Safety Tips Around the House

We all love to save money. Doing projects around the house ourselves keeps us from paying out big money for the things we can do.

Being handy around your home, you can keep things well maintained to help them last longer and run better.

Maintenance is an important part of owning a home, but while doing it, your safety is way more important.

The family handyman lets us know things you need to be aware of when doing work around your home.

I plugged a radio into the outlet and switched off breakers until the radio died. I figured it was safe to work in the box and proceeded to disconnect the wires from the outlet. Suddenly, I was knocked back by a jolt of electricity shooting up my arm. It turns out there were two circuits connected to the outlet and only one had been turned off. It’s dangerous to make assumptions about electricity. Always check the wires with a voltage tester and double-check all the wires in the box with a noncontact voltage tester before doing any electrical work. Elisa Bernick 

Dangerous sawdust

Our crew did a lot of new-home framing, and the last step was the roof sheathing. That involved lots of cutting up there: skylight and vent holes, gable ends, etc. I insisted on having a push broom on the roof and lectured the guys about sweeping the dust away after each cut. The young guns, of course, thought they were bulletproof and wouldn’t always do it. Then it happened. Joey’s feet went out from under him and he found himself tobogganing down the 5/12 slope and over the edge, then performing a perfect two-point plant on the ground. He was lucky we were building a single story! The broom got used religiously after that. Travis Larson

Travis Larson tells this ladder story: “I had a six-foot stepladder and I needed an eight-foot one. What to do? I know—I’ll rest it on planks that are resting on sawhorses. Brilliant! Nope, turns out it was really, really stupid. When I climbed nearly to the top, the planks slipped right off the horses like the undersides were greased. Of course, the ladder went down too. The saving grace was that I was near enough to the gutter so I could grab it before I followed the ladder. Fortunately it was strong enough to support my weight. I hung there and bellowed for help until my wife came out to see what the rumble was. She set the ladder back up—on the ground this time—and steadied it so I could ‘dismount.’” Ladders are one dangerous DIY tool. But you can avoid most accidents by following good ladder safety techniques—and using a little common sense.

Wrapped up and reeled in

I was using a large hole saw to drill plywood and leaned in close to apply pressure. The hole saw caught my T-shirt. In my panic, I accidentally pressed the trigger lock (I usually cut the trigger lock button flush to the tool to minimize this problem, but didn’t on this drill). The hole saw reeled in my shirt and climbed my chest. Luckily I escaped major injury, but I got some nasty spiraling teeth marks and a shredded shirt before I was able to turn off the drill. I learned two lessons: Avoid loose-fitting clothes around power tools, and be wary of trigger locks.

Jeff Gorton

These great tips will help keep you safer doing those projects that need to get done.

Better Maintenance, Longer Lasting

When we buy stuff, and it is brand new, it looks and works great, as we use it, it loses some of that luster and my not perform the way it should.

We all know things like changing the oil in our vehicle, keeping the gutters clean, or adding a fresh coat of paint before it is needed, will help prolong the life of these things. But sometimes we neglect simple things we can do to keep our tools and equipment in good condition.

Here are some great tips from family handyman to keep stuff in good condition.

Vacuum Your Carpet Often

Vacuum Your Carpet Often

On carpet, dirt acts like thousands of little blades. Walking across a dirty carpet grinds sharp dirt particles against the yarn, making tiny nicks in the fibers. That dulls the sheen, which is why high-traffic areas appear duller than the rest of the carpet. Over time, grinding dirt will actually wear away the fibers themselves.

Bottom line: The less dirt in your carpet, the longer it will last. A good rule of thumb is to vacuum your carpet once a week. High-traffic areas will require more frequent vacuuming.


Keep Batteries Charged

Keep Batteries Charged

Batteries can deteriorate and die if they go a long time without being charged. Charge the batteries for your boat, motorcycle or riding lawn mower at least once a month in the off-season. Another option is to hook them up to a battery maintainer. A battery maintainer won’t damage your battery like a trickle charger would. A maintainer has smart monitoring circuitry that charges the battery only when it needs it. Remove the battery and store it indoors if you live in an area with severely cold winters.

MYTH: Don’t store batteries on a concrete surface.

FACT: According to the folks at Interstate Battery, “Tremendous technological improvements have been made in the seals around the battery posts and vent systems, which have virtually eliminated electrolyte seepage and migration. So, it’s OK to set or store your battery on concrete.”



