(4) 2 inch x 2 inch x 32 inch pressure-treated boards
(4) 1-inch x 4-inch x 26 1/4 in. pressure-treated boards
(4) 1 in. x 4 in. x 34 1/2 in. pressure-treated boards
(1) 1 in. x 4 in. x 24 1/2 in. pressure-treated board
(2) 1 in. x 2 in. x 31 1/2 in. pressure-treated boards
(2) 2 in. x 2 in. x 21 3/4 in. pressure-treated boards
(5) 2 in. x 6 in. x 48 in. pressure-treated boards
(10) 1 in. x 4 in. x 24 1/2 in. pressure-treated boards
(7) 1 in. x 4 in. x 21 in. pressure-treated boards
(2) 1 in. x 4 in. x 24 1/2 in. pressure-treated boards
(9) 1 in. x 4 in. x 24 in. pressure-treated boards
(2) 1 in. x 4 in. x 53 1/2 in. pressure-treated boards
How to Build a Pizza Oven Station
1. Take two of the 2-inch x 2-inch leg boards and one of the 1-inch x 4-inch x 34 1/2-inch frame boards. Place the 2-inch x 2-inch boards on both ends of the 1-inch x 4-inch board, making sure to align the edges and corners.
Then, take the other 1-inch x 4-inch board and repeat the step above for the other end of the 2-inch x 2-inch leg boards, but instead align it about five inches from the end of the leg board.
2. Screw a 1-inch x 2-inch cleat horizontally along this second 1-inch x 4-inch board, making sure it’s aligned between the 2-inch x 2-inch leg boards.
3. Repeat steps 1 and 2 for the second pair of legs.
4. Stand up both sets of legs, making sure the ends with the 1-inch x 4-inch boards are flush with the ground, and that the sides with the cleats are pointed inwards. Take the 1-inch x 4-inch x 26 1/4-inch frame boards and use them to connect the two sets of legs, screwing them into the corners of all four frame boards.
5. Flip the build over.
6. Next, take two of the 1-inch x 4-inch shelf boards and cut out a 2-inch x 2-inch square on the corner of each end of both boards. These squares should be on the same side of the boards.
7. Take your newly cut boards and nest them in between the top frame boards, making sure the square you just cut out is flush with the leg boards, and screwing them into the 1-inch x 2-inch cleats.
8. Then, take the remainder of the shelf boards and screw them in between the two you just placed.
9. Screw the 1-inch x 4-inch x 24 1/2-inch frame board, aligned horizontally, into the middle of the top 1-inch x 4-inch x 34 1/2-inch boards.
10. Screw 1-inch x 2-inch cleat boards on the front and back of the very top of the build.
11. Take all five of the top boards and screw them into place, using the cleats you just installed.
12. Take the 1-inch x 4-inch x 53 1/2-inch backboards and screw one to line up vertically with the back left corner of the build. Screw the next board in, spaced out about five or six inches to the right of the first.
13. Take the other 1-inch x 4-inch x 21-inch riser boards and screw them horizontally in front of the vertical boards you just installed, aligning them so the right vertical support is one inch off the end of the 1-inch x 4-inch x 24-inch boards.
14. Finally, put together the oven platform by placing the 1-inch x 4-inch x 24 1/2-inch boards on their sides (long ways) and screwing the 1-inch x 4-inch x 21-inch boards to adjoin them, making sure all the corners are flush.
Watch the video to see how it’s built!
Of course, no build is complete without the paint or stain to match your backyard aesthetic, and the necessary sealer to help it withstand everything Mother Nature will throw at it.
Once your DIY outdoor pizza oven stand is assembled, all that’s left to do is invite your friends and family over, buy the ingredients and bake away!
Looking to breathe new life into your outdoor spaces? Look no further than simple, cost-effective DIY projects. Exmark’s Done-In-A-Weekend project series will help you enjoy a better backyard life!
That said, there have been plenty of tasks that have come as a surprise since becoming a homeowner — things I used to leave to a landlord or, more often, leave totally unattended because I didn’t realize they even needed to be done.
But when I was working on redoing our bathroom last fall, I hit a snag that came with a pricey lesson. I had hoped to replace our standard-issue low-neck faucet with something more modern and stylish, which the internet assured me I could totally do. I assembled my tools, I pulled up my YouTube videos, and I slid myself underneath the vanity to get to work.
Unfortunately, I didn’t get far. I knew that step one to any project involving plumbing was to turn off the water locally. That meant reaching under the sink to turn two shutoff valves — one for hot, one for cold — so that they were completely blocked and no water would make its way from the main water line to the sink. I turned on the water at the sink so I had real-time feedback on my progress. I turned the handle that controlled the left valve, which turned off without issue. Then, I turned the handle for the right valve until I couldn’t any more. I looked up to the sink, and the water was still running. Huh.
