Gray water is any wastewater from a home except water from toilets. Its use can irrigate landscape plants, reducing fresh water use and strain on sewage treatment plants and septic systems. Water from garbage disposals and dishwashers carries solid matter and the potential for contamination; use it only if you use settling tanks or filters. Check the laws and ordinances in your area before using any gray water. Permits are required everywhere except New Mexico, Arizona and Texas.
Water features, such as a gravity fountain, can enhance your enjoyment of your outdoor space. The sound of flowing water can sooth your senses after a hard day at work, and the presence of a water feature attracts small wildlife. With a gravity fountain, you don't even have to worry about increasing your electric bill. Mother Nature does all the work for you without the need of an electric pump.
Landscape rocks, bricks, slate and other flat stones provide the finishing touches to a waterfall, covering up the liner edge and creating a decorative effect. Large landscape rocks are heavy enough to remain stable, but smaller hardscaping materials may require mortar to hold them securely in place. Smaller stones, such as gravel or pebbles, help create a riverbed look, and ground cover plants link the waterfall to the surrounding landscape.
Lightweight concrete has the strength of regular concrete, but it's mixed with a lighter material to create a lightweight, more moldable concrete with practically endless decorative uses. Use it as a garden path tile grout, pour it into decorative molds to create garden sculptures, or make bricks for retaining walls and garden paths. If you don't feel like mixing up a batch of lightweight concrete and making your own objects, you can purchase pre-made lightweight statuary and pots from most garden and hardware stores.
All a vine really needs is a vertical structure for climbing, but you don't need to shell out hundreds of dollars for a trellis when you can build your own ladder trellis. A ladder has the vertical part covered and the horizontal rungs provide surface for vines to cling to as they make their way up the ladder -- especially important for twining vines that don't have sticky rootlets to help them cling to the support structure. Aged lumber helps achieve the look of an antique ladder, but you can easily use new lumber and add stain or paint.
Floating slab foundations are the most basic type of concrete foundation. They consist of a solid slab of concrete with no surrounding foundation to support it and are designed to float with the soil as it shifts during weather and moisture changes. Floating slab foundations are often used for garages because they’re the simplest and least expensive type of concrete foundation to build.
Traditional Japanese architecture exudes balance and serenity. Long ago adopted by Western garden designers, the varied forms of the Japanese style have been synthesized into an identifiable aesthetic. Of all Japanese-themed garden structures, arched entryway arbors have endured the test of time to become a staple in the garden designer's palette.
Creeks in urban and suburban areas often suffer from extensive erosion due to the torrents of water that pour off paved surfaces, rooftops and compacted soil when it rains. Nothing can be done about the sources of water from off-site, but a stream bank can be reinforced to prevent further erosion. In addition, all water draining to the creek from on-site has to do so without adding to the problem.
Grapes (Vitis spp.) are among the most ornamental edible plants. Depending on the variety, they are hardy in U.S. Department of Agriculture plant hardiness zones 2 through 10, maturing into large, long-lived deciduous vines that ripen their fruit in late summer. Combined with an arbor, grapes make a bold architectural statement against a garden wall. The sky is the limit when it comes to designing an ornamental arbor, but the basic construction is relatively straightforward if a few simple guidelines are followed.
When it comes to covering plant beds, people often turn immediately to mulch. If, however, you want to use a different material, then consider gravel, an option that can help you create different looks that set off your flowering and non-flowering plants. Before you head to the store, learn about the different kinds of gravel that are available for bedding and how to choose and use them.
Whether you have patch of land where it's difficult to grow grass and other plants, a pile of stones you want to put to use or simply like the craggy look of a rock garden, creating a rock garden in your outdoor space can set your yard apart from those of your neighbors. Making the garden deep enough ensures its rocks hold their positions over time.
Landscaping projects often begin by demolishing old, non-functioning landscape features. Demolition is a skill unto itself, requiring particular tools and techniques. For example, all wooden fences eventually rot and need to be replaced. Removing the above ground portion of the fence is fairly straightforward, but removing a wooden post that has broken off at ground level can seem like a nearly impossible task. However, it is entirely possible with the right tools and approach -- but it is a laborious process no matter how its done.
Wrought iron window boxes add elegance and charm to any home. Wrought iron is heavy and durable, so proper installation is important for safety purposes. Since wrought iron window boxes vary by manufacturer, you might have to modify the box to ensure it has enough support. This method of installation works for most types of siding, including wood, shake, shingle, stucco, fiber cement, vinyl, brick, stone or block.
