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Home & Outdoor Living
25 minutes | Jun 17, 2020
EP 13: Backyard Farming with Marc & Arlene Green from BUFCO
If you are yearning for a more self-sufficient and sustainable lifestyle, you will find today’s episode quite interesting. This week we’re joined with two special guests to talk all about backyard farming. Marc & Arlene Green, owners of BUFCO, are here with us today to share their wisdom on turning your backyard into a sustainable source of healthy, organic food. BUFCO, aka Backyard Urban Farm Company, is based in Toronto. Marc & Arlene have been operating BUFCO for more than ten years. They help homeowners & organizations with designing, installing, and maintaining organic vegetable gardens. Throughout the episode, we talk about how to plan your backyard farm, what to plant, how to take care of them, and many more. [00:46] What is BUFCO – Marc & Arlene share their story and what they do at BUFCO. [03:28] Why Backyard Farming – Arlene talks about how backyard farming reconnects you with the nature and the value of growing your own food. [06:19] Community Gardens – Marc explains the concept of community gardens and how it can be a convenient way of producing food. [07:32] When to Plant – When you should start your backyard farm and some of the misconceptions around timing for planting vegetables. [11:57] Getting Started – How to take the first step for a backyard farm & how Marc & Arlene approach starting a new backyard farm. [14:21] The DIY Way – How to start planting without the help of a professional and using DIY raised garden bed kits. [16:35] Planning Your Plants – Things to consider when deciding what to plant and when to plant them. [22:08] Resources From BUFCO – How you can use BUFCO’s resources to improve your knowledge about backyard farming. Resources: BUFCO Blog: blog.bufco.ca
20 minutes | Jun 3, 2020
EP12: Swimming Pool Repairs - What to Look out for
In today’s episode, we’re here again with Mark Lilley, the owner of Lilley Pad Ponds. He is a YouTuber and pool maintenance expert and has been working in this industry for over 13 years. In this segment, we will be talking about something completely out of general pool maintenance. We’ll be discussing pool repairing, what to do when something in the pool breaks down. For this episode, we will discuss the top 3 most common repairs every pool owner will encounter, the pool vacuum, filtration, and pump. Throughout the episode, Mark talks with us about what parts within these systems get broken, how much it will cost you and whether, as a pool owner, you should take a shot a fixing it or If you should call a professional. [1:22] The Pool Sweep – A discussion on the most common repair on a pool, the pool sweep. What parts breakdown and whether you should call a professional. [3:24] Estimating Costs - The costs involved in repairing or replacement of the pool sweep. [5:05] The Filtration System - We talk about the next most common repair, the filtration system. The main types of filters, why, and what breaks down. [8:14] Getting Professional Help - Why it’s better to call a professional to fix a pool filter. [9:51] The Pump – What you can do to be prepared for pump breakdowns. [16:39] Other Items – We discuss in detail about other items in a pool that will need repairs eventually. [20:30] Replacing a Fiberglass Pool - Why you should replace the whole pool instead of resurfacing if you have a fiberglass pool. Resources: Lilley Pad Ponds website: lilleypadpools.com
15 minutes | May 20, 2020
EP 11: How to Finance a Home Improvement Project
Welcome back to the Home & Outdoor Living podcast. One of the questions we’ve been frequently asked recently is how to finance a home improvement project. So we dedicated today’s episode to answering this question. Throughout the episode, Michael talks about the four main methods of financing you can use for your upcoming home improvement project. Michael gets into in-depth details about each financing option, their pros & cons, and how to decide if a particular option suits you. Stay tuned until the end of the episode, where Michael talks about managing financial matters for large projects. [01:25] Cash is King – What you should keep in mind when you use your savings for a home improvement project. [03:07] Credit Cards – Pros & cons of using a credit card to fund a home improvement project and risks you have to consider. [05:10] Unsecured Loans – What an unsecured loan is, interest rates, and limitations of unsecured loans. [07:40] Secured Loans - How secured loans work and how to determine whether it is a good option for you. [09:51] Large Projects – Tips for financing large home improvement projects. Resources: Subscribe on iTunes: apple.co/2LDSnNV
15 minutes | May 13, 2020
EP10: Swimming Pool Maintenance- What You Must Do
Swimming pools are one of the oldest landscape features in the outdoor living space. We hear from lots of folks who have inherited a pool and have no idea what to do with it. So we dedicated today's episode to talk to an expert about swimming pool maintenance. Mark Lily, the owner of Lily Pad Ponds, is here with us today to talk about how to maintain your swimming pool properly. Mark has been in the landscape business for more than 13 years. Throughout the episode, we talk about where to start, what you need to know about swimming pools, how to automate maintenance tasks, and many more. [00:33] Where to Start – How you can get to know about swimming pool maintenance by reaching out to a local pool company and what you should know before reaching out to an expert. [02:25] Basic Concepts – What you need to know about pools and what to watch out for. [05:43] Water Balance – Five parameters you should keep in balance to keep your pool healthy. [07:08] Service Frequency – and how Mark performs service for his clients. [09:52] Saving Time - Options for automating maintenance tasks and available equipment for testing. [11.27] Hirings a Professional – The importance of hiring a professional and how to find someone qualified for the job. [13:17] Final Thoughts – Tips & tricks for maintaining your pool. Resources: Lily Pad Ponds website: lilypadponds.com Lily Pad Ponds on YouTube: bit.ly/35rKxjt
26 minutes | Apr 22, 2020
EP09: Water Gardens With Demi Fortuna
