Author Archive: John Wiles

Psychologist Tilmann Moser on Painting and the Soul – “Family is the challenge of art”

Mr Moser, you are a psychoanalyst dealing with the Nazi era and the long-term effects of war. How did you get into art?
I have always loved going to museums. During my studies, the museum landscape in Berlin particularly inspired me.

Any key experiences?
Picasso was a key figure for me. When I was at school there was a lot of criticism of his work. Many people said it was not art. At some point, I looked closely at the works and found myself in them. Later added the landscapes I had seen in Italy. I realised that she was psychologically interested in me.

What is the connection between soul and painting?
I think landscape artists are as sensitive to this subject as psychoanalysts are. I would even say that you do some form of emotional research with your paintings.

So is it possible to draw conclusions about the psychology of the artist from the pictures?
It is definitely a temptation. Without considering the psychology of the artist, I think there is a lot that simply cannot be understood. It seems to me that both are important: to deal with the artwork in its purest form and also to take into account the personality of the artist. However, it should not be pathologised.

What does it mean to be a family?
In art, this is a huge challenge. Many photographs show the extent to which artists deal with their families. That can be very different. Some photographs are completely heroic about the family, others are more sober and distant.

How has the representation of the family changed over the centuries?
Even in the Middle Ages, depictions of the family ranged widely, from the heroic to the theological abstract. For example, when Max Beckmann depicted Adam and Eve, the painting resonated with the poverty of the 1920s in which the artist lived. Artists became increasingly psychologically adept, adopting the attitude of researchers from the 19th century onwards.

In your book you refer to the therapeutic process reflected in the pictures, even though some of the works were created more than a hundred years ago. So the basic model of the family has not changed?
Yes, even on a large scale. Politically, sociologically, but also in terms of the reception of the paintings. At first, the focus was more on the extended family, shifting more and more towards depicting couples. Maybe with a child or two. When I walk through the museum, it’s like seeing what my patients tell me is on display in front of me.

Can painting be seen as the emancipation of the soul?
Not directly. Painting is more like depiction and exploration. I doubt that it has created liberation. You could perhaps call it the liberation of truth, because through the process of research that the artist goes through he reveals some truth.

As a psychoanalyst, do you have a desire to talk to artists about what they have painted?
That would be beautiful, but I’m very reserved. I had two very fruitful conversations with artists about their work. One was even upset because he didn’t want me to try to draw conclusions about his psychology from the photographs. I had very little contact with the artists.

You are already deeply involved with God. Do you think it plays a part in the family portrait?
It must have been early on, because that’s where the Holy Family is usually depicted. You can also see religious references in Romantic works. Especially Caspar David Friedrich. His landscape paintings exude a religious atmosphere. Of course, the crosses in the pictures must also be related to religion. But even without them, they have a very religious effect.

You often let your patients comment in your books.
I have a lot of pictures hanging in my practice. By the artist, but also by the patient. Sometimes I let the patients tell something about the pictures. Then they start talking to the plant and I talk to them.

So what is the significance of art from a psychoanalytic point of view?
Art opens the door to one’s soul and has become an integral part of psychoanalytic therapy.

Tilmann Moser “Kunst und Psyche. Familienbeziehungen”

Best Spring Mattresses – Types & Reviews

1. Pocket Spring Mattress

The pocket spring mattress is mostly known for its grid of springs which is located in a separate fabric pocket for each of them. Other names for it include encased springs, wrapped coils, and encased coils. Each of the springs operates independently as they are not wired jointly.

The reason why this mattress is considered a great product to buy is that the surrounding areas of each spring are not affected by the weight of any one of them. According to research, the main idea behind the manufacturing of these spring mattresses is to provide the best and appropriate support concerning motion transfer suppression when there is more than one person sleeping on the bed.

It is also great to note that because the pocket spring mattress is a well-made product, the satisfactory level of wadding or firm pad on the underneath, makes it suited to be used on a slatted base.


There are some basic things to consider when choosing this mattress. These include the fact that any regular type of mattresses contains 325 springs. However, this particular type of mattress has a minimum of 1000 springs and can have a maximum of 3000 springs. The requirement for a mattress over 2000 spring though, is if the weight on it is more than 30 stone.


