Should We Add A Deck To Our “Door To Nowhere?”

When we toured our house, we were given the tour by the actual owners. They were selling their house themselves. We love 90% of the house. We went up to the FROG (family room over garage) and it was huge. There was also another bedroom attached to the family room. Then we noticed “the door”

adding a deck to our house

There’s an exterior door in the family room. We realized it doesn’t really go anyway. It faces a neighboring house that I like to call “the bad juju house” because the owners told us 3 people have died in that house next door. It’s been abandoned since the last owner’s, untimely death.

We can see straight to the bad juju house. There was absolutely nothing out there. Except an overgrown staghorn sumac tree grove. Which, by the way, if anyone has a good way to get rid of sumac trees, like a lot of them, please let me know. They keep sprouting up and spreading like weeds! But literally nothing else. No deck, no sidewalk, no garden, no play area. To be fair, it’s on a hill so it’s gonna take some serious leveling.

What I’m thinking is putting up some privacy hedges along the property line so we don’t have to stare at the bad juju house. We’re talking about putting in a deck. We want a fairly big deck that we can have cookouts or parties on. We also want to put a hot tub out there eventually. Oddly this entire side of the house, which is a pretty broad side, has no outdoor electric outlets or water outlets. We finally installed a water spout last summer because I put a vegetable garden out there. We were actually carrying buckets and watering cans of water up to the garden via either the front door and climbing the hill or carrying them through the house to the FROG and out the door to nowhere to water the garden. Severa trips! It was too much!

Here’s the things we’re not sure about.

  • Do you go regular deck lumber or do we use that fake lumber stuff? I don’t even know what it’s called.
  • The area get a lot of sun (hence the vegetable garden). Do we do an awning for a big deck, pergola, or build an actual porch-style roof? I kinda like the idea of the pergola for the look and to not block out the sun completely. I also think they’re versatile in that it’s easy to grow vines, string lights, or hand decorations on.
  • What would look nice for privacy to block out the bad juju house? Do we do shrubs or privacy fence? Other ideas?
  • Can we put the hot tub on the deck or is it smarter to do a step-down area onto a concrete patio to prevent water damage?

I’d love to hear your ideas. When we decide to pull the trigger on this project we want to do it right. I’m open for any other suggestions you have. And, again please, if you know how to get rid of spreading sumac trees I’d love to hear that too.

This post is sponsored by Diamond Bloggers. Any opinions expressed are my own.

The Value Of Timber On Your Land: FREE Resource

It’s not something I’ve put a lot of thought into. In hindsight, maybe I should have. We hired some arborists to cut down a few dead trees for us a couple years ago. We did keep the fallen timber to use in our fire pit and wood burning furnace. So, I guess we didn’t waste it. But we only live on about an acre. I know a number of people around us have acres of land with lots of trees or fallen timber.

Have you ever wondered about the value of the timber on your land? Penn State Extension has released the “Value of Standing Timber” publication. It helps land owners and loggers learn the economic value of standing timber and how it’s determined.

This 24-page publication describes methods for estimating timber volumes and values in a simple, easy to understand, manner. It will also help landowners and loggers understand how the value of timber is determined and, in turn, provide them with increased opportunities for obtaining a fair market price when selling timber, said Dave Jackson, extension forester and publication co-author.

The publication is available as a free downloadable PDF; printed copies are available for purchase. To learn more, visit https://extension.psu.edu/valuing-standing-timber or call 877-345-0691

I looked over this myself. It’s highly informative with helpful illustrations and tables. It covers a number of steps to take to prepare you for getting a good value for your standing timber. As well as information about how it’s valued at more. Education is the best way to make sure you’re not taken advantage of!

This is a great time to start preparing wood for the winter too. It needs to dry out for several weeks to a couple months to make good firewood. I know in my area, there are always people looking for firewood for small things like fire pits to necessities like heating their homes.

If you own wooded acreage in my area another way to make money off your land is to let hunters pay to hunt on your land. Hunter find it appealing as there is exclusivity to it. The land isn’t over-hunted.

About Penn State Extension

Penn State Extension is dedicated to translating scientific research into real-world applications to drive progress. In support of Penn State’s land-grant mission, extension programs serve individuals, businesses and communities, while promoting a vibrant food and fiber system, a clean environment, and a healthier population in Pennsylvania and beyond. With support from federal, state and county governments, the organization has a tradition of bringing unbiased information and support to the citizens of Pennsylvania for more than 100 years.

How Knowing Your Plants Can Save You Money

For way too many years, I took for granted the “weeds” that were growing in my yard. I thought they were good for nothing but making my yard look bad. Then after learning a common weed in my garden was actually edible (and not half bad) I wondered else I didn’t know about the weeds in my yard and garden. Turns out, it’s a lot.

