Monday, June 13, 2016

Make Sure to See for more Home Improvement Help

For additional home improvement tips visit this DIY home remodeling and home additions website. It has over 2100 pages of helpful home improvement tips on building home additions and custom homes. It also provides help on how to estimate home addition costs and what you can expect to save by taking on some of the construction work yourself.

In addition, to home building advice, also offers a plethora of information on DIY home improvement and home maintenance projects, and includes both written and video "how-to" instructions. You'll find over 240 how-to videos that home improvement expert Mark Donovan has filmed over the years.

You can also purchase from the website home building and planning guides and how-to eBooks on everything from installing windows to building mortar shower pans for a custom tile shower.

So if you need home improvement help make sure to visit this excellent home building and DIY home improvement website.

Monday, June 08, 2015

Install a Paver Walkway to your Home's Entrance

Basic Instructions for Installing a Paver Walkway

Dress up the outside of your home with a paver walkway. Late spring / early summer is the perfect time of the year to install a paver walkway. Installing a paver walkway is a very affordable home improvement project and can really perk up your home's curb appeal. It is also relatively an easy DIY project, albeit it takes some physical strength.

To install a paver walkway makes sure to remove all of the topsoil where the paver walkway will be located. Preferably remove about 6 inches of soil below the topsoil.

After removing the topsoil replace it with 3/4 inch angled crushed stone and compact it down. However, leave about 2 inches for packing a layer of sand on top of it. After adding the sand and compacting it you can then install the concrete pavers.

The best way to install the pavers to ensure they are level is to use two long PVC pipes that you bury into the sand on either side of the walkway. Then use a 2x4 or other straight edge and run it along the lengths of the PVC pipes. Make sure you check to make sure the 2x4 is level when it rests on the PVC pipes. Once you confirm it is level, then slide the 2x4 along the length of the PVC pipes. This will ensure a very flat and smooth surface for placing the pavers.

Install all of the pavers that don't need cutting first. Then install the remaining cut pieces afterwards.

Once you've installed all the pavers then pour on top of it a polymeric jointing sand to lock the pavers into place.

Friday, December 26, 2014

Learn How to Install a Paver Walkway in This Video

I finally got around to editing and posting the video of my stone paver walkway project. I completed the project this past August and only found time today to finally document the work.

Hopefully this video will prove to you that you can install your own stone paver walkway, rather than hiring a contractor. I was able to install this walkway, which measures 3.5 feet in width and 25 feet in length for about $500. If you hire a contractor to install a similar size walkway expect to pay around $2K or more.

I dug down about 9 inches and installed 6 inches of 3/4 inch crushed stone and 3 inches of stone dust. I compacted the crushed stone and stone dust as I went along. Once the soil bed was prepped with material I screeded it and then placed the stone pavers. Lastly I brushed in polymeric jointing sand in-between the paver joints.

Friday, July 04, 2014

My New Canoe and Kayak Rack

Now I Can Keep My Canoe and Kayak off the Deck and Ground

 By Mark Donovan

This weekend I built a canoe and kayak rack for my lake house property. Prior to the rack I just left the kayak sitting on the deck and the canoe lying on the ground. Consequently the kayak took up precious room on the deck and the canoe was always dirty. Now they are neatly stacked and ready for use.

It cost me about $60 in material and about two hours of work. All I used was an eight foot length of 4”x6” pressure treated lumber for the side posts, a couple of 10 foot lengths of 2”x6”s, and two 10 foot long 1”x4”s, again all pressure treated. I used galvanized carriage bolts, along with nuts and washers, and a few deck screws to assemble it. The 2”x6” boards were used to form the legs and arms. The 1”x4”s were used for cross bracing to connect the two end posts together.

To ensure a rugged design I made lap joints on the 4”x6” end posts that the 2”x6” legs and arms mounted flush into.

I will be writing up a full description of the construction of my canoe and kayak rack, along with a short video, and will be posting them on So make sure to check it out. The article and video should be live on within the next week.

Monday, May 19, 2014

How to Plant Grass Seed

Key Steps for Planting Grass Seed and Ensuring a Lush Green Lawn

By Mark Donovan

The best times of the year to plant grass seed are in the spring or fall when the temperatures are mild and the likelihood of rain is higher. If you plant grass seed in the fall, however, make sure you don’t do it so late to late in the season that you run into early winter conditions. Grass seed germinates best under warm soil and mild temperatures.

Always use a quality grass seed that is appropriate for your climate area and lawn area. If, for example, the area to be grass seeded is shady part of the day then make sure to use a quality sun and shade grass seed. The National Turf Evaluation Program is a good resource for find information on quality grass seed and what grass seed is appropriate for your area.
Make sure to prepare the soil before planting grass seed. Ideally the soil should be tilled to at least a two inch depth to enable the easy penetration of grass roots and water. Also, add loam and starter fertilizer if the soil is lacking in nutrients. Moreover, make sure the soil is level and free of sticks and rocks. Grass seed will not grow well in areas where the soil has depressions or hills.

If you are re-seeding an existing lawn, first cut down the lawn with a mower to as close to the surface of the soil as possible. Then rake up the surface of the soil and grass to enable the new grass seed to be able to work into the soil and existing grass roots. Also remove any sticks or rocks on the soil surface.

With the soil prepared now you can plant the grass seed. Preferably use a lawn spreader if you have a large area. If a small area you can get away with spreading the grass seed by hand. For best results, apply liberal amounts of grass seed on the soil. Ideally there should be 16 grass seeds per square inch.

Once you spread the grass seed gently rake it into the soil, and then water it in. Plan to water the grass seed twice a day until it germinates.