Decorate the Exterior of Your House With These Ideas

How much time have you spent decorating and designing the exterior of your home? Quite often we spend most of our time renovating and updating the inside of the home that we forget how important the exterior design is as well.

The curb appeal of your property is important if you want to improve the overall value come selling time. Don’t think that you need to go through a complete overhaul to update the outside of your house. There are many simple and small changes you can do that will help you create a yard that is the talk of the neighbourhood.

To help you decorate the exterior of your house, take a look at some of the ideas below.

 

Upgrade the Fence

If you have a fence around the property line, see if it needs updating. Over time, fences will wear down, lose their colour, and even start to fall apart. If your current fence is still in good shape, add a fresh coat of paint to it. You’ll quickly change the atmosphere of the property with a quick paint job.

Door and Window Canopies

If you want to add an elegant touch to the design of the exterior of the home, try installing canopies over doors and windows. We have many options available so that you can design a canopy that is unique to your home.

Canopies also serve a practical purpose, especially during the rainy months of the year. You’ll be able to stand underneath of them as you look for your keys to the door.

Use Planters

Does your yard have any colour to it? If not, you can easily add a pop of colour by growing flowers in planters. By going with planters, you can put plants almost anywhere you want. Have some by the door to your home, at the edge of the driveway, or anywhere else you think they will look nice.

You can even use the planter itself as a piece of art for the property. From simple, plain planters to elaborately designed ones, you may not even need big flowers in them.

Keep it Simple

When decorating the outside of the house, err on the side that less is more. Having too much going on will make the yard look cluttered, and it will draw the attention away from the house. You want the spotlight to be on the house, and everything around it to compliment the design of the home.

Pressure Wash the Exterior

Have you ever pressure washed a fence or deck? One run over with a pressure washer, and it can take a dull and old looking piece of wood and make it look brand new. You don’t realize how dirty the outside walls get until you go over them with a pressure washer. It’s an easy and inexpensive way to brighten up the outside of your home.

Paint the Door

It’s becoming more common to see a bold coloured door on a house. The door grabs the attention of those passing by. If you want to give the exterior of your home a bold and unique touch, paint the door a colour that suits your personality.

Keep Your Pool Area Safe for the Whole Family

What’s better than hanging out by the pool on a hot sunny day? Likely, not a whole lot. However, without proper supervision and set up, the pool can be dangerous for people of any age.

On average, roughly 120 Canadians die each year due to drowning during aquatic activities in swimming pools. Any age is susceptible to drowning, but young children how are unable to swim on their own are at very high risk.

You and the family want to be able to enjoy your pool safely without any worries. That is why having safety precautions set up before people use the pool will help decrease the risk of anyone drowning. Consider some of the following safety precautions to implement with your family pool.

 

Build a Fence or Railing

One of the best ways to prevent children from falling into the pool if you are not around is to install a fence around the perimeter of the pool. This barrier will help keep children away from the water when there is no supervision.

Having railings around the edge of the pool will help protect people even more. Also, having railings would be helpful to grab on to if someone accidentally fell into the pool.

Have a First Aid Kit and Rescue Equipment Nearby

Every pool should have a first aid kit and rescue equipment in the pool vicinity. Slips and falls can happen at any time and cause scrapes and cuts. Without proper care, those cuts could get infected and cause even more issues down the road.

Rescue equipment should be readily available in the case of an emergency. A life ring or rescue tube should be easy to grab and toss into the pool if someone fell in.

Keep Chemicals Safely Stored

Pool chemicals are toxic to humans and animals if they ingested them. Not even that, some chemicals are corrosive to the skin if the liquids came in contact with skin. That is why you should have your pool chemicals stored and locked away, and keep them out of reach of small children.

Have Pool Rules

Although the pool is meant to be a fun area, rules should still be in place to prevent accidents or worse. Go through with the whole family a list of rules that will keep everyone safe. Some basic pool rules include:

  • No running on the pool deck.
  • No diving in shallow water.
  • Always have adult supervision before entering the pool.
  • No rough-housing in the pool.
  • Do not unexpectantly push anyone into the pool.

Practice How to Swim

If people are going in the pool, they should have a basic understanding of how to swim. Even if the water in your pool is shallow, basic swimming skills can save a life. It is never too late or too early to start learning how to swim.

 

Keep your pool area safe so that the entire family can continue to enjoy it. Implement some of our guidelines to keep everyone safe if there is a pool around. Make sure the whole family knows the safety rules, as well as what to do and what not to do in the case of an emergency.