Lubricate Bits and Blades

Lubricate Bits and Blades

Use Boelube to make drill bits last longer. Whenever you drill multiple holes in metal, stick the bit into the lube before starting each one. It also works on metal-cutting reciprocating and band saw blades. It reduces friction, which makes the cutting edge last longer. The product number is 70200-13, and it is available from multiple online retailers.



Rinse Your Spreader

Rinse Your Spreader

Chemicals from fertilizers speed up corrosion of the metal parts of your spreader, so rinse it out every time you use it. After it dries, coat all the moving parts with a light lubricant spray like WD-40.

Keep the Roof Clean

Keep the Roof Clean

Leaves and moss can trap water and cause your roof to deteriorate prematurely. You can blow the leaves off a low-pitched roof with a leaf blower. On steeper roofs, you can pull them off with a broom on an extension pole. And it’s wise to trim back all branches that are close to or touching the shingles.

Chemically treat mold, then sweep it off with a soft broom. A diluted bleach solution will kill mold but could also kill the plants on the ground below, so be careful to spray just enough to soak the mold itself. Specific roof cleaners containing fungicide are also available. Installing zinc strips at the peak of the roof can help keep mold at bay.




      Vacuum Your Refrigerator Coils 

       Your refrigerator has a set of coils either on the back or underneath the unit, these coils put out a lot of heat when cooling the fridge, over time the coils collect dust and hair from the air and get clogged. This causes the coils to over heat and the appliance to operate poorly. You can save up to $100 a year by cleaning your coils, and it’s not at all a difficult task.


Gas water heater

Check and Flush Water Heater

Your water heater can get loaded with sediment and minerals that are in the water and cause corrosion in side your water heater causing to run inefficiently. For more on water heater maintenance, see our article



Cleaning your Dishwasher

Thinking that your dishwasher is clean can be a fatal mistake for your machine. During normal use, grease, lime  and calcium scale, and soap scum, will build up in your machine, clogging, spray arms, piping and drains, put extra wear and tear on the pumps and motors. For instructions on cleaning your dishwasher to help it last a long time. Visit


Keeping all the things around your home clean takes a little time, but will save you a bunch of money in the long run.

Check out the rest of the tips at





How to Properly Maintain a Clothes Dryer

clothes dryer

Your clothes dryer can be a major fire hazard if not maintained properly. Most people use the appliances in their homes without realizing how dangerous they can be if they are not maintained on a regular basis.

The Consumer Product Safety Commission estimates that clothes dryers directly cause 16,000 house fires a year, accounting for 10 deaths, 310 injuries and over $84 million dollars in damage annually. 

Your dryer can build up with lint from your clothes. Although there is a lint filter that you clean out each time you do a load of laundry, not all of the lint gets caught in the filter. The lint that slips through or past the filter will eventually get into the dryer casing, the dryer vent piping or even your walls.

Because the lint and the dryer are damp when you first the dryer, the lint sticks to everything. That lint will dry out and build up until it stops the air flow and causes a fire.

Lint build up will also cut down on the efficiency of your dryer. This means it will have to run longer to get your clothes dry, costing you more for utilities. This will also cause more strain on the dryer, causing it to wear out faster, costing you even more.

Maintaining your dryer is a simple job for any DIYer. Head over to the Next Page for help with cleaning out your dryer properly.


Paint Like a Pro

You have decided you want to spruce up your home. You have decided on the colors you want. You have done all the prep work. Check out our article on prepping your walls before painting, Click Here!

Now you are ready to paint like a pro. There are a number of tools you will need, these tools come in a variety of grades, from economical to professional. Of course the better grades will accomplish a more professional job, But they usually cost a lot more. It pays to not go with the cheapest tools available. Even if you are just doing 1 or 2 rooms it still pays to upgrade to at least a mid grade quality if you want a job well done.

Here you’ll find all of the information you need to make any painting project go more smoothly and get excellent results.

Paint Surface Preparation Tools

Surface preparation is crucial in painting interiors. It is essential to have a dry, clean, obstruction-free surface before you start to paint. Here are the tools you’ll need:

  • Screwdriver: to remove all outlet and switch covers
  • Painter’s tape: to place on trims, baseboards, uncovered outlets and switches, and any other surface that needs protection from paint stains
  • Paint scraper or flexible putty knife: to remove cracked or peeling paint and to apply caulking compound or putty to cracks, nail holes, and other surface depressions
  • Steel wool or a wire brush: to remove grime and old paints or stains from raw wood
  • Sandpaper: to smooth out imperfections, sags, drips, or runs on walls or other surfaces
  • Tack or damp cloth: to wipe clean surfaces to be painted after using steel wool or sandpaper

Painting Tools: Brush or Roller?

