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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DIY Project: Install a Paver Patio

With the right materials and proper foundation, you can install a paver patio in a day.


    Everything in this slideshow

    • Clear the Area

      If necessary, remove shrubs along with stumps and roots. Excavate about 6 inches of soil to make room for base and pavers. Rake the ground level and tamp the soil to create a firm bed.

    • Weed Control

      Lay landscape fabric over the bed, cutting edges so the fabric fits in place. The porous material allows water to flow through but blocks weeds from sprouting.

    • Smooth Moves

      Spread a 2-inch layer of crushed gravel evenly over the landscape fabric. Use an iron rake to smooth the layer.

    • Tamp It Out

      Tamp the crushed gravel until base is extremely firm. This will help ensure that pavers settle evenly. Now add another 2 inches of gravel and tamp again.

    • On Level Ground

      Attach a level to a long, straight board, then move it across the bed to check how even the surface is. Adjust the contour of the bed as needed to make surface as level as possible.

    • Do a Little Shimmy

      Spread 1 1/2 to 2 inches of builder's sand over the gravel. Lay a long, straight board along the base of the house (see background). Take another board, notch both ends (see foreground) and shimmy it along the walk and the other board to smooth the sand.

    • Project Tip

      Mixing and matching different sizes of pavers (as shown in slide 10) can upgrade the look of your patio without costing a lot more money. Reduce costs by cutting some full-size pavers in half. Instead of renting a commercial-grade brick cutter (shown), which can be heavy and difficult to move, look for a compact brick cutter intended for smaller projects. Or see if you can pay the rental supply company to cut some pavers for you.

    • Walk the Line

      Lay the first paver. If the lines along the house and walk are not perfectly parallel, use a mason's line stretched tight between two stakes to keep lines true. Position pavers no more than 1/8 inch apart and tap them into place with a rubber mallet.

    • Finished Product

      After installation, spread a shallow layer of sand over the pavers and work the sand into the crevices with a push broom. Hose the area down to further settle the sand, filling any gaps that arise, then hose the area down a second time.

    • 10 of 11

      Patio Costs

      Concrete Pavers: $400
      Paver Delivery Fee: $50
      Gravel and Sand (bulk): $30
      Landscape Fabric: $10
      Brick-Cutter Rental: $60 (two hours at $30/hour)
      Total: $550

    • 11 of 11
      Next Slideshow Cast in Stone: DIY Landscape Accent

      Cast in Stone: DIY Landscape Accent

      Hard as rock, concrete ornaments are easy to make. Even better, this versatile outdoor material is low cost and prettier than you might think. Try our techniques for customizing, shaping, and finishing concrete ornaments and outdoor decor.
      Begin Slideshow »



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