How to make a fountain out of a clay pot

July 13, 2011 at 9:33 PMMonty Walker

Adding a fountain to your backyard is a great way to add some additional calm in your oasis. The sound of running water can be so soothing while you relax outside under your Screenmobile patio sun shades or lattice covers, and creating a fountain is pretty easy.

First you want to gather your supplies. Go to your local home improvement or garden supply store to pick out the clay pot you want to use. Use your backyard for inspiration. Pick out colors that blend in with the environment right outside your back door.

You want the pot to be at least 12 inches high and 16-20 inches in diameter. To reduce the chances of leaks or future cracks, choose a pot that is sealed with a glaze. If you find one you like that isn’t sealed, you can always seal it with a waterproof sealant.

Once you have the pot you want to use, you need the rest of your supplies. The easiest way is to purchase an electric fountain kit—which comes with all the supplies you need)—or you can purchase the electric submersible water pump, foam filter and a fountain spout separately.

Decide where you want your fountain to be outside on your patio or porch or in the garden. Make sure it is near a power source so your pump works!

Next you need to plug up the drainage hole of the pot. A wine cork can work well or use duct tape to tape the hole and then use rocks to keep the tape down. Add more pebbles and other rocks into the pot and make it as level as possible .

Place the pump on the pebble base. Fill the pot with water until it’s about three inches from the top of the pot. Plug the electrical pump in and attach the fountain spout to the top of the pump. Play with the settings until the water is as high and as wide in diameter as you like it.

Enjoy relaxing outdoors in the sun (or shade) by your new fountain!

 

Simple Summer Refreshment

July 5, 2011 at 9:37 PMMonty Walker

During the summer, keeping your body hydrated can be a challenge and if you’re one of the millions of Americans who doesn’t like to drink water it is even more difficult. So next time you’re sitting out on your patio enclosure with a few friends, let these creative water recipes keep you refreshed.

  • Cucumber Water: Peel and slice about 1/2 a cucumber and place it in a pitcher of water.
  • Strawberry, mint & lemon Water: 3 Slices of lemon, 2 sprigs of mint and a handful of sliced strawberries makes a delicious and refreshing water that is sure to impress your friends.
  • Fruit salad Water: Slice one orange, 1 green apple, and about 2 cups of watermelon.
  • Peach Orange Water: Even your kids are sure to love this water. Just slice up a peach and an orange to create a summertime treat that no one can refuse. But if you’re looking for a bit more color to your water, add a small handful of blueberries. Delicious!

All naturally flavored waters should sit for at least 2 hours before serving. If you can give them a full 24 hours, you will enjoy them that much more. Bon appetit.

And if by chance your patio or porch isn’t as appetizing because it isn’t screened in, don’t fear. We will be happy to create the perfect space for you to drink these wonderful waters on. You can see the many products that we have created for others at screenmobile.com.

 

How to throw the Perfect BBQ party

April 28, 2011 at 11:07 PMMonty Walker

Summer is almost here, and that means warmer weather and barbeque season! It’s time to whip out your best barbeque recipes, clean out that grill, and start having friends and family over. Whether you’re having a big shindig on the Fourth of July or just a few guests over for a backyard BBQ, you want to make sure your barbeque goes on without any flaws.

First step

in hosting a great barbeque: making your grill BBQ ready. If you don’t have a grill and want to host the get-together, you might want to purchase one. If you plan on hosting more barbeque functions, buying a grill is a good investment.

Already have a grill? Before you host your party, make sure the grill is clean. A clean grill cooks better and doesn’t leave a bad taste on your perfectly good meat. Remove the cooking grates and soak them in warm soapy water for about 10 minutes. Give them a good scrub with a stiff wire brush and rinse. Clean out the ash around the burner, making sure you put the burner back in place when you’re done. Use the brush and some soapy water to gently scrub the inside surfaces of the grill and rinse. Give yourself extra cooking time the next time you use your grill to make sure any residue burns off.

Next step: get the supplies. Make sure you have the charcoal or gas that goes with the grill, the meat for the grilling, the paper products for putting the meat on, etc. It’s a good idea to make a list of all the things you need so you don’t forget anything and have to leave the party to make a store run. Decide if you want decorations, or if you just want to have the backyard and patio as your décor.

Another very important part in planning the best barbeque: figuring out seating. If you’re hosting the BBQ in your backyard, pull out the lawn furniture or put blankets out for people to enjoy your cooking outside. If you don’t have enough seating, see if you can borrow or rent tables and chairs. If you really want to, you could always purchase an extra card table and folding chairs that can be easily stored when you don’t need them.