Once you’ve properly prepared the surface, you’re ready to paint. Whether to use a paintbrush or a paint roller depends on the type of paint you are using and the size of the surface to be painted.


Although using a paintbrush takes considerably longer than a roller, it is ideal for cutting in, windows, baseboards, and intricate trim work.

  • Nylon/polyester blended brushes: the best choice for all latex (water-based) paints and coatings
  • Natural China bristle brushes: the best choice for oil-based paints, stains, epoxies, and varnishes because natural bristles will soak up the water and go limp when used to apply water-based paints
  • Paintbrush sizes: A 1- to 2-inch brush is ideal for small spaces, tight trim areas, touchups, and detail work. A 2.5- to 3-inch brush is perfect for trim and corner work, and the larger 4- to 5-inch brush is recommended for larger areas like walls or side paneling.

Paint Rollers

Paint rollers make painting go more quickly, but should be used only for painting walls, ceilings, and other large, flat surfaces. They can be used to apply both latex and oil-based paints and stains and do a fine job with both gloss and semi-gloss coatings.

  • Paint roller sizes: The standard roller length is 9 inches. For smaller areas, a 4-inch or 7-inch roller cover may be used. For larger areas like walls, ceilings, and floors, 14-inch and 18-inch rollers will get the job done more quickly.

Here’s a comprehensive list of painting tools and supplies you’ll need to give your interior a gorgeous and lasting paint makeover:

  • Primer and paint
  • Paint brushes and paint rollers
  • Paint paddles
  • Roller trays
  • Mineral spirits/solvents (to clean up oil-based paint)
  • Drop cloths or tarps and cleaning cloths
  • Caulking gun, putty knife, and caulk/joint compound
  • Steel wool, wire brush
  • Tack cloth
  • Painter’s tape
  • Screwdriver
  • Sandpaper

Article source:

Now that the painting is done and you are cleaned up, it’s time to sit back and enjoy your hard work, Congratulations on a Great Job!

Needing a New Roof?

If your home is needing a new roof soon, whether you are considering doing it yourself of hiring a contractor there are a few common mistakes that you really should make sure are avoided because these are where most roof issues come from. It is good to educate yourself with these issues even if you hire someone else so you can prevent problem down the road. If you are planning to replace your own roof pay close attention to these things so you come away with a great project that will last for many years.

I came across this wonderful video by that explains the 5 most common roofing mistakes.

Always remember safety first when working around your home.


Preparing Walls for Painting

Wall Prep

Preparing walls for painting is a rather important step in the process of making your home to look fantastic. Most people would think, Hey just put some paint on the walls and we will be done! Actually, prepping your walls properly first will make your paint job a whole lot  better and last 5 times longer.

A proper prepping job actually takes longer than the painting itself. But if you want a great looking room, roll up your sleeves and lets get started.

Begin by removing as much furniture as possible from the room. Use drop cloths to cover the floor and any remaining furniture. While plastic is ideal for furniture, canvas drop cloths absorb paint, are not slippery, will not move, and can be reused.

Next, remove any pictures, mirrors, window treatments, and electrical/light switch plates. Loosen the ceiling plates of hanging light fixtures and cover the fixtures.

Washing the Walls

Because surface dirt can cause poor adhesion, use a light detergent to wash surfaces that are soiled, that are touched often, or that may have any oily residue from cooking. Take care not to leave any residue from the detergent.

Wash doors and trim, particularly where they are handled. After they are clean, wipe surfaces with a damp cloth and allow them to dry before painting.

Removing Pen, Crayon, and Water Stains

To prepare a wall for painting, use a liquid detergent to remove as much of the markings left by pens, crayons, and water stains as possible, and wipe with a clean wet cloth. For any remaining marks, spot prime the affected areas with Moore’s® QD 30® or Fresh Start® to prevent “bleeding” through the finish coat.

Dull Glossy Areas

To ensure proper adhesion, sand glossy surfaces with fine sandpaper. Be sure to remove sanding dust. Vacuum surfaces clean and wipe with a tack cloth.


Examine floor, wall, and ceiling surfaces for nail holes, cracks, or any other surface imperfections. Use a putty knife to rake out any large plaster cracks or loose particles in your walls and ceilings.

Firmly press spackling compound into crevices with a putty knife and smooth until the compound is flush with the surface.

To fill mitered trim joinings (which are open) and door or window trim that is separated from your wall, press the compound into the crevices, and smooth it with your finger. Allow it to dry and then sand lightly.