It is important to note that you should NEVER consume plants/weeds that have been treated with weed killers or certain lawn products. If you’re not sure, it’s best not to consume it.

Just another weed in my yard?

A landscaping company posted a picture of a weed I commonly see in yard.

Crushed or chewed then placed over a bug bite, mosquito bite, bee sting, rash, or acne as a poultice and bandaged these plant is said to be able to help draw out toxins. Do a quick search and you’ll find several recipes for salves and balms using the broadleaf plantain. It’s said to be a digestive aid as well. B&D Landscaping’s facebook post has a wealth of information about this plant and uses.

Broadleaf plantain is also edible in salads or added to recipes.

That Sticky Plant

On another occasion, while harvesting raspberries from the wild raspberry bushes we have growing in our yard, I came across this invasive weed. It was so long and sticky. It was starting to wrap around the raspberries. I wondered what it was since it was touching some of the raspberries we were going to consume. Turns out this weed has many names: Clevers, sticky willy, coachweed, goosegrass, and a few other names.

Probably my favorite thing to learn about these was that you can make “coffee” with them. Cleaver is actually part of the coffee family. Yes, those little sticky, fuzzy berry looking things. You can pick them off, dry out, then roast them in the oven, then grind them up and make coffee. Be warned the process is time consuming. Picking all those stickly little berries off takes a while and you need a lot to brew a pot of coffee. I tried it though. It wasn’t half bad. The leaves and stems are edible as well and can be added to stir fries, salads, and soups.

Cleaver is said to have diuretic properties and has been used for kidney and urinary tract ailments.

People actually plant this one on purpose!

Purslane. This is the one I often saw growing in my gardens. Almost looks like a succulent to me. I found out that not only is Purslane edible but quite nutrient dense for a little plant containing antioxidants, calcium, magnesium, Vitamin C, Vitamin A, Iron, Potassium, and Manganese. Phew! Now that’s a hard working plant.

You can eat it raw by itself, mix it into your salad, or add it to your dish. You can easily find Purslane seeds and plants online. In fact, Purslane is commonly grown, on purpose, in many other countries.

The multitasker of the weed world

Dandelions, we all know them. Dandelion greens can be eaten. The petals can be turned into teas, wine, jams, or jellies. You can use the root for dandelion root coffee.

Dandelions are also said to have medicinal properties. A quick search will have you finding tinctures, tonics, and many other medicine cabinet ideas for dandelions.

The more I learn the more I realize the culinary adventures and medicine cabinet stocking I can do. And that saves me money! I’m also interested in learning more.

I love seeing companies like T1 payments that care. Donating to the South Florida Fairchild Botanic Gardens. I truly believe that there are so much more we need to learn about plants. There could be one out there that could be the cure for an illness, or an affordable option to help stop hunger.

This post is sponsored by Diamond Links.

Super Stocking Stuffer Hop: Avoseedo 2.0

Last year I had the opportunity to try the original Avoseedo. Avoseedo let’s you grow your own avocado tree from an avocado pit you’d normally throw away. The process is actually really easy and affordable.

This year Avoseedo has improved on their idea with Avoseedo 2.0. You can ready my Avoseedo 2.0 post here for more details.

This is a fun gift for the avocado lover or gardener. This could also be a fun learning project for the kids.

You can order your own Avoseedo 2.0 here.

GIVEAWAY

1 US entrant will win an Avoseedo 2.0 kit

Super Stocking Stuffer Hop: Avoseedo 2.0

Now visit these other blogs for more giveaways!

Grow Your Own Avocado Tree With AvoSeedo 2.0 Better Than Ever

Have you ever wanted to try growing your own avocado tree? AvoSeedo makes it easy. I actually did an AvoSeedo review a couple years ago. AvoSeedo worked but now they’ve made it even better with AvoSeedo 2.0.

AvoSeedo 2.0 is on kickstarter now. It’s already 70% funded. The first version sold over half a million times! It’s easy to use. As long as you have the AvoSeedo tool the only other things you need to start your own tree is water and an avocado pit!

The new closed design ensures your avocado pit stays right where it’s supposed to. No sinking. The cute design ads some whimsy. So adorable right?

Even with the older version I always had questions about it when people came to visit. I can only imagine the conversations this one will bring up. It’s exciting to see the first signs of growth from your avocado pit thanks to Avoseedo.

Your Avoseedo 2.0 kit comes with everything pictured below:

The only thing you’ll need additionally is the avocado pit and water. So easy to use!

Check out the AvoSeedo 2.0 on kickstarter I’m also happy to announce that AvoSeedo 2.0 will be participating in this year’s Holiday Guide 2019 here on LuvSavingMoney.com.