Over two hours, I fussed and futzed over the two handles, using my hands, my hands plus grippy rubber bands, my hands plus pliers, and my hands plus WD-40 to try to get the valve to close. And while I was able to turn the actual handle, the valve housed inside of it would. not. close. Nothing worked. Finally, I gave up and called a plumber.
Backup was thankfully fast to arrive, and even faster to fix the issue. It turns out the shutoff valves in my 65-year-old house had become sticky over time, a common issue among older homes. My bill came to around $200 to have the plumber replace the old valves with new ones that would effectively open and close when you turned them, allowing me to (hours later) finish my full remodel.
While he was working, my plumber told me a secret: This pricey visit could have been avoided by giving the shutoff valves under the vanity a little workout by fully closing and opening them a couple times about once a month — a chore that takes literal seconds. Giving those valves a bit of a stretch helps prevent mineral buildup that can lead to them sticking in the future.
Functional shutoff valves aren’t just important for doing DIY home upgrades like I was. In the event of an emergency — an overflowing toilet, a clogged sink — the shutoff valves help you to cut off the water supply to the affected fixture. If you’ve ever tried to staunch an overflowing toilet, you know how important that can be.
Since my plumber’s visit, I’ve been periodically giving all the valves in my house a little twist. It’s not always once a month; usually it’s just when I remember to do it, but that’s better than nothing. When you think of it, try to give yours a stretch, too. It could save you from paying hundreds of dollars for a plumber visit — or even thousands for repairing avoidable water damage.
Megan is a writer and editor who specializes in home upgrades, DIY projects, hacks, and design. Before Apartment Therapy, she was an editor at HGTV Magazine and This Old House Magazine. Megan has a degree in Magazine Journalism from Northwestern University’s Medill School of Journalism. She is a self-taught weighted blanket connoisseur.
Welcome to the first episode of Today’s Homeowner’s new podcast, “Ask Danny.”
Each week, I chat with an industry friend to tackle your home improvement questions. We’ll share pro tips and practical advice to help you succeed! Plus, there’s always a unique or funny story along the way.
Today we are talking about lawn care and sodding, with Sid Sexton. Sid is the founder of Sexton Lawn & Landscape in Daphne, Ala., and is licensed in turf and ornament spraying, landscape design, and setting of landscape plants.
About Sid Sexton
As the founder of Sexton Lawn & Landscape, Sid is a down-to-earth, honest businessman with a love for lawn care, landscape design, and delivering the best products to his clients.
Starting at age 16, Sid spent his summers working for a local landscape company and the local country club and golf course in his hometown of Muskogee, Okla.
After earning his bachelor’s degree in business administration with a minor in horticulture, Sid joined the U.S. Coast Guard and was stationed in Hawaii, where he met his future wife, Jourdan.
He was honorably discharged after two years and began working as an account manager for a landscape company. In January 2004, he founded Sexton Lawn & Landscape.
Sid is licensed in turf and ornament spraying, landscape design, and setting of landscape plants. He is also a Certified Landscape Professional and continues his education through workshops, online courses and other events several times throughout the year.
Keep reading for his advice on common lawn problems.
“We laid sod in our yard a few years ago and it’s held up well until recently. We’re starting to notice a lot more weeds than normal. What should we do?”
Sid: The best weed control is a healthy lawn. Grass needs three major things to thrive — sunlight, water and nutrients, and in that order.
See if the sod is getting enough sunlight. Trim any branches that could be casting too much shadow onto the grass.
Also, think about the type of grass. Some types of grass thrive in one location and fail in another. The type of sod could not be shade-tolerant. There’s no real shade-loving turf, but there are some that tolerate a certain amount of shade.
Next, consider irrigation. Are you watering too much or too little? The right balance depends on the type of turf you have.
The last step should be fertilization and weed control. If weeds are the issue and you feel like you have enough sun, water and nutrients, contact a professional for a weed control program.
“Should everybody aerate a lawn, or is that in a situation when you suspect the ground has gotten more compacted?”
Sid: The answer depends on how much traffic you have on your lawn.
Do you have some mature trees and are those roots are getting larger and larger and taking up more space below the grass. Do you have dogs or kids? Is there a soccer match in the backyard every weekend? This will cause compaction.
If this is the case, you should core aerate. If it’s a sports turf, you should core aerate twice a year.
For typical homeowners, once a year, if that, is sufficient.
