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In Which DIY Category Do You Belong?

In Which DIY Category Do You Belong?

Do It Yourself Or Doesn’t Include You

In today’s fast paced world there are all types of little home repair and maintenance projects and tasks around the house and shop that need attention. There are all types of homeowners out there too. You have those that will tackle any project to either save money or because they know how and would rather do it themselves. These are the true life DIY guys.

Then you have those that would rather pay someone to do the work either because they don’t know how to do it or they don’t have the time or the will to do it. Then you have those that do neither one. Instead they stick their head in the sand about the work that needs doing and many times it never gets done at all.

Now I fall into the first category and tackle whatever is next on the list. But I have been a contractor for many years and that sure helps the situation a lot. Plus I have went behind some of these jokers that call themselves professionals and had to fix what they messed up while they were supposedly fixing the problem.

When I do the work, then I know what has been done and how it was done. When someone else does the work you usually have no clue what they did or how they did it unless you were right there with them the whole time. That is usually not the case though.

There is really no reason why most people can’t actually do these things themselves and save the money for other things. Plus this can add valuable experience under your belt for next time. There are all types of little DIY projects around that you can do yourself. It could be in the plumbing or electrical category or a number of others maintenance and repair issues.

Sticking doors or a 3 way switch that doesn’t work right. A toilet leak or a stopped up sink drain. The lady of the house comes complaining that she ran out of hot water before she got finished showering. Then she decides to unload a couple more problems she has noticed lately like the fan in the vent hood making this terrible and annoying noise and why do the light bulbs keep blowing so much?

There seems to be a never ending list of things that need attention around the house and hiring all these things out can get somewhat expensive. Now for some folks it is probably not a bad idea to hire someone to do the work. But for most people this just doesn’t need to be the case.

These things can be done without problems if you have the right information on hand before starting the work. This is where I can help you get the information that you need to tackle just about any job around the house to avoid having to bring someone else in to handle it for you.

You could even use this strategy to gain a few brownie points with the earlier mentioned lady of the house too. Instead of paying an electrician to come out you could fix the problem yourself and she could buy a new purse with that saved money. If you already have enough brownie points then a new drill would look good in your work cabinet.

Below is a link to my How-To website where you can find many articles, hints, tips and other useful info and helpful links. You can find out how to do lots of things that you might not have known before.…

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Favorite Cleaning And Organizing Tips

Favorite Cleaning And Organizing Tips

Every room in the house has individual needs, and the garage is certainly no exception. Spring cleaning for the garage means removing everything, especially large systems of shelves which may damage the floor and walls if left in one spot for several years. Some shelves store chemicals which damage the integrity of joints and installation over time, ultimately reaching the garage floor and causing permanent damage to concrete.

Ultimately, the best tip is to clean the garage frequently, even in small areas. Moving from one work area to the next over a period of a few days to several weeks, will allow the maintenance of a clean, if not perfect, garage environment. The idea, in the end, is to use most time in the garage pursuing hobbies and vehicle maintenance, and not cleaning.

Unlabeled boxes, which stack up and deteriorate over time should be avoided. No one likes digging through piles of boxes without the slightest clue as to their contents. Besides, when boxes are stacked one on top of the other, accidents and damage are a guarantee. Falling boxes present dangerous hazards, but these accidents are best prevented by installing shelves, and not relying on the structure of the boxes themselves.

Benefit from cleaning and organization tips with shelves and cabinets which add space and convenience, but also offer some cleaning challenges. Choose cabinets which are well-sealed, and easy to clean. Plywood is cheap and easy to work with, but is extremely porous, and nearly impossible to clean. Tools stored on plywood shelves are easily damaged, and valuable power tools should be stored in cabinets, and not boxes.

Cleaning and organization tips do not end with cabinets, but apply to vehicles themselves as well. After all, the presence of oil, wax, and strong detergents in the garage is due to vehicle cleaning. So, try to keep to brake and steering fluid separated from other similar containers used for other tasks. This habit not only reduces spills, but eliminates confusion. Try designating a specific cabinet for each type of vehicle liquid.

The floor itself requires some special attention. Tarps are a time-honored tool for preventing the deterioration of a garage floor. Tarps and bedding are fool-proof time savers, since oil and chemical spills will immediately devalue a clean garage floor. Absorbent materials help with spills, but plastic sheets are a sure-fire way to prevent a drawn-out cleanup.

