All posts by homediyfixes

A Great Garden Shed Out Of Old Doors

Isn’t it great finding new uses for old items we take out of our homes? Old windows and doors can be use to make so many new and useful things.

A great example is this is making a 4 door garden shed. The makes a really nice looking and useful shed that save time and money on sheathing and siding.

Sharon from Liberty Rose shares with us her story of building her wonderful garden shed.

My most recent “conquest” was a garden shed that was made out of old doors.  I have been wanting a shed for just garden tools and pots.  They seem to end up all over the place and I can never find them when I need them.  Some nice person shared a tool shed they had made on Pinterest and I asked my husband if we could do the same thing since I knew we had taken several doors down in the house over the years.  

 My husband started drawing his plans for building the shed since there was only a photograph on Pinterest and after a $250 trip to Lowe’s for wood and supplies, he started the shed. 

I thought we would just hinge the doors together, slap on a roof and be done with it!!!  Well, he said if we did that it would blow over in one of our thunderstorms.  I decided the best course of action to take was to just let him do it his way since he was the one building the shed and I really wanted it done. 

We used three of our old doors and Pam from the Rusty Bucket gifted us with the “front door” which has panes of glass to let in a little light.  Also helps it not to look like an outhouse!

After getting all the parts together, her husband went to work on her shed. He got it done and then she added the finishing touches.

I love it and know that it will be very useful for me to have all my gardening things in one place. 
I have had the two children’s shovels for years and found them in my husband’s big shed and decided to hang them on my little shed. 



Great Use Of Hidden Space In The Kitchen

Every small kitchen could use some extra storage space. There are little spaces, hiding in plain site, that we don’t even think of as being useful. Then someone comes along with a great idea that starts you thinking, do I have a space like that in my kitchen?

Being a Do It Yourselfer, you can easily tackle one of these projects.

Roll Out Pantry

When installing kitchen cabinets, enough space is usually left for the maximum size fridge. Not every one puts in the biggest one available, this can leave space next to the fridge for storage. A roll-out pantry is a great use of this space.

This awesome project we found over at were the Roeckers show us how they built it.

The great thing about this project is you can modify it to your situation.

For another version from Classy Clutter, Mallory gives us step by step instructions on how she built her rolling pantry.

Can Cab_2_noWM

They both did awesome jobs on their projects.

I have a few suggestions of things that could make these roll-out panties a little easier and safer.

I would suggest using straight rolling casters instead of swivel casters. This will allow the pantry to roll straight in and out without the wheels having to turn around. Image result for casters


Attaching a drawer slide to the back or top of the cabinet and the side wall will make it glide in and out better and stop it from coming out to far and possible fall. Or you can place a block on the wall above the unit and one on the back of the unit to prevent it from coming out beyond the wall.

Image result for drawer slides


If you decide to build one for yourself, share it with us, we would love to see it.





Upcycle Leftover Pumpkins

Now that Halloween and Thanksgiving are over, don’t toss those leftover pumpkins in the garbage. There are many things you can do with them to help keep them out of the landfills.

You can put them in your compost pile ( or a neighbors, if you don’t have one). They can be cut up to feed the wild life. You can sut out the seeds and plant them for next year.

They can also be repurposed into other decorations for the rest of the holiday season.

Laura over at Garden answers has this awesome idea to repurpose left over pumpkins.

Using just a few supplies she turned her leftovers into a snowman decoration.

Pumpkins leftover from fall decorations
Hand Pruners & Scissors
White Spray Paint
7/16 in. x 12 in. Drill Bit
1/2″ spade bit
3′ Bamboo Garden Stake
Glue Gun
Black Hat
Red Ribbon
Glittery Holly Holiday Pick
Scrap fabric for scarf
Carrot for nose, gravel for face and buttons
Spring Grove® Western Arborvitae
Leyland Cypress

Watch the video to see how she did it.

Quick Guide To Replace a Toilet Fill Valve

Do you notice your toilet filling real slow after you flush it? The culprit is most likely the fill valve is worn or filled with sediment from the water.

The fill valve, is the tower inside the toilet tank where the water enters and has the float attached to it. It will sit off to one side of the tank. There are a number of different models that can be used, each with a little different configuration, that all attach in the same manner.

Replacing the fill valve is an easy project that requires a pair of water pump pliers and a sponge.

Check out this video and see how simple it is.



7 Signs of Mold Issues in Your Home and How To Fix Them!

Owning a home is tough.

Whether it’s big or small, there always seems to be little dark corners and nooks and crannies where all kinds of gross stuff likes to gather.

It’s disheartening to move aside a piece of furniture and see all the cleaning you have to do, but it’s always better to get more gunk out of your life.

And sometimes, your health can really depend on it, especially if we’re talking about mold.

Mold looks humble. It’s the fuzzy stuff that grows across your bread when it’s been left out too long, and it might not seem like a lot, but it can actually have very powerful effects on your health.

