A clothesline will save you money, conserve energy and give your laundry that fresh, outdoor aroma.
Get ready to install your new fish pond.
Installing a new curb-mounted mailbox can be handy for you and the mail carrier - and add a little style to your home.
Make life simpler by choosing a birdbath made of a lightweight material or one with a removable basin or a drain hole. And, remember, the more often you clean a birdbath, the easier cleaning it will be.
Doghouses are simple structures, but it's always good to have a plan. With graph paper and pencil, sketch out your doghouse before you build.
A simple swing set requires minimal assembly, but you have to do it in the right order.
A "quinzee," or snow hut, can provide vital warmth and shelter in the snow. It can also be a lot of fun to make.
Won't Fido and Muffin be surprised! This electronic fence is installed underground and will teach your pets the limits of your yard without physical barriers. The fence is ideal for those pets who prove to be accomplished escape artists. Training time ranges from two weeks to two months.
Are you looking for a fun, inexpensive addition to the kids' backyard playground? A sandbox is just the ticket. It will give them a place to build and explore their creativity and won't cost you an arm and a leg.
Wouldn't a picnic table make your backyard, patio or deck a more useful and fun space? Here's how to build one that is relatively inexpensive and long lasting.
A tire swing is a simple, inexpensive, old-fashioned addition to the kids play area that even adults can enjoy. Let's put one together. You will of course need a tree or appropriate support to hang your tire swing from.
Now that you have your pond installed, how do you keep your fish healthy? Biological filters use bacteria to break ammonia and nitrites down into nitrates. High ammonia and nitrite levels can kill fish.
It's not that easy to have a garden pond with clear water, healthy plants and thriving fish all summer long. After all, a pond with all those elements is not just a decorative ornament--it's your own little backyard ecosystem. Your pond residents are engaged in a fierce struggle for nutrients and oxygen. Sometimes the less attractive inhabitants--such as the amazingly persistent algae--may gain the upper hand at the expense of your elegant water lilies and beautiful koi. Follow the instructions below, and you'll be able to put things back in balance.
Shopping for a play structure? It's a jungle out there. A well-chosen set can provide years of stimulating fun for your monkeys, but the price range and variety of choices can make anyone's head spin. And with over 200,000 playground injuries treated in the hospital each year, safety is a top concern.
Preparing and enjoying meals alfresco--and the pleasures of the casual entertaining it promotes--have become standard elements of gracious living. At one time limited to the South and Southwest, outdoor kitchens and dining rooms are now found all over the country.
A garden pond or fountain needn't be a grand affair. It's the sight and sound of water that counts. A large pond filled with fish and plants is impressive, but a simple bowl with gently moving water may be more appropriate for your garden. However elaborate or simple, water adds life to your garden, and the size and shape of the water feature you desire is limited only by your imagination.
Few luxuries compare to a backyard putting green, where avid golfers can work endlessly on their short game just a few steps from the back door. A putting green made of synthetic turf can be laid out to the golfer’s preferences, requires no maintenance, and modern synthetic turf surfaces look and feel as nice as the real thing. This type of putting surface is green in another way as well: Artificial grasses use none of the water and fertilizer that would be necessary to keep a real lawn healthy and thriving.
If you are wiring a garage woodshop, you need to decide how many circuits you will need and how you will supply them power. Here's some things you should think about.
Soon AFTER buying my first house I realized there was no cable TV available on our road. Since the house is like a cabin in the woods with lots of tall cedars around there was no clear line of sight to satellites located in the southern sky. As a last resort, I was able to hire some tree service guys to install a DirecTV satellite dish on a topped tree.
Don't have time to baby a pond? Don't want the hassle of moving parts, electricity and daily cleaning? This works great, on a small or large scale.
Is there anything more soothing than sitting around a fire on a cool night? Grownups and kids both love the appeal of an open fire. Whether toasting a marshmallow over the flames or just sipping a cup of coffee and watching the dancing flames, a fire pit is guaranteed to make everyone's world a better place. Here's how you can build a fire pit in your own yard and be roasting hot dogs that very same evening.
