Category Archives: Remodels

Wanting to do your own Remodel? We can help guide you thru it!

Changing An Exterior Door.

When the times comes that you need or just want a new entrance door for your home, the key thing to consider are what look you want. There are other important things to consider that will make the project go smother and look great when finished and for years to come.

Are you wanting to keep the same look or change it to something completely different?

Are wanting the same look but want a door that will stand up to the weather better?

Do you want to let more light in or have more privacy?

How much of your decision will be based on cost?

Are you going to paint your door or stain it.

All great questions, here a few things to consider when making your choice.

A fiber glass door will be you best alternative if you are looking for durability. They will last a long time, they are paintable or stainable. They come in both smooth and wood grain textures. You can get them with almost any size shape or style of window, from full glass to small ½ moon shape.

If you are considering a fiberglass, be aware of the fact that on many of the cheaper doors, the face will be made in pieces, so you will have visible seams in the smooth face. If you are purchasing a wood grain look, this feature makes the door look more like real wood.

I always order my door jambs with at least the bottom 12 inches made of vinyl or composite to prevent the jamb from rotting out. Another thing I do is, use pure vinyl trim on the exterior of the door. They now make brick mold and other exterior trims this way, so they last forever.

If wood is your preference, due to the style and type of house you have, then something to look at and consider are doors that have the bottom of the door routered out and a vinyl insert installed to help with rot prevention.

Building a Deck – Proper Beam Attachment

When building a deck, installing the beam and attaching it to the post properly is such a critical step. There are a number of ways to accomplish proper beam attachment, but there are also wrong ways to do it also.

I see it all of the time, when the beam is split on each side of the post and attached with bolts. Or worse, sometimes just with screws or nails. This requires the fasteners to carry the weight of the deck. Fasteners are not designed to carry weight loads, they are designed for holding lumber in place.

Improper Deck Beam
Improper Deck Beam

Not to make this an engineering lesson, but basic framing knowledge needs to be followed when building any structure. The weight of the project needs to travel down the structure, not be supported by fasteners.

With the above method the beam is also a lot weaker by being 2 separate pieces as apposed to being doubled up. Having the double beam fastened together will help prevent sagging and warping of the beam and allow easier fastening of the joists.

The beam needs to be resting on to of the post to carry the weight of the structure. Cutting a notch into the post, or using a metal connector are proper way to attach your beam to the post.

Proper Deck Beam Attachment
Proper Deck Beam Attachment



Check out the video below where Jason shows us how to properly iattach a beam to a post.




Adding More Garage Storage

Having a garage to store things is awesome. And it doesn’t really matter how big it is – it can always use more storage.

Building shelves or storing stuff in bins can be a great option. The issue with these types of storage is that your belongs are not visible or easy to locate when you want them.

Taking some time to build shelving that rolls out so you can find things is a great option.  Really!

This shelving unit from Family Handyman will make very efficient use of the space you have in your garage.

Starting with Pocket door rollers, let’s see how much extra storage we can get.


The heart of the system is a series of double-sided rollout shelves that allow easy access to everything that can be stored in a narrow space. With these rollouts, you don’t have to store your paint cans, nails, screws and other stuff four layers deep and then shuffle everything around to find what you’re looking for. When the shelves are pulled out, everything is in full view and easily accessible. Plus, the garage looks neat and tidy when the shelves are pushed back in.Don’t worry if you’ve also got some large items to store. The 16-ft.-long top shelf is 32 in. deep to hold big storage containers, and there’s a 3-ft.-wide section of 16-in.-deep shelves for medium-size items. The storage unit is 16 ft. long, 84 in. tall and 16 in. deep.

The cost of the materials for this project is about $800. If you want to save some money and don’t require as much narrow storage space, just reduce the number of rollout shelves. Each rollout, including hardware, costs about $75.

Expect to spend three or four days building this project. It’s not complicated or difficult, but there are a lot of parts to cut out and assemble. For the most part, we used standard carpentry tools, but we used a table saw to cut the particleboard and a biscuit joiner and pocket screw jig to assemble the rollouts and bypass unit. The latter tools are optional, though. You can cut parts with a circular saw, but it’ll take longer and won’t be as accurate. And you can substitute screws and glue for the biscuit joints. You can also nail through the face of the cabinets to secure the divider rather than use pocket screws.