 

Make Your Front Yard the Talk of the Neighbourhood

No matter what time of year it is, you can have the best looking front yard in your whole neighbourhood. By utilizing different textures and colours, you can drastically change your yard to create a winter wonderland or a summer paradise.

As the cold winter starts to roll through, you’ll be getting your yard ready to withstand all the snow and freezing temperatures that are bound to happen. However, by being creative with bushes and shrubs, railings, and decorations, you’ll take your yard to a whole new level.

To help you make your front yard the talk of the neighbourhood this winter, consider using some of the following tips.

 

Install Railing

When snow blankets the ground, you have to be more creative with how you’ll create your yard. In summer, you have colourful plants and green grass at your disposal to help. But in winter, the snow can only do so much.

So, add railing around your yard. From simple to elaborate railings that go around the perimeter of the yard or up to the front door, you can add an elegant feel right away. Take a look at some of the railings we’ve built for residents in Toronto.

Plant Winter Shrubs and Trees

Many plants can withstand winter, and still produce berries on them even when it freezes. They help feed the birds that stick around for winter. Not only that, they can add some much-needed colour to contrast the white snow.

Look at your Hardscape

Lots of times when talking about decorating a yard, we look at the soft landscape called softscape. Those are anything living that you plant. However, we can easily forget about the hardscape, or things that are not living.

Hardscape would be the hard stuff you include in your yard, like bricks and stones. Winter is the perfect time to take a look at any additions to your hardscape to help balance everything out. It could be a sculpture, an arch over the entrance to your home, or a bench on the porch.

Tidy Up the Yard

Leaves, mud, branches, and other things that appear during the transition to fall can quickly make your lard look cluttered. Part of your curb appeal is having a clean and tidy lawn. So, before the snow comes, rake up the leaves and branches, and clean out everything that accumulated in the gutters.

Rely on Lighting

In the winter time, have fun with your exterior lighting. Having proper outdoor lighting is for your family’s safety, and to add a dramatic effect to your front yard.

Install lights in different areas of the yard. You can have small lights that line the pathway to the front door. There are post lamps that work great on decks and by the front door. Use string lights throughout the trees for a winter wonderland effect.

 

Don’t let your yard fall behind once the temperature drops. Even in the winter months, you can still have the best front yard in your neighbourhood. Incorporate some of our tips listed above to help you design your winter yard this season.

6 Tips for Decorating a Small Balcony

No matter the size of your balcony, there is always room for creativity and design. It may take a bit of manoeuvring around, but with the right plan in mind, you can transform your small balcony into your favourite hangout spot.

Having a balcony of any size is a huge perk for any living space. It allows you to bring your living room outdoors in the summer, and to enjoy the fresh air. Sit outside and watch the sunrise or sunset, all while still enjoying the comfort of your home.

Whether you are renting an apartment or own your home, there are many budget-friendly designs that you can do with your balcony. Take a look at some of our ideas to get your balcony hangout ready.

 

Start With the Railing

Although this will be more for homeowners rather than rents, changing the railing along the balcony can make a huge difference. You can go for a classic look that won’t take away from the rest of the design on the balcony, or you can go with an elaborate, custom-made railing that is the attraction piece in your design.

Browse through some of our recent railings to see how they can dramatically change the feel of your balcony.

Take Your Home Outdoors

You want your balcony to be an extension of your home. To achieve that look, keep the design scheme you have inside when planning out your balcony. Stay within the same colours and theme to keep your transition from inside to outside smooth.

Use Your Walls

One thing you’ll notice right away with a small balcony is the lack of space to place items. This will force you to be creative with your design.

Don’t forget about the wall space. The walls around your balcony are like a blank canvas. Hand plants and lights off of them, or other decorations that add to your theme.

Lay an Outdoor Rug

An easy way to change your balcony of any size is to lay down an outdoor rug. Balconies don’t always have the most beautiful flooring unless you can afford to upgrade it. Instead, take a look at different rugs available. You can start with the rug and use the colour scheme as inspiration for the rest of the balcony.

Add String Lights

You’ll want outdoor lights on your balcony if you hope to spend much time there at night. However, you don’t want to give up precious space for a lamp. Opt for string lights instead. You can hang them around the railings, the walls of the balcony, or even across for a unique feel if there’s room.

Utilize Multi-Purpose Furniture

One thing every balcony needs is a place to sit. But a couch and table can take up much space and leave you with little to no room left. Luckily, there is outdoor furniture that has two purposes – storage and seating.