Solar-powered lights are a terrific way to provide accent lighting in your yard and pathway. They're easy to install, don't require wiring and, as a bonus, are nearly maintenance-free. Solar lights use a small photovoltaic (PV) cell to charge an integral battery during the day. When darkness falls, a light sensor turns on the light, which gets its power from the battery. The only drawback to solar-powered lights is you can't place them just anywhere; they must be located so they are in direct sunshine during the day.
Whether a solar panel system is designed to generate heat for our homes or produce electricity, a properly functioning solar panel is an obvious requirement. Luckily, a well-designed and installed solar panel system is durable and simple in concept. In fact, the only part of a solar heating system that has any moving parts requiring maintenance is the pump. Plus, while earlier versions of solar panels were relatively fragile, solar panels are now constructed from strong unbreakable materials, so a solar panel itself requires minimal maintenance to continue doing its job. Essentially the only breakable part of a solar panel…
Cracks in your concrete stairs are not just unsightly, they can become downright dangerous if you don't do anything about them. Someone could easily trip going up or down the steps and end up seriously injured--not how you want to welcome visitors to your home. Luckily, small cracks in concrete stairs are relatively easy to fix and most homeowners can take on the job themselves.
The corners of concrete steps are the most vulnerable part of the stairs and the most likely to crack and crumble over time. Hairline cracks on either the vertical or horizontal surfaces will allow water and possibly salt to get into the cracks and breakdown the corners. Luckily, fixing the corners and edges of concrete stairs is a job that homeowners can take on by themselves.
Gutters (or eavestroughs) aren't just a "nice to have" accessory. Gutters perform an important role in helping keep water out of your basement. Properly installed gutters will catch water coming off your roof and channel it well away from your home's foundation so it can't work it's way in and create a musty smelling (or, even worse, moldy) lower level. While installing long seamless gutters or highly decorative gutters (like copper) is best left to the professionals, sectional gutters (usually made of vinyl or aluminum) can be installed by a handy homeowner (and hopefully a friend or two).
A greenhouse is a structure made of plastic, glass or fiberglass meant to cultivate and exhibit plants. It allows the sunlight to penetrate into the enclosed area so that the plants blossom in a conditioned climate. You can see greenhouses of various sizes. Note that a bigger greenhouse is also called hothouse or glasshouse, while a smaller one is known as coldframe. Build a greenhouse depending on the space and budget available. Here is how you too can build one:
If you are new to the hobby of Koi Keeping and considering putting in a koi pond you need to be aware of the potential pitfalls and expensive mistakes you can make. This Guide briefly covers how to build a pond from concrete, for a more in depth guide pls visit www.happykoi.co.za
Recreate the look of a rugged mountain landscape in your backyard by creating a rock garden. If landscape is sloped, rocky, shaded or extremely dry, a rock garden may be an ideal choice. Traditionally, rock gardens were created to cultivate mountain plants found in the Swiss Alps. For a minimalist and calming effect, a Japanese zen rock garden may be the right choice.
Installing a window in an existing garden shed is an easy way to infuse natural light into a normally dark area. This article describes how to install a window into an already prepared hole in the garden shed wall.
Not all yards are perfectly flat, unfortunately. Many yards have steep hills or slants that make it hard to have a garden or landscape. You can terrace your backyard to make sections of level ground to overcome this challenge. This allows you to prevent erosion, plant gardens and even add some beautiful landscape to an otherwise unattractive slanted backyard.
Bluebirds are adorable little creatures that love to eat insects. Urban sprawl has made it necessary to install bluebird boxes to attract these wonderful birds, who will keep your gardens and homes free of pests. Follow these steps to build one.
Take advantage of your garden, deck or porch by building an outdoor wooden bench. Just one to four days, depending on the design you choose, will yield a comfortable place for meditating, bird watching or chatting with neighbors.
A water feature is an attractive focal point in any garden. The showy pond with exquisite water lilies, koi and attractive landscaping takes an expansive garden. But those with tiny gardens or apartment dwellers with just a patio or deck can enjoy the benefits of a water feature too. A mini water garden in a pot might be the perfect solution.
