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Create a Livable Outdoor Space by Adding a Deck

Outdoor livable space is a popular trend. You can set up an outdoor seating area, outdoor kitchen or outdoor dining space. This allows you to entertain guests outside or host a larger party than what your home can hold. This trend inspired my wife and I to build our own outdoor livable space. However, one of the biggest decisions we faced was what the base for our space would be. We could use concrete, lay pavers or construct a deck. After doing a lot of research, we decided on a deck. It was a challenging decision, but we are pleased with the outcome. In fact, we are so happy we decided to start this blog and help educate other people on decks and livable spaces. Learn the benefits, learn the downside, learn how to care for your and learn what kinds of wood are best for an outdoor deck.

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Create a Livable Outdoor Space by Adding a Deck

Big Dogs And Hardwood Floors: How To Have Both Without Ruining Either

by Kelly Simmons

You may have heard that dogs and hardwoods don't get along. The dog wreaks the floor. The floor can injure the dog. Neither of these things needs to happen. If you've been told it's impossible to have hardwood floors in the same house with a large dog, here are some ways to make it work — for both the dog, and the floor.

Pedicures are not a luxury

Trimmed claws are less likely to scratch or gouge wood. Nail caps fit over the claws. They come in different colors and last four to six weeks. Non-skid booties can be a good option, but may interfere with circulation if they don't fit properly.

Not-so-tiny dancer

If your dog is part moose, but dances when he gets excited, some denting is inevitable. You can reduce this by choosing the right wood. Harder woods are more resistant to dents and gouges. The term "hardwood" refers to trees that lose their leaves each year, while "softwood" comes from evergreens. Basswood, a hardwood species, is actually softer than yellow pine, a softwood species.

The finish you choose also makes a difference. Distressed or hand-scraped surfaces help conceal damage. If you really love shiny surfaces, look into engineered hardwoods. Their aluminum oxide finish gives good protection against dents and scratches.

Wiping out on the turns

This problem sends many dogs to the vet each year. When dogs slide, they dig their claws into the ground for traction. On a slippery floor, the usual result is a bruised dog and scratched wood.

To keep the floor and the dog in good shape, place carpet runners in the area where your pet goes into a skid. Use a non-slip backing to keep the rug in place. This is especially important on the path your dog takes to get to the food bowl.

Sandpaper feet

Grit tracked in from outside can make a new floor look old in a hurry. Protect entryway floors with area rugs. Place doormats outside, if possible, and train everyone to use them. (Even humans can learn this skill.)

Damp weather takes some extra work. Teach your pet to stop on the rug when she comes indoors. Have someone hold a treat so the dog can sniff it, but can't eat it. This will keep her occupied while you lift each paw and wipe it with a damp cloth. When you're finished, praise the dog and give her the treat. After a while, the foot-cleaning ritual will become just another crazy thing humans do, and the treat won't be necessary.

Niagara dog

Canine saliva can ruin your floor's finish. If your dog slobbers, try putting a comfy and absorbent mat where he likes to spend time. Clean up spills near the water bowl immediately. Don't leave half-chewed rawhides on the floor. Some dogs have a habit of licking floors. This can be corrected with a bitter-tasting spray. Talk to experts like http://www.carrollfloor.com for more information.

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