Growing Minds: Enhancing Education with Outdoor Living Today’s Garden Products

In recent years, the connection between nature and education has become increasingly evident, and schools are now exploring innovative ways to integrate outdoor experiences into the learning environment.

One impactful initiative gaining popularity is the setup of garden beds for students. Outdoor Living Today, a leading provider of quality outdoor products, offers an ideal solution for schools looking to cultivate a green thumb culture within their educational spaces.

The Educational Benefits of School Gardens:

School gardens offer a myriad of educational benefits, fostering a hands-on approach to learning that goes beyond traditional classroom settings. From science and biology lessons to practical math applications and environmental studies, students engaged in gardening experience real-world connections that enhance their academic experience.


Guide to Setting Up Garden Beds for Schools

Here’s a step-by-step guide to help you set up garden beds for your students:

1. Plan and Design:

  • Identify a suitable location for the garden beds. Consider factors like sunlight, accessibility, and water availability.
  • Decide on the size and number of garden beds based on the available space and the number of students involved.
  • Involve teachers, students, and possibly local gardening experts in the planning process to gather ideas and insights.

2. Get Permissions:

  • Obtain necessary permissions from school authorities, ensuring compliance with any regulations or guidelines.
  • Communicate the project’s educational benefits to gain support from the school community.

3. Gather Supplies:

  • Purchase or gather essential supplies, including raised garden beds, soil, compost, seeds, and basic gardening tools.
  • Consider reaching out to local businesses or community members for potential donations or sponsorships.

4. Educational Curriculum Integration:

  • Integrate the garden project into the school curriculum, connecting it to various subjects like science, math, and environmental studies.
  • Develop lesson plans that align with the gardening activities to enhance students’ learning experiences.

5. Student Involvement:

  • Foster student involvement by establishing a gardening club or incorporating garden-related projects into existing classes.
  • Assign responsibilities to students, such as watering, weeding, and observing plant growth, to promote a sense of ownership.

6. Plant Selection:

  • Choose plants that are suitable for your region and the available growing season.
  • Consider incorporating a variety of vegetables, herbs, and flowers to diversify the learning experience.

7. Provide Learning Resources:

  • Set up a small library or online resources with books, videos, and articles on gardening to supplement classroom learning.
  • Invite local experts or horticulturists for workshops or guest lectures to share practical insights.

8. Maintenance and Care:

  • Establish a routine for garden bed maintenance, including watering, weeding, and pest control.
  • Teach students about the importance of sustainable and eco-friendly gardening practices.

9. Harvest and Celebrate:

  • Plan a harvest celebration to mark the culmination of the gardening season.
  • Incorporate harvested produce into school meals or organize a farmers’ market to involve the broader community.

10. Evaluation and Reflection:

  • Conduct periodic evaluations to assess the impact of the garden beds on student learning and engagement.
  • Encourage students to reflect on their experiences, noting any challenges and successes.

By following these steps, schools can create an interactive and educational environment through garden beds, fostering a deeper connection between students and the natural world.

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The Elegance and Advantages of Finger-Jointed Western Red Cedar

Native to the Pacific Northwest region of North America, Western Red Cedar, scientifically known as Thuja plicata, has been cherished for generations for its outstanding attributes. These qualities encompass its innate resistance to decay, impressive dimensional stability, and a captivating reddish-brown hue that transforms into a silvery-gray patina as it ages.

Unveiling Finger-Jointed Western Red Cedar - What Sets It Apart:

Finger-jointing is a woodworking technique with remarkable benefits, it is employed to create extended and more resilient wood pieces with less wasted material. In this process, carefully cut shorter lengths of high-quality Western Red Cedar are seamlessly connected through interlocking finger-like projections. This method not only optimizes wood utilization but also bolsters its structural integrity, resulting in an appealing and durable finish.