Most kids love playing in a sandbox. With a little time and these easy instructions, you can build a sturdy, wooden sandbox in your own backyard.
There is nothing more attractive for an outdoor space than a well-crafted gazebo. A gazebo can be an open or enclosed structure with a variety of uses. Large or small, for parties or quiet evenings sitting in a garden, a gazebo adds character and dimension to a yard. Building a gazebo can be a relatively quick and easy project with the right materials. Read on to learn how to build a gazebo.
Beach volleyball has exploded as a sport over the past twenty years. With cool people sporting great tans and having stick skills, what's not to like? If you love the game, but live hours from the beach, don't fret. Building a backyard beach volleyball court is a lot easier than you think. Here's how!
Badminton is a staple game at the American barbecue or cookout. Easy and fun to play, people of all ages can team up and bat the shuttlecock around. But if you want to kick it up a notch and get the neighbors talking, you can make a professional badminton court right in your very own backyard! Here's how to do it!
Tennis is professionally played on three surfaces; asphalt, clay or grass. While playing on asphalt is easily accomplished by going to your local rec center, playing on grass is quite rare for the casual player. But, with a little effort, you can make your very own grass tennis court right in your backyard! Here's how!
Capture the power of the wind by building your own wind generator. Get to know the basic steps involved to decide if a wind generator would work for your location and budget. Especially considering rising energy costs, investigating alternative power--such as wind power--is well worth the effort.
Digging a trench is a challenging task and can pose numerous safety hazards. The size of the trench will be based on the project and can vary from a simple drainage hole to a deep commercial trench for pipes. Follow these steps to do it right.
You can make simple sun clocks with your children or more complex clocks that will be instant conversation pieces. Follow these steps.
Children love having a place to call their own. This place could be a bedroom with a sign on the door that says, "No Entry!" or a fort made out of chairs and blankets. If they're really lucky, they'll have a club house in the yard. While there are pre-built club houses available, your kids are going to appreciate the ones that you build yourself a lot more.
Constructing an outdoor playhouse is a moderate building project that can take up to a week to complete. When completed, the playhouse can serve many purposes or whims. Start slowly with the idea of taking all of the necessary time and effort for a wonderful addition to any home.
A liner is necessary to prevent the pond water from seeping into the surrounding soil. Polyvinyl chloride (PVC) is a durable liner material that allows you to create a garden pond in any shape or size. Installing a PVC liner can be done in a single day; but allow at least a weekend for completing a garden pond project. Read on to learn more.
Installing a heater in an in ground pool is a challenging project. You have several heater options for your pool including natural gas and solar energy. When you shop for an in ground pool heater look for one that offers energy saving options and is simple enough for you to install yourself.
Bluebirds add beauty and color to any yard. Because their habitats are steadily diminishing, attracting and caring for bluebirds not only provides personal joy and satisfaction but also aids in the ongoing conservation efforts to increase bluebird populations. The following tips will help you make your yard more attractive to bluebirds.
A Koi pond adds elements of tranquility, nature and beauty to your yard. Koi fish, also known as Nishkigoi, were introduced 2,500 years ago in Eastern Asia and China. Originally, Koi were black, but mutations created color variations which eventually resulted in selective breeding for a variety of colorful patterns. Koi fish grow large with an average lifespan of 25 to 30 years. Read on to learn how to install a Koi pond.
An outdoor decorative pond is the ideal place for that peaceful meditative moment that reinvigorates you after a hard, hectic day. It is a project that you can achieve over a reasonable amount of time-two to three weekends-with hard work and dedication. Your new decorative pond setup will be a conversational point in your neighborhood and add value to your home. Many decorative outdoor ponds are elaborate while others display simple beauty.
Who says you need a tree to enjoy the fun of a treehouse? A treeless treehouse can be built in the exact spot you want rather than in the only good tree in the yard. Learn how to build a treeless treehouse by following these steps.
Quonset huts have been around since World War II and are still today one of the most efficient and functional buildings available for the cost. A Quonset hut is a prefabricated steel building that has no interior posts or support beams. They are easy to assemble and are used in many ways. Here are some things you need to know before buying one.