Because patching compound shrinks when it dries, it is often necessary to apply the compound a second time after the first coat has dried.

See our article on repairing drywall:

When preparing your walls for painting by performing spackling work of this kind, we recommend Moorlastic® Lightweight Compound and Moorlastic Vinyl Spackling Paste.

Removing Loose Paint

Use a putty knife to remove any loose or scaling paint. When you remove paint from walls or ceilings, sand paint edges to ensure a smooth surface. This will marry the two levels of paint so the edges will not be noticed when it is re–coated.

Thanks to

Now that you have properly prepped your room it is time to break out the paint and equipment and get painting.

Don’t forget drop cloths and tape to keep paint off of the places you don’t want it.

Repairing Drywall before you begin to Paint!

drywall repair

Now that you have decided to change the color of your living room to make your home a nicer place to live, you relize there is some prep work that needs to be done.

Things like, repairing drywall of all the bumps and holes that have appeared over the years from moving furniture, to the kids playing, to parties, or what have you. However they have appeared it is time to fix them.

Here you can learn some of the best ways to repair your drywall so your paint job comes out looking awesome.

“Repairing and patching drywall is pretty easy to do. The most challenging part is getting a good finish so that you can’t see where the drywall repair was made. The procedure to patch drywall holes, cracks, gouges and other damage varies by the type of damage and the size of the affected area. Essentially there are two types of drywall repairs; repairs involving installation of a new piece of drywall to make a patch and repairs that mend the surface of existing drywall, like with cracks and gouges. For very large repairs the steps may be the same as hanging new drywall.          

taping-knife-mdDents and gouges are easily repaired using joint compound or other patching material. Small gouges can usually be repaired without the use of reinforcing mesh tape. Simply applying one or more coats of joint compound will fill and hide most damage.

For dents, simply apply patching compound with a putty knife to create a smooth, even patch. Allow the patch to dry. Because the material may shrink as it dries, additional applications may be necessary to completely hide the damage.

If you apply too much and fill in the surrounding texture, use a damp rag to wipe away the excess. You may wipe away the patch material too, but it is easy to just reapply another coat.

After the compound has dried for at least a couples hours, lightly sand it smooth. Wipe away any dust and apply another coat of joint compound if needed. After the joint compound has thoroughly dried, it can be sanded and painted.

Nail and other small nail holes are easily repaired using joint compound or other patching material. Some people even use toothpaste to fill nail holes (although we don’t recommend using the green mint gel type of toothpaste).

Small holes can usually be repaired without the use of reinforcing mesh tape. Simply applying one or more coats of joint compound will fill and hide most small holes.

For nail holes, simply get a small amount of patching compound on your fingertip and apply it to the hole. Because the material may shrink as it dries, additional applications may be necessary to completely hide the hole.

For holes half an inch or smaller, apply patching compound with a putty knife to create a smooth, even patch. Fill the hole with material and then smooth the surface with the putty knife. Allow the patch to dry.

After the compound has dried for at least a couples hours, lightly sand it smooth. Wipe away any dust and apply another coat of joint compound. Taper the compound at the edges to blend it with the surrounding surface. Allow this coat to dry and then sand.

Finally, apply a third coat of joint compound. With this coat, it will be necessary to blend it with the surrounding decorative texture. There are many different textures, so we can’t list all of them here. However, matching a texture can sometimes be done by dragging the compound around with a putty knife, dabbed with a moist sponge, or sprayed on with off the shelf products designed to retexture small patches.”

Thanks to: for a great article.

Repairing Drywall before you begin to Paint is a fairly important step if you want a great looking paint job. See other articles on what other prep work needs to be before painting!

[Video] How to Change a Deadbolt Lock

Like most things in life your deadbolt lock on your entry doors will eventually wear out and need to be replaced. So before you get locked out of your home do a little maintenance on your lock.

If you notice the lock starting to stick or be hard to turn, you will want to first lubricate the lock and spin the key a few times to work it in. If there are still issues, consider replacing the lock.

Types of lubricants

  • White lithium grease is a thicker grease that repels water, which can cause rust and corrosion. It clings to the places where you use it and holds up to harsh conditions, such as rain and snow. It is designed to work on metal parts, such as hinges and latches.
  • WD-40 is a lubricant used for many household items as well as car parts. It is designed for light-duty lubrication or to unstick areas. It can help remove rust on car hinges and latches.
  • Silicone spray is gentler and lubricates areas that contain non-metal parts. It is safe for use on nylon, plastic and other materials. Use it for light lubrication.
  • Graphite lubricant is the choice for locks because it doesn’t attract dust and dirt, which can damage the locking mechanism.Great advice from

Changing a deadbolt lock is a simple DIY project, the only tool you should need a couple of house hold tools.