When you’re decorating a small space, be creative with multi-purpose items. They can serve you in two different ways without taking up additional space. So, our outdoor couch could hold items under the cushion, and the table can turn into an additional chair by adding a cushion on top.

 

Have fun when decorating your balcony. From installing unique and custom built railings to draping string lights all around, every change will enhance the feel of your balcony. Make it the place everyone will want to hang out on when the sun comes out.

 4 Common Cleaning Tasks for Keeping Glass Railings Clean

More and more you’ll find glass railings in homes. Whether it be inside following the stairs or outside around the deck or balcony, glass railings offer safety that is aesthetically pleasing. You can see through the glass as to not obstruct the view of your surroundings. It allows you to watch your children play on the lawn as you relax on the deck above.

What makes glass railings very appealing to homeowners is how durable they are and the minimal amount of upkeep required to keep them looking new. Of course, over time they will get dirty, especially if they are outside railings. However, with a regular cleaning routine that includes the glass railings around the home, you’ll keep them looking in pristine condition for many years to come.

To help you out, here are a few tips to easily keep your glass railings clean.

 

Water Spots and Streaks

Water spots and streaks are probably one of the most frustrating parts of keeping the glass clean. You may notice water spots on outdoor railings after it rains or splashed with water. For indoor railings, likely you would notice streaks after wiping the glass down. Either way, they are annoying and can make the glass look dirty.

To avoid water spots and streaks, wash the glass products specifically meant for glass, or mix equal parts of vinegar and water in a spray bottle. Wipe down with a clean cloth that will absorb the water.

Dust and Dirt

Dust and dirt will make its way onto the glass of the railings. Unfortunately, it is inevitable. Inside your home, dust floats around and grasps on to things around the area. Outside, dirt will stick to the glass when it storms or is windy.

Luckily for you, dust and dirt are some of the easiest things to clean from glass. A soft, dry cloth will easily wipe off the dust and dirt, revealing crisp, clear glass.

Grime Build Up

Depending on where the railings are, you may have to deal with grime build up from time to time (or quite often). Lots of times you see grime build up on the glass doors of the shower. The same thing can happen to your railings, especially if they’re in the kitchen and continuously get splashed with liquid.

Your best bet is to try and wipe down the glass as soon as a spill happens. However, if that is not always possible, the water and vinegar solution will work just fine to clean them up. Use a damp cloth to wipe the glass. You can also use glass cleaning products as well.

Animal Feces

For outdoor railings, there is a good chance you’ll encounter animal droppings on the glass. Most commonly are bird droppings. Cleaning up animal feces from glass is quite easy, but you should take safety precautions to do so. Wear disposable gloves and use a cloth that can be thrown away after. Using the vinegar and water solution will not only clean the glass, but it will also disinfect it as well.

 

Cleaning the glass on railings typically is not a difficult task. By staying on top of it, though, you can keep the glass looking like brand new for decades to come.

The Ins and Outs of Floating Stairs

Don’t let a common household necessity blend into the background. The stairs can be a striking feature in your home if appropriately designed. From walking up a few steps to enter the home, or taking a grand staircase up to the next level, every stair can be a unique addition to a house.

One way of incorporating a stunning staircase is with floating stairs. A floating staircase adds a distinctively modern touch to any home it is in. What makes them so appealing is that they are a perfect combination of functionality while being stylish.

If a floating staircase sounds appealing to you, let’s take a look at the ins and outs to see what makes a floating staircase unique.

 

How They Work

Floating stairs, although look like it, are not actually floating. They still have structural support to make them stand up. You’ll be walking up and down these stairs, so you want to ensure they can still maintain their structural integrity.

When designed and installed correctly, these staircases give off the illusion that they are floating. Even though there will still be certain areas of support and attachments, where and how they are built will keep them hidden away.

Save Valuable Space

One major perk of floating stairs is the additional space you save underneath of them. Traditional staircases can take up a large amount of space because they require a solid structure to support them. Because floating staircases are designed without the solid structural support, it opens up space underneath for you to do whatever you please.

There are many creative designs for under the stairs. You can turn the space into a cozy reading nook, a fancy storage area, a small home office, even a dog house for your furry friend. Basically, anything that you lack in your home you can use the space under the stairs for that.

Versatility

With floating stairs, the design options are only limited to what you are house allows you to build (or your wallet allows you to afford). Although they tend to be on the pricier end of staircases, there are so many ways you can build and install them in your home.