Goldfish ponds add beauty to the garden and provide us with an ongoing education about aquatic life and the ecosystem. In addition to being fun to watch, goldfish help maintain water features by eating mosquito larvae that would otherwise mature into pests.
Vinyl pool liners can last 10 to 20 years if cared for properly, but they will need to be replaced eventually. It's a time-consuming project — budget a full day — but do-it-yourselfers can successfully take it on with some patience, attention to detail and a little help from their friends.
As cute and adorable as squirrels are they can be obnoxious when they get into your bird feeder. They're especially known to do this when they're preparing for the winter. You can deter them from doing this if you build them their own squirrel feeder. Follow these steps to make a cafe-style squirrel feeder to invite those critters to some other fine dining options.
Digging a well probably sounds like hard labor, and you undoubtedly will break a sweat if you attempt the enterprise. But if you follow these steps, you'll get that well dug in short order and soon be resting in that nearby hammock.
An interesting do-it-yourself project for the garden is constructing a copper arbor. Copper ages beautifully outdoors and enhances any garden decor. Copper is strong and durable and doesn't rust, rot or decompose and requires no maintenance. Here is how to make a simple copper garden arbor.
If you're experiencing problems with water runoff from your house soaking your lawn, you might want to invest some time and money into installing a dry well. A dry well pipes water away from the house into a well, where it can soak into the subsoil instead of damaging the topsoil. With a post-hole digger or shovel and a free weekend, you can install a dry well yourself. Read on to learn more.
Getting children to play outside and enjoy the fresh air is easy if you set up a nice playground area. To avoid serious injuries and ensure a safe place to play for your children, follow these general guidelines to install.
There are a number of different ways to use lattice in and around your home. Lattice can be bought in unfinished wood or expensive colored vinyl. If you have a special color or don't want to spend money on the colored vinyl, you can paint wood lattice. Learn how to paint lattice by following these steps.
To install a waterfall in a garden, there are three things to consider. First, elevation-for water to fall, you must have a difference in height between the beginning and end of the fall. Second, location--the waterfall must be where there will be minimal maintenance and traffic issues. Third, layout--set up your waterfall to achieve the visual look you are trying for. Remember that water plus volume plus obstruction create the sound and ambiance you want to achieve with the waterfall.
A stock pond is a creation of beauty and a provider (to animals) of the needs dictated by nature. Almost anyone can create this much needed area for entertainment while also solving part of the natural requirements of wildlife. Humans will enjoy fishing (and eating the fish) in the pond. A stock pond is suited to a rural setting so that it can lure animals to drink. You also don't have to worry as much about underground wires (but you should still check with your utility companies).
A shower is a refreshing way to end the day. An indoor shower is not always available when you need a quick cleanup, so an outdoor gravity fed shower is a simple solution. It is especially nice for campers and hunters. There are many different shower kits available, and they all work along the same premise. Here's how to install a simple solar heated outdoor gravity shower.
Clamshell diggers and power augers both dig post holes. For small jobs, the manual tool works fine but takes a little longer. Invite a friend to share the workload, but if you plan on the power digger arrange to have someone with you. The clamshell tool doesn't cost much and it's a good addition for your outside work tools.
A PVC banner frame is a basic stand that allows banners to stand alone. The banner frame is made to fit any banner. Reuse the frame over and over again. It takes less than one hour to make the PVC banner frame and it lasts for years.
A garbage can cart is a rolling cart made to carry garbage cans to the curb. Made out of PVC pipes, the cart does not rust or warp. This PVC garbage can cart is inexpensive and can be made within hours.
Shade canopies are tarps or plastic-covered structures that provide shade on sunny days. The canopies are used for sporting events, camping or picnicking. You can make this basic shade canopy and alter it to fit any size.
If you want to add flair or elegance to your backyard or garden, build a basic arbor. Building an arbor requires a little time and patience, but it is a relatively simple project for a beginning wood-worker. You can make a basic arbor as simple or elegant as you want without spending a lot of money. Follow these steps to build a basic arbor for your home.