The mattress with 1000, 1500 or 3000 springs is considered to be firm and of good quality. A common problem that people have is back pain and most times this is as a result of unfavorable sleeping conditions. Unlike the standard innerspring mattresses where every disturbance is felt because of the continuous wiring, the separately encased springs serve to effectively reduce motion transfer. In addition to exercise and good nutrition to take care of the body, quality sleep will allow the body to repair, cleanse and rejuvenate the mind and body.


  • Exceptional spinal support
  • Adapts to the movement and contours of the body
  • Responsible for completely undisturbed sleep
  • Best choice for durability, comfort and support
  • Allows the regulation of moisture as well as air circulation to avoid heat build-up


  • Tendency to sag after about a year or two of use
  • The maximum warranty of the pocket spring mattress is 10 years
  • Not much support for spinal alignment or the back
  • Pressure points are unavoidable as each spring has the same push back force and body weight do not spread evenly

Lifespan and cleaning

Like any other mattress, overtime the pocket spring mattress tends to get softer. However, this type of mattress is designed to take care of the body for a long period so one can last for up to ten years. It is important to keep the mattress clean and protect it from liquids by using a mattress protector of good quality.

If the mattress should get soiled there is a particular way to clean it. The one cleaning method that is recommended is vacuuming. Lightly apply cold water and a mild soap if cleaning a stain. It is never a wise move to soak any mattress. Using chemicals or fluids for dry cleaning can cause damage to the comfort level of the materials used to upholster it.

2. Coil Spring Mattress

The coil spring mattress uses a pre-compressed coil spring system to offer comfort and support to the user. The springs are open and often there are as many as 360 in each mattress, which are linked throughout a wireframe.

What is a Pocketed Coil Spring Mattress?

This style of mattress is similar to the coil spring mattress; however, every coil spring is individually sewed into a small pocket, which provides unique uplift and support.

What is an Open Coil Spring Mattress?

There are several different styles of open coil spring mattresses, and all are beneficial to the user. These mattresses are mass-produced, and offer a spring system that is linked together across the whole length and width of the mattress.

Difference between Coil and Spring Mattress

The main differences between coil and sprung mattresses are the initial design and style of springs that are used.


  • Affordable
  • Bounce affect
  • Many different styles
  • Firm
  • Not temperature sensitive


  • Not as much relief as other styles of mattress
  • Comfort level decreases rapidly
  • Wear and tear happens far faster
  • Sleep patterns affected

3. Innerspring Mattress

An innerspring mattress comprises of three core elements, which include the foundation, the spring core and the upholstery. This style of mattress was invented in 1871 and has continued to grow in popularity ever since. The most iconic product on the market today is the Molblly 12-inch Innerspring hybrid mattress, its unique Tempered Steel Coil System technical process has raised the industry standard of Innerspring Mattress to a higher level.

How is it made?

Innerspring mattresses are made up of hundreds of coils, and as the number increases, the firmness of the mattress is determined. There are many different innerspring mattresses on the market today; however, they all use the coil system.

Does it needs boxspring?

Some people do use the innerspring mattress with a box spring; however, it is not necessary, and you will find they are just as comfortable on their own.

Can you use it on an adjustable bed?

Yes, the innerspring mattress can be used for adjustable beds; however, there are other alternatives that are often preferred. This style of mattress is not that flexible, which can make the bed feel uncomfortable.

Is it safe?

Consumers continue to worry about their safety when sleeping, which is why they want to ensure that the mattress they choose is safe. The innerspring mattress is entirely safe and is not toxic at all, guaranteeing that every family member can have one of these mattresses on their bed.

Durability and Lifespan

This style of mattress does tend to sag far faster than others, which means that it does not have such longevity as other styles. However, with the correct care you will find that the innerspring mattress can last for up to eight years.

How to Clean

Cleaning a mattress may seem a daunting task, and you need to understand the correct method of cleaning before you begin. The mattress should be routinely vacuumed, and then cleaned with a spray bottle and hard brush. You need to ensure that the mattress can dry thoroughly before you return it to the bed.