Unilock makes pavers and retaining wall blocks for home landscapes. Its products include tumbled pavers that have the look of old-fashioned cobblestones and ultra-modern "permeable" pavers to reduce storm-water runoff. All Unilock pavers require some form of edging to secure the paver border and prevent the paved surface from weakening over time. The edging can be concealed completely or form part of the project's aesthetic design.
One way to enjoy the great outdoors in your own back yard is to build a fire pit out of stone, brick, or concrete blocks that are made to look like natural stone. Relaxing by an outdoor fire with family and friends on a cool evening is one of the great benefits of taking on this project.
If you’re looking to restore a historic Williamsburg look to your landscape or want to add some color without planting flowers, pea gravel may be what you’re looking for. It comes in a variety of colors that can be mixed or used in just one shade for a monochromatic effect. Calculate how much gravel you will need for an area by measuring the length and width and multiplying the numbers together. Multiply this number by the desired depth in feet you want the gravel. This will give you the cubic feet of gravel needed; to convert to cubic yards, divide…
A secure way to cover a foundation window well is by using a hinged cover. These covers come in plastic with metal hinges or solid metal grates with hinges. Covering the window well prevents leaves, animals and even children from falling into the hole. The hinge allows you to lift the cover as needed for cleaning, and in emergencies, a person can escape from the basement by pushing up on the cover. The installation process is simple since hardware is typically included with the purchase of a hinged window well cover.
Good garden design includes the use of focal points to capture the interest of the visitor. Paths and other linear features in the landscape can be designed to guide the eye to a single centerpiece or lead the viewer to enjoy a series of focal points as they move through the space. The use of a water fountain surrounded by a bed of flowers as a centerpiece is a common feature of traditional garden design.
Drainage ditches are a common utilitarian feature of the home landscape. Wherever large volumes of water need to move across the property, a drainage ditch is the usually the best solution, though they are prone to erosion if not built correctly. Lining the drainage ditch with concrete is an easy way to ensure that it won't erode in the future, but to create a more ornamental landscape feature, you can set river rock into the concrete as it dries. The key to this approach is to make a broad, shallow ditch that will be easy to line with concrete and…
If there's an old swing set cluttering up your yard that you're on the verge of scrapping, pause a moment before you decide to get rid of it. What may appear to be an eyesore now can be turned into an attractive holder for your hanging plants. Not only will you save a bit of space in a landfill, you'll also be proud of the plant hanger you've created.
Think of a prayer garden, and chances are you imagine water flowing from a soothing fountain or standing motionless in a reflecting pool. A prayer garden, though, needn't include water, although the elements should be chosen carefully for their calming effects. Just as water is cleansing to the body and prayer is cleansing to the soul, when you enter your prayer garden you want to find features that lift the burdens of your day and not add another item to your to-do list. So choose elements that calm your spirit and help you focus on the moment at hand, and…
Planting water lilies (Nymphaea spp.) in your pond adds a dramatic look, with circular floating leaves and colorful blooms. How quickly the plants mature to the blooming stage depends in part on how you start the plants. Those started from rhizomes should bloom the same year, but those started from seed likely need an extra year to reach maturity.
Bamboo is a sturdy material for building a trellis to hold climbing ornamental vines near your house, or for heavy edible plants in the vegetable garden. Cotton clothesline, nylon cord or wax lashing cord are all suitable for tying a bamboo trellis at the corners and throughout the interior crossings. The secret to a sturdy bamboo trellis, no matter which type of lashing material you use, is to keep the lashing cord as tight as possible throughout tying the knot. The Japanese square knot makes this easier to do than tying a clove hitch.
Almost every yard has a small area that remains consistently last on the chore list. Awkwardly shaped or too steep to mow, this corner spot may be inhospitable to plants and decorating strategies that work well in the rest of the yard. Terracing is an effective way to bring a corner trouble-spot into overall landscaping. A small, corner terrace creates new contours and planting spaces and may become one of your yard's best features.
Climbing vines grow upward by clinging, twining or by petioles or tendrils. Clinging vines produce suckers or rootlets and attach themselves to walls, trees or other structures. The best vines for wire arches have slender twining stems, tendrils or petioles.
