Inside the Innovation House

We pulled out all the stops to bring the latest home tech features to our Innovation Home. See the 16 coolest things from the home and be amazed by how smart one home can be.

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Bathroom Countertop Ideas

Good-looking countertops -- whether made of marble, limestone, or concrete -- create high-functioning bathrooms that spill over with style. These popular countertop materials are sure to inspire a bathroom remodel.

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Find Your Dream Backyard

Whether you dream of sunning by a state-of-the-art pool or strolling through a simple cottage garden, there's an outdoor oasis with your name written all over it. Take this quiz to find out where you really belong.

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DIY Patio Ideas

Want to boost the beauty and usefulness of your outdoor spaces? Put one of these inspiring DIY patio ideas to work in your landscape.

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Easy Fireplace Upgrades

Does your fireplace need a facelift? Check out these 20 ideas for updating your fireplace with easy-to-apply embellishments and simple-to-make constructions.

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8 Cutting-Edge Exterior Features

The wow-factor of the Innovation Home starts with great curb appeal. See the eight things that make the home's exterior stand out.

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Budget Curb Appeal

Be the best home on the block for less. These budget curb appeal updates will show you how.

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Popular in Home Improvement

Erecting Posts

After your site is laid out, the next step in the construction of many projects is the erection of posts.

Posts for a deck, fence, or other structure must be absolutely plumb and firmly rooted in the earth or bolted to a concrete footing. To ward off rot, posts should be of heartwood or pressure-treated lumber, and steps should be taken to assure that water drains away from the posts. To prevent the posts from heaving, post-holes must extend below the frost line.


1. Stake the locations of the holes.

2. Choose depth based partly on how hard or rocky your soil is, and partly on how deep you must go to reach your area's frost line. For shallow holes in soft earth, use a clamshell digger; for hard soil or holes deeper than about 30 inches, you'll need a hand- or motor-powered auger. Most rental outlets offer all three of these tools.

3. To ensure posts are an even height, you can dig holes to a uniform depth or cut posts after concrete cures. To check depths, make a square and stake a level string. Cut the square's longer arm to reflect desired depth; shorter one rests on string when you reach that depth.

4. Determine whether you want to set the posts in the ground or on top of separate footings. Separate footings require more concrete because you must completely fill the postholes. You'll also need to insert anchors into the tops of the wet footings. (Local codes may dictate one method or the other.)

5. Good draining begins at the bottom of each posthole you dig. Wet down the hole, then pour in 2 to 3 inches of gravel. This prevents groundwater from collecting at the base of the post.

6. Put tubular forms in the holes to extend the concrete above ground. This helps keep surface water away from the posts.

7. After setting each post in place, adjust until it is plumb in two directions, then secure the post with two diagonal braces nailed to the post. If necessary, use string tied to end posts to check the alignment of intermediate posts.

8. Recheck that the posts are plumb, then backfill around any forms. Pack holes or forms with concrete, poking with a rod to remove air pockets. After the concrete has set for about 20 minutes, check the posts for plumb again and adjust if necessary. At the top of the hole or form, round off the concrete. Leave the braces in place until you're sure the posts are fixed.

9. Let the concrete cure 24 hours before doing any other work.


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