The particleboard and framing lumber you’ll need are available from home centers and most lumberyards. The bypass door track and three-wheel rollers we used to support the shelves may be hard to find locally, but you can order them online at You can also buy the shelf standards and leg levelers online at

Sliding storage = More convenience, more space

The rollout shelves provide better access and make small stuff easier to find. They’re versatile, too. You can set the divider wherever you want to create different-depth shelves.

The bypass unit adds 50 percent more storage for long-handled tools and all sorts of items that take up too much wall space. You simply slide it to either side to access the stuff behind.

Sports gear

Sports gear



Map it out on the wall

Mark the location of the top shelf and columns on the wall before you start building (Photo 1). This allows you to check for obstructions and double-check the height of the columns. Start by deciding where the endpoints for the 16-ft. storage unit will be. If you have leeway, you could adjust the position so that the end columns land over wall studs, but it’s not necessary.

Next, use a level to see if the garage floor slopes. Measure 81 in. up from the highest point on the floor and mark the wall. Draw a 16-ft. level line across the wall from this point. We used a laser level to establish level reference points on each end of a 16-ft. line, and measured up from these points to mark the endpoint of the horizontal layout line. Then we snapped a chalk line between these points to indicate the bottom edge of the shelf and the top of the columns. You could also use a line level or step a 4-ft. level across the wall to mark the level line.

If your garage floor slopes more than 1-1/2 in. from one end of the unit to the other, you’ll have to build some of the columns a little taller. Check this out by measuring down from the level line at each end. Finally, using Figure B as a guide, carefully mark the location of the wall cleats that anchor each column, and draw plumb lines down from each mark (Photo 1). Now you’re ready to build the columns and wide shelf.

Check out the complete set of instructions for this great project at Family Handyman.

Install Baseboard Like a Pro

When you plan to install baseboard around your home, there are a few tricks that the professional tradesman know that make there work look fantastic.

The walls and floors in most houses, old and new, are rarely square and flat. Installing baseboard molding the correct way will make it so you don’t see these issues.

Learning how to deal with these imperfections is just a matter of someone showing you the little tricks that will make all the difference in your project.

Outside Corners

Fig.11.Chapt-5-1Outside corners, be of the build up of corner bead and joint compound are rarely a true 90 degrees. Therefore to adjust for this, your molding will need to have a miter cut that is less or more than 45 degrees. Using a protractor to figure the exact angle will be helpful, but using a couple of test pieces and adjusting them to fit before making your full pieces works well.

For outside corners, the short point of the miter is always at the back of the molding, against the wall, and against the miter saw fence—for outside corners, you measure to the short point of the miter and you cut to the short point of the miter.

Inside Corners

Unless your walls are perfectly square, when doing an inside corner, use a coped joint rather than a mitered joint. The coped method will give you a professional looking joint with just a little extra work.

For instructions on how easy it is to do a coped joint, which really makes a nice finished look. Head over to the Next Page.


That’s a Strange Place for a Mobile Home

Living in a mobile home can be a great deal. They are inexpensive compared to a permanent house. You can put them just about anywhere and live comfortably. 

But some people have gone to the extreme. Placing mobile homes in some pretty odd places.



Whoops – Looks like someone forgot the stairs.




I think we should have made the driveway a little wider if we wanted to get that babe in there.

Head over to the Next Page! To see More great places people put mobile homes.


Spicing Things Up in the Kitchen

There are small places in your kitchen where adding a spice rack can make your life more organized.

You may not be a master chef, But you love to cook. Using just the right spices will make your meals special. Being able to find those spices when they are needed can be a challenge.

Check out some of the many great options for organizing your spices for easy access when you want them. Consider adding these to the list for your kitchen remodel or you can add some in at any time.


Adding a rack to this kitchen drawer makes it a perfect place for your spices.



