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

Platform Walkway

Nothing tames damp or awkward terrain quite so well as a platform walkway.

This affordable solution is constructed much like a simple deck: 4x4s sunk in postholes bear a 2x6 frame to which 2x6 decking is fastened. These platforms can be set to step down a difficult slope or inclined 1 foot in 12 feet for a comfortable descent.

Pressure-treated lumber is necessary for this ground-hugging structure. Plan on a walkway 36 inches wide with footings every 8 feet.

What You Need:

  • 4x4 posts
  • 2x6 joists
  • 2x6 decking
  • 3-inch galvanized deck screws
  • 1/4- x 6-inch hex-headed bolts, nuts, washers
  • Gravel
  • Weed barrier: PVC sheeting or weed-block fabric
  • Posthole digger
  • Shovel
  • Rake
  • Mason's line and stakes
  • Basic carpentry tools


1. Install frames and posts. Begin by constructing the 2x6 frames. Use them as guides for digging all of the postholes. Install the posts along one side of the frame first. Pour 3 inches of gravel into each posthole, set and plumb the posts, and then pack gravel around them. Fasten one side of the frame to each post with lag bolts, leveling the frame as you go. Using the frame as a guide, install the opposite row of posts and fasten them to the frame. Trim tops of the 4x4 posts flush with the frame.

2. Add planks. Lay down a weed barrier and pea gravel to inhibit plant growth beneath the walkway. Cut 2x6s to 36 inches and fasten them to the frame joists with 3-inch deck screws, maintaining a 1/4-inch gap between treads. Square up the treads occasionally with a framing square.


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