Windmills have been around for 1,300 years, first used in ancient Persia to grind grain. In the United States windmills are part of the classic American Western landscape. Today, high tech wind turbines have become a source of clean, renewable electrical energy. It's now possible for individuals to generate their own electricity from the wind. Southwest Windpower, is one of several American companies that has developed a wind generator that is designed specifically to power a single house.
If you have a lot of birds hanging around in your trees, you should make them a birdhouse. Birdhouses are relatively simple to make utilizing things you can find around your yard and in your tool box. One of the simplest birdhouses is a hollow-log birdhouse. Just locate a log, hollow it out and hang it up.
A wrap-around tree bench is a relatively simple thing to build that adds a lot of beauty to your garden. It gives you a place to sit and relax while also enjoying the natural shade that a tree provides. Follow these steps to build a wrap-around tree bench.
A dam is a structure that stops water from flowing. Sand bags and rocks are an easy way to dam a backyard creek. Alternate layers starting on the creek bed spot you want to dam. Stack as high as necessary. Here's another way to dam a creek using lumber.
If you live in an wildlife-populated area, you know how much bears love to root around in your garbage. You've likely risen many mornings to find your trash strewn about your yard or street. Or, maybe you've caught them sitting contentedly, munching on what they've found in your cans. If you're tired of cleaning up after these bad news bears, take steps to keep them away from your garbage cans.
One of the greatest inventions of modern times is indoor plumbing. We like the convenience of flushing our waste and the accompanying smell away. Unfortunately when we head to the great outdoors this luxury is lost and the outhouse becomes a necessary utility. Proper maintenance can decrease the smell and flies that we usually find near an outhouse, which makes using it a more pleasant experience.
Every fisherman dreams about owning his own fishing hole where he can pull trophy fish any time he wants. If you own a piece of land, you can create your own bass pond where you can be your own hero. Read on to learn more.
Catch basins generally are built along a street's curb. They serve as a collection reservoir for rainwater and as a gateway to the sewer or storm drain system. If properly installed, catch basins help eliminate foul odors, bugs and mud, especially after a rainstorm, and rectify drainage problems. Here's how to install a simple catch basin in your yard.
There are a variety of commercial rain gauges available on the market, however making a simple rain gauge is quick, easy and only costs as much as a plastic bottle. Chances are you already have everything you need to make this simple rain gauge, which is fun to construct, and interesting to use. Read on to learn how to make a simple rain gauge.
Ditches serve a multitude of purposes. They can be used to irrigate crops, install foundation waterproofing or used as fortification. Read on to learn how to dig a ditch.
If you want to create a pond on your property by damming a creek or river that runs through it, you might need to obtain a dam permit. Small dams that create only a minor barrier to water flow are generally not subject to regulation. If you're building the dam on your property, anything that has a distinct impact downstream needs a permit.
If your house is built on a hill and your backyard is too steep for a garden, building a terrace is an option. Terraces can break a long hillside into several smaller steps. Each of the steps is more level than the original hillside and can be easily planted. Terraces are also an environmentally friendly garden solution, slowing and even preventing soil erosion.
A retaining wall is an inexpensive, decorative way to level a slope on a property or create a garden space. Because they interlock and are uniform in shape and size, manufactured blocks make building a retaining wall a bit easier than natural materials, although the job still requires some heavy physical labor.
Though bats are often viewed in a negative light, they are actually very beneficial to have around, particularly if you live in a wooded area where mosquitoes and gnats are prevalent. A single bat can eat up to 1,000 mosquitoes in one night. To attract bats to live near you, build a bat house. Bats like dark, cave-like dwellings, so a bat house offers them a perfect place to reside.
Building a backyard rock waterfall adds value and beauty to a landscape or patio seating area. The soothing sounds of a rock waterfall provides a sense of calm and peace after a long day or enhances a wonderful evening or dinner party. Adding a small rock waterfall to a pond is another way to add an attractive feature to a landscaped area. Read on to learn more.
Build a pen to raise turkeys as a permanent or temporary structure. There are similarities between the turkey pen and a chicken coop, and you can use some of the same materials when you build. Make sure there is enough space and that the design helps keep away disease.
