Show Notes: Unique Storage Ideas, Water Friendly Paving – On the House

Show Notes: Unique Storage Ideas, Water Friendly Paving

By on January 17, 2015

Is your home “storage starved”? We have come up with some interesting ideas for finding storage space right in plain sight! Do you have old, cracked and damaged concrete you will be replacing in the spring? How about trying water friendly paving?


Unexpected Storage Spaces

 If you are looking for a little additional storage space, here are a few places to consider:

Furniture that doubles as storage:

A coffee table with storage drawers

Under bed drawers

Replace you dresser with a wardrobe cabinet

Replace your little nightstand with a small dresser

Around the house:

Under stairs

Take your storage shelves up high, almost to the ceiling

The kitchen cabinet toe kick can be converted to a hidden drawer,

great for linens or large shallow items

Add pull down stairs and get to all the unused space in the attic

Where have you discovered unused spaces?


Tips For Upholstery Cleaning

 Clean Different Fabrics Differently!

 Cotton and Cotton Blends: Depending on the weave, cotton can be a very durable upholstery choice. However, although it is highly resistant to wear, it generally does not fare as well against stains. Usually, top-finishes and blended materials take this into account and help make this soft fabric slightly more sustainable. Also, cotton has the tendency to wrinkle easily.

 Microfiber: Microfiber is a synthetic material that has the comfy, plush feel of suede. It generally wears very well, and readily accepts products that may help it become more stain resistant. Microfiber is great for a family that craves comfort, but can expect a few accidents like spilled juice or soda.

Other Common Synthetics: Acrylic and polyester fabrics are also great because these fabrics are strong and also very easy to clean. They are also resistant to static. Olefin is a newer synthetic fabric that is very resistant to staining and wear, but is extremely heat-sensitive. Nylon was the first synthetic fiber and has proven to be a durable substitute for natural fibers for years.

Wool: Wool is the fabric choice of many for its comfort, elegance and high-resiliency. Unfortunately, it is not very easy to care for. While some dyes in wool allow for spot cleaning, the only way to ensure little damage to woolen upholstery in cleaning is to have it dry cleaned. Also, wool is not very tolerant to sunlight, and prolonged exposure can cause some fading in upholstery.


Eco Friendly Paving

 Driveways paved with concrete or asphalt do not absorb rainwater. Storm run-off therefore is channeled into creeks and rivers, increasing the risk of flooding. As more communities are becoming aware of this problem, alternative, permeable materials for driveway paving are being explored and used.

The key is paving driveways with water-absorbing materials that allow rain to soak into the ground, raising the ground water level rather than filling creeks and streams. An even more eco-friendly option is to pave your driveway with used of recycled materials that are permeable. Here are some of the materials being used as alternatives to driveway pavement. These often come under the general headings “porous pavement” or “pervious pavement.”


With a supporting grid, vegetation can make a strong driveway surface. An open grid of flexible plastic or concrete is laid on a base of porous material such as gravel or crushed seashells. Soil and grass fill in the spaces. The supporting structure prevents ruts from forming, and protects the root systems of the plants. Soil is, of course, very permeable.

Paving Blocks

This very durable option uses a permeable material, sand, to hold the pavement blocks in place (rather than impermeable mortar). Rain water runs between and under the blocks and into the ground. Sand has the added benefit of keeping its flexibility and not compacting.


Like paving blocks, bricks can be held in place with sand, providing the necessary permeability. You can allow vegetation to grow between the bricks as well.

Permeable Clay

In this kind of set-up, permeable clay is the top layer of an underground system that culminates in an outlet pipe. In between is a bed made from permeable materials. The top clay layer looks like bricks

Crushed Organic Matter

Crushed seashells, mulch, and other organic materials can be used to pave driveways. An open grid support structure can help increase durability and reduce the need for replacement.

Aggregate or Gravel

These are certainly not new ideas in driveway materials! But you may not have known they can be eco-friendly. In fact, aggregate can be made from recycled concrete (maybe from your previous driveway?). The concrete is simply crushed into chunks for use as a paving material.

There are other advantages to porous pavement options besides just decreased storm run-off. For one thing, oil and fluids that leak from vehicles are more easily biodegraded when percolated through porous material. And permeable pavement in urban areas can reduce the effects of urban heating. Yet another advantage is that ice is less likely to form on a surface into which water sinks.

See more at:


Patching Hardwood Floors

Replacing individual planks in a hardwood floor is easier than you think.

Nothing beats the beauty and warmth of hardwood flooring. It’s a gleaming focal point in any home. But no matter how careful you are, accidents happen, and planks do get damaged. And, over time they develop nasty black stains. At that point, it’s time for replacement, but not the whole floor. Replacing individual planks is easier than you think. If they’re square-edged, use a hammer and chisel to remove the bad planks and nail the new ones into place. But, if they’re tongue-and-groove, as many are, it’s still as easy as 1-2-3.

1) Use a circular saw to remove a half-inch center strip from each bad plank.

2) With the center out, pry the remaining sides inward, away from the tongue and groove interlock.

3) To install a new plank, remove the bottom lip on the groove side and insert the tongue in the old groove. Then carefully nail it into place.

All that’s left is a little sanding. Stain it to match, add a clear protective finish and presto, it’s hardwood, made easy as 1-2-3.


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