Tag Archives: diy

January home tips

January is a good time to inspect furniture, cabinets and vanities for loose knobs, pulls and hinges. Tighten or repair as necessary.

Tighten screws on drawers, doors, and furniture.

Lubricate squeaky door hinges with lightweight machine oil.

Free sticky doors by trimming edges or shimming hinges with thin pieces of cardboard.

Check the house and make a list of minor household repairs needed.

Make a list of broken electrical face plates, missing pulls or knobs, locks that need lubrication, and spots that need caulking around sinks and tubs. Go to the home improvement store and buy everything you need to make all of your repairs at once.

Handyman deck construction practices were noted at a recent home inspection in Bellingham.  Here you see deck boards unprofessionally installed over OSB sheathing at an exterior deck platform where the OSB sheathing is completely deteriorated.  OSB sheathing is not rated for exposure to the elements and will deteriorate quickly if allowed to get wet.  It certainly isn’t an acceptable material for exterior deck systems.  In this case, the deck boards will need to be completely removed, OSB sheathing removed, and then deck boards installed again.  I think in this case, the homeowner was attempting to provide shelter to the underlying exterior storage area, not realizing that it would deteriorate in short time.

Mastering Home Repairs

To fix myself OR hire a contractor?  This question occurs often in my household.  Below is a great article with some helpful tips for DIYs and for finding contractors.

Thinking of trying some Do-it-Yourself (DIY) work around your home? There’s a lot you can do to save time and aggravation, not to mention money, by doing the job yourself. If you are a seasoned DIYer, you will know the basics of what to do, how to do it and what you will need to get it done. But if you are a beginner, how will you know what to do and how to do it? What tools will you need? Which projects should you attempt first? Yahoo Real Estate has a useful article to help answer these and many more questions, as well as some suggestions for finding a contractor if the DIY approach is not for you.

15 Tools Every Homeowner Should Own

by Nick Gromicko and Ben Gromicko

The following items are essential tools, but this list is by no means exhaustive. Feel free to ask an InterNACHI inspector during your next inspection about other tools that you might find useful.

1.  Plunger
A clogged sink or toilet is one of the most inconvenient household problems that you will face. With a plunger on hand, however, you can usually remedy these plumbing issues relatively quickly. It is best to have two plungers — one for the sink and one for the toilet.

2.  Combination Wrench Set
One end of a combination wrench set is open and the other end is a closed loop. Nuts and bolts are manufactured in standard and metric sizes, and because both varieties are widely used, you’ll need both sets of wrenches. For the most control and leverage, always pull the wrench toward you, instead of pushing on it. Also, avoid over-tightening.

3.  Slip-Joint Pliers
Use slip-joint pliers to grab hold of a nail, a nut, a bolt, and much more. These types of pliers are versatile because of the jaws, which feature both flat and curved areas for gripping many types of objects. There is also a built-in slip-joint, which allows the user to quickly adjust the jaw size to suit most tasks.

4.  Adjustable Wrench
Adjustable wrenches are somewhat awkward to use and can damage a bolt or nut if they are not handled properly. However, adjustable wrenches are ideal for situations where you need two wrenches of the same size. Screw the jaws all the way closed to avoid damaging the bolt or nut.

5.  Caulking Gun
Caulking is the process of sealing up cracks and gaps in various structures and certain types of piping. Caulking can provide noise mitigation and thermal insulation, and control water penetration. Caulk should be applied only to areas that are clean and dry.

6.  Flashlight
None of the tools in this list is of any use if you cannot visually inspect the situation. The problem, and solution, are apparent only with a good flashlight. A traditional two-battery flashlight is usually sufficient, as larger flashlights may be too unwieldy.

7.  Tape Measure
Measuring house projects requires a tape measure — not a ruler or a yardstick. Tape measures come in many lengths, although 25 feet is best.  Measure everything at least twice to ensure accuracy.

8.  Hacksaw
A hacksaw is useful for cutting metal objects, such as pipes, bolts and brackets. Hacksaws look thin and flimsy, but they’ll easily cut through even the hardest of metals. Blades are replaceable, so focus your purchase on a quality hacksaw frame.