  • Affordable
  • Comfortable
  • Easy to find
  • Pockets for comfort
  • Top quality materials


  • Can attract dust mites
  • Will become dirty with time
  • Sags over the years

Product reviews

We have selected the most representative spring mattresses on the market, and reviewed their advantages and disadvantages and other characteristics one by one

1. Brentwood finale quilted eurotop innerspring mattress

Available in the sizes Twin, Queen, Twin XL, King and California King, the Brentwood Finale is about eleven inches in height. It uses thirteen and a half gauge tempered steel spring coils for boosted support. There is an extra thick layer of padded upholstery of about six inches combined into a deluxe euro top offering ultimate plush comfort. The mattress is rolled up and compressed to save on shipping costs and the shipping weight is approximately seventy two pounds.


One of the god things about this mattress is that is manufactured in the US. One can sleep comfortably and wake up feeling rested. The Brentwood Finale provides an even and symmetrical comfort. It blends the right amounts of softness with the right amounts of firmness to concoct a magnificent mattress. It is accompanied by a one year limited warranty from the manufacturer. The installation is just a simple matter of ripping open the packaging and it plumps up into a nice bed offering luxurious comfort to anyone.


There are some users who have experienced some troubles with this mattress. Some found the stitching of the edges and corners to be sloppy and some found it to appear as if deformed. Meanwhile some people even complained that the bed is not comfortable and one has to sleep in the middle of the bed to keep from falling.

Right on the money

The Brentwood Finale has had very little bad reviews and a lot of good reviews. The price is just right so it does not pull on the budget strings while the comfort is so splendid that it should not be passed up. If you want to feel luxury, this mattress is it!

2. Brentwood intrigue quilted inner spring mattress

Having a thickness of approximately seven inches, the Brentwood Intrigue is available in four different sizes; Twin, Full, Queen and Twin XL. For an everlasting support, the Brentwood Intrigue incorporates thirteen and a half gauge tempered steel coils in its mattress. Added plush comfort is guaranteed by its multiple layers of padded upholstery and quilting. It is available for shipping throughout the US and a selected other countries. The mattress is compressed and rolled up for the ease of delivery.


One of the good things about the Brentwood Intrigue is that it is manufactured in USA. Also, the mattress comes with a one year warranty which can be claimed in case you experience dissatisfaction. It comes with easy installation- all you have to do is cut up the packaging and it starts to decompress and inflate into its original size. The lack of its quality is compensated by the amazingly low price.


Even though the Brentwood Intrigue has layers of padding and quilting between the coils and the cover, the springs will poke you in the back when you are tossing and turning to catch a wink. In addition to this, it is not a noise free mattress and the sounds of the springs become quite annoying. Even though it is advertised to be seven inches thick, it does not really feel like it. The thickness feels around five inches or so but definitely nowhere near seven inches.

3. Brentwood well-being encore Mattress

The Brentwood Encore is one of the beautifully designed mattresses in the Brentwood Performance series. It flaunts its inner spring construction and exquisite craftsmanship and is one step ahead of the Brentwood Intrigue. The mattress has eight inch Certipur-US certified soft foam with extra plush.

It guarantees peaceful and calming sleep. The individually wrapped 13.8 gauge steel springs are super quiet unlike many other bed springs, working together with the padded, quilted surface providing even more comfort. Each mattress is manufactured in USA and with a one year warranty. It saves one shipping costs by easy compressed and rolled up packaging. Sizes available are Twin, Full, Queen, Twin XL.


According to the customer reviews, the packaging was simple enough to open up and the delivery was as promised. The mattress is a soft and highly comfortable as the company claims. Another point worth noting about the Brentwood Encore is that it is a fair deal, meaning to say that this level of comfort would usually have a higher price than the Brentwood Encore has.


The first and foremost drawback of purchasing this mattress is that it takes at least two days to decompress and plump up, since its packaging is done by compressing it. Many customers have complained that it loses its cushioning too soon. Since the mattress is very soft, a person with heavy build is not recommended to use it because they would eventually feel themselves sinking into the mattress. It is also a heavy mattress and therefore moving it is a hassle.

Best for lightweight sleepers

Although the mattress is as soft as advertised, it is not suitable for normal to heavy build persons. On the other hand lightweight sleepers would surely enjoy a relaxing sleep.

