3 Hot Tips for You to Keep in Mind When You Are Constructing a Pole Barn Shed

If you have plans to build a pole barn shed, then you need to make sure that a few things are where they should be before you even begin your construction.

Have you got the location right?

This is not an ordinary project that you can just plough through without even mapping it out in advance. This is not like building an ordinary garden shed. What is planned here is something much bigger and more complex.

First and foremost, you need to ensure that you have got the location right. This is a very crucial element of this project. If you land up getting this wrong, you can bet on one thing – it is going to cost you a great deal of time and money. And to top it all, you can be sure of the fact that it is going to cost you your reputation too! (And it would not matter if you are a pro or just an amateur!)

Build on higher ground

One of the big factors into play here is that as far as possible, you should always build the shed on high ground. The reason for this is that in doing sure you are ensuring that the drainage system is the best that money can buy. Also, you will be fully confident that in this manner, you will avoid all risks of the building flooding (and getting damaged due to the flood waters.)

Get the positioning of the door right

Make sure that you position the door or the open side in the direction that is opposite to that of prevalent winds. This is to ensure that damage due to winds is avoided in the hot summers as well as in the cold winters.

Plus, this will give the shed the maximum chances of survival against severe storm like conditions.

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11 Simple Steps to Recover Dining Room Chairs

As an upholsterer for over 40 years I have often been asked by people how they can upholster their own dining room chairs. I tell them it is not really that difficult to do once they know the upholstery process of doing things.

I will now go through the process so you can follow the methods most upholsterers use.

Now there are many different kinds of dining room chairs on the market, but the techniques for recovering them follows the same stages.

First thing to do is decide what kind of material you want to use, there are plenty of shops around selling off cuts and end of rolls. This is a good place to start if you want to cut down on costs.

But a warning: make sure the fabric is upholstery material or you are just doing a lot of work for nothing. Using the wrong kind of fabric will mean you will be doing it all again in a year or so. Upholstery fabric has a stronger weave than what is call soft furnishing fabric which is only good for light usage not for putting on chairs.

If you are unsure you can always go to a local upholsterer and see what they have, you may pay a few dollars more but at least it will be proper upholstery fabric.

Secondly how much fabric do you need? This depends on how many chairs you have and how big they are. But a basic rule is you need about 3 metres- 3.5 yards of normal (plain) 54inch- 140cm wide fabric to do 4 dining chairs, seats and backs. If it is high back chairs you can add a couple more metres just to be on the safe side.

For this article I will assume your chairs are the standard kind with the screw off envelope backs and bordered seats. If not the methods explained here will still work but you will have to improvise a bit.

1. First thing to do is turn the chair upside down and unscrew the seats from the frame, now unscrew the back as well. The seats will be easy to unscrew but the back screws maybe hidden under a plug that has to be removed first.

2. Once you have them unscrewed start to take the old covers off, you can use a flat screw driver to remove the staples if you don’t have proper staple removing tools.

3. Now that you have the old cover off you can use them to make templates with. When using old covers as templates make sure you mark them where they sew together, a stroke with a pen on the top and the boarder around the seat will do as a mark. Mark at least three times front sides and back if you like. Do the same for the backs.

4. Now you can unpick the old stitching and separate the fabric. Once you unpick a seat or a back make sure you keep them together so you don’t lose any parts, roll them up together is the best way.

5. Once this is done you can roll-out your fabric on a table or even a hard floor. Place the old covers on the fabric and mark around them with some chalk, normal blackboard chalk will do. Just make sure the covers are nice and flat and don’t move when you mark around them.

6. Once you have them marked out cut around the chalk mark, stay to the outside of the chalk line when cutting. You can just cut one to try if you are unsure. Also don’t forget to mark the new covers so you know where your sewing marks are.

7. Now you can sew the new covers together just line up the sewing marks you put on earlier and sew around the fabric. Do just one first to see how they fit.

8. Once this is all done it is time to put them back on the frames. As most dining chairs have square seats or at least square front corners start by putting the cover on the corners. Once you have the cover on just make sure the corners are nice and square before stapling.