This free’d up 2 whole shelves in our cabinets. Before, I had just a shelf above the stove that held a few jars of random. I chose blue & teal over the front because I wanted color, but I wanted to keep it old looking.


Coke bottle spice rack project-4


Coke bottle spice rack project-2


This door spice rack is a simple DIY project for the back or a pantry door. Made with just simple 1x pine.

spice rack pantry door


The end of an island is a great place to tuck a spice rack in a shallow kitchen cabinet

Spice rack in a shallow cabinet from Dura Supreme Cabinetry is a perfect choice for a kitchen island or the end cap of your cabinets.

Head over to the Next Page for some more great spice rack storage ideas.


Need More Kitchen Storage?

Adding more kitchen storage can be an expensive endeavor. You need to move things around, buy new cabinets, or even a complete overhaul.

There is extra space hiding in your kitchen that you can take advantage of without doing any major renovations.

The toe kick is the space at the bottom of your cabinets that is set back from the face of the cabinet and the doors, it is there to help prevent you from smashing you toes into the base of the cabinet when you are working on the counter top.

Behind the piece of wood that makes the face of the toe kick look pretty is an empty cavity with nothing but air.

Making use of that space with a toe kick drawer will add storage space for things like baking pans, cleaning supplies, storage bags and wraps and many other items. We’re sure you will find things to fill them with.


Without tearing apart your whole kitchen you can install a Toe Kick Drawer, or many of them if you would like, in that dead space.


Toe Kick Drawer


Photo source: Davisville Kitchens

If you are doing a total remodel you can have them built right into the cabinets when you order them.

In your existing kitchen you can also retrofit your existing cabinets and use all that space for needed storage.

Will it work with my cabinets?

The vast majority of kitchen cabinets are similar to the ones we show here, with sides that extend to the floor (see Photo 1). But there are a few rare exceptions. Some cabinets, for example, stand on legs rather than the cabinet sides. Open the cabinet doors and take a look at the bottom of the cabinet box. If you see screw heads or holes near the corners, your cabinets probably stand on legs rather than the cabinet sides (the screws or holes allow for height adjustment). In that case, installing drawers will require different steps than we show here.If your cabinets are constructed like ours, you can install drawers just as we did. There are just a few things to keep in mind:

  • If the cabinet is more than 30 in. wide, consider installing two drawers rather than one. Wider drawers tend to bind as you slide them in or out.
  • Your drawers will be shallow; don’t expect to store kettles in them. A 4-in.-high toe space will give you storage space that’s about 3 in. deep.
  • You can install drawers under a sink cabinet (or a bathroom vanity). But if the sink’s plumbing runs through the bottom of the cabinet, the drawers will have to be shorter.
Figure A: Drawer Unit

The drawer, cradle and slides form a complete unit that’s simple to build and easy to install under a cabinet.

Figure A: Illustration of drawer details

Figure A: Illustrates the drawer’s details.

Check out the step by step video on the Next Page.


Adding a Peep Hole

Knock, Knock -Who’s there? Installing a door viewer (peep hole) in you door will keep you from asking that question as you will be able to see who is on the other side without asking or opening the door to find out, keeping you safe until you know who it is.

Installing a door viewer is fairly simple task, needing just a few basic tools, such as a drill, drill bit and screw driver.

A door viewer can be installed in a wood, metal  or fiberglass door.

Check out this short for instructions on installing a peep hole.

[Video] Build Your Own Deck

Are you wanting to build your own deck? Doing it yourself can save you some money, but can also cause you a lot of headaches if you are unaware of some important steps you need to take to be sure it is safe for your family and friends.

Building your own deck can be a fun and exciting project provided you have the correct tools and know how. Have a set of plans to start your deck with is important so you can get the correct material and many towns or counties require you to submit plans and obtain a building permit before you start.

One of the biggest issues that arise from homeowners building their own decks is improper attachment of the deck (ledger board) to the house. This needs to be done properly to keep the deck from falling under a load.

This video series will show you how to build your own deck.


Deciding which decking material to use can be hard choice, Check Out

Now that you have planned out your deck, Click to the Next Page where video #2 will start you framing it out.