How to Clean and Repair Tile Grout

Ceramic, porcelain or glass tile can all add charm or elegance to your home. It comes in just about any size, shape and color you could think of. It is one of the most durable building products available today. The one drawback to tile is the grout that seals the joints between tiles, gets dirty or breaks down. In this article we will show you how to clean and repair tile grout.

Whether it’s wall tile or floor tile, it all requires grout that will overtime get dirty, moldy or even start to crumble. While wall grout is much more susceptible to this situation as it is more porous, over time all grout can have this issue.

The Big Clean

Even if you stay on top of things and keep your shower clean, overtime, the grout can still slowly build up dirt, mold and soap scum. To clean your tile grout you will need stiff nylon scrub brush or a scouring pad, and a solution of 50% bleach or vinegar and 50% water and a little elbow grease. If your tile grout still will not come clean you can use a 50/50 mix of muriatic acid and water. If you are using the solution be very safety cautious wearing rubber gloves by protection and ventilating the room.

After going through the steps you find the tile grout is still not clean where you find cracks or holes in it you’ll need to move on to the steps for repairing the grout.

Head over to the Next Page to see How to Repair Tile Grout.

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Replacing a Refrigerator Door Gasket

All doors on a refrigerator have a molded gasket around the outside edge of the door to seal in the cold air. Over time the gasket can get torn or with age it becomes old and stiff. Making a visual inspection of your refrigerator door Gasket on a regular basis is a great way to save money. A leaking refrigerator door gasket can waste hundreds of dollars a year.

Things to look for during an inspection, tears in the gasket, bends or creases in the gasket, condensation around the outside or moldy areas. If you discover any of these issues it’s probably time to replace the refrigerator door gasket. Another test you can perform opening the door placing a piece of paper in the door in closing you can easily slide the paper out the gasket is not sealing properly and it’s time to invest in the new gasket.

In order to purchase the correct gasket for your refrigerator, you’ll need the make, model and serial number off of the refrigerator. This information can usually be found on the inside of the door or along the inside edge of the refrigerator. Once you know that information you can take it to your local appliance supply store or online.

The gasket on most refrigerator doors are held on by one of two ways. If you pull out slightly on the inside edge of the gasket it will either be attached by in a groove under the door liner, or you will see a row of bolts which hold a retaining bar that keeps the gasket in place.

On the next page you find two videos explaining the two different ways of replacing your refrigerator door gasket.

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How to Extend an Existing Electric Wall Box

How to use an electrical box extender if you are installing wood, stone, tile or any other material to an existing wall. For a better look and for safety you need to bring the outlets and switches out to meet the face your new wall material. There are numerous ways of accomplishing this, partially depending on the material you’re using.

Plastic box extender

Using a combustible material such as wood or paneling you must use an electrical box extender. The extender will provide protection from a potential fire caused by an electrical short or loose connection.

Although, not required for noncombustible material, it is always best to use a box extender to close the gap between the existing box and the new materials surface.

If your existing electrical junction box is metal, you can purchase a metal box extension. You could use a plastic one, provided the screws go through to the existing box.

One critical point is to cut the hole in your new material the correct size. The tabs on the extension need to sit on the surface of the new material.

While extensions are good, They are not my preference. If you’re covering the wall anyway, I prefer to open it up and install a new adjustable box. Check out the Next Page to see how to do this.

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Fall Lawn Care – It Really is the Best Time

Fall is a great time to repair your lawn and prepare it for the harsh winter to come. While it may be dormant  to the eye, the root structure of your lawn is still at work.

Fall lawn care is one of the best things you can do to provide for a healthy root system BS and improve the soil quality — just cover these basic rules.

Now is the time to work to control winter weeds with an application of pre-emergent. If you are over-seeding for the winter, do not apply a pre-emergent herbicide because it will hinder the germination of your turf’s seed.

Feeding your lawn with an even application of fertilizer is the best thing you can do to boost a strong spring growth. A 3-1-2 mix is a safe bet but be cautious not to over apply. Try to apply fall fertilizer 2 to 4 weeks before the first frost and always water-in after an application of fertilizer. To ensure you have a proper fertilizer mix, test your soil with an over-the-counter testing kit available from your local garden supply. Or take a test soil sample to your local Agri life extension agent for testing.

