1 Thing You Should Have For Home DIY

Getting a laser measuring device proved to be one of the best things I have ever purchased for home repairs and improvement. I cannot deny that this tiny inexpensive device has cut down my home repair and improvement time by a lot, I have saved so much time to concentrate on other projects. If you have any experience making home repairs, then you should know exactly what I am talking about, measurements can be really time consuming and sometimes very annoying. For me it was a day trying to measure a hard to reach part of the floor behind my kitchen cupboard that really pushed me to finally buy a laser measuring tool.

Buying a laser tool is something which you definitely won’t regret, not in a million years. For everything you can do with it, as well as the price you save, it is definitely worth every single penny, in other words, the price is right. It doesn’t matter what you want to do around the house it will come in handy, Whether you want to measure and re-fit some tiles; Whether you want to move your bed or sofa; Whether you are laying a new carpet. It all becomes much easier when you can just stand there and point your laser and in a split second you have an extremely accurate measurement for none of the hassle.

Think of just how easy everything suddenly becomes, measuring just becomes so simple and painless (I really hated those annoying measurements which I used to have to make; now everything is brilliant!). One thing that gets me every time about this tool is the fact that the measurements which it makes are dead accurate. I recently measured the distance from my front door to the main road and it only took me 2 seconds and the road is 500 meters away. That was incredible! When I used a measuring tape to do the same thing it took me over 10 minutes and it was not as accurate.

When most people thing of home repairs, they think of purchasing hammers, saws and automatic drills etc. but many people overlook how handy it can be to have something which measures fast and accurately. I honestly believe that if you do a lot of work at home DIY, then you cannot escape getting a laser measuring device; they really will save you time and lots of headaches.

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10 Surefire Ways to Avoid Common DIY Home Improvement Mistakes

Ask people who have completed do-it-yourself projects and they’ll tell you that the projects took at least twice and much time and three times the money they thought they would. The basic reason is that DIYers usually make a lot of mistakes that end up making home improvement projects more expensive and time-consuming.

Here are 10 surefire ways to avoid the top DIY home improvement mistakes in the future and ensure success.

1. Take out the required permits — it’s amazing how many DIYers skip this step. Sure, it takes time, and it means you have to deal with the government, but it’s actually in your best interest to make sure get the required home improvement permits. The folks in the permitting office will make sure the project is done correctly and that you stay safe in the process. Also, for some projects, you’ll need proof that you have a permit or your insurance company won’t cover the improvement. You’ll probably need a permit for any project larger than wallpapering and painting. If you’re unsure, call your local building department and ask.

2. Have all the tools and materials you need available before you start your project — starting a job without the necessary tools and supplies will slow down the job and delay your progress. And make sure you buy quality tools. They’re a wise investment.

3. Prepare the job site for material deliveries — when your suppliers deliver materials, you’ll want to make sure the job site is ready to accept them. You don’t want your materials exposed to the weather while you are working and you want to have a storage area to prevent theft.

4. Don’t skimp on materials — for example, don’t use 1/4-inch drywall for building walls. Use at at least 5/8-inch; and 3/4-inch works well for a good sound barrier. Use 3/4-inch plywood for sub-floors. It creates a much stronger floor.

5. Prepare the walls for painting — clean the walls, sand them and patch any holes before you paint. Use a coat of primer or stain blocker if you’re trying to cover over oil-based paint, stains or peeling paint, or if you’re painting a lighter color over a darker color.

6. Use the correct paint — use flat paint ceilings. Interior paints should have at least an eggshell or satin finish so you can scrub it. For outdoor decks, use a linseed-oil-based stain to drive the pigment into the wood and preserve it.

7. Keep safe while working — you don’t want to end up in the emergency room. Wear safety goggles when using power tools or working with drywall or wood. Wear a hard hat when you’re working under other people on scaffolding, and open some windows when you’re painting or staining, or stripping old finishes off of floors or walls. Don’t wear loose, hanging clothing, especially when using power tools. Wear gloves when carrying wood, metal and rock, or when hammering, and wear a nail or tool pouch to prevent damage to your floors, feet, and pets.

