All posts by homediyfixes

Inexpensive Kitchen Upgrades

Most of us spend a lot of time in our kitchens, so we want them to look nice but also be very functional.

Whether it is a small compact kitchen or large open one, there are inexpensive things you can use to make your kitchen better. From painting cabinets to adding some storage space, there are some quick things that can make life more pleasant.

If you are looking to do an inexpensive kitchen upgrade then check out this wonderful article from Remodelista on how you to can transform your kitchen even if you are on a tight budget.

New York City public relations consultant Danielle Arceneaux lived for several years with a soulless, postage-stamp-size kitchen that didn’t jibe with the rest of her Park Slope apartment’s 1920s detailing. She owned the place, but she had little to invest in a remodel. And so, with no experience whatsoever, she courageously took on the kitchen overhaul herself. It was something like deciding to cut your own hair: “I figured if I really messed it up, I could hire someone to do it properly,” she says. Join us for her tale of YouTube how-to videos, borrowed tools, weekend industry, and the power of cosmetic changes. As Danielle reports: “I didn’t replace any appliances or countertops, or move electrical wires or plumbing. It was just an aesthetic facelift.” 

Photography by Manuel Rodriguez via One Kings Lane.




With a little thought and research  you could come up with some great ideas to spruce things up!


How to Replace Your Toilet Wax Ring!

Once you have found that water is seeping out from under your toilet, there are only 2 things that could be the cause of this.

It will be either a cracked toilet bowl or a bad or misaligned toilet wax ring.

The task to replace your toilet wax ring is a very simple process under normal circumstances. However there are times when the toilet mounting bolts decide they do not wish to come loose. This can be caused by corrosion or the flange that they are attached to is rotted or damaged. This will require some extra effort to get the bolts and toilet removed and may require the flange to be replaced.

Under normal conditions, this project should take about 15 minutes to complete. You will need just a few basic tools such as pliers and a socket or adjustable wrench.

Using No Wax Toilet Ring will help prevent future leak issues with your toilet.

This short video from FIX IT Home Improvement Channel is a great guide to help you with this project.

Why don’t I have power at my outlet!

When you walk into a room and have to ask yourself, why don’t I have power at my outlets? The first thing you probably think of is call an electrician. Well a lot of the time that is not necessary it may be a simple fix. It could take just a little knowledge and a few simple tools to fix the issue. Here is an article which could help same you the expense of a service call from an electrician.

When the lights go out in one or more rooms or in a series of electrical outlets, the culprit is sometimes a circuit breaker or a fuse has blown. However, in some cases the breaker or fuse may seem fine, and even if you reset the circuit breaker the circuit is still dead. In those cases the culprit might be a GFCI outlet that has tripped.This phenomena can occur in homes that use GFCI (Ground Fault Circuit Interrupter) outlets. The GFCI outlet (sometimes also called a GFI) is like a circuit breaker and can shut off the flow of electricity to the outlet and all outlets, lights and hard-wired electrical devices downstream of the outlet. When the GFCI senses an electrical imbalance it will trip, much more quickly than a circuit breaker. Its purpose is to protect people from electrocution, something the average circuit breaker can’t do.

One thing about GFCI outlets, is that they can control outlets and lights in other parts of the home other than where the GFCI is located. It is quite common for a GFCI to be tripped in a bathroom, kitchen, laundry room, closet or even outdoors and somewhere else in the home is also affected. Don’t assume the GFCI is even on the same floor and the affected area.

GFCI Outlet

How To Reset a GFCI Outlet

Before electricity can be restored, the GFCI must be reset. However, even before you do that, you must take steps to ensure that it is safe to do so. Turn off or unplug all of the devices that are plugged into the circuit. Make certain no dangerous condition exists before restoring power.

Press the “Test” button. If it does not click, then the ground fault interrupter has tripped. Pressing the “Reset” button until you feel it click should restore power to the outlet and all lights and outlets downstream from this outlet. If it does not reset, the problem that caused it to trip may still exist. Turn off all light switches and unplug all electrical devices on the affected circuit, then try resetting the GFCI again. If the GFCI does not reset, try turning off the circuit breaker for the affected circuit, then reset the GFCI, then turn the circuit breaker back on. If the GFCI fails to reset or immediately trips again, the outlet may need to be replaced or a more serious electrical problem may exist and may require the assistance of a licensed electrician.

Follow this link for more information about GFCI Outlets

Article courtesy of:

Now that you have some learned about GFCI’s it will make it easier the next time you find yourself in the dark.

Stay tuned for more enlightening articles!

Is the Toilet Leaking?