Select slow release organic fertilizer for the soil and sod but if you have questions then contact your local garden supply professionals. When applying, follow all instructions on the packaging and water-in as recommended. This is the best way to prepare for cool weather dormancy and protect against winter kill. Water your entire lawn ½ inch per week if rainfall is lacking. Use a moisture meter at root level to measure the amount of moisture in your soil.

Don’t scalp your lawn in the fall, leave it at least 2 inches high, this may vary depending on the grass variety. Continue to mow as long as your lawn is growing.

Make sure your mower blade is sharp and do a little maintenance before putting it away for the winter.

Part of fall lawn care is taking care of fallen leaves. If left on the lawn, leaves can form a wet blanket, smothering your turf and promoting disease. Keep leaves raked and picked up and use them in a compost pile. A small amount of leaves can be mowed and mulched into the lawn.

If you have areas where grass just won’t grow then the fall is a great time for planting and establishing certain groundcover plants.

Remember if you put your lawn to sleep healthy it will wake up healthy in the spring!

 

Check out the wonderful video below for more fall lawn tips and fertilizing.

 

Great Firewood Storage Ideas

Fall is here! Time for the animals to start gathering and storing their food for the winter. Also time for us to start stacking wood to keep us warm or just to sit and enjoy an evening with family and friends. Building your own firewood storage racks is a great idea, as you can build it to fit you needs. 

It can be a simple one for enough wood to have a few fires a year, on those special occasions. Or a massive firewood storage rack to house enough wood to heat your place all winter long.

Firewood storage racks can be be made simple with just a few concrete blocks and some 2x’s, yo elaborate designs that blend into their surroundings.

We put together a collection of storage racks we have come across to give you some ideas for building your own firewood rack.

The simple and Quick. Great for patios and fire pit wood storage.

cheap firewood storage

 

Or if you need a little more storage this one is easily expanded.

block firewood-storage rack

Use some pressure treated lumber and you can DIY in no time.

finished-wood-rack

 

Inexpensive yet very sturdy. Great for those occasional uses.

firewood storage 2x

 

When you heed a little more storage but still have a budget to keep.

firewood storage box

 

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Dress Up the Fireplace – DIY Fireplace Mantel

If your fireplace is just a boring hole in the wall, you can really spruce it up with a fireplace mantel. Building a mantel for your fireplace will not only make your fireplace look fantastic it will give you great feeling of accomplishment.

For the DIYer, this is a fairly simple project. A lot of the parts can be acquired ready to finish and assemble.

You can use pretty much any kind of wood for this project. This will help you to match or blend with the other moldings and accents in your home. There are many different types and profiles and moldings, ie: crown moldings, casings, flutes, and many others, that can be used on this project to make all different looks.

Check out this brief video. Amy will show how she took her dressed up her naked looking fireplace and made it look spectacular by adding the mantel.

After acquiring all of the pieces and adding the finish to them, Amy built and installed the bracing for her mantel.

Create that room focal point that you've been dreaming about. DIY fireplace mantel shelf for about $210 in knotty alder!

After that she installed the corbels and the shelf and proceeded to installing the rest of the mantel. What a difference adding this mantel made to this fireplace in the wall.

Create that room focal point that you've been dreaming about. DIY fireplace mantel shelf for about $210 in knotty alder!

To see all of the steps she took to put this project together, visit her site at hertoolbelt.com

Awesome DIY Shoe Rack Bench

If your mud room or entranceway is forever littered with shoes, then this awesome DIY shoe rack bench will help solve that issue.

The inexpensive ones you can find at Amazon or Ikea will probably fall apart in no time. If you want a shoe rack that will last you will need to dig deep into your wallet.

Beth felt the same way so she came up with her own design. She made her shoe rack using a couple of wood pallets and a few other piece of lumber.