9. Now start by putting in a temporary staple in the corners trying to keep the border at the same height. Once this is done put a staple in the middle of the front back and sides, so you should have the four corners and the four sides with a staple in them. Now staple the sides, making sure you keep the cover even, then the back and then the front: leave the corners to last. Once you have secured the sides finish off the corners doing the front ones first. You should now have the seat all stapled back together; you can now put a bottom calico on if you like.

10. You then do the backs. Most backs are envelope backs so you only have a row of staples along the bottom of the back. Start by straining the sides first and stapling them. Then do the middle of the outside back and finishing one side then the other. Cut off any excess fabric, and then do the front of the back, do it the same way as the outside back. If you are in doubt just look how the original was done and follow it.

11. Now you are ready to screw them together and you now have some brand new covers on your chairs.

Just remember practice makes perfect, if you are still unsure there are some videos available online where you can see the whole procedure, this makes it much easier to learn how to upholster your own chairs.

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3 Laying Tile Dilemmas And What You Can Do About Them

Laying tile is a complex task and there are many issues to be resolved along the way. Here are 3 tile laying dilemmas you may have to face.

Should You Buy Cheap Ceramic Tiles?

Generally speaking, you get what you pay for. Why are they so cheap? Did the manufacturer cut corners? Check if the tiles are the uniform size claimed on the box. Measure 6 to 8 tiles. Remember that even a difference of one-sixteenth of an inch could affect the quality of your tile laying. Are your skills up to handling such a problem?

Should You Lay New Ceramic Tile Over Old Tile?

Yes, provided the old tile does not have a sealant on it and is clean. Add latex additives to your thin set. Use a tile scriber to score the old tiles. Remember you will be increasing the wall or floor thickness. This can cause problems at doors and window frames.

You will always achieve a more professional laying tile finish if you remove the old tiles and correctly prepare the surface before beginning to install tile.

What Color Of Grout Should You Use

This one is really down to personal choice. Buying tiles is expensive both in terms of dollars and your time and effort in laying tile. You don’t want to spoil it by choosing the wrong color of grout for the look you are trying to achieve.

A light colored grout against a dark tile really highlights the grid pattern. This is eye catching but might also make the tiled area look too busy depending on the size of tiles you are laying.

You can add color to grout by adding a measure of dye to the grout mix. If the grout color is a close match to tile color this gives a more blended look to the tiled area.

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5 Sanding Tips and Tricks

Sanding a piece of wood can be a daunting task. Whether you’re using a sander or sanding by hand, each has its flaws. Here are some sanding tips to consider:

1.    If you’re having a hard time sanding small pieces, try placing a rough piece of sand paper grit side up on a table. Next, place your wood piece on top of the sandpaper and continue sanding. The sandpaper on the table will grip the wood so you can sand with a finer grade.

2.    When sanding irregular surfaced wood pieces with a palm sander, you can place a piece of sponge or weather stripping between the sanding sheet and the palm sander. This will allow the sand paper to flex more and get in to those tight spaces.

3.    When sanding in tight and narrow spaces, try using a scrapper with a piece folded around the end of it. This will allow you to get in to those spaces with ease.

4.    Save your small pieces of sand paper that look good but are just too small to use on their own. You can then glue them to a scrap piece of wood. This is a small trick but can save a lot of money on sand paper.

5.    Regular sanding sheets burns away extremely fast when used with palm sanders. Instead, try using a sanding belt. You will need to cut it in to proper size pieces but they will last a lot longer than regular sanding sheets.

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13 Easy Do It Yourself Tips To Spruce Up Your Home!

Home improvement projects provide something for every homeowner, whether it is sprucing up a tired home, or preparing to get the most from a potential sale, there is no end to the benefits available. This article discusses some tips and information for you to consider when you are setting out to do a home improvement project.

If you want to save money, wait for sales on material or installation in home improvement stores. In order to gain customers, they will install carpet for cheap prices. This is a huge savings since installation and labor can often exceed the price of the carpet.

Prior to starting any home improvement project, you must first get a good estimate so you know how much the project will cost. A common mistake homeowner makes is underestimating the costs of their planned improvements. So make sure that you plan ahead of time and estimate the cost of the improvements you want to make.

Switch out your older entry door with a steel replacement if you want a home improvement with terrific return. A lot of homeowners who invest in things like steal doors were able to sell their home for more money. Steel doors can make any home more attractive, all while conserving energy.

