The National Trust for Historic Preservation’s latest issue of Preservation (magazine) is out with a trendy topic for summer: National Parks.


Obviously the National Park Service (NPS) — existent since August 25, 1916 — oversees the parks. Did you know that this federal organization also administers historic preservation and restoration?


Take its smallest site, for instance. Thaddeus Kosciuszko National Memorial in Philadelphia requires routine maintenance and repairs. Compare the brickwork before and after masonry restoration in 1972 (image next) versus now.


Historic brick house in 1972 (Thaddeus Kosciuszko, HABS, public domain, LOC)

Historic brick house in 1972 (Thaddeus Kosciuszko, HABS, public domain, LOC)

Via their Technical Preservation Services (TPS), NPS provides a series of Preservation Briefs. A few masonry-related examples are:


  • 2  Repointing Mortar Joints in Historic Masonry Buildings
  • 5 The Preservation of Historic Adobe Buildings
  • 22 The Preservation and Repair of Historic Stucco Buildings

These reports are detail rich with straight advice summaries and informative reading lists. The four treat approaches especially interested us. That is, Preservation, Rehabilitation, Restoration, and Reconstruction.


The National Park Service is a treasure trove of more than parks. We appreciate its masonry side of things. Happy Centennial Birthday, NPS!

The demand of having cheap living room furniture is increased from time to time. Due to the unlimited need of life, the homeowners must be smart with their home decorating expense. They should be a smart shopper to make the living room new, fine and nice without using a lot of dollars. Since furniture is considered as the primary element in the space, they should get the comfortable and stylish one. The budget constraint is no longer a big problem if you choose the living room sets under 1000.

The living room set usually consists of two chairs, loveseat, two end tables, a coffee table, a TV stand, and sofa table. Those pieces can be accommodated well if you have a very large living room design. If you only have a small living room, place a sectional sofa set with a coffee table. Skip the sofa table, end table, cabinet and loveseat.

How to Get Living Room Sets Under 1000
The homeowners who have limited budget under 1000 can get the brand new furniture set. There is no need for you to go to the secondhand furniture stores. The brand new one is more appealing and stylish for a living room. Check the products in the discount furniture stores to get the affordable pieces.

It is okay to have the old model of living room furniture sets as long as they can fit the current living room decoration. It is recommended for you to opt for the neutral styled living room furniture set such as the modern couch, contemporary coffee table and classic chairs. They are timeless and can be fitted in any kinds of living room setting. Therefore, the living room will never look old fashioned.

Look at the design of the living room furniture set carefully. You should choose the low priced furniture pieces in high quality material, construction and design. Get the sectional sofa set upholstered from leather. It is exclusive and durable. It can feature the wooden construction and adjustable features. The coffee table can feature glass and metal material. This set is nice to spot inside a minimalist and small living room design.

The living room sets under 1000 options are not always associated with the modern and contemporary style. The traditional Victorian ones are offered too by the notable manufacturers. They are available in ornate, decorative and majestic design. The back and arms are rounded with bulky shape. If you are fascinated with a traditional living room set, make sure that you have large space.

High Quality Living Room Sets Features
It is not tricky to find living room sets under 1000. Consider Bobkona Miranda living room set. The customers will get an ottoman sofa set with a three-piece reversible sectional. It comes in chocolate finish. You have to pay $988 to get this set. The upholstery is made of the high quality microfiber corduroy material. It has unique patterned look. The sectional is very flexible for it can face any living room setting due to the reversible loveseat or chaise. The frame is sturdy for it is made of wood. The fabric is durable and wearable. Enjoy the comfort when you sit on the top of the sectional because the cushions are made of the high quality lite weight formed cushion.

Lifestyle Furniture is another manufacturer in the market which offers the customers with living room furniture set. Pick the dark chocolate Urbania Right Hand Facing Sectional. It is sold in the price at $639.99. You will get a faux leather sectional and an ottoman coffee table. The latter product is equipped with large storage space that you can use to hold blanket, magazines, or books.

The homeowners who live in an English cottage or country home design can opt for rustic living room sets under 1000 specification from Better Homes & Gardens. This manufacturer is famous in the world for producing the high quality furniture. The furniture set consists of a TV stand set, an end table and a coffee table. All of them are made in rustic look. You just have to prepare the cash around $425 to get it. The finish is available in two options. The buyers can choose between the antique pine and antique black finish. The rustic TV stand can hold the television up to 52 inches.