Deciding on a Filing Cabinet

Once you have made the smart decision to invest some of your hard earn money in a filing cabinet to organize all your paperwork, you should do some thorough research in order to make a well-informed decision.

You will no doubt run into a vast array of filing cabinets in your local office furniture shop, department stores and not to even mention online. There are filing cabinets made from metal, wood, and even plastic. You can get vertical filing cabinets, lateral filing cabinets, and flat filing cabinets. The sizes and color can vary as well – should you go for a black 2 Drawer Filing Cabinet or a white 4 drawer filing cabinet?

To start you off, a particular brand and model which is renowned for being a good quality filing cabinet is the Hon 2 drawer filing cabinet range. Whichever you end up choosing, ensure that you have a set of criteria against which to compare.

HON 314PP 310 Series 26-1/2-Inch 4-Drawer Full-Suspension Letter File, Black

High drawer sides add strength and serve as front-to-back hangrails Spring-loaded follower block in each drawer keeps files upright and neat Thumb latch keeps drawers safely closed Label holders for quick and easy identification of contents File Cabinet Type: Vertical; File Size Format: Letter; Media Stored: N\A; Width: 15-Inch

HON 314CPP 310 Series 26-1/2-Inch 4-Drawer Full-Suspension Legal File, Black

High drawer sides add strength and serve as front-to-back hangrails Spring-loaded follower block in each drawer keeps files upright and neat Thumb latch keeps drawers safely closed Label holders for quick and easy identification of contents File Cabinet Type: Vertical; File Size Format: Legal; Media Stored: N\A; Width: 18-1/4-Inch

Why all the fuss with filing cabinets? They without a doubt can be a very useful device for storing all your paperwork and files. Aside from the practicality, if you choose just the right design and style, it can blend well with your office room, thereby improving the overall aesthetics.

Personally, I found that a wooden 4 drawer filing cabinet works very well for my office. Whichever one you decide on, as you do your shopping, you should take care to check the product thoroughly before handing over your cash. As obvious as this may sound now, I didn’t know at the time of purchase that you should check whether the wood is solid or just laminated on the surface.

Coaster Legal/Letter File Filing Cabinet with Lock, 2-Drawer, Cherry Finish

Cherry Finish 2 Drawer Legal/Letter File Filing Cabinet with Lock. Dimensions: 18.75″W x 21″D x 30″H. Finish: Cherry. Material: Wood. File Cabinet for legal and letter-size files. Two storage drawers with a lock. Antique brass finish hardware. Details and quality of this file cabinet add warmth and beauty to your home office.

Espresso Finish Wood File Cabinet with 3 Drawers

This new file cabinet has solid wood pieces all with an espresso finish. It is on swiveling wheels which makes it easier to move around. Dimensions: 27″ high x 19″ wide x 16″ deep. This item is moderately easy to assemble. There are instructions included. These also can be used for legal size, but hangers will be needed and are not included. This file cabinet is letter size width, but legal files can be used going side to side. You can pick up hangers at any local store for around Six to Ten Dollars

2 Tier Wood Desk Organizer W/ Drawer Shelf Cabinet

This durable 2 tier wood organizer shelf with drawer is all made of Solid Wood and provides 12 X 11 inches of convenient platform area which is just right for picture frames and many other uses. The drawer has 3 compartments which measure 10″ by 3″ wide and 4″ inches in height, where you can store many small items such as money, change, thread, etc. Measurements: * Height: From bottom to top shelf 5″ from bottom to lower shelf 3 1/2″ from lower shelf to higher shelf 1 1/2″ * Measures 1 foot wide by 11″ in length * The pull-out drawer has 3 compartments Each compartments measures 10″ long 3″ Wide and 4″ high

Winsome Wood Writing Desk, Honey

This old-fashioned writing desk is updated with a sturdy frame and a sleek Honey Pine finish. The three drawers and shelf space provide plenty of room to store all of your stationery supplies. Mix and match with the rest of the Studio Home Office line.

Wooden filing cabinets come as either a block of solid wood or are made from medium-density fiberboards (MDF) with laminated wood. The former is significantly more expensive than the latter which merely looks like wood but of course, is not on the same level of quality. If you are low on a budget, then the MDF filing cabinet is a fine choice, but make sure that the manufacturer or seller advertises it as such and prices accordingly.

