Show Notes: Playing Koi
Don’t play “koi!” If you forgot something we talked about on the radio show, just read on!
This Saturday we discussed lawnmower tune-ups, board and batten, water gardens, and best budget toilets.
Read all about them below!
Getting Your Lawnmower Out of the Garage This Spring?
Here are 9 Tune-up Tips!
Good maintenance in the spring will ensure your mower runs strong, help you operate safely, and protect your investment in your outdoor power equipment. The Outdoor Power Equipment Institute offers nine tips to help you get your mower tuned up.
Work in a well-ventilated area. Work outdoors or in an area with good ventilation that is away from sparks and flame.
Remove the spark plug. If you did not remove the spark plug when you put away your mower in the fall, you should take it out now. Install a new one when you finish tuning up your mower.
Start the season with a clean air filter. Clean the air filter if your mower has the foam type, or replace the filter if you have a paper one.
Change the oil. Remove the oil drain plug and let the dirty oil run out into a container. When it has completely drained, replace the plug and refill the crankcase. Use the type and quantity of oil recommended in your owner’s manual.
Lubricate any other moving parts. Oil the wheel bearings and other moving parts, following the instructions in your owner’s manual. Wipe off excess oil.
Drain your gas tank. Most fuels today contain ethanol which can phase separate into alcohol and water and cause damage to your mower’s engine. If you did not empty your gas tank in the fall, drain it now. Follow safe handling procedures and dispose of old fuel properly.
Protect your power by adding the right fuel. Always use E10 or less fuel. It is illegal to use any fuel with more than 10 percent ethanol in any outdoor power equipment, including your lawn mower. For more information about safe fueling, go to www.LookBeforeYouPump.com.
Sharpen your mower’s blade. A dull mower blade can shred the tips of your grass. Always remove the blade from the mower for sharpening. If the blade has large nicks in the cutting edge from hitting debris, it should be replaced.
Clean your mower. Use a rag or brush to get grass clippings, leaves, and other debris off the deck and out of crevices. After you clean it, you may want to wax the deck. The wax will keep grass and dirt from sticking to it.
By following these tips before you start cutting your grass, you will protect your investment in your lawn mower and mow more effectively.
Board and Batten Siding is Popping Up Everywhere!
Here’s Why You’ll Love it
If you’re tired of brick, stucco, and vinyl siding, a board and batten exterior might be the perfect fix.
Board and batten is a siding or paneling style that pairs vertical planks of wood (the boards) with smaller strips of wood (the batten), which cover the joints between each plank to prevent leaking. This style probably originated with barns and other outhouses, where it was a practical, relatively easy exterior cladding solution for structures that didn’t need to be particularly elegant or ready to impress visitors.
Today, with developments in siding materials and an increasing focus on more casual, relaxed lifestyles.
The vertical element of board and batten gives homes added texture. It plays with shadow, which allows homes’ appearances to shift with the sun over the course of the day. And it’s comfortable and familiar, with a nostalgic bend—like that of the farmhouse kitchen—that reminds us of less complicated times. With the modern farmhouse and rustic-chic looks still going strong, it’s no surprise that board and batten is being used more and more, though this siding look isn’t limited to farmhouse or rustic homes. In fact, it’s surprisingly versatile.
Planning Your Water Garden
Digging out a pond hole is grunt work, not an intellectual endeavor. Still, it requires some planning. Before you grab your shovel, roughly map out the shape, desired plant shelves, and the pump location. Here are some more key considerations:
- Select a location where you can readily enjoy your pond, close to a patio or visible from a window. Don’t stick your pond in the back corner of your yard where only the squirrels will enjoy it.
- You can locate your pond in most any area of your yard as long as it doesn’t receive runoff from rainfall. You don’t want lawn and garden chemicals washing into your pond. As a rule, the more sun the better, but don’t discount a shadier spot. Just stay away from the area inside the canopy of your trees, the “drip line. ” If you locate your pond near trees, be prepared to clean leaves from the pond more often. Most water plants prefer sun, but some can survive in shade. Choose hardier plants and fertilize more often if you select a shaded site.
- A toddler can drown in the smallest pond, so some building codes require fences around ponds 18 in. deep and deeper. Call your local Department of Inspections, explain that you’re building a water garden (not a swimming pool) and ask what rules apply. But if you have young kids, consider installing a fence around it anyway. Be sure to choose a fence that cannot be climbed.
Before you dig, call your utility company or 811 and ask to have someone come out and mark your property for buried utilities. Utility companies usually won’t mark “private” lines, that is, lines added for convenience, such as a power line from a house to the garage or a gas line to an outdoor grill. Turn off the power or gas to these areas if you suspect a line is in the vicinity of your digging.
- Oversize your pond if possible. Once you stock it with fish and plants, you’ll be surprised how much smaller it’ll look. Besides, a large pond is often easier to take care of than a small one. (Controlling algae is often easier with a large pond.) The additional expense is minimal. A 10 x 16-ft. size is a good starting point.
- Water circulation is important, so position the pump as far as possible from the water inlet (waterfall, stream or fountain).
- Digging even a small pond is a big job. Plan plenty of breaks or enlist the neighborhood teenagers to help you out for a day.
To power the pump, you’ll need an outdoor electrical outlet. Have a licensed electrician install a GFCI-protected outlet if you’re not comfortable with.
Now go dig !
10 Easy Pieces: Best Budget Toilets (Under $300)
Let’s be real: when it comes to a bathroom remodel, most of us aren’t looking to break the bank on a toilet.
The first rule of keeping costs down is to go for something floor-standing—as opposed to the pricier wall-mounted styles. The second rule is to stick with classic brands like American Standard and Kohler. Here we present 5 convincing budget options—all under $300.
The Kohler Santa Rosa Comfort Height Toilet an elongated model but compact, measuring 27.75 inches; $289 at The Home Depot.
The Toto Entrada Close Coupled Toilet with a round bowl without the seat; it’s also available at The Home Depot for $207.61.
The American Standard Optimum Siphonic Round Front Toilet is a very well-priced $139.34 on Amazon; it’s also available as an elongated model for $238.85.
The Toto Drake Round 2-Piece Toilet is the longest model on our list (28.5 inches) and has a round seat; $233.59 without the seat on The Home Depot. It’s also available on Amazon for $226.79.
Highly rated for performance coupled with water savings, the high-efficiency, 1.28 gpf Kohler Wellworth Elongated Toilet touts “class 5 flushing technology”; $223.50 through Amazon.
~ Thank you~
A very special thank you to all of our callers! We live to answer your questions, so keep them coming!
Thank you to our Technical Support:
- Danny Bringer – Chief Engineer
- Carol Carey – Executive Producer
- Sam Reed – Associate Producer
Thank you for playing koi with us! And check in next week for more cool tips!
“Playing Koi” Show Notes for On The House with the Carey Brothers aired April 27, 2019.
Missed our live show? Don’t worry! Because we have a podcast of the show. It’s the same thing we aired on the radio, but ready for you whenever and wherever you are! Check it out here.
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