Enhancing your fountain can be as simple as adding the right lighting. This allows you to enjoy your water fountain's features, including the feeling of tranquility it evokes, anytime of the day or night. Colored lighting adds a touch of magic after the sun goes down. Several types of waterproof lighting exist, so choose the one that provides the right level of light for your landscape.
Vines occupy vertical space in the garden in ways that trees and shrubs cannot, filling the landscape with graceful drifts of foliage. They can soften the straight lines and right angles of a home or other structure but inevitably need some type of trellis for support. These can be simple, nearly invisible trellis systems or significant features in the landscape, like an arbor or pergola.
After you cut down a tree, the stump and roots that remain can create an inconvenience or even a hazard and present an eyesore in the landscape. Pulling out or grinding the stump and major roots is strenuous and typically involves renting equipment that is expensive or difficult to use. The warm temperatures throughout Florida allow for much faster decomposition than in cooler areas, but certain practices will further hasten stump decay.
Landscape fabric is often installed in gardens with persistent weed issues; the widespread barrier prevents weed seeds from germinating and sprouting. This fabric allows you to retain a neat garden appearance while permitting natural rainfall to permeate the soil below. Sand applications in the garden are endless, from walkway paver installations to desert landscape designs. Landscape fabric will not let sand through as long as the material has low permeability.
The presence of water transforms the feeling of a garden like few other features in the landscape can. Ponds bring wildlife to the garden and provide the opportunity to grow stunning aquatic plants that would not otherwise be possible. However, a pond that does not hold water well, quickly becomes an eyesore and can make you wish you never set out to build one in the first place. Fortunately, there is an effective, all-natural way to repair a leaking clay bottom pond. Bentonite clay is a form of volcanic ash that makes sealing it a manageable task.
The quintessential “herbaceous border” of our grandmothers’ gardening days has yielded to new ways to design and install lawn and garden borders. The tufted mounds, flowering masses and wooden pickets of yesteryear remain options while new technologies, new materials and new uses for old materials give you many more choices to create an eye-catching display wherever edging is a challenge.
While the majority of U.S. homes rely on public sewers, 25 percent of homes use septic systems to treat waste, according to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. Pooling liquid or surfaced sewage serves as a sign that your septic leach field is saturated and unable to perform its intended function. When leach fields malfunction, they require prompt attention and rejuvenation to ensure safe and proper sewage treatment.
Putting a water barrel, or rain barrel, next to your garden shed can save money, improve your garden's condition and ease pressure on water resources. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency estimates that about 7.8 billion of the 26 billion gallons of water used each day in the United States are for outdoor use, such as lawn-watering. With planning, a rain barrel next to your shed can be an attractive asset.
Some homes and apartments have front yards that lack plants for many reasons, such as yard size, poor soil or urban location. Such sites need not be abandoned to a lifetime of unadorned functionality. Add life and color to a plant-free front yard by creating spaces that appeal to the senses of sound and sight while integrating or mimicking elements of nature. When incorporating your project into a front yard, design and scale each feature to suit the yard's size and materials composition.
Rion Greenhouses are attractive and functional. The barn-style roof suits most landscapes and provides more headroom than standard flat-roofed greenhouses and they are built with sturdy resin frames and polycarbonate panels. Rion Greenhouses have been tested for wind speeds up to 80 miles per hour and snow loads up to 100 lbs. They are available in several models and prepackaged sizes to accommodate both hobby gardeners and professional gardeners.
Of the two main types of snails -- aquatic and amphibious, you probably will find the aquatic variety in your backyard pond. A type of mollusk, along with clams and oysters, an aquatic snail, or pond snail (Lymnaea spp.), is recognized by its hard shell protecting its soft, slimy body. From the tiniest dwarf pond snail to the relatively large great pond snail, the gastropod uses its two tentacles to sense its way to food and mates. It is most active during evenings and cloudy days.
A backyard pond can be a breeding ground for pesky mosquitoes. In addition to carrying dangerous diseases, mosquitoes are annoying and can keep you from enjoying the personal oasis you worked so hard to create. Adding mosquito control tablets to your pond can stop the insects from maturing without harming your pond fish or plants.
Topiaries can look classy, such as a traditional ball at the top of a trunk-like base, or whimsical, made in the shape of animals or other figures. Using moss gives you the option to grow climbing plants inside and over the topiary or to create a smooth, finished look with the moss itself.