You can go more minimalistic and have as little of accessories to them as possible – only the steps jutting out from the wall are what you see. You can have them follow along with the wall and curve up to the second floor. You could even suspend the steps from the ceiling, making them look like they are really floating.

 

In the end, floating staircases are a preference rather than a necessity. However, they do offer a unique look to any home they are installed in. Take your home to a modern level by installing floating staircases.

Amp Up Your Projects with Custom Steelwork

When you think of custom steelwork, what do you imagine? Do you picture impeccable design, durability, and functionality? If not, you need to take a closer look at all you can achieve with Pro Weld’s work!

The Process of Custom

When we say our steelwork is custom, we mean it. Although the process typically begins the same for all projects, each and every piece is custom made. First, the desired metal type is cut, then it is formed, and then it is forged to the original piece (or forged into an original piece).

Custom Structural Support

In its most simple form, custom steelwork can be used to aid in structural support. Since steel is so strong, it is often used as supportive beams for heavy platforms or other structures. It is also the perfect solution for any framework needs you may have. Steel makes for a sturdy foundation for any project.

Piecing it all Together

The greatest part of custom steelwork is that it is indeed, custom! You are able to create pieces to finish any project or piece together a final product. With the help of computer-aided design (CAD), we can help create the perfect size piece for your project. This is extremely useful in commercial and industrial projects.

Custom Furniture and Railings

If you are looking to add a statement piece, or an eye-catching element to your home or business, look no further than here. Not only are the custom pieces made from steelwork beautiful, but they’re durable as well. Choosing metal as the material for your railing adds a vintage feel, while keeping an area safe. Steel is strong, and won’t break if someone leans on it.

Since the material is so durable, it makes for an excellent choice for custom furniture as well. Custom steelwork can be used to make beautiful benches or light fixtures. While many people use their custom benches for more of an aesthetically pleasing attribute, rather than for seating, you can easily do both. Simply by adding a few cushions or pillows to the bench, you can make it the perfect seating area for entertaining.

Create Works of Art

Custom steelwork is an art in itself, but it can also be used to create actual art pieces. Many clients have requests for wall decorations or other kinds of statement pieces.

If you have any sort of project you’re working on, or plan to work on, you should consider custom metal work. Custom steelwork will add durability to your most simple projects, and will add beauty to any large pieces.

Cast Iron vs. Wrought Iron

cast-iron-vs-wrought-ironYou may hear the terms cast iron and wrought iron thrown around a lot when you’re looking at custom welding work. You may think that the two terms are interchangeable, but they re actually quite different. There are numerous differences between cast and wrought iron, but the main difference is how the product is prepared. We’ve broken down all of the differences for you, so you can be better informed in case there comes a time when you need some welding work done!

Cast Iron

Cast iron is pretty much exactly what it sounds like- something made from a cast, or mold. This process begins with iron being melted down, and then poured into a specific mold, depending on what is being made. Cast iron isn’t actually really iron. It is made up of iron alloys, or often gray iron. There are typically traces of other elements, like carbon, manganese, and phosphorus as well.

In order to actually make a cast iron product, iron ore is smelted and mixed with scrap metals. The mixture is then poured into a mold of the desired shape. The product is extremely hard, and tougher than wrought iron, or steel. However, since cast iron is so tough, it can’t be worked with. This means that the product that comes out of the mold is what it will be forever, unle

ss it breaks. Actually, this is one of the few drawbacks of cast iron. Although it is extremely dense, th

e addition of multiple elements with different melting and solidifying temperatures means that the product is solidified while its components are in different phases, creating tension points within the cast. If enough pressure is added, the piece will fracture rather than bend. However, you would have to add a significant amount of pressure to achieve this.

Wrought Iron

Wrought iron is very different than cast iron. Rather than a liquid being p

oured into a mold, the actual metal is “wrought” or worked on to create the desired shape. Unlike cast iron, wrought iron is composed of primarily iron, with about one or two percent of impurities like phosphorous, sulfur, or aluminum oxides.

Although it is still extremely strong, wrought iron is much more malleable than cast iron. This means that the iron used for one project can be reheated and used over and over again to adapt to your needs. Actually, the more a piece of wrought iron is reheated and worked on, the stronger it becomes. Since wrought iron is more malleable, and less heterogeneous than cast iron, it lasts longer in most cases. A piece of wrought iron would have to be exposed to a serious amount of pressure, or extremely high temperatures in order to break or become damaged.

Although both cast and wrought iron have their advantages, they’re not often used in present day. They are typically only worked with by artisans or extremely skilled welders. Both are great for making unique, beautiful pieces!