Whenever regular cleaning and organization tips are called for, the mobility of the vehicle itself is key. Although this may seem like a moot point, the easy movement of a vehicle in and out of the garage prevents damage to other large pieces of equipment, like drills and lawnmowers. Decades of clutter may be avoided by simply keeping the vehicle parking area clear of other projects.

Although the garage is so large, it’s not always the best place to store household goods. Toys and furniture may be happier in storage sheds or attics, where caustic chemicals may explode or boil over due to the elements. Storing these items in a garage exposes them to fumes and potential damage which is less likely in an attic or storage shed. In the end, every task and piece of equipment has its own needs, and should be treated accordingly.…

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Noisy Toilet

Noisy Toilet

Do you have a toilet that keeps you awake all hours of the night?

Does it gurgle, run and even flush by itself? The fix can be very simple with no need to even purchase new parts. Just turn off the water supplied by the valve that is located just behind and usually to the lower left of the toilet. Flush the toilet to drain the tank and remove pressure from the waterline. Now remove the tank lid and look inside to find the flush valve. With the water still off, remove the top of the valve either by removing 3 screws or by turning counter clockwise to unlock the tabs.

There is a small rubber washer that seals the center waterway. That is normally the source of the problem. If the washer does not completely seal the hole, air and water will escape causing all kinds of annoying sounds. What keeps the washer from a complete seal is usually a little bit of sand or grit that is stuck in the valves water line. To remove it, simply place a cup over the hole in the valve. This will help to keep water from spilling all over the bathroom. Holding the cup in one hand, turn the water back on for a second.

The sand or grit should blow out of the line and your problem is solved. Shut the water off, clean the rubber washer, and reinstall the parts that were removed. When everything is back together, test the toilet several times. If there is still a problem, check the flapper at the bottom of the tank. Water may be escaping here. This too can sometimes be fixed easily with no need for new parts. Just lift the flapper and clean the bottom of it as well as the outlet that it closes on. Many times the cause of seepage is just scum that has built up and is preventing a proper seal.

Of course there are those times when you will need to replace parts that are defective and just can’t be fixed. These parts, much like the toilet itself, are available in different levels of quality and price ranges. If you don’t intend on having to replace the toilet any time soon, buy a quality part. Even though it may cost twice as much as the inexpensive one on the same shelf, it will be well worth the peace of mind.…

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Elastomeric Fascia Board Paint Problems – Building Tips

Elastomeric Fascia Board Paint Problems – Building Tips

I couldn’t believe it about 10 or 15 years ago they came out with another fabulous product that created problems for my home. Elastomeric paint is so good, that it can create problems because it seals what ever you paint with a rubber like coating. I wasn’t the only one to have problems with this product.

I built a two-story room addition onto our home and used this type of paint without any problems at all. I painted the fascia board before I installed it with a oil based alkaloid primer and then painted it with elastomeric paint. By painting the entire piece of wood, before installing it, I had sealed it correctly. This worked out in my favor and this is the only way that I installed new fascia board today.

It wasn’t until I painted the rest of the home with elastomeric paint that I started to have a problem. When I built the room addition, I installed the metal flashing and roofing materials properly, that wasn’t the case on the existing roof of our home, at the single-story level.

I didn’t realize it yet, but while I was painting the fascia board, the roof edge metal wasn’t installed properly in a couple of spots around the bottom of the roof. Which is where most of the water drains off of the roof, because the roof edge metal wasn’t installed properly and the top of the fascia board wasn’t painted at all. The top of the fascia board started to absorb water as it dripped off of the roof.

The elastomeric paint did an excellent job keeping the moisture inside of the wood, where some latex paints would have allowed the moisture to escape through it. Eventually the fascia board rotted away and needed to be replaced.

I never had any problems with the second-story fascia board that was installed and painted correctly. If you’re really looking for an excellent paint for your fascia board, you can use elastomeric paint if you want to. I doubt if I will ever use this type of paint again, because of the problems I had with it in the past.

I know some painting professionals who won’t use anything but elastomeric paint, but this stuff is truly too good of a painting product and I’ve seen other problems with it also. Most of the problems associated with this paint are due to incorrect application of the paint or poor construction methods from other contractors.