Accent Rugs Improve Design

One way to draw attention to a specific area of a room is with the placement of a rug in that area. You can use one or more accent rugs in almost every room of your home.

A rug placed at your front door is the perfect way to welcome guests and protect your flooring. If you have space in your entryway for a small piece of furniture such as an accent table or coat tree, that space can be made more attractive if you place a rug under the furniture. It will add color and texture to a space that is sometimes neglected in the decorating process.

In a living area, you have numerous opportunities for adding warmth and beauty to the room with rugs. You can use a rug to create a reading area in your living room or to designate an office workspace. You can place a rug in a specific area of the room and designate it as a special place for your pet to sleep. A rug placed in front of an armoire or sideboard will draw attention to that specific piece of furniture. If your living room is designed for a casual lifestyle, a soft, plush rug and a few floor pillows placed in front of the television may turn out to be the perfect place for family movie time.

Children love to play on the floor. A rug designed especially for them would be a great addition to their room. Bright colors, cartoon characters, and animal-themed rugs generally appeal to children. A teenage girl would probably love the addition of a brightly colored shag rug to her bedroom decor.

Thick, soft, decorative accent rugs make a great addition to a master bedroom or guest room. They add an atmosphere of warmth and comfort to the room.

Aim For Safety With Loft Ladder Handrails

Safety is one of the big selling points when dealing with items that have the potential to put you into a dangerous situation. It stands to reason that for things such as ladders and loft ladders there is some responsibility to the manufacturer to try to add features that will help make their products as safe to use as possible.

For this reason, it is possible to buy loft ladders with handrails. One of the reasons that some people install loft ladders is to open up the possibility of using the space in the attic as storage space. When you have storage space you have to get the things you’re planning on storing into the space. This means carrying bundles of items up and down the loft ladder stairs which also means that there is a very real possibility that a step may be missed and falls can occur.

By installing a loft ladder with a handrail attached you are giving yourself the added security of knowing that you will always have something to hang on to when ascending and descending the ladder. The most common type of loft ladders that come with handrails is wooden loft ladders. As the ladder unfolds the handrail will fall neatly into place and lock so that it won’t move while it is in use.

It may also be the case that the handrail is not needed or it could prove to be getting in the way when moving large items up into the attic. There are some models of loft ladders in which the handrail may be detached and then reattached later when it is needed. It creates a loft ladder that has added versatility making it a more attractive option over loft ladders that don’t offer these features.

Whether you are looking at an aluminum loft ladder or a wooden loft ladder it might be a good idea to take in the possibility that you might require a loft ladder with added safety features such as the handrail.

Finding A Good Alarm Monitoring Company

Finding a good alarm monitoring company can be a challenging task with all the loads of information and services that are currently being offered these days. And choosing the right one can make all the difference for you and your family.

At one time or another, door-to-door salespeople offering a free alarm system installation with a paid contract have visited most homeowners. This can sound like a great offer but what is hidden behind the offer? Hidden is a lack of guarantees, insurance, and the fact that it is a small offer only. Most of these “free” offers often only include one door and one window. Some companies will not even explain that until after they have installed the alarm system. Each window and door costs extra, so the net effect is expensive for the homeowner.

What is the best way to choose an alarm company?

Begin the search by doing a little research and contacting the National Burglar and Fire Alarm Association. They have brochures available to homeowners listing companies and issues to be cognizant about. Next, talk to an insurance agent. Insurance companies love alarm companies because alarms reduce theft and overall insurance claims. Next, make sure the alarm company is certified and insured against any damage accidentally done to a home. Do not pick the first company, get quotes from three or four, and let each one know about the others. Competition is a good thing in any market and will get the overall best deal.

Finally, find a company that has been in business for a while and services many people. If they have a long positive record of accomplishment, chances are, they are a great company to contract. Additionally, when getting a quote, ask them about every window and door, fire, and carbon dioxide alarm. Finding a Good Alarm Monitoring Company Find…  Keep yourself and your family safe and install one today. Visit alarm monitoring companies and wireless security systems for more information.

