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

Maintain Your Wood Deck

Keep your wood deck looking its best by following Better Homes and Gardens contributing editor Danny Lipford's tips for cleaning your deck.


    Everything in this slideshow

    • Your Outdoor Paradise

      Wooden decks receive constant abuse from the elements, but with periodic cleaning and refinishing, you can protect them and keep them looking their best.

    • Get Rid of the Grime

      The first step is cleaning your deck thoroughly. Many deck cleaners contain harsh chemicals, so it's important to protect your skin and eyes. A pump garden sprayer is ideal for this application.

    • Apply Cleaner

      Apply deck cleaner to both vertical and horizontal surfaces of the deck and railings. Allow cleaner to sit for the recommended period of time.

    • Wash It Down

      After cleaner has set for the recommended time, wash down the deck. A pressure washer is the best tool for the job. Pressure washers deliver a concentrated blast of water at anywhere from 1,000 to 3,500 pounds per square inch -- so don't overdo it. Warning: Focusing for too long in one spot or holding the nozzle too close to the deck can damage the wood.

    • Pressure Washer Attachments

      Pressure washers can be purchased or rented at home improvement stores and are available with various attachments. A deck scrubber attachment makes cleaning large open areas easier.

    • Deal with Damaged Wood

      After the deck has been cleaned, it's time to perform any necessary repairs. Drive any protruding nails flush with the surface of the board or replace them with deck screws. Repair or replace boards that are badly deteriorated.

    • Stop the Splinters

      Use a sander to smooth rough spots, especially on railings, to prevent splinters.

    • Protect the Deck

      Once the deck has dried thoroughly, refinish it with a tinted deck stain or clear sealer. Deck stains come in solid colors that hide the grain of the wood as well as transparent stains that allow the wood grain to show through.

    • Apply Sealer or Stain

      A pump sprayer works well to apply stains and sealers because they are much thinner than paint. After spraying an area, go over it with a paintbrush while the sealer is still wet to work it into the cracks and spread the finish out evenly.

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      Sit Back and Relax

      While a wooden deck does require periodic cleaning and maintenance, the investment in both time and materials is worthwhile.

    • 11 of 11
      Next Slideshow 12 Ways to Outfit a Small Deck

      12 Ways to Outfit a Small Deck

      Bring big style to a small deck or patio with these simple, space-savvy accessories and decorating ideas.
      Begin Slideshow »



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