Welcome back to Home & Outdoor Living. Today we have an interview with a special guest. Demi Fortuna, Director of Education at Atlantic Water Gardens, is here to talk about everything water features. He has been in the industry for 33 years. Throughout the episode, we talk about the benefits you get from water features, different available options for pretty much everybody, how modern technology has made it easier than ever, DIY water features, and much more. Stay tuned until the end of the episode, where Demi shares how you can learn about water features and get certified for free at the AWG's online university. [00:36] What's important about water features? – Demi starts the conversation by explaining how water features offer a whole new set of sensory delights. [02:34] What do water features mean for homeowners and businesses? – Key benefits of having water features, how they affect the ambiance of your place. [04:46] Noise elimination & wildlife attraction – How water features help you eliminate unwanted background noises and how they attract animals. [06:17] Unwelcome animal – Preparing for concerns about unwanted animal attractions and how water features are designed to avoid unwanted animals. [09:21] Available options – Different ways you can include water features, what do they look like and some easy installation concepts [15:32] Maintenance – What you should know about maintenance and how new technologies have made it easier than ever. [19:34] Modern options – Some of the new innovative solutions available in the market. [21:04] Pricing – How the costs have dropped with newer streamlined installation processes. [23:10] DIY vs. Expert Help – What you should consider before making the decision. [26:09] Final thoughts – How you can learn about water features and get certified for free at the AWG's online university Resources Atlantic Water Gardens website: atlanticwatergardens.com AWG Online University: www.atlanticwatergardens.com/university
19 minutes | Apr 1, 2020
EP08: Creating A Family Experience
When you are thinking of home improvement, just like everyone else, you have your own motivations. If you are in your forever home, then you want to create a great family experience. There are three categories for making those improvements on your forever home, and that’s what Michael is talking about today. It’s important to remember that everyone is unique, so each of these categories will mean something different to everyone! In this episode, we talk about… Making improvements for day-to-day functions Setting your home up for optimizing leisure time Deciding what leisure time means to you Creating a family experience through an outdoor space The three categories to focus on when adding an outdoor element What is the connection that you are looking for?
21 minutes | Mar 18, 2020
EP07: Fixing Up Your First Rental Property with Nelson Garcia
Getting your first rental property is an exciting time, but the purchase is just the beginning of the process. Nelson Garcia is in the house today to talk about how to fix up your first rental property. It is important to differentiate between things that need to be fixed and things that you want to fix. There’s no point in spending a massive amount of money on changes that just aren’t necessary! Stay tuned to hear what you need to pay attention to when fixing up your rental property. In this episode, we talk about… Making a list of things that need to be fixed in regards to safety and return Why fixing the kitchen and the bathroom will sell renters on your house Changing your strategy according to how long you will keep the house Sticking to professionals when researching big house projects Deciding whether to do it yourself or hire a professional Gathering multiple estimates during the due diligence phase Making your unit presentable without going overboard Links to resources: Facebook
24 minutes | Mar 4, 2020
EP06: Real Estate Investing with Nelson Garcia
Getting into the real estate game can be scary, especially in a fluctuating market, but if you do your homework and pay attention to detail, you can set yourself up for success. Serial DIYer, real estate investor, and Michael’s cousin, Nelson Garcia, is in the house today to talk about getting into real estate and what the numbers look like in today’s market. There is no secret in this business. Be careful, know your numbers, and do your best to learn from the resources that are available to you! In this episode, we talk about… Nelson’s journey to buying his first bit of real estate Numbers that are important when shopping around for property Where Nelson learned to figure out his numbers Throwing in an offer on his first property Finding a real estate agent that will work with your numbers Fixing a retaining wall and other issues to avoid liability problems Navigating the time between the offer and closing date Knowing what’s going to come back to you through appreciation Differentiating between the emotions of being a tenant and a renter Links to resources: Zolo Buy, Rehab, Rent, Refinance, Repeat Check out Bigger Pockets
31 minutes | Feb 12, 2020
EP05: Designing to a Budget with Matt Hiner from Hiner Outdoor Living
The first step when working with a landscape contractor is deciding whether to design to a budget or budget to a design. No one knows more about that than Michael’s guest today, Matt Hiner. Matt is a landscape designer out in Colorado and the owner of Hiner Outdoor Living, a company that specializes in creating incredible outdoor living spaces. It might be a challenge to figure out how you want to approach a landscaping project, but understanding your finances beforehand will help along the way. The journey will never go exactly as you planned so stay patient and be willing to compromise! In this episode, we talk about… What it means to design to a budget Budgeting to a design with a wish list Figuring out which category you fall into between design and budget Staying willing to make compromises from the beginning Breaking down the different levels of designs when working with a designer The massive differences when it comes to building different water features Utilizing pictures to get the best out of your designer Different factors that go into deciding your budget Step-by-step list when hiring a landscaping contractor Links to resources: Instagram Pinterest Get more information about Matt on Instagram!