Woods outdoor digital timer is designed to turn on and off outdoor equipment such as landscape lighting, fountain pumps, holiday displays and appliances. It can also handle heavy-duty applications such as switching on electric motors up to 1 horsepower. This dual-outlet timer has a 2-foot cord with a grounded plug and a weatherproof housing to withstand exposure to the elements. It features a digital liquid crystal display and can be programmed to actuate as many as seven on/off events daily.
A rustic shower is perfect for a variety of settings, whether it's a cabin in the woods, a farmhouse in need of an area for quick clean ups or a shabby chic corner of your acreage. Or perhaps you have a beach house or mountain home and you’d like a place just outside your house for a quick shower. You don’t have to compromise privacy to enjoy the experience and convenience of showering in the outdoors, and you can use a variety of materials. The design can be as elaborate or as simple as you want.
If you're looking for a new way to cook outdoors, build a natural earth oven made out of sand and clay. Breads, pizzas and casserole dishes are perfect for baking in earth ovens. Also called adobe or cob ovens, they've been used for thousands of years. Earth ovens are relatively inexpensive and easy to build, though the process is labor-intensive.
Paddock gates provide security and easy access to grazing areas for horses. The gates need to open smoothly, close securely, and be sturdy enough to withstand heavy use, unexpected slams and bangs, and all kinds of weather. Hinges should be durable and latches firm. Gates also need to be light enough to open easily. When closed, they should provide the same security as the rest of the paddock fence.
Green roofs consist of planting beds installed along the roofs of homes and commercial buildings. In addition to providing a green oasis, these roofs offer significant advantages when it comes to energy efficiency and the environment. While the process of installing a green roof may appear complex, they can be surprisingly simple, with basic materials like burlap playing a central role.
Pergolas and arbors, often used interchangeably, are among a wide variety of permanent outdoor structures that can be built on your property to cover a walkway, sitting area or outdoor living space. They are also used to support climbing plants. Historically, pergolas supported grapes and provided shaded corridors extending from one building to another. Today you can often find pergolas covering sidewalks and pathways in residential as well as commercial areas.
Few things go together as well as warm weather, relaxation and backyards. Whether barbecuing with friends or just sitting back with your feet up enjoying the sunshine, you'll find a haven free of stress in the terrain behind your home. While spring is the usual time of year to spruce up the yard and plan outdoor projects, it doesn't take a lot of time or energy to give your yard a quick makeover. Keep it simple and involve the family to make the work go faster, and soon you will be breaking out the grill to celebrate.
One of the earliest water garden artifacts is a carved water basin found in Mesopotamia and dated to 3,000 BC. While later societies constructed elaborate water gardens, lifting water three stories high or building long artificial canals, the simple water basin epitomizes an easy water garden that works well in any yard, or on a balcony. The simplest water garden would be a small gazing container with a floating flower or two, but other container water gardens are equally foolproof.
Springtime pond maintenance is an inevitable part of upkeep. After enduring a cold winter, chances are your pond could use a little spring cleaning. Failing to thoroughly prepare your water garden for the summer ahead increases the likelihood of murky water and sick fish when the weather starts to warm. The good news is, if you keep up with year-round pond care, springtime preparation and cleaning for a backyard water garden is much less daunting.
As winter weather gives way to longer days and warmer weather, a ponds shows signs of emerging from dormancy. Unfortunately, algae blooms are one of these signs. All ponds can get algae growth, so there is no need for alarm. But you should address algae blooms quickly, so you can avoid problems later. Some of the causes for algae growth are within your control.
Dormers windows serve three major purposes. Because they are set vertically in a sloped roof, they allow more light into an attic area, allow ventilation into the attic area and increase the amount of livable space in the attic, making this room more useful and usable. Dormers, however, can also be architecturally appealing, and so you may want to draw attention to them to make your home more beautiful. Different kinds of outdoor lighting will illuminate your dormers, making them a striking feature on your house.
The conventional Japanese tea garden is a picturesque landscape that has been formed into a tranquil and peaceful place where people can relax while enjoying nature. Many of these dreamily manicured environments incorporate a tea garden shed, a small wooden building that often contains little more than a table and a bench, which serves as the best seat in the garden to take in the peace and calmness of the Japanese garden. The construction of this Eastern structure is similar to that of the universal shed, with a few unique specifications that make its style distinctly Japanese.