The Benefits of Finger-Jointed Western Red Cedar:

  1. Strength and Stability: It substantially reduces the chances of warping, twisting, or splitting, making it an optimal choice for projects demanding exceptional durability.
  2. Cost Efficiency: Embracing finger-jointed pieces maximizes wood resource utilization, minimizing waste and offering potential cost savings. This cost-effective feature is especially valuable for those planning to paint their Finger Jointed Products.
  3. Consistent Dimensions:  Each wood piece is designed to adhere to precise dimensions. The result is flawlessly fitting boards, simplifying installation, and delivering a polished final look.
  4. Resistance to Decay: Western Red Cedar's inherent resistance to decay and insects remains intact even in finger-jointed pieces. This feature ensures longevity and minimal maintenance requirements, particularly for outdoor applications.
  5. Aesthetic Allure: The distinctive reddish-brown hue of Western Red Cedar imparts warmth and sophistication to any project. Over time, it gracefully weathers into a silver-gray shade, lending a timeless charm to both indoor and outdoor spaces.
  6. Versatility: Finger-jointed Western Red Cedar finds purpose in an array of projects, ranging from siding and decking to furniture and decorative accents. Its adaptability lies in its ability to harmonize with diverse design styles, be it rustic, contemporary, or traditional.


Finger-jointed Western Red Cedar signifies the fusion of traditional craftsmanship and modern woodworking techniques. With its noteworthy cost savings, augmented strength, dimensional stability, and innate beauty, this exceptional wood emerges as a favored choice for both functional and aesthetic aspirations. Whether embarking on a construction venture, pursuing a woodworking endeavor, or simply aiming to elevate your surroundings, finger-jointed Western Red Cedar offers a splendid option that seamlessly marries the best of both worlds.

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Setting Up Your Fall Garden Tips & Tricks

As summer transitions into fall, dedicated gardeners know that the growing season is far from over. In fact, autumn presents a golden opportunity to set up a thriving garden that can withstand cooler temperatures and even frost. By harnessing the power of greenhouse covers, you can create a microclimate that nurtures your plants and extends your gardening pleasures. In this blog, we’ll explore the art of setting up your garden in the fall, with a special focus on the benefits of using greenhouse covers.

  1. A Season of Renewed Growth: Fall is the perfect time to embrace the unique beauty of a garden undergoing transformation. The cooling temperatures encourage many plants to put their energy into root development, which can lead to robust growth when spring arrives. By setting up your garden in the fall, you give your plants a head start for the following year.
  2. Choosing the Right Crops: Selecting the right crops for your fall garden is crucial. Vegetables such as kale, spinach, carrots, and radishes thrive in cooler temperatures, making them excellent choices for this season. These crops not only tolerate the chill but often develop enhanced flavor profiles due to the cold conditions.
  3. Greenhouse Covers: Your Secret Weapon: Greenhouse covers, whether they are simple cloths, row covers, or more advanced hoop houses, play a pivotal role in fall gardening success. These covers create a microclimate that shields your plants from frost, wind, and other harsh elements. They also trap heat during the day, maintaining a warmer environment that extends the growing season.
  4. Advantages of Greenhouse Covers:
    • Frost Protection: As temperatures drop, frost can wreak havoc on tender plants. Greenhouse covers act as protective shields, preventing frost from damaging your plants.
    • Temperature Regulation: Greenhouse covers help maintain a stable temperature, creating a warmer environment during cold nights and cooler days. This consistency promotes healthier plant growth.
    • Pest Control: The covers act as a physical barrier against pests, safeguarding your crops from invasive insects and critters.
    • Moisture Retention: By reducing water evaporation, greenhouse covers help conserve moisture, ensuring your plants have the hydration they need.
  1. Setting Up Your Greenhouse Covers:
    • Choose a Reliable Cover: Opt for covers that provide the right level of protection and insulation while allowing sunlight to filter through.
    • Proper Installation: Ensure your covers are securely fastened to prevent them from blowing away or collapsing under the weight of rain or snow.
    • Monitor and Ventilate: Regularly check the temperature inside the covered area and adjust ventilation as needed to prevent overheating on sunny days.
  1. Extend the Season’s Beauty: Embrace the fall aesthetic by incorporating pumpkins, decorative gourds, and autumn-themed decor into your garden design. These elements, combined with the lush greenery thriving under your greenhouse covers, create a picturesque and inviting scene.


Setting up your garden in the fall is a testament to the resilience of both nature and the gardener’s spirit. By employing greenhouse covers, you’re investing in a vibrant and productive garden that defies the changing seasons. As you tend to your plants under the protective embrace of your covers, you’ll discover a sense of accomplishment that only fall gardening can bring. So, gather your tools, choose your crops, and unveil the magic of greenhouse covers in your very own autumn oasis.