Elastomeric paint is truly a wonderful product, but it’s almost too good to use unless the home is built correctly in the paint is applied over the entire surface of the product with out leaving any small holes or cracks exposed.…

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Basic Qualifications of a General Contractor

Basic Qualifications of a General Contractor

Different types of contractors are available for various activities relating to home improvement such as general maintenance, home remodeling, upgrading, exterior work, etc. Besides these are the general contractors, who take up construction projects as a whole. Before you want to establish yourself as an independent professional or hire the services of such a professional, you need to check out the basic qualifications and requirements. The following is a list of license and other essential specifications for contractors, especially those belonging to the general category.

1. Possess a degree or basic qualification in construction or related subjects and a minimum of 2 years work experience in home construction, improvement, or related activities.

2. Submit a credit report form, which provides details of your ability to repay debts and other long-term expenditures that are bound to occur in the course of the work.

3. Provide articles of incorporation and a certificate of the good standing from the local or regional Assessment & Taxation Department, especially if you are representing any company.

4. Check the state’s regulations regarding licensing and use of a trade name and its availability. You will need to register the name with the assessment and taxation department of the concerned state, and submit a registration certificate for the trade name along with the license application.

5. You should possess a $50,000 liability insurance that is valid and active.

6. You need to renew your license every 2 years.

7. To work as a general contractor legitimately in the United States, you must:

a. Be minimum 18 years of age

b. Have valid citizenship or legal residency document proofs

c. Have valid and active liability and worker’s compensation insurance

d. Possess a valid certificate of insurance that includes policy limitations, validity date, etc.

A general contractor is one who takes up entire construction work and therefore should accept complete responsibility for the entire process and the ultimate result. He can hire subcontractors to take care of various aspects of the project. Generally, he signs an agreement that is legally binding to complete the project. This contract can be signed in the capacity as an individual or as a representative of the construction company. He hires subcontractors for specialty areas such as plumbing, electrical work, roofing, etc. and directly deals with these workers, including their payments.

Although there are different types of construction specialists with vast experience in their field, they can’t claim to be a contractor until they satisfy certain basic criteria. Every professional has to satisfy certain qualifications and requirements to work as contractor, legally.…

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How To Find A Good Plumber 

One of the most testing portions of having leakage and blockage in your kitchen and restroom is simply the way toward managing the work. It is gainful to utilize someone learned about the entire advance of eliminating and fixing the leakage since they do it inside a period. 

To start with, it is not enough to search for a “local plumber near me”, it will assist you with choosing to pick a plumber whenever you have directed a development to learn about the essential things that you can do to make a superior choice. These incorporate the kinds of administrations you need the plumber to do and the correct technique of making the plumber’s capabilities. The measure of cash you need to assess depends on the most current expenses that a plumber could charge you. 

The local more modest scope plumber handles common issues that emerge: a defective fixture, an obstructed channel, a plugged up restroom, and so forth. Indeed, you can attempt to fix some of the issues yourself, yet you need to realize when to bring in an expert. When you purchase the apparatuses and supplies to do it, it will cost you something other than getting the local plumber. Also, do you realize how hard you can fix the PVC pipe before it breaks? Likely not. It requires some investment to dominate. Not knowing can transform an inexpensive fix into a surge of issues. 

While adding a room option or other more gigantic work, it is ideal to enlist an accomplished plumber at more significant positions. However, they will realize what to do, have specific instruments, experience working with city building investigators, and have a group to help them. Regularly, while adding a room, timing is necessary. A plumber must get in and out of your occupation rapidly so as not to keep others down. 

As should be obvious, not all plumbers are the same; some are reasonable and accomplish fantastic quality work, while others perform disgraceful work and charge a great deal. The appropriate response to finding a good plumber is to look ahead of time. You can approach your companions for plumber references or utilize a plumber you had good involvement in previously. These individuals have employed plumbers already, without a doubt, and they could give you legit criticism about specific plumbers near you. You can likewise check the plumber’s capabilities since the vast majority of these are on their site. These will empower you to think about the plumbers that encompass you, so remember that you should previously focus on this issue. In any case, if both of those come up short, you can generally utilize an online “local plumber near me” search. In any case, it is fundamental to know the various kinds of plumbers and each sort of work every plumber does. 

