Tag Archives: DIY

Spark Up Your Home With Wood Shutters

Wood shutters were originally installed on homes to protect the homes windows from inclement weather. They were operational for the home owner to close them to keep flying debris from smashing thru. As time went on, many factors contributed to shutters no longer being used on most houses.

Shutters are now finding there way back into style, mostly as decorative features of a house.

Building your own wood shutters can add charm to just about any home and improve the curb appeal of your house.

Some things to keep in mind when making your shutters; Making them the correct size so they look like they belong, they should fit the height of the opening and be 1/3 to 1/2 the width of the window to look good.

Check out the video below to see how to make some simple, cost effected board and batten shutters.

There are many other shutter designs that you can build, although non quite as simple as board and batten shutters.

Be sure to weather proof all sides and edges of your shutters to help them last a long time.

 

The Magic of Floating Shelves. Want to Make These?

Aren’t shelves that seem to float on the wall just awesome? Ever wonder how to make them?

It’s really not magic, and something any DIYer can accomplish with the steps in the video below.

Here is all you will need to make your own floating shelf.

Tools You will Need:

Circular Saw OR Miter Saw
Table Saw
Drill
Kreg Jig (optional)
Orbital Sander
Nail Gun or hammer and finish nails
Tape Measure, Straight Edge, Pencil
Eye and Ear protection
<h2><strong>Supplies Needed</strong></h2>
Lumber for the frame and shelf – see wood list below
Steel Wool &amp; Vinegar Solution or Stain
Water-Based Polyurethane Spray
3” Wood Screws
1 ¼” Nails
Wood Glue

Check out Pete’s Step by Step directions at http://www.diypete.com

Prepping Lawn Equipment For Storage!

As winter nears and the lawn stops growing. It’s time to get the lawn equipment ready for that long winter nap!

Just pushing it into the garage or shed will leave you with issues when spring time comes and the lawn is ready for cutting.

Cleaning out all the dead grass and giving it a good bath will make it shiny and ready to tackle it’s next job. A clean blade area also help the grass exit the mower easier, so it doesn’t work as hard. This will also keep the grass from fermenting and smelling up the place.

Changing the engine oil is the next step in keeping the mower running smoothly for years to come.

Sharpen the blade or take it to your local repair shop to have it made ready for the spring time.

One question I get asked a lot is; do I leave the gas in or drain it. My preference it to add stabilizer to the fuel all year long, because gas sitting for even a month or two will start to break down. If you add it when you fill your gas cans you don’t have to worry about it.

Draining the fuel will still leave some in the lines and carburetor that will turn bad, plus leaving gaskets to dry out and cause leaks.

Check out the video below for what you should consider when winterizing your equipment.

These little things sometimes get over looked and then can cause all kinds of frustration come spring time. Take the time to take care of them. You will be happy you did.

Garage Door Springs

There are 2 basic types of door springs, Torsion, which are on a bar above the door when it is closed or Extension, which are above the horizontal track on each side of the door.

You Must learn what you are doing with either as they can be very dangerous.

Check out the video’s below for instructions on replacing the 2 types.

Torsion Springs

 

Extension Springs

Are You Making The Right Flooring Choice?

When you are in need of new flooring in your home, it can be a real task to figure out what your best option is. There are so many choices today, that when you get to the store, you just sit there scratching your head.

Doing a little research before ever entering a store and figuring out what is best for your needs vs what do you like, can make the whole process easier.

Many factors to consider are:

Tile and stone are hard and cold. They can also chip and crack. Easy to clean.

Hardwood is warm and smooth. It can scratch and needs occasional maintenance. Nice warm look.

Carpet is nice and soft under foot. It gets dirty and hold allergens. Comes in many colors.

Sheet Goods such as Vinyl and Linoleum are inexpensive. they cut easy and require maintenance,

Exotic Flooring like bamboo or cork are soft. They are not cheap. They can fade in bright sunshine.

 

Stephanie has worked for Cancork Floor Inc in Canada since 2011 has this advice for her customers:

 

Homeowner Know Thyself

Take stock of what is needed for your home, your family and your lifestyle. Make a wish-list of characteristics you want in a floor. List what it MUST DO versus what it CANNOT DO. List special interests such as allergies, chemical sensitivities, asthma, COPD, aging in place, young children, etc. Work with the characteristics you must have, then go shopping. Ignore the trends. Find the list of materials that will offer the characteristics you require. Now that you know the materials to shop, you can find the look you are after.

Personal Preferences: Cleaning, Maintenance and Appearance

Personality plays a huge role in how a person reacts to the look of a floor. There are many people who believe shiny = clean. These shiny people enjoy the look of a newly cleaned floor because it offers a glorious, mirror-like finish when they are done. They feel happy and content when they see their floors shining like the sun. The personality that likes high-gloss will never be happy with a satin or matte finish. Today’s trend towards low-gloss flooring is a nightmare for shiny people. The hardest part of this is the homeowner maybe unaware of this themselves. Not until they have purchased, installed and cleaned their matte finish laminate do they realize something is missing – the glossy finish. Heartache ensues. New flooring is purchased quickly afterwards; often causing financial distress to those who can least afford it.

