Ask This Old House TV // Season 8 // Episode 03

Ask TOH | Urban Backyard, Fiber-Cement Cutting Tools

Landscaping contractor Roger Cook travels to Baltimore, where he helps transform a small urban backyard into a pleasant outdoor living space. Then Roger, along with general contractor Tom Silva, host Kevin O'Connor, and plumbing and heating expert Richard Trethewey ask, "What is it?" Afterward, up in the loft, Tom shows Kevin some new ways to install fiber cement siding without creating a lot of dust.

Landscaping a Small Urban Backyard

Roger transformed a small backyard into a pleasant place to relax and entertain. First, he repaired a leaning fence by cutting the fence around an existing tree and replacing the rotten fence post. With the fence fixed, Roger and the homeowners cleared the yard of existing bricks and plants and amended the topsoil using compost. Next, they created a seating area using pea-stone and metal edging to separate it from plant areas. They then planted several trees and shrubs including a Weeping Norway Spruce, Dragon Lady Holly, a Japanese Red Maple, Skip Laurel, and Spirea. They also laid sod to create a small turf area. Later, up in the loft, Roger showed Kevin a few simple tools that help homeowners design landscapes themselves.

Where to find it?

Expert design and installation support was provided by Michael Martin at:
Live Green Landscape Associates, LLC

In the loft, Roger showed a magnetic landscape design tool manufactured by:
The Board from ViewIT Technologies

Fiber Cement Siding Cutting Tools

In the loft, Tom showed Kevin some tools for cutting fiber cement siding while minimizing the dust. He demonstrated a dust-capturing circular saw, drill-mounted power shears, and special jigsaw blades and hole-saws made for specifically for fiber cement. General tips for installing fiber cement are also discussed.

Where to find it?

Tom showed a new type of circular saw for cutting fiber cement that captures dust and directs it into a 5-gallon bucket.
RIDGID Pro Fiber Cement Saw (model #R3400)

Fiber cement cutting saws and blades are also manufactured by:
Hitachi Power Tools

Tom showed a set of fiber cement cutting shears that attach to a cordless drill.
TurboShear FC from Malco Products, Inc.

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