Advantages of Installing Glass Fencing Around Your Pool

glass-pool-railings-torontoYour pool is the spotlight of your backyard. Many family gatherings, neighborhood parties, and other special events happen around your pool. While having a pool has many physical, mental, and social benefits, safety is always a concern. Even if you and everyone else in the household know how to swim, some of your guests may not. It can also be dangerous for pets to be left unattended around a pool. You can’t keep an eye on your backyard all the time, so the most practical option for safety is to install a fence around the pool. Luckily for you, there are so many stylish designs to choose from, including glass railings and fences. Glass railings are safe, modern, and practical. With so many advantages, like safety, style, durability, and visibility, you’ll see why glass fencing is the way to go!

They’re Easy to Maintain

You may think that glass fences would be difficult to keep clean, but it is actually easier than you think! The glass will never stain, unlike other traditional fences. All you need to keep your glass fence looking brand new is some glass cleaner and a rag. Any dirt, or spilled liquid, can easily be hosed off, or wiped off, of the glass.

Unlike other fencing options, like wood or metal, your glass fence will never obtain water damage, and it will never rust. Since they are resistant to any form of decay, glass fences are extremely durable.

They’re a Favored Design Material

When you install glass fencing in your backyard, you won’t have to worry about redecorating, or buying new patio furniture. Glass matches with everything, and is the ultimate compliment to any setting. Although the glass is very subtle, it adds an elegant, modern touch to your backyard. Also, the transparency of glass will make your pool area appear larger, as opposed to the closed-off feeling of traditional fences.

They’re Practical

Glass fences are a super practical option for pool fencing because they’re clear! You will be able to see through the fence and keep an eye on any guests that are swimming, or any children playing in the backyard. Glass fences are also typically taller than traditional fencing, making it difficult for children to enter the pool area without assistance from an adult.

Plus, the visibility provided by the glass fence allows you to enjoy an interrupted view of your pool, and the rest of your backyard.

What to Consider When Installing

Glass fences are creative, practical, and durable. When it comes time to install a fence around your pool, Pro Weld will help you design a custom glass fence. Things you will want to consider are the height you would like the fence to be, what type of gate you would like installed for the entrance (self-closing, auto-lock, etc.), the type of glass you prefer, and how/when you would like your new fence installed.

Why Railings are a Worthy Investment for Any Home in 2018

Railings

Perhaps it’s not something that comes up right away when you think about ways to enhance the value of your home but maybe it should. We’re talking about installing metal railings at various locations around the property. Metal handrails – whether steel, aluminum or wrought iron – go a long way toward enhancing the aesthetics of your home both inside and out and also play an important role in making your home safer for everyone. Below we’re going to look at just some or the reasons that installing metal rails, balustrades, banisters and fencing in and around the home is an idea whose time has come in 2018.

Why it Makes Sense to Install Metal Railings in Your Home

Metal handrails whether on the main staircase or around the deck make a lot of sense from both aesthetic and practical perspectives. Below we’ll look at a few of the reasons you should consider metal handrails for your home.

  • Safety – One of the biggest reasons to consider metal over wood or vinyl is safety. When properly installed metal handrails will be able to absorb a heavier load than wood, vinyl or glass, which is important if there are kids in the house or even if you entertain a lot. If your child or guest accidently falls against a wooden banister it may or may not be able to stop them from crashing through. With wrought iron or steel everyone will emerge safe and sound.
  • Beauty – Metal has been used in and around the home for centuries. Wrought iron fences built 200 years ago can still be seen in some of the older neighbourhoods of North America. They’ve never been replaced because they have a timeless appeal that is just as strong today as it was when they were installed and that is not going to change any time soon. So if you want to enhance the curb appeal of your home, consider metal fencing or handrails.
  • Low maintenance durability – Metal, regardless of what kind, is not going to attract termites or other pests and you won’t have to take any extraordinary steps to protect it from the elements, even if it’s outside. In fact there’s a good chance your metal handrails will outlast the house itself and will be used by some enterprising builder in the future to adorn their new abode. All you really need to do is keep them clean and keep an eye out for corrosion (if they’re outdoors).

Metal railings are one of the most cost-effective enhancements you can make to your home this year. But they’re more than just a bottom line investment. They’re also an investment in the safety of your family and friends, the overall look and experience of the home (including the property around the house) and they never need any sort of special attention to maintain their timeless good looks and practical effectiveness. Talk to the experts at Pro Weld about new metal handrails for your home.