Rainbow play systems provide your kids with hours of exercise and outdoor fun. With a playground set up in the backyard, you'll be able to watch your kids in the safety of your own home. With so many choices of Rainbow play system accessories and add-ons, you may want to have professional installers do the assembly for you. If you prefer to make this a weekend project, make sure you have the directions for all the options you chose. Once the play system is complete, your kids will leave boredom in the dust.
A double hammock is flatter than a single, which allows you to either lie diagonally or share it with another person. Imagine yourself swaying in a hammock on a late summer afternoon with a book or cocktail in hand. It's a very relaxing prospect. But struggling to braid, sew and cut that hammock on your own is the polar opposite of this. If you choose to braid a double hammock on your own, be prepared for a challenge.
Dormer windows add a touch of old-world class to any building. If your house is fitted with dormer windows, consider adding faux dormer windows to your garage. This will make your garage fit in more with the overall look of your property.
The air that circulates through your late-model Honda Civic's cabin via the climate control system would carry a lot of dust, pollen and other bits of matter if it weren't for your air conditioner's filter. Over time, the filter will become clogged with enough matter to need cleaning or replacing. Try to clean your eighth-generation Honda Civic's air filter before replacing it. Eighth-generation Honda Civics are the 2006 to 2011 models.
Water always follows the path of least resistance. If your foundation has even a tiny crack in it, water will flow through it and into your basement rather than trying to force its way through the soil outside your basement. This will in time lead to mold and mildew problems and even flooding. To avoid the expense and hassle of basement leaks, install a foundation drain tile system to direct the water in the soil away from your basement.
A galvanized steel grain bin, also known as a silo, is a facility that allows you to store and dry grain after harvesting. Grain bins tend to be round in shape, so fewer particles become stuck in corners. A galvanized steel grain bin is made of steel coated with zinc, which protects it from becoming rusty. If you harvest your own grain and want to store it somewhere safe and dry, you can build your own galvanized steel grain bin by purchasing the materials and building it on top of a wooden platform in a dry place, preferably under a…
If you have roofing work to do, you are going to need to carry a lot of heavy materials up to the roof. Some of these, such as bundles of shingles, can be quite heavy. Instead of going to all the trouble and risk of carrying everything by hand up a ladder, put up a roof pulley system to help you easily and safely bring them to the roof while standing on the ground. You can even construct a roof pulley system to do some of the work for you, allowing you to lift more than you normally can.
If you are building your own concrete driveway, patio or support columns, you should use reinforcing steel bars, or rebars. These bars are imbedded in the concrete, and increase its ability to withstand tension. You can install rebar in your own home concrete construction projects without any special construction training, but you need to learn how to test the rebar installation to make sure it set properly within the concrete and is safe to use.
The term “sewer cover” can refer to several closures used in the systems that dispose of wastewater from homes and businesses. They include manholes fitted on systems connected to city sewer services and inspection ports above septic tanks. Their purpose is primarily to allow inspection access from the surface, and for the introduction of maintenance equipment as necessary; some are large enough to allow maintenance personnel to climb through. They can be square, rectangular or circular, made of iron, cement and -- increasingly -- fiberglass. All covers are designed to fit into a frame, sometimes called a tray, which in…
Backyard reclining loungers with little or no maintenance required allows you to enjoy your backyard in a leisurely way. Constructing these chairs from high-quality wood is always a good idea, because you want them to hold up for several years. Adding cushions for the whole chair is optional. It can be easier to just leave the chairs bare and spray them off with a water hose occasionally. By finishing them with polyurethane or porch and deck paint, you will ensure they look good and wear well with no padding or cushions in place.
Known for its absorption and purification characteristics, Sheetrock can be a quick fix for a leaking or running pond. However, the chemicals and fibers used to construct Sheetrock can pose a detriment to a pond’s dependents and initiate additional concerns. Before using Sheetrock to seal your pond, carefully weigh the pros and cons, as well as the alternative options.
Special family times often take place in the kitchen. The old utility chairs that surrounded your kitchen table may bring back memories of lively family suppers, gingerbread house construction and algebra assistance from Mom or Dad. But even the most cherished chairs wear out. If your special old chair is just taking up space in your house, use it outside as a colorful accent or a trellis for growing vines. The flowers and the memories can make it a charming addition to your garden.
Running a tunnel under a driveway may seem like a daunting, almost impossible task, but it doesn’t have to be. You can let water pressure do most of the work for you so that you end up as the guide instead of breaking your back with a shovel or a pick. It can get pretty messy, but in the end it is worth the mess to get the job done quickly and without a struggle.