Head over to the Next Page to see how to  change a deadbolt lock.


Five Important Forms Of Maintenance That No Homeowner Should Ever Overlook

Home Maintenance

As a homeowner, there are a lot of things that you can do to control your ownership costs. Foremost among these is to practice diligent maintenance. Good property maintenance can prevent minor issues from spiraling out of control. It also give you the chance to spot potential problems and prevent them from ever occurring at all. The following are five things that every property owner should do to protect his or her investment.

Schedule a whole house plumbing inspection at least once per year. During these visits, plumbers walk through the entire house and search for signs of leaks that are hidden or slow. These might be hiding behind your appliances or your drywall. If they aren’t identified and resolved early on, they can cause a considerable amount of property damage.

In addition to preventing water damage, these inspections can also stave off problems with mold. Having unchecked moisture behind your walls can result in the proliferation of mold, mildew and other harmful organisms. Not only will these devalue critical building materials and structures, but they can also wreak havoc on the indoor air quality, which will be problematic for those with chronic respiratory issues.Image result for laundry room

Have major household appliances serviced. Slow and hidden leaks are most commonly caused by faulty appliance connections. A quick look at the related hoses and other attachments is a great way to protect your flooring and baseboards from preventable floods. Having your water pressure checked can also extend the lifetime of these investments by limiting the amount of wear and tear that they’re subjected to.

Invest in a home warranty that pays for various forms of maintenance assistance. Making sure that you have a feasible plan for taking care of essential upkeep is critical, especially if you are already overwhelmed by the costs of owning a home. These service agreements can be structured to pay for one to two routine visits from plumbers, electricians and appliance technicians among other contractors.

Have a professional landscaper check your backyard for fast-growing tree roots or weeds that could compromise your plumbing system. These can permeate clay pipes at the property exterior and cause whole-house back-ups. You can divert piping systems away from tree roots ad invasive weeds or you can switch dated, clay pipes out with more advanced materials.

Schedule a roofing inspection and annually and have your gutters and downspouts thoroughly cleaned at least twice per year. These efforts will keep your roofing substrate from being constantly subjected to standing pools of water during the wettest months of the year. Anything that you can do to keep water moving efficiently off of this surface will invariably improve its lifespan.

If you have any water features on your property, double check any safety measures that you’re using to ensure continued efficiency. If you don’t have pool fencing installed, make sure to get this critical barricade up to limit liability and check small children. Should one of these structures already exist, have it inspected by a licensed professional to identify any shortcomings or needed repairs.

For the most current info about the Absolut Custom Glass System, pay a visit to our web pages here today. Additional details are available at now.

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The Right Plants for Your Yard?

The Right Plants

Having the right plants in your yard is important. Different areas have different climates, soils and geography that all factor into the type of plants that will grow best with out extra watering or feeding. Putting plants together that require similar watering patterns make it easier to irrigate your garden.

Adding plants to your garden that are native to the area around you will make your yard look great and be easier to maintain. Check out the Native Plant guide, Click Here! 

Across the country, gardeners are already digging into the right plant, right place concept. From the EPA, you can find examples in the U.S. Northeast, Midwest, Southeast regions below.

The garden pictured on the right in Olympia, Washington, includes plants that can tolerate drought and heavy rains. While the landscape can survive with little rain, it can also capture stormwater from roofs, driveways, and sidewalks. Plants in this garden include grosso lavender, red herbaceous peony, sunshine blue blueberries, creeping red thyme, and penstemon rondo.


This garden in Ann Arbor, Michigan, includes native plants to help absorb stormwater runoff. Using a conduit installed in the curb, stormwater is diverted from the street and into the rain garden. Plants used in this garden include blue cardinal flowers, rose milkweed, trumpetweed, and boneset.


The garden shown at right in Bristol, Tennessee, was formerly a turf grass lawn. In order to manage rain and runoff the area receives, native wildflowers and grasses were included to match to the site’s water conditions, reducing the need for irrigation. Plants in this garden include anise hyssop, serviceberry, sweetbay magnolia, wild bergamot, and summer phlox.


When you’re planning your garden this spring, use WaterSense’s What to Plant tool to help you choose plants that are right for your climate and require minimal watering.

Source: EPA