Exterior Upgrades to Tackle While Sheltering in Place | Ep. 65

Sun shining on a newly installed wood deck
Renovating a deck is one way to enhance your outdoor living. There’s just one question: pressure-treated wood or composite decking?

Staying at home to prevent the novel coronavirus from spreading doesn’t have to mean staying indoors.

There’s plenty to do outside, whether it’s renovating a deck, creating a container garden or sealing slippery surfaces — just watch out for black snakes!

  • [2:13] Renovating a deck supported with pressure-treated wood
  • [4:55] Husky’s Rugged Storage Container Protects Your Gear
  • [6:05] Danny talks about moving into his new house
  • [7:56] Renters don’t have to miss out on the home improvement fun
  • [10:13] What you can do about slippery surfaces
  • [13:18] How to repair damaged drywall with fiberglass mesh tape
  • [14:48] Debunking myths about black racer and rat snakes
  • [23:01] DIY Project of the Week: How to Plant in Pots
  • [26:04] Question of the Week: What to Do When the Porch Swing is Crooked

  • Question of the Week

    Q: “I’m a project supervisor building houses in Beaufort, South Carolina. I hung a swing yesterday on the porch for someone and, even though I have the same measurements … the swing seems to be hanging crooked.

    “I played with the chains and cannot seem to get it to hang straight in line with the handrail or porch decking. It is like an inch-and-a-half difference from one end to the other from the handrail.

    “Do you have any ideas why this is happening?”

    A: If the swing is level across its length, it doesn’t matter if it doesn’t align with the deck railing, because the railing itself may be pitched.
    But you can tighten the eye-bolts up or down if you want to align it more with the deck railing.

    DIY Project of the Week:
    Container Gardening 101

    Do you lack a green thumb but desire a beautiful backyard with plants?

    Growing flowers in pots is a satisfying way to brighten up your porch or yard, and it’s an easy way to get started with gardening.

    Here’s everything you need to know:

    • Cover your drainage holes (if they are large enough that soil would wash out), then fill the pot about two-thirds full of potting mix.
    • Set the plants in the container and decide on your arrangement. You can do a round design (tallest plants in the center and shorter or trailing plants around the edges), or a front-facing design (tall plants in back and shorter ones in front).
    • Gently remove your plants from their store-bought pots. If the plant is stuck, squeeze the pot a little to help push it out — never yank on the stem.
    • Disturb the roots as little as possible, but if they are a hard-packed ball you can loosen them a little with your fingers.
    • Nestle the plants in the soil, keeping an eye on the depth to make sure they will be planted at the same level they were in their original pot.
    • Add soil between the plants, firming it gently with your fingers. Don’t press hard enough to break the plants.
    • Make sure everything is at the same level with no roots showing.
    • Move your container to its chosen spot, and water the plant thoroughly until water runs out the bottom.
    • Now, step back and admire your handiwork!

    Caring for Containers

    • Water your container every two to three days. In the heat of summer, you may need to water it every day.
    • If you want to feed your plants, use an all-purpose or bloom-boosting plant food every couple of weeks according to package instructions.
    • As you water, remove spent blooms to encourage more blooming — a practice called deadheading. Don’t just pull off the dead petals — actually pinch off the little stem beneath the flower.
    • If your plants are looking spindly, pinch off the tips of the stems to stimulate them to produce more branches.

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