Cleaning and inspecting your chimney should be done by contracted chimney swifts. This is crucial when burning wood, but even sources of conventional heat must have a clean and operable chimney for effective ventilation. Neglecting this important maintenance can lead to a build-up of unhealthy gases in your home or even a disastrous fire in your chimney itself.

When considering home improvement projects, don’t forget to include landscaping. Believe it or not, when people see your home, initially they notice the front lawn. An attractive one can give quite the impression. Keep your grass cut and neat, and you may even want to plant some shrubs to make your lawn look even better.

Use construction adhesive to stop widespread floor squeaks. Although you’ll need to enter your basement or crawl space to apply it, it will still be worth it to stop the squeaks. Apply some glue to each floor joist with the aid of a caulking gun to secure them to the floor planks.

Do you have hard water? Invest in a water softener so that your water is filtered. You can get rid of magnesium and calcium deposits so that the water is not as hard. Many types of softeners are available to choose from. There are a lot of great deals out there, so shop around.

When doing home improvements on your own, consider purchasing high quality supplies and tools. This investment will pay dividends in the long run and is well worth the expenditure. High-quality equipment is built to last, and you will get many years of use from it. You aren’t going to want to replace tools all the time, as they are expensive.

Baseboards that are stained rather than painted are more appealing. On top of their classic appeal, they also give an aura of warmth. Stained baseboards also hide imperfections better. Scratches and scuffs don’t stand out as much as they would on painted baseboards. Make sure that you choose the right color to match the style of your home.

Seal cracks and openings that exist around your home, as this keeps bugs out and your warm or cool air in. Use caulk to seal up window frames, baseboards and any other areas where you see gaps. Once the caulk is dry, air will have difficulty getting out, and bugs and other pests will have difficulty getting in.

When you hire a home improvement contractor, check his paperwork to see that all work is backed up with a guarantee. If you sign without checking the contact, you may end up having to repair mistakes the contractor makes. It is important to have guaranteed work.

As you are planning your home improvement projects, look for inspiration. A library or bookstore can give you some old or contemporary ideas that could fit the style of your home. Bring home color samples and carpet or fabric swatches. Try to develop an understanding of what you want the finished product to look like, in an effort to personalize your home.

Don’t overlook your energy use as an area that can be improved upon. Look to a power strip for electricity, instead of individually plugging in your electronic equipment. You can just turn a power strip on or off, and this can be very beneficial. If you don’t need to use your device, simply turn off your power strip to conserve energy.

Home improvement is for everyone! Anyone can improve their home. Anything from a new coat of paint to a whole new kitchen can make your home a more pleasant place to live. Take the advice from this article, and head on over to your local home improvement warehouse to get started.

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3 Practical Reminders When Moving to a New House

You have finally sold your home and are now highly anticipating your new life as you move to a different place. You are really getting excited about the whole idea until you realize one thing – moving can really be time-consuming.

Leaving your property and transferring to another location truly deserves the most careful of preparations. Read the following pointers listed below to ensure a hassle-free experience:

Utilities

As you get ready for the big move, make sure that you connect and disconnect utilities ahead of time. Inform your suppliers ahead of time so you have everything you need before you arrive such as gas, water, and electricity. This is very important to make sure that you will be comfortable on your new home. If you are thinking of switching to another provider, then do some research over the internet. Compare rates and packages to find the best deals.

Also, all utilities from your present home should be properly disconnected.

Mailing Address

Another important thing you should take care of is to spread the word about your change of address. This is particularly applicable if you often receive letters via snail mail. Banks, credit card companies, insurance firms, and others may want to stay in touch with you that’s why you have to let them know. Make a list of people, companies, and organizations that need to be aware of your new address and contact them one by one. You may also consider signing up for a redirect service with the local postal office just to make sure that you do not miss any mails.

Packing

Chances are packing your things will be the activity that consumes a huge chunk of your time as you prepare for your new place. Buy boxes and label them to remind you of what’s inside each one. Pay attention to items that are fragile so you can avoid accidentally breaking them. Unpacking will seem easier too as you do this.

Actually, you do not have to pack everything in the first place. You may want to consider donating some old clothing to a local charity. This will decrease the load you need to move plus you’ll be able to help needy people.

