Portal:Home improvement/Outdoors

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The Mall, London April 2006 033.jpg

Gardening is the art of growing plants with the goal of crafting a purposeful landscape. Residential gardening most often takes place in or about a residence, in a space referred to as the garden. Although a garden typically is located on the land near a residence, it may also be located in a roof, in an atrium, on a balcony, in a windowbox, or on a patio or vivarium.

Gardening also takes place in non-residential green areas, such as parks, public or semi-public gardens (botanical gardens or zoological gardens), amusement and theme parks, along transportation corridors, and around tourist attractions and hotels. In these situations, a staff of gardeners or groundskeepers maintains the gardens.

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A window is an opening in the wall of a building that allows light and air to enter a room and people to see out. At previous times in history they were merely small oval or square holes in the walls. They are usually glass or a strong, transparent plastic. The word was first recorded in the early 13th century, and originally referred to an unglazed hole in a roof. Evidence of glass window panes in Italy dates back nearly 3000 years.

Various types of windows were invented that allowed light but not weather to pass into a building: mullioned glass windows, paper windows, and plates of thinly sliced marble. In England, glass became common in the windows of ordinary homes only in the early 17th century. Modern-style floor-to-ceiling windows became possible only after the industrial glass making process was perfected. Modern windows are customarily large rectangles or squares with glass surfaces. Churches traditionally have stained glass windows.

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Water gardens, also known as aquatic gardens, backyard ponds and garden ponds, have become popular in recent years. Usually referring to a man-made feature, these gardens typically combine a pool with aquatic plants and often ornamental fish. Fixed items such as rocks, fountains, statuary, waterfalls and watercourses can be combined with the pool to add visual interest and integration with the local landscape and environment.

Often the reason for having a pond in your garden is to keep fish, often koi, though many people keep goldfish. Both are hardy, colorful fish which require no special heating, provided you live in an area which does not have extremes of temperature that would affect the fish. If fish are kept, pumps and filtration devices usually need to be added in order to keep enough oxygen in the water to support them. In winter, a small heater may need to be used in cold climates to keep the water from freezing solid.

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The roof, the top covering of a building, is one of the universal structures found on all buildings. Its purpose is primarily to shed water off the building and to prevent it from accumulating on top. To achieve this goal, roofs may be highly pitched (sloped) or low sloped in form. Low sloped roofs are commonly found on industrial/commercial type structures. Pitched roofs are the primary design found on residential homes. Metal standing seam roofs are becoming increasingly common on low sloped roof assemblies. Cool roofs and green roofs are becoming increasingly popular, and in some cases are mandated by local codes.

Residential roof designs in mild climates or where there is little precipitation tend to exhibit lower pitched roofs and drainage at the exterior wall; an example of residential flat roof is that of the adobe construction in the American Southwest. In northern climates, where temperatures drop below freezing, or in southern climates with high temperatures, the need for greater thermal resistance will dictate the type of roof design as well as the waterproofing membrane specification.

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A fence is a freestanding structure designed to restrict or prevent movement across a boundary. It is generally distinguished from a wall by the lightness of its construction: a wall is usually restricted to such barriers made from solid brick or concrete, blocking vision as well as passage (though the definitions overlap somewhat).

Fences are constructed for several purposes, including: Agricultural fencing, Privacy fencing, Security fencing, and Decorative fencing. Some of the technologies developed for fencing include: Barbed wire fence, Cactus fence, Chain link fencing, Dry-stone wall or rock fence, Electric fence, Ha-ha (or sunken fence), Hedgerows of intertwined, living shrubs, Palisade, Pet fence, Picket fences, Post-and-rail fencing, Split-rail fences made of timber, Snow fence, Stake-and-wire fencing, Turf mounds, Wire netting or wire gauze between posts, Wood-panel fencing, and Wrought iron fencing.

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Is there a home improvement article good enough? Please post you suggestions below to let your voice be heard.


The nomination process here is relaxed, but articles that meet the featured article or good article requirements are more likely to gain support.

Nominating articles

  1. Find an article related to Home improvement that you think is very good. It need not be a current Featured Article or Good article, but if it is, it could only help the nomination.
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