Tree Planting 101

Spring is upon us in New Jersey (the Garden State), and signs of life are already beginning to stir outside. I’ve planted many trees over the years, and while everyone has their own techniques, I find there are a few basic rules & principles that always seem to apply… The Best Season for Tree Planting […]

Designing the Perfect Deck

My backyard deck is simple, but beautiful. And though it may seem deceiving, a huge amount of design consideration went into it. But how can I call it perfect, though? Well, as I see it, if you start out with some extremely careful thinking and develop a crisp/clear end-vision which you can morph into a […]

My Wireless Waterproof Doorbell Epiphany

What I needed was a waterproof doorbell. All along. Repairing the classic mechanical door chime worked for me – carefully troubleshooting with each of the components: the transformer, the door chime unit and the doorbell push button. But after the repair, it was only a year or so before I had a new problem: intermittent […]

Scratch Repair for Wood Chairs & Rails: 10-Minute Fix

My house has been called “lived-in.” And what that phrase seems to really mean is that we’re always breaking stuff. The kids, the dog, the ferret — but probably the biggest breaker-of-things? That would be me.  (And my wife will surely attest to this!) Certain pieces of furniture tend to take a beating far more […]

To Rehab a Redwood Swing Set

Updated — Originally Published August 26, 2012 Last year, I wrote about maintenance tips for redwood swing sets – and in that article I mentioned I would soon be rebuilding a good part of my set with fresh manufacturer’s redwood along with some new replacement swings and accessories. I wanted to take my 11-year-old set […]

Replacing a Central Air Conditioner Return Vent Cover

Both central air conditioning return vent covers were smashed. Oddly smashed. I could almost picture a toddler on a Fisher Price trike having a blast slamming into them repeatedly… because nothing else really seemed to fit the damage I was seeing. But no matter what really happened, we were preparing the home for rental in […]

Switching from Mulch to Ground Cover

I love the look of black mulch and I’ve used it for years to enhance all of my landscaping beds, but it’s frankly becoming a bit too much maintenance. And a bit too expensive. I’ve come to realize, I now have to try to find the perfect ground cover that can slowly take over certain […]

Salt Water Pool Chlorinator Questions & Answers

We installed our swimming pool a little over two years ago, and going through the research alone was a tremendous effort. There are so many items to consider regarding the design and construction, and then all the potential pool accessories as well; it’s frankly a little overwhelming. And if you’re going through the same research […]