Protect Your Home and Family with Fake Security System Signs

It has been said time and again that you can never put a price tag on your family’s safety.  Unfortunately, this is not exactly true because home security tools and equipment these days cost an obscene amount of money which only very few people can afford.  The upside, however, is that you can still have access to these deterrents without having to spend a lot of money.  The use of fake security system signs is effective but only if you cannot afford the cost or expense associated with the installation and monitoring of an authentic alarm monitoring system.

Why Use Fake Security Signs?

The use of fake security system signs may seem a little preposterous at first but when you really think about it, you really have nothing to lose by trying it out.  While burglars and other common criminals off the street have figured out that not all signs are real, it is still enough to make them think twice before entering your home because they do not want to risk the chance of actually encountering a monitored security system.  These days, it is all about keeping up appearances.  When shopping, make sure you choose signs and stickers that appear real and thus more able to fool a potential trespasser.

Where to Get Fake Security Camera Signs?

You should note that there is still a certain amount of money involved in acquiring fake security tools because you cannot just make up the signs on your own.  The internet is actually full of retailers or stores that sell fake stickers and even dummy cameras for those who want to feel safe in their homes without the exorbitant cost of real security tools.  In fact, there are several websites that sell security items at a minimal cost therefore you can go crazy and buy a whole set of fake anti-intruder items such as dummy surveillance cameras, alarm warning signs for the front lawn, windows, and doors of your home.

What is the Cost to Buy and Install Fake Security Products?

The cost of a system that includes a fake security sign, stickers, and cameras can range from as little as $10 to $200 depending on how authentic they look.  In all, it is still oodles of cashless than what you will actually have to pay for the real thing.  Installation is simple especially if you enjoy do-it-yourself projects.  Each item must be strategically placed where it is noticeable and thus more effective but most come with adhesive or installation screws for proper mounting.

Customizing with Shower Inserts

Tired of how drab and boring your shower looks? Shower inserts are a swift and uncomplicated option to improve your shower and affecting the whole new look it brings to your toilet, corner bath, faucet, etc. If you feel the need to renovate but do not have the budget for it, then shower inserts are the way to go! They are inexpensive and can highly perk up your shower without having to replace all the bathroom fixtures and plumbing. Without much refurbishing, you can have a whole new customized look for your bathroom. It is a save more do-it-yourself thingamajig that needs just basic plumbing and carpentry skills thereby improving your bathroom in an instant.

Artificial materials are commonly ordered because of their sheer resilience. The materials for these are plastic, acrylic, and fiberglass. Fiberglass is the most hard-wearing of the three making it the most frequently chosen insert.

Benefits of Installation:

1. Wall protection – these can protect the shower walls from damage from the constant spray of the water shower. These are designed to basically withstand heat and moisture from that they will be constantly exposed to.

2. Maintenance – shower tiles tend to build up dirt in between, hence the need arises for regular and thorough wiping and cleaning must be done to maintain the beauty of your shower. These differ because of its durable surface, it is very easy to maintain. You do not need to grovel to scrub clean the insert; just wipe off the surface and it will be clean making it exceptionally low preservation.

3. Easy Installation – because of its simple instructions, you don’t need to hire a professional to do it for you. You can do it yourself without messing up the job and breaching your financial plan in the process. With just basic knowledge about carpentry, you are just a few steps away from having the bathroom that you want.

Like all things, these also have a few downsides to it.

1. Appearance – in comparison to inserts, tiled showers really look nicer and much more beautiful. The whole appearance of tiles gives out a cool and gorgeous look.

2. Durability – it’s quite durable but not as durable as tiles are. Even though it is cheaper, tiles are definitely an investment.

Home Improvement And The Cost of Gutters

As we know, everything has a price, unless you’re talking about priceless moments shared with your loved ones or other things like that. As for home improvements- it costs, some things cost more than others, but the cost of gutters is less than that of other home improvements. Gutters, while frequently overlooked, are important. They come in different materials, different colors, and different shapes and sizes. It’s important to get the best material and get the right fit. As for the material, PVC gutters have long been the most popular choice for many reasons. Some of which is that PVC is light-weight but still durable and strong, no concern for rusting, very low maintenance, and best of all very cost-effective. So what is the average cost for PVC rain gutters?