The next step: sending out invitations. Decide when you want to host the BBQ and who you want to invite to your party. Do you want a lot of people? Do you want a more intimate gathering? Do you want adults only or can kids come too? Once you know what kind of get-together you want, invite your friends and family members.

The final step: start grilling! The big day is here! Fire up that grill and start grilling that meat. Enjoy spending time eating good food in good company.

 

How To Grill The Perfect Steak

March 28, 2011 at 11:14 PMMonty Walker

Summer is right around the corner and with summer comes barbecue season. A time to invite friends over for a backyard cookout on your porch, complete with a new porch screen to keep the bugs out. You can enjoy good food and good company without getting eaten alive yourself.

Now is the time to experiment with your grilling skills, to get it just right. Get that grill heating up out on the porch and learn how to perfect grilling a steak. Be the person everyone says, “What’s that smell coming from next door? The neighbors are grilling steaks! Their steaks are absolutely perfect!”

So how do you get that perfection? There are different key aspects you need to look at if you want the crown of Master of the Grill: the meat, the grilling, the seasoning, the cooking and, of course, the eating.

The Meat
First you want to pick good meat. There are so many options out there for steaks: Filet Mignon, New York Strip, Rib-eye, etc. You want to pick meat that has strips of fat (marbled), but not huge chunks of it. While fat may scare people, it’s actually the fat interweaved in the muscle that gives it such a great taste. Thin meat (less than 3 inches thick) tends to taste better than a thicker slice.

The Grilling
The next step to grilling the perfect steak is to heat the grill. The grill needs to be at a high temperature to sear the meat and build a crust around its juiciness. If you’re cooking a thick steak, you want to be careful not to burn it while you finish cooking the meat. To do this, keep one side of the grill cooler than the other.

If you use wood chips, you can soak them in just about anything—hot water, beer, whiskey—to add flavor to your steaks. If you’re using a gas grill, you want a smoking box so ash doesn’t collect in the grill. You can fill the box with wood chips (without stuffing it), or you could just use aluminum foil.

The Seasoning
The most important part of seasoning the beef is to make sure you don’t mask the actual beef flavor. Do this by keeping the seasoning simple: coarse sea salt, freshly ground back pepper, garlic, herbs. Coat your steak evenly on both sides with the seasoning and let the steak sit about 20 minutes, or until it reaches room temperature.

The Cooking
Place your seasoned steak on the grill at a 45° angle to the bars and let it sear for 1.5 to 2 minutes. Turn the steaks 90°, without flipping them, to get a good crosshatch marking. Once you see juices forming little beads on top of the steak, it’s time to flip the steak. Use a spatula or tongs to flip the steak; stabbing at it will release the flavorful juices.

Make sure you don’t leave your spot at the grill while the steaks are on. It only takes a short time for the steaks to cook and if you leave, you could sacrifice the perfect steak.

 

federal tax credit – now available!

November 5, 2010 at 11:35 PMMonty Walker

Good News! Screenmobile’s sun control materials now come with a manufacturer’s certification statement for compliance with the federal American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (ARRA).

What this really means is that homeowners that purchase and install the energy efficient solar screens are eligible for a Federal Tax Credit of thirty percent, up to a total of $1500.00. To be eligible, homeowners must simply live in zones 1-3 of the United States as defined by Department of Energy. To see if your house qualifies, you can download a full-sized PDF of the zone map HERE.

Materials for the Solar screens, available through Screenmobile franchises, are capable of blocking up to ninety percent of the sun’s radiant heat. This results in the lowering of your utility bills. The energy efficient tax credit certification is a designation that the manufacturers of solar screens have sought for several years.

A home’s most vulnerable area for solar heat gain comes in the form of sunlight radiating through unprotected glass” said Andrew Caldwell, Corporate Market Manager – Sun Control Products for Phifer Incorporated. “Controlling solar heat gain, especially in the warm climates that span the southern United States, is extremely important in energy conservation. Since our sun control materials are designed to reduce solar heat gain, they can help lower a homeowner’s energy costs.”

In a separate initiative, Congress has allocated $5 billion for the Obama administration’s Weatherization Assistance Program (WAP). This initiative seeks to retrofit the homes of low-income families with products to make them more energy efficient.

While the tax credit for solar screens, which lasts through December 2010, applies to those homes located in zones 1-3, the materials do offer a lower priced alternative to more expensive energy efficient glass in all regions of the country.

Solar screens can be purchased and installed for about a sixth of the cost of low-e glass,” said Scott Walker, president and CEO of Screenmobile Corporation. “The tax credit available to eligible homeowners and, the use of the materials within the weatherization program, promises to extend energy savings even farther.