Look for a composed point by point gauge from every one of the plumbers you consider. The pipes gauge ought to incorporate a rundown of work, material costs, the particular brand of materials, and subtleties of the employment’s degree. On the off chance that it is a little work, this isn’t as significant. However, there is a considerable distinction in the materials utilized on the off chance that it is a challenging task. If they state they use the best parts and materials, ensure they do. 

Ensure all that the plumber examines the employment is recorded as a hard copy. The agreement needs to incorporate all the plumber’s data, including name, address, office and cell numbers, and permit number, in addition to whatever subtleties were in the gauge. The agreement must state what a lot excluded from the work is. 

At last, consistently ask them what assurance is and ensure they are conveying current laborers’ pay strategy and a base measure of obligation protection to cover the occupation they are taking a shot at. When attempting to find out how to find a good plumber, it is ideal to do your examination ahead of time.

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Adjusting Your Door

Adjusting Your Door

Doors swell and start rubbing on the jamb for various reasons. Foundations settle, wood framing members twist, bow and absorb moisture and walls rack out of plumb sometimes due to earthquakes. But the primary cause is due to the fact that the top or bottom of the door was not sealed during the painting process. This allows moisture to enter the wood frame from the inside, expanding the door and causing it to rub or even get completely stuck in extreme circumstances.

Sometimes the fix can be relatively simple. If the latch side of the door is rubbing, try this:

1. If the top side, latch side of the door is rubbing, remove the top hinge pin. If the bottom side, latch side of the door is rubbing, remove the bottom hinge pin. Only remove one hinge pin at a time.

2. Using a crescent wrench, tighten it around each ear of the hinge that is attached to the door. One at a time, bend each ear slightly (about 1/8″) in the direction of the lock side of the door. Be careful not to bend the ears too much as this can cause the door to become hinge bound – now rubbing on the hinge side of the jamb. After bending each ear, re-insert the hinge pin and operate the door. You may be surprised at how easy it was to fix the problem.

3. If the hinge side of the door is rubbing, just reverse the direction in which you are bending the hinge ears.

4. Add a little lubricant to the hinges and you are done.

Of course sometimes the door will be rubbing at the top of the jamb. In this case, your only alternative is to plane the top of the door. If you are trying to avoid the use of power tools, you can try a sure form rasp or hand planer. Just plane the door a little at a time and then try it until it no longer rubs. Take your time. You don’t want to get in a hurry and plane too much at one time. The door may now close but the fit will look terrible.

After the problem has been resolved, don’t forget to seal the top and bottom of the door with a quality paint. Although you will have to use a drop cloth, there are many creative applicators available that will allow you to apply the sealer without having to remove the door.…

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Tips For a DIY-Er – Use Appliance Manuals

Tips For a DIY-Er – Use Appliance Manuals

Every DIY-er (do-it-yourselfer) should know the importance of appliance manuals. Sometimes equipment problems are not due to more than a switch not being turned on or off. You may have started the appliance inadequately. There is no need for a repair, just for information. You will find useful information in the manual on how to assemble, start and stop a device and how to use it correctly and in a safe manner. An illustrated diagram of the appliance or fixture is usually shown in the manual and all its parts are marked there along with their name and location.

You will often find a troubleshooting section in the guide. There you are taught how to find out what the cause of something not working well is. You may need help in solving certain situations, so the manufacturer’s phone number is to be found there together with a list of authorized service representatives.

Keep all manuals in the same drawer or box so that they are easy to find when needed. Being well organized saves you time and patience. You may start up a home workbook in which to note important things about your house, the appliances in it and its systems (the gas, water, electric system). You can then put the appliance and fixture use and care manuals in the sheet protectors of that notebook so that you can find all the needed information in one place.

When you misplace an use and care manual, look for a label on the device where the name of the manufacturer, the model number and the serial number are written. Then try to find the manufacturer’s website. It may be that the manual is available online on that Internet site. The probability is smaller if the device is more than 5 to 7 years old. If you do find it, download it and print it to keep it in your house. If the Internet is of no help, try to call the manufacturer when you face problems with a device.…

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Having a Shower May Not Be As Clean As You First Thought

Having a Shower May Not Be As Clean As You First Thought

It will come as a surprise to many, but new information bought to light has revealed that showering may actually be bad for your health. This information has come from a study that was carried out in America. It has been claimed by the scientists at the University of Colorado at Boulder that nearly a third of shower heads harbour ‘significant levels of mycobacterium avium’ – a pathogen linked to pulmonary disease.

