Is a Log Home Better

Back in the days before saw mills, log homes were the way homes were built. As wood became used up, building with dimensional lumber became the way to build, as it was cheaper and used less resources.

Today, as resources have been regrown and are more plentiful, more and more log homes are popping up on the landscape. Part of the reasoning, is there are definite advantages to a log home.

  • Fast Framing
    With the right crew and building system, it can be weather tight in as little as two weeks—for an average sized home. In conventional construction, your home is exposed to the elements for far longer.
  • Warmth of Wood
    Warm to the touch (as opposed to the always chilly sheetrock), wood has something called “thermal mass,” a natural property in the logs that helps keep inside temperatures of homes comfortable in all seasons.
  • Super Energy Efficient
    Provided the home is sealed properly (between the foundation and the first course of logs, between log-to-log connections and where the roof system meets the log wall), you can have a super energy efficient home. Indeed, some builders routinely build log and timber homes to meet the DOE’s “Energy Star” standards.
  • A Picture is Worth a Thousand Words
    Hanging a picture in a home with drywall is a big ordeal, involving a stud finder, a hammer or drill and bruised fingers—maybe even a bruised ego, since your spouse may tell you to move the picture, requiring patch work.
  • Superior Craftsmanship
    Conventional custom homes can have their fare share of beautiful carpentry, but this is typically limited to trim and millwork. In log and timber homes, examples of fine craftsmanship are at every turn.
  • Peace & Quiet
    Log homes are often quieter than stick built homes, thanks to the same thermal mass that provides energy efficiency and the sound deadening affects of wood walls.
  • Withstand Mother Nature’s Wrath
    The log and timber home industry has countless stories of these homes successfully weathering the worst weather Mother Nature can dish out.


log-home interior

Since trees are a renewable resource, log and timber homes come with a solid green pedigree. When a home is made from solid logs, you are effectively taking the carbon contained in those logs out of environmental circulation over the entire life of the home.

Thanks to the National Assoc. of Home Builders.



Wonderful Uses for Epsom Salt.

Epsom Salt was discovered in England back in the 17th century by a farmer in the town of Epsom. Since it’s discovery, many beneficial uses have been found for it.

Epsom Salt, is not salt as we normally think of it, but a mineral compound, Magnesium Sulfate.

Epsom Salt is used for health and medicinal reasons as well as in agriculture.



Global medical studies have shown that a good percentage of the worlds population are lacking in magnesium, even in developed countries. Magnesium levels in our bodies have been decreasing for the last 30 – 40 years on a global basis. This decrease is due, in the main, from over irrigation of agricultural land thereby leaching essential minerals (magnesium) and other trace elements from the soils. The ever increasing and over use of prescribed medication is also responsible for decreased levels of magnesium in our bodies. Add to this the use of illegal drugs, the over consumption of fast and modified foods, the excesses of alcohol and cigarettes and the general unfavourable lifestyle choices that some make, these all then take a toll on depleting our bodies of the essential and vital mineral magnesium.  


The benefits to be derived from the use of Epsom Salt are numerous and profound, including regulating the activity of over 350 enzymes in the body. Magnesium also assists in the prevention of artery hardening, heart disease and strokes. Magnesium flushes toxins from the body, eases migraine headaches, reduces high blood pressure, improves relaxation and induces a deeper and more concentrated sleep. Magnesium is historically well known to sooth sore and tired muscles and reduces inflammation.  Using Epsom Salt produces serotonin, a mood elevating chemical within the brain which results in a feeling of calm, content and relaxation. Bathing in Epsom Salt eases various skin ailments such as psoriasis and eczema.



Use In The Garden & Landscape

Epsom Salt is highly recommended by expert growers to be used on your vegetables but also in the landscape. It is fairly safe, inexpensive and the benefits of adding it to soil to improve plants is well worth the cost. It has been used in gardens for hundreds of years as a “natural fertilizer”. When sprayed or diluted and used as a drench liquid it is much more quickly “available” for use by plants.

Better Flowering, More & Stronger Blooms – Although there is no “firm” scientific study to back the claim… many seasoned gardeners swear that the addition of Epsom salt to their flower garden greatly improves the colors and textures of the flowers they grow. Plants are stronger and produce more blooms. Incorporate Epsom salt into the soil at time of planting and also use as a liquid when watering every 2 to 3 weeks on a regular basis.



Epsom Salt is also helpful in removing a splinter, you have have gotten working it the garden, from your hand or foot, it helps to increase the osmotic pressure of the skin and help draw out a splinter.












Removing a Broken Light Bulb.