Most homes have around 120-250 feet of rain gutters depending on the number of stories and the amount of the roofline. The average cost ranges between three to five dollars per lineal foot to have someone install the gutter. This means it will cost around 360-600 dollars for 120 feet and up to 750-1250 dollars for 250 feet. However, if you are wanting to the job yourself, you can save yourself some money. The material for PVC costs 50-100 dollars for the 120 feet and around 90-180 dollars for 250 feet. If installing, even though the material might save you some, there are other guttering supplies. Some of these supplies are the actual gutters, a gutter machine, gutter guards, downspouts, as well as other tools for the actual installation. Keep in mind these extra items when figuring out the cost of doing the installation yourself.

Remember that different types of materials are going to cost more. PVC is usually less expensive than other options. But just because it is cheaper in cost does not mean it is a cheaper material. There is a reason why it is one of the most popular choices-it is long-lasting, durable, low maintenance, and cost-effective!

A Backyard Renovation Horror Story

I’ve always been a do-it-yourselfer who is handy around the home. I love to take on projects, and I enjoy the process as much as the final product. And while I have been able to create some masterpieces and renovate parts of my home with style, I had an unfortunate experience with my backyard. Maybe my first mistake was not differentiating between my backyard and the interior. I thought that if I applied the same type of thinking that I did for regular renovations, I would be able to pull off a backyard job with no problem. This type of thinking is what led to one of the biggest renovation horror stories of my life. I’ll share it with you now in hopes that you can avoid anything that even comes close.

No Plan Ahead – whenever I did a smaller project in my home, I always played by ear. Or if it was in an area where I had worked before, I already had a general idea of my previous plans. In other words, I was never starting from scratch. But when I was working on my backyard, I had no other projects or renovations to draw on. This was the first time I was doing anything back there which is something I should’ve realized because if I did, I would have known I needed to structure and organize better.

A Clean Slate – since this was the first time I was working in my backyard, I thought it would be smart to start from scratch. So I basically got rid of everything that was already there. HUGE MISTAKE. I basically gutted my backyard without thinking about how I could salvage certain elements. A lot of money was wasted because I could have used older elements in my new design.

The Exploding Wallet – when you have a big pit in your backyard, and you’ve thrown away a lot of usable elements, you’re going to be in trouble. Again, lack of planning hit me hard because I didn’t anticipate how much everything would cost. It was clear that I should not have bulldozed everything while hoping that things would just fall into place.

Too Fancy – I made a mistake that a lot of first-time renovators do. Instead of progressing from step to step, I wanted to change my backyard overnight. I had plans for a fancy patio, an outdoor fireplace, a big expensive barbecue, and a playground for the kids. In retrospect, I should have turned them into smaller projects rather than trying to fit them in within a short amount of time.

The Contractor – I might like to do things myself, but I also know when to ask for help. I finally decided there were aspects of the job that I just couldn’t handle. Before my budget ballooned, even more, I decided to call a contractor for some professional help. This was also the first time I had done anything like this, so it was a learning experience. The first contractor I met with was an expert in backyard renovation, but he was also a master of up-selling. I could barely get a word in edgewise as it was clear from the start that he wanted total control and more significantly, to rack up the price tag. I finally had to let him go and do a much more thorough round of interviews for workers to get my backyard track.

My Backyard Now – I wish I could say the story has a happy ending, and it might one day. But for now, my backyard is a work in progress that is still unfinished. There are patches of dirt where there should be grass, and I still haven’t implemented outdoor lighting. My sprinkler system works, but until I actually put in a lawn, there’s nothing to sprinkle. I did put a lot of energy into the patio area so that I could at least set up a barbecue and grilling station. But the rest of my backyard looks like it was touched by the apocalypse. This has definitely been a difficult experience, and I’m hoping that you can learn from some of my mistakes. A backyard job needs as much thorough planning and forethought as anything you do inside.

This has been a contribution from Frank Mason. Frank Mason is a contributor at where everything related to the backyard is discussed, especially as it pertains to the wonderful world of barbecue. You can check out his site if you’re looking for more backyard tips or to buy the best propane grill.