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What is Sugi?

Sugi wood refers to the timber obtained from the Japanese cedar tree, scientifically known as Cryptomeria japonica. Sugi is a large evergreen coniferous tree native to Japan and is highly valued for its wood, which possesses various desirable qualities.

Sugi wood is renowned for its straight grain and exceptional durability. It has a pale yellow to light brown color, often with subtle reddish tones. The wood has a fine texture and a moderately low density, making it relatively lightweight while still being sturdy.

One of the notable characteristics of sugi wood is its natural resistance to decay, insects, and fungi. This inherent durability, combined with its strength, makes sugi wood highly sought after for a wide range of applications. 

Apart from its practical uses, sugi wood holds cultural significance in Japan. It has been utilized in the construction of temples, shrines, and traditional Japanese houses for centuries. The aromatic scent emitted by the wood adds to its appeal and has contributed to its usage in various cultural ceremonies.

Sugi wood is a valuable resource, and sustainable forestry practices are employed to manage its cultivation and harvesting. The popularity of sugi wood extends beyond Japan, as it is exported to other countries where its exceptional qualities are highly appreciated.

In summary, sugi wood refers to the timber obtained from the Japanese cedar tree. It is renowned for its durability, straight grain, and natural resistance to decay. Sugi wood finds applications in construction, furniture making, and traditional crafts, while also holding cultural significance in Japan.

When comparing Sugi wood to Western Red Cedar, there are several similarities and differences to consider:

  1. Species and Origin: Sugi wood comes from the Japanese cedar tree (Cryptomeria japonica), which is native to Japan. On the other hand, Western Red Cedar (Thuja plicata) is found primarily in the Pacific Northwest region of North America, including parts of the United States and Canada.
  2. Appearance: Both Sugi wood and Western Red Cedar have appealing aesthetics. Sugi wood typically has a pale yellow to light brown color with subtle reddish tones, while Western Red Cedar showcases a vibrant reddish-brown hue that can vary in intensity. Both kinds of wood have a fine texture and straight grain, although Western Red Cedar may have more pronounced grain patterns.
  3. Durability and Decay Resistance: Sugi wood possesses inherent durability, making it resistant to decay, insects, and fungi. It is renowned for its ability to withstand harsh conditions. Similarly, Western Red Cedar is highly durable and naturally resistant to decay, rot, and insect damage. Both kinds of wood are suitable for outdoor applications and have a long lifespan when properly maintained.
  4. Density and Weight: Western Red Cedar is known for its low density, which contributes to its lightweight nature. Sugi wood, although generally lightweight, has a slightly higher density than Western Red Cedar. This slight difference in density can impact its weight and handling characteristics.
  5. Uses and Applications: Sugi wood is commonly utilized in construction for framing, siding, flooring, and interior finishing. It is also employed in furniture making and traditional Japanese crafts. Western Red Cedar is highly valued for outdoor applications such as siding, decking, and fencing. It is also used in boat building, roofing, and interior paneling.
  6. Scent: Sugi wood emits a pleasant aromatic scent, adding to its cultural significance and appeal. Western Red Cedar is also known for its distinctive aroma, which is often described as a sweet and earthy fragrance.


Both Sugi wood and Western Red Cedar are highly regarded for their durability, natural resistance to decay, and versatility. The choice between them often depends on regional availability, local preferences, and specific project requirements.

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 Getting Ready for Gardening with a Greenhouse: Your Ultimate Guide!

Gardening enthusiasts often face the challenge of growing plants in unfavorable weather conditions or limited space. Thankfully, the solution lies in setting up a greenhouse—a controlled environment that allows you to extend your gardening season and cultivate a wide variety of plants. Outdoor Living Today offers a range of high-quality greenhouses that can enhance your gardening experience.

In this blog post, we will guide you through the essential steps to get ready for gardening with a greenhouse, with a special focus on incorporating Outdoor Living Today’s greenhouses into the process. Prepare to create an optimal environment for healthy and thriving plants with the help of Outdoor Living Today’s exceptional products.