You walk into your bathroom and discover water on the floor near your toilet. The first thing you wonder is my toilet leaking?

The water could have come from somewhere else and settled there. It may be condensation from cold water filling the tank or you may have a leaking or cracked toilet.

Unless you have a cracked bowl or tank, there are basically four locations where a toilet will leak from.

  1. The first is from the lid, if the fill valve or the bowl fill tube are not working properly, they can spray water onto the lid, where it will work its way out.
  2. The second is the water line  connection to the fill valve or the seal of the fill valve to the tank.
  3. The third is where the tank connects to the bowl, this can be the flush valve seals or the tank hold down bolt gaskets.
  4. And the fourth is where the toilet connects to the floor, which is sealed with a wax ring.

Check to see if the toilet rocks on the floor or if the tank rocks on the bowl. These will be quick signs that things aren’t right in those locations.

Here are the steps to do to determine if it is indeed the toilet.

  • Clean up any water that is present on the floor.
  • Wipe down the entire toilet.
  • With a paper towel or thin dry rag, wipe down the toilet slowly, starting from the top of the tank, checking regularly for moisture on your towel.
  • If you did not find any moisture on the first pass, flush the toilet and check again.

Once you find moisture, it is time to look at the area where it was found to determine the cause of the leak.

If you find moisture on the tank it could be condensation from cold water filling the tank or it could be leaking from under the lid.

If water is found coming from under the lid, remove the lid. Check that the bowl fill tube is in place, it is the small hose that is attached to the center tube (flush valve). If it in place, flush the toilet and check to see if water is spraying from the top the fill valve (the tower to the left or right of the tank). If so you will need to replace the fill valve. See our article on


If the water is found coming from the connection between the tank and the bowl. You will need to replace the rubber flush valve seal that seals the valve to the bowl.  For guidance on doing this, See our article on

If you determine that moisture is seeping from under the bowl, you will need to replace the wax seal that is under the toilet where it meets the waste line in the floor. For guidance see our article on

Install Toilet Flush Valve Seal.

If you find that your toilet is leaking from between the tank and the bowl, it is most likely that the toilet flush valve seal or sponge gasket is worn or deteriorated, or that the tank hold down bolt gasket has started to leak.

This is a simple repair that will take about 15 minutes once you have obtained the parts. You can purchase a complete rebuild kit which will have all of the parts needed to do the job correctly. When replacing a flush valve you will also want to replace the tank bolts and rubber washers.

You will only need a few basic tools to complete this repair.

  • A bucket and sponge to remove excess water from the tank and to clean up when the project is finished.
  • A large flat head screw driver.
  • Adjustable wrench or deep socket wrench set.
  • Pair of large water pump pliers or pipe wrench.
  • A flat metal cutting saw may be required if the bolts are too corroded for them to unthread.

On the next page you will find a very detailed video by to guide you thru the process if you need help!


Easily Repair Your Leaking Faucet.

Having a faucet that drips or runs when the handle is turned off can be annoying and also waste a lot of water and money.

We will show you  how you can easily repair your leaking faucet.

There are many brands of faucets these days, both with 2 handle and single handle styles.

Most Faucets built in the past 30 years use a cartridge system that opens and closes to allow water to flow.

Changing these cartridges is a fairly simple process as you can see from the video below.

One thing to keep in mind, if you know the manufacturer and model of your faucet it will be much easier to get a replacement. Some cartridges come with a lifetime warranty, so check with the manufacturer before spending money to buy one!

Here is a video on how to remove the cartridge by:

Now the you have your new cartridge, go to page 2 to see how to properly install it.


Things to Know About What BUGS You!

There are all kinds of insects in our world. Some are real pests, they destroy our homes and gardens. Some of what bugs you will freak you out and send you running for cover, and some can even make you sick or be deadly.

Yet there are some bugs that are really beneficial to us and our lives. These bugs eat other bugs, pollinate plants and trees, and even cultivate the earth to help our gardens grow nicer.

Before you go grabbing that bottle of pesticide, stop and learn what it is you are trying to remove from your life and what else may be affected in the process.

Here you will find some of the good guys and how they make our lives better.

Ladybugs – Cheaper Than Pesticides

Everyone loves a ladybug, right? They are really cute, but don’t let them fool you — they have strong predatory instincts and a ravenous appetite. One single ladybug will eat up to 5,000 aphids in its lifetime. There are over 4,000 different types of ladybugs in the world, varying in shape, size, and color.