If you have a light bulb that has broken off and the base is still in the socket, the first thing you need to do is turn off the power to the light. Turning off the switch is good, but it is best to turn of the whole circuit to be safe, if it is in a lamp make sure to unplug the lamp.

If the glass has separated from the base but is still intact, place a bag around it and break it, leaving just the base in the socket.

To remove the base of the broken light bulb from the socket, you can try using a potato. Slice the  end off the potato and slide it over the center glass post of the bulb and twist. If the center post is also broken off, you will need a pair of needle nose pliers to remove the base.

This video will show you both ways to remove the light bulb base from the light socket.

Remember, Safety first, wear gloves and eye protection, as you will be working with glass and metal that can break off, you certainly don’t want that in your eye!



11 Helpful Painting Tips

Whether you are a beginner or a pro, there is always time to learn new painting tips. I know they say you can’t teach an old dog, but most of know that isn’t true.

If you are painting a room, apiece of furniture or a whole house, this little tricks can make life just a bit smoother.

Ensuring that the groove where the lid sits is clean and place a piece of plastic wrap under the lid to help keep the paint fresh. Dab some paint on the lid and mark what color and what it was used for help you find it when you need to touch up a spot.

Paint lid seal


Painting different colors next to each other in a corner or painting stripes on you wall?

Get crisp clean perfect lines using painters tape and this trick.

Perfect paint lines

Brought to you by


Store left over paint in a Rubbermaid Paint Buddy so you can touch up spots if needed.

Paint Buddy


When you are painting with a roller, for best results, paint in a “W” pattern. Start the next full roller of paint about 2 roller lengths away for where you ended. Work back, overlapping were you already painted.

Roller Painting


To save the mess of holding a one gallon paint can when cutting in corners, use an old coffee can or a Paint Pail by HANDy, you can get liners for it also for easy cleanup.

Paint Pail

If you did some spackling before you painted and you have an empty 1 gal pail around they also work great.


When you are done rolling you walls, scrape excess paint from the roller to make it easier to clean. You may need that last bit of paint so don’t toss it away.

Scaping paint roller


They make liners you can by to fit your paint tray so you don’t have to clean it anymore. But if you want to be economical you can always use a Home Depot or Target shopping bag.

Paint tray liners


When you need to take a break or while you are moving things around.

Keep you paint brush and rollers from drying out. Put them in a ziplock bag or wrap them in saran wrap until the project is done. Then wash r=them with warm soapy water.


We hope these tips will make you painting project go smoother. Happy Painting.


Keep Your Renovation from Going Bad!

After being a contractor most of my life and stepping in a few times to bail a home owner out that was screwed over by bad renovation work. I am writing this post to help keep your renovation from going bad!

When you have decided to do a renovation and you are ready to hire a contractor, you need to follow some simple guide lines, so the job goes smoothly and you don’t waste a ton of money.

Finding a good contractor can be challenging. Getting recommendations from family members and neighbors is always helpful, but you should still get multiple quotes.

Furthermore, don’t always go with the lowest estimate. If someone is way under all the other estimates, that may mean they are desperate for money or won’t do quality work.

Get references. Read their reviews. Ask to see photos of their work.
Although you should ask your friends and family for recommendations, it’s always a good idea to check the contractors out online as well. I know that Home Advisor is one site you can use to find trusted contractors in your area, as well as read multiple reviews on them.

If the contractor is busy or booked up for a month, that probably means they are pretty good.
It might be worth your time to wait on them.

Determine a payment schedule.
Unless a contractor comes highly recommended and has multiple great reviews, I would be hesitant to pay any money upfront. Come up with a clear payment schedule you are comfortable with.

Get everything in writing.
Having an agreement written out and signed is a good idea. Make sure it includes the payment schedule, the details of the project, estimated start and finish dates, proof of their insurance, and any materials you are responsible for purchasing for the job.

Check up on them during the work.
If you’re living in the house where work is being completed, this doesn’t really apply to you, but if you’re not, it does. Stop by the workplace at least two to four times a week. You don’t want to be in their way, but you do want them to know you’re around and keeping an eye on the work they are doing.

Thanks to Jenna Lefevor for contributing to this article.

In most states it is require for a contractor to be licensed and insured, this is for your safety if things go wrong. Be sure to check this when you start the hiring process, even if not required, they should have insurance for your protection.


Build a Playhouse for the Kids!

Every kid would love to have a playhouse in the backyard where they can grow and create their own memories, but they can be expensive to purchase, even as a kit.

Have you considered building one yourself? Any handyman with some woodworking skills can build a playhouse like one of these beauties and you can have the kids help and learn with you.