As you take note of these three things, you will be able to enjoy moving without any stress. You’ll have all essential utilities in place, you’ll get all letters addressed to you, and none of your things will be damaged along the way.

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7 DIY Home Security Projects

For the weekend do-it-yourselfer there are several projects to be completed to make your home secure. The average homeowner will often not recognize some of these home security projects as a way to make their home more secure. So let’s start with some of the obvious.

Install your own home security system.

By doing it yourself you will be able to pick the pieces you want to start off with and add to at a later time. However, if you feel the task of install a wired system too daunting, you can always opt for a wireless system. Wireless systems are the simplest to install. With a wireless system you may want to have a second phone line installed to accommodate the wireless system.

Install sturdy door and window locks

Each exterior door should have a dead bolt lock installed on it. The dead bolt must have at a minimum of 5 levers inside the lock and should be a double cylinder. They are more difficult of a lock difficult to pick.

The sliding glass doors are another favorite of intruders. The doors can be easily pushed off of the track. Patio bolts provide a good defense especially paired with a deadlocking handle.

Check the lighting around your home

How well is your home illuminated at night? Are the doors and windows dark or well lit? Motion activated lights are a great way to illuminate the outside of your home without having to leave the light on all night long.

Check the shrubs and bushes around your home

Have the bushes grown up so tall that you can not see the window from the street? If so, it is time to break out the hedge clippers and trim back the bushes. Tall bushes are a great place for a bugler to hide in and work on breaking into your home.

Add home security devices

If you already have a home security system installed, take an inventory of the accessories. There are a lot of home security accessories, such as sirens, strobe lights, motion detectors, surveillance cameras, and glass break detectors that can be added to your security system.

A commonly overlooked accessory category is fire and smoke detection. Consider adding smoke, heat and carbon dioxide detectors to your home security system.

A secure and locking mailbox

Why do you need one? Simple, two words identity theft. Around the first and fifteenth of every month people pay their bills. Their mail boxes are filled with credit card statements, utility bills and a host of other bills. For an identity theft, this is great information to use to steal your identity.

Video cameras

Video cameras have come down in price and the features that you can get in a camera are astounding. For the outside of you home invest in night vision video cameras that use infrared emitters to ‘light’ up the area they are watching.

All of these DIY home security projects will increase your safety and protect your home from burglars and intruders.

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About Building a Homemade Windmill

You can build a homemade windmill fairly easily and it’s not expensive either. I think a common misconception is that you have to be rich or have 100 acres of land to enjoy the Earth’s natural power. That’s not true. Did you know that you can get rid of your over-priced power bills by using wind power? By using free wind power, you’ll be helping our planet.

Bigger isn’t always better. If you’re going to build a windmill, you don’t need a huge beast. Let’s look at one example. Imagine you have a huge 10k watt windmill receiving 8 mph of wind. With those specs, you’ll get about 250 watts of power. So, let’s see what happens when the wind is doubled to 16mph on average. Well, that windmill would produce about 9 times the power. You need to build the right windmill for the wind you have.

But, there’s nothing to worry about, because there are windmill guides out there that will guide you step-by-step. And they work great. If you’re building smaller windmills, you’ll find windmills kits and parts that are ready to go. It’s very simple.

The time is definitely now. Our energy costs are over priced and you won’t see a break anytime soon. Responsible energy generation, like through windmills, is free and helps our planet. In days gone by, I’d have to pay a lot for alternative energy solutions, but not today.

Why not start today and build your homemade windmill? There are kits out there, but I recommend getting a windmill building guide first. Not sure about you, but sitting around staring at windmill parts with no clue what to do isn’t a great time to me.

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7 Tips to Avoid Needless (and Embarrassing) Calls for Repair

It can happen to the best of us. We discover that something isn’t working and we jump to the conclusion that it isn’t working. We feel that feeling in the pit of our stomach as we think, “well how much is THIS going to cost?” And maybe we wonder if the item somehow knows that we just got a bonus and is figuring out how to spend the money FOR us.

But is it REALLY broken?

Here are some tips (from our real life archive of repair calls to fix things that weren’t really broken) to help you avoid unnecessary expenses.