Old tires aren't just for swings anymore, as you see them popping up all over as planters, boarders and vegetable beds. Old tries are a great resource for a number of outdoor projects and can also be recycled for athletic fields and other unusual uses.
Sloping property often has drainage problems. Erosion and landscape damage often occur but can be corrected by adding a dry creek bed for excess water to escape. A dry creek bed is attractive and adds the ambiance of a rushing stream, even without water. Here is how to build a dry creek bed for landscape drainage.
If you have a sufficiently high static water level where you live, you can install a shallow well. Shallow wells consist of a well point driven into the soil until it penetrates your water table, filling the galvanized pipes you attach. The water is then drawn up and out on demand using a cistern-style hand pump. Shallow wells can only draw from a depth of 20 feet or less.
Your electric fence is essentially the simplest kind of circuit. But though a lot of repairing a fence may be intuitive or easy in theory, a long and winding fence perimeter, or tree lines or other issues, can make fence repair more difficult. The best maintenance is done on a regular basis, rather than only when there is a problem.
Hypertufa planters are a lightweight and durable alternative to planters made out of concrete or terra cotta. They have a natural look to enhance landscaped areas and are porous enough that moss and lichens can form quickly on them. They are inexpensive and easy to make, and can be formed into just about any shape and size.
A garden watering system can be as elaborate or as simple as desired. Getting the proper amount of water at the right times to the crops or plants is essential to a healthy, prosperous garden. Some of the options can include manual or automatic systems. Use the following tips to install a garden watering system.
Mulch is a vital component of home gardens. It retains moisture and conditions the soil. Making bark mulch can be economically feasible if you have access to large amounts of bark and branches. Process the mulch a second time to obtain mulch that is easier to spread around plants and trees.
A well-designed driveway adds a character and charm that can make your home distinctive. Let your creativity flow when you sit down to chart your design.
One of the misconceptions about outdoor, or treated, wood is that it withstands water. Outdoor wood products are injected with chemicals that prevent critters from eating the wood, but it is not protected from water and the elements. Adding the protection is easy.
Inexpensive mailboxes lack curb appeal and stick out like a sore thumb. To make it more attractive, consider painting a floral design onto the mailbox. A floral design can blend in beautifully with the natural surroundings, while providing a safe place to hold your mail each day. With some minor painting skills, you can paint a floral mail box in less than a day.
Everyone loves hummingbird. Magical little creatures, whose wings beat fast enough to blur. But they can be hard to attract, and even harder to keep. You can build a hummingbird haven on your home. It's easy.
Fabrics to control erosion come in several types including coconut fiber and jute backing. Coir is an erosion control fabric made of coconut fiber and may be mixed with straw. This type of erosion control works well where water runoff tends to be heavy. Jute matting is a versatile erosion control fabrics and conforms to most surfaces. Here are some tips to help you install erosion control fabric.
Water features in the yard have become a popular and tranquil addition to the landscape; and every pond should have its residents, particularly koi goldfish. These beautiful creatures can live for many years if cared for correctly. Raising koi goldfish can be educational and rewarding. To raise goldfish in a pond, follow these steps.
Pergolas are open air garden structures designed to support climbing vines and to provide architectural interest to a garden. When you build your own pergola, it is only as strong as the posts you set. Set your posts to withstand wind and other weather conditions specific to your area. Build a strong pergola to enjoy its beauty for years to come. Read on to learn more.
An outdoor shower can provide convenience as well as relaxation. When you decide to buy an outdoor shower, you can choose from several types of showers and design options on the market.
If you're looking to dress up your lawn or garden, you can do so with a wishing well. Wishing wells are attractive decorations that add personality to your yard. You can build your own wishing well to make it the style and size you wish. If you're feeling ambitious and have that perfect spot on the lawn picked out, then follow these steps to build a wishing well.
Many children enjoy spending time lazily swinging the day away on a homemade rope swing. Making one for your kids is easier than you might think. You can use a natural tree branch or a post as the support. If you are using a branch, skip right to the second section.