Front Walkway Rebuild

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Previously this week I had a client hire our services to redo a slab front walkway. My client decided to incorporate some of the original slabs along with the new. Items on the list to purchase in order to complete this project just to name a few was screening product, new slabs to replace broke ones. Gaiters edge, and landscaping spikes.

 

I basically tore out everything and started from scratch. My client was addressing major water damage issues. We corrected the problem by putting 1/4 inch slope going away from the house with the screening and the new slabs.

 

Using gaiter edging, will keep all slabs in place even after the frost gets to it. New grading should correct the water situation. Doesn’t look like a big job, bit don’t kid yourself!!!  30 feet of new walkway is more time consuming work that you may think.  Don’t forget the front steps were moved and replaced back due to the fact they were sinking.  All in all, the front walkway looks so much better, is safer and adds more curb appeal.

I have included some of the before and after photos.

 

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$50 Refrigerator Ice & Water Filter Can Save You $$$$ Thousands!!!

 

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A previous client of mine hired Don Of All Trades Professional Home Maintenance Services to restore damage to their hardwood, carpeting and drywall on the first and lower level of their home caused by their refrigerator that had an ice and water system.  So what caused all this damage? Neglect of changing their Refrigerator Ice & Water Filter. In fact, they had never changed it since they purchased a side by side door model similar to the one in the photo below. When I asked why they never changed it, their response was they never even realized they had to!

My clients explained that the plastic line was located behind the fridge,  so visually, they  couldn’t see it leaking. They later noticed their hardwood floors located  several feet away from the fridge began buckling. It didn’t clue in at this point that it was related to the fridge. 4 days passed when the wife went to the laundry room located in the basement and noticed that floor was completely flooded due to  line being  backed up  and it had completely saturated through the first floor and right through the basement ceiling. Water had run thought the joist that ended up causing thousands of dollars in damage. Carpeting in the basement had to be replaced including damaged drywall as the water had penetrated it as well.

 

Moral of this story?

Change Your Refrigerator’s Ice Water & Filter Regularly before you choke on the next ice-cold glass of water!

 

 

 

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This was the side by side Whirlpool Fridge with Water and Ice Dispenser Model my client currently own.

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It is recommended that you replace your disposable filter every 6 month. According to the manufacturer information on the label, this filter model 4396508 reduces 6 contaminants which include: Lead & Mercury, Chlorine Taste & Odor, Particles, Benzene and Toxaphene. I replace our filter   every 6 months OR when the indicator light comes on.

Tip: Where ever you purchase your new filter from, please be sure to doublecheck the product inside before you purchase it. Why? Last time I purchased a new one I got home to find out the box I got from the shelf (I thought was brand new) was actually a used one some had placed inside the box! I had to go back and explain it to the  customer service desk at my local hardware store.

 

 

Excellent Installation Instructions Video By:  from whirpool.ca

 

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Sneak Peak of Don’s Personal Spice Garden

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The May 24 weekend has come and gone. Along with other’s I have been working on cleaning up my yard over the last 3 weeks and taking advantage the warm weather we have had this month. Every year I purchase my vegetable plants from Vandermeer’s Nursery & Garden Centre a local business here in Durham Region. Vandermeer’s has been around since 1976 and I love their story and their huge selection of plants, knowledge and customer service.

“Peter Vandermeer sold his share of his greenhouse business in Holland and emigrated to Canada in 1974 with his wife and daughter. Two years later, he purchased 5 acres in Niagara on the Lake and started building.

He began growing commercial chrysanthemums under contract, but this was not working out to his satisfaction, so he changed over to spray chrysanthemums. Eventually he started selling directly to wholesalers, which now make up 95% of our customer base.” to read more about Peter Vandermeer’s story and to find their location please  check out:    http://www.vandermeergreenhouses.ca/.

 

Years ago, a friend of mine was  in the process of reconstructing a retaining wall at his home. I took the opportunity to take home some of that retaining wall and build a raised spice garden in my yard. Let me tell you, these blocks were heavy but well worth the hard work! I came up with a simple design with what materials I had to work with and below has been my end result. I absolutely love it!

 

I have planted my assortment of fresh basil, thyme, oregano, sage, rosemary, chives, parsley and many more! Here’s a glimpse of my spice garden. Hope you enjoy!

 

 

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Fresh Herb Gardening

 

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Every year I plant fresh herbs in my garden. Oregano, mint and chives are my “regulars” that keep coming back every year. This year I took the time to do some research  and paid a visit to  my local garden nursery. Every year I try to choose a new and exciting addition to add to  my  herb garden and these photos are just a few of this years selections. Keep in mind I have quite a large herb garden and I tend to dry  and store them to be used all through the winter months. Below is a description  along with some of their uses in cooking. There’s nothing more flavourful than cooking with fresh herbs and spices that you have grown in your garden. Fresh herbs just bring your meals to life.  Bonne Appetite!

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The African Basil Plant

Is one of a few types of basil that is perennial. The leaves of African blue basil start out purple when young, only growing green as the given leaf grows to its full size, and even then retaining purple veins.  Goes well with pesto dishes.

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The  Bay Laurel Plant

The By Laurel Plant is a small Mediterranean evergreen tree with small blackish berries and glossy aromatic leaves used for flavoring in cooking; also used by ancient Greeks to crown victors The unique scent is also known for its bug repelling properties. The Bay Laurel is the perfect seasoning roasts, soups, and stews.

