better outdoor living at home spring

Outdoor Fasteners and Connectors for Different Types of Wood

Joist hanger

A trip down the fastener aisle at the hardware store can be a bit overwhelming if you are unfamiliar with the many types of fasteners. If you have guessed that fasteners and connectors for exterior use may need to be different than those for interior use, you would be correct.   Exterior fasteners and connectors […]

Cleaning Mildew & Algae on Outdoor Walking Surfaces

This outdoor surface has both mildew and algae growth. This growth can discolor the surface over time and create a slippery surface. Notice the lighter square markings from an object that was removed from the area.

Mildew and algae can grow on both horizontal and vertical exterior surfaces. They can grow so slowly that you may not be aware of their presence until they become very visible by discoloring the surface, or when a walking surface becomes slippery, especially when the surface is wet.   Mildew is typically black or gray […]

Access Ramp Slope


Some homeowners may find the need to install an exterior access ramp at an entry door to the house for a family member who may have difficulty navigating steps. This could include an older parent who is living with you. The main purpose of a ramp is for the user to have access to areas […]

Lumber Yards


Have we forgotten about those reliable lumber yards where our grandfathers, dad, and uncles would head to on a Saturday morning to get lumber for the projects on their to-do lists? Whether the project was building a go-cart for the family, or a porch and steps off the kitchen, a visit to the lumber yard […]



Your deck should last many years if the proper materials and the correct construction methods were used to build it. Also, proper maintenance, like cleaning away algae from the boards and using a high quality deck weather sealer, can add years onto a decks life span. Your decking boards are the part of a deck […]

Outdoor Deck Inspection

All parts of deck including steps should regularly be inspected for safety

Just because you have a relatively new deck, and you are confident that it was built by a competent contractor, doesn’t mean that it does not need to be regularly inspected for safety. And older decks especially are prime candidates for more frequent safety inspections. Preserving and maintaining your deck involves more than simply cleaning […]

The Basics for Designing Outdoor Steps


Building correctly proportional steps is necessary for safety. Front porch steps, deck steps, or an outdoor stair way, all need to be designed for safe use. If you have a project coming up that will involve building a set of steps, there are important issues to understand. We rely on steps to be comfortable to […]

DIY Outdoor Planter Box – Cape Cod Style Planter


We designed this outdoor planter with traditional and classic detailing in mind. It would be a great addition for your porch, deck, or patio. Cape Cod Style Planter Box We call this planter box the “Cape Cod” because it reflects the architectural style of the north east sea coast. Our aim was to give it […]

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