A corner bin comes in handy for creating compost, a nutrient-dense, organic soil amendment for your yard or garden. Building the bin is a straightforward project any homeowner can tackle with ease. Place the bin on a corner so it is not clearly visible but easy to access when the compost is ready. Turn the contained waste in the corner bin frequently to aerate it and ensure it remains evenly moist at all times.
The thought of moving a 12-by-20-foot shed may seem intimidating. With a few friends' help and a couple of hours, however, you can move a shed that size across your property if the structure has an attached floor and is not open on the bottom. Depending on the type of shed, such as one made of metal or wood, you may need to reinforce it before the move. The task of moving a shed may be tedious, but it is possible with the proper tools.
Boats with low transoms commonly feature higher inner walls, which creates an area known as a splashwell. This area is designed to catch any water that splashes over the transom. This water is diverted from the splashwell via scuppers, which only permit the flow of water from the boat without allowing water to enter the splashwell. In some cases, wiring for electrical features may be placed inside the splashwell area, and saltwater entering this area may damage the wiring. Protecting this wiring is a fairly straightforward process.
Building a shed is as complex as building a house. You could call a storage shed a storage house, especially if it has a house-style roof with storage space in a sort of attic. You could make it even more of a storage house by insulating the walls and roof. The best roof style for a storage house is a steeper pitch, with roof joists under the rafters to support some flooring and provide space for storage inside the rafters, much like in a house attic.
Direct sunlight and decaying leaves encourage algae growth in outdoor fountains. Wildlife -- and fish, in the case of fountains with koi or other fish -- can be harmed by certain chemical products used to clean or prevent algae. Using vinegar to clean algae from outside fountains is an environmentally safe and effective method. Simple changes in the location of your fountain and your fountain maintenance routine can help to prevent or reduce algae to keep your fountain water clean.
Willow twigs are often used in the construction of crude fences, trellises, furniture and baskets. The flexible branches and twigs bend easily into a variety of shapes. Instead of purchasing a store-bought fence for your garden or backyard, consider using willow twigs to form a wattle fence that adds rustic charm to the landscape. A hand-woven fence adds natural charm to the space and allows you to save money on purchasing commercial fencing. Known as a wattle fence, a willow fence is composed of individual hurdles or sections that feature five posts each, with pliable willow branches woven in between.
Gunite is a mixture of four parts dry sand and one part Portland cement that mixes with water as it is sprayed at a high pressure through a nozzle. The nozzle is attached to a gunite machine that is a combination of rotary mixer and concrete pump, together with supplies of compressed air and water. This system creates a durable surface on structures such as walls and swimming pools. Gunite surfaces in swimming pools and gardens can be textured during curing to resemble natural stone.
An address stone mounted on your home is a decorative way to identify it. Strategically placing an address stone under a streetlight in your yard will save electricity, and make your house easy to find after dark. Making your own address stone gives you an opportunity to incorporate a motif that matches the exterior decor of your home, or to create a unique landmark. Add personal objects to the stone like a family crest, a monogram, decorative tiles, or seashells you collected on vacation.
Regular seesaws start at 10 feet in length and can go to over twice that length or more. Sometimes a full-length seesaw won't work for your needs. In this case, a miniature seesaw may be the perfect solution. If your yard isn't overly spacious or you are looking for small and portable play equipment for children, a mini-seesaw is an option.
Making bricks is a way to give a home-improvement project a unique personal touch. Molding bricks is a simple process -- the mold is a simple rectangular box that hinges to open and allow the wet brick to be removed before baking. Molds can be made out of commonly available parts, with little time and effort.
An outdoor kitchen is only as good as its equipment. If you pick the wrong size grill, you risk constantly waiting for food to cook and spending too much time standing over the hot grill. The outdoor kitchen begins with a solid grill. Making your own freestanding brick gas grill gives your entertaining area a customized look. By using stock parts, including a new grill or one you already own, you can finish the project in a weekend. The trick is to build a brick structure that surrounds your gas grill.
The Double L Group specializes in the manufacturing and sale of products designed for the agricultural sector. Double L has several subdivisions for its products depending on the application, including goat, poultry, lawn, garden and swine divisions. From the swine division comes the TH415 thermostat, a single-stage thermostat with corrosion-resistant sensors housed in an enclosure resistant to airborne debris, contaminants and high humidity. Hooking up a TH415 thermostat follows the same procedures as standard domestic thermostat installations.