 

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The Vietnamese Coriander Plant

The top of its leaf is dark green, with chestnut-colored spots while the leaf’s bottom is burgundy red. The stem is jointed at each leaf. This herb’s leaves are  commonly eaten fresh in salads, soups, stews, fish and beef.

 

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The Curry Plant

The Curry Plant  is a compact pant with silver foliage and yellow blooms. Pick leaves at any time and use for seasoning salads, soups, meat dishes and more.

 

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The Sage Plant 

A perennial with hairy aromatic foliage and attractive edible blue flowers. Pick leaves at any time and use for seasoning fish, shrimp, pork, chicken, corn on the cob and chicken.

 

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The Rosemary Plant

Rosemary is an aromatic evergreen shrub with  leaves that  can be picked anytime  and used for  flavoring in foods such as stuffing and roast lamb, pork, chicken and turkey.

 

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The Lavender Plant

 

The Lavender Plant beautiful purple-tone blooms atop foliage that oozes fragrance on a sunny afternoon. Pick and dry flowers for seasoning desserts, such as cookies, cakes, and ice cream, or use as an edible garnish on a salad or fresh berries. Lavender blends deliciously with mint and lemon to brew a refreshing tea.

 

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The Dark Opal Basil Plant

The Dark Opal Basil Plant has purple leaves with pink flowers Opal Basil is a very high quality basil perfect for culinary use in any dish. It’s used in fresh or dried form and can be frozen for later use. It works particularly well in salads and stir fry.

 

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Read For Yourself!

I cannot stress the importance of providing  excellent customer service and providing top-notch work.  Below are just a few wonderful comments our clients have to say about our services. Bravo to our team here at Don Of All Trades Professional Home Maintenance Services!

 

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1:  I cannot say enough positive things about the work that Don D’Orazio from Don Of All Trades did at my home. Don was professional, prompt, extremely clean and true to his word on the cost of the project. He is honest in all of his business dealings and very trust worthy.

Don is one of the few contractors I have dealt with who does what he says he will do and who shows up when he says he will on time and finishing the work on the day discussed.

Dealing with Don means a job well done with no surprise invoices at the end of the job. The quality of his work was absolutely first-rate and I will continue to use his services and would highly recommend him to anyone.

Mary Anne P | Ajax

 

2:  Actually Dan, I’m the one that’s thankful. You did a great job and you can be sure that I will be calling you back. Both my wife and I are pretty excited to have someone we can call for any job around the house big or small. You provide a valuable service and at a fair price but best of all, you actually care about the quality of your work. Many Thanks again!

Greg | Ajax

 

3:  Don of all Trades was approached to do a bathroom renovation, one designed to accommodate the needs of a 97-year-old veteran. The subsequent renovation became a full-scale reconstruction going far beyond the original. Many contractors might have walked away from what Don was facing, but being a consumer professional, he stayed the course while remaining within the budget, creating a walk-in shower complete in both form and function. I would have no hesitation in recommending Don for any project.

Gorden | Ajax

 

4:  Hi Don:

Just wanted to thank you for the excellent job you did of my kitchen and bathroom floors. Looks great! I know it will make a big
difference to me in making it easier for me to keep up without having  to bother other people. I also appreciate very much that everything was completely cleaned up  when you left. I will be sure to let others know and if I have other work needing  done I will most certainly think of you first! Again many thanks

Sue | Oshawa

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Gardens By: Don Of All Trades Tips-Part 2

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Woodchips are basically a medium sized material made up of cut or chipped larger pieces of wood.  A machine called a wood chipper is used for transforming large pieces of wood into smaller pieces. Wood chipping has a variety of uses. This product can be used in landscaping and garden mulch. It’s used for playground surfaces, mulch and in some places even fuel.  Woodchips is a great way to keep weeds under control, water conservation, prevention of soil erosion and supporting the germination of seeds.

 

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Wood Chips  as shown in the figure above come in a multitude of colour, shapes and sizes.  Depending on what your next project requires, you can certainly bring any garden to life just by using this simple product. If you’re thinking of taking on the challenge of Dying Wood Chips yourself, here’s a great link that will take you step by step through the process. http://www.ehow.com/how_7726828_color-wood-chips.html

Personally, I like to purchase my woodchips from a local company called Durham Top Soil & Garden Supplies http://www.durhamtopsoil.com/ right here in the Durham  Region.

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I choose shades of black in wood chips. I like the way it brings out the colour and beauty  of my plants.

 

 

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You can save  some money by purchasing wood  chips and picking them up yourself from a garden centre  but I prefer to have them delivered due the large amounts my gardens require.

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If the weather isn’t cooperating. You can protect your woodchips by covering them with a large tarp until you are ready to begin working on transferring them into your gardens.

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I usually stick to the rule of putting a 3 inch layer of woodchips in my gardens.  This ensures that water will be retained, weeding will be kept to a minimum and a decent layer for plant protection is there to keep the plants warm in case of frost.  If you have a concern about  perennials below that haven’t come up or sprouted  yet, don’t. They should be fine. I haven’t had  any issues with my perennials.

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I love the way woodchips give off a character and curb appeal to any garden. It’s just another way to add a finish touch to your home or office. To me, wood chips are like a  base canvass for a multitude of colour and beauty that can be enjoyed and admired all summer long!


 

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