8. Measure twice and cut once — probably the most important rule of any project. If you’re going to make a mistake, make it too long. You can always make something shorter. You can’t make it longer.

9. Know the limits of your abilities — you’re not going to be good at everything. If you don’t have a lot of experience at plumbing or electrical work, for instance, don’t attempt those projects.

10. Don’t start to learn how to do a project on your own house — If you want to learn how to do a project, offer your assistance to a friend who is an experienced DIYer or a contractor. And if you have any question about what you’re doing, make sure you stop and ask.

You probably won’t eliminate all of your DIY home improvement mistakes, but you can surely reduce them with these 10 tips.

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3 New Glass Tile Trends For Your Home

Nothing completely transforms the look and feel of a room like tile. And now three new tile trends can quickly and easily give your home a beautiful modern look. Read on to learn about the three newest tile trends.

Glass Tile

While certainly not a new innovation, glass tile has gotten a facelift in the past few years, with many new designs, sizes and styles now available. Glass tile is great for any home with kids because it’s very durable. Additionally, glass tile doesn’t absorb moisture and will not become stained. Glass tile is easy to clean and simple to install – perfect for anyone looking to DIY their new flooring.

Some of the many new styles of glass tile now on the market include jelly bean glass – a fun and friendly addition to any room that looks just like it’s name – jelly beans!; sphere shaped glass tiles;.5 inch wide matchstick tile designs; and curved glass options.

Subway Tile

Although a fashionable choice since the 1930s, subway tile is anything but old-fashioned. Called that because it was originally used in the subway tunnels of New York, this versatile flooring is extremely easy to install and can really change up the look of any room. Some of the most popular uses of subway tile include in bathrooms, showers, fireplaces, for kitchen backsplashes (it’s incredibly easy to clean!), walls, and other areas where a clean and elegant look is desired. Subway tile can be combined with other types of glass or mosaic tiles to create a one-of-a-kind look, or it can be used on its own for a more classic feel.

Glass and Stone Tile

Last but not least, glass and stone tile mosaics are an extremely trendy way of combining the modern look of glass with the elegant style and coloring of stone. You can find many different blends of the two, in gorgeous designs that are guaranteed to make over any room. Best of all, glass and stone tile designs give you the expensive look of marble or granite flooring – without the cost. Moreover, you can mix and match glass and stone blends to complement nearly any room or color scheme.

Don’t settle for carpet or spend all your money on stone or ceramic that stains – get one of these three trends for your home today! With most tile designs provided on easy-to-install sheets, you can have a completely new look in your home in no time at all!

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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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6 Safety Tips While Working On A Ladder

There are endless situations when you may need to use a ladder. Whether you need to change a light bulb, or you are painting your house, there will always be times when you need to reach higher levels for you project. Being that you will not be able to always have someone around when you are using a ladder, you want to make sure that you keep in mind some safety tips while you are working.

1. You need to first have a quality ladder that has sound construction and durability. When you are working on your project you want to feel safe and secure and by having a ladder that has that feel will help you focus in the project at hand.

2. When you are setting up your ladder, make sure all the joints are locked into place. Depending on the style, this might be in multiple locations, so make sure you check each area thoroughly. Make sure the ladder is even and that the feet of the ladder are flat on the surface. Some models feature an extension foot so you can even out a particular side if the area that you are working on is uneven.

3. Climbing the ladder needs to always be at a slow safe pace. There is no need to rush to get to the top, just take your time and use each rung of the ladder and do not try to skip steps. This is one of the most commonly done things and can create an accident if you miss a step when you are in a hurry.

4. While working, you should try at all times to keep at least one hand on the ladder to keep you balanced and secured. Keeping in direct contact with the ladder while working allows to keep your body in a safe position.

5. Staying in the center is the best practice to follow as well. This keeps your weight centered between the supports of the ladder. Leaning to far to the right or left is not recommended because the ladder could slide with you creating an unsafe and unsecure foundation.

6. When you are finished with you project, make sure that you take your time on the climb down just as you did when you were headed up the ladder. If you are in a hurry, there is a higher possibility that you will miss a rung and possibly cause an accident. Just take your time on the way down and keep yourself safe.

