulches – see below for further details.

WOOD CHIPS AND SHREDDED BARK MULCH

Advantages:

– Wood chips and shredded bark mulch are not as abrasive as play sand.
– Animals are less likely to contaminate wood chips and shredded bark mulch.
– Wood chips and shredded bark mulch are attractive.

Disadvantages:

– The protective ability of wood chips and shredded bark mulch is reduced in rainy, humid, and freezing weather conditions.
– Over a period of time, wood chips and shredded bark mulch will become crushed, compacted, and will decompose.
– Wood chips and shredded bark mulch can grow fungus and mold when wet or moist.
– Insects are drawn to wood chips and shredded bark mulch.

PEA GRAVEL

Advantages:

– Pea gravel will not become crushed and decompose.
– Mold and fungus growth is not generally an issue.
– Animals and insects are less attracted to pea gravel.

Disadvantages:

– Pea gravel can be hard to walk on.
– The protective ability of pea gravel is reduced in rainy, humid, and freezing weather conditions.
– Pea gravel can be a falling hazard if displaced from the playground area to a nearby hard surface (sidewalk, decking, or patio, for example).

PLAY SAND

Advantages:

– Play sand will not become ground down and decompose.
– Mold and fungus growth is not generally a problem.

Disadvantages:

– Play sand can be difficult to walk on.
– The protective ability of play sand is reduced in rainy and humid weather conditions.
– Animals are attracted to sand unless it can be covered when not in use.
– Play sand adheres easily to shoes, clothing, and skin.
– Play sand can scratch floor surfaces if tracked inside.

RECYCLED RUBBER MULCH

Advantages:

– Recycled rubber mulch does not generally need to be replaced or renewed each year. Many manufacturers claim that rubber mulch can last approximately 50 years without requiring replacement. Check with recycled rubber mulch suppliers for any guarantees or warrantees that may be available.
– Rubber mulch tends to be cleaner and less likely than other loose-fill materials to produce dirty clothing, hands, and shoes during active play.
– Does not cause scrapes, scratches, or splinters from falls.
– Animals and insects are not attracted to rubber mulch.
– Mold and fungus growth is not an issue.

Disadvantages:

– Recycled rubber mulch may need to be raked periodically to maintain appropriate depths in high traffic areas.
– Colors on recycled rubber mulch may fade over time.

OTHER PROTECTIVE PLAYGROUND SURFACE OPTIONS

Rubber tiles, rubber mats, and poured-in-place surfaces are initially more expensive surface options than loose-fill materials, but they usually need little maintenance over time. To determine whether one of these options would be more cost effective than a loose-fill material, consider how many children might potentially use your backyard playground equipment and for how many years. Larger families, for example, may prefer to pay more at first for a surface that will be easier and much less expensive to maintain over many years of active use.

Advantages:

– No means of containment is usually necessary.
– Surfaces are wheelchair accessible and easy to walk on.
– Displacement of materials is not an issue, so the protective ability of these surfaces remains consistent even in high traffic areas.
– Surfaces require very little maintenance over time and are easy to clean.
– Debris such as broken glass and other sharp objects which can cause injury are not easily hidden in these surfaces.
– Animals and insects are not attracted to the surface materials.
– Mold and fungus growth is not an issue.

Disadvantages:

– The area under the surface usually requires special preparation. Contact the manufacturer or supplier for details.
– Surfaces may require professional installation.
– Rubber tiles may curl and cause tripping if not installed correctly.
– Some surfaces may be damaged by frost.

In summary, no protective playground surface of any type or depth can prevent all injuries. Nonetheless, installing a protective playground surface as the foundation for your backyard playground equipment is an important step in improving playground safety. The best playground surface for your needs is up to you, but whatever choice you make will be a significant step toward protecting the children who use your playground equipment from serious injuries due to falls to the surface.

Sources:

CPSC Document 323. “Home Playground Safety Tips.”
CPSC Document 324 “Outdoor Home Playground Safety Handbook.” 2005.
CPSC Document 1005. “Playground Surfacing Materials.”
CPSC Report. “Home Playground Equipment-Related Deaths and Injuries.” July 2001.
CPSC Report. “Special Study: Injuries and Deaths Associated with Children’s
Playground Equipment.” April 2001.