The solar screen material’s ability to block much of the sun’s thermal energy from radiating through windows, solar screens are also effective in limiting the sun-bleaching damage often done to furniture, carpet, wall hangings and paint as a result of damaging UV light entering a home.

Talk to your local Screenmobile franchise now about getting the Federal Tax break and new solar screens over your windows, go to http://screenmobile.com/Contact-Us.aspx. The tax credit is only guaranteed if you purchase before December 31 so act now!

 

Screenmobile Of Napa’s Unexpected Bag Of Tricks

September 27, 2010 at 12:24 AMMonty Walker

Timmy D’Antonio can fix a broken window screen — and in a pinch, a whole lot more.

D’Antonio recently opened Screenmobile of Napa, a mobile screen repair and replacement business. With his truck and supplies, D’Antonio arrives at a customer’s home with the tools of his trade ready to make repairs large or small.

But D’Antonio has another bag of tricks that he can pull out when necessary. D’Antonio is also a licensed Emergency Medical Technician (EMT). He carries emergency supplies with him while he travels around Napa, Yolo and Solano counties in his Screenmobile trailer.

D’Antonio said he’d always wanted to be a firefighter. But with state and city budget cuts, he’s been unable to find work as a firefighter. “I had to find an alternate job,” D’Antonio said.

The 26-year-old didn’t have to look very far. His aunt and uncle own a successful Screenmobile franchise covering the Sacramento and Lake Tahoe areas. His brother’s Screenmobile franchise services Sonoma and Marin counties.

“I saw the success by my family and it was a no-brainer for me,” D’Antonio said.

Originally from the San Fernando Valley, D’Antonio moved to Napa in December to open the local Screenmobile franchise. “We can make anything with a screen,” including window screens, door screens, retractable screen doors, and porch and patio screens, he said.

As a trained and certified EMT, D’Antonio is compelled to stop and render assistance at any accident he comes upon until an ambulance arrives. “I keep a basic medical bag with some bandages, dressings, and the basics in case there is something I can do at an accident.” He’s already stopped at a few such incidents. In Suisun City, he encountered a crash scene involving a truck and sedan. When D’Antonio pulled over he found two girls from the sedan lying on the sidewalk. He assisted until an ambulance arrived, he said. At a local climbing gym he helped a climber who’d fallen and snapped her ankle. “I took over until the paramedics got there,” by elevating and icing the injury.

While D’Antonio doesn’t have his dream job —yet—he does have the on-the job freedom that he seems to prefer. “I still get to drive around and do the same kind of gig. It’s just different work at the destination.”

D’Antonio and Screenmobile of Napa can be reached at 707-320-9339.

The original article was posted on the Napa Valley Register.

 

Replacing Window Screens on University Hill

September 27, 2010 at 12:22 AMMonty Walker

For Screenmobile of Boulder, a local window screen repair company, warmer months and open windows mean a bustling business season. During winter months, windows are clamped shut to keep out the cold. But as weather warms up, many Boulder renters reopen their sunny portals to find damaged, torn or missing screens — and then ask landlords to repair the mesh in order to keep windows open.

“It’s a great time for business,” said Rick Kancir, the “pop” in the mom-and-pop ownership of the local Screenmobile company, along with his wife, Sue.

Summer is also opportunity for Boulder landlords to seize on a decrease in students living on University Hill starting in May and June to repair the screens — amplifying the summer boom in business for the local Screenmobile of Boulder.

Paul Freese, maintenance supervisor for Property Resources Inc., said screen repairs are a constant summer battle. Property Resources manages about 300 rental properties in Boulder, including about half of which are student rental properties on the Hill.

“Every year that is one of the main things I have to deal with — replacing screens,” said Freese, adding that it’s common to have multiple screen repairs on the same house every year, as new renters bend them or throw them away.

Freese estimates that Property Resources spends $2,000 to $3,000 each year for screen repairs alone. Property Resources has contracted Screenmobile for the past seven years.

“We see the same properties over and over,” said Rick Kancir, who single-handedly repairs, measure, fits and replaces screens directly to customer orders with tools on-hand and loaded on the 17-foot trailer. Rick Kancir said the Hill is Screenmobile’s “bread and butter,” as “destructive college kids” and renters destroy screens and then landlords seek to fix them. During peak season, from June through mid-September, Boulder’s Screenmobile may visit 12 to 15 residences per day. “College kids are the dumbest kids for four years,” he said.

You can go to the Screenmobile of Boulder webpage or contact Rick Kancir at 303-470-6100.

This article was originally posted at http://www.dailycamera.com/ci_15370155.

