better outdoor living at home spring

Adding a Decorative Skirt Panel to a Porch

Close up of the panel. When the cedar boards dry, about a 1/4" gap will be created between those boards adding to the details of the panel.

A wood porch can add such architectural character to a house, and present great opportunities for adding detailing to your home. Porches, being at a higher elevation than the surrounding grade, use masonry piers or wood posts to support the structural framing for the raised wood porch (ledger boards are used also, but they typically […]

10 Ways to Get the Classic Look of an Older Home

Roofing shingles that replicate the look of slate

Using the term ‘high definition’, is a great way to describe the classic look of the homes of the past, along with their outdoor spaces and yards. You could find a great deal of exterior architectural features and detailing around every corner. These classic features and intricate details gave these homes an abundance of visual […]

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 […]

Weight Rated Outdoor Hinges


Raise your hand if you have ever pushed open a gate that was scraping the ground. Doors and gates that have been properly installed with the correct hardware swing open, and close with ease. Why is using the right grade, and quantity, of hinges for doors and gates so important? Under the weight of a […]

Do You Know Your Period House Hardware? Test Your Knowledge!


One of the classic details you can add to a traditional home’s home improvement project is period hardware. Period hardware manufactured today replicates the designs that were used at a particular time in architectural history. It includes outdoor hardware like door knobs and thumb latches, gate and door strap hinges, latches, door knockers and bells, […]

Replacing Old Steps with a New Porch Stoop: Before & After

We wish the day this photo was taken han not been so grey, but you can see what a difference the new porch made!

This is a residential project we worked on a number of years ago. The house is a beautiful free classic Victorian and was about 90+ years old at the time. There had been some remodeling done to the house over the years by previous owners, both inside and outside. Most of which had not been […]

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 […]

Wood Posts


The beauty of any outdoor wood structure, whether it is a fence, mailbox, trellis, or arbor, decks, stairs, or railings can last for years if the right type of wood, hardware and finish are selected. However, one additional step in building any of these types of outdoor structures can not be overlooked. While all wood […]

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