The living room at home will never look plain if you have a bold or vibrant colored living room furniture pieces. Kings Brand Furniture serves their loyal customers with a red sofa and loveseat set made of microfiber upholstery. This product costs $899.99. The family and friends who spend their time in the living room will be comfortable because they can sit on this fluffy sofa. The back of the sofa is flexible since you can remove it. The dimension of the loveseat is 55″ W x 31″D x 37″H, while the sofa has the dimension at 75″ W x 31″D x 37″H. If you purchase the sofa, you have to do a simple assembly process at home.

If you are not interested with leather, linen, and microfiber fabric for the loveseat and sofa, Flash Furniture has an alternative for their customers. The cobblestone fabric is used as the upholstery for their Ashley Darcy Living Room Set. It comes with a loveseat and sofa set. Both provide the people with sufficient amount of seating area. This piece is nice to spot inside the contemporary and midcentury living room design because of the streamlined shape. The features of this living room furniture set include the pillow back cushions and plush upholstered arms. They can maximize the comfort when you sit on the sofa or loveseat for a long period of time. The frame construction is sturdy enough to hold the weight of the people.

Whether you have to choose a microfiber, linen, or leather sofa, consider the living room design as well as the budget in the pocket. Select the living room sets under 1000 based on the need and function. If you have a modern living room, avoid the bulky and heavy sofa. Pick the sleek and streamlined design.

Yesterday we toured Henry Mercer’s astounding concrete feat: Fonthill Castle in Doylestown, PA. You must go!

Close up of Fonthill Castle Concrete Dormer

Concrete Dormer

Closeup of Fonthill Castle Tower.

Concrete Tower

Although we deal with masonry topics every day, constructing an entire house seems overwhelming. What also comes to mind is what industrious individuals are doing in the 21st century.

Inspiring is how two brothers built stone dwellings. Whereas one used the slipform method, the other applied a tilt-up technique by “pouring stone walls flat on the ground and setting them in place with a crane” (Elpel, 2015, para. 5).

An enterprising artisan expounded in a series of videos about tilt-up constructing his very own castle (thecastleproject). We didn’t see it finished, but being in the building supply business, the materials and tools he used interested us.

Following the stages of these masonry projects is fascinating and brings new meaning to the idiom: Your home is your castle.


Elpel, Thomas J. (2015 [Date of web page]). Tilt-up stone masonry: A technological lift to the ancient art of stone work. Sustainable building and living: Resources for building earth-friendly, low-cost, high-efficiency homes. Retrieved June 15, 2016, from

thecastleproject. (2010, March 31). Tilt up monolithic stone masonry explained – The Castle Project [Video file, 5:43, YouTube]. Retrieved June 15, 2016, from

Summer time is here which means the house will be opened up to more foot traffic. This will contribute to the amount of dirt and grime getting tracked into the house from outside that will settle into the carpets. Also, increased foot traffic will cause more wear on a carpet regardless of the amount of dirt that is tracked inside. However, there are some simple tips to follow to try to minimize the damage to your carpets throughout the summer months.

The most basic tip to follow to keep carpets clean is removing shoes before walking into the house. Shoes are the most common source for tracked in dirt and mud and they can also wear down a carpet the way excessive foot traffic can wear down patches of grass. Removing shoes before coming inside every time can get obnoxious, but it will help keep carpets clean and extend their lifespan. With all the in and out traffic that a home experiences in the summer, enforcing a “no shoes” household can be rather difficult. Fortunately there are other ways to protect a carpet without having to strictly enforce a “no shoes” rule.

If you have pets in your home, always make sure that you remove the pet hair, and the smells that your loved pets leave behind, as the summer heat can make the smell worse. This site is a great resource if you are looking for more tips on how to select the best carpet shampooers for pets, which is the most efficient way to keep clean after your dogs or cats.

Putting down mats and runners over high traffic areas is another way to protect your carpets. Putting doormats at every entrance of the house helps protect a carpet by encouraging guests to remove their shoes. The presence of a doormat not only acts as a reminder to take your shoes off, but also allows guests to at least wipe them on the mat before entering the house. Runners can act as carpet protectors as well. They can be placed right over the carpet to protect it from the effects of moisture and high foot traffic by providing a buffer between feet and the carpet. Putting runners over carpets in food areas is also a good idea to help protect the carpet from food stains.

While protecting the carpet can help avoid some dirt and stains, enough of the carpet will still be exposed to collect dirt and debris. If the dirt is not removed, it can quickly wear a carpet down and get mashed into the fibers. Vacuuming regularly is the best way to remove dirt and dust before it gets mashed deeper into the fibers where it is more difficult to be cleaned. Another helpful vacuuming tip is to spread some baking soda over the carpet before vacuuming. Baking soda absorbs the odors from the carpet and can easily be vacuumed. It is easy to overlook the importance of vacuuming but vacuuming once a week can help keep carpets cleaner and in turn, extend the life of the carpet.