Start with two pallets. Try to get the exact same pallets and some pallets that are in fairly good condition. Also, try to find pallets that use 2″x4″ construction for the middle board. The bench finishes at 48″x18″.

 

You will need:
(1) – 1″x6″x 12′ long cut into 48″ lengths (The top, 3 cuts)
(1) – 2″x4″x 6′ long ripped down the middle cut into 18″ lengths (Center supports- 8 cuts)
(1) – 2″x4″x 12′ cut into 18″ lengths (Side supports- 8 cuts)
(1) – 2″x4″x 12′ milled down to 3″ wide (optional) cut into 18″ lengths (Bottom Side supports- 8 cuts)
Circular Saw
Drill (Seriously the Dewalt Hammer Drill is my fav!)
Lots of screws
Hammer
Chisel
4 casters
She started with removing the bottom board from both pallets. You can find our tutorial on easy pallet disassembly here, http://www.homediyfixes.com/how-to-disassemble-wood-pallet/

Then Beth measured the width and cut the pallet exactly in half. You can modify it to suit your needs.

At this point, decide which side you want to face front and the order you would like to stack the pallets. I had some ends that were cracked on my pallet so I faced them towards the back. Also, I put the best quality shelves toward the top of the bench because I figured you would see them more.

She decided that in order to hold the weight of sitting on it to remove their shoes, the shoe holder would need to be reinforced. Taking some 2×4’s and attaching them to the outer legs for the extra support, she then added some more blocks to the feet to increase the space for the shoes.

 

Beth then assembled all of her pieces and added some wheels for easy moving to clean under it.

After sanding (for weeks), staining, and applying the polyurethane, the bench is finally finished!
The total cost: Pallets (free) + wheels ($18.88) + boards ($13.25) +Stain (free, already had it) + Screws & Nails (free, already had them) = $32.13
Not too bad if I don’t say so myself!
Here is the end result of her project. What an awesome idea!

Here are a few tips I would have offered Beth as she went along.

Rough sanding all of your parts prior to assembly will make it much easier later. 

Add some blocks to the wheels to make the bench higher. That would leave room underneath for a drip pan.

See her awesome project and step by step directions at between3sisters.com

 

The Magic World of Itsyville

As you enter the magical world of Itsyville, you get transformed it to a mystical time where everything is so peaceful.

Created by Artist and Master Chainsaw Sculpture Steven Branchard.

Steve transforms trees and logs into some truly amazing works of art.

Check out This awesome creation. We’re sure you will agree.

The town of Itsyville.

 

Please close the door!

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This place is sold, we are moving up.

 

Think I’ll just sit for a spell.

 

Anyone home?

 

What a wonderful life!

 

Hey Who wants lunch?

 

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Ah nightfall, time to retire.

 

Then sneak out the back to to see more awesome Wood Sculptures

Itsyville back door

See more wonderful wood sculptures at blanchardwoodsculpture.com

Chainsaw Artistry: Amazing Wood Sculptures

Most of us have seen wood sculptures in our travels. Chainsaw master artist Steve Blanchard takes it to a whole new level. From simple one log carvings to awesome tree houses, his talents are hard to match.

Besides being a master with a chainsaw, these awesome projects are his own designs. Take a look and see for yourself what a true master he is.

He is his own person with a great talent. “I take my own risk, I make up my own designs, anything could go wrong using a chainsaw”, says Steve.
Looks like this one was self inspired.

 

Check out the detail put into every piece he carves. With just a chainsaw!

 

 

 

Love the little house!

 

The entire deck and furniture is his design.

blanchard-wood-sculpture-13

On the Next Page see how the projects have grown to the extraordinary.

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10 Tips to Help With the Laundry (Video)

Doing laundry for most of us is a task that gets done because it has to. Not many people really enjoy doing it. Come laundry day a little change of mindset can make the chore of doing load after load a bit more enjoyable.

Quick tips like using a rolling hamper or skipping the dryer sheets by using a ball of aluminum foil to soften your clothes and prevent static cling make the day more interesting and less tedious.

Check out the fun video below for some more helpful tips to make your life a little easier and make some fun out of doing laundry.