See plans to build this at the



How would you little ones like this?

Elevated playhouse

Get plans to build this fabulous play house from





Pots and Pans and Lids, Oh My!

Storing pots and pans and their lids always seems to be an issue. You want to stack them together as it is a hassle to get to when you need the middle one, and you also don’t want to scratch them.

We have compiled some ideas on storing them so they are easy to get at and protects them from damage.

If you are a do it yourselfer, you can even build some of these yourself.

Peg board pot holder

Peg board pot holder for small kitchen without a lot of cabinet space.


Adjustable pot stacker

A great adjustable Pot and Lid Stacker


Lid hanger

An awesome Lid Hanger


Or make your own using a standard towel bar.

DIY Lid Holders

Photo thanks to


Make a pot hanger from a shower curtain rod and some S hooks.

Pot Hanger



These Slide out pot hangers are great, you can get them from Glideware for $ 175 each

Pot slide out hanger

Or build them yourself with some help from for about $40


If you have a whole cabinet to dedicate to your pots and pans these racks from are awesome.

Pot cabinet rack




Fastest Way to Grill Sweet Corn

Now that summer is here, everyone loves getting outdoors and doing some grilling. One of our favorite things to put on the grill is fresh picked sweet corn.

There are of course, many different ways to grill sweet corn, as with any food, every chef has there perfect way of preparing it. Some will season it before placing it on the grill, others will wrap it in foil, while some like to peel the husk and grill the open kernels, (we find this burns the kernels).

We find the easiest way, is placing shuck and all on the grill. Here are great instructions from old world garden farms on the fastest way to grill sweet corn that is perfect every time.



How to Grill Sweet CornGrilled Corn

Sweet Corn in Husks
Water for soaking
Seasoning to taste (salt, pepper, cayenne, etc…)


  1. Use fresh picked sweet corn and keep it in the entire husk.
  2. Heat grill or fire to approximately 450°F
  3. While the grill is heating, soak cobs in water for at least 15 minutes.
  4. Once the desired temperature has been reached, remove the corn from water, shake off excess water and place over direct heat on the grill.
    grill sweet corn
    After being grilled, the husks and silk is easily removed and ready to eat!
  5. Grill for approximately 20 minutes, turning frequently to char all sides of the husks.
  6. Remove from heat and let sit until it cools enough to be handled.
  7. Peel husks and add butter and seasonings as desired.


Thanks to for this great recipe.

Hyde Flat Pry Bar

My dad gave me a Hyde flat pry bar about 40 years ago, and it has been in my tool pouch ever since. It has become one of the most used and most versatile tools I own.

The one he gave me was a little worn so I tried to replace it, at that time it was nearly impossible. Then one day I spoke to the right person at my local lumber yard and he finally found where to get them. I bought a dozen of them and gave one to each of my employees, keeping a couple for myself of course.

The tool is very useful anywhere you need to do some prying or scraping. 

The amount of uses for this tool is almost endless.

I use it on everything from:

  • Easily removing molding
  • Separating boards
  • Removing tile
  • Shimming door frames
  • Scraping paint or glue
  • Pulling nails
  • Lift things
  • Holding things in place
  • Prying stuff apart

Flat Pry Bar

I have also used it as a:

  • Screw driver
  • Knife
  • Door stop
  • Wedge
  • Shim
  • Saw to cut holes in sheetrock
  • Scribe a line


When you pick one up, I’m sure you will be very happy you discovered this tool. Once you put it in your tool collection and start using it you’ll wish you had it years ago.


Great DIY Planters!

Using planters to liven up your yard or patio is a wonderful idea, instead of a stationary garden where you are pretty much stuck with where it is at, planters can be moved to new locations to allow for changes you may decide on in the future.

If you look thru your garden shed, garage or even the attic, you may find some fun things that will make great DIY planters. If you don’t find anything there, take a look at your parents or maybe a close neighbor has some items they are looking to get rid that they think is junk, you could turn it to a beautiful planter.

Old pots or buckets make great DIY planters.

Cheap garden planters

   Photo source: DIY and Mag


An old wheelbarrow or garden cart will make a great planter that can be moved and have different flower arrangements depending on the location.


 Photo source:


Using your imagination can lead to using almost anything for a garden planter. Have some wood pallets laying around. Go here to see some wonderful pallet planter ideas.


Make an old sink into a lovely garden planter.

an old sink in a garden makes a cute planter - especially with the dishes added!:



Attach a dish pan to an old chair and you have these wonderful planters.

old chair planter trio:

Head over to the Next Page to see some more great planter ideas.