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Also called solarium, patio room or greenhouse, a sun room is an excellent addition to the home that increases the value of the house, and provides a space to relax and enjoy the beauty of the nature. There are several ways to build a sunroom. One is to buy a sunroom kit and install it as per the instructions. The second is to purchase a pre-made conservatory from a manufacturer, and the third is to design and build the structure from a scratch. Here is a stepwise guide to build do-it-yourself sunroom.

While designing the sunroom, do take a look at the pictures of solariums in magazines, catalogs, brochures and leaflets. Internet is also a good place to search. Explore and examine as many designs as possible. Take up the attractive features of different designs and put in your ideas as well. Keep the purpose of the room in mind while designing it. It should be noted that greenhouse with a tilted front is the easiest DIY design.

Sunroom How to Build a Sun Room

The primary purpose of the sunroom is to lock in as much solar energy as possible. For this reason, it should face the sun for the maximum amount of time. The doors and windows of the solarium should be towards the solar south. Take the help of a seasoned weatherman to find the solar south because it is different from compass south. Sunrooms that face the solar south generate passive heat during the cold winter months. Moreover, they allow the plants to grow all the year round.

The structure should be energy efficient. To ensure this, the right kind of building materials should be used. Thermal mass materials are considered to be the best because they efficiently conduct and store energy and release it whenever it is needed. Brick is a good thermal mass material. It can be used to build the floor. Likewise, water is also an excellent thermal mass material. A water pond full of water lilies and duckweeds will make the greenhouse look beautiful as well as dramatically reduce the electricity bills. Light colored wall and roof also make the sunroom more energy efficient.

Build a SunRoom How to Build a Sun Room

Pressure-treated wood is considered to be ideal building material for the sunroom. Aluminum can also be used. It is advisable to stain and paint wood before using it for building the conservatory.  Double glazed windows should be used because they are not only durable, but they also reduce glare and provide perfect insulation. To provide outstanding stability and resilience, the frame of the sunroom should be erected on a slab foundation.

An outdoor swing set is an excellent way to keep the children engaged in an activity that provides them wholesome entertainment.  Furthermore, it helps to enliven the otherwise bare backyard. The good thing about the set of swings is that it can easily be built and installed. All that is needed is the right kind of materials and tools. Here is a stepwise procedure to build a swing set with ease.

Tools that will be needed for the project are:

  • Electric drill
  • Electric hand saw
  • Carpenter’s angle
  • Wrench

Swing Set 1 How to Build a Swing Set

Materials that will be required for the swing set are as follows:

  • 2×4 and 2×6 pressure-treated wood
  • Swings
  • Chains
  • Triangular nail plates
  • Socket set
  • Eye bolts
  • Steel bolts and nuts
  • Steel washers
  • Lock washers
  • Steel clips
  • Cement
  • Concrete

As the elements of nature would act upon the swing set, therefore pressure treated wood is considered to be the best. At least 48-feet of 2×6 and 20-feet of 2×4 wood would be needed. Make sure that one of the pieces of the 2×6 wood is 12-feet in length. It will be used to make the top support of the swing. It is advisable to purchase 5 to 10 percent of wood in excess. This will serve as a backup for mistakes.

Cut 2×6 plank into 4 pieces, each measuring 8-feet. These will form the legs of the swing. For the beam, 12-feet plank would be used. Use carpenter’s angle to mark the position of the leg pieces. Normally, 45 degree angle is considered to be appropriate. Cut the leg support depending upon the angle.

To attach the legs to the beam, first drill holes on the leg support as well as the beam. Insert the long bolt into the leg and then in the beam. Thereafter, place the lock washer followed by the steel washers and nuts. In the end, affix the triangular nail plate.

Swing Set How to Build a Swing Set

Select a location for installation of the swing set in the backyard. Mark the position of the four legs. With the help of a digger, dig out mud to make a hole that is approximately 36-inches deep. Set the swing stand in the holes and pour concrete and cement mixture in the hole.

Fix 4 eye bolts into the beam, and with the aid of heavy-duty steel clips attach the chains. Finally, fasten the swings to the chains. With this the swing set is ready for use.

The waterfall not only stimulates, rejuvenates and enlivens the milieu, but also generates a relaxing effect that annihilates all kinds of stress, tension, anxiety and angst. It can be easily and inexpensively built in any region of the house like garden, patio, terrace and the like. Here is a stepwise procedure to build a waterfall in the garden.

  • Normally, rocks and concrete are used for building a waterfall. Re-constituted rocks and preformed units made of cement, plastic or fiberglass can also be used. The preformed units are light-weight and easy on the pocket. Moreover, they are available in a wide variety of shapes and sizes.