Playgrounds provide opportunities for creativity along with physical activity. Colorful and sturdy materials combined with moving parts -- such as a rotating drum -- add to a playground’s potential of assisting in the development of healthy bodies and minds. This project primarily involves a lazy Susan, storage drum, sand and cement.
Knocking together a simple A-frame box from a few studs is the foundation for a number of useful projects. Such a box can become storage for a motorcycle or an ATV, and with a clear plastic coating it can serve as a cold frame for starting plants early. Younger children can use one for a playhouse or fort. This A-frame box uses two-by-fours that are 4 feet long, but you can vary the size and dimensions to meet your needs.
A block oven is an oven built out of cinder blocks, firebricks and similar building materials. They work on the principle of retained heat. A fire built inside the oven heats up the blocks, which then stay warm for a long time afterward. Food placed in a block oven will experience a steady consistent heat, cooking it thoroughly and evenly. The design of these ovens is simple; you can make your own block oven in your back yard without any masonry experience.
A porch railing dresses up an old or dated porch, but also acts as a safety feature. This small railing is the only thing that keeps you, your guests and your children from falling over the side of an exposed porch. Most home improvement stores sell prefabricated railings and supports, but these only come in standard designs. If you want a custom look for your porch, you must build your own railings. Estimating the size of your porch tells you the number of railings needed.
Cool off on a hot summer day in an outdoor shower. Redwood walls keep the shower looking like a natural part of the environment. Use river rock as the base of the shower to help the water flow toward surrounding plants, giving the bonus of watering part of the yard at the same time. Building this type of shower is a weekend project that requires some basic woodworking skills. Supplies are available at home improvement and hardware stores.
An arbor is a structure that is frequently covered by vine-like plants or flowers and is used as a garden destination or resting place. Sometimes arbors are built over pathways in the garden to create a flowering tunnel or attractive passageway leading from one area of the garden to another. Some arbors are built to last one or two seasons and others are much more substantial and can be kept in use for 50 or more years. You can add a simple arbor to your garden with a sliding shade cover in a single weekend.
The firebox is an essential part of the maple evaporating system. This area provides the heat needed to remove the water from the maple sap and begin the rendering process. Once you know the size of the evaporator, you can begin construction on the firebox. Materials for the firebox are available at many home improvement and hardware stores. Construction of the firebox takes just a day or two, allowing time for the mortar to set.
Managing snow and ice can be a major winter chore, especially if harsh winter weather is a fact of life where you live. One conventional tool for keeping driveways and sidewalks safe and clear is coarse rock salt, which reduces the melting temperature of ice, forcing it to melt and run off even on a cold day. The process of spreading salt is easier with a homemade salt spreader, which is easier to move than a heavy bag of salt, but can still hold enough salt to cover a large area.
Installing an awning above your exterior door will provide and will lower the temperature in that area by several degrees. Furthermore, with an awning you will block out the sun’s harmful rays, which are known to cause skin cancer. Several different types of awnings are available for home use. However, why spend your hard-earned money for something you can build yourself using inexpensive products.
Most cob structures have a water-repellent metal or shingled roof with wide overhangs to protect the cob. Some have living roofs made of sod and straw. Roofs made completely of cob are appropriate on ovens and other small structures that will be protected by an awning or other structure. These roofs are built using a beehive-shaped sprung-arch design. Sprung arches are made up of many stacked pieces and are self-supporting when the cob is dry.
Building a shed on your property makes a great way to increase your storage space for such things as tools and yard and garden equipment. This type of project might become too complex for the average do-it-yourselfer, however, if creating the foundation involves pouring concrete. For homeowners who are looking to build a smaller, prefabricated shed, a simple construction technique that uses cinder blocks and timbers instead of poured concrete can make this task much easier to successfully complete.
Preparing food outdoors increases the cooking space you have available for entertaining large crowds and allows you to move the center of activity from the kitchen to an outdoor location on pleasant days. An outdoor oven that burns gas and is made from brick can bake most types of food. This type of oven uses the bricks to absorb heat from the gas flame and radiate it back to heat whatever is in a separate cooking compartment. With the appropriate materials and construction techniques, your gas brick oven will last for many years.