When it comes to air conditioning there is no denying that Panasonic know what they are doing. Along with their competitors, Panasonic and their team of designers and engineers strive to break through the breaches of innovation and claw their way to achieving the ultimate goal – to create the most efficient air conditioning unit available on the market.

From years of battling through, we can finally say that Panasonic have gone one step further than their competitors with their latest innovation of 2016 – the all new Commercial Air Conditioning unit range designed specifically for office space. We have sat on the bleachers of this on-going battle between the world’s leaders in technological innovation, patiently waiting and keeping score of what each electronical technician can surprise us with next.

ac-panasonicThe industry of air conditioning units receives a lot of back lash from environmentalists for being energy wasters, an inefficient source of electricity and a factor in causing global warming however, tech leaders such as Panasonic, LG and Daikin strive to create air conditioning units out of the latest technologies to fight this conspiracy.

Set to be the world most efficient air conditioning unit to date that reduces energy costs, Panasonic have dished out a true winner with their latest range of commercial air conditioners that will be sure to get you through the blisteringly hot summer that is hopefully coming our way!

Energy Saving

The use of energy saving designs for the structure of fans, fan motors, compressors and heat exchanges has resulted in a high COP value, ranked as one of the top classed in the industry. In addition, use of highly efficient R410A refrigerant reduces CO2 emission and lowers operating costs.

Perfect for Server Rooms

Keeping at an appropriate temperature no matter the circumstances, Panasonic have specifically designed their newest range of commercial air conditioners so that they will be perfect in keeping a server room at one temperature that does not fluctuate even when outdoor temperature comes in.

More Compact

The new slim line, lightweight design ensures that the stereotype of big clunky air conditioning units is broken so that your air conditioning unit will fade into the background and blend in with all the other furniture and equipment in your office. There is nothing worse than the sight of a big clunky machine staring at you in the face when you are trying to work but with Panasonic’s new commercial air conditioning range, you will be guaranteed to not even notice that there is an air conditioner in the room!

New Remote

Although it doesn’t seem like much of a great new feature, you will actually be surprised at how seamless it will be to use the newer range of commercial air conditioners with this new remote. With a cleaner design, easier functionality and controls and lower energy consumption this remote is completely different to what we have seen before.

Quiet mode

Apart from being big and clunky, another annoying stereotype of air conditioning units is that they make a lot of unnecessary noise. Trying to concentrate with a running machine churning in your ear can be nothing worse for efficiency which is why Panasonic have ensured that their new commercial range have a quiet mode so that you can work happily in a quiet and cool room.

A lovely outdoor water fountain can make a great addition to your landscape that not only transforms the look and feel, but also boosts the value of your home. There are a lot of people who will pay a great deal of money to have a nice water feature around their home. If you are looking to have a pond or a similar water feature, you should also think about investing in a nice water fountain that you can add to it. This article dives a bit deeper into some of the many advantages that come from having a nice outdoor fountain for a body of water that is already on your land.

Stagnant Water

Any sort of pond or lake on your property that does not have the right filtration or movement can become what is known as stagnant. There can be a lot of issues with stagnant water, to include the growth of microorganisms that can fester and cause harm to others. This is also an issue that will cause a lot of animals and insects to gather around your property that you may not want.

A quality outdoor water fountain can be a great addition to your lake or pond because it will eliminate the problem of standing water. While cycling through, the water will not become stagnant and it will remain full of life.

Eliminate Bugs

Insects simply love water. This means that you will end up with much more than flies and gnats and you could develop an issue with a variety of dangerous insects like bees when you have stagnant water. These are insects that drink from the lake and will feed off other growing organisms. Running water will help you to have less insects as the water is always churning. This makes it harder for the bugs to be able to thrive in the area.

Adding Value

According to Outdoor Fountain Pros the right outdoor fountain will be a nice way to bring a lot more value to your home and your landscape. This is going to be much more than a focal point, as a fountain is a great feature that has more than one benefit that comes along with the installation. Depending on the type of water feature that you end up going with, you may find that there will be little or no maintenance involved and your water will be fresher and clearer than it would without the fountain.

Relax In Your Own Oasis

No matter what, everyone wants to have their own garden space or exterior area where they can go to relax and get away from the daily stresses of life. Your new outdoor water fountain can be the perfect way to give your property the extra bit of calm and serenity that you have been looking for while also breathing life into the already beautiful outdoor spac