Waterfall1 How to Build a Waterfall

  • An appropriate location has to be selected for the pond and waterfall in the garden. If the pond is already there, then all that is left to be done is to build a waterfall. Assuming that the pond exists, start building a mound of soil for the waterfall. Ensure that the mound gradually slopes down towards the frame of the pond.
  • In the mound the pre-formed units have to be fixed and for them level-pockets have to be created. Make sure that the units are properly aligned and their lips overlap with one another. To test whether the units are correctly placed or not, release water from the hose. The water should flow centrally and there should be no seepage in the region where the lips of the units overlap. If there is any irregularity, re-adjust the tilt and evenness of the mound. Build temporary stakes on the outer edges of the units to maintain their alignment.
  • Once the units have been properly installed in the mound, number them and thereafter remove them. Place the water hose over the mound and attach it to the submersible pump that is present in the pond.
  • With the passage of time, the soil will settle down. For this reason, it is essential to keep the preformed units approximately 1-inch higher than one another. Sand can be used to provide additional cushioning. If the number of units is more than 3, then plastic liner should be used. The liner should be laid in such a manner that there is at least 2-3 feet overlap. At this point of time, the water hose should be placed along the sides of the pockets of the preformed units.

Waterfall How to Build a Waterfall

  • Place small amount of cement mixture in each pocket and replace the units. Recheck the tilt and levelness of the units with the pump and water hose. Allow the cement to dry.
  • Lastly, remove all the temporary stakes and soil packs, cut the excess plastic liner, and cover up the barren edges with gravel, boulders, rocks and plants. The waterfall is ready to perk up the beauty of the garden.

It is believed that wine gets better with time. For this reason, a wine rack is an essential commodity for a wine connoisseur. It provides him a safe place to stack all his bottles of wine and leave them as such to age. Building a wine rack is a simple project that takes no more than 3-hours provided the requisite materials and tools are available. Here is a stepwise procedure to build a wooden wine rack.

The first thing that should be done is to select a design. The design should not only be simple and elegant, but it should also be compact, modular and expandable. Any kind of wood can be chosen for the project like cedar, pine or cherry.

Wine Rack How to Build a Wine Rack

In the next step, cut several wood pieces of two dimensions viz. 6-inches wide and 12-inches long, and 3-inches wide and 24-inches long. The broader ones would serve as the end panels, while the narrower ones would form the cross rails that would hold the wine bottles in place. Once all the end panels and cross rails have been cut, its time to create the notches. Four notches should be craved in both the kinds of pieces. Each notch should be exactly one-inch from the end.

Now, both the kinds of wood pieces have to be assembled.  First, two cross rails should be kept parallel to one another. Over the notches of the cross rails, the notches of the end pieces should be fixed. This process should be continued until all the pieces have been put together. The bottom most cross rails shouldn’t have notches on their outer surface. The notches on the outer side of the upper most cross rail make the rack expandable.

To make sure that the bottle don’t fall off the wine rack, grooves have to be carved on the narrower pieces of wood. On one side, the furrow should be smaller to accommodate the neck of the wine bottle, and the other groove should be slightly wider to be able to lodge in the base of the bottle.

Wine Rack 1 How to Build a Wine Rack

The last step is to give the wine rack finishing touches. After properly sanding the rack, it should be stained. If cherry wood is used, then oil should be liberally applied. Wipe off the excess oil with the help of a dry and clean cloth. The application of oil will bring the natural beauty of the wood to the fore. The rack is now ready to hold the wine as well as champagne bottles.

A wood deck perks up the beauty of the backyard and provides a space that can be used for various purposes like sunbathing, dining, get-togethers, parties, and so forth. Building a wooden deck is basically a home improvement project that can be completed within a few days. Here is a stepwise procedure to build a wood deck.

The first thing that needs to be done is to take the measurement of the area where the deck has to be installed. Thereafter, start looking for the deck designs; there are innumerable places where good designs can be found as home improvement magazines, websites, brochures, leaflets, and so on. It is advisable to select an easy to make design.

Wood Deck How to Build a Wood Deck

After the design has been selected and the deck-building plan has been devised, clean up the area where the deck will be put together. Remove the grass and level the land. Cover the cleared area with landscaping cloth to prevent the weeds and grass from growing back.

The next step is to build the outer frame. 2 x 10 or 2 x 8 lumber should be used for this purpose. All the sides should be 12-foot long Once the outer frame has been made, plant the footers on the ground. First fix the posts that will be on the four corners of the frame. Use cement and dirt to ensure that the footers remain firmly fixed at their position. Pre-built posts are considered to be the best for the deck. If pre-made footers are not available, then 4 x 4 posts should be used. After the corner footers have been set, install the other posts. The distance between the posts shouldn’t be greater than 4-feet. The closer the footers are, the stronger will be the deck.

Now that the posts have been affixed, start making the internal frame. The number of footers will decide the number of boards that will be needed to make the internal frame. First attach the boards to the posts in the north-south direction. Use 4-inch screws for this purpose at the rate of 3 screws per board. To make the task easy, drill holes on the board and post before tightening the screws.

Wood Deck  How to Build a Wood Deck

In all the north-south boards, carve out a notch that is 2-inches wide and 4-inches deep. In the east-west boards, create a notch that can easily slide into the notch of the north-south boards. Again use 4-inches screws to attach both the boards. With this the internal frame is ready.

The next step is to lay down the floor. For 12 foot long floor, 14 or 16 foot long boards should be used. Make sure that the overhang is only on one side of the deck. After the entire floor has been laid down, precisely cut out the overhang. Finally, install readymade steps and railing to finish off the wood deck.

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