Questions about sheds, pole barns, retaining walls, decks, patios?

All these are questions and issues that home owners have, and typical DIY'ers like us have to deal with. All the ones listed above seem ok to me.

However, what about questions more related to landscaping, like tree pruning, planting grass, landscape bed work, weeds, mulch, etc. Those are a fine line to me. Kinda home improvement related, but that could easily cross over into landscaping design such as what types of shrubs to get, etc. Not sure on that stuff.

  • Home is where the heart is! Jul 22 '10 at 21:49
  • Perhaps it'd be more constructive to stop and think: What would we lose by just allowing all gardening questions? I think that the real answer is probably more like "allow home gardening questions until it actually becomes a problem". Of course, that can change once there is a gardening SE.
    – MGOwen
    Aug 19 '10 at 2:44

Although I'd say no to general gardening, I agree for all 'hardscaping' to be included --

  • installing a stone / brick patio
  • building a retaining wall
  • decks / porches / etc.
  • building a greenhouse / shed / garage / carport / barn / etc.

Dealing with drainage issues (french drains, catchment areas, discharge issues, resloping the land to keep water away from the house, etc.) I would also include as part of 'DIY', although adding 'water features' would be out in my mind. I think I'd lean towards including installing/repairing watering systems (eg, pop-up sprinklers), but could go either way on that one.

Building raised beds for planting ... I'm leaning towards including, but not what type of soil to fill it which gets more into gardening.

And note -- I'm assuming all questions about installation, maintenance and repair ... not 'what size greenhouse should I build for (type of plants)' type stuff.

  • 2
    +1 I like to build outside buildings like treehouses, sheds and playhouses, and I see that as on-topic since it's the same kind of roofing, framing, etc. as home repair. But flowers, vegetables, water features (particularly their design), etc are a different thing. Repairing your home is ontopic; decorating your home (couch coverings, etc.) is not.
    – Rob Napier
    Jul 23 '10 at 1:20
  • 1
    I agree that including installing/repairing watering/irrigation systems should be included in DIY. Jul 28 '10 at 15:39
  • These are still pretty vague lines. What do you imagine we'd lose by just letting all gardening questions?
    – MGOwen
    Aug 19 '10 at 2:40
  • @MGOwen : lack of delinitation w/ a true gardening site -- questions about 'when to start brocolli for fall planting in zone 6' or 'what pH should the soil should be for tulips' or 'what variety of petunias would compliment my house'... it's not what most people think of as 'DIY', at least, I don't.
    – Joe
    Aug 30 '10 at 23:20

I got the impression that decks would be on topic but lawn and garden would be off topic. Now that there is a site the community gets to decide. My two cents is there is a different audience for electrical/plumbing/building than there is for mowing/planting/weeding.

I like questions outside of the home but not landscaping.


There is a proposed Landscaping and a proposed Organic Gardening site on Area51.

But until they launch maybe we can consider landscaping a home improvement issue.

We don't have to allow vegetable garden questions but things like grass, trees and flowers have as much to do with how nice a house looks as the paint job.

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