A few other suggestions would be to make sure you are using the right ladder for the right project and when you are carrying the ladder, try to collapse the ladder to its smallest size for the safest maneuverability.

These are just same basic tips that you can have while you are working on your next project that involves a ladder. As with anything else, it is always best to follow the practices that are going to keep you safe and lessen the chance of you having a accident.

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12 Clever Ways to Re-Purpose Your Furniture

They say ‘one man’s trash is another man’s treasure’ and that’s true, but that doesn’t mean you can’t take your own junk and make it a treasure once again. By reusing your old furniture, you can add some great charm to your home decor. Not only that but being able to re-purpose furniture is actually a lot of fun. From cabinets to dressers to old doors to countertops, anything can be repurposed. All it takes is just a little creativity. So, the next time you’re ready to throw away that old side table that you’ve been holding on to for years, look at these 12 clever ways to repurpose your furniture before you do. You might get a little inspiration.

1. Use an old door as a headboard

If you have an old wooden door just lying around why not try repurposing it as a headboard to your bed. By sanding down any rough edges, your bed will have an added rustic flair. Plus, it’s really easy to do. All you need is a sander (or just sandpaper) and a bit of putty.

2. A bookcase can become a bar

No idea what to do with that old antique bookshelf? The answer is simple: make a bar! By using the shelves to store glasses, liquor, martini shakers, and maybe a couple of books, you’ll have a high-class bar right in your den, basement or living room. Complete the look by adding wine holders and wine glass holders.

3. Turn a window into a cabinet door

If you have a window that’s intact with a lot of character but too old to actually use, then try making a cabinet door out of it. You can either make a cabinet or find one without a door. Either way, attach a handle and hinges to the window, attach it to the cabinet, and you’re done. Simple and easy.

4. A dresser into a bench

Do you have an old dresser that you can’t find any use for? Just turn it into a bench. A bit of cutting, sawing, and screwing and you’ll have a nice seat for one or two. If you seal and paint it with exterior products you can even place it outside.

5. A buffet cabinet turns into a coffee station

Turning a buffet cabinet into a coffee station is the easiest thing to do. All you have to do is remove the top of the cabinet and replace it with a kitchen countertop. This will look great in the kitchen as a coffee station. Put your mugs, coffee maker, and cream and sugar here for a high-class look.

6. Turn a chair into a nightstand

Do you have a chair you love but it doesn’t match your other chairs? Turn it into a nightstand or (if it’s big enough) a table. All you have to do is take off the back and just use the seat.

7. Turn old side tables into stools

A nightstand or side table can be easily converted into a stool by simply adding a cushion to the top. This is particularly useful if you have a lot of side tables for some reason.

8. An easel becomes a TV stand

A large and heavy-duty artist’s easel can easily become a TV stand if it’s strong enough. Plus, it adds an interesting dimension to your living room and is a great conversation piece. Just place the TV on the bottom shelf and bring the top one down as if you were propping up a canvas.

9. Turn a secretary desk into a linen cabinet

Secretary desks, especially the ones with a tall hutch, can be repainted and placed in the bathroom or hallway as a linen cabinet. Best of all, there’s barely any fussing required.

10. A chest becomes a coffee table

If you have a heavy duty wooden chest or trunk that’s the right height, then you can easily turn it into a coffee table. Just use a sealer on the top or place a pane of glass. If you’re really handy with tools you can make the top open up like a garage door.

11. Turn a sideboard into a bathroom vanity

If you have a sideboard that you want to get rid of, don’t. A sideboard can make an excellent bathroom vanity. All you need to do is carve a hole in the top for the sink and make sure there’s enough room for the plumbing. Add a mirror to the wall above it and you’re all set.

12. Turn a headboard into a rack

Don’t have a place to hang your coat? Have an old headboard that you don’t use anymore? Then make that headboard into a coat rack by screwing on hooks to the face and hanging the whole thing on your wall. Instant success.

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10 X 12 Shed Plans – 3 Important Things to Consider When Choosing a Design

10 X 12 shed plans are a very common & popular design for the do it yourself crowd. If this is the size shed you are going to build, here are some important things to consider when choosing your 10 X 12 shed plans.