Most, but not all of them, are beneficial, especially to your garden. The best ladybugs are the ones that will kill not only aphids but also chinch bugs, bean thrips, grape rootworms, spider mites, mealybugs, and more. Ladybugs are a very inexpensive way to control pests in the garden and are safer and generally just as effective as pesticides. In addition, they are self-renewing — ladybugs will create more ladybugs and the cycle goes on.

You can even mail order ladybugs for your garden, but it’s always best to do what you can to attract the native ladybugs in your area. You can do this by planting heavy pollinators such as sunflowers, butterfly weed, and fennel.

So please check out what type of insects are patrolling your yard before exterminating every bug in site!

For a look at more of the good guys check out this great article from Doityourself.


Kitchen Renovation Could Be Tax Deductible!

When you are thinking about doing some work on your home, you need to consider whether it will fall under the classification of house repair work or house enhancement. This is a crucial difference since house improvements are tax deductible, whereas house repair services are not.

What constitutes a home improvement? In its basic form, it is any task that will add to the quality and for that reason the value of your house. Such jobs would include installing a brand-new fence, setting up a new driveway, complete kitchen area improvement, extending your house to include more space, adding a swimming pool or garage, constructing a deck or porch, adding insulation, installing brand-new heating or air conditioning systems, replacing the roofing, or re-landscaping your lawn. All of these tasks will need capital expenditure, but will contribute to the value of your property and enhance the equity in your home.

House repair service, on the other hand, is a job carried out to avoid the decrease or degeneration of your home, and a subsequent drop in value. The task is required to preserve your home in its existing standard, without making significant additions or enhancements. House repair services include decorating or repainting, taking care of leaks or damages, fixing cabinets and changing components that no longer function.

Normally expenditure on house repair services cannot be used to acquire a tax advantage. There is a possibility that you could integrate your repair services into a home enhancement task and still get a monetary benefit.

If you need refinancing to pay for your house enhancements, it may be recommended to wait for a drop in interest rates. You will be able to subtract the loan points in the same financial year if you obtain and make use of the capital improvement loan or refinance for house enhancements. If you pick not to use the capital to spend for home improvements, the points will be deducted over the life of the loan. Your possible reduction is likewise proportional if you utilize only a part of the loan for house enhancements. The remainder of the points will be subtracted throughout the term of the loan.

Always consult your tax professional when making these kinds of decisions.

Maintaining Your Deck for Years of Enjoyment!

Now that Spring is here, you want to get outside and enjoy the nice weather.

Maintaining Your Deck each season will help it last for years of enjoyment!


One thing you will want to do, is check your deck for damage caused by winter weather.

This can easily be done with both a visual inspection and using a sharp object like knife or screwdriver. Press the tool into the wood where it appears to be some damage. If the tools sinks in easily you have an issue that needs further attention by replacing the bad piece of decking .

After repairing any potential damage, you need to seal your deck from further damage.

Wood decks that are left untreated will be more susceptible to splitting, rotting, insects and mold build-up.


Mildew Removal Solution for Wood Decks

  1. Pour 3 cups of water into a large bowl.
  2. Put on a pair of rubber gloves to protect your skin from the solution.
  3. Add a cup of oxygen bleach and 3 squirts of liquid soap to the water. Stir the mixture until it is well combined.
  4. Use a funnel to pour the solution into a clean, empty spray bottle. Be sure to label the bottle with a marker.
  5. Spray the solution onto the mildew spots on your deck and allow it to sit for about 20 minutes.
  6. Rinse the area with water and repeat the process if necessary. For stubborn areas, use a small cleaning brush to scrub the mildew off of the deck.

Apply a Protective Sealant

Applying a sealant to your deck will rejuvenate the boards and protect them from any further damage. Visit your local hardware store and speak with a professional about your plans to protect your deck. Read the instructions provided by the manufacturer of your selected sealant before you begin the application process. Also, be sure to check the weather forecast and choose a day for applying your sealant when precipitation or moisture in the air will not be a problem. Then, follow these steps:

  1. Clear your deck of any debris or furniture. This means sweeping and cleaning off any accumulated dirt. Skipping this step will only result in sealing the dirt onto the wood.
  2. Block off the entrance to the deck to prevent small children and pets from coming into contact with the sealant.
  3. Pour the sealant into a paint roller tray.
  4. Use a roller attached to a long handle to apply the sealant in long strokes along the length of the boards. Start in the area the furthest away from the entrance to the deck so you don’t paint yourself into a corner.
  5. Move backward toward the entrance until the entire space is covered.
  6. Allow enough time for the sealant to dry completely before returning any furniture to the deck and making the space accessible.

You will enjoy many years on your deck by keeping it properly maintained! For more great info check out the full article at