9. Torpedo Level
Only a level can be used to determine if something, such as a shelf, appliance or picture, is correctly oriented. The torpedo-style level is unique because it not only shows when an object is perfectly horizontal or vertical, but it also has a gauge that shows when an object is at a 45-degree angle. The bubble in the viewfinder must be exactly in the middle — not merely close.

10.  Safety Glasses / Goggles
For all tasks involving a hammer or a power tool, you should always wear safety glasses or goggles. They should also be worn while you mix chemicals.

11.  Claw Hammer
A good hammer is one of the most important tools you can own.  Use it to drive and remove nails, to pry wood loose from the house, and in combination with other tools. They come in a variety of sizes, although a 16-ounce hammer is the best all-purpose choice.

12.  Screwdriver Set
It is best to have four screwdrivers: a small and large version of both a flathead and a Phillips-head screwdriver. Electrical screwdrivers are sometimes convenient, but they’re no substitute.  Manual screwdrivers can reach into more places and they are less likely to damage the screw.

13.  Wire Cutters
Wire cutters are pliers designed to cut wires and small nails. The side-cutting style (unlike the stronger end-cutting style) is handy, but not strong enough to cut small nails.

14.  Respirator / Safety Mask
While paints and other coatings are now manufactured to be less toxic (and lead-free) than in previous decades, most still contain dangerous chemicals, which is why you should wear a mask to avoid accidentally inhaling. A mask should also be worn when working in dusty and dirty environments. Disposable masks usually come in packs of 10 and should be thrown away after use. Full and half-face respirators can be used to prevent the inhalation of very fine particles that ordinary facemasks will not stop.

15.  Duct Tape
This tape is extremely strong and adaptable. Originally, it was widely used to make temporary repairs to many types of military equipment. Today, it’s one of the key items specified for home emergency kits because it is water-resistant and extremely sticky.

Mastering Home Repairs

“To fix myself OR hire a contractor?” This question occurs often in my household.  Below is a great article with some helpful tips for DIYs and for finding contractors.

Thinking of trying some Do-it-Yourself (DIY) work around your home? There’s a lot you can do to save time and aggravation, not to mention money, by doing the job yourself. If you are a seasoned DIYer, you will know the basics of what to do, how to do it and what you will need to get it done. But if you are a beginner, how will you know what to do and how to do it? What tools will you need? Which projects should you attempt first? Yahoo Real Estate has a useful article to help answer these and many more questions, as well as some suggestions for finding a contractor if the DIY approach is not for you.

Thanks for reading my post!

Remodeling You Can Do Yourself!

Many homeowners don’t have extensive knowledge of electricity or plumbing, but there are still lots of ways you can change the look of the bathroom. The best way to save money on a remodeling job is to do as much of the work yourself as possible. HGTV suggests these minor kitchen upgrades to save time and money.

DIY: Must-Have Tools for Every Skill Level

ThisOldHouse.com puts together tool kits for the beginner, semi-skilled, and experienced DIYer saying, “A tool chest usually starts with a small investment on the part of a new and inexperienced homeowner and grows over time as new projects need to be completed and skill level improves. TOH put together tool kits for the beginner, semi-skilled, and experienced DIYer. Just remember that no experienced DIYer’s kit is complete unless it contains the tools from the beginner and semi-skilled collections.

How to drain a water heater and check pressure relief valve

Most people never give their water heater a second thought – until it stops working. One thing you can do to extend the life of water heater is to drain the tank annually to remove any sediment that may have built up inside of it. DIY Network has a set of illustrated, step-by-step instructions to help guide you through the process.

Seven easy ways to unclog a drain

49210Yahoo’s Justin Wolfson says: “We’ve all experienced the warning signs: water pooling at your feet in the shower; sink water draining just a tad bit slower. And then slower, and slower still. Until one day you can’t ignore it any longer, you’ve got to unclog the drain. It’s always best to take preventative measures, but we’re all human so that doesn’t always happen. There’s also different severities of clogs, and just as many ways to treat them. But don’t feel overwhelmed, here’s a list that will guide you through the rising tide in your bathroom.