Further tests carried out showed that the levels of bacteria found were more than 100 times the background levels in municipal water.

This study indicated that every time we turn on the shower, it is possible that we could be coming into contact with pathogen. The consequences of inhaling these pathogen water droplets can be quite harmful for our health. The symptoms experienced would be a persistent dry cough, tiredness and shortness of breath. However, the people behind the study have reported that people with weaker immune systems are more likely to be vulnerable to these symptoms.

Should you be worried?

For those of you who are starting to reconsider having a shower, do not act too hastily as the UK bathroom industry has responded. The UK bathroom industry has stressed that people in the UK should not be too concerned with these findings. A strong reason not to be concerned is because these tests were carried out in the US based on just 50 shower heads. As there has not been a similar study here yet we cannot get too worried. Furthermore it is quite likely that a study conducted here would produce different results as different materials are used here.

This study has been beneficial in pointing out potential health risks, and many of us can avoid these problems by keeping our shower heads clean. The concern about these findings have been far reaching as the Bathroom Manufacturers Association (BMA) said that the UK shower manufacturers have experienced an unprecedented high volume of calls from worried consumers about these findings. BMA says that consumers should not be too worried as the UK carries out rigorous tests in order to ensure that the materials used do not support the growth of microbes which allow the formation of bacteria when in contact with water.

So what can be taken from this study?

Everyday we are exposed to microbes in different ways. We would find it quite tough to avoid mycobacterium avium as it is known to occur in water, particularly in hot water supplies and aerosolised water, such as fountains. For many of us this is not particularly worrying as our bodies have a good way of defending against bacteria. For those who have weaker immune systems, they should be more careful. It is important to keep remembering that the study was just based on 50 shower heads so it is difficult to generalise how widespread this problem is. This is especially the case for us in the UK as this test was carried out in the US.

Feeling tempted to bathe the old fashioned way?

So are the experts encouraging people to ditch the shower and go back to having more traditional baths? Not really if you normally a healthy person with no specific immune system problems. If you do have a weaker immune system, some extra caution might be required.…

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Choosing a Good Contractor for Your Remodeling Project

Choosing a Good Contractor for Your Remodeling Project

Remodeling your home or upgrading it is not only beneficial in adding your personal touch and enhancing the property value but also in amending long pending jobs in your home. Although you will have all sorts of ideas of how to go about things, it is always advisable to seek the services of a professional. A general contractor will not only possess the expertise but also the necessary contacts to engage the right subs to finish the work on time and within budget.

The various aspects of a remodeling project can be quite a burden on you and your family especially if both partners are working; there are small kids or old parents to take care of, etc. Therefore, this burden is better unloaded onto an able and efficient general contractor, who can take care of the job. There are several instances where remodeling projects start to stress out family relationships or instances where contractors change orders resulting in unexpected financial burdens. Therefore, it is essential to plan out the project in detail and to hire the services of an efficient professional.

So, what are the criteria that will help you to find a good contractor? One of the most important is good judgment, the next is impeccable planning. Also consider your budget constraints. There could be several issues that you want to modify or upgrade, but look at significant ones that can go into your project. This can be done with the help of your contractor and real estate investor. Both with their professional expertise and experience can help you make the right choices for your home. Although you can consider being a part of smaller jobs, always leave the bigger and heavier tasks into the hands of professionals. This will help you save costs and frustration. Sharing your ideas with the contractor can help him make your dream home a reality.

Another factor in favor of hiring professionals to complete your project is the higher probability of finishing the job within the targeted deadline. There are instances where kitchen or bedroom remodeling was started off as DIY project and never reached completion! For contractors, it is their job and they have the expertise, experience, and necessary contacts to obtain the material and finish the job on time. Further, the finished job will have a professional touch to it. Although a team works on the project, the final decisions would be yours and you can inspect the quality and durability of the finished work before you release the payments. And all this definitely works out to be more cost-efficient than doing the project on your own.

Communication is an important factor in any business dealing. Therefore, ensure that you have daily updates about the work progress and ensure that communication is always clear and straightforward. This will prevent errors in the work and also timely completion of the project. Thus, a general contractor is good means to ensure that your remodeling project is successfully completed in a timely, economical, and efficient manner.…