Expectations and Wear

Each floor material has different characteristics as they age. If you must have “perfection” for 20 years, then porcelain tiles are the perfect option. If you must have a soft floor then carpet, cork or rubber is the direction you must head. Expecting carpet or cork to appear perfect for 20 years is an unrealistic expectation. Expecting laminate to work well in a kitchen is another unrealistic expectation. Getting upset with hardwood floors that scratch is like getting upset with a baby who cries when hungry.

To Trend or Not to Trend, That is the Question

Purchasing flooring for resale value is not always the best route to take. Resale value should be looked at only when a 5-7 year plan is in the works. That means you KNOW you will sell your home inside 5-7 years. This is the short-term time frame that requires resale value to enter the conversation. Trends change and they change quickly in many areas of North America. Trendy areas will change their preferences in a heartbeat. More conservative areas will take a decade to change styles.

If you plan to live with your floor for more than 7 years, please purchase what you like/want/require for today. Tomorrow is too far away to make an informed decision. Solid hardwood, glue-down cork, stone and ceramic tiles are all long term products (20+ years of service) and should be viewed with that permanence in mind. Floors such as laminate, vinyl, floating cork, bamboo and engineered floors can be viewed as short-term (5-7 years) or moderate term investments (10-20 years). Carpet, sheet vinyl and linoleum all have their fingers in each pie with products capable of lasting 5, 10 and 25 years depending on type and style purchased.

To see more advice from Stephanie check out Thefloorpro.com

How To Do Your Own Home Repairs!

How to do your own Home repairs!

 

Do it yourself home repairs can make a lot of sense. We all want to keep our homes in good condition, so they are more pleasant to live in and will retain their value in the coming years. Some of us like DYI projects for the enjoyment of doing it and some of us just like saving money.

Doing a job on your own can be considerably cheaper than hiring a professional to handle the situation. It’s also can be very rewarding. There’s something uniquely satisfying about completing a project on your own, knowing that you’ll enjoy the fruits of your labor for years to come. Do it yourself home repairs continues to grow in popularity because more and more people are realizing that they can get the job done.

With the right tools, a bit of dedication and some great information your average homeowner can do spectacular things. Who needs the professionals, right? It’s true that you can decrease the need for calling in a high priced pro by doing things yourself.

Sometimes you need the pros.

There are times when it makes sense to rely on a licensed, experienced professional. Major electrical and plumbing installations that have a substantial safety risk attached to them certainly come to mind.

Most of the time, though, one can handle their repairs without that high-dollar assistance. However, before you get too sure of yourself, it is important to realize that the professionals have something that you don’t. Experience.

That experience really matters. It doesn’t just make them faster and free them from the burden of consulting manuals and guides every step of the way. Along the way, they also pick up hints, tricks and tips that don’t appear in your average installation manual. That, in large measure, is what separates the do it yourselfer from the hired professional.

Those little nuggets of knowledge, those tidbits and secrets that usually only come with time and repetition, are the difference between the pros and average Joes. This site is designed to level the playing field a little bit.
Now, we can’t give you the entire knowledge base of a contractor who’s been on the job for thirty years in one guide, but we can share some of those tips and hints that might not show up in your Home Depot instruction manual.

Let’s get to it.

If you’re going to embark on a repair project, it’s safe to say that you’ll secure the instructions and plans to get the job done before you reach for the clasp on your toolbox. You won’t, however, know the little things that can make such a big difference.

That’s what this site is all about. It’s your own little collection of professional tips. It covers virtually every aspect of home improvement and repairs, giving you a handful of insights and secrets that you wouldn’t otherwise have in your arsenal for all of them.

We’re here to help.

This isn’t a “how to” guide. It’s a “how to do it better” guide. it’s the ultimate home repair tip collection and it can close the gap between do it yourselfers and professionals.

If you have questions on a project you are working on or want to tackle, Send us a message and we will be in touch as soon as possible.

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. 

 

 

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.

Supplies:
Pumpkins leftover from fall decorations
Hand Pruners & Scissors
White Spray Paint
Drill
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
Juniper
Leyland Cypress

Watch the video to see how she did it.

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.

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Traci from beneathmyheart.net 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.
 

Home Energy Saving Tips

With the price of everything rising, saving money on your home energy bill is always a nice thing.

Some little do it yourself projects, that don’t cost a lot, can save you a good hunk of change.

A look around your basement or crawl space could revel some areas where you could add some insulation or seal up some drafty holes that will help reduce your energy bill.

Adding weather stripping and caulking around doors and windows that leak air.

Where plumbing, electrical wiring and duct work comes through walls, floors, ceilings, and soffits over cabinets you will want to add some foam or caulk.

Install foam gaskets behind cover plates of your outlets and switches.

Add insulation to your water heater and the water piping going to your water heater.

These are all simple jobs you can accomplish in a few hours that will be well worth your time and a few dollars for material that will pay off for a long time to come.

Change to energy efficeint light bulbs is a great way to save money. Check out our article Change-a-light-bulb-save-some-money

On the Next Page we show you how to insulate your water heater and pipes to save on your energy bill.

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