Gray water is used waste water from bath tubs, bath lavatories, washing machines and showers. The most common and trouble-free method of collecting gray water is from the washing machine drain. You can collect this machine's waste water and reuse it for irrigating landscape plants or diverting it into a dry well. With this system, gravity will draw the drain water from the appliance and send it to a sump pump well or basin. Once the basin is full, the sump pump will turn on, channeling your gray water through an exterior distribution pipe.
A gas grill that uses propane makes it easy to cook family meals or entertain outdoors. A grill that uses charcoal or wood is messy and much less user-friendly. Installing a brick grill creates a stable structure to withstand the elements over time, too. The component parts of a brick grill are not difficult to build for a DIY project if you have some basic bricklaying skills. However, be sure to use fire-retardant brick or tile on any interior surfaces, because basic masonry materials aren’t designed to withstand high temperatures.
A green roof shed is an interesting, attractive and ecologically-friendly structure in a backyard or landscape setting. You can convert any simple shed structure to a green roof shed by adding light yet sturdy framework, soil and plants to the surface of the roof. Living roofs naturally cool and insulate the structure, attract wildlife and add interest to your property. Consider adding a green roof to your shed this summer.
You can observe laminar flow nozzles in action when you see streams of water skipping to and fro in fountains at amusement parts. When homeowners install them in a landscape, laminar jets shoot illuminated fans of water vertically from a fountain, or eject streams of water from a deck to a swimming pool. If you tone down the laminar nozzle's power, however, you can create a tranquil, bubble-free waterfall that's safe to use with a koi pond.
Building a roof over your driveway provides your vehicles with protection from the elements such as harsh sunlight and rain. In addition, a roof can turn your driveway into a venue for parties and entertaining. You can create a roof over your driveway by building a cheap yet effective canopy. The materials used in the creation of the canopy can be purchased at home improvement centers and craft stores.
Awnings roll and unroll through the use of a torsion spring. This spring is wound tightly and pulls the awning up when released. Even though this may seem like a simple project, the spring's tension makes this a dangerous task. So take care to either clip or unwind the torsion spring the correct way to avoid injury. Before you begin this project, unroll the awning all the way and lock the rafter arms securely.
A fire pit can add a warm and cozy atmosphere to a patio. Fire pits can be elaborate constructions or simple rings of metal or masonry, as big around and as deep as a homeowner wants. Fire pits should always be built where there is plenty of open space and ventilation and no flammable material, including plants and trees, nearby. Open pits well removed from a house require no vents, but those installed on attached patios or as part of an outdoor room should have a vent to direct smoke and rising heat safely away and catch any sparks.
Well pumps rely on mechanical pistons to create a vacuum that draws water upward through a pipe. This simple process occurs each time you raise and lower the pump handle, which is connected to the rest of the mechanism by a series of levers and pins. However, pump handles, like other parts, can cease to work properly over time. Fixing a broken well-pump handle involves first isolating the problem, then adjusting the handle. In cases of severe breaks, the handle may need to be replaced for proper operation of the pump.
When you need to add a wheelchair ramp to your home, using the guidelines established by the Americans with Disabilities Act helps take the guesswork out of the dimensions you need to use. The ADA created a set of standards for commercial buildings, government facilities and public accommodations so people with mobility devices can enjoy and access the same services as able-bodied individuals. When you build a wheelchair ramp according to the ADA’s standards, it should be safe enough for any visitor to your home.
Make the most of your backyard by adding a deck. Low decks require a base of support and outer layer of decking, which can be stained or painted after construction. A 9-foot-by-12-foot deck comes together in a day of work and forms the perfect base for sitting and relaxing, catching up with friends or entertaining at a garden party.
A wishing well is a unique decorative element for your garden or lawn. When you start looking at the available designs, you might notice that round designs are more common than square designs. Using a square planter as your base gives you the basic shape of the wishing well. Once you have the base, you just need to make the small roof that attaches to the top and decorate the sides, making it look more like a real wishing well.
Casting a concrete floor yourself requires manpower and lots of prep work, but saves you money over hiring a professional. Perform concrete floor casting when it is dry and no rain is forecast for several days. Recruit friends to help you. While you can prepare the form alone, you'll need multiple workers to rake and pour the concrete.
Creating a pond from a seasonal creek adds beauty to your landscape and may keep the creek from flooding your yard. Before starting construction, find out if you need a permit for your pond by inquiring with your local department of environmental conservation. Also talk with your neighbors if your pond will affect the creek's flow through their land.