The first point to consider is whether to go with free plans or to purchase plans. The temptation will be to save money by going with free plans. Resist that temptation at all costs. My experience has been that free plans are worth exactly what you pay for them, nothing. Many of these free plans have unclear or missing instructions & may lack critical measurements or give incorrect measurements. As we will soon see, purchasing good 10 X 12 shed plans will be very inexpensive compared to loss of time if you have to recut your lumber because it was too long, or worst yet, lost materials if your free ones tell you to cut them too short.

Another thing to consider when choosing your 10 X 12 shed plans is what type of foundation you will build on. Regardless of the type you choose, you will want to make sure the ground you are building on is graded properly & well drained. A dirt floor is acceptable for pole barn type construction, but if your shed’s walls are framed it will need to sit on a more solid foundation. If your area is well drained 6 inches of crushed gravel may be sufficient. Raising the shed off the ground with concrete blocks & placing the floor supports on the blocks will keep the shed solid & keep drainage from being a problem. A concrete slab would be the best option, but may be out of the scope of possibility for most do it yourself shed builders. A properly built, level foundation will prevent problems such as doors & windows that don’t open or sagging walls caused by the foundation settling. A good set of plans will help you with your foundation.

A final consideration when choosing your 10 X 12 shed plans is what type of roof you will place on your shed. This is of special importance if you live in an area that gets heavy snowfall. If this is the case a saltbox or gabled roof with a steep pitch will allow the snow to slide off. Snow accumulation can put your shed under thousands of extra pounds of stress. Designing your roof accordingly can help you avoid disaster later. Other popular roof types include the classic Gambrel design, (think of the old barns with the Chew Mail Pouch Tobacco ads painted on them), or the hipped design that recesses the ends of a gable roof to form somewhat of a pyramid shape.

Individual shed plans can be purchased for as little as $9.99 to $29.99 a piece. One disadvantage of individual plans is that one plan may not have all the features you may require. A popular & recent development is digitally delivered plans that offer hundreds or thousands of designs for one low price. The advantage here is that you have more than one plan to consider for only a little more money than an individual plan. These packages often contain plans for many other projects as well, making them even more valuable if you like to take on projects.

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A Basic Guide To Shed Construction

In case you are thinking about how to make a shed, then this short article will give you some basic steps to help you get this done.

For starters, you need to have a detailed plan. For this purpose, you need to think about your requirements for extra storage space. The things you want to store in this shed. The amount of space you require. These are just some of the things to consider while doing the plan and also think about usage for future years.

Next, you want to find out about your requirements to get a building permit. What are the restrictions in your region with regards to storage sheds? Will you require utilities near the spot for the shed? In the end, ensure that this plan is easy to follow and will have all the necessary details.

After that, you need to think about building the foundation. The plans should have detailed instructions for the foundation. Just ensure that this foundation is almost perfect, because if you are not able to get it right this will put the entire shed at risk.

Your next step will be to add wall framing to the foundation. For this you have to follow the correct measurements to ensure that it is square and at the desired level.

After the wall framing, you have to think about the frame for the roof. This step could be the most challenging because you have to cut angles for the rafters, plus you have to stay on a ladder when you are nailing this in place. Next, you have to complete the roof sheathing. This will require you to affix plywood sheeting on the roof rafters to be able to get a solid base in order to fasten the roofing materials.

According to the shed plan, it is possible that you will complete the main section of constructing the shed with the addition of the siding and roofing material. Your building project is going to be completed after you add doors, trim pieces, windows, and paint.

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3 Reasons Why Purchasing Carport Kits Will Help Save You Time and Money

Looking for a carport for your home? Well these days you will find the task a whole lot easier, as pre-fabricated carport kits can be a great option.

Now, you may be thinking “couldn’t I just design a carport kit, purchase the materials and then construct it myself?”

Well here are just 3 of the advantages of buying carports in kit form:

1. Carport Kits come pre-cut and pre-punched Have you ever made something completely from scratch where you had to cut or drill every part of what you were creating? Just how long did it take you? How much material did you have to purchase and throw away? Carports that are pre-cut and pre-punched give you the best value for money available on the market.