On the one hand, penicillin, a medicine that’s saved countless lives, is made out of that very mold growing on your sliced bread. On the other, one type of mold can lead to hallucinations and, as one theory states, even led to the hysteria that left 20 people dead in Salem in 1692.

But there’s another kind of mold that might be lurking in your home right now, causing symptoms not only in your house, but also in your body.

It’s called black mold, and it is one of the worst molds you can get. It grows in damp areas, usually in areas of condensation or water damage, and it’s toxic. If you think your home may have black mold, you need to get it checked out immediately.

But how can you tell? Read on to find out, and see what you can do to stop it.

How Does Black Mold End Up In Your House?


Morgan Swofford for LittleThings

Black mold (also known as Stachybotrys) likes to grow in damp places, and is most commonly found in areas where condensation has collected or where there’s been water damage.

Spores enter the home through windows, doors, and other openings, and can also be tracked on shoes and clothing.

If there’s no standing moisture, nothing will happen, but if there’s an area where moisture has collected, black mold can begin to grow.

Not all black mold is toxic, though. If you find a mold that’s black in color, immediately have it tested to see if it’s Stachybotrys.

But it often goes unnoticed for a long time, and its symptoms are often confused with other issues.

So what should you look out for?

Symptoms In The Body
Body Symptom #1: Allergy Symptoms, Asthma, And Breathing Difficulty

<u>Symptoms In The Body</u><br>Body Symptom #1: Allergy Symptoms, Asthma, And Breathing Difficulty

Morgan Swofford for LittleThings

The most common effect of mold on the body is respiratory issues.

That’s a lot of coughing and wheezing, shortness of breath, and a general feeling like you can’t breathe as well as you should be.

This is what happens when you inhale black mold spores.

Having allergy and asthma flare-ups are common, which will seem more frequent than normal, or it might even appear in people who have never had asthma or allergies before.

Body Symptom #2: Difficulty With Memory And Concentration

Body Symptom #2: Difficulty With Memory And Concentration

Morgan Swofford for LittleThings

A foggy feeling is also common when you’ve been breathing in mold spores. They’ll make you feel sluggish and thick-headed.

This is due to the toxic quality of the mold, which makes it hard for the brain to function properly.

Your mind and memory will also be operating less smoothly if your body is feeling sick and weak, too.


Body Symptom #3: Nausea And Vomiting

Body Symptom #3: Nausea And Vomiting

Morgan Swofford for LittleThings

Black mold can also affect the digestive system, making you feel queasy and nauseated.

Essentially, mold affects your body like a poison, but because the symptoms are so common, mold is the last thing that people think of when they feel sick to their stomachs all the time, which is totally understandable.

Body Symptom #4: Weakened Immune System And Chronic Sickness

Body Symptom #4: Weakened Immune System And Chronic Sickness

Morgan Swofford for LittleThings

The most telling symptom of black mold is the feeling of being sickly all the time.

If you notice that you’re suddenly always feeling under the weather, it might be your house.

It’s also especially important to look out for chronic sickness in young children, the elderly, pregnant women, and those with compromised immune systems, since the effects from mold can have serious complications for these people.

See Symptoms In Your Home on the Next Page


Making the Family Dog Happy!

There is an ongoing debate on whether to have a kennel for your dog. Some people will say it is cruel to put a dog in a crate. Every dog and every situation is different. As well behaved as some dogs are, when left alone they become destructive.

To a dog who is kennel trained, this is their space. They feel safe and secure and no one bothers them there. Like a child having their own room.

The issue with wire kennels, is the look. They don’t really fit into most decor.

If you are handy you can build your own to blend in to your home like a piece of furniture. Check out some of these awesome ideas.

If you are not handy, check out B & B Custom Kennels.

DIY Window Shutters

Window shutters will make any house standout. Most shutters you can buy for your house today are made of plastic. While the look good from a distance and will never rot, they are still plastic.

Wood window shutters add so much more appeal to a home than vinyl shutters. The major issue is a set of pre-made wood shutters will set you back a couple of hundred dollars per window.

With just a few tools and a little carpentry knowledge any Do It Yourself-er can make their own wood shutters.

You can make your shutters out of any kind of wood you like, but certain woods are better for this project. Part of that choice depends on the look you want. Do you to keep a natural wood look or painted? Board and batten, flat panel or raised panel. Board and batten will be the simplest to make and looks great.

Poplar or cedar are you best wood choices for this type of shutter. If you want them to look rustic or you are on a tight budget you could use old pallets or some reclaimed barn wood.

Stop over on the Next Page to see how to make your own shutters.


Traci from shares her story of making shutter for this home. With the help of some volunteers from the nearby Lowes they made some great board and batten shutters.

How to Build Board and Batten Shutters

The list of materials they used is as follows.

  • 1×6 poplar boards
  • 1×4 poplar boards
  • compound miter saw
  • wood glue
  • nail gun and nails (1 1/4″, 18 gauge finish nails)
  • tape measure
  • sanding sponges
  • stain  (We used MinWax Dark Walnut.)
  • rubber gloves and cloths for staining
  • paint sticks to use as spacers between boards

Check out their video on below.