And before you aerate, mark the locations of your sprinkler heads.
Prepping for Sod
“What should you do before sodding your lawn?”
Sid: Before laying sod, take five or six soil samples from the front and backyard.
Label them so you’ll know what area of your yard needs soil amendment. Consult with your local extension office to see what remedies you should do.
After your soil is amended and you’re ready to lay the sod, start prepping. There’s no need to eliminate all vegetation, but you do need to get rid of the weeds.
Before laying the sod, break up the soil with a till. This will create a soft transition layer of soil that will make it easier for the grass roots to take hold.
Then, add some organic matter to create a living soil for your sod to thrive, like Black Cow. (This is an affiliate link. If you purchase this product, we will earn a small commission at no additional cost to you.)
Sid Sexton’s Mowing Tips
Sharpen your lawn mower blade at least once per season. A sharp blade will make a nice clean cut and won’t tear the grass blades.
Change up mowing patterns. Don’t mow in the same direction every time every year. It helps the grass to grow a different way and lessens the likelihood of ruts in your yard.
Make sure you know the mowing height for your turf type. Different grasses grow best when at certain heights. For example, the recommended height for St. Augustine grass is 3-4 inches, whereas Bermuda grass needs to be cut at an inch and a half.
Sid’s Encounter with the Elusive Ground Pearl
During the course of his horticulture studies in college, Sid learned about an insect called a ground pearl. Ground pearls live in the soil, feed on turf roots and look like a pearl, as their name suggests.
Over the years, he’s heard about ground pearls in seminars and read about them in textbooks, but he had never seen one in real life.
“I thought it was the Loch Ness monster — something you said when you couldn’t figure out what was wrong with a lawn,” Sid says.
This changed, though, when he bought a house in 2012. For nine months, he struggled to find the cause of why the grass’ health was declining. The answer became clear when he was digging to plant a tree and pulled out a big wad of soil.
There were white and pink dots everywhere! Lo and behold, it was the elusive ground pearl.
Now, he sees them everywhere!
New episodes of “Ask Danny” drop Fridays — subscribe here.
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Pool noodles are popular foam flotation devices for swimmers of all ages, and they come in handy outside the water, too.
For instance, woodworkers can protect saw horses with one, families with small garages can make car door bumpers to prevent accidents, and you can even turn one into a kitchen faucet extension to fill buckets of water.
No matter how you use pool noodles, be careful because snakes sometimes find shelter from heat in their holes. The dark, cool environment inside these foam tubes is ideal for small reptiles and other creepy crawlies as temperatures rise.
A Salado, Texas, resident learned that after finding an adult rattlesnake and several baby snakes inside a pool noodle, according to USA Today.
Following that incident, the Salado Volunteer Fire Department immediately issued a statement to the public, advising people to store pool noodles in elevated, sealed locations to prevent rattlesnakes, water moccasins and other venomous snakes from using them as habitat.
However you use a pool noodle, here are some tips to keep you safe.
Pool Noodle Sawhorse Protection
If you use pool noodles to protect sawhorses, make sure there is a firm seal between the foam and wood so snakes can’t slither in.
Inspect the noodles and confirm that nothing will crawl out while you’re working. If the noodle isn’t secure, tighten it down with electrical tape or duct tape, filling any gaps.
If possible, store your protected sawhorses in a garage, shed, or indoors to limit exposure to the elements and unwanted inhabitants.
Pool Noodle Hose Extension
If you’ve used a pool noodle as a hose to fill buckets from your kitchen sink, be sure the inside of the noodle is dry before you store it. Moisture inside the noodle creates cooler temperatures, making it an ideal space for snakes.
Pool Noodle Car Door Bumper
Using pool noodles as car door bumpers in your garage can be an effective, inexpensive way to protect your car’s paint, but it could also provide a perfect home for snakes.
Close off the noodle’s ends so nothing can find its way inside, and avoid leaving your garage door open for long periods to limit access for snakes and other animals.
Your garage’s cool pavement is also an ideal spot for snakes to cool off and hide from the sun.
If you see a snake, stay calm and call your local animal control office; some police or fire departments also respond to snake sightings. Don’t gesture toward the snake and, remember, the snake likely won’t bite you if you leave it alone.
What to Do If a Snake Bites You
If the snake does bite you, stay calm and call 9-1-1. Try to remember everything you can about the snake’s features such as color, patterns, head shape and size, and tell the operator.
If possible, have someone take a picture of the snake from a safe distance. This will help medical staff treat you when you arrive at the hospital.
Remember, you aren’t a cowboy, and this isn’t the Wild West. Never cut into a snake bite or suck out venom with your mouth, as infection and dental problems could worsen your condition.
