Today’s Homeowner Radio Show | April 2, 2022


In this week’s radio show, we’re getting out of the house and into the yard! Listen to hear some exterior home solutions.


Danny’s Soil Formula for Raised Garden Beds

Raised planting beds give you greater control over the soil’s quality.

Janice Dominquez, of Warren, Mich., just built some raised garden beds for her yard.

She’s satisfied with the results, and can’t wait to start gardening, but first, she faces an unexpected challenge.

When she went to buy garden soil to fill the three beds, she was shocked to discover it would cost more than $200.

Now, Janice wonders if she could add sand or gravel first to reduce the amount of soil she needs. 

We would suggest using some leftover, deteriorated firewood to fill the bottom of the raised garden. You could pack it in and fill some of the voids, plus it will add drainage to your bed. 

Also, check local nurseries to see if you can get some topsoil to reduce the amount of garden soil you’ll need. 

Need a specific formula? The best practices of gardening vary by location, so check with a local Master Gardener for the best conditions to ensure your garden thrives.

In my garden, I use 60 percent topsoil, 30 percent compost and 10 percent potting soil. That combination has worked well for me. In two years, we’re already on our fourth garden!

If you follow that formula, it also may work well. 

Skip to [15:53] for the full segment on the Today’s Homeowner Radio Show.


Suggestions for Adding a Covered Porch: SOLVED!

Ranging rooflines and glass windows make it difficult to imagine a covered porch on this house — but not impossible. (Photo by Jimmy Moore)

Jimmy Moore, of Camden, S.C., has always wanted a covered porch on his house, just like the one he used to sit under with his grandmother as a child during a summer rain.

However, professionals have said that dream isn’t likely to come true.

Contractors have told him it’s just not possible with the style of his house. Several glass windows on the side and varying rooflines make it problematic to cover the space, they say. 

They have a point.

When you’re adding anything to your home, it’s important to make it look like it is part of the original house.

But Jimmy does have some options.

The roof’s slope on this portion of the house makes it the best candidate for adding a covered porch. (Photo by Jimmy Moore)

In this case, the grill area at the rear of the house is a great place to add a covered porch. He would be able to put a shed-type roof a good way up onto the existing roof. The covered porch roof would tie in nicely with the dormer area, and he would still get enough of a pitch to match the home’s shingles.

In the area under the porch, he would have to remove the existing overhang and let that wall extend up to meet the roof. That gives him a dramatic wall that may be 10 to 11 feet tall, and it ties into the sloped roof. He can then bring that roof out to the edge of his deck and have a nice-sized covered porch. 

The other areas of the home are a lot more difficult because of the glass. Jimmy wouldn’t want to add a flat roof, as it will take away from the overall appearance of the home.

While some areas of this home are, perhaps, untouchable, Jimmy still can enjoy a long-desired covered porch.

Skip to [27:10] for the full segment on the Today’s Homeowner Radio Show.


Railing Solution for a Pond Deck

Would the railing on this pond deck keep small children from falling into the water? Probably not — and that’s why one man wants to replace it. (Photo by Allen Platz)

Allen Platz just installed a beautiful deck and dock along the pond at his Pennsylvania home. It looks great and feels comfortable underfoot, but there’s just one problem.

Can you spot it?

That’s right — the railing system is a little bare, and it’s definitely not safe. In fact, Allen worries that his grandchildren could fall into the water.

This deck is missing style and function, and now he’s wondering about options for replacement.

If you need stylish, secure deck railing, we would suggest Feeney CableRail — that’s what I used on my dock!

The system is sold in do-it-yourself-friendly kits — Allen just needs some good drill bits to install the cables into his existing aluminum railing.

Want to make this installation even easier? Take a piece of lattice molding and make a jig so can mark where you’ll need to drill — this eliminates the need to measure. Just make sure everything is symmetrical!

Cable railing is probably Allen’s best option to salvage this potentially hazardous, existing frame.

Another, less expensive option is to use a polymer-coated or PVC-coated chain link to fill up that space. He can try a slatted chain link pattern. The vertical slats weave in and out of the chain-link fence and add a sense of privacy.

Skip to [45:15] for the full segment on the Today’s Homeowner Radio Show.

Also in this episode:

  • Best Way to Install Outdoor Flooring
  • Cleaning a Long Dryer Vent
  • What’s That Guzzling Sound When I Flush?
  • Tips for Cleaning Stained Brick
  • Daich’s Tracsafe Anti-Slip Color Coat
  • Getting Rid of a ‘60s Interior Brick Planter
  • Chelsea’s Review of Her Favorite Paint Sprayer

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    2 COMMENTS

    1. Sorry can’t add pictures but if you provide me an email address, I can forward picture of “as is” and one of “wish for”.
      Sorry for lousy computer skills on my end.

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