1. Selecting the Right Greenhouse

Choosing the perfect greenhouse from Outdoor Living Today’s selection is the first step. Consider the available space, budget, and the types of plants you wish to grow. Outdoor Living Today offers various sizes and styles to suit your needs from our 8×8, and 8×12 Cedar Greenhouses, to the less traditional, and more modern Sunshed Models which are available in 8×8, 8×12, 12×12, and 12×16 sizes.

2. Site Selection and Preparation

Identifying the ideal location for your Outdoor Living Today Greenhouse is crucial. Select a spot that receives maximum sunlight throughout the day, preferably facing south. Clear the area of any debris or obstacles that may hinder construction or plant growth. Ensure a level foundation and consider installing a weed barrier to prevent unwanted vegetation from encroaching on your greenhouse space.

3. Sustainability 

Western Red Cedar is a sustainable choice. It is harvested from responsibly managed forests in Canada and the United States, which means that the production process has a lower environmental impact than other materials. This is because the forests are carefully monitored and replanted, ensuring that the ecosystem is protected for future generations.

4. Climate Control and Ventilation

Maintaining optimal temperature and ventilation is vital for successful greenhouse gardening. Outdoor Living Today’s greenhouses are designed with ventilation features, such as adjustable roof vents, allowing you to regulate temperature and humidity levels.  Adequate airflow helps prevent disease, mold, and pests while ensuring optimal plant growth.

5. Irrigation and Water Management

A reliable watering system is essential to keep your plants adequately hydrated. Consider installing a drip irrigation system or misting nozzles to deliver consistent moisture. Regularly monitor water levels and adjust irrigation accordingly. Rainwater collection systems, such as rain barrel kits, also offer eco-friendly and cost-effective alternatives to conventional water sources. Proper drainage is equally important to prevent excess moisture, which can lead to root rot or fungal diseases for your plants.

6. Soil and Plant Selection

Choosing the right soil and plants is crucial for greenhouse gardening success. Ensure your Outdoor Living Today greenhouse has good-quality, well-draining soil enriched with organic matter. Conduct soil tests periodically to monitor nutrient levels and pH balance. Select plants suited to the greenhouse environment, considering temperature, humidity, and light requirements. Start seeds indoors and transplant them when they are ready. Alternatively, Outdoor Living Today’s greenhouses can accommodate young plants purchased from nurseries for faster results.


By incorporating Outdoor Living Today’s exceptional greenhouses into your gardening endeavors, you can elevate your greenhouse gardening experience. Follow the essential steps outlined in this guide to prepare for gardening with a greenhouse, while utilizing the features and benefits offered by Outdoor Living Today’s quality products. With careful planning, proper site selection, climate control, irrigation management, and thoughtful plant choices, your Outdoor Living Today greenhouse will become a haven for healthy and flourishing plants, providing you with year-round gardening enjoyment. Happy gardening with Outdoor Living Today!

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The Benefits of Western Red Cedar: Why it’s Worth It 

When it comes to building materials, it can be tempting to opt for the cheapest option available. However, choosing a more expensive material like Western Red Cedar sourced from Canada and the United States can be a wise investment in the long run.

1. Durability

Western Red Cedar is known for its durability and resistance to rot and decay. This means that it will last much longer than cheaper alternatives like White Cedar or Chinese Fir, which may need to be replaced more frequently due to weathering and other forms of damage. Not only will this save you money on replacements, and repairs, but also reduces the environmental impact of constant resource extraction and processing over time.

2. Premium Appearance 

Western Red Cedar has an attractive, natural appearance that adds value and visual appeal to any project. The wood’s distinctive grain and warm color create a timeless aesthetic that cannot be replicated by cheaper alternatives. This makes it a popular choice for outdoor structures like decks, fences, and pergolas, as well as for indoor features like ceilings and accent walls.

3. Sustainability 

Western Red Cedar is a sustainable choice. It is harvested from responsibly managed forests in Canada and the United States, which means that the production process has a lower environmental impact than other materials. This is because the forests are carefully monitored and replanted, ensuring that the ecosystem is protected for future generations.

4. Economic Impact

 Lastly, let’s discuss the economic impact of your purchasing decision.