1. Check the Batteries.

Even if it was just working yesterday, if it has batteries, make sure they’re fresh. We got a call from a client who thought that their thermostat needed to be replaced and after replacing the battery it worked just fine.

2. Be sure which one is broken.

If the light won’t turn on, it could be one of several things, but the first thing to test is the light bulb. Try the bulb in another fixture. If the bulb doesn’t work (or if it’s a three way, has one or two settings burned out), replace the bulb in the original fixture. If it does work, return the bulb to its original location, make sure it’s screwed in all the way and test again. If it still doesn’t work it could be the fixture, or…

3. Make sure it’s plugged in.

Sometimes things get unplugged for whatever reason. Before calling the repairman to fix any appliance make sure it’s connected to power. And if it is…

4. Make sure the circuit breaker hasn’t been tripped.

One thing that’s important to know is where your breakers are, which plugs they affect and how to reset one properly. We’ve gone out on numerous calls where either the homeowner didn’t know where the breaker was OR they thought they had reset it, and it wasn’t done correctly. If you’re not sure, ASK! We are happy to show you how.

5. So your garbage disposal isn’t working?

Did you know they have a reset switch? If you’re not sure where (or if) your model has one, Google is a great resource for finding that out. But before you flip that switch – Make sure there’s nothing clogged inside. Spoons, rags, etc., can trip the switch. So have a look and make sure it’s clear. If you have to reach in and get something out, remember safety first. Be sure the switch is in the OFF position and the no one turns it on while performing this operation.

6. Dryer not drying?

Check the lint trap and make sure the vent is not clogged with lint. This is a major cause of house fires, so add cleaning the vent to your list of regular and important home maintenance items.

7. Above All, Safety First

These days, we use our homes for so much more than originally imagined. When older homes were built, some of the appliances that are used in our kitchen, living room or garage were just a fantasy or thought too expensive for the average homeowner. In addition, we use rooms intended for sleep for home offices. If your circuit breaker keeps flipping, chances are you are overloading it. We’ve heard horror stories about people who get annoyed with having to reset it over and over again – and tape the breakers so they won’t flip! This is incredibly dangerous. Don’t be that person.

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10×12 Shed Plans – How to Make the Most of Your Money

Making a 10×12 shed is not exactly a small task and requires a lot of time and financing to complete properly. It is always one of these two that scare people into inaction and they almost never get their 10×12 shed made. If this seems likely in your case then fear not! There are more ways to make a 10×12 shed than just buying the most expensive of the shelf ready to assemble solution out there.

As you may already know, you can very easily get a Do It Yourself, ready to assemble kit from the market and make a really nice shed for yourself in no time at all. The downside to this convenience is the costs which accompany it. Do It Yourself Shed Kits are really expensive and costs thousands of dollars. Also these kits offer little creative freedom to you as all the parts are already cut and sized for you. Thus these sheds are definitely for you if you are not short on money and are neither very choosy about what you want.

On the flip side you can make an entire shed all by yourself. Now I can imagine that seems like a very daunting to task (to say the least!), but just one second, have you thought exactly what is so hard here? I mean you will have to hammer and glue a regular of the shelf shed as well right? The paranoia that results is basically because of the thought of having no guidance and being all alone, and that can be very easily addressed.

There are many advantages of making a shed by yourself. The biggest advantage is that now that you are in charge, your spending is way more controlled as a result the costs will definitely come down. Also making a shed yourself means that you can give it an extra touch to make it truly yours. The first thing that you need to do here is to get a good set of 10×12 shed plans, these will easily address your fear of not knowing anything as you will almost instantly be swimming in ideas and will have more “aha” moments than you can count. Sheds basically are available in 4 types: Gable, Gambrel, Lean and Salt Box. Since a 10×12 shed is a fairly large construction you would be wise to get either a Gable or a Gambrel shed plan. You can get pretty good 10×12 shed plans either on the internet or any home improvement store.

After getting the plans you will need to get all the materials, this will be easy as no 10×12 shed plan will give you a list of materials and tools which any hardware store cannot provide. The most common materials used in sheds are: lumber, plywood sheets, nails, hinges, hammer, corrugated iron, tape measure, framing square, screw driver, a cross-cut or circular saw.

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