If you have any question or want to share your projects, just comment below.

Automatic Air Vent for Drain Lines

All plumbing fixture drain lines need to be vented. The air vent allows for air in to the drain system so water will flow properly. Think of how a soda bottle goes gulb when you poor it as the air goes into the bottle to replace the liquid coming out. Without the introduction of air, a vacuum will form and the liquid will stop flowing.

See our article on Properly Venting a Plumbing Fixture

A drain system therefore must also be vented. Installing a vent line in some areas, such as a kitchen island or a basement can be an issue particularly if the walls are all closed.

Using an automatic air vent in a cabinet or exposed if you don’t mind the look can solve this issue.

These devices have been used for decades and are approved by must building codes. Be sure to check with your local code official before installing one.

Check out the video below to see how to install an automatic air vent.


Properly Venting a Plumbing Fixture

Before you decide to add a plumbing fixture for a bathroom, laundry room, or a utility sink, you need to be sure that the drain line is properly vented. Without proper venting your sink will drain slow, gurgle or back up.

If it is an existing drain it shouldn’t be an issue. If you are installing a new waste line, venting it is very important.

The vent allows air to enter the system to prevent air locks and also allows sewer gases to exit the system outside of the living space.

Glenda at SF gives us some great advice on sewer venting.

Venting Basics

The old-fashioned method of venting featured a separate vent pipe for every fixture but that led to multiple vent pipes exiting the roof. Today, plumbers combine vents, and even a home with four or more bathrooms typically has only one main vent-and-soil stack that exits the roof at the top and curves to form the horizontal sewer drain at the bottom. A good drain, waste and vent layout takes bathroom, laundry room and kitchen configuration into consideration when planning where the main vent-and-soil stack is located and how each drain and vent will connect. Drainpipes all slope downward and tie into the stack, while vent pipes extend upward and meet the stack higher on the line, often in the attic. The basic rule is that a vent must not connect to the stack lower on the stack than a drain connection.

Mechanical Vents, Air Admittance Valves and Best Practices

In the case of a remodeling, it’s not always possible to install vertical vents through finished walls, although that should be the first option. When this situation arises, it might be possible to install an air admittance valve on a sink or tub drain line. An AAV attaches to an individual fixture’s drain line in the wall nearest the fixture. AAVs replace the old mechanical vents, which are not up to code in most communities. It’s essential that all plumbing plans be cleared with the local building authority. In many communities, a licensed plumber must either do the work or oversee the project.

If you find that running a full vent line is just not possible, Click Here for instructions on Air Admittance Valve installation.

Before Calling a Service Man, Check These First.



You wake up one morning and realize, it is a little colder in the house than usual. You go check and find out the heating system is not working. 

To save yourself some time and money, here is a list of things to check before calling the service man.

Some of these things may easily solve the issue and get your system back up and running in no time. While other will help you explain to the service company where the issue is. This will help you also understand the some basics to keep you from ripped off.

While checking a gas system, if you smell gas, leave the house immediately, do not anything electrical, such as light switches, etc. Get out, then call 911.


  • Check the thermostat first. Is it working? If digital, is it displaying numbers? Do you see a low battery warning? Change batteries and see if that restores heat. If you have an old fashioned thermostat, check that it seems to reflect an approximate temp based on how you feel in the house. Yes, $3 in batteries can save you $100 house call. I replaced mine this week when I dropped it and cracked the LED screen – don’t do that!  How to replace a thermostat. It is a bit dorky; excuse my bad singing but you’ll get the point.
  • Check the circuit breaker box (or fuse box for those oldies but goodies). Make sure all circuits are on. Hopefully the heater is labeled. When in doubt, push all switches firmly towards the ON position. Power is needed for electric base boards of course, but it powers all the other furnaces too.
  • Check the fill gauge on your oil tank. Keep a record of when you order oil and about how long it lasts so you can avoid running out especially in frigid cold weather. Make a simple chart and hang it by the tank. Mark your calendar so you can order on time.
  • Check that the switch on the furnace is ON. Sometimes things just happen and someone flipped a switch by accident. Hate to see you pay service crew to flip a switch!  IMG_20141211_174408086
  • If you have natural gas heat, make sure the emergency gas supply switch is ON. This switch is often located in a stairwell and labeled with a red plate cover. Kids play with switches just for snorts and giggles! Mine did. So be sure to look before calling your pro.
  • If you don’t know where such gauges and switches are, be sure to ask your HVAC person to give you a walk through when he/she comes for service. It is your equipment, ASK questions.
  • Look, listen and feel before calling. Do you hear the unit firing up, can you see the pilot flames in the furnace, can you feel air blowing from vents, do you hear water hissing in radiators pipes? Give the pros as much info as you can. Some great advice from

Hanging with the service man and asking some question is always a good idea, but don’t be a pest. A good technician will explain to you the issue and what needs to be done to fix it.