21 minutes | Jan 29, 2020
EP04: Water Features with Greg Wittstock The Pond Guy
When you hear the term, “water feature,” you might think of a pond, a fountain, or maybe you have no idea what that means. There are so many unique designs that fit into the term because those who are passionate about water features are truly artists. At the end of the day, a water feature is the only part of a landscape that will suck everyone outside of the house. Michael’s guest today is Greg Wittstock, is a water feature pioneer who is going to dive into the vast world of water features. A water feature helps turn a house into a home so get off of your electronics and go enjoy nature in your own yard! In this episode, we talk about… Defining what the term “water feature” includes Why some people would like to have a water feature Greg’s journey to becoming The Pond Guy Bringing the joy of water features to other people Common feedback from people who have a water feature in their yard Different avenues to get a water feature of your own Determining exactly what kind of water feature you want Where to find the supplies to build your own water feature Tips for seeking out a certified contractor and what questions to ask Having an outdoor pond while living in a colder climate Links to resources: Learn more about water features on YouTube or on Greg’s website: http://www.aquascapeinc.com/
25 minutes | Jan 15, 2020
EP03: Shade Structures - Umbrellas, Pergolas & More!
When you’re working on your yard, the last thing you want is to be baking in the heat of the sun all day long. It’s times like these that you really want to have some sort of shade structure to protect you. Today, Michael wants to tell you all about what shade structures are, how they can benefit you, and which ones work the best. He is also going to talk about what shade structures are available to you on the market today. Remember, you don’t need to be doing manual labor to justify getting one of these. What good is shade if you can’t use it to relax? In this episode, we talk about… Breaking down a basic umbrella and its benefits/setbacks Why the shade sails are so popular How the range of cedar pergolas varies from yard to yard Breaking up the visual aspect of the dining area from the house Add ons for the unstained and wood-stained cedar pergolas Extending the season on your patio with a pavilion Most commonly missed aspects when planning and outdoor living space Making a full-on addition to the home, similar to a sunroom Links to resources: Shade Sail Cedar Pergola
26 minutes | Jan 1, 2020
EP02: Real Estate Tips for First Time Home Buyers in 2020
Buying or selling your house is no small task. There is so much to do from a logistical standpoint, and that’s before you add on the stress of financing the move. Hiring a trusty and reliable realtor can help make this process easier and more comfortable. Michael’s guest today, Nathan Flanagan, is the CEO at Flux Realty. Flux opened its doors in the Spring of 2018. They are a residential real estate company that helps people buy and sell homes in the tri-cities. The motto at Flux is to go deep, not wide, and that means that they are really trying to build long-term relationships with their clients. In this episode, we talk about… What makes Flux different compared to other realtors Advice for people looking to hire a realtor or agent Trends in the realty industry that home buyers need to be aware of Importance of educating the clients throughout the process What the Flux process looks like from beginning to end Understanding where people’s pain points are at Building deep relationships with the clients Rapid-fire questions with Nathan Links to resources: Check out Flux Realty!
35 minutes | Dec 18, 2019
EP01: Lawn Care Tips & Tricks for 2020
Nothing can ruin the appearance of a house than having a patchy lawn with dead grass, but many people don’t know how to take care of their own lawn. Michael’s guest today, Paul Stefanson, owns and operates Apex Lawn Services. From working for his parents’ lawn service company to construction and real estate sales, Paul found his way back to the lawn. His goal is to fix the problems with lawn care instead of treating the symptoms. If you are looking to have and maintain a beautiful lawn, you need to hear this advice from a seasoned veteran before you go and hire a lawn care company! In this episode, Michael talks about… Paul’s professional bio from lawn services to sales and back Creating a better environment for the grass Valuing and respecting everyone’s time Advice for anyone looking to hire a lawn care company Importance of raising your lawnmower up Doing the job the way that it is supposed to be done Why Paul offers a 100% money-back guarantee Having a large company while keeping that small-family feel Random questions and answers with Paul Links to resources: Check out Apex Lawn Services and give Paul a call!
4 minutes | Nov 18, 2019
EP00: Start Here
The Home & Outdoor Living podcast focuses on educating the homeowner with their options when it comes to home improvement and outdoor living. Topics range from landscaping, kitchen remodels, bathroom remodels, home building, and basement renovations. Each podcast episode is filled with educational information and suggested action steps that can be taken to implement on your journey of home & outdoor living. Stop being overwhelmed and listen to the Home & Outdoor Living podcast.
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