  • There is a minimal amount of waste involved. You only pay for the steel that you need, and not the excess steel if you were to buy the standard manufactured lengths and then cut them to size.
  • They save you time when installing, as nearly all of the effort of drilling and cutting the steel has been done. You will also save money if you employ contractors or erectors because they can install the carport in much quicker time than if they are making it up from scratch.
  • Carport kits come with all the brackets that you need to attach the carport together the correct way, saving you money and time if you had to get the brackets fabricated manually. They also come with every bolt, nut and screw that you will need for your project.

2. The engineering and design work is already done for you A much bigger advantage than a number of people realise. It saves you the time of having it designed, drawn up, and signed off by a structural engineer. Apart from your time, it’s also going to save you a substantial quantity of money as well. Note: Custom designs are also sometimes offered today, and dimensions of carports could be sometimes changed to suit your needs. There may be engineering factors to look at, and sometimes additional cost, though this is as a rule very nominal. So if you have an unusual request, ask the question, it may just be possible.

3.
http://www.excaliburcarports.com.au”>Carport kits can be delivered in total to your door. Carports in kit form can commonly be delivered to most metro areas, and for a somewhat minimal cost. You don”t have to travel around sourcing different supplies from multiple suppliers, trying to get the best deal, using your valuable time and wearing out your car out. So put you feet up, sit back, and let them come to you!

There are many extra reasons for buying a carport kit over trying to make one from the beginning. Why not use what is easily available to you today, to get the best deal and the best carport kit for you.

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5 Simple Steps to Soil Testing and a Beautiful Lawn

Want a beautiful lawn and save money? Sounds like the best of both worlds, but it’s entirely possible. How? By testing your soil. When you know what type of soil you have, you don’t waste money on buying the wrong fertilizers and grass seed. Testing your soil sounds a little intimidating to the average homeowner, but it isn’t. Here’s how to test your soil, quickly and easily.

Step 1 – Get Soil Sample Boxes

Testing soil immediately brings to mind a laboratory, test tubes, vials, and deciphering tricky formulas. This isn’t the way it’s done. Your first step is to go to your local extension office. To find your local extension office, search online or look in the yellow pages. Tell them you want to test your soil, and they’ll set you up with the soil sample boxes, forms, and instructions.

Step 2 – Gather Supplies

Not so tricky so far… right? Once you’re home, gather your tools. All you’ll need is a bucket and shovel. You do need to be sure the bucket and shovel are clean. You don’t want dirt from another location to get in your samples and give you the wrong test results.

Also, don’t use tools with galvanized metal, brass, or bronze. these metals will contaminate your soil sample too.

Step 3 – Collect Soil Samples

Now it’s time to collect your samples. One thing you need to be sure about is where you collect your samples. If you want a gorgeous front lawn, collect your soil in the front lawn. Don’t collect your soil from the backyard or garden. Soil can vary even on a small suburban lot.

If you want to save time and find out what type of soil you have in the front and back yard as well as the garden, do separate samples. This way, you’ll know exactly what each area needs to perform in the way you want.

Using your shovel, put the dirt in the bucket and then scoop the dirt into the boxes for the sample. Each box should be 2/3 full or fill to the line if there’s one on your particular sample box. As you fill each box, be sure and label the box with a name that indicates where the sample was taken.

Step 4 – Fill Out the Forms

Your soil sample kit will come with some forms. These forms will tell the extension office what you want the soil tested for – lime and fertilizer requirements or nutritional problems. You’ll also be asked what type of plant material has been growing in the sample and what type you want to grow there.

Step 5 – Be Patient!

Once you return your soil samples to the local extension office, it will take about one week to get the results. Your results will tell you what your soil lacks in nutrients, what type of fertilizer you’ll need, and how much lime to apply to your soil.

Soil tests are inexpensive. They do take a small amount of time, finding the extension office, getting your supplies, collecting the soil samples and returning the samples, but the effort is well worth it. Once you get your results, you’ll know exactly what your lawn needs to grow a beautiful lawn, plants, shrubs, or garden and you’ll no longer throw money away.

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