Advances in modern medicine have improved treatment for snake venom, so bites increasingly are less deadly, but you should always see a doctor right away.
Here’s a summertime tip: Always make popsicles. And these popsicle recipes make it easy.
Summer is here, which means the Fourth of July is on the way and you probably have a barbeque to host. Whether you’re holding a kid-friendly summer party or an adults-only celebration, popsicles will make everyone happy, including you! That’s because they’re ridiculously easy to make, you can prep them far in advance, and nothing tastes better on a hot day than a refreshing popsicle.
We have two tasty recipes for you to prep this summer. The first popsicles are champagne-infused (adults only!), mimicking the colors in a bomb pop. The second are kid-friendly (but equally delicious) lemon-flavored fruity popsicles.
Recipe 1: Adults-Only Champagne “Bomb Pops”
*Use a champagne with an ABV below 12%.
Mash each fruit separately in a bowl, using a blender, food processor, or with a fork. Add a dash of simple syrup, and mix in some champagne. The ratio of champagne to fruit should be one to four. Too much champagne and the popsicles won’t freeze!
Layer the fruit mixes in a popsicle mold, and let freeze for at least 6 hours, or over-night. Enjoy!
Recipe 2: Kid-Friendly 4th of July Popsicles
Lemon-flavored Italian soda*
*To cut back on sugar, you can substitute the Italian soda with lemonade
Cut the strawberries into slices. Set strawberries slices in the popsicle molds, then add a few blueberries until the molds are 75% full. Fill to the top with lemon-flavored Italian soda (you’ll probably need to pour a little bit first then wait for the fizzing to settle before filling to the top). Freeze for 6 hours or overnight.
This Fourth of July, I’m glad I have a freezer stocked with popsicles ready for when the sun comes out. What’s your favorite way to stay cool in the heat?
This week, we’re transforming a dull dining room into a diva den.
Homeowner Robin Stafford hasn’t used this room for dining since she moved into her home, so we’re going to turn it into a unique space for her to relax and unwind with her daughter.
Paint Accent Wall
To create a focal point for the room, we paint a vertical striped accent wall. The vertical stripes draw your eyes up the wall and call attention to the tall ceiling.
First, we remove the chair rail so the room looks as big as it feels.
Next, we patch the nail holes with drywall mud.
After all the holes are filled, we put a fresh coat of paint on the wall.
Next, we measure out the width of our stripes and mark the lines with a pencil. Then, we use a level to create straight vertical lines for the tape to go over. we tape our vertical stripes on the wall.
For the stripe colors, we’re going with tan and white. To make painting easier, we mark the slats for the tan stripes with an “x.”
We use painter’s tape to mark off the stripes on the wall. After the tape is in place, we use the wall color to seal off the tape so none of our stripe color gets underneath.
We then apply two coats of our stripe color and remove the painter’s tape.
Convert Dresser to Bar
Robin has a dresser she inherited from her mother that we’re able to reuse and reconfigure for a bar.
We remove the bottom two drawers to create a large bottom shelf for bottles. Then, we take out the large top middle drawer and convert that space into a wine rack.
We keep the top side drawers for storage space.
We remove the bottom rails that dived of the old bottom drawers with an oscillating saw.
Next, we reuse the wood on what used to be the back of this dresser as the finished inside of our bottom cabinet.
To keep it in place without using a bunch of nails, we use Titebond Original Wood Glue.
After we reconfigure the dresser into a bar, we prime and paint it a new fun color.
Install Ceiling Drape and LED Lights
To give this diva den a relaxing lounge feel, we’re draping some sheer chiffon curtains at the top of this tall ceiling for a cabana feel.
To get this effect, we used three curtains and nailed the panels to the ceiling.
For some fun lighting, we installed LED light tape along the ceiling. These lights change color with the click of a button.
Robin’s formal dining room had great natural light, tall ceilings and plenty of space, but it had no real purpose. So, it became a catch-all for furniture that had no other home. Because it was right next to the front door, it was the very first thing her guests saw.
But now, the room has a purpose and personality.
The bold stripes on the accent walls draw you in and accentuate the height of the ceiling, which makes a statement of its own with the soft LED lights filtering through the sheer drapes. This ceiling makes it clear this room is designed for relaxation.
Of course, the custom day bed fits in perfectly with that scheme. It’s simple, comfortable, and complements the striped wall behind it. The dresser-turned-bar adds a pop of color to the room and pays homage to Robin’s mother while it serves a very practical purpose.
Other Tips From This Episode
Products Featured in This Episode
Materials for Day Bed
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