By choosing this material, you are supporting the local economies of both the United States and Canada, as well as helping to create and sustain good-paying middle-class jobs within the forestry industry.

In Canada, the forestry sector is a major contributor to the country’s economy, accounting for more than 200,000 jobs and generating billions of dollars in economic activity each year. Similarly, in the United States, the forestry industry supports over 2 million jobs and contributes over $300 billion annually to the country’s economy.

By choosing Western Red Cedar sourced from Canada and the United States, you support the livelihoods of those working in the forestry industry, including loggers, sawmill workers, and others involved in the supply chain.

This benefits individuals and their families and helps boost local economies and creates a ripple effect throughout the broader community.


Choosing Western Red Cedar sourced from Canada and the United States is not only a wise investment in terms of durability, aesthetics, and sustainability but also a way to support the economies of both countries and create and sustain jobs within the forestry industry.


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Would you like to know how to build a playhouse? Building a playhouse and building a house are the same – it is just that a playhouse is on a slightly smaller scale. To make things simple, you can make the little house’s dimensions match the pre-cut lumber that you will be picking up from the home improvement store.

A plywood sheet is 4×8 feet and 2x4s in 8-ft lengths is perfect for a playhouse. So your little house will have a length of 8 feet with 4 foot walls and a roof. This will be a lot less math and minimal work, and your kids will love you for it!

Items You will Need

Drill driver
Circular saw
4×4 pressure treated lumber
4×8- foot plywood sheets
2×4 lumber
Joist hangars
Speed square/rafter square
Landscaping cloth

Lay the foundation: You will be keeping things simple, but it is still important to start off right. First, find a place in the yard where there is enough room for the playhouse, making sure that the ground is mostly flat already. Take your shovel and pick, break up the earth and making it level and compact. Make a weed barrier by laying down a sheet of landscaping cloth.

You may not want to build a playhouse directly on the ground. The moisture and earth will rot away the foundation of the playhouse just like it would a normal house.

Frame the floor: The next step is to set two pressure treated 4x4s (the 8-foot ones) on the foundation. Then cut four 4x4s of 4 feet each to fit between the 8-foot 4x4s. Attach the pieces together with joist hangars. This job is best done with pressure treated lumber because it is going directly on the ground, and that will ensure that it is protected from the elements as already mentioned.

You may want to have a cement foundation. You can look online or hire someone who knows more about that.

Frame the side walls: Make the bottom and top of each wall with two 8-foot 2x4s. Make the walls 4-feet high by cutting ten 2×4 studs and keep in mind that the width of the 8-footers need to be accounted for. You will need to make the studs 4 feet, taking away 1½ inches, which is a 2×4’s actual width, so 3 feet 10½ inches. Now, you can lay the lumber on the ground and screw the studs to the plates both on the bottom and top. Keep them 24 inches apart on each center.

There will be 5 studs on each wall. Next, drill a hole of 5/8th inches in the bottom plate in the open bay that is between each stud and drill another hole corresponding to the previous, in the foundation’s 8-foot lengths. As you make the walls stand up on the foundation, drive in a 5/8-inch sized bolt through each of the pre-drilled holes. To prevent the walls from falling outward or inward, secure a 2×4 between them temporarily.

Install the floor: The space between the walls should be perfect for a sheet of plywood, meaning it should be 8 feet in length and 4 feet across. Lay a sheet in the space and every foot or so, screw it into the foundation. While the walls are still open, this is the right time to install an indoor or outdoor carpet if you wish to.

Frame the walls: It is now time to frame the front and back walls. Build the end walls the same way that you did the side walls, but with the top and bottom plates at 4 feet. Each wall requires four 3-foot 10 ½ -inch studs, set so that bay in the square’s center is 2 feet wide. Drill 5/8 holes in the outer bays only and then stand the walls up and bolt them down. Next, screw the studs together where they meet at the structure’s corners and you can remove the temporary support.

Frame the roof: For this, 10 rafters (5 on each side) are required, so they match up with the studs you screwed on the side walls. Cut ten 2x4s to 2-feet 15/16 inches with an angle of 45 degrees on each end. To get the angles, mark them with a speed square/rafter square or use a miter saw.