A Winter Trip to the Beach Changed Their Lives

September 25, 2010 at 2:11 AMMonty Walker

Larry said they went to a restaurant on a cold day and he was amazed at how comfortable the screened outdoor proch was where they ate. “I went home and did some research and found Screenmobile,” he said.

Screenmobile provides an on-site mobile screen service and drop-off repair service.

After retiring as an engineer, Larry was interested in finding something different to do and the franchise Screenmobile seemed to be just what he was looking for.

Larry started working from his home in 2002 and his wife Libby was working as an accountant elsewhere. “My office was the front seat of my truck,” Larry said. His dog went with him and Larry traveled the Triangle area building and installing screens.

It didn’t take long for the business to expand and by the third year, Larry had a second mobile trailer and Libby had quit her job to run the office for Screenmobile.

By the fall of 2008, business had increased so much, it was necessary for the company to move to a bigger space.

“When we saw that this space (on Broad Street) was available, we knew it was perfect,” Larry said. The company took first place in sales for 2003-2008 in the Screenmobile franchise. “When things slowed down (with the economy) we had enough of a customer base that we could hold our own,” Larry said. Their customers include builders and contractors as well as home owners. Screenmobile provides screen porch panels, weatherization porch panels, custom solar screens, slidding, swinging and retractable doors, new window screens and pet screen products.

All of their work is custom made either on site or at their workshop. “We make it as convenient as we can for the customer,” Larry said.

People bring screens for repair to the shop, and if they can’t bring them, A Screenmobile unit will pick them up. They offer a two-year warranty on all products, including labor.

The Screenmobile showroom, located at 603 E. Broad Street, Fuquay-Varina, is open Monday through Friday from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. You can call then at 919-552-0090.

Originally posted by The Apex Herald.

When Larry and Libby Weathers, owners of Screenmobile of Raleigh, took a winter trip to the beach they had no idea it would change the direction of their lives. Eight years later they have a successful business and a storefront on Broad Street in Fuquay-Varina.is open Monday through Friday from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. You can call then at 919-552-0090.

Originally posted by The Apex Herald.

 

Using Solar Screens to Block the Sun’s Rays

September 25, 2010 at 12:40 AMMonty Walker

In a effort to keep houses and businesses cool, the window shading movement is certainly expanding. Screenmobile offers custom shading products for homes and businesses from more than 100 franchise locations nationwide. As the name suggests, these are mobile franchises that come right to customers’ doors to discuss and install products for windows, doors and patios.

Seven-year Screenmobile customer Vikki Clayton has lived through 10 steamy desert summers in her Phoenix, Arizona, home. After three years of living in the west-facing concrete-block house—two features that turn any building into a sun sponge—she’d grown tired of quick fixes like ceiling fans, window-tinting films and costly A/C units. She turned to Screenmobile for their solar screens, which block 80% to 90% of the sun’s rays. The screens are installed on the outside of the window and, unlike tinting films, they are completely removable.

Today, with several solar screens in place, her electricity bills have dropped from about $378 per month to $200 per month. In addition, her A/C usage has dropped by about 40%. Citing additional savings related to the protection of her carpets, furniture and art work, Clayton says, “If you live in this region, it’s not really possible to live in a house and not have them.”

Looking forward, new technological advancements will allow us to harness the sun’s energy any way we see fit, right on the surface of our windows. Until then, bushes, trees and high-tech screens, retractable or otherwise, will have to suffice.

The original article can be found at EMagazine.com.

 

Screenmobile now open for business in Canton, Georgia

September 25, 2010 at 12:30 AMMonty Walker

Scott Raridon is the owner of the new Canton franchise of the Screenmobile Corporation. Screenmobile is a mobile screen repair and replacement company.

The new Screenmobile franchise will provide services in the counties of Cherokee, Cobb, Fulton, and Walton. They will custom build screens onsite to fit any shape or size for homes, businesses, and multi-unit apartment complexes. Its products include window screens, door screens, retractable door screens, porch and patio screens as well as sun control and insect control screening.

Raridon has worked as a commercial drywall contractor for more than 26 years, the last 9 in Canton.

“In the current economic situation, rather than relying on sub-contract work, I wanted to pursue another business venture that utilized my skills,” he said. “Screenmobile is a well-established, family based business, and I liked the mobile business model , which brings custom made screens right to your house.”

Raridon has four boys, and for nine years he has been active in the Canton community as a Hobgood baseball coach. His oldest son recently graduated from basic training in the U.S. Air Force.

You can contact Scott Raridon and Screenmobile of Canton at at his website http://www.screenmobile.com/northatlanta/Default.aspx or via phone at (707) 345-1373.