Now match two rafters up, making a V and screw them through the angle. There should be 5 Vs in the end. Set the Vs on the side walls’ top plate so that they match the studs and screw them down. Finally, make a ridge beam by setting an 8-foot 2×4 the length of the roof in the rafters’ angle abs screw it down to each rafter.

Now, you have a completed playhouse skeleton, so the next steps are to skin the side walls, front and back walls and the roof with the plywood sheets. Once you have done that, sand down the rough edges so that the little ones do not get splinter in their skin. That can be unpleasant and ruin the day!

After that, you can add the finishing touches and give it the look you want. You can give it a rustic or polished finish – that is all up to you! You can get the kids involved by letting them help you paint the wood to protect it. If you can make it match your actual home, that could look pretty sharp! You can have loads of fun with your new playhouse.

Build a Playhouse

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Do you want to know how to secure your shed? Many people assume that their shed does not need protection. After all, it is nothing more than a storage shack where you keep out-of-season items. But while that lawn mower that you have been storing in your shed for many years may not be of much value on its own, have you considered the accumulated worth of the other contents in your shed – gardening gear, power tools, bikes, electrical cord, portable lights, rope, and lots more.

Despite many valuable items such as these stored in them, sheds are rarely secured properly. Whether or not your shed is attached to your home, you should make sure that the same level of security is provided to it as the rest of your property.

Here are a few tips to help ensure that your shed is as safe and secure as the rest of your home and the surrounding property.

Minimize the Risk of Structural Weaknesses: When there are obvious loose slats and patches of rot, your old shed will be able to provide very minimal defense against thieves. The first thing you need to do is identify the problem areas in the shed. Use new panels to reinforce the internal structure and make sure that you fix loose slats as well.

Replace rotten doors and windows and also patch up holes that you see on your roof. Secondly, make sure that your shed is difficult to for criminals to access. Always keep fence openings closed and secure that are around your yard, use thorny plants as a deterrent, by planting them around the shed and if you have overgrown shrubs surrounding your shed, trim them regularly so that they cannot be used as hiding places.

Replace Old Locks: Because many homeowners do not give importance to the security of their sheds, they use old locks. If traditional security is your preferred option, you should replace the old fastener with the strongest hasp and staple you can find with coach bolts. Next, add a strong padlock – preferable one that is rust-resistant or weatherproof – and make sure that you use it each time you close your shed.

Always remember that the harder you make it for a thief to enter your shed, the less likely they will be to try intruding in the first place, because it increases their chances of getting caught. If you prefer a more high-tech option, you should consider investing in an electronic door lock.

Secure Window AC Units: If the window AC units in your shed are not properly secured, burglars looking for access can quickly and easily remove them. You can make sure that it is much more difficult to remove your AC unit by installing a support mechanism that attaches to the exterior wall of your shed.

Although it may take a little more work, you should make sure that you also add a support bracket that can be securely screwed into the wall. This will make it extremely tough for any burglar to move the AC. Once the bracket has been installed, you should also invest in a window security bar. These are affordable improvements that can effectively prevent potential intruders from opening the window above the unit.

Replace Old Hinges: When the hinges of your shed door are exposed and loose, it makes them easy for criminals to unscrew. When this happens, the first thing you should do is replace those old hinges with a set that comes with a non-removable pin. You should look for carriage screws or coach bolts to install the hinges as well, because these types of fasteners come with smooth heads and cannot be removed from the outside once they are screwed in. This will make your shed door stronger and more secure, deterring potential intruders from trying to break in.

Poor Lighting: If your shed is situated in a corner of your yard where it cannot be reached by the porch light, it will make it difficult to see what is going on during the night. The best solution is to invest in motion detector lighting and have it installed. No criminal wants the spotlight on them so this will keep them away for sure. Depending on the strength and range of your lighting, it may also help in deterring intruders from the rest of your property.

There are many effective ways to make sure that your garden shed is properly secured and the items inside are safe. While some are expensive, you will find many affordable and easy ways to secure this structure. They will ensure that potential criminals have a hard time accessing your shed and getting their hands on your hard-earned property.

You can make sure that the equipment, tools, and other items that you store in your shed are safe from the hands of burglars and thieves. So do not neglect your shed and find ways to ensure that it is secure at all times.

How To Secure Your Shed

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